Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A bout of insomnia

So I was supposed to be getting up in an hour to go to a ship graveyard in NY with my friends Noah and Annette. That is not happening because Noah, in his infinite wisdom, thought it would be dangerous to go jumping around on snow and and ice covered half-wrecks. He and I are probably going to go up once we have a bit of melting, probably next week.

When Noah told me I didn't have to get up at 7, I completely woke up and I put that energy to use. Besides writing this blog here, I put the inaugural post on my other blog, water closet signs. If you can't tell what it's about from the title I don't think I can help you. I also watched "Proceed and Be Bold" My sister gave me a copy. Such an awesome gift. It was a lot of fun.

I'm going to, over the next couple of days, write a thanks list for the previous year and maybe a hopes for the new year post as well. I hope everyone had a restful sleep, I'm going to try to catch a couple of hours now.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

dissapointments and silver linings

In my last post I mentioned picking up keys form Aimee. That didn't happen. She hadn't checked with her studio mates and the put the kibosh on the idea. I'll have to wait until mid January to get back into the shop.

This lead me to two things.

1) that I need my own press. I'm happy using Aimee's type and helping her out but, the fact is, if I'm going to do this right I need ready access to one of these beasts. I have calls out to a bunch of folks and we'll see what comes back.

2) I sorted my own type. It was a lot of fun. Here's a pic

It doesn't look like much but hey, it's mine.

I've been going through all of my old things since this move/the Punk Rock flea market and I think if I sell all that stuff, I I'll have enough $ to actually buy a press. Where to put it is another deal all together.

I had some incredible hangouts over christmas and I have a second date tonight (Tuesday) with a lovely women. I start class next week and Kalmar Nyckel crew program the following weekend. All in all, lots of great things going on in my life. The little bumps along the way just make you pay attention to the road I think.

I think that's it for now.
Sleep tight,

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Faerie, Friends, Letterpress, Work

So I've been working since 7 and will be working until 8 or 9 tonight. It feels pretty good to have your day all laid out in front of you.

I'm supposed to see Aimee at some point today to pick up keys so I can organize type while she's away for the holidays, I'm pretty stoked about it. With all the free time I have it will be great to have something to do, great to help someone out, and most importantly, it will K-rad to just get to handle all of that type.

I keep meeting letterpress people in the most unusual places. Like at 3:30 AM on my way out of a party Saturday morning. I met another person at the punk rock flea market and ran into her the very next day at the Rocket Cat. She has now been to the shop and is on board for helping.

I'm worried about some of my friends. A few of them are in bad shape but, in at least one case, there's reason for hope. It's winter after all, time for changes.

Happy belated solstice. May the Fae watch over you in this new year but, not so close that they interfere. The Folk are known for their mischief so, just be mindful and leave out gifts. (rhyming by accident)

Have a great day and a great year everyone 

Monday, December 20, 2010

working through it: a purging.

All this week I was in a really dark place. That mood got set off by an innocent conversation with a friend on wednesday and just kind of hung out, just below the surface, until Friday night. It made a little cameo on saturday afternoon when I went to a craft show.

I knew she was going to be there and if I cared about my well being I probably shouldn't have gone at all but, I'm not going to let her presence stop me from going anywhere even if it is a little uncomfortable. I needed to finish shopping for Christmas (done) and wanted to visit with the 5 other people I knew that were selling there. So that's that.

I didn't attempt to speak with her and she did her best to run away when I was on her side of the room. Which is why I could keep that darkness at bay.

There is no need for me to speak to her now, except to ask if she kept some of the blocks I asked for back. I think she did but, really just fuck it. She can think of me every time she uses them.

If you have read previous entries on here you'll know that I've been working on marrying the actual me with the bold face I present to the world and I think that was the impetus for all this mood this week.

-been sharing at meetings more
-had almost no down time
-have been sabotaged by weather and car tires while trying to get moved in
-started cognitive behavioral therapy with a therapist (duh)
-have been more vulnerable (still hate it)
-still have no job

If you put all that stuff together it makes for a little bit of instability. After the cluster-fuck of a relationship I just went through, I'm just pretty raw.

I still feel used by her, betrayed. Every time I think I've come to peace about one aspect or another of that relationship, something else creeps in and starts the bad vibes all over again.

I don't want her back but I'm not over her. In an attempt to purge some of the vitriol that I'm carrying around now, here are the things that I feel/think about her/our relationship at this point.

-She loved the IDEA of loving me. I don't think she was in love with me. As a women who is very visual, she never took a single picture of me. I don't know what I was, but it doesn't feel like love. I'm not even sure she knows what love is.

-I don't think she ever really liked me, again she liked an idea of me. She yelled/got upset at me several times about yelling out and saying hello to people, it made her uncomfortable. About this, all I can say is, when you meet your fiancee by him yelling at you to punch his best friend, you should probably realize he's a loud dude.  

