Category Archives: things I’d tell a shrink

On Harvey Weinstein and the rise of #MeToo.


With a face like this…

The only experience I have that is even remotely comparable to sexual harassment happened to me when I worked in a fast-food restaurant as I was finishing up high school – almost 30 years ago – a time when we were just a few years removed from Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill.  There was a co-worker of mine – I’ll call him Larry –  who was gay and he apparently had a crush on me.  This came to my attention through another co-worker.  Apparently Larry was all too willing to share this nugget of information with several of my co-workers at a party – a party to which I obviously was not invited.

Larry wasn’t horribly pushy with me.  He would flirtatiously laugh or chuckle when I would do things like bending over to pick things up (I worked as the morning janitor at said establishment). Larry wasn’t a manager or supervisor or anything. He never had any professional authority or power over me; likewise, he never threatened me or blackmailed me or anything like that. The whole situation just made me a little uncomfortable – in that way that you feel when everyone is in on a joke except for you.

This experience last one weekend.  I out the kibosh on the whole thing pretty quickly.  That Monday afternoon, I made a trip into work to talk to my store manager.  She had always had my back – I was one of her favorite employees in the restaurant.  Upon the advice of The Old Man, I explained the situation to her and demanded that I not be scheduled to work with him anymore.  I also went on to say that if I felt uncomfortable in the work environment or found myself having to quit because of the situation or because of Larry himself, then the company would hear about. As I expected, Larry and I never worked a shift together again.

I didn’t share that story to say “woe is me” or #MeToo.  I share it to say that this kind of thing can happen to anyone – even a white, middle-class suburban slob like me.  I can only imagine that my experience can only give me the vaguest sensation of what a victim of full-blown sexual harassment experiences.  Going up against a person with the clout of the monster I have pictured above can only feel utterly hopeless.

For years, I’ve heard rumblings about Harvey Weinstein’s treatment of women in the entertainment industry, but I don’t think anybody was ready for the outpouring of stories similar to (or in many cases much, much worse) the one Courtney Love alluded to back in 2005.  This story hit home with me a many levels.

As far as the trauma Rose McGowan suffered at the hands, of this lunatic…that goes way beyond sexual harassment or anything even remotely sexual.  I think she turned the guy down, and became absolutely obsessed with destroying her life.  The stories I’ve heard have convinced me that Harvey Weinstein once had as much power and influence as a Washington politician.  The guy, literally had former Feds working for him.

Having grown up in a racially and culturally homogeneous suburb of Detroit, Michigan, I didn’t personally know anyone who had been a victim of sexual harassment, sexual assault or sexual abuse until I went to college.  The stories I heard there were absolutely heart-breaking. I had obviously heard of such crimes but never had any idea just how pervasive they really were.  As I’ve gotten older – specifically as I see the #MeToo hashtag appear on my Facebook timeline, I feel my stomach churning all over again.

And women are not the only victims of these crimes:  men, boys and girls – no one is immune it seems, as CUCH points out here.

Naturally when I hear a story about the film industry, my thoughts got to The Auteur.  As I’ve learned vicariously through her experiences, film is an industry that is overwhelmingly dominated by men. I’d see some of the guys she went to school with, I’d written a lot, if not most, of them off as undersexed dorks who lived in their parents’ basements and dreamed of being the second coming of Kevin Smith or Quentin Tarantino. Some of them are a bit anti-social and don’t seem to know how to act around women.  Some are narrow-minded sexists who simply assume, in that throwback mindset, that women simply cannot tell a story, act, run a camera or do anything remotely creative – at least not without a man telling them when to jump and how high.

Harvey Weinstein is apparently on a whole other level of monster entirely.  Let’s face it, EVERY industry has sexists and sexual harassers.  Like racism, that will simply never change.  No matter how tolerant our society becomes, we will always have some outliers. I think what’s so shocking about Weinstein is not the one man or even his transgressions, it’s the fact that Harvey Weinstein is just ONE example of the kind of behavior that has become almost institutionalized in the entertainment industry.

I worry sometimes about The Auteur going into this industry.  The predatory, Weinstein types will be and are in every walk of life.  That’s just inevitable.  But I know how frustrating it gets for her when her male peers look at her and assume she’s brainless or talent-less solely she is a woman  – even though they are either less qualified or less talented (in many cases both) than she is. She’s not naive to any of this and I know she has a thick enough skin to handle it, but swimming against the proverbial ocean gets tiring for anyone – even the Michael Phelpses of the world.

I truly hope that the news of the last few weeks results in some top-to-bottom widespread changes in the entertainment industry, as well as how we all treat each other – in and out of the workplace.

Having said that, I don’t want us to become a society where the merest implication of an indiscretion is enough to destroy a person life.

