Grown-ass Geeks Baiting Trolls

The two…or possibly three… of you who follow my blog are fully aware that my writing is crap.  So am I.  But fortunately for me, you’re the kind, gentle sorts of souls who tenderly say encouraging things anyway.   But now, after two years of blissful goings-on about life’s traumas, cyclothymic disorder with mixed episodes, the bullshit at work, the bullshit at home, and the lovely way all things here, there, and in between fall apart, and being left alone by misunderstanding haters, it’s happened.  I’m a shitty writer, and someone has called me on it.

How did I react?

I laughed at it, because I’m thick-skinned like that.  And because one must give deference to one’s betters.  I could have just commented:

Oh, look! A troll!  Someone get the torches.  Forget the pitchforks; where the fuck did I put my two-handed sword?  Oh, fan-fucking-tastic, you’ve used it to grill the shish-kebabs this time, haven’t you, Mrs. M.  What was it last time?  Oh yeah, I remember, you used it to open that cereal bag.  And because I keep all the knives in the house sharp, it worked, when nothing else in the whole house would!  It’s fine, I know where the dishwashing detergent is, and I’m not afraid to use it.  And, you’ve done it again, Mrs. M, these kebabs and rice are aMAzing; almost as amazing as YOU are.  Thank you!”

Back in my high school geeky days (mostly weekend nights, actually) of playing Dungeons and Dragons, we used to roll the dice until our characters had hacked those things to bits and then scraped the bits into a fire pit, along with ogres, goblins, orcs, assorted other monsters, such as the occasional dragon.  That’s right; laugh it up!  I’m old and geeky.  So fucking what?  Just to tell you HOW old, as a VERY young Deon, I first played the ORIGINAL Dungeons and Dragons that came in a small box, with one small pamphlet of instructions!  Thank you, Ernest Gary Gygax!

I also watched the reruns of Star Trek, whenever my older sister wasn’t watching her stupid Little House on the Prairie.  Damn it, Michael Landon!  It was YOUR fault, because she thought you were cute.  It’s not even really your fault, you rugged, beautiful bastard!  I blame Bill Shatner for his unbearable self-awareness-of-his-own-awesomeness-of-being-Bill, and ALL the rest of his male co-stars for not being quite sexy enough.  I can hear the late DeForest Kelley, weirdly addressing Jimmy Doohan as Jimmy Doohan and not Montgomery Scott, in character as Dr. McCoy:  “Damn it, Doohan!  Why didn’t you step up your game?  If you just tried harder with the single ladies instead of just romancing the single-malt scotches, Captain Kirk would have been eclipsed by Scotty’s wild (mock-)Scottish charm!”

Leonard Nimoy AND his character Mr. Spock would both have given assent to the unexpected logic of DeForest’s Dr. McCoy as DeForest, if he ever had said it in their hearing.

The braver of my readers who religiously follow what I write, and vigorously defend my right to write it, are already on the way to the troll’s domain to burn it down and hack the troll into tribble-chow.  Don’t eat that shit, you poor tribbles!  It’ll taste like shit and give you upset stomachs (because it IS shit).  And calm down, you beautiful followers!  I think I handled it, and without my beloved two-handed sword. (I keep a variety of imaginary and enchanted items in my bunker, including this blindingly shiny, sharper-than-shit, two-handed, plus seven sword, with a three-out-of-twenty chance of instantly decapitating my enemies and a five-out-of-twenty chance of causing an enemy to bleed out within two turns.)  I’m going to be fine, having had experience with everything from demons, bullies, and fiends, to various lesser ass holes including the occasional troll, since my childhood.

There I was, innocently reading an enlightening and well-written article about current trends in news and sociology.  That should surprise my loyal readers, because I hate the news.  And I hate the social trends, for the most part.

There are good things coming out of certain social trends, such as intimidating current and would-be harassers and abusers of women, and letting them know that modern American society as a loud group, and women as a now empowered and vocal subset of that group, do not want guys to try to pull any of that kind of shit, ever, and aren’t going to let guys get away with it if we have anything to say, or do, about it.

Another good social trend is letting victims of bullying know it’s not our fault, and asserting to would-be bullies that bullying is ugly and causes lasting harm.  It also teaches that the kid you bully today may grow up to collect bullies’ bodies in his back-yard rose garden.  I’d potentially call it “social justice,” or “karma,” if I believed either were possible.  But if a victim of bullying is strong enough, they can sometimes figure out ways to approach their trolls.  There are ways of slaying trolls that don’t involve actual rusty ochre bloodshed.

Bullies, stalkers, muggers, and rapists, they’re all cut from the same cloth.  They are shitheads who see an opportunity to take an unfair advantage of others, and take it. Another of the same are the thieves who steal investor’s money and tell them the stock market crashed, and another is the rich bosses who vigorously underpay their employees and work hard to try to bullshit them into thinking they’re not victims of trickle-down corporate greed, they’re actually getting better than they deserve, because according to the company’s standards, they’re worthless.  But sadly, social justice is rarely truly just, and karma doesn’t show up on a regular-enough basis.  It’s just as random as the rest of life, leaving lots of victims invisibly suffering at the hands of their assailants.  The victims rarely come forward, because they report any events at their own peril.

“So, Deon, how did you deal with this troll?” I hear one voice asking.

I complimented him.

I left it up to him to decide if I was complimenting him on his highly superior knowledge, literary talent, and amazing use of …um… uhhh… what’s the word?  Oh yeah.  “Words.”  Or if I was being sarcastic.  It’s possible that he’s the best writer the internet has ever seen.  In my comment, I told him he probably is.  It’s also possible, in the nicest and most complimentary way I could (with my feeble verbal skills), that I meant the opposite, that he’s a useless, lowbrow troglodyte, a waste of a perfectly good shit-sack, who should fuck off and not troll or insult me or anyone else, ever again.

Either way, one hopes, he may mend his ways.  If he’s the latter and I was being sarcastic, perhaps he’ll realize that bullying and putting on airs of superiority don’t win any friends, so he’ll decide to be less (undeservedly) prideful, more constructive, and less critical with his comments.  If he’s the former, in fact truly superior, and committed to his own, greater-than-Shatnerian greatness, he’ll realize that with his giftedness, he is only wasting his time approaching anyone beneath his deservedly high and lofty station, and he won’t bother to comment or try to encourage anyone to improve their writing skills because we’re not worthy.

Um…  I meant it as a compliment.  Yeah, we’ll go with that.  Because if anyone commenting humorously on someone else’s blog gets a comment from a third blogger, intent on asserting their own superiority while insulting the humor-writer’s writing skills, it’s the obvious go-to response.  Right?  Especially since he said he read my tag line, so he knew everything he needed to know about me, and my blog, and how to pass fair and righteous judgement, and execute written condemnation.

Yeah, he knows all about seasons of sleepless mania, seasons of depression, triggers, bipolar and all other manners of mental health issues, too.  I bet if he applied his obvious superior knowledge and skills to the field, he could cure us all within a fortnight.  Imagine, no longer needing or feeling compelled to hide because of all the panic-inducing shit in the world!  Imagine, no longer needing medication to feel closer to whatever “normal” feels like!  Imagine, not feeling out-of-control!  Imagine not worrying that what you think is real might not be!  Imagine not stressing out because toxic people tell you you’re not enough and you never will be, even though you keep trying and trying to measure up to what they say they want, so they will accept your offerings and service without criticism!  Imagine not having any trace of a rage that makes one want to choke the living shit out of all manner of evil- bullies, trolls, abusers, rapists, corporate executives, their managers, and other thieves, muggers- and stupid newscasters who report all the horrors in the world with smiles plastered on their perfectly groomed heads and then tell people to “have a nice [fucking] day.”

About my writing talents, sure.  He was obviously right.  He very constructively told me that he was the superior writer, and that I should bask in silent awe at the glory that is his relatively infinite knowledge and talent.  I know!  But some people, like my kind readers so far, have been too nice to tell me.  And I thank you.

Obsessed

Obsessed, 07/19/2017, Deon Mumple

When I wake up, you’re on my mind,
Add the chaos of routine every day,
When routine’s never quite routine, I find,
It’s to routine, I wish I could get away.

I sip my coffee, check, and think of you,
Try to smile, check, and to start to pray.
There isn’t ever enough time to do
Everything, and change is here to stay.

The hornets’ nest spins at the queen’s command,
Minions rise to detest her fair bidding,
I throw guesses in a bag, to face work’s demands,
With blurred eyes.  Don’t imagine I’m kidding.

She might kiss, brutally, before she’s mini-vanned
Well-hid exhaustion behind beautiful flurry
Then I regret everything failed I’d planned, and
Check again, then rush off, in my own too-slow hurry.

