Tuesday, October 31, 2006

There is no limit to how far I will go for a gag.

Fro years I have wanted to go to work on Halloween in full "Planet of the Apes" makeup and this was finally the year. I was able to find an inexpensive enough latex appliance and my friend, Bill, offered to make it work. I should have blown the additional $30 for the higher quality prosthetic but the result was, as you can see, very effective.

I was at Bill's apartment at 6AM to get to work. Actually, the work started the night before with my having to shave off my beard. It's been 7 years since I've shaved so it was a bit of a shock to see my face and two chins again. Underneath all the hair lay evidence of genetics. Staring back at me was my mothers face! The Cobb genes showed through or actually screamed as I looked at my bare face.

It took almost 90 minutes for Bill to apply the prosthetic, hair and makeup. The appliance allowed my perfect vision which kept me free to drive to work on my own. However, that part of the joke was lost as noone even looked my way as I stopped at lights and tried getting other drivers' attention.

I was the only one in the building to dress for the day. Yet another symptom of the life being sucked out of the employees. I walked around and showed off the people for a few minutes and then sat down to do my job. I actually took an order in makeup; the person on the other end of the phone had no idea and with the headset microphone fitting just inside the mouth of the appliance the call sounded no different.

While I had my mic shoved into my mask my corporate management had its head shoved up its ass as I was told I had to remove the makeup or go home. This is soooooo ridiculous. Costumes are no distraction to other workers and the patients have no idea what we are wearing on our end of the phone. Management is also missing an opportunity for a morale booster; maybe a costume contest...Hell, just something to show that we are alive and have a brain would be enough.

I was able to remove the mask and hair almost intact so that at the end of the day I was able to reapply it for the rest of the evening. I headed off to my friend Jason's to go Trick or Treating with his children and him. When his two year old saw me for the first time in full makeup she simply looked at me and without a moments' hesitation said, "Hi, Jack" as if there was nothing different about my appearance or that it seemed normal for me to look the way I did.

Children can be so honest sometimes.....almost too honest!

We walked around their neighborhood for about an hour just long enough before the bone spurs in my feet to begin bothering me. (More on that in another post). I would love to be able to use this appliance again but that would mean shaving again. As it is I have to shave for a least another week until my son can get to see me au natural.

I want my old face back!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Four years I've been at this blogging thing. Wow! What dedication. What is neat about this is that I can instantly take a look back and get a clear view of where my life has gone in that time. What I have accomplished. What I still need to do. Where my life has improved. Where there are still things lacking.

Well, I just read through..........

Did I mention how close I was to clinical depression?!!!!!

OK, OK....I'm joking! The best part of this is the feedback I get from people, And I'm not just talking about the ball busting jabs from friends but people, who I would never have though read this thing, saying how much they enjoy my posts and read on a regular basis. Yes, it's a nice ego stroke but it also adds to that sense of accomplishment. Not only am I saving thousands of dollars in therapy hours but I am putting something out there which entertains. It is sometimes the push I need to actually sit down at this thing and write. If it were just me jotting things down in a composition book I probably would give up after a few months like I did in the past. I didn't take the time to actually count the entries but it is in the hundreds. Just look at the counter at the bottom of the page....thousands of hits! As long as you keep looking in to see what happening and how my mind twists its way though like I'll keep posting.

Thanks for forcing me to keep writing.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

What ever happened to the little toddler with the surfer curls who head butted his daddy?

Last night my little boy had his first big dance. John attended the homecoming dance here at the school where his girlfriend goes. Like always, it was a time of flashbacks for me. As he was standing in the kitchen waiting for Kaitlyn to appear I realized I never had this ordeal his mother and I were putting him through. He look dapper and handsome in his new black suit. Not only was there the nervousness of waiting for his date to show up but he got to go through this in front of his own parents and hers.

I have known Kaitlyn for about 4 years but still was struck by how beautiful she looked in her black and white gown. This may not be the romance of the century, they may or may not spend the rest of their lives together or even know each other ten years from now but standing there they made the perfect couple.

I sill cannot get over how he asked her out "officially. He did it by email! I know this is the 21st century and since they live 90 miles apart that is the bulk of their relationship; still when he told me my response was, "You IDIOT!".

Of course, I said that with all parental love and support.

His response was pure Eaton, "Oh, yeah, I'm going to take relationship advise from you?"

"Just remember, my son, that I've talked two women into agreeing to marry me."

"Oh." At least it shut him up.

I didn't get the chance to say anything to my ex even though I kinda felt the desire to. She and I have gotten better at talking with each other on a level close to long before we were married. This was a life moment and I wanted to reach out to her on a personal level. At least we were there for it together. That felt good.

