Thank u universe! 

Sooo, the uni swirled me into a conference that i think will help to clarify my future. Im here by accident and it is turning out to line up incredibly well with my interests. 

Thanks universe! 

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so cute

a few Amy Leigh pics from this year…so cute! 


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crossed off the list

ive hiked here at lake russell ga several times. ive been wanting to paddle it for a while. today was the day! 

 did some swimming too 🙂 

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I’m on a roll…why quit now…time to get real

I feel like I’m waking up from hibernation.  If there are any regular readers (the four of you know who you are), you will recognize that I have had a long drought in writing here since I got back from my big trip last summer.  Well, it is true…all sorts of shit happened…and I quit posting for a while.  But I’m back, for better or worse.

in my life, I have been through mild depression, and moderate depression, and severe depression, and even holy-shit-you’re-thinking-about-killing-yourself depression, but what happened last fall was the first time that really scared the ever-living shit outta me (yes, it was even scarier than holding a knife to my wrist and ever-so-gently slicing into the skin when I was in grad school; that wasn’t that bad because I knew i was testing myself and wouldn’t really do it).  On top of the usual depression, last fall I had crazy anxiety I constantly thought I was having a heart attack.  When I say constantly, I mean like almost continuously.  I was sure I was a goner…and this lasted for two months.  At best, a heart attack; at worst, i was simply crazy (or perhaps those should be reversed)?

Not only did I have a string of nights where i couldn’t sleep and couldn’t stop myself from picturing myself dead (sometimes but not always from self-inflicted causes), I had constant thoughts of how I would do…well…it…as in that nice little Honda generator that I got for camping, along with a lot of prescription and OTC pills, and of course, lots of alcohol to smother what was happening…would be the end of me.  I didn’t have a conscious desire to end my life…but, even scarier to my conscious mind, there was a subconscious longing to just make all of this shit go away…with some pills and some alcohol and some carbon monoxide and some pillows in the bathtub so it would be comfortable and some tarp plastic underneath so I would be easy to clean up;  yeah…I was at the point where I had imagined a “plan” but had not quite yet set that “plan” in motion…

Thankfully, even with all of that, I still had the will to live…to fight…to get better…and in the end, that WILL is all you really need to survive (thank the Universe). I knew that I needed help fast, and I sought it out, going through several doctors until I got myself into a two-week intensive outpatient treatment (the second time in my life so far).  The two weeks was spent in group therapy, and half of the people in the group were there because they had attempted or threatened suicide.  I’m much better off for going through this, and as far as i know, so is everyone else; I keep in touch with several people from that two weeks, and they are all hanging in there.

For my part, it was a re-awakening to the goodness of other people.  I had become incredibly withdrawn and isolated.  i had convinced myself I was a “loner”.  (I am indeed at times, even when I’m healthy, but that is not me always).  I had lost touch with myself and with others.  Those two weeks gave me back my life.

Slowly, since then, I have been expanding my horizons and pushing my comfort zone(s).  I have been attending a liberal church off and on, that has super nice and accepting people there.  I have joined a tennis league, and although I did go to the E.R. one night because of heart palpitations during a tennis match (due, as far as anyone can tell, to anxiety) , I haven’t died from exercising (or anything else) yet.  I sent out my first dick pics today, because, well, why the fuck not?

I keep trying to tell the anxiety to “fuck off”.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  Each time I try, though, gives me some more strength, more courage, more determination, and more control.  I WILL outlast this shit.

I promise you, if you have never been through REAL depression or anxiety, you have no idea what it is like.  It sucks, no doubt about it.  But it is something that, Universe willing, we can learn to do better with.

I am doing better.  I am getting better.  And I can’t imagine now how I ever could have imagined what I was imagining…if that makes sense.  From my now, I can’t imagine ever wanting to hurt myself, because life is too good…certainly more good than bad…and worth the living!

BTW, if anyone ever reads this and is thinking about suicide, i can promise that things can get better…please call 911 right now…your life is worth living I promise you, even if you can’t see it at the moment.  In my experience, it is usually through the worst of times that we start to understand how strong we really are and the ways that we can help others in this life…please get help and find your path forward.

Metta to all beings, especially those that are struggling…may you find peace in this world and the next.  There is nothing is more precious than life itself…please be kind to yourselves and others.


