Content Warning!

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

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Walking and Writing

It's been a while since I wrote. First off, I did meet my walking challenge back in September for Mission 22. I walked 48+ miles. I finished before the end of the month and was happy that I was able to meet the goal. I did donate and write them a letter for which I received a very unexpected surprise. I did not expect this at all, but it brought me to tears. When your heart is in the right place, good things do happen.

With it being November, NaNoWriMo is here! I am happy to say that I hit the 50,000-word count. I actually went over the limit - 75,000+ and hit a bigger target of 1 million words.  Now that I have hit the 1 million plus word count, I will retire from doing this challenge. I started participating in 2005 and so it is fitting to end on a high note.

I don't have much else to report. I have been buying more vinyl albums, adding to my collection and expanding into genres I normally wouldn't listen to. I have also found things that have struck up memories from my childhood.  I recently bought albums from Electric Light Orchestra, Cozy Cole, and George Benson. 

As a matter of fact, your musical treat is George Benson's guitar masterpiece "On Broadway".

Rock On!


Monday, September 11, 2023

September Walking for Mission 22

My bad knees and my feet are screaming a little but I'm happy to report I'm 18 miles in on the 48-mile challenge for Mission 22. We've had a lot of hot weather here which is uncommon for this time of year in Vermont. I am so glad that September weather will be here in a couple of days. I'd really like to open my screen doors again to enjoy the fresh air and turn off my A/C.

In regard to the challenge, I had to take a day of rest yesterday. My feet were hurting way too much, and I need to rest them and my left knee. It was very much needed and was able to go out this morning for a mile and then logged more steps late this afternoon. 

They say that walking is good for you physically and for uplifting your mood. I have to say that mentally, it hasn't made me feel happier.  It has had no impact on my overall mood. I suppose there are moments where a song is on that I pick up a little, but it has to do with the song more so than my mood. 

I decided to do the 48-mile challenge and walk for my dad mostly and the servicemen whose letters were shredded by my aunt.  Yes, I haven't let that go yet and suspect I won't for a little while longer.  I have to work through it still.  I know why I feel the way I do, that shredding of the letters was like erasing their service to their country and I have to reconcile that. Doing the challenge is my way of not forgetting their service. That serving their country does mean something. 

I did not officially sign up with Mission 22 simply because in order to do so you have to go through Facebook and I'm not doing that.  I don't have a FB account and not about to start one now. 

Other than my aching feet and bad knees, I'm a little ahead of where I need to be with the walk. It will be tight until the end. This isn't a writing challenge, and anything can happen.  I am thinking of having my friends take a picture of me when I complete the challenge, wearing either one of my Til Valhalla shirts or maybe my KITGOD shirt.  I could do both and do a halfway point picture and one at the end. 

I'm not one for having my picture taken but I guess I can do these. If I feel inclined to do a newsletter for Christmas, I'll have something to write about. Speaking of writing, I have no idea what I will do for this year's NaNoWriMo. I'm about 75,000 words short. I told myself I would stop when I hit 1 million words.  I don't know if I have a story, I could write that could be 75,000 words. Honestly, I have no ideas for this year yet and it's bumming me out. I'm all out of ideas, I guess.  I'm so close to 1 million words and yet it seems like a very daunting task. I'll figure it out.

Today's musical treat is Dinah Washington's version of "September in the Rain" which she released in 1961. 

Rock on!


Monday, August 28, 2023

The Missing Letters - Part Two

 The shredding of my letters from Desert Storm still hang with me. I think this is due in part to the fact my dad had served in the military way back in the day. I'm talking late 60's, early 70's. 

When I moved, I was leaving a place I had called home for 43 years. I left so many physical items and memories behind, the most painful one was finding my dad collapsed on the floor.  I took what I could with me to my new home but there was no way I could take everything my parents owned or the things I owned with me.

I should have been paying more attention to my aunt when she was shredding papers and going through the family safe. It's understandable to shred a quiz from when I was in the first grade, but it belonged to me and she should have asked before shredding, especially the letters.

I guess in some strange, odd way, those letters represented more than just servicemen writing back to a stranger who sent a letter of support to them during a time of war. So many members of my family from great-grandfathers to cousins and then some served - Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy. These members of my family, some of whom I've never met, served their country.

When my aunt shredded the letters that I got from servicemen involved in the Gulf War it was like their service was - erased. I can't explain that thought or the feelings that go with it.  It was like these men were thrown away - discarded.  I'm sure my aunt had no idea that her shredding of the letters would cause me to feel this way.  I don't why she shredded them. I never asked because when I thought about the letters, it was too late. They were long gone.

