Valentine’s Day

I found a present at the Goodwill for my wife, for Valentine’s Day.  I paid $2.50 before tax for a sort-of-romantic book I think she’ll really like, rounded up to $3.00 for their charity, because even if you feel you have to go to Goodwill, why not be charitable for pennies?  The retail price was still on the back, $22.00, score!

I thought about the buzz of Valentine’s day- romance, roses, wine, candles, dinner, and then I recalled the lovely Carolyn Jones as Morticia Addams, doing this:

It’s iconic, anyone who saw the show or the movies watched the actress do this.  It’s also a metaphor that speaks truth from somewhere deep in my hopeless romantic Gomez Addams soul.  See, the blossom is normally the beauty.  The soft texture of the petals, the velvet, but somehow still intense, color, or soft white.  It’s the best effort, the very success of the rose bush, but Morticia cuts off the blooms as undesirable.

It’s also, sometimes, and more frequently than I appreciate, a picture of my relationship with Mrs. M.  Roses and romance are lovely, but impractical.  Illogical.  I love her more desperately than Gomez loves Morticia.  And if I bring her roses, she complains I’ve wasted money.  And then she cuts them (on the bottom, for best water absorption) to last a while, puts them in a vase, she might look at them twice and smell them once, and then there they sit until they’re dead and I put them in the trash and wash the vase.

I love Mrs. M.  And I am a hopeless romantic, being impractically amorous around the house, interfering with her gathering ingredients to cook, disturbing her when she’s on the computer, interrupting her when she’s watching a TV show, delaying her when she’s on some task or trying to leave the house for the day, sometimes grossing out the kids, while I believe I’m teaching them something for future reference.  But, those interruptions are my rosebuds, and she goes about cutting their heads off.  She patiently endures my affections, for a very short amount of time, if there is any, and then brushes them off to return to the practicalities of real life.  You wouldn’t believe that she brushes me off.  You wouldn’t believe she hates my whiskers  and either complains they make me look old if I don’t shave, or they’re too sharp if I do, or certain other aspects of my life that I can’t really do anything about.  It feels like rejection.

You wouldn’t believe she notices, after I’ve washed 200 dishes, that there’s one in the corner over there that I didn’t wash, and doesn’t mention the 200.  Or the speck on the floor after I have vacuumed or mopped.  It feels like being taken for granted.

She has patiently endured, with what I can almost feel as annoyance, for more than 20 years.  Why?  Because she wants that power over me, and I have surrendered.  Fuck me (please) twice, I’m like a drug addict craving my next “fix,” which is a time when I can be with her, except I have to earn the opportunity.  I have to work for it.  I have to have the energy to set her free from the housework and the kids and then catch her in the magical moment between realizing the kids are out of the way and realizing her eyes are closed and she’s asleep, presuming I’m not already exhausted.  I really dislike the dynamic, when I’m depressed and I need her to be supportive and loving, and instead she’s practical and matter of fact and “no nonsense.” But that’s who she is.  It feels like a critical spirit.

Maybe I’m a dreamer and that’s why I am so attracted to her practical nature.  But sometimes it sucks being opposite.  My romantic nature wants to be praised for being romantic, for all the little things I do.  Her practical nature wants to take for granted the little things I do, and to be critical of any little things I don’t do.  She’s a realist.  But I want to be the light in her eyes, the spark that makes her feel young and act foolish.  I want a little nonsense.  I want to be romanced, if she’s  going to act all practical all the time.

I want to be her raison d’être.  And if she were a little more like Gomez, she’d attack me in a fit of passion, just for speaking a phrase in “…French, my darling!”

And her moustache would tickle.

Happy Valentines Day to all of you.  I can’t believe I’m early, but I do suck at weekend blogging.

 

If the only romance you feel is the fact that I care,

and someday,
 …or a boy. Whichever you like.

(for the record, Mrs. M. does not have a moustache.)

 

~Deon

First Fucking Blogiversary!

And I missed it by that much.  Yay, my blog is a year old, two days ago.

Don Adams would be proud.  Or not.  “Whatever.  Nevermind.”

Yep, it’s my blogs birthday, cut the two-day-old cake.  What am I saying?  I baked this myself, only last night…  Hmmm, how shall I decorate it?  THIS cake looks awesome.  Yeah I didn’t make a real cake because we recently had an actual birthday party with cake and the family would protest vigorously against my introducing more calories into their diets, unless of course it was chocolate and then they would cry on my frosting while devouring it.  We’re weight conscious for some reason, it’s not like we don’t have an exercise bike inside and the ability to go for a walk after school…  We just don’t make those choices, so we ride that merri-go-round, which would be great exercise if it were a real one.

Gratuitous swearing…  check!
Self deprecation…  check!
Late arrival…  check!  Because hey, it’s my fucking party!
Virtual cake… check!
Struggle to keep up… check!
Disappointment with life… check!
Humour…   um… well…

Just for clarification, today I gratuitously swore, in a celebratory way.  Like, “how fucking awesome!”

We had an episode over diet and fat and weight concerns, and I swear within a week we had another episode over someone eating someone else’s chocolate.  I fucking swear.  I ate it and I’m going to risk it:  I’m going to the store to buy chocolate and watch the rest of the family yell and cry and fuss over my having brought more fat into the house.  And, if they don’t trigger me, I’m going to smile.  Remind me to pick up earplugs though.

