Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Van Camping remembered

I have a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan that has been a wonderful vehicle for over 100,000 miles. It has the flip down Stow-N-Go seats that fold flat in the back to create a huge sleeping area. We put a couple of Thermarest mattresses down and then a full double size 2 inch memory foam mattress topper over the pads. It is more comfortable than our regular bed, and very cozy. There is still plenty of room in the back area for a very large cooler and multiple duffle bags. There is a Thule roof box on top for more equipment storage. I covered the windows with black fabric stuck to the windows with sticky Velcro.Throw on a bicycle rack on the back, and we were set for multiple week-long vacations.  Seriously. We didn’t need to re-stock food or supplies for weeks on end.

Camped in the middle of the woods on old forest service roads was our favorite escape, but we could also sleep in any urban area that had on-street parking. It is a great stealth vehicle for sleeping anywhere.  Although we sometimes slept in a Walmart parking lot, we rarely felt the need.

To be honest, the only thing that would drive us back to civilization was the urge for an indulgent shower using way too much water than was necessary. We had the standard camp shower bags so it wasn’t like we were dirty, it was just the perceived notion that it was somehow a “better” shower than the ones we took in the woods.

And food? We actually ate better on the road than we did at home. We found ourselves eating more fresh fruit and veggies. More grains and rice cooked in the campfire kettle in stews.
I have had an electrical problem with the minivan for the last six months. The running lights and fog lights stay on for 30 minutes after the engine is turned off. The battery gets drained and I have to jump start the vehicle. I have removed the bulbs from the fog lights,  tuned off all the inside dome lights, turned off the dash lights except when the vehicle is on… and the battery still drains down and leaves me stuck in inopportune moments.

This morning, the battery was dead again. I was already running late for work, and now I had to take public transit. I made it into work only 1 hour late. I will need to leave an hour early today to get it into the shop. I’ve had it looked at by two different shops now. Neither could find the solution to the electrical problem. We will try again.
And if we can’t find a permanent solution to the problem, I may just trade it in for another vehicle. And there is the dilemma. My first thought is to get a smaller fuel efficient vehicle like the Toyota Prius. The back area folds down, and in a pinch, I could sleep in the back, but with very little room, and probably not with company. 

Or I could go the other way, and find a Dodge Sprinter Van and create a wonderful weekend warrior escape vehicle.

This would be my daily driver car though, and driving 15 miles each way to work is a significant expense.

No need for me to stress too much though, as I am hopeful we can get the problem fixed in the mini-van.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Be true to your school and Respect Yourself

These are just plain old darn busy days lately.  The workload will continue to increase through the end of the year. No complaints, just trying to adjust to the different pace.

And while things are still going on in my personal life, I seem to have lost the oomph to continue to write about it. I’m sure it will come back though. Part of the problem may be the recent urge to actually learn to write properly and have something worthwhile to say. I read some fantastic blogs  that are so thoughtful and insightful, they give me pause to think about all the wonders of life…..and then I read one of my scattershot blurbs ……

Thanksgiving really was a wonderful time with probably 75 people rolling through the house over 5 days.  I felt a part of the clan for the first time. That feeling of finally belonging would probably be laughed at by the clan, as it has been over 2 years I have been able to hang around them. They accepted me long ago and I have finally allowed their acceptance. My homework is to now expand that feeling, and continue to reach out to them individually and as a group. I have never actively fostered my friendships before, and it is time to start.

Dinner with B.D. last night was really good. I stayed a bit too late, but it was well worth it. Good conversation and re-statement of keeping things light.  I also have noticed some of my hesitation with her is my own feelings of inadequacy. She is so smart and serious, and I can be so upbeat and frivolous that I don’t want to end up sounding stupid. Ugh! That is just my own crappy thinking. She is most likely enjoying my company precisely because I am so upbeat and frivolous. She is surrounded by smart and serious brainiacs all day long and lightness is probably what she enjoys about our dinners. If I am not being myself when I am around her, I am lying to both of us.


