Passionate Pragmatism, “Gifted,” but an “Underachiever,” and Related Descriptives

dogs-gambling_02

The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is the Lord’s alone. – Proverbs 16:33 (NRSV)

“Life’s a box of chocolates, you never know which one you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump

I actually used to have a tapestry like this- only it was of cats playing poker- when I lived in Downtown Columbus.  It covered up some old plaster imperfections in the wall.  From the looks of me lately I could use something like this to cover up more than plaster imperfections.

wpid-20150513_075225.jpg

Holy shit, I’m looking old.

Even though I look every flipping second of my age and then some, I went to school with some people who look a hell of a lot worse than I do.  Some of them look better than me too, but that makes sense. By and large, the golden people tend to stay that way.

cropped-brunettes.jpg

I was never, ever, ever, one of the golden people.

I know, comparison isn’t very fair and isn’t really very comforting, especially when I realize that if I let the hair color go and didn’t bother to do makeup I’d likely be mistaken for deranged or even dead.  I didn’t come from a particularly affluent part of the world, either, and many of my cohorts are even poorer than I am.  Poverty does not do much for one’s appearance or outlook.  As the saying goes, money may not buy happiness- but it can buy you the misery you like the best.

Feces-Warning-600x631

 I guess if it is rumored to be shitty it must be funny.

Speaking of all things shitty, I remember all too well there’s a holiday weekend coming up which means I will have lazy asses goldbricking at my expense even more than normal.  “Skippy” as I like to call him -because even when he does show up at work he comes in late, wanders off for hours at a time, and has the balls to leave early to go to Every. Single. One. of his 17 year old son’s baseball games (and he’s not the coach) has got to be the laziest man on earth. Anyway, Skippy has managed to take his level of apathy and work avoidance even higher by taking off Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend- probably to watch even more freaking baseball.

wpid-th.jpeg

I can think of so many more things I’d rather do.

Granted, he doesn’t do anything when he is at work, so why do I care?  I’m already doing his job as it is. I guess I’m just pissed because he’s getting paid for not doing shit. I am getting a bit of entertainment as he is trying to train his buddy (who has the IQ of paint) to be as adept at shirking work as he is.

burnout1

Yes, I am burned out. Crispy. Fried. Smoked.

I am so tired of how stupid people can be.  It might be because of the stupidity I encounter at work, and yesterday was especially choice given that I was horribly sick most of the day.  Of course I couldn’t just leave because we are (as always) short staffed and one of the guys (as usual) had a child care issue. So screw me sideways again.  It’s good I am not a frequent puker, and that I didn’t have the screaming shits.

I’ve been called many things in my life, and a good many of them derogatory.  I always thought “gifted but an underachiever,” was a funny one, as the only ones who ever used that descriptive were math teachers who couldn’t understand why I was doing good to get a “B” or “C” in math when I pretty much slept through everything else and got straight “A”s.

wpid-th2.jpeg

Math was the only subject I actually studied for, and I still sucked at it. I love it when people just assume that if you’re good at one thing then you’re slacking if you suck at something else.

If they thought I sucked at math, they should have watched me attempt team sports.

wpid-th3.jpeg

I suck at sports like no one has ever sucked before. Except swimming, but that’s just for personal exercise.

White People Can’t Understand Racism (Oh, Yeah?)

Ok, I have a bit of what I would call an inciteful streak.  Sometimes I like to stir the shit for the sake of the smell.  Today is one of those days. Recently I perused a site developed by our friends in the ivory tower of academia (i.e.= people who don’t have to live in the real world) and it genuinely disturbed me.   According to UnFaircampaign.org, an “anti-racism” campaign brought to us by the University of Minnesota, white people are the problem. Apparently we just can’t understand racism because white people don’t experience racism.  Really?  I have to wonder about that.

Why do I find myself apologizing for being white?

I freely admit that I am as hopelessly white bread as they come, and a lot closer to the trailer park than I would like to claim.  I can trace my ancestry in this country on both sides back to the early 1700s when the USA was still the 13 colonies.  That and $4.50 will get you a Starbucks. My family tree is almost 100% comprised of northern European immigrants from England, Scotland and Germany- with the exception of one French Canadian and one Cherokee Indian that I know of.  Whoop de doo.  In that group of ancestors I know at least one was a rum-runner during Prohibition, and two died in insane asylums.  No one I know of in my family, with the exception of my oldest sister, could ever have remotely have been considered “wealthy,” and even she married into it.  I come from a long line of poverty and insanity.  Again, whoop de doo. I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth. So what?  What I do with the parameters I’ve been given is up to me.  I can feel sorry for myself, claim inferiority, and expect others to feel sorry for me and take care of me because of my shitty background and my overall abysmal luck in the cosmic lottery, or I can get off it and do the best I can with the tools I have.

