This Creative Life

Welcome to the creative work of Alan White, head writer and producer of "FEEDBACK; A HERO'S CALLING," now at Broken Sea. The "Feedback" in question is Matthew Atherton, My Hero. He and other heroes of mine have links found down the left side of these pages. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Supplemental Confession

(It has a happy ending, I promise.)

Last weekend, while in the city, I lost my mind. It wan't like a monkey on a cupcake, it was like King Kong on the Empire State building.

I chewed through all my accounts and spent and spent and spent. I bought hobby books and Frappacinos and comicbooks and food, and then later in the week, bought new sneakers and the scale and lattes and more Frappacinos. These things I buy, the common man buys. But I am not the common man. I'm a poor man. I cannot be acting like the common man. But I did.

So last night, I was back on the phone again with my main bank, fighting over overdraft charges. You see, I have the rough estimate of what's in my account the last time I looked. Then as I shop, I make rough estimates on what's left. And then I go on to the next store. THAT'S WHERE IT ALL GOES WRONG. I am, and have been, unerringly incorrect with my estimates. Something says it costs $5.75, I think I only have to subtract $5.00, and never consider how close it is to $6. Something says it costs $13.89, I never think to subtract $15.00 from my running head-total, but I'll go ahead and minus $13.00. But WAIT! If I think I have $100.00 left in the account, and I DO minus 13.00, in my head, I now have about $90.00 left in the bank, when I SHOULD be seeing $87.00. And of course, thinking there's still 90.00 in the bank, the NEXT $13.87 I subtract becomes only $13.00 again, and $13.00 from $90.00 is only $80.00, so I'm safe, right? Then I go into blur mode and next thing I know, my account is -$0.59.

But last night, I discovered that if I transfer from my Savings to my Checking AFTER 8:00PM, IT DOESN'T GET CREDITED TO THE ACCOUNT FOR AN ENTIRE DAY. Thanks what I went to war over, last night. Because after I messed up and went into a negative, I transfered moeny to cover it, and the purchase I had made that day. (Whether my math was correct or not is another matter) But the amount I transfered would have covered the purchases IF THE ACCOUNT HAD ACCEPTED MY MONEY WHEN I TRANSFERRED IT. Oh I was as vicious as I have even been last night. I didn't even let them speak with their little excuses. NOWHERE on the Bank webpage did I see that there'd be a delay in transferring after 8PM. It BOGGLES the mind. What do THEY care what time I make the transfer?? IT'S A COMPUTER. Mind you, I didn't curse them at all. I said nothing insulting to them personally. But I let them know in no uncertain terms that I thought their system was geared to squeeze poor people out of the little bit of money they managed to scrape together, and it wasn't fair. Whether I suck at math or not, I did the best I knew how to cover my spending with money that WAS available, and this little technicality was going to cost me a good $132.00 in overdraft fees and that just was NOT acceptable.

Well, I'm happy to say that I won. The manager promised me that no matter what happened, all my spending from the debit card would not get charged a fee.

The fact that a check showed up this morning from DAYS before I went on my spending spree is another terminal problem I have, but I think I won the war. This last skirmish is not going to wreck me.

Now, why do I say I won the war?

Because as scheduled, tomorrow I am paying off my 2nd creditor. All those overdraft fees were going to make it impossible to do so. Now it'll still happen.

And just today, I spoke with another creditor and arranged for ANOTHER buy-out to occur for me on Dec. 22nd. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME!!

And finally, my largest debt, where I have to pay at least $80.00 in INTEREST alone--the collection agency is dropping the account and it's returning to the original lender. Oddly enough, I'd spoken with the collector enough times that they confided in me the info--the original lender refuses to lower their interest rates on us, and so those of us in debt never get close to solving our debt, AND THE COLLECTION AGENCY WASN'T MAKING ANY MONEY OF OF US.


Mind you, I will still owe the original lender, and I have a telephone number to contact them and try to get a buyout, but when do you think I'll worry about that? Next payday? I'm not making another payment on that horsechoker until I'm good and ready. I've been carrying this debt around for years, and now I've just been told the collection agency who hounded me four months ago for the debt is getting out of the way.

Sayonara SUCKER!!!!!

I'll pay it when I'm




Meanwhile, two more debts squashed by Christmas. And when they are gone, I'll be able to re-attack this last one. Yup. When I'm ... (YOU say it now) ...




Another Reason Why Site Meter Rocks!

While it's not the most secure system in the world, (I think you guys can click on the SM icon and see the same stuff I see--I did it from work yesterday and I hadn't signed in or anything), I love watching where you guys come from when you visit.

My last visitor came from a nearly-year-old series of posts I made over at Metroblogging. I got jumped on by a bunch of defensive New Yorkers and when I made my last point, no one else stepped up to the plate. I had either shut them down, or they never intended to come back after their snipes. But when I re-read it just now, I found someone had posted later, and defended me! Nice!

You can tell me what you think now. Was I callous? Were they justified? Did I defend myself well? Did my defender do the same?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Peek Inside

Arranged Marriage.

The New Scale

On Monday I went to another branch of my gym in another town because I visited a work site in that town. The scale in its locker room told me I weighed 4 lbs. less than the scale in my regular gym. I knew I hadn't lost 4 lbs over the weekend. Yesterday, I used the regular scale in the regular gym and it told me the same thing it always tells me, nothing encouraging. So I went out and bought my own scale, which I will use exclusively. It's a digital and it seems to fluctuate .2 - .4 lbs. Either that or I'm losing and regaining fractions of pounds throughout the day (which makes sense).

So the good news is, if I weighed 212 lbs in March, then I've lost 20 lbs over the Summer.

The Master Cleanse wasn't as counter-productive as I thought it was, but still. It's extreme and I like chewing and tasting too much. And again, I've lost weight without it, I can keep on doing so.

