Holy Shit! What a Day!

It all started when Mrs. M. woke me from a deep sleep, wearing only the best grin and the most mischievous eyes.  For a solid hour, she did everything I already knew she could, and everything I always dreamed but never thought would ever be in her love vocabulary.  And then, she promised there would be a lot more days like this because she wanted to make up for lost time.  Then there was a quick shower and we ran out before the kids woke up, to grab breakfast at that place I really like.

We got home and the kids were already up and dressed for school.  My daughter had walked and fed the dog, and was getting herself ready to commute to college.  My son went out early to catch the bus, and had turned in all of his homework last night, including getting caught up on all of his late assignments.

I clocked in to work and the boss had sent me an email saying she was giving me a raise, both to adjust to cost of living, and, because so many of my customers have sent in rave reviews of my service already this year.  My callers were all really polite and pleasant, and I even had time to clear my queue of things i needed to catch up on, and follow up on.

I mean, everyone usually is upset about the weekend being over, and having to get back to the first day of the daily grind.  Today was a Monday, but for me it was a Monday like none other.

It was April 1st.

Official Disclaimer (Not to be Construed as an Actual Legal Document)

The information and opinions included in this blog may have been obtained from nearly anywhere: the author’s imagination, imagined or real past, present, or future, mom, dad, family, pastors, teachers, various authorities and trained and self-proclaimed “experts” in their fields, friends, “alternative friends” (he means “enemies,” if he has any), associates, employers past, present and future, wise counselors, average people, and blithering idiots, however, the author, Deon Mumple and/or any subsidiaries or aliases make no legal guarantee nor actual, official assertion of reliability, accuracy or grammatical, political, acrimonious, religious, irreligious or sacrilegious correctness, and assume no responsibility nor liability from any ideas, suggestions, manipulations, information or materials  provided, including the official-sounding, but not actually official, title of this article.  It is the reader’s responsibility to  confirm or prove incorrect any data or source citations, and of course, to act responsibly, in compliance with any applicable local, state or federal regulations. Any information, content, presumed or real intent or opinion, obtained from or via nombredelapluma.wordpress.com or any associated blogs or bloggers, or especially, this author, through any “like” or commentary remark, should not be used as any basis for spiritual advice, legal advice, illegal advice, moral advice, immoral advice, or other advice, but should be confirmed, properly authenticated, or legally assessed, through actually reliable, alternative sources.  Any comments or articles, past, present, or future, though possibly interpretable as flirtatious, should be understood as intended only to be complimentary, flirtatious-without-actual-intent, encouraging, and loving in nature.  Though the author may express appreciation for an individual’s appearance or the appearances of a group, no harassment is intended or should be implied, nor may the reader or subject presume intent, personal reference, implication or actual harassment.  (While the author admires, appreciates and loves all women as individual works of art, both in internal and external appearance and presentation, the reader shall be aware of Mrs. M’s full, sole, and complete rights to all cash, properties, and physical and mental devices possessed by Deon Mumple.)  It is presumed that personal deportment, comportment and presentation is under the personal responsibility and accountability of the individual or individuals presenting themselves, and this author shall write whatever opinion or nonsense which finds its’ way out of the derangement, hereafter referred to as “his thoughts,” and into this or other’s blog or blogs, presuming the rights of freedom of speech and expression implied, imbued or conferred by local, state and federal laws, including the Constitution of the United States of America, and its’ amendments.  Any articles or comments of a harsh nature are solely intended to vent the frustrations of the author, and while they may have been inspired by actual individuals, imaginary individuals, actual events or distortions of actual events, the author assumes no defamatory liability for reporting upon said events or individuals, who shall be referred to legally as “characters.”  And should any “characters” believed to be represented in this blog or blogger’s comments feel offended, it is presumed that said characters may freely close the web-page through their browser window option, or surf on to another site.  Though the author may express personal opinions, the words and opinions expressed in this blog may or may not represent the actual, official opinions of the author.  Individuals and/or groups may not presume any personal or corporate defamation or actual insult regarding belonging to, or not belonging, in fact or in fancy, to an ethnicity, a nation, a race, a religion, an actual, chosen, imagined, presumed, or invented gender or sexual orientation, or because they have a handicap. (This author, in this author’s opinion, would be an even worse blogger or commentator, not to mention, suck as a human being, if, as a handicapped person, this author belittled another handicapped person.  He may be evil, but he’s not THAT evil.)    Though the author may express dislike for specific actions, or an alternate opinion regarding life choices, it is the reader’s responsibility to assume any liabilities from following or ignoring any advice or opinions contained herein or in any article or comment, past, present, or future.   The reader further shall be fully responsible for any personal acts, comments, feelings and opinions construed as caused by said readership.  Any criminal actions against the author, including, but not limited to, threats, intimidations, stalkings or murders, or actions adversely affecting the author’s personal property or family members, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

