Tag Archive: friendship


I truly respect and envy people who speak fluently in more then one language and I truly wish my paternal grandfather would have taken the effort to ensure that I learned Hebrew and Yiddish so that I could speak more then one language and would have been enculturated in his culture.  I wasn’t and I only speak and write fluently in American English which makes me the same as an overwhelming majority of Americans.

I avoided foreign languages in high school because I hated school and disliked most of my teachers because they didn’t inspire me and I honestly felt that many were not truly masters of the subjects that they taught.  So when I started back to college, I chose subjects that I already has mastered and getting great grades was easy. I could slack and no one was the wiser.  Then I tried to take ASL and it was horrible because I disliked the teacher’s style and he had been doing it so long that he was phoning it in.  I dropped the class midway through.  I attempted it again a few semesters later with my best friend MooSe and I passed with a C.  The next semester he got in to ASL 2 and I didn’t and basically I have up on ASL because all my friends and classmates were in that class.

When I transferred to Sierra College and decided to try and go to UC Berkeley or UC Davis, the requirements over those d or Sacramento State were a bit more inclusive.  I needed a foreign language and the ASL 1 class I had obtained a C in wouldn’t transfer to the UC System for some reason. So last semester, I tried to get on to ASL 1 but the class at the time I could take it was full.  So,this ssemester I got in to ASL 1 and I have put everything I can in to doing the homework, studying and trying my hardest to learn this new form of communication.

During the first class session, I met Joe and we decided to be study buddies.  I have helped him and he has helped me and in the process we have become friends.  Tonight, leaving Sierra College to go to his house in Roseville, I could hear a nail in my tire as I drove to his house. When I got there, I promptly forgot about it because he texted me as I was parking to as how far away I was because we had a video due tomorrow for ASL, the final video of the semester.

After chilling for about an hour he asked me to do a beer run even though I don’t drink.  When I went to my car, the tire was flat.  I told him and I was concerned about how to get it fixed.  He called one of his friends and this guy came over and removed the tire from my Ford Escape and then took it and me to the gas station where we used the plugs and tool I owned to plug and inflate the tire.  He then drove back to Joe’s house and put it back on my car.  When I thanked him and asked how I could repay him, he told me that my helping his lifelong friend Joe with ASL, who called him, is why he came and that by doing that I was helping him.

My buddy James taught me that concept a few years ago when he gathered a group of my online friends to help cheer me up while I was dealing with the emotions and reality of my marriage ending and what seemed like my world collapsing around me.  He basically taught me that random acts of kindness, no matter how seemingly inconsequential could change people’s lives and thereby change the world when he changed mine.  I had thought I was going to get a job that didn’t pan out and I couldn’t afford the books for the classes that I was taking and my late application for financial aid delayed the disbursement of Pell Grant monies.  I would have went almost a month without a textbooks which would have made passing almost impossible.  James found out and bought my books for that semester and told me that he wouldn’t take any repayment telling me that my participation in Grumbine’s Political Most Pit now called The Original Political Mosh Pit and on his wall posts enriched his life.  We both created and run a comedy group where most of the active members have known each other in the cyber world since before Obama took office.

At some point during this time we have all supported each other and talked one another through break ups, divorces, deaths of loved ones and pets and horrible dates from Plenty Of Fish.  In this time I have learned something fundamental about these people that some of us refer to as the DD30 group because for a while that was the safe space for many of us.  It taught me that there are huge untrue urban legends that we believe about people starting with that screwed up concept that men are from mars and women are from Venus because it just is NOT true and the author got rich off of the idea that there are somehow fundamental differences in the psyche of women and men. Having sat back and watched conversations between women as they discussed everything from dating to how they “double-clicked their mouse.”

One of the side effects of growing up in a group home is that in many respects it was like the Isle Of Misfit Toys in that Rankin-Bass holiday special Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and that makes me less sensitive and less judgemental of people’s personality traits that might otherwise make people give up on friendships or not form them to begin with.  This trait is how I became friends with Joe because he has a bunch of them but they pale in comparison to how frequently and intensely he makes me laugh.  The irony is that studying with him and helping him learn ASL this semester has helped me retain what I am learning.  It has helped my confidence in making the videos we need to make for the class.

