Friday, February 27, 2009

Almost Over

Well, another Friday work night is almost over for me. I'm happy. I need the weekend, although I have to say, this week did kind of fly by.

Does anyone have a Ouija Board? Do you use it? I have an old one still in the original box that I got at a Goodwill store a number of years ago that is in very good shape. I haven't gotten anyone to work it with me in a long time. I don't know what made me think of that.

I can't believe: it is so warm out right now- 54 degrees- but the weather report I just heard is calling for snow on Saturday night and Sunday. I guess March is going to be coming in like a lion. So much for getting the fishing license this weekend. No point now.

Someone on Tagged, a very pretty 44 year old lady from Singapore, "bought" me for $550 pretend dollars. I'm not quite sure what this means, but I feel kind of flattered in a way. Man, I need to get a real life and a real girlfriend. Maybe if the one who left me the rose on Valentine's Day would come forward...

Well, that's about all for me. Everyone have a good night and again, a great weekend. Hasta la vista.

Friday By The Numbers, Again

1. It's raining out this evening, but it's sixty degrees. I'll take it! I wish I had my fishing license already. Maybe tomorrow.

2. My employees aren't that much into working tonight, and I'm definately not into babysitting. Grrr.

3. My brother is doing well, but he is not getting out of the hospital today. He will be there a few days yet. Apparently the surgery was tricky because when he got his kidney transplant, some of his bits and pieces inside had to be sewn together, so these doctors did not walk into the normal situation with this hernia.

4. Just for the record: I am not, have never been, and never will be a Parrot Head. Jimmy Buffet does nothing for me musically or otherwise.

5. Last night was another night of interrupted sleep, even though I took a sleeping pill. And I was wide awake at 6:45 this morning. Well, I didn't waste it. I got up and went to the gym. That's one good thing to come of it.

6. It's official: I'm going home to Ohio to visit my family the third week of March. I'm fairly excited about it. And it will be my first long trip in the new car. Last time I was upset by the gas prices. This time it's the turnpike tolls in PA. Last weekend it cost me $12 to go York, one way, which is about two hours of the six that I will spend on the turnpike. It used to cost that much to go the whole length of the turnpike. Based on that I think I'm looking at about $36 each way! Oh well, it's always something, right?

7. TuesdayPillow, where are you, dearie? Your presence is missed!

8. I'm ready for the poetry reading on Sunday, although I still haven't picked out everything I'm going to read and timed it all yet. I've picked out about half of the pieces. I'll get it done tomorrow, or maybe later on tonight.

9. Everyone have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

That's More Like It

I took a pill last night and stayed up reading in bed until the book was literally falling out of my hands. I slept like a rock until time to get ready for work this morning. That was good.

I'm three fourths of the way through re-reading Walden. It is a wonderful book. The chapter I just finished is Thoreau's vegitarian rant. In the back of the book is Civil Disobedience. I'll probably read that too, just to get all fired up about something.

I got paid today. I have money again, for now anyway. Life is good.

My brother pulled through his surgery alright, and is in recovery right now. That's a relief. He's not awake yet and no one has been allowed to see him yet. He is supposed to go home tomorrow. He told everyone in the family that he didn't want visitors in the hospital. He's a strange bird.

It's another busy night at work. I'm glad for that. It looks like tomorrow will be the same. My employees broke a facility record by a fair bit last night with the amount of work they did. I am very proud of them for that and I told them so.

Someone here keeps turning the heaters off. I'll throttle them when I catch whoever it is. It is cold in this place. It's almost warmer outside right now. My hands feel like popsicles.

Well, that's it for now. I'm off to read some blogs...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Words To You

Time takes a hold of your hand
on the day you are born
and walks you down the long corridor
towards the end of your life,
slowly, deliberately, step by step
until you reach that final destination.
Sometimes you trip or stumble
but time always catches you like a net.
Sometimes it gets dark and you may run
into the wall, but time provides a lantern
to light your way forward.
With each passing moment of each
passing day along the trip you reach a point
of no return. A billion points with a billion
memories, a billion diamonds attached.
Some you remember, some you don’t.
Some others remember and you forget.
And people cut across your path a hundred
thousand times: good, bad, important,
irrelevant and countless other descriptions,
like a hundred thousand passing stars.
Some you remember, some you don’t.
Some remember you and some forget you.
It all becomes relative in a cosmic sort of way.
And now we come to the place in the poem
where, after meandering for a number of lines,
I lose my train of thought and completely
forget what obscure point I wanted to make.
Just remember the things I have said here.
Just you remember.

The Saga Continues

I thought that after my workout at the gym I would be really tired last night and sleep all through the night. Not so. I slept but kept waking up with my legs bothering me. I had not taken a sleeping pill. Finally, at 7:45 this morning it became evident that I was not going to stay in bed unbothered by my legs so I got up. I sat on the couch and watched the news. Between then and 12:15 I fell asleep off and on. Once I was really snoozing fitfully I was awakened by the doorbell. It was the damned meter reader. Hopefully tonight will be better.

As predicted we got slammed with work today, and it will probably be the same for the next few days. I'm glad to have the work. It's so much easier to manage the people when we are busy.

