iJustine

This is classic. I almost completely forgot about this. Sometimes I’m glad I’m such an email pack rat. With over half a million followers, Justine Ezarik (iJustine) has a following to followers ratio of 1:209. That means that she follows less than one half of 1% of the people who follow her. How did I get so lucky? No idea.

Interesting side-note: I stopped following her when every other tweet was about cupcakes. I figured that’s when she jumped the shark. But after sampling the many yummy varieties of Cake in a Cup with Ken, Becki, and Katy, I’m starting to understand what she was talking about. Now I feel as though I may have judged her prematurely. Cupcakes are F’in amazing! I might have to start following her again. Sorry, Justine. We’ll always have cupcakes.

This morning, I finally got to attend a Social Media Breakfast Toledo (#SMBTOL). I got so see some familiar faces and finally had the opportunity to move beyond the Twitter avatars with others. This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive  list of attendees. Rather, these are the TOLeeps that I’ve connected with on a personal level, all of whom share valuable content on Twitter.

  • @drigotti – Dave Rigotti was the speaker this morning. His presentation, “Do’s and Don’ts of Business Blogging,” can be found on his blog, along with many other valuable social media insights. At the end of this month, Dave will be moving to Seattle to accept a position with Microsoft working in a key role on Bing.
  • @MikeDriehorst – Mike Driehorst is an integral member of the SMBTOL team. His blog, Mike’s Points, serves as an excellent companion to his work at TalentZoo and Toledo Free Press.
  • @pwgiammarco – Pat Giammarco (no, not the guy from Marco’s Pizza) is Northwest Ohio’s only certified Duct Tape Marketing Coach. Pat has been instrumental to the success of SMBTOL and has helped many small business succeed through PWG Marketing.
  • @mikebrice – Mike Brice provided the exceptional images from this morning’s event. More information on Mike’s photography can be found here.
  • @janeile – Janeile Cudjoe’s blog, Janeile 2.0, is a great outlet for social media professionals and enthusiasts looking for interaction from the author. Janeile’s writing style is such an easy read because it’s so conversational. The only thing better than a Janeile 2.0 blog post is having the opportunity to speak to her in person.
  • @scottradcliff – Relatively new to web development, Scott Radcliff’s story is inspiring and one I’ll be sharing with you all on TOLeeps very soon. In the meantime, check out Scott’s blog, Source Code Junkie.
  • @biztube247Victoria Kamm takes on the challenging task of keeping up with the moving target that is SEO. There are lots of great social media and SEO links to follow in Vickie’s tweets.
  • @drintelmann – I’m not gonna say a word about Damian Rintelmann. If you don’t know, you’d better ask somebody. Just read his blog, Breakaway Digital, and follow him. (#SMDF)
  • @jwright – Jamie Wright tells it like it is. His writing style at Wrightin.gs makes for an enjoyable read, even if you’re not knowledgable on his subject material.
  • @8thLopez – My Tattooleetup partner-in-crime, Sara Lopez maintains Lopez’s Blog, chronicling her adventures as the first social media guru for 8th Continent soymilk.
  • @KFish29 – A talented and soft-spoken designer, Kristin Fisher’s work can be found at Kristin [K] Fisher. She won’t fill your timeline with walls of text, but when she does tweet, it’s relevant.
  • @kcesarz – A fellow Chris Merritt fan, Kevin Cesarz maintains the cleverly-titled i scream social. But the silly title belies the depth of this blog, covering a wide range of social media topics.

Well, that should do it for this Friday. I hope at least a few of you found some fellow Toledoans to call friends today. But no, I will not be taking part in Teetup. I’m afraid that my confusion over the concept may lead to my involvement being detrimental to the cause. I hate inside jokes in blogs. But for those of you who were there, I completely missed a pretty important part of that story before I walked up. I’ll see you all on Twitter.

Hola. Welcome to the new home for my personal blog posts. If you haven’t read my Why Another Blog? page, do so now. You haven’t read it. Why are you still here? Seriously. Go read it! Cool. That saves me from saying some of the same things twice. From this point forward, this blog will be all about my life outside of social media. If you arrived here via some form of trickery and could care less about my personal life, go back to SocialSev where you came from.

