Thursday, December 31, 2009

Maybe the last post of the year

But probably not. I have been thinking about the New Year, and the one just past. I just cannot believe that another year is gone already!! Another holiday without the kids. I may never get over all this. But, maybe I'm just feeling sorry for myself. I should work on that.

I'm going to be a published author!!

One of my lifelong dreams!! Actually, it's just my blog. While publishing my last entry, I saw a link to blog2print, and I gotta say, Awesome! It's sooo easy, and such a great idea! I'm going to publish my blog, then look at what a ridiculous effort it was 20 years from now, and see how far I've come (hopefully!!). Anyhoo, just thought I'd jot that down, and recommend it to all bloggers. (Hint, hint, Mom!!)

Happy New Year to you all!!

It's here at last!! 2010 is upon us. Good Lord, I hope this year is better than the last! Actually, the last half of 2009 wasn't bad. Got sober, yada yada yada. I did not, however see my kids even once. So, bad year in that respect. But, I see nothing but clear skies in 2010. I have to believe that things are going to get better and stay better. I just have to keep reminding myself that things take time. It took me years to f*ck my life up this badly, it's going to take more than six months to straighten out. Oh yeah, 200 days clean today.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Back to the same old grind

Although I can't really call it a grind. I have to work tomorrow and the 30th, then five more days off. I have Drug Court today, and I have to test, which still always makes me nervous. I will test positive for Vicodin, since I am taking it, and it should be okay because I have a prescription for it, but you never can tell with the egomaniac that runs the program. I go to every court date expecting to be taken into custody, even though I've done nothing wrong. That's pathetic, huh? But, don't take this the wrong way, I'm not bitching, I'm just telling it how it is. The surf is huge today, but my tooth really hurts and I don't think that the chill Pacific Ocean would help matters any.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Toothache, revisited

Okay, it's the 27th,  and thank God I had a few days off!! My horrible teeth have started hurting again. This time, one of them hurt so badly that I was forced to go to the dentist. Now, let me preface this by saying that I haven't been in about 5 years. And, I have smoked pounds of crystal meth, which deteriorates teeth at an accelerated rate. My right cheek has swollen up until I look like a chipmunk. So, I went to Western Dental, since I of course have no dental coverage. 99 bucks a month, right? Wrong. For my particular mouth, it's over $9,000.00, 40 percent of which needs to be paid up front. So I don't really know what to do about that. I got a prescription for antibiotics and painkillers, and that's where we're at today. I am sitting at home with Brindy consoling me. In fact, it's time for me to take some medicine and a nap. More later.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I am at the dentist office, and I'm pretty apprehensive. But my pain is greater than my trepidation.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas is not what you would call my favorite time of the year

I have been dreading it, actually. My whole life has been turned to mierda by my ill fated, not very well thought out bid for joint custody of my children. I now have 0 percent custody, and my lovely ex denies me even the opportunity to talk to my kids on the phone. I call every day. I leave a message every day. It is slowly bringing me into an inexorable downward spiral, affecting every facet of my already f'ed up life. So, that's why I don't like Christmas. Or Thanksgiving. Or Halloween. Or any other day of the year. Now, I know it may sound like I'm making a very big deal out of this, like any addict is wont to do with any situation. Well, I know it's my fault, and I can accept that. I cannot, however, accept not seeing my children ever again. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Finally, I have my laptop back!!

Yes, it was in the pawnshop. Yes, I did get it out. Yes, it's pathetic, but it's a big deal for me. I'm watching the San Diego Chargers beat (I hope!) the Cincinnati Bengals. Haven't been home from work long. These 7 day a week workweeks are really starting to wear me down. I haven't been blogging much lately, and I'm going to fix that. It really does me good to vent, even if it's online. So, here's to a new start. Metaphorically, as well.
Sunday @ work. Doubletime! Only have 160 characters when sending from phone, so these will be short.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday @ work. Very boring, makes for a long day. But, its overtime.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Im happy today. I have been down lately, but a good friend thanked me for helping him in early sobriety, and I war really touched. Will expound on that later.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

ACI certified at long last!!

You know, this may sound a little conceited, but with so many people around me telling me what a failure I am, I oftentimes lose sight of what I'm capable of. I received my American Concrete Institute Field Grade I Inspector certification in the mail just now. For as long as I have worked construction, I have wanted to be an inspector. And today, I am. Now, if I can just go out and find a job in the field! To those who know me, and support me, I want to give a heartfelt thanks. I don't think I can adequately put into words what it means to me, especially this time of year, when I am constantly barraged with reminders of how worthless I have been, to be able to accomplish one of my lifelong dreams. That's all for now.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A little better,

But not too much. Okay, I'm going to make a concerted effort to get off my pity pot and actually do something for a change. But what? Work really is crappy. I like the work, but for the first time in my life, I'm not the strongest, fastest, best worker there. My back is killing me right now. And I have no idea how to react. I don't know how to be second best. It sounds silly, but it's serious to me. So I have no idea how to go about having a normal life, it turns out. I'm kinda confused about what to do about a couple of things that are really affecting my life negatively. I have a huge hole in my heart where my kids used to be, and I can't fill it with anything but hatred and darkness. And boy, I know exactly where that takes me! So I'm confused, lonely and hurt (in more ways than one). I really hate the holidays now. Hate with a capital H-A-T-E. I wish Christmas and the holidays didn't exist, if I can't be with my kids. How's that for a little better? I guess I was kidding myself. Life sucks.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Work is exhausting

And my life is really not going very well at this point. I am probably the unhappiest that I have ever been. Gee, sobriety is great.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Computer died. Going to get my laptop on Friday. Working seven days a week right now. Quite a change from the easy life I have become used to!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

ACI certified

I hope! I went and took the ACI (American Concrete Institute) exam yesterday morning, and passed the performance tests, yes, all SEVEN of them! and the oral exam! I was really, really nervous about the performance tests. Really. Very. I have to wait for the written test to be graded to know for sure, but you know if you passed a test or not, and I'm pretty sure I passed. Next, the ICC (International Code Council) Reinforced Concrete Inspection exam, probably in December. Then, I will be a Reinforced Concrete Associate, until I get enough inspection experience to be deemed and Inspector. I'm starting at the shipyard tomorrow, which is good, because we're broke, but I'm going to put the full court press on looking for an inspector position somewhere. I cannot wait to be done with Drug Court so I can pursue job opportunities elsewhere (read: closer to home), but I suppose I'll just have to be patient. Not my strong suite......

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So it's been a couple of days

Since my last post. Computer hasn't been working that well. We have to piggyback off someone else's internet connection, and sometimes it just doesn't work. But, I have orientation at the shipyard tomorrow, so that means cable will not be far behind! You never realize how much you miss cable TV until you don't have it! I am very ready to go back to work. It's been over 3 years!! I cannot believe that. Oh yeah, and I phase up to Phase III at Drug Court. And my ACI certification class will be done this Saturday. And my Concrete Inspection course at SDSU is done tonight!! All of a sudden, I'm busy! So what the heck am I doing on this computer?!? Goodbye for now.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Sometimes I just get tired of fighting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

At long last

I have a job! It's funny, a friend of mine has been bothering me every day about applying at the shipyard. So finally I went and applied. I wasn't really looking for a job. I mean, I can use one, sure, but I am in school, and Voc Rehab is paying for me to get retrained. But, I went and applied, and really didn't think they would call. The shipyards fall under the Longshoreman's Act for worker's comp, and I got a total of about 230,000.00 out of that fund over the past 3 years. I decided to not worry about it, and if God wanted me to have a job, I'd have one. When I got home from taking my final exam last night, they had called. I have orientation on the 18th, start on the 23rd. I still have to figure out if it's going to work with Drug Court and all that I have going on, but I really think that working will make me feel better. I'm hoping my back can take it. It should be okay, it's rigging, which isn't all that physical. In any event, we shall see. I'll report back with progress soon......
Zoe is tending her farm, so I have to use the phone.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Computer is on the fritz. It is driving me batty.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Another week closer to......

