Saturday, November 23, 2013

A glimpse...

A few people have asked about my previous post, so I'll explain in more detail. Tomorrow is an anniversary that I honestly wish I didn't have to celebrate. While it's a great accomplishment, and sure as hell not an easy one, it's not one that I thought would be relevant to me when I was younger. I will be 11 years sober tomorrow. It's not been easy, or fun, but I've made it. And considering the path that I was on before I quit, I'm happy to be alive. Quite frankly, it was going to kill me pretty quickly, which means I wouldn't have married the love of my life, had my kids, seen my sisters have their kids, etc. I know now how much I would have missed, but it really doesn't make it any easier. I've had people tell me that they are sure that it gets easier as time goes on. And maybe it does for some people. But, not for me. I can still taste the whiskey, still feel the warmth in my body as it spreads. There is not a day that goes by I don't think about wanting a drink. Not necessarily to get hammered, but just to have what "normal" people can do pretty much whenever they want. When I first quit, I used to, for lack of a better term, torture myself by continuing to go to the bar and parties, etc. I'd watch people get lit up like Christmas trees, not having a care in the world, and likely not really remember how much of a fool they made of themselves. I'd use that as motivation to stay sober, telling myself that I was better off and that at least I would have to deal with the "day after". Somewhere along the way I realized that what I thought was helping me to stay sober was really doing nothing more than making me miserable. Instead of creating motivation, it was creating jealousy, frustration and anger. Why could so many people be able to control themselves when I couldn't? Why didn't they realize how difficult it was for me to even be around them, let alone try to keep a smile on my face? So, I stopped going to the bar. I stopped going to parties. I did just about everything I could to keep myself away from alcohol. To do this day I still am that way. But, it's a trade-off. I tend to miss out on things because of the environment in which they take place. Even events put on by my employer I tend to avoid because they are held at places where alcohol is allowed to be consumed. I miss out on parties, I miss out on bachelor parties, I miss out on a lot of the "fun" things that most people wouldn't think twice about doing. Hell, I've said no so many times to some people that I don't even get invited any more. Not that it's a bad thing - at least I don't have to feel like an ass for saying no. But, it does tend to seriously limit the amount and depth of friendships that I have "in real life". I also know a few people that don't know how to "deal" with the fact I don't drink, so then things just get weird. Don't get me wrong, I know that the decision to quit drinking was one of the most important and smartest decisions that I've ever made. As I said, there is a lot in my life that I would have missed out on, and for those I am very happy that I quit drinking. But, it doesn't really make it "better", or "easier", and certainly not easier. I've developed a fairly thick skin when it comes to people. While I may be bothered by things, I rarely let it show. I am able to talk to a few people that understand me, where I'm coming from and how I feel, so I'm able to fairly quickly resolve my feelings. But in the end, it still sucks on some level. So now you have a glimpse of life through my eyes. The next time you pour a beer, a glass of wine or a shot of tequila, raise your glass for me. Smile and be happy, because if I was there, I'd likely finish off the bottle before you had a chance to get your buzz on, and then where would you be? ;)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Begging for help

Hello everyone! I thought I would send you an update about David (my dad) and ask each of you for a personal favor.

As you may know Dad's had heart issues for many years. Combined with lymphoma, diabetes, pulmonary embolisms and other issues, he's been in and out of the hospital a lot and required a lot of care. As a result, he's on permanent disability and waiting to be eligible for MediCare/MedicAid. On June 10th of this year he had surgery to place an artificial pump in him (called an LVAD). The pump has made a huge difference in how he looks and feels, which is exactly the intention. The idea was to "bridge" him until he'd been cancer free for 5 years and then get him on the heart transplant list.

However, during the procedure or shortly after, Dave suffered a left temporal sub-acute stroke. From there we got good and bad news. The good news is that there was no paralysis or apparent physical effects. Well, and that he lived is also good news. The bad news is that it is significantly complicating his recovery. Complicating it to the point that the doctors are saying he needs 24/7 care for the foreseeable future. He has problems reading and writing, finishing his thoughts and remembering the words and names of very common things, including his family. Being diabetic, for example, means that he needs someone there to monitor his blood sugar, etc. Just one of many, many examples. This biggest bad news comes in that nursing homes won't take him because of the LVAD. They have concerns about the liability, training, etc, which means that he will be at home for now to do his rehab and recovery.

My mom is taking at least two weeks off work to stay home with him and assess is his needs so we can figure out where to go from here. She doesn't have any PTO left as she's used it all on Dad's illnesses up until now. As I mentioned, Dad is on disability, which pays some of the bills. But, Mom has the medical benefits and is now the primary income for them. She needs to either get back to work as soon as possible, or her income needs to be subsidized.

To help them out, we are doing a fundraiser to try to cover her paycheck as long as possible. If you could help with this, our family would be greatly in your debt. Any other forms of assistance is also helpful such as meals, cleaning, etc. None of this is easy to ask for, but sorely needed.

