Changes

A personal update: Been a long month. Been a long summer. Been a long year. Happens like that sometimes. Things get heavy. Sometimes it’s even your own damn fault. Sometimes I get to be the asshole, I get to play the part of “bad guy.”

Living and learning.

And what can you do about that? Takes time for things to turn around, even under the best of circumstances. And yes, of course, things could always be worse, as we all know. This is not the end of the world, this is just a tough spell, but things are improving. Turning over some new leaves. Making necessary changes. Keeping the faith and “nerdling” toward a better position. [Note: “Nerdle” is a term conjured up my boyfriend to describe my “nerdy turtle” tendencies. In other words, I apparently qualify as a slow nerd. Ha!] Not everything will happen overnight, and this isn’t the beginning of this transformation process — just another leg in an ongoing journey. This is an opportunity to redouble my efforts and to reassess what all I expect from myself and wish to explore in this life from this moment forward.

Everything winds up being a learning experience in the end. Down certain avenues I’ve seen enough. But change doesn’t come easy and we all have a tendency to gravitate toward what we’re most familiar with. The problem with aiming to change oneself isn’t only identifying where you’ve fucked up or pondering on what a better outcome might look like, but rather it’s figuring out how to get there. It’s the steps needing to be taken along the way that I’m still figuring out.

So, yeah, times like these demand comedic entertainment and lighter-hearted distractions. And a few beers in the evenings when time permits. There’s a time to be a go-getter, and there’s a time to stop and spend time with yourself and to think deeply about all that needs to be thought about. And that requires mental breaks sprinkled throughout, to add levity and keep it all in perspective.

That’s what I understand right about now.

Haters will hate. That’s a fact of life. People like to bark about what others ought to be doing at any given time, dictating how they think they should be living. Flinging guilt trips where able. People say to one another that we should be activists out there running around in the streets, holding signs and getting angry, screaming about how we demand change. Others content themselves with at least playing the role of online activists, spreading their messages far and wide, shaming and harassing those they feel deserve it. Doesn’t strike me as a particularly productive use of one’s time, but hey, folks can knock themselves out. The people who make the greatest impression on me both online and offline aren’t always necessarily witty or the smartest, but they come across as having heart. And if they’ve got that, there’s something to be worked with.

Much of the rest are just spewing frustration and rage. And much of that gets misplaced on people who appear to be standing in opposition to us. But are they really? Are their motives automatically sinister? Are they completely lacking in rationality and civility? What makes us so sure that they know what they’re doing any better than we do? And what makes us so sure we know what the hell we’re really doing? I don’t know about all of you, but life’s affected me every step of the way. Amazing the difference a decade can have on your outlook, or even a couple crazy years. Everything we do in this life impacts us, shapes us, opens or closes the door on so many future opportunities. We may not possess 100% free will, but we possess enough of it to where we can’t help but be responsible for a good bit of who we become and how we act. And I’m writing as a bit of a hypocrite, admittedly, but that’s understood already. Who isn’t a hypocrite? And do we remain as such if we’re able to be honest with ourselves and, to whatever extent, others? No human is an island, and like that Brodie man mentioned in the Memes audiobook I uploaded clips from, we exist in constant conflict between what others expect of us and what our own selfish interests try to lead us to. Welcome to the human conundrum.

Rambling periodically is good for some of our souls. I’ll aim to edit this post tomorrow. Out.

Quick clarifications

Thoughts strike me from time to time that I’d like to share on here but don’t due to not being up for writing some long piece. Blame laziness and beer. Worn out. Had a LONNNG month. August will be busy as well. Which is good, not complaining, just not up for doing much in the evenings that requires concentration.

So, tonight I’ll stick with basic, quick replies.

I’m not anti-feminist, per se. Feminism as a movement is problematic, as are plenty of people who refer to themselves as feminists. BUT, lots of women call themselves feminists yet don’t deeply look into or keep up with what their movement is up to. So I try to be clear that I take serious issue with the direction the feminist movement is heading in, but not with each and every person who happens to call themselves feminists for whatever reasons.

Don’t see myself as an anti-natalist. Love it when people use birth control and wait to plan their pregnancies with one another when they’re ready and after they’ve thoroughly assessed their situations. But I’m not against all breeding, even though I do use the term “breeders” sometimes.

Not a foreigner, for those out there who keep telling me to go back to my native country on YT comment threads.  lol   american_smilie

And I’m not Hispanic, for the record. In everyday life people mistake me as well sometimes, even actual Hispanics. *shrugs* Took some Spanish courses in high school, and have tried learning the language via instruction CDs. Haven’t had much success and probably never will considering how much English trips me up already. haha  But yeah, not of that ethnicity.

What else?

