Lucien Maverick’s Ikigai

I was just opened up to an idea that comes from Japan.  It’s called Ikigai, and the concept can most broadly be defined as “a reason for being.”  It has a very charming ven diagram that takes a look at the four categories.  See, the idea is that instead of just seeking happiness (which is something that due to my head injury I don’t feel anyway), we should be seeking a life that has purpose.  I like the concept.  This diagram allows you to really take a look at this issue and decide for yourself where you want to focus, letting you know what the perks, but also drawbacks are.  I want to tackle each thing one by one and see if we can find my ikigai.  This shouldn’t be too hard.  But first, a visual aid.  Let’s take a look at this.

Got the gist of it?  Let’s break this down, bit by bit.

What do you love?

This is pretty easy.  I love to write.  It’s something I’m damn good at.  This website is living testament to my writing prowess.  I’ve had it up for nine years.  That’s right, nine years of this.  Ever since I started this site with the news story I did interviewing people at the anti-Glenn Beck/Sarah Palin rally when the two were up here in my home state.  It was so raw, but it was the beginning of my work here.  Writing is what I have loved for so long, but it isn’t the only thing.

I love to cook too.  Just like writing, damn good at it.  I have years of experience doing it.  It’s weird that every task I have ever set my mind to and enjoyed doing, I’m good at.  Like really, really good.  I love to cook so much, and more than that, I love an audience for it.  When I can get people in my life who like to eat what I have to make it fills me with a great sense of accomplishment.  Because I can eat my creations and marvel at the flavors all day, but it’s something else when someone who is dear to me can too.  Alas, the way things are now is just a reminder to me of how my people are long ago and far away now.  It sucks.

So that part was pretty easy.  On to the next one.

What are you good at?

This part is also pretty easy.  Aside from the points I mentioned, I also have a lot of other tasks.  In addition to being good at everything I set my mind to, I learn things fast.  Really, really fast.  It’s kind of freakish how I can pick things up by getting into the nit and grit of them and do it.  There has yet to be something that does not fall into that category.

I also have a gift at making connections with people.  Everywhere I go, without a single exception, I become the talk of the area.  I my most recent job, I built up a reputation in two respects.  First, I was the best.  It goes without contest that in the customer service section of my employer, I was the best at what I did.  At least when I left there to go into the document processing section.  Best day ever.  But I did that task with such skill and became known as the guy that everyone could come to do things.  My head supervisor at the time saw me as something of an attitude problem, but to those I worked with directly, I was seen as sharp, witty, and a consummate professional on the phone.  I have a habit of getting under the skin of those who like to follow rules for the sake of them being rules, while making a ton of friends with those I work with for my desire to help them when they have problems, being the best at what I do, and having NO qualms about cutting corners wherever possible.  I’m an American, after all.  It’s what we do best.

These skills are a double-edged sword.  On the one hand, for bosses who see me as a person who also like to bend rules wherever they see them as detrimental, I am something of a hero.  For those who don’t like that, I am something of an attitude problem.  But make no mistake, the moment I enter into a new environment I find the fastest way to learn everything I need, and then become perfect at it.  Could give the samurai a run for their money.  Anyone who knows about the mentality of perfecting your art in their culture, you’ll know what I mean.

What does the world need from you?

Now that is a very, very good question.  I honestly don’t think anything.  My talents are asked for by no one and nobody really would care if I disappeared tomorrow.  It would be an inconvenience for those I work with, but not too much of one.  I am expendable because I’m still low on the totem pole.  I genuinely can’t think of anything that the world needs from me.

I’ve always hoped that my loyalty to my people and to my sense of personal ethics would carry some weight.  But that never stopped the countless people who have up and ditched me over the course of my life.  So then what about me as a human being does this world feel that I would provide a benefit for.  I genuinely couldn’t say.  Let me know if you have any ideas.

What can you get paid for?

Now there is the rub.  I can get paid for all sorts of things.  My traits mean that I am something of a jack of all trades.  It may be that the thing holding me back the most is my lack of stability.  I haven’t set down roots anywhere.  I want to.  The big idea is to get out of this icebox and down south to finally have a community I can live in without having to worry about leaving for the next five to ten years.

My writing skills are almost certainly never going to make me any real money.  I’m working on a novel right now, but I know that the chances of me hitting it big are astronomically small.  So that’s out.  Cooking?  I don’t want something that is a passion to become something I do to get paid.  Then it stops being fun and becomes work.  With what I listed above, the things I can get paid for are plentiful.  The things I can get paid a lot of money for or at least enough to live comfortably on, that’s another story.