Curtain call

1827c7a031f35969995f85b7b4344215Monday is Opening Day in Detroit – that is Opening for the 2015 Major League Baseball Season.

Opening Day is something like a holiday in Detroit – as I’m sure it is in many, if not most, Major League cities.  Over the last 2 decades, it has become something of a tradition in my family as well.  Back in 1998 (or was it 99?)  My Dad started purchasing a partial season ticket package for the Detroit Tigers.

For the Tigers, as I assume it is with other teams, even the 21 game partial season ticket packages have included tickets to Opening Day.  So every year, either The Old Man, Phred, LeRoy, myself – all of us and/or our significant others have attended every Opening Day since.  In fact, when I moved Down South during My Previous Life, I told my parents”If I only make it home twice per year, it will be for Christmas and Opening Day”.  During my 8 years there, I probably made it home for as many Opening Days as I did Christmases.

At the risk of sounding melodramatic, baseball is the great unifier in my family.  My brother, sister and I (and to some extent, my father before his passing) don’t have a whole lot in common.  We don’t all agree on politics and religion is basically a taboo subject among us.  But baseball –  Detroit Tiger baseball more specifically – is something we all enjoy.  Its one of the few things we all have in common and we all enjoy.

Last year was the last Opening Day my father ever saw.  I am happy to no end that I was able to be there with him.  I am all-the-happier still that The Auteur was able to be there with me and experience Opening Day.  Obviously, tomorrow will have a much different feel.  It will be the first Opening Day without The Old Man.  It may be the last Opening Day I attend for some time.  My siblings and I haven;t discussed whether or not we’ll keep getting season tickets for the Tigers beyond this year.  This could be the end of a tradition, in more ways than one.

Where be his quiddities now?

Why, may not that be the skull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his quillities, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? 

(Hamlet, 5.1.97), Hamlet to Horatio

Friday, I finally heard back from The Kid’s “counselor” whom I shall call The Headshrinker – no disrespect to psychologists intended. I told him the situation involving the Kid, Jabba and my thoughts on it.  He told me straight-up that The Kid’s name did not ring a bell.  He said that that could be a good thing or a bad thing.  He wasn’t in his office at the time, and said that he had his office people double-checking his records to see if The Kid had, in fact been in to see him.  He also promised  that he would be back in touch with me , whatever he finds out.

To be honest, I was amazed he discussed as much with me as openly as he did.  I half-expected him to tell me that he had to verify my identity; or that he had to talk to Jabba before he could say anything to me.  I was a little taken aback when he described his experiences with that which I’m convinced has happened here:  that Jabba is making this whole thing up and that The Kid has never been in to see him; or The Kid has been in to see the Headshrinker only because Jabba put him up to it.

Maybe I’m looking to into the conversation, but I feel like I gleaned a whole lot from very little factual information.  My gut tells me that this guy hasn’t even seen The Kid.  When he was running through the different reasons/scenarios as to why he might not remember the Kid’s name, it felt like he was trying to tell me something without actually saying it.

Please don’t misunderstand me:  my worst fear is, of course that The Kid did in fact say that the he wishes he was dead / wants to kill himself.  But again, I do not believe it.  Nothing I’ve seen or head thus far has me suggested to me that Jabba is telling the truth.

This wasn’t the only big news of the last few days. Monday I decided to start making some phone calls, in the event that I have to put together a custody case.  I called a few lawyers here and was told I would need to talk to a lawyer in South Carolina, as my divorce took place there – unless I can get the case moved here – which would probably be next-to-impossible.

I decided to call Greenie’s office – to see if they would send a letter to my ex-landlord as I’m still on the lease for the house Jabba and The Kid live in.  The paralegal informs me that since our lease was only for one year, I’m basically “in the clear”.  When i asked her to have Greenie write a letter to my landlord, informing them that I’ve been out of the house for 18 months, she informs me that Greenie died last week.

I was stunned, in that way that people are when they hear something come out of left field like that.  Instinctively, I asked “are you serious?”  which I’ve always thought was a really stupid question at a moment like that.  Fortunately for me, my divorce case is final – as far as I know.  I was planning to file a grievance with the South Carolina Bar Association for the way in which he handled my case; but that’s irrelevant now.  I didn’t really know this guy personally, and I can’t stand him professionally; but I’m amazed at how much Greenie’s death has affected me personally.

