My Dad

It’s funny when you realize you finally have the relationship with your Dad that you always wanted. I’ve had some family issues going on with my Mom, which is nothing new, so I stopped by my Dad’s house on the way home, for the simple reason that I didn’t want to go home. Two hours later it hit me that this is the way I’ve always wanted it to be.

I don’t remember a lot about my Dad as a kid. It could that my memories have faded over time, or it could be that we just didn’t do a lot together. The family pictures I have say that we actually did do a lot together, but I just don’t remember much of it. When my folks divorced in 1975, Dad moved to the West Coast and from then on I only saw him once a year.

My stepmom and he moved here when I was 32 and I thought it was really cool. For the first time in a long time, I could actually see my Dad whenever I wanted. Hell, they lived close enough for me to walk over there. Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well. Dad was busy trying to get his business started and I was busy working, plus he ended up costing me a few hundred dollars when one business tanked. For the next 10 years, we got closer, but it was hard because all of sudden my Dad wanted to be a parent, and I felt I didn’t need one. I’d done fairly well for myself without him and resented him when he tried to give me advice. I also had a lot of anger from the divorce and other crap that happened over the years.

Over time, though, things started to get better. I think it was that as I got older, I realized that he was also getting older. I’d never noticed it before, but when I did, it hit me that Dad’s not going to be here forever so I can either let the old crap go or just keep hanging on to it. I decided to let go and am glad I did.

We’ve had some great times over the last 4 or 5 years, but something about today really stood out. It might have been that he just let me talk and get the toxic crap out of my system. It might have been when he said that we talk about stuff that neither of us has shared with others. It might have been the hug we had right before I left. Or it might have been that I finally realized my Dad was the Dad I’d wanted him to be all along.

Slowly going crazy

Eight months ago my mom moved here from Florida. I had lived away from her for almost 25 years and I’ll admit that it was on purpose. To say that it’s been an unpleasant time is putting it mildly and I don’t really know how much of this I can take.

I’ve told her time and again that I cannot and will not be her caretaker. I’ve tried to establish boundaries about what I will and won’t do, but those are just ignored. The retirement place where she lives has transportation to the doctor, grocery store, drugstore, but she refuses to use it for anything but the doctor. I said I wasn’t going to pick up her meds from the store, but ended up doing it. Now she calls me whenever she has a prescription that needs to be picked up. When I said I wasn’t going over to her place to open the flowers my brother sent for Mother’s Day, she said, “then I guess they’ll die”. That’s the kind of stuff I deal with. She’s even gone as far to tell all of her friends that moving her here was a ploy so I wouldn’t have to travel to Florida if she got sick.

When she was in the hospital for two weeks she was diagnosed with acute anxiety attacks and given medication, which worked while she was in the hospital. Today she left a voicemail saying she’d already taken several Xanax, something else, and felt like taking the rest. Since I didn’t answer, she called my Dad and Stepmom and told them the same thing. Fortunately, my Dad got the phone and laid out her options…assisted living, moving back to Florida, or counseling. Problem is, this has been suggested over and over and over, but she does nothing to help herself.

The bottom line is it is driving me crazy. I started taking anxiety meds, I lost weight while she was in the hospital because of stress (she told me congrats on the weight loss), and I constantly have conversations with her in my head about her issues. I cannot keep going around and around and around with her. She does nothing to help herself, yet expects the rest of us to deal with her and her issues. Nothing I do is good enough. Of the 100 things I do for her, she remembers the one I didn’t do. I’m just not wired to put up with this kind of crap and don’t know where to turn.

Day 19

Met with a trainer last Thursday and was sore until Monday morning. Worked legs (squats), some arms, and some cardio. This was supposed to be an evaluation and it told me what I already knew…I’m seriously out of shape.

Today I met the trainer that’s been assigned to me. His name is Mike. He’s positive, upbeat, and a motivator. These are the 3 qualities I hate in someone who is already in shape. He had me do more squats but this time he gave me a 10 pound weight to hold. My question to you, Dear Reader, is this: I’m out of shape at 230 pounds. Why the frik would you give me another 10 lbs to squat?? He also had me do walking lunges with a 10 pound weight in each hand (again, WTF?). And then we did even more leg work. Did I mention we did a lot of leg work?

Now I have a confession to make Dear Reader. I, uh, am typing this while on the toilet at work. I tell you this so you’ll know where to send the search party when I don’t show up at home tonight or at my desk in the morning. Did I mention the leg work??

