30 October 2015

Dreamer's World October 30 2015 - Toxic People


The end of the week is here at last! I am glad to have this week, and this month, behind me. The end of the year is now within sight, and I can really begin to evaluate my progress made this year. In the past, I focused more on financial aspects since I was really struggling to get out of debt. While I am still paying off the last big bill I have, I can now evaluate myself on more levels, especially the personal level.
2015 has been a year in which I have made tremendous progress on so many levels. My personal relationships outside of the one that Hal and I share has often been strained this year. I have cut ties with many people rather than continue interacting with them because, quite frankly, they are toxic. They served no purpose anymore in my life, they had become estranged from me, and they had often attempted to stay in touch only for reasons that benefitted them.
This aspect of my evaluation began early in the year. A former friend began to surface only when he needed something. I no longer felt any obligation to him, and his actions really pissed me off. Sure enough, when I confronted him about his behavior, he instantly turned on me and acted like a little brat. At that point, I knew that my only course of action was to cut him off completely and totally at that time. I deleted all phone numbers and emails, I removed him from my social media accounts and I blocked him from any further contact with me. I have not heard from him since his last snarky comment at the end of March. I have never regretted this decision.
After that episode, I felt empowered for the first time in years. I no longer felt helpless. This feeling soon began to spread to other people who were hanging on to benefit themselves. In short, these people were also “toxic”, and the best thing to do was to cut them off as well. Complications arose because of their relationships with Hal. I can only evaluate their behavior with and towards me. I discussed this with Hal at length, and he understands my decision to cut ties with these people, even though he remains in contact with them.
Without a doubt, it was often the lack of trust that I could place on these people that made my decision so much easier. I held no secrets with them, but there were things that Hal and I trusted these people with that were not properly cared for. To me, that was the final straw and grounds for me to effectively terminate the relationship. I have no problem with Hal maintaining contact with these people, because after we talked, he also has misgivings about them. However, he prefers to not completely break things off with them. I respect his choice. It is a testament to our relationship that we can agree on something like this.
The only conditions that we placed upon things are that those people are no longer welcome here in our home. They will still contact Hal and he stays abreast of their latest tragedies, but we do not get involved anymore. I am much more at ease now without any contact, and I focus my energy on Hal and The Stooges instead of splitting it with outside interferences.

Losing a “friends or friends” used to terrify me. Now I realize that there are people who are important and genuine for a time and then they become something to avoid. Their true colors will show through given enough time, and when that happens it is time to move on without them.

29 October 2015

Dreamer's World October 29 2015 - Remembering Lost Friends and Knowing When To Let Go of Others

There is something that has been weighing on my mind for the past week or so, and the only thing I can do is to write about it. Putting the words down and seeing them helps me to understand and work through things in a peaceful and quiet way. It also relieves my mind of the pressure that I have been feeling. It helps me to identify the reasons for feelings that lurk somewhere just outside of conscious thought.
Almost 1 year ago, I lost a dear friend of mine in a traffic accident. In the year that has past, I have remained in touch with his wife and children and offered support whenever it was needed. Don was a true friend, one of the very best I have ever had the privilege of knowing. He defined the term for me.
We met while we were both in the Navy. Don was onboard the ship I was stationed on for several months while we were deployed overseas. That was Don’s job at the time, he was a local area expert. We started out as comrades, as all Navy friendships do. We would hang out when the ship made port visits, have some drinks and good times without getting into too much trouble. Don and I talked about our backgrounds, me being from Kentucky and him being from Philly. He told me all about his wife, Nicola, who was expecting their first child at the time. Every chance we got, Don was on the phone to talk with her. I was struck by the intense bond that he and Nicola shared and it made very happy for them both.
Far too soon, as far as the friendship went, the ship was heading back to the States, and Don left to resume his post in another country to await his next assignment. There were the obligatory promises to stay in touch, remember that this was the late 90s and email was still in it’s infancy at the time. The ship returned home, and I proceeded with my own life and career.
I knew that I was gay when I was in the Navy, but I always kept my mind on my business and never let anything interfere with why I was on the ship in the first place. Again, it was a different time, and things like that were frowned upon. Don and I never had that type of relationship anyway, friends are far more valuable in life. As time went on, the attempts to stay in touch sputtered on and off since Don was transferring from one place to another. I served out my tour and was preparing to leave the Navy.
Just before that happened, Don was posted back to the States. When fate brought him to the area, he took the chance and visited the ship to see if I was still onboard. If his visit had come a few months later, I would have been gone forever. I will never forget the thrill at seeing him again after nearly 3 years. It was as if we had never been apart. You have to remember that most military friendships consist of unfulfilled promises to stay in touch. For Don to take the effort to look me up says all that you need to know about his character.
This time, we were able to reliably stay in touch. I left the Navy and met Hal, my partner of nearly 16 years right afterwards. We started our life together and decided eventually that the DC area was a better place for us to be. Don was still in the Navy and stationed not too far away. When I contacted him and told him that 1) I was Gay and 2) that Hal and I were going to be moving to the DC area, I was somewhat apprehensive. Several other Navy friends recoiled when I came out to them. That was their choice, I respect it, although I cannot agree with it.
Don was supportive of myself and Hal. We were invited to finally meet his beautiful wife, Nicola, and their daughter, Brianna. Brianna was the child that Donald and Nicola were expecting when we first met. Nicola, who met Don when he was stationed in Scotland, welcomed Hal and myself with open arms. We made it a routine to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with them at their home.
Life was wonderful until that day almost a year ago when Nicola called me in tears and told me that Don was dead. I fell to the floor in the office where I worked and sobbed when I heard the news. I instantly regretted every missed opportunity to talk with Don and let him know what a truly valuable friend he was to us. I realized that an attitude like this would leave me wounded, and I learned to get over those regrets quickly in order to preserve the wonderful memories I have. Hal and I supported Nicola and the kids, Connor was born a few years after we had met Nicola, even though they lived approximately 45 miles away from us. The distance has never been an issue to Hal or myself when it comes to friends.
As the anniversary of the accident approaches, I am somewhat melancholy once again, but the nostalgia is the right kind this time. I miss Don, but I am more grateful for the time that we did know each other than anything else. Hal and I will be there for Nicola and the kids if we are needed.
Ironically, at about the same time last year, I also reconnected with another Navy friend from back in the day. We spoke on the phone a few times and promises to stay in touch were made, but in this case, the years have proven too much to overcome. I do not think that we will ever establish a strong connection. The joy of reconnecting was shattered by Don’s death, the other friend knew Don from years ago as well. I cannot fault him for not feeling the same way that I did when I told him the news. they had not spoken in nearly 20 years at that point. What I came to realize as I write this is that this other friend has not contacted me for almost a year. I feel no regret in telling myself that there will be no reunion with this friend. I am not bitter or angry, people change through the years and we don’t always mesh together when reintroduced.
Again, this was something that set Don apart from other friends. He was special and unique and genuine, and most importantly, he was the type of person that would work together to re-establish a friendship that he never considered broken in the first place.
And so, I have dealt with two extremes when it comes to people from my past. Comparison is useless because we are all different. At least there are no hard feelings toward the friend who I have been unable to reconnect with.
As I grow older, I learn more and more. Friends are the most valuable thing we can have in life. But there are some friends who are part of our lives for a specific period of time, and then no more. To attempt to rebuild something based on the past is wrong and doomed to failure. I learned years ago that it is the time to simply move on. There are no recriminations or blame to throw around, these things happen.
I think that the important thing is to realize your true friends and hold them close and never miss the opportunity to let them know how valuable they are to you. Those are the friends who you should invest your time with. For the friends who drift away and fail to reconnect, the worst thing you can do is try to spend time and effort reaching out only to get silence. The important thing is to know the difference between the two and act accordingly,
We all make decisions in our lives that affect ourselves and those around us. Sometimes those decisions make it impossible to keep things the way they were. Learning to accept both permanent and transitory loss and move ahead is the real lesson here.
I feel so much better after writing this down. I have gone back and edited several times, but I don’t want to lose the spontaneity of my thoughts in the process. I think that it is important to keep the impact of the story intact and not water it down. Doing so makes writing completely useless to me, but perhaps I am just weird like that.
One last thought is how I have changed in the nearly 20 years since Don and I met. I mentioned that Hal and I met after I left the Navy. We are celebrating our 16th year together this next January. I never believed I would be this happy when I left the Navy. I certainly don’t mean to imply that I was planning to be miserable, but I was just uncertain about my future at that time. I need not have worried because of Hal. We grow stronger together every day and without him I would really be an emotional wreck thinking about the next few weeks.

