July 1, 2005
Yesterday, with Mom and Dad at my side, I headed down to southern Vermont for the "big chance" karaoke competition.
About forty minutes on the interstate, my engine suddenly died and we pulled off. Dad is a mechanic, so I figured it
would be no big deal and we would be back on the road in minutes. Two hours later, Mom and Dad were pushing my car to
a hotel off the next exit ramp while we waited for my brother to get out of work and come and get us. When he finally
arrived, Mom and I continued on, hoping the contest wasn't over before we could get there, driving over eighty miles per hour,
and arriving about an hour before the end of it all. A few more hours, and I had easily progressed to the next round,
only to suffer a horrible microphone malfunction, high-squeaking and all. Needless to say, it just wasn't meant to be,
and I ended up coming in fourth of about fifty people or so. I guess, considering the mechanical mishap, I should be
grateful that I even got fourth place. I'm not sore about it at all. I really would have liked to perform at that
county fair, but it's not a huge deal. The second song didn't sound good, and I didn't deserve to win. Anti-climatic,
I guess, but on the way home, we did almost hit a fawn, a giant porcupine, and what I'm guessing to be some sort of slow-moving
badger, though I'm not even sure we have badgers in this part of the country. Like I said, it wasn't meant to be, and
fate seemed to be threatening us in general for even attempting to go down there. I think I'm going to stop singing
karaoke in competitions. It's not fun anymore, like it used to be, and what's the point of doing something fun if it
becomes all about winning? I'd still like to follow a musically inclined career path, but not if I have to compete in
front of overly drunk judges who are more busy hanging out with their friends than paying any attention to what's going on.
It's simply not fun like that. I really enjoyed the old days when we did it once in a while for fun, so I'm going to
go back to that. At least for a while, and see how it goes. I found out that the girl who got second prize in
the contest last month, behind me, was complaining for weeks about it to everyone she saw. A few people I don't even
know have come up to me to say they were glad I won because it knocked her down a peg and showed her that she wasn't so great.
I don't want my singing to be about that. I couldn't think of a worse reason to do that. And it really upsets
me that this other girl could be such a bad sport about it, and over nothing. Oh well. I guess it's her problem,
not mine. Tomorrow night, I'm going for a fourth of July party at Heather's house. I'm going to bring my friend,
John, if he wants to come with me, and there's a chance we may go out after that, but I don't know yet. It's supposed
to be perfect weather this weekend, which will be a great change of pace from the usual thunderstorms we have around this
holiday. So on to bigger and better things.
July 5, 2005
Wow, my life has been so obscure lately. Yesterday was my absolute of pessimism. I was certain that death
or commital would be the ultimate answer rather than putting up with the same old shit anymore, but I picked up the pieces,
dealt with what was left, and accepted. My annoying brother, David, moved back into our house. He's only been
there three days, and I can already see the storm clouds looming on the horizon. He's been lying to Mom and Dad about
his "ex"-girlfriend so that he could move back in with us. But so far nothing drastic. I refuse to listen to any
complaints about David because I told Mom not to let him back in. I'm just waiting for the inevitable "Itoldyouso's"
that are imminent. And I'm sick of hearing about Curt's victimization. He got himself into a lot of legal trouble,
and now he's dragging my parents down with him financially. They have had to borrow nearly thirty thousand dollars from
my uncle for lawyer's fees, and it's just not fair. But on top of that, I'm expected to have to feel constantly sorry
for Curt. So not happening. Well, on our way to borrow said money, this morning, I got into a car accident.
The other woman came speeding through a tricky corner, we both swerved (as I was turning left), and we narrowly avoided a
deathly serious head-on collision. My front left corner smashed into her driver's door and was pushed down the side
of the vehicle. I think she was mentally unfit to be driving, and she couldn't get out of her vehicle because she's
disabled. I'm obviously not against disabled people driving, as I'm in a wheelchair myself, but she obviously shouldn't
be behind a wheel. It was unclear to me how the police would see this outcome, and the damage wasn't that bad, so we
just decided to let it go and not call the police. I'm just glad none of us were hurt, and I was going really slow because
I was turning, so it wasn't that serious. I don't really get worked up about these things because I've been in so many
stressful situations. This sort of thing just rolls off my back. So tonight, I went out to dinner with an old
friend, John, who just got back from a week in Maine. He was there working as a chaperone for the school where he has
a job. I hadn't seen him in a long time, and it was a really nice meal, sitting and talking about where I lives have
gone since we last saw each other about a year ago. He's a really nice guy. The lucky bastard is really good looking,
works out a lot, and has an extra touch. He is superbly shy. Honestly, I've never known anyone as quiet and lost-in-the-crowd
as he is. It drives girls nuts. Everywhere we go, girls are gawking at him. He is the honest to goodness,
strong and silent type. Frankly, I'm amazed he's not already married. He has strong family values and a solid
work ethic, good looks, a winning personality, is very smart and well-read, so I'm sure it will all come along eventually.
