Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween – A Dark Time Begins

This time of year is always hard for me. I do not like fall. I know there are a lot of people who love fall, but I am not one of them. To me, fall is associated with too many negatives:
  1. The weather turns cooler. I hate that because I love warm weather. Anything below 70°F is too cold for a daytime temperature for me.

  2. The days grow shorter. Once the time changes this weekend, it will be dark outside by the time I leave work each day. Given that I work in the basement (no windows) that means I get virtually no natural light in the winter except on weekends, and that is not enough.

  3. The flowers die, and the trees go bare. I know, I know, others see a certain beauty in it. I don’t. So sue me.

  4. Once fall arrives, winter can’t be far off. The only good thing about winter is looking forward to spring.

Spring & summer – happy times
Fall & winter – bleak dismal times

When the depression isn’t so bad then fall and winter aren’t so bad. When the depression is like it is now the oppression of fall and impending doom that is winter is overwhelming to me. Right now I feel overwhelmed. Life feels as though it is crushing me as it sits heavily on my shoulders.

Halloween seems to embody my feelings about fall – scary stuff, darkness, monsters, pranks and vandalism. I hate scary stuff – scary movies, haunted houses, people who wait on their porch for unsuspecting trick-or-treaters and jump out to scare the daylights out of you. I hate it all – every bit. I try to get into the spirit of things, at least the less scary aspects of Halloween. If I dress in costume it will be as something clever, not scary. If I attend a party it will not be one that focuses on the spooky but on the fun. There’s enough scary stuff in real life without adding to it on Halloween. So I’ll take N trick-or-treating tonight but not down the street where last year at two separate houses they scared the daylights out of me. I’ll attend a Halloween party tomorrow night held by the bi group, but I guarantee the focus will be on food and fun and flirting not scary shit. And I’ll continue to put up my real life façade that all is well with me.

Deep down though, I know that today is the start of the darkest part of the year. So begins the long wait for spring.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No Truer Words. . .

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Black Comedy

In your life, things are so twisted that you just have to laugh.

You may end up insane, but you'll have fun on the way to the asylum.

Your best movie matches: Being John Malkovich, The Royal Tenenbaums, American Psycho

Late note:
Interestingly enough I have not seen any of the three movies that are supposedly my best movie matches. Perhaps I should rent them sometime.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Black Hole

That's where I am -- approaching the black hole. It is trying hard to suck me into its vortex. I'm fighting, sometimes not very hard, to stay out of it.

And damned if after seeing the psych dude a couple of weeks ago the next possible appointment is the end of December. I'm on the waiting list though in case someone cancels before that. Lucky me.

The mental health system in this country sucks. Just like that big ole black hole.

Typical Taurus

You are very stubborn, and your withdrawn nature makes you irresistible to hotties.

You like sex to be romantic and passionate, and you know just how to make it that way. Your partners cannot resist your spontaneous and gentle nature.

Sex matches: Cancer, Virgo, Capricorn
'What is your Sexual Zodiac?' at

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Top Ten List

Although most of you have found ample reason lately to hate me apparently from indications in your comments to my last post some of you don't get it. I thought I'd help you out just in case you're still under the delusion that I'm still likable.

Top Ten Reasons To Hate Me That You Didn't Even Know

10. My house is a pig sty.
9. I haven't taken my meds, except my Prozac, on a regular basis for two months now because I'm trying to save money by rationing them.
8. I'm behind on most of my bills and only pay them when they start calling.
7. I sponge off BJ as much as my pride will allow even though I hate myself for it.
6. My yard is more of a disaster than my house.
5. I have gained back 130 of the 140 pounds I lost a few years ago.
4. I suffer from major road rage and have been known to try hard to intimidate other drivers that I deem to be idiots, and the black SUV I drive doesn't hurt in that effort.
3. I am so insecure that I will not confront you when you upset me. Instead I will apologize all over myself to try to make things right.
2. I would rather stay in bed and sleep than get up off my fat ass and do anything.

And the NUMBER ONE reason to hate me that you didn't even know:
1. I am completely and totally too sensitive to others' criticisms.

Comments are closed for this posting. I don't need more hatred spewed at me, and I damned sure don't need anybody trying to make me feel better.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Apologies and Giving Up

First the apologies:

1) I apologize for not responding back to comments lately. This cold has kicked my ass. At this point it looks to overwhelming to me to go back and try to catch up so I'm not even going to try.
2) I apologize to everybody that I have inadvertently offended lately through my blog and comments on others blogs. Apparently I'm just a loose cannon lately.

Which leads me to my second point:
I'm giving up for a while. This blog will be totally egocentric, all about me, bullshit for the time being. I dare not say anything about anyone or anything else for a while for I seem to be in a rather destructive mode and that isn't helpful to anyone. Rather than spread the hatred to others I'll just be focusing it all on me. That's okay, there's plenty I can point in my direction. Goodness knows, I've got enough faults to give me plenty of blog fodder for some time to come.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Yes and No

No, I'm not over my cold yet.

Yes, it's a drag.

No, it's not as bad as it was.

Yes, it's just the residual congestion in the chest that keeps rattling around.

No, it isn't pneumonia.

Yes, I'm a bit paranoid about such things.

No, I haven't actually checked with a doctor to make sure it isn't pneumonia.

Yes, I'm still sure it isn't.

No, I will not be seeing a doctor about it.

Yes, I'm continuing with life as usual.

No, it isn't easy due to the wheezing and coughing and headaches.

