Michael "Shiney" "Lockwood" Guy Martinus
Back in High School there was a guy who would keep to himself mostly. He would wear the most outrageous shirts and flaunt rather useless skills and talents to get attention. Lots of the people who he went to school with apparently remembered him well after the gowns were worn and caps were thrown into the air. However, no matter how many people remember him, there probably are only a select few who could say they knew him. They were ones who would stay and hang out around the hollowed Panther Halls well beyond that final bell. They were the ones who woke up at god awful hours in the morning to catch a ride in his truck because he always showed up forty five minutes early. They may have known him best.
Then again there were those people crazy enough to go barreling out of town on Friday nights down Dort Highway and into Clio or beyond to see a flick. They got to see a different side all together though in hindsight likely not so different at all. Of the first group, the one closest to me had a pretty bad habit of taking his things, the second just stomped upon the heart.
Yet, fond memories flood back when I think of that kid and those days in High School. Fond memories indeed. Not popular enough to be part of any of the drama and ignorant enough to pass the vast majority of it without a clue as to what is going on. Some might say I missed out but I am going to just say that I had to wait a few years and move a state or two west to have all that drama catch up with me.
It has been a while since there was a post to be made here. Most people who will see this thing pop up and remember that I didn't die at some point in the not to distant past. I kid. I kid. But, as is the trend, post are far and few in between. I don't think I have actually signed on here for maybe a week or more. I avoid Memes and thankfully most people on here seem to have done the same. It will be some time before I catch up on the reading of those journals I pay close attention to.
As I have grown and moved away from the teenage/college aged mindset I find plastering my life all over the internet to be relatively pointless because there isn't much I have to say about it nor am I associated with half the groups that seem to really drum up all the drama on here. At least not anymore. That being said, no life is without drama and mine is no exception. That is for later though.
Sure, I could have bitched and moaned about my four month long vacation from work, however I really didn't do a great deal. There was a yard to be kept, a home to clean and a few repairs to be made around here but not really more than that. Granted, the house has a lot more work that I would like to do to it and the yard is in desperate need of this that and the other sort of things to spruce it up but without a job by definition means that I have no money to spend. Thankfully there has been a recent, albeit short term solution to the job crisis and I can rest a bit more comfortably for as long as these people see fit to keep me pounding away at nails and doing other such things.
Nevertheless, I don't think there is a single person who reads this who didn't already know what was going on. I guess those tiny pointless updates are now in the domain of Facebook and for so many others Twitter. There are two reasons that I write here anymore. To inform people of the joyous events that are happening in my life and by that what is meant is those contiual bubbly thoughts that keep me afloat and get me through the day or those major things that just have to be said and require more than a paragraph or two to verbalize.
Also, Writing on here has always been a sort of out for me. A release of some sort of emotional or mental frustration and stress. It has probably more a great deal to do with the fact that I have likely bottled things up and have been doing so since High School and probably before.
But that is enough of a preface to so to speak. I think we should discuss the lessons most recently learned as my best efforts to avoid all the drama that could percipitate onto the cheese cloth mesh that is my life finally coagulated into some lump of a product in this grand experiment that is my life.
It could be said that initially there was little in the way of a lesson plan as the impromptu vacation began but things quickly accelerated as any advance course should. Yes it began like a shot right out of the door as the new home was christened with its first official party. As house warming parties go it was a good one. There were plenty of people, some I like, some I adore and others who don't seem to get along with me as well as we used to. Different life paths take people different directions and so I guess you just can't like some people forever.
So it goes. The party itself seemed to be a major success until the intoxicants got the best of me. By the end of it, the lady of the house was a mess, I had found a way to severely put off a friend and make an ass of myself. Way to go me. Way to go indeed. I still don't think that said friendship will recover to anything remotely resembling its previous incarnation. I burned a bridge and now I walk on its scorched remains.
Shortly there after, or perhaps prior to the first, there was another gathering. It was a gathering of people and involved more drinking on the part of others less on mine. Though I am sure that I have forgiven the slight here and what is my supposed mistake or misinterpretation but I don't know if I will ever forget. It is a sort of thing that was programmed in from previous owners on this hand-me down computer that is my brain and likely will never be forgotten. I know it is vague and obviously intentionally so. If it weren't then this wouldn't be Mister Shiney-zuma writing. The theatrics that ensued thereafter only further cemented the event in a permanent memory bank that will likely only be erased when this mesh of neural connections goes into a final shut down. I don't care if it felt good, I don't think it was right.
