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Reality - Take Three

Monday, January 16, 2006

1:09AM - Gawd, I love "Gizoogle"


Saturday, December 31, 2005

3:59AM - Another year comes to an end

Another one bites the dust, that is! I'm sitting here really wanting to talk. I've not updated lately, because I always feel like I come on here and say the same old things. I bore myself sometimes. Anyway - what's the old saying, something like "the more things change the more they stay the same?"

Still getting older (survived another birthday Thursday), still depressed, still enjoy teaching, still hate what public education has become, hate working for schools. Still an insomniac, still watching my body get older. Oh - I have lost about 25 pounds or so - a total of about 35 pounds since this time last year. Guess that's good - it's never easy, though.

Find myself posting about music a lot lately in various online forums I visit. Not a big deal except it's kind of off topic. I registered a username to start a live-journal just about music, but never did start posting in it.

Started a myspace, too - but it just doesn't seem to be the kinda people I want to hang around. I've thought about xanga too, but it just doesn't feel like home. Not that LJ does, but it's closer. I mean, I like being around people that are younger in general, young at heart but mature enough to be past the gibberish of xanga, and more content with a smaller circle than myspace.

I miss my LJ friends - I think about ya'll - I just don't come to LJ like I should. It's a lot like I don't call my dad like I should, or my sister. I still care, I just get so wrapped up in my own lil problems that I turtle up and won't come out of my shell.

Lessee - am addicted to See's candies "little pops" in cafe latte flavor. Splenda is also my sweetener of choice. Don't I lead an exciting life? OK - it sucks being old. Money's been tight. Didn't even put up a tree this year. Have to get out of debt - it's hard to do. Especially when everything's going up.

Over 12 inches of snow so far this year, am tired of shoveling and maneuvering around the stuff. Wish I could do summers and fall and spring here, and winters somewhere else. It's nice to look at - maybe I just need to get used to it.

Should be thankful for what I have. and I am. Guess we all tend to look at what sux instead of what's right.

Anyway, hope anybody that still reads this had a good holiday and has a better new year. I'm happy to see 2005 go - it's been a tough year. Next year will be better - I'll make it be better! Ciao for now, everyone.

Current mood: walking comatose

Saturday, September 10, 2005

11:52AM - Good Drugs Make The World Go Round

I'm Alive!

Innocent enough statement - but at this particular point, feels so good to say it, as I had my doubs yesterday.

Seems I just survived another "Growing Older - Body Giving Out" first. Started having a lot of abdominal pain Thursday night. Went to a walk-in clinic, they sent me to the emergency room. Seems I had one of those things I'd heard of but didn't know about: "Diverticulitis". I'll spare you the gory details here, but let's just say I hurt so bad I couldn't stand up straight.

Well, they put me on an IV and gave me some morphine - kept me there four hours, and sent me home with two antibiotics, a muscle relaxant, and some narcotic pain-killers. After two doses and a (good) night's sleep, I actually feel human again! Good drugs make the world go round!

Only downside is that I missed the parade. I had 150 band members who were participating in a parade today, as part of a 700 piece marching band I was supposed to help supervise and lead. Sixth graders, if you can imagine that. I had to take a raincheck - I hated not being there for my kids, but guess it couldn't be helped. I knew when I went to the clinic yesterday I wasn't going to make it, because I either couldn't walk or would be too drugged to care. The latter came true.

To all of my LJ friends - I really have missed LJ! The start of a new year has kept me so busy this time that I come home and collapse. I think the initial frenzy is about to pass (aka the parade is over!) and I'll be able to get in touch with life again.

I hope none of my LJ contacts had relatives in or problems because of "THE" hurricane. My nephew/godson pretty much lost everything. They got out of New Orleans in advance of the storm, but just got back to see their house yesterday. No bad flooding, but part of the roof blew off and the rain caused their ceilings to fall in - so the house is a loss anyway. They recovered a lot of personal effects, and out of sheer luck, their insurance claim adjuster is the spouse of a first cousin - so they'll be ok. Tried to get them to move to Kansas City and live with us to start over (we can't afford to send cash, but we have an extra bedroom) but there's something about the south that some people can't get away from. Their going to move to Houston for now. Me, I'm almost ready to move further north. I deal better with snow than with heat - especially as I grow older.

