Jan 31, 2007

I saw it coming, and tried to stop, and did to some extent. At work, I mean. I finished my online training crap, my eyes crossing from time to time, but I did it. Then, out to the floor to observe and assist. I ended up working my ass off. The things that I saw that had to done were evidently invisible to my co-workers.

One little darling in particular, who speaks in a whisper, and when not busy, reads magazines, was lucky I didn't pick her up and throw her across the store. But, then, I probably would have had to clean up the mess, so why bother?

However, I kept telling myself, slow down, your moving to fast. You got to make the evening last. I really tried. I think it comes down to my own way of working. I go in, have a good idea of what I need to accomplish, set my priorities, and do it. Plus, I look for things to do. I cannot stand to just sit around and do nothing. It drives me bug-shit. So, there really is no one to blame but me.

I found a box of copper scrub pads with one missing. You know the one's. They're called chore boys or some such shit. I took it up to a co-worker, said, "Look, we got a crack-head here!" I'm not sure exactly what they do with them, but I know that most pharmacies keep this item behind the counter, along with certain cold medicines, which are used to make crystal meth. I mentioned this, and got a couple of blank stares, like, what the fuck is she talking about?

In spite of all of this, I have to keep in mind that I am not the boss, I do not know everything, and I am just your average worker bee. So, I didn't say 99% of the shit I wanted to say. Give me a pat on the back.

Back in the day, my youngest son got a job working part-time with me in a little Mom and Pop operation. In this case, the Pop, was a coke addict. How did I know? When someone comes in, tired as hell, grouchy, and mean-spirited, goes to the bathroom, stays in there for about 15 minutes, then comes out and starts working like theres no tomorrow, smiling and laughing, just can't keep still, so much to do, well, it isn't because his constipation problems are over.

Anyway, my son and I had a blast. One old man came in one night, looking scruffy, unshaven, and, after diggin in his pockets, put some change on the counter, and asked what he could get to eat with that. My son and I looked at each other, hearts melting, and loaded that man up with as much stuff as he could carry. Could have been a con, but we didn't think so. All at the expense of Pop. It made us feel so good to help this guy. That's a good memory.

Now, getting back to the job, I can already see where I might run into trouble. So, I will learn to pace myself, even be a slacker sometimes. I can do it. I know I can. When I get the urge to work like a banshee, I will just remember my copy of Clerks II, and smile.
"At least I have a positive attitude about my destructive habits"

Jan 30, 2007

I had my first day at work yesterday. It went pretty well considering I spent the whole shift in front of a computer screen. I have to complete an online training program before I can assume my duties. However, it really felt like old times.

I could see myself slipping into that tendency I have always had: to be the best damned worker the company has ever had or will have. Now this is not necessarily a bad thing, but, for me, it causes an extremely fast burnout rate. And, it also makes the other employees hate your guts after a while. They see you busting your ass, wonder what the hell is wrong with you, and then you find yourself suggesting ways in which they could spend their time more productively. What really happens next is you suddenly find yourself responsible for more than your share of the work because the guys upstairs know you'll do it. Then you get resentful because your work load is bigger than everyone else's. Not to mention the stress and pressure you put on yourself. This tendency is bi-product of bipolar disorder, which I have.

A lot of people think, I am sure, that bi-polar disorder, like most mental health issues, is just a trumped up way to excuse certain behaviours. I beg to disagree. Bi-polar disorder, for me, means super highs, where I feel I can do anything. I remember one time driving down the road, knowing I had discovered the solution to balance the nation's deficit. I had to discuss this with the president. I knew if I could just set down face to face with the guy, that we could work out this plan, and all would be well. Then just as quickly I had figured out the cause for some disease. I knew it was true. By the time I got home, I had already considered other ways to correct the world. Looking at the day to day life that awaited me at home seemed so trivial. I realized or admitted that I was bipolar some 30 years ago. I have been on medication ever since. Some of it worked, some of it didn't. But, it was always a hit and miss kind of thing.

You experiment with different combinations of drugs and find the cocktail that works for you. The key to success is giving up that wonderful feeling of being the smartest, most accomplished person in the world. You find yourself, usually on reflection, providing unwanted advice to people. You can be the funniest, most outrageous person in any room, but you never know if people are laughing with you or at you.
Then of course there are the down times, where you wish you had never been born, cry endlessly over nothing, and burrow away in your particular hideaway and avoid the world. This is the depressive stage. I described it one time as being in a black hole and having no way to get out.

