Nov 272012
 

As most of our friends know at this point, Lisa and I are going to be married in the early part of 2013.

What you don’t know is that you probably aren’t going to be at the wedding.

This isn’t because we don’t like you. This isn’t because we don’t want to celebrate our marriage with our friends and family. This isn’t even because we are cheap and don’t want to spend the money necessary to have a big wedding.

There are several reasons, really. Logistics play into things quite heavily (namely the fact that there are travel arrangements involved, and I’m also likely to be in the middle of a show run when the event happens), as does the fact that both of us have been married before and don’t really feel the need to have a big, elaborate ceremony. The fact of the matter is that we’ve even discussed eloping on more than one occasion and the idea is incredibly appealing.

Ultimately, though, the reason we are keeping this as small is possible is because we want the focus of the day to be on us and our children. We want them to be involved, and we don’t want our focus pulled in 1,000 different directions worrying about food, guests, schedules, receptions, egos, and whether or not everyone knows how to do the Chicken Dance.

This ceremony is about them as much as it is about us, and THAT is where our focus is going to be.

As I said above, though, it’s not as though we don’t want to celebrate the occasion with our friends. Far from it. Some time after the actual ceremony we are going to throw a party. It will be a no-gifts-required-or-expected, casual, celebration of our vows. There will be food, drink, and (hopefully) great conversation. There will be cake. That, my friends, you’re likely to be part of. We sincerely hope you choose to be, anyway.

But the ceremony itself? Probably not.

We really hope you understand.

May 032009
 

I may have inadvertently been used to end the marriage of my ex-wife and her current husband.

The long story short version of the story is that he was my best friend at the time my ex and I split up. It sucked, but I got over it. We’re still friendly now. I’m also on relatively civil terms with my ex, largely motivated by it being good for my son.

Well, over the years both of them have at one time or another bitched to me about the other and the state of their marriage. Suffice it to say, things on that front have been terribad for a while. She’s been venting to me a LOT over the situation. He hasn’t, but I haven’t really had the occasion to talk to him much recently.

That changed on Saturday. He and I were at Alex’s baseball game and he asked me to go for a walk with him. He vented his spleen about the situation, up to and including the statement that he was fairly certain he was going to be laid off in two weeks and if he was he was leaving the state without her. Near the end of our conversation he said that he didn’t care if I told her everything he’d said the next time I talked to her.

So I did. This stupidity has gone on too long, and frankly I’m tired of being stuck in the middle.

As of yet I haven’t heard back from her, but Alex has been at their place since I sent her an email. I’m guessing things are going to be interesting at their place tonight.

Jan 122009
 

I haven’t made a post here in almost a month, and all I have is the really lame excuse of “I was busy with the holidays and rehearsing for a show.”  I’m still really busy, actually.  I just started a new semester of classes at Saint Petersburg College (I’m taking the classes necessary to get into their B.S. Technology Management program).

That being said, my creativity is kind of at an all time low – which really sucks because I’m working on a super-secret new project with some friends that is going to require quite a bit of creativity from me in very short order.

The preceding two paragraphs were a lame setup for the cheesy premise of the post that follows.  I’m going to take some of my tweets from the last month and expand on them.

So lame.

Continue reading »

Apr 222002
 

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Feb 092002
 

There is no possible way I can make this a short entry. So much has happened in the last few weeks, and every time I think I need to sit down and start writing about it something else happens that needs to be mentioned as well. So I apologize if this particular entry gets a little on the long-winded side, gang, but there is a lot of ground to cover.

“Maxwell” opened on January 4th here in Tampa to two rave reviews and a really horrid one. Like Meat Loaf states so eloquently, however, two out of three ain’t bad. Our second night was commemorated by a young man here in Tampa attempting to repeat the events of September 11th by ramming a small passenger plane into the Bank of America building in downtown Tampa. It was a totally surreal experience, especially for our composer, Joe Popp. He was about half a mile away from the World Trade Center when it was attacked, and here he was in Tampa and someone was flying planes into buildings again. I wonder, though, if the group of people in the show were just more cynical than the average bear or if we are already becoming numb to the effects of terrorism on our country. It didn’t take us long to start cracking jokes about the event, mostly around the fact that if it WAS a terrorist attack it was a pretty lame one. I mean the kid gets 10 out of 10 for the target but minus a million for the timing. I think there were all of maybe 5 people in that building.

