Daily Entries

I read lots of headlines.  On Google News.  Yahoo News.  Skimming through Facebook.  Five or six words tossed at me, trying to convince me to click on the link.

“Disgusting Video Proves that Michelle Obama is a Man.”

50 Things about Millennials that Makes Corporate America Shit It’s Pants.”

These two are the first two to come up tonight as I write this.

One such article this week that actually grabbed my attention was about writing in your diary.  Studies had shown that when people went back to re-read entries from years past the ones they enjoyed the most were the ones about every day life.  The stories about day to day existence.  The big events they remembered on their own.  The little ones they needed to be reminded about and thus they enjoyed more.

This led to the question of whether people who journal, or write in their diaries, or blog for  example for me, should write every day when nothing seems to have happened.  Or should they save their entries for big life events like break ups and marriages.  The article led us to believe that the every day writing would make us happier in the end.

The point I’m trying to make is that I need to remember this as I blog.  Often I sit at the keyboard for 10/15/20 minutes trying to decide what to write.  Instead I should just tell you about my mundane day.  Of course, in the article they were speaking specifically of journals and diaries, they didn’t address whether readers of blogs would be turned off by the simplicity of every day life.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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To Beat or not to Beat your child.

I posted this on Facebook tonight:

Just read this on a friend’s page: “I got my butt whooped and I survived.” My take. I survived my appendix bursting but I don’t think everyone should have to go through it. IF YOU HAVE TO HIT YOUR CHILD TO TEACH THEM RESPECT, TO MIND, TO HAVE MANNERS OR ANYTHING ELSE, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG. I was hit as a child. Did it make me a better person. No. It taught me fear. And hate. And a whole host of other emotions that weren’t healthy for a child. A hug and a chat about the offending item would have sufficed far more and I’d have grown up a much happier child.

This is was actually VERY edited.

What I wanted to say was that because of the physical and emotional abuse I suffered as a child I learned all about hate and self loathing.   It took more than 20 years for my stepfather and I to come to a relationship we could both agree on.

I have no use for violence against children.  I don’t think there’s EVER a reason to hit a child.  You may think that’s the only reasonable alternative but it’s not.  Take a look at their experience.  Take a look at their lives.  And then try to figure out why they are responding the way they are.  I bet when it’s all said and done you realize you don’t need to hit them.

That’s all.

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Maddog’s Night Out.

It’s been a very long 72 hours.  VERY LONG!

On Friday night I was invited to a party at one of my boss’ house.  My situation is a little weird.  I have 2 bosses that I actually report to but there are a total of 5 of them.  It can make for an interesting day at work.

So I was invited to a party at my boss’s house.  And I went.  Without eating.  Because I honestly thought that I was going to drop by the party.  Make an appearance.  Have a glass of wine.  And be on my way.  The party started at 7:00.  I thought I’d be home by 8:30.

So I arrive at the party at 7:15.  It was early I know but I’d been off work for two hours and just wanted to get it out of the way.  When I got there I realized that either I was told the wrong time or else there was an early party because the place was packed.  People from work.  Locals from the town.  There were well over a 100 people there.  I went in said hello to my boss and starting mingling.  Which I hate to do.  I hate networking.  I hate mingling.  I’m much better in a small group of people.  This was not going to be the case tonight.  So I finally made my way to the bar at around 7:30 and got a glass of wine.  At this point I’m still planning on leaving by 8:00.

Then my two real bosses appear.  One of them I actually needed to talk.  One of my managers at work has applied for a job in Boston.  We need to start the process to replace her.  So I chatted with her about that.  Then I chatted with my other boss.  Then other people from work.  Then I had another glass of wine.  At this point I’m still planning on going home.  Then my first boss who I chatted with about the manager suggested I stay in one of the rooms at the hotel above our restaurant if there was one available.  That way I didn’t have to worry about driving and I could have another glass of wine.  I said sure.  I was two glasses in.

Did I mention that I had not eaten.  I had had a bacon cheeseburger without the bun for lunch.  That was all.  And that was almost six hours ago now.  AND.  I couldn’t eat any of the food at the party because it’s not on my diet.  So much for going home and eating.

