Reports from the Bunker

the only complete man in the industry

Posts Tagged ‘life

For future reference and a little fun bio of embarassing moments

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my younger stepson:

Shit his pants at school, removed his underwear and threw it in the trash

Was playing hide and seek with his dad and got his nuts clipped by a mouse-trap that was hidden behind a chair

While nursing a tummy injury, fell once and busted his ass on the stairs, then later that same night, feeling better ran across the floor, slipped, fell and landed on his ass again

Watched a show about blood hounds, decided to pretend to be one, stuck his ass in the air and dragged his face all over his grandma’s carpet, giving himself horrible rug burn and left his face all scabbed up two days before school photos.

He is hilarious sometimes

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Written by jamesjanus

October 12, 2012 at 2:50 pm

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My mother

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has been in the hospital for a week, she went in because she had been feeling weak and on Sunday last week she laid down, she stayed in bed until Thursday and didn’t eat or drink much. She has always been very able and independent, so no one checked on her and didn’t think much of it when she didn’t return calls. It was quickly determined that she had a large tumor in her colon and maybe something in her Liver. She has cancer. Yesterday, it was determined that it has in fact spread to her liver where it is ‘inoperable”  She is 77 years old and some of the opinions so far are bleak. The truth is that the biopsies are not back yet and we have not heard from the Oncologist (Cancer Dr.).  So, we wait.

The emotion of it all seems lodged deep inside of me and apparently, no ready to deal with it yet, I am yet to get it out. I can say a few things from a perspective of gratitude however, I am grateful that, unlike in the past, I am present and capable of being there for my Mom, for my oldest sister, whom along with myself have taken the bulk of the load in dealing with this. I am dealing with it properly at this point, feeling it, but not reacting like an alcoholic and just doing my best to be helpful and be there for my family.  My sister said today “I know I can rely on you (and Kim) and you will be there”.  This is new. That I have taken time off work and have been doting on my mother and making it to the hospital often, all of it new and I am so filled with gratitude to God(s) and AA and my wife, which is another story.

My, wife, my Mo Anam Cara, my sun, my moon and the stars in my sky. Kim has been there for me and my mother and sister every step of the way, staying home, leaving work early and when she is at the hospital, doing what she can to keep us all engaged and look after Mom. Alone, at home, she is supportive and attentive and loving. This is hard for her too, she has just really started getting close to my mother, she sees it hurting me and it also opens relatively fresh wounds about the loss of her own father.

Facing the potential loss of my mother to Cancer is hard, it brings into laser focus the reality of our mortality and I look at myself and around me, wondering “when”, when does it happen to the rest of us. Also, those things I am grateful for are another source of pain. I want lots more time with her, I am just beginning to be a real human being, to be a decent son and I want her to get to see more of that, to be a part of it.

The summary lesson here I suppose is, whenever I start taking people and relationships for granted, I need to remember that our existence here is fragile and we never have as much time with people as we think we do. If there is someone or someones out there that you love, don’t neglect that and don’t put off engaging with them because you might run the clock out long before you think.

Written by jamesjanus

June 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Recovery Reboot – Step Two & Three

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“Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity” Step Two

I affirmed in step one, that I am an alcoholic, that I am powerless over not only alcohol, but the defects of character that result from it. In step two they are asking me to believe that God, or some power greater than myself can restore me to sanity.  I want to believe that, because I am in trouble. Kim and I have managed to make a bit of a mess of our relationship, and I own a good deal of that. I have pushed everyone else away and made as many bad choices as I could. Our finances are good and fucked, my health and happiness are greatly diminished and everyone around me suffers.

My part in Kim and I’s troubles is big and last night I frightened her by being aggressive, yelling and pounding on my chest, it hurts very deeply that she wonders if I may start to abuse her, I feel like that is unfair. But then is it? If I am not myself, perhaps she wonders who I am?

For going on a year, almost every time I get her to open up to me, I then punish her for it by judging or pushing or in some way trying to fight or fix rather than listen and it is because I am angry with her, but too afraid to talk about it and too weak and I know I am not mad for any logical reason, that my reasons are unfair and I don’t know how accurate some of the things I think are, because I am not sane.  And that is the reality, that I am not sane right now. Not that I am dangerous or out of control, I am not, but I am not well, I am not truly sober and that drives me to make poor choices, to resent, to lose paitence, to behave in ways that are not my real character.

The tragedy is, she felt safe with me before, safer she said than she ever has and I cherished that so much and that the disease and defects are not on top of me 24/7 and there are times when I am truly present, but by the time I am, I have made her withdraw from me.

