Misunderstood

I often wish I was born a different person. I feel like I’ve been dealt nothing but shitty hands in my life. It’s hard having the world’s most rare personality type (INFJ, I literally am the 1%). It’s hard to find people that understand me because of how different I am from them. I’ve always felt like an alien around others. People say I should be proud to be different, but why? I’d rather be a normal person with a normal life and normal experiences. I know there’s no such thing as “normal,” but I do feel like a lot of people go through a lot of the same experiences and find it easy to relate to each other. To this day, I have not found a single person who gets the difficulties of my past. They think that because I had a roof over my head as a child that I am fortunate. But what I never had was love and support, which I think is more important than anything. My family completely neglected and ignored me. I had to raise myself, which isn’t easy. It has created a world of complications in my life. I never got to have a childhood, because when I was a kid, I had to worry about taking care of myself. I never got to have that carefree, fun spirit you so often see in children. People always say they wish they could go back to their childhood where they didn’t have to worry about anything but what game they wanted to play that day. I never had that. My life has always been focused on growing up, being independent, and taking care of myself since no one was there to help or guide me. I was always behind other people my age who had parents who actually cared about them and taught them how to be a human and gave them love. My parents just did the bare minimum: kept me alive with a roof over my head and food. But that was it. Other than that, it’s like I was never even there. I grew up in a family of strangers. When my dad was dying of cancer, he kept a blog to write about his treatments and day-to-day life. He often wrote about his new wife and her family, but never about his own. Even through all that, when I tried to be there for him and spend time with him before he left the world, he was still a stranger. He cared so deeply about everything in his life, and he showed that through his writing. My name only appeared once in his long list of blog entries. It was one of his first posts, and the topic was all the things he’s grateful for. If I remember correctly all it said about us was: “I am thankful for my children, Tracy Nick and Sara, just for serving as a reminder that I will have left a part of me when I am gone.” It feels like he only said that by obligation. Every other item on that list had a long, vivid description. I certainly never felt like he was thankful for us. He knew his stepkids better than he ever knew us. And that just kills me. My mom, on the other hand, is just a loner. She does not talk. She does not do anything. I don’t think she even has a personality. I have no idea who she is and she has no idea who I am. After my parents divorced, we lived with her. And she acted as if we weren’t there. She’d come home and wouldn’t say a word to us, just went straight up to her room. It was impossible to talk to her. It still is. As a preteen and teenager, I left the house without saying a word, all the time. She never asked where I was going, when I was coming back, etc. She never called to check up on me and she never asked me anything about my life. I would stay at friend’s houses for weeks at a time and she wouldn’t say anything. I would come home to grab different clothes between weeks of being gone, and still nothing. The most she would ever say is “hi.” I moved out when I was 17, and in the almost 4 years that I’ve been away from home, she has probably called me under 5 times total. And when she does call, our conversations consist of forced small talk and uncomfortable silences. She lives in a tiny apartment by herself, which has an extra room with my old bed and furniture I’ve made, but she supposedly uses it as storage. I was going to visit for Thanksgiving this year, and when I mentioned it to her, she made it clear that she didn’t want me to stay with her. She didn’t say it directly, and she tried to sugar coat it, but I’m no fool. I know what message she was trying to get across. It’s such a horrible feeling being rejected by your own family and not having a home to go to.

I always had trouble making friends because, once again, I had to raise myself and had no concept of what it meant to be a kid with nothing to worry about. Other people’s parents would tell them to go to school, have fun, make friends, blah blah blah. My parents never mentioned anything. They just sent me there without a word of what to expect. It’s like I’ve spent my whole life as a lost child, wandering around unfamiliar places, trying to figure out what everything is, and no one ever stopped to check on me. I’ve always been on my own. It has made me a strong person, but also a very unhappy and lonely one. Life would be so much easier if I could just fit in somewhere. All of my problems would melt away. I often think about killing myself because I’ll never be able to have the life I want. My personality restrains me from my dream of being easygoing, carefree, and likable. People always read me the wrong way, because who I am is complex and hard to see to a regular person. I am an empath. Other people’s moods affect my mood. I can actually feel what another person is feeling, and it affects me so deeply that I lose sense of myself. I am always absorbing things from the people around me, so it’s kind of like I am not me, but a collection of all the people I know. When I was younger, that was all I knew how to do. I didn’t think about myself and my personality, I just followed others and did what they did. I didn’t know I was supposed to be my own person. I just wanted to be like the people I knew who had themselves figured out and had a solid support group. Eventually it led me to make bad choices and lose the only people who ever cared about me, but I didn’t know any better. I just wasn’t understanding this life thing. I had no idea who I was. And now I do. People always say that if you just be yourself, your life will improve and everything will fall into place. But honestly, I think I was happier before. People liked me. I actually had friends. I was unaware of how dysfunctional my life was. I knew the right things to say and do to make people listen. I faked it til I made it. Now that I actually know who I am, I have been nothing but my true self. And now no one wants anything to do with me. I don’t have a single friend. Crystal is sort of a friend, because she is the only person I’ve met whose somewhat like minded, but we never talk. She lets her boyfriend dominate her life. And she has a lot going on.. She’s making a career in art and moving to a new state soon. But that’s it for me. She’s all I have, and she’s barely even there. How sad is that? I have NO ONE. Oliver and I are living together and in the middle of breaking up, and it’s hard. Once I leave and find my own place, I’m back to having nothing and no one. He will still have the house we currently share, he will still have all of his awesome childhood memories, he will still have his friends and family who he is extremely close with, and the girl of his dreams is moving here with her kid, which will be his ultimate happiness. He will be so much better off without me. Without him, I will be nothing but a lonely wreck of a person. I don’t know where to go because I don’t belong anywhere. No one wants me around. I am too weird and quiet. And because I’m an empath, and Oliver is so different from me, I immediately feel drained around him, which makes me cranky. I do and say things around him that I normally wouldn’t because of the negative effect he has on me. Our personalities clash. And of course, he has friends and family and people on his side, and he is extroverted and talkative while I am quiet and snippy around him, so I’m always made to look like the Big Bad Bitch of the West. No one gives a shit about what I have to say, so I just don’t even bother. This makes me look really bad, but oh well, I’m used to being hated and singled out. It just sucks. I’m tired of feeling so alone. I just want one person to be on my side. ONE PERSON. That’s all I ask, and I can’t even have that, because of how different I am from everyone I know. People just don’t understand that. They just think I’m some bitch who has no sense of humor and likes to make everyone feel like shit. But I’m just unhappy and lonely. I know I’ve been a bitch to others, and I hate myself for it, but I can’t control it because of how sensitive I am to how Oliver makes me feel. Plus, lately, he has started to treat me worse and worse. It’s like I’m just another one of his dumb bitch ex-girlfriends, but what he doesn’t realize is that this is way different. Shayla is a bitch just because she’s selfish and needs to do whatever she wants. She moved away to be with her friends in her hometown. When she left, she blamed everything on him and was just really mean to him. I am breaking up with Oliver because it’s what’s best for both of us. I don’t dislike him, I just can’t spend my life with him because he is wrong for me. Unlike Shayla, I am aware of all my negative actions, and I have expressed this to him and apologized countless times, but I still get treated like it’s the same thing. I am singled out by him and all his friends. I know he has been complaining about me. His friends that I used to consider my friends have started acting really cold towards me. Everyone is on his side. I don’t have anyone to be on my side. I am stuck doing everything alone. Again. And people treating me like shit just makes it 1000 times worse. I already feel like complete shit about myself and they are adding to it. I wish they knew how I felt. I wish they knew how hard it is to be me. I didn’t pick my personality and my life, it is just what I got stuck with. If I could change it, I would in a heartbeat, but I can’t. I just want to die because happiness seems impossible for me to reach. Yesterday it hit me really hard while we were snowboarding at Mount Rose for opening day because Oliver wouldn’t even acknowledge my existence. I felt everyone’s backs turned on me. I went in the lodge and laid my head in my arms and cried. When he texted me asking where I was, I knew it was only because he wanted to go, and I am the one with the car. I guarantee that’s the only reason I was allowed to tag along yesterday. I knew he didn’t want me around, so I just stopped talking completely for the rest of the day. On the car ride home, he and Chris laughed and made fun of me for not talking, which just made matters worse. I stayed silent because I knew if I said anything, I would just lose it. I dropped them off and then left the house without a word. I was going to find a cliff to drive off of. I tried to kill myself before with that method, but there was a guard rail in the way. I thought I could drive right through it, but all it did was fuck up my car. This time, I had several spots in mind. In Tahoe, there’s so many cliffs without rails that I could easily drive off of. I started driving towards one spot that I knew would do the job, but on the way there, I kept thinking about how I am young and I have not exhausted every option in life. I don’t have a lot of hope for myself, but I am not completely hopeless yet. I turned around and sat in a parking lot and cried. I cried hard. I cried about everything that I have written in this entry, and more. It is so hard being so lonely and so misunderstood by every single person. How will I ever be happy in this life? I was going to get a cheap hotel for the night, but I decided against it because of how broke I am right now. I ended up driving to a bunch of random places in town, until I decided to spend the night in my car in a parking garage. After sitting there for a couple hours, I just went home because it was cold and I had nowhere else to go. Oliver came home sometime after midnight and laid in bed with me, reminding me again of my only worth to him: physical. The only time he ever pretends to give a shit about me is when he wants to cuddle and/or is horny. That’s it. He complains about me never talking, when in reality, I DO talk, he just doesn’t hear me. Eventually I stopped trying because I know it’s pointless, but I still have some days where I wake up in a good mood and try to hang out with him. And then he ignores everything I have to say, so I go back to being quiet. Then he complains about me being quiet. What the fuck am I supposed to do? Be fake and talk about things I don’t give a shit about? No thanks. This is why it can’t work. He’s a surface guy. If life was the ground, and we had to dig for satisfaction, he would be the type of person that would take from the top layer and be happy. I wish I could say the same, because life would be so much easier, but I can’t. I have to dig deeper. I need meaning. I need something real. And he just has no interest in that. And I have no interest in the superficial top layer because it is just that… superficial. Everyone is so inauthentic. They only care about things that don’t really matter, and they completely ignore that there even exists a deeper surface. They are naive to the negative things in life; and I am extremely jealous. I hate that I am so perfectionistic and complicated. I just want to be dumb and ignorant like most other people because at least they are happy.

