Halloween 2018

The Nightmare Before New Year’s Day


It’s Halloween.

Thought about my first Halloween with Alison the other day. It was exactly 10 years ago today. That’s her shoulder in the pic at the bottom of this entry. She dyed her hair brown.

When everything went down in 2015, I remember thinking a lot about the movie title, The Nightmare before Christmas. That’s exactly what it was.

Can’t properly express to you the depth of the sadness and anxiety we all felt then. Probably for the best.

I remember hearing ages ago that Vincent Price was supposed to be Santa in the film but his wife passed away and he was “so grief-stricken that the director felt he sounded too sad for Santa.”

Man, I totally get that. I was a zombie for years while Alison was sick and continued after she passed. I was a shadow of myself.

Halloween fills me with a dread. Cause it’s the start of the holiday season.

My son was supposed to be born around Halloween but he wasn’t so Alison took a walk around the neighborhood that day.

She took these pictures in this entry.

She was so happy that day. She was in love, pregnant, and about to be a mother. Everything she ever wanted. And it all turned to shit a week later.

I worried for a while that the boy would feel my grief but I wear my painted faces in front of him to hide it as best I can.

Time’ll tell if it worked.

In any case, today, I’m going to dress up the boy and myself for Halloween. The Gymgirl’s coming too.

At the end of the day, I’ll take off my costume but I’ll keep my painted face on until New Year’s Day, so the kid doesn’t know how much I hate the holidays.

And I do so hate the holidays. Dunno if that’ll ever change.

Location: 2015, in my head
Mood: crestfallen
Music: Painted faces, fill the places I can’t reach
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I hate the holidays

Sorry for being outta touch


Sorry I’ve not posted in a bit. The period between Thanksgiving and Xmas used to be my favourite time of year. Now I hate it so.

On so many levels.


Been averaging about four hours of sleep a night. Last night as well. Was sick all last week. Then I injured my neck. Again.

Also had to go to the dentist because I had a toothache.

Dentist: You have some of the best teeth I’ve seen on someone your age. No cavities, barely any plaque, barely any tartar. But…
Me: Oh no…
Her: Well, you have some cracked teeth.
Me: Some cracked teeth? How many are some?
Her: Four. You have four cracked teeth.
Me: Of course I do. How many need to be fixed?
Her: Um, four? (quickly) But really only two have to be replaced right now.
Me: “Right now” can’t happen right now cause I don’t have insurance. (laughing, shaking head) Happy Holidays to me, right doc?

So, I was waiting for my insurance to kick in to – evidently – get four teeth replaced.

Dentist: Have you thought about doing some other exercise besides wrestling?
Me: Well, *now* I am…

But found out this week that the office never sent in any of my paperwork. Meaning that I’m on day 1 of a three-week wait for insurance instead of day 10.

Goddamn holidays.

I’ve been curled up popping sleeping pills and painkillers like popcorn. Alison’s mom took the kid since I haven’t been able to sleep with all the pain and he doesn’t need to see his dad a zombie.

But I made plans to have some friends over for dinner the past Wednesday. I drank a pot of joe and made chix so that the week wasn’t a total wash.

Me: You brought KFC?
Him: I brought biscuits from KFC. You were making chicken so I thought, “What goes better with chicken?”
Me: I honestly can’t argue with that.

But then on Thursday, I got a crazy call at midnight from Gradgirl that kept me up until 4AM.

Her: We need to talk about a few things.
Me: (sighing) Lemme just make myself comfortable.

I hate the period between Thanksgiving and Xmas.

Goddamn holidays.

Location: home, sick and in pain
Mood: just @#$@#$@# peachy
Music: Every night, I live and die. Meet somebody, take ’em home
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Still better

Everything is relative

New York City Bus
Christmas was a bust.

Alison’s dad came from another state to see her, as did her sister, but Alison wasn’t up for anything. She had a cold, as did I and the kid. Plus, she was pretty rough most of the week.

Her dad left after only a few hours; her sister stayed, as did her mom, who’s been staying with us anyway.

I ended up throwing out my back as well, for the first time. When I was younger, I got older but I didn’t feel it. Not anymore.

If you’ve never been 43, sick, with a bad back and a spouse with brain cancer, you’re doing better than me. Lemme tell you, it’s an exquisite type of f___kery.

Plus, George Michael died, which impacted me enough that I wrote something about it for Friday.

There’s more, but you get the point: By any metric, this was a craptastic holiday.

Having said that, the truth is that it was still better – considerably – than Christmas last year.

Last year, she was in the hospital and we didn’t know if she’d make it a week. She also didn’t remember much. I had to tell her that she had cancer, over and over again. It was a fresh new hell each time.

This year, she was with me, her family, and the baby. And at night, she felt better enough to hang out with all of us for a few hours.

Everything is relative. All emotional pain lies in that gap between expectation and reality.

A year ago, I sat alone on a city bus the day after Christmas, wondering if I’d lose her before the ball fell for the new year. Now we have a bit of hope.

I’ll take this Christmas over that one any time. By our standards as of late, it was a great Christmas.

———–

Carrie Fisher died. She and Lynda Carter were my very first crushes.

She was a hero for those with mental illness, and for that, I will always respect her. But that’s a post for another day.

Man, 2016 blows.

\’

Location: trying to find some comfortable way to sit
Mood: pained
Music: Well it’s been a year, it doesn’t surprise me
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Christmas 2013

Holiday parties to end 2013

Me: Wait, $1.2 million in one day in Baccarat?!