Now that we’ve weeded out the stragglers, I hope you’ll continue to follow all of my adventures with Noah, Katy, and the rest of the people near and dear to my heart. I probably won’t be updating here with the frequency of the past as I will be focusing most of my energy on honing my “professional” blogging skills and getting TOLeeps up and running. But I’ll try to update here every now and then. Whether it be escapades with my little man, date nights with my beautiful wife, or random adventures with Matt, Whitney, or my “Twitter friends,” I’ll make a genuine effort to spend some time here. And speaking of Twitter, follow me at @7son75 if you don’t already. Updates to both blogs will be tweeted from that account thanks to the good folks over at twitterfeed. Until then, thanks for reading.

I’d like to thank Jolie O’Dell for capturing this moment. I almost forgot it happened. I don’t think I’d ever told that story before that night. It might not seem like much, but the story means a lot to me. By the way, that’s Josh Kulpa and Dingman who occasionally poke their heads into the video. Had a great time with those two that night. Jazz clubs that close by midnight, liquor stores that accept WIC, and a beautiful woman with the power to seduce you to Central America. Good times.

Yesterday was a day that I had been looking forward to for about a week. If you haven’t figured it out by reading posts to my other various social networking entities, Katy and I have been spending a lot of time together lately. There’s still a mess of epic proportions between us, but we’re taking one day at a time. Having a four-year-old child complicates the ability to spend any kind of “quality time” alone. So last week, I asked my mom if she could watch our little man overnight on Saturday to give us some time alone.

The plan was simple: dinner, some gambling in Detroit, some cocktails afterward, and a good night’s sleep. Katy dropped Noah off at my parents’ house at around 3:30 as I was scheduled off of work at 4:00. Serendipity found us approaching our driveway from opposite directions at the exact same time. That gave me a pretty good vibe for that night that brought a smile to my face. After a brief stopover at the house to let the dog out, we were quickly en route to downtown Toledo.

Our first order of business was to get our tummies good and full for the night. Spaghetti Warehouse filled that need pretty efficiently. We decided to bypass beverages of the alcoholic variety for the moment, opting for coffee and the caffeine to make the night last as long as possible. We scarfed down our tasty Italian dishes, then headed up to my apartment so I could change out of my work clothes. Following a quick detour to the bank for some bettin’ money, we were on the road for The D. Parched and already starting to get tired, we stopped off at the McD’s in Monroe, MI for a couple more coffees.

Let me say one thing before I continue. We knew that there was going to be construction on 75 in Detroit before we left. In fact, I had already plotted my route before we left. Getting there was cake. With the exception of the M-39 portion of the trip, which took us through the pseudo-ghetto of SW Detroit, the route was pretty quick and painless. OK… back to the story. Just remember that I mentioned that the detour to get to the casino was pretty simple.

Anyhow, we brought $100 to throw at the slot machines and hope for the best. We decided to focus on the nickel and quarter slots to make the most of our limited budget. We sat down at neighboring quarter slots and went to town. I inadvertently chose a nine line machine, thinking it was just a single line, three reel machine. After a handful of Max Bets, I quickly realized that my $20 deposit was now somewhere in the neighborhood of eight bucks. A couple more spins and my first Jackson was a memory. Katy didn’t fare much better. Within an hour, we were dead broke. When you budget a set amount of money to gamble with and you run out, there’s only one thing to do as a disciplined gambler: withdraw more money. Katy snagged forty bucks and we were back at it.

We moved back to the nickel slots and had minimal success. To extend our brief stay at the beautiful MGM Grand, we decided to move to the two cent slots. I did pretty well betting two credits on three lines. I at least stayed afloat. Katy seemed to be in a race to zero. I quickly caught her descent when I accidentally opted for Max Bet three times in a row, pissing away 90 credits with each pull. When it was all said and done, we shot another $40 in less than twenty minutes. Katy quickly declared, “Well, let’s go do some drinkin’ somewhere.” This is where things got messy.

As we exited the MGM Grand parking garage, I decided to take the same detour home in the reverse order. Getting back onto M-10N was a breeze. We passed the new Motor City Casino on our left as we made the trek to 94W. As we approached the exit, we saw the orange signs of doom indicating that our desired route was no longer within the realm of possibilities. For God knows what reason, the 94W detour was… ahem… 94E. WTF? For the moment, I was willing to give the state of Michigan the benefit of the doubt. I followed the detour signs blindly until we passed the Motor City Casino for the second time. Not happy.

