I was just thinking about this earlier while I was running on the elliptical. When I was a kid I used to have this dream, a reoccurring one, where I had this black cloud that followed me around any time I went out of the house. I am not entirely sure exactly what it did, but this sense of imminent doom seemed to plague me as a child. Could this have meant that any time I went outside I could not be my authentic self? It is an interesting theory, and while I will likely never know, there is a great deal of my life that is up in the air right now. I told my wife that I have been prescribed two patches rather than one; I told her that I was going to wait to start taking them until after she was done with her surgery, but with her surgery done there is little left to stop me from starting them. We talked a bit about how she is always asking me if I am angry at her, which I have now finally begun to understand: I asked my mother if she were angry a lot, and I can only imagine how angry she eventually got. Not only that, but I think Bethany has an issue with anger besides her own: I tried explaining that frustration is a natural thing, as are other emotions, at which point she explained she’d asked me if I could do the two pictures on the wall, and I had said yes. I explained that any project has its setbacks, and to assume that everything will automatically go smoothly is absurd. She still disagrees, but at least I left for work this afternoon in a better mood and it seems we parted on loving terms.

Musings

May. 1st, 2017 10:30 am
One of the things that is really interesting is how I used to feel like I was being singled out for punishment. I remember so many instances where I was teased or made fun of or treated differently. I was viewed, as I am now, as little more than an experiment in behavior modification. My wife is the same way, constantly trying to get me to conform to her views of how I should act and think. Yesterday she was getting upset at something, and I said to her, ‘why are you getting angry?’ She got angrier, accusing me of trying to ‘start shit.’ I looked at her and told her that I was going to start treating her the same way she treats me. I’ve been struggling with my mood lately, and I think it might be the anti-depressants, because I really don’t think I am clinically depressed. B doesn’t want it to be the anti-depressant; she wants it to be the hormones, which figures, because she can see that HRT has improved my sense of self-esteem and self-worth, and she wants to squash it.
I have to set up my fake schedule for Quincy today or tomorrow; I want to make sure that I am out of the house as much as possible this summer. I wouldn’t mind, but if she thinks that I’m going to be sitting inside all summer long listening to her senseless babbling, she is kidding herself.
It’s my hope that I can get back into working on AODM. I’m almost halfway done with Part Nine.
Today my wife and I went to the Mission of Deeds for their annual yard sale. We got a bunch of stuff; Bethany had her gallbladder out yesterday and is still in a lot of pain. She’s talking a lot, which is annoying, especially since when I want to talk she’s suddenly in pain and can’t talk anymore. Still, it is a relief to see her not in nearly as much pain as she had been previously, and while she and I still bicker and while my goal still appears to be not getting yelled at for most of the day, we seem to be at peace with ourselves and each other.
My hips have grown considerably since last I wrote; they are easily outside the width of my stomach, which, while was never that large, my pants are a bit snug around the thigh area. Yet my waistline is considerably smaller than the size 38 pants I am wearing; I will need to continue exercising to tone up my muscles further. I have noticed that I have lost considerable muscle mass, and while that delights me to some extent, lifting something like a large marble cutting board my wife wanted at a yard sale took considerable effort.
My breasts have grown, as well; while the doctor has put me on two patches/week vs. one patch/week that I was on previously, I haven’t started it yet. For one thing, I have jury duty coming up in a little less than three weeks, and I want to get that under my belt before starting two patches. I haven’t told B about the increase in estrogen just yet; I wanted her to get her gallbladder out and be in considerably less pain before I told her, but considering that she had emergency surgery, I will have to tell her this afternoon. Once I am on two patches, that is pretty much it; the changes will happen considerably faster and when I am outside I will need to wear loose-fitting clothing to hide them. Once my face finishes up and my cheeks fill out, there is a good chance I could actually pull this off with a close enough shave. Still, the desire to wear female clothing is elusive. Shoes do actually appeal to me, not heels, of course, but short boots or long boots that go halfway up to one’s knee. That will come in time, I suppose. That will come in time. There are many things that need to happen first; while my arm hair has lessened considerably, I still have copious amounts of chest hair, and once I start shaving that and my legs, I am pretty much going to be ‘out’ as female. At the gym, if I choose to go, I will need to wear my shorts and shirt there, and perhaps avoid having to use the bathroom. Cardio will likely be here, rather than out, and the only thing I really want to be using regularly at the gym are the weights.
For the past few days I have been looking in the mirror, and it seems like there has been a radical change to my skin complexion. The fat has shifted on my cheeks further northward, which indicates that being ‘read’ as female could be only a few months away, a fact that both makes me happy and terrifies me at the same time. There are so many things that could happen now; so many people who do not realize that I am transitioning that could suddenly see me as a woman, albeit a masculine one, and so many problems that could develop. I’ve started an anti-depressant, Zoloft, which has done wonders for the lingering feeling of depression that I have struggled with since a teenager. The problem now is that, with Bethany still very sick, am I being selfish for transitioning? I suppose anyone who does transition is selfish, especially when they are married, but it is something that I have to wonder. By my very nature I worry about what others will think about me, and so now I wonder what others will say when I am out to them. Will they judge me severely because my wife is sick? If I tell them that I almost committed suicide, will they care? Will they believe me? I am not sure, but my male self is clearly on borrowed time. I was prescribed two patches each week instead of one, and while I won’t start that dosing until next week or the week after (I have one patch left for a once-weekly dose; I might just decide to put it on soon and let it happen). I am not scared like I used to be, when it comes to anything, although I should not just throw caution to the wind. I have to be careful; transgender people are killed all the time just for being who they are.
God has taught me a lot throughout all of this. Yesterday or the day before I was reading the Bible, in Corinthians, where it says, ‘I have a clear conscience, but that does not make me innocent. The Lord will judge me, in time.’ And He will; I do not boast about being trans, or at least, if I do, I pray that God will make me more humble, since I need to be focusing on Him rather than being transgender. This focus, by the way, is apparently something that many people deal with after many things. For example, after I got saved, I became extreme, after I realized I had been sexually molested as a child I became extreme, and now that I realize I am trans I am extreme. While I do no talk to my wife about these issues, this is because, I think, God has shown me how much pain she is, not just physically, but emotionally, as well; as I transition, she is, too: while I am a total dyke, I recognize she isn’t, although there may be some aspect of her sexuality she hasn’t really explored.
And… it looks like I’m heading home. My wife is in extreme pain and it’s non-stop.