So Happy Hump Day. Tomorrow is Thursday already. Yay for that. It seems like this week is going by quickly, even with the slow nights at work, and I am glad for that. I already know in part what the weekend will bring. I get paid tomorrow so Saturday I will pay my bills, go to the grocery and recaulk the bathtub. Fun, fun. Sunday is cleaning the house and the poetry reading in Keyport. I like getting to be with my friends.

More later...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Falling Asleep

Concrete eyelids rise slowly up and down
like droopy window shades.
The head is heavy, yet light at the same time
and the darkness seeps in, ink
from a fountain pen, blotting everything out
of sight. The ears relax
in the silence that surrounds the bed and fills
the room with void.
The breath slows in rhythm to the cadence
of the heart beat.
Muscles become limp- arms, legs, neck, hands.
The spine sinks into
the mattress like a fork into the gravy lake
at the very top
of a mountain of firm mashed potatoes.
The mind wanders
off in a dozen different directions as dreams
begin to overwhelm
the now slipping world of the conscious mind.
It is in this state that you
can often find the real me, flat out or curled up,
enjoying what can at times
be so very elusive for one with chronic insomnia,
soaking it in, never getting
enough for one night neither with nor without the pills.
Today was one of those days. For starters, I didn't sleep that well last night. In fact, I got up in the middle of the night and cleaned up my books, magazines and papers in the basement for an hour or so around 3:30 or 4:00. After that I went back to bed and fell asleep pretty quickly, but it was short-lived.

I woke up this morning at 6:45 AM, stark wide awake. I knew after a few minutes that I would not be able to fall back to sleep so I didn't fight it. I got up and went to the gym. I did three miles on the treadmill and almost five on the exercise bike. Afterwards I stopped and got a few things at the store. When I got home, I ate, played with the dogs, watched television, read some, and took a very short nap sitting up on the couch. Then I got showered and ready for work, and off I went.

It's another slow night tonight. We have enough work for about half the night. I just can't understand it. The transit reports show lots of shipments on the trains and in the rail yards. Why they aren't being released to us in a timely manner is a mystery. I'm sure I'll be offering employees half vacation days off again tonight.

I'm pretty annoyed with my boss and one of my coworkers right now. First my boss didn't furlough our temporary employees for the night because we got a couple of shipments in. He didn't look to see how big or small they were. He really should have and made the decison before I got in instead of waiting for me to discover it and do something about it myself.

Then, one of my fellow supervisors needed an extra person for a project, so he went to my boss and said that he was taking one of mine. He didn't ask me or my boss, or even talk to me about it. I found out about it thrid had from someone else when I went to assign that person a job for the night. Granted we are not real busy tonight, but it's the point of having a little professional courtesy. Then he was real smug about it when I raised the issue. I wanted to smack him in the mouth with a sock full of shit. It's not a big thing, but it really torqued me. Sometimes it's just the principle of the thing.

I noticed last night that I have written a lot of poetry in the last two months. I can't say to what I owe this burst of creativity, but I'm glad that it has been happening. My poetry group had a reading this coming Sunday afternoon for an organization called the Travelling Poets Society in Keyport, NJ, which is on the shore. So, yes, we will be travelling there. Since this will basically be a new audience for us I will read some of my older, better work. Things that have been published. I haven't picked out the exact pieces yet.

Well, I'm off to read some blogs now. More later...

Monday, February 23, 2009

No Comment

I just heard the Paul McCartney and Wings song, Band On The Run on the radio. I got that album for my sixteenth birthday along with Led Zep's Houses Of The Holy, and Alice Cooper's Killer. My age is showing again. Every once in a while I feel it.

I've tried to comment on a number of people's blogs this evening, but Blogger won't let me. It freezes up at the word verification thing, so please don't think that I've ignored you. I've read everyone tonight. I've also written three poems this evening. Here's one:

What I Am And Am Not

When you see me
on the street
don’t call me a sinner
or a saint, a winner
or a loser, a whiner
or tolerant.
Don’t call me
lazy or ambitious,
mischievous or stern,
thrifty or extravagant.
Try not to think of me
as a loner or social,
humble or proud or smart
or a nitwit or just plain
dumb. Think of me as
neither a drunkard
nor a teetotaler. Think
of me as neither a gift
nor gifted nor a burden
to be carried around.
For I am none of these
sometimes, and some
of these sometimes,
and sometimes I am all
of them all at once!

Everyone have a nice evening and a Happy Tuesday.

Ah, The Weekend

I had a nice weekend overall. Friday night when I got home I stayed up and watched some television and played the guitar for a bit. Craig Ferguson is so funny to watch. I love that show.

Saturday I got up and cleaned and putzed around the house. In the late afternoon I made the drive out to The Lube Faerie's in PA for the birthday party for DeleteMe. I had a good time. The chili that Lubie made was really good, and her new kitchen is really nice. M's best present in my opinion was this really cool cordless electric wine bottle opener. The thing is amazing to watch. I left there around 12:30 and got home shortly after 2:00 AM. It was kind of cool driving the PA turnpike with no one else on the road. I went right to bed when I got home.

I woke up Sunday around 2:00 PM. I slept well and felt really rested. I finished cleaning the house and ran a couple of errands, then practiced my guitar for a while while watching a wilderness survival show. Around five my son and his girlfriend came over to the house. We ordered Chinese Thai take out and watched Mythbusters on TV. We played with the dogs for a while then they left for home. After they left, around 8:00, I fell asleep sitting up on the couch and didn't wake up until 1:00 AM. I went to bed and fell right back to sleep.