If I’m Evil…

We’re not supposed to compare ourselves to other people in order to make ourselves look or feel better about ourselves, in a prideful, judgemental kind of way.  It’s come to my attention that I’m probably evil.  Evil is evil, isn’t it?  Or does it “[depend] on what the definition of ‘is’ is,” Bill? (I’m sure I misquoted that, to serve my nefarious ends. So, here’s the actual quote)

I know there are people who do evil things in less subtle ways.  I know there are people who do evil on a broader scope.  I know there are people who flagrantly break laws, and people who break laws more secretly.  I know there are people who have hidden their evil less carefully than I have so far.  But I confess.  I am more than “probably evil.”

I’m evil.

I looked at this list:  “12 Signs That You Are Dealing With an Evil Person,” compiled by Angela at MindvsBrain.com, and it’s like a mirror.  Sure, you can look all you want at her other list “13 Rare Traits of People With True Integrity” and THINK you see me.  But DO YOU?  REALLY?

Side Note: I went browsing for articles NOT written and submitted by Angela and I think MindVsBrain is her blog because I don’t see any other contributors, but it’s interesting.  I occasionally get to see my daughter involved with speech and debate, and the last meeting I attended was group presentations and discussion, with questions posed by local lawyers, regarding the constitution and certain current events.  I agreed with about 40 percent or less of what was opined, and disagreed with the other 60 or more percent based on personal experience, moral posturing, the logic of reductio ad absurdum, or political leanings based on historical precedent and my present circumstance and needs.  But disagreement aside, the presentation was well done.  And I view Angela’s blog, and several others, like that.

If I were a good blogger, and if I had more time, I might be able to explore subject matter on a broader scope and write quality, informative articles.  If I were a good blogger, I might disguise a derivative article, like this one, behind the guise of original inspiration.  However, for now and given my present circumstances and available time, I’ll recuse myself from the group of individuals I’d call “good bloggers.”  I’m not suggesting I’m an evil blogger.  I’m an evil PERSON.

So I looked at the list and did in fact dissect it for big ideas.  Item 1 says you’re evil if you lie to yourself.  Items 2 through 5 and 11 say you’re evil if you lie to other people. 6 through 8 say you’re evil if you pass the blame for things off onto other people when you’re culpable, you leave messes for others to clean up, you take credit for things others have done, and you push other people’s buttons.  OK, so maybe I’m not a master manipulator, but I’m working on it.  Give it time.  Items 9, 10, and 12 say you’re evil if you are only available to others  when it suits your agenda, in other words, you use people.  If you think item 12 is a special kind of evil, I’d say 11 may be worse.  I’m WAY cooler online than I am in real life.

I was criticized online recently because I had posted a video rather than saying something pithy and original.  In response to my critic, I offer this article, and the above, just to either say, 1) I’m sorry; you’re the BEST writer on the whole internet, and thank you for your constructively critical comments regarding …me… I confess, I’m probably not going to improve much, so if you want a better subject for grooming, or quality material, go to another blog, or, alternatively, to say, 2)”fuck you, you arrogant, self-centered, narcissistic, half-witted ass hole.”

But even in real life, I perceive a reality that COULD be, which is MUCH better than the one we have, and I think the laws of physics, and the way humans behave, SHOULD be my way (12, anyone?).  Imagine a world where people weren’t so fucking selfish.  Imagine a world where people acted in the interest of others rather than always having a self-serving side agenda.  If people like that were actually in our government?   Imagine a world in which, when you dropped your favorite coffee cup, pretty dish, or precious thing, it wouldn’t break, or it wouldn’t be lost forever.  That’s the world I want, and it’s very much in denial of reality.  There’s also a spiritual reality wherein I genuinely believe we all struggle, and I believe many people deny, or approach with the wrong perspectives.  It’s a realm in which we shouldn’t dabble or tinker with an eye toward acquiring power, and a realm in which when the check comes for payment, those you’ve allowed to have power over you will make you regret going there to dine.

