Shredded

My wife, the lovely and talented Mrs M, is not just lovely and talented.  She is more often irritating to me than she is irritable at me.  I let a few people close who flip that, just not quite as close.  I figure if she’s patient enough to not have killed me in my sleep yet, she’s probably ok to have around.  The drawback is she can be annoying sometimes, most often when she’s reminding me of something she asked me to do earlier that I didn’t do yet.  She also dabbles in being opinionated and critical, most frequently when I either tried to do something and failed to meet her expectation, or when I didn’t even bother to try.  A guy I used to hang out with used to say, “Stay away from ‘puppy love.’  It’s the beginning of a dog’s life.”  As I recall, he was the preacher who officiated our wedding…  Thanks for the warning, pastor.  I kind of like this one, though.  Not sure if anyone else would put up with me as well)  She is also a savvy shopper, as smart as she is beautiful.

She can find random shit that comes in handy later, if we can find it when the need arises.  I have no idea how.  But I know why:  to give me more work.  The most recent example is a paper shredder.  What with identity theft becoming so prevalent along with hijacked computers and ransomware, it seems the fuckers who have nothing better to do with their time and genius decide to  harassing people out of their comfort zones and their cash through even less upstanding ways than say, politics, medical and dental insurance, contractor labor, car sales, car repair, human resource management, team management, or being a pastor.  In no particular order, these are probably the people who irritate me the most in life.  Anyway, that’s the reason I celebrate that she found, and purchased, a paper shredder.  Not only did she find an industrial quality shredder, but she found it at a garage sale, for $8.  It’s not a little crappy shredder.  We had the crappy model a while ago, and it fell apart screaming in agony and died.  The little teeth just couldn’t handle anything more than one sheet at a time. I’m not testing this one’s endurance, but I JUST priced this thing at between $70 and $80 online, and she bought it some time ago.

I’m working from home now, and I’ve been sort of cleaning here and there when I feel ambitious, and I ran across the stash of old things that needed shredding. She hasn’t run it, but there it’s sat, waiting for purpose.  I honestly don’t know why it wasn’t run, except she was waiting for me to do it. An enormous pile of paper was sitting over in the corner like something you’d see on an episode of hoarders.  Don’t get me started, or there’ll be another rant.  Anyway, I started, a little at a time, when I had time and my attention focused on that and not one of the other pressing things that MUST BE DONE IMMEDIATELY OR THE WORLD AND LIFE AS WE KNOW IT WILL END!  Like, taking the dog for a walk, lest he crap or mark his territory ON MY CARPET, which offends me almost as much as it offends Mrs M, but then, who cleans the fucking carpet? (I’ll give you five guesses and the first four don’t count, since there are now five living things in the house, and no, the dog hasn’t mastered scrubbing, he’s only got the spraying down.)    Or, taking out the trash lest Mrs M’s fragile sniffer should be offended.  (No, clearly, hers doesn’t stink, people, work with me here! I can say it, and I actually LOVE her.)

So, tonight, any stray and unpleasant aromas shall be covered in a layer of air thick with chocolate molecules.  Leave the deodorizing spray in the cabinet tonight.  Oh.  Don’t click play if you don’t like it, but HEY LYNYRD SKYNYRD! Wanna make a little extra dough? (Please say no, please say no, PLEASE SAY NO!!!)  This song would go well with a certain air- and fabric- and other- refreshing product.  (Please say no!)


That cleaning/freshening spray product, which shall be nameless but rhymes with something in the song title, works pretty well on carpets and the couch cushions.  I know because I don’t smell dog “markings” or  other dog issuances which have occurred.  Anyone else do that instant word dissection thing and notice that “cur” is part of “occurred?”  Just me?  I just don’t want them to play the song with fucked up lyrics to shill the product.  I’ve had enough of that.  Good songs get my hatred, and bad songs receive my loathing, when they’re sold to product-selling companies and overplayed until I’m saturated, which doesn’t take very long, especially whenever I hate the song to begin with.  That Lynyrd Skynyrd, though… my favorite of their songs today is  “Gimme Three Steps.”  A great story, woven skillfully into a poem, with a musical setting?  That’s my kind of thing.  I could write like that, for $10,000 a month, if someone wanted to hire me.  No, seriously, who wants to hire me?  (I may have to trademark that question, if someone doesn’t hire me soon.  Maybe a certain kind of cryptozoologically named company will pay me to use MY slogan.)

Mr. M probably still stinks, but we’re used to that.  And the dog needs a bath.  Maybe tomorrow.  Mrs M and the kids won’t do it, so that’s another thing the dog and I get to do together.  I hope the shampoo doesn’t irritate him.  But tomorrow morning I have to deliver more girl scout cookies, so task on task on task, before work, hooray again.  I wonder if he’d feel better, or bite the crap out of me, if we sat in the tub together while I washed him.  I grew up with cats, and I like that they bathed themselves.  I hope the trust we’ve built holds out.  Where’s my  swimming trunks?  And chain mail armor.  That suit will almost completely protect against shark bites. But who protects the sharks?

Holy shit.  Look at that cool Neptunic/shark logo emblazoned on her arm, and bonus, also on the top left side of the top.  They sell this suit, if you want to look this good before and after diving in the shark-infested water and not-quite serving yourself to the sharks like an hors d’oeuvre. Here’s the link you need, to read the entertaining article and if you want to buy one, email the sales team from this link.

Yeah, I don’t want a shark suit.  I’ll never, ever, willingly jump into shark infested water and play “feed-the-fishies.”  NE.  VER.  But I knew the suits existed, and I figured maybe including the photo would add a hint of something to my blog.  What’s the word for whatever that hint is a hint of?  Quality?  Never noticed that HERE before.  Beauty?  Um, I looked in the mirror today, and I know how dazzling I am to all of you, but when I look at myself it’s half and half, and when Mrs M looks at me…hmm.  I’ll have to ask her.  Anyway, I’m sure there’s a better word for it.  Let me know in the comments below.  Just keep in mind, the photo isn’t mine, the model is probably smarter than any stupid comment, AND, she knows people who can take you to where the sharks swim, that is, if she doesn’t have her own boat, so don’t.  You know what I mean.  Just.  Don’t.

I’ll let you know how the dog’s bath goes.  We’ll both be cleaner, because I’m climbing in there with him.  With some kind of clothes on…where’s my denim shirt?  It’s probably the closest thing to chain mail I own.  Well, he’ll be clean.  I may be eaten alive.  Maybe he’ll go for the jugular vein.  Best case, he’ll just freak out and freeze like he did last time we bathed him, and endure until the bitter end.  In between, a number of dog-bite scenarios come to mind. You haven’t heard this tiny 25lb  dog screaming crazed bloody murderous hatred at the neighbors, their kids, or their dogs.  He’s scared, but he tells the other, bigger dogs, and people, to fuck off or die.  Anyone else dissect courage and see “rage?” Just me? Maybe it’d be better if I had a dog the size of a shark, so one bite would end it.  But no.  My dog has teeth that bear closer resemblance to a piranha.  Honestly, I don’t think I’m afraid, but it’s possible.  I’m a bit nervous, truthfully, but I think he’ll behave.  He trusted me through a trip to the veterinarian, so maybe he’ll trust me through the bath. Maybe it’ll be a bonding experience, as if we weren’t already totally perfectly psychologically paired.

At least it’s not an anal probe.  Holy ass-fucking HELL.  The stupid veterinarian KNEW our poor dog was having digestive difficulties, irritated from front to back, knew he was already suffering after we described his discomfort, symptoms and, um, discharge, and could have just done the blood chemistry to figure that out, but no, she had to get a temperature, from the core, where he was already sore.  I haven’t had the pleasure of hemorrhoids, but I think the dog had one, and she wanted to poke at it, for fucks sake.  And that was just in the entry hall of the Hound’s House of Hellish Horrors.  He cried and I wanted to.  That wasn’t enough, so she took him into her back-room torture chamber to get the blood sample and then she tried to get a stool sample, that buggering bitch.  He cried some more; I could hear it through the damned doorway to doggy distress, and I almost did too.

My blood sample for the doctor’s little experiment is (in installment payments because I don’t just have that lying around) costing us $700 because my insurance is bullshit.  I knew the fucking results before the test was collected. I called everything before they called me, Mrs. M heard it, not that she showed me any sense of being impressed when I was spot on about everything.  And the dog’s session in the canine chamber of crises and cataclysm was around $300, and what did they tell us?  He’s got an irritated lower digestive tract and an upset stomach.  Um…  No shit, mutt mundunugu!  Neither of those will ever happen again.  I can’t afford to let them experiment on me, and I won’t allow them to torture the dog ever again.

I’ll check in after the potential shredding. I may just go with the ragged, rugged look. Mrs M hates it when I try to go out with any kind of holes or shreds I didn’t pay for, but our daughter has a pair of jeans that looks like it’s been through the shredder and that’s considered “fashionable.” I mean, what the fuck?!  My ego, not to mention my very mortal soul, goes through the shredder on a regular basis.

 

 

Hot, isn’t it?  I look exactly like that.  Except for the likelihood of bloodshed and mayhem.  Maybe you just can’t see the scratches because they’re eclipsed by how fine I am.  Just ask Mrs. M.  Because she needs a good laugh.

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Discomfort Zone

Does life always have to push people?  Is it just some people?  And if it’s some people, how the fuck do I get off the list before dying?

The church, after advertising the benefits of eternity “after you suffer for a short time,” wants to push its’ good hearted people out to do ministry work, because there’s so much shit out there in the world that needs shoveling.  Pastors can’t do everything or be everywhere so they train us regular church people and hope we get it.  And then get off our asses and do something, anything, to help people who need help.  The problem is one of numbers.  If all the members could figure out how to support the ministry by giving something, it’d go a lot further than a few giving their 10 or 15 % and most giving a dollar or nothing.  If all the members could figure out some ministry to get involved with, physically being, to use a current cliche I’m sick of hearing applied to military things, boots on the ground.  Because ministry isn’t just prayer (and fasting, for you masochists.  Not saying I don’t, but I don’t very often.  It has to be about something or someone VERY important to me).  Ministry is often physical, laborious, and direct.  Manna doesn’t fall from heaven to feed the hungry, just as blankets and winter clothes don’t fall from the sky to clothe and warm up the homeless (or the people whose heat went out and their landlord is a cheap shithead who doesn’t know who to hire who can correctly diagnose and fix it, the reader knows who she is).  I honestly like ministry work.  But who wants to hire a sweary, irritable, irritated, introverted, “complex”-brained, annoying, opinionated, hard-working, needy old crank?  No, seriously, who wants to hire me?