Today I am in the Colon and Rectal center somewhere in Woburn, 91 Montavle? I’ve never been here before. Last night my wife was in the ER with extreme pain. I had no idea, I don’t think, just how bad it was, and here we are today and she is going to be getting prepped for surgery in a little bit. I don’t think that I have ever been in as much pain as Bethany is in right now.
Home from the doctor’s. She was getting prepped, but the surgery will take place on Friday. She’s in agony now, but we’ve got to spend some time together, which is really good.
Today has been an interesting day, to say the least. I was kind of in a dumpy mood in the morning despite heading down to Dunks to see my father’s friends, and after that I went outside to pull up some of the weed blocker that has been the bane of my existence since first putting it in a year ago. After that I went downstairs, did some work on Beowulf, followed by heading back upstairs to take care of some of the pictures that needed to be hung on the wall. However, I noticed I had a message from someone. Lo and behold, a message from Melissa! I thought she’d clean forgotten about me, but we would up going out to lunch and it was a very enjoyable time. It is so good to know someone who is so creative. I try had to follow her world building; it can be complex sometimes with my hearing loss. Finished hanging all the pictures; I’m roughly halfway done with Beowulf, and of course, now, Monday, I have discovered that I have not posted this yesterday.
Been thinking a lot lately about the third thread for ‘A Once Distant Memory.’ Ten parts; at least another three hundred thousand words. I don’t think I should even be thinking about it right now, considering I am still slogging through Part Nine. This is the Part where Stacy becomes a Christian, much to her father’s chagrin, and I am trying hard to make sure that I finish it before the summer. Parts Ten through Thirteen are parts that need major reworking, and I am hoping that this summer I can finish these parts and the footnotes. There will need to be some more editing, I think; one more look-see to determine if the blasted thing is worth anything.
Been thinking a bit about Bad Moon Rising and wondering if I should rewrite the thing, using the same structural framework I am using now. I suppose that there are many aspects of one’s first novel that we would all change. I might do something with it, and then again, I might not. I might edit it, and then include the original version at the end, for people to decide what they think is better.
Today I don’t have counseling; I guess my counselor is on vacation. I have to do the second part of Beowulf for the class tomorrow, and some minor grading. Today is going to be a bit on the cooler side, so I will likely stay at Quincy today.