Moving on and into this trap that is bringing me up to speed on my education in drama there is a two fold Scylla and Cheribidas approaching and it involves two people who I think need to either put up or shut the fuck up. In the big game you only get to screw around and play with the scarecrow so long before it eventually eats your brain. Then you are just a zombie in its army of people so completely deceived and snowballed by the innocent act. I am sure Toto knows what I am talking about. But in all seriousness and trying as hard as possible to avoid being obtuse about my topic here in the land of drama, when two people don't talk about their problems it can't make things better. It certainly doesn't help. Trying to stay neutral in these situations is hardly an easy matter, especially when you only hear one side of the story.
If you have insecurities, talk about them. If a person is opening up to in whatever form it is, take them seriously or at least do your best. The worst thing ever to happen is to be ignored. But who am I to give advice to a person to who I am estranged doesn't consider me as a friend. I doubt they would listen anyway.
Next on our curriculum is "how to be a dick 101." Let's start by making fun of people you don't even know. It is that sort of thing that pisses me off every once and a while. I can see random people but if the person is someone who is vaguely associated with your group perhaps you should wait to judge them. Lord knows that you should be so lucky to receive said ridicule. It is a sad thing to watch when your entire conversation revolves around poking fun at a person you haven't even bothered to get to know. Seriously get a fucking life.
This I suppose I should draw this to close but there are a few more things to add to this. It involves changing habits. Perhaps it is different for others but my experience tells me that when people start to change certain little habits it is an indicator that maybe other things are on the change as well. Hanging with different people, going to different places and so on. It strikes up my paranoia.
In addition to that there is the fact that I can't find myself anymore in all this. I don't know what I am blabbing about now. Instead, I think I am simply going a bit crazy.
After reading this I guess I didn't learn much and simply wanted to bitch with a theme. In due fashion I should try to close this up with something that make some sense. To do so we should probably work or way back to the begining, to that kid I talked about. I think I killed him. If he were here today he would ask what the hell happened to me. How could I use words that were so taboo and make slurs that way that other people do? How could I stop trusting people?
When did you start making snap judgments? What happened to all your dreams? Then he would look at me and say "Mister Shiney-zuma, you did it. You killed the eternal optimist. Mister Shiney-zuma you killed Shiney."
Sitting here, surfing the internet and find my way around an addiction to Flash I realized I haven't posted in a while. Seeing as how I am unemployed at the moment one would figure I would have about as much time as others but I have been doing other things. There is a house to organized and work to be done. Rooms to keep clean, toilets to wash and cheap but delicious dinners to cook. I have even found time to read a book or two and dick around with 4th Edition D&D.
I haven't fallen prey to WoW or EvE or any of those other games that seem to suck away at your very soul. Instead, I bought a bicycle and ride it when I am bored or watch a little television. Yeah we decided to spring for cable. Crazy talk I know. Yet, I missed television and the entertainment it can bring. When that fails me I find myself back at Zombie Hooker Nightmare. It is my flash crack and it is fucking hilarious. Still I thought I should throw down an update and maybe if Monica sees fit, a picture or two. Aside from that enjoy the story of today.
I want so badly to tell you about the awesome day that was today. You should have been there to hang with us on our amazing road trip. Our room mate decided it would be an fantastic idea to go on a trip. We hopped in the car with the idea in mind to visit at least one other state on our trip. Now we had plenty of options with in an hour and a half from us. It was concluded, at my request, that we make a few stops along the way.
The first stop was to the local comic book store. Lame I know but I needed to get my weekly fix and a few supplies to put away the vast number of books that are sitting unkept like heathen children. It makes for quite the mess really.
Well, that was good times and we headed for another city along the way. We wanted to find a place with a Popeyes. It is a fast food chicken joint that is down right amazing. I can't say that I have had fast food chicken that was this good. Better than KFC or any of the rest that I have come across. That being said I love me some chicken so my statement goes pretty darn far.