Yes, I am a lunatic.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vote Early -- and Vote Often

The cynical phrases "Vote early -- and often" and "Vote early -- and vote often" are variously attributed to three different Chicagoans: Al Capone, the famous gangster; Richard J. Daley, mayor from 1955 to 1976; and William Hale Thompson, mayor from 1915-1923 and 1931-1935. All three were notorious for their corruption and their manipulation of the democratic process. It is most likely that Thompson invented the phrase, and Capone and Daley later repeated it.

Well I've done the first part -- I cast my vote in the election today thanks to the great state I live in giving voters the ability to early vote by showing up at the county clerk's office during designated times.

Now if I can just figure out how to make that often part work. ;-)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More About the Weekend

This is what I missed on Friday night because of the blogger weekend:
First, a tribute to Olympic Gold Medalist, Utah Jazz star, and former Illini Deron Williams

Then, of course, the meat of the evening, the Bulls vs. Jazz game played in my beloved Assembly Hall

This is what I missed on Saturday night because of the blogger weekend:
Before the game

and seen from the perspective of one of the parachutists

followed by the awesome Illini performance against the Hoosiers

So all of that is why I said them there bloggers I was meeting better be damned interesting. How did my weekend compare to what I missed? Hmm, meeting bloggers I might never get another chance to meet in person was an awesome experience and definitely a worthwhile endeavor. However, to give up not one, but two, major sporting events that I would have thoroughly enjoyed makes me almost regret doing the blogger thing. On the other hand, had I gone to the sporting events with my cold I would have, without a doubt, ended up incredibly hoarse from all the cheering and probably would have rested less than I did which could have made the cold even worse. When it comes down to it, I have to admit it's a toss up. While meeting this particular group of bloggers was possibly a once in a lifetime experience so would have been the Bulls/Jazz game. I don't often get a chance to see NBA games at all, particularly to see former Illini playing in the NBA, in person. Also, after sitting through the embarrassing performance of the Illini football team the weekend before, I would have loved to be there to cheer them on to their impressive victory Saturday night, not to mention getting to see the parachutists coming into the stadium before the game. N was quite impressed by that.

I don't mean to sound ungrateful for the blogger weekend. I'm not. I'm glad I went. I wish though that it had not conflicted with such great stuff going on back at the U.

So a little rundown of tidbits about the blogger weekend:
* The Westin has the absolute best mattresses ever. If I could have snuck one out in my suitcase I would have.

* If your headlights both burn out just before a trip don't let Sears fix them. Slower than snail idiots they are. . .

* Hanging out on a bed with 5 other bloggers isn't as sexy as it sounds.

* I was impressed by the mad skills several people showed when playing Guitar Hero and American Idol.

* I didn't participate in either of those things. With my cold, I knew I couldn't sing so American Idol was out. N has Guitar Hero, and I've watched him play enough that I thought I might give that a try except N doesn't have the guitar controller so we just play with the regular controller so I was afraid I'd embarrass myself royally if I tried.

* I love valet parking. Drop the car at the door, pick it up at the door. What could be simpler?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm Here Now

So the Greater Midwest Blogger Fest happened this weekend just past. No, it wasn't anything formal, just a bunch of bloggers and spouses meeting in person, thanks to FTN, most of us for the first time.

To those who were there, let me assure you I will say nothing here that will blow your cover. I won't name real names. I won't give hometowns. Worry not. Your anonymity is safe with me. However, I am going to speak candidly here, and while it is not my intent to offend anyone at all I will not avoid expressing my opinions.

Without further ado, here are my impressions of those in attendance. These opinions are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone else whether in attendance or not. Can you see them all squirming in their seats now wondering just what impressions they made on me? After all, I’m sure it was of the utmost in importance to each of them to make a good impression on me. (Stop rolling your eyes. You know you’re greatest goal for the weekend was my friendship and admiration.)

2AMSomewhere – Genuinely nice guy and, although fairly quiet, comes across as friendly, not standoffish, as some quiet types do.

Desmond Jones – Desmond was probably closest to my expectations for all those who I didn’t have first hand knowledge ahead of time. What you see on his blog and in his comments on others’ blogs is who he is. He is one of those people who are instantly likeable and easy to talk to.

Molly (Desmond’s non-blogging wife) – What a sweetheart! She strikes me as the type person who can be dragged (and no, I don’t think he has to drag her) by Desmond to any kind of gathering and fit right in. She chatted easily with just about everyone and seems to have a gift for easy conversation. Probably my favorite of those I met this weekend (not to say there was anything wrong with anyone else, but Molly is a rare gem, and I’m pretty sure Desmond would agree with me on that).

Recovering Soul – Probably the least like what I had imagined, at least in looks. I thought he’d be taller, and for some reason older looking, than what he is. He is another really nice guy though I didn’t get to converse much with him.

Therese in Heaven – Nobody could expect as much beauty as Therese has. Stunning would not be an overstatement. I am in awe that she could walk as easily as she did in the extremely high heels she was wearing. I don’t think Therese and I got the chance for any real conversation between us which is why I’m commenting shallowly on her looks rather than her being.

FTN – Ah, the instigator and organizer of the event. I knew from his blog he’d be tall. Maybe I’m jaded due to the basketball players I’m around so much, but FTN didn’t seem extremely tall to me. Yes, he was probably the tallest at the gathering, but seemed pretty normal, at least heightwise. Actually, he seemed maybe more normal than I’d expected from his blog. Another really nice normal guy. Apparently, it’s the nice normal guys who blog.

Autumn (FTN’s non-blogging wife) – Of all those in attendance she seemed the least comfortable. For much of the time at the pub where we met and had dinner Saturday night she sat with arms folded (body language doesn’t lie) and with a vacant sort of half smile on her face, kind of like she was tolerating being there. This, of course, didn’t at all surprise me given all I’ve read on FTN’s blog. At no time did Autumn and I ever speak to each other so I don’t really have much of a read on who she might really be.