So where does all this leave me?  The Ven diagram I shared above has it that I am somewhere between Vocation, Mission, and Profession.  It’s not a place I want to be, but the simple reality is that my Mission is clear – get south.  I want to get to the ocean.  To live on it.  That’s the last stop on my life’s journey.  I don’t actually think I’ll ever get there, but assuming I do, I have some decisions to make about where my life goes after that, if anywhere at all.  I wouldn’t mind adding some passion into my life, but that’s not going to happen.  At least not now.  Now in a job market as shitty as the one in my state now that the recession has FINALLY caught up with us.  A full ten years later.

I don’t know what the future holds, but this exercise has been interesting.  Let me know where you fall into things.  I actually do enjoy the discourse with my audience.

Until next time, a quote,

“Long ago and far away, I dreamed a dream one day.  And now, that dream is here beside me.  Long the skies were overcast, but now the clouds have passed.  You’re here, at last.” – Lyric, Long Ago and Far Away

Peace out,



Really Good Bad Advice: Number Five

I decided that I’m bored, and I haven’t been able to feed my misanthropy enough lately.  See, I just moved to this other department in my job so I get to be away from the people on the phone.  It’s pretty great stuff.  Fun crew, so much less stress, and I get to come home feeling like I am alive.  Life’s not too bad, but I suppose I should be waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And since I am looking to feed my misanthropy, I decided to look into some advice columns featuring the worst that sapient life has to offer.  I found one that got me thinking that there are women out there who need to slip and fall into a volcano.  Or, you know, be pushed.  Whichever.  Let’s respond to this woman’s question!

Dear Person who actually cares about me and my problem,

I’m 22 and have been dating a famous local businessman for a year and a half. He’s 42 and my first serious boyfriend, so I’m very attached. But we’ve had our ups and downs. First: He was afraid to publicly announce he was seeing a girl as young as I am so soon after his divorce. (This insulted me, but I got over it.) Second: He dumped me during a business “crisis” with a two-line e-mail! Then when he tried to win me back, I stopped him cold in his tracks and left for Scotland.

The lifestyles of the rich and famous.  Is this what famous people have to worry about in their relationships?  I mean yeah, a Dear John email seems kind of low.  You didn’t write what it was that you broke up over.  Maybe it’s because you’re insane.  Or petty.  Or the fact that there’s this HUGE age difference between you and you may not work together.  I gave up on love years ago, but I’m at a point in my life where the young women I am meeting are in their early 20’s and there are life references that hold weight for me that don’t for them.  With an age difference of 20 years, I can’t imagine what it’s like for the two of you.

Also, he didn’t publicly announce that he’s dating a woman half his age and you are insulted by that?  This is something about the world of social media that drives me nuts.  Everybody has to be so damn public about everything.  Why?  Why is it better to have your entire relationship out for the entire fucking world to see?  This baffles me.  Maybe that’s what the breaking point was in their relationship.  Makes sense to me.

He flew to Scotland and proposed in the most romantic way with a huge five-carat diamond! I said yes, though I thought the ring looked slightly wrong somehow. He makes over $750,000 a year, so I was worried he’d been ripped off by some shady jewelry store. When I returned to L.A., I found out from my jeweler that the ring was a FAKE! It was humiliating. I’d already shown it to family, friends—everyone!

What a materialistic bitch.  I feel so sorry for this guy.  He has the money to drop everything and go to Scotland on a whim to try and win you back.  He proposes and gives you a ring with a huge engagement stone.  This all appeared to be very romantic.  Now here you are bitching about the fact that the gem isn’t a real diamond.  For a 22 year old woman, you certainly are unfathomably picky.  Again, this feels like the complaining of the rich and famous.  I mean, is all that matters to you how much this guy makes?  I feel worse for this guy than I ever will for you.

First he tried to lie about it, then he said he couldn’t afford the $100,000 ring he really wanted to get me, so he’d had a copy made. The next day he took me to the store and bought me a nice ring for $4,700—two months’ salary for a 23-year-old guy. Whatever. He says he loves me. I still think it’s a crappy thing to do. So do I stay engaged or not?

– Seriously Bummed Basic Bitch

Hey dude, if you’re ever reading this – break it of with this woman!  She is not worth it.  She clearly is into your because of your money.  You go through a heart-felt proposal and all she cares about is the ring.  I can dream of having enough money to be able to afford a ring that costs $4,700.  She wants a ring that costs $100,000.

A girly-mate and I were talking about a woman she follows on YouTube who has a really wealthy husband and sells the crap he buys for her.  She makes a ton of money selling stuff she doesn’t like anymore from a guy she married for her money.  My friend asked me if I believe that such people can be happy.  I suppose on some level I have to admit that they probably are happy, but on another level I have to wonder about that.  Why?  Because here we have this woman on an advice column bitching about the nature of an engagement ring more made that the stone is fake.  She said the ring is fake.  Not true, bimbo!  The stone is fake.  The ring is real.  The emotions may be real.  But the stone is fake, and that’s all that matters to you.