But, there is hope. With medication, I am more stable, meaning my mood still fluctuates, but not at the extremes as it did. It is hard for bi-polar people to stick to a drug regimen. The highs are so seductive. You don't feel the need to eat or sleep, your mind is teaming with ideas, which are in reality racing thoughts.
The biggest eye-opener for me was having my kids. You can't be floating around in space and be a good mother. You can't crawl into bed and hide and be a good mother. I look back and wonder how much I damaged them, but I try to tell myself I did not do too bad of a job. Of course, for me, with the depression came anxiety. I'm not talking about being worried about paying a bill on time. I mean driving down the road and telling yourself, over and over, that you will not run into another car. Finding yourself somewhere breaking out in a cold sweat, heart pounding, consumed with irrational fear, afraid you're going to pass out and then everyone will know what a lunatic you are. I felt this way in the library, for God's sake, one time. It sucks. But, somehow you learn to hide it for a long time, until you can't. Its amazing when you start talking to your friends about it, how many of them say they have felt like that at times too.
And, like many other people with a mental illness, like heart disease or cancer, it has a tendency to run in the family. Some of the things I have done in my life I can't even believe, and I was there! Its not an excuse. You have to accept your responsibility in all of this and take the necessary steps to correct it. I often ask the people closest to me how they feel about my actions or mood. Sometimes this is the only way I can find out where I am at on the mood scale. Through feedback.
So, now, armed with knowledge, and controlled with medication, I don't feel I need to be the best worker anymore. I only need to do my job, and that's it. I don't have to point out where other's have not done their job. Or suggest new and exciting ways the whole company can improve. I don't have to be the best. I just have to be me.
I may lose some readers for my candor here, because they may find my credibility is questionable. But, I've been dealing with that for awhile and have learned to take it in stride. Any time I go to a doctor, for my angina, for instance, they immediately assume it is related to my mental problems. I went to three or four doctors describing my symptoms with my colon cancer, before one of them would actually take me seriously. And that doctor was a psychiatrist!! It's frustrating at times, and it brings with it a certain amount of shame. But, I am learning to live with it all. I will, however, always take my medication. Its nicer being just me.

It can happen to anyone.

read more about it:

Jan 26, 2007

I've gotten so many emails and calls to sell insurance, I'm starting to think I probably should, but that's not me. Oh, I could sell it, but I would have to tell the prospective buyer about all the hidden costs, and how they might save more money by going with another insurance company. Not much profit there!

So, just wanting a part-time thing, I went to a chain of convenience stores that I worked for before. Why, you may ask. Because I had fun working there. You have your regular customers that show up like clockwork. You have your weird customers that only come out at night. For example:

When I worked at 7-11 in mid-nineties, every so often a tall thin pale man would come into the store wearing a tux. I am not making this up. He was the thinnest, palest man I have ever seen, other than a few I worked with in the hospital who had passed on. I always said, "Look, here comes Count Dracula! Wonder who he's going to feed on tonight." He usually ended up getting a bottle of cheap wine, or, after midnight, a soda. I always wanted to ask him where his cape was.

Then there were the two young men, mean little rascals they were, in their late teens, who came in one night, looking nervously outside at their car. In the back seat were two giggling young ladies. They looked at me, and said, "Give us a box of those condominiums." I said, "I'm sorry, but we don't sell real estate here." "Oh, come on, you know what we mean, jimmy's, rubbers!" I said, "Which brand would you like?" They said, "The cheapest ones you got!" I produced the product, setting it on the counter, and watched while they pulled change from their pockets and finally came up with the correct amount. I rang it up, put it in a bag, and said, "Here you go." Unbelievably, they pulled the box out of the bag, opened it, and split them up between each other, all with me looking on. "Thank God they got the six pack, I thought."

"Good luck, guys.." I said, and they gave me one last evil look and headed for the car. Did they get lucky? That most likely depended on how much liquor they had.

Then there was the dirt covered, shirtless construction workers, getting off work, coming in and heading for the cooler to get their 40-oz bottles of Old English, which, if you don't know what that is, well its the only beer that tastes like gasoline. Unfortunately, when they bent over to look for their beloved beer, three butt-cracks peeked out from the top of their jeans. "Oh, so sexy!" I would say to my giggling co-worker. "Which one do you want?"

My absolute favorite was the raccoon hunters who would come in about 2:am for coffee, complete with hard-hats with the spotlights attached. I just couldn't help myself. I always said, "So, how are things on Moon Base Alpha?"

Will it be the same? Most likely, because it is the idiosycrancies of the public at large that makes life so enjoyable. To me, anyway.

picture courtesy of MGM, directed by Kevin Smith, watch the movie!!

Jan 25, 2007

I found this while following a link a friend sent me in an email that stated the president's IQ was 91. I couldn't believe that. That meant we had elected Forest Gump. Which, all-in-all, would probably have been a better choice. Forest, with all his peculiarities did listen to people, and did have a basic understanding of the English language. But, I digress. I followed the link to the Lovenstien Institute, and damn if it wasn't right there. Then, I thought I would check out the president's views on the first amendment, and encountered one of those hateful pages like this one :

File - First Amendment - Does Not Exist

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States cannot be found.
Possible reasons are:

Installation of the USA Patriot Act (USAPA) on or after October 26th, 2001 (this automatically deletes Free Speech).

Installation of a Police State in readiness for USAPA-2

Classification of the First Amendment as unpatriotic.

Your ISP or Search Engine may be denying access to sites which are unpatriotic and/or promote Free Speech.

The Free Speech option appears to be unavailable in your State. Your Civil Liberties have been uninstalled.

