Life’s Little Curveballs

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Well, let’s see here where to begin. First of all this is being written on my 7″ tablet so I don’t want to hear any complaints about the end result. Deal? As you can see by the picture taken this very morning I am alive and well. It has been one hell of a week and a half for me. Before I actually start I would like to apologize for my lack of being here. Its been a mixed bag and I haven’t really had blogging on my mind until today. Why today? Perfect question which has no answer. I haven’t been looking forward to having to write a post on my tablet but this is what I currently have to work with for now. What happened is the question I have been getting for close to two weeks now. What happened, indeed.

It appears the company I formally worked for was dealing with a financial crisis for reasons that are, in reality, pathetic and as a result myself and 9 other poor bastards were laid off, effective immediately on Monday, 17 February 2014. For me personally it was the end of a trip lasting close to five years. What can I do? Cry about it? No. Why? Because I don’t want to. Its not who I am as a person. However, as far as my blog goes, it might just cripple it until I can get an actual laptop since I no longer have access to my PC at work. But, I guess it is what is is. More so, the loss of income temporarily is also going to make an impact. As well as the fact that I provided the family medical, dental, and vision insurance. Losing that is fine as well, picking up the pieces hasn’t been easy but it has been very doable. For me personally, I have been able to get into the VA medical system, which has been interesting. I will write more on that later.

So, yes it was devastating, and yes, it has caused a little riff in my life, but, life goes on, even for me. In fact, we are still taking our family vacation starting next Friday to South Dakota to visit with my daughter and granddaughter over the spring break holiday. I will do my best to get some pictures and stories up of my travels and y’all can always check out what I will post on the fly to Google+, Facebook, and now Twitter. Of course, I will try to do my best writing here as well, it seems to always been a good place to talk to myself in the past.

Thanks to everyone’s emails, texts, and messages. I really appreciate everyone’s concern for my well being. Well, except for one of the haters who hoped I was dead to explain my absence. Sorry to keep this short, but its a pain in the ass writing on this thing. Stick around, much to happen as time progresses.

In Case Y’all Were Wondering

I just wanted to take a moment and advise y’all that I am experiencing technical difficulties in the real world. I will update here as soon as possible. Just know I have not abandoned everyone. Its just a little difficult posting now because of it. Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding.

Having My Very Own Magic Weekend

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To begin with, my wife and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day in a traditional (commercial) way. For the most part is it just another day on the calendar that comes and goes with little to no notice. We tend to avoid all the typical things like flowers, candy, and fighting crowds to go out to eat. We both see it as a waste. We will exchange a card (sometimes) but if nothing is said, done, or acknowledged it isn’t dwelled upon by either of us. To be honest, we don’t need a “holiday” for us to get together in any regard. I had plans of making my special version of chicken cordon bleu and I was looking forward to our dinner plans since it was supposed to be just my wife and me. When I got home I was getting prepared to assemble the chicken, the wine was being chilled, and the oven was warming up. Soon after, my wife strolls through the door and tells me we have plans, so stop what I’m doing so we can get dressed. Plans? We don’t do “plans” on Valentine’s day, ever, not even when we were just dating. It’s hard to wear my pissy face when my wife is all excited. Well, let me put everything up so it doesn’t go to waste and turn off the oven for sure.

I follow her to the bedroom which was a pleasant trip because all the way to the bedroom she was shedding clothes. It was like a mobile strip tease. She puts on her robe, if you can call it a robe, sits down to redo her hair and make-up. I decided to jump in the shower to knock the day off and freshen up a bit. My wife isn’t worried because she knows I’m an in and out of the shower kind of guy so she knows I wont take long. Unless, she was to join me, the I’m still the in and out guy but the shower takes a little longer. But, not this time, this was a solo sudsing to say the very least. Five minutes later I emerged, squeaky clean and ready to rock & roll. She took the opportunity to lay my clothes out for me. When I saw what it was I was struck with a little disappointment because I knew what it meant. Laid out on the bed were my black Wrangler jeans, which I hate because they are too tight in the ass and crotch, leaving very little room to breathe normally. Next to the jeans was my red long-sleeved “western” shirt, a very nice shirt which I only wear when we are going out dancing at the redneck clubs. This night is taking a bad turn, I think I might be feeling ill. On the floor were my nice western boots, which I hadn’t worn since my foot surgery a few months ago. I really like these boots, I have had them for 20 plus years and cannot wear them out for nothing, but then it is hard to wear out alligator skin, these are black too, of course. She was wanting me to go all out I see as my black Stetson and nice black leather belt with the headstone belt buckle were also laying on the bed next to everything.

