Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Railroad I am Modeling...

Such a Pleasant Soul...

This morning was my sanity injection.  My normal nurse, Rebecca, administered it.  I love her to death.  She is so kind and understanding.  She realizes how embarrassing it is for me to pull my pants down to be injected in my buttock. 

"Oh my!" Rebecca said as she scurried to the counter to get gauze.

I turned to look and there was a puddle of blood on the floor.

"Your gushing!"

The blood soon stopped.  It happens from time to time, but has scared many a nurse at my doctor's office from ever administering my shot again. 

What a difference my shot makes!  Last night, I was really struggling.  I was mired in those old anxiety attacks.  I remember mom calling around 11 PM to check on me and all I said was, "HELP!"

"Your shot is in the morning," she told me kind heartedly.   There was little else she could do.

Now?  I am already feeling calmer just thirty minutes post injection.  I can relax.  My delusions are gone.   The stinkin' thinkin' is dead in it's tracks.   

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ladies Night Out...

Tonight is mom's night out at Julia's. They eat finger foods and gossip. "I wish they wouldn't talk about that Catholic Church so much," I can hear my mom say in my mind. She always says that afterwards.

I've spent the day reading old Model Railroaders and daydreaming. I drew out a track plan today for my front bedroom. It seems you always need more space for a model railroad.

Maggie's spent the day in the bed. It's a dog's day off. She is just being lazy. My much vaunted alarm system is not working up to snuff.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Taiwan Chronicles

A woman's and a man's chronicle to pick up their new adopted daughter in Taiwan.  Little Ellen looks adorable and there is nothing like the smile on a baby to provoke warm feelings.

Taiwan Chronicles

Biscuits Anyone?

I ended up eating breakfast with my father this morning.  He cooked Clarke Brother's sausage and homemade biscuits.  We then had a long discussion about my independence.

"I don't want you to start drinking again," he told me when I asked about receiving money again.

"I could easily be drinking now," I told him.


"Pawn shop silly," I replied. "I have a ton of electronics at the house."

He scratched his chin and looked thoughtful.

"Give us a few more months," he said, picking his Atlanta Journal and Constitution newspaper back up to read.

I sulked home feeling defeated.  As I was driving home, I thought of Joyce and thought of how she would do anything to be in my shoes and alive.  I have a pretty nice life and lack nothing.  It was a glass half full or empty moment.  I chose the half full route.  I feel better.  Nothing can steal my thunder today.  

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Two Peas in a Pod...

Thought of going camping tonight, but passed.  Mom stayed much later than she usually does.  We had a good time drinking diet Dr. Pepper, talking, and watching Forensic Files on Tru TV. 

I realized tonight how lonely us two souls are, I and mom.  Mom and I are both stuck at home for most of the day.  She sleeps.  I listen to the radio all day.   My social anxieties keeping me from going to AA like I should.  We often call each other several times a day and usually one of us ends up over at each other's houses.  We don't talk much as there is not much about our lives to share.  Mom loves to hear about my daily schedule.  When I slept, what I wrote on my blog, and what I had for lunch. 

Personally? Lately, I have been so worried about the economy.  The gas lines and shortages remind me of the seventies and Carter's term in office.  I take some solace in the fact that my car and house are paid for lock, stock, and barrel.  Mom and dad's house is also paid for, but dad just bought an expensive SUV.  That worries me.  He is also looking into expanding his pharmacy by purchasing another building for his home health care operations.   I told him to be careful.

My biggest expense? Medications bar none.  My meds run $2000 dollars a month and are completely covered by Medicare part D.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Helen came today.  I don't want to sound ungrateful, but is it terrible of me to not want her here?  I have to entertain and be social for the five hours she is here and it exhausts me.  She also doesn't have a car and her son usually carries her around.  I had to drive her home today and it was in bum f**k Egypt. 

Enough complaining.  Helen cooked a wonderful supper of fried pork chops, steamed cabbage, glazed carrots, and corn bread.  My house is also spotless.  I am just exhausted though. 