Something, I guess. Well, it's Friday. I'm sitting here contemplating giving Brindy a bath. She really needs one. I applied for a job at NASSCO (a shipyard) yesterday. I'm well qualified for the job, but prolly won't get it based on permanent work restrictions. If I don't get it, I guess it'll make my SSDI case much stronger! But, I'd rather just go back to work and take painkillers. We really need the money. In a perfect world, I'd be able to just concentrate on school until I was done. When was the last time your world was perfect? Yeah, me neither. So, if I get the job, I'll just get back to it. It's actually been a long time since I've worked, it would be kinda neat......

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Weezy, we miss you.

As those of you who are FB friends already know, I got a call early Tuesday morning from a good friend of mine who is a SGT in the USMC. He was calling to inform me that a mutual friend of ours, SGT Cesar Ruiz had been killed by an IED in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. This was a serious blow to me. While I was in Afghanistan, I travelled around the country opening up new Forward Operating Bases for the various branches of the military. Most of the time, there was another carpenter named Mark on my team. On more than one occasion, we would run into the same Marine unit, the 3/3. The 3/3 has an Engineering Company with them, and we would frequently work with the same guys at every camp. There were two guys in particular that we hung around with, Shane and Ruiz. When we expanded FOB Jalalabad, we worked with them for a long time. I really felt like a part of the unit. As civilians, we had many privileges that active duty did not have. I had access to a satellite phone, and although many of the soldiers had cell phones, they didn't work all the time where we were at. When one of the Marines wives was delivering his first child, I managed to sneak the sat phone to the Marine compound so he could call his wife and talk to her after the delivery. When I didn't want to be found, I went to the Engineers tent and hung out with them. We even had cots set up where we could crash. I hadn't seen Ruiz for a while, he was discharged from the Marines. He went home to Texas and started a family. Last year, he was recalled to active duty involuntarily. The military sometimes does this if the person holds a critical Military Occupation Specialty. Shane was assigned to Camp Pendleton, close to where I live in San Diego. Shane has a family, and lives on base. When I came into some money last year, and was going to the casinos all the time, I invited Shane and his wife and son up to the casino, and we sat by the pool in a private tent, chilled out in our luxury suite, gambled some and generally had a good time. It was the least I could do for the guy who had helped me so much overseas. When Shane called me and gave me the news, and asked me to call Mark and tell him, I was shocked. But I suppose that's what happens when you're a Marine. All I know is Cesar leaves a young wife and one year old son who will never know him. Hey, Mr. Obama, when are we going to get our boys out of Afghanistan?

Monday, November 2, 2009

I always have something profound to write on here,

then get to the laptop, and it's gone. I think maybe I'm senile.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I go back

to a two tone shortbed Chevy, driving my first love out to the levy's ..... words to a country song that have been going through my head tonight. I love FB, I have reconnected with so many good, good friends that were long lost to me, that I can't even begin to explain it. Every time I reconnect with someone that was a good friend, that was part of my clique at some point in mi vida loca, I get a very poignant mood for a while, and it's good that I'm home alone. Jessi, God bless her, always wants to know what's wrong, and I can't verbalize it, and she assumes that it's her. Got back in contact with one of my good friends from the Navy, when I was very young, very early 20's. Man, did we think we knew it all. I was convinced that I'd make my first million before I hit 30. I made that mark, but I had no idea then that it would be a million mistakes I'd make, not a million dollars! But I have to keep reminding myself to remember everything in my past, and learn from it. You know, I have an extremely interesting story, to say the least. I'm sure it could help someone out there to hear about it. Maybe you'll get lucky and one of these days I'll write an autobiography on here. It would take a while to read, but be totally worth it! The problem is, most people who weren't there for it would never believe most of my story, even though it's true. I am much crazier than most of the people on Earth. Couple that with my poor impulse control and inability to say no to anyone, and you have the ingredients for a bestseller! Maybe that's how I'll pay the bills.......

Sunday Night

I can't believe it's November already. I was walking home from an NA meeting just now, thinking about the past year and everything I've lost. The fact that I spent my entire settlement is almost enough to put me over the edge. Every bill that I can't pay, the fact that I can't even register my truck, my Mom had to pay my rent, everything seems to remind me how foolish I have been. And that's really what's keeping me clean. So, I guess it wasn't all bad, as long as I learned from it. I always have done things all the way or not at all, I live a life of extremes. Now if only I could get to the extremely good part of it. I know it's there somewhere!

Fall back

Into depression. I don't like the time change in the fall. It gets dark way too early, which doesn't do wonders for my mood. I think a lot of the problem these days is the large blocks of time I spend alone. Well, technically, Brindy is here, but she doesn't have much of a vocabulary. She's a great companion, though. She's my little therapy dog. Jessi works a lot now, which is good, but I'm by myself most of the time. I don't really have any friends anymore, since all my old friends still get high. I have some friends in the program, but not a lot that I know well enough to kick it with. Add to that the fact that we don't have cable, and the end result is me climbing the walls very soon. We go on long walks, but Brindy is very strong and pulls me around, and it really kills my back. My knees don't really like long walks, either. I do lots of reading, study for my exams, but there's only so much of that that one can do. But, I'm just going to take it in stride and not try to get too far ahead of myself. I have a bad tendency to want to rush everything. I want it all yesterday. I want life to be good again, my marriage to be perfect, us to have money again, a house again, yada yada yada. They say patience is a virtue. If ya haven't noticed by now, I'm not very virtuous.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Happy Halloween, everyone. And, no, that wasn't a misspelling above. That's how I feel about this holiday without my kids. And every other holiday. And, well, every day. Now don't misunderstand me, I fully admit that I've been a horrible parent. I own my part in everything today. But having said that, it needs to be put out there, for some in my audience, and you know who you are, that their mom is on speed to this very day. It's prescribed, sure, but guess where she goes for the script? T.J. of course. It's called Adipex-P or Phentermine. Really good pharmaceutical speed, actually. Before you go berating me, or stop reading altogether, realize that speed is what I'm in trouble for. I fully realize that ad hominum attacks are fallacious by their very nature, but I'm not attempting to attack. Maybe just make me look like not such a heinous monster. I don't know. I just thought it was worth bringing to the table, since the issue at the very heart of my child custody case is drug abuse. But, hey, I'm a felon. Don't take my word for it.
Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lessons In Humility, Part I

You know, growing up, I always heard about humility, and how desirable a trait it is. At church, in Sunday school, there were lessons on it. In recovery they make a pretty big deal out of it as well. Well, I'm here to tell you folks, did I ever get a dose today. It shouldn't be that big of a deal, and I suppose that it really isn't, but it's on my mind enough to mention it here. Jessi and I have applied for Food Stamps, and there has been some administrative errors on the behalf of the county office. So, today I had to go down there and stand in the huge line snaking around the enormous lobby and out the front door. That in and of itself isn't that bad. Well, that's actually part of it. After about an hour, not too bad, I get to the front. I had to wait for an English speaking representative to help me. No problem. She asks what I wanted, I tried to explain it to her, over her constant interruptions. I won't bore you with all the gory details, but the end result was that I was then told to take a seat and my name would be called. All I needed were replacement forms to fill out (to replace the ones they lost). So, after negotiating my way around screaming infants, dozens of unattended toddlers playing WWF off the chairs, and by the signs informing me that they are fresh out of H1N1 vaccine, I found a seat. There I sat, minding my own business for the next, oh, three hours. I made good use of the time, writing part of my second step while I waited. But, unfortunately for us, I had to be at the South County Center for Change, AKA Drug Court, at 11:30. So, those 3 hours were just a practice run. I would go back in the morning, but I have court at 9:00, then group at 12:00. So Monday it is. I know that in the past I have been very smug and thought I knew it all a lot. My intelligence coupled with constant abuse of a vast cornucopia of pharmaceuticals convinced me that I knew everything, and I shared that belief with many many people, usually customer service representatives or the like. But today, oh today, I'm getting a crash course in advanced humility. And you know what? I'm going to walk through it with grace and dignity, knowing that I am growing with each event that embarrasses me, every time I let something slide that I used to call people on. So that's my lesson for today. Zoe and I are here at home, we went to Shakey's and ate some pizza and played some games, and she's in the tub trying her level best to water the entire bathroom floor. I asked her if she thought maybe some soap would be a good idea, only to be informed that she took a comprehensive bath at her Daddy's house last night, and that tonight's event is strictly for play. And that's ok, cause she's going to get clean anyways. God, thank you for today.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Paul, reconsidered