Ya know, returning to this entry a couple hours later while listening to Mama Cass sing:

…I’m struck with a thought that dumbfounds me regularly when reading comments or watching videos posted by disgruntled men, some of whom refer to themselves as MRAs. They talk like women have always been using men, never giving them their props, not loving men, just using them. Yeah, right. That’s asshole talk. If you can’t look back in history and around you and see that there’s plenty of evidence of love and gratitude (though it may be waning), then what’s there to discuss? Love was real and always has been. Daddies and Papas mattered and plenty still do. How is that not noteworthy?

Johnny Cash wrote in his memoir how much his family meant to him and how much joy they brought to his life. They shared real, deep love and committed bonds. They were right for one another. They stuck by and aimed to be good to one another.

Love is not dead. Yet people speak as though it’s a non-issue, like it’s somehow becoming irrelevant. And to that all I want to say is it’s the only thing that is truly relevant anymore. Extremely relevant. Without the bonds of love, who and what are we all? Strangers who go bump in the night?

We’re not all going to love one another, that’s a given, but we can carry a love for humanity, and we can and do form close bonds with special others. And that’s life’s joy. That’s what makes this stupid rat race tolerable. That’s what makes us look forward to coming home at night and motivates us to head out to work everyday. Love is what challenges us at our core to change our evil ways, because we hurt people when we act recklessly, impulsively, compulsively, selfishly, without thinking deeper about the consequences of our actions to ourselves and others. I’m typing this to myself mostly, because I need to read it.

Life is crazy, life is mad…. to quote an Enigma song. That’s all I’ve got this evening.

Unwinding with the tunes of R.L. Burnside (plus my personal update)

That was R.L. Burnside’s “The Criminal Inside of Me.”  drinking  Came across that song for the first time recently, and it cracks me up. Gotta love the tunes of R.L. Burnside.  bitches

So let’s keep his tunes going in what’s left of this Saturday evening:

What’s the news over in my little sphere? Well, my back’s feeling a lot better, so that’s fantastic. It’s easy to take for granted how much we depend on our backs to do anything and everything until they get hurt, and boy did that shit hurt. But then it just started lessening and now the nerve isn’t even pinched anymore. Kinda miraculous really.  lol  I’m wondering if it wasn’t my old car’s seat that wasn’t causing most of the problem *shrugs*  But thank god that pain moved on. Gotta count our blessings where we find ’em.

Had to rush a pet to the veterinary emergency room yesterday due to heat exhaustion. She’s an indoor/outdoor cat with freedom to come and go as she pleases, and unfortunately we had some very hot days here this past week. I stop over twice a day while her parents are out of the state and happened to find her last evening in the backyard in a bad state and in desperate need of help. Man, it scared the shit out of me. She was disoriented, frothing at the mouth, lethargic. I called her mom, found the pet carrier, and just loaded her in the car and drove her straight on.  Her temperature was 107.5 degrees I believe the vet said, and they hooked her up to IVs immediately. And she’s still there, might bring her home tomorrow. That’s my first time in all these years to deal with a real emergency like that. I’m just grateful to have arrived when I did. An hour or more and she might’ve been in much worse trouble. She was fine in the morning when I visited, was indoors and took her antibiotics just fine, no problems at all, but 8 hours later and it was a whole other story. Sad situation that was. But the vet says she’s doing well now and they’re keeping her for observation. But lord, I feel bad for her parents having to face that vet bill, quoted as being between $1100-$1700 before all is said and done.

On another note, my computer went on the fritz a few days back. It’s been having problems with overheating for a while now, but finally it got bad enough to where I had to take it in to have the pros handle it. But $60 later, it’s back home and functioning once again. Had to rely on my back-up computer for a few days there, which had PCLinuxOS installed from back in 2009, and I never could get the hang of that particular operating system, not being terribly knowledgeable with using Linux. Wound up having to install Windows XP instead, but I went to Linux on that system because XP had proven so unstable on it in the past. I’m very interested in installing Linux Mint xcfe (version 13 or 14) on it, but there’s something wrong with the damned computer to where I couldn’t get Unetbootin to load properly from my external drive so as to install Linux Mint’s ISO. Gonna have to figure that out eventually.

What else is going on over here? Lots of drama in my personal life, but that’s not something worth discussing on here. Might as well admit that much of it’s due to my own damn fault and just leave it at that. We still love each other, but problems arose that I didn’t handle well once upon a time, and that left emotional scars that are very slow to heal for us both. Sad situation. But maybe time will turn things around. I don’t know. One thing I do know is it’s taught me a valuable lesson of what never to do ever again. Shame on me. But it’s not the world’s business.

What else? The new used car is working out nicely, though it does have some grinding when I brake that I hope to have looked into eventually when time permits. Already put close to 800 miles on the car in the nearly 2 weeks I’ve owned it, with a busier week coming up — my vehicles must perform as work mules, that’s their role. ‘Tis people’s vacation season, so I work a great deal in the summer. And I look forward to this car serving me well over the coming years.