Mom has taken it upon herself to stock my kitchen with certain needed items.  She brought a pizza cutter today and some glasses wrapped in newspaper.  She also brought me a box of Cheez-its of which I have already eaten half the box despite being full from supper.  I cannot resist Cheez-its. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008


A Cornucopia That Was a Beige Honda...

Mom's car pulled up in front of my house full of groceries and surprises.  Maggie did her usual happy dance and squealed she was so excited. 

"I've got you a surprise in the car," mom said as I walked out to greet her.

In the back seat of mom's car were bound copies of Model Railroader magazine from the 80's and 90's.

"Oh my God," was all I could say I was so overjoyed.

"You like them?" mom asked.

"Mom, I can relive my childhood looking at these old magazines.  Thank you."

I foresee many long hours curled up in my Lazy Boy enjoying these old magazines.  It is going to be a good day. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Under the Weather...

I haven't felt well today.  I'm dealing with those anxiety attacks again.  They came out of the blue after doing well for weeks.  I still can't decide if it's schizophrenia symptoms or separate.  My gut instinct tells me it is my medications.  I dare not mention this though for the repercussions.  

Mom came today and stayed a long time.  We were quiet and just watched TV.  She brought me another Coca-Cola which thrilled me.

Maggie has been my constant companion tonight.  She is currently underfoot.  I think she can sense when something is not quite right. 

Well, let me listen to some of my favorite online radio shows.  Dad will be here soon with more Klonopin and then I will retire.   

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's a Hard Life, But Someone's Gotta Live It...

Pull up a chair and let me tell you about my railroad...

The old model railroad bug has bitten me very hard. It is all I think about, dream about, and ruminate about in my free time. Old Model Railroader magazines from decades past are pulled out and make a pile around me and my Lazy Boy lounger.

Mom came by this afternoon to see Maggie. In a sack was a 20 oz regular Coca-Cola.

"For me?" I asked.

"Thought you would enjoy a treat," mom replied.

It was one of the best tasting cokes I've had in ages and I savored every drop. I was especially keen on the caffeine jolt as such drugs are all I have left after becoming sober.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Down Mother Lane...

It has been a completely uneventful day.  I've had a slight toothache and ran by mom's to get some Tylenol.  Helen was in the kitchen ironing dad's shirts.  She made a big fuss over seeing me and I told her how much I enjoyed the roast she cooked Friday for me. 

Mom was in the bed still in her pajamas when I walked back to her bedroom.   It was well after noon. 

"You going to sleep all day?" I asked in jest.

"I am dreading going to see mother at the nursing home this afternoon," mom replied.

I laughed and I shouldn't have, but my mom and her mother are like oil and water. 

"Will you go with me?" mom then asked, pleading, putting me on the spot.

"Uhhh. Errr," I stuttered. "I think I am having a panic attack."

Momma rolled her eyes and pulled the covers back over her head.  I laughed and laughed and then finally kissed her on the cheek and told her good luck.   

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Particle Accelerator Rap! Word UP!

CERN Rap from Will Barras on Vimeo.

A New Measure of Things...

I ran into Big S this morning.  He's lost A LOT of weight.

"How are you losing weight?" I asked him.

"The economy," Big S said with a frown. "No one is giving these days. I'm not eating as much."

Big S then went on to tell me George is still drinking heavily.  I care a whole hell of a lot about George and wish he would quit.  He will have to hit his own personal low to do so though. 

I left Big S to go pick up some batteries at the dollar store.  I hope to catch some great photos of the leaves changing.  The change in seasons would always usually depress me, but I am excited this year.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Make Mine Super SIZED!

Mom came to visit this afternoon.  She was in an uncommonly good mood.  Very spritely.

"I'm hungry," she said as she stood up after sitting awhile to the drone of The Weather Channel. "We're headed to Wendy's."

"We're?" I asked, standing up.

"Yes, we're," she said as she handed me her car keys. 

Before long, we were back at my house eating our hamburgers and fries.  This is such a treat for me and even Maggie got a single w/ cheese. 

Our discussion turned to our mental illnesses as it often does.  Mom wanted to know how different I thought my life would be without schizophrenia.

"I would probably be married with kids working some white collar job somewhere," I told her. "I certainly wouldn't be dependant upon you all."