Radio drones simulate everything’s great; all stupidity,
As we drive to work, dodging two-plus ton bullets,
Too much laughter at things that aren’t funny,
Then a song, the only escape we might get.

On the outside pretending I give a shit for work goals,
I think of you, when not spitting silent bile at my screens,
Hope you’re all right, remembering your life’s tolls,
Wait for a break, hope you’ve written anything.

I might write, stealing time from a self-made hole,
Leave the reader wondering what it means
Don’t be alarmed, the writer would barely know
Tomorrow, from yesterday’s routines

Don’t worry, I’ve got a routine to hang from
Don’t alarm yourself for my emotional state
If change shreds all, who knows what will come?
Would it be worse than what I now hate?

Before I try to sleep, I check one more time,
To see if you’ve checked in, in some tiny way,
An email,  rant, a narrative, a tear, a smile, a line
Just to know, bad as it may be, you’re relatively ok.

I want at least that piece of peace of mind,
That peace of my world, as intact as you can be
Despite life’s grind, the rewind, and regrind
And I am sorry if I ever make you worry.

Compared to the alternatives I know are possible-
I’d rather not read about you from any other source
Though my normal seems comparatively dull
Routines, checking, checking, rechecking of course

If routine disappeared from the queen’s kingdom
I’d just worry more, for her, her minions, and you.
If you’ve not written, you’re who I’m waiting to hear from,
Call me obsessed; I’m just your biggest fan, being true.

10 Things the Church Can Do for People with Bipolar Disorder

I can hear you now, both of my regular readers, saying “Holy Shit, Deon!”  (Literally)  “A (potentially) USEFUL article?!”  Uhmm, don’t get your hopes up or anything.  It could be the regular installment of shit this blog normally has to offer.  And any guests from the actual church are either offended I said the word shit (TWICE!) and had the nerve to joke about it, and have been triggered into throwing their internet device into a bowl of bleach to sanitize it, OR, they’re offended I said shit and just closed the browser window because I’m obviously beneath their standards of holiness, OR, they’re curious enough to continue but reserve the right to choose one of the above options at some point while reading.

If you’re one of the third-option choosers, good for you!  I applaud your patient tolerance.  You may be one of those who saw a Tony Campolo clip in which he dropped the same expression but chided his viewing audience for being more offended at the expression than the worldwide situation he was trying to draw attention to.  If you haven’t, and you’re curious, here’s the quote:

“I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”
― Tony Campolo
I do not know if that statistic is still accurate, nor if it was accurate at the time of Campolo’s message, but if it was, and/or is, we oughta do something about Campolo’s awful profanity!!  No, I’m kidding.  We ought to do something about the starvation and disease.  And some are.  And sadly, some still don’t give a shit.  I’m going to err on the side of promoting life and curing the diseases we can cure, permanently, at the expense of the rest of the world somehow, and not at the individual expense of the human who just needs a vaccine, for fucks sake, they shouldn’t cost so much as to be inaccessible to “the least of these.”  I wonder how much it would actually cost out of the worlds gross domestic product or the investors in the world economy, to do that all around the world. I bet it wouldn’t hurt anyone at all, if we weren’t surrounded by greedy corporate fucks and idiot investors who are trying to squeeze every damned penny they can.

That little side rant though is not the focus of this article.  Or is it?

I promise, I will get to the point, and if you continue to read it you’ll get it too.  If you read it all and still don’t, send me a comment that says “Deon, you’re a fucking idiot and I still don’t get what you were trying to say.”  I LIKE comments if they’re not spam.  Well, most comments.  I’ll let you know if your comment was so mean or overly critical that I decide to never blog again.

So what CAN the church, or more to the point, PEOPLE from the church, do for people with bipolar?

This smacks of a list!  I wonder how many things there are.  Maybe you can think of a few that I didn’t think of.  Go ahead, include those in the comments and if I like them I’ll steal them and pass them off as my own original thought let your comment stay here published just they way you said it.  I’ll guess there are at least 10 things, and that way you won’t think my title was wrong.

10:  Love us unconditionally.  I hear you saying, “oh, but we do!”  Really?

What about that lady near the back who ran out of patience, and fired the person because they didn’t have a satisfactory medical reason for their absence during the last crushing depressive phase, when they couldn’t even get out of bed to eat, much less clean house, and driving to work seemed impossible?  She didn’t even bother to check on them, she just signed the papers electronically by check box, the one that automatically files the electronic termination documentation, sends the termination notice by text or email, and demands they turn in their laptop and any other corporate property within 30 days or face civil litigation, and had her HR manager’s assistant get someone new to fill that slot.

What about you, that guy over on the right?  You were charmed by her mania, seduced by her hypersexuality, and married the woman, but couldn’t figure out how to live with her flirtations with other guys, or other ladies, or her depressive phases when she just wanted to be allowed to cry and not fake a smile, or be left alone, didn’t shower for a few days (and how to keep her from trying to do potentially dangerous things),  or her overly talkative manic phases when all she wanted was someone to pay attention and listen, and go along for the ride (and keep her from trying to do potentially dangerous things).  You loved her when she was in between, when she was able to do everything “normal” people do, or force herself to do everything “normal” people do, but you ran out of patience when her mind went too fast and she couldn’t finish, or couldn’t even start, what you think are normal, basic, chores or tasks.  You ran out when she was too depressed to try, and the thought of trying and the expectation of failure made her cry and give up without starting, and the regret of wasting her life carried her down even lower.

What about you?  You were his best friend, you should have seen the trend and understood the symptoms.  He told you he was bipolar, trusted you with that information.  Then you and him got into a fight over nothing when he was raging, and now you refuse to even talk to him.  You might not even remember what the fight was about, and he certainly doesn’t.

Unconditional love means staying, at least trying to understand, and helping.  And then, staying, to be there when understanding and helping is needed again.

Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

9:  Don’t presume anything demonic.  Just.  Don’t.  Do.  It.  I mean, if the person has an “I ❤ Satan” or a “Fuck Off and Die, Idjet!” bumpersticker, a tattoo of an inverted pentagram with a goat head inside, and a fully-reassembled chicken skeleton mobile including skull and feet hanging where your normal neighbors would hang their wind chimes…it’s probably a joke, so still just don’t do it.  They’re probably trying to frighten away annoying little children, their local PTA, their landlord, and the Homeowners Association.  That tattoo was probably buzzed on them when they were either drunk off their asses, or they were trying to be edgy or funny, or both.  Most people aren’t that kind of darkest-satanic-evil-evil.  Most of us are just normal-evil-evil, and a few of us have those very occasional episodes of if-you-don’t-leave-me-the-fuck-alone-I-will-murder-you-and-they’ll-never-find-the-body-evil.  ALL of us, even the pious holier-than-thou jerks, have our various favorites from the sin-buffet that we routinely, habitually choose.  I think the rumors about the rock and roll bands are mostly publicity grabbers and the song lyrics may very well be intentionally geared to “stick it to the right.”  If you get the song from those 5 words, well done, music fan.I mean, I want to scare away annoying little children, the PTA, the landlord, the HOA, other people’s damned pets, who feel it’s necessary to crap well into my yard and the owners don’t have the decency to pick that shit up, and their owners, and sales people, and burglars, and my own family…  do you think the chicken skeleton mobile would work?  I would LOVE to have that, as a work of art.  With an artsy, colored wax decorated egg hung on the inside.  (note to self…)  Why, WHY, are these called “Devilled?”


