Archive | April, 2021

If We Pay Them, They Will Come

30 Apr

The 2020 US Census came out and showed how the American population is moving–to Texas, Montana, Colorado, and Oregon–so how does places that are losing people get them back? Simple–pay them!

In the same breath as hearing about the census results, the radio show I listen to mentioned this cool website called Make My Move. This is not an ad for this site, but I’m fascinated by this idea, especially because most of the towns listed are… not small. How do you convince new people to move to a place no one wants to go to?

This has been tried before. A lot of small towns in deep rural areas are offering free lots to anyone who wants to build on them. Although people are surveyed every year on the best places to live, and people talk about moving to… wherever your heart lies, they don’t do it. Why? Because once you get there, you need to be able to live. There is often no jobs in your field. So I might want to move to Lincoln, Kansas, but unless my job is remote (which it has been for a while), good luck paying for the new house when you don’t have a job.

That’s why this new website is so fascinating. These are not small towns. Places like Morgantown, WV–that’s the home of West Virginia University, it’s on the commuter rail to Washington, DC, it’s a beautiful place… yet they are offering $20,000 for people to move there, half in cash, half towards a house down payment. Benton Harbor, Michigan–a beautiful place–offers $15,000. Augusta, Maine–the capital of the state–same amount.

I would love to move to a lot of the places on this list. Montpelier, Vermont offers $13,000. Sure, come for the beauty, stay for the socialism, so maybe that makes a little more sense. Tulsa, Oklahoma though? A sizeable chunk of cash for people who want to move there. The smaller towns make more sense–Newton, Iowa; Bemidji, Minnesota–small college town and regional centers. But even Baltimore, Maryland offers $5,000!

The main obstacle to a lot of these offers is… hearing about the offer in the first place. The couple times in my life when I chose to live in a location, I never bothered checking to see if there were incentives, or… even having a job in hand before I moved. I had this crazy idea that I could afford to live as a substitute teacher in Portland, Maine about twenty years ago. I lived there for three months, during the winter, and absolutely loved it. Of course, I couldn’t afford it, and what I learned was that most poor folk lived in Lewistown for a couple years (much cheaper, 45 min commute) and worked in Portland. Moving to Cincinnati worked, but we had a good nest egg, and it didn’t take long to get some temp work to get us on our feet. But if I hadn’t gotten my good job after a year, we would have gone back to Illinois.

So… I’m not sure if these incentives work, but it might get people thinking about moving in the first place. Then thoughts might become the mover of our actions. But what do you think? Is this a good idea whose time has come? Or is this the last gasp of a failing city? Let me know in the comments below! Then move out to a new world with one of my books. However, if $1.99 is too steep for your moving budget, go ahead and download one of my stories for free. It’s worth the trip.

Country Club Judaism

29 Apr

Yesterday, I was talking about what I call “transactional religion,” the pay-for-play deal that you make with your local priest so that you get your lifecycle event. If that’s important to you, then you’ll pay. Now let’s take it to the nth degree.

I mentioned that my wife’s home congregation wouldn’t let us have our wedding at the synagogue. At first blush, that sounds fine. I’m a member of a veteran’s organization that runs it’s own bar. If you’re not a member there, you can’t drink there. Perfectly understandable. However, you can rent out the meeting space, because they’re bringing in money.

In our case, our son should have been bar mitzvah’d last year, but a little disease came through… maybe you heard about it. Despite being members of our current congregation for six months, they refuse to let him have the ceremony unless our son goes through another year of Sunday school, do a project, and vow to be a member for the next three years. Just like everyone else.

Now in fairness, we understand this, because traditionally American Jews only show up for the High Holidays, bar mitzvahs, weddings, and funerals… the lifecycle events. So you want those people who come through to actually be willing to support the congregation and be good Jews. So there are tickets sold to attend the High Holidays, because people will actually buy them. They want to make sure the bar mitzvah has actually had the training before they get up in front of God and everyone.