Musings

Apr. 16th, 2017 01:47 pm
Few people leave a real legacy. They may leave behind bits and pieces of their lives in the form of bills, receipts for toys long broken, snapshots in the family albums, but few leave behind something as important as a diary. I know that I will not be having children now, or ever, and while this thought sometimes pains me, I know it is for the best. I know I can be negative sometimes, here, but this is truly my only outlet, since I have found that people do not often view me as someone to be listened to, but rather, tolerated. It’s my hope that people will eventually read what I have to say, and perhaps be impacted by it, the same way God has used hundreds, if not thousands, of other people to impact my life and show me His purpose. There are always going to be those who will hate me. Why do I care so much what others think of me? I don’t have to share what I am doing, who I am, or why with people? An incident Friday comes to mind, where I pulled into a 7-Eleven to grab a couple of hot dogs if I could, and some asshole nearly backed into me. I pulled into the space as he continued backing up, and then he pulls alongside and starts screaming at me. Well, I responded by saying he almost hit me. So I go inside, not thinking anything of it, and he parks in the middle of the parking lot. I went outside, got into my car, and he started approaching. Big guy, could barely walk, let alone run, and I did several sidestreets to make sure he wasn’t behind me. Just another reminder that my mere existence makes people uncomfortable.
Today, things were going okay until I forgot to do the dishes and B had and continues to rub my nose in it. And then Melissa Jewell was up here for a few days and of course I don’t even get to say hello to her because I am a worthless human being and not worthy of her friendship. I don’t know why I bother; it’s not like I was worth anything to her in high school. I’m not worth anything to anyone, to be frank; it’s like I’m invisible to the people I care about. Should I just not care about these people? Should I just not care at all? I notice David now has been avoiding me at work; we could have had coffee together but he decided not to text me. Maybe he does have a lot going on, and I certainly wouldn’t hold that against him, but at the same time there seems to be this growing distance. Does he realize I am transitioning? It’s certainly possible.
And of course B doesn’t want to hear any of this. She can yell and scream and complain about anything and everything while I sit there and pretend. Pretend what, to be happy? I don’t think happiness will ever come, and it’s not my fault, necessarily. I have to learn that people suck, people blow, and that I am not responsible for other people and the way they view me. Personally, I wish I could just become this hard, cold, woman that just refuses to let people in. That way, I cannot be hurt. But I pray daily that God won’t just let me grow hard. That He won’t just shut me down, and instead keep my heart soft.
I just want to disappear. I want to be free. I want to be free from sitting here listening to the constant reminder that I am a nothing, a nobody, and that my life means nothing to anyone. I just want to live. So I have a choice to make, I can either stop telling B my business, lower my expectations of everyone, and accept that God has a purpose for me, or continue to get into ridiculous arguments with B because everything that happens to me is my fault. B wants me on an anti-depressant. I think I will go on one, but more because if I don’t, she will continue to bitch and moan. If she were to divorce me, if she were to disappear, and I never saw her again, I promise whomever is reading this that the change in me will be revolutionary. Never again will I allow myself to be treated like this. Never again will I be so bold as to think that anyone from my past truly cares. My name will likely not be Stacy Sedgewood, but something else, if only because I don’t want those from my past to know that this is me. I’m not sure what my name would become, but one thing is for sure: no one here would ever see me again. To be honest, I’m not sure why I’m worried. I’m not worth anything to the people here, so no one would be looking for me in the future, would they?

Musings

Apr. 15th, 2017 05:59 pm
My search through my medical records was not entirely fruitless; the period between when I started going to Lahey, around 1982-1983 and when I sopped the medical record date, roughly 1989, around my birthday, is at least two or three hundred pages thick, and I honestly want to weep for the little boy I once was. I don’t see anything that really stands out to me as evidence of me being intersex. But I do see that I had a lot of problems. There are some reports that I did well in one-on-one settings, but in groups I was often the person either left out or rarely allowed to talk. I remember that I would be struggling in groups. My behavior certainly was different, and it was certainly inappropriate. Now we’re thirty or more years later, and things aren’t much different. I don’t mean that I haven’t developed skills that are helping me or whatnot; I mean that I am still suffering in the sense that I am often at the receiving end, am always interrupted, and consistently dismissed.
I have this nagging feeling that, if it were up to those in my life, I would likely have every aspect of my life policed and monitored, from my thoughts to my actions, every day of every hour. I am not surprised that people thought so little of me; while I am aware of my own limitations, I have to wonder how others view themselves. Few, I think, have gone through as much as I have and emerged unscathed. I was naïve to think that I had somehow survived without being impacted mentally.
Tonight I’m going to be doing some work around the house, cleaning, and obviously listening to Bethany. Right now I’ll check into Liberty and Quincy for a bit.
Every day I am reminded by God to hang in there, and realize that there is a reason for this madness. There is so much of my life ahead of me; there are still so many things I have yet to accomplish. There are many things God wants me to learn; there are still so many things I want to learn, both about myself and about God. I have to constantly remind myself that I know the truth, and that while others may disagree with me, they may think I’m lying, etc., I know the truth. I have much to offer the world, and even though I am 37 and only now truly starting to live, I see the sunshine every day. If I can think about the awesome future that God has for me, or just that I have a future, then I will not allow myself to be distracted by the idiots around me who want to steal my joy, steal what little happiness I find in my life, and I will be able to continue to move forward.
My medical records came in today. It says from Bactes Imaging Center. I can only imagine that it is either Lahey or Children’s Hospital. I am terrified. I am terrified by what it is going to tell me about myself, about my life. I think what I fear most is disappointment. I fear that what I have felt my entire life, that I was supposed to have been born a girl, is invalid, just as all my feelings always have been invalid, and that B will no longer support me through my transition. Not that she really is; if there is one thing I have learned, it is that encouragement is rarely, if ever, found in this marriage. What did I see in her that caused me to desire to marry her? Apparently, what I wanted to see in myself. I wanted to be a tough-as-nails person who has a soft spot for a girl. I want to be a woman who is able to stand her ground and stand up to people without backing down. I want to be fearless, prideless, but above all, I want to be myself.
So now, I will open my medical records and take a look and see what is in there.