For me personally, however, the attacks have taken on a new meaning, but I’ll get to that later.

On Wednesday, January 30th we got on a plane and took the show to New York City.

I always knew I would love New York. For some reason, I’ve always felt a pull towards it. I just didn’t know I would love it as much as I did. Every minute I spent there was filled with a kind of energy that is hard to describe. Like the city itself is alive. I’ve never felt more instantly comfortable in a place.

Wednesday night I met up with Barry at the airport and we took a cab back to his place. After dropping off my stuff we went to meet his girlfriend Colette at a Caribbean restaurant not far from their apartment, and there I had probably the best meal I ate during my trip (and I had a LOT of good food). They had this fresh ginger beer that they make in the restaurant that absolutely blew me away. Our waitress was this incredibly beautiful African-American woman who looked like she should be modeling clothes in Paris and not waiting tables in Brooklyn.

So after dinner we go back to the apartment and things suddenly go a little sour. Colette works a Monday through Friday job that has her getting up at 6 AM in the morning. Barry was going out of town again on Thursday, and their apartment is really small. So Colette kind of freaked out and basically told us that there was no way she could handle me staying there. Thing is, I can totally understand where she was coming from. I didn’t get in earlier than 4 on and of the nights that I was in New York, and to have me tromping around while she’s trying to sleep just would have been horrid for her. So, in the midst of this apologizing and freaking out she tells us that she rented me a room at a place called the Leo House in Manhattan. The Leo House is a hotel run by nuns that was designed to help people who can’t afford to stay in fancy places. For 62 bucks a night you get a bed, a toilet, and a shared shower. It even includes cable television. Barry was totally embarrassed and couldn’t stop apologizing, but to me the accommodations were fine. I had my own space that I could come and go as I pleased in, and I didn’t have to pay for it. What more could I ask? I know Colette felt really bad about doing that to me, but to be quite honest I think I was happier with those arrangements.

So after I got settled in at the Leo House Barry and I went to a bar called the Lake Side lounge to hook up with John Cecil and some of the “Maxwell” cast. It was a pretty crowded little place, and they were playing really shitty music Barry, John and I bailed out and went to a place called the Ace Bar. Apparently, this place is pretty famous. John said a lot of the movie “200 Cigarettes” was filmed there. I liked the place. It wasn’t too terribly crowded but it was definitely busy, and the music was much better. So over the course of many drinks I played catch-up with John and Barry. After a few rounds, Barry bailed out on us so John and I decided to go do a little more exploring.

Keep in mind this is 2:30 in the morning. Here in Tampa, things are dead. There it felt like it was 10 PM.

We went to another bar, whose name escapes me at the moment, and had a round with a genuine Irish bartender. There I learned about some of the crazy laws up in New York. Get this – the bars are allowed to be open until 4 AM, but you aren’t allowed to dance in them. I actually saw two people get told to stop dancing one night at the Ace Bar! I wasn’t really clear on why this rule was in effect, but it apparently has something to do with Guliani cracking down on rave clubs.

After we left that bar we walked over past Union Square station and went to an all night diner called Cozy’s. There I had yet another excellent meal in the Big Apple. One thing got to me about New York restaurants. The service was very fast, up until you got your food. I mean, I think one night we got our meal in less than five minutes. It takes FOREVER to get your check, though! I mean you practically have to grab these people to get them to take your money. Here in Florida they check on you every five minutes. Oh yeah, and the Cole slaw in New York totally sucks. Don’t try it.

So I finally rolled in around 5:30 that morning and crashed almost immediately.

