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I have enjoyed my time writing this blog immensely.

It has been a way to express who I really am to a lot of people who don’t really know me. It has been a way to resolve some unresolved emotions I have been carrying with me, and I believe it is leading me on a path towards health and recovery, and my therapist agrees with me. It has been a way to explore my insecurities and short-comings, my failures and my mistakes. It has also been a way for me to explore where growth needs to happen and where I need to be a better man.

I have succeeded in earnest in being completely honest and as open as possible about everything I have written about. I may have missed the mark more than a few times, and I may have been wrong in my thinking. But it was my thinking, my real emotions splashed across the page.

I have been both applauded and berated both in public and private for what I have had to say to this point.

The content of this blog is the most honest and open I have ever been in my entire life. I have tried to show you who I am and hopefully you found the result to be human and entertaining. If you don’t like the person you are seeing within the content of this blog, then you probably don’t really like me. This is me, the real me, not the me you thought you knew, but the me that I have always wanted to be.

If you feel negatively about the content, then don’t read it. I’m glad you did so you could form a new opinion of me, but you can stop whenever you want. Thank you for your time, you are not required to offer more.

If you feel negatively about the content and still want to read, right on! Thank you! And you can feel free to post comments and send emails. I will never censor the user content on my website. Your thoughts are as valid as my own and deserve to be shared in the same space.

I do want to thank all readers and encourage more contributors in comments. If you would like to write a guest blog my website is set-up for that as well, just email me through the contact page and we can talk about it.

Bipolar Thoughts

One thing I am constantly worried about is what my daughter will think of me.

One day she will find out that I take pills to keep me healthy, and a talk will occur.

One day she will find out that those pills are for a mental illness, and a talk will occur.

One day she will find out that mental illness is bipolar, and yet another talk will occur.

When I was a kid, any kind of negative information I could put in my quiver to launch at my parents at the opportune time, was gold. And boy will Jocelyn have a laundry list to choose from. “You’re too dumb to get out of bed” “You never help mom and go to bed early” “You should be doing adult things but instead you act like a kid”. I can see it all coming in the fiery passion of our first fight about a broken curfew, or poor grades.

To make matters worse, I may have passed on my bipolar, or at least depression to my daughter. Much like my mother did to me. My mother and I didn’t get a long too well, and a lot of it is because we suffered from similar things and a lot of it was because I had so much dirt on her. I knew just what buttons to push to chop her down to size when she needed it (or when I thought so), and instead of commiserating our shared diseases together, I denied I had any and played coy with her own.

It was a pathetic way to live my life and I regret it every single day.

But what about Jocelyn. Will she be more merciful than I? Will she understand my plight, or will she destroy me in the same ways I disowned my mother for long periods of her life. Will she use my disease against me or will she be kindhearted and appreciate me for who I can be beside the disease?

Only time will tell.

Blog

When you play guitar you develop calluses on your fingers, usually just your fret hand, but if you play the way I play you get them on all nine fingers.

It is painful to build up these calluses. Before they are fully formed the strings dig into your fingertips, and as you slide and press your skin become very tender and raw. A burning sensation occurs once you are done playing as blood rushes to the inflamed area.

It takes weeks of heavy play to fully produce them. In the process they peel off or over harden and you have to clip them with nail clippers to smooth them out. It is part of playing guitar that is never really talked about, yet so vital to good sound and playability.

It makes me wonder what other activities in my daily life make me produce a callus.

I suppose people in shitty jobs have to grow a callus to their daily work life. Maybe they love the work, but it is hard or physically demanding, and in order to do it well they have to callus up a bit.

Having a baby in your house will callus you up real quick; the screaming, the constant need for attention, the worry. It sometimes feels like I’m a robot just getting things done in order to go to bed. Not every night, but a lot of them.

Having a long commute in traffic is a callus many people share. It is amazing watching my father, who basically never drove in traffic in his entire working life, get upset in traffic around Detroit. Those of us with hour plus commutes, no worry, I got my callus.

The trick is to keep your calluses healthy. It is good to block out negative people, but not everyone. Don’t be afraid to pull out that nail clipper and chop one down to size every once in a while.

Too many people get large calluses that start to mess with their vantage point. Racism starts with backwards thinking, but evolves as you allow events that support your vantage point build up a callus. Most extreme ideologies work that way, in fact.

Callus free can be just as bad, really. You can easily be hurt or inflamed by the smallest little thing, even a guitar string.

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Blog

Back in the summer of 2006 I spent about six weeks in Europe, mostly Paris.

I was there taking architecture classes, and learning photography on my own. I was with a bunch of my classmates from LTU, and in reality we were out having more fun than we were learning much of anything.

We never had much trouble getting around. I had a girlfriend at the time that spoke French and she made an academic trip to Paris around the same time I did, so she was around. And we had another girl in our group from LTU that spoke French. So most of the nightclubs or bars we wanted to get into we were able to get past the bouncers and order our drinks. We were able to order food at any restaurant we dined at.

In reality, we didn’t need to use French that much. Most everyone spoke English, at least enough to go with the little French I picked up to muddle through ordering some food, or buying a book at a museum.

The other countries I went to, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, everyone spoke plenty of English. We had a few problems in Italy, but we were at a restaurant and everyone knows Italian food pretty well.

I was envious of my girlfriend’s ability to speak the language, and read philosophy in the original language and watch French films without the subtitles. And I was encouraged by how quickly I picked up the language while I was there. So much so that I decided I wanted to learn French for real once I got back to the states.

I never did, of course. Design school got in the way, and possibly the greatest Tiger’s season of my adult life. But the dream still lives on in me. I am constantly checking Rosetta Stone prices and convincing myself that I can do it. I do believe I can, but I know I won’t have anyone to speak it with, so I’ll just lose it.

On Black Friday this year Rosetta Stone dropped their prices by 60%, and I almost bought it. I called my wife and she had to convince me not to. And I didn’t. But it never went away. That reduced price is simply the price now. I get emails, mocking my inability to purchase the product, at least weekly I want to tear my hair out.

One day I will buy it and learn French and be the only one around that knows how to speak it. I guess it will just be for me, whenever I get to read philosophy in its original language, or watch a French film without the subtitles, alone.

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Blog

Despite the timing of my posting (I write these posts up to weeks in advance of posting them) I have gone an entire week without taking any klonopin. I’ve needed it, certainly today, but I haven’t taken it in a bid to help correct my behavior with the drug.

 

In other news: Pretending to Amuse the podcast will begin initial recording this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited. Hoping to have it posted with an assigned post date within a week.

I have added an RSS feed to this page. A feedburner link, if you use Google Reader is at the bottom and a email signup is in the right sidebar. I don’t see the email address and they don’t send adds or anything like that, just if you want the feed in your inbox everytime I post.

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