"If I could do anything, it would be to change time and go back and fix that for you so you would have a normal life," mom told me with a tear erupting from the corner of her eye.

It was one of the nicest things my mother has ever said to me.  She is not the emotional type these days, like me, due to the emotional blunting our medications impart.   It only shows you how far a parent will go to help a wayward child.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Landmark Day!

What a busy day.  It started with a quick jaunt down the interstate to my doctor's office.  We didn't have to wait long. 

"Why don't you try yoga?" my doctor asked. "I do it every morning."

Can you see big, burly me doing yoga?  My eyes glossed over and I fell into a trance as he rambled on about it. 

Then it came time to write the prescriptions.  I held my breath as he rattled off the various drugs I take.

"How 'bout your Klonopin?" he asked.

"It has really helped him and he has been very responsible with it," my father chimed in.   Thank you, dad!

I was so relieved when he wrote me another prescription for it.  It is the one thing I have found to stave off those anxiety attacks I am prone to have.

On the drive home, dad and I talked about putting together a plan for me becoming more independent.   Soon, I will start getting money again.  Followed by my bills coming to me and for me to start buying my groceries again.  I was just overjoyed we were talking about this matter as two rational, adult human beings.  I was so excited after such a good day that I was bouncing off the walls when I arrived home. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An Imposter Bought Me Cigarettes...

It was that time of the week.  My once weekly call for cigarettes.  I hate, hate, hate to do it.  It makes me want to quit.  I called mom and she was asleep in the bed.

"Would you mind me driving you down to Fat's to get me some cigarettes?" I said over the phone.

Mom mumbled something incoherent and hung up the phone.  I felt terrible.

When I arrived at my parent's house, mom was still in the bed.  She seemed drugged.  I had to help her up and help her get dressed.  I felt like such a schlep.  Into the car she went and I walked around to buckle her up.   Off to Fat Albert's we go.

Mom managed to wake up some by the time we got there.  She was lucid enough to buy me and her a drink which is always a treat for me, the caffeine.  

"Thank you," I told her driving home. "You made my day."

"I don't mind doing this," she said.

She was a asleep again by the time I pulled back in her driveway. 

Tomorrow, I go see my psychiatrist.  I am already nervous about it.  Dad is going with me.  I am not sure if we should just leave well enough alone and not adjust my medications.  I anticipate begging for more Klonopin. 

Monday, September 15, 2008

Let Her Rip, Baby!

Try not to eat colon blow before a live television appearance.  M'kay?


I woke up this morning and raised up in my bed.  "300 days!" I exclaimed.  Maggie lay next to me.  "300 days sobriety!  Maggins!" I exclaimed to her.  She didn't look too impressed.  She rolled over and went back to licking her paws.

Today is going to be a day of AA meetings in celebration.  I feel there is no more fitting way to spend my day.  This will also mean using lots of gas so I will have to go cajole mom into filling up my car.  Her hair appointment isn't till 3 o'clock.  I just have to catch her in the right mood.

I still have weaknesses.  My parents have had a case of beer in their fridge for weeks now.  Every time I go over, my scheming little brain goes into overdrive trying to figure out a way to drink a beer.  Hey, I am only being honest.   I am usually chaperoned anytime I go downstairs to that fridge.  LOL!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Star Light, Star Bright...

What a wonderful night last night!  Once I arrived, I got busy making a fire and I still have my touch.  A fire was soon roaring and I got some Hoboes cooking.  Hoboes are ground beef patties smothered with onions, carrots, potatoes, ketchup, and mustard.  I ate supper and it had grown dark.  I curled up in my sleeping bag to listen to the whip-o-wills while I read a book by flashlight.  The stars were amazing last night.  There really is no comparison to the same stars seen in the city.  Out in the country, you have no light pollution.  

I woke this morning very early which is usual for me when I camp.  I gathered up all my gear and stuffed it in the back of my Honda.  I still don't have a radio in my car and it was a long and boring drive back into town from God's country. 

I am worried my medications are making me stupid.  It took all I had out of me to write this post.  Blogging used to come so easy to me.  Now, it is a chore.  Oh well.  It could be worse.  I could be struggling with schizophrenia symptoms and I am not lately. 