I guess this is the sticking point of it all.  These were letters written to me.  She should have asked if I still wanted them. Had she asked, I would have told her that I absolutely wanted to keep them.  I would have never thrown those letters away because doing so would have seemed disrespectful to these men who served our country.

I have never been overly patriotic, but my dad raised me well enough to respect members of our military. He ran a small business for years and always hired former military. When he was in the hospital recuperating from cutting his finger off (they tried to reattach it, but it didn't work), he said the only nurse on duty who knew what they were doing, was an older woman who had served in the Army. My dad said she knew how to make a bed the right way and was a hoot.

Writing those letters long ago was my way of showing support. I love writing, so writing a letter makes sense. There are other ways to show support such as supporting a veteran run business. There are memorial walks and donating to organizations that help veterans.

I'm thinking of participating in Mission 22's September 48-mile walk challenge. I don't think I'll officially sign up but silently show my support. Thankfully, you walk 48 miles for the month. I'm debating on whether or not to do this. If I do it, hopefully my bad knees and bad feet won't scream at me too much. Genetics suck!  Both of my parents had bad knees and my feet are messed up especially my left one.  Trust me when I tell you that dropping a 14 lbs. electric bike battery on your foot followed by two cans of soup two days later will mess up your foot.  It's simply never been the same.

Maybe doing this walk will mend the feeling of the lost letters.  I have a few more days to decide whether I will commit or channel my energy down another path. I'll let you know.

Okay, time to end this ramble. Your musical treat today will be "Burning Bridges" the theme song to the movie Kelly's Heroes that I remember watching with my dad as a kid.  My mom loved Clint Eastwood and my dad liked war movies so this one was watched often.

Rock on!



Sunday, August 6, 2023

The Missing Letters - Desert Storm

It's hard to believe it's been five years since I moved into my condo.  The passage of time is funny especially considering the last three years consisted of a pandemic that really messed with when things happened.

There are days where I remember the things, the things I left behind in the house and wonder why I didn't bring them with me. Then there are things I'm sure I brought but cannot find.  I found myself lost in such remembering but not of my own mistake did a bunch of letters get left behind.

When I was cleaning out most of the house, my aunt (by marriage) was shredding papers from a safe that belonged to my parents and me. There were lots of things and unfortunately, as it turned out, she had shred a stack of letters I had received from servicemen who served during the Gulf War.  I remember that one of them was in the Air Force.  Back then writing letters to servicemen was a big deal. 

I was in college when the Gulf War started. There was Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Operation Desert Storm sticks more in my memory as it kicked off before I returned to college for the Spring semester. Dad was watching the war nearly 24-7. I remember the green tracers shooting through the sky as the battle waged on.  I say green tracers but that's what it looked like as the TV was in night vision.

Operation Desert Shield was phase one and one of my college suitemates was dating a soldier in the Army.  She found out that he was going to be sent over.  She freaked out and talked about dumping him over the phone once he landed in Kuwait.  I remember a whole bunch of us told her not to do that.  He would call late at night to talk to her.  With each phone call, she'd freak out even more after hanging up with him.  She did eventually break up with the guy while he was overseas.  We all felt so bad for him that a number of us went behind her back, coordinating with her mom no less and ended up sending him mail and a care package.  Not that it would lessen the blow of being dumped while deployed but we just felt bad for the guy. He deserved better. I do not know what happened to him, let alone remember his name. I think it was James but it's a bit fuzzy. 

This is when the letter writing campaign began on campus to write letters to soldiers. I was one of those people who wrote letters. Trust me when I say it's hard to write a letter to a stranger. Let alone a soldier. Honestly, what do you say? Turns out you write about boring stuff - stuff so mundane to most people but a welcome reprieve for someone trying not to get shot.

I never expected to get any replies but was surprised when I did. I wish I could remember their names and feel bad that I don't. I feel even worse, that my aunt shredded their letters. I have to admit that I am curious to know where those servicemen are now. Did they even make it home from the Gulf War?

I suspect my aunt just thought they were dumb letters not realizing their importance to me.  They were stored in the safe for reason, so that they would be there, protected for time - a snapshot of history. Stored in a place I could return to and look at them when I felt driven too.

You can't write servicemen or women these days. Those programs pretty much don't exist anymore and have morphed into something else. It's kind of sad really as I would be willing to fire off a batch of letters letting them find their way to a soldier who may not have any family or one who simply needs a little pick-me-up if they're having a bad day.

