Ghosted By My Best Friend

One of the most important people in my life, one of my best friends and a former lover, a person I love more than myself, ghosted on me a few months ago. I keep looking at pictures of us and her daughter around my apartment. The tears come every time.

I will never see her again. I will never see her smile or hear her laugh. Her daughter, who I love as my own and even included in the dedication to Cold Iron, will never play with me or show me her stuffies and their life stories. I’ll miss every giggle. I’ll never push her on the swings. I’ll miss every birthday. In time I’ll be little more than a faded memory, and that’s if I’m lucky. Maybe in her world I’ll cease to exist.

I think that I know why she ghosted. Her current boyfriend doesn’t want her contacting me because we dated for so long, and our love is still palpable, even if it has turned to friendship. I’m the enemy. I’m a threat. And she loves him enough to do that. She doesn’t want to be alone anymore. And I understand because I know her so well. She needs him because he can give her what I cannot.

Nothing will repair this slash through my being. The heart heals when it’s a romance, but what about a friendship? I’ll miss her forever. I’ll miss her when I’m dead. And that’s how I feel inside.

I’ll miss her when I’m dead. I know because I’m already there.

doge in space card redux

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Too Old To Rock N Roll?

Last week I went to The Clearwater Festival, also known as the Great Hudson River Revival. It’s the biggest folk festival in the New York area and one of the oldest in the country, and I’ve been going for 20 years. But sadly, last weekend reminded me that I’m not a kid anymore, and I can’t have fun the way that I used to.

Camping out is not required for the festival, but there are campgrounds that me, my friends, and several dozen people use. Traditionally every night has a “hoot” (a big singalong and jam where we sing folk and old classic rock songs) that goes on way too late. Of course I joined, and I was up singing and stomping and drinking (a LOT of drinking) until 2:30 in the morning Friday night.

I woke up shivering at 6 the next day, which is amazing in itself. If you’ve been following my blog, you know that for the past year, my brain has decided that 4-4:30 was an appropriate wake-up time. My head was pounding like I was in a drum circle all night (which I kinda was…there were drums along with the guitars, flute, washboard (!), saw (!!!) hand clappers, and singers). I looked in my cooler and realized that in about 4 hours of singing, I drank 10 beers. You have to keep your throat wet for a proper song circle. There is magic in a song and alcohol is one of the spell ingredients.  20, 10, even 5 years ago, I would’ve have flinched, but I am 41 now. I was dehydrated. I was headachy, and I could barely drag my ass out of the tent.

I still had a great time on Saturday and got to see all the bands that I wanted to see (Ani DiFranco, They Might Be Giants, The Mammals, Willie Nile leading a tribute to Dylan and Springsteen, the Neilds), but on Sunday morning I felt awful. I didn’t get much sleep, it was going to be 90 degrees (it had been almost 90 the day before, and I hate the heat), and I knew that if I stayed I would be miserable to the miserablist power. So I struck camp, and I drove home.

It was the first time I had ever left Clearwater early, and you know, I’m okay with it. I made the adult decision. A younger me would’ve toughed it out for the sake of toughing it out, but I weighed the options and made what I feel was the right choice. Sure I missed Jeff Tweedy (front man for Wilco) but hopefully I’ll see him else where. Sure I missed The Mavericks, but I’ve seen them 3 times. I accepted that I’m older now. I can’t forced myself to party just to party.

Also, I should learn to pace myself with the beer. I had no idea that I drank that much. They just disappeared down my throat.

