Sunday, May 10, 2015

Comedy in a world of not funniness.

There are a lot of reasons I fell in love with and married Chrissi. I'm not going to list them all here. Why? Because this isn't about all of the reasons, it's only about one. And I know me well enough to know that if I start to list the reasons, then I'll start to elaborate on them, and then this whole first paragraph will go off on a tangent, filled with pointless details that aren't relevant to the actual post I am writing today. Kinda like it just did.

So, what is this one true reason I am going to blog about on this day-of-the-mother? Ok, I won't keep you breathless with anticipation any longer.

Well, maybe a little longer.

She's funny. More to the point, she's MY kind of funny. I have the kind of a sense of humor that many people just don't get (or don't want!). Like saying kind-of-a instead of "kind of" in the previous sentence, in an obscure but hilarious nod to the line "what-a kind of a name is Stove?" from the movie Bridesmaids. You see, none of you people who aren't reading this laughed at that, but Chrissi would have.

Over the course of my long career in comedy (aka life), it is not unusual for people to stare at me blankly when I tell a joke or (what I think is) a funny story. But Chrissi? She does more than just "Get it". She elaborates on my insanity. Of course, being the gentleman that I am, I return the favor. Sometimes, with us, it's hard to know which one the insanity starts with on any given topic. Whether it's interchangeable penises, or a friendly game of "Punch Prius", instead of thinking it's strange or stupid when one of us says or does something inane or droll, the other of us that isn't the one of us that originally came up with said drollness just adds on to the run-on sentence. It's almost as if our brains are cosmically linked in some sort of space-time continuum. Or else we just think alike.

A quick example before I return to our Mother's Day festivities (which consists of me watching the kids while Chrissi does schoolwork. Sexy, huh?). A few weeks ago, we were driving back from a far-too-brief trip to Bristol. For some reason that I don't believe we ever actually figured out, traffic was inching along at a pace that a snail would be jealous of, for many miles. As anyone who's been stuck in traffic knows, the most frustrating part is not knowing why. It sometimes seems like a random punishment from God for not being funny. But maybe that's just me. Anyway, Chrissi and I were discussing what might be the cause, and talking about how other drivers were also probably wondering, when she saw a roadside sign that had been partially knocked down, making it difficult to read from far away. The sign was for some cave that was coming up at the next exit. It was obviously not related to the slow-down, but Chrissi said, "Oh, that's what it is. People are wondering what attraction is coming up, and the have to slow down to read it." Then she turns and yells, as if to the driver behind us, "It's a cave!"

That's funny, right? I mean, I don't know how well that translates when you're not in the moment, but it cracked me up, thinking about a line of cars full of people trying to read a knocked down road sign. So then, keeping with this post's topic about she and I building on each other's silliness, I also turned as if speaking to the driver behind us and shouted "Pass it down!"

She laughed when I did that. And that's why I married her.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

To Blog or Not to Blog

Not. Just kidding. But really, who has time to be witty and funny and interesting? Clearly not I. I yearn for those days of bloggage, when the words flowed from my fingertips like lightning from the nerdy wizard I used to play in D&D.

That's Dungeons and Dragons. Yes, I said it. I played it. I lived it. Not "LIVED IT" like Tom Hanks, in his portrayal of a college student playing a game incredibly similar to D&D, but without the lawsuit, in the HORRIBLE (yet hilarious) movie "Mazes and Monsters" (Aka Rona Jaffe's Mazes and Monsters). If you want to get a completely wrong idea of D&D, and the people who play it, you should watch that fine piece of cinematic wonderdom.

Shhh... don't tell anyone, but I really miss D&D. Playing characters, living adventures through them, getting drunk. I never understood the "loser" rap that D&Ders got. What could be cooler than drinking? Just kidding. To me, it was just like being an actor (though admittedly, talent was not required) working without a script. You create a character, you get to choose how he reacts to different events. You get to choose to be naughty or nice (Don't tell Santa!).

