Jalapeños Today

I ate Jalapeños today.

This isn’t really big news I suppose, I’ve likely eaten them before in salsa or something someone fed me and not known. But today at a restaurant I actually saw them in with my steak and thought – what the hell, lets wrap it up in the tortilla and eat it. How bad could it be really.

Reputation of Jalapeños had me anticipating a mouth of fire.

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Lessons

There are some things I figured I wouldn’t have to teach people. Common sense things that you figure everyone would know. Or conscience things – you know so and so will pick up after themselves as they don’t want to be thought of badly.

This is apparently incorrect thinking.

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Solitude, My Fortress

I don’t like people.

Crowds of people. New people. Old people and Young people. Couples, families (not just mine), adults or children alike. Just in general – people I don’t like them.

They make me feel uncomfortable, ill at ease. My skin itches and I want to make them stop looking at me, even if they may not be looking at me.

I feel like I’m obligated to interact with them, to want to be interested in their needs and desires. It’s rude to just kind of walk away from them as they’re talking or just kind of pose random questions that have nothing to do with them.

There is an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation whee data is kissing his girlfriend and she asks him what he was thinking about during that kiss.

If you don’t want to watch it – he talks about configuring a warp core, indexing the various works of Charles Dickens, how much pressure to apply to her lips without hurting her and more… I can relate to that. My mind is doing all these other things when I’m supposed to be focused on an individual or task. I don’t want to stop my brain from doing the other things it’s doing so I can focus on someone else… it’s selfish I guess.

During the brief time I was engaged I struggled pretty regularly with how much attention he expected. While I was just comforted by him being there near me and for us to communicate and have sexual relations – he wanted me to be interested in his interests and do what he was doing, regardless if I liked doing that or not. It wasn’t ideal for me.

With my two best friends, Suzanne and Eric, I find I don’t really worry about that. I just am and they are just there with me. Sometimes they talk and I participate but I don’t mind them and it doesn’t seem to interfere with what I am doing. When they met I wasn’t even aware they were meeting at the time – I was sitting by the pool with my headphones on and eyes closed. Suzanne had come to find me and sat next to me without disturbing me and then Eric came to find me and they introduced themselves without me even really having to be there. It was comforting. I honestly put my headphones back in without a care that they would be offended or want me to be part of that conversation. I love them – they are just right.

On the cruise ship we had dinner with a bunch of folks one night and were joined by a woman, who I heard was a little sloshed, and she was telling me that I was going to make so many new friends and best friends on the ship. I told her two is enough, more than enough – they call a couple times a year or I do and send emails. It’s a lot to deal with really – why would I want more of that? I don’t know. I told her as such and I was half joking but she was insistent that having more friends was such a great thing – I don’t get that.

During the muster – when we learned how to evacuate the ship in case of an emergency – we were packed pretty tight in there with the other passengers and it was taking forever. I don’t like that at all – don’t want those people to be near me breathing my air and keeping me from an exit. Always look for exits, that’s a good strategy.

Not liking people causes me some issues when I want to meet a guy.

I don’t like bars, too many people – I don’t drink and drunks can be rather annoying. I don’t like pride – way too many people. Or parties – small talk omg please no.

The trick at parties is to ask them questions and then hope they start rambling on and you can just void out of the conversation – once in a while nodding or saying “uh huh” or “hmmm” and you’ll be just fine. If you’re very lucky they catch on and will leave you alone. But that doesn’t really get you a guy.

So I talk to folks on dating apps – Growlr and the like. Many of them would like to meet me and I’ve considered meeting some of them – once in a rare while I will meet one of them out and about.

I went bowling with a nice guy – but started to feel very uncomfortable during the event and shortly after wanted him to just hurry up and bowl so I could go. Nothing to do with him, just wanted to crawl out of my skin and hide somewhere safe.

Mostly on the app I don’t want to meet them, I would rather stay home and not deal with another human being. So I take long breaks off the app and/or men 🙂 Probably not very good for the psyche.

A friend will invite me over, say to meet her new puppy, and I’ll agree to go, but getting to that point when it’s actually time is the difficult part. I start dreading going days before the agreed upon time and wonder if there is anything I can do to get out of it. I don’t like lying so it’s hard to find legitimate reasons to not do things others want me to do.

While in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) I learned skills to deal with people alone and in small and large groups. Shake their hand, ask how they are, try to listen. In groups stay busy – have a job you can focus on and think about – has it been done properly, was there something else that needed doing with that? It gave me a reason/excuse to get away from people too – I either had to shake someone else’s hand or a task needed doing so I could excuse myself – supposedly without hurting their feelings.