You are heartless.  You are worthless.  All that matters to you is what you own and how it makes you look to the people in your life.  I cannot hate you more if I tried.  I may think that some of the people at my job who I’ve had to talk to on the phone are petty and pathetic, but you take the cake.  Because at least they have kids to take care of and I can see how hard that would be.  You, on the other hand, have no real problems and all you care about is the shit you own.  I hope he buys you a massive gemstone.  So big that it can be attached to a chain.  One that he puts on your ankle, and then kicks you off a cliff into the ocean, where that gorgeous, massive gemstone pulls you down into the depths, never to be heard from again.  Die with a stone that truly is worth $100,000.

Until next time, a quote,

“The things you own, end up owning you.” – Tyler Durden, Fight Club

Peace out,


Mr. Smith Signs a Birth Certificate, by Lucien Maverick

*As read by Charles R Poindexter*

Once upon a time, there lived a man named Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith was a man who liked to get the most out of life.
He did this by consuming copious amounts of alcohol.
Him and all his friends would drink and drink until all their jokes were funny and their bellies fat.

One day, he got so drunk that he made love to a very pretty woman.
At least he thought she was pretty.
The more he drank, the prettier she got!
It was a very good night.

A long time later, he got a piece of mail in his mailbox.
Heinous villains at Child Support told him that the woman he had made love to now had a baby.
What’s more, he was named the father.
Mr. Smith immediately went into action.

He called the Child Support villains, to right this wrong.
Told them that he was not the father of that baby.
Said there was no way it was him.
Lastly, that he wanted a paternity test.

But the EVIL Child Support customer service representative told him no.
Said that his name was on the child’s birth certificate.
And this meant that he would have to contest this in court.
Mr. Smith gasped!

Seeing the injustice, he informed the EVIL Child Support customer service representative that this was all wrong.
Told him that he was very drunk the night that he signed that birth certificate.
So drunk that he didn’t even remember doing so.
This meant that he couldn’t legally be responsible for what happened that fateful night.

After hearing his genuine honesty, the EVIL Child Support customer service representative told him that wasn’t true.
Said that it is a legally binding document, and only a court order could contest it now.
Mr. Smith was appalled!
He knew just what to do!

Once he had several swigs of his joyous drink, he filed a motion in court and got the judge to hear his case.
He told him of the injustice against him and how he wanted to put it right!
Why should he have to pay for a child that is not his!
The judge heard it all, and said back to him, “are you fucking kidding me?”

But Mr. Smith got his order to contest paternity!
He strolled into the EVIL Child Support office and got genetic testing
This cruel insult would not stand!  He would show these devils!
Maybe when he proves the baby is not his, he would sue these monsters for all the trouble!

Then the results came back positive, and Mr. Smith had an arrears balance of $2,000 and a monthly support amount of $200.
Mr. Smith decided that he needed consoling, so he went to the joyous bar for more joyous drink.
There was a pretty lady there.
In fact, the more he drank, the prettier she looked…

Until next time, a quote,

“Dumb-dumb-dumb-dumb-dumb!” – South Park

Peace out,



SIONR: Anime Cheese in the Wrong Place

I’ve spoken at length about how I hate modern anime.  There are so many shows being made now, and they all pretty much universally suck.  The glory days of anime are long behind it, in my eyes.  Call me a hipster (I’m starting to accept that in some ways I kind of am one), but I think anime was destroyed by its own success.  Once it gained mainstream popularity (or at least infinitely more mainstream than it used to be), or rather became part of geek culture, it all went downhill from there.  The truly great anime from not that long ago became something that they wanted to recapture, but the problem is that animation studios are having to push out commercially successful shows with higher budgets and shorter production time.  It’s put terrible strain on animation studios and their employees that I genuinely feel sad about.

Wow that was a digression, wasn’t it.  My point is, I don’t think much of modern anime.  But my gay girly-mate has this new series that she is all over, and since FUNimation does this thing where they will simultaneously release dubs and subs at the same time (I refuse to watch subs anime.  I can watch subtitled foreign films all day, but I genuinely refuse to do so with anime.  So if the dub sucks, I’m done), she has forced me to partake in this series with her.  Won’t say what it is.  It’s one of her guilty pleasures, and that’s all I’m going to say.  I swear, the girl is punishing me for something.  Can’t think of what.

This series isn’t bad on a technical level.  The animation is actually pretty great.  It has this nice realistic aesthetic that I am kind of digging.  The perk of modern animation being glossy and realistic is that it gives series a quality of feeling true to life that old-school anime never really had without insane detail.  Now proper shading and less expressive faces give environments and character designs something that feels true to life.  Like this is someone you can get to know in the real world.  The best friend character is my favorite so far.