Hump Day

Apr. 12th, 2017 08:42 am
Yesterday, I finished grading the class that ended Monday. It was a good semester, but so many students did the bare minimum required for the course that it is hard for me to think that this next class, the one that starts tonight, is going to go well, either. I will start doing review quizzes at the beginning of each class; the goal isn't to punish students, but rather, to get them to realize that unless they show up in my classroom regularly they aren't going to be able to pass the class.

There has been an interesting revelation in my life, one which has shattered me to the core. For the vast majority of my life I have been taught to sit there and listen. I have been treated harshly, judged unfairly by my peers, picked on, made fun of, beaten, made to feel unwelcome, and have just kind of existed, My solace, of course, was in my writing. It is my wish I could go back in time and change things, but after reading today’s scripture notes, including Luke 9:45, I am compelled to believe that God deliberately kept all this hidden from me. Why? Because He desires to see me in pain? I don’t think so. I think He did this because He has something special in mind for me to accomplish. Of course, me talking about my purpose at all results in B’s getting angry; just as earlier last year I told her about how Bill and I met, how he had prayed to meet someone whom he could help, and he met me. B’s response, that it wasn’t even Biblical, stunned me to the core, and I think a great deal of people would have said the same, not so much because it is not Biblical, but because it involves me.
So, yesterday I told B that I would eat here with her, at home, in order to spend time with her. I had no idea that doing that would cause so much anger, although I am used to it. I am used to being told that her anger is always justified, and mine is never acceptable. So I was sitting there at the table, and B started opening up with ‘I’m glad you’re here, I’m glad you’re here, but…’ and then she launched into an attack about how she didn’t know I was staying home for lunch, and how I caused all these problems for her. Now, what bothers me is this: if you say that you are glad about something and then use but, it invalidates everything you’ve said before it. I can say that here because this is my journal, and I’m not putting any more filters on for people. My experience has taught me that people watch my words like a hawk. I could say something completely valid and a bunch of people would just jump all over me. It is something that has happened since I was born. I am rarely welcome in relatives’ houses; they do not appear to care or want me over there, really. Someone can spend millions of dollars on a house, etc. I spend fifty bucks, I get yelled at.
After this ‘discussion’ I went to my counselor. I was sitting there in the waiting room when I happened to read an article about a trans woman who had experienced all kinds of abuse, all kinds of unfair treatment growing up. Reading this narrative was eye-opening to me. I’d never thought that the way I’d been treated, from how I walked to how I talked, etc. would be tied up into my gender identity. I mentioned it to B yesterday, who promptly brushed me off and told me that I had to understand: people care about me and they want to see me succeed in life. I remember Jordan, who got a free pass for having long hair, while I was shredded for the same. When the youngest girl cousin had to go to summer school her senior year of high school no one seemed to care; indeed, my hearing about it brought ire from my Uncle, who did not want me to know anything about the family. However, the fact that I was pretty lazy in my parents’ eyes during my senior year of high school has been brought up again and again and again to the point where it seems that will be the only thing I am ever known for.
What fascinates me is that it is only now, at almost thirty-eight years old, that I am realizing just who I am as a person. God hid all this from me. Why? Would it have really changed things had I not been married? I honestly don’t know, but I’m going to guess yes. If I had castrated myself as a teen I would likely have never gotten into these relationships, not that it really would have mattered much to me, anyway, but it would certainly have meant I wouldn’t be sitting here now, having wasted half of my life sitting down and listening to others tell me how to feel, how to act, etc.

Musings

Apr. 12th, 2017 08:37 am
Okay, so I have moved my LiveJournal to Dreamwidth, and this is the reason why: I recently learned that LiveJournal, being based now in Russia, is going to start cracking down on freedom of speech, which totally sucks, and which is why I am going to be posting here from now on. While it used to be that I didn’t care about LGBT+ issues, I do now, but there is much more to it than that: I lost a lot of things that meant a lot to me in a hard disk crash (well, it was really that one of my friends lost my hard drive, which is a totally different issue), and I have zero desire to go through that hell again. As a result, I’ve moved everything here. It’s my hope in the next few months that I will start linking to articles, etc. that mean a lot to me, and that I will start writing some of my own.
My old computer overheated to the point where I could no longer use it. Hence, I had to get a new laptop. I suppose I could have continued with the old one until it caught fire, but Bethany wouldn't let me do that.

This past week has been quite hectic with activity. I had an interview with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell; we'll see if I get hired. I would love to work there instead of Quincy College, but they are part of the union. I really don't see a problem with the union outside of the fact that they tend to vote democrat and harrass anyone who disagrees with them. If I get hired, I will simply mind my p's and q's and not let myself get strongarmed. The nice thing about UMass is that they pay well, and I would be working in the afternoon, and not near Boston, either. The commute is about the same as it might be from my house to Boston, but this first time I went down a lot of back roads, and I am sure there is an easier way to get there.

