Another Year, Another Birthday Blog

I've been putting this one off. Not writing about it doesn't mean it didn't happen, so I suppose it's time once again to blog about getting older. I turned 37 on Sunday. I spent most of that day in a car on my way back from Vegas. My friend and I took a guy's trip over the weekend.

Las Vegas left me feeling a little sicker and a little poorer. It seemed like we were always really close to fun, but not able to touch it... we walked right up to the glass but could only watch the fun from the other side. It wasn't for lack of trying though. We had every intention of enjoying ourselves. And frankly, we didn't have a bad time. It just wasn't as epic as I had hoped or as it could've been.

Princess Leia PlumpifiedTurning 37 just happened. I didn't really fight it. In fact, I bought some orthopedic shoes that look like a teenager would never wear. Having to reset my entire life sorta put things into perspective. I can't get worked up over aging at the moment. I'm sure it's going to get progressively worse as I approach 40. As I write this, I see Carrie Fisher has gotten old and fat. Princess Leia has been spending too much time at the buffet.

Maybe part of my not feeling as old as I normally do when I get a year older is because my reset has been like a rebirth. I got rid of so many things in the purge. Monday was my last day to go back to the old house before they brought a truck in to trash it all. I didn't bother going. Leaving that house behind was bittersweet. On one hand, I loved that location and was so attached to that house... on the other hand, I was so attached to that house that I never really went anywhere near the end.

This is a new me. I'm supposed to be ready to take on the world.

But I'm not.

I'm still sorta miserable most of the time. I don't really know what to do to fix it. I have tried taking mood meds and exercise. Making more money hasn't helped either. Travel helps I think. I'm going to try to travel more this year. Getting over the whole "getting raped/cancer before getting on a plane" might be a hurdle, but I'll work on it.

Last night a few friends held a small birthday festive at my favorite Mexican food place. It was nice, but it made me think about how I've spent so much time/money collecting things, but not friends. I have managed to be selective with my friendships, but not very good about keeping them alive.

I don't have a green thumb - I can kill a tree as easy as I can kill a lawn. I've demonstrated that time and again. Friendships are the same way - you have to nourish them like you would have to water a plant. Well, I'm shit at this, and it shows. So another thing I'm going to work on this year is friendships.

Finally it comes down to myself. I've let myself go. I went back to old ways with diet and exercise (lack of). I weighed myself in Vegas one night with the fancy scale provided by the hotel we stayed at. It flashed numbers back at me that I dare not repeat... thankfully, when I weighed myself the next morning buck naked (sans socks, shirt, and underwear) and after a pee, my weight dropped about 6 or 7 pounds.

I don't know how I dropped so much. Maybe I released 6 pounds of pee that morning or my shirt and socks weigh 6 pounds. No idea. It did put my mind at ease a bit though. It was still about 30 pounds more than I find an acceptable weight for myself. So the last thing on my list is going to be working on my weight. Diet, gym, sun and happiness. That's the goal.

More change is coming. We'll see where I'm at when I turn 38.

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Merry Christmas… Now, Get OUT!

I've been moved for a few months now, and I've been in active foreclosure on my house for like a year and a half now... so it comes as no surprise that ASC/Wells Fargo would finally foreclose on me. However... what sort of dicks are they that they kept postponing it after I moved out and didn't ask them to; then finally when I feel like they might be willing to work with me on a short sale to spare my credit, they foreclose anyway days after I provide them with all the paperwork, offers and hoop jumping? They are dicks. This was 2 days before Christmas no less.

Anyway - yesterday, I got a notice in the mail confirming that I had authorized my realtor to talk to them on my behalf. It's a little late I think. It made me chuckle a little.

I had already pretty much abandoned everything I left in that house - there was a bunch of furniture and computer equipment and assorted crap that I've collected over the years that I just didn't want to lug around with me anymore. I had pretty much said my goodbyes to it all. Now that I know I can't go back into the house, something about that old crap is pulling me back. Like I want it all of a sudden. Oh well.

