Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Reflections

Hey! It's Christmas Time, a year ending with a New Year about to begin. Yep, it's just around the corner. This time of year is a time of reflection. Looking back over the course of the last year and looking forward to, hopefully, a bright future.

Don't Laugh at me! I know, with a blog I tend to 'reflect' on things all year long right? I don't know if this blog will be any more or any less than the multitude of blogs I have written over the course of the last year. I do know that, like always, I've got some things to say. :)

I've been thinking about a lot of things lately, I suppose I should say 'reflecting' so that I can maintain a sense of continuity in my text, but then again I'm not exactly writing a novel here. Though it is shaping up to be quite a memoir, its amazing to think that I've chronicled my divorce, in a very personal way. Who I was, what I went through, and how it all changed me.

As much as it felt like my life ended in March of 2006 when my wife left, taking my children 2000 miles away from me, it felt like just two years later my life began anew. The two year custody battle/divorce took a lot out of me, physically and emotionally and it all paid off in the end.

Sure, I am rehashing a few things that I've been talking about for what? Years now? Well, I am reflecting on 2008 right now, and this is the year that all ended. This is the year that I finalized my divorce, this is the year I maintained primary custody of my kids in a very permanent way, this is the year I moved back out on my own, the year I really dated for the first time, in a very strong sense, in 2008, I took my life back.

Wow, that was a crazy ton of commas.

I've said this before, but I must restate it. I do not regret anything, and I would not change anything about my life. Sure, having tons of money would be great, a college degree at this point perhaps? As hard as it is at times, and as much as I don't appreciate some of the things that have happened in my life, I love who I am, I love who my kids are and I love the potential we have.

One thing in particular has been on the edge of my thoughts this year. My Dad. It feels really weird to say that, even in conversation when chatting with my brother online, I say 'your sister' before I correct myself and say 'our', or 'your dad', before I say 'our dad'. My Dad.

I'm not sure what the future holds, and if we do get back in touch, I'm not sure where it will go, if anywhere. Having only met him twice so far in my life, and the last time being 14-15 years ago, I’m going to say it’s not looking too good.

Just recently I heard a story that reinforced my desire to develop communication between my Dad, Brother and Sister. This happened to my Friend, or more specifically his wife, and I obtained permission to retell the story in my blog.

Let me start by saying this is mostly 2nd hand information, having heard most of it from Russ and not directly from Yvonne, so if someone who knows better than what I've said, forgive any errors. I am mostly retelling it because A) Its a very interesting story and B) reminds me how important it is to not let time slip away.

A little background, Yvonne's parents are crazy, as is her sister. By parents I mean her Mom and Step-Dad. From what I garnered while we were in high school together, they sounded ridiculously unbalanced and it only seems to have gotten worse over time. Well it seems like Yvonne really liked her real dad, but her mom didn't let him be in her life. Recently, having moved back into the area, she looked him up in the phone book and sent off a Christmas card to someone she thought 'might' be him.

Ok, that’s some background information, it was approximated that Yvonne hasn't seen her real dad in 20 years.

Well, Russ works at FedEx Kinko's in Moscow. A Woman came in the other day that wanted copies made of her husband's scrapbook that was used at his wake. He passed away in 2005, of cancer.

While they were copying this, they were looking at some of the things this guy had done and he had started the local board gaming club (which still goes on every Friday nights) and he helped start a local Renaissance fair of some kind. He seemed pretty cool.

Well, as they were finishing it Russ gets a call from the woman that brought in the work. She indicates that she is at Russ's house talking to his wife and wants him to just bring the stuff home with him.

Yep, I think the rest is obvious. This man, coincidentally, was Yvonne's real dad. While she was getting these copies made she went to meet Yvonne for the first time, because she had gotten Yvonne's Christmas card in the mail. This was Yvonne’s first time meeting her step-mother that she probably never knew existed.

Now, I think this is a pretty amazing story. But the inherent tragedy in it is unfortunate. Yvonne's dad passed away three years ago. On a lighter note, considering her dad's achievements and interests I think we can all understand how Yvonne fell for a huge gamer geek like Russ!

So like I said at the beginning of that story, its important to not let time slip away. Sad that it can slip by you so easily.

My brother just got his drivers license, my sister graduated from high school, I believe she is pregnant now. I can't picture my dad's face, and when I see pictures of him I am looking at a stranger. I saw a picture of, who I can only imagine is my dad's mother, my Grandmother. A woman I have never met. Like I said above, I don't regret anything and I would go back and change anything in my life. But imagine how much more I'm going to miss, just how much more can slip away, if I don't do something about it? And if I don't step up and do something about it now, will I finally have a regret, will this time next year, or five years from now, will I be wallowing in self pity because of my own inaction, saying I would take my procrastination back for anything in the world?

This is getting kind of long and it’s getting kind of late. Its officially been Christmas Eve for 2 hours and 10 minutes (at the moment I wrote this paragraph anyway). I just finished wrapping the presents.

I am holding everything hiding from friends, family and Santa, and late tonight when my kids fall asleep I’m going to move it all down under the empty tree and perform some Christmas magic while they still believe.

