Journaling on the last evening of July

Feeling pretty melancholy the last couple of days. Been doing okay overall, but slacked off on exercising last week since my gym was closed during its relocation. Also blew off my trainer last Friday. Worked out with him today though. Not been eating the best stuff, admittedly. Smoking too many cigarettes. But at least I’ve been remaining alcohol-free. Tomorrow marks 7 weeks since my commitment to stop drinking. Glad for that progress.

But I have a lot more work to do. Been taking time to try to care better for myself, like oiling my hair and doing my nails and making myself more comfortable at home. Lightly trimmed my hair tonight. Cleaned and organized around the apartment a decent bit in the past week. I do need to get out more. Haven’t been inside a watering hole in over a week. Just haven’t been in the mood lately. Not getting out around people enough though. Not yet feeling like taking the initiative to meet new people.

It’s been a bit rough going away from my former partner. We spoke on the phone a couple of times in the last 2 weeks, but that’s it. No in-person contact, which I don’t really want anyway since it’s such a depressing situation forever and always. Still hurt by some of things he said to me on that last evening at his place. Can’t shake it off. And when we talked about it since he just dismisses it all as stuff he spews when he’s mad. But I really don’t want to hear any of that anymore. It’s not good for either of us to be this stressed out and unhappy. While I recognize I’ve been very rough-talking with him in the past as well, I had hoped we’d move beyond that and start treating one another with more respect. He says that someday we’ll be able to do that. Just too much tension between us still. But I’m just so used to spending time with him and talking on the phone regularly, so now there’s that gap in my life as well, and I’m not sure how to fill it. Really need to figure that out since it’s starting to bring me down.

Went with my best guyfriend yesterday to watch the War For the Planet of the Apes movie. Graphics were cool, but the storyline wasn’t too good. Maybe I expected something more profound in its ultimate message, but it delivered more of a Disney-esque happy ending that seemed wrapped up in a neat hurry. Kinda felt disappointed leaving the theater after that. Hard to find good movies worth watching these days, hence why I so rarely go to cinemas. That movie series had potential. I really liked the character Caesar.

Just not entirely sure of what to do with myself. Most of what I want to do involves the internet and books, but what I probably ought to be doing right now is finding new places to go and becoming more physical and getting out of my head. Kinda worried about isolating myself too much since that eventually causes more problems than it solves. Nice to retreat sometimes though. Been out and about a great deal the last 2 years. Feeling like I should just focus more on exercising and otherwise going ahead and staying home more. But I should reach out to certain people and go visit them sometimes. Probably would be good for us all.

Some of the fogginess from alcohol has lifted, but not as much as hoped. Apparently that will be a more gradual change. Undoubtedly increasing my exercising will help there too.

While taking a shower tonight, my mind began roaming over all sorts of embarrassing shit I got caught up in over the course of my time drinking. Embarrassing shit I did or that others did. Things I said and regret. General ways I acted. Ran into a female bartender from the “raunchy bar” at the gas station earlier. Haven’t seen her since early June when I quit going in that joint. Still wondering what her problem was the last time I saw her. Ah well. She’s not my kind of people either way. Just a lot of stupidity to reflect on. Enough of the memories make me angry at myself or else make me feel ashamed. Pretty sure these thoughts and feelings will be following me for a long while, though I haven’t a clue yet on how to heal them. People like to talk a lot about forgiveness, but it isn’t proving to be my strong suit.

Hate to think I just wasted a bunch of years. But I guess I wasn’t in a rush to do anything else in the meantime. Not like I put off major life plans since I didn’t really have any to pursue. Already graduated from college and am maintaining self-employment, those having been my primary goals and I accomplished them. Guess it’s time to give serious thought to creating new goals.

In other news, got called a “coon lady” today by somebody ticked off in the comment section of my video about Cynthia G‘s batshit racism. heh  Interesting. That becoming a universal pejorative to sling willy-nilly at anybody and everybody nowadays? Folks online act so crazy…

What else? Currently working through Dr. Thomas Sowell’s book Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? (1985). Really appreciating it thus far.

Productive Saturday afternoon

Just got in from working out with my trainer. Told him about how my nerve pain is back in my left hip and calf, probably due to not exercising enough over the winter months, so we did some yoga stretches at the end of our session. Gonna start doing those at home again as well. Only thing that seems to reduce that pain in the years that I’ve been experiencing it. So that all went well.

Just put in a load of laundry, bedding this time around. Removed all the empty cans and bottles I’d bagged up. A Bosnian guy drives through most weekends to pick these up so as to collect money for recycling them, so I typically set them out in front of the dumpster for him. He’s a nice guy. Been coming around here for a few years now. Gotten to where the neighbors invite him to sit for a beer on their outdoor patio area when he does arrive. I’ve always kept him well-supplied with empty beer cans, but nowadays he’ll have to settle for Schweppes cans and La Croix bottles. Not that it matters any to him. He’s remarked on my drinking in the past, due to the amount of cans I’d haul out. Back then my partner stayed at my place a great deal though too. Been dwindling the last couple of years since I returned to the barscene. But now it’s picking up again since discovering the joys of seltzer water.  cheeky_smiley

Sorted my shoes a bit since they’re taking over my spare room. Most of which I haven’t worn in years. Should probably donate a good many of them to the Salvation Army.

