Oddest weddin

The following does contain some possibly foul language so be warned.

Also this is all 100% true.

While living out west, my ex wife befriended a young lady I worked with at the time. She wasn’t someone I really cared for.

The first time I saw this person in our home the conversation went something like this;

Me, “What is she doing here?”

Ex, “Oh, her? I met her at Wal Mart, and she said she works with you so I invited her over.”

Me, “Ah, Perfectly logical.” A brief pause too glare at the intruder into our home, then pointing at her and speaking to my ex, “You do realize having her here is like feeding a stray dog, right? She is going to keep coming back over here all the time.”

Ex and intruder laugh and tell me to, “Stop being silly.”

I left, going into the garage to destroy something, ANYTHING.

Well the days turned into weeks turned into months, and sure enough more days than not the Intruder turns up with her three juvenile delinquents in tow. I avoid all of them at all possible costs.

I should say that my ex was trying to fellowship this gaggle of turds, show them a functional supportive family unit etc. Yes, I did a lot of eye rolling, muttering, bitten off cuss words etc.

Eventually this vagabond met someone. I am not sure how, as I did not know that trailer parks had their own special personals so that like minded individuals could meet. Evidently there is a publication of this sort, I suspect it must be available in only the finest of truck stop restroom stalls.

My ex was elated to hear the news, and simply over the fucking moon when the wretched cretin sprang the news that these DNA mismatches were to be joined in what surely would be an offense to God.

An infusion of Martha Stewart, and Oprah welled up inside my ex as she volunteered to assist in the wedding, from helping pick out the colors, dresses, flowers and even making the cake.

Yes intrepid adventurers you heard that right, the god damned cake.

Now it is not to say that my ex did not have some experience making cakes. She had made a few of the number cakes for the boys’ birthdays, ya know the ones from the cake molds that look like the number itself. Of course there was that tricky one for the third birthday where she had to take a bunt cake and cut it in half, rotating one half up to make the number 3.

Whew that one was touch and go for about 5 minutes.

Also she had made some double layer cakes with a jelly like substance in between.

So clearly she was fully qualified to make the wedding cake for these two. Clearly.

I pulled my ex aside, “Um. Not to nitpick, but you have never made a wedding cake before.” Placing my hand on my chest, fingers splayed out, “I have never made a wedding cake (side note, I often was drafted in at the last moments of projects she volunteered for being told to fix whatever was wrong). So I have no idea how you are going to do this.”

My ex walked over to the kitchen cabinet, smiley so hard she could barely see, and pulled out a book on wedding cakes.

Raising my hands in the air, “Ah, well silly me, problem solved. Because obviously if it is in a book, with lots of pictures, it must be easy. Come to think of it I want to build my own nuclear power plant, I am going to the library to see if they have a book on that!” Yes I love my sarcasm.

“I don’t care for your tone,” my ex advised me.

If I had a penny for every time she said that I would not be working for a living.

“I…well…but… a wedding cake. I’m going outside,” and out I went.

Again times passes. The ex has been on several trips picking out dresses (finally talked her down from gowns, think the tipping point for that was when I held up a burlap sack in tractor supply asking if that would do.), flowers, invitations, crepe paper streamers ( worse shade of piss yellow I had ever seen).

Now the cake catastrophe now begins.

The baking process went well enough. Then the assembly process, well here is where the fun begins.

Mind you all this occurred the day of the wedding (odd how close that word is to weeding).

Having drawn a line in the sand, or rock riddled hard concrete like dirt that we lived in, I advised I would have nothing to do with this wedding and went outside to tend to the yard. Yup, did the typical male shtick and was a dick about it.

I worked all morning skipping lunch getting sweaty and filthy. Just to try and make doubly sure I wore no shoes. Figured crusty feet would definitely keep me out of the proceedings.

I smiled as I heard much wailing and gnashing of teeth from inside the house as I shoveled fresh compost into the flower beds. Mowing the yard I would stop to listen for the lyrical hurls of curse words being lobbed around the house. Never was there such sweet music, seriously a chorus of angels will not sound better at the second coming.

Hours rolled by, I drank from the hose to make sure I did not somehow become embroiled in Hurricane Wedding Catastrophe.

Finally the door cracked open and the cake was being hustled out. I should say that the pieces of the cake were hustled out as it had been determined that the final assembly would be done at the location of the blessed event. This could have been because the application of the fondant, with numerous icing ‘flowers’ to hide the flaws, proved just a tad trickier than the words ‘Apply fondant to your cake’ .

I smiled as they piled in the car and sped away, receiving a few glares from my ex.

After they were out of view, I lay down in the yard, tucking my hand behind my head. I enjoyed the sun and just relaxed, taking deep cleansing breaths. Thinking to myself, “well, you did it, there will be hell to pay but you did it. No sir no wedding bullshit for you.”

Feeling the urge to use the bathroom I walked into the house. Peace. Nothing but peace. No turmoil. It was a tomb. I love tombs.

Sitting upon my throne, doing my best to portray the God or Porcelain, there was an odd rumbling from my foot. I had never experienced a bathroom visit that was so needed that my foot vibrated.

OH NO

It was the cursed shock collar of a cell phone! Damn technology, Damn you to hell from whence thee came.

