28 May 2016

Dreamer's World May 28 2016 - More Indications That I Really Never Want To Go Home Again

Several weeks ago I wrote an article about my hometown and how I felt that I would no longer fit in. After a brief re-establishment of contact with someone from my hometown. This was someone I had known since I played baseball with his older brother. He posted something right out of Fake News on his page and I was rather shocked to see it there. As a result, I looked through his history and discovered that he is one of those people who will probably end up voting for Trump because he talks louder than everyone else.
Honestly, I'm not surprised at all to find this out. I already realized that leaving my hometown was the best decision I ever made. I have grown too much to ever allow myself to be constrained like that again. My parents encouraged me to leave and explore the world and the people in it without fear. I believe this has made me a more well-rounded individual and a better overall person.
The realization that I am never going home again is actually quite comforting to me. I don't need a smothering Stepford-style existence to protect me from the big, bad, outside world and I haven't since I left there. I also feel no sadness about what happened that caused me to terminate the recent contact. I am not responsible for what goes on in my hometown, and I have no influence over it. Therefore, it is a waste of my time to try and convince someone who never left our hometown behind to see that there is a wonderful world of people who ARE NOT exactly like us.

27 May 2016

Dreamer's World May 27 2016 -What Is Sleep?

After a very long night with basically no sleep, I have made up my mind that I am DIVORCING my mattress! We got the mattress about 4 years ago and it has steadily gotten more and more difficult for me to be able to get a good night of sleep on it.
I am going to sleep on the old bed in the second bedroom tonight because I never had any difficulty in the past. I believe that part of the trouble is the new bed has underside storage drawers and therefore the frame isn't built for box springs and a mattress. This is what makes the difference in my opinion. Hopefully, I am right and I will get an excellent night of sleep this evening.

25 May 2016

Dreamer's World May 25 2016 -Towel Day in honor of Douglas Adams

This day has started out beautifully. This is what late Spring should be like! It is nearly &0 and sunny. I just completed my weekly meeting with the client and am now waiting for the bus to get me home from the Metro station.
Today was also Towel Day. In honor of the late Douglas Adams, I carried a towel with me while I was out. Just a quaint thing to do in remembrance of the author who brought us The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.

24 May 2016

Dreamer's World May 24 2016 - The Day That Was

After a rough start to the day, things have calmed down considerably. I feel much better as lunchtime approaches and will have no problem getting through the rest of the day here at work. I am thankful for my music as I listen to a wide variety of tunes through the workday except for when I have to be dialed into meetings. Fortunately, today is NOT filled with afternoon meetings for a change. Even my slides for the weekly presentation are only for forwarding tod.
ay. The customer will read through them at his convenience this week.
I do wish that I had the life that The Stooges lead. I got the following pictures of Stevie Nicks lounging around this morning.

Tomorrow I will travel to one of the client's locations for the weekly status meeting. At least this makes Wednesday an early day each week. It does make a nice weekly change to the routine. THe only drawback is some of the insane RWNJ lunatics I have to interact with while I am there. I always feel as if I need a shower when I get home from those meetings.

There still has been no news on the Squier Strat. I am going to give in to temptation after work and call Guitar Center if I haven't heard from them by then. I really want to get my guitar back and focus on practicing once again. I know that today will be the seventh business day that the guitar has been there and I think that a status check will be appropriate this afternoon.
I am still deciding what to do for lunch. I might just go across the street and bring something back for a change. It will also help me to get some extra exercise in as well. McDonald's is nearby and will certainly let me grab something quick if I venture out. A part of me wants to do this just to enjoy the weather for a change.
And now, the meetings begin. Thankfully, there won't be many today. After this first meeting is over I will have a nice break time available.
The best news is that I got a call from Guitar Center and the Squier Strat will be ready to pick up this evening! I will tell Hal (person) to get ready so we can go out there right after work and grab some dinner along the way. I will be so pleased to get the Strat back at last

It will be a nice evening once we get home, that's for sure. Since it will be a rather long trip due to traffic to get to and from Guitar Center, we will have something for dinner while we are out, probably on the way back home. The evening should be uneventful once we get home. SInce I have to get up very early tomorrow morning, I doubt that I will really do much with the Strat tonight. Tomorrow will be a different story because in exchange for going to work early, I also get off work early in the afternoon. That will be the time for some heavy practicing.