It makes me grateful that I did not get rid of my dad's zippo lighter or accidently left it behind when I moved. It is clear dad didn't use the lighter as he kept it in the original box, instructions too but time has gotten to it a little. It says "Aleutian Dew Line 714th AC & W SQ." I'm not up on my military lingo but I think AC&W means Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. I just remember my dad talking about the White Alice antennas in old photographs he showed me when I was a kid.

While I no longer possess the letters of the servicemen who wrote me when I was a young 20-something, at least I remember getting them. At least I remember it was the Gulf War. At least, I remember. I remember something. 

Typically, I have a song picked out for your musical treat but today my brain is struggling.  Have no fear, I've got you covered it just took longer than usual to find something. Enjoy Delain's "April Rain." 

Rock on!


Thursday, July 20, 2023

When Things Connect

I continue to work on editing a story I wrote last November. I went through it a couple of times already but in the most recent run though I have added more detail and removed some sections. The story I have been working on is about my journey through depression and suicide. Something I have been writing about and exploring for years.

When the 4th of July rolled around and military themed movies filled my TV screen, admittedly, not as much as they have in the past, I couldn't find a single channel showing the movies I used to watch with mom and dad, mostly dad, as a kid.  No one was showing The Dirty Dozen (1967), Kelly's Heroes (1970), PT 109 (1963), The Green Berets (1968), Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), or any others that were watched on a regular basis as a kid. I ended up watching American Sniper (2015). 

I then hit YouTube and binge watched episodes of Shift Fire with Israel Wright and Cameron Fath.  Those guys are awesome! The channel in their words, is an "exploration and appreciation of military culture"! I have been following them for over a year or so but somehow missed some videos. I was catching up. Somehow, I had forgotten they had a podcast too.  During one of the videos, I had noticed that Israel was wearing a t-shirt that got my attention.  Mind you, during this time period I'm editing my story which is about suicide. The t-shirt said, "Do Not Give in to the War Within: End Veteran Suicide".

I could see there was some kind of logo on the sleeve of the shirt, but I couldn't see what it said.  Given my curiosity, I hit the internet!  I found a knock-off of the shirt Israel was wearing but continued until I found the exact one. It led me to a site called Til Valhalla Project. They make plaques for fallen servicemen and deliver them anonymously to recipients through a network of volunteers.  They had a whole bunch of t-shirts with messages that spoke to me, so I ordered a few shirts.

In another Shift Fire video, Israel wore another shirt that said "Mission 22" on it. I had no idea what that meant but when I was on the website of the Til Valhalla Project, they mentioned Mission 22.  So off I went to learn about them too. I had no idea that 22 veterans commit suicide each day. Mission 22 provides other resources as well to veterans and their families.

To think, I learned all of this from a t-shirt!  I couldn't leave Cameron in the cold and made sure to order a shirt from his apparel company, KITGOD as he is a veteran too. 

When I was a senior in high school all the military recruiters made themselves known.  Especially, considering I was a girl who had taken two years of electronics.  That was considered untraditional back then and I must have been a flipping unicorn to them. I did spend a lot of time hanging out with my friend Trish who was in ROTC, so that may have played a part since I helped her hanging the flag every morning.

My dad served in the military (Air Force) and actually told me to not consider that as a path. He told me not to do it.  I'm not sure why. It may have been because I would be the first person on either side of the family to go to college.  Plenty of family members had served - Air Force, Navy, and Army.

After learning about the organizations from a shirt Israel wore, I have to admit it hit me. I know the dark place. I know what the battle within is like.  I must admit a part of me wanted to share my story, but I have been writing my story for years, sharing it in pieces. I do have to admit that a part of me wanted to say 'thank-you' but can't really put into words why.

I think buying the shirts and when I start wearing them will take care of the feeling of saying 'thank-you' but I'll be doing it in a different form. I am really glad that my binge watching of Israel and Cam led me down this path. Things came full circle. 

Today's music treat is Within Temptation's "Stand My Ground".  Crank the volume on this one and enjoy.

Rock on!

Sunday, June 11, 2023

People Are Interesting

 I haven't written in a while but have a few updates to share.

First off, it appears that my neighbors may have chased off the skateboarder.  He has not been around for weeks. He may be busy with other things, but I do hope he returns.  I hope my neighbors did not chase him away because in all honesty, he wasn't doing anything wrong.

