We need to be touched

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We intuitively know this, but with the hustle and bustle of our ‘work a day world’, it’s easy to forget this simple fact.

Massage can fill part of the void, if you’re living alone and aren’t seeing anyone. 

Contrary to popular belief, not every massage is a vehicle to have sex and not every masseuse or masseur is a prostitute using a clever (or not so clever) disguise to take money for sex.

Although I have been fortunate enough to have a number of massages that ended with me being invited to spend the night. However, that was something that two consenting adults entered into as adults, and no-one was “on the clock”. We were just two people having a good time and the vibe was right.

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I’ve had an equal number of massages that ended with me getting dressed, saying, “Thank you” and leaving.

My point however is that If we’re not touched, and acknowledged we start to become a little strange. Our needs aren’t being met and we sometimes become antisocial, or extremely needy. I’ve been both, sometimes simultaneously. 

On a subconscious level we know we need social interaction and a subtext to that is that we need to feel the warmth of another person’s touch. Lots of folks use the sterility of the internet to fill the need for interaction. Twitter, Facebook, and the various dating sites or chat applications have made millions of people feel relevant, perhaps even loved. But I think that the folks feeling “loved” because they have a bunch of “Likes” or thousands of followers is demonstrative of a sort of twisted adaptation to feelings of isolation.

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This point has been recently brought home to me. 

I talk to people all day long, I help people and move on to the next person in need. You’d think I’d have enough interaction to feel fulfilled. 

I don’t. 

Those people that I help are ephemeral. They’re just voices on the phone and most of the time they’re very needy. By the time I’m done with my day, I’m tired and really don’t want to talk to anyone else on the phone. So I entertain myself with the TV until it’s time to go to bed to get up and go back to work.

It doesn’t help that I work odd hours and weekends. By the time most people get to work, I’ve already been working 3 or 4 hours. The oddness of my work schedule has advantages and disadvantages.

The advantage is that I usually miss the stupid traffic of the San Diego area. The disadvantage is that I’m home mid-afternoon and “normal” people aren’t available. When “normal” people are available, I’m heading to bed.

When I’m done with my day, I’m tired. It’s more emotionally tired than physical, so it’s easy to be isolated, and allow that isolation to continue.

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I could stop someplace for happy hour but have you spent much time at a bar at 2PM in the afternoon?

Trust me, it isn’t pretty; not the kinds of people you’re likely to meet and develop healthy friendships with. Bars in general are dimly lit for a reason!

Gyms are better but even there, you’re dealing with folks that are probably not going to have time. They’re squeezing in a workout before they go on to the next thing; picking up the kids, heading to work on their own odd schedule, or in some cases just creepy people looking for something else entirely. 

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I’d been going along for months (possibly years off & on) fooling myself into believing that I was OK. Then because I was in some pain I went and had a massage.

Another person touching me slammed into my consciousness like a sledgehammer. I wanted, needed to feel the warmth of another person. I needed to hear that other person breathing and smell them. I needed the full 3D experience and to know that I was, in fact not alone.

A week or so later, I had the distinct pleasure of having a friend visit, and again I was struck by the power of someone else being physically in my space. It was comforting and settling and again hit me upside the head that I’d been too isolated for too long.

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A few nights later, I went out with a coworker that I enjoy being around. We had drinks, ate and laughed. I realized that even simple (non-work) interactions are very satisfying, while not very intimate or sexual, its far better than the cold interaction of words or pictures on a display.

All of this brings home two undeniable points. It’s not good to be isolated, especially in a crowd. And I need to find another job that pays better and is not on such an isolating schedule.

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All of this is to say; if you’re feeling isolated, or lonely, turning to the internet is probably not the healthiest source of “connection”.  Close the laptop, put the phone down, and turn off the TV. That’s what I’m going to be doing and hopefully I’ll be able to provide some pointers to finding something fulfilling over the next few months.

Happy Birthday Devil Dogs!

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Admittedly, 

I have a soft spot for Marines. I was never in the military, but when most of your friends (serving and not) are Marines you really can’t avoid it. You also tend to remember certain events. 

My Calendar has a list of notable events; Achievements in Space Travel, beginnings and endings of wars, Presidential addresses that made a difference by reverberating down through history, notable historical events, and even infamous events.

