Rest in Peace, J

I’m a big believer in everything being connected in the universe and my funk  was bothering me for some reason that I couldn’t put my finger on.  I had a feeling something was going to happen.  Unfortunately, I was right.

My Aunt is a nun, she works in Brooklyn in a halfway house for ex-convict women.  Her work in the diocese brought her into contact with so many people, one amazing man in particular.  I’m not going to use names because I promised myself I never would, but the one in particular has been a part of the family since I was really young.  Through their shared work for the church, he befriended my Aunt, and became a very important member of the family.  He was a constant fixture in our holidays, and became very close with my older brother.  He was diagnosed with prostate cancer about 10 years ago, and after a lengthy stint of treatment, managed to beat it off and regain his robust healthy self.

He was an amazing man, a good friend, and  someone I could go outside and smoke with at those family parties I hated when I was in High School and college.  We were never as close as he and my brother or he and my Aunt, but I always knew he loved me and cared about me.

About 18 months ago, his cancer came back with a vengence, slowly taking over everything, including the bones in his face to the point where he couldnt’ speak for the last several days.

My friend and family member died last night at 1:30am, thankfully in his sleep.  His faith in God and love for his spirituality help me to grieve, knowing that he has moved on to a better place and left behind so many people who love him.

I love you J, you will be missed.

Now…those of you who have read to the end of this, I thank you.  Now call those people you haven’t called in a long time because it’s been too inconvenient before that choice is taken from you.  I was lucky enough to have spent a lot of time with him and on the phone with him, before he passed.  Don’t let chance or fate or whatever you believe take that choice away from you.  Call them, now.

Who am I?

My name is Matthew Paul Cushing and I am sitting in the Bridgewater Public Library in Central Jersey waiting for my daughter to finish up her acting class.  No, I don’t want to have a Hollywood daughter, she just loves acting.  I”m in a bad mood, so if the tone of this email upsets you, tough shit, it’s my blog.

I’ve found over the last several years, that blogging is good therapy.  Do I expect the golden apple?  Duh.  Do I expect that everything will be fixed by the end of this post?  Of course not.  I do expect that some of my random thoughts will come together and at least help me out of this funk I’m in.  To do that, lets look at the root of the problem.

Who am I?

I’m a forty year old married father of two.  My wife is at times the biggest joy and the biggest pain as am I.  Especially lately.  Me more towards the biggest pain part.  Hey, I’m not modest, I’ll admit I haven’t been very easy to live with.  I have two kids who I absolutely adore every second but tend to drive me to want to fucking strangle them both.  And yes, I know it’s all payback for everything I did as a kid.  I don’t think I was quite so complex as these two, but I’m sure I had my moments.  (before you all call dyfus, please note this is mostly tongue in cheek and expressing it here  allows me an outlet)

Don’t get the impression that I am walking around with a black cloud over my head all the time.  Lately, I have a lot going on with work, with side work, with physical ailments from my accident in 2007, and from generally feeling and being, Old.  Is this my midlife crisis?  If so, I’m kinda lame because the most daring thing I want to do right now is go out and get another tattoo.

As I went back and put in the () comment above about not calling dyfus, it occurred to me that several things happened this past week to contribute to my full head of stress.  I worked from home Sun-Wed because Fae went to work with her Dad in the city, laying the ground work for taking over his clothing lines in 2-3 years.  He’s a rep for a designer, beautiful stuff.  Work has been getting really crazy as we try to tackle this huge project at work, the bulk of which I am responsible for.  And the cherry on top of it all, I missed my sunday Jujitsu practice because Fae was gone, and Wed when I went to Kendo, I had gotten a cortizone shot the day before so my elbow hurt, Aidan was weak and sick, and Gillian farted during practice and practically messed her pants.  Needless to say, we left about 20 min after we got there, and truthfully as bad as it seems, I’m glad Gillian got sick because it gave me an excuse to leave early.

All of which just focused in my brain the fact that I haven’t meditated in about a month.  There, I knew this was going to work.  I figured out most of the causes of my funk, and realized the answer was right there in front of me.

Who am I?  I’m a Dad who’s about to go pick up his little girl and go home and see if his kids want to go out front and have at him with bamboo swords.  Because teaching them something always makes him feel better.

Random Thoughts

Is it just me or does Kate from Jon & Kate + 8 seem really bitchy?  Granted, if I had 8 kids, I think would be too.

Got a cortizone shot the other day and it started feeling better, now it sucks again.

Stress and stupid bullshit make for a very mean, grumpy Matt.  I hate situations that are based on past behavior and the expectation that you will never object to something.  And when you do, you’re ‘disappointing’ or ‘upsetting’ someone.

I don’t want to get any older.

It’s weird seeing the direction people go as you get older and how relationships change.

These are all really negative snips from my last week.  Ugh.

I had two days off and truthfully, accomplished almost nothing.  Truthfully, I don’t really give a rats ass either.  I got some good rest and hung out, which I think I needed more than anything else.

Quickchek sausage, egg, and cheese on a portugese roll is fuckin yummy.  And no, I don’t really know what a portugese roll is, it’s like a kaiser roll, but crunchier.

I’ve been cursing a lot lately, finding myself holding back from screaming at the kids or at Fae for no apparent reason, and just generally wanting to say “FUCK THIS” and get in my car and drive to Japan.  Yes, sometime between NJ and CA, I will invent a driveable sub so I don’t drown.  I’m feeling ‘inventy’ not suicidal 😉

All of this is making me want to post something else, and I don’t have to pick up Gillian for another 15 minutes, so stay tuned for the next post.