-On the day she called off the wedding and I was pouring my heart out she said "this all sounds familiar" and I watched her get cold. I feel like some part of her is very sick and took some kind of pleasure from the explosion. Enjoyed the back and forth shit she pulled with me afterward. All of her habitual honeymoon relationships point to some shit inside her. Like I said, I think she's really sick and needs help. This would be a good start.

-She wouldn't breakup with me. She just refused to, just kept shutting down and not communicating, knowing full well that it would drive me nuts. So I did it and she promptly threw it in my face less then a day later.

-The only time I think she was ever 100% herself with me was when we were on the phone and she was in WI. She called herself a fraud, said she wasn't a printer, said she felt unimportant there. I tried to be supportive and encouraging and she just reverted back to cold bitch again.

But the thing that may have hurt me most happened on the day before she was leaving for Wisconsin, November 5th.

I bought all of these printer blocks and type drawers for her. I had been planning to do this for weeks and then things got messy so I held off. We had several great days of reconciliation and she was going to see Louis CK that night. She had also made a big deal about me spending the night earlier in the week, so I figured, this last time I gave her printers blocks she brought up marrying me. Just thought it would be fitting and I was incredibly wrong.

All that day I was emailing and calling people to get this ready. She was sending me super sweet texts all day too, it was nice. she went to the show and I started running around. Digging through boxes of blocks and finally just buying them all after a bit of haggling. I texted her around 8 to see if she wanted anything to eat and to see when she'd be home. Yes to food and around 11.

I get home (it was then) and start setting up. She had left her computer open on the dining room table and...break for full disclosure  

(So her main problem with me was that I was jealous and would get super angry. I said I would work on changing that and if she wanted to be around I'd love it. She said she would like to be around and that's how we get where we are in the story.

Earlier in the week she showed me a thing she wrote on her livejournal about how in love with me she was. It made me feel really good.)

resume I decide to see if she wrote anything about me. I was walking around on a pink cloud and figured a little more couldn't hurt. I mean it was open in her browser, so I read it.

She starts out with how awesome I was to her all week, about how I'm surprising her, about how I took care of her when she was sick the day before. Then she says she just wants to quit, misses quitting things. Then she says that she planned to fuck some dude in Wisconsin if things were still going bad. Was still thinking about doing it anyway.

I threw up. I called my sponsor. I went along like I never read that. Mind though, this was one of the dudes I got jealous about.

I let it go, this was her venting to her internet friends. I made the choice to trust her.

I set up her dinner and laid out candles and smaller pieces of type throughout the apartment leading to the whole mess of stuff I had acquired for her.

I put a little note on the door that said something like "follow the candles and don;t forget to pick things up along the way" with an arrow.

I wrote a letter about us growing together, about new starts, about me learning from her and us being able to create together. Really good, honest stuff. Things I have a hard time articulating when it matters (I'd like that letter back, frankly)

I go hop in bed and start reading while waiting.

She texts me to tell me she's going out for drinks. I'm like okay but we need to get up early. Plus I want her to get her present.

She get's home at 11:30 and maybe she's a bit tipsy. She doesen't see the note on the door. I say hi from the bedroom and she asks why there are candles everywhere.
I say did you see the note.
She goes no and I go and get it for her.
She reads it and says "I don't get it" so I show her. I walk her through the apartment and she's just being a dick. She's not even picking up the blocks, she just doesn't care.

When we get to her studio, the only thing she says is "why are there candles in my studio" Nothing could have hurt me more I don't think. It was like a knife. This point, more then any other, let me know we were probably done.

Needless to say, she apologized and read my letter. She got colder and more distant for the rest of the night and continued into the morning witht he same cold bullshit. It hurt, fuck the details, they aren't terribly important anyway.

What was important, what lead me to take all of those blocks back, was the fact that she didn't even look at them until the 13th, over a week. Not until we were pretty well through.

I wasn't going to see anything wonderful come from them and she didn't really seem to care, so I said fuck it, I'll do something with them and so I will.

So that was a lot of the shit on my mind. I still don't know what the fuck happened between Friday day and Friday night, probably never will but, that was really the day she was done.

I've tried to be magnanimous because I actually do care about her but, not being pissed is driving me nuts. There it is, I'm pissed. I'm hoping this is the last time this shit comes up in my head. I want to move along.

I want to be more peaceful and find a women to spend time with, without having to worry about all this shit clouding my head. I got the knife out, so now maybe the wound will heal up alright.

thanks for listening,

P.S. Type, design, and printing tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

civility or so it seemed: letterpress, amanda, and me.

So I just got home from hanging out with a couple of friends, it was really nice. I don't see either one of them nearly often enough. So happy.

