Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Cleanup Woman

It all starts with the fact that I don't care what my surroundings look like and never have. Like most kids my room would after a time become a mess. This never bothered me. As I said, I didn't care. My mother, however, did care. A lot. Like everything else. So when she got tired of looking at it, she'd do one of two things. She'd either make me clean it up or she'd clean it up herself.

If she made me clean it up, she had me do it to her standard. Only her standard seemed to me to be perfection. No matter how much I did, now matter how hard I worked, it seemed like it was never enough. I'm not arguing I should have been allowed a weak or half-hearted attempt at cleaning. I just shouldn't have been held to an adult standard.

If she cleaned it up, then the fun really began, because my mother had no regard for what I wanted as far as my room goes. She asked me what color walls I wanted in my room once. I said purple. She painted the room pink. She tried to tell me it was lavender, but we had the Crayola® 64 pack of crayons and I wasn't buying it. I think the room is still the same vomitous shade of pink to this day.

So, since, as I said, she didn't care at all what I wanted, when she cleaned the room she put things wherever she wanted them. And since she didn't care about my stuff, she didn't remember where she put stuff when she did it. So if she cleaned my room, I instantly was unable to use it for anything I wanted.

Hence my cleaning problem, as I call it. When I start cleaning, it's back breaking and fatiguing and I don't know when to stop. And I cannot ask for help, because I am deathly afraid I will not be able to find anything again. And considering the difficulty I have remembering where things are when I do it myself, this is seriously a problem.

Aside from the shenanigans with the ex-wife, this is my final huge hurdle to face. But I do hold out hope that I can get this done.

Fly Lady Update:

I dusted today and that's about it. The time it took me to find the duster in the store today pretty much put me off track for the rest of the evening because of my evening appointments. But I will give it a good whack again tomorrow.

Betty Wright

Monday, January 30, 2012

I'm so tired

One thing about ACA is that the mere act of existing can be tiring. Stress doesn't help.

Fly Lady Update:

Worked on the living room some today and Tina and I did the timer on the dining room table. Just a couple bites of elephant.

The Beatles

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I'll fly away

In a post titled Come Fly With Me I talked about the FlyLady and her site to help the messy who have a clutter problem get on track to having a presentable house. And I said I was going to try to get back to following her habits to getting a clean house. Well, I met Kathy and that went out of the window. Only thing is, now she's moving down here in a month, and it has thus become very important that I start up again.

And so, while I will still write about ACA, I will also chronicle my daily adventures in rescuing my house from clutter. This is going to test how far I have actually come in repairing myself. Wish me luck.

I didn't use the song for the original Come Fly With Me post, so I am going to use it here now.

However, I like the song I'll Fly Away, so I am going to use it here now too.


The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley.

from "To a Mouse" by Robert Burns

A while back I wrote here that the not-quite-yet-ex-wife had agreed to terms to make the ex part official. Well, now she wants to change the agreement. Needless to say I am less than pleased by this turn. And our most recent attempt at negotiation has become rancorous. This was one of the things that kept me away from the keyboard the past few days, by the way.

There is no rush to get the divorce from the standpoint of getting together with Kathy, but there is a rush for me in that I need to be free from her manipulative game playing once and for all. Your prayers in this regard are welcome.

The Guess Who

Where've you been?

You may have noticed that I haven't been keeping my daily schedule of posting lately. I have had some things going on that have required my attention, some of which will appear here in the next day or two. I am happy to announce that one of them was helping Kathy as she applied for and got a job where I live. This is very happy news and I have been a little busy with her to do this. But I'm not going anywhere. Trust me.

Kathy Mattea (no relation)

For Kathy: the egg

Once when I was a kid my mother asked me to bring her an egg from the refrigerator. I dutifully went to the refrigerator and got one for her. I forget the manner in which I was carrying it, but I do remember that it was not to her liking. Up until that point I was carrying it fine without any struggle or distress. My mother looked up from whatever she was doing, saw how I was carrying the egg, and said loudly "Don't hold that that way, you're going to drop it." I was so startled by her angry admonition that instantly at that moment I dropped the egg.


One day I was weaving my way through students walking along at my community college and I noticed how graceful and almost ballet-like I was moving. I stopped for a second and thought about this. I supposedly was awkward and uncoordinated, at least according to my family. And yet here I was sliding in between everyone with style and flair. I realized that most of the negative things that I supposedly was I only was around them. For whatever reason, their projections about me changed my reality.


