What’s In Your Wallet? / Tidbits

There is no better feeling than being able to pay off a credit card. I did that today. Two in fact. It’s been a financial struggle since the breakup a year ago. My debt is still higher than when we met but now at a much more manageable level. The cards in question were two of my higher interest cards that were just killing me. Three to go! Plus the revolving credit lines, the department store cards… Wait, what was I happy about?

I’ve had to put the motorcycle purchase on hold. I was hoping to be caught up enough by Christmas to swing it but it ain’t gonna happen. As much as I want it, it’s just not in the cards just yet. Plus, I think I mentioned I’m planning on moving again. A friend is buying a condo and wants a roommate. This arrangement suits me as I get to save money. Say it w/me. “Saving money is good!

Switching gears, I got a nice card/pic from Tim today. He made me lunch one day before the vacation. While we were hanging out, he was showing off his Halloween costume. In the process, he made me wear this ridiculous looking hat w/hippie hair on it. Having forgot my own camera, he snapped of a pic of it. I have to admit, it’s funny. So the card includes a mini 2006 calendar w/the hippie pic square in the middle. HIGH-larious! Thank you Tim. (I’ll try to scan and post later)

In other exciting news, I finally went to the doc today and got some drugs for my sore throat. Knowing me as well as he does, he wanted to know if it could be something sexually related. I guess it’s possible but haven’t had that many shinanigans lately. (If only!) Scouts honor, I swear! (like the scouts have any honor left but that’s a nut to crack later.) Back on the subject, I ran into my friend mentioned above at the docs office. I thought he was stalling on the whole buying a condo thing but looks like he is right on tract. I really don’t wanna move over xmas (again) but the faster I get into a cheaper place the better.

On the family front, looks like our new found bond is quickly going down the shitter. My oldest brother has mysteriously decided to move to Mississipi. And my youngest brother has split w/his wife. They still work together which makes for some intersting drama I bet. Add to that, my siblings have yet to purchase the headstone for Dad’s grave. I’m not at all surprised though. I have a sneaky suspicion I’ll end up paying for it. I don’t mind the cost. I just wish for once my siblings could get their shit together and keep it that way. That’s probably asking too much but one can dream right? Actually, my younger brother and I have been communicating via text messages and emails. This normally wouldn’t be news but he isn’t exactly computer savy. You talking about a clan that didn’t have a phone until the mid 80’s. For all my bitchin, I’m glad he finally made the jump into the millenium. It’s nice to chat more than once a month.

I’m getting hungry (that’s code for cranky) so more later.

Not Again

Well, looks like I may have to cancel yet another vacation. With the arrival of hurricane Wilma, it is possible my trip to Ft. Lauderdale may be a bust. While I don’t wish it on anyone, I’m hoping it spares Florida, or at least weakens down to a Catagory 3 by the time it hits.

Many people are worse off than I am but, I have so been looking forward to this trip. If I have to cancel this one, I’m just gonna say “screw it” and stay home.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Oh What Fresh Hell…

This entry marks the end of a very loooong drawn out day. Not only did I pull 12 hours but everyone was cranky. Add to that lots of goin’s-on in the city. A carjacking (211cj), a stabbing (219), a shooting (217), a lady backed over a homeless guy (519 ped), and to top it all off, I got a lovely caller who felt the need to remind me her taxes pay my salary (800). Well it ain’t enough! (How’s that for good grammar?) And her gripe was over kids playing in the park…playing in the park! I’m like be frelling glad they aren’t tagging your house lady! Anyway, I’m glad this day is over. I had originally planned to go out but I guess I’m getting old. I’m too pooped to party.

In other news, my ex called while I’m at work. He was in an accident on the freeway. He was ok but needed help on what to do. I was a bit short but offered up the needed assistance. Afterwards, I felt a bit guilty so I called him back and made sure he was really ok and that he got the necessary help. Freeways are CHP jurisdiction but I’m a control freak at work, I admit it. I only mention it as it segways me into my last bit of drama for the day.

