I just signed up with OK Cupid, a dating site.
I'm realizing that there are two ways of meeting somebody- a chemical attraction and an intellectual one. It's great when you meet somebody in a bar (or wherever else people meet people) and have a connection. It's fun and exciting and time well spent. But within a day or two, you find out she's pro life or has season tickets to the Mariners or goes camping every Memorial day. Blech.
So now I'm gonna try the online way. Maybe get to know somebody mentally first.
I did this once before, maybe ten years ago on Match.com. I used the name Sweatloaf and mocked myself relentlessly. Met a couple cool people but, obviously, nothing took.
This time I thought of using the name Second Prize 'cause I think it's funny, but went with Braveliver instead. I don't have a whole lot of pics of me, and only uploaded four- one that my friend Peggy took without my knowledge that has me looking off pensively, one of me playing a cairn terrier bagpipe, one of me kissing my Uncle John, and the one here, of me taking a selfie with a homemade selfie stick.
I'm feeling pretty good about this.
I suddenly have everything I need to write my next book- lots of time due to my new job as a bridge tender, lots of stories due to my manic depressive, multiple-job-having-and-bad-decision-making-lifestyle, and an audience of dozens who really don't expect too much.
Which means I can finally write about my time at Utilikits, as a Metro bus driver, as Frank, the department store Santa who hates Christmas, working for the dude that owns the Space Needle, my dog Kenny, what it means to live on a boat, what it's like to be totally fucking manic (and what it takes to not kill yourself), that time Steven and I almost started up an Amazon-like company buying and selling people's souls, the lost Fenpro building and all its inhabitants, the people I've met at the Landmark, driving a motorcycle, and a bunch of stories that aren't really about anything.
I have a coworker- https://theviewfromadrawbridge.wordpress.com who can write something new every day. So that's what I'm going to try to do- write something new every few days or so.
The thing I resent most about trump is how much time he's costing me. Worrying about that monkey and what he's doing to our great country is almost full-time work and it pisses me off. He hasn't even been in office for a month and already I've been to two protests.
And I'm not an organized protest kind of guy. It's always seemed to me that some people are just looking for something to protest. I never saw what the big deal was with the WTO, and I don't give a shit about GMOs. I thought the Occupy movement had potential and I got ahold of one of the organizers to help plan a protest. But they refused to make any demands! I said, How can you have a protest without offering solutions? He said they didn't want to be specific about anything because they wanted to be inclusive to anybody who wanted to protest. I wrote them off immediately.
But I have protested, just not in an organized manner. I once dragged a friend down to protest when the longshoremen went on strike. These guys make $80-$100,000/yr and they went on strike because they didn't want update their tracking system. Meanwhile, ships sat in Elliott Bay for over a month and produce rotted. It pissed me off so I made a bunch of signs calling them mafioso and commies. One sign said, FUCK YOU! GET BACK TO WORK! They were not amused.
Another time, Chase Bank messed up my account and left me without access to my money for a week. They acknowledged they made a mistake, but the branch manager (wish I could remember his name) said he couldn't do anything about it. I staged a sit-in on the couch for about an hour, but nobody noticed. So I went to Kinkos and got some poster board and made a sign that said- I WAS MOLESTED BY CHASE BANK! ASK ME HOW. I stood out in the rain all day and he called the cops on me. The police talked to him and told him I was within my rights and didn't even come over to talk to me. Only one person came up to me, an older woman who thought she found a comrade. She said, 'I was molested behind a dumpster over at the Safeway. Wanna split a sandwich?'
When the Dalai Lama came to Seattle I protested with a sign that said- If It's Not SCOTTISH BUDDHISM, It's CRAP!!, and I went to a debate about pseudo-science 'intelligent design' with a sign that said- Scottish Buddhists Were NOT Intelligently Designed!
