30 June 2006

Two Bizarre Analogies

Today the Princess arrives! This is going to be awesome: I get a dog for one month! It’s been put off for a while, mostly by me, and sometimes by her mommy, but I get the Princess! Companionship in the form of a sloppy tongue and a tail that slaps paint from the walls. There’s a park not four blocks walk from my home, and it has a big field and a hill. Oh, the Princess and I are going to have so much fun.
Although, there may be one little oddity. I am meeting the ex-wife’s man today. He’s coming along to drop off the Princess. I don’t have a big problem meeting him. He makes one of my very best friends happy, and she is someone who deserves every happiness that God will give her. But, and this is so Neanderthalic that I can feel the brow ridge expanding, she is also my ex-wife. Anyone out there who’s been divorced knows the ugly, awful truth that I am about to utter: no matter how acrimonious or harmonious the divorce, no matter how poorly or how well you get along after the Big Split, you find it difficult to meet their new you. I’ve met her last serious boyfriend, and one that turned out to be not so serious. It was a lot like that first rectal exam; uncomfortable, even though it is inevitable. You just know that someone will have a hand up his or her ass today, and since you don’t have MD after your name, you can guess who gets to be the meat puppet. So you brace yourself, imagining what it might be like. You get to the doc and shake his hand, checking for finger size, rings, a large watch; you put on the gown and stand before him, asscheeks akimbo. And you find something out that day; having a hand up your ass is nothing at all what you assumed it would be.
And that is what it’s like, meeting your ex’s new you.
Today is also the day that my DSL, which has been, how shall I say, unsatisfactory over the past month, is supposed to get fixed. My blogs have been sporadic simply because I haven’t had DSL for more than four days in a row. I know it sounds terribly sad, but it usually takes me four to five days to write anything of what I call caliber for you, my readers. And I feel guilty every time I just WHANG! something up onto the blogosphere. I don’t want this to be a typical blog; you all deserve the very best. And since I can’t give you that, I might as well give you something different. Anyway, since SBC is my provider, and they have been out here five times now, the only thing I am confident of is that I shan’t be paying for DSL this month after a lengthy argument about what constitutes good customer service with my “SBC representative.” SBC and positive customer service experiences go together like cookies and dripping ass.

29 June 2006

Album of the Week

Some random notes before I put a nail into the foot of the ever-elusive topic.

English is a dumb language. If you disagree, look up "phonetic." Case closed.
How are CTA trains late? Bad traffic? Getting lost? I could see if it were a brand new line, testing for efficiency. But the Blue Line has been running for decades. Where's the gray area in running a train on the same route for forty years?
And is the ride bumpy enough? I've ridden in golf carts on abandoned horse trails that didn't rattle me so badly as the Blue Line. I like my martini shaken, not my spleen.
I want to thank Big Al for his recent emails of encouragement. Great guy! He dragged the following sentence out of me, concerning last week's entries; "Sometimes it's better to learn your weaknesses than the limits of your strengths." As friends and readers will know, I am immensely proud when I spout pseudo-philosophical pap like that!

So, the Album of the Week is something I would like to start doing as of now. I used to participate in an Album of the Month posting, but seeing as I have twenty days of music on my iPod, I think I can step it up to an album a week.
This week it is the score from Batman Begins, by Hans Zimmer. Talk about creating a mood! The music is dark and majestic and intimate, often all at once. Zimmer did an outstanding job with the Black Hawk Down score (I would expect that to be an AotW one of these weeks), but shifts gears by going with a traditional scoring orchestra, with a bare minimum of odd sound effects. The stuff I love is classical and romantic orchestration with some modern instrumentation thrown into the mix, and Zimmer does that very well, although at a very low level with BB. I can't pick a favorite track from this one. It is very, very good.

I made a fool of myself in 489. J's got to think I am a HUGE sycophantic nutball. You try to come off all nonchalant, then open your mouth, mumble some inane compliment, then talk about nothing she finds interesting for a good five minutes. Why can I challenge a guy to a fight in the middle of Randolph and State, but just be a total coward in the wake of a woman? Because bruises heal.

