Another Sunday Morning Musing

I woke this morning a bit tired. When I walked to the bus, I was a bit chillier than the air around me, like I was getting sick. On the bus ride I felt queasy, a bit shaky, but I was able to suppress the feeling and I made it to work relatively OK. Now I have a few hours before work starts and I’m not feeling my best.

I don’t think I’m coming down with anything, but that’s me trying to put a brave face on things. I’m here. I don’t want to let my work mates down, so I’m going to plow ahead and hope I muster through the day.

The truth is I don’t want to stay at home because when I’m home it’s quiet and I start thinking about my parents. It’s an emotional roller coaster right now with them. My father is sick and it’s putting a strain on my mother. Like we always do, we’re not discussing the fear and concerns we have right now. We mask our concerns, say the things we need to say for the moment and we aren’t honest about our feelings.

OK, I really can’t say what my parents are thinking, but I know them enough to know the pattern. My mom is denying and not wanting to deal with the strain the care of my father is putting on her. My father doesn’t feel like he’s the breadwinner, the protector and provider anymore and he’s lashing out in his darkly sarcastic way.

I’m sitting on the sidelines looking at them and wondering what my future is going to hold for me. When my parents are gone, I’m the only one left. I have no significant other, no children. My only companion is a stubborn cat. Part of me questions some decisions I’ve made, wondering if I should have strived harder for the dream my parents had of me with a normal life of a partner and children. Then, I get people at work sharing about their relationship struggles and I think, why would I want to put up with it?

See, I just haven’t been motivated to think about politics, social injustice and other topics. One day, my mother calls me to say my father is in the hospital and gives me a dire diagnosis of his condition. Hours or days later, she calls up and everything is OK, other than my father’s complaining. There are weeks when I can ignore the sea change of emotions because it’s so familiar. Other weeks, I hear the reports and I can barely function. But I have to forge ahead. I can’t afford to regress to an emotional blob. I have to work and I can’t take off a day to wallow in self-pity.

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White House Lies

You know, it is close to impossible to take this administration at its word. You have to assume this administration will, at the least will misrepresent the facts or, at the most, will bold face lie to the American people.

Representative Fredrica Wilson was vindicated after White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said that the representative bragged in 2015 about securing funding and hogged the spotlight at such a somber occasion. He called her an “empty barrel” a number of times. White House Chief of Staff Kelly was responding to the claim Wilson made earlier in the week that Trump, when he made a condolence call to the widow of a slain US soldier in Niger that her husband know “what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurts.”

To me there are some disturbing issues raised about the response to by the administration. With the response by Trump, actually his knee jerk, childish reaction to the representative isn’t a surprise at all. A level headed response from the leader of the free world is something we don’t expect anymore, which is a shame.

John Kelly demonstrated how far this administration will go to preserve a lie. Initial conversations about the Kelly press conference were somewhat positive. Kelly invoked the memory of his own son in comparison, explaining that he was told similar words when his son was killed in Afghanistan. If he had left it there, there may have been blowback from his remarks by Trump haters, but the administration could have countered with a plausible response.

When John Kelly decided to attack the Representative personally, that’s when the military man stretched the point and began to lose the moral high ground. One thing this administration does is assumes that people they attack don’t have facts to support their claims. When Kelly first claimed that Wilson listened in on a conversation, trying to make it sound like there was some nefarious reasoning for listening in, it didn’t occur to Kelly, or for members of the administration, that Kelly could have been a friend of the family. It was well reported before Kelly’s statement on Thursday, because I heard the Representative on The View on Wednesday mention this, that she was a friend of the family and had known Army Sgt. La David Johnson since he was a boy in the mentoring program she ran.

This administration doesn’t bother to do checks on details like that. They seem to assume they have the “facts,” which are normally based on assumptions. When Kelly mentioned that how disgusted he was about a speech made at the FBI dedication, I’m sure the administration didn’t do any digging into the speech. Within 24 hours, there was video of the speech given by the Representative, and despite what the retired General portrayed, the Representative made clear it was a group effort, thanking a whole lot of people, including then Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senator Marco Rubio. She was clear that she was a small part of a bi-partisan effort to get the building dedicated.

