"A good example is the best sermon." - Thomas Fuller


March 31st, 2008

Okay, so I was then I wasn't and now I am going to indeed, yes, write an entry here with this picture (I was going to get lazy and say if you've seen this picture you'll have it figured).  Anyhow, anyway, and so on and so forth, I am needless to say writing and in order to write less I'm delegating to three wankers who responded to the ad I recently posted on Craigslist and to each, my response, a response I would send if I were a wanker myself (instead I have simply chosen that deletion is the better form of valor, or some such thing).

Letter #1:

"Thanks for getting back to me, But i am presently not in the States to complete the transaction by cash... i am sending the item to an orphanage home based abroad as a token present to the poor kids and i will be responsible for all shipping expenses via USPS Global Express Mail.so i will add $150 for shiping cost......and i will be paying for the item via PayPal, so Kindly get back to me with your PayPal email Address so that i can send the payment to you as soon as possible..Regards"

My response:

"Thank you for your interest in my advertisement, but I am in the States and last I heard one can complete any transaction by cash regardless of where you are on the planet in relation to me:  cash is a liquid commodity.  Unfortunately I am not easily mislead by sad tales of orphans needing laptops and while do admit thankfulness that you are so willing to pay the shipping expenses (something I would never consider paying unless I were the one purchasing something) I do think $150 is a bit much.  Unfortunately I only use PayPal over eBay and then only once, it is not the typical method for making purchases locally via Craigslist.  Again, thank you for your interest but I wasn't born yesterday."

Letter #2:

"I am presently in Bangladesh for a business workshop and there a very few things I can do from here meanwhile my son's birthday is around the corner.I live in Rogers,AR but my family live in West Africa while I would like to get this laptop to him as a birthday gift.I will be paying you through paypal because they obviously protect both buyers and sellers.Let me know how much you want to sell this to me and also you have to delete the auction off craigslist immediately because am interested in buying it immediately.I will also take care of the shipment by emailing you the prepaid shipping label which you will print out and take to the post office with the package to ship it without paying a penny.You can also add me to your yahoo messenger so we can talk more about it.My yahoo ID is abc@yahoo.com."

My response:

"I am presently in the United States sitting at my bedroom desk and there are very few things I can do from here (including but not limited to starting a thermonuclear war, traveling to the moon, or taking your letter at face value) meanwhile my birthday is at the end of this year.  I live in Portland, OR but my family lives in Central Oregon and Weed, California and even other more distant relatives live in Australia and while I would like to sell you this laptop your rambling has left me dizzy.  I will not be accepting PayPal as that's obviously how scammers take advantage of those selling through Craigslist.  Let me know if you'd be willing to pay cash and please don't tell me what to do with my add immediately or otherwise as I will do so immediately once someone has purchased the machine.  Thank you for your offer to mail me the prepaid shipping label as it's nice of you to insure I wouldn't pay a penny for something I wouldn't pay for given you are the one interested in the item, not visa-versa.  I would add you to my yahoo messenger but I only IM with a few select people who I am close to and trust."

Letter #3:

"Thanks for your mail...I will like to come and pick up the item by myself but am not in the state presently....Please kindly help me cos am buying this item for my company agent located oversea as a gift since i have promise to surprise him with this particular item....I will add $200.00 USD for the shipping cost......Making $1000.......And i will made the payment through my PayPal account cos is very secure and easy to receive money.....So send me your PayPal email sothat i can send the payment there ...Thanks: Nice doing business with you.  Get back to me immediately."

My response:

"Thanks for your mail.  I would prefer that you come pick the item up yourself as that is why I listed it on Craigslist and not ebay.  Please help me understand why it is important for you to tell me that you are overseas, that this is a gift, that it part of a promise for someone else, and why you have been completely vague about "this particular item".  Thank you for the offer for $200.00 for the shipping cost, it seems very kind of you to be willing to out and out offer to pay so much more than my asking price.  I'm sorry though, as I've mentioned to other interested parties I will not accept payment via PayPal cos it is very easy for people to scam with in certain situations such as Craigslist.  So I will not be sending you my PayPal e-mail so you can send the payment there, I won't send you my social security number, and I won't be sending you the number to my checking account.  Thanks:  Nice being scammed by you.  Bugger off immediately."

Okay, so no, while part of me would like to respond directly to these people, I did not.  No, instead I did it here.  Why?  I don't know.  Maybe because I'm frustrated.  Maybe because I don't like my intelligence being insulted.  Maybe because I wanted to remind you to be careful, especially in the online world where being taken advantage of is usually only a click away.  Maybe because I had this picture and somehow these letters reminded me that it doesn't exactly take an empath to pay attention to the signs around them.