I’ll work in the ministry if God calls and someone pays my bills.  Because money doesn’t normally fall from the sky unless someone let go of a few $20s on a windy day and they blew away, or a drug dealer accidently pushes the wrong button on the airplane, and they’ll come back with guns for that.  I’ve seen probably more than my share of God’s twisted old sense of humor taking care of things, in His twisted way, in His twisted time, but by and large it’s not “normal,” which is why some events are called “miracles.”  A house, and $75K a year is enough.  $100K if you want to help with some things I’ve let wait until God sent the provision.  I’ve got an M.Div. from seminary, finished back in ’95.  I went into a liberal-headed-toward-conservative school, pretty conservative in my beliefs, and I came out of a conservative school with the same basic beliefs, but knowledge of a few other really interesting beliefs to compare.

I still have a certain package of thoughts about the Bible, and honestly I think the unpackaging makes people uncomfortable when they think about employing me in ministry.  But is that a bad thing?

Me in the ministry …would DEFINITELY put me well into my discomfort zone, in several ways. And it would probably put others into a discomfort zone as well.  But in other arenas and for various reasons, I think I’d do well.  I’m not afraid to work.  I like to encourage people.  A friend of mine gave me some counsel about the Bible:  “It’s a sword.  It’s not a club to bash people over the head with JUST truth.  And it’s not a warm fuzzy blanket that covers people in JUST love and tells them they’re OK no matter what they do.  It’s gotta be a careful mixture of truth AND love, or you’re not handling it right.”

Ew.  Truth be told, I find it difficult to love anyone.  I’m not that loveable myself.  But I get we’re supposed to care because someone needs to give a damn or the whole world will just go down the crapper that much faster.  So, when the food pantry asks for food, maybe give some if you have extra.  Or volunteer to work there if you have a couple of hours.  Or, when the neighbor’s heat goes out, invite them over if it’s cold outside, or if it’s not too bad, lend them a space heater or three.  Uncomfortable yet?  Church is supposed to be a little uncomfortable, easier if more people do their fair share of helping.  However, in churches I’ve attended and worked in, the percentage of active members versus the total number of members is something like 13 to 20 out of 100.  I think the number of people who contribute an actual regular offering as a calculated and deliberate amount related to income is probably about the same.

That being said, I can’t judge here, because I’m exactly the same.  For several years, during this economic drought, I’ve given when I could and paid the bills when I couldn’t, not exactly the widow’s mite of the modern era.  Not exactly a pillar of faith, am I?  So it’s been, that lately what we’ve been giving is a smaller percentage than I’d prefer to give, because the bills keep rolling in and life keeps handing me shit that falls apart on the regular, a bit too frequently and quickly to keep up with and have what I’d like to be able to give, which would be more than an actual 10th.  In this income bracket, I find myself on the begging side more than on the giving side, and still I stubbornly give a little here and there when I can, or when I stubbornly decide I’m going to do it, and the creditors can bite me.

Volunteering?  I thought I’d get back on the music team, because it’s something I love, so I asked.  I thought there would be a corner spot for me, since I was there every week for about 3 years, until the other volunteer work took me away,  but the new music guy doesn’t have any use for an old guy who plays something other than a guitar or drums or piano/organ.  Maybe I look too old to ask back to the singing team.  Not that I even could do it, now, since they meet on a weeknight to rehearse.  With my schedule shift, I’m not volunteering at church or boy scouts or anywhere, because the volunteer events occur when other people, who have a life, can do them, which means weekends or evenings, and I have weekends and want to be with my family more than just good morning, have a good day, goodbye, and then from the end of the workday until they go to sleep, helping with a little homework or whatever.  I’d volunteer, but the times don’t mesh with my schedule and they don’t want me anyway.  Statement of feeling, not reality, I’m well aware.  Or strongly hope.  Playing music, or singing, was comfortable.  So again, I’m out of my comfort zone.

In my prior job, after woefully underpaying me for years, pretended everyone cared about me when I quit.  And in my new job the people act exactly the same way.  So, like the church wants to push people, so does work.  I thought I was uncomfortable there, but then changes when Mrs M wants to move closer to her family, hooray.  More discomfort.  The jobless, money-less adventure, that sucked more than the current epic season.  Not only am I supposed to be grateful for the every-other-week pittance, which still leaves me at below the poverty line after 10 years at this one, I’m also supposed to cheerfully accept when they shift my schedule and put me on the ass end of the day, removing all possibility of me having any life outside of work, nor being able to do any job searching in the evening while relaxing. The boss said she’d like me to finish a few more tasks every day and increase my average statistics.  Which is great, right?  OK, well, I’d like to be paid a few dollars more than new people fresh off the street.  I’m pushed outside my comfort zone already with the deficient income, and then the push some more demanding more work for the same negligible pay.  Anybody ever read Exodus 5?  Well work becomes more and more like that, but I hate change and I haven’t been able to line up a bunch of interviews while encountering depression that makes me want to shell over and not even want to talk to family when I’m not at work, increasingly more demanding supervision and micromanagement, and now, people who have been fucking with my schedule.

As resistant as I was to working from home, it could have some advantages if I could figure them out.  But instead of finding a comfort zone of not having to drive in to work, I now pick up the slack if the kids miss the bus, forget their homework or lunch or music or instrument.  I also get to transport to morning doctor appointments, do more of the shopping, etc.  Etc.  Etc.  And, being at home in the morning, of course I have time when the kids and Mrs M go away for school and work, to finish the dishes early instead of late, and clean and walk the dog.  And handle trash.  All these things I’ve been trying to encourage everyone else in the family to do, and now it feels like they do even less than they were when I wasn’t working from home.

On the plus side, I’ve been fortunate enough to harness a few manic episodes.  Here and there, I’ve swept and vacuumed floors, done laundry, and done something way outside my comfort zone.  We have hard water.  It’s limestone.  We have a water softener, but the deposits build so fast I could refute the damned old-earth scientists and their theory that cave limestone deposits formed over millions and millions of years.  Bullshit.  If my plumbing caked over with lime this thick WITH a water softener in a few years, those caves could easily have formed in a few hundred years.  Anyway, I took a shot at the plumbing despite my phobia.  After some help getting rid of the limestone deposits, ALL of my sinks are freely flowing and not spraying because of the limestone clogs.  And I also cleaned the shower head in one bath, and removed and replaced the other, because the dog needs a bath that’s cheaper and less out of the bunker than going to the pet food and accessories places.

Oh.  The dog.  He’s another change to throw me out of my comfort zone, but he brings some comfort with him (let the tender, sensitive readers all collectively say, “awwww!”  Got that out of your systems?  Good, we’ll move on.)  Yeah, he’s more work.  The kids cried, “we want a dog!” and I went along for the ride.  I get along with dogs, and figured whichever one they picked would be fine.  But there’s more hair to sweep up because he sheds.  The kids complain he needs a bath because he smells.  So we took him for a bath and he freaked out about the other dogs in the store, and then he crapped in aisle 6 despite being taken for a walk right before going to the place, and then he cringed because he knows what happens in back rooms.  And then we washed him.  And we did our best to dry and brush his fur to a state of clean fluffiness, and then he walked to the front of the store, and rolled on his back on the stores carpet-y mats to restore some of the funk.

So the dog:  He’s losing his hair, he hates other dogs, he doesn’t like to go to new places, his family complains that he stinks, he experiences episodes of panic, he wants to run away but he can’t, he wants to mark his territory, and he wants to be left alone.   He likes treats offered for no particular reason except because we love him.  But to get a treat, he’ll do tricks, sometimes.  In other words, he’s just like me.  So despite my lack of input in the decision except that I agreed the kids could have a dog as long as they promised to take care of it, they picked a dog to rescue who is just like me.  How… the… ever.. loving… fuck…?  And then, of course, they eye roll and say different kinds of things sometimes, make excuses, whatever, when I ask them to take care of the dog, but they wanted a dog.  So I can make them do what I want for the dog, sometimes.  I walk the dog about twice a day usually, sometimes once if I can corral one of the kids to do it, and I feed him once a day out of the two.  And I do give him lots of treats for no particular reason.  Because why shouldn’t the dog find his comfort zone with me?

We found the dog in an animal shelter, and I have no idea what kind of torment he faced except we know he came from Louisiana, and was briefly in Kentucky.  He holds his tail high in the air, and he’s beautiful, but he sheds, so sweeping is a daily adventure in hair.  I thought I was freaking out with just the human hair sticking to my damned floors…  Ladies and gentlemen, another discomfort zone for me to love.  I don’t want it floating in the air and getting in my food any more than my son, who always seems to be the one to find the ONE hair in any given dish.  It happens maybe once in two months, and it’s on his plate, bless his heart.  If it happens to me, I pull it out, set it aside for later disposal, and move on, because, it’s just a hair, for fucks sake, and I just don’t care.  It won’t kill me.

That tail.  I suspect little brat bastards were pulling his tail, hitting him on the back, yanking his long hair, because as soon as he was able to get over the trauma of his past life and the silent panic of us being so new, he started complaining about the hairbrush, and about us petting him sometimes, like when he’s napping by one of us and we move, he growls to let us know he’s afraid or doesn’t want us to do whatever we’re doing.  He’s nipped at our friends, and two of our extended family members, because he was afraid.  Hey, when you put your hand in my face and startle me, I might bite you too.  Teeth are the dogs last ditch effort to tell you to fuck off. And barking.  Don’t be another dog within earshot or view.  Don’t be a stranger at our door.  Don’t drive a UPS truck.  We’re working on training him not to be so anxious, but maybe he needs some doggie valium or something.

We took him to the veterinarian, and they tortured him.  I held him gently, and he could have easily bitten me, and didn’t.  I’d trust that dog.  He’s got a forever home with me.

I need some human valium or something, but fuck it.  I’ll have a cup of hot tea, because I can’t drink alcohol and be at my job.  That has to wait until 8PM on this new stupid schedule.   So, lovely hot tea, I’ll try to chill, and hopefully the world, the work, the other people, the family, and all the dirt, will leave me alone for a few moments of bliss.

Oh, fuck.  The kids just got home from school.

May all your prayers be answered in ways that make sense and show God’s humor mixed with mercy.  May all your interpretations and application of the Bible be a proper mix of truth and love.  May your stuff, and your budget, not completely fall apart at the seams.  And may the events in your life leave you with a semblance of peace, because someone should have some peace. And if you rescue a dog, may it care for you, and protect and comfort you, and mirror your personality inasmuch as you love it.

