3653 days ago today I came to on the floor of a Las Vegas hotel room bathroom. Thankfully, so far, that was the last time I came to in that condition. My gratitude for the sobriety I have and the people who have helped me along the way on my path cannot be fully expressed. However that deep gratitude is there and it sustains my soul.
Real Patriots don’t storm their own Capitol.
Make love, make music, make community, make peace …not war.
U2 – Where The Streets Have No Name – 1987 – Live in Downtown Los Angeles
To say that uncertainty rules my head today is an understatement.
I decided it’s best to pause and escape to a place of bliss, a place I’ve spent many enjoyable hours, a place where I can feel life living itself through every muscle fiber and sensation of my being, a place where I can truly escape.
I’m escaping, if only for 5 minutes, to a dance floor of my past.
Round and Round – New Order – 1989
How about joining me for a twirl?
Music is a healing source for me. This particular tune has always been a beautiful comfort in a sometimes confusing world.
The Moody Blues – Tuesday Afternoon – 1967 – Days of Future Past
Real Estate is a contact sport, even without physical contact. Today I got sucker punched right in the belly and it hurts.
Friends, whom I trusted almost more than most any of my other friends, to whom I’d sold them their home some 25 years ago called me about three years ago to sell said home. We met, discussed marketing and set up a time line for repairs, improvements and preparations to which a couple months later I got a call that selling the home would be postponed. When postponement time rolled around we again looked at needed repairs and improvements only to have that can kicked out another 6 months. Again we meet to look at it all only to postpone again, and again and again.
Three years later, which was last weekend, I received a message while traveling home from a much needed vacation urgently needing to meet to discuss selling the home. Last Monday I arrive and the painters are there working. They are actually going to sell it, finally after three years of postponements. We set out a schedule for finalizing the preparation, staging, photography and tomorrow we were supposed to meet to finalize price and paperwork.
Today I got an urgent text asking to meet at my office. My first thought was if they are postponing again, as history would have it, why so urgent to meet at office right now? I was available and we decided to meet in 10 minutes.
I arrive, they arrive and we sit down.
Then the least expected words were spoken, “We are going to list our home with another agent.” Gut meet fist, as said fist punches you. I was flabbergasted, speechless.
This is someone I considered a really close friend, someone I trusted emphatically and someone I’ve always deeply respected. This is a friend first, past client second who has referred multiple other people, including their own family members, over the years for whom I’ve always given exceptional service.
Then comes the second punch: “We know that you would give us exceptional service, utmost honest dealings and that you would have our best interest at heart, but we need someone who’s more enthusiastic. Also we want you to know it’s not that the other agent quoted a higher value as you both came in exactly at the same asking price and sales costs, we just need more enthusiasm .”
More enthusiasm? It’s been three years so please give me at least a few days to realize, and believe, you are actually going to sell.
As I walked them to the door of the office and closed the doors behind them the tears started streaming down my cheeks. Two of the people who’ve been two of the biggest cheerleaders in my career and two people whom I’ve always looked up to, trusted and admired didn’t even give me the chance to present what I could do, as the presentation was scheduled for tomorrow, and dismissed me after 3 years of postponements for an agent that they apparently were just introduced.
Am I really that bad at what I do?
My dear co-worker Rocky comforted me as I sobbed and helped me back to reality and encouraged me to at least plead my case to them by calling them to convey that no one other agent could better care and represent them with any more enthusiasm than I could because I did love and care for them and I really do have their best interest at heart.
I did call to no answer. I left a message.
After I left the office Rocky text me this beautiful statement of encouragement: “I hope she calls. She needs to remember what she loves about you. You absolutely are her best advocate and she needs to be reminded of your heart and your determination to do the very best for her that anyone would be capable of doing. Anybody can be enthusiastic but you can’t fake genuine care.”
Thank you Rocky. I treasure your words. I really do have my client’s best interest at heart. So therefore I’m pretty damn good at what I do.
But damn it hurts.
I have to admit that I love receiving Christmas Cards. I used to send them every year, but alas time became an issue as life got busier and I haven’t sent but just a few since the turn of the century.
We do still get a good number of them, even though we no longer reciprocate. I enjoy opening them and reminiscing about the friends who have taken the time to keep up the tradition. Maybe one day I’ll slow down and start the tradition again of sending holiday cards to my beloved friends and family.
Let’s say I enjoy all the cards with the exception of one we receive each year that has frankly started to creep me out.
A number of years ago we started to receive a Christmas card from a couple that was at the most a one time acquaintance and an acquaintance we don’t remember. We don’t know them, we don’t know where they live nor do we know what they do. We don’t share friends with them, a social circle or any interest that we are aware of.
Their cards are always professionally custom photographed showing the happy couple and their beautiful children. The photographs always number about 6-8 covering both outside and inside the card. They are always dressed in a matching theme and life looks as if it’s perfect…actually make that more than perfect.
In other words, the Christmas card itself is as disturbing as the fact it always arrives like clockwork the day after thanksgiving. Perfect card, perfect family and perfect timing, but who the fuck are they?