Hell, I wish I had nearly as much going for me, but my personality is completely the opposite. I talk constantly and
am not socially afraid of anything. That's probably why we work so well. It's a great dynamic, and I think I'm
pretty good at putting nervous people at ease, so he feels comfortable enough to open up around me. Plus it gives me
one more ear to pour my world out onto, and lawd knows I needs me that! On top of all that, I have been in a seriously
artistic funk as of late. I've been writing songs and poetry, drawing new pictures all the time, and reading Shakespeare.
I don't know where it came from, but it's a good break from the television. I have such a love/hate relationship with
it. I'm so addicted, yet I think I'd be perfectly happy if I didn't even have one. Bizarre. Cara's baby
turned a month old today, and tomorrow is four weeks since I had the tummy tuck. I haven't weighed myself again, as
of yet, but maybe I'll go do it when I get done here tonight. I'd like to know if I'm gaining or losing weight, or what.
I've been doing a half-assed diet, so I'm not sure if anything is changing. I know I think I look fatter than ever,
but I'm such a self-loathing-aholic lately, that I don't know if I even have perspective anymore. That's kind of scary,
but I can't say that my self-viewing lense has ever been in focus. Maybe it's swelling, maybe it's fat, maybe it's imagination.
Maybe none of this is even real and it's all some kind of non-ending dream. Perhaps I actually went into a coma years
ago, and this is what it's like. Okay, so I've been watching too many Shamalan-esque movies recently. I always
want to think my own personal world is so much more important and interesting than the general populace's. Am I really
that pompous? Definitely. I've always thought that I was somehow more important, but lately I've found it very
comforting to convince myself that I'm not all that special. I tell myself that I'm not such a great singer. I'm
not that unique for having lost all the weight. I'm not really that great of a conversationalist, or really all that
interesting, and most people don't want to hear my life story. My insane family isn't really all that different from
anybody else's. It helps because then my personal expectations of public performance don't seem so high. I don't
feel like I have to show off to everybody that comes along. I probably do it enough naturally that I don't even have
to think about it. Maybe I just give myself too much credit. But I'll give my life this much. It's been
anything but boring. Sure, I can see sections that don't appear all that interesting. Last night the boredom was
killing me. But overall, I've already done enough to last me a lifetime, and I'm probably only about a third of the
way through it all. Does that mean that the rest won't be all that interesting? And will anybody but me ever really
care how it all turns out? And why do I care if other people find my life interesting, anyway? Why is it so important
that everybody like me and want to hear more, more, more, until they've had so much they can't stand to hear or read another
word? And if this big "they" are so interested, do they ever get enough? Would I ever get enough? Probably
not. That's why I keep writing and talking so much. If I held it all in, my head would explode. I'd probably
talk to a stuffed elephant if I thought it was listening. They say you can't love anybody else until you love yourself.
Well, I think I've got that down pact. Who could be more interesting than me? Wow, that's enough to make even
me sick. If I saw me somewhere, or had to listen to myself talking, I'd probably slap me across the face and tell my
bitch-ass to shut up already. Well, I probably wouldn't actually do that, but I'd be wanting to. I usually find
that I can't stand certain people for some unknown reason. Eventually I come to the conclusion that the thing I can't
stand the most is how much they remind me of myself. I find it so irritating when somebody has a similar personality.