Defending Myself

Self realization.  It takes me a while to figure out some things.  I’m not saying that I’m dull-witted all the time, it’s just that about certain things I take a while to figure out.  Fixing certain things takes a while too.  But I solidified something in my mind this past weekend.  I’ll warn the sensible readers who like actual talent to stay away, because this shit is going to ramble on like Led Zeppelin.  (Sorry, to at least one reader who doesn’t like the music, but for some reason keeps reading. You know who you are, and I love you.)

I’m not sure what to do with the information, or if the realization will actually bring any change.  (in large denominations of currency, he jokes)  But it’s information, it’s logical, and I do plan to point out the trend when I observe it, for the purpose of letting people know how I feel.  When it’s not a huge risk, or when I decide it’s something really really important.

What I’ve learned is that when I do things, when I say things, when I cook things, whatever it is, and I’m not even sure if it’s random or if it’s a trend to observe, but for some reason Mrs M is pushing the buttons and making me defend myself verbally.  She asks a question about cooking, I give the answer I know is right, and she questions it.  Yesterday it was Greek cooking.  She wanted to know how to give chicken a uniquely Greek flavor, and I told her that Greek cooking would add a surprise- cinnamon and nutmeg and marjoram for a trace of sweetness- to a spartan Italian mix (garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, onion).  Damned if she didn’t reject the suggestion and then bitch that something was missing.  Well, if you didn’t want my suggestion, why the fuck did you ask?  What’s missing from the tzatziki sauce?  Well, um, plain yogurt where you used sour cream, more lemon, and you totally left out garlic.  Not essential but it does add something.  Same with my dear daughter and her music and the rest of her education.  Why the fuck do you ask for help and then tell me how I can’t be right and you’ll just do it on your own?

My dear daughter has learned that sometimes I’m right, even though she’s hit that sixteen and opinionated as a fucking 89 year old stage.  Two years ago, she didn’t listen to anything I said, rejected my offer to help her with a piece of music, and we play the same instrument.  It’s just that I’ve played the same pieces before, maybe 35 years before her, I still practice, and I know technical things.  She similarly rejected my help with math.  So, two years ago she went to the music contest and got a bronze medal.  I’ve been working on this one.  Last year I fought with her but insisted on coaching, by making her listen to me play and add instruction, and she got a gold.  So this year, she picked a contest piece and under duress of too many other things going on in her life, accepted my help- with practicing, technique, understanding the history, tempo, style and ornamentation of the piece.  And guess what?  She got a gold medal.  But, I felt pretty good when she got out of the performance room and then went to find out her scores, because I damn well knew it was a gold medal.

We have somewhat differing opinions about social issues, but basically we want people to do good and we want people to get help when they need it.  Here, I’m proud of her for pushing back.  I’d rather she have strong, and self-educated, opinions she can back up with research data than be a zombie idiot sheep who follows whatever the herd does and says whatever is popular.  While I am still concerned that the press tells people what and how to think, I’m proud of her for researching multiple sides of a question before making up her mind-that I’m wrong.  HA!  It’s fine, honey, be right and prove I’m wrong.  But in 30 to  years, I’ll be right about this too.

My kids’ taste in music is fucking awesome.  I don’t like all of it, but I’m really happy it’s an eclectic mix and not all the same bubblegum bullshit the rest of the herd is listening to. Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve listened to, and, I confess, enjoyed, my share of bubblegum music.  But mostly I liked classical, what they now call “easy listening” like James Taylor and Jim Croce, and a lot of classic rock and early metal.  But bubblegum, sure.  Girl bands. Girl lead singers, I confess, it’s a trend I still follow.  Madonna.  Did you SEE the cheesy movie they made out of Dick Tracy?  But I bought the soundtrack.  That is still awesome music.  J. Lo.  Mmmhmm, her ex is an idiot.  And while we’re on the subject of idiot ex-es, why the fuck did Mr. Mariah Carey let THAT jewel slip through his fingers?  Um…no.  Not Jewel.  She didn’t do anything for me at all. When I was very young, there was this gem, resurrected by Shrek as a testament to its’ lasting popularity:

and then there was this:

Oh, whatever.  Wordpress, or my laptop, is tinkering with the links so I don’t know what the fuck you’ll be seeing when you read this.  (Both of you.)  When I was older the good bubblegum was Brittany Spears, PCD, Spice Girls (if only for Scary Spice, she is still worth the whole rest of the band), and Christina.  Girl bands.  Girl singers.  All right, enough rambling on about that.

Not all the time, but a lot of the damned time, I feel like quitting.  The fight isn’t worth the cost.  I hurt myself, I hurt other people, I fight to keep on trying at life and work and family and marriage and church and friends and emails and housework and writing.

Lately all my writing is on stolen time, and I have to not take it very often, or life makes me give it back or puts me through more bullshit until I surrender.

If I could change something that sounds like something that could be changed, it would be the whole self-defense thing.

The one person that I should be able to trust NOT to attack me is the person who does it the “best.”  But she questions me on time management, on focus to tasks, on cooking, and is never quite satisfied with anything I do.  It’s not fair.  I don’t want to feel the need to defend myself from the one person on the earth I should never have to be defensive around.  The family learns this. She got it from my in-laws, and her children got it from her, so yeah, I have to sometimes defend myself around them too.  It’s not fair, and yes, I would love some cheese with my whine.  Got any extra sharp cheddar?   The other day I made dinner and they all started in with the criticisms, and I think it shocked them into silence when I softly retorted to my teen children that “If you want it different, or better, you can cook it your damned selves.”  And I left the kitchen.

I don’t want to defend myself at work either.  I want a job that doesn’t harness me on the basis of fear, but rather, on the basis of reward.  I want a boss that doesn’t harass me to exert and display her power over me on the basis of intimidation, wanting to keep me under her control, but a boss that sets me free to work hard and succeed.  And gives me tools that work to help me succeed instead of crippling me with shitty tools that don’t work like they should, and telling me that I need to not be upset or disappointed because if they work the third or fourth time I try to make them do what they’re supposed to do the first time, they’re “working.”  For fucks sake, if your hammer handle is broken you buy a new fucking hammer.

I don’t want to defend myself against random people.  Don’t fucking call me, you asshole telemarketers.  My long distance service is better than yours in the long run, no matter how free yours is in the short run.  Plus, don’t you realize I hate change AND ringing phones?!  Don’t ring my doorbell, traveling salesmen/women, unless you’re bringing girl scout cookies or boy scout popcorn, which I could take or leave because that’s what MY kids are selling.  I don’t want a $50,000 vacuum cleaner even if you vacuum my carpets and show me it’s really worth every penny.  Fuck off.  You know who you are.  You were suckered into a sales job by a deceptive classified ad, and you have to do the fucking presentations and then you pray someone buys that shit because your life now depends on it.  I don’t want to name any names or confess to anything in my bitter past, but I answered the ad and attended days of allegedly paid training and they didn’t confess it was fucking door-to-door fucking VACUUM cleaner sales until the fourth FUCKING day.  And the name rhymes with, um, “Derby.”  And doesn’t start with “DE.”  “Let him (or her) who has ears to hear understand,” it started with the exact same first two letters of the precise thing I wanted to do to the people who wrote the advertisement and led the training, for suckers to quit their day jobs to answer, and desperate people to sign up because they’re desperate.  I don’t want to ever have to carry sacks of shit.  They need to be put down.  I mean every kind of sack of shit, including those who lie around; “let him (or her) who has ears to hear understand.”

And thank fuck there aren’t any trolls on this thing who bother to read my blog and know how to push the buttons.  Thank fuck I’ve been sensible enough to decide who can follow and comment and I can decide  from the list of things to do with trolls:

D  o not allow them to post their bullshit comments;
A  llow them to post their bullshit comments just to show how stupid they are;
E  mail the sender and tell them to fuck off and report it to WordPress;
M  odify the comment before posting so they sound even dumber than their
O  riginal comment was, and make everyone see what a worthless shit they are;
N  icely respond to all the mean shit, and agree that their point was more valid than mine
S  end them a fucking love poem, or eroticism, or traumatize them with something
like a picture of a cute cat, or a dog, or a bag of burning shit, every day so they
realize it’s pointless and they fuck off on their own accord.  “Bite me… gently…”

Ooh, look, it’s a fucking ACROSTIC!  Who knew?!  Oh, and, sorry for the turn-on if you get turned on reading such things.  I can’t help myself, this devout and very married introvert is a steamy, sexy devil dog with a dirty mind, ready lips, and talented, strong hands, just dripping with … oh, sorry, there I go again.

I’m going to find a beverage since it’s Friday night, and see if nature changes its’ course.  It’s a hot day in fucking FEBRUARY, so if that nature changes course, maybe OTHER natures will change and start giving me what I want.  Hope you all have a great weekend, and I hope the universe, God, and your life and family and significant others all love you the way you want to be loved, without bitching about it, for the sole purpose of making you happy because they love you.  I may find three beverages, which is an extra one.  It’ll help me if I have to accept the seemingly inevitable outcome of THAT wish for myself.  But I want YOU to get everything you want.

Predictably Unpredictable

I don’t know what tomorrow or two days from then will bring.  I don’t even know if my mouse will leave the cursor where I want it to be, much less anything else.  There’s an instant unpredictability to life, and I’ve become intensely aware of how it adversely affects me.  I’m aware of how the major episodes and changes and issues boost my stress level.  Stress:  It’s quicker than a click away.  The touchpad needs to have a deonmon exorcised where it will occasionally just randomly migrate to the top right and just sit there no matter what I do using the touchpad.  So I have an auxiliary mouse plugged in using one of the few ports on it.  For a while something was bugging the keyboard too, so I had the second port occupied with an auxiliary keyboard.  all the baggage, the extra things to juggle, it adds stress, and even then, the mouse would randomly migrate and stick.  But the touchpad also randomly right-clicks itself.  The deonmon doesn’t want to leave my cursor where I put it, and will occasionally delete text I’ve just typed, which is bullshit for a random writer who isn’t being paid to write.  If I were being paid to write, I would have my publisher or employer buy me a better system, or, if I were being well-paid to write, I would buy a better system.  Alas, that requires genuine talent AND opportunity, and sadly, I have neither of these.

