When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Thursday, June 28, 2007


The better room was offered to me a few minutes ago and I accepted it.

While waiting for the appointed time to go see the apartment, I had called the former prospective roommate and opted out of his deal, instead of waiting until after I saw the better situation. I knew what I wanted already and I had realized that a deal like this would be accessible again if it didn't work out. Craiglist is chocked full of offers everyday.

But it did work out.

And according to my calendar, I take up residence in 3 days. Now, George gave me until September, so I can do a very leisurely transfer of my goods and find a home for my dear cat.

Re: my cat. I wuv my little kitty, but I'm trying to take life to another level. A single, "middle-aged" guy with high affection for his cat is suspect. Plus my cat is a hairy little beast. She requires high maintenance which I don't use. So my bed and any black clothing is usually hair-crusted. And have you seen that commercial which huge tumbleweeds of cat hair blows through an old woman's house? There were times it got like that in my room. It was a cause for George (and his father) to gripe at me recently. To say nothing of the puked-up hairballs, which look much more like a soggy turd when produced than a hair"ball". I have to move on from her. In fact, I've seen how George acts with his cats, and from an outsider's pov, it is a strange sight. For most of my life, I've had cats--but for most of my life I've been dysfunctional too. I think my attachment to cats have been part of the package--so I'm letting the attachment go. I need the affection of another human being and the warmth of a woman in my bed. A cat will no longer do.

And my new roommates won't allow pets, so there it is.

And here it is. Just like that.

I'm free.

Like the Genie out of the bottle in "Thief of Bagdad"

In related news, last night George Jr. caught my eye as I came into the house and he was up in the kitchen slurping in something from one of the many strewn-about cartons of food laying on the counters surrounding him. He said;

"Hey Alan, guess where I am right now ...?"
I told him "Where?"
He said "I'm in the strat-o-sphere! heheh heheh."
I went downstairs to my section. He called after me, "Do you know what I mean by that?"
I mumbled to myself, "I think so, but I don't care anymore."

This is a conversation he's tried to have with me before. He likes to tell me when he's high. Why does he do that? Two possible reasons. 1) He wants my help, or 2) He thinks I'm into getting high. (Number Two is not too farfetched. He likes to try to talk streetslang to me. He seems fascinated with me as a black specimen, and in his mind, black seems to =street, pimplife, and getting high. Once when he brought his 'friends' to come down see me in my exhibit, they asked me, "Do you smoke?" as if they were going to either sell me some, or buy some off me. Which wasn't far-fetched to believe since his father was constantly high as well.)

Meanwhile, his father is back in the bedroom naked and unconscious. All this suburban, Eminem-style, faux-'hood, prescription-drug sucking, sons and grandsons of millionaire excess bullsh!t has neary killed my spirit.

So now Junior is 19. Him and his father are legal adults. And I can't help either one of them.

So I'm out.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Man Up!

Last week, my bank account took three overdraft hits, thanks to a double payment on my car that I made during my vacation, when I *thought* I had lost my payment coupon and check in its addressed, stamped envelope. But somebody in the airlines mailed it for me.

But at the time, I didn't come here to bemoan my fate.

Now, I'll be emptying out an account to pony up some scratch for my new living arrangements tonight. (I'll take either roommate situation, although I prefer the travelling musician and comicbook fan).

And I'm not bothered. I don't feel that yawning pit of nausea in my belly as I contemplate the next week and an half with only my savings. Because I know I can shop for food in a grocery store and cook and survive. I know I can live without Starbucks (they discontinued the Pomegranate Juice Blends anyway--the fools. I must have been the only person buying them). I know I have a license to do therapy in NY, and I know that I'm good at my job.

Thank yous for the love. If you wondered if you had any effect on me with your encouragement; you did. You do. I'm listening. And applying.

I'm on my way to finding me some real serious love out there. I am believing and accepting all the positive things people say about me. I'm about to be a force of one, and I'm going to knock some lucky lady's socks off.

I'm 42.

I've just begun.

In other news;
Holy crap! Tony Blair is out of 10 Downing Street! He resigned some weeks ago, and now he's gone.

It was always astounding to me how English leaders could get on the podium to speak, and be jeered and booed as though they were performing a particularly bad set at Caroline's. Parliamentarians ought to be ashamed one and all.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Roommate Situation

My perspective roommate returned from his trip and is ready for me to come sign papers and fork over cash. I have a place to go. However ...

