Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fuzzy Thinking

I have one of those rare mornings at home by myself. I feel like Macaulay Culkin, but without the pharmaceuticals. I had to go back and reread my last post, because I wrote it at 3:30 this morning. I wasn't inebriated, just tired. The post didn't reveal any state secrets, so I feel safe leaving it up there.

I got myself out of bed at 10:30 this morning, even though I probably didn't fall asleep until four. That's not a whole lot of sleep and I will probably be persuaded to take a nap with my honey later on this afternoon. It doesn't take much persuading to get me in bed with my pink-robed sweetheart.

I'm not the type to make New Year's resolutions. Instead, I make resolutions on a daily basis. As in today I will do some writing and then I do some writing. End of the year stuff makes me psychologically tired. I at least used to enjoy all those top-ten lists of best books, films and so forth. Lately though, it just all seems like so much hype, and I have enough influences. I have over two-thousand books, and I never seem to stop bringing them home, so I don't really need any new suggestions. I'll most likely peek at some of those lists though.

It is truly winter here in the emerald city. The rain never seems to abate. It may stop raining, but all the trees, and eaves continue to drip. Our little solar lanterns no longer alight at night, because there is not enough sunlight during the day to give them a charge. The damp darkness tries its best to seep into my mind, but I keep up the fight. You know the fight. We all have the same struggle to stay sane in what seems to be an insane world.

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The only comments I ever have to monitor on this blog are usually spam from some Russian somewhere about Uggs, or some other stupid shit. If I really ever get any readers, be they family, friend or unknown anonymous persons, I'd love to hear some commentary. It gets lonely out here in the ether.

Counting Down

I believe there is there year end tradition this coming Monday night, called New Year's Eve. I have never been a partier, and certainly not on holidays. In the past I've enjoyed New Year's Eve, because local television stations would play back-to-back classic movies, such as the Marx Brothers. During my last marriage, most years my wife would be well asleep by the time midnight rolled around. Now my current (final and most wonderful) wife, and I will most likely be reading our respective books; or listening to music and just enjoying each others' company.

I had a rough work week, which thankfully ended at 5:30 yesterday evening. I made a meager attempt to leave at the beginning of my lunch break, but I was told "We'd all like to take the afternoon off." In other words, "If I can't leave early then neither can you." Such petty sentiment. I quickly acquiesced, not wanting to spike my blood pressure over a mere two and a half hours. I left for lunch with my honey and then returned for the last of the day. It was quiet, and I would have much preferred to have been napping, nestled next to my honey rather re-shelving books for the umpteenth time. But that's life: freedom is a fallacy.

I've had my share of self-induced stress lately. The mass murder/school shooting in Connecticut has darkened the entire holiday much more than living in the Pacific Northwest usually does. Meanwhile at the bookstore, we were experiencing one of our busiest seasons in the store's history. (Fuck you Amazon.com) This past Tuesday was Christmas and -- as I have mentioned in previous posts -- we got the one day off from work, without pay no less. I could have benefited from having this afternoon free to nap, or read, or to just be with my family. Obviously my employers feel that my priorities should be other than they are. It's not easy being a wage slave, and the level of related annoyance arises as one ages.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It's Somebody's Birthday!

I'm sure somewhere someone has a birthday today. There are approximately 490,000 babies born in the world every day, and that includes good ole Xmas. In fact, one of my Facebook friends has a birthday today. Growing up, we always thought it would suck to have your birthday on the same day as Christmas. In a way, you were getting ripped off. Everything got celebrated on one day, instead of spread out later into the year. The unlucky birthday boy or girl most likely didn't receive twice as many gifts, and isn't that what Christmas and birthdays are really about? And Easter is about chocolate, specifically chocolate bunnies.