Here's the latest:

"Good day to you,i really like to know why you are selling this item and if really it is in good condition and also i will pay $30 extra to end the bid bcos of my urgency and also for you to make the item look nice.I will like to make a quick purchase on the item cos i am sending it as a birthday gift to my son who is out of the states and i want the item to get to him on or before his birthday,he is really going to love it.My method of payment is via USPS money Order.If ok by you kindly get back to me with your full name and address of where you want the money order to be mailed out to so i can proceed with payment immedaitely.I will take all the shipping responsibilities and i will like the item to be shipped via my fedex account once my payment is confirmed so you wont need to pay any shipping cost cos all the shipping cost will be billed to my account.So once the payment has been approved and you have recieved the payment confirmation,i will send you the neccessary shipping documents.plz get back to me with your full name and address so that i can proceed with the payment with your confirmed email address."

March 24th, 2008

Sometimes I must remind myself that there are things in this world that I love, small things that make every day worth while.

For instance there's that first cup of coffee in the morning. Since I'm not an early bird on the weekdays that means my first cup is at work and the coffee at my place of employment is…well, my mommy said if I can't say something nice I shouldn't say anything at all. But I look forward to getting to my desk, grabbing my cup, walking to the kitchen, squirt, squirt, squirt goes the coffee out of that big jug thing, and back to my desk where I let the coffee cool down a little bit before sipping on it and going over my e-mail and scheduling myself for the day.

The second cup of coffee is often better than the first, especially if there was need to attend a meeting in between.

I also like to wake up to find a text message on my phone from my partner. It can be something as simple as, "Muah!" and it makes me feel good. That or an e-mail or to hear her sign on to Instant Messenger in the morning, noon, or afternoon, those are all things that make the day more joyful and easy to get through.

And then there's the check for my personal e-mail. I don't look forward to checking it as I did ten years ago nor do I often get much that isn't from the Obama campaign but every now and then I'll get something from a friend or my partner and even if it's short and sweet it's just a nice break to remember I have a place in what can sometimes seem like one fucked up world.

When I get home at night I love to find one of those red NetFlicks envelopes in my mail box. For those of you with NetFlicks you know that you go online and order the movies you want to rent and prioritize the order you want them in so I should know what movie's come to my door, shouldn't I? But no, I have this uncanny ability to purposely forget some things some times and I go out of my way to forget what's on my list so when I do get one of those red envelopes and my daughter excitedly asks, "What did you get?" I can honestly say, "I don't know!", rip it open, and find out!

And I do love it when the light bulb goes off in my head and I realize there's a new and simple way to clean up or make my life, habits, and what have you, more straight forward, simple, less stressful, etc. For instance I've been hanging my leather jacket and motorcycle jacket on hooks on the back of my bedroom door but that was keeping me from using the hooks for other things I prefer there. Tried putting the jackets in my closet but that was a pain and tried downstairs on the coat rack but that likewise was a pain (given I usually put my wallet, phone, mp3 player, and other things in them before going anywhere and back out on getting home). Long story short, needed a place close by, realized I could put hooks in the art room, did that, and walla.

Sometimes the light can be as simple as: You've got free time when you get home and nothing better to do, why don't you work on the lawn? And did so much today without thinking too much about it (listened to Battlestar podcasts) that once I was done I realized I'd have to wait for the recycling people to come get the lawn debris before I started at it again!!!

And of course there's nothing like finishing up a project around the house!!!

How about writing a journal entry I've been thinking about? That can be sweet, esp. given that much of this year I haven't had the time, energy, or stamina to write. So finally it seems like I'm back at it and feeling half way decent about it and the moment I upload a new entry, well, I feel like I've accomplished something, at the very least an opportunity to look back at my ramblings in forty years and comment on what a nit wit I was :-)

And of course there's the last e-mail/text/IM from my partner for the day and its 10:30 so I hope to get one in the next hour and a half and that's like a digital kiss on the cheek: muah!!!

My favourite part of the day comes very shortly, my friend, that undefined moment that occurs between wakefulness and sleep, that last light of consciousness going out like a candle until the morning. I live my days for that moment, to sleep, to sleep, to…

March 23rd, 2008

You'd think being such a big film buff I'd have seen The Color Purple and you'd think at the very least, having loved many an Alice Walker novel, I'd have spent a week or two slowly and sensuously enjoying every passionate word, idea, and feeling melted so deep into her characters.

So there I was last night sitting with my daughter watching the film and being drawn in by the character Celie (aka Whoopi) and the struggles and challenges her life presented her and while there was a part of me that asked, as so many viewers probably do, "Why don't you just run away or just kill that lecherous bastard?" I caught myself, I reminded myself it wasn't my place to tell her how to live her life, make choices, find her way, and when I watched in this fashion I recognized that she lived her life with incredible honor, integrity, compassion, humility, and most of all, a sense of faith most of us would be extraordinarily lucky to excude in our day to day lives. So that's the biggest thing I got from this movie--the main thing I empathized with--this woman's struggle to live a good life under circtumstances most wouldn't put up with for even a day and her trails and tribulations are a beautiful example of faith and strength and love. Try and remember that next time you look at someone and judge their choices as one's you wouldn't make (as if you, having never lived in their shoes, are somehow wiser than they are).