I decided to follow the Lodge all the way up to 96W, hoping that I could pick up a southbound road to get me to 94 and back on track. Michigan had other ideas. Detour signs for 75S got us pretty far west of town, then stopped altogether. On my own accord, I got us back to 94W by way of a botched detour that took us right through the heart of the ‘hood that earned The D the top spot on the national violent crimes list. We passed a couple dudes hanging out on their front porch. One was sitting down having a drink. The other was standing, talking on his cell with a piece tucked into the waistband of his shorts. Awesome. Once I was back in familiar surroundings, I got us back to M-39S en route to 75S.

This is where the real fun began. As we closed in on the on ramp for 75S, I put on my right turn signal to get the hell out of there. Michigan let me down again by cleverly putting the sign for the on ramp after the ramp itself. Pissed off, I noticed the three lanes of traffic between me and the upcoming Michigan U to come back to said on ramp. Katy’s heart was put to the test as I floored it, slicing across the three lanes of traffic, into the U-turn, and quickly making a 180 degree turn. I’m pretty sure the car was up on only the passenger side wheels for a second or two. The U-turn landed us in the far left lane. Rather than making a left onto the same ramp that we had just missed, as it appeared from the intersection, the on ramp was now all the way to our right. That’s right… another three lanes of traffic to cut across. When the light turned green, we shot across and onto a 25 mph on ramp. Might as well put the driver’s side tires to the test while we’re at it.

All in all, it took us over forty minutes to travel the two miles south from the MGM Grand to where 75 was closed. The remaining 42 miles to Ohio took just over half an hour. Sweet. Thirsty and needing to pee, an ironic combination, we headed back to the house for a restroom/water break. After sending Joey out to do his business, we were back on the road for Fat Jack’s in downtown Perrysburg. We walked into a sausage party of about thirty guys and maybe three girls. Katy’s ridiculously weaksauce Malibu and Coke put an end to our time at Fat Jack’s. We ran across town to Quarter’s and had a couple more drinks with Dan, a gentleman I work with,  and his significant other Vicki. I grabbed my phone and logged into Twitter for a minute. I noticed an @ reply from Becki Thompson saying, “We’re headed out to Fat Jack’s now actually. You guys still there?” We paid our tab and made the reverse trip back to Fat Jack’s.

Our second time at Fat Jack’s was much more enjoyable as we wound up consuming more alcohol than we had originally intended. We had a good time chatting it up with Ken and Becki (they’re @kongslide and @bek1826 on Twitter). It’s rare that we find a couple that we both really enjoy hanging out with. Katy had never met them before and made the comment that she really hoped that they liked her because she really liked them. It was kind of cute. It reminded me of when Katy and I first met and we were both nervous about meeting each others friends. There was a lot of laughter and before we knew it, it was 1:00 am. We were ready to call it a night.

When we got back to the house, exhaustion set in for Katy. I had to put her pajamas on her like I had done for Noah so many times in the past. After a little bit of lovins, we closed our eyes and called it a night. All in all, I’ve gotta say it was a pretty good night. Sure we lost $140 in less than ninety minutes. And yeah, the detour around Detroit was an epic fail. But we spent time together. Once we finally hit 75S, we sang and bobbed around to happy music the rest of the way home. We haven’t done that kind of shit since we were first together. Either way, the night was time very, very well spent.

So what’s next? Inspired by Jolie O’Dell’s RoadTwip, we decided to plan a Great American Roadtrip of our own. Next spring, fueled by our assumed tax return Benjamins, we’re going to take a few days to travel the Midwest. The longest portion of our trip will be seven hours with the rest of the journey averaging four hours at a time. We’re thinking about taking this route. The exact locations could change, but it seems like a pretty fun and efficient little getaway. And honestly, the journey will be as much of a vacation as the destinations themselves. If anybody has been to any of our destination cities, leave me some feedback as to what we should check out while we’re there. Until then, we’ll be scouring the worldwide interwebs for ideas. I’m sure I’ll need to go Pro on Flickr before we depart. Talk to you soon, ya’ll!

I don’t necessarily understand the term “broken record.” It seems like the cliche would be more accurate as a “scratched record.” Of course, the idea is that the same thing occurs over and over again. Perhaps “broken” is used to describe a situation that is too deeply scratched to ever work properly again. For a while, I thought my life and relationships fit neatly into the broken category. But I think I’m coming to realize that maybe they’re just scratched.