She goes into the closet and emerges with a handful of clothes which I didn’t get to see and she heads off to the bathroom. I proceeded to get dressed, getting all redneck pimped out for who knows what reason. It will be good though, we don’t go out, just her and I, much any more. Fifteen minutes later she slinks out of the bathroom looking like a stunning redneck angel, looking allot like the day we met so many years ago. Then she asked for my help, she needed me to lace up her leather corset for her and well as pull up the zipper on her pants. Strange, I like it the other way, unlacing and unzipping, but not tonight, she is on a mission I can tell. I’m surprised she is wearing these jeans, they are so tight that is she wasn’t shaven then we could count the short and curlys. Lucky for us she took care of business. These are my favorite jeans, they fit her like a latex glove that is 3 sizes too small. I remember buying these jeans a few years ago, she is a tricky one to buy jeans for as not all jeans conform to a woman’s body the same way for each woman. I never mind going jeans shopping because it is always a show that I don’t want to miss. For those of you new here, my wife is 5’1″, 108 lbs, natural blonde, and she is still very proud of her boobs because after 2 children and being forty years old now, she still has yet to start “drooping”. She told me once I will never have to be one of those husbands who spends tens of thousands of dollars on boob jobs for his wife.

So, due to the nature of her clothing she will be going commando all the way around, as the leather corset does not leave room for a bra. So, now the hard part, I get to put on her socks and her boots for her. I tried to teach her years ago to put the pants on half on way and then put her boots on before she pulls them all the way up. But, she likes it this way it would seem. Now that she is all buttoned, laced, and zipped, she moves back to the mirror to finish up with her hair. I’m a lucky man in many senses of the word, but I feel lucky personally because my wife wears very little make up, mostly eye make up and a little something to throw off the blend of color in her face. She decided to wear her hair down with is nice for me because I always see it up in a ponytail or up in some fashion. I tend to forget her hair is almost down to her ass because I rarely see it down. She’s up to something, she is trying to distract me from something, so I better watch closely so I don’t miss what it is. After a little bit more primping I brushed my teeth and wetted my hair down to stand it back up, a high and tight flat top is such a hard hair style to maintain said no man ever. Final look at both of us, grab my Stetson, and away we go. There she goes down the hall, what a sway she has after all these years, she has never lost it, I do enjoy watching her walk away from me.

As we are walking out the door she mentions she wants to go big and asks if we can take the H1. Sure why not, nothing like trying to squeeze this bitch into a compact car parking spot. I joked with her and told her to grab the butter because it might be a tight fit here in a bit. As we are leaving the neighborhood she is quiet about where we are headed which I hate when I’m driving because I like to know in advance where we are going. We head into town, she tells me where to turn and where to go and soon enough I knew what she was up to. We were fixing to head into a place I know real well as I used to bartend here many years ago, many years ago. Lucky for me they were providing valet parking so I wasn’t going to drive around the giant lot looking for a spot. I got out, went around to the passenger side to help my wife out, and turned to give my keys to this 12 y/o kid, well, he looked 12 at least. I’m thinking that I hope he is tall enough to reach the pedals as I chuckled out loud as we walked. We were greeted at the door by friends my wife works with, I knew this was a damn trap, and we all went in together. Bonus, ladies have no cover charge, bummer, men have a $25.00 cover, ouch. Bonus again, the attendant remembers me and she gives me a break for the promise that my wife will let me give her a dance later. My wife actually agrees to it. What she doesn’t know is she don’t want to dance with me, she wants to grind up and down my leg and if she hasn’t changed she wont be wearing a stitch under that super short mini skirt.

We get in and the freaking place is packed, like 1,000 people over the building capacity packed. I decided to go to the bar and see what I could scare up, we order our drinks and the bartender asks my wife for her I.D., so I had it in my shirt pocket show she showed it and put it back. The group of us made our way to the outside edge of the club and actually found a booth which held the six of us. It’s the perfect place to sit, close to the bar, close to the restroom, and close to the mechanical bull bar. I told my wife already that I would support her if she wanted to give it a spin but I refuse, those days are over for me, way over, years ago, way over. She gave me the “uh huh wink” so I knew we would be arguing later. The ladies all left to go take a powder or whatever the fuck they all do as a gang going to the restroom. Still, to this day, at 45, I don’t understand why it takes one woman at least two other women to pee. Maybe I’m missing something, maybe I need to start spying. Will I ever know the answer? Nope. I decided to go get in line to throw some darts, nothing mixes well better than alcohol and pointy object you get to throw. Man, don’t people move on with their lives, it was like seeing the same people from years ago, except they got a little fatter and gained a few more wrinkles. I lit a cigarette and laid my money on the table. How boring, playing 501 in and out. My wife located me and said she will be out dancing when I’m done, and don’t make her wait or she will grab some young buck and make him wet himself. Awww, she’s such a damn tease.