I suppose that it is just an example of how things will work out for the best if we let them. Perhaps I am wrong, but I don’t think so. For all of the troubles and tragedies I have faced in my life, I know that it is much easier to face them with someone by my side. On that note, I will wish everyone a great day and thank you for reading.

26 October 2015

Dreamer’s World October 26 2015

Another Monday is here, and I am starting my day working from home. Of course, the first thing to happen every Monday is that the company laptop wants to refuse to boot properly. This is because the laptop is an old one, at least 6 years old and is supposed to be upgraded at some nebulous point in the future. I will wait and see how long it actually takes. I would rather get the upgrade that the company promises than an impromptu new one based on necessity, because that is the process that got me the one I have now. Until then, I will go through this routine every Monday and hope for the best.
Today is the day when Hal is supposed to get the lab results for Maxwell from the vet’s office. I am already prepared to accept that Maxwell might have to be given medicine for some time. That will be an adventure. Maxwell never stays calm when we try to hold him for any reason, he is more of an observer cat than a lap cat.
The day has gone along rather well, the meetings have started and I have the headset glued to my ears to listen into the conference calls. So far, Hal has not told me that he has heard from the vet. He did tell me that the handle on the dryer broke off and that he is calling apartment maintenance to get it repaired. Just another typical Monday for us so far. Sadly, I will be listening to conference calls most of the afternoon before finally quitting for the day at 1730. These meetings usually impact my productivity, and this week is one of those that has lots of meetings. I will do the best that I can to get as much done as possible. At least I have my agenda set for the day.
I am trying to get a few extra things done while I listen to this endless conference call. Sadly, the call does require a level of attention that makes it very difficult to really pay sufficient attention to another task.
I survived the day at work and am ready to sign off for the day in just a few minutes. Once the meetings ended, I was able to get quite a bit accomplished. Hal still has not heard from the vet about Maxwell, and we are taking this as a good sign that there is nothing seriously wrong with him. I suggested to Hal that he let me know if he wants to go anywhere after work. I will wait until I am done here to ask him if he has made a decision. If he wants to stay at home, that is perfectly fine with me. If he wants to go somewhere then we will. Just as I went into the other room to tell him that I am finished for the day, his phone rang. Depending on who the call is from, Hal could be on the phone for hours. I suppose that really will decide if we go anywhere after all.
It turns out that the call was from the vet. Maxwell’s thyroid is fine, but they suspect the problem might be with his kidneys. Hal will take him to the vet again tomorrow morning in order for Maxwell to leave a urine sample when he gets around to it so they can run tests on that. Hopefully, things will turn out to not be that bad. We are staying at home this evening, and I hope to get to bed and have a good night of sleep to be ready for tomorrow at work. Monday Night Football used to be something that I looked forward to, but I find that I just non longer have the interest. I find that Sundays no longer dictate that I spend the entire day watching football. Priorities change, my life moves on ahead, and I am extremely happy about it. My life has gotten so much better over the last year and I am not going to do anything to kill this feeling.

Kathryn Stout Arrested in Black Lives Matter Vandalism Spree in Columbia, Illinois

Kathryn Stout Arrested in Black Lives Matter Vandalism Spree in Columbia, Illinois

24 October 2015

Dreamer’s World October 23 2015

Friday is here at last. Yesterday was a day off work for me as I went to the dentist to get an old crown removed and a temporary crown put in place until the new one arrives around the middle of November. Thankfully, the procedure went well and things are on track. I enjoyed the time off work after the appointment, and Hal and I went to a nice dinner in the evening.
Today I am back at work and catching up on things that happened yesterday while I was away. In addition, Hal will be taking Maxwell to the vet this afternoon to have him looked at. Maxwell has always been a chubby cat but after we put him on a diet, he lost weight to the point that he was getting too thin. When we began to feed him more in order to get him back to normal, he isn’t gaining any weight back. We hope that it is nothing serious, but we will find out this afternoon. I will be at work while Hal takes him to the vet, but I will be thinking about Maxwell the entire time.