The link to the fundraiser is, please feel free to share it with others. If you would rather not donate online but would rather send a check, please let me know and we can make arrangements for that. Here is a direct donation option as well:

Thank you everyone!

Brad and family

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I probably should have blogged more about the health issues that my Dad has, specifically in regards to his heart. However, I haven't and I'm not going to try to do it all now.

That being said, tomorrow my Dad is having major heart surgery. The crack open the chest, put you on a ventilator kind. Yeah, scary shit. Because of all the problems and damage with his heart, they are going to be putting in an artificial pumping device. This should make him feel at least a little better. They can't predict how MUCH better, but hopefully won't be any worse.

For those interested, Google "LVAD" or "Left Ventricle Assist Device" and you'll get quite an education.

Scary as hell for us and tomorrow is going to be very stressful. We can definitely use as many prayers and positive thoughts as possible.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Irony at work

So, my Monday started off quite a bit differently than I expected. Normally Monday morning is reserved for catching up on email from the weekend, collecting log files from completed tests and starting new tests.

Let me back up...

I work for a hard drive company doing testing for products that have not been released. It's my job to work the bugs out before they get sold, so that all those wonderful customers can have "the best experience possible". Actually, it's a lot of fun and 99% of the time I love my job. Testing involves lots of results to analyze, test plans to manage, and products to rotate through the test plans. It's tedious, but again, I love it.

Ok, now that the background is done...

So, I got to work today to start my Monday morning ritual. Anyone that knows me knows that I am VERY routine oriented, and today was going to be no different. I got to work, took my meds, opened a soda and sat down to read my work email. The first email in my reader was from the President and CEO of our company. The title was interesting to say the least, so I quickly opened it. After reading about 2 sentences, I got an unfortunately familiar pit in my stomach.

The net of the email is that the company I work for is getting bought by a competitor. Currently we are a subsidiary of a larger company, and now we are going to be absorbed by a competitor. Helluva way to start a Monday, right?

Since the deal was just announced, there's NO information about who's getting to keep their jobs, where the offices will be located, etc. All we know is that as soon as regulatory reviews have been completed they'll start the integration process of the two companies. They expect the reviews to be done by the end of September. Sometime between now and then I expect to hear what the status of my job is going to be. Until then, I get to try to operate "business as usual" and continue to do my job the way that I've been doing it for the past few years.

Oh, and the kicker to all of this? The competitor that's buying us? Yeah, I used to work for them and they laid me off. I started with my new company after I'm going back again. At least, I'm hoping I am if they decide that I get to keep my job.

So yeah, my Monday has pretty much sucked. I hate Mondays. I hate acquisitions. I hate early morning announcement emails.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Ok, I was reading a couple of blogs tonight, and one of my biggest online pet peeves reared its ugly head.

For some strange, and likely stupid, reason people feel the need to be the first to comment on a blog. That's all great and wonderful, but when the only thing they say is "FIRST!", it makes them look like a dumbass. Not only that, but if you look at the timestamps from when the post was published to when the first comment was made? Sometimes seconds apart. Obviously, they haven't read the post. Most of the time I'm not sure that they even know what blog they're on, let alone if the post is even comment worthy.

While I realize that I'm still fairly new to the blogging world, I seriously fail to see what the big deal is about being first to comment. Other than seemingly having nothing better to do with your life than try to be the first one to do something, what else did you accomplish by that? Seriously people...if you're going to comment, make it something worthwhile and not just some stupid competition.

By the way, because I know the people that will likely read comments are moderated. Why is that important? Because if you comment with anything like "FIRST" (or any other number for that matter), I will just delete it and move on. Yes, I'm just that much of a dick to do that. :D

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The song

Ok, so when my son was little I did a lot of rocking and walking and singing to him to get him to sleep. I got bored with the usual songs, so I started changing the words and making my own variations. One such variation stuck and I sing it to him just about every night. For reference, the nickname I have for him is Stinkerbutt. Why? 'Cause have you ever smelled baby poop? 'Nuff said.

So, at the risk of totally ruining any image I might have, here's my song. To the tune of "You are my sunshine":

You are my Stinkerbutt
My little Stinkerbutt
You make poopies
Twice a day
You'll never know dear
How much they stink
'cause we throw
those diapers away.

Yep, that's definitely one that will prove humiliating when I sing it during my toast at his wedding. ;)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Upcoming Birth...HELP?!?

So, as many of you know, we're having a baby in a couple of weeks. Not our first, but most likely (definitely) our last. We're all very excited, but also pretty nervous about the actual birth process. When our son was born, it was less than a pleasant experience.

As a result, my wife REALLY wants a doula there, but they are expensive. At first, we thought our insurance might cover it, but no such luck. Then we found a doula-in-training that was free, but we just didn't click with her. So, we're back to square one.

All that being said, anyone want to donate a few bucks to the "MY WIFE WANTS A DOULA BUT I CAN'T AFFORD TO GET HER ONE" fund? Pretty please?