Alone I sat, in my mentally made cell.
Why was I there, in that self created hell.
Thinking back to school, and my days of dope.
Foot by foot, rolling out the damn rope.
Hallucinogens were my rope, meth my noose.
Heroin in the needle, would have been my cooked goose.
One day in April, in the year ’99,
I awoke, did my prep, and did my last line.
I looked in the mirror, deep into my eyes.
I’m not am addict? Bullshit! No more lies!
I have stomped a mans head, into a curb.
He only mouthed off, something he didn’t deserve.
I broke my glass pipe, and then walked away.
No hospital detox, not even N.A.
17 years, this wagon’s been on this ride.
Not one relapse or slip up, I say this with pride.
For many years I sat, staring at my cell floor.
In the end, it was up to me, to walk out the door.

**17 years ago today I decided to get clean. I hear people browbeat others when they say they have only been clean for one week or one month and it upsets me. The truth is, we all start at day one. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you aren’t good enough, or haven’t been sober long enough to be respected for the amount of time you have been sober. Be proud of your accomplishments, and stick with it. One day you’ll look back at all that time, and your use will be a distant memory.**

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A look into my thought process as I sit here today watching the woman I love getting her nails done. I’ve known her for about a year and a half, and have become very close with her. 🙂

   I’m spending the day with Cis at the mall. She’s in there getting her nails done. I was wandering the mall looking at stuff, but found myself headed back to wait for her. Sitting here, watching her, I am filled with feelings I never knew existed in real life. She has such a beauty about her. 
   When I first moved to Texas, I wasn’t looking for anyone… let alone somebody to fall in love with. But as soon as I met her, and started to get to really know her, it happened. I am so in love with this woman, who I haven’t even kissed yet. She makes me want to be a better person. I want to spend time with her all the time, and be by her side. 
   She has been through a lot in life, and even recently. There was a time that she had to break contact with me, and it broke my heart. Those months without speaking to her, seeing her, or having anything to do with her, hurt me worse than my divorce did at its worst.  But I never lost hope that she would come back into my life… and she has.
   I know she is afraid of these feelings she has. I understand that. I’m not afraid of my feelings, but I do fear having my heart broken. Although, the risk of that is not something I will let hold me back. I love this woman with every fiber of my being, and I think she knows it. 
   She has my heart forever, and I pray that I have hers. I know I do, but I still fear losing her. She has brought me back to the path of Christ, and for that I am so very grateful. I am also thankful that she has shown me that my heart still works, and she has helped to nurse it back to health.
I get along with her whole family, and love them like I love my own. I want her to be my girlfriend, but she isn’t ready. I shall wait until she is. If love is worth anything, it’s worth doing right. 
   I have a scar over my heart from my dark times without her. I had lost my way, and started drinking again. She has apologized, but it wasn’t her fault. I feel bad about it because I know she’s going to blame herself when she finally touches my bare chest and feels the scar. She’s going to ask when it happened, and I will not lie to her. But, much like my scars, she has helped to heal so much of what I thought was forever broken. I will never be able to really thank her enough for her beautiful way of treating me. But I do my best. She is worth every hard time, heartbreak, depression caused scar I have on and in my body. 
   I know it might sound crazy, but I do believe God brought me here with a purpose. I do believe that we are meant to be together, but that’s not the only reason. She has helped me find my way back to Christ, helped me realize that I’m not ugly, helped me realize that I am worth something, and helped me to see that there is beauty left in the world. I think God’s plan was to bring two broken people together so that we might help each other heal, and realize that no matter how badly we have been treated in the past… there is someone out there who holds the key to our heart, and will forever be there. I only hope I have helped her heal at least half as much as she has me.

