SecondHand Tryptophan http://www.secondhandkarl.blog I have returned! Wait, why did I come in here again? Wed, 25 Mar 2020 19:15:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4 https://i2.wp.com/www.secondhandkarl.blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/cropped-2HT_logo-e1553364263558-1.png?fit=32%2C32 SecondHand Tryptophan http://www.secondhandkarl.blog 32 32 159393753 Looking Out To Pixelation http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2020/03/looking-out-to-pixelation/ http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2020/03/looking-out-to-pixelation/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2020 19:15:03 +0000 http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/?p=1429 So the guy who everyone has always laughed at for not being able to drink after someone else or drink after them* is now living in all of…this. And let me tell you, that isn’t causing any panic attacks, no sir. Meantime, lest we forget, the house was put on

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So the guy who everyone has always laughed at for not being able to drink after someone else or drink after them* is now living in all of…this. And let me tell you, that isn’t causing any panic attacks, no sir. Meantime, lest we forget, the house was put on the market and sold within 48 hours and there are now less than 2 weeks left for me to rapidly dismantle the only safe harbor I’ve had the last 20 years. The only place I’ve been able to go when all of…this…becomes too…

this

…all so that I can go to…

404 page not found

Yeah, I can’t finish that sentence because I don’t have a place yet. I’m looking out the door toward…something I can’t make out. It’s as if there’s just a blurry splotch on the other side of the door, the future is pixilated. Offices and banks are shuttering up. People aren’t returning phone calls. Damn virus has everything up in the air. I’ve had six months to prepare for this, I know, but I squandered so much of that time – thanks, grief and depression! Even with all that time, this is coming on so very suddenly.

I don’t even know how smart it is to sign anything contractual right now, anyway. What if our species dies out two days after the closing on the house? I’m going to be pissed if I’m stuck in a loan situation when all of humanity is wiped out. Best to take a wait and see approach.

I mean, I’m getting it done. Things are getting sorted, packed, thrown out or set aside to donate. I’m not sure WHY, but I’m doing it.

And now, random flamingos. Mom was really a flamingo nut. You might even say she had a leg up on all the other bird enthusiasts. Ahem.

I’m sorry about that. Did I mention I’m under a great deal of stress? Could even be the first signs of COVID-19 delirium or something.

*There are rules.

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Crossing the Streams http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2020/03/crossing-the-streams/ http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2020/03/crossing-the-streams/#respond Thu, 05 Mar 2020 05:27:05 +0000 http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/?p=1253 Once upon a time, there was a little boy who was so creative! He drew cartoons, wrote stories and plays and comics, and sang along with many albums played on his Mickey Mouse record player. He performed to hundreds of thousands of imaginary people in countless imaginary sold-out arena shows

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Once upon a time, there was a little boy who was so creative! He drew cartoons, wrote stories and plays and comics, and sang along with many albums played on his Mickey Mouse record player. He performed to hundreds of thousands of imaginary people in countless imaginary sold-out arena shows in his bedroom. He mimicked cartoon characters and singers and TV stars until he had their voices perfected.

Music and writing were his everything, not to mention great ways to escape his anxiety, his inward pain, and sadness.

That little boy grew up, met a girl, got married, joined the military, had daughters, and never lost that love for writing. Then he got divorced, got out of the Air Force, and went from administrative assistant at a computer consulting company to a helpdesk operator to programmer to technical writer, all within a few years.

He started an email humor newsletter that was full of clean jokes and humorous essays he wrote. Hmm, sounds familiar. It didn’t take long before the Cattle Prod Moosletter had 4,000 subscribers. He learned HTML and had his own site on his ISP’s server space. He started journaling his life and posting it…way before “blog” became a word.

Then he moved to Florida and continued journaling and posting. But by then there were sites like Blurty and Livejournal and eventually Typepad, which made blogging a cinch. That’s when SecondHand Tryptophan was born. Then he got his own domain and got into WordPress and started posting silly, funny things almost every day. And he started reading other blogs and making friends. And his blog grew in readership, and so did the blogs of his new blogging friends. And he went to blogging conferences, met even more people…it was the golden era of blogging.

Okay, enough of the third person thing. I lived here in my central Florida town the entire time SecondHand Tryptophan was around. In fact, I lived in this very house, the one that went on the market today.

