Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A little bit about everything

Also known as mad misc rambles.

Let’s start off with the crap so we can get it out of the way and then move on to the other things that will hopefully be more amusing.

The human body is the most poorly designed piece of shit on the planet. I want a refund.

1. Last week sucked for me, hence no update. Anxiety hit me like a freight train. Wendy was amazing.
2. Doug, a friend who is taking care of my house got cancer a few months ago.
3. Fellow Magic writer/friend Dave’s wife got cancer.
4. Former girlfriend’s partner suffering from depression/anxiety.
5. Other former girlfriend ’s husband suffering from depression/anxiety unable to work.
6. Went to class yesterday spoke with Pilar. Pilar is a former teacher who seems to like me as much as I like her. Always cheerful, always asks how I am, hugs me, etc. Yesterday – “How are you Pilar?”
“Bad. Many problems in my head. Sad. “
“Really? Me to.”
“Getting better. Little by little.”
“Me too.”

What the fuck?

And I’m sure I’m forgetting people but I don’t have time this week to think hard on this. I have to get this done and move on to the eleventy billion other things on my list. I feel this is important though. Writing is therapy and the comments really help me out. Which brings me to the next thing.

Please keep the comments coming. I need them. I know I don’t do a good job responding and I’m sorry, but I need the feedback from my writing to keep doing it. To the people who say nice things – Thanks! To the questions – Spain was insane the day of the Eurocup. They haven’t made it past the quarterfinals in twenty years and this year they win it. Wendy and I stayed safely inside. Yes, all of this is being catalogued for the book. You guys see only a small part of the writing that is going into the book, but this will all be in it. I have not had a chance to practice any form of MMA here. Wendy found me a great English speaking Muay Thai coach and I contacted him but then decided I had too much going on and decided not to. More on that later.

Wait, according to my list that comes now.

The Plan.

1. Revise all the errors in Quest for the Pro Tour. These involve tons of grammatical and consistency errors. Right now Chris McMahon (my friend/editor) and I are working on numbers. There are actually rules for when you write “We get up at 7:15 a.m.” and when you write, “we got up around seven.” Writing “we got up around 7” is incorrect. In this book, there are a staggering number of numbers to check and correct. Do you write “the deck is 62 cards” or do you write “The deck is sixty-two cards.” “My record is 5-2” or my record is five and two.” “The deck contains four Sengirs? Or 4?

2. Work continues on turning Marilyn’s Story from a blog into a novel. How we met, what we did, how she supported me and how I supported her. Daily blog updates of “Everything still good!” for a week of updates eliminated. Making it more a novel than a series of updates and thank you to certain people is a lot of work.

3. Transcribe eleventy billion voice notes on Spain into my computer for the book “I’m not an alcoholic I’m just European.”

4. Publish books on Lulu, sell on this website, purchase those books and send them to agents and publishing companies and hope someone thinks I’m great.

5. Get back into MMA and write next part of my adventures describing what it’s like to get punched in the face by a massive twenty year old and try to remain conscious and win.

6. Collect underpants.

7. ?

8. Profit!

(The underpants joke has nothing to do with women. It's a Southpark reference.)

On top of that – remain sane (always a challenge for me), take more notes on my adventures with the amazing and beautiful Wendy for the next book, become fluent in Spanish and lose 15 lbs.

So… so much to do. This is why I need the comments. I think that part of my anxiety comes from all these goals that will all take so long.

I have gone from being the well respected computer tech at the High School, daily people telling me how great I am at my job, and being a popular internet writer sometimes receiving as many as 75 letters of praise after a Magic column went up, guild leader of a respected guild in AC, and being hero and protector to a woman with cancer to where I am now. I am at the bottom again. I am not guild leader. I do not write columns on Magic anymore. I don't have people come up and ask me to sign cards for them at tournaments, I don't have people daily telling me how great I am at work.

Now, I am struggling to become a writer, one of the riskiest professions in the world. I don't understand the language here and Wendy orders for us when we go to a restaurant. I used to have to explain some things to Marilyn. I was a little smarter in general knowledge than her. Wendy on the other hand knows EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING. (Actually, I just remembered, I usually know more about animals than her. So, I got that going for me.) Smartest person I have ever met. I'm bad at learning languages and feel like a dumb shit a lot of the time in class no matter how hard I study. Sometimes, I think it might break me and I go to a bad place. Could be other factors though. Not sure.

On the other hand, after I achieved my goals (house, wife, book, success at Magic, appreciated at work) I was bored. Before Mare got cancer, after the book, the Magic, the house I started to get bored. Magic didn’t intrigue me. WoW bored me. For two years I was like this. I had no desire (or so I thought) to travel and had nothing to do with myself. I was like -

"Is this all there is? Do I just do this until I die? Cause if so, I'm ready to go now."

And that was after I was medicated.

So now I'm not the thing I was before but I have a ton of goals. I never, ever think "Is this all there is?"

And Wendy is fucking wonderful. When I'm down. When I'm up. All the time. Always exciting. Always vibrant. Always so full of life. As well as the adventures, the new life, the same bad taste in TV shows, we can talk for hours. And do. And she likes to drink wine with me. I like my wine with my sunsets. And we have a lot sunsets. There is this little park we run through that is very popular. Next to it is a beautiful little café. We will walk up after a hard day of work, people and dog watch and sit and talk until the sun goes down. We never run out of things to discuss.

Never. I find that amazing.