Sponsee’s were another matter entirely – It’s your job as a sponsor to listen to them and listen intently so you can help them find a solution. Ugh. That’s like the worst thing in the world to do to me. I never thought I was a good sponsor – I just wanted them to get better so they could go do things and talk to me less… yes, that’s my goal in AA, talk to me less.

Work is similar to AA. I have certain tasks to do, I can stay very busy and focus on those things without too much interaction with people. But they usually think I’m a good trainer or something and then I have people to teach and manage. Those people ask me questions – sometimes annoying questions they should know the answer to already and I just want to scream out loud and send them all scurrying away.

They don’t fear me, they know I’m usually patient and have an answer they’re looking for. Today one of them came up asked me a question, answered his own question and then asked if that was ok… honestly that was annoying, I likely could have done so many other things during that time.

Employees are akin to sponsee’s I just want them to get better so they can go do things and talk to me less. If they talk to me less I can work more and that keeps me from realizing all the people that keep interacting with me each day.

Work though gives me things to do to keep me focused. I feel comfortable there as it’s an every day thing and I know what to expect (usually).

Truthfully, I feel comfortable and safe in my bedroom. If I have to venture out I try to arrange it so I encounter as few people as possible and can return home experiencing minimal interactions.

Tonight though I drove to the middle of the city to attend the semi-final game for the high school girls basketball team I like – Mesquite Wildcats! I sat comfortably in the stand, surrounded by a couple friends and a bunch of folks I don’t know and was fine. I was focused on the team and how they play.

There I’m comfortable too. But still happy to be home in my room this evening.

Originally published on Niume – same day.

Stories I’m working on

These are bothering me and so here’s a little bit of each one – three so far and for all I know they’re connected. They just get stuck in my head until I get them out. Sorry to bother you all.  Continue reading

Unsolicited Preaching

This post may offend some of the more religiously inclined… this don’t bother me, just thought you should have a warning.

I officially have laryngitis – thanks Doc, I kind of figured that. I’ve been asked to refrain from talking, yelling or singing (My Doc has a sense of humor). This is hard to do really, the singing part… I don’t really yell often. Not talking is proving to be harder than i thought too, but I’ll get there. What the doctor didn’t say was laughing is bad too – when I laugh I seem to lose more of my voice… no no jokes damn you. Continue reading

Mumblings

The sick thing keeps holding on and continues to be sick – I wasn’t actually referring to the President but it applies there too.

My cough remains (and it drains me, saps all my energy) and the more I talk the less I can talk – it seems. I folded a load of laundry this weekend and had to take a nap after as I was beat. The only thing that has been alleviated since I started the antibiotic is pain. My throat doesn’t hurt any more and that’s a really nice thing – thank you science.

I’m going to call my doctor this morning and try to see him to see if this is something else or just a virus thing. Hopefully he can get this all sorted out.

Work folks think it’s a nice change from me talking all the time and my friend Vanessa is happy I’m not singing at my desk all day (I’m never sure if she doesn’t like my singing or just finds it odd that someone sings at the job). Continue reading

Vacationing Harder

Today I’m sick, horribly sick: coughing, fever, chills, diarrhea, tired… actually I feel better right now than I have in a while. I’ve been on an antibiotic since Saturday morning for what I’m thinking is Cruise Crud -having just been on a cruise for 4 days and it started on the boat with a mild sore throat which just kept getting worse. This morning I started craving solid foods, having been on liquids really for the past several days. Ice-cream feels so good on my throat…. aaahhhhh

I did, however, have a really great time on vacation with my two best friends Eric and Suzanne. They had never met before and it was nice to see them get along right away. They’ve both said very nice things about the other in private and both said “I can see why he/she is your best friend.” They are pretty amazing people.

I arrived in Ft Lauderdale on Saturday evening and after the Uber driver took a few wrong turns and I just got out of the vehicle when she was lost one more time – I finally arrived at my hotel. Eric was staying at the same hotel, and though we didn’t know it at the time, Suzanne was at the hotel next door (I had asked her earlier in the day where she was staying and she said “I don’t know yet” – that would drive me crazy).

Eric and I had dinner at a local cuban restaurant which was pretty decent food. Then went back to the hotel bar to watch football – sadly the Patriots won. It was late Suzanne and crew asked us to dinner but we had already eaten so we declined.

Suzanne was determined to see me though so as I texted her that I was going to bed she texted that she had just arrived at my hotel downstairs, so I went to see her and her friend Jeff (one of the organizers of Shiprocked). It was a brief meeting but nice to see her. She volunteered me to help with lanyards the next day and I went to bed.