Saturday, September 13, 2008

And the Bug Bites...

The camping bug has bitten me hard these past few days. It all started with a news article on a homeless tent city, and I am rearing to go. Luckily, my family owns about 200 acres of timberland in God's country. I am headed out tonight to pitch my tent and revel in the waning sunlight.

The hard part? Mentally, I associate camping with drinking. My past camping trips always involved a case of beer or a fifth of Southern Comfort. I will have to be careful and not get drawn back into those old habits.

My ex-wife once wanted to go camping with me. She wanted to "make love under the stars." She wasn't out there for two hours until the deer, mosquitos, and the boredom chased her home, dragging me with her.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ferret's Follies...

Did some scouting down at Ferret's old homeless campsite this morning with the intent on going camping.  It is by the grand Chattahoochee River within a stones throw of the municipal water treatment plant.  The Homeless Guy's recent article on Nashville's tent city got my interest in camping piqued.  The place is still heavily littered with beer cans, though.  And I would also be trespassing if I camped there. 

After leaving the campsite, I rode my mountain bike across the highway to the shopping center.  None of the gang regulars were out today. I would have liked to have talked to Big S for a bit. 

There was a call from Rosa when I arrived home.  We haven't talked in weeks and now she is wanting to borrow my car for a day.  No thanks!  I still miss her very much, but what is said and done is said and done.  There is no turning back to those blissful days when we were in love. 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fuzzy Bear...

Sleepy Time...

Maggie kills me sleeping vicariously on these couch cushions.  She is so afraid she will miss something out-of-doors thus the close proximity to the window. 


"Your hands are shaking something terribly," my mother told me this morning.

I could barely pick up a glass of fruit punch to take a drink.

"Are you okay?"

"It's these damn anxiety attacks," I replied. 

Mom walked over to sit next to me and held my hands. 

"Calm down," she said. "It is going to be okay."

Within moments I was feeling a little better.  All it takes sometimes is a sympathetic soul to help.

"My hands shake too because of my medications," my mother told me.

She held up her hands and they, too, were trembling.  Mom then got up and went into my bathroom to get some of my Klonopin.

"Here take two of these," she said handing me the pills.

I try not to take them for fears my father will quit giving them to me.  He says I will get addicted to them. 

Mom left and I felt so much better.  I wonder if she knows what she means to me.  She, too, is schizophrenic and understands what we go through.  That little bit of TLC made all the difference in my day today.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Excellent Article...

Excellent article on Nashville's tent city which is soon to be demolished.  Find it on The Homeless Guy

There is also this excellent photo essay to view. 

A Two For...

Went to lunch with Wanda.  She was fading fast after working all night.  I was delighted just to get out of the house and to spend time with a friend. 

"You seem tired today," Wanda told me over our cheeseburgers.

"My anxiety attacks are back," I replied. "I feel nervous and edgy; afraid to drive."

I was also starving today - starving for carbohydrates and cheese.  Wanda laughed when I went back to the front of McDonalds to order another cheeseburger. 

"You're the proverbial bottomless pit," she told me. 

I realized I was embarrassing myself and restrained from eating any more.  We said our goodbyes and I drove on home.

Now, I am waiting on mom to arrive.  She usually shows up sometime in the afternoon.  I am still hungry for company and so is Maggie.  I do hope she arrives in the next hour or two.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Milquetoast Me...

I was asked via email today if I saw a difference in my blog medicated and un-medicated.  YES!  Off my medications, I am much more emotional, spontaneous, excitable, crazy!  I also saw a big difference when I was drinking as well.  Drinking fueled my creative fires and made me do things that I wouldn't normally do. 

Now?  You get the milquetoast me.  The medicated, subdued, sober persona that I find boring. 

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Day of Trains...

I was walking home from watching trains when my old friend and cohort, George, honked his horn at me.

"What's up white boy?" George hollered from the downed window of his Buick.

I grinned furiously as George navigated traffic and I walked on home.  It was the first time I had seen George in months and months.  I had so many questions to ask him.  Like, "Where's Ferret?" And, "Are you still drinking?"  All these questions would have to wait until some other day, though.