My turn at the dart board, luckily I went to the H1 and grabbed my darts. Time flies when you can’t lose. It wasn’t because I’m that good, it is because they sucked that much ass. Made me look good and put a little money in my pocket. The last game a cocky sucker wanted a rematch because he felt he had been cheated because he “runs” these dart boards and he “owns” every bitch who steps up. Well, shit, nobody told me I had to ask permission to beat someone’s ass here. Fine, it’s my last match because I had a wanting women giving me the evil eye every dart I threw. Step up, put down some money. After some really big talk, by both of us, the bet was settled, $1000.00 winner takes all, best of three games. I showed my wad, coincidently that wad belonged to the others I beat here since I walked in with only a hundred to throw down for darts. Bam, Bam, I owned and dominated the first two games, no questions and no problems. I picked up my money and walked off to get another shot of tequila on my way to the dance floor. Lets hope I can remember how to dance now, maybe another shot of liquid courage, or three, yeah, four was the magic number. Dance we will, look out ladies, fresh meat coming through. A crowded dance floor full of horny drunk women is a place I would rarely walk alone, but I had to muster though the groping, grinding, and package checks to get to my wife, who always likes the center of the dance floor.

By the time I got to her I was already sweating, what is it in her 666 degrees! Then the world went into slow motion the moment I was in front of my wife, she had sweat rolling down the sides of her face, she was glistening, he hair was all tossed about, and she was just going to town, she had that just fucked put away wet look, this is going to be a good night to be me I can feel it already. We danced, we danced allot, finally after an hour or so, all those shots were talking to my bladder, it was time to make a break for the head before they had to clean a mess up on the dance floor and wet saw dust is so hard to sweep. I seemed like an hour to get off the dance floor, I could see the giant sign that said “<—- Cowboys Cowgirls —>” in bright neon lights, I was really close. Finally, I made it in just enough time to stand in line. The line moved fast enough, if molasses in the winter in North Dakota is fast, and finally I get in to go. Saying what a relief it actually was would be the understatement of the century, I haven’t had to hold it in like that since I was about 6 and never what to have to do it again. Okay, let me the hell out of this zoo before I get anymore wayward drunk piss on my boots, I hate it when a man can’t even have the common courtesy to piss on his own boots, he has to piss on mine. Now that I’m out I am trying to see which direction I need to head, got it, time to start pushing through. About 15 feet from the rest room I feel a hellacious crash to the back of my head, I fall forward to catch myself, turn around, and see the jackass that lost all of his money because he sucked playing darts.

I was told it was one great fight. I was told I held my own quite well against this 20 something punk. Luckily for me, as I was told, I won’t need any medical attention, and I won’t be going to jail if the police can locate my wife in the club. The dumbass, however, gets a trip in the ambulance and then will be headed to jail. Apparently, all of his boys ratted him out when they were talking to witnesses where he had said he was going to kill me if I didn’t give his money back. I love redneck clubs! Within 30 minutes my wife was walking up to the police cruiser where I was sitting. How nice, she has my Stetson. No words were spoken. No looks were given. Just a soft hand held out to help me out of the back seat of the car. The valet asked if we were ready to go and I said of course. He returned with my H1 and I put my wife in and I got in. Hungry, we went across the street to IHOP to get a snack or something. We sat there, staring at each other for a few minutes when she finally asked if it was worth it. Worth it? Was what worth it? I dug the two grand out of my pocket and put it in her hand and told her the guy was a sore loser and wanted his wad back. Her head sunk for a moment and when she looked back up she told me that this would have been a piss poor reason to get killed in the redneck club, she said this with a slick little smirk on her face because she thought the little fight was over something else stupid, like me running my mouth. Me, never.