**Oh, and you might wanna skip this part. I so hate when people drag out their dramatic break-ups so I won’t resent you if you skip it. However, this is more about what I’ve learned from it than the break-up itself.**

I made a comment to a co-worker in passing about the ex calling and he said something that reduced me to tears. He doesn’t read my blog and he’ll probably never know the effect he had on me today. That said, I am truly grateful for his thoughtfulness. It really helped solidy my belief in myself and my actions. So after our very brief conversation he took the time to write to me thru the terminals and say,

“…w/o really knowing what happened, I know you and I know whatever he did he probably deserved it. You are a compassionate and gentle creature.”

This from a straight guy who used to be a cop. Not exceptionally known for his overt kind nature. You wouldn’t believe such a small statement could reduce me to tears. I was so bloody blubbery I had to take a break! (This conversation occured via computer terminals) If you are one of my few regular readers you know I tried really hard thru the whole dramatic break-up to be the better man. And here is a person who doesn’t know any of the details of my life and he totally gets it. He totally get’s what I’ve been going thru w/o even knowing it. The blind understanding of his comment just pushed me over the edge. I got all blurry-eyed and had to take a moment to collect myself. It was so “Elizabeth Taylor” I’m giggling now. However, at the time it was a very defining moment.

And w/that blog fans, stick a fork in me cause I’m done! It’s been an emotional day. No phones, no friends. Just me w/my feet up in front of the Tivo.

Ciao!

Poor vs Pride

With mixed feelings, I write todays blog. I’m coming up very short on finances for the trip home to see my father before he passes. None of the airlines offer cheap fare for last wishes blah blah blah. The few who do offer bereavement fare only do so AFTER the person is dead. Well, what good does that do me. So, my buddy suggested I solicit donations via paypal. My first response was no. However, as his condition gets worse I’m forced to reconsider. I figure if guys can solicit money to cover their blogs then I can do it for a much more worthy cause.

So without further ado, I have added a paypal button. If you can afford it and donate, I’m forever in your debt. If not, don’t feel bad about it. It is what it is, nothing more.

The Pending Death of My Father

My rants have been kinda limited lately. I’ve been dealing w/some bad news I got this week. I haven’t quite digested all of it until now.

My father has been battling lung cancer for the past year. He had a grapefruit sized tumor removed from his upper left lung back in October. They discovered recently it has metastasized into his hip bones. This type of cancer is not treatable and non-operable. Basically, right now he is in a hospice testing his tolerance for pain and what meds are most effective at the smallest dosage. Once that’s over, he gets to go home to live out his remaining days. There is zero hope of recovery.

Now for those of you that know me, you know there isn’t much love loss between my family and myself. Mainly over my coming out nightmare. But that’s sorta just the icing on the cake so to speak. My childhood evolved from one tragedy to the next and its not a part of my life that I reflect upon often. To understand my thoughts now, its probably best if you go back and read the history. Otherwise, the context of the next paragraph will be completely lost on you. I often use harsh sarcasm and puns to describe my family. (ie…if you trace the roots of white trash back to its origins, you’d find my family tree)

This news has brought forth a few inner demons I thought long exorcized. In trying to resolve some of the conflicting emotions, I’ve come to realize I still love my father. Not as deeply as the normal father/son relationship but love nonetheless. Honestly, this is a bit of a surprise. I often joke that his passing would be a release. The same release that I welcomed when my step mother, Satan-in-drag, finally died and left us for the underworld. (Like I said, you need to read the history.) I find myself wishing he wasn’t sick and I keep asking myself why. He robbed me of so much as a child and as an adult why should I love him? I never got to do ANY of the father/son things that fathers do w/their kids. He doesn’t deserve it. No one deserves the love of a child they so harshly abandoned. The only good memories I have of him are back when I was very young before the death of my foster mother. Everything after that is just ugly.

