White Rabbit Friday

I was “off” today – I kissed my Beloved, told him “Goodbye for now” and left our apartment at 8:56A. I arrived home (on my “day off,” mind you) at 5:25P.

Listen, I get it – sometimes life, work, whatever demands (requires?) that we sacrifice our off days and work/do chores/whatever. I mean, it is a rare – actually non-existent – day that I spend in my jammies doing nothing. Really, I can forgive the loss of free time. I had a really productive day (although I missed my Sweetie a bit).

The thing that drove me BONKERS was that all day, I felt like this guy:

COELHO~1white-rabbit-with-watch-1White Rabbit 1Yup – I felt like The White Rabbit all day: “Oh dear! Oh Dear! I shall be too late!” It’s my own fault, though. Even though I hate being late, when I get to “jabbering,” well, there is often no other outcome than a day behind schedule… Anyway, it all worked out – my biz partner and I had a great day all around and now that my blog is done for the day, I can go veg with my Sweetie and watch some mindless TV. Gypsies or Amish, Bad Girls or Housewives? Decisions, decisions – ‘night!

A Mutant At Last? My X-Men Journey

Like all little boys, I have always wanted a “super power.” I have since childhood. I grew up, inspired by TV shows and movies (of late, the INCREDIBLE X-Men series!) and always just knew that one day I would miraculously awaken with the ability to shape-shift, or teleport or – at the very least – turn base metal into gold. I knew one day my power would manifest itself and I would be different. I would be special. I would be powerful. I think that day has arrived.

My power made itself known to me today at work: I kill computers.

EnergyTo say the least, it is NOT the power, the “gift,” I had hoped for. It is an irritating, useless – and expensive! – ability.

It started about two months ago. People that follow my blog will remember my painful accounting of how my twelve-year-old computer had, one day, just decided to stop working. I was crushed, frustrated and a little bewildered. Should I repair it, or buy new? Is it worth fixing? What the Hell should I do? Well, after much soul searching (and two therapy sessions/several meditations), I replaced it and moved on. Just bad luck. Everything wears out eventually. Nothing out of the ordinary. Really?

After that ordeal, a couple weeks passed then my Beloved’s less-than-five-years-old laptop up and died. Seems like the motherboard committed suicide or something. It was, again, hella’ unfortunate timing; in fact, we STILL have not replaced it. Why was this happening to us? How could this be just a coincidence? Why was The Universe punishing us this way?

I wanted to believe these two events were unfortunate, non-related happenings. I wanted to believe that it was just rotten luck. Then today happened…

I walked into work today, flipped on our seven-year-old-give-or-take computer and waited. And waited. And waited for the screen to come on. The green “on” light was on, but it was blinking. There was no picture. I didn’t know what to do (without internet access, I am pretty helpless), so I called Martin. He got online and checked out possible problems; it seems as though we (I?) may have blown a capacitor in the monitor, whatever the hell that is. Martin tells me it takes like $10 and a screwdriver to repair. My solution was to come home from work, pick up the old monitor from MY original, now-defunct computer and “Frankenstein” it all together at the studio. It worked. Then it hit me:

My wish has come true. I HAVE a mutant, secret power – like an X-Man. I kill computers. My X-Man name would be like “TechnoScrambler,” or “ITReaper.”

It is NOT the power I wanted. Give me wings, let me breathe underwater, let me change color. Anything. Anything but TechnoScrambler or ITReaper.

Lightnig handsIt is a horrible curse, this “gift.” I mean, in a movie, I could abort a nuclear strike by “frying” the computer controls; I could stop a self-destruct sequence and save all the trapped scientists by waving my “powerful hands” over the control panel and short-circuiting the countdown. Instead, it seems I touch things in real life, they break, I get pissed and they cost me money to repair/replace. Sigh…

So many mutant powers, all so much better than mine. How about diamonds? Could I maybe like change ice cubes into real “ice” – real diamonds? How about that?  🙂

X-Men cast

Perfect Tuesday

perfect dayToday is the last day of what was, essentially, a five-day holiday from work. My business partner and I have worked out our schedules so we have alternating weekends off and he was generous enough to also let me take today off, too. So, between a day spent outside the studio last Friday, a three-day holiday weekend and today’s “bonus” day, I feel rested and recharged.

I spent the entire day with my beloved MSW – we kinda’ “unofficially” decided to have a technology-free day, so cell phones and email were ignored all day (I am cheating a bit by writing this blog entry, LOL!) We did everything and nothing – saw the new X-Men movie (KICK-ASS, BTW!), did some modest shopping, shared a sub from Subway, came home and took a short nap and then watched some TV. He just brought me a freshly-made fruit smoothie (made with soy milk – gosh, he is so healthy) and I am sitting here, blogging away.

