Complete F**king idiots......

Rich

insert witty comment here
lazy day

Currently watching football (Ark. vs. Fla.) while Josie is making lunch. Just kind of vegging out today. No L.S.U. game this week, so it's truly a day for everyone in Louisiana to just relax and chill out. No showing up at the butt-crack of dawn to start cooking for tail-gating later. No starting to drink at 10:00 AM to be properly lubed before the band comes down the hill and then out to the field. I haven't had my season tickets for the past two seasons and i am starting to miss the game-day experience a little, but when you have HD, surround sound, tail-gating from home, no lines for a bathroom and ALL of your friends are there with you, it's not too bad.

One of Josie's daughters is going to home-coming tonight and they are about to leave to have her hair done. And she has just brought me a plate with ham, sweet potatoes and Texas toast. She is so awesome. Constantly taking care of and babying me. She tells me that's just the way she thinks a man should be treated. I don't think i deserve all that, but she thinks that if I drive to pick up her daughter who is in school three hours away,it is a big deal. She is about to get a new (used) car because the one she drives is a piece, so I would rather drive than take a chance on her car breaking down and being in the middle of nowhere waiting on me to show up. Makes me feel better to drive, i don't have to worry.

Also, she is quite amused and appreciative of me doing various man-chores that she would normally have to do.

Deet’s kitty is getting into all kinds of things now. Jumping on the counter, trying to get to our lunch, climbing in the bed like he owns it, climbing on the top of the couch, making way more noise than what’s appropriate when he is hungry. So cute.

Work is going good. Except for a few things like the fact that the guy that hired me has been transferred to another office and the projects we are working on are coming to an end soon. I’m not sure where I will be sent or who will be the head man. That makes me kind of nervous. Also, I have a salary review coming up after the projected time of the projects ending, so I have no idea who will do that. I also on know a few people there, so I may get shuffled around and not know anyone I am working with. I’m sure it will be fine, just makes me a little nervous.

I don’t think I ever got fully into the me and Josie thing. She dated one of my best friends in high school I have been knowing her as long as I have known Mel. But when everyone went their own ways after high school, she was the one that went the farthest out of everyone’s lives. She got married, had three kids, and spent most of their childhood being a stay at home mom. Her husband turned into an abusive, pill-popping asshole . He would stalk her when they would separate and just be an overall ass. I don’t like him (as you can probably tell). He is one of the few people I have met and instantly disliked. But I digress. She worked (just quit this week) in real estate and was the one who sold Mel our (her) house. So she entered back into our lives, would come over when we would cook and watch the game, or just come by and chill out. We would talk and chat and it started to become clear to me that she thought and did things that were more in line with how I thought things should be and how things should be done. She is a girly-girl. She takes care of her man. She does the chores inside and cooks the meals, the man does the man-chores and keeps the outside of the house neat and clean. She is more family oriented. Kind of old fashioned, but definitely more my style. I had only dared myself to think about what things would be like with her instead of Mel for about the last two months me and Mel were still together. I finally had the “piss or get off the pot moment” the weekend of my birthday when Mel acted like a gigantic cunt the whole weekend. We were all going to see Staind in New Orleans. It started the minute we got in the car. I wanted to listen to the comedy channel on my satellite radio, she didn’t and we got in a huge fight the whole way there (about a 1 ½ ride) and kept on to where we were fighting in front of friends AND strangers in a pretty nice restaurant in New Orleans. That’s when I knew things were too bad to stay, but when we got home I found myself no longer attracted to Mel, no wanting to sleep with her. That was the moment I decided to take a chance and leave. I also decided I would give a person a chance that I thought would treat me the way I felt I deserved.

And it was the best move I have ever made. Josie treats me like a king. She brings me meals when I am sitting watching a ball game (which I remind her is not needed). She rubs my back for no reason, gets me treats at the store, sends me lovely text messages at random all day. In general, she just acts like she is genuinely in love with me and makes sure I know it. That was something sorely missing from me and Mel’s relationship. I FEEL loved and adored. I FEEL like I am appreciated. I FEEL like I am important to her. And I love her just as much. I do all the same things for her when I can, and she shows her appreciation for it. It is genuine and heart-felt. I am so happy (and making a lot of people throw up in their mouth right about now).
So, anywho, I seemed to have lost some steam on what I was going to type here.

I am wondering where everyone is. Even Burns1 does not post nearly as often as normal. I know I am WAY guilty of it too. I guess everyone is getting busier in their life. I would like for oldlady to post so we can all know how she and oldsir are doing. I still wonder how things are going for you two and all the kitties.

Post up people.

Oh, and if you are extremely bored: my space - myspace.com/iamthegrizzlyking

edit: 200th post. noice. now, off to wal-mart.
 
Last edited:

Rich

insert witty comment here
from my myspace...iamthegrizzlyking

she's still at it


this is TWICE now in the last week i have caught that warthog stalking me. I mean honestly, wouldn't it get tiring after almost a FUCKING YEAR? Gotta admire the tenacity.
But it would almost be amusing if it weren't just so damned pathetic. And yes, when stalked, i counter-stal.....ERRRRRRRR....INVESTIGATE!
Oh, whilst at your "investigating", could you PLEASE take my pictures off your fucking myspace? Thank you.
loser.
Anywho, on to today's edition of "things i think"
1. Stalking your ex-roomate(sic) a year after you have been broken up is not just sad, it borders on psycho.
2. As i need to remind myself from time to time, one does not drink Crown to get drunk. One merely sips his beverage and intoxication occurs. DO NOT hammer down 5-6 double Crown and Cokes like they are kool-aid. That DOES NOT end well. Hell, for that matter, the next day does not BEGIN well.
3. I am not photo-genic. My 5 chins are however.
4. My girlfriend is awestruck when she returns from the ladies room to find me and James talking to two marines in full dress uniform. She forgets her name, the ability to speak, and the ability to stop herself from drooling openly. There is a picture for her to remember it by.
5. Craig Shoemaker AKA "The Lovemaster" is hilarious no matter what.
6. Tucker Max is hilarious no matter what.
7. I think the website, The Over-Educated Nympho, is actually my girlfriend's website in disguise.
8. I miss football season already.
9. I wish my girlfriend would get over this cold or whatever fuck-virus is in her system.
10. I need to start referring to my girlfriend as my fiancee, even though she doesn't like that term.
11. No, we don't have a date or anything set.
12. I need to get her a ring. Good-bye Income Tax Return.
13. Wesleigh's new puppy (red, mini-daschund) is very cute.
14. Having the kitty's balls chopped off seems to have alleviated that "male kitty smell". Thank God. I was about to have to tell my son that kitty got out of the house and never came back.
15. I hate to see the cold weather go. It's not going to be long now.
16. I hate to see the mosquitos arrive. It's not going to be long now.
17. If i could, i would destroy EVERY flying, stinging/biting insect from the planet. They ALL suck.
18. I can't wait to start fishing. I wish i had money for my own little boat. Maybe soon.I have some people looking at some bateau's that may not be wanted anymore. If so, it may be VERY cheap to get them back into shape and be usable.
19. I feel bad for my girl...err, fiancee. She has been feeling terrible, but trying to hang in there all weekend. I KNOW she feels awful.
20. I think i may enjoy facebook more than myspace. I have reconnected with a lot more people from that site than this one.
21. It WILL BE an early bedtime tonight.
22. my feet are cold.
23. "Dan in real life" is quietly, a funny movie. I didn't laugh out loud a whole lot, but it was quite funny.
24. Ron Burgandy was at the LSU basketball game today. He is also hilarious, no matter what.
25. I'm Old Greg! Would you like to drink some Bailey's from a shoe? Would you like to go to a club where people wee on each other?
26. There are some seriously fucked up people that came up with Old Greg.
27. youtube is your friend.
28. i'm done

:banana:
 

Rich

insert witty comment here
updating from my phone (while at work..shhhh!)

i'll make it quick and get to the important stuff.

me and Josie are getting married. THIS WEEKEND! sorry i hadn't mentioned it sooner. everything is taken care of, just counting the days down. we are both VERY excited!
we are going to the LSU spring football game for the reception ( that was actually Josie's idea. she has never been inside the stadium before)

i'm getting laid off from my job a week later. bastards.

i am getting some love from my peeps at the cable company i used to work for, trying to get a job back in tech support. they have pulled some strings, now i need to hope it works out. if it goes the way it should then there is no problem

if it doesn't, i am screwed.

everything else is well. did some fishing this past weekend with the future brother-in-law (renegade and batshit crazy). didn't catch anything, got sunburnt, fed the mosquitos. it was still fun. oh, except for the part where i nearly through me and josie out the boat sliding the boat around a sharp turn)


ok, gotta go, can't look busy staying on the phone.

more details later.
 

Rich

insert witty comment here
need sleep

as usual, it's quite a few months between updates.

i am home, sick with bronchitis or some crap. i tried to go to work, but couldn't stay.....oh, that's right, since i don't update on a regular basis i forgot to mention i am back to talking to "Complete F***ing Idiots" once again. many thanks to my peeps at the company for helping me get my old job back.

I am not feeling too creative, nothing witty to say. just an update on things for me to look back on later.

Me and Josie are doing great. The wedding went better than expected, except for the part where one of my buddies comes through the door just before Josie's son was going to walk her down the aisle.
One of our friends caught an awesome picture of my son with a camera, taking a picture of us.*
The church was small, but was mostly filled with close family and friends.
The cake was awesome.**
We still have not had any type of honeymoon.
We WILL have one at some point.

Now, i am just sitting here, looking into the computer screen, wondering what to type next.

I just feel so...blah....maybe i'm thirsty...i'll go get a drink...come back and try again.
 

Rich

insert witty comment here
bored...lazy

What a world we have come to live in...where spending time together today consists of my son on a computer a few feet from me and Josie both on laptops while watching football. Admittedly, the weather is crappy and we have absolutely no reason to wander outside.


oh, we will be going on a belated honeymoon next weekend. Josie's boss is letting us borrow a condo he rented for the month* in New Braunfels, TX. We will leave out Wednesday right after work and come back Sunday night. And the best part of all NO KIDS! (not that a honeymoon of any sorts would include kids, but nowadays, we barely get to enjoy kid-free moments, much less kid-free weekends) Hopefully there will be some rafting/kayaking of some sort and some quiet (and not-so-quiet :banana: :jump: ) evenings doing whatever we want. It will be nice.

On that note, i am absolutely going to make it a priority to take some kind of family vacation next year. I would love to go somewhere with mountains, somewhere with a view with a stream or lake where i can do some hiking or fishing or something. Not sure if all the kids will dig on the family vacation thing though.


It just occurred to me that i may not have said too much about the step-kids (and i am too lazy to look back to see). The oldest is 17, and the rare combination of being very pretty and EXTREMELY smart. She goes to a school about 3 1/2 hours from where we live for the uber smart. The classes she takes there (in her second year now) will count as college credit when she graduates. She had never thought of taking Latin until last year and she made a 103 in the class. She is going to the most difficult school in the state and she is making straight A's. She has a boyfriend that is a year older than her and goes to my favorite football college. That poor boy...it's good that he is a clean cut, good looking kid because sometimes i wonder how he will make it through college.


The second oldest is another girl (16). She is unfortunately caught in that middle-child syndrome where she gets all the bad from both ends. She is convinced somehow she is an ugly duckling because she is tall ( @ 5'11") but she is also thin and cute (has guys she is not into hitting on her all the time). But she is a great kid that somehow finds the good in all people. She also makes straight A's, but it is a real struggle. She wants to work while in school (currently babysitting for @ 16 hours on the weekend) She is very religious and from time to time ponders becoming a missionary. She and her church youth group were actually in Honduras when the earthquake happened a few months back. The quake actually shook their pastor out of his bed. Arrangements had to be made for them to travel to another place for the next night and if i remember correctly, delayed them from coming home on time. all was good though, she got home with some good stories and one great one she can tell her kids and friends for time to come.