I woke up around 11 and took a quick shower. I had to be over to the art space in Brooklyn by 3, and I thought I might get some sight seeing in before hand. That didn’t turn out to be the case, though. I was too nervous I would get lost and we had a lot of work to do that day. So I stopped and got a bagel and coffee on the way to the Subway and went directly to the theater (note : when ordering a bagel in New York, make sure you tell them you want it toasted if that’s the case. If not, they assume otherwise). I arrived at the Galapagos Art Space about one that afternoon. We spent the rest of that day getting the set put together and working out the nuances of the show in a new house. We had to make several changes to our entrances and some of our staging. The space was considerably smaller than the one in Tampa (which isn’t saying much) and we didn’t have as many places where we could get on to the stage. We managed to work it out, though, and had a decent run through at 9 that night. After the run I went to the Ace Bar again and met with John and some of his comic book geek friends for another night of drinking and ribaldry. The gang I met that night was a pretty decent one, even if the couple that was there were a little full of themselves. Mind you, in my experience I haven’t come across many really hot oriental women who dig comic books, but there is only so far that goes towards making you queen of the world, ya know? One of the guys I met there was the nephew of Klaus Fluoride from the Dead Kennedys (whom I already had tickets to go see the next Friday, ironically) and told some interesting stories growing up with that kind of influence in his life. We went to breakfast at a place called Odessa, where I had some awesome Pirogi and a really tasty Santorini Hamburger (hamburger with spinach and feta cheese on it). Got in, again, around 5 that morning and passed out again.

The next day I slept in until 3 and didn’t feel guilty about it at all. We were opening that night in New York and the last thing I wanted was to be tired. After cleaning myself up I made my way towards Brooklyn again. I did a little exploratory walking near my hotel, and got a slice of genuine New York pizza while doing so. To my surprise, I discovered that I’ve been eating it for years. Dal’Italia pizza here in St. Petersburg has always made the claim to be New York style, and they were right. In fact, I think Dal’Italia has better stuff than what I had.

Once I got to Brooklyn I stopped and got some Sushi, then went to the art space again. Friday night was the worst night there as far as the weather was concerned. It was cold and rainy pretty much the whole time, but that night the winds were really harsh. At the arts space the dressing rooms were basically a plywood covered section of the alley between two buildings, and we spent the whole night freezing our asses off. They managed to get some of the holes covered and put a space heater in there on Saturday, but for Friday all we could do was huddle and suffer. What made it worse was that we held the show for almost 15 minutes before opening, and then Joe (in a semi-drunken state) made a HUGE curtain speech. All told, it was almost an hour after we had warmed up before we went on. An hour of sitting back stage and being cold. All that aside, however, the show went very well. John and his girlfriend Lisa came to see us that night, and afterward I spent a long time talking to them about what they thought of the show. They had a lot to say, and it wasn’t all complimentary. Ironically, a lot of it was stuff that had been said to me by the director, ranney, all along. Things that he said to me would be noticed by audiences that were paying attention. Things that he said might work in Tampa but wouldn’t fly in New York. Some of the stuff actually pissed John off. To the point where he said that if those things had gone on in a show that he was involved in he would have fired someone (or kicked their ass). I think they felt bad about going off as much as they did, but I’m not the kind of person who only wants to hear the good stuff. You don’t get better if you don’t know what to improve on. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your take of what I just said) they thought I did a great job.

Or they were just being kind.

Again I went out gallivanting with John and Lisa afterwards, and we made our way to Odessa again for another late night breakfast. I made it home relatively early that night (around 4).

I woke up around 10 the next morning and decided I was going to do my sightseeing. I showered quickly, got a bagel and coffee, and made my way to the Subway. I rode to Chambers street and got off to head towards the World Trade Center. After getting a little lost (and subsequently saved by a timely phone call from Colette) I managed to find it.

So there I stood. Looking at this huge area of Manhattan that was just…empty. Most of “the pile” has been cleared away, and you can only see it from certain angles. I didn’t want to wait 3 hours to stand on the observation platform, so I walked around the area just trying to get glimpses of what I could. Most of what I got was a feeling that something was just missing. It was wrong. Like in the middle of this huge urban area there was this black hole. I guess that’s a pretty apt description. I saw some very moving things. I saw all the cards and pictures hung up by the families of the victims. I saw people crying. I saw the damage done to the surrounding buildings. I saw some of the rescue workers on breaks, looking tired and sad. I saw a sign that someone erected that was reminiscent of those road signs you always see in war movies. You know the ones, I’m sure. It had directional arrows pointing to different cities with the miles to them on it. The last arrow said “Hell – 0 Miles.” That kind of chilled me.