Tempted to go to Canada - I like their politics better lately - and Calgary's never been hit by a hurricane.

Anyway - hugs to everyone of you who read this - I hope that life is good and better for all of you - it is for me at the moment - good drugs make the world go round!

Current mood: indescribable

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

12:04AM - Up Up and Update!

Just wanted to let everyone know I'm still alive. School has started back and I've kind of neglected LJ as I've become immersed in the joys of teacher's meetings and the like. Actually get to see students tomorrow, so maybe it will all be worth it again. I just wish they made a magic energy pill - I've kind of lost the hang of this "going to work" thing over the summer.

Life continues to suck or blow or whatever - having huge arguments with my spousal unit. I really should get a divorce, but I'm too chicken to start over after 20 years. It's pretty melancholy knowing you have to live with decisions you made when you were too young to know any better.

I'm not sitting around moping, though - have gotten so much done the past two weeks it's amazing. I've made a pledge to myself this year that this will be the year where I bust my ass and get everything done ahead of time, so I have some time and energy left for myself. To all my friends, I promise to catch up on your LJ's soon - this has kind of been my lifeline to sanity and I need it back!

Current mood: blank

Friday, August 5, 2005

4:26AM - Change

Set aside the fact that I get depressed.

Set aside the fact that I have my own unique qualities.

Set aside the fact that things could be so much worse than they are now.

Do you ever just feel like it's time for a change? I do - and I cannot find a simple way to make it happen. By that, I mean we can all bring about change anytime by doing something drastic - but I'm not talking about breaking up relationships or doing myself harm or harming anyone else. I just feel like I'm at a turning point, and I can't get the damn wheels to turn.

Current mood: Insomnia-addled

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

5:04AM - Is anyone else afraid of what they're becoming?

I am. I feel like I'm becoming old and bitter and irrelevant. I'm losing my passion. It becomes harder and harder to feel passion about anything, as the dreams that I once dreamed become less likely to ever come true.

Younger people laugh at old people with passion, but how am I supposed to grow old gracefully? Sadly, I can't really find very many people my age or older that I would view as role models. I've really got to concentrate on that, because I feel like I need an example.

Part of it is that I guess I'm unprepared. When I was in my teens, I really didn't think there would be a world to grow old in. I didn't think there would be a me. It wasn't that I thought I'd die or something, I just couldn't envision growing older. I still can't.

I always thought people shouldn't have kids just without thinking and to make them help out and take care of them when they grow old.... but as I age, I realize I have nothing.

Make babies while you're young, while you can. Then do the best you can. Maybe you'll have someone that loves you even when you grow old.

Current mood: melancholy

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

3:16PM - An apology to my friends

Sorry for the long winded posts and how they must take up all of your friends page space....

But the good news is:

I saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico!

...and I learned how to use lj-cut. Hopefully things will be a little neater now and in the future. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

8:38PM - Posting Frenzy - Part IV (Grand Finale)

Finally got a rainy day in Kansas City - as I did a LOT of housework the last week, I decided to play in LJ most of the day today. Guess the posting frenzy kinda made that obvious, eh? I feel like I've purged a lot of poison from my system, though.

I'm in the process of starting two other journals - one specific to my interest in educational philosophy (as in, what's wrong with the schools?) and the other specific to music (see some of my earlier posts in here) - My question to any of you is, besides what I've read on LJ, what are the pro's and con's of setting up a new journal as a community instead of as a journal? Does it get more participation? I've seen a lot of dead communities, but a lot of dead journals also. Anyone care to share any thoughts about what direction I should go? I'm sure you'll all agree that active journals and communities are a hella lot more fun than dead ones. How do I do it without overdoing it? (story of my life, btw!)

Current mood: finished

7:34PM - Posting Frenzy, Part III (History - Loves Lost and Found)

This post grew after different friends mentioned my relationship with my wife, and relationships in general, and after reading the poetry of friends.

Make no mistake - I love my wife. I think I've loved her in some way from when I married her, but I'll be the first to tell you that I really didn't have much of a clue about love or anything when I married.