Would an I ❤ Ruthie Connell bumpersticker work as well as the others above?  Because I do.  (Note to self… )  I don’t ❤ Satan, but I think that’s hilarious.  A lot of things that Jesus healed on the spot when He was here were mental illnesses, most were more obvious physical illnesses or birth defects, and a few were legitimately demonic.  Only a few.  If medication helps in any way, it’s probably an illness and not a demon, so just don’t presume that.  Don’t judge, just love.  God is big enough, and good enough, to convict the world of sin,  or to convict a person with bipolar, if it’s important enough to Him.  Let God do that; don’t “help.”The bipolar person you know may very well be an atheist “on the highway to hell,” but you’re never going to reach them and get them to even consider Jesus unless a) you get the joke, because if they don’t  believe in God they probably don’t believe in Satan either, and b) you don’t judge but instead you work really hard on #10 there, which points squarely at you, Christ-follower. But you can

8:  Help them in spiritual ways.  I know people who claim to follow Jesus, who will openly, even pridefully,  say they don’t pray for people who aren’t Christ-followers, except to pray they repent (admit that God’s standards are right and they are sinners who need a Savior, turn from whatever sin, and ask Jesus to help them follow Him).  Well if you’re one of those legalistic pharisaical “Christ followers,” a) fuck you and b) I pray YOU’LL repent, you sanctimonious prick!  You’re putting a condition on God’s love that He didn’t put there.  If Jesus commands you to love your enemies, and if you have an enemy, there’s a good chance they don’t exactly follow Jesus.  If Jesus commands you to pray for those who persecute you, and if you’re persecuted, there’s a really good chance they’re not Christ followers.  If you refuse to pray for God to help, however God sees fit, or pray for God to tell you what to do to help them, you’re just plain doing it wrong.  And just to clarify, having a mental illness does not make someone your enemy, so why not pray for their need to be met, since that’s the smallest thing you can do?  Or are you a chicken-shit, afraid God will ask you to handle it personally for Him?  Which brings us to

7:  Help them in practical ways.  If you’re a Christ follower but in any way light on your own available resources, this one could suck, honestly.  I mean, REALLY, God?! I don’t even have enough for myself!  Praying is free, and You’re my witness that I did that already!  Now You want me to do WHAT?!  Yes. He wants you to help in practical ways.  Your church, or a church in their area, may have ways to help.  If you are at a distance, maybe you could refer them and if you’re really bold, call or email the church and ask them to try to make contact.   Other than the time you invest being a reference, or researching what’s in their area, and passing that information on to the person, that shit is FREE.  And the church will be (or damned well should be) delighted to reach out to offer help, unless their hearts are cold and they’re already spiritually worthless and dead.  You might find other free resources the person could use.  If you live nearby, you could personally deliver helpful things.  Bipolar is a mental illness.  It’s an illness that for some, is a disability.  The person may look completely normal in all ways, because mental illness doesn’t always show on the outside.So, what the fuck is wrong with me?  Why don’t I just find a better job?  Well, after you do it for 20 or so years, the routine is comfortable.  It was hard finding a job, and then we moved and it was hard finding a job again, and it depresses me to realize that no one wants to hire me unless I’m completely helpless and at their mercy to offer whatever shit wages they want to offer.  I tried to find a job that worked with my professional training and experience, and then after yet another few doors were slammed in my face, by churchy people, I’ve kind of given up on most churchy people.  They say they care, but when it comes right down to it, they just don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves and anyone who looks and acts homogeneously, and fits in their clique.  And when you get to know me, you realize that my cyclothymia/bipolar won’t let me fit into ANY clique.  I’m not even “normal-cyclothymic.”  But I’ve found more genuine, heartfelt acceptance, maybe even LOVE, from the bipolar community, than from churchy people.I hate change.  I hate not having a shred of control.  I hate not having money, sure, but even more than that I hate change.  The job may be shit, the pay may be shit, but it’s a job and keeping it is easier and less stressful than quitting, becoming helpless, doing the resume thing again, going out searching and begging for another job, trying to find something that fits my qualifications and pays more, having those doors slammed in my face, only to wind up being forced to accept being shoved into some new entry level job where I don’t know shit about how to do it, so where is the benefit?  Fuck that.I know a few churchy people who said they’d pray for me when I asked them for practical help.  One pridefully said he “could” pay our bills for a while while I looked for a better paying job, but never actually gave us anything.  The church, at that time, was helpful, when it was really really dire, they’ve helped with food, and they actually made one of our house payments, which was a huge blessing that kept our heat and electric from being shut off.  I am VERY grateful for that.  But when we were short on income several months later and we asked, we got a letter that said they’d pray for us but wouldn’t help with the actual practical need.  Fuck that.  When I’m depressed, when you withhold the good it’s in your power to do, because you think I should be, or I look, strong enough to “just” dig myself out of this hole you think I’ve dug myself into on purpose, you only depress me more.HELP PEOPLE IN PRACTICAL WAYS, if you can afford it.  Don’t brag that you can and then do nothing.  I realize I am applying a rather liberal interpretation to Proverbs 3:27, but I believe God wants you to help in practical ways.  Maybe you can spare an extra something around your home.  Maybe you can afford to go to Goodwill and you might find something they can use.  God’s funny like that; I’ve found things there that I am still using for myself.  Pray about that one, and go, and PLEASE tell me if you found something that just happened to be there that would be perfect for the person on your heart.  Maybe you could even save up a little and give them a small financial gift, or you were given something you can re-gift, that they need more than you do.  OK, I know the next few are actually things that fall under #7, in the strictest interpretation, but maybe you can do something, and again that might cost nothing but your time and a little sweat.  Consider it as sweat-equity, invested into a positive relationship with a person God wants you to love in His name.  You’ll have to ask permission, because some of these things are kind of personal, and some people will tell you to fuck off, but here are a few ideas:

6:  Bring them a meal.In my geographic region there are churches, including the one I’m currently attending, who run food pantries and some even deliver meals at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas and/or Easter.  If you live close enough, bring over a hot meal, or if they have a kid, maybe some milk or bread or chocolate, or wine.  Yes, WINE.  See also, Proverbs 31:6B.  No, I didn’t make that up.   It reads, “Give… wine to those with heavy hearts.(KJV)”  If you know the person is an alcoholic, obviously, don’t encourage that destruction.  But if they’re not, and you can, then DO IT!  A meal a depressed person doesn’t have to burden themselves with preparing, and leftover meals, are literally a God-send.  See also Psalm 104:15,  which in context teaches that God creates “…wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts.”  You should ask first because a person may have food allergies or whatever.  Be mindful, be respectful, be humble about it.

5.  Do something to help them around their house.  Maybe they need plumbing help and you can do that.  Maybe they need their lawn mowed or their snow shovelled, depending on the season.  Maybe their car needs something you can provide, like an oil change.  Maybe it’s a small, simple household repair kind of project, and you know it needs to be done and you know how.  Ask first, tools in hand, and then do it.  I struggle with certain house things, with certain others I can hold my own, but if someone offered to help me with something, I’d say yes in less than a heartbeat.

 

4:  Detail their car.  Or maybe buy them a car wash package or coupons or something.  I’d love to get my car washed and waxed and vacuumed.  And my tires need to be checked for proper inflation.  And my oil needs changing, and that damned check engine light for the sensor is on.  They’re on my list, but if anyone wanted to do any of it for me?  A God-send.  A gift of energy and/or time that I didn’t have to invest, or think about investing.

 

3:  Clean their house.  Well, maybe not the whole house.   Maybe you can afford to send a hired maid.  If not, maybe you can go wash their dishes, or take out their trash, or do some small thing(s).  And I said it before, don’t judge.  Their house is not teeming with filth and squalor (why are those two words both needed when they mean the same thing?) because they want it that way.  It’s that way because their energy levels are on a time limit, and they’ve run out of energy before they got to that sink of dirty dishes, that basket (or three) of laundry, that floor that needs sweeping/vacuuming/mopping, those windows that need washing, that woodwork that needs dusting and polishing, that trash that needs to be disposed.  (of.?  Where is my grammar-enforcing mum when I need her?!)  Maybe they ran out of dish detergent, or whatever other cleaning supplies, so they can’t do the thing, unless they can find the energy to go to the store.  I get to a point where I just can’t do any more, and sometimes Mrs M pushes me and I can fake it, and sometimes, I can’t.  I think everyone does.  But if you can help someone, even a little, be a blessing.  Maybe you CAN clean their whole house.  So why not ask, and then DO IT!

 

2:  Offer to run errand(s), or drive them to the store.  Offer to go to the store, or go with them to do the things they have to do that are out of their comfort zone.  Offer to drive them to the doctor, and then show up and do it.  Offer to watch their kid(s) so they can have a little genuine alone time.  See also

 

1 a) : Be a friend.  Get to know them, their family, their situation.  Be there.  Show up, check in, ask about them in ways that show you genuinely care and understand their disability.  Learn about it.  I’ve only ever been asked ONCE before about my personal care, when I was depressed, by someone who knows what bipolar does, and it wasn’t my doctor.  It made an impression.  Did I shower today? Brush my teeth, comb my hair, dress? Take my medications? Did I eat anything today?  What the fuck?!  Wow!  In my depression I wanted to ask, what fucking difference would THAT make?  But holy shit!  That level of caring about me, impressed the hell out of me.  And, 1 b) : Be a friend, and remember that at times people with bipolar just need to be alone, so when that happens, remind the person you love them, tell them you’ll check back later, and then, fuck off.  And then come back later for 1 a) , when it feels right.

 

Ever wonder what Ephesians 2:10 means for you?  Well, maybe (puts on sunglasses like CSI Miami’s Horatio Caine) it means one of these things. (YEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!)

 

I wrote this whole top 10 list and I am aware that I am teetering on the brink of another depression.  Ugh.  These are things I would dearly love for people to do to help me when I am down again.  But right now, I need to go home and fake some mania for Mrs. M.  Wish me luck.  Or pray for me.  Or something.