Lying to other people?  I do that ALL the time.  “How are you doing, Deon?”  “I’m fine.”  I even lie to the doctor.  Well, inasmuch as I tell the doctor I feel OK, when sometimes I feel smothered by all the shit life deals out, and tell him I think the medications are “working fine, can we keep them like this?”  Is there a “thumbs up” meme that completely denies reality somewhere?  Because if so, then that.  To a degree, they ARE working fine and to a degree, my fear that tweaking them will fuck my brain up more motivates me to want them to NOT be changed.  “Are you going to do the dishes and take out the trash tonight, Deon?”  “Sure, honey.”  And then it all sits untouched until the next morning, or the next, or the next weekend, because I’m even more exhausted and overwhelmed than Mrs. M, but I’m supposed to be strong and capable.  Or experience tightly-controlled mania.  “We’re going to be changing your schedule again, Deon.  And can you tighten up on work so you can do more for the same amount of money?  “‘Cause, that’d be great.”  “Sure, no problem, but hopefully when the next schedule change comes around you can put it back.”  Fuck.  I hate the new schedule almost more than last time she made me take the ass end of the workday.  But it’s better than unemployment, which would represent an even worse kind of change.  And I’m not angry about everything being so messed up and uncontrollable, “no, not much,” as the song goes.

Maybe you’ve read this and the other two articles and think I’m not so bad.  But what about what I did, or didn’t do, that I didn’t tell you because it would make me look REALLY bad (3)?  And what about my desire to control things so they don’t change and mess me and my life up more than it’s already messed (12)?

I’ve said all of this, it’s all (at least half (4,5) ) true, and I don’t regret confessing it for a minute (6).  If you don’t believe me, or don’t agree with me, it must be your fault (7).  And if you’ve read Angela’s articles and then read mine, expecting something of value from Deon, I’m afraid you’ve wasted your time (10).

As usual, I apologize to the readers who are gluttons for punishment and continue to read my blog hoping for better writing.  But if you’re a glutton for pun-ishment, you’re going to LOVE this news:  Finally, finally, they’re filming a movie called “Clocks in Hell.”  It’s about damned time!

I am as write disguise not obvious spam

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Hello wonnderful writter, I am write disguise not obvious spam but hiding in the guise of complimentary on about your blog.  You writing is great praiseworthy information on this subject.  I obviously did not actually read your blog but learn a lot after reading on this subject from your blogg.  Now I will subscribe followerr your blog feed.  I hoping would you write more about the subject.  Maybe sometimes you can coach me about each of way to make my blog better.  Or maybe I coach you to write better about subject.  I have blog but link on the comment here in WordPress doesn’t show anything, but don’t suspicious.  You are great writer I learn a lot about your subject matter from reading your blog I find everything I need to know.  I have to write a paper on this subject and agree with everything in your perspective.  A lot of others have writer about this too and agree with your opinion.

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Who the FUCK is writing these bullshit spam things as comments to my blog, and why the FUCK do you waste my time with your obviously fake bullshit?  I just deleted another 26 spam messages.  Admittedly, it’s been a while since I bothered, but really?

STOP. IT.  Just fucking STOP it.

I look at the links to the sender’s websites, and what do I see?  Other blogs?  Fuck, no.  Webpage under construction.  Webpage does not exist. Psychic generic webpages that aren’t written by the sender.  I haven’t bothered to write to the senders emails because those are probably bogus too, and if I reply, FFS, they have my EMAIL address to send their bullshit to, too!

What’s the purpose of sending a spam comment to a blog?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Who has time to do this?  Who’s paying for the people to post this awful, obvious bullshit, and how do I get in on it?  I’d actually read the blogs and send my praise, since I already do that for free when I can and I have time and energy to say something.  Oh, and since I speak fucking ENGLISH, whereas the writers of this shit are either smart-ish computers trying to speak English and just failing in some places, or they’re dumb-ish people trying to speak English and failing miserably.  The spam filter on WordPress picks these up.  Don’t the spammers know this?