Sometimes the most perfect days are the simplest – we did nothing “extraordinary” today (although we did manage to spend less than $50 at the grocery, LOL). I spent a rejuvenating day with the guy I love, saw a movie and did some mundane shopping. And the day was fantastic! I would encourage each of you to have a “nothing day” as soon as possible. You will be glad you did. And if – like me – you are lucky enough to have someone to share all that “nothing” with, you are truly blessed.perfect day text

Memorial Day 2014

While I am traditionally not a big “Red, White and Blue-er,” I acknowledge Memorial Day for the significance it holds and appreciate its meaning and intent – to honor the brave men and women of the armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. And while the true, original significance of the day may get lost amid the jumble of Memorial Day sales, public pool opening parties, BBQ’s and picnics, I always make an effort to remember the men and women – sometimes little more than boys and girls – that have died so we may all enjoy everything America has to offer.

Memorial DayEven though the message is stirring, cute graphics like the one above negate the horrors of war, the loss of life and futures, and instead reduce it to a colorful, catchy turn of  phrase, something that will sell well on an Old Navy tee or Hallmark coffee mug. I myself am not a veteran; I was spared that noble yet horrible turn in life. My Dad served in the Korean conflict; he seldom speaks of the war itself but shares stories of friends he made and lost while serving. I know that being a soldier changed my Dad. Of course, I did not know him then but I sense that he was different before the war – maybe lighter, more happy. I cannot even imagine what war “feels like,” and while my father rarely speaks of his time served, he has shared with me that the only movie that has ever come close to the horror of the experience is the opening sequence of “Saving Private Ryan.” Yes, war changes a person.

So today, on Memorial Day, I hope we all can pause and remember those brave soldiers and, in their memory, commit to avoiding future wars at all costs. Has mankind not evolved beyond rocks and sticks – or nuclear warheads and WMD’S – to a place where we can talk thru any differences and resolve conflict thru civil discourse? I hope so. That is my prayer today.

Shadow of Himself

Someone I know and love very much has been battling an ongoing medical issue for months now. Many, many months. My Beloved and I visited him today and while the visit was pleasant, it was very brief and very draining, emotionally.

The man I have known and loved seemed different today, and that made me sad. He seemed to be almost a shadow of the guy I know…

shadow manHis once lively and cantankerous demeanor seems stilled – he is quiet and withdrawn. The strong body that once seemed too small to hold all his big opinions – opinions on politics and Bigfoot and healthcare – now seems frail and weakened. The eyes that sparkled with a youthful orneriness that betrayed his many years of life seem a bit dimmed and pale. I am worried for him. And I am worried for me, if I have to be without him…

It is interesting, this experience called life. My Dad always said life was one big circle – “If you wait long enough, son, everything repeats itself.” I rarely contradict my father (he is one of the smartest guys I know), but he has it wrong. Time is one big circle; life is one small cycle. And I sense that cycle maybe rounding a corner and “heading into the home stretch.”

See, I never imagined being a caregiver – to anyone, really, but especially my parents. Call me naïve, but I guess at some insane, unconscious level, I always knew my parents would live forever. Or I would die first. My Mom proved that theory wrong. She left us almost six years ago. And now it seems that my Pop-pop is facing some serious health issues. I’m not sure what to do…

I guess it is that old paradox: Sometimes the answer is that there is no answer. Maybe the answer will come to me as the story unfolds. Hopefully my Mom and my other guardians will help me see the answer, if there is one. For now, I stand by, waiting and watching, hoping and asking for guidance. No one’s life in in jeopardy, and for that I am thankful. But as quality of life issues arise, I’m not sure where to find the answers. In fact, I’m not really even sure what the questions are.

Mid 70’s Summer Music

Today was the first day it really, REALLY felt like summer to me. The sun and sky were awesome, the temperature perfect and I had a really lovely day with my Beloved. And, weird as it sounds, a number of songs just kept playing over and over in my head…

The group performing my “head songs” was Seals & Crofts, a sort of pop/folk/easy listening duo from the mid/late 1970’s. I love them, and their music always reminds me of summer. I suppose they remind me of summer because at the first job I ever had, at fifteen in the summer of 1973, the jukebox at Paul’s Drive-In in Shelby, Ohio, had a LOT of Seals & Crofts tunes on it. After every shift, as we were closing the restaurant – breaking down the ice cream machines, mopping out the walk-ins, vacuuming the dining room, etc. – Bob, the awesome son-in-law-of-Paul-and-manager of Paul’s Drive-In would put unlimited tunes on the jukebox, turn it up crazy loud and let us have music as we cleaned/set up for the next day. That was when I fell in love with Seals & Crofts. And every time I hear their songs, I think back to two of the happiest summers of my life. I was fifteen/sixteen, working (making $1.05/hour – plus side tips from the car hops!) and I had free music at my fingertips. Take a listen to these three tunes. They are nostalgic, sweet and beautiful. Enjoy! 