So I was walking on the beach with Brindy a while ago, and was reflecting on how strange life is, if you think about it. For me, at least. I was just trying to walk the dog, but I kept thinking about Drug Court, and how they have a hold on me for the next year. Then I started thinking about my back, which hurts all the time, and how nice it would be to smoke a bowl of marijuana and stop the back pain for a while. I mean, they told me now that I can take Vicodin as long as I have a prescription, which I do. So, I think to myself, in the forward thinking Peoples Republic of California, I can obtain a valid prescription for marijuana as well. It's safer than opiates, not nearly as addictive, the benefits go on and on. But, I then remind myself that I do not have that option because of choices that I have made in my life, and that I had better just walk doggie-poo back home and go to an NA meeting. Which is where I'm going right now.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Construction Inspection Technology

Actually, it's Structural Concrete Inspection tonight. One component of the Construction Inspection Technology certificate. But, it's tonight. Actually, in about an hour  and a half. I'm really excited about this, I've always wanted to be a Special Inspector, and now I'm going to get the chance. Had something I wanted to write about earlier, but forgot before I got online. Oh well, gotta go get ready for class. More later, I promise.

First test

In Concrete Inspection tonight. I'm kinda nervous, but I know the material so I really shouldn't be. Couldn't lay down anymore, hurts my back, so here I am! Playing FB games until time for the AA meeting. Have a great day, everyone.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Is a good thing on a Sunday afternoon, just me and the dog at home, so I've been thinking. I took a scalding hot bath just now, I have been in severe pain since last Sunday, when I had a skateboarding accident. Unfortunately the bath didn't help the back, but I lay in that steamy water and thought back over the years on my meager attempts at rehabilitation. I suppose my very first effort was at the ripe old age of 16, when I successfully attained my first DUI. I had to undergo an evaluation by an alcohol and drug professional. I thought absolutely nothing of it. It didn't bother me, I never for one instant thought, "Gee, a DUI right after I get my license? Hmmm.... maybe I should slow down". I did, however learn some things. I was very naive at the time, and answered the questions truthfully. I drank about a six pack a day during the week, 12 to 18 beers a night on the weekend. At that point he told me I didn't have to lie to impress him. Little did he know, I was telling the truth. So that didn't go very well. After that incident, I never told a person in a position of authority the truth about my alcohol and drug use until this year. I also thought about people I knew that are no longer with us or that ruined their lives early on. My cousin Kim, killed in an automobile accident attributable to drugs.  Charles, a friend I was in a faith based sober living home with, who had two bachelors degrees from Tulane University, then came out here to California and died in a crack house. Will, another friend I worked in the Bahamas with. Went to the islands to get away from heroin, and traded it for cocaine. One night we were at a casino on Grand Bahama Island, and Will met a girl from a cruise ship that had some heroin. Next day, he's dead. The list goes on, but I don't think I'll list them all. And I think about how easily it could have been me. Almost was, a few times. My wife tells me that God has something planned for me, that's why I'm still here. Mom, much the same. Mary Linda, a woman at a sober living home, told me that God loved me more than most, that's why I have so much trouble in life, to bring me back closer to him. Who can tell? I do know one thing, there is a God, and He is at work in my family's lives today. So, until next time......

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Brake Pads, etc.

There's a friend of mine who I foolishly lent a large sum of money to a while back, and he's attempting to pay me back now, albeit a little at a time. So, when he gave me one hundred dollars today, I put twenty in the gas tank, then went to Auto Zone and purchased front brake pads, which cost 46.99.  So, since we don't have a bank account (my fault, totally), I had to cash the money order at Money Tree, which cost 3.98. That's a grand total of 70.97, if my math is not too bad. I only go into detail to say this: life is expensive. I normally wouldn't have thought twice about what to do with that hundred bucks: 1/16th of an ounce of methamphetamine. Hundred bucks is actually a pretty good price in today's black market economy! But that's not where I'm at today. I'm trying to do the right thing, which is put brakes on the truck, pay rent, pay bills. Not my forte, you could say. But you know what? I'm trying. We're trying, I should say. My poor wife is working two jobs now, and I'm sitting around doing nothing most of the time. Never mind the fact that I am in a great deal of pain most of the time, I still feel guilty about it. Hopefully I'll be able to contribute before too long. But for now, I'll just keep doing the best I can in school, so I can support my family in the near future. I've got to go do some homework right now with a guy from class, as a matter of fact. TTFN!

Friday, October 23, 2009

It took a while

But my counselor at the DOR finally came through with the money for the ACI certification exam. If I had received the money by today, I would still be in November's class, but now it appears I'll be in Decembers. Oh well, I've wanted to take this test since 1996, one more month won't hurt anything! Now, at long last, I'll get to see if I know as much about concrete as I think I do!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Life on Life's terms

Is one of those sayings they have at AA/NA groups and in the literature. It's true. SO, I've been trying to get an answer as to how the California Dept. of Rehabilitation (DOR from here on out.) can pay for my ICC certification classes. So the ICC got back to me promptly the day after I emailed them. All well and good. Great, actually. The nice woman who responded informed me that a third party exam proctor was used, and the DOR would have to make payment to them, but here is their number, and I should contact them. Well, unfortunately, they have outsourced their phone based customer service. Apparently to East Timor. Or Nepal. Or somewhere on the Indian subcontinent. Somewhere that pronunciation of the English language takes a back seat to having a pulse as a prerequisite for employment. I cannot make the pleasant-if-highly-accented lady who answers the phone understand my question, nor can I speak to anyone else. So, I'm considering taking out an ad on craigslist for an interpreter. Now if only I could recognize the dialect that is spoken in that part of the world, I could get the ball rolling. But, it's not the end of the world. I have a few more months at least before I need to have any testing paid for. I shall endeavor to persevere, as the old Indian on The Outlaw Josie Wales said. So, until next time, goodnight.

Another Thursday

And I'm still here. I'm a little cranky today, I really really hurt my back skateboarding the other day. Then, on top of that, my wife gets mad at me, because she says I'm acting like a child. Well, DUH. But seriously, I do need to give it up. It sucks coming to the realization that I'm getting older. Actually, I came to the realization some time ago. It sucks having to admit it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Life is frustrating!

And that's okay. I have to remember to tell myself that. I am starting to see some modicum of serenity in my life today, where before there was only anger and chaos. I am trying to better my life, and by extension my family life, by furthering my education. I have been blessed enough to have my courses paid for by the California Dept of Rehabilitation. I will require certification by the governing body for my chosen profession, construction inspection. The certification exams are administered by a company not affiliated with the above mentioned governing body, and I have had a very difficult time getting an answer as to how the DOR can pay for the classes, as they like to pay via purchase order (never mind that a P.O. from the state may or may not bounce like a hot check!!). But, I have to step away from the situation for a minute, take a deep breath, and relax. It's not the end of the world. Even if I can't make it happen, SDSU is still paid for. There will be a solution. And you know, I guess it's a good time to let go and let God. (Can you believe how much I've grown, Mom?) =^)

Monday, October 19, 2009

@ the IB health clinic. Trying to see a shrink down here instead of going all the way to the VA. Downside? VA is free. This isnt.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I busted my butt s8boarding. I might have broke my left foot. Gonna sleep on it, see how it is 2morrow.

Black Sheep

You know, I miss my family a lot of the time, but sometimes I think that I'm still the black sheep, and remember why I left home.

first cousin once removed? second cousin? I'm confused!

