Wednesday, December 28, 2005


I've just spent the better part of an afternoon re-installing windows on my pc, thanks to this program. I had to disable it at first when I got my DSL connection. So, I figured why even have it installed if I don't use it? That's when the trouble started...

Let's Try Something Else...
"No problem," I say to myself, "let's just try something else." I found another firewall to try called Kerios. It seemed to be a good program, so I gave it a shot. I installed it, rebooted as I was instructed to do, and once again, I had problems! This program gave me several GUI errors - not only that, it wouldn't allow me to get online, to access the task manager, or anything! I felt that I had made a grave mistake. This is when I called my ISP...

What A Mess!
I tried everything that I could think of, aside from cleaning out the registry. I called my ISP for assistance, and they couldn't figure it out either. I was told that the registry needed to be fixed. I took this upon myself, as I have done this in the past without any hassle. I rebooted my machine, and it STILL wouldn't let me on the net! Hmm...maybe I can restore from a previous point - nope that didn't work either. Let's repair the installation. Maybe it will restore some corrupt registry entries, etc. Nope - no such luck. I called a friend and he decided that a clean install would be best. Reluctantly, I followed his advice, re-installing XP. The good news is that I'm back online - the bad news is, I lost ALL of my bookmarks! I forgot to back them up in Firefox. Ironic, because I usually back them up.

Loss...I Hate It!
All those bookmarks...gone. It was so convenient. Now I can't remember what half the stuff was. I'll be mulling over this all day long, and it won't be easy to accept. I guess that I have no choice in the matter, as I can't go back and change it. It still doesn't make it any easier. Half of me wants to cry, and the other half wants to scream out in rage. WHY? WHY WHYYYYY!

Could Be Worse...
Yeah, I guess that it could be worse - my pc could have had a total system crash, and I'd be left with nothing. I just have to re-install programs at best. The bookmarks being lost is what really got to me. I had several great things bookmarked, especially my favorite blogs. Oh well, guess I'll just have to find them again. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

What Now?
Well, I think that I'm just going to sit here and sulk for a while, just like a little kid. Eventually I will get over the loss, and life will go on. But for now, I sit here, mourning the loss of my precious bookmarks as if they were sacred documents. Yesterday will live on...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Backing Out...

I decided to back out of a gig tonight, due to problems the first time we played together. Also, to be honest, I feel that I need more "tools" to work with - more "chops." It's true that I'm still learning all the time, but I compare myself to others constantly. I don't need to be the best in the world, but I do want to be able to hold my own. I know that not every night is going to be stellar, but it's still not easy.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh...sigh

Broken Glasses, Bloody Noses, etc...

Oh no! Not again! I cringe when I hear that sound! Yep, I broke another drinking glass by simply knocking it over! The first one was in the sink; the second one on the counter; and the third was on the computer desk. The fortunate part is that they were all empty. Instead of four glasses to use, I am now down to just one. I guess that I'll have to make that trek to K-Mart after all. It really frustrates me just how clumsy I can be. I guess that if I wasn't in such a hurry I wouldn't be breaking things accidentally. I notice that when I start cleaning, I start to rush through it all, and this is when delicate things get broken. What is really disappointing is that those glasses were a housewarming gift from my sister, so there is sentimental value attached to them. And only one remains...sigh

It's Blood!
Last night, I made myself a simple dinner of hamburgers, buffalo fries, and some cottage cheese with applesauce on the side. I have a penchant for spicy food, so naturally I "kicked it up a notch" (sorry, Emeril!) I added some jalapeno ketchup and some mild pepper rings to the burgers. This gave them a nice little zing - not too hot, but warm enough to leave a little tingling in your mouth. As usual, I love that endorphin rush feeling that you get from hot and spicy foods. There is no feeling quite like it! Sometimes my nose runs a little bit - as a result of the sinus cavities clearing out. I felt that familiar feeling again, and wiped my nose quickly. I was shocked when I looked down:


I didn't panic, but I did notice quite a bit of blood was on my napkin. I did the usual cold compress and held my head back for about 10 minutes. After that, I felt fine. I began to wonder - is it because of the spicy food that my nose bled, or is this just coincidence? And before you ask, no I don't do cocaine! Some folks think that I do because of my over-the-top antics and stage presence, but I assure you I don't touch the stuff.

I'm about to make dinner, and maybe start on cleaning house. I didn't do it this weekend because of the holiday. It's not filthy, but my routine is disrupted for the time being, and that does bother me a bit. I'm notorious for falling off the wagon and not getting back on. Maybe this time I can avoid that. I think that I'll stay home tonight rather than go out. Perhaps.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Christmas Wrap...Up...

Wikki-Wikki! Word to your muffler...

It goes-a-one-two-three...

Just Kidding!
Yes, I could readily point out that I was using the word wrap in an improper context, but that would be just a little too self-effacing for me. I am in a jovial mood tonight though. As usual, I put off the Christmas shopping until the last minute, but was able to pull off the miracle, and spend under $200!

My Trademark: Last-Minute Shopping!
Guilty as charged, your Honor! The problem is, I just cannot seem to conjure up even a spark of what someone might want or need until that crucial moment. Maybe I thrive under the pressure - I still haven't figured that out. I got up nice and early - anticipating the um...people on the road, but what was about to unfold really hit a hot button with me.

Don't Block The Intersection, Asshole!
I have a huge pet peeve - when there is a line of cars, and I see one or more of them blocking the intersection. This impedes my progress (and anyone else's.) All it means is that someone is just too damned lazy to walk a little distance to get into the local Wal-Mart. They act as if the very back rows on the other side of the entrance are no man's land. I mean, got forbid that they actually have to WALK! Hell, why don't they just run parking lot shuttles like amusement parks, ya know? Not only that, it makes it nearly impossible to exit the parking lot, as there is gridlock from all sides. It reminds me of some kind of Branch Davidian compound - you can't get in, but if you do, you're never going to get out.

A Clarification...
Now, I'm not referring to folks who absolutely need those closer spaces (i.e. elderly or handicapped folks.) I'm talking about able-bodied people, maybe around my age, that just park they freakishly large SUV (Humvees come to mind) in the front row, just because they can. I guess it strokes their ego a little bit - to have the upper hand, and throw it in the less fortunate person's face. "Don't you wish that you could have this? I'm better than you, and you know it." Oh please - It's great to have nice things, but don't act like your a god or an untouchable. Anyways, enough on that mini-rant.

Urban Assault...
For many years, I have held this mindset when dealing with throngs of idiots....excuse me...people (damn it, did it AGAIN!) I picture myself as a commando, loaded to the hilt with unlimited firepower on my person, as well as on my vehicle. I know that it's childish, but it does help me to be firm and assertive. However, the images sometimes become vivid, and for just a moment, I'm really in the battlefield. I throw grenades, run my adversary off the road, and just basically part the crowd like the Red Sea. No, it's not a bloodbath - everyone just sees that I mean business, and gets the hell out of my way. It's not meant to be ominous, just let me have my way.

I Want It Now, Daddy! Now!
Yes, I know that the world does not revolve around me. I've been told this countless times within my life, and this view that I have is rather selfish. But, I know that I'm not the only one who gets like that. I think that at least more than a few times within our lives, we all take turns playing the Veruca Salt character from Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory.

Next Time I'll...
Sure, I'll say that now - but odds are that "mood" will come up again. My therapist says that I'm addicted to anger. It's not so much that I like it, it's just that it's second-nature for me to get frustrated beyond belief sometimes. In contrast, the anger is not nearly as much as it used to be. This is more of an intense irritation - like being crabby, but turning the volume up to about 8. My heart is basically saying, "Why is this happening to ME? How could they do this to ME?" This is a classic case of personalizing it, taking it as a threat, and getting defensive to protect myself. This is why in a confrontation with someone, I would (and still) refuse to back down and be submissive. I'll walk away, but not with my tail between my legs - that ain't gonna happen, kids. I played that role for too long when I was a kid.

A note to all potential thugs - put a gun in my face, you'd damn well better use it. For if you don't, I'll be glad to shove it somewhere else..I guess that I'm the type of guy that might hand you his wallet, but the second you turn your back or drop your guard, I'm going to kick the living shit out of you, take back my wallet, and probably take something of yours for the pain and I go thinking about something that is, beyond the shadow of a doubt is not going to happen. I just wanted you to get an idea of my beliefs and values.

As usual, I go off ad-nauseum into just how I defend myself from these "threats." This is not neccessary, I just get so caught up in the moment. I need to take this facet of my personality and focus it on productive things and projects - namely my music and my writing. Friends describe my intensity of discussing things as deep and intense. I don't claim anything - I'm just a very passionate person, that's all there is to it. I've even given a few close friends "permission" to warn me when I'm headed for that "danger zone."

