The magazine I was working as Chief Editor for was shut down. Apparently, the publisher/owner was a crook. We didn't get the second issue out (ostensibly, it had been "postponed" for another month, making it our October issue instead of our September issue, which presented some minor problems but was entirely workable from an editing standpoint). I was in the middle of building issue #3. Then the owner of the building our offices were in approached me last Monday. "Your magazine has until Wednesday to come up with this month's and last month's rent or we will change the locks and put your office's furniture out on the street. We haven't heard from your publisher for the last three weeks. You're the only one who comes in regularly. If you know how to contact him, I'd suggest you do so immediately." She said nothing more.

I called the co-publisher and asked what the hell is going on. "Clean out your office, Jay," he told me. "Jimmy's flown the coop. He's tried to cash some large checks that were earmarked for advertising and he's not returning ANY messages. He keeps giving me the run-around about what he's doing. The writing isn't just on the wall, man, it's blinking in neon. We're going tits up."

There's a whole slew of mitigating circumstances which led up to this breakdown of the magazine. Things happened which, admittedly, were outside the publisher's control and which hampered the magazine to a severe degree. But instead of pulling himself up by the britches and redoubling his efforts, he has decided to run for the hills with whatever advertising money he could liquidate and left us holding the bag. Wait. Correction: he left the co-publisher holding the bag. I was the editor, an actual employee of the magazine. I'm not responsible for jack shit.

I am, however, pissed. This last week and a half have been fraught with depression, angst, fury, frustration, doubt and confusion. I dumped a LOT of time into that magazine. I dumped a lot of my SELF into it, too. Forunately, I didn't put a single dime into it. But it definitely didn't put much money into me, so I'd guess we're sorta even. Though it would have been nice to be paid for my time and trouble. Fat chance of that happening now.

The whole fiasco has become a legal nightmare. I almost got pinned for possession of "stolen" property (my own laptop, strangely enough), but that matter was quickly resolved with a few phone calls and a meeting with my lawyer. I'd LIKE to file a civil lawsuit to get the backpay which is due to me, but I have a feeling that 1) it'd be completely fruitless to even try and 2) I'd have to get at the back of a VERY long line of other litigants who have some legitimate claims against the publishers/magazine.

So I'm back to being just a strip club bouncer once again, broke as a joke with one lousy issue to show for my effort. Fuck. I can't win for losing.

I wish I could return my life for a refund or replacement, as this one just plain old sucks.

Bitch on the Beach This weekend is fall break. A whole 2 days off from school but not work. Yay me. I wasn't able to go out of town this year because I am as poor as poor can be, but it helps to recall last year and the fun we had in Destin, Florida. I went with two friends, Tish and Ammo (her real name is Ashley but I know too many people named Ashley so she had to be given a nickname. These stories are quite long and filled with funny things that happened on the trip. I hope you enjoy them. I will be posting one a day. Read, enjoy, be happy, and no -'s please:

The title would be the way the woman laying out behind us on the beach answered her phone. They were some interesting women. Realtors from the South. The one that called herself "Towanda" was from Memphis. They are now taking their Real-Estate License Test, and looking for men to date. I know all of this b/c I spent the whole of Sunday afternoon listening to them. Hey, if they didn't want us to know what they were saying they shouldn't have talked so loud.

WARNING: What you are about to read about myself, Ammo and Tish is some funny stuff. However you may not think it is funny so I am going to try to make it as funny as we found it. Also, none of us look the best in these stories so I am warning you that most of our actions are not how we would act under normal circumstances. So odd behavior is either due to no sleep/being in a car for too long, extreme delirium, or drunkenness.

Okay let us begin at the beginning. There really isn't much to say. We hauled ass after Ammo and I both got off work Friday and were on the road around 4:30. Ammo drove the majority of the way. Bring on the road rage.