Advertisements

Let’s Face It…

I’ve come to terms with the fact that this isn’t a blog because no one sees it and I go months without updating it. So here goes…

Dear Diary,

I can’t get these stupid thoughts out of my mind. But the thing is, I don’t know if they’re stupid or rational. All I know is that I can’t stop thinking about it. I’ve always had little to no self esteem and no faith in myself. It’s great. So the issue is, my boyfriend makes me happy. Issue, you might ask? Yes. Because it’s all too good to be true. He’s the greatest person I have ever met: honest, open, kind, faithful, loyal, hilarious, and very outgoing. The problem is, he’s too fucking good for me. Whenever he’s around our hot and loud female friends, he smiles and talks and has so much fun with them. He never stops talking about how fond of them he is. And he would never say this stuff or act this way around me. The simple fact is, I’m a plain jane. I’m introverted. I’m socially awkward. I don’t like being around people like he does. Every single day I question why he would ever want to be with me when he could be so much happier with someone else. Whenever it’s just me and him, all he does is stare at his phone, for hours on end, without even realizing it or stopping to say a word. It’s because I have nothing to say, and there’s only so much he can say to me before he realizes he’s talking to a wall. Not to mention my depression has been fucking me up, down, and sideways all over the place lately. Everything I say comes out wrong and people constantly misunderstand me and think that I’m rude or negative. I guess I am. I’ve been trying as hard as I can lately to speak up and be myself. It’s working, but I swear, the more I get to know myself, the more I don’t like who I really am. What the fuck do you do in that situation? Either I keep being my shitty true self or I pretend to be someone I’m not like I always have. God I’m fucking pathetic. The other day, Oliver’s sister was at our house, talking about how horrible his ex-girlfriend Shayla is. It was funny at first, but eventually I realized that everything she said about Shayla sounded like…. me. She said Shayla has no personality and that she has to cling to someone cool, a friend or a boyfriend, and then she starts doing everything that person does. She doesn’t have her “own things” she does. THIS DESCRIPTION SCREAMS SARA. I’ve felt like a lost kid at the store my entire life. I don’t know where I came from, where I am, or where I’m going. I haven’t the slightest idea who the fuck I am. I always relied on my friends to figure out how to think and how to act. I never really had a personality of my own. I just kind of “went with the flow.” My history teacher from junior high always used to say “only a dead fish swims with the stream.” It always stuck with me because I wanted to be the one fish that swam against the stream, but in reality, I’d rather submit to being a dead fish than be the one who swims against the current, because it’s easier. There’s nothing special about me. I don’t have any purpose, I’m kind of just here. I don’t have any friends or family to rely on. I just have acquaintances, friends I don’t talk to anymore, and a family who doesn’t even know me. I just don’t know what to do. I want to be with Oliver because HE makes ME happy, but I feel guilty knowing it’s only a one way street. He says he loves me, but I don’t buy into it. I think he just likes having someone around. It’s a double case of “we accept the love we think we deserve.” I don’t think I deserve him so I don’t accept his love. He thinks he deserves someone like me who makes him upset more than I make him happy. Who could blame him, we live in a society where trans people are looked down upon by many, and that probably affects his self esteem in some way. When he had two options, Shayla or Buttagirl, he chose Shayla because he thought he didn’t deserve Buttagirl. BUT HE DID. He still does. He can do so much better. I think all he sees in me are my looks. He’s told me before that he thinks HE doesn’t deserve ME. That’s only because he thinks I’m hot and somehow that makes it ok that I have no personality. Another advantage is that I’m a better girlfriend than Shayla, and for some reason, I kind of think that’s his ONLY standard right now. He’ll realize one day that he could do better. He’s just settling. But he deserves the best of the best because he IS the best of the best. I can’t help but feel like I’m just another one of his mistakes. He’s too blind to see it and I’m too… me… to speak up. I know I should talk to him about all of this, but talking isn’t my strongest suit. And besides, I like to think we have a chance, because it is really unbelievable how happy he makes me and how much I want to spend the rest of my life with him. And I could be wrong about all this. Who knows, it’s hard to tell when you have a mental disorder, whether your thoughts are logical and no one else realizes it, or if you’re just batshit crazy.

#welcometomylife

O Hai.

I got some quick updates for y’all!

It’s been really hard to post because wordpress just doesn’t seem to like me. I’ll make a post and try to publish it, and then 3 hours later, the page still isn’t loaded. I’m writing this a week after my last post, and the last one hasn’t even posted to this very moment. I’m not sure what to do about that. I’ll just have to keep saving them as word files until my computer decides to let me start publishing to the actual website.

Anyway, onto business. I don’t think I’ve talked about this on here yet, but I’ve been letting my kitties play outside. They love it! Here’s my proof: Moon laying on the concrete enjoying the sunshine!

********I will have to come back and add this later**

I let them play outside when I get home from work, and then I get them back in before dark when the creatures come out. One day, I couldn’t find Moon. I thought she got run over, stolen, into a fight with a raccoon, or ran away. I was worried sick… but she came back a few hours later. What a relief! A few days ago though, when I was trying to get them to come back inside, I couldn’t find Moon once again. I decided to not stress it since this had happened before. I figured as soon as I woke up and opened the door to leave for work, she’d be standing right there. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I was still avoiding the worrying thoughts because cats seem to have a really good sense of direction, so I figured she’d find her way back soon. I left a food and water bowl outside for her just in case she showed up and got hungry. I came back from work thinking she’d be there for sure this time. No such luck. This went on for about 4 or 5 days. Still, I tried not to worry. Finally, last night when I got home, there she was in the parking lot, looking lost, confused, and hungry. Relieved, I brought her inside. Hunter jumped happily at her as she gobbled down a full bowl of Friskies and then used that glorious litter box machine. It’s good to have my baby girl back 🙂

I have also been having a good time with other people. Oliver invited me to a party, and since I was his ride there, I couldn’t refuse. I’m glad I didn’t. It’s been too long since I’ve been wasted and singing and having a good time with lots of people. I drank way more than I needed, but could still control myself. It wasn’t until I smoked a little that I started to get tired. I was soon asleep on the couch. Oliver brought me up to his bed to nap it out while he partied a little bit more with all his homies. I forgot how much I love cuddling. I also forgot how much I hate waking up after a night of drinking. Once 8:30 hit, I figured it was time to get up, get dressed, and get our asses to work by nine. I was extremely tired and still drunk, which made me start acting loopy. My sunglasses hid the fact that I wasn’t in my right mind, but my mood turned out to be good because the customers I was harnessing enjoyed my company. Even though I was having fun, I wanted nothing more than to shut down early. And guess what happened? We did! We got called off for lightning before noon hit. Clocked out and still a little drunk, I rolled on down to hang out with some people at James’ house. I was getting too tired, so Ollie and I decided to head to his house and lay down with a movie playing. We stayed there for the rest of the day (that’s what alcohol does to you, kids). I headed home and took the best shower of my life.

That’s it for now, I’m at starbucks using WiFi because my internet connection at home has been spotty. I’m starting a blue light therapy treatment for my backne/scars, and I have to be there in about 20 minutes. Toodle-loo for now friends!

Good Vibes

Hello and welcome to my page! Today I just want to write because life is pretty good right now and I thought I’d share to pass on some positivity 🙂 Today specifically was a great day. Although we got off to a late start for operations this morning which meant playing a constant game of catch up, we somehow made it a record day! 78 people got to ride our wonderful little zip line. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my always positive coworkers. When stress starts to settle in, we make it better by throwing on some good jams, dancing around, joking, and having fun with our job. It always seems to do the trick. Everyone is suddenly in a better mood, and not only are we having fun, but our guests are, too. Part time zip line operator, part time entertainer.

The part time thing is false though. Our supervisors gave us the option to work 6 days a week instead of 5 in order to catch up on hours, since we get sent home early for weather quite often. I don’t really have a life outside of my job, and I REALLY need the extra cash, so I agreed. Today was payday, and for the first time since I’ve been here, I actually have enough for rent PLUS some spare cash! I really need to get myself a bike, because bike tours are difficult to complete if you don’t have one. The extra cash will definitely help with that. I had some spare money from my last check, but that was spent on an excellent pair of shoes. I have been going to work every day in a worn down hand-me-down pair of vans. Needless to say, my feet and knees did not approve. Many people have suggested salomons to me, so I thought I’d give them a try. Result: expensive buy, but well worth it! They are roomy, comfortable, good support, breathable, and of course stylish!

salomons

This is the first time in months that I haven’t had any foot pain without the help of painkillers. Unfortunately, thanks to my job, I’m constantly sore in other places. I think I will have to volunteer to work bottom deck tomorrow since it is less strenuous.

Back to my day. I had been talking about sushi since I got to work, because I finally had money, so I could finally afford it. By the end of the day, it turned into a group sushi dinner. Everyone at work wanted to go with. While everyone went home and changed and went to the bank to deposit their checks, Liz and I sat at the bar until people from our group started showing up. We ended up being there for about three hours, talking, having fun, drinking sake, and of course eating lots of delicious food! I so graciously decided to go with the all you can eat special, which was $27, but included appetizers, all sushi rolls, desserts, and fountain drinks. I stuffed myself very very VERY full until I couldn’t take anymore. I even have leftovers. It was a good night spent with good company and it was a great finish to the day.

Surprise! That’s the end of my short entry. It is time for me to go to sleep while my big fat sushi belly gets some air. Thank you for stopping by and good night!

-Sara Sara Bo Bara

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Guess who’s back?

Back again?

Sara’s back…

Tell your friends 😉

I finally have internet at my humble abode! I have not been able to post on here for awhile because bitches be slackin’. The satellite guy BETTER have a valid excuse like a kickass vacation or the loss of a family member. Oh well, that WiFi-less month is behind us all now. I’m just glad to be back in the robot world!

I tried to post an entry a few days ago, but had many failed attempts getting the website to do what I wanted. I noticed they have made some changes since the last time I was online, which I don’t particularly like. The change that I dislike the most is the fact that it WON’T EVEN LET ME PUBLISH MY POST. However, after rereading what I was going to post, I’m kind of glad it didn’t work. I clumped too much information into one long page and it sounded sloppy, so I’m slowing it down this time and providing just one chunk of my pool of updates. Hopefully it actually works this time…

So as I said in my last entry, I’m working on some stuff to improve myself and create a better life and find out who I really am on the inside. I have not been following the list piece by piece every single day and constantly keeping a separate diary. I just started making vlogs (which will not be shared anywhere because I let some pretty big demons out of me on those ones). A step by step list is not very sufficient in the task of bettering yourself anyway. Alas, I have been doing a lot better, making improvements, living a better life, and learning valuable lessons about myself.

One of the very important things that I learned, as you can see in the title, is that home is where the heart is. Moving away from home and meeting all these adventurous people before got me curious. I thought it would be cool if I lived a life of never-ending adventure. I would move around as much as possible so I could experience it all and meet a ton of new people. Sounds pretty cool, right? In retrospect it does, but that’s because you’re not me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the shit out of Tahoe, but I’m about ready to go back to Colorado. See, the thing about me is that I don’t get off on constant new experiences and interactions. I need some sort of stability in my life. You know what makes me happy? Friends and family and community and familiarity. My plan was to never buy a house because I didn’t want to ever settle down somewhere, but now I want the opposite. I WANT to settle down. I’m not talking about with a partner, I’m talking about my surroundings. I want to live in one place and stay there all the time. I definitely still want to see other places and take vacations, but as far as living, I just want one stable spot.

So why Colorado, might you ask. It’s because Colorado is always where I’ve felt the most like… myself. Yes I grew up in Wisconsin, and in some ways, that is my true home. It is where most of my family resides, it is where I have the most memories, and it is where I spent my childhood. But ever since the first time I visited the great Rocky mountains, I had a big dream. We went there when I was, I don’t know, 4, 5, 6 years old? My mom grew up in Lakewood, and she had a brother and a sister both still living there, so we scheduled a visit. This was the only “vacation” I ever took with my family (we didn’t get out much). I don’t remember a whole lot from the visit since I was so young, but I very distinctly remember the feeling I had the while I was there. I loved it. I felt a sense of belonging. I never wanted to leave. When we got back to Wisconsin, I felt as if I had left a piece of me behind. I vowed to go back whenever I possibly could. Over the years, I didn’t get any chances to make another visit, but as soon as I turned 18, graduated high school, and saved up enough money, off I went.

It’s crazy how a PLACE can resonate with you so well. That’s what happened. Moving there was the best decision I had ever made. It was like reconnecting with my roots. Not only did my mom grow up there, but that’s where my parents met. My dad moved to Denver in the 80s. He claimed it was for a job, but the real reason he went was for the skiing. He just happened to also have a job offer there. After a couple years, my parents met, fireworks went off, they got married, they had a couple kids, and then when my mom was pregnant with me, my dad convinced her to move to Wisconsin so he could be by his family. He continued skiing and eventually took up snowboarding, which he taught to me and my siblings. I loved it. I had been put through all kinds of sports over the years, but this was the only one that stuck with me. Even growing up in a place with no mountains, I knew that I was a mountain girl. The moment my brother and I crossed the Colorado border this last December, I couldn’t wipe that smile off my face. I knew I had just come home. I peer over loveland pass and think of my dad. That was one of his favorite spots. He wanted his ashes spread on a mountain, but the family members who spread them all live in Wisconsin so we did it atop Rib Mountain (the hill in Wisconsin where I first learned how to ride). My mom being from there, and knowing my dad’s heart belonged there, it all made sense that I turned out how I did. I miss my friends and family in Wisconsin, but there’s no way in hell I can ever live there again. It feels good to visit, but it’s not where I belong.