Welcome To Hollywood...
That fantasy-land is alot like Hollywood - anything is possible, and can happen. Of course, we know that flights of fancy don't always translate well into reality. This is probably due to the fact that we overlook several variables, and or consequences that may occur following our actions or words. However, to visualize something does help us to accomplish it. I think that it has more to do with bolstering our self-confidence more than anything. To prep ourselves for something is the ultimate safeguard. But to see it through rose-colored glasses is just asking for a disappointment - a real heartbreak.

Idealism Defined...
We all have that "perfect world" within our minds, where everything is perfect (like a certain drugstore chain's TV spots.) Nothing is wrong, all is just hunky-dory." We know that is just a pipe dream, and is simply not possible. Our paths cross and intersect throughout our lives, and this always has an impact on us. It's like everyone is the center of their own universe, but no one elses. We have all these universes that come together, sometimes they oppose one another, and clash violently.

Preconceived Notions...
The danger is that factor called a "preconceived notion." This is what gets us into trouble. We visualize things to be a certain way and when they prove otherwise, this creates a disappointment for us. Sometimes this provokes anger, which is usually the case with me. That anger is really me just being ultra-crabby, as I stated earlier. Generally, my mind says something like, "Oh, so you want to ruin my perfect little world? Well, I'm not going to let you, no matter the cost. I mean, who the fuck are you to rain on MY parade? Step off dude, or you're going to get hurt."

You get the idea. I think that this is becoming a circular reference post. I keep going back to that anger/protection mechanism, even when no threat is eminent. This is something that I'm definitely working on in my life. I am truly at more ease than I've ever been in my life, but there are certain situations that will take more time and discipline. Namely situations involving many people, long lines, belligerent drunks, and authority figures who overstep their boundaries. I guess the place that I'm most comfortable is either at home or on the stage.

Even though I have a few stumbling blocks, I feel that I have been making tremendous progress within my life in the past decade. I need to look at ways that I can avoid those traps of familiarity and comfort. It's time to look for solutions rather than focus on the problem. To give up is tantamount to being a loser. It took me a long time to realize how self-pity damages you. I would simply think to myself, "Well, this is it - I'm a loser and there is nothing that I can do about it." How wrong I was to find out several years later. I've been blessed with these wonderful gifts, and it's time to use them to their full potential. The potential that so many others see within me - family, friends, colleagues, therapists, etc.

My dad has always been a positive force throughout my life regarding my talents and abilities. I know that it used to eat him up when I would come home high or drunk. I was capable of doing so much more, yet I chose not to. I only wish that I could have said, "You know, Dad. The reason that I'm doing these things is that I am truly unhappy right now. I'm having a very tough time at school, and I feel that no one cares or loves me (except for you.) I really need your help. I don't want to be this way, but it's the way I am coping with my life right now. I don't know what else to do."

Help...And Love...
Eventually I did let him (as well as my aunt and uncle) know . It happened on a Christmas day around 1990 or so. I decided that I didn't want to live like that anymore. I broke down to tears and confessed everything, even the suicidal feelings. This really set off a red flag with my entire famliy, and they were all very worried about me. It was then that I realized that there are many people who care about me, and what happens to me. This was a beginning to the way out of the smoke-filled haze that was my teenage life. It took nearly 15 years to get to this point, but it has been an interesting journey to say the least. I can't say that I don't regret anything, but I did learn some valuable lessons down the road. Sometimes we have to get a taste of experience in order to learn our lesson. The pain (or pleasure) that we feel is our best teacher. The trick is to take the lesson from it, and discard any accompanying negative emotions as soon as possible.

That's All Folks!
Well, that's all for now. I feel as if i'm just running in circles faster and faster. I know that what I write is nothing new - it's just my take on how I observe life, people and issues within it. I bear malice toward none - it's just a protective mechanism that is stuck and needs to be repaired. Enough said, and with that, I wish you all:


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Insert Photo Here..

It seems that my profile image has vanished from its former location, so I'll have to scare up a new one for those of you that want to see what I look like. My best comparisons - I've been told that I have the facial features of Quentin Tarrantino, and from a distance that I look like Tony Levin - bassist extraordinaire for Peter Gabriel and others. Coincidence? I don't think so! Later!

BTW - The photo I've substituted is from my Flickr page. It's my inadvertent attempt to imitate the late blues great Howlin' Wolf. I just noticed that recently. See ya!

The Post Office and Other Things...

Happens Every Time...
Well, today I have a rant that I must purge from my system! This involves my local post office. You know, it could be ANY time of the day and without fail, there's always a line at the post office! Now, I know that is to be expected during the holiday season, but this happens all year-round. People are jamming up the street just so they can shove a letter or card down the unscrupulous throat of those wonderful US Mail boxes. Not only that, the parking lot is FULL! Admittedly, this does start a little spark of frustration within me.

Going In...
I know what to expect going in - a line of no less than 3 to 5 people. There's always one moron who is trying to send packages to the whole freakin' world! Today it was a lady with what appeared to be no less than one-hundred fifty Christmas cards! I couldn't hold back and I mumbled, "gee lady, what are you doing, sending Christmas cards to everyone on the planet?" She didn't respond, and no one else did either - not even a glare. I usually get a nod of agreement, or a stare of disapproval from the other customers. Anyway, the line went faster than I expected, and I was glad to be out of there. To avoid further frustration, I made sure to purchase a book of stamps so that I don't have to go there for a while. I also wouldn't want to short the post office of that precious 2 cent increase in January. Never enough...

For starters, they could actually use all 3 windows so that they could take care of customers faster. My only guess is that they are understaffed and are only able to attend to 2 windows at one time. This in and of itself would alleviate alot of the frustration involved.

For Faster Service...
This idea is borrowed from grocery stores and license bureaus - how about an Express Lane - for those, like me, that only have one or two items to send. All others should stay in the regular line. Honestly, if you're going to ship something big, do yourself (and anyone else) a favor and use UPS, FedEx, or DHL. They are more experienced in the matter of larger items. However, even the "big guys" have their occasional snafu.

Trials and Tribulations with DHL...
I am currently dealing with DHL right now - they were supposed to deliver a package to me on the 19th, but it hasn't shown up yet. The sad thing is, it's not even a big and bulky package - it's just a wristwatch! I called customer service and they said that they would call me back within the hour to let me know the status of my package. The nearest DHL facility is only about 30 miles away! I mean, how long does it take to get around to where I live? They have how many vans and trucks? I don't know about you, but I see them all over the place! Naturally, I've been tracking my package since the day of its shipment, and for the past two days I've been informed that it is basically "en route." It supposedly left the facility at 6:34 AM today. The time is now 4:19 PM, and still nothing! So much for prompt service, eh? Maybe I should discount the fact that it is indeed Christmas time and there are lots of packages (mostly fruitcakes, cheese and wine baskets) that are being shipped. Gee, I hope that everyone elses' stuff gets to them on time - I don't wish this on anyone!

A Lesson Learned...
I can tell you this - I'll never - repeat, NEVER use DHL for anything ever again. Unfortunately, I had no choice in the matter, as that was all the merchant offered. As a result of this inconvenience, I have postponed several activities and put off several things that needed to be done, just so that I can accept my package! I mean, I have a week-and-a-half's worth of laundry that needs to be done. This involves driving to my sister's house and spending a good portion of the day there. Sometimes I just spend the night and sleep on the couch. Knowing my luck, I'd be gone, and sure enough, that damn delivery van would pull up, and I'd get that dreaded "We missed you," notice on my back door. I'd have to wait until the next day to get the package. At least they offer you the option that you don't need a signature to get it.

Precious Time...
I'd sure hate for them to leave my precious watch outside in the cold all day though. It's a rather expensive one, and I'm sure it's rather sensitive to freezing temperatures. If it was broken, it wouldn't be cheap to fix it, as I don't wear those cheesy digital pieces of crap. Call me old fashioned, but I do prefer the more traditional style ones, especially with windup or automatic movements. As I said before, I'm a watch geek, and I collect lots of them. I'm the sort of guy who prefers Roman numerals over Arabic, or hour markers instead of numbers. I consider myself a person who has the taste of Cartier, Rolex, and the like - however I'm on more of a Seiko or Timex budget. I'm a black tie guy trapped in a poor man's body! I could go on and on about this, but it would take alot of time. Anyway, enough about that...