Then this brings us to the youngest: the boy...age 14...he may not make it to 15. I want so badly to make him my own because deep down, he really is a great kid. He takes care of my son from time to time and they get along great. He has been known to babysit other peoples kids and do a great job. He has a great heart and a like-able personality.
But i swear to all that is holy, i am going to kill him if he doesn't start getting his mind right about school. He was able to pass 8th grade last year, but his mother and i said NO, his grades were horrible and we weren't having it. Not when we have seen him put forth effort (from time-to-time) and make good grades on some projects. He just doesn't seem to want to do it and then, more importantly, lies about doing it. I have tried to go the "angry father" route, the "hey, i am just the older friend trying to look out for you" route and now i am just going the "well, you don't give a shit, neither do i" route (which includes me not caring whether or not he ever does anything fun ever again...he needs to earn it). I really do think something will break through in the next few months, i am just trying to stress to him that he has no idea how hard it's going to be to pass high school if he can't be bothered to make decent grades his SECOND time around in middle school. I really do plan on trying to take him hunting and fishing or anything else he shows an interest in once he gets his act together, but i WILL NOT reward his laziness when i know he can do better. His mother supports me whole-heartedly.
I really want to be friends with him. I really want to be there and teach him the things i had to learn on my own because my father wasn't around (like his dad is) and help him to learn to become himself, but damn it's hard when all you get is "OK....alright....i'm going to...whatever" whenever you try to have a discussion with him. It actually makes me want to choke the shit out of him, so i have to leave the discussion or shut myself up before i blow my lid.
He will get better, one way or another.


And since i am rambling on, i will leave with this. My ex-wife has stated over and over how much she loves Josie as a stepmom for our son. She said she noticed a change in him right away after i left the warthog and got with Josie. She said he now more eager than ever to spend time with me (and us) and is overall happier when he gets home and is actually upset sometimes when he has to leave me. She also said if anything happens between me and Josie (that would split us up) she was going to keep Josie and let Deet go with her and not me on weekends! (this was before we were married of course). So needless to say, that is another thing in my life that is more stress-free.

I could really complain about the strange twists and turns my life has taken in the past 10 years: being perpetually broke; moving every few years and having to live with roommates; wasting 3 years with the last girlfriend; getting laid off a week after getting married...i could go on and on.
But really, i have a wonderful wife that treats me like a king, that all my friends adore. She has great kids that are somebody already - they have their own distinct personalities and visions of where their life is going. My son is happier than he has been in a long time.
And things will only get better. Every day, the sun will rise, it will set, and the cycle goes on - over and over. And whatever problems we have will be there the next day. And we will have to face them and deal with them one day or the next, somehow, someway.
But with this group around me, it sure makes the trip a lot more interesting and exciting. and i wouldn't trade one second of it.




*it was something like $10 - $15 dollars more to rent the condo for the month over just 2 weeks.




P.S.- I think it worth noting that EVERYONE but me in this family has been diagnosed or is being tested for some type of learning disorder.
My son - autistic
Josie - ADHD, she takes meds for it daily and i can definitely tell if she hasn't
Oldest - ADD
Second oldest - testing for dyslexia - last doctor said he is positive she is
The Boy - same as his mother

So all in all it makes it pretty exciting around here between all the hormones and cycles and lack of attention span...makes one wonder how i have not become and alcoholic or a weed head yet :loopy:


there are numerous typos i should go back and edit but i am too tired to do it now.
 

Rich

insert witty comment here
aaaaahhh

Josie's boss rented a condo in New Braunfels for the month (it was actually $200 cheaper for the month than for just two weeks) and he has graciously granted us use of it for the weekend for the low, low price of FREE.
Kind of a belated honeymoon for us :banana:

And I am now sitting on my butt, sipping a rum and coke watching football ON VACATION.

It really is a beautiful part of the country. We spent @ 2 hours driving around today taking in some scenery. We hope to go kayaking tomorrow or the next day for a few hours down the Guadalupe River.

Oh, and the condo is AWESOME. Feels VERY much like a home instead of something rented.

Ok, enough of this, going back to my drink and I believe I hear my wife calling to me :jump:
 

Rich

insert witty comment here
A little update

I haven't been here in weeks and it always seems different.
Been busy putting in OT at work as Josie has been bouncing around a couple of jobs the past few months. We can hang on until she finds something she likes. The plus side is that when she is not working, she makes a great housewife. Having dinner ready or almost ready when you walk in the door is very easy to get used to.

Everything else has been steady with the occasional fishing trip sprinkled in or a day of vegging out doing nothing. not that I am complaining as I prefer low-key and drama free. We are going to Gatlinburg for a week of vacation in June and are really looking forward to that. We are kind of looking at it as possibly a last (only?) Family Vacation. With the oldest of the step-daughters starting college in the fall (full scholarship to Tulane - we are, of course, ecstatic!) and the other step children getting older and hanging with their friends more and more, this may be the last time we are all together for a while.
My only complaint is that I didn't come into the picture earlier as they really are great kids and treat mine as one of their own. I missed out on a lot of the "family time" as they are now more and more independent.

The only thing noteworthy as of late was the trip to the DMV. Now, the building is brand new, state-of-the-art with all the bells and whistles, but it's the same old dregs of society you see there.
I had to renew my registration (to get my inspection sticker - i didn't pay attention and had let both expire). So i am sitting in a mostly empty building - me, some old dude that looked to be straight of a tractor, a soccer mom with a younger child in a stroller...and the 3 meth-heads sitting across from me. Flat-brim hats, Tap-Out T-shirts, extra long denim shorts with wallet-on-chain, and of course a thin moustache that was only a shade darker than chocolate milk on the upper lip of a 5 year old.
These members of MENSA were discussing where they would eat once they left the DMV. They were kicking around the idea of getting Chinese food at some place the had just opened. Of course, the conversation had turned to what was "really" in the Beef and Broccoli which turned into the great debate - real beef or rat? They were debating whether or not ANY Chinese place used real beef or was it some type of rodent. Then, if it was rodent, what type? Rat or squirrel? Is rat all that different from squirrel? Would you eat rat with BBQ sauce? When was the last time any of them had had BBQ squirrel?
This whole time I am pretending to play some game on my cell phone, trying not to look at the gaping maw that belongs to the chick that is with them. She fit the profile: frizzy blonde hair - check; baggy concert T-shirt - check; WHITE jeans - check again! Her mouth was a train-wreck of missing teeth and discolored gums that could only belong to a lifelong Meth addicted hockey player…minus the hockey.
Of course one of the two guys pipes up with “STAWP!! Y’awall are making me HUNGRIEEE!