They’re just like me though, except for the insensitivity to my ears, which “scare[s] the living shit out of me.”

This is the most popular kind of exercise in my house:  screaming.  I mean, it gets the heart pumping, they feel the burn, and then after the episode the screamer can retreat without having to do whatever chore it was they were supposed to do.  It happens on reminding about homework too, not just chores.  The added benefit of screaming is while you scream whatever you’re screaming, you’re also running down your family.

There’s a list of exercises my family does, not limited to these:

Sometimes, I’m even in on it, but most of the time I just want to cower in a dark corner somewhere and try not to be noticed.  But that’s not healthy, is it?

I left the clean dishes in the dishwasher, so I can put those away after work because my princesses and prince are so overworked just having to go to school and keep up with social demands of being royalty.  Call me Cinder-fella.  No, on second thought, fucking DON’T.  Because my good fairy godmother got caught in a bug zapper.  And her replacement just finished her song, “bibbity, bobbity, fuck you.”

I just have to remember, “Ogres don’t live happily ever after.”  But we have our moments along the way.  I just wish I could live continuously in the moments instead of having to deal with so many obstacles.  Which makes me

which “scare[s] the living shit out of me.”

…,I’m a year’s journey into blogging. What have I learned along the way?

I bet I have a top ten list:

10. I’m a bitch, a big fat complainer, a pansy about little triggers things that go wrong in the normal course of a normal life, and my family doesn’t like it.  Which means I should stop letting things trigger me get so far under my skin and stop being a whiny little bitch.

9. My life is normal; my response to it being normal is not normal.  Normal people dust off, pick themselves up, and try again.  I surrender, say fuckitall, “the struggle is not worth shit,” and wait for the next shitwave.  Instead of taking a shot of whiskey to numb the pain, stitching myself up from all of life’s cuts and bullet holes and wanting to go out there and take on the world, I just want to be left the fuck alone.  And please leave me the bottle of whiskey because fuckitall.

8. There’s a community of us who hate life, hate people (understandable, because most are just arse holes), hate triggers, and sometimes hate each other, sometimes suffer panic attacks because of all the triggers or just because one just decided to show up on our heart’s doorstep like a jilted lover pounding to get in, sometimes feel sad for reasons no one truly understand, sometimes feel rage, sometimes do OK,  sometimes get so keyed up we can’t do anything, sometimes feel intense disappointment in ourselves or the world around or God or all of the above, and love to swear, because sometimes swearing represents the only perfect response to situations and people.  I love that swears can represent happy, friendly, sad, confused, or angry feelings, or any number of emotions, some of them all at the same time.  And I love that this community has accepted me warmly and supportively, you are the opposite of people I meet in life.

7. I’ve learned there are people who are pretending and people who are real.  The people I know here are real and genuine because it’s a safe place to be real with each other, unlike the world.  In the real world I’m supposed to pretend everything is fine, but here, since my wife and family don’t read it (if you ever read any responses to anyone claiming to be my family they’re probably lying).  Unless it’s a blogger and I’ve virtually officially adopted you because I love you but I can’t marry you, that’s about as close a family I’ve felt.   I only pretend to be real in the real world, but given the choice I’d rather keep on being real in the virtual world because the real world frequently sucks dirt.

6. I’ve learned my struggles and my moods are not as unusual as I once thought, and I thank you all for teaching me that.

5.  I’ve learned I have a deep well of compassion for real people, I had underestimated it because in general, honestly, I hate almost everyone in real life.  But you…  I’d love to win the lottery and give each of you a visit, a hug, a naughty wink, and enough cash to fix the biggest annoyance in your life.  Or help you relocate away from it.  Or just bring you a bottle of your favorite poison, bake you a nice hot loaf of bread, wash your dishes and clean your houses for you, because that’s therapeutic to me.  And then share the bottle and the bread because I think you are the kind of person I want to hang out with.  The fakers can fuck off.

4.  I’ve learned that I may be lonely but I’m not alone because of all of you, especially people who comment and joke around with me.  And I hope that realization is reciprocated.  Thank you for caring about me, in spite of me.