I just received the call from DHL that it will arrive at my doorstep tonight. I was very pleased to hear this, and I eagerly await its arrival! Now, I can get on with my life, catch up with my laundry, and run the errands that I need to run. Ironically, one involves getting a watch serviced. For now I'll just sit here and listen to my neighbor across the hall wail away on his guitar, blasting Ozzy Ozbourne. The kid's got potential to be the next Zakk Wylde - now if only I could convince him that he should join a band (and that there is other stuff to play and listen to!)

We Now Resume Normal Programming...
It's night time! Time to plug in the Christmas tree, light a few candles, and make something delicious for dinner. Dare I make my first attempt at spaghetti with garlic bread? My heartburn says otherwise... Oh well, I'll probably just throw a pizza in the oven, and be done with it. Wait - doesn't pizza give you hearburn too? :)

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dropping In...

Well, it seems that my DSL connection has straightened out, and is working very nicely. I guess that the first ten days are pretty tumultuous, and you are supposed to leave your modem on continuously for that time, so they get an idea of your usage (or something like that.) It's just great to listen to my favorite streams - especially the ones that lull me to sleep!

In Other News...
Seems that I'm becoming a hot commodity (slowly but surely) in the local music scene. Almost any gig that I play, someone approaches me to join their band, or just to get together and jam. Of course it's hard to say no, so ultimately I end up doing it. It's nice to feel important, and to be needed. I keep imagining myself on the cover of Bass Player Magazine in a thoughtful but slightly aggressive pose with my signature fretless bass in my hands. Okay, moving on then...

Moods have been more stable than they have been in quite some time. I find that now I am able to spread out and do what I want to do, things are much better. If I want to build something, I build it! If I want to change something, I change it! Creativity is coming back to me, and I've even taken the time to record some basic "ditties" that I can use to make songs. My PC is nto liking it too much (crappy soundcard?) but that's ok.

The point is, I'm creating again, and in the privacy of my own home! That means if I get the urge to play a riff at 3am, I can do that. I just can't be too loud, but that's ok. I got lucky, as all my neighbors are young and in their 20's. Hell, the guy across the way plays guitar too! I mean, how cool is that?

I'm cutting this short, but I'll be back soon. Not sure if I'll be doing daily entries, but I will be a posting a little more frequently. Sometimes I feel that I have to be in a creative mood to post - in actuality, I don't. I pretty much type how I talk in person, aside from the occasional stutter when i'm anxious. With that, I'm outtie - back soon!

Good Evening!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Severing The Ties...

Well, it's official. I am sick and tired of my lackluster internet connection. I thought that by upgrading to DSL, I would be doing the best thing. Apparently such is not the case. Sometimes my DSL line goes down twice in one hour - simply unacceptable. I get too frustrated with it. I keep thinking to myself, " do I really want to put up with this any longer?" I am very tempted to cancel it and not have internet at all. The role that it once served me in life is really no longer needed, so maybe it's time to move on. I know that I've brought this up more than a few times, but I just can't help but wonder if it really is all just a waste of time. True, I've chatted and emailed some wonderful people, but the majority of my time is spent looking at useless crap that no one cares about. If it's one thing that I've learned living here on earth, it's that people don't like it when you know more than them, or that you can do something better. They try to belittle you and make you feel like a freak, that you should be punished for your gifts. Anyway... gotta go. Not sure if I'll be back soon, if it all. Who knows, maybe tomorrow I'll wake up with a different frame of mind.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Catching Up...Part Deux...

Cleaning Out...
Last night, I took on a huge project - to confront all the stuff that I had stored at my parents' house in the garage from 10-15 years ago. It consisted of many plastic totes, and some old toys. One of the totes was so heavy that my stepbrother had to help me load it in my truck! I got it all home, and began unpacking. What I was about to experience was very therapeutic - cathartic even!

Why Do I Hold On To This Stuff?
I couldn't believe the things that I found - old bank transaction slips, sales receipts, junk, junk, and more junk! I found the stuff from failed auto detailing business - it had all given up the ghost, since it sat for nearly a decade unused. That was the first stuff to go - into the trash! As I continued digging, I continually shook my head, asking, "why the hell did I keep THIS?" Of course, I knew the answer, but I knew that it really served no purpose now. Maybe it did at one time, but now it's time to get rid of it, once and for all. I was very relieved to let it all go - believe me!

But Wait...There's More!
I found several old cassette tapes that I haven't seen in years - some for good reason! I mean, how the hell did I end up with a Paula Abdul or Bobby Brown cassette? Must have been an ex's. Speaking of an ex, I found a reciept for a watch that I bought her from Wal-Mart. Now that I think about it, she really wasn't worth the $79.97 that I paid for it (a Seiko!) I guess love makes us do foolish things sometimes. I have to wonder...does she still have it? Probably not.

Toys...Toys...and More Toys!
Then comes the toys - Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars galore! I also found my beloved Micro Machines (they are really small,) which I couldn't bear to part with! I figure this much - I will hold on to the toys for future generations of my family (e.g. my adorable twin nieces!) I picked through them all, and chose a few to keep out for display - the really special ones. Now my Tonka Honda ATC (three wheeler) is on top of my monitor - the rider looking ready to kick some butt (as he always has.) One of my faves - a 6x6x6 (six wheeled) jeep is now perched above my sink, under the fluorescent light. Most people would probably put plants there, but for me, it's a mini-musueum of my favorite cars of the past. It's also the resting place for my little radio-controlled cars as well.

OK...Now On To The Mushy Stuff, et al...
After sifting and sorting through miscellaneous debris, I found a bunch of old photos and cards. These started to bring back pleasant memories, and some not so pleasant. I actually started to relive some events from that time period. I remember how unpleasant high school was for me, and how much crap I used to take from people. I remember the feeble attempts at relationships, and falling in love with a girl who was my best friend at the time, only to be turned away (it was for the better though.) I also found letters I'd written but never sent. Some of the most heartfelt and sincere words were "spoken" in them. As far as I could tell, I really started to struggle with bipolar disorder just before I got out of high school - I would say roughly 1990. Anyway, the memories started to come back, and I had to get control of myself. It was then that I realized that I DO have control. I can throw away these painful triggers and start over. I managed to get rid of enough paper to fill up a decent-sized garbage bag! What relief! I did hold on to the photos, however - they will be going into a photo album of sorts. Heck, I might even just make a scrapbook!

Letters From Family...
In the summer of 1992, I enrolled in the Job Corps and was stationed at Fort Atterbury in Edinburgh, Indiana. OK, it wasn't the military, but it was pretty damn close! Anyway, during the short time that I was there (more about why I left later,) I received several letters from close friends, relatives (including my sister and father.) I took the time to read through each one, and began to see the genuine love, care, and concern that they had for me. I started to feel guilty for the way I treated them in my adolescent and post-adolescent years. Then I realized that's all over now - it's in the past. I'm a changed person - a mature adult - a MAN.

My sister had gone off to Sweden as a foreign exchange student, and had written me several times, urging me to write back to her. I think that I did maybe once or twice. I can only wonder how much she missed being home, yet having alot of fun. Of course, the guilt set in, and I nearly began to cry. Then I stopped, realizing that she is indeed back in my life, and we are closer than we've ever been. I know that she'd be touched deeply if she knew that I still had those letters. Even though I was a young punk, I knew deep down that those letters were special, and that's why I held onto them. Those will not be thrown away either - she said some very encouraging and uplifting things. This was a side of her that I had never seen until then. I am so deeply moved, and almost ready to cry as I write this. Sis, if you're reading this, I want to say something that I've never said to you before - I LOVE YOU!!!!

I found photos of me just before I graduated high school. One that really touched me, was a picture of my uncle and I sitting on the couch at Christmas time. I was wearing a salmon striped shirt, jeans with rolled up legs, and long hair - down to the middle of my back. Looking at that photo, I didn't see a loser - I saw a kid who was scared, unhappy, and confused. He had recently confessed all his drug and alcohol abuse, but that wasn't enough. I had to keep playing the cool "stoner" kid part until I got out of high school. God forbid that anyone saw the "real me!"

And More...
In contast, I also found photos of me when I was around 11 or 12 years old, unkept hair, and that trademark snarling smile - something that I haven't lost over the years. This is due to teeth that were never corrected with braces - something many kids couldn't escape. I didn't want them, so I never got them. The photos depicted a kid who was much happier - of course, these were mostly vacation photos! The memories poured forth - however, it became easier to deal with them as I went along. It was then I realized that I had come a long way over that ten to fifteen years - something that my therapist continually reminds me of. I truly feel it now. Thanks, Doc!

