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  1. My husband has gone to bed. his life right now ... I pause because I cannot think of the words ... his life right now is sadness and chaos. And I am not sure why. his days are filled with Prime TV and pills that numb him. I cannot fix him. Doctors tinker but the result is the same. They say time heals. But there is something inside him I cannot reach and he cannot stop. It makes me feel impotent and helpless. I wonder how much time this will take. But in the face of this, there is nothing to do but to shoulder my burden and walk on. Our journey is a slow one, sometimes a painful one, but it is one he will not make alone.
  2. I've wondered for a while if I should talk about things going on in my, our, lives. I'm not much in the way of an attention seeker. I've always found being who I am attracts enough attention without me seeking it. I returned to school last year, I'm nearly done the first part of the course I'm taking: cybersecurity. It's in line with what I used to do, and what interests me and what I know can contribute. I'll look for a job in that field once I'm done, but I know there will be more schooling to come, likely at night school or distance. I then hope tim can reduce his hours or quit altogether if he wishes. tim's job is extremely stressful. Enough that a month or so ago he attempted to end his life. There was blood and hospital for a week. On my part fear and profound sadness. I was asleep at the time this happened and if it hadn't been for our other partner, Dan, tim likely would not be with us. Dan woke and noticed tim wasn't in bed and he got up to investigate. I slept through it all until Dan had bound tim's wounds, called the paramedics and at that point he woke me up. I think about that. Too much and too often. I wonder if I did so purposely and that thought feeds the sucking guilt in my soul. My more sensible side tells me, you were asleep because you don't sleep enough, you have a chronic disease, you're going to school and you're dealing with your father who has cancer. I try to believe this voice. Dan tells me the same things, as does my therapist. Dan's been with us for a while now. He's a good fit and we have a good time together. He makes my life much easier, as he's home, while I'm at school, so tim isn't alone. More than all of that he's my friend. I hope when I'm working again, that tim will at the very least reduce his hours. Maybe he'll find a way to write and publish again. he says its because he doesn't have an editor, but I'm not so sure about that. I'd like him to have more leisure time, write, volunteer, sleep more, exercise, visit ... whatever he'd like as long as it doesn't involve trying to keep customer's happy. he is very good at his job, but it's taking a toll. I saw a guy on tv last night. He'd been a cop for 17 years, and doing what I'd done for a part of that time. He worked trying to track pedophiles, he worked to help save kids. It's a necessary job but it takes its own toll. He went home one night.. and sat down.. and could not move. He was having a very real breakdown. I was lucky to have left before that happened to me. He had to retire and deal with the never ending nightmares. They are part of the reason I don't like to sleep too early so when I finally sleep I don't remember dreams. Even with all of this .. all of what could be, I'm hopeful that tim will fight back and choose life, I'm hopeful I'll be able to give him and us the life we want and deserve. As I read this over I ask myself why I'm writing this. I don't know really .. better out than in? Maybe someone out there needs to read it? Don't know. But here it is.
  3. The statement that is the title is an opinion. To determine if a system is flawed, the purpose of the system must first be established. Once it's established, and only then, can the determination be made if it's functioning correctly or not. So, this prompts the question: What is the purpose of the education system? To educate, of course! But the deeper and real question is, to teach what? Currently, the education system roughly works like this: Elementary school teaches you basic English and math skills. There's also basic religion thrown in there, physical education and... nothing else comes to mind from what I can remember. Science, I guess, but even then, nothing ground breaking. Secondary (high) school teaches you the foundation for advanced math, science (atoms, weather, etc then specializes in chemistry, biology and physics), more religion and English. These four subjects are the major aspects of these four years. The anchor subjects, if you will. Post-secondary teaches you (more or less - more on this later) the tools you need to be qualified for your chosen career. Elementary school, fundamentally, from a curriculum perspective, is more or less acceptable. The basics are there: reading, writing, addition/subtraction/multiplication/division - basic things you need to know to function in society. However, the problem with elementary school is that they coddle their students. I'll take my brother, for example. Let's call him John (not his real name, taken after John Doe). John is lazy, and doesn't do homework. John is in absolutely zero danger of failing his grade. The policy is not to fail students, because it 'hurts their feelings' and affects their self-esteem. Intention is good, I don't dispute that, but it's unrealistic. As a result of this policy, My brother's grown up in a bubble; he has no sense of failure, it's not something he's experienced before. If he doesn't hand in an assignment, the