The Merits of Years of Cooking

I haven’t posted very much lately.  There isn’t much that I have wanted to talk about.  Politics has sucked the life out of everyone.  Social justice just isn’t that interesting anymore.  What more can be said?  Hell, now it is turning on itself.  I like to do reviews.  So close to the release of Horizon: Zero Dawn.  Though, I get the feeling that that review will come out a long time later, because I am going to play as much of that game as I can before I put out my review.  I want you all to know if it’s good or not.  All the reviews i am seeing thus far are giving me lots of hope.  However, something recently came to my attention today.  Something that worked the cockles of my little black heart.

My cousin believes that men and women can’t be friends.  He’s stupid like that.  The proof came from nowhere else than having a girly-mate over to my old place for one last good meal there before I leave it to its folly.  In my new apartment, and it is fantastic.  This girly-mate of mine is married, quite happily.  We worked together at my job at the college library.  There is absolutely no sexual tension between us.  We make each other laugh, and have fun just talking and enjoying one-another’s company.  Since it was the send-off to my shitty old place and the shitty “kitchen” that I had, I wanted to go big.  Decided to make something really special.

On Facebook, I follow a TON of the pages that have the little cooking videos from an overhead angle.  I love that shit.  Since I love to cook, it appeals to me.  And now I FINALLY have a kitchen to do it!  You all have no idea how happy this makes me.  Already got a ton of ideas.  And since I am now interviewing for a job that is a step up from where I am now, my hope is to get ahead.  Needless to say, things are pretty alright.  My new place doesn’t have a microwave.  That is a problem.  One I will solve on Craigslist, eventually.  Along with a mixer and other things.  And a slow cooker.  Definitely that.

Back to my story, I had this friend over, and I made something really unique – Tuscan chicken in angel hair pasta.  Here is a pic I took of it.

tuscan-chickenIt was a giant pain the ass.  It took a lot of patience and being willing to test myself.  I didn’t measure things out specifically.  I winged a lot of it, and you know what – it was worth it.  The final product was one of the finest things I have ever made.  It was a fantastic night.  The two of us were stuffed to the point that we couldn’t even have the fantastic dessert I had planned.  No complaints.  Was awesome.  However, I am going somewhere with this.

The thing I have learned after years of making food is that nothing makes a social gathering come together more than homemade food with good conversation and laughter from people.  Just getting to talk about the process of making and sharing in the meal that I made with another person was some of the most fun I have had in years.  With a proper kitchen, I truly want to see if I can make something fantastic with as many people as I can.

Over the years, I have watched my cooking talents go from strength to strength.  Sure, there have been mistakes along the way.  Some truly amazing fuck-ups that blow my freaking mind.  But in the midst of all of those have come experiments in taste that blow my mind.  The first time I made bagels from scratch.  Laborious, time-consuming, but getting to bit into the final product made that all worth it.  Every holiday I make a new kind of cheesecake.  Last year it was pumpkin cheesecake.  Okay, but not great.  I am planning on doing stromboli, one of these months.  As I sit in my new place, and eat a fresh naval orange, I am inspired to see what I can come up with next.  Experimenting with fruit salad, the kind of salad I actually like.  Making pan-fried potatoes for a guest, something that I am so fucking good at.  Just ask my old man.  He likes my kind of pan-fried better than my mother’s, and that’s saying something.

Good food is a gift.  One that I want to share with as many people as I can before my death wish comes for me.  And for all you guys out there, if you’re single, there is no excuse.  Learn to fucking cook!  Women will swoon if you can make their taste buds ring.  Then you might be able to get their pussy to follow suit.  I got a cousin to prove wrong, and all the time in the world to do it.  What are you all’s thoughts?  Let me know down in the Comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“Much like traveling, meals eaten alone are dull and without flavor.” – The Count, Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

Peace out,

Maverick

2016 Year in Review

Back when I was in college, I used to do Academic Year in Review posts.  It was a nice little way to wrap up the year.  With this year at an end, and me being all high as fuck (it’s legal in my state now, blow me), I thought that I would restart the tradition.  Only this time, it won’t be the Academic Year in Review, it will just be the Year in Review.  This year sure seemed to fly by.  That is, after I found my new job.  Once I was back to work, time has absolutely blazed by.  It’s been a crazy ride, but you know what, a lot has happened.  There’s a ton to talk about, so let’s get down to it.  Consider this my post for New Year’s.  By the time I get finished typing this out, it should be New Year’s Eve, anyway.

The year started on a terrible note.  I had just gone through the worst experience of my professional life.  I have already told the story of the crazy bitch and the PR company she worked for.  I haven’t heard a single thing from that company, so I guess they forgot about me.  Maybe that, or me pwning her into oblivion in her unfathomably immature texting flame war was enough so she didn’t want to deal with me again.  The way she copped out was just pathetic.  Coming off the heels of that, I was in a desperate financial situation.  I had no money.  My parents were basically having to pay my rent.  A fact that hurt me to no end.  Now back to the job market.  I was not doing well, mentally.

Months dragged by.  However, hope arrived!  I got an interview at a real estate company.  I was literally hired on the spot.  The power of my damn snappy suit, I tell you what.  For the first time in a long time, I felt pretty good.  Sure, the job had no benefits, and the pay wasn’t great, but it was work.  And I could look for a better job while there.  It’s always easier to find work when already employed.  It just looks better on a resume.  Anyway, two days in, and I saw something that immediately made my blood run cold.  It was a box at the office with the name of the PR company that I had just been through that fiasco with.  Immediately, I knew that this was bad.  I asked, and it seems they rented some office space there.  This was bad.  Say that crazy bitch dropped in?  Say she talk to them about me?  She’s as vindictive as Hillary Clinton, and will abuse her power whenever possible.

