Labor Day Fun (With Birthday Compliments to…)

Well here I am, back at my temporary dwelling place after a fun Labor Day excursion. After the crappy weekend I’ve had, it’s something I really needed.

The backstory: this weekend sucked. And I mean SUCKED. Nothing seemed to go right. Even my usual weekend rounds? Dull and mundane. The lifestyle I’d become used to over the past few years just wasn’t satisfying to me. The entire time at the cigar lounge on Saturday, all I could think about was how I just didn’t want to be there. I was there out of what I felt to be routine, not necessity. Just not feeling it, I cut my time there short and just went home, something I’m not used to.

Laina to the rescue though. We were schmoozing by text and she just reassured me it was the universe telling me it was time for something different; confirming that the decision I’m making to relocate is the correct one. Full speed ahead, all systems go.

Anyway, that led up to today when Laina and her best friend from school made the trek up to Abilene for a combined road trip for both Labor Day and her birthday (which just happened to fall on Labor Day this year). We started our day off at a local tea shop – Tea2Go, which has some amazing tea products. We shot the shit, drank tea, chilled, did some light cuddling. It was a great jumpstart to the day, making my day brighter already.

Then it was to my favorite Indian restaurant here called Spicy India. This place is like OMG good. How Abilene got this level of talent I will never know, but if you’re ever in the Abilene area this place is a must-try. If you’re gluten sensitive/reactive, know that all the curries are gluten-free, just be sure to ask for the fried onion strings to be left off of the rice (they’re battered). All three of us enjoyed a delicious curry lunch, and Laina and I got a spiked mango lassi to cool off the curry (this place really does live up to its name!). I always love showing out-of-towners my favorite places.

From there, we made our way over to the best coffee shop in Abilene in my opinion – a little place called Monk’s. We got coffee, sat outside for awhile while Laina and I got our nicotine fix, then moved inside onto a comfy couch so we could have some cuddle time and the duo was nice enough to bring along some of Laina’s birthday cake – totally gluten-free and one couldn’t even tell it was so good.

As a side note, cuddling and physical touch is so lost in today’s world and it’s tragic. We’ve become so afraid of the hysteria of even brushing up against someone accidentally that we’re afraid of physical touch, and our physical and mental health is suffering for it. I stumbled across a great article about this (hyperlink in text) – it’s a worthy read.

Anyway I digress – afterward we got a little restless so we went on a walk through downtown exploring some different things. It was a hot day but not too hot by Texas summer standards so it wasn’t totally unbearable, but it was a fun little jaunt. We found a cool mural to pose in front of:

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And then found some other trouble to get into in downtown. Exploring different structures, statues, etc. – Abilene is a boring, dull town overall but it does have its few areas of interest.

From there, it was back to Monk’s for some cool-down time, a little more cuddle time and to wrap up the day with some small talk. Before we knew it, it was 5:00 and time for Laina and her friend to head back to SA, at which point I guided them back to the highway and we sadly split. We stayed on the phone until I arrived back at my temporary dwelling place, and that was that.

All in all, it was a great day and I feel so honored to have played a part in making your birthday so special, Laina. I cherish the special “twin soul” bond we share so very deeply. You’ve given me life again. I was dead inside. Hope you have a safe journey back and can’t wait to hang out again!

Happy Robert Burns Day!!!

Just a quick shout out to all my Scottish (and Scottish at heart) friends a very happy Robert Burns Day. Let’s all raise a glass to the immortal memory of the greatest Scottish poet, songwriter and antitheist of all!

If you have one near you I suggest attending a Burns Supper. It’s always a blast, but some of the entertainment is not for the faint of heart.

Our local pipe band was sadly unable to secure a sponsor to hold ours this year and I’m afraid it might have run its course with our old sponsor dying and some of our core group starting to as well. It’s sad really. Our annual Buns Supper was my one time per year I could just let completely loose. Maybe next year?

Of course, last years wasn’t so fun because I had to temper myself as I had a job interview on a Sunday morning of all days, but that was OK because it brought me back “home.”

Anyway, sorry for the tangent. Let’s celebrate. To the immortal memory of Robert Burns!