Getting a massage tonight! Maybe put myself to sleep early!  I have been going to the same massage therapist for over 5 years. My wife also went to her. She is like a second shrink for me. I am very vocal on the table, and I tend to just let everything spew out as it enters my brain.  I am hoping to return the favor after all of these years. She just willingly left a long-term relationship as her partner wanted children and she does not. The guy was ok with this for the first few years, but he really would not feel complete without offspring. It has been a problem topic for a few years, so she moved out of their  house they bought together, and is now living in a small apartment. 
Marla Staples 

The Staple Singers Respect Yourself Live Filmed Performance 1972

 The Beach Boys - Be True to Your School

Monday, November 28, 2011


My head is pounding, and way too busy to write anything today, but I don’t want to start skipping days.

Thanksgiving with my new adopted clan was absolutely amazing, it enforced my resolve to let some friendships go, so that I can strengthen others that are healthier. 

Having dinner with B.D. tonight, and I am going to try to solidify our earlier talk of keeping things light. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

You Dropped the Bomb On Me

I feel like the biggest Beavis and Butthead in the world today. 

Last Saturday night I went to a dinner party hosted by a close friend and I crossed a line. Long story short, I hurt her feelings and she sent me a scathing email yesterday lambasting me. What had started out as good-natured ribbing turned ugly at the end of the night. This is from a woman who admits she loves to repeatedly poke at people to try and push buttons. And then poke again. The story is a bit deeper, as we actually dated for a few years back in the 90’s and we had a volatile history.

This was the same dinner party that H.S. attended and we had such a good time at. I had invited her to the huge Thanksgiving weekend party and she seemed eager to go. Yesterday brought an email politely declining the invite.

And then I had dinner last night with the woman I dated for 6 months about 2 years after my wife died. We are trying to be friends, as we still really like each other. And admittedly, the reason we are not together is my doing. She is just too familiar to me. She resembles my late wife in too many ways and that creeps my brain out. So as we were both acknowledging the difficulty of trying to maintain a friendship, we part ways at the end of the night with her literally telling me to “Pull my head out of my ass” as to whether we should either be in a relationship or completely fall out of each other’s lives and let the friendship go.


So what does all this mean? I know I have been struggling with who to keep in my life lately. Some friends that I hang out with are friends just because of time and history, not out of actual emotional connections. Or at least I tell myself that. Since my wife died, I don’t seem to know how to connect emotionally to anyone anymore.  And if people start to get too close, I push away. Maybe I’m still not ready to enter real life.

My brain is acting like a junior high school spazmatic.


This is the last post for a while. I will be out of town for the thanksgiving holiday. 
Hank Snow - Let me go Lover
You Dropped the Bomb On Me- The Gap Band

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Raincoats and the Not Ready For Prime Time Players

For Thanksgiving the last two years, I have gone to the home of my mentor along with about 100+ other people. My mentor has an acre lot on a river with a large home. People come from all over the world and we sleep on the floor, in cars, in tents… anywhere we can find space. People wander in and out over the course of a 5 day period. Live music, good food, reconnection, and community strengthen our little clan. I feel very blessed to be part of it.

I have invited H.S. to come along, as I think she would really thrive in this setting. I sent her some more information yesterday but have not heard back from her. She might have decided not to go after all, but it would be nice for her to let me know either way.
Dinner with B.D. last night was interesting. I had thought it was rather out of character for her to want to see me so quickly after our last encounter on Friday night. Seems she had gone to her doctor for a regular checkup, and had inquired about reproduction health. Without going into too much detail, B.D. needed to make a decision whether to start taking The Pill this month or next.

So we had another talk.

We are still both on the same page that this dating thing is great, but that word “Relationship” and all that word entails is not something either of us can handle.