Tomorrow is somebody's birthday too, but it's also Wednesday and I return to work at 2pm. I will be working with Amish Girl, and I can only hope that she's done playing Christmas music, since technically Christmas will be over. She can go back to playing the Sesame Street soundtrack. (I shit you not.) I'm sure the bookstore and adjoining restaurant will be busy tomorrow, because we're situated in a well-to-do neighborhood, where most folks will have the day off, and they'll be bored and come in to browse and graze.

Part of me wants throw my copy of "It's a Wonderful Life" into the DVD player, and watch it for the next two plus hours. I haven't watched it in years, and my honey has only seen bits and pieces of it. I watched a little of  "A Christmas Carol," starring George C. Scott the other night. I just don't think my mind is in the right condition to watch something potentially so emotional. I'm filled with mixed-emotions today, and I'm probably better off not trying to nudge those feelings in one direction or another. It's better today to try and maintain a modicum of sanity. That's not always an easy task, but there are many factors that can make it especially difficult today.

There are many aspects about today -- Christmas Day to some -- that could have the potential to throw me into an emotional rut for a while, say a week or two.
A.) It's Christmas.
 
B.) My son is with his mother this year, because we alternate years. I could probably have a few hours with him if so chose, but he will be back here on Thursday this week. It seems that my ex and really gone over the top for Justin this year. According to his six-year-old mind, he has thousands of gifts under the tree, and mommy told him that he would be getting more presents than anybody! I mentioned to him the other day that some kids don't even have food to eat, and he looked at me like I had grown a third eye.

C.) As always, I could use a friend, to hang out with once in a while; smoke a bowl together; listen to some tunes; or just sit out on the deck and shoot the proverbial shit. (I would never shoot the real shit. Yuck!) I've never been one to make friends easily, and as an older male, it seems even harder to make new friends these days. The few friends I've had in the past have tended to be the type of people, who take advantage of my good-natured personality. I'm a good listener, and sometimes when people realize that they don't even bother to let me get a word in edgewise. There is no edge to even slip words into.

D.) Winter in the Pacific Northwest. I'd welcome some snow right about now, just to brighten things up a little. The words Cabin Fever end up being an understatement when it rainy and dark for days on end. I suggested to my son that he would probably like a little snow for Christmas, and he replied that he would just like a sunny day. Amen to that, little man!
Let's leave the list at four for now. Like any sad sack misanthrope, I could go on and on about what makes me blue, but I'd rather pack my bowl with a little green and make my meager attempt to toke those blues away. You may think that I've just become a stoner in my old age -- not that there's anything wrong with that -- But let's just say that I've grown to old to voluntarily deal with the day to day bullshit of this wonderful society of ours. Ever since I was sixteen-years-old, I have wanted to drop out of society and reside at a cabin in the woods. For good or bad, I was not the type of man to often wield and axe, and my hands are not roughened shovel-like mitts. I'm more the artistic type, who would rather sit in a cabin with a good book, so I evidently didn't inherit any mountain man genes, even though it's been said that my maternal grandmother used to shack up with the lumberjacks.

So, this post has been my Christmas Blues post. It is possible to be happily married to a gorgeous honey of a woman ("Daddy wins the honey pot!") and still get worn down by life once in a while . If my sweetie and I had our own little cabin in the woods with nothing but time to fill with lovemaking, reading, cooking, lovemaking, walking, listening to music, and...did I say lovemaking? Well, you get the picture. Like most other worker ants in this wonderful red-white-and-blue society of ours, we must work, pay bills, and deal with the general insanity that seems to pervade the world these days. I'm lucky to be lavished with love 24/7 and to have a wonderful family right here in the rainy, dark Pacific Northwest.

Now bring on 2013, or whatever numbers strike your fancy. As Steve McQueen said as the character Papillon in the film of the same name, "Hey you bastards, I'm still here."

Merry Christmas Y'all!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ho Ho Hum...

