So. What’s happenin’?

Hiya, guys!

I know, it’s been a couple weeks. But there have been some interesting things going on since I last posted.

First of all, I finally got a job! Starting October 3rd, I will be working as a file clerk at a local insurance company here in Idaho. The hours are 8:30 am to 5 pm (MST), Monday through Friday.

The one downside is, it is a temporary job. And I mean it is a very temporary job – it’s only going to be a 3 to 4 week job. Though there is the possibility of extension at the end of the 3 to 4 weeks. I hope an extension will be offered, because I could certainly use the money, and no mistake. So, even though I will be set for employment for the month of October, I still have November and December to worry about, so I am still looking for jobs.

Speaking of money. I have started to look at everything realistically, and it has become painfully clear to me that, come December, there is really going to be no way I will be able to go back to and remain in Henderson, NV. I mean, a lot could happen between now and December. But, most likely, I will have to move back in with family in Iowa. I’m not entirely happy about that, because I really wanted to strike out on my own this time. But, at the same time, I’m not entirely sad about that. Because I can and will still go through with all my plans – you know, going back to college to become a counselor, getting my own apartment, getting my driver’s license. It won’t change anything, really, other than I still feel that my future doesn’t truly lie in Iowa. So. Think of it as a temporary setback. Perhaps one day, I can pack up and move to Henderson, or wherever. The future is wide open, really. It’s all good. It will all be good.

Remember when I said I’d gotten some news I didn’t want about a particular family member? Well, I have since gotten worse news about said family member. But I do not, repeat, do not want to discuss it here on the blog at the present time. Everyone who needs to know about it knows about it. That will have to do for now. I certainly hope that would suffice for you as well.

On a brighter note, I have a new/old celebrity crush again. It’s Nicolas Cage. Again. *silly grin* Sorry, but it’s true. Although, I do feel really bad about what has happened between him and his wife (if, indeed, that is the truth). I don’t wish to seem rude or naysaying when I say that, given some things I’d read in the past, I had a feeling that might happen eventually. But it’s still a bad deal, and I hope they can either reconcile or get through whatever happens relatively unscathed, especially for benefit of their son. So. That’s that. Not gonna say any more. Actually, I’m sorry to have said anything in the first place. But I’m not taking any of it back. Best wishes to you, Mr. Cage, and to your family. I sincerely hope everything works out.

On a different brighter note, I don’t know if you remember my once going on about a particular story idea I’d been working on. Remember “Cherchez La Femme”? Yeah. I am actually on the precipice, and am thisclose to actually begin to seriously start writing that story. The rough outline I’ve been working on exploded from about 20 pages to about 80 pages now. I like where it is going, what I have planned. I like that there are not any loose ends and, in the case of one particular development within the story, there are not going to be any wasted moments. And I have a soundtrack in mind for it, and I love all the songs therein. I am glad for the inspiration. I really want this story to work, and I hope it can and does eventually come to fruition.

As I type this, Iowa has been inundated with flooding concerns. They say it’s not going to be on par with the flood of 2008, but it will be pretty darn close. Last I read, the Cedar River at Cedar Rapids was going to crest at about 25 to 26 feet, which would cause some pretty major flooding in the downtown area. Please keep my family and all the people in the affected area in your thoughts and prayers.

And, really, that’s about all that’s been going on.

So, you know, that’s what’s happenin’.

I’ll try to do better next post.

How goes it in Idaho?; and other things

This is just a post to update all on how things are going out here in Idaho.

Basically I’ve been passing the time scouring the web and applying for jobs.

Yeah, I still do not have a job yet. Everyone’s saying “Give yourself time, give yourself time.” “You’ve only been there two weeks.” Yeah, two weeks. I think I have the job market in this particular city pretty much entirely applied for, whether it be in sales or administrative or, god forbid, food services. I have heard back from a couple places, but, obviously, they were ‘thanks but no thanks’ e-mails. Red Lobster sort of really ticked me off – not more than five minutes after I completed my application, I got the ‘thanks but no thanks’ e-mail. It’s like, ‘Did they even read it?!?’ But oh well. Maybe next week, something will happen. Here’s hoping. I don’t want to sound desperate, but I really do need a job, and soon.