Lou Holtz is credited with saying “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”  I call that theory “interesting bullshit.” Evidently Holtz never watched Warner Brothers cartoons like Wile E. Coyote vs. the laws of physics and gravity or Daffy vs Bugs growing up. When the anvil lands, it’s the fucking load that breaks you down.

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And sometimes it feels like life’s shit all lands on you like an anvil in a cartoon, except it hurts and it DOES break you down. Fuck you, cockeyed optimists, get your eyes checked. The universe doesn’t hand you what you ask for or I’d have won the $7K a week for life PCH AND the $1B lottery back a while ago.

Sometimes it’s not so much an anvil, less painful but certainly demoralizing.  Maybe almost as bad as the anvil.

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There you are trying to work hard and handle the shit, doing life’s uphill climb, and look what happens.

Sometimes you are able to ignore the shit, work hard and get stuff done, and you feel like you might actually accomplish something and reach a good goal.  And sometimes all you can accomplish is surviving, and barely that.  Sometimes the job sucks, and sometimes it sucks harder.  Sometimes you hope for the promotion, and sometimes you just hope today won’t suck as bad as yesterday sucked.  Sometimes the boss pretends to care, and sometimes the truth is un-curtained, and the boss shoves your career down the bathroom plumbing.  It clogs, and then you have to plunger that away, because even though you know it stinks, the boss isn’t going to help with that shit.

My blog is two years old.

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yay. (I wondered if I could find a Droopy cartoon gif that said “You know what? I’m happy.” But I remembered this one first so that’s what you get.  Kind of expresses the whole thing all at once- audience and blogger alike.)

The random nature of life means we don’t know if we’ll win the lottery or if we’ll die of cancer or if we’ll get a great job or be stuck in a dead end for 20 years and then have our retirement stolen, or if a new blogger we discover will be great, like my readers who blog, or if a blogger will suck.  (sorry!  And thanks for enduring these two years with me, or for not un-following if you’re a new reader.)

The random nature of life means I’ve had days that felt like cartoon anvils dropping.  They won’t kill you but they’ll feel like they might.  And I’ve had days where I actually believed stuff would work out in my favor.  It hasn’t yet, but isn’t hope just fucking adorable?  Hope keeps the lottery alive.  It’s misguided hope, but it’s hope.  Hope feels good, so let’s take it where we can.

I wasted invested a whole two dollars and bought a ticket now that it’s over $200M, knowing the odds.  I used to watch the interviews after people won.  “What are you going to do?” and not infrequently enough, I’d hear someone say “I’m going to fix my teeth.”  I heard it enough I used to kind of chuckle about it, and now, karma.  I couldn’t afford crowns so now they either come out and I get holes, or they come out and I get implants (sexy isn’t it?).  Fuck you, karma.  Sure the life-lesson is there, but do you have to teach ME?  So what will I do when I win?  Fix my fucking teeth.  I wait until $200M, because I have probably 60 or less years of life left, and I want to be able to do whatever I want during that time.  Despite the ridiculous odds against me, I hope I win.  I bet if you bought a ticket, you hope you do to.  One of us should, that’s for sure.  If I win, we can party at this secret, undisclosed hidden bunker I write from.  By invitation.

Let’s see…  a billion to one chance of me winning, times the odds you’ll get invited to the celebration…  Like THAT’s a prize, am I right?  woo…, hang out with Deon…  Please, Deon, at least promise there will be liquor.  Since I can’t even promise better writing, I can’t promise much.  Plus, who says you’ll even be invited?   I can’t promise I won’t suffer a complete loss of memory of anything I’ve ever written down here even if reminded.  Maybe I’ll turn into a total ass if I win.  Maybe I was an ass the whole time.

Except you, you know who you are, and if you’re not sure I’ll stalk you online, and find your address, as if I don’t know that already, and send you an engraved invite and a lifetime pass to the bunker.  Of course, you already knew my real personality (Deon Mumple, annoying ass.) the whole time.  I bet you’d hang out with me even if I DIDN’T win the lottery.

I know all of you are hoping this blog will feature better, more regular writing.  If I win, you might get…. more regular writing, because I’ll have more time.  Sorry to dash that other part of your hope.  I’m hoping my laptop will stop randomly deleting entire paragraphs so I can write a bit faster and not have to try to remember whatever bullshit I was expounding on.  Pounding the keyboard doesn’t work, but I can’t figure out how to ex-pound.  Thank fuck I found the Alt+Z combination.  The trolls wish I could figure out the delete key makes everything better, and in its’ tortured mechanical wisdom and soul-less love for all things good on the internet, my keyboard is sick of this shit and wishes I would stop.  And despite the odds, you’ve kept reading.  Thank you.

Here’s to hoping for better things, and better days.

Top 10 Explanations for High Functioning Deon

Ohh, yeah, if you can’t be manic and optimistic, pretend like fuck and eventually you’ll still be depressed and angry.  So it goes that yesterday I pretended to not be depressed.  I pretended I was fine and got dressed and got into my car and drove pretending not to be afraid of the other drivers.  I was less afraid than usual because I wasn’t leaving in the middle of rush hour, but I knew that since I couldn’t find my fucking cell phone until 5 minutes later than I needed it to be there on time, I’d be a little late.  I failed to pretend when the nonexistent traffic ground to a halt and then proceeded to mosey when I knew I was already late to get to the doctor’s office, but the other drivers either couldn’t hear or pretended not to hear.  I don’t like car horns, so I don’t use my own unless the rage is particularly bad, and yesterday it wasn’t.

I boldly got out of my car and smiled at some other poor schmuck and his kid in the parking lot, because why add my stress to their stress.  I held the door for them, because if I’m already 3 minutes late, who gives a fuck about being 1 more minute late? I pretended with the receptionist when she told me that my appointment was a half a fucking hour and 5 minutes ago, and she would have to reschedule.  I pretended to be OK leaving the office knowing I’d have to come back and might be late for work, and expressed my gratitude I could get it out of the way today and not wait a few more weeks.  I’ve been fine I guess without medication, my acting chops have proven invaluable at work pretending I accepted the new bullshit they shoved at me in the form of moving me to the ass end of the schedule without a pay grade bump.  Because having less money than I need is better than having NO money at all.

I went back and endured a little less traffic at 10, and pretended  with the receptionist again, acting as normal as I felt normal might act.  I pretended for the doctor, because why should he worry about me when there are far worse cases he could invest his time with.  I mean, someone who’s dying isn’t as bad off as someone who only feels like shit in his mind.  That shit was real shit when I got home, and it was nothing but stress, so it’s a good thing he didn’t get a sample of that.  It’s normally a whole lot more regular and a whole lot less displaying evidence of my stress level, so I was peaking yesterday morning because after I went before going to the doctor the first time, I went again after going to the doctor the second time.

Side effects of the medications cause me to lose weight, which is great, and add to that I have a new best friend to take on frequent and regular walks around the neighborhood, and add to that the stress of recent changes has, in small ways, affected my appetite.  So I’m not really eating lunch on the regular.  I eat dinner and then I might have some toast and I might add butter or peanut butter, as a late snack.  Yesterday I added a banana because if I didn’t eat it we’d need two more bananas in an aging condition to make banana bread, and frankly I was too tired to bake, and I felt like eating it wouldn’t make me nauseous.  No, I was nauseous before and after the doctors appointments, but not last night.  And I buttered that toast before I added peanut butter and that banana.  Elvis much?  I didn’t grill it, so maybe it’s not as buttery and artery clogging.

With my weight loss, my blood pressure has dropped into a quite normal and healthy range, and my stressed out pulse didn’t freak out the nurse practitioner.  I’m reporting some good news, people, can you believe it?  My resting pulse is at this weight probably normally 60, with the meds pushing it down into the 50s.  I’ve lost 5 more pounds, and I’m now closer to 200 than I am to 250, which feels nice and looks great… so why isn’t Mrs M climbing me like a softly barked, very solid sequoia?  Well, maybe I only look great if you don’t look too close…  There’s still the matter of the scruffy beard, which only hurts when I shave.  I get a razor rash, and I’m allergic to the shit you’re supposed to use to treat that.  And I get nicks, which seem like they’ll never stop bleeding (Waaahhh, would I like some cheese with that whine?) .  I’ll compensate by pretending I have the energy and motivation to clean, which is just fucking sexy if one isn’t taking one for granted and presuming the ambition exists.  I might be even more ambitious and sexy if there was an actual, erm… reward, for my efforts.  I push because shit’s gotta get done and who’s going to do it?

It worked out fine.  I kept my mouth shut; I didn’t bitch about anything.  I didn’t tell him about the stress at work, or the issues of my very beautiful, but allegedly pre-menopausal wife and her lack of a normal sex drive.  I can accept her age, but the drive has been in the same gear for almost our whole marriage.  And frankly, as gears go, there’s never been enough grind.  I compensate for her lack, by wanting sex about twice a day, in one glorious form or another.  And she compensates by saying “no,” which I want to respect.  “I said too much; I said enough.  I thought that I heard you laughing.” (fucking earworm!  REM?!

Maybe the earworms are trying to tell me to sleep.  AC/DC or Led Zeppelin to the rescue!)

Anyway, the doctor,  bless his heart, bought my act and re-prescribed meds I’ve been out of for a month, compensating for some of them with alternative substances (mostly coffee or herbal tea and liquor and vitamins, including hefty doses of vitamin D) and wishes for regular and frequent therapeutic, relaxing, stress relieving, full-body massage.  He’s a new guy I had never seen before who’s probably been there the whole time I’ve been a patient, while we were on different schedules.  It’s a medical group, and they all treat all the patients, although I do have a primary care provider who is a member of the group, I haven’t seen him in more than a year as our schedules haven’t been compatible.  So I saw this new guy and pretended I was OK with meeting another stranger, AND, he brought a tagalong, some kind of intern or something, to observe.  Anyway, I went to the drug dealer and got the scripts, and took a very late dose.  Did I sleep or did I stay awake to write this?  Did I mention insomnia if I take it too late?

Did I mention ADD and cyclothymia under a depressive tidal wave full of tree trunks and cars and busses and street signs and broken glass and suppressed emotions and other shit?  And did I mention I haven’t taken my meds in a month?  It’s a wonder I’ve written ONCE in the past month, but no, you’ve had to endure the torment probably 3 or 4 times, and twice yesterday.  FFS, Deon, shut the hell up!

Now that I mention that whole ADD thing, allow me to pretend to focus on the point of this blog entry… well, best I can pretend to focus.