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I've always appreciated the poetry of others, but it's such a personal thing I don't always relate. You may not relate to this, but I did write a poem as I healed from the loss I felt - spectacular only in the fact that I'm not much of a poet. Still, I share it here for the sake of history:

here's_the_poemCollapse )

Current mood: Wistful

4:58PM - Posting Frenzy - Part II (Is it Physical?)

OK - as my friends or anyone who has my journal much know, I suffer from depression. At the moment, I'm doing ok thank you. However, doing ok has given me reason to do some thinking.

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The question for everyone is "Do activities which enhance blood circulation affect your mood?" and "why do you think it does or doesn't?"

4:51PM - Posting Frenzy, Part I (Turds)

It seems that, nationwide, about a dozen papers (including my local one) chose not to carry the 7/25 and 7/26 Doonesbury comic strips because it depicted President Bush using the term "Turd Blossom" to describe Karl Rove. Their assertion was that it was "toilet humor" and therefore not fitting for their paper and/or the comics page. Of course, as has been well-documented on the web and in print, it was Bush himself who coined this phrase for Rove, after the flowers that spring up from piles of manure on ranches. The censorship struck a nerve since it essentially censors the implication that Rove is a forgiven criminal, and no such censorship is applied when it's a liberal in the hotseat. So.... I fired off a letter to my local paper - first time I'd ever done so. Wanna see how I did?

I wrote:

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

7:08AM - Did I mention...

That I think NIN's "Pretty Hate Machine" is one of the best recordings ever?

I'm on a music roll at the moment. I also adore Bloodhoung Gang and John Prine. Ever heard of Dead Can Dance? or Anything But Joey?

My taste in music is probably the one thing in my life that I like about myself. Not many 42 year old band directors who'd rather listen to NIN than talk radio (though NPR rocks too).

6:34AM - Sunday Morning Coming Down

A recent post reply made reference to my age - kind of makes me think. I've always felt old - even when I was young - maybe it's because I'm the youngest. I have a sister 53 and a sister 55. At least I think that's how old they are - I've never been good at keeping up with things like that. I mean - I don't even know the ages of half my friends on here. Obviously, age makes a difference in viewpoints and even interests. I've always had interests that paralleled younger people, even though most of them don't know that. Music kinda shows my age - when I think "Sunday Morning" the first song that comes to mind is an old Johnny Cash song called "Sunday Morning Coming Down" - but I also like the Maroon 5 song "Sunday Morning."

Maybe music is the biggest example of both my age and my youth, because I like artists as diverse as Gwen Stefani, Outkast, R. Kelly, Mariah Carey, Rob Thomas, Kelly Clarkson, Green Day, Britney Spears, Usher, Eminem to older stuff like Steely Dan, Concrete Blonde, James Taylor, David Bowie, Dire Straits, Frank Zappa to even older like Petula Clark, The Association, and so on. I'm as likely to listen to Sade or Maynard Ferguson or Spyro Gyra as I am Willie Nelson or Garth Brooks. I grew up on old country like Ernest Tubb and Jimmie Rodgers, but I like old R&B too like the Temptations, Gap Band, Ohio Players and Cameo. I've got 78rpm recordings of Bela Bartok playing his own music, and I have a respectable selection of John Philip Sousa recordings. I've followed Brian Eno from his ambient music days through Talking Heads to his latest incarnation, and I own pretty much every Keith Jarrett solo piano recording available. All in all, I've lost track of how many recordings I own, but I estimate around 50 piano rolls, 500 45's, 1200 albums, 150 78's, and around 300 CD's. I won't even start talking about mp3's, because besides the obvious legal issues (most of mine were acquired before RIAA started the stink) far too many of mine have been wiped out by computer crashes (Backups, Backups, Backups!)

I play and write as much as I listen too, but it's not even all I do - I go out with friends, I work around the house, I look at porn, I read newspapers and magazines (I'm a magazine freak - no, not porn - Smithsonian, Blender, Utne, etc.), I dream, I fight insomnia, and I squeeze myself into normal hours and go to work during the school year. And, I fight the little (sometimes big) annoyances of a body growing older.

In some ways, I'm just painfully normal. In other ways, I'm a unique individual. So why am I depressed? and why am I up at 6:00 in the morning typing on LJ and doing dishes?