While waiting for this guy, I looked up more housing opportunities and found a better situation. In the new place, the roommates are already installed but one of them is a traveling musician, so for a majority of the month two people share the apartment rather than three. The guy who does not travel is a comicbook fan. And the apartment is near the A train.

I want it.

So I arranged to see the apartment and the guy on Wednesday. If it works out, I will then go across town to the former guy and break his heart. Then I'll be borrowing more money from MFTD to cover first month's rent, if he's willing. Then as I've done before, I'll be paying him back slowly. And he'll lend it to me because he's my best friend, but also because (as I've learned) I'm a good guy and he can trust me.

I'm going to be a great roommate. And I'm going to be a New Yorker again.

"We Can Rebuild Him ..."

"Educators must remember that learning occurs within each individual as a continual process throughout life. People learn at different speeds, so it is natural for them to be anxious or nervous when faced with a learning situation...

"Learning results from stimulation of the senses. In some people, one sense is used more than others to learn or recall information."

-By Stephen Lieb

By asking for help, I realized what kind of learner I am. I learn by example. That was my leading premise, but I didn't know it was common. I'd heard it, but I didn't connect the dots.

When I was a tyke, there was a point where I said to myself that I didn't need anyone else. I was wrong, as tykes often are--what with their limited life-experience to draw from.

Well, I'm not a tyke anymore. I'm a grown-ass man.

This Sunday, I went to the Power store and loaded my cart. They were having a two-for-one sale. "Take back your Power and get Responsibility for free," the advert sang. So I maxed out my card and took back as much power as I could load my car down with.

I don't know what in the last year was the exact combination of what I've seen, what I've heard, what I've read, and who told me what, but I got it. This part of the journey is done.

I'm smarter. I've learned that I still have the capacity to grow. My brain is good with information and I know how to use it. I'm smarter because now I recognize that about myself. I'm a smart guy.

I'm tougher. I can live through stuff. I've survived stuff. I am surviving stuff. Nastybad stuff. And here I type to tell you that I'm still a viable adult human being on the serious come-up.

I'm wiser. I can apply the facts and get results. I can compare the experiences in people's lives and accurately predict the outcomes for a dozen more. I can give good advice and I can take good advice.

This is not an exercise in positive thinking. This is me.

I like me.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Why I'm Ready To Move

It's bedtime. I've just watched my Doctor Who and I'm listening to a podcast which will send me off to sleepsville, when I hear a cat meowing. Well, one of George's cats are still outside--this I know because the cat slinked around as I entered tonight and wouldn't come in with me. To wit I usually reply, "Well forgetchoo then. Beast." And close her little arse out. Then she might wake me up in the AM with the meowing outside my window. So I figure, why not let her in now that she's ready?

So I go upstairs (I'm in the basement) and open the front door. And in the dark, this boy and this girl jumps up off the front step --of the HOUSE. Mind you, this isn't an apartment house, it's private property. A house in a cul-de-sac. So I look at these two and I say, "I thought I heard a cat out here." And he says, "That was me. I sometimes do that. I'm just waiting for (George's Son)."

Well, yes, George's Son has moved in for the Summer like he did last year when he worked my nerves over. I did what I could not to complain about him heretofore during this go 'round. But now I gotta. I just gotta.

We'll call him George Jr. Or just Junior. Junior goes to sleep at about ... well I don't know when. Because he's always up, thumping around over my head, when I'm ready to go to sleep. He's barged down to my area twice since he's moved in, but he has learned to knock. The first time it was to take my shampoo out of the bathroom, then come to ask me if he could borrow it. Note the order of events. and I had to go upstairs days later to retrieve it. Secondly, he came down with some of his little buddies to show them me. He's done this before, last year. And he has said in every case, "they wanted to meet the guy who lives in my father's house." So this time, after they were gone, I told him that if he didn't want me to hurt his friends' feelings, he would make sure not to bring them down to "meet me" anymore. Junior didn't know what I meant, so I told him that I wasn't an exhibit in a zoo so if I sensed even the slightest hint of that again, I was going to cuss them all out--so if he didn't want me to do that, he would do well to keep them away from me. He didn't seem to quite get it. But he will--next time he does it.