But that’s not the case here. They didn’t take our attendance in consideration. They didn’t take the fact that he’s a year late in doing the ceremony due to COVID into play. They didn’t care that he’s been working with a cantor for TWICE the normal time. All they cared about was that “this is how we do things.” They didn’t trust us to attend after my son’s bar mitzvah, they wanted it in writing that we would. They didn’t think, “gee, they have a daughter who will need this same thing in three years.” Nope. Pay the money or leave us alone.

So… screw ’em. This is what is known (not just me) as Country Club Judaism–sign the membership fee and you get to play. We have never been rich; in our lives, we’ve hovered between paycheck to paycheck to comfortably middle class. We’ve gone down a little since I stopped travelling for consulting, but still not worrying how we’re going to pay the bills. We also live below our means. We can pay the money.

But at this point, it’s not the money–it’s that lack of trust. They don’t think enough of us to be flexible. They’ve been burned too many times to even give us consideration. Because all we are to them is faces on a Zoom meeting; we’re not real. And that’s the most damning thing of all. We’re not part of this congregation, and the truth is, unless we’re bringing in enough money, we never will.

That’s what hurts the most; they don’t want to know us. They want our numbers, they want our money, but they could care less what we want back from the congregation. And that’s an organization I don’t want to be part of. So we’ll find another spiritual home. I doubt we’ll find anywhere willing to let us perform the bar mitzvah, it’s less than three months now. But we’ve got plenty of time to prepare for Eliza’s bat mitzvah, but are we willing to go through their half-ass preparation? Go through the hoops for her somewhere else? I might… but I doubt my wife will.

We’ve been burned before, too, and unfortunately, we’re running out of options. Apart from simply doing the ceremony ourselves, I don’t think there’s anywhere we can go where we can get what we want. So we’ll probably attend somewhere… and then just never bother getting our daughter bat mitzvah’d in a shul. Or ever have a funeral or anything… just paying month-to-month to support things, but never voting, because this pay-for-play system is not what we believe. But what do you think? Are we too up our own butts? Are we absolutely right? Let me know in the comments below! Then, if you feel like this congregation is worth supporting, buy one of my books. However, if $1.99 is too expensive, go ahead and download one of my stories for free. We want you here, money or not… and if you read up to this point, I love you, reader. May we have many years together.

Transactional Religion

28 Apr

I believe in God. I’m also changing congregations for the second time in a year because my wife and I are not willing to pay the price their board has demanded. No negotiation, no understanding, just… this our policy. This is why believers stop going.

This is what we have decided to call “transactional religion.” I accept the fact that when you join a congregation, someone needs to pay for the building, someone needs to pay the priest, and all the little things that people don’t take on credit. That’s fine. However, that’s not what I’m talking about.

Congregations wants people to show up; after all, if two or three don’t appear in His name, why did I bother showing up? Services are free; you are donating your time and activity to better the congregation. (Now I’m using the generic term “congregation” to apply it to all American religions.) However, when you want something back from the congregation, they want you to pay.

Now most of the time, you can accept that transaction. You ask the priest to come out for a wedding or a funeral, they usually get a donation or an honorarium… which means money. You ask a group of Buddhist monks to come out and purify your house, you’re going to provide food, drink, and cigarettes. (The monks who came to our neighbor’s house smoked like chimneys.) You got to a temple, you leave a donation.

However, that’s an accepted transaction. It’s also based on the willingness and ability of the person to pay. If two poor people want to get married, but they can only offer $100 instead of $300 to the priest, the priest might show up anyway. But they won’t get married in a church, because they can’t afford the site fee. My wife and I wanted to get married in her “home” synagogue, the one she grew up in, before she left for Nebraska and India. So she hadn’t been members for a while. We were poor but we were willing to pay the site fee. But because we weren’t members, the board refused. So we got married in a park, the rabbi came to us, and we paid the honorarium.

That was 15 years ago. It’s not like there was a monster truck rally at the shul we were interrupting, or trying to bump off another wedding, or even interfering with a regular meeting. The shul was empty, they were open on a Thursday, but because we weren’t members… screw you. You don’t get to use our building.