Slowly, reluctantly my hand crept towards my pocket. My brain was screaming at my hand, “Damn you stop! Halt, I am in control! What the hell? You never listen to me. If I can ever get the other one to cut you off, you’re out of here.”

My hand, being too stupid or afraid, dutifully soldiered on, as if to say, “But we has to answer it. It is the master, we knows it. Mustn’t make the master angry.”

Retrieving the phone my hand rolled it over to show the display. The result of this call could not have been clearer if the display showed, “DOOM TO THEE”.

The phone vibrated again. BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ My thumb jumped out of sheer terror, hitting the green answer button.

Green, appropriate as my feet tinged with the same color.

Meekly I answered, “Hello?”

Maybe the lines at the central office got crossed and this was a call from Calgon and they were going to take me away. Maybe a stern official voice would say a single word, “Tannenbaum”, triggering my true persona constructed in a top secret lab. Sending me off on a mission to save kittens from the dangerous hands of communist toddlers (ya never know til ya get the call).

“Hey,” my ex said. The kind of hey that really says, “hey, get your sorry ass over here and help me before I force your testacies back up into your body”, you know the one.

“Hey.”

Silence.   I wonder how much pain is involved in shoving the twins back up inside?
“I need to come over her and help me.”

“Why?” The word leapt out before I could think. Damn faulty brain.

“Well, since you did not help me earlier, I had to rush and I cut one of the dowels the wrong length.”

‘I don’t understand?” Honestly I did not.

“Listen honey,” yeah that word was dripping with poison, “Just get over here and help me. I am having to hold this cake up and I have to get other things done.”

“Well just let the damn thing fall over…” I did not get the chance to finish before she hung up.

After 5 minutes of debating with myself, I gave in to my kind side and jumped in the truck and took off. Realizing that I had no idea where I was going I called her back.

I was greeted with a terse, “Yes?”

“I am on my way, but no idea where.”

“We are at the, what is this place again? Oh yeah that’s right. We are the at the Elk’s lodge.”

I must have misheard that, “You’re where?”

“Just get here.” Click.

Upon my arrival at the prestigious Elk’s lodge I hesitated at the top of the stairs. Looking at myself I was quite the site. Old flip flops on, feet shades of brown framed with green, dirty legs, cutoff camouflage shorts, dirty used to be white t-shirt, definitely a bit of a mess even for an Elk’s lodge wedding.

Spying my ex just inside the door, I cracked it opened, ‘Hey, I’m here but too messy,” she seized my hand yanking me inside. My fingers were wrapped around a plastic Romanesque column between cake tiers.

“Hold that. I gotta pee.” Was the command that was uttered as she vanished around the corner.

So there I stood. Dirty, sweaty, probably smelly. Yeah, most definitely smelly. Holding a plastic column in place on a wedding cake for a wedding that I had footed part of the bill for but not wanting to have anything to do with.

Fortunately there were only a few people milling about. I guessed my ex would arrive with a solution for the problem and I would be able to leave. Yeah, sure, that is how this is going to work out.

My ex reappeared after an eternity. She had her hand out as she approached me, “Give me your keys?”

“What, why?”

“I need to go home and get another dowel. The car is blocked in by the pig pit.”

“I was at home. I could have brought you a dowel. Wait, a pig pit?”

“Listen you, if you had helped me with all this…anyways I need to go home and get the dowel.”

Mystified by all this I found my hand betraying me yet again and was handing my wife the keys. “I don’t understand how you are blocked by a pig pit?”
“I pulled up and parked in the wrong spot and now there are vehicles around me and a pig being roasted behind the car,” and out the door she went.

Minutes ticked off. More people started showing up. A fancy lawn chair was hauled in the door and down to the front row. I started to think this odd then look at my soiled form holding up a lavender wedding cake and brushed the oddity side.

The perspective bride waltzed in, wearing her lavender sheet. Literally it looked like she had taken a bed sheet and wrapped around herself. Coming over to look she remarked, “Doesn’t the cake look wonderful?”

I looked at her like she was nuts, “This cake? The same cake that a filthy guy is propping up so it does not end up in the floor? This cake that a person with no arms and no legs could do a better job putting fondant on? This cake? Sure, it looks as good as you do.”

She laughed a deep creepy, “I am attracted to you” laugh. ‘You’re so funny.” Lightly slapping my shoulder.

Is the bar open? I need a fifth, fuck that make it a gallon. Better yet can someone set me on fire? ‘What is with the lawn chair?”

“Oh, that is the only way my momma would show up. She doesn’t approve of who I am marrying. I have to go now, you know it is bad luck for the groom to see the bride on the wedding day,” the pile of dirty linen advised.

“Oh, that is the last of your worries,” I replied with a smile on my face.

People really started filing in now. It was awkward as I was right by the front door. Martha would have been so proud, such wonderful planning. Several people came by, deciding it was a good idea to strike up a conversation with me.

“Man, that sure is a purtyy cake aint it?”

‘Uh Huh”

“Good thing you’re here guardin it.”

“I’m not guarding it. I am holding this nuclear disaster up.”

“That a Nuclear cake? I read about them on the internet.” (That is not a joke that exchange happened).