Over the course of the last thirteen years, I’ve found myself making the same mistakes over and over… like the proverbial broken record. I felt powerless to change my behavior. I couldn’t seem to stop myself from making the mistakes that I knew I was making. Sometimes I think we apply too much logic to life. Life is a series of emotions and experiences. Trying to apply logic to emotion is like trying to paint water. It might change things temporarily, but at the end of the day, all you’ve done is made a bigger mess.

I’m a bit of a control freak. I have the ability to trick myself into believing that I can change the outcomes of some of the major events of my life as long as I move all of the chess pieces into place. More often than not, I wind up with the exact opposite results of what I was trying to achieve. When I tried to orchestrate rain42’s success by handling all of the booking and promotion and strong-arming the guys into being more dedicated, all I did was alienate them and create resentment. When I tried to prevent Katy from moving forward with her affair six years ago, all I accomplished was pushing her farther from me and closer to the other man.

I know I can’t pull all of the puppet strings to make the world dance to my satisfaction. But sometimes I still have a hard time letting go of the things that are outside of my control. I might not move the chess pieces around, but I also haven’t completely let go of the belief that some things are going to happen whether I get involved or not. Just this week, that belief created a a pretty intense argument. The aftershocks of that argument can still be felt today. The record’s not broken. But the scratch is pretty deep.

Letting go of the chess pieces is a good first step. But my next step is to discontinue believing that the chess board even exists. As long as I believe that there is an arena in which I can potentially redirect the outcome, I’ll continue to make unhealthy decisions… for me and for those around me. I’m taking on the challenges as they come up. By and large, I’m doing better. I’m just not there yet. The trick is to focus on how I’ll handle all of the possible outcomes rather than focus on how I can siphon everything down to my desired outcome. Everything is a choice. Others are entitled to make the choices that directly impact their own lives. So am I.

I think my biggest problem in the past was believing that if an undesired result occurs, I’m left to deal with it, powerless to do anything about it. I’m starting to accept the fact that I have my own set of choices and nobody else can maneuver the chess pieces in my life. If someone else makes a decision that negatively impacts me without taking my feelings into consideration, I have a choice. I can tolerate that behavior, accept it, and move on. Or I can write that person out of my life entirely. I’ve become just callous and calculated enough to be comfortable with that decision with just about everyone in my life. My immediate blood family being the exception to the rule, everyone else in my life is expendable.

I don’t want to make it sound like I believe that the people who are close to me are disposable. Far from it. Those who I keep the nearest to me generally have my best interests at heart. What I am saying is that those who selfishly decide to demonstrate behaviors and activities that negatively affect me will be discarded without a second thought from here on out. Life is far too short to tolerate selfishness and ignorance.

I’ve kept my eyes focused on the light at the end of the tunnel for some time now. Whether I emerge into the warmth of the sunlight alone or in the company of friends is irrelevant to me. The record spins on either way. And each time through, a little bit more of the song plays. The record is scratched, not broken. Those who choose to dance away with me to the soft glow of the evening sun are the ones who have truly proven themselves worthy of my love… and I of theirs.

I shit you not. My sinuses are the root of all evil. I woke up this morning feeling completely run down. For the first few hours of the day, I thought maybe it was just from a lack of sleep lately. But as early afternoon approached, the telltale sinus headache removed all doubt.

In December of 2007, I had sinus surgery to open six blocked sinus passages. That’s right. Essentially all of my sinuses were blocked due to a severely deviated septum which was caused by a broken nose. I wound up missing nearly three months of work that year from a case of chronic sinusitis that was so severe at times that I wasn’t out of bed for more than an hour or two at a time.

For a while after my surgery, I felt fantastic. But within a few months, the problems started again. I never get nearly as sick as I was for that three month period. But I also can’t seem to go more than four to six weeks without getting a sinus infection. I’m getting really tired of it. I mean really tired of it. Tonight, my greatest aspiration is to go home, make a cup of hot tea, and pass out on my couch.

When this thing gets a grip on me, it takes hold for about a week. If it last that long this time, it’s gonna severely screw up some plans for me for the next few days. The weather’s starting to get warmer and lighter and shorter clothing are becoming more appropriate. Wanting to be curled up under a blanket seems like an insult to the season. Plus, a very close friend is giving me “signals” that now is not the time to lie about, nursing an illness.