Back then, very few locals knew of my blog. I’d go to karaoke and mingle with people, make friends, and they had no idea that SecondHand Tryptophan existed. They had no clue that celebrities like Jaime Murray were commenting on my stupid humor blog. I liked it that way. People at karaoke would ask me, “Hey, are you on Facebook?” and I’d say, “No, I’m not.” Because Facebook was for family and my online blogging buddies.

I kept my life very compartmentalized. And it was good.

Then I got burned out and stopped writing. It wasn’t long before the blog got hacked and everything got deleted. And I was upset about it, of course, losing years’ worth of posts. But in the end I was fine with it. I was already finished writing, anyway.

At that point, it no longer mattered whether my local friends were connected to me on Facebook. I didn’t have a blog anymore. So I started allowing my local friends to add me on Facebook, knowing 2HT was dead forever.

Except for the fact that that turned out to not be so true.

9 years later – last year – I revived SecondHand Tryptophan and started this blog. I kept it pretty low-key, I didn’t really announce it. I’ve shared links to my blog a few times on Facebook, but not many checked those links out. Nobody really knew about this blog, not my OG blogger friends (well, a few), not my local friends. I just wasn’t interested in having people reading it because my writing was (and remains) somewhat stilted. I’m way out of practice. It’s not up to par with the Karl of 10 years ago.

Playing YouTube

Fast forward to four days ago. The video. I shared the link on Facebook to a friend list I created just for sharing the blog link. And I did not mention to that relatively small list of people that I hadn’t shared it with all my friends, just a small list of people. I didn’t tell them, “Hey, don’t share this with anyone. It’s private.” Because it isn’t.

This blog is not a secret. There’s a Facebook page for 2HT and the link to it is on my Facebook profile. It’s easily found on Google. I’m not hiding it. I just haven’t been going out of my way to blast the publicity trumpets. It gets shared on the 2HT page automatically, but there aren’t many people following it. So it got shared by some. That’s my fault, I should have said I had put them in a customized friend list. But it doesn’t really matter. I’m very candid about my depression and I’ll talk to most anyone about it, particularly if I hear someone is feeling suicidal. I don’t mess around with that shit.

I shared the link with a select group of people – people that I felt comfortable sharing such a piece with, though I was in a bit of a rush when I put the list together. I knew the subject matter was rather raw and potentially disturbing to some. Many on that list are OG blogger friends who saw me openly discuss my depression on my old blog. So I had no trouble including them. However, I was way more selective when it came to including local friends on that friend list. I guess because I don’t want people treating me differently just because of my illnesses. Most people here have no idea about my bipolar disorder, which mostly manifests as pretty severe depression. I certainly don’t seem like I’m thinking about such dark thoughts. If I constantly wore my heart on my sleeve, I’d be depressing to be around.

Anyway, I know you’re not supposed to cross the streams, but now local friends have commented on that post. The worlds I kept very separate 10 years ago are colliding. My social media has my old blogger friends AND my local friends. It’s a weird feeling. I have no clue how this is going to work.

Now, why did I make that video? Well, I did it for me, not for you. I tried writing a post and I just wasn’t tapping into anything real, so I decided to try a video instead. I did it to force myself to emote. Because I’m often like an android, void of emotion. Yes, the video was long and rambling, and I did it in one take. I decided I wasn’t going to tap into anything more than I already did with a second try at it. I left it as it was and uploaded it.

The video is not a “Look at me, look at me!” thing. Anyone who knows me and knows the depths of my social anxiety knows that putting that video out there for anybody’s consumption was a hard thing to do. I do not relish the thought of people – especially my local friends – knowing this particular part of me. Again, I did it for me, not for you. I accomplished what I set out to do, which was to tap into something deep.

One reason I decided to post it instead of just keeping it to myself was because I have been told on numerous occasions how much people appreciate my candidness regarding my depression, that they can very much relate. The freakiest part is that, over the years, friends and complete strangers alike have messaged me, emailed me, and told me in person that one of my blog posts about my depression kept them from going through with suicide. I really struggle to wrap my head around that…something I wrote saved lives. It’s very humbling and it kind of shoots my “I have no purpose” down out of the air. Course, I’m very good at ignoring it.

I posted it for those people, because there are many suffering with depression and these horrible, horrible thoughts. Many silent people. Many more than you know. And it’s the silence that kills. It nearly did me in 25 years ago. There should be no shame in talking about these things, there should be no stigma attached to mental illness. But there is. And that’s why I went against the grain and posted it.