So, what have we learned today? Well, for one, getting rid of unneccesary and unused things in our lives gives us (and our parents) more space. More importantly, we also know that it can be a very cleansing and cathartic (yes, there's that word again) process. To be able to acknowledge, confront, and release these issues that are in the past is highly reccommended to anyone. So, if you have a bunch of old "junk" just laying around in your attic or whatever, take the time to go through it. You may be surprised at what lurks within! Enjoy!

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Art of Catching Up...

It Sure Has Been A While...
Yes, I realize that it has indeed been a while since I've posted - I assure you that I'm doing quite well. I've never felt so free in my life! So far, this "experiment" is working out even better than I imagined. I've taken a liking to things that I never thought I would, such as cooking and even cleaning! I take great pride in my housekeeping and culinary conquests. I was able to successfully follow the directions to make some alfredo noodles, and they turned out rather nicely. I am very proud of myself for this accomplishment!

Cleaning and Organization...
I am also able to keep this place extremely tidy. For once in my life, I am organized! I am still streamlining things, but I'm off to a great start. My filing cabinet is in better order than it was previously. I used to just throw everything in there, not labelling the hanging folders - now they are all labeled and easy to see. They aren't alphabetized yet, but that's ok. I may not even go that far. Just to know that everything is in the proper folder is enough for me. This alone is "good enough."

What Remains...
I still have the huge project of sorting through my media collection - LP's, CD's and CD-R's, cassettes, and open reel tapes. I think that the last count of LPs was in the neighborhood of 1,500 or so. Of course, I have 45 singles as well - at least a few hundred of those. My dad prefers to call them an "obsolete medium." I just can't bring myself to replace them with CD's. The truth of the matter is, there is alot of stuff that is out of print and you can't get it on CD. I guess I could rip them all on the PC, but that would take tremendous amounts of time, and use lots of styli on the turntable. I guess what I will eventually end up doing is going through them, writing down each one, and taking note of its availability. If it's commonly available, I'll just give in and get the CD. Sigh...

A Dilemma...
Now this is going to be a bit technical, but I will do my best not to blindside you with terminology and long-winded explanations. Another reason that I hold onto these old recordings is that when I hear the CD remaster, many times I don't like it. They don't use the same engineer in the process more often than not. Of course, each engineer hears things differently, and some may actually try to "sweeten" the recording. Sometimes this results in an undesirable product, and you regret ever buying the damn thing. Another factor is that these recordings were made on tape that is starting to wear out, or even worse, starting to decompose. True that there are safety copies, but each generation of a copy adds noise, and something gets lost along the way.

King Crimson, et al...
A vivid memory of this for me is when I first heard the first remaster of "In The Court of The Crimson King," by King Crimson. I noticed right away that something was lacking. The Mellotron (early sampling-type of keyboard) was rather buried in the mix, whereas on the original recording, it is very prominent. Not only that, I noticed an inordinate amount of background noise. To illustrate the point further, my buddy took out his LP copy of the same album (pressed around 1969,) and played the same song. Yes, you guessed - the orignal sounded better. Funny thing - Robert Fripp, the guitarist for the band, noticed this early on as well. He has stated many times his extreme dissatisfaction of the remaster recording, and took the liberty of releasing one that as close to the original as you could get. With a name like Fripp, it has to be good (sorry, Smuckers!) Enough said.

As you may tell in my writing demeanor, I am doing quite well for myself. I still have my lazy days (don't we all?) but I'm not sitting around depressed. I'm usually catching up on lost sleep, or just plum tuckered out. Once I am able, I will go to the doctor and get a physical. I am pretty certain that I will be told that I am hypoglycemic. This could have alot to do with my subsequent sleepiness after mealtimes. More on this later.

For Now...
I guess I'd better jump in the shower, head to the bank to pay some bills, and maybe do a little shopping as well. Things like hot dog tongs would come in handy - so would a knife set, or a mixer. Then again, some area rugs would be nice also. Updates will be more frequent - I promise!

Saturday, November 19, 2005


I'm Back!
Well, I'm back again, and I will post much more frequently. I miss posting so much - I've been so busy with this moving and settling in that I haven't had time to get caught up. I am now pleased to say that I am 3/4 of the way there. I still have a ton of records, tapes, and maybe one piece of furniture that needs to be picked up. Tonight I will do that, and this will finish off the moving process for a long, long time. My dad is going to help me design and build a new shelf for my albums and other things. I think that I'm going to need a bookshelf as well. The shelves in the closet are not strong enough to hold several books!

Blogging By Candlelight...
Yep, I have 2 candles burning right now - one in the living area, and one in my bedroom. I love the glow and the aroma that they emit! I did my cleaning today - Saturday seems to be my day to do it, and I love the smell of a clean kitchen (thanks to Pine-Sol,) and bathroom. After having to live in filth and squalor on more than one occasion, I can't stand to leave anything messy. Even the dishes get done very quickly - I guess that I'm every wife's dream, eh? Yes, I do have alot of time on my hands to do the cleaning, but I would still make time to do it. It's amazing how life's experiences can cause you to do a complete 180-degree shift in your thinking. I never used to care about any of that stuff, but now I'm very conscious of how things look and smell now. The very thought of someone smoking in here repulses me! That nasty yucky film.....EWWWWW!

As I said previously, I'm going to finish getting everything else and get it situated. The night is young, and we will see what it holds. Thanks for checking in, and I'll take time a little later to check in on all of you. I have much more to say, but I'll save it for later.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Found A Home!

Good News!
Yep, I found a home. I have a nice cozy 1 bedroom apartment not too far from where I was staying recently. I must have looked at about a dozen or so units until I found this one - it had my name on it. Talk about a stroke of luck - it even has a brand new stove! It's in an older building, but it has all the finer accoutrements that I need. I love the fact that it has radiated heat (yes, the old-fashioned style with those big radiators.) Sure, the radiators do take up a little space, but the air will have humidity, and not be dry like a forced air furnace. The high ceilings give the impression of massive space, and the doors are of the old-fashioned and tall (over 8 ft) variety. Everyone I have shown it to agrees that it's very nice, and the rent was just right!

Family Lends A Hand...
As soon as I told my sister that I was looking for a place to stay, she gladly offered to help me look, as did my father and stepmother. Pretty soon, I had lots of places to check out. When I found THE place, my sister and my father were glad to help me move everything out (even though they complained that I have too much stuff, and I do!) After I moved in to my current residence, my sister again extended her kindness and generosity. She knew that I was in need of some kitchen and bathroom items, and bought me some of those as well. She even asked me if what she picked out was okay with me - I had no issues with her choices. She has a keen eye for picking out color-coordinated stuff, and I trust her judgement. Dark blue seems to be the theme throughout, due to the white colored walls and fixtures.

I still need to get a phone and internet access - I feel so cut off from the world right now. Sure, I have a TV, but it's not the same, and I can only stand to watch so much before I turn it off. When I get internet access again, I will update much more frequently. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Time Out for Feedback...

Here's where I get caught up for the week. I hope that I can post more, but we'll see.

Thanks to everyone for your extremely kind comments and feedback. It makes me feel much better as well. As Elvira says, mental illness can make you feel sometimes that the world is against you, and even people that love you have turned against you (even though they haven't.)

Truth be told, when I made a post and no one commented, that's how I felt sometimes. I know that it's such an extreme, but it was reality to me - a self-imposed exile in which I felt that there was nothing I could do. Whenever I thought that I had found a way out, my brain would instantly generate a reason as to why it wouldn't work.

It seems that anxiety and panic are my best friends, yet my worst enemies. This paradoxical relationship has seemed to take over my life and pretty much dictates what I can do. It's true that I'm slowly moving closer to being able to participate in daily life again, but I'm still scared as hell.

The "What-If's" just keep on coming. I just never realized that you could just say "so what!" and move on. With me, it would always stop at the answer of the "what-if," and end with something negative or uninspiring. Maybe it was the way that I was brought up. More on this later.

Broke, thanks for checking in. I appreciate it immensely. With this relocation business going on, I haven't had much time to check out blogs as much as I would like, but I will catch up soon.

Radin, thank you for your kinds words. I am glad that I can bring up topics that resonate with others. I guess with this blog, I am attempting to do two things: 1)to say what is on my mind, like a journal, and 2)to reach out to others, giving them some information or insight into our lives. Just knowing that people read what I write is comforting and inspiring as well. What I would really like to do is to ask the opinions of my readers and understand their point of view.

Nikky, thanks for sharing your adventure. As I said, I wouldn't know what to do if I was in your shoes. That is a pretty sticky situation, to be sure. I know that I would feel alot of hurt and anger - perphaps even betrayed. Love and life can be wicked things sometimes.