I wish there was a way to include her more in this process, to have her understand what the disease does and how it is completely impossible for me to overcome it, on my own.  I am not weak, just not strong enough to overcome this. Once, a few years ago, I gave myself over  to a god of my understanding, a simple program and a fellowship and it transformed me from a miserable, hopeless, irresponsible and selfish waste, into the man that Kim met and fell in love with, into I believe my sane, happy self. I want more than anything to be that and I am willing to go to any lengths to get it.  I

Kim and the boys have become the most precious thing I have ever had in my life and ironically, the last few days it has been that fact that has kept me wrestling with handing myself and my will over. The disease keeps telling me that if I am not running the show it will just stop. I have to have faith in god, the program and in Kim. Like it is hard for her to feel safe with and place trust in me, it will be hard to place faith in her, but I must. I have to to trust god and I have to trust her.  Restoring her trust in me, will take time and I have to be patient.

I believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity and I believe that if I let it and I work the program, my life and the live’s of everyone around me will get better on their own without my “help”.  I don’t want to help anymore. I want to enjoy, inspire, support, hold and be with my love and my family.

Step Three

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we see him

I knelt down last night, beside a sleeping Kim and I said the the third step prayer. I didn’t mean it yet, but today I do. Today, right now, I am pleading with God to take me, guide me, relieve me of the pain, the misery and the impulse to run things. Fill me with strength and humility, more than anything humility and the willingness to do the right things, to listen more than I talk and keep letting go. Help me to be the best husband and father I can be. Help Kim too, help her back to herself and to find the forgiveness and love in her heart for me, help us come back together and be beautiful again, help us to be that safe harbor for each other again.  Relieve me of anxiety, fear, guilt and shame and help me to just live, love and laugh.

I have made the decision to turn my will and my life over to you, higher power, god of my understanding. Help me to keep making that choice, each moment, of each day.

Kim, I know you will read this, you are my sheltering sky, my beautiful, wonderful wife, my Mo Anam Cara.  I am sorry for faltering, for disappearing and for not taking the right action sooner. I am putting everything in god’s hands and I trust that everything will be okay, this will pass and we will be beautiful again.

Written by jamesjanus

January 11, 2012 at 6:08 pm

On Love

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Love, in my darkest hours I was never really able to bring myself to give up on it. To some people’s great confusion, there I would be, a cynical, venomous and bitter drunk, telling people to hold onto love, to seek love, to allow themselves if necessary to be burned by it. Of course, I seldom truly followed that advice and always protected my own heart, but that is another matter.

Many people, perhaps even most, would tell you that nothing is more potent, more powerful or more important than love and they would be correct. Love, beyond anything else, benefits childhood and helps us grow into positive, strong adults. Love can make hard times easier and keep kindness, compassion and hope alive in our hearts.  Love can give us courage and transform us from shrinking, wilting shadows, into fearless, dreaming, living angels, soaring toward our best potential. Love binds families made of otherwise incompatibly different people together.

The love of children can relight the flames of imagination, determination and innocence in your soul and move it to become more of a guardian and protector that you ever thought possible.  The love of the right woman or man can bring you to know that while you may have learned to love your own solitude, you were incomplete in it before there was that other soul, across the chasm to reach out to. My solitude was a nightmare and a prison because there was nothing to reach out to that made me feel safe, until the right woman came along.

Love is the most powerful force in the Universe and perceived as the most elusive, we all spend our days pursuing it. It also happens that it is the most invisible when looked for and the most taken for granted when we have it.  A year ago, I married the most wonderful woman, when I indulge my solitude, she worries but remains and waits and when I reach out, her hand is there and the place she pulls me to is safe, with a hand to hold and ears to listen.  I have the love of two wonderful children and a one wonderful woman and I hope that I never take that love for granted, for I can think of no greater gift to waste and no worse sin than that.

If you listen, if you accept that it is ever present, always there. If you appreciate, really and truly appreciate it and do no take it for granted, you might understand and you might find peace, salvation and happiness. There is a power out there that is greater than us, maybe it is just love, maybe it is where love issues from, but it loves you. There are people out there that love you, more that want to love you, if you can learn to let them, if you can open up, disregard the fear.

This has been my experience, I am an alcoholic and love has saved me. The love of some strangers who brought me to the light started it. I will never know why perhaps, but the ease with which I let my guard down to Kim and let my real self be revealed and the continuing struggle to stay there, because the world is frightening to me, but Kim, she always draws me back to the light with her love.

I am resolved to be stronger this year, to do better allowing that love to fill me with courage and gratitude and hope and strength, because it can and it will if you let it.