Only other thing left to say is I’m living and learning like usual. Making mistakes, yes, but trying to learn from them. Some shit I seem hellbent on learning the hard way rather than vicariously through others, but such is the way life goes sometimes. I’m stubborn and admittedly a free bird in ways.

That’s enough of an update for now.

“Summertime and the living’s easy…”

Music explains so much more than mere words can. Can’t take it too literally, but you mold a song into your own interpretation. Maybe linked to the first time you remember hearing it or maybe you comprehend yourself as similar in a way to the singer or the one sang about.  Doesn’t matter since we can’t see into one another’s minds to view how it takes shapes. We can’t help but perceive a song in our own unique way, and that’s an amazing fact of life.

To me, the part that resonates deeply and has since my late teen years, both in and out of relationships, is:

…  Evil. Come to tell you that she’s evil. Most definitely.

Evil. Ornery, scandalous, and evil. Most definitely.

The tension is getting harder. I’d like to hold her head under water.

Me and my girl, we got a relationship. Mmmhmmm, my girl, we got a relationship. …

… Summertime, and the living’s easy …

Those lyrics have always left me a little sad and disturbed. It’s one interpretation of events, and I won’t claim to know what all was actually going on between Bradley and his wife back then. That’s their business. But we all interpret it as we will at any given point in time. Our understandings of things, hopefully, evolve over time. Personal example time…

But first on to another great tune:

When I decided to marry my (since 2004 ex-)husband, we felt very much in love. We were also very young (18 and 19). Married after dating for 20 months. Ate each other up. Transitioned and transitioned, as to be expected of young people. Both made mistakes, and both had shit working against us throughout that time. Stressful times. We were financially fucked up right out the gate. Then we turned on one another. Got nasty. After 4 years of being together, we split up and never saw one another again. Completely quit talking for years too. Divorced without direct communication (and I paid for it through a paralegal service — cost about $750 — he refused to sign the document drafted because it included debts he personally borrowed from my grandparents, which he wound up never repaying even a cent of — seriously uncool).

I was mad as hell at him for a long time about that and more. Together we drowned in debt and made stupid decisions and basically wound up driving one another nuts like stir-crazy cats. Just screwed that whole thing up. For a long time I talked about him like he was a dick. Until it began creeping into my conscious thoughts more and more how I’d messed up too, and significantly. After several years of silence between us, I reached out to him on facebook (back when I was on there) and got his phone number. Gave him a call and spoke my truth about what I had done, saying nothing about his possible blame. I did this because my own conscience was killing me — we had wronged one another, but I had been responsible for a number of severe wrongs my own self, and I only have control over myself. So that’s where it stemmed from, and he accepted my gesture in the hippyish-sort of way he’d became since we’d separated.

Sometimes it still bugs me a little that he didn’t feel the desire to apologize for his part, but ah well. He did grant me forgiveness and claimed he’d never held a grudge, though I know that isn’t true. He told me of a genuinely good woman he’d dated after me and how his bitterness toward me wound up jeopardizing their relationship. He admitted he mistreated her. My role in that saddened and troubled me.

A year went by before I called him again, this time to report the unfortunate news of my Papa’s passing. They didn’t get along too well, but they had heart for one another, sorta, kinda. So I let him know, and he expressed his condolences. If there’s one thing true it’s that my Papa is an unforgettable character, known best for being a cantankerous asshole.  lol

The point is my ex-husband and I went from love and utter fascination with one another, bonding like orphans over our life experiences, to increasing competitiveness, to outright hostility and aggressive power plays, to disgust and contempt, to silence, and then eventually to accepting the past for what it is and burying the hatchet. And I am forever glad that we did and that I took the opportunity to apologize for the pain that I caused during our short marriage. My conscience definitely did need that, and he was kind in receiving it. I’m sure he wasn’t my fan, but we finally established a sense of peace so as to let it go. That was important. Because then, about a year and a half later, my ex-husband died. I talk about it because I’m still processing it. Papa died in summer of 2011; ex-husband died in fall of 2012. My Papa suffered for a year and a half in pain before dying of cancer; my ex thankfully died very suddenly and likely before pain registered, so say the reports.

And life moves on. On and on it tumbles. Where it stops, nobody knows. Nobody promised us rose gardens apparently.

Is it reasonable to admit that a part of me is slightly envious of my ex-husband having gone out with such suddenness and likely lack of suffering? And prior to his accident, he’d created a new life for himself, working in a bar/restaurant as he always enjoyed, and made a lot of new friends. I’m happy that he had that as his last bit of time in life. But I still hope when I die that I too can go out as suddenly and without months of suffering. It’s all true, so I’m stating it. Why? Because I can and I feel like it.

Life comes with curious ups and downs. Been in a relationship the last 2.5 years that just ended recently. Sad affair. The details of it are our business. Just is what it is.

Hip-deep in Busch Light tonight. Had what seemed like a good idea for a video earlier, but the handycam and I couldn’t seem to cooperate with one another. ‘Tis happens, more often than not.

Bad habits die hard…