Things I Think I’m Thankful For.

I started thinking yesterday about what I’m thankful for this year, because it seems like just another day of the week to me.

Not to rehash, because everyone knows the storyline at this point, but. We stopped having Thanksgiving at home after my mom passed in 2010. My sister would invite my dad over, who would take C with him, but I was scheduled to work instead. After my dad passed, my sister just stopped inviting us altogether, as that her husband’s family is more important to her at this point. So, the only family “we” have is C and myself. He’s gone over to someone’s house for dinner with a friend of mine who used to be his babysitter for the past 2 years, so he’s at least getting in the food part of it. I get burritos and Kit-Kats on the way to work instead.

But, all of that helps me figure out what I’m thankful for this year.

  • The easy one on this list, is my spawn. He drives me insane often, he doesn’t listen much, and he’s more of a challenge on a daily basis than hacking into the Kremlin is. But he’s my son, and that’s what matters at the end of the day. I haven’t killed him yet, so I’m doing pretty good I think.
  • The people who try to make the effort to let me know their door is always open for me. Even though my awkward nature is never going to let me take them up on that, they always offer to let me come and be a part of their family. Knowing that they make that offer reminds me of the old adage that family isn’t always who you share genomes with, but who you chose to share parts of your life with instead.  The sad part is that there’s probably really good desserts and good booze that I’m missing out on.
  • The life I’ve been lucky enough to lead up to this point. I’ve seen bands and shows that some people dream of seeing. I’ve been places that I wish I could see again, I’ve learned things that helped fuel wanting to learn more, and I’ve felt things that remind me why it’s good to be alive.
  • The people who have taught me that the weakest moments in my life aren’t mistakes to be ashamed of, and that there’s a gift that grows from those moments that can help others by sharing it with others. One of the hardest things about being alone (yes, I have a child but that only emphasizes how alone one feels) from mid-November through early January is that it’s hard to stay focused on how great the other 9 months of the year are. Related to this, I’m thankful for people like Dese’rae and Amelia who toe up to the line daily to remind people that they can do it; and to borrow from Des’ website, “live through this”. I am a survivor of multiple suicide attempts, and these two remind me that we can’t be the secret community that only talks about it in the most hushed of tones.
  • Related to the above, I’m thankful that over the past year I’ve been able to share my those moments with strangers headed to the bottom of the well and know that opening my mouth has changed them for the better.
  • I think the last thing is that I’m thankful for every woman in my life that I’ve ever loved, and been loved by. Granted, I was more than likely pains in your asses, and did my own share of damage by not letting you know that you were the woman I chose to be with daily among other things… But if I never loved another woman again in my life, I’ve already been loved strong enough and deeply enough to last lifetimes. (And I do take some measure of satisfaction of knowing that each of you found the one great love of your life after me. It’s like if I can’t be the greatest thing ever, then being the gateway to greatness isn’t half bad either. :) )

Now that the blessed Thanksgiving burrito has been finished, I can move on and eat my salad of selfishness. :D No really. I have a salad on the table that I need to eat before the lettuce gets all weird. May your wallets and lacy underthings be intact after you rouse from your tryptophan induced comas.

A clean kitchen is a sign of a troubled mind.

It’s 4:25 AM, and I’m cleaning the seals on the doors of the refrigerator. I’ve already washed dishes, scrubbed pans that didn’t seem clean enough, scrubbed the sink and counters down, and even washed out Hoot McDaniels + Marilyn Monroe, since if the counter’s going to be clean. well. They’re going to have to get on board too.

This all started after I thought about losing my dad two years ago because someone asked what he died of. Everybody knows that quite plainly put, he died of the broken heart that was left behind after my mom died 3 years previously. Her cancer that had been quiet and missing for 5 years came back quickly, and angrily. We went from a simple bone spur operation on her shoulder into a declaration of tumors in three weeks after her ability to handle the physical therapy post-op was getting worse and worse to the point where she was still exhausted two days after her last therapy session. In less than three months, we went from coherent, but tired, Mom to confused, sad, and scared Mom who couldn’t recognize her own son. The tumor that was growing in the back of her brain was, little did we know, rapidly consuming parts of her occipital lobe and cerebellum. She often demanded to know who I was after my dad had left for work and I was getting C ready for school.