This sort of exchange happened several times. Not once did anyone take notice of my hygienic state. Most would error on the side of delight and say they were just too focused on the joy of the day. I wager a guess that since I was only slightly less clean and my attire not far from what they were wearing that they just thought it was totally normal. Ya know, to have a filthy lawn worker show up to hold the wedding cake. If I were you I would consider it for your next wedding, you could start a new trend.

One the maids of blubber, I could tell as she was swathed in the same lavender bed sheet style moo moo, and set a boom box down beside the cake.

“When I point to you, press the play button.”

Looking around for someone else, I realized she must be talking to me, “Excuse me?”

Looking at me disgustedly she spoke slowly, “press PLAY when I point at you. This button right here. Ok?”

Smart ass gene flared to life burning like phosphorus through the belly of a soldier, ‘Oh yessa Miss lady. Isa sorry. Isa kind slow, but I gots it now, surely I do. Oh yessa miss, when yous kindly points to me Isa pushes the button right chere.”

“Good,” and she went down the ‘aisle’ to the front.

Oh great, the ceremony is going to start!

The reverend, Minister, Pastor, some fella who wasn’t busy, walked down the aisle. He shook everyone’s hand like he was running for wedding official or something, but once again not odd, not by any stretch.

At some point momma had shown up and was three quarters reclined in her lawn chair. I felt sorry for the molecules of whatever that webbing was made out of as she was thoroughly testing the strength of their chemical bonds.

Lavender moo moo number 1 pointed her sausage finger at me and dutifully I pressed play. Now most of the time it is traditional to hear the wedding march, at some wedding other though that is not the case. All of the sudden I hear Whitney Houston belting out Dolly Parton’s “I will always love you”.

The Bride appeared through the front door escorted by the sperm donor, sorry, Father. And they walked the slowest ever walk down to the waiting groom, who was wiping soot from his hands. I was my guess that he had been tending to the pig a few moments before.

I mean why wouldn’t he. After all it is just a wedding, his wedding. Ah the class that this man had. It had to be up there with Bond, James Bond, King Tut, and Sir Walter Raleigh.

The pair finally arrive at the, whatever he was, and he started his schpeell… Dearly beloved we are forced to be here to watch these two idiots join in what shall surely be a union that will last at least 6 maybe 7 months…yada yada yada.

When he arrived at the exchange of the rings, he held up his hand.

“Now I want to take a second and relate this wedding to real life.” He held up one of the rings, “This here represents a bond, the union between these two, kind of like a knot tied in a rope to hold something in place.”

What the fuck? A knot? A ring is a knot? Again, What the fuck?

“Friends, a lot of you know, I had always wanted a boat. A nice fast boat, y’all know the type I am talking bout. Well last year I went out and got one. Man is it purty. Joe,” points to a man in the crowd, “you’ve seen it. Well right after we got the boat we took a trip down the lake.

“Friends let me tell you, we had a time that day on the lake. We was flying round all over the place, loving life, you know those days, don’t ya.” Winking at his audience.

Dramatic pause, you know to let the words sink in. I looked at the crowd and saw people elbowing each other nodding to one another in affirmation (way too big of a word for this crowd) of the preacher’s sermon.

“The sun set, we came back to the dock, tied her up and headed for the hotel. We were coming back the next day for more fun.”

Another dramatic pause. He stands up straight, “Well that night a mighty wind,” his hands rose above his head swirling around, “rose up on the lake. When we came back out the next morning our boat was out in the middle of the lake. We had to get a ride out to it.”
The crowd was puzzled, they could not fathom how the boat got out in the middle of the lake. Was it a prank, did someone steal it and run it of gas, did the fish hate them for their haphazard driving the previous day. Pray tell what could have led to this dreadful situation? The more adept of you have probably already figured this out.

“Well friends you see, after the great day I did not take the time to tie my boat up properly. The wind the Lord summoned had ripped my precious boat from the dock, slamming it into other boats and pushing it out into the lake.”

All I can hope is that the bond,” holding the ring up high, “between these two is stronger than the knot I tied on my boat that night.”

Some of the audience applauded, and the preacher returned the ring and pronounced them ill fated, errrr husband and wife.

At this point my ex walks in with a bag from, Wal-Mart. “I couldn’t find the dowels at home so I had to go get some more, did I miss anything?”

“Do you have 2 quarters?” I asked.

“Think so, change is in the bag.”

I extracted 50 cents from the bag, placing them under the column I let the cake stand on its own, took me keys and left.

Modern Bed Shopping

Evidently the days of going into a furniture store and selecting a mattress and box spring are ebbing away.

Last night we went to assist the father in law in finding a bed that will actually allow him to sleep. Poor fella has had 3 or 4 heart attacks, or ‘episodes’ depending on what insurance company you ask. Since sleep is kind of a crucial thing for a guy that past retirement and still has to work, figure we could at least go with him to shop for a bed.

Anyways, while he was trying out the ‘Zero gravity’ setting on a bed I was of course acting like a little kid and playing around.

I laid down on a few beds, fell face first into a few of the softer ones. The look on the sales lady’s face seeing a 6’4” 230(ish) pound man falling onto a bed face first, well that is just priceless. Eventually I calm and am stretched out on some big fancy schmancy bed. The sales lady approaches and asks, “So do you like that one?”

