How did I get here?

… waking up before 8 am on a Thursday morning with a half drank beer on my nightstand and four days worth of blogging to catch up on.

I didn’t mean to go to bed so early last night. It would have been nice to get some writing done but I was exhausted when I got home from work. I didn’t get home until 9:30 pm, much later than usual. That’s because I had met a dear old friend for diner after work. I couldn’t pass up that opportunity since I hadn’t seen her in far too long. We live in different cities but as it turned out yesterday we both found ourselves in Lakeville at the same time.

You see, I was running late after over-sleeping. I had been up drinking and talking on the phone until 3 am the night before. That was actually my second two hour phone conversation of the night. All that after spending two hours and forty-five minutes, mostly on hold, dealing with the IRS to prove that I am who I say I am so that I could get my tax refund. It was while I listening to the same 60-second hold music loop over and over again that I first decided to crack a beer.

After dropping off my daughter at her mother’s and picking up some things I needed from Target I returned home to find a cryptic 4883C letter from the IRS telling me that they needed more information to process my return accurately. A quick Google search gave me a little more information about this leter and let me know that I would probably be on hold for a very long time. I’m all for fighting identity theft so I really felt for the woman at the other end of the phone. She has a challenging job to do and probably deals with a lot of stressed out and irritated people.

Earlier that day I played Monopoly with my daughter. Monopoly is an evil game and I hate that I am so good at it. This was even more evil. It was the Star Wars edition. My daughter chose the Princess Lea piece so being her father I had to choose Darth Vader. I would rather have been C-3PO. He’s so gay. I think my daughter enjoyed the game but I took no pleasure in taking all of her money. At least it wasn’t real money. They were imperial credits after all.

When daughter got up Tuesday morning we called my son, her brother, to wish him happy birthday. We had meant to do this the night since that would have been his actually birthday but we got distracted. Pretty shitty, huh?

Monday had been a long day of running around. I had taken my daughter to her therapy appointment. Yes, even my amazing daughter can benefit from therapy. I just wish that her therapist was closer to either her mother’s apartment of my house. But no, my daughter lives in a third ring northern suburb and the therapist is in a third ring southern suburb. That was not my idea.

Before that I had to pickup materials from one of my delivery clients. We had arranged to meet in south Minneapolis so it was fortunate that I woke up in south Minneapolis. How did that happen?

Oh yeah… Sunday! Sunday was a fun day as Sundays are meant to be. It ended at the 19 bar as many nights do when I’m hanging out with my bff. We arrived at the bar by Pedi-taxi. I totally want to do that. I’ve been trying to figure out what other kind of work I could do to make money and I think biking people around downtown would be right up my alley. We were coming from a fund raiser at Hell’s Kitchen for one of my Harmony Park Kiddie Village friends who is raising money to be a Student Ambassador in the UK.

Before that we had a lovely diner at Cafe Maude in Loring Park. Neither of us had ever eaten there and my bff wanted to take me out after I took her to the Opera. We saw Hamlet; so many murders that day, not to mention the huge murder of crows in Loring Park.

Life goes on

I woke up at 5:30 this morning. That’s what happens when I go to bed early. At least it gave me a couple hours to write before going to work. I’m still not done writing about the weekend. Haven’t even finished Saturday.

Actually, I’m starting to think that I’m doing it all wrong and should divide it out into two separate things. Also, thinking I should just slap it together and be done with it all. I’m also starting to think that writing a blog about how I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing is a brilliant idea! I’m still hoping it can become something more though.

So this is the challenge I faced this morning: My band leader and hir wife needed to get to the airport and I needed to fill my van with newspapers to deliver my route. I could have put a back seat in my van to transport both of them to the airport, then driven back to my house, removed the back seat and drove to CityPages and loaded my van with papers so I could go to work.

I could have done that but it would have seemed completely back ass-wards to me to have done it that way. I used to program logistics systems – it’s still in my brain.

The airport is in the same city as my route. The road to the airport takes me:

FIRST: past CityPages, where I pick up the papers

SECOND: past the lovely couple in desperate need of getting to the airport.

