Content Warning!

This blog on occasion addresses depression, death, suicide and other sensitive themes. Continue at your own discretion in reading the content.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Little By Little

I have been slow in providing updates to what is going on but suffice to say I am slowly editing the novel I wrote in November 2022.  I have chipping away, chapter by chapter and sitting with things for a bit. I'm thinking of changing the structure to something else, including a new book title. 

Although, I have been chipping away at the novel, I have let me artistic side bubble up and have been exploring adding more paintings and photos to my living room wall or perhaps my office space. I have a large giclee art print done by Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen hanging in my office. It's 1 of 50 that were printed called "Animal" which is my favorite Def Leppard song.  I have another giclee of his in my bedroom that is 8 of 25. I forget the name of it but if you have ever seen the Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven poster of the hermit holding the lantern at a cliff, Rick's artwork reminds me of it in a good way.  It's abstract but yet if you look at it long enough you can see the hermit. At least, I do anyway.  These two  art prints are the first ones that I ever bought where I coughed up a lot of money.

I have been exploring other artists, mostly professional skateboarders turned artists such as Kris Markovich and Paul Kobriger. I keep looking but I haven't pulled the trigger yet. I think it's because my office space is a disaster zone at the moment.  I have these grand plans, but I haven't found the motivation to get it going. Bob Burnquist is another skateboarder who is doing artwork, even some murals in Brazil. Bob draws these really cool looking birds that I like but it seems Bob is not selling them as artwork to buy. I have searched and come up empty handed. I wish he would sell some artwork. I really, really do his bird friends are so vibrant and would love to have something on my wall. 

I did order some artwork from an Irish artist in upstate New York who does oil paintings. I can't afford an original but can afford a print and have two coming that would fit nicely in my living room.  I have such a strange taste in artwork as I like abstract stuff, cubism, portraits and anything that speaks to me on some level. The Rick Allen pieces are abstract, but I see a lot in them. 

Although I don't skate, there are some decks that have amazing graphics on them that I wouldn't mind hanging. Like I said, my taste in things is everywhere.  Kind of like my taste in music - it's everywhere. Lately, I have been exploring again and discovering songs I haven't heard in ages. I honestly can't remember how I managed to find Juice Newton again. I haven't heard her songs in ages. She was a big deal with I was eleven. I found her 1982 song "Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me."  Which of course led to her other songs like "Queen of Hearts", "Angel of the Morning", "Break It To Me Gently" and others.  What a trip!

In a nod to Juice Newton and taking the musical trip down memory lane, enjoy "Love's Been A Little Hard On Me" as your treat.

Rock On!

Sunday, February 26, 2023

The Dark Place Pt. 2

 Living in the dark place can be tough and other times not so bad. I know this place very well. For all the pain the dark place holds, it is familiar and comforting. It is the only place where I am not confused by how I feel.  I know what it feels like to be in the dark place. I recognize that one can't reside in this place all the time but sometimes we have no choice in the matter.

It seems like we have no choice as we have to try and break the cycle.  This is not so easy to do. It took several years for me to get to a place where I could talk about the darkness.  Courage to talk about this place that exists in my head but physically feel. One thing is for certain, you need to know you are in a cycle to begin with.  Recognizing where you are and what is going on is probably the hardest thing to do because the moment you acknowledge it, you can no longer ignore it. 

The dark thoughts in your mind are now given life and words. You cannot put them back in the bottle. This is why the journey to break the cycle is so difficult.  You have to be in a place to tackle it. I learned over the years that the saying 'when the time is right' is actually true. It's not a hard fast rule to follow but you know when it's time to tell someone something.

Over the course of our lives, we come arrive at various destinations that cause to decide the direction we will go.  At that moment in time, we may not be ready to leave the dark place that is holding us hostage, but another time will arrive where we do decide to take the path to break the cycle or simply alter the journey.

Time and time again we will come upon a place, a post in our life where we will make a choice. Do we go this way or that way?  No matter what choice we make, there is no wrong path for we will always be on the right path at that moment in time.  We will always return to the place we need to make a choice and will always know where we need to be. We know it in our guts, our intuition.  We simply know, we simply keep holding on. 

Enjoy your musical treat of Simply Reds' 'Holding Back the Years'

Rock On!


Friday, February 17, 2023

The Dark Place

 It's funny when you tour YouTube and what pops up in your recommendations. I clicked on a video of The HoneyDew Podcast with Ryan Sickler. I am not familiar with Ryan Sicker, didn't even know he was a comedian, but his guest was Josh Wolf. Turns out Josh has been on plenty of times but the one I tuned into was about a year old. They talked about Josh's life and career; even talking briefly about how Josh had found himself at one point in a dark place. 

As Josh spoke, it struck me that when he said he'd been in a "dark place" he hadn't been to THE dark place.  It was clear Josh was speaking of being in a dark place but more from a depressive state but not the full-on dark place - the place I know all too well. What Josh was talking about was more of a midnight-blue and not the black world of the suicidal. 

