Wednesday, March 31, 2010

12 minutes.

The driver's seat is usually full of douche with high end import cars. This is proven to me almost daily.

I had a guy (I'll call him Neil) call Monday morning to get his summer tires put on his car at my shop. Neil said he had his winter tires on his car now and was concerned that the warmer weather forecast for this week may cause then to wear excessively. I told Neil that I was too busy to get him right in and do it today (Monday) and would prefer to swap his tires Tuesday instead because I didn't want him to be waiting around. He insisted that I do it Monday. He said he would be there at 1PM. He didn't ask if I had that time available, he told me that was when he was coming. I told him that I would do the best that I could to take care of him, and reminded him that I was really busy and would rather do it Tuesday. The day wore on and 1 pm came around and he wasn't there. I decided to help another customer (I'll call him Bob) and switch a couple tires for him since Bob was there waiting and Neil was not there yet. I got started on working for Bob and at about 1:10 the Neil showed up. He announced his arrival and said his car was ready. I told him I would be right with him after I finished up which Bob's tires. I mounted a tire for Bob and the guy from the local newspaper showed up and needed me to load up some boxes of flyer inserts (for my advertising) for him. I finished loading up my flyer inserts and headed back into the shop to finish up with Bob. Then, the phone rang and I had to run up front and quote a tire for a different customer. I finished my quote and then headed back to finish up Bob's tires. I got Bob's tires mounted and one of them balanced. I had one left to balance and I would be done with work on Bob's truck. Neil walks back into the shop and asks how long it will be. I told him that I will be starting on his car in just a couple minutes. Neil said he has to get back to work. I told him that my Expedition is outside and the keys are in it. If it would work better for him, he could borrow it to get back to work and return it after work. I was sure I would be done swapping his tires out by then. Neil asks again how long it will be until his car is done. I told him as soon as I get started, it will probably take me about 30-45 minutes. I apologized for the delay. Neil said "Didn't I tell you I was coming at 1?!?" He was fuming. I apologized again and told Neil that I am alone in my shop, so interruptions slow me down. I reminded Neil again that he could take my truck if he wanted and that I was going as fast as I can. He said "This is completely unacceptable. This is bullshit! When I said 1pm, I meant I wanted my car worked on at 1pm!" I apologized again, but he stomped off pissed.

Neil was driving a Lexus. No drought of douche in that driver's seat.

When Neil left my shop it was 1:22pm. Neil was at my shop for exactly 12 minutes. It would seem that it takes exactly 12 minutes of delay to piss off a Lexus owner so badly that they are liable to swear and stomp out pissed off. I guess I will never understand how important the events of a Lexus driver's day are. I am sure they must be WAY more important than the events of the nice man (Bob) that was driving the Dodge. I am truly sorry that the red carpet was at the cleaners. Although patience is a virtue, being a prick is just plain old second nature to a Lexus driver.

What's the difference between a high-end import driver and a porcupine? With a porcupine the pricks are on the outside.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A quick video.

An interesting video. It is a little dated, but worth watching nonetheless.

I got this sent to me today.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

And a roadway near you....

Here are a couple of quick pics of the Thunderbird I picked up today. I wrote about it before, so I thought I would share. I did wash it after these pics. Today was the first day it has seen daylight since 1997.

[Basks in your envy.]


Saturday, March 27, 2010


Complications. My life could be simpler and more painless.

Yesterday at work I was jacking my Harley with the new motorcycle jack I bought and got distracted [probably by something shiny]. The jack handle I was using slipped out of my hand and since it is spring loaded, it swung up and smoked me in the eye. How clumsy am I? How stupid is this?

Nice shiner! So now, for the next couple of days, I will look like Timmy that fell off of his bike on the way to school. Sweet.

At work today, I remembered my damaged eye. But, I didn't remember it enough I guess. So, I smashed the crap out of my finger so the body parts would match.

Nice. Lovely.

Having a bruise or two on the outside is a nice metaphor to my life. Damaged, but not broken? Maybe broken? I don't know.