I’m not sure what all that means, but I do feel better about it. The funny thing is, we technically haven’t had the need for this, but even if things progress in that we do need it, we (I) would still be using the old standby prophylactic Jimmy Hat.  Yeah, Too much information.
And to make my dating situation even more absurd, I am having dinner tonight with the woman I dated 6 months ago that resembled my wife…. I have no idea what I am doing having dinner with her.
Roxy Music- Bryan Ferry - Love is the drug I was thinking of

Monday, November 21, 2011

Crazy Train at the Isherwood pad

Wild weekend.

B.D. came over Friday night and we had some great Sushi for dinner. Walked back to the apartment and didn’t come up for air until Saturday morning, when she left for her Graduate Studies conference. I spent Saturday afternoon with my mentor shopping at the local farmers market/craft booths.  A dinner party event that night found me sitting next to the 28-year old hottie ( I need to name her for this blog…. how about H.S. for Hot Stuff ?) and again we had an incredibly good time, with easy laughter and quick banter. A stark contrast with B.D’s seriousness.

Sunday was  a fun afternoon birthday party for a new friend and then the dinner group for young widows and widowers in the evening.  For the first time in months, there were no newcomers to the dinner group this time around.  I chose not to try and “lead” the group as I usually do. It was a challenge for me. I didn’t start off the dinner with introductions like normal, and nobody else suggested we do it. I usually let the normal banter go on until we order drinks and appetizers, and then I start talking about broad grief topics to bring us talking about issues relevant to widows and widowers. I chose to keep relatively quiet throughout the dinner and only participate in conversations that other people bring up.  Not so surprisingly, we talked about all kinds of topics, but nothing a normal dinner group wouldn’t bring up. I was watching the two newest members (only their second dinner, and they both sat near me last time) and I could see they weren’t as engaged with the group as last time. The dinner even ended about 30 minutes earlier than normal.There was zero talk that was relevant to the subject of the group.   This gave me all the more reason to stop going to these dinners. I have become the catalyst (at least in my eyes) to start the conversations toward the touchy-feely topics of death and widowhood. I am trying to move forward with my life, and having to almost force myself to bring up grief topics that I no longer am feeling naturally seems counterintuitive to my path.

Having dinner with B.D tonight, and there is some potentially exciting news with H.S. for the thanksgiving weekend that I will post about tomorrow.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Drafty, with a chance for warmth

My new apartment is in a wonderful location, with great old built-ins and full of character. It also is drafty with poor plumbing and wiring. This morning I tripped the circuit breaker by using a hair dryer when the space heater decided to kick on. Great. I fumbled for a flashlight, threw on some clothes and walked ….outside… to the basement side door to reset the breaker. It was only 36 degrees outside…..

This is all great news though. It will force me to be active in looking for a place of my own. I won’t be complacent in mediocrity like my last apartment.  This will force me to look at what I really want in a home. Previously I was looking for someplace big enough to have two roommates help pay for a huge mortgage and maybe generate a little income. My new thoughts are to go very small with a minimal mortgage and keep the space just for myself with no roommates. This would also leave a bit of a nest egg of funds. With any luck, the space would have room to park a van or RV for future travels.
B.D. is coming over tonight, and will probably stay until Saturday morning, when she needs to leave for an out-of-town trip. It will be interesting to see what my brain does. This is a new living space with no memories (except for the bed itself, with brand new sheets and mattress pad!) and we have no plans for the night…

I’m glad that she has to leave early though, as tomorrow is my only day to clean the old apartment. I hope to be completely out, and hand over the keys.  Should be easy as everything is out of the place and I just need to clean and scrub. I don’t know why I’m working so hard on it, as I seriously doubt the landlord will give me back my cleaning deposit anyway.
I see my shrink today, and she will be happy to hear that I have a date with B.D tonight, but I will also be attending a dinner party Saturday night with the 28 year-old hottie, and then on Tuesday I have plans to have dinner with the woman I dated for 6 months that reminded me way too much of my wife. My shrink is encouraging me to see other people in social settings. Not necessarily a dating setting, but just getting myself out there talking with women that are desirable. I suppose she is trying to get my self –esteem back up to previous levels.