I fear my kvetching is going to take longer than a single post, so I’ll finish this tomorrow, but have you run into this before? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below! Then since we’re talking transactions, the post is free, but the reason is not, so buy one of my books. 🙂 However, I want you to be a member of this congregation, so if $1.99 is too pricey, go ahead and download one of my stories for free.

The Evil Weed

27 Apr

Before all these new laws were passed, I used to joke that I only take the legal drugs: alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine. I still don’t take marijuana, not for lack of access, but personal preference. But I’m still concerned that it’s still a federal crime.

Marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I Narcotic, which puts it in the same category as heroin, peyote, ludes, and ecstasy. For those who are not familiar with drug categories (as I wasn’t), these were established by the Drug Enforcement Agency which was founded by Richard Nixon back on July 7th, 1973. (Fun fact: he resigned one month and one day later.) However, the former president had a real passion for breaking the drug culture in America, which is how this whole thing started. See when Elvis became a federal narcotics agent.

So the newly founded DEA has to ask itself the question, “What should we focus on?” After all, there are lots of drugs out there. Congress categorizes them–you can check them out yourself–during the 1970 Controlled Substance Act. So they focus on the top ones… and make doctors fill out extra forms for the rest.

The difference between Schedule I and Schedule II appears to be “does it have a accepted medical use?” Schedule II meds are just as bad, just more useful. This includes the big winners in the abuse column like oxycontin, meth, cocaine… and interestingly enough, Adderall.

Then things get more interesting with Schedule III, which includes Tylenol with more than 90 mg of codeine. So you want this over the counter, you have to go to Canada, where they have the 222 mg of codeine. Also, anabolic steroids fall under this category. Then Schedule IV is “drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence” like Ambien. As we learned from Tiger Woods, “low” does not mean “never.”

Like many federal laws, such as abortion, when advocates get frustrated trying to go through Congress, they go through the states. There is now 15 states where it completely legal, six states where it completely illegal, and the other 29 are in various states of legality. This can make it very frustrating if you’re a casual user, a serious user, or a businessman dealing in hemp. Take Colorado, completely legal, which borders on Nebraska, where it is decriminalized. It’s not legal there, just not going to throw a possession charge if they find a joint or vape pen on you. What they will do–as my sister who lives on the Colorado-Nebraska border will tell you–is bust ANY truck that is carrying a trailer full of marijuana. It may be passing through, it may be reaching the dealers in the Cornhusker state, but it’s busted when it crosses the border.

The DEA was busting California dispensaries just five years ago, where it was legal by state law, but as mentioned, illegal under federal law. I guess we can thank the Trump administration for that… also, there’s now a lot more states where it’s legal, so the DEA may not care about state laws, but they care about public opinion. Too much bad press means they lose funding; see Border Patrol. That’s why there’s the “prescription” fig leaf; if a doctor says you can have it, well, no problem, right? After all, that’s why doctors have licenses to prescribe under the DEA.

So there’s this strange dichotomy with weed being legal and illegal at the same time. Can’t take it on a plane (TSA is federal), can’t take it on a train (Amtrak Police are federal), but you can smoke it at home. At a time where smoking tobacco is socially disdained, smoking marijuana is preferable. This is ridiculous to have this double standard. Of course, I could be wrong–what do you think? Sure, marijuana isn’t addictive, but it can lead to a lifestyle that where do you don’t do anything else. Is there a reason we need to keep focus on this drug? Let me know in the comments below! Then check out one of my books; my characters aren’t usually addicts. However, if $1.99 is going to put a dent in your marijuana budget, go ahead and download one of my stories for free.

Two Words Can Change the World

26 Apr

Last week, I went in for my drug test, because it’s one more step closer to my new job. Because I’m particularly boring in real life, I wasn’t worried about passing it, just finding the stupid place. This could have been solved with writing two words.