I got up this morning feeling really good again. I feel lucky that my legs haven't really bothered me the last few nights. Tonight is a repeat of Friday night at work, very little to do. At six I will probably be making the decision to let anyone who wants to go home on a half a vacation day. Tomorrow and the rest of the week we will get hammered with work according to the latest forecast.

More later...

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Clowell

I don’t know how I was able to get along before I had my clowell.
I believe that every home should have at least one around.
So often I find that it’s just the thing I have needed. Honestly,
it’s been as handy in the bedroom as it has been in the garage.
My wife likes using it as much as I do, in fact we share it
quite often. Perhaps some day we will buy a second one,
but for now we just wipe it off and pass it on. I have seen
a double-clowell in a catalog. Maybe we will get that. This is
the second clowell I have owned. I accidentally dropped the
first one in the bath tub and shorted it out. That was bad.
Sometimes I have to stop what I’m doing to adjust its fine tuning
screw or change the batteries, but that only takes a few seconds,
so I don’t mind so much. We have been careful to never let the kids
see it lying around or let the dogs or the cat play with it. They come
in a number of different colors. Ours happens to be midnight black.
I hear that the flesh tone and purple are popular colors, too.
I have also heard that they were around in my parent’s day,
but that they weren’t so realistic and didn’t have speed controls.
What exactly is a clowell? As soon as the word is actually coined
I’ll let you know. In the mean time, ponder what a dirty mind you have.

Friday By The Numbers

1. Another slow night at work. I hate it! CSX/Conrail, where are my shipments? I'm supposed to be buried with work right now.

2. I also hate it when people say to me, "Okay, you're the boss...". Damned right I am. I get paid what I do for a reason. I'm good at what I do. So yes, what I say goes. You don't have to like me, but you do have to respect the position. Sheesh.

3. Tomorrow night- Party! I need a social night out. I need to be around people and not have it be work related.

4. Sorry about the Coldplay thingy. I didn't mean to start any battles among friends. Peace, brothers and sisters.

5. I bought some ginger ale from the vending machine thinking it was sugar free. Not so. As a diabetic, I wish that there were more sugar free vending machine choices besides Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi (yuk).

6. Performance review time is coming up before too long. It will be easy on me this year, as I have a very good crew. Very few problems. I should get a decent review myself. It's been a good performance year for me.

7. The doctors have decided that they are definately going to operate on my brother's double hernia. That will happen the middle of next week. I just hope that there are no complications related to his kidney transplant.

8. Speaking of medical stuff, now that I am 50 I have people keep telling me that I should have a colonoscopy once a year. What fun. I'll go, but annually sounds like overkill to me. It should also be fun getting someone to take me, because I know last time I had one that they don't let you drive home because of the ansethetic. I wonder how much the insurance won't cover on that little procedure...

9. And at that, let me say that I hope everyone has a great weekend. More later perhaps...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It is windy and colder today. The clouds are dark, but the way that the sun is reflecting off of them it makes them look like they are lined with gold. I like that.

Last night, I slept pretty well. I woke up this morning just in time to get ready for work. I have found that when my legs start bothering me, if I lay sideways on the bed on my stomach, with my legs hanging off the bed, they stop bothering me. It's not the most comfortable way to lay, but it does seem to help.

I had a really crappy lunch at 7-11 today on my way to work. Shame on me. It was two hot dogs and a Slurpy. I just felt the urge. I am paying for it though. The hot dogs are repeating on me big time.

Do you know that Coldplay song, When I Ruled The World? I think that the melody is so sad. It makes me feel melancholy whenever I hear it. Forget what the words are, it's the melody that does it to me. It makes me think of my dogs alone at home for some reason. It makes me want to get back home to them right away. It's funny how some music can have that sort of an effect on us at times.

As usual, I'm glad that the weekend is almost here. Saturday is the party at Lubie's house, and Sunday evening my son and his girlfriend are coming over to the house to have Chinese food and visit with the dogs. The rest of the weekend is open. I did such a good job of cleaning last weekend that I don't have to do much this weekend. Come on Friday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bernard And Barry, Ill.

I returned there for the last time
a number of years ago and I remember it
so clearly. Nothing had changed:
not the statues or Civil War cannon
in the town square, not the VFW hall,
the small cafĂ© serving fried frog’s legs
for lunch, the small courthouse with the stone
columns, not the silos on the horizon
or the scent of fresh manure from in the distance.

I had gone there to see him for the last time
in the home. His voice sounded the same,
he cussed just as much and was as opinionated
as he ever was, and still loved the Cubs.
But he wasn’t as I had remembered him.
He was thin now, no more beer belly,
and his glasses seemed large on his face.
He covered his bald and liver-spotted head
with a Greek fisherman’s hat.

He was stuck in a wheel chair, and from the way
his hands trembled you would not have known
that this was a man who once did battle
with mighty Northern Pike and Muskellunge,
hunted deer and moose and elk.
Like me, he relied on a number of pills,
mostly for his heart, to keep him going every day.

Like this town he was born in, he was old and tired
and somewhat quiet. The world had somehow
passed him by these last few years. Many of his
school mates were there in the same home, and sad,
they has lost most of their memories. Some were married
to each other and didn’t even remember it.
He told me he was so afraid of ending up like them.
He said he would rather pass on than be that way,
that he knew he could make himself do it if he wanted.