Sunday is an early afternoon 40th Birthday party for one of my hiking partners.  This should be fun. She is a naturopathic doctor and the afternoon should be filled with interesting people. The late afternoon finds me once again going to the monthly young widows/widowers group. I told myself I was going to skip this month, but they went and scheduled it for a restaurant within walking distance of the new apartment.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy Birthday!

My company took me out for a birthday lunch today.  Since I got to pick the place, I chose an East Indian restaurant. This was not well received by anyone in my department. There are 14 people in my department and there was maybe 2 other people that had even tried Indian food in the past. I made it easy for them, and picked an all-you-can-eat buffet style restaurant so they didn’t have to decipher a menu. It was quite fun watching my coworkers ooh and ahh over the “strange” food.  In the end, everyone liked it, and they all went back for a second round at the buffet. Success!  We usually go to big chain restaurants filled with overpriced tasteless food. It was nice to shake things up a bit and get them to expand some taste buds.  And the small, local, family-owned business was very appreciative of our patronage.

Altered Images Happy Birthday Clare Grogan

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Missing She & Him

Some days are easier than others.

There is absolutely no reason why the darkness settled down on me last night.

Yesterday was a roller coaster in the housing department. There is a Short Sale home I have been looking at for over 8 months that I am in second position for. The banks finally agreed to sell at a set price, and the buyer in first position indicated he no longer wanted it. My realtor pounced and we gathered up the appropriate paperwork and sent it in. At the eleventh hour, the first buyer changed his mind and decided to purchase the property a scant hour before the deadline.  Frustration.

Went home to a freezing cold apartment with drafty 100 year old windows and promptly started popping the circuit breakers when I turned on some space heaters. Apparently every outlet and every light switch is on one line. Wonderful. There is very little water pressure in the house, so the shower just barely gives out enough water to rinse my hair. The bathroom sink U-pipe is almost completely plugged.  I love my new apartment.

But I am able to walk just a few blocks to a wonderfully vibrant street filled with activities. I met some friends for Happy Hour drinks and the bar was sponsoring a “Trivia Night” so we joined in and held our own and came in 4th place.

Maybe it was the two whiskey drinks, but as I walked home the grief started to settle down on me. I crawled into bed and wept. My life used to be so simple and filled with constant joy with tenderness and love.  Now, I don’t see the need to try and heat the apartment just for myself. The blocked drain is fine, it’s only me using it. Heck, even the shower isn’t a big deal since I don’t really need to be that clean for anyone. Why unpack everything? …………….I need to break out of this dip of negative emotion and get myself positive again!

Tonight I will start the final cleaning up the old apartment for an hour or so, and then I should get myself to the Wednesday night Hippie Dance. Push my body and sweat it out.
She & Him are Zooey Deschanel & M. Ward

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

You may be wrong but you may be right.

Well, I knew it wouldn't last. A number of subscribers have left my little blogging world in the last 24 hours. I wonder if it was the tiny bit of religious talk in yesterday’s post?  Most likely it was just my boring ramblings!  
My mother’s husband is out of the hospital, and doing ok. I didn’t ask for any particulars.  I had called her earlier and left a message and when she called back, I was out walking with B.D. on our way to dinner.  Dinner was great, and the conversation is starting to pick up and flow a little easier now.  B.D. is really quite a charming woman.  I am going to continue seeing her and push all my previous reservations aside.

There have been a few personal internal revelations that have brought me to this decision.  I have recently gotten back in contact with a few women I dated years ago before met my wife. These women were all incredibly energetic beyond the average of the bell curve. They are all successful in their own right, with a tenacious driving force that bowls over any and all obstacles. They are also outwardly focused, with precious few moments of self-reflection on how their actions interact with others. Their partners are usually hanging on for the exciting roller coaster ride for as long as they can. This pattern of being attracted to this type of woman has not served me well in the past.  It was just dumb luck that I stumbled into the path of my wife. My wife was focused, and driven, but with the knowledge of a potentially short life span, she was also very introspective and interested in how others interact. Active and spontaneous, but able to make a “to-do” list of intertwining difficult situations.