Each year, when the Marine Corps birthday rolls around, I always smile and find that I’m in a pretty good place.

It’s the same feeling you get when you remember a dear friend’s birthday. 

At this stage in my life, more of my Marine friends have passed from this world, than remain.

Knowing that The Corps is marching on and has another year under its collective belt gives me comfort and an odd sense of stability.

I find myself adding appreciation for the sense of stability, to the long list of things I thank the USMC for. 

To the Marines who will be celebrating today;

Party Hard, Be Safe, Be Smart, and bottoms up.

Happy Birthday Old Friend

I’ll be raising a glass to you later tonight.

The Day after Christmas

Today begins the annual week of Returns and Exchanges.

I have Zero intention of being anywhere near a shopping plaza for the next few days. Of course I’m mindful that; “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Or in the case of California, concrete and asphalt.

Our gift exchange this year was the gift of time.

The other half and I replaced a couple items that were worn out or lost. However most of our gift exchange was comprised of broken things we personally repaired or paid to have repaired. This is the first year we’ve done the season like this. I think I like it, there’s a thoughtfulness that is somehow more intimate and caring.

It’s also GREEN for those to whom that matters.

Our general philosophy is to reuse, repair, & retask, I guess that’s why our recycle bin is the bin that’s half full or less, each week and the landfill bin typically has only one kitchen bag of waste.

If I had a bit more property, I’d be composting a majority of the kitchen waste. I suppose I sound like a wing nut but I’m a believer that it takes remarkably little to minimize my impact on the environment. I believe that if everyone minimized, we’d make more of an impact than some arbitrary carbon tax.

So to those of you at the malls, Return and Exchange away, just make sure you’re not wasting stuff. Take advantage of the after Christmas sales and above all, be good to each other.

The annual shopping trip…

NGWOW I needed that!

For many years now, a very good friend and I have been having an annual Christmas expedition.  This year getting away from the house was a welcome and much needed relief.

Somehow our once a year trip always goes off without a hitch.  This year no exception. As in the past several expeditions, all our shopping is accomplished in a single day. The tradition is to fortify ourselves with a little alcohol, a good lunch then shop. Then snacks, then more shopping then yet more shopping and the whole time we’re laughing and enjoying our time together.

This year my friend went above and beyond the call of duty and were it not for his expert driving I would probably have given up and gone home.  There were way too many cars, way too much busyness, and too dang few parking spots.

I don’t know if my friend knows how much I appreciate his efforts yesterday, but he and his other half deserve a round of applause and my profound and deep thanks for helping to make a wonderful Christmas for me.

Driving home I had a smile on my face that couldn’t be jackhammered off my face. I’m still smiling and it’s not from Alcohol It’s from joy.  I had such a good time this year that I’m looking forward to next year. My friend probably cringed at that, because it means putting up the Christmas tree. (But you do such a beautiful tree, and I’ve got a couple of laser pointers that might help!)

I can tell you, absolutely nothing beats love, kindness, and having truly outstanding friends. Except perhaps spending a day laughing your ass off with them.

I hope each of you has equally awesome people in your lives.

Here’s one of those questions…

Why are women always so damn evil and nasty at the end of a relationship?

The soon to be ex wife;

Kills the dudes dog.
Burns his clothes
Fucks up his car
Hands $20,000 worth of his guns to some dumbass buyback for a $20 gift card.

But Divorce isn’t the only time women go freaking nuts. Women bosses do it too.

“I need your email password”

Uhh no you don’t, goto IT and disable my account.

“Make sure I have all the contact information typed on a manual typewriter in triplicate alphabetized by the contact’s second child’s middle initial”

You have all of this already in the corporate database, and you can sort it any fucking way you want to.

“You’re not getting your last paycheck until you meet all my requirements.”

Uhhh WRONG, my final paycheck including vacation pay is due within 72 hours of a layoff or termination.

“Make sure that you’re removed from the company website. Oh, you don’t have access to the website? That’s not my problem.”

Uhhh no, it’s not MY problem… I no longer work for you and therefore it would be highly improper for me to be editing YOUR website even if I had the password!

Then even after you’ve separated from the company, every hour on the hour — a nasty email bitching that a list of unrealistic shit isn’t completed.