So yeah, I may not reach my goal by my birthday, but I'm looking better and better anyway. And I'll have another birthday and a whole year to reach the goal afterwards! And it's all just for me, with the end result being just for me.

But I wonder how my life will unfold by this time next year? A new confident me, back on my feet, plunging into the waters of adulthood again?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Another Meme

This latest incarnation alighted last on Ari's blog, whom I don't know personally, but who here in the blogsphere cares about that? Feel free to copy the line and say you did in the Comments so I can follow and see what YOU said.

*List ten things you want to say to people you know but you never will, for whatever reason. Don't say who they are. Use each person only once.*

1. You need to act more professional. How can you run a department and continually talk about your divorce on the company's dime to, like, EVERYONE with a set of eardrums? Grow UP.

2. Why are you my friend? Do we agree on anything? At all? I think I'm drawn to you because you're sexy in a feral, raw way. But what the hell is up with YOU? You just like fighting with me? And the damndest thing is, I'm drawn to you enough to let it go on.

3. Please, don't be crazy. Not after all the energy and faith I put in you. Please. It'd crush me. Oh, and please like me! Talk to me. Respond to me. Choose me. (Yes, the nod goes to Grey's Anatomy)

4. Look, I know you're dying and I know your life really sucks because of your condition, but you are a total bitch. You need to give everybody a break. If these are your last days on Earth, why don't you spend them surrounded by people who care about you, people you've drawn to yourself because of a personality and courage, rather than dying alone and lonely with only crazy-ass people like me standing by to watch you go? (Actually, I might say this to this person after all. Therapuetically.)

5. I was actually drawn to you because I had a crush, but now? It's hard to look at you. More than half the time I feel compassion for your situation and how out-of-control you are, but the rest of the time I wish I could just crush your skull with a baseball bat and put you out of your misery and mine.

6. What good is that body if inside it you're just a miserable pr!ck who never leaves this gym?

7. Why are you so mean to your husband? Why do you take opportunities in public forums to insult him and denigrate him? How long do you think your marriage is suppose to last even though he constantly is apologizing to you? Your fights must peel the paint off the walls when there's no audience. For God's sake, stop it. Stop it for yourself, stop it for him, stop it for poor schmucks like me who are terrified of the whole idea of marriage in the first place, and would rather die alone and lonely than end up with a shrew like you who would wind up breaking our hearts and taking half of everything we own AND our children.

8. I love your eyes. So expressive.

9. You keep resurfacing and telling me you wish we were better friends. You try to guilt me into responding to you. But you are the one who keeps going off with every new fad, then smugly telling me how much more fun you're having with them than with me. Not to mention you have more skeletons in your closet than Victoria's got Secrets. Between the two of us, you KNOW that's why you resist me, because I will call you on your ish. You want to be my friend? Then CUT. THE. BULLSH!T. Confide in me the way you confided in the girl you drove away. Yeah, the one who is NOT your wife. But you probably won't do that because you don't want to get down MY pants. You doth protest too much. And all that has made me not like you, the way you suspect I don't. Get therapy because you're bugging the crap out of me.

10. I wish you and I would move in together and help each other through the rest of this life. If only I could trust you. We'd make it, you and I.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Master Cleanse Ka-PUT!!

After all Friday of Master Cleanse Lemonade, one scoop of protein, and a sensible meal (well, as sensible as Popeye's chicken strips go--soooo good), I discovered yesterday morning that I GAINED WEIGHT.

I had a scoop of protein yesterday morning, went to the gym discovered the tragic news, then went to NYC and had the tips of a Pumpkin Scone (with the icing and flavor stripe on it), chicken w/cashews (no carrot, no celery), appetizer fried noodles (the big wide greasy kind) dipped in duck sauce and brown rice--(split between lunch and dinner), a Grande Pomegranate Frappacino Juice blend between the meals, a Venti Pomegranate Frappacino Juice blend followed by a decaf Tall Latte sweetened with Equal (as were the Fraps) at night because I was just like SCRRRREW IT.

And this morning at the gym I discover I'm down a pound.

So GOODBYE Master Cleanse. My body loves that Maple Syrup WAY too much and I obviously can't be slurping it down all day and expect to lose weight. I'll call you when I'm constipated beyond recognition and Cleansing is my only hope.

Or is it possible that my body is taking two days to register changes from my diet? I guess I'll see tomorrow what it's doing as a result of yesterday.

Confused much?

I'm going back into the city today because right now it's early and I'll escape bridge traffic the same way I did yesterday.

Mood elevated, revelling in my aloneness this weekend, still feeling attractive but annoyed that I can't reach 190 lbs, let alone 175 in two weeks. I need microliposuction, just enough to get the layer of fat out of my muffin top and muscle definition areas (between shoulder and bicep, between pecs and ribcage, between abs and belly button, between biceps/triceps and skin, between hamstrings and quads). Happy though about the broadness of my shoulders, the swell of trap between shoulder and neck, and the definite reduction of my belly. My hips are wide and that will most likely never change (probably a pelvic girdle issue and I can't reduce my bones). Plus people at 5'7" need ballast. But Maybe-Irish is my height and he doesn't have a narrow waist, but he looks good. The secret is in the flat belly and wide shoulders (and chest definition doesn't hurt either). If I tighten those up, I'll be so cute I won't know how to stand myself.

And neither will you. :)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

New Fanfic!!

I had a good time writing this one! Then I had a good time reading it! I love it when a plan comes together!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Finances--GOOD. FINALLY.

Next Friday, I will have, in fact, paid off another creditor. It was the one who I had gotten down to just above 1K and then I called them and they settled with me for about $750. Not only that, but I have savings in my Bank of America account.