Day 5

Days 2 through 4 kinda sucked. I did well with the food part, but got sick and didn’t work out and had to reschedule with the trainer. Um…oh yeah…forgot about the Blizzard I had Saturday night.  Other than that, I did well.  I need to start tracking it better and there’s an app for that.

Rescheduled with the trainer for next week since I should be over my cold/sinus crap by then.  Boring update, I know…it’ll get better.

Day 1

I’ve officially given up soft drinks and will stick with unsweet tea and water…and coffee…with sugar. Sorry, but I don’t like it black and hate artificial sweeteners of any kind.  And yes, I’ve tried enough of them to know. For some reason, I can taste them, even if they’re cooked into the food. If I can’t taste it right away, an hour later my tongue tastes like someone took a dum…uh…let’s just say they leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Was supposed to meet the trainer today but he had to reschedule until tomorrow. I kept coming up with reasons to cancel but I never went through with them and as soon as he said he had to reschedule I asked for tomorrow after work. Ended up coming home, checked in with the homies on Facebook, then cooked dinner. I’m going to follow the Paleo stuff as closely as possible so dinner tonight was sliced flank steak stir-fried with mushrooms, carrots, bok-choy, water chestnuts, baby corn, and broccoli. Made enough to have it tomorrow when I get home from the gym. Dessert was a plum.

Tomorrow I begin taking the stairs at work.  It’s only two flights, but it’s better than nothing.

Now it’s off to bed…well, reading and then bed.  Y’all be cool.

Numbers don’t lie

So, it’s been a while and I have some interesting news.  My company had a health screening last week so I went and guess what?  I have enough triglycerides for 4 people.  Nice, huh?  Funny thing is I’m not surprised.  The rest of my numbers weren’t great so it appears that I’ve gotten what I wanted…a wake up call.

Usually, stuff like this doesn’t bother me, but this time it does.  I guess I finally realized that unless I do something about it, my health is not going to magically get better.  If you’ve read this thing for any length of time, you’ll know this is my standard line…time to do something about it.  The difference is I’ve not been scared before, but I am now.  To say I was floored when I saw the number is an understatement. I was shocked….literally shocked, to quote Joe Biden.  Long time readers will also know that I’ve done enough reading on weight loss and working out that I could probably write my own book.  And they’ll also know that my “give a shitter” is in a perpetual state of not giving a shit.  Well…apparently fear is a great motivator.

I used to believe in coincidences, but not any more.  I believe things happen for a reason.  Last week, I got shitty numbers and today I got a call from a trainer at the gym I belong to…well “belong” may not be the right word. “Belong” would indicate that I actually go to where I pay money…in this case, I just pay the money.  So anyway, I get a call and it turns out to be a new trainer at the gym who actually said, “Yeah, since I’m the new guy, I get stuck with a lot of calls like this”…it made me laugh. Most trainers I’ve dealt with couldn’t give a shit because I didn’t have a rack. Well, I had moobs, but they don’t really count.  When I told Matt that I’d have to work out for 6 months just to get back to “out of shape” he laughed.  I’m going to see him tomorrow at 5:30pm. As I said, I don’t believe in coincidence.

I don’t really know what’s going to happen but I’ve got to get my head wrapped around the fact that I’m way too fat, way too out of shape, and if I don’t do something soon, I could be way too out of life.  And I’ll tell you one other thing that got me to thinking. When I was in Colorado my brother put his arm around me and said, “I’m worried about you. We’re getting to that age where…” and he stopped.  Funny thing is, he didn’t have to say anything else.  I knew it was his way of saying “I don’t want you to die” and that by itself should give me all the motivation I need.

The goal weight for me is 190. I’m currently 240.  If I’ve done the math right, I’ve got to drop 50 pounds. FIFTY POUNDS. Shit.

So…stay tuned Dear Reader. As many of you might remember, I’m most funny when I’m crabby, and nothing makes me crabby like working out and losing weight.

Finding The One

A friend once commented “I like it when you’re honest”.  I don’t specifically remember the post, but I’ve never forgotten the comment.  I find myself editing this thing too much lately…I want it to sound a certain way, and sometime in doing so, I sorta lose the message or the reason I wanted to write in the first place.  Many years ago my brother told me that “I write like I talk”, which was meant as a compliment.  Those that know me in real life know that I don’t edit many of the things I say…I used to, but found out if you don’t speak up or speak your mind, you get what’s coming to you, good or bad. I’m not going to edit this one, I’m just going to listen the voice in my head and type what he speaks…..well, I’ve started and stopped 3 times because at one point the little voice said, “that’s not what I’m telling you to say. Stop being a pansy and write what I tell you!”  This is the fourth and last attempt.  If it stops mid sentence, you’ll know the little voice said what it came to say.