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This isn’t what my therapist had in mind…

So, I  sent my fist dick pic out tonight via text.  I had sent a few underwear pics in the past to some selected lucky ladies, but this had it all…well.. hanging out (and smiling, so to speak).  It’s a big step for this here man-child.  My therapist said that I need to open up and take risks, so there you go…I sent a picture of me at half-mast.  That’s probably not what my therapist had in mind, but you gotta test yourself here and there, right?

It reminds me of the time that I danced naked on the stage of a strip club the night of my 21st birthday.  Was I drunk?  Fuck yes!  Was I embarrassed at the time?  Well, not really at the time (too drunk to care), but the next day, well hells yeah because my guy friends and their girlfriends all witnessed me dancing around with my pants around my ankles (and, regrettably, that was before I learned about “manscaping”)!  Do I regret it now?  FUCK NO!  It was one of the best (and funniest) things I ever did.

And there is a lesson in that…embarrass yourself today…and have great stories for a future day…

There only needs to be one commandment.  Something like:

Love life…don’t hurt others and and give love to others…ALL others…AMEN!!!!!

That’s not so hard, is it?  Why does humanity have such a hard time with that?  I know that my dick pic brought a smile to a special someone’s face tonight…daily mission accomplished!



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Damn…I didn’t know I could get more crazy, but apparently it is possible!

I gotta quit going to doctors…they keep telling me I’m more crazy than I knew Smile

For reals, I’m happy to learn more about myself, but I’m somewhat saddened to hear that I have more problems  than I knew.  Recently, I saw a PhD-level  psychologist for the first time.  Within five minutes, he had me taking the quiz for adult ADD/ADHD.  His conclusion?  I’m a “poster-child” (those are his words) for adult ADD/ADHD as well as a “gifted underachiever”.  Fucking serious?  So on top  of long-term depression (dysthymia), double depression (dysthymia + major depressive episode), general anxiety and social anxiety disorders, and not to mention low self-esteem, I got more shit to deal with?  Apparently yes.  But you know what, there are plenty of people in better condition and plenty of people in worse condition, which leaves me dealing with me.  I want to be the best me that I can, given all my shit.  Is there really anything more that we can do in life?  I so, I haven’t heard of it, and I’ve looked into it far more than most people.

But, it’s cool.  It’s better to know how fucked up you are than to live in unknown fucked-up-ed-ness.  Ignorance is not bliss if you want to progress.  Or at least, I tell myself that, based on my personality type.  Of course I researched it.  And there is a lot of overlap between INTP personalities, “giftedness”, and ADD/ADHD.  So it’s cool.  It’s more that I know about myself, and, hopefully, something else that I can work on.

You know what – I’m happy to be “me”, as fucked up as I am.  And everybody else should be happy to be themselves as well, as fucked up as they are.  From a genetic standpoint, we are all individuals (unless we have an identical twin).  And even with genetic twins, situational differences and choices lead to different people, expressed as differences in our brain wiring.  So, yes, we are all little individual goddamn glorious little snowflakes!  Praise be to us!

May we all celebrate our weirdness, our quirks, our intricacies.  If not for these, it would be a fucking boring world after all.

I love you all [yes, even you, president dumbass, even though I wish you weren’t such a fucking dumbass (why the fuck do you have to be such a fucking dumbass????), but you are an individual being, and you are entitled and worthy (no, not in the ways that you think those words mean) of being an individual being despite all of your very, very, very, very, very (ad infinitum ) fucking obvious flaws].

Metta to all.  May we gather our efforts to bring forth a better world for all beings!  It all starts with a little effort to be better individual and collective beings.  Let us accept the ageless challenge to improve upon ourselves and to rise above our lower selves to realize our highest potential selves.  I wish you all wisdom, fortitude, and sure, a little luck, on your journeys.  There’s nothing better than being alive, realizing that you’re alive, and realizing that you can effect your future…for the sake of the future universe, please try to make your future a good one!

Peace and loving-kindness,


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i cant help it

i just read that president dumbass called former fbi director comey to tell him that he was never involved with russian hookers. besides being ridiculous that this is a real conversation, it (of course) reminded me of a jimmy buffett song. 

the song “a lot to drink about” contains a line lamenting that “all the good lookers seem to be Russian hookers”. 

with president dumbass in office, there is a lot to drink about indeed! 

bottoms up all! 

heres a link to the song:

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Not another one…will miss you Chris

I haven’t written anything here in quite a while, but I am coming back out of the shadows because I am so saddened to hear of Chris Cornell’s death. While his death was ruled a suicide, his family thinks that it may have been related to an accidental overdose of anti-anxiety medication.  Either way, the world has lost another highly talented musician due to personal struggles.  I know from personal experience how hard suicide can be on a family, and my heart goes out to his wife and children.