I was watching an episode of Kitchen Nightmares (the American version) where the chef of a Greek restaurant came to prep and was hectored by his mother and aunt as to his worthlessness. As they continued to carp and snipe and carp and snipe you could see him shutting off. But the aunt and mother didn't even realize that by focusing on his failures, they were causing the very thing they hated.


In William Glasser's book about marriage he talks about how complaining is the one of the greatest destroyers of marriage. When faced with a constant onslaught of criticism, rather than improvement you get disengagement, which, of course increases the criticism.


I try not to tell people what I am doing anymore, because their words, their thoughts, their projections seem to be able to influence my world, even now. The closest Kathy and I have ever come to a fight is because of something someone else said, projecting their negative feelings and impressions of me to her. I would say they bold-faced lied, except that they believe what they are saying is true.

Although my FOO and I are in a better place now than before, I hesitate to introduce her to my family because I am afraid that it will forever taint my relationship with her. She finds her family very supportive and positive for her. I have told her that she should cherish that, because it is a rare and precious thing.

Be careful what you say and who you say it to. You may be making people the very bad things you're berating them about.

Bach, for no particular reason.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Welcome to day twelve.

I have reached a milestone of sorts. I am now on Step 12 of the ACA steps. Step 12 is:
Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others who still suffer, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

This is something that I have been trying to do all along through both this blog and my various participations at ACoA related sites.

Although Step 12 is the last of the steps, I am not at all done. Many people go through the whole set of steps more than once to make sure they've addressed everything that needs to be addressed. And Step 10 sort of forces you to cycle through everything forever anyway.

But it is something to say that I have traveled this journey and it is clear that I have made many changes as the result of it. I still have plenty of lessons to learn and so this blog isn't going anywhere. But Step 12 is a milestone, and so I am going to note it.

Bob and Doug Mackenzie. Best I've got for 12.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

And everything's the same back in my little town

I'm liking my life at the moment. There are a lot of things happening for me right now and I am positively excited for my future. But I have for a number of reasons had conversation with folks in the town I am originally from and they have been hard to have.

First of all, they are going through some hard times. My hometown is economically depressed and there are a lot of people there unemployed or underemployed. The causes for economic failure are complex and the only thing approaching a solution that I can offer is to suggest they move.

And with them having a hard time, there are some people back there that aren't wanting to hear about my success. It would be nice if everyone I know was selfless enough to wish someone well while they are down, but they're not and I am not mad at them for that. But it does urge me to run the old tapes of me being guilty for wanting what I want and getting what I want.

But, as they say in baseball about having four power hitting outfielders and only three positions, it's a nice problem to have.

Simon and Garfunkel

Monday, January 23, 2012

Homeward bound

I've been with Kathy these last few days. On Tuesday I am on my way home. Only thing is, when I am with Kathy, then I am truly home.

Home, where my thought's escaping. Home, where my music's playing. Home, where my love lies waiting silently for me.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Stone cold sober, as a matter of fact.

This is now approaching the level of Hollywood farce. Stella gave me a moderately expensive gift for my birthday (less than $500 more than $100). She then dropped me via text during a hurricane. She dropped me.

When you're in an adult relationship, sometimes you leave stuff at each other's abode. I sent her everything that I could think of and then later the one thing I hadn't thought of prior. I later met with her to give her an opportunity to give her closure. This for a normal person would be the end of it. Alas, sad to say, she's not normal.

She has since on her blog exaggerated about me and has downright lied about me. She uses my real name on her blog when I don't use hers (or even my own) on this one. She has talked about me at least once a week on said blog. She's maintained Facebook relationships with people in my life to IMO spy on me. She's scoured the internet finding other places I write or post other works. And she's asked for this moderately expensive gift back.

Her ridiculous pretext for asking for the gift back is that I was fraudulent in my relationship with her. Beyond being simply not true, it was a gift freely given and I gave her gifts of equivalent value that I do not wish back because they were gifts.

Today she's contacted me about this for the fourth or fifth time and I am starting to be concerned that she will be coming after me bodily next. Kathy says that the best course of action is to ignore her, which other than here is exactly what I have been doing all along. I agree with this. So I am handing this off to my Higher Power. But it's getting really old really fast.