I would think at my age, things would get easier to deal with. I seem to have this problem, you see. I don't know what "normal" people do in a relationship. I seem to be difficult to deal with and frustrated much of the time. I try to search deeply in my feelings and establish true motive for my actions. Do I hold a grudge? Why do I react this way to that situation? Why do I react that way to this situation? Am I fair? Am I respectful? I am ridiculous? What do I get out of acting a certain way? What do I hope to accomplish with this relationship? Remember, I am a student of failed relationships. Hopefully eventually I will become a success story rather then a "who-is-he-dating-now?" But, I struggle. I wrestle with myself. I argue with my mind. I am not naive anymore, am I? Do I truly have unrealistic expectations for a person in my life? You see, the only thing that is constant in my dating life is me. Am I really the problem? It can't always be somebody else's fault, can it? I think not.

I also tend to turn this intense scrutiny into the life of my female counterpart. I think she does the same to me. We do this. We nitpick. We bicker. We frown. We argue. We scowl. It is what we do from time to time.

I asked her tonight amidst one of these "disagreements" what normal people do. I asked if her and I were normal people, would we get mad at each other, then head up town and have a few cocktails and forget about it all? Is that what normal people do? Or, do normal people skim past much of the depth in some areas of their relationships because they don't want to know? Or, do they know that what they find there could become an argument? Or, do they really not care enough to find out either way? Do they avoid asking some questions because the "talk" could get ugly?

I remember a time in my life when I was very unhealthy. But, I was somewhat happy, wasn't I? I spent much of my life with a smile on my face. I plodded along not paying attention to anything. I ignored the "life" around me. I lived in the tiny world of my mind and there really wasn't anything getting to me there. I worked when I wanted to, but not always when I should. I didn't care. I smoked, drank, and raced cars. I was going to live forever. I was successful in every endeavor I had desire to be. Or, was I? But, it all came to an end. It was here one day and gone the next. I held what I thought was satisfaction in my hand, and then it was gone. Nobody took it from me. I lost it. I gave it away. I took it from me.

The elusive "it." The "it" I am referring to is the American dream life with the house, spouse, 2.5 kids and the good job. Although I thought I had "it," I realize that I never did. I had a bag of fool's gold happiness. I had a nugget of pyrite maturity. I didn't know a thing about life. I didn't know a thing about living. I wasn't a part of "it." I wasn't party to "it." The first time I entertained the idea that I might not know everything that there is to know, I lost my confidence in the "it" I had. Later, I came to know that I don't know much of anything. Certainly I don't know about "it."

So, what do people that don't drink or do drugs do? What do normal people do? Do they sit down and discuss things? Or, do they know when a subject could end badly and skirt it? Do they just not care enough to ask in the first place? Do they beat their heads against the wall until they bleed and THEN head out to the bar for some liquid forgetfulness? Do they decide that whatever their significant other says or does that they still love them? I guess that pretty much simplifies things. Wait. Does it?

It's still a mystery. One thing is for sure. I am glad to be busy at work. Also, I need to watch what I am doing. I don't heal as fast as I did when I was 20. I don't really heal very fast in any regard.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Which was live today?

Was it this link?

Fox News Exclusive: President Obama

Or was it this link?

"Bret..Bret..let me finish (with my long evasive nonsense answer)..." [President Obama]

I am glad he gets 40,000 emails a day. Ha!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Adventures in BBQing...

I have had a Cabela's Visa for 4-5 years now. If you aren't familiar with a Cabela's card, it works just like any other Visa, but as you spend money on it, you accumulate "points" that can be redeemed for in store items. So, being the lover of fishing that I am, I used this credit card for everything for years and years because no matter what I bought, I got free stuff at Cabela's. I thought it was a nice perk and arrangement because I received enough points to get quite a bit of "free" stuff at Cabela's. Also, it had a 9.99% interest rate that wasn't the cheapest in the world, but was consistent and I thought it was fair enough.

I felt pretty good about using it for everything until I looked closely at the statement one month. I carried a balance on it for about 3 months once and during this time, I saw some extra charges. Normally, I paid it off completely every month and I never saw these charges. I did see some hidden charges so I called the card company. I found out that these fees were charged to all "Cabela's Club" members. So, they charge you to get free stuff. You do get free stuff at a faster rate than they charge you, but I didn't like the idea of paying to get free stuff. So, about a year and a half ago, I quit using the card completely because of all of their "extra" charges. I decided to only buy tackle and bait from my local hardware store. He needs the business anyway.