When it comes to doing wrong things, my neighbor next door broke the rules by having a moving truck show up at 9 pm to move boxes into the building.  This is not allowed according to building rules. It did cause a stir for sure and admittedly, the HOA board, one member in particular was an utter dick.  My neighbor had been visited by one board member and didn't need to be talked to by another one an hour later.

The second member is nice to your face, but he can be a definite jerk.  He clearly has an issue with women and takes every opportunity to belittle them. He used to work at the same company as me. I didn't have much interaction with him but heard somethings after he left.

Other interesting things is the bus driver who walked behind our trash house to go pee.  Yup, he did that. Across the parking lot is an adult living center and special busses come at all times during the day to pick up people or drop them off.  Well, I watched a driver drop people off and then watched him to relieve himself.  I didn't actually see him pee, but he certainly wasn't doing #2 given how quickly he reappeared. I was surprised, even more so knowing that the building where he dropped people off has a front office. Couldn't he have gone in and simply asked to use the restroom?

I had neighbors two floors down from me have a party on their patio two nights in a row.  The pot smoke made it's way up to my floor and I had to close the doors.  They were super loud and partied from 4pm to 10pm the first night and attempted the same the following night but got an earful when they were still loud past 10 when the first floor neighbor told them quiet hours started at 10 and that the HOA would fine them $500. That's not actually true but it did the trick and they were quiet.

People are interesting for sure. With that, I leave you with 'People Are Strange'.  I could have gone with The Doors version but opted for the Echo & The Bunnymen version for the The Lost Boys soundtrack.

Rock on!


Thursday, April 27, 2023

The Skater and the Broken Child

 I was hoping that the neighborhood skater would appear today and he did. It was easy to approach him and he clearly recognized me.  I talked to him a bit and warned him that a resident made a complaint and told him if he stayed clear of our parking lot he should be okay.  He appreciated the heads up.  

I feel good helping him out but I understand how beneficial skateboarding can be and due to my own experiences with skateboarding from a non-skater view. Skating has been beneficial to me even though I don't skate. It has reminded me often of my own strength and resilience. Bob Burnquist, Bucky Lasek, Tony Hawk, Kelvin Hoefler, Luan Oliveira, Jonny Giger and so many others have unknowingly saved my ass. For that, I am ever grateful and don't expect anyone to understand that.

There is something about these skaters, these men and their own stories that speaks to a part of me that I have spent years trying to heal and support - the Broken Child. They say helping others is a way to mend the broken child and to listen to the child inside. Given recent events in my life coupled with the guilt that has been inflicted on me my whole life that if I do good, I am made to feel bad.  That is Catholic guilt and my parents wondered why I ran away from the Church when I was a kid.

The Broken Child and the Inner Saboteur have a lot in common. One feels alone and afraid, nothing is ever good enough no matter the intentions and the other reinforces it with negative thoughts of being a loser. 

It's too late for me to learn skateboarding, not really, but the inner child in me I think seeks the kind of freedom and release that comes with it.  It could be that the broken child in me relates to the idea of how skaters are seen as the misfits, the outsiders, the ones who don't belong.  I found a community that isn't really my community but a part of me lives adjacent to it and that's okay.

Warning the neighborhood skater today in some ways appeased the Broken Child. The child is happy and although, broken, has received a hug by doing a good deed. A deed that the Saboteur cannot destroy this time.

Today's musical treat is Lupe Fiasco's 'Kick, Push' which seem appropriate given today's events.

Rock on!


Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Leave the Skaters Alone

This will be a bit of rant post given that the monthly HOA meeting for my building has ended. One of the residents complained about the noise of the two skateboarders who skate in a lot across from our building. Then the person said the kids skated our sidewalk which honestly, I've never seen them do.

So now, my HOA is thinking of getting a "no skating" sign just for two kids and told the resident they could call the cops if they wanted to.  The president of the board said skating wasn't allowed at our building which is a lie because there is nothing in our rules and regs or bi-laws that prohibit skateboarding. I checked.

Instead of buying a stupid sign which will surely be ignored and spending money to put one in, why not ask the skaters, all two of them, to simply not skate on our side of the parking lot?  It's a reasonable thing to do.

As for the noise, it's daytime and guess what? The sound of skating bothers this woman but not the constant beeping of cars backing up, car alarms, the visit of the trash trucks at 5am, the loud music by residents sitting in their cars, the crying kids or barking dogs? Sure...lady...that's all fine with you but not the sound of skateboarding?

This woman lives on the second floor, and I live on the fourth so I imagine it might sound louder but complaining about the skaters just irks me. It's two of them and it's not like there are there all day. They come for an hour at most, and they aren't screaming or anything.