Sure enough, my worries were confirmed.  I get told by the same woman that hired me, at the end of my second day, that I am “not the right fit for the position.”  I was pissed.  No wonder this job had such a high turnover rate.  Did I not mention that?  Seems that the job did.  I was told as much.  Given the absurd things I had to do every fucking day there, I genuinely am not surprised.  Oh well.  To be honest, given where I am now, I don’t see losing that job as a huge loss.  Though it will be weird giving a W-2 to my aunt, who does the family taxes, for a job that I only held for two days.

More months passed.  I was so miserable.  The worst thing about not working, that they don’t tell you, is how you lose track of what day is what.  See, something else happened.  My special lawyer girly-mate left.  She and I had been thick as thieves.  I knew that it was coming, but still, driving her to the airport was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  The last time I did it, we shared an amazing kiss.  That girl’s lips were among the softest I have ever gotten the chance to kiss.  This time, it was just heart-breaking.  Last time, I had some reassurance that she would be back.  This time, there was none.  This time, she was leaving with a person that she had been dating to come back to.  This time, I could feel that she wasn’t going to be coming back.  Something inside just told me it was so.  That fact, more than any other, hurt me.  How many people have I watched walk away from me, knowing that I will likely never see them again?  I don’t know.  I doubt I ever will.

The next major event came up.  A neurology clinic that I had applied to got back to me!  It was an interview, and I kicked ass!  Hell, I impressed the person I was interviewing with so much, that they wanted me to meet with the manager of the office too.  I took them up on that, and it was a damn good call.  Two interviews for the price of one.  By the time I got back to my place, I could tell that good things were coming.  Sure enough, about a week later, I got a call asking if I would come back in, this time for something call a “working interview.”  A totally new concept to me, it’s when you come in and basically sit in and do parts of the job for a day, to show what you are made of and how quickly you can adapt.  I don’t deny, walking in to that office, looking ready to work, I felt so good.  It was a little nerve-wracking, but I very quickly got the hang of stuff.  Plus, the women in the office were great.  I was the only guy.  The only one.  They were all fun people, and I felt like I was fitting in just nicely.  By the end of the day, walking out, I felt on top of the world.  Got paid for my work (they have to pay you for a working interview), and they told me that they would be in touch within a week or so.  I decided to wait a few days, and then “check in.”  Show how eager I am to get to work for them.  It seemed smart.  Was told that the woman who was doing the hiring was out.  Okay.  That’s cool.  I’ll call back on Friday.  End of the week, exactly a week from the working interview.  Will find out then.  Had good feelings.

I call back, told that she is busy, but would call me back.  They took down my name and number.  I figured that they were people of their word, so nothing to worry about, right?  I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  In a way, I’m still waiting.  In what was one of the most unprofessional displays I have ever seen, they never got back to me.  To this day, I still haven’t heard a thing.  How unprofessional is that?  If you put in a day with a company, and really try your best, don’t you at least deserve to hear back from them?  I was so pissed.  What’s more, it was such a good opportunity.  A job I can walk to!  That’s what it was.  I could commute to work in five minutes, on foot.  Ten minutes in winter.  They didn’t even have the guts to tell me that I didn’t get the job.  So pissed, I was.

After that failure, my depression was doing a real number on me.  It had been getting steadily worse, but this was almost past the tipping point.  It was past a year since I had started working at the neurology clinic I was at.  A year since the best opportunity I had had slipped through my fingers, all because I was sick and angry.  What an idiot, I was.  But the real blow was coming.  My parents could no longer keep helping me with my rent.  The old man wanted to retire, so they couldn’t handle the lacking income.  By this point, I was beyond desperate.  However, hope came!  In my darkest hour, hope came.  I got an interview for a state job.  It was the ugliest state job one can ask for.  The most thankless state job one could ask for.  A job that involves money and children.  You can probably extrapolate from there.  Just the day before, I had had a golden idea to hit up an old boss of mine on Facebook and ask if I could use her for a reference.  She was more than happy to oblige.  And it was just in time, as this place called me back and asked me for some references.  My old boss told me she gave me the best reference ever when they called.  I was so happy.  Two days later, I got the call.  I was hired.  In that instant, relief flooded into my veins.

My new job starts, and it was in the first day where I met someone who has become so important to my life in such a short amount of time.  We were hired at the same time, and both of us were there at the same orientation.  It was all awkward and quiet, so I decided to break the ice.  What an awesome decision, that was.  We got each other’s name, and thus began a friendship that is giving me so much to look forward to.

The job is so fucking complicated.  Even now, I feel so stupid when I look at things and I don’t know what any of it means.  Plus, our office is so underfunded that we use fucking DOS.  I shit you not.  We use DOS to run our entire agency.  The level of unreal in that blows my fucking mind.  So much to learn, and I am in the Customer Service section of our Division.  Meaning that I get to deal with people’s hate directly.  Groj, so unpleasant.  But more than that, I was having a bit of an identity crisis for a while.  Being called by my given name, it felt so surreal.  Like someone else was in that office.  For a brief while, I couldn’t tell who was who.  Then, one day, I saw some stupid SJW shit posted online, and I reconnected with Lucien all over again.

