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Time for that Elusive Update Entry!

Hey guys.  So.  Reading back those last few entries, I left you all while I was in a pretty dark place in my life.  But here I am to update!


Since last time I posted an entry, several things have happened:

- I was given a really awesome part-time job at a store that I love doing something that I love infinitely more.

- My financial situation has improved, if only slightly… However, it’s far better than it was since last entry.

- My old Camry finally sacrificed its 2nd transmission to the gods and I had to borrow another POS car from my stepbrother.

- I got a new car.

- I’ve come ever-closer to figuring out what I want to do with my life.


So let’s break down them bullet points, eh?


In late September, I started a job with Lowes Foods, a privately-owned grocery store chain pretty much relegated to North and South Carolina.  They’ve been around since 1952 (the original founder of Lowes Home Improvement had two sons; one took over the hardware chain and the other started a grocery store chain) and they had always been “meh.” until they polled their customers and decided upon an intensive remodeling plan around 2013-2014.  Instead of your usual humdrum grocery store experience, they would offer exceptional customer service and unique takes on common grocery store offerings.  Surrounding the typical grocery store middle is the perimeter of “concept departments”: Sammy’s Sandwiches, Breadcrumb Bakery, Smokehouse Meats, SausageWorks, Sunmill Wines, Boxcar Coffee, and Pick ‘N’ Prep.  Each one offers upscale offerings of your typical grocery fare at a slight premium but with the added bonus of 1) Stimulating visuals for the kids (Boxcar Coffee looks like it was built into an actual train boxcar), and 2) Something you can get that no other grocery store chain offers.  It’s pretty cool (even though it’s getting increasingly corporate because of the extreme interest in new markets).


That’s where my new job comes in.  We’re one of the newest concepts: The Beer Den.  Not only do we have the largest in-store selection of packaged beer of any local grocery store but we also offer draft beer on tap for in-store consumption while you shop.  That’s right.  I’m a bartender in a grocery store.  The job is super easy, it’s a passion of mine, and I’m dedicated to the craft (both literally and figuratively).  After 6 months, I’ve already built up a base of regulars that regularly ask for me (case in point: A regular bought me a beer after work last night just because I was at the bar after I clocked out – this routinely happens).  I absolutely love the job.


That brings me to the next bullet point: Finances.  So, I got hired on for part time.  I’m still PT.  I’m working on getting full-time hours either at the store or between two jobs but not a whole lot of needs have come up so far.  That said, we’ve had some changes, so I’m hoping I can swing some more hours.  Either way, it’s better than last time I updated and I’m optimistic.  Plus, I now feel confident in both my social skills and also my bartending skills to take on a FT bartending job elsewhere, if need be.


And then November happened.  Around mid-Nov, my ‘98 Camry finally gave up the bullet and bit the ghost.  My 2nd, rebuilt transmission gave out and it basically instantaneously became junk.  Luckily, my stepbrother had a beater vehicle available for borrow, so I borrowed it for about 3 months.  Olllld Kia Rio.  Just as shitty.  It was much appreciated but it, too, had mechanical issues.  But my stepbro and I worked through them a little until, finally about a month ago, it went *kaput* as well.


Enter my Grandma.


My Grandma passed in early 2014 and left me some money to work with.  Given the timing of everything, my Dad, stepmom, and I decided to go look at cars.  Long story short, I used the money she left me to buy a brand new 2017 Toyota RAV4.  I couldn’t be happier.  I own a brand new car, outright, and nly have to pay taxes and insurance on it.  It’s wonderful.  Thank you, Grandma.


This brings me to the last bulletpoint and the most important: How my life has changed and how I’ve figured out what I want to do.  Since starting this job at Lowes Foods, I’ve figured out that the most lucrative and potentially financially-successful part of my passions is in the craft beer industry.  So I’m actively working on growing from this bartending job into working for a craft brewery.  I think I’d be pretty great at being a sales rep and/or a merchandiser.  Basically, I want to be the guy to go out to multiple venues a week and represent the brewery’s brand, whichever that might be.  Having new, reliable transportation is a massive plus, as well.


So here I am; still kind of struggling but in a much brighter place than I was 7 months ago.  I hope you all are doing just as well if not better and I wish you all the best.


Thanks for reading, MindSay family.


Much love.


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Little Wins

“Rule your mind or it will rule you.” 

I’m discovering the truth in that statement. 



When I was struggling with quitting self-injury, one of the biggest things that helped me was discovering the change in perspective I could achieve by recalling the head space I was in while on vacation at my grandparent’s beautiful and relaxing home in Sarasota. It was a really good head space. I think I just discovered the head space that may be helpful for me while working through this period of depression I’m currently in. 


It’s sort of a mental trick I play on myself. I’m not sure if other people have experienced this as much as I have, but maybe some of you reading this have had an experience where you literally felt a sort of ‘paradigm shift’ occur within yourself. We go throughout our days with certain assumptions about the world and about ourselves and how we relate to everything around us. Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in unhealthy or negative ways of seeing and experiencing things. But… our brains don’t know the difference between what is real and what is imagined. To our brains, it’s all processed the same, although in our ‘mind’ we normally know the difference. The trick then is to make a mental leap to a different approach. It’s not an intellectual process, but more of a mental and emotional one. 