In the spirit of that joy I searched up amanda on twitter. I figured after we spoke on saturday and with my posi mood, maybe we could begin to reconcile, just as people. I was going to see if she wanted to be Facebook/twitter friends again. Maybe work toward healing ill will, work toward peace between us.

Instead I found a bunch of responses to something she must have posted about me doing letterpress. Now she and I have had emails about this, have had real life discussions about it throughout our entire relationship. I began writing her an email about the responses I found on twitter which I've included just below here.

"I have explained the letterpress stuff to you before and would appreciate it if you either, a. spoke with me about it or b. didn't put stuff up for your 500+ friends on twitter.
 I thought we were going to be civil, maybe even friendly. I'm not trying to steal this from you, I'm pursuing an interest I've had for a very long time and I thank you for inspiring me to get motivated"

I decided to not send this to her directly but to post it publicly instead, this achieves two things:

1, it eliminates hearsay, he said-she said garbage. These are my genuine feelings and I've explained them in earlier blogs here and in many correspondences with her. How if we stayed together I never would have taken the risk, would have been content with her taken all of them. How, basically, I never would have done something that I've allways been interested because I am/was a coward.

2, it allows me to get this out without continuing the back and forth shit that has occurred between us in the past.

I really am sorry if it makes her angry but, I can't do anything about that. Letterpress is the reason she and I first spoke. The first day we spoke on the phone she said she would teach me how and that never happened. Here is excerpt from an email I sent to her in response to her finding out I was pursuing printing.

"LETTERPRESS: it's the reason we first spoke, it's the reason I gave
you the first batch of blocks, because I hadn't done anything with
them and wanted to see something good come from them. Our first phone
conversation I asked you to teach me and you said you would. I
expressed an interest, not because you were into it but because I was
just interested in it. It's what got me interested in you frankly. You
actually hadn't done any printing from well before we met. All I did,
the whole time, was try and support this, support you printing. I
think it's awesome, thought it would be awesome to do with you, would
be awesome to learn and grow from you.

I'm interested still and instead of having a bunch of regret by not
doing it, I decided to be proactive. It took me less then a day to
find someone to teach me at a full shop.

I'm going to try it out, if I don't like it, great. If I do, I'm going to do it."

I was going to include more of this email but, that would just be me loosing my spleen for some measure of satisfaction and frankly, I probably wouldn't feel satisfied anyway. I just wanted to be civil with her, just want to know she's alright. I can't stress enough that I don't want to harm her but, I'm not going to set up regrets for myself.

So far I love letterpress. I've met and reconnected with so many awesome people. I've begun exploring my visually creative side that's lain dormant for so very long. It's nice to think in pictures again, good to compose images in my brain and try to render them.

I think Aimee is going to go through running the Vandercook with me soon and I'm so excited for that. I'm going to the shop this Wednesday from noon to four and then moving the rest of my stuff in all night, a pretty big day all told. I'm going to go to bed that night with a smile on face and sleep the sleep of a satisfied man.

Thanks for listening to me bitch.

Monday, December 13, 2010

sorting things out

Went to the shop today and continued to sort 20th century 10pt into a California case. It was just Aimee and I today. We listened to some music and had pretty heavy talks with lots of humor. It was really nice and I felt pretty human. Here's a pick of where I left off
Sorting properly is all needle in haystack kinda stuff but, I think I'm doing a good job with the aid of that magnifying glass. Also, using gloves to sort type this small just sucks, I'm going to just use tweezers and bare hand from now on and risk the lead poisoning.

When we finished up at the shop I made a b-line to Drexel Hill for Cut-throat Pollyanna. It was good seeing everybody, even for a little while. There were some folks who weren't there but, there always are these days. I guess the crew is getting more adult, busier, just moving on. It's all for good things like love and babies but, I can't help feeling a little sad.

The reason I could only stay briefly was I took a double commitment at an A.A. meeting downtown. I'm making the coffee and greeting every Sunday for the month. It's not glamorous but, it's still service and I need that in my life.

I arrived 10 minutes later then I would have liked to because of an accident on 76, so I was a little rushed. Not the rushed, frantic, crazy that has been a staple of my whole life, more of a quickening to purpose. That was a nice surprise. I just did what I need to do and didn't worry about it. I guess I'm working some shit out.

So I found out on the way over that a dear friend of mine was the speaker. She shared her story. It was good to hear it all put together in order. I knew most of it because we are friends but, I feel like that's exactly why we sometimes miss the big picture about the folks we love. We never get to hear it all together.

When she was done speaking I felt moved by gratitude. See she is the one who really pushed me to get my first sponsor. She has a very special place in my heart.

And I said most of that in front of the room with tears rolling down my face.

