Thursday, August 20, 2009

Life Changes

I've made a sweeping clean out of the friends that I've known in the past year. I was leaning on them thinking that they had my best interest at heart when in reality the interest they were looking out for was their own. Which was unfortunate to learn.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I live and die for the people that I bring into my life. Sadly sometimes that's taken advantage of. This was the case with a large number of people that I had surrounded myself with.

Earlier in the year I had moved in with a couple of friends who needed a place to stay. That blew up in my face as they both found ways to break my trust, even before they moved in with me. After learning about the unfortunate betrayal I had a gut check moment and kicked one out. About a month later the other person showed their true colors and once again, out the door they went. That left me with the center that I'd had for a while. Jen, Travis and Tracey.

Problem was that as I was dealing with my own house, they were pulling on me as well. When I was on the verge of kicking of my roommates out Tracey came into a situation where she needed a place to stay. I have a big heart, almost too big... and while I knew I was being taken advantage of, I hated the thought of kicking someone out. Jen, Travis and Tracey put pressure on me during that time and basically put out a "Get it done and move Tracey in or we'll all stop talking to you!"

Emotional blackmail is not cool.

More over, if you have friends that are using it to get you to do something, reconsider the friendship. I did what I was asked to do, I kicked one out and let another move in. The friendships after that, well you can't really call them that anymore can you? In the back of your mind you're always wondering if another situation will come up where that same ultimatum is thrown at your feet making you deal with a difficult decision.

Looking back, I think those friendships were over the moment they cornered me the way that they did but for a few months after that I tried as best as I could to maintain it. It never worked the same, at all.It's one thing to tell someone how you feel about a situation, it's another to try and sway them in the worst possible way and then wonder why things aren't the same anymore.

Personally I mourned the loss of those friendships but their decisions put me at arm's length and I was never able to get comfortable again.So I lost five friends basically. Five people that I thought were going to be long standing people in my life, two for lying and three for trying to control me and manipulate me in a manner that I didn't want to be.

When things finally came to an end it was completely toxic. I would go over, get sad and go home feeling like less of a person because of them. They befriended an ex of mine to trash talk me with, even though, if she only knew just how much they sat there and blasted on her for who she was long after she was gone, she might reconsider the friendship she's trying to drum up with them. However to each their own.

/end rant

On to other things. While that was slowly going South I ended up meeting someone that blew everything out of the water...I met Crystal.

Crystal was a bit of a mystery to me when I met her (she still is in some ways but none of them are bad). She is confident, sure of herself, smart, funny, insightful, beautiful beyond words and has been able to keep up with me in several different ways. We took a little bit of time to feel out the water but when we were both comfortable, the fireworks really exploded and have continued to do so.

You guys know that I've been trying to find someone, someone that could basically allow me to be me but also challenge me to grow and grow with me. There aren't enough words to tell you how I feel about her. She has been a constant and a sounding board. She's been there to pick up the pieces and challenges me constantly to look beyond the paradigm that I have about life, love, art, and anything else we talk about. She's not much of a comic fan though (I guess no one's perfect :P).

After two weeks of being with her, we both knew where we wanted it to go and life went ahead and took over.

She's currently four months pregnant with our first child.

She has a little girl who's five, who I love with all my heart, she's outstanding, smart, funny and a bit of a prima donna, but what little girl isn't. The Lord takes away but also gives back in spades. He took me out of a situation that was going to literally kill me with my first wife and after a season introduced me to a woman that was beautiful in His eyes and mine.

We got married on July 17th and have had nothing but blessings since we met.

The latest is that while I've enjoyed my time working for Clackamas County, a better job has been given to me.

It all started on a lark. I've basically been living with Crystal for about three months. I've had my place and have being paying rent, my lease ran out this month and hers ran out this month as well. So we both started wondering. Did we want to re-up for another seven months where we were or did we want to look elsewhere?

Crystal's mom lives in Lewiston, Id. (Which is on the Wa/Id border) and she and Grace, our five year old, are thicker than thieves. It's noticeable when they're together because Gracie absolutely glows with happiness. Our original idea was for baby to be born and then maybe next summer move closer so that they could spend more time together.

So knowing our lease is up, I started looking for jobs within the Lewiston area. I found a hospital, St. Joe's. If you want an idea of what kind of hospital it is, think of the biggest hospital in your area where everyone wants to work. Applications are put in and usually it takes about six months to even get a response.

I put my application in for a position at about 9:30 in the morning. By 1 I had an email from them asking some additional questions. A week later they were gracious enough to do a phone interview with me and 24 hours later I was offered the position of Surgery Unit Clerk. Just like that the door opened. After praying about it and talking to Crystal, we made the determination to take the position and start asap.