Chosen on purpose. Elton John and Tina Turner.

Gung Hei Fat Choi

It's Happy New Year in China already and will be Chinese New Year tomorrow in the United States. It will be the year of the Dragon, which always makes me think of Bruce Lee. Coincidentally, Kathy turns out to be a dragon. I use Chinese New Year primarily as an excuse to celebrate and eat Chinese food. So let's get started.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Two Flashlights

Two flashlights.

Flashlight number one. What eventually drove me out of radio was a dissatisfaction with the respect I was getting for working my butt off. I wasn't being paid much of anything and getting grief that I was actually being over paid, this at a time when a six day 60 hour work week was a light week.

This particular radio station was highly computerized and while individuals knew how their individual systems worked, there were only two people who knew how they all worked together: a friend of mine who worked for them part time until just before I left and me, the only person to whom he taught all of this stuff.

Well, eventually I left, as I said, and they went on without me. However they got to a point where their billing system wasn't reconciling with their commercial scheduling system. So they called me. I decided on a gouge-worthy price for my fixing it and went in. After I fixed it, they said they couldn't pay me any money, but they could give me a barter item.

I chose one that was the cost of my price, a very expensive, solid flashlight. I called it my Perry Mason flashlight because it could double as a murder weapon. Alas it left when the ex-wife did, in the trunk of her mother's car.


Flashlight number two. I told Stella about the first flashlight and she was bound and determined to replace it. I told her the model and that I wanted one with a LED bulb, LED flashlights having been invented in the interim. I was very specific. The reason I was very specific is because there was a tendency in my life for people to get me not what I wanted but something they thought was good enough.

Come whatever gift occasion it was, I opened it to discover that it was the exact version of above and not the one with the LED light. I was glad to get it but once again was disappointed by it. I have never opened the new flashlight. It still pains me to look at it, the disappointment is so great.


I know that both of these stories have something to do with my being ACoA, but I don't quite know yet what. I am going to think about it and get back to you.

Parliament, 'cause everybody's got to get a little light under the sun.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Personal property

As a part of my job, everything that I do is reviewed by a colleague to assure that it has been done correctly. The work is complex and the ultimate end users so painstaking that this type of review is necessary and no matter how good you are at it, a mistake or two will be made.

It is the job of the reviewer to note any deficiencies so that I may correct them. I am friends with my colleagues and they have the same dedication to a quality product. It is simply business and nothing personal. And yet...

I still take it personally. I don't mean that I react that way. What I do is read the comments, make the changes, and move on. But I still perceive it as a pointing out of my personal deficiencies. That isn't what is meant. I know these people better. The reaction comes from my ACoA issues.

Growing up, everything was made to feel my fault. People have told me they have found my need to be right almost as annoying as my tendency to actually be right. But that all comes from having to constantly prove that I was right in order to be heard by my mother. I am defensive because I was constantly on the defensive.

It no longer hamstrings me. It can be an extra deficit to overcome, but it can be overcome. As I said, I just take it at face value and move forward. I just look forward to the day when I don't have to take so many grains of salt with everything.

Karla Bonoff, bringing it to you personally.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Get to know me!

I'm coming at you with three seemingly unrelated things but if you bear with me, you'll see the relationship. First, it once again is Water Wednesday. This week I am much better about it than last week, because this week I am trying to detoxify just a little bit.

I take vitamin supplements for various ailments (or the prevention thereof). Lately I have noticed that one of the ailments for which I take the vitamins was actually getting worse. After a little process of elimination, I have figured out the one causing the problem and have ceased taking it.


I just finished one of the self-improvement books I have read and in it the author concluded the book by saying "Everything I just told you is wrong." No, he wasn't saying that he had just played some kind of prank on the reader. He explained that while what he had said about how to become successful was what he did, that his path was his path and we had to follow our path. That is to say, what worked for him might not be what works for you.


I am also finishing Co-Dependent No More (which I thought I had finished *sigh*) and found a chapter in which she talked about a family choosing a therapist for a problem, only to find the therapist more focused on the parents's smoking than anything else. They weren't sure what was wrong with the family dynamic, but they were pretty sure parental smoking wasn't it. She too stressed that we are the ultimate arbiters of what is right for us and what is working.