teacher will say something like this: "It was due last week, John. You really need to hurry up and get this project in to me." "John, you're late with your assignment. Once you get to high school, this will be unacceptable." There's no real incentive to do anything and there's no real understanding of the consequences of inaction. The words of the teacher fall deaf onto John and his peers. They nod, say okay and they understand, and they think they do, but they don't. They've never fallen before. They've never been told that they've failed something and need to deal with the consequences. They've always been caught before they hit the ground, whether they realize it or not, and are living in a false sense of reality. As I'm sure the readers of this are aware, the world does not catch you. This is setting up young children to have unrealistic expectations of life and is setting them up for catastrophic failure. Secondary school is a disaster, almost a complete waste of time. For anyone over the age of twenty, someone that may rent, have a job, possibly owns a car or even have considering owning a house, I ask you this: What have you learned from high school that helped you with these things? Personally, my four years prepared me for nothing. There was a half-semester of Careers (which, really, was a joke) and a half-semester of Civics. Both, in theory, are life-essential courses, but the curriculum foundation makes them a joke. Half a semester is several weeks, that's not a lot of time. Besides Careers & Civics, what is taught that's essential? Geography is arguable, you have a general sense of the world's politics and a rough idea where all the countries are. Math sets you up for higher-level courses (more on that later). Science gives you a general idea of how atoms work and elements, which is nice, but not something you need to know on a daily basis. World Religion is arguably relevant, but even then, it's falls in the category of Geography, which is "nice to know, but not essential". What is essential in secondary school? I struggle to answer that question. Besides the aforementioned Careers & Civics, I can only think of the Automotive class, which at least teaches you basic vehicle maintenance. That's something that everyone should know. What about English? That course doesn't teach you anything, besides trying to get you to think a certain way. English teachers are notorious for their "my way or the highway" way of thinking in regards to symbolism. If you don't interpret the piece in the way that they feel is correct, then you're wrong. This is so counter productive, it boggles my mind. One of the goals of high school is supposed to be to teach you to think for yourself, but this is accomplishing the exact opposite. On top of that, it's with the topic of symbolism. Symbolism is one of the most opinionated and subjective topics in the entire English subject. Symbolism is open to interpretation, that's the whole point of it. Secondly, in regards to English, the courses fail in the very name. In my post secondary education, there was a mandatory (required) English remedial class. The professor explained that there was so many complaints by other professors as to the state of the assignments being submitted, that this course had to be created and made mandatory. The second half was productive - showing us how to write various types of reports (it was a technical campus, associated with a university), but the first half was basic grammar. Literally, basic grammar and usage. We'd have a week dedicated for each topic and a quiz at the end of the week, to determine if we were proficient enough with the topic to not be required to go to extra seminars. Such topics included: commas, semicolons and when to type out or spell numbers. These are all things that should be taught in secondary or even elementary school. I won't even get into the tuition cause and issues associated with this. Another course that stands out in my mind that I took in post secondary was pre-calculus. The second time I took the course (don't ask), it all became so clear. The random and dis-jointed Math courses in secondary school were all coming together as the foundation to calculus. That made the struggles through those four years seem justified, almost. But, really, how useful is pre-calculus? I can't say that I use it on a daily basis. It's not something that a normal person uses in their day to day lives, besides really cheesy pick-up lines. This, to me, is a sign that the post secondary system is failing at their job: to make us the best possible person we can be in our chosen field. However, it's not really their fault, as they're picking up the slack from secondary schools. Secondary school is where the blame lies, squarely. Not solely, but significantly. The system needs to change, or it will become like the financial system in recent years, it'll crash in on itself. Much like the financial system dramatically affected society, so will this. A generation of young people is being unleashed upon the world that has no idea how to do basic things: buy a car, rent a house, get a job, buy a house. I was planning on including an example of a ridiculous mortgage offer from a bank, to prove that I wouldn't know if it was a ridiculous offer or not, due to the failure of my education system. The sad thing, though, is that it occurred to me that I don't even know enough about how mortgages work (and how to get one) to be able to come up with an example. That's pretty sad, isn't it? Note: My experiences are based primarily on the Ontario provincial education system.