Part of me wishes I had just stayed in Colorado this summer so I could have kept enjoying the company of good friends. Another part of me is glad I made the move, because I got the chance to humor the idea of moving around. It’s true that you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone. Once again, leaving Colorado was like leaving a piece of me behind. I am going to stay here in Tahoe to finish out the seasonal job I came here for in the first place, but as soon as the chance comes around, it’s back to Colorado I go. I’m extremely excited for what lies ahead. One of my best friends will be moving to Fort Collins soon. I will be starting a new semester at CMC. I will be back with my friends and family. Oh, and I will be doing a bike tour in October from the continental divide in Colorado to the great lakes in Wisconsin. My home to my other home, and during the month that I’m free of a job. A friend of mine sent a shoutout that he was doing this and looking for people to accompany him, so I jumped on the opportunity and now we are in the process of planning our trip. Last but not least, I’m especially excited for the winter. It’s funny, because I used to hate winter (if you’ve ever experienced a winter in the great white north, you’d understand why). I wanted to be somewhere warm and sunny and summery all the time, even if it wasn’t Colorado, just to escape the cold. Now it’s the opposite. I’m over summer. I don’t particularly enjoy sitting outside for 8 hours a day in the California sunshine, burning my skin off and being reduced into a pile of sweat. Beaches are cool and fun, but I’d much rather just have an all-year winter. I crave snowboarding. I miss it more than anything in the world and I cannot WAIT for this next season to begin! Nothing compares to ski resort life. Bring on the snow!

Chin Up, Chap

Hello everyone, and welcome to DJ Sara’s Funky Wonder Emporium.

Ok, so I’m not a DJ, and this post isn’t that funky, but hey! I’m here. I know you must be missing me, oh humble viewers of America and everywhere else. Not to worry, I have not been ignoring you, and I did not forget that I have a page that I post on with life updates and whatnot. The thing is, my landlords must not be paying the internet bill, because my WiFi stopped working a few days ago. Now that I finally have a day off, I am taking the time to write a new post. I’m writing this from home, so I have to save this whole thing in a word document and then post it whenever I get the chance to make a trip to Starbucks to steal their internet connection while enjoying a mocha cookie crumble frappuccino, which makes coffee taste like a fucking dessert. MMMM.

Before I get started on today’s subject, I figured I’d give a quick update on what’s been happening in my life. I’ve basically just been working a lot. Opening week for the zip line was a major fail. We have only had two full days of operations since opening day, which was a week and a half ago… Every day, there’s a new issue. Everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong. We’ve had to shut down or get pushed behind schedule almost every day because of things like not having maintenance clearance, the brake tests not passing, the springbox on the retrieval system breaking, and several wind shutdowns. While the weather in town has been hot and calm, the weather at the top of the mountain where we operate our zip line has been cold and windy. I don’t know who thought it would be a good idea to set up a zip line at the top of a mountain where it’s always windy, and on top of that make it so the system has to shut down when there’s too much wind. Nice design, Heavenly. As long as there’s a good view, it doesn’t have to be functional.

Every time we have to shut down, which has been almost every day so far, we end up just practicing rescues. I’m cool with it, because I’m still there getting hours, I’ve had lots of chances to improve my rescue technique, and I get a break from dealing with guests. I just wish we could operate normally every once in awhile. I want to be able to do the job that I moved halfway across the country and spent a month training for. We really need to get our shit together. This past Wednesday we had to shut down before we even opened to the public because the latches on the gates at top deck weren’t working and had to be replaced. Like always, we just went to the bottom to practice rescues while maintenance tried to take care of it. The next day, Thursday, when I was getting ready for work, I got a call from my manager. I already had my work clothes on, I was eating breakfast, and was just about to make my sandwich for lunch. He told me they still hadn’t solved the gate issue, so I got an unexpected day off. I told one of my coworkers, Oliver, because he thought that our bosses had the wrong phone number and email for him. He was already fully awake, so he invited me over to hang out for the day. We chilled for awhile then went outside and messed around with his dad’s dirt bike. This was my first time ever riding one, by the way. Even though we only went up and down the street a couple times, I still had a lot of fun with it. Then we went to the beach, laid out, chilled, listened to music, went swimming, and met this group of girls that offered us some Captain. I wanted to say yes, but I had to drive. Oliver declined because of his diet and having to quit alcohol. Even if we could’ve said yes, it was a little sketchy because they must have been about 14 years old. I was doing the same stuff at their age, but now that I’m on the other end of the spectrum, it just seems kind of weird. Anyway, we went back to Oliver’s after that, ate some lunch, then went upstairs and watched Ellen and Blades of Glory. He fell asleep and I was getting tired, because of the… well, I’m just gonna say it was the sun. There definitely weren’t any leafy substances, glass work, or lighters involved. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The only other thing I have to update about is the many animals in my life (the rest of my updates will probably be mentioned within the context of my actual story for today). One of them being my first time actually physically seeing a bear. My downstairs neighbor told me we have a friendly neighborhood bear that wanders into the area from time to time. One day, when I was sitting next to the window at my midget table, I noticed that the upstairs light had come on. The one that automatically turns on when there’s movement. I’m the only person that lives upstairs here, and my landlords aren’t the type of people to just pop up at my door without notice, so it seemed a little strange. I looked out, feeling slightly confused. There, right next to me, staring at me through the window was the bear. Having never seen one before, I freaked out a little bit. I know that I was inside and he was outside, but my knowledge that you have to just freeze when you see a bear kicked in automatically. My eyes got wider than they’ve probably ever been, but my body remained stiff while I watched him go about his business. He really is friendly. He looked at me for about half a second, sniffed around for a little bit, and then left before I could even fully interpret what was going on. I texted my neighbor to let her know there was a bear outside our home, which is when she explained that the person who used to live here occasionally left their garbage sitting outside. I, however, am not that dumb, because in an area like this, animals being around is inevitable. I don’t need them scattering trash everywhere. I also experienced my first mouse. Well, actually, first and second. Within the same week. I must have a hole in my wall somewhere. Luckily, I have not had to catch any because my cats are excellent hunters. The first one must have entered my home when I was not here, because it wasn’t until I was eating at my midget table one morning that I noticed a mouse’s severed ass right under me where I had just digested half my meal. It takes a lot to ruin my appetite, so after I picked it up with a kleenex and flushed it, I resumed eating. When I was done I noticed another mouse chunk laying about 5 feet away from where his booty was. It was pretty gross. A few days later, I awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of my cats beating the shit out of a live mouse. They were biting it, chasing it, and socking it back and forth. The sight was horrifying and I felt bad for the little fella, but I did not want to have to catch that thing, so I let them resume while laying down and pretending this wasn’t happening right in front of me. By the time I uncovered my ears and looked up, they were eating the mouse. The sound of them chewing on his crunchy bones still haunts me. I rushed to pick that thing up and flush it before trying to get back to sleep. Surprisingly, I had no nightmares that night. I guess maybe I did, but maybe they were so terrifying that I pushed the memory as far deep into my mind as possible, making me forget they ever happened. This is what I get for living in an old motel on the top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere. As far as the cats go, things are going good. Hunter S Thomcat is still a little asshole who doesn’t listen to me, but he’s as cuddly and cute as ever. Moon is well behaved and she actually let me pet her for more than two seconds yesterday! She was rolling on her back and letting me rub her belly and everything! I had no idea she had the ability to purr, but holy shit was it fucking cute and liberating. 🙂

And now for the actual story that I came here to share in the first place. It’s about bettering myself. As I have mentioned before, after my suicide attempt, my whole life changed. My perspective, the way I act, how positive I am, and all of the life lessons that have helped me improve and become the person I am today. The part of me that I have been struggling with the most is getting past my awkwardness. It seems like the more time that goes on, the more serious I get. I’ve been noticing lately that I am uptight, nervous around people all the time, and I say stupid shit that makes me want to punch myself. I have always struggled with this, but instead of the issue being naturally resolved from experience like most of my flaws have, I’m starting to think I have to go into battle to fix it. I understand that I’m an introvert and that’s just the way I am, which is fine. I’m proud of it. I don’t get off on being around people all the time. I like being by myself to think, reflect, and recharge. I think everyone should do this every once in awhile. How are you going to know yourself if you’re constantly surrounded by other voices? I don’t get uncomfortable with silence – it can be really enjoyable sometimes. I don’t constantly talk just to fill the silence with shit that doesn’t even matter. I prefer to sit back, listen, reserve, and give my input when I feel it is necessary and could benefit the conversation. I don’t say much, but when I do, it tends to be something worthwhile. But just because I am an introvert does not mean I have to be awkward in social situations. There is such a thing as introverts who are fun at parties and completely fine around people. It is the fact that they value alone time that makes them an introvert. I want to stay the way that I am, but work on loosening up around people when I’m not sitting at home reading with my cats.

I believe the reason I’m like this is because I’m not confident. I have come up with some steps that will make me more comfortable in my skin so I can be more laid back and comfortable around people. I will be keeping a daily journal to track my progress and make sure I take care of everything that I need to. I will not be posting it on here, partly because I have no internet at home, partly because that’s not why I started a blog, and partly because I know that if there is the off chance that anyone actually reads this, that is not something that would be fun to read about every day. I might post every once in awhile to update you on my progress if I see any, but that’s it. I’ll keep my posts on here interesting. If I do decide to post my daily updates online, it will be in a different blog, and I will share the link on here in case anyone is interested in reading it for whatever reason. So without further adieu, here is a list of all the things I will be working on and writing about every day to track my progress:

1. Stop doubting yourself.
Whenever I go to parties or other social gatherings where I don’t know anyone, I have this freakout explosion in my head. I just know that I’m going to be sitting in the corner by myself, standing around the food table, and eventually being approached by someone who feels bad for me. This person always means well, but they usually just make matters worse. Here is a message for all of you outgoing people out there: QUIET PEOPLE HATE IT WHEN YOU POINT OUT HOW QUIET THEY ARE. Like, more than anything in the fucking world. For one thing, the way you say it makes us feel like it is a bad thing and that we should change it and that it is within our control. You don’t see me going around to loud people pointing out how much they talk. It’s just the way they are. And guess what? Being quiet is just the way WE are. Plus, what the fuck do you say to something like that? What’s the point of being like, “You’re really quiet.”? Like seriously, what the fuck do you want me to say? “Thank you for noticing”? It just makes us feel awkward because there’s no good way to answer that, and it makes us feel like shit about ourselves because most of us wish we could change it. This never fails. Every single fucking time I’m around new people, that whole scenario happens. I’d like to avoid this happening in the future, so instead of going to a party with the thought that this situation is going to happen again and therefore backing down from going altogether, I need to tell myself positive things. “Maybe I’ll make a new friend tonight.” Or, if a goal seems too unrealistic at the time, maybe just focus on getting to know the few people there that you DO know. Either way, the attitude has got to change.

