***REAL LIFE PROJECTS***
“Real life can get in the way of even the most brilliant creative projects.” I say this all the time to people online who need to take a sabbatical from the internet. Now it applies to me. Things are changing in the Haines-Temons-Stevens-Wilson household and as the family strongman I need to take part in those changes. I woke up at seven in the morning today to help my mom and Dale put together the yard sale. I went back to bed after my work was done and didn’t wake up until two in the afternoon. I also helped my parents put the yard sale stuff away and donate some of it to a local thrift store. There will be other loads of junk we donate on different days. For now, this will do. I felt so exhausted after today’s work that I don’t feel like doing anything creative at the moment.
As many of you know, I don’t handle exhaustion well. If I’m too tired, I won’t do anything creative for fear that my product will suck or that I’ll fall asleep in the middle of it. I owe a lot of this to the fact that I’m overweight. It’s easy to tell me that all I need to do is eat less and go to the gym more often. If things were that simple, I would have been a middleweight a long time ago. Fast food is addictive and car rides to the gym are not always available. I know it sounds like I’m making excuses and allowing my barriers to get the best of me, but if that’s the case, what would you rather I do: walk all the way from Port Orchard to Gig Harbor to the YMCA and then walk all the way back? It’d be a hell of a workout, but one that I would dread until that day I die.
The CPAP machine I was assigned to use by my doctor has been hit-and-miss when it comes to helping me get my energy back. Some nights I can wear the oxygen mask comfortably and wake up the next day ready to tackle anything and everything. Other nights the mask is either tight enough to leave red marks on my face or loose enough to blow oxygen into my eyes and cheeks. On those other nights, I don’t get a good night’s sleep and the whole idea of getting in bed is meaningless. I plan on emailing or calling my CPAP providers on Monday when they’re available to see if they can help me through this dilemma. I’m confident that they can. The lady who showed me how to use and clean the machine (Leah French) was friendly and supportive during the entire demonstration. She even gently told me to “Simmer down” when I was swearing at my failed attempts to unhinge the mask from its straps. Hehe!
The exhaustion isn’t going to end with today’s yard sale and thrift shop donations. For the next few months, real life will be calling my name and I’ll be there to answer that call. There are a few things going on in August that need my attention. My parents want to replace their carpeted flooring with vinyl since it’s easier to clean, so in order for that to happen, I have to help them move their living room furniture out of the way. As someone with autism, I’m more sensitive to pain and stress than everyone else, so doing all of that heavy lifting is going to take its toll. Despite this, if we’re going to keep having pets, this floor replacement needs to be done. My parents are Baby Boomers and can’t do as much as they used to in their younger years.
Dale especially can’t do much to help us with furniture shifting because he’s going to have a second surgery on his kidney in early August. Heavy lifting afterwards might rip his stitches and put him back in the hospital. Plus, he’s going to feel exhausted himself and won’t feel like doing his normal chores around the house. He’s been an awesome stepfather to me in the eleven years he’s lived with us, so it’s only right that I take over for him when he’s at his weakest. He can enjoy basketball and crime dramas in the easy chair until he recovers from his surgery.
On a more exciting, yet still exhausting note, I have two concerts that I plan on attending in August and one that I plan on attending in November. On August 11th, Slipknot and Marilyn Manson will play at the White River Amphitheater with Of Mice and Men as their opening act. Hopefully, Corey Taylor can stay healthy while he’s entertaining all of us maggots. On August 21st, the Pain in the Grass festival returns to that same venue and will be headlined by Disturbed. Other bands include, but are not limited to Breaking Benjamin,
Saint Asonia, and Anthrax. And then in November I’m headed to the Tacoma Dome
to see Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown with Sixx AM and As Lions as their
opening acts. How can something so tiring feel so good at the same time?
Because I’m a diehard metal head, that’s why! Alter Bridge
In addition to one-day vacations a.k.a. rock concerts, I’m also going to go on a week-long vacation to
Hawaii on October 3rd. I’ve only
been to Hawaii
one other time in my life and it was in the fall of 2010. The weather was
beautiful, the beaches were beautiful, and the brown women were even more
beautiful. Hey, it’s not racist if I actually like their race. You can thank
Jerry Seinfeld for that joke. Going to Hawaii
will be all about rest and relaxation. We’ll probably do one major activity
during each day and spend the rest of the time hanging around. Low-key
vacations are the best, especially for hardcore introverts like me.
Before Dale, Mom, Aunt Ruth and I all go to
Hawaii, Mom and Dale are taking a six-day vacation in
September to Utah
to see all of their national parks. I’m choosing to stay home and babysit the
animals while they’re away since national parks aren’t my cup of tea. It’s a
bunch of trees and rocks: so what? I even wrote a short story for American
Darkness about this called “Trees, Rocks, and Murder” (it used to be called
“Forest Dump” before Marie and I agreed that it wasn’t the best choice for a
title). The trees and rocks part of the title apply to the national park
vacation, but not murder, thank goodness.
Going back to August for a moment, my therapist Rachel is having a barbecue at her house on August 13th, which is exactly two days after the Slipknot X Marilyn Manson concert and eight days before the Disturbed concert, the latter of which Rachel and her husband will go to if it’s not raining that day (it’s an outdoor venue). She and I have lots in common when it comes to our love for badass heavy metal. She’s also been very helpful to me since 2003 when I first confessed to my family that I was hearing voices and feeling suicidal. Managing my schizophrenic attacks is much easier thanks to her, so seeing her at the barbecue will be lots of fun. Besides which, I never turn down an opportunity to eat a good barbecued meal.
I hope I didn’t leave any important details out when it comes to mapping out the next few months for me. There’s going to be a lot of work to be done and a lot of fun to be had. It’s the same kind of duality in life Gemini Syndrome preaches in their music. Speaking of which, I hope Gemini Syndrome will be at the Pain in the Grass festival, because that would be fucking awesome! Getting back on topic for a minute, having this many things to do may be so tiring that I will have to take a sabbatical from creative work and the internet in general. That means I might not compete every week at the WSS nor will I meet my deadlines for beta-reading Andy Peloquin and Marie Krepps’ manuscripts.
I’ll try to make this hectic schedule work, but I’m making no promises. Never fear, though, because no matter what happens in my life, I always make time to say hi and shoot the breeze with my friends and family, including my online ones. I may be gone for a little while, but never permanently. You guys have been so supportive of me and my author career over the years, so I’ll always miss you when I’m away. It’s not going to be like the Brave Little Toaster where I wait an entire generation to come back to my loved ones. In the same way that you all have been there for me, I will always be there for you. Thank you so much for listening to me.
***TELEVISION DIALOGUE FOR THE DAY***
JERRY: Hey, wait a minute; you have the Mark McEwen TV Guide.
JERRY: Well, they’re both chubby weathermen. I get Dom Deluise and Paul Prudhoe mixed up too.