So as we were recording the videos, I looked up to see Joe’s friend watching me and my self doubt clicked in and I lost it.  He walked out of the room and I made him come back, because I had to push past that feeling.  The next time, the video was better but I forgot to fulfill one of the metrics, showing something in the video.  When I was finished he walked over to me and extended his hand and told me that it looked awesome and all I needed to do was breathe.

I shared my video above and I would.love feedback from #Deaf or #CODA people especially if they can understand me because that would be amazing words of encouragement.  I realize I sign like a kindergarten student and that’s ok for this level.  I love the idea of signing because I have seen videos of #Deaf people signing where sarcasm, snark and humor were far more apparent then in spoken English.  I think it is why I am such a huge fan of Sean Berdy,  Niles DeMarco and Marlee Matlyn because of how much pure and raw emotion they can put in to their signing and performances.  I hope one day to meet all three of them to thank them for entertaining and inspiring me.

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So it has been more then two years since the last time we saw each other and we didn’t part on the best of terms but deep down, I never thought that our not speaking would last this long.  In the last 23 years, when you were on vacation was the longest stretch of time and that was only because I was living halfway across the continent in St. Louis.  So much has happened in the interval, so many times that I wished that I could talk to you about it.  I mean over those years you and I have shared so much and you have been such an integral part of my life.

Cassidy died a few years ago and Jerre isn’t doing so well and I was sure she was going to go last weekend.  She could have gone already for all I know.  I have friends but none that I will ever be as close to as I am you.  We have stood by each other through the good, the bad and the ugly in the past and this time things got all fucked up and emotions and hurt feelings led to anger and suddenly I hear Yoda….

Kethry asked about you on her birthday when we went to incredible John’s Pizza and for the rest of the night, my mind was trying to find a plan, a way to get to run in to you so we could talk.  I figured once time had passed we would be able to work things out.  I had such hope and excitement when I saw your truck parked in the driveway, because it created the opportunity only to have it dissipate as I missed you by like a half an hour.

See, I can’t help myself, I see something funny, read something interesting or watch something on tv and it reminds me of a conversation that we had in the past and suddenly I want to talk to you.  Then, as the reality of how lonely I feel without my best friend and I wonder if you feel the same way, if or how often you wish we were still that close and still best friends.  See, regardless of what transpired that night, I know that I have always been a good friend to you and my presence there was continuing that task.

When your truck appeared Rachel said you were moving somewhere in Nevada and when your truck disappeared, I assume you came and have now left California?  I would love to hear from you sometime.  My number is the same and while I know your number hasn’t changed, I texted you once and never got a response, when you returned my stuff.  I guess the lack of any reply or any kind of response should tell me all that I need to know, it definitely speaks volumes that you left your truck at Rachel’s and didn’t contact me at all.

I can’t and won’t change who I am, so I will continue to have random moments when I wish I could talk to you, I realize that’s love and that the silence is your choice and not mine.  Maybe one day while we are both living, something will bring us together.  Until then, I will just avoid the full moon 🌙 which always awakens the lunacy.

Social Networking Bullies

Steven Grumbine is attempting to destroy my online reputation and assassinate my character over the last blog post.  Read this and you decide if Mr. Grumbine is the man he purports to be. He runs “Grumbine’s Political Mish Pit” on Facebook.

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I got heated over something in Grumbine’s political mosh pit, of which I have been a member for over 6 years and an admin for almost as long.  I have never had a problem with people in the group before this and all the controversy took place in the Admin group discussions.  Nothing was said to Steven Grumbine directly and I wasn’t bashing admins or the group.  He kicked me from the admin group and the mosh pit without so much as a good bye.

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I asked him about it and he said he did not do it, someone else did.  Even though the rules say we aren’t supposed to just kick people.

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Rather then admit what he did and admit it was fucked up and violated not just his own rules but what one would expect from friends, he doubles down and blames it on another admin.

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Except that admin is also on my friend’s list.  And when asked, she flat out denied having any part of it.

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When confronted with the fact Leah told me she didn’t have anything to do with it, he reaches for Angela as the source, even though he told me to talk to Leah.  At that instant, he is suddenly at work, even though he seems to have time to continually post in the pit and discuss shit in other groups.
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This came up when I tried to reply to his last message.