We also wanted to find a gaming store. I am sure you are curious what that is so I will explain. It is a place that geeks like myself, my friends and my girlfriend go to buy our geek stuff. Usually just DnD books or dice or other supplies of that variety. Basically toys for big boys and girls who have way too much time and have seen Star Wars or Lord of the Rings way too often.
Well we found something like that along the way but it was far to advanced for our over active geek minds. Mostly computer games and the like. In the right ball park but just not what we were looking for. With their directions and the power of GPS we made our way to a place called the Core. It was just plain freaking amazing. Like heaven really. Games on all sides comic books lining the walls and collectable action figures oh so magnificently displayed. In addition a whole crap load of statues and cthulu plushies to boot. They even had a cthulu hat.
Oh it was good times. We had taken a long time just making our way about and so on. We decided that another state was not in our future today and so we made our way back toward the homeland. However, it so happened there was a trap ready to spring on unsuspecting person passing by. The damnedest of things a tourist trap!
That is right, driving through Brandon, Iowa we find the largest frying pan in the world. Largest by far. Hell it holds eighty-eight pounds of bacon. I don't remember how many eggs. It was terrifying but we had to see it. We had to stand in it. We had to take a picture with it.
The locals started to give us strange looks. In my mind they were licking their lips and imagine some deep fried Shiney Bacon. That is super strange and super creepy. So many boys on tractors and people on trucks almost as old as I am taking long hard looks out their window might give people the wrong impression.
Well then it was back towards home and a quick stop at Wal-mart for essentials so that lawn mowing can commence next week. After that I found myself back in the car and contemplating traveling to a magical land where boys wear more make-up than the ladies and have better hair. Drag queens are a unique brand and I wholly blame Monica and the driver more than anything.
After a burger, a quesedilla it and a show we went on our merry way down the avenue to the house. With the windows open and music playing to the point of my ears bleeding we made our way back and then past the turn because the song was just to good to end there. A trip around the block and then one near turn down the wrong way on a one way street made us certain it was time to head home.
So here I am, playing Zombie Hooker Nightmare, talking to great friends on the internet and watching Monica make her scrap book of our adventure. I am sure there will be pictures posted soon.
I suppose that there is a certain amount of fortune to having had been laid off just as the move was happening. That is right. I am laid off. Second time this has ever happened to me and just like last time I am going crazy with a complete and total lack of things to do.
However, I do have things to do. Tons of things to do in fact. It is the things that are associated with moving into a new home. That is right, I have moved into a new place. It is a place that will one day be all my own. There will be some elaboration upon this later and for those of you in the area, that part will likely be unnecessary. I say that because you will at some point see the place for yourself. And your eyes will probably do a better job than any description I could ever give.
So yes, about two weeks ago as of tomorrow I will have been given the boot from the job. It isn't because I was a shitty carpenter. Granted, I wasn't the best either but I was learning. As winter comes and goes so does work in the construction trade. I guess a layoff is then to be expected. Still, I would rather be working. If something doesn't come along soon, I am going to start applying just about anywhere.
And despite the fact that my last job, the CNA thing, drove me close to the brink of insanity, I could always fall back on it. There are even a few jobs in the area that would allow me to work just about any schedule I wanted. I would be PRN (on call basically). I would whore my services out to any home or facility that wanted me. The PRN gig pays close to the same amount as I was making as a Carpenter with maybe half of the benefits or less. Still it is money.
Also, I am trying to apply for a job working with Mr. Money. It would pay a great deal less but sounds like something that would be relatively less stressful. Maybe I am wrong though. Money just seems to handle the stress better than most likely. My ability to handle stress varies. Nevertheless, I know a bunch of people who work there. A great number of C&G'ers have found employment there.
Since I am unemployed at the moment though and it has given me the time unpack and do a few things like decorate. I thank my brother and father for coming all the way from Michigan to help me move my stuff. I didn't ask for them to come here all the way from Michigan but the insisted. I can't say that I don't appreciate it. As a matter of fact I really do appreciate what they did. We would have never actually moved all this crap here without them.
Kyle was pretty damn amazing. He took charge and got stuff done with such speed that I had to do a double take. He knew what he wanted to get done and didn't really take any sort of suggestion to get it done in any other way. Some people liked to watch him work and were impressed. I just say that he is my brother and that is how he gets stuff done.