Ammo has now been labeled the Car Nazi. You see, terrorism isn't strictly limited to planes, bombs and box cutters. No no. They also frequent purple Chevy Malibus. Enter the I-20 terrorist. You see, this Malibu was a bitch. She wouldn't let us over. She was going too slow in the fast lane. She would drive right beside us. And somehow whenever we would get away from her she would catch up to us again and the aforementioned actions would just repeat. At one point she had Ammo screaming at the top of her lungs, "I'D RATHER DIE THAN LET YOU OVER!!!" I am in tears right now just thinking about it. I hope you all find that funny. Tish and I almost pissed ourselves. Ammo was a woman obsessed. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned on the Interstate.

Tish has a number of hilarious sayings on the way to Florida. With her legs spread in the air as far as she could, she asked if I would like a piece of Muff Pie. Hold on......let me regain composure...okay. When discussing whether or not Ammo and Tish were going to follow their grandmothers orders and attend church on Sunday, Tish said that it didn't matter anyway. "God is steering this car." and she also said that her boss is a Jewish Carpenter, and deemed our car the COC (Church of Christ) driven car. Funny stuff, at least I thought so. Then with Tish sticking her hand out of the sun roof she told all of us to look, she was giving the air a hand-job. Then Tish took the wheel, I hope you are ready for this. It is getting it's own paragraph.

It's pretty late when Tish starts to drive and it is getting foggy. So Tish says, "I hate driving through clouds." I hope someone is laughing at that besides Ammo and myself. Then Tish says that it is like driving through a ghost. Then Tish has to pee....

Wait, wait, before you read this, if you are eating, stop. In fact, don't read this if you have eaten in the past 30 minutes:

So Tish announces that she has to pee and we pass several gas stations that look a little sketchy so we don't stop. Finally Tish can't take it anymore and we pull into a Petro station. We go inside and in the back of the store is the restroom. A unisex restroom. This should have been hint enough to run for our lives. And, it is locked. Ammo being the brave 6th grade teacher that she is, gets the key from the Asian behind the plate glass shielded counter. She comes back, opens the door. Holy shit. It looks like something from, well, HELL. The dirty toilet seat is up. To the right of the toilet there is, splattered all over the wall, could only be described as shit. That's right folks, actual human feces. If this wasn't enough, all of the toilet paper on the floor is wet along with all of the toilet paper on the roll. All soggy and unusable. Needless to say, we bolted. Ammo threw the key at the caged Asian and we ran. And despite the many people outside the Petro station that did not stop us from shivering in disgust and "Oh My God"ing all the way to the car. This must have been extremely attractive b/c it led to a Vanilla Ice lookin' mother fella asking, "Can I ride wit choo?" about 27 times. He must have though that the "UGH"s and other terms used for complete and utter disgust were about him. He was laughing at us. Don't flatter yourself. I am sure that once he saw the Toxic Waste Dump being held in the restroom, he would figure it out. For those of you who have seen the movie Dogma, I want you to picture the restroom the Golgothan comes out of. Now times that times 10. Not kidding. It was that bad. So bad that we wanted to gag a whole hour after leaving the Petro station. I am a little nauseous right now. I am going to the restroom now.

Our hotel was a {Holiday Inn] on the beach. This would be the cheapest of the ones on the beach and our 2nd hotel. We arrived in Destin around 3 in the morning

Okay on to Saturday. It was a little cloudy but we still laid out for about 5 hours total. Fun stuff. I am going to start on Tommy and Buffy:

Whether or not these are their real names, we have no idea. In our beach boredom we gave them these names. Buffy would be the dumb ass chick that apparently didn't want to get her sarong wet in the ocean. Well, then don't wear it in the ocean. Who are you trying to impress? This is pretty much a family populated beach. The 5 year old with the lime green shovel that is pissing his mother off by pouring wet sand all over her is, not looking at your ass. I doubt he even knows you are there. Looking for a married man are you? Well in that case, you're in luck. However all the married cock around here is not without their beer belly. Tommy was playfully spraying Buffy with water while she tried, pointlessly, to keep her sarong out of the water and to thwart Tommy advances to get her wet, my guess would be, in more ways than one. She is one of those girls that is way louder than is really necessary, just to make sure that everyone on the beach can see that, yes, there is a man flirting with her. Thank you for that Buffy.