Liberty has given me three classes for the Fall semester; all three seem to have gone through. I am working on my Quincy College classes now, setting them up. I try to do a couple of assignments and a discussion board a day if only to ensure I don't get overwhelmed. As much as I love teaching, I can't stand setting courses up.

My in-laws are here, which makes me happy. Most men would not enjoy seeing their in-laws, but I do. I like their company. They are good people and I especially enjoy talking to Manford Sr, my father in law.

Idlewild is set for release either today or tomorrow. I stupidly ordered the proofs without thinking about the heading and formatting. I had to go back and insert the drop caps and get rid of the Chapter system. A little effort goes a long way. Wth any luck I will be able to proofread this book today and tomorrow and then click on publish. The only other work that is ready right now is A Kiss After Dying and I am not ready to release that just yet.

Have a number of books on the bench that I am reading. The first is Jack Kerouac's On the Road. I am still reading George Orwell's Diaries, and Thomas Pynchon's 'V' although that one is slow going. I figure I'm halfway through On the Road, and there are a few non-fiction books I intend to read once I'm done with it.
I have been spending more time downstairs lately, and have been getting more done than I initially thought possible. Two or three short stories from when I was younger have been put into the computer, rewritten, and sent off to two distinct literary magazines. Still waiting to hear about the other one, ‘The Collective.’ The two stories I sent were ‘The Story,’ about a typewriter that starts typing a story for a man who cannot see the gift that has been given him, and ‘The Book,’ an old cliché about a man who finds a book that contains his life story in it.
The story about the clone not wanting to play with her original host needs to be written, and a longer story about a man who assassinates a President and wakes up not remembering what happened because his cerebral was hijacked (about the same length as ‘Johnny Mnemonic’). There are a few other stories worth rewriting, too, including the one about T. Rex as an actor, the story about the monster truck taking over a person’s soul, and the story taking place in Boston about a woman with mental health issues growing paranoid in the aftermath of a nuclear bomb.
Bethany’s parents will be coming up in a few weeks. Bethany, as usual, is spending as much money as she possibly can to make sure they are comfortable. I think the big issue is the student loans; if we did not have to pay those off, that would be an extra 700$ a month in our pocket. I plan on trying to refinance later on this fall. While I will likely pay more than the minimum payment, I would like to know that I don’t absolutely have to.
In other news, what surprised me most yesterday was how Ed and Nancy Dutra decided to ride for my cousin (and others) against MS. My cousin, Cindy Ferraro, has been suffering from MS for a while. Not sure how much care or consideration my father’s side of the family has really given her, but I wish they were more selfless like Nancy and Ed Dutra. While I get nervous about money sometimes, this more than not stems from a fear that John McCarthy, my tax guy, will say something about how much I have been spending this year than anything else. Also, I feel as though I am not being a good steward for spending anything. I have gone back to the way I feel as a teenager where I was not allowed to spend anything (though I did), and was met with harsh scrutiny when I did. While I have removed myself from the stage where I buy guitars and amps to collect them and have started backing off from these things, I still feel as though my parents are judging me. I know, deep down inside, that they aren’t. They can’t. They’re dead, and nothing is going to bring them back.
Yesterday’s article for Ricochet was on Orwell and Socialism. I cannot help but feel I am as much of a hypocrite as Orwell. He was clearly a conflicted man, and lived a life that one could only imagine was in far worse condition than where we are now. While he complained, I cannot imagine that he truly went without the basic needs of life, even when he was homeless and down and out in Paris and London. So why do I feel so bad about myself? I feel as though I should be saving more money and I get terribly depressed when I can’t. There’s $1600 in Betterment, over $4,000 in the bank, and over $217,000 in investments. The house is paid off, we owe nothing but my student loans.
My goal today is to write. I have my guitar lessons at 11, rescheduled from yesterday because I had to move it; the garage door had to be installed. I’m about halfway done with digging up the garden; I plan on getting a few more wheelbarrow loads in today. Hard work. Nowhere near done, since the areas around the pea gravel will have to be leveled.
This weekend has been depressing. Once again, another week, two weeks, four weeks, go by without doing anything but sitting in this two by two box at the kitchen table and just listening to my wife go on and on about stuff that does not matter. We can’t go out. We are trapped in a prison of my own creation. It is wearing on me. Now, of course, Bethany has another problem: her tooth is hurting. I guarantee that will be a two or three thousand dollar surgery. I just know it.
Seeing friends on Facebook driving hours to see each other saddens me because I realize I have no friends, no real family outside of Bethany that really cares about me at all. We had the wedding up here in Massachusetts because I knew no one from my family would have gone.
Got rid of all the National Geographics this week. The reel-to-reel speakers are gone, along with the radio, the cheap guitar, and most of the books. The closet in the office is next, followed by the drum set. It was a worthless investment. I wanted desperately to have friends to come over and we could jam out, but I have no friends and, less than that, I feel like a loser for even dreaming of a day when I could play with others.
So I will continue to sit in this shithole of a house, just endlessly wishing that I were somewhere else. I simply write and write, and there is nothing else I can do; once Bethany eats something I am required to stay here and make sure she is okay. What a waste of a life.