Animation

I’ve always loved cartoons and animated films, so when the oscars come around, I always like to see who wins the short film and animated categories.  The winner for best animated short film is this one. I like it even more because there is no dialog.

What do you think it’s about?  Is it sad, or happy?

New Mindset

So Sunday was a bust in that I couldn’t go to my jujitsu class, tho it was raining so I was only a little upset. 😉  Sunday was Fae’s first day at the shows in NYC with her Dad, they’re working together for a designer. The show is 3 days, so she’ll be done tomorrow.

Stan, her Dad, is a representative for a few womens clothing lines, and he travels all over NY, NJ, PA, DE, and MD selling to Mom&Pop shops, bigger stores, even to one of the Nordstroms I believe.  Fae is a natural at it, but has been dealing with some serious anxiety and depression issues.  She’s seeing a wonderful woman and they’ve got her pretty even keeled.  She’s been feeling bad about me being the only bread winner and the fact that we’re reliant on our Tax refund for a large chunk of bills we have right now.  So she and her parents talked about it for a while and she’s been going on the road with him around 2-3 times a month.

This show, however was big.  She was there with Stan and the designer, Lee Anderson, getting her feet wet.  Just seeing her face when she came home was priceless.  I’ve always know this is what she was born to do, but Fae is not easily directed.  You have to lay it out on the ground in front of her so she can pick it up herself.  If you say “You should do this”, it won’t work.  Subtlety is the way.  She came home last night and was radiant, as well as in pain 🙂  Her feet were killing her.  She had some ups and downs in the beginning, but figured things out quickly and got the hang of it to the point where Lee felt comfortable leaving early (it’s a three day thing, I think she’s going home tonight) because Fae knows what she’s doing and Stan is a really good teacher.

I have to say, it was really nice to spend the whole day with the kids – we went skating, then shopping for food, then to the library, all without worrying about Mom 🙂  When she got home, I had the kids dressed for bed, Gillian was already half askeep, and had tea and some dinner for her so we could talk about her day.  She called about 10 min before she came home and asked for a warm bath – wanted to soak her feet 🙂

This all being well and all, but I’m wondering if this will take off for her, and if it does, I wonder where it’ll go.  At this point, she can’t go on the road with the kids in school, but I laid the groundwork for getting them off myself and going in a little later – 9:30 is still acceptable – and my mother in law has said on numorous occassions that she’ll get them from school.

Keep your fingers crossed!! 🙂

Spread Good News instead of Bad

I am a big believer in the fact that the media is concerned with mostly spending most of their time on bad news, and catastrophy, and gloom and doom.  I’m also a big believer in what one person CAN do, they SHOULD do.

My roommate from JMU posted something about a rare act of sportsmanship and the depth of the human spirit.  sometimes it IS about caring for your fellow man and be able to overcome our own selfish agenda and do the right thing.

This brings up a good point.  I’m going to start a movement in amateur bloggers.  I have been participating in A Thousand Word Thursday with CheaperThanTherapy Jen and I really like posting my own stuff and then go see other people who are participating.

What I’d like to do is make one of the days of the week and have people post something positive in the news to make a go at pushing back the gloom and doom.

Jen, how do you do your signup thing?  Let me know, I’d like to start something similar.

WordPress Upgrade to 2.7.1

I’ve been using WPAU(wordpress automatic upgrade) for a while now and I have to say it’s awesome. Never had an issue. So when I saw the new version flag up top in my dashboard, I hit it.

Fatal error: Cannot redeclare class pclzip

What? An error? WHY?!?!?

WordPress got smart and incorportated WPAU into their core functionality. If you go to your plugins, disable WPAU, and then go back and hit the upgrade button, it’ll upgrade it for you.

It’s good to see they’re smart and incorp important functions!!

ATWT – A thousand words thursday

Jen over at Cheaper than Therapy does this every week and I am enjoying joining in.
Cheaper Than Therapy

This is a picture of Gillian, my nine year old. Keep in mind, my wife is 4’11”, and I believe that Gilli is going to take after her. Me? I’m 6’2″ and I don’t think either of my kids will be as big.

The funny thing about this pic is that Gillian used to say “I don’t know how to read” when we would read to her and ask her to try. “You read it Daddy!” was her favorite come back. Now, she’s a voracious reader who in most cases will rather pick up a book than watch cartoons – SEE! I KNEW I DID SOMETHING RIGHT!! 🙂

Gilli and her book

the funny thing is, now that she reads by herself all the time, we always read a chapter of May Bird before bed.  My son got jealous so I’m reading to him too.  They like it, and I get a kick out of it too.

Typepad to WordPress…Wow man

So I was a facebook junkie for a while there, gathering up a lot of friends, especially from highschool.  One girl I knew who had married a guy I was friends with in HS, asked me a computer question based on my really technogeeky status updates.  She figured I would know the answer to her dilemma.  Long story short, she asked if I could migrate her blog from Typepad to her own hosted site, make it easier for her to control everything and lay it out better.

I’m happy to say that her photography site, bSquaredphotography is up and running.  I love the template we found, and it’s easy to make her blog look good because she’s really talented.  If you live in the NYC area, let her know, she does great work.

What I did learn – DO NOT USE TYPEPAD!  Holy crow it was impossible to get all the pics because the directories are so messed up.  Lots of hours later, a sitesucking program, and 5G of pics later, and she’s almost all set.  I had a lot of work come up that I had to have done before tomorrow AM so I haven’t finished her galleries, but that shouldn’t be too bad.

If you’re on Typepad and thinking of switching, talk to me first.  If you want to pay me to do it for you?  Even better 😉