Now this is incredibly hard for me to do. I touched on this stuff in a previous post here and here. From the former entry the line "I am incredibly insecure the minute I feel vulnerable" hold so true right now. From the latter "I'm becoming vulnerable and that is so terrifying to me" sums it up nicely.

It's 7 hours later and I still feel a little insecure and a whole lot of vulnerable. I need to do this kind of thing though. I need to own who I am, without apology. I'm working on it but, boy, is this going to take a while.

I think that's it. I spoke with a few people after the meeting and headed back to the party for a little bit. Talked to a friend on the phone and am now writing to the aether.

One thing I did forget, I met a couple more folks who do letterpress in the past couple of days and one women in particular may be helping out in the shop. Aimee has to meet her first but she seems pretty awesome so far. Hooray for more hands.

That's it really, all sorted.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Punk Rock Flea Market, Heading To the Shop

I had a good but, trying day at the market. I had some difficulty selling some of the artifacts I had. I really did sell my youth. so that was both painful and freeing. Our possessions really do posses us.

All in all it was a good day though. I saw lots of old friends, made about $600, and and unloaded about half a cars worth of stuff. I spoke with amanda a bit and it was nice and civil. She's starting a letterpress internship in NY. I'm excited for her.

After the market I took my very dear friend Jen out to dinner. She has been such a God send the past month, I figure it's a start to paying her back.

Now, I'm going to pick up Aimee and heading over to the shop. Going to sort type for a few hours and maybe use scope out the vandercook a bit more. Have a great day everyone.


P.S. I got my first set of type in the mail yesterday, 30pt Cheltenham Bold Condensed, here's a picture

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Realizations and movement

So I've had a rough couple of days. I've been kind of suicidal/homicidal since Monday. I've just been processing a mess of stuff, disappointments, realities (perceived and otherwise), and current life events, here's a partial list of what I've come up with.

- That I am incredibly insecure the minute I feel vulnerable. This is a self sabotaging behavior which ties into my anger. It forces fight or flight in me and my normal answer to that question is definitely the aggressive tack.

- There is an active disconnect between who I actually am and what I present to the world. In most of my interactions this is not terribly apparent but, in any romantic proposition the disparity becomes glaring.

- Romantic propositions make me feel vulnerable. I can not be in any sort of serious relationship right now, hopefully counseling and self assessment can ease my vulnerability over time. We'll see but, right now I'm pretty well bent up and it would be unfair to anyone to have to deal with that.

- I want to do letterpress, I want to do printing in general. This, above all else, is what I'm striving for. I want this more then I want a roof over my head. I'm finally thinking in images again instead of words, it's been a long time.

- I may not be able to do the training program on the Kalmar Nyckel. Until I get a job, I need to keep my availability open. As much as I want to print, I do actually need a roof over my head to do it, so I need to generate some income. That may mean back burner-ing the ship stuff, I'll still go down and volunteer but, the training might need to wait until summer or next winter.

- I'm still angry at amanda, I feel like she used me like a bag of dope. I didn't help things (see above) but, she has a pattern of going through men every couple of months. I think she loves the honeymoon period and gets high off the newness. Maybe it fills a hole for her, like booze used to fill for me, I don't know but, it's feels awful  I feel lied to, betrayed, and used. I'm moving past it slowly, like looking at a car crash on the highway. It will be gone soon, all that negative emotion but, the horror of the thing will stick with me for a long time.

I think that's it. My anger is just a simmer now, no real threat of boiling over, which is a good thing. I know lots of people care about me, I just have a hard time reconciling that with the stuff in my head.

Friday, and working in the shop with Aimee, can't get here fast enough.

Thanks for listening,

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Intake, angry moving

So I'm about to go to intake at Greater Philadelphia Health Action ( They offer sliding mental health services, so I'm going to go get some of that. I had said, when Amanda called off the wedding, that I would seek counseling regardless if we stayed together or not. I said it and I meant it, so it's off to the races. Maybe I can sort out some of my bullshit, maybe I can grow as a person, or maybe most counseling is just paying for a friend who gives you advice with no accountability. I guess I'll see.

I've begun moving my stuff in and it's pissing me off.

I had all these things, which I was told I wouldn't need again, that I need to now replace. Things like cleaner, a shower caddy, plates, bowls, just the shit you need to live. I'm really pissed off about it.

Broken promises not withstanding, I should have just kept it all, should have moved it with me, it would have been the intelligent and prudent thing to do.

I'm just glad I didn't quit my job like she suggested, that would have been a cluster fuck.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Going forward, giving thanks

I sometimes forget how fortunate I am to lead the life I have. I know so many truly amazing people that if I think about it too much, I feel like I'm dreaming.

I have a hard time accepting the fact that some of these people actually love me, want to do nice things for me. I stumble on motives, I get tripped up by my own self worth.