As is want to happen, whenever I make a friend of the opposite sex, and things are going splendidly, something goes wrong.  It is my life, after all.  Her significant other has jealousy issues.  Those of you who have followed me for many years can maybe see where this is going.  The jealousy issues peaked when she hung out at my place and we had some drinks and were just chilling.  It was awesome.  It was everything I could have asked for.  For so long, all I have wanted is to have friends over to my place.  We could watch movies, make good food, play games.  It’s all I have wanted for years.  That night will go down in history as one of the best nights of my life, which then translated into one of the worst the next day, when our friendship was falling apart due to the love of her life taking umbrage with me.  I’ll give this guy some credit, he’s actually met me.  I could tell when we did meet that he was sizing me up.  And I don’t know if he liked what he saw or not.  I outsmarted him and his friends in a game that we were playing.  Felt good.  My poker face destroyed him.  I then decided to just fuck with all of them in the next round because I could.  We learned something about each other that night.  I learned that he wanted to stake his claim to his girl in front of me.  He learned that I am hard to read when I want to be.  I thought that the guy doesn’t like me.  At the very least he sees me as something of a threat.  But the way I see it, any beliefs about me being a threat should go due to recent events.  If there is anything that has cemented me as nothing approaching a threat ever, it’s what’s happened.

When things fell apart after the night at my place, I basically had to concede everything that I have ever wanted in a friendship for so long.  She listened to my heartfelt and nearly tearful statement about how much this hurt, and there was nothing.  Not a single emotion that registered.  She said that she can’t please everyone, and has to do what’s best for her relationship.  I get that.  I know that I will always come in second place.  Hell, I don’t even rank third.  I’m a new friend.  I rank in fifth or sixth place on the totem pole.  That’s how it goes.  I have no illusions about where I am on the pecking order.

For those who think that this is following the Emily path, that’s my biggest fear.  However, I will say this much – I don’t think so.  For starters, Emily and I were infinitely closer than Kathryn and I are.  Maybe that’s a point in this situation’s favor.  Plus, there is the reality that I don’t know what this significant other who at least has seen me as something of a threat thinks.  I’ve gotten conflicting pieces of information.  I may eventually choose to see this person again, see if there is something more to be achieved from interaction.  Who knows, right?  However, all the signs are there that this story will follow the track that Emily and I’s did.  If so, it will break my heart in ways you couldn’t begin to imagine.

However, there is peace on the land of our new friendship, for now.  We hang out as often as we can, but the understanding is that she will never be able to chill at my place again.  Ever.  That means that movie nights are out.  Making good food is out.  I’ve already talk about how much I wanted that.  It’s a huge sacrifice, and part of me still wonders what she gave up in return, but I’m done fighting a battle that I know I can’t win.  I’ve done enough negotiations in these situations to know when I have no bargaining position.  And it’s not to say that we haven’t had fun since then.

Just recently, however, things took another turn.  Her and I have been carpooling to work together.  There is a lot of ugly history with her sister, her sister’s husband, and the nieces that she now has no ability to see.  Some truly horrible things.  But one day, the sister puts out an olive branch.  Because I have this belief that a person should strike while the iron’s hot, when the sister invited her down to the states as a way to make amends and bring the family back together again, I told her to take the risk.  It’s a gamble, but how often does good fortune come a person’s way?  So she did it.  Used up all her leave time at work, spending almost everything she will have saved, all to go down to North Carolina to see her family.  Maybe she’s spending too much time with me.  Lady Luck saw fit to strike.

The same day, she is sent a message from her sister basically taking that olive branch she put out and burning it down in front of her.  The girl was in pain.  Horrible, aching pain.  Years of unaddressed agony bubbling up and exploding.  In the hall at work, she fell to the floor and sobbed.  All I could do is sit next to her and hold her.  I had no words, nothing to say.  All I could do is hold her and listen to her cry.  I felt next to useless in that moment.  Like I was the person putting a band-aid on an ax wound.  The boss came over, and in an amazing moment, she became a complete mom and was able to remedy the situation.  Had her go home.  Since we carpooled together, I took her home.  That was such a hard day, for me.

Ever since then, things have been weird.  She denies it, but I’m smart enough to see that something has changed.  I can’t put my finger on it, but things have gotten awkward between us.  I am sensing a growing distance.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Wouldn’t be the first time.  However, there has been a real change in things between us after that day, and not for the better.  Maybe that’s how it separates from the Emily story.  After I wiped the tears off Emily’s face in the Periodicals Room, the two of us were closer than ever.  Now I feel like I have lost a TON of ground.  Not a fan of that.  Wondering what I did wrong.  Probably overthinking this.  Unsure.

So that’s where we are now.  My job is sucking the life out of me.  The reality is that once Kathryn leaves to go to basic for the Navy (proud of her for that.  Was pushing her to reapply to get back in to the Navy), I am out of there.  It’s nothing against the department.  I just can’t do a job where I am getting treated like shit by people that I am having less and less sympathy for every day.  There’s no way I can do this long term.  Planning on staying with the state for at least five years.  Then I’m vested and have guarantee retirement.  Since state jobs like to hire with people already in the state, I feel comfortable when I go looking for a new port to call my own.

