#573 – Double Celebration


Today is mine and my wife’s fifteenth wedding anniversary.

We arrived at the date pretty easily. I asked her, while we were in the beginning stages of planning what was supposed to be a trip to the justice of the peace, what I could give her as a wedding present. She told me that she’d always wanted to get married on Halloween, ever since she was a little girl. I didn’t even think about it. “Done,” I said immediately. And that’s how we arrived at our wedding date.

We’re each other’s rebound relationships, hers from an unhappy first marriage and mine from the worst girlfriend I’d ever had. Neither one of us thought we were going to last, and I don’t think either of us intended for it to at first. We were both sort of licking our wounds and we were helping one another heal.

We’ve never stopped healing one another.

She is very literally the best thing that ever happened to me. She is my inspiration for wanting to fight so hard to be better and to improve myself, something I’ve spent a long time striving for and only now am I able to make some concrete moves to better our situation. She is my cheerleader, my confidant, my partner in crime. She understands me better than I understand myself most of the time and no one has ever known me better, not even my parents.

I’m very lucky to have her.

Happy anniversary, babydoll. More than there are stars.

So yesterday I told you that I was planning on spending the day studying for an anatomy & physiology entrance exam that I intended to take on Wednesday following algebra. I studied for a while and then had a dentist’s appointment, and on the way home got a wild hair to go take the exam today while I had time. So I did.

There were fifty questions on the exam, covering a wide range of topics. Passing is 70 percent.

I missed ten questions. Good for an 80. Passing.

What this means is that in a few days, hopefully as early as tomorrow, the automatic hold my college places on registration for anatomy & physiology I will be manually lifted, and I can add it to my courseload for spring.

Thanks to the anniversary and the passing score, what was initially plans for a quiet, simple dinner at home morphed into a very special night out at the local Brazilian steakhouse. We had a magnificent meal and a lovely dessert and came back home to watch our traditional Halloween movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas, just her Jack and my Sally on the couch together.

It’s been a glorious day worthy of celebration.

Mom, Anniversaries, and Radio


I just called the hospital and spoke with one of the nurses looking after Mom. They removed her from the ventilator sometime last evening, but she’s still on a significant amount of oxygen to help her breathing along. I asked if it would be possible to speak with her, just long enough to tell her that I love her, and was informed that she’s non-verbal at this point in time. They attribute that partially to the sedation still wearing off but they say she has calm periods when she’s sleeping and then periods when she’s awake where she’s moaning out and very confused. They tell me that she’s oriented to herself, but likely isn’t sure where she is or what’s going on, and that they haven’t been able to converse with her yet. Hopefully she’ll be well enough tomorrow that I can talk with her even the briefest bit.

While I’m encouraged by the improvement she’s made while she’s been in the hospital, I’m concerned about the confusion that she’s exhibiting. I don’t know what her condition was just prior to them taking her over to the hospital from her skilled nursing facility, but I would be very interested to find out if she was disoriented and confused when she left there. The confusion isn’t like Mom. She gets infections somewhat regularly and sometimes they get to the point that she hallucinates – I’d expect that – but this goes beyond that and into a whole new level of disorientation. Perhaps the issue is that she was hallucinating when they transported her and between that and being sedated and being in a new place, she’s very unaware of what’s happened to her. Hopefully I’ll find out more soon.

Moving on to happier things, seventeen years ago today my wife and I had our first date. I don’t think either of us expected things to last this long, but I’ve never been happier to be wrong about something. Here’s to many more years in the future, my love, it’s been a grand trip so far.

Finally, tonight my wife and I are celebrating our first date anniversary with a radio show. It’s our usual time slot on Saturdays, but tonight’s show will be something special, geared to the gamers that our station supports and with a special focus on our origins as a station. I don’t want to go into any more detail than that, but we are very proud of tonight’s playlist and hope you’ll tune in. Details will be on my Facebook page in a little while.

Anniversary Splurge


So last night, we did one of the things that we promised ourselves that we were going to do with the tax refund – splurge on a nice dinner for the anniversary of the day we met. (See yesterday’s post for more on that story.)