I didn’t cry, though. I didn’t feel much of anything. Just kind of numb shock. I wondered if for some reason it didn’t affect me.

I was wrong. Since then I’ve been more susceptible to the images and memories of September 11th. I’ve caught myself crying a few times. I’ve seen the damage it did to the city, and to the people there. I sat with John as he fought tears while talking about someone he knew that died that day, because “those bastards” weren’t going to get him to cry. I heard so many stories about the stench, and the horror, and the feeling of unreality. I took some of that with me. Someone I met there told me that I couldn’t possibly understand what it felt like to be in the city that day, and to be completely honest I’m glad.

After I left Ground Zero I went to Battery Park and took the Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty. It was really, really cold on the front of the boat but I stood out there long enough to get a few pictures and just marvel at how cool it was to be seeing what in person something I’ve seen probably millions of times in my life. I got back off the ferry and walked a few miles up Broadway and past Wall Street, just getting a feeling of the city and seeing what I could see.

I finally got back on the subway and made it over to Brooklyn. Stopped to get a bite to eat at a place called the Gray Parrot and meandered to the Arts Space.

That night was probably our roughest one of the run. David and Ami both got sick, and David almost completely lost his voice. I felt really bad for him, because he was trying to hard to get it out and just couldn’t do it. By the time we were done it was hard to hear him on stage, much less in the audience. We didn’t let it stop us, though, and again we had a great show. Barry and Colette came to see the show that night, and we all stayed afterwards to drink and listen to Joe do an acoustic set.

That was when I met Leslie.

John had told me that there were a lot of single women in New York, but I really didn’t expect to meet one in a bar. Sure enough, though, she struck up a conversation with me while we were waiting for drinks and over the course of the evening we started talking more. She moved to New York six years ago from Orlando, and she works for Blue Man Group. We talked a lot in the bar that night, and that was where I heard the most about the effects of September 11th on an individual. She really opened up with how she felt about the events of that day. It was really moving to have a relative stranger let me know so much about what went through her head that day.

We talked for a long time at the bar, and then decided to go get breakfast. When she found out I hadn’t been to Times Square yet, she insisted that we go there. I am so grateful that she did. Seeing Times Square at 2 AM was like being in a scene from the movie “Blade Runner.” Huge electronic billboards were everywhere, and even that late there were tons of people on the street. What’s funny is that Leslie said that it was slow that night. Strangely enough, we couldn’t find a place to eat so we went back to her place in Queens. We took a taxi to get there, and that is where I had my frightening taxi experience. Those guys are nuts!!!

Back at her place we continued to talk, and I found out more about her. She showed me some of her poetry, and talked about a childrens book that she is writing. I found out that we had a lot in common as far as our taste in books and movies (she had Kurt Vonnegut’s “Hocus Pocus” next to “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” by Douglas Adams next to each other on her book shelf – two of my all time favorite books). We sat up until 6:30 AM getting to know each other before I finally had to head back into the city. It was hard to leave, but she was tired and I had to be at breakfast with Barry and Colette in a few hours.

Meeting Leslie was one of the high points of my trip. I know that must sound odd considering the fact that I saw old friends and got to perform on stage up there, but it’s true. She was a really awesome person, and part of me is sad that she lives so far away. I’d really like to spend more time with her. I plan on keeping in touch, though, and when I visit again I’ll definitely check in and see how she is doing.

I got absolutely no sleep that night. I made it back to my hotel around 8 in time to clean up, pack my bags, check out and head towards the airport. I stopped and had the previously mentioned breakfast with Barry and Colette first, then jumped back on the subway to go to JFK.

Our ragged crew got back on the plane and flew home (minus one…Christen missed the flight and had to catch a later one). We were all really trashed, but I didn’t find out until we got home why some of them were particularly down. Jason’s mother had died the night before. He found out a little while after curtain that night. She had been sick for a while, and it wasn’t totally unexpected, but it still must have been rough to have that happen while he was away. When Dad died, I was there. I heard him die, in fact.

Now that I think about it, I’m not sure which is worse.