SO, I never really understood the once removed, twice removed thing. FB has a family application, and it has a button to "define relationship" after you have confirmed a family tie. I would really like to make a family tree. I would need some assistance from someone on either side of the fams, but I'd like to do it. Sure wish Grandma's had email. That would greatly help. I'd also like to know, to preserve it for posterity. I come from a long and colorful background, that I don't know as well as I should. Let's see how well I rectify that, shall we?

comfort zone

I have a comfort zone that is pretty much the little beach town that I live in. I never leave it, except for the one night a week I go to SDSU. Weird, for me. I am a world traveler. I have worked in a few countries. By a few, I mean more than 2 or 3. I'm not afraid to get on a plane and go with no set destination and no job awaiting me when I get there. But since I've been clean, I've pretty much stayed here. In fact, it's mostly in the apartment where I spend the majority of my time. Yes, a lot of it has to do with being so broke, but a lot of it is this crippling anxiety I suffer from. I think it's like social anxiety or something. I don't like to deal with things. Even things I know I should deal with or do, I won't. I don't return calls, I don't answer the phone a lot of the time. I can't explain it, it just happens. I'm not really happy about it. I want to ask my shrink, but I missed my last two appointments. You see my predicament. I have an appointment here in I.B. on Monday, hopefully that will alleviate at least one of my problems. We will see.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Another Saturday

Here in lovely San Diego. I have been struggling with my identity of late. No, not like that. I have tons of ID. I mean about who I am, who people perceive me as. I like being in recovery, but still in the back of my head think of it as a stigma, somehow it makes me less than other people. A few problems with that. One, I know that I'm a way better person today, not having to worry about the authorities, or hiding it from the kids, or having to hustle to pay for that last front, any of that. Today, I can concentrate on being the best person I can be. And I can remember a time when I was a pretty good dude. I guess I don't want to be a "square", I don't know. I just know that I'm confused and maybe a little overwhelmed. I want to not want to get loaded anymore, but that just hasn't happened yet. Hopefully it will sooner or later. I want to be secure in myself image in recovery, but that hasn't quite happened yet, either. But, I was a doper for a lot of years, and I need to keep reminding myself that it won't happen overnight. Until next time, PEACE!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wonders never cease!

And I'm living proof! So, I go to group on Wednesday, and the program director, whom we all know isn't my bestest buddy, calls me in the office. Well, normally this means you're GOING TO JAIL. But, not today. Today, he's got some paperwork from the court. I had asked the treatment team to address some traffic infractions that I had received over the course of the last few years, and which had recently been the cause of my license suspension. The judge has the authority to make all that go away, if he so desires. It all pretty much depends on how you as an individual are doing in the program. Well, I'm happy to report that I am doing very well now, so much so that all fines, penalties and civil assessments have been stayed, pending successful completion of Drug Court. I didn't have to pay one cent to reinstate my driving privileges. ( I just spent 5 minutes spelling "privileges" about ten different ways because it didn't look right. I'm getting stupid in my old age. Or maybe I'm just burnt out.) So I have a drivers license again. If I only had 250 bucks to pay my registration, I could drive again. But, I'm going make something happen. Maybe even something that's not against the law!! 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Getting better

Now, I'm not going to say that life is getting better in a hurry, but finally, at long last, it's starting to move forward. I have a new counselor in Drug Court, the one I wanted, and it makes all the difference. She is very cool, and makes none of the unreasonable demands that the other person did. So I'm very happy about that. And yesterday when I went to group, they handed me some paperwork from the court, saying that all my outstanding traffic cases (of which there were a few) have been stayed pending completion of Drug Court. If I successfully complete the program, they will just go away, like they never happened. Awesome! So, things are starting to come together. There might be a light at the end of the tunnel, after all.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

4:28 am

Is when Brindy thought that we should go for our first walk this morning. We just went for another one, walked Jessi to the bus stop (it's across the street, it wasn't a very long walk). It's early, it's cool, the Pacific Ocean is crashing on the beach right behind me, things are okay today. So far. I haven't had much time to screw things up yet, but the day is young! I'm leaving for the 7:00 am AA meeting in a few minutes, so it's time to check my FB. See ya later!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Do you miss me when I'm gone?

 I hope so! Well, it's been a few days since my last entry, and some things have happened. My little brother was taken to the hospital with heart attack like symptoms, had quite a scare according to all accounts. Turns out he has a very long winded genetic condition known as  Supraventricular Tachycardia. Has to do with an irregular heart rate, I believe. Anyways, I found out the next day from my Mom via Facebook. Wonderful site, Facebook. I love it. Keeps me in touch with many many people that I otherwise wouldn't ever get a chance to talk to. I live quite a ways away from my family, by choice. However, now that I am sober, I find myself wanting to be closer to my family. At least to make a trip home to see everyone, and introduce my wife to her new family. I don't really know where that bit came from, I guess thinking about my brother and mortality. But, I'm cool here in San Diego, for now. I moved out here to be closer to my kids, and had a great couple of years with them until I, in my infinite wisdom, decided to contest custody, and lost all custody of them. I'm not okay talking about that, at all. I think that I would be a better parent than no parent, which is basically what they have now. But that's all I'll say on that. I'm really trying to just look at my part in situations, and leave the other person to their own devices. Clean up my side of the street, as it were. Update on a situation from last week: we still don't have a new counselor at Drug Court, and yes, the program manager has decided once again to become way too involved in the day to day affairs of our group, but I'm not having quite as hard a time with him as I envisioned. He even told me today that he could see the difference in me, and said that someone in court last week said the same thing. Like one of the bailiffs, or somebody. So, I'm going to remain cautiously optimistic about that. More as the story unfolds!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Another one bites the dust!

We are a hard group of addicts to handle. I'm talking about my classmates and I at the South County Center for Change, otherwise known as Drug Court. We got a new counselor August 3rd, and he's gone already. Said he couldn't handle the pressure of dealing with 30 dopeheads of this high caliber. As I often say about many facets of (my) life: It's not for the faint of heart, nor the weak of constitution. Eddie couldn't step up to the big leagues. However, that presents problems for those of us left behind. Or at least for me. I'll just speak in I statements, since I can't really speak to how it affects anyone else. When the last counselor left, it took about 3 weeks to get a new one in place, during which time the director of the center filled in. Good idea, you say? Wrong. Horrible idea. A good idea gone horribly wrong, mutated into a nightmare of enormous proportions. Hiroshima-like aftershocks still rock the center. The man is an anal-retentive, petty, vindictive, power mad control freak on his best day, and he doesn't have too many of them. He is most effective when he's in a staff infection, oops meeting, at the corporate office, or better yet, at a seminar, preferably on another continent. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the man. It's just that he has absolutely no business handling clients on a daily basis. If there ever was a time when he was competent as a counselor, that day has long since faded into dusk. So, I sincerely hope that the search for a new counselor is conducted expediently, and initiated post-haste. That's all for this post. Stay tuned for a happy post later tonight.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


SUCKS!! I have to ride public transportation now, and it is f*cking ridiculous. But it's my fault so I can't bitch too much about it. But I'm going to anyways!!

You may say I'm a Dreamer.....

But I'm the only one who has dreams like these! I have very vivid dreams. Very weird, Van Gogh-like dreams. I mean, I've always said that I dream in Technicolor. Take last night, for example. We've been watching the complete seasons of Weeds on dvd lately. So last night I dreamed that I was hanging out with the lead character, the pot dealing widowed mom from the 'burbs. Seems that she was branching out into dealing cocaine as well, and she was doing a terrible job of it, getting ripped off by all these black guys (from the show). So, this is where I enter the scene. With my copious knowledge of all things illicit, especially those having to do with the importation and distribution of Schedule I narcotics, I decided to straighten out her organization. The police were constantly trying to spy on the house, looking through windows, etc. She buys some dope from someone, and it looks terrible so I try it. It's as bad as it looks. Then all of a sudden I realize that I'm in Drug Court and I'll have to test today! Cut to a convenience store on a dead end road that looks like it's in the Sand Hills or Blountstown or somewhere rural like that. The drugs are in a file cabinet and we're sitting at the store on a bus. The cops come running onto the bus, I'm trying to file all the dope in the right envelopes, and slam the file cabinet shut. The cops search me, and then find the drugs. I convince them they're not mine, but they take me in anyways because I'm in Drug Court. At this point I woke up freaking out thinking the cops were going to come and get me any minute. There was a lot more surreal stuff to it, but I won't go into detail here. So, analyze that, it you will.