Tabor, yeah I know what you mean. Sometimes I'm not so fortunate as to what songs sticks in my head. Having worked in radio for a while, advertising jingles would get stuck there as well. To make matters worse, I also collect radio ID jingles (they say the name of the radio station) and you could only imagine when a silly 5-second piece of music would enter my head! I have a virtual "cart machine" in my head that fires them off at will in the most unsuspecting moments.

Okay - I have much to do today, so I do have to be on my way. Thanks again to everyone, and I will be posting very soon.

FYI - A cart machine is a device that plays pre-recorded tape cartridges in a radio station. They are very similar to 8-tracks in that they never end.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I call myself a passionate person. I'd like to think that I am - however, it seems to apply in only one direction. Due to my illness, bipolar disorder, I tend to internalize alot of things. In the process, I shut myself out of seeing other's views, works, and interests in a more passionate light. This really bothers me, for it causes me to appear that I'm not interested, or that I just don't care. The truth of the matter is, there are many more that are passionate on a deeper level that I can only begin to understand. To me it seems that they are rather worldly, and well-rounded - whereas I am self-centered and ignorant to things, events, and people around me.

Admittedly, this has never been easy for me to do - to share an interest in something that someone else does, if it doesn't pertain directly to something of my interest. I do my best to understand, yet still feel empty. In return, they deal with my turns of "woe is me," and my continual rants at what's wrong with the world. It's like having Warren Zevon and Andy Rooney in the same room, taking turns saying what's on their mind. When all is said and done, I feel sad that I didn't listen more than I've spoken.

Understanding Daily Life...

Being somewhat eccentric doesn't help matters much either. When all the talk about the hurricanes was going on (and still is,) I sit here in my own little word - allowing myself to feel misery and pain. This of course is nothing compared to what those folks experienced and will go through for the rest of their lives. I could sit here and knitpick and complain about my life, when in all honesty, it truly could have been worse. Yes, I had some hellacious emotional struggles, but I pretty much had what I needed most of the time - food, clothing, and shelter. When those three needs are met, everything (except relationships) is a luxury. The old phrase, "Could be worse," indeed comes into play here.

A Lot To Learn...
I am slowly beginning to realize just how important it is to build relationships within our lives. Whether it's the friends we meet, the family we know and love, or a spouse, we need those "connections" in our lives more than anything else. This hit me mostly because during my times of genuine need, there always seemed to be someone that was willing to help me in my predicament. It was a combination of friends I've known for years, some new ones, and my family that helped me to get through this mess since the past two months worth of "crashing." I reached out, and they were there for me. For this, I am truly grateful and will always be.

I know that I've covered this subject before, but I feel the need to do it again. That door to being generous has slammed shut again, and I need to "wedge" it open with kindness, forgiveness, understanding, and generosity. When I was feeling generous and kind-hearted, it truly took a burden off of my shoulder, and I literally felt "light-hearted!" When that feeling was starting to go away, I could literally feel it all "sucking back inside" of me, like a vacuum cleaner picking up the dust in the air. I now know why this happened.

So why did I let this all happen again? I'll tell you - I was afraid of losing it all. Somewhere along the line, I became afraid, and reverted back to my old ways. I believe the lack of meds had alot to do with it as well. This being my own fault, in some respects. Just as I thought that I'd "seen the light," I began to tire easily and let myself get weaker with each passing day. Pretty soon that light was gone, and I was trapped in the abyss. I swear that I could hear that door slam and echo down the tunnel. I try to rationalize why I do this, and frankly, it's pretty absurd. I wish that I would have been able to stop, think, and say to myself, "Hey! You know what's going on? You're going back to your faulty thinking again. Stop that!" I began to accept those former thoughts as reality again, and pretty much picked up where I left off. Too much apathy on my part.

Helping Myself...
I could sit here all day and say that I must do this, or I have to do that, but it really won't matter unless I take the steps necessary to go on and succeed. In short, it's easy to talk a good game, but it's another to actually play it. My writing and speaking skills are there, but the mind is somewhere else. It seems to be hiding in bed, not wanting to leave. It is so scared of the "what-if's." Alot of this is inspired by taking the thoughts and concerns of others to heart, and believing that they are always right. Phrases such as, "Are you sure you can afford it?" "Can you make it on your own?" and "Now what are you going to do?" seem to play back endlessly in my mind. I am doing my best to ignore them and just go on. At this point, I don't want to even know if they are valid questions or statements - I'd rather not hear them at all.

And Others...

If I keep playing it safe all the time, I'm going to miss out on alot of things, and people as well. I truly believe that if I feel better about myself and what I am able to do, then I will be more than happy to help other people get through their lives as well. I don't need to be at 100%, but I can't feel miserable either. I don't want a happy medium either - just a feeling of decency to begin with. I thought many times of volunteering for an organization within the community - not because I feel that I owe anything, but to reach out and give more of myself to others. Sure, I do it through playing music, but there is indeed alot of self-gratification in it as well. Maybe going to a nursing home to help feed the elderly, take them for walks, or play them a song would be a good start. Yeah - it's definitely something worth thinking about. Maybe helping children who have a low self-esteem or suffer from a mood disorder (or physical illness) would be great as well. Giving is supposed to be so much better than receiving anyway, right?

A Plan...

Well, as of this moment, I am still looking for a new place to live. I will find it soon - I have faith in that fact. I know that once I have complete independence, I will feel much better about myself and my purpose in life. This will make it much easier to give something to others in need. I don't need to benefit directly, but of course I will in the end, and that's a good thing. I am putting someone else first before me. This will be a whole new experience, and I am truly looking forward to it.

A Big Thanks...
Thanks to all who read my blog, and as always, feel free to comment. Also, take the time to check out each other's blogs. There are some really great writers out there - lots of untapped potential. I am continually impressed as I read the many blogs out there in "cyberspace." As for my regular readers, I have been looking back on previous posts, and your comments have inspired me to "wake up" once again, and get back out there and fight the good fight. Depression is only causing me to feel pain, anger, hurt, sadness, fear, and to be totally selfish. Of course, we all know this,

But the moral of the story is... (Ding!)

I'm really not a cold and uncaring person - depression causes me to think inwardly and unintentionally overlook the cares, concerns, needs, and wants of others. It's all about being very unhappy and very frightened at the same time. It causes you to think thoughts that aren't true, such as that friends or family have given up on you, or that they are tired of you and your life. It may even cause you to think that the rest of the world would be better off without you, and prompt you to suicide. If you have thoughts like this, or experience depression-like symptoms, do yourself a favor and get help. You don't have to live your life this way - it's not worth it. You don't need to subject yourself to this torment any longer. There are many mental health professionals out there who can help you, and there are medications out there that help with the chemical imbalances associated with mood disorders. You owe it to yourself to talk to them and see there is indeed "light at the end of the tunnel."

Here's where I drop some links: - The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance has many chapters around the country. I am currently a member, have facilitated meetings, and also served as a chapter representative at the "Road To Wellness" Convention. - NAMI is also a great organization to join. They are very active in the community, and organize walks to help fight mental illness.

These are two organizations that specialize in helping those with mental illnesses. I can tell you that my life has improved alot since the 5 years that I joined the DBSA. I walked in a disheveled, sobbing, mess, and got to the point where I could lead a meeting! WOW!

Don't get me wrong, there are many more than those I've listed. These are the two that I am familiar with.

More Links...
These are links to some great blogs of friends who also deal with mental illness, and/or the travails of daily life. I urge you to take the time to read them as well:

Weird Cake

There's Your Karma, Ripe As Peaches

Shithouse Rat


One Day At A Time

Lake Walks

Friends, I will link you when I sit down and finally figure out how to do it. That stuff is all new to me, and it will come in time. Remember, I'm still stuck in the days of good old analog - well mostly, anyway.

Be well, and I'll be back soon.

Oh, one more thing - this song is stuck in my head. It's a nice groove by one of my favorite bands, Kraan. Check it out!

Another Blog?

I am thinking of starting another blog, just for my musical and technical interests. I will keep this one also, and update them both from time to time. I want to diversify and expand my thoughts beyond what I am at the moment. Anyway, you get the idea. I'll be around...

Sunday, October 23, 2005


I have posted replies to your comments on the previous posts, and they can be found with your comments there as well. I am fairly tired tonight, so there will not be anything long-winded, concerning a post for this evening. I am sure that tomorrow I will have more to say. Thank you again for taking time out of your day to read my blog. This is always appreciated.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I know that there are other options for me, and I will explore them. I just felt so hopeless for that moment during the previous entry. I guess what I'm saying is, I'm reaching out and listening with both ears to anything you may have to say. For more on this, see the post below. At that moment, I truly wanted to die. I'm not entirely against it, but I do see other options that I have. I'll work it out somehow.