We started making sugar cookies tonight; we will bake them tomorrow and make red and green frosting to frost them with. I bought a collection of cookies cutters to help us out too. Aside form measuring the ingredients they did all the work, from pouring stuff in to using the mixer. It was a lot of fun. I can't wait until the messy part when we do the frosting!

Santa's got to have his cookies YO HO HO (Pirate Santa Claus?)

I've done something crazy to mark our first Christmas in this new phase of our life. Instead of spending Christmas Eve with my grandparents we are doing our own Christmas Eve here in our own place, doing Christmas morning here as well and then going down to my grandparents if the weather permits.

I planned out Steaks for our Christmas Eve Dinner; they are in the refrigerator marinating as I type this. A very basic breakfast on Christmas morning, something easy to cook, yet delicious (thank you Jimmy Dean). Then hopefully dinner at my Grandparents, but if not, then we will have some stir fry because that’s what I've got lol.

I love my children very much, and I love all my friends and family as well. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas.

Jason, Lord of the Dance

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

For Better or Worse

For Better or Worse. I guess I never really thought about those words much, but if you don't then you have no business getting married. You can't just like the better parts of someone, you have to be able to be there in their darkest hours and weather the storm with them. That's love, part of it anyway.

I can't really say I've ever been 'in love' in that way. I did love Nicole, and I consider her family, but I was never 'In Love' with her. I would have stuck it out with her until the bitter end more from my own stubbornness than anything. But I never understood her, I never felt like I could be there for her in the way that she needed.

Not that I didn't try, ofcourse I tried, and vice-versa. But it just wasn't there. Look at how it turned out, at my lowest instead of sticking by me she bailed, taking our kids with her. Found a boyfriend that made more than her and I combined and then sent the kids back up to me.

It sounds bad when I say it like that, everything is a matter of perspective. My divorce is an excellent example. The man Nicole left and the man writing this blog are two entirely different people. Sure, he and I share a lot of the same annoying quirks and habits, but our perspectives are so entirely different. The first man was left at the bottom of the deepest ocean, as described in my most recent blogs, while the latest and greatest stands on the peak of a mountain top.

I loved being married, and I've said many times how much I want to be married again. But this time I want to do it right, I want to be 'In Love'. I know that sounds sappy coming from a guy, but lets face it, I was raised by 3 generations of first born women, I go back and forth between a 'dominant male type' or a 'slave of the queen' all at the whim and fancy of whichever woman I happen to be speaking with at the time.

I hope that I deserve that much at least. I feel like I am too selfish for love. I expect so very much from everyone around me, but do I give enough in return? I don't think I do, and if that's true, then I don't think I know how.

My kids had a really hard time when their mom left on Sunday. I guess I should go into the visit a bit.

It went pretty well, not as well as I had expected honestly. She and I have been getting along so well on the phone I just assumed it would translate into 'real life' the same way. I think half of the awkwardness stemmed from the fact that her 'non-jealous' boyfriend turned out to be massively jealous as hell. She isn't allowed to 'be my friend' apparently and we are not supposed to talk about anything we have in Common.

You know how f'ing hard it is to find someone who likes horror movies as much as she and I do? That's like one of my first questions when I meet someone new is if they like horror movies. Im not a freak about them, I enjoy movies of all shapes and sizes, but I always feel horror movie deprived because nobody watches them with me.

As a note, I did meet a beautiful girl who is into vampires ;) and thats a definite start. But we'll talk about that after I get through the topic at hand.

So she flew in late late wednesday night, we picked the boys up at my mom's house and got back to my apartment at about 1am thursday morning. She slept in the boy's bedroom and they all slept on the floor together with like 30 blankets both beneath them and on top of them.

I set it up beforehand for Nicole to spend a bit of time helping the teachers in each of the boys classes on thursday, both because I wanted Nicole to meet their teachers and because I didnt' want to give them both thursday and friday off from school.

I did let them take friday off, thursday went pretty well, Tristan pratcally ignored her Thursday morning and during class I guess but I think he was just out of his normal comfort zone with his mom there.

They all went to see a couple movies together and I took them out to see the christmas lights in colton. It went pretty well over all.

Based on a few comments Nicole made (like "you know, Eric goes to bed with me EVERY night" taking a shot at the fact that I stayed up on the computer after she went to bed a lot at the end of our marriage, well maybe if you gave me space to breath for myself while we were BOTH awake I wouldnt have had to INVENT free time after you finally got off my back, which wasnt the case with you getting up every 15 min. to cry about the fact that I didnt love you anymore if I didn't got to bed at the exact bullshit moment you wanted. Question, did you ever stay up with me so that we could go to bed together? didnt think so).

Ok so I just lost my train of thought. I'm over it, the only reason I bring it all up is because I've paid my lawyer several thousand dollars and still owe her 14k more for my divorce, but Nicole still NAGS ME ALL THE TIME, this whole weekend was rampant with her NAGGING AND NAGGING, when does it end, when does this soul get some freakin peace.

Anyway, like I said, the boys had a hard night sunday. Nicole left early that day and the boys did fine. We went to a starbuck in spokane and I bought them some wierd berry drink that they both really liked and I just sat there. They talked to me the entire time, neither one of them ever stopped talking, we were there like an hour and they both yapped the entire time.