Tajalude – Way at the other end of the table at dinner so I wasn’t surprised we talked little. Taja is as bubbly in person as she is on her blog and has the kind of hair I’ve wanted all my life. Not only that she has a great little dog, very well behaved for being only four months old.

Brady (Taja’s non-blogging husband) – I basically had no impression of him because with me at the very end of the table and him at the opposite end of the table we were as far apart as we could have been and never got a chance to talk. Seems quite devoted to Taja though and when I heard him speak it became clear to me that he is not living in his native part of the country.

Drama – One of the best friends in real life I’ve made via the internet. If I’d felt better I would’ve totally sneaked her out for a much boozier Saturday night, but as it was I was not much up to it. She was quieter than I’ve seen her in the past. Maybe that’s ‘cause in the past I’ve always seen her in her element with her friends rather than in a group of mostly strangers.

Fusion – Another whom I’d already met and count as friend. Enviously free in so many ways. We both totally sucked playing pool, but it was fun anyway. Fusion strikes me as the kind of guy who could travel the country, even the world, and make friends just about anywhere. Oh wait, he’s already done that hasn’t he?

BJ – Bless his heart, BJ is not much of a talker. He sits quietly, taking it all in. I never know if he’s miserable or happy to be somewhere until I ask after the fact. So for anyone who was there who wondered, BJ did indeed enjoy himself. I only know ‘cause I asked. Also, you can thank him for us showing up at FTN’s room on Saturday night. I was just about ready to pack it in feeling, as usual, like I was on the fringe of the things and wouldn’t be missed (this feeling, BTW, is all about me and not about how the others at the gathering were), but BJ told me he wasn’t going to allow me to give up. So I gathered myself together and thoroughly enjoyed myself as much as a wheezing asthmatic could watching others perform admirably at Guitar Hero and American Idol. In other words, BJ was my rock this weekend as he often times is.

Stay tuned. Tomorrow I’ll relate various tidbits from the weekend: some about others, some about myself, some about my surroundings. Same bat time, same bat channel.

When Doctors Care. . .

I am still working on the post blogger weekend post. It's long and needs lots of links set up, and I'm still drained from my cold. But it's coming. . . possibly as early as late afternoon or early evening today.

This morning I had my first appointment with my new PCP since my old one abandoned me to go back to school. I love (that’s love, l-o-v-e, LOVE) my new PCP. She is awesome. She listened to me! She took me seriously. She was concerned about hearing about my concerns.

She told me that the hairiness on the injured leg is actually a good sign. It means there's plenty of blood flow. She also told me that it's normal for it to still be discolored and tender lo these many months later. She saw no sign of infection or other problems. Her main concern is that the hematoma not calcify, and in order to help that I need to walk. My dog will be thanking her for that prescription when he hears of it.

She referred me to a psychiatrist for my depression. She agrees that the Prozac isn’t doing the job if all it has done is bring me from severely depressed to minimally functional. She thinks if I get the depression under control it will help get some of my other issues taken care of (like the weight, bad eating habits, no exercise, etc). She told me that I deserve better than to be minimally functional. God bless this woman.

Anyway, when the front desk person went to make the psych appointment for me she found out that the psychiatrist had a cancellation at 3:00 p.m. today so I have an appointment today! We’re going to start working on me today! I will start on the path to getting better today! The me of tomorrow will be better than the me of today.

P.S. I know that there are no magic cures for depression. I know that no matter what happens at this afternoon's appointment I'm not going to be "normal" tomorrow. But I also know that I am now at least pointed in the right direction, and that's the start to getting better. . . one step at a time.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Back But Not Quite Here

Back from the blogger weekend. I was not fun to be with this weekend. I know that. I had a cold. . . which aggravated my asthma. . . which made breathing difficult. . . which made me grumpy. . . which made me less than fun to be around. I dragged along behind the rest of the folks there and even skipped a get together on Sunday to sleep late and try to feel better. I so wish I'd been in better form, but alas the cold took its toll on me. I tried not to let the grumpiness show through the best I could, but I probably didn't do so good at that. At least BJ was there to help me through it. For some strange reason, he loves me even when I'm sick and grumpy.

I have a longer post on the weekend started that will include my impressions of each of those in attendance, but it will take a while to finish so I just thought I'd let you know that I am back.

More to come. . .

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I'm Not Here

Thanks to the blogger gods that allow me to write this post the day before it will actually appear here.

So I'm not here. I am at a blogger gathering in the great Hoosier state. I am missing the Illini/Hoosier football game just to attend. I also skipped the Bulls/Jazz game last night because I was supposed to have company headed to the blogger gathering. I gave up a lot for this weekend. All I can say is these people damned well better be entertaining. It takes a lot to get me to give up my sporting events.

From my understanding we'll all be partaking of lots of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. Oh wait, no that must be a different group on a different weekend. This weekend, given the participants, we'll more likely be partaking of heavy duty religious discussions. To tell you the truth, if that's the direction things go I believe there are a few of us who may splinter off into our own subgroup and seek other forms of entertainment.

After I get back I'll let you know all the juicy details. Perhaps some will be true and some will be false, and I'll let you guess which are which. See you when I get back.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Confessing to an Addiction

So here’s the deal. Yeah, I haven’t used that phrase in a long time. But here it is anyway.

Way back in about 1977 I got hooked. I was totally addicted. I used to sneak home during my lunch hour just to feed my addiction. Others at school used to ask me to share what I knew about it, and I did. Some of them were addicted too. I went off to college and maintained my addiction. In some ways it even got worse. I’d plan my day around it. I was a slave to that addiction.