Deserving or not, I did forgive him. I find that I don’t care about the reasons. My father and I currently have a very distant relationship. I see him about once a year and I never make more than a day of it. We talk, catch up on our lives, and I quickly realize why I fled bum fuck nowhere Texas ages ago. So, now I’m in the position to cause harm or comfort. I find myself only wanting to comfort him. I guess that says good things about me. I just can’t help thinking about all the things that could have been had he not been so closed minded.

? Hold Music ?

I absolutely detest automated phone systems. I recently bought a backpack for my new laptop from Dell. The laptop is beautiful and working flawlessly. The backpack itself is fine its just not the right size. Ok, more correctly, it is the right size however, they neglect to tell you the inside fitting for the laptop is much much smaller. I’m a frequent online shopper so this speed bump is not completely unexpected.

The packaging slip says I have to call to get a return shipping # before I can actually return the package. It specifically states I must call not go online.

Issue #1:
I spent 25 minutes on hold. Not a good first impression as far as I’m concerned. So while I’m painfully being submitted to monotonous hold music I discover I can, in fact, go online for the same information. I go online searching for return info. Again, navigation issues from hell.

Issue #2:
Every possible question but ‘returns’ seems to be answered in the online F.A.Q. (frequently asked questions). Finding none of the required information, I end up on a blank ‘contact us’ form. Only at this point, does it give me a place to go for the needed info. Once there, getting the number was simplicity itself.

I’m only annoyed because Dell sings constantly about their fabulous customer support. Well, I can tell you from personal experience, it ain’t that fabulous. If I had to rate it, I’d give it a flat “average”. The simplicity of ordering and receiving goods is darkly shadowed by such a poor follow up nightmare. Don’t get me wrong, in the age of automation and mega corporations I realize there cannot be a live body to answer my every whim of a question. However, as a rule to avoid confusion, you should never have a phone/online tree going more than 3 options deep. Anything beyond that is just pointless and a waste of time.

So to all you big wigs you read my blog (yeah, and pigs might fly out of my butt!), take note….NO FREAKING ENDLESS PHONE TREES!!!!!

*sighs* I feel better now.

Opening a Can of Worms?

So much to cover today and so little time! I think I’ll do individual posts instead of one big one.

First the long one. I sorta opened a can of worms this week. To understand, you probably need a refresher on previous drama. This all comes into play right when I started blogging so not a lot of the story is complete. Yes, it involves the ex but only in a previous context. No, its not me moping again. I think I’m finally beyond that.

Preface: The ex moved in w/me mid 2003, he got really sick right after that w/pancreatitis. So sick in fact, he almost died. Skipping forward 6 months, he finally got better. He’d lost a lot of weight though. So one of his goals was to try to get back in shape enough to try out for the SOMA Bare Chest Calendar contest. It’s a charity event held every year that raises money for local AIDS charities, two specifically. I thought this a great idea and was very supportive. Naturally, he won and was the month of May for the 2004 Calendar. Skipping forward again, the calendar had an indirect impact on our breakup so I tend to have mixed feelings about it. However, I’m a big believer in charity so in the beginning I offered my web design services for free to help out. It was put to me that someone else was doing it and my help was not needed.

Current: I ran into one of the calendar committee members this past week at Daddybucks1 in the Castro. I’ll admit I’m a little sweet on him but that’s another story. *g* So, we start talking and I offered some very frank yet constructive advice on problems w/the previous year’s strategies. He was very accepting of the advice and agreed. So one thing led to another and a few emails later he asked if I’d be willing to help out on the committee, the web design, or both. I was truly flattered and felt a bit guilty for being a bit negative about the calendar previously. (yeah, I can be a caddy gossipy queen but I’m working on it, alright?) It’s not really their fault my ex and I broke up so to hold them partly accountable is a bit irrational. While my schedule is not flexible enough for me to be a full time committee member it is flexible enough for me to help out on the website. After a bit soul searching, I agreed. One, I enjoy it and it gives me a great way to meet people. Two, I like being in the background as far as charities are concerned. Being a very social creature, I have an unconscious habit of focusing people on me. That is never good for a charity so I like to take back seat roles to prevent that from happening. Three, this is a way for me to make up for my previous negativity. I have no desire to be on the Calendar itself for a variety of reasons. (we won’t go there)