I remember the original D&D game. We sold it at the first place I worked at. Actually, we no longer sold it by the time I worked there, but there was some dusty backstock at the top of some shelf in the corner. It was a box with dice, a one page instruction sheet, and a pad of graph paper. That's it. There were practically no rules. There weren't the dozens of books detailing every possible situation that are out there now. First, second, third, hundredth editions. It's ridiculous. It was, and still should be, a game of imagination.

Maybe that's where it got the bad rap. People think only children should play games of imagination. If that's true, then people are dumb. Imagination stretches the mind. Imagination leads us to think, reason, solve problems, create. I'll be honest, I think I was a better thinker back when I used to play a manic, thieving, back-stabbing nutcase of an Elf with a God-complex. For some reason, that character always had trouble making friends...

I also always loved being the DM (Dungeon Master, for the uninitiated). Creating a world for people to play in, having to think of whatever wild, insane, and yes, stupid, things your players would do. Often having to think on your feet to deal with those wild, insane, stupid things you never even dreamed those idiots... I mean players, would do. It was all fun. I honestly wish I knew people nerdy enough - I mean, cool enough - to play with now. Sadly, my wife is very much not one of them. About the closest she'll come to playing D&D is watching "The Big Bang Theory". And that's just a sad mis-representation of how the game is played. Come to think of it, no wonder people who watch that show think D&D isn't cool: They don't drink when they play!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Let me tell you why I've called you all here...

You'll never guess how I ended up here. No, go ahead, try. Nope, that's not it. No, that's not it either. Give up? Okay, I'll tell you....

For some reason I decided to look at my rarely used twitter account. I mean, I tweet occasionally from my phone, but I almost never look at my account. So, while there I noticed a familiar picture where it listed those I follow. Dee. I honestly dont remember how or when I added her, and I'm pretty sure I hadn't really looked at her profile because I didn't recognize anything. But I saw she was doing a new blog about motherhood. It made me happy to know she and her baby are ok.

Anyway, that blog led back to her old blog (with a new address), which she decided to start posting at again. I may never fully understand the love/hate relationship she and I had, but after all this time I still miss her. Well, I miss the old her. I miss the love - not so much the hate (which really only ever emanated from her anyway).

So I started thinking about blogging. About communicating in that honest, fresh, funny way I used to have. The way that led me to her (Though our relationship pre-dated blogging, my writing was still the same), and many other online friends. I don't know if it's age, or weariness, or stress, but over the past 5 or 6 years, my ability to write gradually wandered away from me.

In the hopes that it was merely lack of usage that caused the attrition of my brain, I'm going to try once again to start blogging on a (semi)regular basis. It's going to be difficult, with a 5 year old son (I can't believe I've been in his life 3 years already!!!), a wife I already don't get to spend enough time with, a 2-hour daily roundtrip to pick up the son from his grand-parents house, a house constantly in need of work, a job that sucks the life out of me, and my desire to start an art/photography business... or even just take a few pictures for money. Lol. Not to mention that *C* wants me to either get a new job or try to move up in my current job... and what I'd really like to do is go to college and study graphic arts.

Now, I know what you're all saying (by "all", I mean both of you! lol): "Come on, Greg, we all know how many times, and on how many different blogs, you've promised to start writing again. What makes this different?" Well, I'm glad you asked. It was a very good question, and I'm very proud of you for coming up with it on your own!

The answer is: nothing. Nothing is different, except I really feel the need to express myself again. I make no promises, to myself, let alone anyone else. But I'm going to try...

First, a brief update. *C* and I have been married nearly a year, and things are great. Not that there aren't ever any issues, but she and I have an ability to work through issues, whenever they arise. I've never had this kind of communication in a relationship, and while I recognize that that is 99% my fault, it is something she has forced me to work on. Anyway, we live with our son *D*, and *C*s sister *R*, in their parents old house. Money is still tight, and some of my discretions (old debts, a speeding ticket, etc), have contributed to the stress level of late. But I'm hoping in the next month or two we'll get back on top of things.

