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!

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.

Starving

I’m starving.  I brought lunch with me and even a bit of breakfast, but I’m starving and I know why.

I’m starving because I need something.

Nutritional scientists try to tell me what I need, but my body tells me what I need.  The exact same is true with my brain.  Scientists with a motive tell me I don’t need what my body tells me it wants.  You CAN get enough protein and other nutrients without meat.  You CAN fool your body into thinking it’s full, some of the time.  I’m not good at self deceiving, and I’m aware of many specific foods you CAN eat more of to get a given nutrient.  I’m not craving or eating rocks and dirt and sand.  Well, I’m not eating much sand.  They put in my corn chips and other things and tell me it’s “silicon dioxide.”  I’m not an idiot; (shut up!)  I read food labels.  I’m also not craving bugs, but some genius decided there wasn’t enough red in my yogurt so they ground up a red bug and threw that in there.  Hooray for nutrition.

There are times when my body is very specific to tell my brain what it wants.  Weird?  Maybe, (shut UP!)  but I know when I need salt, a rare condition in the modern era when food scientists and manufacturers add salt to EVERYTHING.  Except salt.  If you get salt, it might have sugar in it, and it might have something to make it not stick to itself if you forget not to get it wet or leave it in the package too long, and it might have a tiny dose of a little something extra the food scientists forgot to tell us about, or it was too small for them to bother letting us know.  In the modern, mechanized, stainless-steel era, I don’t think I need sand in my corn chips, and I don’t think I need sugar in my salt, and I know damn well I don’t need fucking BUGS in my strawberry and cherry yogurt.  When I need salt, my head feels funky and I might get irritable. (SHUT UP!  I KNOW, DAMN IT!!) Um, more irritable than normal.   But what’s not to get pissed off about?  Food Scientist:  “Oh hey, here, have some bugs, you won’t even notice.”  Me:  “That’s gross.  ICK-kkcxxcoff cough.  Bleah.”  Food Scientist:  “While you’re at it, have some salt, with a side of high blood pressure and a slightly higher risk of diabetes.”  Me:  Fuck you.

I know people who have allergies to weird things- bananas.  artificial sweeteners.  monosodium glutamate (but it makes our food taste so good!  MMM, Chemicals!).  And the food labeling industry, thank GOD for that, makes manufacturers tell us if there are nuts or wheat or dairy or things that a lot of people are allergic to.  But they don’t make manufacturers CLEARLY state what the hell they’re putting in the food, as long as they say there’s something in there.  MSG, they literally are trying to hide that they’re putting that shit in our food.  They used to just call it monosodium glutamate.  Then they switched to MSG.  Now they can call it glutamic acid, food starch, yeast extract, or a host of other names that sound harmless.  But to someone allergic, that’s extremely dangerous deception.

I know, it “only affects a very small portion of the population.”  But why are you, food ingredient obfuscator, really trying to kill my sister, and MRS M, for fucks sake?  Fucking ass hole, if I lose either one and meet you I will strangle you with my bare hands and make it look like you suicided, you piece of shit.  Actually, my sister is the one who isolated her allergy to MSG.  Mrs M has some thing she’s sensitive to that we’ve only encountered in restaurant food.  Both keep benadryl and an epi-pen handy, because their epi-sodes seem to be worse each time.  There are other products out there, but not readily available because of certain “business practices” of the Epi-pen manufacturer.  For the Epi-pen, the gouger can take a $25 actual expense, counting labor, parts, assembly and shipping, and a modest profit, and charge people $300 for a dose, and they come in a two pack  Mrs M:  My lips are tingling.  Allergy attack!  (increasingly quieter whisper: )  My throat is tighten… hhelp- hhel-  hh-   ckkkk!!  Heather Bresh:  Want to live?  That’ll be $300 please!  Cha CHING!  Me:  FUCK YOU, you cold, heartless bitch!  Insurance:  We only cover a small part of that.  Me:  FUCK YOU TWICE, you fucking ass holes, I pay more than that in health insurance premiums, because it’s the law.  Congress (if you can imagine it, use Ben Stein’s voice, Buehler?  Buehler?) :  well, insurance IS the law, Mr Mumple, so good luck… And maybe try to be a little nicer, Ms Bresh, or we may revisit this issue at some futureblahblahblahblahblah.

Yeah we should do a class action lawsuit, anyone whose insurance premiums cover nothing for services that cost more than people can afford based on their incomes who have someone actually die because of money and not being able to drive to the hospital er fast enough, or call themselves an ambulance, with no oxygen for their brains.  It’s what they’re counting on- it’s hard to sue when you’re dead from no oxygen reaching your brain.  No oxygen reaches the brains of congress persons, because they’re talking it all away and not helping the constituency.  They need to shut up and reduce their own carbon footprint.  Talking makes greenhouse gases, you asses!  (bonus, POETRY!!)

Wait, rambling again, I was supposed to talk about what my body needs.  I’m starving.  I’m starving because I’m not getting something I need.  This is not just true of my cravings for lack of protein, it’s true of other things in my life.  Do NOT try to tell me I need more fiber to feel more full.  I am more faithful than Old Faithful in my regularity, and that, readers, is gross AND proof that I eat enough oats and oatmeal and shredded wheat and barley and lentils and rice and beans and other things that make you poop.  I’m starving, my body wants something else, not just fiber.  I strive to eat healthy foods and I do enjoy vegetables and fruit.  I get to a point where I’m bored with the minimal, and occasionally I crave a little something extra.

The extra my body most frequently wants, is meat.  For all my vegetable consumption, as good as that is, and for all my boiled chicken, there’s better and my body sometimes craves it.  Barbecued ribs (beef or pork), a good ribeye steak, fried chicken, lamb, goat, pork chops, fucking SQUIRREL, anything, something, made of M.E.A.T.  Sorry all you animal lovers.  And, sorry, most of you fast food dealers are in league with “food scientists,” and your “all-beef” burgers taste like a little low-grade beef, a little salt (and sugar probably) and a fucking ton of chemistry I don’t want.  A few too many restaurants, too.  And now there’s “genetically modified” foods with implications we aren’t aware of yet.  Shit.  Should this tomato ketchup be purple and glow in the dark?

Scientists have recently announced that depression causes increased activity in certain areas of human brains and may be caused by a lack of reward.  No shit, Sherlock, if I work my ass off for nothing, it’s fucking depressing.  If I clean house hoping for sex and she’s too tired, or if I do even more extra things hoping for even more extra things and I get rejected, it’s fucking depressing.  If I work my ass off for 20+ years and do a damned good job at doing my job, well enough to train other people or actually lead a team, and find out that I’m making what kids who just walked in off the street start at, and realize I’m still poor and I can never retire, it’s fucking depressing.  I need rewards to not be depressed.  I need enough money to feel valued and appreciated by my employer.

I need the money I pay for insurance to be enough to actually help me when I need help. Call me idealistic, but I believe I shouldn’t have to take out a loan (which probably gets turned down, by the way) to afford auto repairs just to keep my old crappy car running, or to get reasonable fucking dental care of reasonable quality, or a blood test.  A chiropractor might be nice for those occasions, once in a blue moon, when my back twists itself in an “alternative” direction.