Every time the world loses one of the musicians who has struggled with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, and whose expression of life through music has provided comfort to me in my darkest times, I can’t help but feel several things very deeply:

  • The loss of a family member (I have found there is something that connects all people that struggle with depression and anxiety that just can’t be fully explained; it’s just a shared recognition of going through the same things);
  • The sobering realization that it could have been me in the past and could, one day, be me in the future;
  • Anger at the world / creator /  evolution for all of the suffering caused by mental illness; and
  • A soul-sucking loss of inspiration (hearing people express their struggles while making it through is inspirational, but when they succumb to the struggles the it’s hard for the inspiration not to transform into despair).

There’s no way around it — this just fucking sucks.  Chris joins a group of several other giants from the Seattle music scene that helped to define Gen X  have met untimely deaths from personal struggles.  All My Favorite Grunge Musicians are Dead.  Is Grunge Cursed?  nails it:

…while Mick Jagger and Keith Richards defy the upper limits of mortality, grunge’s icons aren’t making it halfway.  Turns out Kurt and Lane Staley were just the early warning signs.  Scott Weiland had a delayed reaction.  Cornell polished it off.

There’s still Dave Grohl.  Highly-functioning, creative, fatherly, energetic.  And Eddie Vedder.  Constantly touring, writing, and playing.

Hope there isn’t another shoe waiting to drop somewhere.

Yeah, no shit.

I was formed in the 1990’s, with all 4 years of high school, 4 years of undergraduate studies, and 2 years of graduate studies occurring during that decade.  Grunge music provided one of the most important channels in the soundtrack of my coming of age.  Sometimes angry, sometimes brooding, sometimes dark, and sometimes beautiful, the music often expressed a general dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and sometimes with life itself, with which I have a deep and solemn understanding and connection.

I always thought that Chris was the best singer from the grunge area.  His voice could change from a soft vulnerability to a scratchy growl in an instant, a perfect match for the music and what it expressed, to some extent, the times.

What’s worse is that this happened during May, which is mental health awareness month (and week).  May is not over — check this out for a few things that you can do to get involved.  If this makes you feel like donating to help people who struggle from depression, Nuci’s Space here in Athens GA is a good choice, as they specialize in helping artists and musicians.

A random thought — Seattle music was known for heroin.  Thank the universe I didn’t try that when I had the chance.  Luckily, I was more scared than I was tempted (scared more of how much I would like it, not scared of what it would do to me).  I’m quite sure I wouldn’t be writing this right now if I had.  I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in my life, but that was probably my best one.

As you should have expected, here are a songs, one from each of his two main bands, one from solo work, and two collaborations.  I went for solo live music where I could because it showcases his ability to create mood with voice.  I usually say enjoy, but that just doesn’t fit this time.  Listen, marvel at that voice, and pay respect.  RIP, Chris.  I never met you, but I feel like I knew you and your music is a friend.

“Fell On Black Days” — Soundgarden

Whatsoever I’ve feared has
Come to life
Whatsoever I’ve fought off
Became my life
Just when everyday
Seemed to greet
Me with a smile
Sunspots have faded
And now I’m doing time
Cause I fell on
Black daysWhomsoever I’ve cured
I’ve sickened now
Whomsoever I’ve cradled
I’ve put you down
I’m a search light soul
They say but I can’t
See it in the night
I’m only faking
When I get it right
Cause I fell on
Black days
How would I know
That this could be my fateSo what you wanted to
See good has made you blind
And what you wanted to
Be yours has made it
So don’t you lock up
Something that you
Wanted to see fly
Hands are for shaking
No not tyingI sure don’t
Mind a change
But I fell on black
How would I know
That this could be
My fate



“I Am The Highway”

Pearls and swine bereft of me.
Long and weary my road has been.
I was lost in the cities, alone in the hills.
No sorrow or pity for leaving, I feel, yeah.I am not your rolling wheels – I am the highway.
I am not your carpet ride – I am the sky.Friends and liars don’t wait for me,
‘Cause I’ll get on all by myself.
I put millions of miles under my heels;
And still too close to you, I feel, yeah.I am not your rolling wheels – I am the highway.
I am not your carpet ride – I am the sky.I am not your blowing wind – I am the lightning.
I am not your autumn moon – I am the night… the night.Yeah!
I am not your rolling wheels – I am the highway.
I am not your carpet ride – I am the sky.