Life is grand. Just need to remain focused on the goals and continue to stride towards them.

(Hey, I warned you this was therapy for me.)

In other news –

Capea - Bullfights have started up for the festival of San Fermin in Pamplona. I can’t tell you how great it feels to have been in a Capea and then watch a bullfight. I am so happy I got the chance to do it and can’t wait to do it again next year.

Hancock – So sad it’s getting only mediocre reviews. I have watched the trailer a hundred times and can’t wait to see it. It’s not open here but the day it is I’m dragging Wendy. I don’t care. I’ll go in with low expectations and hope for the best.

First Superhero – Maybe instead of getting back into MMA I’ll try to become the first superhero. Like, Batman or Captain America. Because, you know, we haven’t had one yet. Wouldn’t you like to go down in history as the world’s first superhero? Punisher might be possible. I know how to shoot…

Class – A few weeks ago Wendy asked if I had time to help her research on her latest project. Since I had three of the most idiotic ill mannered fast speaking Italians in class, I said “sure” and stopped going and helped her out. A perfect situation. Help the Beautiful Wendy; have a great excuse for not going to class. I returned to class this week. The teachers in the afternoon conversation class I attend changes. This week is Eva. A voluptuous Madrilena with an Italian father. She speaks very fast. I am the first student in the class. She starts speaking to me and I ask her

“Please, Eva, way too fast.”

“Oh, sorry Jamie. We have four Italians in class this week and I always speak too fast after speaking with Italians.”

And in file four Italians. The only other people in class this week.


Three times in class yesterday I had to ask her to slow down. Wendy speaks very fast. Eva speaks about double that. Luckily, she is very good about making sure I am not embarrassed and these Italian students are very nice. I will attempt another day.

Congrats to Forrest Griffon on winning the Light Heavy weight belt from Rampage Jackson at UFC86. Great fight.

Some very deep ramblings at my friend Doug’s blog. Check it out.

And lastly, some amusement.

Wendy walks down the hall. “Hey, there’s a business conference in Rome I think I should go to. Want to visit Rome with me?”

“Sure. You’ve always wanted to show me Rome.”

“The question is, do we take the girl?” motioning with her head down the hallway to where her beautiful young intern sits.

“Sure, we’ll get a king sized bed and have a blast.”

“You are awful.”


  1. Well Jamie, I've been reading your blog/journals since the beginning (or near it) and still love it.
    Keep writing!
    You may remember me from my humble advice on your shin splints (and former MTG'er myself).

    Keep your head high...


  2. At least your gall bladder isn't bothering you anymore. You've got that going for you.

    And I think languages take a long time to learn, you are making great progress but Rome wasn't built in a day.

    Insert platitude here:

    "Life isn't about the destination it's about the journey"

    yada yada yada

  3. Umm.
    See when you complain about anything I want to smack you in the face.
    With fire..

    Everytime the words "this is hard" come out of your mouth you should hit yourself with a cattleprod.
    It could be so much worse.
    It could be so very very much worse.
    You have been to "Hard" before. This aint it.

  4. The spanish will day you will have a break through. I was a southern boy moving to New Mexico and getting laughed at every day in Spanish class from my friends that grow up in New Mexico knowing alot of spanish. One day I just had a break through with the language and I was good every since. It will come.

  5. GF and I went to Rome for a week in February, it is actually the most amazing place in terms of History, like every building and piazza tells a story, think you will love it

  6. Rome! You lucky bastard...I'm lucky if I get to Spokane *shudder*

  7. The 'ancient Chinese curse': "May you live in interesting times" is bollocks. There is nothing better, the lives that are worth while are the interesting ones. I read this blog because you talk about the normal situations you find your self in, and they are interesting.
    Thank you for making my working day more interesting.

  8. If you're seeing Hancock, I'd also recommend Wanted (with Angelina Jolie). Very Matrix-y.

    The other thing is that I just got back from vacation this Monday. I still felt like I was in a rut, so on a lark I went on a water fast on Tuesday. Best thing ever. All my joint aches and stiffness went away. I just skipped eating for three meals on Tuesday and just felt great Wednesday morning (albeit really fucking hungry).

    Turns out fasting deals well with autoimmune disorders and inflammation.

    I'm looking into a lifestyle change that incorporates this.

    Sorry about all the other bad stuff going on.


  9. Going to see Hancock today here at Middlebury, will let you know how I like it, but I'm really looking forward to it.
    Listen buddy, you've gone through some seriously life changing things in the last three years. You've gone through sh*t that would make anybody's hair curl and have him running for the hills. Honestly, just one of the many things you've gone through would be enough to really, really, screw up anybody for life. Even just moving to another country with a different language is bad enough, without going into your wife getting sick and dying and so on and so forth. Give yourself a break and give yourself time to digest things, for Spanish to come to you and for having more wine. In other words, keep up the good work, you're pretty awesome.
    And I really like your title "I'm not an alcoholic, I'm just European!" Can I use that sometime soon? Repeatedly?

  10. I've been reading your stuff for years and I still can't wait to buy your books, just to have your writing collected for me. I'm normally a "lurker" kinda guy, but if adding a comment is the only price I have to pay to help keep you writing, I consider that a fair deal, if not a steal.

  11. Always love reading your blogs - keep on writing, I'll keep reading. I don't know if you've dropped by The Ferrett's blog lately but I suggest you do - It's been a blast to read lately since mostly he'd been writing.. about writing.