No I didn't close BoA out because the creditor who messed up and got me charged two overdrafts said they'd send me a check to make up for it--which I have not seen yet. But I find I can still use an account that I can partially ignore for savings. Out of that account I will be drafting checks to repay personal loans from amazing people who told me to pay off the creditors first. If I get used to "ignoring" the Bank of America account as it grows, writing them payback checks will be all that much easier. After that, that account will become the "Full Year's Rent" Account for my return to independence too. Wooooo!

AND I have savings in my main branch (from where issueth the creditors and utilities payments). Mind you, what I call savings and what you call savings are probably worlds apart, but I'm getting there. On a slow spaceship.

So. THIS is how responsible adults act? Hmmm ... worth it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

'Heroes' Not Part II

But these Heroes.

Well, oddly, the first episode is available to watch here, and I just watched it.

It had several storylines that merged (some didn't, but surely they will), and one underlying theme ... the destiny of those who will one day become a hero. I enjoyed the show, and then you know what I wanted to do? I wanted to call Matt up and share with him one of the coolest fanboy moments of the show, something he would get right away because he gets me, and ... I found that I couldn't.

Because I don't have his telephone number, of course. Because he's a figure across the world who I've seen on the web, and we've spoken on the web and by phone, remotely, and ... and that's kind of it.

And out of all the people in my life that I know, Matt is the only one I could cackle about with this--and I didn't realize that until just now. I could call up the Grim Jester and see if he'd meet me halfway, but Matt's the one who read my post about "New Mutant" and ... and got me. "We go way back."

So now I feel lonely that Matt isn't here, or accessible right now. Like he's off fighting crime, doing what he must, and I have to let him go do it because even though this would be nice to share with him, he has obligations elsewhere.

Ah well. Such is the life of the Superhero's Pal.

Update! Gee that didn't take too long. He's done it. He's got me. I'm his buddy forever. Whatever he wants, whatever he asks, I will be doing my best to get it done.

Meanwhile, you can hear Feedback and Me on FanBoy Radio here.

The Master Cleanse Diet

This morning I had a scoop of protein before I went to the gym, then bought the ingredients for The Master Cleanser afterwards and started the diet. I stayed home for many hours waiting for some kind of scary side-effects, but nothing has happened except lots of passing water the good ol' Guy way.

And I am now about to go get me some Boston Market Meat Loaf for real.

I've had about six of these lemonades and it is taking care of the hungry, and yes, I have normal energy. I can do this, I suppose. But I want food. As usual. I want to chew. I want to taste.

So here's what I'm going to do.

I'm going to finish all these lemons I bought, and this Maple Syrup, and drink these lemonades for breakfast and lunch. Nothing else throughout the day. Well, prolly a scoop of protein in the AM if I go to the gym.

But at nighttime--Katie-bar-the-door. Because I think like this; a lemonade diet reduces calories and keeps the metabolism going (as evidenced by my level of energy). That's all I need. When I WAS eating all day, I still lost weight so if I do it 24/7-10, then I'd only be doing so for Masterly Cleansing. And to their credit, they said it wasn't a diet for weight loss anyway.

So meh on Cleansing. I'll save money all day, have less calories, keep my metabolism burning, and eat at night.

Works for me!

Bye now--

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Feedback Is, In Fact, Not A Lunatic

The show went well. My spirits started picking up just by clicking the link to the station. It was a very good time to listen to Matt represent himself intelligently, with a good sense of humor, and in context. He was not a lunatic. He was a nice guy, and as I've said before, one of us.

Scott and Oliver of FanBoy Radio did very, very well. They brought the funny and the right amount of challenge. Callers also did the same. Everyone was respectful.

I got on and had to make my statement about role models and heroes. Matt responded. Genunity ensued (is that a word?).

And there's this; when one of the Other Us called in, Matt was excited to hear from us. And he went on, before we'd speak, to give us props and appreciation. He knew it would be important for us, and he did it for us. For me he said, "We go way back". Of course my first post about him and the show only happened in July, and it was a smart-alecky one at that. But when he said we go way back, he meant that his history with comicbook heroes and my history with comicbook heroes go way back, and we know that about each other, and we meet there. (See; "New Mutant", Comments section) He even had the impression that we had spoken in the past, but we haven't. We traded Comments on this blog is all. But he read my blog and he took the information in. It mattered to him. It left an impression.

Dag. The guy gets me.

So maybe now, we will speak. Maybe he's a keeper. One of those people in the world that I can call a 'friend' as well as a hero. Maybe I'm not so scared of humanizing him now, and taking him for who he is before and after Feedback. Maybe I didn't even know that was something linguering there under the surface. Maybe that's why I was feeling so funky today about the show.

Okay, so I'm alright now. I'm ready to face my week, my birthday, my ... well we'll see.

Sunday Ennui

Last Sunday was cooler so I went out, but this Sunday it was hazy and a little too warm, so I stayed in, but on either ocassion I didn't go into NYC as I thought I would in the morning and more notably, I didn't go to church.

I haven't been going in months. The whole summer, I didn't darken the doors. The whole Spring either, for that matter. I don't think the winter saw much off me either. And probably not last autumn either. The blog knows.

I'm worried about it. What happened to my desire?

As I've dissected my origins, I do know that I went to church back in my teens because I was hunting a father-figure and a family to fill in my homelife. Unfortunately, when I thought I found those, I brutally neglected my mother and things never really got better between us and then she died and I ran to Missouri for a full religious/family immersion. It started out good, but people remained being people, and it didn't last. The lessons I should have learned in my 20's, I'm only learning now in my 40's.

But what happened to the way I saw God? What happened to the voice I thought I heard at times, "leading" me and "guiding" me?

Is He real still, or was he a convention I used to cope with a crazy childhood?

Some intellectual pursuits are still in place for me. I cannot believe that myself and all the sentient beings I personally know, and all those who I do not know, came from nothing. I also cannot believe that the non-sentients, such as trees, came from nothing. I can't believe that the way my eyes perceive colors developed without design. I can't believe the people who created the Internet were able to do so without themselves being created. (Just believing that a God who did all this had no creator Himself is a lot to accept--I certainly can't give that same faith over to a human being).

