Monday, February 26, 2007

Extemporaneous Post

One of the great things about my neighborhood is the large number of cool activities we can do that include the sentence fragment 'we walked to." Here's some of the things that are within walking distance:
  • A Chinese restaurant
  • An Indian restaurant
  • A contemporary Japanese restaurant
  • An Afghanistanian restaurant
  • A 1940's-era dining car converted to a diner
  • A Chinese grocery
  • A fitness club
  • A library
  • The National Toy Hall of Fame
  • A barbershop
  • A Mexican pottery store
  • A movie theater
  • Two Greek restaurants
  • A park designed by Frederick Law Olmstead
For some of you who live in large cities, this may not mean much. But Smugtown is not a big city. Populatio-wise, we're barely a neighborhood compared to some metropolitan areas. I mention this because it still feels real cool to write Last week, the kids and I walked over to the cinema and saw two films that just won Oscars. Because that's what we did. They were showing Happy Feet and Little Miss Sunshine as the double feature.

Reason number one jillion and three why I love my kids so: They liked Sunshine much more than they liked Happy Feet. So did I. I didn't see Dreamgirls,* or any of the other films with Supporting actor nominees in them,** but I will say that Alan Arkin deserved an Oscar for the role. As did Greg Kinnear. And Steve Carrell. And Paul Dano, and Toni Collette, and the freaking Microbus for that matter. It was just a damned good movie.

Happy Feet...not so much. Actually, not at all. Cars was by far the better film. Better story, better acting, and much better CGI. It was so much better, in fact, that the only possible reason it won was because of THE MESSAGE. Because this little film had THE MESSAGE written all over it. And THE MESSAGE was layered on so heavy-handedly that it would be impossible not to get THE MESSAGE, even if you were in the next room. THE MESSAGE was prominent enough for me to write words that I thought I would never, ever write:

Michael Medved was kinda, sorta right about it.

The Hollywood elite chose an inferior movie to a superior one because the former dealt with human-initiated extinction, and the latter was about NASCAR.

Now, I don't argue that the ruination of the earth due to the shortsightedness of a few very rich men is not a topic worth discussion, only that if it didn't have THE MESSAGE, Happy Feet would have been no more considered than Doogal. Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but no way did it deserve an Oscar.

Which worries and pisses me off not a small amount. I do not deny that humans are the root of much ill in this world, but jamming THE MESSAGE into a kids flick will do nothing to rectify the situation. I'm as liberal and as green as they come, but if we start heading back into anything even remotely resembling nineties-style Political Correctness, I swear to God I will drive through the night to Oberlin, and start bashing co-eds over their heads with baby seals.

Subject Change

I needed to get in touch with an old friend Sunday night. We used to work in the same department, but we got split up during a reorganization. I looked up his name in the phone book, and it listed the address and phone number of a house he moved out of two years ago, when he and his wife built a new home in the suburbs. I thought that maybe I was using an old phone book and I called directory assistance, but they gave me the same number. So I wrote him an email instead, pointing this out to him, and here's his reply:

The joys of having digital phone.[***] We've never been a [local phone service] customer at our current address so they won't include our correct phone # in their book. I asked them "OK, you won't print our correct number because we're not one of your customers. I get that. Does this mean you print thousands of wrong numbers because they are not your customers?".

An interesting development in the telephone wars, eh? Phone book exclusion. I wonder how many other folks are being left out because of things like this.


*It's playing there this week, so maybe I will.
**Or maybe I did; I have no freaking clue who else was nominated except Murphy, and I only knew he was from the NPR report this morning.
***We work for a cable company that offers telephony service to its employees for a drastically reduced rate, so when they built their house, of course they went with the cable phone service. The telephone company ran lines up to their house, and they just lay there unconnected.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Stamp Act

I did something I haven't done in quite some time this weekend: I mailed letters. A whole bunch of them.

