Moving, again…

In typical “Keith” fashion, I’m sitting down to write a thousand words instead of packing the night before moving out. To everyone helping me move tomorrow: You’re welcome for all of the shit still left to do! At least you’re getting something fun to read out of it. Oh, and Jimmy’s Pizza! There’s that!


This is the second time I’ve moved on my own accord. The first was eight years ago, when Dorena and I were newlyweds setting out on our own.

Eight years is a long time, but I have friends that have lived three times that long in the same house. When I describe what it was like moving every few years, and how it numbed me to the process, they have a difficult time relating. I got used to the idea of changing locations not because I wanted to, but because I had to. Why bother getting attached to a house when I had no idea how long I’d be there? The idea of consistent household was a concept foreign to our family, as money struggles led to evictions pretty frequently. It’s a shitty thing.

When I think about how I should feel when moving, it’s a lot of sorrow, almost like experiencing a death. I should grieve for losing a close friend; something that was near and dear to my heart; something that literally sheltered me; something that was as much me, as it was its own entity. I don’t feel that way leaving here.

This house has become a physical representation of my failing relationship. The juxtaposition of our spaces is as clear as the difference in our own drive and motivation. The physical isolation from each other is starting to match the emotional distance I’ve felt for the last eight months. I want out of these feelings, and I want out of this fucking space.

I’m compelled to better my own situation, but I feel like a complete shithead doing it. I feel like I’m abandoning Dorena, and I guess in a lot of ways I am. I’m running away from one of the very few people in this world that I should stand by regardless of the circumstances.

‘Til death do we part, right? 

Actually, in my personal vows, I closed with something along the lines of: It’s you and me against the world, kid, and we’re going to fight together ’til the end.

At the time, I presumed the end would be my end. Men usually die younger than women, so I figured I’d bite the dust, and that’s when we’d split. I figured that we’d just adapt and grow together as we had to the point of our marriage, and everything would work itself out.

Unfortunately, I’ve come to realize what work things out means. I have to cave on a position I’ve taken, or I don’t follow through with holding her accountable to my expectations on how to resolve a raised grievance. I stop caring about what I did before, and not because it really wasn’t important, I just accepted that it wasn’t going to change.

I don’t want to go into the big one, but it was a large concession, and it was difficult for me to accept my new stance. What did I get in return? More of the same.

I guess that’s part of the problem too. We both turn 34 in a couple months, and this year will mark half of our lives spent in a committed relationship with each other. We’ve just started to learn how to communicate with each other this fucking week.

A lot of my frustration stems from the fact that, in my view, my final straw was what actually stimulated the attempt to change. I made empty threat after empty threat, but never followed through. I get that me moving out is a deviation from what I’ve done to this point. I also know that there were attempts to improve our relationship before this, but this is a discernible change. There’s a sense of urgency that was unheard of days, or months, or years ago.

Fight or flight is a funny thing. You’re either gonna fold like a cheap suit, or you’re gonna get filled with vim and vigor and demand exactly what it is that you need to survive. Because it took so long to see that fight in her, it’s having the opposite effect on me. Instead of alleviating my doubts about our future, it’s creating more uncertainty.

Her renewed — I don’t know if it’s new or renewed — sense of motivation to heal herself (and us) is pushing me away more than it’s pulling me in. I guess it’s resentment? That’s a harsh word, but I don’t use it lightly. I’ve felt an uneven level of sacrifice for a long time, and I’m fed up with it, and so many other things.

I’m not blind to the amount she gave up to support me through my depression, but that’s another sore subject now. It’s being held over my head like it’s a life-debt. I suppose that when you’re married you’re already life-debted. Instead of doing what the hard thing would have been: pushing me through my depression with exposure to reality, she enabled me by shielding me from what I was forcing her to do to keep things going. It took me so much longer to recover than it should have because of it.

Obviously I don’t hold her accountable for my depression. I don’t even hold her accountable for my recovery. The depression was my own deficiency, and the recovery process was a responsibility of mine alone. But I cannot deny that I am bothered that the lowest point in my life is being used against me as a way to ensure a longer relationship with each other.

I’m bothered that after seventeen years we still bicker and argue like seventeen-year-olds. I’m bothered that this could work, but the onus is again on me to be more patient. I’m bothered that I’ve asked myself how much time is enough so many times that I’ve lost track.

I’m bothered, but I don’t want to be like this.

It’s often held against me that things need to be my way or the highway, but the amount of concessions I’ve made form a pretty solid track record of compromise. I’m done compromising on my own solitude. I want things to be on my terms for real this time. I want the chance to be truly selfish and indulge in only expending emotional energy on myself for a bit.

Through the last month and a half, there have been glimmers of the qualities with which I fell in love so long ago: optimism, cheerfulness, feistiness, compassion, empathy, and unconditional support. Those glimmers have been few and far between, but they remind of what I held onto for this long. It gives me a hint of hope that things might work out eventually.