On Dining Out on Holidays (And Little Gifts)

First things first, I hope everyone has a happy holiday. Whether you celebrate Yule, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or just another day, I hope you have a fun-filled day full of gifts, family, friends, laughs, food and drink.

For me? Well it’s mostly just another day with Yule elements mixed in. Nonetheless, I did get a nice little gift from my parents, this very tasty looking Scotch (review to come soon, I promise!):

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And my awesome local friends got me this fun little cigar tasting journal:

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You know you’re a total grown-up when this is all it takes to move you to tears. Hah.

Anyway, after festivities this morning the rest of my family will go on to the communal family gathering, which is a no-fly zone for me because I just don’t get along with the group. I’m the black sheep in a family of a bunch of hard-right, Bible-thumping Southern Baptists so in the interest of avoiding drama I always skip out and do my own thing, which usually (as will today) involve going out for dinner.

I’ve become somewhat of an expert on eating out on holidays and have made it a point to always do what I can to make my server’s day better. You might say I’m contributing to the problem but I disagree – these establishments will be open regardless of whether or not I’m there so the least I can do is try to make someone happy.

Depending on where you go it can either be slammed or, in the case of where I usually end up, rather quiet. I love this because I can enjoy a nice, quiet, peaceful meal without all the drama. No need to feel bad for me, it is what it is. I quite enjoy it.

Anyway, my biggest thing is to make your server’s time worthwhile: small talk when appropriate and going “all out” – appetizer, dinner, drinks and dessert. I always do it all. I also “pay it forward” with a generous tip, usually going insofar as to “tip the bill” – a bit of a social media trend here where you tip 100% of the amount of the check. Again, just something I do to try to make someone’s day better because I know for many, the holidays are a time of heartache. I’m no stranger to that feeling myself.

Of course, not every nation in this world has a tipping culture but I say even if you don’t normally, add a tip. You have no idea how that can make someone’s day.

Anyway, I’m off to enjoy my day, and once again, everyone have a happy holiday (or maybe even a happy birthday – I have one blogging pal who is a Christmas baby!).

Holiday Blues Version 2.0.1.8

Hah, see what I did there? It’s almost like a program in my internal operating system that upgrades itself and boots up mid-November. Well it’s now started rearing its ugly head.

I’ll be the first to admit it: I absolutely hate the holidays. They suck something fierce for me. I realize the holidays are supposed to be a happy time, but not here. As the “reject child” as it were I am usually the one pushed to the side in my family. I’m worse than the redheaded stepchild. I’m the autistic, weirdo, unmarried/single, childless, atheist, tatted, pierced, Davy Dukes and Meggings wearing, Trump-hating black sheep. Not so much in terms of my immediate family (who all tolerate me pretty well), but more my extended family. Me being as I am in an extended family that is by and large a conservative/far-right, Bible-thumping Southern Baptist family is not exactly conducive to holiday gatherings. The last one I went to several years ago I was rudely asked to say grace with them knowing full well I don’t believe in Bible bullshit. That was kind of the last straw with me.

As such, I usually just keep to myself during the holidays. I do my own thing. Hell, it’s obvious even what few friends I have (with the exception of one who did take time out of her day yesterday to join me for a cigar and spiked coffee yesterday afternoon) don’t want to be around me right now. I know I get insufferably crabby during this time and I understand it’s not pleasant to be around someone who is chronically crabby but maybe I wouldn’t be so crabby if I had some kind of a support net. I just feel like I’m being brushed off as it were. I also know that my friends have families to tend to during the holidays and I respect that, but it remains that being hung out to dry is miserable.

I’ll get through it. I always do, but it’s never easy. I realize 2019 is only about seven weeks away, but this next month and a half is going to be rough. Obviously as a hardcore atheist and self-professed antitheist none of the religious holidays mean anything to me (be it Christmyass, Hanukkrap, etc.) and even as an existential nihilist and a Benatarian Antinatalist┬áit seems to me that would run counter to the notion of Thanksgiving. If, in my view, it is a harm to come into existence, why should I actually be thankful for anything? I’m stuck in an existence that is, from my perspective, a harm to me. As such, are even the things that make my life go better than it otherwise would deserving of thanks? That’s up to debate I think.