Looking ahead, I have been given hints that my lawyer girl may be coming back, if only for a little bit.  That gives me hope.  A brief glimmer of hope to latch on to.  It hasn’t been the hardest year, but a decent amount of stuff has happened.  Leading up to when I found this new job, it was months of time where, if I didn’t have this watch, I couldn’t tell one day from the next.  I have a job, already one review that looks good, and will have another come February.  A new friendship that, while it is currently on not the most stable ground, has a ton of potential.  Guess we’ll see what happens.

Until next time, a quote,

This may not make much sense to you now, a young man at the beginning of his career, but one of the things you learn as you move up the ranks and get a little older is that you wish you had more time in your youth to really absorb the things that happened to you. It goes by so fast. It’s so easy to become jaded. To treat the extraordinary like just another day at the office. But sometimes, there are experiences that transcend all that.” -Capt. Katherine Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager

Peace out,

Maverick

Five Things I Hate Challenge

I’ve seen this idea making its way around the YouTube community, and since I am as original as a Subway Reuben sandwich (a concept that sounds disgusting beyond words), I thought that I would get in on the fun and do my own list of five things that I hate.  Rather than do some easy over-the-plate answers like SJWs and modern feminism, I thought I would talk about things that actually apply to my daily life.  Things that I have to deal with that just get under my skin and piss me the fuck off.  Here is my list of five things that I REALLY hate.

5. People who tell me to be more positive
I get this one all the fucking time at work.  I work a customer service job for a state industry that involves children and money.  You can probably extrapolate what it is from what I’ve said.  It is the most thankless job in the world, and I have to deal with some of the biggest scum-fucks ever.  But I am professional with everyone who calls.  I keep the same level tone with everyone.  Sure, there has been a slip-up or two, but I have always been at my very best.  However, once I hang up the phone from call with worthless parent #24 for that day, I sometimes need to vent.  Sometimes I have to call the lazy cunt who is bitching about having to pay because she is a worthless parent.

This has gotten people to be like, “you need to be more positive!”  I hear this shit all the time, and it never fails to illicit at least a little of my annoyance.  Let me have my moment of negativity.  I have to put on a happy face for every fucking asshole who calls in to scream at me about how me and my organization are thieves.  I deserve to have a moment to acknowledge how unpleasant it all is.  If there wasn’t this entire division singing about how it is so valuable and we are such wonderful people, maybe we could have an honest conversation about how miserable the job is.  Maybe then, real change could be made to make things less shitty.  Like getting a pinball machine for the break room or something.  You know, little ideas like that to make the day suck less.  Oh, but we can’t have that.  Instead, we have to find bullshit ways to pretend that it is just the happiest place in the world.  These people are insulting my fucking intelligence every time I have the super-cheerful boss come in and say how great every day is.

Fact is, I don’t get why everyone is so insane about trying to be positive all the time.  Life isn’t that great.  If a person needs to let some dark thoughts out into the zeitgeist to get through their day, why does everyone act like they took a piss in their coffee?  Does the attitude of someone that you don’t actually like all that much really bother you?  If you are so needing all life around you to be sunshine and roses then you have much deeper insecurities that you should probably address.  As for me, I live with depression caused by brain damage.  I’ll do what I do.

4. The endless sequels, remakes, and reboots
This goes for both video games and movies.  I am really hating the way things are nowadays.  Seems like every thing that is made is either a sequel, a remake, or a reboot.  The sequels are the worst.  Marvel has become a sequel machine.  Sure, there are the diamonds in the rough, like Civil War, Winter Soldier, and what I am hoping will be Spider-Man: Homecoming.  But for all the truly fantastic stuff, you have to slog through a bunch of complete shit.  I don’t have the energy for it.  I have never and will never watch any of the Thor movies.  Nor did I watch Ant-Man, or the original Captain America movie.  I didn’t want to.  This gets even worse for video games.  Seems like every major AAA game is a sequel.  This just bores me to no end.

Then we get the remakes.  Part of me is glad that we are seeing some truly toxic remakes coming out.  This year we got to see a Ghostbusters remake crash and burn on impact, which is for the best.  Hollywood is clearly out of ideas.  We can make fun of some of the bonkers and outright stupid shit that came from the 90’s, but you gotta give it this much – it was at least original.  I miss the days when studios would take huge risks with movies all so that people could let their creativity flow.

Finally, there are reboots.  These are no better.  The worst offender in recent memory is The Force Awakens.  I swear, there was a movie in there, but I couldn’t see it over this sheen of another film that came out 40 years ago that was so much better.  It’s like this movie was trying so desperately to riff on it.  You get the defenders coming out like, “it’s introducing a new generation to Star Wars!”  To those fucks, I say – you do own a DVD player, right?  You have Netflix?  Then what the fuck do you need this movie for?!  Watch the originals then, you stupid fucks!  This movie was boring.  It was dull.  I knew where the plot would go from beginning to end.  Not one thing surprised me or even got my attention.  The humor was cringe-worthy at best.  The “empowering female stormtrooper” has no face and barely any lines.  Harrison Ford looked medicated the whole time.  Daisy Ridley can’t act for shit.  Nothing about that movie was nearly as good as people said it would be.  I won’t be seeing the sequel in theaters.  Hell, I doubt I will see Rogue One in theaters either.  Spoilers be damned.

Every time I see a sequel, remake, or reboot coming out, I think of all the wasted potential that could have gone to a legitimately good film.  The wondering about what could have been, all the while realizing that I am just watching the same shit come out, over and over again.  Maybe the reason that DC films are being panned so much is that they are coming out and riffing on Marvel, and it just looks tacky at this point.