At the risk of getting better spam, here are 10 or so suggestions for spammer wanna-bes:

10- Entertain me.  If you’re funny or interesting there’s a better chance I won’t delete your spam, even if it IS spam.  Come on.  Do it.  Make me laugh without derisiveness, vitriol, or sardonicism, and I promise to let your comment through the spam filters and to my reader(s).  And speaking of inspiring my derisive laughter,

9- Don’t insult my intelligence, however limited it may seem I AM offended sometimes because the comments are not pertinent, not worthwhile, not interesting, etc. (not ECT; that’s another thing altogether.  Don’t do it unless you really want to.)

8- Don’t insult your intelligence or expose your lack of intelligence by being obviously fake or spam.  Honest stupidity, or lack of information or skills I can handle, I mean, ffs, I’M fucking stupid!  But deliberate, and not even trying?  Fuck off.

7- Don’t insult my reader’s intelligence.  (or, if I only have one reader, that would be “readers’ intelligence” (ok, I love you mum the grammarian, and love you too, reader(s).).

6- Write in complete sentences using correct grammar and construction

5- Read the blog before you post a comment or try to get your links off.  I don’t write expertly about ANYTHING, not on ANY topics, I write bullshit or opinions about things that piss me off, daydreams, wishes, hopes, fears, work, people, family, life, God, and spam.  I might sometimes write nice things about people I care about, and occasionally I write bad poetry, or good, subject to reader(s’/’s) opinion(s) and judgement(s).  If you want to commend me for something, try not to be so general! How can I improve my writing technique, or give you more of what you liked, if you don’t tell me what it is, or make some concrete suggestions?

4- Have a real blog or a real website that’s active to show in the links in your comment(s), not something that’s obviously inactive or nonexistent or selling me something.  Unless I want what you’re selling.  Well, nevermind that because I don’t have enough cash to put your kids through college.

4- Make sure you are prominently featured as the writer or at least a contributor on the website you’re promoting.  If you’re not, why do you want me to read it or refer my readers to it?  FYI, I’m the ONLY author here, so those spam comments referring to “you gents,” “you folks,” and other pluralities are immediately exposed as spam.

3- I’m getting a lot of spam promoting psychic websites.  If you’re really psychic, how come you don’t know- a) it’s going to be flagged as spam by the WordPress filters; b) I’m going to check and see if you’re one of the writers to the website you’re sending me to; c) if you’re not, I’m going to delete it; AND, how come you don’t read me and realize there are certain things about me that don’t add up on your tarot, ouija, or tea leaves, and give up on a) me being credible, or b) me providing you free referrals to your website without you actually contacting me directly to suggest I add your information as content on my blog?  You never know, I might.  Have your tarot cards tell you my phone number.  Hmm. King of Wands…  Two of Swords, hey, look, it’s upside down!  The Hermit (oh come on, kind of obvious, isn’t it?).  And, there’s the moon, and it’s upside down too!  Doesn’t seem to even be trying to offer a phone number though.  Let me know how that comes out.

When I WANTED to feature a website from a wiccan lady, she snubbed me and if she emailed me it’s buried in the hundreds I have to delete or have already deleted.  Anyway the response, if it came, was either one of these spams, or I didn’t see it, or it was too late because I had already published that blog entry.  Now, I’m sorry, if you want your site featured on my blog, even in the comments, you have to earn it.

2- Don’t offer to plagiarize my blog or promise to steal its’ content to write a research paper.  My shit’s not smart enough for that, or I’d probably have a job writing it.  Even if you’re not spam, I’m not going to accept your offer without fat stacks of cash in exchange.  If you really want to cite my blog, and you’re willing to make an offer, put THAT in a comment and we might have something to talk about.

1- Speaking of fat stacks of cash, why not just pay me instead of whoever you have writing your spam?  You’ll get more, better hits on whatever website you are propagating if I actually link it in my blog.  Or not.  (All/Both of) My reader(s) has/have free will to decide whether to click on a link in my blog, so I can’t really promise your site will get any extra traffic.  But  what the hell, pay me fat stacks of cash anyway.  I could really use the money.

0- Don’t you fucking DARE send a link to a virus, or I will bring the wrath of the entire DECK of tarot cards, the explosions of every MineCraft Creeper that ever existed, the pain of that unmentionable curse from Harry Potter’s teacher and the doom from the unmentionable curse from his nemesis, the seven dooms wrought by the barbed-wired, flaming, rusted sporks of the flying spaghetti monster (thanks, Ms N and a few others who understand the sporks of doom. I love you.  And I hope this made you laugh).

