Thursday, March 29, 2012

Give me some water

I have not been respecting Water Wednesdays the past few weeks. I need to get back to that.

Right on the money. Eddie Money.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I'll take what I can get.

After being characterized unkindly on her blog for months now, Stella unknowingly offered me vindication of sorts today. Not directly, mind you, but she admitted that something I suggested to her about her personal situation could possibly be true. It's not much, but I'll take what I can get.

So I took what I could get. And then she looked at me with big brown eyes and said...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sleepy time

I had started a different post about a deep subject, then my computer went stupid. So, after hours of trying to get it to stop being stupid, I am finally going to sleep. Nighty night.

Brahms's Lullaby.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

No soap.

One facet of modern serial writing is that characters undergo development arcs. This was the hallmark of soap opera writing and it spread into other areas of periodic entertainment. However it is not something that I am a fan of because what it eventually leads to is characters behaving out of character simply for the sake of having something.

This has nothing to do with anything, really, but it's been on my mind. So here it is.

General Hospi-Tale.


I read an interesting article about the marketing of the product Febreeze. This stuff can really neutralize odors in a revolutionary way and yet they couldn't get people to start buying it and find that out.

In trying to solve the puzzle, they went to houses that really could use Febreezing (such as ones with incontinent animals) and found a puzzling thing: the people who lived in these homes had become inured to the smells and no longer recognized them as bad.

This is very similar to something else I see with great regularity, watching Kitchen Nightmares and Restaurant: Impossible. On these shows, failing restaurants get help and a make over from Gordon Ramsey and Robert Irvine respectively. And invariably these people are mystified why their restaurants are failing while everyone else thinks their food sucks.

In both cases the people in question have a personal validation issue in not being receptive to the truth. The animal people want their animals so they learn to not smell it and the restaurant people so want to avoid failure they refuse to admit their taste or lack thereof is a problem.

You may wonder where this is going as far as being an adult child of an alcoholic is concerned. Well, being horribly self-critical we examine unwelcome information about ourselves, but we have a hard time determining which is valid criticism and which is to be discarded without consideration. It's not denial, but it's just as much of a problem.

The solution as I see it (and how I have practiced it most of my life) is having trusted advisors who will tell me the truth and not sugar coat it and compare it against each other. So if you ask me to trust my gut and I tell you I can't, I hope you'll understand why.

King of denial?

Saturday, March 24, 2012


As I mentioned before, I used a tricky maneuver to get my divorce without Portia's cooperation. This, of course, led to more mature behavior on Portia's part (he said, sarcastically). Tina continues to be used as a pawn and money continues to be Portia's bone of contention. Apparently my actually having a divorce has changed the paradigm very little. I suggest you make double-dog sure before you marry someone. Remember, you have been warned.

Tammy Wynette

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Secret Love

I am so much enjoying having Kathy here that I want to tell the world. I would love to take pictures of her as we do stuff and post them on Facebook. However, Kathy is a very private person and has put the kibosh on most of that kind of stuff. The only reason I can talk about her and post it as much here as I do is because Kathy's not her real name and I don't post any pictures.

I can respect this, but it brings up bad echoes of Wilma, who had me hiding at every turn, as if she was ashamed to be seen with me. I know it is different with Kathy and it is her hang up, not mine. But it still bothers me nonetheless. However, it is a small price to pay for happiness.

Doris Day

Honey, where's the money gone?

I bought my house last year and as the anniversary of doing so rolled up, I got a check from the mortgage company for extra escrow money. Well, I kept track of the check for a while, but with the bustle of going to get Kathy and then moving her into the house, the check got lost.

I didn't realize I had lost the check until I examined my bank records and while it showed the disbursement from my escrow it never showed me depositing it into my bank. So I did a hunt for the check and the panic struck. Losing things has always been a personal bĂȘte noire. My parents were very, very hard on me about losing stuff and when I lose or misplace stuff, I get in great panic as I hear the voices in my head. Their criticism was very harsh and I duplicate it and amplify it. Or rather, I used to.

As I felt myself lapse into my previous methods, I realized I needed to break the pattern and be both logical and gentle to myself. I realized that the missing money would not make me or break me and that the likelihood was high that if I simply called the lender they'd void the first check and issue a second.