I know! Lookit me being all assertive!

Yesterday, Junior woke me out of an afternoon nap to ask if I'd drive him somewhere. Thankfully I was too groggy to think rationally. If I was in my right mind, I would've caved out of guilt and obligation to George, but my superego was submerged and my selflish, bestial id was riding the reigns and told his ass NO.

But let me go back to a few mornings ago, when I went upstairs to feed the cats, and did not notice that a person was sleeping on the couch in the livingroom until the catbowls were full and I was going back downstairs. Yup. A stranger had slept on the couch. Until tonight. The boy outside on the steps was the guy who was sleeping on the couch a few days ago. And now he's out there waiting--with his girlfriend no less--for Junior to come home and let him into the house again for another nights' repast.

Now why would I--a homeless person living here for free, have a problem that Junior invited a similar chap to do the same upstairs? He's just following in his father's generous footsteps, right?

But I don't trust Junior. He has the insight of a mayfly. Before I ever showed up, he had a group of friends trash this house, write all over the walls, and punch holes through a few that they didn't write on.

So I go upstairs to ask George if he knew about this arrangement. Yes, George is home. George is in one of the three upstairs rooms. His usual room has all its' lights on and a radio blaring sports radio--and is empty. Junior's room is empty and dark too. And George is in the last room sleeping in the bed that his daughter usually sleeps in when she comes over -- and he has no pants on. Naked like a child from the waist down. And after I do the Yuck-Dance (whaddaya know--I'm not homosexual after all) I try to wake him up. Twice. I cannot wake him.

I do not try again. For the last year and a half, he has been a hard sleeper so I don't fear for his health. In fact, I realize its just another drug haze he's in. As he's been in for about 400 nights/mornings. And do I really want him to wake up with no pants on? SOOOO no.

And it dawns on me. If/when Junior gets home and lets the stranger on the lawn into the house, and probably his girlfriend too, George will not know about it in the least. So if this stranger gets a hankering to kill us all in our sleep, people watching the news will be wondering how such a thing could've possibly happened.

It's just insane. This house is insane. And I am a part of the insanity. I might as well be living in a crackhouse. I probably am.

And I am SO ready to get out of the insanity.

But my perspective roommate has not called still. So I'll call him again and leave another message and then start looking again for another place.

Because I'm getting out. Out out out.

And I'll have to post later about what a wonderful day I had today, before I came home to this crazy-ass mess up in here. As of this writing, the stranger and his girlfriend is still outside on the lawn, George is still in a drug coma, and Junior hasn't come home yet. When they come in, I'm sure I'll be awakened--ah, nix that. They're in. Not thumping around yet, but he's turned the light on to my downstairs hallway--and he'll keep it on, just you watch, and now we'll all be under one roof. One big happy.

If you never hear from me again, look up news of a triple homicide from Paramus NJ and direct the police to this blog. Too bad I don't know the boy's real name or his girlfriends'. But let the record show, it was all Junior's fault.

Or my own fault for getting myself into this mess in the first place.

If I live through the night, I'll fix the mess.

I'll fix it because I can. I'm a better person now than I was even a few short weeks ago. I'm stronger, I'm wiser, and I'll tell you all about it in my next post.

God willing.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

See? No So Interesting Now ...

... without my problems. :)

Yeah, actually, the problems are there, but I'm not as worried about them right now.

I'm mostly concerned with matters that don't actually concern me. For instance, I have to wait for the check-collector of the place where I want to live to return before I know for sure that I'm moving into his crib. So I'm impatient about that. He's been gone for longer than a week and I don't remember how long he said he'd be gone. But I left him a message, and he should be calling as soon as he turns his phone on.

Number Two, my desktop seems to have died. It turns on but does not boot. And I swear, I smelled ozone when I had turned it on. Fortunately, I have this laptop which I've started working all my important hobbies on, so all that I've lost--if I should choose to let it stay lost, is my collection of music, my Season One and Two on the new Doctor Whos, and the ability to play City of Heroes without having to buy the new set of discs.

Everything else on the laptop, I could afford to leave alone.

Oh. Wait.

The novel is on there. Whoops.

Okay so I'll find a way to access the harddrive and extract the files. There is a way?