My best guyfriend bought me another vacuum cleaner yesterday to replace my old one that gave up the ghost finally. Amazing how a cheap Dirt Devil under $50 lasted as long as that one did, so we found a similar one to take its place. No use spending a lot of money on a machine like that. A more expensive Sears brand vacuum cleaner I bought many years back wound up having the shortest life out of all of them. Anyway, nice gift from him. Appreciate his help.

Last night I ventured down to a bar I rarely get out to. It’s the one that was taken over by one of the former bartenders from my old bar (the one that closed back in March of this year). She’s a nice lady whom I’ve worked for in another capacity last year when serving legal documents. Very ambitious woman. Anyway, she hired on my favorite bartender from the old bar for Friday nights, so every once in a while I like to mosey on down there to say “hello.” Drank a couple glasses of orange juice before they informed me that they had fresh brewed unsweetened tea with free refills. Switched to that for the rest of my time there and wound up highly caffeinated to where I was up all night watching youtube videos, but ah well. Was worth it. Had a nice time. Listened to music and saw some folks from the closed bar that I hadn’t seen in quite a while. Was a peaceful, easy evening. My favorite bartender is a really nice guy, very funny and takes good care of us. He actually quit drinking for nearly 6 months a year or more ago and was a positive influence on me wanting to follow in suit. And he comes from a whole family of heavy drinkers and has told me his story about growing up with them. Plus, he’s always worked in restaurants and bars, so he had a lot of pressures working against him. Yet he still prevailed for as long as he did and proved to be a good example. I’ve met a few of his family members over time and can attest to how much they can put down. Wooh! Serious drinkers. He also became a vegetarian years back and lost a good amount of weight as a result. Told him about the videos I’d come across by Kevin O’Hara (AlcoholMastery channel on youtube), in case he’d care to check out his stuff.

Probably doesn’t sound smart to put myself back in the belly of the beast so soon, but I knew I’d be in good company there. That bartender has observed my struggle with alcohol over the last couple of years and we’ve talked at length about the whole process he’s struggling with as well. He congratulates us when we cut down or quit, unlike most bartenders out there. Because he knows we’ll come see him and tip regardless. He’s just that popular. Good guy. Also showed me some photos of his expanding gun collection, which I’m rightly jealous of. Will have to catch up to him one of these days. He shoots at the shooting range I’ve been looking into joining, soon as I complete the courses and background check needed to attain my concealed carry permit (must have either that or permit to purchase to use that range, and my permit to purchase has already expired — might as well pony up a little more money eventually for a 5-year permit instead). He’s a libertarian too, so we’ve always gotten along well.

I’ve been holding out on going down the gun-toting route because of my struggles with drinking and the money that’s zapped from me. But eventually I will have my affairs in order and be able to finally engage in that activity instead of just pining to join in on the sidelines. Still haven’t been out shooting since last year when I was down in Mississippi. Been coming around to the idea of someday purchasing a semi-auto handgun for carrying purposes since they have a slimmer profile. But time will tell. Nice to think about though. Keeps me looking forward to a sober future, shooting being a fun hobby I’d like to become more involved in. Just have to get myself right before I can allow myself to partake in it. For safety’s sake and all else. For now I’m content with my revolver expressly for home protection purposes.

What else? Ran into a buddy of mine last night who was walking down the street when I was driving by. Pulled up and chatted with him for a few minutes. Been taking time away from him due to needing to get away from alcohol and everybody in the “raunchy pub” barscene (as I refer to that little bar nearest to my home). He says he’s been avoiding it too, mostly because he’s working so much lately, but also because he’s tiring of that environment. They truly do run off a good many women up in that joint. It’s a boys club basically, or at least that’s what the aging men in their 40s and 50s who frequent the place like to treat it as. Tired of them and haven’t set foot back in there in at least 2 weeks, and won’t. Fuck that place. Worst bar I’ve ever encountered, and I’ve been to plenty of seedy bars over the years. No wonder most folks I know refuse to go in there, including nearly all the patrons of the closed bar who drifted elsewhere, like to the place I visited last night. What shall we refer to last night’s joint as on here? Hmmm…  Let’s call it the “G bar,” because it’s a good bar with familiar and good people in it and also because it’s actual name begins with a G. Simple enough. (And that’s not to be confused with the third bar I refer to as the “calmer bar” that is also in my direct neighborhood, where the older lady works whom I like to chat with sometimes.)

Bars have been a part of my life for so long that I almost don’t know what to do without them. They’re a gathering spot, a place to re-find old acquaintances and hear about what’s been happening. But I’ll be careful in my dealings with the two I’m still interested in occasionally frequenting. Both have orange juice and sodas, now that I know to stay away from non-alcoholic beer. And both places will let me be without putting any pressure on me to drink along with them. If that changes, I’ll cease stopping by. But I know I’m welcome on Friday nights at the G bar, which is nice since it helps me to still feel included among people I’ve grown used to being around.

