Schedule Reorganization

When I worked my old job, I was less than 20 min walking distance from my house, so I had time to work on a lot of projects. With the job I have now, the commute is 90 minutes. I used to gain some time by leaving early and doing some work in the down time before I started work. For a few months I’ve been leaving late. I grew tired of getting up at 3am just to get an hour or two into work to work on stuff.

I might change the pattern in a few weeks.

I’ve seen lots of articles, news reports or just ideas for projects I want to comment on or do the prep for, but by the time I get home at night I’m so tired and drained from work all I want to do is eat some food and go to bed. I wake up around 3am, like my old schedule, then I sit in bed until 5am to get up. It’s not a pattern I’m used to. The reason I changed my pattern in the first place was that I had to walk to the light rail to get the first train to work.

That 2 hours of extra sleep seemed great at first but it’s starting to put a drag on my body, ironically.

I have too many ideas swirling in my head and I want to write about them. I’m starting to cocoon myself, which is kind of a normal pattern for me. I’m social in my own way, but recent events have me sheltering myself a lot more. Look, my cat is OK, but I don’t want to turn into the cat man or the animal whisperer.

One thing I’m going to reluctantly do is not go to the San Diego Comic-Con this year. Last year there was an outside change I was going to go, just as an outside observer, but I bowed out a month or two before going and it turned out my father had a health scare during the time I would have been at the convention.  More than likely, nothing will happen if I were to go to the convention, but if, heaven forbid, the worst happened, I’ll beat myself up realizing I couldn’t be at my father’s side because I was at the convention. So, until the final resolution occurs, I’m going to have to stay close to the homestead. At least there is a local convention in Phoenix I can go to.

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Back to Work

I’m back at work again. I came in early, so I’m just sitting around right now just trying to get myself back into the routine. I feel like I’ve been off for two weeks or more. Last week was just unsettling with the traveling.

After last week, I want to feel like I’ve had some great revelation and I’m going to try and change some things about myself. That would be the Charles Dickens way of doing things. Truthfully, I don’t want to make statements I’m not sure I can keep. Things that I’m feeling now may change once I get back into my regular routine.

With the week I had, especially with seeing the condition my parents are in, my gut says I want to make changes. I think I want to make changes. That’s the real issue. I’m sitting at work, seeing the same people and feeling the same situations going on and it seems like the same familiarity is still around. Maybe I’ve painted myself into a corner. I don’t have motivation to change anything. I don’t have a significant other to change for. Where I am, how I am, works for me.

I have the feeling I need to change to fit some fictional ideal of what would make me happy. The thing is, in my gut I’m feeling like I’m wanting to change because of the influence of what others feel like would be good for me.

Having those ideas buzzing in my ear are making me see problems where there may be no problems. Like I said, I know with the events of the weekend it is natural to want to re-examine my situation and see issues that could possibly be improved. But if my life seems OK for me, why should I change it? Why should I look for what other people think would be right for me?

I’m feeling like I did about six months ago, when I jumped at the chance to make a change because I was listening to so many people who felt I could do better. It was the wrong choice to make.

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My Trip to Sumter SC

February 26, 2018 22:00

I arrived at the airport and I’ve got a few hours before I leave for Chicago, then Washington DC then Columbia. It’s almost a 12-hour trip so I’m going to be kind of punchy when I get to Columbia. I’ll still have the drive to Sumter, but I’m not really sure when I’ll get there. If I know my mother, she’s going to want me to see my father right away, which is OK.

She probably did tell him I was going to show up, but he might not remember.

The trip to the airport was a mini-adventure. First, there was the drunk guy who wouldn’t stop talking to me at the bus stop. Then there was the guy on the bus who said his best friend had just died.

The airport has CNN on right now. It’s like being at work, with the news is more background noise that information. I’m trying to hold off on watching the shows I have on standby. I’ve got Black Lightning and two episodes each of DC Legends of Tomorrow and Star Wars Rebels. I have enough to keep me occupied, plus I have lots of music to listen to.