Top 10 Explanations for High Functioning Deon

I don’t know if there are 10.  Maybe there are 35.  Maybe there are three or four.  But hey, I’ll brainstorm and see what kind of shit the dredges bring to the surface.

10.  Terror.  As much as I’d like to lie and tell everyone how brave and courageous I am, I am more like the cowardly lion before he discovered his heart.  As I said, I’m a briliant actor.  And “If I were the king of the fore-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-st!” …Nevermind.  Suffice it to say I identified with him and I know all the words to his song.  High functioning Deon is caused by terror.  I’m afraid if I don’t fight, the world around me will go to shit FASTER.  Oh, it’s going to shit, there’s no stopping that, but if I quit functioning and shut down as often as I wanted to, I’m afraid over time my house would become more of a hovel featuring both filth AND squalor, my boss would fire me, my wife would divorce me, my children would disrespect me even more, my house and car would be repossessed, (and I own the damn car!) all my teeth would break and I’d get a slow and painful infucktion that wouldn’t ever actually kill me but would torture me for a long, long time,  and all of my “friends” in the real world outside of this blog would express their disappointment and shun me with the promise to stop if I repented.  Please, shun me and don’t stop.  That last one isn’t a fear so much as “a consummation devoutly to be wished.”  And for fuck’s sake, if you’re not going to shun me, then give me motivational cash and gift certificates to your favorite steak house and burger places and to the various low-rent stores you’d never go to yourself, preferring to call the guy or visit classy retail establishments.  Suggestions I might use could be the local home improvement place, for wood and paint and plumbing and tools and other house-type items, the local convenience store with everything from groceries to clothes to greeting cards to bedding and furniture and new tires, the local auto repair shop so I can get my shock absorbers replaced, …the list of practical places goes on and on.

9.  Promises.  When I was young and hadn’t experienced much of life yet, I was much more full of hope than I am now.  I made certain promises to certain people.  When I make promises I like to keep them, and it drives me because if all I have that’s good is my word, then when I give you my word I will keep my promise or die trying.  I may do a half-assed job of whatever it is, especially if I’m exhausted, but I’m going to take a crack at fulfilling the letter of the promise.  If I care about the person I’ve made the promise to, I’ll strive for the spirit of the promise, which usually is better quality work than just doing exactly what I say I’ll do.

8. Compulsivity.  OK, at the risk of personal disclosure (what the fuck is a blog for if not for that, Deon?), I suffer from fits of compulsivity.  If I start cleaning it, I have to finish it, but thank God that only applies to whatever surface or area I’ve decided to clean.  It frustrates me if I don’t have time to finish, or if I finish only to look the next day and my wife or kids have messed it up all over again.  I did the microwave two days ago and I keep wiping it out.  Since I’m home and heating my caffeinated beverages I’ll invest an extra two minutes and wipe off whatever exploded in there.  The kids’ bathroom is next because I noticed the sink is disgusting and I am not picturing either of them cleaning it.  I cleaned the downstairs bathroom sink today, and it was just the sink, but it’s clean and shiny and it made me happier after the Doctor-induced panic.  Which brings us to the next explanation:

7. Caffeine.  So,  you all DO know lots of chemical compounds or molecules that end in -ine are stimulants, right? Caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, Amphetamine…  Well, prior to being actually diagnosed officially with ADD, and still today, my drug of choice is caffeine.  Coffee, tea, chocolate… I used to drink caffeinated sodas, but I don’t want all the sugar.  But it’s helpful, it fuels the concentration.  I love the flavor of a good coffee or tea.  I drink them plain, no sugar, no cream.  All I want is the caffeine molecules, and the water doesn’t hurt.  Ritalin isn’t like those, aka MethylPhenidate.  It is a stimulant, but it’s synthesized, since 1944, and it doesn’t act like a normal stimulant.  I bet if I did take ritalin, I’d be one of the rare ones that gets more depressed.  It’s a known potential side effect.  Concerta is a brand of the same but it gives my daughter hallucinations.  I don’t want to see scary things that aren’t there, since things that ARE are scary enough.  The more natural, the better.  Caffeine may technically be a “high,” but it’s natural enough to keep drinkers high functioning, including me.  Now…where did I put my coffee cup?  Coffee keeps me moving, even though my motion often seems to me to be more backward than forward.  I don’t have any bathroom difficulties, with or without caffeine.  But WITH caffeine, I spend less time contemplating how murder might make the world a better place.

6. Rage.  The list wouldn’t be complete without my rage.  Rage gives adrenaline better than fear.  There are different kinds of rage, as there are different kinds of fear.  Fear of disappointing Mrs M motivates me slightly less than being in a frustrated fit of rage at whatever button she pushed that really pissed me off.  Don’t you fucking ever dare tell her that.  I’m not sure if there’s an upper limit, a threshold I shouldn’t be pushed over.  She hasn’t reached it yet, as her body is very much alive and amazing, but if you informed her that rage worked better than fear of disappointment, she’d piss me off all the time just to get whatever shit she wanted done, done.  You don’t understand.  She’s not physically abusive, not really verbally abusive, just, she knows how to push my buttons in the worst possible ways if she wants to.  I dread her verbal jousting more than her disappointed huffing sigh.  Rage motivates me to go to work at this fucking cess pool where they abuse me mentally and fiscally, because it’s not as strong as my fear of being unemployed, and motivates me to work hard.  The company may not show their appreciation but I value my name enough to take the best care of the clients that I can, see also, #9.

5.  Hope.  Or Depression.  I’m not sure which is stronger.  Hope.  I know, it’s adorably naive, isn’t it?  But really.  I can and do have hope for eternity, but the more depressed I get the less hope I hold out for the here and now.  So either my hope, or my depression, which feeds into my feelings of rage against society, fuels my perseverance.  When I’m feeling particularly hopeful is when I can do something that makes a difference and helps someone, even if it’s something small.  When I’m depressed, usually from watching the daily news Mrs M insists on having on in the morning, it just makes me depressed, less hopeful, and more angry at our so-called “civilization.”  I mean, for fucks sake, what the fuck is WRONG with everyone?  Idiot “sociologists” try to persuade me that crime is justified when there is an absence of hope.  I call that theory “interesting bullshit.”  Sorry, but there is no excuse for crime and violence and vandalism.  There are people in dire circumstances and they’re not out rioting or looting or mugging or destroying shit that doesn’t belong to them.  They’re on your local street corner holding signs asking for your spare change.  Give them something, even if you don’t have much.  Give them your lunch and go without for one day.  If you ate yesterday and got your coffee this morning, and you’re going to eat tonight, c’mon.  But yeah, crime and violence and vandalism, looting, robbery and rape aren’t symptoms of hopelessness.  They just make me mad.  They make me wish I was a superhero able to stop the criminals.  Crimes against children make me the most angry.  Pay your fucking child support, or you’re a thief and a child abuser, you stupid fucks.  That is NOT how you love your kid(s), dear deadbeat dick donors.  You should  be paying extra, to make sure YOUR KIDS are well taken care of. But instead you treat your own kid like shit and withhold the care you should be providing  because you want to stick it to your ex; do you not fucking care about your own fucking KID(s), you abusive, stupid, ASS HOLE?  Treat them at LEAST to the court required support, and THEN pretend you’re “Disney Dad” when it’s your turn to “have custody,” which is court-appointed doublespeak for “taking direct care of your child(ren) without their mother’s help” which, when you were together was probably “you letting her do everything without your help.”

I keep trying, I keep working, I keep on setting the best example I’m able to set, even with the emotional difficulties I have.  The rage and depression, and the hope that my example will make a difference eventually, or might make a difference now, keeps me trying to move forward even when life is pushing back hard.  See also #1.

4.  Music.  Music is an alternative wave that I ride for those temporary escapes from the focus on how tired I am.  It also is a channel of weirdly loose focus, that allows me to keep working on whatever chore it is.  Sometimes the lyrics remind me of profound truth, see “Get Back, Honky Cat,” and sometimes the lyrics don’t quite ring true enough so I tend not to gravitate toward those songs when I want to work.  But the profound truth of ALL of my labor is that I can handle it, and the reward of looking back at the successfully finished task is often enough encouragement.  Dishes can get discouraging, but the gleam after washing…  Bathrooms can be bad, but look after the scrubbing bubbles are wiped away.  The floors can be filthy, but look after I vacuum, or sweep and then mop!  I like a little bleach.  See also, this motivational musical number:

I figure there are two options:  Either brooms and mops, bleach and soap, or high explosives.  So far, the former are still working for me.

3.  Brilliant acting chops.  It’s quite possible that my forced enthusiasm is nothing more than a brilliant act, and I may just be so brilliant at it that I fool myself.  I pretend so well that I care about the dirty house, I can actually fool myself into vacuuming, emptying the lint trap in the dryer, mopping, wiping, dealing with the sorting act and deciding what’s trash and what’s treasure, chasing the paper, washing, drying and putting away laundry, etc.  Mrs M has been brilliantly handling the bills since she fought me for the checkbook many years ago.  She doesn’t fight fair.  Those eyes…  Those curves…  Still hot after more than 20 years.  When I say I love my family, that’s not an act,  …roughly 96% of the time.  Don’t hurt any of them or you’ll find out I love them to death, literally, and I don’t mean their death, or my death…  So I’ve learned to act like a French maid.  …I need one of those sexy French Maid costumes, but for a guy.  You ladies can keep your thigh-high stockings with the seams up the back, and garters.  I don’t think Mrs M will mind, presuming it’s masculine enough.  I can’t wear high heels.  They don’t look good on me and I fall over.  And I can’t wear the girly stuff, but something minimal with a soft, black, Stetson with the option of either a black ribbon around the crown, or a black leather strap, depending on my mood, pleated white silk tuxedo front and cuffs, and maybe black silk boxers, and black lace-up combat boots…  I don’t guess I could wear that in front of the kids.  They act all grossed out if I smile at Mrs M across the dinner table.

2. Alcohol.  Would be necessary if I actually ever tried to carry off the French maid bullshit above.  But it was a funny image, now, wasn’t it?  Alcohol keeps me in a high-functioning range when life is shit and I need a little medicinal relaxational motivational beverage at the end of a hard day.  It makes me more relaxed and less stressed out and better able to carry on conversations with family AND less focused on the effort of completing tasks.  Combine that with magical, motivational music, and I am good to do more housework.  Holy shit, what I need is a job that lets me drink something other than tea and coffee sometimes.  Tonight, probably The Rolling Stones.  Because, “Start Me Up.”  Yesterday, if I remember that long ago, it was Aerosmith.  But I like the older stuff.

