Sunday, October 30, 2011

Five Hours of Darkness

So the snow fell and the power went out.  To be perfectly honest, I didn't expect it to be as bad as it was.  I had planned an evening of bouncing around, checking out some Halloween costumes, then off to bed, with the hopes of a full day of football.  Then the lights went out.  I went out to see if any of my watering holes were open to shed some light on the evening, but the signs all read "closed."  I came back to the dark confines of my apartment and quickly my phone died and then my computer, my lone source of light, started to fade.  I turned it off and laid in bed.  For five hours, I sat in sheer darkness.  Alone, like so many other nights, with my thoughts.

I thought about how maybe a mile away, a young girl sips her vodka and tonic as a man across the bar stares, wondering what she might be like in bed.  How an older couple, decided to hop in the car and take refuge at a restaurant with hopes the power might be on when they came home.  Or how a family of four hit the movie theater a few towns over for a little distraction from the woes the storm had caused.  More than any of those things, I thought about me.  I thought about the loneliness of laying in the dark.  Not a candle or flashlight to be found.  Alone, laying under the warm comforter.  This time, not by choice.

I spent hours thinking about a short while ago, thinking about many years ago and thinking about my childhood and the times there was no power, but I wasn't alone.  I thought about how, despite the inconvenience of having no light in which to see, the heightened awareness that came from it. I thought about the sounds of fire engines when the city went black as a child.  The sound of people sitting on their Brooklyn stoops, drinking and smoking, chatting about the magnitude of a city under darkness and how they personally didn't have a care in the world.  I thought about later years, dining by candlelight with my parents.  Meeting friends out at a bar for cold beers, plunged into mounds of ice, acting as if this was business as usual and I thought about the most recent time on that Sunday evening, when the lights really didn't matter. 

I thought about friends of mine, close and not.  I thought about a girl, I once kissed and how much it meant to me at the time and how wrong it was and how it probably meant something then, but nothing now.  I reread an e-mail in my head, this time reading between the lines and felt fault.  I retraced steps of where I've gone wrong in so many ways and thought how given the opportunity, I'd probably make those same mistakes.  I thought about my father and grandmother and how much I look forward to seeing them.  I looked at mental pictures of people I have no actual pictures with.  They're out of focus and my memory is blurred, like so much of my past.

The hours went on and thoughts of lives and loves that have made a difference to me.  It's funny how so many people, who I've spent countless hours with have had such little impact on my life, but some who passed, ever so briefly have given me lasting memories.  I thought about a friend who was just a friend and wondered what would have happened if I had just asked.  My mind raced around to people I know, young and old and the odd things that have happened along the way.  I thought about how my life would have been different if my morals and ethics didn't always get in the way.  I wondered how things would be different if I'd pursued friends and lovers the way that so many others do.  Without a care in the world for that person's feelings.  I wondered what it would be like to be that person.  I thought about that briefly and then thought to myself; I'd rather be lonely and at peace with who I am, than to be surrounded, but lonely inside.

As the hours went by and my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I thought about how a blind person must see the world.  To be accustomed to waking up without sight.  I tried to imagine that.  I imagined the smell of someone's body lotion.  That smell, I quickly grew accustomed to as they sat next to me getting dressed.  That subtle fruit fragrance, mixed with the cream they applied.  I thought about their smooth as silk skin and how I loved that feeling.  I thought about that one dry spot on their back, they couldn't reach.   My hands always found their way to that spot, maybe to remind me it wasn't a dream.  I thought about the soft purr of their breathe as they slept next to me. That soothing sound that let me know that they were really there.  I thought about how they tasted as I kissed them.  How even without sight, I could fall in love all over and how this is what draws us in to people.  There is something about everyone we've ever been with or fell for.  It's always at first sight, but it's the one's who tingle all the other senses that we love.  It's not only people, it's everything.  It's the smells and tastes of mom's cooking.  It's the sounds and touch of a cat laying on top of you purring.  It means so much.  We depend on sight for everything, but once we get past the aesthetic beauty of things, is when we truly begin to love.

I sat in the dark for five hours and I've never seen so clearly.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Homage To My Facebook Friends

OK, this will probably irritate or embarrass some, but I have hit the wall on ideas for my blog.  So I've decided to go back to Sunday morning and look at all the people who took time to comment on my Facebook wall and I'm going to comment on all of them.  I'll keep their last names hidden, but it will be obvious who they are.  If you are offended by anything I write, ask me to take it off and I will.  Other than that, here it is.  In order of posts.

Susanne - a good friend from years back.  Someone I actually liked a lot back in the day, but she was dating a friend of mine at the time.  Haven't seen her in years, but still consider her a good friend.

Christina - wise beyond her years. If I was 15 years younger or she was 15 years older, I'd definitely try and make her boyfriend fall in front of a car (JK, Justin).  Very intelligent, which means she'd probably argue with me and then dump  me anyway.  Thank goodness she's too young!

Joe - an old friend.  Used to think he was a little nuts.  Now I know it.  But love when he posts!  Miss hanging out with him and his brother in their parents basement!

Nate - a guy I miss terribly.   Only lives about 45 minutes away and it's been forever since I've seen him and his wonderful wife.  They are two of the best people I've ever known!  And ladies...he's hot!

Ann Marie - One of the most caring people.  Mentions food on Facebook and if I comment she invites me over (and means it).  Known her for years and watched her kids grow up.   Great person.  And puts up with Paul, so she's an angel too!

Ron - funny how we've become better friends probably since Facebook, but known each other forever.  Graduated with his sis, who I always adored.  We differ in opinions on various topics, but have great debates.  Great fun talking to him.

Mike - My favorite debater.  We have had public and private debates.  Used to play basketball back in the day.  Always a good guy. One of the people I'm happy I joined Facebook to reconnect with.  I even let it slide he's a Yankees fan.   Just adds to our debating!

Rob - one of my oldest Eastchester friends.  We don't see each other much, but we've spent many crazy nights together (not sexual).  Introduced me to Lomo Saltado, anticuchos and has one of the most beautiful daughters in the world.  Someone I know I'll always be able to sit down and watch a game, eat some grub and possibly bring home odd bouncers from the bar (again, not sexual...master chief!)

Brian - one of my newest friends, but someone I confide in. One of the best people around. Miss the hell out of him and plan to visit whenever I get the funds together.  I don't like desserts, but this man made me the greatest birthday cake I've ever had...let's just say Reese's Peanut butter cup....times 10!

Heather - a friend I've known for years and only recently been reunited with.  She's also dating a friend of mine (so I have to go easy on the niceties, haha).  Great person, great mom and a formidable foe in Words and Hanging with Friends!

Anthony - friend from back in the day.  Saw him last year after ages.  Remember listening to gangster rap with him, before it was cool.  The world's biggest Kiss fan.  Spent some nights very late in some weird places, with weird people with this guy.

Onie - What can't I say.  Everyone knows Onie as Christian on my page.  I have to be careful, because I've been sacked by him back in the day.  Another brother of a friend from HS who I am better friends with now than back in the day!

Cat - she lives in Australia, so I never see her anymore.  Was the nanny to one of the greatest families in Scarsdale.  Someone I saw and talked to every school day for a few years and who helped out a lot when I was just getting started in the after school world.

Chris - another guy, I never really hung out with that much way back when, other than playing football.  Seems like a trend of being friends with people who used to tackle me.  Used to be quite the partier back in the day, when I was a lightweight.  I should have hung out with him with the new me!

Kim - a new friend and someone I care a lot about.  Someone I fell head over heals with too quickly.  Things aren't great, but something tells me, we're going to be friends (even if just casual) for a long time.  She's the kind of person that, for me, comes along only a few times in a lifetime.  Very few people see the real her. I did and it's very special.

Martina - met her last year.  She's married to a friend of mine, but we talk a lot when he's not around, haha.  Had a great time with her recently, when she followed a fancy night out drinking champagne with a day at the Kilt with the boys, eating greasy food and watching football.  Very cool...even though she wants the Kilt to get a Cappucino machine!

Greg - the man who gave me my job at Birchmont.  Thank goodness he didn't ask me to send a picture or I'd never have gotten the job.  I owe him a ton!  Plus, he's a great guy, who I had many a beer with at the bank.  Great fun.  Love talking sports with him and miss it.

Ken - no matter what.  No matter what ups and downs there have been.  He's always going to be part of my inner circle.  I don't love many people.  He is definitely one of them. 

Walter - another of my older friends.  Class guy. Always had great fun playing every sport imaginable.  Live in the same town and I've seen him maybe five times since HS and mostly in the last two years.  Can't wait to get together during the holiday season when another friend will be in town.

Mike - or as we call him Irish Mike.  Known him over a year and met while ridiculing his Raiders.  Then found that aside from liking different ends of a fierce rivalry, we agree on almost everything else.  The more I get to know him, the more I like him.  Plus, he's a little more knowledgable about politics, so I just wait for him to comment and hit "like." 

Karin (the Westchester one) - great mom, great person and she puts up with Ricky, so she should be sainted.  Throws awesome BBQ's.  Is a sweetheart and has the most adorable little girl.  Always has a smile! Funny how she's one of the people I've known for a lot longer than I think.  kicks my ass in words with friends...but doesn't brag about it like Ricky!

Cooney - Awesome guy who is absolutely the best drinking partner ever.  Somehow has the ability to drink more Jameson than I do, which is truly amazing.  We once drank 17 shots each, while drinking all day.  He went home and drank wine and watched TV.  I'm pretty sure I showered fully dressed.  Haven't hung out recently and that needs to change!

Arthur - part of the C clan.  All good guys ( did I just say that?).  Haven't seen Arthur in ages and just caught up on Facebook.  Hope to get together one of these years.