There are a couple of things I’m looking forward to. I know this is going to be a stressful trip, but I’m trying to focus on some things to keep my spirits up. I will see the airports in Chicago, DC and on the return trip, Philadelphia. On the return trip I will be on the smallest and largest aircraft I’ve been on. The thing that’s not really what I’m looking forward to, it’s more of a curiosity than a goal, is to see one of the places we get calls from at my job. I just want to see what one of the stores we get calls from looks like. Seriously, I’m curious as to what some of the people look like.

Wow it’s not even 2300 and I’m tired. I just got an alert on the laptop that I have 3 hours before my flight. I’m glad I brought my portable hotspot. For some reason I’m not getting into the airport Wi-Fi, so I’m getting onto mine to update.

I wasn’t going to bring the power brick on this trip but I’m glad I did. There is no way the stuff I have will last through the long travel and there’s no guarantee I can get to an outlet or charger to bring power up. I’m giving the phone and extra kick while I can. I will need some music before the day is over.

Finally figured out the free Wi-Fi. Of course, I had to watch some ads but I got in. It seems every time I travel there are slightly different ways to connect.


February 27, 2018 17:00

My father is very ill; a lot worse than I imagined. He’s strong but a lot more fragile than I remembered him. He has a multitude of conditions leaving him weak. Right now, he’s being shuttled between a convalescent home and the hospital. I don’t think he has full-blown dementia but he has issues. He thinks my mother is plotting to steal his money. He’s not remembering things he says hours ago and he gets angry when my mother doesn’t remember things as he thinks he says.

My mother tries to help, but she is frustrated. She’s trying to deal with my father’s paranoia, but it brings back memories of frustration they have had in the marriage. Both aren’t dealing well with many years of hidden issues; from my father because of the dementia and my mother because she wants to keep up with appearances.

I’ve been dealing with all this the best I can. It’s a conflict because I’m their son and I see both sides of this and I can see as an outsider how there need to be a compromise and doing what’s best for everyone involved, but this is my parents. I can’t distance myself from that.

I don’t think there is even a side to this issue. No one is wholly right or wrong. My father is sick, on his last days and he knows it. In a crazy sense I didn’t want to visit because I didn’t want to see my father this way. It was easy to imagine what my mother told me about his health and mental state were exaggerations. Now I know they aren’t.

I had dinner with my parents today and I didn’t recognize my father. I saw him when we were back at the convalescence hospital. It reminded me of the episode of Good Times when Michael brought back the old man to the house on New Years who died at the end of the episode. The description he gave of the nursing home, that reminded me of where my father is now.

He’s sitting around waiting to die and that makes me feel powerless. I see him wasting away, both in body and spirit, and there isn’t anything I can do about it.


February 28, 2018 19:00

I spent most of the day with my father in his convalescence area. It was a troubling time; worse than yesterday. I was watching a struggling man who was tired and gasping for breath. It wasn’t the person I remembered as my father, but in some ways I found hope.

My father told me he was happy that I was out there. A lot of what he said sounded like he was talking like it was the last time I was going to see him. He told me that he didn’t want me to worry about every little crisis he was going through. He was happy to see me and he didn’t want me to burden myself by being at his side all the time. I’m not really putting the words right. Essentially, he knows the next time I’m going to be out there was at his funeral. He was alright with that because he has the time to tell all he needs to tell me now.

There’s a part of me that gets what he was trying to say, but I also know the state his mind is in. Today, he was convinced that Mom had left some money out on his table and someone in the convalescence staff took it. I had to remind him he left the money at the house and I saw it on the counter. It took him a few moments to remember he did leave it at the house and he was relieved.

The thing my mother told me was he’s lashing out a lot at her because he doesn’t think she’s listening. In the course of the day, I can tell there is a lot of communication issues between the two that are causing the conflict. They have such a history of not speaking clearly to each other that they just aren’t being straight with one another. I found out after leaving my father that his brother died and my mom hasn’t told him yet. She’s worried how he would react.

The thing I cannot reconcile would be my father’s side of the family. I can only go by what my mother tells me, but I’m going to say this as nicely as possible; I don’t like them. Going by my experience with an uncle by marriage I met a few decades ago, who was a decent guy compared to the rest of the family, the way I saw how the uncle was treated at his funeral, and the numerous stories my mom has told about that side of the family, yeah, once my father dies there might be some words said.