My memory went back to my first date. Tracy was her name; a slender brunette with large beautiful eyes. While my father drove us to and from the dance there was none of the photo taking ritual my own son went through. My most vivid memory of the evening was dropping her off at the end of the evening. My father almost had to push me out of the car to walk her to her door. It seemed as if the door was 50 miles from the curb. I only kissed her on the cheek but 29 years alter I can still remember how soft the cheek felt. My father may have talked to me on the ride home but I don't seem to remember much after the kiss.

I picked John and Kaitlyn up after the dance and tired to arrange things so they could have some more time together; neither of them got the hint. I offered to drop John first since it gave them a longer ride together than just dropping Kaitlyn off just down the road from the school.

"Whatever," was the response I got.

On two separate attempts I asked if they would want to get something to eat at a sitdown restaurant.

"I'm really only thirsty," .

These kids do not have the grasp of subtlety yet but I tried.

I didn't see if John got a good night kiss or not. I don't remember if my father tried to watch from the curb and I tried not to look either. They seemed as if they had a good time and that's the important part.

I look at him now and see the man he's growing into. Each milestone like this is a touchstone to my past and also a reminder of how much I miss my father. My father died when I was 16 so the coming years are going to be uncharted territory for me. I won't be able to look back and compare my actions to his as John grows older. I'm just glad John will when he has a son of his own

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Moment #5,432 when I wish my father were still alive.

I was on the phone with my son recently when the circle of life hit him right in the face. We were talking when I could hear his 5 year old brother trying to get his attention loudly in the background. My son did his best to keep the conversation going but Jeffrey did his best to be a 5 year old.

Suddenly, my son broke from our conversation and in a voice which would make a Marine drill sergeant nervous snaps at his brother, "JEFFREY! What do I have in my hand?"

"The phone" Jeffrey answers almost in rote to an conversation you know he has had 500 times this week.

"What am I doing with the phone?" Captain Bligh continues.


"Are you supposed to be interrupting me when I'm talking on the phone?"

I burst out laughing.

"What?" Neidermeyer asks me.

"You're doing it!" I announce.



I didn't think I'd get to have this kind of fun for another 10 years. John is so lucky my father isn't alive; we would be ganging up on him relentlessly.

I was a beautiful moment!

Friday, October 06, 2006

As promised, a positive post.

Yes, through all the bullshit and funk I am going through there are good things going on in my life. First, and most importantly, is my friends. I have developed the best circle of friends anyone could want. Each time I have needed help and support it is my friends that have been there for me. Family, at times, begrudgingly provides that same help and support but each friend I have turned to; whether it be for a little financial assistance or simply a shoulder to lean on or simply to be there and listen, has offered their help without a moment's hesitation. Most of my friends share the same twisted sense of humor and always keep my mood up and keep me laughing. I cherish each of them.

My son. Each day as he grows older and closer to being a full grown person we seem to grow closer. He is someone I simply enjoy hanging out with. And now, he has a girlfriend. And she is wonderful. I have told him a number of times that if I were to choose a girl for him she would be on the top of the list.

We had an interesting conversatrion this past weekend where we discussed a major difference of opinion over a major topic; homosexuality. He said something in passing about it being "wrong" and when we had time alone I asked him about it. He currently holds a very conservative based view on it. He seemed hesitant to get into the topic with me at first. There are times when I get the feeling he does his best so that we never disagree on anything and I had to remind him that parents and children and going to disagree and that it was OK to have you own opinions. I did, of course give him mine. The bottom line to the discussion I was trying to convey was not to be prejudicial and that a person should be judged as a person and not who he sleeps with. While I am disappointed that he has developed the opinion he has, I think most of that disappointment is in myself; that because of the divorce I have not been there on a daily basis to be a stronger influence on this and other topics. But, at least, we can talk about these things openly and THAT is a good thing.

Regardless of the bile I spewed in my last post (Thanks to Freddie Mercury) things are getting better at work. Well, I am no longer in the hot seat and my name has come up for possible promotion to a very visible position. Odd how it works like that. Maybe its some sort of twisted initiation right? There are also some things about the company which are possibly brewing which could change conditions around the office. Time will tell on the both of them. In the mean time, I keep working, I remain vocal that recent changes in policy are stupid and I hold out hope things will get better. But my eyes are open to all possibilities both within and outside my current job.

I am currently running for the position of Regional Coordinator in Starfleet. I would be responsible for representing chapters in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi to the international organization; a Senate of sorts. I decided to do this for a number of reasons but mostly to try to avoid nasty politics rearing its ugly head in this corner of Fleet. I had been putting together a possible run for the top position in the organization but felt a need for me to do this instead. The election runs through next month. I won't bore non-fleet readers with all the details at this point but I am the front runner in a field of three candidates. More on this as it develops.

So, see; all is not doom and gloom when I open my eyes. I am having fun with the things I do. And I haven't even told you about my trip last weekend to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights or "the other person". Next post.....

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I know I promised a more uplifting post this time around, however.......