One day the call came from home, and I knew in my heart
that he had done it, just like he said he could.
His fishing net and tackle box stand alone in the corner
of my library now, and his fishing hat hangs from my gun
rack. They and my memories are all that is left of a man
and a town that I will never lay eyes on again.

What A Night

The meeting with our director last night was not as bad as I thought it would be. There are no actions planned for us as long as we stay busy and profitable like we are right now. He said he couldn't rule out wage freezes or pay cuts if the economy is still crappy nine months from now, but the other things that I suspected are out of the picture. No more early retirement packages to be offered, no going to four day work weeks and no bringing in third party labor. He basically said that the company is going to do everything it can to stay liquid, profitable and not make any decisions that harm employees. Things are sort of close to "not good" but not just yet. Our divison is pulling a steady profit on a regualr basis, and that is the big saving grace right now. Still, I feel the need to hold my breath and wait for the other shoe to drop. I don't know exactly why.

Last night was not a good night at home. My right leg drove me up the wall, and I could not sleep, even with taking a sleeping pill. I was awake pretty much all night. I finally fell asleep around 9:00 AM and woke up around noon, so I am operating on three hours of sleep. I'm tired and I just want the week to be over with.

To make matters worse, I came home last night to find out that Bosco took a big old leak on the comforter on my bed while I was at work. I can't figure out why he does that sometimes. Both dogs are now barred from the bedroom when I am not home. I hate to do that because I know that Cortez likes to snooze on the bed during the day, but I just can't have it.

I am also finding that Cortez is losing his hearing. Several times in the past handful of days I have startled him without meaning to do so. I hate to see that happening to him. He is thirteen now. He probably doesn't have a whole lot of time left. That makes me feel so sad. He has been such a good dog in every way all these years.

Work is very busy tonight. I'm glad for that even thought I don't feel "up". Again, I'm waiting for the weekend. I'll be making the trip out to PA to Lubie's house on Saturday for M's birthday party and the new kitchen warming, so I am looking forward to that.

Well, more later...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


The wheels of industry turn both day and night
with a whir of motors and a whine of engines,
the clang of metal against metal as machines
dance with machines, a dance of graceful precision
held in great concrete and steel buildings,
ballrooms of commerce.

Other machines, intelligent machines, talk to each other
in a language of ones and zeros at the speed of sound,
then transcribe all into the universal languages of numbers
and letters and other characters to be studied, analyzed,
interpreted, manipulated. These characters all mean
one thing in one way or another: Money.

Still more machines, soft machines, act with the other machines,
but these machines think and worry and fret and toil and sweat
falls from their brows during eight hour intervals that are broken
only for a brief period of replenishment via hot brown liquid
or a sandwich jammed quickly into an awaiting port hole.
For these there is no rest. For these there is no peace.

Simply Tuesday

I have little to report today. Last night I didn't screw around. I took an Ambien and went right to bed. I slept like a rock and woke up just in time to get ready for work. I feel good.

In a little while our director will be in. My manager is at the airport waiting for his flight to come in right now. The warehouse is pretty well ready for inspection, and I am more than ready to hear whatever he has to say about the state of the company and things in general. Work is busy today, which is good. We should be plenty busy the rest of the week.

I had to give written and verbal reprimand to an employee this afternoon for poor attendance. That's never a fun thing, but it had to be done. It's a shame really because he's a great worker. Sometimes it's tough being the boss.

I read some poetry this afternoon by someone who will probably be reading for our group this summer, and it was absolutely stunning. It's got me thinking. The creative juices are flowing. Now to sneak in some writing time in between work duties...

Monday, February 16, 2009

At Pakim Pond

It was deep in the forest in the late afternoon-
a sting in the air as it touched cheeks and backs of hands,
beside the pond, its dark water glazed over with a layer of ice,
oak trees on the shore thin and gray and gnarled and bare,
the sand shore itself covered with dead leaves and pinecones,
no sign of squirrels, woodchucks, black bear, deer or even birds
on the path that went around a foot from the water’s edge-
that I heard no sound but the in and out of my own breathing,
and the crunch of leaves and the snap of twigs underfoot-
no animal noises, no cars in the distance, no airplanes,
no other people, not even the whistle of the wind in the trees
as it blew the ragged clouds from west toward the ocean.
I knew that I was truly alone, and though I could sense
my mortality, I did not feel close to it, and although I felt
some insignificance, there was no ennui there, and I was not lonely
but felt the essence of nature all around me, calm and deep
and fearless as the pond itself on this Valentine’s Day.
To stand there and feel and be until nightfall would have been
a grand thing to do, but there were other places to be,
other sensations to experience in this one day. Unlike me,
the pond, the forest and the sky were going nowhere
and would be there in whole whenever I decided to return.


The weekend was pretty decent for the most part. Saturday I got up around 11:00 AM and did a couple of things around the house. Then I went out to the Pine Barrens to hike and bird count. Would you believe that I didn't see one single bird? The Barrens can be such an eerie place. There were no other people around at all, there was no wind, no animals to be seen. It was dead quiet. The only sounds I could hear were my own breathing, and my stepping on dried leaves and twigs as I walked around the lake. That's a strange feeling.