And so I handed it off to my Higher Power and achieved a bit of serenity. Lo and behold, yesterday I got the urge to read a book that I had taken with me on the flight to Kathy's home and there, as a bookmark, was the check in question.

Lesson learned, I will again remind myself to leave things with my Higher Power.

Solomon Burke: "I don't care where the loving went, baby. But honey, where did the money go?"

Here's looking at you, kid.

In honor of the 70th anniversary of the movie Casablanca, the movie was screened in a theater, and it was my first time seeing it projected on a big screen. Because Kathy and I missed having a Valentine's Day date in February due to her moving, we made last night a date night and we had a wonderful time. Much like the first time I ever saw the Wizard of Oz in a movie theater, I will never see this movie quite the same way again.

You must remember this.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nyuck nyuck nyuck

There was a Three Stooges punching doll in the lobby of the theater the other day, which reminded me that Kathy bought me a set of Three Stooges shorts for Christmas, an impressive thing for a woman. She didn't let me punch the doll though.

Listen to the Mockingbird on a harpolin.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Where is the love?

Kathy and I saw the movie "The Vow" tonight and it was rather well done but a rather hard movie for me, much to her surprise. If you have not yet seen the movie, I suggest you come back tomorrow and read the next day's blog. Remember, you have been warned.













As we go through the movie it was abundantly clear that while Channing Tatum still loved Rachel McAdams, she, due to her accident, did not love him. And he didn't know how to get her to love him again. It was a tough watch for me, because I have been there twice.

The most recent time was the end of my marriage where it just seemed that Portia could not remember why she married me. The pain had seemingly erased her memory of the good parts of who I was. And I was as mystified as to what to do about it as Tatum was in the movie.

But the other time was the very first time, when Wilma dropped me. I didn't know where the love went or why the love went. It hurt. It still hurts a little thinking about it.

I don't know why love fades, but I am aware now that it does. It doesn't mean I have to like it though.

Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway

Good Bye, Mrs. Durkin. I'm sick and tired of working.

Kathy was kind enough to make a traditional Irish meal for me Saturday consisting of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and soda bread. It was quite tasty.

The Wolfe Tones

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Top of the morning to you. As I spend St. Patrick's Day with the very Irish Kathy, I thought I'd be the first to play for you the song you will hear all day long unless you know some traditional Irish tunes and places.

Dexy's Midnight Runners

Friday, March 16, 2012

It's a sad, sad situation

Well, I may have possibly ruined my relationship with Kathy. I hope not, but I can never tell about these things. And how I did it is that I got divorced.

As I mentioned previously, my agreement to divorce my ex-wife came unraveled. So I retained a lawyer. A strategy that was considered and ultimately decided upon was to use the rules and laws of the state to get divorced without the ex's cooperation.

Successful execution of this strategy required that the ex not know this was what we were going to do. However, Kathy and Portia had actually started to talk frequently. I didn't want to run the risk of Portia getting wind of the strategy. So I didn't tell her.

I wanted to tell her. I really did. But I wanted to be divorced from Portia even more and I wasn't sure that was going to happen if she (Portia) had gotten a whiff of the maneuver.

So it happened. And tonight I told her. And I didn't tell her the way that I wanted to. I told her while being aggravated because Portia was again telling mis-truths to people about me (not Kathy in this instance).

Kathy was hurt. We talked about it. I explained things. She says we are okay. I want to believe her, but my ACoA issues get in the way of that. I have told her I am sorry and hopefully that is enough. But sorry seems to be the hardest word.

Elton John

Bloody well right

Wednesday was Pi day (3.14). Thursday was the Ides of March. Saturday will be St. Patrick's Day.
Seems like today should be something. Freedom of Information Day and James Madison's Birthday just don't cut it.

Everything You Do Is Right Day is today. I'll go with that.

A band called the Logical Group covering Supertramp.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Look at what's happened to me. I can't believe it myself.

Well, a week ago tomorrow Kathy moved in with me, at least temporarily. And it's been a pretty great week. Yes, the drive was a challenge and yes, the packing and unpacking was physically hard on me and yes, my right leg is still not fully recovered from the ordeal, but...