  4. I always end up feeling a little bit on the outside. It's nobody's fault but my own. I don't do well in large groups. I used to be the one who just sat in the corner. I'm better now, I can talk to people and partake in group activities, but I invariably keep everyone a little bit at arm's length. Not that I don't share or discuss, I'm quite open most of the time, just that I keep me, the person I am on the inside, the quirks of my personality, a little bit on the inside. So I keep my distance, emotionally, to everyone but maybe one or two people whom I end up clinging to for dear life. And I always find myself disappointed when it turns out that I'm not as important to them as they are to me, because they have other people in the group, while I don't. Thing is, it always feels, at first, like I've come into a group that's perfect and lovely and where I get along with everyone and everyone's so nice to me and we all love each other. Which is true, as far as it goes. But then some people get to know each other better, and they break off into smaller groups that sometimes overlap, and I just... don't. I stay mostly on the outside, and occasionally I grab hold of a person in one of the groups and drag them out to play with me for a bit, before they wander back into their pack again and I end up wondering, what did I do wrong? Why aren't I part of a pack? When did these groups form, and where was I? Then the bad thoughts come. Maybe they just don't want me to be part of their packs? Maybe they were just pretending, and I don't really belong here and when they're nice to me they're just being, well, nice? Nobody really likes me, they all just pretend so they won't hurt my feelings, and when I leave a room they're happy I'm gone because I was so annoying. I wonder what they say about me when I'm not there. I wonder if they say anything at all. Then I become sad and depressed, I spend more time away from the groups, more time inside myself, digging a hole, trying to figure out where I went wrong, thinking there must be something terribly wrong with me that makes it so people don't like me, even though, rationally, I already know, the answer's right in front of me, clear as day. I should have been there more. But I'm an introvert. That's not the same as shy. I used to be shy. I'm not really shy anymore. Maybe sometimes, a bit, in the beginning, but I get over it quickly. I don't feel anxious about being in the same room with other people, or about getting to know new people or talking to them or anything. In fact, give me a glass of wine and some good background music and nobody would believe I was ever crippled by social anxiety. I'm just an introvert. Which means that when I've spent some time with people I feel really tired and exhausted and want to be somewhere else for a while. I prefer smaller groups, conversation to raucous partying, nights in with a few friends to nights out with lots of them. So, I leave early. I go home, make a cup of tea, watch a movie or do some reading or writing or play the guitar for a bit. On-my-own activities. I even like it when Magpie works night shifts sometimes, because it means that I can have some just-me time where I don't have to pay too much attention to the needs of anyone else. I'm also very empathetic, so being near other people can be very exhausting because I constantly have to care so much. It's in my nature. And that's why I never belong. Because I'm there for a bit and then I sign off, and when I get back things have changed, people have formed packs, groups, clans, families and I'm left wanting to be a part of them with no way inside. I want to belong. I just don't know how...
  5. I had a good weekend. I didn't go crazy and rage- I just had a couple of drinks with my friend Seth at this nice little bar on Philly Street. Sang some karoke and all that fun stuff. The next night I went out to Wolfie's and danced. Friday night I got to see the Plain White T's, and that was fun. But the best part about this weekend was the sense of utter contentment I had. I've made some choices that have left me satisified about where my life is headed, and I just feel good. Sunday afternoon, it was beautiful day out...I walked around IUP, marveling at this rare nice weather day. I stopped at the Oak Grove, which is the campus quad full of big old oak trees. I saw all these people out, enjoying their own day...friends lying out on towels and blankets, enjoy each other's company. I saw little kids playing with one another, next to what I'm assuming would be their parents. I saw people sitting on benches, quietly reading. It was all ordinary, yet extraordinarily beautiful. So here I was, observing this beautiful day. I sat down over by a bench, and I was just overcome by the beauty of everything that surrounded me...I started crying tears of joy. At how wonderful the world can really be, when you stop to really look at it, and how lucky I am that I'm still alive and able to experience it. And this sense...this sense of "I was right to come here" just came over me. Yes, it would have been cheaper to have gone to Del State, yes I might have been better served by getting a degree from Wilm U, but yeah....I really do feel like I made the right choice in coming to IUP. This place just feels like home, and that's the first time I ever truly felt that, deep down in my gut. And realizing that I moved on; that I can be happy in a life outside of being a University of Delaware guy...well, I really did need to learn that. Because when I was a senior in college I thought the best part of my life was over when I finished UD. And I realize now that I was wrong; that I still have a lot great moments of happiness left even though I'm no longer a crazy UD college kid. I hope of all you get that kind of experience every once in a while...the only I can best describe how it feels would be the words of Louis Armstrong: I see trees of green, red roses too I see them bloom, for me and you And I think to myself What a wonderful world I see skies of blue, and clouds of white The bright blessed day, dark sacred night And I think to myself What a wonderful world The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky Are also on the faces, of people going by I see friends shaking hands, sayin', "How do you do?" They're really sayin', "I love you" I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow They'll learn much more, than I'll ever know And I think to myself What a wonderful world Yes, I think to myself What a wonderful world Oh yeah
  6. Ha. Now that was fun. No, I'm not leaving graduate school. Not until I have that degree in my hand. I told my real-life friend Seth that I was getting kicked out of school, and he believed me. It was a great April Fool's day. LOL.
  7. I talked to my advisor today, and told her that I was planning on dropping out of graduate school. Going back over my blog, all I ever do is worry about school, and how hard it is, and how much I need to get my grades up. And for what? To service some future self? Become chained to the hell that is academia for another year of my life? I've been in school since 1991. Maybe it's time to finally say good-bye to it all? I was watching an episode of this show called Greek, and the character of Casey decided that she wanted to leave law school, and just go off to D.C. and find herself there. It made me think about my own life, and how maybe, just maybe...I can just go off to a new area and find myself without worry about grades, or papers...and just...be. I plan on selling everything I have, buying a beat-up old van, and traveling the country. Work some odd jobs here and there, and just enjoy my life. I might get into street performance art...