Mercifully, their number was called at that point, so all 3 got up to go get god-knows-what taken care of, but as they walked past me, I caught a whiff of what seemed like Pine-Sol, cigarettes, self-loathing and bad decisions.

Mind you this was 2 weeks ago, but the whole scenario is burned into my memory like a horrible dream of stereo-typical hayseeds from Deliverance with he faint sound of banjos in the background. I shudder to think of what those 3 consider “living it up” or “a night on the town” - probably a bonfire roasting red hotdogs and frog legs, the frogs coming straight from the sewage ditch in the backyard.

Now, by no means am I a representative of the upper-, or hell, even the middle-class, but this troupe just fit the profile so perfectly it was hard to dismiss. I can only hope to see these folks again to use as an example “see those people son? You don’t EVER want to end up like that.”

But that’s just my opinion.
 

Rich

insert witty comment here
words

Horrified
Disbelief
Numb
Miserable
Sick
Sad
Sad
Sad
SAD
Sad
sad
still sad....

These are a few of the things I have felt that I can actually remember feeling for the past week.
I have not done as much as others, I have yet to experience what other people have, but for me, this past week was the hardest of my life.
I got the worst call of my life last Friday night. It was my uncle, barely able to speak, and only shrieked out two words through his uncontrollable sobbing: Dylan's dead.
It took a few seconds for me to fully understand what he kept repeating over and over.
My cousin, the person most like a brother to me and I to him, had a heart attack and then some sort of seizure and was dead at the age of 36.

Me and Josie had just went out with him and his wife the weekend before and had plans on going to some festival this past Sunday. We talked 2-3 times a week on the phone and were making big plans, as always, about the upcoming hunting season.

Now, my partner in crime, a person who fed off me and I off him, a person who is my almost exact personality...is gone.

I wanted to write details about how nice the wake and funeral were, and about the massive amount of people the turned out to pay their respects. There were people from the company I work at as he had worked there years before, but is such a character that no one forgot him. And then the 25-30 of his co-workers that came to the funeral.

I wanted to write about the things I said when I spoke at the funeral, but, I couldn't tell you as I was on the verge of losing it the whole time. I just remember wanting to get out a message that said something about "beyond the hurt is the healing"...or something like that.

I wish most of all I could remember everything his dad stood up and said. And the mere fact that he was even standing was a miracle in itself. He was inconsolable for the days leading up to this. All I can remember was being blown away with the power and steadiness in his voice as he was able to stand up there, unwavering, and said all the things I had wanted to say. All the things I had memorized at 4 AM that morning, unable to sleep, knowing what was coming later that morning.

There was a Catholic mass as part of the funeral, and as I saw my mom walk up to receive the gifts from the priest, I thought to myself,"please do not look at me, please mom, do not look at me!"
And she did.
And I broke down, in the front row which had been reserved for the pallbearers, the same way I had 5-6 times over the weekend. My mother took my head in her hands and I buried my face in a way I hadn't done since I was a small child and I cried. I fought it so hard. I could hear it how hard I fought it. I forced myself to stop and composed myself the best I could for the rest of the service.
My cousin was cremated, so at the end of it all, the pallbearers were to place their boutineer in the back of the coach and it was to drive off. And it took me a minute to take it off...and a few seconds to make my hand place it next to the coffin...and a few more seconds to actually acknowledge my wife asking me if i was alright after the hearse was well out of sight.

And those feelings come welling back up as I just now tucked my son in to his bed. Knowing what a great son, husband, father, and friend he was.

I miss him. It's been enough days past that now one of us should have called or sent a text to the other. Which brings me to the feeling now:

Deeper.

It's sinking in deeper and deeper as I start to realize all of the things that went unspoken but were planned on being done. Things like the trip to Bass Pro Shop to look at new hunting gear, test new duck calls, check out new ammo. And trips to the shooting range to shoot skeet, which without a doubt improved our skills. And the trip to repair/rebuild the duck blind, a duty passed on to me and him after we built one 2 years ago that came out dead.nuts.level. all the way around.

These are things that I had never thought were going to be done by anyone other than me and him. The thought had never crossed my mind.

I am growing tired and a little upset the more I write so I think I am going to wrap this up after putting in just a few more things.

I want to recognize what great friends I have been lucky enough to surround myself with. Bubba and Jojo have been so great. They bought me a leather wristband with a green rectangular stone bound to it. The stone has a cross etched into it and now it brings me comfort every time I look at it. I have only had it for not even a week, but I already know that it will be something I will treat as sacred and one of my most valued possessions.

Then there is Doc. The same Doc I have written about in this journal before. We had an argument some 7-8 years ago and we have not seen nor spoken to each other all that time. The history on that is that Cuz and I BOTH were roommates to Doc for several months and I made up my mind to apologize and tell Doc as he and Dylan had remained friends all that time. I had to let him know via Facebook of all things. I got a call from him not 5 minutes after sending the message and I could tell he was shook up by the tone of his voice, a voice I hadn't heard all that time.
We met up and rode around as I gave him all the details I had and we retold stories about my cousin and the crazy smart-assed stuff he would say and do. In the words of Doc, we are just as we were 10 years ago. I hate that it took this monumental loss to bring us back together, but I am certainly glad that my tiny circle of really close friends pulled one back. He isn't replacing Dylan, just coming back into my life.


Last - my wife. God Bless Her. I don't know how I would have survived this past week without her. She has been battling bronchitis, coughing, sneezing, allergies attacking her and there she was.
For all the times I have been a shoulder for her to cry on, she was an absolute rock for me. She definitely has had more to deal with from me in the past 7 days. I cannot tell you how truly blessed I feel to have her as my wife.

And with that i need to go, the poor thing is in the bed coughing and sneezing and being generally miserable.

I will miss you, Cuz...but never, ever forget you.
 

Rich

insert witty comment here
The Void

This was pretty painful to write…it will probably be painful to read.
But I needed to get it out.