Here’s the bigger thing I took away from this display. Despite the miscalculations of the administration, it will not change any minds of those who support the administration, and Kelly’s reputation will not be tarnished. I was watching a few retired generals who were interviewed this morning. They went out of their way to praise Kelly, yet dismissed the outright lie he told about the representative. They should have been pressed on the fact, which was seen on the video, that he grossly misrepresented what the representative said, but all they could talk about was the family of the military and the honor of the organization.

Trump and Wilson are the louder voices in the drama. Wilson is embolden because of her vindication. Her outrage against Trump will fuel her to make overarching statements that will sound great to her constituents and some in the Democratic Party but will turn sour for most of the country. Seriously, by claiming, as she did Friday, that the Trump Administration have white supremacists shuts down serious dialog for most people.

This issue will not change minds in any camp.

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Must Study

I’ve neglected some important part of my mental and educational growth in the past years. Yesterday, I started mapping out a path I wanted to pursue with many video and audio recording for Star Citizen. What I realized was my techniques and skills haven’t kept up with current technology. Things that would have been second nature to me a year ago I struggled with preparing. With some things, the programs were very old, other things had equipment that was neglected and I couldn’t remember how to use.

It reminded me of my recent work experience, where I couldn’t recall simple stuff that I used to do years ago without sweating. I have a new goal now; reacquaint myself with the skill set I’ll need to progress in the multi-media environment. In my head I can see what I want to do, and I know I have the equipment to do them, but I’m having trouble piecing the elements together. I finally got something put together for Star Citizen, but it wasn’t the original vision I wanted to present.

By the beginning of next year, I would like to start a new creative venture, but I need to get myself focused on learning a better workflow and ways of creating the content. To do that, I’m going to have the shake off the cobwebs and learn more efficient ways of accomplishing my vision.

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Future Thinking

Since I was in college, I’ve known I’m not corporate material. I’ve never wanted to be Capt. Kirk. I could be Spock, maybe Scotty, but never Kirk. I’m a knowledgeable adviser, a person straddling the people and the corps, but if push comes to shove I’m always going to take the side of the people; the underdog to the corporation.

When I was a supervisor at a previous job decades ago, I would normally take the side of the employees in disputes. That hurt me because it would hinder me from promotions because I didn’t play ball with the corporate interests. I started treated my position in a lot of jobs I had as an “us against them” proposition.

Now that I’m older, especially after my last experience, taking the role of opposition works well for a made for TV feel good movie but doesn’t work well in real life. At the last job I had, the one I worked at for almost a month before returning to my previous job, the goal was to fit in. It was strange being in an environment of what I felt was forced cooperation and less than sincere teamwork.

I can’t see myself being a corporate guy, but I’m learning to carve a niche for myself, balancing my support for the little guy and, frankly, trying to hold onto a job. The issue I have is I’m not getting younger. I can’t be the firebrand anymore because it’s harder as I get older to keep and maintain a job. Here’s the thing as I see it now; I’m happy at my current job and I know if I lose this job, at my age, finding new work at this level will be hard to do.

Look, I’m not thinking of leaving my job anytime. Like I said, I’m happy here and grateful to work here, but my experience a few months ago makes me a little worried that, heaven forbid, if something happens I might not find comparable employment. The options I have for jobs as I get older are going to more than likely pay less than what I make now. I’ve been mulling about some options to make money in my later years.

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Stumbling Drug Dealer

This morning, waiting at the bus stop, a strange person wandered over to be. He looked like he’d been in a fight. His nose was recently broken, judging by the fresh blood, and is words were slightly slurred. The first thing he asked me was if I wanted to buy some weed or cocaine. For the next 15 minutes he talked about how he was like Martin Luther King, his son (who was going to be the next big rapper) and other stream of consciousness stuff. He said I would be a good bodyguard because I was so big.