  8. I have some acquaintances from high school. One got an article write-up about landing a role in a professional production of Romeo and Juliet. The other one, who works tech, is apparently going to work scifi effects for a Disney movie. Another hasn't had anything big happen, but she is really working toward her goal of breaking it into the movie business in Hollywood. It just had me thinking, about when I was fifteen years old and really wanted to be an actor. I wanted to be in movies- maybe an indie film star with a career as the quirky supporting character. Or, in a dream fuled by my visit to NYC, an actor living in some hip artist colony. Roughing it out in some starving artist studio, living on nothing but dream and ambition as I moved from audition to audition. At some points we'd break into song about our inability to pay rent for our outrageously overpriced apartments. I used to read monologue book after monologue book...poured over acting tip help books, and I even majored in acting during high school. I wanted to be famous. I wanted to make magic...be something bigger than I am. I wanted to take an entire crowd of people and move them so much with my acting that it'd stay with them for awhile. Somewhere along the line, it dawned on me that it wouldn't happen. I'm an okay actor but nothing amazing, and to be honest the lack of stability would have driven me crazy. The history field isn't exactly booming, but if you keep searching for a few years, you'll find something. Acting- you can be in there for a decade and get nothing booked. I didn't want to take the gamble, and I found that in the end, doing the history field fufilled me in a way better than trying to be an actor would have been. Still, every once in awhile...I see friends who are out pursuing dreams we all shared when we went to high school together, and there's just this little twinge. Likely envy, possibly regret...but mostly pride in these people who took a gamble and are doing what they can to make their dreams come true. Any of you ever have this feeling? It's kind of an odd feeling and I'm not sure I'm describing it correctly, but there's something about seeing people you grew up with really chasing the big dreams and lofty ambitions that you once shared with them. I'm glad for them that they figured out what they want out of life and are going for it...but it makes me wonder what my dreams are now. I don't really know anymore. I'll try to keep you guys posted when I figure mine out. I'm curious to see if anyone's been in a similar place.
  9. I had my talk with my advisor with my proposed plan for the second year of grad school. Some things came clear. I won't be doing a thesis. I might work on some publications, but it's not really where I want to go. I also don't want to go into a PhD program, at least for a few years. Which pretty much means I really don't have a chance of working in the community college scene because the job market is so bad that PhD's are fighting over jobs in that field. I want to work in a museum, or I want to try consulting. And it might turn out that I'll get into something that I never would have thought I'd get into. Another thing that became clear is that I really won't be able to keep sleeping in until 11. I'm taking a 10 a.m. class next semester, which means I'll have to wake up at 9:30 a.m. or earlier. Ugh. I haven't had a class before 11 a.m. since fall semester of senior year. I told my professor this, and she pretty much ripped me for not wanting to wake up at 10 a.m. She had a good point, and I will take that class. It's scary to think I'm almost done. It's scary to think that I'm graduating in a dismal economy with a hefty student loan debt. And it's scary to admit that I'm 25 years old and I don't really know exactly what I want to do in my life. What I do know is that I'm interested in a lot, and I want to be a guy who can do a variety of things in a variety of fields. It's just weird. I came into grad school thinking I'd have all the questions figured out at the end, but I'm finding out that I pretty much don't know. I have no clue. Which is why I'm pulling back from trying the PhD track, because I think I need to have a better clue of what I want out of life before committing myself to 7 more years of school. Part of me thinks that I need to embrace the fact that I'm going to run out into adulthood with no clue about where I'll end up. The other part just wishes I could go back to my junior year of college where my biggest concern was whether or not I'd find a good party. I'll try and stay optimistic, but god. It's really hard to be, with this economy and with the knowledge that I'm in a field that's getting clobbered.