So that’s the end of the New York saga, but I have more to write about! Tired of reading yet???

Two nights after I got back I got into a wicked fight with Jody about not spending enough time with Alex. I know that, over the last month, things have been a little rough because of “Maxwell” and I’ve been feeling enough guilt about it as it was. She said some really harsh things, though, and it really got me going. Ami had come over to pick up her computer from me, and unfortunately she was here while I was going off on the phone on the back porch. I don’t like people seeing that side of me. I don’t like the fact that there is even a “that side of me.” I’m a passionate person, and while it takes a lot to really get me angry when I get going there is a lot that comes out. I called Jody later and apologized for the really mean things I said, and we were able to talk about the issue more rationally. I really think that she is putting her own perceptual filter on a lot of what Alex says and does. She also doesn’t give him credit for being manipulative, which he is. I don’t think she likes that word, because she sees it as being negative. I agree with her, to an extent. It’s negative when it’s malicious. I think Alex just knows what to say and do to get the results he wants, he doesn’t realize he’s doing something unkind. I know she has his best interests in mind, and I DO have to make up some time with my son, but I don’t think the situation is nearly as bad as she thinks it is.

That would have been where this ended, but one other funky thing happened I want to write about. Last night, after seeing the Dead Kennedys at Jannus Landing (great show…the new lead singer really kicks ass) Barry (who is in town for a few days) and I went to the Castle in Ybor. At one point I was standing at the bar and I started feeling really funny. I got nauseous and dizzy, and I suddenly had tunnel vision. Barry came over to ask me how I was and the next thing I knew I had hit the ground. I passed out! I wasn’t drunk, either! I had hardly started to drink. What’s really scary is that this isn’t the first time it’s happened. I was in a club with Spike a few months ago and something similar occurred. I just didn’t pass out that time.

It’s got me kind of worried. I mean, I was in the hospital twice for what they thought were strokes. They decided in the end that I hadn’t had strokes, but what if they were wrong??? Did I have another one last night? And why in a club? The loud music? The lights? The smoke? The white makeup and black clothing?

I’d go see a doctor about it but, yet again, I still have no insurance. Blah. Oh yeah, and things at work are already starting to look shaky. They’re cutting my hours by four next week. Not sure how long this wagon is going to roll.

Well, I didn’t want to end this on a down note but that’s what happened most recently. All in all, I’m loving life again. I can’t wait to get involved in another show. I made some great friends and really opened up myself again. I want to get back to NYC soon, too. I’ve been talking with my friend Maria about it, and we might try to fly up for a few days in the summer.

So that’s it for now, gang. Thanks for reading. Here’s to what life brings me next!

To Babylon!!!

Jan 012002
 

Thank God it’s over.

It’s been an interesting year, to say the very least. I have documented many of my exploits here, but I haven’t even touched the surface of what happened to me since December 31st, 2000. I’ve had some wonderful things happen to me, and I’ve had some horrible things happen to me, and I’ve had a lot that lingered somewhere in between. It’s been a long year. It’s been a year that has made me feel older than I have ever felt in my life, and yet there are parts of me that have been reborn. I could go on and on with the Tale of Two Cities intro, but that is a worn out cliche and I just want to get to summarizing this year so I can put it past me.

So let’s begin.

The most obvious (and often mentioned) change that I have gone through is my weight loss. 137 pounds as of last week (but I’ve got one more party to go through this year, so that number may come in less as of tomorrow). It’s hard to describe how incredibly different I feel now. I can go out in public and not be stared at quite so much. I can buy inexpensive clothing at large retail chains. I can walk up a flight of stairs or down the street without having to catch my breath. I can have sex without feeling like I’m going to have a heart attack. I can see a woman look twice at me and not instantly convince myself that it was my imagination (or the shock of revulsion). I have, however, come up with one nasty side effect from it. Seems as though the lack of fat in my leg has allowed a bony growth that is just under my right knee to rub my inner leg workings wrong, leading to some rather uncomfortable moments over the last few months. You take the good with the bad, I suppose. I’d have it checked out, but I don’t have any insurance.

Why?