I also loved the message in the story that it's possible to redeem oneself and "do right" by someone, it just takes some balls, the ability to recognize the violence of one's soul, karma, choices, then the humility to "do right" regardless of the difficulty or what one gets in return.

Man do I love a good story.

March 21st, 2008

I'm at work and it's my lunch break. I already ate lunch though; I usually eat while I work. Oh, I have an orange. It's on my left, sitting on the plate I bought at Good Will for 99 cents. I might eat that in a bit or I might save that for later tonight, at home.

I'm writing on my new laptop. It has a small screen and a small keyboard. This is the first time I'm using it to write on my journal. I hope to use it much much more, perhaps daily, for journal writing, working on my short stories, books, and what have you.

I'm tired and I don't feel safe. I wonder when the next challenge will present itself. I'm scared that any risk I take will be met with failure, harsh words, loss. I remember a time where I would have identified myself, my persona, my identity, with such feelings--and now that there's a name for it I find I'm not attached but simply tired and wanting more than anything to feel safe...or maybe just one cigarello.

I haven't smoked for over a month now. I don't know what day I smoked my last, I don't keep track. Strangly, when I 'really' stop smoking I simply stop and try not to look back. Sometimes it's hard though. Smoking made sense. There was a 1-to-1 correlation between it and my checkbook, between it and raising my mood or waking me up in the morning, between it and my hacking cough, between it and smelling not so great, between it and a sense that every day there was something I could do and consistently feel a false sense of safety.

Sure it's fake but God, if fake can get you through then why not?

(Because the Chantix cost $200+ plus many a sleepless night and we're not going through that again are we?)

In many ways I've spent the last eight years of my life learning how to keep my chin up and keep going and build a life for myself. I'd already proven I could keep a promise--took me five or six years to and by most other accounts it was stupid--but it was important to show myself I had the integrity and stamina to do something like that. So I built this life with all the bells and whistles and now I feel like I'm at a point--again--where I'm ever so aware that today or tomorrow or the next day I could loose some of it or even all of it and I don't want to move. I just want to sit still because I'm doing what I think is fairly normal when one feels like they just walked out on a frozen lake and hears a loud cracking sound echo through the still air--"Oh crap!" one thinks, "Stand still, stand real still, you been in that water before and it's reeeeeal cold!"

Tired of standing still. Tired of climbing mountains. Tired of having difficult conversations. Tired of being called names. Tired of being threatened. Tired of having my flaws pointed out or having flaws made up only to be pointed out. Tired of standing up for myself in those situations then being in the rediculous position of having to defend myself for standing up for myself. Tired of taking a deep breath, tired of walking over the coals, tired of being tired.

How's that for depressing?

It is what it is. I'm me. I do my best. Always have, always will. I'm honest. I've got integrity. Sincerity. A sense of honor that is too often missing in the modern world. I'm emotional, passionate, thoughtful, and fair. And I'm tired.

In my shoes you'd be too.

March 19th, 2008

Consistency. That's the answer to the question, the question you'd asked if you sat down and asked, "What do you want more than anything in your life right now?"

Now I'm not talking about the kind of consistency where things are fairly predictable. Trust me, enough in my life is predictable. I know, for instance, when I crawl under the covers at night I'll more than likely have some trouble falling asleep and when the alarm blares in the morning I'll have equal difficulty waking up. I know, for instance, that I'll get in the shower and once the hot water is running down over my body realize my first thoughts are ones of anxiety: What do I have to do that I haven't done? Will someone go out of their way to vent at me today? Am I fully insured for nuclear holocaust? I know that my knee and leg will hurt, maybe less, maybe more, than the day before and I know this might have an adverse impact on my workday as I try to sit in pain focusing on anything but the pain-and I know if I take Ibuprofen for the pain it could very likely stir up acid reflux. I know if I call Company X with an issue Company X will either 1) attempt to mire me in bureaucracy, 2) kiss my ass with standardized form letters without responding to said issue, or 3) offer me an even better product than the one I'm having issues with and/or don't want. I know when I get home that afternoon and my daughter forgets to do her homework or decides to skip over a chore her answer to my inquest will be that she "thought" she did whatever it was she didn't do. I know, for example, that bringing up my concerns with certain people, however well intended and calmly articulated, won't result in mature conversation but unsolicited personal attacks. I know that true love is the hardest thing of all…and sometimes at 11pm I'd rather do it with my arms than the phone and sometimes, some days, after I've spent the day doing my best to survive and give and give and give and give…I ain't got nothing left to give so I get in bed and will most likely have some trouble falling asleep…

No, I'm not talking about that kind of consistency which seems a given, what I'm looking for is the stability breed of consistency, the kind you have when you wake up knowing the ground under your feet is solid, the kind of stability you have when you've got money in your wallet and know you can spend it on anything without having to think about the bills, the kind of consistent stability where you're not always looking at the gas gauge because the hand is tickling the red "empty" line.

You grok me?