In the end there are no sure fire, foolproof failsafe blueprints on how to live your life. You learn what you can from others, but you have to see what works for you. You of course have to be aware of whether you're giving something enough time to work for you and if you are only saying something doesn't work to avoid working on things. But in the end you know you better than anyone, something else that I am learning.

Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes

Ill will

No blog entry last night because I felt ill. I feel better today so I will do one later on tonight. Ill; will. Get it? Never mind.

Keith, in honor of my standard temperature and feeling better.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Don't worry. Be happy.

A while back I wrote about gifts given from people I never met and in it I mentioned a crazy little book by Phil Laut called Money Is My Friend.  Well, today I'd like to recommend two more very slim but very helpful books. One is Self Rescue, by John Cantwell Kiley, which teaches you about surviving anything. And the other is Being Happy! by Andrew Matthews, which teaches you about, well, being happy. Thanks to Kathy for hipping me to the latter one.

You might want to sing it note for note.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

By Jove, I don't think she's got it!

There is a commercial right now where a woman calls a man up to announce to him that she is giving him the silent treatment, to which he responds that he does not think she gets how the silent treatment is supposed to work.

I thought of that commercial as Stella contacted me today about (from my vantage point) nothing. She said in one of her screeds about me since I met with her as a means of making amends that she wants closure. However, from her repeated diatribes and continued forced contact with me, I do not think she gets how closure is supposed to work.

The aforementioned commercial. (Its appearance here does not imply sponsorship of the blog by the advertiser and is included here simply for informational purposes.)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sticky knots

I done a few interesting things in my life and I have accomplished a few things, but if you asked me what accomplishments I took the greatest personal satisfaction with in achieving, it would not be my degree, awards I won while working in radio, or awards achieved in my current profession. No, it would be for some things many of you would find no big deal.

For the record, I am talking about personal satisfaction, things that have nothing to do with other people. I am very proud of the children and grandchildren I have reared and several different acts of kindness I have done for other people that I will not besmirch by calling attention to them. Those things are wonderful but outside the parameters of personal accomplishment.

One of the things I take great personal satisfaction in is learning how to tie a necktie. My father was a blue collar man and so neckties were relegated to church and weddings and for many, many years I wore a clip-on tie without a problem. Well, the insurance company my parents used put out a monthly newsletter composed primarily of filler. And one of the pieces one month was an illustration of how to a necktie.

It became a puzzle and a challenge to me and so I took one of my father's ties, untied it (IIRC) and then proceeded to tie it according to the guide. Lo and behold after one ore two minor points of confusion, I figured it out. And I have been tying neckties almost daily ever since.

I learned a few different knots, although I prefer the Windsor knot or the Half Windsor in order to hide that my collar button is usually unfastened (because of my enormous neck. I recently decided to go the rest of the way and take on the ultimate tie challenge, the self-tied bow tie, because, as you know, bow ties are cool.

Another thing of this nature was learning how to use chopsticks. I found it fascinating that people all over the world could work them but I couldn't make it work to save my soul. And then one time with Wilma at a Japanese restaurant I decided to try again, using the handy instructions on the back of the paper sleeve. With that try and with the help of very sticky rice, I was able to get the concept.

And we've talked before about me learning how to ride a bike. I guess that these things are so precious to me because of the amount of difficulty or fear I had to overcome to get there. Overcoming obstacles does make success sweeter. But I'd still rather have easy.

Chopsticks, naturally.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Just as Sydney J. Harris would find things while looking for other things, sometimes I'll get an epiphany about one thing while I am dealing with another thing.

Kathy and I were talking about some things in our relationship, working a few things out, and in the process of talking to her about them, I recalled something from my relationship with Wilma which explained a lot of things to me.

One thing from which many ACoAs suffer (and I am one of those that does suffer) is a detachment from their own feelings and bodies. That is to say we feel things but we have been so confused by admonitions to not feel and mislabeling feelings for politeness sake, that we don't really know what we're feeling or what they are saying to us. We are strangers in a way from our own bodies.

Well, in the conversation I had with Kathy, I recalled my time with Wilma where we discovered that my demeanor with her changed to the negative when I was hungry. I was somehow labeling my hunger as anger and taking it out on her. Wilma learned to simply stop and feed me and all would be right again in our situation.