Speaking of stuff. I have way too much crap. Way too much. Some I have acquired over time and some that has come into existence relatively recently. Thank god I haven't kept up on comics like I used to or the New World of Darkness. If I had then my book shelves would be beyond the point of bursting. So many of those books don't see use either. Old World of Darkness stuff that has only been bought as supplement and never really used them. Hell I have only read through about half of them and certainly none of the Wraith stuff. Mostly because it is Wraith and who wants to play that?
Also on the shelves you will find a bunch of old DnD stuff that dates back to about seven years after I was born. Crazy crap like SpellJammers. I can't think of anyone who ever wanted to play that crazy, craptastic supplement but I apparently inherited them. There might still be purpose for the ADnD books because there is at least one game in the area and it is worth checking into.
Sadly the fact that the house came with its own book shelves built into the wall didn't actually put too many dents into my collection of printed paper. A full bookshelf with four shelves was full within two hours of unpacking. I even went out and purchased two new bookshelves that rise well above my head to stack even more books. Keep in mind that I haven't even integrated all of Monica's books with mine. It is just a crazy amount of stuff.
Then there is all the furniture. Monica and I thought that there wouldn't be enough between us. I don't think we could have been more wrong. I didn't take into account all the furniture that Monica's mom was donating to the cause. Stuff that was Monica's really but I never thought it would be in my home. Not because the stuff isn't awesome but I simply thought of it as a fixture in Katie's home.
There is a great deal of work yet to be done. Even after a full week of unpacking and repacking stuff to be placed in storage, we still are not done. Toys. I have way too many toys from my youth. I wasn't one of those kids who actually played with his toys though. They are still in boxes, unopened and undisturbed. I feel like the 40 year old virgin with out the being 40 or a virgin. They need to be put up and on display as well. They are like my nic nacs.
So about the house. It is what I would label as two and a half stories. It has a finished basement that requires a great deal of work if you ask me. The basement is made of slate stone or lime stone with mortar. The problem with this is that it has a likelihood of some leaks. Mostly because the mortar is about a hundred years old just like the house. I can easily fix that problem with about ten or twenty bags of cement and a weeks worth of time. My plans for the basement are pretty ambitious and the walls are a big part of getting it finished. Mostly because I want to put up drywall and finish the basement, sectioning it into about three rooms. One room as a bar/gathering room, the other for a work room for painting and wood work and finally a laundry room.
The previously mentioned projects are a bit of a problem with the huge amount of space taken up by the giant utilities in the basement. The first is the ancient water heater. The thing is a sturdy model from the seventies. At least that is my guess based on the fact that it is a lovely brown and white that could only have come from that era. It is still kicking currently but I imagine that with any sort of strain is going to break. Ideally I would like to replace it with a tankless water heater. The difference between the old and the new would be a ton of water conservation and gas conservation in heating of the water.
The other project involves removing the heating system that remains in the home. Now is probably not the time but hopefully in the summer. Why you ask? Well, to tell you the truth when you see it you would understand. The monster of a heating system is a remnant that belongs to the early part of the previous century. It is a monster that belongs in some sort of cyberpunk fiction. A large metallic tentacle beast exists there in the bowls of my home that once was fed by coal and wood in its first incarnation only to be converted to natural gas. It is a huge, scary site, believe me.
The first floor has a all the accommodations necessary to make it into a nice apartment. There is a large kitchen and dining space. There is a living room and another room off to the side. That other room could be used as a bed room but is currently in use as a study. It is where all those books went as a place for a couple desks and that pesky PC of mine. It is amazing and serves as paper weight unless I am trying to listen to some music. However, listening to music has become a less likely occurrence since we decided to splurg for cable. I never realized how much I missed the Price is Right.
There is also a bathroom with a fully functioning shower and bath. The only complaint is that the bathroom is sort of small and attached to the kitchen. The fact that it is attached to the kitchen is a bit weird. It is always a strange sight to be making pancakes in the morning while your room mate walks behind you in nothing but a towel. It hasn't happened yet but I can't wait to be that guy in the towel.
I could go in to more detail but I will probably just take pictures about the first floor.
The second floor has quick access by a set of stairs that can immediately be found as you enter from the front door. As you ascend the steps you find yourself on the second floor. There are two bedrooms, a sitting room, a kitchen and another, more acceptable bathroom. That right, a second kitchen. Isn't that awesome? This kitchen, though not as spacious as the first, is set up in such a way that makes it extremely easy to prepare meals. The counter space is amazing and set up in sch a way that it can serve as a sort of bar.