I do have to opine that it would be racist to assume that simply by benefit of being white that I am “privileged,” “wealthy” or otherwise inherently superior to anyone else in any way.  It is also racist to assume that just by virtue of being non-white that one is “poor,” “disadvantaged” or “needy.”

Of course the slack-jawed rednecks of the various white supremacist movements are open to derision for a number of reasons.  They make all white people look bad, just as the thuggery of a few young black males who want to be “gangsta” causes me to instinctively hit the “lock” button on my car remote again should I  pass a group of young black males in the parking lot.  (Yes, it’s prejudiced, and yes, it’s unfair profiling and I shouldn’t do it- but I do.)   I don’t believe in white supremacism, largely because the slack-jawed rednecks who claim it are mostly inbred, poorly educated idiots who have no rational argument to stand on other than blatant racism.

Newsflash: Adolf Hitler is NOT a positive role model.

I say don’t bother sending this guy to prison.  Save the taxpayers’ money and drop him off in downtown Detroit, preferably in close proximity to a Church’s or Popeye’s, and see how long he lasts.

Now I wouldn’t be averse to a wee bit of white advocacy, but I find it amusing to think of how these fictional organizations would be taken the wrong way:

How about the NAAWP– the National Association for the Advancement of White PeopleI know my sorry ass could use some help. Especially with rhythm and dancing.

I also think that we need an Anglo-American Caucasian History Month, in which everyone is encouraged to celebrate the history of all the dead white men in American history who did really cool things like writing the Constitution, sending a man to the moon, and coming up with modern computers.

Oh, and near and dear to my heart- the Anglo-American College Fund, to help white students who are working their way through college and who are denied any government assistance with their education, because their parents (who have half or more of their paychecks eaten up in taxes and insurances) “make too much money.”

Just imagine the public outcry if anyone were to form organizations such as the fictional ones mentioned above.  “But white people don’t need any help!,” would be the outcry.  Really?  I know plenty of white people who could use a hand.  The question that I have, and this is a deeper issue, is, why does anybody think they’re entitled to anything based solely upon their ancestry or the color of their skin?  Who thought that fostering an entitlement mentality was a good idea?  (I can go into Lyndon Johnson and his  “War on Poverty” that has done nothing but subsidize more of the same for the past 40+ years, but that’s a week long diatribe in and of itself!)

“Affirmative Action” is nothing more than reverse racism.  The problem with giving any group a privileged status is that in doing so, equality goes out the window.  It’s not politically correct to say that, but it’s true.

It’s a rather interesting, yet hopeful, demographic trend that racial lines are becoming blurred.  If anything, I think this is a good thing for society because in time it will force people to look beyond ancestry or race.  It’s a little harder to blame “whitey” if you’re half white (unless you’re Obama, but he is his own piece of work) and it’s rather pointless to pin your woes on “the bros” if you’re half black.  Somewhere it has to come down to judging people by the content of their character- to quote Martin Luther King- and to stop the race baiting and division.

Don’t blame his white half, either.  Obama’s ineptitude and arrogance have nothing to do with his race or ancestry.  Ineptitude and arrogance are known to transcend racial, ancestral and cultural boundaries.

Tires, Testicles and Trouble, with Some Pent-Up Angst Too

Sometimes old pics are creepy, especially if they are high quality color pics.  The above postcard of Downtown Marion from the early 1950’s reflects that not terribly much has changed other than the cars and a couple of the buildings.  I know exactly where that pic was taken- right in front of the south side of the Courthouse looking west.  I can see the cigar store (on the south side of Center Street, on the east corner of the intersection) and what is now the Ohio State Bank across the street from it.  Further west on the south side of Center Street is the Harding Hotel, which is also still there but has been made into senior citizen apartments.  The Taft Hotel (on the north west corner of the intersection) was torn down in  1969.  The National City Bank built their ugly boxy windowless monstrosity of a bank there (which burned down in 1985 or thereabouts) and rebuilt another hideous modern architectural disaster piece there on the same exact spot, which PNC Bank inherited.  The Bank Fire was almost a funny thing to watch as the digital thermometer on the outside of the bank skyrocketed to over 500 degrees (F) before it melted.  Then again, when you live in a backwater town, excitement is where you find it.  One would think a bank of all places would be built of relatively fireproof material, but I guess as long as the vault holds, who cares?

The WWII In Color episodes are fascinating, but they are almost too personal, as if they are bringing something too antique and faded into real life.  Some things are better viewed through the distance of black and white.

Some things are just too powerful and frightening to experience in all their details.