It’d be a nice reward if my work could pay me enough to afford to keep on living, and maybe enough so my kids could go to college without all of us, student and parent, going into major debt.  Fortunately they’re brilliant and not as scarred by life yet, so they may get scholarships.  It’s my hope, anyway.  I know I don’t want to work until I’m 120 to pay off the debts, and finally retire.  Unless I get another healthy and wealthy 40 years and then die at 160, that’ll be fine.  But no, there’s no “reward,” so I’m depressed.

I don’t need a fucking “scientist” to tell me that I’m depressed, nor to tell me why.  I know damn well why.  I also don’t need a doctor or a laboratory to tell me I need vitamin D which does help with depression, or that my “bad” cholesterol has gone down since I’ve lost weight since I’m walking more.  I have to, or my dog will shit in my house, because my kids, who begged for a dog and promised to take care of it, won’t.  It’s fine.  The dog is just like me, so he’s mine.  He and I both need someone who cares about us, so we’ve got each other.

I would also feel rewarded if my education resulted in me being able to find a job in my field of training, but I couldn’t with my bachelors, and I couldn’t with my masters, and my schools didn’t help me with job placement, so here I am, writing when I can, when I feel ambitious and inspired enough, when I’m not bogged down with everything else that complicates and takes more time out of life.  It will please you to know, that under a nom de plume (how else would I do it) I am writing a book that corresponds to my education, so we’ll see if I can finish that and earn some money.  Or piss some people off, because that’ll be funny and raise publicity and maybe sell a few extra books.  It’s not THAT controversial, and I won’t tell you anything except if and when I finish it.  Sorry, the one that corresponds to my education is not an entertaining novel.  It reads like a weird sort of textbook so far.  I’m trying to make it personalized and friendly, but it is a scholarly venture, so sorry in advance.

It would be nice if that took off and went crazy and made me a million or so dollars. That would be rewarding, and I assure you, I’d be less depressed.  All you people who say money can’t buy happiness are investing it in the wrong place(s).  If your money is making you depressed, send some of it to my dentist, my doctor, and my chiropractor.  And if you have even more of that depressing money, send some to my butcher.

If you don’t have enough, I hope you can stretch it far enough.  And I don’t know if it’s any reward for you, but I think you bring something good to the world.  Keep bringing it. I hope you have a happy Friday, and figure out a way to reward yourself this weekend.

Saying “Yes” and Saying “When.”

I can’t remember exact dates (sorry, every significant other EVER) except my birthday, Christmas, my wife’s birthday most of the time, Valentine’s day, and our anniversary (awww!).  I remember some dates, some of the time. But don’t ask me for a cousin’s birthday, or an in-law’s birthday, or worse, one of their kids’ birthdays.  How rambly of me.  All that to build the foundation for this:

There was a recent time, maybe just a few years ago but I can’t remember, when it was a popular fad for success speakers to tell their cultish followers to “say yes” to whatever life offered, whether it was a success or a disaster or an invitation to go somewhere, or a chance to experience something new or “accidentally” die while parachuting or diving with sharks in Australia.  If you’re going to say “yes” to something, each of you should send me $20 …and that would result in me receiving about $…. zero dollars, because I LOVE my readers but I know both of them are broke.  You know who you are, do NOT send me $20.  If you have extra, spend it on something nice for you because I love you and you should love you too, you beautiful darlin’ you.

And indeed we should say yes to whatever the universe brings, because everyone knows the universe is a benevolent place that wants to give good things to everyone.  Right?  Oprah says it, along with several success preachers and motivational speakers.  Which means that the universe is friends with success preachers, motivational speakers, and Oprah, and basically, possible early life trauma notwithstanding, these people either ask for, or tell, “the universe” what they want, and they get it, or they twist the universe’s nipple and MAKE it give them what they want,  and then they teach people that they should be able to do the same.

Horse shit.

Have you READ Newton’s laws?

Have you seen anyone ever die, or worse, commit suicide? The universe is NOT my friend, the universe sucks ass, and a lucky few get what they want. What’s worse, the universe doesn’t owe me shit, so I can’t just go expecting that it’ll pay me if I’m good enough.

If there is such a thing as karma, it doesn’t seem to matter how good some people are, or try to be.  We only see the outside of a person, so we can’t judge.  And if we’re honest with ourselves, we know who we really are on the inside.  Which is why I know the universe doesn’t owe me shit.  I wish it did.  And for my second wish, I wish it’d start paying up.

I DO believe in spiritual forces.  I believe in God.  Laugh all you want; I don’t care.  If there wasn’t a God with a plan to ultimately save me, I’d be fucked worse than I am, and I’d just end it, which I don’t think is a good choice.  If you follow the link, I was thinking of verse 19.  But because I believe, I’m staying through the movie until the end of the credits.  Who knows?  Maybe there’s a blooper reel and maybe it’s actually funny.  I doubt it though.  Well, maybe it’ll be funny at the end after the story starts making more sense.

The “Say Yes” movement has been around for at least long enough for a few books and motivational speakers to start sucking money from people who are trend-followers, and there are many, or people who are desperate, and there are a few, or people who forward those emails around that say if you forward it you’ll receive good and if you don’t your groin will be infested with scorpions.

I’d be a success preacher but I think you’re supposed to actually believe what you’re preaching, not just in it for the money.  Or the power.  Or the sex.  Oh wait, that only happens to rock stars and politicians.  Or does it?  Fuck me, maybe I should be a rock star, or a success preacher.  Maybe not, I mean, Freddy Mercury died of rock stardom, along with a host of others.  Anyway, anyone who tells you to affirm yourself is fine, but anyone who tells you all you have to do to have [fill-in-the-blank] is either just take it, or ask the universe to deliver it to your door is peddling swamp water as the fountain of youth, snake oil as demon repellent, crystals and magnets and fucking rocks on strings as charms to attract good things, and nuggets of bull shit they say are actually made of gold.  “But wait, there’s more!  You also get this prayer cloth imbued with my personal forehead and/or neck sweat, that I personally prayed over so you’d get a blessing from sending me your money.”

If you had a healthy ovum, a genetic splicing machine, and a laboratory, you could quite possibly clone your own televangelist with one of those prayer cloths. (See also “The Big Bang Theory, The Gift Hypothesis.“)  Or, Bitch Televangelist. (See also “Family Guy, Quagmire’s Baby.“)  See, I used to like tv and stuff, but depression sucks all that up.  I used to like some other things too, at least a few times, but if certain other people don’t like the same stuff, it’s not going to happen again any time soon and THAT is further depressing.

We Christ followers are supposed to be a special lot, and we’re supposed to celebrate when shit happens.  (See James 1, or I Thessalonians 5:18, or Philippians 4:4.  Woo hoo, more shit!  Halle-fucking-lujah.

This weekend, I had the good fortune to be alone except for the dog.  While I revelled in the solitude most of the time, I felt a lack of motivation except to do the things that absolutely needed to be done, and I did them when I damned well felt like it.  I should have asked the universe for controlled mania (oxymoronic of me, no?) so I could get MORE shit done.  I did small things, when big things could have been done.  Or should have been done.  I did not do sufficient self-care.  And I really should have.  But I’ve been depressed and don’t have motivation for that.  I SHOULD do it for myself, but I only want to do it for Mrs. M., and she doesn’t care and isn’t interested right now.  Mrs M. can go from “I’m so busy!” to “Zzzzzzz!!” in three fucking seconds.  Yep, I’ve got me a fast woman.  Hooray!)