The worst part about all of this is the second mortgage on the place. They are going to be bothering me for the next 10 years I guess. They've already taken to calling after 10pm and getting nasty with me on the phone.

I suppose since I've had immaculate credit for over 15 years, might as well have fucked credit for the next 15. *sigh*

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Feuding With the Neighbor

I wrote a week or so ago about my neighbor who parks his ugly red pickup truck in front of my house with a trailer hitched to it that has a portajohn on its side half-covered with a crappy tarp.

Well, here's the update...

Since I wrote a note asking him to park his truck elsewhere, he put his own notes on the inside of his windshield saying "this is not an abandoned vehicle - it is legally parked - etc..." He then moved his truck closer to being in front of my house - closer to my driveway.

Annoyed, I called the City of Scottsdale to see if it fell upon their code enforcement. My assertion was that he has parked there for years and never moves the truck at all. Also that because he parks a corvette on his side of the street, two cars in his driveway, none in his garage, and his truck on my side of the street, that he was blocking traffic since two cars couldn't pass by each other safely. Also that it created a blind corner - which is all true.

They passed my complaint along to the police department who paid a little visit to my neighbor. After the visit, the police followed up with me to tell me he was parked legally because it looked like he moved it - yeah, he moved it closer to my driveway once I said something... prior to that, it hadn't moved in several months or even years.

Frustrated, I just kinda gave up and have been stewing about it ever since. The neighbor has been stewing about it as well I'm sure because after his police visit, he moved his truck even closer to my driveway.

Yesterday, the GF and I were leaving the house to go hit up the grocery store. As I stood in the driveway waiting for her to clear off her passenger seat, I glared at the big red monstrosity soiling the front of my house. The neighbor must've seen me - like he sits at the window and watches his precious '92 Ford pickup and portable plastic toilet.

He shuffled out of his house and walked around his driveway trucks for awhile - then as we drove off, he walked across the street to check on his precious big red. I had the GF "flip a bitch" (that means 'turn around') so I could have a word with him.

We pulled up and I rolled down the window and said "Hey, is that your truck?"

"Yeah," he said.

"Could you park it somewhere else besides in front of my house?" I asked.

What happened next was a barrage of swearing and yelling at each other that I will spare you, but he did mention that he had been parking there for 18 years. EIGHTEEN fucking years! Are you kidding me? WHY!? And why do you have a port-a-potty!? Fucking asshole.

We drove off with my middle finger in the air and I spent our shopping trip fuming about it. We threw around ideas for ways we could fuck up his life - but all of them would end up getting us into legal trouble. Plus, I'm not a vindictive person at heart.

When we returned, his car was parked further back toward the corner and not as much in front of my house. It's still entirely annoying, but not as bad. My rage has subsided for now, but I'm still looking into talking to the HOA about it. 18 years is too long to have your shitty truck parked in the street. Park in your goddamn garage, asshole. Fuck.

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These are the Smells in My Neighborhood… in My Neighborhood…

It didn't happen until the day I moved in to my new place, but I quickly found out my next door neighbors smoke weed. It smelled like the most weed ever smoked - like I'm next door to Cheech and Chong. Impossible amounts of dope smoke billowing from over the wall. Visitors to my place have all commented on it. They must smoke all the time. It smells like the 90s when people still smoked weed.

The latest stench in my hood is a bit more disturbing... it's a pungent aroma - it smells like cum. Right in front of my house, it smells like a porno movie amount of cum. Several people have mentioned it. It isn't subtle - it hits you in the face and you say, "WHOA! Cum!" It's probably from some type of tree or something, but I don't have any trees at my house.

I hope it isn't some pervy asshole running up to my house whenever I'm not looking and jerking off a load on my driveway 50 times a day. I should check that website that tells me how close I live to sexual predators.

The pickup truck permanently parked in front of my house has a trailer attached which has a port-a-potty on it. I'm lucky it doesn't smell like shit. Speaking of sexual predators, the anus that owns that truck never seems to leave his house - none of his vehicles ever move. He probably doesn't have a job.