So my struggle with B.D. is mostly that she is not this hyper-active bundle of unrestrained chaos. Crazy, eh? She is downright normal in her ebb and flow of energy.  I am going to go forward with this. I will be the energetic one in this endeavor. I owe it to myself to explore this.
And yes, You may be right, I may be crazy, but it might just be a lunatic B.D. is looking for.

Billy Joel -Glass Houses- You May Be Right

Monday, November 14, 2011

Peace, Love, and Understanding

What a long strange weekend.

I took Friday off work and spent the day moving load after load of items from the old apartment to the new apartment. It felt great. A positive move all around. I even had a session with my shrink in the afternoon. My shrink psychologist and I don’t spend as much time talking about my late wife nowadays. We mostly talk about other stuff. The stuff I’ve been carrying around my entire life. Things I don’t really like about myself.

I find it rather sad that this openness I have towards looking inward to myself has only become possible through the death of my wife.  I have guilty thoughts of not being this communicative and open when my wife was alive. I try to keep those thoughts to a minimum though.

After my shrink session, I had dinner with B.D. at her place.  She is opening up more and laughing frequently. I am really enjoying her company.  I also like that she is insanely busy so it keeps a bit of distance between us.  Things progressed after dinner and I stayed the night. A nice breakfast at a local café and I was back to the task of moving belongings. I was still a bit unsure and freaked out about staying over, but seem to be warming up to the idea.

Some friends arrived at 10:00 am to help move all the big stuff. We only needed two trips to move everything. The new apartment has a steep stairwell with a tight 90 degree landing at the top. Everything was able to get squeezed in with minimal damage, but some of the nicer furniture pieces have some pretty ugly markings now. No complaints though, as I can hopefully buff it out. As the great poet Jeff Spicoli once said, “My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it.”
Got a call from my brother on Saturday night. Seems my mother’s new husband is in the hospital again. He is working on the 5th of his 9 lives, so I didn’t head to the hospital. They were taking him out of the emergency room and into ICU.  I have mixed feeling about this guy. He was my father's fishing buddy. Mom decided after 40 years of marriage that this dirt poor guy 20 years her senior and already 2 major hospitalizations into it, that he could provide more that she was currently getting. The guy is no catch. His emotional connectedness to reality is non-existent. He is really strong in his faith, to the point of being overly literal with his particular style of a bible. Hard core conservative values that are completely different than the values my mother instilled in me. My mother has now adopted all of his beliefs and is no longer recognizable as the person that raised me.  The universe provides though… the last time he was in the hospital his nurse was a young black woman.  She was attentive and encouraging and genuinely compassionate towards both him and my mother. On the last day when they discharged him, they both questioned this young black woman to see if she knew the way to Jesus. She politely let them know that she too, was very strong in her faith. She let them know she was Muslim, and a follower of the Islamic religion. So my shrink has plenty of grist for the mill with my relationship with my mother.

I have no qualms with anyone’s personal beliefs, only when those beliefs become bedrock for hatred.  When a religious belief can justify mass killings, directly against a straightforward commandment like “Thou Shalt Not Kill” is it wrong that I question?