But I've never felt a need to be a part of a real protest. Until now. Now, I want to be part of every anti-trump protest there is. I want that demented fucker to see as many haters out in the street as possible. Plus, it feels good to be among like-minded, peaceful people. The atmosphere at both the Woman's March and the protest against the immigration ban was as positive and uplifting as you could imagine.
So I will be going to every protest that pops up (except for the Sasquatch March For Love March tomorrow, I have to work). I've got my black pussy hat and a stack of poster board and I'm ready.
My grandfather took me and my cousins to see Star Wars when it first came out. I got about halfway thru before I couldn’t take it anymore. It was my first sci-fi movie and I thought it was fucking stupid. I remember the characters jumping into a trash compactor and then getting out with their clothes and their hair perfectly clean. I said, ‘That didn’t happen!’ and left the car to go lurk around the drive-in to see if I could see any female bottoms. I’ve never been able to do that whole ‘suspending disbelief’ thing.
So I don’t remember Carrie Fisher in Star Wars. But I followed her work off the big screen. I’ve seen her in countless interviews and read about her life, and I’ve always appreciated her bluntness and irrepressible sense of humor.
She was never ashamed that she was bipolar. She was proud of how she lived with it and people with manic depression have probably never had a better advocate. She had a great life and I’m always happy when someone who is a manic depressive dies of natural causes.
Carrie Fisher talked about her mental illness way before it was cool to do so. And she did it with grace and humor.
10. Do Not Celebrate Holidays. Every day is special and should be spent well. Do not recognize the date of your birth. It is irrelevant. In Scottish Buddhism you are ageless.
I used to hate Christmas, but since becoming a Scottish Buddhist, I couldn’t be more indifferent. I grew up in Connecticut and had nothing but Norman Rockwell inspired Thanksgiving and Christmases. But when I look back on my Christmases, I don’t remember any of the gifts (except Pink Floyd’s The Wall, thanks again, Mom and Dad). What I remember is the Christmas when I gave my cousin Cathy a pen.
Gift swapping was a big thing among the extended family and it was very stressful. Everybody took turns opening their presents so the gift giver could get their proper credit for the Greatest Present Ever, Just What I Always Wanted!
I had no idea what to get my older cousin Cathy in the run-up to Christmas. I spent hours trying figure out what an eighteen year-old girl in the late 1970’s would want from her thirteen year-old male cousin. Clothes, music, a book? I had no idea.
Christmas Eve, I had gifts for everybody but her. As we headed down to dinner and the big gift exchange, Mom needed something from the store and I ran in behind her to find something for Cathy. I got her a pen. I wrapped it on the ride down and cringed when she opened it. Christmas was no longer fun for me.
Several years later I was living in a low-income neighborhood and put together a Secret Santa toy drive that matched generous families to less fortunate ones. We put together huge and wonderful gift boxes for 176 families who didn’t even know they were going to get anything. It was pure Santa Claus, and we delivered on Christmas Eve.
I delivered to one door and I wasn’t sure anybody was home because it was so dark and quiet. The women who answered had been crying and couldn’t believe the two big boxes, overflowing with gifts for her and her seven-year old son and five-year old daughter. I don’t know if I’d ever seen anybody so happy.
She called around a couple days later and found out who put this together. She said she had sent her kids off to her mother’s house for Christmas ‘cause she wasn’t able to buy her children anything. She was laying on the couch with a major headache and crying when I showed up.
But there were about 30 families who had moved in the month between when we set up the Secret Santa and Christmas. The storeroom we operated out of was full of undelivered gifts on Christmas Day. And then there were all those kids who Santa never even thought of in the first place. What about them? No wonder some people grow up bitter. I was done with Christmas.
When I started dating my Eventual Wife, I made it very clear that I don’t celebrate holidays. I don’t like birthdays and I don’t do Christmas. But she still expected me to make a big deal out of them, which caused a little friction.