You can really tell it is fall by the crickets.  I have fond memories of college and typing term papers this time of year.  Fall crickets would be serenading me through an open patio door.  Each evening runs it's course by finding me and Maggie sitting on my porch as I smoke some extremely aromatic pipe tobacco.  It is a fitting end to a nice day.


I was trying to get across to my father today that my model railroad will encompass a whole bedroom. 

"You mean you have to move your bed out?" he asked.

"It means the front bedroom will be nothing but trains," I replied.

He didn't look too sure about this "plan." 

"Wait before you start building," he told me. "I want to run it by Charlie." 

That was fine by me because it will take months and months of saving funds to be able to start.  I have the grandest dreams, though, and it is fun to play with them in my head.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mister Green Knees...

"I am going to have a panic attack!" I pleaded with my father this morning as he cranked up a lawn mower and handed the reigns to me.

"Aw shit!" my father hollered over the loud mower. "Yard work will do you good."

Hours later: sweaty and green at my knees, we quit.

"Now don't you feel better?" dad asked, smiling, and drinking some icy cold water.

I drank my water and was in kind of a content trance.  I am so out of shape and an afternoon of yard work did me good. 

Most of all, it was bonding time spent with my father doing the thing he most loves to do.  He's 62 and not getting any younger.  I need to relish these times we share together. 

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Check this Out...

This is my new favorite website. I can browse for hours looking at all the food. Leaves me hungry, though.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I went to an early morning AA meeting today.  I thought I wasn't going to make it.  I have trouble with day to day tasks that most people take for granted.  I shed a few tears in the shower trying to will myself through it.  Shaving was laborious and cringe inducing. 

Wanda was there this morning.  She had just gotten off her nightly shift at the hospital.  She regaled me in tales of the various patients that came through last night.

"You wouldn't believe some of the characters we see," she told me. "Drunks all night doing stupid stuff."

"Kinda makes you glad you are sober.  Doesn't it?" I asked her.

She agreed and did something completely to my surprise.  She gave me a hug out of nowhere. 

"Thanks," I said blushing.

"You looked like you needed it," Wanda replied.

I wanted the hug to last forever, but it was just a short embrace.   I've always been a very touchy feely person despite my social anxieties.  I love to shake hands and grasp shoulders.  I realize some people are uncomfortable with that.  But Wanda's hug was the best thing that happened to me today.  There was a spring in my step and a feeling of bravado in my voice for the rest of the day.   

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

One Giant Leap for Mankind...

I bought cigarettes today.  On my own.  I actually had thirty dollars in cash in my wallet.  I walked past the beer cooler and didn't even flinch.  Budweiser, see ya.

Usually buying cigarettes is a complicated affair for me.  I have to call mom, make sure she is awake, and drive her down to Fat Albert's to write a check.   I am always horribly embarrassed that mom writes a check for a carton of cigarettes.  The cashiers act totally surly about it.

I could have easily bought a case of beer.  These little victories on the road of sobriety mean so much to me.  It also felt so good to just drive somewhere and buy what I need, and it not turn into something as complicated as rocket science.   

Monday, September 1, 2008

Six Million Dollar Man vs. Sasquatch

How did I miss this gloriously crappy pile of poo growing up?  I loved the six million dollar man on television and in toy form. 

Dinner for One...

"Come on!  You can go!" Wanda pleaded with me over the phone.  "We will have a great time!"

My hands were shaking.  I was furiously smoking a Doral Light. 

"Sorry, I can't," I told her. "I just feel unwell today."

Unwell meant suffering from social anxiety and the assorted phobias.

"Well, I will quit bugging you, but I wish you would come," Wanda said at one feeble last attempt to get me to go and then we hung up our phones.

I slumped deep down in my sofa's cushions and sighed a sigh of relief.  The last thing I could take today was being social at an AA cookout.   The meetings are hard enough on me. 

Many hours have passed and I have what my grandmother always called, "ants in your pants."  That on-edge antsy feeling associated with boredom.   Now, I am wishing I would have least gone in my car and tried the cookout.  That way, I could have left if I felt uncomfortable.