I did do a small list of things that you might think is a lot, but when you look at life through Mrs M’s eyes, or her trained minions, not so much.  Rather than taking over the world like I COULD have, I only walked the dog on the long hike three times, fed the dog and his best friend, washed all the dishes and put them away, washed, dried, folded and put away a few loads of laundry, emptied the lint trap so the house wouldn’t burn down, took out the trash and recycling, mowed the grass, spread weed & feed on it for the dandelions and damnedythistles to die, fucking weeds, DIE, emptied the vacuum cleaner in preparation for really cleaning it, took the dog to his obedience class so he could learn not to be an ass hole (are there human obedience classes?  No, DON’T tell me, and STOP LAUGHING!  I’M not the one who needs to sign up.  Or am I?  Shut UP!!) …and so on.  I also picked up my son after his scout camping trip and helped him wash and put away his tent, and wash his laundry, after which I dried and folded it and made him put it away.

I don’t know, it seemed like a lot to me.  I also did some other tidying up and putting away of miscellaneous things around the house, in the yard, and in the garage.  I may have wiped off a few counters and tables, I think I did but don’t make me swear to it because someone would bitch they found a wet place on the counter over here, or a place that’s still sticky from something they fucking spilled before they left.  It wasn’t immaculate, or anywhere close.  I didn’t do any writing, I had a beer and then the next day a small amount of whiskey, but not enough to get intoxicated, and I also wasted a few hours on Netflix Criminal Minds.  (Horatio: ) “Looks like this one… tried to put too much weekend ::sunglasses on:: …into his weekend!  YYEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!”

But there comes a point, (I’m GETTING to the point already, shut UP!) and I’ve reached it, where one has said “yes” to the universe one too many times, and needs to say “when.” Not this “when,”

but the opposite “when,” for when saying “when” means “stop!”  Funniest “Say When” cartoon ever:  https://nightowlet.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/its-been-one-of-those-days/

When… Mrs M and my daughter and son were all finally home we all gathered around the rotisserie style chicken I went to the store to find.  Everyone started talking about their weekends, but quickly devolved back into nit picking shit and somehow it was my fault whatever it was wasn’t done right, from the dishes I washed in the fucking dishwasher that weren’t clean enough, to the state of the laundry that wasn’t brought near the washing machine so I’d have a clue it needed washing, to why this or that was done the way it was done or why this or that wasn’t done.  Thank GOD I had more wine.  I poured a glass Sunday night.  “The dishes I washed aren’t clean?  The house isn’t clean enough?  You can’t find your gym uniform?  You’re frustrated because I’m less communicative than you want?  You need me to [fill in the blank task] tonight, tomorrow, before 5AM?  ::I pour more wine, like a whispered, liquid “fuck you.”::  Do go on and tell me about your weekend adventures.  And tell me more about how little you appreciate what I do.

In the spirit of more and more shit adding itself to my life, whether I want it or not, whether I celebrate it or not, whether I want to say “yes” or say “when,” one of my dear family members backed up the downstairs toilet and one of my dear family members thinks unsightly things should be put away so they can never be found by anyone, heaven forbid house guests, GOD forbid friends, and heaven help family members, so they put away the fucking plunger so well I couldn’t find it to fix the toilet.  Hooray!  This same person likes to put the vacuum cleaner (full of dirt and hair I vacuumed up) out in the garage so it’s as far away from practical use as possible.  Then mum called and wanted me to find something she had given us, worried that it was lost or thrown out.  Something nice, to be sure, but I didn’t have the first clue where to look since when I put things where I want them, they get moved.  See also, the vacuum cleaner and the plunger.  If you see them, can you please tell me where the fuck they are?  And, is there more wine?

It has been one of those days.  One of those weekends.  One of those weeks.  One of those months.  I’m fucking sick of it and tired of everyone and everything, and people wonder why I want to be a damned hermit.  For fucks’ sake (from one person, quite literally), I want to be celebrated and enjoyed and praised and encouraged by people when I do something nice for them, not criticized, pushed away, yelled at, discouraged, and watch as more demands are placed on my ebbing energy.

Maybe it’s just my depression talking, but I am more and more convinced the universe has nipples.  Why else would almost everyone I know SUCK?!  I wish people would figure out how to latch on correctly, instead of latching on to MY LIFE.  And if a certain significant other HAS to suck, can I tell her where and how to latch on?

Speaking of things that suck, now I need to go find the plunger and the vacuum cleaner so I can deal with shit and show more dirt where to go.  Before someone tells me how and when “it needs to be done,” (the “right” way, now, by me) rather than just fucking doing it themself.  Seriously, I am motivated more by seeing something that needs to be done and NOT being told to, and how to, do it.  Being told how to do it, or being told to do it, is the opposite of motivational.  It sucks my energy and unction down until my soul is empty and I want to disappear.

I’ve seen a few things that need to be done, and I’m going to try to accomplish one or two before someone tries to tell me to do something else, or tell me how I should do, or should have already done, what I’m doing, or how I suck because I didn’t do whatever it was in the order they “needed” it done in.

Good luck with your side of the Universe Vacuum; I’ve heard it sucks all around, unless you twist its’ nipple and it likes it well enough to give you what you need or want.  I guess someday we’ll all be in the bag.  If the critiques and helpful suck-gestions start again tonight, I think I’ll look for more wine. I may be half-in-the-bag after that, but maybe I won’t really care.

Here’s hoping we can all accomplish good things, for ourselves and for others, before the universe sucks everything away.  And here’s hoping, if the universe does have nipples, that we can all latch on and reverse the trend.  After all, don’t we all live in the Milky Way galaxy?

Death and Taxes

Daniel Defoe, in The Political History of the Devil, 1726:

“Things as certain as death and taxes, can be more firmly believed.”

There you have it.  Mercifully this year, we were given the Ides of April on a Saturday. I haven’t made time to do shit this year yet, depressed by such notable items as:

5) Having to work on taxes.  I tried really hard to avoid doing it, which is why I finished working on them on the 17th and addressed them in the morning today.  I wanted to have them ready to mail Monday, to avoid the Tuesday rush.  When I plan it works if the universe fucker doesn’t fuck it up.  Oh.  Well, that explains why my plans usually don’t happen as planned unless they’re nefarious.  And the universe fucker fucking up my plans would be another reason for my depression, so that’d be 5.5.

4) Undersleeping, I guess, although my brain seems to still marginally function (an easily debatable point) on 4 to 6 hours a night.

3) Vitamin D deficiency, which I’ve been told is a reason for my depression.  I call that possibly partly true with a high probability of being bull shit.  Because:  Vitamin D deficiency doesn’t explain why the depression happens for a long time during which I can’t remember when I didn’t feel like worthless shit smashed under more worthy shit, and then I get seasons when I can actually enjoy things that are good in my life and even forget that I was depressed a month ago.  Vitamin D deficiency also doesn’t explain why the depression comes in momentary waves, or why the seasons of depression are punctuated by the episodic mania I use to clean my house when I have that extra boost of energy to rage against the universe fucker and my entire family in their conspiracy to mess everything up faster than I can gather my mania and wits at the same time and then harness them constructively to break out the bleach.  We’re out of bleach, and I’m out of mania.  And wits.  But I do like to clean, just because I like to look behind myself and see how nice it looks in the little tiny corner I managed to get to look pretty.  If I ever do make it look pretty  Vitamin D may help with depression, but it’s not a cure as far as I know, nor does it stabilize the mania.  Maybe if I threw the pills at the mess makers and told them to [pick up/clean up/put away/throw away] their shit, I might have more time to [pick up/pay for/repair/throw away] other shit that’s less specifically “ours.”