I’ve been out and about in the meantime, though not going very far. I’ve taken a couple walks, only for about half an hour or so. It’s nice here, very nice. The weather is very similar to Gardnerville, in that it is high desert plains. So there’s heat but no humidity, and at night it gets as low as 40 degrees. Good thing I brought my blankets, and all my jeans. Just the other day, we experienced a rather heavy rainstorm for all of about 20 minutes, complete with thunder and lightning, and the power went out for about an hour as a result of that storm. I wanted to go out and dance in the rain, but I didn’t. Wish I had. The local weatherman called it a ‘severe storm,’ and I entirely disagreed with him; that was just a little storm, nowhere near severe.

It’s nice to be here with Dad. We’ve got a couple weekend trips already planned. We might be going to see my uncle Paul down in Utah one weekend. Another weekend, we’re going to see the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. And I might, might, be going to my very first concert ever, in October, because a progressive band named Bent Knee is coming to Salt Lake City, and Dad it a huge fan of theirs. And then, of course, there’s always NFL football to watch on Sundays. No, I’ve already been informed that, if there is a Green Bay Packer game on that isn’t going to be locally shown (long story), we will be going to the local Buffalo Wild Wings to have drinks and appetizers and to watch the entire Packer game. And that, actually, honestly, sounds like fun. It’s been a while since I watched the Packers – the only Packer player I’m familiar with is the quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

And next up is more driving practice, and eventually getting my driver’s license. I hope to do that here, in Idaho. In fact, while I was on the Greyhound bus heading here two weeks ago, I sent an e-mail to a local driving instruction school, asking if they would be able to help me with a ‘refresher’ type course. I heard back from them, and they would be more than happy to help. So. That’s on the horizon. Apparently, the city I am currently in uses the exact same route for each and every driving test they issue. So the driving instructor I spoke to said she would be able to let me drive that route during our future lessons, so that way, when it came time for me to take the actual test, I’d be comfortable with the route. That’s pretty cool.

So. That’s what’s going down here in Idaho at the present time.

And now just a couple other things.

I miss Johnny. I miss him so much. I just….I do. I really do miss him, so very much. I feel empty, and lonely without him near. But we’ve been talking and texting, so, you know, that’s good.

My future plans are as follows:

~ Upon mid-December, I will have decided as to whether or not to 1) stay here in Idaho; 2) move back to Iowa; or 3) move back to Henderson, NV. Everything within my being is saying to move back to Henderson, so that is my tentative plan. Finances will tell.

~ No matter where I end up, I intend to enroll in school again, to try for a degree in counseling. I’ve been looking mainly at schools in the Henderson area, specifically Nevada State College and the College of Southern Nevada. Both of them offer psychology and/or counseling programs. College of Southern Nevada, though, also has a bonus of a creative writing program as well; didn’t see such a course offered at Nevada State. So. That might play a role in my decision. But wherever I end up, I want to try for counseling.

~ Enrolling in school might be helpful when it comes time to finding a place to live. Most likely, it’d be an apartment. I am thinking of either a studio apartment or just a one-bedroom apartment. Depends.

So. That’s what all is going down, both in the present and in the future.

I’ll try to do better next post.

Friday “Neighbor Pains” Funny

Sorry to leave you like I did yesterday.

But, you know, I am depressed at the moment. I’m not going to say otherwise. It’s not worth it to lie.

Anyway. That’s neither here nor there. I’ll try not to mention it again.

I did find a Friday Funny, though. Yes, you’ll be happy to know that the Friday Funny is back!

This is an episode of “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.” It’s called “Neighbor Pains.” In it, the Home is holding an Adopt-A-Thought Saturday, only this particular Adopt-A-Thought Saturday isn’t going so well….

The best bit has to be the ‘Orlando Bloo’ bit. Keith Ferguson, who voices Bloo in the first place, does a great voice for ‘Orlando Bloo.’ You have to see it and hear it.

“Don’t forget Boopsy, Flopper, Stupid, and Ding-Dong!” Hilarious!