3. When people ask why I’m not dating
Yeah, this one was coming.  Every fucking year at the holidays, I have at least one person ask, “why aren’t you dating anyone?”  Oh, fuck off!  Yeah, like finding a relationship is just something I can go down to the corner store and do.  Meeting people is time-consuming, and I don’t even have time for friendships with this job.  Or rather, friends don’t have time for me because they have all their own adult shit.  I’m sad and lonely, so I got nothing but time when I’m not at work.  I don’t do the bar scene or the party scene, so where exactly am I supposed to meet people?  Everyone acts like all I do is just sit around and jerk it.  I keep trying to meet people, wherever I can.  But with this job and my limited finances associated with my shit pay, there’s only so much that I can do.

For so many years, I have had people who don’t know shit about me telling me about how I am doing this thing wrong or that thing wrong and judging me for not being married and talking about having a baby by now.  The reality is that the longer you are single, the more likely it is that you will stay single.  Statistically, I am totally fucked.  Oh well.  It was fun while it lasted.  Hope is a curse, after all.

2. When a person is about to say something critical of me, then stops, refusing to continue when I ask them to elaborate
Any of you have this problem?  Someone who you trust to be honest with you has their dander up and is all annoyed and just when they are about to tell you what bug has crawled up their ass, they suddenly stop.  When you ask them to elaborate, they just shrug it off like, “nope!”  So there you are, knowing that they are upset with you about something, and now they are just going to peace out.  Which means that now I have to wonder about it all day.  And you just KNOW that they aren’t going to forget about whatever it is that was pissing them off.  It becomes a cycle of the person being all pissy and passive-aggressive with you until they finally explode about it.

Why can’t people just be honest about how they feel and work things out with people?  We live in a generation of people who have to have safe spaces and don’t want to be honest because they fear confrontation.  Where I come from, if you are mad at someone, you have it out.  Then it’s done.  No dwelling, no passive-aggressive.  It’s just done.  Over the years, I have had so many people who have this problem.  Refusing to talk to me about what was bugging them has ruined at least one relationship, and a couple of friendships.  Anytime that someone is actively avoiding talking to me about something, that’s a red flag that it isn’t some stupid thing but something actively important that shouldn’t be ignored.

The worst thing is that I am all about resolving conflicts.  Having watched so many relationships fall apart due to not talking about things that needed to be talked about, anytime that I sense something is wrong, I press the issue.  Granted, if a person tells me that they don’t want to talk at that point, but they will get with me about it later, that’s fine.  However, if they then do not do so and start with the passive-aggressive bullshit, I will call them out on it.

1. SNOW!
For the last few years, winter in my state has been pretty awesome.  It barely existed.  That has been pretty fucking sweet.  All this climate change stuff has been a real boon to me.  Sure, pretty much is bitching and complaining about there not being enough snow, but fuck that noise!  I think it was awesome.  However, it seems that the good times are over and now things are back to a much more typical winter.  Oh boy.  Isn’t that just swell.  Which means now I have to deal with the white shit.

Sure, it is pretty to watch fall, but here’s the thing – I have a commute to work in the morning!  You know what that means?  That means that I have to deal with this shit every day.  And because I am an actually safe driver, I have to take more time out and get to work early.  I also carpool with my lady friend, so that adds even more time.  I’m not complaining about that part.  I only get so much time with her before she leaves, so I gotta take what I can get.  But it sucks that everything in my life gets immediately more difficult because I gotta deal with all this white shit everywhere.  And since everyone gets really fucking stupid when it snows, the chances of me getting killed by some dumbass goes up exponentially.

In the end, snow is just more of a challenge than it is something to like.  If you are one of those people who thinks that snow is awesome and whatever, I have no words for you.  You’re a weird fuck.

What are some of the things that you hate?  Let me know in the Comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“I’m getting real sick of your shit, winter.” – meme

Peace out,

Maverick

The True Meaning of Sacrifice

Something to know about me – I have given a lot of my devotion and energy to a lot of people.  Of those, some of them are the best friends I have ever had.  Others are the best friends I had, but for whom my friendship was not enough to stop them from selling it up the river in order to maintain their romantic relationships with people who didn’t like me.  Almost all of whom never even met me.  Jealousy and love wins out over friendship, every time.  But I still did everything in my power to accommodate these people because I cared and I didn’t want to hurt anyone.  That was in my early 20’s.  I’m kicking 30 in the ass now.  I’m too old for this shit.

The story has gone down virtually the same way every time.  I am getting really tight with someone.  Because my own gender and mine just never seem to click, it is often someone of the opposite gender.  That person is involved with someone.  The person and I end up spending more and more time together.  We get reasonably close.  Then, the person’s significant other sees me as a threat.  They come to me, and they try and make compromises.  They try and make things work for both parties.  But the significant other becomes more and more jealous.  Eventually, the person is forced to make a decision – the person they love, or the friend that they care for.  You probably know what they chose.  This is without a SINGLE exception.  None.  But I’m not raging about that.  Believe me, for a long time, I did.  Go back far enough through my site and you’ll see some emo shit written by me about how unfair things were.  I now realize that that was inevitable.  Of course friendship loses to love.  Of course it does.  That’s how life works.