2. Start feeling good about yourself.
I have always had little to no self esteem. This is the part that I find the hardest to overcome because I have never known any other way, and I have always thought that I’m a shitty person. My problem when I’m around people is that I get nervous that I will say the wrong thing and that people won’t like me, which causes me to say the wrong things and therefore people don’t like me. I usually just sit back, listen instead of talk, and only speak up occasionally. When I do speak up, I sit there and think about what I’m going to say before I say it, debating in my head whether or not I should even let it out of my thoughts. I need to stop making such a big deal out of every day conversations. I need to forget my worries and just be there in the moment, enjoying the company of everyone who’s around. One of the biggest problems with my confidence is the fact that I have a disgusting amount of acne. When I talk to people, I look them in the eyes. 9 times out of 10, they end up losing focus of my eyes and using them to scan my face and pick out all my imperfections. Sometimes it seems like it’s just a nervous habit, but if I see their eyes sitting on the spot where I have my newest mountain of a pimple, obviously they are just distracted. This happens ALL. THE. TIME. It makes me feel so fucking self conscious. My face isn’t even that bad anymore, though. It has cleared up a lot in the last couple years. My problem now is my body acne. I have severe nodular acne on my neck, chest, shoulders, and full back. I have tried every wash there is to try, with no success. Now that I’m 19 years old and am still suffering from this imperfection after 8 years of trying anything, I decided it was time to see a dermatologist. I put it off for the longest time because I’ve never really had good insurance, but fortunately I found a place closeby with reasonable prices. Without insurance, it costs me about $55 a visit. I was expecting $100 at the very least, so I am happy with this. I’m probably going to be visiting the office about once a month, so there is a pretty good amount of money involved, but at this point I’m willing to do ANYTHING to get rid of my problem that I’ve been dealing with since middle school. I have only gone once so far, and my next appointment is coming up in about a week. She prescribed me four different things: A sodium sulfacetamide & sulfur face wash, two different kinds of pills, and a cream to rub on my skin after washing it. She wanted to put me on Accutane right away, but I am not THAT desperate yet… If you don’t know anything about it, look it up. It is a hard-fucking-core acne medication. It works, but it comes with every side effect you can think of, and then some. She gave me a brochure to look over so I can think about it; I finally read it a few days ago, and by the time I finished, I was laughing hysterically with how ridiculous it sounded. I hope I never have to resort to that… The prescriptions she gave me have not eliminated my acne, but they have made it less severe. I took a before picture before starting treatment, but I don’t plan on posting it until it’s all the way cleared up. I’m hoping I’ll be able to post an after picture some day. At this point I’m worried it will be something I’ll have to deal with for the rest of my life. I don’t care if I end up with scars because as soon as my back is clear I’m gonna jump right on the opportunity to get a full back tattoo. And then I’ll be able to wear bathing suits and sleeveless shirts and dresses in public without worrying about everyone staring at me!

3. Get comfortable with the way you speak.
I don’t remember when, where, or from whom I heard this, but awhile ago someone shared an idea with me. It might have been posted online, I don’t remember. I wish I could give this person proper credit for coming up with the idea, but the chances of them seeing this is very slim. They said that the way they got more comfortable in their own skin was by talking to themselves. It might sound crazy, but it makes total sense to me. You sit in front of a mirror every day, and you talk to yourself. Talk about your day, share things about yourself and who you are, just say whatever comes to your mind. No doubt, the first time you do it, it will feel very very VERY strange. It might discourage you to do it again in the future. But the person who posted this idea said that they did this every day for a month or two, and eventually, they were able to find a technique that worked for them. It helped them work out their kinks and get more comfortable speaking. If you’re not confident, one of your biggest problems is being unsure of yourself. What better way to resolve that than physically watching yourself and the way you speak so you can kind of see yourself from someone else’s point of view? I think doing this will help me a lot, no matter how weird it may feel at first. This is one of the only times I’ve been glad that I live alone, because if someone walked in on me or heard me doing this, they might think I belong in the cuckoo house. I PROMISE I’M NOT CRAZY. SANE PEOPLE TALK TO MIRRORS TOO YA KNOW.

4. Be healthy.
When I was living in Colorado, I lived an extremely active life. I worked full time, went to school full time, went snowboarding as much as I possibly could, did yoga, went out with friends, and… I worked out every single day. No matter how much activity I had done that day, I would make time to go to the gym. I loved working out and being active, it made me feel like my life had purpose and I was accomplishing something. Working out is great for stress relief, health, sanity, and of course feeling and looking your best. I want to get back into that habit. It’s tough to do it every day when you don’t have a gym membership, but I think it will help keeping a daily journal because that will be a constant reminder that I need to do something. We have to weigh people before they ride the zip line so we can set their chair up in a way that they ride at an efficient speed, are able to brake when they get to the bottom, and most of all that they make it to the bottom platform. I was the person weighing the guests yesterday. In my down time, I decided to weigh myself, just out of curiosity. When I moved here, I weighed 130 pounds. Yesterday I weighed 140. Now, a long time ago, I was a bit of a chunker. I weighed almost 160 pounds and I had rolls that were impossible to hide. Because of a kidney infection that caused me to never have an appetite, and when I did try to eat I couldn’t hold it down, I lost about 40 pounds within a couple months. I was down to 120 at one point. Once I finally got antibiotics and got better, I got to a steady weight of 130. My weight always fluctuates, and I kept between 125 and 130 most of the time. It wasn’t until I moved here that I got back up to 140. 140 isn’t a lot, but that’s what I started at when I began to gain weight in the first place, so I’m worried I’m going to repeat the weight gain I experienced in the past. I am determined to fix this and get back to a healthy weight. I have gained weight from moving here for several reasons: I don’t have friends here to go out with. I can’t afford a gym membership. I no longer have snowboarding, which is the main thing that kept me active. I was hoping to sub hiking for snowboarding, but I don’t get out as much as I’d like to because I’m always so tired and sore when I get home from work at night. Because I’m so tired and sore from work, I like to spend my days off relaxing so I can gather up some much needed energy. My diet since I’ve been here has also been terrible. I did a lot of healthy cooking back in Colorado, but I don’t really have that option now for the simple fact that I don’t have a kitchen. I have a mini fridge that can’t fit all of the vegetables I love to cook with. The freezer in it is only big enough to hold an ice tray, so I can’t buy meat unless I want to make the whole thing that night. And then I have to eat it all that night because I don’t have room in my fridge for leftovers. My “pantry” is the stand that my TV sits on. I can only fit so much in there. I also don’t have proper cooking equipment. I have a toaster oven, a hot plate, and a coffee maker. That’s it. No oven. Luckily, I got a crock pot with the apartment, which I plan on using as much as possible. I just don’t have the money to be buying ingredients for crock pot recipes, or really anything healthy. Hopefully this changes soon.

5. Meditate.
I do this every once in awhile, but I want to start doing it on a regular basis. At least once a day. I want to incorporate this into my daily life for several reasons. It will help me relax, get rid of every day stresses, and help me find myself. I’m not counting on this to change me, but I know that if I put my energy into something like this, it will benefit me no matter what. When I first started noticing my lack of confidence lately, I thought about how some cultures do vision seeking quests. I would love to do something like that, but with all the responsibilities I have, there is no way I’d be able to get away from work for a few days. Maybe I’ll spend my time off between seasonal jobs doing this. For now, I figured I’d follow the footsteps of my idol, Buddha. He was able to find himself, learn about the world, and understand happiness through the use of moderation and meditation. I need to look within myself to find out who I really am. This is also a very important step of my process.

6. Take responsibility for your actions.
In case you couldn’t tell by now, I classify my life as before suicide and after suicide, just because of how different each chapter has been because of the event. Before my suicide attempt, one of my biggest problems that eventually led me to betray my friends was not being able to take responsibility for my actions. I was always trying to blame someone else for whatever happened, and I’d do anything I could to rationalize my wrongdoings so I could convince myself that I was a good person and it was all a misunderstanding. One of my friends that I betrayed was not shy with telling me when she noticed I needed to work on something. This was one of the biggies. It took me a long time to see that she was right. Post suicide attempt, not much has changed. I have improved on realizing when I do something wrong and trying to make up for it if possible, but I still make excuses and try to rationalize things. This doesn’t mean that I should blame myself and make myself feel like shit when I do something wrong, I just need to realize that people make mistakes and move on while using that mistake as a learning experience.

7. Dance.
I have always loved dancing. I took dance lessons for a few years and quickly improved within a short time. It is one of the few things I am actually good at. While it is a good way to get a hobby and do something that makes me feel talented, that’s not why I want to do it. I want to do it so I can let loose every once in awhile. Using your body to interpret your feelings helps you feel free. What makes me so uptight is that I’m always stiff, not showing any emotions and not expressing how I feel through body language. I think that if I took time out of every day to bust some dance moves, I will feel free, loose, and more comfortable with the way I use my body. I would love to take lessons for dancing with a partner because I’ve only done it once, it was fun, and it’s a good way to get out of your comfort zone. Some day when I’m making enough money I’ll do it, but for now, my broke ass is just going to play some tunes from my computer and prance around my apartment while my cats watch in fear.

8. No more complaining.
It is natural to sit around with your coworkers at the end of the day and complain about work. Especially us since there seems to be something new going wrong every single day. There is lots to complain about, and that is what we usually do. I want to veer away from that. There’s one guy I know from orientation that’s really good at this. He is part of the ropes course crew. They had to be trained by someone from across the country for 5 days, much like we had Mike the Aussie-English-Canadian fly in for rescue training. Luckily, Mike was really cool and great to work with. Unfortunately for the ropes crew, their trainer was a total dickwad. I heard EVERYONE, even people I didn’t know, complaining about how much of an ass he was to them the whole time. Some people even left halfway through training because they couldn’t take it. This guy, though, never complained. He rode with us in a truck back when we had to drive up the mountain to get to work, and someone from our crew asked for his opinion on his dickwad trainer. Instead of erupting and complaining about him like everyone else had, he explained in a calm manner that he simply didn’t agree with his teaching technique. For all we know, he could be the nicest guy in the world outside of work. He was only there for 5 days, and you can’t possibly learn everything about that person within that time frame. Especially since he was instructing a LOT of people; I doubt anyone took the time to talk to him about his life, his dreams, his ambitions. Everyone is fighting a battle that people don’t know about. Maybe his wife is fighting breast cancer. Maybe he has a sociopath for a son. Maybe he was just diagnosed with AIDS. You just never know what someone is dealing with in their life. The ropes course worker pointed all of this out, making sure to not say anything bad about him because it’s not good to do that, no matter what the situation. I admire him for that and I hope I will be able to do the same from now on.

9. Daily update.
This is not something I need to work on, this is just a section at the end of my daily journal simply to report how I feel at that point. I hope to see an improving pattern as time goes on. Hopefully I will be able to look back and see what went wrong, and then work on it the next day. I might not keep to this exact schedule, it could change depending on how things go with this process, this is just a layout for the beginning of my journey to keep me on track.

————————————————————————————————

And for anyone who’s interested, I’ve gathered a few pictures of my varying sizes. I never kept any fat pictures, I always went back to my friend’s facebook if I needed them, but I just checked and found out she deleted them. So this is the best I could find from my collection. The first picture is from my prom, I remember this date as when I was the biggest I had ever gotten. And yes, that is me in the tux because fuck dresses.

Image

The next best thing I could find from when I was big is the picture below. You’ll notice that I used to actually have boobs. It seems like every time I lose weight, I only lose it in my boobs. I went from a D cup to an A cup…. so here it is: TIG OL BITTIES

Image

And yes, my friend does have two different colored eyes 🙂 it’s pretty kickass.

The next picture is one of me when I was at my smallest ever weight, 120 pounds. It was taken on my 18th birthday, so this is also the first picture ever taken of me as an adult:

Image

I WAS SO TINY.

The next picture was taken a few days ago at work. I was deck chief and I felt official as fuck so I made my coworker take a dramatic looking picture of me. So here is what I look like now, pretty average:

Image

So there you have it. Now that I’m older and I can’t eat whatever I want without it affecting my body, I want nothing more than to be a kid again. Fuck you time.

Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 My landlord told me today that they will be getting a new satellite for the internet soon, so I will be back to posting by then hopefully!

From One Blog To Another

Here are some of my favorite entries from my dad’s blog. First category is blind jokes!