Admittedly I have been more depressed than usual lately.  Part of it I know is coming off of the Late Winter Funk that lasts from the beginning of February until usually the middle of April or so. I just can’t get enthused about much of anything as the snowbooger grey days drag by, overcast, rainy and dismal.  My perpetual state of poverty does nothing to brighten the picture, especially when Jerry’s groundbreaking suggestions for “saving money” include options such as getting rid of my car, and cancelling cable except for the basic channels -so he won’t miss any sports.  At no time were curtailing beer-drinking, eschewing gambling or getting serious about quitting smoking put on the table.  Then again, I don’t drink beer, I hate gambling, and thanks be to God I quit smoking several years ago.  Jerry isn’t going to address cutting back on his vices but it’s OK to cut back on my base essentials.  Imagine that.  I am disappointed, but not surprised at his zeal to make my life as miserable as he possibly can.  He wonders why I absolutely can’t stand to ask him for anything- not even basic, common sense things like paying for his own scripts and for a reasonable amount of his own expenses.  However, I am not going to give up the car. If worse comes to worse he can cram the cell phone where the sun don’t shine. I can live without the electronic leash, but as far as I can help it I am not going to put myself in a position that I have to beg for the use of his truck.  Being at his mercy for transportation is just not a good idea.  Not happening.

But as I said yesterday, I am thankful that things aren’t any worse.  Maybe I can beat some sense into his head if he’s sober- or just ignore him as usual if he’s drunk.

I don’t know why he is so jealous of any social contact I have with people other than him, even women.  It’s a fight for me to go to church and other activities at church.  Maybe in his mind he sees that he’s missing his “live-in maid” or gopher and he resents not being able to order me around or bitch at me for an hour or two here and there.  Maybe deeper down he’s afraid that I’m trolling for his replacement.  Being with Jerry is sort of like driving an old hoopty. You get none of the options that make having a car fun or comfortable (no A/C, no stereo, etc.) but all of the problems inherent to an old POS. (POS: Piece Of Shit)  He reminds me of my ’79 Rabbit that I spent $800 in repairs on in one month.  It did have a good stereo but no air conditioner, and it was a crap shoot as to whether or not it would start and run from one day to the next without something major failing. Why the hell keep on dumping money, time and frustration into a lost cause?

If I’m going to pay out the ass to drive a car,I want one that works, and one that doesn’t give me fits.  The same goes for men. I had enough of nickel and diming away my life on pathetic hooptys in high school and college- and enough of nickel and diming away my life on mooching trolls from there forward.  I hate to admit it, but Jerry has simply followed the pattern- taking advantage, draining me dry, and browbeating me into feeling like a total shit every minute I am not actively kissing his ass.  It gets old.

I take responsibility for this in so much as I allow it and I have allowed it to continue for years.  I don’t know how to make it stop other than simply disappearing, which I can’t do because I have no money and nowhere to go (also my fault) so it’s a catch-22.  The vicious cycle continues.

I’ve never been able to find a trouble free man.  If anyone could find me one who isn’t a complete troll, please let me know by commenting on this post.  Seriously.  But then again, perhaps I would be better off alone.  I would be, if I could afford it.

It’s not that I am inherently anti-men.  I love men.  I love to look at hot dudes.  If memory serves me right, I like a lot of activities involving men.  I simply have a problem with being used and guilt tripped and ignored and made to feel as if I only have value if I’m either earning money or doing endless chores.  The minute I don’t have enough money to just pay for everything or I’m exhausted and can’t do anything else then the hell with me as far as Jerry’s concerned.  Steve-o treats me the same way.  As long as Mommy’s footing the bill everything is roses, but the minute Mommy’s broke it’s F.U. this and F.U. that.  At least my poverty and lack of stamina have served me in two important ways: to let me know I am not worth a tinker’s damn to anyone, and I’m pretty much destined to die alone.  If the dogs don’t eat me, I’ll be left to decompose for months until the guy who comes to read the water meter can’t get in and as he’s banging on the door he notices a funky smell.   That’s what happened to the creepy old lady who lived across from Mom and Dad.  She used to bitch at us kids for “stealing her snow” if you scraped up a handful of snow from her yard as you went down the sidewalk.  It was thought she died sometime in February, but they didn’t find her body and fumigate the house until high summer- the middle of July.  It took two weeks for the health department to fumigate that house.

I wonder if the “I’ve Fallen and Can’t Get Up” alarm people have an alarm for old people who live alone and whose relatives are either dead already and/or don’t give a rat’s ass about them?  If I live to be old, I will be one of those people I am afraid.  When said geezers die in their sleep the alarm could go off and call the coroner to come and get the corpse before it festers and rots for months or the deceased’s dogs start munching on it.  I’m going to need one of those, or should I say the poor suckers who eventually happen upon my remains would probably be grateful for an early warning.

Maybe that could be the invention that makes me rich- the Dead Geezer Warning System.  So the coroner gets to you before the smell gets to everyone else.