I’m also going through my mother’s drama. She’s struggling going through this time and the best thing I can do is listen. I can’t give advice, can’t really offer assistance because she is really guarded about her emotions. That’s just how she is and it’s the same way I am. The help I’ve offered has been pretty minor stuff, but that’s the advice she wants right now.

For instance, she asked me advice yesterday about if I wanted to go to the house or take care of some business with the lawyer. At first, I said it didn’t matter then I said I could go to the lawyer first then back home. Because my dad said she should drop him off and go to the lawyer, she went into a state I’ve always see her go into. She gave some excuse then said we should go home first because I was tired. I never said I was tired, actually said I was OK, but ended up going home and she had me up another 3 hours. I’m not complaining about it. I just know right now I’m just going to accommodate things. It’s not worth stressing it.


March 1, 2018 19:00

We went to my parent’s lawyer today. This lawyer reminded me of a young Matlock. He was folksy, jovial and seemed like a decent person. He’s close to 60 years old. I did what I have to do a lot of times; I stayed quiet and observed. My mother told me he was a talkative person, but she was the one who was taking her time and talking a lot.

The thing I have to say about the lawyer was that he listened. My mother has a tendency to talk at people, where every word is to be taken as a life lesson. The lawyer was actually interested in what I was observing and how it was affecting me. I started to get a sense of how bad my father is doing, not just physically but financially. I got a sense of his financial issues a few days ago with the money. One of the things my father used to say is that Uncle Sam will take care of him. That’s true, to a degree, but he never made plans to take care of himself. So, his finances are a mess.

I learned more about his thinking when we picked dad from the facility to bring him home for a few hours. It was another fight between my parents. The big issue always with them is they cannot let go of issues. They will bring up things from decades ago, needling each other with petty recriminations. Something my mother does is never fully explaining what she’s doing. We went to a department store, she got out and went inside. My father and I were in the car for 20 minutes. My father had wanted some seasoning packets from a Piggly Wiggly store across the street. My mom comes back and starts to go home. He asked about why she didn’t stop at Piggly Wiggly and the fight began. She accused the family, his family, of something from who knows when. He said he was treating her like a child and wasn’t listening him and it went on and on.

So we get to the house, she gets out of the car and I’m waiting for mom to get the garage door open and I can get my father’s walker and help him inside. Oh, I forgot to talk about the walker incident, which will also illustrate the lack of communication.

My father wanted to take a walker from the facility to use at the house and then take it back. My mother insisted on taking the walker back. That got them into a fight. We didn’t know this but there was a walker already in the trunk of the car. Instead of just saying there was a walker already in the car, saving a lot of confusion and hassling, she didn’t say anything. That’s when I found out she wanted me to drive to the store for the seasoning packets.

As we drove to the store and back I got more insight to my father’s way of thinking. Earlier, I had learned how my father had an abusive father. This was from my mother. It was a classic textbook, crime show abusive father model. My father has the classic deflecting, not as bad as it seems mentality. My father says that his mother stuck with his father and they had a good marriage because they stayed together. In my grandparents’ time, death unto you part was a big deal. I guess with my parents it the same way. They fight, they struggle and both talk about with them investing 50+ years into the marriage they’re not going to throw that away, even if both are constantly fighting.

Once we got back to the house, more arguing. I made dinner and that seemed to be the only thing they agreed about that the food was good. After dinner we took dad back to the facility and more arguing.


March 2, 2018 21:00

It was a relatively quiet day today because we didn’t visit my father. I helped a few odds and ends around the house. I took a few pictures of some of my mother’s items for insurance and dividing up “on her demise.” (Her words, not mine. She said that a lot this week) All day she was making sure if I knew where certain accounts were kept, codes to the house and other things. With the places we visited, everyone had on the Billy Graham memorial on TV. This gives a sense of the part of the country I was in. It was God and country, in that order.

I met one of the relatives that has been seeing my father and whom my mother talks highly of. It’s my mother’s nephew. I never met the person, well, I don’t remember meeting him but he said he met be a couple of times. He seems OK.

