Wednesday, April 30, 2008

And I've Been......

I've been doing almost absolutely nothing of late. Sure, I watch 22 month old triplets, and for some people that is a task that they can't fathom, but I think I do a passable job. My kids are well behaved for their age, they're growing smarter every day, and they are all happy, loving children that I can see possess a spirit of love and compassion. In other words, they are pure innocence and I am lucky enough to see them and spend my days with them.

I've also unfortunately entered what may be the darkest stage of my life. Inside I feel absolutely black, defeated, and alone. I find myself day dreaming and unfocused, longing to get away and embrace nature and the outdoors, to challenge myself on levels I've never tried. I can't say this is the answer for me, but my instinct tells me this is something I have to do, and unfortunately I believe I need to accomplish this alone.

The past six months have been challenging and stressful for me. I've gone into counseling and while I've made some great stride and advances, I still feel lost. Maybe it's because my step father passed away last month, a man who meant so much to me and who helped shape my life and my outlook on life. Then there was the uncomfortable confrontation with my real father that was filled with gaps in his memory, distortions, and what I believe to be out and out lies for what ever reason. My mother has now twice been hospitalized and put on life support because of breathing problems. And lastly my youngest sister has begun to deal with being molested by her father when she was between the ages of 4 and 8 years old. At times, I'm barely able to keep it together, and I know I wouldn't if it weren't for the counseling.

So mostly I sit and try to enjoy my kids, but when my depression gets very bad, I escape into mindless computer activities. It makes me uncommunicative and I find myself finding ways to avoid contact with others if I can help it.

So if you haven't heard from me in awhile, please don't take it personal, I've just entered one of my blue zones and I hope to work my way out of it shortly. You'll know that's happened when I'm writing more and sharing my day to day activities.

Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Hate My Dog

Years ago my wife and I got a great dog from a family that could no longer keep her. She was a mutt named Freckles with a bit of chow, collie, shepherd, and border collie. At first she was a pain in the ass, nipping at my heels because she didn't trust men, but eventually she warmed up to me and she was a fantastic dog. My wife and I loved her deeply, but unfortunately she died rather unexpectedly.

So after mourning, my wife wanted to get another dog. We searched animal shelters and finally came up with our current dog Gus, who looks very similar to Freckles, He's a cinnamon brown chow, shepherd, collie mix and he was a rescue dog that was abused. He instantly warmed up to Meva, but after 4 years he still fears me and quivers when I'm around or talking for a length of time. At times I've tried to bond with him in various ways, but each time I end up getting bitten or snapped at eventually. He's even freaked out during a thunderstorm and attacked me, bitten my daughter in the face (3 stitches there), bitten my friend's baby, and bitten Meva's uncle the day before he was going to take him.

And did I mention he has seperation anxiety and gets into the garbage when we leave the house, even going so far ans to getting on the counters and eating food that might be left out there?

So, as I really don't care for him, but I don't want to send him to the pound.

Then there was this week.

He started by eating a loaf of Irish Soda Bread that my friend Colleen went out of her way to make for us. Then last night he ran into the screen door trying to come into the house and I think it's going to require a new screen. But the best news is how he destroyed our central air conditioner.

No, he didn't attack it or knock it over, he simply peed on it repeatedly, causing it to corrode and eventually led to the fan motor seizing up and the condenser motor burning out. It costs so much to fix that we're going to have to get a brand new one. Yeah, I wanted to pay for that.

Man, I hate that dog.

I haven't written in awhile for various reasons, most recent being that I'm sick and so are the triplets. Their moods and attitudes are up and down and very demanding, so it leaves me exhausted and with very little time for much else. Hopefully as things improve and get back to normal I'll be able to update much more frequently.

But on the plus side, despite the humidity and heat of today, thanks to Gus I was able to honor Earth Day and not run my AC!

Stupid Dog.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

How I Shopped For Christmas Lights

The last thing I want to do is talk about my continuing struggles with depression and all of the drama in my life because quite frankly, it just serves to feed the fire. To that end, I thought I would talk about something that is near and dear to my heart, something that anyone who knows me is familiar with on levels that are hilarious and repugnant, often at the same time.

I'm talking about flatulence. Farting. Dropping Stink Bombs. Now if you don't know this about me, I guess you'd have to call this a TMI situation, but I'm going to operate along the lines of sharing is caring, so stick around.

Through my wife, I've learned to love a bargain despite hating to shop. She'll be the first to tell you that I can often find some great deals. This past Christmas season was no exception, and when it came time to replace my entire holiday lighting for both the indoors and outdoors, I jumped at the chance; lured by the cruel mistress of "up to 70% off."

My object of affection this time were LED lights. They're brighter, prettier, and use up less energy, so how could I not like them? Now was my chance, and I headed over to American Sales to see just what they were offering. I have to admit, it was incredible. But saving money isn't always a sexy story, and neither is this one because it spotlights and comments on the nature of this thrifty, money-saving section of our society.

For the first time in my life I fell in the path of senior citizens, armed with their AARP discount cards and motorized scooters rushing for gaudy Holiday decorations like they were elixirs for eternal life. I tried as politely as I could to pick and choose the right mixture of colors and strands of LED lights in the ridiculously narrow aisles they provide. To make matters worse this sales discount had created a euphoria that totally destroyed any order to the stock on the shelves and the extra stock above the shelves. Everything was chaos, strands of lights by the caseload were laying open and scattered on the floor, trampled on and impeding any chance for an orderly flow through the aisle.