  10. This has been a long, weird week. Am i glad it's over? Well that's a loaded question. Last Monday the process of getting new flooring started. See, the landlady is having tile floors installed. Phil & the boys were shifting furniture around the house each day. It's an enormous mess & stressful for me to be in such a chaotic environment. i have an online class i'm taking & with the mess at home i've had to find other places to do that. Luckily, we have a great coffee shop in town that has fast WiFi. At work, there is more change. Two of my favorite co-workers are leaving. One is retiring. i am so happy for him, but dread losing him as a teammate. The other one was poached by one of my best clients. He's been with us since he graduated from University. He was a manager and we have no one internally who can take on that role. We'll manage of course, but he was a big part of our recent successes. So, Friday was emotional to say the least. The tiling crew, two guys, finished late Saturday afternoon. We worked until 8 or 9 putting things away. For the first time since Monday night, everyone was in their own beds. Today, i went thru a box of Swiffer dusters cleaning. There is dust everywhere! i have swept the floors and lightly mopped them to get grout residue off them. We are grateful to have the landlady we do, & the floors look nice. But it took a toll on all of us. Yesterday would have been my nephew's 21st birthday. i called my brother to tell him they were in my thoughts. it was a hard conversation. What do you say in those situations? Lastly, today is the anniversary of my mom's passing. i have missed her. much more than i thought i would. i talked to my dad & my sister today. They both sounded rough. For the first time in a long time, i wanted to be with my sister. So, yeah. A weird week. As for being glad it's over, i think i am. thanks for reading
  11. Mikiesboy


    ******* WARNING ******* Do not read if you are offended or triggered by references to suicide. I know I am dreaming as I lay in this fog. Sounds fade in and out, echoing as I drift away to other places and lands. I know also time is fleeting and there is very little future ahead of me. This I know to be true. Some truths are self-evident. This is one of those truths. We can deny it, pretend otherwise, wish, rail, scream and beg, but time does not wait. It marches forward and we can think we slow it, but that’s a fool’s errand. Life. We say each is worth living. But is that a truth? No. For many it is not. For too many, life is a slog, a drag to live in poverty and misery. Or if not, perhaps in the hell only mental illness can make. It can be a place of such horror and pain, suicide is a welcoming door. That door has tempted me in the past and still does today. Doctors offer treatment in the form of pills and talk. Often it works for short periods. But lately … lately the pull of that door has become stronger. Lately, I’ve found my hand upon the doorknob. The desire to turn it and step over the threshold is strong and getting stronger. I don’t feel this always. There are times when life is good. Where I see worth in the day and in others. There are projects to finish and to start. But I wonder why? Why do this? What does it matter? The sands of time will cover all and my time here will mean nothing. Sooner than later there will be nothing left of me and those who knew me will disappear also. And yet we strive. I can only suppose it keeps us from thinking about what is to come. While I appreciate you deciding to read this, but there is no need to comment on it.
  12. SP and I have had several conversations, and a couple have circled back to becoming partners but maintaining our individuality. Just ran across this quote from Kahil Gibran from The Prophet [if you've never read this, do so]:
  13. Attended the memorial for the wife of a faculty member today. They had planned on retiring this year (for the second time), take a position back with his Alma Mater that involved less work (his idea of retirement), and enjoying their time together. She was a sweet, kind, lovely woman -- but don't mistake that for weak. Not sure exactly how long they've been married, but longer than I've been alive. Between that and the weather changes making me ache, I've been mostly awake since 3am. Too much loss in the last year. 😢
  14. Blood pressure has continued to swing from way too high to way too low -- and yesterday it did both in one day. I know part of the "high" was taking my evening medication later than I normally do by almost two hours + very high level of pain. A multi-state property management agency just bought the house across the street and down one. They want to turn it into a "short-term rental" [which the city defines as anything less than 30-days] full time. To do that you have to apply for a permit with the city as at that point it's a business (kind of like a garage / lawn sale - if you have one once or twice a year you're cleaning away junk; if you have one every month you're running a business). No I've nothing against the idea on it's own but the companies rep has been a complete ass and has left the HOA with the impression he has no intent of following through on anything he says he's going to do. That does not make us trust that he's going to run the rental in a manner that won't be disruptive to the neighborhood. The HOA president was there on behalf of several people from the neighborhood, and other than her I was the only person from the HOA there. His attitude in the meeting didn't ease any of my concerns -- and didn't help him with the members of the Zoning Commission. They ruled in our favor and denied the application. Have a feeling that the 'fight' isn't over though - he just gives you the feeling of someone who doesn't really care about following the rules. Going to that is what caused me to get home so late. I hadn't expected the meeting to take almost TWO HOURS. There were only three other items on the agenda. Guess I should be happy that they didn't just rush through things and listened to what both sides on each of the issues had to say. But by the time it was over my pain level was extremely high, as was my blood pressure.
  15. MichaelS36


    Today tim shared a motivational poster which said: The older I get the more I understand that it's okay to live a life other's don't understand. That made me think. While it is true many do not understand our D/s lifestyle, recently, I've found myself questioning it also. I do not believe D/s will ever be totally gone from us. But I have found that by easing back a little bit, life is more fun and more fulfilling. I have discussed these changes with tim; these lessening of the Rules. he seems fine with what has been happening. The change wasn't a decision, it's been organic, an evolution of sorts and it suits us. I believe it comes from changes in tim. he is more confident, happier, stronger. These are things to encourage and reward, so I have had to change as well. But he will always be my boy, and I his, Sir. he is still respectful and defers to me, but something is different, less rigid. It is there but I cannot pin down what it is exactly. However these changes manifest themselves may not stay within the D/s colouring book lines always. But you know what? It's our life … your life … and it needs living the best we can. Do what makes you happy. We most certainly are.