Dreamer's World May 24 2016 - A Rocky Start

I woke up from a slightly unsuccessful night of sleep 2 hours early this morning with a sense of anxiety. As my thoughts slowly coalesced into reality around me, the feeling intensified and I recognized the symptoms of hypoglycemia. I rolled out of bed and immediately measured my BG and was not surprised to see that the reading said "40"
This is extremely low. The suggested low threshold is 70. My worst fears were confirmed about my anxiety. I immediately took 2 glucose tablets in succession and sat down to wait for things to return to some sense of normal. Actually, this is the toughest part of the process, the wait for my body to get itself back into gear and recover.
During this time, I usually experience the sensation that I am freezing to death regardless of the temperature. Experience has taught me that I have to ride out the shivering for a few minutes until the world slowly returns to normal. At that point I can make a small bowl of oatmeal for my breakfast and just get my day started early because trying to go back to sleep will never be successful.
And so I will take my morning shower in a few minutes before starting work. I will be monitored my BG closely through the rest of the morning and getting my mind focused on work. There will be plenty to keep me busy throughout the day until quitting time this afternoon. I have lots of research to do, notes to prepare, and meetings to attend.
If today were to turn into a great day, I will finally get the phone call from Guitar Center informing me that my Squier Strat is ready to pick up as well. Until that happens I will do what I can to make today a success in every other way.

23 May 2016

Dreamer's World May 23 2016 - Another Day of Rain and Waiting

Today started out with such promise. The morning was sunny and warm, a big change from what we have been experiencing for the last month. Of course, we got cloudy and cool once again for the rest of the day with rain and a thunderstorm to add to the depressing weather.
The other thing that was on my mind all day was wondering if the Squier Strat was going to be ready at last. I left it at Guitar Center a week ago yesterday to have the initial setup done and I am still waiting for them to call and let me know it is ready to be picked up. Because Guitar Center is a distance from here, I would like to know during the day that it is ready so I can drive out there after work. As I write this, the phone call has not come through and it is after 2100 in the evening, so Guitar Center is closed now.
Hopefully tomorrow will bring better weather and also the phone call regarding my guitar. I'm not going to spend too much time stress over either event. It is time to relax after I completed my 8 miles of walking before getting ready for bed.

21 May 2016

Dreamer’s World May 21 2016 - Rest And Chaos

Today I slept in until 1000. My goal and I feel terrific this morning. I really needed that extra sleep and to wake up to yet another dreary, overcast day comes as no surprise to me at all. My goal for today is to rest and not to worry about anything that is out of my control. A case in point is the Squire Strat, which is still at Guitar Center. I called yesterday and was told that there are still approximately 10 guitars ahead of it in line, I resigned myself to not having the Strat this weekend. Rather than worry anymore about it, I will just go and get it whenever I get the call that it is finally ready for me.
I have found that I can make more progress on the electric guitar than on an acoustic because of the difference in construction. With the narrower neck on an electric, it is easier to train my fingers where to rest on the frets without feeling a terrible strain to get to the top strings, as is the case on the acoustic. For that reason, I want to get the Strat back as soon as possible because I feel that my practice is more productive when I have it. Ironically, it is also easier and less disturbing to practice on the Strat because it doesn’t have to be plugged in when I practice, and that means I don’t disturb Hal (person) when I use it as much.
I find that trying to motivate myself right now is pointless. I have put in extra hours on the job this last week, and I deserve some time off to wind down.
That nice idea lasted until Hal (person) got home from work. He said that we needed to go to the store, I asked "Which one?" and was told that there was an Aldi that had opened nearby. He was right, so off we went through the rain (no surprise about that) only to find that the store was packed and Hal then decided that he really didn't want to be waiting in a long line. So we left Aldi and then Hal said "Let's go to the organic supermarket", and off I drove. When we arrived there, that parking lot was full and some fucking idiot nearly T-boned the Beetle as he raced into a parking spot on the wet pavement that had just opened up. I wanted to stop the Beetle and get out and threaten to injure him so severely that he would never drive again, but I resisted the urge.
After that, it was on to Harris Teeter, and even more parking lot shenanigans with drivers who cannot concentrate when it is raining. We actually purchased some groceries after waiting in a line that made me think that someone must have said the "SNOW" word to cause such a panic.
Eventually, we arrived home without further incident. The ONLY thing that will make me venture out again this evening is word that the Strat is finally ready to be picked up from Guitar Center. Sadly, I don't expect that call this evening and will be stuck once again without it.
Writing about the misadventures actually made me feel better. I often find that letting things out through writing makes me feel better almost immediately. It is another reason why I have to maintain this blog, no matter how mundane some of the entries can be. I am trying my best to make the guitar practice as much a part of my daily routine as my blogging and my walking. It will be so much easier when the Strat is finally back home.
As for the miserable wet weather, I wish that it would just go away. Although the thermometer says it is 57, it feels much closer to 47 outside right now. The evening has settled in, and it will not be tonight that I get my Strat back. I will wait for tomorrow and hope for a change.