Sue - so sweet and so adorable.  Love when I used to run into her.  Probably wrong I'd always hit on her in front of whoever she was dating...even when it was my ex's cousin.  Miss seeing her.

Ariel - one of my favorite Birchmont Babes.  Great fun.  Absolutely adorable.  Love food.  Wow...how the heck didn't I hit on her back in the day?  Now she's taken!  Doh!

Steve - bailed me out when I needed a job.  Friend from way way way back in the day.  Wish I could have continued, but I'm in about as bad shape as anyone can be at my age. The aches and pains, plus the odd hours just beat me up.  Hopefully run into him soon at PK's.


Mags - friend from HS, who I truly wish I got to know better.  I think we had maybe two classes together in all of HS.  Love reading some of the witty stuff she posts on Facebook. 

Amy - I stopped calling her my friend's sister (sista) and started calling her my friend.  She's great fun and love when her, mom and sista get together.  She deserves all the best.  Going through a tough time, but she's got those two behind her and others.  She's going to be fine...maybe even better.  Just don't over serve her, haha!

Amy L - an old friend and my female movie me.  Probably the only female (no offense ladies) I will listen to movie recommendations from.  I've even forgiven her for Disco Pigs.  No matter what, we'll always have the Fountain!  She's awesome!  Miss hanging with her though.  Gonna have to make Joe babysit one night and get her out!

Fin - The best bartender ever.  Even better person. I never go to the city, but I miss him.  Who would have thought that a place could change so much by one person leaving.  It's absolutely incredible.  I will be visiting very soon.  Some of the best nights in the last two years I completely attribute to him.

Mike T - haven't hung with him for a while, but great "kid."  Love reading his stuff on Facebook and love his comments.  He deserves all the happiness his FB pics seem to show.  Keep it going.

If you didn't show up here it simply means you didn't comment in the last week.  Doesn't mean I haven't thought about you or don't have something great to say about you.  Probably don't, because out of sight out of mind...right?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ten Random Thoughts About The Last Few Weeks

I know people are tired of hearing about my relationship and job woes.  I'm tired of hearing about them.  I also think people are probably thinking I'm obsessed with politics, but the reality is I'm not.  I just hate all the random posts that aren't true.  I'd defend the opposite of my beliefs if I believed it to be true.  I have learned a few things over the last few weeks and for the sake of time, I'm going to list them....as I'm known to do.  In no order, here they are.

Despite not being someone I normally hang out with.  Despite being older.  Despite having more pressing issues with their own life.  I realized that someone I see often, but sometimes take for granted is one of my best friends in the world.  No matter where I am in my life.

A five year old child, who I have only met four times in my life, is the person that brings me the most happiness in my life.  His innocent exuberance towards everything is so refreshing.

I have not fulfilled any of my resolutions from 2010 in the last two years.  That being said, before the year is out, I want t a pet.  I need unconditional love.  Since I don;t seem to be able to find any conditional.

In the same week, one person threatened to come after me physically and one person promised to stop speaking for me.  I'm deathly afraid of the latter.

Some people don't realize I'm not their friend anymore and some people don't know how much our chats, texts, games of WWF and Hanging with Friends mean.

Having to rely on other people so much lately has made me realize if I ever get sick, I'm ending it...for them, not for me.

Recently I've wanted to write some very personal blogs, but I don't know who reads them and they might mention people I'm friends with on Facebook.  One might even implicate me in something I'd rather not be associated with, but is still an odd lasting memory.

I'm greatly worried about someone I rarely speak to.  It's kept me up many nights and I wish I could somehow take her pain away.  She has so much more to live for than so many.  Life is not fair.

In four weeks, I'm going to go to Ithaca to spend Thanksgiving with my father, grandmother, brother and sister-in-law.  Part of me doesn't want to come back here.  A huge part.  Pretty much all of me, but the part that sees a group of kids for five hours a week.

In the past five or six weeks, I've been called blind, obsessive, bi-polar, crazy, naive, silly, immature, compulsive, needy, too compassionate, loving, miserable, intelligent, patient, impatient, caring, sensitive, manipulative, manipulated, jealous and angry.  Somewhere in there middle of all that is ME.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Film Festival At Home

So Halloween falls on a Monday this year, but you want to celebrate the entire weekend with a film festival of scary flicks.  Well, you can get anything, but I think there are some essentials and some rules to follow.  One is that the movies can't just be scary.  They have to have some scary character that couldn't technically looks like anyone you know.  For this reason, movies like Jaws and Pan's Labyrinth, while great, aren't really this holiday's theme. People who go crazy are good, but not realistic enough.  We need someone behind a mask or in some sort of disguise. So the Omen, The Shining, and Audition are out.  Van Helsing has all the characters associated with horror, but it is pretty much fluff, so it's out too.  So are Candyman, Hellraiser and Phantasm because the majority of them just aren't that scary.  So let's go with five movies.  Double features on Friday and Saturday and a solo flick to top it off Sunday.  This will get us ready for the big day on Monday.

Friday night one should thrust themselves into the terror.  My suggestion is the original Nosferatu.  One of the best horror films of all time, but at the same time a great love story.  It's black and white, silent and has one of the creepiest looking people ever on film.  Max Schrek does for Dracula what nobody has ever done since.  He scares us and makes us sympathize with his loneliness.  After this film, we need to step up the intensity a notch.  I say we go with Night of the Living Dead.  Filmed almost entirely in a basement.  It's more of a thriller than a horror movie, but has all the thrills and chills we desire.  The slow disintegration of the people's minds trapped inside makes the viewer almost claustrophobic.  The fact they are fighting unexplained zombies makes it perfect for Halloween.

Saturday night start off with another classic.  I suggest Frankenstein.  Similar to Nosferatu it is scary, but tells a sad story at the same time.  A monster who didn't ask to be one.  Who isn't really a monster at all, but has been brought to life by a mad doctor.  Great film with the amazing Boris Karloff as the monster.  I'm always amazed at how many people have never seen this film.  After this, we're jumping into the greatest horror film of all time.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  Filmed on what looks like a $20 budget, this strangely violent-less film is one of the scariest and best films I've ever seen. I argue all the time, that this transcends horror, because it's so out there, that it feels real.  When there is violence, you almost feel as if they budget was so low, they really had to go through with the gruesome acts.  It's absolutely numbing the first time you see it.  It also has one of, if not the oddest villain of all time, Leatherface!  Watch the steel door, it will send shivers down your spine.

OK, so now it's Sunday.  One day away and we can only have one movie left.  John Carpenter's original...Halloween.  If Michael Myers didn't scare you as a child, you probably had as much wrong with you as he did.  Now, the movie isn't nearly as scary as an adult and you will question why a wire hanger does more to him than a gun, but as a child, you are mesmerized.  It's easily one of the most scary movies for a child, because the horror takes place in a home.  Plus, is there anything nearly as creepy as the music?

So grab some popcorn, grab some bite size chocolates, candy corn and whatever else your little heart desires.  Candy eaten at Halloween doesn't have calories....remember that.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Truly Bothering Me

I haven't written a blog in a few days.  It's not because I don't have anything to say, it's actually the opposite.  I wrote a blog the other night and it was about a few things.  It was about my being out of work and the pain it causes me when I talk to people making $100,000+ a year who can barely put a sentence together.  It was about about friends whose indiscretions I have let slide and how it's come back to bite me in the ass.  It was about the rampant infidelity running around the Eastchester area and the Catch-22 it puts me in.  Do I lose a friend to do what's right?  And at the end of the day, is it right?  I also wrote about my botched recent relationship and the differing opinions on what went wrong and my inability to make it right.  I spoke about my recent political debates, both in person and online that sometimes get heated, but always respectful, until one person decided to call me out on Facebook and make it personal.  The person and I got very nasty and normally, I'd feel guilty stooping to that level, but I know enough about this person to know they are the type of person you'd piss on if they were on fire.  The funniest thing was this person called me a tough guy, but posed a threat (online no less), telling me he was coming to find me and that we'd meet face to face.  I can't tell you the number of people that contacted me telling me what a complete asshole this guy is.  Ironically many of these people are people he calls good friends.  At the end of it, the therapy I gain from some of these blogs was received just from putting it down.  I then deleted the blog and went to bed.  I slept pretty well that night.  For a change.

So I decided to make a short list of things that are truly bothering me.  Truly make me wonder about the whole mankind thing.  I feel we're falling into an abyss of mediocrity and people have just stopped trying.  I don't like what I hear on a day to day basis and at times it truly scares me.   Here's some of the things on the top of my list.

I've read multiple articles about kids and television, computers and other devices that act as an electronic babysitter.  I'm so opposed to this.  I have stated before that if I ever have kids, despite my love for Sesame Street.  My children will not learn about Elmo from my home.  I will talk to them, read to them and play with them.  I did not have a TV in my bedroom until I was 19. My brother never had one while he lived at home (although he was more addicted to the computer due to his age).  I see the kids that get plopped in front of TVs and I see the effects socially.  It pains me, because its too sensitive a matter to bring up to anyone who is not family.  The negatives far outweigh your 30 minutes of quiet time on a Tuesday evening.

People who bash the OWS who don't get it.  I really don't have much more to say about that.  If you couldn't take five minutes out of your day to try and understand that the majority of America is tired of having 1-2% of the country control it, then you are too lazy to argue with.  I also don't like people who argue, but don't know the facts.  I recently had a discussion with someone who went so crazy, they walked out of the bar we were in and didn't come back.  How do you expect to be taken seriously when you can't have a debate with friends?