Thats happened in the past, and I was prepared for it, they get very lovey dovey and chat like their life depends on it so we found a nice spot to sit down and I just let them yap it up. It was a nice afternoon.

When it came time for bed though, things got loud. First, Jadon was upset and very sad and wanted lots of hugs, which her got. Tristan was fine. I seperated them so that they could get some rest but once Jadon hit the bed he was crying pretty loud. Soon after Tristan followed even louder, crying that he wanted his mommy there. I felt really bad for them, they kept getting up and getting hugs and kisses from me and telling me how sad they were.

Well, finally after about an hour Jadon came down and very sadly told me that Tristan wouldnt stop crying for thier mom and because he kept hearing it he was getting more upset. lol, it sounded like it was going back and forth like that, making each other upset inadvertantly. So had them both come downstairs and I asked them if they could keep it down a bit because they were upsetting each other, and they seemed to understand. I gave them each one last big hug and kiss and I had them give each other a big hug and they went off to bed and fell right to sleep.

Well, I think I better call it quits on this blog for the night. Thanks for Reading!

As a last note, there's a special lady in the audience that I've been thinking about and I hope to talk with very soon. ;)

g'nite all

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Im Dreading This

I have a lot I want to blog about, but I am short on time. Let me first say that I just finished the latest episode of Fringe and I am glad I stuck with the show because it just got hella good.

In just about 5 hours I will be picking up my Ex-Wife from the airport in Spokane. I'm dreading it. I think the weekend will go ok, and I think the boys will have a lot of fun, but as the time draws nearer, I am feeling more and more like a dark cloud is moving overhead.

I've been doing alright sleeping in my bed again, about every other night or so. One of my friends thinks it is mostly because of Nicole's impending visit, which could be possible.

This will be the first time we've seen each other since everything was finalized. That will be kind of weird.

Most people I talk with seem to be of the mind that I am going well above and beyond with Nicole. Maybe, but then I think that, if I haven't been who I have been in this situation, would I be where I am? That sounded kind of vague, but I am sure you get my meaning.

I think I've been amazing accepting and accommodating considering the circumstances. Putting aside urges to hate her and wish bad things upon her. But you can't say I've been walked all over either, I haven't given an inch. I have never and will never, because I don't need to.

It is because I am right. Not all the time, but in the situation with Nicole, I am right beyond any shadow of a doubt. Things have ended up as they should. There is no reason for me to be angry, there is no reason for me to be spiteful. Things are better off now that we are separate, so why would I not be nice, why would I not encourage a friendship and working together as parents and doing everything I can to ensure we remain a good parenting team.

I think my anxiety comes from the fact that I am of this mind on my own, everything in the way I think seems to be an uphill battle because others don't think the same. Not with my experience anyway.

As brought up in my divorce, I am a control freak. Sometimes are worse than others. I try to over manage everything in my life. But is it a flaw? Or is it part of what makes me the parent that I am, part of what drives me to think and act the way I do.

I'll blog more soon. Happy Holidays Everyone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Apple Cup

I love that I can share my life through blogging. Those of you who know me, know that I am far too honest and open about many things. I don't keep secrets, or I try not to. Though I probably should.

Sometimes there are even things that 'I' keep hidden away though. Things that I've said out loud or in this blog even that I've learned to just keep inside. I don't know, I guess Im just blabbing.

Truth be told, I'm not feeling that good. Ive been keeping this pretty much on the down low but when people visit and I haven't cleaned up they wonder "who's been sleeping on the couch". Sometimes I just avoid it, other times I just say someone was resting. I've only really told two people, but in fact I am prepared to tell everyone who reads this.

As a note, thank you for reading. I write this as if everyone in my life reads it and then I walk around assuming as such lol.

Anyway. What I was getting to, as I am sure you have already guessed. I've been sleeping on my couch. All but 1 1/2 nights in the last 4 1/2 weeks.

If you've been reading my blogs for awhile, or if you dared to delve deeply into my blog archive, then you know just how much of a hell my divorce was. But you might also know that I've dealt with it fairly well and I am reasonably ok with it at this point. I strongly think it is for the best.

But one thing I haven't gotten over, one thing I have tried to not think about very much, is the one thing that I am least prepared to deal with.

I think I was so busy preparing the apartment that I didn't even realize it creeping up on me.

I have spoken about it before, but there was this month way back when all of this started, that I was alone. Probably the worst time in a man's life to be alone. Nicole had just taken the boys and flown off to Phoenix, I was jobless, lonely and scared I would never see any of them again. I am certain that fear was unfounded, but still a fear none the less.

I couldn't sleep in my own bed, going to sleep wasn't the hard part, it was waking up the next day. Waking up without the warmth of my wife, without the sound of my kids. I was alone for a whole month, I barely left the house. I felt so ashamed, I felt like less than dirt.

It was like everything good in my life had just been unceremoniously ripped away. I can't tell you how emotional I was every day. How often I would stand at my children's bed room door in the mornings hoping I would see them in their beds sleeping.

I could get no comfort or enjoyment out of anything. I couldn't watch television, I couldn't watch movies, I couldn't read and I couldn't play any games.

Every morning I woke up into a nightmare, only to be followed by restless nights of little sleep.

I am over all the fights and all the bad things we've said. I am over the whole divorce, but I don't see how I can ever get over that one month in hell.