The bedroom is decent, carpeted and over all a cool color. The only problem I have is the closet. Far too small for all my clothes. Damn, I have way too many pairs of pants. I also have way too many hats, dress shirts, ties, hats and a whole bunch of other stuff. And my walls are covered in comic book posters that I have had since I was a teenager. Kind of lame, I know but Monica doesn't seem to mind.
The sitting room is a pretty cool room. I have gamed in it but it seems to be a decent spot. Definately not Larp material but then the whole house would likely serve as a place for a Larp. It works.
The third floor or the half-story as I like to call it, is pretty swell. Well aside from the hideous carpet. Two fairly large rooms, one that can and does serve as a bed room and the other a living space. The living space actually has a sink and a refrigerator.
Overall the house is pretty damn awesome despite the few fixes that have to be made. I would go into details about the yard and plans for that but it would bore the living hell out of the rest of you.
The thing that makes it a home though is the arrival of Monica and my babies. Our cats. At the previous place we weren't really capable of having pets. Just wouldn't have flown, I think. Now they are here and in doing so we now have a place that feels like home. They are adjusting well I think.
I don't know what else to say but I think I have said enough for now. I have another post brewing in the back of my brain but it is a bit off topic when concerning this one. I will be taking pictures soon. However, I hope that you all will have the opportunity to see the place with your own eyes.
Mon, Feb. 16th, 2009, 09:49 pm
//Begin rant here//
There is ignorance in placing labels upon yourself when you have no idea as to what that label actually entails. It is even more infuriating when you do so and assume that others should take that label as a simple truth without questioning its meaning. To consider them ignorant when in fact you, yourself don't comprehend what it is your saying and what qualities you prescribe to yourself is simply absurd.
It is like calling yourself a Republican but supporting all sorts of Big Government. Believing that there should be bail outs for huge mega-corps, rampant abortions in the streets and that we should just spend spend spend without accounting for our money screams to your moral code and then you call yourself one of those Reds.
In the same fashion it is like calling yourself a Democrat and at the same time trying to cut spending for Social programs, disavow a public health care system and a woman's right to choose. It is like saying all that and then saying you believe in Obama.
Those are pretty extreme examples for what has my brain boiling and about to bubble over and yet they are far enough away from the point to veil the actual source of the frustration. It would take only half a head to figure it all out.
// End Rant //
Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.
(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)
Something from Facebook that Money has tagged me to do. I am complying like a good superior minion. Like a proper elder in fact. Makes me lame I suppose.
1. I have a bad bad bad temper that few people actually see. It remains contained most of the time and randomly is set off by the littlest of things. I blame it for my foul mouth and cursing.
2. That very same temper comes out most often when I am driving. I have quite the case of road rage. Not as in aggressive driving but I am that asshole who curses non stop in traffic at the top of his lungs in the car. I also come up with creative names for people while driving. Recently, I have come up with some pretty offensive yet entirely too creative things to call people. Frostback cow humping fucktard is my favorite. It describes drivers from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Canada.
3. My mouth spews several things in the company of friends that I would likely never say in public. It mostly has to do with my current experiences with my career in construction.
4. I own a great many of what Monica calls Chick flicks. I like them and I am slowly converting her. Mwhahahaha.
5. I am convinced that Ryan Reynolds is the hottest actor alive. He makes me laugh and is in a good number of my favorite movies. Some people say he is my man-crush. I guess I am going to have to agree.
6. There are few regrets I have. Those that I do have include not attempting to get a career in Comic books, letting down my parents by not going into medicine (I do not regret not going into medicine though) and not yet getting my Master's Degree. The last one I have no clue as to what I would get my degree in but I am sure it would be useless. Likely art. I would wind up being some kind of cooky art professor.
7. Some of the best times I had working were at Amana. That and it cost me nearly fifty pounds in body fat! Wowza.
8. According to some people when I worked at Amana I was a bitter and sort of a jerk. I hate to break it to those people but I was already an asshole.