Thanks you friends, thank you god and thank you so, so much Kim – you and the fellas are the light in my soul and the love in my heart!

 

 

Written by jamesjanus

December 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Posted in Kids, Kim, Love

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Explosive Thought Poo

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Before any of my other friends, I knew what my path was; I knew what I wanted to do with my life, at least in a general framework. I had not yet started high-school when I realized I wanted to be a writer and poet. Ill-equipped for learning within the confines of any institution, I assumed I would not make it through college, so starting in middle school and continuing beyond high school I set about a rigorous study and practice of literature, language, philosophy and communication. In all humility, I would come in time to discover that my cirriculum was much more intense than any school would have been. I took the hard road one could say. By the time I was 20, I had written (and thrown away) two novels, had poetry published and was giving readings all over Detroit and in little bohemian galleries and cafes as far away as the Irish Hills. I read constantly and wrote for hours a day, I always had a notebook with me and even if I was occupied all day and found myself at a party, I would dissappear for at least 30 minutes to write for a while.
There are certain truths and realities to this kind of life, the life of a dedicated poet and freelance writer and chief among them are that accomplishment and reward come slowly, if they come at all. In my early twenties, some 13 years ago, I found growing in me a lack of patience, a material desire and a yearning for more immediate accomplishment than my choice could provide. Thus, I found my way to my career as a business and technical writer. At first, given the instant rewards and more swiftly and easily won accomplishments, I was elated and felt victorious. I told myself, whatever they are intended for and produce, all words are words and all writing was writing and  I was getting paid to do it.
Yet, there was a sacrifice it seems. For ten years now, I have struggled to read, to write and to enjoy writing, anything not related to my occupation and it has made the job itself sour to me. I lost the discipline and the joy of it somewhere. What I do write is now so clinical and lacking in soul, emotional honesty and full expression that it reads like a grocery list or a technical manual. It is in fact seldom that I can contact that energy that enables me to write in a very personal way and most of what I write is about topics, subjects, events (in a deeply clinical fashion).
When I write anything now, I am obsessed and anxious about it being useful, being a usable, purposeful excercise and with it being praise-worthy. Kim and I had a discussion last night about how I should write daily if I want to get back into the discipline. Sounds simple and honestly this is not the first time it was suggested, not the first time I will have attempted it, but she said several things that make it different and multiple realizations last night during our discussion and today in my head make it different.
– What to Write
When I practiced writing daily and when the love and joy were there, what I wrote hardly mattered – sometimes I would just write stream of consciousness lists of word, write a word, then the next word after it that entered my head and on and on. Sometimes, lists of favorite words, words I loved because of how they sounded. I wrote essays, journals, none-sense, fragments of poems and dreams and just anything without concern for quality, or purpose. I did it to write, I did it to feel the pen in my hand and the paper under it; also to type, just to feel my fingers hit the keys, often closing my eyes and just languishing in the feeling of my fingers on the keys, the music of the typewriter hammers or the more quiet clacking of keyboard keys on the computer. To feel connected to the ancient practice of wordsmithing and to the spirit and ghosts of those who have done it before me and the divine spirit of inspiration that has driven us. Usually, there was no drive to accomplish anything, so when I did decide to accomplish something it came easy.
– Make it personal, honest (when it must be a cohesive thing)
Comparatively, one could examine my life today against my life 15 years ago and find that it has grown dull. I am sober, in no great danger from myself, my lifestyle choices or anyone else. My time is not spent amongst the self important or the intellectually elite anymore and such is my perspective that I don’t really want to be. More and more of my friends are clean, sober or both and are, for the most part pretty mellow with lives as simple as mine.
This would not really be my perspective though. I would instead point out that I have more going on now and more of it enables me to relate to other people and allow them to contact the things that I write about. I am sober for the first time since I was a pre-teen, my whole life and person has and continue to change dramatically. I feel human for the first time ever, happy and hopeful are also new. I have two kids in my life whose anecdotes, antics and victories and struggles I can write about. I can write about my struggles having gone from childless to having two kids in grade school and trying to figure out how to be not just a parent, but more delicately, a step-parent. I have their mother, Kim, the love of my life and our relationship which while exuberant and loving is challenged by the ghosts of our relationships past and my own alcoholic personality challenges that rear their head sometimes. Learning to balance work, home, health and AA is another big thing for me to address.
In a way, not much has changed, the more exciting part of my writing has always been the inward struggles and thoughts of my life. For sure, many of those struggles and thoughts are different now.
– Try doing it at the end of the day
Typically, like today, I write my blog entries at work with fragmented effort through the day as I am able to sneek them. it would be better to have the day behind me and write about or whatever I am going to write and do it all at once.
– That I need particular conditions, things etc to really be able to do it
Excuses, nothing more. I don’t need anything except the conviction to re-obtain the discipline.
There are some things that will be helpful however
It is time for an new copy of Letters to A Young Poet
Reading one of my literary hero’s
Dig out and play with drafts and poem fragments
Though I need to try and be careful not to make the entries anything but what my fingers determine needs typed and must forget that there is a potential audience, I still think that for ease the blog is the best way to do my daily writing. So, this blog will change yet again to some degree and if it is not interesting to anyone who reads it regularly, or the entires have no cohesive themes either among or within them, you have my apologies.