Me, “it’s ok.”

She looked a bit taken a back at my comment then smiled she said, “Yeah it’s not my favorite although a lot of people buy this model. I just don’t think it is worth fourteen thousand.”

Now when she said ‘fourteen thousand’, well the cheeks of my butt slammed together so fast and so tight I should have had a lump of coal there to make the world’s largest diamond. As I gingerly extracted myself from the foam of excess, I clarified I had heard her right. “Four…fourteen thousand?”

Shrugging she advised, “Well without the head board yes.” Then flipping up a flap on the little foot protector thing draped across the mattress she started to tell me the price of the whole thing.

Holding up my hand and shaking my head I said, “No no that is fine I don’t want to know.” Adding, “Um I’m going over there cause I am sure that the bed scanned my DNA somehow and then checked my credit rating. When it saw that I am certain it called the cops.”

The lady just stared at me confused.

I walked, very calmly, back over to where my wife was with her dad. I am guessing I looked like a child that had been scolded as my wife asked me what was wrong.

Whispering in her ear, “My ass just touched more money than I have ever even physically seen.”

Choking back a laugh she asked, “What are you talking about?”

I very gently took her over to what I consider the pinnacle of excess and pointed to the flap as if it were a cobra fixing to strike. “Flip that up,” I said my voice shaking.

“You’re silly,” she said followed closely by, “Holy crap.” Then a “wow”. Pressing on the mattress she frowned, “I wouldn’t pay that for this thing.”

Walking back she randomly pushed on another mattress, “Now this one feels nice.” Then laying on it she confirmed it was indeed much better than the Trump mattress. Then, she flipped up the flap and while much cheaper this one was still around five or six thousand.

Pondering out loud, “Why the hell is this one so much?”

“Oh, that one is part of the signature series. The entire top is hand sewn, and the person who did all the work has signed the bed on the tag located just here,” she supplied pointing vaguely at a tag on the foot of the bed. “The people who construct these are chosen from a select group and then sent to school for the craft.”

Insert any joke here. Mattress school?? Not touching that one, way too easy.

Moving on back towards my father in law, who was apparently enjoying the Zero Gravity setting, I sat down while my wife talked to her dad about the bed. The one I had chosen simply due to proximity was nice a cushiony (guessing that is actually a word since I don’t see a red underline). Deciding to test it further I again reclined back.

Thus returnth the sales lady. “Do you like this one?”

Shrugging I said, “It is nicer than the Taj Mahal over there.”

“Well this one will keep you much cooler. Some people say they get to hot on the memory foam type beds but this one wont do that.” She informed me.

Taking the bait I asked, “And why is that?”

“Because they have infused it with diamond dust,” She said while leaving off the ubiquitous ‘of course’.

Shaking my head I rolled off the bed electing to stand for the duration.

Once her father had passed judgment on his new slumber pile, and we got over the sticker shock. Really for an extra long twin that is adjustable, holy black mamba! But it does have zero gravity which makes him an astronaut so fair exchange I guess.   Besides he has to sleep so he can continue passing on fishing secrets.

As we went to pay, ok sign the finance paperwork, the lady asked if we had a ‘mattress protector’.

I responded with, “We have guns, does that count?” Well honestly with options of a $14K bed or one with Diamond Dust in it, I feel that needs armed guards. They did a whole movie about bloods and diamonds for hells sake.

The lady laughed and laughed and then pointed to a rack with some flimsy looking little fitted sheet things. There was one made from eucalyptus which is guaranteed for 10 years to keep the mattress safe. With the guarantee that if some wicked evil communist type liquid gets through the barrier and dares to deflower the mattress the company will send a crew out to clean it up.

That’s right ‘a Crew’, to which my brain went straight to the decontamination crew from Monsters Inc. And we were also advised if for any reason they could not clean the issue to his liking the Mattress Protector Company will buy him a new mattress!

I just shook my head in disbelief. I had no idea that the activity of slumber had entered into such a fantastical age. For a lot of reasons I hope that our current mattress lasts until I have turned to dust. Not hating on anyone that has a ‘diamond infused’ sleep system (not even going into a rant about calling them sleep systems, they are BEDS for hells sake), nor the ones that sleep on items that cost more than quite a few decent automobiles.

More power to ya. Enjoy! Wunderbar! Maybe once I have recovered from the shock of this new knowledge I will be able to reconcile all this in my head.

Be Yourself

Time for a little airing out of the musty trunk that is my brain. I am a geek, or a dork, or a dweeb, or a cool guy, or an awesome dude, or just that big scary guy over there who parents tend to shelter their children from, an intelligent person, or a completely self effacing hypocritical dumb ass.

What is the point of that rambling horrible run on sentence you wonder?

Point is I am me, period end of story. What I am depends on who you ask and in what context the question is asked.

But in the end I am me, and I’ll let you in on a scary little secret. I am starting to feel comfortable with myself.

Hey, you in the third row chuckling to your own little sick twisted perverted interpretation of that sentence… Damn right it is funny but I didn’t mean it like that.