We got married anyway, and a year later, our anniversary approached. I knew it was coming but I decided I to take a stand. I pretended to forget our first anniversary. She was upset, of course, but it worked out perfectly. I set the bar REALLY low and every time I gave her a present for no reason or whisked her away for a fancy dinner just because it was Tuesday, it was WAY better than an expensive birthday present or fancy anniversary dinner. No pressure, just good times.
And that’s how you make a marriage last ten years. When she left me, she never even brought up the whole holidays thing.
How do you talk to a trump supporter? How can you begin to argue with somebody who has absolutely no regard for the truth? Someone who will defend the worst, most dangerous, least intellectually curious asshole who ever ran for president?
I work with a couple trumpers and I while I can no longer carry on pointless conversations, I can’t let them off the hook. Voting for trump just so he could ‘shake things up’ was reckless and unpatriotic and the fact that so many of them are former military baffles me.
Imagine, I asked one of them, if trump won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote because of interference from both the Russians and the head of the FBI, not to mention all the false news pushed by him and his operatives. There would be riots. He said himself he would only acknowledge the results if he won. If it had gone the other way he would be encouraging these meatheads to take up arms.
So I’m learning a little Russian. I’m no longer going to try to reason with them because they are unreasonable. Every time they try to talk to me they will be reminded that they got played by the ruler of Russia. The fucking former head of the KGB. The butcher himself, Vladimir Putin.
Please feel free to use these words and phrases, which I’ve assembled phonetically-
Your stupidity scares me- Vasha-gloopis-spugide minya
Shut up, you racist butthole- Sara seascape bittle itza
I wish painful boils upon your colon- Ya jolay borna keepins inya vasha bwindo cheen
Vladimir Putin laughs at you- Vladimir Putin smeeds adna vanya
About ten years ago I decided I needed a dog. I was living alone and out at the bars too much and I thought having a dog that needed walking three times a day would be good for me. And there's nothing better for depression than a dog. I kind of wanted to get a puppy that I could train, but I also wanted to rescue an older dog. I went back and forth on it for a few weeks.
Late July is time for the Scottish Highland Games and I convinced my friend Sammy to drive us to Enumclaw 'cause I didn't have a car. I told him about nature's candy- the Scottish egg, which you can pretty much only get once a year. A Scottish egg is a hardboiled egg, wrapped in sausage and deep-fried, and even though he's a Jew and can't technically eat things like Scottish eggs, he had to have one.
We got our eggs, listened to plenty of bagpipes, watched the tossing of the caber, met the Craig clan, and went to check out the Scottish dog show. They brought out various breeds like collies and deerhounds, which were fine, but then they brought out the Cairn terriers. The Cairns stole the show. The first one peed on everything he saw, the second ran around in a circle the whole time, the third attacked everything he saw, the fourth sat and refused to move, the fifth took a dump, and the last one kept jumping up on his handler. It was the funniest thing I ever saw and I decided I wanted a Cairn terrier.
Afterwards, I went over and talked to the breeder. Turns out he also ran a Cairn rescue and had just gotten a stray a couple weeks ago. He didn't bring the stray to the games but told me if I was interested I could take him if nobody claimed him in the next month.
I named him Kenny, after my dad. If I ever had a son I would have named him Kenny, too. Probably a good thing I never had a daughter.
I've had Kenny for eight or nine years now, and he's been the perfect dog. He's always happy. It doesn't matter where we go, whether to a friend's shop, the beer store, the park, or even if we have to turn around and go home. He's always happy. He loves to go out and he loves to go home.
When the radio comes on in the morning he lays next to me. After he eats he sits next to me and puts his leg on mine. When it pours out and he's warm and dry, he makes it a point to come over and try to like my face (he was found East of the mountains, weighing eleven pounds and probably spent about two months on his own).
Every time I leave for the day, I give him a biscuit and tell him I'll be right back. He never EVER eats the biscuit until I get home. I think that he thinks if he eats the biscuit, it's like saying that it's okay that I left him alone. But instead, he goes on a hunger strike. He won't touch the food in his bowl and he won't eat his biscuit til I get home. He may play with his food, like dumping it out and putting the bowl on top of it, but he won't eat a thing if I'm not there. He makes it very clear that he will starve if I don't come home.