3.  I’ve learned you can either forgive me for occasionally being what you might think is “religious,” or at least have the grace not to express your criticism too harshly.  Thank you.  Or maybe, my brand of reality as I express my doubt-challenged faith is real enough you’re just letting me vent and if so, thank you for your patient endurance.  If you’re still checking the “undecided voter” box, please don’t take my faith in God as an insult if you disagree, just as a very open invitation to think about it.  The Jesus I love and frequently disappoint and sometimes feel disappointed with because of the way my prayers are either answered or ignored, is bigger than the small-minded “Christ followers” who insult you and demean you and hate you for being you, and I am sorry in the name of Jesus to anyone who has been offered hatred in His name, because He’s not like that. Sometimes I am, but He’s not.  There are preferences I have in my life that make other people’s preferences in life make me cringe, like for instance having the roll of toilet paper on the roll backward or not putting a new one on at all, not emptying the trash cans, or the clean dishes out of the dishwasher, or not doing your homework or studying for your exams because you’re on your electronics, or eye rolling or screaming your fucking head off at me for random reasons, things outside of my control, or specific perceived slights, or not mopping the floor when you spill something sticky on it and then bitching until I mop it for you…oh, wait.  That’s my family.  Shit.  The ones that really make me cringe are the people who prefer hate over love, who prefer to be hypocritical, blind and deaf, while claiming to follow Jesus with eyes and ears wide open, the ones who claim to be better than you or me and here’s why, and the trolls who exist to trigger you and me and make us feel more misery than anyone deserves.  I think if you’ve read what I’ve written or commented, you realize I’m not really “religious,” I’m just trying hard to do and say things authentically and express my beliefs as I understand the Text and real life.  One thing you can count on is, I’m not your average Christ follower.  Nor am I a smarmy, slick-as-grease friendly neighborhood used-car-salesman kind of preacher.  I’m not your Crystal Cathedral pie in the sky everything is fine so you should just be happy preacher, or the smug, self righteous preacher who tells you how bad you are and how you ought to step up before you can associate with me, or the success is yours for the taking kind of preacher.  I’m not any kind of preacher.  But if I sound like your preacher, please tell me where he or she preaches because I want to listen to them, those would be fucking awesome podcasts.

2.  In spite of my impending hurricane of doom and gloom, whose sandblasting winds I already feel at the outer edges of my soul, I find myself looking forward to beginning a second year of blogging.  I hope I’m as supportive of, and encouraging to you all as you have been to me.

1.  I said it in my profile, “…there are lots of really fucking good [blogs] out there,” as a statement of faith that people probably write better than me. and it’s true, I know there are even more awesome bloggers and blogs out there and I feel like I’m only scratching the surface. “….Oh, and if you like something I say, leave a love note to tell me what I did good and why it resonated with your soul. And know that before you loved me, I love you back.”  The best part of the blogging learning process has been that I’ve found you, and you are completely awesome.  I love to read your blogs, see your photos, read your poetry, cry with you, laugh with you, celebrate with you, and pray for you.

Comments to Commentary

I had originally said some things only in a comment last week, and then Sunday my experience confirmed this was more than just something a comment can hold.  I try to be shy of over-spiritualizing, after all I’m possessed of the same nature as anyone else, or worse.  But today, “hold on to your lug nuts, it’s time for an overhaul!”

The comments I made were about how frustrating it is, me being a really bad Christ follower but really trying, and watching other people who claim the title making it hard for people to join me in following, or worse, make them so mad they don’t WANT to join me in following.  And there’s a disclaimer:  if you think I’m full of shit, move on to the next blog.  And if, by the end of the article you think I’m just a pain in your ass, let me know and I’ll pay the proctologist’s bill.  If you want to see the original article and conversation, click here, at the risk of seeing the same ideas in my blog today.

People are so FUCKING JUDGEMENTAL, they’re MENTAL.  Not just people, I used to be, a lot, and then I went on a journey called Everybody goes through shit in their lives and nobody is any  better than anybody else no matter how superior they feel about themselves, and you, Deon, are just as big a fuck-up as anyone else so you have no room to tell anyone how much better you are than them.  I can’t even judge the judgemental, because I used to be a bigger idiot.  Now I’m proud to say, I’m just an idiot.

If the discovery that I’m cyclothymic has been worth anything, it’s the discovery that everybody with bipolar that I’ve met so far (except of course, me) are beautiful (more on that later this week if I can blog) awesome wonderful people, they’re nice, they’re friendly, and they’re supportive (except of course, me- I have a foul mouth and an foul temper and a bad attitude about everything.  Because when black holes suck by their nature and gravity sucks by its nature and life sucks when you’re riding a random wave, and mean people suck on fucking purpose and just add to the general suckage, fuck all that and fuck them.  “But I try.  I try.”)  And add to that the thought that we all have our things- habits, choices, stuff we do that makes us wonder if we even still have a conscience, or, makes us want to just give up on ourselves.  I see a tremendous amount of surrender to the suckage among my fellow blogospherians.  We see how it should be, we see how it could be, we try and try to make it better and it still sucks, we pray, we fight, we wrestle, we work, and it all goes to shit in spite of our best efforts.  That SUCKS.  And then we turn to whatever else we might turn to for help, and the worst offenders in my opinion are me and the rest of the Christ followers.  What we do is we make grace (free gift offered to everyone by God, forgiveness and freedom from sin and hell) something hard to get.  We tell people they can come when they turn away from whatever sin we don’t like that they do like.  As if we didn’t have sin of our own that we still commit.  Like judgement.  Like hypocrisy.  Like hatred.  We pretend we’re better than regular normal non-Christ-Following people and everyone else is beneath us.

Fuck that.  Fuck ME, whenever I act like that, I’m lower than whatever’s beneath the station of shit.  That is the fucking diametric OPPOSITE of “grace.”  It’s an epic failure to correctly represent Jesus.  Why?  Several reasons.

What I have discovered along my own journey of life (I didn’t call it fucking “normal,” now, did I?) is that this community does well supporting its’ injured.  When we go through a low or a mixed episode that sucks, everyone else including people who are going through that at the same time, rallies around the person who’s suffering the suckage, and says words of encouragement and love.  We don’t blame, we don’t judge, we don’t hate, we aren’t mean.  That’s doing community right.

