23. No Time, No Patience

Time

Upon waking up first thing in the morning, I allow myself exactly 25 minutes to go to the bathroom, shave, brush my teeth, take my vitamins, and otherwise prepare for my work day which begins precisely at 8:00 AM. I don’t have the time, nor the patience, to sit around and do nothing when I could be doing something to help move my day forward.

If I am listening to the radio and a commercial begins playing, I will change the station. Furthermore, if any station starts playing a song I don’t care for, I will also change the station. I don’t have the time, nor the patience, to willingly sit through commercials or music that doesn’t bring me joy.

If I am reading a book and the book isn’t intriguing enough by the one-quarter mark, I will stop reading the book. I don’t have the time, nor the patience, to read useless material.

If I am on the phone with you and there comes a moment of dead air, I will most likely be the one to hang up. I don’t have the time, nor the patience, to listen to silence.

If you are someone in my life whom I consider to be a friend or an acquaintance, and you can’t prove to me that you are worth my time and my patience, I will discard you in the same manner as I discard trash into a dumpster. Some people are perfectly accepting of others who may not value their time, and this is probably because they are too ignorant to be aware of such a thing. But I am not one of those people. Each and every person I choose to keep in my “circle” must compliment me in one way or another. In other words, they must help to progress my life forward, fit into my lifestyle and understand the choices I may make, and work to constantly better themselves so I can better myself because of them.

I don’t have the time, nor the patience, to constantly remind those close to me what it means to be motivated and determined to become better every single day. And if you can’t help me to achieve my goals in life, then I won’t make the effort for you, either. I will essentially have absolutely, positively, no use for you.

22. Children are NOT Anchors

I really can’t wait to get back home to Maine for a visit. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to talk to most of my friends on a somewhat regular basis over the years since I left, but nothing compares to being able to see them in person. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about this evening – but honestly I think about it every single day at some point or another.

Sometimes I expect too much from my friends, and I know that. I get upset because with the exception of my best friend, Jeff, and a former friend, Tia, no one has really ever made an attempt to visit me out-of-state. I’ve been home numerous times and have made an attempt to see all of them, whether or not they have come down to see me or not. But then I start to realize that not everyone feasibly can. In my “perfect world,” everyone would be rich and be able to afford plane tickets to see their friends and family. Of course, that isn’t realistic. I’m guilty of always assuming that just because someone isn’t well-off that they’re lazy and choose not to go out and make good money. That isn’t always the case, and I need to find some sort of a way to overcome that stigma associated with them. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I am a believer in the notion that everyone has the opportunity to make money and be comfortable. Everyone does.

But that said, even when I offer to fly someone down or help them out with travel, they still tend to refuse. “I can’t get time off from work” or “I have kids.” That’s cool – bring the kids too! “They’re mom/dad won’t like that!” Well, what the fuck then? Seems to me like there are other reasons that you just aren’t willing to tell me. It seems like a contradiction to get a divorce from a person and then cater to them afterward. That doesn’t seem right. If they were horrible enough for you to be able to leave them, then chances are they’re horrible enough to be able to take the kid from them for a few days, or hell, even for good. I’m not saying ALL divorces or separation happen under bad terms, but I AM saying that most do. If you don’t make an attempt to even ask the other parent whether or not they approve of you visiting someone out-of-state with the child(ren), then that’s your fault and I can’t help you.

21. Slightly Buzzed

It’s been a long time since I’ve actually been “drunk.” I actually can’t remember the last time (no pun intended), but I would guess it’s at least been since October 2013 when I was last home in Maine visiting friends and family. Even still, I can’t be sure that I was technically ever “drunk” during that time…hmm.

It’s been a weekend tradition for me to have a couple of drinks on either Friday or Saturday night, but tonight I must have been feeling really generous to have had more than the normal amount than I’ve been used to having lately. I went to the store and bought some cinnamon infused Irish creme and some mixers for a drink I like to make called the Bay Breeze. Next thing I knew…well…I didn’t know, and that’s the problem!