I'm through with that.

I'm learning to just be grateful, without my head attempting to censor everything that pours out of my heart. I'm working on peacefulness.

I'm becoming vulnerable and that is so terrifying to me. Vulnerability somehow, makes me feel LESS, just not whole, diminished. That is a pretty sick reaction and that's where I get all turned around. I resent people being nice to me and I don't know why. It's not all the time either, only when it's touching, only when I'm laid bare. I feel sick writing this.

Recently someone did something sweet for me and when I showed my true feelings, no quips, no jibes, just a genuine gratitude, they called me a softie. Now whether or not that's true, that I'm a softie, is up for debate but, I can tell you one thing, I hated her a little for it and she was being endearing. Now how can that be anything close to acceptable? How can I ever live, even remotely, near the land of normal with that kind of thing going on inside me? I still feel sick writing this.

Needless to say, I have a long road ahead of me and that's fine. I've identified all of this shit and am working to clean it up, to take out the garbage, so to speak. That's all I can do, I can't beat myself up about it. I just need to let it go and let my heart lead me. I have a lot of love inside of me, and receive a lot love in turn, it's just that the lens through which I get that love, that problem I carry on the top of my neck, is so fucking twisted up that I can't just take things at face value. I think with time, with prayer, with a lot of work, I can remove those flaws that get me so bent out of shape.

On to giving thanks.

There are so many people that need to be on here and since gratitude and vulnerability are the issues of the day, might as well get to it.

The first person that has to be on here is Amanda for so many reasons.

- She invited me in to her life. Being invited in to a life is an amazing thing. We rushed and went about the business of love in a crazy way but, that is still just mind blowing-ly powerful. It was volatile and neither one of us was terribly gentle, so it's really no surprise it blew up. That doesn't change the amount of trust she showed me. That still blows my mind

- She allowed me to see things about my heart that I didn't know existed. This is huge. I want to, one day, be a husband and be a father. I want to be peaceful. I want to rule my fear and not let it rule me. I want to love and be loved. She showed me all these things with her amazing heart. That we didn't work out, and this surprises me, does not change my desire for those things in the least. My heart is purer for having known hers.

- She awakened a desire for action in me that has been dormant for years. She and I started talking over her doing letterpress, I've always been interested in it and she did it, that's a great reason to talk to a pretty girl.

Frankly though, if we would have stayed together, I probably would have been content being a booster for her. Would have been content seeing her vision take shape without me having to take the really real risks, the potential failures, onto myself. I don't have that cushion any longer but, I still want to see a vision occur, see an idea blossom and then fruit. I have to do it now, I have to do it fearlessly, with out worry of failure or, god forbid, success.

I'd like to eventually go all the way to type design and from there, actual type production. Learning to use a pantograph in a year or two is going to be a pain in the ass but, I'll get there one foot in front of the other. Learning the minutia of this printing business is going to take time but it has pointed me in a direction and for that I'm grateful.
I need to thank the whole MIGHTY clan (all of you, not just the housemates) and Mark Kennen specifically. Without those dudes and ladies in my life I would have been a wreck. Well, I was a wreck but they got me back to ship shape pretty quick.

They are all so supportive of me all the time. When I was a rotten drunk, they had my back, got me home safe, made sure I was alright. When I got sober and the astounding events that occurred to get me there transpired, they didn't abandon me. They offered to go to meetings with me, talked to friends and family members in recovery to see what they could do to help me, were mindful of there own drinking around me.

And with this most recent fiasco, you all, but especially Mark, were supportive, excited, accepting of her, concerned for my intentions but willing to see them through with me. Hell, Trout was going to marry us.

Then when things went south, you all didn't turn on her. You didn't start trash talking. You supported my hopefulness. This is where Mark really shinned, he was, apparently, so angry with her, so sad for me. He's who I went to with this stuff almost daily and he never said word one until it was over. You want to know why, because I was still hopeful, I was still in love, and he wanted to be there for me and keep my hope alive. That's what family does, that's what you all did for me and I don't think I can ever truly express how grateful I am. This is a start.

Amanda Staples, Jen Manfra, Amber Ganzelli, Jenni Bender. You four women have stood by me, in one way or another, through a lot of crazy.

The two of you who are new in my life have my back like your my blood. I have cried in private at the beauty you two have shown me.

The two of you who have been traveling with me for these many long years, you are my sisters. I have cried in front of you about the beauty you have shown me. We have shared so much it boggles the mind. You have both seen me at my rock bottom worst and you still love me.

The reason have all four of you grouped together, even though you are all quite different, is you all illicit the same feelings from me. I would go to the mat for any and all of you. Thank you so much for you.