The public's perception of someone who changes something in their life is skewed.  I decided to stop  drinking for a bit, due to numerous reasons.  Now when people see me, they have mixed emotions,  Some see it as a sign of weakness.  For those people, I say, you want me to drink?  Pay my bar tab!   Some see admitting a problem publicly is a fault. to those I say, look in the mirror and who has more faults.  Some think it was a scam to try and woo a girl back.  For those, I say, she's been gone a month and a half and I'm still not drinking. Was she the catalyst?  Absolutely, but that is not to say there weren't bigger reasons (money for example).  Here's the funny thing that differentiates me from most.  I'm the exact same person drunk as I am sober.  Sure when I'm drunk, I might make stupid phone calls or texts, but the reality is I do those sober too.  Just not 15 times in one night...usually 4-5 though.  I have friends who think it is great, but sometimes I think there reasoning is more selfish.  Some might think it's good, because they can't go out with such frequency and feel jealous.  Some because it's just not what they do to socialize.  Some are genuinely happy, because they feel I will add years to my life and be around a little longer for them to bust my balls.  I appreciate the busting.  I do.

I also have a problem with people's honesty, sincerity and their inability to be real.  I hate when I hang out with a group of people and the second one of them leaves, the others start badmouthing that person.  Even worse, is when you leave and then you get phone calls telling that this one said this and that one said that.  If you feel that way about someone, why would you hang out with them.  I also have a hard time with people just saying how they feel about you to your face.  I'm not talking about when you're in an argument, sometimes that's better left unsaid.  I mean, if you have a problem with the fact that I'm smitten with someone, that you don't think is right for me...don't tell ten of my friends.  Tell me.  If you think I'm not looking hard enough for a job, tell me, not someone I used to work with or for. If you think I'm the problem with the system, explain to me how, but don't say it, if you're working off the books or manipulating the system.  If you think I have a huge ego that isn't warranted, explain that to me.  Just come prepared to defend yourself and appear smarter than me, which (egocentric comment insert) might be tough.  If I argue with you about something, don't think it's just to argue. I may be doing it as a friend for a variety of reasons you might not understand at the time.  If you think I'm playing devil's advocate, make sure I am, because if I'm sincere in my beliefs, you better brush up on the topic or be ready to defend your actions.  If you have anything to say to me...say it to me.  That's all.

We all want to be happy.  I want to be happy.  I come across as a miserable bastard, but the reality is, that I could have things much worse.  I have had companionship in the past that hasn't made me terribly happy and I wanted to change that.  I met someone I liked, kinda fell head over heals too quickly and basically in my actions, her situation and outside interference, it was over before it was started. I tried to hang on for dear life and just pushed the person away.  They now want basically nothing to do with me and see every one of my actions as a negative, even when I'm explaining my feelings.  I have friends who have told me to run.  So has she.  I have friends who have tried to hook up with her all the while telling me how bad she is.  I have friends who have done this and told me how great she is.  I have friends who have told me to follow my heart, but to be prepared for the worst.  I have friends who have told me I have to stop being so intense.  Those are the people, I should listen to.  Those are the people that get me.  But changing who you are, when you have something in your head is tough.  I brush a lot of stuff of, but when I put my mind to something, I go all out.  This, almost always ends badly, because i build things up in my head and they never live up to what I expect or don't turn out that way.  It's a vicious cycle.

In the end, I just want people around me (and even those who aren't) to be real.  Don't lie to me.  I'll find out.  I always do.  Don't say something you don't mean.  I have a memory like a steel trap and it will cause us grief in the end.  Don't tell people things about me you don't want me to know.  I have a strange ability to find these things out without even trying.  If you have a problem, with me or with someone else.  If you need something.  If you want to talk and you're truly my friend.  Approach me.  Don't go through outside sources, because the respect I will lose for you will make my view very different than if you came straight to the source. 

Finally, in an attempt to end this with some humor.  Can we please stop posting these dime store psychiatry motivational posters on Facebook.  Most of you aren't that deep and these only make it show.   Can we also take a look at out profile pics and mobile uploads.  If 90% of these are the exact same pose and facial expression, will you please sign up for your vasectomy or get your tubes tied tomorrow?  If you are in an argument with a family member (especially a spouse), please keep that in house.  Status updates probably aren't the place for this to be aired.  Finally, it's holiday time.  You know we can't get enough pictures of your kids and pets dressed as ghosts.  JK, I've loved all the pics of kids who went pumpkin picking.  Truly adorable. Pets...not so much.  I have a liking for about four animals in the world right now.  My friends three cats and my neighbors dog. 

Oh and just in case anyone was wondering...we might have to start an OHT (Occupy Hop's Thoughts) because this is the top 1% of what's bothering me.  I didn't even get to people who cheat on Words With Friends!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"In a soulmate we find not company but a completed solitude." ~ Robert Braul

"In a soulmate we find not company but a completed solitude." ~Robert Braul

I recently found this quote by chance, at a time I was sitting alone thinking about my future and how much time will be spent in some form of solitude.  I've always been someone who cherishes their alone time.  I revel in it.  I also know the importance of human interaction and especially on an emotional level.  It dawned on me that being alone has its advantages, but the disadvantages highly outweigh them.  The other night, I stopped out for some Chinese food.  I had ordered it and arrived at the restaurant a little earlier than anticipated.  As I sat and waited for mine, I saw person after person walk in.  They all received their tiny single servings and were off.  Nobody made eye contact.  There was a young heavy set woman in her 20's.  A gentleman in his late 50's.  A very attractive woman in her late 40's.  A few others were less noticeable.  Everyone waited in silence.  Glancing at their cell phones or reading whatever was on the wall.  The sense of loneliness wasn't apparent until a couple walked in.  Boisterous enthusiasm emitting from both as the wife proudly displayed her baby bump.  It was then that the dejected looks started to appear.  I tried to make eye contact with all, letting them know they weren't alone.  I succeeded with one.  As I walked out, it made me think about my own loneliness.  and I walked.

As I got home, I opened my food and waited for something I had wanted to watch on TV.  One of the subplots was a story about dying alone and how two people, although apart, agreed not to let one another die alone.  I was saddened by this coincidental theme.  I was drawn to tears when thinking about others I've known, who in a sense died alone.  I don't want that to happen to me.  Although, in thinking hard about it. If I was to find that one special person, I'd hate for them to have to endure that pain.  While it would crush me, I'd want them to find comfort in my arms and in my eyes.  The night drew on and I found the quote above and it truly hit me. 

I thought about my mother's parents while reading this quote over and over.  They had family and friends.  They could hardly be called alone, but I thought about how they went home at night, long before the Alzheimer's and they were alone.  They were alone in their thoughts.  I thought about a special day in my life.  Four friends, sitting on a dock, watching a sunset.  No words were spoken, but everyone thought the same thoughts. This is what it is all about. 

And then I thought about a few weeks ago.  I thought about when I knew.  I thought about a specific morning.  I lay next to her naked body.  My arm numb from her shoulder pressing against it.  I remember her rolling over.  And it was then that I knew.  I watched her sleep.  Counting every breath.   Her soft skin sparkling as the morning sun shined through her window.  I lay there for two, maybe three hours.  The pain in my arm was unbearable, but for one moment, I knew.  I wasn't looking at her now.  I wasn't counting the breaths of that day.  I was looking at her 30 years from now.  I was counting thousands, if not millions of breaths.  It may not be her.  It doesn't appear to be.  But I knew at that moment, I felt something I hadn't felt in almost 20 years.  I knew at that moment, that there was someone who could make this loneliness, this solitude, feel like a gift. Her skin would lose it's soft feel, her breathing would become deeper and more forced.  Her face would lose it's youthfulness, but her heart would stay the same.  I thought about my grandfather as he looked at my grandmother.  I thought about my father, as he looked at my dying mother.  That despite the years and a disease that had destroyed her physical beauty, I knew, that when he looked at her, all he saw was that person he fell in love with and the way she looked the day he knew.  The day he knew, they would  always be.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Two & Half Hours

This morning I had to go to the IRS office in White Plains.  I had waited til the last minute and had to get my stuff done by the end of the business day.   The office opens at 8:30, so I wanted to get there in the morning.  Here is a detailed report of the (odd) day.

8:25 - walking up hill to bus stop.  See bus leaving.   Story of my life.
8:30 -  girl walks up and reads bus schedule which says the next bus is at 8:34.  She asks "how long ago did the last bus leave?"  I say five minutes.  She says "you sure?"
8:34 - get on bus and pay with 22 dimes and a nickel. 
8:35 - woman gets on bus.  Stands in front and laughs to herself until she gets off three stops later.
8:39 - woman gets on wearing plaid mini skirt, white button down shirt (aka school girl look).  She has a huge baby bump.  All I hear in my head is "oops I did it again."
8:42 - A Spanish girl get on the bus with arguably the nicest skin I've ever seen. 
8:45 - I reach for my phone and the kid next to me leans over and looks at my screen.  He looks like an outcast from the Revenge of the Nerds.
8:52 - get off the bus, when it takes a turn the driver told me it didn't make when I got on.
8:58 - walk into IRS and fill out necessary form.  I'm given a ticket and told to wait. My ticket number is 001. 
9:05 - woman walks in and is told there is an hour wait.  I'm still waiting.
9:18 - 001 is called.  I feel oddly like it's old school Baskin Robbins
10:08 - woman helping me says we are done - never seen someone with so many Obama pictures.
10:16 - get to bus stop and woman with two front teeth that are very odd (and two totally different colors) looking feels compelled to converse with me. 
10:23 - about to get on bus, when an Indian (dot not feather) gets off the bus.  She is absolutely gorgeous.  I'm in the mood for chicken vindaloo and lamb phall.   Instead I smile and it was probably a lamb fail.
10;24 - I realize everyone on the bus is staring at me.  I wipe my nose, check my zipper and then realize why.  White is the new black on buses (that isn't racist, that is fact).  I feel like Rosa Parks with less ambition.
10:32 - driving through Scardale I have a dirty thought...glad I didn't get an erection.  And no, you filthy minded freaks, this wasn't while passing the High School.
10:52 - get off the bus and walk home.  Look in the window of the new dance studio...no hot ass.
10:58 - walk in my door and make coffee. 