I had recently watched a documentary about one of my favorite albums, Queen's "A Night at the Opera". In it the album is dissected track by track with interviews of the band and producers. One of the songs jumped out at me given what has been going on at work. The is song was written by Freddie Mercury as an attack against a former manager. If you know the players on my job, you'll know who I thought of immediately.


You suck my blood like a leech
You break the law and you breach
Screw my brain till it hurts
You've taken all my money - you still want more,

Misguided old mule
With your pigheaded rules
With your narrow - minded cronies who are fools of the first division-

Death on two legs -
You're tearing me apart,
Death on two legs
You never had a heart of your own -

Kill joy, Bad guy,
Big talking, Small fry
You're just an old barrow - boy
Have you found a new toy to replace me,
Can you face me -

But now you can kiss my ass goodbye

Feel good, are you satisfied

Do you feel like suicide (I think you should)
Is your conscience all right
Does it plague you at night,
Do you feel good - Feel good!

Talk like a big business tycoon,
But you're just a hot - air balloon,
So no one gives you a damn,
You're just an overgrown school - boy
Let me tan your hide.

A dog with disease,
King of the 'sleaze'
Put your money where your mouth is Mr. Know all,
Was the fin on your back part of the deal...(shark!)

Death on two legs
You're tearing me apart
Death on two legs -
You never had a heart of your own,
(You never did, right from the start)

Insane you should be put inside,
You're a sewer - rat decaying in a cesspool of pride
Should be made unemployed
Then make yourself null - and - void,
Make me feel good
I feel good.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

OK, OK, damnit!

I just received an email from a friend of mine which sort of slapped me with a little reality.

"I hope that whatever is eating away at you...for something surely is, will rectify itself shortly. You have not been yourself lately, and if it shows to me, someone who is just a bit more than an acquaintance, then how is this spilling over to your real friends, unless you are terribly grand at hiding your feelings from everyone."

WOW! Am I that transparent? I thought I was supposed to be a fracking actor?! Well, the answer is, yes. I have reatreated a lot in the past few months in a number of areas. I'll try catching up in this ost and others.

Here goes attempt number one.......

While I don't think I am in a "depression" I am, at the very least, in one on my funks. And it's a whopper. However, at the same time, I am active, having fun and getting somethings done. I went to Halloween Horror Nights last weekend (a post in itself), I am running to be the Regional Coordinator for the southeast portion of the states in Starfleet International, things have slightly improved at work and if I'm not losing weight I have stabalized a little.

So, what's to be bothering me? I think the work situation started all this. It just took a while to manifest itself. There are options I am looking at both inside and outside my present position. For some odd reason, I hold out hope that things will improve. The ultimate optimist; that's me.

Financially, things are VERY tight. This is closely tied in with the work situation. Like may people at work, my income has nosedived over the past year. Not to air ALL my laundry, but I am down thousands and thousands compared to where I was last year. I have been able to dance around it the past few months and am now on a first name basis with the entire staff at the payday advance place. This month that all turned into a major meltdown and I am scrambling to rollover a 401K loan to catch up on lapsed bills and give me an umbrella until things improve.

Does that have an affect on me?

You're damn skippy it does!

When I first moved to Florida, I lived out of my car for almost a week. I have always prided myself on being resiliant. I have always been able to bounce back from tough times and I know I will again. I guess my demeanor while going through it is another matter.

My work with the Operations Department if Starfleet has backed up. Each weekend I promise myself to sit down and catch up. I sit at the computer and open a program or two and then suddenly either find myself surfing for unrelated things or driftung back to the TV. This weekend I have promised myself to go through everything and get catch up. Luckily, DirecTV has been shut off so I'll have one less distraction.

Another area in my life I have retreated from is Stephany. Well, that is for a lot of reasons; also a post in itself. We are still friends and I care for her as a friend but there are tiems when I have sat and let the answering machine take call after call from her. I just sit there looking at the phone as it rings. The odd part is that I don't really feel anything. Except for the dread when I do have to talk with her and try to avoid answering the question why I have been avoiding her. And I don't usually do this to friends. I don't even do this to people I don't even like. Maybe when the funk is over I will be able to really come to grips with whatever emotions are boiling underneath about her.

One thing that gnaws at me is the more I learn about "the other person" at work. We talk and I keep learning more about her. We laugh at the same things. Have the some of the same interests. And the part that gets me the most is that I had the opportunity and missed it.

Right at the same time Stephany came into my line of sight (about 5 months ago), so did "the other person". I debated back and forth for days which I was going to approach; I was hesitant over both because of the age difference, but finally decided. Turns out this was just at the same time when "the other person" met the guy she is seeing.

Boy! Was THAT a good decision!!!

If you've read my blog with any regularity you'll know I just eat up the "what might have been" scenarios. Is this feeding into my funk? Without paying $120 per hour to a professional I really couldn't tell you but it's a good possibility. Will I get over all this? Also a good possibility. I have this little therapy session sitting right in front of me.

I did say there was some good going on and I'll get that im my next post.