Thursday, September 29, 2005

HNT: More tattoos

This is my other major tattoo on my right upper arm/shoulder. I love wolves, and if you notice, both of my animal face tattoos have blue eyes. I asked them to do that intentionally because I have blue eyes as well. I do like both animals, but the reason behind both are more far reaching.

I bounced around the country a while when I started trying to figure out who I was and what role I would fill in this world. Since I've always looked at all religions with a fairly open mind, I looked into seeing what was behind them. I was very inquisitive when I met up with a native american shaman.

I don't remember the tribe he belonged to, but when I talked to him, he asked if I would like to know my totem animal. I was curious and agreed, so we found a quiet place for him to concentrate. We went to a dark room and he looked into my eyes. After five or ten minutes he blinked hard, and told me I have two totems guiding my path.

Wolf was there leading the way. He is a loner with a small pack who he would die for if necessary. He's brave, intelligent, and honorable.

Bear followed close behind, however. He has a lazy side, and hates to do things without reason. He is a healer who helps all around him. He is simple, but wise and honest.

I was amazed that he could see through me so well. When I felt like getting more tattoos, they were the first images that I thought of. Not as angry animals as most people have inked, but the true idealistic totems that they are.

Welcome to a piece of my soul.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Anyone hiring?

I may need to change jobs in the near future. I don't want to, but things are going around at corporate that may result in me needing a new job. First of all, they are going to be changing my job to an hourly position. Sounds good on the outside since I've worked 80 hour weeks before, and regularly pull 12 hour days. On the other side, I have weeks that there isn't anything to do that I wouldn't get paid for. I also wouldn't get paid for being away from home. Since I frequently am in smaller towns with not only nothing to do, but I can't do anything in my personal life, either. I can't pay bills, clean my house, run errands, etc. and now I won't be compensated for this time. At least being salaried, you feel that you are being paid for your time.

They are also adjusting the position in other ways, too. One good thing about it, is that they are adjusting it because of ideas I submitted. Since training is becoming more centralized at my company, I recommended that we become more like a mobile PR and customer support representative. When my schedule is slow, I've been doing this and it's gotten great reviews from the customers I've visited that have made it to my manager and her boss. With the change in responsibilities, they feel they can cut the pay, too. They are going to end up screwing the pooch on this one, since anyone who has the skills to do this will know they could get better pay elsewhere so their PR people will be idiots who can't do the job.

Dammit, I was getting comfortable with the job and liked the unique freedom it offered. Now that's all going down the tubes quickly. Worse than that, when I get a new job it most likely won't come with a company car attached. I'll have to buy a car, get insurance and all of the hassles involved. I like keeping things simple, and this is aggravating me already.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Football: The good and the bad

I love football as much as the next guy, and it's bad when I can only watch it in small doses. The Packers game was so painful that I watched for a while, then had to get up and do something else because it was that awful. I've been a Packers fan all my life, so I know this isn't as bad as the Packers of the 80's, but it is starting to head that way. The only comfort I have is that the people at the regional office can't say anything since they are all Vikings fans.

I'm in a football pool and my points have been going all over the place. Week one I did ok, not many points, but better than most. Week two I took a huge hit. That Monday night game killed me in the standings. This week, I'm back up in the standings. I hit every game but three, unless I miss on this week's Monday night game. This brings me to a painful admission.

I bet against the Packers this week.

Yes, they were playing a home game at Lambeau Field. Yes, the oddsmakers had them up 3 points over the Bucs. I still bet against them. My gut told me to and it was right. I got the points for the game in the pool. It feels like a very hollow victory, tho.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Talking to myself

Maybe part of why I blog for the world to see is to be noticed by people. Although I am the oldest child of three, I didn't get much attention growing up. My mom's favorite was my little brother (the baby of the family), and my sister was my dad's favorite. I was left with high expectations of my future, but no support system. One day I went to a little park/woods down the street to relax a bit, and came home to my family eating dinner. My family always ate dinner together (a very good idea for future parents out there). Turns out that they hadn't even noticed I wasn't home, and thought that I was just "being difficult".