Therefore, whoops. It looks like I’ll be sleeping well tonight. Cheers!

20. Vacations and relaxation are very different things

One thing that I’ve realized recently is that a little bit of R&R goes a LONG way! When I first joined the military, I would typically take two weeks off every six months. That was a really good work/rest cycle for me, and ensured that I didn’t overdo it or end up burning myself out.

My last trip home to Maine was in October of 2013. Since then, I had a pretty rough 2014 which included a short deployment and a trip to San Francisco, which honestly didn’t end up being much of a rest at all. When I go on vacation somewhere, I tend to stay on-the-go most of the time, as was the case there. Basically, my typical work/rest cycle was thrown completely off during last year, so it’s been tough trying to find a way to get back into a good balance. It’s always a struggle for me to finalize my leave dates and set my plans into stone. I don’t really know why, either. The extended two-week break we had from work over Christmas and New Years didn’t help much – in fact, I was bored out of my mind for most of it. Why? Because that was the first time in almost 7 years that I had two full weeks off without having any plans whatsoever. None at all. I thought it would be refreshing, but I quickly found myself anxious to get out and do something.

This April, it looks like I’ll be heading down to my timeshare condo in Kissimmee for about a week. My plan is to spend some time with one of my friends from when I lived in Maine and her daughter, and then after they leave, drive back to Valdosta and spend another 4-5 days just relaxing. You would think Florida would be relaxing enough, but we’re going to be traveling nearly every day for things like Disney, Sea World, shopping, etc.

This entire post is really to say that I think I may have struck a good balance again. I’ll spend a full week traveling and spending time with my friend and her daughter, but then I’ve given myself a handful of days after that to just enjoy the time off and not have to be anywhere or do anything. It’s a good start in the right direction at the very least.

My ultimate goal is to get back to Maine again in the near future, but that depends on some family factors that are currently beyond my control.

19. Loralei | A Lyrical Collaboration

I collaborated almost two years ago on this lyric with another songwriter whom I haven’t spoken to in quite some time. When we started working on this together, he was trying to write something for his wife whom he pursued for several years, often not even knowing where she was living before finally finding and marrying her. I’m not sure whether or not he has set the music to it yet, but he was working on that as of the time I sent him this finished lyrical piece. It’s still my favorite lyric since I started writing in 2006.


Loralei

Original – March 22, 2013
(Collaboration with Paul Christensen)

I saw you and wondered if everything was real
Catching rays out on that rock
I gave in, went closer, didn’t know how you would feel
It’s a memory I can’t block
I closed my eyes and saw you lying next to me
And I still dream of that day

You abandoned me for Medford, left me all alone
I couldn’t stand to see you leave
I gave up and moved on, tried so hard to let you go
But it was my heart that I deceived
When you read my letters, did they make you cry
Do you trust me when I say; Loralei…

I’m gonna wipe those tears away someday
(Wipe those tears away), Loralei
Behind those eyes of ocean blue
You know my heart belongs to you
Loralei, Loralei

So many years have passed, and I can’t help but wonder
Where in this world you could be
I’ve gone through every phone book, I’ve called every number
You’re the only key that will set me free
When you read my letters, did they make you cry
Do you trust me when I say; Loralei…

I’m gonna wipe those tears away someday
(Wipe those tears away), Loralei
Behind those eyes of ocean blue
You know my heart belongs to you
Loralei, Loralei

Well, I think about what could have been
If I’ll find you at that rock again
Do you think about me, and do you cry
Do you trust me when I say; Loralei…

I’m gonna wipe those tears away someday
(Wipe those tears away), Loralei
Behind those eyes of ocean blue
You know my heart belongs to you
Loralei, Loralei

18. Some thoughts on writing…

I’ve noticed that my writing tastes have changed over the last several months, and I’m not totally sure why. Ever since the mid-2000s, I’ve written mostly lyrics, some of which have treated me well. I still average five-or-six per year which seems to keep me at a good pace without making it seem too much like “work.”