I have a friend who jokes that the cures for depression are all the things the doctors tell you are bad for you.  I’m not a smoker but I’ve been told it’s enjoyable.  That hit of nicotine must be good, or smokers could quit before some of them get cancer or emphysema or COPD.  My asthma is bad enough when I’m stressed that I don’t even want to try that pleasure.  But doctors say that smoking is bad, so it must be good for some people.  Doctors pick on our diet and exercise too.  Don’t eat bacon.  Don’t eat eggs.  Then the government gets a payoff and they tell us to eat bacon because high protein diet.  Then the government gets a payoff and they tell us to eat eggs because they’re a complete protein and a compact, quick, easy meal.  I think the government requires tobacco to be treated with things that cause cancer or exacerbate it.  Don’t smoke pot or consume it in any other way, although the chronic may cure chronic pain, relieve eye pressure from glaucoma, help with digestion and loss of appetite when people feel too sick to eat, etc.  Of course, there are risks.  But then, look at the list of side effects of any medicine.  Even ibuprofen or cough medicine all available without prescriptions have lists of potential side effects.  And certain drugs may cause hallucinations, like the ADD medicine my daughter was prescribed until she saw things she hasn’t even told me about.  We immediately took her of THAT shit, you may be sure, and never went back.  But I digress.  One wonders if my friend is right.  What if the cure for depression is just things that make you happy?  Relaxation instead of obsessing about weight and bmi and image and shit.  Food you like.  Being able to afford THINGS you like, or things you need.  Alas, these things are either “bad” for us, or they’re illegal, or they’re unaffordable.  I mean, maybe not the stupid gold-in-or-on-your-food trend that jacks ordinary coffee up to $25 a crack and ordinary ice cream to $2500.  But no, the simpler pleasures- butter for your toast.  Toast.  Coffee.  Cream.  Bacon.  Seems my dream breakfast is going to kill me.  But I’d probably die happier if I could eat it on days when I want to.  At 9AM or later.  I quit eating breakfast on weekdays except for maybe a breakfast bar or some buttered toast (fuck you, Doctor MakesMeDepressed!) with my coffee, and I quit putting cream and sugar in my coffee years ago and never looked back.  I’m too stressed from listening to Mrs M bitch about how she couldn’t sleep because she’s worried our finances and our kids and our marriage and our parents’ mortal existences are descending to hell in a handbasket on a greased slide.  Dad’s a diabetic, and he wants a fucking Pepsi all the time.  I may inherit some things from him, but I don’t want that.  Add stress because my dear daughter is driving and bitches because she expects the world to fall at her feet and worship her, not that she shouldn’t WANT that but that she shouldn’t EXPECT it, especially from Mr and Mrs Mumple.  Add more because I want the world to fall at MY fucking feet in worship and bring me tribute, but especially, reasonable compensation for worthwhile work and loyalty, and reciprocal treatment in my invested relationships, especially with and from Mrs. M.  She’s too tired and doesn’t like what I want.  Well, would you look at that!?  Turns out we’re incompatible after all (fuck you, marriage counselor bitch!), but I’m staying because I made my bed and there are times when I like it, and when I feel like it, I’ll lie in it and see, like some insane scientist, if the results of my experimental manic cleaning, care-tending, cooking, and foot washing, among other things, nets a different response.   Add more because everyone in my life wants me involved in theirs, in some fucking service capacity, for which I am either not paid or poorly paid, which brings me to…

2) Being paid shit in 2016, literally my wage is entry level after 10 years of work.  And the only reason I found out is that they tried to get us to get our soon-to-be-ex- friends and family to work for them, and sold it by telling us they were paying new people what they pay me now.  Yeah, I’m going to get everyone to be miserable, but at least they won’t have to work 10 years for shit raises! Instead, they’ll start where I am, so everyone is equally underpaid, including and especially the people they’ll expect to train the new ones.  I DID train a new guy, and I was happy he quit because I knew how that was going to turn out.  When I found out about the entry level wages I asked respectfully, and was told they thought my compensation was adequate.  See #1

1) Schedule shifting to shit in late 2016.  After 10 years of work, and after a sea of lies about how it wouldn’t be a drastic change, it was based on seniority and time zones and skill sets and a few other things, and then after they tried to sell it by saying they needed help because other people sucked in that time zone and didn’t know how to do the shit they trained us ALL to do, and then after they shoved it up my ass, more lies about how it was my fucking fault I got the shit shift because of my performance.  (Fuck you, bossy McBitch, and fuck your whiny little prick of a boss too.  You know the guy:  the little shit who came to your rescue and kept shoveling excuses and lies when I gave logical, realistic resistance based on your original sales-pitch, until I knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere, and shut up in hopelessness.  Bossy McBitch is the 10th replacement boss I’ve worked for, because senior management doesn’t see any value or potential in paying or promoting people who know what the fuck they’re doing.  They hire NEW people who don’t know shit about what the company is built on, or what their team is supposed to do, train them to get trained by someone under them, and then make them micromanage and nitpick and shovel the company’s bullshit, lies, and excuses, down their underlings’ throats until a) they burn out and fade away, b) their underlings quit, they were paying them too much anyway, c) they do obscene things behind closed doors to get promoted out of the bullshit, or d) they find someplace better to work.

Oh but wait, taxes.  They got addressed this morning and sent out today, and here’s another reason I love Mrs. M despite her shortcomings.  Based on my original calculations, which I did despite my resistance to the very concept, I thought we were going to be paying, literally a few THOUSAND dollars in taxes this year, nothing we could possibly afford to pay, because she hardly had anything taken out of her checks preemptively, and she has it down to a few HUNDRED with legitimate tax laws.  I LOVE YOU MRS. M.!  I just wish you loved me in all the OTHER ways I really WANT to be loved.

If change is “bad,” it’s because it’s not the change I want.  The weekend was spent enduring death and taxes.  I attended a memoriam for two people who died last year, a lovely time was had by all, celebrating how much we loved them and love their memories.  I got home just in time to work on taxes, and then, because Mrs M prodded, I went to church on Easter Sunday.  The message was fine I guess.  I decided to do more writing.  (Sorry, readers!)  And another book idea popped in my head, so we’ll see where THAT one goes.

And sometimes, change is bad even when it IS what I want.  Bossbitch changed my schedule back to days just when I was settling in, and it’s what I wanted, but instead of leaving me alone to work from home and be productive during that HOUR of lunch they make me take, when I’m just as happy with leaving a half hour earlier after a half hour lunch, now she insists I go to the office and waste the hour.  The computer is the same.  The data is the same.  The work is the same.  So it’s just another power play of her asserting that yes, she is able to step on me, yank my chains, and make me dance(, monkey, dance!) to HER choice of tune.  Bitch.  If I was a manager, they’d fire me because I don’t WANT to micromanage people and fuck with their lives.  I just want them to work hard and earn a decent living and be happy and balanced.  Which, just from expecting they’d earn a “decent” living, is grounds for me to be dismissed if I was a manager.