But the design of these characters being less over the top and toned down expressively means that when this series has some of the cheese that anime is known for, it stands out to me in a bad way.  A very bad way.  You have a character whose entire visual design is not at all bombastic suddenly going into a ridiculous expression that feels so out of place given the art style.  Every time it happens it feels kind of wrong.  I genuinely don’t know what this bothers me so much, but it does.

Let me give you a way to look at this that is more relatable.  You like Quentin Tarantino, right?  Of course you do.  Well imagine for a second that in Reservoir Dogs it cut to some scenery-chewing villain doing a song number.  Or if the characters with their perfect dialogue and delivery started suddenly going really over the top at the drop of a hat, only to then go back to their perfectly done dialogue again without acknowledging that at all.  Would that not catch your attention in a bad way?  It would me.

I have had a thousand people tell me that I over-analyze stuff, so if you’re going to come at me with that, don’t.  Trust me, I already know.  It just really weirds me out to have stuff like that going on when the scene is being played fairly straight.  And this series does.  It plays everything completely straight until you cut to some cheese right the fuck out of nowhere.  I will admit that my girly-mate’s series is starting to grow on me just because these characters are relatable in a good way.  At least the best friend is.  I love this chick.  Her commentary on the events transpiring around her is just the best.  This girl is basically me as a female.  Standing on the sidelines of the madness and then commenting on what she sees in a way that cuts all the bullshit out.

But like I said, this may just be me.  So what about you?  Am I on to something here, or am I totally off-base.  Maybe I can give this to you a different way – imagine in Cowboy Bebop if Spike suddenly did that silly crying face.  Or if Jet Black and the suddenly revelation face where his eyes go all huge and white.  Would that not bother you?  It’s so tonally dissident from everything else.  I don’t know.  If you are going to go with a more laid-back tone, that’s totally fine.  Hell, I dig it.  But go the distance with that.  If you want to show a character being shocked at learning something, you can do that with realistic expression.  If you want to have a motif, stick with it.  That’s all I’m saying.

Until next time, a quote,

“Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world.” – Jean Luc Godard

Peace out,



Living with Depression

Today I had a very unpleasant interaction with a family member who decided that they are going to add their name to the list of people who have decided to tell me that my depression is a choice and if I just believe hard enough and think happy thoughts, it will go away.  I call these people idiots.  These are people, typically of an older generation, who have this weird idea about the nature of mental illness, and I now suddenly feel very bad for their child who is currently dealing with the affliction and wondering if they are telling him the same thing.  That is most unfortunate.  Hopefully he can surround himself with better people when dealing with this.

It’s no surprise to me that the family member in question is very, very religious.  The idea that if you just believe hard enough and think happy thoughts and your ailment will magically go away is an article of faith.  A horrible, horrible article of faith by people who either have never had to deal with this, or who have been indoctrinated by a society that really treats those with mental illness so badly.  Most recently saying that only mentally ill people do school shootings or other violent attacks.  Timothy McVeigh was many things, a lot of them bad, but if you watch the interviews with him after the Oklahoma City Bombing, he shows that he had a very clear rationale for what he did.  He believes the government was evil for what they did in Waco, Texas, and he was fighting back against that injustice.  There are plenty of people who have rationalized evil actions with a clear motivation.  Say how wrong it is, and you are right, but it shows that they thought it out and weren’t just some crack-addicted hobo.

Depression is an illness that is so misunderstood in society.  It kills me inside how so many people are so horribly stigmatized by it and treated so badly by their peers because of it.  I live with this every day, and I will be getting into it.  My goal here is to help those who are either suffering, or those who know those afflicted and are either unclear about what this feels like or are among the ill-informed people like the aforementioned family member.

I’ve had depression ever since I smashed my head open when I was 14.  My head met a rock going down a hill on my bike.  The person who found me was very reticent to call the cops, and I think that they might have hit me with their truck, but that’s a conspiracy theory that will never be solved.  I don’t even know where the bike I was one is anymore.  My depression is caused by brain damage.  I’ve had my neurosurgeon and a neuropsychologist do the due diligence and test to see if this is the case, and that’s where all evidence points to.  Because of that, this affliction is something I am going to have to deal with for the rest of my life.

Not all depression is like this, but that’s just my case.  For those who want to go into detail about all the various causes, there are plenty of quality resources to look into that I would recommend looking into.  Here’s a link to one, but there are lots of others and I suggest doing your research.