Monday, October 5, 2009


So it's Monday. Mondays aren't that bad for me, I don't have to go to Drug Court, so that's cool. Had kind of a crummy weekend, fought a lot. I've been super depressed lately. And I've been in a whole lot of pain, which certainly doesn't help matters. I have been worried about finances a lot. Thinking a lot about all the money I wasted. Yeah, I know it doesn't do any good, and it won't bring back the scrilla, but hey, I'm only human. It will be over a year until I get me certificate from SDSU in Construction Inspection Technology, December of 2010 actually, and it seems like that's SOOOOO long from now! It's not really, but right now it's so hard to make ends meet. Jessi is trying so hard, she just got a second job. She's worn out I know. I take a lot of work, I'm very high maintenance. Not like you think, I just have a hard time doing some stuff because of my myriad of health issues. And I am so down so much of the time. It pisses me off. I'm not stupid, I'm not lazy. I know what I should be doing, but lots of the time, I cannot make myself leave the house. I can't explain it. It's like if I ignore problems they'll go away. I KNOW they won't. I think maybe it's like social anxiety or something. Of course, I don't like going to appointments, so I missed my psychiatric appoint last week. On top of everything else I have to take the bus now, and it's really hard for me to get on it knowing I have to go to Mission Valley. I don't know what I'm going to do, but I gotta do something. Well, here's hoping that things get better!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday afternoon, crazy thoughts

So it's Sunday, I'm just cleaning house a little bit. It's hard when you have way too much stuff for the tiny ass apartment you live in, but hey, at least we've got a place to stay, right? All day I've been thinking about things I cannot do anything about. Like all that money I spent last year. $160,000.00. I hate to even write it out, because it looks like so much, and it's gone. I could have a nice place, a house with a big chunk of mortgage paid off, my beautiful little GTi paid off and not repo'ed, oh, the list goes on and on, ad infinitum. But, that was yesterday, and yesterday's gone, right? Right! Soooooo.....on with life. It's just taking so long to accomplish anything! I've barely got my first class towards my Special Inspector certification finished, long way to go there, then there's always Drug Court, got over a year left on that, then, after all that, I have another year of Domestic Violence classes for something I didn't even do almost three years ago!! I just have to not think about all that, because it all starts running around in my head and it's like it's too much for me to handle. So, for today, I'll just think about cleaning the apartment.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Dual Diagnosis

So I started going to a dual diagnosis group today. What, you ask, is dual diagnosis? Well, of course it's co-occurring conditions! What that means in regular people talk is that I am being treated for more than one disorder, usually one being a chemical dependency issue, and the other some sort of mental defect or disorder. The group, besides being on Friday, the one day of the work week I don't have to go to drug court, was highly dysfunctional. It's to be expected; it's full of thwacked out crazies. The counselor is very good, and really cares about helping everyone in the group, but there were a few disgruntled customers, to put it mildly. As I sat there, listening to first one then another of my peers bitch about having to go to the group, I thought to myself, That's what I used to sound like! And still do at times, I'm sure. I mean, one girl was making such a big deal about it being half an hour longer than the "regular" Friday afternoon process group. She couldn't talk about anything except that. When asked anything, her response was to stick out her bottom lip as far as she could and say "I'm pissed off about this sh*t and I'm not participating". Now how in the heck is that helping her program? Or any of the people around her? But, I'm not here to condemn anyone else's actions today. I cooperated, kept my mouth shut if I didn't have anything constructive, and assured the facilitator afterward that it would get better, it was the first class. I can honestly say today that I am actively participating in my recovery, and that makes me feel okay. It's a step in  the right direction. I'm still not to a place where I can say that I'm happy with all this, but I'm not automatically dismissing it anymore, either. So stay tuned, it starts to get interesting from here on out.

Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch

I have a toothache. A really really bad one. It's been hurting at this pain level off and on since the filling came out about two weeks ago. Today, I'm going to call Western Dental and see if I can work out some sort of payment plan with them to get it fixed, because I don't do pain very well. I'm already in a lot of chronic pain everyday without having this to deal with. Okay, now that I'm done bitching, let's see.....court at nine this morning, then I have my very first Dual Diagnosis class at drug court at noon. Dual Diagnosis is for addicts who also suffer from mental disorders or defects. So, that ought to be very interesting. I'll let ya know how it went. Now, I'm off in search of a pair of Vise Grips, to remove this tooth with!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Concrete Inspector Field Grade I

Just got the call from ACI confirming my slot in the November certification class. This has been a career goal of mine virtually since the very first concrete pour I ever worked on. I have a lot of certifications left to get, but it's a start in the right direction. It's soooooooo nice to finally be making forward progress in some aspect of my life. My marriage is going well, we're not getting evicted, I'm getting closer to a career that isn't going to slowly kill me, don't look now, but life is actually okay today. Not great, but okay. Thank God for answered prayers.

The Kids

I really miss my kids. Really. While I realize that it's my fault I don't get to spend time with them right now, that doesn't stop me from missing them. It's almost enough to destroy me, and I don't use that term lightly. Maybe, just maybe, it would help me in my recovery to have them in my life. Just throwing it out there. I also harbor a HUGE resentment towards their mother, but that's for another day. Ashley, Adam, I love you.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I'm not at all sure if that's spelled right or not. I read a few blogs on sobriety, and read something I liked it one this morning. It went like this:  

"Embracing change has never been my strong suit, but I am doing my best to float down this stream and resist the urge to grab hold of a hanging branch or log. Floating without clutching to fear. Floating instead, with my eyes on the beautiful scenery."

What an enlightened way to describe it. Of course this person has a counter on their page, and they are at 68oo days and some change, whereas I am at a whopping 105 days of continuous sobriety. So they naturally should a more thorough grasp of the program. To be honest, I haven't really let go completely. Sometimes, when I'm by myself, I toy with the idea that, when Drug Court is done, I'll be able to go back to doing my thing. But not often, and I see it for what it is: bullshit.  It's a cliche, but it's true: my best thinking got me right here in these dire straights that I'm in. It's ludicrous (the idea, not the rapper) to think that I can start drinking or getting high again and have any kind of success in life. At least today, I'm able to call it what it is out loud, and not just in the bathroom talking to that asshole in the mirror. So, I'm going to call it growth, albeit SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW growth. 

Thanks, Mom

Well, those of you who know, know that we've been having monetary issues, to say the least. I am very happy and proud to say that Mom and Russell have stepped up and helped us with our rent. I know it's my mom, but I really think that I'm growing some spiritually. I have been making a concerted effort to "let go and let God", and so far it's working. Went down to the wire on this rent thing, and it's not self-sufficiency, but it's a start. I have always worried that if I just trust in the Lord to solve my problems, that nothing would get done. That's one of my biggest problems, is this overwhelming, crushing sense of anxiety that accompanies nearly everything I do. I tell my psychiatrist, and all he does is up  the dosage of one of the antidepressants I take. I really don't think that's a solution. All my life I've depended on one chemical or another, (often a smorgasbord) and I want to get over that. But, I'm going to try and put another principle into action, and that's taking things one step at a time. That's all for now, I think my farm needs tending. (My Farmville farm, that is!)

Friday, September 25, 2009

File:VanGogh-starry night ballance1.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

File:VanGogh-starry night ballance1.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I really like this painting. I was just cruising around Wikipedia, looking at cool stuff, and was reading about the history of the Netherlands. Of course, Van Gogh is one of their greatest painters. Okay, I just right clicked on the picture, and it had a Blogger button, and I wanted to see what it did. Now I know.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ahhh, the joys of sober living.

I know I'm probably bitching too much, but sometimes sobriety isn't fun. Then again, sometimes life isn't fun. I guess nobody ever promised me it'd all be good times, huh? It would just be nice to not have everyone around me telling me what I'm doing wrong. And I do mean, literally, everyone. How about let's talk about what I'm doing right for a change?