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Clicking learn more made me realize that now, I had been kicked from the group and blocked by someone who had previously professed brotherhood and friendship. Kind of ironic, that when confronted with his patent dishonesty he brings up Angela and then does this even though Leah is my friend and I asked her myself.

This is the kind of person and friend he is.  It left me feeling worthless and like shit and he wasn’t man enough to own i since he did it.  I wouldn’t have posted this or handled this, this way, but he sort of forced my hand.  I know when others have been treated this way the behind the scenes character assassination kicked in to full gear.  I want people to know exactly how this came about so that people can form their own opinions.

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So it has been a while since I did much social networking or blogging primarily because I have been struggling through the malaise created by the depression that was caused when someone stole my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 from my car seat.  See, I had been out with a friend at a bar, Ye Old Sticky Wicket, and had parked in the Target parking lot.  After the bar, I had drank beer which was one too many to risk being pulled over by the police, so I crashed in the passenger seat.  I placed the phone on the drivers sleep and began to snore.  Sometime during the night, it was chilly and I turned on the engine to turn on the heat and when I turned it off left the keys in the ignition and forgot to check and make sure the doors were locked.  About half an hour later, some white male, about 5’8 and 5’9 wearing dark clothes opened the drivers side door which awoke me almost immediately when the “Hey Idiot, your leaving your keys in your car” alarm began its annoying chirp.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

The part that makes this so irritating for me is that when I told this story, my macho friends were all like, I would have ran his ass down and caught him.  Wrong.  When you wake up like that, it takes a few seconds to comprehend what is going on,  Why is it beeping.  Wait, what is this guy doing and why did he suddenly run away.  Fuck.  My phone.   Several of my younger friends said they would have jumped out, ran his ass down on foot and got the phone back.  Everyone likes to think of themselves as Mr.Badass until the situation happens and they realize that reality and their imagination are two different things.  Let’s say, that by some chance they did awaken instantly, did jump out of the car and chase the guy?  Now someone else, who was watching goes back and ramsacks the now unlocked car, or worse steals it because your instant chase scenario left the keys behind in the ignition.  So, maybe you even catch this guy, anyone that bold is going to have a bold and brazen response to being chased so when you catch him, you feel that cold burning sensation of a knife or hear the unmistakable explosion of a gunshot as you feel the bullet pierce your skin.  Keep in mind that a large majority of the transient population are junkies aka serious drug addicts with Crack, Methamphetamine and Heroine being the three major habits.

Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100

When I was 9 or 10, my mother was taking my Aunt Sue, who was pregnant with my cousin Nicole to work at Westview Mall.  We had just pulled in to the first level of the two floor parking structure that was there.  As Aunt Sue was exiting the vehicle, we heard this woman scream “My Purse.”  My mother and Aunt Sue saw a guy running with a purse and like some  television show reminiscent of Cagney and Lacey they took off after him.  When they lost him, they split up and my mother found him hiding in some bushes by a house.  She grabbed his foot and used her nails in his ankles to force him to give her the purse which she returned to the lady.   Neither Aunt Sue nor my mother realized at the time how utterly dangerous their actions were, the young man in question was whacked out on PCP and had a pair of garden shears in his pocket as a weapon.  He very well could have killed my mother, leaving me and my two little siblings, Danielle and Jessica orphans.  My mother escaped death and ultimately was given an award plaque from the local Optimists Club at an awards dinner ceremony a few months later.

 

When the Note 3 needed to be repaired, I took the opportunity to jump carriers from the MVNO Straight Talk to MetroPCS simply because I wanted the option to be able to speak to a real, live person, in person as necessary.  My bill with Straight Talk when I signed up, was $45 for unlimited everything until I lost my Samsung Galaxy Note N7000 in 2014.  I say lost, but it really disappeared off the table in a Restaurant and I was able to track it using Google Device Locator right to a street address.  When I called the Sacramento County Sheriff’s office, they said it wasn’t accurate enough and that there was nothing they could do.  Sitting just inside the door of the garage where Google said my phone was located were several men.  Ironically, the Sheriff knew their names.  Smartphone thefts reached 3.1 million in 2013.  So there was nothing I could do about the phone or the SD card and since the mobile broadband was so slow, 20gb of the pictures I had taken with that phone disappeared with it.  At least the ones that I had not shared with social networking did.  So even though the download speeds were atrociously slow, I wasn’t unhappy with the service otherwise, so I chose to order a new replacement sim.