And it was nice. Didn’t even feel much temptation to drink alcohol. Was perfectly content with my iced tea, a favorite beverage for me anyway. Was just good to be back around people I hadn’t been around much in the last few months. Though, there is a lot of truth in how drinkers can become annoying really quick when you’re not drinking along with them. Mostly because they can get so loud. But I also saw another buddy of mine I hadn’t seen since March. Helped him to get in touch with my former partner to have a belt looked at on his truck. That man’s still drunk as a skunk, as to be expected, but he says he’s been working more lately. An electrician. Always been friendly toward me, but it’s sad to watch him go down. He says he got to drinking badly after his wife passed away, and then his mom died a year or so back and that too devastated him. Doesn’t have kids so I think he feels set adrift, as if nothing really matters, so he turns his focus toward perpetual partying. In his 50s now, so I get to wondering how much partying he has left in him. But he has a big circle of friends and family members who care about him. Hopefully he’ll be all right in the end.

There’s the upside but there’s always the downside too. Bars might seem like more fun when you’re in your 20s and around people near your age. But then we all grow older and life takes a toll on us as the years pass. Hard to watch it all play out sometimes. I only wish to observe that abyss on occasion these days, not too often as I had done before. Because it’s no good past a certain point. Just drags you down with it. For all the talk of people wanting to quit drinking, it’s the rare individual who actually does in that scene. I know this. Been watching it all unfold for many years now. And I’m not getting any younger either.

Anyway, time to tend to laundry.

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Update a few hours later: Saturday productivity continues. Finished three loads of laundry (remembering to put dryer sheets in this time). Tidied up a bit in the kitchen, including cutting those 6-pack plastics people worry will strangle ducks and geese if left intact (my former partner got me started on doing that). My lazy ass had accumulated a pile of them awaiting being scissored. Carried out ALL of the bags of cans and bottles to the parking lot. Not most but all this time around. Took a relaxing shower and then oiled my hair with olive oil (haven’t done that in a long while). Gave myself a bit of a mini-pedicure (not a complete one since I didn’t feel like polishing today), then rubbed my feet with an emollient lotion and put a pair of snuggly socks on to lock in the moisture. Then swept the floors and loaded the dishwasher.

Oh, and found a mattress topper I’d purchased in Mississippi last year that was still in its original wrapper. It’s like Christmas when I get to cleaning — rediscover all sorts of stuff I forgot I own. Since all the bedding is nice and freshly laundered, I even made up the bed. Nothing fancy, but it looks nice. At least a change from how out of sorts it usually looks. My cat adores playing in freshly laundered sheets, so she’s probably still back there rolling around in the warmth of the bedding. Poured her fresh cat litter too.

And I sorted some of the mail that’s been gathering on my kitchen table, throwing out most of it. Found my most up-to-date proof of auto insurance cards while at it.

Simple stuff, yes. But I’ve been putting a lot off in recent times. Been doing the minimum to get by in a lot of cases. Why? Because I never felt good. Haven’t in a long time. Would regularly wake up and look around at the chaos that is my woman cave and then hurry up so I could leave it for the day. Sad but true. Doing dishes and the minimum amount of laundry necessary to function day-to-day was typically my gameplan. Hence why my laundry has piled up. Yep, not a domestic goddess.

While putting away some of my winter clothes I also rediscovered a stash of tupperware containers in a box in the spare bedroom. Hmm. One of these days I shall return these to my people! Heh!  Eventually. Hopefully. My home is where other people’s tupperware comes to die.

What else? Been putting a cream on my face the last couple of nights that really feels nice. Owned it for a while now but had neglected to use it. Also dusted a wee bit. Need to do a lot more of that soon. And need to try out the new vacuum too. That can wait until tomorrow.

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Next day update: The new vacuum turned out to be junk. Spit out more than it picked up. Have to return it to the store and find a better one.

Bullshit abounds in the barscene (imagine that)

So irritated this morning after an evening out that shouldn’t have ended on a bad note. You know those bartenders who are all about themselves and their bullshit and not interested in remaining professional toward their clientele? Yeah, me too. Particularly this woman bartender I never had an issue with before last night and am surprised she even acted like she did, and over nothing. My buddy and I had been at another bar up the way and then he needed to go home to sleep for an early workday, so I headed back to the bar closest to my home. Maybe 2 people in the place by that time, including another buddy of mine. They were watching television since no one cared to play the jukebox. So, per my usual role, I put $5 in the jukebox and invited my buddy to play what he wanted (typically heavy metal is his preference). And this lady bartender went off for some reason. Apparently we disrupted her movie or some shit.

She said something to the effect of me always getting what I want. Was very weird. Then she stormed outside. And this is an older woman, not some youngen. Others have told me in the past that she’s going through whatever relationship problems in her personal life, as if that’s an excuse to treat her job like it doesn’t matter. Look, we spend a lot of money at these watering holes and on these overpriced jukeboxes. Like I told her last night, if she wanted to watch her movie all she had to do was request I not play music, which would’ve been fine. Wasn’t even my kind of music. Was playing it for the benefit of us patrons who tire of watching the stupid television in silence. Was a really dumb reason to lose a customer over. Didn’t see that coming.