Since I used to be a consultant, I used to have to go through this process every six months when I got a new contract. Normally what happens is that you go to a testing clinic, where very bored, very poorly paid technicians make you sit for 15 minutes (or more, if you picked a bad time to arrive) then take you back to a bathroom, where you pee in a cup and hand it back. Despite the name “lab” on the door, there is no actual lab there, they have to mail it off to… wherever people have autoclaves and the proper chemicals.

So when I got the request for “additional background information,” I wasn’t terribly worried, just confused. First off, my new employer doesn’t bother to say “drug test.” Every employee in America in the last 30 years understands the term “drug test.” I just went through a background check; every employee understands that, too. When I first see “additional background information,” I’m thinking, “What’s wrong? I’ve gone through fifteen background checks in the last ten years. What could they have possibly found?!”

But no… it’s just a drug test by another name. So they give me a two hour window to show up at this medical facility, which I thought, “That’s odd,” but okay. I drive out to this industrial area (again, weird place for an outpatient facility), park, and look for Suite 110. There is only one suite listed above the multiple doors and it’s Suite 100. So after trying a couple doors (locked), I finally ask a secretary, and she says, “Yeah, you want the urgent care.”

Those were the magic words: “urgent care.” When I go to a building, my first thought is NOT to go into the very busy urgent care (busy? in an industrial park?), wait in line for five minutes, to be told where to go for the drug test. Instead, I wasted ten minutes checking doors and making sure I was in the right building. I know this is not the first time these secretaries have had to answer these questions (from their response), so the second easiest thing you could do is put up a sign that says “Drug tests go through Urgent Care.” Six words. Solves a LOT of problems.

So I go through the urgent care, fill out a lot of paperwork (which probably would be a lot less if it were a normal lab and not a @#$&*$ urgent care!), and wait…. and wait. There are more people in the lobby than chairs. I’m certain half the folks are there for drug tests as well, but having worked in urgent cares, I know that test only folks are the lowest priority. They’re more concerned with folks with a broken leg, burns, etc. That’s when I realize that this is a first stop for injuries on the job and screening workers’ compensation. So I wait a #*$&@$ hour for me to go through the process to pee in a cup and get the freak out of there.

It’s a simple thing to ask — just add two words to the sheet! This has to annoy the heck out of the other secretaries, you’d think they’d want a solution. But a sign never occurred to them? It’s the little things that can change the world. What do you think? Am I overreacting? Let me know in the comments below! Then you can read some more words of mine and check out one of my books. However, if $1.99 is too expensive for some words, go ahead and download one of my stories for free.

The Windy Road Home

25 Apr

So I had a great time hanging out with my friend in Tucson, but as Ben Franklin says, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” After sleeping on his couch and shooting the breeze, I had to get going home. Which means driving through a wind storm in the Sonoran Desert.

Despite the picture above, we actually had no visible dust blowing through–apparently the previous two dust storms this season took out all the easily accessible dust, so visibility was clear. Sorry to fool you, but it’s really hard to show wind in a desert landscape, because there’s not a lot of trees as a visual reference.

But a two hour trip does give you plenty of time to think. Since I like to stop in Casa Grande on the way home, it did make me think, “How do you screw up a Scotch and Soda? It’s two ingredients!” Yet it tasted terrible. Must have been a really bad well scotch–which is entirely possible–or way too much soda. Which is rather difficult with such a small glass.

Okay, enough complaining. I did go down to a Legion bar while I was down in Tucson (when I got there, not when I was leaving), and was pleasantly surprised on how nice it was. It also had the highest number of day drinkers I have ever seen concentrated in one place. Wow. I guess the sheer number of retirees in that location makes that a lot more possible. There were several visitors from out of town, including folks from LA, Georgia, and Scotland (by way of Canada)! There I was, doing a little writing and playing, and this couple with a thick Scottish accent are hanging out.