-1  – If you must continue to send me your obvious, stupid, annoying spam and making me continue to have to filter whatever WordPress does let me read, may you step in icy puddles of water in your sock-clad feet at least once a week, and may the literary curses of Dante’s Inferno force you to write a dozen worthless novels conveying truth, life, hope, and love, and may your writing and research consume your time and all your damnable computers until you stop fucking spamming me.

Discomfort Zone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Time Off?

My boss, because she doesn’t want to catch more shit from me than when she rips the carrot on a string on a stick away from me in the new year, encouraged me to schedule some more days off, rather than letting me miss them (and also miss getting paid for them) because I’ve worked there so long and I don’t take sick days, so they’re saved up on my calendar.  So I said, how about tomorrow?  And she agreed, which means I’m off today.  I need it, for mental health and to kind of see what I can catch up on.  Fuck, I wish I were manic in a productive way instead of just the one that sees EVERYTHING that needs to be done all at once and can’t start on any one thing and carry it to completion.

It was a nice gesture, if I weren’t such a cynic and a whiny little bitch I’d fully appreciate it.  It’s just that I expect more shit around the corner from work because I’m the one who’s stable and accepting people to act according to their word, and they’ve always disappointed my faith and my faithfulness.  The carrot was, I asked for more money and was told that the 2016 budget is tapped but wait until after the new year.  After the new year I’ll be told that because I’m on an improvement plan until February I’ll have to wait until second quarter to be eligible to get a raise and then after my first performance review evaluating my performance from now until the beginning of the year they can tell me how I had attendance issues in August and September and still can’t have a raise until the next review which will naturally be delayed until end of the third or beginning of fourth quarter.  Fucking fucktards.  I have foreseen it, because that’s the way this company fucks over their faithful employees and that’s why they have to offer more to get people coming in the front doors to replace the ones who’ve been lucky enough to slip out their back doors to greener pastures.  Maybe I can be next.  Or maybe her lies won’t be lies.

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At least I  get time off.  Maybe one or two of my upcoming scheduled days off I can run into a recruiter who’s looking for a writer/editor and will pay better than I get on the damned phones.  Last times I tried I had someone try to offer me another damned phone job after I expressed my disappointment with that kind of work- not even a supervisor position, but even worse than where I am now.  She offered me a phone sales job when I wanted to be off the phones completely.  And the other one I was uncomfortable and felt awkward and they evidently sensed that and decided I wasn’t a good fit for their team.  I hate interviews.  What the fuck kind of question is “If you were a color what color would you be and why?”  Or  “Can you define ‘Brimborion?‘” The answer to the second question is, “me,” except that’s not the answer they will hire me for offering.  Don’t say “I am.”  Don’t say “I am.”

I hate interviews.

And I don’t want to “do” anyone, so that answer wouldn’t enter my mind.

It’s time to make a change.  So instead of more housework at MY house, I’m going to mum’s.  I hope you can make today count for you in a good way.

NOOOO!!!! It’s MLD-III

Oh, fuck!  It’s another edition of Math Language Dissection, affectionately pronounced here as Mouldyyy. It just sounds worse and worse, doesn’t it?  RUN!  RUN AWAY!!

That’s right, if you can’t be manic, pretend like hell.  Maybe someone will believe it and let you go home from school early.  Or work.  It never actually works for me.  I have to ask, beg, plead, petition, pray, call in favors, and pay for it on the next workday , twice as hard.

I’m not a doctor but I’d play The Doctor on that show in a heartbeat.  Fuck, yeah.  I’d even shave my entire face for the role.  And that’s saying something because I fucking hate to shave.  And I also don’t think I like running much, unless it’s running jokes.  Oh, sidetracks, how I adore and detest you.  Fucking ADD (speaking of a running joke).

On the plus side, I remembered something.  What was it again?   Oh yeah, I was going to do something about a homophone.  On the negative side, this isn’t the homophone I was looking for.  Fucking Jedi mind tricks.  They supposedly only work on the weak minded…  Um…  Nevermind.  Ha, “Never  Mind.”  Well, when you either never had one or you lose yours, it’s a pretty easy thing.