9. I would rather run games than play in them.
10. It bothers me when people have nothing better to write about than how shitty their life is. Granted that probably makes me a hypocrite and but I think that occasionally I throw out a nugget of insight into my view on life as a whole even if it is a view that only lasted for as long as I was writing it. And by bothers I mean it get so under my skin that I mock you publicly.
11. Fuck homeopathic medicine. Fuck it in the ass! People live longer healthier lives because they go to the doctor and take their medicine, not because of chiropractors, herbal remedies, and acupuncture.
12. I find strange similarities between books like 1984, and Atlas Shrugged with things happening today. I ask you "Who is John Galt?" Who is he and what I wouldn't give to find him today.
13. Despite the fact that it took me forever to read, I really liked Atlas Shrugged. Reading that book opened my eyes to alot of things. Maybe that is why I am a Carpenter.
14. Talking to Special K when I am drunk makes me feel like a better person. When I am not drunk I feel dumb for some reason. Maybe it is all the talk of the Maths. Damn you Maths! Damn you!
15. I miss so many of my friends from my past. So many of them I have lost touch with and many more I know I probably will never see again. Of the people I miss, I think I miss Luke the most.
16. Luke , C3-Weezio is my wiser than I and has a gift for telling me when I am a fuck up and who I am not supposed to hang around. He has called every single one of my break ups from when then went from buddy to bitch. He approves of my current relationship. I think it is a good sign.
17. Cornell College was perhaps the most eye opening experience of my life. It was also perhaps the biggest waste of money I have made to date. I wouldn't have traded it for the world.
18. I have very vivid dreams.
19. I waste about five hours a day on the internet. This is a habit I need to curb. It makes me want to buy a bicycle.
20. I am buying a home. Not going to buy, I am buying a home. That is how it happens and that is how it will be. When I do have that home, there will be people I know, who will not be invited over and probably not even told the address. In addition, I am getting married in less than two years. That makes me happy, but with marriage comes the expectation of children which scares the living shit out of me.
21. My hands used to be soft. They are not anymore. Sometimes after work I have trouble doing articulate tasks because the hurt so much.
22. I cut my hair because I watched too many episodes of Heroes in a row. The first season of Heroes that is if you get the reference.
23. When I am not working I like to dress up. I wear ties when I can. I like suites the most. Sometimes though I feel like yuppie scum. So it goes. So it goes.
24. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. may have made me laugh more in the past two years than any author I have ever read. For that reason I am eternally grateful. I hope that if there is a heaven, he finds his way there and cooking up some Ice-9 for the rest of us.
25. I wish I had learned to play an instrument. I want to learn another language. When money becomes available I am going to buy into the hype of the Rosetta stone and re-learn Latin. If it works, then onto Spanish I think.
I had thought a few weeks ago that I was about to realize a goal. There was a blaze in my belly, a fire set by the drive to complete this goal. Hell one might even say that there was hope running like liquid fire through my veins. It started in my belly, ran through my veins, caused my heart to race like the Mach 5 and then it hit my brain. Monica and I had decided to start looking for our own place. I make enough money to support us both and a marginal rent or mortgage payment on top of it. I could probably afford like four-hundred and fifty bucks a month. Granted that isn't going to buy me a mansion but for Monica and I it would be a start.
Getting a place of my own would be a unique experience. Granted, I wouldn't be living on my own but with Monica. Still it would be a place of my own. It would mean no more paying rent and throwing money away and getting nothing to show for it. That isn't to say renting is a bad thing but there is something about owning your own home.
Also, for my own sanity and the sanity of my others I have this desire to get out and sort of on my own. I am getting married in a year and a half from now and would like to not still be renting a room in Bear's place still. The other option of renting a craptastic apartment which I have lived through and don't particularly want to revisit. Gateway Gardens was a decent place. The people were nice and the neighbors we had were decent but the rent was outrageous for the size of that rinky dink shit hole. If my memory serves me the price tag was around Eight or nine hundred bucks a month.
So the thought of owning a house for less than about five hundred a month and potentially owning it at some point in my life. Monica agreed and can you blame her. Avoiding the shit-a-licous apartment experience is probably in her best interest.
In saying all that mouthful, Monica and I have been looking at homes for a few weeks now and taken the tour now and again. Having done that we found one that met our criteria. More than a couple bedrooms, more than a couple bathrooms and a basement was about all we wanted. No super luxuries like central air or a garage but something simple. As you can imagine, my brain was super stoked.