Most of them were bills. Okay, all of them were bills. One of the bits of fallout from STBEW's shopping spree at my expense was getting a new bank account. This wiped out all of the 'direct pay' options that I had set up on my old account. I love direct pay. Put in the info, hit the 'complete transaction' button, and get back to viewing porn--er--reading up on my blogging buddies. The only problem I have is it takes several weeks to get that first payment through the system. After that, it goes pretty quickly, but since I was already late, I was scratching out amounts on my new checks, stuffing them in envelopes, and slapping them into mailboxes.

Which meant I had to find my stamps and envelopes. Which brought me to the realization that I don't much use the mail.

Want to know how little I use the mail? I found a booklet of first-class stamps with the Statue of Liberty and the words "First Class" on them, but nothing else--like the value of the stamp. And I had no freaking clue how much they were worth.

Why in the hell did the Post Office make stamps without a visible value to them? And why in the hell did I buy them? Furthermore, what does it cost to mail a letter these days?

And finally, am I the only person around who's this clueless about postal rates?

Fortunately, I also found a sheet of stamps with a listed value amount of 39 cents, and I found out that the aforementioned stamp, known as the 'Lady Liberty,' is only worth 37 cents. I found this out on the internets, which are more or less free, and will, I'm assuming, continue to eat into the profits of the United States Postal Service.

True USPS story: an aquaintence of mine from some years back was a postal worker. When I met him, he had been in that job for some time, but he told me about his first day on the job:

"I was taken to the back room at the office, and my supervisor introduced me to another guy, who was supposed to show me how to sort letters. 'The first thing you do is you put your left hand here,' the guy said, and placed his hand on the top of the cabinet, right at eye level. Since I just got out of the Army, I did exactly as I was told. The guy showed me how to sort the letters one-handed. It didn't make sense to me why I couldn't do it two-handed, so after a couple of hours I asked the guy why I had to put my left hand on the cabinet like that. 'Because if you put your hand up like this, you won't hit your head on the metal when you fall asleep.'"

And some other things:

  • Thanks, everyone for your encouraging words regarding my situation with STBEW. I spoke to two lawyers last week about divorce proceedings. The first was an arrogant ass who wanted to plug me into his system and didn't want to hear squat about my situation. The second guy actually listened to me, gave me confidence in his abilities, and I'm hiring him. I'm suing for sole custody.
  • There's a new post over at Celery of Humanity. Go get some snark.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Another Letter


I'm sorry you're in such a shitty situation. I truly am. But I can't help you. And despite what you might think, none of this is my fault.

It's not my fault that you became addicted to alcohol. In fact, I repeatedly warned/cajoled/threatened you about how much you drank. I now know that this was a futile and stupid thing to do, but at the time I thought I could help you.

It's not my fault that you became addicted to pot. You know I never liked the fact that you smoked it. And smoking it with Puddle's friends in our back yard? What were you thinking?

Oh, yeah. You weren't thinking.

It's not my fault that you became addicted to crack. I only found out about your addiction the day after you wrecked the car. Remember that day? You went to your outpatient addiction treatement program, and were supposed to be home at nine. At eleven, I called your friend's house. Her husband told me that she had gone out to help you, because you had been in an accident. After you told me what you were doing in that part of town, I felt very foolish. I thought about all of those times you were sitting in the basement because you wanted to 'meditate' and 'journal' in private. How many of them were you getting high?

It's not my fault that you took the tax return money that year to pay off your drug debts instead of buying a decent car. It's not my fault that I had to open my own checking account in order to protect my income. It is my fault, however, that I did not hide my checks from you.

But that mistake of mine had no impact on where you are now.

It's not my fault that you took the money from those checks to go and buy crack.

It's not my fault, after taking you to an inpatient drug facility, visiting you every weekend, bringing you every thing that you asked for that was allowed, that we didn't get back together. You were the one who told me you weren't coming back. It wasn't my decision.

In retrospect, it was one of the best decisions you ever made. For me, at least.

It's not my fault that, after getting an apartment through a rehabilitation program that was going to send you to school and help you get a job, you blew it by a) fucking a kid younger than your oldest son, and b) lying about it. It's not my fault that they kicked you out of that program. You had it relatively easy. You found another program that paid for a studio apartment. That kid was in the program as an alternative to jail time. He ended up behind bars.