Let's see...today is December 23rd. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. It's also Monday, and my work week begins on Monday. Tomorrow is no different. Well, I shouldn't bullshit you. Tomorrow is a little different. The store will be closing at 5:30 pm, and my shift usually ends at 6:30 pm, so that translates to me getting out an hour early. Now, it is also Christmas Eve and that means a lot to some people, so the bookstore will be open to satisfy those last minute customers and any atheists that need a good book to read while everything is closed on Tuesday.

We don't really have any traditions on Christmas in this household. A loosely held tradition is going out for dim sum and then to follow that up with a double feature of the latest hot movie or two. This year we're just so damn tired, and fed up with all the holiday craziness, that we will most likely just lay low on Tuesday. A true day off for my honey and I usually means that we get to sleep in. No precocious six-year-old bellowing for his breakfast, or insisting on some morning SpongeBob to get the day going. We get to cuddle under the covers a little longer, before rousing ourselves for some sustenance. We get to have our own pajama day!

I browsed the local film listings, but there wasn't anything that I'm so desperate to see that I will give up a pajama day for it. A pajama day sounds good, but at some point I start to get a little stir crazy. I'm one of those atheists who is going to wish that restaurants are open on Christmas day, even though I enjoy having a day off. What I don't enjoy is having Christmas day off without pay. As long as I have worked at this bookstore, we have done better every year (and I'm in no way taking any credit...I'm just saying) and the most we can expect to get at the end of the year are a few measly gift cards to establishments that the owner of Third Place Books has some interest in. I still haven't used my Top Pot gift card from last year.

I ranted enough in the past about our lack of holiday pay at the bookstore (we're only closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas,) so I'm not going to waste any pixels on that subject today. In other cheery holiday news: my mom having to stay in a physical rehabilitation facility over Christmas. That really bums her out, because her and my dad are still very traditional about Christmas, even if it's only the two of them there. I'd rather have her steady on her feet before she tries to resume her routine at home. It's tough to see one's parents get old, but I imagine it's even tougher from their standpoint.

I've just decided to stay right at 50 for a while. Oh, my body will continue to age, but I'm mentally staying right where I am. I do my best to keep a young outlook, which means not getting caught up in the daily woes that make the headlines. Stress is a big killer, and when you are like me, and don't believe in an afterlife, then you must make the best of the presentlife.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Horror

The last few days have been a struggle. I'm sure that anyone who reads this blog knows of the horrible tragedy that occurred at an elementary school in a small town in Connecticut last Friday morning. I would be horrified even if I were not a parent, but being the father of a sweet six-year-old boy just makes the pain of the families involved unimaginable. I got outraged when I saw that the media was being their usual sleazy selves and interviewing the surviving children as they exited the schools. These poor little souls will probably never be able to fully process the horror they witnessed, and some local yahoo with a camera and an intrusive microphone only makes the horror that much more senseless. As a parent I would probably clock the first idiot who put a microphone in my child's face. I can only imagine that if I was the parent of one of the murdered children I would not be able to function. I feel so much already for my son's well-being, between wanting him to succeed in school and worrying about bullies at daycare. Life is difficult and full of suffering and as a parent, my responsibility is to keep Justin safe and do my best to guide him to adulthood.

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Winter is fully ready to begin here in the Pacific Northwest. That translates to very short days and lots of rain. It's been too dark to play Frisbee by five o'clock recently, besides cold blowing rain making any thought of outdoor games out of the question. My son is getting quite excited about Christmas, and says that mommy claims he'll get more toys than anybody. She's great at getting him amped up about upcoming events almost to the point of mania, but I realize that a lot of families run at this pace during the holidays. It makes me glad that we don't celebrate Christmas in our household. Justin is not quite understanding why we neglect all the gift and candy holidays, but he's trying to. He's not only a very inquisitive boy, but he wants to know that those close to him are happy. He's a little worried that we're missing out by not having a tree with a pile of gaudily wrapped gifts beneath it. I tried to tell him that we're planning on having fun by going to dim sum and then following that up with a double feature. It's a day off from work. A day that I get to spend with my honey and that's always a holiday for me!