After hiking I went to Red Lobster as planned. I had a great meal. I had a huge margurita and mozerella sticks for an appetizer. I had salad and rolls. I had the wood grilled lobster, scallops and shrimp on a bed of rice pilaf. I ate myself silly. I was simply stuffed afterwords. I felt like a beached whale, but still very good. When I got home I took a nap on the couch, then watched some television. I went to bed and read until I fell asleep. I slept well thanks to my new supply of Ambien.

I slept in until noon on Sunday. I got up and went to the gym, where I did an hour on the treadmill. I went home after that and did some laundry, then practiced my guitar for a bit. After that I went to the ex's to have dinner with her and the kids. We had stuffed shells and meatballs. It was a good meal and we had a nice time. After I got home I got ambitious and cleaned the whole house from top to bottom in record time. Then I talked to my mother and father on the phone for about an hour. I found out that my brother was in the hospital on Friday with abdominal pains. He apparently has a double hernia and it may not be able to be operated on as it is positioned right where his transplant is sewn in. I'll know more about this on Tuesday after he sees his regular doctor. It seems like he never has anything but bad luck when it comes to his health. It's been that way ever since he was little.

Tonight is one of those nights. There is no work in my department, so all of my employees are off working in other departments. Actually, we had incoming shipments for today, but the people at Port Elizabeth dragged their heals on the release paperwork. Tomorrow we will probably be swamped with work. So, it will be another boring night for me tonight. My paperwork for today is done already. It seems like it will be an eternity before dinner time rolls around. I'll be glad to get home tonight.

And finally, no news is good news. Our director, whom I mentioned is coming to talk to our employees tomorrow night, did the same deal today at our facility in Mississippi. Their manager didn't call us afterwards to warn us of anything, so that's good. Had the director been on a mission or been bringing bad news, the Mississippi manager would have certainly called us right afterwards to tell us. Word travels fast around here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday By The Numbers

1. Are you getting tired of hearing about my sleep problems? I would If I were you all. It's a major deal when you are going through it, though. I slept on and off last night. The RLS was there on and off. I did get my Ambien prescription filled this morning, so I will be resting well this weekend.

2. The weather is supposed to be nice for my hiking and bird counting tomorrow afternoon. High of 48 expected, and partly sunny. I'm looking very forward to it. I know that birding sounds a bit nerdy, but what the hell.

3. Do you feel akward if you wave to someone and they don't see you, but someone else sees it? I do. Akward.

4. It's a slow night at work tonight. We all know how I feel about that. Yuck. Maybe I'll get some writing done.

5. I'm beginning to think that I need a hair cut. The sides kind of stick out as the hair goes past my ears. And the back is very curly. Still, I don't want to just yet. In a way, I like it how it is. I guess that's what matters most, right?

6. I just read an article about this poor guy who died of a heart attack at his desk at work and no one noticed for five days. Truly unbelieveable. How could you not notice? Do you know what happens to your body when you pass? That poor bastard.

7. Just when I get a little money- my expensive guitar amplifier that I've had for years is not working. The sound cuts in and out, but the power is still on. That will probably cost several hundred dollars to fix. I really can't afford it. Not right now.

8. Then there is this: According to PSE&G, I used $450 worth of gas and elecrtricity last month. Simply not possible. Billy Boy has not been home, it's just been me and I still have my handy-dandy electronic programable thermostat set to 70 degrees. It has to be a big error. I'm sure that this will be a lot of fun to deal with.

9. Everyone have a great, great weekend. I know that I plan on it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I came into the office at dinner time to find a beautiful, single red rose on my computer keyboard. And I'm about 95% sure that I know who it's from. I'm not going to say who, though, but woof! How flattering!

Finally, Some Sleep

I finally got some sleep last night, thanks to the Ambien CR. I took a whole one as soon as I got home last night. I went right to bed, laid and read for an hour, then turned out the lights. I went right to sleep and didn't wake up until 11:30 this morning. I must have really been wiped out. I feel pretty good today. I'll have to see what tonight brings, as I am out of the Ambien and have not had a chance to refill yet.

Last night in my stop-off at Quick Check I talked some more with Diego and found out some more about him, plus that we have some things in common. Like me, he was born with only one kidney. It's even on the left side like mine. And he has to take pills for it, too. Small world. He also deals with low blood pressure, and only has four ribs on his right side. He let me feel it. It was weird. Unfortunately, he has no living family or relatives, which is worse than not having any friends in my opinion. How lonely that must be.

Today it is very windy. The wind blew my little car all over the freeway on my way in to work this afternoon. The temperature is starting to drop, also. It's only about 40 right now. I guess our warm spell is about over. It could be a cold hike that I take in the Pine Barrens on Saturday.

I'm glad that tomorrow is Friday. I'm ready for the weekend. It has seemed like a long week. They don't all seem that way. The next couple of weeks will probably seem long also, as it looks from the forecasts that we will be very busy at work. There is even a chance of some overtime, especially the last week of the month. Anyway, besides weekend plans that I already mentioned yesterday, I have to get to the grocery store, wash some laundry and clean the house. All things I just love doing.

Well, back to work. More later, perhaps.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Not Again

Last night was a repeat of the night before, only worse. The RLS was relentless, first in the left leg, then the right, then the left again. I was up pretty much all night. I got three hours of sleep this morning between 8:30 and 11:30 and that's all. I feel aggravated and tired and short-tempered. As much as I don't want to, I'll be back on the sleeping pills tonight for sure. I have to get some sleep.

