Existential Crisis

I gave up a couple of my bad habits last month that previously helped me cope with my existential angst, and I haven’t learned new coping mechanisms quite yet. So, I end up sitting in my car in Quiktrip parking lots staring off into space or playing Free Cell on my phone while my brain struggles to figure out the meaning of life.
I’m not making a whole lot of progress on that front. Mostly, I’m just gaining weight from the candy bars and donuts from inside the convenience stores I frequent.

Thursday is Weight Watchers meeting day for me, my mom, daughter, and sister, which means it’s also weigh-in day. I managed to put on 5.6 pounds in just the last week thanks to my newfound tendency to roam all around town and make pit-stops at convenience stores and fast food joints to stuff my face.
I’ve put a lot of miles on my crappy old 2007 Ford Explorer since the beginning of the year when I gave up smoking and whoring around, and I spend most of that time listening to the “My Mix” selection of music videos from my YouTube account. About 20 or 30 songs reappear quite regularly with an occasional new one sneaking in. I’ve managed to memorize most of the lyrics to Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel”, Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets”, and Eminem’s “Rap God” while I try to figure out what I ought to be doing with my empty, lonely existence. I’ve gotten particularly good at mimicking Chris Stapleton’s voice as he sings “Tennessee Whiskey”, or so I was told by an old drunk lady who sang it with me when it came on the jukebox at a bar called Pappy’s Den a few blocks down Truman Road from home. I’ve turned to booze a couple of times since the first of the year as a coping mechanism as well, which no doubt is a terrible idea that shouldn’t be allowed to set a precedent.
So here I sit on a Thursday night, at my desk in my office at the back of the house, feeling lonely as hell, and wondering what the hell to do about it.
It’s going to take some more thinking, but I’m hoping it will take less moping and driving around eating like a pig.

Super bowl thoughts

So, the Super Bowl was yesterday, and I had an amazing time watching it. Partly because I’ve lived in the Kansas City area since the second grade and I’m now 53. I’ve been hearing about the amazing Chiefs appearing in the first Super Bowl and winning the fourth one. Len Dawson was the sports reporter on the local news for ages. I know rationally that it wasn’t my victory in the Super Bowl, but fuck that, I feel like a winner today anyway.

But it wasn’t just that my Chiefs won. The spectacle of the Super Bowl was absolutely enthralling. For the last several weeks, the majority of people that I’ve run into in public have been wearing Chiefs gear. The excitement has been contagious. And then we get to the actual game and the broadcast that goes with it!

I’ve been feeling really terrible about America for the last few months as our government makes us look bad on a daily basis. The Super Bowl, on the other hand, made me quite proud and optimistic. 

The “take it to the house” kid and the film that went with his delivery of the game ball was a thrill to watch. Action movie adrenaline kicked in as he pinballed down the streets of our cities. Then there was the quiet moment, when he stopped at the Pat Tillman statue to honor his memory. Hell of an opening presentation by the NFL. 

Once the ball was delivered, then there was the separate joy of watching the military color guard bring in the flags, and the joyous sound of America the Beautiful and the Star Spangled Banner.

Even more pride in our history and country as the four 100-year-old WWII veterans were introduced as special guests, and the Tuskegee airman presented the commemorative coin for the coin toss. We got to honor those who serve us in the military and we got to see how far we’ve come in overcoming racism since then. 

Hell, all the commercials were a rebuke of the terrible crap that I’ve been hearing about my country over the last few years. It turns out we’re not a bunch of racist homophobes after all. Ellen Degeneres did a great commercial with her wife for Amazon. And black and brown people were all over the place in the commercials too. We’ve really come a long way since my youth, and it was a delight to see. 

Once the game got started, I could hear the Chiefs war chant in the background quite frequently. I’m not quite sure to make of that. I’m told that Native Americans find it to be cultural appropriation and racist, but as an old white guy, I’m less inclined to see it that way. Hell’s bells, are the Minnesota Vikings going to have to change their name to stop appropriating the culture of ancient Scandinavia? To me, the Tomahawk Chop is a cheer to honor the reputation of the aboriginal American tribes as great warriors. People can take that as an insult if they want, or they can be like those of Scandinavian ancestry who can be proud of their Viking heritage. Frankly, it was a joy to me to hear all those people chanting in unison, kind of like the YouTube video of an Arrowhead crowd singing Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” in unison. 

Then there was the half-time show. Holy crap, that was a whole lot of beautiful women. And the two stars were middle-aged moms who refused to be shamed for their sexuality. They also proudly displayed their Hispanic heritage with many of their lyrics in Spanish, and with J-Lo coming out wearing a double-sided flag with the US on one side and Puerto Rico on the other. Again, this is not something I could have imagined happening back during the last Chiefs Super Bowl appearance. 

Once half-time was over, there was the drama of the ball game. Athletes celebrating their prowess when they performed well. I even loved it when the 49ers all gathered to celebrate one of their big plays posing for the crowd at the edge of the field. I was worried that my Chiefs weren’t going to be able to perform a miracle comeback three games in a row, but I was gladly proven wrong. 

Once we took the lead, the celebrations here in KC started. I let the dogs out the backdoor to do their business, and I could hear the fireworks coming from every direction. I spent the last few minutes of the game standing on the back porch watching the game through the open door and enjoyed the noise. 

When the game was over though, the noise really started. The neighbors two doors down set off several rockets. A couple of people even stopped their car in the middle of my street, got out with Chiefs flags, and ran up and down the street shouting. The shouting was coming from everywhere. 

It was fucking amazing to see the spectacle of hope, joy, and athletic prowess in the game, the half-time show, and the commercials, and it was pretty damn cool to hear all the celebrations here in the neighborhood 10 minutes from Arrowhead. 