But not only do I have to waste that hour instead of washing dishes or vacuuming or walking the dog or something, I get to waste another hour and a half because that’s when I can get my ride in to, and home from work, since dear daughter got a job after school and needs my car.  Hooray.

Why don’t I have any time or balance in my life, again?  I can’t blame EVERYTHING on death and taxes.  I’m not really afraid of either of those.  Mrs M is taking care of the latter, and I could give less than half a fuck about the former.  “’tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.”

Good luck with your taxes. If you haven’t already done them, you have a few hours left to file for an extension.

Not Writing About What I’m Writing About?

I got up early today and have taken my daughter to school.  It’s not something I want to be in the habit of doing, but then, she’s already 17 so it’s a way to bond I guess.  It’s bad inasmuch as it fosters her laziness and encourages a lax attitude about time management, because she has a safety net to fall on.  It’s there, but I don’t want her to take advantage of it and just think it’ll be there her whole life.  My slightly more responsible son caught his bus.  Today she had gifts for her friends and wanted a ride so she could easily carry everything and not have the jostling and space issues of the bus ride.

I’ve had a cup or two of coffee, I’m back home and feeling nicely focused, but maybe easily distractible, it remains to be seen.  The squirrel joke is no joke.  I’m hoping I can have a little “me” time (writing here) and still enough time to walk the dog before the rain comes and get some chores and maybe a little extra catch up work done before I have to get to work today.  That upstairs…  I want my floors,  I want my desk.  It’s just that I’ve been like a pack rat for a while with no place to put “everything in its’ place,” and my wife is worse because she’s better at packing big things into small spaces.  No, NO, stop.  I mean like getting more stuff in the suitcase, or in the car, like that old game TETRIS, not THAT.  Although…  Nah, only if she wants that.  I surrender.

I started out wanting to write about a specific writer who has recently moved to the US after running into some difficulty because his government took issue with his writing.  But I tried to research and didn’t find anything accessible.  “This content is restricted.”  If his native government wants to restrict his thoughts and he restricts his audience, who knows what he’s talking about?  I’ve read a few comments and a few things in news articles I presume were quotes, and two year old or older blog things I found, and all I can think is, who the fuck cares?

It’s a fucking blog, like my own.  I guess, if he tells people to riot in the streets or kill someone or commit crimes, there’s a problem inasmuch as his words might actually have a direct impact on my life or the life of someone I know.  So yes, if he advocated violence or actual crime, I’d stand against that, but I can’t find anything to know if he did that.  And I consider myself a pretty damned good online stalker.  All I could find is stuff where he said, essentially, that both Christians and Muslims are idiots.  He’s an athiest, I get that, and again, my reaction is, who the fuck cares?

Well, radicals who profess either religion might, but I don’t.  He posted a picture online that was deemed “obscene.”  That’s stupid.   I’ve seen “sacrilegious” “art” before, and I don’t care.  Express your lack of faith in Jesus, who came back from the dead, or that “prophet” guy, who didn’t.  I don’t care.  Express your lack of faith in the government, I don’t care about that either.  America has elected a lot of presidents that people called names.

What concerns me is that people take the words of a fifteen or sixteen year old that seriously.

You want people to treat your religion with respect?  Get a religion that’s respectable, and be respectable with your faith.  You want people to treat your government with respect?  Get a government that’s respectable, and exercise your authority in ways that respect your constituency.  The people at quotesgram.com and quoteimg.com sum it up in short and then in long:

Image result for respect is earned not given

I don’t know how long it’ll take for me to earn my kids’ and wife’s respect.  Been working on that for more than 25 years for the latter.  Taking my daughter to school when she’s overburdened, giving a hug or a supportive remark when she’s sad or feeling insecure, helping my wife with chores and being as romantic as she’ll allow, helping my son in scouting and in becoming a young respectable man, helping the kids develop life skills and independence, it’ll eventually add up to respect.  Maybe.  I hope.  Work is a lost cause.  They want to demand my respect just from having authority to fire me, not realizing that at work, my respect can be bought, to start.  After starting with buying it with a decent wage commensurate with my experience and training and tenure, THEN it can be earned by helping me succeed in my career and developing me to the point where I can actually retire before I die, and hopefully have enough years to catch up with all the things I don’t have time to do between work and family and church and other activities.

As a blogger, if you don’t like me, you won’t read it.  You won’t follow it.  I’ll either get the message or not, but what do you care if you quit following me.  Just like the TV, or radio, if I hate the show or the commercial, I endure it or shut it off.  It has zero impact on the producers or the advertisers, but they are free to express whatever shit they want to broadcast and sell whatever shit they want.  Who the fuck cares?  And why?

There’s plenty of things I’d call “obscene” on the internet.  Why are people so afraid of someone offending someone else?  I think if a person has talent and respect, they ought to rise to the top.  But in the modern era what seems to rise to the top is infamy.  For some reason, the tacky, the cheap, the lowest common denominator, is what people want to see more of.  It makes them feel good about themselves and doesn’t challenge them to strive for better and more.  For some reason, the crafty, the villain, the ill-mannered, get the vote for fear that the one who seems honest and trustworthy might have some kind of hidden agenda the talentless, seem to get the sympathy vote because here in America we don’t want anyone to feel like they should keep on looking for their specialty, and try something new until they find something they’re really good at.  Our little baseball playing toddlers don’t keep score (but the adults do).  Art that people don’t think is art might sell to someone.  And someone might pay you to blog.  I wish they’d pay me, but I’m not holding my breath.  Plus, I need something either huge and inexhaustible, or huge and reliable over time.  I’m settling for reliable over time, but with that plan I’ll be working until I’m dead.  How disappointingly depressing is that?

I’ve vented enough, and I’ve thoroughly disappointed both of the people who strive to encourage my writing to be better.  So now I’m going to get myself ready to disappoint my boss, by working my ass off as hard as I can with my motivation high and my expectations low.  I think the boss pretends to be disappointed, and secretly they’re impressed trying to figure out how I’ve stayed so long for so little reward, and keep trying every day.  Maybe that’s why Mrs M is keeping me.  She’s secretly impressed, but also my worst critic, trying to encourage me to do better.  At doing what she wants me to do, mostly because she doesn’t want to do it herself.

I hope you find your inner motivation today.  I hope I do do.  I need to accomplish things when I take my breaks, because I didn’t accomplish anything great yesterday or today.  Except maybe I offended someone because I don’t take offense at sacrilegious, satirical, or political art or language.  If you’re offended that I’m not offended, you know what to do.  That’s right, have me arrested.  No, learn to park big things in small places.  No.

I hope you can do something good, that makes you feel good, or makes you happy because of either the sense of accomplishment or the gratitude of a friend or stranger.  Or, for a little while, do nothing, or something just for you and feel good and eventually harness the energy you have from taking a little “me” time to rest a little.  I hope I can too, but it’ll have to be snuck in between and after work, since I haven’t invested the morning in tasks.

Have a good day.  Both of you.

Running out of Natural Resources

We now pause for a wild eyed, tin-foil wearing conspiracy theory, brought to you by Mumple Enterprises:  Back 40 or 50 years ago the geologists and other key scientists were paid off by rich investors and oil executives to predict “the end is near.”  Because it came from scientists and not wild-eyed prophet-looking people wearing sandwich-board signs, the masses put their faith in the scientists because obviously they knew what they were talking about.

