It’s raining men. Hallelujah…

This past weekend was spent in New York City migrating our NY office (duh) from Windows 2000 to Windows XP. Traveling to different offices for my firm is always good and bad. The bad is the hours put in. Usually 20 – 24 the first day (usually a Friday) and about 10 – 16 hours a day Saturday and Sunday. For example, I arrived Thursday and worked until about 6:30 or so. Friday I worked from 8:30AM to 4:30AM Saturday morning. Went to the hotel, got 4 hours of sleep, then worked 8:30AM until about 8:00PM that night. However, that particular bad always ends up good come payday.

Now, the good is our IT staff in each office is awesome. They always want to show you a good time. And seeing how you are giving them a hand with a major workload, they go out of their way to help you enjoy their city. Such was the case Thursday night…

Seeing how Thursday was probably going to be the only chance for some of us to see the city that weekend, we all cut out of the office at about 6:30 for some dinner and drinks. We had dinner at a kick-ass Spanish restaurant, who’s name escapes me. Having never had Spanish food, I was pleasantly surprised. It was good stuff. Except for the Sangria. You can keep that. Ug. The only good thing about Sangria is eating the liquor-laced fruit at the bottom of the jug. The rest of it is nasty. Then again, I was never a wine person anyway.

After dinner, we decided to go out for a few drinks. Unfamiliar with the bars in that particular location, Jeanne (the project lead) asked someone on the street for a good local bar. Directions were pointed out. Off we went.

We arrived at the bar in good spirits and went ahead in. My first thought was “Damn, this is a sausage party…” because of all the dudes in the bar. Then I saw a couple honeys, but noticed they were doing (what I thought was) the faux lesbian things women today think is so cool (it’s not, it’s just stupid and teasing). Then I saw the dance floor. Or rather the 4×4 dance square. With the dude in the leather thong bikini dancing on it.

I felt like Jason Lee’s character in Chasing Amy when he realizes he’s in a lesbian bar. I kind of looked around again and realized why it seemed like a sausage party. Because it was. I just started laughing at my own ignorance.

Having been to gay bars before—hey they have the best dance music and single women go there so they won’t get hit on (or so they think)—I had no issue. I didn’t care if we stayed or went. Personally, I wouldn’t have minded leaving—not because it was a gay bar, but because when I go to a bar and drink, I like looking at women. Something of which there was a shortage of. However, the women we went with wanted to stay and watch the show. So we did. Well, they did—I stayed and drank my beer and tried not to openly stare at the only two lesbians in the place. At least they were lipstick lesbians. I hope I was at least a little inconspicuous. I never want to be one of those guys.

All in all it was a good time. Plus they were running a promotion that night. I got a free package containing a condom and some anal lube. Good times.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter where you are, but who you are with and the free things you get.

Friends, authors, movie stars and stuttering. A good time was had by all…

HorrorFind Weekend 2004.

Or, as I lovingly refer to it, DorkFest 2004.

A full weekend of nothing but horror related movies, merchandise and celebrities. A full weekend of good times.

This is something that has become somewhat of a tradition for me and my friends from Horrortalk. For the third year, we flocked to the Hunting Valley Marriott for a reunion of sorts. Every year has been great, and this year was not any different.

Highlights (for me) of the show…

Seeing old friends and meeting new ones.
Closing the bar with Joe, his mrs., Krystal and Eric.
Drinking with Kevin and Rick. Okay, I was drinking Mountain Dew, but I was sick.
The Brian Keene reading. (http://www.briankeene.com)
Talking with Matthew Warner. (http://www.matthewwarner.com)
Meeting Joe Lansdale.
Meeting Angela Bettis.
The Timewarp group picture.
Stuttering around Leanna and Darla because, well, just because.

Actually, the reason I stuttered around Darla is (and this is taken word for word from my post at HorrorTalk)….

I hit Timewarp’s table Friday and talked to Ripple for a little. I asked him if the Timewarp ladies were going to be there that weekend, signing. He said both Leanna and Darla were going to be there on Saturday. Good times.

Now, Joe, as well as The Hitman and some of you others know the love I have for the Timewarp women, particularly Darla and Leanna.

After walking by the table about 1000 times on Saturday (and having to make idle chat with Ripple every one of those times, when in reality I was just waiting for the women–I’m betting Joe knew that, though. ), I finally saw Darla at the table.