We've also found a great church. It's Methodist, which is a somewhat more liberal church than I ever expected to go to. But it is the first church I've ever been to where the people are genuinely friendly and caring. It's also the first church that have ever looked forward to going to every week, and the only one where I haven't sat there feeling judged and unwelcome. It's a beautiful thing.

In more recent news, my ex-wife's brother died suddenly a week ago. I really affected me more than I would have expected. I just keep remembering what a good guy he was (he's really the only adult member of her family that I really liked, aside from her grandfather), and how stupid his death was. not to mention seeing how it affected my ex and our daughter. The funeral was rough, and it was weird seeing all her family again, most of whom I hadn't seen in well over a year. But they all seemed to appreciate my presence, and I appreciated being invited.

Well, I've babbled pretty long for a first entry, so Ima go now. Talk to y'all soon???

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wedded Bliss

A LOT is happening, Foxy! (Line from one of the Austin Powers movies, don't recall which one). As one may gather from my title, I have married *C*. Just last Saturday, in fact. We also both married *d*, her son - now mine too, by presenting him with a ring of his own, and saying vows to him also. We are a true family, and a very happy one.

We had originally planned to wed in September, but I proposed (heh heh) that we elope. The elopement turned into a 6-day planned very small wedding, which went extremely well. We had the ceremony in her Grandmother's back patio, my brother and his wife drove up from Texas to be there, *C*s sister rushed back from east TN just in the nick of time (actually, the wedding started a few minutes late, but it was worth the wait to have her there), so her whole immediate family was there, as well as a few mutual friends from work. Most importantly to me, my step-daughter from my first marriage showed up to be there for me. I know how difficult that was for her, especially given that she had never met *C*, nor any of her family. She was a sweetheart, and everyone was very friendly to her.

*C* and I wrote our own vows, including our vows to *d*, and as I said, the whole wedding went very well. Then we went to a Nashville Sounds minor league baseball game, at the end of which was a spectacular fireworks show. A strange honeymoon, I admit, especially since we brought 4 year old *d* and *C*'s 11 year old brother. But our real honeymoon will still be in September. *C* will get to go to SoCal and finally meet my family... plus we're going to Disneyland for 5 days. :-)

I'll be back with more soon... hopefully sooner than this one took!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Tired, and yet...

SO, *C* and her son *D* and I were at a restaurant tonight, and *D* says to me, "Gregry (he's taken to calling me this instead of "Greg"), are you coming home wif us tonight?"

It was so touching, because he really does love me, and he gets upset on nights when I don't visit (which is rare). And when I do spend the night and sleep in the guest room, he rushes in there the next morning to wake me up.

Also tonight, I was distracting him at a bookstore while *C* went off to buy him a Christmas present and go hide it in her car. So I sat down on the floor next to him, and he right away just plopped down in my lap and asked me to read him the book he had picked out. It was so cute. And he's so smart that when I finished, and he wanted to read it again, I turned back to the front page and he started reading it to me! Okay, he wasn't really reading it... he had just memorized the story I had just told him, and he was telling the story back to me (in his own words) as we turned the pages. But still, that's pretty smart, huh?! Hmmmm..... I'm starting to sound like a proud father, aren't I? lol.

I've also taken to the fatherhoodish role better than I thought I would. I mean, I change his diaper (um, Greg, he's a big boy; he wears Pull-ups now!) without a second thought. I always remember to ask him if he needs to go to the bathroom before I put a fresh pull-up on him. Well, usually.

I've even learned to discipline him in a way that (I believe) doesn't over-step my role as a faux parent, but still teaches him that he can't get away with bad behavior just because I'm NOT his father. Not that he has many bad behaviors. His main behavior problems are not listening when you tell him to stop doing something, and throwing a fit if he doesn't get his way. He tries my patience sometimes, and it only makes me admire *C* more knowing that she had to deal with him by herself for so long. But she's done an amazing job with him, to keep him so loving and sweet and really just a good kid, without completely losing her mind. lol.

