Nothing makes the gods laugh harder than your Five Year Plan.

So… when Cootie and I got together, we really didn’t waste any time. I mean, officially, it’s been less than a year. But we figured out what we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it and how we wanted it done. Our handfasting is next month (holy shit, our handfasting is next month! we’ve got some things to do!), our wedding is next year and we’re prepping to open our online store. Not only that, but there are people who STILL don’t know how or why she and I happened and they require an explanation. Oy. We have a lot going on. And we were doing it all according to the Five Year Plan.

How silly of us. How silly of any of us.

Hail Eris, none of us can predict what’s going to happen in the next five years. Any Five Year Plan is predicated on what we think is going to happen. Five years of supposition is a shitload of guessing.

Let’s take, for example, the ill-fated X and Cootie Five Year Plan.

We’ll be in Knoxville two or three years more, maximum. Yeah… not so much, Hail Eris. We are going to be here for another seven or eight years. And it isn’t like we’re upset about that, really. Cootie’s family is all here, and I honestly love her family like my own. The Boy is here and is going to be here for a while. So… we’re here, too.

We’re moving to the Carolina coast in two or three years, maximum. Well, let’s adjust that time frame a tad.  See, that time frame was predicated on my mistaken belief that The Boy would choose to live with Cootie and me as opposed to his mother.  I was way the fuck wrong on that. I overestimated my coolness and my importance in his life. So, this is a contributing factor to us staying in Knoxville.

So… we improvised after that. And we went from a Five Year Plan to a Three Year Plan. And Phase I of the Three Year Plan was…

…We will buy a house in Knoxville in the neighborhood that Mogwai wants to go to high school in. Not according to my credit score, we’re not. And since The Boy’s Mother has already bought a house in the neighborhood where he’s going to school,  we’re going to end up renting a house in Mogwai’s school district. This is difficult, because Cootie and I have always searched for a physical place that we could call home. We realize that home is going to be where the other person is, but… and here’s the creepy part… since we were little kids who did not know each other, we have dreamt about and drawn the same Dream House. With the witch towers and the wraparound porch and the hidden passages and the greenhouse. Yeah. The same one. Split soul says what?

And with every obstacle that popped up, you could hear faintly, in the background, muffled laughter and snickering from the Pantheon.

So… we had a Five Year Plan, which became a Three Year Plan, which turned into a Seven Year Plan. One would think I would be disappointed or, at least, frustrated. And really… not so much. Our first year together has been a bit tumultuous and our lives before each other haven ‘t really been marked with stability.  But we have learned to roll with it to the point where when changes come, as they often do, we just absorb it. We say, “Okay,” we Hail Eris, and we change the Plan.

By the way– I started writing this blog approximately six days age. Things popped up. I had to change the plan. Now, here it is. And I’m okay with it. Hail Eris.


Hail Eris! Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Learned to Love the Chaos

So… I don’t know if blogging about Twitter causes some kind of horrifying inter-dimensional rift (with the accompanying maelstrom), but I guess we’re about to find out. This guy started following me on Twitter named @Jimhemming. Seems like a nice enough guy. I don’t know if he drinks, but I have a feeling if we knocked back a couple of beers, we would have a fascinating conversation.

One day, @Jimhemming tweets something to the effect of , “Tired of seeing #haileris on here just in case she’s listening.” I kind of took that personally because, well, being a Discordian, I tend to say that a lot. So I tweeted back to him, “We have no reason to believe she isn’t. Hail Eris!”

And he replied! And I was pleased by this, because I hate it when I say something totally stupid and it just shuts people down. Come on. You can do better than that. He tweeted back something to the effect of, “Right, so no reason to provoke that crazy bitch! And Hail Eris, if you’re watching.” I told him that I was watching and that his advice was much appreciated and I suppose I should ask now, are you lost? I’m throwing around a couple of terms that some of you may not be familiar with.

ERIS– A Greek goddess who came to be the embodiment of Chaos. If I were dating her, I would refer to Eris as “The Really Bad Crazy.” She;s the ditzy next-door neighbour on a 70’s sitcom. She’s the one night stand who won’t stop calling you and will not be ignored. She’s an old Gypsy woman looking for an extension on the mortgage. She will fuck your shit up.

DISCORDIANISM— The belief that Chaos shows up in everyone’s life and there’s really nothing you can do about it. Better to just hold on and enjoy the whirlwind. Discordianism can, but doesn’t not always, involve the worship of the Goddess Eris. And if you don’t feel like worshipping her, at least acknowledge her existence. And if you can’t do that, at least pronounce her name correctly.

Look. You knew we were going to get into belief systems sooner or later. This is just the tip of it.

The way I see it, not acknowledging Chaos as an active force in your life is ignorance. We all see it, every day. The flat tire on the way to work. The freak accident that takes a life. The unexpected lottery win. It is all Chaos.

Any sense of control that we have over our own lives is strictly illusory. Things happen every day that we can’t control. Even our own bodies betray us from time to time. And we think we’re so smart.