“Who are you? What are you doing here?”
“It’s me Mom, Bobby. Rob. Your son?”
“No you’re not. My Bobby is a little boy. He’s in ballet.”
“No Mom, that’s me. I did that when I was seven.”
“Bobby is seven. There he is right there. Hey Bobby, who is this?”

C would tell her that he’s not Bobby, that he’s C and I was his dad and she was his grandma. Then she’d start to cry because it upset her. No matter what though, she always knew my dad, she always recognized him. When she went into the hospital in the beginning of May, he didn’t sleep at home for three weeks because he was beside her for every possible minute until the end. When my mom passed, we were both holding her hands and had fallen asleep for only the fewest of minutes. She waited for us to not be looking so she could finally leave like we were holding her up. I heard his heart break in that moment when the 17 year old girl he was still with 49 years later wasn’t beside him anymore.

In the next three years I learned more about my parents, and more specifically my dad, than I had ever learned in 37 years. He told me how they had met, how his opening line wasn’t exactly the most flattering… but it worked, how most of the places from his childhood in Norfolk were gone now with stories of things he remembered. I was always a mama’s boy because I wasn’t the healthiest or masculine of kids, but in the last 3 years of my dad’s life I had a relationship with him that I never would have imagined that would be there.

So. Why does it matter that I’m cleaning door seals at 4:25? Because I haven’t really completed processing any of it. I know that a lot of my issues (like my social anxiety that ebbs back and forth like a tide, or the depression that gets debilitating to the point where it’s using social anxiety as an excuse to wallow in itself) stem from an immense sense of guilt over my father’s death. I was only 15 feet away when he died, but I was asleep before getting up to get ready for work. Logically, I know there is no blame. He was ready, and his body was tired. Emotionally however, if I’d had woken up sooner, if I hadn’t have stopped to answer messages on my phone, if I hadn’t had done something that wasn’t important then he wouldn’t have died quiet and alone. Or maybe I could have saved him somehow… until I remembered that he had a DNR because he didn’t want to linger longer than he should have; and so he could return to my mom.

It’s 4:30, and I now probably have the cleanest and mintiest smelling kitchen in the entire apartment complex thanks to insurmountable guilt that I know is unreasonable and illogical. Yea, it’s probably broken me and made me enormously dysfunctional especially in interpersonal relationships. Romantic relationships are probably doubly dysfunctional, because nothing damages self worth like feeling that you failed a parent and that’s a train wreck women aren’t just dying to be a part of.

But, at least guilt gives me a clean kitchen, a remounted towel rack in the bathroom, clean domes on all the light fixtures, and the central air now puts out heat instead of just blowing lukewarm air about the place.

Now it’s 5:18. I wish I remembered how to relax enough to sleep.

Messenger permissions without the scare tactics.

In recent days, some people and websites have gone out of their way to play the 1984 card because Facebook wants to drop the messaging feature from their full app, and relegate it to the standalone messenger (which really, if you talk to people more than make FB posts, this is actually a benefit for you). But, because of the permissions required to grant people the power to do the things they expect of the app… Let’s just say a lot of people have been having a go at scaring everyone, because they want you to believe Mark Zuckerberg is going to hijack your Messenger app, activate the robot mode hidden in your phone’s firmware, and walk it around your house taking pictures of your dirty underwear. Or ever worse, take a picture of what you wear while you play Papa Pear Saga. That bastard!


Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t care about hijacking your camera so he can watch you poop. The guy has better things to do than to commandeer your microphone so he can listen to your fart sounds and the conversations you have with yourself while you’re home alone eating a bucket of ice cream. He just doesn’t care.