Damn, those Care Bears got to me tonight *sob*

It's Been A Year...Time To Move On...

An Apology:
To anyone who reads and comments on my blog: I am sorry for being a selfish self-centered bastard for not checking out your blogs or replying to your comments. I am in one of the most painful times in my life right now. I will do what i can to get back to you in the near future.

Time To Pack It Up...
Well, it's official - I'm getting the hell out of the house where I'm living. I arrived home this evening to find a note on my desk stating that I need to pay $100 more than what I normally do, in addition to what I owe for the past. I was originally told that I had until Christmas to pay that back - now it's next month. I left a note in return simply stating, "don't worry - I'll be out soon." At this point in time, I really don't care where I end up. I'm sure I'll be "couch-surfing" for a while, unless I decide to make another choice.

At A Crossroads...
I've seriously come to a conclusion - do I really want to continue doing this? My life is so dark and dreary most of the time, and it seems that more bad than good comes my way. I often wonder if I was a mistake and my father never told me. I'm guessing that I was a born with a losing hand. It seems that the almighty one had it in for me since day one. I mean, what the fuck is the point of my existence? I thought that I figured that out - apparently, I was quite wrong in thinking that. I can't even come up for a breath - every time that I do, something else happens to knock me on my ass. Maybe it's time to not get up again and just wither away into nothingness.

I have caused my family alot of pain and problems. I have been foolish in my financial and career decisions. I mean, why the hell would anyone go to school to become a radio disc jockey? There's obviously no future in that - everything is automated these days or via satellite. Sure, I graduated at the top of my class, but look at me now - nowhere near the business. What a waste of $10,000, eh? The sad thing is, I still owe thousands of dollars for that loan. The bad thing is, my father co-signed for me, so if something happened to me, he would be fully responsible for that. I'd hate to leave him with that burden.

I know he loves me, but I don't know how I'd ever make up for all that he has done for me. He says it doesn't matter, but I feel it does, and I know that the rest of my siblings think less of me as well for all that I have done. I'm the black sheep of the family - the one destined for trouble, failure, etc. I'm not sure that being creative is enough to justify my existence anymore. I guess because I didn't "do the right thing," and take my SATs and go to a regular university that this makes me a loser. I guess I sealed my fate when I took that first hit off a joint. Or was I pegged when my mom died when I was three years old? I can't figure it out. Maybe it was that - when you lose a parent at a young age like that, it really fucks you up. One doctor even told my dad that I was mentally retarded. Maybe they should have kept me on ritalin, and confined in those special education classes. Life may have been at least a little easier then. Then again, maybe not.

Now, I know what you are thinking, "Stop feeling sorry for yourself and get on with your life!" At this point in time, I can't help but truly feel the way that I do. I'm running out of rope - there is just enough to hang myself, and maybe that's the solution. I'm tired of pretending that it's getting better. I'm only fooling myself, and others around me. All I can seem to do at this moment is to focus on the pain, and any solution to get rid of it. I guess I'm taking the easy way out. I was never good at taking on challenges - they bring on incredible amounts of panic, anxiety, and fear within me.

I guess I can talk the talk, but not walk the walk. Therefore, that makes me a hypocrite. Call me what you will - coward, loser, crybaby, wimp, wuss, pansy, etc. If it makes you feel better, then do so. Throw stones at me, rotten tomatoes, whatever. I don't care. So much for being a visionary...

If you choose not to frequent this blog anymore, I understand. I mean, who wants to hear from someone who nearly always feels "woe is me?" That gets old after a while, doesn't it? Some friends have stopped talking to me as well, and I believe that this is why. I can't blame them if they feel that way. Negativity is like a poison that kills everything in its path. Hopes are dashed, and positivity is decimated, only to be replaced by hopelessness, helplessness, and despair.

Thank you, dear friends - I truly hope you will understand.

by Supertramp
Rudy's on a train to nowhere, halfway down the line
He don't wanna get there, but he needs time
He ain't sophisticated, no well-educated
After all the hours he's wasted, still he needs time
He needs time - he needs time for livin'
He needs time - for someone just to see him
He ain't had no lovin' for no reason or rhyme
And he whole world's above him
Well it's not us thought he's fat
No there's more to it than that
See he tries to play in school
Wouldn't be nobody's fool
Rudy thought that all good things comes to those what wait
But recently he could see that it may come too late
All thought your life, all thought the years
Nobody loved, nobody cared
So dim the light, dark are your fears
Try as I might, I can't hold back the tears
How can you live without love, it's not fair?
Someone said give, but I just didn't dare
What good advice are you waiting to hear?
Hearing's alright for them that's all there
You'd better gain control now
You'd better show 'em all now
You'd better make or break now
You'd better give and take now
You'll have to push and shove now
You'll have to find some love now
You'd better gain control now
Now he's just come out the movie
Numb of all the pain
Sad but in a while he'll soon be
Back on his train...

I wonder if Rudy ever got off that train... I hope so.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Still Kicking Around!

I'm still here, functioning almost normally. Tomorrow (today) I replace my car battery, and hopefully that will put an end to my vehicle woes, at least for a while. I am getting ready for bed, and just before I go, I will meditate for 20 minutes or so. I can say honestly that things are starting to look up again, and I see some great things happening down the road - more gigs, a possible new relationship, part-time work, and a new place to live. Right now, I think the most important things for me are:

1) Keep going to therapy (group and individual) It helps quite a bit.

2) Get back on my medication because I am obviously becoming depressed quite frequently. It was helping, and it's time to stop sabotaging myself and potential to succeed in life.

3) Practice meditation frequently and get in a routine.

4) Exercise more often - walking and maybe even jogging!

OK - that's enough stuff for now! I don't want to overwhelm myself. It's best to do a little at a time. For now, it's off to my bed...ZzZZZzZZZ

Good Night, Everyone!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Everything but Nothing....

I have lots to say, but my thoughts are muddled at the moment. Lots of sadness... I don't think "woe is me," I just need to find a "handle" to grab onto. The first thing I will probably address is relationships. More later. This song IS me right now.

Wouldn't It Be Good
by Nik Kershaw

i got it bad
you don't know how bad i got it
you got it easy
you don't know when you got it good
it's getting harder
just keeping life and soul together
i'm sick of fighting
even though i know i should
the cold is biting
through each and every nerve and fibre
my broken spirit is frozen to the core
don't wanna be here no more

wouldn't it be good to be in your shoes
even if it was for just one day
and wouldn't it be good if we could wish ourselves away
wouldn't it be good to be on your side
the grass is always greener over there
wouldn't it be good if we cold live without a care

you must be joking
you don't know a thing about it
you've got no problem
I'd stay right there if it were you
i got it harder
you couldn't dream how hard it got it
stay out of my shoes
f you know what's good for you
the heat is stifling
burning me up from the inside
the sweat is coming through each and every pore
don't wanna be here no more

wouldn't it be good to be in your shoes
even if it was just for one day
and wouldn't it be good if we could wish ourselves away
wouldn't it be good to be on your side
the grass is always greener over there
and wouldn't it be good if we could live without a care

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Let's Go Back A Few Months....

I found this, and wanted to share it with my readers. It was from a few months back:


Hey buddy! How have you been and how has life been treating you? I hope that things are going well for you. So what are you doing these days? I thought for sure that you'd end up working at ESPN or TS by now. You have such an intense passion for sports, and it shows! You and "DR" helped me learn to enjoy sports talk. I may not know much about sports statistics or little known facts, but I can certainly appreciate them more. Thank you for that.

Have you heard from anyone that graduated with us? I regret to say that I've lost touch with almost everyone. I do talk to LA on occasion. The last I heard, she's working in ____ for the local CBS station as a manager of sorts. I'm glad that she's doing well for herself. She's a good kid - bright and good-natured. She'll go far, to be sure.

I think about the fun that we had at (school). That indeed was a very special time for me. In that one year, I had felt that I had "found my calling," and that I would be a superstar. To be looked up to and respected by many was an overjoying experience for me. To meet fun
people like you and R (as well as the others) was an added plus, in addition to "learning the ropes" of radio and tv.

I still think about the day that we graduated and the emotions that were welled up inside me. Words could barely describe how I felt when I found out that you all had chosen me as the "Oustanding Broadcaster!" For the first time in my life, I had won an award and truly felt worthy of it. Believe me, I wanted to cry (tears of joy) when I found out! This meant that I indeed had a purpose in life - that I WAS capable of doing something well while enjoying it. Little did I know that this was only a part of what I had to offer.