How can I describe what it’s like to live with depression?  Imagine, for a moment, that your brain is turned against you.  It is actively fighting back against every happy moment or good thought you have ever had.  That’s what it has been like for me.  The family member I spoke of said that I can choose to be happy, and that just pissed me off so much.  They do not understand what it’s like to be having a perfectly fine day and then to just have your brain do the thing where it makes you feel like shit and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.  It can come out of nowhere.  Or I’m having a very good day and then something comes out of nowhere that throws a wrench in it.  Even if it’s something small, there the tumbling down the rabbit hole goes.  Alice in Miserable Wonderland.

I don’t remember what it’s like to feel legitimately good.  Many months back, when I tried edibles for the first time, and it was really high in CBD, feeling the elation and actual happiness in my brain again, it was so joyful.  I cried.  It felt so good, that when the feeling disappeared back into this awful nightmare that is my day-to-day, it hurt me inside.  Alas, I’m too fucking financially conscious to go crazy and load up on the stuff.  That’s the thing about living in poverty.  It’s the same reason that I don’t actively go see a therapist or get on a drug regiment.  I already have to take meds for a condition I have.  Adding more to the mix is money I don’t have.  Not to mention time off work.  I wish there were shrinks around who were open when I get off.  But those visits are also money I don’t have.

When I have someone tell me that I am choosing to be sad, I want to beat them upside their stupid fucking head.  They have no idea how crushing this feeling is.  What it’s like to live with it.  But the aforementioned family member isn’t alone.  I cannot tell you how many friendships I have lost because of this.  I can’t.  How many people who I used to be so close to that now keep me at such a distance because of it.  I suppose I could lie a lot.  Be really peppy and happy and fake being well-adjusted.  I know that most of them would just turn a blind to the problem and enjoy that because as a species we would rather have happy things around than not happy ones.  It’s easier to lie to yourself about a problem than have to deal with it.  Speaking from experience.

My relationships across the board have suffered.  Friendships that dried up when they couldn’t take the negativity anymore.  No matter how loyal I was, that loyalty was NOT returned in kind.  Now matter how much I would go out of my way to help anyone who asked and is a friend, they would treat me like it’s too much to have the way I am around.  Then there are the romantic or sexual connections.  The people in my life who found that even though I was very happy to be around them and be in their lives, my depression snuck in and made my bad days very bad for them.  Once-again, I suppose I could have lied to them, hid it deep under everything and told no one.  Would make me a very popular guy.  But if I didn’t have the release valve, I probably would have killed myself when I was 17.

Which is another thing – thoughts of suicide.  Suicidal ideation is always in the back of my mind.  No matter how good a day it is, there’s always that little thought deep in the recesses of my brain that says that life isn’t worth living anymore and I should end it.  I’ve been fighting this for so long that I sometimes think about that line from Garrus in Mass Effect 3

But how long before the fight’s kicked out of us?

It’s such a struggle.  If I had a social network that was more eager to help, maybe that would make it easier.  Alas, I am born into a generation that will do anything and everything to avoid sad or negative things.  Everyone wants butterflies and rainbows, and the second that they don’t have that, they get very, very angry.

Maybe I should post on depression forums or something.  Find like-minded people.  I think that’s part of the problem.  People who don’t have to deal with this ailment just do NOT understand what it’s like to live with it.  They all just think that you’re not trying hard enough or that if you wanted to be better, you would be.  That societal misconception led to one of my favorite memes that I’ve come across.

People who don’t have this ailment don’t realize what it’s like.  To have your brain constantly fighting against you.  To be your worst enemy.  To hate yourself and think that everyone hates you at ALL TIMES.  To be trapped in your own head creating your own reality that has everyone not caring if you live or die.  No joke, I have that thought a lot.  Thinking that if I died tomorrow, virtually no one would miss me.  On a conscious level, I know that isn’t true.  I have truly amazing parents who have done more for me than they have any reason to, and I wish that I wasn’t drowning in poverty because of a job that I am woefully underpaid for so I could keep my word on paying them back.  As it stands, I doubt I will ever have a life that is financially stable enough to do so.

I know that I have extended family that while I am not close with almost any of them, they would be saddened by my passing.  I know that I have a few very close friends who would be devastated.  There are a couple of people that I have loved or been very close to that even though one of them hates me now for reasons that have something to do with depression, infidelity (not on my part), and the cost of being the rock upon which I stand.  I am sorry she hates me, but I understand the reason.  Even though she hates me, I know that she would still feel sad.  But this disease makes all that go away and those thoughts creep in like a cancer.

Depression sucks the life out of you.  It takes the things you enjoy doing and tells you that they aren’t fun anymore.  It has you desperately wanting to feel good and not being able to.  It’s an iron ball around your ankle dragging you down into an ocean of despair and you have fucking idiots telling you that you can just believe and choose to feel better and that will fix it.  I seriously wanted to scream at this person.  I wanted to tell them that I think they’re stupid and how I wish that I could subject them to how this feels for a week so they could understand what an absolute nightmare this is.