Totally worth it.

doge in space card redux

Things that are happening

I’ve been away from here for a while. Things have been happening, and they’ve been too heavy to write about here. I’ll give a brief summary

  1. Last month, my gramma died just short of her 101st birthday. She was in agony and had dementia for many years, so it was more of a release than a tragedy. She was free from her pain. After all, who can complain about 101 years of life, except that maybe it’s too long? Arranging the funeral and Shiva (like a Jewish wake, with deli meat and Entenmann’s Cakes) with my combustive family was hell. I worried for weeks over how I was going to keep fights from breaking out or drama royalty making it about themselves. In the end, I must’ve done a good job. Only minor drama.
  2. The nightmares are back, they are constant, and they are worse than ever. I can’t sleep. i wake up 3 or 4 times a night in a clammy sweat. During the day, the nightmares are always on my mind. The doctor can’t give me meds for them because they are contraindicated for people with asthma. I am in a fugue state.
  3. The sequel to The Watchmage of Old New York is behind schedule. I thought it would be out by now, but it likely won’t until August. This really messes up my presentation schedule.  I was ready to sell some heckin books, but I have been too messed up to work to my fullest (see above).
  4. I’m giving the commencement speech at my old high school. I’m pretty excited about that. But I have to pretend that I’m a success and not the hot mess we know I am 😛 Then again, I think we’re all hot messes in one way or another.
  5. The contract for Song of Simon with Caliburn Press ran out, and they won’t even get back to me to tell me if they took the 3-year option. I’m ready to call my lawyer.
  6. I may have a severe, possibly life-threatening illness. We will find out in the next few weeks when the tests come back. Dammit, I’m not ready to face life-threatening shit again. I can only dodge so many bullets. I’m not Neo.

And I have too many books in me to die just yet. Then again, so did Val, and the Reaper didn’t give a fuck.

cosmic-cat tripping balls redux

Heavy Handed

Yes, here’s a post from a fat guy about how to lose weight. I know it seems silly, but 1) people that are fat know tons about how to lose weight because they’ve tried everything, and 2) I’ve lost almost 160 pounds and have kept it off for 5 years. I’d still like to lose another 20-30, but I’ll get into that in a bit.

 

           (Me in 2013/ Me in 2018)

I try to work out four days a week. Usually, I manage three. I do kind of an aerobics/kickboxing/weight training routine, and by the end I’m lying on the floor, sweat soaking into the carpet. It’s been pretty effective since I started doing it. I’ve only dropped a few pounds, but I’m down a belt notch and I’m closing in on that glorious fifth belt notch, the place I was at when I was working out at the gym. Still, I’m 240 pounds. Part of the problem is that since I started at close to 400 pounds, I’m carrying about 20-30 pounds of extra skin. A normal BMR for my height and weight is about 2550. My adjusted BMR (according to the weight loss doctor) is 2212. Those 338 calories a day make a big difference (2/3rds of a pound per week).

Anyway, Spring is finally here, and I like to walk in the park. The problem is that a walk, even a brisk walk, is not nearly enough exercise compared to my normal routine. So, I started Heavyhands, and sweet Jeebus on a pogo stick while eating Good N Plenty, that’s a hell of a workout (if you do it right).

The basics are that you walk around while carrying light dumbells. Most people use 2lbs, but I use 5 because I’m an endomorph and naturally strong. You’ve probably seen people at the park and on treadmills at the gym doing it. Most likely they are doing it wrong, swinging them with a normal stride or hardly moving them. I was one of them for two weeks until I found out that I was doing nothing.

I found out that the proper stride is to swing the dumbbell up so that it’s parallel with the ground on each stride. If you’re doing this for an hour, you’re basically doing 1800 alternating shoulder raises (I’m estimating one raise every 2 seconds, which is slow). I’m not at that level yet. When my shoulders would give out, I would do bicep curls or tricep extensions, then switch back when they didn’t feel like death. In addition, you should walk almost in a duck walk to get the legs and butt involved. You look like an idiot doing it, but it’s worth it.

By the end of the workout, I wasn’t as short of breath as I am after my aerobics, but I had no strength left in my shoulders or biceps. It’s a combination strength/endurance workout, like rowing. You won’t get as big as a bodybuilder or as thin as a jogger. You’ll get somewhere in between.