This week has been an interesting one, especially since I have started doing blog posts for the online blog Ricochet. I have essentially started my own column, and have got a little bit of a following so far. Hopefully the Lord will allow me to keep this up; I really enjoy doing these posts. I am striving for a daily post there, reflecting not just on myself, but on the way things are in the world. It is a different approach to journalism, confessional journalism, perhaps?
The novels are where they have been for a few days although last night I did manage a paragraph in A Once Distant Memory. In September, barring anyone taking on ‘A Kiss After Dying’ I will release that. It is a novella, so it is only about a third of the length of my prior two books, but it is one that I must say I had a great deal of fun writing. I think the whole novella took about three weeks. A Once Distant Memory has gotten a bit shorter, at least so far, but it is my hope that instead of focusing on a weekend I will be focusing on a week or so. The neighbor is likely going to get killed, and what I want to do is develop him as a ‘replacement’ for Jack’s father, who was cruel and distant. He will mourn the loss of this replacement father by continuing to dig deeper into his novel while his daughter starts getting involved in a local band. Something like that. I want the story to be less a chop and more of a slice of life; I have mentioned Aunt Katherine, Stacy’s hardnosed aunt, who is largely inspired by the Aunt that Scout has in To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman.
Speaking of Watchman, I have finished the novel and I was actually impressed. The story is different in many respects from its better-known counterpart, and it is likely that Harper Lee never intended for this story to see the light of day. Still, the novel has its charms although there are some passages that read like a first draft. What I am most thankful for is that Scout in the book does not dwell on the incident in which she saw Tom convicted in court. A lot of sequels are like that; they rely so heavily on the first book that they fall flat. A lot of Star Wars books do that, focusing on an incident and expanding on it. Boring drivel.
Have started The Smartest Guys in the Room, a book that focuses on the rise and fall of Enron, the energy company. So far the book is similar to the way the Hot Zone is written, in a narrative style that is easy to read but really gets you into it. I have always been fascinated by those big companies and how their CEOs have gone from bright people to greedy degenerates. While my mother explained to me when I was younger that money is the most important thing in the world, I have realized that is not true, and that one can either live rich or live comfortably and within their means. I have decided to start downsizing a lot of the stuff I have, not because I cannot afford to keep it but because I am running out of room, and when that happens, one must seriously entertain if all this stuff is necessary. Most of it isn’t. What I have started with is the National Geographic. I did get rid of a guitar amplifier, a clunky thing that should not have been purchased in the first place. I will be giving Michael some things to sell, and will be donating most of the stuff I desire to get rid of to the Salvation Army.
Bethany has still been sick although it is not the throwing up kind that she has been known to be sick from. Instead it is just a feeling of general lethargy, as if someone has drained her energy. My fear is that the scleroderma will eventually kill her and if that happens I will not be staying in Massachusetts. Hence why I want to start getting rid of things. The less I have the easier it is to move. The office needs to be gutted, the walls torn down and replaced with something like wood paneling that can be detached easily for idiotic inspectors. The music room will remain the way it is; outside of a good cleaning there isn’t much I can do with that room, but the rest of the basement will slowly be emptied. What I would like is, in the garage, more of those rolling types of carts, so that if needed they can be wheeled into the back of a pickup truck and driven away.
Leadfoot will need his radiator fixed, perhaps this week. I need to be able to move it around as I continue to clean out the backyard.
Yesterday I finished Book Four of Molon Labe. It was slow going, not because I was procrastinating, but because the dates were all wrong. Everything seemed to happen on July 14th, which is impossible, and there were events that took place in these chapters that should have at least caused a ripple through things but didn’t. About seven thousand words have been trimmed from the book due to putting chapters together, which brings the book down to 157,000 words. Considering the book isn’t complete yet, I’m okay with that.
Bethany and I got into another ridiculous argument yesterday, involving coupons at BJs. Part of me is rather surprised and hurt that Bethany can get so upset at something so inane, but we managed to get ourselves together again after. The major issue is that we have so much outflow right now. For example, I had to put the forty-percent down on the garage door yesterday. That was six hundred dollars. Another six-fifty went out for the stone wall out front. I get paid next week on Saturday; that should be about two thousand, coupled with another twelve hundred from Liberty for the extra course I took, and twelve hundred for the rent upstairs. After this I plan on just doing minimum payments on the credit card; we only owe one thousand on one, nine hundred on another, and five hundred on the last one. The majority of this is from Bethany’s medical bills, so it seems that it will be a revolving balance each month of about nine hundred to a thousand dollars.
Bethany is in endoscopy right now and so I am just waiting for her to come out before we can leave. This should resolve the whole scleroderma thing, although I am not sure if that is what she has. If it is, I am not sure what we are going to do. If it isn’t then we have to look elsewhere and see what it could be.
Today I will be going to the gym as usual; I’m starting to work regularly on achieving a twelve-minute mile. The day before yesterday (Sunday) I ran a twelve-minute mile, and yesterday was a thirteen minute mile. I am doing intervals, so I will start off at a fast walk, run at six or six-and-a-half miles an hour for a few minutes, and then cycle back down to the fast walk.
This is day three of me no longer drinking coffee. Next week I will see what else can get cut out.