I am not your blowing wind – I am the lightning.
I am not your autumn moon – I am the night… the night.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.



“Dead Wishes” — Chris Cornell

Staring in the mirror with two borrowed eyes
Looking for the part of me that’s still alive
Waiting for my chest to fall… and rise
Standing on the corner With my shirt tucked in
Summer turns to autumn winter turns to spring
And it all flies by… like a speeding train
Dead wishes on a broken chain
White roses in a dead man’s dream
Down and out with everything to lose
If these long dead wishes
Ever do come true
Waiting for the night to come and chase away
All the flies hovering around my head
With my memory for a pillow
And all my regrets for a bed
Standing on the corner now I’m passed surprise
Yelling out a warning to some passer by
I stand just as God made me
And I lie down in disguiseDead wishes on a burning lake
White roses from my soul to keep
Down and out with everything to win
If my long since sunken ship
Ever does come in(Round and round we all fall down
And that’s how ancient mountains crumble)

Time keeps moving slower
Like falling from the sun
Come and knock me over
I keep getting up
Throw a line down to me
Keep hanging on

Standing on the corner don’t apologize
You don’t have to bow your head or raise your eyes
Or pretend that you don’t see me

Dead wishes on a broken chain
White roses in a dead man’s dream
Down and out with everything to lose
If these long dead wishes
Ever do come true

(Round and round we all fall down
And that’s how ancient mountains crumble)


“Right Turn” — Alice and Chains featuring Chris Cornell

Inside always trying to get back inside
But it’s so hard to penetrate pig-thick skin
I’m ’bout as low as I can get
I’d leave but I can’t forget
Still I wonder why it ain’t right, mmm it ain’t right, oooh
Ain’t right, mmm it ain’t right, yeah’
Bout as low as she can get
She’ll leave me but she won’t forget
And she wonders why she ain’t right, she ain’t right
Ain’t right, she ain’t right
Now we’re as low as we can get
Can’t leave and can’t forget
We ain’t right, we ain’t right
Not right, we ain’t rightWell it’s hard to believe that somebody tricked you
When you can see you were only high
It’s all up to you so you gamble
Flat on your face and into the fire


“Say Hello 2 Heaven” — Temple of the Dog

Please, mother of mercy
Take me from this place
and the long winded curses
I keep here in my head
Words never listen
and teachers, oh, they never learn
but I’m warm from the candle
though I feel too cold to burn
He came from an island
and he died from the street
and he hurt so bad like a soul breaking
but he never said nothing to me
So say hello to heaven, heaven, heaven…
So say hello to heaven, heaven, heaven…New, like a baby
Lost, like a prayer
The sky was your playground
but the cold ground was your bed
I said poor stargazer
She’s got no tears in her eyes
but smooth like a whisper
She knows that love heals all wounds with time
Now it seems like too much love is never enough
Yeah, you better seek out another road
’cause this one has ended abrupt
So say hello to heaven, heaven, heaven…
So say hello to heaven, heaven, heaven…
I never wanted to write these words down for you
with the pages of phrases of all the things we’ll never do
So I blow out the candle
and I put you to bed
Since you can’t say to me now
how the dogs broke your bone
there’s just one thing left to be saidSo say hello to heaven, heaven, heaven…
So say hello to heaven, heaven, heaven…
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Autumn in North Georgia

I was getting a little stir-crazy last weekend, so I headed up to the north Georgia mountains.  Amy-Leigh’s stomach wasn’t feeling well, so she declined.  I had a good day, even though all of the time in the car didn’t make my shoulder feel any better.  Every time I venture into the GA mountains, I am impressed and surprised.  On this trip, I went to Brasstown Bald, the highest point in GA at nearly 4,800 feet for some views.  There is a fire tower and observation deck at the top that provides 360-degree views of the GA and mountains, and you can see into North Carolina and the edge of the Great Smokey Mountains as well.

Looking North towards North Carolina

You know me.  I’m always thinking of moving for some reason.  Of course I always fantasize about moving out west again, but I have decided that I would stay relatively close to here as long as I’ve still got some family in the area.  I have thought of moving closer to the mountains, somewhere that has a lot of outdoor activities, and have considered investigating areas between Chattanooga, TN and Asheville, NC.  North Georgia is somewhat in the middle of those two.  I thought that I might like a small town, even smaller than Athens.  After some research, I realized that Blairsville, GA might fit — it is in the middle of the GA mountains, is near a couple of lakes, and has a population of under 1,000.