Yesterday was awesome, and today has been pretty damn good too. Thank you to the Chiefs and the NFL for providing me with an attitude adjustment.

Just because I said I would

So, I was going to write a long blog post tonight because I said yesterday that I was going to start blogging regularly, but instead, I’m going to just settle for something short. I’ll save my blog post on God and agnosticism etc. for another evening.

Today, I went to breakfast at Corner Cafe with Mom before we headed out to Pottery Palace in Grain Valley for our weekly ceramics painting. Mom finished the house she had been working on and started on the foot-tall owl she bought last time. The two things that I had finished last week had come out of the kiln yesterday, so I was able to pick up my three-eyed monster and little frog. That left me with the difficult decision of what to work on next. We’ve been painting ceramics every weekend for awhile now and I’m starting to wonder what to do with all this stuff I’m making. I finally settled on painting a dinner plate. It’s useful, and I know exactly where to put it when I’m finished with it. Plates and bowls seem to be fairly rational choices for me since I’m trying to purge so many of my belongings.

After we finished, I drove Mom back home, and wandered up to Quiktrip for an afternoon snack. Damn donuts and pepperoni pizza used all my Weight Watcher points for the day. Yet again, my impulsive behavior is causing harm. After that, I drove on home and took a two-hour nap because I didn’t have anything else to do that I could think of.

I dragged my ass back out of bed after 6:00 p.m. with still no idea what to do with the rest of my day. Around 7:00, I decided to go for a drive and wander around the city looking for a place where I could eat quietly and write in my journal. I drove through downtown KC, and into Johnson County, before finally settling on going to Hooters on Metcalf. Why Hooters? Especially after I felt like such a scumbag for going to Twin Peaks the night before? Mostly because I knew I wanted a beer, and sitting on a barstool is a pretty peaceful way to spend a meal. Hooters isn’t as disgusting as Twin Peaks, but the poor waitresses are still wandering around in short shorts with their butt cheeks hanging out.

Eventually, I got on the interstate and drove back home with a stop at QT again, for a 6-pack of KC Bier Dunkel this time. Now, I’m planted on a barstool in my own basement after watching WW2 videos and science videos on YouTube for a bit. Not the best use of my time, but I’m relaxed less depressed than I was several hours ago.

And, look! I even managed to write in my blog for a second day in a row. Tomorrow, I hope to write again, and talk happily about the Chiefs victory in the Super Bowl. Until then, good night.

Blogging again?

Jeez, it’s been awhile since I posted to my blog. I’m paying Yahoo quarterly for it. Maybe I should actually post something. Hell, I even get emails on a regular basis from Yahoo telling me how many people have been visiting my site and how much time they spend reading the crap that I’ve posted. My guess is that most of it is just search engines and that people aren’t actually reading anything I have had to say. But I’m going to start posting again. Maybe I’ll find something to say that is worth reading in the meantime.

I have been writing in my journal on Google Drive all this time, but that’s where I confess all my sins and tell the truth about what I’m actually thinking. I dare not do that on a website where my actual name is linked to the site. Then again, fuck it. Why not?

LOL, there’s damn good reason why not. I’m a hot mess and I shouldn’t be telling everyone all the shit that I’m up to.

So, it’s Friday night. I went out and had a few beers tonight. I’m still feeling their effects at the moment so I’m feeling braver than normal. The first beer was at a “Twin Peaks” franchise out by the mall. What an awful place that is! The waitresses were all quite attractive I must admit, but, Jesus, what kind of employer uses their employees like sex objects that way? They were all in short jean shorts where you could see the bottom of their butt cheeks, and in half-shirts tied off behind their backs to accentuate their bosoms. I was surprised to see so many female customers and that some people actually even brought their children to eat with them there. I only stuck around for a veggie burger with sweet potato fries and a KC Bier Dunkel before I fled for home.

I didn’t actually make it home immediately however. I stopped at Three Trails Brewery on the Indepedence Square a few blocks from home instead. The Dunkel from Twin Peaks had tickled my taste buds in just the right way, that I needed more beer.

Three Trails had a couple of gorgeous bartenders as well, but they didn’t have to dress like sex objects, luckily for them. I ended up having three glasses of their Bess’s Bock as with my butt parked on a the last bar stool at the bar.

While drinking my beers, I went through my old journal entries on my phone from the last two or three years, and reminded myself what a disaster I’ve been emotionally in that time.

Luckily, I’m doing a little bit better these days. I’ve given up two of my worst habits. Today, I’m four weeks clear of one of those bad habits, and 20 days clear of the other one. And, no, I’m not going to admit which particular sins that I’ve been indulging in. But, let it suffice to say, that you don’t want to be in a relationship with me.

There was plenty of really depressing shit in those old journal entries on top of my confessions of sin. Reading about Dad’s last days with Alzheimer’s was traumatic all over again. Then there were the deaths of my ex Tracy’s dad, and of my daughter Jill’s cat Riley. Both of those pretty shitty as well.

I could have gladly sat there at the bar and had several more beers to drown my sorrows. But I went home instead. And here I am now, writing in this stupid blog for the first time in more then two years, after finally updating my versions of PHP and WordPress. For fuck’s sake, I’m a programmer, and I let my own blog get several versions behind on it’s basic software.

So, now, it’s the last day of January of 2020. I’m 53 years old. I’ve dreamed for years of being a writer. I’m lonely and I’ve got nothing better to do, so why don’t I sit my ass down and make a blog post for once?

I guess my next trick will be to keep posting instead of just letting it sit idle for years at a time. Meanwhile, it’s 11:43 at night, and I need to get my ass to bed.

Maybe tomorrow, I’ll have an actual topic to post about.