The second best bit is between Bloo and Jackie Khones, right after Bloo jumps out the window. It’s a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, but it’s pretty funny.

You have to click the link to see the cartoon, and it’s about halfway down the page.

Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends – “Neighbor Pains”

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Enjoy! And Happy Friday!

A questionnaire, and a “secret”

You’ll have to forgive the….well, I guess, abruptness that may be apparent in this post. I’ve not had the best past couple days, as you may know if you read my previous posts.

But I thought I’d just do this, just to do it.

And please please please do watch the little video at the end. I didn’t know about it until I saw it mentioned by several other people, and it made me cry some more.

So.

Sorry.

Are you “with” the very last person you kissed?
~ No. Not anymore. It was my fault. Let’s just leave it at that.

Ever dated/kissed someone with the name Casey, Tyler, Ryan, Jordan, Colton, Rebecca, Samantha, Lauren, Taylor, or Ashley?
~ Nope, to all.

Was your last kiss standing up, sitting down, or lying down?
~ Standing up.

Are you happy with the choices you’ve made?
~ No. Not all of them.

Are you excited for anything?
~ Not really at the moment.

Do you hate the last person you kissed?
~ No. I could never hate Johnny. Like I said, Johnny is the best thing that ever happened to me, the best person I could have ever met. I wish him nothing but the very best, and I will always love Johnny.

You’re stuck in an elevator with one of your worst enemies. What do you do?
~ Nothing.

Will this weekend be a good one?
~ Depends.

Are you mad at someone right now?
~ Just myself.

Do you like to listen to the radio in the car?
~ Sure.

Do you sleep with a fan on?
~ Not at present, though I think this weekend at the store, I will purchase a small fan, just to have it running as like white noise, so that way I can fall asleep. I’ve been having trouble sleeping the past couple weeks.

How is your hair right now?
~ I don’t really care.

Have you ever broken up with someone for someone else?
~ No.

How many windows are open on your computer?
~ 3.

How tall are you?
~ 5-feet, 4.5-inches.

Is something bothering you?
~ Yup. Lots of things. Don’t really feel like talking about them right now, though.

Have you ever taken a shower with anyone before?
~ Yes.

Have you ever laughed at something that wasn’t meant to be funny?
~ Probably, but I don’t remember.

Have you ever told someone of the opposite sex “Fuck you”?
~ No, but I had ever opportunity to do so; this was back in the bullying days.

Do you like to cuddle?
~ Yes.

Have you done anything sneaky lately?
~ No.

Is your hair clean?
~ Does it matter?

Last night, did you go to sleep smiling?
~ No.

Were you happy when you woke up today?
~ No.

What are you drinking right now?
~ Nothing.

Do you wear your seatbelt in the car?
~ All the time.

Does someone have feelings for you?
~ I don’t really know anymore. I hope so, though.

Have you ever been cheated on?
~ No.

Are you hard to please?
~ No, not really.

What are you craving right now?
~ A hug!

How are you feeling right now?
~ Not good. Depressed. I’m actually crying right now, typing this. Depression.

What are you sick of?
~ Depression!

Are you missing anyone/something?
~ Yes!

Relationship to the last person you called?
~ The last person I called was my mother, so I’d be her daughter.

Could you date someone shorter than you?
~ N/A.

Is there anybody you just wish would fall of the planet?
~ No. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.

Do you wear glasses?
~ Yes.

Where did you sleep last night?
~ On the air mattress.

Do you straighten your hair?
~ No.

What color shirt are you wearing?
~ Purple. It’s actually my nightshirt.

Do you have a best friend?
~ Yes, in Johnny.

Do you wish you had the chance to go back in time and change something now?
~ YES!

Who is the last person you got a text from?
~ Johnny.

Are you excited for winter?
~ That remains to be seen.

When are you at your happiest?
~ Happiness seems a bit far lately. Ask me again sometime.

Is there anything you wish you did today? Why haven’t you done it?
~ I wish I had a job, so that way I could be working. As far as today, I wish I would have gone out and danced in the rain, like I wanted to. But then, I didn’t want to soak the carpet when I got back inside, so I stayed inside.