And they were desperate… well not that desperate… they could have called a cab but they would rather give their twenty dollar cab fair to a friend. Lucky me! I got to be that friend. After being rejected by five other people they turned to me. I’m a pretty safe bet. If you need me, there is a good chance that I’ll be there for you. But this system only works if you try everyone else first. Oh, and you may wind up sitting on a stack of newspapers.

I don’t even care about the twenty dollars. If you need my help and I can give it to you, I will. It’s never about money to me, but I’m not so rich, or so proud as to not accept it. I kind of think this is the ideal place to be. I want to be in a place where I don’t need any more money but if it comes my way I can use it to make my life and the lives of the people around me better.

My friend who I visited with after work asked if I could pick her up some Vanilla Almond Milk before coming to see her. She said she had ten-spot if I could give her $5 change. Seriously?!? The milk is $3, with my co-op discount, even less. Still, she insisted that I take the $5 as a delivery charge; so I did.

All totaled, I made $200 today for doing my newspapers, $20 for delivering my friends to the airport and $2 for delivering milk. I also spent $60 on gas, $6 on lunch, $10 on coffee, $3 on sugar, $125 on an e-cig system and $18 on whiskey, so basically I broke even.

… and life goes on!

 

 

Back to the city, back to my life

Life on the road can be so much simpler than life at home. There are so many things you just don’t worry about. On the road, you live life in the moment. All that concerns you is your immediate surroundings, your only responsibilities are what you brought with you. For a week, I didn’t pay any attention to the news, hardly looked at Facebook and wasn’t even that concerned with what was going on back home. I was only five states away but it might as well have been another planet.

That all ended yesterday. Much of our rush to get back was so I could do my CityPages route on Wednesday. Another 8 hours of driving around felt like nothing after the past few days. While driving I was listening to Minnesota Public Radio, catching up on what had been going on in the world. Apparently there have been a number of shootings in the Twin Cities lately.

One story struck me particularly hard. A St. Paul police canine officer was stabbed to death by a fugitive rape suspect. The suspect was later shot and killed by the police. That’s what happens. Police dogs are considered police officers just like there human companions. When you kill a cop you typically wind up dead. I have a feeling this alleged rapist knew what he was doing. I don’t think he wanted to face the consequences of his prior actions and wanted to die. I imagine one of the greatest challenges a police officer will ever face is having to assist another human being in committing suicide.

The dog’s name was Kody. his handler is officer Dave Longbehn. I didn’t know why that name sounded familiar and then it dawned on me. Longbehn was the officer that shot and killed my nephew nearly three years ago. My heart sank, not because I bare any resentment towards the officer, but because I feel a connection to him and he had just suffered a tremendous loss. I felt the same way when I learned the name of the person who killed my nephew. I felt empathy towards him. The choices my nephew had made in life were going to lead to him being killed. I don’t see any other way it could turn out. He was a cop killer and he decided that he was never going back to prison. He couldn’t escape so he was going to die.

Someone was going to shoot him. It didn’t have to be officer Longbehn but it was. He was the person my nephew chose to pull the trigger. For this reason, I will forever feel a deep affinity for officer Longbehn and I grieve along with him, the loss of Kody.

Officer Dave Longbehn & Kody – StarTribune

A day of beauty

This is a little better. Last night I fell asleep at 8pm, woke up at 10:30pm. Went back to sleep around five in the morning. That’s actually a good sleep pattern for me. I do best when I get and hour nap in the afternoon and six hours of sleep at night. Unfortunately, my schedule (or lack thereof) rarely allows for that sleeping pattern. And waking up from a nap at 10:30 at night doesn’t place me in the most productive hours of my day. Sure, I did do some writing which I guess is an important part of my life these days but after that it was just beer, whiskey and watching TED Talks and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia until 5am. TED Talks are absolutely amazing. I could watch them all day. If you haven’t seen them I would highly recommend it. Highlights from last night are posted on my Facebook Page but there are hundreds of videos available on YouTube.

Okay, I’ve cleared the whiskey from my brain – gotta love coffee. Time to log yesterdays adventures.