But as much as I love him, I'm about to start working a lot of hours and I don't want to leave him alone. So I'm gonna dump him on my parents abck on the East Coast. And I know he'll be fine.
A few years ago, I left him with a friend for a week and after two days of wondering where I was and if I was coming back, he totally bonded with Joe. To the point that when I got home, Kenny utterly confused as to who he should be with. I give him two or three days with my Mom and Dad and their cat Callie and he'll forget all about me and he'll be a happy dog.
First they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out- Because I was not a Muslim.
Then they came for the Undocumented Workers, and I did not speak out- Because I was not an Undocumented Worker.
Then they came for the Syrian Refugees, and I did not speak out- Because I was not a Syrian Refugee and there’s only a couple thousand of them, anyway.
Then they came for the gays and the women and the blacks and the poor and the handicapped and the elderly, and I did not speak out- Because I’m a straight white male.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. Except a bunch of fucking frat boys.
I know a lot of us have tuned out a bit since the Erection but there are a lot of people out there who are saying we should accept the will of the people and recognize that donald trump is our rightful president. I disagree.
donald trump never wanted or even expected to be president. He only wanted to expand his brand. He thought he’d start a movement that he could monetize, that’s it. Both he and Hitler fed on people’s fears and prejudices, but the difference is that Hitler was insane. trump is just a buffoon. He’s obviously got some business acumen since he can live large without paying federal taxes and he hasn’t landed in jail. Yet.
But he is in no way qualified to be president. And I don’t say this out of bitterness. I say this in fear of what he will do to our country. You can’t run a country like a business anymore than you can run a business like a country. He is completely inept to be our Commander in Chief. He refuses to take briefings or counsel from the State Department and is talking all willy nilly to heads of state in Pakistan and Taiwan without any regard of the consequences. What kind of fucking idiot walks into a job thinking he knows everything? He has a famously short attention span, so maybe it’s also part laziness. Either way, I will never accept him as my president.
The whole reason the framers of the constitution created the Electoral College was to give a group of representatives from each state the ability to override the election of a dangerous demagogue who represents a serious threat to our democracy. Back in the 1780’s a majority of Americans might be ill-informed and vote for somebody without knowing anything about him. That was a reasonable concern. Now, we have too much misinformation and we face four years of a lying, cheating, racist, idiotic, dimwitted, narcissistic misogynist. As a person who loves my country, I am both horrified and embarrassed.
I’ve already lost a lot of respect for the people of this country and if the Electoral College does not do its job, it should no longer exist.
Every time I read a story about somebody who does something nutty, like driving their car into a TV station demanding to talk to God, I cringe 'cause I know what's coming. I read a little bit more and sure enough, there it is- the word 'bipolar'. And then I think- fucking amateur. Giving the rest of us a bad rap, that's what he's doing.
The worst part is that people are so quick to equate bipolar disorder with violent behavior, like it's a symptom, which it's not. Good people can be bipolar and assholes can be bipolar. Manic depression does not bring out violent tendencies that were not there before, it doesn't work that way. If anything, severe depression makes you more empathetic. Google famous people with bipolar disorder and you'll get a who's who of artists, writers, performers, politicians and leaders, including non-violent icons Ghandi and Martin Luther King. Bipolar disorder is not something to be afraid of.
I get a little nervous talking about being biploar 'cause I'm afraid I might not get hired for a job over it. People who are bipolar walk among us and you can't enjoy all of the art, music, literature and social change without enduring an occassional 3am email from a bipolar coworker. We're all in this together.
Manic depression has gotten a bad name but it's nothing to be afraid of. Your coworker isn't a threat, he's just a little tired 'cause he was up until two o'clock in the morning making a better bagpipe.