But what do I do now? How do I worship God anymore? Do I settle for finding him in Corrine Bailey Rae songs, and in the fabric of beautiful days, and in the design of my eyesight? Do I force myself to attend church services to get back in the habit and not ask questions of why? I know what I prefer, but what I prefer keeps me confused, or at least uneasy.

Meanwhile, today I get a chance to hear and possibly speak to My Hero. I have not been excited about it. Rather, I've been worried. Will the interview go well? Will my friends at FanBoy Radio be respectful? Will Matthew Atherton be a good interview? Will he be a lunatic? Am I a lunatic?

No answers. I'll post later with results, partial-answers, hopes, dreams ...

Just how long is a person suppose to have a midlife crisis anyway?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Here It Comes

Three weeks to go to hit my target weight. And it appears as though I won't make it. Three pounds have been playing havoc with me for a month now. Up and down and up again, such as today.

Now, you know I'm reckless and desperate enough to go on a liquid diet, right? Maybe the Master Cleanse. Maybe for the two weeks surrounding my vacation. It needs me to be near a bathroom all day, and afterwards it will cure my sugar craving. I should probably read the book before I do it--I'll look for it today.

Also, Feedback's interview that I arranged is happening tomorrow (9/16/06) on Fanboy Radio. After tomorrow you can listen to it here.

Anyway, the "It" in the title refers to my birthday. I have it on good authority that it is possible to be the age that I'm going to be, and still be trim, fit, and look good. Not to mention that my last two birthdays SUCKED. This year, I have two nights booked in a New York Hotel on Fifth Avenue and the rest of that week off. I'd like to be 175lbs by then, but that ain't happenin'. Next payday I believe I have a chance to pay off ANOTHER collection agency, as that I have their balance to just over a thousand, although I might just do the Monkey On A Cupcake thing again with the paycheck for the birthday. I plan on getting tickets to see a few Broadway plays from David Rothenberg's show on WBAI and I'm going to pretend that I'm 21 again. I'm going to walk about 25 miles throughout the island of Manhattan to the beat of my new MP3 player and watch the sun set beyond Jersey at the Chelsea Piers. I'm going to enjoy the street performers in Washington Square Park. I'm going to read a few graphic novels for free in Barnes & Nobles. I'm going to argue with squirrels over my food in Central Park. I'm going to watch network television in a hotel room and swim in their pool in a Speedo. I'm going to borrow a friend's digital camera and take a picture of me on my birthday (maybe in my Speedo if I'm feeling daring enough) and show you what I'm working with.

I'm going to.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Death Of Summer

The leaves started turning a few days ago. I woke up to the sound of drumming rain. The sky is gray right now, and the neighborhood is layered in curtains of fog.

There was a time I hated summer. I'm going to miss it terribly now.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Same Song, Different Definition

Listening to "Like a Star" all throughout the day yesterday did not make me feel as sad as it had on Sunday. In fact, it made me think of Someone Else.

For me, it's now an ode to Jesus Christ.

Dunno how that happened, but I'm glad it did. :)

Like A Star Corinne Bailey Rae lyrics
Artist: Corinne Bailey Rae
Album: Corinne Bailey Rae
Year: 2006
Title: Like A Star

Just like a star across my sky,
Just like an angel off the page,
You have appeared to my life,
Feel like I'll never be the same,
Just like a song in my heart,
Just like oil on my hands,
Only to love you.

Still I wonder why it is,
I don't argue like
With anyone but you
We do it all the time,
Blowing out my mind.

You've got this look I can't describe,
You make me feel I'm alive,
When everything else is au fait,
Without a doubt you're on my side,
Heaven has been away too long,
Can't find the words to write this song,
Of your love.

Still I wonder why it is,
I don't argue like
With anyone but you.
We do it all the time,
Blowing out my mind.


I have come to understand,
The way it is,
It's not a secret anymore,
'Cause we've been through that before,
From tonight I know that you're the only one,
I've been confused and in the dark,
Now I understand...

...I wonder why it is,
I don't argue like this,
With anyone but you,
I wonder why it is,
I wont let my guard down,
For anyone but you

We do it all the time,
Blowing out my mind,

Just like a star across my sky,
Just like an angel off the page,
You have appeared to my life,
Feel like I'll never be the same,
Just like a song in my heart,
Just like oil on my hands

Monday, September 11, 2006


...yesterday and a long meeting today really took it out of me. On top of it, I think Jacque Reid from the Steve Harvey Morning Show isn't going to come back and it feels like a divorce and it bothers me.

No, I'm not drunk. I'm just drained.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

"The More You Cry, The Less You Pee"

I am, and am not, confused.

I had a good morning, doing my internetting and posting the preceding post. The world felt very nice and very good.

I had shunted off the news coverage that I saw this morning in the gym while I whittled my pounds away. Tomorrow is Sept. 11th and I didn't want to be reminded. The calendar I consulted on Friday told me that tomorrow is a national holiday called "Patriot's Day". I didn't want to think about it.

So I enjoyed the phenomena of Tech Support and Matthew Atherton and set out to go get me some lunch. I downloaded India.Arie to my new mp3 player along with her new contemporary, Corinne Bailey Rae. Miss Rae has a new song on the radio which has been crossing all genre, all markets, called "Like A Star". At the end of this post, I have a treat for all of you who have heard it, or wish to. Or you can fast forward now and go take a look/listen. Something about that song gripped me from the first note. Something about the chords on the simple guitar strumm. Something that resonates with a chord inside me. That's all I can guess.

So I turn off my comp, get in the car, and I'm listening to my player through the dashboard cassette (I have an adapter) and I go to Chili's to get my favorite meal (like a monkey on a cupcake!) and suddenly I find myself weighed down with a gravity I can't understand. The day was going good.