Once Maxwell is back from the vet and I am finished with work, Hal and I will see about evening plans. Of course, the situation with Maxwell will determine what we decide to do. Maxwell is nearly 16 years old, and he is a part of the family, so we will take care of him no matter what it takes. I have money in my savings account and that will help to take care of Maxwell. Both Hal and I hate to think that something is wrong with any of The Stooges, so we will do whatever it takes to get Maxwell back to normal.
If we decide to stay at home, I might order dinner for us. Hal still has to go to work in the morning, so even if we do go somewhere, we will not be out late. Either way is fine with me because our attention will be focused on Maxwell this evening.
We are extremely fortunate to have a cat like Maxwell. He is somewhat shy, but very affectionate when the mood hits him. He purrs so loudly that it is a wonder the neighbors don’t hear him because he is happy so much of the time. We aren’t letting anything bad happen to Maxwell if we can help it!
Hal just left with Maxwell at 1330 for his 1400 appointment. I will be waiting to hear from Hal, although he might not call me and just come back with Maxwell since the vet’s office is close by.
Thankfully, the vet does not suspect anything seriously wrong with Maxwell. He has a history of thyroid issues, so he might have some medication given after his blood work comes back, but the vet said he is healthy. That is a huge load off of our minds. Both Hal and I can breathe easier this weekend.

20 October 2015

Dreamer’s World October 20 2015 - The Lame Stream Media

As I start this Tuesday morning at work, I am grateful for everything that is going well for me. I am hopeful about the things that aren’t, and I am indifferent about the things that I cannot change through any amount of effort. With that out of the way I can focus on having the best day possible here.
I try to keep up with the news while I work here at home but honestly, I just cannot believe the amount of garbage and inforporn that the MSM wants to dump on us each and every day. I find it harder and harder to wade through the filth to get to any real information. These days, I find more and more of my information via social media and independent online sources. Time and again these sources have proven to be well ahead of the MSM when it comes to the important stories. Actually, I will turn off the TV whenever the local or national news is on.
The thing that irritates me the most is the one-sided corporate view of things that seems to be the only viewpoint that the MSM can manage to cover. Their fascination with Trump is completely revolting. I think that this is a symptom of a deeper problem with the MSM.
Gone are the days when reporters actually went and looked for real stories to bring to the public’s attention. Today, the MSM only respond to what I will graciously call staged news, such as Trump. Only the independent media has bothered to look past the bluster at the pile of excrement that is Trump. The MSM will only react to what he says, rather than dig deeper to find any real truth.
I simply cannot find any redeeming quality in the MSM today. It will take a long time for them to regain my trust.

19 October 2015

Dreamer's World October 19 2015 - Another Monday

As Monday starts, I am once again taking care of work here at home. With the really chilly mornings we have gad for the last few days, I am glad to be here and not having to commute back and forth. All I have to do is to wake up, shower, and walk to the spare bedroom that doubles as my office and start my day. When winter sets in, I will appreciate this even more.
I have made a lot of progress on work items this morning and I’m already looking forward to having lunch here with Hal. There are a few meetings that I have to dial into this afternoon, but nothing that should cause a lot of concern or trouble. Once the workday is over with, we will have dinner here and I am sure that we will be at home all evening after that.
The routine suits me. I no longer feel the need to get out all the time. I realize that the things that I need are right here with me already. The temptation just isn’t there anymore. I guess it is called getting older, I prefer to call it being conformable with things and being thankful for them at the same time.

16 October 2015

Dreamer’s World October 16 2015 - Working On My Own

I have worked with my current company for nearly 10 years. During that time, I have never worked in the same location as my supervisor, and there have been several throughout the years. Working remotely from the majority of the company doesn’t bother me in the way it has bothered some former coworkers. They missed the office politics and the water-cooler gossip. I don’t miss those things at all. I find that it never ends up well to get involved in things that don’t directly concern me.
There are certainly drawbacks to the situation. When I make proposals to the rest of the team, I am just a voice on the telephone. I have never met most of the people involved. I know that is some ways this puts me at a disadvantage, but I also know that I am trusted implicitly by the customer, with whom I work very closely and spend time with in person each week. The temptation to attempt to utilize my relationship with the customer is always present, but I have learned to keep from going in that direction because it will cause more heartache within the company and since I am isolated it would only cause trouble.
Therefore, I do not play the office politics game. I try to stay up to speed with what is going on, but that is the extent of my involvement. Ironically, I am asked often by some of the people whom I have never met to give my opinion on other people I have never met. Once again, I try to stay out of these things as much as possible.
I often wonder what it would be like to work in an office environment again and have to deal with all of the personality conflicts that inevitably take place. I am sure that I would stay out of that as much as possible. Since the situation with my company is not changing, that would be a huge consideration if I were to ever decide to look for another job. Thankfully, I am very happy with the work that I do, and I am very good at it. I see no reason to be looking elsewhere at this time.
I know that working on my own has both advantages and disadvantages, and I accept them. It does affect me in other ways that are probably obvious. I never have to worry about someone staring over my shoulder to keep track of me, I depend on the telephone and email far more than most people do since there is no office chat going on. I can listen to my music as I work without the worry of someone else thinking it is too loud, or not liking my choice of music. I can take small breaks throughout the day without fear of being observed at every opportunity, and I have a window office/room to work from so i can always see what the weather is like outside. I never have to worry about the traffic to and from work. I never have to deal with adverse winter weather and I can work days that I would normally have taken off in the past because the pressure is not as great.
Working from home and working on my own has made me more productive. I enjoy myself more and also enjoy the work more than I used to when I was the only person at an office and also responsible for the physical upkeep of the location. Now I can relax during the phone conference calls and not worry about ordering supplies for the office.
I wondered how I would like working from home. I have to say that I love it. I was concerned about whether or not I would enjoy it. I was afraid that I would lose focus being at home, but that fear was unfounded. I honestly would rather work from home now than go to an office.
As the weekend approaches, the afternoon will be quiet and peaceful as I work from home. I am looking forward to shutting the laptop down and relaxing with Hal after work. If we decide to go anywhere, that will be great, but it is not a necessity.
The day at work is nearly over with. I am ready for whatever the evening and the weekend has in store for us here. I am glad that I work from home now.

