What doing

In my early 20’s, I had a friend named Jodi that more or less lived with me. She lived in this little cabin way out of town, with no electricity and no phone, but would often work so late, and have to be back to work so early the next day, that it made no sense for her to drive all the way home and back that night. So Jodi would crash at my place two or three nights a week.

Jodi was a kick. She was a short, fucking adorable, very skinny lesbian that almost always shaved her head because at some point she decided that hair was just too much of a pain in the ass to deal with. She was always smiling, always upbeat, and had an unusual knack for knowing when I was having a bad day.

She would call me up and say “Hey Allen! What doing?”.

Jodi lives in Arizona now, but I still occasionally get an email from her. I used to have a few photos of her, but they have long since been lost. I suspect they were in a box in my storage unit when it got broken into and emptied out, years ago.

I miss Jodi.

Anyway, when trying to decide on a title for this post, her voice popped into my head with “What doing?”, so there it is.

I’ve been contemplating for the last few months, about what I might want to do with this blog. I get the urge to write once in a while, and this always makes a good outlet for it, but it’s usually just venting about personal shit, and not terribly interesting.

I’ve mentioned a few times that I used to write a lot. Like… a LOT. I have shit tons of unfinished stories, mostly fiction, sitting on my hard drive. I either get bored with an idea, or I get busy and forget about it, and shit just doesn’t ever get finished. The last time anyone other than myself read one of my short stories, was in college. So we’re talking twenty years ago. I write that stuff mostly just to get it out of my head, because nothing else does the trick. Then it gets shuffled into limbo on my hard drive, and forgotten about.

So far as blogging goes, in my single days (post ex-wife, pre-Laure) I wrote about single guy life. As in, nearly every day I would have some little anecdote regarding something that had happened to me, or something I noticed, and I would turn it into a story and stick it up on my blog. It felt good to unload my thoughts like that every day. Those things still happen now, all the time, but I’m usually so busy that by the time I’m able to sit down and write about it, a few days have passed and it doesn’t seem that interesting anymore. Again though, this teardrop project has completely taken over my life for quite some time now, so once that’s done… maybe I’ll start writing more. I’d like to think so.

In other news, it’s Friday. Just two days of work next week, and then I’m off for two solid weeks. Hopefully it will be spent camping. There will be photos.

Vacation is imminent

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks for me. I’m rather thankful for it though, because it’s keeping me distracted from the relentless onslaught of fuckery coming from our government.

Not gonna go there though.

Our vacation starts soon. Just for shits and giggles, I set up a twitter bot that tweets a daily countdown from my account. I was bored, it was kinda fun.

I’ve spent the last two weeks working on the teardrop every spare moment I have. It’s been two weekends of working on it from the time I wake up, until the time I go to bed. During the week, I’ve been coming home from work, changing my clothes, and going straight out to the garage and working until sometime between eleven and midnight.

It’s almost done.

I’ve got it skinned, which is a major milestone. It looks pretty good but I am pissed that I wasn’t paying attention to which side was working with, and marked the shit out of the driver side with my router as I was cutting it out. Oh well.

Tonight I’ll finish installing the port holes and the cabin fan in the ceiling, and hopefully get the solar panel mounted. I’m not sure how long this is all going to take me. While I’m doing that, Laure will be cleaning up the galley, touching up paint, and making the curtains.

Whatever I don’t get done there tonight, I’ll definitely finish up tomorrow night. I also need to stain the wood that will go on the inside of the hatch, and finish painting primer in the galley.

Next is finishing up the hatch, which isn’t that big of a deal, although I am stressing about just when the hell the fucking goddamn hinge is going to show up. It’s in Billings right now, five hours away, but tracking says it may not show up until Tuesday… we’ll see. I didn’t pick up enough trim when I was at The Teardrop Fix-It Shop in Victor last weekend, so I may be driving down there again this weekend to get a few more pieces of that. I need those to finish the hatch completely. But even if I get everything else done, skinning the hatch and putting on the hinge are things that can be done in an afternoon. Then it just needs to sit over night to allow the sealant to dry.

Anywho, aside from the hatch, all of the major stuff is done. Then it’s a whole shit ton of little things. Porch lights, skinning the tongue box and installing it, installing the plumbing, cupboard doors, and lights in the galley, and fixing the turn signals.

I’m confident I can get all of that done in the next few days.

I’m managing to not lose my steam on this yet. I keep picturing us sitting next to Ashley Lake, eating hot dogs, and reading in hammocks. That’s been doing the trick.

Struggling for connection

Not since my mid-twenties have I had a close-knit circle of friends that I regularly spend time with. At that time, it was friends I’d made during college. Royce, Travis, Kendra, Cindy (whom I was married to for a tick), Jackie, and Jody.

Before that, it was friends from high school. Donald, Lester, Dan, Jim, James, Erin, and Jenny.

Before them, well I moved so much during my elementary and junior high school years, about every six months, that I rarely had time to make friends, and so I just didn’t bother. The frequent relocating was due to my mother’s mental illness, about which I’ve gone into in great detail before.

I’ve mentioned before, that I was diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder, a little known personality disorder that gets most often confused with schizophrenia due to the similar names. “Schizoid” is often used to denote a person who has schizophrenia, and schizophrenia is almost always misconstrued to mean dissociative identity disorder… which are two VERY different things. SPD and schizophrenia are also nothing alike. Not even close.