Some of my friends were quite concerned after seeing the video. Understandable, I suppose, even though I specifically said – as I have multiple times this past week – I am NOT going to act on these feelings. I can’t NOT think about it, but I won’t ACT on it. Until last week, even my doctors believed me. I mean, my track record is not bad. I haven’t tried anything in a quarter-century. Sorry, dark humor.

I think I’m going to stop sharing my blog links to my personal Facebook feed. There’s a 2HT page for a reason. And if anyone cares to stay updated on when I post, they can either look there or get themselves an RSS feedreader.

My goal is to get into the habit of writing again. Also, to rediscover my humor. I think I will. I don’t know, I guess I’ll figure out what I’m writing about the moment I start typing.

My realtor started listing my house yesterday, already had several people looking at it. Once it sells, and it will probably be fast, I’ll have 30 days to get the hell out of this house. I have no idea how I’m going to make that happen, still so much to go through. I’m not freaking out at all. Okay, maybe a tiny huge amount.

My cleaning apparel

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Therapist http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2020/02/a-funny-thing-happened-on-the-way-to-the-therapist/ http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2020/02/a-funny-thing-happened-on-the-way-to-the-therapist/#comments Sat, 29 Feb 2020 13:37:30 +0000 http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/?p=1245 TRIGGER WARNING: The following video discusses suicidal thinking and briefly talks about a suicide attempt. 1-800-273-TALK…24/7, totally anonymous. It’s the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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TRIGGER WARNING: The following video discusses suicidal thinking and briefly talks about a suicide attempt.

1-800-273-TALK…24/7, totally anonymous. It’s the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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I Forgot to Tell Myself http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2020/02/i-forgot-to-tell-myself/ http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2020/02/i-forgot-to-tell-myself/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2020 12:56:08 +0000 http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/?p=1210 167 days. My Mom died 167 days ago. Well, 167 days, 17 hours, 3 minutes and 7 seconds, but who’s counting? I am finally able to walk the house in my underwear if need be. If need be, please. I don’t need to parade around in my underwear, but that’s

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167 days. My Mom died 167 days ago.

Well, 167 days, 17 hours, 3 minutes and 7 seconds, but who’s counting?

I am finally able to walk the house in my underwear if need be. If need be, please. I don’t need to parade around in my underwear, but that’s exactly what I do now. Because I can. With a kazoo and streamers, the whole nine yards. For the simple reason that I am the only person in the house.

And yet, I caught myself today closing the bathroom door when I went to take a piss. For the simple reason that I AM THE ONLY PERSON IN THE HOUSE.

I think I forgot to tell myself that she’s dead.

View of a refuge in transition

Yesterday, I reached for my phone to text her. Not even a reach, really, it was more a flinch, me wanting to reach for my phone. But I caught myself with that stomach-wrenching re-revelation that there’s no one to get that text. The revelation that comes again and again, so many times a day. She is never ever coming back. I haven’t really acknowledged it. Out loud, yes, to other people…yes. But not to myself.

I think my brain is finally attempting to catch up to reality. I spent the last four months of 2019 numb. I’m not a crier by nature, anyhow, but I really didn’t emote much about her death, aside from the actual day…and a couple after.

For the past month, I’ve become incredibly allergic to all sorts of things. My eyes water at Publix commercials and I nearly had a full-snot crying jag during the finale of “The Good Place.” Thanks be to Jaime Murray that I don’t wear mascara. I’d look even more of a mess than I do already.

I joke. That’s what I always do when I’m hurting. I make jokes. It’s a go-to deflection/distraction/protection mechanism when things get too real.

And I gotta tell you, things are pretty fucking real right now. If you see me in public, you probably have no clue. I smile, I chat with friends at karaoke, and they don’t know. I’ve been putting on The Show my entire life. Trust me, I have shelves lined with acting awards from fooling people into thinking everything is going great.

It isn’t going great.

At all.

Three people know this. Well, three people knew this. Now, I guess you know it, too.

I talked to a friend, and at the end of that conversation, she made me promise I would tell my shrink how bad things are. As it turns out, I already had a regular appointment with my shrink 3 days later.

I didn’t fuck around, either. I told her straight from the moment I walked in the room I was not doing well.

How bad are you doing?” she asked.

“Very. Really, really bad.”

“Are you having thoughts of hurting yourself?”

“Yes,” I admitted.

“Do you have a weapon in the house?”

