These are random thoughts and rantings that I have posted on Facebook for the past few months…venture into them at your own risk.
People wonder why I am a closed off, stand-offish sonofabitch at times. I’ll tell you why, ultimately altruistic behavior comes back and bites you in the ass HARD! I am not talking about working together for a common goal (i.e. working as a team at work to create product to make a profit on.) I am talking about being altruistic at the expense of other people and things in your personal life. When you show altruism in your personal life, it impacts on other people in your life in a negative way. Some people don’t want to be forced into self-sacrifice. It’s anathema to human nature, which is your personal survival. Sometimes I feel guilty about my attitude about altruism, but that is why I have a psychotherapist to help me get my head on straight. Having shown altruistic behavior at times in my life, and then being screwed over big time, is it any wonder why I am a hot psychological mess?
Instant Gratification. (11/14/2013)
The mindset of instant gratification has become a curse on our society. Over the past 20 years, we have been conditioned by the mass media into thinking that we can get what we want RIGHT NOW! Being a pragmatist, I of course move cautiously when making any kind of decision. That is why it took me so long to buy my own house. I pretty much live in the here and now for the most part, but I don’t jump right in when there is a major change coming to my life. All the advertisements that say you can get what you want RIGHT NOW with a zero APR and no money down is a trap to lull the less fortunate into massive debt with no way to get out of it. We have become a society of "I want it and I want it now." I am not one of those people. I take simple comforts and find joy in them. A good cup of coffee. A pipeful of good tobacco. Going to my therapist every two weeks to sort out my life. Ten minutes in a hot shower. Simple guy, simple needs.
Goddamn cats…anything that is loose on the nightstands in the bedroom becomes CAT TOYS. I leave a pair of earplugs on my nightstand (because I sleep during the day,) when I go to bed they are nowhere to be found. I find them DOWNSTAIRS in the dining room. Same thing with Dan, he has a couple of rubber bracelets and a pair of earplugs on the nightstand, next thing you know they are on the fucking floor. I tell Dan, close the goddamn bedroom door, the cats have the run of the fucking house. They don’t need to be in the bedroom. Yes, I am in a pissy mood.
Priorities…it’s very hard to set priorities when something else gets in your path to achieving some sort of peace. For the past three years, I have not been able to attain that peace. I have a set list of priorities that I have to follow.
1. Mortgage payment. That gets paid every month without fail. I’ve worked too hard to get this house and I don’t want to lose it.
2. Car insurance. I slipped one time and we spent a week straightening it out. We need it do get places (but the only place I really go is work every night, and I take the bus home in the morning.
3. Cable bill. Need the home phone, Internet access, and entertainment.
4. Cell phone. That’s an autopay every month.
5. Utilities. Gotta keep the lights and heat going.
There are other items that need to be taken care of but the top five comes first. When something unexpected comes along, I am thrown into disarray. I start obsessing, worrying, and suffer from insomnia. I CANNOT cope with the unexpected.
Work is my sanctuary. I have a set list of tasks that I have to do at work, and I do them to the best of my ability. Going into analysis was the best thing that ever happened to me because I WANT to keep my job. A lot of the problems that I had at work were my response to the instability in my personal life.
Like I said before, I am a simple guy. I don’t really want a lot out of life. I just want to do my job, pay the bills, and be left alone. Dan and I don’t socialize a lot. We have a few select people that he and I interact with on a regular basis. Part of the reason why is that I am a very cold and pragmatic individual. Instability is a variable that I cannot account for in my life, because it conflicts with my pragmatism. Socializing with people I don’t know is a struggle. I suffer from social anxiety disorder, and when I am in a crowd it feels like the walls are closing in. Work isn’t a problem for me since I am used to the people that I work with, and can be somewhat open with. (With a couple of exceptions, I pretty much get along with my co-workers.)
Social media like Facebook is a good way for me to get my thoughts out into the open without the immediate reaction that you get in real life. We’re all just ones and zeros zipping along in the ethernet, with a slight time delay until a response is put out there.
That is why I have to set priorities in my life. I cannot and will not allow myself to be caught up in other peoples problems or drama. I have enough of that bullshit in my personal life.
Anxiety Attack (11/3/2013.)
I had an anxiety attack about two hours ago. My nephew Matt asked me to if he could stay with us for a while. I just started freaking out. We got rid of the roommate in June, and things started to stabilize. Then in October, my niece came to stay because of difficulties in her life. We also had my grandniece a few nights a week. Then, when my nephew made his request (he came over to do laundry and apply for some jobs online,) I went and talked to Dan. I don’t know what came over me but the next thing I knew I was curled up on the floor of our bedroom with the curtains closed and I was shaking like a leaf. Every time when I think that things are going to work out, some crisis comes along to put obstacles in my way. Christ, I will be 55 next month and I was hoping for SOME stability in my life at this point. I have a decent job, my own house, and someone who loves me. Turning my nephew down was one of the hardest things that I had to do in my life. Yes, we will try to help him, but there are limits to what myself and Dan can do. I think the anxiety attack stemmed from seeing a family member in trouble and not being able to offer the support that he needed. Fortunately Dan was able to help me snap out of it. I hate having to tell Matt that he couldn’t stay with us.
