Skeletons In My Closet

Dirty laundry time, and not a particularly "fun" entry. Skip it if you'd rather avoid drama.

First a little background: Some of you know I'm only an ersatz Canuck. I was actually born in Iowa and moved here when I was very young. Why we moved is something that's never come up, mostly because it's ugly history.

See, Dad was an idiot. When he was in his 20s he married a young nurse named Carol and had three children with her. Then he went all hormonal and stupid and abandoned them all for a newer and sexier model (my mom). Court ordered child-support followed. You know - "if you can't be available for them emotionally, the least you could do is chip in a few bucks to help raise them."

Dad did what any responsible young man would do. He skipped the country.

He took trophy-wife/mom and their new little galoot with him. Those OTHER three kids never heard from their father again.

That's why I'm a Canuck. I tell people dad was a draft-dodger because it doesn't make me burn with shame as much as the truth.

Why am I telling you this? Because I just got this e-mail tonight:

Subject: Is Your Father's Name Richard (Dick) Xxxxx? I'm Looking for my half brother.


This sounds crazy, but I'm looking for my half-brother. Was your dad's name Richard (Dick) Xxxxx? He was married (1st marriage) to my Mom--Carol Xxxxx. The last known address I have for him is Alberta, Canada. Please let me know if I'm on the right track.

Amanda Xxxxx (XXamandaXX@AOL.com)

That's me. And, OMFG, that's my sister I never met and only saw a picture of once.

I'm in shock. I've known the whole story (his side of it, anyway) since my early teens. I objectively know that his guilt isn't my own. He's the one whose brain was between his legs, after all. But for my whole life I've known that *I* was the one who had a daddy around to raise him. The other three kids (Amanda and her two brothers) were abandoned when they were old enough to know what was happening but not old enough to put the blame at his feet where it belonged.

Having never survived a plane crash I can't say for sure, but I imagine this misplaced emotion I've carried around since I first learned the truth is akin to what they call survivor's guilt. Unreasonable, sure, but very real.

I don't know if Amanda's mom, Carol, ever found a real man (defined as "one unlike my father") for a husband or if she struggled to raise three kids as a single mom in the 1960s. I don't know if they had a good step-dad for a role model or if all they learned about dads was what Richard (Dick) Xxxxx taught them.

I don't know much of anything right now except that it's several hours later and my heart's still pounding.

You know what? Being estranged from my father for a number of years, I don't even know if the word "was" in her sentence "Was your dad's name Richard" is significant. Did he finally track her down, reopen communication with her, then get hit by a truck? I dunno!

I answered the letter, of course. "Yeah, I'm the guy you're looking for. Now what?"


Oh, I know one thing. The rules plainly state:

       "Every tragedy must have a hidden element of humor in it, otherwise you'll go insane."

The hidden humor element: "Being abandoned by your father at age 7 will fuck you up so badly that, 40 years later, you will use AOL."

Okay, it's not much. But it's late and I'm in shock.


Off The Wagon

Well. I made it over two weeks without a smoke. But I slipped yesterday and had one. I got sick as a dog as a result. Funny how poisonous those stupid things are. Funny how addictive, too, because despite the vomiting and the effects at the other end (!) I had another one today. BAH!

I feel so god damned stupid! They're slow death. Smoking is just another form of suicide. I know it. My body's reaction yesterday is just more evidence that it's terrible. I might as well be sawing at my wrists with a dull razor blade.

Jaq is NOT smoking. Good. Goodgoodgoodgoodgood. Now all I have to do is stop again. [shudder]

Jaq went out and got some pictures developed from this year's camping and hiking trips. I looked long and hard at them and reminded myself why I started this whole thing in the first place. I want to enjoy this stuff and more next year. Without watching people decades older than me skip on past because they have less trouble breathing.

I'm going to take some of those pictures and put them beside my computer as reminders. I need them.



She smells great. I told Jaq this and she didn't hit me.


Name Three

Second hand smoke kills tens of thousands of people each year, right? That's why they don't let you smoke in stores, theaters, airplanes, restaurants, etc.

So, of those thousands and thousands who die as a result of second hand smoke... name three.

Fascinating article.

(1 week, 13 hours smoke-free, BTW. Yay!)



It's always good form to introduce yourself when joining a new community. Someone just signed up for a mailing list I read, succinctly defining herself is very few words:

"Am new. I'm Tracey, christian mom of 3 children, married, live in Texas,where i drive school bus."

My reply, which I'm debating whether or not to send:

"Hi Tracey. I'm Galoot, atheist dad of 4 children. We're winning."


In other news, what the fuck is this?

I saw it in the store last week. No, it wasn't sitting between "Dusting for Men" and "Landscaping for Blacks" on the joke shelf, it was real and unique. What the hell?


Still Not Smoking

Still hating not smoking. Quitting is a "good thing," right?

Stupid drug. Stupid Galoot for starting stupid drug. Stupid world for continuing to turn even while I'm miserable.

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