I’ve always experienced a lot of things pretty intensely, so I can recall pretty clearly the feeling and the perspective I had at different points in my life. If I imagine I’m in that experience again… I can reproduce the feelings of that time and bring them into my current reality, and function from that base point of perspective. It helped me get through a self injury crisis, and I’m feeling like it’s going to be a big help right now as well. 


It’s not the solution, but a tool. 



I am feeling somewhat better today, although I can feel the depression just under the surface, I’m trying to focus on being healthy instead of wallowing in the depression. I think a couple things helping with my improved mood, though, are the fact that the sun is out today and it’s a very nice day outside, and I got a call yesterday about a job I applied to (I just returned the call and had to leave a voicemail, which I hate doing, so I hope she even calls me back because I feel like I probably sounded really nervous in the voicemail) and I had a good night last night. I also went out to Michael’s craft store this afternoon to pick up some more white acrylic paint to finish up a painting I started last week, and while I was checking out I ran into an old co-worker and had a pretty nice interaction with him. He told me good luck on getting a new job and offered to give me a good referral if I need one. So, see –  just leaving the house and functioning normally, “faking it ‘till you make it”, can have some positive results and provide little boosts like that in the right direction. Little things like that are just what I need right now. I guess it’s these little wins that I can ride on until they turn into big wins – like a new job, or the warmth and joys of Springtime once that hits us full force. 





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'Gong Show' creator Chuck Barris dies at 87


Associated Press

19 hrs ago


NEW YORK — Chuck Barris, whose game show empire included "The Dating Game," ''The Newlywed Game" and that infamous factory of cheese, "The Gong Show," has died. He was 87.


Barris died of natural causes Tuesday afternoon at his home in Palisades, New York, according to publicist Paul Shefrin, who announced the death on behalf of Barris' family.


Barris made game show history right off the bat, in 1966, with "The Dating Game," hosted by Jim Lange. The gimmick: a young female questions three males, hidden from her view, to determine which would be the best date. Sometimes the process was switched, with a male questioning three females. But in all cases, the questions were designed by the show's writers to elicit sexy answers.


Celebrities and future celebrities who appeared as contestants included Michael Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Martin and a pre-"Charlie's Angels" Farrah Fawcett, introduced as "an accomplished artist and sculptress" with a dream to open her own gallery.


After the show became a hit on both daytime and nighttime TV, the Barris machine accelerated. New products included "The Newlywed Game," ''The Parent Game," ''The Family Game" and even "The Game Game."


At one point Barris was supplying the television networks with 27 hours of entertainment a week, mostly in five-days-a-week daytime game shows.


The grinning, curly-haired Barris became a familiar face as creator and host of "The Gong Show," which aired from 1976 to 1980.


Patterned after the Major Bowes Amateur Hour show that was a radio hit in the 1930s, the program featured performers who had peculiar talents and, often, no talent at all. When the latter appeared on the show, Barris would strike an oversize gong, the show's equivalent of vaudeville's hook. The victims would then be mercilessly berated by the manic Barris, with a hat often yanked down over his eyes and ears, and a crew of second-tier celebrities.


Occasionally, someone would actually launch a successful career through the show. One example was the late country musician BoxCar Willie, who was a 1977 "Gong Show" winner.


He called himself "The King of Daytime Television," but to critics he was "The King of Schlock" or "The Baron of Bad Taste."


As "The Gong Show" and Barris' other series were slipping, he sold his company for a reported $100 million in 1980 and decided to go into films.


He directed and starred in "The Gong Show Movie," a thundering failure that stayed in theaters only a week.


Afterward, a distraught Barris checked into a New York hotel and wrote his autobiography, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," in two months. In it, he claimed to have been a CIA assassin.


The book (and the 2002 film based on it, directed by George Clooney) were widely dismissed by disbelievers who said the creator of some of television's most lowbrow game shows had allowed his imagination to run wild when he claimed to have spent his spare time traveling the world, quietly rubbing out enemies of the United States.


"It sounds like he has been standing too close to the gong all those years," quipped CIA spokesman Tom Crispell. "Chuck Barris has never been employed by the CIA and the allegation that he was a hired assassin is absurd," Crispell added. Barris, who offered no corroboration of his claims, was unmoved.


"Have you ever heard the CIA acknowledge someone was an assassin?" he once asked.


Seeking escape from the Hollywood rat race, he moved to a villa in the south of France in the 1980s with his girlfriend and future second wife, Robin Altman, and made only infrequent returns to his old haunts over the next two decades.


Back in the news in 2002 to help publicize "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," Barris said his shows were a forerunner to today's popular reality TV series.


Born in Philadelphia in 1929, Charles Barris was left destitute, along with his sister and their mother, when his dentist father died of a stroke.