Feels Like Writer’s Block

This
Feels like
Writer’s block
But not the same
I could write something
But it wouldn’t be good
I’m not “inspired.”
Could be just me
Or maybe
Things just
Suck.

6/13/2017 Deon Mumple

OK those of you who only like the poetry can go away now, 1,2,3,4,5,6,5,4,3,2,1.

When Jim Morrison was alive, there was apparently an incident at a concert, and from one I recently attended it probably really did happen.  No, not THAT incident, if you’re a Doors fan.  It probably happened nightly at the concerts.  The fans were at the stage yelling out that the band should play that one specific, popular, well-known song.

If  I did a poetry concert and all you wanted to hear was your favorite poem, and you yelled from the audience and everyone only wanted to hear the one poem, I’d be depressed.  I’d like to think I’m more than just a one-hit wonder, not that any of my writing is that great, but that I’d like to think it.  You paid the admission price, got your ticket because you like the performer and want to hear what they want to say.  Sure, you will probably get to hear the popular thing, but think- the performer has more to offer than that.  They have more of a message than just the one popular thing.  There are things you don’t know about them.  And if you like the one thing, and the style, maybe you’d like the other things they have to say.

Maybe not.  In which case, go ahead to the concert and command the performer!  “Dance, Monkey, DANCE!!”

There’s an inspiration behind the poetry; there’s a narrative behind the narrative.  What you see on Youtube or the news or hear on your favorite music feeds doesn’t tell enough of it.  There’s more than just that.

In the same way, there’s an inspiration behind me washing the dishes (or not) and the laundry (or not) and in general, experiencing any kind of joy in life that motivates me to work, or serve, or help.  If that inspiration turns out to be fake, or misguided, or dwindles over time, or less than I need or hope for or expect, you might find my motivation diminishes over time as well.  Eventually, if the gas tank doesn’t get refilled, the car runs out of gas.  Eventually, if you don’t take the car to the mechanic, Penny, the check engine light you have taped over will turn out to mean something (Big Bang Theory, S2E5).  There’s a repository, we’ll call it full-service-fuel.  Every time you receive full-service of some sort, the repository loses some of its fuel.  If that tank doesn’t get refilled, with the right kind of fuel, eventually it runs dry and full-service slows down, or stops entirely, or is broken,

The inspiration behind this blog is to vent, so I don’t care that I only have two real readers, but it would be nice to have a few more.  But when you visit, I hope you’ll do more than just rush the stage chanting like rabid fans, “Dance, Monkey, DANCE!”

I hear “Dance, Monkey, DANCE!” from a variety of sources.  Work is one, and frankly, I just don’t give a shit any more and I hope something better comes along but I’m not very hopeful.  I hope they don’t fire me, because finding a new job sucks ass.  Change sucks ass.  On the other hand, maybe it would be better after I got over my rage and depression and got off my ass and looked for something better.  Maybe I would find it, but I’m not betting on that contingency just the same as I figured I probably lit $4 between the past 2 weeks on lottery tickets.

Mrs. M and the kids are either very slowly learning that my tank is running on “E” with the check engine light on, or they’re about to suddenly learn it.  In their own ways, they either drain me or sustain me, and the demands from the audience are frankly depressing.  They got in free. They didn’t pay shit for their admission, and they expect a great show, and backstage passes with access to me, my band, our food and snacks and beverages, not to mention all of my damned Skittles, and give nothing in return.  They don’t really want to interview me except to ask about their favorite song.  They don’t want to take the dog for a walk, or take the trash out, or wash the dishes, or vacuum, or mow the grass, or empty the fucking lint filter on the dryer (or wash their laundry), etc.  Well, I played and danced for a long fucking time, and gave encores until you obviously didn’t know the lyrics any more.  The concert is over, the performer is tired, so fuck off unless you start the fan club when you go back to your home town, buy the recordings, help out a little around the house instead of proving your talents as lounge lizards, and hey, Mrs. M, how about a little enthusiastic something extra special back in the dressing room once in a while before you bitch about how tired you are and how late it is and how hard you work and what you don’t like giving but you like when people give to you, and before you go off to sleep and leave me to do more “dancing?” (with myself, see also, Billy Idol).  In another draining way, my stupid homeowners association.  I mean, what the fuck do you do besides take my money and tell me my yard looks like shit when it rains too hard and fast, or tell me my yard looks like shit when it doesn’t rain at all.  All you do is drain and there’s no return for my investment.

There should always be a return on my investment, and it shouldn’t be intangible, because intangible is bullshit.

If you didn’t read to the end, good for you.  I hope you quit reading a few paragraphs before the previous paragraph, because after that it’s just more shit.  If you did read to the end, two things:  First, I’m very sorry.  And second, I appreciate you and your support.  I’m sure it’s just the depression talking, mostly.  But fuck it, that’s what motivates me because there’s little else until the next mania.  The lack of motivation blocks me from sensing that I’ve accomplished anything even if I have.  It’s not exactly writers block, because I just wrote this shit.  I even took my meds this morning.  Fat fucking lot of good it did.  Or, maybe it did what it’s supposed to do and I’d feel even more worthless if I hadn’t taken it.  Meh.  Enough.

And if you read the whole thing, I’m sorry for de-motivating you from commenting.

From Hyper-critical to I-Don’t-Give-A-Shit in 3 seconds

I don’t know if that’s the accelerator or the brake.  But I know that the right words, or preferably,  silence with the right actions, can motivate me to work my ass off.  And I know that the wrong words, because nobody ever just shuts the hell up, can put me into escape mode.  I’m already gone.  I’m already done helping with whatever concerned you.  The silent, unseen “fuck you” has already left my soul.  It doesn’t need to be said, in language, sign, sigh, or any other physical reaction.  I’d like to think it’s a private, psychic rocket ship, one that, most of the time, is far more efficient than any known technology.

Because of this, I think it’s an accelerator.  Sometimes I wish it weren’t psychic, I wish it were real.  It’s a rage rocket.  Instead of flames, it would release sonic energy.  “Impulse” power just goes, “Buhbye! Bye now!  Bub-bye! Buhbye!”   It ramps up through other rage-induced profane and/or snarky expressions, and if you really piss me off, full throttle goes “FUCK YOU!  FUCK YOU! FUCKYOU!!  FUCKYOU!!!FUCKYOU!!!FUCKYOU!!!FUCKYOU!!!

Say it.  Push my buttons.  And see what happens.  Except you presume you’ve done or said nothing wrong, and it’s me being batshit that causes me to be angry.  You’re not paying attention to yourself.  You’re not paying attention to me.  And when I told you what the issue was, you didn’t want to do anything about it, and my way of handling that rejection was to shut off that part of your part of my life.  You can still come back.  You don’t have to verbally apologize.  A non-verbal apology and promise will suffice.  But I don’t think you know how to not say it.

My problem  is I want to stay.  I want to come back.  I want you to come back.  I want my kids to know I genuinely care about them and I want them to return my care appropriately, but I can’t afford to buy that affection.  Thank God most of the time the kids have learned to read me, and know when I can laugh with them versus when what they say or do, or don’t do, will just piss me off .  I want my wife to know the same, but I can only offer so much, and there’s that trigger, more sensitive after almost 25 years of being married.  I’d think she’d know not to do or say those things in that way, and I’d think she’d know it’d be nice if she did something I liked once in a while.

It’s the same at work.  I want to work.  I want to work my ass off and make you a ton of money, but I need the favor returned here too.  Entry level wages and being ignored unless I’m being disciplined does not earn my respect NOR my extra hard work.  You pay me shit, expect my work to be shit.  And it would be if I had no pride in something I have to put my name on.  But my name is on what I do, so I want to do it right. You should want to do right by me in return.  After 10 years I’ve proven I’m worth it, and you should prove you want me to stay.

And it’s the same at church. You’d think with my training and volunteer experience, they’d maybe want me to work at the church, as more than a volunteer.  But no, I can volunteer or I can decide to do nothing.  So I’ve decided to do nothing and see if the doors open somewhere else.  Corporate America does not as a rule promote people who know what the fuck they’re doing from the inside.  They make them stay where they are and work them until they’re worn out.  Similarly, “modern day” “normal” churches do not recruit from within.   They find some superman who looks great on paper and has a more forceful presentation, and all the hidden agendas that go along with that kind of force.  Well fuck that.  If God wants to use me, He’ll set that up, and if not, well, here I remain and I think I have to be ok with that.

And it’s the same with God.  I want to have the best relationship with God, but I often fail.  Being the Creator He should know this and deal with me with a little patient and divine encouragement.  And you’d think my struggle with faith and doubt might be answered like it is with my earthly father- sometimes he’ll slip me a $10 or $20 for just being his son, which is really cool.  And lately, this whole relationship with God has actually improved.  I wonder if it’s because I quit trying to do anything.