I was going to cancel my account, but found out that I had about $184 work of points on it and I found out that if I cancelled the account, I lost the points. Lame. So, I figured I would wait until I needed something at Cabela's, burn up my points, and then cancel the card.

During this time, I had two unauthorized transactions on my credit card. They were from a travel company that I had dues with, but I had cancelled my account months before. So, I called the travel company that charged me to have them remove the charges, but the contact number I had for them had been disconnected. So, I called Cabela's Visa, told them the situation, and they said they would send out the paperwork to rid my account of these charges. Fine.

I filled out a couple pages of paperwork and sent it back. As far as I knew, the charges were gone from my card. I got my statement the next month and the same amount is charged to me again from the same travel company. Cabela's did mark the other charge from the prior month as "pending." So, I called the contact number for the travel company that was charging me again (it was a different number than the prior month) to try to straighten the mess out, but the new number was also disconnected or not in service. So, I called Cabela's again and basically had to start this whole process over again. When on the phone with Cabela's Visa, I told the nice lady that was helping me to call the contact number for the travel company that was provided on the statement. She said the number answered as disconnected for her too, but she said she would contact her supervisor and try to get a legitimate number for the travel company. I really wasn't satisfied with doing all the paperwork again and I was frustrated that anyone can continue to charge me for things I do not want and had cancelled despite my protest.

I had a different idea. I called back to Cabela's Visa, reported the fraudulent charges, hung up the phone, then called back a few minutes later and reported my card stolen. This way, I thought, the travel company cannot charge me anymore. The nice customer service lady told me she was sorry that my card was missing and she would get me a new card out right away. It only took a couple days for the next round of fraud paperwork to show up in the mail. I filled it out and sent it back to them. Within the next couple days, a new card showed up.

In about a week I got an email from the travel company to inform me that the credit card number they have for me on file is cancelled. They left me a contact number to call, but I didn't bother. I emailed them back, told them about their billing mistake, and I forwarded one of the cancellation confirmation emails they had sent me months prior. Done again, right?

The next month my statement came from Cabela's with about a $40 credit on it. It seems that the travel company instead of just voiding the charges, actually refunded me some money. I called the people at the Cabela's Visa to tell them to cut me a check for the money on my account because I am going to use up my points and cancel. With a little bit of protest, the nice lady on the phone assured me she would take care of it.

A month passed. Then another month passed. Then another. Then another. Each month, I call the Cabela's people and ask them for a check for the credit on my account. Each month they assure me that they will get it right out to me. But, as the time passed, I still didn't get any check. I didn't get anything from them at all except a statement that showed a credit. Finally, months later, I was getting really upset about the money not being sent out to me, so I called and complained again and found out that they would not send the check out to me because I had not activated my new card they had sent me months prior when I reported mine stolen. I explained that I just want to burn up my points and close the account and not have another active card around. I was informed that I need to activate the new card before they will refund me money. Fine.

About a week after activating my "new" card, I got a check in the mail from Cabela's Visa for the amount that I had as a credit. At last. Why did it take so long for somebody to just tell me this information?

Starting in September last year, I noticed my interest rate started to climb. August was still 9.99%, but September was 14.99%. Then, October was 16.99%. Then November was 24.99%. Finally, December was 36.99%. I still had no balance on the account and was still not using it at all. In light of these interest rate hikes, I did a credit report on myself because I was worried something had happened to my credit. My credit rating was still as high as it was before. So, it wasn't my credit driving up my interest rate. It was the new laws passed by our government to "save us" from credit card debt. Thank God I didn't have a big balance. [Whew!]

After the rate hike, I knew I would never use this account again since my other Visa did not go up. My problem was that Cabela's really didn't have anything I want to buy. I had tried to use the points up at Christmas, but I couldn't find anything then. I don't know if I am getting old or I am spoiled, but I really don't need anything. I couldn't find anything there to buy as a gift for somebody else. Also, I was so frustrated with all the hassle in regards to the card and I was still a little miffed about all of the "extra" charges on my account from before, so I wanted to get my points burned up and close the account.