To reinstall the First Amendment select the Election option from the Options menu:

From the pull-down list of Available Candidates, deselect Bush Administration and enter a tick against your preferred Presidential Candidate.
You are advised to carefully read the specifications of your chosen Presidential Candidate to ensure that it supports the following options:
First Amendment, Civil Liberties, Free Speech and that it allows the following to be disabled: Wire-Tap, Electronic Surveillance, Pen/Trap and Sub Poena.
This may be a temporary error as a result of your internet link being monitored
Refresh button to try again.

Click the Back button to try another link.

HTTP 404 - First Amendment not found
Free Speech Not Available*

You are now under surveillance as a result of seeking Free Speech.

*courtesy of the

Jan 23, 2007

A treat for the ladies:

I don't know if the link works, but you can always cut and paste. I swear I happened on this site by chance. I didn't even know it existed! And, for some reason, as I viewed the photos I was somewhat disappointed. I know my opinion of David Bowie will never be quite the same.

I do not view internet porn. And this is not a porn site, just a revealing site. The only photo I found remotely interesting was of Rupert Everett*, and that is because of its artistic value. But my personal favorite is Gary Oldman. A huge fan I am of good ole Gary.

*And if you believe that, I got some prime property in New Mexico and I am looking for investors. Thinking of a health spa, or maybe a retirement community, complete with a ferris wheel and roller coaster.

Jan 22, 2007

17 months ago, a bright, caring, wonderful young man, while doing his job, accompanied by two other marines, walked by a Mosque in Hit, Iraq. They were showing their presence on the street, to deter insurgent activity and reassure the Iraqi residents. Passing the mosque they encountered an ied device, which exploded, piercing their young bodies with shrapnel and engulfing them in fiery smoke. One young man was killed outright, the other two sustaining massive wounds.

One was a naval corpsman. He was there to provide medical assistance. Not realizing he himself had been seriously injured, he called to his comrades, "Who's hurt? Who needs me?" before falling. He had been hit with shrapnel in his neck, legs, and arms. As his commanding officer tried to administer emergency aide to him, he instructed his commander what procedures to take. He was airlifted to a hospital in Baghdad, where his wounds were treated. He lost a hand, and a foot, but he was alive. His next of kin were notified of his injuries, but were told he would be transferred to Germany as soon as he was stable.

However, after a few days, he had trouble breathing. He was placed on a respirator, and it was determined that his lungs had been burned beyond repair by the heat of the explosion. Before removing the respirator, he was placed in a coma, so when the respirator was removed he would die without pain. Then they made another call to his next of kin, telling them he had died.

An autopsy was performed, confirming their diagnosis. His body was was preserved, waiting for a transport to Dover Airport, where it was taken to a mortuary in Arlington, VA. His body arrived 10 days after his death. During the viewing, he was surrounded by fellow corpsman he had served with in Great Lakes, IL. They stood in a circle around his coffin, and shed their tears quietly. They watched as family members grieved and cried, their faces bewildered with shock and disbelief. They watched as his wife called his name over and over again. They watched as his mother, trying her best to cover him up, as he was so very cold, looked at her son, and wanted nothing more than to pick him up and carry him home with her. They watched his father, escorted by oldest son, cry uncontrollably at the site of his youngest son laying so cold and white in the casket.

The next day, the funeral was conducted with full military honors. They half-listened to the words being spoken, each trying to grasp the fact that what was happening was real. They listened to the bugler playing taps, the 21-gun saluted, and watched the folding of the flag, and the presentation of the flag from the coffin to his widow, and the presentation of medals to his 5 year old son. Two other flags were presented to his father and mother, and his mother grasped it closely to her chest, as it instantly became sacred. They rose, and one by one, they said goodbye to the young man they loved so very dearly. As they got up to leave, they were amazed at the many people who stood behind them, hundreds of people who had journeyed to this cemetery to witness the laying to rest of a fine and beloved friend and comrade.

The mother did not want to leave. She thought it best she should stay awhile, as her son should not be alone. She wanted to lay beside him, as she did as a child, and comfort him, hold him close, and protect him, cheer him, show him how very much he was loved. But, she was ushered away, taken home, far away from his resting place. But, still each day, she grieves for him, not wanting to accept that he is really gone, still thinking in the deepest core of her being that somehow it was a dream or a mistake. But each day that passes she realizes that he won't be coming home.

And, now, obsessively she reads the newspapers, watching for news of another young man or woman who has lost their lives in a far off land, full of sand, and heat, and death. She mourns for them as well, hoping that her son is there to greet them as they pass from this life to the next. That is what keeps her going. Knowing that somehow, somewhere she will see her son again, his smiling face, serene and calm.

She dreams about him, when he was a baby, a child, and the young man he grew to be. When she wakes up she feels the weight of his loss settle around her for another day. And she knows she is not alone in her grief, that many, many people suffer from the loss of this one young man.