24 June 2006

I am not an oak

I haven't been sleeping lately, which is starting to affect my life. Or what passes for it, anyway. I get sleep, but nothing more than four, five hours. Last Tuesday I got six hours down, and I celebrated by not sleeping the next night.
I'm in one of those phases of the moon, I guess. Speaking of phases, how cool would it be to be a werewolf? It would suck, actually. I hate cleaning up pet hair. But I could be my own best friend, like Barf from "Spaceballs."
I wonder if my working for retail is having an effect on my soul. I hate the whole marketing thing. "Wear this or you'll never get laid! If you don't smell like this, then you stink! And by the way, you can always lose a few pounds, fatty! So drink our beer, because it will wash the bulimia puke smell off your breath, and you're only fun when you're drunk!"
And then we have to pimp credit cards on our customers... Nothing distances a customer faster than being asked to open a credit card. You spend this time, lying to them about how much better they are if they wear your clothes (which, BTW, are made in the same sweatshop that makes shit for every other clothier out there) and they start to buy it, and then you drive a wedge between the two of you by saying, "Hey! How would you like more debt and increasingly poor credit ratings?" Who wants another credit card that can only be used in ONE place? And if the chain is nationwide, it's still seen as only one place, just in different cities.
So maybe that's keeping me up a bit. I feel like I am just making the world just a little bit worse by working in major chain retail. Don't get me wrong, there are good people who work in retail, and much better than me for being able to make a career of it. I love and respect 95% of my co-workers. But the whole marketing and sweatshop thing weighs on me.
When that new position opens for me at the other place I work at, I will walk from clothing retail without an ounce of regret. Wait, that's a lie. I will regret ever working in clothing retail.
Moral of the story: just because your girlfriend feels guilty is no reason to get a job.

20 June 2006

It's a Tuesday kind of day

School day! I love school. I know I'll miss this when I'm teaching. Were I or my family rich, I would pull a Van Wilder and never leave college. After Sunday night, I feel like i can heal, although I don't know if I really can.

Listening to J. makes me feel better. She must be taken! Hope for the best, plan for the worst...story of my life.

Big D's class is always interesting. It starts out nice & raucous, then D passes out books and articles that he likes and hopes we learn from, then we begin the near-continuous digressions.

How is it that She keeps coming up?! For her presentation, Mel uses the lyrics to "Let's Get It On," and of the hundred-plus high schools in the greater Chicagoland area, Big D uses Clemente as his example.

Maybe i should just pack up my shit and head out into the woods for a few weeks.

19 June 2006

My glorious weekend (an epiphany)

So the wedding was a lot of fun; weddings usually are. If you're close to the bride or groom, there's the "Look at my friend/family member being so happy" aspect to the joy, or there is the "Hey! Free food and booze!" aspect, and, as it was in this occasion, a little from column A and a little from column B. They are a great couple and I hope it lasts a thousand years; and if not, then at least eighty.

I enjoyed myself, sometimes in spite of myself. I got to say things to people who needed to hear them, I got to get things off of my chest, and I met some people that I am glad to have met. And I also got pretty drunk, which was an oddity for me. I don't like to drink because of the lack of control. Still and all, I had a blast-ee! I ate, I drank, I laughed, I danced, I was a fool with my friends and the time went too quickly!

It was during the wedding, at some point between scotch #3 and martini #2 that I had an epiphany that concerned my last blog entry. I figured out why I took that so hard and let it get to me so much. I cannot imagine anything being more important than being in a loving relationship. Whether that is a deep friendship, a marriage, a close family bond, what have you, nothing is more important than that. Being with someone and sharing yourself with him/her, having those private little beauties that can only exist between the two of you, is the source of the greatest of joys, the pinnacle of blisses and the sweetest of the raptures.

And when I am told that I don't respect that bond, or it is suggested that I am not someone to be considered as a loving person, or deserving of affection, it hurts. It's telling me that I should not have the one thing that I need more than any other. Now I know that my friend was being funny about what she said; I laughed at first. But when I heard it being backed up by several people, all of those others having no concept of who I am at all, that I felt my heart break, just a little.

Being in love with someone brings out the best in me. I am smarter, kinder, more eloquent; I am just plain better when I love someone. It is a special kind of broken that I am, and I don't care at all. When you think about the twisted shit that people need to get out of people, or do to them, just to be happy, desiring to love and be loved is not so bad. I like that defect of mine. Like all things, it's gotten me in trouble, and it has caused me a metric butt-ton of pain, but every time it gets a little bit better, and I love my someone just a little bit more, and I get closer and closer to the me I want to be.

16 June 2006

What am I, cancer?

I'm going to a wedding this weekend. It's my first wedding that I am going to as a single man. I am not in any type of shape for a relationship, so hunting for a date is out of the question. So, I was thinking along the lines of a possible hook-up or something, at least a dance partner. But the bride, who I am friends with, tells me that "(u)nfortunately for you, I think all of the single chicks already know you. [...] Sorry dude, you're screwed. Or rather, you're not."
What? Where did this come from? I don't get it. Do I have a bad rep or something? And how did I get this bad rep?
Just to be clear, I have not dated any one of the women I know will be in attendance. I didn't even hook up with any of them (I remember a time when I had no idea what "hooking up"meant. I miss that.). As near as I can tell, I haven't dated many friends of the people in attendance. I date outside of the circle, just to avoid that whole Eskimo-esque dating incest thing. And I am friends with a majority of my exes. Hell, my ex-wife still talks to me voluntarily! If any woman on this planet has a right to hate me, it's her; and she thinks I'm a good guy.
So, what the hell? I wish it didn't bother me, but it does. Because, unlike all of the other BS that may be said about me, there is very little truth in this. I just wish I knew where it came from. There are plenty of other guys who have been major assholes to their women and their men, moreso than me. I am not free from blame; I have definitely been a jerk in the past. But none of the women in this particular circle have any right to say so, at least not from first hand (and for most, second hand) experience. I worship the women that are kind enough to grace me with their presence. I spoil, and I give them the control over the relationship.
Now I'm all wound up. At least I'm not feeling depressed anymore.