So lately I've been a bit disheartened by the lack of comments. I can't be mad for people not having an interest in what I say or busy schedules that keep them away, tho. It does make it hard for me to put myself out here. I've always been the one who's alone in a crowd, and I try not get into situations that will bring me down because of it. I'm sure this is part of the reason I like to be at home when relaxing. Nobody can reject or ignore you in your own home.

So, now that I've probably alienated my audience I'll go on to other things I'm feeling. I'm sick, and not just in the usual naughty thoughts kind of way. My head is throbbing and plugged up and my whole body aches. I also have a client to visit today and I'm hoping that coffee, sudafed, and a hot, steamy shower will get me feeling close to normal for the visit.

One of my cousins died yesterday, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I didn't know her real well since my mom's side of the family is huge. Mom has 10 brothers and sisters (the Irish side of my family), and she is one of the younger siblings. The cousin was the daughter of the second oldest and was a few years younger than my mom. I feel awful for my aunt, but I'm not sure I feel bad about the cousin. She had cancer and it spread amazingly fast. I hear that it was painful near the end and that's why I don't feel bad for her.

I have a hard time understanding why people can't accept death. I don't mean that people shouldn't grieve or feel bad about losing someone. I mean the people that think that the way things are today is how things should always be. I know I want my grandparents to be there forever, but I know that's not the way life works. I try to see my grandparents as much as possible so I have those memories and stories and lessons when they do go, tho. Life ends at some point so rather than fear death, I choose to see it as just another step in the cycle of life.

Getting back on track for the other reason to the title of this post...

I need to get it through my head that I am a good person. Most of the time when I think about my image of myself, it's based on other people's opinions. As I've mentioned before, I'm not a great judge of people and that could be why I go by other people's views. You also lose objectivity when you're involved in what you're looking at, and I try to get others points of view to avoid that.

I have to stop using the word "but" when I look at myself. For examples: I am a damn good guy but I don't have good social skills. I am quite a catch but I don't look good enough to attract the attention of most women. I suppose I think too much sometimes.

So, time to start talking with myself a bit and start fixing my damaged self image. This is going to take a lot since I have years of memories, thoughts, and feelings to overcome. Since I sometimes fit my mood to what is happening in my life, I hope that more things start happening to help me out with my self improvement project.

More tomorrow...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

HNT: The Digital Me

This is one version of me online. She doesn't get nekkid, but that's ok since she's an undead toon. I play World of Warcraft (WoW) now with a few people I know. I'm having a bit of fun when I have time for it. Although my current circle of friends seem to have more time to be on WoW than hang out in person, so I'm on a fair amount when I am home from business. That's probably sad, but true.

I've always liked computer/video games. I'm not big on the games that rely on having fast reflexes, tho. As in my real life, I enjoy things that make me think and give me the time to do that. I really like what are known as RPG's or Role Playing Games. They tend to be larger and longer games and can get quite involved. Many RPG's put you in the shoes of the hero that nobody knows at the beginning of the game, and you are praised for saving the world at the end. I like that. Being able to wrap yourself into a game world is like a warm blanket on a cold day.

Right now, I'm coming down with a nasty flu or something from the people I saw in St. Paul, but I forget I feel awful when I dive into the digital world. I guess that's another reason I play these games. No matter how bad or crapped on by the world I feel, there's part of me that is the great hero that conquers and is recognised for my greatness. A place when my sacrifice and chivalry are rewarded. I sometime think I was born for a different era since virtues of honesty, honor, sacrifice, and chivalry are looked down on in our time.