Back in 1972 the price of a gallon of gas was something like $0.36.  Obviously, 45 years later, since demand has only gone up with the population, we’re totally out of gas and oil, aren’t we?  That explains why we’ve all started riding solar busses, driving bicycles and solar-electric cars, right?  All the people who could afford to do it built moonshine burners…oh, sorry, “Ethanol” burners, and then considered driving them to the junkyard when their fuel efficiency went down and they realized they were paying more for that than gas, and then had them towed there when the ethanol dissolved their fuel system seals and then ate the aluminum from exposed car parts, and left ethanol-absorbed water deposits in the engines so they rusted.  Our heaters are all obviously fueled by the solar panels the local government building codes require on all our rooftops, and we get our electricity to run our computers and ovens and refrigerators and freezers from the wind fields and our own turbines that we’ve all got installed on the our corners of our houses…  Wait, someone forgot to put those on my house, and where can I get a cheap but reliable solar/electric car?

The latest investor-driven things include greenhouse gas reduction drives.  Hey, You!! Reduce your carbon footprint today!  Climate change will definitely kill all humans within the next 40 years!  Those scientists were right about us not conserving oil, now, weren’t they?  Oh wait.  That’s still a rumor we pay more for gas for.  Food scientists have been telling us that safety studies paid for by food manufacturing companies showed conclusively that chemical additives, growth hormones and preservatives are completely safe and make our food better, and now they’re telling us genetic engineering is the future of food.  It is, if you like your green beans to taste like anchovies and glow in the dark, and your cheeseburgers to taste like burned plastic and scaly refried beans.  Mmmmm.

We now pause for another wild eyed, tin-foil wearing conspiracy theory, brought to you by Mumple Enterprises:  If they don’t get enough money through fear-mongering and rumors, they’ll start a war and demand our kids to fight against some other countries’ kids because the rich people don’t feel rich enough.  Whichever countries win or lose doesn’t matter, the rich people who are really in charge will still be richer, and we ordinary peasants will bury fields full of dead kids or body parts, or we’ll end up under radioactive dust too dangerous to bury the bodies.  Mumple Enterprises invites crazy speculation into who’s behind the terrorist attacks.  If eternal glory and a paradise full of naked virgins to abuse isn’t quite enough, how much money does a suicide bomber cost?  (it begs the question what happens when you run out of virgins and the angels you thought it was ok to mistreat, now all hate you and decide not to put up with any more bullshit?

One dreads to think what certain political leaders, who have either become or started in as millionaires or billionaires, have stirring in their Kool-Aid.  Oh, I can mention that one by name, it’s just plain good to drink.  I made some black cherry Kool-Aid yesterday and it was good.  Whatever your flavor, don’t drink the politicians’, or wonky religious leaders’, Kool-Aid.  If you come out to the bunker, I’ll serve you up a nice cold glass with some ice, hold the cyanide, castration, and hidden agenda.  If you need something stronger to relax, I’ll let you pick your own poison, and it won’t be a lethal dose.

I didn’t start out wanting to rant about conspiracy theories or extremists, but it’s been a fun little distraction, hasn’t it?

I’m already out of enough cash flow, so sometimes I figure, why not use a little to help someone else?  It’s paradoxical, but then I read the story in the Bible about how Jesus said God was going to take care of a widow lady who gave everything she had to support the ministry.  The link is to show what the coins looked like, and on the website you can buy those coins.  She trusted in God and gave the two coins she had to whatever purpose God wanted them for.  Hint:  God wanted them to show the disciples what real faith looked like, and it meant more to God that she trusted him than that the rich guy who paid people to blow trumpets who gave a lot of money because he had a lot of money.  That story is in Mark 12 and Luke 21.  I’m hopeful that I can bless others any time I do something like that, and that they will find a way to bless someone they know.  Or someone they don’t know.  So there’s that “natural resource.”

There’s plenty of clutter.  When Mrs M goes on a “cleaning” rampage, it doesn’t mean it’s clean.  It means it was urgent and whatever didn’t get processed, thrown away, or put in its’ proper place, got thrown in a box and put into the garage, or put in the open area upstairs…where I work.  My garage is supposed to be a two car garage, but really it starts as a one-and-a-half car garage and then gets full of things to process later, or things we’re storing and forgetting about.  My work area is supposed to be open and encourage my home work experience but it’s got a thin layer of important but not urgent crap on the floor– records to file,  probably some of the kids’ clothes they haven’t bothered to put away.

My plumbing adventure isn’t over yet.  I have to try to get this damned shower hose to not leak so I can take a nice, adequately pressurized shower, and so I can wash the dog, who, by the way, needs a bath again.  Our dog yells at me when I try to brush out his lovely fur, so I have to either cut it (that’d be a great adventure) wash it to get rid of the dander and to condition the fur so it doesn’t get matted or hold the vermin.  I get why he doesn’t want to be brushed.  It pulls, and it’s uncomfortable when you pull your hair.  But it has to be done.  Sometime.

Speaking of which, the natural resource I’m most stress-filled about is time.  There is not enough, EVER.  I fed and walked the dog today, the dishes need to be washed (lunch is an hour, so maybe…)  But really, I want a day or two off after a weekend, just to relax from the stress of a weekend.  But if I did take a day off, I’d need another day off because if I had a day off I would want to have energy to do things I don’t have time for.  If I take a day off, I feel stress because of the level of expectation placed on me, and if the family is off together, there’s stress because family time involves doing things that aren’t on the ever present list, which means I don’t get to process the list, so family time off represents future pressure to catch up with whatever didn’t get done that absolutely needed to get done before we did whatever family thing we did.  I don’t know how much time off I would need, to rest enough and to invest enough time to actually feel like 1) I was rested and 2) I was actually caught up with life.  Now that is a daydream “devoutly to be wished.”  But it would probably take 50 years of paid time off with triple my current “widow’s mite[s].”  My situation isn’t a scientific-sounding rumor, it’s all absolutely true.

It would be nice if I did, but instead, I have to get things together so I’m ready to go to work on time.  Working from home and I still feel like I need to start early to keep my head above water with the tasks my employer underpays me for, how sad is that?

I know I don’t, but I hope you have enough time for yourself today, and enough time and energy for what you need to get done.

Sounds Funny but Not Funny

Image result for Peanuts aaugh

Oh, it’s not all THAT bad.  But I felt it earlier in the week.  There were two very stressful episodes at work, one where the systems didn’t work badly enough to upset me, and one episode just yesterday with the dog.

When I take the dog for a walk, I anticipate he’s going to take care of whatever business he needs to take care of.  So, I took him for a walk, and he did what he was going to do, and we came back inside.  There was some pulling at the leash, which I regard as non-compliance and I stop moving.  When he went in the direction I wanted to go, we were fine, I thought.  And then he ran up our stairs, so I tried putting him in his kennel.  I didn’t check both door locks, so he of course got out, and ran up our stairway to find out if the kids were in their rooms, and they had gone to school for the day.  Since he didn’t shit outside, I anticipated he might try to go in the house.  I set him up in the bathroom (easy to clean the floor) with paper down just in case, and set the kennel in front of the door so he could have that much more room.