After much debate, we decided to go to Estancia Churrascaria, a Brazilian steakhouse here in town. Dinner here is a little different. Meals are all-you-can-eat. Side dishes are brought to the table family style. Main dishes are brought throughout the restaurant on saber-like skewers, where they ask if you want what’s being offered on that skewer. If you say yes, then a portion of the meat being offered is either slid off the skewer onto your plate using a knife, or carved off the skewer where you, as the guest, use provided tongs to grab the carving off the skewer and place it onto your plate. There are 16 main dishes to try (the menu is here, for those interested) and we got in on the majority of what was being offered.

In addition to the polenta, potatoes, plantains, and fried bread that came to the table as side dishes, there was a cold cuts plate that offered prosciutto, salami, smoked salmon, and fresh mozzarella balls. We were served picanha, a cut of sirloin seasoned with either sea salt or garlic (we got both varieties); filet mignon wrapped in bacon (there was a version that was not bacon wrapped that we didn’t get); ribeye; Brazilian grilled shrimp; cordiero, a carving of leg of lamb; cordiero chops, lamb chops on the bone; lombo de porco, a pork tenderloin served with parmesan; linguica, a savory pork sausage link; frango, which was chicken breast wrapped in bacon; and costela de porco, or pork ribs. Everything was juicy, cooked to perfection, and needed absolutely no sauces or seasonings other than what was done in the kitchen. All totaled, we missed only five of the 16 cuts of meat from their menu, but we were delightfully full at that point.

The table next to us had two birthdays that they were celebrating, so we wished them happy birthday and took their recommendation on the crème brûlée for dessert. We split one, since my wife was getting full and I didn’t have any business with a full dessert of my own, and we got a couple cups of decaf coffee. Somewhere in passing during the meal we mentioned to our waiter that were were celebrating an anniversary, and after that point almost everyone that came to the table wished us happy anniversary. The crème brûlée arrived at the table just as you see it pictured above, personalized for our special occasion. It was absolutely divine and the coffee was an excellent compliment to the dessert.

We got our tab and noticed that they comped the dessert, along with a little note on the receipt saying “happy anniversary.” After we paid out, we made our way out with several of the staff wishing us a good night and a happy anniversary along the way.

It was pricey, but was exactly what the doctor ordered. It’d been so long since we’ve been able to do anything special for one another to celebrate a special occasion and we were figuratively starving for the experience. It was a beautiful ending to a very special day with the most special person in my life.

Yesterday was a good day.

Seventeen Years Ago …


Today is a special day. Seventeen years ago today I met these two girls. One of them took an immediate fancy to me, and the feeling was mutual. The other was her friend, and I thought she was nice. Before the weekend was over I had both of their numbers, each for a different reason.

The mutual attraction wound up being a fling, but the friend and I started hitting it off as she was going through a rough spot in her marriage, and making the decision to end it. Since I didn’t know him, I offered her an objective ear while she vented about the troubles she was having. It wasn’t long before we were on the phone talking for hours at a time. We lived three hours away from one another, so there wasn’t much of an opportunity for face to face time over coffee, but we did talk about pretty much everything. Before we knew it, there was a mutual attraction growing there as well. Her divorce went through, and eventually we made the decision to try dating, and that led to a months-long series of three hour trips between towns on the weekends. That in turn led to us moving in together.

She was always very clear that she didn’t want to get married again, but eventually she changed her mind on that. I asked her to marry me in front of 400 people and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today is the seventeenth anniversary of the day I met the woman that would become my wife. It’s been a bumpy road in places, but I cannot imagine spending the last seventeen years of my life – and all the rest to come – without her by my side.

I love you dearly, Stacy, more than there are stars – and until they all go out.

NaBloPoMo Day 10: The First Year


Today marks the one year anniversary of MWMISOSELF.com, and so today I thought I’d take a look back on the previous year. WordPress provides a very good dashboard that tracks a lot of statistics automatically, and so here’s what the numbers are telling me about the blog. As of this writing …

I’ve had 3,061 views from 1,788 visitors, for an average of 1.71 views per visitor.

This is my 164th post. On average, I’ve posted something every 2.23 days.

The most popular post I’ve ever written was called Surrender, written on February 20, 2015. It has 68 views currently.

February 20th was also the single most popular day I had on my blog. I had 57 views that day.