I know, I've come a long long ways. I have good friends and family that have supported me along the way. Having an awesome lawyer certainly helped.

I am a proud father of two amazing boys.

But I feel like I am not living up to that, I feel like I can't keep my eyes on the prize. Going back to school always feels just out of reach, like Im afraid of it. Even this new wonderful life I've started to create has not gone as planned.

I feel like I am afraid to do anything, to change anything, I don't want to wake up just to find out this is all a dream, I don't want to walk into my children's rooms and see empty beds.

Alright, I need to stop talking about that. Time to talk about the here and now.

I took my boys to a cougar game on Friday. It was a ton of fun, though Jadon was kind of a poop. We brought his friend Andy, and Andy's mom Maggie was able to come too. Andy and Jadon get pretty wild together, but you can tell they are getting a little bit older and calming down a bit. They actually did pretty decent at the game too, but Jadon didn't want to listen at all so my tolerance for it quickly went out the window. He moped around for most of the second half. Tristan got really into it though and quoted the score quite often.

My friend Sarah lost a bet to me awhile back (as detailed in earlier blogs) and she was supposed to come over and take us both to the Apple Cup. Unfortunately she couldn't make it, a family emergency, I hope everything is going alright.

I am a little disappointed though, I really wanted to show Sarah my new apartment and the last time we saw each other she had really wanted to see my kids again but I didn't have them with me. But I do understand, so hopefully another time.

The weekend wasn't a total bust on this side of the state though, someone my mom knows couldn't make it to the game and he gave her 4 Apple Cup tickets. Great seats about 20 rows or so up from the 40 yard line.

I convinced my friends Amanda, Russ and Brian to go to the game with me (though going to the Apple Cup for free, not much convincing lol). Amanda and I went to the Cal game together too, she and I worked together at SEL for awhile and now we try to hang out when we can. She and her girlfriend Lisa are coming over this weekend for dinner and game night.

Russ I've mentioned in this blog quite a bit, he and I have been friends a long time. I've probably complained about him on several occasions as well lol. Brian is somebody I work with at SEL too, but we've known each other for quite awhile, he was a year behind russ and I, but we went to school together for a lot of years. The three of us were also boyscouts together for awhile.

I would love to say the game was awesome. I mean, you show a highlight of the cougars 1 minute long drive to get that field goal in the 4 quarter, to be followed up by a victory in double overtime, it looks amazing, IF thats all you show. I had a ton of fun, but the game had a slow pace, not a lot happened in it.

Tomorrow night I am taking the boys to another Cougar Basketball game, taking my Mom this time. These family passes are great and I think next year I will spend the money to get the whole season's worth. You get 2 adult tickets and 2 Youth tickets to all 16 home games and the cost works out to be right around $5 per ticket. Sounds like a damn good deal to me.

ok, back to the serious stuff.

I dont try to be something I am not. I don't try to be other people. I just try to be myself, or who I think I am. Sometimes I just don't know if I have the strength to be the person that I think that I am.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Was President Bush ever in your Dreams?

Just another quick blog. I wanted to describe a weird dream I had last night.

I know it was longer than this, but as with many dreams, some parts are very blurry. I dont remember dreams very often so when I do I try to share them.

There was definitly something at the beginning of this dream that I can't recall, but what I can remember starts with me and some friends sitting on some metal bleachers by a lake. There is a big crowd.

On my right, or what seems to be my right, President Bush (with a very very fat head) rides up towards the bleachers. He is riding a gigantic pig, the left side of the pig is painted Red and the RIght side of the pig is painted blue (I thought of this at work, but perhaps president bush being White was meant to reflect Red White and Blue??). He turned his pig to face the lake and sat there.

Some wierd ceremony started and this guy that I somehow recognized started driving a very very large fishing boat with I would approximate 18 or so Cub Scouts in full uniform. Not far off the shore the boat suddenly sank into the water and all of the cub scouts with it.

I got up, no one was doing anything, no one even seemed worried at all. President Bush was only watching, as was his Pig I assume. I ran to the lake, jumped in, and in a single action I saved all of the Cub Scouts and raised the boat above water. But the man driving the boat, who I at this point in the dream I am certain is Sinister, is no where to be seen.

Then I look over and President Bush and his Pig are no where to be found.

Then I wake up.

Enjoy Analyzing that one...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Unfinished Business

I hope everybody is doing well as the Holiday Season approaches. A new President has been elected, a new era for our nation is about to begin, and I still have not finished this damned apartment! lol

But now is the time. Ive held off on some of the things that are 'out of sight out of mind' and now its time for me to buckle down and finish the job.

Why is now the time you ask? Because Im going to have Guests. Sure, Ive had people come over and hang out, but over the course of the next four weekends I have 3 different women visiting me, so I best be getting some of this stuff dealt with.

Next weekend my friend Crystal is coming down to visit her sister who is going to the University of Idaho and we are hoping to hang out a bit and hopefully go on another date.

