Sunday, November 30, 2008

Son Rise (Update)

My son drove away with a Marine Recruiter today. He'll stay at a hotel tonight, then take physical and mental tests tomorrow. He will report for basic training in May. He will be on his way to Afghanistan by July. My heart is heavy, my house is empty, and time plods mercilessly onward. -- Update Dec 1: He's been sworn in. It's official now. My son is a US Marine.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why I Dance

Last night, I learned to dance the Meringue'. I joined a class for people that want to learn Latin Dance. The group meets on Friday evenings.

If someone were to casually ask me why I'm doing this, I would probably respond that I was doing this for myself, that I like to learn new things, that I've wanted to learn this for a long time, and now is a good time.

Although all of those statements are true, I would be lying if I said that I was only doing this for myself.

By nature, I don't enjoy doing things for myself; I actually prefer to do things for other people. I've been working on overcoming feelings of self-denial for more than two decades, but I still find it difficult to do things for myself, especially when I am by myself.

Q: If a man is neither selfish, nor afraid, what is his motivation?
A: Helping others? Feeling appreciated? Duty and honor?

For the past twenty years, I have been a single dad. During that time, I found motivation in being a good parent. Protecting my child, setting a good example for him, nurturing him, and encouraging him to become the person that he was born to be. And so, when he turned 19 at the end of 2006, I found myself searching for new sources of motivation.

I tried the "drinking buddies" thing. Spent $1200 on a big party in the atrium of a local hotel. Bought lots of booze, trophies for people that wore costumes (it was a Sci-Fi convention, after all), bought decorations, special lighting, arranged for a DJ, etc. It was fun, but it didn't work for me. Sure, I was the host, the center of attention, and everybody loved the party. But it didn't really seem motivating to me. It motivated me beforehand, but not afterward. It wasn't something that I wanted to continue.

In March of 2007, I went on a vacation. I knew this would be one of the last vacations that I would be able to take with my son, and it was a total Sci-Fi overload (we toured the studios where StarGate SG-1 and StarGate Atlantis were filmed, and we listened to and met several of the actors from the shows. The event lasted three full days, and it was awesome.) On day two of the event, I found my source of motivation.

WOMEN. Powerful motivation for the male species. Not the sole motivation, but definitely one of the most powerful. We learn these lessons from Animal Planet: the female is typically stronger and deadlier than the male. The male goes to great lengths to attract a mate. Showing off, dancing, singing, fighting and posturing with other males. In some cases, dying. The Peacock, the Lion, the Black Widow. We are made of the same stuff.

WOMEN. From the human perspective, and psychologically speaking, my own motivation to please women probably comes from early childhood 'mother issues'. My mom was unhappy during those times, and I tried my best to make the situation better. I was already a good son, but I knew that as "man of the house", I had an obligation to protect and nurture my family. It shaped me into the man that I am. I have no regrets. I like who I am. I define myself as someone who lives and loves to serve other people, especially women and children.

WOMEN. Like many other things that I do, I'm learning to dance with the end goal of making myself more pleasing to women. I want to become the perfect partner, the ideal man, a worthy and attractive mate. I want to become the kind of partner that a woman yearns to be with, someone that she is proud of, someone that she wants to commit herself to. To date, my efforts have been less than successful, but I can change myself, and I am going to continue to make myself better and better, until my some day, some woman, somewhere, comes to claim me as her own.

So I joined a class for people like me, people who have no idea how to Cha-Cha, Salsa, or Meringue'. (I don't know why I picked Latin Dance - it just seems romantic to me.) I drove through a blizzard to get there, but I was determined. I was motivated.

I could have sworn that I had two left feet going in, but at the end of the lesson, I was doing okay. There were some older couples there, and I expected that, but I was relieved to find that I wasn't the only person who showed up without a partner. Thankfully, a couple of High School girls were there to get credit for a Spanish class that they're taking. (Hey, at least I didn't have to dance alone). I'm a quick study, and I learned. Two more lessons, and we'll all go out to a public place to try our skills for real. I'm excited.

Accomplishments to date that I attribute to the influence of women: (1) Lost forty pounds of weight. (2) Started writing. Began with this journal, and in the near future, will try my hand at a fictional novel. (3) Fixed up my house; not completely done yet, but looking really pretty. (4) Learning to dance.

