Advice From a Homicidal Maniac...

I’m feeling Lost.

That’s really the only word I can think of for this feeling. I know where I am, I know what I want to do and where I want to be, and continually taking little steps to get there. (I’d take larger steps… but its hard to do that with your pants around your ankles. Metaphorically speaking, of course.)

Yet, despite this self-awareness of my situation, I’m feeling Lost.

It’s no secret that the last 2 years have been tough for me. (If I’m trying to keep it secret, I’m doing a bad job.) After my last lousy year in Los Angeles, I came back East… and the past year hasn’t been that much better.

For one… I’m living with my parents. Oh dear Jeebus, I’m a stereotype… a 32-year old man living in my parents’ basement. *shudder* At least I have friends that are kind to point out that I was living on my own for 10 years. (Yeah, I made it to the double-digits. Before either of my older brothers, too. A fact I was kind of proud of.) And before I left, some friends I knew who were from Europe said it was “No big deal. In Europe, everyone lives with their parents until their 30s or even 40s… usually only moving out when you’re married, but not always.” (Oh man, the thought of living with them even when I’m married? Uh… no thank you. Either way, it didn’t really make me feel better.)

Yet, I knew that was going to be the case when I decided to move back. And I accepted it as a “necessary sacrifice” for my Plan. Yes, I had a plan. I refused to swallow my pride and come back without one. Because I was in L.A. for a reason… I’m a storyteller. And I want to tell stories. I’m a writer and an actor, and I don’t feel productive unless I’m creating or presenting. But throughout my time there… I never got noticed. I did several plays, got great reviews from all, compliments up the wazoo… but ultimately nothing. Even the last film project I did there (I even had the title character) has, to my knowledge, NOT seen the light of day… and I actually hope it doesn’t. Not that it was completely dissuading me. Hell, I knew it was going to be a long, tough battle, and I was feeling resilient. That is, until the OTHER reasons I left L.A. came to the forefront… well, it just kind of became the “Anvil-That-Broke-The-Camel’s-Back”. I just came to the conclusion that I needed a “break”.

So, I decided to return to my roots… back near all my family… and make my own stinkin movie.

Yeah, I decided to thumb my nose at the System. (Not that the System would get the insult… face it, the actual “thumbing your nose” cut-down kind of went out of style in Shakespeare’s time. Nowadays, if you try it, people think you’re just picking your nose in public.) I was feeling a bit inspired by Robert Rodriguez (based in Texas), George Romero (based in Pennsylvania), and others that don’t need Hollywood to make their movies. I was particularly inspired by the movie “28 Days Later”… a high-octane zombie movie, made with a Mini-DV camera that cost peanuts (relatively speaking)… and a festival winning Time-Travel movie called “Primer”… made for $7,000. Yeah, for the price of a used car… a guy made a movie… and a GOOD one. Its things like that which really inspire you and make you realize, “Hey… this CAN be done.”

I figured, the best way to show that my writing CAN work (as Hollywood is very effective at keeping out new writers), is to actually SHOW it working on film. And the best option to be able to make it… lay back on the East Coast. With the high cost of living, California was not exactly conducive to saving money. Not to mention that many of the story ideas I was having (mostly for scary movies) were all set in geographic areas “like New England”. Face it, there’s a good reason that Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft set most, if not all, of their stories there. So rather than try to find a half-assed location in So-Cal… it would look better to actually BE and FILM in New England.

So, even though I never set out to be a director… I decided to do it. That was my plan. Well, it was the goal of it, I should say. The actual plan was a bit of a loose one. I was going to get a decent paying job (I was told the market back here was much better, with higher pay)… save up money. Get down the debts, and save for the money and film, while writing a script that is good, and can be done within the resources of myself and friends. And by the time I got to one year after returning I had hoped we could be filming. Well… actually, I was shooting for the Spring of 08… I’m not filming in the freaking cold.

For a good while… it was working. When I finally found something decent paying (through a temp agency), I was socking away a good amount of money. Every week, I put away a portion of my paycheck aside… and that started to build fairly quickly. By early July, I had gotten to just over half of what I needed. My mental time-table was working out nicely… that’s where I hoped to be at that time.

THEN… my car wouldn’t start one day. I took it in to be looked at. Never a good sign, right? Well, in this case, they only needed to replace ONE thing to fix it.

The Engine.

Replacing the engine (a more affordable option than getting a new car outright) took almost EXACTLY the amount of money I had saved up to that point for my camera. I guess I could be thankful that I *had* the money handy to be able to get my car back… because I needed one to get to work… But I couldn’t help feeling a little depressed all the same.

So I went back to square one. Undaunted, I continued. DETERMINED to film come Spring. Every week, putting aside some money (a little more than before to try and catch up)… until I got back to over the half-way point in October. And THEN… the place I was working at (a company in Burlington, Massachusetts that makes medical equipment) has to get rid of all their “contract employees” at the end of the month. Of which, *I* was the last one. I liked working there, everyone was really nice, and they seemed to like me… but the higher ups wanted to pinch pennies at the end of the year. So, I had to go. I was back on the market. No problem, right? Just tell the Temp Agency, and with my record and rave reviews (hell, I made “Temp Employee of the Month” on my FIRST month with them…. I got a mug), something should come soon, right? Well, it did take a few weeks… with the holidays coming, the demand for Temp Employment went down. The only thing I got was a 2 ½ week gig at a Marketing Research company at a neighboring town. (Well, at least the commute was shorter)

2 of us were brought in. One of the clients of this company was having a big trade show and they needed the potential customers (or “leads”) entered into the big fancy database. I was selected for it because I had experience with their big fancy database… the same kind of big fancy database that I worked with in Burlington. This would just be time-consuming, non-difficult work… I didn’t see a problem. So, they were happy to have me there. The other guy seemed intelligent enough… a decent sort of fellow. We were told the whole job would take about 2 ½ weeks with 2 of us working.

When I went in on the third day… I noticed the other guy wasn’t there. I casually enquired as to where he was and was simply told he “wasn’t going to be coming back.” I didn’t push for answers, figured it wasn’t my place. Well… wasn’t my place to get answers from THAT person. I called the agency at lunch… now I didn’t know if the guy just said, “I quit this bitch” or he made a pass at the Boss’s husband or what. Frankly, I didn’t even care, but I was wondering if that meant I was going to have to do this 2 ½ week job by MYSELF, or if someone else was going to come and take his place, or what? Apparently, the Marketing company told the Temp Agency they didn’t want him back… they were just going to go with me. Apparently, they were VERY happy with how I was doing, and the other guy didn’t seem to “get it”. So… I was indeed going to have this 2-man-2 ½-week-job to myself. I figured, “Oh well… I can only do the job at the pace I can. If they get behind, its not my fault.”

Well, they didn’t get behind. In fact… that second Friday, on day 10 of this 14-business-day assignment… I only went in for 2 hours to finish everything up, and then was sent home. I finished a 2-man-2 ½-week-job… by myself, 4 days ahead of schedule. I saved them about $1300 in labor alone (the other guy’s salary, plus the days I was supposed to work, but didn’t need to) and *literally* worked myself out of a job.

Holy Cripes on Toast… why the hell do I have to be so fast and efficient??? I never thought I’d hate having a good work ethic and a high level of competence.

So that brings me to now. The next interview for an assignment is after the New Year, so the holidays are off for me, unintentionally. My savings for the camera was OVER the half-way mark… but then I sprung for a new suit, as I desperately needed one. (Hopefully, it’ll be a good investment to help get a better, more permanent position.) So, now I’m not OVER the half-way… I’m AT the half-way point.

Why do I feel Lost? Partly because I seem to perpetually be at the “half-way” point… and can’t seem to get closer than that. I’ve been “home” for almost a year now… and it doesn’t feel like “home”. This is a town I had at one time promised myself I’d never come back to… not a lot of happy memories for me. I never knew who I was until I left. Yet, here I am.

I often wonder if I made a mistake leaving California. Oftentimes, I hear about things, that feel like reasons I should have stayed there. The idea that “I’m where I’m supposed to be” doesn’t help.

Not to mention the fact that (he says while turning a can-opener on another container marked “Worms”) I have been feeling INCREDIBLY lonely.

When my last Ex and I first started dating, we had a conversation in which I mentioned the fact that I “took a long time between relationships”. It wasn’t a line… and I wasn’t lying. On average, I took about a year or so between a break-up, and starting a new relationship. Its now been over 2 years.

Now, my longest dry spell for sex is about 3 years and 3 months. So that part isn’t such a big deal for me… but its definitely the longest I’ve gone without companionship. During those 3 years 3 months, I did have romantic relationships… and during shorter dry spells, I did date… just nothing came about.