But recently I’ve been more interested in writing short stories and flash fiction than I have been in writing lyrics. Is this a bad thing? I wouldn’t think so – but like I said, I’m not sure where the sudden change came from. My short stories, ever since I started writing them years ago, have always been written for the Horror/Suspense/Mystery genres, but they’re not really in-your-face horror. I like quick stories that shift suddenly and make you say, “I didn’t see that coming!” Are my stories original in content? Not always – but they are solid and not full of “fluff” as I like to call it.

Read my short story ‘Dreamcatcher’ here.

A songwriting community I help to moderate is hosting a monthly “indoor Woodstock” event. The idea is neat – just show up to the website on your assigned date and time and post a song, lyric, poem, or other writing, and basically the entire day is filled with these “performances” until everyone has posted their work. I was invited to post a short story or a lyric for the upcoming one, but I really haven’t written anything for it yet. If I were to participate, I would want to post something original. I have plenty of original material, but most of it I have already either posted online or am saving for writing contests, in which most demand that the work not have been posted elsewhere before entering for legal copyright and publishing reasons.

Anyway, what better way to express my random thoughts about my writings than to write about them? Ha!

17. The Mowgli’s – I’m Good!

I’m good, I’m good, I’m good, I’m good
Living life just like I should
Wouldn’t change it if I could
I’m good, I’m good, I’m good

Trying to figure out who I am
Or who I’m supposed to be
Feel good about where I stand
So I can make the most of me-I’m
Coming back down from space
A million miles away
There’s a lot of love in this place
(Oh) And I’m just trying to say

I’m good, I’m good, I’m good, I’m good
Living life just like I should
Wouldn’t change it if I could
I’m good, I’m good, I’m good
[x2]

It’s been a long time living this way
Worrying what people say
Feeling like I won’t fit in
But I won’t give up, no I won’t give in
We’re looking for something more
What you’re really looking for
It’s been with you since you were born
Since you were born

I’m good, I’m good, I’m good, I’m good
Living life just like I should
Wouldn’t change it if I could
I’m good, I’m good, I’m good
[x2]

You only live once
I’m good with myself
I’m there for my friends
Til the very end
You only live once
I’m good with myself
I’m there for my friends
Til the very end

I wanna see another love revolution
Find a way to be a better person
If we come together like we should
We could all be good

I’m good, I’m good, I’m good, I’m good
Living life just like I should
Wouldn’t change it if I could
I’m good, I’m good, I’m good
[x2]

16. Beautiful Saturday Morning 5K

I was up-and-about this morning at around 6:15. I registered for my second 5K of the year a few days ago and today was the day. It was chilly out by South Georgia standards – about 33° chilly. I was only one of a few of us who dared wearing shorts, but that’s because I’ve raced for almost four years now and I understand how the body heats up about a mile into it. Sure enough, I was sweating pretty good at the finish, but the temps had also risen about 5° in the half-hour since the start.

I haven’t participated in as many races lately as in past years. My first year racing I participated in 25-30 events. The second year was about the same, maybe slightly fewer. Last year, however, I only participated heavily in the first half of the season, and then never really regained my momentum after returning from my deployment. I did 3-4 events in the Fall and early Winter. This year, I primarily want to focus on Grand Prix points races, but today was a non-points race. I wanted to do it only because there is a slight gap between the last points race and the next one, so I wanted to stay active. In my second full-year of road racing, I won my age group (25-29) in the GP standings. That was quite the accomplishment since I had never really raced, or even ran regularly, until the year before. This year will be my first one competing in the 30-34 age group since I’ll turn 30 coming up in June. Yikes.

This Morning’s 5K was in Dasher, GA – about 15-20 minutes drive from where I live in the North Valdosta area. It’s a nice little town. Beautiful, actually. I left the event soon after finishing because I didn’t place high enough for an award this time, so there wasn’t really much of a reason to hang around. But that’s alright, I usually pull in a handful of awards each season, and it really depends on my motivation to do well. Most people have a goal to improve – I really don’t anymore. I’ve improved to where I am now and I’m perfectly comfortable and content with maintaining my current pace. I mostly do it to stay active and fit, and to visit with the friends that I have made over the last several years by running with them.