She’s been rude before to my buddies and one in particular was already upset with her demeanor from earlier in the week. I’ve always been accommodating toward her and polite, so this blindsided me. Had no idea she harbored resentment at me. And for what I don’t even understand. Never acted a fool in her presence (aside from the one time I felt the need to check that ADHD-acting man who regularly comes in there and talks over everybody and starts shit on a whim). And she didn’t say anything that night, however many months ago that was. She waited ’til now to vent her irritation toward me.

Been thinking about it and trying to make sense of her behavior last night. Coming up empty-handed. If she’s upset due to circumstance in her own life, then she shouldn’t take it out on me over nothing. Heaven forbid a customer comes in and plays the jukebox on a dead evening.

You know what I think it is? Cliche as it may sound, I honestly believe the woman is jealous. Not what I want to believe but apparently that’s the case. If she can’t stand up for herself in her own life and resents those who can, that’s her problem, not mine. If I get what I want at times, it’s typically hard-won. People don’t roll out the red carpet for me either. I lay out my arguments and pursue my ends diligently, which perhaps she’s observed. When people give me crap I take up for my interests. I don’t just bottle my resentments until they boil over. I tell people how I feel and what I’m bothered by in their behavior toward me. And if that’s a crime, I don’t know what to say. Guess I’ve grown tired of being walked on in this life and do my best to not allow myself to feel like a victim.

It’s not hard to open your mouth and state your case, but when you act passive-aggressive about shit it helps no one, including yourself. She’s not young enough to be that naive, so I do take this to heart. Always been polite to her and tip well. Deferential toward her even. Well, that ended last night. Didn’t go off on her but I won’t be patronizing that bar on her shifts anymore. Can’t stand to spend this much money at a place where I receive crappy service. Just don’t have it in me to do so, especially when the other bar down the way is glad to have my business.

Just frustrating to deal with that junk out of left field when I didn’t see it coming and over nothing of substance. Played the jukebox, heaven forbid. Not even my music, though most of my bar-fellows request me to play music on a regular basis, hence why I do so as frequently as I do. And it’s not cheap. Typically $1 per song. I have spent over $40 on the jukebox in just the last 2 days between those two locations, and that’s not many plays actually. Only entertains us for a couple hours. And I let others play music on my dime because I like to hear new stuff.

Anyway, no reason to try justifying that since it’s perfectly acceptable for a patron to play music. She has her own issues, whatever they may be. And they don’t deserve to be directed at me. My pal was already frustrated with her lack of professionalism earlier in the week, as I already stated, so we’ll find other places to go instead. He’s a nice guy who always shows her respect, and yet she acts unimpressive in his presence as well. We spend too much money to receive inadequate service when we go out. Costs a small fortune to live this lifestyle when it’d be far cheaper to come back to my place and play music for free and drink brews purchased from the grocery store. Plus I could make us dinner here and we could play board or card games in peace without having to deal with idiots and assholes. If she doesn’t want my business she doesn’t have to deal with it, strange as it is considering how polite and friendly we’ve always been toward her.

So yes, Ms. Bitch Bartender, I do aim to get my way at times. I aim to be treated properly and to not be given a hard time just because you have problems in your own personal life. And my money talks and walks in accordance. Surely it won’t matter to her either way since she prefers to close down early and likely earns all she cares to during the “happy hour” crowd times. Just irritating to come up against that unexpectedly. If she had a problem with me specifically she could’ve spoken to me directly about whatever it was. But if she wishes to pick on someone she’s picked the wrong person. Guess I somehow rubbed her the wrong way, though I honestly don’t know what I could’ve done to set her off. I’m not difficult to reason with, so it was on her to come to me if she had an issue gnawing at her, but instead she chose to throw a childish fit for no good reason that I could see. Not cool. She’s too old to behave like that and receive a pass. Though the other patron whom I let play music on my dime immediately went to her side and sat consoling her afterward as though she somehow deserved that. Blew my mind. I do not understand women sufficiently apparently.

I am frustrated. That was uncalled for and inappropriate. Sometimes I get the feeling the gods are toying with me and trying to make bar outings less fun so that I will redirect my attention to more productive endeavors, which is fine if that’s the case. Probably for the best. Just irritating as of right now. Went to the gym yesterday for the second time this week, getting back into all of that, and was feeling pretty good. My buddy and I typically keep to ourselves for the most part and quietly converse. We’re not problems for others. So if she wants to behave that way then it’s on her. I truly have no patience for dealing with shitty bartenders. There are too many options in this town, and I do not understand those people who act like they have to deal with this junk because they prefer a certain locale. I am not beholden to any business, and yes, it is a business, not simply a watering hole. It’s intended to be fun and relaxing for the patrons, and when it no longer serves that function what good is it?

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Update a couple days later: Cooled off since. Not hating the woman, just tired of shitty customer service in general. Yes, important to sweep one’s own porch and tend to cleaning our own rooms before lobbing too much criticism at others. Agreed. But in doing so I will no longer aid in promoting the income of assholes so far as I can help it directly. Not about hating, just tired and fed up with unnecessary drama. Including that which I too have been responsible for creating and/or stoking.

We humans are truly mind-blowing. Period. Point blank. Even in our subtle, passive-aggressive moves. Perhaps especially there.