So I call my manager, Laura, at work and she discovers that we do in fact have an empty room.  I tell her that she’s now has to come to the party so that she can be my ride back to the hotel.  She tells me that she’ll see me after work.

I chat with people from work.  I chat with locals.  I chat with my managers.  And I drink.  On on empty stomach.  First only wine.  Then someone says, “HEY DON’T YOU LIKE BOURBON?”  So I switch to bourbon.  I remember Laura arriving at the party.

I don’t remember leaving the party.  When I come to I’m naked in the hotel room.  I turn on the light.  I call Laura.  She doesn’t answer.  It’s 2:30 a.m.  I look around the room.  It was not pretty.  I had thrown up on the floor of the hotel room.  I had thrown up all over my clothes.  I call Laura again.  This time she answers.

We chat.  Seems that I did not embarrass myself at the party.  She realized it was time for me to leave and she took me to her car.  She says she was about half way to the hotel when I threw up.  In her car.  All over myself.  UGH.  She managed to get me into the hotel room.  I threw up again.  She reassures me over and over that I no one saw me, and I did NOT embarrass myself.

I get up.  Clean up the vomit on the floor.  Consider putting my clothes on, walking to get my car and going home.  I decide against this.  I get back in the bed.  Turn off the light.  And go to sleep.  I wake up again around 6:30.  Again at 8:30.  At 10:00 I call Laura again.  I want to make sure she’ll take me back to get my car.  She says that she will.  I get dressed.  It’s painful.  My clothes are covered in vomit.  I reek.

She finally texts to tell me she she’s downstairs.  I sneak down the back stairs and into her car.  I sit in silence while she drives me to my car.  I thank her, over and over, and over, and over, and over.

I get in my car and drive.  If I’m truthful I was probably still a little drunk.

I stop and get a Diet Coke and drive home.

When I get home I get out of my clothes and get them into the shower.  They are disgusting.  I want to get the food particles off of them.  I then fall asleep on the couch.

Adam gets home around 12:00.  He’s not happy.  I’m still not sure why he was so upset.  He wanted to know if I was drinking because I was unhappy in our relationship.  Or because of work.  Or because.  I actually only drank to have fun.  On an empty stomach and it caught up to me.

I assure him he’s being silly.  I get in the shower.  I come out of the shower.  Put my clothes into a garbage bag.  I get dressed and leave to go back to work.

To be honest I’m probably still a little drunk.

I’m also late.  Laura had  wedding to go to and needed to leave by 1:00.  It’s 12:45 and I’m just now leaving for work.  It takes 30 minutes.  Without a stop for a Diet Coke which you know I do.

I get to work at 1:20.  I walk into the office and put my head in my hands.  It’s going to be a LONG day.

My boss who is the chef owner comes in.  I come clean.  I tell him that I’m WAY hung over.  He laughs.  Asks if there’s anything I can do.  I assure him there is not.  He goes back to work.  I continue to sit in the office with my head in my hands.

I stay like that for about 10 hours.  I make rounds about every hour.  I tell my staff that I’m not feeling well and to only come get me if it’s an emergency.  They all soon know why I’m not feeling well.  Around 4:00 I throw up again.  This time it’s just Diet Coke and it’s in the office trash can.  Thank god no one sees me.  I basically sat in my office with my head in my hands from 1:20 until around 11:30.  I did the absolute bare minimum to get by.

Of course we have late tables.  Stragglers who don’t know they’ve worn out their welcome.  It seems like they are never going to leave.  FINALLY.  Everyone is gone.  I count the money.  Do the reports.  Send the emails.  I’m on my way home.  I home by 12:30.

Adam is still mad at me.  We barely talk.  I fall asleep on the couch watching Saturday Night Live.  We shower.  Go to bed.  I sleep almost 14 hours on Saturday night.  When I wake up I’m a new man.  I feel like a 100 bucks.

And thank god because Adam stays mad at me for two more days!

More on that later.

 

It’s late.  I’m tired.  I have not proofed this or re-read it.  I’m posting it and going to bed.