I think in moments like this it’s normal to think about one’s own mortality.  Greenie was 31, or 8 years younger than me.  I’m assuming he was never married as he was dating one of his paralegals.  Thinking about what little I knew about Greenie personally forced me to reflect on my own life.  In spite of how many years I’ve spent in school and feeling like I’ve been spinning my wheels – at times – with teaching, I feel that if I were to die tomorrow, I’ve lived a pretty good life.  I had a dream job; I pursued it, and I became a teacher.  Sure, I spent too many years in a failed marriage; but I got the greatest son in world out of it.   Today, I’m in a fabulous relationship with The Auteur.  We love each other, and we share the same view of what love is and what love should be.  We are both finally divorced and are absolutely psyched about the future.  I have absolutely no plans on checking out anytime soon.

Picard: Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. But I rather believe than time is a companion who goes with us on the journey, and reminds us to cherish every moment because they’ll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important how we lived. After all, Number One, we’re only mortal.

Riker: [smiling] Speak for yourself, sir. I plan to live forever.

Captain Picard to commander Riker:  from Star Trek: Generations

like a lion in winter


The original Lion in Winter, King Henry II

It’s only Halloween, but reality is starting to hit me:

Winter, and Christmas, are coming soon and I for one am not ready for wither of them.

The Red Sox won the 2013 World Series last night, thereby ending the baseball season.  That alone has always been a tell-tale sign that winter is upon me.

I really hate winter.  It goes back to when I was a little kid.  i used to hate winter because it meant the end of baseball season.  as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that there’s much more to it than that.  Back when I was at Eastern one winter, I nearly dropped out of school.  i had just stopped going; and then I stopped leaving the house. It was an incredibly low time for me; a sensation I didn’t have to experience once while I lived in South Carolina.

Last winter, my first in Michigan in nearly a decade, was nowhere near as bad as I expected it to be.  The weather was pretty mild, for the most part.  I was working out and I was out socializing.  School kept me busy.  Alcohol kept me numb.  Now, I’m just getting back to work, living 2 hours away from my gym, and with the exception of 2 glasses of wine on Sweetest day, i haven’t had a drink in 143 days.

but I love living with The Auteur.  i spent a few days at my parents’ house 2 weeks ago and I felt like I was just visiting.  I truly feel like I’m at home living with The Auteur; at least, as close as anything feels to home these days.

dreams darker than death or night

In the darkest corners of my mind, the glass is neither half-full nor half empty; it is already broken.

In the darkest corners of my mind, the glass is neither half-full nor half empty; it is already broken.

Welcome to the start of a whole new category on your favorite blog.

I’m going to do something a little different with this post.  I’m going to shed some light on a pretty damn dark spot on my psyche.  Never let it be said that you beloved webmaster doesn’t put himself through the proverbial wringer.

I tend to think too much. In fact, I take over-analyzing things to new extremes.  I tend to visualize, or imagine if you will, conversations and confrontations before I have them.  Up to a point, I think this is a healthy thing.   It allows one to prepare for things  that may arise in a conversation.  My problem is that my mind tends to play out conversations and confrontations that, more often than not, never take place. In one sense, I find this to be very therapeutic.  It helps me to confront some of my worst fears.  The trouble is it forces me to see the worst in every situation.

Let me see if I can give some examples:

Even before we separated, I would find myself mentally playing out conversations, confrontations and arguments with the STBX.  Sometimes, things went as I expected them to; other times they actually went better than I prepared myself for.  Then of course, there have been occasions when things went far worse than I could have anticipated.

Today, The Auteur starts her annual 48 hour film contest.  Since he is now an executive producer, I’m almost positive that TP will make his presence known there entire weekend.  The Auteur still refuses to admit that TP has feelings for her – although in her own passive way she has conceded as much.  It makes me sick because he gets to have full access to this production because money talks.  Mr. Slate, her STBX, is also an executive producer, though he pretty much stays away until premiere night.  The Auteur is unwilling to admit this, but Slate is still controlling her, through his money.  That TP is now getting in on the act is just salt in my proverbial wound.

Last night, she accidentally sent me a Facebook invite to the premiere of their movie. We had already talked about this before:  she doesn’t want me to attend the premiere because she’s worried about things being weird with  Rhino in attendance and all. I understand and all, but it still hurts. I asked her last night if the Facebook invite was sent to me on accident.  After some stammering, she said yes, but then added that she never told me I couldn’t attend.

Early in our relationship, The Auteur once said that she thought I was just using her for sex.  It’s funny the way that shoes tend to end up on the opposite feet sometimes.  I’ll probably see her this weekend, per my scheduled days off at Meijer.  We would almost certainly sleep together.  But come Wednesday, I’m not going to be good enough to attend her movie premiere.  And that hurts.

When I first sat down to wrote this post yesterday, I thought that the whole TP thing bothered me the most.  At this moment, it’s definitely the Slate business.

This is all new territory for me.  And not even the darkest corners of my mind – the place that manifests my greatest fears and my worst nightmares – could have prepared me for feeling like this.