Living with cats has been almost pleasant. I didn't realize how much I missed having a pet in the house. Cats aren't dogs, but they're all right, even if I have to scoop the litter.

And living with Kathy has been awesome. I know that it's only temporary and I didn't get the house to where she would have it, but she seems to be happy (for the most part) and I like having someone else in the house who might care if I live or die.

I never thought I would find someone who fit with me so well. I never thought I could make someone happy. I never knew I could be well enough to attract someone like her. But I have. Believe it or not.

I'm walking on air.

Today is the ides of March

So are these guys.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Goober says "Hey."

Part of the long journey from her home to mine took us through North Carolina and that took us near Mount Airy, NC, which is better known by it's fictional name Mayberry, as in the home of the Andy Griffith Show.

The cats seemed to need a restroom break and so we used Kathy's GPS to try to find a pet store near us to get some litter for the small litter box we brought with us for the trip. And that had us drive through Mount Airy and into one of the strangest episodes ever.

We drove apparently from one side of Mount Airy to the other, finally arriving at the Flat Rock Pet Center. We'd just buy some litter and be on our way. Right? Wrong. I walk in and there is no one in the Flat Rock Pet Center. Eventually someone comes in from the outside only to inform me that he carries no dog and cat stuff and that the best he could sell us was gerbil pellets. We declined. He then proceeded to tell us how to get to another pet store, one that sold litter. Only he told directions the way that many folks do. I learned of a lot of places along the way, as well as how long they were in business and whether they were going to stay that way, but not a lot of streets and where to turn.

At any rate, I got the name of the place and we set out starting with the beginning of his directions. We asked the GPS and got a name that was similar. So we drive out to it and it is in the middle of nowhere. And it's a house. Just a regular old house. No sign out front. Nothing.

Not wanting to chance that strangers were not welcome, I get back in the car and I make an executive decision to just go to Walmart. I had been to Mount Airy once before and I knew they had a Walmart. So the GPS pulls up Walmart and tries to advise us on how to get there. At one point it has us turn on a street I will call Orchid Street. Only Orchid Street has all the appearances of a shared driveway. We travel through a few backyards, Kathy and I incredulous at the sight. And then we get to a sign stating what we already knew, that Orchid Street was a private drive and please get off of it.

So I turned around and left and forced the GPS to calculate a new route. Eventually we got on Andy Griffith Highway and to Walmart. As we were trying to park, the people of Mayberry showed they lost some of their fabled friendliness over the years, at least when it came to parking spaces. But eventually we got some litter, too late for the one poor cat who was peed on by one of the others. Soon (like two hours later from when we first got the idea), we were back on our way.

I eventually found the other pet store the Flat Rock Pet Center tried to send me to on a map. But I still believe you can't get there from here.

The theme you cannot get out of your head.

You rang?

Where have I been? I've been acclimating myself to living with one woman and three cats. And I have been on the disabled list with a bum leg. I have had a lot going on and have neglected this in the process.

But life is starting to lurch toward something that can be called normal. So updates will return.

You rang?

Friday, March 09, 2012

Tonight's the night she's moving in and I can hardly wait!

If everything has gone according to plan, tonight is Kathy's first night in official residence in my house. Our house I guess it is now. And I'm a happy man.

Tonight's the night she's moving in! It's time to celebrate!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Nowhere, man.

We're neither where Kathy used to live nor are we where she's going to live. So we're really nowhere, man.

Sitting in a nowhere land.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Moving out

Today I am helping Kathy pack things up for the trip. Moving is always a hard thing for me, even when it is someone else moving. But we'll get through it.

You ought to know by now...

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Up! Up and away!

The punctuation is the way that Bud Collyer used to say it as Superman. But at any rate, by the time you read this I should be aboard an airplane headed to Kathy for the long drive back.

The Fifth Dimension (the singing group, not where Mr. Mxyzptlk is from).

Monday, March 05, 2012

Do It Again

What am I doing again? Living with a woman. Makes me happy.

The Beach Boys, fifty years later, also doing it again.

Finishing touches

Fly Lady Update:

Last one, as Kathy is coming this week.