And this would classify as an exciting morning for me.  I need to get a life.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Men Vs. Women: A Look At Our Differences from A-Z

Adultery:  I think while this is much more prevalent than anyone wants to admit, I think it's differently viewed.  Men who cheat on their wives always seem to say they are bored or their wives aren't sexy any more.  Women say their husbands aren't romantic anymore.  Men who cheat with married women, always say that they woman came after them.  Women who cheat with married men, usually go after the man, because they want sex with no strings.  They always justify this behavior with "I'm not the one who is cheating."

Bargains:  A guy sees something he doesn't need that normally costs $50, but is on sale for $25, he will buy it.  A female sees something she doesn't need that normally costs $50, but is on sale for $25, she will buy two of them.

Coffee:  Men get coffee to wake up or to drink something with a bagel/donut.  Women think it's an event.

Driving:  Men drive too fast and sometimes get into accidents.  Women think driving is a secondary thing they are doing while talking on the phone and putting on makeup.  Sometimes they cause accidents.

Elevators:  Men always walk all the way in and lean against the back wall.  Women always walk in about a foot and then turn around.  Yes we're checking out your ass and wondering what sex in the elevator would be like.

Furniture:  Men want comfortable and practical stuff they can use without having to put together.  Women want stuff that goes with the drapes and carpet.

Groceries:  Women will spend hours in the supermarket and get everything imaginable.  Men will spent ten minutes and get everything but what they came out for.

Holidays: Men want to enjoy the time for themselves.  Women want everyone else to enjoy it and tell all their friends how great a hostess you are.

Inviting:  Men invite friend via phone call, text or asking in person.  Women send printed invitations, evites or post something on a special web page.

Jerks:  Men think people are jerks.  Usually we hang out with them.  Women think people are jerks and they are usually our friends.

Kittens:  Men know they will grow up to be cats.  Women think they are so cute.

Love:  Women usually say it first, mean it first and find it first.  Men, fight it first, fight meaning it and fall harder...last.  I should have been born a woman.

Movies:  Two hours of entertained silence for men.   Two hours of a Q&A session we don't know the answers to, because we haven't seen the movie yet!

Neighbors: For guys, the annoying people next door.  For women, potential best friends and something to do on the weekends.

Orgasms:  For guys, and obvious moment where we look our ugliest and feel our best.  For women, a time, where in many instances we are unaware if you are telling the truth.  When it is real, you look about as sexy as you ever do and we want that moment to continue.  This is usually the moment you start acting weird. 

Preparation:  We are about to do something and we have our pants on.  Women are fully dressed, makeup on and all distractions are absent.

Question:  For men, something that is answered with a yes or a now.  For women, something that turns into a philosophical discussion which isn't merited since "yes it's raining" would have sufficed.

Rest: We lie down for 45 minutes.  They drive all over, get massages and manicure/pedicures, then complain how they did nothing but run around all day.

Stories:  Something we tell with only the important details being stressed.  Something they tell which includes details of what they had for breakfast, what they were wearing and what time of day it was, even though it doesn't have any bearing on the story.

Unicorns: For us they are a make believe horse with a horn.  For you, it's something you've all had either as a toy, a book or something else that is silly.

Virginity:  Something we strive to get rid of to make us a man.  Something you get rid of and become a slut (not my feelings, just society).

Waterworks:  For us it's something that makes the toilet flush and fills our water glass.  For you, it's what happens during every other movie.

X.  for us, the first letter of our favorite movies.  For you, the first letter of that dopey singing show.

Zoo:  Men think of it as the place that smells like shit that we carry someones kid on our shoulders.  For you, it's the shoe store on Saturday.

Happy Days

A friend of mine says "Happy Days" every time he makes a toast.  I like this toast.  To me, it says, here's to our time together and to many more.  May they be always as good or better than this.  Sometimes they are, but sometimes they are not.  Recently, someone told me that I was a miserable person.  That I'm always down. I look down.  I act down.  Basically, I bring people down who are around me.  They went on to say that I wasn't this person a short time ago.  This is true.

I'm an emotional person.  The good times make me high on life and the downs make me retreat like a turtle hiding in its shell.  In the past month, a combination of things have gotten to me.  Many contribute to bad moods, bad decisions and all these things contribute to bad days.  It's a vicious cycle that I thought conquering one demon might cure.  It hasn't helped one bit.  I'm realizing now that the demon I'm fighting isn't one aspect of my life, it's a combination.  This combination seems to always have an end result of me being alone.  This makes for Happy Days being a rarity.

Today started off like many others.  I woke up, made some breakfast and had some coffee.  Some Internet which involved a debate, which was interesting for about a half a second.  Some think I went overboard, but I don't like debating topics when people fight with other people's opinions.  I don't think it's worthy of a debate.  That being said, this didn't detract from my day.  I felt kinda crappy when I woke up, but soon after, I felt a little alive.  By the time I got to the school I was charged.  The class was so well behaved and so cute that the first hour flew by without incident and with many smiles and lots of laughter.  My second class, usually a bit of a hassle, also went well.  I probably didn't teach as much as I should of, but the kids were absorbing the lesson and it was pretty fun to watch.  I left the school, chatted with a friend, then entered into me evening with nothing to do routine.  The TV on for some white noise and some Internet BS.  I struggled to decide what to eat and then decided on a nice veggie sandwich.  Finally some ripe avocados at Stop & Shop!  It's been a while.

All day today, I've felt good.  I don't know why.  Under the circumstances, I should have been slightly depressed, but I wasn't.  I felt refreshed and renewed.  Especially after seeing the kids. As the night wore on and the memory of the day started to fade, the happiness faded to.  Thoughts of the monotony of tomorrow's IRS meeting loomed large and I was a little bit saddened that this would dampen my spirits.  This wasn't why I was sad.  My friend texted me to tell me of his brush with wildlife while driving home.  He hit a deer.  He is OK, but he worries the deer might have been badly hurt.  This wasn't why I was sad either.   The reason why I was sad, was because I was alone.  I didn't have anyone to share the highlights of my day.  The person I wish to share them with, isn't interested.  Not that she isn't interested in my happiness, but not in the sense that recounting these stories would take place while laying next to each other in bed or nestled on the couch.  Not even while speaking on the phone.  She cares for me.  I know this.  She wants me happy.  This I am sure of, but it's not the same. Sure I can tell others and it feels good, but there is something about sitting and telling someone about the good things in life.  Seeing that smile on their face.  Knowing that your happiness means so much to them.  Hearing the eagerness in their voice to hear your joy.  That is what makes us love people.  Knowing that our happiness brings them joy.  Being able to tell them the highs you've experienced and waiting to hear of their successes.

Tonight I got to put it in a status update.  Maybe in a tweet.  I put it in my blog.  All I really want is to look to my right, one arm underneath a pillow and one around her waist.  Look into her eyes as I tell her my tales.  See that slight rise from her cheek and lips as she cracks a smile.  Letting me know that she understands that it's the little things in life that make us who we are and bring us such joy.  Watching those eyes as they look inside me.  Leaning in to kiss her goodnight.  Knowing that this is a Happy Day.  Hoping the next time we're here, it'll be just as good.  Maybe better.  Sometimes a toast is just a wish.  A wish that all that went wrong will disappear and the one day, every day will be a Happy Day.  A Happy Day you can share with someone who cares.  With someone you love.  With someone who understands just what it is that make each day so happy.  If even for a few seconds, before you drift off to sleep to face the uncertainty of tomorrow.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Conversation With A Douchebag

So last night I'm sitting at one end of the bar and a woman sits down to the right of me and a man joined her soon after.  I had just received my Eastchester burger and was ready to chow down.  As I took the first bight a conversation broke out that was pretty entertaining, if for now other reason than the guy turned out to be the most egotistical douchebag I've ever listened to.  No, the guy was not me.  Thanks though.  So for the dialogue, I will list the man as D, for douche bag and W for the woman. 

D: I can't believe you.  You obsess over everything. It doesn't even matter.  Nothing you ever get like this over matters.  I don't care.  Nobody cares.  It's stupid. 

W: OK, drop it.

D:  Oh now you're mad.  You're mad at me?  It's my fault?  OK, it's my fault.

The woman then spoke for about 30 seconds in a low voice which I couldn't pick up.  This gem followed.

D: Nobody in this town is as big as me.  I'm smarter, I'm better looking, I'm just the fucking man and you need to know that.  There is nobody like me in this town.

Right about now, I'm trying my hardest not to look at anyone else within earshot and thanking myself for not being drunk, because this guy would be getting so abused right now it would be horrible.

W: (mumbling) OK, It's fine, just stop.  (she goes to touch his hand).

D;  Don't you fucking touch me.  No, you don't get it.  You don't understand.

The woman says something and the man jumps back

D: Who told you that?

W:  You know who.

D: You still talk to that bitch.  You really are stupid.  I should smack you right across the face for being so fucking stupid.  You are so stupid.

Right about now, this guy is so lucky I was sober, it's not even funny.

W: (reaching to grab his hand, he pulls away again) Please stop.  I don't want to argue.

D;  You are a cupcake.  You're a fucking cupcake.  I thought you were a pit bull, but you are a cupcake (he says cupcake a few more times).  If you want to be with a pit bull, the pit bull.  You can't be a cupcake and you're a cupcake. 