The only caution that I’ve read online is that you can get tendonitis from the repeated motion. I cooled down in a shower afterward and took some Advil to prevent inflammation. We’ll see if it works.

It’s nice to be outside again. I’m not going to do this every time, but it’s a good change of pace from my indoor workout.

This has been your daily “Fat Guy Talking About Weight Loss” post. We now return you to Doge memes.

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Heavypaws

doge in space card redux

Hooked by the SCA

Two Saturday’s ago, I went to my first SCA event. Now knowing me, you’d think that I go to these all the time. I’m a history buff, love get-togethers, and especially love sharp pointy things. I trained for SCA heavy combat when I was in college and was ready to take my place bashing people with sticks. What kept me from joining was money. While membership and event admission is cheap, things like armor are very expensive. I was just a poor kid out of college. I didn’t have 400 bucks to spend on armor. So I gave it up. I wish that I didn’t.

This first event hooked me. Everyone is so relaxed and chill there. I got to watch the two martial tournaments: HEMA fencing (historical, not modern), and armored combat. I got to throw hand axes and daggers at targets (I’m awful at it.) and there was awesome food.

I also found out that there was a local shire, which I didn’t expect (the event was in another shire, my shire is currently called Norden Fjord, but we’re changing it to Stone Bridges. It’s in the East Kingdom). So I joined. So far, I’m glad. There’s even a lot of sewing, which got Katie interested. There are also bardic competitions, and while my singing leaves something to be desired, like quality, storytelling is part of bardic skill. If there’s one thing I can do, it’s tell a damn good story.

Does this mean that I’ve reached a new level of geekdom? Yes…yes it does. I’m cool with that.

Any SCA members out there that read my blog? I’m looking for further info or garb ideas (I was going to make a necklace out of wooden toggles, but I found that they’re not historically accurate. I thought about making one from claws or teeth, but that kinda skeeves Katie out.

I’m looking forward to plunging in. I just hope that I don’t get super obsessed the way that I usually do and blow all the money that I don’t have.

cosmic-cat tripping balls redux

RIP Gramma

At 3:52PM yesterday, my grandmother Frieda Epstein passed away in her home. Gramma was a truly extraordinary woman, and not for the extreme length of her lifetime (one month short of 101 years). She was the matriarch, the leader of our family. She made things happen.

Gramma and Grampa raised three children in Washington Heights, Manhattan. They lived in an apartment so small, my mother said that she got an F on an assignment describing her place because the teacher didn’t think it was real. In addition, my great-grandmother lived with them. Six people in an apartment unrealistic enough to get an F.

Through hard work, set backs, and successes, they were able to move across town to the new Promised Land, Co-Op City, in the Bronx. Her three kids grew up to be successes in their fields and raise families of their own. Later in life, she became president of the Co-Op City Jewish Center, the last temple in Co-Op. She held this position until she was too sick to keep it anymore. Without her, the temple closed down.

My gramma has been sick for a while. She’s been in a lot of pain. So while I mourn for her, I also realize that this is a release and relief. I grieve for my family that now has to go on without her. My gramma is at peace, and Death is much harder for the people left behind.

cosmic-cat tripping balls redux

In Dreams…And Nightmares

The nightmares have started again.

If you don’t know, I have nightmares about my late fiance. I was there, completely helpless, when she died a horrible death. I relive it at night. It used to be every night and the day too in the first year after she died. The only thing that has kept the nightmares away is sleeping with someone next to me. But now the nightmares are finding a way through.

Combining that with waking up at 4am (because my brain demands it), means that I’m mentally exhausted all of the time. I also think that this new wake up time is caused by the numerous concussions I’ve received as a special ed teacher. I’ve developed Old Man Brain.

Things aren’t great here, but at least the sequel to The Watchmage of Old New York is coming out soon. BTW, it’s 99 cents right now. Pick it up. It’s worth your dollar and more.

Yes, that was a shameless plug, but man’s gotta eat…and sleep.

Watchmage black