1.  Warrior Mentality – My sense of manhood.  Life is a fight to the death.  We all eventually lose.  But I’m just going to describe my heart here.  I don’t give a shit if you want to throw your inner feminine side out there, guys.  I just don’t give a shit.  And I also don’t give a shit if you want to grow a pair, ladies.  In MY personal inner being, lurks a warrior spirit, and life IS a fight to the death, and I don’t intend to lose until I’m dead.  Like the song goes, “Don’t try to push your luck, just get out of my way.”

There I go. Is it 8 PM yet? It’s Friday, Hallelujah. Maybe the song should be back in pajamas. That’s my armor, folks. All Ephesians 6 says to do is “stand firm.” I got that covered. In pajamas. And all I’m saying is my inner warrior is in a fight to the death with life. All those things I hate? I want to fix it. And if I can’t fix something because I don’t have enough training, so be it. If I can’t fix something because I don’t have enough money, again, so be it. But if I can fix it, or TRY to fix it and do a decent job, it’s worth the fight, I say, even as I bitch about how hard life makes something that should be easy and simple. Fixing a ceiling fan, or something that makes me climb a dreaded ladder, sure, I have panic, but I know I can do it if I climb. And then, of course, the damned screws always fall or refuse to thread correctly. Fixing a leaking sink, sure I can do it, but not if it’s broken and refuses to go back together correctly, and of course, there’s always grossness in the pipes to clean out and then they leak because the grime was holding hands and keeping the water on the inside. Household labors nearly ALWAYS take more time, more effort, more training, and more money than I walked in wanting to invest. Or, they frustratingly fall apart and require re-doing, which always makes me just shout for joy, or, they break to a point where calling the guy” is required, which costs WAY too much. I mean, fucking car repairs, really?! The guy is always tsk!-ing and telling me how I need this and that or the car will die in the middle of the highway and get me killed, and how he wouldn’t drive it like it is if he were me. But fuck you, mechanic, yes you fucking would, because if I were you I’d be charging $75 an hour labor and then shop and parts fees, and if you were me you wouldn’t be able to afford that shit.

I knew a lady once whose plumbing always fell apart on the holidays. Seriously, her hot water heater held up until Thanksgiving day, and then blew water all over her house. Her sink blew up on Christmas, I was waiting for the toilet to explode on the fucking fourth of July. And me? I once saved a “simple” plumbing thing until the holiday only to ultimately call the guy (I waited until the next day) to put it right. I HATE house repair projects especially when they go to shit, which is like down to 40% of the time because I’ve learned not to try a percentage of things I don’t really know shit about, and I know I’d do a shit job if I tried it on my own and then have to call the guy, which means paying for parts at least once and then probably twice, AND paying whatever hourly bullshit the guy can get away with depending on if it’s a holiday.  AND, in my own defense (STOP FUCKING LAUGHING!  …Oh, go ahead, knock yourself out.  Please.  Laugh harder, you’re still breathing and conscious.) In my own defense, over the last 20 something years, Mrs M has bullied me into a rage sufficient to learn how to fix a lot of shit.  Lighting fixtures, fans, vacuum cleaners, some plumbing, although I still have a dread fear of the water leaking or dripping, and I once rebuilt a damned shelf 4 times because she had too much shit stored up on them.  Shut up!! I was building it correctly, it just wasn’t strong enough to hold the weight.

0.  A sense of moral obligation.  I don’t see a lot of this in the real world.  This is why guys get what they want from a girl and then leave the girl to carry the responsibility all by themselves.  HIV/AIDS.  Herpes.  Gonorrhea.  Syphilis.  Scabies.  Babies.  Rabies.  Oh wait.  It’s a poem, a rap, with a catchy street beat:

STDs, you know they come in all sorts,
Viruses, bacteria, bugs or maybe warts, (that’s attractive!)
Chancroid, PID, gonorrhea,
pubic lice, scabies, chlamydia, (now, interactive!)
Trichomoniasis, HIV, and HPV,
Molluscum contagiosum, and hepatitis B, (It’s in your blood!)
Don’t be rash…, choose wisely, as the buyer,
Get yours today, they’re spreading like fire! (You’re leaking crud!)

Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew.  Committed monogamy is not a sexually transmitted disease.  Thank God I’m married.

You don’t see a lot of this because it’s not being advertised a lot.  The world, the media, your idiot peers, the advertisers, your favorite television shows, all glamorize how wonderful it is doing the dirty deed, as often as you can, any time you can, with anyone you want who wants you back.  Or front.  Or top.  Or bottom.  Yep, it’s great.  Shop around, bop around, hop around, they never show you the consequences unless it’s maudlin and you’re supposed to feel sympathetic to the um…innocent? victim?

The one thing that should never be advertised without a painful, flesh (not chemical) castration, behavior modification, lobotomy, and aversion therapy, is rape.  Rapists should be treated as harshly as possible, not get their name broadcast on the news (Hey, look friends!! I’m FAMOUS!!)  or worse, told they’ll likely never get caught.  In 2013 the estimate was that only 34.8% of assaults were reported, and it used to be even less.  In 2011 the estimate was that only 6.66 out of every 100 rapists were ever brought to any kind of justice, which by law might be some sort of fine, or might be a season of imprisonment.  So, the estimate is that 93 out of every 100 rapists get off and face no consequences whatsoever.  And that, readers, is fucked up.  I swear I didn’t make up the 6.66, which is fucking diabolical.  And this page, for some reason under the label BJs.gov… which I couldn’t make funny if I WANTED  to but for fucks’ sake, no pun intended, someone tried, it shows that the average jail time even if you ARE convicted of sexual assault, is  about 66 months.  That’s right kids!  Put someone through the trauma, and then the post trauma-tic stress of having to relive your unwanted attack, your damnable defiling of their private, personal, holiest of holy, sacred temple, whenever your innocent victim’s now traumatized brain puts them through it again, not to mention making it next to impossible to trust anyone in a romantic relationship ever again, not to mention causing difficulty with intimacy if they DO try, and then, after you’ve put your victim through that shit, if you’re one of the unlucky 6.66% that actually gets caught, charged, and fucking convicted of doing it, you MIGHT serve 5 and a half damned years and then you’re free to try again and see if you’re luckier the next time.  THAT is why I am in favor of drastic sentences and punishments for rapists, even though for some reason they won’t put a rapist to death, not even a person who rapes a child.

If the FBI is  reading my blog and my browsing history I think it’s hilarious because I just looked for information about what kind of plants grow best over a buried dead body.  I didn’t find any, which is disappointing.  We planted flower bulbs over both of our guinea pigs which died of old age, which is disappointing because they only live 8 or so years at the maximum, and ours lived that long and then just quit.  The flowers grow every year around Easter, which is just after when both died, which is a beautiful reminder that we loved the guinea pigs.

I looked it up not actually planning anything, just thinking that if victims and their families who actually love the truly innocent victims ever decided to handle the situation in a way that feels more just than fucking 6.66%, it might be nice to plant something to remind them when they walk by the hidden grave, known only by justice… I mean just us…, that the world has one less monster walking around free. If they are allowed to roam free, they are 93.34% likely to hurt another person and fucking get away with it.  Worthless animals that hurt people for their own sadistic pleasure need to be put down.  http://cdn.hark.com/swfs/player_16x16.swf?pid=kpmgdzqllc<br/> <a href=”http://www.hark.com/clips/kpmgdzqllc-the-twilight-zone-theme-song&#8221; style=”font-size: 9px; color: #ddd;” title=”Listen to on Hark.com”></a>”>Funny thing, right after I wrote the thing about the FBI, my whole internet crashed for 15 minutes

I did NOT start this blog with the purpose of ranting about rapists, but there it is.  Rage as a motivator.  I’m switching to Channel #2 in just a short while, but I wanted to write about having a strict moral code.  The world needs people who set high moral standards, and also needs those same people to be gracious when others don’t measure up to their personal holiness.  I listened to some jackass talking about how he posted some shit on someone’s social media about how the guy needed to be a higher class of guy if he wanted to attract a higher class of girl.  And he said some more shit about how he wasn’t trying to pass judgement.  Then what the fuck WERE you trying to do, because it sounded like you suck.  I mean suc…ceeded at exactly that.

I DO have a relatively strict moral code and I DO strive for it, despite failing all the damned time.  And I’ve learned there’s a good reason for my failures, although they suck.  I mean there’s at least one good reason.  I have learned more about extending grace,  because I am so very aware how much I need it for myself.  If you are holier than thou, you don’t need grace and you love to flaunt your perfection and look down your snoot at the poor helpless sinners asking them why they don’t “just” be a higher class of godliness.  Pious fucker.

The world doesn’t need more judgement.  Judgement’s coming, don’t get me wrong.  But we Christ-followers don’t need to be the ones to bring it.  No, what the world needs is more grace, more forgiveness, more honest, Christ-like love. “Neither do I condemn you.  Go and sin no more.” Or how about “God have mercy on ME, a sinner!” ?  I may never go home after praying feeling fully justified, and maybe that’s a good thing.  It keeps my heart in a place where I can encourage people, because we’re all the same.  Instead of offering no hope, and only judgement, Christ followers need to understand how to do something very important.  But some are so holy they don’t need it themselves, so they forget how to offer it.  “It” is mercy.  If we offer it, Christ followers, to those who need it, the world will believe us when we say Christ gives it away.

The book of Hosea is a fascinating story, God commanded the prophet Hosea to make his own LIFE, a picture of how God loves people in spite of everything they do, so it’s fitting that Jesus quoted it.  Hosea 6:6.  Matthew 9 is full of example after example of how Christ followers should NOT ACT.  Jesus is being loving and kind and forgiving, and the holier than thou set are being all judgemental and looking down their noses at JESUS, for Christ’s sake, (hahaha) thinking they’re better than JESUS.  And he quotes Hosea in the middle, saying, not in my exact words, “No, you religious freaks, that’s not how you love people.  You love people by learning this:”

 Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Jesus loves you, but you have to know you need his love and mercy before you can really understand it and receive it.  If you don’t need it because you’re already perfect (in your own eyes), then fuck off.  If you desperately need it like I do because you know you’re SO far from perfect it’s completely hopeless and depressing, then you’re ready for it, and not only that, after you’ve accepted it, you’re ready to share it.  As long as you don’t become one of those tight-assed religious freaks who forgets how they used to act and uses their newfound lifestyle as an excuse to not help others, not love others, and pass judgement without mercy.