Not much to talk about today, because without my parents bickering, there was little drama today. That’s a good thing and sad thing. It makes me think of what things are going to be like when my father’s gone. That’s somewhere I don’t want to go at the moment.


March 3, 2018 10:30

Since yesterday, I have been dealing with flight changes due to the weather in the NE. Looks like I’m getting home, but may be pushing it to get back. This has been a rough trip, dealing with my father, mother, family and lawyers. I just want to get home, pet the cat and chill out with Law and Order SVU while playing a little Star Citizen. That’s the best I can cope with right now.

I’ve had to make a number of decisions I didn’t think I would have made a few years ago, even a few days ago. There were a few long term plans I had to think about and I’m not incredibly happy about them, but in making long term decisions the ones I made make sense.

Something that works with my situation is I can make choices, good or bad, somewhat immediately. No consulting with a spouse or children. While I wish my job was more stable it allows me, if need be, to back up and go. Seeing my parents these past few days has made me understand that the being the way I am has valuable advantages.

UPDATE: At the moment its 1330. The short answer as to where the time has gone is I’ve missed one connecting flight due to internet connection and an overwhelmed ticketing system. With any luck, I have my seat booked and set, the new flight will arrive in 90 minutes and I’ll be in Phoenix before 1900. Considering my original ticket, before the musical bookings, was set for me to arrive at 1930, I’m OK with that.

I will say this; the situation with my father is starting to hit me. I had to put my headphones on during the first leg of the flight, and every song had me on the verge of tears.

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The Return of Possible Drama

This morning was a bit unusual, yet familiar. There was a welcome conversation, a blast from the past and a reminder that in my life the veneer of innocence hides terrible revelations.

There’s a reason why I don’t try to get out into the world and meet people. I have become cautious of letting people in, because I’ve been disappointed a lot with people who I’ve called friends. Something I take after my father is I treat people a little too much. I help out selflessly, mostly by giving emotional support, but the situations I can get into when my guard isn’t up is detrimental to me.

I know it’s cynical for me to keep myself on guard all the time, but I’d rather err on the side of self-preservation and mental stability rather than deal with chaotic drama. So this morning, some suspected drama elements has returned. I wasn’t aware of how much drama was out there and it is a mad mess. Thankfully, I was on the periphery of the drama whirlwind while it was occurring, but the small details I found out about was disheartening.

I tried to help in the situation at the time, but it was definitely much more complicated than I could have imagined. I wasn’t told the whole extent of the drama, not even close. It changed my outlook of the situation. What I thought was a simple crisis of a young person leaving the yoke of a seemingly gilded cage was more of a 80s primetime soap opera like Knot’s Landing. On the one hand, I hate learning the extent of drama, however I’m glad I kept distance enough so I didn’t get caught in the whirlpool. Luckily, previous and much more emotionally connected experiences have me looking at the situation in proper perspective. All I lost was a few good words of advice to someone. No emotional involvement, no financial investment and no social interaction outside of a professional environment.

I’m taking the advice of someone who has similar dealing in this situation; be professional, be polite and watch my back.

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30 Minutes Before Work

Normally before work, I have my headphones on, listening to music and drowning out the vibe of the workplace. With the constant calls we get, there’s a routine and sameness to the calls we get. That’s something I don’t want to face right at the start of the day.

Today, for reasons I don’t know, I decided to not put on the headphones and just listened to the conversations surrounding me.

First of all, it was not as busy as a normal day. Yes, the calls were constant but they didn’t seem like the calls were frantic and rushed. That might be that I was in a relaxed environment because I was not taking calls. When I heard people having questions, I wanted to help out but I forced myself not to say anything. I’m not on the phones yet and I don’t want to get into answering questions. The flip side is I feel kind of guilty hearing questions and because I’m not jumping in to help out.

When I listen to music I get a good vibe, at least for a little while, for the day. I might feel good for an hour or two before the crush of the redundant calls. OK, yes, I just answered a question. I couldn’t help myself. Now, the slowness and relaxing nature of the vibe has disappeared. We are backed up on calls. I have 10 min left before I work and I’m feeling that churning in my stomach. Time to get tough to get ready for calls, with no music to set a theme for.