Do you prefer to spend your time indoors or outdoors?
~ I like both.

What were you doing before you started this survey?
~ Crying. Still crying.

Can you honestly say that you love yourself?
~ Don’t know anymore.

How many people have you kissed?
~ Other than family members on the cheek, just Johnny.

Do you just feel awkward when you dance?
~ Of course. I have no rhythm.

Do you think you spend too much time feeling upset?
~ Probably. Par for the course with depression.

Is there anyone you would seriously punch right now if you had the chance?
~ Donald Trump.

Do you own a pair of Uggs?
~ No.

What are your plans for tomorrow?
~ Look for more jobs, maybe make another blog post. Try to find a Friday Funny….maybe.

Has the person you have feelings for ever told you that you’re attractive?
~ Yes, but that was then. This is now.

Can you get over people easily?
~ Currently, no.

Do you believe that there are certain circumstances where cheating is okay?
~ No.

How was your weekend?
~ I don’t remember what happened last weekend.

Do you know anyone with the same birthday as you?
~ No.

How do you feel right now?
~ Not good. Depressed. I’m actually crying right now, typing this. Depression.

Do you hide your feelings or show them?
~ I show them. I have always shown them. I’m not weak, okay? It takes a stronger person to show their feelings rather than to hide them. Showing your feelings takes a kind of strength. Not that I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeve, as the saying goes, but I am not the kind of person to hide how I feel.

Do you like to have long hair or short hair?
~ Medium.

What is the last thing you cooked today?
~ Fish sticks. But then I wasn’t really all that hungry, so even though I ate them, I didn’t want to eat them. You know?

What do you always take with you?
~ Everything, metaphorically speaking. I have a lot of baggage.

Last person you drove around in a car with?
~ Dad.

Do you think relationships are hard?
~ Yes. But I’d rather be in one than not in one. That doesn’t matter now, seeing as how I am no longer in one. But I’d still rather be in one.

What are your plans for this weekend?
~ Don’t know. It’s Labor Day weekend this weekend, as Dad reminded me today. I’d forgotten all about Labor Day.

Any friends who are constantly venting about their significant other?
~ No. I don’t have any friends, except for Johnny.

Have you ever been ice-skating?
~ Yes. Best Christmas Eve ever.

Does the sound of rain at night help you sleep?
~ Yes.

Have you ever seen an albino person in person?
~ No.

Do you like Fuze drinks?
~ No.

Did the end of “Hamilton” make you sad?
~ Have never seen “Hamilton.”

Have you ever worn a pair of scrubs?
~ No.

Do you obsessively apply lip-gloss or lip balm?
~ No. It’s reasonably applied.

Anything in your room that you’re hiding from your parents or someone else?
~ No.

Do you think you’d have what it takes to shoot someone if you had to protect yourself?
~ No.

What’s your most noticeable flaw?
~ Everything.

And what’s your best feature?
~ Don’t really have one.

Have you ever walked into a massive cobweb?
~ Yes.

When you can tell that someone’s lying, do you call them out on it?
~ Not usually.

Have you ever hallucinated?
~ No.

Do you find serial killers fascinating?
~ No.

Do you like musicals?
~ Some.

Is your hair damaged?
~ Probably.

Do you live with anyone that you try to avoid at all costs?
~ No.

Who was the last person you threw out of your life?
~ I haven’t.

Are you wearing socks?
~ Not at present.

Do you regret something you did yesterday?
~ Not yesterday.

When was the last time you cried?
~ I’m crying right now.

Why were you crying?
~ Too many thoughts.

What’s the last thing you ate?
~ A cookie.

What kind of bottoms are you wearing?
~ My pajama bottoms.  They match my pajama top, in case you were wondering.

What do you hear right now?
~ Nothing except the keys clacking as I type.

How many hours did you sleep last night?
~ Don’t remember. Perhaps that means I did actually sleep last night….

Is something bothering you right now?
~ Yes. Too much, in fact.

In the past week, have you gotten sick?
~ No. But I do currently have cramps, as it is that time of month. TMI, for sure, but, hey, the question was asked.

In the past week, have you felt stupid?
~ Yep.