-1.  Mercy.  Mercy motivates me.  I need it.  But it’s beyond just need.  I’m starving to death for it.  I’m desperate.  And the desperation motivates me to express mercy, and acceptance, and forgiveness, and grace, which are the very heart of Jesus, in my very imperfect way. I am sorry for failing to share more often and more clearly, but this is where i am.  And as much as I hate everyone, God compels me to tell you that He loves you.  And as much as I hate it, I’m supposed to show you.  This is me showing you, even if my own heart says you’re a complete ass hole and I don’t want to.
So yeah, I’m “high functioning” despite all of the shit life dishes out, despite my boss, my budget, my bitching, my brood.  I have to be.  I also want to be, even when I don’t want to be.  So that’s what I’ve decided to be.  I’ll keep trying harder, even on days when I don’t want to get out of bed.  And there are lots of them.  I still push myself and go do what I have to do, motivated by one of the above, to keep going.

-2.  Maybe it’s really not me.  Maybe it IS my choice, but maybe not entirely.  Maybe it’s Something Else.  

Shit. And Doctors

Stress.  I haven’t had quite enough, apparently.

With the new schedule, I had to cancel the doctor’s appointment I had scheduled in the comfort of the evening, with the comfort of my wife being there to make sure I wasn’t missing or forgetting something I needed to address.  I don’t have a list, ffs, but she might think of something I wouldn’t, and she might have observed something I wouldn’t observe in my behavior or emotional trend.

My dear wife rescheduled my appointment for this morning and texted me the doctor’s name and time, 8:30.  So I drove there after finding my phone which only made me 4 minutes late.  Except the receptionist informed me the appointment was for 8.  Fuck.  As if the stress of going to the doctor in the first place wasn’t enough, here comes the added anxiety of being there at the wrong time.  I showed the receptionist the text, she literally wanted to show it to the doctor.  I handed her the damned phone.  He offered 10.

My dear boss rescheduled my whole fucking LIFE, FFS, and crammed the shit at me and told me I couldn’t give it back (implicit was that of course I could always quit and be fucking unemployed if I wanted to do that and make NO money instead of just making SHIT money).  The reschedule means I have to be at work at 11.  Hmm.  Doctor at 10, work at 11, can I make it?  Add stress to stress, but I wanted to find out if the meds might actually make a difference since I’ve  been out of them for a month.  Which is why I wanted her to come along, as she might give a more insightful description.

I have been more depressed since not taking the meds for a month.  But yeah, my whole life is stressful, I don’t feel successful or valued at work.  I get the shit shift and no cash for the differential.  My daughter is home “sick” today, but the fact is she’s home because she’s depressed and didn’t feel up to taking a test she didn’t have time to properly prepare for, or be properly prepped by the teacher, who sucks, but does offer minimal assistance with learning the material prior to the tests.  When I told Mrs M I thought the depression might be hereditary, she went off, and told me NOT to inform little Miss M of my suspicion.  But I already told my son that the shit comes in waves and when he feels down he needs to let us know so we can encourage him and help him get through.  So is it just another wave of depressing circumstances, or is it depression, or is it both?  Who the fuck knows, but Mrs M wants me to do something about it, at least try something.  So I am.

So I took the damned doctor’s appointment.  Sure, why not, bring on some more stress and anxiety.  As much as I hate change, which is like a long term anxiety attack, I hate doctors, which is “just” a phobia.  I got to go this morning, and I get to go again later this morning, and then I have to try to get back in time to clock in at 11.  Fuck.

 

Fuck, fuck, fuck.  I hate this shit.  But LOOK!!  Two posts in as many days.  Stress appears to be motivational.  Which can’t be bad, right?  Fuck.  I’m only motivated because I want to get the stress the fuck over with.  I want to be done with stress.  But I’m afraid life induces stress.  I don’t really want to be done with life just yet.

On the plus side for my poor readers, I haven’t written much in all of January.  You’re welcome.  And I’m sorry for today’s twice torture.  Sorry to myself too.  Going to the doctor once in a day ought to be enough.  But yay, I get to go twice.  (snarkasm, anyone?)

fuck.  sigh of resignation.  and I didn’t resign from work stress either.  fuck.

Get Back, Honky Cat

I’m working through a change of circumstance, and as those two who faithfully read my blog know well, I LOVE when life changes everything up on me.  Crisis?  What crisis.  No problem!

OK I’m done with the joke.  I fucking HATE change.  I hate change, hate crises, hate breakage, hate loose wires, hate things that fall.  They induce panics.  And I also hate going shopping and other drivers and going to work at all.  They induce justifiable panics.  I hate not having any money, because add rage to panic.  So let’s go back to I hate work because rage and panic and micromanagement all suck ass.  I hate whenever the phone rings.  Let me call you, or better still, email you, or better still, ignore you unless it’s important.  Which means if the phone rings, it better be damned important or I’m not going to like it.  Which is why I naturally have to answer phones all fucking day at work, for idiots who don’t know shit about shit, talking to idiots who didn’t do whatever they were supposed to do in the right way or they wouldn’t have had to call me at all.  The idiots I answer for, are idiots because they think I can support a family of four on a poverty wage and their idea of career advancement is, “he’s good at that, let’s leave him there and keep paying him the same amount as we pay the new people coming in fresh off the street.  If he asks about getting a promotion, let’s move him around laterally until he’s so confused he gives up.  Let’s discourage him too, because uppity people who, while we admire that they are smart and hard workers, say they need more money need artificial obstacles thrown at them ”  Stupid shitheads.  “He’s been getting by on what we’ve been paying for several years, why does he need more money?  Plus, if we promote him we might find out he’s just as stupid as the others we’ve promoted before him even though he’s worked here longer and might know more, so let’s not do that.”

I know what you’re saying.  A promotion to more money would be change, and you hate that, Deon, so what are you saying?  And if that’s what you’re saying, fuck you for saying that, and I mean that with the fondest of af-fuck-tion.

What I hate is complication. What I like is simplicity, logic, doing things right the first time so you don’t have to do more work to get the same effect, or do things twice.  A very simple and practical example is, I hate my shoestrings that routinely come untied.  I tie them, and they come untied within 5 minutes.  I tie them in knots and they come untied after the first hour or less.  It’s an unneccesary complication.  I know what you’re saying.  If life was easy, and your shoestrings stayed tied, you’d get less exercise and probably be fat.  And if that’s what you’re saying, fuck you for saying that, and I mean that with the fondest of af-fat-tion.

Speaking of fat and unnecessary complications, I treated myself to breakfast today because it was after 10 and I went in to the office to pick up what I thought was something to make my job easier, but we haven’t gotten into it yet, I’ll explain it all in a second and in my own rambling and random manner it might eventually make sense if you stick with me.  But breakfast, speaking of complication, was complicated.

I went to a great fast food place where there used to be a famous clown whose logo resembles a letter, or french fries, and whose name rhymes with Donald Nick-Ronald, and I suppose that might be a Scottish name for a red-headed Scottsman who was famous for telling people “take your pancakes and sausages and eggs and hash browns and biscuits and coffee, and fuck off.”  For the love of dieting and rationing plans, why did she give me three fucking pancakes and only TWO pats of butter and only ONE container of syrup? These portions are just stupid unless you’re OCD and have to count down.  “SIX! Thousand calories in your hash brown.  Five!  Thousand calories in your biscuit, sausage and scrambles.  Four! Tines on your fork.  Three!  Pancakes.  Two! Pats of butter.  ONE!  Container of syrup.”  Clowns have become symbolic of the creepy, a posse of killers, an insane Joker played a bit too well by several actors vying for the best portrayal of a villain in a superhero movie about a guy who isn’t really a superhero, a real life killer clown named after an actor, and so on.

This restaurant, and society, have lost all their innocence because a few ass hole animals have committed atrocities in clown suits and we are no longer able to appreciate the art of a good clown because a few were evil.  Too easy a target, and I’m sorry a few took their shots.  What’s next?  Traveling vacuum cleaner salesman who really suck?  Zombie teachers who only want to eat your child’s brains?  Vampire pastors preaching about life after death, achieved by drinking blood?  Oh wait.  If you listen to my kids, the teachers ARE brain eating gouls.  And if you listen to certain texts, um, I’m not far off about the pastors.  I joke, because I’ve read it.  Here:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+6%3A53-58&version=NIV

I like routines; I like simple things.  Keeping life simple leaves margins for the times when life by necessity gets more complicated.  When people say they like to keep busy, I don’t understand because there’s no room for any extras.  When your schedule is full there’s no time for relaxation, and there’s no time for urgent, unexpected events.  When do you edge in the time to get an oil change, or worse, what if your car breaks down and needs to be fixed?  Or if you get in an accident rushing here and there (and here I’ll say if you were distracted it’s your own fucking fault and you should get the fuck out of my way because I’m not distracted, you’re in my damn way, and I’m in a real hurry because I’m late after taking care of whatever needed to be taken care of at home.  Fucking MOVE.

I like the weather in the fall, cool but not cold, grass doesn’t need mowing, driveways don’t need shoveling, I can wear a coat that has my beloved pockets without undue discomfort, but it’s not so cold I have to actually use the zipper or have a hat or gloves. And, there are apples on the trees waiting to be made into preserved jars of apple butter and canned apple slices and apple pies.  Mrs. M, bless her, says my hair is thinning on top, and as she is also my barber, I suppose she must be telling me the truth.  If my kids weren’t listening, I’d whisper into her ear that my head is trying to show her over time what I’d like her to do now, which is, getting naked.  That is, if my kids weren’t also actually watching and acting all grossed out, like they haven’t studied the origin of the species in fucking…. hahaha… biology and health classes.  I mention it only to set the climate into perspective when saying I still don’t need a hat or gloves in the fall.  I want my pockets because everything goes into them because I don’t like putting things in my pants pockets.  Wallet, comb, keys, a pocket knife, occasionally a nail file and clippers.  And sometimes other crap, whatever I feel like I need for the day.  It goes in the coat pockets from fall through winter.  And I lament the spring and summer when it’s too hot to have my precious pockets, because it means change.  I completely HATE spring forward every damn spring, and I love falling back every damn fall.  Just keep setting the clocks back an hour until we gain a whole day of sleep, and I’ll be perpetually happy.  Who’s with me on that?  I can’t possibly be the only one.