It has nearly been two hours since Bethany went in for her appointment. I know the doctors are always running behind, but this is a little absurd. I asked the receptionist at about seven-forty-five what was going on, and she told me that Bethany had not been seen yet. I’m not worried, just annoyed, and there is a stitch in my side that is driving me crazy.
I’ve been reading George Orwell’s diary, as well as his Letters. The diary really gives one an understanding into his life, and how Orwell was able to take what he saw and experienced and put it into his writing. My goal in writing essays is to reflect on society. After all, freedom of speech was never designed to protect your aunt Hilda’s secret recipe for goulash; it was designed to protect one from the government’s restriction on freedom of speech.
Got into an argument with Dave down at the coffee shop this morning about permitting for the wall and the garage door. Of course, tomorrow I will tell him that it is all taken care of, or perhaps not go down for a while. I really shouldn’t have to tell him anything. I think that, slowly, my time down there is coming to an end. It isn’t that I don’t want to be down there but Dave is going to live until he is 90, and I just do not have the time anymore to deal with his bullshit. In the fall, I will be going back on campus, and if I have to take Adderall to stay awake, I will. I hope to be teaching 5-6, maybe even 7 classes, which comes out to over 24k for one semester, which will put a hue dent in my student loans. My attitude now is ‘Whatever it takes’ meaning that if I have to get a third job to be able to pay off these loans, I will.
I submitted the first two books to my editors yesterday; he suggested I do a book signing at the upcoming flea market. I am not going to do it this weekend, since it is the 4th and Bethany and I have plans this weekend, but I do want to get back into going to flea markets and yard sales. I don’t trust Bethany, though, when it comes to these things. She likes to talk me out of everything. If it were up to her, I would be forced to just sit in this house all the time and just listen to her talk. She never has anything to say, but she is always talking. No wonder I can’t wait until the Fall to get the hell out of here!