W:  I'm sorry.  So how were the kids?

The douche bag goes into a 5-6 minute explanation of how HE cooked the kids dinner, except for one, because she makes her own sauce and he explains how it's good, but it sucks compared to his cooking.  I gathered from this monologue that the kids are not theirs, but his through another void-of-esteem woman.

D: You have to wise up.  You have to figure out how much I love you.  You don't even know how much I love you.  You don't get that kind of love, because you don't know.  I'm gonna prove it to you.  Don't you worry.  You won't know when it's coming, but I'm gonna prove it.  NO!  You have no idea.  You won't know.  You don't get it.  I'll prove it. 

Right about now, I'm thinking to myself "and I'm considered crazy?"  A couple comes in and sees the woman sitting at the end of the bar and thinks she's my wife and tells her "we'll move down so your boyfriend can move down and you'll have more room."  She explains "that's not my boyfriend...my husband is in the bathroom.


So, this wasn't some couple on a date and the boyfriend was being a macho asshole.  This is a couple where the guy actually belittles his wife out in public and thinks it's his way of showing her his love.  While I, and others, laughed at the situation, I would love to see this guy out one night without his wife and do unto him, what he did to his wife.  I think if I ever do see him, I'm going to state a conversation with him and whenever he goes to talk, I'm going to call him cupcake.  Then call myself pit bull and bite his face! It also makes me wonder how the fuck this guy is married and I am single.  Fucking douche bag! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Recent Things That Have Made Me Happy

Last night, someone told me I'm miserable.  I'm crazy, bordering on bi-polar.  I'm always unhappy and I am so worried what people say about me that I don't realize that not everyone is talking or doing something behind my back.   While I disagree with all the above statements, being out of work, dealing with some outside stressors out of my control and generally always thinking about others well being before my own has made me less than thrilled about the current state of my life.  That being said, I decided to make a short list of the things that have made me happy in the past month.

Being back at the school in the afternoons with the kids.  Smiles are infectious.

Speaking to my grandmother the other day.  She sometimes says things that can be viewed as hurtful, but her honesty warms me.  I'm not like you.  A sugar cookie and a pat on the head isn't what I need. Being told to get off your ass and find a new job and a new girlfriend is far better.

Thinking a lot about my mom.  Sad to the point of tears at times, but remembering the last few days and what we talked about.  Those are memories I will never forget.

Deep conversations with people who get me.  They are few and far between.

Having friends who don't always appear to be there, reaching out and genuinely telling you they are there.  Now that is fucking special.

Reading Ruth Reichl and Gael Greene's twitter posts.  I don't know if I've ever masturbated while reading food descriptions, but I've come close thanks to these two ladies.  Bourdain's description of the 22-course tasting menu served by Thomas Keller in Nasty Bits.

Last weekend with Jen and Eddie!  Love having fun at others oblivious expense.

Talking to Pete about baseball, food and everything else under the sun.

Yellow (orange flavored) Hostess cupcakes - I hate sweets, but something about these.

Winning 19 of my last 24 games of words with friends.

Tim Tebow!  Hail Jesus, haha!

Taking a walk in the middle of the night and stopping to sit and stare into the dark, seeing nothing and wonder what as equally as fascinated to be watching me.

The TV show New Girl. 

Speaking with Karin.  Started off emotional and turned into a funny chat.  We'll definitely be hanging soon.  The wagon will lose some wheels that day!

Having heated debates about politics and religion.  _ Most people call this taboo.  Those people say that because they are going into battle with inferior weapons.  The art of debating is not knowing how to make your point, but how to deflate your opponents.

Listening to songs that I haven't heard in a while on youtube.com

Spending last Sunday away from the bullshit.  Unfortunately, some of the bullshit followed us.

Dealing with a good customer service rep....especially after dealing with his moronic co-worker.

Watching a horrible movie, again!  Made me realize how lucky I am to have experienced the films I have, while others dwell on  the latest SNL characters ridiculous romp and claim movies about nights in Vegas to be "epics."  Give Bergman, Kubrick, Scorcese, Park,Tarentino or the Coen Brothers.

An unexpected hello and the occasional "I was thinking about you." 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bug: An Odd Powerful Movie

Watched a movie called Bug tonight.  Starred Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon and Harry Connick, Jr.  At first Bug seems like a simple story about a lonely girl who is desperate for companionship and fears her ex-husband who has just been released from prison.  Then it becomes a bit of a sad love story about two broken people in search of something to fill a void.  It soon turns into a psychological horror movie.  In the end we see, the disintegration of two people's grip on reality and the affects of paranoia. 

The movie doesn't truly fit into one genre, so it's hard to categorize.. On the outside it's a simple story about how people's need to believe in something can manifest itself into a psychosis, but when you really watch carefully, it's a sad tale about how being alone can affect one's life.  We all want to feel something.  Some of us resort to drugs or inflicting pain on ourselves just to know we're alive.  Some of us find love or a hobby.  Some of us don't find anything and the results are tragic.  Bug is the story of two people who find each other and their need for something ends badly. 

The movie is slow and being it is adapted from a play, it basically takes place in a small motel room.  The characters are simple, yet complex.  They are strong, yet broken.  The scene where they make love is passionate and filmed in a way that you feel they are basically sweating out their demons.  They are cleansing themselves of all their misery, if even for one night.  It's the beginning of the end though and will result in their demise. 

The acting is such that you feel there is some pain.  Whether it be the constrictions of the set, the tone of the movie or maybe something else.  You feel there is a pain.  It becomes maniacal at times and ends with complete craziness, but it makes sense to the actors.  When the movie ends, you feel a sadness and a relief.  Like someone finally passing after suffering a long bought with cancer.  It takes a while for you to feel OK about yourself after seeing this.  I would guess, those in a happy relationship would not take away from this film what those who are single and have been single for a while would.  The message is that loneliness and heartbreak is difficult and the slightest shining light appears as bright as the sun when we hurt.  When we want.  Bug might not be a great film on the outside, but it gets under your skin and makes you want to rip it out.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Things From My Childhood (WTF?)

Have you ever thought back to things from your childhood that now make no sense at all?  They could be anything, but as time goes on, they seem to make less and less sense.  Listed below are a few things from the late 70's/Early 80's that truly make no sense now that I am older.

Bubble Gum Cigarettes - what the fuck were people thinking?  This is why everyone I know smokes.

Slinky - fun for about a minute.

Etch-a-Sketch - yeah I sucked at it too.

Light Bright - making things with light...and then choking on the pieces.

Cap Guns - They would break immediately and then you'd bash the caps with a rock an get burned.

Silly Putty - yeah, look at the comic on my silly putty.  Yeah, can I take a nap now?

Alphabet Soup - still around, but this was always like a word jumble for maniacs.

Remote Control Racetrack - did these ever work for more than Christmas morning?

Shrinky Dinks - let's use the oven while mom is upstairs cleaning.  Many a house was burned down!

Soft Plastic Football Helmets - hello paralysis!

Mad Libs - taught me how to make FUCK a noun, adjective, adverb, etc.

Hoppity Hop - remember how nobody ever let go of the handle and would fall on their face?

Jacks - always fun, til you forgot to put one away and Mom or Dad stepped on one.

Those shitty Balsa Woods Planes - look it's flying, look it's broken.

View Master - welcome to the world of Peeping Toms.

I'm sure there are many others, but these are the ones I could think of off the top of my head.  I didn't even get into to dump board games...Mousetrap was the king!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Funny Quotes: From My After School Program

I'm a going to start an ongoing blog and will update it about once or twice a week with the new qoutes and repost it on Facebook and Twitter.  I wish I had done this years ago, especially for two years when I had this kid who every week said something so incredibly outrageous that even the other kids in the class couldn't wait for what he would say.

That being said, the all-time classic was when I was working at summer camp and I had just returned from a night off and was laying in bed.  The kids were whispering and one kid said "Jon is really cool.  He's like my dad.  Only difference is my dad doesn't go out and get drunk every other night."

Week 1

Me: Nice to meet you I'm Jon Hopper.
Parent: I know I'm Nate's mother.
Me: Oh sorry, I knew you looked familiar.
Parent:  Nate loved your class and talked about it all summer.
(Nate is not in my class this year)

Michael (1st Grade) (talking to his friends babysitter): I lost my jacket.
babysitter: You're mom is going to be angry.
Michael:  I know, I lost it at recess on the bench.
Me: Michael, if you know where it is and when you lost it...it's not lost.
Michael:  Oh yeah...I hope it's there tomorrow.

I read a kid's name and ask if he has brothers.  He says yes.  I ask how old they are.  The boy responds 13 and 15.  I tell him that I had his brothers in my kindergarten class 10 and 8 years ago.  After the class I see his mother, who I was very friendly with and hadn't seen in three or four year.  She barely waits to say hello and after all these years says "Oh, so sorry to hear about your Red Sox!"  WTF?

Toby (Kindergarten):  I have hockey practice after this.  I don't know about you, but that's a long day.

Week 2

I'm going over the rules to a soccer game in which the kindergarten kids have to kick the soccer ball and knock down a bowling pin instead of into a goal.  After explaining the rules I ask if anyone has any questions.  Three kids raise their hands.

Alex:  What happens if we knock the wrong pin over.
Me: The other team gets a point.
Jacob: What happens if we kick the pin over with our foot?
Me:  If you knock your pin down, you have to put it back.  If you knock the other pin over, the other team gets a point.
Darius:  I have a pocket full of apple seads!  Wanna See?

All the kids are getting picked up and one of the kids in the first class is in tennis class which immediately follows.  

Spencer (K):  (with a sad face)  My mom isn't picking me up today....(then he screams) Because I have tennis!