Outsiders point fingers.  They don’t understand shit about shit.  And they’re doing it wrong.  Sadly, I believe that’s the human condition.  The religious leaders did it, since the time when religious leaders came to lead.  In the Old Testament the priests weren’t all always the most pure people you could meet, but the Israelites were supposed to go to them for spiritual guidance.  In the New Testament the priests, scribes, pharisees and saducees were supposed to be all holy and guiding the people to God and they weren’t any better.  And now we come to the modern era and you think it’s any better?

Sorry.

Disappointing but true, if I were called to be a pastor back when I was still an idiot about grace, I’d have been right up there with the pharisees, a big asshole.  Shutting the doors of the kingdom of heaven right in your faces with my judgements and my expectations of how you ought to be.  And I know there are pastors and so-called Christ followers who still do the same thing.  I had to realize what the truth was before I could say any of these things, and now the respectable church wouldn’t want me to be their pastor because they’re looking for someone pious who looks like they think Jesus wants a pastor to look.

In the Old Testament, occasionally prophets would call those religious leaders out, or God just ended them. (See also I Samuel 2-4 for a few who were ended on a smaller scale). In the New Testament, Jesus and John the Baptist called them out, (as SNAKES) and later Stephen and Peter, in the book of Acts.  (See Matthew 3 where John the Baptist tells it like it is, and later Matthew 23, where Jesus does it) If God ended evil “followers” like Korah and Eli’s kids, in the modern era, I’d be gone.  Because I used to be like that.

I’ve learned a little bit about myself, about addiction, about my own potential to do evil, and I’ll let this be the limit of my self-confession for now: I know some of the things I do are wrong, but I still choose to do them.  Through my struggle against my habits, I’ve learned to be more gracious, because I need more grace.  And while I wouldn’t wish my experience of life on anyone, I do wish people would learn more about Jesus’ grace, how to talk about it with normal people, and what grace means to people who aren’t following.

I’d like to be more gracious to everyone, even to the hypocritical idiots who are deaf to Jesus’ words of grace, because they think they’re fine.  Mark chapter 2 and Matthew chapter 9(:13) speaks to them, through a bullhorn, and they’re deaf.  I bet it breaks God’s heart.  They suck, and unless they wake up like I was awakened, they’re going to continue to suck.  So being human, I just want to say, fuck them.

And finally the confirmation that I’m on a fucked up trajectory but in a relatively ok direction came Sunday, when I heard Hosea 6:6 that Jesus was preaching from.

“Learn what it means, where it says, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'”

It means, show a little grace.  Be merciful.  Offer the promise of forgiveness.  Don’t kill the sinners for their sins, because, remember your own resumé.  Not the one you show everyone. The one maybe only God knows about.

The opposite of grace is in Isaiah 65. These pompous, pious people live in the first part of the chapter.  No, you can’t join my church (wait, I thought it was God’s church, built by Jesus (Matthew 16:18) out of us normal human people- until you get your life right with God, then you can come in.  That’s ass backward.  People go to a hospital when they’re sick, people come to church when they know they’re sinners and need a saviour.

It’s a contemporary demonstration of Isaiah 65:1-5.  These people think they’re following God the right way- they’re hyper righteous and they know it.   They’re the “good” people and they look around and see that everyone else is “bad” by comparison.  In passing their judgement onto these who need grace, they’ve officially lost sight of their failure- failure to offer grace to anyone else, oblivious to the judgement coming to them in verses 6-15 and the penitent’s (our) acceptance by God in verses 16-25.

And I used to walk in that path, I know how easy it is to do.  It’s on my old resumé, the one I’d rather throw out.  For that old path, for my previous judgemental attitude, for the way I used to be so unloving, I am sorry.

And for any of you who are turned off to Christ because of people who say they’re following but they make it so hard to follow Him that you don’t want to bother trying, I’m sorry again.  If any of you have ever been turned off by the self-righteous, high holy piety of the self-proclaimed saints, I want to express to you that if they stepped on your toes because you were or are some kind of sinner, without ever acknowledging or admitting that they are too, they did it wrong.  The Good News is that grace isn’t for people who say they’re all righteous before God, it’s for us, the sinners who know we’re sinners in need of Jesus.

Today I read about how Jesus is building his church on the legacy of Peter (Matthew 16:18), and how Peter explained it, and I wanted to shout.  It’s on people like me and you. And that made me celebrate.  I don’t think I’m manic, but here- you have a look:

I Peter 2:2 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
    a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
    will never be put to shame.”

Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,

“The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone,”

and,

“A stone that causes people to stumble
    and a rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Who’s the church?  People who need mercy and grace, and who accept it.  Only a hypocrite will shut the doors of grace and mercy in your faces, and if that’s happened to you, let me fucking OPEN IT TO YOU AGAIN.  And I’m holding it open.  Because God loves you.  Sure, he wants us to resist sin, turn away from it, confess it, and so on.  YES.  I won’t deny that. Jesus’ first message, and his message to the woman at the well, and his message to us, is to turn away from sin and follow him.  But those who understand addiction will know that’s a daily process, not something we can rid ourselves from, quitting “cold turkey.”   Mostly I want to express that God knows we’re human and he knows we fail and he STILL wants us all to come to him (I Peter 2:4)  (II Peter 3:9).