Dad, on the other hand, has remarried to a fun and free-spirited hippie mamma and he is actually happier in this new marriage.
(What's So Funny 'Bout) PeaceLove, and Understanding  Elvis Costello & The Attractions

Thursday, November 10, 2011

C'est la vie

Again I am humbled by the recent uptick in readers. Thank you.
As I pack up my belongings to move to the new apartment, I realize how much “stuff” I have that I never use. This draws me back to the dream of scaling down to the bare essentials and moving into an RV or Van. Have I abandoned this dream? I hope not. Perhaps my goal for the next several months is to put out a “free box” on the corner every week. I live in the type of inner urban area that “free boxes” are a common sight.
Perhaps I could take note of the 100 Thing Challenge  and try to get myself down to maybe 500 things first. I wonder how many items the typical Van or RV fulltimer owns?  How do you count a “Thing” anyway? Would a bed count as one? Or does it count as multiple items with the mattress, box spring, headboard, rails, etc……  bah,  why get hung up on the details! I’ll count it as one and move on!

I purged once before, about a year ago when I sold the house in the suburbs but that was with a different mindset. I was pushing through the darkness trying to force myself into a healthier space. This time around, it would be with a much clearer head. Besides, I kept some of the oddest things that my wife used.  I don’t know why I thought they were important to keep back then. Things like 3 different sets of table cloth settings, multiple plastic baskets she had in the bathroom drawers, kitchen utensils I don’t even know how to use… the list goes on. I don’t need to carry these things around. There isn’t any attachment to them.
So I’m taking tomorrow off work to pack up, and Saturday I have friends helping me move the big stuff. Hopefully I can get everything out of the old apartment by Sunday and then spend the day deep cleaning. Should be fun.
B.D. has invited me to dinner at her place Friday night. I’m a bit apprehensive as there might be some pressure to stay over, and I am not sure I have the willpower to say no. I miss being touched. I don’t mean sex, I mean touch. A gentle hand on my shoulder, an arm around my waist. The quietness of tenderness.  I fear that my physical attentiveness will be misinterpreted as emotional connection. We have had several “talks” and I think we are both on the same page, but this new interaction puts a twist on it. I suppose it is time to re-state our positions over dinner, before we tumble into dessert.

Jacques Dutronc ET MOI, ET MOI, ET MOI  60's French 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just a mellow day

My in-laws are unexpectedly coming to visit tomorrow. I am so thankful for them. This visit gives me time to once again bring up the topic of a memorial stone or ceremony to spread my wife’s ashes. More closure for all of us.

The move to the new apartment is starting to freak me out. I’m taking Friday off work (so no blog post) to really get the packing in gear. I have some friends scheduled to help on Saturday with the heavy stuff.

My Grandfathers birthday last night was very nice, although I once again started talking politics with my cousins. It amazes me that some people don’t see anything wrong with corporations and people pumping huge amounts of money into politics. I don’t care what side of the political spectrum you are on, nobody should be able to buy political policy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

But all i got is a photograph

I started moving some framed pictures, photo albums, and other mementos into the new apartment last night. I was making good time packing things away until I got to our wedding photo album. It seems like a lifetime ago, and a bit surreal as if those wonderful times were really just a dream and never happened.  The reality of life came crushing back as I picked up the urn containing her ashes. That darkness from the early days came rushing back as I sat on the floor staring at most of what was physically left of my marriage.  A few photo albums, several CD’s filled with travel photos, some paperwork, and a box with her name on it.

I gathered myself up off the floor and continued on. I got the items packed into the car and drove down the street with tears still in my eyes. One grows accustomed to driving with watery eyes after a few years.  As I carried my wife’s ashes up the stairs to the new apartment, I was reminded of my intention to have some type of memorial created for my wife’s birthday in the spring.

Ev'ry time I see your face,
It reminds me of the places we used to go.
But all I've got is a photograph,
And I realise you're not coming back anymore.
I can't get used to living here,
While my heart is broke, my tears I cried for you.
I want you here to have and hold,
As the years go by and we grow old and grey

Ringo Starr - Photograph - co-written by that other Beatles guy George Harrison

Monday, November 7, 2011

Naked Emotions & Raw Yearning

I left my quiet little blog on Friday afternoon and returned today to find some incredibly kind words from Teresa Evangeline.  I have been following Teresa for a short time, and have grown to admire her insightful and thoughtful posts. She’s a great writer.  Her writings flow smoothly and gracefully over a large pendulum of topics. 