So I did manage to get some shit done yesterday. Basically just what had to get done. I had to get my invoice submitted to one of my paper delivery customers. It involves a little bit of tedious paperwork but it usually isn’t that bad as long as my technology is working. This wasn’t one of those days. I recently got a new computer so that I could do this blog and hopefully much more but that means I need to re-install all the office software that I use. Not all of it works the way it used to. This includes my scanning software. I need to be able to scan documents and save them to PDF format to email to the customer. It wasn’t doing that so I went on the hunt for a free app that would. It took a couple tries but I finally found one that will do the job.

I also got my dishes washed. Oh, and a load of laundry run through my busted out washing machine. The rest of my time I devoted to my daughter, making her lunch and playing chess and Othello. I may even be getting better at chess because I totally kicked her ass this time. We had a discussion about parents who let their kids win to build self-confidence and she agreed that was fucked up. I fully expect her to beat me one of these days and she’s going to know that she did it fair and square. We both still have a lot to learn about chess but she is a much faster learner. Othello on the other-hand I’ve pretty much got mastered and I think she will in no time as well. We are both pretty bored with Master Mind by now.

When I got home from dropping my daughter off at her mother’s I realized that I had forgotten to hit the grocery store while I was out. There was no way I was going to go back out in the cold so I wound up ordering Domino’s. I’m not a fan of corporate chains but they are cheap and fast. They had me food in 20 minutes. I tipped the driver 5 bucks; totally worth it and at least I know that money is going to someone in the community who needs it. For many years I wouldn’t buy Domino’s Pizza because of the boycott regarding their support of Operation Rescue. Boycotts are a weird form of protest. I don’t know how often they work but people sure like them. I would rather use my money proactively to support business I like; at least when I have the money to do it. When I don’t, I do what I gotta do. And some businesses you just can’t avoid dealing with so you close your eyes, plug your nose and jump.

So today’s objective is to make myself beautiful – not a simple task. I have really been failing at the personal grooming lately. I need to take a shower (something I haven’t done in days), shave (something I haven’t done in a week), dye my hair (been three weeks) and paint my nails which is something I only seem to manage to do the day of a show.

Looks like I also have to shovel some snow. I’ll probably do that first. At least it’s above  zero degrees Fahrenheit and the wind has died down. It’s not too bad out.

Get Real

Okay. This is where this blog takes form. It would be really fucking boring if I only wrote about my good days. Yesterday was awesome. Well, it was up until my last post which I wrote at the Bad Waitress, a cafe restaurant where my best friend works. They have wi-fi, really good food and beer. I expect many posts will be written from there. Oh, and when I checked in there I became mayor on Foursquare! So yeah, really good day up until that point. My BFF even bought me a beer so totally fucking kick ass!

Except it’s Minneapolis and fucking cold as hell and nothing stays kick-ass for long. My BFF got off work while I was there so I offered to drive her home. I don’t drive often and love to help out a friend when I can. Did I mention it was fucking cold as hell out? Driving is no big deal, right? If you keep reading this blog you will learn about my philosophy on helping and how I think it’s easy and makes the world a better place and that if you are a selfish mother fucker like me you should do it every chance you get.

Turns out my BFF needs cat food too. She doesn’t drive so we have a great opportunity for her to make use of my generosity and have me drive out to Chuck and Don’s in St. Louis Park. All went well for a total of about 10 blocks. Then we ran into a power outage. Not my van. It is thankfully running just fine. No, the goddamn city was in the black. I really have no idea what caused it. I’m sure I will find out. I figure it has something to do with the weather. It dropped 800 degrees in one day. But yeah, a huge swath of the city was without power. No street lights, no stop lights, backed up traffic and no power at the pet store. We spent an hour driving in the dark to accomplish nothing.

Well, once we got back to civilization we did stop by the liquor store and my BFF stocked up on beer so I guess I made some use of the drive. And after all that I figured it would be appropriate to stop in for a quick one. So for the record, this paragraph goes in the good column.

[Got coffee so hopefully I can keep writing]

So now I’m running late for rehearsal. My band leader is always running late so that probably means I’m right on time. Which I am. I get to the studio and Venus is unloading her car. Perfect timing. A good quality in a bass player I say. We get in and get everything set up but still no drummer. We were actually suppose to rehearse the day before but our drummer had apparently got assaulted and slipped on the ice and broke his rib and couldn’t make it. I don’t know exactly what happened. I’m hearing it second hand but I think he should have a blog. Sounds like his life is way more exciting than mine. Anyway, he’s in pain and totally spaced that we are rehearsing. Venus tells him to skip it and we rehearse without him. We are the ones who need it anyway. I don’t understand it. Our drummer always seems to do fine but I suck if I don’t rehearse. Venus sucks without rehearsal. The drummer has just got it but he has other issues. Just saying.