My days now…
Before any of my other friends, I knew what my path was; I knew what I wanted to do with my life, at least in a general framework. I had not yet started high-school when I realized I wanted to be a writer and poet. Ill-equipped for learning within the confines of any institution, I assumed I would not make it through college, so starting in middle school and continuing beyond high school I set about a rigorous study and practice of literature, language, philosophy and communication. In all humility, I would come in time to discover that my cirriculum was much more intense than any school would have been. I took the hard road one could say. By the time I was 20, I had written (and thrown away) two novels, had poetry published and was giving readings all over Detroit and in little bohemian galleries and cafes as far away as the Irish Hills. I read constantly and wrote for hours a day, I always had a notebook with me and even if I was occupied all day and found myself at a party, I would dissappear for at least 30 minutes to write for a while.
There are certain truths and realities to this kind of life, the life of a dedicated poet and freelance writer and chief among them are that accomplishment and reward come slowly, if they come at all. In my early twenties, some 13 years ago, I found growing in me a lack of patience, a material desire and a yearning for more immediate accomplishment than my choice could provide. Thus, I found my way to my career as a business and technical writer. At first, given the instant rewards and more swiftly and easily won accomplishments, I was elated and felt victorious. I told myself, whatever they are intended for and produce, all words are words and all writing was writing.
Yet, there was a sacrifice it seems. For ten years now, I have struggled to read, to write and to enjoy writing, anything not related to my occupation and it has made the job itself sour to me. I lost the discipline and the joy of it somewhere. What I do write is now so clinical and lacking in soul, emotional honesty and full expression that it reads like a grocery list or a technical manual. It is in fact seldom that I can contact that energy that enables me to write in a very personal way and most of what I write is about topics, subjects, events (in a deeply clinical fashion).
When I write anything now, I am obsessed and anxious about it being useful, being a usable, purposeful excercise and with it being praise-worthy. Kim and I had a discussion last night about how I should write daily if I want to get back into the discipline. Sounds simple and honestly this is not the first time it was suggested, not the first time I will have attempted it, but she said several things that make it different and multiple realizations last night during our discussion and today in my head make it different.
– What to WriteWhen I practiced writing daily and when the love and joy were there, what I wrote hardly mattered – sometimes I would just write stream of consciousness lists of word, write a word, then the next word after it that entered my head and on and on. Sometimes, lists of favorite words, words I loved because of how they sounded. I wrote essays, journals, none-sense, fragments of poems and dreams and just anything without concern for quality, or purpose. I did it to write, I did it to feel the pen in my hand and the paper under it; also to type, just to feel my fingers hit the keys, often closing my eyes and just languishing in the feeling of my fingers on the keys, the music of the typewriter hammers or the more quiet clacking of keyboard keys on the computer. To feel connected to the ancient practice of wordsmithing and to the spirit and ghosts of those who have done it before me and the divine spirit of inspiration that has driven us. Usually, there was no drive to accomplish anything, so when I did decide to accomplish something it came easy.
– Make it personal, honest (when it must be a cohesive thing)Comparatively, one could examine my life today against my life 15 years ago and find that it has grown dull. I am sober, in no great danger from myself, my lifestyle choices or anyone else. My time is not spent amongst the self important or the intellectually elite anymore and such is my perspective that I don’t really want to be. More and more of my friends are clean, sober or both and are, for the most part pretty mellow with lives as simple as mine.
This would not really be my perspective though. I would instead point out that I have more going on now and more of it enables me to relate to other people and allow them to contact the things that I write about. I am sober for the first time since I was a pre-teen, my whole life and person has and continue to change dramatically. I feel human for the first time ever, happy and hopeful are also new. I have two kids in my life whose anecdotes, antics and victories and struggles I can write about. I can write about my struggles having gone from childless to having two kids in grade school and trying to figure out how to be not just a parent, but more delicately, a step-parent. I have their mother, Kim, the love of my life and our relationship which while exuberant and loving is challenged by the ghosts of our relationships past and my own alcoholic personality challenges that rear their head sometimes. Learning to balance work, home, health and AA is another big thing for me to address.
In a way, not much has changed, the more exciting part of my writing has always been the inward struggles and thoughts of my life. For sure, many of those struggles and thoughts are different now.
– Try doing it at the end of the dayTypically, like today, I write my blog entries at work with fragmented effort through the day as I am able to sneek them. it would be better to have the day behind me and write about or whatever I am going to write and do it all at once.
– That I need particular conditions, things etc to really be able to do itExcuses, nothing more. I don’t need anything except the conviction to re-obtain the discipline.
There are some things that will be helpful howeverIt is time for an new copy of Letters to A Young PoetReading one of my literary hero’sDig out and play with drafts and poem fragments
Though I need to try and be careful not to make the entries anything but what my fingers determine needs typed and must forget that there is a potential audience, I still think that for ease the blog is the best way to do my daily writing. So, this blog will change yet again to some degree and if it is not interesting to anyone who reads it regularly, or the entires have no cohesive themes either among or within them, you have my apologies.