It's not my fault that you chose a possessive, misogyinistic guy for a boyfriend after that. I'm not sure why you had to have a boyfriend at all--especially since we were still technically married. It's not my fault that he and your next boyfriend hate each other. I just set my own boundaries and let you live your life.

It's not my fault that, even knowing in November, a full four months before your agreement ran out (if not sooner), you couldn't find a place to live when your agreement ran out. I allowed you into my house to use my computer to help you search for a new place. More often than not you just played games on it.

It's not my fault that when the day came to move out you were somehow woefully unprepared for moving. I let you borrow my van that day so that you could get things moved out. It's not my fault that you didn't know how to remove the back seat. It was your van too for several years. Especially after you totalled the one car on your crack run.

It's not my fault that you asked your two boyfriends to help you move, even though they hate each other.

It's not my fault that you didn't stay with the one you agreed to stay with.

It's not my fault that you decided to pick up a bottle that night.

It's not my fault that the other guy dumped all your stuff on the curb.

It is my fault, however, that I let you watch the kids here at my house. I thought it was a good way of helping us both out--you could see the kids on a daily basis, and I had someone whom I thought was, despite her troubles, trustworthy enough to watch the kids after school.

It's not my fault that you stole the checks from where they were hidden in my sock drawer.

It's not my fault that you--on four separate occasions--decided to forge my name on those checks in order to buy drugs.

It is my fault, however--because of inattention on my part--that we do not have any sort of formalized separation or divorce proceedings started. I'm working to rectify that right now. I admit that my efforts are hindered somewhat by a sudden lack of funds, but that part is not my fault.

So, when you called me this evening, and begged me to let you stay at my house, I said no. When you promised you wouldn't steal anything else from my house, I still said no. It amazed me that you were amazed to realize that I'm not letting you back into my house. You asked me for how long, and I don't honestly know how long, but I'm pretty sure it's close to forever. You can't understand this, of course, because you're an addict, and you're desparate, but there are consequences to our actions. You can only see the desparate situation that you're in--you can't see the actions that brought you there. You can't see that, from the moment you decided to fuck that boy, you pointed yourself in this direction. You can't see that you've used up all of my good will--far more good will, I might add, than most people in my situation would offer--and there's none left for me to give.

You can't see that I'm doing the only thing that I can in this situation.

Because if I did anything else, it would be my fault.



Odds and ends for my friends:

1) What the hell is Hi-5? I recieved an invitation from a friend to join this network. Since she has been known to post some rather--ahem--interesting photographs, I eagerly joined. While filling out the information, I clicked through a screen that invited everyone I had ever emailed into the network. It wasn't until after my finger had fully depressed the mouse button that I realized what it was that I had done. It looks like it's some sort of social network. Do any of you use it on a regular basis? I'm not against social networking, but I'm a little bit suspicious of one that makes it so easy to mistakenly invite so many people. Especially when my home page shows me that I'm 'networked' to a 21-year-old lesbian girl from Columbus, Ohio, who apparently doesn't realize she's outgrown her middle school uniform--and I can't get her off my homescreen.

In my defense, I offer only that my friend takes very--ahem--interesting photographs. And as I look at her blog, it appears that she also did the exact same thing. This is very viral, and unless I hear from folks about what a good site it is, I don't think I'll be doing anything with it. Apologies to everyone who joined just because I did.

2) New post on Celery of Humanity. Go look.

3) Phone conversation Monday morning:

"What are you guys doing today?"
"Well, I'm just about to leave to help some friends move into a new house, and the kids are playing over at another friend's house while I work. Then this evening, we're going to go to the movies. Why?"
"Can I please come over and do laundry?"
"I have no clean clothes!"
"I'm sorry."
"When can I see the kids?"
"When do you want to see them?"
(long pause. I continue)
"We've already got plans for most of Tuesday. Would Wednesday work? Tell me where you want to meet, and I'll bring the kids there for a while. I need to get my keys back from you anyhow."
(still no response. one of my biggest peeves I've had with her is her predeliction for calling me, and then not speaking.)
"I'm guessing you need more time to work this out. I need to go. Is there anything else?"
"Okay. Good-bye."