In the past week, have you got your hair cut?
~ No.

What were you doing at 9 AM this morning?
~ Curling up on the sofa for a nap. True story.

In the past week, have you felt sad?
~ All week.

Has someone disappointed you recently?
~ No.

Do you think relationships are ever really worth it?
~ Yes.

If you could pack up and move, would you?
~ Yes. In December – that might be my next and perhaps final move.

Do you hate when people smoke around you?
~ Yes.

Who have you texted in the last 24 hours?
~ Johnny and Dad.  In fact, Johnny and I are texting right now.

So ends that questionnaire.

In closing, I leave you with this, a “secret,” courtesy of the late great Gene Wilder as the Fox from the 1974 movie “The Little Prince.” Like I said, I knew nothing about this particular movie until I saw several others mention it after Wilder’s passing. Only just today, I gathered up the courage to watch the relevant section of the movie that featured the Fox, and, like I said, it made me cry. So.

But the “secret” is true:

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I’ll try to do better next post.

Tune for Tuesday – Dan Fogelberg, “Ever On”

August 2016 has not been the easiest month for me.

They say “bad things happen in threes.” And they did this month.

First, there was my and Johnny’s mutual break-up. Which is still somewhat difficult to speak of so, for benefit of both myself and Johnny, I won’t.

Then, I got some news I didn’t want, regarding a family member. And it is not something I wish to discuss here on the blog at the present time. Everyone who needs to know about it knows about it. That’s all for now on that.

Finally, yesterday, the world learned of the passing of the legendary Gene Wilder. I made a post about that yesterday.

So, yeah, the month of August hasn’t been the easiest for me.

Yet, I have faith and hope that all will turn out all right in the end.

So while I continue to grieve, for all that has occurred, I will always hope for the best.

Off the beaten path for a moment, sharing this particular story. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, but when my father was in high school, he played saxophone in the high school band. And his high school band teacher was none other than Larry Fogelberg, Dan Fogelberg’s father. So, yes, my father really did know Dan Fogelberg.

And this is one of my favorite Dan Fogelberg songs ever.

Fogelberg described the song as “a prayer for all of us on our journey.”

In terms of my journey at this time, it encompasses everything about this month, from Johnny to family to Gene Wilder, and all that could possibly happen in future, wherever it will lead me.

And forever faith and hope. Ever faith and hope. Always faith and hope.

From his 1990 album “The Wild Places,” this is (Peoria’s own) Dan Fogelberg with “Ever On.”

May the trail rise up to meet you
May your heart rejoice in song
May the skies be fair above you
As you journey ever on

Ever on, ever on
Ever on, ever on

In this planetary circle
We are but a single stone
Spinning on our fragile axis
Through the endless night alone

Ever on, ever on
Ever on, ever on

May your love be there to guide us
May it always keep us strong
May we walk within your footsteps
As you lead us ever on

Ever on, ever on
Ever on, ever on
Ever on, ever on
Ever on, ever on

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Ever on….

Forever, Pure Imagination

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This afternoon, I had signed out of my e-mail account, and was randomly flipping through the top stories on MSN, as I am wont to do.

And then, I saw the headline:

“Gene Wilder Dead at 83.”

And I just about died myself, right then and there.

To quote Josh Gad, “This one hits hard.”

What I know about Gene Wilder is a bit of a blur. Accomplished actor, comedic actor, director, and writer. Milwaukee-born, University of Iowa graduate (yes, KCRG back in Cedar Rapids has posted several stories and photos on their website regarding Wilder). Did not have an easy early life, but was able to overcome it all to soar to phenomenal heights. Married at one time to my favorite comedienne, Gilda Radner, until her death of ovarian cancer, after which he became actively involved in promoting awareness of the disease. Beat cancer himself several years ago. Has essentially been retired from showbiz in general for many, many years, but has left an unforgettable legacy, an indelible mark in the history of entertainment, and, if you ask me, in humanity.