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Starting to Breathe Again

A takeaway I learned this summer when I lost myself and tried for a new job was based on an old favorite saying; No matter where you go, there you are. You can have people what they believe is good advice, but ultimately you have to deal with the consequences of your decision. Here’s the thing, even if someone has good intentions, when you stumble or unsteady, people may not be there to lend a hand or help you through trials and tribulations. Yes, take council, get opinions, but when you decide on a course of action, you own it. Blaming the folly you fall into on other people will not do you any good.

I have to make some difficult decisions soon. Well, let’s change that up a bit. I’ve made some decisions today. I was talking to someone who kind of made me questions the choices I made hours earlier. I started to doubt myself, worried I made the wrong decision. I started to think about when I made a similar decision a few months ago. Symbolically, I made a left when I should have gone right. It seemed like the right choice at the time, but less than a month later the situation changed and had I waited a week or two, my situation would have changed and I wouldn’t had to make the sacrifice.

Now, I’m able to get a better deal, but I was met with this new crisis. This morning I was thinking if I should pull the trigger and get it or wait.

The thing that rings in my head about the conversation I had this morning is that I’ve had my life on pause for a long time. I haven’t wanted to go forward. I’ve been worried about finances and other issues inhibiting me of exploring. I pulled the trigger this morning to move forward in my own way and with the discussion I had doubts.

I’m pretty sure in two weeks, if everything works as I think it will, I’ll be OK, well relatively OK without any guilt.

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Distressing News

I’m back home today, but I don’t want to be.

Early this morning, around 6am, I saw a message from someone early in the morning. I had a feeling it was from my mother because she’s the only person to call me that early. I listened to the message and she told me to call her back when I got the message, and to call the landline phone.

I got a shiver because when my mother says to call the landline, it tells me it’s a distressing phone call. In my head, it’s like a code signaling me there is extremely bad news. I called her up and at first, she didn’t really want to tell me what was going on. She talked in general that my father was in the hospital again, but when she could hear in the background I was traveling to work, she said she didn’t want to keep me long on the phone.

I finally got her to tell me my father is in the hospital again, and while she’s thinking he will be back out min a day or two, the tone in her voice wasn’t right to me. After talking a bit more, which meant I listened while she talked, my mother told me the doctor told her my father’s organs are deteriorating. They’re not shutting down, she was clear about that, but she also said she and my father, as well as the doctor, talked about do not resuscitate options. I really didn’t get all of the words she said at that point, but I did recall she said the doctor said that with my father’s age and condition, if he got to a bad point, there was little they could do.

When I was off the phone with her, it took me a few minutes for everything to sink in. I was trying to keep it together, but I couldn’t. When my sister died, everything was quick. I talked to someone a few days ago about my sister’s death. I didn’t have a lot of time to dwell about her death in the moment. By the time I found out her condition until she died, it was I think 24 hours at the most. By the time my father and myself got to my sister, we were already told by my mother and the doctors there was nothing they could do.

I feel the same way now, except it’s still in the moment, at least I think it is. I’m at a point where there are so many conflicting emotions I don’t know how to sort them out. I’m sad, angry, sorry for myself, guilty and just perplexed.

I called out of work today. I probably shouldn’t have but how I feel right now I wouldn’t be a good worker right now.

I might change my mind, but something I strongly don’t want to do is hunker down into protective mold. The past week I’ve tried to get out of my shell, to become, for lack of better words, a kinder and gentler person. The way I used to be. I’ve been trying to think positively. What is hurting me right now the emotions with my parents, when this has come up in the past I’ve shut myself down. That’s why this year I didn’t attend any conventions. I had the feeling if I went, I would get distressing news about my father. Sure enough, it did at the times when I would have attended conventions and it gave me a bad justification for not attending.

I’m just confused right now. I’m trying to move forward but, I don’t know.

