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)