The following weekend is the Apple Cup and it looks like Sarah will be coming over that weekend. She likes to keep things very mysterious at times lol. And yes Sarah, my room will be much cleaner than yours was when I came to visit you. And yes, like I tell my children, everything is life is a competition, and this is one I plan on winning! lol

The next weekend (right after Thanksgiving) I have no plans currently, so somebody let me know if you want to do something. Come over and play some board games or Wii or something like that would be cool. Maybe come over for dinner, but give me a little warning so I have the right amount of food. :-)

The weekend following that is when DUN DUN DUN my ex-wife is coming to visit. She will be here from December 3rd through December 7th and she will be staying with the boys up in their bedroom. She and I have continued getting along pretty well, so I think that weekend will be a breeze. Im not DREADING seeing her like it would have been a year ago.

For the most part my place is done, theres just a few lingering issues to finalize.

My Grandma's both seem to be doing ok. My Grandma and Grandpa are liking their new home, they have a really great view of the river.

Work has been kind of wearing on me the last 2 weeks. Someone has been out almost everyday, for various reasons. So low on people, plus our workload in general increased a bit. Im still liking the job though, which is good because I think I will be there for awhile.

I kind of put the school idea on the back burner while things settle down financially. Going from being married for a few years to living at home for a few years to being on my own again, well its created some bad financial habits that I just can't afford to have anymore.

I am gathering information for my proposal to hopefully convince SEL to pay for school for me. I am very confident that they will as long as I prepare properly and get everything set up. Once I decided to persue the WSU idea I decided I would need a little more preperation and I am thinking Spring Quarter possibly, but I think Summer Quarter would be more appropriate so that I can get used to school while the boys are away and be a little more on top of how it will effect my routine when they get back.

Jadon has started doing really well with his reading. It is still quite a struggle for him at times. His MirrorScripting due to being left handed is kind of the focal point of his troubles. Even his teacher, who is also left handed, said she hasn't seen someone so hung up on the MirrorScripting before. We worked really hard on some techniques to help him out with it and they are paying off. The changes happened very fast and I am very happy with his progress.

Tristan is an excellent reader as well, they are both doing great in school and not only am I very proud of them, but they are also very proud of themselves.

Halloween was a TON of fun, and the boys got a TON of candy. They were Optimus Prime and Bumblebee from the new Animated Transformers show on.

The boys went to their friend Gracee's 5th birthday party last week and they had a lot of fun. Thats been the biggest perk about moving to his particular location is they know Gracee from Daycare and she lives just 3 doors down from us. She and her parents are really nice.

I ran into an old co-worker of mine. On halloween I was hoping I would run into her actually. She and I worked at Bookworld together and I hadn't seen her in like 8 1/2 years or so. I had heard she worked at the mall and I am glad I ran into her. Hopfully we will be getting together for Lunch one of these weekends. She and her husband have two kids now as well.

I took the boys to a story reading not too long ago. They had a lot of fun, it was at the Barnes and Nobel here in Pullman. It was halloween themed, they read 3 stories and there was snacks and a halloween contest.

I guess the only thing I have left to talk about is Television. Entourage is really good again this year, this is the first year I've actually watched it as it comes out, prior to this Ive only watched the DVDs.

Californication is back with a vengeance. If you haven't seen this show, you're really missing out. David Duchovny as a professional writer trying to navigate life with his archtect ex girlfriend and thier daughter is awesome. The show is now my favorite (other than friends ofcourse) to watch.

Fringe is still really good, though I think they took 2 weeks off. I am definitly on board with Heroes, it is really good this  year, but I doubt it will ever be as good as the first season. Smallville is actually pretty decent. It has gone down hill the last couple of years kind of, but it seems to be a pretty good season so far.

Supernatural is still one of my favorites. This year esspecially. I am completely addicted to Sam and Dean the brothers who hunt supernatural shit down and kill the hell out of it :).

My mom is taking Jadon and Tristan to the Cougar Basketball Exhibition game tomorrow night. They will have a TON of fun, they really enjoyed basketball last year (from time to time) and even got to the point where they recognized some of the players ON THE STREET. The players they recognized are still on the team too.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the next month worth of weekends and all my ladies coming to visit. I will be following it all up with hopefully a 3rd date with Crystal in mid december, going up to see A Christmas Carol Musical. Will be great!


And I am poised to get all my Christmas stuff out at a moments notice. When is the earliest acceptable time? Is it when the stores start selling the stuff, because if so then I am really late!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

something is bothering me

I have a really weird feeling, Ive only had it for maybe an hour so far, but its really bothering me.

Last week was hell, I think I was really sick the whole week or something, with a fever maybe? I didnt sleep well I felt very out of it, the whole week is a blur. I came back to work today and I had forgotten some of my passwords and stuff, very unlike me.

Fortunately I was better by the weekend. Crystal and I went on our first date, it was a lot of fun. We actually went out to eat at Cyrus O'learys which I haven't been to since I was a kid. She was even more amazing in person than I had imagined, which is really nice. It looks like we will definitly be having a 2nd date, looks like it will be in about 4 weeks or so.

Russ gave his seal of approval as well. Yet another time that he meets a girl I am going out with right before a first date... lol

He was going to be up in Spokane all weekend so we decided to carpool, we stayed at his parents place and I hung out with him the rest of the weekend. He was playing in a tournament and the timing ended up being just right, so I played in it too, very fun weekend overall.

I didnt get a lot of sleep but I felt like a million dollars when I woke up this morning. Felt like that most of the day, even after some crap went down at the end of my shift, I still felt great.