Now here comes the catch. Between my first conversation and agreeing to do it, one of my old bosses emailed me wanting me to help them redo their company website as well. They are paying of course and their demands are a bit high. I just hope I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew. The calendar just wants updates more than anything which is relatively easy so I’m not thinking it will be a problem. However, I did sort of offer to redo the entire site originally. While it would not take all of my resources it would make me a very busy boy for awhile. I’m hoping they relegate me to just menial tasks of doing updates. The irony is I normally detest such a role and that was part of the reasoning behind my original refusal.

I’m still trying to find the lesson in all of this. I know there is one in there somewhere. *digging profusely*

  1. Starbucks for those not in the know []

Holiday – oops!

Since I’m working, I’ll keep this short.1

Tonight is a big night for drunk driver fatalities. I ask you, PLEASE, if you get toasty, call a cab, walk, take the bus, whatever it takes. Don’t drive drunk. And if you are in SF, the police are out in force tonight doing random stops so that goes double for my fellow SF’cans.

Have fun but be safe!

  1. I’m posting via email so if it comes out screwy I’ll fix it later.. []

Moved – Final Chapter

Say it with me….I am finally fucking done moving! Twice in 15 days and I’m SOOOOOO over it. *G*

So, I’m in the new place which is sort of the old place. If you’ve been keeping up you know exactly what I mean. If you haven’t, for shame! I’m slowly settling in. The only thing worse than packing is unpacking! Of course, I tend to stick stuff in any box it will fit so after making myself open every box, I’m discovering stuff I forgot I had!

On a related rant, I feel like this is the end of a chapter in my life. Not sure where its coming from really. Maybe its the little bits of my karma I’ve seen coming back to me over the last few days. Who knows. I just have this growing feeling of closure. Just in the last month I’ve survived a breakup w/the boyfriend, two separate moves (and all that entails), and switching gyms over a greedy manager. Other than being flat broke for the first time in a long time, I think things are looking up. Maybe, its jut having a moment to breath w/o worrying about the future. Dunno for sure but I like it. Hopefully, I’ve seen the last of heavy drama for awhile. I haven’t quite worked it all out in my head at the moment so more later…

The Move – 2nd edition

Ok, well for those of you just turning in, I’m moving AGAIN this Thursday and Friday. Where? you might ask. Right back into the same place I just moved from. Just a different apt this time.

I spent the better part of the morning on the phone begging utility companies not to double charge me for transfer fees. No luck I’m afraid. However, all is not lost. My Karma, while a bit scarce this month, is slowly coming back strong. I got the same size apt for only a fraction more in rent than before. I could have ended up paying a lot more as the rental rates have been on a steady rise since June. The leasing company was more than happy to take me back. I had to re-apply but, was approved right away. I ended up w/the same size unit w/a different layout. I have twice as much closet space than the old apt, better views, and new carpet & tile so all and all not a bad deal.

The only downer is I’m so strapped financially, I’m not even sure I can cover the expenses for the rest of the month. And don’t even mention Christmas. I’m normally very generous so I think my friends/family can make do w/o me for one year. Who knows? Maybe I’ll defy the odds and win the lotto. Course, that means I have to actually play lotto first. [mental note – play lotto]

I actually came home early tonight as I’ve been feeling achey all day. I’m crossing my fingers that a good night’s rest will do the trick. I just don’t think my battered id will survive another attack right now. If you see headlines about a “crazy fag gone wild at a Uhaul center…”it means I lost it! *sigh* Seriously though, I’m actually in good spirits. With all the bad shit these last couple of months, things seem to be slowly turning around.

Wish me luck!