Blind joke of the day

By Feb 24, 2010 3:39pm

A blind man walks into a department store with his guide dog. He walks to the middle of the main aisle, picks the dog up by its harness and starts swinging it around his head. A sales clerk rushes over and asks him if he needs help finding something. The blind man replies “No thanks. I’m just looking around.”

 

Untitled

I didn’t sleep well last night so this is all you’re going to get.’

Blind Joke of the Day:

The nuns of the rural parish of Saint Agnes in the town of Cassel had received a large cash donation from a local ginseng farmer and decided to use some of the money to do some remodeling in the convent.

Father Allan and his deacon Frederick had gone to La Crosse for a meeting with Bishop Felix. The two oldest nuns, Sister Mary Beverly and Sister Mary Catherine, had gone into town to buy some wallpaper for the living room. They left behind the two youngest nuns, Sister Mary Darlene and Sister Mary Evelyn, who were supposed to paint the back bedroom while they were gone.

The color that was chosen for the room was bright yellow. Sister Mary Darlene suggested to Sister Mary Evelyn that they take off their bllack habits to avoid staining them. Sister Mary Evelyn agreed to this since they were the only ones on the parish grounds. So they stripped down to their underwear and started painting.

After a half hour or so they had made a great deal of progress and were pleased with the job they were doing.

Suddenly there was a knock at the front door. Cautiously they walked to the door and asked
“Who is it?”
A male voice replied “Blind man.”
They decided that since he was blind it was okay to open the door without putting their habits on. So they opened the door and there stood a large muscular man holding a long cardboard box.

With a puzzled look on his face he said,
“Nice boobs. Where do you want me to install these blinds?”

God help me. I love this joke.

TTFN,
Deacon Fred

 
 

One blind man, two blind eyes, three blind mice and four blind jokes

By Apr 24, 2010 10:05am

I’m one devastatingly handsome blind man with two beautiful blue blind eyes.
I’m also very humble and modest.

Three blind mice:
Why do we teach our children this song?
The farmer’s wife cuts off their tails with a carving knife!!!
These poor mice probably escaped from a lab where they applied mascara to their eyes and rendered them blind.
Four blind jokes:
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
Hey, it works for brides. Why can’t blind people use it too?

Something old:

Q. Why don’t blind people go skydiving?
A: It scares the crap out of their guide dogs.

Something new: 
   
Lastnight I ran into an old friend. I also ran into a fire hydrant and a speed limit sign.
It’s a good thing my friend was there. This is the third time I lost my white cane in a sewer grate.

Something borrowed (and slightly modified):

Two elderly gentlemen were sitting on a park bench together on a sunny June afternoon. One of the men was blind and a little deaf. He was bragging about his new talking watch. The other man asked him “What kind is it?”
He held the watch up to his ear, pressed the button and replied “2:57”

Something blue

Q: How do you spot the blind man at a nude beach?
A: It’s not hard.

 

The second category is just random funny stuff that I thought was worth sharing!

 

Sleepless in Schofield

 
I’ve been awake since about 3:00 a.m.
After lying in bed wide awake for almost 2 hours, I heard some birds chirping outside our bedroom and suddenly remembered a poem that someone sent me in an email years ago. I liked it so much I’ve kept a copy of it in a Word document on my various computers and backups over the years.     

So here it is. I hope you find it as inspiring as I do.

Beautiful Morning

I woke early this morning,
The Earth lay cool and still.
When suddenly a tiny bird
Perched on my windowsill.
He sang a song so lovely,
So carefree and so gay,
And slowly all my troubles
Began to slip away.
He sang of far-off places,
Of laughter and of fun.
It seemed his very trilling
Brought up the morning sun.
I stirred beneath the covers,
Crept slowly out of bed,
Then quickly shut the window,
And crushed his frickin’ head.

I’m not a morning person.

I’m going back to bed.

Fred Fred Sleepy Head

 

Milwaukee Mayhem

The first job I got after I earned my degree from CVTC in Eau Claire was in Milwaukee. Me and my friend Dave were both interviewed on the same day by the chief draftsman of a steel building manufacturer. He was interested in both of us, but only had room for one. I guess they were waiting for one of the old farts to die so they could use his desk. So they hired me first and wanted me to start work ASAP. There were still 2 weeks of school left, but all of my projects were done. I got an early release.

I don’t know why he took me over Dave as his first choice. I must be a better interviewee than him. Or maybe it was because I told him  that Dave was a communist.

So a week later I loaded up everything I owned into my 1975 Plymouth Gran Fury and headed for the city of suds. I knew nothing about the city and didn’t know a single soul that lived there. I found a cheap hotel with weekly rates that I planned to stay in until Dave was hired and we could find an apartment to share. Two bedrooms, don’t be getting any funny ideas.

The fleabag hotel was called “Cesar’s Inn” and was owned by former Milwaukee Brewers manager Harvey Kuehn. There was a bar in front and Harvey would hang out there quite often. The walls were covered with Brewers memorabilia and there was one little color TV behind the bar. I guess this made it a primitive sports bar. 

I would stop for a beer or six after work every night. The regulars were old men who sat together at a table, drinking  and smoking and talking endlessly about the Brewers. 

I would sit by myself at the bar and pretend to watch whatever was on TV. One night a new guy came in. He looked like he was closer to my age. He gave me a nod as he walked up to the bar, took a seat two stools away and ordered a Bloody Mary. I noticed that he had some blood stains on his pants and assumed that he just got off work from the nearby meat packing plant.   

He turned to me and said “Hi, I’m Jeff. “
I replied “Fred” and stuck out my hand for the limpest, clammiest handshake I ever felt. He asked me what my last name was and I said “Flenderson.” I wasn’t going to tell this guy my real last name 8 seconds after we just met. He told me his last name, but I can’t remember what it was.
Something like Farmer…Garmen…darmen…DAHMER!!! That was it!!!
Jeff Dahmer!

I wonder what ever happened to that guy…

 

Head of the Class

By Apr 12, 2010 10:34am

I graduated from 8th grade in 1978 at the top of my class. I didn’t necessarily have the best grades but I did have the alphabetical advantage. Since my last name is Adamski, I was always on the top of the list. I had reclaimed the throne from a kid in my 7th grade class who moved away during the summer.

His name was Aaron Aardvarkovich. How could anyone compete with that?

He was originally from some Russian state with a name like Stanstanistan or something. His parents, Anastasia and Adolphus Aardvarkovich,  were  killed in an automobile accident in the Austrian alps in their Audi at an altitude of 10,500 feet. The orphaned Aaron was sent to the U.S. to live with his aunt Anna, who was married to an anesthesiologist named Allan Adamlee.

One of their friends in Edgar was Art Andrews . He got a letter from them that said they had boarded an American Airlines flight to Anchorage, Alaska in August. Aaron was awarded an academic scholarship to the Ansel Adams Academy for Aspiring Adolescent Artists.

Aaron was pretty smart. I bet he got straight A’s.

Whew!!! 

I’m exhausted after all that astoundingly awful alliteration.

Freaky Fred the Fine and Fabu…….zzzzzzzzzzzzz

 

Yoga Bare

By Mar 27, 2010 3:26pm

Lisa and I tried to do some yoga after lunch today. In order to achieve maximum flexibility we did it in the nude. 

Okay, we didn’t really. I just wrote that for the sake of the bad pun.
“Yoga Bare!” Ha Ha. I kill me.
Are you OK with that or did I make a Booboo?

If none of this makes sense to you, ask somebody over 40.

Anyhoo, we actually did do some yoga along with a show on the Fitness Channel. Lisa is very flexible. I am not. I couldn’t sit cross-legged without breaking my hip joints first.

So I’m trying to do all of these awkward positions without being able to see the TV. Listening to a description of what you’re supposed to do is nothing like seeing someone else do it.

After a few minutes of displaying my lack of flexibility and ineptitude, we both started to laugh. The more we laughed, the worse I did, so I started doing the strangest positions I could think of. Lisa was laughing so hard, she had to pause the show (DirecTV DVR) to use the little girls’ room. This made me laugh even harder.

Good times, good times…

 

Third Category: Oprah

 

I had a dream.

I had an awesome dream.

From the current SSIMH
“Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Richie

I really did have an awesome dream. A great number of people have told me, after reading this web site, that I should write a book. The great number is 3. Two of them are my sisters and the third is my wife. Maybe they’re just being nice, but it got me thinking.
A dangerous pastime, I know.

My dream was about my appearance on “Oprah” after my book becomes number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Number 1 for 18 consecutive weeks, with over 3 million hard cover copies sold. 

So I’m standing backstage waiting for my intro when I decide I’m going to have a little fun with Oprah. This will be the ninth talk show that I’ve done in the last month, and I’m getting tired of giving the same answers to the same questions. I joked around quite a bit with Letterman because I had a 20 minute segment and I’m a huge fan and can be every bit irreverent as he can.

So the countdown for the taping of “Oprah” begins and Oprah wlalks out in front  of the roaring audience of nothing but women.     

Wait a minute, there are two guys  standing way in the back shaking their heads.
(I can see in my dreams, which doesn’t make sense in this case because my book is partly about being blind. It’s my dream, so I can defy logic as much as I want to.)

To be continued…

 

I Had an Awesome Dream Part II

Okay. Confession time. I didn’t really dream all of this. I just liked the awesome dream line.

Back to the Oprah fantasy: 

I’m ready for the show to start. I decided to dress semi-casually for Oprah. I’ve worn everything from my best suit to cargo jeans and a sweatshirt (Jimmy Kimmel Live) for my 8 previous talk show appearances. I have on a nice black turtleneck, black pants with black socks and black tassle loafers. I’m also wearing my wedding ring, which I never take off, a diamond and emerald pinky ring on my right hand and a half  karat diamond earring in my left ear. Oprah is wearing an expensive dress from some designer I never heard of. I don’t think GQ will be calling me any time soon. 

Ten seconds until taping begins. An associate producer comes over and asks me if I’m ready. He’s a good-looking kid, tall and handsome, in his late 20s. I tell him 
“Thanks Ben, I’m good to go.”  

The audience starts cheering and Oprah walks to center stage. She keeps nodding her head and saying “Thank you, thank you.” 

Once the cacophony dies down, she does her usual welcomes. Now it’s my turn. 

She starts my intro:

“My first guest today is the author of the number one New York Times bestseller
“Inside Fred’s Head.” Please welcome…Fred Ah-DAMMMMM-skiiiiiii!!!!!”

I walk on stage and the audience stands up and cheers like I’m Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise. This is nothing new, I’ve been compared to both. 
Hey’ this is MY fake dream, it could happen!!!
If it ever did, I would need a lot of help catching the monkeys flying out of my butt.  

Lacy bras and panties are flying through the air and littering the stage. I’m also wearing my Bono-style wraparound sunglasses and I’m carrying my white cane. I call this my “full blind guy” costume. I don’t need the sunglasses at all. My eyes look completely normal. Sometimes when I meet new people they can’t even tell at first that I’m blind  because I try to look where I think their eyes are based on where their voice is coming from.  

I know this story is getting long. The more I think about it, the longer it gets. I promise I’ll finish it in my next entry.

As David Letterman once said 
“There’s no OFF position on the GENIUS switch!”

 

I Had an Awesome Dream Part III

Last part, I swear.

So I’m on stage with Oprah and some of her staff is gathering up all of the underwear that the women in the audience have thrown down at me. I also see a pair of boxers and a pair of mesh briefs. No thanks, fellas. My gate doesn’t swing that way.

Just for shiggles, I jump up on the couch, start jumping on the cushions and yell 
“I LOVE THIS WOMAN!!!!”