Written by jamesjanus

September 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Posted in Writing

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Blerg

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In spite of a massive shake up at work and plenty of things to be nervous and excited about, 2pm found me falling asleep at my desk again yesterday. The VP was fired which was a bag of mixed emotions for me since he was the one that was supposed to be extending me a job offer to go full time with the company. It was announced during a morning breakfast meeting and the President then proceeded to hammer all of us about the terrible working culture we had created for ourselves, complaining that we are not respectful and professional enough with one another. He again urged us not to get so stressed and try to find the humor in how totally fucked things are operationally. From a profit perspective we are doing great.

That sense of doom crept up on me again for a bit, but I found a nice project to work on and managed to co-author an important paper with our chief architect.  For reasons still unknown to me there was a permeating smell of acetone or kerosene coming from the ventilation system, perhaps the bastards down in the factory trying to kill us? Who knows, but it was more than unpleasant.

Eventually I cruised home (to Kim and the boys, not the basement), fielding a call from my mother on the way. My mother who is convinced that I have no life to keep me busy so I must just be resentfully ignoring her. We have a complex relationship. There is no single human being on the planet for whom I have less patience and sometimes the most mundane of conversations with her can leave me feeling irritable. She is mostly deaf, has been for the better part of my life but has never learned to read lips or comprehend through context. Years of smoking and drinking have left my throat badly scarred and one of my least favorite things in the world to do is raise my voice, which I have to do with her for every conversation. Then there is her need to give advice and argue, which she loves to combine. When she is convinced that she is right about something she becomes in her stalwart defense of her position, like a dumb and savage animal, impossible to reason with. So her calling to ask for my help, turned into an argument about whether or not I should change jobs should the opportunity arise.

After the mild irritation of speaking with Mom, I arrived back at the farmhouse to find Young Farmer in the yard with a mess of chicken wire and some tools, he ran to me to explain that he was  going to “put a fence so the chickens don’t leave the property” in the event that they escape one of the coops. I looked down at the small spool of chicken wire, box of nails and hammer, then at the length of the property along the road, which may be as long as two football fields. I simply smiled at the boy, thinking to myself that while I admired his ambition the chances of success were desperately slim.

It was my intention to come in and get started on dinner, some Pesto with Fettuccine. Kim was passed out on the couch with the Senator sprawled on top of her happily watching Indiana Jones. I started gathering supplies to cook when I got a most pleasant surprise when I took the lid off of the big pot. There in the pot was a copy of Shantaram the Gregory David Roberts novel about his escape from prison and subsequent adventures in India. I had been reading it online and mentioned that I wanted to get it; the gesture made me very happy.

Then it was dinner and a long discussion about how to get me moving on catching up on my debts, I was a very stupid monkey last year and will spend a few years making up for that.  Of course the entire time I was glad for the help but mostly thinking about sex, which I was certain was coming as soon as the kids went to bed.

Unfortunately by the time she put them down, staying with YF for a bit to talk about a problem at school, exhaustion had overtaken me and I passed out on the couch five minutes into watching an episode of Caprica. Aside from lack of sleep, I cannot figure out why I am so damn tired all of the time these days.

It is once gain two o clock and my eyes are trying to close on me.

Written by jamesjanus

April 21, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Posted in Kids, Love, Rural Living, Work

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