So I start the 1st of Sept. Full benefits the day I start and they are giving tutition assistance. I also decided to go back to school and get the nursing degree I should've gotten forever ago. So that's my up to date. The house is packed. My notice for work and my apartment is given. The goodbye bash is being held tomorrow night and Yun's, the favorite Friday hang out and in a week's time we'll pack a U Haul and truck over into the Wa/Id area.

Nothing is done alone.

There have been people with me the whole time.

Jacqui - My rock. My best friend in many respects. We've cried and laughed with each other and basically raised hell. My cheerleader when I've needed it and momma bear when required. Hearing her laugh every day will be one of the things that I truly will miss the most. Diet Squirt, Pepporoni Sticks and Bar food will always remind me of the good and bad times.

Leah - the devil horned angel. The most quiet one when she wanted to be, never afraid to speak her piece or say what needed to be said to get me breakdown and deal with a situation. Her continued support and brightside manner kept me going even on the days when I wanted to be done. Our early morning conversations have always been a bright spot each day and I"ll miss them. Without her steely attitude and determination I might have given up long ago. Thanks for showing me how to stand tall, even when the world is on your shoulders.

Nola - heh. the new kid. She's fit right in and being able to bounce off of her has been a blessing. I'm glad that we got to know each other in the short time that we have. I pray that you continue on being who you are and never giving up on what you want to do or who you want to become.

I know there are more people but these three, kept me sane in the recent tough times and not acknowledging that would be unfair.

My final week in Oregon is coming up fast and I've got a couple of things to do before I can close up shop. It's been an adventure but one that has come to an end, at least for now. As always it's uncertain what the Man has in store for myself or my family.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thomas Wolfe was right

Thomas Wolfe once said, You can never go home again.

In my mind’s eye when I used to hear that term I thought he meant, home as in, your childhood home, you’re parents and your relatives. Unfortunately that’s not the case. It doesn’t just touch on your childhood and the things that went on there. It’s talking about any point in time in your life where you once had a home and now you’ve moved on.

How do I know this?

I learned it the hard way. For some of you, you’ve followed along, for others; well you’re probably scratching your head wondering what I’m talking about.

Eight months ago, after almost six years of marriage, I woke up one morning and had a moment of clarity. I was in a situation where I was giving until I couldn’t give anymore and then asked to give again. I had reached my limit. I was living in a situation where my wife had been constantly drugged for the last two years. I had lacked in the many departments that help us get our needs met and all I was doing was care giving for someone who didn’t give about anything.

I gave her one month. I told her that if she could show me something, anything in that month that gave me some hope, that showed me that perhaps she did care. I would reevaluate the situation, stick around and work things out. The month came and went, I went with it.

The first couple of months were the hardest, I won’t lie. Having known that I would come home to the same person and be given a respite from life was warm and welcoming and suddenly I was living without it. I was living without the safety net that I had become accustomed to.

In the end, the edge of being alone got the best of me and I made some sad decisions when it came to dating, ask around and you’ll be told exactly what I’m talking about. It felt like a build up of crap, one bad thing to the next. Then I met someone who I thought was genuine and at the end of it I was still staring at the same issues that I had when I started.

Nothing went right for me. Be it by Devine design or just by bad decisions, I felt like the opposite of King Midas, where everything turned to dung.

Near the end of the year a few things happened. In October, I had a car accident, the vehicle in question was totaled but I was able to walk away without a scratch. Within the month I was able to get a new car for a small sum that was better than the one I had.

The relationship I had been nurturing it slowly and as quietly as possible. Not wanting any ripples, hoping that it wasn’t just a smoke screen, fell apart right in front of me in the span of two weeks. Like a bad paper-Mache that had finally dried out and started to crack under it’s own flaws. There was nothing to be done for it. I had to let it go.

Just as that was coming to a close I got a bombshell at the beginning of December. I was being kicked out. The owners of the apartments I was living in wanted to turn a quick buck with the down turn in the economy. They kicked out all of the month to month renters to make them into condos. Unfortunately for me, no one moves in December. This meant that I was stuck couch surfing for the month of Dec until I was able to get a place again in Jan.

This is where my biggest mistake lay.

I didn’t have a shortage of options. Looking back on it now? I probably had more options that I even realized then. I’ve talked to friends who have looked at me dumbfounded and wondered why I didn’t call on them. I think part of it was me just being stubborn.

M walked back into my life. She had gotten somewhat better. She was more like the person I remember in my mind’s eye. It blinded me. It made me feel like perhaps there was still a chance, still an opportunity. And, ever the optimist that thinks the best of people, I tried again.