Once I graduated and joined the real working world I was no longer able to indulge in my addiction as I had when in school. I tried going cold turkey, but I just couldn’t do it. Inevitably I’d turn to friends who I knew could give me a fix. For several years though, I did pretty well without it.

Then I stopped working and stayed home full time. I needed something. There were too many empty hours in the day. I relapsed and headed full bore back into my addiction. I hid it well. I never talked of it except with those who I knew would understand, those with whom I could share among kindred spirits. We had our little circle of friends that we talked about often – Joe and Ruth, Brooke, Tad, Jenny, Angie, Jesse, Adam, Palmer, and many others. They all had their ups and downs over time as did we all.

When I went back to work I found a way to feed the addiction this time. I found a way that I could indulge in my addiction though it did mean that W found out more about my addiction than he had known before. There was no hiding it from him at that point though as he was at home, not working, and I could find no time when I could indulge outside his presence and knowledge.

Through the years it seems that this addiction has just always been with me, one of the constants of my life. Indeed it’s been with me for more than 30 years, most of my life. It is an addiction I have no intention of ever trying to break even though this week the addiction has become almost more an obsession than an addiction. There’s been foreshadowing for weeks now that disaster was impending, and lo and behold, finally it hit this week, most heavily today.

Now it’s driving me crazy, this addiction of mine. I have to wait a whole weekend before I can indulge again. I have no choice. It isn’t there on weekends. All My Children is only on Monday – Friday, noon central time on ABC. I’ll have to wait until next week to find out who survives and who succumbs in Pine Valley’s latest tragedy, a devastating number of tornadoes on a dark stormy night. I already know that Babe is on her way out, and Kendall will stay in a coma until the actress who plays her returns from an extended honeymoon. I certainly do wonder about many others though. What about Annie and Emma? What about Aidan? What about Opal? What will Adam and Erica do while trapped in the hidden tunnel in the mansion? What will Ryan and Greenlee do while trapped in the rubble? And why on earth has Bianca returned?

If I knew any way to get my grubby little hands on episodes before they aired I’d be right there this weekend, watching every moment and grumbling all the way at how slow the story moves.

Yes, I Trueself, am an All My Children addict. Shameful as that may be it is true. As if my own life weren’t soap opera enough. Although maybe that’s what I like about it. Nobody on there is less messed up than me (okay, well maybe Joe and Ruth, maybe), and yet they all continue to make it day by day even through the worst of times – infidelity, prison time, mental illness, you name it they’ve had it. Why, I could almost think I was normal comparing myself to them.

And the point of this post? Oh, I don’t know. The show is just weighing heavy on my mind with all the turmoil right now, and I had to talk to somebody about it, you know? And I’m thinking that the people I’m hanging with this weekend aren’t going to be interested so that left you great big Internet. You’re welcome.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Little Updates

The Cold
Feeling a bit better this morning. The throat is no longer scratchy and sore because the mucous is no longer draining down the back of my throat. Now it’s thickened up and taken residence in my sinuses. It’s still fluid enough that I can blow it out and get temporary relief though. I’ve gone through a tree’s worth of tissues blowing my nose. Hopefully if I rest I’ll be ready for the weekend. Heck, even if the cold is worse I wouldn’t miss this weekend for anything in the world.

This Weekend
Very much looking forward to it. On the other hand, I’m kind of nervous about it. After all here I am, the shyest person on earth, heading out to meet several bloggers whom I know only through their written words. Oh sure, I can talk like the dickens when I’m hiding here behind the keyboard, but in person?!? Yikes! Besides I have this fear that there will be some there who will look at me as though I were a specimen in a jar in a biology lab, wanting to see just what an adulteress wife looks like. Hope I don’t disappoint them.

Evil W is still on hand. Good W is nowhere to be seen. W had N on Tuesday from after school until around 8:30 p.m. He assured me he would feed N dinner (as well he should before 8:30 p.m.). Shortly after N arrived home he asked me what was for dinner. I stopped short. I’d already had mine and hadn’t anticipated having to fix some for him. Besides it was his bedtime. I called W because I couldn’t believe that W never even offered N dinner as N claimed. Turns out N was right. “Oops, I goofed,” was W’s answer. Goofed? GOOFED?!? Not feeding your kid is a goof? Sigh. . . So of course I made N some dinner, and he got to bed late that night.

Just because I’m nice and laid back and let things slide it doesn’t mean my feelings don’t get hurt. They do. My feelings get hurt big time sometimes. I hate putting up protective walls around me, but I do. Every time my feelings get hurt the wall comes up just a bit higher. I want to be open to people. I want to let them in. I do. Right now I can’t. The walls are up high right now. Shields activated. Just try and hurt me. It will bounce right off because I’ve put up the barriers. You can’t get in.

If this weren’t so frustrating it would be hilarious. A little background is in order first. Normally when a report request comes to me all I can see in terms of when it was requested is the date that my boss sends the request to me. I have no idea when the report was actually requested by the user. However, today a rep emailed me and asked if I had a certain report in my queue. I did not. Just a little while ago, my boss sent the request to me asking me to work on it ASAP as the rep is getting heat from the customer for it. So this time I know the timeline of things. I know that on Monday the rep requested the report and it landed in my boss’s queue. I know that it has a requested due date of 10/15 (yes, that would be yesterday). I know that my boss did not assign the request to me until this afternoon. Now it needs to be done ASAP. Since when does someone else’s incompetence turn into my urgent priority? Oh, that’s right, when he controls whether or not I have a job. Welcome to my world.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hoping I'm Better This Weekend

I'm sick. I have a cold. When I got home from work today I put on my Eeyore sweatshirt with my blue sweatpants, made an easy, heat it up, dinner, and then helped N with his math homework.