This has been 2 years without really ANYTHING. And I’ve been looking. When I finally got comfortable with the idea of dating again (a little longer than a year), I started slowly looking… and haven’t found anything. I don’t mean that I’ve had interests and they didn’t want to date ME… I haven’t met ANYBODY that *I* want to date. I meet some women… fine, decent people… and I just really don’t give a shit. And by “met”, I mean actually, physically MEET in person. I have tried going the route of the Internet, and I have now sworn it off completely. No more not for me. See the blog entry “I’m tired of this shite” for one such example. There was another after that… someone I was getting along with very nicely online and on the phone… and I wanted to meet, she said SHE wanted to meet. Guess what? We’ve never met. Make sense to you? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

The few people I *did* physically meet from online introductions? Didn’t exactly work out. The two that readily come to mind were both a little on the… overbearing side. Very upbeat, high energy, mile-a-minute kind of demeanors, etc. As I was waiting in a Barnes & Noble cafĂ© to meet one, she called me on her cell phone, as she was a matter of minutes away, and as soon as I say, “Hello?” I hear in a very peppy tone, “ARE YOU NERVOUS?!!”

Well, I wasn’t “nervous”, but I was suddenly wondering if I *should* be… and then I actually WAS nervous. That probably wasn’t the best choice of words to use with me at that time… it was a little on the steamrollerish side. Now there’s nothing wrong with upbeat, high-energy… the girl was very lovely, and seemed nice. Maybe it was that first beat that just jarred me off the mood… but since I’ve been out of it for awhile… I don’t want to be steamrolled with a “fantastic, high-energy, extreme Type A personality”… I want the first meeting to be a little on the mellow side. Relaxed, non-pressure… because I’m not wanting to give any pressure, and I’m not looking FOR any pressure. Show me your Type-A personality LATER. For now… take a breath, please.

I do understand that talking about a “dry spell” can start to sound like one is a bit on the desperate side. Hell, I’ve even stopped myself and tried to contemplate if I was in fact being “desperate”. But I think that if I was desperate… I would have probably gone for one of the SteamRollerGirls, or still be in a Binary Courtship with one of the “Never Actually Meet” ones.

I think I *am* desperate… for good conversation. Doesn’t have to be witty, or super-intelligent… you don’t have to be a worldly, well-traveled, go-getter. Just be someone I can talk to. Someone who can be genuine over a cup of hot cocoa… who smiles only when she’s happy. Who knows how to listen… I mean REALLY Listen… and knows how to be listened to.

These days, I don’t get to talk to my friends as much as I like… the ones that are good to talk to, especially. And I actually miss going to therapy… it was so nice to have someone that just listened to you, without giving judgment, advice, or just waiting for a pause so they could talk.

I’m desperate for someone to trust. Because I’ve been having such a hard time doing so for so long.

When I was growing up here in New England, I had so much difficulty finding someone to date.

Then I moved to California… and it got HARDER. Almost a whole new culture to get used to. Then Southern California got even harder than that.

Now I’m back in New England… and it feels harder than ever. Is it my age, my personality, or just too used to Los Angeles? I can’t meet people the “regular way”. I can’t go to bars… I don’t drink. And yes, I’ve tried going to a bar and not drinking. It doesn’t work. The alcohol is actually the noun and verb that brings people together. It makes them vulnerable (in a sense). When I’m vulnerable, I don’t like interacting with people that AREN’T vulnerable themselves. I feel like they have an unfair advantage. I can only imagine that’s a subconscious reason why I’m usually left to my own there.

I’m alone… my destination seems so far off… and I keep hitting delays, detours and speed bumps. Any wonder I feel “Lost”?

Oh yeah… the title. Probably should make some kind of sense of that, huh?

Well… I’m trying to remain hopeful. I force myself to smile and constantly look forward to the future and TRY to remain upbeat about it, no matter how hard it gets, no matter how much disapproval I get from those that disagree with my plan… all of that. Though sometimes it feels that I’m barely hanging on, I have to keep doing it. And to help I try and keep some “inspirational” bits of philosophy around me that are always within sight.

And my inspiration sometimes comes from odd places. Because us true philosophers… True “Lovers of Wisdom” know that you don’t always have to look at Kant, Kierkegaard, Plato, Nietzsche, or whoever to get the best words of wisdom… you take them wherever you find them.

And one of my favorites comes from Jhonen Vasquez, a writer and comic artist who created “Johnny the Homicidal Maniac”… a very bloody, satirical comic book.

A lot of people have told me their own favorite parts of the book… such as “Dear Die-ary, I appear to be dead.” Or other such macabre gag. But my favorite comes at the very end. On the last page… in fact, it’s the last thing written, and frankly, the whole point of the story that Vasquez wrote. And its something I agree with completely… and will leave this blog entry on that. It’s not funny, it’s not bloody or disgusting… its just correct. It helps keep me going, and actually hopeful for the New Year, and that I can make 2008 better than 2007 and 2006.

Here it is.

“Dear Die-ary,
There’s nothing terribly wrong with feeling Lost, so long as that feeling precedes some plan on your part to actually do something about it.
Too often a person grows complacent with their disillusionment, perpetually wearing their “discomfort” like a favorite shirt.
I can’t say I’m very pleased with where my life is just now…
But I can’t help but look forward to where it’s going.”
-Jhonen Vasquez
“Johhny the Homicidal Maniac”

Happy New Year. Take care of yourself, and someone else.


I'm Having Fat Days

Now truth be told, I’m not fat.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have a 6-pack stomach… never have. Though, when I was a little kid, I was so thin you could count my ribs. (Which, in retrospect, was probably a tad disgusting and a sign of malnutrition… but I digress) Then, when my family moved and I entered 6th grade (or as I called it: The 1st Circle of Hell)… I had trouble making friends. I became a shy loner (another topic for another blog)… and in lieu of “hanging out” after school or on weekends… I watched TV and snacked.

I never got disgustingly roly-poly… but I did get a belly. I sure wasn’t going to be earning any letter-jackets (always thought they looked silly anyway). I didn’t discover any me-friendly after-school activities until the 5th Circle of Hell… and didn’t find reasons to feel good about myself until I went away to college. (Not saying the reasons weren’t there… I just didn’t find them) Yeah… I got bullied at school… but also got some at home. Such is the perils of being the youngest of 3 boys…. Didn’t want to be at school, and I didn’t want to be home.

Part of which… because I felt fat.

I’m going to refer to my 2 elder siblings as A-hole 1 and A-hole 2. Not to paint them as the epitome of Scum… there are times they’ve both, collectively and separately, been very decent. I’m referring to them that way for 3 reasons: 1) To keep my theme of anonymity on this blog. 2) When it popped in my head, it sounded like something from Dr. Seuss:

“Would you like to see something
Dumber than the slime on your shoe?
Then let me introduce my brothers…
A-hole 1 and A-hole 2.”

And 3) On this subject… especially back then… they WERE complete and total assholes.

It sure felt like they took it as their personal hobby to make my life miserable. I dreaded hearing them walk into the room, because I knew I was going to be insulted. More often than not I was right. What seemed like one of their favorites (especially A-hole 1) was calling me “Fat”.

“Hey Tubby, how are those sit-ups working for you?”

“Mmmm… that looks nice and fattening.”

“God, I can hear you gain weight.”

Like I said, I wasn’t fat… there were kids much bigger in girth than I who were still considered part of the “Beautiful People” crowd. So I kept telling myself AND the two A-holes, “I am not fat!”

But what I knew and what I felt… were apparently 2 different things.

I’m sure they would defend themselves by saying they were “trying to help me”. Perhaps that was their idea of motivation; “If he hates hearing it… he’ll lose the weight, so we’ll stop saying it.” But in the several years of using that 1 tactic… it never worked. Looking back on it now, it especially amazes me as that most people, when something doesn’t work… they try another approach. A different one. They change tactics. There are only 2 types of people that will continue to do the SAME thing and expect a different result. The Insane… and the Incredibly Stupid.

No, insulting me never did motivate me to working out. Though, to his credit, A-hole 1 did try to take me out to the garage to work out with him on his weight set… and I’ve never found “working out” to be more Uninteresting. It just wasn’t fun. I did try to honestly get into it… but eventually A-hole 1 would say something insulting (possibly unintentionally) and then the whole thing wouldn’t feel like a “new” approach… but rather a variation on the old one. And a healthy habit would not be formed. And I would go back to feeling fat.

Feeling fat and Being fat are two different things. How else do you explain the mindset of supermodel wannabes the size of sticks looking at themselves and saying, “I’m so fat!”?

When you feel fat… you feel weak. Emotionally and physically. You don’t think you have the tools, the ability, or the right to defend yourself… so when you’re attacked, you do what every Military general does when they realize they are out-gunned, out-manned, out-powered, out-flanked… they retreat. And when the attack is pressed, they keep retreating… until there’s no where to retreat to. And that’s where they get annihilated.

I retreated. Into my room… into myself. I didn’t feel like I was being “helped”… I felt like I was being attacked. My only ally was my cat who loved me for me… and who witnessed many tears before I went to sleep. My family just thought I was anti-social for no reason.

Sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly morbid… I wonder how I actually managed to survive that time through the “7 Circles of Hell”. And I don’t say “survive” to be metaphoric.

When I was left alone at college on that first day… and I was on my own… I felt such a wave of relief over me, I’m surprised I didn’t burst into tears, I was so happy. I soon made friends… REAL friends, not study-hall-acquaintances… friends that I’m still in touch with 13+ years later. I quickly got involved with my major and department… and the extra-curricular activities that went with it. I was going full-force, running myself practically ragged (and keep in mind, I wasn’t a “partier”. I never drank or smoked or anything like that) and I was loving every minute of it. During Winter Break… there was a short session of classes and activities before the Spring Semester began, but most people stayed home. That 1st year, I spent it at home… and hated it. For every other Winter Break, I made sure I was involved in something that required me to be there soon after Christmas.

I was getting at school 2 things I felt I had never gotten before… Encouragement… and Opportunity. Even if I failed at a task… it still felt good to not be berated for doing so, but rather a “we’ll do better next time”. That’s a much better environment to be in.

And I have no idea if I lost weight. I got my last little “growth nudge” of that inch that got me to 5’11”… but I don’t think my weight changed. To tell the truth, I didn’t weigh myself for a good few years going. I had other things going on that mattered more to me.

And I think I was actually eating healthier… especially when I started cooking on my own. I don’t know if I was losing weight… but I sure wasn’t gaining any. When I went to California (the fact that I had an opportunity to go to a place 3,600 miles away from “Hell” sure didn’t hurt my decision), I probably got healthier habits… never before realizing how tasty Spinach, Collard Greens, Asparagus, Avocado, Artichoke, etc… could be.

And during one Spring Break, visiting friends in Los Angeles for the first time, something happened. I was feeling REALLY good about myself… I was doing great at Grad School, I had some plays I wrote that were going to be produced at another college in L.A., and I had my hair colored blonde just for the hell of it. It was like the start of a make-over… and then, for no reason really… I picked up a couple of weights and started to do a little working out.

And… I actually found it FUN.

I did it more… and more often. I was actually finding it FUN and enjoyable. I realized that all the times I had been hearing, “working out will make you feel better about yourself”… were WRONG.

Feeling better about myself… made me start working out.

Suddenly, I found what was missing from all those failed work-out attempts back on the other coast. I wasn’t doing it to impress anybody… I just did it because I wanted to… and I was having fun with it.

And there was a noticeable difference. I got into a nice habit with it, and at the start of the next Fall, after a summer of this… people were noticing that my arms were a little bigger, and more defined. I still didn’t have a six-pack stomach… nor was it really flat… but I didn’t have a problem with taking my shirt off. And seeing as how I was about to do a show that required me to run around in a Loincloth… that quality helped. But it turned out, I actually GAINED 10 lbs… but it was muscle, and I was trimmer than I ever had been. So, I was feeling pretty good about my own body.

Don’t know if the family noticed any differences when I came home for Xmas… but if they did, they didn’t say anything. Either they didn’t want to compliment me… or didn’t care to see anything different from what they knew, and didn’t. Who knows. I had long stopped caring, so not hearing anything didn’t bother me. (Which in some ways, may be a tragedy unto itself)

After Grad School ended, I tried to keep a work-out schedule going… but it didn’t always happen. I think it became one of those things where “life got in the way”… and I was still happy where my life was… even if I was doing the “starving artist” thing.

The only real big change in my weight… came when I got sick 2 years ago. The time that laid me up something fierce. I couldn’t keep anything down, went on a liquid diet for a few straight weeks… nothing but misery. When I finally got on the medication that worked, and I started to recover… they found I had gone down to 138 lbs.

Sweet Screaming Jeebus, I haven’t been 138 lbs since Freshman Year of High School! When I was 5’3”!!! That’s not the BEST way to lose weight… and I don’t recommend it.

After a few months, I was doing better getting that weight back to a healthier place. But from losing all that weight so fast… I also lost some muscle mass. So I was gaining the weight back… but it wasn’t the kind I wanted. I found it difficult to get to the Gym again… my self-esteem had taken a bit of a drop. (Being cheated-on does that to you) And after a VERY rough year all-around and in many areas of life… I decided to take a break from Los Angeles… and I came back home to be with family.

I often wonder if I made a mistake.

So, I’m back up to my normal weight… and then some. I even went up one pant size. I’m none too happy about that… but I also don’t think it’s a big deal. It doesn’t change the person I am… and that’s a damn good person, thankyouverymuch (if I do say so myself). Sure I don’t have a fantastic high-paying job as a corporate drone, nor am I around my closest friends all the time… but I’m still hopeful life will improve. It’ll take little baby steps… for my physicality AND professionally. I try to remind myself often… to keep me going to save that money to continue making the art I left behind… only now controlling it all myself.

And it turns out I *have* to remind myself often, because the other day, A-hole 2 said to me, “You’re eating THAT? Hold on, let me see what’s in this… oooh, just what a growing boy needs. You know that’s thoroughly unhealthy for you, right? And how are those sit-ups working for you?”

Now, I find it an incredible amount of self-control on MY part to not smash the small bowl of melted Velveeta I was stirring for my broccoli, right in his A-holish face. I couldn’t believe he was using the SAME TACTICS from 15 years ago!!! Hell… the same WORDS!!! I tried to push it off (again), saying, “Yeah, sure. Very funny.” And when he kept it up, I (understandably, I think) got a little pissy, saying, “Thank you! You can shut up now.”

And A-hole 2 does what A-hole 2 usually does when I start to get agitated at him. “What’s the problem? Why are you getting upset?”… said in a stern tone.

If I tell him, “it’s because you’re being an asshole.” He gets defensive… saying how he was just kidding… only “joking around” and how *I’m* the bad guy for being “too sensitive about it”… and how he didn’t mean anything by it.

Fine, maybe I’m the bad guy. I’ll be A-hole 3, gladly. But maybe… just maybe… I’m not.

I know I’m sensitive. Too sensitive for most of my family’s tastes, that’s for sure.

But being “too sensitive” is not something I’m going to apologize for.

It is fairly hard for most people to insult me intentionally. It is VERY easy for someone to insult me accidentally. My family seems to have mastered both of these aspects.

But 1 thing that none of them seem to have mastered… is differentiating between INTENTIONS and ACTIONS. What you do… and how its interpreted by someone else… can be wildly different.

If he’s just “joking around”, and I’m getting upset… maybe I am too sensitive. Or maybe… just maybe… his words are being “misinterpreted” (to put it kindly)… and if they’re being “misinterpreted” so often… maybe he’s just not as articulate and concise as he thinks he is.

Or maybe he hasn’t figured out that those are sentiments and implications that I … JUST… DON’T… CARE…TO… HEAR. Under ANY circumstances.

Or he doesn’t care.

You’d think that if you know something upsets someone you’re supposed to be close to… you’d be savvy enough to NOT do it or say it.

Yet when he asks, "What's the problem?"... I *can't* explain it. Because its the kind of thing that if you can't figure it out... explaining doesn't do any good.

He sees it as me just pulling away from the family again. I see it as another reason to not like him. I’ve never felt so far away from my “immediate family”. We were closer when I was 4,000 miles away.

So is this an exploration of my own self-esteem… or of my contempt for immediate family? *shrug* Maybe a little of both. Ultimately, I can only take responsibility for myself… so while I may be able to see the beginnings and sources of my hang-ups… throwing blame won’t do any good. What’s done is done. The family doesn’t seem to care to change… and I’m tired of changing to accommodate their NOT changing.

I think one day… I will find working-out to be fun again. I know I’m going through a rough time… and have been for awhile… but I still remain hopeful for myself. Hopeful that I’ll find happiness on MY terms. Because I’m NOT A-hole 3. I’m just me.

Maybe this “wedge” between me and my family will one day be completely cleared away. Maybe not. I lament the fact that I’m not closer to them… and I’ve tried. I’ve tried to be “not so sensitive”… and it doesn’t work. What that means for the future… for my future family and children… I don’t know.

I can only ever come halfway.


Reflections on Hallows Eve...

I love Halloween. I always have… people that know me would not be surprised by this. Yet, for some reason, I don’t think I’m enjoying Halloween as much as I used to. Now, the last 2 Halloweens have flat-out sucked for me… but through no fault of anyone’s, really. One was surrounded by personal drama, and the other, I just didn’t get much of a chance to do anything for it. Oh well… c’est la vie. I’ve had bad Halloweens before, so I always just looked forward to the next year.