It’s like women can’t just let it go, they have to keep rubbing salt in the wound and putting needles through your eyelids.

I’ve been through it over and over again, so it’s same old same old to me. Now, I’m a fucking bastard on the last day. I dragged my last female boss to HR 9 times on the my last day.

The idiot kept thinking she was going to hurt me with dumb assed petty shit. HR finally told her that she wasn’t to speak to me. (Dang it! I was hoping for enough fuckups on her part that I could file a harassment suit)


The other half is dealing with it for the first time. Due to the situation, it’s being dragged out and the other half is being way too nice. Thus far, I’ve maintained my distance but my patience is running pretty damn thin.

Every email that comes in from this rancid gash in a horse blanket just takes the wind out of my other half’s sails.

We need to be moving forward toward getting new jobs, and figuring out what our next move is. We don’t need to keep being dragged back into the shit this bitch has created.

She’s skirted the perimeter of the law, so filing a harassment case is out of the question.

Unfortunately, this is typical. Most attorneys won’t take a harassment case where a woman is the aggressor, because the burden of proof is much higher. After all Women don’t harass, it’s evil White males that do all the raping and harassing!

I’m about to go give this bitch a piece of my damn mind.

I could afford to loose a little bit, but even the smallest part of my mind would cause her head to burst due to the blinding logic it contained.

Women in positions of power really need to learn how to let it go.

The employee left, it doesn’t matter anymore. You’ll not have revenge and you’ve created yet another enemy.

Ladies, maybe you should be looking at why your employees or soon to be ex-husbands fucking hate you, instead of trying to take that final pound of flesh.

Just sayin…

Sleepless night

First Coldof the season

I think I’ve got the first cold of the season or yet one more thing is blooming that has my sinuses trying to kill me.

I was feeling so puny last night that I went to bed around 9:30. I’m laying there listening to some music and just drifting off when the sweet, but dumb as a post, dog decided to step over the dog that has been recovering from a hip sprain, and start panting in my face.

I tell him it’s OK and expected him to go on his way. He didn’t, instead he laid down in a spot that I’m surprised could accommodate his fat ass. I wonder if dogs somehow manage to warp space when they lay down.

That doesn’t follow. If they climb onto the bed with you, then they somehow manage occupy the entire bed. Humm maybe it does track, maybe the rule is they occupy all available space in a given area regardless of the volume of that space.

I start another album playing and start to drift off again.

The other half comes to bed about 11. I start to drift off again. Snoring erupts from the other side of the bed. It’s 11:15, a few well placed jabs in the ribs and a rough approximation of silence prevails. Then the sweet dog starts farting. 

Snake Oil

I swear I could bottle that stuff. Dr. Carney’s sure fire sinus opener and paint remover. 

But in addition to the farting, he’s gone all OCD on licking and rattling the closet door in the process. Then the snoring starts from the other side of the bed again!  It’s 11:25

Okay! I’m awake! Unfortunately, I’m also spun up. There’s no going back to sleep for a while. And I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck with body aches, and a jackhammer of a headache.

They say if you’re awake and can’t go back to sleep, you should get out of bed and do something constructive until you’re ready to sleep. 

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“Okay, well the house does need to be vacuumed. I’m behind on my guitar practice, I could practice that Metallica riff I’ve been trying to master,” picturing Marty McFly in Back to the Future.  I think to myself, “That’s just me being cranky.” 

I instead tried to write a blog post which ended up in this mornings trash. Trying to write when you’ve got a headache that makes you wonder if the movie Scanners was for real and if you’re currently being scanned, is a really bad idea.

Scanners

Suffice it to say that the trash is too good for that blog, it should’ve been completely erased from existence at the moment of creation. 

So here I am, awake this morning, feeling better although my sinuses are still pissed off.

The sweet dumb dog is trying to make it up to me but he clearly doesn’t understand what my problem was. Nor should he, he was just being his normal sweet self, the problem was all mine and there wasn’t anything he could have done to help. (Aside from perhaps sleeping on his cushion with his behind pointed toward the open sliding door.)

I did finally get some sleep. Eventually, I laid down on the bed in the spare room and drifted off.

I’m having a second cup of coffee and trying to decide what I want for breakfast.

I think I’m taking today very easy.