All it did was give him a running start.  He jumped over the kennel, and ran upstairs to impress me with his Houdini-worthy skill.  I was on the phone with a client, and he stood there wanting me to take him outside to shit, and I couldn’t put the customer and the tech support people both on hold, so I sat and helplessly watched as he shit on my carpet.  Just.  FUCK!  Oh. Sorry, seems that SHIT would be a more appropriate expletive.  Laugh, laugh, ha, ha, readers.  But I am sick to fucking death of LIFE adding MORE WORK for me to take care of because I exist, and adding unnecessary shit to my life that I have to deal with later because the dog couldn’t be arsed to do it while he was outside, and couldn’t be arsed to do it while in the safe confines of the bathroom, and I have no time or margin to deal with the shit when it happens, so I have to save up time and money and energy to handle it later.

Time, money, and energy are the frayed margins of my life, for which I desperately need significant repair.  But every time I pray for margin, more gets cut off the frayed edge, so I don’t ask any more.  And while it’s not true that my time is money, it is true that more money would buy me more time.  If I had more money, I could just call the guy when the plumbing needs work, instead of trying to do it myself, fucking it up, and then calling the guy.  Which doesn’t happen as often any more, since I’ve done that enough to learn a few things.  If I had more money, I could just pay the bills and not worry about bill collectors, overdraft notices, car repairs, the insurance bump whenever dear daughter starts driving… don’t remind me.

If I had more time, I might invest some of that in resting.  But so far, whenever I “have more time,” the dog needs something, the daughter needs something, the son needs something, or the wife expected me to have already spent that time doing something else.  If I choose to not invest that time in the expected shit shoveling for whichever demanding person demands it, a) the wife just shakes her head, does one of those life-draining sighs of exasperation and starts doing whatever she thought I should have done already, or fixing whatever part of it wasn’t complete, in the expectation that I will muster the energy to take over and handle it.  Sometimes, I can pull it together.  Not always. b) the daughter screams about how I don’t care, nobody cares,  nobody likes her, and she can’t do it because she has homework/social engagement/exhaustion/insert-other-manufactured-excuse; c) the son almost finishes and then disappears into the darkness of his room and his electronic device(s); d)the dog just stares and expects another treat for not doing shit.  Or for doing shit wherever he damn well decides to.

He has a spot he likes to go, to do his business.  When I have time, not a problem.  When I don’t, I want him to learn to go where I want him to go.  I didn’t think I had time to get there and back, so  didn’t take him, so he shit on my carpet because the bare, easy to clean bathroom floor didn’t have the same grass-like appeal as my grey carpet.  He can’t see anything but black and white, maybe the carpet looks or feels comfortable like grass, but for fucks sake, it’s not shag.  It’s not even plush.  It’s another one of the things I should replace because it’s gross.  The last time I tried to rent a shampooer, it did a shit job, and I can’t blame it all on the shampooer, because the carpet is so old.  The carpet is almost as old as some of the stains on it, or possibly the reverse.  Who can be sure?.  We bought the carpet with the house, back when we had money, time, and hope.  Well now there’s another one, but I’m working on getting that out before it becomes set and older than the dog.  I’m not replacing the carpet until the dog is trained properly, which probably means I’ll replace the carpet and then the dog will forget his training and shit on the new one.  Which begs the question- does carpet come in exactly matched shades of shit brown?  Oh, wait, there’s also food stains and drink stains…  Maybe I’ll have to go with an out-of-fashion camouflage and random colors-print carpet, something like one of the busier, less orderly  Kandinsky-patterns.  Some people like Wassily, and …then there’s me.  Because to me, the paintings reflect the stress of trying to produce a sufficient number of quality pieces of art in the time available, trying to sell them quick enough to earn a decent living, and fail.  But then, maybe I’m projecting myself onto Kandinsky.  Or maybe I’m right, maybe he hates that, and that’s why I don’t really like his work.

Yesterday I ventured forth to the store to return something my wife thought I should easily be able to install.  My faux extroversion knows no limits.  First, when the installation went south, I swore (naturally).  And then I set it aside to wait and see if Mrs M would fare any better guiding dowel A into insertion point B.  It’s just a hanging thing, and one essential piece at the end wouldn’t go into where it was supposed to go, and “click.”  Did I ever mention that I hate house projects, and “easy-to-install” bullshit.  (…You’d think I’d be an expert at putting round peg a into slot b.  Alas, no, I clearly need more practice.  Someone tell Mrs. M, please!)  Thank GOD, she couldn’t get dowel A to click into insertion point B either.  (which can only mean that she needs more practice too.)  The second thing I did is to call the company who was dumb enough to print their toll-free number on the instructions.

I called, and the first lady I got said I couldn’t have a new round peg. I’d have to box the entire thing up and return it to the store, or call her corporate office.  I forgot her name.  She was nice, and even sounded like she was familiar with the very defect I was talking about, but still…  So I called toll-free number 2, who sent a request to the local store manager.  The store manager called me and said he’d take care of everything, and he did, at least, if dowel A’ successfully attaches to insertion point B’.  But I did have to box up most of the defective thing so they could return it to their manufacturer.   Anyway, returned it, exchanged for hope, and went back home barely in time for work.  Today I got that out of the box and the same damned peg in the new box wouldn’t screw and lock correctly into the insertion point of the piece of shit, made in China, from the new box.  Ugh.  The easiest sounding things are too much work.  The easiest sounding things are never easy; they just seem to add more pressure to what’s already too much.  The simplest things are too complicated and too hard to figure out, and too stress-filled.

I’m a simple thing.  (Or maybe, simple minded.)  I literally worried on the way home that I might get hit by someone and be late for work.  Heaven forbid. This is how much I hate drastic change and don’t want to be an inconvenience or a burden to anyone else.  I want to be helpful, in a world where so many people seem hell-bent on fucking it up for me and everyone else.  I very briefly thought to myself, it might have been a mercy.  Like driving off into the retention pond.  But no, see above, I resist such foolishnesses as they don’t fit- I don’t have the margin of time to deal with dying.  Or worse, not dying, and not having an excuse for why it took so long for me to not die.  I don’t really want to die.  I don’t have a preference for death over life, and I don’t have a workable plan.  I mean, life can turn around.  I’m waiting to see how it plays out, but I’m hoping it’s a decisive victory I can start enjoying at half-time, and not a game changing buzzer beater shot at the last second.  I’d much rather enjoy the journey than watch it suck as hard as possible and have to fight until the bitter fucking end.

More pressure -at lunch yesterday I remembered I was supposed to make chicken noodle soup because my daughter went to the dentist the day before (guess who got to take her, guess who was 3 whole fucking minutes late and whose daughter gave him unending grief about it all, including how fast I was trying to drive, and how I was stuck behind another, fairly slow-moving car or two the whole way and  how slow I was driving, and how we were going to be late, and how it was my fucking fault there was a string of cars between me and the door of the school and I didn’t feel comfortable just shoving around them, because I don’t drive a monster truck.  Oh, and how “[I] don’t care about [her,]” either.)  So I didn’t care but I made the chicken noodle soup and got back to my desk with exactly 48 seconds left of the hour.