Because I got laid off back in August. My dream job at Stone Ground Solutions went away when the economy started to go South. I don’t blame them at all. Business is business, and I was honestly spending most of my days doing nothing by the time they let me go. It still sucked, though. It came at the absolute worst time. I was just on the verge of really getting my finances straightened out, and I ended up blowing all my savings to pay the bills for the next few months. I landed a contract that lasted a month right after I was severed, but from September until a few weeks ago I was totally out of work and living off of unemployment checks. If you can call it that. I understand that the unemployment program is not supposed to be a complete income, and that they don’t want you to decide just to live on them, but it amazes me that they think I could make just about 1/3 of what I was making before and survive. I’m back to work now, however, with the company I worked for before I was laid off. Yes, I know. I’ve rambled here about how much I hated working there. I was very reluctant to come back. I’m making a considerable amount more than I was when I worked here before, though (which was always my biggest beef) and there is some new blood running the place. It feels different. More professional. Certainly more organized. Oh yeah, and beggars can’t be choosers. I’m not making as much as I was with Stone Ground, but I’m making enough to get by. That’s much better than unemployment.

I’ve completed my first semester now that I’m back in school, and I’m proud to report that I managed to get A’s in all of my classes. I gave my Grade Point Average a MAJOR upgrade from a 2.595 to a 3.10, and I think I set the foundation for continued success over the next few years. I took an amazing class, too. Introduction to Philosophy with Dr. John Miller. If you get the chance and are going to the St. Petersburg College I highly recommend him. He’s not for everyone. His personal anecdotes (of which there were many) were distracting to many of my classmates, but I found him to be an incredibly engaging and fascinating lecturer. I feel like I learned a tremendous amount in his class, intellectually and spiritually.

Which leads me to the next major change in my life. I’m moving back toward spirituality. Don’t worry. I’m not going Christian again. Been there, done that, got the angst ridden t-shirt. I can no longer deny the fact that taking refuge in my intellect is no longer satisfying me spiritually. I once held that I needed nothing beyond the mind, that nothing existed beyond that which I could see or have proven to me. I’m not so sure anymore. There is something else out there. Maybe it’s because of September 11th. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older. Maybe it’s just because of the fact that I have so many wonderful things in my life but I’m still unhappy most of the time. I don’t know for sure. I’ve been exploring the possibilities of meditation and Buddhism, and I’m finding a lot there that makes sense to me. Does this mean I’ll actually take vows and become a Buddhist? I couldn’t tell you for sure. What I can tell you, however, is that I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the subject and there are many valuable things one can take from Buddhism. I suppose you can say that about any religion, if you look at it from the right perspective.

My romantic life? Ah, what can I say about it that I haven’t said before? I’m still searching, but I’m becoming, I think, less frantic about it. I had a few major let downs over the last year, but I’ve made several new friends from it. Two, in particular, have become very important to me and I’m grateful to have met them at all (yes, if you’re wondering, one of them is the “Howard” woman from my post in October. She has fallen happily in love with another man, which absolutely devastated me when I heard about it. She’s added much to my life, however, in the form of books and music I had not experienced before, and I’m glad now that I got the chance to know her). I haven’t exactly been a saint, either. I almost got involved with a married woman (something I swore I would never do), and only stopped when I realized that her husband was far too crafty for me to get away with talking to her anymore. Good for him. He fought for what was his, and I respect the hell out of him for it. It’s something I didn’t have the balls to do. I misled some women (call it lying if you like, I have no illusions about what I did). Hell, you can see the results of one of my endeavors on my guest book. Seems a friend of one of the women I was involved with wasn’t so happy with how I treated her. Can’t say I blame him. I have the ability to delete messages left on my guest book, but I decided to leave that one up (even after reconciling with her and having him ask me to take it down). I find it humbling. I get told so often how wonderful I am, it’s nice to have something around to bring me back to Earth on occasion. Nobody is perfect, not even me. Hell, especially not me.

I’m involved in the Theater again, and it’s been an amazing experience. I can’t believe I actually let myself go as long as I did without being involved in a production. The cast is comprised of some truly stellar individuals who I am honored to have met, and of course the show is being directed by my old friend “ranney.” I feel like I’ve woken up again, and I don’t plan on going back to sleep. Expect to see me on the stage here in Tampa often.