It was a cute town, and the surrounding area is beautiful; it is surrounded by mountains.  It seemed less touristy and less junky than some of the other Georgia mountain towns.  I could definitely live here, I thought at the time.  However, I still like Athens and moving just seems like such a pain.  So, I will probably stay put and just go camping in the mountains a lot once my shoulder is healed!

After checking out the town, I headed over to Brasstown Bald.

Brasstown Bald Observation Deck from the Parking Area

You can take a shuttle or a 0.6-mile very steep hike.  I took the hike and took my time.  Even going as slowly as I was, only one group passed me on the way up.  It was an easy-to-walk paved path through the trees.

The Walking Path to the Bald

Once on top, I spent nearly an hour taking in the views.  It was late afternoon, and the shadows and the changing clouds kept making the scene morph.  It was cool but not cold, just a perfect day to take it all in.  It was hard to get good pictures because of the sun and shadows.  But standing up there, I thought that the view approached the level of what I’d seen out west.  Perhaps from growing up in the east, I like trees on the mountains.

I forgot to mention that the Appalachian Trail is nearby, in fact I crossed it when driving.  I realized that this area of mountains is more extensive than where the A.T. is located in Maryland and Pennsylvania; in those states the mountains consist more a single ridge compared to this, which was mountains all around as far as the eye could see.  I think a goal for next year (once shoulder is fully healed) will be much more hiking along the A.T. in Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.  2016 has been about traveling out west, and perhaps next year will be more about traveling closer to home.

Some Autumn Colors

Did I mention that autumn is my favorite season?  I think growing up in Georgia, where the summers are so brutally hot and humid, there is something special when the humidity lessens and the temperature begins to drop.  Combined with the spectacle of college football in the south, it makes October one of my favorite months.  I’m a little bummed that I’m so constrained because of my injury, but I will not complain much since it’s my own damned fault (hey that makes me think of alternative lyrics to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville — Fell off my bike, lost my flip-flop, made it home with a broken bone).

This is my favorite picture, because it captures fall colors, lakes, and mountains

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Recovery from the Physical, Mentally Optimistic

I seem to be recovering nicely from my broken collar bone.  I am pretty much completely out of the sling at home and I can tell that the bone is healing, as I can’t feel the broken ends moving and rubbing together anymore.  I think I may have also broken my elbow cap, if there is such a thing.  The elbow continues to be tender when I straighten my arm or rest it on something.  It doesn’t really hurt so it can’t be too bad, but I will have it checked out to make sure there is nothing to be addressed.

Mentally, I am still on a high of sorts resulting from my discovery that, while I’m certainly far from normal, the issues I have with myself are pit and parcel with my personality type.  For whatever reason, that makes me feel better.  I am trying to just be amused by myself rather than taking myself too seriously.  For now at least, it seems to be mostly working.  Keeping fingers crossed!  If this keeps up it would turn out to be the biggest life hack for me ever.

I realized that I know of a Jimmy Buffett song that includes mention of a broken bone (I’m assuming that he is talking about himself, but for all we knew he is writing the story of someone he met in a bar).  I would certainly be remiss not to share the song, and it has other appropriate sentiments for a newly 40-year-old man (or man-child?)  to share.  Enjoy!


Growing Older but Not Up

I rounded first never thought of the worst
As I studied the shortstop’s position
Then crack went my leg like the shell of an egg
Someone call a decent physician
I’m no Pete Rose, I can’t pretend
While my mind is quite flexible
these brittle bones don’t bend[Chorus:]
I’m growing older but not up
My metabolic rate is pleasantly stuck
So let the winds of change blow over my head
I’d rather die while I’m living then live while I’m dead

Sometimes I see me as an old manatee
Heading south as the waters grow colder
He tries to steer clear of the hum drum so near
It cuts prop scars deep in his shoulders
That’s how it flows right to the end
His body’s still flexible but that
Barnacle brain don’t bend


So now don’t get me wrong
This is not a sad song
Just events that I have happened to witness
And time takes it’s toll as we head for the poll
And no one dies from physical fitness
That’s how it goes, right to the end
As the days grow more complicated the night life still wins


Let the winds of change blow over my head
I’d rather die while I’m living then live while I’m dead

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