Rather than getting into that, let’s look at this another way.  See, the story is starting all over again.  This time with someone that I have recently come to know and with whom I have gotten close to incredibly quickly.  The speed at which this person and I bonded is quite extraordinary.  And to the credit of this story, there is at least one plot twist – the significant other who sees me as a threat is someone I have met.  I got to meet the guy, and I know for a fact that there was an instance where him and I were looking at each other and we were sizing one-another up.  I will likely never know what he thought what conclusion he came to.  I never want to speak to the guy.

For so long, all I have wanted is someone who I could have over at my place to have movie nights, nerd out with, or just talk.  This person and I got to have that.  Her and I spent one truly amazing night drinking and talking.  It was incredible.  But the story playing out happens all the same.  So, she tells me that the thing I have wanted most, and been teased with, is gone.  Poof.  Never to return.  Thus begins the compromising stage.  Not gonna lie, it hurt.  It hurt a lot.  I haven’t had a new friend in ages.  Now here I met this cool person, and I saw a bright future of all sorts of fun.  Finally putting the chair for a guest in my place to good use!  Movies, pizza, and I could have a friend there when I finally get my hands on Final Fantasy XV and I am playing it for the first time.  Now it’s gone.  It’s never coming back.  Years upon years of nothing but my lonely place, my lonely fridge, and my lonely life, and now something truly amazing was teased in front of me.  You’d think I’d have learned by now that the moment things are going well in my life, that’s when it all goes to shit.

I know what you’re thinking – what does ANY of this whining have to do with the title of the post?  I’m getting to that.  I spilled my guts to her, explaining why I was so frustrated.  The response?  The simple version is – I have to do what’s best for me and (insert significant other’s name here).  In other words – if it comes down to you or him, it’s going to be him.  So, choices have to be made.  Sacrifices.  And who gets to make the sacrifices?  You guess it – me.  As always.  It’s always me who has to accept the lesser option.  Never anyone else.  No one else has to give.  Just me.  Because I’m the friend.

Now I know what you’re thinking – aren’t you just shaming her for choosing someone else over you?  Hardly.  I get it.  I’m the friend.  As Baz Luhrmann said, “understand that friends come and go, save for the precious few for whom you should hold on to.”  But love can shape your whole life.  It gives the human condition purpose.  I will never have love again in my life, so you can extrapolate how much purpose is in my life.  At this point, I’m pretty much just a corpse that walks and talks.  My connection with the human condition is so strained that one day I figure it will fade away and I will become a complete monster who doesn’t care even vaguely about anything.  But I understand that when you have a romantic connection, you will do anything to fight for it.  I’d like to say that in her place, I’d tell the guy to fuck off if he doesn’t like it, but given how terrible my romantic history has been, I don’t know what I would do.  Meanwhile, a friendship can be established elsewhere and be made with more stable people.  That’s adulthood, after all.  Closeness traded in for comfortable distance to keep yourself and those in your life happy.

Which brings me, FINALLY, to the point of this post.  Everyone likes to believe that sacrificing your happiness or what you want for some greater objective is a noble act that says something about you as a person.  I’m here to tell you – that’s bullshit.  The reality is that sacrifice doesn’t mean anything.  What did me giving to all the people who eventually abandoned me do?  Hell, most of them ditched in a way that I figure it wasn’t even difficult to do.  I’m easy to forget.  It’s one of the hallmarks about me.  It’s so easy to forget about me.  I gave and strove to make everyone involved happy.  But in the end, I made no one happy.  Not myself, not the person I was trying to work with, and definitely not the significant other who hated my guts without having ever met me.

Sacrifice is done when mature people realize that the connection they are trying to salvage is worth breaking down in order to compartmentalize it with another that they deem as more valuable.  It’s a simple equation of – I value this person more than that person.  So, I will let this part of it go.  If they cannot accept that, then I know to cut that connection loose.  It’s a logical valuation of how much one person matters vs another.  A simple equation.  That’s the true meaning of sacrifice.  You are doing an equation of what you are willing to let go in order to preserve something else.  I have chose to let all of my golden ideas go, because I want to salvage the idea that maybe I can enjoy some amount of camaraderie with this individual (situation) down the road.  But I know that it’s a temporary fix.  Jealousy is what it is, so I have no delusions about the story playing out any differently.

The difference is that in this instance I drew a firm line in the sand.  I gave up my golden ideas, the things I have been looking for for years, and that’s all I am going to give up.  If more is asked of me, I walk.  It’s a simple way of compartmentalizing this whole affair into what I figure is the inevitable end, that I have seen play out a thousand times before.  We’ll see what happens.  Does it hurt?  Oh yeah.  For one fantastic night, I was given late conversation in my place, with drinks.  That was a night that almost made me want to live again.  But it’s gone, and I know for a fact that it’s never coming back.

Sacrifice is given an elevated platform by society, but that’s bullshit.  It’s an equation that we do, valuing one thing over another and being willing to break the other thing down to make it fit in with the thing that we deem more valuable.  In my case, I value trying to keep what few connections I have to the human condition over my own happiness.  Hell, I gave up on that dead horse years ago.  True happiness is a concept that is completely out of my reach.  I don’t know what my new friend sacrificed.  I don’t know what the significant other sacrificed.  From where I’m sitting, nothing.  He got everything he wanted, and then some.  Oh well.  The equation plays out all the same.