By the 1st. Or we get evicted. Hmmmm. Just when I start accepting this new way of life, something happens to try and knock me down. Now, just when we really don't need it, we get this. I should have seen it coming, since we haven't paid the whole rent for August yet. Our landlord was working with us. I guess he's done working with us. So, I don't have any idea how we're going to pay the rent by the first. But, I'm going to trust that with God's help, it will work out. I'll keep ya posted.

staying the course

Well, I went to the 7am AA meeting, and I'm feeling a little better about things. I am still very depressed, and plan on talking with my psychiatrist about it on Monday, but you know, there may not be a magic pill to make me feel better. Well, there is actually one, but it's illegal. Sooooo, I'll keep on keeping on for now.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Steak Night in Sadville

On Facebook, there are games most of my friends play named Farmville and Yoville. Well, I'm adding a third: Sadville. It's an action packed game. You know what they say, truth is stranger that fiction. Stay tuned folks, it's only gonna get better!!

Jessi is cooking steak tonight. I would do it, but I really have a toothache. I was chewing gum the other day, and a filling pulled out of a tooth. And now it hurts, all the time. And I sure can't go to the dentist. This being broke is really really really bad. Knowing that I could go get an ounce of meth and make 2000.00 in about 30 minutes makes it all the harder to stay broke. Pretty soon we'll be homeless since we can't pay the rent, and boy! won't that be so much better than when I was partying and had a nice house? The only constant in my life since I've returned from Afghanistan has been a steady decline in my life. Every single solitary thing is exponentially worse now. So please, someone, tell me how this is the easier softer way. (BTW, if you haven't noticed by now, I suffer from chronic sarcasm. Trying to break myself of it, but it ain't easy.) Anyhoo, I'm going to go for now. More from Sadville later.

It's nice to have someone validate me every once in a while

And no, I don't mean like a parking validation. Twice now since I got sober, a friend of mine has gotten a hold of me either online or text messaging, and told me that I was their inspiration to stop drinking/doing drugs. Both are guys I have drank with and done drugs with in the past. So while this is a hard road to go down, every once in a while I get a glimpse of a better life.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Taco Tuesday

This post has absolutely nothing to do with tacos, besides the fact that I am very partial to them. Haven't written anything in a few days. I've been pretty discontent. I don't know why, it just happens sometimes. I used to call up my psychiatrist and arrange for a change in either medications or dosages, or both. But these days I'm trying to go a different route. The only problem with this is that I have really no idea what else to do. To say that my home life adds to my stress would be a gross understatement. I cannot even go into that on this forum. I go to AA meetings, and they have lots of helpful ideas, but they really don't get it, I don't think. I know the idea behind the whole sharing thing is to elucidate to the "newcomer" that they aren't the only one with a certain problem or set of circumstances. Or to show that someone has it worse than you do. I get that. But very nearly 100 percent of these people are on disability or are retired military, and their bills are paid. I know I just started this recently, but it just keeps getting worse and worse. My life is the worst it's ever been, and I haven't drank a single beer or done any drugs in 100 days. I will spend approximately five hours on the public transit system today, and get home at 11:00 pm. That's all my doing, I understand that. It would just be nice to see even one aspect of my life not get dramatically worse for just 24 hours. I would call my sponsor up and seek advice, but he's on the run from the law. Great program. Anyways, I hope everyone has a nice day.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

clothes hangers are nutritious, right?

I sure hope so. I took a shirt off a green clothes hanger this morning to wear to the 7am AA meeting. When we got home, this was left. Yes, it's tiny pieces of plastic. She committed hanger homicide. She hasn't went poop yet, I am anticipating an interesting walk. I'll post a picture of the results, too.

Tired tired tired

Dang, I'm tired. I laid down and started studying at about 11:00. I just woke up. It's 12:50. I think maybe I'll let my eyelids study some more.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Late night in I.B.

It's 12:30, and I can't sleep. The ghetto bird keeps flying overhead, very low and very noisy. Everyone else is sleeping, so I can't make any noise or one of the girls wakes up and mad dogs me. Which is funny if it's Brindy, 'cause she's never been mad in her life! Reading over my texts for this class, Concrete Inspection. The texts are the actual code manuals, and are technical in the extreme. There's a lot of formulas, equations, little greek symbols next to numbers, and various and asundry other things that I abhor. Cool word, huh? Abhor. Sounds dirty. And math, math is dirty. So, maybe there's nothing wrong with my thinking, besides being a little convoluted. What I'm so ineloquently trying to say is that I don't like math in any form, and I'm a little intimidated by the tomes that I have to learn cover to cover. I know LOTS about concrete. I've forgotten more about concrete than most concrete guys will ever learn. Poured thousands and thousands of cubic yards. But, to inspect it at the level that I'm trying to reach, requires an in-depth knowledge of principles I am baffled by. So, I guess that all this insomnia time could be better spent with nose in book. Goodnight, all.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Good Old Days

I was just looking at some pictures I have on Photo Bucket that I'd forgot about. Brings back memories. I took a lot of pictures in Afghanistan, had a lot of fun there. I know that it's probably indicative of a mental defect, but I really loved working over there. Sure it was dangerous, but for me, it was easy. Everything was very clearly defined. I could tell who wanted to hurt me very easily. For one thing, they wore funny clothes and spoke funny. Back here, I can't tell friend from foe that easily. I was respected for what I did. I was appreciated by the troops I worked with. Things were always hectic, always on the edge. I was home. I know that's not the right way to think, being comfortable over there, but it's how I felt. Back here, I'm lost. I don't have the same focus I did overseas. And I damn sure don't have the authority or money I did. I don't know what this is about really, just venting a little I guess.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fall '09 SDSU

College of Extended Studies, that is. The Fall semester starts tonight! Concrete Inspection. I still haven't taken the ICC cert exam for plans reading, which I wanted to do already. I just can't make myself do anything sometimes. It's pretty disturbing. But, for now, I'm off to walk the dog.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Or lack thereof. I oftentimes wonder if anyone actually reads this. It's okay if nobody does, 'cause I'm doing it for myself I think. But I still wonder!

Sunday Nite

Well, It's Sunday night, and I'm not sure what the heck is up with my font right now!! Anyhoo, just kicked it this weekend, Jess worked all weekend, so it was just Brin Brin and me. We hung out with Billy some yesterday and today. It's amazing, Billy and I used to be bitter enemies. It came to the point one night where I went to a friends' house locked and loaded, I was gonna put him out of his misery, and he was strapped too. But, it never went down. He's been in the program about six months longer than me, and I can really tell the difference in him! The thing about it, he's not forced to be there. He's doing it because he wants to be clean. That to me is the most amazing part of it. Makes me wonder what the hell is wrong with me, when a guy like Billy gets it before I did. And truthfully, I wouldn't be sober tonight if not for Drug Court. But, I am. So I'm just gonna keep on trudging uphill, and hopefully one day that hill will level out.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A concert at Pier Plaza

There's a concert tonight about two blocks from the house, but it was some weird musical that I really couldn't make myself listen to. Besides, Brindy wasn't welcome, and if ya don't know by now, if Brindy can't go, Pauly won't go. So there. I've been told that my psychiatrist can declare that I need a therapy dog, and I can get her licensed as such, and then she can go anywhere that service dogs are allowed. That would be awesome, take the pitbull on the city bus, out to eat, to Starbuck's and annoy the rich people, so forth and so on. So I'm going to look into that. I have an abundance of things I mean to do, but simply forget. I really need an assistant. Any takers?

What a pain in the a$$

Not really, but I thought it was a cute title. It's actually a pain in my back, and it's pretty intense today. It's sad, because I'm normally such an active person, and this back thing has sidelined me pretty effectively. So, I'm kinda mopey about that. Also sucks because I'm in Drug Court. That means no narcotic painkillers. I'm not addicted to painkillers, really don't like them. Never took them to get high. In fact, they make me ill, nauseated. It's always a toss up for me, take the Vicodin and have the pain decrease, but the vomiting may very well start. Anyhoo, because it's a narcotic I can't take it. I do in fact realize that it's of my own doing, but that damn sure doesn't mean I gotta like it! My overactive imagination has been working overtime lately since I'm kinda stuck around the house these days. I find myself dwelling on all the blown chances I've had, all the money I've squandered, all the careers I won't have, etc. etc. ad infinitum. It doesn't get me down really, just kinda sucks. Well, thank goodness I've got Brindy the therapy dog here! We'll just go for a walk. So, bye for now.