My friend Mike's view on this is that if it feels like I'm being an asshole, I'm probably doing the right thing. If that's the case, then that conversation must have been the right thing.


Sunday, February 18, 2007


Monday is midpoint between my two youngest kids' birthdays. My daughter turned nine on Saturday, My youngest son turns eleven on Wednesday. (Also, Lt. Trouble turns 26 on the 26th,* and as you may recall, STBEW's birthday was the first. Cousins had birthdays on the 5th, 9th and 11th of February, too.)

Luckily, I had already bought the kids their birthday presents before STBEW cleaned out my account.

I'm keeping all the birthday celebrations kind of low-key this year. For one thing, I've got a bunch of freelance jobs this week, including the evenings of both of their birthdays, so I'm not going to be around as much as I would like.

And I'm not very much in a celebratory mood.

But still, it is birthday week, and it is also winter break from school, so I'm doing what I can. So, on Monday, Puddle will stop by and we'll have barbecue chicken pizza, chocolate and vanilla cake, and afterwards, we'll head over to the Cinema, where Happy Feet is playing. And sometime this week, the cousins will stop by and we'll all go sledding and have hot chocolate and leftover cake afterwards.

Noticeably missing from all this will be the children's mother. She called on Saturday and spoke briefly with my daughter. She called just before we were to leave to go to their raquetball practice. STBEW knew what time that was, so the phone call time was not coincidental. According to my daughter, STBEW said she hoped I would let them see her soon.


If she calls on Wednesday, I'll see if I can explain to her that I'm not forbidding her from seeing the kids. If she wants to see them, we'll set up a time and place for her to see them, and I'll hang out a discrete distance away to allow them some privacy. And if she complains about this, I'll remind her again about how little I trust her right now, and the very good reasons why I don't.

I've gotten various reports about STBEW. The current ex-boyfriend she's living with left me a message saying she's going into rehab. Lt. Trouble--who was going to jump into the middle of this and try to 'rescue' me before I told him it was none of his business and that I didn't need rescuing--told me she's serious about getting a job.

I could care less. Really. I want to care less.

Right now, I think about her constantly. About how she stole from me. About how screwed up her life is. About whether or not she'll try to steal from me again. Or if she'll try and get the kids. And I don't want to do that anymore. I'm doing the right things. I know I am. And I'm aware that I'm angry with her, but I'm not letting my anger cloud my judgement. But right now, she's in my head, and so far I haven't been able to get her out of it.

I don't want anything bad to happen to her. Let me rephrase: I don't want any more bad things to happen to her, self-inflicted or not.

I don't wish her ill. I also don't wish her here.


*In case you're wondering, Puddle's birthday is November 11th. We still trying to figure that out, too.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Waiting for the Cops

The meatloaf is in the oven, and the kids are watching Disney Channel. The house is nice and warm--a stark contrast to the cold and blowing storm outside. There's some clothes to be folded in some baskets in the kitchen, but other than that, the house neat enough; cozy, even.

And on top of that, It's Valentine's Day.

A perfect day to send my wife to jail.

I called the cops. I have no idea when they'll be here, but when they do, I'll give them the information about what she did, and let it be in the hands of the law.

Earlier today, after shoveling out the driveway, I took the kids to the bank, and filled out all the information about the forgery. On two of the checks, she had written 'happy birthday.' Her birthday's February 1st.

I cried.

She called me this afternoon, and begged me to not call the cops. She told me the ex-boyfriend who threw out all of her stuff last week was going to give her the money to pay me back. Last night, she told me the ex-boyfriend that she's currently living with was going to pay me back.

She uses people as well as drugs.

Then she got mean. She told me that I had taken her kids away from her. She told me that I was poisoning their minds against her. She told me that the reason they don't respect her is because I don't respect her.