So, I have been meaning to type this out for several days now and I thought it fitting since I saw Maddie (Dylan's daughter) and Aunt Rhonda (his mom) this morning while dropping Maddie off at school.
It’s been 98 days since he passed away. And I still can’t wrap my mind around it. I still want to pick up my phone and text him; still want to call to see what his plans are for the weekend; still waiting for him to send me the random link to a website or weird/ gross picture on my phone.
And it never happens. I pick it up and stare at it. Then, intentionally, I will scroll through my contacts to his name and number. And just go numb.
And then sadness creeps back in. Only it doesn’t sneak up on me anymore. It’s in my face, slapping me to the reality of that part of my life being gone.

The part of my life that most people don’t know as to how I saw him. He had worked longer at the cable company than me so he had more experience. He had been hunting at Uncle Terry’s camp longer than me, so he knew the ins and outs of that lake and the lay of the land better than me. And, he is just more quit-witted than me.
So, all of this adds up to the fact that I feel like I have lost an “older” brother. Someone who would listen if I had a problem and normally have more insight, more experience, and honestly, more common sense when it came to something I just couldn’t grasp.
Of course, he was always funny. I don’t think anyone can think of a movie he couldn’t quote at least one line from, in character.
And all that’s left is a void. No more funny. No more experience to draw from. No more friend. Sure, I honestly believe I have felt his presence from time to time – standing outside my home, smoking at dusk, a flight of wood ducks flew over – no sound at all. Not a whistle, not a wing beat. 50 feet overhead and all I heard was the wind. And it saddens me more.

The main problem I have had is that I have become angrier. I have fought more with Josie these past few months than ever. I am more on edge. And I just can’t make myself stop smoking (which I KNOW I can do – I’ve done it before). But, there is some comfort in that cigarette. We always smoked together. He always had a cigarette in hand. Of course we all know they’re not good for you, but what can you say, a habit is a habit. And now, every one I light up, every one I bum from someone else, I think of him when I light it. It makes me think of when we go hunting - that first one after getting in the duck blind: inhale…silence…exhale…”did you hear that?”…inhale….silence….exhale. “…thought I heard a (mallard) hen”…silence…inhale…exhale.

I and Josie had a long conversation after an argument, through text message of all things, earlier this week. We covered several subjects, but I finally admitted to myself that I had become angrier. It was only then that I truly thought about it and tried to dig deep and discovered just how much I miss him and how much it affects me. The Void. I can only hope that, just like with any good therapy, that after discovering the root of the problem and talking about it, that it will get better. I do already feel like a lot has been lifted off of me after thinking about just how intertwined my life was with him, even if we didn’t spend that much time actually together.

And I have to say again, I don’t know where I would be without her. Sure, I have…I NEED…the love and support of Uncle Terry, Aunt Rhonda, Maddie, Uncle Jody, Cody, Laurie, Kevin, Brant, Brady…everyone, just as they need it from me. But I can honestly say without Josie, this would be beyond painful to devastating. She has been there. She knows the loss of a young, favorite family member. She has been beyond patient with me even when I push her to her breaking point. I can only be thankful for that and pray it continues. Because this pain, it can grow to something much worse, blindsiding me in the middle of the day (as I type this out at work), or growing when I have too much free time on my hands.

Or when there is (what I see as) a clear sign that he IS here with us. Like the silence…inhale…silence…exhale.
 

Rich

insert witty comment here
ramblings and stuff

I haven’t updated in a while and am doing so thanks to some kindly persuasion by Josie. I haven’t felt like writing in a while simply because nothing coherent or organized has stayed with me in a long while. Sure, I have been out, I have plenty of things that have happened recently that are journal-worthy, but it just has been and has stayed all jumbled and disjointed. So, as Josie said, maybe it’s time for another installment of “a few things I think...”

But not right now…there are some things bumping around. Like the mere fact that the place I used to go to and read other people’s journals…the place where I started my original journal – no one posts updates anymore. I have quite a following there (on average at least 76 people actually take time to read the crap I put down…WHY, I have NO idea) And that bums me out….from the guy blogging about his virginity until hooking up with another blogger there that took it, to the swinging couple in Phoenix, to the Death Cab for Cutie fan that met up with and dated the guy from London who ALSO blogs there (he still blogs along with another – a single mother who has had MORE than her fair share of trials in her life)….to the Old Lady (no…that’s her sign in name – Oldlady).

Call me retarded or tell me to get a life, but I got wrapped up in reading those people’s journal entries and what was going on. I only sent back and forth a few private messages to only a select few. As dumb as it may sound, chatting with someone who you have never met nor ever will (well, except for the four that were couples for a while) but it was a little online community. And now, like an apartment complex, some are still there, but others have moved, leaving a mailing addresses, or just gone. I miss it.

I have been trying my best to help my uncle with the hunting camp. The floods that ravaged the towns along the Mississippi River did not spare the camp. It is 18 feet off the ground and still got 2 ½ ft of water in it. It is a trailer; elevated and supported by cross members between telephone poles. There are no floors left. The particle board the floors were made of simply disintegrated. The paneling is warped and stained. All the cabinets and built in drawers have to be yanked out. It is basically rebuilding the entire lower 1/3 of it. All the while having to watch your step, dealing with the mosquitoes and gnats and….the heat. Holy shit is it hot out there. The electricity has been turned back on so we have fans and even the A/C (what little bit will stay in with there being NO FREAKING FLOORS) so it’s not as hot as being outside. But working in it for 5-7 hours completely drains you. It takes all of the next day to recover, no matter how much you drink. Just last weekend, I had 4 16 oz. bottles of water, 2 32 oz. Gatorades, 2 cokes…I did not have to pee until I got home. I had sweat out that much.

That brings us to my buddy James who has come out there a couple of times to help and has busted his ass when he does. You really cannot understand how good a friend he is to volunteer to come out and deal with that crap just to help a friend and my uncle.
I can only imagine what the payback is going to be.

I am still mourning the loss of my cousin. EVERY DAY. Whether it’s because I see him in the picture frame on my desk, or just missing what was once there…Every. Single. Day.
I think I am finally starting to kick the cigarette habit even though I still have a few during the week and on weekends. I used to smoke about 2 ½ to 3 packs a week. I have about 15-20 cigarettes a week now. Now, if I can only get back into going to the gym. I did well for a few weeks, but just haven’t been able to get back yet.

Maybe I will edit this into “things I think” as I am starting to ramble.