I’m not ashamed of the message.  I’m ashamed of myself, and how I am sometimes, and really ashamed of how I used to be.  I look at myself, present and historical, realistically, and I think, “really, what the fuck, God?  I’m the one you sent?  There are far better people out there you could have sent.”  But in spite of myself I want you to know that God’s offer of mercy is to you.

I didn’t choose you, but I’m glad we were introduced.  You are my kind of people.  You already understand community.  You already understand ministering to the sick.  You already understand we’re all flawed.  Like Jesus when he met Matthew (Levi) the tax collector, anyone sneering judgementally down their perfectly pious noses at me (or you) for hanging out together can either go fuck themselves, or learn what it means, when it says “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”  If they think they’re all right, they don’t really need Jesus, and from what I read, until they really repent, he doesn’t much need them either.  They’re pretending and some of them have pretended so long they don’t know they’re pretending.  They only hear what they want to hear, the way they want to hear it.  They’re deaf to the message God has for their hearts.  So He wants you instead, because you’re real.

There.  God has called you.  Obviously He has a sense of humour because I’m the fucked up idiot he chose to send to offer the message.  You think maybe differently of me, but if you do, that might be only because it’s on the publicly visible resume, not the one God and I know about.  But then, he also sent the very judgemental Jonah once, and those people listened.  If God cried when holier-than-thou Jonah wanted the people of Nineveh to still be wiped out even though they repented, He’s laughing now.

“…the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.”

Economy and Minimum Wage

Bernie Sanders and other politicians are champing at the bit to raise the minimum wage, which sounds great in the wind, but looks terrible on paper.  I’m not against modest merit raises for continued work at a company, but I am against raising the minimum wage to $15 and here’s why:

There are people who say that raising the minimum wage would stimulate the economy and help the poverty stricken workers who eke by at the current Federal minimum $7.25 an hour.  It sounds great, everybody gets a raise and improves their buying power.  Only it doesn’t, in the long run.  In the long run, the economy adjusts to the new minimum standards, and $15 an hour becomes the new poverty level.

I started working at $11.00 in 2007, when the last minimum raise went through, and have worked my way up to $13.66 while the minimum was left at $7.25, and I have a family of 4.  If the minimum is raised to $15, I get a raise, which is great in the short run, but in the long run, as the economy adjusts to the bump, all my work to better my family was worthless.  Understand that raising the minimum wage to $15 will translate to the old $15.00 now being valued at the same buying power as the old $7.25.  It will push me back down to the old $7.25, so effectively I get a 53% pay cut.  Everyone under the new minimum, somewhere between that $7.25 and $15, who doesn’t get a commensurate raise if the minimum wage is raised, takes a pay cut down to the new minimum.

I already have to choose whether to pay my rent or go to the dentist, because my insurance, that I pay for, doesn’t come anywhere close to adequately covering the dental treatment I need.  I’ve chosen to endure the pain until I can save up enough eventually, or until it becomes an emergency, and continue to pay the rent and car payments.   I’ve already decided not to seek treatment for my cyclothymia or my chiropractic issues at all, because that would routinely mean less money coming in as the maintenance costs go out.

A minimum wage increase also hurts everyone, especially small business owners who will have to double the expense of employing people.  Prices will go up for products and services, to compensate everyone who now pays more for their workers.

I don’t collect welfare or food stamps yet.  But I will if the minimum raise goes through.  If anyone is working at $7.25 an hour, you have my sympathies, but I really don’t want help that hurts me.  If the new minimum wage pushes me farther down than I already am, I worry that I’ll be so continually depressed with even worse feelings of worthlessness, I’ll file for disability and quit my job or become suicidal.

I can’t vote for a politician who wants to devalue my work and the time I’ve spent with this company, trying to earn a living to feed my kids, unless that politician wants to hire me until I can retire, and start paying me a real living wage, not the minimum.  I’ll settle for $28 an hour to start, if you push through that minimum wage increase.

Please think through the logic of what I’m saying, and stop.  A modest raise would be fine, and wouldn’t hurt me as much.  But a huge raise like what is being proposed hurts everyone.

A Picture of One Wave

So I think this might be a brilliant picture of the manic part of the experience. We’ve just climbed out of a very dark tunnel, that the people around us, (including some of the doctors if they would be honest with us, believe we dug ourselves, and they’re mad at us for causing them problems. They’ve basically kicked us out, but because they couldn’t be rid of us completely, they just kind of said “stand here and watch for signs of trouble,” except we’re out of the tunnel and we’re daydreaming, finally:

We just escaped it, with everybody still mad at us for being in the tunnel.  We’re functioning again, blind to the approaching danger. And at the end of our swan song, we realize, oh shit, the hyenas are about to eat me, and we crash back down and we’re falling, with everybody mad at us for causing so many problems, as if we wouldn’t help ourselves and everyone else if we could. Manic phase, to our surprise, has abruptly ended. We have no explanation why.