14 October 2015

Dreamer's World October 14 2015 - To Be Happy

One of the hardest things to find in this life is Happiness. As you can tell from my normal daily picture, there is a philosophy that I try my best to follow, and that is “Happiness is a new day”. What this really means is that each day brings us the same challenges as the day before, as well as some new ones that pop up. Not much of a starting point is it?
Each day presents challenges to us that can either allow us to despair or to MAKE THE CHOICE to be happy. You heard me right, HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE! That is a lesson I took forever to learn, but experience is the best teacher. I spent years hoping that things were going to get to the point where I would finally be “happy”. There were some promising days that quickly fell apart, and there were the days when I thought I would never be happy at all ever again.
This mindset was all a product of me expecting something to happen that would make me “happy”. I made no conscious effort to improve my situation, I was stuck in the response-only mode that we all find ourselves in from time to time. It seems like such an obvious thing to say, but for those who are struggling, I understand exactly how you feel, and I hope that you are able to make things better eventually.
Happiness is a choice that we all have to make. Happiness is a choice that we all have to make each and every day of our lives. It is a repetitive process that becomes a habit if we follow through with it. I no longer let things bother me for more than an instant. There are times when the best day can be brought crashing down to Earth with just one negative moment. Personally, I find that writing helps me to get over those negative emotions and feelings. It doesn’t magically cure them, but it gives me the chance to really examine them as I write. This is turn helps me to figure out why it bothers me and what I can do to alleviate the problem.
Rather than feeling like I am dwelling on something negative when I write, I begin to see the positive outcomes that I can affect with my own attitude and efforts. It convinces me that I can overcome what is in front of me and move on with my life without falling apart. I suppose that it should be described as a mixture of analytical and positive thinking. I cannot overcome the obstacle until I more clearly understand why I think it is in my way.
This rather simple approach has helped me to get through some really difficult life events. Coming out, the loss of a parent, discovering that I was in a toxic relationship and leaving it behind, financial troubles have all been handled with the simple idea that Happiness is a choice.
Remember that the other option is despair, and that never leads to anything good. Never let the world or other people take away your right to make your own choice to be happy. I guarantee you will not regret it.
It will not always be easy. Changing the way you look at the world and the problems in it and how they affect you can be overwhelming, you have to commit to this and give it time to work for you. A practice that I have always found helpful is to set a date in the future, say 1 month to start with and then attempt to see the world and your place in it differently for that month. When the deadline arrives, take an HONEST look back at how you felt that day vs how you feel at the current moment. I think that you will be pleasantly surprised if you are honest with yourself and you have done your best to change your mindset to one of being happy. Remember that Happiness is a new day, and Happiness is a CHOICE.

13 October 2015

Dreamer’s World October 13 2015 - The Upcoming Debate

As a Progressive, I am a huge fan of Bernie Sanders. I love his honesty and his appreciation of what Americans are going through in these times with all the ridiculous chaos deliberately created by the RWNJ lunatics and their MSM cronies. I honestly hope that Bernie wins the Democratic nomination. He has my vote.
Having said that, I have no plans to watch the Democratic debate this evening. I am tired of the MSM slant towards Hillary Clinton at the expense of the other candidates. This is not what the process is supposed to be about. More voices need to be heard and not limited by those who run the political machine.
Let’s be honest. Until Bernie entered the race, the nomination was Hillary’s to lose. That dynamic seems to have stuck in the minds that run the Democratic party regardless of the tidal wave that Bernie Sanders has created. Sanders has captured the spirit and imagination of the American people in a way that I cannot remember seeing before.
Bernie does this without resorting to the divisive policies that the RWNJ love to use. Bernie doesn’t throw religion into the mix and try to jam a warped and perverted version down everyone’s throats to get approval from a fringe of voters. Bernie addresses the issues that the American people truly care about. Health care, income inequality, education, jobs, civil rights, and the environment to name a few. Bernie has taken everyone by surprise and they continue to underestimate him.
Bernie has drawn crowds that are unheard of in recent political memory. He does this without bowing to the corporate and Wall Street masters as the other politicians do. He is truly an independent, and this scares the shit out of both political parties!
Bernie can do great things, but the most important thing he can do is to remind us of who we really are. We are a compassionate and caring people. We believe in giving people a fair chance. We believe that money talks in politics and that this is WRONG!
Bernie cannot do everything by himself. The voters need to send representatives to Congress that are NOT part of the corporate power structure if we really want to see change. The only thing lacking is a slate of candidates for federal, state and local offices that are in tune with Bernie. I am not surprised that there are almost none because Bernie arrived on the scene so quickly and without any real expectation. If there are progressives out there to vote for in addition to Bernie, PLEASE VOTE FOR THEM AS WELL.
My sincere hope is that Bernie will be our next President. If not, the best available option would be Hillary. Having said that, I hope that Bernie inspires a new group of public servants to answer the call to address this nation’s problems. The current crop of politicians we have has proven incapable of getting anything done.
I will not watch the debate this evening because I cannot trust the MSM to be objective in any way. They will fawn all over Hillary Clinton and paint Bernie as a fringe candidate. The MSM have failed in their responsibility to provide information. Instead they give us opinion and info-porn disguised as “news”.
I will find out what I need to know via non-truadional media. I would rather filter through the shit to find the truth than be completely buried in the BULLSHIT that the MSM never fails to provide us with.