It doesn’t help that my crushing financial poverty has me not being able to actually seek help that I truly do want.  I don’t have the money, or the leave time, or the assistance.  I don’t have any of that, and I wish that I did.  I don’t have a social network that is supportive because I am part of the millennial generation that wants sunshine blown up its ass.  Worst of all, I’m having to fight back the urge to die even though I genuinely don’t feel like I am living for anything.  That is EVERY. SINGLE. Day.

What bugs me the most is that there are people like this family member who have this baffling idea that I want to feel like this.  That I am choosing to be this way and that I somehow want it.  I would give my last 40 years to have this go away.  I’d grab a hacksaw and go all Dr. Gordon on it with my foot if I could make the brain damage go away.  There is no price that I would not pay if it would mean making this horrible affliction leave me alone.  But that’s not how this works.  Not that anyone else would know that.

For those who suffer from this ailment, know that I’m here.  Go onto any of my social media or even leave a comment on here and I’ll talk with you.  Granted, that is opening the floodgates to be fucked with my trolls.  The Internet world we live in. Hopefully this can help some of you know that there are those out there who know what it feels like.  And for those who are stupid enough to actually buy the logic that if you choose to you can be happy, you are woefully ignorant and I am saddened that there are people who may look to you for guidance and you give them that bullshit.

Until next time, a quote,

“Because humans are complicated beasts. You believe comforting lies while knowing full-well the painful truth that make those lies necessary. In the end, Connor, it is not important what you think. It is important what you do.” – The Monster, A Monster Calls

Peace out,



2017 Year in Review

I don’t honestly know what to say about this year.  It’s been probably the most unremarkable year I’ve ever had.  At least for a long time.  Nothing really major happened.  I was kind of just treading water until this next year came up.  Since I’ve taken on the tradition of doing these posts after college, I figure I have to find something interesting to take on with it.  And I think I may have my angle.  But it is going to bore a lot of you to tears.  Why?  Because I am going to be talking about a very adult problem that all people who work in a professional environment have to deal with, and the lessons that I learned from that experience.  As I think about it now, more is coming to me, so let’s get down to it.  Let’s talk about this year.

Right out of the gate I started this year on a very dour note.  Coming back from Christmas, I had a bitter taste in my mouth.  Why?  Because I was stuck having been the source of a family hero worship session on Christmas Eve following me doing something nice for my aunt.  Things kept getting different, because the aunt friended me on Facebook, and as anyone can tell you, who I am online and who I am in person are two very different people.  Only one person has seen the part of me that virtually no one else sees.  It is someone whose relationship I respect and I nearly lost.

Let me set the scene for you.  A few months later, my dear friend and I are out drinking.  It was a rough day and she said that we should go out drinking.  Of course, for me it was just a single drink and some food, while she was downing Long Island ice teas like it was no one’s business.  She got white girl wasted.  What followed was an experience that was over two hours long and I can’t get into specifics about.  See, I made a promise that I would never talk about it again, and I am a man of my word.  Let no one say otherwise.  I’m bringing it up just to set the stage for you.  Suffice it to say, some things happened, some of which I ended up telling her and some things I am keeping all to myself because what people don’t know can’t hurt them.  Especially now that she is married.

Anyway, something to know about me is that I have a bad habit of just running my mouth in casual situations without thinking too much.  The whole night between my friend and I was something of a sour spot, and I said just the wrong thing at just the wrong time.  What’s more, since I can’t help but exacerbate a problem, I decided to try and confront the issue.  What a terrible, terrible move.  She lost it on me and things between us died pretty hard for a while.  Then one afternoon I get a call when I’m at home and she lays out what she thinks our future is as friends.  I nearly watched my friendship with her die because I couldn’t think before I speak in this instance.  It took me damn-near begging for another shot.  There were stipulations.  Ones that I have tried my best to keep to, though I do still catch myself slipping every now and again on some of them.  However, when it comes to the biggest stipulation – that we would NEVER speak of that night again, I have kept to that one religiously.  I’m never going to speak of it again.

Time passes, our friendship is saved and things are okay.  Then she joins the Navy officially and is heading off to boot camp and then A school, followed by C school.  I kept diligent track of things.  While she was gone, I wrote her letters.  As soon as I had her address at basic, I wrote her every week.  When she got to A school, and we were talking again on video chat or via text, I still wrote letters.  It was somewhat soothing.  But when she left, it was the loneliest I have ever been.  Ever.  There hasn’t been a period of time that I felt more cut off than I did when she was gone.