Anyway, it is what it is. Worked out at the gym 3 times so far this week, for nearly an hour or more each time. Happy about that. And it felt good overall, other than straining my hamstrings the first time out. Remembered to stretch more afterward. Still, been a good week in that regard.

In hindsight, I think maybe that bartender chick was into our mutual friend who was present. And so be it, I am not interested in obstructing anything there. But she’s a bit older than both of us, so there’s that to contend with. Already told the guy months back that he’s not my type, sweet as he’s behaved thus far. No fault of his, admittedly. Just my own preferences. So if she’s ticked about him I don’t know what to say to it. Not my concern or issue. No control there.

And this is why I need more hobbies. Have way too much time on my hands to hang around these joints apparently. Why waste money on senseless drama? And it’s not just her. There’s another crappy bartender at that establishment whom I’m more so tired of dealing with. Pain in the rear more often than not. And I’m not the only one to express such sentiments.

Waste of money, time and energy overall. Yet I can’t stand the notion of going 100% sober. Trying to figure out that happy medium currently.

Mid-December general update

Back to life…back to reality…

So anyway, that was a fairly dumb weekend. But it’s behind us now. Returned to listening to Thomas Sowell’s audiobook Black Rednecks and White Liberals, which I’m seriously appreciating. It’s been teaching me a lot of details about my own background as a Southerner that I’d never known much about. Basically it’s a collection of essays spanning from looking at the U.S. Deep South’s history, then moving on to explore slavery in both the U.S. and elsewhere up through time (VERY illuminating information there), then an exploration into Germany and the rise of Nazism and why we should take seriously the possibility of such a movement arising in any culture, and now I’m listening to the portion on the history of black education in the U.S. This is just an amazing book that I’m tempted to share with others this Christmas season. Very well-sourced and eye-opening, challenging so much of the propaganda we’ve come to accept as factual.

Next in line is Thomas Sowell’s audiobook The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy. Looking forward to what he had to say there.

For Christmas, I did send my cousin print copies of Edward Edinger’s Ego and Archetype and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes From Underground. Hope he gets something out of them as well.

An eerie thing occurred today while out walking a pup. We were turning the corner and just as we got to the top of the hill I could see a couple blocks down the way that a car accident had just happened, causing one of the cars involved to careen into a street light. It was smoking and I could make out people from the other involved car walking over to that vehicle. Then the car that hit the light-post caught fire. Firetrucks were on the scene before we made it down the hill, so I watched as the firemen sprayed some sort of substance (not water) toward the hood of the car. An ambulance hadn’t arrived yet but no one appeared seriously injured, thankfully. Sad situation though. Bad enough to wreck in 20-degree weather and have to huddle outside awaiting help but also only a couple weeks before Christmas. Hope their insurance deductible is reasonable, though I can’t claim to know which car was at fault. Always jolts me to see a car accident, thinking about how scared people must be in that moment when they feel their vehicle lose control. Worries me daily for my loved ones and always has, probably because we drive so much that it feels like we’ve all been very lucky to avoid anything major for many years now. But we just never know when another driver might accidentally force our hand and change everything. I do hope those people involved are all going to be okay. Pretty shocking to see a car catch fire right there in the suburbs. But our emergency personnel are pretty amazing in these parts so hopefully they were able to set the situation right to the best of their ability.

Went grocery shopping after that with my list of items pulled from an Atkins diet-related site. Thinking about giving that a whirl once again. Lost weight on that diet in the past and could use a jumpstart once again since I haven’t been as active in the gym the last couple of weeks. Again, thanks to this cold weather and before that the Thanksgiving holiday keeping me busy with work. Just not felt as motivated this past month, but that needs to change. It’s one area in my life I’ve been proud of and wish to maintain. Going on 1.5 years now…so yeah, it’s become a routine I care about and get a lot of satisfaction from. So I picked up oodles of frozen vegetables and a few steaks and a rotisserie chicken and a case of the seltzer water I’ve grown fond of. As my former partner stated last night, people will cease taking me seriously if I fail to follow through on these ambitions I regularly speak of. So, here I go again…

What else? Picked up another one of those Blu e-cigarettes in hopes of smoking it part of the time so as to cut down on these Natural American Spirits. Lungs have been killing me lately. That’s what 21 years of smoking brings. Tried e-cigs in the past but wasn’t taken with them. Ah well. Try, try again.

Work is done for the day. So now I’m just tasked with paying bills and forwarding along some YT videos of interest to a buddy of mine.

Oh, and did I ever mention on here what went down with the IRS once I filed my taxes after taking an extension? Yeah, well, I sent in the remaining money I owed them, having prepaid a few hundred back in the spring. All seemed fine and I received a confirmation number from the DirectPay page on the IRS website, only to later receive two letters in the mail on the same day. One was a refund of part of the last bit of money I submitted to them; the other was a letter explaining that the funds I paid in somehow had not been credited to my account and so I need to resubmit it. Figured it wasn’t worth battling over seeing as how I’m not interested in attracting their scrutiny at present, so I mailed a check in this time. Oy. Kinda weird to find out that their left hand doesn’t know what their right hand is doing apparently. But ah well. Hopefully that’s resolved now. And, for the record, despite several claims that this time I would be charged a penalty for remaining an Obamacare (ACA) holdout, no penalty proved forthcoming. Not sure what to make of that. Twas the whole reason I filed for an extension in the first place, thinking I’d need more time to scrape together funds to pay that. They threatened up a storm and had me a bit nervous, but nothing came of it once again. And so I remain a holdout for yet another year. Very rarely go to the doctor for anything and am not on any necessary prescribed medications, so it doesn’t make sense that I should be forced to pay around $200/mo. for insurance I don’t want. Been uninsured this long, so I’ll take my chances there.