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September 11, 2001

When I rolled over and looked at the clock it was 6:45 a.m. I didn’t need to be up for two more hours. I adjusted the pillows, pulled the blanket over my head and willed myself back to sleep. After another 45 minutes of this I gave up. Jet lag is a bitch. I’d flown home from Barcelona two days earlier and in spite of my trying I was not going back to sleep. I was wide awake and I didn’t need to be at work till at least 9:00. I crawled to the end of the bed, switched on the computer and checked the weather. It was going to be a perfect day, and since it was clear that I was not going back to sleep I might as well get it started.

At 8:15 a.m. I locked the door of my apartment and headed out into the day. My commute to work was insane. It required me to walk one city block to the south, and one half block to the east. Even after stopping at the grocery store for milk, cereal, and cream for my coffee, I was at work by 8:30. I unlocked the door, turned on the lights, started my computer and then performed the most important task of the day, making coffee. While the coffee was brewing I sorted through the mail that had collected over the three weeks I’d been in Europe on a “business” trip. Finally the coffee pot was full and I poured myself a bowl of Kellogg’s Raisen Bran (it’s funny the things you remember), filled my coffee cup and planted myself at my desk. The time was 8:45 a.m.

I took a sip of my coffee. I dipped my spoon into the bowl and as I took my first bite of cereal my desk moved about six inches. I had no idea what had happened. I sat there. I rolled my chair to the window, opened the window and looked out to my right. The North Tower of the World Trade Center was on fire. Think Towering Inferno on fire. There were flames shooting into the air. I was stunned. I ran down the hall to office next to ours and shouted, the World Trade Tower is on fire. The women from the office ran down to my office and we all stared out the windows. By now it looked as if there were a ticker tape parade occurring. The air was filled with 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper blowing through the air.

I immediately picked up the phone and called home. My mother is a worrier. Even though NYC is a huge place, if it happens here, it happens on my block. In this particular instance she was right. She and my father had visited in May and she was VERY aware of my location. She picked up the phone on the second ring. This was a habit from years of working as a bookkeeper. NEVER answer the phone on the first ring. She was cheery, I suspect because she thought I was calling to wish her a happy birthday. Instead I said, “I have no idea what’s going on, but the World Trade Center is on fire. I’m fine, but I wanted to let you know that before you saw the news and got scared. I’ll keep you posted on what’s going on.” I had barely dropped the receiver when the phone rang. It was my boss. He was calling to check on me. He told me that a small plane had crashed into the WTC and reports were differing on what had happened. I assured him that I was fine. He told me he would see me later in the morning and we hung up. I turned, stuck my head out the window and looked back up the street just in time to see the top of the South Tower explode.

It is 9:03 a.m.

I had no idea what had happened. I did not have a TV or radio in my office and the online sources couldn’t tell me any more than I knew first hand. My boss called back and says that it is now being reported that it was two passenger jets that crashed into the buildings and that from all accounts it’s a terrorist attack. I assure him once again that I’m fine. He tells me that he’ll see me later. I’m staring out the window at the fires when a voice comes over the PA system telling me that my office building is being evacuated. I immediately call him back and tell him what is happening. I also tell him that since I have to leave the building I might try and work my way closer to see what’s really happening. He tells me to be careful and we hang up once again. By this time the announcement has been made several more times that there is a mandatory evacuation in effect for my office building.

I grab my cell phone, lock the door behind me and head downstairs. My cereal and coffee are still on my desk. My computer is still on. The lights are still on. There was no doubt that I would be back in the office in just a short while.

The scene on the street is utter chaos. There are people everywhere. All the office buildings are evacuating. No one knows what’s going on. People are pushing to get closer. People are pushing to get out of the mess. I start down the street toward the World Trade Center, fully wanting to get closer to see what was happening. By the time I get to the corner of my street, I give up and go home. There are too many people and it’s clear that I’m not getting anywhere near the action.

I get to my apartment, unlock the door, turn on the TV and FINALLY start piecing together the puzzle. Two passenger jets have crashed into the buildings. The idea that this was a freak accident has passed and now there are reports that it was a terrorist attack. I sit on my couch watching the TV in utter disbelief. My phone rings. It’s my mom wanting to know if I’m okay. I tell her that my building has been evacuated and that I’ve gone home. I assure her that I’m fine.