Again maybe age plays into the fact that I now look in the mirror and while I am not blown away, I am more accepting of that thing looking back at me. I mean I might as well be, at my age statistically speaking I am half way done so what the hell, right?

Things I need to change? Well, yeah. Hello McFly no one is perfect. Hell knows I aint striving for that.

I am far from normal. In high school people considered me odd, and that is still the case today. Some people get me and what I am about (lord knows they are the blessed ones, cause I am still figuring it out). Most don’t and that is fine. I ain’t here to please them.

What is amazing to me is that since I have admitted to writing, more and more people have come up to me and revealed their own little passions in life. And for any authors who reads this and think I am not a writer due to some technicality of not being published or whatnot, oh well. I is a writer and good one sometimes if’n I has da right people reads it.

Sarcasm it’s good for what ails ya.

Back to the point which was, um. Hang on. Think, think, think. Ah, got it.

When you scare a frog it might pee on you.

No wait that isn’t it at all.

Pee on yourself at parties and the potential for you being memorable increases exponentially?

Nope, but somehow closer.

Oh yeah.

Be Yourself.

That’s it. Pee yourself, really brain?

Sorry about that, sometimes my brain forgets to take the left at Albuquerque.

So along this crooked avenue of thought here is a little snippet from the first real thing I ever wrote. A full 90,000 word work that is yet unpublished. Turns out there are rules and stuff to follow when writing for the different genres. Who knew. “Not I,” said the snarky tattooed dink in the corner.

This is a lead in at the start of the book. Not really a prologue or an introduction, just a little preface.

 

Did you really see what you thought you saw? Something moved or shifted in the corner of your

vision but you can’t be sure. Odd happenstance occurs every day and people brush it off as an

illusion of the light or a weird turn of events that they can’t and don’t want to explain.

What if the world that you know and trust is only a sliver of what truly exists?

Every culture has creatures of fantasy, creatures that modern thought has deemed unreal. What if these creatures really exist?

Imagine that these fantasy creatures live side by side with you, in plain sight.

Now, what if you are one and don’t even know it?

Will this work ever see the light of day? Well that is the intent but who knows. Point is I have shared it with a few people and for some reason they consider that a brave move. Not sure why that is, but they in turn have publically credited me with aiding them in coming out of their shell.

So in short, yes I know too late, be yourself like I have. Then you too can be responsible for making movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers possible.

Perception

No, this is not a blog about the TV show of the same name. Although that is an awesome show, one that provokes thought. This of course leads to pain in the ol’ brain pan and, well we can’t have that now can we?

Already the question comes from the throngs of followers, “But how does my perception affect my life?”

As the more keen of you will notice this blog has three followers.

“Does three make a throng,” you ask?  

To that I say, “Back off there Gunga Din, you throwing off my positive flow.”

To me perception is the thing I need to work on the most. I should qualify the last statement by saying that I am the Lord of negative perception. One of the exalted leaders of the pessimist community.

It’s sunny outside…causes cancer

Bonus at work….pay more taxes

BOGO…bet they last only half as long

Invite to a BBQ….bugs and smoke. Joy (that one laced with sarcasm tighter that a corset in burlesque show)

Or, at least I used to be.

Recently I have stepped down from that position, and now am only a consultant to them on occasion.

Not really sure why. Perhaps it is the whole with age comes wisdom premise. Kind of doubt it really but there have been other reported miracles throughout time.

Maybe I have grown as a person?

Not physically you dolts.

I can say that it is exhausting being constantly pessimistic. It takes A LOT to maintain the degree of negativity I sustained for most of my life. It does weigh one down to be constantly turning away from the light of life.

Still, I am an extreme pragmatist, but try and keep myself at that point. For those not in the know it can be a very short trip from being pragmatic to becoming a disciple of the negative. But I call the it quits before I put on rose colored glasses and go skipping down the lane flinging flowers to and fro.

What I now strive to do is to check the perspective of my view of the world, or at least certain aspects thereof.   Keep in mind this is a CONSCIOUS choice that has to be made.

Currently I am in what some would consider an extremely stressful situation. Now some of this is my own doing, but a lot of it isn’t. Not going to get into 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, why (hey hey I remembered those even without Googling. Take that negative side, idiot)).

The end result is that I am again studying! The currency of my world is now largely defined by pieces of paper that ‘Certify’ one’s ability.   So I have to…

No wait that’s not the right way to think about it.

So I GET to go back and learn, or perhaps refresh, myself on how things function.

Why did I change the word from ‘have’ to ‘get’? Cause that is how I should be thinking about it all. For whatever reason I have been getting put ‘in charge’ of crap since I was very young. That has lead to some gaps in my knowledge that I am unhappy with.

To be awarded with these paper affirmations of worthiness, comes the need to study. This means that I can now fill in some of the gaps I want to. Which also means that the next time I end up in charge, still think it is related to being a physically big individual who has a pretty good “Don’t BS me” face, I will be able to make better decisions for all involved.

If you are similarly facing a dilemma, or struggling with why something is happening, maybe take a step back and look at the situation from a different perspective. Don’t let yourself defeat yourself.

Also, when trying to change your perspective don’t expect success right off the bat. If you do have instant success, HUZZAH to you! But if you should not be so lucky guess what. It happens, get over it assess and move on.