We wrapped it up, paid the tab, and headed home. It was about 3 in the morning, I was tired, really sore, and I just wanted to be free of the meat locker jeans. After undressing, I jumped in the shower to soak a bit. A little while passed and I open my eyes to my wife standing in front of me as the shower rained down. She reached out, put her arms around me, pulled me tight, told me she is glad I’m not dead, and we stood there and soaked for a good while. Afterwords we both toweled off and headed for the bedroom. I told her I would be back in a few minutes since I was headed outside to smoke. She agreed, declined my invitation to join me, and off I went. I smoked two, locked up, got a drink of water, killed the lights, and ended up in front of our bed. It was a vision of an angel, the lights were on, the television was on, and my naked wife was sprawled out across the bed sideways. As tempting as this might all look, it was probably best, she looked tired, amazing, but tired, I was sore from my ass whoopin’, so I just fixed her in the bed and was out within a matter of minutes. When I woke up the next morning I realized I just had my very own Magic Weekend and figured I would have a go at telling my story. I remember now, that moments like these don’t happen on purpose, nor does everyone get to be as lucky as I am having the wife I have. She might not always agree with me but she will always be at my side, even if she is passed out cold bare assed naked.

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Just Playing With My Pachinko Balls

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Say it, pachinko, say it real slow so it just rolls off your tongue, pachinko. Now your asking, what’s pachinko (パチンコ) and why am I saying it? The overly simple description pachinko is that it’s a Japanese vertical pinball game. The rules are simple, shiny silver balls are fired from the top before cascading down through series of pins tumbling downward, most balls would disappear while a few may got into special holes that activates slot machines. The goal of the game is to gain more balls which can be exchanged for prizes. The operation of the game is actually really mechanical leaving the player with very little to do except defining the speed and rate the balls are fired upwards into play. It truly is a game of luck.

What does any of this have to do with me personally? Good question. I’m very glad you asked. Before I lived in Japan I had never seen a pachinko machine or pachinko parlor. Unless you count the pachinko game they would play on occasion on The Price Is Right way back when. However, the exterior of the pachinko parlors around where I lived reminded me of times I had visited Reno and Las Vegas which meant one of two things, casino or strip club. I had driven by a few pachinko parlors for the first year or so of living in northern Japan and never had an interest in finding out what was really going on inside these always packed 24/7 buildings. Biggest reason was money, we were poor and didn’t have spare money to go and gamble away.

One day that all changed, I had been out walking around an area called Green Pole Road which was basically an array of small shops, restaurants, and open farmers market. It had a mix of many things depending on what mood you were in. It was also host to most of the festivals and parades that came through Misawa. Anyway, I heard the noise of the pachinko parlor around the corner ahead of where I was walking. So, I decided to poke my head in and check out what pachinko was. The very first thing that alarms one’s senses is that it is freaking unbelievably loud. I can’t even dream up a way to describe how loud it was, just very loud, trust me I listen to heavy metal cranked up to the max, I know loud. No time to stand in the door tho, I was brushed ahead and seated immediately, seems I was blocking traffic while I was looking for the 4 seconds I stopped.

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I had some Yen so I decided what could it hurt. I was shown how to play and away we went. I was sitting only a matter of 10 minutes when lights, bells, whistles, and a cascade of balls made a noise so deafening that it made my whole body vibrate. Immediately an attendant came by with small plastic tray to be used to fill up with the balls. This went on for a few minutes and then as fast as it began it was over, except I had over 70 plastic trays packed full with shiny chrome balls. Now what? Exactly what I was thinking. Soon enough another attendant pushed through and began stacking the trays of balls into a flatbed dolly. He pulls my arm and was telling me something I couldn’t even hear. So, I just followed him to the cashier. The dumped all of my winnings into a counter, not unlike a machine that will count/sort change, and when it was all done it spit out a ticket with the quantity of balls. How many was it, don’t know exactly, but is was an assload of them for sure.

Then one guy, resembling the way an auctioneer would move his hands fast and talk fast, started showing me everything I could trade my winnings for. Start with a cheap plastic lighter and work your way up to some high dollar houses with every appliance, car, food, drink, tobacco product, known to man up for grabs. I guess I had a look on my face that I was interested in any of the exchange prizes so I was handed my ticket and walked out the front door. Before I could even begin to wonder what just happened another man leads me to the building next door. The reality of it is we went down the alley and stopped at a very nondescript door where we waited for a few moments before the small window opened. The receipt was taken from my hand and handed to someone I could not see, then the window closed. After a few minutes the window opened and the hand shoved out a plastic bag in my direction. The guy outside takes the bag and shoves it inside my jacket and points for me to go.

When I looked in the bag I saw it was full of money, allot of money. How much? Well, when I went to the credit union and did the currency exchange I was given just shy of $6500.00. Oddly enough I had only spent under $25.00 playing the game. After some checking I found out while there was all the cloak and dagger secrecy, gambling for cash is illegal in Japan. But, gambling for prizes is not, nor is selling your receipt (for a cut I found out). That would the first and last time I went to a pachinko parlor to gamble. However, when my parents came over for their visit I did take my dad, he won as well, but only a couple of hundred dollars. Oddly enough I don’t like gambling, I can think of a zillion different things I “should” be doing with my money, like paying bills. So, there you go, a little deeper into my life in Japan. I have many tales to tell about Japan, it was a very fascinating place to live, work, and raise a family.