Whatever. I’m rambling and ranting. All I know is I feel like shit and will for the next several weeks. I’ll try to continue blogging as I can, but just know this isn’t something to just “snap out of.” At least I have this as an outlet to release my frustration.

Fuck the holidays.

Father’s Day Pain

So I’m going to be a bit of a wet blanket today. So sue me. I’m reposting a Facebook rant here because of the insensitivity of some people with regards to this (i.e. some remarks “at least you still have yours.”). Many of us have deep seated pain on these days, and I’m no exception.

If you want to stop reading now, no problem. I understand. If you dare to continue, please try not to be too judgmental and be forewarned there is some very strong antinatalist language in this rant. If you are offended by such I suggest you stop reading.

I repost this not to make anyone feel sorry for me, but to hopefully make you think twice about passing judgment on a total stranger for any reason. You just don’t know what they’re enduring.


Sigh…

It’s officially Father’s Day, a day that is admittedly quite painful for me. Not because of my lack of children (I wouldn’t have them if you paid me!) but because of a painful past.

The man who is half responsible for imposing existence upon me without my consent is nonexistent in my life and never really was a part of it. He left my mother before I was even born. They were actually separated at the time I was conceived. I was the result of a broken condom and a one night stand after my grandfather (who I never met) passed away. He never tried to communicate with me as a child and I didn’t even talk to him for the first time until I was 21 years old when he sent his daughter (only child from his 2nd marriage) to scout me on social media (then MySpace), and even then he only did that because of a massive accident he had that shocked him and brought me back into his conscious mind. Like really? Guilty conscience much? Needless to say the lines of communication weren’t open for long.

Enter my step-father almost six years after I was born. He was hot-headed, ill-tempered and closed minded. He thought from the start I was just some problem child with discipline problems and was bound and determined to beat me into submission. Little did he know that I was just autistic and I couldn’t help it. Our relationship would be turbulent all the way until age 14 when the school counselors implored him and my mother to get me an evaluation. It was only then he listened to reason, though I had long suspected I was on the autism spectrum due to a late night news report on it a few years prior. He just didn’t want to accept it and thought it was a figment of my imagination.

All that said, it is my step-father’s surname that I bear. That was made official not too long after they married and he’s been the only real father figure I’ve ever had. In my adult years I’ve somehow found a way to forgive him for his past transgressions and today we have a pretty good relationship. We still have our issues on occasion but it’s not as bad as it used to be.

As for my biological father? I haven’t heard from him in 10 years and I doubt I’ll ever hear from him again. He and his daughter just seem to have no interest in it. I guess in a way I don’t blame them. I’m a total weirdo and I’m sure too weird for them. Whatever. I try not to dwell on it but sometimes it’s hard.

I do not post this story for sympathy or pity. Rather, my intention is just to remind everyone that many of us have endured pain that one cannot know of or comprehend. Maybe it’ll give you a brief moment of pause before you pass judgment on a total stranger. You don’t know what they’ve been through.

So Long, 2017

So another year comes to an end. Let’s face it: 2017 SUCKED, in more ways than one. Dictator Trump assumed the throne on January 20th and it’s been all downhill in American politics from there, but that goes without saying. Personally my year has just been absolutely terrible, but there are a handful of highlights for me:

January: January 2nd marked my one year anniversary of venturing into the world of ink and I got my first piercings! How about that? We also had to suspend ringing at my local bell tower, prompting a temporary leave from the bell ringing scene.

February: Spent V-Day single but that’s A-OK with me. Other than that February was rather uneventful.

March: I wrote the final chapter of my 3rd decade of life as I turn the big 3-0 on the 18th and add a sick new tattoo to my collection in the form of a gnarly pocket watch piece.

April: I am made aware that I am to either transfer to the metroplex or be made redundant. In hindsight, I should have accepted severance but I instead accepted a new position within the company, but I’m still in Abilene at the time being.

May: Bell ringing baby! I now completed my journey around all of the “7 Towers” featured in the annual 7 Towers Bell Ringing Festival! That doesn’t seem like much but it seems like a huge accomplishment to me.