So… give it a name, right?

I realize there are those who do not see Discordianism as a true belief system. Even the writer of the Discordian text, The Principia Discordia, will only say that the book is “not as true as some, and truer than others.” But I do take the concept of Discord as a way of and part of everyday life quite seriously. Well, as seriously as I can. After all, it’s only Chaos.

So when you see me hailing the Great Goddess Eris, understand fnord that I am acknowledging all that I cannot control in my life or anyone else’s, for that matter. Chaos reigns and Discord is what it is. And the reason people get blindsided by Eris when she shows up in their lives is because they aren’t expecting her. They haven’t made room for her in their lives.

I suggest doing so. Because she will make her presence known to each and everyone of us.

Oh… and don’t eat hot dog buns.

Hail Eris.

Change of plans…

I was actually in the middle of creating a blog post, and it was going to be a good one, too! Full of rich symbolism, spiritual imagery and clever humour.

Then Cootie said she was done with her homework and was going to set her ass down on the couch. Damned if that didn’t sound like a great idea to me.  So… I’m going to put away leftovers, smoke one quick cigarette and take my rightful place at her left hand.

You’ll get the wise and wonderful blog later. Right now, I’ve got Ms. All Hair and Eyes waiting for me and we’re gonna watch a shitty horror movie.

Beat that, motherfuckers.

Growing up and out or, the failings of the Tenacious D parenting plan.

When the Boy was young, one of our favorite things to do was to run the trash. Is that a horribly Southern term? Probably. We lived in a rural area and had to throw all of our garbage into the back of my truck and take it to the county dump. Of course, around here, dumps aren’t called “dumps.” They’re called “convenience centers.”

Don’t look for logic. You won’t find it.

I treasured these times because we were able to get out of the house, where quiet was the preferred atmosphere, into the quasi-soundproof Rock machine that is my black Chevy Silverado. Through the magic of radio and homemade CD’s, we were able to take some much needed time to Rock.  By the time he was six, he understood the history of Rock better than most college students. It was like that scene in “School of Rock,” where Jack Black has a Rock history flowchart sketched out on the blackboard. The blackboard is hard to read, but it looks like this.


The Boy could hear the difference between Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen. He begged me to buy Tool’s “Aenima” because he wanted to sing along while Maynard exhorted Californians to “learn to swim.”  He learned a few rudimentary guitar chords. And we Rocked.

And I guess I always saw myself as the rebel dad, the one who was teaching him how to buck the system, how to never back down. You’re going to have to forgive a little naivete… while I never believed that Rock would save the world, I believed it would save your soul. That you could, as Simple Minds said, “Sanctify yourself” simply by the virtue and purity of how hard you Rocked. The Rocking sends out an energy into the Universe… a joyful intensity that comes bouncing back at you like a sonar signal… and that the Rock somehow becomes a shiny form of Love.

That’s what my dad taught me. And he listened to all kinds of weird shit. I would flip through his vinyl collection, play through his stacks of 45’s and he would fill in the gaps where it was needed. “If you like that, you should listen to…”  And by the gods, he was right. I love my Dad for instilling that love of music in me at such an early age. Rock… is there anything it can’t do?

And that was how The Boy and I rolled. It was he and me against the world, against the greatest enemies of all, Silence and Censorship. These were the things we could destroy in my truck, with our Rock. We could strike out against the evil of thoughtless fundamentalism and unnecessary bleeping because of the Rocking, which would become the Love and we became something more than what we were, which was a kid and his dad taking out the goddamned trash.

It turns out there were a few things Rock couldn’t save us from.

It couldn’t stop his mom and me from getting divorced. It couldn’t stop me from spending two years in a relationship with a woman he couldn’t stand. It couldn’t stop him from growing up.

Now, that I’m in love with a woman who is my Soulmate, so similar to me in so many ways… I feel the Rock coming back into my life in so many ways. It empowers me. It fills me with a positive energy that lets me overcome so many obstacles. Hell, in a lot of ways, my relationship with Cootie was solidified by Rock. Let me direct you to the playlist I built for her, adding two or three songs a day to let her know what I was feeling about her or us, during the time when we couldn’t be together.

And the Boy does not want to come with. I listen to his Bring Me the Horizon, but he won’t listen to my Psychostick. I listen to his Owl City, but he won’t listen to my Atom and his Package. And this past weekend, he informed me he only wants to see me every other weekend. Heartbroken? Devastated? You bet.  I want him all the time. I would be overjoyed if he were to move in with us.

At the very least, this throws a serious swerve into the Five Year Plan.

He lives with his mother, fifteen minutes away from me, and I get him four days a month. Sure, I could fight it, but it is his decision. Taking it to court would only hurt him.

But I’ll say this.

I believe that the little family that I have will survive. And there will be four of us. And even if love doesn’t bring my son back to me, the Rocking will. He has forgotten how much he needs me. I understand this. He’s growing up and out. He will remember at some point. He will remember those times in the truck when he asks himself what’s missing from his life. He will trace it back. And he will come back to us.

