I was just in the bathroom about to give myself a haircut, and as I looked in the mirror, I could see that the hair on top of my head (well, what’s left of it) still tends to lean to the right. My hair started retiring back in my early 20s, and I’m 37 now. I’ve got a bald spot, and there’s are some in the front that are too stubborn to leave, or who still think their paychecks must just be getting misplaced.
The last time I was almost in a fight, the guy said he was going to put me in a headlock and give me a noogie on my bald spot. He thought I would take this as an insult, but it was such a ridiculous goal for him to have at that moment that I couldn’t contain my laughter. He got confused and drove away while I laughed at the visual in my head. Thank goodness, too, because he had a friend with him and I didn’t, so one way or another I was most likely about to get my butt kicked pretty good.
As a kid, when my grandma would get me ready for school while my mom was at work, she always parted my hair on the left. Every day. All the way through high school, in fact, I was that kid who always had his hair parted neatly on the left. Any other style was out of the question (my grandma never did forgive me for the times I shaved my head completely). To this day, it’s the natural tendency of my hair to lean the way it was brushed back in those days. And if I wasn’t in school, I had a hat on…I thought I looked like a dork.
As I looked in the mirror, and relived some memories of times long past, I realized that I was looking at the world through the eyes of the younger me, the me with hair. I can still be that kid in my mind, and regress back in my head to when things seemed simpler, though when I really let the memory flood me I realize that life was not any easier back then. Still, I had more optimism back then, I still had my dreams…I was not yet jaded by life. And it felt really good to look at the world through those eyes again.
And then I stopped looking off into space, and I met my own eyes in the mirror. And the eyes looking back at me were not the same eyes that I had just been looking through. Sure, it was me looking back, but it was a very different me. The eyes are tired. The one that I broke the orbital around (as in broke my skull where it surrounds that eye) has two weird bumps in it now. There are wrinkles. I have a beard. And there’s a lot of grey in that beard.
I may be older and wiser, and sometimes I can’t help but think about all the things I would do differently if I had the chance to do it all over again, but instead of getting depressed like I normally would, I was able to think about it in a positive light.
I still have the ability within me of looking through the world with childlike eyes. And that makes me incredibly happy.
Happy new year, everyone. Here’s hoping 2012 is better than 2011.
“People think depression is about being sad. They think it’s just when you ‘feel down’. It’s not. It’s like a darkness that creeps over you and fills you. It drains all your emotions. It takes everything from you, and leaves you feeling hollow and numb. It’s not sadness, it’s not anger, it’s hopelessness. Imagine waking up and there being no color. Walking outside and feeling no wind. Eating a meal and tasting nothing. Holding someone and feeling completely alone at the same time. When you’re depressed, it’s not a bad mood. It’s a numb, empty, hollowness that seems to never leave. It’s feeling alone in a room full of people. You feel like there’s no hope left.”—(Source: Mykindafairytalee)
Don’t drink and drive-and don’t ride with anybody who does. Tipsy Tow offered by AAA: you don’t have to be a AAA member, from 6pm-6am on New Years Eve/day, they will take your drunk self and your car home for FREE. Save this number… 1-800-222-4357. Please reblog this if you don’t mind.
PS- I appreciate your title's nod to 'Jesus of Suburbia'. Greatness right there, my man.
Thanks, I was actually just listening to that song.
One night I was hanging out at Howl at the Moon, a dueling piano bar on CityWalk at Universal Studios after work (I worked in the park, for those who are new to me). The place was dead. Me at the middle counter facing the pianos, and a group in the back corner — three men and a lady.
At one point, one of the piano players asked for suggestions. The lady in the back of the bar shouted “Green Day!” The piano man said that the only one of their songs that he kind of knew how to play was Jesus of Suburbia, but he’d just started learning it and wasn’t very good yet. The lady let out a boo.
My drunk ass, for reasons still unknown to me, shouted “I’ve got twenty bucks for you if you play it.” He said OK, and I dropped Andrew Jackson in the kitty.
It took him about 20 minutes to get through the song. He kept losing his place on his chord sheet with the lyrics on it, and redoing parts that he messed up. Still, it was fun.
The only trouble was, for the rest of the night, if anyone had a request, he said they had to clear it through me because I “owned the room” until someone else matched the tip. I didn’t stay too long after that. Partly because putting the $20 in his pitcher told me that I’d had enough, and partly because I didn’t want to be the center of attention at the moment (wearing my Universal Studios Management Team shirt).
Nope, it was time to go back to the park, hope the security guard at the employee entrance can’t tell I’m sloshed, and head up to my boss’ office above the candy store that’s across from the Blues Brothers stage to catch a few hours sleep in his chair before having to relocate to the inside of the facade above the photo superimposing shop to sleep on a tarp on the plywood floor until about 10:00am, when the office would be empty again after the park opened to sneak down the stairs unnoticed and ride the studio tour once or twice before my shift, maybe grab a bite to eat (thank you management food vouchers!).