My friend is also someone who “swallowed the blue pill,” which is our family’s term for someone who is very afraid of COVID. He’s had the first shot, but doesn’t want to eat in a restaurant until he’s had the second shot. I respect that, even if I don’t agree with his opinion, but we disagree with a lot of things. We’re still friends. I personally think it feeds into his agoraphobia, so it’s really just an excuse, albeit a good one. However, it’s not like he asked me if I was sick coming into his house, or the fact that I haven’t gotten the shot either… so how effective is his isolation?

However, my friend did introduce me to a couple films that I never would have seen on my own. So often, I get turned off by reviews, that when my friend (who has different standards) takes a gander at stuff, he’s able to open my horizons beyond what I would be willing to. And that’s the point of having friends; someone who will not just make you less lonely, but to challenge you and your thoughts. We had a conversation about gun control–I can’t say I defended my position really well, but then again, I wasn’t planning to make a convincing argument at that moment.

So to wrap it all up, vacation allows us to have new experiences. The stay-cation never has the same effect; getting out of your bubble, the same-old, same-old, refreshes us and challenges us in ways that give us energy for the days ahead. However, this collection of random thoughts may be a bit too silly–what do you think? Let me know in the comments below! Then if you need more random thoughts, check out one of my books. However, but if you don’t want to pay for someone else’s ramblings, go ahead and download one of my stories for free!

Traveling to Tucson

24 Apr

Despite posts to the contrary, I do get out of the house on a frequent basis, but I rarely get out of town. So when I get the opportunity to go see a friend down in Tucson, I took some days off from work and did it, despite my misgivings.

For those not in the know, the drive from Phoenix to Tucson can take anywhere from an hour and a half to two and a half hours, depending on where you want to go in the metropolis… and how willing you are to speed. There is a whole stretch of nothing, so apart from the obligatory speed traps, it’s really a close drive.

So I have to ask myself–why do I only see my friend twice a year if he’s that close? Well, the first is because I’m a family man, with responsibilities at home. Although I can easily demand that I have a couple hours off one evening, I can’t demand a whole day trip without seriously inconveniencing my wife and kids.

The second is… my friend’s a bit agoraphobic. That’s the best term I can give. He won’t drive up to Phoenix to see me because a) my car’s not working well, b) my cat’s sick, or c) some other BS reason. It’s very hard to nail him down to a time/date to hang out. Even when I offer to come down to see him, there’s a chance he’ll bail on me for some excuse which would sound reasonable from another person, but sounds lame after hearing variations on it over the years.

So you might ask, why do I bother going to see him? Well, it IS only twice a year, but more importantly, I don’t have that many close friends. My friend in Tucson met me in college, we were friends, we were dorm roommates, we were roommates after we left school… we know each other pretty well. It’s very hard to maintain that kind of relationship. So I value these relationships as I have very few of them left.

I’ve found that it’s harder to make friends the older you get. I’ve been blessed with the fact that I am able to make a couple… but only a couple. I certainly get stuck in my ways, and it’s a lot more difficult to be flexible to a new personality, when you’ve already put up with the crap before.

However, the longer you know someone, the more of their crap you’re willing to take because you know them so well. (See marriage.) You realize that someone being crabby with you is not to be taken personally. And, just like any relationship, you get comfortable with them being around and accept them, regardless of their eccentricities. Because after all, they put up with you, right? 🙂

So how do you deal with old friends that really make it hard to maintain a relationship with? Let me know in the comments below! Then if you want a relationship with me, get out one of my books. I guarantee my old friends have never read my writing, despite me throwing them free copies. However, if $1.99 is too steep for a new relationship, go ahead and download one of my stories for free. Then we’ll have something to talk about.

What does a Redbird have to do with Basketball?

23 Apr

America is the only place that has mascots for sports teams. Every other country simply has place names or their corporate sponsors, but somehow we have animals (usually) as our sports team names. How did that happen?