Before the smartphone.
I miss the days where I would grab my Sony Discman, choose up to five CD’s to stuff into my CaseLogic CD case, and clamp some honkin’ headphones on my noggin to listen to music on the bus or while at work. Nowadays, I can just load up my smartphone with all my favorite music, and pop in my earbuds. Convenience has it’s costs.
Modern politics (11/25/2013)
Modern politics…it’s become more and more like a sales pitch to the unwashed masses. We’re constantly bombarded with the viewpoints from both sides. I, as a pragmatist, tend to look at the bullshit that is coming out with a jaundiced eye. The right is all up in arms because same-sex marriage will "destroy the sanctity" of the American family. The left is up in arms because government has been co-opted by big business more concerned with expanding their wealth at the cost of necessary social services that keep people healthy and fed (such as the ACA and SNAP.) The right wants to "privatize" Social Security because it would give Wall Street a large money pool to gamble away on marginally successful companies. The left wants to keep Social Security the way it is because the American public pays into it with each paycheck to provide a comfortable future. (The right considers it an "entitlement," which it is in a way, because we are entitled to it when we retire.) The left applauds the deal with Iran to curtail nuclear production, because it will help stabilize a region of the world that has been long a powderkeg for violence and terrorism. The right is denouncing it because their thought masters in the military-industrial complex will lose big time with decreased arms spending.
And in between all this political posturing and bullshit? Us, the American public. We’re the people who are really keeping this country going. The people who go into work every day to hopefully make a decent enough living so we can provide food and shelter to our loved ones. All this that is going on has the end result of making even a die-hard pragmatist like myself throw up my arms and say "ahhhh fuck it." I can’t decide which viewpoint is more valid. I consider myself more informed than the average American, but the glut of information (or lack thereof) that we are bombarded with thanks to mass media and high-speed Internet access can be too much to process.
Fuck it, I’ll just have another beer and hope that some sort of equilibrium happens, otherwise the American way of life will become truly and hopelessly fucked.
Getting rid of the hoarder.
In 2007, a friend of ours moved in with us because she was suffering from throat cancer. She was very ill, and she needed to stay with us because she couldn’t care for herself. Little did we know, she made our lives a living hell. She moved in with five bags of things. But she is a hoarder. She went out trash picking, and in her twisted little mind, she saw some sort of value in the trash that people threw out. Granted, I have clothes that I haven’t worn in a while, and I have computer equipment that still has some use, but she would bring home SHIT that wasn’t any use to anyone, but she thought had some value. It got to the point where Dan had to put a padlock on the garage to prevent her from bring more shit into it. She couldn’t go into the attic because the door was in the master bedroom where I slept, and the basement at this point was crammed full.
The other point was, in her mind, since she lived there, it gave her the right to control the house. When Dan told her to stop bring shit into our house, she would throw the fact that the house was in my name into his face. She tried to play Dan and me against each other. Of course, I sided with Dan because he is my husband. More on the hoarding part…Dan painted the bedroom that we gave her, and she crammed it from floor to ceiling with HER SHIT! Every time that she had a problem with her computer, I hated going in there. Yes, my den is a clutter zone, but at least you could move around in it.
Things started getting worse after Dan and I got married in 2012. Right off the bat, we knew that conflict was going to happen between the roomie and our best friend Doug. He was going to stay at our house while Dan and I were in Provincetown on our honeymoon. Doug and the roomie are like oil and water, they don’t mix. When I checked up on them (fortunately I had cell service) I got an earful. For starters, the roomie ate top of our wedding cake, then on a day in Syracuse, the temperatures approached 100 degrees she turned off the air conditioners because she “felt a breeze.” Our dog Spike was suffering from the heat, and Doug called my sister Missy for help. My sister told her, “Turn the fucking air conditioning back on or I will come over and kick your fucking ass.”
At this point, Dan and I knew that she had to leave. She desired to live out in “the country,” as she considered Wolcott. But Wolcott became a bedroom community. So Dan helped her to find a place that she could live in. Once she found where she could live, she expected us t0 help her move out there.
Okay, she paid for the first load (a U-Haul) but…all the shit she had wouldn’t fit in the first truck (a 20-footer.) But wait, it gets better…Dan and I had to rent a U-Haul two weeks later ,at our expense to haul the rest of HER SHIT out. I had to call my supervisor on his personal cell to get the night off (and burn off a vacation day for it.)
AND IT GETS BETTER!
The rental company that manages where she lives has given her a month to clear out the shit that she has accumulated.
© 2013 Dean Basler, all rights reserved.