I get the credit for actually taking the initiative and DOING these things. Changing one's self is not an easy thing; it takes a lot of courage and discipline. I get credit for that. But the motivation would not have been there, were it not for women.

(Thank you, ladies)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Past is past

To my Browncoat friends:

I want to thank you for responding positively the other night. Although we might not have ever been really "close" friends, your hugs and smiles mean a lot to me, and I really appreciate having you in my life. Thank you.

I want you to know that it was never my intention to try to drag you into a messy break-up. I have not, and will never say anything bad about "Eve" to you. Unfortunately, many of you first met me when she and I were already starting to have relationship problems. I take full responsibility for causing that situation in the first place, but when things began to really crumble, it ripped me apart. As a consequence, I was miserable in some very public situations (around you), and I couldn't tell any of you what was going on, because half of the time, I didn't know what was really going on myself, I just knew how I felt. Some people assumed that I was just a bad person, that I was trying to "control' Eve and purposely trying make her unhappy. I just wanted to say in my own defense that I'm not a bad person, I'm just a normal person who observed someone else trying to take my fiancee away, and I felt powerless to stop it.

When I tried to contact you in the past, it wasn't to try to get sympathy or to talk bad about Eve. I was really just reaching out to my friends - to all of my friends - for love, encouragement, and support. I totally understand that you didn't want to get caught up in the drama, and I respect the fact that you remained neutral throughout all of it. You are good people, and I'm glad that we can be still be friends regardless.

In conclusion:
The past is the past, and I'm over it.

Thank you - God bless all of you.
Your friend,

Sunday, November 23, 2008


The last several days have been about re-connecting with friends and family.

Tuesday evening, I went to a Pink Floyd concert with my son, my father, and my best friend/roommate. It was the first time that my son and I have been to a rock concert together, and it was nice to experience that, to do an "adult" thing with him, and have it all be cool. The concert itself was awesome, too. As my friend so aptly put it, calling Australian Pink Floyd a "cover band" would be an insult. They are an homage. They are a note-for-note reproduction of the original, and they put on a truly spectacular show.

Thursday evening, I visited my friend from work. She is currently fighting stage 4 cancer, and she just finished her sixth week of chemotherapy. Needless to say, she's lost some weight, and she's lost some hair, and she was feeling pretty weak. But we had a great conversation, and it turned out to be a really good visit. I'm going to put together a charity auction to help her pay medical bills, so watch for that soon.

Friday evening, I went to the Browncoat Shindig. I talked a good friend of mine into coming with (she's a little timid about these things), but she overcame her fears and had a good time. It was an opportunity for us to catch up on things. She has, to put it lightly, a very complicated love relationship, and she tends to lose herself, to completely give herself away, which is something that I have done in the past. So being able to talk with her was a good start to the evening.

I also took the opportunity to "be honest" with some mutual/neutral friends (a group of people that know both Eve and I; people that weren't part of the concentrated effort to pull her away from me and push her into the arms of another person). I consider these people to be my friends, and it was painful to think that the hornets had not only driven a wedge between Eve and I, but had also talked bad about me to my friends and caused me to lose them as well.

I was happy - so happy - and relieved - when several faces smiled at me warmly, told me that they were still my friends, that they had nothing to do with what happened over the summer, and that they were as surprised as I was. That's really what I needed to hear. {I guess I was giving the hornets too much credit for being able to manipulate people; that they had somehow convinced everyone to stop being friends with me, to stop communicating with me, etc.} It felt good to reconnect those friends again. To let them know that I really value their friendship, and that I am really not a bad person, and to hear them tell me - that they still like me. In the end, there were lots of warm hugs given and received, and I felt good about confronting my fears and letting go of the past - it felt really good, really healthy to do so.