Saturday we went to Back Porch and ate and got drunk and to save money (plus me being slightly under the weather) we got drunk at the hotel room. We had a great girl conversation. No need to go into details here. Just the usual convo: sex, exes, friends, drunkenness etc. While we were having our conversation, we were watching the end of a wedding take place. You know, the rice throwing, goodbyes,and whatnot. The groom drove a new Corvette. Nice. We heard him yell to not get any rice in the car. When they sped off, he made sure to peel out, leaving his tire marks on the lovely Holiday Inn parking lot. Congratulations Chicky. You just married a Jackass. So the happy couple came back and we yelled out a congratulations. It was then that we found we had neighbors in the balcony next to us. More than likely listening to our every word. Oh well. We probably taught them a few things. Anyway, after we yelled, they followed. One of the girls goes, "I'm going through a divorce but congratulations anyway." Ummmm, okay? What do you say to that after you just got married? And was that completely necessary?

I am going to go ahead and move onto Sunday night. Just a portion of it b/c there is a lot to get to. > I am just going to go over our dinner at Captain Daves. First of all, the entire restaurant is no-smoking and I think they only serve wine there, so we were automatically out of our element. I think that is why they sat us in the very back. Too unclassy. Anyway, Tish had the crab legs. This is > where the email gets stupid. I thought this entire conversation was hilarious. But that might just be me.

Has anyone ever seen someone eat crab legs? This would be the first time for me. It's kind of scary. It's like a crab's legs. Hence the name crab legs. You crack them open and everything. Crazy. Anyway, Tish holds one set of crab legs up and says she has a gimp crab. "He lost his legs in Nam." Tish got the last plate of crab legs. I wondered why they didn't just swim out in the ocean and catch more. I mean it was just right outside, it's not like they had to go far. Then I wondered if they had a crab call. Every other animal has some sort of a call. Maybe it is something like, "Herrrreee crabby, crabby, crabby." I wasn't serious, I'm not a complete dumbass. Then Tish holds up her crab crackers and goes, "You're CRACKING me up." I'm in tears right now. Then I was just voicing my opinion that it looks so cruel how they get the crab legs. It looks like they just rip them off the crab. Then Tish pointed out my hypocrisy in saying that it probably isn't any more cruel than how they killed my Trout. Then I corrected her in saying that my fish committed suicide. He was dead when they found him. I'm just doing my part to clean out the ocean. Then Tish says, "He was probably the worst one in his school." That is funny, you all have to laugh at that. I am sure it could happen, fish can get depressed. Hasn't anyone seen The Little Mermaid??? The sad part about this conversation, we were sober. I think laying out in the sun all day fried what was left of our sanity.

Sometimes, the worst possible things really do happen at the worst possible moments. They often also choose to happen just when you're feeling particularly good about yourself, just to spite you.

So, my PC's monitor has finally given up the ghost. It is no longer capable of functioning as a monitor, although would work quite well in the "display a stupidly bright horizontal line" department. Formerly it was working fine; next, it was merely temperamental (requiring a hefty whack every now and then to make it usable), but now it has failed in that respect too.

Surely I'm not the only one who finds that just as soon as one problem with a computer is fixed, another leaps up to fill the void? I've had to replace a power supply, sound card, speakers, CPU, all in the last year, and my bank balance is beginning to show for it. S'not fair.

Meh. I always feel better after a good long whinge.

The little girl was riding in the back of the car in her car seat. Mom and dad were going to Grandma's house. As they rounded a bend the moon came into view.
"Look," she said, "Luna!"
Her dad said, "What?"
"Look it's Luna, up in the sky."
"Oh, the moon," he said to her, confirming that he knew what she meant."
"Luna is going with us," she said. "Uh-oh, Luna is going behind the trees, I can't see Luna."