There's an alley at my new place that leads to the garage and it's enclosed and there's a small pet door leading to it. I put the cat litter box out there, and my cat has taken to using the entire space as a bathroom. He treats giant gravel bits as cat litter and has been making huge mounds of gravel. It smells a bit like cat piss out there. I will have to febreeze the rocks before I move out.

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City of Scottsdale Hate Mail

"You've got some hate mail from the City of Scottsdale," says Molly as she walks through the door carrying the mail. She drops the letter at my feet on the ottoman, but I ignore it. I'm busy tending to my zombie farm on my iphone. The hate mail can wait - they will still hate me just as much in a few hours.

Moments later, I decide I'm starving. Molly wants to cook some healthy chicken and vegetable bullshit, so I order a pizza. She wanted me to promise never to complain about feeling fat again, but I promise nothing. I will eat my pizza and complain about my fatness. It is the circle of life.

After the pizza is ordered, I grab a sheet of paper from the printer and an angry sharpie and go to town composing a hate letter of my own - still having not tended to the hate mail sitting on the ottoman... The letter I'm writing is to whomever owns the ugly red pickup truck that has been parked and immobile right in front of my house - the red pickup truck with a rickety old flatbed trailer in tow - the trailer with the Port-o-Potty laying on its side and sorta half-covered with a tattered tarp.

That's the one.

The contents of the letter I wrote went something like this:

This truck hasn't moved in months. If you are the owner, move it somewhere far away. Every house in this neighborhood has a two car garage. Either park this in your driveway or your garage. We are tired of driving by this eyesore every day. If you don't remove this Port-o-Potty transport from the area, we will have it towed away by the city as an abandoned vehicle. Signed - The Neighborhood.

I suppose I should've taken a picture of it before sticking it under the windshield wiper. I'm giving them a week or two before having that thing hauled away.

After that, I opened the hate mail from the city. Apparently, they don't like the dead lawn, garbage, debris, dead foliage, and random junk piled in front of my old house. They are threatening to fine me 250 bucks if I don't bring my dead lawn and plants and trees back to life and haul away the crap by Christmas Eve. I sent an email to my case handler letting them know the bank has been foreclosing on the place for months and that I've moved out.

I wish the bank would just fucking hurry up and foreclose on me at this point. I gave up. They won (or lost depending on how you look at it). Maybe I'll just have a yard sale and pay someone to smash up the bricks that make up the front walk and spread it over the front yard and call it landscaping gravel. Maybe I'll rent the place to a hobo in exchange for lawn maintenance.

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How To Dig Yourself Out of a Hole

I've spent the last several (if I'm being honest) years digging myself into a deep hole... I've only recently begun to really work towards actually digging myself out. Looking up toward the opening from the bottom I can see a speck of sky. It makes the destination seem hopeless - the journey daunting.

I've never really had to work too hard (if I'm being honest)... I'll attribute the whole tall/white/relatively intelligent/relatively handsome/from a relatively affluent background for most of it. I'm skilled, talented and clever, but going back to when I was a kid, anyone spending any significant amount of time with me has noted that I'm wasting one or all three of those things.

I've managed to create things though - I've produced books and books worth of disjointed writing, walls worth of art, CDs worth of music, and enough scribbles and crafts in every medium to fill a gallery. Even so, I've yet to make much of myself. Nothing notable really. Nobody of any importance.

Oh, I can puff my chest out and proclaim to be the son of so-and-so or drop names of people I've met and places I've been, but none of it is going to impress anyone. It's not so much that I want to impress anyone as I just want to make an impression. I'd love to be recognized for something. I'd love to be loved. I want attention, but don't want anyone to notice. I love my anonymity, but secretly seek notoriety.

I'm a terrible self-promoter. It feels dirty. I want to be discovered like a hidden gem... like an indie band. I'm a hunter myself, and that's the kind of audience I want. By now, I should be famous or rich for some sort of creation or invention. I'm sure it's arrogant (among other things) to feel superior to most people, but I suppose I often do (if I'm being honest). I also find myself attracted to extraordinary people who make me feel inferior... people who make me feel like a talentless hack.