I kind of like rehearsing without a drummer. I wouldn’t say I prefer it. I really prefer having a drummer. Drums are important but there are benefits to not having him there. For starters, I can hear myself. Drums are fucking loud! With a drummer you have to turn up so loud that it’s hard to hear anything. Okay, that is the only benefit. Other that being able to play at a lower volume and hear myself it really sucked not having him there. But rehearsal went fine and we got a kick-ass set put together for our show in Scottsdale, AZ. I guess our studio party on Saturday will be our full band live rehearsal. Damn I’m glad we are professionals. Don’t know how we pull this shit off.

So yesterday was a long day. The kind of day that does me in. The kind of day that doesn’t end. And it didn’t. It kept going. Oh yeah, there is more excitement to come. I left rehearsal wanting nothing more that to get home, have a beer and curl up in my nice warm bed with my kitty cat. Well, that’s not what happened. I get in my van and drive home. I’m listening to Minnesota Public Radio as I often do. I’m a sustaining member. I’m listening to As It Happens and they have a story about this guy, Aiman Youssef of Staton Island, NY who lost everything in Super Storm Sandy. Now he has a tent set up in front of what used to be his house and has spent every day since the storm helping his neighbors. It choked me up. It’s sad, but the best of humanity seems to come out of the worst of situations.

So I’m driving, I’m emotionally engaged, I’m tired and basically on auto-pilot. I pull up to a stop sign before making a left-hand turn not noticing the cop car I just cut off until the lights start flashing in my rear-view mirror. I pull over wondering, “What the fuck did I do?”. And I bet you are wondering, “OMG, how drunk is he?”. Nope, two beers at the restaurant, one at my friends, all many hours ago – I’m sober, just tired and distracted. I take drinking and driving very seriously. I lost an eye that way when I was 21. I consider myself lucky. It’s nothing to fuck around with. I got lucky this time too. The cop just ran my license and let me go after I apologized profusely. I’ve actually had really good experiences with the Minneapolis Police department. Probably helps that I’m a white guy but who knows? Maybe it’s the mini-van with LEFREAK plates.

I get home and it’s time for a beer. Well, a beer and a whiskey. I’ve discovered that I can drink cheap beer if it’s coupled with cheap whiskey. I crawl into bed. It’s been a good day. I watch the Daily Show, make a post on Facebook, comment on a friends post and I’m ready to be done. But no, my friend realizing I’m awake sends me a text, “Can I call u?”. I respond, “No” because I’m a dick like that. Then I called her. We talk from 2am until 4am. I had more beers and more whiskey. I don’t remember everything we talked about but I do remember telling her about how she hurt me years back when we first met. We bonded instantly. I guess it’s one of those things that happens when a real, genuine, honest person meets one of their own. And there was attraction. There was chemistry. To put it bluntly, I wanted to bang her. I wanted to be her friend and I wanted to have sex with her and I even considered being her boyfriend. But that’s not me and she knew it and she moved on leaving me in the dust. Yeah, it was the right thing to do. It was the right thing for her and the time and it was probably the right thing for me but it still hurt. In this life you don’t meet that many people with whom who can really connect on that level and they are not to be taken for granted. But hey, she’s back in my life and all is good. In fact I just got a call from her reminding me that I agreed to meet her and that she has chowder for me. Awesome! I have no food so this is really good.

But my big fuck up of the day was over-sleeping. I left my phone downstairs so I didn’t wake up when Home Service Plus called at 7:44am. They were coming out to fix my washing machine which is leaking and my stove which won’t light. Yup, totally missed that. I’ve been dealing with these problems for a while because I just can’t get my shit together to remedy them. Guess I’m going to be dealing with them a little while longer. It’s all about time. Time fucking fascinates me.

And now it’s time for me to go get me some chowder!

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