I’ve also (as if I haven’t been doing enough) been writing again. I’m doing something different this time, though. I’ve been writing erotica. I’m mentioning this because some of my “fans” from the web site have posted on my guest book, and I thought perhaps some of you were wondering what the hell they were talking about. It’s been interesting. I’ve never written anything like this before, but I seem to be pretty good at it (judging from the number of people who have been bugging me to finish my novella). Certainly what I’ve been writing isn’t for everyone, so I’m not going to go into any more details about it here. If you’re interested in reading it, let me know and I’ll tell you how to find it. Except family members. Guys, don’t even ask. I’m so not going there.

A summary of my year would never be complete without talking about my children. Alexander, now six years old, continues to amaze me with how wonderful he is. I took him to several of the “Maxwell” rehearsals, and he seemed to love the process. I’m hoping that some day he’ll decide to get involved in the theater himself. I think, between his mother and I, he’ll have tons of natural talent. Of course, I’m under the impression that the child will be able to do anything that he sets his mind to. Sometimes I look at the path that’s in front of him and I see so opportunities that are similar to ones that I had. I hope he doesn’t waste them. I don’t want him to follow in my footsteps, or become the famous actor that I always wanted to be, but I hope that whatever his passion in life is that he takes advantage of whatever chance he has to pursue it. I don’t care what he does with his life, as long as he does something. As long as he lives, and doesn’t become another couch potato statistic. There is nothing sadder than a person who had potential that just ends up wasting their days away in front of the television wondering what happened to them. Wondering why life passed them by. Not realizing that life didn’t pass them by – They weren’t even at the bus stop to be picked up.

Kimberly. What can I say about Kimberly? What can you say about living with any teenager? It’s the most rewarding and frustrating thing a person can go through. I’m so proud of her. She’s becoming her own person. She’s starting to break out of the “party crowd” mentality and really explore doing things that SHE likes to do. Not that she doesn’t party anymore. She just seems to really be finding what it is that makes her happy, and I think it’s awesome. She is also working two jobs now. Mind you, she doesn’t seem to be able to save any money or do much to contribute to the bills around here, but at least she is paying her own credit card bills. She’s talked recently about moving out. I have mixed feelings about it. I’d like to have my own space, for sure. I’d like to not have to clean up after her. I’d like to be able to take a significant chunk out of my utility bills. But I like having her here, too. I like taking care of her. I’m afraid that if she moves out I’ll see her even less than I do now. I know she’ll say that won’t happen, but I also know that I don’t visit my own mother nearly as often as I should. I think I make it pretty easy to live her. Not a lot of rules, and I even do her laundry every once in a while. She’s free to come and go as she pleases, and I try not to raise my eyebrows TOO high when she says she’s doing something I don’t approve of. She probably feels she is ready to find her own way, though, and I understand that. She’ll be 20 this year. She is an adult. Living with me makes her feel like a kid, and that’s not what she wants right now. So if she goes I will be sad, but I won’t condemn her for it.

And I’ll be able to walk around naked if I want to.

Somehow or other I failed to mention in my November article that I am, officially, divorced now. It was official on October 15th. When I got the paperwork in the mail I was very sad. I finally had that paper I’d dreaded getting for so long, and that chapter of my life was over. I’m not so sad now. In fact, she told me the other day that they are now engaged (which actually took him longer than I thought it would) and I wasn’t really upset about it. In fact, I had a very nice conversation with Jody about her wedding plans. I’ve moved on. Our lives took different paths, and I’m so content with mine right now that I couldn’t imagine things having happened any other way. Many of my friends don’t understand my relationship with my ex wife and best friend, and I don’t really understand it myself. I just feel no malice. I will never, ever forgive what they put me through. The pain I felt during those months was a horrid, wrenching hell that quite honestly put me to the brink of suicide on several occasions. I just wanted it to end, I just wanted to go to sleep and not have to hurt anymore. I got through it, though, and I’m a stronger (and wiser) person now. Even knowing all of that, I can’t fault them for being totally evil. Not when I see them with Alex. Not when they are so willing to help me out when I can’t watch Alex as often as normal during rehearsal periods. Not when I see the looks in their eyes sometimes when they realize how much they hurt THEMSELVES by what they did (Not that I think they would change anything. They gave up a lot, though, to be with each other. They burned a whole shit load of bridges that will never be rebuilt. Even in the cases when they didn’t totally burn them, there was some structural damage). It was horrible, what happened between the three of us, but we have to continue on with lives. Living in the past and filling myself with hate only hurts my son and I.