So, this blog post has been about nothing but my sinuses. Awesome. On a completely unrelated, but probably more interesting note, I’ve been listening to the Twilight Singers again. I think it was prompted by Tuesday’s season premiere of Rescue Me. Given Denis Leary’s longtime relationship with the late Ted Demme, it’s no surprise that the show uses a lot of Greg Dulli music. Tuesday’s episode featured a Gutter Twins song. Either way, hearing Dulli’s voice again made me want to hear more. I wasn’t in the mood for Afghan Whigs, so Twilight Singers it was.

The nice thing about the Twilight Singers is that the music is, for the most part, relaxing. But when you have a sinus infection and are completely run down, the band isn’t an ideal choice for the commute to a twelve hour day at work that ends at midnight. Ugh! Midnight. Three hours to go. I’ve been pretty productive up to this point. But that tea and my couch are starting to sound like a little slice of Heaven right now. This post was awesome. Good work here. Aaand… cut!

swayne-field

In keeping with my fascination with all things Toledo, Noah and I took a stroll past the site of the old Swayne Field (pictured above) yesterday. To be fair, we were heading to the Target and Best Buy on Monroe St. anyhow. But rather than take the expressway around town, we took Monroe St. all the way through.

The area is completely run-down and desolate. It’s hard to determine which businesses are open and which have been shuttered for good. Much like standing at Ground Zero in Manhattan, it’s hard to imagine that structure ever standing on that footprint. I tried to imagine all of the surrounding buildings gone to get a feel for how the field may have been situated on the land, but I couldn’t. Shooting past the intersection at 45 mph didn’t help either.

It was much easier to get lost in the memories of the sights, sounds, and smells of baseball and its tasty treats on our return trip home. As we passed Fifth Third Field, Noah asked if we could go to a baseball game sometime. Before he could even finish his sentence, I answered with an enthusiastic, “Sure, buddy!” I just hope he’s not disappointed. He might be a little young to sit through nine innings of baseball. But if he makes it through three or four and has a good time, I’ll be a happy daddy. Opening day is eight days away. I can’t wait!

Before we closed in on Toledo’s current baseball Taj Mahal, we passed the Toledo Museum of Art. Noah asked me what the big building was, so I gave him the scoop. I told him that there were paintings and sculptures and other works of art inside. My boy colors and draws every day of his life, so it came as no surprise to me that he wanted to go there too. Later, I told him we’d have a “Toledo Day,” visiting the art museum, the library, and a baseball game.

As much as I hate to see my little guy growing up so quickly, I love that he’s taking an interest in so many things. And they’re all new experiences to him. There’s something magical about that. I just want to be a part of that magic as often as I can. I think that’s what a daddy is there for. That and some guidance and discipline. Nothing makes me smile wider than the imagery of sharing a couple stadium dogs with my best little buddy, the magic of a whole new world around him twinkling in his eye.

I grew up just north of Bowling Green, Ohio. Whenever anyone asked me where I was from, it was always just easier to say “Toledo.” People know Toledo. M*A*S*H put Toledo on the map thanks to one Jamie Farr. The Mud Hens have also contributed to the Glass City’s fame. And if you hadn’t heard of this little town before Katie Holmes became larger than life, you have by now.

I spent most of my teenage years and early twenties talking about how I was going to “get the hell out of Toledo.” I thought I was destined for so much more than this city. I almost made it a couple times. If it weren’t for a canceled flight in 1996, I might be living in Los Angeles right now. Arrangements had also been made to relocate to Columbus less than a year ago. Yet here I am, perched thirteen stories above the heart of downtown Toledo, Ohio. And ya know what? There’s no place I’d rather be.

For the past few months, I’ve slowly been falling in love with Toledo. I think it all started with a series in the Toledo Blade about the history of gambling in Toledo. Looking at pictures of speakeasies and gambling halls gave me a sense of nostalgia from a time long before I was born. Every time I came downtown, I tried to go past the former sites of these magical stories. Every picture I saw of downtown from about the 1920’s through the 1950’s just captivated me.

When Katy and I discussed going our separate ways, I knew there was only one place for me. As luck would have it, the rent at the Commodore Perry is much cheaper than anything I could have found in the surrounding area. I looked at one apartment before committing to a one year lease. I knew I wanted to live right in the heart of this history-rich environment. I’ve been here for about a week and I get more and more excited to be here every day.