I’m not saying I had a BAD Halloween this time around… it was actually okay. For the first time since 1998, I’ve been in New England for Halloween. And in my opinion it’s the absolute best place to be at this time of year. For one, the Autumn leaves are all changing colors, lots of orange, red, yellow leaves around… and it is very pretty. There is a reason people come to see the leaves change, and it’s a good reason. But it also helps provide a nice backdrop to the idea of “Halloween”… there are many areas throughout the whole 6-state region where you actually feel like you’re living in a horror film. There is a VERY good reason why Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft set most of their stories in New England.

This year… I went with some friends to Salem, Massachusetts. Now, logic would tell you that it is the perfect place to be for Halloween. The site of the Salem Witch Trials… all that creepy history… what would be better? Well… this time around… “Logic” is arguable. I think it depends on what you want out of Halloween to figure out if Salem is a great place to go or not. Cause I’m not so sure it’s the place for me anymore.

I’d been there once before… back in 1998… my last Halloween in New England before moving to California. The friend I went with back then had her boyfriend coming into town that night through Boston… so we didn’t stay THAT long in Salem before heading out to South Station to pick him up. But there were literally hundreds of thousands of people all walking around in costume. They shut off all traffic through several streets because there are so many people walking around. It really is a sight to see. The other place I would say is comparable to it is Halloween in West Hollywood… with probably just as many people walking around in costume. The primary difference is that in West Hollywood… most of the costumes are people in Drag.

The only personal qualm I have with THAT has nothing to do with the fact that they’re in Drag… it’s the fact that most of the people there dress in Drag *anyway*… you know, they’re practicing transvestites… so doing it for Halloween is redundant, and just an excuse to do what they do on a normal night out… just with more participants. Halloween is more than that, frankly. I’ve always seen it as an opportunity to dress as something DIFFERENT. To look how you normally wouldn’t look. And preferably… it should also be scary. While dressing in drag might make you scary in several parts of the Midwest… I myself think you can try a little harder. But that’s just me. Anyhoo…

One of the first things we encountered, was the creepiest thing we saw all day or night... I thought. The parking lot attendant. No… he wasn’t dressed in costume. Just an older gentleman sitting by a sign that advertised $10 dollar parking. We pulled in, and he approached us saying meekly and with a very wobbly voice, “You guys know that we charge for parking here?” No problem with that… we knew as we were pulling in… but then I noticed that he had that “just off the medication” look in his eyes and was constantly, blatantly ogling the females in our group… most of whom were dressed pretty conservatively. Hell, they could be dressed as Eskimoes, and this guy still would have been overly-excited. THAT creeped the hell out of me. *shudder* Eww….

Salem was very much like the last time. Roads closed off… hundreds of thousands of people… vendor kiosks all over the place… police driving around these nifty little scooters (okay, they didn’t have *those* last time, but they were neat.)… generally speaking, it was one big party. It kinda surprised me how many stores there were with the “Witch” or a Spooky theme to them… and I’m not talking about the temporary kiosks that people put up… I mean the PERMANENT stores and fixtures. Sweet Jeebus, there were a lot of them… and I *was* expecting several of them, but by gum, that was a LOT. I also know there are several places where practicing Pagans and Wiccans and whatnot gather for their own little ceremony, to pay tribute to all those that were victims in the Salem Witch Trials, etc.

Now… something about that bugs me. Really just on a conceptual level. For one… if you want to talk history… back then, the spot of what is now Salem, Massachusetts… all the way up to around Meredith, NH… (a good 100 mile stretch or so)… that was ALL “Salem, Massachusetts”. So the place where we think the Trials took place… most likely they DIDN’T take place right there. Secondly, I’ve yet to see any evidence that showed that anyone who was executed as a witch from that time… was ACTUALLY a witch. You see, back then… if you accused someone of being a witch, and they were convicted… you got their land. And they pretty much had a 100% conviction rate… due in large part to the “court of public opinion” (all too influenced by gossip)… so if someone said you were a Witch… face it, you’re screwed with no way to defend yourself. So, if some guy was eyeing a nice piece of real estate, and the young widow/single woman didn’t react to your advances for marriage… you call her a Witch, you get her farm. And not just women… men too. No one was safe, quite frankly. If they WERE witches… you could at least say, “Well, it was against the law to be a witch, so they were just acting in accordance to the law.” In which case, you simply say, “The Law Blows”, and we say, “Yeah, they figured that out… that’s why they changed it.” But if they were never breaking any law to begin with… well, that seems a little more heinous to me.

Either way, it’s pretty F-ed up, I’m sure everyone will agree… but now looking at today… with the majority of the town industry being BASED around the perception of these trials (not even the facts)… just seemed kind of… I guess “Sell-out” would be the term. Even all these “spiritual tributes” from modern-day witches (as nice as the idea behind them is)… seems kind of pointless if the accused were never even witches themselves. But I’m always willing to be wrong.

I guess I was expecting/hoping to see something that basically said, “Yeah, our town has this bloody history… so once a year we break it out on Halloween night and try to have a fun time. You know, turn a negative into a positive. Why Halloween? Well, it seemed appropriate.” But to realize that people are trying to cash in on this every day of the year… Yeah, that’s where I start to think “Sell-out”.

But having the Halloween celebration there, despite all this… is not a bad thing. Hell… *I* went. Twice. And it is really a sight to see… so many people in costume. Just the logistics of the gathering is worth seeing. And a lot of people do put some imagination into their costumes… some go all out with the blood and gore, etc… and others… not so much.

You know, on one level, there is *nothing* wrong with “Sexy” costumes… dressing as a sexy nurse, sexy cop, sexy firefighter, sexy army girl, sexy cowgirl, sexy cabaret dancer, sexy schoolgirl, sexy sexy, sexy Nintendo character, sexy hand-lotion… whatever. The (large) part of me that appreciates the female form will admire happily… but I will STILL make one complaint: Not scary.

Though what IS scary is when parents who are accompanying their children to things like this… Letting their 7 year old dress as a sexy/slutty nurse… is F-ing wrong. Just flat-out. I believe that as a general rule for ANY girl whose outfit title contains the word “Sexy”… they shouldn’t wear it unless they’re old enough and big enough so that if they aim for the genitals of sexual assailant… they will double him over, not annoy him. Hell, there should just be a plain test for women… you’re not allowed to wear a slutty outfit, unless you know how to throw a solid punch. Because while freedom of fashion is important… it WILL eventually bring unpleasant consequences… so unless you’re equipped to deal with those consequences, don’t go asking for trouble. Common sense, people!

Alright, alright… coming off the soapbox…

Kids dressing as sluts… it’s like the creepy parking attendant… scary in the wrong way. And Halloween has to be about SCARY. I truly believe that.

I love horror movies… I always have. Truth be told… I hate real-life violence. I’m not crazy about the sight of blood. I don’t like needles. I generally avoid fights, and I’m more apt to put a spider outside than squash it. But I’m fascinated by horror stories and horror films. I think its because it’s a “safe violence”… an artistic expression that helps get frustrations out. Its such a powerful form of art, because someone ELSE can feel expressed or cleansed from witnessing a presentation of that art… the art of horror. If you’re pissed off about something… so much so that you feel the need to hit something… sometimes watching a violent or horror movie can relieve that. It gives and performs the revenge that we wish we could give ourselves… and no one really gets hurt in the end. And all you have to do… is sit and watch it. It releases an “active” urge in a “passive” way.

It can also actively engage your imagination… by NOT showing you certain things. The great filmmakers always knew this. They let your mind fill in the blanks, and next thing you know, you’re in an adrenaline rush of fear… and you never physically moved. Your heart is pumping, you’re breathing quicker… experiencing the thrill of an adventure and danger you’ll thankfully never have yourself.

Some of the best horror movies… are the ones that do just this… and they DON’T show you any blood or gore. One of my favorites, and what I think is one of the best horror movies every made… is The Haunting (the b&w original from 1963). There’s not a drop of blood anywhere in that movie… just story and atmosphere all the way through.

And I think that’s what was missing for me from Salem… Atmosphere. A dark, ominous, moody background… a set stage for a good scary story. Salem is… well… commercial. Stores, kiosks, sausage and pizza vendors, port-o-potties and TOO many people. Really… it was overwhelming. We even left fairly early, and it was getting hard to walk there. And when I think of my favorite horror movies… it was always involving small groups of people… even singular people. It plays on the theme of isolation… being all alone. 400,000 people walking around 1 town at the same time… conceptually doesn’t seem very “isolated”. No real spooky Halloween-type horrors can happen to you when you’re surrounded by people. Even obnoxious drunk ones.

Which becomes ANOTHER qualm of mine. St. Patrick’s Day is for drinking… it was a whole holiday set aside for getting blitzed. So people that use Halloween as just another excuse for getting drunk… doesn’t impress me. Its like the excuse to dress “sexy”. Nothing wrong with it, whatever gets you your Slack. Go for it… Free Country. For me personally… I like to think there’s *more* to it. You can get drunk anyday… this is a day to get “Scared”.