I like the traffic flow to keep flowing and keep moving.  When there are flashing lights or crashes or shit on the road and everyone either has to slow down to avoid causing further death and destruction, or those few have to practically, or actually, fucking stop because they have to know if there’s any blood, and if there is, they literally have to stop and stare and cause the rest of us to be later than we already are, fuckers.  If you would get the fuck out of the way and keep moving the emergency vehicles could get there that much faster and get the poor schmucks to the hospital before they bleed to death, but if you fucking slow down and make everyone have to stop behind you, or worse, if you fucking STOP, they’re going to bleed to death waiting for the ambulance, and if you want that, you grim motherfuckers, fuck you.  And I mean that with the fastest of af-fuck-tion.  We’re already too late for “wham, bam,”so I’ll “thank you, ma’am” or sir, if you’ll FUCKING MOVE your damn crate either OFF the road so we all can get around you, or, GO!!  When the traffic lights are green and I’m not moving, it PISSES ME OFF… just a little.  And when your traffic light is red and you ARE moving, that PISSES ME OFF… just a little.  Oh, who am I kidding? If you move and your light is red, FUCK YOU TWICE, right up your tailpipe with a barbed wire and cyanide dripping hot buttered baked potato.  You’re the reason I’m not moving when my fucking light is GREEN!

Today I took the dog for his morning relief, and started the car on the way back inside (editorial parenthetical:  I actually wrote this part last week or whenever, who the fuck remembers, whenever it actually snowed here in Indianapolis and there was a whole inch on the ground, before they actually demonstrated how they had fucked with my schedule starting Monday of this week, and now I’m busy having a vodka tonic and some chili with tortilla chips because it’s 11:00PM on 2/1 and why not?)  I left home right after my son left to catch his bus.  I offered him a ride, and to my surprise he declined my offer.  My nicely preheated warm old car beckoned.  I got in to drive somewhat cautiously to work and made it in a half an hour early in spite of just under an inch of snow on the ground, and all the other somewhat cautious drivers on the road, in my way, on their ways.

Do you ever hear a  voice in the back of your head telling you things?  I do.  It may be an index of just how crazy I really am.  Or, how sane.  Depends on your perspective on reality. “The voice I hear falling on my ear” is usually comforting, but sometimes it’s not something I really want to hear.

The boss informed everyone that schedules were going to change, but she also soft-sold it by telling everyone not to expect anything drastic.  There was a whole list of mitigating factors in deciding the schedules which the boss played up to make everyone relax so we wouldn’t worry about it in advance.  I recall “based on your time zone,” “based on a normal eating schedule for lunch,” “based on your skills,” based on your tenure,” “based on your performance,” “based on your skills,” “based on…” bullshit.

I call “bullshit” because in actual point of fact, when the new schedules rolled out, I guess a bunch of us got the same shit shift, switching us from a normal 8 to 5 all the way to the ass end of the workday for the company, and we’re now working from 11 to 8P. fucking M.  It was a huge surprise.  I used to start at 8 or as late as 9, and finish the day as early as 4:30 and occasionally as late as 6 PM.  And I really didn’t mind anything in that window.  But the ass end of the day?  Sucks the ass end of the corporation.  I fought it, I didn’t want it, and for more than 20 years I have done the same kind of work, with a basically normal east-coast-time-zone based schedule.  Which was great since I live in the eastern time zone.  They basically were going to shove it down our throats, and I didn’t want that, so I argued.  It leaves no time whatsoever for life as I’ve known it for the past 50 years to balance with work.

But somewhere  in the back of my mind, the little voice whispered, “what if you embraced it?”  FUCK!

The answer I gave the voice in the back of my head, and my boss, was that I wanted to keep my schedule, and I wanted them to train people on the west coast to do what they wanted done, and then they could cover the hours the company needed but have a nice 8 to 5 schedule in their own time zone.  I’m surprised they let this little tidbit slip out:  the customer’s complaint was that the people they had doing the evening work sucked at it, and they wanted to move people who didn’t suck to work those hours.  I guess it was nice to have a vote of confidence.  But after two weeks of praying and hoping, the bosses called and basically thrust the new schedule at me again, saying there wasn’t any room for THEM to fucking compromise and they expected me to do all the give while they did all the fucking take.  Shitheads.

Based on their need to have competent people covering the hours they needed covered, they didn’t like where I wanted them to put the new schedule.  Shoving it either direction for them would have been uncomfortable.  For them.  So they decided to shove it at me and make me bear the responsibility and make me uncomfortable instead of just fucking hiring people from Colorado or California or Seattle, which would have seemed to me a whole lot more reasonable than making me take it.  Since I kept protesting and refusing to let them shove it down my throat, they found another vulnerable place and shoved it there, and it’s uncomfortable and I don’t like it.

All of this was done with the utmost professionalism and civility, except for the way they bullied me into taking it, bringing the boss’s boss on the conversation acting all puzzled about why I don’t want to just give up my life outside of work and just fucking work.  Ass hole.  Ass holes.  And then my boss implied that I can influence the schedule by being a great performer and doing more and working harder, and that the reason I got the shit schedule was because others did more and better.  Bull shit.  Then she diverted to other topics and breathed her sigh of relief after I shut up after my protest was voiced once again, and she advised it had been considered and ignored.  Fuckers.  She thinks everything is fine, and she moved on, leaving me to pick up the shattered shit in the wake of the hurricane.

I went home Thursday night and relaxed with a lovely and large glass of cheap but potent Merlot.  That is, after I took the kids out to dinner, the last time in the next several months, or time eternal if they decide to lock in the new shitty schedule, that I’ll get to do that on a weekday.  They want me to be flexible enough to take it up the ass any time they want to change the fucking schedule around, not realizing what a panic and a rage they cause whenever they change shit around and make me less and less valued and empowered and living.  In the interest of having a job and not having to go look for another one I decided to acquiesce and I believe everyone else who got the shit schedule did the same.  They monitor our communications so I can’t really ask from work.  But to me, this is the opposite of “balance,” and the opposite of consistency, which I highly prize.  If I were any more resistent to change, I’d have been diagnosed years ago.   It’s there, honest, but it’s well hidden under brilliant acting skills, well-rehearsed coping devices, and tucked in under the banner “high-functioning.”

High functioning anxiety.  High functioning depression.  High functioning sociopathy (I haven’t actually ever murdered anyone, but I fantasize about it a lot.  Surprisingly, I have fantasized about various scenarios from winning the lottery and teleconferencing to tell them all a few things right before quitting the shit job and the shit shift, to annually doing something on a randomly chosen date to induce them to panicked fear and just to generally fuck with them because I figure it’s only fair, to driving across the state lines to where they work to tell them in person that they’re a bunch of fucking shitheads and then explaining the reasons why, and then announcing the $400 M windfall I’m set to receive and then telling them they are all not included in any of it, to just building a bigger bunker and hiring hit men to just mess with them until they fall under the same company bullshit they laid on me and then want to quit, and making sure their bosses tell any future employers they wouldn’t rehire them because they sucked.  Briefly there was a hit-man scenario, but I don’t want to actually kill anyone, I just want them to share in the misery they offered me so they know what it feels like.)  Anyway, high functioning something something keeps me in this job because of a few things-

1) I’m not high-functioning enough to feel confident enough to “just” get another job,
2) No one wants to hire a sweary preacher.  Hypocritical fuckers.  Or, “holier than thou” fuckers.
3) I haven’t won the lottery yet.  As far as I know.  I DID buy a ticket for the $206M drawing earlier in the week, and I did buy a scratch off ticket today, and I’m still $9 ahead for the year’s “investments.”

I have friends who tell me they’re totally jealous of my “high functioning” functions.  If I think this is hard, how hard is it for someone who’s jealous because it’s not aws hard for me, or doesn’t seem as hard for me?  I often force myself to do things, in spite of my brain saying “no, no, no, no, no, no.”  Because they have to be done.  But I often wait until it’s a crisis and it HAS to be done NOW or it will get worse or cost more or both.  Or until it gets worse and WILL cost more.  Not a good thing for someone who’s worked 20 years in the same industry and gets paid entry level wages.  But no, I’m great.  I’m depressed, but it’s high functioning depression, so it’s not that bad.  Right?  FML.

Maybe I could say, “I’m underpaid, but it’s high functioning underpayment,” which is to say that I miraculously make do with shit wages.  FML.  Even less now since the insurance premiums increased due to the “affordable” health care law.  O-fucking-bama-care.  Like HE cared about my situation when he fucked with the whole country and messed up health insurance for anyone who thought they were in the middle class, right down to people like me who were ALMOST, but not quite, above the poverty line.  Fucker.  Fucking idiot.  But hey, the last several Presidents, not to mention presidential candidates, have been “high functioning” idiots, so they’re …fucking idiots.   Affordable my pained ass.  Even more painful with this schedule shoved up there along with the extra insurance premiums when I couldn’t really afford the old premiums when added to the cost of actually taking advantage of medical and, especially, dental, benefits that I’m supposed to be getting.

On to the point of this, which is to continue my discussion of omens.  Get back, honky cat, was playing on the radio when I drove in early to work, so I sat in the parking lot to listen to it.

https://www.bing.com/search?q=get+back+honky+cat+lyrics&PC=U316&FORM=CHROMN

These lyrics remind me of the prodigal son story. Almost everyone’s telling him different lies, and a few are telling him truth. The voice in my head said “LISTEN.” So I did, and I mean intently. How do you hear the truth and decipher who’s right? But if the lyrics are portentious, the voice wanted me to hear that I needed to get home and take the change and it would “do me good.”

But right now all I want to do is try to drink whiskey from a bottle of wine.  I hate change.  Did I mention I hate change?  It takes me a long time to settle in when life changes.  I’ve already given up a decent paycheck, now I’m giving up the opportunities of volunteer work during the week AND the opportunity to spend any remaining weekday evenings with my family.  As a compromise, they are “allowing” me to work from home, which is another change I’m supposed to embrace.

I’m totally fucking thrilled. (Sarcasm much?)  Pass the wine bottle, please.  And please, tell me that’s whiskey and not more Merlot, because I don’t really LIKE Merlot.  At least not this cheap crap we can afford.  Maybe it’s high functioning Merlot.  (FML)  I can accept change, whenever the alcohol kicks in and I’m feeling high…functioning, I mean, of course.

May all your change be good for you.  And may all my change come in large denominations of currency.  I’ll share, when I win the lottery.  I promise.  But I never did tell you with whom, now, did I?  I’m not manic, but I sure can act.  Where’s Hollywood with the big movie deal? Or better still, a high-paying voice-actor job so I can hide in my bunker away from all the anxiety, and rake in the cash.