Then about an hour ago that changed. Some things I've been thinking about finally got to me I guess. Concern is what I would call it. I'm getting older, Im a father, things are really starting to click, but then I look to my past and its all falling away. The older generations are not doing so hot.

My grandparents aren't in the best of health, the house they rent was just sold and they have to move.

My great grandma is in the hospital again, this time they don't know what is wrong with her, she is so weak she can barely move and had to be hospitalized. hopefully we will know more tommorrow.

I feel sad, but something else I feel as well as time goes on, I feel as if a torch has been passed on to me.

Anyway, Im going to go to bed. Little earlier than ussual, not really sure what the morning will bring.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Misunderstandings of Men and Giants

Well, our first Cub Scout Den Meeting went off great. It was a lot of fun and we also had brownies to celebrate Jadon's birthday. All the boys, including the siblings, had a ton of fun and they all got along really well.

I am beat, I am up way too late, but I finally sat down and did a little writing. The story is pretty short, but I didn't expect it to be very long either. Its based on a strange dream I had a few nights ago, but it felt really good to get it down on paper.

Jadon's birthday party today went awesome. It was a mexican food themed Potluck, quite a few people came out for it and it was a lot of fun. Lots of great food. I was really happy to be able to show everyone my new apartment and I feel like its ready for me to start inviting company over finally.

I'm never going to get it perfect, and I'll probably always be working on it in some way. Aside from a few things upstairs it really is pretty much done. Once I go through all of my pictures Ill be putting some more stuff on the walls so they don't look so barren.

I would really like to play more games, Russ came over last night and we played a new game that was a lot of fun. He and I, and his wife as well, tend to play slightly geekier games though, not really geeky, but I guess I mean that they aren't mainstream games like Monopoly, Risk, Clue or whatever Milton Bradley had pooped out lately. Games like Memoir 44, Axis and Allies, Carcosone, Munchkin, Settlers of Catan and many many others that we've tried or that are on our list to try.

The suprising thing is, they came over not that long ago and we sat down and played a fun game of Scrabble. At first it felt weird, because it wasn't the kind of game we normally play.

Anyway, I just want to have fun, have friends, play games and watch movies you know?

Its wierd, for a long time I wasn't a very social person. Once you're around me long enough that becomes more clear as well, Im sure I have lots of habits or whatnot that indicate just how much of a loner I can be at times. And that includes my massive intrest in Hobbies and Collecting things.

As I grew to adult hood a lot changed. I found myself with a group of friends for the first time, but I felt like my social growth got severely stunted when I met Nicole and I pretty much didnt have friends for 4 years of my life.

Being a single parent has really brought a lot of social parts of me out that were dormant before. I just feel as though I have grown a lot as a person, and as a parent.

Also, it feels really strange to say it, but I feel more alive then ever before. I feel Younger then ever before as well. When you are just coming out of your teenage years you have this strange feeling of being grown up, then in my case the real responsiblities hit and you just feel under preassure and the weight of the world rests on your shoulders. But there is something different about my life now, and while I still have many responsiblities, I feel very much in control of my life now. I feel like I am finally living my life again.

Oh and along that line of thought, I've got a date this Saturday with Crystal, the girl I mentioned in one of my recent blogs. Its our first date and we're both very excited!

Well, Im coming down fast, its time for me to get some sleep. I wanted to share the story I wrote with all of you though, please read it and comment. Its just a first draft, I havent done any editing at all, and I may not, I just feel good that I finally really wrote something. Its pretty short, only about 3 pages in word.

I've always wanted to be a writer and I don't need encouragement in that regard, I need honestly. So if you're going to comment (which I would encourage everyone to comment on this blog) then just please be honest. Thanks!

Peace Out All

Love Jason

Misunderstandings of Men and Giants

By: Jason Bishop

Erik’s mother beckoned him to approach the front of the room, her eyes still damp with tears. Silently Erik approached, surrounded by countless friends and family. At the front he turned to take in those he loved, he cleared his throat, “I am here today to tell you an amazing tale, a tale about a little boy and his Giant.”

Pausing for a moment he glanced at his mother, wiping a tear from her cheek, she nodded for him to continue. Erik, turning back towards his audience, “This boy was always so afraid; Then one day he met a Giant…”

Separated from his mother and lost in the woods, little Erik was afraid. He had strayed too far from home and now did not know the way back. At every turn he could hear the life around him, every howl of the wind or rustling leaf echoing in his thoughts, manifesting itself as wolves and bears and every other danger he could imagine.

Scared he began to run, losing himself even more deeply in the woods, fear driving him. As the sun rose to a peak in the sky Erik knew he had been gone for only a short time, but to him it already felt as if it had been hours. Remembering what his mother had told him, he decided to find a spot and stay put hoping that she would find him soon enough.

As he sat there, listening intently to the horrid sounds of nature around him, he could not help but think that he had caused all of this himself. His mother was probably worried sick and he was too scared to find his way back home to her.

The sun had begun to fall, its warmth hidden by the trees. Erik knew enough to know that the woods weren’t the best place for a little boy to spend the night. His mother had told him to stay put if he ever got lost, but that fear he felt deep in his heart told him otherwise.

