Acoustic Blue


Having a successful marriage means making time to spend time together.

It’s hard when both of us work full time jobs and have other interests that fill up the time on the clock quickly.

With only 24 hours in each day, it is imperative to show that even though those things are important…..

They are not as important as we are to each other.

We have been showing our importance for each other for over 7 years.

Last night we had our Valentines date night.

Yeah…it was a week late but the calender doesn’t tell me what day in Feb. we have to celebrate it.

We strut to the strum of our guitars in good2begone land.

Our date started with a drive to our local historic 100 year old theater to see a live show.

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An intimate acoustic evening with Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October.

When we planned to do this. I wanted it with all the bells and whistles that could possibly go along with it.

When we bought tickets online, we also got to purchase meet and greet tickets.

Which meant, before the show, we got to meet and greet the artist.

I’m not a starstruck paparazzi stalker kind of guy….

But…..

When you get the real chance to meet an artist that is inspires and moves you,

That doesn’t involve hiding in the bushes or breaking into the DMV records department,

It’s a win win!

So….

We arrived at 4:30 to wait for the shindig to commence…..

In a line with about 100 other fans who wanted the same experience.

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(Picture courtesy of new friend Mac Cochran, who has a group site on Facebook called “For the love of Blue October”, check him out on there. He and his family are headed to the next show in Denton, Tx.)

We were all escorted into the theater around 6, and down to the orchestra section in front of the stage.

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Justin came on stage, sat in the chair, spoke to all of us for a few and then played a song that will be on the band’s new album that will come out in April.

He then invited all of us all upstairs to personally meet him, talk with him and get a picture and autographed poster from the show.

I got the poster, a tshirt, and a book of his lyrics and writings….signed…BOOYAH.

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The name of the book….and his home recording studio- “Crazy Making”…..no wonder I’m a fan.

Like I said, I’m not a celebrity stalker. When I had the chance to speak with him, I told him I hadn’t seen a live show since getting sober. His show would be my first.

He shook my hand, said thanks, and asked how long I’ve been sober.

I said over 9 years. He smiled and said,

“I’ve got 4. It’s amazing isn’t it? Man, I hope you enjoy the show. It’s  all about my journey.  Thanks for coming and supporting me!”

After my wife talked with him and basically told him to write

“I LOVE YOU” on her signed poster we took a picture with him.

Can’t call me a stalker…..but her….hmmmm.
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Chicks always fall for the rock star.

Here is her signed poster, along with a tshirt and Cd from the opening act, Tori Vasquez.

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Who, by the way, is incredible. She played for about half an hour. Just her voice and an electric guitar. Definitely worth supporting!

We then, took our seats and waited for the show.

Justin came on around 9 and played for around 2 hours running through a sampling of the songs he had written over the band’s 20 year career.

The emotion and passion he puts into his craft is hypnotizing and emotional. 

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About halfway through the show, the mic went out.

Without missing a beat, he pushed the stand aside and finished the show without it.

Our date night finished around midnight…..Over 7 hours after it started.

A 7 hour date.

With the same woman I started it with.

I’m pretty sure this might turn into something special. 

Late Valentine Blue


Nothing says romantic like spending the entire Valentine’s Day holiday in bed…..with kleenex stuffed up my nose, cold medicine on one side and cough drops on the other, with enough blankets on top of me to melt Antarctica…..said NO ONE EVER!

And yet,

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it

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Good thing, my wife and I planned ahead.

We won’t be celebrating this day until next Saturday.

The reason?

There is a concert that will be playing here in middle of nowheresville.

One that we are both excited about.

That, in itself, is quite a feat.

Why?

Because, we never see eye to eye when it comes to the pleasures of the ears.

Rather than rehash an old topic on a new post….

Read the old post called Audio Estrogen.

Finished?

Good, let’s continue.

The concert we are going to is Justin Furstenfeld (try saying that name 10 times fast).

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Finished?…..

Yeah I couldn’t do not either.

Let’s continue.

He is the lead singer of a band called Blue October.

He is on a solo tour called- “An Open Book”.

We will not only be enjoying the show. We also are gonna delve into the meet and greet before hand.

He will be playing an aucoustic set, where he explains the meaning of the songs he writes.

Kind of like the storyteller series.

Here is a sample of what we are to expect- “Fear

He is an intense songwriter who shares his triumphs and struggles in life through music.

A lot of his music centers around recovery.

The band’s first album- “Consent To Treatment” is one of my all time favorites.

I can relate to what he is relating to…in a relative sort of way.

Now that I have been out of bed long enough to write this, I can hear the kleenex calling me back from whence I came.

I hope yall’s Valentine’s Day has been rosier than mine.

AHHHH CHOOO!

uggh.