The term “mascot” is only 150 years old; like a lot of English terms, we stole it from the French. “Mascotte” is a word that simply means “lucky charm.” Normally, if you had a single team from a place, you’d go with “the Cincinnati baseball team” or the particular neighborhood that you would be from. It was only when sports got professional that things got interesting. The Cincinnati team hired a much of cricketers from England who wore these long red socks which they wore while they played cricket. So they became unofficially known as the Red Socks. Then they got so successful, the Boston team offered their star players more money, and they went to Boston. Hence they became the Red Sox and the Cincinnati team stayed the Reds.

According to Wikipedia, the first mascots in the US came from the interim entertainment that the promoters brought in to kill time between innings. The Chicago team brought in a bear cub–people liked it so much, the Chicago baseball team became the Cubs. The oldest football team was the Chicago Cardinals… because there already a team called the Chicago Maroons, and they bought their old uniforms which…. had faded a bit. So they called it Cardinal red.

This was a pretty popular color at the time. So when Illinois State Normal College (later my alma mater, Illinois State) named their team, they called them the cardinals. However, that word was one character too long to hit the headlines, so they shortened it to “Redbirds.” The name stuck.

With the tradition in place, every sports team decided they had to have a mascot. However, not everyone had the money to really spend on a whole branding effort. So many schools have red and white as their colors because… it was cheaper. If you have a mustang or a bear or a common mascot, the companies that make the merchandise already have those ready. If you want to be the Campbell College Camels… well, it’s going to cost more. (No, I did not make that up.)

So as with many thing, mascots and team colors depend on cost. After all, the American Army went with a standardized blue because it was cheaper than red, which is what George Washington was used to. However, I could be simplifying this concept–do you have a better theory? Let me know in the comments below! And since you’re here, check out one of my books. However, if $1.99 is too steep for your wallet, go ahead and download one of my stories for free. You’ll be glad you did.

The Legend of Mike Mannion

22 Apr

While I was to college, once a year, a frat would take out chalk and write fun sayings all over the quad like: “And when I had no legs and could not walk, Mike Mannion carried me.” Who was Mike Mannion? And why were so many good deeds attributed to him?

I can’t find any references to this still happening at my alma mater, Illinois State University (or “I Screwed Up”), which I find sad. This was a great tradition. However, for a place that started out (and is still has a strong concentration in) as a teacher’s college, times change, and traditions get forgotten. The quad where I attended is unrecognizable from the quad today. They rebuilt the buildings, added some statues, and generally made it a much better place. We’ve never had a decent athletics program. Both dorms I lived in are demolished, so apart from my memories, I have little connection with the place any more.

On the ISU quad, facing Schroeder Hall (pronounce it “Shray-der”) and the library.

Everything about the ISU administration in the late 90’s implied “Shut up and give me your money.” This changed in the next decade dramatically to a student-service focus. So for those of us who attended then, those moments of quirkiness were great. The Disco Revolution party, the Armchair Anarchists, Support Your Local Beholder Week… and of course, the legend of Mike Mannion.

Who was Mike Mannion? Well, as you might guess, he was a member of that particular frat. Somewhere along the way, someone thought this would be funny to write “The plane was going down, there was only one parachute, and Mike Mannion said, ‘Take it, my son.'” However, by the time I got to ISU, Mike had already graduated. However, his younger brother was attending… I knew this, because his younger brother had been part of the “frat” party that won the student elections.

What has he done since? It’s not certain–it’s a relatively common name. He either became a lawyer in Chicago, or a military officer, or… whatever. Doesn’t matter. Making a legendary figure that could be remembered even after you left means attributing stuff to them that doesn’t necessarily make sense. In the early 1800’s, when a man decided to write a book about the American Founding Fathers, he made up larger than life stories to make them seem legendary. George Washington throwing a silver dollar across the Potomac… never happened. He also never cut down a cherry tree and said, “Father, I cannot tell a lie.”

Sometimes we need legends to inspire us, or to boost up a particular belief, or whatever bias the creator has. Davy Crockett did not go down shooting at the Alamo; he was sick in bed. In Mike Mannion’s case, it’s fun, it lets students who walk back and forth to classes laugh a little at the ridiculousness. Because at a time when you were just a cog in the college machine, we needed a patron saint, and Mike Mannion was there.