My phone rings again. It’s my best friend Michelle. She wants to know if I’m okay. I assure her that I am. I’m sitting on my couch talking to Michelle as the first tower begins to fall. The entire thing is surreal. I am chatting with a good friend, while watching this horrible event happen on TV, all of this being accompanied by a tremor of around 2.3 on the Richter scale. My entire apartment was shaking. And just as soon as it started it was over. I was still sitting on my couch, on the phone. Neither of us was speaking. The awe of the devastation we’d just witnessed was overwhelming.

Then I realize the air is filled with debris. I run to the window just in time to see the huge billowing smoke that is so often shown in the footage. My apartment had three 10 foot tall windows facing the street. As I stood watching, the beautiful day was obliterated and replaced with the blackness of night created by the smoke and debris. I hear loud shouting in the hallway. I open the door to find 10 or 12 people there covered in soot. They had been chased down the street by the cloud of smoke and run into my building. The doorman is letting them use the vacant apartment across the hall to clean themselves. I gather up several towels and wash cloths for them to use.

Looking back, I’m amazed that I still had phone service. Both my cell and land lines continued to function.

My phone continues to ring and ring. My boss. My parents. Michelle. Friends from around the country. I’m talking to Michelle again when the second tower falls.

The apartment shakes harder this time. Things falls. What little light that is left of the day is gone.

The sirens have stopped.

It is quiet.

Within minutes Mayor Giuliani issued a full evacuation of lower Manhattan.

It’s 11:00.

I call my mom and tell her that I’m evacuating and that I will call her when I can. I call my boss and tell him that I am fine and that I’m evacuating. I call Michelle and assure her that I’m fine.

I grab a backpack and without much thought I fill it, not realizing that I wouldn’t return to my apartment for several days.

As I leave my building the sky is blue again. I cross the street and pass someone from the hospital handing out face masks. I take one and put it on. I continue to walk, east toward city hall and the Brooklyn Bridge.

My walk out of lower Manhattan still gives me goose bumps. There are 1000’s upon 1000’s of people moving in mass out of the area. No one is talking. There are no conversations. There are no cell phones. There are no sirens. There are no helicopters. Just the silent movement of people in shock moving toward what they hope will be sanity.

I was walked north with the sea of people not knowing where I was going. I had no plan. I walked. Once I passed canal street it occurred to me that with the mass destruction that had just occurred that surely there would be a need for volunteers. Although I really didn’t care for the Salvation Army’s politics I thought that would be a place to start, so I kept heading north, finally getting to the Salvation Army building on 14th street. There were 50 or 60 people there and we were all told the same thing. You have to go through training to volunteer for them. I exited the building, lost again. I was on 14th street and remembered that St. Vincent hospital was just up the street. I could go there and see if they needed any help. I got within a block and a half of the hospital and found myself in a sea of people all looking to do the same. They were there to give blood and volunteer. While I was standing there I heard my phone ring. It was my friend Stacy, who was in town on business. She told me that she was at her hotel and that I could spend the night there if I needed to.

I didn’t return home for three days. When I finally did return it was an adventure to say the least.

I got to my first military checkpoint at Canal Street. I explained that I lived in the financial district and that I needed to get home to get more clothes etc. They wanted to see ID. Unfortunately my drivers license did not have my current address on it. Luckily I had a prescription bottle in my back pack and they allowed me to pass. I passed through seven or eight more checkpoints before I got to my apartment building. It was dark. There was no electricity. No phone. No water. The entire apartment smelled as though it had been on fire for days. There was a fine dust over everything. The windows were covered in soot. I did not want to stay there long.