Maybe it blows my whole "uniqueness" idea to shit, and that's why I can't stand them. I wonder if they loathe me for
the same reason. Probably. I know I would. Anyway, how did I even get on this? I swear that's one
of my worst qualities: rambling. I'm like the talk show host that wouldn't die. Maybe that's why I need all the
art. I have to center myself somehow. I ground myself in reality by exploring the abstract. When I see how
weird my imagination can get, I don't mind the actuality all that much. Oh, and my brother's dog got bit by a bug or
something, and he thought its eye had fallen out because it was so swollen that he couldn't see it. As far as I know,
it's still alive, but that would be hilarious if he had a one-eyed Great Dane. Okay, a bit gross and off topic, but
funny nonetheless. Oh, and talking about off topic, none of my clothes seem to fit anymore. They are either all
too big or too small. How can I be between sizes? Does that even exist? I thought the whole point was to
go from one size to the next fairly clearly without ambiguity. I guess not. But I'm so broke right now that I
can't see where it really makes any difference. What's really weird is that the shirts are always too loose in the stomach
and tight in the boobs. It used to be the opposite. And none of my smaller sized pants fit at all anymore.
I don't know if it's from swelling or because I've gained weight in other places from the lack of exercise, but pretty soon
I'm going to not fit in anything. Well, it's already too late for that. I suppose I'll just have to make do with
what I have until fate decides to hit me in the face with the money tree. And since his bus doesn't come down this street,
I'm not going to be holding my breath. Maybe I can make something nice and fitted out of those ancient sheets in the
back of the bathroom closet. Those cartoon characters, with the right touches of blue stipes and giant flower patterns,
could be just the right look, don't ya think? Alright, maybe not. Well, as long as telemarketers keep calling
and I keep getting credit card offers in the mail, at least I'll know that somebody cares that I'm sitting at home, bored
stiff. I can always check my Junk Email folder for the latest offers to go to Hawaii or make millions sending my personal
information to some homeless mother in Nigeria. I can always count on my friends! Lah dee dah...
July 7, 2005
This morning I got up, went to breakfast with David, drove up to the Duty Free shop across the Canadian border, and then
came back to IROC and had a great workout. I sweated great and I've found a new workout that I can do that works my
butt, which has been previously over-neglected. Look out world, here comes Danny's ass! At least I hope it's coming,
but let's not get ahead of ourselves. After a very relaxing shower, I checked the headlines and couldn't believe the
attacks in London. I always feel so bad when things like this happen to good, innocent people. It's so pointless,
because the terrorists never going to get the political recognition they want, and they are destroying the worlds of people
who have nothing to do with it all, in the process. It's just awful. Maybe they'll get a few headlines, scare
a few thousand people needlessly, and in the end, they're just antagonizing the people they are trying to drive away.
It's like the guy who tries to get rid of the killer bees' nest by throwing a rock at it. They have the power, and there
are ways to deal with situations you feel are unsafe or unjust, but heaving a rock at the hive won't get rid of the bees,
and it'll just make the problem that much worse. I just can't believe how much a lack of understanding between two cultures
and two worlds can have such drastic effects. In the end, they'll just end up hurting the ones they were trying to help.
What a waste. Well, anyway, I guess other than all that, it's a great, beautiful day. I feel great, I got a compliment
from Deveney, who said I look like I've lost weight, so I'm going to go weigh in at the hospital this afternoon because I
didn't have time to go the other night. So wish me luck!
July 8, 2005
I actually went and weighed myself yesterday, and it said that I weighed two pounds more than before, but I kind of wonder
if that number wasn't really the same as last time. Besides, that scale I use at the hospital has been having problems
for a while. If you get off and get on again, it can read as much as six pounds different. On top of that, it's
a digital scale, and the screen on it doesn't even show the entire number anymore. It cuts off the tops of them.
Anyhow, I told the nurses that were working there and they said they would look into it. The scale is for the maternity
ward, also, so it seems like it should be operating at optimal levels. And today I finally decided that my scar was
healed well enough for me to go swimming. After about three hours in the pool, I felt pretty good. I worked my
legs really hard yesterday and was in a lot of pain this morning, and swimming was just the thing to help me feel better.
Then this afternoon I went and saw War of the Worlds with Camisha. It was pretty good, I guess, but the ending
is kind of confusing and some things in the movie don't make sense. For instance (and this won't ruin the movie if you
haven't seen it), the power goes out in every machine and appliance in the city, but somehow digital and video cameras don't
seem to be affected. But for all intents and purposes, it was a pretty good movie. However, as of late, Tom Cruise
has been weirding me out recently. He's always going off at people about scientology and what an expert he is, and that's
great, but I think he's being a little over-zealous about it. On top of that, I think his whole trying-to-be-innocently-youthful-and-cute
thing is getting a bit old, and so is he. I mean, he's playing the father of a sixteen year old in this movie, which
is a pretty far cry from the life-loving bachelor in Vanilla Sky. Well, this critique is even beginning to
bore me, and who am I to judge, anyway? So I guess I better find something more interesting to do. Tah!