    I saw a vet today. A Vietnam era vet. He was having to use a motorized cart. I came up behind him and he dropped his cane off the cart. I was too far away to help. I heard him sigh in exasperation and he picked it back up. I could tell it pained him to do so. It saddened me to see such a sight. Here we have a person who risked his life, for an ungrateful country, gaining years and not as spry as he once was. I could tell he felt like shit because of his inability to walk.
    I did what everyone else seems to do and just let it be… but I continued to see the image in my mind’s eye. Around the corner, I was putting away some vegetables and I heard something drop. I turned to see this man trying to grab a pot pie that dropped. It landed in front  of him and slid across the floor. I picked it up and handed it to him.
    I pay a lot of attention to my surroundings, and one of the big things is looking people in the eyes. As I handed it to him, I noticed tears. He accepted the help graciously, but I could see that it hurt him to do so. We could all use a bit of humbling from time to time… but this was too much. He made a “joke” about the eyes going first, then everything else, but what I heard was, “I didn’t used to be this way. I was once young, strong, and almost unstoppable.”
    How quickly our youth goes huh? One day we’re climbing trees, jumping from great heights, and the next we’re in an electric cart trying in vain to pick something we’ve dropped up off the floor.
He thanked me and went on his way as I told him, “No problem.” And I was left thinking… One day this will be me. A mere shadow of what I once was. Not able to do the things I once could. Possibly relying on help from strangers just to get through my day.” Then I started thinking. I believe in karma. And I believe that at times, we can become karma incarnate. Today I got to be a good part of the karma for a man who has done noble deeds in life… and for that I am thankful. I only pray that one day I deserve good treatment like that.
    He went on his way and I went back into the freezer at work and cried my eyes out. It was too much emotion for me to contain. Many good people are looked down upon and treated like crap because they aren’t as mobile as the rest of us. That’s no way to treat people!! Treat them with the same respect that you would treat your mother or father. I mean hell… they have been through more than you most likely… and if not… who cares… they’re human beings, and everybody needs a kind word and deed in life.

  Well, I’ve been here in Texas a little over a year. I got a job, car, and place. A lot has happened in this time, and there have been many ups and downs.
  To those that used to follow my regular writings, I’m sorry I kind of fell off the face of the earth. I’m still here… but things are looking a bit grim. Recently my roommate and her bf screwed things up with the landlord and as of Thursday, I will be living in my car.
  Not exactly how I pictured things going at this point in my life, but it is what it is. I’m trying to stay positive but as you all know, sometimes that can be hard.
  I don’t know when my next post will be, but it will happen eventually. I’m looking at this as an adventure. I won’t ever be late to work, and it’ll be a very short commute, as I’ll be in the parking lot of my employer. Lol. I have a friend that will let me do laundry at her house and shower too. I haven’t told many people because I really don’t want everyone to know… but I have to tell someone. You all are the lucky ones. Lol.
  At least I have a car this time. Last time this happened I was in high school and there were a few nights I couldn’t couch surf and ended up on the street… so, since I have a car and a cellphone, I guess I’m a high class homeless person.
  Anyway… hope all is going well with you all, and don’t forget to take a moment this Thanksgiving to make a mental note of what and who you are thankful for. I certainly will be, because no matter how much I could whine and cry about my situation… it wouldn’t change the fact that there are plenty of people out there worse off than me. Thank you all for reading. 🙂

Hey everybody.  It’s been awhile since I posted anything.  I’ve been really busy.  I can’t remember if I mentioned it before… and frankly I’m too lazy to go through my past posts to figure it out… but I was given an offer to move to Texas to live with my oldest son, and my ex father in law.  The plan would be for me to go out there, find a job, get a car, and my own place.  It’s a lot more affordable out there than it is here in Ca. 🙂

Work at the ranch has slowed to a crawl, and I’m not making enough money to even pay my cell bill, so as of 11:00pm tonight Pacific Time… I’m hopping a Greyhound to Texas.  I’m a bit nervous about the move, but who isn’t nervous about moving 1800 miles away.  The only thing I have with me currently is my computer and a backpack full of clothes.  I’ve also managed to get my stuff down to an amount that fills only five medium sized moving boxes.  That’s right… everything I own fits into five moving boxes and a big backpack.  Talk about one hell of a reset huh? lol
I will be having my stuff shipped to me once I find work and send some money to my little brother.  So until I manage that, I have about five pair of clothes and a laptop.  I’m looking forward to living in Texas and the opportunities it provides for me.
It’s going to be an adventure traveling by bus to say the least.  I just hope I don’t get stuck next to some crazy person for the whole trip. LOL. It’s going to take a little over two days, and I only have a couple transfers, and a couple layovers that last more than 30 minutes.  In fact, the only downside I see is that the two longest layovers are my last two stops before reaching my destination.  They will both be about four hours long.  But it’s a small price to pay for adventure.
I don’t have much else to say other than I’ll try to keep you all updated.  I’m not sure if anyone bothers to read my stuff anymore considering I write very little, and with much time in between, and I’m not going to plan to write more often, because every time I say that… it gets longer and longer in between posts.  So until my next post, take care and be safe. 🙂