album

summer breeze

The Burden of Holiday Weekends

This coming weekend is Memorial Day, the three-day holiday weekend that traditionally “kicks off” summer – a weekend of BBQ’s and get-togethers, and parades and fireworks and fun. And as if three days wasn’t great already, I actually have a FOUR day weekend ahead. Four days. Four WHOLE days of fun. Sigh… I’m already exhausted.

I’m tired because I am anticipating what I refer to as “The Burden of Holiday Weekends.”

flag field

What is the burden? The burden of holiday weekends is meeting the expectations of  BBQ’s, get-togethers, parades, fireworks and fun. I always feel that, unless I can “check” off everything on this list, I will have failed. I will have failed as a spouse, I will have failed as a holiday celebrator, I will have failed, period.

fireworksI suffer from MHAD (Moderate Holiday Anxiety Disorder – not a real disease, yet!) I get so anxious just worrying about the GREAT time I am supposed to have – and sustain! – for 3 or 4 days that I actually become resentful of time off. Weird, right? And this weekend will be a trial for sure. See, my spouse and I are coming off a week of human-companioning our besties’ amazing dog. While it has been a really fun week, and we love them and the dog like crazy, the two of us have been away from our home for what will ultimately be eight days. So, while I would like to go home, be with my Sweetie in our place and just chill, I feel the “burden” of celebrating away the weekend.

On top of that, my Beloved is going on a five-week holiday to Europe in a little over a month, so I feel that timeline ticking away in my head, too. Don’t get me wrong – I am super happy he is able to go and, this trip more than ever, I can say “Goodbye for now” at the airport and know he will return home to me safe and sound. Still, it will be a long time apart and while we are both excited for him and this trip, we are both a little anxious.

It looks like this: time away from home x human-companioning + future separation anxiety = holiday buzzkill (me).

paradeMemorial Day weekend is not the only holiday that suffers – I have similar feelings near every holiday, even Ground Hog Day, LOL. I don’t know why I am “wrapped” this way; I just am. But, somehow, I will muster through it all. I WILL have a GREAT time with my Sweetie and our friends, and I WILL enjoy myself. I will. Now, time to get those BBQ’s scheduled. Oh, and I WILL take a bratwurst, a hot dog AND a chicken breast, please…

cookout

 

A Box. And a Cute Kitten.

Today was a great day. I was off work, I saw a movie with my Sweetie, I had a therapy session, my Sweetie and I got Chinese take-out – a LOT of great stuff happened today. So much, in fact, that I am finding it hard to focus and write a proper blog entry today, so I will leave you with these two images/thoughts –

1. Today my mind is completely full of good thoughts, but no clear, “good ideas” for a blog, so I guess in reality my mind is more like this empty box tonight…empty-box2. When nothing else works, you can always just post a picture of a sweet kitten …catThanks for understanding. Back tomorrow, better, I promise.

My “Programs”

I’m not sure when it even happened, but it did so silently and without warning – I became my Grandmother. Let me explain…

Like lots of people, young and old, Mom-mo (my Grandmother) enjoyed watching television. She enjoyed soaps in the afternoon and primetime comedies at night. When I would call her and ask what she had been doing or would be doing, she often said, “Oh, Timmy, I just been watching my programs.”

My programs – that is what Mom-mo called her “block” of TV shows. She used to record them all on tape using a VCR  (she passed a few years ago), then would make some tea, cover up with a throw in her recliner, tissue box and phone on the table beside, and she would settle in and watch her programs. I used to love to hear her say it in her long, Tennessee drawl.

remoteAs I mentioned, my Mom-mo has been gone for about eight years now but I still think of her often and smile. So today, as I was talking to my beloved Martin about the rest of the week, I mentioned to him that we needed to record “our programs.” WHAT? Our “programs?” Good God, I am an old person now, LOL!

You see, we are “human companioning” Xander the Wonder Dog this week so, while we are at our apartment every day, we do not watch TV there. Hence, we must record our favorite shows for viewing next week. Our favorite shows – our “programs.”

RECORD_cropIt made me smile and laugh out loud when I caught myself saying the phrase my Grandma always used. It was a nice moment, and I felt very connected with her. The thing is, I’m a little worried…

If I already have “my programs” to watch at night, can Sudoku and/or Word Search books be very far behind?  😉