I still can’t remember the two original homophones I wanted to write about, damn it.  It was a long time ago, but I remember I was going to write about these two phones that loved each other.  There was a picture at the top of this amusing and possibly informative article that made me remember homophones, written by Marc Elliott, but … Um…nevermind, no, that’s not what it was.  Ok, for you people who aren’t in grammar school any more (some of you may be in Grandma school), homophones are words that sound the same but possibly have different spellings and definitely (or definition-ally) have different meanings.

ho·mo·phone
ˈhäməˌfōn,ˈhōmə-/
noun
plural noun: homophones
  1. each of two or more words having the same pronunciation but different meanings, origins, or spelling, e.g., new and knew.
    • each of a set of symbols denoting the same sound or group of sounds.

Thanks, Google.

And damn it, I’m not forgetting this time, because this time when it popped into my head, I wrote the words down before I started writing the rest of this article: Calculus.

Calculus: from Latin calculus, literally “small pebble used for counting.”  Thanks, Wikipedia.  The same article goes on to describe Calculus the way those old fashioned anti-drug people used to describe marijuana:  it’s a gateway to divergence into far worse kinds of maths.  And, if you like doing maths like some people like to do drugs, Calculus was the little pebble in your brain that started you down the path toward your personal nightmare of addition to maths, and either you’ll love the Wikipedia article, or you contributed material or a reference or two.  You know who you are.  If this describes you, get help somewhere, and if you don’t, the anti-maths people are planning to join together and stage an interval-vention.  Because a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Don’t start unless you’re prepared to face the inevitable con-sequences:  Calculus is like a rock in your head that acts as a gateway to further rocks in your head.  Damn, my mum was right, I DO have rocks in my head!

Calculus is a homophone for Calculous, an adjective that describes teeth that have tartar, or (another homophone) calculus, (see also, homonym (where two nyms love each other, right?)) built up and tightly attached to them.  Scary, isn’t it?

Didn’t I tell you to fucking run?!

One kind of calculus is when you suffer from a hard, irritating, slow buildup that can occur over time and period-ically requires a doctor to intervene and help you understand how best to handle it.  And the other is a serious dental problem.  Both are problems requiring a solution.

Yeah, probably the best solution is to scrape all that off, no matter which calculus you suffer from.  Oh, shit.  I just realized, they’re kind of the same  thing, aren’t they?

Never mind.

Music as a Coping Mechanism

When I was younger there was a guy whose songs sometimes really resonated in my heart, and I really never gave any thought to it.  You know, we like music for different reasons. The lyrics, the rhythm, the dynamics, the melody, the chord structures, the vocal quality, the emotion.  The memories it evokes.  These things catch a song in your head, sometimes they come back to haunt you as earworms, and sometimes they play overhead at your home improvement or grocery store.  I heard the songs and really liked them back then.  I’m a station flipper, so if it doesn’t hit me or I’m not interested, I move on.  There’s a clean feeling to the music, a kind of precision, or neatness, and yet the emotion of the lyrics is anything but tidy.

I think that’s why I liked the songs.  They reflected the present reality, and gave me a little hope in spite of circumstances.  At the time I didn’t realize I was riding emotional waves.  Thank GOD I know now so I have told my kids about it.  But back then I was just a victim of it and I didn’t know anything about it.  I have learned a few coping mechanisms, but they don’t fix everything.  They help me not murder people.

I like music.  My daughter does come by interrupting my music with hers, but I usually acquiesce.  My son hasn’t caught on to that magic yet