I hate life, but I don't like the alternative - so I just gotta deal with it.

Oh well - more dishes. It's hard to say anything profound while doing dishes.

Current mood: lethargic

Saturday, July 23, 2005

3:56AM - Late Night Update

Why do they call it update? Shouldn't it be uptime?

Awake at 4:00 a.m. - who knows why.

LiveJournal rocks - It's really nice to know someone reads my journal (thanks guys!) and that they know I read theirs. I hope it helps them as much as me.

Random thought: I surfed into someone's LJ through a community, and they had one of these "dating buttons" on their info page. It said they were polyamorous, bisexual, and involved/unavailable... then it went on to define each. Now, the bisexual part aside, it said that "polyamorous" is being interested in multiple serious relationships (which we knew) and that "involved/unavailable" is being involved in a serious relationship and not available for dating (ok) - but here's my question: Doesn't being "polyamorous" preclude being unavailable? I mean, if you're interested in multiple relationships, aren't you to some extent saying you're always available?

I tried to think about what my "dating" button would look like - it'd be so damn heavy I couldn't wear it. I don't have issues - I have subscriptions.

Friday, July 22, 2005

9:37PM - Awesomeness

Ladies and Gentleman, the weekend has arrived!

I don't know why I'm so happy to see it - it's not really that much different than any other day around here, but it just feels good.

What *doesn't* feel good is the fact it's supposed to be over 100 degrees tomorrow and Sunday.

Got several things done around the house, and my best friend is coming over Sunday so we can replace the faucet on the sink. I could probably do it by myself, but why turn down help? Tomorrow is cleaning day. I'm not too bummed out over that though because since I'm here alone I can crank the music up as loud as I want. Do wish I had some help though - housework is a certain kind of boring.

Healthwise, I feel pretty well. Abdomen still hurts, but the labs from the doc show nothing wrong - except elevated something or another indicating diabetes. I'm still in denial on that. Must lose weight - must lose weight.

I wish saying "must get better looking" to myself repeatedly worked the same as "must lose weight" lol

Oh well, ugly people need love too. Guess I'm gonna see if I can imagine me some! Later!

Current mood: horny

Monday, July 18, 2005

10:47PM - I hate this time of day the most

It's too early to go to bed, but too late to get anything productive done - but that's not why I hate it exactly. What I hate is, that when I get in that situation, the only thing I can't shut down is my brain. My brain is still buzzing with all the things that need to get done, with all the things I want to do, and concerning itself with all the reasons that stand between me and accomplishing those things. It's a time full of "you know what I should do? I should....." and "what if I....." and "I wish I had...." type thoughts.

Another reason I hate this time of day is that I'm an insomniac. It's when I want to go out and party, it's when I want to go out and be with people. Still, here I sit.

Otherwise, things are OK. Went to the doctor - he says maybe I'm healthy, maybe I'm not. They drew blood and are running lab tests to make sure everything's normal. He thinks I might have an ulcer. I think maybe I'm just old and getting crazy.

I'm faced with getting some things done this week - productivity is the first thing to go when depressed - it's so easy to just sit around and mope. I want to do something, even if it's wrong - just to do something.

It'll all be over soon. School will start back, and I'll work 'til I drop, sleep, and repeat the process. Geez, I never knew teaching could be so tiring. I think it has something to do with being on stage all day - keeping the happy face, doing the right things, controlling what I want to say, giving all I've got - when the day's over, it's like my battery is totally dead.... and I look back and realize that I *DON'T* have a life. I love teaching kids, but I need to find a way to do it that it doesn't totally drain me. I thought maybe that my career would advance to the point that I could get in one building (instead of five) and things would be easier, but the district that employs me has other ideas - they hire young people fresh out of college for those jobs. I'm bitter about it - not at the kids or the profession, but schools just don't seem to be good employers. They don't pay well, they have no loyalty to loyal employees, they care about nothing but test scores and public image. The students and the teachers are both just pawns in a game.

I guess part of my problem is that I feel like I don't connect with any community. My fellow teachers look down upon someone who might want to go out for a night of drinking or freewheeling sex. People who go out for a night of drinking or freewheeling sex think teachers are a little too staid for that. I wish I could find the inbetween crowd - those who had a serious side with a committment to doing the right thing who also know that doesn't mean they can't cut loose once in awhile.