Maybe I consider Halloween to be a chance to actually BE in a horror film… to experience that type of amazing extreme adventure that we can’t get in this world. Not only a chance to imagine going against the fantastic and unknown… but to act out being in it.

That could be why I have such a hard time making Halloween costumes for myself. I didn’t even dress up this year. I put on a “Day of the Dead” shirt I have, loaded up my camera, and just wanted to be a spectator and people-watcher. I always LOVE doing decorations… and being in and making environments to walk through and experience… but dressing up… that won’t scare ME. And if I were in those extreme supernatural situations… I wouldn’t be wearing an annoying, cold, constrictive costume with smelly cream makeup on my face… I would be… Me.

Maybe that’s it… I don’t want to scare. I want to BE scared.

I think the best Halloween I ever had… was very simple. While I did dress up that year, I kept it very simple… and I sat around with a small group of friends, and we told scary stories. I was in undergraduate college… and its one of the fondest memories I have. Even though I was asked to read the most stories (being the “actor”)… telling them was still a way to live through them… and experience those stories like all of those friends that were there to listen. I loved every second of it.

So, I don’t think Salem is for me. Maybe I’ll go back next year… who knows? But right now, I know what I’d prefer… a cloudy night, with the moon peeking through… sitting by candlelight with a select few… reveling in the gloom… savoring the chills up your spine… feeling the heartbeat increase ever so slightly… and then laughing in relief along with good companions.

Yeah… simplicity is what it’s all about.


Harder than I thought...

Last Friday, I picked up the book “A Lifetime of Secrets”, a collection from the website PostSecret (http://www.postsecret.com/). This website has been a favorite of mine for a long time… you just anonymously send in a postcard with a secret or confession on it, made up to be a little “art project”. You can simply just write on it… or be as creative and complex as you want. A small bunch are selected (out of the thousands received) and are posted on the website… a new batch every week.

I quickly got addicted. It is simultaneously funny, touching, sad, thoughtful, depressing, inspiring, hopeful and haunting. I know many might think, “Why would you tell a complete stranger a secret of yours that you wouldn’t tell anyone else?”… but personally, I have no trouble comprehending that. For one, it’s completely anonymous… you don’t put a return address… there’s no way to track down who made what card, so you don’t know whose secret is whose. Two, sometimes we don’t like to keep secrets, but have to (or feel we have to) anyway. This is a safe way to finally get it out of you, and maybe step away from it. Plus, there’s an extra bonus. There have been several times where I personally identified with the “secret” that I saw… on one particular week, there were at least 3 secrets that I felt I could have written myself… like someone ELSE was telling my secret for me… and it was kinda liberating, because it felt like I wasn’t alone on that subject.

Face it, not many people like to truly feel like a freak… we just want to know that we’re *normal* healthy people. Capable and worthy of loving and being loved. But there are so many people that inwardly feel like they’re NOT. Maybe we compensate with attitude, or a tough demeanor, or a belligerent tone… or any of 1,000 other ways. And EVERYONE has something they just don’t bother talking about… a past event, a future hope, a thought process… something. And maybe a big source of problems (personal, relationship or whatever) come from the fact that we DON’T talk about them. I know how it can hurt more to NOT express yourself over something… and with so many people pretending to lead “perfect lives”… I find it hard to believe that most people aren’t feeling more screwed up than we think.

Now, for as long as I read the site… I never sent in a postcard myself. Several times I wanted to… and had many ideas of ones that I would send in, but never actually sat down and made one up. Some people that know me may think, “But you’re a straight-forward guy, I can’t imagine you having secrets.” Yeah, well, I do. (Hell, the 2 previous blog posts are all facts and secrets/quirks that most may not know about me…) Granted, I don’t cultivate an air of “mystery” around myself… if I did, I’d probably get more dates… but I do. Like I said, we ALL do. Well, given the date at the time (one of semi-significance for me), I was feeling particularly reflective. So that, combined with picking up this just-released book… I decided to finally sit down and do it. So, I dug out a box that sits in the back of my closet… one that sits there sealed and taped… opened it, took out the pictures, scanned in some notes, and on my computer made up a postcard. (No, I didn’t do it by hand, I’m kind of anal that way) The next day, I bought some postcard stock and then printed it out… addressed it and put on the stamp.

I had my Secret… ready to go into the mail. Now, it wasn’t no Picasso… nor was it any kind of earth-shattering message… hell, some people can probably guess what the subject of it is… so maybe it’s not much of a “Secret” after all. But its what I wanted to make, so bite me.

I brought it with me to the car, with the intention of making a slight detour, going to the town post office and dropping it off, then continuing back onto work. Well, I got on the road and figured, “Hmmm… I’m running a little late… maybe I’ll just go straight to work, and drop it off on the way home.” No problem, right? Well, I made it to the highway, and am driving on… and as I’m coming to the state border, I realize that I could get off at the last exit, and drop it off at this OTHER post office… one that isn’t as big a detour as the other one would have been. It’d be even EASIER to drop it off… and I hesitated. I kept glancing over at this homemade postcard with my statement on it… and debating when to let it go. It kind of hit me… that maybe I was making excuses for keeping it longer. “Oh, I’ll be late if I do”… then it’ll be, “Oh, crap… I forgot. Oh well, tomorrow’s another day.” Etcetera, etcetera. So, I just turned off… and went to the post office. The side streets were not difficult to get though in the least (wow, I should do all my downtown shopping in the mornings… it’s a piece of cake to drive through!)… and I got to the post office, parked, opened the door (didn’t even turn off the engine) and brought the postcard to the drop-box.

I hesitated. Again.

I don’t know why… I mean, its just a postcard… I’m not getting RID of the feeling it conveys (as much as I’d like to do that)… or saying goodbye to the pictures... they’re still at home, on disk, sealed back up in the box in the back of my closet. But I just stood there for a moment… looking at this postcard that contains pictures and notes that I hadn’t looked at in 2 years (albeit with faces blurred and cut off, and names obscured). Was it the postcard as a whole? Or did I just want to look at the pictures more? Why do I want to look at pictures I don’t want to look at?

I turned it over twice to make sure it had the right postage on… even though I knew it had the right postage since I put it on the evening before.

I knew I was just making up weird excuses… so I dropped it in. Got back in my car, and got to work (at the same time I usually get there).

That… was harder than I thought it was going to be. I thought the hardest part was going to be MAKING it… because when it comes to drawing or making pictures, I don’t think I’m that creative… I’m a writer, after all. I can THINK visually, but not that great at actually showing it, so I describe it. And once I got through the procrastinating, and figured out roughly what I wanted the card to look like… the hard part would be over. I figured dropping it in the mail would be the easiest part. But it wasn’t… and I’m not sure why.

Anyway… there’s no guarantee that it will be posted on the site… in fact, I’d bank on it NOT being posted. The guy gets thousands of them a week… its just not possible to post all of them, even if he posted new ones every day. I think if you send one in with the expectation that it will be posted… you’re doing it for the wrong reason. I’m hoping that the action of sending in this small piece of art will do something for me. I don’t know what… but maybe something. Maybe give a little relief in some way… who knows. Maybe that’s why I hesitated… because I secretly knew that it would do something… or because I secretly knew that it would do nothing.

But NOW I’m sure the hard part is over. Maybe the other postcards I make will be easier to send now.

Oh yes… I’m making more.


There *will* be a test later...

I remember more about High School then I let on.

I have contemplated suicide... and homicide.

My first therapist was smokin hot... and very good at her job.

My second therapist was a complete tool... and he talked more than I did. (The dork...)

My last year of grad school was the only time where rumors that went around about me were actually complimentary. One was that I had a "monster cock", and that I was a "Beast with my Tongue". Only one of them has NO truth to it. (I like to think the other has *some* truth...)

My first kiss was at 7 years old. The second at 20.

I relish the opportunity for a frank, honest and open discussion about sex. It's more intellectually stimulating than it is physical.

I also like to pass-on good Sex Education... probably because I got such horrible kind in school, and none at home.

I have only referred to 2 girls as "whores". That's the insult I save for really special occasions/screw-overs. Though, I will call a guy a "whore" in a heartbeat, because I find it funny.

I am fascinated by the sociological quality of Porn.

"Flesh and Lace 2" was the name of the first adult film I ever saw a scene from. I was 14, and looking through non-labeled videotapes early in the morning, bored, and suddenly saw it. I was so shocked on the first image, I immediately shut it off... frantically looked around to make sure I wasn't caught... then cautiously turned it back on, with the volume ALL the way down.

I like to turn all the electric lights off and only go by candlelight. I find it very relaxing.

Greatest cookie in the world: the cheapo dollar-a-box Lemon Coolers from Sunshine. (They don't make them anymore... the Girl Scout versions aren't the same)

I love low-budget sci-fi. (Like the old Doctor Who)

One of the worst insults my brothers would use on me during High School is "You have no friends".