Oh, and no therapy this week. I had too many meetings to attend at work and couldn't squeeze a session in. But I'm holding onto the two things I picked up there--
1) There's lots of space between All Bad and All Good.
2) Some people may have gotten to their goals by pretending they were what they wanted to be--until they became it.

And so far, my "listener feedback" has added--
1) Shut out the negative, self-condemning voices
2) Let what excites me drive me on to strength.

[startrekcomputer] Working ... [/startrekcomputer]

Monday, June 18, 2007

My Comment Evolved Into A Post

I started this as a response to S*, and then it exploded out of the petrie dish and squidged across the floor, eating a lab assistant on its way out of the reinforced doors. (Don't worry, Larry died bravely.)

To quote;

Well where were you back when I hit puberty? :D

Let me make myself clear; my blog is the place I come to do process. So what you see here is me in transition. I'm not looking for excuses to stay the way I am -- I blog to help myself move forward.

All the "stop pitying yourself and move on" is helping, but not enough. I get it that I need to move on with my life. That's why I'm blogging, because I know that.

What I think would help me a little more is to hear something more specific as to how to move on. That is also why I go to therapy. I need a "how to". It's funny in a not-really kind of way, but if I had a patient who came to me with my problem, I'd be able to think it through better for him than I can for myself. Either that, or I'd refer the guy out to another therapist.

Another thing I want to make clear is that I'm not content to pity myself. Pity is not what I want from anyone or from myself.

What I'm looking for is strength. I want the thing that seems to get inside of most people and propels them into relationships, for better or worse.

To that end, I am using the good examples that have been coming into my life in the form of
. <--This link will take you to my more postive process of acknowledging strength so that I may try to acquire it.

When I have less than stellar days, and when I can't find the mechanism to bridge the gap between what I am and what I see in my heroes, I come here to get it out of my system.

But I will tell you something else I got from my therapist--she said that maybe I should just pretend I have the qualities that I'm looking for until I feel like I actually have them. She also suggested that maybe that was how my heroes got to where they are too.

What do you guys think? Is that a "how to"? I'd really like your responses to this one.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


That's me skirting past the issue. Because I've said it all before and nothing's changed in that regard.

I do wish everyone well, though. Celebrate whatever you can celebrate, whenever you can celebrate it. :)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Blame Wendy Williams

She doesn't even pump her fist for Amy Winehouse anymore, and Wendy's show is the only place I ever heard of her before, but now I'm hearing about her everywhere and "Rehab" is stuck in my head pretty much every day.

So over at S*'s place, and frequent flier named Doggybloggy had this on his site and I, as was suggested by the media, "snagged it".

The views of Ms. Winehouse and the substance-abusing contingent of the world do not reflect those of this blogger. At all.

But I'm not going to be the only one stuck with this song in my head.

And this little white girl can sing too. I like her punky swagger.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I am inordinately happy right now. If I so choose, I will have a room in an apartment in Manhattan that I can afford. The standards are easy to maintain and the expectations are mild to non-existent. The renter is cut from the cloth of most of my gaming buddies, and I don't even know if he games. But he puts me in mind of an intelligent, laid back, open-minded, easy-going, idealistic young man. But his biggest asset is he seemed to like me. A Plus!

And you know what? I AM likable! I'm a good guy! Just ask my boss! And ask my friends!


NYC, I'm coming home.

The Space Between

Littlewing asked me; "Don't you follow the theory that if things are meant to be, they will, or that there is a reason why things happen?"

When I was a religious fanatic, the answer to that was an unequivocal "Yes." Because things were given by God with a big gift bow on them. I believed my entire life was a series of steps ordered by God and that I qualified for this privilege because I was a righteous man.

I've lost touch with that innocence. Mainly because I'm not so righteous anymore. (The actual Christian definition of 'righteousness' is; being covered by Christ's righteousness because we all suck anyway and can never be righteous enough in our humanity. How do you get covered by His righteousness, you ask? You repent and accept His death for your sins. Then you live your life aware of that and you try to live up to Christian principles--the chiefest of these is Love One Another As You Love Yourself.)

Hmm, I thought I wasn't so righteous until I typed out that definition for myself. That is still my religion, and I still believe it. So Littlewing, thank you ... you're right. I should settle down. Worst-Case Scenario Man should have no power over me.