Two enormous black men out of camera range cross their arms and glare at me.  Oprah says, through gritted teeth, “Welcome to the show. Have a seat.” 
So I sit down on the couch with her and, still through gritted teeth, she says
“Tell me about the book.”
 This is one of the standard questions that I’ve been answering for the last month, so I decide to give a slightly non-standard answer.

“Well Oprah, it’s 342 pages long, it’s large print, double-spaced  and has wide margins on all four sides, The titles of each of my humorous essays are printed on separate pages. And it only costs $26.99! “

Oprah asks “Is it printed this way to make it easier for visually impaired people to read?

My response is “No, it was printed that way to get 342 pages out of less than 100 pages worth of material.”

Oprah seems to be at a loss for words. It takes her a few seconds before she takes a glance at the index card in her left hand and asks me the next question on the list.

“Is it available on audio?”

I reply “Why yes it is! Thank you for asking me about that. It comes in a boxed set of 12 CD’s with a total running time of 14 hours. It’s a steal at only $79.95!”

Oprah asks “How do you get 14 hours of audio out of 100 pages worth of material?”

“I’m glad you asked me that, Oprah. I did the narration myself instead of hiring some washed-up voice actor. Since I wrote this cra…I mean stuff, it only seemed right that I should read it. Also, I didn’t want to spend the extra money.”    
She says “It looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for coming.”
I reply “The pleasure was all yours.”
The 2 big black guys off-camera look even angrier.  
The applause starts again, but it’s not nearly as loud as it was when I was introduced.

Before the commercial break she turns toward the camera and says
“Coming up next, I go shopping with my best friend and sycophant Gayle for shoes so expensive that only Bill Gates and I can afford them. Then Doctor Oz stops by to talk about poop and embarrassing vajayjay issues.”
     
The red light  on the camera goes off and I step off the stage into the arms of the angry brothas.

I can’t tell you what happens next. I’ve never been in prison but I think I have a pretty good idea of what it’s like now. 

The End
If you actually read all of this, please take a serious look at your life and think about finding some better way to spend your time.

 
 
Fourth Category: Serious stuff
 
 

Untitled

Walk a Mile In My Shoes

If you don’t wear a size 11, wear your own shoes.

People often ask me what it’s like to be blind. The easy answer is to tell them to close their eyes and take a walk through their house.

One of my sisters, who shall remain anonymous, asked me how I knew when I was done wiping. Okay, it was Evy.
The answer is: By feel. Not a gross way of feeling, just the feel of the TP on your heinie. There’s really no good reason for you to look at it.

If you really want to know what it’s like to be blind, try this little experiment.

First of all, make yourself a nice thick  blindfold out of a handkerchief, a scarf or a pair of socks. I recommend clean socks. Make sure no light gets through anywhere so you can’t cheat.

Start in your bedroom. You can even change into whatever you wear or don’t wear to bed if you want to.   
Now I can walk you through a typical day for me.

Get into bed and into whatever position you sleep in.
Sit up and stretch a little.
Stand up and find your way to the bathroom.
After you finish your business, make sure you wash your hands with soap, dry them off and hang the towel back up neatly.

Now go back to your bedroom and pick out your cllothes. I like to wear jeans. They’re easy to find by feel and I keep them in them in the right side of the second drawer. I have 3 pair of jeans that are all different, and I can tell them apart by feel.

Now try to find a shirt to wear. I prefer T-shirts. I can tell most of them apart by texture or by the design on them. Once I figure out which shirt it is, I know the color.

I also need socks and underwear. My underwear are on the left side of my top drawer and my white and gray socks are on the right. The gray socks are in front with the ends facing the front and my white socks are in the back turned to the side. My colored socks are in the bottom drawer. I need Lisa’s help finding the right ones if I’m dressing up. 

Once I’m dressed, I walk into the kitchen for coffee. Lisa usually gets up before me and has the coffee made by the time I get up. Some days I wake up before she does, so I make the coffee. We prefer fresh ground coffee and have a grinder right next to the coffee maker. First I take out the filter and grounds from the day before and throw them in the garbage can under the sink. Just a reminder, I’m doing all of this without seeing anything. I rinse out the coffee pot in the sink and refill it, but not all the way to the top because we don’t usually drink a fulll pot. Next I have to put a new filter in the basket, making sure that none of the sides have collapsed. The next step is taking the coffee beans out of the cupboard and spooning them into the grinder with a tablespoon. This is a delicate operation. Getting them from the container to the grinder without spilling any of them isn’t as easy as it sounds. After I’m done grinding them for 20 seconds or so, I turn the grinder upside down and try to dump them into the filter, once again trying not to spill but also making sure that I’m not dumping them down the outside of the filter.

With that accomplished, I get 2 coffee mugs out of the cupboard and put them on top of the coffee maker so they can warm up while the coffee is brewing.          
     
To be continued.

 
 

Walk a Mile In My Shoes Part II

So I have the coffee brewing and the mugs warming up. Lisa and I both like to have chocolate soy milk in our coffee, so I have to find the right container in the refrigerator. The carton is the same shape and size as the white soy milk. Usually when we go grocery shopping we buy both. I used to clip the corners off the flap on the  chocolate, but I realized that all I had to do was bend them. 

I like to have cereal for breakfast. I don’t eat stuff like Cap’n Crunch or Lucky Charms. I prefer plain bran flakes that I add my own raisins to. So I have to get a bowl out of another cupboard. I prefer to use a deep soup bowl because there’s less chance of dropping something while I eat. Finding a spoon is no problem.

Now it’s time to find the white milk. By the process of elimination it’s the other carton in the fridge. Now for the tricky part. I have to pour the right amount of milk into the bowl without spilling or overfilling. 

By now the coffee is done, so I have to pour the chocolate milk into a mug.
We have tall coffee mugs, so I can’t just stick my finger in to feel how much milk I
 poured in. If it’s too much I either add some more coffee or save it for Lisa. She likes hers more chocolatey than I do.

I hope you’re still trying to imagine yourself doing this stuff without being able to see.

After I’m done eating and I’ve finished my coffee, I put my dishes in the dishwasher. If it’s getting full I have to feel around for an empty spot. When it’s completely full I put in the detergent. I have to feel around to find the little reservoir where the detergent goes and dump in the detergent without overfilling it. Then I turn the knob until I hear the click and the sound of the water. If I want to set the delay I turn the dial until I hear a sound like a ticking clock. This is about a 2 hour delay. By the way, doing dishes is one of my regular chores. Since  Lisa does all of the cooking it’s only fair. I don’t mind at all, since she’s such a great cook. When I say I do the dishes I mean ALL of the dishes. This includes pots and pans, utensils and all of the other stuff that’s either too big to fit or shouldn’t be put in a dishwasher.

 

Untitled

Still trying to walk a mile in my shoes?
Brace yourself, you’re about to land flat on your face.

Last Friday night I was sitting on a chair in the office talking to my little big bro’ Al on my cell phone. I finished the conversation a little bit after 8:00, got up and walked into the living room where Lisa was watching TV. As I was walking in I started to tell Lisa what me and Al had talked about. I opened my mouth and began to speak. The only problem was that I couldn’t pronounce any of the words correctly. The words coming out of my mouth were either badly mispronounced or complete jibberish. Believe me, I was not doing this on purpose as a joke. I literally could not speak correctly. All I could say correctly was “Yes,” “No” and according to lisa, “I can’t f***ing talk!”      

I couldn’t even tell her that I was scared. It came out like this and very slowly because I was trying so hard to get it right. It sounded something like this:
“I…I…IIIIIImmmm….ca…ca…ssss…sta…sca…scared!” 
She immediately came over to comfort me as I continued trying to say something understandable. Neither one of us knew what was going on in my brain, but the usual suspects had to be the tumors. 

After a few minutes there wasn’t much improvement so by mutual agreement we headed to the E.R. By the time we got there, I could already speak more clearly but very slowly and carefully. They did all of the usual stuff plus a CT scan. The scan showed nothing new. Of courseI still have tumors on my optic nerves and in my thalamus, but I regard all of that as dead cancer tissue.

Not surprisingly, the consensus was to admit me to the hospital for more tests. No argument from us.

It was almost midnight by the time I got checked in. We were both exhausted and still needed to talk with the nurse. The shift change for the nurses was at midnight so the wait took even longer than usual. While we waited we could hear some ruckus in the hallway caused by some guy who was either stoned or crazy. I started to wonder if I was in the psych ward. I wasn’t.  This wouldn’t be the first time someone suggested I should be in the psych ward, but they were all friends and family, not doctors.        

    While we waited, we were both ready to go to sleep. I told Lisa it would be alright with me if she just went home and slept while I waited for the nurse. We both knew that all she was going to do was ask me all of the same questions that we had answered at least three times.

After Lisa went home, I still had to wait almost 45 minutes before the nurse finally came in. While I waited I could still hear the crazy guy running around in the hallway and yelling at the nurses. He wanted his car keys back so he could drive himself home. One of the nurses calmly tried to explain to him that he had totaled his car. One of the aides came in to check my vitals and I asked her what the deal was with this guy. She said he had been in an accident. I asked her if he had a head injury and she said “No, he’s detoxing.” Thhey must have given him a shot of the drooly juice to subdue him, because I didn’t hear a peep out of him for the rest of the night.

The nurse finally graced me with a visit at about 12:45 a.m. As I suspected, she asked me all of the same questions everyone else did and then she had one of the aides bring me a pleasant little sedative.

To be continued on next entry…

Spoiler Alert: I didn’t die.

 
 
And finally, my favorite of all, which was actually read aloud at his funeral. It was one of his first entries.
 
 

The Lord’s Day

 
I am not a deeply religious man, but I do believe in God and the power of prayer.
Lisa and I attended church services this morning. We go to a local Presbyterian church. We were both raised Catholic but I think we all pray to the same God. Lisa sang this morning with a small group that was put together by a man from the parish. She is not a member of the big choir, but this man had noticed what a great voice she has. He asked her if she was willing to join  this small group and sing a single song once a month. She agreed to do it, and they have now sung together threetimes. Most of the group is knowledgablle about music, so they only have to practice together once and then do a quick practice before the service begins. She acts as if it’s no big deal but I think it’s great. She has a wonderful singing voice and I’m proud of her.

I would like to thank God for the people in my life who have been so helpful to me during my illness, the loss of my eyesight and the many obstacles I’ve encountered over the past few years.

People I’m thankful for:

First and foremost, my wife Lisa. She’s been my constant companion through all of the ups and downs of this wild ride. I think her love and support saved my life. Not only has she been taking care of me, but she also gives me a reason to live.

I’m thankful for my children Tracy, Nick and Sara just for serving as a reminder that if and when I die I will have left something special behind.

I’m thankful for my mom for all of the love, support and guidance she has given me throughout my entire life.

     I’m thankful for my  brother Al and my sisters Bev, Cathy, Darlene and Evy, who have all been supportive and helpful whenever I needed them.

I’m also thankful for my friend Dave. At various stages of our lives we have been fellow students, coworkers and roommates. Our friendship has lasted for over 26 years. He never hesitates to offer his help. 
 
If I missed anyone I apologize. Thank you all for viewing this web site.

 God bless us all.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Thank you for reading!
-Sardizzle

Photo Album: Daddio Edition

As promised, here are some pictures of the daddio that I collected to share with y’all.

Image

All four of us showing some love! I know I mentioned my older brother and sister in my last post, but I don’t think I mentioned our oldest brother. My dad is not his biological father, but he did grow up with my dad as a father figure. He was not around when all of this stuff happened, but I’m glad to say that he is now active in all of our lives and he is just as much a part of the family as anyone else!

Image

I don’t think this needs much of a description. This is my dad being his usual goofy self 🙂

Image

An old family portrait. You can tell by the terrible quality, the ridiculous Christmas sweaters, and my dad’s humongous glasses. I am the little blond one on the left. Next to me is my sister Tracy who is currently 22. Next to her in the blue sweater is my brother Nick who just turned 21. The dark skinned teenager in the back is my brother Jason, who is 31 if I recall correctly. My parents were still married when this picture was taken.