She sees people going about their lives, unaware of her loss, everyone's loss, and wants to scream at them to not forget. Remember them all she silently pleads. No matter where she is, the grief hits her, and she cries, fresh tears for her lost son. She realizes the grief is the same for any parent who has lost a child, no matter the circumstances, but she also knows that more will die needlessly as her son did. She knows it must stop.

She remembers his last words. Take care of my guys. Don't forget them. Tell them I'll be back, don't let them get another corpsman. And she never wants to see another family face this kind of loss again. She wants all of the men and women to come home. She just wants them all to come home, alive, and be with their families again.

She wants them to come home.

Jan 19, 2007

Huge Ratings for Weird `Idol' AuditionsThursday, January 18, 2007 6:19 PM EST

The Associated Press By DAVID BAUDER

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — "The parade of awful amateurs on "American Idol" attracted viewers in staggering numbers this week as the series continues to grow in popularity."

Ok, I admit it. I watched it. I couldn't help myself. There is something about watching people make absolute asses of themselves willingly that attracts me. It's some weird fascination on my part, I guess. Perhaps its because I don't have the guts to get up there and give it all for one shot at glory.

Then, again, maybe I have. It must have been 1962, which would have made me seven years old. I know my brother hadn't left for Viet Nam yet, and my sister Linda had returned home after going AWOL at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. She hid in the swamps, so I was told, until they found her, and, probably with a section 8, decided to send her packing. Praise God that's all they did. Back in those days, boot camp was a hell of lot tougher to get out of than it is now. And the drill sergeants could pretty much do what they wanted to you.

Anyway, I digress. My brother was a big church goer. In our community, other than school, which he attended on an irregular basis, church was the only way to meet girls. So, to church, he went, with his hair slicked back with Vaseline, his pegged pants, and old spice, dragging my two sisters with him. This time, I begged and whined enough so they let me go, too. I remember how excited I was to go to church. Mother had had a 'falling out' with the church members and refused to go back to that den of hypocrites, so she remained at home. Daddy only went to church if there was a funeral.

So, we got to church, and I was awed by the atmosphere, that particular church smell of wax and old song books, all of the people sitting in the pews, or on benches as I thought. I was told repeatedly to be quiet and behave. Which I did tolerably well until a little red-haired girl sat down beside me. Patsy, her name was, and she was a fire-cracker. I thought she was wonderful.

We prayed and sang songs, and the preacher got up and ran his mouth for what seemed an hour, while my brother, who was sitting behind me, cracked jokes, and made eye contact with this girl and that. My sister Linda, the giggler, did what she did best, giggle. When a neighbor lady who did not wear undergarments, don't ask me why, got the spirit on her, and began jumping around, kicking up her legs overcome by the holy spirit, I thought my sister was going to crawl under the pew, she was giggling so hard.

I just watched her in wonder, as every other time I had met this lady, who had about nine boys, she always seemed to act pretty normal. All three of my siblings seemed to be having a excellent time, and me and Patsy, sat side by side, watching the antics of our fellow church goers. Eventually, the end of the service came, and, the preacher called for anyone who had not been saved to come forward. He asked, with utmost kindness and compassion in his voice, "Have you been saved? Have you confessed your sins to the Lord?" Patsy turned to me, and asked the same question, "Have you been saved yet? I was last year, it was ok." Well, being the idiot I was at seven, I raised my hand. Immediately the preacher was on me like white on rice. "Oh, praise the Lord, come here child, come on, don't be afraid, the Lord is happy tonight!" I didn't know I was going to have to get up and walk up to the pulpit in front of everybody, but I did. Scared as hell, I did. I remember hearing my brother saying, "Shitfire, I told you guys to watch her, now look what she's doing!"

So, I am standing up there by the preacher, looking at a sea of faces, scared to death, wondering what their going to do to me. The old men in the Amen corner, which was a little bench where old men said Amen every so often, were having fits of ecstasy. The preacher looked at me, and said, "Precious child, are you ready to be saved?" I nodded my head, figured I'd gone this far, might as well finish the job, and said, "Yes." Then the preacher started praying, thanking the Lord that this poor lost soul had come home at last, all her sins were forgiven, and she would live forever in the grace of the Lord." I was so scared by this time, I started crying, which just proved to the preacher that I had acknowledged my heathen ways and was overcome with remorse and joy. Finally, everyone settled down, I stopped crying, figuring the worst part was over, and I would get to sit back down again. Nope, not yet. Pew by pew everyone came up to me and shook my hand. Some were kids I knew from school, already eyeing me with that "boy are we going to give you a rough time at school" look. My brother and sisters came forward, shaking my hand, looking as if I had peed on their shoes or something. Finally, everyone had shook my hand, all the old ladies had hugged me, and blessed me, and the preacher turned to me and asked, "How do you feel, now, child?" I shrugged and said, "I feel ok." He made a funny kind of face, but made the most of what I said.