On Sunday night I was already excited at the prospect of going home…. usually my vacations are a few short days and then back to work and my little bedroom. My preferred place to be. The idea that I would be spending time on a ship with a couple of thousand people for 5 days was pushed out of my mind. I like my scheduled life where I get up early have two cups of coffee with breakfast before heading to work and then return home to play video games and sleep. I was going on this cruise with my two best friends and I had committed to it so here I was.

Getting on the ship wasn’t a problem, long lines but they went by very fast. I was with Eric during that time and we had Uber’d over to the port. We got to our room – four people would be in that room for 4 days – it was small. One bunk bed type with the bottom bunk for a very short person – as Eric is the shortest of us he was volunteered. I took the top bunk and our roommates shared the bed. I knew one of them – Jerry – an old friend; he had brought along his best friend John (they didn’t really enjoy the cruise).

The first night as we debarked we were supposed to hear Sevendust perform as we pulled away, but some problem with customs kept their gear from being allowed on the ship and what was to be a 4 o’clock show was 7 or something.

Every day there were a great number of mini-concerts to see and the bands (most of them) were out amongst the regular guests being all regular and stuff. It was very intimate.

There was plenty of eye candy night and day – bearded, beefy guys in bands and just on the ship were everywhere. Some drunk girl hit on me, that was interesting.

The one port of call we had was to Grand Turks – not much to do there so we just relaxed on the beach. I should let it be known that Eric and I hung out together most of the cruise – Suzanne has this need to be very active and involved in everything so she was doing her own thing – apparently water skiing in Grand Turks.

The best performance on the ship that I saw was by Avatar – great band and very entertaining. After that I’d say Breaking Benjamin and Lacey Sturm.

Other performers: Papa Roach, Sevendust, Living Sacrifice, 12 Stones, Wilson, Crobot and more.. such a great time.

On Wednesday I woke up with a sore throat which progressively got worse so I didn’t get to see all the shows I wanted. Everything I saw was great and it was great to spend that time with my friends.

Now I’m home, recovering with an antibiotic and plenty of liquids (the body craved solid food so I went to get some today – didn’t get much in me before the body said “bad idea”). I wanted to be at the office today and all that’s happened now is that I’ll have even more to do tomorrow. Ugh.

I’m appreciative of my bosses for allowing me the time to go on a cruise. The folks who put the cruise together. And of course the two best friends a guy could ask for Eric and Suzanne. I’m glad they like one another.

 

The Extractor

In 2028 the US Government took a dramatic swing from Democrat and Republican to Technocrat. After over twelve years of decline into the superstition of religion and the fear it breeds, the population rose up and replaced those running on old ideas and replaced them with those who had scientific knowledge and acumen to change the course of the country.

Technocrats and the Technocracy movement abolished old ideas keeping the country from progressing. Instead of interfering with scientific progress that might offend the religious we jumped into the deep end and made real change. One of the first major changes, after hard fought years was the removal of tax-exempt status for any religious organization involved in politics at any level. There was first outrage yet afterwards the populace found progress, real progress towards fixing the country and the world was happening. What faith and fear held back inquiry and investigation into the worlds of science blossomed new generations and ideas. Continue reading

Now I’m 46

Another year has come and gone – this one seemed to go by very quickly for me. I had a lot going on, many changes began here and continued.

I left Alcoholics Anonymous

It was a while in the making. I finally saw the inner workings of the service side of AA, what I assumed would be the most spiritual was the most sick I guess. It seemed all anyone wanted was what they wanted, not what was best for AA as a whole. So to me I had lost a second part of the triangle, the one I believed in most – Service. Between that and the “fake it til you make it” dishonesty in an honesty program. I’m really an atheist and cannot swallow what others do in its entirety. Don’t miss it, gives me lots of free time and less to be resentful at. I did go to a meeting with Flo when I was in Albuquerque but that was for him, I was just along. No one from AA has really reached out to me asking me about it – some have said they want to leave too, so that’s interesting. Continue reading

Puzzle

For Christmas one year I was given a Hershey’s Kiss 3D puzzle and another puzzle. The Hershey’s Kiss puzzle was little plastic chocolate colored pieces with pegs and holes… it didn’t have many pieces so I solved it quickly and wondered what possessed my mother to buy me a puzzle.

It occurred to me that it was likely someone providing gifts to needy children. Mom wanted us to have a good Christmas so she signed us up for a charity. That was rather forward thinking of her – she was very self centered.

The other puzzle I can’t remember except it was solved easily too – a chain comes to mind. Soon I was finished with my Christmas presents and wondered what I’d do now for entertainment.

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