I like computers for another reason as well. When you talk to people online, they are connecting to your personality and intellect. This plays on my good points, while talking to people in real life where you are judged by looks and actions doesn't. That's how I see it, at least. I'm curious to what you guys will think. Let me know.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Apologies and blasphemy

I'm apologizing in advance for a hard to follow post. I've gotten very little sleep last night and have already driven in to St. Paul today. I browsed around a couple of stores in the area and am now quite bored. If I didn't have to jam two days of training into one day tomorrow and I had someone to drink with, I'd be at a bar right now. Tomorrow is going to be a long day, I think.

I saw a greater than normal amount of religious advertising on the drive up here to Minnesota. I fully believe that everyone should have a right to religious freedom, but your right to that freedom ends as soon as you push it into my face. I'm pretty disdainful of organized or somewhat organized religions in general, tho. It's like someone comes up with a good idea, and his or her followers try to get everyone to think the way that they do. Since most people like the status quo and resist the new, the followers get bitter and start telling everyone that they are superior in some way. Then the followers franchise, get lots more people involved, and start throwing their weight around. Then people get hurt.

Christianity started out as this great, hippie-esque cult. The original cult (before they got picked up by the Romans) was a love your brother, be nice to everyone, and free love movement. The Romans liked it, because they could make the huge and mostly poor people of the Empire happy, and they didn't even stop their orgies to do it. So Rome becomes Christian, and when the Empire starts to tank, the church takes over the power structure thanks to a faked document called the Donation of Constantine. Once they have power, they destroy all the records they can find (thank goodness the Moors held most of Spain) and then start the Crusades.

If you are Christian, try not to take offense to what I've said since I'm going by historical record. This doesn't mean that the ideas at the core of Christianity aren't a good thing. We'd probably be in a damn happy world if people didn't mess up fun and sex to satisfy their egos or hunger for power. I liked a phrase I read while reading St. Augustine. "There are many paths to God." I found that talking to whatever higher power out there in my own personal way works for me.

And I still think that God wants me to get freaky. Baby Jesus cries when Erik is not getting any.

If I'm wrong, I'm on the express train to hell...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Happy Belated HNT: Battle Scars

I've gotten my fair share of scars over the years. I'm amazed when I think of all the things I've done that could've sent me to the emergency room. I've never been in an emergency room yet, tho. The picture is of my left arm and has the scar (about an inch and a half long) that should've sent me to the ER.

Back a few years ago, I got into playing paintball. Some friends of mine were into it and had enough gear for me to borrow so I didn't have to pay the outrageous rental fees at the time. This one time we were playing in August and it was in the mid 90's. Normally when I played, I wore a full-sleeved camoflage BDU shirt, but it was too hot so I was wearing a sleeveless camo t-shirt. It was my first big game, and since I was so pale and had my even paler upper arms exposed, I was instantly given the callsign "Whitey".

I had been having a great time that day. I was averaging over one kill per game, which was damn good for a paintball newbie. I've got good eyes and hands to help my shooting, and good legs to get me in and out of trouble.

When the next game starts I run down one of the flanks, bee-lining it between each piece of good cover I see. I come up from this small ravine and am heading to a nearby tree. Suddenly, I'm taking fire from two guys and I dive to my left behind the tree so I done get lit up. I hit so hard I barely keep the paintball gun in my hands. I see where one guy is shooting from, and I spray the area to keep his head down. While I look around to see where the other guy is.. *splat* I'm hit. I call myself out and head to the dead zone. The guy I tried to light up follows me, but to this day, I'm not sure if I'm the one who got him.

Anyway, when I get to the dead zone, I pull off that mask that protects my eyes and face but is way too hot. The guy I borrowed most of my gear from looks at me and says, "Holy shit, Whitey... you're bleeding." I looked down at my arm, and I have blood all over my arm and dripping off my elbow. I was running with so much adrenaline and my natural tolerance to pain is high that I never felt it. I knew I had hit something when I had dived behind the tree, but hadn't payed much attention since I was in the middle of a firefight.