From this I have extrapolated that some of the feelings I have been having lately are not what I thought the feelings were (which makes sense given the absence of evidence that would otherwise support those feelings). I have lately been very tired, sleepy, and tonight was hungry and thus I wasn't even feeling what I thought I was feeling. I was mislabeling this combo based on previous life experience.

So the next time I am feeling melancholy, I think I will try curing it with a sandwich and a nap first.

Morris Albert.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Making it

I have read in many self-help books that what derails many people in pursuit of success is fear of that very success. For instance, I knew a friend who was on the verge of making it as a stand-up comedian, and as he got close to getting a big break, he mentally crumbled. But I never realized that I suffered from it too.

Right now some things are afoot in my life where I could be living in the closest thing to “Happily ever after” I could possibly want. And it's left me scare spitless. I am sometimes unsure of myself. And I have had to actively work on breathing and relaxing away from anxiety about it.

The anxiety isn't fear that it won't happen, mind you, but instead a feeling that I am somehow inauthentic because my dreams are coming true and that didn't used to happen for me. It's related to my previous thoughts about feeling like becoming a different person.

This is tangible evidence that the program can work changes in your life. But it still is disconcerting getting used to the new me. By the way, I am claiming that the new me is the real me and the old me is just that, the old me. It's a subtle difference, but I think it is helping with the adjustment. If I said that how I am now is not me, then I would be rejecting the very changes and happiness I have sought. And I want those things. So this is me now. It is different than the “me” before. But it is real and I am claiming it.

When was the last time you thought of David Naughton? Certainly sooner than I did before today.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nothing's wrong as far as I can see

Things today moved so far in my direction it's breathtaking. But, as the song says, I can't tell you why. Stay tuned.

The Eagles

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My buddy

In my ACA stepwork I technically am on Step 11, however it occurred to me that back in Steps 8 & 9 I forgot someone that I need to make amends to, and that's my buddy Fred.

Back before I moved to where I presently live, my car was totaled. And as the accident was my fault, I didn't receive any money for it, as I just had liability. I also didn't have any money to replace it.

Fred, a good friend of mine, loaned me $6000. He said for me to make payments as I could and not to sweat the interest. Shortly thereafter I moved south and married my wife. Once I got a decent job, I promised him I'd pay him back with our income tax refunds.

But almost every year, it seemed my wife found something that 'needed' the money more than Fred did. Kids 'needed' to go on expensive field trips. Car engines blew up. Surgeries. Always something.

One year, I put my foot down and insisted that we use it as I had promised. That year we gave him $1000 of the $6000. He was choked up about it. He said he never expected it back.

But I always intended to pay him. It was the wife's insistence and my sniveling acceptance that prevented it from happening. And now I have let my guilt keep me from making restitution.

I am about to be in a situation where I can make a nice profit off of an investment. And today I decided that I am paying him back the rest that I owe him from part of the proceeds of this investment. I need to do this.

It will be proof that I am not the guy ruled by his wife and her bad management of money. Any brick I can take off my shoulder I should. And so, I will finally do right by him. And it feels good.

Frank Sinatra (good for the eggs).

Monday, January 09, 2012

I really want to know

Lately I've been negotiating (something I never used to do) and taking charge and just in general being assertive, which wasn't my style, and so occasionally during the day these last couple of days I've been asking myself "Who are you?" 'cause I don't recognize this guy.

The Who.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Extreme Makeover, Home Edition

Well, I went ahead and did the toilet seat today after home improvement Saturday and it was handily the easiest job of all of them. So, while I was doing it, I gave a little thought as to why these home repair kinds of things are so difficult for me.

My father and I are very different men. My father was always an outdoors, physical exertion kind of guy. And I was a bookish, artsy, indoors kind of kid. And so he and I didn't relate. He couldn't understand how I could just not get how to ride a two wheeled bike, for instance.

So since we were so obviously different and antagonistically so, I didn't bother to learn anything associated with his macho manliness.  And that, unfortunately, included home improvement skills I would later need to have in dealing with every day life as a man.

I was always so afraid of doing these kinds of things wrong that I would just as soon not do them at all.  Consequently, while I knew how to cook and to darn when I moved out, I wasn't even aware that I had to change furnace filters periodically, never mind how.

So I have had to learn as an adult and I usually look like a goof doing it.  But I for the most part I muddle through.  As to why my dad made things difficult, I am almost certain it was him being either an alcoholic or an ACoA (he was both).  But that was then and things are different now.  Thank goodness.

