Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Taming Of The Shrew vs. Legend Of The Fall

Well the network is still sort of down at work, and my computer remains unreliable at best, but here I am, constantly “T.C.B.ing”. I’ve figured out that it doesn’t matter the intensity of my work or the emotion I pour into it, it all pays the same. I’m given just enough tools to be moderately successful, and that’s fine, I’m good with “moderate”, let’s not set the bar to high or low. Maybe I’m just finding comfort in being a “7 out of 10er” Monday through Friday, I hope not, but in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Generally I try to process ongoing familial issues internally, but I’m exhaused today. My last three conversations with my father have all revolved around him wanting to die. “I should just kill myself”, “If I wasn’t such a chicken-s*&t I’d kill myself”, & my ‘favorite’, “I wish I was dead”. I understand this is part of depression, I also understand that this is what people in his situation do, as well as having a firm understanding that suicide, even idle chatter about it, is not to be summarily dismissed. But let me tell you, I am fried. I’m now having nightmares about giving eulogies, I’m finding it difficult to be positive with him on the telephone, and at times I’m finding it difficult to even talk to him, AND I HATE MYSELF FOR IT! I’m not my mother, I’m not going to leave him or ostracize him in an attempt to save myself. I’m not my brother; I can’t just pack it away internally and soldier on. And I’m not my sister; I can’t bring myself to attack him, even if it’s for his own good. None of these people are wrong in what they’re doing. I can’t blame or hate on any of them for how they’ve chosen to deal with or not deal with him. I just find myself on an island of sorts. I can’t express to Cassandra enough how this makes me feel, or the pit I feel in my stomach constantly over it, because it’s not fair to her, and honestly I’m not sure anyone not in the situation directly gets it. Who am I going to tell? I mean I have friends, wonderful, caring friends, but it’s not something we talk about. I can’t talk to my mom, because we don’t speak. I can’t talk to Sean, because it’s to hard for him and I to connect on that level, hell sometimes we barely connect as siblings. As for Sarah, she tries, gawd bless her she tries, but we just are coming at this from such different angles that we struggle to find commonality on it, let alone lend each other the moral and emotional support that both of us really are trying to find. The depression that has overtaken his life is like an infectious disease that threatens my own mental health; it has a siren song of hopelessness that serenades me with its dulcimer tune of despair. I feel like as I’m watching this man; my friend, my mentor, my father die this slow agonizing death of debilitating chronic pain, being in a medicated stupor, all the while wearing this black shroud of depression that it’s eating away at him and then at me through this horrible proxy. I’ve spent the last 11 plus years trying to help people who are afflicted with just this type of disease, and yet I can’t help my own. I can’t save my own father from himself, and it is simultaneously the most frustrating and maddening thing I have faced in my life. I know you can’t save everyone, that you can’t save those who don’t want or can’t want to save themselves, and I understand that it’s not MY responsibility, I understand that. But he’s my dad. He’s my dad and he’s dying.

He’s dying and I hate myself for being unable to do a damn thing about. I loathe that I have to be detached emotionally, I have to be “Work Ben” just to deal with him. I can’t stand that I’m constantly evaluating and asking him about treatment options, his disability, his medications, and constantly looking for some “magic bullet” to slay this beast in his head. But most of all, I hate myself for being helpless, for being hopeless, and more than anything for being here when a part of me wants nothing more than to be there doing nothing rather than being here doing nothing.

Understand that this is by no means a “cry for help” on my part, it’s just I need somewhere to spew this, it’s like an albatross weighing heavily around my neck. I know that I choose to lug this around, and that it’s my choice to continue my relationship with my father. I don’t know what else to do. I can’t give up on someone who would never give up on me. I just can’t. I know it’s not ‘fun’ to read about, believe me it’s not fun to write about.

But in the end it’s my blog and I’ll talk about what I want, and today I just wanted to get this off my chest.