One thing that happened around the same time as my friend and I’s relationship falling apart was that I decided to reach out to a vast plethora of people and write messages to them apologizing for wrong-doings.  It was kind of part of a grander design I have for things in my life and my final act.  But it felt like the right thing to do.  Virtually no one replied.  That’s totally fine.  I get it completely.  Pretty much everyone I wrote to hates me in one way or another.  Still, was at least hoping I’d get a few more responses.  Not to fix things, but at least to bury the hatchet.  I don’t know.

There was one person I reached out to that I think made things worse.  It was someone who I had told something to after a truth about me got out that I figured would get back to her eventually, and I wanted her to hear it directly from me instead of from other people.  But I lied to her about it.  Said it was one thing and it was something else.  I decided that I had to come completely clean.  Figure I made things worse.  There is so much distance between us.  Even now.  Maybe if I had told her everything when I was much younger.  I don’t know.  Wish I did.

However, there was a plot twist.  See, another friend of mine wanted to come up to my state again and asked if she could stay with me.  As luck would have it, at my new apartment (I moved this year.  The new places is 1000X nicer than my last shit-hole apartment) there is a guest bedroom and it just so happens to have a bed in it.  I bought covers and everything for if anyone ever needs it.  I get the feeling she is the one and only person who will ever use it.  As in ever.  A couple of people I can dream of using it, but that’s all it is – a dream.

The first couple weeks that we spent together were legit awesome.  I had so much fun with her.  It was just like old times, and since I am a pretty easy person to live with, we had no problems there.  Hell, I made dinner for us and it was pretty nice.  We went on adventures and I felt like things were so fun.  Made for a pretty nice summer.  Since my Navy girly-mate was gone, this was a good distraction.  As is want to happen, something went wrong.

See, when the girly-mate who was staying with me left, she had been in a relationship that was very long and it hadn’t ended well.  Coming back up here, she found things with that person picking up.  So she ended up staying over at his place a lot.  More and more as time went on.  What’s more, the two of us would make plans, only for them to get totally crushed because she was over at her ex’s, pining for him.  It made me more than a little pissed.  But after a while, I was done with the roommate situation we had going.  It had gone on for months, and since she was never here anyway, I was ready for her to be out.

Eventually she did go back home to the states, and here I am feeling very lonely again.  I was lonely before she left, really.  Because we didn’t have time together.  We had time we were in the same house, and time she was with her ex, and that time was virtually all one-sided against me.  I had no desire for us to be a thing, but I was hoping for us to at least be roomies who could hang out.  There were a few things I was looking forward to, but nope.  It all just died.  I didn’t even get to see her off.  It sucked.

More time alone into the fall, until my Navy girly-mate got back in touch when she got into A school.  Listening to her talk about all the amazing things she was learning to do in school made me more than a little jealous.  I felt like my life was nothing but a giant waste.  Here I am doing absolutely nothing of any real value, while she is learning skills that are beyond impressive.  For those who may ask, I wish I could have gone down the career path she had.  But after my head injury, any of that was out.  Believe it or not but before I busted my skull open, I had thought about it.  Oh well.  One can dream.

Here’s where I get to the adult thing I learned about a professional environment.  See, there was a shakeup of management and the best thing to happen to my department happened – Brent.  He is the single greatest manager I ever had.  He gave feedback and was a genuinely good leader.  He encouraged silly behavior, but still had high standards.  He gave us tools to help unwind.  This man became the best thing to happen to me at work.  I was genuinely feeling good for his time there.  It’s where I learned about office politics in a way I hadn’t before.  I wrapped this guy around my finger so hard.  Got an amazing letter of recommendation out of him.

There was one thing I had said to my girly-mate before she left for school – that if I was still in that office by the time she got home, something had gone horribly wrong.  I don’t honestly know how many interviews I had up til now.  So very many.  Something went horribly wrong.  All that work, and I am still there.  Still getting yelled at on the fucking phone all day by deadbeat parents who can’t deal with their burden.  I hate it.  Makes my Navy girly-mate telling me about all the amazing things she is a part of hurt that much more.  My life is such an abject waste.

Navy friend returns, and it was like she never left in a lot of ways.  But she came back a different person.  I’d like to think I did a little growing up myself, but I know that that isn’t the case.  Since interviewing to get out of the dungeon I am trapped in hasn’t worked, I decided to try and be more clever about it and try and escape by transferring to a different department.  That might have worked, except my luck still is so profoundly bad.

Which brings me to now.  All this time later, and I’m really nowhere.  I’m exactly where I started out at this time last year.  Nothing has really changed, and I feel so disappointed in that.  My life sucks, and there’s no escape.  Everyone is doing cooler things than me.  I feel like a waste of skin that no one would miss if I died tomorrow.  Anyway, off to bed I go, to greet the new year fast asleep.  Whatever.  I don’t get invited to New Year’s parties.  Never have, never will.  That would imply people wants to invite me.  That just isn’t true.