“No, I don’t have any firearms. You know I won’t own one for this specific reason.”

“That’s good,” she said. “Have you thought about what you might do?”

“Yes.”

“And what is that?”

“Who needs a gun? So messy. There’s a far easier way.”

“And what is that?” she asked again.

“I’m diabetic. I have four insulin pens in my fridge. I’d only need one.”

“Mr. Erikson, do you need to be hospitalized?”

“If I felt I needed to be hospitalized, I’d have gone to the ER instead of keeping this appointment. I’m not there yet, but I’m getting there.”

“Do we need to control your insulin, to keep you from–?”

“That could never work. First of all, if I was going to go through with it, I wouldn’t be telling you about it. Second, I’m a diabetic. I need my insulin. And unless you’re going to make me come in for every dose of insulin, there is no practical way to control it. You can take away the other three pens and only let me keep one at a time, but I’ll still have way more than I need with just the one.”

She didn’t like that answer, exactly, but I’m honest if I’m anything.

Fast forward 30 minutes and I am now starting a new antidepressant and seeing a local therapist in a couple of weeks. I’ve had enough therapy to choke a battalion of horses, but here I go again. Because, you know, you do what you have to do, fake it till you make it, etc etc. I figure what the hell, I’ve faked it for over half a century. I’m sure I can manage to hang on another two weeks to see if this therapist is any good.

Yes, it is incredibly dark between my ears right now. I’m not going to lie about it. I really don’t see much point in…all of this…any more. I feel like I’m way past my expiration date and I’m just passing time. Waiting. But I am not going to act on these feelings.

Besides, I have too much to do to kill myself. I need to sell this house so I can get a whole new place. And I’m going to be excited about it, according to friends who tell me I’ll be excited about it.

I’ve been trying to get my schedule in order because I’m so scatterbrained and distractible right now, it’s very easy to rabbit-hole me. But here it is now, 8:00 in the morning, and I haven’t yet been to bed. So much for schedules. Still, I got a lot done tonight…laundry, dishes, I put together a grocery list. For where I’m at? That’s saying something. Right now, just brushing my teeth is a monumental task.

When I get up in a few hours, I’ll lay in bed for a bit, contemplating my role in the universe. That’ll take a few microseconds before I move on to the existential ennui.

Then I’ll finally get up, only because pissing my bed would make me even more depressed than I am now, and I’ll go into the bathroom and close the door to pee.

For the simple reason that I am the only person in the house.

If you are thinking of harming yourself, or you know somebody that is, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Totally anonymous and totally free.

800-273-TALK or 800-SUICIDE (goes to the same line)

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Merry Christmas, Mom, http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2019/12/merry-christmas-mom/ http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2019/12/merry-christmas-mom/#comments Thu, 26 Dec 2019 02:42:42 +0000 http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/?p=1100 Christmas Day, 2019 Dear Mom, Well, here’s a letter I never thought I’d be writing. It’s Christmas day, 3-1/2 months after your death. It still feels like it was yesterday. I really do my best not to think about it, you not being on the other side of the house

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Christmas Day, 2019

Dear Mom,

Well, here’s a letter I never thought I’d be writing. It’s Christmas day, 3-1/2 months after your death. It still feels like it was yesterday. I really do my best not to think about it, you not being on the other side of the house any more. I distract myself like crazy, but still…those wee hours of the morning are a real bitch.

Florida Christmas

I almost found myself watching a Hallmark Christmas movie last night. Almost. I still have standards, you know. Can’t do it. I also can’t ever delete your Netflix or Hulu profiles, though I may some day go into them and watch some things you liked. Today’s not that day, though.

I still can’t pee with the bathroom door open, though I have the house to myself. I still keep my bedroom door shut when I’m changing clothes. I still find myself constantly turning the music down. I go into your room, expecting to see you in there, but your recliner isn’t even there any more. I sold it. Now your room is just stuff I need to sell.

Thanksgiving. And now Christmas. A few years ago, it was the first holidays without Dad. Now it’s the first without you. This hits way harder for some reason. Probably because I’ve been here since Dave’s death. And I watched you struggle the entire time since. I don’t think you ever really understood my social anxiety, but the depression…that I think you understood all too well. I know toward the end you were really feeling similarly to me…that this is all a life sentence.