Favorite movie of all time: The Dark Crystal

Greatest TV show: The Muppet Show

I've slept in the nude since I was 15. For some reason, my brothers considered me a freak for this.

I've been Best Man in a wedding twice.

One other time, I caught the Garter.

I've faked orgasms.

I've spent most of my life alone, as a loner, doing things by myself (movies, restaurants, etc)... but I'm scared to be alone.

I wonder if people really want the respect that I give.

I sometimes think I'm too patient.

While I like and respect the Man that I've become... sometimes I want to be someone else.

I kinda like it when a women gets jealous over me... I consider it a huge compliment that she wants me only for herself.

... even though I go out of my way to make sure they have no reason to be jealous.

I regret a lot of things I *didn't* do in High School.

After Columbine happened, I got scared... not because I looked at the victims and thought, "oh, that could happen to me"... but I looked at the SHOOTERS and thought that.

My first girlfriend came after visiting a psychic earlier that night.

I like cooking *for* someone

I take pride in my massages.

… but wish I received more of them.

My Hollywood Dream Girl is Jennifer Love Hewitt, for her personality as much as her looks.

I’ve never been drunk

I’m interested in “knife play”

I wish I could be more assertive with women

I don’t expect women to shave anything that I don’t shave myself.

When seeing apartments or houses… I evaluate the ZDF… Zombie Defense Factor (how well would it stand up against an attack of a horde of zombies?)… even though I know that zombies don’t exist.

I will never use the same nickname for 2 girlfriends. I insist on making each one individual… no matter how fitting a previously used one would be. I feel like I wasted my favorite one, “Angel Eyes”, on someone that didn’t deserve it.

I already know the nickname I want to give to my future, unborn daughter. And I’m saving it.

I now enjoy reading non-fiction books.

I hate the term “curvy” when describing women… because most guys equate it with “fat”. I prefer “proportionate”… No matter the height or weight… if you’re proportionate, you look good to me.

My favorite author when I was younger was John Bellairs. He’s still one of my favorites.

One of my favorite activities as a teen was taking “Music Baths”. I did it almost every day.

Most of the women I’ve been romantically interested in… never knew. Or didn’t care.

These days, I tend to be attracted to women who are attracted to me. I don’t know if that’s a good reason.

I hate hearing how actors have “movies they wish they never did”. Some of my favorite movies are ones they wish they could disown. No matter the film, someone somewhere lists it as their favorite film. Don’t crap on their parade.

I’ve gotten waxed. Ow!

I think reality is sexier than fantasy.

I used to be much better at answering E-mails and regular letters. But I always feel a little joy to get an e-mail that actually has personalized content.

I have too many books that haven’t been read yet.

I always wanted to do a modern dance class.

I’ve been described as a “human cartoon”, “live Muppet” and as having “a natural affinity for slapstick”. I think its because of these that many times people think I’m joking when I’m being serious. Sometimes it hurts.

I hate when people say “Get over it”. 99% of the time, it doesn’t work. It never tries to find out WHY I’m not over “it”, so it never actually helps.

I *really* hate it when guys refer to themselves as “Thugs” and use the word “Thug” as a badge of honor. A “Thug” is a mindless minion… a Peon of the main villain. And he’s the first (and easiest) to die when the Hero or Police come through.

I never give a standing ovation to a community theatre, college or high school production. Too many times, the show sucked anyway, and the only reason people are standing and cheering, is because it’s their friends and family, not based on overwhelming talent. Even if the show is good, I won’t give one. I remain seated.

The only thing that scares me… is Me.


Cheat sheet...

I had always thought I would be married and having my first kid by age 32.

I got involved in Theatre initially as a way to get out of the house and away from my family, then came to love it with a passion.

I love the show Cleopatra 2525... the only difference between it and Porn is that after watching Porn... I don't feel guilty.

I sometimes feel jealous of people that drink/are drinking. It seems like they have so much more fun than I do.

If I didn't go to school for Theatre, I would have gone to culinary school to be a chef.

I rarely consciously know what to say.

While I've always been comfortable with my sexuality (straight), and have no problem with sex topics... it's only in the last year or so that I've started to consider *myself* a "sexual being". (not sure if that makes sense)

Sometimes I feel like I failed.

I often take statements much harder than I let on.

Its almost impossible to purposely insult me... but easy to do it accidentally.

I'm also easily satisfied with partners. Sometimes too easy.

My imagination can run away... and not in good ways.

I'm not religious... or spiritual... or put much stock in Tarot cards, psychics, etc... but I have a set of Viking Runes that I consult when I'm confused or just curious of the future or how to handle a situation.

I want to have a crush on someone like I did when I was a sophomore in high school.

I own 3 pairs of vecro handcuffs, vibrators and two sets of nipple clamps that I got from 2 places... a promo function at a Sex shop... and a Movie Premiere party for an adult film. Haven't used them yet. (Don't think I want to use the nipple clamps... ow!)

I consider myself to have a "superhero complex".

There's a few select individuals that I regret NOT causing them physical pain.

Sometimes I want to know what its like to treat people like dirt, but have everyone love me anyway. It's a contradiction I've seen exist, but can never understand.

I wish I was more confident.

Women in smart-looking business suits turn me on to no end.

Sometimes, I like being on the inside of the spoon.

I like to go to the movies alone.

I was voted the Shyest in my 8th Grade class...

...& most everyone that knew of me was completely shocked when I started doing theatre. I appeared to do a complete 180…

…though at the time, I really didn’t.

I love good horror movies, and am fascinated by what scares people. I think one of the best ways to know a culture or person, is to know what scares them.

I've never made assumptions or judgments on people when hearing about their past sexual history. I have, however, done so when hearing about their religion.

I really believe that the combination of my favorite band and my old cat saved my life in High School.

I'm the youngest in my family, and the first to move out on my own.

I am listed on the Internet Movie Database

I lost my virginity at age 20.

I wish I had things in common with my father.

I actually enjoyed going to therapy... for all the reasons I'm NOT supposed to enjoy it.

The sexiest lingerie to me is either boy shorts and a t-shirt, or pajama pants and a tank top.

I wish past girlfriends had wanted to borrow and wear my shirts.

I seem to handle crises with more calm and coolness than I ever thought I’d be able to.

Working for a Children’s Theatre Group in California for 5 summers was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.

I prefer to get STD testing when I have no reason to.

I’ve written a 10 page “Application to Date Me”… and even though it was done jokingly, I sometimes actually think it’s a good idea.

I check Postsecret every week, and have for about 2 years now.


“to dwell on” – Transitive Verb

I feel like I’m dwelling. And I hate it. I don’t want to do it… and I try not to… but lately, it keeps popping into my head, and it’s really getting to me.

Now I know I haven’t had that many posts on here (this is the 4th), but right now… HALF of what is here connects back to that certain someone and the “Great Hurt of Something Awful” from a freaking year and a half ago. (and another makes a reference) And with the “Closure” post, I thought that might be that. And even in the last one, I mention how “I’m over it, I’m healed.” Maybe not. Wow, that’s frustrating.

I don’t know if it’s the fact that Spring is now in full bloom (“when a young man’s fancy turns to love”)… but “she” keeps popping into my head, and I absolutely hate it.

Now, it’s not because I still have “feelings” for her… (unless you count “contempt”). When I was doing therapy, I was asked if I had the opportunity would I get back together with her. I took a bit to think about it (rushing an answer usually gets an unintentional lie/denial), and ultimately said No. There’s no way I could take her back… not even as a Friend, as there is just no way I could trust her again, or give her any opportunity to hurt me. (Besides, any apology on her part now would be “Way-too-little-Waaaaay-Too-Fuckin-Late) Plus, I am really not into the whole “break-up-get-back-together” thing. I never have. If you break up, you break up for a reason. Yet, she’s even the 1 person that I made the exception for… she broke up with me, 15 hours later came back crying and apologizing, and I let her… and that’s when things REALLY went downhill with a vengeance.

I’m still upset over the lies, the betrayal…everything. It’s still at the point that I can’t even go look at some of the profile pages of some friends on Myspace… cause she’s there in their “top friends”, and it honestly hurts to look at her picture, or even see her name. I’m still trying to consciously force myself to write and say her actual name (rather than my *ahem* “colorful” terms that I’ve used)… whether its to actually be more comfortable with it… or just *look* like I’m more comfortable with it, I don’t know. (I won’t write it on here, as this is done as an “anonymous” forum… and MY real name isn’t even on here. The alias “Victor Riley” is another story for another time.)

But yet… I *WAS* doing really well for a long time… and I *was* getting more comfortable with it. I’ve been occasionally dating and been earnestly keeping an eye out, wanting to open myself up to someone new. Why I’m reverting back to the pain of this whole thing, I have no clue. Is it Spring in the air? Is it my relatives constantly asking, “So, are you seeing anyone?” Is it just that I don’t have a current “crush”? Is it something else entirely?