* Sigh *

And now for something completely different,


- If you are a “friend” and you don’t contact me or don’t return calls, e-mails, invites and the like for almost a year, what makes you think we’re still friends, let alone think it’s alright to ask me for a personal reference for a new job, via text no less. That’s messed up.
- I had lasagna this weekend, and it was everything I dreamed it could be.
- Tonight I get to engage in some much needed war-gaming with the Tuesday Night Board Game Group. I can only hope that I get to rein bloody death on Steve, lord knows he deserves it.
- I painted skin tones on like 60 miniatures this weekend. My goal this week is get at least the Romans painted red on their clothing. If I do that I’ll be ahead of where I had been and I’m ok with that.
- I MUST see Black Dynamite.
- I watched the six episodes of the Simon Pegg Edgar Wright show “Asylum” (*** out of 5) this weekend. It was interesting, the idea is that a rich crazy man uses his home to basically kidnap people and drive them crazy just so he can play doctor on them. It wasn’t as funny as Spaced (Infinite *’s out of 5) or some of his later film work, but it was neat to see this hilarious tandem in their ‘infant’ stage.
- With D&D getting last minute cancelled, I now am growing despondent about whether or not the group as it’s currently constructed will continue. I’m hoping I can draw everyone back in and rededicate them to fun once a month rollin’ 20’s.
- “Tim is the man with the bathysphere.”
- I find Frank Mir saying he wants to “kill” Brock Lesnar if they fight again to be laughable at best. Remember what you said to Brock last time Frank before the second fight, “…be careful what you ask for…” Well I think someone should remind you of that statement. You have to first beat Shane Carwin, which will be no small feat, and the last time you stepped in the octagon with Lesnar he embarrassed you. Now I KNOW some of this is hype being used to sell a third fight between you two, but your needling a guy who hasn’t been able fight in almost a year due to life threatening illness, a guy who you KNOW takes these sorts of comments personally, and a guy who already doesn’t like you. I think the guy who should fear for his life if these two meet again would be you Mr. Mir, because I don’t think you’ll make it out of the first round.
- I have an Irish ‘Fro right now…
- Last night Cassandra & I hit up Godfather’s Pizza and I saw another very real and very sad example of ‘Merica; a guy in what was obviously the clothing of a chef, or at least kitchen staff, met his family in the restaurant, a family I might add who got their food before paying, which is ‘Merica in itself, so said guy comes in and takes his gum, FROM HIS MOUTH, and sticks it to a rail. YUP! Right there in the open, in front of all the other patrons, when all he had to do is walk three more feet to the trash. Instead he takes chewed gum from his craw and jams it against a railing, a railing I’ve touched on occasion. When did we as a society lose both common sense and common decency?
- I’m going to pick up “Planet Hulk” & “JLA: Crisis On Earth 2” animated flicks this week. Personally, I can’t wait to enjoy them both; almost nothing in the world brings joy to me more than good cartoons.
- Holy Crap! Ladanian Tomlinson is unemployed! I’m actually shocked that a guy who was THE running back of the early 2000’s got released and now will be looking for work. I understand the business, and how when running backs hit around 30 their production begins to diminish and they end up on the ‘free agent trash heap’, but L.T. was THE MAN! He’s only like 2 TD’s short of taking that sham Emmit Smith’s TD record. It’s just interesting to think that a first ballot hall of famer of my present is ‘washed up’ at 30 years of age. Not to mention all the other possible free agents and guys who are on their way out of long term homes; Julius Peppers, Darren “I LOVES MYSELF!” Sharper, & Randy Moss to name a few. It’s an interesting time to be a fan of the NFL.

I want to type more, want to write more, anything to keep my head from dwelling and centering on all this gunk that is sitting on the peripheral, but I just for the life of me, can’t think of anything else to say. Maybe sometimes silence is better.



  1. Hi Ben! I'm all moved back to Ashland and hanging out with old friends again and they all meet up once a month to watch UFC pay-per-view. It's awesome! In your opinion, what fighters should I keep an eye on while I get to know the sport? Thanks, and sorry for the "Dear Abby" vibe to this comment.


  2. Oh Joe...

    I'd of course watch BJ Penn, Brock Lesnar, GSP, Anderson Silva, the top dogs in thier weight classes, but as far as guys under the radar or who are on the way up here is a list of fighters I like to watch;
    Clay Guida
    Tyson Griffin
    Cain Valasquez
    Ryan Bader

    As far as watching to learn the sport here is a rundown;
    Anderson Silva = great Mua Ti striking, & if he ever gets taken to the ground his Brazilian Jui Jitsu is supposed to be stellar
    Brock Lesnar = he IS the new millenium proto-type for "Ground & Pound"
    BJ Penn = is the most well rounded fighter I have ever seen, he can do anything and everything well
    George St. Pierre (GSP) = is the best wrestler, and the most explosive athelete in the UFC.

    Hope that helps.