I'm tired. Early bedtime for me. Think I'll go watch the rest of the presidential debate in bed and drift off to dreamland.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Where the Hell Did I Go?

For some people a gap of a few days on the blog is typical. For me, it's a bit of an unusual gap. But people, I've been busy, oh so busy.

Had to get the car serviced in addition to working my regular hours in addition to hosting N's birthday party at the local ice rink. I left home at 7:15 a.m., dropped by the house around 6:00 p.m. to feed the dog and do a couple of chores before heading off to the ice arena shortly after 7:00 p.m. I came home around 9:30 p.m., picked up BJ to go out for a late supper. I have no recollection what I ate. I only know I was dog tired by the time we returned home so we went right to bed. (Perhaps we didn't go right to sleep but definitely right to bed.)

No chance to sleep in so BJ and I got up and went out to breakfast after which I returned him to my house, and I went off to the Illini football game. (Awful game, don't even talk to me about it. Bleah.) Right after the game N and I headed off to my parents' house three hours away. N slept part of the way. I wish I could have, but it's generally viewed as poor form to sleep while driving. We arrived in the early evening. N was wound up from his nap. I was dead tired. I went to bed before he did. He ended up sleeping in bed with me because he couldn't go to sleep on his own (although lots of times he goes to sleep on his own).

Spent the day with my parents getting caught up on the family gossip. Mom is a treasure trove of information and is happy to share it when Dad isn't within earshot to give her what for about spreading gossip. So I know all about the IRS troubles of one relative (couldn't happen to a more deserving person I must say) and all of my granny's latest antics. Of course, when you're 96 I think you're allowed whatever antics you desire. Dad's on his "off" time with the chemo so although he's weak he is stronger than most of the time. He felt well enough that we went out to dinner on Sunday night. He ate really well which was good to see because he doesn't have much appetite due to the chemo and struggles to keep his weight up, a problem that he has never had previously in his life. Afterwards, I took N to a movie, Beverly Hills Chihuahua (cute movie BTW), and then we returned to my parents' house just in time to go to bed at 10:00 p.m. Fortunately, N went to sleep quickly so I was able to go to bed early too.

Slept in this morning, and didn't get up until 8:45 a.m. Ahh. . . It was a good way to start the day. I'd have slept later except N came in and woke me. I was able to waste the entire morning watching Today, The View, The Price is Right and All My Children. Then it was three hours back home, take N to soccer practice, and now, finally, catch up on blogging. Soon I will be in bed ready to take on the world, or at least my little corner of it.

Happy Columbus Day!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

When the Planets and Moon Align Just So. . .

First, let me say happy birthday (yesterday) to N. He’s in double digits now, but still my “little boy” (as long as he doesn’t hear me call him that). W and I took him to Chevy’s last night for his birthday dinner. It was both W and I at N’s request, and Chevy’s at N’s request. N loves birthdays at Chevy’s because they make a big deal out of it. They give you a sombrero (to keep!), have the wait staff all gather together to sing to you, and give you a free sundae for dessert.

Ah, but what would a post be without a good rant along the way. Today’s rant is about W. Yeah, I know, what a surprise. W was born under the sign of Gemini, the twins. W is Gemini through and through. He has two distinct personalities – good W and evil W. For the last few weeks I’ve been graced with having the good W around. It’s been nice. We’ve cooperated. He has even on occasion offered to be helpful in sharing the care of N. Even N noticed they were getting along better. I knew it was too good to last, and I tread lightly because I never knew when he would flip from good W to evil W. Within the last week, evil W has returned. Maybe the moon and planets are badly aligned. I don’t know. He balks at every turn. While I had good W to help with developing the October custody schedule I am now dealing with evil W as we implement it. Suddenly, he has forgotten (in spite of having helped develop the calendar and having it posted on his refrigerator; I’ve seen it when I pick up N) and not pleased that he is to have N tonight and tomorrow night, as we agreed when the two of us sat down and made the calendar together. Also, last night after dinner as we were transferring N’s stuff from his car to mine he got all pissy over a minor issue, said “Whatever” as I tried to explain something, slammed the car door on my car, turned and walked away. N said, “I can’t believe he just did that to you.” Then he put his head on my shoulder and rubbed my arm. I didn’t know what to say except to thank him for caring.

How long will evil W stay and prevent good W from appearing? No clue. I guess it’ll take until the wind changes, or the planets realign, or he has a little success with one of his “lady friends” as he calls them.

In other news, I had two exceedingly weird dreams last night (thanks to spicy Mexican food for dinner maybe?). The first dream was that N (and yes, he is very much a boy) was pregnant without my knowledge until he had the baby. It was a bizarre dream and fizzled out as I started to question just exactly how N, a boy, could have a baby. It was a strange and disturbing dream. In the other dream I attended a party where several people I know in real life and a couple of people I didn’t know were in attendance. It was a rather adult type party. All the women were in lingerie while they men were fully dressed (which I thought was weird even in my dream). I was a newcomer to the group but very warmly welcomed. They were playing some kind of card game that I was having a hard time following, but turns often resulted in various adult type activities engaged in for a time determined by the cards played. At one point, I ended up in a FFM threesome with a redhead I know from the bi group and a man I didn’t know. I also know that John Goodman (the actor) was there, as well as one guy I knew from grade school. Most of the women there were from my bi group. This dream was quite interesting and enjoyable and was only interrupted as W called me early this morning to let me know that I needed to replenish N’s lunch money at school. I struggled to awaken from the dream as I tried to figure out what the noise was (the telephone ringing). Oh well, it was almost time to get up for the day anyway.