19 May 2016

Dreamer's World May 19 2016 - What Makes Me Different?

I often wonder why I am where I am at this point in my life. I wish that I could clearly remember each key decision that I made without realizing it at the time that led me to this point. I am not upset at all with my life, on the contrary, I am very happy with things as they are. Like everyone else, I have had my share of good and bad times as the years have passed, but that is a part of life that we all go through.
I was looking at the facebook page for my high school class from 1982 and I started reading through some of the comments and checking out some of the profiles on there. I was astounded at how differently my life has turned out when compared to those of most of my classmates.
When I left my hometown to go to college, it felt like a divorce in so many ways. I do not dislike where I grew up but I also knew that my future was somewhere else. My parents taught me to go and explore the world when I was able to do so.
The town where I grew up is no different from hundreds of others. It is a small town where things naturally pass very slowly and the same families always remain in positions of power and influence through heredity and passing down of important positions to their children. Those who I grew up with who had parents who were doctors and lawyers have returned to the town as doctors and lawyers themselves to perpetuate the family businesses. Their children will do the same thing when they mature.
My parents had moved to the town many years ago based on my Dad's position with the railroad. This meant that I was part of the town because I was born there, but I wasn't really "part of the town" in the important sense. While I cannot remember any instances of being told, in so many words, to "know my place", the subliminal understanding was always there. It is the understanding that unless you can point out generations of your family buried in the local cemetary, that you remain an outsider in so many ways.
I went to college and graduated. I joined the Navy in order to further my education and to see the great world that we live in. After my Navy time, I settled around Washington, DC and am still here with my partner. That last sentence really sets me apart from so many of the people I grew up with. They cling to the values that perpetuate the lives that they lead and in a way I respect them for that. However, the world is a big and diverse place and the small town feels that it is being left behind. In a way it really is because it refuses to progress. It is a catch-22 in the sense that the small town doesn't want the outside world intruding on it while at the same time the small town resents the fact that their own behavior is what is causing them to be left behind.
I didn't realize I was gay until years after I left that small town. I know that I would have figured things out eventually, but I believe that it would have led to a miserable life had I stayed there.
As I said, I left because I was taught that there was a big world just over the horizon, and that standing there wondering what it was like was pointless. That is why I left there and never went back.
I wonder if writing is something that separates me from the people still living in my hometown? I have always loved to write and express myself. I don't mean that the people still in my hometown and illiterate or unsophisticated, but I have not seen many posts by them that really spark my interests. There are plenty of "Prayers" type of posts, but I outgrew religion years ago. I notice that most of the posts that deal with the outside world can be neatly categorized into the daily Fox News bubble. That makes me sad because as I mentioned, it only serves to further isolate them from the outside world.
As for the rest, I note that the interests are neatly aligned. Small towns have a way of enforcing conformity without appearing to do so.
I do maintain contact with a few close friends. They have often said that they appreciate my insights coming from a different perspective, and I appreciate them for their friendship and their support.
My life since then has shaped my perceptions about the world, and about my hometown. I am happy with my life today, I would not be where I am without the experiences of growing up when and where I did.