Paint It Black


I don’t do death well.

I can make up stories with it as a main topic, watch stuff on the dummy box that is engulfed in it, read the news every day where it is a mainstay of virility.

But in reality, it’s not that easy.

It is the end result of life.

Once the first cry out of the womb is bellowed, the clock to the end…..begins.

As expected as it is…….whenever it happens it is almost never expected.

When it does happen…and it is someone that at one time or another I ran around with, it becomes hard for me to deal with.

You know…..I’ve been clean and sober for quite a few years now.

The actual length of that time really doesn’t matter to me anymore. I don’t and haven’t been in AA or any other support group for a considerable length of time either.

I love being sober.

I just don’t feel I need to talk about it to be able to maintain it.

I just do.

I also hated seeing people coming in and out, in and out, in and out……until some just quit coming back in.

“Someone may have to die for me to say sober” I would hear in meetings.

Which I think is crap, by the way.

Anyway….

There’s this guy I used to sponsor when I was in AA.

Every time I saw him I would say,

“Dude….you’ve got tattoos….ON YOUR FACE!”

I would say that, because he did.

He would come over and have dinner with my family almost every night. We would talk about what was going on and my wife and I would give him suggestions.

Always to the point….never beating around the proverbial bush.

Before I sponsored him, he had like 12 other sponsors.

After me, probably many others.

Regardless of the state of his sobriety and my exit from AA, we remained friendly and in contact.

He would come around.

Then be gone.

And….repeat.

We got word yesterday that he got killed by getting run over by a car shortly after getting kicked out of a sober living house.

I hadn’t seen or spoke to him in a few months but he will be on my mind every day.

I drive a beat up truck that was green when it rolled of the factory floor decades ago.

When I got it, it had been completely spray painted black….with individual spray paint cans and recently repossessed by the owner for lack of payment. 

The guy who it was repossessed from was the same one who spray painted it.

And was the same guy I used to sponsor that had tattoos on his face.

I’m just kind of numb.

Emotions aren’t my thing either.

I just hope he is now at peace.

As for me…

I will keep on truckin’

The Deep End


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Sometimes, the best thing about work comes down to 3 things-

1- location
2- location
3- location

If you ain’t doin’ what makes you happy, maybe it’s time to dive into something new.

Shadow Talk


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Where you been?
-I’ve been around…
-You’ve been around somewhere…but haven’t been here in weeks…what gives?
-Nothin’…..
You used to come here and write about all the nothin’ going on….
-Yeah…I know…..It’s just hard to put some of it into words.
-So….instead of trying to get it out,  you choose to let it fester in what’s left of what you call a brain? That’s not very bright. 
-Alright…alright….here is what has been going on….in no particular order.

The life that I have called serene for the last 4 years is no longer serene. 

For starters, I have 2 bosses.

One boss, who also happens to be one of my best friends,  is in rehab. The other boss, who happens to be the other of my best friends, is maintaining his sanity by smoking the gonja. We all got sober within a year of each other.  The boss in rehab has successfully put not only the company finances but his personal ones as well on life support, as, well as his marriage and  family. He is not in finance rehab…he is in rehab for attempting to drink himself to death.
The other is doing his best to keep us working and keep the company afloat while, also dealing with the other boss, who happens to be his older brother.

Next,

My home life is strained. I have tried real hard to keep work and home separate. The stress from one has drained into the other causing a vacuum effect.

I am a intoverted, private, keep things to myself kind of guy.

The true friends I have, I can count on one hand…..with digits left over.

I socialize with others as infrequently as humanly possible and trust about next to no one beside the ones I call true friends.

As the free digits one my one hand increase….my trust travels in the other direction.

If I get any more introverted, I might just vote myself off the island I gave created for me, myself and I.

Third,

One of the other employees I work with broke out my back windshield on my truck.  I don’t have idiot coverage.

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-Wow.

-You want more or will that work for now?

-No…I think that’s good for now.

-Thanks….It’s good to vent every now and then. 

Figures Of 8


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I can’t speak for anyone else…..

Mainly because sticking my arm up the backside of a dummy to make him speak has never been in my repertoire.

I did have a minor league stint for a triple A voice throwing club but a vocal cord injury ended my shot at making the big leagues.

Tisk tisk

This isn’t about my shattered dreams of ventriloquism.

It is about the shining reality of who I am today.

8 years ago, on October 13, 2006, I started anew.

I didn’t want to start anew.

I wanted to do what I had always done.

But…

I was given a choice by a judge.

Get sober and stay sober for 5 years or go to prison for 2-20.

I didn’t want to stay or get sober, but prison was not a very enticing alternative.

So, I chose to do what I didn’t want to do in order to avoid what I knew I would get if I didn’t.