Fixed my phone up with an SD card over the weekend so that annoying “low storage” message finally went away. Still lagging in my understanding of that technology and required help from a friend. My Luddite tendencies apparently will not allow me to grasp smartphone technology. Don’t even like referring to the phone as “smart.”  Ha!  Seems like a misnomer. Especially for those who use them as their only computing device. My good ol’ desktop computer is SO much more user-friendly and has functionality a handheld simply cannot touch. And yet, these desktops are going the way of the dinosaurs, according to millennials.  tongue_out

That’s about it for now.

A dreary night indoors in November

Not going out tonight. Too cold and drizzly. Instead occupying myself with laundry and putting away my summer clothes in bins.

Work is done for the day so I might as well enjoy my time before things kick into higher gear later this week due to holiday work obligations. Glad to make more money and am trying to generally spend less these days. Also updated my business website finally so now I feel comfortable advertising locally once again. Wasn’t as tricky setting up the ftp info once again in the macromedia software as I’d worried it might be. And that software actually proved compatible with my newest computer, so that’s a plus. Need to purchase a new printer soon though since mine crapped out (again — darn things only last 3-4 years before giving up the ghost).

Recently finished listening to a great audiobook by Mark Manson titled The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Highly recommend that one. It’s funny while also offering practical wisdom to counteract the “we all deserve an award” mentality permeating society these days. Plan on re-listening to it sooner rather than later.

Currently I am listening to the audio version of Carl Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections. The first portion, which I’m still working through, serves as a memoir where he tells of his upbringing and challenges with religion (his father was a Protestant clergyman and several other family members were theologians) and his struggles in school (wasn’t good at math; grew more isolated over time due to differing viewpoints from his peers). As a fan of Carl Jung’s work, it’s interesting to learn more about who he was and how he came up and also how his mind developed over time. A kid like him born into today’s society would likely wind up labeled and drugged by psychiatrists, ironically enough, which could very well have stripped someone like him of his potential.

Previously listened to the audiobook America the Anxious by Ruth Whippman about her relocation from the UK to California and her observations of our “positivity” culture. She came out realizing that the intense and focused pursuit of happiness doesn’t tend to wind one up there and instead makes people miserable. Her research provided and examined was illuminating and even counter-intuitive in places. Really enjoyed her witty writing style and believe mothers most especially would find her work amusing.

Next up in terms of reading material, I’ve placed the following books in my wishlist by Thomas Sowell: The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy, Intellectuals and Race, A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles, and Black Rednecks and White Liberals. Hope to order at least one of his titles in December. Also hoping to eventually get to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago (a three volume series).

What else? Obviously been looking more into the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in recent weeks, seeing as how we keep hearing more and more about it. Sounded like a reasonable movement initially, but then it’s evolved into something else, something a bit more sinister in terms of expressing racial hostility toward white people. I’ll continue trying to make sense out of what’s unfolding there.

Been slacking in going to the gym this past week. Was busy at times, but otherwise just lazy or not in the mood.

My former and I began fussing with one another again over the weekend, so we’re taking a few days away to do our own things. Per our usual cycle.

Met a nice guy recently, a friend of a friend, who works in an environmental science lab setting. Seems like a cool dude. Hung out with him and his friends a couple days last week. In his 40s with no kids, never married, in the process of buying a house. Seems like a stable individual. Will be taking my time getting to know people — not interested in jumping into anything any time soon. But he seems to like me and isn’t opposed to exploring various topics, so that’s cool. Either way, I’m pretty sure we’ll wind up being at least casual buddies.

Was called by a client/friend, an older lady I’ve worked for for years, and went over to visit with her yesterday. Been months since we last chatted since she’s retired these days. Was good to see her. Said she’s looking into getting a gun, so we discussed her options, and I need to email her later some info she requested. She goes out east in the winter to stay with her daughter, and they’re a bit concerned about home protection due to riots and rising crime in Charlotte, NC. Can understand her worries there and will try to find some solutions that may prove most compatible to her situation.

Not much else is going on, at least not worth noting on here. Preparing for winter to arrive. Needing to get my rotors and brakes worked on hopefully this weekend. After that we’ll ready the snow tires since they usually go on right after Thanksgiving each year. Mundane stuff.

Mid-September journaling

Currently in the process of getting ready for a date. We’re headed out to a nice dinner and then a movie and whatever else that follows. Showered, shaved, plucked, dressed, and now have my hair up in hot rollers, letting them set. Debating whether I have time to swing over to the salon to get a pedicure and manicure as well. Overdue on that right about now.