Ninety days later

And my life hasn't gotten any better at all. In fact, it's markedly worse now. But, I'm gonna try and not dwell on that. So I went to an AA and an NA meeting already (by 11:00 Saturday morning). Took the 90 day token at both. Didn't feel any great spiritual upheaval, no burst of light accompanied by a host of angels singing, no orchestral accompaniment. But, then maybe I'm expecting too much, by expecting anything at all. Maybe it will be a more sublime event when I finally "get it". Or, maybe it'll never happen. Maybe it's just a new religion set forth by a teeming mass of addicts trying to feel better about the huge steaming pile of poop they've made of their lives. Or maybe not. So I suppose I'm going to keep on trying out this sobriety thing, at least for a little while..................

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What's in a name?

I have taken a lot of ribbing about my last name over the years, believe it or not! Well, here's a little info: The name Dykes is of English origin, specifically Northern England/Scotland. Dykes is a British surname which may originate from the hamlet of Dykesfield in Burgh-by-Sands, Cumbria in the north of England. Due to its close proximity to the English and Scottish borders, the surname Dykes has also been found in Scottish lowlands throughout the ages. The first family to bear the surname (for which written records survive) are said to have lived in the area prior to William the Conqueror's Norman Conquest of England, with the oldest surviving written document placing them in Dykesfield at the end of the reign of Henry III. The family took their surname from Hadrian's Wall, also referred to in some texts as Hadrian's Dyke. The great wall crossed Great Britain from the mouth of the Tyne to the Solway Firth and forms part of the border for Dykesfield. At this early period of history, however, the surname existed in a different form from the modern day; del Dykes, literally meaning 'of the Dykes', indicating the region from where the family came. A charter, bearing the first known recorded instance of the surname, comes from either the reign of Henry III or Edward I, though the exact date of the record is unknown. The earliest historical records are from a family which was moderately wealthy for the time. Robert del Dykes owned land during the reign of Edward I, and in 1379, during the reign of Richard II, Adam del Dykes owned land further east in Yorkshire. By the 17th century it appears that majority of those bearing the surname del Dykes had dropped the prefix of 'del' and had begun simply using the surname Dykes, as it is most commonly found today. Thomas Dykes is one such family member who was responsible for the formation of the family motto and symbol used by the majority of his descendants and others bearing the surname. Thomas, a Royalist at the time of the English Civil War during the reign of Charles I, secreted himself at Wardhall after the defeat of his party at the Battle of Marston Moor. Thomas is reputed to have hid in many areas of his land, including in a mulberry tree, which stands to this day. It was all in vain, however, has he was soon captured by the Parliamentarians and imprisoned at Cockermouth Castle. Thomas was offered his freedom and the restoration of his property if he would become a traitor to his King by joining the Parliamentarians, but responded with Prius frangitur quam flectitur - Sooner broken than bent. Thomas died at Cockermouth Castle and, such was the strength of the story, the family adopted Prius frangitur quam flectitur as the family motto, and the mulberry tree as the family symbol.

While the surname had changed from del Dykes to Dykes by the 17th century further changes can be charted and, Dykes aside, other incarnations include Dawkes, Dyke, Dikes and Dike, though instances of the surname del Dykes can still be found.

While still a relatively obscure surname, people bearing it still live throughout the United Kingdom. It is still most common in the northern counties, particularly in Lancashire and Cheshire. Areas such as Liverpool and Warrington are some of the most populous to this day, records show that members of the family moved to these areas as early as the 18th century. Sooner broken than bent - for a long time, I've felt like that. Maybe I'm changing that view, but you'll have to stick around to see..............

I really hate

being poor!! The morning meditation for AA was about humility. It went something like this: The very act of humbling ourselves brings us closer to the sunlight of the spirit. Well, let me tell you, for the vast, overwhelming part of my life, I've been the diametrical opposite of humble. Last year, when I got a pretty big check, you couldn't tell me ANYTHING!! I knew it all, and was happy to tell you. I traipsed all over Southern California in a drugged out haze, thinking I was the smartest person on the planet. In approximately four months, after spending $160,000.00 USD, I was broke. I had no job, a bad back, a drug program of 18 months staring at me instead of the 9 month one that I blew off. This is how bad I was: I called the Prop. 36 program manager from a casino floor, where I was sitting at a slot machine I had just won about 7,000.00 on. I told her "You hear that? That's a winning jackpot. That's more money than you make in four months. I'm going to spend it on Budlight, ecstasy, and speed tonight. I'm quitting your program. Tell the judge I'm in Vegas, come and find me." Yeah. Meet Paul, the smartest idiot in the hemisphere. Well, today, I'm in a much more stringent Drug Court program, my car I was so proud of has been repo'ed, my truck is sitting in the driveway with expired tags I can't afford to update, I still can't work in my lifelong trade, and never will because of an injury, and I don't know how we're gonna pay last month's rent, to say nothing of this months. But, hey, I'm sober. Maybe that counts for something, I'm just not sure yet. And on that note, I think I'll go take the city bus to court ordered class now. Oh, how the mighty (stupid) have fallen!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

aun aprendo

Is from a sign around a scarecrow's neck in a Goya painting. It means I'm still learning. I think that's my new motto. Just thought it was cool when I read it in an biography of Aldous Huxley, one of my literary heros. OK, I'm out for a while.


And I'm feeling okay today. My new SSDI attorney told me that since I'm so young, that Social Security will probably deny my claim one more time before they approve it. Kinda disheartening, since I really am hurt, I got hurt doing a good thing, and my back hurts all the time. But, what can ya do? At least they're paying for me to go back to school. I'm trying something new these days, trying to look at the positive side of situations, too. What a concept, huh?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

Is just another day when you're broke and don't really have any say on anything at all in this world. No say about my kids, no say about my marriage, no say about my own life. Woo hoo! I just love my life these days!! Yeah, I gotta say, life's soooooooooo much better than it was a year ago. Not.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday, I don't love you.

I find myself not liking weekends very much anymore. One reason is that we have no money, and can't really do much. But I think that I don't really like the fact that I cannot use any mind altering substances, and the weekend is when I did most of my psychedelic explorations. I really liked drugs like MDMA (ecstasy), that made my thinking a little.....more open I guess. I think a lot, I like to write, I like to go outdoors and explore, go to museums, etc. I liked to to these things high, and now that I'm not doing any of that any more, I guess I feel like I'm not having fun. I don't know, I just know that it seems like my life has gotten worse since I quit. Hopefully I won't feel like this forever.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

On the 933 line

Today, I am going to embark on a new adventure. I'm riding the city bus! Adventure? you say? Hardly! Well, I have never taken the San Diego City bus before, so it should be interesting. We aren't getting evicted quite yet, so that's good, but my vehicle registration expired on my birthday, which was two days ago. So, since I qualify for a disabled bus pass, which is $18.00/month, I am purchasing one today. Voc Rehab, which pays for my school, also pays for a bus pass, so it's effectively free for me. Pretty stupid for putting all that money in the gas tank of the truck, honestly. We average $60.00/week in gas, so it's a considerable savings. I hired an attorney yesterday for my SSDI claim, I don't know why I didn't get one before I initially filed. You'd think that I'd know by now, you cannot navigate these beaurocratic mazes without an attorney. Hopefully, he can make something happen for me. Well, I'm off for the bus stop. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Today's the day

Well, it's the first. We don't have rent money. So, this might well be my last post for a while, depending on how it goes with the landlord. Boy, this sobriety sure has made my life easier! (insert sarcasm here)

Monday, August 31, 2009

You Say it's your Birthday

It's my birthday too!! Hurray!! I'm 39. And I'm also 78 days clean and sober. Things still haven't gotten any better, in fact, they're getting worse. We're very may get evicted tomorrow. I'm trying very hard to trust in God, and our landlord is a very understanding guy, but we don't have last month's rent, let alone this month. He said to get him something, and we're doing that, slowly. We'll have about $200.00 for him today. Hopefully, he'll let us stay. I'm pretty actively looking for work now. But the union wants $300.00 for me to renew my membership down here, and I don't have it. So we're hoping for a miracle. I sure could use one today. But I'm not going to let it bring me down, and I'm not gonna drink over it.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hot days, itchy dogs

I'm from NW Florida, and when I say I know what hot weather is, I mean it. 100 degrees, 110 percent humidity. Wake up sweating. Get out of the shower sweating. Go to bed sweating. Anyone who doesn't think global warming is real needs to come to San Diego right now. Normally, it's sunny, 70 and blissfully cool. Not this summer. You know why they call the dog days the dog days? I was told by someone who was born in the 1900's and lived a long and interesting life that it was because it was so hot, the dogs don't want to even move out of the shade. That's what poor Brindy has been doing for the last week. My baby pitbull is scratching at herself, laying around and just acting like she's very upset at me for allowing it to be so hot. Hopefully, it'll cool down soon. I've got to find a way to get to the 6:30 speaker meeting, so I'll close for now.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


We're going to an NA BBQ today. Or at least I am. My wife has her daughter, who tells her what to do. I am not allowed to see my kids, and it's going to be the reason I start drinking again, if anything will. Every time I see someone with their kids, especially my wife, I get upset. Maybe one day I'll get over it, but I doubt it.