Anyway, the point is that most people have never heard of SPD. As disorders go, there are worse things to deal with. I’d never heard of it until my diagnosis about fifteen years ago. My therapist explained it to me, and I did a lot of reading on it, and in the course of just a few days, so many things about my life and behaviors began to make sense. For example, the fact that most people hold absolutely no interest at all for me. In fact, most of the time I want every one around me to just go about their day and leave me the fuck alone. But then, for whatever reason, somebody will catch my interest, and we’re suddenly really good friends.

It doesn’t happen often.

I have a hell of a time forming connections with other people. Most of the time, I feel like I’m standing outside of my own life, watching it all happen without me. I feel like I’m missing out on so many things. Some of those things are real, but most of them are just my disorder fucking with me.

I have a general apathy about people, commonly misconstrued as a lack of empathy, which isn’t exactly the same thing. I care about other people, I’m simply not willing to let their problems become my problems, if that makes any sense at all.

It’s difficult for me to get motivated about anything, and when I do get motivated, that motivation can very easily get sucked out of me in a hurry. Depression has a similar effect on motivation, but also not quite the same thing.

I spend a lot of time imagining the person I wish I could be, and the life that person would lead, something I can remember doing in the fifth grade. The comments on my report cards almost always included some note about me spending too much time day dreaming.

These are all very common symptoms of SPD, and they’re only going to get more pronounced as I get older.

I’m not just writing about all of this to fill you in on the ins and outs of my emotional problems, there is a point. That point being that I have spent most of my adult life struggling to connect with other people, and failing miserably at it. There was a time just after my divorce, before Laure and I were reunited, where I was so lonely that I would go to Walmart and wander aimlessly, without buying anything, just to be in proximity to other people.

I think that was the root of my decade long obsession with Flickr, and photographing people. It was an attempt at connecting. This blog is another such attempt. I’m aware that it has almost zero readership, maybe three or four people on a busy day. However, there was a time waaaaaay back when, where I was writing about actual interesting shit, and my blog was getting hundreds of hits a day, and I couldn’t keep up with the comments. That however, was just as social media was taking off. Twitter was in it’s infancy, MySpace was just beginning to lose the battle to Facebook, and blogging was still where everything was happening.

I feel so isolated from most of the people around me that, like so many people today, I spend a lot of time looking to the internet to help me make those connections, and being sorely disappointed.

I know this all sounds like depression talking, it’s not. I’m fine, but it may be time to go back to therapy for a bit.

A bit of politics

…because this particular bit has been bouncing around inside my head for a few days, and needed to get out.

I am not a lawyer. So take these opinions for what they’re worth.

Article II, section 2 of the US constitution states that the President ”…shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment”. So if he’s being impeached, he can’t pardon himself for what ever crime or crimes are in question there. The fifteen minutes of searching I did turned up several cases establishing precedence for a president preemptively pardoning someone, and that a pardon can be made before an indictment is brought. As stated earlier, the way around this is to impeach him.

Impeachment requires that the House of Representatives vote, by a simple majority, to impeach the president. If that succeeds, then it’s the senate’s responsibility to try the president. This of course means someone has to preside over the trial, and finding someone to do that, who doesn’t have a blatant conflict of interest, could be a challenge.

Given the insane party-over-country credo demonstrated again and again by the GOP in the face of countless legal and ethical gymnastics, many of which those same politicians showed they would not tolerate from Bill Clinton, there is no telling if an impeachment would lead to a conviction, or a removal, or a parade for Donald Trump.

Many people are drawing parallels between Nixon and Trump. Granted, they are following the same PR play-book, damn near word for word, but there are some stark differences. While Nixon was a corrupt, morally bankrupt president, he wasn’t stupid. Trump… is a different story. Also, Nixon actually won the popular vote to become President, whereas Trump did not.

Nixon discussed pardoning himself when impeachment became imminent, then resigned three days later after learning that wasn’t possible. Not that he had a need to pardon himself, because Gerald Ford preemptively pardoned him anyway. It’s extremely likely that Trump’s predecessor  would follow Gerald Ford’s example, and pardon Trump of whatever he gets convicted of. Who would succeed an impeached Trump is difficult to tell, since damn near everyone in the line of succession is somehow involved in this Russia business, or knew about it and chose to look the other way. When this all goes down, a lot of people are going down with it.

Regarding this “the president can’t obstruct justice” garbage, obstruction was one of the charges being leveled against Nixon, and it was also the one of the charges that Clinton was impeached on. The precedence is there. The idea that it can’t happen is just more hot air from Trump’s legal and PR teams.

There have been many indictments so far, and many more are in the works. There has already been witness tampering, and numerous cover-up attempts. Countless lies have been backpedaled on by Trump’s PR people. Trump has so many ties to Russian money, and the Russian government, that it’s difficult to keep track of them all. Trump and his staff have lied about said ties so many times that even they can’t keep it all straight.

Too much to cite in that last paragraph, go read it yourself.

The question isn’t “if” Trump is going to be impeached for a whole menagerie of criminal entanglements, it’s “when”.