The original, by Jimmy Jones.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Home Improvement

We all have our strengths and weaknesses and one particular form of Kryptonite for me is mechanical things not having to do with computers, stereos, or televisions. I bought a grease gun a while back to lube my sliding glass door and you would have thought you were watching an episode of the Lucy show.

It is with this firmly in mind that I decided to do some home improvements around my house yesterday. Since it gets dark so early in the winter and I have to work later than I would like sometimes, I thought it would be great if I had a device installed to turn my porch light on at dusk.

I go to Lowe's and find a nice programmable one. In install it in my overhead porch light and at dusk, sure enough it comes on...and goes off...and comes on...and goes off. Turns out the enclosure around the light reflects enough of the bulb's light back to the sensor that it thinks it's daytime. Then when it shuts off it thinks it's dusk again.

So that's a no go. There is also a hall light that I think would be nice to cut on whenever it is approached, so as to not have to find the switch in the dark. I figure this is simple. Just take the toggle switch out and replace it with motion activated switch.

Well, the toggle switch is not attached the way shown in the replacement switch's instructions. And all the wires except the ground are the same color. Some advice from an electrician friend later, I am able to release the wires from the toggle switch. I attach the non-ground wires one way with the idea that if they go the other way, I'd reverse them. But I got it right the first time and it works. Except now all the wires and the slightly larger switch don't fit in the box.

Changing the wire crimps and very artfully shoving everything in solves that problem, but by this point I am so worn out that I don't even think about changing the toilet seat. Maybe today. Maybe not.

But yeah, the fact that I took any of this on is definite proof that things are changing for me.

James Taylor

Friday, January 06, 2012

"And you know what? So was I."

I am a fan of a television show called Doctor Who. It is about an alien time traveler who flits about the universe across time and space (and even occasionally other dimensions) having adventures with people who travel with him, generally humans and generally from Planet Earth.

The role was first played by an older gentleman named William Hartnell who toward the end of his time on the series had trouble with his health. The show was too popular to end and so the idea was struck upon to recast the role, however to not try and replace him with someone that looked similar, but rather with someone younger.

They used the fact that the character was an alien to allow them a special way to do it. When a Time Lord (the lead character's species) was near death, their bodies renewed their cells. At first we were to think that the original character simply got younger. But after the second actor, Patrick Troughton, was done with the series and was replaced by the third, Jon Pertwee, a much taller actor, it was clear that the bodies changed. This was called a "change of appearance".

When Pertwee was replaced in the part by Tom Baker, there was finally a name for this process: regeneration. For the character it was sort of a death of the ego, followed by a completely new man that was still, somehow, the same man. I have been thinking a lot about this process lately because I almost feel like I am undergoing it.

Doing the ACA work is changing me. Being in a relationship with Kathy is changing me. I am looking at things differently, seeing things differently, and doing things differently. And yet, somehow, I am still me. That said, I have lately, periodically, felt sad for no discernible reason.

Things are going pretty well for me in just about every corner of my life. So I am thinking that this feeling of sadness is coming from the current me knowing that this me, the one who was controlled by being an ACoA, is on his way out the door, never to return. I'm regenerating. But the new me will still be me. But still not ginger. (A Doctor Who joke.)

The ninth Doctor becoming the tenth, explaining the process.

And the tenth Doctor becoming the eleventh.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Things I learned while looking up other things

Back when I was a kid, one of the columnists in the local newspaper was Sydney J. Harris, who I normally didn't read.  However, usually on a Saturday if I remember correctly, he would do a column he would title "Things I Learned While Looking Up Other Things."  I found the idea that you could learn something else while trying to learn a different thing interesting and I found the tidbits he ran into interesting myself.

As I go to write every day, I too find myself learning things on the way to finding information on what I want to write about, and so, here is my blatant rip off of Sydney J. Jarris.

Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in Akron, Ohio.  Bill W., one of the co-founders of AA, was in Akron and felt like drinking and met with another alcoholic who quit instead.  I don't believe the mere sight of Akron causes you to want to drink, BTW.

The fleshy, tasty part of a pomegranate seed is called the aril.  I also learned after eating a poemgranate for the first time that the red juice flies everywhere.