Now having said that, there were a few issues with the place, like not the most excellent methods of heating the home. Gravity heating is a bit of a bitch and if you don't know what that is, I don't feel the need to explain. Let's just say that this is a bit of an outdated technology that at one point in time involved shoving coal in a furnace to heat your home. The place doesn't currently take coal (as cool as that would be) but any further explanation is far too off topic even for me. That and the carpet looks like it belongs in a different era. By that I mean that the Carpet should probably have great-grand-carpet-children.
Having found something that met our criteria you can understand now why my veins were filled with lava pumping heat and excitement through the whole of my body. But I don't know the first thing about buying a house. My guess was that I should call a bank, probably the one that the agent had mentioned and see about getting a loan.
Well I did just that and talked to a wonderful agent who sounded more than willing to help me out. I gave her some information, all the info that she asked for. With hopes high I hung up the phone while she crunched numbers. It didn't take long. She called back and gave me the big let down. It wasn't a no. I will say that. It most certainly was not a no. Instead it was a "you have some loan in your name from a Frankenmuth Credit Union that is more than... let's see here... 120 days late."
The heat of joy and happiness was just kindling for the flames of rage that were to follow. I was hot. Hell I was on fire. My dream was just brought crashing down and all because I was stupid enough to think that my brother wasn't a useless waste of air and a complete and total jackass. Several months back, maybe in June or July my brother called me up and using my mom basically begged me to co-sign on a loan for him to buy his first car or van as it were. Well it seems that he has decided to not pay perhaps two months or less after he purchased the vehicle.
I am partly to blame, I suppose. I have received one letter in the past from the bank notifying me of his activities. Rather than call the bank however, my brain thought that for some reason confronting my brother about his complete and total lack of taking responsibility for himself would be the better course. He said that he had the taken care of the problem. He said that the issue was resolved. My dumb ass assumed he was telling me the truth. I should have never trusted him.
So now it would seem that I am pretty much fucked. The dream has crashed and burned. There is still hope I guess. It is hidden somewhere in those embers, but I won't talk about that until something materializes.
A new year has come. With the passing of 2008 came many things. Many new people were brought into the world while others left it. Still others clung to this life with everything that they had while the rest of us simply floated on through from day to day. Everyone of us watched history come and go in the blink of an eye and hope became motto that swept across the nation. It is with a sense of certainty that I can say that I don't really need to recap this past year however for any single person out there because we have heard it all at least two or three dozen times from one news station or another as the put there own spin on it.
Instead what can be done that may or may not bore the living snot out of everyone here is to update you on the specific goings on in my life. This holiday season was as mixed up as the weather. To say it in a way that has as of late overused beyond the point of no return. My holiday was just hot and cold.
The drive in to Michigan was terrifying. So terrifying. The weather was hardly cooperative. It snowed nearly the entire trip. It wasn't one of those kind and gentle snows either. Slick sheets of ice dotted the roads between masses of snow that were barely trudged through by tires. There was one point during the trip that traffic had slowed to less than twenty miles per hour. Twenty miles per hour on the highway. It was a fairly upsetting perdiciment. I am not often prone to road rage, just occasionally and this was one of the times I went into full on a near frenzy. I cursed. I yelled. All in all it got me nowhere and probably scared the living shit out of my passenger and fiance Monica. At one point I was so blinded with rage I punched the steering wheel because after the ordeal. Only after a long walk and a short trip into a gas station did I find some sort of calm.
Frightening Monica and dealing with shitty conditions wasn't the end of the ordeal either. The drive was usually eight hours and was bordering on eleven when we found ourselves spinning out of control and heading straight toward a ditch. It was a snow embankment that brought the car to a stop. No damage to the car thankfully. We just happened to be stuck with a front-wheel drive care that couldn't find traction. Perhaps traction isn't the exact word because I am sure that there was something that the tires could grab onto but sadly the car wasn't exactly touching the ground.