Dreamer's World October 13 2015

Tuesday is here, and that means back to work after the 3-day weekend. I enjoyed the time off and I had time to rest and think. Hal and I had the time to ourselves with the exception of him working Saturday and Sunday, which is the normal routine around here.
I will see what the short workweek has in store for me. In the past, I always took Tuesdays off after a Monday holiday, but now I am working from home and that doesn’t seem as important anymore. I will save my vacation days for when I need them in the future. Not being at an office relieves me of the stress that other people cause when they come back from vacation and believe that they must try to cram 5 working days into only 4 working days.
The fact that we didn’t hear from anyone over the long weekend is another indication of how our decisions to distance ourselves from some disruptive people has paid off. Honestly, we normally wouldn’t hear from most of them anyway even on a holiday weekend. It is nice to have our attention focused on ourselves though. We are doing just fine here and have been more at peace without the chaos of other peoples’ issues to deal with. Personally, I like it this way and I think that Hal does as well. The fact that we have arrived at this point seems to indicate that too many people take friendship for granted.
There are plenty of times when I feel like I am out-of-touch with the digital world. If someone doesn’t have the time to talk properly, then I find that I have less interest in them. Conversation seems to be a lost art for so many people. I am not sure what the reason for this is, but it is rather annoying to deal with people that can only converse in text messages unless they WANT something.

12 October 2015

Dreamer’s World October 12 2015

Today is Monday. Today is also a day off from work due to the holiday. It has started slowly, but Hal and I will be making a trip out later today to get a few necessities and to spend some time together. We won’t be making any long trip, or spending money that isn’t strictly necessary, and we will be staying close to home. With all those caveats, it doesn’t sound like much go a day, but in reality it is the way that we both want things.
Our days of running around are in the past. We are much more focused on each other and the Stooges and maintaining things. Stability is more important to us than surprises. This is a sign of a mature relationship. We are both happy and that is the thing that we both care about more than anything else.
There have been times when I wish that there were a few more surprises, provided that they are pleasant surprises, but it is comforting to know that we have what we have. It is comforting to know that we don’t truly need anything. The stability we have has strengthened out relationship through the years as we have watched friends struggle to even establish a basic long-term relationship with another person. We both see the pattern repeat itself over and over with these people. We both have increased our distance from them as a result because we have been their landing pad after too many emotional crashes in the past.
It is difficult to maintain distance from people when we see them in trouble. It is not that difficult when they have asked for advice based on how well we have done, and then they disregard that advice over and over in order to make the same mistake again and again. My fuse is much shorter than Hal’s when it comes to this. I honestly have learned that I can quickly and decisively cut the cord to another person after they act up. It might seem unfair to the person, but I have seen and felt the pattern repeat itself over and over too many times to want to go through it again.
Having said that, I also have effectively cut people off when they cannot keep their mouth shut about our business. When I tell something to a friend in confidence, I fully expect it to remain in confidence. Sadly, that almost never happens. Too many times I have spoken with one of the “friends” and later heard things verbatim from another person. In the past, I would just talk to the “friend” and let them know that they betrayed my trust. Now I just cut that “friend” off at the knees and go on my way. I feel much better about that decision rather than the self-imposed guilt trips that I would experience when I didn’t want to “hurt someone’s feelings”.
And so, Hal and I are happier than we have ever been due in part to our decisions to restrict who we let into our lives. It allows us to focus more on each other without the distractions. Honestly, Hal does maintain contact with those people more than I do, but it is still a far cry from how things used to be. By nature, I am ore of a solitary person than Hal is, so I accept the differences without any problem. I am happy with Hal and The Stooges. Anyone else who wants to get inside my walls has a lot of proving to do before I will allow that to happen.
If this sounds somewhat complicated, welcome to my world. We all have the different aspects of our lives and personalities to deal with. I simply find that I deal best with mine by focusing on what I have and hold dear, rather than longing for something that isn’t mine. I find that people who live in pursuit of things all their lives are seldom happy.
This is a subject that is very dear to me. I spent so much of my life trying to help others who obviously weren’t that interested in being helped, they only wanted the shoulder to cry on. I am not a selfish person, and I will help those who are genuinely in need, but I no longer bother with people and their petty problems on the pretense of being a friend because too many people confuse “friend” with “soft touch”. Hal and I have both learned that we cannot share everything in our lives with people because that only makes them leech from us, or at least try to. Those days are in the past for Hal and I. We just take different approaches on how to get there. Hal is more semi-involved, I am more the type to cut them off immediately and never look back. This combination works for us and that is what is important.
I am actually glad to write about this and get it off my chest. These things have to be said otherwise they will fester inside and turn toxic. Best to get them out in the open and then move on with my life together with Hal and The Stooges.

08 October 2015

Dreamer's World October 8 2015 - A Political Farce

Let there be no mistake about this. I think that the republiKKKan party is ruining America! That is the kindest and gentlest phrase I can use. Today we are witnessing the House of Repeesentatives equivalent of a kindergarten temper tantrum as the #RWNJ lunatic fringe has taken over the room and is holding everyone hostage until they get ALL the cookies and milk for themselves and will not have to SHARE with anyone else!
I have never seen such a childish display of bad temper by a group is so-called adults in my life. These people are an embarrassment to the United States and the rest of the world is surely enjoying a tremendous laugh at our expense right now.
The RWNJ lunatics that are demanding that everyone cave in to their obscene demands are the responsibility of the American people. All of the voter suppression and the hate-filled fear-mongering have finally come home to roost. I wish that there was a way in which these idiots could be subjected to recall elections, but the sad fact is that the congressional districts have been rigged in such a way that the same lunatics would be re-elected once again.
The tactics we see now would be hilarious if they were happening in some movie about a fictional country, but sadly they are happening to this country here and now.