And just now I read my horoscope for today:
Your attempts to remain practical today may be futile as you are drawn into the shadowy regions of uncertainty. Logic fails to explain your strong passions, yet this is as it should be now. Your current lesson is about honoring your feelings, whether they are rational or not. Remember, you can allow your emotions to flow unrestrained without necessarily acting on any of them.

Okey dokey then. Heading into another beautiful, weird, wacky day. Yet this is as it should be now. Well, at least my horoscope seems to think so anyway.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

You Know This is How It Goes

You know how sometimes when you’re working on a project, particularly a volunteer project, it becomes obvious to you that those in charge gots no clue what they be doin’?

You know how when that happens you’re just greatly tempted to tell those in charge what a rotten job they are doing and how you could do it soooooooo much better?

You know how when you’re tempted like that you stop short of saying anything because you know if you complain too much they’ll try to put you in charge the next time?

Yeah, that was me, on Sunday, when working my volunteer hours in the concession stands for the greater good of the soccer club for which N plays.

And now it’s two days later, it’s still bugging me, and I still want to tell them how it could be done better.

The big decision I have to make though is whether to:
(A) Tell them how it could be done better and volunteer to manage the concession stands in the future, or
(B) Just keep my mouth shut and save myself the hassle of being in charge of anything.

I know lots of people would scream “Choose B you fool! Choose B!” I gotta tell you I’m leaning heavily towards A right now because I must tell you it is much easier for me to just get ‘er done than tolerate having things done in a piss poor half-assed way.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sports of All Sorts

Let me say a little something not related to the main subject of my post just to clear off some residue from the last post. I just want to say that if you are unaccustomed to how people act when under the influence of drugs, even those taken exactly as prescribed, the whole thing can be unnerving, particularly when your first experience with this is in the middle of the night, and the person under the influence of said drug is unable, due to said drug usage, to explain what is happening and why and provide some reassurance as to everything being okay. Also, when the person under the influence of said drug tries to make a funny, but you aren’t sure if the person is joking or serious and can’t really get a coherent response from him, again due to said drug usage, it can get a little unnerving, or perhaps as things often seem worse in the middle of the night than in the light of day, it can seem downright scary. I don’t do well in those kinds of situations. I’m a wimp. So when the “fight of flight” reflex kicks in I opt for flight, and did, in the wee early hours of Saturday morning, around 5:00 a.m. leaving a somewhat out of it, somewhat bewildered, somewhat scary BJ back at his place while I hightailed it home.

While I love BJ a lot, I can’t say that I much care for the drugged up BJ. It has always been a priority for me to stay in my right mind, to be as alert as possible, and I find a certain amount of discomfort with being around pharmaceutically enhanced individuals. Now I am not talking about medications like, oh say, blood pressure meds or allergy meds, but I am talking about the kind of meds that would alter your personality like his sleeping pills seem to do. Normally when BJ takes a sleeping pill around me it is at bedtime, and he goes to sleep, and sleeps soundly, and isn’t scary at all. After all, how scary can a big sleeping lump be? But seeing him teetering on the edge of consciousness, sitting in his living room, incoherent and unable to respond intelligibly to me, freaked me out. I wasn’t even entirely sure he knew who I was or why I was there, and that was the scariest part because if he didn’t realize that then how safe was I? That’s when I decided to bug out. Now I did find out later that he did know who I was and why I was there and he was fine with me being there. It’s just that he didn’t/couldn’t communicate that in his drug-altered state. So we talked it all out later in the day, and maybe I’m a little clearer on things, and maybe he’s a little clearer on things, and maybe it’ll all be okay.

Thus ends my post length prologue to my real post.

And now, on with the real post:

This weekend was not great, but then again not horrible, for sports fan Trueself. I’ll do bad news first and then the good news.

As one of the many long-suffering Chicago Cubs fans of the world, I watched as my beloved Cubbies folded under the pressure of their World Series centennial year and tanked in the playoffs to the Dodgers (the Dodgers for pity sakes!) losing three in a row to go home once again with heads hung low and the ever present cry of “Well, there’s always next year.” Yeah, I’m still a Cubbies fan. I suppose I always will be. I would love to see them make the World Series once in my lifetime, but I think of the number of diehard Cubs fans for whom that hasn’t happened and I see this year’s performance, and I can’t help but think that it may not happen for me either. Sigh. . .

Oh well, at least we had the “Big Soccer Tournament” to attend. Alas, N’s team lost both of their games on Saturday, putting them in the Consolation Game on Sunday. His team played well in both of Saturday’s games. They just met up with some really tough teams, teams that were much better than any they’d seen before. They didn’t lose horribly either time, only by two goals in each game. Nevertheless, they lost. . . both games. . . and they were nothing if not a little down trodden by the end of the second game. I was a little worried that they would let their losses get them down so much they wouldn’t play well on Sunday. However, they were going up against a team that had also suffered two losses on Saturday so morale-wise the two teams should be pretty evenly matched. N’s team took an early lead on Sunday and although the other team fought back hard in the second half and nearly tied the game at one point when all was said and done N’s team won. . . a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy tournament.