February 20th was ALSO the last day I posted for over two months, posting again on May 6th. I had a similar dry spell between August 7th and September 21st. Both of these periods coincide with periods I wasn’t properly medicated, so it’s a good bet to say that if you don’t see me writing every few days or so, I’ve likely gone off my meds – not by choice, but by circumstance.

The most popular day to read my blog is Monday, with 24% of views coming that day.

The most popular time to read my blog is in the 4:00 pm hour. I presume that’s local to me. I’m in the Central US time zone, so that makes it the 10:00 pm hour UTC/GMT. Eleven percent of my views have come during that hour.

By far the most visitors to my site have been from the United States, but I’ve also been viewed in 33 other countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Réunion, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam. (I have personally met people who live in Australia, Canada, Thailand, and the United Kingdom, so that leaves 29 countries in there that I don’t know a soul.)

To be fair, I know that these numbers are almost certainly padded by bots accessing my website, but I like to think that the majority of these numbers are from actual people sitting in front of an actual screen reading my actual words. I’d like to hope that hidden somewhere in the jumble of my thoughts over the last year I’ve given someone the inspiration to keep fighting and the knowledge that they aren’t alone.

YOU aren’t alone, if you suffer from mental illness.

Know that if you need someone to talk to, all you need to do is let me know in the comments and I’ll figure something out. I’ll be happy to listen. I won’t judge, I won’t give unsolicited advice, and I won’t tell anyone about your experiences, even under the guise of “this guy told me …”

This past year hasn’t been easy for me, and I wrote a whole blog post about this yesterday, but I want to thank you all again for reading this blog. Just as I hope I’ve inspired you, you’ve helped to give me the strength to keep fighting. Thank you for that.

NaBloPoMo Day 9: A Sincere Thank You


Tomorrow celebrates the one-year anniversary of the start of this blog. It’s not a really big going concern. I don’t have a lot of regular readers, I haven’t had anything go viral, and I’m not really competing to become the next cewebrity.

But over the past year, I’ve shared my thoughts about my physical and mental illnesses, my ups and downs, my fiction, my interests, and generally speaking my life with you. Some of you have been along for the ride since the beginning, others are more recent. But I want to thank each and every one of you for reading my words.

I’m not the best writer, especially when it comes to journaling. I don’t worry too much about sentence structure, I tend toward run-on sentences, and I can be a little verbose (though I do try to keep a careful eye on my spelling and grammar, cause I’m one of those people). But knowing that you’re there, even if you haven’t left me a comment, helps me immensely in sharing the story of my life. When I write, I write in much the same way as I would talk to you face-to-face. I imagine this being my part of a conversation between the two of us. Knowing you’re there inspires me to be a better writer.

You inspire me to want to be a better person as well. Writing to you holds me accountable on my journey to improve my life. Right now, my life isn’t really much to talk about. I stay at home most of the time, I hardly ever go out, and there’s only so many things that I can do in a two-bedroom apartment worth talking about. What I am doing, however, is trying to get past the issues that put me on disability in the first place, and get my head and my life back to a point that I can be a contributing member of society once more. It’s time I started taking that a lot more seriously than I have been. It’s one thing to be too ill to work for a week, but it’s coming up on four years I’ve been out of work dealing with my demons. And with the help of this blog, I feel like improving is a necessity and, hopefully, an eventuality.

I hope that next year will bring me progress on all of my illnesses and that I’ll have a lot more adventures to share with you. But for coming along on the journey that was my first year of blogging, thank you ever so much.

May 18, 2015: Three Good Things


1. Today is the first anniversary of the day that a little tuxedo kitten literally wandered in our door and stole our hearts. Two Socks owns the place now, and we, her dutiful staff, have showered lavish gifts upon her today, such as liberal time chasing the red dot, seafood gooshy food, and chopped up bits of cold boiled shrimp.

2. I took the next step in maintaining my psych medication regimen: I called for an intake appointment with the county mental health services (since I’m on Medicare, that’s where I was referred to). Still waiting on a call back, but I have the number of the person who made the referral and she asked me to call her back if I had problems, so come Wednesday if I haven’t heard anything I’m going to light a fire under someone’s butt.

3. We watched The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies for the first time. We liked it, but like many others, found it lacking somehow (having never read Tolkien, I’m unsure where it was lacking, but there was a distinct feeling that the ending raised more questions than it answered).