Yesterday in therapy, I got a huge insight for why I fall into these worst-case scenario traps. I do a lot of "all or nothing" thinking. A person is either ALL good or ALL bad. That's not possibly true, but it's how I find myself acting. It isn't as if I think they have and always will be ALL good or ALL bad. I just think that in the moment, they are being either ALL good right now, or ALL bad right now.

For example, My Hero. To me he is ALL good. His actions are purest of pure. His heart beats truest of all true. And that's obviously not possible, seeing that he's as human as I am. And I've been with him in his own element, and I've seen him as who he is rather than as My Hero. I've seen that he's not perfect--yet emotionally, I love the idolization that I have for him. Another example is the lamebrain driver in front of me who won't move when the light turns green. They are ALL bad. Idiot either talking on the phone, fixing their bra strap, digging up their nose, too scared to move, or what the hell ever. It makes me just hate them and want them off the road, license revoked. Obviously that's an overreaction for just a few seconds of my inconvenience--yet emotionally, I'm ready to fight. They are ALL bad.

Intellectually, I know it can't be true, but emotionally I react to all or nothing thinking. And these are the standards I hold myself to, as well. Everything I do, every word I say, every sentence I write, I want to do PERFECTLY.

PERFECTLY. All or nothing.

And if I fail, it simply must be because I suck, I'm worthless, I should not be alive, I should be someone else. Intellectually, I know this can't be true. I'm human. I fail at times. We all do. But emotionally, letting myself down is devastating. And letting someone else down is a double-dose of devastation.

And emotionally, I'd rather be alone and lonely than to let someone else down.

All or nothing.

How does a person come by this kind of thinking, boys and girls? Anyone want to guess? It's in the first chapter of your psychology books. Let's turn to the page, shall we? Ah, there it is;


See the scowl on her face? Hear the words she says to her child? Should language like that be used on a child so young?

She abandoned me for employment so she could afford to collect me later. That was noble, but all my child's mind knew was that she left us. So I was stuck with an absentee father and subsequently abused systematically by a neighbor. That doesn't set up such a great emotional foundation. So once I moved in with her, if Mom proceeded to be angry, yell at me, and say things like "You're just like your father!" whom she left and clearly hated, then how secure of a person do I turn out to be as an adult? And how much do I dedicate my mental energy towards being perfect and insuring that I never, ever EVER let anyone else down again? Especially another woman? Especially one that I love?

Because after all, she left us the first time because I was bad.

Didn't she?

Then my therapist held up one hand and said, "All". Then she held up the other and said "Nothing". Then she looked at the space between and she said, "There's a lot of room in there."

And whaddaya know. There is.

So, I'm learning how to live where most people do. In the space between All and Nothing.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Like A Wave

...here it comes. Yes, I know it's not ALL women and it was unfair to make a blanket statement as the title of the last post. Sorry for that. Might as well leave it alone though, because it's what I was feeling and it's a cliche that works for the sentiment of the post.

Meanwhile, I'm rifling through Craiglist for rental situations and I got two invitations to come see apartments and now I'm feeling the pressure and fear mounting, like a wave. Mostly I'm happy I'd be leaving George's place, but here comes the 'what ifs' provided by my old nemesis Worst-Case Scenario Man (who powered himself up by the energy of the holleration in last posts' comments). And the what ifs make me want to cancel the invitations, stay here, and hide under the covers.

What if they reject me after just meeting me, and I don't get the apartment?

Or worse,

What if the new roommate hates me after two months and starts yelling at me?

Yes. What if. What if I have to spend night after night feeling as lousy as I do right now? What if.

What if I were a normal person?

What if I never got myself into this mess in the first place?

What if I were 30 again?

What if I already lived with a person who loved me?

What if I had been raised by a person who loved me?

What if I were never born.

What if I just disappear.

What if.

What Is It With Women?

I thought I made a friend. I put a lot of positivity and empowerment her way. Then I dedicate a song to her situation from an artist I knew she liked. And two or three lines out of the song, which I wasn't even focusing on, makes everything from that point backwards invalid?

Viva la the single life, man.