It is so warm here today I can't believe it. It's shirt sleeve weather. I carried the light jacket I took to work today. I hope this keeps up through the weekend, as I am supposed to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count (Google it). I found out about it by accident, and I love nature, so I'm doing it. I have my hikers, field guide and binoculars at the ready.

This is turning into a week of lucky windfalls. First, as I mentioned, my ex gave me a check for $450 on Sunday for her car lease. Then today I got a check in the mail from Billy Boy for $500 for rent. Then I got another check in the mail for $50 from my parents for me to blow on Valentines Day. That was very nice of them, I thought.

Speaking of which, remember a few posts ago, my tirade about Valentine's Day? Well, today I got in the mail this very nice card from my parents. My mother wrote a note in it saying how glad they were that I was their son. She also said that I should be glad on V Day because, even though I don't have a special someone in my life right now, I do have the love of my kids, my family in Ohio, and my friends. Then there was the aforementioned check inside. That meant so much to me to read. It changed my attitude about the day. I now plan on spending the day hiking or bird watching with friends, after which I will go to Red Lobster and order up a big plate of seafood. After that I'll probably treat myself to a new book or a couple of CDs. So there.

Why are people dropping off of Blogspot? First, the end of last week Lori deleted her blog, then yesterday TuesdayPillow deleted hers. I just hate when that happens. I freak when I lose touch with people. That's just how I am.

Speaking of people on here, Dylan Mitchell (Waltsworld) has a book of poetry out titled 100 Men I Have Slept With (And Other Poems). It's 116 pages and is available at for $9.95. If you like good poetry, go buy a copy before they are all gone.

Well, I'm off to read your journals now. Have a decent evening everyone.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Diego, Work And RLS

Most nights on my way home from work I stop off at the local Quick Check for a fast snack- a diet Coke slurpy and a beef jerkey. I'm always waited on by the same guy. His name is Diego. Diego is very friendly and very polite. I have gotten to know a little about him: He lives alone. He is a vegetarian. He is 39. He has Fridays and Saturdays off. Last night I asked him how he enjoyed his nights off. He told me that he has no friends, and doesn't go out. He spends his time off resting. How sad I thought that was. No friends. I couldn't imagine having no friends. I'm so thankful for the ones I have.

My employer announced today that there would be no further job cuts in the U.S. I was very relieved to hear that. Still, there could be trouble ahead. They could go to four day work weeks, make pay cuts, or possibly go to third-party labor. I'm still waiting with baited breath for this meeting with our director next week. They couldn't possibly be sending him out here just for a pep talk- to tell us to keep productive and stay the course. That just doesn't make sense.

I didn't sleep worth a damn last night. My RLS flaired up something fierce in my left leg shortly after I went to bed. I got up around 3:00 AM. I made something to eat. I read for a while. I wrote some poetry on the lap top, a rather long poem that took me almost two hours to write. I finally fell asleep around 6:30 AM and didn't get up until time to get ready for work at noon. And there were things I needed to do today, like go to the gym and the bank. I think I have this linked to something: my meds. I forgot to take my night time meds the past two nights and I slept fine. Last night I remembered to take them, and whamo- up with the RLS. There has to be a connection there somehow. I just hope that tonight is not a repeat.

I'm not that much into being here tonight. I hope that the evening goes by quickly.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Very Productive

It's been a very productive night. I got all of my work done and wrote three poems in the middle of it all. Here's the latest:

This Anxiety

This anxiety
could twist gnarled
knots in your stomach
keep you up at night
This anxiety
could make you vomit
and your hands quiver
put a lump in your throat
make you wet yourself
make you dizzy
and angry
and irritable with others
This anxiety
could make the world
seem blurry and out of focus
could cause acne
or running diarrhea
or hives on your face
could make you eat Tums
or Alka Seltzer
or caopectate
This anxiety
could cause you
to drink a lot of coffee
or alcoholic beverages
to overeat fast food
smoke a lot of cigarettes
or grass or worse
to shoot up
This anxiety
could put ants
in your pants
bees in your bonnet
or bats in your belfry
as they say
This anxiety
could cause your divorce
loss of employment
estrangement of your family
ruin your life
could cause
your untimely death
but not me
I am central
I have control

I hope that everyone has a great evening and a great Tuesday. Good night to all.
The weekend was not too bad overall. Kind of uneventful. The weather was really warm all weekend, which was nice. My trip to York, PA was aborted on Saturday due to Lubie's kitchen not being finished yet and M making a trip out to Tennessee. But the party is back on for the 21st, so I have that to look forward to in the future. Also, M invited me to go see Modest Mouse in concert at the Electric Factory in Philly next month. Cool.

Anyway, I spent the day doing a number of things. I went to the grocery store for a few items. I restrung and practiced my guitar for several hours. I worked on my guitar amp. I repaired a fishing rod and put fresh line on several reels. I went through my tackle box and read a few fishing magazines. I napped and talked to my brother on the phone finally. He is doing well.

Sunday I slept in until about 2:00 PM. After I got up and showered I made hibatchi rice to take over to the kids for dinner. We also had empanadas and refried beans. It was good. We watched an independant film called Choking Man that was kind of bizarre, but good. Surprise, surprise, my wife gave me a check for most of the money that she owes me. My daughter is coming down with some kind of flu that I hope I don't catch. I shouldn't after getting the vaccination earlier in the fall.