All you folks in A.A. you are a rock. always a kind word and a smile. That's just the one's I don't know very well

As for A, B, B and my sponsor's C and D, Thank you all for being there through all this; my sobriety, my unemployment, my hopelessness, my anger, this recent thing, for taking me through hard looks at myself and harder truths. For helping me rid myself of that which diminishes me, for reminding me I'm not alone with all this garbage we have in common.


Last but, not least, I want to thank my family and especially Mark. Thank you for making house space for me. For dealing with me being bitter. For all my resentments.

Mark, thank you for always being there, even when it's uncomfortable for you, you have never left me high and try. You are my brother by birth but, I'm quite proud that you are one of my best friends as well.

If you read all this I'm sorry. I still feel sick.

Have a great day everyone,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Type, presses, anger, recovery, forgiveness

So last night I finally met up with Aimee at the shop in Port Richmond. I had a long, cold, wet day and wasn't really excited to be there. Then I saw Will, drawers upon drawers of type,and the two presses. I've known Will for a long time, 6 or 7 years, and I had no idea he shared space with Aimee. Super awesome surprise, it helped me feel comfortable almost immediately.

And then there was the type and presses. It was great, I was going to get to learn on real machines, no more theory. There is a Vandercook #3 Proof press and a 1908 Golding Jobber that needs a belt for the motor but, is impressive none the less. Then type; type, type, type, so much freakin' type. Drawers and drawers of it in a hamilton double composition cabinet, on the floor, in loose cases, on shelves, everywhere. Just how I imagined it.

Will was working on the Vandercook when I got in, which was awesome to watch but, I was there to work, so Aimee put me on type sorting. There is tons of type (new), still in packages that needs to be sorted into cases. I imagine I'll be doing it for weeks and surprisingly, I love it.

SIDENOTE: To be honest, I didn't really understand the California Case system before yesterday but, now it makes so much sense. I could feel my hands beginning to learn the movements, it just feels right after a bit.

I also got to pull a print and learn a bit about maintenance. Slow and steady progress is just what I'm looking for. Apprenticeship, or something like it, makes so much sense to me.

I'm probably going to go back tomorrow for several hours of type sorting and that idea is so appealing. Sorting feels good to my brain, like playing Go does, Like drinking did. It feels like relief and I'm makes me contented.

So the rest of the night went sort of like this.

-Drove to West Philly to drop of our apartment keys to Babz.
-Called Shar-bear to meet me at the POPE.
-Swung by the apartment and got some shit out of my trunk.
-Spoke with a friend who, though a little drunk, was going through a bit of jealousy issues. I hope I helped.
-Sharon bailed, which is totally cool. She's working too much lately and her staying in was smart. I worry about her.
-Ran in to a few people who I do not see nearly enough and it warmed my heart. I'm going to attempt to remedy that in the coming weeks
-Sat down to do my new 4th step.

So here's the anger, I started writing my new 4th step on Tuesday to go over with my sponsor tonight. I don't know if it's right to stretch it out like this, but for me at least, it gives me a little clarity.

For those of you not familiar, the 4th step of AA states:
"Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."

Maybe, just reading that, you can see where a whole pile of anger, fear, and sadness can come in to play. Needless to say, after about 10 minutes I was pretty keyed up.

Right about then, a buddy of mine sat down and asked me how I was doing. I told him a bunch of things about what's been going on with me. He asked a bunch of questions about recovery, for himself, for a friend of ours, and just in general. We were joined by a few different people over the course of the night. It was good to talk about recovery. It was nice to have a normal person as a sounding board. It was good and led me to gain some more perspective.

I think I can call that buddy friend now and that's an amazing thing all on it's own.

The forgiveness part, that comes tonight. I mean it starts when you write it out and it was pushed along by me talking about it but, tonight I do 5, 6, and 7 which is real deal, heart wrenching, and relief all rolled into one. I'll put those steps up just below here, so all you normal folks know what's up.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature
of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

This is really simple but, if you are wired the way I am, asking for anything, especially humbly, feels like pulling teeth. I need to do this though. I'm tired, tired of carrying around this hate, this anger, these insecurities. I want them to go away and I can't do that on my own. I want to be a peaceful man and this is the only way I know how to do it.

A little pain in exchange for the relief of a constant, mind dulling, ache; a silencing of that inner voice, it's constant running, tainted by these little niggling fears and judgments? For respite from that, I think that a little pain is more than a fair deal.

Finally, I've come to be comfortable that no matter where I go I will run into Amanda. It's just how it is. It always seems to me that once you know someone they will appear. They are cast in to a role in the show of your life and you just have to deal with it.

I figured I'd run into her in the neighborhood I'm moving into (she lives on the other end of the block) but, she just seems to be everywhere now. I bought my space at Punk Rock Flea Market a couple of weeks ago (you all should come and buy my junk, lots of records) and now apparently she has a table as well. I also do all my christmas shopping at craft fairs every year and I know she's going to be at a bunch of those too, so I'll probably run into her.