I’ve been on vacation since last Sunday. On the days that Noah is with his mommy, I could sleep as late as I want. Instead, I’ve set my alarm for 7:30 am every morning so I can make a pot of coffee and sit by my window, watching and listening to the sights and sounds of rush hour. This morning, I walked over to the Farmer’s Market, then browsed the Libbey Glass Factory Outlet and the neighboring antiques mall. As I walked past abandoned storefronts and warehouses, I couldn’t help but wonder how amazing this city must have been in its heyday. Images of a bustling port city filled my head as I approached Fifth Third Field. That structure represents the changing of the guard for me.

Even though it saddens me to see some of the old buildings razed to the ground, it’s also a good thing. Fifth Third Field and the upcoming arena are revitalizing a city that had been slowly dying for decades. This afternoon, my dad and I ate lunch at a new Tony Packo’s that only exists because of Fifth Third Field. While we were there, my dad filled my head with stories of the Glass City from a forgotten era. Unbeknown to him, he was feeding a hunger for knowledge that has become all-consuming as of late.

So, this little rant is getting a bit wordy. I guess I’ll wrap it up for now. I have a lot more to say about Toledo, but I’ll break up my thoughts into separate posts as I discover more about it. I’m going to try to document my discoveries in images and share what I find to be fascinating about the city that I just couldn’t shake. I hope you guys come along for the ride. Hey, it’s better than reading about me moping around with my woe is me attitude, whining and crying about the “changes” in my life, right? That actually kinda sounds like denial. Hi there. You’re still reading? This stopped making sense at least a paragraph ago. Why are you still here? Loser.

Completely irrelevant blog title. OK, not completely irrelevant. There are some lines in there that I can relate to right now. But I’ll let you find them on your own if you so desire. And that’s not what this post is about anyhow. Hell, I don’t even know exactly what this post is about. Probably a random collection of thoughts… again.

So, I got a couch yesterday. Well, I got dibs on a couch which is about to be replaced anyhow. My sister and brother-in-law have been thinking about getting a new couch for a while. Their brother/brother-in-law being in need of one put them over the top. It’s a little bit country and not at all rock n’ roll, which means one thing: slip cover. But that’s about three or four hundred bucks in my pocket that I thought was already gone. So I got that goin’ for me… which is nice. Because…

I spent about fifty bucks on random bullshit on Friday that I almost forgot about. Things like kitchen utensils, washcloths, a wastebasket, a cookie sheet, and a silverware organizer had almost completely slipped my mind. I wound up spending more money than I cared to part with. But on the bright side, I picked up a king size quilt for $12. I had prepared myself to drop $60-$90 on a decent quilt or comforter. In fact, I had a $60 quilt in my hand when I spotted my clearance savior. There’s only one word to describe it: gold. Yeah, it’s all kinds of gold. Wouldn’t have been my first choice of colors. Wouldn’t have been my seventeenth choice of colors. But it was twelve bucks. And it’s gold… very… gold.

While I’m in completely random and irrelevant mode, I think now is as good a time as any to mention just how much I love Facebook right now. I’m not being sarcastic. As I mentioned in a previous post, I got a chat message from a friend who mentioned that he was going through the same thing. He wound up stopping in to see me at work this week. We just sat and talked for a while about all of the weird experiences that you go through when you’re in the middle of something like this. When do you stop wearing your wedding ring? How do you end phone conversations with the person you said “I love you” to for years? That connection would have never happened if it weren’t for Facebook.

Tonight I got a message from someone I went to high school with. She’s also going through a similar experience. I don’t think I spoke to her much in high school. That’s mostly due to the fact that she was very, very pretty and I was very, very… uhh… awkward. Nonetheless, I would have never gotten that message if it weren’t for Facebook. It seems like it’s easier to work your way through life’s little obstacle courses when you know you’re not the only one doing it. We trip, we fall, we get back up and dust ourselves off. But we keep pushing forward. Knowing that others are dusting themselves off and pushing forward too can be motivational and inspiring.

I’m intentionally not mentioning any names here. If the people I’ve vaguely discussed want their situations to be known to the world, I’m sure they’ll write about them. I wear my heart on my sleeve just so I can see that it’s still beating. Not everyone feels the same way. But I’m very happy that they both reached out and shared their stories with me. So to my friend and former schoolmate, thanks for reaching out. And know that you’re not alone. I’ve said it a million times in a million different places, but I think it bares repeating. And it seems like a suitable way to wrap up this disconnected mess of a post.

Today might not be the best day of my life. And It’s probably not the worst day of my life. But it is a day of my life. So I’m gonna live it.

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