As for *C* herself, we are doing great. Our relationship only gets better, and each new (or for a while, recurring) issue we have seems to become less of an issue everyday. Like I mentioned before, the fact that she's the type to tackle any problems head-on has kept things from silently building into serious threats to our relationship. I'd say in that respect, she has helped me change in a way that I've always needed to, but never been able to. Now if I feel hurt or angered by something she does (or, more likely, doesn't do), I talk to her about it. Even if it means one (or both) of us will get hurt, it works out a hell of a lot better than allowing a slow resentment to build in my heart.

And on that happy note, I guess I will go to bed. Goodnight.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What are words for?

Aside from being tired pretty much all the time, things are going really well. Being around a 3 year old takes a little getting used to. What I've learned is that as long as he's awake, he requires constant attention. I don't know how *C* did it by herself for a year, without going crazy. Yet another reason she is so amazing!

But I love her son, and every day I am once again stunned by the fact that his father walked out of his life, without even looking back. It's terribly sad, though I like to think that having me in his life now lessens the impact of his abandonment. The other day, when he found out I wasn't able to come over, he started crying. I talked to him on the phone for a bit, but I don't think it made him feel better. I can certainly understand his fear of someone he cares about just disappearing from his life.

As for *C*, she really is amazing. I could list the qualities I fell in love with, but what I'm discovering may be that the most important one is the fact that she won't let me withdraw when I get hurt or angry. She demands that we fix whatever issues come up between us right away. Since my instinct is to get quiet and pretend there isn't a problem (something that I have to admit prolly helped kill my marriage), the immediacy in her manner has already turned several weekends that could have ended sadly, into some of the best weekends of my life.

We've discussed marriage in a roundabout way (like me suggesting who our photographer will be, or her saying she wants a specific song played at our wedding). Sometimes she'll say something like "I can hardly wait till we're married and you don't have to go home at the end of the night." Actually I do usually spend the night on weekends, but I don't sleep so well there so I usually go home on work nights.

Work has sucked lately. Just too much work, and too much stress. Plus I have creditors and lawsuits chasing me. Money is ever the main stress for me. We'll see if I can relieve some of the pressure when I move in with my friend *A* in a coupla months. I really wish I could stay in this apartment, but I just won't be able to afford it. I've hinted at the possibility of moving in with *C*, but she doesn't want to live together until we're married, which I understand. She has said that if circumstances require it (i.e. if things don't work out with *A* and I can't afford anyplace else), she won't make me live on the streets. lol. She does have that big old house with a spare bedroom in it...

Well, I guess that is all for now. I promise to try to update more often! :-)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The one without a title.

I've decided to come home to this blog, though where I write doesn't matter much. I actually left here because I didn't want *d* reading my thoughts anymore. I doubt she's inclined to anyway, but I've finally reached the point where I don't really care whether she does or not. She showed her true colors to me, even if she manages to keep pretending to everyone else.

Just a basic update. *C* and I are still going strong. We've been dating about 5 months now, and our love is growing deeper. It's amazing how well we click on so many levels. Just as a simple example, the other day we were talking about poetry, and she said there was one by Byron that she had been memorizing. I said, "Oh, Byron has this one poem that I really love, it's called 'Stanzas for Music' ". She replied, "That's the one I was talking about!" and started reciting it to me. I just thought it was really cool that of all the poems Lord Byron has written, we were both drawn to the same one.

Anyway, she understands me on a level that no one ever has. We have enough in common to always have something to talk about, and enough differences to always have something to share. It's pretty awesome.

I also get along wonderfully with her 3 year old son, who has taken to kissing me goodbye and telling me he loves me. He gets as excited as she does when I see them. It's really moving.

We've also talked about having kids of our own. We even had a slight pregnancy "scare" last week. The thing about that is, while neither of us wanted to be pregnant just now, neither of us was terrified at the prospect. The "not pregnant" on the test strip elicited sighs of relief mixed with a few moments of disappointment.

Well, I don't have time to update anymore than that right now. I know what few readers I used to have are gone, but I'm still rolling on...