So I know I'm going to see her and the only thing I can really do is minimize our interactions. If she wants to be civil, then great, if not, that's fine too. I just can't snipe and fight with her any longer, it hurts too much. I will hope for peace on all fronts, that's about the best I can do.

Thanks for reading all of this. I hope you got something out of it, a little entertainment at the very least.

P.S. Amanda is a wonderful craftswoman and you should check out her stuff. Here's the link to the facebook page for her work:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

So I was going to write about the word cunt but,

I'm too sleepy, it's done to death, and I just read a pretty crazy article on Rape vs Cuckoldry, here's a link to the article
I don't want any color from those things interfering with my love of that sweet word.

Anyway, I thought instead, I'll post a little thing I wrote a couple of weeks ago. It was November 10th, the day before we broke up. I wrote it in a notebook she gave me, in the car after delivering brownies to Good Karma.

"Saw the first girl to take my breathe away since Amanda. I smiled at her, even though I didn't feel like it, pure reflex.

She smiled right back.

I enjoyed it and it brought back wonderful, half-dead emotions to the fore. Which led me back to sadness all over again as soon as I got to my car.

Soon I'll be able to just appreciate these things without getting maudlin, without a sense of profound loss, at least I hope so." *

So what does this tell me? I feel like it tells me two things and I was an idiot not to see them sooner.

One, That somewhere in me I was already done. The fact that I was a receptive to beauty like that and felt like I should just have enjoyed it should have been a tip off. Dan is a dope

Two, The fact this was the day BEFORE I actually broke it off should have been more then enough indicator to make me actually give up. Dan is stubborn

Dan is a dope and stubborn are two things most of the people I would call friend know about me.

I'm dopey all the time, I love sweet interactions like this. I do things like pay for rings, lay out gifts with candles and flowers, show up with food for people. This is just how I am, and for that I'm actually grateful. It's a little bit of wonderment from within that was never snuffed out in all the years I abused my soul and those of the people around me.

I'm stubborn all the time too and for that I'm not grateful one iota. I'm working on it though. I used to think I had perseverance but, that was just a lie I told myself.

Stubbornness is different from perseverance, in that one is pure contrariness and the other, noble. I'm working to swing everything over to the noble side and thought I was doing okay with that, until I wasn't any longer. That may be part of my disease, I'm not sure, it could just be me.

I was definitely out of sorts with the AA solution for a minute there, so it was probably just purely my will, as it were.

My will is part of this disease, only in so much that, when I let it run rampant, I think about a drink.

I need to remember all this, so it's good I'm putting it down.

Thanks for reading,

*almost forgot. I drove around the corner back to the coffee shop, walked inside, and told the girl she was beautiful and she made my day with her smile. she said thanks and blushed.

That felt really good too.

Monday, November 29, 2010

What a busy day, week, life. I love it!

So just since I woke up this morning I:
Signed up for classes at  They start in January
Signed a lease with Babz for our apartment, 3 bedroom for $700!!! hello studio!, water included!
Talked with Aimee about letterpress, I start with her on Wednesday
Made a long overdue date with a wonderful women for this Friday.
Did deliveries for work and found out the shop is going to be on the 10 show tomorrow. so weird
Went to a meeting with an amazing speaker. Didn't feel like going but, it was totally worth the time.

I think that's it for the day.

So starting in January I go from kinda busy most of the time to super busy all of the time. So awesome!

Working on the Kalmar Nyckel last Friday was rad. I toured the joint, asked a bunch a questions of the lovely Kirin, and mostly sanded blocks. It was a lot of fun. We listened to Flogging Molly and than a band called he Builders and the Butchers, who were really just right up my ally.

There's more stuff in the pipeline and I'll let you know as it comes along.

Have a wonderful evening everyone,

P.S. I forgot, I worked out, but skipped yoga, due to an injured foot.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

So I should be getting married right about now and...

I feel a little awful about that.

I hope she is doing well today. I would like to see her and just have coffee and tell jokes. Just feel good.

I can't help but still feel for her. It doesn't feel good, doesn't exactly feel bad. I'm glad to be alive, I mean I haven't shut down, I"m feeling, so all in all that's progress over a few years ago.

I indulged my shitty feelings last night. After having a pretty good hang out with Jen and Jess, I drove to south Philly. Drove right past Quaker City String band hall. Thought about how we were supposed to be in there decorating. Thought about how that's probably not ever going to happen. Thought about how a month ago I was living with my fiancee, gathering mailing addresses.

Afterwards, I drove past her apartment, hoping to catch a glimpse, however unlikely. I sent her a happy Thanksgiving email. She didn't respond.

I'm rambling now. 