And we will sit and listen to From Autumn to Ashes, look at each other, and the Rock will bounce back from the parabolic dish of the Universe, becoming Love on its way back to us, and the Rock will restore us.

No more molly-coddling.

So…I am extremely grateful for every hit I have had on this blog since I began it a week ago. I cannot thank you all enough. And I hope that you all will continue to follow “So…” as it evolves and becomes what it is going to be… the digital extension of my Self.
At the same time, I can’t be holding your hands while we step through this process.
I will make you, Gentle Readers, a deal.
I promise to update this blog at least every two days. Sometimes even more. But you must promise me that you will, of your own accord, check to see if I have updated. I can’t keep posting on other sites that I have created a new blog. It makes me feel like a cheap self-promotion whore. Who am I, Eddie Vedder?
I am X. X, the Variable. X, the Unknown. X, the Man with X-Ray Eyes. X, who is marking the Spot.
I am X. I am becoming who I am.
You can RSS me. You can visit this blog as often as you see fit. But it’s your job to keep up with me, not the other way ’round.
I hope we’re clear. And I’m not trying to be a dick.
But I need some incentive to keep this thing going. Your visits, my stats, are one of those things.
I love you all.
Love me back.
By not making me chase you down, like Derby bitches.
Are we crystal?
Good night, teenagers. I sleep now.

I am confused.

So… Readers, you must understand that there are times when I will blog about things that I cannot fully discuss. Yes, I live in public, but that doesn’t always help the things that I am trying to accomplish in what’s left of my Private Life.

Also, you must understand that I will spend a lot of time in this blog praising the Love of My Life, Cootiebug. No one has ever supported or understood me the way she does. She has been my rock and my foundation, my open-minded co-coperative one. I have never had anyone be both by my side and at my back simultaneously as she has. Gods, I love her for it. It confuses me. It does. If you had tried to explain “unconditional love” to me before Cootie, I would have stared at you like an American stuck in a dark alley in India, surrounded by members of the Thuggee.

I get it now.

And it still confuses and scares me. I’m waiting for a hammer to fall that I know, intuitively, never will. She is, finally, the Capitalized One.

So I’m confused. But I’m straight.

And I’ll post again tonight.

But my Karma would not be straight if I did not tell the Internets how wonderful my bride to be is. She has centered and grounded me without restricting or degrading me.  She loves me and mine.

And I love her and hers right back.

I am a Blessed Man.

The Wheel turns even more…

So… it’s homemade pizza for dinner, and I’ve already fucked it up. The dough for the crust is so wet, I’m about to pour in some Sakrete just to get it to the right consistency. Whatever dough is left will go into a post hole so that I may install a mailbox.

I’m not terribly worried, though. There’s a workaround. There’s usually a workaround for everything.

Except maybe… maybe… the passing of linear time.

It already feels like Fall and as we watch the Wheel of the Year turn, more signs pop up every day that Summer is over and Fall has taken its rightful place as Reaper of the Sun. Both of the kids are already in school, and Cootiebug starts her classes tonight. One thing we’re excited about as far as her schooling goes is that she’s taking German. I’m going to try to learn it along with her. That way, we can talk about private things in German even with Mogwai (Cootie’s daughter, so nicknamed for her hatred of bright light) on the couch. Plus, everything you say in German just sounds raunchy. You could ask where the bathroom is in German and it sounds like you just asked a Salvation Army bellringer if her mother likes anal.

I have it from a very respectable source that mums are already out at local greenhouses. I do like mums. Soon, the pumpkins will be out and I will be buying candy that is allegedly for trick-or-treaters, but it’s really for me. We all know it. I’ll be watching shitty horror movies on the couch and eating Fun Size Milky Ways. The costumed kiddies get Double Bubble. If their teeth don’t shatter on the initial bitedown, that’s a tasty treat.  P1110027

October is my favorite month of the year. The Boy (my son) has his birthday that month. We celebrate Samhain. And this year, October will mark the date that Cootie and I actually realized what we were to each other. And we will mark that time with our Handfasting.

With very little exception, this has been a fantastic year. Perhaps the best one of my entire life.

I know those of you who have read me in the past were waiting for something more bitter and cynical. Sorry to disappoint. That’s not to say that won’t pop up at some time in the future, but I’m not that person 24/7/365 like I used to be. Like I always used to be. It’s taken me forty years to get to a point where I didn’t care if I lived or died. It’s still weird for me. I find myself slipping into old habits, old thought patterns. But it doesn’t take me long to catch myself.

Optimism is hard work. But I’m finding it worth the effort.

And even as we look forward into Fall, where we literally can sit back and watch the world die, I find myself spying signs of life everywhere, even in places where I thought I had scorched and salted the Earth.

Is your insulin level up yet? Mine is. I need a drink. And I need to check on that pizza dough. For all I know, it’s become self-aware and is trying to take over the kitchen with its yeasty evil.