I try to consider that at least one possible Good Thing that came out of it… I made a list, a very specific one, of exactly what I want in a partner/lover. I didn’t want to just say, “Oh, you know… someone “nice”, “kind”, and that loves me… blah blah”. No, that crap wasn’t cutting it anymore. I got freaking DETAILED on this. A pretty long list, actually… broken up into 4 categories: Personality, Dating/Courting Practices, Future Plans, and Sex. (Most people want to hear about the Sex one… I wonder why?) Listing it out like this did give me a more specific idea of what I will and will NOT put up with anymore… as well as realizing potential “dealbreakers” that I never realized I had before.

I will not deny that some things on the list are just a direct rebellion against my experiences with “her”… Though I should point out… that the majority of our relationship was great (at least *I* thought so… I never heard otherwise from her)… and it was only in the last month that this all turned around (when someone *new* started to give her attention. There wasn’t anything wrong with My attention… it just wasn’t *new*). But she was a great girlfriend, I was in love (the only one I ever declared it to)… and physically she’s still someone I would consider Beautiful. (Too bad I can’t stand to look at her.) Just circumstances and decisions made in that short time… were just the wrong ones. Hooo boy, were they the wrong ones.

And getting back to the list… it may be TOO specific. I may seem too picky with it. Although, as a counter-argument to that… I’ve tried my whole life to be a damn good person… the “nice guy” that knowingly always finishes last, yet still tries to be nice… so I think that maybe I have the right to be picky… and I actually deserve someone that deserves me. So nyah. *ppbbbtthhhhllllttt*

But for instance… I never used to care about religious beliefs. I myself am Agnostic/Atheist, but always supported and encouraged the different beliefs in my partners. And “she” is very Catholic… goes to church every week. And I encouraged her to go… even reminded her, but never went myself (save for one uncomfortable evening). Well… then she broke up with me for the “religious reasons” (which came out of left field for me)… but then came back, saying it really wasn’t a big deal, it was a bad reason, we can work through it etc. Then after the final breakup… a few months after it, actually… it got back to me via the grapevine that she was telling some people that the reason we broke up was because *I* “didn’t respect her religion”. Now… personally I found that to be very insulting. “Respect” doesn’t mean “Agree”… and think I was VERY respectful to her religion. I never talked down about it, I never insulted it. But that’s apparently what she was saying. Sure, maybe she was just looking for a quick easy answer to tell people when she didn’t want to talk about it… I can understand that. One could say, “We weren’t the same religion, and that’s important to me.”… which is completely true… COMPLETELY understandable, and I couldn’t fault her or anyone for that. But saying I was disrespectful of her religion… is pinning it all on me… and is frankly, a flat-out lie. And hearing of that… only solidified my personal position AGAINST religion… and it is now a conscious turn-off when I hear that someone IS religious in their life. Even though I know not everyone is like that. The fact that I’m now turned against it… instead of accepting of it… kinda bugs me.

And come to think of it… another thing I’ve been afraid of… is this whole thing not making me a “nice guy” anymore. You know… with the James Bond movies… as much as I love to watch them, I never got the whole “misogynist womanizing” part of him. Never understood it… then I went through all of this… and read “Casino Royale” (and saw the movie)… and I think I do. Bond fell in love…deeply cared for Vesper Lynd… and she betrayed him, henceforth… misogynistic womanizer, using women just for sex, etc. Maybe its hard to put into words, but that anger you get from what you feel to be a huge betrayal, makes you want to lash out and just “use” others, maybe as a form of revenge that will never be satiated. I now notice that I’m keeping myself in check a bit, as I’ve had the urges to do just that every now and then (but stopping before I act on them).

Guess I’ve had “my Vesper”… I just hope when I get my “Tracy” some bald guy in a neck-brace doesn’t shoot her in the head on our honeymoon… (though I think that’s deviating from the metaphor…)

I tell ya… if I could find affordable therapy around here, I’d still be doing it. One of my big reasons for starting the therapy in the first place (in Los Angeles) was because I didn’t want to carry any mistrust or anger that I have from this failed relationship… into my next one (whenever it may be). Yet, I’m being so cautious and mistrusting now… sometimes I’m not so sure I won’t do that. Yeah, it’s a great saying, “Love like you’ve never been hurt”… sounds great on a t-shirt or bumper sticker… but in reality… it is probably one of the HARDEST things imaginable, and not so simple.

Sometimes its hard to talk to friends about this… as when you hear about someone’s problems and experiences, you often want to inject your own thoughts/experiences/etc, maybe to “connect” with the person… or whatnot. And if I tried to talk to my brothers, I’d probably just get a ‘Damn it, get over it!” and that would be that.

Gee, thanks Dr. Phil. Too bad it doesn’t actually work like that. Do me a favor, reader… try to avoid saying, “Just get over it”… cause it’s never that simple. It never actually gets to the root of *why* the person isn’t “over it”. Granted, 1% of the time it is something that needs to be heard (it’s happened to me)… but generally speaking: Doesn’t work.

But Therapy was nice because you have someone who’s just listening, only. Not interjecting… just letting you talk and trying to understand. (Likewise, it taught me how to be a better listener. There’s at least one more good thing!) So, in lieu of therapy… I blog.

I wonder if this is something I’m always going to carry around in a part of me... it’s been so long even now, but still hurts. And the hardest day I went through last year was the one time I ran into her at a mutual friend’s wedding. I knew it was going to happen, and tried to prepare myself… but felt a number of times like I “wasn’t going to make it”… whether that means breaking down and crying, exploding in a succession of curses, or covering myself in the wedding cake frosting and skipping around the reception yelling, “I’m a choo-choo train!”… I’m not really sure. (My luck, it’s probably closer to the choo-choo train scenario…) Even though all we did was exchange a “Hello” (and I ended up sitting directly behind her during the ceremony)… I felt so uncomfortable the entire day and evening… only going through it because I didn’t want to miss my friend get married. I just did everything I could to occupy myself, yet it seemed like every time I turned around, she was nearby.

Reminds me of an episode of “Sex & The City”… the main character was obsessing/lamenting over a breakup, and the Redhead (Miranda) gets fed up, yells “Get over it!” and storms off. Later, Miranda sees an old Ex…one that cheated on her, and is STILL with the woman he cheated on her with. She quickly bolts and hides, can’t bring herself to see or be seen by them. She shows up later saying, “I was wrong. Take all the time you need.”

I kind of identify with that.

[Yeah, I did it… I made references to James Bond AND Sex & the City in the same blog post. Boo ya.]

Yeah, sometimes I still wonder if I’ll ever hear from her again… try to “make peace” or apologize or whatever. Hell, sometimes I wonder if she ever heard of or hears of this and reads it. Has it given a new perspective of how I felt or feel? Whatever, I don’t know. Maybe subconsciously I do want it… but like I said… it’d still be too little, too late.

(Though, if Scumsucker ever tries to contact me… I *will* circumvent his throat twice with a razor, bisect him from the crotch to the chest, flay his skin open, pull out his internal organs and place them over his left shoulder. I’m just saying… *ten points if you can guess the reference!*)

I’m thinking this will pass when I find someone worthy of being my Crush. Maybe I should just focus more on my Hollywood Dream Girl and stick in the realm of fantasy more often to help. Who knows? Right now, I’m just trying to force myself to think of other things… focus on advancing the dreams and plans… hoping it hurts less and less each day.

Thanks for reading.


I'm Tired of This Shite!

Alright… I’m officially *fed up*.

I actually found someone that I was interested in. In a romantic sense.

Now, those two statements look like a bit of an oxymoron. “Wait… you have a crush? That’s a good thing… isn’t it?”

Yes, it is. I think it’s a VERY good thing. It’s been a long time since I’ve met anyone that has held my interest like that. I actually started to get *hopeful*. And furthermore… this was someone I met on the Internet. Even suffering all my past gauntlets of Internet meeting/dating… from homemade dumplings shoved down my gullet to seemingly pleasant meetings that result in never hearing from that person again… I kept trying it. Thinking that the east coast would be different from the west coast (in terms of saner selections), I figured I’d give it one more go-around… and it looked like it actually was about to pay off.

I met someone. Yes, it’s the internet, so there is the point that we’ve actually never met *in person*… which sounds pathetic… but in this 21st century that we now live… the idea really just elicits a shrug and a “eh… it happens” from a lot of people.

Now I was never trying to get my hopes up… I’m a very cautious creature nowadays, and spell out very clearly early on with most everyone that I take things very slow. Snails look at me and say, “Sweet Screaming Jesus, pick up the pace, will ya?” And one individual that I met on one particular “meeting site” had a picture that makes you look twice. And you’ll look a third just because you can. And not that far from where I’m now living. In our correspondence… we seemed to react favorably towards one another. Every few days I’d receive an e-mail from her. Sometimes I’d sit on it for a day, sometimes write something that evening. After 2 days or so, she’d write back. Nice, easy, relaxed way of introducing. I’m okay with this. Then we start to chat on AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), and we exchanged regular e-mails.