    It’s been awhile since I wrote anything.  I’ve been busy as hell.  But I find myself with some time this evening to tell you a short (ish) story about the rattlesnake situation out here in the prairie lands. 🙂  (Keep on reading this one John… it’s a good one) 😉
    I hadn’t given much thought to the fact that the prairie is loaded with rattlesnakes.  Well… it is. Bwahahaha. XD So my buddy and I are in the barn one day when we hear the distinct rattling from somewhere in between us.  There isn’t a lot of room to move around in the barn, and it’s pretty messy after years of not being touched.  So we carefully moved away and tried to look for the snake without endangering ourselves too much.  We had already relocated a few young snakes this season, but sometimes, they are in places where it’s unsafe to let them live.  Well, we found him in the middle of the pipes too far away for us to grab him with the snake grabber.  Well… we couldn’t leave him in the barn because of the danger.  Don’t get me wrong, all rattlers are dangerous, but the two types we have out here are no joke.  Western Diamondback and Prairie Rattlers.  They have both Neurotoxic and Hemotoxic venom.  You have about 2 hours to get treatment if you get bit… otherwise you’re pretty screwed.
    Being the awesome farm boys we are, we fashioned a long hook so we could scoop him out of the pipe and dispatch him.  Well, you know how farms have a lot of old equipment on them?  There just so happens to be an old broken tractor in the way so we could get him with the hook, but when pulling it out, it would get hung up… putting us in pretty decent danger.  Add to the fact that I’m holding the flashlight and can’t see the damn thing so I keep moving a bit when my buddy needs the light.  The snake was pissed!!  I would love to claim I’m so awesome that I wasn’t scared at all… but I was shaking pretty bad.  This was the first grown rattler that I had ever dealt with.  The babies aren’t so bad.  A rattler can strike up to 2/3 of it’s body length, so a one footer isn’t too scary… but when dealing with a three or four footer… it’s a little different. LOL
    So here we are, trying to figure out what to do when my inner redneck shines through.  “Hey… you got bird shot for your shotgun?” I ask.
    “Yep.  Guess I’m gonna go grab it.” replies my buddy.  And oh how the fun started.  I’m sure you all know how strong steel is right?  Well imagine shooting a shotgun into a steel pipe that’s six inches wide, and about 20 feet long.  My buddy comes back out and shines the flashlight into the pipe.  “There he is.”  Then he turns to me and says,”You might want to plug your ears.”  They were already plugged.  He raised the muzzle, took aim, and BLAM!!!  The sound was deafening even with my ears plugged.  “Son of a bitch!!”  he screamed when he looked again.  “The bastard is still alive!!”
    I’m not sure how much you know about the physics of birdshot, but ponder this for a moment.  Have you ever skipped a stone on water?  What about 30 or 40 stones at once?  Well, bird shot isn’t enough to damage the steel, so if the angle of the shot drives it into the steel, it bounces… at about 427 meters per second. So here we now had a very pissed off snake, who was probably reeling from the concussion… but he didn’t take one hit from the shot.  What a lucky snake.  If I got shot at, I can say with certainty that I would get hit with almost every piece of shot in the damn bullet. LOL So he shot again… and again… and again.  If he wasn’t so pissed off, I would have been rolling on the floor laughing.  My buddy is one of the best shots I have ever seen, so to see him miss so bad, and get so pissed was frigging hilarious!!
    After five shots, he finally took of it’s head… and 3/4 of it’s body.  It was a scary ordeal, but of course, as we leave the barn, and walk a short way out into the field… we find another snake.  This was much easier to get rid of.  I grabbed it with the grabber, and he lopped off it’s head. It turns out that it’s much easier dealing with a snake when you’re out in the open and not in some super close quarters. Now… being that we live on a ranch in the middle of nowhere, we don’t like to waste things.  I had done some studying on how to cure snake skin, and I had always wanted to try eating snake.  The grilled snake was amazing, but the skin curing is a story for another time.  I might write a post on that shortly, as I’m at the end of my day and I’m not too tired yet.
    I hope you have enjoyed the story.  There should be plenty more of them as I find the time to write more often.  I’ve had a few cool adventures out here, and I’m sure there will be many more.  🙂  I’ll leave you with a shot of the snake on the grill we made, and a shot of Ranch hand Grinning Bear. 🙂
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   Nothing quite like some fresh grilled snake. 😉
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I think the straw hat suits me. 🙂

  So… we all know I don’t make a bunch of money. Hell… who really does?! But I had quite the adventure in Povertyland yesterday.