I said, maybe, ten words. While he was talking to me, because I really didn’t want him near me, I kept imagining I was Rorschach in Watchmen. That’s why I didn’t say much, nothing more that nodding a couple times and saying hum.

When he brought out his phone to play some of the music from his rapper son, which to me the beats on the music were derivative of Sir Mix A Lot’s Posse on Broadway, I got a bit miffed because here was this beat up, drug dealer with a new phone and was streaming music from Spotify. I wondered how a street hustler, as he described himself a number of times, had a smartphone and a wireless plan. The phone was loaded with a lot of apps.

I’ve seen a lot of homeless people with smartphones over the years. The phones I use to see where cheap, flip phones. While I found it strange that a homeless person would have a phone, seeing them with outdated tech made some sense in my head. Now, a lot of the phones I’ve seen with homeless people seem really good and they have plans. How in the world can a homeless person have internet service?

Maybe the person I saw this morning wasn’t as homeless as I imagined. Maybe, as a dope slinger, he has an apartment and a good source of income and I caught him out and about after a string of bad luck. The thing is, I really didn’t want to deal with him, not that early in the morning. I wasn’t in the mood to hear about his son, or how he was like MLK or any of his nonsense. I wanted to be left alone and where was this guy spinning tales and invading my space.

After fifteen minutes he left and stumbled to the parking lot of a convenience store. He talked to someone in a vehicle, definitely having a better conversation than he had with me.

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Bus Thinking

A series of missteps had me leaving later than planned this morning. It set up a bit that caused me to just miss my bus and has me waiting for an hour for the next bus.

I’m watching a drunk couple across from me which is very entertaining. There not loud or abusive but every gesture is slightly exaggerated and overcompensating. He’s trying to make a point and she’s struggling to understand him but neither is on the same page.

That’s how I see relationships; two people on different pages trying to communicate but not doing well. That is a rather cynical look at relationships but I’m not a good read of relationships. 

When I was younger I think I wanted to be in a relationship because it would make my parents happy. It was part of the American dream. Success was built on a partnership, companionship and togetherness. 

I didn’t necessarily want to be alone but for me finding a partner was difficult and there were a few missed opportunities, I think. It’s tough to evaluate possiblites when people don’t speak honestly about feeling. For me, it was easy to shut myself off and be distant on relationships.

One day, I looked up and things were odd. I was happy but I was stuck in a rut. Friends moved on but I was in the same place. Even though I felt stuck I was content because I was surrounded by enough familiar things. I had comics, I had my website and all in all it wasn’t too bad.

Then I had the series of events that had me question things, wondering if I made the right decisions. I was questioning decisions I made based on the opinions of people who didn’t live my life. Since I was second guessing options I began overthinking and made some bad choices.

The good news is I realized and admitted my mistakes and addressed them. I’m understanding my decisions are best for me. I can’t live the life of someone else.

Look, I still think about what could have been. I think about having a family and children, but I’m not sure I’m the long term relationship kind of person. The way I am now, I don’t really see a way of changing things and I’m not sure I want to change. I can complain a little but honestly I like the way I am.

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Back to Work

My days off were much too short. I spend Wednesday working on getting the water issue corrected and yesterday was catching up on things I postponed because of the lack of water.

Because of the insomnia Thursday morning my sleep schedule is crazy. I woke up at 1am again this morning, tossing around trying to get back to sleep. I think I got an hour before I had to get up.

I’m glad I’m getting back into a routine so I can start planning some projects. I feel like my brain was shut off for a month and now I’m savoring thinking big thoughts again. Maybe the former job had me focused on learning a new system that overwhelmed me. I feel like I’m energized and planning good ideas.

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Drought in Arizona

One of the bad financial issues that happened to me was my water was cut off. The water was off for almost a week as I was trying to get caught up after facing some financial issues. I made a call yesterday to what I thought was the agency that handled water issues, but I was told I needed to contact another agency, an advocacy agent, that handled the particular issue I had.