What have you sacrificed for?  What were your sacrificed for?  Let me know in the Comments

Until next time, a quote,

“Love is sacrifice.” – David Oyelowo

Peace out,

Maverick

Just The Way I Am…

One of my favorite songs by Billy Joel is “Just the Way You Are.”  It’s a man telling the woman who he loves that she doesn’t have to be anyone else for him to love her.  Everything she already is is enough.  I like that.  Never heard words like that said to me.  Never had a person tell me that the person I am today is enough.  Why?  Because of my depression.

For those who don’t know, following a head injury and brain damage, I have incurable depression that won’t leave me alone.  It’s something I am going to have to live with my entire life.  I could take pills, but at the moment I am having some insurance troubles, and I need to get my financial life sorted out before I look into my psychological one.  But here’s the thing – why is who I am not enough for people?  You have no idea how many people over the years have told me that I am not the person they want.  “Why don’t you take pills!  You should be happy!”  Or there is the more general thing I get told by people – “why can’t you just be happy?” “You’re such a downer!”  “You’d have more friends if you were happier.”  You’d be surprised how often I’ve heard that last one.  They might be right.  About the center one, no doubt.  I’m an externally-cold cynic who hates everyone.

But why can’t anyone understand?  Why does everyone work so hard to stay away from a person who has shown himself to be a loyal friend in the extreme.  If any of the people in my circle, or hell, even my former circle, came to me and asked for help, I’d be there.  I believe in loyalty, to whatever end.  Gotten me stabbed in the back more times than I can count, from people who said that they cared for me.  No good deed goes unpunished, am I right?  What is it about the depression and my general cynicism that just tells people that there is nothing to be gained from my company?

I suppose it’s the fact that depression can make one seem needy.  No arguments, I kind of am.  But that neediness does come with the added bonus of me being the kind of person who does everything I can to be the best friend possible.  I understand what it’s like to be alone and feel pain all the time.  Whether it be a loyal ear, or a shoulder to cry on, I am there for all my people.

This has led me to being a person that those who have been in my inner circle confide in above all others.  I have been told, more than once, that people close to me trust me more than anyone.  It’s the reason that EVERY one of the significant others of girly-mates sees me as a threat.  That’s rich.  These guys/girls should be thanking me.  I’ve helped countless people through fights that they couldn’t see the other side, simply by listening and using an impartial perspective to see through the problem.  Got more cred with these people than a fucking shrink.  Hell, there was a girly-mate who pretty much used me as a marriage counselor.  Now she never speaks to me anymore.  I’ll give you three guesses why.

End of the day, it doesn’t matter, though.  Because I am still the depressing guy.  There for anyone who asks.  I have no qualms about helping friends, whatever the problem is.  But the moment that I’m negative, I get static.  Not a word one.  It’s so fucking rich.

I can already hear the rebuttal – “Lucien, your depression is likely going to end horribly.  Why would they want to get involved in such a situation (indivijual)?  It just means that you are dragging them into it too.  Nobody wants to feel crappy.”  Fine.  I’ll give you that.  It is self-destructive, and it could very well have a horrible ending.  But not now.  I have a purpose.  I have a guiding force that gives me direction and staves off the worst of the thoughts.  I got used to thoughts about suicide YEARS ago.  Hell, since I got out of the hospital, I’ve been thinking about it.  Me and the Grim Reaper are so close that we might as well play chess together.  I got a glass chess board, but it’s starting to fade.  Eventually want to get one that’s made of marble.  Insanely expensive, but a man can dream.

In the end, people want me to be something else.  A shoulder to be there when they need it, but outside of that, everyone wants me to be a smiling, happy person who takes his Joy (props to the person who gets that reference without Google) and behaves in the way that they see fit.  Nobody wants me just the way I am.  They want another person.  Again, I hear your rebuttal – “Lucien, they want you to be happy.  What’s wrong with that?  Don’t you want people to be happy too?”  Lots of the time, sure.  But sometimes I realize that what people need is to sort out the ugly feelings and maybe just be in a bad place for a while to do so.  I don’t drown people in my negativity.  At least, not anymore.  I used to.  No doubt.  Now, however, I make sure to balance out the negativity with enough random thoughts about the world and life to be able to balance the scales.  Perhaps it’s just too late, and the doors that we opened with people are shut.  Unfortunate.

I dream of being told that someone wants me just the way I am.  Perhaps this is all just a deflection about my personal and social life.  But is it really such a bad thing to want?  I don’t know.  If you do, please tell me.

Until next time, a quote,

“I took the good times.  I’ll take the bad times.  I’ll take you just the way you are.” – Bill Joel, “Just the Way You Are”

Peace out,

Maverick

Another Empty Place

I haven’t done a personal post on here in ages.  To be honest, I haven’t had much to talk about.  The employment situation has been the biggest thing of note for the last MANY months.  But I don’t want to talk about that.  It’s been more frustrating than anything.  Sure, part of what has been the hardest winter with my depression stems from that, but I am at a point now where things are looking to move forward.  I have a working interview coming up.  Never even heard of that before I got the call.  Apparently, it is where you are thrown into the deep end at a place of employment and told to sink or swim.  I have no doubt that my skills will be pushed to the limits.  It’s going to happen on Friday the 13th, next week.  Yeah, Lady Luck is REALLY testing me.