It was such a struggle for me to watch you battle your own depression, though it wasn’t much of a battle because you didn’t seem to fight it much. The whole time, I was wishing I could help you, even when I could barely function myself. I wish I’d done more, but of course you resisted everything. You used to joke that nurses make the worst patients, but it wasn’t a joke. You did everything you knew you shouldn’t do. Lots of salt, high fat, high carb, sweets…

And in the end, who really gives a damn? If it made you happy, it should have made me happy. But I knew what you were doing to yourself. I knew because I struggle with doing the right things myself. And especially when I’m struggling to think of reasons to be vertical, you know?

Like I am right now.

This time of year is horrible for me, but this year…ugh. You dying makes one less thing tethering me to this plane. I’ve felt like I’m past my expiration date for decades. But you know how it is…”you have to fake it till you make it.” Except I’ve been faking it my whole life. I’m beginning to think it doesn’t apply to me.

I don’t know what to do. I’m sitting in a house I’m going to have to sell, barely keeping my head above water. I don’t know shit about real estate or probate or doing taxes for anything like this. But I’m going to have to figure it out, anyway. I have so much to do, but I’m paralyzed. I can’t think straight. I can’t concentrate or focus. I have no drive or ambition. I can’t sleep. My eating habits are crap. Sugar is through the roof. My body hurts from head to toe. I’m a fucking mess, Mom. But the world doesn’t care. The bills and creditors sure as hell don’t.

“Soon, you’re going to have your very own place again!” friends tell me. “Very exciting! It’ll be a new chapter!” I’m not excited. I am the opposite of excited. This book sucks. I’ve been done with it for a while, so why the hell do you think I’m looking forward to another chapter?

This veered way off what I thought it was going to be. Sorry about that, Mom. I started off thinking it’d be a nice maudlin letter, but it quickly became me just venting. It’s hard to talk about this stuff. I’m sure you know. People don’t want to hear it. I’ve been isolating more than usual since you died. Everything is just a means to distract me for an hour or two. Distract me from….the darkness. Don’t worry, it’s nothing more than ideation, as the shrinks would say…just thinking. I’m not going to act on it. But if a meteor took me out right now? I wouldn’t bitch. I may have even prayed for such a thing. More than once.

Right. Let’s talk nicer things. I went over to Larry’s daughter’s for Christmas dinner. Steak, green beans, baked potatoes. Excellent. Now I’m back here, contemplating going to see the final Star Wars movie, “Rise of Skywalker.” I don’t go to the movies much these days, but this I definitely want to see on the big screen. Even if they have totally Disneyfied my childhood love. I just don’t know if I have the energy reserves to go to the mall and endure more people. Ha, never mind. I just checked the ticket prices. $16. I’ll wait until $5 Tuesday. And they wonder why theaters are struggling…give me a break.

Yeah, small talk isn’t working, either. Nothing seems to work.

I keep going. Not very well, but I do it. Because I’m supposed to. Friends tell me how strong I am, Mom, and I shake my head and have to laugh. I’m not strong. I can just take a lot of shit and still not die. Some might say those are the same thing, but I would disagree. Strong infers mental and spiritual toughness, which I do not possess. I have only endured pain. Cockroaches do as much.

You remember me saying this is a letter I never thought I’d be writing? It’s because I honestly never thought I’d be around longer than you. Or Dad. It amazes me I lasted this long. Every year, another birthday passes and I’m like, “What the hell am I still doing here?”

I miss you, Mom. I am really not doing well, in case that’s not already painfully obvious. I don’t have much hope for the new year. I’m pretty fucking terrified, truth be known. And I apologize for the language, but sometimes there is no better word.

I did a lot of avoiding thinking about you today. It gets harder and harder to do as I go through the things in this house. I decided to pull out some of the Christmas decorations, though I haven’t felt like celebrating a thing.

At least the ceramic tree lights are nice to look at in the dark.

Merry Christmas, Mom. I hope it’s better where you are.

I was looking over some photos of Mom and found this old outtake of a Birthday Dare video. She used to help with a number of my blog videos.

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And Now a Message From My Mustache http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2019/11/and-now-a-message-from-my-mustache/ http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2019/11/and-now-a-message-from-my-mustache/#comments Sat, 09 Nov 2019 04:49:32 +0000 http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/?p=999 TLDR: CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO MY MOVEMBER CAMPAIGN. Thanks very much. I’m going to take a moment away from all my “fun” to promote my Movember campaign, something near and dear to my heart. It may seem a very silly thing, this annual growing of horrible mustaches by all

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TLDR: CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO MY MOVEMBER CAMPAIGN. Thanks very much.