I still miss my cousin…..Every…Single…Day
James is one hell of a friend to volunteer his time to work on a camp he had never seen before.
I am smoking much less. Maybe a pack a week, down from 3 a week
I need to get my fat ass back to the gym. I was really starting to get into it and get in some sort of shape, lost 7 pounds and had more energy after going only 3 weeks. I haven’t been back since vacation.
I REALLY need to upload some pictures from my phone to facebook. Vacation photos, camp photos, misc BS photos.
Is it football season yet?
If the question is the quarterback, I am still not convinced Jordan Jefferson is the answer. If he can draw praise from the Mannings, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt…for a very short time at least.
If it’s NOT football season yet, it’s most definitely NOT Hunting season yet. Come ON colder weather!

I think I am done…..i will re-read and let Josie proof-read it and edit as necessary.



* this was originally typed out as a generic entry, not so much as something specific for this journal...so...yeah
 

Rich

insert witty comment here
numb part 2

Updating from my phone... Going into day 3 at the hospital ,waiting for my oldest sister to take her final breath.
Lupus is a cruel bitch,not just a diagnosis on "House "

So much more to say. A proper update is coming.


I too miss you all, wherever the rest of you (Journalers ) may be.
 

Rich

insert witty comment here
gone

At 3:45 PM June 21, 2012...my sister opened her eyes one last time and saw my dad, looked at him for a few seconds, closed her eyes, and took her last breath.

Rest in peace Jennifer. After battling this illness for 22 years, a kidney transplant, multiple minor surgeries, countless trips to the hospital, and having both legs amputated, if any one deserves it, it's you.

Now that you are up there, be sure to tell Dylan to take care of my dogs.
 

Rich

insert witty comment here
Below is something my sister wrote, I hope she doesn't mind me posting it here, as the two (entries?) go hand in hand.

Jennifer
by Stephanie on Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 10:28pm

My sister Jennifer died Thursday, June 21, 2012 after a long battle with Lupus. The disease took her kidneys which caused a host of other painful health problems that eventually ended her short life. She was only 42. She was awesome.

On one of my many Monday nights at the hospital with her, I just wrote down some thoughts. Keep in mind this was written while she was still here with us.

Lupus is like a hurricane. When it first comes on the scene there's the fear of the unknown. What will it affect? What will happen to me?

Then there's the eye of the storm. When you stand back and assess the damage and figure out how to deal with the mess it has made. You think, yeah it's crappy but I'll just have to make changes and make do with what's left.

Then the other side of the storm comes and strikes again-HARD. Not so easy to deal with. You're still not strong enough from the first attack. Much harder to deal with on so many other painful levels.

And there are many, many tornadoes yet to come.

But there's always hope. Through the destruction there are helpful caring hands all along the way reaching out to help. And so much love.

Of course God is always there. No one knows why he allows the things he does. Even though we can't always see it, God has the whole picture, we just have puzzle pieces.

Maybe we go through things to bring us closer to him through many sleepless nights, sad thoughts, tearful prayers.

He's got the whole world in his hands - he sure has to be holding those devastated by the storm named Lupus.

Healing is such a slow painful process. When you go through it, there's always a footprint in your mind of where you've been, what you've been through, and who was there holding your hand trying to love your pain away - to make it their own.

It's hard to be in pain - for me it's even harder to watch someone else in pain - makes my heart hurt.

God answers prayers, yes, no, or not now. Sometimes it's hard to figure out the answer. What if you don't even know what to pray for?

To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. But what if we're not ready to let go? Is it right to hold on for our own selfish reasons? But we must be strong to keep hope alive. As long as she wants to be.

Through it all she never complained. She was awesome.



____________________________________________________

Rich

Well, I had actually not planned on writing this out at the time I did. I guess Stephanie inspired me. I mean, I knew at some point I would write something, I just didn't think it would be @ 2 AM last night.




You know, I really don't even feel like writing this out. It's late, my eyes are blurry and these glasses don't seem to help.


So many thoughts running through my head...so disjointed, blurred together. A whirlwhind, much like the one my sister described in what she wrote.


It's been a long past several days, a long past 6 months. a long twenty-something years for Jennifer. It's been filled with medications, procedures, operations, a transplant, and 2 amputations. And in the end, at least she knew some relief from the pain that her illness caused.Now, at last, she is pain free, released from the grips of the disease. It took her life, but not her grace, her dignity...her spirit.


In the end she was apologetic for the pain she was causing us to go through.She wanted to be sure everyone was taken care of - where her money went, where her car went, and to explain to her nephew, who never knew a life without her, that he would be OK. She knewshe was dying but wanted all of her affairs to be in order so that the rest of us would not be burdened with them after she was gone.

In her very final moments, she tried to go on her terms, when she thought she would be most alone (not that my mother wouldallow that. No, she, as well as the rest of us made damn sure Jennifer would not be alone) so that no one would have to see it. But wedid, we were all there. I glad we were.


My dad of course fell to tears as did my mother, my sisters Stephanie and Becky, Don, and even myself. I have probably cried the least, not because I am some hard-ass or I can tough it out, but because I am relieved she is no longer in pain. But I know, I KNOW my time is coming.


At this time I am most worried about my mother because she has been through as much or more than anyone. And Don, who has been there to bring Jennifer to so many doctors appointments and to run her to the hospital when she was feeling worse than normal.I will try to be someone they can lean on. Somehow, I feel like it's my duty and I will see that I do it the best I can.


I can only imagine what it must have been like for Jennifer to know her days were few and how she could come to peace with that. I think she figured it was to the point where nothing more could be done and, well damn it, she was going to at least be in control of the amount of days she would feel like she was going to have to wait.


She's earned her wings. Lord knows if anyone has earned them it's her. She went through too much, suffered too much, and through it allnever complained or whined about her situation except when she was in pain. Lupus took her legs, so she started to learn to walk on artificial ones. That shows how tough she was, as that was just 2 weeks ago. She will always be the toughest girl I ever knew.


It's after midnight and today is going to be the second longest day of my life, Monday being the longest. It will be filled with sadness, memories, and family, getting together to celebrate her life. It's not that I want it to just be over, be done. It's that I can't shut my mind off for one second during this time. And we all want this to happen so we can say that after the wake, the mass, and the burial that we know for sure that when we speak of her, she is up there looking down on us.*






*Well, obviously, I was able to shut my mind off as now it's after noon. Bridget had a mild asthma attack while I was up writing this so I wanted to make sure she was OK. We stayed up, watched more TV, and eventually fell asleep.