Then they sang some more songs, threw in few more amens, and we got to go home. All the way home, my brother and sisters, fussed and griped at me, for making a fool of the whole family. I protested. "No, I didn't. I just got saved. All my sins were forgiven!" My brother said, "What sins, pulling the cat's tail??" By the time I got home, I was reduced yet again to tears, and when I walked in the house, my mother, being in one of her more lucid moments, "Said, honey, what happened?" My brother piped up and said, "Oh, everything's fine. She just decided she wanted to shake hands with everyone in the church is all." I went to the girls room, the room where the girls slept, and thought about the whole evening. I was not quite sure what all had taken place. Evidently, I was supposed to be happy, and I guessed singing church songs all the time. But, for some reason, I felt miserable, and vowed to myself I was never going to church again. And, I decided I didn't like that girl with the red hair. She started the whole thing in the first place.

It took me years before I would enter another church, and I only went that time because there was a funeral, and my dad made me go.

So, I guess this illustrates why I am fascinated by watching people make complete fools of themselves. I know what it feels like.

Jan 15, 2007

Masked Man Allegedly Robs GrandfatherThursday, January 11, 2007 9:02 PM ESTThe Associated Press
HARTSELLE, Ala. (AP) — A Harstselle man who allegedly stole $300 from his grandfather's wallet has been charged with armed robbery, authorities said.

Daniel Ray Brown, 22, remained in Morgan County Jail on $10,000 bond in connection to the robbery of Walter Ray Brown, 72, about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Detective Kyle Wilson said Daniel Brown donned a ski mask and jacket, armed himself with a handle from a hydraulic floor jack and made the 10-foot hike to his grandfather's home next door.

"There's a woman that lives there with his grandpa," Wilson said. "He said, 'Sit down, Bernice.' Then he goes to his grandpa's room and he says, 'This is a robbery, I need your money, and I mean it, Pa-Paw.'"

Wilson said Walter Brown was lying in bed, so his grandson grabbed his pants off a chair and took his wallet.

"He got out to the kitchen, which is in the next room, and his Pa-Paw tackled him. There was a scuffle, and he hit his Pa-Paw in the head with the handle," Wilson said.

While Walter Brown picked up the phone to call 911, Daniel Brown went back to his own home, leaving a trail — the pants, billfold, $5 and the handle — between the two houses, officials said.
Daniel Brown denied he was the man behind the mask. The cash reported stolen had not been recovered Wednesday.
Information from: The Decatur Daily

This really doesn't need anything added to it. It is priceless. I'm just sorry that Pa-Paw got hit in the head. But he did tackle him first. Mr. Wilson's injury did not prevent him calling 911. I wonder what Bernice was doing through all of this. Seems the least she could have done was pick up a cast iron skillet and bang the kid on head with it. This here boy jus' lost a spot in Pa-Paw's will.

Jan 13, 2007

I am a firm believer in dream analysis. Probably because I have a lot of nightmares. Certain events in my life have been what some would call traumatic, and rather than bitch and moan about it all day while I'm awake, the feelings and anger of those events seem to come out in my dreams. Many times I wake up crying my ass off, and it takes a while to calm down.

My belief about dream analysis is simple. Dreams are stories your subconscious concocts to illustrate a particular problem or issue you have trouble dealing with. But, when reduced to its simplest terms, you realize what the hell has been bothering you, what has been tucked way back in your mind that you don't want to face or look at.

For example: One night I had a dream where no matter how hard I tried I could not keep my feet on the ground. As I walked, or worked, I was always a few feet above the floor, having to hold on to counters, chairs, whatever was handy to keep from rising to the ceiling. At first it was a delight and an wonderful sense of freedom. But as the dream progressed, it became more and more a hindrance in everything I tried to do. It's damn hard to wash dishes when your floating and have to hold on to something to keep from flying off somewhere.

Now, for analysis, let's reduce the whole concept to its simplest terms. Though I enjoyed not being able to keep my feet on solid ground, after a while it became a big problem. I could not keep my feet on the ground. Which means simply I could not stay grounded. And not being grounded meant I had lost my footing. I had no means of keeping myself from flying off in any direction.
Final analysis? I felt unable to control where my life was leading me. I could not stay firmly in the place I wanted to. And I got damned tired of drifting around, trying to find something to hold onto, to keep from losing that place I had carved out for myself.

I couldn't find something to hold onto to keep from flying off in all directions.

I had no control over the events in my life, or myself.

Now, what's the point in trying to define what the dream is really about? To address that feeling, that worry, head on and figure out how to change it. How to find a way to adjust to the changes and events that I had no control over. Some may think this is a lot of bullshit, but it actually makes sense to me.

Even the dream I wrote about in the previous post speaks volumes to me about wanting to return to a simpler time, to go back and relive the part of my life that was carefree and easy.

This morning I woke up crying. I was being forced out of my home by all the people I had loved, and had no idea why. No one would tell me. It happened suddenly, and I was totally unprepared for it. I cried and pleaded with them, because they would not let me have my children. I was losing everything I loved and no one would listen or help me.

Analysis: Loss comes without a warning. I can lose everything I hold dear without any explanation, no matter how hard I fight to keep them.