As I exited my building I asked one of the guards on my corner if there was any place in the area to volunteer. He told me that there was a place about six blocks from where I lived. I made my way there. People were everywhere. Volunteers preparing food. Rescue crews on break. I asked about ten people what I could do to help before someone said to me, “You want to help. Go find bread. It doesn’t matter if it’s fucking hot dog buns. Find some bread.” So that’s what I did. I walked about ten blocks north to a “real” grocery store and bought all the bread they had. When I got back, the guy that had told me to get bread was in awe. I spent the rest of the afternoon there, making food, cleaning tables, etc. Around 10:00 p.m. they asked if I wanted to go to the site and help at St. Paul’s Chapel. I said that I would.

For those not in NYC, St. Paul’s Chapel is the oldest church in the city. The rear of the church faced the east side of the World Trade Center. It survived without even a broken window. It is believed that the large sycamore tree in the graveyard behind the church shielded it from destruction.

I got to the church around midnight. The next eight hours were long and grueling. It was an endless parade of rescue workers coming in to rest, sleep, pray. Watching these people come in and spend sometimes as little as fifteen minutes resting before they went back to work was moving. It easy to understand why so many of them face post traumatic stress disorder even today. They worked tirelessly at a job that proved to be futile.

Around 10:00 the next morning, I was shuttled back. I said goodbye to everyone, and started my trek back up town.

It was almost three weeks before I returned home for good.

 

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I’m bored!

Wednesdays have become my least favorite day of the week.

First it’s the equivalent of everyone else’s Sunday.  Which means it’s the end of my two days off and I have to go back to work tomorrow.  It’s not that I mind my job.  I really don’t.  Most days it’s actually I kind of fun.  But it’s still the end of my weekend.

Second, Adam’s schedule changed several months ago and he now works on Wednesday nights.  You’d think I’d like the time to myself.  But I don’t.  I find myself being bored with nothing to do.  I need to find a hobby.  Something that’s time consuming.  On a good day I’ll go to the movies, or manage to watch TV.  On a bad day I wander around the house waiting for him to come home.  It actually got worse a week ago.  He now bartends on Wednesday nights and closes the restaurants.  It’s 11:30 now.  He might not be home for another 90 minutes.  I go a little stir crazy.

I never quite know what to do with my time.  Today I needed to get out of the house so I went for a drive.  I had no desire to sit in a darkened theater and I really didn’t have the money to call up a friend to see if they wanted to get a drink.  So I got in my car and drove for about a couple of hours.  I’ve done this several times over the summer.  I buy a Diet Coke and then buckle myself in and start driving.  Sometimes I know where I’m going.  Other times I do not.  I’ve driven north on Route 1.  I’ve driven south on Route 1.  I’ve picked a random road and just followed it along.  Tonight I first drove out to a house that Adam and I had considered buying this summer.  It’s depressing to see someone else living in “our” house.  Then I drove around and looked at other houses for sale.  Then I ended up in Falmouth and then drove to Freeport.  I stopped in Freeport for another Diet Coke and then drove on Route 1 for a while.  Eventually I got bored and set the GPS on home and came home.  I got back here around 7:45.  It’s kind of silly but I like the sight seeing.  I try to go different ways so that I see places I haven’t been before.  It gets me out of the house and gives me something to do.

When I got home tonight I watched HGTV for a while.  Eventually made dinner.  Watched an episode of Orange is the New Black.  And now I’m bored again waiting for Adam to come home.  I really do need something to do on Wednesday nights.  Anybody out there in blog land have any suggestions?  It’s one of the reasons I took up blogging again.  To give me something to do when I’m home by myself.  Unfortunately it doesn’t take a lot of time to write a post.  As it’s now 11:50 and I’m just about finished.

So.  Seriously.  Anybody have any suggestions as to how to spend my Wednesdays?

 

 

 

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It’s true.

I ran today.  For the first time since 2006 or so.  It’s been at least that long.  It wasn’t pretty.  And it wasn’t far.  But I did it.  It also wasn’t easy.  I’m terribly out of shape, still about 60 pounds over weight, and as the podiatrist told me two weeks ago, I have terrible bone spurs on both of my feet.  No.  it wasn’t easy at all.

But I did it.

And.

I plan to do it again tomorrow.  At least I hope to.

I rewarded myself by having ice cream tonight for dessert.

Don’t judge.

 

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Slumlords!