I cleaned off the wound with bottled water and looked at it. At the time, it was a 4 inch gash up my bicep and thanks to the heat, it was clotting and stopped bleeding for the most part. My friends and the people who ran the field both asked me if they could take me to the ER. I wasn't feeling any pain and it wasn't bleeding for the most part, so I declined and played the last two games.

The next day I could barely lift my arm. The whole bicep was a massive bruise. The scar you see above would've been bigger if I hadn't used Neosporin liberally as it healed. From what I figured as it healed, it must've started out about an eighth of an inch deep. In total, it was a little over three weeks to heal to about the point you see it today. That scar is sort of a badge of honor for me and I feel a sense of pride telling the story how I got it.

Think that's a little weird?

Friday, September 16, 2005

Busy, Crazy Busy

Can't post today. I'm horridly busy right now. Hopefully this comic will be visible when it posts and will amuse you for now. If not you can find it here or just start reading PVP every day. There will be a belated HNT and catching up hopefully this weekend.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Fire- good, travel- ok, esteem- bad

This is the living room of the lake home. We have a furnace there, but during the winter we keep a fire going. We don't have to have a fire, but I think just about everyone loves a fire going in the fireplace. When I head up there by myself in the winter, I like to turn off all the lights at night and watch the glow of the fire reflected on the walls.

It looks like I'll be heading to St. Paul, Minnesota next week for work. A last minute trip, but at least I didn't have any plans that I would've had to reschedule. The good thing is that I'll be training just one person. One person trains are the best since you can get through the material quickly, get everything that person needs, and work on any specific issues without worrying about the rest of the class. I've always worked better one on one, too. It will be a short trip, too. I leave Monday and will get back on Wednesday since I'll head home right after it's over.

The past week or so, I've been taking lots of shots at myself. I tend to do that rather than blame other people for how I feel. If I blame other people for my moods, I'll get angry with them and I hate how I behave when I'm really angry. I sometimes will just shut down and turn off all of my emotions rather than take it out on other people. Things are probably better that way.

Back to where I was going, tho. I don't have the best of self esteems or confidence in myself. I'm certainly confident when it comes to a few things like academics, technology, and my bedroom skills. When it comes to other people, I lose all confidence. I can't read people, don't get "hints", and feel like such a moron when it comes to social situations. When my social life seems to be in the toilet, I just assume it was something I did since I know I'm bad at it. I am blunt and brutally honest as well, which is something most people don't want to hear. I found out recently that I appear arrogant as well. I wouldn't think I'm arrogant, but I couldn't tell you what kind of image I project, either.

*chuckles* I never know if any of my babblings make sense to other people, but that's how I think of things. Take care everyone.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Nature, nurture, and the paths we choose

This is one of many great views at the lake home. The lake itself is extremely clear and clean. You can see the bottom in water that's 20 or 30 feet deep. Sometimes we see large Muskies sunning themselves in the shallows. Muskies are big enough to look like a small log floating in the lake until they move. The lake water was near 80 degrees this weekend and was perfect for swimming, or would have been if I had brought my trunks. I know I could've swam nekkid, but it's not nearly as fun to do that without someone to swim with.

I was going to stay up there a couple extra days, but I ended up coming home early, and I'm glad I did. My stepmother's daughter was coming up yesterday with her three brats. The youngest one is just starting to get his teeth, so he's screaming all the time. There are storms up there right now, so I would've been trapped indoors with all of them.

I've decided to give up the hunt for a woman in my life. Seems like all of the gals out there are psycho, not interested, and/or taken. I don't need all this extra frustration due to constant failure. I could save my money and get a house for myself (because that's the only person who'll ever be there at this rate) with the money I'm blowing buying drinks and going places.