  16. Wow, how the time flies. It's hard to believe that Baby J is just under 2 months shy of celebrating his first birthday! He is so active and is crawling, pulling himself up, and walking along the couch (or anywhere else as long as he has something or someone to hold onto!) We have baby gates all over the house, and so far they seem to be keeping the little guy mostly contained. And we now adapt whatever we're having for meals so that the little man can eat it too, with his 4 little teeth! Being a new mom is more than I ever expected, and so worth it. Especially when he gives me his big grin, or like the other night when I wasn't feeling good and Baby J just snuggled with me. Or he says mama or dada (the very occasional mommy and daddy). Of course, he has his grumpy boy moments, but they're usually only when he's tired or not feeling well. Luckily major meltdowns are few and far between. He's even been on his first major roadtrip. 17 Hour drive (one way) to meet his uncle, aunt, and cousins (we broke it up into 3 shorter days rather than 2 long ones to make it easier on him). Of course, everyone loved him, but Baby J really took to my brother. If my brother was home, Baby J was on his lap, or otherwise in the very near vicinity. As you can probably tell, life has been busy. We're lucky that Baby J hasnt really been sick much, primarily only having the flu at one point and a short lasting stomach bug another one. I've been sick a little more, but D has been great about helping out around the house, especially when I'm not at my best. We may have finally got a few answers to everything that has been going on with me. Vitamin D deficiency counts for a lot of my issues, and most of what isnt caused by that are most likely caused by a stomach/esophagus sphincter hernia. Which basically means that the above named sphincter, that connects the esophogus and stomach, is loose and allows for reocurring reflux. Not great news, but it's mostly controllable with diet and reflux meds (though I'm not on a daily med for it at this point). Surgery isnt suggested to fix the issue unless it gets much worse than it is, as it would require a major surgery. So that's what's been going on here. Not much writing going on, as I simply cant seem to find the time and or ambition, but hopefully that will return in time. There have definitely been some ups and downs, but overall I cant complain too much. Hopefully I'll be able to return to GA on a more full time basis in the near future (is that a little optimistic considering Baby J is nearly a toddler?) But I have a great team to help with my GA duties, and I owe a huge thank you to all of them! Not going to name names, just in case I forget one, but Thank you, all of the help is greatly appreciated! Until next time! Cheers Renee
  17. Hi! This a short excerpt from the first chapter of my next story called Changes. It's about Don and Louis, together 10 years, married for part of that time, very devoted to each other. Don is a writer and a lover of his husband but also of danger. Life is good until one day ... The racetrack that day was noisy and oily. The fumes gave me a headache. I felt irritated and wanted to be anywhere but there, but Don had asked me to go, and I didn’t feel like I could say no. In the pit area, I sat watching him and his crew doing last minute adjustments to the bike. I was such a fish out of water. But Don didn’t care. I was his husband, and he was not afraid to show this in front of others as he often ran up to talk or kiss me. Finally, Don went to change into his leathers, leaving me with a black feeling of doom. If I’d gotten up and gone with him, and told him how I felt—that maybe today was not a good day to get on that killing machine—that maybe he’d have listened. In my heart-of-hearts though, I know he wouldn’t have. No, instead, he would do what he did. Hold me in his strong arms, kiss me until I was breathless, and tell me he’d love me forevermore. I’d smile and act bravely, cheering him on, but scared until the damn race was over. It happened in the fifth lap. They don’t really know what caused the accident; can’t tell me the whys, only that it was an act of God. Do we blame God for everything bad that happens? I see it every day in my head; it was just after a right turn. The bike leaning, and Don’s right knee so close to the track. It was too close, wasn’t it? The physics were instantly wrong, so that massive machine slid out from under him, and Don becoming a ragdoll as he flipped repeatedly, bouncing off the guardrail and hay bales. The ambulance screamed its way over the park-like grass in the centre of the track. I wanted to go. I needed to go. But I was held in place, as Jed’s hands were on both my biceps while I tried to climb the barrier; his grip was like Don’s. Jed, the crew chief, had grabbed my face and turned it toward his. It was loud, so we all wore ear protectors, and I remember the shape of his mouth as he yelled at me; NO, NO, NO! He pulled me inside the small crew’s lounge. I fought him because this room was not where I was supposed to be. He pulled off our protectors and said, “No, Louis. We can’t help him. Let the paramedics sort him out.” “He’s my fucking husband!” I didn’t try to stop my tears. Jed pulled me close and held me in arms that felt so like Don’s, and he whispered, “I know. I know.” All I could do then was grab fistfuls of his overalls and sob. Jed drove me to the hospital. Terror was in my fingers during that ride and I dug them into my thighs and the padded door handle. Don was in surgery by the time Jed led me to the Emergency Room, where he remained for several hours. I called Don’s mother Rena, who lived in Calgary. I felt I needed a plunger to push down my feelings as I told her what had happened to her son. I knew she was crying as she said she would be here as soon as she could. That was nearly three weeks ago. Don has not woken up; he has not moved, he has not smiled or cried, or said: Baby I love you. Not for three weeks. I think I have no more tears, but today, with time passing me by, I sob. My ‘you’ve got a text’ ringtone roused me from my self-pity and daydreams. I picked up my phone, rolled onto my back and opened it: He’s awake
  18. Alright, so it's the new semester. I have a job on campus at the student dining hall. Work is work, but this time around I'm getting more hours. And to be honest, I really don't like two of the shifts I have- I don't like the pace, and while I know I could get used to the duties over the semester, I just don't feel like $7.25 an hour is worth getting aggravated trying to get used to something when I've got two other shifts with job duties I'm used to having. This week I'm working somewhere close to 20 hours, and I'm just feeling like it's too much for me. I'm considering dropping back down to about ten, getting rid of the two shifts I really don't like having, while being open to "sub" in for other shifts. I totally thought I could work about 12 to 15 hours, and I don't know if I can really do it. On one hand, I really like making extra money, with spring break coming up and everything. On the other hand, I'm starting to feel like I'm getting stretched thin- not there yet, but when the academic workload really starts coming in I don't know how I'm going to feel. I feel like the hours are already cutting into my study time. I hate feeling like a quitter, but I really don't know if I can carry this kind of job workload all semester. My gut feeling is telling me to cut back on my hours, but I'm worried about how that will make me look, as well as lost money opportunities. What do you think?