 

One customer service nightmare after another and two weeks worth of waiting even though I paid a fee to have the chip expedited to me, I finally got a sim chip and the new Samsung Galaxy Note 2 was now on AT&T’s LTE network.  It was pretty amazing and I talked about in on Social Networking, pimping Straight Talk.  Then about two weeks after this all started, I realized that when Straight Talk replaced my sim chip, they also changed the rate plan to “Unlimited everything*” where the * limits you to 2 or 3gb of 4G data and then the rate is throttled to 2g speeds and they were not kidding.  I would have jumped ship at this time except that the plan was too good.  Nobody offered anything close.  When my Note 2 disappeared, I tried to port my number from Straight Talk to T-Mobile but you have to do it before the last day in your billing cycle, or else they wont let you port the number.  Think about this for a second, you either pay them for service you will never use because you are taking your business elsewhere or you give up your telephone number.  So I bought a used and abused Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Samsung Galaxy Note N7000

When I say used and abused, it is obvious that the previous owner went all natural, meaning he didn’t put a case or screen protector on the device and it was obvious from the markings that it had been dropped several times.  I didn’t care, I just ordered a case and hit hid all of that.  About 6 months after I bought the phone, the screen began to display large numbers of nonconforming pixels and in desperation, I contacted Samsung support.  Score!  It was still under warranty.  Since I couldn’t be without a device, I went to MetroPCS and bought the cheapest device they had, the Alcatel OneTouch Fierce 2.  It is a pretty amazing phone and easily on par with the Sprint Samsung Galaxy Epic Touch 4g aka Samsung Galaxy 2 or so I thought.  When Samsung sent the Galaxy Note 3 back to me, it would not register on any Mobile Network using any Sim Chip.  So I had to send it back to Samsung to be repaired.  This is when began to notice the limitations of the budget phone with only 2gb of internal storage.  This basically limits you to about 12 downloaded applications unless you move those that you can to the SD card.  I have spent weeks trying to find a method to root this device or some other method to work around this limitation.  I currently have 16 apps installed and 4 or 5 of them on the SD card but there is no room for Facebook or a bunch of other applications that I use on a regular basis.

Alcatel One Touch Fierce 2

Sadly, the carrier bloat on this phone is pretty high and there are probably 1gb or more space used applications that it shipped with that I will probably never use.  Carrier bloat is a real issue.  So is the locked boot loader and lack of ‘rooting’ method.  If there would have been a work-a-round for either one of these, this would be truly bitching badass phone because I could use a 32, 64 or maybe even a 128gb MicroSD chip to boost the storage.  Then using Root, a few hacks and an app, I could have permanently eliminated the space issues.  As of the writing of this blog, there is no known root method.  So there is no method to create the symbolic links in the file system to move more apps to the SD card and fool your device in to thinking they are still where it wants them.  Ultimately this is a design flaw being masqueraded around as a security feature or anything but what it really is.

LG G4 Stylus

Sadly, I cannot afford a different device at the moment and I would ultimately like to get another Samsung Galaxy Note 3 since I have two extra batteries and two external USB battery chargers for it.  Having all those batteries allowed me to use it even more and the reality is this was a flagship device and as such it flew.  I was actually moving to using it for social networking as well as entertainment.  The end user experience on that device is amazing and the Samsung enhancements make it a truly capable device.  I had stopped using my Notebook to watch television shows and stream online content using my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 instead.  MetroPCS has an LG Phone for $249 with a $50 mail in rebate that could potentially be as good of an end user experience as the Galaxy Note 3.  They also have a phone from a generic manufacturer named ZTE in the Zmax for $99 that could be an upgrade that would fix these issues as well.  Ultimately, I would love to find someone who is grandfathered in to an old school upgrade for signing a contract like all carriers did a few years ago who doesn’t need or want the upgrade so that I can use it.  I really covet the HTC One M9, Samsung S6 Edge or the Note 4 simply because I am a power user and these devices are designed for power users. 

