Jeffrey's Ledge

Absent Minded

“So what does he do all day?”

Ah yes. If my life were to have a Frequently Asked Questions page, this one would hold the top slot for the summer months. It’s a troublesome weasel of a question as answering it means dipping your toes into the troublesome waters known as the Sensitive Teacher Topics Tropics. And lemme just tell you…bad things happen to well-intentioned people there.

Here’s what you need to come to terms with before we go any further. Yes – the newf is off all summer. If you want to be off all summer, you should have been a teacher. If you don’t think teachers deserve summers off, you should try to survive a week in a classroom filled with six-year-olds. Good? Good.

The newf’s average day starts at 8am as he gently wakes up to his favourite science-fiction something or other on television that I kindly turn on for him because I am nicer before breakfast than most people are all day. Mostly because my niceness isn’t sustainable – it’s more of a binge and purge situation: LOOK AT ME BEING NICE! OH WAIT – ‘BE NICE’ TIME IS OVER NOW! BOW TO MY EVERY WHIM!

Case and point? Fifteen minutes later I leave the house with our only car, leaving him in solitary suburban confinement with no means of escape. Spending all of your days in the ‘burbs by yourself for two and a half months? Not so fun, as it turns out. I mean, I shouldn’t be surprised – his only options for entertainment are The View, not letting sleeping dogs lie, or his usual favourite, rearranging things in the house while I’m not home to intervene which is what he does every. single. day. From furniture change-outs to glassware staged in half-moons in our cupboards, it’s like he’s coaching our entire collection of belongings to be a synchronized swimming team. Every day there are new and confusing angles, off-kilter focal points and waterproof glitter paste.

My own interior design beliefs aside (summed up perfectly by this 67-second video), it’s a blind person’s worst nightmare. Even with complete vision I’m still very much at risk of experiencing blunt force trauma at the hand of a new lamp, shelf or potted plant that wasn’t there eight hours before. I can only assume that he shops in bulk, hides his wares somewhere on the property, and brings each piece out over the course of several days while I’m at work. I must have taught him that when I came home from California last summer and suddenly found three pairs of designer jeans from before we dated that miraculously still fit and were still in style.

Shhhhh….

Unfortunately for our dear newf however, my senses are finely tuned to pick up on any unauthorized changes to my living space. Even stumbling into the house drunk off work stress and too many Skittles with two dogs jumping all over my legs, tripping me with my own laptop bag (fine…it’s a purse), I will INSTANTLY b-line for whatever is different and point at it while making dry-heavey noises until someone moves it back to the way it was – a necessary skill on the days when you come home to find out that someone bought $200 worth of plants and now your living room looks like it was sexually assaulted during a vigorous game of Jumanji. I’ve had to start underground-railroading plants out of our living room just so I can keep a grasp on when I’m inside and when I’m outside.

And so continues the two-year-long power struggle of my amateur design chops (they’re genetic) versus his spare time and willingness to actually do stuff around the house. Next summer I’m going to have to bring in back-up. Like a nanny. Or pool boy. But preferably an ugly one. I don’t want to have to compete in my own bloody home.

Oh god. I’m so, so sorry.

Right. So remember that time I was part of a threeway of horrendously offensive comments and career-limiting statements? ME NEITHER! Um yeah. The Special Pleading webcast almost died a slow and painful death as Joel, Amy and I filmed multiple episodes that were all deemed too horrible to share with the public or attach to our names.

Considering that we’ve AIRED the episodes where we condone eating disorders and discuss which Hollywood fatties we’d sleep with, that’s saying a lot.

But alas, we haven’t learned our lesson yet so we’re back with another colossal episode that includes shopping solutions for well-endowed children, Amy’s sexual habits, and awkward and unsubtle background appearances from the newf.

It’s long…so take your time with it. Maybe work it down in chunks. Maybe just grab on and ride it out. Maybe spend some time thinking about what I’m really talking about here. No matter what you choose…just click over and watch.

Yes. There has been some news.

I sort of just have to come out and say something.