"Dammit... "


Mom and Dad were glad they were in the front seat. They never said a word. They didn't want their little girl to see them grinning from ear to ear, trying to stifle an outburst of laughter.

There is a full moon coming over the horizon this evening. Actually the full moon is Friday night, but it's close enough. Our cat likes to stay out when there is a full moon. I don't know if it affects animals like it supposedly affects humans. She earns her keep catching rodents. We haven't seen a mouse in the house for a couple of years. She catches mice, baby birds, moles, and baby rabbits but her specialty and her favorite is chipmunks. She has no front claws but is still a natural born killer.

I went to church last Sunday, after a three month absense. I stopped at the MAC machine to get some cash to put in the collection plate. We were running late and in my haste I accidentally hit $225.00 instead of $25.00. I ended up with a pile of twenties. Perhaps it was divine intervention.

When we got to church some one was in our seat. There are no assigned seats but after you sit in the same place week after week, year after year, its generally understood who sits where. But I was okay with that. There were a few vacant seats. We could take someone elses.

Hardly anyone gave to the second collection for Catholic Education or something like that. I was going to slip a fin into the basket but my wife stopped me. She said, "All that money goes to put steaks on the bishop's table. That money will all stay up in Erie."
So I gave the money to her.

I haven't been to confession since I was thirteen. I almost went a few years ago. There was a priest at our parish that I felt comfortable talking to. I never made it.
"Bless me father for I have sinned. It has been 33 years since my last confession. I'm not sure what the hell I did, but I sure am sorry."
It's a catholic thing.

After mass we went for a walk. All the Halloween decorations are out. We went by one of my wife's favorite houses. It's a big old Victorian house, of which there are a fair number in our quaint sleepy town. Her favorite part is the lovely herb garden that the lady of the house has created. All of the local seasonal events are done now. The Autumn Leaf Festival in Clarion, PA, the homecoming parade in Edinboro, PA, and Applefest in Franklin, PA are all history. The leaves have barely begun to show any color.

I have to go and cut my mother's grass before it gets dark. We haven't had rain for three or four days. Imagine that.

I've spent all day cooped up in my home office since I've been fighting with my wife all day. When I'm done here, I'm going to go play in the big room with the dirty floor and overhead light that only works 12-16 hours per day (depending on geographic location) and remind myself why it's nice to live in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Today I FedEx'ed the paperwork back to a new part time job that will finally push us over the financial edge back into the black. I've been in the red for so long now I'm amazed we managed even to pay rent. I cannot adequately express the surprise I experience in my mind that we got approved for, and succeeded in actually obtaining, two mortgages to purchase this house.

Still, with this, the hardest hurdle, out of the way, I now have to turn (eventually) to more "internal" matters. Like my wife.

My shoulder is still sore from the repeated poundings it took from her yesterday. It's during arguments with this woman that I truly loathe being male in the United States. She is permitted to hit me just about as much as she wants, but if I even put a scratch on her in response, the police will nearly automatically believe her when she brews up the tale of how I slapped her then she beat the living shit out of me in response to protect herself.

Last night, she interrupted me while I was working, as usual, and I expressed a more than usual level of frustration at this. You try juggling a dozen source files, a web browser, and a very hands-on boss who's talking to you on ICQ all at the same time, and try not to lose your train of thought tracking down a nasty bug that's been there for months while someone walks up to you in the physical realm and starts talking to you.

Instead of, oh, apologizing for screwing up my work, she yelled at me for saying anything about it. She then twisted reality (she's great at this) in her mind to change it so that I prompted her to interrupt me; she didn't start talking out of the blue.

When I decided to just leave the living room to head to the office upstairs to work in peace, she followed me.

First she tried to physically stop me from going up the stairs. This is always funny to witness, mostly because I'm stronger than she and I weigh more. Oh, and she only pulled my by the shirt. I'm officially impressed by this cotton shirt for the weight it held yesterday as I just dragged her upstairs with me just by walking.