Monday this week, I got a letter in the mail from card services in regards to my Cabela's card account. They have adjusted my interest rate down to a "user-friendly" 28.88% but they have decided that I need an annual fee. Yeah. That will not work for me at all.

So, my daughter and I went to Cabela's tonight. I thought I needed a smoker (I want to learn to make really good ribs) and that I could get one easily for my $184 of points. I was wrong. They had some cheaper smokers there for about $129, but they aren't insulated and didn't have thermometers. Also, they were electric which seems like a just wrong way to smoke meat. If you wanted to get what looked like a nicer smoker, plan on spending between $400-1000. I don't need to make ribs that badly, so I passed. Syd and I decided to buy some wood chips and smoke meat in the grill we already have. We bought a bunch of different wood chips. I bought some cast iron campfire skillets. I bought a tenderizing hammer. I bought some "campfire" oven mitts. I bought a small cast iron tray to put my wood chips in. Syd and I got a lot of stuff.

I didn't have my card along since I shredded it post activation-to-receive-my-check and pre-huge-rate-increase. But, I had bought things on my account at Cabela's before without my card on my person, so I didn't think it would be a problem. I went to checkout and the nice lady there said she couldn't check me out without my card. So, I went to the "Customer Care" desk and the nice lady there gave me a temporary card and number. Then, back to the checkout I was. The nice lady at the checkout rang everything up, took points off my account, bagged my things, and sent me on my way. As I was walking toward the door she stopped me. "Sir!" she said, "Make sure you shred that temporary card number when your new card arrives in the mail."

I didn't even ask why I would be getting a new card because I don't think it really matters anyway. So, I can finally close my account. It only took about 20 minutes of waiting in line, a half of an hour filling out paperwork (twice), about two hours on the phone with the card company customer service, two or three physical plastic credit cards to shred, and about 2 years to accomplish this.

Whew! I am glad I had all of those "free" points.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Conceptually speaking...

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness....But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. " The Declaration of Independence - July 4, 1776.

I love the concept of "higher taxes for the super rich" in this country. I think the idea that higher taxation of the "super rich" will really pay for any government program ridiculous. It is an error to make a broad sweeping statement like "will be funded by increased taxes for the super rich" and expect it to be a true statement.

One thing that you should understand regardless of your political "orientation." Super rich people don't pay much along the lines of taxes. They certainly have the resources and finances to exploit any and every loophole available. I know some super rich people that pay less tax most years than I do. They do this because they can buy this or that and write it off. They do it through having enough money to property swap and take deductions or sometimes "losses" on that property. They do it by creating a new company to dump money into that will for some odd reason just happen to lose a lot of money. They are very bright and can afford to throw some cash around to save themselves some cash. Don't kid yourself. No matter what government does to try to tax them, they will find a legal way to beat it. It is one of the ways they became rich in the first place. They decided that if they give their money away (to the government or whoever) they have less money. So, they found ways to quit giving it away. Ta da! Now they have more money for themselves. Excess taxation of the super rich simply won't work.

So, where will the money to pay for government run health care come from? You! Who else do you think? Granted, you may not miss the money you aren't getting for a raise or the overtime work that you didn't receive (since your boss is now CLOSELY watching his payroll amount). You might not immediately notice the extra money you paid for goods or services since all vendors that have goods or services will be forced to raise their rates to pay health tax on their employees and still stay in business. No matter what way you slice it, you will pay.

Without a doubt we all lose with government health care. There is no way in which we win. There is no way as citizens we can afford it. If we did want to give 8-10% more of our money for health care, why would we pay the government to do it? If our government wants to make health care affordable and available for everyone, they should focus on eliminating liability lawsuits in this country. Lawsuits are the one thing that constantly drive up our health care costs. In the day of our parents, if you needed medical help you researched a hospital the best you could and trusted that they would be able to serve your needs. For the most part, they did. If a doctor at that hospital was negligent, he or she lost their license.