ZTE Zmax

Imaging if you were a commuter and it was a choice between a Smart Car or a Dodge Charger as your commute vehicle.  On the surface it may seem like the gas mileage would be an issue, except that the Smart Car  EPA estimates are 36 mpg and the Charger gets a combined Highway / City rate of 32 mpg.  So the tradeoff is in comfort and power and this is all the difference in the world if your commute is from Sacramento to San Francisco due to the need to climb above the mountains and through a pass to get to the bay area.  The lack of LTE speeds combined with the unresolvable storage space issues make me not want to use Facebook because typing the responses gets frustrating when you are typing more then a tweet worth of characters and the device begins to stutter, lag and hang up.  This is about how I imagine I would feel if I had to use a Smart Car to commute from San Francisco to Lincoln on a regular basis.

The only reason the depression hasn’t won is because I have some amazing friends who have pushed, poked and prodded me to try and keep me from wallowing.  Unfortunately when the depression hits full speed, wallowing becomes much more appealing.  Not social networking and not using Facebook just add to the misery and despair.  Someone rear ended me, pushing me in to the car in front of be just before someone else rear ended them at the start of the Spring 2015 Semester and as a result, my HP Envy 17 3D Notebook that was on the back seat when flying off the seat and hit something (floor?) hard enough to dent the metal case and to cause the CPU Fan to stop working.  Luckily I had a HP Envy X2 tablet that  has helped get me by, but it doesn’t play games and I miss gaming.  I miss gaming with my Son and Daughter on Weekends.  The sad part is I am not sure when I will ever have an extra $1500 to spend on a Notebook again and this was a gaming rig.

I am hoping as I begin working with the two insurance carriers that one or the other will decide to pay for either sending it to HP to be repaired or replace it.  Sadly, the last time I was rear ended, in October of 2014, the Insurance company refused to help me in any way and since I don’t carry full coverage on my vehicle, and I couldn’t afford to pay it on the rental vehicle, I was forced to take the cash payout.  They also refused to pay for the Notebook that went flying (it’s a habit to reach back and deposit the Notebook on the seat after using it when picking someone up.  I am more then likely going to have to consult someone well versed in this type of jurisprudence because I am almost certain that having to provide proof of purchase for said item isn’t a valid enough of a reason for denying the claim.

Remember how I said II above how amazing my friends, both real life and via social networking are?  Last semester I was in Starbucks and someone asked me for change to buy coffee and instead I paid for her two cups of coffee even though it meant I would probably have to forego it one morning in the future.  One of my awesome Dirty 30 friends sent me a Starbucks card because my story about buying the woman coffee moved her to do something awesome for me.  Little does she know, that this card was like the Rainbow at the end of the semester when money was tight.  Her humble act made the darkness just a little less dark.  See, this is why I desire a better phone, because I desire to social network and connect with my friends and supporters.  Thanks for that gift card my super awesome Dirty 30 Gawdess, you will never know how much joy and relief your simple random act of kindness brought  to me the day it arrived and when I began to use it. 

HTC One M9

Now if I can just figure out how to get someone to buy me an HTC One M9.  this is such an amazing device and like most electronics, spending a little more on a device will ultimately improve the end user experience in the same way random acts of kindness enhance the human experience.  It is 104 degrees here in Sacramento today.  Stay Frosty.

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I spent most of yesterday in thr shell shocked confusion that you can only comprehend if you have seen a friend take their last breath.  I spent it with my friend MooSe, by his side as they removed the life support from her yesterday afternoon after he fulfilled her wishes.

I spent the evening and night sitting my own form of shiva with Thea’s family sitting around a fire in the back yard smoking marijuana and reveling in each others presence and communing in our shared emotions.

Then this morning as we awoke from our slumber, we all slowly assembled and greeted each other.  We comforted each other and communed over coffee, macaroons and marijuana.

Then a trip to Denny’s where the food was exactly what you’d expect and service that was subpar even for a Denny’s. This was more then made up for in the fellowship and the camaraderie and that is as good as chicken soup or a joint for the soul.  Rest in peace Thea.

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The friend that I am staying with has this amazing painting on the fence in his yard. It is a beautiful piece of Native American art. I am not sure if I will ever be able to repay my friend for his friendship and kindness that he has shown me.