Unwanted noise is such an irritant.  Interruptions, irritant.  Nagging, irritant. Feeling a lack of accomplishment plus hopelessness because of interruptions and distractions, irritant. Getting underpaid for the experience and being told I’m not worth paying more, there’s a reason to commit murder if I ever knew one. It probably won’t come to that. I have coffee. I’m just having an irritated day, so whenever I get an uninterrupted break I’m going to sit through both of these two songs.  And try to sneak in a third.  I wish I could use speakers and just listen, but in the office, others can hear and so I can’t blast Metallica at 11 out of 10 volume.  That’s why I said “unwanted” noise.  The woman gossipping and carrying on about her personal business and her family dramas.  Is there one of these in every office?  I hope Mrs. M isn’t that person in hers.  Honey, start a blog and shut the fuck up, we have work to do and nobody here cares about anything but work, unless it’s free food or drinks or a reason to take an extra break.  And, as you spend so much time chatting up your neighbors how is it you still have time to do your job?  If you have time for all that, can I get your job and let you have mine because I don’t have the leisure or your cash flow.  The man sneezing ridiculously loudly instead of fucking stifling it.  He’s the one who tells everyone to keep the volume down.  Fuck the Flying Spaghetti Monster, buy a box of tissues and some allergy meds and shut YOUR fucking unnecessary noise down, Mr I’ve-got-a-fucking-tree-in-my-eye-here-let-me-help-you-with-your-speck.  Didn’t anyone ever teach you that you choose how to sneeze, and you can go loud or soft and still get it out?  Interruptions, the stupid required login protocols repeating every fucking thirty minutes, 8 hours a day, that’s 16 times I have to  log back in because the thing shuts itself off WHILE I’M WORKING ON IT, WITH CLIENTS.  And then there are the servers that randomly decide to fuck up.  Needless to say, any time I have to contact I.T., I’ve got a chip on my shoulder they will NEVER understand because I don’t have time to discuss it.  I tried, and management didn’t care enough to fix the little things that irritate everyone but represent a minor crisis, 16 times a day, for me. Monthly password updates for all the platforms I have to use. And emails. I have enough emails, can I please opt out of hearing about what’s on the overpriced and undersized lunch menu, and whoever the fuck is getting promotions, because it isn’t me?

I’ve said all this realizing my tree is this blog, but for some reason I justify myself writing it.  Sorry, everyone.

I’ve never met Howard Jones.  That would be neat.  (Do I sound just a tiny bit like a fangirl to you?) As an adult, with present knowledge, I would ask if he is bipolar or knows someone who is. Or if he has depression.  Maybe it’s just he’s brilliant musically and his co-writer has the experience.  Or maybe it’s both of them.  These lyrics, I can’t escape he’s talking about depression even though the music has all of those catchy elements that make it likeable and distracting.  Maybe the distraction is what my brain held on to when I wasn’t really paying attention to the lyrics.  And maybe the lyrics taught me something about the circumstances, my emotional states, and life in general.


How do you write lyrics like this? They’re brilliant. This is why I’m a fan of so many of you poets, and why I sometimes have a go at it myself.

Why is it so clean sounding to me? Maybe it was just a consequence of being from the just-barely-techno musical production style of the day. Consider this:

And, in keeping with the random nature of my ramblings, thank God for chocolate.  These Twix bars are medicinal, I swear.

If you liked these two as much as I enjoyed his whole catalogue, look up Howard Jones’ discography, and give a listen.  “Throw off your mental chains.” That one, I opine, it’s not great for actually practical, useful, instructional content, but God, it’s a lovely thought.  So much great music.  Back in the day, I bought his CDs.  I imagine you can get the songs on the modern digital venues still.

When you feel like “Things can only get better,” maybe you’re right.  Which gave me something to hope for, something to look forward to on my unseen wave.  Music just helps me cope with it, and looking back it always has.  As for now, I thought I was coming out of this funk, but as it turns out, not yet.  Maybe my emotional waveforms are more complex than a simple up and down.

Maybe it’s more like a roller coaster.

Oh, that’ll take you back, if you’re older.  If you’re too young, like me (wink, wink!),  to remember it on your IPods and computers, (SHUT UuUP!) let the music take you back anyway.  I may not have confessed it, but the more musically savvy of you may already be picking up on a trend: I like trumpets. Brass in general. Right there at the beginning of Things Can Only Get Better, right there at the beginning of Love Roller Coaster, just, yes. And I can’t play a single wind or brass instrument, the tragedy. I REALLY like musical solos and interludes, YES. I’m a fan of some music by the group Yes, too.

If you didn’t see through my darkness, seeing it’s pretty thick sometimes, here’s a Flashlight to help.

Hm. No horns AT ALL.  I know how to fix that.  Scottish funk:

Pick Up the Pieces.  Sometimes that’s all you can do when life breaks.  Oh, you think I’m kidding about them being Scottish?  Not kidding.  That funk was fueled by haggis.

Ew.

Instead of haggis, can I have some more chocolate?  Here, have some yourself.  I brought extra.