I now need to go shower, iron some pants, and get dressed. I don't want to do it. I shouldn't have to be doing it. None of us should. This shouldn't have happened to someone so young.


But we all will. We all try to scrape together a fraction of the grace and dignity Jennifer showed in those final hours. The courage.


We won't be able to.
 

Rich

insert witty comment here
Familiarity

What i wrote below is not how i feel at this exact moment.....i had a moment earlier, but i am better now, so don't worry.

I just wanted to write it out while it was fresh in my mind.




Familiarity


it's funny how you can go from "being in a really good place" to "i just want to crawl in the bed and make the world go away" in only a few moments.
you are sailing along, making jokes with co-workers, having a good conversation with your SO. and then something
small...some innocuous little event, word, or picture sets of a series of thoughts that link to others that links to others that links to others and then you all of a sudden are thinking of things that bring you to "not a good place"
thoughts of loss, missing people, and just a general feeling of sadness.

it's no longer overwhelming. it's more of a general haze or funk, like being unable to maintain a thought...like being sick. you want to see through it, to know that it will get better. but sometimes it's futile. you're no better off knowing you can't hold your eyes open any longer and succumbing to inevitable sleep. sometimes you are smart enough to just shut off the TV and roll over and accept it....it's going to happen.
sometimes you fight it until an alarm snaps you out of it and you never realized you drifted off.

for some people, it never gets easier with time. i can honestly say it "is" a "little" easier to deal with. but only because it's more familiar. most of the time you can see it coming. and other times you don't recognized it until you are fully enveloped. but you do recognize it as it is a familiar place - panic and then acceptance that you WILL BE late for work; rushing to the oven and - yep - too late, the food is burnt; and cursing your pillow when you look up and realize it's 2:00 AM and your still awake - you know tomorrow's going to suck because you are going to be too tired.

we've all done these things a hundred times... and each time we get a little less emotional about it. the end results are the same each time: still late, still burnt, still sleepy. but as we get older we learn to becomes less of " damn it, i can't believe this has happened AGAIN" to "fuck it..i'll just have to deal with it and move on"

or do we?
 

Rich

insert witty comment here
another, older one

This was actually written a few months ago. I am just now being bothered to finally post it.



The waves of sadness crash into my eyes, turning the torrent into drops that seep through the ever weakening barricade of resilience I try to show to everyone
I'd be a rich man if I had a dollar for every artificial smile and fake "good morning " I have handed out today.
This morning WASN'T a good morning.
It was mourning. Still for those close to me I have lost and those who will be separated from me in the future.
Life keeps throwing me unhittable curveballs and I never even knew I was playing ball.
I just realized this sensation of the weight on my chest is in fact not pressure from the outside, but rather, a pull from the inside. The void inside grows and with that it pulls towards the inside like a vacuum.
I try to be the rock but over time, after so many strikes from a hammer, even the strongest rock starts to show the wear of time, the elements, and the repeated blows against it.
And what if that rock has small pockets of emptiness in it?
Does it crumble? does it just split?
Or is it tough enough to show the tiny fractures, but relent against the pounding?
I don't want to find out.
I'd rather the hammer just be put down.
 

Rich

insert witty comment here
you know me, just random thoughts

So, it's been a while since I decided to write. This was more of a slow build up, brewing for a couple of months rather than a shot of inspiration that just hits.
And, as usual, there will be no rhyme or reason behind it.

For those that don't already know, my son lives in Texas now. His step-father had his job relocated there. So, for the past 6 months or so, it's been a steady schedule of phone calls every night and a few weekend visits here and there. We did plan our summer vacation to spend it close to where he lives, which is conveniently the same spot we vacationed last year.

Today is a day of mixed feelings as today is quite somber and humbling since it is Memorial Day. I'm not sure if any one else does, but I truly get filled with a since of sadness when I see those scenes of Arlington National Cemetery and the family members visiting their loved ones that are laid to rest there. I am truly humbled by the fact that so many men and women have given their life protecting a country I love so much. And not just there, but all over the world.
A sincere "Thank You" goes out to each and every one of those men and women.

This in turn reminds me (like I needed a reminder) of those that I have lost close to me. I still hurt every day, missing my sister and my cousin. NOT A DAY goes by that I don't think of them both and I feel an Honest-To-God pain right through the center of me. It feels like a punch in the chest. At least now, when that happens at work, I can blame the contacts I now wear for me tearing up and excusing myself to the restroom.
I stopped to see my sister's grave and headstone yesterday. Medium height with Angel's wings carved on each side, with a single tulip carved in the back. The lettering was excellent and I wouldn't change a thing. My mother did a good job on the design. It looks perfect.

Today is also my son's birthday. I can't believe it's been 15 years since that long night when he finally came into the world. I still remember walking out to tell everyone (friends and family still in the waiting room until almost 2 in the morning),"I have a baby Tiger! It's a boy!"
I will call him as soon as I finish writing this out.

I feel like so much has happened and yet, so much is unchanged. Me and Josie are doing great, the kids are doing great, we have no complaints there, aside from her son acting like an idiot from time to time.


So, I guess it's time for another edition of my copying off of Si.com's Peter King with "Things I think I think."

1) I think the best of our years are still ahead of us. Me and Josie can see it, even if it is still 5 or so years off. When the kids will be out of school, taking care of themselves* and we will finally be able to buy a house. With an actual yard. That we can actually spend time in doing the things we love to do now, just with our own space.

2) LSU Baseball has a legit shot at a 7th National Championship. Those guys don't know how to accept defeat.

3) LSU Football team should be able to do the same. There is no reason in the world that with the talent they have returning and the newcomers to the team that they will not have as much or more talent than any other team in the nation. Let's just hope the coach does not fuck it up.

4) I HATE the summer heat and all that comes with it; the ridiculous humidity; the random, pop-up thunderstorm; the damned insects...They are the worst though. If every biting, stinging insect (aside from bees-they pollinate everything, I know) would disappear tomorrow, that would be just great.