I opened up the app center on my Galaxy II (since I’m keeping it old school), and pulled the permissions for Messenger.

Facebook Messenger permissions, screen 1

Facebook Messenger permissions, screen 1

“Your Personal Information”

Social media is just that. You interlocking with your friends and acquaintances in a social manner. So a social media app is going to want to hook up with your contacts list to try and connect you with folks. Messenger ALSO has the capability to manage your texting features (so you can just send texts from inside of Messenger instead of switching to your text app), so it uses your contacts list JUST LIKE your messaging app does. Nothing really sinister or scary there, unless you think your built in messaging app is trying to steal your contacts.

“Services that cost you money”

This goes back to the SMS features of Messenger. The application makes no assumptions about your data plan or your text plan. If you use it to manage texts, it’s up to you to be aware that you may be charged for a text sent from the app (like you have some crazy limited text plan in 2014, Messenger will send that 301st text, even though you pay for anything over 300). There’s also a tap to dial feature, which comes in handy when someone sends you a phone number you asked for. Messenger will make the call for you, but it won’t check your minute plan.

“Your messages”

Should be a no brainer with already explaining how they integrate into your texting features and such. To send or read texts via the app, you have to give it permission to access your texts. “Edit your texts” refers to you typing the words in, and then the app inserts it into an SMS/MMS message. Thus, “edit”. Not “LULZ ALTER YOUR TEXT MESSAGE SO YOU KEEP SENDING YOUR MOM A TEXT THAT SAYS BOOBZ!”

“Your location”

GPS. Your phone has it, and Messenger will insert your location when you message another FB user if you have the little location icon active. It’s no big deal, because you can disable the location sharing in the app itself. It just sets up for the ability to use it if you decide to.

“Network communication”

This is getting permission to access the network, aka “the internet”, via mobile data and wifi. Every app on your phone probably has privileges for Network communication; otherwise none of them would ever connect to the internet. You’d never seen Pinterest again on your phone.


Big paranoia moment. “OMG. THE ZUCK WILL HAVE ACCESS TO MY STORAGE!” Not exactly. You know when you’re chatting with Grandma, and you want to send her a picture of your kid? Or you’re talking to your BFF from college, and you’re trying to send them a picture you took with your phone of the guy you slept with last night? That all gets tucked away in the storage of your phone. In order to send pictures to Grandma, or to prove you’ve still got the goods to slut it up in your 30’s, the application needs to get allowances to open your storage in order to send that picture. Think of it as you keep your pictures in a photo album, and I ask you if I can open your photo album so I can show my cousin Vinnie the picture you were telling him about.

Messenger permissions, screen 2

Messenger permissions, screen 2

“Hardware controls”

Yes, this is where folks get scared. This is the area that makes people think Zuck is watching them to find the next German schizer porn star. What’s it mean though? If you want to turn the volume up or down while you’re playing back a voice message your friend Billy sent you in Messenger, the app has to have permission to access the hardware control for volume. If not, you’re stuck at whatever the preset was. The entire microphone portion is for the voice message Billy recorded and sent you. If the app doesn’t get permission for that, then Billy’s SOL and has to call you, give you his up to 10 minutes of sound, and then hang up and message you again. Same thing goes for the camera. If you want to take a picture and send it to a friend via Facebook messages, the app has to be able to get to the camera and invoke the camera. Without the privilege to do so, Facebook nor Messenger can use your camera. No posting pictures of your dinner, no more videos of your cat purring at your phone. That’s all it’s trying to do, is get permission to access the camera to do things *you* want it to do.

“Phone calls”

Kind of a no brainer. The app needs to read your call status so it knows what to do. If you’re in Messenger, and Messenger notices a change in call status because a call is coming in, it knows to send itself to the background so your dialer can take over. Or maybe it needs know “If a call is coming in, I need to stop controlling the audio levels and return control of that to the operating system”. Not check to see when it should eavesdrop on you.