So, what can I do with this knowledge? Accept the fact that I have no control over things that happen that are senseless to me. This is a hard one, and comes up often in various scenarios I dream about. This is the hardest one to accept, because we all feel we have to be in control at all times, to keep our lives from being a nightmare.

Well, enough about dreams, time to get back to reality, whatever the hell that is. I work on that one when I'm awake.

Jan 12, 2007

I had the most wonderful dream last night. It was about an Australian sailor I knew for a week. It was 1976, the bicentennial, and I lived on Ocean View Avenue in Norfolk Va. I lived mostly in cutoff jeans and halter tops, or bathing suits, as the beach was my second home. With my baby oil mixed with iodine, I would head to the beach every chance I got. The apartment building I lived in was filled with a wild assortment of characters, and my friends and I spent many a night setting and talking, watching the sun come up. Life was a party somewhere, a bottle of Annie Green Springs, and one of those funny little cigarettes that made you giggle like a lunatic.

One of my neighbors was from Australia. He was stationed at the Navel base, and when all the ships converged on Norfolk, for the big celebration, his buddies from the HMS Hobart, came to visit and party with him. I remember sitting in the doorway of my apartment, sketching whatever, when a young man approached me and asked me a question. I shook my head, stood up, and said, I don't quite understand you. He repeated the question. I moved him over a little and said, What was that? Then, very slowly, he said he was asking me to join the party they were having downstairs. Oh, I said. Cool.

When I got there, everyone else and his brother was there, but my eyes locked for second with the bluest eyes I had ever seen. During that brief moment I felt something akin to an electric shock run through me. I searched for those eyes again, but couldn't locate them. I returned to my apartment eventually, and then the two dorky boys from apartment 6 came up to visit. High as hell, they just sat there and annoyed me. Harmless they were, but pretty well fried. How can I get rid of these assholes, I wondered? Telling them to leave was pointless. So, I took them down to meet the visitors from down-under. Slowly I began to slip away, and when I turned, there he was. The beautiful man with the blue eyes. We just stared at one another. I have never felt such intense desire in my life. Before or since. We talked, and laughed, both waiting for the night, when we could be alone. No flirtation, no discussion, we already knew. I will not describe the intimate details, as they are too precious to share. But, suffice to say, that night I became truly a woman, not involved in a wrestling match, but dancing a slow and sensuous tango with a man who knew a woman's body. I was in awe.

We saw each other a few times afterwards, and then the bicentennial week was over, and the HMS Hobart was ready to leave port. He called me from the ship, saying he didn't know what to say. I said, Remember me, and hung up.

I don't know if he did or not, as I never heard from him again. I will never forget him. I carry no torch, or ever expect to hear from him. That whole week is tucked away in my memory, encased in golden light, the coming together of a man and woman consumed by desire, and quenching that desire with no ties, or expectations. Just the true joy of giving pleasure and receiving.

And, sometimes, if I'm lucky, I dream about that magical time, and awaken with a secret smile, remembering the sound of the ocean waves, and the magic man with the amazing blue eyes.

Jan 11, 2007

Reading Bush's speech is like reading a high school students vain attempt to bluff his way through a paper he has to write but has no clue as to what he's supposed to write about.

"Failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the United States."* Excuse me but its already a disaster.

"On September the 11, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities. For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq."* Wait a minute, weren't the terrorists living in the United States at the time, and had been doing so for some time. The tragedy of 9/11 did not originate in Iraq.

"These Iraqi forces will operate from local police stations; conducting patrols and setting up checkpoints and going door-to-door to gain the trust of Baghdad residents." Maybe they could sell Avon and Amway products at the same time, providing some of those new jobs to support the new economy?

"The prime minister understands this. Here is what he told his people just last week: "The Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for any outlaws, regardless of [their] sectarian or political affiliation." Well, damn, if only he had said that before!!

"Yet, over time, we can expect to see Iraqi troops chasing down murderers, fewer brazen acts of terror, and growing trust and cooperation from Baghdad's residents." Yep, we're going to turn them into lean mean fighting machines. You think?

"Even if our new strategy works exactly as planned, deadly acts of violence will continue - and we must expect more Iraqi and American casualties." You know Mr. Bush, we, the people, find this unacceptable.

"We can begin by working together to increase the size of the active Army and Marine Corps, so that America has the armed forces we need for the 21st century." Can anybody say 'draft'?

"We go forward with trust that the author of liberty will guide us through these trying hours." He could have at least named the author he was referring to.

God, I hate this man. 20,000 more troops. And the troops that have been there will have their deployment extended another four or five months. The man is insane, Congress is insane, the military advisers are insane. I think they are just going back to the strategies they used for Viet Nam, and saying, "Hey look what we found! This might work!"

My biggest concern is for the troops. Fighting in this land where the enemy is a hidden force and everywhere, and trying their best to stay alive. Then when they do come home, they are racked with guilt, nightmares, and all the other symptoms of PTSD. The government does little or nothing to give them support, so they are left to find what resources they can. The whole thing sickens me. We have no business in the middle east, in a culture so foreign to us, we can't even understand it.