As you may well know, I landed the gig at "TEC" through B and had a blast doing overnights - first as a board-op, then on-air. That to me was one of the biggest thrills of my life! I knew
that it wouldn't last forever, so I enjoyed it as much as I could for the time I had left there.

On January 29, 2001, at 5pm, "TEC," failed to exist anymore, and I was out of work. Unfortunately, also on that day, I lost the power to the house I was staying in. I had no heat, no light, and no electricity. Fortunately, I still had water! Nonetheless, I felt painfully depressed. I was living in GI - which is not exactly a great place to live, having been voted "Murder Capital of The World" on more than one occasion. This depression kept me almost bedridden for nearly 6 months.

I remember once the power was restored that I started working on demo tapes and sent them out like crazy. A week went by, and the rejection letters started to pour in. Each one influenced me to feel a little bit worse, and to doubt my abilities. After about the 135th one, I decided to just give up and no longer try. This totally exacerbated my condition even further, and I became as close to an invalid as you could be without actually being one.

Not many people know this - but during the time (and years prior to,) I was attending school, I was experiencing the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, better known as Manic Depression. This was the source of all my boundless energy, and flight of ideas. I could do my project, work on
someone else's, go to bed for about 3 hours, get up, go to school, stay a bit after, go work for 8 hours a day, and go home to work on another project. As my father put it, I "burned the candle at four ends." I just figured that I was just so intense and passionate about this that
it was "just the way that I am."

I remember around December of '99 that I was starting to feel upset alot of the time. I did my best to cover this up as much as I could. Some of the staff began to become concerned about me, (namely MK and MZ (instructors).) I told them what was going on, and they totally offered me their kindness and sympathy. I'll never forget them for that.

Over the past 5 years, I have struggled with jobs of several types, from factory work, to retail, to driving a delivery van. I was stricken with panic and anxiety attacks on a regular basis, in addition to bipolar disorder. I had changed medications, therapists, doctors, and the like many, many times. The last real job I had lasted 3 days, due to overwhelming anxiety attacks and a genuine fear of the job. Fortunately, I now have a source of income that is just enough to help me through a very difficult and trying time in my life. I truly believe that this in and of itself was a miracle!

As for radio, I have done alot of freelance stuff - imaging and producing shows for other stations around the globe. I started (company name) in 1999, and until recently, was a bit successful. I'm not a famous voice, but I have done stuff for stations such as (various stations,) and also helped to host an internet radio stream that has to do with radio jingles and airchecks (of course another hobby of mine,) and such.

Over time, I began to become discouraged in my abilities. I was helping my former boss at "TEC," by making IDs for his new station. It seemed that no matter what I did, he was not pleased. Eventually I just gave up and basically disappeared in the throes of depression. My belief in my abilities and creativity were basically annihilated in one fell swoop.

I can tell you that bipolar disorder will sometimes bring you to your knees spiritually, and make you hate yourself and everyone around you so intensely that you want to die. You feel as if there is no hope for you, and that's all there is to it. It's like being in a prison that you've made for yourself. You refuse to believe that you can indeed break free from all this, and that no one is there for you. You are locked up in chains - you have the key, but can't bring yourself to use it. Even though you may have many caring family members and friends, it still doesn't matter. I had a girlfriend that was willing to do everything that she could to help me. All I could do was to see the negative side of things - to criticize her housekeeping, her children, and her lifestyle. This put me at a severe disadvantage.

As a result, I sabotaged our relationship, and destroyed yet another. I ended up moving back home with my parents for a while, and that was not easy. I was still very defensive and full of hurt, anger and resentment about my past. I harbored alot of this towards my stepmother (which I'm happy to say that today, such is no longer the case.)

I moved about 3 or 4 more times after that, and ended up where I am now. There were times when I didn't make the rent in full, or at all - thinking that I would have no place to go. I remember more than a few times being on the brink of suicide, thinking that there was no hope for me, and that my purpose in life was to "get by." If it wasn't for more than a few caring friends, family members, and therapists, I would have surely taken my life. Once again, in 2002, I was taken by surprise.

Nearly three years ago, I helped to form a local band with a few great guys. The band has been through a few different line-up changes, but the core remains the same. Playing music had always been fun for me, and I had played in a few bands before, but this was different. We
actually had a goal to get out there and be known. We started playing local bars and having a great time. Several people would come up to me and tell me how much they enjoyed watching us play, or me in particular. This gave me a total feeling of bliss! I realized that I was indeed communicating with people, and I was affecting them in a positive manner. Over time, I worked more and more on my stage presence, and my overall demeanor. But the real turning point came a little while after.

We would frequent a local restaurant on Friday nights for their local "Jam Night," so that we could get some gigs. We did get more than a few, but then a really great thing happened. The band that was hosting the jam night wasn't able to do it anymore, so we were asked if we
would like to do it. We agreed, albeit reluctantly, and with the stipulation that it was for only a few weeks. I was petrified, mortified, and stupified in every sense! I mean, at the time, we could barely hold together a set, let alone play songs that none of us knew! What would happen if we failed? Nonetheless, we did it anyway. I'm happy to say that it's the best "mistake" that we've ever made!

Fast forward to 7 months later, and here we are, still doing it! What I thought was going to be the most dreadful of experiences at first, turned out to be one of the best things that happened in my entire life! I have sat in with so many people that I can't count them all! I play bass, and not many jammers bring a bass player. As a result, I was asked to sit in nearly every Friday for at least one band. I took advantage of my keen ear and learned many songs "on the fly," which is a blast! This has also helped me to gain confidence in my ability to sing and play again. I find myself playing guitar or bass, and singing lead vocals quite a bit. My dad says that I need to start playing solo acoustic gigs so that I can make a little money on the side. This is a goal of mine that I'm steadily working towards.

Amidst all this, I had reached an all-time emotional low in my life. If I wasn't playing, I was miserable. I was addicted to the internet, and too entrenched in my own worries to care at all about anyone else. That hopeless feeling started to really permeate me, and so I thought of
injuring myself to "free the pain" and have a sense of control. I am happy to say that I never acted upon those urges, but they were very real. I started to read some self-help books and listen to audio books, as I had done in the past. I listened intently, but nothing seemed to
help - it just wouldn't sink in.

But on July 17,2005, I came to terms with myself. I realized what I was doing all wrong in my life - I was TAKING IT ALL TOO SERIOUSLY! I believed that everything was "life and death," and that everything in my life (or lack thereof,) was contingent upon my life. Once I LET GO of this belief, things really started to change for the better. All I needed to do was to change my approach! Instead of being impatient, I would ask myself if this was really that important, and remind myself of the things that I have been through in the past. I didn't look at them as negative aspects, rather that I was able to survive and keep on going through the storm. I thought of other people who have been in much worse situations, rose from the ashes, and had become the successes that they are today. This alone was a great inspiration, and drove me to push myself even harder.

As a result of this constant exposure to all this positive motivational material, it began to seep slowly into my life, and eventually started spilling back out as well! Once I found out that this worked for me, I began to tell others, through support group meetings, conversations with friends, and in my blog. Once again, people came up to me and told me that they honestly tried these strategies, and that they did indeed work for them! This of course brought a feeling of joy that I cannot describe. It's truly magical, and I've never felt it in my life! I discovered my mission in life!

This helped me arrive at a very important question in my juncture - WHAT IS MY MISSION IN LIFE? The answer came back rather quickly - TO COMMUNICATE, TOUCH THE LIVES OF OTHERS, AND TO HELP THEM ANY WAY THAT I CAN! Earlier, I had been doing this, through radio and playing music, but failed to see this. To be an entertainer/media personality is to reach out to people - to let them know that THEY EXIST, THAT THEY DO MATTER! This approach helped to make it even more enjoyable a thousandfold! What a difference one little (or not so little) change can make in your life!

Along the way, I have written quite a bit in my journals. I have used them as a form of therapy to help me through those trying times. Sometimes I would let others see what I wrote, and they would tell me how much they enjoyed reading it. It was then that I realized I truly have a flair for writing - to create an image that would put them in the "story," experiencing what I was going through. When someone says, "I know what you mean - I could feel how you felt," that really hits home. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword!

So, by now you've probably guessed that I intend to do alot of writing as well. Absolutely! I find it very therapeutic, as well as enjoyable, not only for myself, but for others as well. A friend of mine (who also deals with Bipolar Disorder,) and I are going to be collaborating on a book in the very near future. It will be a unique perspective of the disease, coming from two different viewpoints and walks of life. Meetings are in the works, and we will soon embark upon our journey. I am totally looking forward to it!