I was about 20 feet away heading toward the table when I saw Ripple look up at me, then whisper in Darla’s ear. Here we go.

So I get to the table and get my DVD ready to sign.

Darla stands up and smiles, leans in real close and says in a smokey, sultry, sexy voice, “I really like bald men. They are so hot.”

Yeah, I couldn’t say shit after that. I knew it was a setup, but my God, I melted.

I know I probably looked like a dork, but to hear her say that, set up or not, was worth the fluster.

I was coherent enough to get a pic taken…

toungtied.jpg

The only downside to the show was there are a few friends that couldn’t make the show. I hope they can make it next year.

All in all, a GREAT time.

I’m already looking forward to next year.

Looking at this blog, I realize it’s not as entertaining as my others. I’ll have to work on that for the next one. Seeing as how I inadvertently went to a gay bar last night, it should be a good one.

Trying not to stay angry…

So my sister, Kelli, calls me on Monday or so, asking me if I talked to my mother. Bracing myself for the newest drama, I told her no.. I was in no way prepared for the conversation that transpired.

“You know, I feel bad,” she said.

“Why?” I asked.

“Mommy went to the hospital last night, she’s been having mini-strokes.”

Okay, now for the back story…

For the past year and 1/2 – two years, both our (my sister and I) relationship with our mother has been extremely strained. To the point where her number on the caller ID made me cringe. She (my mother) has been extremely angry and bitter for this period and it has/had gotten to the point where I didn’t even want to talk to her because the only thing she ever wanted to talk about was usually about four things…

My ex-girlfriend and if I will get back together with her. (um, no. It’s been over 2 years. Not going to happen. Digging being single WAY too much).

Bitching about Kelli’s ex-husband. (Not my business. Kelli’s business.)

Bitching about Kelli in general. (Won’t talk about it. Kelli is happy, thus making my mother miserable.)

Simple negativity.

Now sometimes, the conversation is about how much she hates my father’s side of the family or when I am going to give her grandkids (arrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhh), or bitching about just about anything in general. It got to the point where I just couldn’t even talk to her. I do not have time for bitching or negativity in my life. There is no place for it. I’m happy, don’t bitch to me about things that either I won’t change, I can’t change or it’s not my business to change. But it didn’t matter. EVERY SINGLE phone call was a bitch-fest that usually ended up with me cutting the conversation short because, quite simply, I didn’t want to hear it.

I have been telling my mother since 2002/03 to go get some help. And I was serious. She seriously needed to talk to somebody. But she swore up and down, nothing was wrong. The whole family is telling her to get some help, but she said we were all against her.

Then my sister called.

Oh yeah, one of the symptoms of strokes is a change in personality. Fuck. Me.

So how did my mom get to the hospital to find out she was having mini-strokes? Someone, outside of the family–someone who my mother hasn’t talked to in YEARS–told her she wasn’t acting the same, maybe something was wrong.

Well NO SHIT!

So my mother checks the net for stroke symptoms that night (because strokes run in the family) and found she suffered from all the symptoms, save one. She had my dad drive her to the hospital that night. And there you have it. She suffered at least one, but she has probably had more than that one over a period of time.

First feeling, guilt.
I’d gotten to the point where I couldn’t, and didn’t want to, talk to my mother. I could not deal with a fight every single phone call.

Second feeling, anger.
The anger encompasses many levels.
Angry at myself because everything is clearer now.
Angry for feeling guilty because I have no reason for feeling guilt. You can only do so much.
Angry at my mother for not getting help sooner.
Angry at my mother for not listening to her family.
Just anger, anger, anger.

Third feeling, relief.
Now, I’m not happy my mother had a stroke, I’m happy there is an explanation now. I love my mother, and I hope our relationship can get back to where it was, but–sickness or not–it won’t happen overnight, especially since she is still calling me and bitching. I feel as if she has a green light now that she knows I know there is an explanation for the problem. I feel as if she thinks she can get away with it. Sickness or not, she won’t. I love my mother, but I will not be used to take sides against my sister or my father.

I’m very relieved that things may change for the better.

But I’m still angry. And I think, after being angry for two years, it’s not going to just go away.

I hope she gets the help she needs, for the family’s sake.