“System tools”

This is where Messenger can do things like prevent your phone from going to sleep if you’re watching a video, pull data from other apps (like your texting app, for example), and such. It’s there to allow the app to modify the behavior of the phone to allow the app to work as intended.

Messenger permissions, screen 3

Messenger permissions, screen 3

These are typically hidden, but I popped it out just to show.


You know those notifications that appear on the bar next to the time and your battery level? That’s the control for it.

“Network communication”

This enables the application to download things from the internet without you opening the app and doing it yourself. Like, the meme your friend sent you. You ever wonder why when you open the message up that the picture’s already there? That’s what this permission does. It allows for that to happen without you having to do it.

“Development tools”

Access to protected storage, which is within the bounds of pulling logs and trying to develop a better application. I run beta versions of FB applications, which means those permissions are really important.

The rest are pretty self explanatory. But, I want people to stop and think while they’re trying to make Facebook’s apps into some bigger demon, have they ever looked at the other apps they use and declared them “sinister motive”? I have, and I don’t subscribe to that notion. Then again, I have stopped and made the effort to understand the technology I use instead of letting someone else dictate to me what I should believe it does. ;)

This is Instagram. Do you think they’re trying to take pictures of you taking a wee?

Instagram permissions 1

Instagram permissions 1

Instagram permissions 2

Instagram permissions 2

Every sperm is sacred..

Since they always invariably delete it before people can read it, once they realize how stupid it sounds, here’s the ad:


looking for a healthy male to help a couple conceive a child, Must be DDD Free,Must be able to prove it, Drama free, and attractive White, Or mixed preferred. Must Live In Newport News or Hampton and Independent(have your own place).Also must be avaliable in the mornings.Please Provide A Pic and why your interested and i will do the same i am not ugly:).Please keep your negative comments to yourself”

Somehow, I don’t think people who don’t understand genetics or how to use caps should be allowed to have babies. I mean, you really think the donor being “attractive” is really going to impact how the baby looks? You don’t actually give a fuck all if the donor’s intelligent, artistic, creative, none of that stuff that actually matters in mating. You just care that they’re attractive. You do realize that won’t mean anything anyways, once the world of Harrison Bergeron comes to fruition anyway right? What? You don’t know who that is? Vonnegut? Still not ringing any bells? Eeesh. Please don’t reproduce. This world doesn’t have more room for another Honey BooBoo. 


When posting things for sale on Craigslist…..

I think that if someone actually had the patience to teach a course in “How to take pictures of things you’d like to get rid of on the Internet”, we’d be looking at a cash cow folks. Literally. We could hollow out a heifer and just stuff her full of the loot garnered from this venture.

So, my lovely friend Erin (who is well aware of my fascination with the horror that is CL) points this link out to me this morning. We’ll just assume that she was probably looking for a couch or some kind of furniture deal, since she did manage to flip a couch for a hundred or two in profit that she got off of CL because it wasn’t “as advertised” (note: when you say that it’s clean and it’s covered in animal smell, IT’S NOT CLEAN. Dirty whores.). The ad that was at the end of the link, however, shows several things not right with humans who post on CL.

This is “the offending link itself“.

“Practically brand new sectional, we bought it and found out it did not fit in our living room. We already have other couches. I am asking 300$ for it. Let me know. ”

It reads well. So you bought it, it didn’t fit in your living room (which I mean. It’s a sectional. I know math is a declining skill in America these days, but you couldn’t work it out at ALL?), and now you’re trying to off load it. That could be a deal for me. Sweet.


Well uh. Points on the panorama shot bro. Good thinking ahead for me, so I could get the “full view” of the complete piece. But something just doesn’t seem assembled correctly. Or, could it possibly be the fact you COULDN’T BOTHER TO CLEAN UP BEFORE TAKING PICTURES?? I mean honestly. Oh wait, you included better close up shots of this couch after being introduced into it’s “natural habitat”? Wow, thanks for that.