People ask how you know when you’re in love, and they ask how to find a significant other/partner/spouse, and I think the answer is the same for some people.  If  you’re aggressive, you run after what you want and you take it whether it was offered willingly out of love, or whether it was just you being a pushy ass hole.  And you think you’re getting what you want, but really you’re just taking it.  I want to be given what I want, willingly and out of love.  And I want people to realize, without me having to tell them, that they’re selfish, grabby, pushy ass holes and they’ve been taking everything at my expense.  But I think you find love when you least expect it, and you wake up and realize you’re in love because you were falling long before you ever realized you had fallen.   I still haven’t figured out how to just get what I want at work, but with marriage it’s been a conscious decision, my choice.  Fuck, I still love her and she treats me like shit quite a bit of the time.  It’s because after I realized I loved her I decided I wanted to be in love and stay that way.

It’s naive and stupid and setting me up for heartbreak, people tell me.  And they say the same thing about believing in God.  But lately,

I quit trying to do anything, and God did some pretty cool things in answer to a pretty snarky prayer “request.”  Actually I was flippant and nearly in denial and He did answer, giving me something I really needed when it was needed.

So maybe this quitting doing anything would work for work, and for wife, and for family.  Except I like a clean house, a dog that’s been walked, a yard that’s been mowed.  I’m not sure which “anything” I need to quit and which I can keep doing, that’ll ultimately and miraculously result in me getting what I need from family and wife.

As it stands, I’ve got a dead cell phone because I didn’t demand we get more time/data yesterday when I thought I had a month left.  Kids don’t clean the house or walk the dog because they know I’ll reach a point of desperation where it’s too gross and needs to be done, or I know the dog is about to create a disaster if I don’t take care of him.  I’ve got nothing happening in other areas because I haven’t demanded that.  I don’t want to demand anything to get what I need.  I want to be treated with love and care and respect just because I’m worth it, but because I’m not demanding and pushy people take me for granted and treat me like shit.

So where’s the road sign from rage and depression and lack, bypassing forceful taking, and driving straight through to people just giving me what I need because I’m worth it?

If you know, let me know.  But right now I have to go buy a fucking phone card because mine is dead and Mrs M and the kids want to text me their list of demands.

A day without all this cloudy, grey, dam(n)p rain so I can mow at mum and dads would be great too, but that’s an appeal to a Higher Power,  Fuck it, if He wants clouds and rain, and rivers in my back yard, bring that shit on until He’s bored with that and moves on to sunshine and rainbows and unicorns and lollipops and neapolitan ice cream and remembering Buttercup, and other shit I might actually enjoy.  Same with the fucking job, and the family, and the church.   Maybe the rain has to fall and I have to be broke, and the job has to be shit and the house has to be filthy and my legs have to cramp until I can barely walk before I take the dog out, and the wife has to be off-putting and insulting and demanding, so I really appreciate when it’s finally sunny, and I finally win the Lottery AND the Publisher’s Clearinghouse, and I finally get a job I really enjoy, and my kids finally help clean the house, and finally make a habit of walking the dog and my wife greets me naked at the door and attacks me with all those soft, beautiful weapons.

For now it’s clouds and rain and cramps and abstinence and alcohol.  Bring it on.  I think I can still weather it a while.

It’s been a while since I thought of Buttercup.  I figure, if I just wait, and refuse to do shit, the rest of the clouds are sure to break soon.  (I know, but shut up and let me have my delusion!)

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.  

First World Problems

Sorry I’ve been away so long. You all probably think I won the lottery or changed to a better job or went on vacation with Mrs M to someplace warm and steamy, with the emphasis on “steamy.” Nope.  Not yet.  I’m still hoping because there’s still a slim chance if I buy a ticket.

I got a little advance warning on the impending crash of the wave of depression, so some of you were perceptive enough to pick up on it.  I think. I may have mentioned it. Because it sucks. Well, crash it has. I like Christmas, I just hate that I have to ride around in this semi-animated corpse pretending everything is great including me. Yeah, you’ve heard the cheer on your radios because it’s after Hallo-fucking-ween: “Voices singing let’s be jolly, fuck the halls with bouts of folly.”

Well, everything IS great, on the spreadsheet. Except finances, and my job, and my car’s check engine light, and my teeth still not fixed, and my wife and kids demanding indentured servitude without the terms of severance or the income.  Wikipedia says “The employer is often permitted to assign the labor of an indenture to a third party.” And it’s true, we have a new dog the kids have named “Scruffy,” and my labor has been assigned, on an as-needed basis, to serve “Scruffy.” And this without relief from the other duties two of my friends tease me about. They say I’m “a good wife.”

On the spreadsheet, I have a job. I have a car. I have a house. I have a family (and a dog). There is food on the table. The house has heat for winter (now) and air conditioning for summer (now).  I also have time-released amphetamines for my depression.  They keep me awake sometimes, they might help me focus a little better than the coffee.  Oh, and I have coffee, which is excellent.  Coffee is one of the best things on the plus side.  These are great on the surface. Scratch it a little (because “Scruffy” likes that).

Under the surface a little, the wisdom of another “Scruffy” shines through:

//giphy.com/embed/eMLXYjKIHaQyk

via GIPHY

That’s right, about the time I’m ready to kick life’s ass and take its’ name, life, or my feelings, or my whatever the fuck the opposite of mania for a cyclothymic comes along with a great big rainbow of

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via GIPHY

And it IS a gray rainbow.

I thought I was done with a project and it popped its’ ugly little head up again and said, “Remember me?  Good, now prove you did everything right, all over again.” So after I half-recover from the stress of this week I get to go through all that shit all over again, prove my numbers, search for the one thing the one person wants me to find, and if I find it, figure out why the rest of my numbers worked out right, and if I don’t find it, deliver the bad news to the guy who loses $200 dollars and does not get to pass “Go.” I was very careful and I’m 96% sure I’m right.  It’s just a tiny “fuck you” from a universe full of those.  Duck, or the universe will hand you a few too.

Remind me to never volunteer for shit again.

It’s been a rough few weeks for me, not from the plus column because I’m truly grateful for everything good in life: I have good friends, three in particular who have been extremely supportive. There are people who would murder to have that kind of morale support, and their lives tear them down regularly to a point where even my bitching feels like encouragement to them. And I offer it.

Add to the plus side:  I have a car.  It runs, and it depreciates, so therefore it costs me money.  Depreciate is a big word that’s code for “shit falls apart.”    I have a house, and I like it when it’s cool in summer heat and warm in winter cold so therefore it costs me money.  I have a family that likes to eat, and I’m the biggest culprit for that.  I have a laptop computer that likes to spontaneously highlight what I’ve typed and delete it in ways Ctrl+Z won’t recover, and despite this, I still like to write.  Mrs M and the kids have their electronics, and we like Netflix too.  The stove runs on electric too, so we have a bill to pay or three there.  We also like it when the trash is carried away once a week, and we like our hot and cold running indoor plumbing.  To handle the expense of these things, I have a job.

My minus column might not be bad if it weren’t amplified by depression and loudly broadcast through a few other things. Amplifiers take the existing signal and push it up. Amplifiers are good because they boost what you can’t hear and make it audible. It’s the speakers I dislike. The minus column by itself is fine, I guess. Nothing a little humongous lottery win, or death, wouldn’t eliminate forever. (I’ve got no immediate plans for death, just in case you read closely enough to grow concerned, so the only thing left is that HUGE cash windfall. Bring it. And AMPLIFY THAT shit to 12 out of 10 on the dial.)

Broadcasters:
1-The grind – I fucking hate the grind. I have a job, but there’s no reward beyond a sub-minimal paycheck. There’s no such thing as team. There’s “I,” if you want to promote yourself like hell and there’s “they” if you want to finger point and make other people look bad in order to make yourself look better, see also, “I.” I was temporarily under another supervisor’s thumb for a week. During that week of assigned indentured servitude, I was scheduled to be in early, and I was late once. A half an hour, which I realize was my fault because I didn’t observe the schedule change, and I was in at my regularly scheduled time. And thereafter, I had two days of adjusting to a new, earlier traffic pattern when I was in the office on time but not on the clock until 3 minutes late. And because this alternate supervisor is one of the “they” people, he reported my tardiness, all six minutes over two days, which my company treats to punishment, as if I had missed an entire fucking day. The remaining two days I was early. But I have a job. Would other people murder for my job? I think not. Just so Mrs M can hold her exhaustion over my head (see below) Mrs M has to have a job because my job is shitty and pays shitty.  I’ve been there for several years and recently things have taken a turn for the decidedly worse (see above). There used to be grace, a few minutes, no big deal. But now, even though I always give a little extra in between and after just so my desk stays under control so my name and my conscience are clear too, and then try to help people get theirs done, there is only punishment and fear of more punishment, and stress, and accusation, and “I” and “they” thinking instead of mutual respect and consideration and mercy. In light of worsening weather and us getting a dog, I asked about working from home in addition to asking for a raise. Others make the same (new people) or more, others doing the same work are permitted to be home-based, but my request is denied because I didn’t jump when they originally offered it. I wasn’t ready for such a big change, and who among you with a touch of Asperger’s if they’d relish a huge change in their life.  I didn’t toe their line, when they wanted me to, and how they wanted me to, so now work is dishing out “fuck you’s” and second helpings of “fuck you’s.” I’m supposed to be grateful and ask for thirds and dessert courses of the same.