06 October 2015

Dreamer's World October 6 2015 - Bad Knees

Tuesday is here. I slept much better last night after the disaster that was Sunday night, so I feel much better this morning. The only problem was my knee was extremely sore, but I slept with the knee brace on it and there is no more pain this morning. I will monitor it before I start to walk later today. I hate walking with the brace on for any long distances, but I will if I have to in order to get as close to possible to my 10k step goal for today.
The knee injury came a long time ago. When I was in the Navy I was stationed in Alaska at a shore command. I was doing some maintenance on equipment outside and had one of the ladders specifically designed for those conditions which has long spikes to hammer into snow and ice to prevent the ladder from sliding away. I am happy to report that those ladders work UNTIL the entire block of snow and ice that it is nailed into decides to shift when you are on the ladder!
That is what happened to me. The block of snow and ice shifted. This caused the ladder to move away from the building where I was working. As the ladder suddenly moved, I was thrown off balance and my left leg went through the rungs of the ladder. The movement caused my upper body to move in a manner that pulled my knee through the rung at a sideways angle with my upper body weight bending it sideways. Luckily, the ice and snow block stopped before the ladder completely lost contact with the building, but I was hanging suspended with my knee bent sideways through the ladder rung.
My shipmates immediately got me down from the ladder and by that time my knee was screaming in pain. Although I was wearing BDUs (camouflage) my knee was swelling to the point of nearly bursting through the fabric. After the paramedics were called, I was nearly passing out from the pain. When the paramedics arrived, they had to cut the BDU pants from around my knee due to the swelling. By the time I got to the hospital, my knee looked like some type of hybrid cauliflower with the kneecap in the middle!
I was diagnosed with multiple ruptured tendons. I was told that it was a miracle that I had not completely torn the tendons completely, and that if the ladder had fallen all the way to the ground that I would have broken my leg right at the knee.
I was on crutches and pain medication for a month after that. Surgery was not necessary, but I was told that there would probably be times throughout the rest of my life that I would experience real pain in that knee. They were right. Last night was one of those times. There are no scars on my knee to indicate what happened, but when the pain returns at times, it doesn’t really matter.
Of course, a few years later I had almost the exact same injury to the other knee after I left the Navy. I was driving in Virginia Beach and saw an accident about to happen in front of me. It was the slow-motion train wreck that we cannot look away from. I was stopped at a light and as the accident proceeded in slow-motion (form my point of view) in front of me I instantly tensed up as most people would.
One of the cars involved was thrown in my direction and narrowly missed my car. I had instinctively put my foot on the brake even though I was already stopped. However I did this with such force that the tendons in my RIGHT knee ruptured! This time the injury wasn’t as obvious. After the police and medics had completed their work and the intersection was cleared and I had been interviewed about what I saw, I went on my way.
When I got home, I found that I could barely get out of the car and could put no weight on my right knee. I went to the ER and then found that I had sustained almost the identical injury to my right knee that I had suffered years earlier in Alaska on my left knee. The recover was the same, and so was the warning. So to this day, I have the chance of extreme pain in either or both knees without a lot of warning.
I have kept my knee braces through the years, and replaced them we necessary. At times like last night, I will get them out and put them on whichever knee if offending me at the time. When the pain strikes, it can be anything from an annoying twinge to a pain that makes me want to punch a building! Last night was a sharp stabbing pain in the back of my right knee that wouldn’t go away until I put the brace on and it finally warmed and stabilized the knee for a few hours.
We all get older. We all will have aches and pains that we deal with. I only hope that no one else has the trouble with their knees that I have had for 20 years now. It is no fun. I am glad that this didn’t happen when Hal was in his own recovery last week. It would have been awful to have me hobbling around to help him if he needed anything.
At any rate, the workday is over and I will get some walking in. I hope that the pain doesn’t flare up while I am out, it it does, I will just hobble home and put the brace on again.

05 October 2015

Dreamer’s World October 5 2015

I truly dislike insomnia, especially on a Sunday night/Monday morning when I have to go back to work. Yet, here I am again having been awake since just after 0300 with no chance of sleep in sight at 0600 and work does not start until 0900, by which time I will be ready to curl up and sleep for hours. Since that isn’t a possibility until late this afternoon, I am stuck with the concept of wading through a Monday with almost no sleep at all.
I wish that I could readily identify what causes these bouts of insomnia and deal with them once and for all, but the cause has always eluded me. One time I will notice something and think that is the cause, but the next time will have absolutely nothing in common with the previous time, and so on. It is incredibly frustrating to go through this, but at least it doesn’t happen as often as it did in the past. If I am lucky, I did NOT just jinx myself by saying that.
At least I know that today should not be too terrible at work. I have kept up my pace and stayed slightly ahead of where I need to be each day. This saves me from being overwhelmed when the unexpected crisis inevitably arises. One other advantage is that I will have several hours before most of the crises present themselves since most of the company is in California, and therefore they are 3 hours behind me. I will make the best of today that I can and then try to catch up on sleep tonight.
Since I am awake, I checked the weather forecast and there is a promise that we will FINALLY see the sun again today! If that happens, I am sure that people will run outside and quickly burst into flames since it has been so long since the sun has actually been visible here! I will wait and see, since I work from home, IF the sun comes out I can take more small breaks to get outside and enjoy it.
The weekend was uneventful, as planned. I did get in plenty of walking and I slept very well. Hal is completely recovered from his medical procedure and today should mark a return to the normal routine around here. At least that is the plan right now. Things can always change without notice, but I really hope that today doesn’t start out that way.
I’m pleased to announce that I was able to get about an hour of sleep before starting the workday. I know this has made the morning more bearable for me as I finish up my lunch and prepare for several hours of conference calls. To add to the good news, the sun is finally out here as well. I hope that these are both signs that the afternoon will move along smoothly for me.
At least I know that I am not on the hook for any other tasking during these meetings. That is the ONLY saving grace that they have, since I am usually just monitoring things to be on the lookout for any obstacles that will get thrown my way as the process allegedly evolves.
There are no plans for after work. I am saving money and enjoying it. I will be able to make a big payment on my credit card later this month as I get that last bill slowly paid down. I am still a few years away from being totally debt-free, but considering where I was in the past, I have made tremendous progress and wiped out over half of it over the last 5 years. Hal is also working his way out of debt, and there is no reason to spend any extra money right now. I think that I might be able to convince Hal to go to 1/2 price burger night at the local restaurant across the street this evening however.
The meetings continue on. I am feeling much better than I anticipated after the sleepless night. Time to enjoy the feeling of getting things done and staying ahead of the game. I am about ready to take the cell phone outside for a smoke break while this meeting goes on and on with no end in sight. When a meeting has a mandatory 10-minute break, the meeting is too damn long!
Now I can finally take a real break and prepare for my 1-1 meeting with my supervisor. Once that is over with, I can focus on closing things down for today and make sure that everything is ready to go for Tuesday morning.
I just knew things were going too well. I have been roped into a meeting that is “mid-afternoon” on the West Coast. It means that I will be working until at least 30 minutes after my normal quitting time. The price of being successful is how I choose to look at it. It means that Hal and I will delay our trip for 1/2 price burgers for a bit and then we will go on to Harris Teeter afterwards for a few necessary groceries. In the big picture, it doesn’t really impact our plans that much.
After we get back home, we will watch some football later this evening and I will continue to work on this blog post. It feels good to be writing once again. I fell off the wagon and have finally made it back on again. I will also try to get closer to my 10k step goal for today, but it is looking somewhat less than likely right now. Once I get my writing legs back under me, I will try to branch out to more relevant topics, but for now I think that focusing on my daily trials and tribulations is the best thing to do.
After getting home from Harris Teeter, I noticed my knee acting up. This happens to me from time to time, so I have put on my knee brace and will probably sleep wearing it tonight. I certainly hope for a good night of rest.