We didn’t have a Touchdown Jesus (Notre Dame) or an Alma Mater (U of Illinois), we had Mike Mannion. But what do you think? Do we need to bring down legends or do they still have purpose? Let me know in the comments below! Then check out one of my books, where you can read about future legends. However, if $1.99 is too much for a simple story, go ahead and download one of my stories for free.

…And You Wonder Why I Drink.

21 Apr

Drew Carey once joked: “Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar.” Is booze the solution? No, but when you’re caught in a situation you can’t get out of, it helps ease the transition.

As I’ve talked about many times on this blog, I’m a big fan of the local bar. Once you find one that you like–which is not easy–it’s a great comfort. An extended living room. A place to have friends you’d never want to invite to your house. But more importantly, it gets you away from your life for a little while.

Why I bring this up is because on Sunday morning, my wife says, “Hey, why don’t you come with me to the Home Depot.” Okay, this wasn’t part of my initial plan for the day, so my initial thought is one of annoyance, but I accept it and try to turn it into a chance to hang out with my wife, flirt. Initially, that works. Then God forbid I buy multiple copies of some tools that we invariably lose all the freaking time, and all my goodwill I’ve built in those few minutes evaporates. Great.

My wife and I are going to start counseling again because frankly, this is a bad situation. She’s pissed at me, I’m pissed at her; but frankly, that’s any marriage. You hit points where you’re better together and points you are not. I’ve picked up more chores, she says, “Why weren’t you doing that before?!” I just feel like she’s been in a high stress situation for a couple years and half of it IS HER OWN DAMN FAULT. Gee, you take an extra class AND a teaching assistantship on top of that and you complain you don’t have enough time in the day. How could that have possibly happened?! (rolling eyes)

So both of us have thought during our 15-year marriage, “Gee, why don’t we just divorce if we don’t like being together anymore?” The last time was last summer. The answer–we can’t afford to. My wife doesn’t have a regular job; she’s a grad student. Even if we both did, there’s still the kids. Both of us wants them to have a stable, happy home. My wife also doesn’t trust me to raise the kids under a joint custody agreement, and from all modern accounts, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

Mind you, things got better since then, but I still think she would be a lot happier if she chose to get out of the house more often. She has the choice; she has an office she can go to, I don’t (at present), but there’s few other people there. And without other people present, it’s just a pain-in-the-butt to get to in order to the do the same thing…

…but it gets you out of the house. I’ve been attending my local bar on a regular basis throughout this pandemic and it’s made things a lot easier to get through. I’ve also been attending there because the wife doesn’t want me to drink in the house. After all, if she can’t drink without messing up her system, then it must be the same for everyone, right?! (sigh)

But if I can’t leave my marriage, and my attempts to fix things aren’t working, then what else can you do but drink? Before I get into a diatribe you don’t have the context for, I’ll just ask what you think? What did you do in this situation? Let me know in the comments below! Then check out one of my books; they aren’t as depressing However, if $1.99 is too steep for your wallet, go ahead and download one of my stories for free. You’ll be glad you did.

Tales from a broken doll

Short stories, poetry, musings and rambling.

Poteci de dor

"Adevărul, pur şi simplu, e rareori pur şi aproape niciodată simplu" - Oscar Wilde

O Miau do Leão

Uma pequena voz da Flandres

A Life's Journey

Little things matter 🌼


A dreamer, who loves to muse her world and penned it down✍️ Each words in this blog lay close to my soul🧡

Talkin' to Myself

I'm listening

Nature Whispering

From Sunset to Dawn

Riverside Peace

Discover how God works through his creation and Scripture to show us his love.

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

Looking to God

Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. (Matthew 6:33)


We may see things that we don't even imagine.

Decaf White

No Sugar


Mere khayal aap tak..

The Haute Mommy Handbook

Motherhood Misadventures + Creative Living

Hangaku Gozen

For we cannot tarry here, We must march my darlings

A Cornered Gurl

I am more than breath & bones.