This internal conflict is tiring. Do I want to get back to a healthy place with Dorena? Frankly, our ideal future isn’t that dissimilar. I still want the house, the white picket fence, and the two and two-thirds children. That statistic is horribly dated, and I wonder if it still lines up, but I’m taking too long on this as it is. I’m not looking that shit up.

To get there with Dorena would be easier. I could suck it up and get past this, as I have so many other times, and we could try having a kid, and we can start looking for houses. I don’t want that right now. Not with her. Is this bitterness? Is this being at the end of my rope of patience and understanding? Is this just the natural dissolution of a relationship that’s unfulfilling? Is it unstimulating because we’ve grown so emotionally distant? Chicken or the egg?

I don’t know.

Well, I have a pretty solid rationalization of which came first in the chick/egg scenario, but that’s for another post. I really don’t know about us, though.

I thought I knew for sure so many times, but I keep waffling. Those glimmers of hope sure are enticing, but so is the idea of new opportunities and challenges. Dorena’s been pushing me to commit to dating her, with frequent conversations and regular nights out together. I’m not ready for that yet. I’m unsure if I will be. For whatever reason — I’m starting to believe that I’m a masochist, of the emotional variety — I’m still receptive to trying.

That’s the hardest part right now. I’m on this ledge between ending it all and starting over slowly. Both have short and long term benefits, but there’s a shit ton of baggage that can be stirred up at moment’s notice when things turn south. That’s been the methodology employed to this point in arguments, and I’ve grown weary of that.

I know that I want more. Where that more comes from right now is sorta up in the air. I suppose it could work with Dorena, but that’s feeling like a Sisyphean task at this point.

I’ve thought about this topic in almost every waking moment since Christmas. I’m closer to a decision now than ever before, but I have so much uncertainty. I’ve moved so much in my life, I guess that’s what I should do again.

Just keep swimming moving. Forward. Upward. Onward. Move or be left behind, but don’t be brash. I need to be careful, precise, and logical about the steps I take. My judgment is sound, and I need to start trusting myself as much as those around me do.

It’s time to figure this shit out.

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t “hate” my birthday.

To claim that I despise my birthday is a misnomer; I’m actually quite grateful that my parents had sex, that zygote me was formed and gestated nearly successfully, and that Dr. Jacobs was able to facilitate an emergency c-section at Albany Med to get me out of Ma, and give my heart its first few pumps when my body didn’t get the fucking hint.

I appreciate all of the complications. I understand how fragile life is, even under great conditions. I grasp how the day I tepidly exited the womb was the day that led to fostering relationships with me later on in their lives, and how they’d want to celebrate that. I get it. What I continually fail to grasp is the annual, uncomfortable discussion, about how it’s my birthday, and I can do whatever I want to — so long as the plans coincide with theirs.

“Sooooooo, I’m coming over and we’re spending the night together?”

The body language and tone of voice says that I’m being coy and they’re in on it. They know exactly what I really want. I’m sure the intentions are pure, and I can see how they would supplant my desires with their vision of a perfect birthday. There’s just never any semblance of acceptance that I’m the exact opposite of that. My perfect birthday is a day like any other, without any hullabaloo.

“But we had fun last year!” You’re right, we played a ton of Mario Kart and it was a good time once I got through my unease about it being my birthday. I’m already bad enough at fulfilling your wishes on your special days. I’d like to not have to stress out about another day that’s supposedly mine to begin with.

It’s not like I haven’t tried. I’ve gone through an awkward surprise party when every instinct was to run away from it. I’ve done small gatherings, and I’ve made big parties to try them out to see if I had weird hiccups about my family being 1,300 miles away. I’ve done decent-sized dinners at fancy restaurants, and I’ve even (very poorly) tolerated smoke detectors going off when I didn’t want people in the house.

Being alone isn’t a punishment, and asking to be left alone isn’t an affront to our relationship. I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate you, or that I don’t love the fact that you care about me.

The way we interact all year long gives me that feeling of love and companionship. I don’t need a culmination of it on one specific day because I was born on it 32 years ago. What I’m comfortable with is just going through the day like the rest of them. If you want to tack on a “Happy birthday, I love you,” with a text about some random thing we’d talk about anyway, go for it.

I’d welcome that above anything else. At some point I’ll have kids and their birthday will have a more special meaning to me than anything else I’ve experienced. Then you can shift excitement onto their days and continue to leave me alone on mine. 🙂

Mike Shinoda, wake the fuck up.

I know the thresholds of heavy, I’ve heard Meshuggah. I’m not under the impression that we’ve made the heaviest album of all time. But I do know that what’s going on out there in rock music, is that rock music, even the most popular bands, is not really influencing the zeitgeist. It’s not moving the needle of pop culture. I don’t want rock to be pop. I do want it to be exciting.
– Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park on today’s groups

Oh, what’s that?