June: See you in the pits! I decided to upgrade for the weekend to get pit passes for IndyCar weekend and boy am I glad I did! Getting to go down into the pit area was an amazing experience. On the sad note, this was my last month of working in Abilene.

July: Oh baby baby, what an emotional roller coaster! On the 11th I attended my first concert at American Airlines Center in Dallas – Tears for Fears and Hall and Oates! As a die-hard TFF fan this was like a dream come true (and H&O is pretty cool too!). This is also the month I formally move offices and it kills me to be away from my family, but also on the upshot I added a wave to my existing Pisces tattoo to make it more dynamic. Can’t complain too much about that.

August: Nothing remarkable really. Nothing to really talk about here.

September: Another fairly boring month, but not without the increased stresses of work and general feeling like shit. Why the hell didn’t I walk when I could have?

October: Man, has it already been a year since my first tattoo convention? Has my artist already been a journeyman for a year? How crazy is that? In that light, I also take a step up on the tattoo pain scale and start a big bell-ringing themed piece on my ribs (yeah, that was painful!). Oh, and I get to meet one of my cigar idols? That’s pretty damn cool.

November: It’s NASCAR playoffs weekend at TMS! It was a fun filled three days of racing getting to see all three NASCAR series, even if it was insanely hot (pushing 90F/30C in November!!!). In addition to Thanksgiving I also finished up my bell ringing piece AND got my 2nd set of piercings in the process. Kind of a kickass month I have to say, even though my job gets shittier and shittier.

December: Wow, we’re finally at the end of a roller coaster of a year. I finish it out strong by spending the holidays here and making a massive earring haul. I start to make my exit strategy from my horrible company and start to enter talks with a potential future business partner. Maybe the time is now to start really looking to the future to eventually make L&B a reality?

So what will 2018 bring? Well, at least at the first more of my shitty-ass job in the metroplex but hopefully that won’t last long. Maybe soon I’ll be able to go back “home” for awhile to contemplate my next moves. Of course, 2018 will undoubtedly bring more ink, maybe another piercing or two, more blog content (if anyone has suggestions for topics feel free to let me know!) and maybe some other new adventures. We can only wait and see right?

Now, I’m going to go ring in 2018 in style. Everybody keep it safe tonight and remember don’t drink and drive.

Christmas Day Debriefing

Well, much to my relief, I actually had a pretty darn good Christmas. Of course, I had nothing under the tree for me as I had already gotten all of my presents (in the form of my massive holiday earring haul) so I was treated to a festive feast that my mother cooked up and we existed mostly peacefully.

The only real hiccup I had on my end? Well, my very old, conservative grandmother wasn’t at all thrilled about my earrings (or that I even have earrings to begin with) and just had to let me know her displeasure. I never understood the whole thing against men wearing earrings but whatever. I wasn’t about to take them out to placate her. Luckily she didn’t drone on about it.

Unfortunately for my best friend (who lives in GA), the same could not be the said and much of my day was spent offering her emotional support. Not that I mind, I should say – she’s going through a really rough time right now (much rougher than mine!) so needed someone to chat with. It’s all that I could do. Alas, I think something did come out of all of it – I think I found my future business partner. She has a BBA so she has the business knowledge, which I do NOT have whereas I have the knowledge of the products we’d be selling. We’d be a killer duo I think.

Alas, one thing I did learn about me: I can only wear large earrings for a short period of time before I want them out. Must be an autistic sensory thing. I was so relieved at the end of the day to take those big helix spirals out and put a pair of my barbells back in (which I can wear indefinitely without any issue). This time I opted for my royal blue pair:

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Yeah, that felt much better when I put in something a little smaller. These I don’t even have to remove or change at the end of the day – they are no more bothersome to sleep with than the captive bead rings, which is good – it’s still good to have something in even that first hole constantly as it’s still a fairly new (less than a year old) piercing. Yeah, I was a late bloomer. Oh well.

Anyway, the takeaway is that I’ll only be wearing larger, fancy earrings for special occasions. For everyday wear I’ll stick to smaller stuff that I forget I even have in.

Anyway, hope you all had a good holiday. Here’s to looking forward to a new year!