As he stood to try once again to find his way, he heard something new amongst the many deceiving sounds around him. The howls of the wind had died down, yet he could still hear the rustling of leaves behind him. Not even turning to see what was behind him, Erik ran. Dashing in and out of trees he could hear something large lumbering behind him.

Scared out of his mind he began screaming for his mother, tears streaming down his face. Not even watching where he was running or how desperately lost he was becoming, Erik’s foot caught a hidden tree root underneath the brush. Losing his balance, Erik tumbled forward hitting his head hard on the ground.

Dazed, Erik lay there for a moment before rolling over to see the dark shape approach. At first Erik felt relief, a man he thought, of course. Then he noticed the man’s sheer size, “A Giant!” Erik thought before his vision darkened.

Hours later Erik woke to find himself lying on a very soft pile of leaves with the darkness of night surrounding him. He did not know how he knew this, but he knew that he was even deeper into the forest than ever before. Feeling very dazed, he felt his brow, a cloth bandage had been tightly wrapped around his head where he had hit it.

Looking around he noticed a small fire dying down a few feat away. Watching the shadows from the fire dance on all the trees around him was mesmerizing. Feeling a chill he approached the fire. Within moments he remembered what he had seen right before falling unconscious.

A Giant? Myth of course, but he was certain it had been too tall and wide to be just a man. At first his mind raced, had his vision been real? Then his young mind began to work through what must have happened. Whoever or whatever it had been had brought him here and bandaged his head.

Noting something hanging over the fire, Erik could suddenly smell the cooking meat of what he could only imagine was once a rabbit. Too hungry to complain he took the spit away from the fire and began blowing on the meat to help it cool. Much too hungry to wait, he burnt himself on the first few bites.

He could feel the exhaustion in his body from a day of being anxious, lost and running like a loon. Realizing he was more lost than ever, he still laughed at his own anxiety. Eating the delicious meal that had been left for him, the darkness of the night finally began to penetrate his thoughts.

Feeling very alone, he sat down next to the heat of the fire and rolled himself tight. Listening careful to the sounds of the wilderness around him, he could hear nothing. No wind, no animals, just the crackling of the fire at his side.

A hoot from an owl broke the silence, golden eyes moving about from tree to tree. Suddenly the night was far from silent. Erik could hear life all around him. When he had been lost earlier in the day, these noises scared him to death, strangely now they were a comfort.

Enthralled by the majestic nature of the life all around him, he did not hear the approaching footsteps. A voice from the darkness in front of him, “Are you no longer afraid?”, startled Erik looked up but his gaze could not pierce the darkness of the forest.

Scared, Erik remained silent, staring in the direction the voice had come from. The deep voice continued “You’ve seem to have gotten yourself very lost in my woods.”

Still too afraid to speak, Erik nodded his agreement. “Where are you from boy?” the voice continued.

“A cottage, not far from the edge of the woods”, Erik answered “What are you to do with me Giant?” he bravely asked, his voice trembling with fear.

“Giant? I’m not that tall am I?” The Giant said as he stepped closer to the fire. His outline becoming clearer to Erik, he felt very silly. The man, covered in furs, was definitely taller than average. Realizing now that his fear had got the best of him earlier Erik laughed.

Approaching the fire, the Giant stretched out his arms to warm his hands with the heat of the flames. Erik had a much better look at him, a rugged man that clearly lived off the land.

“It seems you let your fear get the best of you. It’s too dark now, but I can help you find your way home in the morning.” Feeling very comfortable with that thought, Erik curled up next to the fire and slept. Realizing that this ‘Giant’ he had been afraid of had only been trying to help, and of course had not been a giant at all.

Waking the next morning Erik’s new friend the giant had cooked another fine piece of meat. Though Erik could not identify what kind of animal it had been. After the events of the previous day, Erik saw the whole forest in a new light.

Watching the golden rays of the morning sun bring the whole forest to life, he took it all in, no longer afraid of every sound or sight. Feeling brave Erik asked “Do you live out here?”

Realizing the change in the boy from the previous day, the giant smiled and nodded. “You took off pretty quick yesterday; I didn’t mean to startle you.”

After the giant cleaned up their camp, he beckoned for Erik to follow him. It did not take long before Erik could hear the sounds of his mother’s voice calling for him.

The Giant smiled at him “go on son, you’re mother’s been worried”, leaping off in the direction of his mother’s voice, Erik quickly found her. Jumping into her arms and hugging her tight he starting rattling off the tale of his experiences.

Setting him down, Erik’s mother looked at him, “A Giant? Erik, you didn’t spend the night in the woods, you’ve only been gone for a few hours.” Looking confused Erik turned to point out the man he had once thought was a Giant, but no one was there. He and his mother were alone.

With worry in her voice and running her hand along the bruise on Erik’s forehead she continued, “Oh my poor boy, this bump on your head must have really knocked your wits loose. I’ve been calling your name for hours.” Feeling the bump on his head, it wasn’t as bad as he had thought it was. And there was no bandage as he remembered.

They began to walk home, feeling confused at first he began to look around the forest for any sign of his savior the Giant. There was none. As they left the forest Erik let go of his mother’s hand and turned and looked at the forest. Realizing, he wasn’t afraid anymore.