Tomorrow (while as I write this...today) is Monday. It will be the start of a very busy week that will most likely go by in a blur. I will work Monday, Christmas eve until 5:30 if I don't end up leaving earlier due to the good graces of the management of Third Place. I expect to get a gift card for the bookstore and already (as I always do) have a cabinet full of books to choose from.

My mom took a fall recently, while in the doctor's office no less. She's currently in rehab ala Amy Winehouse, until she's mobile again. I'm sure they'll find a way to get her home sometime this week, so she can be with my dad for the upcoming holiday. It's times like this when we wish we lived closer to them, so we could help them out. It's tough to hear their voices on the phone and feel helpless; only able to give them encouraging words.

I'm continuing to try and post more regularly on this blog. I still consider it my main blog for text posts about my life. Facebook is Facebook, and best serves to frustrate and anger me lately. I've dropped a few "friends" due to their crackpot views, but these are friends I might have passed in the hallway in high school, but was never truly friendly with. Most folks that know me will tell you that I've been a successful loner most of my life, so the idea of having hundreds of friends of Facebook is just a tad silly. I still yearn for a true friend of two. Someone to hang out with once in while besides my wife -- even though I love her as much as the Sun loves being hot -- to shoot the proverbial shit with. Someone smart enough to hold conversations about culture, and philosophy without getting all hot under the collar.

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I could easily write all night once I get going, whether it's in my personal journal, or here for public consumption. I have particularly felt the need to get my thoughts down lately, so I'm hoping that means a few more posts on here before 12/25.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Return Home

The title refers to my computer. I had been without it for about three weeks. Thankfully, I had splurged on a new Acer laptop recently, which saved me when I was without my desktop for three weeks. All of my music is in my desktop. In fact, that's where my problem started. My computer had a hard time starting one day, and then when it did, most of my music in iTunes was gone. Just gone. Thankfully, I was able to transfer my music from my iPod back into my PC, but because of a glitch I was without my original iPod, which contains all my hard rock, heavy metal and hip-hop music. It wasn't so bad being without those genres at first, but I found myself craving some Rush after a few days. Rush is still one of those bands that I hesitate to admit that I enjoy. Call it Geddy's contralto, or their admiration for Ayn Rand, but whatever it is, I don't advertise the fact that I enjoy listening to Rush. As weird as it sounds, I usually listen to Rush, or a similar band when I'm trying to go to sleep. Somehow the hard rock turns into a pleasant type of white noise, and makes sleep easier to slip into.

Today is Wednesday, which is still known as "hump day" to some. Today, it's known as the day before the legalization of marijuana here in Washington state. I was just saying to my wife last night, that our boss at work should let all the tokers (which is probably only me) take a break tomorrow at 4:20 to light up and celebrate legalization. It's not going to happen, but if I were king...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Sick Day

What better time to take a sick day than right in the midst of the holiday retail season? Oh, and it's an overcast Monday. It's a day that was just begging to be utilized as a sick day. So I heeded the call. Here I sit on my bed, in my holey stay-at-home jeans, with Jeff Beck blasting through my headphones, and I actually have the time to write a blog post. In my real life, I consider myself an artist, visual and written. I have been sketching and writing for about as long as I can remember. With a full-time job, and being a parent (another full-time job) I barely find the time to post a line or two on Facebook once in a while.

Sometimes when I have the need for a sick day, it's because I am emotionally under the weather, but that's not so much the case today. I have been battling some blues lately, be they winter blues or just the get-me-the-Hell-out-of-retail holiday blues. Today is more of a I-deserve-a-longer-weekend kind of day off. Unfortunately, my honey had to go into work, but if she was here I wouldn't be taking the time to write a post. I'd probably be nestled up next to her warm body, and feeling all kinds of safe and secure wrapped in her love. Not a bad thing at all, but it's good to have time to write.