Image

My dad when he turned 40. We like to go overboard with the “Over The Hill” jokes to let you know that we love you, and holy shit are you getting old. He loved the hilarity of the event. The main reason I chose to share this picture was because of the shirt he’s wearing. He had multiple Hard Rock Cafe shirts, and he’d be wearing one at least 60% of the time. I’ve only ever been to one, which is by the Sixth Street Mall in Denver. I have one of my dad’s old Hard Rock Cafe tees, from Las Vegas. It is old, discolored, and bears many holes, but I still wear it proudly on a regular basis. I refuse to give it up.

Image

Just me and my dad, chillin by the fireplace. Nothing out of the ordinary here… Just a nice, normal family portrait 😉

Image

Another shot of him being goofy. Looking back, I’m starting to think that I got this from him, too. Every time I take a photo, I have SUCH a hard time keeping a straight face. 9 times out of 10 it ends up with me doing something stupid and goofy. We Adamski’s have a disability when it comes to photos. My mom and my siblings are all very photogenic and now how to come up with pretty great looking pictures. This is just one thing that me and my dad have in common. No need to take life so seriously!

Image

Dad and Nick on the chairlift. My papa has been a die hard skiier all his life, but as soon as snowboarding came out, he was one of the first to give it a try. As soon as we were old enough, he taught us three youngsters how to ride. All three of us, at once… What patience he must have had, I was only 6 or 7 at the time! Luckily, we all got it down right away. It seems like kids are better at learning than adults are because they’re more fearless. I’m not sure when or where this picture was taken, but I have a feeling this is from when he took us all to Powderhorn ski area in Michigan. This is why I am a snowboarder. I learned at a young age and I have been doing it for most of my life. It has always been my favorite hobby, and I have him to thank for that. My sister never really stuck with it, but my brother and I fell in love with it immediately. This is one of the huge reasons we both ended up moving to Colorado and working at a ski resort.

Image

This is a VERY old picture. Those two babies are Nick and Tracy. I wasn’t even alive yet. But here he is, being a good dad, holding his babies with a smile on his face and his classic porn stache. I have a lot of porn stache pictures, but not a lot of him with a beard in ADDITION to the stache. This is some prime photography, y’all.

Image

As you might have guessed, this is what he looked like after being hit with cancer. He rocked the Mr. Clean look. You could rub his head for good luck! He also rocked a single ear piercing. He thought it complimented his bald head. This is also post-blindness, you’ll notice that he’s not looking directly at the camera because he can’t see where it is. It wasn’t until he stopped wearing his glasses that I noticed how pretty his eyes were. Bright baby blues. Yet one more thing that I obtained from him. Thanks dad! This, by the way, was taken after his wedding. He and Lisa both looked great, and to this day I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever seen anyone as happy as they were that day. I’m glad that he found such a great companion in the end that helped and supported him through everything. I’m very thankful that she was there to give his life meaning in the end when he needed it most.

Image

The most recent picture I have of him. This is when Tracy graduated from high school in 2010. He was a proud daddy and he “played the blind card” to get handicapped seats so he wouldn’t have to sit in the crowded bleachers. I guess having a disability has its advantages! He also played this card in many other situations, like when he and Lisa attended a Bob & Tom standup show. They ended up getting seats right in the middle where almost no one else was. Also on airplanes before they were married. Since they had different last names they would be placed in different seating areas on the plane, so he would play the blind card saying he needed to sit by his “Watch Wife” for guidance. That, in addition to Lisa’s theatrical background and being able to cry on demand, got them to a lot of places!

Image

Just in case you were wondering, this is not my dad. As far as tattoos go, my dad had virgin skin. This is a tattoo my sister got after he died. She didn’t know it yet, but she was one month pregnant when his death came. Her son, my nephew, Troy, was born September of that same year. He wasn’t expected until December, but that little guy was anxious to get out. My sister is religious and very spiritual, and she believes he was born in September because that is my dad’s birth month. He stayed in long enough to come out healthy, but early enough to still make the September deadline. After lots of pondering what to get on her body to represent this, she was really into the saying, “When one life ends, another begins.” Anyone can get a quote on them, though. She picked a picture that represented this thought and called up an artist. The big, dark, old looking tree represents my dad. The little tree that is just coming to life represents her son. The original plan was to have roots coming from each tree, connecting at the bottom with a little heart. Ultimately, she decided that she liked it the way it was. I love this tattoo so much, and I am trying to come up with an idea for a tattoo myself. By the way, this is a recent picture of Troy, my nephew, the respawn of my dad:

Image

Awhile ago, Tracy asked my dad if he had any ideas for a tattoo she should get. Here’s what he posted about it on his blog:

Untitled

Marked For Life

I received this message in my guestbook recently from my daughter Tracy. It pretty much speaks for itself.

The message was:

ive been thinking of getting a tattoo in the near future
dedicated to the best dad in the world of course!!
i have a few ideas but thought that the crazies that visit this site as much as me would want to contribute ideas as well as you dad.
some friends have had good suggestions. my favorite was from a friend named Brad and this is what he said:

“since he is your father he gave you his last name, which you will lose when you get married, so in memory of said name, get a picture of Adam skiing away from Eve”

yeah. i have some cool friends. and ones that take me seriously haha but anyways. if anyone has a real idea or a fake one i’d appreciate your input!! and remember. this will be forever engraved on fred’s daughter’s skin, so pick wisely!

love you dad,

your favorite daughter tracy

ps i am now considering that family reunion but if i want to catch crazy… i’ll keep you posted!

tracy tracy with a head so spacey

My suggestions for Tracy’s tattoo are: 1. Don’t get one. 2. Get one in a place where nobody will ever see it. 3. If it says something like “Daddy’s Girl” don’t put it anywhere near your butt. That’s just plain creepy. 4. If you still insist on getting one, keep it small and easy to conceal for job interviews and your wedding. 5. My first suggestion for an actual tattoo is a brain wearing sunglasses and laughing. 6. My next suggestion is a sombrero and castanets with the caption “My dad went to Mexico for cancer treatment and all I got was this lousy tattoo !!!”

I’m sure my clever readers could come up with more. I don’t have any tattoos myself. It took me over 44 years to get an earring. Maybe I’ll get a tat for my 80th birthday.

Fred Fred Inkless Head”

 

I’m seriously considering the laughing brain with the sunglasses. I’ve thought of a lot of ideas, but none that displayed his personality the way I wanted to capture it. The brain makes sense because he was brainiac and because he had brain cancer. It’s laughing because his most prominent trait was his sense of humor. The sunglasses represent both how cool he was and his blindness. It is everything we know and love about him put into one picture. I’m also considering doing a mix of his two suggestions. The brain could be wearing a sombrero and have the text wrapped around it. I think it sounds perfect. I’ve been thinking about it for a couple weeks, and I haven’t grown tired of the idea. The one thing that troubles me is the placement. Where would a tattoo like that look decent? But like all of my other tattoo ideas, I am going to give it time to come to me to where I’m absolutely positive that I want it. And then when that happens I will talk to an artist and get something figured out. If there is anyone out there that’s reading this, please please please give me some feedback! I could use some help 🙂

Happy Father’s Day!

First off, I just wanted to say happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful daddies out there, as well as the single moms who have to play both roles. You guys are what makes the world go ’round! Keep rocking!

Next, I wanted to share some stuff about my dad. I’ve mentioned a couple things here and there, but I figured what better day than today to share the life of this wonderful man? He was, without a doubt, my favorite person in the world. I grew up the youngest in the family and I always looked up to him. Even the way I am today, you can totally tell I was always daddy’s little girl. Not in the slutty way where I was his princess and then grew up to be a skank with a “Daddy’s Little Princess” tramp stamp above my ass. The innocent kind of daddy’s girl where I grew up to be a bit of a tomboy and I can always look back at him for inspiration. Whenever I needed an answer, I looked to him. I wanted to be just like him, because he was kind-hearted, intelligent, creative, and most of all, hilarious. Each of us kids is a spitting image of my father in some way shape or form. This man is the reason I am the way I am, and I would not change that for the world. He is the origin of everything that I am: my sense of humor, my brains, my taste in music, my love for construction, my hairy arms, and my long curly toes.

He has a dry sense of humor, which definitely stuck through the next generation. The Airplane! movies were a must see in our family. Not only did he enjoy that type of humor, he conveyed that type of humor. No matter what the situation, there was Mr. Positive cracking a joke and making everyone laugh. He was also very very smart. At family gatherings, we always used to play trivia games, and he would whoop us all every time, no fail. That head of his was full of useless facts. He was also a computer nerd. Any time we had a problem with one of our huge 90’s PCs, he could fix it and get it back up and running that some day. A nerd’s gotta have his gadgets. He worked at construction jobs after finishing a degree at the tech in Eau Claire, WI. His first job was in Milwaukee, then after awhile he moved to Colorado for the skiing. My mom grew up in Colorado, and this is where they first met. In fact, the place I was previously living in Colorado is the same place he used to go skiing. He loved it there. So much so that we ended up spreading his ashes on a mountain top as he requested. After that, my parents had my two older siblings, and then moved to Wisconsin just before I was born. He was self employed for awhile, then worked at a couple different places as a blue print drafter. One of the last projects he finished before he stopped working was the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, which I ended up going to about a year ago just to see what he had done. Spoiler: it was incredible!

My parents ended up getting divorced when I was about 7 or 8 years old. It wasn’t hard on me for some reason. Maybe I knew deep down that they just weren’t right for each other, which is fine. Still, it was hard to accept. We moved out with my mom and have lived in 5-10 different places since. My dad, on the other hand, got his own space. We still saw him a lot. Eventually, both of my parents got back into the dating game. My mom is still trying, but my dad was pretty successful pretty fast. In both cases, dates were set up on Match.com. My dad dated someone named Wendy for a few months, which went well for awhile, but then they discovered they weren’t right for each other, so they decided to just be friends. Then, one day, as he was shopping online for lady friends, he happened upon someone that he recognized: my music teacher from elementary school. He messaged her out of curiosity since he knew who she was, she knew who we were, and my dad went to our Christmas shows at school. Lisa is a very pretty woman, so of course he noticed her. Eventually, their talk of him explaining who he was turned into an offer for a date. Much to his surprise, she accepted. Even more to his surprise, she had a good time and agreed to a second date. The second date went swimmingly also, and the next one, and the next one, and so on and so forth. They fell absolutely in love and eventually moved in together and tied the knot with a small but beautiful marriage.

Unfortunately, this love story comes to a sad ending. In the fall of 2007, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Here is the story, described in his own words:

“In the summer of 2006, I started to have problems with my vision. The vision in my right eye became cloudy and my eye eventually became  so crossed that I had to wear an eye patch. I went to see an ophthalmologist and he couldn’t find anything wrong. He suggested that I see a neurologist. After many tests, we still had no idea what was causing my vision problem. Within a few months my vision cleared up and everything was back to normal. Just as this whole thing began, God sent me an angel. On July 14th of that year, I met my wife Lisa. You will be hearing a lot more about this wonderful woman in many of my journal entries. She truly is a gift from God.
  
Around March 2007 I started to have the same problem in my left eye. This progressed much more rapidly than the right eye had the year before. Since vision problems are a common early sign of MS, I was sent to a specialist who told me that based on my symptoms, I probably had MS. In most cases vision problems are only a precursor to more symptoms that could occur as much as 15 years later.

By this time I had gone completely blind in my left eye and was starting to lose the vision in my right. Needless to say, I was scared to death of the prospect of going blind plus  ending up in a wheelchair to boot.