My insecure arrogance makes me my hardest critic. It also demotivates me to create or especially to self-promote. Either way, it's my fault I'm still nobody.

I find myself in my late 30s looking like I'm in my late 20s and about as far along in life as I should have been in my late teens. I'm not getting any younger, but I keep pressing reset and starting over. I'm still working towards reaching square one... getting good at digging at this point. I've figured out the secret.

The best way to dig yourself out of a hole is to start digging outward... the walls become the floor... the hole becomes wider and less deep. Eventually, you will find yourself standing in a shallow ditch you can simply walk out of. It's easier to walk out of a hole than it is to climb out. I'm all about easy. I don't think life is so much better if it's hard. Come make me a sandwich and I'll tell you all about it.

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And a Fistful of Meds

Haven't taken my robot pills in awhile. It's been well over a month. The pharmacy keeps calling me to tell me my prescription is ready. I ignore them, but it seems like they're better at getting in touch with me than my mortgage company is. They should team up.

Speaking of mortgages... the bank still hasn't foreclosed on my house. I'm already moved into a new place (a rental house), and they just keep postponing my foreclosure even though I've given up working with them completely. It took them over a year and a half to get my loan modification completed. Due to their stupidity, they ended up getting me disqualified from the Home Affordable Modification program that president "let's just make more money" put together. Once I pointed out their error, they redid the modification in-house and instead of lowering my monthly and making my loan actually affordable, they raised my interest rate, the amount owed, and even my monthly payment was upped by nearly 400 bucks.

Not very affordable.

I ended up just saying "fuck you" and walking away from the house finally. I was upside down on it by over 100k - super annoying since I've lived there for a decade.

Working with the lender has been a nightmare, but now that I've moved out and don't give a shit, they are being extra helpful trying to get me to work it out. They should be - they should've been this whole time - the place looks like I moved out dragging a sledge hammer behind me and then a bunch of crackhead squatters moved in and used it to store their old garbage. I didn't try to leave the place a disaster, but I also wasn't moving out trying to keep it nice and clean for the next owners.

Another side effect of my leaving the old place behind is less stress. I figured it would be a good time to stop taking meds. I figured I don't really need them anymore. So the highs and the lows are starting to come back. My erratic behavior is also returning... you know, the usual - jumping out of moving cars, self sabotage, pushing people away, saying "fuck this" and flipping over tables for no real reason. At the same time though, I've been feeling things... happy being one of them. The last few weeks have been good at work. I've been in a better mood and have been outperforming just about everyone else in my department. I need to stay on top of my game.

I still have shit to do at the new place - unpacking and selling stuff and whatnot. My next mission though is to try and have this ugly pickup truck with a flatbed trailer attached loaded with a port-a-potty permanently parked in front of my new place removed.

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With a Tearful Goodbye, We Bid Adieu

Yesterday was the day. It came early. The man who randomly stopped in front of my house to ask about buying my Mustang came with his family to pay, inspect, and tow it away.

I cleaned off the dust and got it looking shiny. I placed sentimental items in the car like tiny memorial shrines. I pushed the car halfway out of the garage and waited for them to arrive.

It was already dark out, and the power was already off at the house. When they finally arrived, they took some time to re-inspect the car for rust and damage. There wasn't any to find.

He tried talking me down on price again a few more times, but I stood firm. As it turns out, I probably got robbed anyway. Depends on where you look... it's tough to place a value on such a thing. Shame I didn't do any research. It all happened so fast.

I cried openly as I handed over the keys and signed over the title. I counted the money a few times and stuck the fat wad of 100s in my pocket. I waited with them for the tow truck to arrive for another half hour or so fielding questions about the history of the car and myself. I explained how I didn't have time to, but I had intended to write a letter to the recipient of the car.

I made them promise to let me come visit the car. Funny how you can become so attached to something you basically ignored for the last 5-10 years. The old "you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone" song rings in my ears and echoes in my soul. I feel like I lost a family member. I may never really be able to explain it. I'm not quite sure I believe it happened yet.