Anyone hiring, looking for a guy who just wants to come in, do good work, and go home, or better still be home, satisfied at the end of good day’s work? I don’t mind staying late or coming early if the expectations are clear. I don’t mind working hard, and I do a good job, not that anyone I work for would confess to that. I do good work because I value my name and I want my company to be profitable because if they’re profitable it’s supposed to trickle down. But no, if minimum wage is “raised,” I get a tiny “raise,” but ultimately it represents a 50% pay cut because I’ve worked hard to be almost up to the newly proposed minimum above the minimum wage and I’ve almost reached the newly proposed minimum wage because I’ve been faithful. So go ahead and raise that and knock my feet out from under me, why don’t we ask the government? But the idiots who don’t understand basic economics WANT the new minimum wage, not realizing it moves a bunch of struggling almost-middle-class people who’ve worked their asses off to earn anything close to the proposed minimum, JINGLING ALL THE WAY back down to the new poverty level. I don’t mind telling you it’s frustrating as fuck watching the idiots who want to run our country…into the pits.  Why am I despairing?  I don’t know!  (Is my sarcasm showing?)

Does the boss appreciate good work? With her lips she audibly says yes, but with her unrealistic, unmerciful expectations and her daily pittance, like some kind of Ebony  Z’You’rescrewed-ge, she screams a silent, yet somehow much louder, FUCK YOU! (Oh, yeah, just for all the citizens and illegal fucking aliens of the United States of the Too-Easily-Offended, the name is not racist, and fuck you very much if you thought it was.  Not that I should have to explain my intentions as  this is my fucking blog, I’m feminizing and characterizing the name “Ebenezer Scrooge.” You try it and see if you can do any better.) But hey, I’m accustomed to being taken for granted, which brings us to broadcaster:

2-The family—I fucking love/hate the family. If they were any more “supportive,” I might drive into oncoming traffic as fast as my crap car would go. With my luck, and with my car, I’d probably survive, which deters any such thinking pretty fast. And again, that’s not a plan. You worriers! All three or four of you.

My friends say I’m a “good wife,” and they’re right. One night I was so cold I washed dishes just so my hands would feel the hot water for a while. My children do chores only when we are angry and demanding, which sucks for parenting. “I have homework!” is a popular excuse. Among others. I do chores because I’m sick of the excuses bullshit and because Mrs M sighs and says she works so hard and doesn’t have the energy for anything more. And she doesn’t have the energy. She falls asleep hours before I do and gets up maybe 30 minutes before I do. There’s no time or energy left over for Mr. M., which is just great. Wait, is my sarcasm amplifier still on? And if there is time or energy, there’s no enthusiasm. I’m another fucking chore to sigh through and endure. And in spite of this, please cue “All I want for Christmas is You.”  The Mariah one, but pick your favorite if you have one.  I like the album one, to be honest.

Sure, she’s lovely live, have you seen those beautiful red dresses?   Of course you haven’t.  Because there are no pictures of the lovely Mrs M online, and I’m not sharing.  (I don’t mean Miss Mariah, although she’d be a hell of a catch.  That SINGING!!  Sadly, I’ve only really come to wanton, reckless desperation wanting Mrs M for Christmas (and every other day of the year) for years, since I determined she only loves me her way, not my way, and only when she feels like it. There’s certainly no joy in doing anything extra that would make Mr. M. overly happy. If I beg and plead, it’s an even worse chore, “sigh, sigh, sigh, you’re horrible and I hate you,” say all the nonverbal cues, which makes me not want to bother, which seems to fit the agenda.

And yet, she’s beautiful and pretends she means well and loves me some of the time. I just wish it seemed a bit more real all of the time and was a little more freely shared with me without the stupid dynamics that I don’t bring to the bedroom for offering the same treatment, freely, because it makes her pretend to be happy for a little while.

When she feels like pretending I’m reasonably happy and I can almost forget she’s just pretending.  It’s been more than 20 years, and I can’t exactly pinpoint when I realized she was doing that, but it really pissed me off and despite my efforts to recapture her heart, alas, I am only taken for granted and more is expected and demanded.  Fortunately I “make a good wife.”  My fucking friends are right.  But I know she’s the one I want.

This is 100% true, so far, no matter how hard I flirt online with all you fantastically hot bloggers.  You know who you are.  Yes.  You.  Fucking beautiful souls and hearts, trying to tempt me and ten percent away from succeeding…because I hide in my bunker to keep you at fingertip distances away from the true depths of my heart, once plumbed by the lovely Mariah…erm…Mrs M..

3-Because this is a list of amplifiers, I feel obligated to have a third item for my amplifier list.  I’m stressed out.  I’m discouraged.  I’m riding the wave and it’s cresting over my head.  It’s so cold in the office I can practically see my breath.  I wear layers to stay warm enough to keep working because my clients deserve good service despite the way our system and our management don’t help me.  I asked for a raise because of all the talk about raising the minimum wage nationally, also because I found out that I earn the same amount now after my years of experience as they are paying new people.  I wasn’t supposed to say anything.  I wasn’t supposed to ask, so now they are punishing me for saying something.  I’m not supposed to be upset about feeling punished, and I’m not supposed to be upset that my systems don’t work and I’m not supposed to be frustrated that my management is punishing me for little picayune things and for asking for a raise.  And I’m not supposed to be angry and convey any frustration to anyone at the office.  I’m not supposed to believe that I’m being punished.

I’m not supposed to be discouraged in life, in work, in my relationships.  I’m supposed to suck it up and be a good wife and be a good indentured servant to wife and work and family and dog and volunteer organizations.  I’m supposed to think positive.  I’m supposed to continue working and believe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  Well, like they say in the Metallica song, it’s “just a freight train comin’ [my] way, hey, hey.”

But indeed, I am horrible, and I earn and deserve every discouragement I get.  AND, the scary thing is, other people struggle with worse things than me.  Other people have worse dental situations, worse financial situations, worse work situations, worse relationship situations (some people are fucking physically abused, for fucks sake, by losers who should be shot to death as slowly as possible.), etc.  If I had a shred of manly courage I’d have a better job and earn enough money, and I’d also be able to fix the cars and the things around the house without routinely having a panic and rage attack when it falls apart, and wishing I had the cash to just call the guy who knows how to fix the fucking thing right the first time.

Lately it’s hair and fuck knows what else stuck in the drain pipes, and I don’t know what happened except a miracle: I’ve been able to fix that, after the panic attacks subsided and the desire to rage-quit was replaced by a strong desire to not have to pay someone to do it for me.  My teeth are still an issue.  I already need two implants, or the cheaper alternative is to have them just pulled, maybe a filling or two too.  Maybe in March I’ll get the courage and the cash to have them out, and then decide if I want to, or if I’m able to, save and spend it on myself.  I love doctors (see below) almost as much as dentists.

I can do little things, not big things like afford to put $3.5K in my face, or $700 in a doctor’s pocket for a blood test AFTER fucking insurance, or $1K into my car.  I only want to help people, and be helped in return, so the universe in all of its’ fallen glory shouts a great big FUCK YOU at me and deals the shit cards out.   I’ve taken to just calling the jerk who makes the universe suck, because I lack a more polite but accurate literary term,  an “ass hole.”  To spite the universe fucking ass hole, I decided to treat some dear people as nicely as I’m able.  You know who you are, you know I love you very dearly, and I hope what I did was practical and useful and fitting… for you, however impractical and impulsive it was for me.