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(Enjoying the beginning of Adventure Time)
  First, my bus didn’t show up. In fact… the first two buses didnt show up. Luckily, I discovered that my little sister wasn’t working, so she was able to give me a ride to work. I gave her part of my bus money, leaving me with enough to grab the trolley on the way home, and had enough for the next couple days.
    My boss, whom I commute with (After getting to his house via the bus) had some type of emergency with his gf and had to leave. He wasn’t able to make it back.
    The bus that I normally don’t have to take is more expensive. It takes you over the mountains, and back to my area. After having to catch that, I didn’t have enough money to catch the lightrail home. It’s about 10 miles. Mind you, I stand at work all day and my shoes are worn out.
    See where this is going? My sister asked to only be asked for rides in an emergency due to lack of funds. I didn’t deem this to be one.
  Off the bus finally at 7:00 p.m. I started walking. My journey started near the H.P. Pavilion.

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(Home of the San Jose Sharks, and former home of San Jose Stealth Lacrosse)
    There were many people on the path that I walked, but it was much nicer than walking through downtown. I had figured out the milage, and the path running next to the Guadalupe River was less than half a mile longer.
     I was feeling pretty good at this point, and was only moderately tired. There are lots of wild animals along the trail; and many dog walkers too. I saw some rabbits and stopped for a moment to thank the universe for such a cool sight. We don’t see many wild rabbits out here in San Jose.

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(I know it’s not a rabbit, but I didn’t get a pic of them)
    I continued my journey north as the sun started reaching the horizon. I was approaching my halfway point. The San Jose Mineta International Airport. I’ve seen airports, driven by them and all that… but I don’t know if you can appreciate the size unless you walk past one. It took about 45 minutes to walk past. I mean, I was right next to the thing. The short term parking was very pretty in the quickly fading light.

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(With the sun blocked by the building, I got a nice second shot)
    I continued onward… although my feet were starting to feel the effects of my journey. Lol.

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(It’s not poverty, it’s ventilation)
    I mentioned in my last post that I discovered geocaching. Well, I’m always checking the official site to see if anything is near. There were about five or six caches along the way. I skipped the ones in the beginning, but after dark had finally fallen, I couldn’t resist finding at least one. So I took about five minutes, found it, signed the log, and moved on. I couldn’t take a pic of the log sheet like I normally do. On my next journey through the area, I will have to grab a pic. 🙂 But here’s a shot of a sign log about the same size.

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(Writing that small is tough)
    Have you ever walked down the street at night? There’s something moderately scary about it. Well on the trail it gets real dark. You can hear animals crashing through the brush. You hear mysterious noises behind you and imagine it’s something awful. Only to turn around and discover that it’s only the sound of your backpack. Lol
    I was texting my best friend all the way home. She is my dearest friend. She’s on the east coast, but insisted on staying awake until I arrived home safely at about 1:30 a.m. her time.
    I had to stop texting at one point around 9:00 because as I looked up from my phone and my eyes adjusted to the dark, there was a skunk walking across my path. That could have been a disaster. Lol

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(Wish I had a camera instead of my phone. This was beautiful)
    The final mile took about 45 minutes. My eyes were blurry and my mind was foggy because I hadn’t eaten since the night before. Ever experience hypoglycemia? It sucks. But thanks to the fact that I’ve been in that position before… and I used to party a lot as a teen… it was nothing I couldn’t handle.

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(One for the sports fans. Levi Stadium, future home of the S.F. 49ers.)
    Crossing the final street with about a half mile to go, a car decided he wasn’t going to wait for this pedestrian to cross before turning. I know he saw me, because he honked at about the same time I felt the wind from his side mirror. After a long day, I lost control. I saw him look at me through the driver side window as this all happened. I yelled, “That’s right!! Keep driving asshole” He was about 50 yards away when he hit the brakes, “This is it” I thought, “If this dude gets out of his car with anything but a, “”sorry”” I’m gonna put his head into the pavement.” I threw my arms out and yelled, “Fuck you!!!” I guess he decided he didn’t want any, because he sped off.
    When I got home, my feet were so sore, that it didn’t even feel good to take off my shoes. I said hi to my uncle, (who gave my his last few bucks for the bus) made a sandwich and some top ramen, and passed out.
    A quick note for those that know the San Jose area. I started walking at Diridon Station by H.P. Pavilion, and my house is near 1st and Tasman. Lol
    Thank you Blue, for staying up to make sure I got home safe. You are truly a great friend! *hugs*