  19. I started my second semester of grad school this week. The workload is pretty intimidating, but I think I got it down by this point. I hope, anyway. One thing that struck me is how much more relaxed I feel as opposed to that first week of grad school. Everything- god I just felt like I couldn't breate. I spent the night before my first classes that semester reading the reflections of a woman who dropped out of her PhD program. I was positive that I would flunk out. And I did pretty well. I think that's given me a confidence going forward. Now I just have to recalibrate and figure out how to balance this new semester schedule.
  20. This was a really interesting year. Last year, just right before Christmas, I told my sister that she might not have a sister-in-law but a brother-in law... After Christmas I told my Mum as well. Since then the number of people I came out to expanded to nice round 10. These people form sort of my "inner circle", some gyrate closer to me, some further, but they are nevertheless my close friends. How was a year out? I tried to come with one adjective - the most appropriate would be "eye-opening". I slightly touched the local gay "pop-culture", the "meat market", I even spent a night in a hotel owned by gays and I saw their darkroom . I found out that there are many gays in the city, and I got to realize that they are all the same as "straight" people. Maybe more vain. But I can't be so negative. Everyone knows that I met here the love of my life, my SUPERLATIVE boyfriend about whom I tend to brag endlessly, so I have to control myself. Moreover, he's coming over tomorrow and he will be mine for almost two weeks! That's almost an eternity in a long-distance relationship. Apart of my personal life, I also found my first real job, considered quitting my Ph.D. and then reconsidered, met new people and expanded my horizons towards economy and accounting and I already have plans for future development... shortly it was not only one year out, but also one year in the middle of work, school, travel and LOVE I wish all of you who read this blog MERRY CHRISTMAS and a happy, successful, loving and placid new year 2011. Hopefully the new decade will bring us more happiness than the last one.
  21. So I'm five and twenty now. Crazy, huh? When I was seventeen, I used to look at 25-year olds and think of them as wise sages who were so full of life experiences from which I could draw important life lessons from. Now *I'm* the 25-year old, and it just feels weird. I was a guy who thought 19 would be forever, and now I'm halfway through my twenties. This night a year ago, I was getting drunk with my buddy Steve at my favorite bar. Now I'll be spending this birthday pretty much just writing a paper for a class. I'll do the real celebration this weekend plus a family dinner when I get home for Christmas, I think, but still...why the hell did my birthday have to fall on a Tuesday? *pouts* 24 was a pretty good year. I had some great memories....the last semester of senior year had some great memories. The final Skidfest felt like closure for me. Hanging out with Steve at Buffalo Wild Wings, Deer Park, and La Tonaltecca. Then chilling at Dickinson. Vic's graduation party also brought some closure. Italian with Justin. The fun of my public history senior seminar and the internship at Hagley. My seminar with Heyrman. Graduation. My end-of-summer hangout with Steve, Justin, and Tony at Cleveland Ave. Getting into grad school, and starting anew. The new challenges and the new friends and new situations in a new place...not all good, but definitely not all bad. I took a leap of faith after graduation and picked going to this school...and so far, it's worked out pretty well. So now...I just look forward to seeing how 25 rolls out.