I am humbled that people have been taking the time to read my scattershot crazy ramblings. Thank You.
We are all stumbling through life and it is nice to know that we are not alone, and that there are some people with sturdier footing that we can lean on every once in a while.


I painted the bedroom in the new apartment on Saturday. It looks great. The room is bright and cheery. I picked a gray with a very slight tint of blue and once I put up some artwork on the walls, it should be a very welcoming space.
I also made a few more trips with the minivan, bringing over more items. The poor minivan has had an electrical problem for months now. The running lights, interior lights, and fog lights all stay on for up to 30 minutes after the engine is turned off, or the doors are opened. Since the doors were being opened and closed all day long, the battery went dead. Great. I finally got a jump and drove it back to my old apartment and parked it for the night.
I went out with some friends that night and since I wasn’t driving, I had a few more Adult Beverages than necessary. Between the hangover, the time change, and the potential for a dead battery on the minivan, I really didn’t want to get out of bed. Imagine my surprise when I finally motivated and got myself up and tried to start the car. It turned over on the first time and seemed happy. I went ahead and disconnected the fog lights, hoping not to repeat the dead battery.

B.D. came over to the new apartment on Sunday night, and we walked the 3 blocks to a really nice dinner (braised pork, greens gratin, and mashed taters). I actually heard a few belly laughs from her!  She is still quiet, but that is not for a lack of brain activity. She is super smart, and sometimes I wonder if she is trying to bring it down a notch to communicate with me.

We ended up back at my new apartment and things got a little hot and heavy. My mind was racing with crazy thoughts of my late wife. My heart was screaming “Stop!, you are being unfaithful!” and my brain was trying to calm myself down with “ You are just moving forward”. My body didn’t know what to do and chose not to respond.

And that’s ok. In fact, it’s best that things were kept light and breezy.


I am now in a mad rush to empty out the old apartment. I have friends coming over Saturday to help move the big stuff. I want to have everything out before then. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Satisfied Mind

Did some Karaoke last night. Only sang two songs, neither were fun, nor  did I sing them very well.

I really like the song “A Satisfied Mind” by Red Foley. The karaoke bar had a version by Porter Wagoner that was a bit slower and rather boring. It was a real groaner for the audience.

My second song was “Photograph” by Ringo Starr. Upbeat song tempo, depressing lyrics. My friends were looking at me curiously as I sang this, looking for deeper meaning from me as a widower. There wasn’t any deeper meaning, I just like to sing new songs but this one didn’t translate well into karaoke and it was the second groaner of the night.

I took some tchotchke’s  to the new apartment last night. My first load of many.
The carpets were cleaned and there is way too much moisture in the house now. I tried to open some windows to let the moisture out but none of the windows would open. The house was painted a few weeks ago, and every single window has been painted shut on the outside. Joy. I was finally able to open one small window. The landlord says she will get the windows opened soon.

Tonight I will be hitting the Paint store for some supplies.

I plan to get the room ready to paint tonight, with painting on Saturday and dancing that evening with some friends. I think we are going to an 80’s night. Sunday will have me moving more items and then a date with B.D. in the evening. Maybe I should bring my camping bed over  and set it up in the front room….

Once again, as my activity level remains high, my mental outlook remains positive. My self-esteem seems to be slowly creeping upwards as well. I am encouraged with this move. More closure and one more step towards living life again. 
I feel satisfied right now.
Porter Wagoner- A satisfied mind - grand ole opry

Thursday, November 3, 2011

All Meat and no potatoes.

I finally dragged myself to a yoga class last night. It felt GREAT. Yoga is such a wonderful way for me to keep in shape. If I could do yoga twice a week, and do Hippie Dance Church twice a week, I would be much healthier, in both mind and spirit. But who has the time for that? Motivation kicks in and I will stick with a schedule for a month, but then something will throw me off, and I won’t get back into the groove.
Stick-to-it-ness…. Definitely lacking in my life.  I must look inward with that.