There’s a cure. But we’re still trying to find it, with people denying the truth and blaming us for everything and calling it a hoax and so on.  The meds they use feel worse than the disease, I’m told.  I wonder myself if the cure is something readily available, right in front of us and we aren’t being told the truth because doctors and pharmacists and manufacturers are busy getting our money and insurance money and so on.  “Lord, I believe!  Help my unbelief! (Mark 9:24)”  Because

Here’s the other, more downward, part of that sine wave. The panthers are chasing us through the forest, to the edge of the cliff, and along comes a fucking doctor, saying, “it’s all right, we can figure this out,” and us responding “I hate you,” because their “help” ain’t helping. My wife really wants me to go. For the depression. But I’m reading the research that says my cycle is slow and meds might make it rapid.

That’s why I don’t really want the help.

because if I let them, I’m afraid this will happen:


And at the bottom of the waterfall, we’ve been bumped around, slammed into the rocks, tossed down a waterfall, we’re tied up, we’re completely helpless, so are the doctors, we’re irritable as a wet llama with no change of clothes, and it’s fucking raining. Everything I read tells me the side effects don’t warrant me being their llama. I mean, a guinea pig. And I’m falling down the waterfall again. Ugh. Here I go again. I’ll just ride it out again. I hope. Hopefully I’ll be back on the “Now my status ain’t so quo” side again in another few months. And maybe it’ll last a while.

 

Thank God, for me it’s cyclothymia with a long cycle and not a rapid wash and spin cycle tossing me up and down and around like a rag doll in a washing machine a couple of times a day. No matter how bad I feel, there are people I can pray for because I don’t have it so bad. At least that’s what I’ve been told.  And yeah, I am praying for everyone who’s suffering, because who knows?  Maybe the cure will be discovered because I asked God to reveal it.  If I don’t ask, I don’t get what I want.

“You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.” – James 4:2 (NIV)

I’m asking, OK, God?  Could we please have an answer other than “in this life you will have trouble?”  (And then the irritating “Be of good cheer” instruction that follows in John 16:33, of course, and makes me want to swear some more, and throttle a scribe or two.)

Is it me, or did this mania part not last as long as it should have?  “I don’t know about you, but I’m getting all funned out.”  Fuck.

“Bring it on.”

~Deon

Staring Through (Vodka Love Song)

Staring Through (Vodka Love Song), 2/3/2016, Deon Mumple

He liked wine a little,
Favorite colour was purple,
But wine never got quite close enough,
Sometimes it would be beer,
With dinner and good cheer,
But more often life was just rough,

It was an illusion,
Never cleared confusion,
But he liked staring through his shot glass
When his vodka filled it,
When life felt like straight shit
He liked to drink ’til it kicked his ass

Confusion never came from the bottles’ lips
He never took more than a couple sips,
Just drank until life’s pain would slightly fade,
And vodka never told him, “go away.”

Straight through, he saw clearly
Like water, severely
But never had clear vision. What to do?
Pour another shot,
Grateful for a lot,
But wishing for understanding, too…

He loved her dearly,
She loved, austerely,
As if he, at fault somehow, should make amends,
She pushed him away,
Almost every day,
The couch, dark, and vodka were his friends,

Although he knew it was only an illusion,
At least vodka never left him in seclusion,
He drank ’til wasted love’s pain’d slightly fade,
And vodka never told him, “go away.”

Rejection never came from the bottles’ lips
He never took more than a couple sips,
Just drank until he felt loved, or close to,
And vodka never told him what to do.

When the Shit Comes Crashing In

When the Shit Comes Crashing In, or, The Story of My Infinite Success

Sorry, my brain went off on a tangent about the Salvation Army, off to the musical Guys and Dolls, God only knows where it will wander from here, because I made the mistake of starting with the title.  I was looking for this (I swore the “Save A Soul Mission Band” from Guys and Dolls played “When the Saints,” ), and found that (See below, not a bad message I suppose, maybe a bit more on this shortly)

I do like Louis Armstrong.  But here goes, trying to focus.  Did YOU know Marlon Brando could actually SING?  Sorry, tangent again.  And I didn’t link to Marlon’s singing. Just look up the movie, it’s a good one.  FOCUS, DEON!

 

Charlie Sheen’s “winning.”  Mmmmm Hmmm.  Riiight.

Prosperity Preachers‘ messages help the desperate, and the faithful, prosper.  Because it’s obviously the truth, right?  Mmmmm Hmmm.  That’s why I got the high-paying ministry position when I first graduated out of seminary school and have only gone upwards from there.  Riiight.  Or maybe that’s how I won the lottery back when I purchased my very first ever ticket, before all the doubt crept in.  Yeah.  Mmmm Hmmm.  Riiight.

Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer and Brian Tracy and speakers like them usually don’t come right out and say it, but they’re success preachers too.  Nobody ridicules Tony Robbins.  That guy is enormous.  But Oprah, and her proteges are ridiculous, I can’t figure out why they’re so popular and wealthy.  Through it all, Oprah yo-yo diets, and Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil are ridiculed as quacks on SNL.  Oprah just cries all the way to her mansion, I bet.  And so do the other proteges.

Maybe there’s a difference between wishful thinking and actual truth.

I have to say it here, that although my recent experience has been somewhat lacking in the department, God really DOES answer prayer, and sometimes in a big way, sometimes smaller.  It just seems a little more random and whimsical lately than back in the day.  Like when my back popped back into alignment, I’ll count it as an answer to prayer because I didn’t have to pay for a chiropractor and we really don’t have the money.  Still waiting on other current (IMHO reasonable) requests. But if I were reminiscing, I could tell you stories… but, another time.