Most health professionals that I know are forced to carry insurance at such a high rate of coverage (since in this country, there is barely a limit to a monetary settlement) that their health insurance premiums are higher than my mortgage. So, I hope they can earn a decent amount of money or they work all of those shit hours in a very high stress job to pay a large percentage of their income to insurance companies.

Regardless of whether or not a health care professional is negligent, a death or other traumatic event with one of their patients carries an emotional burden for them. If they operate on you and you die, they carry that guilt and sadness forever. Although a death or botched operation is a horrible thing, there is no amount of money that brings a child or parent back to life. In the event of medical tragedy, everybody loses. Most people in the medical profession work that difficult job because they are in love with their fellow humans and want to make a positive difference in the lives of their patients. Keep that in mind. I don't think you could ever find anybody in the health care industry that goes into their day thinking "Geez, I hope I can hurt/kill somebody today with my negligence."

Turning control of our health care futures over to the government is a mistake. If you are a proponent of this, I respect your view, but if I agree with you we will both be wrong. Government taxation of all citizens and forced participation in any elective program violates our Constitution. Our government should not have the power to force us to buy anything let alone something we don't necessarily want. Also, our government should not ever have the power to fine us if we refuse to buy what they are selling. Keep in mind that the "representatives" that are deciding this for us have exempted themselves and their union political contribution buddies from it. Really doesn't sell it much, does it?

Either way, I don't think we are best off banking our health care on people that can't run the post office. These people really can't run anything successfully. Well, I guess they CAN run up a monstrous deficit and ruin capitalism in this country. YES THEY CAN! YES THEY CAN! YES THEY CAN!

This really is the new American dream.

P.S. I will be glad in a couple years when I don't have to see Obama's picture on the news about twenty times a day.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Weak. Week.

There truly is never a dull moment.

This week:

I listened to a heart wrenching story about a friend's friends' daughter that was killed on the road by a car. She was 6. Her mother was sleeping on the couch and not watching her (she was tired) and her siblings let her wander out onto the road. What a tragedy. What a joke her mother is. WATCH YOUR GODDAMN KIDS YOU STUPID SLEEPY BASTARDS! WHAT THE FUCK IS THE MATTER WITH YOU?!? YOU SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH A CRIME!

I listened to a terrible story of loss for a friend that is in dire need of money and is likely to lose his house. This truly sucks. While he has been working and taking care of his kid, his wife has been out fucking everything in this and the surrounding zip codes. She hasn't lived in "their" house for almost 3 years and hasn't spent a dime to help service the debt from it. She hasn't gotten divorced from him. She has been given cash from her parents and has blown it on drinking, drugs and her jobless party-girl lifestyle. He is screwed. But, who fault is it now? Is it his for not finishing the legality of their marriage? Or is it hers? Love is blind, deaf, and fucking dumb because he is still in love with her despite it all. She doesn't want to hang out with him anymore because it isn't as convenient as it was in the past. Now, he can't qualify for cheap financing or refinancing programs because he is still married to her and the bank uses both of their incomes. So, now he can lose his house and go fuck himself. IF YOU ARE OFF FUCKING AROUND ON YOUR WIFE OR HUSBAND AND YOU AREN'T LIVING TOGETHER FOR MORE THAN A FEW MONTHS, GET A DIVORCE AND GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE. DON'T FUCK YOU LIFE OVER FOR SOME LOWLIFE THAT WILL TRADE YOUR LIFELONG COMPANIONSHIP FOR SOME CHEAP SEX.

I was contacted by two ex-girlfriends. I worked on one of their cars. The other one texted me and I had no idea who it even was until she signed her name on the text. Her number hasn't been in my phone for a year. Maybe I am a total prick, but when I broke up with them, I really didn't plan on having much along the lines of future conversations with them. I wish them no ill will by any means and the breakups weren't bitter or hostile, but I have really no desire to talk to them again. I really have no reason to. I appreciate the business from the one that needed car repairs, but that is all it ever will be. The other one I wish well, but she can feel free to never contact me again. I have a steady girlfriend now that would not appreciate contact from women from my past any more than I would appreciate the same thing from her ex-boyfriends or ex-husband. There really is no reason for it. WHEN YOU BREAKUP WITH SOMEBODY YOU ARE DATING AND YOU DON'T HAVE KIDS TOGETHER, THERE REALLY IS ZERO REASON TO CONTACT THEM YEARS LATER TO TRY TO MAKE FRIENDS OR "SEE HOW THINGS ARE." LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE AND GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE. THERE IS A REASON(S) THAT YOU DON'T DATE THAT PERSON ANYMORE. CHRIST.