After dinner I went to Barnes & Noble and picked up a copy of Walden. I had wanted to read it and one of this kids had my copy and had lost it. I also picked up a copy of the reissue of The Ramones first album. Also cool. When I got home I paid my bills and talked to my parents on the phone for about an hour. Then I went to bed with a little brandy and started reading Walden.

Today I barely got up in time to get ready for work. I felt pretty tired. I came to work to find that we have very little to do today, but will probably get hammered with work the rest of the week.

I also found that the company is taking some further measures due to the hard economic state. 20,000 jobs out of 235,000 are to be cut globally over the next two years. Our factories are going to go to four-day work weeks. I could see that expanding to us potentially. Then there is something called "negotiating a work sharing scheme for employees". That scares me a bit. It doesn't sound good. The use of the word "negotiate", and especially the use of the word "scheme" makes me feel uncomfortable. There are a number of other measures as well that won't affect us in the U.S. I think that the whole thing is a knee-jerk reaction to the fact that third quarter vehicle sales were down by 29%. That sounds like a lot but over the past nine months total it has only dropped by 3%. The company is making some money. I feel uneasy about the whole thing, especially in light of the fact that our director is coming out here specifically to have an hour meeting with us next week. This after it was announced that company travel was being cut down to the bone. Well, all I can do is wait and see what next week brings, and hopefully, duck.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday, By The Numbers

1. I'm about ready to give up on Tagged. It seems like the only hits I get anymore are from 21-25 year old girls from the Phillipines or Russia who are looking for a ticket out. Not what I need right now.

2. I am so not into being here at work tonight. I just want the weekend to be here. I need to relax and have some fun. I think I'll have a few beers after I get home.

3. I slept better last night. In fact I slept pretty well. I still woke up at 3:00 AM, but I was able to get back to sleep pretty quickly. I am glad for that. I haven't been feeling so tired today.

4. I feel much better now after my last rant of a post. I guess that sometimes a person really needs to get things off their chest. I got a lot of great replies too, which helped immensely. I'm thankful for my friends here.

5. My problem employee is behaving today. It appears that our talk last night was taken to heart. That's a good thing. I don't like having to get rid of employees, and I don't want to have to be a babysitter.

6. It's noticeably warmer outside today as compared to yesterday. I'm all ready for that 50 degrees tomorrow and Sunday. I wish I could squeeze in some trout fishing. Hell, I don't even have my 2009 license yet. I'd better get on the ball. I wonder how much the cost has gone up for this year. Last year it was almost $40 with the trout stamp.

7. I was looking at some old photos this morning. Man, I had long hair my senior year of high school. And a dark blue, bell bottomed leisure suit. And aviator wire rims. Oh, wow. Heh. I had kind of big eyes when I was a small child, too.

8. I have found a new television show to watch: The Greg Ferguson Show. It's on at 12:30 AM, about the time I get home from work each night. He is very funny. He's Irish. He's kind of like Eddy Izzard on speed.

9. I've finished with Sylvia Plath and have started rereading the complete works of Anne Sexton. I love her writing. She is a big influence on me. Bigger than Bukowski. Sort of, kind of, almost, but not quite.

10. Well, everyone have a great weekend. Enjoy, wherever and whatever you are.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


WARNING: Not a happy post.

I've decided to get this out of the way right now. It's been bothering me some.

Valentines day is next Saturday. I have no valentine, no sweetheart. I have an ex. I have reminders of her past presence all over the house. Things not easily gotten rid of, like the furniture that I have left or the fridge. I haven't the cash to replace them or I would. Then there are things that I don't want to and wouldn't get rid of, like the dogs.

I have memories. 20 years worth of memories. Memories of vacations, of our kids growing up, of special occasions. Memories of great sex, which I have been devoid of for over three years now. And there are memories of a thousand little things, things that remind me of her, and of how love kicked me in the crotch while I was already down.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: What my wife did to me was very, very hurtful. It still pains me. She left me because of my bipolar disorder. She actually told me that if she had known at the beginning that I would end up with a mental illness that she never would have married me. She left me when I needed her the most. It makes me wonder if she ever really loved me. She seems pretty happy now.

So, Valentine's Day will be a bitter reminder for me. A reminder of what I had and lost. A reminder of my struggle to be happy and healthy the last three years. A reminder of my struggle to not hate myself. That there is no one special in my life. Even a reminder that my illness is still waiting for me in the shadows by the back door.

At least I still have my friends.

A Talk, A Trip, And A Very Few Zs

I did not sleep well last night. Again I woke up wide awake at around 3:00 AM with my legs killing me. I got up, made a hot turkey sandwhich and sat on the couch in the living room for an hour or so watching television. Then I tried to go back to sleep and was successful. The dogs would not let me sleep in this morning, though. They kept waking me up to let them out or in every half hour from about 8:30 AM on until around 11:00. Today I am tired. Right now I could use a nap. I could nod off at my desk so easily. I'm glad that I stuck it out and did not resort to the sleeping pills last night. Hopefully I sleep better tonight.

Well, I just stepped outside in the cold for a few minutes and the freezing air did me some good. It doesn't help that it is really warm in my department right now and I'm wearing long johns. It's usually cold back here.