And here I am.

8 years beyond that date.

For me….

Life works today.

All because a judge gave this dummy a chance.

The Night Shift With Tiler Swift


My work days have become work nights….

And not just your regular, run of the mill nights. I’m talking all nighters.

Since last Sunday I have been making the dough by remodeling a pizza chain….which shall remain nameless.

I’m not a fan of working nights, but they apparently have to stay open during their regular business hours to be able to keep their dough going out the door.

They kneed their dough to sell to keep making the dough for business.

(See what I did there?)

Anyway….

The way the Domino’s fell I get to be the one to run the show.

Work starts at 10 pm. And rolls all the way through until 8am.

What do they want done?

Remodel the front of the store and update the back of the store with a viewing window for the art of pizza making and subway tile for their prep area.

I am swiftly becoming quite the tile God.

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Therefore, for the purpose of this job I will dub myself….

“Tiler Swift”

The hours are terrible. I haven’t pulled a full week of all nighters in years.

If I still had bad hair, a few bags of Columbian wonder dust, cheap beer and hammer pants I would swear I was back in the early nineties.

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But….

I have no hair and have been off the dust and Keystone for years.

I do wear pants and have a hammer, though.

So I guess it all evens out.

Roughly 2 more weeks to go…

Time to shake it off and get back to work.

As we say in the business….it’s hammer time.

The Hitching Post


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It has been a week since I have last hitched a post to this space.

During the minutes, hours and days that have passed…a lot has happened.

Let’s look back at the week that was-

1- I returned to AA after an absence of over a year. It began with a weekend long anniversary conference at a group up the road from where I live. I hooked back up with my sponsor and am in the process of working a 4th step…..I get gone for a year, maintain my sobriety and start my integration back into the program with figuring out what made me get gone. Lucky me.

2-My stepson crashed his truck into dumpsters that somehow managed to jump out in front of him as he traveled at a safe and elderly speed of about 25 miles an hour…..he made the situation better by leaving the scene at a much higher rate of speed….with people watching him. After informing my wife, she called the police….because….that’s what was supposed to be done…duh. No police report was filed, no charges were brought. The others involved just wanted the fence fixed that was damaged.

3-We fixed the fence.

4-My stepson did not crash his truck. He was not even in the truck. His friend, who doesn’t even possess a license, was driving. My stepson took the fall to prevent his buddy from getting into trouble.

5-The trouble caused by saving trouble for another brought on more trouble. He will have to fix the truck with his own funds. He will have to now get insurance for himself on the truck he will be paying to get fixed. Independence has taken on new meaning for him.

6-I returned to work after an absence of over a month due to injury. It’s August. I live in Texas. It’s hot. I’M MELTING!!

7-My wife and I had a sit down with my stepson and his 19 year old girlfriend about drama, safe sex, lying, gossip, and all kinds of other crap I could done without talking about…..but it was my brilliant idea so I had to do it without being an ass.

8-There is no 8. Seven days in a week, 7 items hitched to the post.

I’m getting horse.

The Stunner


Almost 1 month ago, I was extremely careless at work and had an accident that came very close to being my last accident. Today I revisited the surgeon who repaired the damage. The final staples were removed and I have been released to return to work, effective next Monday.

I was fairly stunned by the news.

I have heard, more than once, that someone must be watching over me. It’s time to seriously reevaluate my status on faith. The search will continue as I have been given the chance to continue living. I’m sure that many things will change with me,

But,

The sobriety date remains the same, 10-13-06.

I cannot put into words the gratitude and thankfulness I have for the support I have received and the many well wishes and get well soon messages I have received during my time of recovery.

But I have found someone that can….

Thanks again, this community is one I never want to give up.

The Breathe Right


When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace.”

~Author Unknown

Good thing the author of that quote is unknown….if I knew him/her, I would find them and slap them upside the head with my good arm.

Here’s why-

Sleep for me has been hard to come by. My recent surgery has made it difficult to get comfortable.

I toss,

I turn,

And

I Repeat……

Repeatedly.

From about 8 am this morning until 11:24 I had found “the sweet spot”.

At 11:24 and approximately 3 seconds, I began to feel a poking and light prodding at several areas of my back.

As I began to wonder what was going on, I hear the slightly perturbed yet lovely voice of my wife ask….perturbedly-

“Hey…are you even breathing?”

I raise my head from my apparent dead sleep and reply-

“WHAT?”

She kisses me on the forehead and says,

“Yup you are….carry on. See you after work.”

And skips out of the room.

Breath owned…..

Peace still stolen.

Stupid author of the unknown quote on breathing.

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Shut up annoying giggly, yet cute, Asian looking adolescent meme….I’m trying to get back to sleep.