After yoga, I had dinner with a group of guys. We ate meat. Lots of it. Way too much of it. We started with Ohama Pork and ended with Tenderloin. On the BBQ. In the rain. With beer.  

I don’t eat much pork or red meat anymore. I eat chicken once or twice a week still.  Not out of any religious or ethical reasons, but rather the boring financial one. It’s just seems cheaper for me to eat more veggies. And Quinoa.  I eat a lot of quinoa. Every other day it seems. Lentils seem to be creeping into my diet more often lately also.

So I have the keys to the apartment. The carpet was cleaned and looks great. The windows have arrived and need to be installed. I’m only going to re-paint one room. I told the landlord I won’t be doing any repair work on the walls, just painting them. I won’t paint the trim though. I need to get my butt in gear in moving my stuff. If I paint this weekend, that only leaves two weekends before the Thanksgiving holiday and I want to be completely in by then. I can do it. Overcome Procrastination! 

And to balance out the carnage of meat, here is The Smiths telling me how horrible I am.

The Smiths- Meat is Murder- Steven Patrick Morrissey

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

In My Room

Looked at my new apartment today. The carpets have not been cleaned, and the promised new front windows have not been replaced. The windowpanes are barely connected in these windows, with wind flowing freely inside. The landlord also indicated she wasn’t going to paint the walls. Now that the previous tenant has removed all their paintings and posters, the walls look terrible. I will slap some paint on the pink bedroom, and cover the beige in the front room. I will probably pick a neutral grey to match the white trim.

I’m a bit freaked out that I need to get her to do these repairs while the apartment is empty, and also get myself moved from my current apartment by the end of the month. And there is a holiday in there as well.

On the bright side, there is a beautiful view across the city to the hills from my new front windows. There is ample closet space, and an actual kitchen.  The place has old electric wall heaters, so I will research space heaters to supplement the warmth.

I will need to consciously restrict my social activities this month! And I just got a text from my buddy who wants to hit a yoga class tonight with me. Must Have Willpower To Say No… starting next week J
Yaz / Yazoo Upstairs at Eric's - In My Room

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My people were fair and had sky in their hair... but now they're content to wear stars on their brows

What a long weekend.
Home in bed Friday night by 9:00 PM! Saturday and Sunday was a whirlwind Halloween parties, and Monday was insanity at my workplace.

Funny, as I sit here trying to think of what to write, the urge to forget it all, and shut down this blog is really strong.  I blame it on a really late night and a 5:00 AM alarm.  I’ll try to come back to this later today.

+++ later:

Halloween weekend was fun. Saturday night party saw me with a horrible gold lamé coat making me look like a Glam Rock Marc Bolan cast-off. Much fun was had. Sunday was filled with pumpkin carving and pizza at an afternoon party.  Monday was a really busy day with Halloween activities at work.

My company pretty much shuts down for the Halloween festivities. The place goes whole hog crazy with decorations and costumes and skits. Work basically ends around 10:00 am and we all wander the building looking at each department’s handiwork. And then we all go off-site around 2:00 for more fun and food, until about 6:00 pm. Crazy.

+++ and later still:

When it rains, it pours. Had a check-in conversation with B.D last night and we are going to continue seeing each other, also this weekend the 28-year old emailed me and wants to hang out next week, and the woman I had a 6 month relationship with last year contacted me, and I think we will have dinner in my new apartment in a few weeks. This dating stuff really sucks. Are my expectations too high? Am I comparing these women to an elevated and blurred vision of my late wife?   

I saw pictures of myself this weekend, and horrified at how my middle aged body looks. I’m overweight. Most people would call me the new “normal” body shape, but at 5’8” and 170 lbs I am not happy. But laziness and procrastination keep me from doing anything about it. 
T Rex Marc Bolan Bang a Gong Get it On