If a stock sells for under a dollar a share for several days in a row, the stock gets delisted from the major exchanges and has to be sold on the Pink Sheets or the OTC Bulletin Board.  These are the stock exchanges for what is generally called penny stocks.  A certain famous airline had this happen to them recently.  Coincidentally, it was the one I flew to meet Kathy.

A cribbage board belonging originally to Rear Admiral Richard O'Kane is always housed on the longest serving active duty submarine in the US Fleet.  What I did not learn was "Why?"

Happiness quotes, featuring among others Mr. Sydney J. Harris.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Cool clear water

Today is Water Wednesday. No, you haven't missed any official proclamations or national promotions. I am the one who calls it Water Wednesday. The reason is that I need to drink more water.

About three weeks ago, I had a period where out of taste and convenience I drank nothing but soda with the two meals a day I ate. After a few days of this, my big toe was very sore. I decided that it was the beginning of gout. (Yes, I am not a physician and I realize it could have been something else.)

So, in order to lower my uric acid levels, I decided to give my kidneys a break and drink nothing but water for the day. I don't remember which day of the week it was, but that worked out so well that I decided to do it once a week and started Water Wednesdays.

The problem is that I cannot stand the taste of water. "Water has no taste" you say. Well, people also tell me that mushrooms have no taste and I can certainly taste them, so I say it does. I haven't liked the taste of water from infancy.

When I was a youth, I mentioned to my mother that I didn't like the taste of water and she told me a story of having to squirt water down my throat because I was dehydrated and wouldn't drink it. Alas, it sounds like me.

So here I sit, grousing about doing something good for myself, because it isn't immediately pleasurable. To me, that's the hallmark of being an adult, making yourself do something that on one level you don't want to do because on another level it's exactly what you need to do.

Sort of like working the 12 Steps of ACA.

The Sons of the Pioneers

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

I hate people

In doing the step work lately I have become reacquainted with a personality problem that has developed from being an ACoA. To oversimplify it and put it in childlike terms, I hate people.

I don't hate individual people. And I don't hate large groups of people. And I don't hate all of humanity constantly. But I have felt so let down, so misunderstood, so abused by humanity in general, that I don't find myself relating to the very species to which I belong. I haven't for the longest time, really.

I haven't felt this was a problem for me for a long time now. I have a few close friends. And I have a detached relationship from my FOO. And I have felt that is all I have needed. But I have large desires for myself. And the only way to achieve those dreams is to help people. And so I find that I have to get over my distrust and disgust with all of humanity.

I don't consider myself perfect and my problem doesn't stem from perceived imperfections of humanity. My problem is that I haven't gotten to the point where I can accept the frailty of humanity. Nor can I accept that even the best people should not be expected to be there when you need them.

I have to meet people where they are and give up my expectations of them having perfect performance in my mind. Once I do that, then maybe I will have room for love for people, something that I presently lack.

Even now my inner child is saying "But they were mean to me". And yes, just about all of the children back when I was a kid were mean to me. Yes, they didn't understand me. And it hurt. It's hurt for fifty years. But they were just doing what kids do. And I need to forgive them for that. But the pain was very deep. And this is not proving an easy thing to do. But the most helpful things generally are not easy.

And I don't care if they hate me!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Promises, promises

Last year I made exactly one New Year's resolution, and that was to get all of the weekly game badges for 2011 at Pogo.com. And despite how much the pursuit of same ended up annoying me, I did it and I am glad I did.

My word is important to me, and that includes my word to myself. It's one of the reasons I avoid making New Year's resolutions. I think it's important to keep one's word and most of the times, traditional New Year's resolutions are prescriptions for failure.

Kathy was impressed with my persistence, and noted how impressive that will be when I apply it to a joint venture she and I are working out. I often bag on the handicaps being an ACoA gives me. But in fairness I have to say that this has been one of the benefits.

Promises, promises.

On New Year's Day

Kathy went back to her home on New Year's Day and while I occasionally drift into bad thoughts on the subject, for the most part I am handling it okay.

Our time together was very special and very different. I felt at ease and relaxed. When Stella spent a week with me, I was itching for her to leave. I didn't like what I thought my life would have been like with her. I liked what life was like with Kathy.

For the last several months, I was content with me in my home by myself. But now, after several days of having her in my home, it feels empty again. But that's a good thing.

I know this song, but not what it is about, so if it is somehow inappropriate, I apologize.