Should be a decent night out on the town with a friend I already know well and get along with. Nice transition from what else I’ve been up to lately, arguing with some other dude not worth my time and energy since he’s intent on behaving like an asshole for no clear reason and without provocation. Done with that one. He can kick rocks. Beyond that, just out meeting new friends and acquaintances while enjoying life single once again. Still getting along with my former companion, which is always a blessing.

The latest audiobook I’ve been listening to while out working and driving is The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself by theoretical physicist Sean Carroll. Very interesting thus far, about eight chapters into it.

Following are songs that have been on the mind a great deal lately.

“Eminence Front” by The Who:

“Limo Wreck” by Soundgarden:

“You’re All I Need” by Method Man ft. Mary J. Blige:

Still needing to pay my taxes which were put on extension back in the spring. Gotta get on that soon. Probably finally going to be fined this year for holding out on accepting Obamacare, or so they keep threatening.

What else? Generally trying to remain out of major trouble, aiming to keep the drama at reasonable levels, and building my money reserves back up a bit. Not up to too much lately beyond working and mingling. The summer’s fast winding down and cooler weather is already arriving up this way. Not wishing to rush into winter though, but the climate here is notoriously chaotic and unpredictable.

Time to take out the rollers and finish getting ready.

Late summer easiness

Chillin’ and relaxing as much as time permits these days. Enjoying afternoons lazing in a private, backyard pool working on my tan (something I haven’t had the luxury of doing in many years). Got some nice color right about now, stark tan lines. Listening to the birds in the trees on the perimeter, marveling at the enigma of the “blue gold” I’ve been fortunate enough to be granted time and access to float around in, soaking up the sun’s rays while watching the clouds drift by. Reflecting on the tunes playing inside my mind, skin scented with coconut oil, enjoying the tranquility of lounging alone in the great outdoors.

My birthday’s right around the corner. About to officially become middle-aged. And I’m good with that.

Working as needed, like always, including the new side gig that requires even more driving around. Exploring a Pantera album loaned to me by my former companion. Getting along with him better as well since we’ve given each other more space.

Tried dating a new guy for a couple weeks there — more like hanging out and hooking up really. But we proved incompatible right from go, not to mention I’m allergic to something in his home. Perhaps his cologne? Don’t know but finally had to throw in the towel since itchy eyes in the late-night hours aren’t sexy. But he was fun to spend time with for a minute, so long as we weren’t drinking too much rum and cokes. It has been said before and it is confirmed once again: I can argue with anyone about anything. Amazing how trifling some arguments wind up being between some of us. Won’t even elaborate on how dumb. Serves me right for giving higher priority to sex appeal in my male suitors than intellectual curiosity. But I do adore muscular eye candy…

Nice to feel my sexuality revived a bit, to know that I haven’t lost my mojo but merely misplaced it for a spell there.

Still working out regularly and have dropped a few pounds since returning from my Mississippi trip in early June. Aiming to hit it harder in coming weeks in preparation for a friend visiting Labor Day weekend. Very much looking forward to seeing him again.

Not been home much lately and hence haven’t been writing on here or elsewhere online. Been enjoying the nightlife, observing the wheels go ’round and ’round…

Pondering like always. Listened to a good audiobook recently and am now re-listening to it again: The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris. Interesting info and ideas that tie into so much else I’ve been reading this year pertaining to mindfulness and taking action and clarifying one’s values. Today I downloaded the audiobook Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari and should be starting it soon.

Can’t complain these days. All is going pretty well. Building my income back up, taking time to pamper myself so as to enjoy my femininity once again, exploring social opportunities, sharing meals with friends, tuning out useless political jabbering, taking walks with a new female friend some days after gym class, just letting life roll without trying too hard to force it in any particular direction right now. Taking care of business and leaving the rest to fall wherever it may. Moving from living in my head to living in my body, bit by bit, so far as I am able.

What else? A good friend is making us dinner this evening. On the menu: bruschetta made with tomatoes from another friend’s garden and chicken cacciatore made with ingredients from his own garden. Looking forward to it. He’s a good cook. Another new pal has offered up his swimming pool for late-night skinny-dipping but so far it has been too cool in the evening to stay in for more than a few minutes. Would be nice if another heat wave struck before fall sets in, just for that reason.

Not much else to report on at present. Currently tending to laundry while waiting for the time to roll around to head back out to work. Tonight’s plans are set. Tomorrow remains up in the air. Tuesday evening is girl’s night out at the coffee shop to play cards. Learned a new dice game at my local watering hole last night. And on and on this lazy late summer ambles to a close…

I’ll leave off with a song that’s been playing in my mind a great deal in recent weeks, “Love Reign O’er Me” by The Who:

Am still alive and kickin’

Made it to Mississippi last Tuesday. So, been here a week now, staying at my Grandma’s place. Still feeling a bit funky, but that’s to be expected. Despite the privation of bars for nearly an hour around this town, I’m still able to purchase beer at gas stations to haul back to the homestead, so no, I am not yet a fully sober being. Though I wait until late before partaking. Hung out with my cousin a few days back and we hit the barscene in his city, which was fun. Just not certain where I’m trying to go with all of this yet. Becoming a teetotaler holds zero appeal to me, to be honest. BUT, I have deprived myself entirely of the herb while here, so there’s that. Which is probably beneficial.