But something finally happened that got me to wax all nostalgic.  Something really depressing (anyone who has read my previous personal posts will understand that that is a theme here.  What can I say, I have brain damage that has condemned me to depression.  So sue me), and it has me thinking of days gone by, and what is going to happen moving forward.  See, I took a girly-mate to the airport last night.  She finished up with law school and headed back home.  We got to go out for dinner for what may end up being the last time.  Forever.  People all say that there is Facebook and texting, but you know what, I honestly am not the biggest fan of that sort of thing.  The reality is that I would prefer to do things in person.  There’s something about face-to-face that just appeals to me.  I also like talking to people on the phone.  A voice is nice.  A voice and a face are best, but just that connection from getting to hear a person talk is soothing.  To me, anyway.

Anyway, she’s gone now.  I got to watch her get on that airplane, not knowing if I will ever get to see her again.  It wasn’t the first time.  She says that she’ll be back, but I know that there is a lot that can happen between now and then.  With my luck being what it is, I always assume the worst.  It’s a safe assumption.  She was the only person I had left to see and talk to in this fucking town.  I’m all alone here.  The days when her and I would go out and do stuff were pretty fucking awesome.  I looked forward to those times when I would get a random text from her asking if I could help her with something, drive her around town while we did stuff, or just to grab dinner or fries and talk.  We could talk for hours!  We would get some fries at McD’s (those things are laced with crack, I’m convinced of it), park the car and chat about stuff for hours on end.

This girl and I can talk about most anything.  She just graduated from law school, so we talk about legal stuff a lot.  Listening to her talk about court stuff is so cool.  Makes me feel like her schmo friend, you know?  We talk about political stuff.  This has been a hell of a year for it.  We occasionally spar over our differences in movies.  Since I am kind of a pretentious intellectual about my love of fiction, she can get a laugh out of that.  And since we are both people who like a good argument, just getting to have that can be fun.

I found out some neat thing.  On the way out, we talked about why our friendship works.  Apparently, she tells me things that she doesn’t tell anyone else.  She trust me above all others.  Including her boyfriend.  That made me feel good.  Part of the problem lately about feeling alone is the fact that I don’t think that anyone really cares about me these days.  I’m remarkably easy to forget, which is kind of amazing, considering that I’m a giant.  Though, it does bring to mind how several of my lady-friendships died on the vine because the ladies involved trust me above anyone else.  Their respective boyfriends immediately saw me as a threat.  Such a waste of time, considering that I knew that I was firmly in the friend-zone with these women.  But jealous guys being what they are, I guess I should have expected that.

Now my lady-friend is gone.  The last person I have to talk to.  All I have now is this lonely apartment.  Got me thinking about all the people in my life that I’ve lost over the years.  So many.  Friendships that languished on the vine or just up and vanished because of things I did or mistakes I made.  And now they’re gone.  Recently, I tried to reach out and repair some some burnt or damaged bridges.  Failed, spectacularly.  Not even a response.  From anyone.  Oh well.

Then there’s the lack of a personal life.  Naught to be done about that.  Money is like a river that is eternally drying up.  Doesn’t help that I’m not very attractive, either.  So that’s pretty much out.  Besides, I made a post talking about my end game plan for my life.  Anyone who has read that will know that having a personal life would just complicate things along the way.  Now if I could only get this damn itch to leave me alone, things would be just peachy.

I honestly don’t know where things are going to go.  I know that I have nothing going for my life, and things are going nowhere in a great big hurry.  I can remedy the employment situation (indivijual) in the near future.  That’s cool.  But until then, I’m gonna enjoy some zen music, and try and escape the itch.  Wishing I had someone to talk to.

Until next time, a quote,

“I’m not sure this is a world I belong in anymore. I’m not sure that I want to wake up.” – Gayle Forman

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Gaming Clips: Life is Strange (Chloe and Max, Parts Five, Six, and Seven)

Now we come to Episode 3, and here is where we have the two’s relationship really showing signs that there is something more on the horizon.  The two have a bonding session in the pool, where we see their respective armor cracking.  Chloe’s especially.  For so long, she has walled herself off.  When Rachel disappeared, she became a frigid barrier.  Here is her best friend, after all this time.  The closeness they had restored.  But she is finding something out about how she feels about Max.  Watch Part Six and you’ll see what I mean.  After she asks Max to kiss her, if you chose to accept, there is a look of shock on her face.  I don’t think that that is just because Max said yes.

After all, Chloe did ask her for that kiss, right?  The way I see it, Chloe is having this internal battle in herself.  It’s between how she feels about Rachel and how she feels about Max.  About to have a Critical Examination moment, but I looked at her face after the kiss, and you can almost see that there is an internal battle going on inside that woman, as she is trying to figure out how she feels.  For Max’s part, it’s a bit more complicated.  She plays everything off cool, but look in her journal.  After you kiss her, when you go downstairs, you see that Max thinks it was cute, but when she is pondering about what it meant, she remarks that Chloe seems to see Rachel in her future.  Implying that Max doesn’t think that there’s a future in that relationship.  So clearly she is thinking about it as well.

Then we get to the point where you see how Chloe’s feelings about Rachel and Max clash, when she learns the truth about Rachel and Frank’s connection.  That’s when the two fight, and Max discovers a new power.  Emotions run high in this episode, but that’s what makes this so good.  It leads into the next episode, where emotions run much quieter.  But we’ll get there when we do.  Here’s the show.

So, what do you think about it all?  Totally open to other opinions.  Maybe you think that I’m full of shit.  In any case, enjoy the clips, and sub to my channel, if you are of a mind to.

Until next time, a quote,

“It feels like a different world from last night.” – Max Caulfield, Life is Strange

Peace out,

Maverick