To those of you who say to yourselves that I’m a fool for feeling that way, I understand. The only thing I could say in my defense is that I’d do the same thing for you.

I hope you all have a wonderful 2002. I know I plan to.

Apr 042001
 

I just realized that the first anniversary of my little Web Site here just came and went and I didn’t even notice. I wrote the first Soapbox on May 31st of 2000, and here it is just over a year later and I’m still plugging away at it. It’s still for about 5 people (and I’m probably being generous to myself), but hey it’s still here. I’ve moved from a free service to a bona fide domain in that time frame, and as a general rule I’m pretty happy with the way the site has evolved. So I’d like to take a moment to thank those of you who stop by on a regular basis to see what I’ve been up to. It’s kind of nice to know that my little life is something that people find amusing, even if it is only every once in a while.

So with that, I will now go off on yet another pointless rant about the futility that is being me.

You see, yesterday my old pal Eve updated her rant page, and it got me to thinking about the same kind of things she was wondering.

Essentially, what the hell is wrong with me?

Other than the obvious, that is.

I seem, for some reason, to be absolutely incapable of attracting a woman with whom I would be compatible for a long-term relationship.

Now, this is generally something that I blame on my weight, which I realize is a big problem. Hell, I’ve lost 50 pounds since the middle of January, and I think you could say it’s honestly hard to tell (unless you see me every day). That’s a LOT of weight to lose, and yet it’s only about 1/4 of the total amount that I’m going for. That little fact can be daunting at times, but I’m still plugging away at it.

Other than that, though, I figure I’m a hell of a catch. I am not an ugly man by any stretch of the imagination. I am funny. I am smart. I am always willing to try new things and meet new people. I can be totally insane at the drop of a hat. I sing out loud in public. I sing even louder in private. I make good money. I have a house (with a hot tub, no less). I am one hell of a father. I give backrubs and footrubs. I do dishes, laundry and can even do my share of the cooking. I love people and being social, and I give great dinner parties.

Jesus, I just realized I would make a great homosexual. Guess it’s too bad my tastes don’t wander in that direction.

So my drawbacks are that I’m fat and I’m a geek. One of those things I can do something about, and I AM doing something about. I’ve been thinner before, though, and the relationship that came from that state of physical health did not last when the weight came back on. I cannot guarantee anyone that once I lose this weight it won’t come back. I’ll probably be struggling with my weight for the rest of my life. So if I meet someone when I’m thin, what’s to say she won’t bail on me if I balloon out again??

Then there is the geek thing. I’m really not that much of a geek. I’m not so bad that I think Star Trek Conventions are the height of culture. I shower on a regular basis. I can have a conversation that doesn’t involve the intricate subplots and scheming of the fifth season of Babylon 5. I cannot, however, deny that I am firmly rooted in that which many people consider to be of a geekish nature. If I deny that, I deny who I am, and I’ve done that before with horrible results.

I don’t know what the point to all of this is. I’m lonely, and I’m sick of it.

Blah. I can’t even think of a clever way to end this.

Jan 112001
 

I’ve been staring at this blinking cursor for about 20 minutes now, all sorts of things swirling through my head and nothing pouring onto the screen. Which is especially bad considering that I’m at work at the moment. I’m on lunch, so I’m not all that much of a schlub, but I still look stupid sitting here and staring at my monitor.

Something happened to me last night that could possibly have a profound effect on my life, but I’m afraid to talk about it. I’m afraid to think about it. I’m afraid that if I even acknowledge the possibilities that last night’s events revealed to me I will make them disappear.

So instead I stare at a blank screen and try and think of something witty to write.

And it’s just not happening.

Oh well, I’ll try again tomorrow.