Until next time, a quote,

“Being by myself.  I’m afraid I’ll end up alone.” – Ellie, The Last of Us

Peace out,



Musing From Child Support #1

I let slip in my personal post about the High Price of Failure that I work for child support.  As I have recently discovered that I may have cancer and am waiting for biopsy results to come back in, I thought that I would share with you some of my overwhelming disdain for my place there.  Since this site is not under my real name and I have never said in what state I live, this is honestly not a problem.

I work for the customer service side of child support.  You know what that means?  That means I get to deal with the most insufferable people who have ever lived.  I mean it, the people who call in to my office are some of the most foul, most unpleasant, STUPIDEST putses that I have ever had the misfortune of getting to know.  And there are days when I wish I could kill roughly 70% of the people who call in with a hammer (note that this is in no way indicative of anything I would actually do.  Not for any moral reasons, but because I am too conspicuous to get away with it).  A ball-pin hammer.  Wanna know what my average day is like?  Let me tell you.

The first kind of insufferable person is the person who is just absolutely certain that I have a magic crystal ball that will tell them when their next payment in.  Didn’t you know?  It’s right by my desk!  The moment people call, I look into it and I am able to see magically all the information about their next payment!  Here’s a tip for anyone who may have child support or may get it in the future – we have NO idea when or if payment is coming in.  Ever.  Until a payment comes in, we don’t know it is coming.  If we have a source of income to garnish from, we will follow up after not getting payments in so long, but the reality is that even when the source of income has been consistent for 10 years, we still have no idea if another payment will come in until it does.

Which is another thing – I just love the people who have made child support their SOLE source of income.  Moron, don’t do that!  Child support should be supplementing your income, not being it.  If you are calling me to cry that your rent is due and you depend on this for your entire ability to function, I will be professional and quietly roll my eyes because you don’t realize that this is an undependable form of income.  That’s the truth, by the way.  Because it is not dependable, it isn’t something you can claim on your taxes.  There are no tax benefits or tax punishments for paying or receiving child support.

Next, there are the people who are just absolutely sure that the money is already here.  They call in saying “why aren’t payments coming to me?”  Gee, honey, because I didn’t go out back and pick from the money tree today!  It’s been a bumper-crop this year!  Why, just yesterday I picked us a few $100’s.  I think harvest will be pretty amazing.

But my favorite group in today’s discussion are the lazy fucks.  See, printing a ton of paper is expensive, and wasteful.  So, to help reduce our environmental impact as well as cut costs however we can, we set up and online option for people to get their statements.  It’s easy.  It’s so easy that the kid you’re raising who is only five could do it.  Still, we get so many people who just bitch and moan about the fact that we can’t just go out of our way to send them a statement, when the tools for doing it as right there and it is even formatted to work on your phone!

That reminds me – I love the people who claim that they don’t have a smartphone.  If someone had made that claim to me five years ago, I would be skeptical but I would have bought it.  But now?  No.  Unless you live in some bush community that no one has ever heard of, you have a smartphone.  And if you have a smartphone, you can get on WIFI.  Which means that there is NO reason that you can’t get your uniquely lazy ass on your phone that you are calling me with to pull up your goddamn account!  Ugh!

Add to that the endless accusations that I am for or against this group or that group.  I’ve heard it all.  I hate men.  I hate women.  I hate white people.  I hate black people.  I hate minorities.  I hate lesbians (no joke, a woman who had to pay because her child was in foster care told me that I hate lesbians because the state is making her pay).  I hate single mothers.  I hate single fathers.  I am a cold-blooded murderer who is responsible for killing X person and their family.  Anyone who wants to insult me now has to think of a new line.  I’ve been called it all.

Another group I love – “it ain’t my kid!”  Of course it’s not.  I have no idea how your name got on the birth certificate.  Go to court.  “I terminated my rights!”  Okay.  Did you get that documentation to us?  What’s that?  You didn’t?  “I can’t work anymore!”  Okay.  Do you have official documentation from a medical professional or a disability agency or a court of law saying that you are completely incapable of working?  No?  “I can’t make a payment agreement since I’m not working.”  Then call back when you are.  “I’m working, but they don’t pay hardly anything.”  So you are working?  The excuses I hear from some people run the gamut and it’s so damn funny.

There is honestly a lot of tension which is leaving my body right now.  My friend is in the Navy making something of herself.  I may be kind of a loser, but I have the ability to write.  And I’ll be damned if I am not using that to accomplish something.

Until next time, a quote,

“Stupid people aren’t annoying.  They’re free entertainment.” – Anonymous

Peace out,