But you made it back, you’re saying.  And you succeeded, you’re saying.  Well, I’ll admit, I didn’t die.  But that doesn’t mean that going into the store with an item to return after searching for the receipt and failing because it’s either in her purse at her workplace, or already out in the trash, wasn’t stressful.  I had so much time before work that I took the dog for a walk and had the presence of mind to lock him in his crate so he couldn’t escape and crap on my damned carpet again.  Which reminds me, there’s still the stain I have to try to get out of my carpet.  My life sounds funny, like one of those sit-coms you expect to resolve in 22 minutes.  But it’s not funny to live through.  Maybe in another year, after the cash windfall comes, I’ll look back and laugh.  Or maybe, I’ll remember what it felt like and be on a mission to help people who are struggling like I was back before the big lottery payouts started rolling in (what the hell, I can still hope just like the next guy) .

My dad is home from the hospital.  Nice of him to give mum a day of rest while she was sicker than he was, eh?  Both of them have this really tenacious, killer bronchitis that’s not quite pneumonia, just like my daughter has had for a month and a half.  I went to the hospital and spent time with him, and then when his dinner arrived I went to mums.  She was sleeping, so I started washing her dishes.  She heard me and got up.  I made her sit back down when she started coughing uncontrollably.  And I poured her some whiskey.  I wanted some for myself, but she lives across town and I needed to be able to get home before having to sleep anything off.  While she sipped and rested, I finished the dishes and mopped the cat hair, cat food, and other, off the kitchen floor.  I so wanted to do more, because her house is almost as bad as mine.  Or worse, since I know what to do with my own shit, it’s hers and dad’s and I don’t really know what to do with it all.

Mum, she just sat and sipped and stopped coughing for a bit.  I checked in today  and they are both doing better but they have the severe bronchitis same as my daughter.  If you want to avoid a fight with someone, start cooking or cleaning for them and listen while they shut up.  Recalling this, I invaded the sanctity of the maelstrom in my daughter’s room yesterday and made her bed for her.  She was so happy, she took a nap after school, which made her feel even better.  But if I start doing any of those things and they keep bitching, I leave it for them to finish.

I may or may not have a bad habit of rage quitting.  It’s a gamer’s expression, but so fitting to my life.  Because fuck you if you’re not working to help me or staying out of the way, fuck you if you’re stressing me out as if it’s my fault, fuck you if you don’t appreciate it when I try to do nice things for you.  And fuck you if I’m not fast enough to satisfy your impatient bullshit.  With family, the best way I know how to do this still isn’t a good way.  Rage quit means I shut the fuck up, stop talking, finish what absolutely has to be finished, and leave the offenders in my dust.  Or their own fucking dust, if they made the mess I was trying to clean up.  I wish the solution was the same for work.  But no, I have to be a team player to claim I’m a team player and I work well on my own.  I can operate in both modes, but the team part is me faking well.  What I wish I could do is different.

At work, if someone fucks something up, I want to make them fix the damn thing and leave me the hell out of it.  And I want to wait patiently until they fix the shit, so I can do my job.  At work, if a tool I need isn’t working, I want to report the issue and wait until the tool is repaired and when it is repaired, step in and do my job.  But what I have to do instead, is sincerely apologize to our clients, and work that much harder to do what I can until it’s working, and then apologize again to the clients, and work that much harder to do what I couldn’t do until the company lets me play catch up.  If all of corporate America is on thin threads like this, maybe there’s a company out there hiring hack writers who retain their sense of humor, however grim and twisted it may become, in the face of adversity, stupidity, hypersensitivity, insecurity, and reinforced inferiority from all the people who demand I treat them with abject deference to their perceived self-superiority.  Ass holes!

I shredded paperwork dated anywhere from 2011 to 2015 yesterday, and I had two and a half trash bags full of shreds.  I ran across some interesting documents.  They showed us struggling financially, climaxing in 2013 and hovering near bankruptcy, leaving us stuck through about 2015, and we’ve been making slow progress getting out of the shit since then.  Thankfully, “for richer, for poorer” included “for poorer.”  The documents even showed us asking for help, and then there was the letter from one of the places we asked for help.  The letter reminded us that we had asked them for help a year and a half before, and how they counseled me then to “just” figure out how to make more money.  Great advice from great people.  I remember both visits.  I was humbled and discouraged going to them the first time. I left feeling completely humiliated and more depressed both times.  It was worse the second time, and then they added their letter of encouragement.  Thanks so much for the help.  I hope I never have to go back, and I hope no one else gets the same counseling advice from those rich fuckers.  I didn’t shred the letter.  I want a time in the future when I’m in a place to help one of these people and they’re placed in a position of need, and I share with them a) my experiences from 2012 to 2015 and how hard it still is now in 2017, AND their damned letter, b) Proverbs 3:27, and c) my blessings.  They have enough money that one of them could have fucking hired me to work for them for more than I earn now, and I would have worked my ass off to earn their pay.  Or, they could have hired me to work on staff for the organization-this was one of the places I already worked as a volunteer, and it would have been a dream job if the position matched my training, successful previous experience, and credentials.  But back then, I would have worked as a janitor, for fucks sake, and done a better job than the idiot who does a shit job cleaning for them still to this day.  Instead they gave us a one-time gift, which was helpful, once, and the second time we needed help they prayed for us and then told us to piss off and figure it out for ourselves.

This blog started, at least influenced, if not pushed to profanity, by those experiences and others, and my journey into discovery of why I am how I am was twistedly encouraged by them, so, do I owe them a debt of gratitude?  I think the answer from a human perspective is a a tiny yes for the gesture of the gift, and an emphatic “FUCK, NO,” for the way I felt during and after both experiences of humiliation, and for the consolation letter we received instead of help the second time, but I think if I ever have the money I’ll give them back their gifts with interest, and tell them to piss off and figure it out for themselves as to why I don’t really care if they make it or not.

So today, not that I want to do any of this, I remembered I have to get a Boy Scout physical, so I called the doctor and set that up.  I gave the person at the other end unnecessary grief, because of the last episode,that cost me $700, for the experiment I damned well knew the results of before the blood was wrestled from the perceived safety of my veins.  However, I asked how much it was going to cost me and the person was not forthcoming.  She mentioned a normal fee and then said that they don’t do copays for that, they submit it straight to my fucking cheap-ass insurance company, and then the insurance figures out how much they want to squeeze, how far they can elevate my blood pressure without actually killing me directly, now that I’ve lost a little weight and it’s gone down a little.

They charge me an extra hundred from each paycheck than they did before Obamacare, and they have yet to repeal it, so I’m more broke and even less able to afford any experimentation or equipment breakdown.  Yeah, and my income went up zero dollars to help me afford that insurance rate bump.  And I still have to pay copays for doctors and dentists, which is bullshit if I pay this much for healthcare coverage.  I’d go bankrupt if I ever had to go to the hospital like my dad did.  Because those rich fuckers always get their money, and they don’t really seem to give a shit how they’re getting it or what they’re putting people through to get it.  So if by some ill twist of fate I come up sick, I’ll just wait until I’m dead and check in to one of those really small rooms in the basement, that only have minimal amenities- no heat to pay extra for, no extra nursing care, and only one door that opens from the outside.  They don’t charge cadavers in the morgue.  Just the survivors.  If that fucking $700 bill for one tiny tube of blood is proof, evidently the insurance company thinks I earn a great income already!

And I do.  For someone who worked between 1910 and 1940.

Defending Myself

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

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

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

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

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

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

and then there was this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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