18 May 2016

Dreamer's World May 17 2016

After my long weekend, I went back to work today. As is the case so often, I wish that I had stayed on vacation soon after I opened up my email and saw the avalanche of items that were there demanding my attention. I utilized the practices I learned from the 5 Choices class and quickly filed the unimportant items away for future review, and that included discarding a lot of the emails that really have no bearing on ym job whatsoever. I was left with a managaeble list of things to do and could then proceed with my day. Thankfully, my extended absence voicemail greeting had discouraged people from leaving me trivial voice mails that always are tied to their dismally trivial emails that I just mentioned.
Getting back into the routine was rather tough just because I was truly enjoying my time off from work. Sadly, I have to get these things done, so I do feel trapped to some degree. I made it through the day and am looking forward to sitting down and working on my guitar learning for a while this evening after I complete my 16,000 steps for the day. I will work on part of the guitar riff for "Message In A Bottle" as my ongoing project as well as learning exactly how to read guitar charts. There seems to be a wide variety of ways that these charts can be written and although I can read music, these have proven rather challenging.
Since I have to go to the client's office in the morning, it will be an early night for me with a 0600 wakeup in the morning. The weather is still foreacast to be dreadful, we cannot seem to break through to Spring for some reason. We finally saw the sun yesterday, but that was only after 15 consecutive days with rain. Truly depressing.
I hope that this short week will not turn into one of those weeks that seems intolerably longer than a normal week, but I will survive regardless.
As the workday winds down, we are planning our short trip to the grocery store and the pet store immediately after work so we can pick up necessities. It is possible that we might grab a lite dinner while we are out. If we do, it will be nothing specatcular at all. There is a Wendy's and a Taco Bell enar the grocery store, and I suspect that will be about as far as we will go while we are already out. After that trip, the other tasks for the evening will get finished before bedtime.

17 May 2016

Dreamer’s World May 15 2016 - Writing Again

Sunday morning is here, and I am enjoying my quiet time. In fact, this is a long weekend for me. I took Friday off because of an appointment with my Chiropractor, and tomorrow is another day off to go to the dentist. These days off could not have come at a better time for me because I was running into the wall at work. We all get to the point where we just cannot keep going without a break, and I had reached that point.
     I was so exhausted and continually busy that my writing suffered. My Evernote is littered with aborted posts that just never made it past the idea phase because I was too tired to concentrate properly. I need to re-prioritize my life again in order to prevent this from happening in the future. In addition to the job, I was working out and practicing my guitar.

     Speaking of my guitar, I took the new Squire Strat into Guitar Center yesterday to have it completely inspected and set up to insure proper performance.
  I just got the Strat through Amazon on Thursday, and while it seemed to be in very good condition right out of the box, I did notice some of the strings had a bit of corrosion on them. I wasn’t upset because I have no idea how long this guitar had sat around before I ordered it. Guitar Center will adjust the neck and frets, replace the strings, perform a full inspection and then I will pick it up next Saturday or Sunday.
     In the meantime, I still have the acoustic/electric guitar to continue to practice on. I prefer the electric because the neck is thinner and easier to stretch my fingers along the frets, but for my initial practicing, it will do just fine.
 I find that learning/teaching myself the basics of the guitar is very relaxing because it forces me to leave whatever is bothering me at work behind even more than I normally would and concentrate on something else. I wish I had decided to do this years ago, but we all have things that we keep putting off until “there is more time”. What I have learned is that there is never “more time”, just the way in which we manage the time that we already have.
     At any rate, I have been taking the time since Thursday evening to recover. I have been relaxing and walking to get myself right again. I am definitely sleeping much better the last few nights. The key will be how I ease myself back into the routine at work on Tuesday morning. I am deliberately making myself mostly unavailable for other peoples’ tasks that only interfere with my own goals. I think that this is the most important lesson I learned from all the 5 Choices classes that the company recently put me through, As with any system, it is the initial setup and activation that causes the most problems as people adjust to a new way of getting things done.
     As for today, I am thinking about putting on my new Chuck Taylors
 and running errands while Hal (person) is at work. The weather really turned cooler again after some storms that rolled through here yesterday, but at least the sun is out, and that makes a nice change from the past 3 weeks.
     As the afternoon rolls along, I have competed my errands and am waiting for Hal (person) to get home from work. We will probably head over to our favorite restaurant for 1/2 price pizza this evening. After that, we will be home to watch Game of Thrones on HBO before bedtime. Tomorrow I will get up and go to the dentist and then enjoy the rest of the day before returning to work on Tuesday.
     As I mentioned earlier, I truly needed this time off. I am enjoying writing once again and that makes it all worthwhile. 