The one kid pushes pretty well but has been trying to figure out how to ollie up a curb. He's getting better but has a bit more work to do. A little more speed and more snap of his board and he'll have it. I am not a skateboarder, but I've watched enough to know how close this kid is to success.  Neither of the kids are doing grinds, slappies or jumping up on hand-rails. They aren't doing any damage to the concrete or paint. They aren't out there skating like Jonny Giger although I bet, they might want to if they could.

Instead of being bitchy people, simply talking to them would be ideal. I haven't spoken to either kid much, except to ask if they wanted my old issue of "Thrasher" or some grip tape.  I did that yesterday. I gave them a zip loc bag of stickers, a sheet of grip tape and a Thrasher.  They were so damn happy. Smiles on their faces. 

This is Vermont, there are two skateparks where I live but neither is easy to get to and these kids live in the low-income house development across the street. I would venture to guess that they don't get to go to either of those parks often. You have to pay to skate at one of them.

The next time the kids come out to skate and I'm around, I'll ask them to not skate on our side of the parking lot and warn them of the lady in my building.  She bitches about everything, so I not surprised too much by her complaint.  This is a woman who complained for 6 months that the staircase by her unit wasn't clean enough.

Let kids be kids and most of all - let them skate! Okay, the rant is over. To all the skateboarders out there, go do your thing. Skate to your hearts content and DO A KICKFLIP or in the case of the two kids in the parking lot, an ollie up a curb. 

For today's musical treat we're travelling all the way back to 1981 for Kim Wilde's "Kids in America".

Rock on!


Saturday, April 22, 2023

The Invisible Intruder

 Before I moved into my current home several years ago, I had been at my old house packing up to move a block to where I am now. One particular weekend, the temperature in Vermont was extremely hot and the old home did not have air conditioning.  I had already had the keys to my new home and spent a few days there in cooler temperatures.

When I returned to home with a friend, I couldn't get into the house at first because someone had locked the screen door.  This was odd as you can't lock it unless you were in the house.  I was able to make it into the house and discovered that someone had broken in.  They rummaged through the bucket of loose change on the kitchen counter, broken a light bulb in the basement and use the grill.  They had left food in my fridge which indicated they were planning on returning.  It was an intrusion, a violation of my of my home. A home that I had lived in for 42 years and moving to a new place was hard enough.

That was five years ago.  Recently, in my new place, which is a condo and has a storage cage in the parking garage, was broken into. I don't have anything of value in my storage cage but I had put tarps all the way around so you couldn't see it, all my stuff was in tubs, and I had a heavy-duty chain and lock on my cage.  Still, the broken in and rummaged through everything. They went through a tub of items that belonged to my deceased parents. One item was my dad's old boy scout uniform which had been neatly packed only for me to find it thrown about and on the ground crumpled up.  

There was a box of items belonging to my parents that was from the funeral home and hospice where my mom had been until she passed.  The funeral home here had put my dad's wedding ring and his K-mart Casio watch in a blue velvet bag.  The thieves took the bag.  It was like I lost my dad all over again and it hurt that they took it, not knowing that the ring had been on my father's dead had five years earlier. 

Eventually, I knew that I would say good-bye to that ring when I passed but the only way to deal with it was to tell myself that I let go it sooner than I wanted.  I have no siblings and no relatives nearby so when I pass, it all has to go.  Out there some thief has my dad's wedding ring, probably sold it to someone to get drugs. 

They have no idea of the man who wore that ring and the life he led.  They have no idea that he served his country in the United States Air Force, station up in Alaska working on the DEW line to ensure our safety.  They have no idea that he was a small-business owner or that he built an 18-foot satellite dish out of newspaper tin print sheets, screen and steel pipes in the early 80's. They don't know how much he enjoyed riding his John Deere tractor around the yard. 

The thief took my dad from me again. They took him without asking and that's what hurts so much. He was my dad, not theirs. They didn't hit the Cumberland Farms for coffee and slushies every week. They didn't go dumpster diving or build a pond in the backyard with him.  The weren't there the day I had saved up enough money to buy him a brand-new John Deere and had it delivered as a surprise. They weren't there the day I bought him his used mini-van with had all the bells and whistles.  He loved that thing. He always drove a Dodge because they had good heaters and a good pick-up in the engine.  It might have been a mini-van but it was a sportscar to him.

It seems only appropriate to have Jerry Reed's East Bound and Down as today's musical treat. 

Rock on!


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!