  22. I came this article in the News Journal today. It's about the sentencing of a former UD student, who got put in jail for 10 years for his assault on a WVU student named Ryan Diviney. The article focuses on Ryan's dad, Ken, who has devoted his life to taking care of his now-comatose son.Former UD student gets 10 years in VA assualt. I thought I'd post this up and all that because I was just reading it, and I was so incredibly moved by the father. He's put aside his entire life- everything- so he can take care of his vegetative son. Mr. Diviney refuses to give up on him despite all logic dictating that he's fighting a losing battle, because it's his son and that is the power of his love for his son. It's amazing to think how strong the bond between father and son can be, especially if you've never experienced it for yourself. I'm pretty stressed- I'm sure most of us are- being this time of year and all...but reading this article made step back a little and think...don't sweat the small stuff. I'm lucky that I'm alive, I'm lucky that my brain is still functional, and I'm lucky that I'm sitting in my dorm stressing out over how to get the comparative book review done than sleeping in a vegetative state on a hospital bed completely missing out on life.
  23. I'll be working for Habitat for Humanity for spring break '11 in Winter Haven, Florida. We get a pit stop in Atlanta, and we also get that Friday off to go to Daytona Beach. No alcohol, which is a bummer, but overall I'm really excited. And this should go great on my CV. I have never been to Florida in my life, so I'm really excited!
  24. Skidfest, the local charity rock event that has been held every semester in a block of row homes known as Skid Row since 1990, has been denied a permit because of the university bookstore construction going on behind it. I knew this was going to happen as soon as I realized that the construction would take up the two parking lots that surrounded Skid, because it would severely limit access to the event. And you could feel it at the last one that the end was near when the cops closed the event down early because some stupid kid fell off a railing and had to be taken away in an ambulance. This sucks. I went to my first Skidfest when I was a 17-year old reservist townie. I made some great memories there- like when I smoked sage with my buddy Grant while some weird drunken chick kept trying to hit on me, the time I literally got up on a soap box and gave a speech about medicinal marijuana, the time I puked all over my arm because I tried to chug Hurricane, the time I got really drunk and then walked over to the academic building across to Pearson Hall to watch a play...just all those wonderful, precious memories that I owe to this place. The event was more than just a bunch of drunken, stoned kids slobbering over themselves while garage bands played. It was a dedicated charity event in which members of the community-students, alumni, townies- all came together for a cause. It lasted for twenty years, and it became something of an institution not just with the students of University of Delaware, but within the city of Newark. It will be missed, and I hope it can indeed come back in some other kind of fun. The University, in its obsession with obtaining Public Ivy League status, has done whatever they can to kill the party scene over the last 10 years. In doing so they've also killed the local music scene. What they fail to grasp is that it's memories like going to places like , or - those are the kinds of memories that make their average student feel a fondness for the university and turn them into alumni that want to donate. But hey, I guess they're getting what they wanted in shutting down something that was just too great and too wonderful to be allowed to continue.
  25. I had a bit of a faux-paus today where I cracked some joke that I wouldn't let up on, and the professor took me aside and told me that I might not be picking up on the social cues that I was ticking off some of the kids in the class. I felt pretty embarrassed, although it reiterated to me what a great professor I have. It just reminded me that social cues and graces just are never going to be second-nature to me, and that I really have to remember when I should let my guard down and just free-flow or when I should perhaps think about what I'm saying before I say it. She also reminded me that I'm in a different area, and that some things that might be joked about casually where I'm from aren't taken so nonchalantly here. The other dimension to this is that I've been feeling tension with some of the people in my department, and it has been bothering me. There's this dude. I'll call him "Eric". Eric is this arrogant ass who, on the account of the fact that he's somewhat cute and cocky, has several of the girls in our department hanging on to his every word. He doesn't like me, and I've been feeling tension with the guy since week 1. He's got this wingmen, this girl who never leaves his side and likes to snub me right along with him. And they, and to a lesser extent their developing clique, have just made me feel very uncomfortable. I've been snubbed many times before, but experiencing this as a 24-year in the grad school setting just has me flabbergasted. I wasn't expecting to run into that kind of mentality here, and it's left me a little disjointed. I think this, combined with the gentle lashing I got from the professor, really got me down. So tonight after class I just sorta went out with my lone friend there, got drunk, and sang LFO's "Summer Girls" to forget about life for awhile. (As fate would have it, my job is shifting around hours and I don't have the Tuesday shift I thought I had.) I won't make a habit out of Monday Night Drinking, but it really helped to talk my friend and to talk to my roommate. They both basically just said to me, "Don't let the assholes bother you, just continue being you but take a second to think about whether a joke you might crack might rub people the wrong way." Justin, my roomate, was basically like, "JR, you're fine. You're doing your work. You're getting assignments done. You've balancing in your 9-hour job, and you've got the resident hall stuff you're doing. You're making friends. Don't let the few assholes get you down." He's definitely right. It was good to just talk this all out, though- one of the things I learned from life is that not talking about my problems and letting things build- that causes bigger problems in the end. I will take up my advisor/professor's invitation to talk at some point, and just...keep on keeping on, I guess.
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