After graduating from the Drexel Institute of Technology in 1953, he took a series of jobs, including book salesman and fight promoter.


After being dropped from a low-level job at NBC, he found work at ABC, where he persuaded his bosses to let him open a Hollywood office, from which he launched his game-show empire.


He also had success in the music world. He wrote the 1962 hit record "Palisades Park," which was recorded by Freddy Cannon.


Barris's first marriage, to Lynn Levy, ended in divorce. Their daughter, Della, died of a drug overdose in 1998. He married his third wife, Mary, in 2000.


The late Associated Press writer Bob Thomas contributed biographical material to this report


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(no subject)

I wash my hands of this.


Five years ago I might be pissed off or try to figure it out.


Now, I’m learning to just brush it off. Apparently there’s a reason for it, and if it’s a big enough deal he’s not saying shit to me then f’k it…. no time for that. “AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT SHIT”


And onto bigger and better things….


  • Conferences tonight (ugh!!!--- stressful but…. positive!)
  • It’s March 21 (3-21- get it) Down Syndrome Awareness DAY!!! Rock your SOCKS! We’re doing it today (the girls and I AND my class)… :)
  • Mom’s coming tonight to hang with the girls! 
  • THREE days until our “MINI-TRIP!!!”
  • I had two-three cups of coffee today before I left- so I’m ready to ROCK.
  • ALSO- I was trying to snapchat that particular bit of information with the “bunny filter” on snapchat, and it gave Audrey Hepburn (on my mug) bunny ears/nose as well. Made. my. day.
  • I’m sore today. WHICH is GOOD because I feel that means that my working out/running is having some sort of impact on the body. Right?!? I’ll go with it. ;)
  • I TRIED so hard (again- for the 7th weekday in a row) to get up at 445. BUT, again, pushed snooze all the way until 6:45 when I had to get ready for the day and wake the girls up #FAIL


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Lacking motivation to do all those things I said I was going to.


Was laying in bed for like an hour until I heard a deep gravely man voice say my name in my left ear.

No one was in my apartment. Needless to say I was up after that.


So much to do! So little motivation to do it!


Also.. Gonna strangle my sons father because he hasn't given me an answer for when I'm getting my son. If I have to hunt him down I will 100% make sure that douche ends up in jail or worse. 


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(no subject)

Oh and also.


I have conferences two nights this week. It’s crazy not having such a large load of conferences to complete like I normally do. We just have such low numbers this year. (Which is nice for the year, but is also feeding into my possible lack of job position next year. :()


So, Mom decided to come over to be with the girls both nights. They’d be able to stay at the house themselves but they have dance and soccer which requires transporting and therefor can’t. I’m so glad she’s able to do that. Otherwise I’d have to pay for a sitter, which is just annoying. That and I just like that the girls have some extra time with her.  


I’ve made reservations for us to stay in Minneapolis this weekend which I’m rather excited about to tell you the truth. With the AAA membership discount, it’s under a hundred so that’s cool. It isn’t much but it’s at least something?!


The girls are getting pretty dang excited for the trip, that’s for sure. They’re SO excited to see Amy, too! And go see Beauty and the Beast.

Might be going to the zoo. I think there are two zoos up there and I’m not sure which one we will hit up. We’ll figure that out when the time comes. Depending on how much time we’ve got to do that. :)


Just need to get through this week and conferences!!! I’m always edgy a bit during conferences, and even more so during spring ones due to us having to discuss plans for next year. I’m a preschool teacher so one of the big topics is whether their children are ready for kindergarten next year or if “KEY (kindergarten enrichment year)” is a better route. Sometimes it’s pretty easy and parents go with what you say based on you being with them every day for the whole year and take your advice as to where their child would probably best fit. Some parents, on the other hand, just downright won’t take your suggestion. It’s difficult and hard, but I’ve learned to be a better advocate for the kids who need that extra year to grow mentally, physically, socially, and/or cognitively. I’m not one for confrontation, though. So, I’ll say my piece and I’ll give a few extra pushes for what I believe is best, but I’m not as good as a couple of my colleagues.

Although, I will say, I probably won’t have much pushing back of parents this year. One or two might be iffy/on the fence but, for the most part, I’ve got one or two on-board already with an extra year before kindergarten.


Anyway, so there’s that.


Tonight will be full of vacuuming and cleaning and laundry…. as well as getting outside with the girls! Sienna has her first soccer practice tonight. Isla and I are going on a bike ride/run. I plan on signing up (officially) for the dam to dam half marathon tonight… IF registration is open finally. I am almost positive it was within the last week or so. But so much has been going on that I’m not entirely sure… I could have it mixed up with something else.


Also!--- Sienna came up to me today to tell me that she tried out (AND MADE) honor choir this year! I’m SO extremely excited for her! She’s always singing and performing. She’s tried her little heart out for competition dance and never makes it, I was starting to think she’d quit trying out for things here soon… but she didn’t! Sounds like she’s SUPER excited for this. Apparently, they’re performing next month. I’ll have to look into that so I can take the day off to go see her. :) So proud of her!


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