Is that a Christmas tree? Are you kidding me? I appreciate your desire to carry the Yule spirit year round. That’s awesome and we really should love each other all the time like we do every December 25. However, it has a box, and it comes apart. You don’t need to just tip it over at the New Year’s Eve rager you throw every year and just leave it where it falls. Props on safety first as well. I notice that you made sure your fake tree was safely seated in the baby seat, and that takes a special sense of “usin’ the old noggin'”. I only hope that your baby is not firmly stuck in the stand that the tree used to occupy. That may be difficult to explain when someone comes to pick up the couch. (This couch also doubles as a coat rack, and a snowboard stand. It serves a THOUSAND purposes!)


Part of me wants to ask what were you thinking, this couch with that grape juice colored carpet. That’s all your aesthetic though, so I respect that. Could you AT LEAST have gotten your dirty clothes off of my potential new couch? Hoping that you would clean up your random papers and throw away what looks like a Taco Bell sauce pack is a little bit too much, I know. Maybe taken the pillow off as well, although I do dig how it matches your wall color sorta.


Oh, wow! You just threw the pillow on the floor so I could get a better view of the worn cushion! I appreciate that even doing that, seeing how you left the sauce pack looking refuse in place for integrity. But do I get the yellow thing that’s creeping out from behind the couch too? Or are you going to want to hold onto that?

I would think that if I’m going to try to get $300 out of someone for this clearly not “almost new” couch, that I would put in some effort to clean and make it look nice, including the environment it’s in. This poster might as well have left the fat, sweaty guy laying naked on the couch with a bag of Funyons in one hand while he wiped the other hand on the side between sections.

This is truly, truly, an example of how society has degraded folks. I so hope this is the worst of it today.

Oh society, sometimes I wonder where your true desires lay.

From an OkCupid profile:

“You… Intelligent. Must have a job and be independent (aka please don’t live with your parents). Kids are okay, even preferred but not necessary. Liberal-minded. Not crazy religious. Practices good hygiene. Doesn’t wear pants below butt. Manly but with a sense of romance. Chivalrous: you’re a man, you take me out, you treat me like a lady.”

Damn. Lost me right after “must have a job”. I know, there’s some basic social instruction where we’re programmed that folks living with parents are an automatic flag that they’re lazy people who can’t take care of themselves and depend on their parents to survive. In the world of failing economies, record unemployment, and the basic fact that the cost of things continually increase while employee pay fails to keep up even in a remotely adequate way, it almost seems ridiculous to use that as a measuring stick anymore. The elderly in America are even more screwed in this, as that all the money they put into the Social Security system to “help when they’re older” just doesn’t cut it anymore (can you imagine working for 60 years of your life to get 1200 a month in “benefits” while Congress refuses Cost of Living Adjustments, while constantly increasing their pay for the same reasons?). 

Not everyone is “living with their parent/s” because they’re lazy. Some are doing it because they have kids and it’s the only way they can survive with a flailing job market and economy. Some are doing it because they’ve lost jobs or their homes and have no where else to turn. Then there’s another block, who are doing it because their parents are elderly and need the extra hand. It’s always been an “old timey” saying that you can tell the quality of the person by how they treat their parents, yet in modern “dating” we’ve seemed to make an effort to punish folks who show that family is important to them. 

Personally, I’m back home with my Dad because after being here helping my Dad take care of my mom in the final months of terminal cancer, I realized how much he needed me to be here. Even if it’s just to sit around to watch TV with him sometimes, or help with the bills since his various retirement money sources doesn’t cover the bills (even after having to declare bankruptcy at the age of 70). While it hurts sometimes and feels pretty insulting that someone would deem me as not worth their time because I opted to be here to take care of my mom towards the end of her life, and to be here to help take care of my dad in his later years, I can only say this to those who use it as a measuring stick: *YOU* are missing out on someone who would be right beside you “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do we part.” All because you mistake a notion of materialism as a sign that someone’s got possibility as a “quality” mate.