I’m going to take a moment away from all my “fun” to promote my Movember campaign, something near and dear to my heart.

It may seem a very silly thing, this annual growing of horrible mustaches by all these guys. Because seriously, unless your name is Burt Reynolds, Tom Selleck, or Sam Elliott, you shouldn’t be wearing a mustache. Oh, my Aunt Anna. She rocked a killer ‘stache. But other than that, no.

Still, many men are growing them this month, myself included, all to raise money for men’s health. The Movember foundation raises funds for research and awareness on prostate and testicular cancers, two of the most-diagnosed cancers among men. Both are very treatable if caught early, and that’s what Movember is looking to do…promote that awareness in men so they get themselves checked and detect these things early.

Movember also targets mental health and suicide prevention in men. Globally, one man a minute dies by suicide. In the U.S., 75% of suicides are men.

So I’m growing another terrible mustache, all in the name of saving men’s lives. Will you help? Last year, my very generous friends helped me to raise $475. I’d love to break that record this year. Anything you can give will be appreciated. It all adds up and it all helps saves men’s lives.

However, for a $5 donation, you can sponsor the day’s daily horrible jokes. I do this on Facebook, as well. Want an example? OK. Today is Friday, which is traditionally #FourForFriday on my Facebook. Here are a couple of the awful jokes from today:

How do hens stay fit?
Egg-cercise!

What did the shy pebble wish for?
That she was a little boulder.

See, that’s some quality awful right there.

OR…behind door #2. For that same $5 donation, you can choose any song you want off of my karaoke song list (6 years worth of songs, 13 pages when printed out!). I’ll have somebody film me singing it at karaoke and post it online for you to see. Here’s just one page of my list:

OR…behind the DELUXE Door #3. For a $10 donation, I will sing ANY SONG YOU WANT. Anything. You know, provided it’s in karaoke format. Here’s one I sang last night, in fact. TOTALLY NSFW. For real. It’s not. It’s by the Bloodhound Gang if that tells you anything. But $10 is $10 and this is what Susan wanted.

Do not play this around children. And don’t bitch at me if you do.

In fact, I owe Susan another song that I’ll singing tomorrow night.

So CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO MY MOVEMBER CAMPAIGN. Let’s save some lives. Thanks very much.

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The Nights are Long http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2019/10/the-nights-are-long/ http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2019/10/the-nights-are-long/#comments Tue, 29 Oct 2019 06:54:18 +0000 http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/?p=972 I’m sitting here looking at my Mom’s bedroom door because it’s in my direct line-of-sight from the living room. Straight through the kitchen. I’ve tried to write this a hundred times. I just can’t seem to put my head around it, let alone give this what it deserves. Mom is

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I’m sitting here looking at my Mom’s bedroom door because it’s in my direct line-of-sight from the living room. Straight through the kitchen. I’ve tried to write this a hundred times. I just can’t seem to put my head around it, let alone give this what it deserves.

Mom's Door

Mom is gone. She died last month, days after the surgery I mentioned in my last post. Everything went fine. She came home after a couple of days in the hospital and died several days later while napping, not even 10 minutes after I last saw her. Life ever since has been…a haze. I’m still in shock.

So many details and things to take care of…I haven’t processed the fact that she’s gone. I’ve caught myself numerous times about to ask her this or that. Just now I turned the music down because I didn’t want to wake her up.

The days are fairly easy, as far as staying distracted goes. It’s the nights – like right now – that are the hardest. Having her door right there. Being pretty much the only person awake on the planet.

It’s quiet. And still.

It will take a long time to get used to it.

I’ll tell you who is happy about Mom’s passing. The slugs. That salt shaker took down thousands of those bastards and now they can rest easy.

The Shaker that Killed a Thousand Slugs
The Shaker that Killed a Thousand Slugs

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The Month Escapes Me http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2019/08/the-month-escapes-me/ http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2019/08/the-month-escapes-me/#respond Tue, 27 Aug 2019 04:07:33 +0000 http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/?p=835 You are not going to believe all of the things that have been going on with me! So many wildly exciting goings-on that prevented me from putting words into this place. Where do I begin? Okay, that’s horse-shit. I haven’t really done shit. I mean, yeah, some. I go out

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You are not going to believe all of the things that have been going on with me! So many wildly exciting goings-on that prevented me from putting words into this place. Where do I begin?