I get irritated when people tell me things my itching ears want to hear, I try it and it doesn’t work.  The ones that make me really mad bring Bible verses into it and say things like “Just speak it into existence, like God did in Genesis,” or, “God wants all of His children to be all rich and successful, all you need is a little faith” (which is why most of the followers in Jesus’ day and in the book of Acts were poor and needy and downtrodden, and Jesus said there would always be poor people, but I digress).  And then they have the blasphemous GALL to tell the listener to “just send me your last dollar first and God will bless you” (DEAR GOD, I HATE those fuckers).  They used to just kill false prophets but today that’s frowned upon.  Today they sit in posh “church” buildings and jet airplanes cashing senior citizens’ social security checks and desperate people’s last dimes.  And God blesses those people because when you don’t have a dime, someone is going to be charitable.

I found out the GoFundMe people did shut down Cinnamon Nicole, poor thing, after she claimed to have bet the rent money on the Lottery.  She had already raised $810.  I hope she was making the story up, because if not, she’s now watching the preachers and hoping for a breakthrough or selling it on the street to raise the necessary funds, and I hope it’s not gotten to that.

Oh, just listen to what they say:  Visualize it.  Dream it.  If you believe it you can achieve it.  The universe wants you to be happy and successful.  You can be rich and successful and powerful.  You can have your dreams come true.  You can trade a paperclip up into a house, assuming you already have sufficient cash flow and the ability to travel coast to coast and up to Canada and get publicized.  And I can go home and find a cashiers check for $100 million dollars payable to me in my mailbox (hey, why the fuck not?), my kids sent off to their grandparents for the night, and my wife in that outfit with a hot steak dinner and a bottle of wine, all ready for action, whispering in my ear, “I want you, now, and I’ll do ANYTHING you ask!”  I’ll let you all know.

One of my friends wrote about a guy who said that life happens in waves.  I think that’s right.  I also think shit happens in waves too.  I think it’s worse when another wave rolls ashore onto people who are already stuck at a low tide mark in their lives.  But if you think it only happens to people there, consider the stories of Benoît ViolierBernard Loiseau, Homaru (Omar) Cantu.  But I also want to write about the less celebrated Joseph Cerniglia , Rachel Brown, and Josh Marks.

I’m not a classically trained chef of any sort.  I just like cooking and I have a great love for chefs, cooks, and greasy spoon burger flippers.  That’s right, everyone from Julia Childs to these wonderful people.  I’ve never met any of them, but if I did I’d treat them all the same I think.  Well except Julia, she’s dead of very old age, so that’d be downright creepy.  I’d treat them with respect.  Thank you, sir, thank you, young lady. (nobody likes “ma’am.”)  My friend tweeted recently that he rang the bell at Arby’s.  I do exactly the same thing.  I give it a good whack, because those people are awesome.  I also love my local McDonalds and Burger King, same reason.

I want my cooks to live a long and happy life, and I’m sad to bid them a “fondue.”  I mean, “a fond adieu.” (somebody stop me)  I want them to realize their dreams, even if the dream involves telling me I can kiss their ass because they’re quitting and going to college and the guy in front of me was their “last fucking customer ever.”  That never happened, but I would think it was AWESOME if it did.  If that ever happens to you, offer them a hug and wish them good luck and thank them for taking good care of you (and they might take your order last instead).

I want my friends to live a long and happy life too, but sometimes the shit takes their energy, smashes their dreams, and leaves them in a very dark place.  I should know, I’ve gone home from work after forgetting, or not being able to, pay the electric and those bastards have shut it off.  Without notice.  More than once.  FUCKING BASTARDS, I’m still not over that.  I have kids at home sitting in the cold, in the fucking dark, and you’re to blame for doing that to my kids.  If it was just me, I wouldn’t have as big of a fit.  But I was really fucking pissed off.  Talk about leaving one in a very dark place.  Thank God my cell phone was charged, or it’d be dark and cold all night, and I’d have been taking my family to my mum’s for a sleepover.  They wanted, both times, to come out the next day, and I was able to talk their manager into sending that damned technician, who was there within 10 minutes the same day, back to switch it the fuck back on, after I paid the bill because fortunately I had just gotten paid both times.  He must live right down the damned street.  I read a story once about a poor 93 year old veteran who froze to death because the power company wanted their dime.  “Thanks for your service to our country, now pay your fucking bill or you can just die?”  That’s called murder, ass holes.  But that’s business, isn’t it?  Those fuckers pointed the finger at the guy’s neighbors, instead of facing murder charges.  A hero who served his country with pride is murdered and no one goes to jail.  But that’s money, isn’t it?

Sometimes, as it was with these chefs, their deaths are inexplicable.  I mean, you’re on top, you’re famous, you’re bloody rich and successful and if you stepped aside your name and your recipes would carry the restaurant(s).  So maybe you were number 1 and they say last time someone fucked up and you’re number 2 for a while, but why the fuck is that so big of a deal that you’d off yourself about it?  Oh, the struggles fucking rich people face. So fucking waahhh, dust off, do it again and you’ll sit first chair in the culinary orchestra again soon, because you’re still bloody richer than I am, and I have to keep plodding along in my struggles.  I have an electric bill to pay and a house to heat with kids in it and I do not want to let them down. Those people in the Hardee’s news story I highlighted are heroic, living at poverty wages they still dream and go to work faithfully and keep trying.