So if you’ve been reading for anytime you know Adam and I had issues with our apartment in NYC.  Actually just one issue.  The leaks.  The massive, massive leaks.  In the closet.  In the hallway.  In the foyer.  In the bathroom.  In the other bathroom.  LEAKS.  In fact it was so bad before we left that the ceiling in the foyer had collapsed.  And the ceiling in the bathroom was even worse.  We could actually see the pipes of the toilet in the apartment above ours because of the hole in the ceiling.  It was so bad that we didn’t pay rent the last two months we were there.

So we move to Maine.  The finding our apartment is a story in and of itself which I’ll tell later.

But we find out apartment in Maine.  And we love it.  It’s about 1,200 square feet.  Has a sunroom the entire width of the house.  A back porch half the width of the house.  Three bedrooms.  A real dining room.  And a kitchen that 20 people can stand in comfortably and still leave Adam room to cook.  We LOVE our apartment.

And when we rented it we shared with our new landlord the stories of our New York City apartment.  And how non-responsive the super and landlord were.  And he was very sympathetic.  We liked Tim our new landlord so much that after we moved in we went out to dinner with him.  Adam even did his brother’s wedding cake.

Wait for it.  I’m getting there.

Turns out Tim, our new landlord is just as bad as our old landlord.

For example.

When we rented our apartment, it was in the final stages of being renovated.  There were a number of things he said he’d do before he was finished.  Like put down real flooring in the attic to make it safe.  He did not.  Adam stuck his foot through the ceiling about six months after we moved in.  We still have a hole in our kitchen ceiling.

He said that he’d take care of plowing when it snowed.  The first year we were here we had a 32 inch snow storm.  It was the most snow Portland had ever gotten in one storm.  We waited five days to be plowed out.  Last year he didn’t plow at all.  This year we are going to hire someone to plow us because we can’t take it.

He told us that he’d landscape the yard once we were moved in.  He didn’t.  He didn’t even finish putting up trim on the front porch.  The first summer we lived here it still looked like the apartment was under construction.  Last summer Adam spent close to a 1,000 bucks on landscaping.  Tim told us he’d help with the cost.  Until Adam asked about it and seems he doesn’t remember saying that.  At least the yard is presentable.

He also said that he’d take care of our lawn.  The first summer we lived here it was mowed twice.  By Tim.  We borrowed a friends weed whacker and did it ourselves a couple of times.  Last summer Tim brought us a lawn mower and told us to do it ourselves.  We didn’t mind.  It was better than going without.  This year he told our new downstairs neighbors if they mowed the yard they could have a dog.  They’ve mowed once.  I mowed the rest. Of course the one time they mowed they broke the mower.  That was six weeks ago.  We’ve been trying to get the mower fixed for six weeks.  Tim’s response: I didn’t break the mower, I shouldn’t have to pay to have it repaired.”  Tim finally came and weed whacked the yard over the weekend.  It looks like ass.  The mower still isn’t fixed.  Adam and I are fighting over it.  He wants us to just fix the mower and pay for it ourselves and just deal with it.  I told him that was not an option.  I like my apartment, but I’m not the landlord.  Tim is.  I’d be happy to let the yard go.  As I told someone at work, it’s not like he’s being forced to be a landlord. No one is making him do this.  If he doesn’t want to do the work.  Sell the fucking building.

To make matters worse we don’t have a lease.  Our lease expired in June 2013.  We were month to month for a year.  This past May we were told that our rent was being increased by 100 dollars and that we had to sign a new lease.  So we agreed.  We didn’t like it but we agreed.  So we increased our rent but we still haven’t seen a lease.  Because of this Adam is convinced that Tim could kick us out anytime he wants.  I say that the text messages and emails and the increased rent are proof of our intent to sign a lease that Tim never provided.  Meaning that in a court of law the law would be on our side.  I’ve also told Adam that if Tim did tell us to move, we’d stop paying rent immediately and force him to evict us.  And we sure as fuck wouldn’t bother to replace all the light fixtures when we remove the ceiling fans we installed.

So it turns out we’ve managed to get ourselves in to the same landlord predicament in Maine as we did in NYC.  Go figure.

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