We wanted to impeach Clinton, and evidently did, for having sexual relations with that woman. Here we have an obvious egomaniac in the White House, and nobody cares.

I just don't get it. I think my son assessed this war correctly, when he told his 5 year old son he was going to Iraq so he wouldn't have to go. I hope his wish comes true.

*Bush's new strategy for Iraq speech.

Jan 9, 2007

I watched one of my favorite movies the other night, "Waiting for Guffman". I love anything Christopher Guest makes. I can watch them over and over again. "This is Spinal Tap", I guess is my favorite. I also will watch any version of a film made from one of Jane Austin's novels, or anything about Elizabeth I. Masterpiece theatre is doing one called "The Virgin Queen" so I got to watch that. And I loved Helen Mirans portrayal in HBO's Elizabeth I.

I watched "Reefer Madness" the other night, and laughed my ass off. Especially the part where the guy was high on reefer, and murdered his whole family with an axe. Can you picture this? First, it would take him forever to find an axe, and then he would think, man, this is so cool. Wonder how they made this? Why do they call it an axe? I don't get that. Then he goes into the house, to chop up his family, but on the way, he grabs some doritos, sets in front of the tube, and watches reruns of Full House for a couple of hours. By this time, he's forgotten what he was going to do in the first place. I only know this from, oh hell, experience. According to this flick, marijuana grows wild everywhere in the US. Damn! Who knew? Here I thought it only grew in closets.

My Dad was a big farmer. Every spring he planted about two acres of corn. My nephew got the bright idea of planting little marijuana seeds beside the corn plants, kinda hiding them. Unfortunately, as they grew, my dad thought they were weeds so chopped the little rascals down. I think sometimes everyone in WV has a little patch of home-grown somewhere in them thar hills.

Back to movies, (I do jump from subject to subject don't I?) I saw M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water, and found it to be amazingly boring. There were some moving moments, but I just kept waiting for something to happen, and it never did. Go figure.

Enough for today. Maybe something truly exciting will happen today, but I doubt it. I'm getting a little too old for too much excitement anyway.

Jan 8, 2007

Changed my template, as you can see. The black and white thing was hurting my eyes. Not that I read my own blog that often, but the template had lost its novelty.

Not much been going on around here. The job hunt has so far been unsuccessful. But I haven't applied everywhere yet. I have had a lot of different jobs in the past. If it was a job I really wanted, I usually got it. The only jobs I don't really want to take is in fast food. I tried it twice. The first one I was 20, and the manager wanted me to (his words) take dictation sitting on his lap. This was before sexual harassment and all that good shit, so I just quit.

The second one, the cash register had pictures of food on it instead of numbers! I just couldn't do it. For me, it was too damn hard to hunt for pictures, than to punch numbers. Then I worked the drive-threw, where a man, waiting for me to fill his order for an ice-cream cone, accused me of being a promiscuous woman. And a lot of other things, too. I was 42 at this time, and just didn't have the coordination. This was at a time in my life where I needed a job, not a career. You know what I mean if you need money like yesterday, and take the first job that comes along. Then wait for a better job to come along. I had two kids to feed, house, clothe, and provide for, and it feels you with such desperation you will do just about anything to keep them safe.

I was in the process of going through chemotherapy after surgery for colon cancer, a bowel resection, and my husband decided to find himself, back home in Georgia, where he was born. My boys were 16 and 15, and we decided not to go with him. So he took a separation package from his job, and left. If you've ever had chemo, you will understand when I say it fucks with your head a great deal. I suffered from CRS, can't remember shit) in a huge way. I still have memory problems. Of course I had other symptoms, but the memory part was the worst for me. I used to have an almost photographic memory. Meaning my head was full of a whole lot of useless information that I could pull up like a file on a computer. Now, I have to use a very unreliable search engine, and pick the result that seems closest to what I'm looking for. The kids were always saying, Mama, you already said that. Mama, you've seen this movie before. Which was kinda neat because I could watch movies and read books over and over again, and it was always like the first time.

I remember sleeping a lot, and some other things, but it takes a while to jog my memory. People I used to know on sight are now complete strangers. Its hard to talk to someone who knows you and you got no idea in hell who they are. A lot of head nodding and smiling, and yeah, that really was something wasn't it? goes on, while you frantically search for a reason to end the conversation.

One curious thing I remember is my cat, Guilda, always laying on my stomach or back, over the area that caused so much pain. Every night she slept on top of me, and when I rolled over, she would just walk across my back as I rolled. I miss that cat very much. I was her midwife during two of her pregnancies. But, I think its true that cats sense illness and disease in people. I know Roscoe gets extremely affectionate, and meows when I get upset and cry. Then I end up comforting him, so it all works out.