03 May 2016

Dreamer's World May 03 2016 - Clouds and Sun

The weather here remains unsettled. Lots of clouds forecast for the next week or so. Allegedly, there might be some breaks when the sun finally shines through on us, but for the most part, the gloomy weather is really getting old.
I suppose that this is a metaphor for life itself. There are times when things always seem cloudy, and we miss the warmth of the sun. The bad times seem to last forever, but the good times are never really that far away. After all, the sun is there above the clouds, it is all a matter of perspective.
We all wish that we were in the sunny times of our lives much more often than we really are. It is just a part of human nature to feel that way, but it is also very dangerous. Despairing of the clouds without realizing that the sun is still there can lead us to places that are better left unexplored. People who suffer from depression know this all too well. In fact, there are some people who actually feel more depressed just because it is a cloudy day.
Try as we might, this is a very hard habit to overcome, and in the case of those with depression, it becomes that much more difficult. I suppose that at times in my own life I could esaily have been described as depressed, possibly even diagnosed with the condition. I struggled with feelings of inadaquecy and isolation. I felt that I was destined to be alone and thought nothing more about it.
What I failed to realize at the time was that my own mood determined how others perceived me. I was fulfilling my own prophecy by believing that I was always going to be miserable. After all, who wants to hang around a person who seems to always be depressed and sad?
I wish that I could identify the moment in my life when the proverbial light bulb appeared above my head and I realized that I could change things for myself, but it wasn't anything like that. I know that meeting Hal (person) was a key point in my life. Slowly, I began to realize that there is just as much good in the world as there is bad. I saw that my perceptions could change if I was willing to let go of my security blanket of sadness long enough to see what else was out there.
It was a struggle, and there were times in the beginning that I attempted to run back into my shell like a turtle. Gradually, I saw that there was nothing that was going to hurt me unless I cnose to let it hurt me. I have more control over my own life than I had imagined. Other people could not set my moods unless I was willing to let them by surrendering myself to their wishes.
The first real lesson was that I had to get away from people who reinforced my bad moods. As I withdrew from them, I saw that they themselves were miserable and that the only way they could cope was to make everyone around them feel just as bad as they did. The severing of these relationships was rather painful for a brief moment, and then I felt a sense of freedom that I had not experienced since I was a child.
As I set myself apart from the people who had willingly or otherwise assisted me with my own depression, I began to find happiness. Once again, Hal (person) stuck by me through this time. When we first met, going out meant that I would drink with a purpose, and that was always to forget the bad things that had happened to me. I could easily go through 12 or more mixed drinks, shots, and beers in a few hours. Hal never once chastised me about it, and with a few months, I stopped that behavior altogether. I still enjoy a drink every now and then, but I no longer drink with a purpose like I used to.
It all sounds so simple now, but it wasn't easy. In fact, a lot of this happened subconsciously at the time. The key was that I had opened myslf up to other possibilities in life. Much like the sun hiding behind the clouds for a period of time, when I let the light itself back in, I became a better person.
Don't let the clouds get you down, the light is always there.

01 May 2016

Dreamer's World May 01 2016 - Slowly Recovering

My recovery from last week continues today. I slept for nearly 11 hours last night, and I woke feeling much better, but still exhausted. I deliberately took things slowly today. I went to Costco and then grabbed some lunch before coming home, where I have been all afternoon. Perhaps Hal (person) and I will go for our normal Sunday evening half-price pizza night out, perhaps not. I personally don't see it making any difference in how I feel right now.
Tomorrow will be a very busy day since there is work that I was unable to complete last week due to the contract situation. Of course, I will be working 1 extra hour each day for most of the next 2 weeks in order to take the 13th off as a personal day. It never rains, it always pours at times like this.

One of the things that I did after I got home from Costco to help me relax was to take some time and work on some rudimentary guitar exercises since I am attempting to learn to play the guitar now. I didn't expect this to be easy, that is why I decided to go for it. Just setting aside the fact that I can read music, this is a different animal altogether. I am having to learn to use my hands in an entirely different way from the piano.
The vast differences mean that this will be something that will take time, and that is fine with me. I need something that is challenging in my life that is also something that I have always wanted to do. That will make the effort worthwhile.
After Hal (person) got home, we did make it to City Kitchen for pizza and beer. We always have a tremendous time there and it is an event that, however trivial, we look forward to each Sunday. We are home now, and I am going to take a nice, long, hot shower in order to relax before Game of Thrones later tonight.