03 October 2015

Dreamer’s World October 3 2015 - Doctor Who

I have been a huge fan of Doctor Who for many years. I first saw the show in the 1970s on PBS whenever the local station managed to get enough sci-fi pledges to show it. Like so many Americans of my age group, the first Dr. Who I saw was Tom Baker. I was hooked and from then on I tried to watch whenever the show was available. For those younger readers, it is important to remember that in the 1970s and 1980s you had to be in an area where there was a PBS station, and that PBS station had to agree to show Dr. Who and this made following the show rather difficult. When I went to college the local station did not show Dr. Who at all and I suffered through 4 years of enforced withdrawal.

Around the time of my senior year, VCRs became mainstream. Unfortunately, as many of us remember, VCRs were designed to set civilization back at least 100 years because they could NEVER be programmed correctly and whatever you wanted to record got cut short regardless of how many different ways you tried to get it right.

After college, I joined the Navy and was once again without my Dr. Who fix. I was then beginning to realize that this was the time frame in which the show had been canceled by the BBC. It is amazing how isolated we were before the internet. In the meantime, I had found the old series of Target paperbacks that were developed from the stories that had already been on TV. I found endless hours of enjoyment with these books. I was introduced to the rest of the incarnations of the Doctor through these books, from William Hartnell to Sylvester McCoy.

During this time, stores like Suncoast Video made their appearance in malls around the country. Fortunately, the BBC decided to release most of the old episodes via VHS. Once again, I was buying and watching as many episodes of Dr. Who as I could get my hands on. I had actually completed the entire series of 155 Target books and the only thing that was missing was the show itself being on the BBC and available here in the US.

When the Sci-Fi channel premiered on cable tv, they showed Dr. Who, especially the Tom Baker episodes that I had grown up with. Sadly, Sci-Fi became SyFy and terribly lame and stopped showing Dr. Who. Then along came BBC America and with it the chance to once again see Dr. Who.

I was ecstatic when I learned that the BBC was going to bring Dr. Who back to TV and that we would be able to see it here in America at almost the same time. Finally, after all the years, Dr. Who was back and available!

The reboot has been excellent. Christopher Eccleston set a modern tone for the Doctor in his 1 year, and it was a shame to see him leave after only one year. Next came David Tennant, and he clearly defined the role in his own image, as had all the actors before him. The storytelling became much more complex, and with the internet, viewers were able to provide more inputs and began to affect the ways that the story were developed. I was really sorry to see David leave the show, but it fit the pattern that was historically established for an actor staying no more than three years.

During Tennant’s time the companions were very good. I thought that the rotation of companions was handled very well. Rose was replaced by Martha and a new dynamic was established. Donna became a joy to watch during her time with the Doctor. Eventually, the companions left and Tennant ended his time as the Doctor alone.

This set the tone for Matt Smith. His interpretation of the Doctor was a departure from Tennant, and once again the show was just as enjoyable for different reasons. Sadly, I thought that the Amy Pond first season was rather dull, it wasn’t until the dynamic changed with the inclusion of Rory that the show really took off again. When River Song arrived, things really went into high gear. The ensemble was brilliant together. Once again, the cast changed with the introduction of Clara.

Clara was a fine companion for Matt Smith. She also filled the transition to Peter Capaldi. Capaldi was a radical departure from Matt Smith. Aside from being older, Capaldi brings a much darker interpretation of the Doctor. This is a refreshing change from the era of Tennant and Smith. Here is where I begin to have a problem. I think that Clara should be gone, in fact, she should have been gone before the end of last season. I understand the role of the companion in bridging the gap between different Doctors, but they have seldom made it through more than one season before the new Doctor really takes over.

Clara as a character was written to complement Matt Smith. I don’t feel any connection between her and Capaldi. Once again the stories are to blame for this. Rather than allowing Capaldi to grow into the role, the stories have been too focused on Clara. I believe that this has to be changed. Clara has done her time, and it is almost too late for her to leave before the show deteriorates because of the stories.

This is NOT any critique of Jenna Coleman or her acting. She plays the part that is written for her. I simply believe that it is time for her character to move on and for Capaldi to either travel alone for a change, or to acquire a new companion. If I could suggest a compromise, it would to bring back RIver SOng to travel with Capaldi for a while. I think that the sparks would be electric. I picture the following dialogue when they first meet:

River “Oh my, you’ve changed. I was expecting someone younger.”

Capaldi “Quite frankly, so was I”.

This would be followed by a classic SLAP.

That’s my solution. I’m sure that there are others that we have not considered. I just hope that Clara gets a dignified exit, and that Capaldi is able to truly make the role his own.