But I have to be perfectly honest with you – I have not seen many of Gene Wilder’s films. Films like “The Producers,” “Silver Streak,” “The Woman in Red,” or “The Frisco Kid,” just to name a few. And I have only ever seen bits and pieces of both “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein” – I have never ever seen those two comedy classics in their entirety. I never saw any of his TV work, of course never saw his theatre work, and I have not yet read any of his published written works, which I have heard are great reads.

But, at least to me, I don’t mind any of that.

Because the performance of Gene Wilder’s that matters the most to me, that has always mattered the most to me, is that of Willy Wonka.

I have loved that movie ever since I was really little. Everything about that movie was, as the song goes, “pure imagination.” The characters, the colors, the lessons, the music, the chocolate (grin). Of the five Golden Ticket winning children, my favorite was – and, yes, Youngest Brother, this is the honest truth – Veruca Salt; mind you, I was never spoiled like she was, but I always wished I’d had at least a glimmer of her attitude, plus she had the second best song in the whole movie.

But it was Gene Wilder as the titular Willy Wonka that I loved the most. It was always Gene Wilder. And that love has never diminished, has only grown deeper as I’ve gotten older.

That’s really all I’ve been able to think about, since learning of his passing, is Willy Wonka.

Because, in my humble opinion, all the brilliance that is Gene Wilder – everything that I have ever read about him or seen of him or heard about him – is perfectly presented in that role.

Even the initial casting of Gene Wilder in the role has a legendary backstory, as indicated in this amalgamated story/quote, cobbled from several sources:

Wilder auditioned to play Willy Wonka….After reciting some lines, Wilder prepared to leave the auditioning station, but [director] Mel Stuart….ran after him and offered the role to him immediately. Wilder was initially hesitant when he learned more on the role, but finally accepted the role under one condition:

“When I make my first entrance, I’d like to come out of the door carrying a cane and then walk toward the crowd with a limp. After the crowd sees Willy Wonka is a cripple, they all whisper to themselves and then become deathly quiet. As I walk toward them, my cane sinks into one of the cobblestones I’m walking on and stands straight up, by itself; but I keep on walking, until I realize that I no longer have my cane. I start to fall forward, and just before I hit the ground, I do a beautiful forward somersault and bounce back up, to great applause.”

When asked why he wanted to do this, Wilder replied, “Because from that time on, no one will know if I’m lying or telling the truth.”

[Stuart] asked, “If I say no, you won’t do the picture?”, and Wilder said, “I’m afraid that’s the truth.”

Pardon my French, but how fucking amazing, fantastic, brilliant is that?!? What an amazing, fantastic, brilliant mind, to think of something like that!

And, of course, that is exactly how it happened:

And I, along with millions past, present, and future, couldn’t be more thankful that he got his wish with that, and landed the role.

Even now, as Willy Wonka, his performance both terrifies and enchants me. The terror comes from his madness during the infamous boat-in-the-tunnel scene (and I’m not the only one), and from his rage at Charlie and Grandpa Joe towards the end. The mystery and eventual playfulness of the character, all the literary quotes he spouts, his outright sarcasm (which makes me giggle), the foreign languages peppered in, the lessons he ends up imparting, and of course the ever-present twinkle in those blue blue eyes, are what enchants me.

Then, of course, there is the best song in the whole movie: “Pure Imagination.”

And what more needs to be said about that?

But, no. What has really gotten to me since learning of his death (sadly from complications of Alzheimer’s) is the memory of the very final scene in the movie. I had actually forgotten about this very quote until I saw it posted by someone else in memoriam of Wilder.

After Wonka has raged at both Charlie and Grandpa Joe, after Grandpa Joe has sworn revenge, after this particularly heart-wrenching moment (at least, it was always sort of sad to me)….:

….Willy Wonka declares Charlie to be the winner. Then he takes Charlie and Grandpa Joe on an unforgettable trip “up and out” in the “Great Glass Wonkavator.”

And that’s why I’ve been crying ever since.

Because even as a child, and even now as an adult, I can feel his arms around me, like I share in that hug as much as Charlie does….

“But, Charlie? Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted.”
“What happened?”
“He lived happily ever after.”

That was Gene Wilder.

That was Gene Wilder.

Goodbye, Gene Wilder. May you rest in peace. You will be missed, and you will always be loved.

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