Saturday was Angel's birthday; it was nice to hear that her father is doing much better (he was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, but it sounds like he's beaten it). I spent most of the day working on the house, re-doing the electrical myself, and then went to dinner with a new friend, who I will call Mel. Mel is a good twenty years younger than me, but she's probably one of the most fascinating people I know. She and I talk a lot about metaphysical stuff (energy healing, psychic connections, the law of attraction, etc.). She's recently come to the conclusion that she has fallen in love with her ex-boyfriend, and she needed someone to talk to. We had a great conversation, and ended up talking until 2am, but I wasn't tired in the least. We seem to be on parallel paths; both good people, both in love with other people who aren't emotionally available, both struggling to come to grips with the "why can't I find my true love?" question. She is such a sweet and wonderful person, and find myself wanting to protect her, to keep her from experiencing some of the pain that I've had to go through myself.*

Sunday was a long day. The day before, my friend "Dee" had called out of the blue, saying that she was feeling disconnected from all of her friends, and that she wanted to reconnect with all of them, starting with me. {Dee and I have always been close. Our kids practically grew up together, and both of our sons are about to join the Marine Corps at the same time -- they're going in under the "buddy system", so they can train together and be stationed together.}

Anyway, Dee and her husband, and her son and daughter, joined me and my son for breakfast at 8:00 am ... on a Sunday morning ... downtown. I had my doubts about how it was going to turn out, whether or not I'd have a hard time getting up, or getting my son up, etc. - but it all worked out fine. In fact, it worked out better than fine. After breakfast, we went to see a movie matinee (Twilight*), which is a love story between a vampire and a human. Now, normally, I don't care much for vampires, because there's sort of a long-running rivalry - almost a war - between vampires and werewolves, and I'm a werewolf fan. But this movie focused more on the love relationship, how he sacrificed himself to protect her, etc, and there were a few moments where I was genuinely moved by it. (Dee, being a long-time friend of mine, felt an obligation to mock me for crying during those scenes, but she's earned the right to do so; I'm secure in my masculinity, and I can be moved to tears from time to time, and I'm not ashamed of it in the slightest.)

Afterward, I took both of the boys with me, and we paid a visit to a homeless shelter that I am very fond of. It's run by a group of Catholic nuns, and they still have a picture of Steven, when he was only three years old, hanging on the wall. We went there to donate some food and diapers and other necessities that I bought earlier in the week, and for Steven, it was like a trip down memory lane. (He's really "getting" the whole humility and charity thing, and I'm proud to have a son that genuinely cares about other people and is willing to help out.)

We wrapped up the weekend by watching the new James Bond movie (Quantum of Solace), which was pretty much a direct sequel to the last movie (Casino Royale). It's a perfectly reasonable guy movie, and I enjoyed the combination of having seen a chick-flick earlier in the day, and then a straight-up action movie later in the day. -- Balance is important to me.

So tonight, I feel like I am connected to a larger community of friends. I feel really appreciated for who I am. I feel like I am doing good things, carrying my share of the weight, making a difference, being there to support other people, and feeling supported in return.

I'm sleepy, but I'm happy.
Life is good. I am blessed.
People like me.
I belong.

* I won't go into it in this blog, but I experienced some things this weekend that were probably designed to help me "understand" Mother Hornet, by putting me in her shoes, putting me in a place where I was less judgmental, more understanding of the fact that her original motives were probably good ones; that even though I detest her tactics, I can understand and appreciate her motives. I'm going to continue working on this lesson. As long as I live, I will continue to love and forgive - even Mother Hornet. Because in my book, anger is a sign of unresolved issues, and I don't want unresolved issues. I want to get to the point where I no longer feel angry at what she has done or is doing. I certainly can't change the situation, but I can change how I feel and how I react to it, and I'm too good of a person to be holding on to anger like that. I have to resolve it, let it go, and get on with my life. This is something I have to do for my own well-being, and it's time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thank YOU!

Results from charity work that I've been inolved in recently: raised $35 million nationwide to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Our work at the 9-Cares food bank was "record-shattering" according to 9News:

*** Folks, I can't take any credit for these kinds of results. It comes down to pure generosity on the part of fine people like you. Thank you for being so selfless, especially in times like these when so many families have so little.

We ALL have a lot to be thankful for this year.
May the spirits bless all of you greatly!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pink Floyd

I'm going to a concert tonight - woohoo!
ME - I did something nice for myself! Yaaaay!

I bought tickets for me and my son and my dad and my best friend/roomie. We're going to see "Australian Pink Floyd" at the Paramount.

I've seen their DVD. This band is so much like the real thing, you simply can't tell the difference. They even purchased the props from the original band (like the floating pig and the brick wall!) I am SOOO stoked.

Notice to anyone who has a psychic connection to me (to my emotional state): I will be tripping out on music (not weed) starting approximately 8:00 pm tonight. My intention is to broadcast these feelings on all frequencies to anyone who receives. Please do not attempt to operate heavy machinery or motor vehicles during this time.