I suppose tomorrow is the day the bank tries to foreclose on the house again. All that remains there aside from a few items I still want is a lot of garbage. The house looks like a disaster area crackhouse squat. At this point, I'll be happy when I don't have to step another foot onto the property.

My eyelids are heavy. That means it's time to sleep.

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The End of an Era. Farewell Childhood.

As I was clearing out the garage today, someone drove by and stopped to ask me if I wanted to sell my Mustang and how much I would take for it. I shot back 6500. He asked if he could have a look.

It was all very random. I'm sure if I ever spent much time in the garage with the door open, this would be more common. It's a beautiful car.

He wanted to buy it for his daughter for her birthday. She is turning 16, and this would be her first car. I told him it would need some work to get it running again, but not much. I also told him that I have had it since I was 15 also.

We talked it over for awhile, and settled on a price. He gave me some cash on the spot to secure the deal until he comes up with the rest. I almost started crying, but managed to choke it back. I sobbed after he drove off though. He almost had me when he said I could come visit it and drive it sometime.

I know his daughter will love it. He told me that instead of posters of boys or pop stars on her walls, she has posters of Mustangs. She will love it. I just hope she doesn't crash the thing. I loved the car. It's just time to let it go... along with everything else I own.

I collected some items I've always associated with the car and placed them inside. I put the spare back in the trunk and got my sets of keys together. She's gonna get a keychain with a Batman head on it. I'm going to compose a letter to his daughter telling her a little bit about the car's history and some advice. I plan to tell her to just hang on to the note and read it again years later.

She (whoever she is) will enjoy it every day driving it around more than I would in a year while it sits in my garage on the waiting list of projects I plan on getting to.

I think my Mustang will be happy. Wheels spinning. Engine roaring. Wind in its hair.

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Three Generations of Junk

I'm moving if I haven't made that clear. I've been in this house for 10 years. I have boxes upon boxes of bullshit. I have a room called the t-shirt room because it's full of old t-shirts. Piles of them all over the floor. The door remains closed at all times - it has been my secret shame. I also have a closet in another room filled with milk crates full of old magazines from 10 years ago or so.

Magazines. I saved every one I ever got.

Going through all of my shit, I realized that I'm more or less a hoarder. They have intervention shows for people like me. I guess I'm one of those people who hide it.

My living room has always been full of DVDs everywhere. A ridiculous amount of them. More than I could ever watch in a lifetime. CDs too. Someone would see this and just think I had a shit-load of media. What they didn't see is that I have just about the same amount in boxes in yet another closet hidden away.

My garage is full of boxes... some of them are mine that I never emptied when I moved from my last apartment. About 5 years ago, I went through them and knocked them down to 1/3 of what they were - then never touched them again.

After my father died, I culled his possessions down to just a truckload of boxes. Those are also in my garage. Since I have to move, I decided I didn't want to bring all of this shit over to my new place. Out of every box, there's maybe 1 or 2 things worth saving. For every 3 moving boxes, there's a single shoebox worth of salvage.

It's liberating and time consuming. I have to basically put my hand on every single thing in my house and decide if it stays or goes. Then I have to re-pack it somewhere else and throw away the rest.

The tough part is the throwing away. Some of it could be worth money if I were to sell it. Do I have the time? Is it worth the time? Some of it is worth donating to Goodwill... is it even worth making extra piles and extra work?

My back fucking hurts. My hands are dry and always dirty from handling things that are covered in years of dust.

I don't have it in me to just throw everything I own away.

I watched something once about this dude who sold every single thing he owned so he could travel or go to a third world country and help people or whatever. I remember admiring his mastery of the art of detachment. I also remember his project not really working out for him I think.

It feels like I'm throwing out up to 80% of my stuff. It feels good. It's also depressing, but good.

Going through the boxes from my Dad's stuff, I'm finding shit he shouldn't have kept. I'm finding shit he kept from his father as well. Some of that also shouldn't have been held on to. The hoarding appears to be genetic. I'm holding on to shit from 3 generations of hoarding. Well, mostly throwing out.

I'm keeping my dad's gold fillings though - I'll melt that shit down and buy some ironic t-shirts or some DVDs from other countries.

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