Tonight I have to have a talk with one of my temporary employees. He is very productive, but he socializes and goofs off way too much. He makes a lot of mistakes. He is the first to leave for breaks and the last to come back. He seems to be in the bathroom constantly. He has been caught using his cell phone during work hours. I have to have a "come to Jesus" talk with him, and hopefully he pays attention, because otherwise he is quickly headed out the door. I'd hate to have to do that, especially when it's so hard to find jobs right now, but if I have to, I will.

So, Saturday I am making another trip out to lovely York, PA to visit DeleteMe and The Lube Faerie. They are having a party for M's birthday. A little road trip will be nice, especially since the weather is supposed to be so decent. I'm trying to get a friend to make the drive out with me this time. Sunday I have dinner with the kids. It's been two weeks since I've seen them due to the Super Bowl. It is nice to have plans for the weekend. I'm so glad that tomorrow is Friday. It does seem like it's been a long week even though it's been a short one for me.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I hope that everyone appreciates the humor in the photo that I have posted on my page. This little boy resembles myself as a young child in many ways. Blonde. Curious. In trouble. And so on.

I just loved getting up at 9:30 this morning specifically to shovel snow off of the sidewalks and porches. We ended up with a few inches, and it is cold. It's hard to believe that they are still forecasting a high of 49 for Saturday and Sunday.

I jumped off my diet for a second a little bit ago. I ate one small lemon pecan cookie. It can't hurt much. It's something I rarely do. Yes, I know, that's rationalizing.

Work is very busy tonight. I'm glad for that. And it's Hump Day although it's only my second day at work this week so far. Come on Friday.

I had a brainstorming meeting with my employees on a particular production problem this afternoon and it went very well. They were full of good ideas. I like when that happens. That's how it's supposed to work.

I'm a bit concerned for my brother. I've tried to get him on the phone the past few wekends to no avail. We usually talk about every other weekend. I know that it is easy for him to fall into depression in his condition, what with being stuck in the house alone all day every day since he can't work. I'm going to try to reach him tomorrow in the morning.

Well, back to the grind. More later on...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Going Well

I just finished reading everyone's journals and making a lot of comments, and I have to say that I'm very happy with my choice of staying here. I have 20 followers, all former JSers, and I follow about 30 journals myself. I'm totally comfortable with this site and how it works now, and there have been no glitches or service failures so far. I'm not upset at the site not having a home page.

It's stopped snowing here finally, but it's getting colder outside. It will be nice to get all tucked into my pile of blankets and quilts tonight. I keep the thermostat at 70 all the time so I have on the bed sheets, two quilts, one indian blanket and a comforter. It's all a bit heavy for what I prefer, but it does keep me pretty warm. As do the wool stockings that my parents brought me from Norway.

I wanted to write some tonight but it just isn't happening. Not enough time or quiet here tonight. Maybe I'll get something done after I get home. I've found lately that reading really primes my pump. It's funny, I read poetry and "hear" my inner voice reading it, then it just starts spitting out things on it's own, like on the side. It's strange how that works, but it does. I've been reading Sylvia Plath's later work the last few nights and I find it to be very stimulating in terms of influencing me and coaxing my muse out of her little cavern.

Well, that's all for me for tonight. Everyone have a good night.

Too Bad

Well, the weekend was good, even though my Cardinals lost the Super Bowl. Still, it was a good game. It had some pretty exciting moments. Unfortunately, not all of those moments belonged to Arizona. Maybe Warner will stick around and they can take another run at it next year.

I must really be tired for some reason, because Saturday, Sunday and Monday I slept in until 1:00 to 2:00 in the afternoon. It's not like I was staying up real late at night. Maybe the depression is creeping back in. I have been extra lonely lately. The only good thing about that is that it's had me writing. In fact, I wrote five new poems just last night. That's a lot for one night, even for one week. One poem I wrote is for a contest at another web site, the subject of which is poetry about diabetes.

On a related topic, I have not been taking my sleeping pills the last handful of days. I wanted to see if I could do without them. It seems I can. I get the same kind of sleep without them, and no difference in the occurences of my RLS. I have been concerned about this bit of waking up at 3:00 AM and not being able to fall back to sleep for an hour or so. Then yesterday I read this article about sleep patterns and such in The UTNE Reader. According to the article, sleeping for eight straight hours and being awake for sixteen is not how we are really wired. Apparently, this notion came along with the invention of the light bulb, and before that, people's sleep patterns were different. Apparently this is why there are so many insomniacs. People's biological clocks don't jive with the 8/16 schedule, especially when you are my age. The article advised going with the flow. That's what I'll do from now on. If I can't sleep or wake up and can't go back to sleep I'll just lay there and relax, or maybe sit up in bed and read or something until I get tired again. I'll try to just catch sleep when it catches me for a while and see how that goes.

And good news: My poet friend Dylan, otherwise known as Waltsworld to JSers, has resurfaced. He left a reply to one of my messages on the JS member search forum of Dorrie's Fun Forum. I'm so glad to be able to reconnect with him. He is a good poet whom I enjoy reading, and I value his criticism of my work. He is starting a blog here at blogspot. Yay!

It's been snowing all day and is supposed to continue all night. The last two days were in the upper 40s. The next two are supposed to be back to the teens and 20s. Then back to the upper 40s to very low 50s this coming weekend. We'll all end up sick. I am glad for the warmer days, though. Trout weather.

More later...