In our chats and e-mails… we seem to connect. We seem to have quite a few things in common, and we seem to make each other smile. (Providing you buy the little smiley face icons as being genuine… ) Anytime the conversation started to veer into the definite “friends only” type of conversations that I know so well… I tried to nip it in the bud. Saying, “sorry… I don’t want to hear that, because then I’ll ONLY be thought of as a friend. And I don’t want to be demoted like that just yet.” She actually responded to this saying that she was worried that *her* feelings weren’t going to be mutual… etc. So, by her own admission… SHE’S interested. And has written on a number of occasions… “You’re just the type of guy I could fall in love with.” Hey… things are looking pretty spiffy for me!

What I know about her at this point is this: She’s 27 (in my age range, hallelujah)… a schoolteacher of 8th graders… doesn’t drink (another hallelujah)… is Irish (as in from Ireland), and has been here in America for 8 years. Those are the main points. She says she’s online most evenings around 7pm. Now I rarely use AIM… but consciously found myself purposefully logging on around that time in hopes of catching her on… (or letting her catch me on) so we could chat more. Now with this going on… the e-mails dropped off. Or I should say… my e-mails went unanswered. I can usually understand this… why bother to write when we’re going to chat in real-time anyway? No problem.

We exchange phone numbers. One night I call her, get her voice mail… I leave a message. Don’t hear anything till a few days later when we’re online. Not a returned phone call… another on-line chat. *shrug* No biggie… she’ll call when she feels up to it. She said she wasn’t feeling well at times, so maybe her voice isn’t up to par these days, and it hurts to talk.

Now you’ll probably realize I’m already doing something I do a LOT. Making excuses for people. Or maybe not so much making excuses… but cutting a lot of slack. Warranted or not… Being fair or being a sucker… I tend to do that, and intend to do it less.

Now I knew meeting might be a slight logistical annoyance… I was starting a new job, and once training was done, the regular hours would be on the weekends. But that was AFTER the training.

Now there are a few things I don’t know about her. Such as the town she lives in (so I have an idea how far apart we are)… and I would also like to know her last name. My e-mail displays my full name, and I had knowingly mentioned what it is to her… and since I have a fairly unique last name, if you google it (as I know MANY people to do… don’t want to go hooking up with a convicted serial killer), with all the results you get, there’s a 99% chance that the any one you pick is either me or someone related to me. And with all my activities over the years, I got in a number of papers and places that found their way onto the web. So it’s not hard to locate me in a virtual sense. You can find pictures of me, my Myspace, blogs I’ve posted to, friends that name me, clubs I’ve been in, productions I’ve worked on, etc. Hell, I’m on the Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com) from crying out loud.

Now, I’m not saying I expect to find out as much info on her as she can on me… or even that I intend to do a full background check. But a last name is important. It’s identity. It separates you from all the other Jens, Joes, Carls, Emilys and whatever that are out there. Sure, there’s 354,048 Ashleys out there… but only one Ashley Mortnick. (Or maybe none… as I just made that name up) But you see what I mean. And I want to know about HER, and know HER identity. May seem like a small detail that’s easily forgettable… but I think it’s important.

Well, that inquiry went unanswered. I even dropped an e-mail again to her saying “Hi… how are you? Hope to hear back from you, and hear your response to my last e-mail. Blah blah.” (Turns out… I sent a few e-mails to her… each a few or several days apart that went unanswered) And I was still logging on to AIM every night around the same time. Nothing. Now, since she “ghosts” (logs on without being seen by everyone), she would have to contact ME when we were on together. And now… She seemed to disappear. And I realized this disappearing act just as I was starting to mention to friends about how there was finally someone I was actually interested in… and looking forward to meeting.

I guess… she lost interest? Seems so… as I was never asking for a long drawn-out e-mail… just a quick two minute note, saying, “I’ve been really busy, hope to chat soon!” One time, I tried to message her on AIM and it went through… showing she WAS on… and no response. ????

Now… I know about being busy. All too well. But I also know that no matter how busy I am… if I really want to… I can make time to write a quick “I’m thinking about you” note to someone. Even just as a courtesy. And I know I said I like to “take things slow”… but that doesn’t mean extended periods of time between initial contact and official dating status with same amount of conversations in between. That just means *more* conversations… and more “getting to know” someone before said “official status” commences.

So, I hear nothing… no return phone call from the initial one made way back when… no quick e-mails… no messages on AIM at the times when she’s always supposed to be on. It apparently feels like I’m suddenly being ignored.

Then, I get an e-mail. It says, “((hugs him as she sees him)) Hi there! Haven’t seen you online in a while. I was thinking you found someone else to be interested in. Hope to talk to you soon!”

Okay, my reply was not really on the “kind” side. I had to ask… am I just being played? *I’m* not online? I made EVERY effort to contact her and make myself available for contact. And now it’s just a “oh darn, we didn’t catch each other. Oh well, everything’s fine now!” It’s feeling like she is exuding NO effort whatsoever… not even minimal. So, quite frankly, this is starting to marginally resemble the actions of someone else I used to know, and no longer care to.

I hear nothing for a few days… and she messages me one evening. With another “((hugs him as she sees him))”… personally, I don’t understand this form of descriptive action… but hey, some people do that. Now, I’m looking at my screen with a “What the hell” kind of contempt. She writes that she read my letter… was very surprised by it… and I even made her start to cry. I have no intention of issuing an apology… at least until I get some kind of apology from her for the lack on contact.

We chat a bit about why I felt that way… She says she thought that since SHE was feeling sick, and so was I (yes, but I still go near my computer!)… and since I worked weekends (which I hadn’t at that point)… I let her in on my past experiences and why I may seem so untrusting. She thinks she’s competing with a ghost… which isn’t the case… I just learned from the past. I’m over it... I’ve healed, just have no desire to repeat it. But according to her, I need to “think about things” and decide what I really want (meaning, do I really want to pursue something with HER).

Now… that’s something that kind of annoys me. I’m always hearing that I’m the one that “needs to think about things”. Bullshit! I’m ALWAYS thinking about things… hell, I *overthink* things (as many that know me may tell).

I don’t need to think about ANYTHING. I know what I want… and I’m just wondering if I’m going to get it. That’s for HER to answer and demonstrate.

Maybe that got through to her… and we end that chat with her needing to walk her dog, but that I can “call her anytime”. I ask if we can talk that evening later on. She says sure. A little after 9:00pm I call her, and she actually picks up. And we actually chat… finally hearing her voice for the first time.

And she has a THICK Irish brogue.

For a few seconds I actually wonder to myself… “is this for real?” Something about it just seemed a bit odd… like it was *too much*, you know? Now the only evidence I heard of her voice up till this point was the message on her voice mail. Which sounded more American then ME, quite frankly. No hint of an accent. Granted, it was a quick message, and hard to tell. I doubt it was someone else making a message for her… the tone and pitch were the same… but just no accent. Whether she was putting on the fake voice at the message or now in the conversation… I have no clue. Or if there was any fake whatsoever… *shrug* If it is fake… what benefit would come from it? I couldn’t see any reason for it. And it’s not just going on a “feeling” here…

She said she’s been in America for 8 years. I know people from non-English speaking countries that lose their accents in less than 5. Hell, my Mom goes to Canada for two weeks a year, and spends the next 6 putting “ey” at the end of all her sentences. I spent 4 days in London, I spoke with a slight british twinge for a week after. We’re humans… get immersed, we naturally adapt. The only reason you would keep an accent after that time is if it’s on purpose. Take Ah-nold Swartzenhopper… that accent is his selling point. His gimmick. He could speak perfect English if he wants, but then he becomes another unmemorable muscle-head actor. Now, he’s the freaking governor of California. So… why would she have this VERY thick Irish accent?

Regardless… we have a nice conversation. Very pleasant… and we talk about possible places to meet for tea or cocoa or something. I’m still even willing to travel further than she would so she wouldn’t be inconvenienced much. We end the conversation with some possibilities… and she says that I can call her and talk ANYTIME. I ask if I can call again tomorrow around the same time. She says yes. So I do. She doesn’t answer… I leave a message.

Next night, I try ONE more time. I never call anyone more than twice… then it’s up to them to call me back. It’s only right… it’s only polite.

And I haven’t heard anything since.

What does this tell me?

Well, according to the scientific principle of Occam’s Razor:

The simplest explanation is usually the best.

And the simplest explanation is that I’m being played like a game of jacks.

So… I’m officially tired of this bullshit.

If she REALLY wants to chat … she’ll have to call or write to me. If she really wants to meet… SHE will have to go further out of her way and come up to ME. I’m not kissing any more ass. I’m not lifting any more fingers. And it’s not going to be MY loss.

This is FAR from putting my faith back into the female gender.

What the hell?