02 October 2015

Friday is here at last. Unfortunately, it hasn’t brought the sun back to brighten the skies around here. We are still looking at a lot of rain even though Joaquin continues to move further to the east and out to sea. This trashy weather is independent of the hurricane and is supposed to last until Tuesday! That will apparently be the next chance we will have to see the sun around here!
Even if the weather sucks, it will still be the weekend in just a few more hours. That means a time to relax and rest, and the best news is that Hal is taking this weekend off from work so we will have some extra time together for a change. I suspect that we will be spending most of the weekend here at home, but that is fine with me. This has been a very busy week even with Wednesday off, since that was dedicated to helping Hal get through his colonoscopy procedure. I do need a break before I get too run down.
My first meeting of the day went extremely well and now I am enjoying a lite lunch before the next round of meetings kicks off at 1230. I will be tied up in these meetings until 1400 at the earliest. Once I survive that, I have a meeting with my supervisor at 1530 before I start to shut things down and prepare for next week.
Since the light rain continues to fall, I am doubtful that we will go anywhere after work. That is fine with me, I can use the rest and the time to get some exercise in afterwards. Unlike the local media, I do NOT expect to die from this rain, but I suppose that the media fear machine has to be cranked up for some reason or another. I detest the media and their disgusting approach to anything that happens.
The workday is over with at last. Time for relaxing this evening here at home. Since Hal is taking this weekend off from work, we will have time together if we decide to go anywhere or simply stay at home.

01 October 2015

Dreamer's World October 1 2015 - More Gun Violence

The end of the week is here at last. Sadly, it also comes with the news of yet another American tragedy, a shooting at a college in Oregon. I cannot find the words to describe my disgust at this happening once again while our politicians take money from the NRA in order to block the will of the American people when it comes to passing gun control laws.
It is sad that a story like this can happen and the overwhelming response is “Not again”. Have we become so fucking jaded that this is the best response we can find? The media continues their pattern otf basically wetting themselves as they report on these atrocities. Analyzing these tragedies has become a cottage industry, with talking heads from all areas of the political spectrum instantly available to parrot talking points about the shooter, and yet they never address the problem of guns in this country.
I am sick of politicians going on camera and talking about how we need to pray for the victims. FUCK THAT! If we had gin control, those people would NOT have DIED because of gun violence, but no one ever seems to reach that conclusion. I personally think that ANY politician or elected or law enforcement official has the nerve to speak on TV about one of these tragedies that the following should apply:
  1. While the politician is speaking, the banner at the bottom of the screen should contain the information regarding how much money that official has received from the NRA.
  2. The membership, if applicable, in the NRA.
  3. The voting record in regards to any gun control legislation including SYG laws, gun registration, gun insurance, access to guns.

  1. This information should be repeated at the end of the segment, and included in subsequent showings of the segment.

Only by labeling the political WHORES who take NRA money at the expense of American lives can we begin to make progress and solve the problem of gun violence.

Dreamer's World October 1 2015

    Rain, rain, go away. That is my mantra for today. I am back at work after having yesterday off to take care of Hal and I am glad to report that he is back to normal today. In the meantime we are faced with the possible impacts og Hurricane Joaquin here in the DC area. The forecast is calling for lots of rain over the weekend, but honestly we have already had more than enough rain for me!
    I wish that this rain could fall somewhere that desperately needs it, like California rather than simply dumping all over us again. If it were up to me, I would gladly send all this rain to them because they need it so much more than we do. I hope that we aren’t in for major flooding. At least we live in an apartment on the 4th floor of a building that is already on a hilltop, so I don’t think that we are in any immediate trouble here but areas near the Potomac are probably going to have some flooding. This is especially true in the Old Town area of Alexandria where I used to work. I am extremely glad that I will not have to deal with any of that nonsense ever again. I have notified the company that their property is exactly that. I will NOT go there if there is flooding reported. There are other tenants that can contact the company to deal with any troubles.
    I suspect that Hal and I will be here this evening. If Hal wants to go out, then we will but I don’t expect that to be the case. The weather is cool and rainy. Temperature might get to 60 degrees today if we get lucky, and this is a big change from the warmer weather we have been experiencing for the last few weeks. Since today is the 1st of October, this isn’t a huge surprise but it is rather abrupt. I seriously considered getting my jeans out of storage this morning, but decided against it for now.
    It will be nice to wear some different clothing for the change in seasons around here. I have been in Summer mode (shirt and shorts) for months now and it is always a change when I begin dressing for Autumn. I will dig my boots out as well since I like to wear my Dr. Martens with jeans.

    In a way, I enjoy Autumn. I can make myself more comfortable each and every day with the variations in the temperatures. The days begin to get noticeably shorter as well, and this means more dressing for cooler weather after work when we go out. I enjoy not feeling like I will sweat each day. Going out in the evening means we can be a bit more formal than Summer dictates.
    Having mentioned the change in seasons and wardrobe, it does feel good to know that I don’t have to run out and replace any items. Everything from last year will fit and that means I don’t spend money on jeans if I don’t have to.
    The afternoon is dragging by with conference calls that are excruciating. Always the same people that have to talk over others during the calls, always the same trite objections to anything moving forward. I tend to stay quiet during these meetings unless specifically called on to answer a question. My job doesn’t require that much input, but according to some “management structure” I am supposed to participate in these meeting anyway.
    It is a sad fact that we have a problem with guns here in America. At the end of the meeting, my Twitter exploded with news og the tragedy in Oregon. It is past the point of asking “How many more times will this happen?” The NRA and their political toadies have made it quite clear that they will do NOTHING to protect citizens from this epidemic of violence that we are facing. I am beyond sick of hearing about mass shootings almost every single day and then nothing gets done to PREVENT these things from happening. Civilization is losing to extremism in this country.
    I wish that somehow we could make a real difference against the tide of gun violence. Obviously more guns is NOT the answer. 

Dreamer's World October 1 2015 - RWNJ Benghazi FRAUD

    After the admission by House republiKKKans that the Benghazi hearings have been nothing more than an attempt to smear former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a means of impacting her Presidential campaign. I want to propose that the salaries of ALL republiKKKans involved be directly deposited into the general operating fund of the US budget. Those lunatics should NOT be paid again until all the money that they have wasted playing political games has been returned.