“In the End” is Linkin Park’s highest charting single in the US, debuting at #78 and peaking at number 2 on the Hot 100 in March 2002 and being kept off the top spot by “Ain’t It Funny” by Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule. It left the Hot 100 after 38 weeks.
– Wikipedia, in Rebuttal

Other Linkin Park Songs to Chart on the Hot 100
  • A Light that Never Comes
  • Bleed it Out
  • Breaking the Habit
  • Burn it Down
  • Crawling
  • Faint
  • Given Up
  • Iridescent
  • Leave Out All the Rest
  • Lost in the Echo
  • Lying From You
  • One Step Closer
  • New Divide
  • Shadow of the Day
  • Somewhere I Belong
  • The Catalyst
  • Waiting for the End
  • What I’ve Done

Yeah, it’d be a shame if “hard rock” was ever on a pop chart, right, dude? I guess you’re different because you throw around words like “zeitgeist” and expect people to be impressed. You’re the exception because you really defined the “hard rock crossover” niche, right?

Don’t worry, I’ll concede and give you full credit. Your band definitely “[moved] the needle” by creating a completely cookie-cutter genre of radio-friendly rock music that has yet to change. Two and a half minutes of melodic open chords and mellow verses,  choruses with repeated hooks, “heavy” bridges with angry yelling, and fading outros of resolution and compromise.

You’re the reason that a talented, interesting band like Mudvayne totally changed their style. Instead of staying unique, they disbanded and some of them went on to create Hellyeah, the epitome of your brand of radio-friendly rock. I guess you can take credit for Nickelback too.

Sincerely, I thank you for your influence on music.

I see it a lot, and I’m sure I’ve done it and will do it again in my life time. That thing where you bitch about something that you do. Oh, you hate loud and obnoxious people that try to garner every ounce of attention in the group? Guess what, you are that person to the rest of us! Congratulations.

Maybe it’s just that we’re all that unaware of ourselves that we think the things we do aren’t the same as the shit everyone else does. Perhaps we’re prone to really despise the things we do, because we’re selfish creatures and we want to feel unique. We have to rise up and protect our personality traits, as flawed they may be, lest we blend in with everyone else.

Whatever it is at the root of these harsh judgments — like the one I’m presently typing — the most important thing is that this guy is a douche, his band is fucking terrible, and I’m tired and grumpy. Throw that into a blender and I bitch about something no one in their right mind should ever care about, let alone write 750 words about.

IN THE ENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNND IT DOESN’T REALLY MAAAAATTTTTTTTTTEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Fuck that song. Seriously. You know how much you hate All of Me right now? Or E.T. last summer, or Girl on Fire the summer before that? Back when that stupid shithead song came out, it was that song. You couldn’t escape it, and it was worse every time it hit your ears. Now, typing this fucking post, the damned song is stuck in my head. I’m sure the assholes in Gitmo used this song during the sleep deprivation torture they did to the captives. I know I’d tell them whatever they wanted to hear to get them to turn it off inside my own head right now.

Oh, just one last thing. Why do you want to name drop Meshuggah as a heavy band? Because you heard the name on the Osbourne’s reality TV show and thought it was super edgy when Jack was blaring Soul Burn out the window? Oh man, you’re so #br00t4l. If you’re trying to convince me that you know anything about heavy metal, because you can write songs that chart well on pop and alt-rock stations, be advised that you’re failing miserably in that respect.

The actual last thing I’d like to point out is how awesome you guys are live. You know, when you have guitarists backstage playing for you, while you run around and pretend to play? You’re top notch artists.

I never understood booing players.

Look at all these douche bags.

I love how quickly they change their tune when he steps out from behind the picture. What a bunch of inconsistent babies. They’re the guys that watch a bar fight from across the room, and then carry on for half an hour about how those guys were lucky they didn’t come over here and start something with them. Oh yeah, you’re such a big man until the action actually comes to a head.

The bigger problem I have with it is the booing of Robinson Cano as a sellout. Let’s reflect on that for a moment. Yankees fans booing someone for being a sellout. Yankees fans. The Yanks are the team that always overpay to steal talent away from other teams. The one time someone does it to your guy, you flip shit? Get a grasp on reality, moron.

I love Robbie as a player, but the Yanks have signed so many bad contracts for that duration/amount of money for people on the wrong side of thirty. I applaud their discretion for once.

Microsoft sucks at honoring email preferences.

So I just got this email from Microsoft <Microsoft@e-mail.microsoft.com>, with the subject: We miss you! Re-subscribe to receive the latest tech news from Microsoft

microsoft shithead email

“Did you know your current contact settings have cancelled all Microsoft email communications to your inbox?”

Yes, I did, and are you sure about that on your end? I’m pretty fucking certain I’m staring at an email from you. I also notice that there’s no option to remove myself from this type of message moving forward, although you’ve claimed I’ve removed myself from all your communication lists.

I’ve marked this as spam, and set up a filter to permanently delete all future emails from that address. Honor your fucking preferences, assholes. It’s not that difficult.