The comments in the last message are the exact reason why I don't keep girlfriends. And the exact reason why I posted the song "Another Again" and am attracted to similar songs like John Legend's "Heaven" and other such about couples who break up. Because it's the story of my life. I'm drawn to the passionate ones, and the passionate ones lash out the hardest at me. I can't predict what I'll do wrong, can't prevent it, and then suddenly I'm being yelled at. And I'm not made to receive lashings from people I start caring about. It hurts my feelings and makes me feel horrible. And it haunts me. It comes at me with the voice of my mother. And it makes me furious. And useless.

And I'm so old. I haven't overcome this struggle yet, and the way it feels now, it seems like I never will. I'll be alone for the rest of my life.

But at least I'll be safe from abuse when I'm alone.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Another Again

This song speaks to a successfully human me, which I don't think I've yet accomplished, but these lyrics represents a healthier me, breaking up honestly and knowing my emotions and not hating myself because of them.

And also this I dedicate to my new blogging friend S*. I feel for her and wish her all the best.

Another Again
by John Legend

So we did it again
Knowing we should quit it, but we simply won't admit it again
Oh it feels good,
It's so good,
But I won't do it again

It's so dramatic again
After we go at it, we get mad then we go at it again
Oh I love it,
Then I hate it,
She's my favorite

I'm wasting time
I can't help it she's so fine
Oh I like her style
And I love the way she talks and I smile
As much as we may try
Can't quite see eye to eye
So in the meantime,
I guess we say bye-bye

(And again and again and again)
Oh, and then,
(And again and again and again)
We do it again
We do it again
And we do it again
(And again and again and again)
Oh, and then,
(And again and again and again)
We do it again
We want it again, and we want it again

So we fake it again
I think we're gonna blow it, and we know it but she's naked again
We get wasted,
Then I taste it,
Then I waste it again

I can't invite her again
'Cause she'll go from a lover to a fighter and I'll fight her again
So it's over,
But I told her
To come over

I'm wasting time
But she's always on my mind
I can't let her go
Oh, she's not the best,
But she's all that I know
As much as we may try
Can't quite see eye
To eye
So in the meantime I guess we say bye-bye

(And again and again and again)
Oh, and then,
(And again and again and again)
we do it again
We do it again
And we do it again
(And again and again and again)
Oh, and then,
(And again and again and again)
We do it again
We want it again, and we want it again

So I've got a new friend
I wish I could forget you but I miss you, wanna kiss you again
She's like you,
But she's not you,
gotta find you again

So we remember again
The middle of December and I took you out to dinner again
Oh I love her,
It's not over,
Just another again

(And again and again and again)
Oh, it's another again-
(And again and again and again)
I love her, it's another again...

(If you want to hear the song, start the video then don't watch.
If you want to hear the song and look at two beautiful human beings at the same time, start the video AND watch.)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Why ... Back In MY Day ...

... we didn't have no "podcasts!"

I say this because of the age-old radio program I'm currently listening to, and how it intersects with my current creative life.

I may have started listening to Hour Of The Wolf, on WBAI-FM, 99.5 in New York City, back in the 80's. When I listened to it then, it was companioned with the Golden Age of Radio, and both of them presented action/adventure/science fiction stories to me in audio form. These two shows both sustained my mind and kept my creative fires lit. And in hindsight, it gave me another address tucked away in my brain that I was able to tap to HUGE advantage when I met My Hero and wanted to expand on his mythos.

And speaking of hindsight, and present effect, back in the eighties I now recall that "meeting my hero" did not begin with My Hero. It was this very show, Hour/Wolf where I first met a hero. WBAI held/holds fundraiser a few times a year to stay on the air. They are madly subversive leftist radio who hates all things establishment, and so broadcasts publicly due to donor moneys and not corporate sponsorship. At every fundraiser, they call for volunteers to come to the station to answer the phones. So one mad morning, I volunteered to answer phones during Jim Freund's hour--the host of Hour/Wolf. I met him then. Afterwards, I would call into the show everyong once in a while. Then one specific broadcast, he mentioned comicbooks and the X-Men, and I dropped into his ear how cool it would be if he could interview Chris Claremont, who was writing the stories of the X-Men at the time. I gushed enough about Claremont that Jim was convinced, and he was ready to make the invite. But he did something REALLY unusual. He invited me to come along to the studio when he did the interview.