So we were stuck there. Sitting. After my heart returned to my chest, it was residing somewhere in my throat for some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to call my insurance company. I pay for this roadside assistance and have been doing so for nearly three years so I should probably get some use out of it. It would seem that someone smiled down on me however because as I was making the call, a person in a large tow truck drove by and stopped. Seeing that I was out of state the guy pulled us both out of our predicament. His act of kindness was perhaps the actual brightest spot for the rest of the drive. Hell he did even charge for his efforts. It would be another two hours until we found the exit that would bring us to warm beds and a place to lay our heads.
From there it was a whirlwind of traveling from here to there and seeing a bunch of people for moments at a time was entirely exhausting. Christmas day itself was perhaps the worst. First off was an early morning to my mom's family Christmas. I arrived early to spend time with my Grandparents since I haven't seen them in ages. They quizzed Monica for what seemed like a lifetime. Thankfully she didn't mind. As a gift I received a ring that my Grandmother had gotten for my Grandfather nearly fifty years ago. I probably won't wear it very often but I will cherish it. And as thankful as I was for that gift, the time spent there was also perhaps the most crushing of all. You see, my grandparents had high hopes for me. They thought I was going to be a doctor the moment I left for college. They weren't so happy when that didn't happen but were content to know that I was going to take a similar path in Nursing. This last year when they discovered that I had finally realized that Medicine wasn't my calling, I there would be some sort of disheartening. I guess I just wasn't ready to have it thrown into my face in such a way.
Conversation started with general chit-chat about the weather and then it moved forward into other things. Then it went into work. Not directly but it was a topic that was bound to come up. We talked for a few and I told him what I was learning. After I had given a fair accounting of all that was happening in that area he looked at me with perhaps the coldest look he has ever given to me and told me that he was disappointed in me and that so was everyone else. My heart just sank. What could I say back to that? He said that most of all my mom was just upset over the choice I had made. The only thing that brought a bit of a smile to me was the brief moment when my grandmother chimed in and sad that she would never be disappointed in me and that I should do what makes me happy. It was a load of crap as far as I could tell but still nice to hear.
Am I happy? Am I satisfied with what I do? I don't know. I am happy with the better part of my life. My job is pretty good and I make enough money now that I can start to think about buying a house. There is a good chance that I will be able to start a family, even if that family just consists of Monica, some cats and myself. Would I be happier doing something else? A question that has yet to be answered. But I don't mind and I can deal. But those words just sort of have been seared into my brain ever since. I just can't get them out of my head.
They haunted me the whole time I was home and just play in my brain ever since. Do you know what I mean? It is the sort of thing that gets right under your skin and crawls around. It just sort of rots your brain. We exchanged gifts with my mom and the rest and I couldn't really express it but I wanted to get the hell out of there.
The rest of the day was quick. Too quick if you ask me. Monica and I went back to have Christmas with my dad. Grandma was there and a few new relatives recently born. Even though they had already eaten and so had we somehow they continued to try to stuff foo down our gullets. I blame my dad. He never seems to stop. Just the way he is though.
The rest of the time was spent trying to find a comfortable balance between spending time with the rents and Kyle. I didn't mention that this was the first time I had seen my niece for an extended period of time. She was adorable and we celebrated her birthday while we were there. It was funny to watch her eat cake. Hilarious actually.
Oh and you know how I was complaining about the weather earlier. Well you will never guess what the temperature was on that day. It reached a near 65 degrees. All the water basically flooded the streets. Floods in December in Michigan. The Mayans may have been on to something. Wahoo 2012!!!
In anycase, Monica and made our way back to Iowa, but not before stopping and seeing Ms. Fuson. It was good times. Monica seemed to get along with her and the conversations were like they always seem to be. Fun and full of topics ranging from work to personal life and even found a way to sneak a little Jesus in there. Crazy I say. Simply crazy.
So we drove home and I made it to Iowa in record time. Less than eight hours. It was pretty much smooth sailing with all the nice dry and ice free roads. Now it is back to the grind with a New Year here and already going to be gone before I know it. I have a few promises, a few resolutions to get out there. First is as always the weightloss goal. Maybe someone out there will keep me honest on that front. The hope is 50 pounds by the end of the year. Not to be at but to simply loose that much. The next goal is to buy a house. Yeah, I know that is a pretty big goal but with the housing market in its current state I can't see why I wouldn't go for it. Just need to find a roommate or two. Final goal, maybe get my teaching certificate. Who knows when that can come in handy right? So here is to another year of good times, great fun, love and disappointing others.