5) I DO know that I will get out in said heat to go fishing.

6) I am getting irrationally excited for hunting season to get here. I definitely plan an spending a whole lot more time getting the duck blind in shape. And I am prepared to spend some money on it this year too, if need be.

7) I need to lose weight. Seriously...need to.

8) Despite what Josie thinks, I really have cut back on my smoking. not that 7-10 a day was bad (in MY opinion - even though I know they are ALL bad) but I am down to 4-6 a day. Some days less, some times if we go out with friends and have a drink or two, more than that. But it evens out.

9) I really don't feel like getting up and doing the dishes.

10) I started reading again, and that is good. I finished book 1 of Game of Thrones and just started the 2nd. My goal is to be done with them all before the next season starts up on HBO after current one ends.



*we still try to pay for as much as we can for the girls in college so that they don't have to get Student Loans to pay for things. that is our commitment to them. we did tell them, however, that if a house previously owned by one of Josie's cousins comes up for sale we will do everything we can to buy it. it's not big, it's not fancy, but the layout is perfect for when we want to have friends over to watch a ball game or have a cookout, and it is literally next door to another set of cousins and one of her aunts and uncles. and about 200 feet from the neighborhood i grew up in, where one of my sisters still lives (in the house i grew up in, that my mother wants to move back to). right now that house is owned by one of Josie's aunts, so we will do what we can to get first in line should she decide to sell it.



And for now, that's it. I just got distracted and lost everything else I wanted to say.
 
Last edited:

Rich

insert witty comment here
Where did everybody go?

Wow...I guess I need to make copies of all my posts, it looks like this place is done for. I have wanted to come here to post for a while now, just didn't have much to say that wasn't negative or morbid or sad.

Since I am on several other message boards, I'll make this post an amended version of something I just posted elsewhere.
It's not for anyone I know personally just yet because I just don't want to jinx a couple of the things I am posting below.

I just signed a purchase agreement on a house (contingent upon the flood insurance - because EVERYTHING in Louisiana is in a flood zone). The initial quotes for insurance are looking affordable so far.

Josie just switched jobs. Instead of working every Saturday it will be every other one at worst, but maybe only one a month.

I interviewed for a job I think I am not quite qualified for. The interview went as well as any I've ever had and the interviewer did seem genuinely impressed. However, if I get said job, I will have to commute 1.5 hours each way for the training for it, for 6 months. This will be going on as I am trying to buy this house...And move.

ALL of the above is still awesome because if you had asked me, "how's it going?" a month ago, I might have just grumbled about my great dislike for my current job...and where I live now...and my wife's crappy previous job.

Fuck it, even if my new job doesn't pan out and we don't get the house, things are still looking up and A LOT better than they were.

Going to see L.S.U. tonight...Saturday night in Death Valley. There is nothing like it.

I wish more people would come back and post more often, or at all....I genuinely miss those stories as this was the first little "community" I ever belonged to. Hell, I had more interactions with people here with journals than I do with my own neighbors.




Coincidence? - If everything goes smoothly, I should close on this house on Oct. 31...the same day 1 year ago my son moved to his new home. :wishy:
 

Rich

insert witty comment here
House

So, we got the house. We've been in it for about 3 weeks now.
We are LOVING it so far and the neighbors seem nice (well, for the 30 seconds I've met them.

I didn't get the job, but apparently, nobody did. Not sure what to think about that. Office politics or some such shit.

Everything seems to be going in a positive direction for now so I will just ride this good vibe for as long as I can.

Enjoying all the bowl games and LSU's win today.

Duck hunting has sucked so far, but I am still happy being on the lake, watching the sunrise on a crisp, cool morning with the breeze in my face.

Life is good at the moment.
 

Rich

insert witty comment here
To hell with the DMV

had to go there today to update my address.
nice new building, nice and innovative "take a number" queue*. fuckers still take cash only. i had to run to the ATM next door to get cash. luckily the lady helping me let me jump right back in line to pay and then take my picture for my new license.

and THAT picture looks great. it's like my neck is trying to eat my face. luckily the beard i have been growing (and keeping trimmed - I didn't want to go all Duck Dynasty or anything like that) keeps me from looking too obese.

interesting tidbit - in what was probably one of my more memorable posts in this journal, i had a three-way one night with this chick and her room mate.
weirdly enough she has re-entered my circle of friends, which is scary because i swear she and Josie were separated at birth. they are so much alike i had to introduce them through facebook and we've all hung out a few times too. i find it all VERY hilarious.

Anywho, back to this bowl game. i'm not going to be too upset if The Gumps lose.




*the "take a number" queue is actually 6 different sets of numbers with a very pleasant voice telling you which number is up and which counter to go to. very nice, and quite frankly, pretty high tech considering this hellhole of a parish (county for you non-Louisiana folk).
but they don't accept credit cards, debit cards, or checks.

jackasses.
 

Rich

insert witty comment here
eh

still here...nothing too exciting going on.
still loving the house. things are still going great with me an Josie. life is good.

had a Mother's Day cook-out for my Mom, wife, and sisters. it was awesome besides the metric ton of sausage dripping fat/grease on the burners and smoking out the entire street. i just knew someone was going to call the fire department on me. luckily no sausage was harmed or burnt.


we have Josie's oldest graduating college this coming weekend, her son graduating high school the next and that same weekend i'm taking my boy to a concert by his home in Texas. it's going to be busy for the next month or so.

watching Buying the Bayou on Destination America channel. Yesterday was a couple that bought a camp very close to my uncle's hunting camp in Mississippi and the one we are watching now the couple is buying close to Josie's parents camp*

i hope everyone that still reads this still enjoys it.











*Josie's parents camp is located in Pierre Part, only 3/4 mile from a giant freaking sink hole (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayou_Corne_sinkhole) that developed and has forced everyone to evacuate. there were some nice houses located on that body of water, plenty of fishing camps, and plenty of families that retired there that have been forced out and relocate. i had been fishing there a few times and i will miss it. Josie is almost in tears when it's discussed. that camp has been in the family for 4 generations now.:mope:


P.S. that tree in the picture in the Wiki link is not right by the sinkhole. it's actually closer towards the camp. i have caught several fish under that tree and the little, short green stump in the background.
 
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