The big bright spot in my weekend sports-wise though was the Illini performance against Michigan. The Illini won big, and not only did they win big they did it on Michigan’s turf. Now I know there are a couple of readers who will not be as excited at the outcome of this game as I was, but all I can say to that is to quote one of my favorite Illini t-shirts: Muck Fichigan! Yes, we beat Michigan. I can’t wait to watch the game on Tivo. I had to miss it due to N’s soccer tournament, but I made sure to set the Tivo to record it just in case we won. If we had lost, I would’ve just deleted it, but given that we won I’ll be having my own version of Monday Night Football tonight. I just need a little Papa Del’s and Bud Light, and I’m good to hunker down on the sofa for an evening of fine football, and because it’s Tivoed I can skip all the commercials. Perfect!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Not a Big Thing

I'm titling this post the way I am because I want everyone to realize that what I'm talking about here isn't a big deal to me. It's just something that I'm trying to work out in my head.

I know I tend to overreact and overdramatize. I have no illusions about that so when things happen that make me have strong reactions I try to step back and deal with myself first before dealing with the situation. I'm in one of those situations right now.

Something happened early this morning that scared me. It scared me badly enough that I left where I was and returned home. . . without explanation, without much forethought, just a strong desire to get to a place where I would feel safe and comfortable.

Now, several hours later, I'm trying hard to step back and think about it, think it through, and I can't talk about it yet. I have to think. I have to decide what to do and how to make myself feel okay with it.

Friday, October 03, 2008

From Under the Green Eyeshade

As an official bean counter (or accountant for those who want to be formal about it) I cringe as I listen to some of the stuff that’s being said with regard to the bailout.

The most galling thing I’ve heard so far is what seems to have started bubbling up over the last couple of days as certain factions have questioned the validity of the “mark to market” accounting rules that require investments to be valued at current market value. While I have no intention of getting into an in depth study here of the details of the rules (although goodness knows it would be a great cure for insomnia for you to try to read something like that) I just need to say something about the whole issue before my head explodes.

There are various ways you might account for investments in securities:

Cost – This would be the most simplistic, but highly inaccurate in some, if not a lot, of cases. You buy a stock for $1,000 you include it in the assets on your balance sheet at $1,000. What this doesn’t do is take into account any fluctuations in the value of that asset over time. Therefore, anyone looking at your balance sheet is going to have no idea whether it fairly represents your financial position. I doubt there’s much of anybody who would argue for valuing investments in securities at cost.

Lower of Cost or Market – Ah, this is an old favorite. In this case if you buy a stock for $1,000 you carry it on the books at $1,000 unless the value falls below $1,000, in which case you write it down to its market value. Therefore, if the stock value rises to $1,200 the stock will still appear on your books at $1,000, but if the stock value falls to $800 it will appear on your books at $800. This is a nice conservative way of accounting. Accountants liked it because it meant you weren’t over inflating values on your balance sheet and making you look like you’ve got more than you have. On the other hand, if you happen to be really good at picking stocks, then over time it starts to look like you have less than you actually do. Because after buying that $1,000 of Really Good Company early on and holding it several years that same stock is worth $5,000, but you only get credit for 20% of that. The only way to recognize that $4,000 gain is to sell the stock and actually realize it. I grew up in the era of Lower of Cost or Market and will admit to having a bit of an affinity for it. When it comes to reporting financial position I’m all about erring on the side of understatement of assets and overstatement of liabilities. I’m just cautious that way.

Mark to Market – The simplistic definition of this would be that for every investment you value it at its current market value. The danger of this is that it makes you vulnerable to market swings more than the previous method. The benefit is that it makes for a “truer” assessment of the value of your portfolio at a point in time. Lots of people in the financial industry lobbied hard to get this into GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) when times were good. They wanted to take advantage of the high values in the stock market at the time. Now these same people are crying in their beer because times ain’t so good and instead of having to mark their investment from $1,000 to $800 as they would have under Lower of Cost or Market and taking a $200 hit they have to mark their investment from $5,000 to $800 taking a $4,200 hit. This is exactly why I favor Lower of Cost or Market. Mark to Market has allowed companies to inflate their balance sheets for far too long.

Now these bigwigs in high finance want to ditch Mark to Market. But do they want to return to Lower of Cost or Market to help return towards a bit more conservative sanity? NO! They want even more freedom to mark invested assets up to some other value as determined by them. If we were to allow these people that kind of power there would be little to no integrity in financial reporting at all. I can’t imagine that this will ever come to be, but if it does I guarantee you I will pull out of the stock market all together because financial statements will be even more meaningless than they already are.

I could go on, but I won’t. I could expand on several points here, but I won’t. I could offer more options and examples, but I won’t. I know I’ve already left most, if not all, of you with your eyes glazed over.

Grrr…. This kind of stuff just riles me up like few things can. It’s all about integrity, choosing integrity over greed, choosing to do the right thing for everyone rather than the thing that will make it great for me while screwing over the masses. Less regulations and looser regulations just allow the greed to run rampant, unchecked. It’s bad enough already. How much worse does it have to get before regular people start to fight back?

Damn I’m pissed off.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Red or Blue?

A friend forwarded this to me. It'll help you see which presidential candidate is the right one for you. It's a survey. It gives you two quotes on an issue, one from Obama and one from McCain, but it doesn't indicate which one said what. You click on the quote that is closest to your convictions. In the end it will tell you who you are leaning towards, or should be anyway! Cool!

Click here to go to the quiz.

When I took it there were no surprises. As expected I didn't agree 100% with either candidate. Also as expected I leaned heavily toward Obama and away from McCain. I tried to make sure I was rating the statements on the statements alone and not trying to guess which candidate had said it (although in some cases it is just too obvious to be unaware of it) because I wanted to base it truly on how I feel about the issues and not skew it towards Obama because I wanted it to tell me I should be for Obama.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Odds and Ends

Not sure which of these are the odds and which the ends, but there's a bunch of 'em. Might take a while to read. Go get a cup of coffee, and maybe a muffin. Then find a comfy place to relax as you read.