I decided to go eat the lunch in a park somewhere--it's temperate and slightly overcast, perfect day for me. I go to a Park and Ride near "my" house, sit on my car trunk, and eat and read,no mp3 player. I listen instead to classical music on the radio and I read the book I've been working on for a few weeks (its a quick read, but I've only been snippetting it when I'm eating).

When I'm finished eating, I shut the car off and seal it up because I know I'm going to walk a bit of a distance to throw away my trash and because I'm thinking about my mp3 player and Corinne Bailey Rae. So I put my earphones back in and I play 'Like A Star' as I walk in time down the winding wheelchair ramp along the Garden State Parkway to the garbage below the underpass. I put the song on continous loop so Corinne can continue to sing this over and over to me. Please read these lyrics carefully, as quoted from here;

Like A Star Corinne Bailey Rae lyrics
Artist: Corinne Bailey Rae
Album: Corinne Bailey Rae
Year: 2006
Title: Like A Star

Just like a star across my sky,
Just like an angel off the page,
You have appeared to my life,
Feel like I'll never be the same,
Just like a song in my heart,
Just like oil on my hands,
Only to love you.

Still I wonder why it is,
I don't argue like
With anyone but you.
We do it all the time,
Blowing out my mind.

You've got this look I can't describe,
You make me feel I'm alive,
When everything else is au fait,
Without a doubt you're on my side,
Heaven has been away too long,
Can't find the words to write this song,
Of your love.

Still I wonder why it is,
I don't argue like
With anyone but you.
We do it all the time,
Blowing out my mind.

I have come to understand,
The way it is,
It's not a secret anymore,
'Cause we've been through that before,
From tonight I know that you're the only one,
I've been confused and in the dark,
Now I understand...

...I wonder why it is,
I don't argue like this,
With anyone but you,
I wonder why it is,
I wont let my guard down,
For anyone but you
We do it all the time,
Blowing out my mind,

Just like a star across my sky,
Just like an angel off the page,
You have appeared to my life,
Feel like I'll never be the same,
Just like a song in my heart,
Just like oil on my hands

(Thanks to Helen for correcting these lyrics)

When I went back to the car, I sat back up on the trunk, which was facing the Parkway. For the whole walk down and back, the weight was back in my chest. The words were weighing heavy on my mind. I knew what was happening. I knew who I was thinking of.

Then below me, a funeral procession of cars came slowly up the Parkway and I layed my head back on my rear window and just gave in. Cried and I cried. When I thought about it a little more, I cried again. And again. Right there under the New Jersey sky.

What I didn't include in the narrative is that before I left, I did some SiteMeter scoping before I had left to get lunch. For some reason, a lot of other blogadeers have been to my blog just today, after a few days of inactivity. My 'Tech Support" buddies were here and commented in the last post, but these other visitors came from these other blogs and SiteMeter didn't track from where else they had come so I wasn't understanding the sudden flow to my site. But I was glad of the traffic and read the visit details. Doing so, I found that one person had been to my archives as well. They had been to August 2005, so I went there too. And I read a particular post that I remembered. This one. I read it and then I went to go get lunch.

At the lyrics page, someone who posted the lyrics was helped by a 'Helen'. I discovered that when I copied the words for this post. I included the thanks because 'Helen' is my mother's name.

I discovered that this song is about my mother. It's like's she been with me since I re-read that post from August 2005. Since I went to get lunch and since I listened to the mp3 and since I paid attention to the lyrics on the way to the garbage at the Park & Ride and since I saw the funeral procession and since I came home and posted this now, and since I retrieved the lyrics and since I typed this very line while tears are streaming down my face

Its like she's been with me all my life, and you know its because she has and you know i miss her and i'm just so sorry we never seemed to get along

i hate september 11 and i hate that so many people have lost so many of their loved ones--even the ones who were arguing with each other on sept 10th and never told each other at 8:00am that morning that they loved each other anyway even though they made each other so mad sometimes and then they were gone forever and they were never going to be able to apologize

and i do you know?

i apologize but its too late and it'll be too late for the rest of my life

and even though i just now broke down, i'm going to publish this and just urge you all out there to take advantage of the time you have with your friends and your wives and your husbands and your mothers and fathers while you have them

because one day you won't

and it might be too late then

*deep breath*

I titled this post after something my mother always used to say whenever I threw a tantrum. She was funny that way.

His Lunch With Feedback!

So you know how in my comments section whenever Matt leaves me a message and I verify for you, my humble reader, that it is truly himself because of my SiteMeter? Well yeah, that's because SiteMeter tells me the towns your ISP is pinging from. Each time Matt stops by it matches the town he lists as his home on his MySpace, so I always assume that its the right guy.

There was always the chance that its a set-up, and that the show's publicists set up the website and has an employee visiting sites like mine from that location to make it look like its Matt, etc etc.

Then one day at Tech Support, where I hang out as OutSource, a fellow named Dale Hoppert joined and his town was the same as Matt's. I noticed it right away. I thought to myself, what if I lived in the same town as Matt? What would I do? I know what I would WANT to do, but I'd be terrified to do it. (If you, dear reader, knew how many celebrities I've seen on my journeys in NYC, and never spoke even a hello for fear of leaving a bad experience in their minds (the notable exceptions being Lili Taylor and John Bolger when I served them lattes as a Starbucks employee--they were both just so danged GOOD looking! I couldn't keep my mouth shut!)) And sometimes, the dream is better than the reality.