I'm not saying Josh wasn't in a dark place, it's just his dark place is not the same definition as I would give it.  If Josh thought he was in a dark place, he didn't know just how dark stuff can get. I don't want to discount his experience because it was his to endure, it was his journey and for him it was dark.

For me, it made me realize that society as a whole when describing their depressive state, they call it a "dark place". However, when I hear someone say they were in a dark place I equate to having been in the dark place I once resided in but that's not the case.

It's disappointing for me. I think for a moment I found someone who understands the dark place but learn they haven't been where I have been. For a long time, I have tried to find people like me and haven't. It's one let down after another in some ways. I will admit when Josh said he'd been in a dark place that I was going to hear about a man, raising three children by himself, poor and struggling talk about it. I was hoping to hear his story about being in the dark place.  It was a story I would not hear.

The show wasn't bad as Josh went through a lot of stuff and I have been discovering his stand-up through YouTube and just finished reading his book. It was good.

All right my friends, it's time for me to end this post. Today's music treat is a song by Kim Richardson called "Out Here On My Own".  The YouTube video has the wrong title as I went and double checked that it is the same song that Irene Cara sang in the movie 'Fame'. 

Rock On!


Saturday, January 7, 2023

A New Year is Here

 We are seven days into the new year and after a 10-day break from work, I was ready to disappear after two hours of sitting at my desk. I hate to call my co-workers stupid, but every time I go on vacation they suddenly can't function, and my inbox is filled with emails asking for help for the stupidest things. Things these people know how to do.

The work week was okay and then I got a little surprise on Friday.  I was asked, not by my supervisor, but by a manager in a different department if I wanted to join their team. They said they needed my skillset for huge upcoming project and with my institutional memory of systems and all the software testing I've done; I'd be a vital part of this team. I told them I was open to discussion. I've been in my current position for 24 years so, a change would be nice.  My current supervisor is going to flip her lid though once she finds out. Not my problem!!

The chance to do things that are of more interest to me sounds very inviting.  Also, I get to come up with my job title so after 8 years of asking to be recognized as a software tester and being turned down, the door is open for me to finally have it. I think a change would be good for me.

I am editing the NaNoWriMo story I wrote back in November. It will take some time to re-write it and whether or not I publish it, too early to tell. I have been going through YouTube videos, catching up on a backlog of favorites. I can always depend on a skateboarder to brighten day.  Jonny Giger released a video about how beautiful skateboarding can be, and it truly is. Jonny is so lucky to have such an amazing mountain background.  There are two places in Jonny's video that would make fantastic artwork to hang on the wall.  Check out Jonny's video to enjoy beautiful skateboarding and equally beautiful views.  I love the trick and view starting at the 4:18 mark.

Per usual, I've been exploring to find some new music or new versions of songs I already know. Today, I leave you with a rehearsal version of the U2 song "One" performed by Corey Hart, Kim Richardson and Jonathan Roy.

Rock On!


Saturday, October 22, 2022

Unexpected Flood

 I apologize for my silence. I have been busy with an unexpected rush of Christmas gifts to send out and in recent weeks, was hit with an unexpected flood of emotions.

I was in my storage cage in my building, shuffling things around when I noticed part of a box had somehow gotten wet.  It was in one spot and so I opened the box which contained items that had belonged to my mom and dad.  Items that were returned to me by the funeral home after then had been cremated. One of the items in the box was a hat that my dad always wore.  Somehow it had gotten wet, I have no clue how. The hat had turned moldy, and I needed to throw it away.  

I walked to the trash house and felt the tears coming but I pushed them back as I stood in front of the trash bin. I knew I couldn't keep the hat, but it hurt to throw it away. The moment I made it back inside my apartment, the tears came hard.  What happened was unexpected. I didn't expect throwing his hat away would trigger me like that.  They say time heals, but it would seem five years isn't enough to heal this kind of loss. 

On October 14th is my death day. A day where I honor myself but this year, I didn't honor myself in a way I thought I would. This year marked the 30th anniversary of my last suicide attempt.  No small feat considering not everyone gets a second chance or in my case seven. 

I had planned to donate to a non-profit which I always do every year to honor myself and Sean. For some reason, when I sat down to write a letter, it didn't flow. Something was off and I set the letter aside, never to touch it again as I threw it away a few days later.

I don't know what's going on with me as I can't even find excitement for NaNoWriMo which starts in a few days. I love to write but the thought of writing seems daunting. More than anything, I'd like to go to a mountain top and just scream over and over.  Scream out the anger, scream out the frustration, scream out the pain, just scream until I have screamed everything out of me. 

All I can do is take care of myself. It is something I want for all of you too. The permission to do what is needed to be in a good place. Something that makes you feel okay.

Today's musical treat is one I discovered by going down the YouTube rabbit hole. I have no idea how I found this cover of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" by Linkin Park. Enjoy.

Rock on!