Okay, that’s horse-shit. I haven’t really done shit. I mean, yeah, some. I go out singing. I play poker in my weekly game. I even play D&D a couple of times a month now (it’s going well, thanks for asking, and I know I owe you a post about it). There’s that.

And then there’s me doing nothing the rest of the time. Unless I’m obsessing over that silly little card game I started a while back. Which I do. A lot. Did I mention they put me in charge of people…? Like people I’ve never met and whose real names I don’t know but I interact with regularly? I’m allowing the administrative aspect of it all to kind of tarnish the fun of the game. It’s getting to be too much without getting help from others…well, shit, let’s not go down that rabbit-hole.

I know, you don’t need to tell me. I’m down. I know I’m down. I’ve been down long enough to know the signs. It’s the isolation. It’s the total lack of motivation. Getting out of bed, even. You know, when I sleep. And I do. 3-4 hours a day.

But there’s no time for any of that because my Mom is in for surgery this week and I’m going to need to be focused on that. And let me tell you, trying to nurse a retired nurse is wrestling a greased pig. Look up “non-compliant” in the dictionary and you’ll see my Mom’s face.

I really meant to start this out as a funny piece about how I recently discovered I’ve been shaving wrong my entire life. I mean, my WHOLE life. That’s a while, I’m part Italian. But maybe next time. I guess I just wanted to put something here. Even this. Try getting in the habit. Again.

I may be writing posts from the hospital, who knows? Or I could be running a team of international mobile card game players, where nobody knows my real identity. Well, almost nobody.

I think I need to watch Captain Marvel. Finally. I took the plunge and rented Endgame on Amazon and I have 30 days to watch it. Countdown is ticking.

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I’d Like to Make a Withdrawal http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2019/07/id-like-to-make-a-withdrawal/ http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2019/07/id-like-to-make-a-withdrawal/#comments Sat, 27 Jul 2019 06:44:59 +0000 http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/?p=789 Last night I had my regular poker night. Then I went out for some karaoke. About midway through, I started getting a need to be out of there, away from all of the peopley things. But every time I was about to leave, someone grabbed me to socialize or sing

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Last night I had my regular poker night. Then I went out for some karaoke. About midway through, I started getting a need to be out of there, away from all of the peopley things. But every time I was about to leave, someone grabbed me to socialize or sing a duet with me and I wound up staying another half hour. Lather, rinse, and repeat until 1 AM. I mean, it was fun but it was also socially taxing. I got home, totally depleted.

Then today I had a 7-hour D&D session, more intensive socializing with no break. I’m just not built for this shit anymore. I’m about to go cocoon for a while, I can feel it. I’m about done with people. Social anxiety is hitting hard lately. And I can feel the negative shit hitting between the ears. It’s just time to start staying home.

More than usual.

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Time Suck http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2019/07/time-suck/ http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/2019/07/time-suck/#comments Wed, 10 Jul 2019 08:32:16 +0000 http://www.secondhandkarl.blog/?p=761 I’ve really been mired in isolation lately. Aside from the typical karaoke on a weekly basis and my poker nights, I’m pretty much home most of the time. And I’m being torn in several different directions when it comes to my time. DDO, Dungeons and Dragons, and this silly mobile

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I’ve really been mired in isolation lately. Aside from the typical karaoke on a weekly basis and my poker nights, I’m pretty much home most of the time. And I’m being torn in several different directions when it comes to my time. DDO, Dungeons and Dragons, and this silly mobile card game I picked up in January. Except that silly little game is taking more time than ever since I somehow started leading a guild of players. A tad obsessive is putting it mildly.

I’m interested in little else and starting to lose interest in the games I enjoy, too. I’m behind on all of my shows and really don’t care. Stranger Things just came out and I’m not even glancing at the remote.

Getting four hours of sleep a night. My computer is probably on its last legs and I get the spinning rainbow wheel of death after I type 3 letters into a text box.

Everything is making me just want to curl up into a ball and forget about the world. Which I pretty much have, by the way. I don’t follow news any more and I get despondent whenever I do listen for a while. I’m pretty positive Trump is going to win a second term and that the damage he’s done to my country is irreversible. The fact that I know so many people who voted for him and think he’s a fine president makes me ill.

I’m only interested in food to keep me from fainting from low blood sugar. I don’t care what it is I eat, so long as it’s easy and I don’ t need to leave the house.

So that’s my life at the moment. How about you?

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