One of my tennis kids has a younger brother who is in my first class.

Lee(3rd):  Are you friends with my brother?
Me;  He's in my class before tennis.
Lee:  I know, so he's your friend, right?
Me:  Of course, he's my friend!
Lee: Oh Good.

Week 3

I jokingly told a kid that he can eat his snack, but if he has Oreos he has to share them.  He paused for a second split one in half and passed the halves to the kids sitting next to him.  I told him I was kidding.  He smiled and said "That's OK, they didn't have snack, I did."

Mom: Say thank you to Mr. Hopper.
Spencer (Kindergarten):  That's not Mr. Hopper, that's Jon.

Adam (1sr Grade):  You liked the Red Sox?
All the other kids:  I hate the Red Sox.
Adam:  I like the Mets, so I don't hate the Red Sox.
Me: Oh OK.
Adam:  Who is your favorite team in the National League?
Me:  The Phillies.
Adam:  Do you hate New York?  I hate the Red Sox!

Kindergarten kids mom:  I told the older guys to come with me to say hello.
Me:  Oh cool, where are they?
Mom: Oh they are HS'ers and they're lazy.  They stayed home.

Lauren (3rd grade) talking about her sister Sydney (1st grade), five seconds after the golf instructor leaves the building.
Lauren:  There are only going to be two of us today.
Me: Why?
Lauren: Sydney isn't coming today.
Me: Oh, that's too bad.  Is she sick?
Lauren:  Nope, she just doesn't want to come to tennis.
Me: Oh....(joking) That hurts my feelings.
Lauren:  Oh, don't worry, she likes tennis, she just didn't want to come because she HATES golf. 

Lauren: How long should it take us to pick up the tennis balls?
Me:  No more than two minutes.
Lauren:  How many more minutes are in the class?
Me:  Seven or eight.
Lauren: (talking under her breath) I think it's gonna take more like seven or eight minutes.

Kindergartner (blanking on name):  Are you married?
Me:  No.
K:  Do you have a girlfriend?
Me:  No.
K:  Did you have a girlfriend?
Me: Yes, but we aren't boyfriend and girlfriend anymore.
K:  What did you do?
Me: I didn't do anything.
K: (shaking his head) You did something or she wouldn't be someone else's girlfriend.
Me: How do you know I didn't break up with her.
Kid just looks at me, rolls his eyes and walks away. 
I love the honesty and hate the fact that we are so transparent to children.

Week 4:

Going over rules for Wiffleball game for a class of 1st and 2nd graders
Me:  There are 15 people, so one team will have eight and one will have seven.
2nd Grader:  I want to be on the team with eight, because we'll have more players and be better.
1st Grader:  I want to be on the team with seven, because I'll probably get to be at bat more.
Love the the two totally different mindsets.

Me: Close your eyes.  What you just did...try to imagine you are swinging that way every time.
Spencer (K):  Yeah, but my eyes were open when I hit the ball.
Me:  I know, but pretend it was a dream and you're trying to remember it.
Spencer: OK...can I open my eyes now?
Next ball Spencer misses, then again, and again.
Me:  OK, this dream went from you hitting the ball nicely to being eaten by sharks.
Spencer:  Am I really going to be eaten by a shark?
Me: No, but pretend it's a dream and if you don't hit the ball the sharks will come.
Spencer:  Why am I playing tennis in the water?

Max (K):  I love you...I want to marry you.
Me:  You can't marry me.  I'm too old.
Max:  No, I can't marry you because you're a man.
Me (taking a moment):  Well, technically two men can get married, but you are a boy, not a man.
Max (and two other kids simultaneously):  What does technically mean?
Me:  It's kind of like "actually."
Max:  So we can't technically get married?
Darius:  You want to marry a man?
Max:  No, I want to marry Jon.
Still coming to grips with this.

Me:  You are getting your feet tangled like they are in fifth position.
Ella:  How do you know ballet?
Me:  I don't.  I just know fifth position.
Ella:  How would you know it if you didn't take ballet?
Me:  I know it from my mom.
Ella:  You know ballet.

Me:  What are you going to be for Halloween?
Ram (K): I'm going to be a ninja!
Matar (K):  I'm dressing up as an Astronaut! Trick or treating is Monday, but we're having a party on Sunday evening.  I will ask my mom if you can be invited.

Week 5

Me: Guys, new rule.  You can't eat snack in the auditorium.
In Unison (1st and s2nd graders):  Where can we eat it?
Me:  Either outside by the bench in the hallway or wait til we get to the gym and sit outside the door and eat it.
Matthew:  Why can't we have snack in the auditorium?
Me: Matthew, do you even have snack?
Matthew: No, but I want to know anyway.
Me: Because there are ants in the auditorium now.
Matthew:  So the ants won't come out to the bench if we eat there?
Me:  I don't get it either, but that's the rule.
Jordan: I forgot to finish my snack. Do I have to go to the bench to eat it?
Me:  No you can go outside of the gym and sit by the door.
Jordan:  Outside in the cold?
Me:  No, outside of the gym door.  In the hallway.
Jordan:  I don't know where that is.
Me: (pointing to the door about 15 feet away) There!
Zachary:  Just let him go to the bench.  Can we play now?

Sydney (2nd): Ewww, there's a funny sock on the ground.
Me: It's a glove, not a sock.
Sydney:  It's a sock, there is no thumb.
Me: Then it's a sock for fingers.
I pick it up
Me:  Ewww, it smells like stinky feet.
Sydney:  Duh, it's a sock!  Is it yours?

Me: The score is 9-8.
Sydney:  Who is winning?
Me:  The princesses.
Sydney: Oh.
Me: 9-9
Sydney:  Who's winning now?
Me:  It's 9-9!
Sydney:  I know, who is winning:
Me:  It's tied!
Sydney:  sighs

Week 6


Jack (2nd grade): John, Zack's mom took my backpack when she picked him up.  We have the same one and she took mine by mistake.
Me:  They just left, see if they are outside.
Jack:  Nope, I guess I'll take his and switch them tomorrow.
Me: That's a good idea, but wait, did you have any homework?
Jack:  Ummmm, not anymore!

Week 7

Matthew (2nd): Jack hit me in the face with the ball.
Me: Haven't you been hitting each other all day?
Matthew:  Yeah, but I asked him to stop this time.
Me: Jack, why did you hit Matthew after he asked you to stop?
Jack:  Oh, that time?  That time was an accident.

Sammy (K):  I told her today I loved her.
Me:  What?
Sammy:  I didn't say anything to her.
Me:  To Who
Sammy:  I have no idea what you're talking about.

Me:  Some of you guys did not behave very well in the auditorium.
Spencer (K):  Did I misbehave?
Me: No Spencer, you didn't.
Spencer:  OK. Just checking.

Me:  Someone gave me hand cream that smells like cupcakes.
Jessica (2nd):  It smells like coconut.
Samantha (4th): Smells like cupcake icing.
Luke (3rd): Ewww.
Spencer (K):  It smells like yucky cupcakes.
Me: Yeah, not the kind you'd want to eat.
Samantha: Well it's not like they take hand cream and an actual blender and mix it together, because that wouldn't work.

Me:  OK, Spencer you don't have to squeeze the racquet, but you have to hold it tight enough it doesn't fall out of your hand when you hit the ball.
Spencer: OK, Mom!
Me:  Did you just call me Mom?
Spencer:  Sometimes I call my Dad, Mom.

Matar (1st):  I like your hair cut.
Me: Thank you.  I did it myself.
Matar: Really?  Did it hurt?

Week 8

Me: I just want to point out, that Jack did the best thing anyone who has ever been named captain can do.  He made his teams batting order and batted himself last.
Jack (2nd):  That's right, uh-huh, I'm cool.

Lee (3rd):  Look Jon's doing the gym teacher walk.
Jessica (1st):  What's the gym teacher walk?
Lee: That's where he walks across the gym really slow, so we pick up the balls before he gets back.

Week 9

Eli (2nd):  I didn't think three teams would work, but Jon was right.
(Not sure):  He always does that.  Makes teams that are unfair and then the score is even.

Jason (2nd):  Watching his mom and three other mothers having a conversation What the heck are they talking about?

Beckett (K):  Are you a boy or a girl?
Me:  A Boy!
Beckett:  I figured.  Just checking.

Week 10

Me: Jack, stop picking your nose.
Jack (2nd):  I need to.
Me:  Why do you need to?
Jack:  It feels good.

Jordan:  What time is it?
Me:  Jordan why do you always ask what time it is, when there are two clocks in the gym?
Jordan:  I want to know the time and how many minutes are left.
Me:  Jordan we have a few minutes left.  Please stop asking every week what time class is over.
Jordan:  OK, so what time is it.
I ignore him and continue pitching
Adam:  Jon, what time is it?
Me:  4:05.
Adam:  Jordan, it's 4:05.  We have ten minutes left.
Me:  Thanks Adam.
Adam:  (smirks) You're welcome, Jon.

Week 11

Jack (2):  Do you like Theo?
Me:  Of course.
Jack:  What about oranges?

Dillon (K):  Dillon Harris
Me: What about him?
Dillon:  No.
Me:  No what?
Dillon:  I'm marking myself present.
Me:  That's my job.
Dillon:  Can I sit down now you're confusing me?

Sydney (1): How old are you, you're like a hundred.
Me: Guess.
Sydney: Duh, like a hundred.
Lauren: 50
Ella: I'm not guessing.
Me: I'm 41
Lauren:  You're 41?  My mom is 43 and you look a lot older than her.