Because if the universe is an ass hole to me, it’s an ass hole for others too, and if I can lash out and flip two great big birds at the universe fucker by doing something nice in spite of my situation, then that is what I want to do.  Fuck you, universe fucker.  Until you stop treating people like shit, including me, I’m going to randomly try to do nice encouraging things for people.  And if you slow down on fucking me over long enough for me to break even or get ahead, I’m going to do MORE whenever I can.  What I did was so small, but it was very significant to me

Because I keep asking a question.  I wish I knew where I should look to find a little, perhaps lingering, taste of the answer for myself, but I also ask for Mrs M and for my family, despite everything.  Maybe if I figure them out they’ll learn and eventually have enough to share.  I also ask for people I want to somehow help or encourage, in spite of the universe.  Because if I need it for myself, I know my family needs it too.  And if I frequently feel so empty, my family might feel that way too sometimes.  I know it’s true if I need it, that everyone else needs the answer, too, whether they’ll admit it or not.

When I look in the mirror I realize, even though I don’t really have a clue about how to fix very many things, I know I’m staring at a tiny part of the answer.  I don’t know what to do about work.  I still want to maintain my standards, but I’m past the point of giving half a fuck about this company and the people who have me under their thumbs and enjoy the work I do.  They seem to just be screwing with me right now so I won’t forget my proper place under their authority.  So If you know someone hiring at a decent wage for good work, I’ve done editing and proofreading and writing and research in the past and really enjoyed that.  (If I get paid, it’s not as crappy as this blog often is.)  It would be refreshing to do what I like instead of what my current employer undercompensates me for.

“Undercompensates” is a big word that means “acts in cooperation with the universe fucker to make life more difficult than it should be or needs to be.”  I think the universe fucker abuses the laws of physics and gravity and invented the contrary “laws” of relationships, to break precious things and break even more precious hearts, and cause unnecessary grief to anyone whether they can handle more shit in life or not.  Depressed?  Moi?   Fuck that, I’m busy pretending like fuck to be positive in spite of the shit dealers.  Because, for one, the boss wants me to smile while she’s fucking me over with barbed wire implements, and if I don’t like it, she wants me to pretend I do, and tell her “thank you” for the attention.  And not tell anyone about how I feel, or how it, and the tools the company gives me to try to do my job, that fail to help me fully succeed induce panic and rage.  At least I haven’t heard anything lately at church that pissed me off.  But give it time.  Christmas is when the gospel is love from God through scandal-an illegitimate child’s birth- and angels singing “comfort and joy” and “peace on earth.”  After Christmas, I’ll expect it.  If I get blindsided I might let you know.  As for Mrs M, Christmas and New Years give me a better shot at being loved how I want to be loved.  And I’ll keep trying to do the same for her.

If you don’t hear from me until then, despite how you may sometimes feel about messages either from the Bible or from some pastor (not necessarily the same original source), Merry Christmas, dear readers.  Life may not all be “tidings of comfort and joy,” but we can try to encourage each other anyway.  Like you encourage me.  And if you have a chance, be a tiny part of the answer to someone, even if it’s not very much or appreciated right now.  “This calls for patient endurance.”  But if I can do it in my tiny, insignificant way, you can do it too.  Try.  It feels really  good to flip off the universe fucker.

How Are You Feeling?

How are you feeling?  Isn’t that a loaded question?  But if we care, I believe we should ask. If someone asks, “how are you?” I’m willing to bet the reader evaluates the sincerity of the question before answering.  And in most “relationships,”the level of sincerity leads us to answer “fine,” or some say “great,” or some say  “ok,” or some no longer will even bother to answer the question.  And if the answer isn’t “fine,” or “great,” or “ok,” I wonder how many people I know would actually pay attention to someone who answers honestly.

I want to write about pain and health today.  Because life isn’t always the perfection of baked Thanksgiving turkey or honey-glazed Easter Ham or social media or the damned braggadocious Christmas letters I still get in the mail from some people.  Johnny got straight As and he’s already been accepted at Insert Prestigious Medical School on a full scholarship.  Husband has systematized  and simplified our lives, because he’s making so much money at his Insert Prestigious Professional Field and High Profile Company Name that we have a chef, a house keeper, and a personal assistant for each of us.  And he’s also hired private tutors, a nanny and a chauffeur for each of our two perfect children.  They’ve taken up Insert Musical Instrument because their stellar activities in school and Insert Sports and Insert Extracurricular Activities were going so well they wanted to try something just for fun.  Wife is hotter than ever and completely successful as Insert Professional Career and leading her Insert Social and Charitable Group, with her Insert Athletic or Exercise Activity and as a wife and mother.  This year we upgraded to a new Insert Expensive Thing No One Else Has An Old One Of to Cause Envy.  For our vacation this year we all spent a month in Insert Location and we all Insert Envy Inducing Activities.

Sometimes dinner is cheap mac and cheese and sometimes lunch is ramen noodles.  Sometimes we feel anxiety, sometimes we’re late, sometimes the boss gives us grief when we try hard and then underpays us because of their unrealistic and impossible “standards,” and then blames the company policy for the way they’re maltreating us.  Sometimes the car is rusty and needs new tires and you worry if it’s going to start.  And sometimes, life is pain.  Even in our modern fairy tales, the truth isn’t utopic.  Just like in this blog, where I tried to start this clip at 13 seconds, and then tried to play it before posting and it didn’t work and started at 0 seconds because sometimes it isn’t perfect, sometimes it’s a bitch and you fight and it still doesn’t turn out how you wanted.

When we’re hungry, “normal” people eat.  Some, though, eat too much, and others don’t, or can’t, listen to their bodies and ignore their need.  When we’re tired, “normal” people rest, or sleep.  Some, though, suffer insomnia.  When life gives us a stimulus, “normal” people give a “normal” response, but some don’t, or they can’t.  Pain is the same as any other stimulus.  “Normal” people do something to alleviate their pain, but some people can’t.

Some pain is obvious.  My back hurts because I have a developmental thing where the way I walk and move “naturally,” causes my lower back to misalign.  When that happens, I either go to the chiropractor if I’m rich or I wait for it to go back how it should be, or I have my family twist my hip until I feel that bone move back to where I don’t hurt any more.  My teeth, thank God, don’t hurt like they probably should, though.  Two of them have broken but they don’t hurt at all, even though they need to be extracted.  Eventually the damage may cause me some pain if I don’t go get them pulled out.  But for some reason I’m either able to suppress it or it just isn’t there.

Sometimes our troubles are simple but related to our emotional tides due to circumstances in life, and they can be treated with counseling.  A guilty conscience can literally kill you, unless you make it right.  If it doesn’t kill you, it can cause any number of stress-induced symptoms.  The medical community is diagnosing and looking into PTSD, Seasonal Affect Disorder, Chronic Anxiety, and so on, all of which cause very real physical symptoms including very real body pain. If it IS a medical and not a mental or spiritual or emotional issue, sometimes a harmless medicine  can be used, like an antibiotic or antiviral.  Sometimes there’s a surgical treatment, like extracting a tooth or a tumor or skin lesion, or replacing a knee or a hip or repairing a torn meniscus.  Sometimes there’s a stress-related cause and the symptoms go away if we have enough money or free time to treat ourselves a little nicer.  Among other things I have stress-induced asthma and wonder what other consequences and symptoms I have that might be cured if I didn’t feel like a helpless, worthless, stressed-out slave who can’t escape because there’s not enough freedom, not enough respect, not enough money, not enough time.

We now understand most inflammations, back pains, nerve pains like sciatica, foot pains like plantar faciitis, and tooth pain from decay or sensitivity.  But some pain has become mysterious to doctors. We’ve learned some things about some pains.  Nerve endings can become damaged from stroke or disease.  For literally thousands of years we’ve known how Hansen’s disease can affect the nerves, but the cause wasn’t discovered until 1873 and an effective treatment without divine intervention wasn’t found until the 1940s.  For some reason humanity hasn’t eradicated the disease and doesn’t have a standard, affordable, global treatment plan to cure anyone who picks this disease up.  Same with polio and other cureables, but that’s another annoyance for me.  We’ve learned about inflammations and minor aches, and some kinds of headaches too.  We’ve learned about diabetic neuropathy and how that makes diabetics have to be more careful about their feet or other extremities.  We’ve seen how arthritis causes pain and sometimes deformity, and we keep learning how to treat some of these diseases and cure others.

Many pains are actually good, like the stimuli that remind us to drink water, eat, move (for example, away from the stove)  But some don’t seem that good.  We still don’t know about Crohn’s, or Fibromyalgia, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or any of a number of various Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms including various pains.  But I’m wondering if these have a negative cause that should point us to a positive resolution, and maybe we haven’t figured out what the cause is, so we can’t know what the cure is.

We’ve learned about certain vitamins and minerals and how deficiencies can cause or exacerbate various medical problems.  We’ve learned how certain excesses cause problems.  We’ve learned about things that are toxic, like lead, mercury, and other minerals, and lithium (there’s a separate rant about this, but suffice it to say that this is a poison that is routinely prescribed to treat bipolar disorder, and sometimes schizophrenia and major depression with suicidal ideation.  For fuck’s sake, why do people have to take poison to make them not want to kill themselves?)   We’ve learned how and why good exercise is good for us.