Z - I'm sorry if this all sounds like some sort of blatant sales pitch, but it's truly not. I just have a natural habit of writing in this manner. Trust me, this isn't a form letter! I'm just very
passionate and honest - sometimes it can take a while to say something, even a simple hello! I know that we have lost touch over the years, and now we can make up for lost time. Maybe sometime we could call each other, just to talk about old times, and things going on within our
lives. I think that would be alot of fun, don't you agree?

I sincerely apologize for the time that this letter may have taken from your day. I know that you have a life of your own to lead, and that it's probably full of events that consume your time already. As a result, I would like to thank you for having taken the time, consideration, and genuine concern to read this. It was great hearing from you, and if there is anything that I can do to help you, please let it be known, and I will genuinely do my best to lend a hand. Hope to hear from you soon!



Unfortunately, I have yet to receive a reply from him. I wonder if the letter freaked him out or something. Oh well....

Time For A Change?

Maybe it's time to change my way of living completely - to give up everything and start over completely. Right now, Amish life looks appealing. They aren't greedy, they do what they need, and they get by just fine. They don't fall victim to the capitalist scum of this country and give in on command. They just drive their horse and buggies, taking their time as they go.

To hell with progress - it just impedes my way!

Guess I'd better grow a beard then....

When The World Is Running Down...

Where To Begin...
Well, I definitely need to write today, in order to vent properly. I am somewhere between seething rage and pure apathy. Why is this, you ask? It's not because of just one thing, but several. This weekend (specifically Sunday) was just HORRENDOUS! Oh, there were a few good things, but the bad just seemed to outnumber the good. I'm trying to be optimimstic, really, but in this instance, I don't foresee that as a possibility.

Had the usual jam night, and it was not too bad - that is until I sat in with a guy that I know. He's a real pro, and keeps everyone on their toes. As I was playing, I started to lament about my sloppy and scratchy rhythm playing, and that just made me feel worse. At the end of the night, I really didn't want to pick up my guitar for at least a few days. Everyone else did their best to keep me from feeling that way, but it didn't do much. Oh well...

Not much happened really. I just sat around and listened to some music, and became basically lethargic. I talked to a few friends on the phone, and went to bed.

Phase One...
Here's where things took a turn for the worst. I go to the benefit gig at 11am, and NOTHING IS SET UP! By this, I don't mean my band's gear, but I mean tables, chairs, tents, food, etc. We end up having to help set everything up. Gee, so much for that 1pm start time! When we are setting up, my drummer informs me that he didn't bring my larger amp in the van. I make a call and my buddy brings his out on the spot, and doesn't bother to tell me that he had things to do earlier in the day. This gets him in trouble with his wife, and that's a shame. He was going to sit in with us during the show, but thought it was later on in the day. *Sigh* He left when things got rolling, and I knew that something was not right.

Phase Two...
We were headlining this benefit, which meant we were basically hosting it. That meant we would play last. We played a benefit show about a year ago, and were the last to play on stage. As a result, hardly anyone was around to hear us, and we all felt cheated. We didn't host that one, but the guys were still bitter about it, and I still can't say that I blame them. However, the manner in which they tried to strongarm the stage was not cool at all. I saw them get into arguments with a few bands regarding "who was up next." I tried my best to just stay out of it all, as I knew I'd flip out, and fights would ensue. That's very bad for your image, to say the least, so I kept my mouth shut, as long as I could...and then...

Phase Three...
We knew earlier in the day that it was going to rain. The bar owner gave us the choice of setting up inside or outside. We chose outside, as it seemed to be a nice enough day (for the moment.) We watched The Weather Channel, and there was a 30-percent chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms headed our way. I guess we pretty much ignored the warnings and set up anyway. This proved to be our downfall. When my bandmates were arguing with the second to last band about getting up on stage before it rained, I knew it was just going to get worse. As it turns out, the last act got to play for only 30 minutes at best. When the storm closed in, I could hear my band mates complaining about it. This set me off, and I started screaming at the top of my lungs, raising my middle fingers to the heavens and screaming such stupid and unbelievable things like:






That's just a small sampling of things that I said, and some of my musical colleagues were shocked, and rightfully so. They didn't believe that I could say such things - neither did I. Inside, I was truly hurting and instead of crying, I turned it into full-on rage, which didn't do much of anything for me. I guess at least I got the emotion out of my system. On a positive note, the members of the previous act were nice enough to stick around and help us tear down. I was glad for that, believe me. Thirty minutes later, I was feeling much better.

Jam Night To The Rescue!
I was told that they were having their usual jam night inside the bar, and that it started in about an hour-and-a-half. Suddenly, I felt relieved, and was eager to play to make up for the loss. However, my drummer and guitarist had other ideas. They were still very bitter, and just left without giving it a thought. My vocalist, his wife, and I stuck around - we talked about things that needed to change, and how to implement some new ideas. It was a productive session, for a spur-of-the-moment thing.

The jam night started, and eventually it was our turn to play. We decided to open up with "Crossroads," and the instant I hit the A string on my bass, it broke! I kept going, and played the whole song on the E string. There's nothing like flying by the seat of your pants! I borrowed the other guy's bass and got through it. I had a great time, and decided to stick around for more, after the bassist approached and complimented me. I thought to myself, "sure, what the heck. After the day I've had, I deserve to have a good time!" Again, I approached the stage and had a good time.

Time To Go...
I glanced at my watch and noticed that it was 12:30am. I thought that I'd better get going. I said my goodbyes and headed out to my truck. I climbed in, turned the key, and the starter began to get slower.....and slower.......and slower......and...s-l-o-w-e-r....until....Click, click. I went back into the bar, and asked anyone I could for a jump. One of the guitarists of the band was happy to help, and did his best to help me. We thought that the battery needed a jump, so we tried that. No such luck. He apologized and went on his way.

Try Another Approach...
I went back into the bar, got some change, and called my roomies. As I was on the phone with one, the other started complaining about what time it was..."Why did he wait until 1 in the morning to call us?" This of course set me off, and I yelled into the phone...


I hung up the phone, and walked back into the bar. The bartender could see that troubled look in my eyes, and asked me what was wrong. I explained my situation to her. Right next to was the bass player, and he offered to help me. At the same time, the bartender was looking for a cab for me so that I could at least get home. She was willing to "float a loan," so that I could do this. The bass player said to give him a few more minutes and he would help. I waited patiently and we made our way outside. He tried to jump start as well, and to no avail. We both noticed that the positive battery was very corroded, and I took note of that as well. Eventually, he offered me a ride, and I packed up my guitars and climbed in his Jeep. Again, this is where things got better...

A Local Legend...
We spoke quite a bit during those 35 minutes. I asked him alot of questions and for advice. He was glad to discuss in depth with me, offering tips that are very valuable. He helped me to see things a little differently in music. He's a well-respected, well-known blues musician, and comes from a very musical family. I never realized just how close by he lived to me, and this blew my mind! I has said on more than one occasion in the past that I had wanted to go up to that jam night and meet him. Now I had my chance, albeit through a very unusual set of circumstances, but hey, I'm not complaining!

I feel foolish and awful for the way I had acted during the benefit gig. I realize that I had totally lost my composure, and let my emotions (and everyone else's) influence my thoughts. I feel that I have much apologizing to do, and I can accept that. I have to somehow "make it right." I guess in some circles, this would be called "repent." I have indeed sinned.

The Saga Continues...
All that having been said, I'm still a little frustrated. I went back to the truck yesterday, thinking that if I replaced the bad battery terminal, it would solve the problem. Nothing could have been further from the truth. After messing with it for about 2 hours, I decided that the starter was out, and that it needed to be replaced. I called around today pricing starters, and found that they were quite a bit more than what I'd expected. This set me off again, naturally. This time because even with the money that I have at the moment, I still don't have enough to replace it. I hate borrowing money from other people. I have a long line of debt as it is, so I don't need any more to tack on to it.

Walking Away...
Right now, I really want to just walk away from it all. I want to just pour gasoline all over the truck and let it burn, and eventually explode into nothingness. I just feel like things are being taken away from me, left and right. Right now, being an optimist would be nothing short of a miracle, as I don't seem to get time to recover from each blow. I know a way out, but it's not the right way out. I don't dare mention it, as that would mean I'm totally backing away from life.

I'm not even sure that meditation would help me out of this mess. I've had several offers for drugs and alcohol, and believe me, I am considering them as a viable option. Just numb all the pain and frustration, at least for the short term. Once again, I'm not talking logically, and I know this. I just get so consumed by the emotion at any moment. With me, it's not just a feeling in my mind, it's a feeling in my entire body, almost to the point of being sick physically. How's that for "overreating?"

Maybe if I play a country record backwards, I'll get everything back that I lost? Is it worth a try?