So anyway, Matt is a part of Tech Support and had a live chat with those who could make it. The following is an excerpt. Keep in mind, Dale's Tech Support name is "Kommie";

00:13] < Kommie > I live in Rancho, too! OK My Q: You answered most of it... but how LONG did you live in the lair? Did you all really sleep dorm-style like that?
[00:13] < sean99 > .
[00:13] < |Robin| > .
[00:13] < Codec > ]name a gammer and puter geek that has a neat deask and i'll prove he aint a gammer lol
[00:13] *** kyal requested CTCP PING from #Techsupport: 1157256841
[00:14] < Feedback > We really did all sleep in that room.... well...
[00:14] < Feedback > Creature was sometimes distracted by the noise, so sometimes she slept on one of the couches
[00:14] < Exxtreme > Snoring?
[00:14] < Feedback > (there was this COOL swinging suspended couch that was really comfortable)
[00:14] < Cluster > .
[00:14] < Kommie > but you really shacked up together 24-7! for how long?
[00:15] < Feedback > and Cell Phone Girl really did have a migraine
[00:15] < Shae > .
[00:15] < AdamLedzionSapphireLament > .
[00:15] < Feedback > so she slept on a couch outside the room the night before the dog challenge
[00:15] < |Robin| > .
[00:15] *** kyal [www-data@...] has quit [Quit: DeltaAnime WebChat -]
[00:15] *** kyal [www-data@...] has joined #Techsupport
[00:15] < Shokly> okay so it wasn't an excuse that she was afraid of dogs huh?
[00:16] < Chesu > I think the whole thing was six weeks long...
[00:16] < kyal > i just got disconnected. did i miss my turn?
[00:16] < ArthalasSpanishdude > .
[00:16] *** kyal requested CTCP PING from #Techsupport: 1157256976
[00:16] < Feedback > I don't know if I can officially say how long we were all together, but I think it's fair to say that there was never more than one elimination per day of our stay at the lair.
[00:16] < Codec > i would have understanded the fear most of all though my sis was attacked at ayoung age
[00:16] < k2 > no, Kyal, you're next.
[00:16] < Kommie > thank you, Feedback!
[00:16] < Feedback > And Kommie...
[00:16] < Kommie > yes?
[00:16] < Feedback > Not that you get special treatment just because of where you live...
[00:17] < Feedback > but we've gotta have lunch

[00:17] < Twizzler0171 > .
[00:17] <|Robin|> .
[00:17] < AdamLedzionSapphireLament > .
[00:17] < Feedback > If you're so close... it just doesn't make sense not to.
[00:17] * Kommie is flabergasted and would be THRILLED!
[00:17] < Shokly > woah good one Kommie!
[00:17] < Shae > ::is moving::
[00:17] < Feedback > Cool.
[00:17] < Feedback > Okay, Kyal.
[00:17] < k2 > (slightly jealous, but holding her own) Kyal's turn, Lasombrant next.
[00:17] < ArthalasSpanishdude > Thumbs up
[00:17] < Exxtreme > Where are you guys anwayy?
[00:17] * Kommie swears to take pics!

This might be anyone's common reaction to finding out someone you've internetted with lives in your town, but if you've been on television, won the reality show you were on, are the subject of a fan_club, and are live chatting with that fan_club--would you also put yourself out there to personally meet one of them?

See how paranoid and anti-social I can be? I hope your answer to the above question was 'Yes, of course!' but I would have said 'oh HECK no!' because who KNOWS what kind of person is on the other end of those keys???

But see, that's why I love this Matt Atherton guy. He's the me that I want to be. (yes, a 6'1", handsome married white guy with a flat belly and lots of chest hair.) Seriously, he's someone who would just DO this, just invite a dude to lunch out of the blue. Throw away the artifices of celebrity and fanshipness, and just invite a dude to lunch.

AHA!! You say. Still, what if it's all a trick?! To wit I say, feast your eyes---

Matt was Spiderman at Grinnell College. That's his yearbook, chronicling his on-campus exploits. He did it on his own just as a 'hello' to the new students.

He brought his original Feedback costume gear to show Dale. How Like-Us is this guy? VERY. That was made by a friend of his named Tom, if I'm not mistaken.

Fat Momma calls Matt all the time. And Matt takes the call all the time, as he did here at lunch with Dale. My hero The Cop taught me that this is an acceptable expression of friendship.

How cool is that drawing? Look for it on the comic stands.

Now. The only other way that this is a setup is if Dale is an employee of the Feedback PR department. I'm a cynical and suspicious person by nature but see, it's just too much work to think it's all a fake.

I choose to believe that Matt's a good, friendly guy and that Dale lives in the right town at the right time. That way I get to learn another lesson of what friendship is about, which I tried to explore in my fanfic. Friendship is a human, bonding choice that people make towards one another. It's the best thing that humanity has to offer the planet.

Shiny happy times here in the latter part of my summer!

Thanks, Matt, for coming across my computer screen.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Like A Monkey On A Cupcake

It sounds less derogatory when Raymond Romano said it on "Everybody Loves...", but that's how I went through my 'extra' paycheck here in September. Like a monkey on a cupcake. I still have money in both accounts and I'm not in danger of having anything bounce for the week until the next paycheck, but dang.

If the old addage is true, then I surely am a fool, because if there is a constant with me, it is that I and my money are ALWAYS soon departed.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Additional Heroes And More About ME! (Yay!)

My Sightless Hero
I met him after I left the midwest and did enough work hours to pursue the license in counseling. I needed a few more credits to qualify for New Jersey. My Sightless Hero was in a class at Rutgers getting his Masters in Social Work. At first I was nervous to say too much to him. After class he'd be waiting for his ride or a county transit and I'd just tell him good-bye as I rushed out of the room. We spoke a little more, then he asked me if I needed a job. He hired me as his assistant, which was a position independently sponsored by a contractor (who himself was a partial qualdraplegic). The money lured me into a relationship with him. My admiration of him kept him as a friend after I quit and moved to New York. He got that Masters and is now running a small cleaning business because he didn't really have the flavor to do Social Work. We get together every few weeks for dinner and diversion. He's been in America, apart from his parents, for about 15 years now. He went through Rutgers completely independently. He lives alone still. And did I mention that he's completely blind? But he's got more vision than anyone I've ever met. HERO.