This years arrived like clockwork. However there was a new twist. The new twist was the fact it was, for the very first time, bulk mailed. Fucking bulk mailed. Yes the perfect stranger family has apparently grown their Christmas card list, of people who don’t know who the fuck they are, so large they are now using bulk mail.
Tom Watts – Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis
Fearsome believes that the dead never really die. We live in an energy field and energy is constant. Constant but ever changing moving into form, through form and out of form.
The potential energy stored in the atoms of a rock is the same energy stored in the atoms within the molecules of my body, as is the same energy of the atoms of the air we breathe and the water we consume and even the same energy of the sun and the stars.
We are just simply stardust. Just stardust into another form.
Therefore the dead are with us just as we will be here, or somewhere near, in a different form after we die as well.
The movie CoCo tells the story of Dia de Los Muertos. Living in a place where I can see Mexico from my bedroom window just some 15 miles to the south, Dia de Los Muertos is a holiday we cherish. I believe it is honorable to remember those who have given us the lives we have.
May those who have loved you, and you have loved, be with you on this day of celebration.
It’s been a rough day.
We all have ‘em once in a while.
When having such a day, I like to listen to a tune that makes me feel good.
Today I need this tune.
Happy Together – The Turtles – 1967
Act with integrity.
Respect your neighbor.
Help those in need.
In memory of our beloved boy Virgil May 5, 2002 – September 10, 2019
Our little old man has passed on. He has now joined his sister Mitzi in a spiritual realm.
Virgil joined us in October of 2002 as a first birthday present of sorts for his older half sister Mitzi. He was from a second litter her mother had from a different father 8 months after her birth. He was an awkward looking puppy that actually seemed as if he might have a slight birth defect. Possibly from an unhealthy mother did who had her litters to close together. The owner of the mother had him left as no one would take him and was about to take him to the humane society. I gave the guy money to have the mother fixed and I brought Virgil home to foster until I could find him a home.
Needless to say he was a hit with Mitzi from moment one.
Our Dalmatian, Mattie, was having issues with a rambunctious 5 month old playing with a wild one year old and got snappy with him. I had a favorite line from Greater Tuna that popped out of my mouth when scolding Mattie for scolding the puppies. I sternly warned her and said “Mattie! Quit it now! …. Mattie, I’m gonna knock you into next week!” That line was used by the character Vera Carp in the funeral home scene toward her son Virgil so the original line was “Virgil! quit it now! …”
I don’t know how to cut it out of here but if you just want to see that line, start at 26:00 and run through 28:10. (This is actually the HBO production of the entire play, if you have time it’s fantastic.)
At that moment not only did Virgil now have a name, but he also had a home. That scared little dog that I took from the back seat of the marina dockworker’s car to foster had a forever home where he continued to live a long, happy and very healthy life for the next 16 years and 11 months. His home was right here with us.
Over his years here our family has lost, and our family has grown.
Others that Virgil shared our home with that passed on before him were our beloved Liver spotted Dalmatian Mattie, our sweet Chocolate Lab Diva and the rescue of our senior Border Collie Nina that was featured here on Fearsome Beard in 2014. Right now instead of here in our bed, he is there with his familiar housemates and sister that he hasn’t been with in a while.
Virgil was a happy and healthy boy until the very end. Yesterday he was out on our patio sunning with Betty. He was mobile and out their on his own accord. It wasn’t until last night just before bedtime that he showed signs something may be amiss. He lost his balance and couldn’t stand. He was just off balance, we’ve seen that in other older dogs before and seen it pass quickly so we did not worry. We carried him to bed and he actually had a good night. However this morning he worsened and his deterioration was fast and he did not suffer. He died very unexpectedly in my arms.
He had a great life here with us as we had with him.
Virgil we will forever love you. We will forever be grateful that you were part of our lives. You will live on in us as we share the love you placed into our hearts with all the others we touch.
Virgil, this is not goodbye as we will see you on the other side. Until then continue to share your love with your canine family that has been awaiting your arrival. Your kisses enrich us. Your snuggles comfort us. Your love fills us.
Virgil, I love you, we all love you.
Until then, Godspeed.
Growing up in Appalachia , this tune is one I know from childhood.
I consider life a gift from a power, essence or spirit that I don’t understand. Part of that gift is that I don’t have to understand where the gift comes from. I get to experience the love and beauty without ever feeling in debt to do or return anything.
As I wasn’t here before my life, I will not be here after it. I will physically be gone from here and now, but not necessarily gone from what we understand to be a universe. I don’t need to know anything more than that.
When I die I wish to be cremated. I wish for my ashes to be discretely dropped on a specific hillside above the sea on a nearby Southern California Island known as Catalina. No one is to know, but the couple of close loved ones who accidentally drop my ashes there, exactly where this spot is. As my ashes are dropped, they will start to fly out over the land and the sea. Those that find the land their home will continue to both blow into the wind as well as meld into the earth eventually eroding their way into air and the nearby sea as well.
Therefore my body and my spirit shall fly away, wash away and float away. I’ll still be here and there. I’ll be wherever I’m supposed to be.
Rising Appalachia – I’ll Fly Away – traditional live – 2012
Simple and beautiful, enjoy.