July 19, 2005
Okay, so not a whole lot has been going on. I finished the sixth book of the Harry Potter series.
It was really good, but it kind of sucks that I have to wait at least another year until I can read the last one. It's
amazing how much I can read if I'm really interested in something. In other news, it has been so hot and humid that
I've hardly left the house in days. And because of all the bike riding I did last week, for about the last three or
four days I've been barely able to move my right leg, which is the one that had all those surgeries on it. It just can't
bend quite easily enough for bike riding, so after I forced it all week, I could hardly move it anymore. Everytime my
leg goes around on the bike, it's like I'm bruising the joint everytime. So regardless of my pathetic reasons, I haven't
been in the gym for about four days now. I weighed myself and I hadn't budged the scale, even after two weeks of working
out and dieting, and I think that probably had more to do with my gym absence than anything else. I know that the scale
numbers shouldn't matter to me, especially at this point, but it's so discouraging to see, especially when I was pretty sure
I had lost something, even if it wasn't dramatic. Well, other than my lazy ass making no concerted efforts at self-improvement,
I guess not much else has been going on. Chow! (I know it's spelled "ciao"!)
July 27, 2005
This must have been one of the longest weeks of my life. I've been couped up in the house with the kids non-stop.
My step-grandfather, who the whole family just calls Al, fell down some stairs and broke his right leg very badly. He's
eighty-three, and they aren't going to operate until next week sometime because his smoking has made blood oxygen levels too
low for surgery. He was having a fit because he couldn't smoke in the hospital, but I just got through visiting him
at the nursing home where he'll be staying until he's walking again, and he seems to be a lot better. I know how dangerous
it can be for people going into a nursing home. It's always worst for people whose families don't visit them.
I used to work in the office of this particular home, as did my mother as a nurse's aide. It's a nice place compared
to others, but still, family is the most important factor in ability to recuperate. On top of this catastrophe, my aunt
is in awful pain after having cancer removal months ago. She keeps getting worse, and the pain never stops, her thyroid
is swollen to a humongous size, and my mother is afraid she's going to die. If that happens, her three young children
quite possibly could be moving in with us. We're all hoping for the best. My aunt is really suffering, and the
kids have already had such a hard life. It just doesn't seem fair that some people can have so much and others so little.
My other, thirty-three year old cousin, just sold all of his businesses, bought new cars for his three daughters, and is building
a two million dollar house with, it has been rumored, seventeen bathrooms. Why? Is it even true? Do I really
care? Well, no for the last one. The balance just seems to be off, is all. I've also been crocheting this
giant blanket. Well, it will be giant if I ever miraculously finish it. I've been working on it for four days,
and my hands are cramping like crazy, but other than that, I guess it's not such a big deal. My twenty-fourth birthday
is coming up in a couple of weeks. I don't even want to think about where my life should be by this point, but it certainly
shouldn't be living off of my parents, babysitting their small children for twenty bucks a day. I know I help a lot,
but God, I could be doing so much more. I have all this wasting potential. I think I'd feel more important working
for a fast food joint than just hanging with the kids all day. I should have seen so many more places by this point
in my life (at least that used to be the plan), but now it seems that a day trip to the hospital is the brightest light on
my horizon. Speaking of which, this Friday is my follow-up/consultation meeting. We will talk about how my stomach
is doing and put in to insurance for my thighs. I don't want to do that! I want to apply to the Lithuanian embassy
for a job! I want to move to Boston and help refugees resettling! I want to travel the states on my "All Across
America" singing tour! I want guest spots on Ellen and Oprah! I want, I want, I want...