14 June 2006

Monkeys and me

I'm sitting at home now, and I am thinking about monkeys. Specifically, I am thinking about an experiment conducted by behavioral psychologists that studied baby monkeys. They set up two dolls to be "mother" monkeys. One was a cold metal skeleton that was set up with a bottle placed in the anatomically correct position for the baby to nurse from, the arms folded just right for the baby monkey to rest in while nursing, et cetera. The other mother was a soft, plushy monkey doll, all warm fuzziness and cute. The baby monkeys were placed, one at a time, in the cages with the two mommies.

The babies got sick; some even died.

They died of malnourishment, because they wouldn't go to the mecha monkey mommy to feed. Instead, they cuddled with plushy fuzzy monkey mommy and never ate.

I wish I could say that I don't remember a time when I felt warm in someone's arms, cuddled and safe and happy. But I do remember; vividly, without error, I can recall that last moment where I received that contact from someone. To have it, and then not, is such a killer. I know that it was much too long ago for me.

I don't think I ever feel safe anymore. That's probably why I am so open in this forum. I have nothing left to lose. It's not like I am besieged by enemies or anything; I just have so little that I really care about that sharing it isn't a big deal. Maybe I am hoping for catharsis; who the hell knows? I do know that it sucks that I am wired like this. I know that I have one wish and no genie. I know that I am still loved but not the way I want to be. I know I have people, and I am trying to be grateful for them, but it's hard. I know that I haven't written a happy poem in three months, and that I lost the best muse I ever had.

I know exactly what I want. And that makes it so much worse to not have it.

12 June 2006

It's not all bad...

Lately I have been in a pretty deep mood, one that isn't very happy. But I have experienced moments of fun. At work yesterday, the unofficial challenge was to be as undetectably sarcastic as possible, with co-workers or customers. When a customer came in wearing an orange nylon pullover, yellow short shorts, black shoes and socks, and my manager said to him that he couldn't believe how well he pulled that look off, I thought I would laugh until I peed.

Or when I was at lunch with a friend and found a hair in his burger. I remarked that "since I started eating pussy, I don't care so much about finding hair in my food." I thought that was crassly priceless.

It might be getting harder and harder to stay in a good mood, but there is always something that can lighten the day. My classes on Tuesday and Thursday really help to bring me back up. Fun people, good conversation (for the most part) make for a good experience. Now that I'm down to one job, I am hoping to spend some of my newfound free time finding other things to cheer me up. And of course, there's always writing this new media.

08 June 2006

Of Mice and Men

Today was a positive day, but I think it might have been because I chose to ignore the abstract stuff going on and look to the concrete. There was a feeling that I missed something, but I have no idea what.
There is an unofficial summer project in 489. Again, I know my luck. I just wish I wasn't so hopeful. Hope calls to disappointment like poo calls to flies.

How do you convince someone that it's really not them, but it's you? Or if it is them, that it's not a bad thing. It's like when the ex miscarried those two times; it broke my heart, but it was most likely for the best. It still hurt, even with the correct rationality.
Rationality can really suck. It's why I'm here in the first place, after all.

01 June 2006

School's In for Summer!

I am the anti-Alice Cooper. Summer School, yay! 489 with good ol' Tony. I like his classes, at least so far. Any class being conducted by someone with experience teaching is always going to be a good class. Mh, V, & Mg are in the class too! This will be fun. And it wouldn't be a class with Tony unless the big O didn't walk in late!
And there is a teacher in here with us as well. A teacher Van Halen no doubt wrote a song about. She is J, and she is quite pretty. Most likely, quite attached. Pretty and 30 generally mean married or attached. I know my luck.
No ring, though...
486 is good too. This is my first experience with the Big D, and I hear good things. I hope he doesn't disappoint. Mh & V are here too! It's like a cohort! Double the fun!

I hope school is a good distraction. I figure with this and two jobs, I should be okay: M shouldn't pop up too much in my brain. But if I know myself, I'll figure out a way to screw that plan up. The Library only lasts until the 6th of June, so I will be down one distraction. But I won't have to work with Ellen, which may help as well.

I am really not good with down time. It brings me too down. I get bored, I turn inward, I get upset. The three steps to continued turmoil. So, keep busy, keep social and keep away from myself. Smiley icons all the way!