After recovering from lack of sleep and a headache on Saturday, I looked at the house and even though I know I did a whole lot of stuff, it wasn't looking like it. So I did what I called finishing work, clearing the last few things off, putting things away, acquiring a couple of litter boxes for the cats.

Even though it was finishing work, it was a lot and I had to push to do it. And the voices came back into my head. I touched many of the demons that go with cleaning. It was very hard. At one point I made myself take a break because otherwise it was going to break down.

The house looks better and I think she'll be okay here for the time that she will be staying. But it's been a bit of an ordeal. There are a lot of things still working underneath the surface and dealing with them will be a work in progress.

But Kathy's coming, so it's worth it.

Not really related, but here is someone called WS64 playing the Beatles on a ukulele

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Short, sweet, and to the point

Someone at the ACA forum I go to said something very profound, which I will share:

Expectations are premeditated resentments.

Fly Lady Update:

I got battered around by a computer I was repairing and didn't get to do anything Saturday, but I made up for it Sunday. Boy, did I make up for it.

Sweet and innocent.

Friday, March 02, 2012

And now here's something we hope you'll really like.

Today I decided to visit a psychology forum I recently signed up for in addition to the ACA forum that I regularly frequent. At the forum there was an entire section on divorce and separation. I saw a thread there titled "Still Angry at My Spouse" (paraphrased) and decided to read it, since I believe my current problems with my Not-Yet-Ex-Wife are because she is still very, very angry with me.

In it the woman complained about her husband. A lot. He looked at pictures of naked women and this angered her. They went to counseling and in her description turned things around where it was her problem. She's annoyed now that he's talking a lot to a woman he works with and not to her.

The very first responder to this thread suggested to her that instead of vesting her energy in getting him to change that she look at herself, not that she was the cause of the issue but that she was the cause of her unhappiness.

She pretty much ignored this person and listed more things her husband was doing wrong. She eventually got what she sought, which was validation that her husband had the problem and they were scheming ways on how to fix him.

Well, from my ACA perspective, her husband didn't have a problem at all. He liked looking at pictures of naked women and he liked talking to this other woman more than he liked talking to his wife. Should he? That's a moral question.

In my thinking the wife was the one with the problem, in that the husband was not behaving as she wished he would. The problem was that she was wishing for something that she had no means to create or leverage to help make it come about. She couldn't stop him from these things and because she was so hateful, he really didn't want to not do these other things.

I don't know what happens in a person's mind where they figure being angry, mean, and hurtful to someone will dispose that someone toward doing what they want them to do, but it seems to happen a lot. Rather than being nice to me to get what she wants, my NYEW seems to think that being mean to me is a way to make it happen. But, as Rocky said to Bullwinkle "That trick never works."

Fly Lady Update:

Packing up my dead dog's stuff today.

Nothing up my sleeve. Presto! (Note that for some reason I cannot find the one where Rocky actually says "That trick never works.")

Thursday, March 01, 2012

We're too busy singing to put anybody down.

Yesterday, Davy Jones of the Monkees died at age 66. Celebrity deaths sadden me not because I imagine myself in some sort of relationship with the late celebrity but because it reminds me of my own mortality and it in a way steals another piece of my past.

I watched the Monkees on television as a kid and I enjoyed their music. They were not my favorite, but their music was enjoyable, and given the songwriters and musicians employed by the producers, this was to be expected.

Since Mickey Dolenz sang lead on the early songs, I considered Davy (who played no instrument, unlike Peter Tork or Michael Neismith) to be merely eye candy for the girls who watched the show. (And judging by Facebook yesterday, he played that part well).

But Davy's popularity with the women ended up increasing his position on the music and so, toward the end, he got a number of leads. He wasn't anything particularly special (unlike Dolenz's weird voice), but he was good. It's also very funny to me that while I prefer Dolenz's leads overall, Davy sang lead on my single favorite Monkees song.

At any rate, time is once again reminding me how briefly we get to grace this stage. So make the most of it.

Fly Lady Update:

This was written early, so I don't know what I am going to do tonight. But I'm going to do something. I don't have much choice; Kathy is on her way.

She sure looks different than the way she looked before.