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Thoughts In The Morning

I’m killing some time before I start work. It’s been an uneventful trip to work. The morning started with my cat waking me up wanting food. She’s been like this for a few weeks, nudging me to wake up and feed her. It was cute at first but now it’s an annoyance I’ll still tolerate. She’s been eating a lot of food and I’m trying to get her to eat less. Of course she’s bothering me to get more food.

I think I want to take a big trip for my 55 birthday in two years. I’ve gotten hooked on YouTube videos recently showing airline trip in business and first class going all over the world. The amenities and hospitality looks wonderful. I’ve had a bunch of friends who routinely take long trips to different places across the globe and my global wanderlust is calling. Taking the occasional trip to San Diego, Tijuana or Cleveland isn’t enough. I need something bold and a real adventure.

Another reason for branching out is something I was thinking about when I was walking to the bus stop. I’ve been in a rut for a longer time than I’ve realized. I’ve isolated myself for a number of reasons, but I’ve become so comfortable in that isolation I’m worried about what that’s doing to me. I’ve had some interesting talks with my mother recently, and I’m reluctantly realizing I’m becoming a lot like my father. I think I can understand a number of issues my father is going through and because I sensed this behavior at a very young age, I think I started taking on a lot of my father’s characteristics without realizing it. Now that I’m older, I’m seeing a pattern that I’m not comfortable with.

There’s seriously a lot of dynamics going on between my parents, which I know I dealt with by assuming, incorrectly as it turns out, that isolation would be the best way to deal with the issues I saw with my parents. Now, as I watch them in their older years, I don’t like what I’m seeing. For them, I guess their relationship works well because they have been married for over 50 years. When I visited my parents a few years ago, the constant bickering and nitpicking drove me crazy. It just made me more resolute that my decision of keeping to myself, for the most part, was the best thing for me.

That’s was before the health issues, before the weird self-reflection I’ve had last year. Along with the recent heath concerns with my father, I’m understanding I’m achieved to goal of keeping to myself but I don’t have that support system a family would give me. No significant other and no kids makes for a rut right now. I mean, when I leave this moral bonds, who would leave my comic book and other collectables to? My comics are something I have dragged along since I’ve been in junior high and I don’t have anyone to will them to when I die. When I go, they could just be thrown away.

What about Chaotic Fringe? I’ve been writing articles for the many publications for over twenty years. When I finally die will all those articles be digitally lost?

With a family, good or bad there would be people who would remember me, who might have a toast for me. I don’t have that now so, as far as I can tell, I could die tomorrow and I would have no impact on anyone.

Ever since my sister died, legacy had been something I’ve been concerned and confused about. When my sister died, my parents and other family members remembered my sister is glowing terms. She became a saint in their eyes. I’ve tried to remember her as a real person, with warts, faults, goodness and hope. Like all of us, she was complicated, but maybe as a way of dealing my parents and family thought of her as doing no wrong. Even when the article came out in Glamour magazine about my sister’s death, my parents refused to acknowledge the article. They wanted to cling to the saintly few of her rather than the real person.

I realize I’m not going to be the son my parents want me to be. They have already said, in so many words, that I’m a disappointment to them. I’m not the man they wanted me to be. It makes sense that they would embrace the cousin I don’t speak about and treat him as their son. He makes the money I don’t have, he has the family I don’t. I have a cat, he has a daughter.

My life hasn’t been defined by traditional route and I’ve taken knocks for not taking the road my parents and others wanted me to take, but I’ve had a life, and will continue to live life, as a complicated journey. Now, how I’m going to branch out this isolated funk I find myself in I’m not sure. There are things, medically, which I’m dwelling on after getting a sense of some of the issues my father is facing. Self-diagnosis is a dangerous thing. Possibly, if I had good health care, I might try to check myself out and see if some issues I suspect I have can be verified, but that’s not going to happen.

The only option I have is to forge ahead, live my life to the best of my ability. One thing, kind of aside from the minor self-revelation downer I’ve just gone over, is that I’m going to try and dive back into some of the creative projects I’d been working on. That’s when my mind, body and spirit felt alive and I miss those feelings.

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Silent All These Years

A few years ago, when I was starting my new job, this woman struck up a conversation with me. It turned out she worked where I worked and with my struggle of getting comfortable with people, it was nice to come into work and see someone at the start of the day.