Sometimes we understand, if there are money problems you feel you can never dig out from under (does THAT ever sound fucking FAMILIAR to ME!).  And sometimes, for lack of a better explanation, there are the demons we face, that we don’t understand.  I don’t know, can’t speak with spiritual certainty, that Josh, or any of the other chefs had demons.  The only demon I know in the cooking realm is fucking Gordon Ramsay.  Who is a genius, I suppose, since he has power and influence and uses it to inflict himself on all these chefs and wanna be’s.  I can’t watch the show any more, or any of his shows.  He takes the joy out of cooking, and for the time I’ve wasted watching Hell’s Kitchen I still don’t know how to make a fucking Boeuf Wellington, for fuck’s sake.  (Actually, I do know, but not from watching that ass hole prance around screaming at competent chefs about how incompetent they are.  I’ve just never tried it because 1-do you know how much that quantity and quality of beef costs?! and 2- I like my steak medium, not mooing for its’ mamma, and 3- ribeye is so much better tasting to me than the filet)

I want to live through this shit wave, and any other shit waves the shitty tide brings in.  I forget who said their favorite words in the Bible were, “it came to pass.”  Because it meant, whatever it was didn’t come to stay.

Life itself is a gamble.  God didn’t promise us roses, champagne and Boeuf Wellington served by a mad cow of a chef (sorry, Gordie, you just make an easy target.  Hugs!). In addition to saying the poor would always be around, Jesus promised that rain (in the context of an agrarian society usually a blessing) would fall “on the just and the unjust.”  Jesus also said, “In this life you will have trouble.”  (Thanks ever so much, Jesus!  As long as I get the point, I’m fine with that as long as it’s fairly and evenly distributed.  Except it’s not, at least not yet, from my very limited perspective.)  With these guarantees in mind, all we can do is slog along through the mud, one boot in front of the other, pray we don’t lose our boots or get a hole, and pray it’s mud and not something that looks like mud.

As life is a gamble and sometimes it sucks, I pray for each of you readers for whom it sucks worse than for me.  Stick with me, we’ll stomp through the shit together.  Don’t hurt yourself, or kill yourself.  I need you.  Who else would read my shit?  Who else would offer me a virtual hug and say “it’s going to be all right, Deon?”  I pray for my readers whose demons whisper that death is the best option, or that it’s the only option, or whatever.  It’s  fucking NOT.  That’s a damned lie.

As life is a gamble and God causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust, I pray that a gentle, blessing kind of rain will fall on you, and the sun will rise and make your blessings only grow.  I pray it’s not a hurricane, a flood, a tidal wave, or some other added disaster.

For each of you, inasmuch as life is a gamble, Marlon Brando and I pray this:

 

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll go home tonight to all my dreams, or at least a few of them, coming true. I’ll let you know.

Hot Damn! I mean, Oh, Shit!!

Followers (includes Publicize)

150

Holy Crap, I saw it when it happened.  I’m not looking for a million sycophantic followers by any stretch of the imagination, in fact one of my running jokes when I started this blog was that I’d probably offend, or had offended, all 6 of my readers.  Shit.  You all have ruined one of my best jokes, so thanks a lot!!

Thank you to all who shadow, read, enjoy, tolerate, hate, like, dislike, wish I would shut the fuck up, fester, throw bricks at your computer screen at every post, remain silent, or comment, on my blog.

Not that having a million sycophantic followers would be a bad thing necessarily…  I’d love each of you right back.

~Deon

Deon from A to Z

Deon from A to Z, 2/1/2016, Deon Mumple
(Inspired by the delightful Annie, find her blog here)
Anonymously, I’m Deon, hiding, you only see me
Behind my screen, encouraging, although I’m mostly unseen
Cooking gourmet goodies, breads, experiments amid the mania
Despite my desire to disappear completely, rage sometimes takes me
Everyone thinks I should be, “potentially you could be,”
Frankly, I see, what they see, differently, in my scene,
Got the depression waves, coupled with manic and phobia,
How could they possibly understand, I mean,
I don’t even get why I can’t reach normalcy, being
Just as smart or smarter than the next hundred guys.
Keep your distance, I love you, dismissed, I’m proximally challenged,
Learning is easy, but all that application never quite got hinged,
Maybe today’ll be the day that I can be me, stay home, but
No, because I’ve found this awkward, uncomfortable rut.
Other people embrace change, I endure it, I’m strange,
Pensive despite faith, I’m told it’s unnecessary, life’s scary.
Quirky, sweary, my thought process, attitude, tries
Responsibility, I want it, see the goal, but control is impossible,
Surrender to chaos and loss, wished, but it’s inevitable,
Try again, I get up again, sometimes, then, give up again
Under continual stress, but every now and then
Victory.  I still dread the negative, living in my head
With all these thoughts hiding, how am I not dead?
Xerotic to erotic humor, that’s me, with sarcasm and profanity.
Zen, peace, coexistence, and earthly happiness are most always lies.