The old resentments, the old anger, never really dies you know, it just slumbers. It waits for the time to rekindle itself. To catch on fire the soul of the person it breathes within everyday hoping for the opportunity to scream out that it’s right. It stews, it slumbers, it waits, and it hungers.
Slowly it consumed me. It took me by the hand and guided me through the steps, made me see the same things that had accumulated through the first time for so many years. Instead each time one of the old habits would crop up, I was aware, well aware of it and it gutted me. It tore me up and I would talk about it, how it made me feel, what I was worried about.

The week I was supposed to move out was the hardest. I was entrenched again in the same place I had been for years and as angry as it made me, it was comfortable, it was safe. Why should I crack my skull trying to start over when I could just fall into mediocrity and forget about it, forget about dreams, aspirations, hopes, desires and live a life amongst the unwashed and unknown, never blazing a trail for myself in this life or this World. Complacent in knowing that there was a warm body next to me, even if she wasn’t affectionate.

I debated because I feared. I feared because I had already gone all in with someone else and they hadn’t been able to cover my bet. I had shown all my cards and come up short of the winning hand. So what would make me think that the second time around would be better. What makes me think that it wouldn’t lead to a third try or fourth? How far was I willing to go? How often was I willing to bet all my chips?

I hemmed and hawed. It didn’t help that she wanted me to stay. It didn’t help that I wanted to stay. The strength that I had the first time I left wasn’t available. I had lost that yearning and burning because I was getting cowed again and I didn’t even see it.

If you ask me now what exactly it was that lead to my leaving, I still couldn’t tell you, that week was a complete blur. However I got out and was on my own. We tried to make it work. I know how much I gave to it. She has an idea as to what she put into it, I can’t speak for her. I’m not going to demonize the woman I once called wife but I will say that in my eyes the effort wasn’t enough and we ended up falling into our own ways.

This week I finally came to grips with the fact that the woman that I married that fine summer day was long gone and never to be seen again.

The second time, I think, was the hardest. It’s that finality that I know that there’s nothing else to do. There’s no where else to take this endeavor so with a heavy heart I’ve had to say it again. This time knowing that what I once called home is now nothing but an empty house.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Lich King Observations

So I’ve been silent for quiet some time. Much of that has to do with the fact that I’m currently homeless. To use a sad term, I’m hoofing it.

Long story short: I got notice eight days before eviction, turns out the company that I was renting from went bankrupt. So I had to pack everything up from my little hut and put it in storage. Little known fact: December is usually the month where people move the LEAST because of the holiday season, which means that finding a reasonably priced place to live is impossible. I did manage to line up a place, I move in at the end of the week.

So that being said I’ve been couch surfing as it were. I’ve been playing more WOW again and just spent the Christmas season alone and you know what I got for Christmas? A lump of coal. Yep, that’s right, zip, zero, nada, the big empty.

In any event let’s move on to WOW shall we?

There’s several observations that I want to point out. The first of which is this: Being a Shaman is fun again.

Now I will admit this, my Death Knight, named Luknight, is the highest toon I currently have sitting pretty at 76. After her there is Lubacca, my druid, who is sitting at 73 and Luciel, everyone’s favorite shaman is sitting at 70 (two bubbles away from 71).

Observation 1: This expansion is no where near as difficult as the last. If anything it’s almost easier than Vanilla WOW. It appears there was some QQ-ing over the difficulty of Burning Crusade and Blizzard took it to heart, leaving us with a "Kill this many things" quest in EVERY SINGLE AREA so far.

Observation 2: While there are two starting areas, they play like you have to do Tundra first and then Fjord because of the difficulty. At least with a regular toon.

Observation 3: The world is over populated with Death Knights but only a fraction know what they are doing in any event. Making it harder to weed people out is the fact that you have to go through so many. The same can be said for ANY class obviously but because of the hype, 11 million people have a Death Knight. Think about that for a second. Yea, that sucks.

Observation 4: As much fun as I’m having playing, it’s no where NEAR as engrossing as Burning Crusade was.

Observation 5: The instances are both easier and faster to run. The only exception to that for me right now is Old Kingdom, which also happens to be my favorite with a HUGE cavernous area for the instance it makes it interesting to see how much time they put into it. It also has some side quests that help with xp.

Observation 6: The gear doesn’t jump as fast as Burning Crusades did, instead giving an increase in all aspects of gear slowly but surely. Case in point, Luciel is still decked out in his epics from PVP and has yet to fully turn in his epic weapons. That’s even after having cleared the first starting area. I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting that but I’m not upset by it in the slightest.
Those are just the ones that I wanted to get out there at this moment. I will try and bring this back to what it was, a WOW blog about misadventures and more, thoughts on the several classes I’m currently playing.

Til next time!


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