I reminded her that she was the one who left me. I shouldn't have done that. Arguing with an addict does nothing but make you crazy. I've been crazy. I don't want to be there again.

Pity, anger, denial. These are the tools of the addict.

I think that on some level, she wants me to have her arrested. This way she can blame me for all her problems.


The cop just left. Doesn't look like they can arrest her. Since we're still technically married, they can't do anything. They're going to talk to the DA, but I doubt that this will end with an arrest.

What this episode has shown me, though, is that I have to get off my butt and go through with the divorce.

But tonight, after dinner, the kids and I are going to the Y and we're going to swim. That will be my valentine for the day.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I got a call from my ex. I was glad. I had left a message for her to call me today.

I was surprised when she called me, though, because I really didn't think I would hear from her. Because she stole from me. She took some checks from a register, forged my signature, and cleared out my bank account.

I mentioned in an earlier post, she's been getting the kids off the bus at my house since she lost her apartment. And, as I mentioned in the next post, she had broken her abstinence from alcohol.

Apparently, she also decided to use some other drugs, too. Or not. Maybe she spent the money on Stiffel lamps. I don't care. All I know is I have a bunch of bills to pay, and twenty-five dollars in my pocket.

But that doesn't matter. Okay, it does matter, and I have some work to do. But it's not the important thing.

The important thing is protecting myself and my kids. The important thing is getting some distance between her and me.

A lot of people are telling me I should press charges. I'm not sure how many crimes she's committed, but among them are forgery, larceny, and fraud. I don't know if I'm going to press charges. I'll certainly look into it as an option, but it's not like I'll see the money back any time soon. She told me that the guy she's living with will pay me back eventually. I don't even know if I want that.

The phone call was one of the hardest things I've had to deal with in a long time. She admitted that she took the checks and cashed them. She told me that the four she cashed were all she had. She was in agony. That it was a hell of her own creation made this no less difficult.

I made a conscious effort to remain neutral while I talked to her. I didn't offer sympathy, nor did I scream and yell. The truth of the matter is that I'm not angry with her. I'm incredibly sad. But I did not let that sadness color my judgement in this.

I told her I needed to get my key back for the apartment. I told her that I might go to a lawyer and see about getting full custody of the kids--the divorce is still in the proceedings stage, so there will probably be some flexibility.

"Please don't take my kids," she sobbed.

I could have said something very cutting and nasty here. Once upon a time, I would have. It didn't even occur to me tonight. I told her she had much more important things to think about than the kids right now.

And, I told her that she will always be their mother--I can never take that away.

I guess that this is a sign of my own recovery, then--that I can deal with this sort of stuff with sadness rather than anger or fear.

As I type this, I'm also watching the news. They're predicting a foot or more of snow by morning, and a storm that will continue through the evening tomorrow. I'm waiting to see if they close the schools tomorrow. So far, it's still open. Even if it's closed, I think I'm not going to go to work tomorrow. I have too much stuff to do.

And as I watch the news, and see the snow gathering outside, I can take comfort, because I'm not longer looking for protection from the storm. The storm will come, as storms do. What I have is protection in the storm.


Monday, February 12, 2007

An Open Letter (IV)

Dear God:

What's with the ear hair?

What possible reason do You have for planting mini forests on my antihelix? There's so many things about growing old that are weird, and I'm cool with most of them--like the grey in the beard, the thin hair on top, the gravel-filled knees. I shrug and I move on. Actually, I don't shrug all that much anymore, due to my rotator cuff injury. You catch my drift. But ear hair? It's itchy, it's ugly, and it's a bitch to trim, plus I have a sneaking suspicion those follicles are the primary reason my ear buds keep popping out when I listen to my ipod. Couldja do something about this, please?

An another subject: it really bugs me when I'm thirsty and have to go pee at the same time. It seems pretty darned inefficient. Especially when most places put the water fountains right next to the rest rooms, making me stop and wonder which should I do first--get a drink, or get rid of one? The whole thing just doesn't make much sense, if you ask me.