 Week 12

Dillon (K):  Jon, can I go tell Julian to stop taking all the balls and putting them in his secret place?
Me:  Sure
Dillon:  I tried to tell him but he's wearing hearing aids and turned them off.
Me:  What do you mean?
Dillon:  He's pretending to turn his ears off.
Me:  I bet her heard you though.
Dillon:  OK......Jon, he didn't he's doing it again.
Me: Julian turn on your ears.
Julian:  I can't hear you.
Dillon:  I'm not playing!

Samantha (4):  You shaved.  You don't look old anymore.
Jessica (2): Yeah you look young.
Lee (3):  Why did you shave?
Me: I wanted to look younger.
Samantha:  Now you can get a girlfriend.
Attractive 20-something girl walks in to gym and asks if she can leave something with me 
Samantha:  See, it's working already!

Week 13

Me: Are you wearing cleats for tennis?
Ram (1): Yeah.
Me: I don't think you're supposed to wear those on the gym floor.
Ram: I donated my sneakers to a charity.
Me:  Oh that is awesome.  But now you don't have sneakers?
Ram: No, I do, my mother made me wear these.
Me: Ok, no tap dancing!
Matar (1): I'm wearing two different colored sneakers?
Me: Why?
Matar: Because I want to tap dance too!
Me: (to myself) WTF?

Week 14

Rowan (2): Is this the last class?  Lolllipops!!!
Me: Only if you're good.
Rowan: You always say that and always give them to us.

Jason (2): Jon, you only gave me two by mistake.
Me: Oh, sorry Jason, here's another one.
Jason; Thanks
Eli (2): Jon, I think you forgot to give me three too.
Me: Yeah right, give me those two and I'll count them for you.
Eli: Two?  I have....nevermind.

Me: Do any of you who had brothers or sisters in my classes remember what I give out the last day?
Max (K): Dead people?
Me: No, next guess:
Beck (K): Homework?
Me: No, I give out lollipops
Noah (K): Real ones?

Noah's Mom: Jon, last day, what happened to the blow pops?
Me: A mom complained about the gum years ago.
Noah's Mom: Are you (mouthing the words) fucking kidding me?
Dillon's Mom: Unreal.  Parents!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fun In The Supermarket

I love going to the supermarket.  I love the looks I get when they see a single guy actually buying food that doesn't come in a box (aside from my new favorite pizzas).  I love doing things in the supermarket that make people notice me.  I don't make a scene like the mother who was yelling at her kid at the top her voice today, because he didn't want to be there.  I don't wear clothing that makes me look like a photo op from the peopleofwalmart.com.  I don't do anything over the top, but I do enjoy myself. 

I like to stare at people, preferably younger women, while I squeeze produce.

I like to stand right behind people and wait for them to move, even though I can go around them.  if they question it, I say, I didn't want to cross the imaginary double yellow line.

I like to stand by the frozen food section and hold the Ore-Ida french fries and make Slingblade comments in the Billy Bob Thornton voice.

I like to read the nutritional information out loud of something that is obviously bad for you.

I like to grab something that says 5/$5 and ask people how much they think three will cost. 

I like to huff and puff and vocalize my displeasure at the fact that hummus is on sale more infrequently than any other product.

I like to pick up the rotisserie chickens and then say "this looks like it's already been cooked," and put it down. 

I like to order 7/16 of a lb and then say "I'm just fucking with you...give me a quarter of a kilo."

I like to buy one Skippy and one Jif peanut butter and ask the cashier what will happen if I mix them.

I like to buy cleaning products and tell people in line "this is great for dishes....blood?  not so much?"

I like when my bill is $40.21 to pay with a credit card and then hand the cashier 14 cents.

I like to grab a cart and get one item.

I like to bite all the ends off of the Bastone and Ciabbata breads.

I like to take those little cup cakes.  Take the icing of one and smear it all over my face and then when  go to check out, tell them that one was missing.

When they ask me if I have a Stop and Shop card, I like to give them a gift card to Best Buy and then ask them where they keep the CD's now.

I like when I see pregnant women in the supermarket eating things like grapes.  I like to tell them that the pesticides will probably kill their baby.  Then laugh and say, "just kidding it's probably already dead."  Then ask if I can feel it not kick - OK settle down ladies. it's a joke.

I like to pretend that Triscuits and Wheat Thins are having a fight and the winner goes in my cart. 

I like to hold a lighter under a bag of popcorn and when people tell me I can't do that, I say "don't worry, i'm done...all popped."

I like to fill my cart with garbage bags and bleach and yell to workers "where's the duct tape?"

I like to bring whipped cream and chocolate syrup over to the ice cream section to save someone else the time.

I like to look in people's carts and say "you didn't hear about the recall?"  Then not tell them which product I'm lying about.

I like to offer to carry groceries for people and when they say yes I ask them "can you fit in your trunk?"

Sometimes I just walk up to an unattended counter and start bagging people's groceries.  Then when there is something I want, I just put it in my basket.

I like when I see parents with their groceries in a stroller an their kid walking.  I smile and ask how old they are.  When they tell me their kids age, I tell them they are probably spoiled or rotten.

I like to open a bag of Skittles and scream "it does taste just like a rainbow."

I like to ask the cashier if she believes it's not butter.

I like to go to the meat section and hold a whole chicken up and drop to my knees screaming "why?  you were so young."  I also like to hold up those value packs of about 16 wings and say, "you know the old adage....well times 8!"

I like to point out the difference between 2% milk and 1% milk is not 1% unless you drink exactly one serving.  Then punch the person the face and tell them, that wouldn't have hurt as much had they moved.

I to buy instant potatoes and stuffing and pour water on the box and sob when my meal isn't ready.

I like to sit in the organic section and make sex noises and then when people complain say "oh...organic, my bad!"

Monday, October 10, 2011

Clinging

I rarely discuss this, but I think it's relevant in my life right now.  I've mentioned it once before in a blog, but it wasn't really a huge part of the piece.  I discussed it today with someone and it's something I've thought about recently and possibly have come to a realization about myself and one of my true faults.   It's through thinking, reflection and time alone that many things come to us.  Sometimes the act of sitting or laying in the dark with no companionship other than our own thoughts, that we arrive at conclusions about ourselves that we may never have realized.  I don't know when this hit me, but it's definitely in my mind now, as I struggle with the imminent loss of something desired.

When I was 9, possibly just turned 10, my parents adopted a baby girl.  I loved my sister dearly and she was the highlight of my life.  Every day I fed her, I held her and I kissed her.  I fantasized about her growing up and me protecting her from all the perils of the world we live in.  At a young age, it wasn't a difficult task.  I remember, being proud to be a big brother.  Something I still am today with my brother.  This was different.  It was my job to protect her and I'd do it forever.  Three weeks later she was taken away.  Not by death, but by the family who gave birth to her.  One day, before she "legally" became my sister forever. 

The sadness that I felt can not be explained.  In death, we are given closure.  The pain subsides, because we know it has to.  Death, sadly, is a part of life.  It's something we will all suffer through.  That loss stings, but it is only temporary.  We all know it is inevitable and will hit us at different points in our lives. What I experienced, at such a young age, isn't something everyone experiences.  To love someone unconditionally and have them taken away, with only wonder left, is the single hardest thing a person can do.  I loved my sister unconditionally.  Today, she is in her early 30's.  She probably knows nothing about her brief time spent with her brother. 

I've never admitted this to anyone, but I think about her every day.  I wonder if her life turned out better or worse.  I wonder what she looks like.  I wonder if she was protected like I would have protected her.  I wonder if she is happy.  I hope she is.  It's all I would have wanted anyway.

Recently, I entered into a relationship and it ended as soon as it started.  I've been called clingy.  I've been called needy.  I've been called obsessive.  I've also been called caring, sweet, concerned and possibly the right person at the wrong time.  In my life, I've been called a lot of things, good and bad.  In the last few days, I've thought about stuff and it's really come to light.  My personality was shaped heavily that day when I found out I'd never be the older brother to my little sister.  After that, I became very different and when I look back, I face relationships with females in two ways.  I either refused to let myself become involved for fear of later loss or I became so emotionally attached, I made my love and affection a detriment, by feeling it was my duty.  I've caused myself loss and grief because of this and I don't know if I'm able to stop.  I can tell myself to stop caring, to be like so many others, who objectify women and feel they are there to serve them.  It's not me.  The people I fall for, I fall for hard.  I love them sooner than I should.  I think about them constantly and I adore them.  I feel the need to be their rock and to be their shield against all that is bad.  I feel the need to be something very few of them want.  In the end, I end up smothering them.  Sometimes with a kindness that is taken as a form of lunacy.  I can not change that.

Life shouldn't be spent wondering what could have been, but the reality is, it's part of every day for me.  I seem to always be a minute late to the party.  I've lost loves because of lethargy and I've lost loves because of my overbearing ways.  I hurl myself into one's life with such reckless abandon that I scare them.  I need to know they are with me.  Even if they are,  need that constant reminder, because every day, I think of my sister and know that nothing is guaranteed. 

I'll bounce back.   I always do.  I'll be hurt again.  I always am.  I'll make the mistakes I've made in the past.  It's what I do.  I'll be a friend to someone I love.  It's in my nature.  I will turn someone away who loves me, because they can't handle my intensity.  I know because it happens all the time.  I'll find love forever.  Well, I know better than most.  Nothing last forever.  No matter how badly you want it to. 

I will live my life one day at a time and hope that the people I love share it with me and take me for who I am.  If I'm lucky, they'll love me back.  If even for a minute.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Have These Ever Been Said?

These are the best fortune cookies ever!

I hate Sunday Brunch.

I love Thanksgiving, just wish there was more food.

(Referring to starving kids in Africa) - I wish I could be that skinny, but without all the flies and stuff.  _ oh wait, Mariah Carey actually said this.