It might not be pretty, you might not agree with it, and you might not like it, but it needs to be said before I write anything else. If it softens the blow, at least know that I feel like a total knob about it (that’s a lie…I feel awesome), and I’m consumed with guilt knowing that something that a ton of people are dying for just fell on my lap (some guilt…but mostly happy explosions of unicorns).

Right. So. On the way home from a road trip with my mom, just after she tried to make me wear her sequined, orange shawl to avoid getting a sunburn through the car window and upon my refusal shouted: “…not gay enough, more like!”, and just before I spent the next four days pacing back and forth in a house all to myself, I got an email.

An email from a literary agent.

An email from a literary agent in New York.

An email from a literary agent in New York who wants to work with me on a book.

Ahem.

I don’t know what your first reactions are like right now but I can tell you that mine were something along the lines of the following:

1. I’M GOING TO GET TO DATE JAKE GYLLENHAAL!

2. OH SHIT SO MANY BLOGGERS ARE GOING TO HATE ME!

3. OH SHIT I’D HATE IF THIS HAPPENED TO ANYONE BUT ME!

4. OH MY GOD THE NERVOUS POOPS!

5. NO BUT SERIOUSLY JAKE GYLLENHAAL?

Yes. It’s true. A real live professional overlooked all my flaws (as if I have any…), saw a glimpse of potential (dumbstruck by my modelesque appearance and flexible morals, no doubt), and asked if I might be interested (ummmmmmmmmmmFUCKYES) in working with her team to come up with something amazing. That is, my dream of maybe potentially perhaps becoming an author someday that I’ve had since I was five might just actually stand a chance at coming true – unlike my dream of becoming a Detective who was also a dog.

It’s not a book deal, there are no promises, and there are still about 3598155 ways that I can screw this up, but it’s a glimmer of hope that’s about to send me on the craziest ride of my life. Aside from that, you just need to know that this agency also represents 50 Cent, Eminem, the guy who had Pluto delisted as a planet, and Lance Bass.

Guess which end of the spectrum I’m on.

In closing, I will take a handful of questions before retiring to a truffle oil bath administered by the entire Spanish World Cup team, each wearing naughty football uniforms made of edible gold – a.k.a. what my life will soon be like assuming that my book will be as widely sold as The Bible which it totally will and don’t you dare try to tell me that it won’t:

  • Are you going to be famous? Undoubtedly.
  • Will you remember the little people? Most certainly not. I’ll be doing too much coke.
  • Can you give me your agent’s contact info? Um. Can you let me dupe her into working on MY book first?.
  • How do you go about writing a book? Don’t worry, my ghostwriter will handle it.
  • What kind of book will you write? An awesome one that you will love.
  • What’s your favourite colour? Stop wasting my time. I’m busy.

Hello boys….

You’re Not My Mom. (Except you, Mom. You are. STOP DENYING IT.)

After numerous inquiries about my mental and physical health in relation to what could easily be interpreted as a pervasive bout of alcoholism, I thought it best that I clear the air a teensy tiny bit. While I welcome any and all reality television shows to show up at my home and give me national exposure, I’d prefer if it weren’t a misguided, b-list version of Intervention hell-bent on clearing up my drinking and man-sexing habits in some twisted, two for one special. Although starting up an ‘Ex-Gay’ blog where I consistently post about how often I’m NOT thinking about either of these two pictures would be hilarious.

No, friends, I am not an alcoholic. I am just easily influenced. Say we were to have a big deck party and invite all of the newf’s coworkers who all brought bottles upon bottles of wine and Grey Goose and we never cleaned up afterward, leaving a veritable liquor store strewn across our kitchen and dining room. Hypothetically, were that to happen, one might suggest that I was successful in not succumbing to the constant barrage of DRINK ME’s coming from the area in question more often than not, and can therefore go on living as a reasonable human being without any vices to speak of.

Not counting puppies and cheese.

But like many sober-living gays before me, I have realized that alcohol has its time and place. And that time and place is when you need the courage to sleep with a stranger or go out in public wearing four-inch pumps just to try it or take your mother who hates shopping out to find a dress for a wedding (just kidding mom, you and I both know I was hungover then…not drunk). Every good, weight-fearing homosexual knows that continuous alcohol consumption will simply leave you bloated and squishy which simply doesn’t fit into my plan for the summer.