Nothing is guaranteed and a successful life requires constant attention and adjustments. The end product will be what you make of it BUT your perception can have a lot to do with how the end product turns out.

 

Self Confidence

With my recent posts I have received a few messages from people thanking me for sharing. Seems that my perspective helps to let others see what things they might have overlooked. It does make the fact that most people have visited the Swamp known as Self Confidence

These two words fall into the same category as terms like:

Jumbo Shrimp

Military Intelligence

Paper Towel

Yeah I listed Paper Towel. Sorry, at its current state it cannot be a towel made of paper. But I can concede that “scrap of cloth like garbage that absorbs shit” is a bit cumbersome.

Anyways, back to the point I was trying to get to.

I personally had no idea that others struggled with confidence issues.

That is not actually 100% accurate. Sometimes it is fairly obvious. The physical set of a person, the way they walk, interact with others, etc.  The eyes. They will tell all.

Unless they are a successful poker player, then you’re screwed.

Again back to the point. If you have concerns about your own self confidence, feel like you need to be better somehow. Bit of advice I’d like to offer, if I may be so bold.

Be like the swooshy sneaker people and Just do it already. I mean seriously. Are any of us getting any younger? To be honest I really don’t want to. Took me too damn long to get here. I aint going back.

Whatever the issue or area of concern is, address the damned thing.

“Hi there my issue about whatever. Just call me The Exterminator.”

Seriously give yourself a bad ass title, it helps. Not that I would know from personal experience or anything.

Then set to dealing with whatever it is.

Take the first step.

Will it be scary. Well shit yeah it will be, but it will let you know you’re alive.

Take this blog for example. It is a result of having to post some words I hobbled together for a writing challenge.

Scared the B’Jesus out of me, but now I have three whole followers, AND I am getting feedback from people I have never even met. The really shocking part? It is positive feedback.    

Now, if I could just figure out how to make the word ‘positive’ flash while being hauled around by dancing lama’s…  

Trust

It is amazing to me those five simple little letters that can drastically alter the course of life, or lives. A very small word compared to the impact it can have.

I know that most of you trust that people will make the right choice. Which is great. Truly it is. Me being the eternal, stubbornly so, pessimist, don’t generally do that but I am trying to get better about it.

When I do place my trust in someone it is generally unconditional. Once my half rotten brain determines that a person is worthy the matter is done. Then we enter the whole circle of trust thing. Don’t break it or else it is gone forever.

Some consider trust an emotion. Some consider it a series of actions/events that evoke an emotion. I tend to agree with the latter. One of the definitions of trust is ‘one in which confidence is placed’. Seems simple enough, but what that definition does not take into account is the emotional ties that people bind to trust.

Trust is odd in that it can exist for years and years when a single act shatters what seemed to be diamond hardened steel. This delicate item can be rent asunder by even a single word. The word can be innocently enough misplaced, delivered with the wrong tone, or even timed improperly.

That might seem a tad drastic but trust is one of those things that most people rely on. They may not realize that is the case, but when the essence of trust becomes fouled with fetidness of betrayal the pain experienced is staggering.

Is it?

Too easily given

Rarely earned

Generally misplaced

Severely abused

Should it be?

Closely guarded

Laborious to earn

Cherished

Thoughtfully awarded

 

The answer is not mine to provide as it varies from person to person, experience to experience, situation to situation.

For me it is a balancing act, one that I try to guard from past negative experiences. Not that I go in blind, just a little more cautious. Go in with an open, although heavily guarded mind.

I do my best to treat trust like a living breathing thing that needs to be nurtured in order for it to take root and flourish.

Thoughts?

 

Square Peg Round Hole

This past weekend I went back to the place of my youth, to attend a high school reunion. I felt quite odd doing this as high school, for me, was not the idealistic 80’s movie version I had hoped it would be.

While driving back to the area I pondered why in the hell was I doing this? If memory served, I in fact detested every angst filled moment of those four years. So why was I wasting time to go back to that dark part of my past? And why do this and drag my poor faultless wife down to what would surely be a downward tail spin concluding in a fiery crash. The crash would be me simply saying, “Fuck it,” and manically packing everything into one bag while my wife looked on with pity.

Endless horrible outcomes played out in my mind. Further down I sunk, despair laughing at my demise.

Taking a deep breath I looked over to my wife, my muse, the person whose life I try to make better every waking moment. She was simply gazing out the window, not doing anything, just watching the tree fly by.

Despair stopped laughing. Realizing he was defeated his grip slipped away.

In that moment I realized what countless people before me, and countless will after me, the past is just that, The Damned Past. Sure the experiences we have form and shape us into the people that dwell in this world, but that is all it is.

In that same moment I said to myself, “Hey Dumbass, do the world a favor? Get down off the cross cause the wood is needed elsewhere. Yeah you got problems so does that guy in the car there, the lady at the rest area, the kid in the back of the family truckster enduring the family vacation. You have a good life and a great wife so drop the steamer trunks and move on. Idiot.”

My inner voice is kind of a dick at times.

The amount that I have let the past rule me is appalling. Truly, it disgusts me.

So on, we went. And long story short, yes I know too late, I survived.

Well better than that actually. Going back to that place and time cemented in my mind that my leaving there was 100% the right decision.