Wow, your kid really isn't very cute.

Smoking pot makes me feel smarter.

Goldschlagger is the champagne of cordials.

That's a beautiful spray on tan.  It looks so natural.

Sarah Palin...now that's one bright woman.

I don't think Casey Anthony did it.

I can't believe they took Cop Rock off the air so soon.

Josh Hartnett will win an Oscar one day.

Rosie O'Donnell is one hot mama.

I read the NY Post because I want to appear smarter than everyone else.

A-Rod is so clutch.

Today's a nice day for removing wallpaper.

I'm half Greek/half Turkish (OK this might be possible).

Ah, Monday, can't wait to get to work.

I find Facebook and Twitter make me much more productive.

I hate receiving oral sex.

I hate that Liberal propaganda on FoxNews. 

Vanilla Ice is probably my favorite rapper.

Taking pictures of yourself with your phone making a duck face is so much cooler in your 30's.

What I like about celebrity sex tapes is how dignified it makes them look.

Godfather III is my favorite of the Trilogy. 

Under the Cherry Moon had a much better soundtrack than Purple Rain.

George Clooney is so ugly.

Officer, honestly, I have no idea whose blood that is.

Herpes of the eye.  Winning!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ten Things I Learned This Week

1.  Steve Jobs was the most beloved human being alive....once he was dead.

2.  The more you care about people (and don't read into this and think it's only about you) the less they care.  The more you ignore them, the more they crave your love and affection, the more you do for them, the more years you devote to them, the more you show them you care, the less likely they are to respond when you need them.

3.  Yankees fans are the loudest and most devout fans in the world....for varying amounts of weeks in October...only!

4.  In the last six months, I think I've missed some sign of Facebook flirting.  All these people are now taken and seem to have serious concerns about my well being.  Either I misread these signs initially and am realizing to late or I know even less about women than I originally though.

5.  I do not need therapy.  Therapy is for those who have trouble expressing their feelings and have hidden demons.  I have a blog and I never shut the fuck up about my feelings.  If I went to therapy, my therapist would need therapy.

6.  Jealousy is the ugliest of all traits.  It makes people say and do things that they would never dream of doing...even when drunk.

7.  Trying to be everything for people is tiring.  Trying to be me for me....equally as tiring.

8.  This next comment is not meant to be disrespectful to anyone who has a chemical dependency, but I'm amazed at how weak people thought I was and how I look at so many people now, only 3 weeks since I quit (for now) drinking and see how I had a a minute problem compared to them.

9.  Absence does not make the heart grow fonder.  Absence makes people look for other outlets for their frustrations, their desires and their every day lives.  People are fools who believe otherwise.

10.  I can check to see how many people read my blog.  What's amazing is that about 30 people read it and about 50 people comment on it.  Makes me wonder how and what the other people hear.   What do you hear?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My New Diet

The is only in jest...I realize there are holes in my theory.

I have tried fad diets and while I truly believe that Atkins fellow was on to something, I still have an issue with a diet that supports the use of bacon as a healthy snack.  I once lost 34 lbs in 3 months on Atkins with a healthy diet of eggs and bacon, cheese, burgers, steaks and Absolut Mandarin.  I realized this wasn't healthy when I couldn't remember not eating.

So, I'm switching gears and I've come up with the ultimate inexpensive diet.  I will watch as the pounds melt away.  My diet will also include two cheat breakfasts, two cheat lunches and two cheat dinners.  The breakfasts will include bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches or bagels with cream cheese.  The lunches will consist of sandwiches of lettuce, tomato, avocado and cheese or peanut butter.  The dinners will include pretty much anything on the Piper's Kilt, Burrito Poblano or East Bamboo menus (Chop Stix is an option if I get an invite).  Those are the cheat meals and will not be combined on same days.

The main menu will be very simple and inexpensive.  It will consist of lots and lots of coffee, water and club soda.  Breakfast will consist of a banana and half a container of Friendship 4% California curd cottage cheese.  Lunch will be an egg roll with spicy mustard.  Snack will be the second half of the cottage cheese and dinner will be a Celeste pizza.  The total nutritional tally is 900 calories, 90 grams of carbs, 35 grams of fat and 50 grams of carbohydrates.  The addition of a small salad might be added to the dinner for a little more substance, but will be small with a slight amount of dressing.

I figure at this rate, I will drop weight at about 2.5-3 lbs a week for the next twelve weeks.  Which means my New Years resolution can be to gain weight!  As preposterous as this sounds.  I lost almost 50 lbs doing nothing but eating tomato, lettuce, avocado and cheese sandwiches, English muffins with cream cheese and beer for the last year, so it's really not that unhealthy in comparison.  Right?

Here is the best part of my diet.  The five bananas - $2. Five egg rolls - $6.50. Five containers of cottage cheese - $11.50. Five Celeste Pizzas - $6.50.  Special Breakfasts - $5. Special Lunches - $7.  Special Dinners - $18. Weekly food bill is a measly $56.50.  An average of $8 a day....plus coffee!

R.I.P. Johnnie Mac

For a dear friend

Sometime later today, a good friend of mine is going to a memorial service for her best friend, Johnnie Mac.  I never met John, but from what I can gather, he was a special person.  He was a friend and a great person.  On one visit to Cavalry, she had to give way to players from his hockey team who wanted to see their coach.  She cried.  She visited him frequently during his short stay and treasured those final days.  He left this world, those kids and his friend too soon.  He didn't have a choice.

Cancer rarely let's us decide how long we can stick around.  My mother and both my friend's parents were taken by the disease.  We all have lost people to this awful disease and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.  Every time there is a lull in life, someone else's seems to be cut short from this disease.  It never fails. 

I remember the morning my friend found out.  It was the first time I saw her break down.  She's a strong woman.  Independent and feisty.  Cancer doesn't care about the strength of who it attacks or the strength of those it affects.  I'm a very strong person, but thoughts of my mother have brought me to tears recently.  In the past few weeks I've seen times when my friend has become overcome with grief because of her love for him.  On Wednesday, September 28th, Johnnie Mac passed away.  Personal problems had to go by the wayside, because my friend needed me.  What she needed more was time with Johnnie Mac.  It's something I can't give her.  I'd offer time from my life to give to her if I could.  I can afford it. It's not to be.

Tomorrow and Friday will be days of uncontrollable grief for my friend and the friends of Johnnie Mac.  They will be days of grief for me, because I know I can't do anything for her, her friend and I can't bring back my mother.  I can't talk to her about this.  My friend wanted one last time to say goodbye.  We all do.  It's important that we make sure we never leave people angry.  I thought about this the other night during an argument.  I thought about this, when I was mad at someone I care about.  I thought about this while I was mad at a family member who didn't even know it.  I called them just to say hello.  Still angry, but you never know.  When will the last day be? 

I didn't know Johnnie Mac, but if he was good enough to be my friend's best friend, he must have been a hell of a person. He must have been special.  I would have been honored to have met him.  My only connection is a band around my friend's wrist and our friendship.  She never met my mom and I never met her parents.  Our bond is cancer.  It's a strong bond.  Something we both understand without words.  I remember one of the first times we met out for a drink, we spoke about our losses.  It was supposed to be a happy go lucky, let's have fun date.  We both were teary-eyed in seconds.  We both understand.

Today, is going to be a tough day for someone I care deeply about.  At some point during the day,  I might shed a tear.  My mom will be in my thoughts.  So will my friend...and a friend I never met.  R.I.P. Johnnie Mac

Monday, October 3, 2011

Things That Have Come To Light

In the last two weeks I've been traveling the clean and sober road.  While probably not as exciting as the drunk and stupid road, I have had some insights.  Pretty much I've learned (or finally recognized a few things along the way) a few things.  Being I'm in a bit of a rush, I'm going to list them instead of elaborate on them.  Especially since elaborating on the issues has been one of the issues affecting me.  So while hardly exciting, here is what I have learned.

1.  I am not an alcoholic, despite what my writings have shown.  I let drinking affect friendships and motivation recently, but they were for the most part misunderstandings and things are back to normal.

2.  Most of you girls are right.  Pro Football is painfully boring if you aren't hammered and covered in wing sauce.

3.  True friends reach out in times of needs.  Those that don't.  Well.

4.  Don't ever try to be someone you're not while drinking, because the real you gets hidden and that's the person people like.

5.  Don't write blogs and status updates based on drunk emotions, because as clever as you think you may be, the world knows exactly who and what you are talking about and it's not fair to them.  They didn't sign up for it.

6.  Heartache for others makes you realize just how much you care about them.  Heartache for you, makes you realize just how much people care about you.

7.  The loss of life is not to be compared to anything that troubles you in life.

8.  The Kilt's burgers while drunk are delicious.  While sober they are orgasmic.

9.  Staring at someone while you're drunk is creepy.  Staring at someone while you're sober is enchanting.

10.  There is nothing better than a laugh when things are bad.  If even for a few minutes.

11.  The most beautiful moments in life are times spent without talking.

12.  Sometimes people don't have to say they love you for you to know and wanting them to say it will only make them stop.  Hold on to it and cherish it. 

13.  Waking up with a clear head makes the day seem longer, but if good things happen in that day, it's all worth it.

14. One good thing in a night that you remember, is better than 20 good things you don't.

15. Drinking makes you selfish.  It's a desire for self gratification at others expense.  Doing those same actions while sober, you realize you can do for others first and then worry about yourself.

Some of these might sound corny, but I believe them all to be true.  I'm not trying to sound self righteous, but I realize that I was very selfish and confused over the last few months.  This is not to say I will never have a drink, but it does mean, that I will always remember the times I saw clearly.  It's been eye-opening.