I watched more money get paid to people that don't deserve it and fabricated a story of lies. Watched another person claim to be owned something by me for "damages." What a joke our legal system is. What a bunch of rotten liars some people are. Again, I hope karma is the real bitch everyone says it is. When liars, cheats, and thieves are rewarded financially for being said beings, our legal systems fail. The saddest part of it all is these people can't manage money in any way. They could be given very, very large sums on money and still have it all pissed away in a very short time with nothing to show for it. But, they can threaten. They can obtain legal representation. They can do many, many devious things. They can use they system the was intended to protect the innocent and the honest to line their own pockets. They can feed on human compassion and human pity for their own financial gain. They can also make many lawyers rich in the process. God sees your lies. DON'T FUCK WITH GOD OR HE MAY FUCK WITH YOU. BE HONEST IN YOUR LIFE! LAIRS, CHEATS AND CROOKS ARE THE LOWEST FORM OF LIFE ON THIS PLANET AND JESUS WILL BE PICKING ON YOU COME JUDGEMENT DAY. THERE IS NO AMOUNT ON MONEY THAT MAKES A LIAR ANY LESS OF A LIAR. THERE IS NO AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT CAN BUY INTEGRITY. MAY A DARK CLOUD FOLLOW THESE PEOPLE ALL OF THEIR DAYS.

I bought a movie on Thursday night at Target. It is called "Extract." It is a Mike Judge (creator of Beavis and Butthead, Idiocracy, etc.) movie so I immediately thought it would be funny and I was looking forward to seeing it. I don't mind ruining it for you since I think I got hosed paying $20 for this crappy movie. The main character was a small business owner and the story in the movie was more or less supposed to be funny and exaggerate the perils of small business ownership. Sadly, as I watched it, I became pretty angry. Some of the situations were just stupid, but some of it was very close to my reality. One thing that wasn't anything to do with me was that the main character wanted to have an affair with a girl he met since he constantly complained about a lack of sex at home. So, in his drug induced haze he decided to bait his wife with a gigolo pool boy. His wife fell for it hook, line, and sinker and had sex with the guy. I finished the movie, but I was really disgusted with it. I think I might even throw it away. Where is our society at morally when we are supposed to think that shit is funny? What would our grandparents have said about this? Pathetic.

I truly don't mean to whine. It has been a long week. I know I am not dead and this isn't hell, but it isn't always fun. It seems I spend much of my time waiting for things in this world to improve. They may be, but not at a very fast pace. But, as each day passes, I am one day closer to things not being a fucking mess in my world, right?

I hope so.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Full service?

The last couple weeks I have had quite a few conversations with a few different local people about their friends or family that have decided to quit drinking. I have given these conversations a lot of thought and I guess I really haven't come to any solid conclusion as to why I have been involved in them. The people that have spoke to me had to go out of their way to stop and talk to me. They had to make a special trip to see me.

Do these good folks talk to me about his stuff since I have been there and done that for a couple years now? I mean, I am no stranger to A.A. I was court ordered to go to A.A. for almost a year after D.W.I. number two. I went to outpatient treatment in 1997. I know all about the twelve step program and the merits it has to offer. But, am I really the right person to talk to about any of this stuff? I mean, when I went through treatment and jail, I wasn't serious about any of it. In fact, I still drank now and then in the following years up until about three years ago when I decided to go professional with the drinking. It was about two years ago when I decided I had my last drink. Now, I don't have any real participation in A.A. or any other organized support system. I am not so sure that I am really a very solid example for anyone else to follow on their road to sobriety.