In late August I had a biopsy done on my left optic nerve. Since the vision in my left eye was long gone, the doctors thought this would do no  harm, so I agreed to it. It was a fairly short operation, but it did require an overnight stay at the surgery center. Lisa stayed by my side for the entire night. I will give you the gory details of exactly how this procedure was performed in a journal entry sometime in the immediate future.

On August 29th, 2007 I was diagnosed with GBM (Glioblastoma Multiforme.)
 GBM is a grade 4 brain cancer with a pretty low long term survival rate.
Lisa and I did some research on the internet about the survival rate. There were a lot of different numbers ranging from 3 months without treatment up to 2 years with treatment. One web site said the 5 year survival rate was less than 3 percent.”

My dad, the bravest and strongest guy I’ve ever met, somehow beat the odds. He lived for another 3 1/2 years after his diagnosis, all while keeping his ever-positive mood. He did end up going completely blind in both eyes. His response: he refused to let it get the best of him. Lisa did all the cooking, my dad did all the dishes. That includes filling, running, and emptying the dishwasher. He also made coffee for Lisa and himself if he happened to wake up first. He dressed himself by organizing his clothes in a way that he knew what went where. The only time he asked for assistance is when he had to dress up and make sure his sock choice didn’t look ridiculous with his outfit. He also purchased a lot of blind guy technology. Like I said, a geek’s gotta have his gadgets. He had a talking watch, audio books, and software on his computer that let him use it like he would even if he could see. He kept a blog to share his progress with his friends and family, using his blind guy computer software. This is where I got the entry that he posted about his condition. The website is here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/insidefredshead/journal/index/0/0/asc I will be posting more entries of his later on so you can get an idea of his true personality, and also just to share some cool stuff.

My dad went to Tijuana several times for treatment that is not yet legal in the US. He met someone that had been to the same facility, had the same type of brain cancer, and was now cancer free. This is the same person who told him about the caringbridge website he used for blogging. Once he started going through that treatment center, things seemed to get better. They could not operate on his tumors because they were too far into his brain, but the Tijuana treatments stopped the growth of the tumors for a good amount of time. I believe that if it were not for this hospital, he would have only lasted 3-6 months like the doctors expected. Instead, he lived for another few years. He lived long enough to see my oldest sister graduate, which she was extremely grateful for.

After countless treatments, prayers, times spent together, hair loss, weight loss, and getting used to his fate, things increasingly got worse. The man that I had watched beat the shit out of cancer for the past few years called me one night to tell me it had spread to his spine. The doctors guessed he had a month left. That’s when it all started falling apart. First his sense of humor went away. Then his emotions altogether. He could no longer post on his blog and within a couple weeks he was put in hospice. He was in so much pain that they filled him to the brim with enough pain killers to knock him out for all but one hour each day if that. Our visits when from having fun together to just sitting around, waiting, watching, crying, and reflecting. We asked him for final requests. He wanted to be cremated and have his ashes spread on a mountain top. He gave us kids some of his favorite stuff, including two harmonicas that belonged to his father. We started to make funeral arrangements. Then, one night, as Lisa sat by his side, he took his last breath. It must have been three in the morning when Lisa called me to tell me what just happened. I didn’t answer. It’s not that my phone didn’t wake me up – it did – it’s just that I knew what the call was about, and I didn’t want to hear the words. I let the call go to voicemail as I sat up in bed and stared at the wall. The longest minute of my life later, my sister came flying into my room, crying her eyes out. She jumped on my bed and hugged me deeply. I couldn’t control it anymore. I burst into tears, absolutely wrecked. I don’t remember much about that morning, except that me, my sister, and my brother sat around the living room. It was a school day. Instead of skipping, I still went because I didn’t like the idea of sitting around all day moping. I wanted to be distracted. It didn’t work. One of my friends noticed my zombie-like expression, and when she confronted me I LOST it. I made a scene. I fell to the ground, wailing, tears in my eyes, kicking the locker nearest to me. Needless to say, I was sent home.

It’s not easy losing someone you love. Especially someone you had been so close to, that you had known all your life and looked up to. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. Most of my family is religious, so they were comforted by the thought that he was “in a better place now” and “God takes the good people young because he needs angels in Heaven.” I, however, do not share those beliefs, which makes it even harder to deal with. In my eyes, he’s gone forever and there’s no fixing that.

It gets easier eventually. He always said that when he dies, he wants to be remembered for who he was before the cancer. He wanted us to always celebrate his life instead of mourn his death. I’ve been able to do just that. Every thought I have about him these days is positive. Thinking about him makes me happy that I got to grow up with such a great role model, rather than sad that he is no longer here. It is days like today, though, where I can’t help but let the water works flow. I’m still remaining positive about his life, but it hurts that he had to leave the world so soon. I would give anything just to see him one more time.

I am going to post two more times today. One will be pictures of my dad that I collected, and stories that go with them. The other will be about some of his highlight blog entries. See you in a minute!

Rescue Training!

 

Guess who’s officially rescue-certified? I’ll give you a hint… It’s me 🙂

Rescue training was a good time. The guy who taught us everything and does the certifications is a cool guy. He’s from Australia, but lived in England for a number of years, and is now based in Canada. Ever heard an Aussie-English-Canadian accent? I can now say that I have. Throughout everything, he has stuck to saying “mate” at the end of every sentence.

5 days with this guy, my supervisors, and my fellow chosen coworkers meant a lot of learning new things, teamwork, depending on each other, and a whole mess of cuss words.

Day 1: Our first day of training was spent half in a classroom, half outside. We learned what it meant to do a rescue, went through a slide show that I’m sure none of us were able to fully interpret, and then came the knots. I have learned a couple of these knots in the past because I took an adventure education class in high school where we played day after day on a high ropes course. First we learned a single figure 8 knot. Then we learned a figure 8 knot on a bight. Then came the double figure 8 knot which was confusing at first, but now I can get the baby tied up without even thinking about it. The last of the family of figure 8’s that we learned was the inline, which is fairly easy. Finally, we learned the prussic knot, which we ended up using quite a bit over the next couple days.

Once we got our knots down, we headed outside to learn self ascension and descension. It wasn’t worth it to go all the way up the mountain to the zip line, so we just practiced using the cable from a nearby chairlift. Here’s one of our maintenance guys demonstrating the task:

Image

It was pretty easy. We used a grion to pull ourselves up, and then tied an extra rope to the line using the prussic knot so we could rest our foot on something as we shimmied up. We also had someone on the side pulling up slack from a belay line as a secondary point of attachment. Once we got to the top, we untied the prussic loop, and slowly descended back to the ground. Eventually, clouds started rolling in, thunder was heard, so we had to move to the front of the building and use some random beams to finish out the task.

Day 2: We went straight up to the top to continue our practice, this time using the actual zip line cable. Our task was to ascend ourselves, ascend another person (our “victim”), descend the victim, and then descend ourselves. We did not use any of the regular ziplining equipment, just harnesses. Hanging in the air was pretty uncomfortable for both parties involved. They should make harnesses with cushioning on the inside…

We did, however, use standard rescue gear that would be used in a real scenario. The rescuer was held up by their grion connected to the rescue trolley and a big hook that connects to the back of the harness and is simply hung up on the line. The victim was connected to the belay line and was pulled up by the rescuer using a 4:1 device, making it easier for the rescuer to pull them to the top. Once they were within reaching distance, we connected them to a rope with a petzl stop, unattached the 4:1, and then lowered them down with the help of the ground belay. Once they reached the bottom, we attached ourselves to these two devices and lowered down. Here is a picture of the scenario that I took of two of my coworkers:

Image

Day 3: This day went much like day 2, only this time, we actually sat our victim in the riding chair we use for regular operations. This means countless points of attachment to their trolley that we have to take off after connecting them to our system where they would be lowered. The process is long and difficult with a lot you have to remember, always keeping at least two points of contact. The difficulty basically came down to rope management. It is easy to get confused with all of the ropes you must have attached, but as long as you keep them in order, you shouldn’t have too bad of a transition. Other difficulties were making sure you constantly had at least 2 points of attachment, as well as remembering which way to feed the ropes through our devices. The petzl stop had to be loaded so that the working end came out at the top. I witnessed several of my coworkers loading it the wrong way at least once. Luckily, they had a support team to let them know when they did something wrong, and everyone came through with success. I forgot to take a picture of what this looked like, but use your imagination and bear with me.

Day 4: Same as yesterday, but instead of doing this whole thing above our platform, we had to do it behind the platform, about 100 feet above ground. Being a victim in that situation was sort of scary for me, but my rescuer ended up doing a great job. I didn’t attempt this until the very end of the day. The pressure was on; everyone was watching me, I was suspended at 100 feet above ground, and my victim was my supervisor. Luckily, I am not afraid of heights, and I was completely confident in what I was doing, so I kept my cool. My victim, despite being a big, beefy, tall guy who lived through a war and resembles Vin Diesel, was scared shitless. It’s not that he didn’t trust me – he told me from the start he wouldn’t have volunteered if he thought I couldn’t do it – it’s just that he’s a big guy in a little chair and he couldn’t wait to get down.

I’m impressed with how I did. This was the final test for passing and being able to receive the certification. There was an obscene amount of pressure put on me, between impressing the Aussie-English-Canadian trainer, making sure Bill made it out alive, and knowing what I was doing. I had lost my cool a little bit the day before, which isn’t common for me. Luckily, this time, I remained calm, did my rescue, and reached the bottom to be applauded by everyone. I did not need to ask any questions, I did not need any advice on how to do anything better, I loaded the petzl stop correctly the first time, and my legs did not fall asleep in my harness somehow. I even got an email from Bill later that day who told me for the fifth time that he appreciated me saving him. He congratulated me because he was scared and I was able to calm him down and make him feel safe. He said I completed the task with “excellence” and “poise.” Best of all, I qualified for the certification without having to try a second time! I do not have a picture of what this looked like either, but here’s a picture that Jeff took of me preparing for a rescue on the platform:

Image

Day 5: We didn’t do much on day 5. Two of my coworkers had to redo a rescue because the Aussie-English-Canadian did not feel comfortable with their performances the day before. They both killed it this time. Next, the trainer wanted to watch us do our regular zip lining operations and give us feedback since he has been in the industry for years and has seen countless zip lines. We did our regular morning inspections at both top and bottom station, ran a weight test, and then had to quit because of wind. We have to shut down if the wind stays at an average of 25 mph, and that day it was averaging around 38 mph. Needless to say, we headed back down after end of the day inspections were done. We were all supposed to get a chance to ride top to bottom on the rescue trolleys since that is what would happen in the real scenario, but once again, because of wind, that didn’t happen. We simply closed up shop and drove down the mountain to clock out and call it a day.

 

After day 5, AKA yesterday, the whole crew was supposed to come in for practice one more time before we open up this Friday the 13th (I’m kind of freaked out about the fact that we are opening that day, especially because we don’t have the best track record for safety thanks to the Heavenly flyer). Rescue certified crew AND non-rescue came in for work. After clocking in and sitting around waiting for trucks to pick us up and take us to the top, we realized that both of our maintenance guys had the day off. We cannot run the zipline without them because they have their own inspections they must complete before we do our inspections. And if something were to go wrong, it is ultimately up to them to fix it. With that, we all clocked out and went home right away.

A couple of people from work went to the beach and asked if I wanted to come, but at that point I was already home with my low fuel light flashing. This means I can’t go anywhere for these next two days I have off. Hopefully I have enough gas to make it to work on Friday. Luckily, Friday is also payday, so I’ll be able to refill after work. Anyway, since I can’t drive anywhere, I looked up some nearby hiking spots that I can just walk to. Living far away from town can be a pain sometimes, but I am fortunate enough to live at the top of a mountain with lots of trails and views. Now that I have finished writing, I am going to make breakfast and get ready for my day of exploring Desolation Wilderness!

Thank you for stopping by.

-Sara Sara Bo Bara