  1. Finally, this morning I saw Sarah Palin in an interview where she sounded almost reasonable and perhaps worthy of being in politics on a national level. Frankly, it was a relief as I had been terrified of the prospect of her being VP. Now I’m starting to think I would be only annoyed rather than terrified. My impression is that maybe her “handlers” in what I’m sure was a well-intentioned effort exerted too much pressure on her to be something different than her true self and inadvertently aided her only in coming off as a bumbling idiot in earlier outings. So now I’m looking forward to what I think could actually be a real debate between her and Biden. At least I hope it will be a real debate. Can we keep gender out of it? If so, the potential for real debate is possible. If not, I will sigh and realize we aren’t quite evolved as far as I’d hoped.

  2. Bailout or no bailout? That is the question. Well, what if we turned it on its ear? What if instead of bailing out the fat cats on Wall Street we bailed out the little guy? What if instead of pumping billions into the big corporate machine, we pumped it out to those who are struggling to meet those subprime mortgage payments? Why does it have to be a top down effort? Why not build from the base? These are just brainstorming thoughts on my part so it might be completely unfeasible. However, if I were a Washington insider that’s the idea I’d throw out there and at least research its feasibility.

  3. Yesterday, W called at 5:25 p.m. to let me know that he couldn’t pick N up from after school care as he normally does on Tuesdays (after school care runs until 6:00 p.m.). If this had been an emergency I would’ve been fine with it. If this had been something that came up suddenly I would’ve been fine with it. Given that he said he’d forgotten to mention it on Monday and then hadn’t found the time to let me know earlier than he did on Tuesday I was anything but fine with it. If it’s my time to have N and something comes up I can call W and ask if he’s available, but it is not even an option to just tell him that I can’t care for N at that time and he’ll have to do so. Nope, I have to find and pay for a sitter if he is unavailable. On the other hand, if W pulls a stunt like yesterday I have to change my plans to accommodate him, or I have to find, and pay for, a sitter. Grrr. . . There is an inequity here that is quite galling.

  4. N wanted to have his birthday party at the local ice rink (he loves to ice skate) rather than my idea of having it at a local park with a nice play area. I was hesitant, but after finding out that it was not much more expensive to have it at the ice rink than renting the pavilion at the park (and at the ice rink they provide refreshments and goody bags which I would have had to do myself if we’d done it at the park), I agreed to it and booked it. The day after I booked it, N was talking to some of his friends, found out they wouldn’t attend if it was at the ice rink (they don’t know how to ice skate), and so he wanted to know if we could change back to doing it at the park. I told him no, because I’d had to put down a non-refundable deposit with the ice rink. Now I have an unhappy boy because he is getting his birthday party at the place he insisted upon. If it weren’t for the non-refundable deposit I’d be tempted to cancel the whole damned thing and not have a party at all. I know he’s just a kid, but a little gratitude would go a long way here.

  5. I seem just a bit scatterbrained lately. Last night I took a load of clothes from the washer and put them in the dryer. This morning I went to get the clothes out of the dryer. They were still wet. I had never turned on the dryer. Duh. . .

  6. French toast is good, and you know what? It really doesn’t take all that long to make, just the time to beat up a little egg batter, dip the bread and fry it up. Oatmeal takes almost as long. N and I had French toast for breakfast yesterday. We should do it more often.

  7. This weekend N plays in another “Big Soccer Tournament.” I hear there will be 175 teams there of various age groups from at least three or four states. At least this one is closer to home and won’t require staying overnight with a fellow blogger. (You do realize, don’t you, that the only reason I blog is to make connections all over the world so that no matter where I travel I can save money on accommodations by staying in bloggers’ homes and taking advantage of their hospitality, soft guest beds, hot showers, and free food from their kitchens? Well, if you didn’t, you do now.) Fortunately, this is W’s weekend to have N so he gets to take him to the 8:00 a.m. game while I sleep late, blissfully unburdened with soccer mom duty for a bit. I’ll go over for at least a game or two, but not the early morning one. I’ll definitely make the Sunday afternoon championship game if his team makes it that far (and given their so far undefeated season I’d say they have a good chance) because I wouldn’t want to miss seeing that.

  8. Last weekend BJ, N and I attended a fundraiser for a local charity. It’s the first time we’ve really officially done anything public as the three of us. I introduced BJ to a couple of friends of mine. I didn’t introduce him as anything like boyfriend, just as BJ with no further explanation made. I don’t know what they thought of him or the fact that I was with him. It felt awkward though, at least to me, maybe because they are friends of W’s too. I don’t know how BJ felt about it.

  9. Can a couple separate and still attend the same church comfortably? That is a quandary for both me and W. He and I both enjoy our church. It is a small congregation, not a mega church so we definitely run into one another there. However, his circle of friends there and mine, while having some overlap, tend to be different in general. He tends to hang with the geriatric crowd for the most part. I tend to run with the parents of school age children and with the LGBTQA (yeah they keep expanding the list of those included with the Q being “questioning” and the A being “allies” for those not in the know) group. Because of the type church it is, we aren’t looked down upon for divorcing, and I’m not aware of anyone feeling the need to place blame or take sides. At first, we both thought that one of us might need to change churches to maintain comfort and peace, but it seems to be working for us at least for now. I guess the real test will be when one of us brings a new person from our lives into the church (and from the sound of things W may well have a new paramour in the not so distant future so he may be the first of us to bring someone else to church as BJ isn’t a big church person).