I have food cravings.  I’ve talked about them before, so loyal readers may know about them.  I used to just feel thirsty and drink some water, or I’d feel hungry and I’d have to think about what sounded good and cook and eat that, or I’d just eat whatever we had in the house and the hunger went away but the craving didn’t.  Then I became aware that my brain was telling me specifically what it was craving.  A few were obvious.  Caffeine.  Chocolate.  Salsa.  Salt (very rarely).  Sugar (even more rare).  But then the specificity got to a level I can only describe as weird. Biscuits.  Steak.  Eggs.  Toast.  (Maybe I shouldn’t have had coffee and a banana muffin for breakfast today?)  Pizza.  Seasoned croutons. Mint, ginger, garlic, basil, tomato.    Popcorn.  Grits.  An apple.  A few prunes, without being aware of any digestive reason.  Italian sausage, or an Italian beef sandwich.  Caramels.  Soup.  Cheese.  Fried Chicken.  Oatmeal or granola.  Broccoli.  Green beans.  Tortillas.  Butter.  Fish.  A specific kind of potato  or corn chip.  A specific kind of drink, like tea, a type of wine, a vodka tonic and lime, apple cider, orange juice, egg nog.  Fettuccine Alfredo.  A specific flavor of ice cream.

The more my craving for very specific foods has become specified, the more I’ve started to think that maybe these unexplained pains some of us feel are telling us we need something, but nobody knows what that something is.  What if depression is just a craving that’s curable by giving our body what it needs when it feels sadness?  What if bipolar could be treated by being aware of what phase our emotions are in, or will be in, and by giving our bodies what they need to stabilize our minds, rather than poisoning with lithium formulations or other drugs?  What if fibromyalgia is nothing more than a craving for something our body desperately needs?  I wonder whether fibromyalgia is a form of depression that turns the pain into sensations we’re aware of rather than emotion.  My point is that maybe things doctors once thought, or still think, are “all in our heads,” aren’t.  Maybe they’re in our bodies and we need them out, or they aren’t and we need them.

I’ll readily say, and you’ll agree, that medical treatments have come a long way from leeches and trepanning.  But it upsets me that the treatments for things like bipolar and cancer and some other maladies are poisonous.  Why does the patient have to die, or get sicker, before they are cured?  Modern pharma is a business more than something necessarily good for a patient.  How many modern medicines have interaction complications?  I resist the idea of taking certain medications because of all the potential side effects.  How many of you suffer side effects?  The list includes such wonderful things as sweating, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol, weight gain, weight loss, hair loss, gas, constipation, water retention, dehydration, urinary tract or intestinal problems, dry mouth, thin blood (slowness to clot), D.V.T., stroke, irritability, episodes of rage, nervousness, panic attacks, hallucinations, nightmares, sleepwalking, sleep driving (for fuck’s sake!), acid reflux, acidic esophageal damage, liver damage, kidney damage,  nerve damage such as causing Parkinson’s-like symptoms which “may become permanent,” toxicity, heart damage, paranoia, delusions, psychoses, brain damage, suicidal tendencies, death.

Big pharma pushes the newest drugs with full awareness of certain effects and at least a statistical possibility of others.  Why aren’t we offered nutritional counselling as a primary option, advocating natural substances that might help, before the doctor prescribes costly and poisonous treatments that might help us, but along the way might kill us.

We’ve learned that the sun provides natural vitamins absorbed through the skin.  Light can be successful in treating some skin issues including psoriasis.  Light therapies are being used by some to even treat cancer and other medical issues.  We’re barely scratching the surface of the potential.  And doctors know damn well that light helps certain kinds of depression.  Why aren’t we patients being told this?  Because, my inner cynic screams, there’s more money in potentially toxic, or lethal, chemicals.  Ancient medicine men treated patients with herbs and other natural substances.  Penicillin was derived from a fungus, not a poison.  We’ve learned fish oils provide essential vitamins. Even in the Bible, they described or offered successful treatments that were completely natural, not even miraculous, just wisdom.  We use mineral salts to treat minor skin infections, garlic as an anti-viral, honey is anti-bacterial, and chicken soup has been called both Polish cold medicine and Chinese cold medicine for a reason.  Whiskey and other strong alcohol can help chronic coughs and insomnia and depression and pain.  Morphine and codeine are from flowers.  Marijuana is now more widely recognized as useful for medicinal purposes.

What if there are natural cures for things the drug companies and doctors are currently only able to treat with poisons? What if what’s eating us is eating us because we’re not looking in the right direction for the cure?  What if the cure is social, like if we need our own group of friends who speak honestly with each other to vent frustrations and celebrate successes.  What if we just need someone to listen to us?  What if the cure is spiritual in nature?  Jesus touched the lepers and they were cured.  Jesus had a certain set of abilities that we ordinary people aren’t gifted with, but I do believe there are miracles still today.  If I didn’t, I would quit praying, and I have no plans to quit.   What if the cure is even simpler, something light-based, natural, or nutritional?

How are you feeling?  What does that mean?  What is it telling you?  Are you listening?

Crosshairs, Crossroads, Cross Words?

I had a thing stuck in my head, an image of a figure in cross hairs.  I thought it might have been something I remembered from a James Bond movie, but I didn’t find anything like that when I went searching.  Bing, nothing, Google, nothing, except I did find a video showing that what I might have thought were cross hairs were actually the views from inside the gun barrel of the bad guy in the opening credits.

Not cross hairs. But I distinctly remembered it from back in the dark ages of TV. Like back in the 70s or 80s, they discovered they could put a thing in front of the camera and get a different effect.

I did remember examples of it.  The Six-Million Dollar Man had a bionic eye that could act like a telescope so he could see at great distances, and when he used it they played the bionic eye theme music.  The Incredible Hulk’s Dr Banner had the cross hair thingy in front of his eye or his brain when he radiated himself with the gamma radiation but that was just a shadow, not the cross hairs in front of the camera.  I swear I remember it.  I just can’t remember the show or movie it was in.

I may have stumbled across it.  There’s a movie called “Two Minute Warning,” about a sniper at a football game.  And I have about 2 minutes before I have to go to work. (Grumblemumblegrumble)

I feel like I’m living under the gun.  Deadlines, endings, beginnings, more work at work.  I took several days off of work last week and I still feel all the pressure.  I have two projects I’m trying to wrap up for the volunteer organization, and after that I’m going to make some decisions about what to do next, if anything.  If my car starts today I should be fine, but the anxiety is by me like an old friend.  An old friend I’ve always hated.  If I hate someone who wants to be my friend, do you think they’ll leave me alone? Well this old friend won’t.  It’s like the character Seeley Booth, whose “friend” was a sniper like him.  And his “friend” tried to shoot him.  I’m in those damned cross hairs, and I hope my “friend” doesn’t shoot me or anyone close to me.

I feel like I’m at a crossroads in my life.  These two volunteer projects and what I choose to do next might help me in the future.  Or, they’ll just say, “thanks,” and let it go at that.  I’m not a psychic, so I can’t predict what will happen.  I hope for “thanks.”  And I’m hoping they don’t just use that as a foothold to ask me for more.  These two projects have had moments, along with a long-term kind of drain, of amping up the anxiety and I’m tired of that.

After I turn it all in and I’m out from under it, maybe I’ll get the Sunday paper from yesterday and take some time to work a crossword.  I like crossword puzzles.  Cross words, not so much.  So before I do the crosswords, I better get to work or I’ll be hearing cross words instead.  And I need to finish these two projects.  I’m just praying it all works out and doesn’t turn out to be as big a screw up as I fear it could be.  I figured, I’d have anxiety and depression and anger and panic attacks whether I accepted these projects or not, so I did.  Thank God for the milder form and a slower sine wave to surf; if it’s not going away at least it’s not so severe.  If it were more severe, I’d have said no.

I mean, it kind of pisses me off when people say that what I’m going through “isn’t that bad,” but when I look at it compared to people who aren’t saying that, it isn’t.  The people who are saying it don’t have cyclothymia or ADD, but they think they can offer me an objective opinion.  Ass holes.  YOU  try a project when you don’t have any motivation and reach points during your work when you really couldn’t give a quarter of a fuck and when you’re certain that you’re going to fail.

Progress just feels good, after it’s done.  But until it’s done, I just feel the anxiety.  I’m not far from being done, but that just makes me feel more anxious.  While I’m hoping for just that nudge toward being finished today, and I feel very close with these two projects, I’m hoping you can make progress today, too.

Gotta go, I’m probably late already.