What to do now?

I forgot to mention that on Thursday, my SSDI application was denied. "Though you are in significant pain a majority of the time, you do not meet Social Security's guidelines for SSDI." Gee, thanks guys. The problem is, the nice lady at the Social Security office told me that I was "practically guaranteed" to be approved, so I've really been counting on it. She even told me how much back pay I'd be receiving for last year. Nope, sorry. That's what I get for counting the proverbial (golden) egg before it hatches. So now, we're scrambling for rent for LAST month, which needs to be paid before September's rent is due in, oh, three days. I'm going to start really looking for a job, but I normally look in the skilled labor market. I build bridges, highrises, things of that nature. I'm very good at it. I've never had trouble finding god, high paying jobs. Now, I have a chronic, permanent back injury. It hurts, right now. And I haven't worked in almost three years. So, I'm troubled by that. But, I'm going to start looking at Home Depot, Lowe's, places of that nature. And turn it over to God. That's a big one for me. Because although I can say I'm giving it to God, and still stew over a problem, try my hardest to think of a solution. Here's the problem with that, folks: My BEST thinking got me where I am today. In a pickle, to say the least. So I am making a concious effort these days to earnestly and honestly let God guide me. But, on the other hand, I'm still sober, my drug treatment program is progressing (slowly), I don't think that maybe I should have just taken some prison time instead of this diversionary program any more. Today, I'm trying to have a more positive outlook on life. Today, I'm going to go for a long walk on the beach with my dog. Have a great day, everybody.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hosting out first sober BBQ

We just had our first BBQ since beginning sobriety, and it was a little weird. So much of my life has been spent high, I don't really know how to act sober. Sounds weird, I know, but I don't really know how to explain it. I read in an interview in a leading music magazine one time, with I think members of Jimmy Buffet's band, where one of the musicians stated that he went to rehab to "learn how not to drink". That's exactly how I feel these days. Drugs have been an integral part of my life for so long, I don't really have any adult memories of living without them. And I know things are supposed to get better, but damn if things are getting steadily worse. I went from having a nice house, a nice car, multiple vehicles, 160,000.00 in the bank to today, where if I don't come up with 700.00 by Tuesday, I'll be on the streets. Happy Birthday, dumbass. But, I'm not trying to complain, Oh, poor me! I realize that I put myself in this situation, it's just frustrating. And more than a little overwhelming.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Food Stamps

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! We finally got food stamps today, after all the sh*t I talked about people on welfare. It's a humbling experience, but at the same time, I'm very excited! We've got food!! Hurray for the communists in California!!

No poop on the floor!

Hurray!! So, upon waking at 4:28 this morning to Brindy telling me she needed to go for a walk, I entered the living room with trepidation. On the previous four or five mornings, I woke to poo on the living room floor. I shared this on Facebook yesterday, and got a few suggestions from friends and family about what to do. I suppose Brindy read this, and decided the best course of action would be to just wait to poo. Thank you, Brindy!! It's Thursday, I have a date in Superior Court for a child support hearing. I'm not going. I have a highly paid mouthpiece, and I've always believed in letting lawyers do thier job. Maybe that's the wrong idea, I don't know. I have a feeling that things are going to slowly get better on all fronts the longer I stay clean and sober. So, happy Thursday to all!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Walk the Dog

OK, it's time for me to walk our baby, Brindy. Brindy is our year old pitbull puppy. I always had a dislike for the breed, cause I listened to the news. But since I got her, I've learned a new appreciation for the breed. She is the best, sweetest dog I've ever had. My wife says she's my therapy dog.

My mother, the blogger.

You know, the last thing in the world I would ever have expected my mother to be is a blogger, but she is, and her blog is great! I oftentimes learn things from it I never would have known about her otherwise. To say we have had our differences would be putting it lightly. I hope that one day I'll be able to make my amends to her for all the mean things I've said and done to her.

Maybe she's mad at me?

So, I am awakened by my one year old pit bull, Brindy. It's pitch black outside. Black as a thousand midnights. I grope for my glasses. I stare at the digital alarm clock until the numbers come into focus. 4:56? A.M.? Time to walk the dog. Ahhhh, she's left me another present in the middle of the living room floor. Poop. She's been doing this for the last 4 or 5 nights. I have no idea why, since I walk her at night. She comes and wakes me up if she wants to go out. Maybe I've upset her. You know how finicky women can be. Anyways, I needed to get up. Today is our appointment at the welfare office. Ah, how the mighty (stupid) have fallen! But, I don't have to drink or get high over it today. So I'm taking the moral high road. I guess.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Rainy days and Mondays......

OK, so it's never rainy here, and Mondays don't even really get me down so much, it just sounded like a good segue into today's post. One of my better Mondays, still kinda happy about phasing up last Friday. I hate, and I really mean hate, being broke. But when I called Mr. Prantil (my child support lawyer) today about my child support hearing this Thursday, he asked about the status of my SSDI application. So I called Mr. Perkins at SSDI and he said they would be finishing my determination today. So by Wednesday, I should know whether or not I was approved. I'm really counting on it getting approved, as I am very broke. In more ways than one! It's a pretty new thing for me, being permenantly injured. I've worked my whole life, and am not really adjusting very well to this disabled lifestyle. But that's a whole 'nother blog. Maybe tomorrow. Right now I'm thinking about how to get some cigarettes without Jessi yelling at me. Bye for now.

Bookmark and Share

OK, I'm not really sure how this feature works, so we'll see what happens. This should be a link to an article about the VA's new policy regarding PTSD.

Bookmark and Share

Shared via AddThis

Saturday, August 22, 2009

2nd Phase!!

So earlier, I forgot to add that I was phased up yesterday!! I'm in Drug Court, and was promoted to Phase II, and it was totally unexpected. No more 10 o'clock curfew!!

Been slacking off....

So, I started this blog with every intention of keeping a daily journal of my sobriety. I have, as usual, failed miserably! It's ok, though. It's just a blog. I'll just! Ok, it's Saturday, and I'm not doing much. Unfortunately, my wife is in a horrible mood. It really impacts my life when she's in a bad mood. Which is prolly 85 percent of the time. I wish I knew why, but I don't. I am constantly, and I mean constantly being accused of having sex with practically every woman in the Greater San Diego area. I'm very, very, very tired of it. I don't really know what to do about this situation. She really is making my life miserable. My entire life. Maybe she just doesn't want to be happy. At least not with me!! But, I'm going to try and not let it ruin my every waking moment, like it has been. And that's all, for now. More later, if I remember.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Well, it's Monday now, and I forgot about blogging this weekend. Which is ok, cause not much happened. I stayed sober, yay for me! Drug Court continues to be a pain in the ass. I still haven't seen my kids. I talked to my son on Sunday, he called to ask about a launch ramp I've got. I'm not even sure if I'm allowed to talk to them anymore. It's really tearing me apart. I don't know exactly what to do about it. OK, I'm gonna start off slow, so bye for now.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My first blog.

Ok, I'm starting a new life, so let's have a new blog!! Hopefully I'll be able to delete my old, negative one. I can't write much right now, because I have to get to San Diego State tonight. So, suffice it to say that the blog has begun.