That was 12 years ago, so I feel pretty comfortable saying it might not come back. Being superstitious, I will not say I am cured, and amazingly, oncologists won't say it either. To them I am a cancer patient. I have had ten colonoscopies at least, so I pretty much know the drill, and have learned a whole new vocabulary which include stool, rectum, bowel, and anus, words a lot of people would rather not say. But, of course I'm going to tell you to talk to your doctor, tell him in no uncertain terms what symptoms you are having, and don't be afraid to say constipation, or bowel movements. If my cancer hadn't been found when it was, I wouldn't be here. It would have spread to my liver and lungs, and God knows where else. You have a much better chance with a stage I cancer, than a stage IV cancer. Many other people have gone through what I have, and have lived to tell the tale.

How I got from looking for a job to cancer, I don't know, but there it is. My mind wanders. One thing I do remember is having a great deal of pain, that was more sever at times than others. My cancer was located in the cecum, where the small bowel and the large bowel are connected. I don't have one anymore, but the mass was pressing on my appendix, which caused the biggest part of the pain. I remember being in walmart, and being struck by a wave of pain so severe that I doubled over and sat on the floor. Other people shopping just reached over top of me to get their items. I would take advil by the handfuls, so now I have a very irritated stomach lining and acid reflux. But I will always remember me sitting in Walmart, contorted in pain, and people just passing by, intent on getting their items, whether they had to step over me or whatever. Looking back, I can't help but laugh. I know it sounds mean, but people see what they want to see.

You know I could write a book about this, but I won't do it here. Just one of those times where one thought leads to another thought and another, and you don't remember how you got from thought one to though three.

I will still be pursuing my job search. Something part-time is what I'm looking for, which should be easy to find as they don't offer benefits for part-timers. But I won't be working fast food. I will never figure out those cash registers with pictures instead of numbers. Only young people can figure that shit out.

Jan 3, 2007

I am on a job hunt. And I find at 52, it's not the same as 22. On a recent application, one of the questions was, "Can you lift 50 lbs with ease or difficulty?" Well, guess what, I'm honest and said with difficulty, and they called anyway. Seems they want an older person on second shift to see that the younger ones get everything done. I asked them if that meant I would be supervising that shift, and they said, "No!" Then I asked if I was responsible for ensuring all the work was completed, and they said no. So, I'm thinking, what do they want me to do? Tap everyone on the head with ruler when they misbehave?

I have this thing which the doctor tells me is called degenerative spinal disease, and have bone spurs on my spine. He showed me the x-ray, and I seem 'em for myself. I said what are those little hooks for? He said those are the spurs. He said that's why I have so much pain in my back and legs, because the spurs are pinching nerves. Not all the time, just when I stand up a lot, or walk around a lot. I'm supposed to complete my physical therapy, (came down with the flu) but haven't gotten around to it yet. The doctor wanted to give me darvocet, and I said that stuff is worthless, and they give it to old people and doesn't do any good. Then he said how about propoxyphene, and I said that's the same thing, doc. Tried to slip one by me. I wouldn't know that probably but I was my dad's caregiver during the last years of his life, and that's what they prescribed for him. Sometimes he gave them to his dog JoJo. I don't know why, but the at least the dog was quiet for a while.

So, here I am, my body falling apart on me, entering the workforce after a couple of years off. I think a job would do me good, actually. Get me out and about, meeting new people, and all that good shit. We'll see, I guess.

Wish me luck. Maybe Vincent D'onfrio needs a personal assistant. Hell, I'll get him coffee, I'll get him any damn thing he wants.

Jan 1, 2007

The most wicked man on earth has succumbed to the hangman's noose. Saddam Hussien is dead. Seems we should all be dancing in the streets, consumed with ecstasy, and glad-tidings. Oh, the world will be so much better now, we have finally achieved world peace, how much lighter our hearts will be. No more fear of terrorism. No more fear of dictatorship. We have done God's work.

You think? Personally, I am overwhelmed with shame. What has changed? Really? The war in Iraq will only intensify. We have taken the leader of a nation, tried him, judged him and found him guilty. Then we hanged him. No leathal injection for this guy. No electric chair, gas chamber. We hanged him. Why he wasn't drawn and quartered escapes me.

Does anyone see the arrogance here? Does anyone else feel the least bit concerned about this whole affair? What have we really proved, other than that we can go into a foreign nation, judge their ruler, and execute him. Does this make us better as a nation? Are we all in agreement now? Sure, he probably was a really bad guy. But was the decision really ours to make? Did the Iraqi people ask us to do this, ask us to come into their country, take out their ruler and free them from his insanity? Seems we went there to keep him from tossing a few bombs our way.

Maybe they did have a few components on hand that might have led them to eventually create a weapon of mass destruction. But, so does North Korea, so does Red China, so does a great many nations, including ours. Does this mean now that another nation can invade our country, take out our leader, and execute him for having weapons of mass destruction?

I feel we have committed a crime against humanity. We have sunk to the level of the very tyranny we so abhor. We are not the hand of God. We are not the mighty judges of every other nation in the world. I wish we could just focus on what's wrong in our nation, and quit looking for trouble. And I wonder, does George Bush sleep any better at night? With the blood of 3000 soldiers on his hands, I don't see how he can.

So, I wonder now, how many people I have pissed off....
Happy New Year!!