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Stop Asking Me What Color It Is!

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For those of y’all who weren’t aware, I’m color blind, I suffer from deuteranopia (deu-ter-an-opia) (dü-tə-rə-ˈnō-pē-ə) to be more specific. Before I get into this post I want to give y’all some information that may help you in the future when you encounter person who suffers from color blind/ color deficient vision. Deuteranopia:(also called green-blind). In this case the medium wavelength sensitive cones (green) are missing at all. A deuteranope can only distinguish 2 to 3 different hues, whereas somebody with normal vision sees 7 different hues. Don’t forget that y’all also know how to Google things, but this time I helped y’all out. I don’t get angry easy, I don’t hate too many things (the list is real short), but I draw the line seeing the humor asking anyone who is color blind “what color something is” because it isn’t a game for us, period. We live our lives seeing this beautiful world the way we see this beautiful world and that is the end of that.

Now, I was not born color blind that I know of, or at least not completely according to my mother, but when it actually started I couldn’t tell you. I do know I failed my first driver’s license test because I failed to be able to distinguish the colored number hidden within the colored dots. After a trip to the optometrist it was declared that I was “suffering” from deuteranopia. The optometrist mentioned to my mother that it was probably accelerated a great deal due to some head trauma I had a little less than a year before. So, from age 16 on I have learned to trick my mind into seeing things that are not there. Memorization of certain things helps as well. I make do, as we all do, we do it everyday, not because it is a choice, but it is what it is and that is how we are forced to live.

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The times I hate most about being color blind is when someone new finds out. Why? It’s simple, because they immediately, and I mean absolutely immediately, begin asking me to tell them what color this thing is or what color do I see for that thing. Enough is enough. Here is the plain and simple truth, I don’t know what colors y’all are seeing in the first place so any comparison I make is pointless. I vowed, after today, to punch the next person in the face with a chair who asks me what color something is because, unlike for that person, it is not a joke to me. Therefore, my gift will be a chair to the face. Lights out bitches! I consider it rude and very insensitive to not take into consideration that it is a condition and not a choice, and it definitely is not a freaking game of red light green light or simon says.

I do get asked how this affects my daily life overall, in a nutshell, and how do I “cope” with it. Well, first, I don’t look at it as a handicap of any sorts, it’s just how my life is. There are challenges I assure you, but when one gets good enough at interpreting the world around himself it becomes much more easy. As an example, take driving into consideration, all signs, signals, and warnings are in color. It blows my wife’s mind still to this day because I can “tell” what “color” the traffic signal is and she doesn’t get out. All traffic lights are either vertical or horizontal, with the colors either top to bottom or left to right, red always being on top or on the left. So, when one is lit up I can tell which one it is and what I need to do, stop, caution, or go. My problem is single flashing signals because who in the hell knows what color they are flashing.

A few other challenges I have are when I cook, things turn a different color when heat is applied. For example, beef and other red meats I need help discerning when they get “browned” 50% of the time. How to overcome this set back? Everything has a time at a temperature when it begins to transition, so I cook by time and smell mostly. Which is why smoking foods is easy for me. Picking out my own clothes can be challenging. My solution? 98% of the clothes that are in my closet are black in some variation. All of my underwear are black. All of my socks are black. All of my boots and shoes are black. Both of my hats, cowboy and baseball, are black. My watch, wallet, belt, and even my wedding ring are black as well. However, I take my wife’s word for it if she tells me a color looks good on me if we are shopping. Colored or white shirts stand out in my closet trust me. So, y’all might ask if I like the color black and my answer is that the color black is easy. One cannot not mis-coordinate the color black, at least not in my world. I do have my fair share of camouflage as well, but that just goes where I live and what my hobbies are.

So, my advice to any one of y’all who feel your curiosity is warranted, justified, or just cute, just remember how a chair to the face will feel because that is how you make me feel. I’m not here on planet dirt to be someone’s parlor game or freak-show. If y’all want shit like that then go visit your local Walmart for fun. Does it suck being color blind? Not for me because I don’t have anything to compare it to. Last reminder. Chair. Face. Last bit before I close. It has been brought to my attention that the colors on my blog are all jacked up and sometimes it is hard to see. I know this, but that isn’t how I see it.

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