Frustrated that she couldn't prevent me from going upstairs, she pushed her way into my office before I could close and lock the door (this wouldn't have stopped her; it's a hollow core door, and she has previous punched holes through these -- I lost $70 of my deposit from my last apartment because of her demonstrating this ability; also, the door lock is one of those "stick a push pin through to force the lock open" types anyway, but she'd have just beaten the door down). I think I must have said "get out" and "go away" and "leave me alone" and "I need to work, stop bothering me" about fifty times each before I finally gave up and just stopped acknowledging her at all.

I had resumed working the moment I got into the room and realized I couldn't get rid of her by any means that wouldn't put me in jail. She left over two hours later.

During that two hour period, she talked non-stop. I honestly believe in her mind I was answering her, because she held a perfectly insane conversation with nobody for two hours. She would periodically punch my shoulder, try to swing me around forcibly in my chair, switch off my computer's monitor to stall or provoke me, poke me in various spots, kick me, and eventually throw things at me. Oh, she sat on my desk too, nearly collapsing it under the weight (it's not meant to hold more than about a hundred pounds). Then she threatened to break my notebook if I didn't answer her.

I never said a word after telling her to leave in the first few minutes of her two hour intrusion.

She said more hateful things to and about me in those two hours than I've ever heard before, and this time it's too much. She revealed how truly selfish she is, and how little anything else in the world apart from her matters. She complained about how I hadn't done certain things around the house (not chores, but things she could do herself but doesn't want to). She complained about how if I were to buy another computer sometime for our gaming needs, I'd do "something stupid" like "putting Linux on it" ... "whoopty shit."

She spent the last hour and a half of the intrustion constructing (in her mind) an absolutely perfect picture of how I am the source of all her misery and the cause of all her problems. She even rationalized her behavior -- part of her rant was that I'd encouraged her to talk to me then gotten angry when she did, then got angrier still when she left me alone (does your brain hurt yet?); yet she said things like "If you don't want me talking to you, you shouldn't talk to me first. Are you stupid? Don't you understand that, you fucking moron? Of course, right now it doesn't count anymore, because I'm mad, and you're stupid. I'm not going away no matter how much you ignore me." It was hard not to laugh at that part. In her mind, absolutely none of her lot is her doing, whatsoever. I am now, completely and irrefutably, 100% in the wrong in her mind. That will never change. I know it never will. I know better now than to ever try to fix it.

When the divorce decree is issued in the coming months, I no longer wonder how she'll react. I now know what she'll think. She'll believe I've convinced the whole wide world to go along with me in my neverending mission to punish her. She'll honestly believe the judge, her attorney, mine, everybody, is just out to get her. She will believe I'm divorcing her not to protect myself from her abusive nature, but just to get even with her for something she's done that I "just won't tell her about" because I'm "too stupid to understand how to communicate."

Not that any of them read Everything2, but I still owe my friends online and off many thanks for the many years of listening to me rattle and whine and moan about this woman without ever doing anything about it. They've always been there to listen to me, offer help they knew I wouldn't accept, and advice they knew I wouldn't take. I appreciate that more than they can ever know.

The hardest part of all this is that I will probably still miss her. If I could find the part of me that loves her despite this immense, unstoppable eruption of insanity, hatred, rage, and anger she constantly hits me with, I would kill it. That part of me is as bad for me as she is.

Sadly, even if a divorce granted me 100% of my assets and debts, and awarded her nothing (this seems unlikely; we've been married since 1998, and although she's completely and documentably insane and has only ever earned $3,000 in her entire lifetime, I'm sure our fucked up court system will claim I will still be responsible for caring for her even if I can legally get away from her in the marriage department), I'm still just as fucked financially. At least the new job will help me dig out of that hole. Without her around to keep burying us deeper and deeper in debt, I can probably get out of debt entirely within a few years.

If a divorce actually ends up costing me anything apart from the attorney's fees and court costs, it won't be worth it. At least I get sex now sometimes (although, I doubt I'll be getting that anymore either).

Shrug. Where are some cyanide pills and some privacy when I need them?

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