I'm just bitter about people right now, anyway. I haven't recieved a call from a friend in the last 3 weeks, and the only e-mails have been responses from things I send. From my side, it seems like people don't consider me worth the effort. I can't blame them too much, because right now I don't feel I have a damn thing to offer the world. What does a person who likes to give do when nobody wants to take?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

From the Northwoods to you

I'm up in northern Wisconsin at my dad's lake house. The house and view is just beautiful and since my dad renovated it a few years back, it has all of the amenities. I'm up here for my grandparent's 80th birthday. Both sides of my family have good genes for health. My grandpa on my mom's side died just shy of his 90th birthday, and my other grandparent's will probably live to their mid-80's. This is pretty good considering that none of them try to be healthy. They just do as they please, and it seems to work for them.

My parents turned 56 this year, and you probably wouldn't guess it. My dad is balding (thank goodness I take after my mom's side in the hair department), and my mom is wrinkling faster than average due to tanning. Other than that, they are in good shape for their age. Between the two of them they are on one medication, and that's only hormones for my mom so she doesn't get hot flashes. I used to think this was the norm until I worked in a pharmacy and found out that most people in their 50's are on 2 or more medications. Now, I'm amazed at how well my family ages compared to most people.

I almost didn't come up here this weekend because I'm so irritated with my dad. I'd still like to give him a piece of my mind, but all that would do is to get both of us mad and even more entrenched in our positions. It just isn't worth it. My grandparents were trying to get dad to tone down the party today a bit, but dad wouldn't hear of it. He even said to my grandparents that "you don't pass a decade just every year, so we're having a big party for you." I guess he didn't notice that I turned 30 last week. Dammit, Dammit, Dammit.

I'm the only one of any of the grandkids who showed this weekend, too. Not fun for me in a way, because I have nobody to really talk to. I get along with my grandparents wonderfully, but my dad and uncles are taking up their time so I'm just sitting here listening to stories. And drinking a bit. Go figure.

I'll get a few pictures of the house and lake to post next week when I get back. This morning I sat down at the dock by myself enjoying the view and listening to the loons. Not my dad and step mom, but the bird. They have a very unique call and it was peaceful being out there with them as my background music. It's peaceful times that I like best. My dad is a type A personality and he has to be doing something constantly. Going for rides on the pontoon boat, or golfing, chopping wood, et cetera. I like doing things like that at times, but I could also sit in the house and listen to the loons, squirrels, and the breeze through the trees and have a great time. The winter is even better when I can just curl up with a book by the fire and watch the snow fall. It would be nice to have a like minded soul to share it with, tho.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

HNT: The eyes have it

I've always been fascinated by eyes. The colors and patterns of the iris are quite beautiful. My eyes are funny in that they change color depending on my mood. They change appropriately, too. Right now, I'm still bummed out over the birthday apathy, so my eyes are a cold steely grey. I wish I could show you the contrast of when I'm in a happy mood. My eyes can be almost a baby blue when I'm really happy. Usually they are more of a sapphire color with lighter accents. I guess for me, the eyes are the gateway to my soul. Good thing I wear glasses or shades most of the time.

I went head over heels for a gal once who had eyes like I had never seen before. Her eyes were a solid chocolate brown. No accents or change in color in the iris at all. It was like looking into two pools of Hershey's. Unfortunately for me she leaned heavily on the lesbian side of bisexual, and I had been the only guy that had interested her in at least 3 years. I had hoped for more but she wasn't interested in more than a fling with a guy. I could never be angry with someone who was totally honest with both herself and me, tho. She moved on to other things, and I still wonder whatever happened to Tracy.

Since I love music, lyrics, and quotes I'll add another one. I shouldn't need to tell you who it's by.

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The bitter taste of disappointment

I'm not in the greatest of moods at the moment. My birthday was missed by nearly all of my "friends" out there. My own father didn't bother to call on my birthday. I did get a card today from him, but it was obvious that my step-mom bought the card and made him sign it. I got a card like that from the CEO of my company who doesn't even know me. I got one present from my mom, and it was a check. I think money is the crappiest gift to give, because it shows that you didn't want to even try to figure out what the person wants.