And yes, I most certainly did go. The host of Golden Age of Radio ran the nighttime elevator and let me up into the building, and then Jim let me into the studio, and there was Chris Claremont. I was too backward and shy to actually say anything on the air, which is probably why he invited me to help him, but I wimped out. But this was a budding new relationship back then. I had visited the studio perhaps once or twice after that. During one of those, I acted as runner for author Jack Womack, (around the time that this book was published)--I went to get him at a diner and brought him to the studio because it was his first time being interviewed there, and he needed the escort.

My relationship with Jim was cut short when my mother grew ill and I went out to Missouri in a whirlwind of 'religious epiphany.' I did give my goodbyes to him, but I stopped communication completely.

Well, Jim has continued to go strong since then. And now, I've come back into the creative fold as a creator, and not just a fan. And I'm realizing that I am actually bringing stuff to the table when I meet my heroes. They find something about me that makes them want to keep me around.

And I'm really grateful and humbled by that realization. It seems obvious to my therapist (in today's session) but I hadn't got it. I owe that to my beatdown self-esteem.

Anyway, listening to the May 5 broadcast of Hour/Wolf, I heard several writers give their bios as members of a writers' group. One of them had Escape Pod buy one of their stories and broadcast it. That made the big juicy intersection for me.

The show I've been listening to for twenty years, is trafficking with the internet medium that I've been listening to for only the last few years. That means Jim, like myself, is absorbing and using the new medium of the art.

Which makes me want to reconnect with Jim. Of course, I have things (my work) that I want to introduce to him because he runs a live radio show about science fiction and I could get our project some precious airtime, but I actually want Jim to know me again. I want to show him my journey. Whatever he saw in me back then, I want to find out if he could appreciate what I've become now.

So, that's what I'm going to endeavor to do.

You heard it here first.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

This Damn American Damn Life. Damn.

I need to stop listening to this damn show. I've now cried twice today. This week, a dude tries to save his mother from the mess she's found herself in.

Resonate resonate resonate.

Parallels. He currently lives in Los Angeles. Check. He grew up in Pasadena. Check. He moved out from his father's at 16 and lived in Ontario, CA. Check. Within the last seven days I've been in all three of those places. Well, actually, I've been in Rancho Cucamonga, north of Ontario. But I know what the area looks like.

And for four months, he tried to take care of his mother, having to put her in a nursing home. Check. Except my mother died, and his is still struggling on.

But I still feel better at this moment than I have in weeks. California was so good for me. Actualizing my friendships were SO good for me. Getting my walking papers from George is SO good for me. Conversating with Paul Cornell was SO good for me.


SO good for me.

And Now, In Technicolor ...

... my vacation, that is.

Located here.

Enjoy! :)

Emotional Allies In Unexpected Places

I just finished watching the last of the two-parter Doctor Who episode "Human Nature/Family of Blood" and drying my face.


This was the only other episode in the Doctor Who series that made me weep openly. Granted, I'm a crying man. Seriously have gotten blubbery in my old age. I'm moved by so much anymore. But even having said that, Doctor Who is my go-to guy for action, fun, thrills and adventure. I don't watch for crying, so when it moves me, it's really something special for me.

The thing that got me in these two episodes was when The Doctor, having given up his Time Lord nature to become human and hide from interstellar hunters, is told finally who he really is and how he has to give up the humanity to become The Doctor again. The Doctor, as the human "John Smith," practically melts as he realizes that his whole life is a lie. His hopes, his dreams, his newfound love--can never be. And that in realizing this, he is being asked to die out and let this "Doctor" person awaken in his place.

John Smith doesn't want to die. He doesn't want to believe that he isn't real. And David Tennant perfectly, PERFECTLY conveyed that agony. It was a brilliant show that will not go unnoticed, I guarantee you.

But this story met me on two fronts. First, Martha was finally treated the way I would expect her to be treated in Earth's past. With this story, I can willfully and gleefully forget the rubbish (as they say in England) of the last two-parter and it's blatant disregard for the facts. I didn't want to see Martha disrespected because of her skin color, any more than I wanted to be disrespected for mine when I was in Missouri--but it happened anyway. To deny that is losing the opportunity to educate people to the fact that it's real and it happens and it needs to STOP. Putting black Martha with a time traveling, beloved character is the opportunity to get that across to people who love the show.