The Cop
This is a friend of Grim Jester's, and now he's my friend too. When I first met him he was recovering from cancer treatment. Now he's one of the three Undersheriffs of New York City. He is fiercely loyal and open with his emotions, and he's teaching me a lot about how effortless friendship can be. Before him, I hated the idea of just idly talking on the phone for no reason. Last month my phone bill was over 100 bucks. And I didn't mind. And he's a cop. Pretty awesome.

Me Some More
I'm liking what I see in the mirror these days. I'm getting up enough nerve to take a picture or two and post it. It's got to be how good I'm feeling these days. I actually think I'm better looking now than I've ever been. Stay tuned...

Monday, September 04, 2006

My Heroes

I'm going to post this in order of their appearances in my life, as opposed to their rank of heroism. For those without 'public' identities, I will not link to them. The descriptions, I hope, will describe then enough.

I have said much about him, here and here. There you will find how I currently discovered I needed a hero, and how Matthew Atherton so ably fills the role.

Alex Wilson
Discovered him at FanBoyRadio boards as a fellow poster and followed his signature link to the content of his life. He is my hero because he demonstrates the ambition and consistancy that I've always wished I had. I admire him for his many, many accomplishments and as always, the courage to commit to a woman and marry her--all before the age of thirty.

The Grim Jester
He's my hero because of his flaws. He's the knuckle-dragger inside of myself. Then he has the nerve to be very smart, very funny, very secure, and very masculine. He is like me; raised by a single mother, only he has the memory of a father whom he does not speak much about (but I get the impression that he liked) who died an unspecified number of years ago. As with all us mother-as-parent boys, it was his job to find out how to grow up and become a man. Despite the times I want to crack his hairless skull for going too far, he's made himself into a man's man. Yet he also has learned how to be compassionate and sacrificing. When I was in trouble and getting evicted, he came to my rescue. I test my theories of "what friendship is" on him, and I've always believed the answers he's given me.

The Young Prodigy

This young feller left a job that paid probably six times the yearly salary of any job I've ever had and took a yearlong yacht race to build character. Gamble number one. When he returned, he did not return to his vocation because he knew it was not what he wanted. After months of wondering if he'd lost his mind, he applied to his dream job and got it. Gamble number two. He's my hero because his gambles paid off.

My Midwestern Friend

When I met him, he was engaged. He was a firebrand for religion. He was a maverick. He also was a loyal friend who had open ears in a culture that taught willful ignorance. As I discovered that the culture was not going to nurse and sustain the wounded creature that I was, this friend has. Then he married his love, but lost her to her own devices. This was something he had known she was interested in when he got engaged to her. He took the chance because he loved her. He committed to her because he loved her. The decision had nearly destroyed him. Like me, he's been rebuilding his life for the past 10 years now. Sometimes he disappeared and it was hard for me to know what to do about it. But he'd resurface with a new accomplishment, and new plateau, always getting better, always getting higher. He is my hero because he first loved me. When I needed him, he was my friend. When he needed me, I was moved to learn how to return the loyalty. I am a better person in this world for knowing him.

The Big Red Cheese
When I first met this man he was a leader at my college and I made fun of him. His back was straight, his shoulders wide, his voice thunderous. He reminded me of a larger than life person, like Captain Marvel. He was too good to be true, and dedicated to his cause like no one I had ever known. He reached out to me, why I still don't know--but I suspect it was because he knew I was alone and out of place. Like my Midwestern Friend, he responded to my need without the slightest provocation. When he did that, he let me into his life and let me answer my own questions about what I thought I saw. I saw that he actually WAS as good as he seemed. He was a good father and a good husband. He was a good leader and a good Christian. He was conscientious, intelligent, and open-minded even though he knew no one thought he was, because the driving force of his life was dedication to his God. And all that still is in effect today. In a world of uncertainty, this man has been a rock of unchanging character. If things had not changed for the both of us, I would still be in his shadow today, trying to be what he was.

My Friend The Doctor
Met him when he was an utter teenager. Today he is a doctor. I've known him for a few years less than my Childhood Buds but I've been in his company almost all the way through the years. We went to church together, to college together, to graduate school together. Then I left him and behind when he went on to get his doctorate. I left him and he remained strong and independent and brought his midwestern wife north to forge ahead until he finished his internship. When we first went out there, I thought I was leading him. When my illusions began to shatter, I followed him. He led me out of failure. He guided me into the Master's degree and the ability to have a career when I returned to the northeast. And even when that didn't work, he was always there for me. I learned what a man was at the top end view from the Big Red Cheese. I learned how a boy becomes a man from My Friend The Doctor.

Childhood Bud
I reconnect with him every few months or so, last time was at his nieces' graduation party. When we were growing up, he lost his father, a man I clearly remember. He, in fact, is a Junior. He survived. He got accepted to Brown University. With him I saw how college life could be. I watched him dance on the roof with a roommate in Providence RI to "Pop Life" by Prince and I thought--'this is how cool I want to be'. He took me on a midnight bike ride through the precolonial streets. Visiting him was the first time I ever had handmade ice cream with 'mix-ins'. He has also survived the break-up of a marriage to a girl he clearly adored, and found another love whom he clearly adores more. He now has twin children and is a very saavy grown-up who will not comb his hair for love nor money. He once owned a brownstone in Brooklyn and now owns a converted bed and breakfast two hours north of NYC. Like a hero, he doesn't know how cool he actually is.