I don’t want to date.  I don’t want to go to bars or church or the store or wherever it is people go to find someone. I want that person to just appear one day at the right time and the right place.  I’m tired of getting into something only to realize “well shit, here we go again”. I’m tired of going again, of starting from scratch, but doing it all the same yet again.  I quit online dating because it was the same shit every time….wink, email, email, email, phone calls, meet, email, nothing. Then it starts again.  Funny thing is the last time I remember thinking “step 1, done. Now on to step 2”. I got sick of the steps, I got sick of the emails, I got sick of all the bullshit that went on.  Are you or aren’t you the person in the picture?  Are you or aren’t you interested? What do you mean your kids are 13 and 15 and can’t behave in a restaurant? No, I don’t fucking like country music. Tired. Of. All. Of. That.

Several years ago, I thought I’d found the one. The end of looking, the end of being just me, the end of being the third in a party of two.  It was the most intense relationship I’ve ever had, both good and bad. It was in a lot of ways the measuring stick I used going forward when she turned out not to be the one. In a lot of ways it showed me what I’d been missing for so many years, the goosebumps when she touched me, finding myself thinking of her constantly, the sheer unadulterated joy when I was with her, and thinking that I was the luckiest guy in the world.  And since this is the honesty hour, the fact that I don’t ever remember loving someone as much as I loved her.

It’s at those times in your life when you think you’re bullet proof and nothing in the world can hurt you. But the sad fact, Dear Reader, is that’s also the time when you’re most vulnerable to things that can and will hurt you. In the 3 or 4 years since this ended, I’ve never really let anyone know how much it hurt when it did end. Truth is, it hurt worse than my divorce. I was ready for my marriage to be over.  I wasn’t ready for this to be over. Funny thing is, whether I was ready or not, I knew it would. Call it being pessimistic, call it a lack of confidence, call it whatever the fuck you want, but way, way down deep, even though I didn’t ever want it to end, I knew it would. And it did. And it freaking hurt.  But, Dear Reader, life moves on and so has she.

But here’s the kicker friends. Here’s the point in the show where the Master of Ceremonies gets real quiet so you have to strain to hear his voice. It’s where he speaks in hushed, heavy tones to convey to you the seriousness of the situation, the raison d’etre of the whole production, the “reason for existence”.  Here is where all the truths come together, and the truth is…I want that again. I want those feelings again.  I want that electric buzz in the belly feeling of anticipation, of sitting on the couch waiting for her to get home. The “miss her when she’s gone and can’t wait for her to get home feeling” that my Dad has for my Stepmom.  I want to know that those feelings are mutual, that there is someone out there who looks forward to me coming home too.  The heart-stopping realization that this is the person God has chosen for you.

It’s something that I want, Dear Reader, but it’s also something I’ve no idea how to find…

Not good

A friend/trainer sent me a beginner crossfit workout last week and I finally got around to trying it just a few minutes ago.  The workout was 5 different exercises within a 20 minute workout time.  I made it 5 minutes.  Yep, 5 minutes.  After 25 squats, 15 situps, and 10 pushups, I was done.  Wonder how long I would have lasted if I hadn’t already lost 13 lbs?  Am I pissed off?  You have no idea how pissed off I am.  Problem is, being pissed off is not normally a motivator for me. Well, it is in some cases, but exercise isn’t one of them.

Not sure what I’m gonna do. I really wanna quit and say fuck it, but I can’t. Not quitting anymore just because it doesn’t turn out like I want.  Heh…only taken me 45 years to develop that attitude.  Think I’m going to have to find something besides crossfit for the time being. I need to be able to complete a workout if I want to keep going. I guess I can look at it like 25 squats, 15 situps, and 10 pushups is the most I’ve done in over a year.  At least I got off my ass and did something…but it sure doesn’t feel like anything.