So far, I’m feeling good about my resolution (if you can call it that) to run more and get back to my previous running frequency. My 1.5 mile time is still good, and I need it to stay that way since my fitness test is next month. My 5K time has dropped about two minutes, but that’s okay. Like I said, since I’m not trying to run a 20-minute 5K, I’ll just be happy hovering around 27-30 minutes per event. I’m sure it’ll naturally gravitate back to the good side as I keep racing, as it has done many times before now.

On the way home I stopped to get a Geocache. Actually, I stopped at one location where there was one, but I spotted it about 15 feet up in a tree and basically gave up on it. My tree climbing days are over, and I’m not MacGyver to be able to rig something to reach it with. Then I went to a second location to find one there, and that one was nowhere to be found. So on my third attempt at yet another location, I finally found one and was able to mark today off the cache-find calendar.

That’s about all she wrote for today. I figured an early-Morning post would be a nice change as opposed to the Midnight ones I’ve been posting lately. Happy Saturday!

15. Damn

There’s probably no point to writing this, but I felt like jotting something down. I guess you could consider this a “filler” post.

Today was a day that should have been more exciting than it was. I woke up today with the intent of going on a short day trip to do a little Geocaching/hiking. When my alarm went off, I decided to sleep in a little bit longer, so I set it ahead one more hour. That hour came and went, and I set it ahead one more hour yet. Long story short, three hours went by, and then I finally crawled out of bed. Damn.

Once I was out of bed, I still had plans to go out and take some time to Geocache, but then I logged into my online classroom and realized that I still needed to start my research paper due this week. So, I started that instead. I wrote about three pages worth of material, then saw that the instructor posted an announcement stating that he granted us one extra week to complete the paper. Again, damn. I technically still had time to go out, but by this point I decided against it, just out of laziness really. Procrastination at its best.

I went out and got my mail, and then threw every piece of it out since it was all junk. Damn, yet again.

I took a shower around 6pm with the intent of at least doing something afterward, but guess what? Yep, damn for the fourth time.

For the last few hours I’ve just been listening to music, drinking a couple of vodka and cranberry cocktails, and relaxing. My goal is to stay up all night so I can watch the Australian Open Men’s Final which airs at 3:30am. Will I make it? Who knows. It’s sort of an annual tradition for me to watch, so I’ll try at least.

Otherwise, not much else to talk about for right now. Just wrapping up the week with a couple of non-stressful days.

I’ll take them whenever I can get them.

14. DREAMCATCHER: A Short Story

A WordPress Daily Prompt from January 14, 2015 instructed bloggers to:

Open your nearest book to page 82. Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow.


 DREAMCATCHER

Trinity glided across the living room floor, almost as if she were weightless in space.

“Stop it, please,” Basil asked calmly, before focusing his attention back to his term paper.

Trinity flashed him a look of discouragement, but continued moving gracefully to the sound of Dreamcatcher emanating from the speakers in the far corner of the room.

“Trinity, I politely asked you to stop dancing. I mean it. I have to finish this paper tonight or it’ll be late.”

Trinity ignored Basil’s stern plea for a second time. She waltzed her way to the radio and raised the volume to a level that made it impossible for Basil to concentrate on his work. He stood up from his chair, stretched, and then disappeared into the kitchen.

He returned a few moments later, but Trinity was too lost in the music to notice, spinning and swaying herself into what seemed like a different world altogether.

Basil raised his arm and fired two shots from the pistol he took from Trinity’s purse on the kitchen table. Trinity fell into the wall and slid slowly to the floor, her final performance as graceful as ever.

“Stop it!” Basil shouted. And this time, Trinity finally stopped dancing.


The final line is an excerpt from the novel HORRORSTöR (2014) by Grady Hendrix.