She worked there about a year. One day, she wasn’t on the bus anymore and I haven’t seen her again.

I didn’t think her disappearance was unusual. In my life there are people I always see and I kind of wish they disappear from my life and others whom I’m sure, despite what I do, will continue to pop up in my life.

I thought about the woman today because there was another woman I’ve seen on my bus route who has returned. I don’t know how to react to people who I meet at the bus stop, especially when it’s obvious we recognize each other. Thanks to technology, people can ignore each other. She had headphones on and was concentrating on her phone. She was humming also, which I found a little distracting. I had my headphones on too, but it was more to avoid conversation.

Two weekends ago this woman came on the bus and was chatting me up a lot. I had seen her on the bus before and at the time she was talking to another person loudly about her job. When she talked to me, she told me the same story. Her job seemed interesting and she was happy with it and I tried to be friendly and listened to her story.

Last weekend, I got on the bus and it was night and day. She didn’t say a word and was intently focused on her phone. I sat town right next to the exit of the bus. When she left the bus, I tried to wave at her but she gave a distracted wave like she didn’t know who I was.

One I know people I can be talkative, jovial, funny and all of the nice human traits you’re supposed to exhibit, but it takes me some time to get comfortable and warm up to people. When I was at the former job a month ago I was the quiet, observant one and it was difficult for me to warm up to people. I’m really not comfortable around people I don’t know and I’m starting to be comfortable with that fact about myself.

I’m not the one to walk into a room and make friends. Well, to be honest, if I’m among my people, and that would be the SF/comics community, I feel I’m among family and I can loosen up and can be outgoing. Drop me in a room with strangers, especially when they’re trying to engage me in conversation, I’m going to be friendly but frosty.

I’m very comfortable being isolated and keeping to myself. As I’ve gotten older I’ve shut myself off socially from what I consider awkward situations. I think why I was so uneasy and uncomfortable in my job for a month was it was too many new things to adjust to. I tried to loosen up, to be one with the team, but the whole teamwork motivation wasn’t something I was comfortable with. At my former job I had hit a comfort level balance with things that allowed me to work in the environment. Being back here has been good for me, though it has taken a little time to readjust to the flow of the environment.

My parents, bless them, dislike the way I am. They want me to have a “normal” life with the big social life, wife and kids. As much as I love them, that’s not me and I can’t be that person. I like my privacy and I like my isolation. I mean, I call it isolation but that’s too strong of a word, because I’m not really living the hermit life, hording away junk and living with a bunch of cats. (OK, yes I kind of horde with comics and prop stuff and only 1 cat) I get out when I want to, I have friends but I’m a private person and I like my space. I’m not comfortable in crowds, which I admit I’ve protected my privacy more as I’ve gotten older. I can explore by myself but I’m an observer not a participant. That’s why I can sit in a bar and watch and have fun, but I’m going to go up and sing karaoke. Not in my wheel house.

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A Better Week

Last week I got some cleaning done along with the drama. Not as much cleaning as I wanted to do but it was a start. This week, well, a little more drama. I have to make a few financial decisions correct, well, move toward correcting them, so I’m going to struggle the next month but if I keep to the schedule I should get right by the beginning of October.

There’s been a lot of little bumps in my life for a month or so, and I could blame others for a lot of the mess I find myself in. Truthfully, I was pretty sure I had a few people I could pin this mess on, but I had to think about something that’s been my mantra; I gotta live in my own skin. It’s a cool saying, but it took me a bit to know where I got the phrase. It’s from good old Buckaroo Banzai.

No matter where you go, there you are.

I keep having to re-learn this lesson; I’m ultimately the one who has to make decisions about my life and I’m the one who has to live with the consequences. Blaming people for problems doesn’t help because other people have to live their own lives. They can help you, give advice but you are the one that heads in whatever direction you choose.

I’ve been putting so much energy into blaming others for my current issues I’m not sitting down and solving them.

So yes, I’m going to probably have a month where I’m going to struggle and stumble some, but I’ll be stronger at the end of it and I’ll have my burden a little lighter (I hope!)

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