And maybe this one has nothing to do with You, but as long as you're reading this--why is it that whenever I come out of a store, my car keys are always in the pocket that corresponds with the hand that has the most stuff in it?

Yeah, I know--this is all petty stuff. But sometimes I just gotta vent, You know?

Okay that's all I got. Thanks for listening.


ps: I'm serious about the ear hair.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

New Links

You'll notice on the side there that there are three new places to click to from my site. I thought I'd take a moment to introduce them to you

The first link probably needs no introduction to most of you. I see Cadbury commenting on lots of your blogs already, and your names pop up on his blog as well. He's going through the trials and tribulations of divorcing the mother of his children, and it's both strange and comforting to know that others are going through the same shit as I am.

The second link is to a Food blog that Cad invited me to join. It's a bunch of bloggers from all over the North American Continent swapping recipes, and I'm one of them. Go over there, and you'll discover a wide range of recipes--some high calorie, some low, some hard, others quite easy, and all of them sound like things I'd like to try. And if you look hard enough, you'll find some information about the avocado that I guarantee you will never forget.

The last link is a new blog I'm starting. Its name derives from a line I used in the comment section of another person's blog. You can probably guess its content. I've only posted one thing there, but I think it's got potential. If you like the basic idea, and would like to play along, let me know.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

An Open Letter (III)

Dear News-based webpages:

Stop posting dead baby porn.

Why do it, you supposedly serious journalistic endeavors? Why put links to stories that tell us of fathers who let their toddlers freeze to death, or mothers who drown their children? What is the point? I understand the need for 'human interest' stories, but at what point do we stop?

I vote for someplace waaay short of these stories. The side of decency.

These stories are pornographic. Is that too strong a word? The third definition in Webster's online dictionary is: the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction.

Doesn't that fit? What better word for it?

There is nothing in these stories that is redeeming, or noteworthy. It is a tragedy of the deepest proportions, best shared with the fewest number of people. Not hidden, though--the people who are responsible for these deaths should face the penalties for their egregious behavior. Stories of child predators serve a purpose of sorts--they remind us that these sort of people are out there.

But there's no damned good reason those stories should go past the local stage. Other than for the emotional boners some sick fucks get from reading this stuff.

If you want to titillate your audience, go ahead and run stories about an accomplished woman whose sex and love addiction has probably destroyed her life. Make sure you mention the diapers. Or have a field day about a woman whose cause of death should be listed as "being Anna Nicole Smith."

But leave the dead babies out of it.


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Monday, February 05, 2007

Aqua Teen Hunger Farce

I can't tell you how truly pissed I am that Turner agreed to foot the bill for Boston's over-reaction to an ad campaign. And it's not just because I'm a shareholder. A bunch of law-and-order metafascists go apeshit over some throwies that have been hanging around for two weeks, and a corporation has to foot the bill?

There was absolutely no reason for the reaction in Boston. None. Well, one, but it's not a good one and I'll get to it soon. Some very, very basic police work could have discovered what they were. They were up there for more than a week--possibly two. Are you telling me that Boston's finest don't patrol the harbor or check the tunnels on a regular basis? Are you telling me that not one single cop saw those things before some shmuck called 911, most likely bitching about getting the finger from a Lite-Brite? Are you telling me that no one--not one cop on the beat, when getting the phone call decided to stroll up to one of these things and, oh I dunno--TAKE A LOOK AT IT? Not a single person had the balls to say 'hey, it's just a circuit board hooked up to a battery--let's not go nuts here.'

I'm guessing that some cops did just that. I would bet my left nut that more than one beat cop did exactly that--especially the ones with teenagers who stay up too late and don't seem motivated to do anything not like i was a kid lemme tell you that.

But--and again this is only my guess, no facts to back it up--I'm guessing that someone farther up the ladder decided to hit the panic button and roll out the heavy weaponry (including, I might add, Fox News) to battle the ravaging effects of a viral marketing campaign. And their reasoning was simple:

It was marketing.

Not the viral marketing of a cult TV show. The marketing of fear.