Musings

Jun. 29th, 2015 11:46 am
I have been struggling to keep organized in an increasingly disorganized world. I have several projects going at once, to say nothing about a model plane that I have forgotten about since I started it. Digging in the garden, thinking about going kayaking, playing guitar and fixing a guitar whose strings will not stay intonated, writing Molon Labe and thinking about how people will respond to it, along with several other projects, dreams, and hopes, occupy the space of time between when I wake up and go to bed, or occupy the space of my mind. Molon Labe, the first two books, I think, are good enough to submit to my editors, so I have done just that. The third and fourth books, I think, are where things begin to fall apart, so I will be focusing on those areas tomorrow.
Today we have someone coming over to look at our garage door. It is probably better to replace it, and since it is so heavy and awkward, we are probably in our right judgment to replace it. I do not like the idea of shelling out thousands for it, but it is one of those expenses that cannot be avoided.
Meanwhile, students email, sending me one excuse after another why they cannot submit work on time, and I chastise them and tell them this will be the last time I accept another late assignment, and they bristle and wonder why I have become a mean teacher even though they know they have submitted their assignment late and understand the consequences therein.
This afternoon I must go to the RMV and get the license plate sticker for Bigfoot so I can have him towed to the repair shop. It is likely something small, but it is amazing how something small can prevent you from enjoying a hobby.
For some reason nothing seems to be going well today. I started working last week on the backyard and today we have water in the basement because the trench I have dug is acting like a French drain. WTF! Oh, well, I guess it could be worse, but at the same time I am realizing that I don’t want to be working on the house anymore. Bethany wants me to hire everything out, and maybe she is right.
Last night we got into an argument about Netflix. I have officially given up as far as selecting movies goes, just like with Sara and never being allowed to listen to music I enjoy. I’ve told her that either she selects the movies we watch, or to turn off the television. Am no longer sitting in the kitchen to do work, either. It seems every five minutes Bethany is going around me, perhaps to stare at my screen. Not sure why she is so paranoid.
Walked to the coffee shop today and walked back. It feels good to be out and about in the fresh air and the sunshine. I started working on the trench, but I am hitting something wooden. I am not sure what it is; it looks like a root, but it’s too straight to be one, so I am going to guess it may be an old two-by four. But that’s impossible, right? I mean, a two-by-four would have rotted by now. Maybe it is a tree root, but I’m not positive.
I finished the work I needed to do today fairly early. I have two books that I need to finish. The first is 10:04, and the second is Selected Writings. They are both fast approaching 80% complete. I will be doing more book reviews for January Gray as the week progresses; I need to talk to her about doing science-fiction writing reviews.
Wow, it does not seem possible that almost nine years ago I was graduating with my M.A., and just about a year ago I was graduating with my doctorate. Time flies!
Bethany and I have been working on digging up the backyard to fill it in with pea gravel. My aim is to make a lawn that requires less water and is more appealing. Also, there is considerably less maintenance in waterless lawns, and my hope is that when the fall comes there will be fewer areas where leaves will congregate. I am also building a small wall around the patio and the shed, where I will be throwing the leftover dirt around to try and even off the back. I am sure when the rain comes it will wash away partly, which is fine, but I really want to see if I can continue to extend that area a bit.
I finally got access to my student loans, which relieves me greatly. I was paying on time, something they hate, and I was making double payments, which they hate further. They initially told me that I needed to send in some form of identification, but when it became obvious I was going to continue to make double payments regardless they threw in the towel. My goal is, each month, to make a substantial contribution to one of the smaller loans I have in order to aggressively pay it off.
I have another class to set up for Liberty University. For some reason, these summer classes do not seem to count toward my contract, so that is an extra 2,100 for each class that I can keep during the summer. While Liberty does not pay as much as Quincy, one has to understand that each of these classes is only eight weeks in length. They are half as long – and perhaps require half as much grading.
There are a couple of other part-time schools looking for online instructors of either instructional design, English, or Education. I am going to apply to them and see what happens. Even if I only get an extra class a semester, that should go to the student loans.
Trust me when I say this: I do not obsess over what I owe like I did when I was in central Mass. I just don’t. I could pay off the loans tomorrow, but it would require taking out a chunk of my inheritance, and then I would have to pay taxes on that. The doctorate has helped me immensely, giving me understanding in many areas, but the cost is quite high. It is a ten-year loan, not twenty, and I am sure if I continue to make these double payments it will go down that much faster.
Today we are going to Yard Sales; hopefully we find something interesting. Bethany has a list of things she would like to see us procure; myself? Books, as usual =)
Molon Labe is stuck again, not because of a lack of imagination, but because I have been busy working on a number of things, and that means that time is being taken away and used for other things. I am on the second chapter of Book 6, roughly 140k, and I am at a general chapter. I think Book 6 should do without the general chapters; I am wondering how others will view them anyway since they may slow down the narrative (though so far the book takes place over 2 weeks, so slowing down the narrative might not be the worst thing I could do). I am going to outline this particular Book, and my guess is that either this is the last section before the Anathema (the general chapter I wrote will go to the Anathema) or there may need to be a second section. 200,000 words. Yikes. I don’t think any of my books have been this long (so far).

SDC
I am feeling much better after yesterday’s bug, which left me unable to do anything but sleep. And sleep I did; I went to bed around 9 and didn’t wake up until about 6. I got a lot of grading done yesterday but little in actual writing, and so I am hoping that I can get back on schedule as it relates to Molon Labe. This particular section is moving along now, beginning with Jeff Orwell meeting his ‘father’ who turns out to be a clone.
Over the past few days I have watched the demolishing of a relationship between two friends whom I care about deeply. Both of them are damaged, having come from a household where abuse was common, as well as neglect. It seems I am seeing more neglect than anything these days. In public, Michelle would berate her boyfriend, insult him on Facebook, etc. Over the past few years, however, she has done whatever she can to give the impression that they are a nice, normal family, and when James walked out on her, she can now whine on Facebook and ask how this happened.
I know exactly how this happened, and James has left her once before, only to keep going back to her. The first time, if he had listened to me, there would have been an end to the madness, but now there are kids involved and as a result things are much more complicated than they seem. I’ve spoken to James before about this, and I know how it feels to be treated as an amoeba by a girl, something Bethany and I have been discussing lately as we begin the journey to start a family. I won’t get involved with James and Michelle this time. They need to sort out their own problems.
If scientists came out with a pill that destroyed the male sex drive, the world as we know it would be dramatically changed. Women would in dire straits, for the only reason men are with them is because women have such incredible power over them.
Bethany does not want to go to New Jersey this summer, partly because she isn’t feeling well, and partly because she does not want to deal with the 5+ hour drive. I get that, and I suggested they come up here. Well, crap, she said yes, which means I have to finish up some painting and touch ups from the fire. The dining room is pretty much done. The living room can remain the way it is, but the kitchen needs a vast overhaul. I thought red would be a nice touch, but it has darkened the room so much that it cannot remain this color. Bethany wants a yellow color; I don’t mind that, but if we are going to have her parents over, we are going to have to get going on this, sometime soon.

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