Childhood Bud II
This is Childhood Bud's big sister. When we were all entering college life, she became pregnant. The father of her child wasn't a keeper. They married and made another child, but ... Twenty plus years later, she is a successful businesswoman. She held a party for the graduation of those two daughters of hers, one graduating COLLEGE and one graduating a private high school for the arts. The girls are healthy, talented (classically so), intelligent as all get out, and beautiful. Financially, she was helped by her family. Emotionally, she raised them on her own. Like a hero, she doesn't feel her success. She doesn't want to be defined by being a mother, but I think there is no real choice in that matter. Children re-define us. She could have easily become one of the millions of single-mothers whose lives and the lives of their children end up in an endless loop of poverty and dysfunction. Just the opposite with this woman. She's been amazing me for the last decade and I think she's about to amaze herself now that she's facing an empty nest. Wait until she discover what an awesome job she did!

Jesus Christ
I think you've all heard of Him. My faith in Him has gone through quite an odyssey. Today I still believe. I believe He is the reason why we as humans have any such notion as "heroism". I believe His Spirit empowers the heart of anyone who can recognize something greater than themselves and aspire to be like it.

I've weighed in all out, the bad and good, and I'm applying the lessons I've learned last month. This has led me to realize that my mother was a hero. She had to leave a marriage and her child behind in order to survive. Shortly thereafter, she returned and took her child with her. She stood across Broadway holding her son's hand, waiting for the m5, while her husband stood across the avenue watching her go. That could not have been easy, but she did it anyway. Then for the rest of her too-short life, she worked to help the child of hers become a man. She provided everything she could for him. She bought him a car to travel around at college when she was making only 18K a year. She may have been aware of her own failings but she had nothing else to give, so she did what she could. Yoda said, "Do or do not. There is no try." My mother did. She also had a heart to help people who couldn't help themselves. One of the biggest sources of pain for me, a selfish only-child, was when she adopted a troubled child and brought him into our home. She did it because she cared. That caring somehow became an example for me. I work in mental health today and love my work because I saw the best of my mother when she was caring for others.
Gosh. I didn't realize that until I just typed it. Nice.


I've done what I could. I've lost 19 lbs. I've paid off one creditor. I have a savings account. I have goals and dreams ... still. By the standards that I've set out, I realize that I'm allowed to say "Alan White--you're an okay guy. I admire you for your courage in the face of all you've been through and still be able to believe that you're an okay guy. I can tell that you're determined to make it out of your present circumstances and I couldn't wish you more love and blessings than I do right now. May God bless you and reedeem your life into what you and He wants it to be."

Updated Song Of The Day, From July

Located here. I added the video.

It's quite possible that YouTube may come to possess just about everything you every wanted to see, if it had the above song.

Either that, or I'm just a cool, cool musical zeitgeist.

Feedback Fan-Fiction #1

I got a nice chunk of advice from Alex Wilson which I'm going to follow. Just a few hours afterwards, I finished the fanfic piece I was working on for Feedback.

Find it here.

Friday, September 01, 2006

And By The Way? The Grim Jester Is A MADMAN.

I just went to "Tech Support". I read their messages. They said nothing about Major Victory.

Because Major Victory was not brought back.

The Grim Jester lied to me.

Because he is crazy.

A wonderful, crazy, crazy man.

Feedback won.

He won.

And still, I learned how to lose.

Now I'M crazy.

Good night all.

On Learning To Lose

I put in a call to The Grim Jester tonight to call my cell and leave me a message when Who Wants To Be A Superhero was over, and tell me who won. I asked this because I knew I would not be able to watch it on my own. I otherwise engaged in escapism tonight in NYC and did not end until 11:00pm.

Well, he left a message detailing some of the ingenious twists and turns taken in the final episode, which involved bringing Major Victory back to the competition, and then he won the show. Fat Momma and Feedback did not.

Now, MV was Grim Jester's favorite, so he could not help but gloat in his phone message. I should've known that, but I was giving Grim a chance to be compassionate and maybe a little better than a knuckle-dragger with me. He failed the test. I'm a little angry at him for it.

Then, I'm a little angry at I-don't-know-who for the outcome of the show because it seems now that Major Victory's win was inevitable. Major. Victory. And again, he's the hunkiest white dude on the show. Why would he not win? What country did I think I was living in?

But different voices 'ahem' for my attention. They say, "America wasn't voting, so America didn't determine Major Victory to win. Therefore America's prediliction to favor the white man did not apply here. Besides, Feedback is a white man too, and he didn't win." All true.

And then I realize that it's just a diversion from the truth of my matter. It's ME that feels outvoted. ME that feels rejected. And I have to learn to lose.

Everyone is not going to think MY ideals are the best. Everybody is not going to prefer MY way of doing things. Everybody is not going to value MY outlook above their own. I need to not only accept that, but embrace that. Love others for their own opinions, values, ideals. Celebrate people in their Not-Me-Ness.

So before, it was, "The Hunky Jock should not win over the Dedicated Geek" for the sake of all us dedicated geeks everywhere, and in vengeance toward all the hunky jocks in my past.

But why can't the hunky jocks enjoy their lives too? Why can't they win too? It means a lot to them--they compete for the same reason I do, and they work hard at it in the obvious physical way (turning them INTO the hunky jock), so why shouldn't they reap what they've earned?

Matt Atherton is still a great heroic, dedicated guy. His rapport with his fans, and me in particular, has been very satisfying. It's created a very fun and even surreal experience for me. Kind of made some of my own dreams come true, in fact ... given how prone to being starstruck that I can be.

So why should I be a sore loser? Feedback has never done so, and never has once showed bad showmanship or portrayed a hint of bitterness in any of his correspondence to us. So why should I?

And even though I'm not Feedback, and my own struggles are unique to me, and so my own failures are particularly painful and my own resiliency might be less functional than Feedback's, I can still aspire to take defeat the way he has.

After all, I really was NOT on the show. *I* really didn't lose the competition. And really, neither did Feedback. He didn't lose---he just didn't win.

But the main point I need to see is that a hero's function is to inspire and only one person did that for me on that show. That's who my winner is. And in that, I actually HAVE won something.

I've won the insight on how to lose. That's not really something I knew before.

Thanks, Feedback.

Game ON. (Still)