I am such a baby. Anyway, I can want until the cows come home, but I'm going to wait for surgery approval, because that
has been the friggin' focus of my life for what feels like my entire life. Seriously, since I was born, I've been the
ever-waiting surgery applicant. I hate having surgery! There's no fun in it! I keep waiting for all of these
things in my life to fix themselves, and I don't know if I am going anywhere, much less where that might be, but I'm
stuck in the mud on the side of the road with a flat tire at three in the morning, and it just started raining. Oh yeah,
and my wheelchair's locked in the trunk and I dropped my keys in the bushes somewhere. I know there is a process to
get out of it, but it's like being at the mid-point of a marathon. You've come so far, can see the road stretched out
behind you and measure your progress, but the prospect of doing all over again what you just did, is overwhelming. If
only I had someone to help carry this load. But hell, getting this far has made me strong. I know I'm complaining
now, but at least the wait doesn't make me cry or get depressed anymore. It used to make me so bleak. Now I don't
like it, but I accept it. What other choice do I have? I've had so much physical pain up until this point that
pain is not even a factor for my fear. I know it will hurt, but I don't even really think about that. The only
reason I bring it up is because there was a time when I did fear pain, and now I don't. It doesn't even register.
The loneliness is probably the biggest change. I never used to be as accepting of this loneliness. But it's weird.
I don't know what I'm looking for, and I'm certainly in no position to be in a relationship, and there are no prospects anyhow.
It's kind of bizarre, though, because I dream a lot about having girls wanting to go out with me, and they are perfect and
everything I'm looking for, and they are so into me, and then I wake up. That really sucks. It's awful to think
that my only realistic ideals are figments in my stupid brain. Let me spell it out. I don't know if I ever have,
and even if I did, my ideal is probably different now. I want a girl with character written on her face. This
is the most important. I can't stand somebody who doesn't have lots and lots of personality. Look around at my
friends, and you'll see what I mean. They are each a saga waiting to be written. Second, she should have pretty
eyes that are really good at hiding her sould. I want her to be outgoing, but guarded by all of the deep experiences
she has had. Hell, that is almost the same thing because I consider deep experiences to be the basic building blocks
of character. If she's had a hard life, she'll appreciate it more, and be really independant, which is my next criteria.
I am not a touchy, feely, lovey-dovey person most of the time. I don't want to be a shoulder to cry on for her.
I already have this with my friends. That's what friends are for. Of course I want to support her when she's in
need, but I don't want somebody who's needy all the time. She has to be able to do things alone, like shopping and working,
and also have friends outside of me. She also has to be able to accept the fact that I am very social, and plan to remain
so. I have tons of friends, a lot of them girls, and I don't want her getting all jealous all the time if I hang out
with them. Next, she needs to be trustworthy. I would never cheat on a girl. Honey, if you really need to
be with another man, at least have the decency to break up with me first. That's not too much to demand. I'd do
the same for you. I don't plan to break up with you, but if you want to dump me (or vice-versa), do it straight up with
no bush beating. She's got to be smart. It doesn't have to be in the same way as me, but at least appreciate intelligent
things and people. Also, music is obviously a big one. Must love it, no other option. I am very liberal
minded. The only acception is I don't agree in pro-Choice. I personally think abortion is wrong because there
are always other options, but beyond that, a person can't get more liberal. I celebrate human differences, culturally,
socially, sexually, it's all good. If you can't accept others, then there is probably something wrong with you.
And this one is probably the biggest turn-off. I don't really want kids. I'm the oldest of eight, still take an
active part in raising the youngest in my family, and I feel like I've done more than my fair share of parenting in my lifetime.
Perhaps someday I'd be willing to have up to two, but only if my wife/girlfriend is adament about it. Speaking of which,
I appreciate tradition, but I'm not bound to it. I'm into new ways of seeing and doing things. I don't know all
the answers, but it seems our society's expectations and traditions are going down the tubes anyway, so what's really the
point? If she's into that, great! But let's leave the door open on most things like that. Travelling, and
possibly seperate vacations can be sub-titled under that last one. Oh, and this is big. Don't be attached to materials.
I could honestly lose every possession I own tomorrow, and I wouldn't bat an eye. Sure, I like my things, but I don't
live for them or define myself by them. I don't let them be a major part of my life, and she can't do that either,
or it just ain't gonna happen. And get used to the fact that I'm probably going to want to move slow. I've only
said I love you to two women before, and both times it backfired. I was hurt deep both times, so I don't let my emotions
float around all that freely until I'm sure where we stand. So what it comes down to is self-confidence, independance,
and trust. The other stuff is ideal, but I'm willing to negotiate. Lawd knows any woman who ever goes out with
me must be willing to compromise. I ain't no prize, that's for damn sure! So, too long of a story short, that's
what I'm looking for when I talk about my ideal woman. So if you know her, hook a brotha up!... Oh! And she's
gotta like fat guys in wheelchairs.