We have a hammock now – do you even understand how terrible it looks when you have red, bold fishnet print indented into your love handles after a nap? REALLY TERRIBLE.

So there. Let’s put it to rest. If I’m going to get put into rehab for anything, it should be for Applewood Cheddar and good European Swiss. And maybe the Internet and Miley Cyrus’ new album. And at the very least for all that gas that I huff before I go to sleep. And for hating strangers and ugly people and dumb people. But not drinking – THAT I have under control.

Cheers.

DAMNIT!

I’m already hoarse

You have two options.

1) You can join me in turning a slightly hungover Friday into a 24-hour celebration of the newly made-up (by me) International Old School Whitney Houston Key Change Day. It involves pretending you can sing (like new school Whitney), using dramatic hand and arm motions to overemphasize your key-changey awesomeness, and dabbing beads of effort-sweat off your upper lip obsessively.

Or, if faded 80s Pop Whores Who Are Now Lessons In What NOT To Do don’t float your boat….

2) Go read my photo-inspired fiction piece on the Just A Moment stog. Four other bloggers and photographers that many of you know and love collaborated to created some incredible pieces of short fiction – pure awesome…not all crusty like 17th Century Lit 101 – and now it’s my turn.

Puppies, mormons, nudity and a chase

What you first need to understand about this story is that the newf is off for the summer because he’s a teacher and apparently playing with crayons is SO EXHAUSTING that they require two months of every year to recover.

Yeah – I said it. And don’t even try to yell at me, teachers, because I GUARANTEE you that it’s harder to be a teacher’s spouse than it is to be a teacher. But that, I suppose, is a post for another day.

So yesterday as I was going out the door to work – LIKE REAL PEOPLE HAVE TO DO – I mentioned that I’m expecting a mystery package that he should keep an eye out for. He agrees because if he knows that if he so much as put up a fight I’d call him out on how watching Zac Effron movies and creeping on Facebook is NOT CONSIDERED A BUSY DAY until my brain explodes and leaks out my ears.

But let’s set the scene, shall we?

Later that afternoon, the newf is happily showering when he hears a knock on the door and the subsequent machine gun of barking dachshunds (a.k.a. full out, earth-shattering chaos made worse by the fact that we’re currently taken care of Calvin’s brother too) that typically announce a visitor’s arrival. Knowing that I’m expecting a delivery, the sweet newf jumps out of the shower, wraps a towel around his waist and runs to the door.

When he opens the door – sopping wet with shampoo in his hair wearing naught but a towel – he is greeted by his adversaries, the Mormons, smiling bright in their white shirts and black ties as crisp and finely pressed as their morals.

I’ve seen a porn that started just like this.

But in a completely unsexy twist, while awkwardly holding up his towel and trying to get rid of the missionaries, he sees all three wiener dogs make an absolute, desperate, you’d-think-we-beat-them run for it out into the cul-de-sac.

As it turns out, those Mormons aren’t just pretty, jailbait faces…Oh no. Their religious equivalent of spidey-senses send them running out into the street after our terrified dogs who do not approve of strangers, especially those trying to convert their two gay dads into morally upstanding citizens.

Blind Item: Save this wedding

Alright friends, it’s time to pitch in to help one of our own who needs some advice. Since this 20-something, Pittsburgh blogger’s family keeps an eye on her blog, she’s come over to the Rollercoaster for some under the radar input.

Here’s the situation, this wonderful woman is on the cusp of marriage to her her merman in October. Her sister is supposed to be in the wedding but there is one problem. A big problem. Her sister is suicidal, back into her drug addiction, and refuses to check herself into the psych hospital–as per her doctor’s advice.

The blogger asks: “How do I kick my sister out of the wedding party without contributing to her already unstable mental state? In addition to her drug addiction, she’s also bipolar. My family has been dealing with this for years and to be honest I’m just completely numb to it now. I feel nothing except pity and compassion for my parents who are on the brink of a breakdown themselves.”

Right. It’s go-time. Any advice is good advice. Just be sensitive, understanding and supportive like I know you can be and help put our friend’s mind at ease.