Note: If those whom I love and love me wish to gather for any type of memorial after I am gone, they are free to do so in any fashion just as long as it’s fun, celebratory, simple and this traditional Appalachian folk tune is played.
Often the illusion is that the easier path for dealing with problems is to run away from them, avoid them or ignore them.
In my experience avoidance is my default. I have found that I must remind myself daily that the true easier path is to acknowledge my problem, feel that emotions surrounding my problem and then to face the problem and walk through it. Not all problems are easily resolved. However I’ve found that the only way they are ever resolved is to deal with them head on. No matter how hard issues appear, resolution is always easier and better than running away.
Lil Nas X , Fearsome’s favorite out and proud rapper, dropped this new tune this morning. I found it’s message helpful in many ways.
Lil Nas X – Panini – Official Video – 2019
Visualize what you want. Say what you want. Move toward what you want.
Let’s just say I was called out today in the comments section of another blog to be an Internet Troll. It turned into quite the Kerfuffle. Thankfully many other commenters in that wonderful community came to my defense. I greatly appreciate them. I don’t like to point fingers by calling out someone by name, so therefore I will not do that. I will however say it was wretched, simply wretched.
I commented on another’s comment with a quick one liner that was supportive of the commenters comment, on topic and in keeping with the nature of the comments for the blog. I know the nature of the blog as I’ve been a daily reader for most of said blogs 15 year existence. I rarely comment but do on rare occasion should something come to mind that fits and I’m in the mood to.
My reprimand wasn’t from the person for whom I commented with support, but out of left field from someone who wasn’t even previously even in the conversation. I was told to “go away” because I apparently didn’t have enough previous comments recorded in my records to be there or have an opinion. I was called both an “Internet Troll” and a “sock puppet.”
So being the contemplative Beard that Fearsome is, he asked me to google the definition of Internet Troll. On Wikipedia we found this definition:
In Internet slang, a troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses and normalizing tangential discussion, whether for the troll’s amusement or a specific gain.
Hmmmm. Fearsome then started to wonder what defined Sock puppet, Wikipedia defines it as:
A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception. The term, a reference to the manipulation of a simple hand puppet made from a sock, originally referred to a false identity assumed by a member of an Internet community who spoke to, or about, themselves while pretending to be another person.[
Lets then look at what happened. I commented on topic, in keeping with the nature and in support of the commenter to which I commented. Out of left field someone aggressively tries to upset and distract from the comment thread by making an unfounded off topic inflammatory name calling statement, directed at me simply because I didn’t have enough comments in my history to satisfy their personal minimum threshold.
Looking at this honestly, who would actually fit the definition of Internet Troll here?
As far as sock puppet, I had never ever heard that term but let’s again look at this. On Disqus you can click on the user and see their profile. If you click on mine it’s open for all to see. One can read all my comments and even click a link to this here blog thingy, and this here blog thingy leads directly to me as I have nothing to hide. If you click on said user that did the name calling their Disqus profile is labeled “Private” and one cannot see their past comments nor anything about them.
Looking at this honestly, which profile might better fit that of a sock puppet?
I’ve found in life that an aggressive accuser is often guilty of the very indiscretions to which he/she is falsely accusing another. I was brought up in the south and we had a little saying there that seems to fit. That saying is simply “Glass Houses”.
James Corden made this video when the stirrings of the threat to oust our Trans brothers and sisters from the military. Unfortunately that then threat is now real.
Unfortunately the threat deepens as that “administration” has decided to push the discrimination further by now attempting to sway the SCOTUS to rule that title VII does not extend to sexual identity therefore enshrining discrimination via precedent. In other words the executive branch pressuring the judicial branch to interpret that anyone can discriminate against and fire (or deny housing to, or, or, or…) someone for simply being transgender. Anyone or any entity.
Please stand with your fellow human beings, in our very communities, who are simply living their lives, living them to the best of their abilities. What’s in between anyone’s legs is between them and their god or non-god. Period.
Oh, and mark my words, they aren’t planning on stopping here.
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
I am exhausted.
I pause to take a good look into the mirror and examine why.
Why have a stopped reading my blogs? I read only the news these days.
Why am I usually feeling angst, anger, frustration and fear? I read only the news these days.
Why am I tired and distracted? I read only the news these days.
Why have I started feeling defeated and depressed? I read only the news these days.
Why do I only read the news these days? Because I’ve allowed the fear and alarm that is being spewed every single moment to enter into my psyche and alter my thoughts, dreams and values.
I have a choice. I can choose to continue down the slope I’m on and into a bad spiral, or I can choose to make another choice.
This morning for the first morning in recent memory, I chose to start my day by starting a book I’ve been wanting to read. I got my coffee, spinach smoothie and plain oatmeal and read as I consumed my daily breakfast. By no coincidence the book I started today is appropriately named The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Egar.
My day started better. I read, I thought and I felt better. I blog to share, but I also blog to reinforce. Reinforce, inside of me, the better choice I just made.
I am better equipped to help myself, my family, my friends, my community, my country and my world if I put my oxygen mask on first. My oxygen is positivity and the good that still really does surround me. Through that I can find light.