Today was one of the best days EVER!

Love you all!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A leaf silently falls

I just got the news. Mike Pope passed away yesterday. It was peaceful - perhaps the first peace he's had in years.

He was one of the bravest, most selfless and giving men I have ever known. He suffered for years, and there was nothing any of us could do about it. But he never complained, and he never stopped. He just kept on giving of himself, even when he knew the end was near. He gave, when others stood by and watched. He gave, when nobody else would.

This is God's joke on humans - the good people suffer, and the scum of the Earth live lavishly. Where is justice? Where is the frakking justice?

Rest now, Mike. Your work here is complete. The rest of us will carry on with the work - we will follow your brave example. But I want you to know, brother in service ... that we're going to miss you.

So there it is.
Another friend gone.

It hurts.


A fellow can't keep people
from having a bad opinion of him,
but he can keep them
from being right about it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Food Drive

It's Satuday, 5:45 am
And I'm leaving in fifteen minutes to work at a food bank.
On my day off.

I'm not just an asshole.
I'm a good guy too, lots of times.
I like to think it balances out.
Darkness and light.

Hurtling through time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

They're Coming Back!

Australian Pink Floyd.
The whole Floyd experience, including flying pigs and laser shows.

I missed thier concert last time.
I'm not going to miss it this time!

I don't care if I have to sell my blood, I'm going, baby!


So - I've been asked to serve on a board of directors (no pay, but lots of publicity). This will be a first for me, and definitely a step in the right direction. It's so interesting, fascinating, that things like this are just coming to me right now. My future is seeking me out, finding me, even though I've done little more than visualize, believe that the right things are happening, and move into it instead of shying away. Have I mentioned that I love this life?

"When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else."

Monday, November 3, 2008

"I wish they would only take me as I am."

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Tonight, I hit a bit of a low spot. I'm a little drunk, a little sad, a little hurt, and more than a little angry. I'm lonely and I'm alone. I feel ugly, inside and out.

You ever notice how the weaker dogs bark loud, and bark often? You ever notice how the stronger dogs wait to growl til they really mean it? Well, the following is a growl. It's my growl. It's a low, rumbling growl, but it's getting louder by the second.

It is especially directed to queen hornet and all of her little drones. I won't deny, it felt good to just say the words. But don't think that I don't mean it (because I do).


Here's a handy recipe for making a friend into an enemy: {Some "friends" I met earlier this year passed this recipe along to me - try it, it really works!}
  1. Judge me from a distance. Don't talk to me directly, talk about me behind my back.
  2. Accuse me of having feelings or motives or issues that you actually have yourself.
  3. Take some good things I've done and retell the story so it makes me sound bad.
  4. Create gatherings. Invite other people that we both know but don't invite me.
  5. Try to get others to join your "side". Form a movement against me.
  6. Pretend to be a good person. Smile to my face. Be friendly in public.

Earlier this year, I held out my hand in friendship. I tried to make the best of a very difficult situation. I was meek and apologetic and striving hard to make peace. I was honest and genuine and open-hearted.

But instead of being my friend, you betrayed me. I tried to share, and you tried to steal. You lied about yourself to my face, and then you lied to others about me. You stabbed at my heart, and when that was no longer effective, you went after those closest to me.

In the past, I really tried to forgive. I am one of the most patient and peaceful people on the planet. I always try to hold my head high and avoid trouble. I walk away whenever I can. In this case, I walked away, multiple times. (I let you win, multiple times.)

Now, I regret to inform you, that you have successfully brought me down to your level. You have made me into your enemy. I didn't want it to be this way, but you insisted.

From this point forward, there is no more patience in me. I'm on a hair-trigger, and I'm very much tuned into your tactics. All you have to do is cross the line once - just once - and I will come at you with a vengeance like you've never seen before.

I am not attacking, but I am FIRMLY standing my ground.
It's your turn to walk away. (I suggest you do so.)

Stay away from me; stay out of my circles. Find someone else to focus on. Find another obsession. If you insist on provoking me, there will be hell to pay. Talk won't fix this any more. Go away, and don't come back.

Leave me and mine alone.
You have been warned.
The clock is ticking.

p.s. Number one way to ensure that I can't trust you: Lie to me. Repeatedly. (Assume that I'm just too dumb to know better.)