So long, and thanks for all the fish

Someone asked me the other day how my internet dating was going and my response was simple, “I quit”.  Believe me when I say I’ve been on all the major sites and in my opinion they all suck.  eHarmony tells you how they use their questionnaire, algorithms and 42 levels of compatibility to find the right person for you.  Instead of searching, they send your matches to you.  Match has you fill out a survey, list what you’re looking for, and then write about yourself.  They send you matches, but you can also search on your own. I’ll be honest with you, Dear Reader, I sincerely think both companies are completely and totally full of shit. They don’t match you on personality or your questionnaire, they simply troll your profile and work off any keywords they find. Want me to prove it?  Easy.  If you’re on either service, add the word “God” somewhere in your profile.  Add it as part of a sentence or just randomly add it in the middle of a paragraph.  Don’t make any other changes to it, but just that one.  I guarantee that the next set of matches you get will be all about Church, reading the Bible, worship, etc.  There is nothing wrong with that, except for the simple fact that both sites are full of shit about their matching methods.  Or, if you want to have some fun, add “I like to shave baby kittens and then duct tape their hair back on.  God wants me to do this.”  See what happens.

To be honest, the fact that they just troll your profile was a minor issue for me compared to the fact that people just don’t read what you write.  Or, they think, “oh, he’s not talking about me.  I’ll email him anyway”.  Case in point…first time I ever wrote a profile, I was pretty detailed.  I wrote quite a bit about what I was looking for and was pretty specific. No, I didn’t write things like “you should be a D cup, firm to no sag, and have no gag reflex”.  Sad thing is, I’ve been told other guys do write shit like that.  I wrote about what I liked, didn’t like, music, movies, etc.  I specifically wrote, “I do not like country music.  At all.  Hate to listen to it, talk about it, think about it, and will not even admit it exists”.  My expectations were that I wouldn’t hear from a country music fan.  Wrong. Got an email from “countrymusic1984”.  Guess what she loved to listen to, talk about, read about, talk about…talk about…talk about…?  My point is that I took the time to write specifics into my profile and some don’t have what I consider the common courtesy to a) read it and b) understand it.  If someone wrote, “I don’t like guys who own three legged dogs and drive trucks”, I sure as hell wouldn’t email them.  It’s just setting yourself up for failure.

The reason that bothers me is because I know how hard it is to put yourself out there, to essentially make a cold call and sell yourself as the product you want them to buy. It’s hard…I hate it…and the last thing I want is to ignore someone simply because they couldn’t comprehend what I was looking for.  Same thing happens with pictures.  I write, “If you don’t have a picture, please don’t email me.”  Guess what? I get emails and winks and “interests” from women with no pictures.  If you think I’m being shallow, think about it this way.  You get an email from someone, guy or girl, and their profile is interesting.  They write well, list what they want and don’t want, and simply have a good profile.  You email back and forth a couple of times.  They offer to send you a pic and you agree. And you’re not attracted to them.  Not saying they’re ugly, I’m just saying you’re not attracted to them.  Could be anything at all, but whatever it is, you do not like how they look.  Now what?  Do you respond?  If so, what do you say?  If you don’t respond, they’re going to assume it was because of the picture…which it was. Now flip it around and imagine it was you who sent the picture and never heard back.  Sucks, doesn’t it.

The last reason I quit was simple. I just got tired of it. I got tired of the unanswered emails, the emails I didn’t really want to answer, the emails that never led to a date, the emails that led to boring dates, and the emails that just quit coming for no apparent reason.  I got tired of the bullshit profiles where the girls promise to love you long time. And I got tired of being matched with people where the only thing we had in common was being human.

So, Dear Reader, I find myself in a quandary.  Do I head out to a bar to find someone even though I don’t really like bars?  Do I go to different churches and try and get in their single’s groups?  Somehow that just seems wrong.  Do I ask my friends if they know any beautiful girls with low self-esteem and a low tolerance for alcohol? Or do I succumb to the newest way to meet women…Facebook stalking.  Be sure to check back and see which way I go.


If it were me…

Some of you may agree with what I’m about to write.  Some of you may disagree.  Some of you may think I’m an ignorant redneck. Some of you might want to give me a medal. The thing is, in this type of situation, what you think doesn’t really mean shit.

If I am ever put in the same situation as Coach McQueary, my response will be as follows: I will get to my vehicle the quickest way possible, I will grab whatever gun is in it, I will go back to that location the quickest way possible. I will get the child out of the way, I will call the cops. Then I will calmly shoot that child-raping motherfucker in the head. Twice.  And my only regret will be that I did not get there sooner.