I just want things to be normal. Either normal me, the one who didn't care about this kinda stuff or normal with her, laughing at things, making fun of folks, cooing over kittens and babies.

Either one would be fine, anything but this constant dither, This swinging, pulsing swirl of emotions. I'm getting better, just wish it were happening faster.

Thanks to everyone who's been there for me, strong for me.

I can normally handle emotions, but I don't have any handle on relationships. I just don't have enough experience with it. That was the whole problem from the start huh?

Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, thoughts on aging, an inadequate movie review. WSB

So Wednesday night was Friendsgiving. I had a pretty good time all told. There were a few crucial folk missing, but the ones that were there more then made up for it. Smiles were had by all. I did my best to not be a debbie downer and I think I did alright.

Thanksgiving itself was another story entirely.

The day started for me waking up bummed out. I should have been in Easton with her, hammering out the last details of our wedding. I woke up wrong, just wrong.Then things got worse.

My Dad called his Aunt Mary around 2:30 or so. They chatted for a bit and then he hung up because Uncle Jimmy was giving her a hard time or at least that's what my pop thought. Aunt Mary calls back 15 minutes later to ask my father to come over and help get Uncle Jimmy off the ground. I went with him because, frankly, Pop isn't what he used to be either.

We show up at their apartment and Aunt Mary meets us in the hall. Seeing Aunt Mary always fucks with me a bit because she is my dead Grandmother's twin, so there's that.

We exchange the normal stuff, some smart remarks, she compliments me on my weight loss, says I should get married (knife in the heart), to which my Dad waves and tries to shut her up. It doesn't work, why would it? If you ever met me you know that trying to stop me from talking about uncomfortable shit doesn't do dick, I had to get it from somewhere.

So when we get into their place Uncle Jimmy is laying on the floor. He looks half dead. He has a head wound from something, liver spots all over, a mess of other cuts. I haven't seen him in about a year and at that time he looked awesome, maybe 70 (he was 91), spry, alive and full of jokes. Now, he made me feel mortal, made me afraid of death. Of growing old, maybe alone. This was not at all what I needed.

Two years before, this man was still doing tree surgery and now he was a shell. Two days before his legs were working, now, not so much. This man is 6'1" 200 lbs. Fit, super fucking fit and now his body is just saying fuck you. I still don't know how I feel about it.

I fireman lift him into a seat and we all sit around and pretend that I didn't just have to do that. It's all fucking awkward. "He's going a bit senile" says Aunt Mary and I believe her.

I watch him trying to open hershey's kisses and it's just not happening. It's fucking terrifying and I just want to split.

One of her kids is dying of face cancer, one has some neurological disease that messes with his ability to speak, walk, and motor skill, but his brain is still totally intact (nightmare, I'd put a bullet in my brain before I let it get that far), and her husband looks to be checking out. And all Mary keeps telling me, the one thing she's repeating like a broken record, God love her, is "don't give up hope, things could still work out" in reference to me and Amanda.


I make a motion to my Pop. I need to go. He tells Mare we are going to be late for dinner. She accepts this so we begin making our good byes. I kiss her goodbye and hug Jimmy and leave my Dad there. While I'm walking to the elevator I hear Jimmy bellow "I want to go with Ronald, We should go to Ronald's house", I take the stairs.

We make it home without saying much and Mom has dinner on the table when we walk in. I gorge on everything just to feel alive, to murder that sad, desperate feeling of futility that has now taken up residence in my heart, like a little bird in a tree. Twenty minutes later, I fall asleep mid conversation with my brother.

I don't think it was from the food. I think I just shut down. I hit a wall and my brain said "no more of this, we need a break".

Two hours later I come to. I feel remarkably better. Just bad now, instead of horrendous.

My friend Jennifer called while I was dead, so I called her back. We made plans to go see a movie for 9, my treat. She has been a super hero for me the last few weeks so I wanted to treat her, besides doing nice things for women makes me feel good.

We went to see "Due Date" it was just alright

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So this is pretty new to me

 So I am finishing up migrating my life on the tubes. Slowly things are getting back to "normal" for me, except that I have a mess of new interests!

1. I'm going to be learning letterpress printing beginning next month. A friend of a friend is opening a shop in Port Richmond and is going to show me what's up in exchange for labor.

2. I begin volunteering on the on Friday. It's a tall ship at port in Wilmington DE in the winter months. They have a crew training program that begins in January and goes for 12 Saturdays 

3. I began taking yoga and, surprisingly, I love it!

4. last but not least I met two wonderful women on Monday who, after hearing about some of my recent trials and tribulations, suggested I start a blog. As you all can see, I'm doing just that. I'll link to there blogs in the comments once I look them up.

If you want to hear about any of the things I wrote above, or my life generally, stay tuned