I took my time in trying to describe this environment because as I entered, it was already filled with silver hair and OPS looking for lights and trying to understand this new fangled technology (LED lights). I already knew the amount of lights I needed and the colors I wanted, so it was just a matter of trying to find them.

So what does this have to do with breaking wind? I'm getting there. First off let me extol a bit on my prowess in this department. I've never been sure if it's a gift or a curse, but I was born with a proficiency for quantity and potency. In high school my notoriety was so bad that my gastric emissions were assigned levels with names such as :

Class 3 Lingering Death Bomb--- These stayed so long they signed a lease.
Class 2 Silent Assassin--- These were the ones you never heard but always felt.
Class 1 Roaming Vapor--- You couldn't run fast enough or far enough to escape these.
Class 0 Internal Devourer--- Affected only me and damn near ate me away from the inside out.

Now a days we just say someone has IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) but as a youth I was good enough to not just go pro, I had serious hall of fame potential here. Whether you needed me to warp vinyl or clear a room, I was THE MAN.

And I've gotten older, so you know how things stand. My wife will attest to this (last night she slept on the couch just based on my recommendation).

So here I am, gingerly trying to maneuver around people who probably won't be alive next year to enjoy the shit they're buying, doing my best to be polite and wait for them and not push my way past them. But I kid you not these were some of the nastiest people I have seen in quite some time. They were seriously scolding me for taking a box of lights that they "had their eye on," telling me I was rude for even trying to take a box of lights 5 feet from where they were since they were still shopping.

But it got worse from there. They began to bully me and push me out of their way. I know, you're thinking I'm grossly abusing hyperbole, but let me assure that I am not. I would literally reach for a box of light bulbs and have a 60ish or 80ish old man or woman push my arm away, or actually use their entire body to knock me and block me out of the way of my selection and push me further down the aisle.

One thing I've learned is that I'll always lose an argument against the AARP crowd when it comes to retail situations, so I backed away and strolled the store until they were finished before trying again. But guess what? This didn't just happen to me once; of no! This happened again and again and again with different sets of people. I'm not making this up in any way. Part of the reason I don't think I acted sooner is that I was shocked and in awe of the belligerence I was experiencing. I am definitely not used to being a victim of physical abuse.

The long and short of this is I was mad, really mad. I wanted those lights. I love Christmas and I enjoy decorating the house in all the bright festive colors and getting into the mood of the season. It was still about a week before Christmas and these nasty old people were displaying some of the most selfish and ungiving spirits I have ever witnessed. But considering the age difference, the obvious diminished health, and their nasty demeanor, I was impotent to really confront them. But again, I hate shopping and I wanted those lights, I needed those lights. Next year would be the first year my kids would be excited about Christmas decorations, and I wanted some nice bright lights. So I used the only option available to me.

In the spirit of the Holidays, I decided to give and share with them the precious gift of my talents and abilities---- I LET IT RIP!!

Not just once or twice mind you, but over and over and over again. I wore it proud, but best of all, I wore it loud! At the time there were about 6 or 7 people in this aisle, some couples, some singles. I farted standing directly next to some crotchety battleaxe that han just ran into my ankle with her stupid scooter. She was maybe 6 inches from me and her face was closer to my ass than it should have been, but I gave her a vociferous mouthful!

It then went silent. I think even the snowglobes stopped working and the music died. Everyone in the aisle turned and looked at me, frowns and shocked looks floating around my head like swarms of gnats on a summer day. Two other people, as well as the old witch in the chariot were about to say something when I inhaled deeply, scrunched up my face, contracted my stomach muscles and pushed out another beauty that was longer and louder than the first one; this time catching the old crone with her mouth wide open.

It was simply marvelous, the perfect offense. What did I care what these nasty people thought of me? People who behave as they did aren't worthy of my attention or opinion of me, so they got what was coming.

So now I've ripped two loud, and I mean heard two or more aisles over loud, farts. The complaints and comments start flying at me fast and with a flurry of fury. Lucky for me I must have eaten something that provided me with substantial fuel, because I could feel more pressure building inside.

I told them all that I found their behaviors and attitudes to be more obnoxious and crass than the uncouth behavior I had just exhibited. I said I had been trying to be polite and courteous but I'd had enough of their entitlement behavior, rude comments, and physical abuse as they shoved me aside to save money. With each word I could feel the pressure increasing and increasing, and as the last word came out my previous vapors hit everyone's noses.

I loved seeing the looks of disgust and even some horror as I had unleashed both a class 1 and a class 3 fart. Hands began to wave in the air in front of their faces, noses were pinched, and a few coughs came out of barely working lungs that were constantly assaulted by the fumes of their BINGO ink stompers. This didn't deter me one bit though, and if you know me at all, you know what I did next.

I told them all I wasn't leaving. I was tired of being mistreated. And that this was going to continue for as long as I wanted it to. I then proceeded to open the flood gates in a stream of pestilence that damn near frightened even me. The final harmonic, rippling, and at times moist (I'm not ashamed to admit this either) achieved my goal and cleared out at least my aisle and possibly a few more. Finally I was able to shop unmolested and get the items I had wanted. Less than 5 minutes later I had over 2000 lights and I was finished.

The trip to the counter was filled with hatred and malice from the survivors as I passed them by and dragged along reminders for them to battle a second time. What's important here is that I won! I fought AARP and I won!!! Not many my age can say that.

Curse or gift? You decide. I only know that I can control it to an advantage at times, and in this instance I had made the world a better place.