This week has been weird for me

For the previous 7 weeks before this one, I had one thing in my head and that was the determination and drive to move here. Dan had gotten an interview and we were going to make it. I wasn’t entirely pleased with the setting I was working in, but it was ok and I was surviving. It was all for the greater good. A little bit of suffering for the prize of getting to live here. 

But after he didn’t get the coveted job, I’ve felt a little let down, to be honest. I don’t have that same determination and drive this week. This week?? I’m just in it for the survival aspect. Just to survive, to get through the final 5 weeks here.  I don’t even know what I’m feeling right now about moving out here. I am gravely disappointed and sad that I’ll be leaving this amazing place. But at the same time, I find I’m feeling a little excited to see my friends, family, dogs, and life back home.

The things I’m currently missing terribly in Michigan:

  • Dan
  • Ike and Vienna
  • My closest friends: Heather & Mary
  • Bob and Meredith – the inlaws
  • My blood family – Tim (uncle), Joyce (aunt), as well as my cousins Ilee and Faith. Of course, my brother I miss, too, even though he’s a brat most of the time. 🙂
  • The fact that the mall is only a 15 minute drive versus 90 minutes here.
  • Sushi from Sushi-Ya or Kumo.
  • The gym (love Planet Fitness!!)
  • Lake Michigan (it’s been too cold to hit the beach, I know, but I would hate to be missing that this summer).
  • 8 Point Lake (another summer destination — where my inlaws have a cottage)
  • Let’s see…what else…..
  • My Kitchen Aid mixer. I MISS BAKING.
  • My nice pots and pans.
  • My clothes. Almost all of my warm weather clothes are back in Michigan. While I have purchased a few warm weather pieces here, I miss having choices.

The list could go on forever, and really could start getting superficial here pretty quick.

I’m just taking each day as it comes. I’d love to stay in Colorado, but I’m not sure I want to until Dan can be here with me every day. I don’t love Michigan, but I sure am finding a lot I’m missing about the place. I’m kind of at a crossroads here and I’m just waiting on something to happen to help me make the decision one way or another.

At the end of May, I’ll be back for a good friend’s wedding, then a week to relax around Michigan, THEN a week in Hawaii with the hubs. Finally taking our honeymoon. 🙂 THEN, I’ll fly back to Colorado to either a) move my things into a new apartment in Grand Junction for a travel assignment or b)drive my stuff back to Michigan…for a travel assignment.

And that’s all the planning I plan on doing for the time being…

Let me be real for a moment.

Angry. That’s pretty much what I feel right now. PURE ANGER. I can’t believe I had to turn down the job of a lifetime. The job I had an AMAZING interview with. Before I even got offered the job. And that SUCKS. I’m TRYING to be the un-selfish spouse. TRYING. But dang it. I feel like every single good thing that happens to come my way is totally ruined by the fact that Dan can’t get a job as easily. EVERY SINGLE FREAKING TIME I have tried to get a job in another state, it NEVER works as well for him.

It sucks.

I’m not angry at Dan. I’m just angry at…I don’t know…GOD? Life?? The universe?? NO CLUE.

But the job I wanted isn’t looking for a traveler at this time. Not that that couldn’t change, he said. But still.

THIS FREAKING KILLS ME INSIDE.

That’s all.

Decision Made

So! Today is a new day! And I’m not admitting defeat. But we made a decision for me to go ahead and come home for now. Last night we had decided to not give up. But when I woke up this morning, I didn’t like the way I felt about this decision. In order to do what we decided, we’d be getting ourselves too tight financially.

Theres some debt in our lives that would make things feel too tight. They wouldn’t be too bad bit I want a fresh start in our new location. (I used to not do a great job handling things financially and I am working on those past mistakes.) This is not a decision to give up.

I will be taking travel jobs in Michigan so I am close to my love and my family an friends. It will allow me to make enough money to pay stuff off. For us to build a larger savings. To fix up the house the way it should be. To sell it. We love this part of Colorado and are GOING TO COME BACK.

No doubt in my mind about that. I’m so glad I landed here and we are amazed that this area is not what we pictured. It’s freaking awesome. Within a couple of years, this is where we will be. I feel it in my heart. It was a hard decision. Very hard. But it feels right!!!