On the way down I decided to stop at a motel/bar in a town called Marston, MO. Usually drive the approx. 13-14 hours straight on, but that looked like a good resting spot. And it was. If you’re a cigarette smoker and dive-bar drinker who can appreciate (or at least tolerate) kitschy Americana, it’s the kind of joint you might like.

And since being here I’ve completed Stephen King’s book Desperation, published in 1996, and enjoyed it. Has a lot of religious undertones (and overtones) to it, but still, I took it as sci-fi fantasy in its own right. Aside from listening to his audiobook On Writing in recent weeks, that is the first novel by him I’ve chosen to endure since my teenage years in the ’90s. Really engaging book. Great read. Just happened across it and became totally engrossed in it. Started it on Wednesday and completed it on Sunday (and probably would’ve finished it on Saturday had I not gone and hung out that evening with my cousin).

Been reading a bunch. Currently working through Aldous Huxley’s The Perennial Philosophy, on loan from that same cousin. Not sure what to say about it so far. Honestly, it’s not really up my alley (in terms of its incredible dryness, having read better books exploring the same subject matter), but he really liked it so I’m giving it a chance. Would prefer to read Joseph Campbell and others when in the mood for delving into spirituality. Huxley’s writing style here doesn’t make for easy reading, familiar as I already am with the Tao de Ching and various elements of Buddhist (and obviously Christian) thought. Will complete it before saying much else.

Also been listening to C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters on audiobook in my car, courtesy of my buddy before I started out on this trek.

Next print book in queue to be read is The Confederacy of Dunces, also on loan from my cousin.

Began working out again three days ago at a local gym, focusing on both cardio and weights for a couple days, just cardio tonight. Nice place. Not cheap, but at least I can pay as I go month-to-month and pro-rated. Clean facility with enough machines to suit my interests.

Haven’t discovered any fresh boiled peanuts so far in this town that are worth a damn. Unfortunate. Not cool. Gonna have to wait until I can travel an hour away to locate some better ones, which hopefully will be Friday since Grandma desires to head to a big city to look for home furnishings. She doesn’t drive, so that’s what I do when I’m around — drive her to and fro.

What else? Obviously haven’t taken any time to write thus far. No excuse for that other than still decompressing currently.

Nice weather down this way so far. Bugs are out though. As are the snakes, one of which Grandma killed a few days ago. Turned out to be non-poisonous. Bummer there.

But the sun has turned the landscape golden and green here this spring. Very beautiful time to visit Mississippi. Been spending hours each day sitting out on the porch barefoot and reading. Good for the soul.

Been talking to my former companion on the phone each night, and so far he’s remained very respectful and kind toward me. Hopefully he feels the same way vice versa. We’re still chiseling away at our former constraints and trying to figure out how to move ahead as friends, trying to drop the bs we’ve been mired in for over 3 years now. It’s not an easy transition, to say the least. One big reason for why I am here and will remain here until June. Gotta sever certain emotional ties enough for us both to move on, which we both know and accept. Strangely difficult to do. Perhaps this represents codependency at its extreme. I don’t know. But we both care and aren’t trying to hurt one another any further. I personally need to work on becoming stronger—mentally, physically, emotionally, and perhaps also spiritually—because that can only help in resolving this matter between us. Plus, it will prove good for me overall. And him, by extension. If we can not undo my progress this time around.

So the nuttiness continues to an extent, yet appears to be being actively curbed. Good for us/me. Radical change is sometimes needed in this life…

What else? Got an idea for the next tattoo I decide to get. Only have 2 small ones thus far, both marking chapters in my life, the first representing my young marriage to my ex-husband, the second representing my entry into sex work thereafter. The next being something to do with infinity, ultimate timelessness, but also pertaining to my Grandparents in a way. Saw the picture frame that now contains their wedding rings and thought about a very simple (and cheap) design that seems right for demarcating the next chapter in my journey. Not certain where I’d like to place it yet. Perhaps the back of my neck/nape. No clue when I’ll eventually decide to get this done.

Trying to figure and sort a lot of shit out right now. Won’t pretend otherwise. Came to be in a lot of pain up in my latest chosen city in the Midwest and just couldn’t break out of the funk for some reason. Tried and failed repeatedly. Got to feeling so unnerved, so desperately seeking, that I finally just had to up and leave for an extended spell. Not that city’s fault — just something going on inside me in recent years. Needed time away and am so fortunate to be granted it. That’s a real blessing. My best guyfriend is a saint in his own right for helping me out as he does. This puts pressure on me to not let others down, but…he knows already that I am a feral cat of sorts and a wanderer, so hopefully his expectations aren’t too high to begin with. Just needing to stick with the program on some level and to find the ways in which I am capable of contributing in a more meaningful way, one of which I am aware of and think about on the hour, every hour. Just a question of honing my skills. And time will tell. Praying I possess enough talent and develop enough discipline to pull that one off over time. Thankfully he believes in me, as do a few others, and I’d really like to not let them down in the end. Though, I can’t help but remain shocked that some people see something in me that I waver on seeing within myself. And that’s exactly why I need to grow and expand and figure this shit out to the best of my ability. Prefer to leave this planet without regrets someday.