Paul Cornell was the first writer in the Martha storyline to have gotten it right. That was my joy from the first part "Human Nature." I even got a chance to tell him so on his blog, and he responded twice to me as well (I start 17 comments down, he responds, I respond, then he responds again)! So that was alright then.

But now with "Family of Blood" suddenly I found myself experiencing a whole new set of personal issues, not from the Martha character this time, but with John Smith's plight. Paul Cornell tapped into what it's like to be terrified that your whole life may prove one day to be a failed experiment (In actuality, he wrote this story first in 1995 as a novelization when Doctor Who had already been canceled and all we had were the books). That all the goals you've set up for yourself will be revealed to be one big hopeless sham. That unbeknownst to you, you never had the potential that you thought and hoped you did. That you were doomed from the start.

That fear blossomed and raged in me as I watched David Tennant do some serious justice to those emotions. In fact, if I didn't now know that I was leaving George's house by September, I might have jumped into a well of depression. Because I've got some powerful goals to achieve by my birthday, and if suddenly someone were to pop up and tell me, "No, actually, you'll never see it. You won't ever write a published novel. You won't ever grow closer to your friends. You'll never work through your issues and find The One you'll marry. You'll never have a son or a daughter. In fact, you aren't really anything now. All this passion you've been pouring out for the past five years? It's nothing. It never was anything. Now give up and die. Someone more important than you needs this body."

Could you just imagine?

When I turned off the comp, I thought back to the only other episode that moved me like this, and I looked it up. Did you guys hear my stunned cry when I found out that Paul Cornell also wrote "Father's Day?"

Paul Cornell turned out to know a little something about what's ticking inside of me. I'm so glad I got to converse with him before I found that out. Because now I'm apt to just be a blubbering fool in any future concourse. :) I'm glad to add him to my list of emotional allies. In other words, "Heroes."

Friday, June 1, 2007

Fight or Flight?

George gave me my walking papers today as I left out for work. No acrimony involved. He was able to tell me without freaking out or flapping his hands. Seems his joblessness will now be permanent and he needs to either rent or sell his house. All the home-improvements going on told me as much, but he finally told me himself today.

Now, you know I want out of here. So that's the good news. He even 'forgave me' of what I owed him on the car that I totaled. (Editoral, added June 2nd, 9:38pm--Too bad he couldn't have ended the conversation without commenting on my "mediocre life." I can only imagine that he meant that I am sometimes messy, but otherwise I chalk it up to his Asperger's causing his monumentally social ineptitude to flare up again. Because please. He must well and truly be incapable of seeing his own reflection in a mirror if he thinks my life is mediocre. It is, in fact, getting better every damn day. And that's why George will never be my friend. The ass.) Overall score; George has helped me financially more than anyone else has for the last two years. I can't be mad at 'im. (Ed--for too long, anyway.)

He's also given me four months to get a new place.

Well, of course you see that I'm not as ready as I wanted to be to get a new place. But what I wanted was pie-in-the-sky. I wanted an entire year's worth of rent in the bank. I can only say it was possible, but before I had to empty the account to get the new car, I saw myself not saving money as I should have. So the odds were not with me there.

When it comes to letting my cash coagulate into savings, I'm lousy. But when it comes to ponying it up for big purchases, that I can do. I've even gotten better with living on the scraps leftover after the purchases.

So now I plunge ahead. I will pay off my peeps before I start looking for a new place. I will work up a new budget and see what I've got and what I need to be looking for. I will worry about my rental history (read; eviction history) when the time comes to find a place.

And again, my mind is set on New York City. My friend in the Bronx is paying less than 900 a month. I could live in his neighborhood without batting an eye, just as I did when I lived in Harlem. What I have to do is battle the impulses to uproot everything and flee. Like, for instance, how good does California look to me right now? Also, now that I really do actually truthfully have my New York counseling license in hand, I'm wondering why I can't do as I tried to do in my first NYC incarnation? Just sell my new car, quit this Jersey job, and go live, work, play, and love in NYC.

But this is my flight response to stress. I've learned this finally. I cannot blow everything apart just because of this change. I have to fight it out. I have to keep my spending under control. I have to keep the lessons I've learned. This is what I've been whining about for 1.5 years. By the end of the summer, and more importantly, before my next birthday, I will be a grown man again.

A grown-ass man.

Oh ...

... thank God.

Thank God.

This is so very, very alright then.