Today I got a message through Yahoo Answers about a question I answered three years ago. I wonder how much hope they were holding out that, after all this time, I was still registered and would get their message, much less answer it? But it was about something that I have experience with, and not something you can just ask anyone and expect a non-condescending reply.
In case any of you end up in this situation (I really hope you don’t), I’ve decided to post it here as well as sending the answer along to the person who asked. First, the question:
Pretty good overall…it had its ups and downs, and I was sick, but I did a pretty good job of avoiding my family for most of the time I was there, so I was mostly able to keep the stress levels down.
Of course, we got back just in time for three family gatherings (my niece’s birthday last week, then Christmas, then next week I have a nephew’s birthday), so we’ll see how well I manage to hold it together! =)
Is the Monopoly man your dad? Are you keeping that truth from us because you don't want us after your multi-colored money?
You caught me…he’s where I get my love of top hats from. Sadly, every Christmas it’s the same thing. He invites me over, tells me that he’s putting me up in a nice hotel on the Boardwalk, then takes everything I own when I can’t pay the surprise bill. And all I wanted to do was have him come over to my Baltic Avenue house, but he didn’t want to pay to travel.
Yup, my dad’s a jerk. Then again, I fall for it every year, so I’m also kind of dumb.
Thanks…I know in my hard of hearts that it was for the best…I can’t picture myself married to someone who would break off an engagement via email on Christmas Eve. But it’s still the closest I’ve been to “true love,” if such a thing even exists.
Since we got back from our trip just a week before Christmas, we have no decorations up this year. No tree, no stockings hung, no lights on the house, no presents to stare at, shake, and wonder about.
On the plus side, there’s also no musical clock that I have hated for every Christmas ever since I was a little kid. Every hour on the hour, 24 hours a day, this clock LOUDLY plays two monophonic Christmas carols. Even Nokia phones from 1998 laugh at the sound quality. I hate the clock, my little sister hates the clock, but my mom loves it.
Fortunately, I won’t have to hear it’s shrill tone again until late 2012. And if, by some amazing coincidence, the world really does end next December, I just hope I get to see that clock destroyed before I die.
Remember back in early November when I was dreading the phone call from my dad (you can catch up on my daddy issues here if you want)? After all this time, today he called. It was short, so not too painful…he just wanted to wish me a merry Christmas (a rarity over the course of the last 37 of them).
He said that for a while, back when I was talking about him here, he was “touch and go” — on the verge of death, but that he feels better now. Of course, it’s cancer, so I’m assuming that the “feels better” is temporary. But he is still expecting to be miracled all better by God (I wonder if he somehow sensed the eye-roll I did when he said that?).
Of course, stranger things have happened. While I don’t believe in God, I do believe that faith is powerful. And he’s got it. I don’t even discount it when he says he started feeling better when his whole church started praying and fasting. Not because of some almighty being who says “YES, I WILL SAVE THIS DEADBEAT DAD WHILE OTHER, BETTER PEOPLE SUFFER,” but because I do believe that the mind is more powerful than most people give it credit for. Faith can’t literally move mountains (can you imagine all the fighting there would be over where to put them if this were true?), but it can sure help you climb one.
So who knows how long he’s going to be around. It’s the sort of story where I wish he’d been a better dad so I could cheer for him now. Instead, I just think back to all the times he wasn’t there, and I just keep waiting for the sigh of relief that I’ll emit when he’s gone.
Welcome back humanoid Kenny! Or, at least, I think you're back now. Looking forward to hearing of your Disney World times. Also, congratulations on being digitized and forced to play on the Games Grid. You're famous now, like Pong, or Sonic the Hedgehog, or Flappy Doodle McGee! (I made one of those up).
Thank you, fellow humanoid! I’m gonna go easy for a couple days I think before I start reliving memories for everyone. I tried to send a video postcard from Mission: Space while I was there, but see now that only the subject line showed up on tumblr. I should’ve just sent it to myself so I could post it later. Oh well!
And glad you enjoyed my video game moment…it’s no TRON, to be sure, but it’s right up there with Flappy Doodle McGee!
Stole stepdad’s phone to look over emails and saw this…thanks for checking! I’m not connected on vacation like you were =) Just spent my last day at Walt Disney World. I fly to L.A. tomorrow, and then we’re taking a few days to drive back to Washington from there, stopping to visit family along the way. I should be back online on the 19th, I think. I ended up with tons of pics (though I’m sure a lot are dark or blurry, since flash photography isn’t allowed on rides. I’ll be posting those on my kennyveedisney tumblr (though some will probably end up on this one) over the next who-knows-how-long. I’ll see you early next week, tumblr!