I sent an email to the agency in the afternoon and as of this morning I had heard nothing from them. This morning, at 1am, I did a check of the water and it was mysteriously on. I flushed the toilet, washed some clothes that had piled up, and water was flowing to my home. I don’t know what happened but I was glad to have water again.

A few minutes ago, I got a message and it was from the first agency that told me I didn’t to go to another agency to get a resolution of the water issue.

We do not turn the water off even if the homeowner may be in collections. We also do not contact the City to do any water shut offs. The community manager went by today to check the metering service and stated it was on.

So, I read this and was a bit confused. The water has been off from Saturday to Thursday morning. I was told, and I do have an email copy, that your company doesn’t shut off water yet the water was shut off. Do I think it’s unusual that water would go off then brought back on in the middle of the night? Of course. Do I find it odd that a community manager came by today and the meter was working, yet didn’t knock on the door or otherwise contact me that they were here and saw the meter was working? Not an issue at all.

I’m willing to say it’s an odd coincidence that the water was off and on in the course of two weeks. I may have questions as to why water was cut, but the desired effect was achieved. I’m catching up on my delinquent bill and I have running water. I’m not fully sure I buy they don’t have control over the water system, and while I do find it unusual that water would be restored in the middle of the might, my personal observation is I had water cut off for a few days last week, then as soon as I put in money towards paying the bill water was restored. I was given the run around as to who to contact about getting water restored, then once it was restored and the one time I was away from my home for an hour and a half, I get an email saying someone was out here and verified the water was working.

It was just coincidence the person was here at the one time in the day, since I’ve been up since 1am, that I was out of the house and they couldn’t ring the doorbell or leave a note.

While I have questions about the events, as long as I’m up and running with water I can live with the outcome. Like I said, I have water and I’m working on getting myself back in balance.

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Morning Miff

This morning I’m already modifying my plans. My plan was to get up early and start doing a massive cleaning of the house. Last night I visited two places after work. I went to Big Lots and picked up some discount apple juice and hit up a cafeteria Chinese restaurant near my home.

I don’t know if it was the juice or Chinese food but I woke up this morning with a rumbling in my tummy. It was good that I’m off work today because my guts are just under the surface angry. So, I’m having a slow go this morning. It will be over 100 today so I’ll head out later today to grab some light food and I may still end up cleaning, but not with the full force I planned on.

Something I learned on my work drama was that I’m not as up to date on tech as I’d like to think. Now that I’m getting back into a routine I’m going to jump my game up on tech just a tad. I must make the tech work for me and there are areas, like WordPress, where I know enough to do what I need to do, but I don’t know as much I need to know. I want to up my game and I’m going to have to study to do it.

The push for this, as always, goes to my parents, but don’t read this as a praise to them. Two days ago, I made a call to my mother, and I’ll just say it didn’t go too well. I’m trying to be respectful because all the health issues my parents are going through, but I’m getting frustrated with every call I make to them turning into an argument about my life choices. It’s a tennis match between praises on how a good son I am and disappointment that I haven’t turned out like some relatives I’m constantly compared to.

Of course, I dwell on the negatives but the support I didn’t get from my parents I got from friends. There were some posts I put on Facebook and the support I got, the encouragement I got kept me going through these last few weeks. I’m in an interesting place right now. I feel I was crazy lost and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel (and no, I don’t think the light is the headlights of an oncoming vehicle <grin>).

Yes, so I’m under the weather this morning but I’m still going to get up and do stuff with the day. It won’t be a lot but it will be progress.

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I Can’t Catch a Break

I take 2 steps towards and I get knocked back a step. I should think of myself as moving forward ultimately but I just want some breathing room. I want to have 2-3 months where I can breath easy without worrying about bills or emotional issues. Just had another setback which I should blame on myself.

I have to take some time to sort myself and get on track.

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