The reason being? Square peg, round hole. Me of course being the peg, and the place…well you get the point.

Did I talk a lot to the people there? A few. The same ones I always had, which was just fine. Made a few new friends. Subjected some poor souls to my attempts at writing. Got to reconnect with a very old and dear friend, his wife and kids. Showed my wife every single bit of my past.

“That is my old house.

So and so lived there, and this person I mentioned lived there.

This is where dad worked, this is where mom worked.

This was my first job at 16. Lets go inside.

Huh they changed the side of the aisle the cereal is on, but they haven’t changed the signs on the walls?

This was elementary school, this was high school.”

She had to be bored to tears but she didn’t show it one bit.

All in all a decent weekend. I faced old demons and while I may not have won, I can call it a draw. I am still a square peg trying to fit into a round hole, but that is who I am and who I will always be.

So if you ever feel that way, guess what? You aint alone. Yeah I used aint and not aren’t, bite me.   Hell, chances are the people around you feel the same from time to time. Take solace in that fact and make the best of the situation.

Why Write?

If you are new to the world of writing all I can say is, Hang on it’s going to be a bumpy ride. I can say this as I myself am very new to the world of writing.

On a whim one day I wrote a short little saucy scene. I let a few people check it out and they said, “Wow you should take this further.” And so I did. I ended up with a 90k body of work. 90k meaning ninety thousand words just in case anyone was wondering.

Let me tell you it is a wonderful collection of words. The story has two main characters with a supporting cast of four others, including a smart ass cat who is just hilarious. Who doesn’t like a talking cat that uses his uncouth sarcasm to comedic affect? I can think of no one, if you can then cash some happy checks and have some fun cause you might be wound to tight, just a guess.

I won’t go into more detail about my first attempt at a book because that is not the point of this post. I will say I had twenty or so people read it and for the most part they all liked it and had positive things to say. Hell my mother even read it and said she liked it. My mother is not the type of person to lie and say something is good when it isn’t. Not even to her own children. She is the type to be realistic and say something like, “Um, it was interesting. But You probably shouldn’t show this to anyone else. Ever.” But she didn’t which shocked me, AND she had my dad read it and his comment was, “Our son wrote this? All by himself? Wow.” Which does equate to him liking it, trust me on that.

But back to the point. So I have a bunch of words in a clearly defined story now what? There are several routes I could go, each with its own set of hurdles. But whatever route I choose the end result will most likely be rejection. Either from an agent, or a publisher, or from the reading public. The latter is only IF I figure out the complex formula of how to get my work out publicly. It is a daunting formula, but one I hope to work through one day.

What do I base all this on? I base it on the information that I have gleaned from my writers group, blogs and articles. The overall message seems to be, “What are you crazy or something?” Things to know. You will get rejected, a lot. You are opening yourself to critics (both smart and stupid ones, some just downright mean). You’ll never get rich. You’ll never be famous. You’ll torture yourself to try and please everyone to get the validation you secretly desire.

Pretty picture that paints huh?

So again the question is, Why Write?

The reasons vary from person to person. The reason I do it? Still not really sure. I like to see people laugh and forget their problems if even only for a little while. Let their minds escape to a place where they can run free.

When I read it forces me to think. That in turn can alter my perspective of things around me. And this might lead to me going left instead or right, which can of course make all the difference.

Sometimes people say that ‘a book changed their life’. I don’t think anything I will ever write will do that for anyone, but if it does then I am honored I could be of service. If not, well I hope I at least made someone smile for a minute or two. Let them leave behind their worries and problems for a bit. Structure a world to their liking inside their minds.

Goodbye Note

Recent events have drawn my mind back to a friend who opted out too early in this life.  Of course the impact was profound, but more so on his girlfriend.  She tried to share some of her pain with me one evening, but she was not able to find the words.

The note below is what I believe how she may have felt.

 

You said you would be with me forever

Do you remember?

It’s all right, I know why you had to go

No matter what I did the demons would not let you be

You loved life but were constantly tormented

Never getting the comfort you desired and so richly deserved

I cannot know the darkness you traversed to bring me so much joy

I did the only thing I could to try and make it better for you

I love you

That will never end

I will see you again, even if I have to bring down the gates of hell

Nothing will keep me from you my one true love

I hope that peace has wrapped you in its loving arms

One day I shall see you again and I will embrace a you that is finally free from the shackles that plagued you during this life

Soon My Love

Soon

Fear, the ultimate debacle

First thing. Welcome to my blog o great single follower. I greatly appreciate your presence.

To any and all who venture here

Ye be warned

Contained within are the musings and ramblings of an ordinary man

Occasionally there be a nugget of wisdom revealed

This be purely by accident

The first question that I will be asked is, “Why a blog?” Followed closely by, “What could you say that anyone would find interesting?”

To answer the first one, well I kind of had to start one. No seriously I did. I was responding to challenge laid down by an Author in his own blog. The summons said to write a complete story in 1100 words then post it in ‘your own online space’.

Well I didna have no online space to call my own, so I had to start a blog. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

Makes no sense right?

Perhaps I should ‘splain that I have this nasty thing some called ***queue the campy spooky music*** ‘a creative side’.