Last week, was fighting a cold and cancelled my fencing class for the first time. But felt better enough to make it to several holiday parties towards the end of the week. Think I gained about five pounds.

One party I went to was at the Williams Club – now called The William – where we got a tour before it fully finished. Ended up drinking with my boss and some clients at a private table in the Peacock Room.

No good rum, so I downed an Old Fashioned or two until 11PM or so.

Another was out in Queens at the same restaurant I had a wedding reception at. Ended up walking home with a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black.

Again, not aged rum, but it’ll do.

At another party, in a club, met a German industrialist and his wife. He told me that they were visiting the US and we ended up talking about Las Vegas.

Him: We can’t go there. My wife just lost $1.2 million there the last time we went.
His Wife: (rolling eyes) He’s exaggerating. I started with $600,000, got up to $1.2, and then lost it. So it was only half that.
Me: Clearly I’m in the wrong profession.

As I do every year, if you read the same book I do, have yourself a Happy Christmas!

And if you don’t, have yourself a happy holiday!

See you back here on Monday.

Location: desk, last working day of the year
Mood: hopeful
Music: It’s been a long night in new york city
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All of your life’s problems can be divided into health, wealth, and relationships

LED snowflakes on a building in NYC

Her: (cleaning) Do you know you have a can of chili up here behind the dishes?
Me: Yeah, that’s my emergency stash.

It’s a funny season for relationships – at least three couples I know that “broke up” are back together again, while my FB feed is exploding with “XX is now in a relationship with YY.” Assume that’s the Lockdown effect and it’s contrapositive.

Health, Wealth, and Relationships – all of your life’s problems can be put into onea those baskets.

My relationships seem to be stable, with the occasional hiccup. As for health, nothing major – thank goodness – although I think I’m coming down with something or just run down.

And the reason I’m run down is because of that wealth part: on the negative side, it’s been a busier Nov/Dec than it’s been in years.

On the positive side, it’s been a busier Nov/Dec than it’s been in years. All this means less time for side projects like this blog and the other things I’m trying to get started.

Since we’re talking about wealth, been thinking of that formula mentioned a while ago, which I’d like to slightly modify. Think that scratch and time have an inverse relationship that shifts as you age.

When you’re young, you’ve got a lot of time, so you concentrate on making scratch. When you’re old, you hopefully have more scratch but you’re running outta time. Then there’s that place in the middle, which is where I am and mosta the people I know. It’s a tug-a-war between conserving one and making the other. And we’re all hoping, in some small way, it’s important somehow.

Suppose there’s time for more philosophy later. Right now, got deadlines.

In case I don’t see you until next week, and if you read the same book as me, wish you Happy Xmas. If you don’t read the same book as me, wish you happy holiday.

If you don’t read any book, not sure what I wish you, but assume it’s something positive.

Location: getting dressed to go to the post office
Mood: sick maybe?
Music: I am a seeker, I seek both night and day
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Potential


Her
: Algebra – pretty much any math.
Me: I’m a terrible Asian; math was never a fun class for me. Mine were English and history. Some science was cool too – like when we dissected owl pellets. (pause) Did you ever have a trapper keeper?
Her: Yes.
Me: (thinking) Man, they sucked. Didn’t trap or keep a damn thing.
Think I’m sick. Not sure. But quite possibly.

It’s been a really productive week. Trying to wrap up business issues before the end of the year.

For what seems to be the third year in a row, I’ve not been able to really enjoy my favorite time of year; from the day before Thanksgiving to the day after New Year’s.

Wish I were clearheaded. Always cloudy cause I’m sick, I’m beat, or I’m bending time. Sometimes all three at once. Then my mind wanders.
Me: What if I’m not smart at all? What if I just remember things – stupid things. Things that’re only good for games shows and cocktail conversations? Smart people don’t get their life savings stolen. My brother and sister’re smart – I joke a lot that I get by on my charm. (pause) But what if that’s true?
Her: (thinking) I think you’re smart.
At least 50% of the time I don’t sleep, lie awake wondering. Everyone thinks I’ve got all this potential. But it’s almost 2009. I’m another year closer to getting my ticket punched.

When I don’t sleep, lie awake wondering about things that I’m afraid to put out in the aether.

Location: On a corduroy couch
Mood: sick
Music: Maybe I’ll sleep when I am dead But now it’s like the night is taking sides

Priority

Happy Turkey Day 2007

I’m at my parents having a pre-Thanksgiving Day dinner. My mom travels a lot for work so I don’t get to see her as much as I would like. We were catching up.

Me: …so if all that works out, I should be out of this hole in about 30 to 36 months.
Her: But what about your priority?
Me: (puzzled) My priority?
Her: Marriage!
Me: (laughing) That’s really like the last thing on my mind.
Her: What about kids?
Me: OK, I was wrong, that’s the last thing on my mind.
Her: It’s your priority!
Me: It’s really not, mom.
Her: OK, it’s mine. (long pause) I mean…you’re not getting any younger….

You know you’ve reached a new point in your life when your mother says the words, You’re not getting any younger to you and you’re wearing a Pink Floyd – The Wall tee-shirt eating a third helping of carbohydrates.

Yes, a new point.

Happy Turkey Day guys.

Location: 19:23 yest, having the conversation below
Mood: full already
Music: They say people in your life are seasons And anything that happen is for a reason