I'm just angry because birthdays should be about celebration, recognition, and love. I got neglect, apathy, and disinterest. This bothers me to no end, and hurts a bit. I don't know if I'm just sensitive about this because I don't have the best self esteem, or if events like this growing up is why I feel like I do.

My mom tried to cheer me up a bit with a cookout after my day on the lake plans fell through for unknown reasons. I really tried to keep upbeat and not let things get me down, too. It hit me last night that I was having my birthday with my mom and a couple of her neighbors (who are very cool, but don't really know me). My brother had called earlier in the day, and my sister gave me a card as she ran off to her boyfriend's. That's it. I switched from beer to water at that point so I wouldn't really hit bottom when I went back home and sat in my empty apartment.

It made me think of a Slipknot lyric, tho-

I've felt the hate rise up in me,
Kneel down and clear the stone of leaves,
I wander out where you can't see,
Inside my shell I wait and bleed.

I dunno if it makes sense to anyone else, but it works for me.

Monday, September 05, 2005

30 years

Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday dear Erik...
Happy birthday to me.

As of 7:11AM EST, I have survived 30 years on this earth. I'm amazed sometimes that I've made it this far. For now, I'm going to try to have somewhat of a good day visiting my family and then heading home to chill the rest of the night. Take 'er easy, people.

And if she's easy... take 'er twice.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


I'm one hurtin' puppy today. I went out yesterday to start the birthday weekend at a bar I hadn't been to before. Since everyone was busy, I headed out solo. I was trying to keep busy and positive. Murphy had other plans.

I really don't want to go into the reasons so I don't get all bummed out, but last night was awful. Just about anything that could go wrong, did go wrong. So, after taking a massive rejection and embarassment sandwich, I really hit the bottle. Not something I usually do in that mood and for good reason. I was so messed up by bar time, that I couldn't see straight. Probably the only thing that kept me from trying to post at 2am, too.

So I wake up this morning with my head pounding, my stomach feeling toxic, and my balls hurting from the knee they took last night. Today, I'm keeping my head down and not doing a damn thing.

Luckily, I will be visiting a friend's lake cabin tomorrow. We will be drinking on his pontoon boat during the day, and drinking and listening to a live band at night. Hopefully fun will be had tomorrow, otherwise this will be yet another birthday in a row that I'll be trying to forget.

Friday, September 02, 2005

A quiet day

I've been thinking about things today, yet there isn't anything I want to talk about. I suppose it's a trend...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat

Happy HNT, folks. For some reason, I was thinking about my feet this morning, and thought I'd share. Many years back, I was home when my roommate at the time had a little spa and makeover day with her friends. After taking care of each others hair, nails, etc. They decided to go after me. I'm a pretty open minded guy, and since it was going to make them happy, I let them. They wanted to give me a manicure and peticure. They certainly did a good job on it, much better than I could do. When they were working on me, one of the gals mentioned that I had the best hands and feet she'd ever seen on a guy. I guess that most guys either abuse them or just don't keep clean enough.

I can't seem to work up to getting any body work done like that these days. Something in me keeps me from getting massages, manicures, or the facial that one reader suggested. I don't mind if a gal I know does it, tho. I've had massages and manicures from girlfriends in the past, but actually going out and getting one is something I can't do for some reason. Try to figure that one out, since I can't seem to.

I am having a few friends over for a game tonight. We change up who's house we go to and this week it's at my place. I decided to go all out and make a damn good meal. I love to cook and eat good food. I do have one particularly good dish that everyone likes. They like it a little too much, because whenever I cook they only want my chicken crescent wraps. I'm making them tonight, but that's more because I haven't made them in quite a few months and I'm hungry for them. I really haven't cooked anything major in a while since I have nobody to cook for. Part of the fun of cooking is to watch people's faces light up when they enjoy what you make. I'm a giver...

Here's two quick questions for you guys- What do you like to read in my posts, and what would you like to know about me?

I'm off to the kitchen. Take care everyone.