I know, I know. Believe me I have tried to suppress the malady but it is like trying to keep Slime, yeah that stuff from back in the 80’s, inside a clenched fist. The more I try and rid myself of the lecherous innovative thoughts, the damned things simply multiplied.

!!!!Note On Slime!!!! Wikipedia says it originated in 1976, but don’t can we really trust Wikipedia? Anyways the Slime I knew was in the 80’s so there.

Back to the Blog.

For years and years I denied the creative side, or tried to let it escape in manly ways. Building horribly elaborate dog houses, putting wayyyyyyyy too much effort into sprinkler systems (that is a whole nother blog, maybe even a book), and exerting all effort into occupying every waking moment with anything not creative.

You are asking, “But why? Creativity is not a bad thing. The definition of creative is the power of creating, or resulting from originality of thought. Those are great things right?”

Very true oh wise and much more knowledgeable person than the one currently pounding the keys for this blog.

All I can do is plead stupidity and misguided thought. For whatever reason I grew up with this weird sensibility thing. Really odd. I thought you were supposed to grow up, get up, go to work, repeat until dead.

Ok so occasionally there would be a vacation with the family, but even then that was filled with a regimen that left no time for flights of fantasy.

Then one day something odd happened.

I

Had

A

Creative

Thought

I wanted to quit what I was doing and just run as hard as I could in the opposite direction. Ya know that kind of running ‘til you fall over, become violently ill, look up and swear the sun is the light of the afterlife.

Scared the absolute piss out of me.

Yes, now you see the title playing in. See I got us there. Ye of little faith.

Anyways. I spent the next 20 years avoiding creativity as much as I could. I did however manage to not inflict the same burden on my kids. Doing all I could to make sure they felt they could be creative.

Meanwhile inside me, my own personal Gollum was writhing away.

“Whats this precious? Those kiddssss can be creatives, but not us precious?? Bullshittss this is precious. One day we’s break free yes precious one days we’s break free.”

Then the little turd pressed play and Queen’s “I Want To Break Free” echoed around.

King Fear heard this and erected a great fortress in my psyche. Making sure to encapsulate (big word used, I need a nap) creative Gollum inside.

So I muddled through life not really fully enjoying what was going on. Then one day I was listening to a friend talk about authors and how she felt “guy authors couldn’t write a good sex scene”.

That statement is still one of the oddest statements I have ever heard. Maybe the peculiarity is what finally gave me the guile to assault the fortress holding Gollum. But I did it.

I ravaged the damned thing, leaving no stone unturned.

Then I started typing. Yes, a sex scene. No I had never done that before.

I was told a long time ago to never ever write anything ever again. This advice was doled out by an English professor I had in college. Tiny little Romanian woman, impossibly old with a shock of red hair. One day when handing work back she asked me, “Is English your first language?”

I responded, “Um, yeah?”

An eyebrow arched. Slow exhale of fetid breath, “I feel ashamed for your country. I don’t know why I moved here.”

Yeah, she was the mortar between the stones of Castle Fear. I made doubly sure to grind that into dust.

Onward and upward.  

After I got done with my little scene I gave it to the Speaker of Quirk.

Note to self probably shouldn’t use little when talking about a sex scene.

She read it. I watched as her eyes grew wide, and her face flushed. She stopped half way through. Horrified I asked, “Is it that bad?”

Self Doubt goes hand in hand with fear. Well more than Hand in Hand but this Blog is only rated R so you can do the math.

This woman looked at me, mouth agape. “I can’t finish this here at work.”

Fear bricks clunking back in place. Mortar machine being rev’d up by Heat Miser’s Mom, grinning manically.  

“But, why? Never mind, I’m sorry. I know it was bad.”Pour. Clink. Pour. Mean little redheaded woman muttering, “I should have stayed in Romania.”

Dejectedly I went back to typing whatever pointless email I was going to send that no one would read.

HA! That is just like this Blog….too funny.

Then with a very deliberate throat clearing my friend advised, “It’s not that it is bad, actually just the opposite.”

Eyebrows come together furrowing deeply as I process the words delivered to me. What is that in the dark of my brain? A light? Could it be the light of perception?

“Oh.”

The light grew brighter.

“Oh…OH!!”

“Yeah. You need to write more,” the quirkster advised.

Whoa, wait. I tried something creative and it worked?? Where are the other three horsemen at??

Where did that first attempt lead? Published and made a million dollars on the movie rights and just doing this for fun?

Give me a second…

BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Wiping tears from eyes.

Oh that is funny.

It has only led me to a place where I can let Creative Gollum out for a bit. Let him romp around in a field full of both beauty and ugliness. I will say it is difficult to get him to come back to the kennel, little turd ball.

I have nothing published, but I am learning a new craft and these things take time.

Will I be fearless from here on out?

Sadly, no. But for me that is not realistic. I am just wired that way, can’t be undone. What I can do is to recognize it for what it is, punch it in the face until it relents and move forward.

One thing I have done that shows how far I have come is to put out my response to the challenge. I have gotten 8 great comments on the piece. From humble beginnings come great things, right?

 

Don’t let Fear and Self Doubt hold you back! Annihilate the stronghold. Set your inner Gollum free!!