Eh - life sux, but it beats the alternative.

Mo Betta Latah

Saturday, July 16, 2005

9:30AM - Yay! It's Saturday!


1 week post cat - got her remains back - it's a box on our mantle now. She's not hurting. The other cat is pretty much "crying" non-stop now. Doesn't know where her mate has gone.


Two performances this weekend and one construction project. I'm pretty much a one thing at a time person - I wish that I could get all this assorted crap over with so I could concentrate on finding a new job.


The depression factor is a little less at the moment. Still need help, but I guess I'm too busy to get too bogged down.


Went on mIRC last night and talked to some old friends. Realized why I left there. It's for drama queens and kings. I'm honestly not caught up in drama, though it may seem like it sometimes.


In addition to other things to do, I *MUST* clean house this weekend. There are no words to define just how much of an effect cleanliness has on state of mind. I know I am much less depressed in a clean house. Unfortunately, I married a slob. I'm not saying that to be disrespectful to her... we're both messy, but it doesn't get to her like it does me. Wish I were as tolerant.


More Later.

Current mood: hopeful

Thursday, July 14, 2005

12:47PM - Am I a lab rat for some great experiment in crap?

Got really depressed last night. I think a young lady with whom I've been chatting online may not be all she seems - then again, she may - but I'm just too weary to figure it out anymore. It's so easy to be led by your desires into thinking things that may not be accurate. Meanwhile, it's become painfully obvious that I'm not going to be able to change jobs, the I can't afford to buy the things I need to make my life and/or job any easier, and that I'm never going to be in any much better situation than right now.

Well, all that had already happened. Last night, I really needed to just talk. I can't talk to my wife because not only is she sometimes PART of the problem, but her mind is always elsewhere anyway. She doesn't want to talk. She wants to show me where I'm wrong about things. (Never marry a smarter woman - they'll never respect you) My pool of other friends to talk to is running low. Two close friends were online, but both have their own lives to deal with, so they're just not always a good outlet. It was not done intentionally, but one went out and the other said something that hurt, and all of a sudden I just felt shut down. Nothing to grab onto.

I went to bed upset, and got up upset. Been fighting back tears. I bitch about my wife, but she tries really hard. I mean, she puts up with me (BIIIIIIG consideration - I'm not easy) and supports me - she even loves me..... but there are so many problems. She's so messy - I went to the kitchen for breakfast and ended up cleaning for an hour because I literally had no place to make a sandwich. She loves me, but she's never really put my needs ahead of her own. Oh, she WILL if pressed, but she doesn't. It's just not natural to her. I've watched my youth and the dreams attached to it fade away.

Yet I still want to make her happy - I want to make someone happy, but I just can't seem to.

Do you know how devastating it is to feel like a total failure?

I can't give her kids
I can't support her so she doesn't have to work
I can't get a better job without having to move
I can't be happy with what I've got
I can't get anything right.

Sexually, I know she's not satisfied. She is in the sense that she loves me, but it's never been good enough for her to go out of her way for, to please herself or me.

Socially, we're just not compatible. She'd much rather hang out with her knitting and quilting buddies. Maybe I'm no fun to be around, but the less people want to be around me, the more unpleasant I become.

I've spent the better part of 20 years building a career which is hardly any better than the day it started. I still feel like my employment is in jeopardy if I don't give 100 percent of my life to my work, but I am so weary of that. It cost me a FAMILY for god's sake! Yes, the knowledge that I've helped a young person's life makes a difference, but I can only remember ONCE that a former student tracked ME down to thank me. Sure, they've come around and said thanks, but only because they were in the building to socialize. Just once, I'd love for one to find me to say I made a difference. I don't think I did - that's the problem.

So I've made no difference in the life of the young, and I've dragged my wife down. I know my pets love me, but I've never been able to keep them as healthy and happy as I'd like.

I have to go pick up the remains of one today, Fluffy is crying for Grey like crazy. I do miss her too.

So I sit and watch my animals slowly wither away.

I couldn't even be there when my own mother died! I still haven't become what she wanted.