Maybe it is just that these people know that what they tell me will stay in confidence? Could be.

Is it because when I first sobered up I was painfully honest with all the people around me. Maybe that is why they are being super honest with me?

Could it be that they are just comfortable talking to me about these things since I have first hand experience?

Is it because they know I won't judge them regardless of the specifics of their situation? I have always thought that I was a terrible person to judge others since my life seems to usually be cluttered with my short sighted mistakes and chocked full of my bullshit pride.

Honestly, I don't think I am a very good listener so I am pretty sure that isn't a viable reason to talk to me. Who knows?

If they want input on what will have to change in their life if they plan to stay sober, that is easy. You have to change just the one thing. Everything. That's all. I don't think most people find that answer very appealing, but I am just being honest. It is the truth. Sorry.

I suppose I should try to be on my best behavior. It's easy to be well behaved the way my life is now. I spend most of my time at home and all of my time in love. I am not nearly as exciting as I once was.

Regardless of their intention, I am taking these concerned, honest conversations that I have had as a compliment. I hope these people are serious about giving up the booze. I hope I can help. Maybe this is the chance I have been waiting for to pay forward some of the kindness and decency that has been shown me. Whether it is or isn't, I will try to be there for these people if they want me.

I hope for good things for them and their friends and families. A sober life after a life cloudy with alcohol is like a rebirth. It is an exciting time.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The dowry of generations past...(junk)...

It is such a boring time of the year right now. It seems all of the games, events, and activities that I had planned for the winter have been enacted again and again and I am very bored of them. I didn't go fishing at all this winter and now the houses are off of the lake. It is still too cold lately to do much outside, but almost too warm to stay inside all day. It is the beginning of the transition time. The sun has so much energy now that every day the snow is melting even if it is only around twenty degrees. I think spring is getting ready to, well, spring. Now, we get to wait until it does.

I don't know about you, but I hate waiting.

My current girlfriend convinced me to go to an antique store last weekend on Saturday. I had always rolled my eyes at antiques and antique shopping with a zero level of interest. I don't know if I am old enough to go antique shopping, am I? I always had envisioned the man the shops for antiques as the henpecked husband that is more or less forced to go shopping with his overbearing wife all the time because he knows it is easier in the short term just to go than it is to stay home and deal with her wrath later. You know the type. He is hunched over, skinny, he has thick glasses, and speaks quietly in her presence. He constantly says things like "Yes, dear." He's a weenie. He's the type of guy that spends his weekends in the antique store, not me, right?

So, there I was looking at antiques (sighs). It almost pains me to admit I enjoyed it (How old am I?). I was pleasantly surprised at how many interesting things I saw from the generations gone by. I have always been a fan of old cars and one of the reasons always has been the innovative little ideas that the car companies used. I saw this in the antique world, too. It was pretty cool. It certainly kept my attention for quite a while. We shopped for only a few minutes on Saturday until the store closed.

We went to browse antiques on Sunday, too. We scored a nice nightstand for me, a dress for her, a magazine rack, and some other little things. It was fun and fairly inexpensive. So, too bad for her because I enjoyed shopping for antiques. I would like to do it again this weekend. Poor Katey may have to deal with this as my new "thing." Sorry, dear. (That is HUGELY different from "Yes, dear.")

What else is there to do when it is too nice to stay inside but too cold to go out? Might as well take a little money, go to an antique store, buy some junk, and drag it back home. Nothing like tossing newer items from around the house that you have bought with in the last couple years and replace them with used up junk for 50 years ago.

It is a beautiful thing. I love material regression.

P.S. I bought this aluminum cooler on ebay today. Well, I STOLE it for $13.25. It is a "Cronstrum's Pik Nik Cooler." I never knew these were manufactured in Minneapolis. [Brief pause so I can bask in your envy]. I passed on a couple other coolers at antique shops this weekend for $40-70. Yay me!

P.S.S. I am now more or less obsessed with the idea of finding a hat from the 40's or 50's. Not a new hat styled that way, but the genuine antique article. I hope if I find one and I wear it that I don't end up looking like Jason Mraz or something. That would be what I like to call "pretty gay."