“…Erik faced his fears, realizing that the giant was a part of him.” Turning from his audience, Erik placed his hand onto his father’s coffin. “I loved my father; his death makes me so afraid to see what will come next for all of us. These stories about a little boy named after me and his giant…”

Tears streaming down Eric’s face, his mother taking his hand to give him the strength he needs to finish “My father told me these stories. In my heart I know I am still afraid, but I know that I can overcome those fears, I know that I can be brave and face my fears.”

“By understanding, we can overcome. My father was my Giant, he was my Hero. And I know now more than ever he would want me to be brave. He would want us all to be brave and overcome this together.”

Embracing his mother, Erik placed his arm around hers and began to lead her out, the crowd of loved ones standing to honor his father’s memory.

Smiling, with tears still streaming down his face, he did not understand the meaning of his father’s stories about the giant until this day, but he knew in his heart that even though he was no longer with them, his father the giant would always still be standing just out of sight.

As they walked to their car to start the funeral procession, Erik look at his mother, “I am a Giant.”

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ready for a Quickie? (SAN DIEGO)

Hey, I think I am pretty sure what I want to do for my 30th birthday and after looking a few things up online Im really psyched!!

I think I want to go down and hang out in San Diego for 2 weeks with the boys! Just looking through some stuff really quick I came up with THIS list of stuff I want to check out:

San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park
Legoland California
Aviation Adventures & Film Museum
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
The Firehouse Museum
Lux Art Institute
Maritime Museum of San Diego
Mingei International Museum
San Diego Air & Space Museum
San Diego Archaeological Center
San Diego Automotive Museum
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
San Diego Museum of Man
San Diego Natural History Museum
The New Children's Museum
USS Midway Museum
Whaley House Museum

Now, obviously I will have to scratch a few museum's off my list, Ill have an 8 year old and a 7 year old with me at the time after all. Im sure if I sit down and research I could probably double that list as well!

I think this sounds like a great idea, its far from home, its somewhere Ive never been, it has things Ive always wanted to do and places Ive always wanted to go. Im also excited as it will probably be 150 degrees out and you all know just how much I love the heat (note the sarcasm).

anyway, I said I was going to keep this short, so just a few more paragraphs...

I know Im only 28, and I wont be 30 for another twenty two months, but I want to do something that feels BIG, something I havent ever done before, and I want it to be something I do with my kids. I want it to be a long vacation, which is something Ive never had. The last time I can even recall taking a vacation that lasted longer than a 4 day weekend was in 1987 when I went to disney land and sight seeing for a week.

I want this to be 2 weeks long and I want it to be awesome! And like I said, I know its early, but I anticipate being poor for a few more years at least, so something this big I need to get on top of ASAP.

Any ideas, let me know. Esspecially if you've ever been there, let me know what you did and what you thought about it!


Monday, September 29, 2008

Im not anal, Im just very specific

Welcome Welcome
Im tired and havent gone through my pics yet, so I will keep this fairly short (but dont hold me to that). Once I get some pics done I will blog again.

Its been a busy week! I would say I haven't gotten as much done with my new apartment as I should have, but that wouldn't be true. What IS true is that I have gotten a significant amount done, way more than I thought, but there is just so much more to do than I had anticipated that despite the amount of work I have done, there is still a large amount of work left.

This is due entirely who I am, I am certain that a majority of people would be done by now, but my need to do things in specific ways and put everything in its specific place... well, if I dont do it now I will procrastinate and never get it done.

I got half way through the boy's bedroom today, its a massive undertaking. If you know how many toys my kids had at my mom's house, well, double it. So I've gone through some of them.

I set up the furniture in their bedroom and essentially put all thier stuff in the middle of the floor in a pile. I have 4 locations I am placing stuff as I go through it: 1) Keep Pile 2) Maybe Keep, depending on if it is complete 3) Give Away 4) Garbage. So far we are on track to keep about half of the items.

As you may recall I ended up doing 40+ loads of Laundry in the first 2 weeks I was in the new place. It was horrid and on average I need to do about 6-7 loads of laundry per week at a normal level.

Anyway, I had set aside everything that was stained or too small, which made up 6 whole totes of clothes. I went through those today and picked out the stained items so I could try and fix them (most came out well) and then I managed to fit the rest into 3 totes, but folded as tight as possible. These are going to be given away.

We went to a Cubscout activity, which I will post pics of when I get the chance this week. It was a lot of fun, the boys did a lot of cool activities (Ill explain them when I have the pics of them in action). The on sucky thing that happened though, is one of our Cubs accidently stepped on a Yellow Jacket nest, Jadon had one fly into his hat and sting him, but the kid who stepped on it got the brunt of their fury. He got stung 6 times, 4 of which were on his neck.

They both survived and pulled out a fun day, it was really nice out all weekend here.

Well, I will post more later this week, but before I go I wanted to mention that I've met someone new. We actually kind of met several months back, and we've talked off and on. Well recently we found ourselves to both be available and we are planning out a date, hopefully the first of many. It has been really nice talking with her this week, she is amazing and very beautiful and she has two beautiful daughters as well. As a note, we have talked about how careful we want to be to not involve either set of kids too early if we do get involved with each other, which is the plan :).

Anyway all, Im off! Have a good week.