Really, I do want to be happy. It's so difficult though - I was never raised to be happy, I was never conditioned to be happy, I was never taught to be happy. I had to figure out what things make me happy. Well, I figured many of them out - but I guess it was too late. I can't make them happen. I am powerless.

But I put on the face and go to work daily. I'm a positive role model, eh?


A college professor of mine once told a former college professor of mine about me: "He's..... so close, yet..."

I've wondered over 20 years what he meant. I still don't know, but I have to agree. Somewhere I have a fatal flaw that I'm blind to.

I entertain thoughts of suicide at times, but I know they're simply a rationalization that martyrdom would help in some way. In reality, I don't want to hurt anyone in that way. I do wish the pain would stop, though. I simply am too weak to manage it much longer. God give me strength.

12:14PM - Life goes on

Life is going on

..... for me anyway, Rest In Peace, Grey.

It hurts immeasurably (and not in a good way) to literally watch a life fade away. As much as it hurts, and as strange as it feels to not have her here, I'm taking a lot of comfort knowing she's not suffering like she was. Of course, time will soften the pain and things will feel normal again, time.

The final thought on her passing, and euthanasia in general: I vacillate between feeling that, when I get that old and sickly, I hope that no one will take my life away like that to prevent my suffering; and feeling that I hope to hell that they do.


The family get-together did help to keep my mind off of grim thoughts. Finally broke down and scheduled an appointment to see a doctor - I was in the hospital back in April for an unexplained occurence of Pancreatitis, and while the major pain has gone away, it still hurts. Only about a 1 or 2 on a scale of 1 to 10, but that's enough to annoy me and keep me from getting up and going and working around the house and yard. Well, not enough to keep me from it, but enough that the WORRY over it keeps me from going and working. I've got to get some closure on it. I should know next week.


Now, if I could just find a better job.

(originally posted 7/12/05)

Current mood: Surviving

12:12PM - Mixed Emotions

How do you say goodbye to a cat?

I really hope we don't have to, but I think we're going to have one of our cats put to sleep today. Her name is Grey - seems her and I have grown old together, though she much faster than I. She's lost most of her weight in the past few weeks, but was still getting around well until this week. The last few days, she's clearly losing her balance, she can't jump up to where her food is, she's walking really awkwardly, she makes horrible noises when she eats - her life has changed, and she's struggling to hang in there.

She was always the cat with a union card. She was not mean or unfriendly, just anti-social. Late at night, when I'd sit at the computer, she'd come in and stretch up to touch my leg, asking to be picked up. Then, when no one else was around - she'd let me know she had a heart. I'd hold her and stroke her head, telling her she was my princess and my sweetheart. She'd purr for me. After awhile, she'd go on and be a cat again.

Usually, even in cat mode, she'll let me approach her. I did a few minutes ago because *I* need to say goodbye. Well, dammit, the union rules prevent her from being affectionate if there are cat duties to be done. She went and drank a little water, and ate a little. The other cats are leaving her alone, but they thought I was reaching down for them, so I had to shoo them away.

I'm going to go back in a moment or two and pick her up. It hurts me to see her this way. You can see the outlines of the bones in her head, in her hips, she's lost so much weight. I'm not sure how many human words she has in her vocabulary, but I'll try to tell her she'll always be my princess and sweetheart, and that I don't want her to hurt or suffer, and I'll try to be ready to say goodbye. The vet appointment is at 11:00 a.m. We'll go with the vet's recommendation.

Goodbyes never get easier. I shouldn't cry, but I'm shedding more than one tear at the moment.


On a different note, my wifey's family get together is today - it's July the Fourth on July 9th. We're all gathering at her brother's house in the country about an hour way late afternoon, will eat and shoot off fireworks after dark. Normally, I'm not enthused about family get togethers nor fireworks, but this one could be tolerable. Lots of family friends coming, my wife has friends coming to keep her occupied, as do I, and I get to see my nieces and nephews. Both of the nieces are darlings and I love them dearly, but the added bonus is one has grown up nicely. I'll try not to be too much of a dirty old man around her, but at least she's old enough now to maybe appreciate some flirting.


Has been rough lately, with career setbacks, sick cats, and my own health troubles - maybe the family thing will keep my mind off some of it, if only for a little while.

Wish me luck.

(originally posted 7/09/05)

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