Making this big noise over this small thing brings once again to the forefront the War on Terror. It was a win-win situation for the metafascists. Either the devices were bombs, and the squads do their thing and Save the Day, or someone gets their pee-pees whacked for fucking with the police. Either way, Fox gets its headline, and fear gets another day in the sun.

And the police state tightens its grip on the country. Because this is serious damnit. Not funny at all.

Unfortunately, the viral marketers win.

No. Recast the sentence.

Fortunately, the viral marketers win.

I don't know many people who are outraged over the placing of the displays. I guessing there are some, but none around here. However, I do know many people who have negative opinions over the way this was handled.

As long as every 'emergency' is treated like a media event, stuff like this is going to happen. Sirens will wail, lights will flash, satellite trucks will be dispatched, and the metafascists will point with outrage at yet another reason to suppress our liberties. Either it's the terrorists who love us for our freedom, or a bunch of kids daring to actually act upon those supposed freedoms.

And Turner goes along, because it's cheaper to lay out two mill than it is to take this to court. God, I wish someone in the corporation had the balls to stand up and say no. No payment, no apology. If these kids are guilty of anything, it might be a misdemeanor bill-posting violation. We'll pay that ticket. Everything else is on the city. Try and prove otherwise.

Unfortunately, it's all bottom line now. I wish Ted was back in charge.

I keep thinking about a movie I saw back in the 1980's called Something Wild. The climax of the movie takes place in a bathroom, where Ray Liotta's character is attempting to beat Melanie Griffith's character to death.

"Look what you've made me do!" he screams at her.

That's what Boston screamed at a bunch of kids promoting Meatwad.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

You Think Parking Laws Are Tough in YOUR Town...

Yes, we take parking very seriously here in Smugtown...

Very seriously, indeed.

Not only do you get a ticket, but you face serious social ostracization as well.

Actually, I walk past this sign every Saturday morning, and I keep forgetting to bring my camera. I remembered it today.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Yo Voy Para Abajo

Shortly after shutting it down last night, the phone rings. It's one of STBEW's current/ex boyfriends. The one she told me she was staying with. The one that doesn't send warning signals cascading through my nervous system.

He gives me the other current/ex's cel phone number, and tells me to call to find out where STBEW is, because she's "drunk as a skunk." That's the phrase he used.

I dialed and the phone rang, and I wondered why I was doing that. In my sleepy state, it seemed like it was the thing to do. The voicemail was on, so thankfully, I left a message, saying that if there was a problem to let me know.

A minute later the phone rings again. She's calling me. There's no doubt that she's drunk. She tells me she's fine.

I've written and erased a dozen things here. There's a lot of stuff going on...resentments, anger, a bunch of her stuff being thrown to the curb, and more. The bottom line is, she's in a world of shit. Yes, she put herself there, but that doesn't mean it's not painful to watch. This is the mother of my children. The woman that I pledged eternal love to. The one I thought I would live with for the rest of my life.

And she's scared, and confused, and depressed, and not making many good choices right now. And there's not a damned thing I can do about it.

Then there's some practical matters, too. Like the fact that she watches our kids when they get off the bus every day. Can I trust her to do this every day? And do it sober?

In my last post, I mentioned my friend Mike, who went through much of this when he was younger. I talked with him today, abou this and other things. He told me that when one of his daughters was nine, she told him she wished she was older, so she could have known her Mom "when she was nice."

Not too many years ago, but before I met him, Mike's ex checked herself into a hospital with a relatively minor ailment--dizzyness, or something. While she was there, she suffered a heart attack, then a stroke, liver failure, kidney failure--oh yeah, she had lung cancer too. She was dead in four days. Her entire body just shut down all at once.

I've been thinking about Mike's ex-wife a lot these past few days.

I pray that, no matter what else happens in your lives, you don't have to watch someone you love tear themself apart. I can't imagine watching someone dying of cancer would be any worse.

The title of this post is one of the few Spanish phrases I know. I thought it meant "I am going downstairs." Truth be told, it is used in that context. But it's not really what it means.

It means "I'm going down." I won't be, but I'm afraid my ex is.