No news is bad news

Rebuilding Rob challenges the notion that "no Gnus is good gnus"

Rebuilding Rob challenges the notion that “no Gnus is good gnus”

It doesn’t matter how the old saying goes:  no news is bad news.

In the case of my impending divorce, which I was told before the first of the month was reaching a settlement, no news is definitely bad news.

In the case of this blog and my personal life Okay, I haven’t blogged much lately, but that mostly because I have actually been out living a little instead of opining here about the  bit experiences I was having that resembled a life.

At the end of last month, I accepted a job offer from Meijer.  For those who don’t know, Meijer is a big-box retailer similar to Wal-Mart with stores in the Michigan, Indiana, Ohio area.  Sure, the job sucks, the pay is dick and the hours are God-awful (midnights);  but dammit it’s a job, it’s money in my pocket and those two things are a good start.  In addition, I have very strong lead on a job with CVS, which would mean better money, physically easier work and potentially better hours.  All in all, the job front is looking better for me than it has in a long time.

The Auteur and I are doing great.  Sure we have our peaks and valleys but overall things are good.  A steady job schedule and consistent off-days has provided us with some quality “couple time”.  In fact, I’m blogging this from her house right now.  This weekend is her 48 Hour student film project – her first as a producer – and it’s weighing heavily on her mind now.  We took 1B to the Tiger game yesterday.  I stayed at her place last night, and am probably staying again tonight.

Personally, I can’t wait until the 48 is over.  Not so much the filming, but the premiere itself. As I mentioned previously, her estranged husband is billed as an executive producer (thanks to a $100 donation to the project) as is TP (the guy from this entry).  she told me about TP’s donation last week.  I didn’t take it well and that really does bother me.

Why am I so insecure in this relationship?  I was really hoping to talk to a counselor about it, but my current lack of  medical insurance would make that a very expensive endeavor; so I’m left to tackle this one alone.  I think the truth is that I’m terrified at the thought of another failed marriage and what it says about me as a person.  That, and I really love The Auteur and I don’t want to lose her.

UPDATE 7/16/10 3:22 PM

The Auteur and I had one of our many heart-to-heart conversations yesterday and the above bit about my insecurities came up in the natural flow of things.  We both acknowledged that we both have personality quirks that we are both working on improving; many of which are a result of our previous marriages.  I think it’s great that we both acknowledge these things and are both on the same page about making our relationship work.  I’ve never been in a relationship like this where discussing our hopes, anxieties, worries, and  even problems with each other has made said relationship even stronger.

Some Kind of Monster, part 3

The following is a re-telling of an event that occurred on the night of Saturday June 8th into the morning of Sunday June 9th 2013.  It is on a very short list of the most shameful experience of my life.  It has taken me literally two weeks to process everything that occurred, get multiple perspectives on the chain of events, mend the most essential fences and finally have the nerve to re-live it.  I chose to write this now because I realize that this blog may one day burn some bridges with it’s brutal honesty; and I want to show future readers that I am just as willing to hold myself to the same proverbial fires. 

Click HERE to read part one of this story.  Click HERE for part two.  

If you have to compare your behavior to that of Doughboy, you better believe you've got  a problem

If you have to compare your behavior to that of Doughboy, you better believe you’ve got a problem

At this point I should also mention that I ordered a shot of something  called “liquid cocaine” ( I think mine was closest to the number 2 recipe from what I recall).  Later, Phred had ordered a couple pitchers of beer, but she wasn’t feeling good and ended up leaving early.  And guess who decided to “take one for them team and finish them off?

Apparently at one point, one of The Auteur’s friends asked J if I was okay.  He said “I’ve seen him drink way more than this,”.  The only problem was that J didn’t join us at the bar until after almost midnight.  Maybe he was just trying to downplay the situation.  Either way, I don’t blame him.  But The Auteur and her friends knew J got there late.  How the hell would he have known if I was okay?

Things then went right from the toilet to the sewer as we left the bar shortly before  closing.  As we were walking out, some guy cut in front of The Auteur, putting his hands all over her, trying to come on to her.  The guys was so out of line that I would have come to the defense of any female in our group under the circumstances.  The fact that this was my girlfriend only served to make even more angry.  I, literally, got in this guys face and said “We got a problem here?”  even as trashed as I was, I had no intention of fighting this guy whatsoever; but I wasn’t going to tolerate him acting this way toward any of my friends, let alone my girlfriend.  I simply wanted him to know that The Auteur was with me.  All I wanted to hear was a “hey we’re cool,” but that was probably wishful thinking.

I remember the Auteur literally stepping in between me and Wandering Cock 2013.  I’m told that one of his friends got up behind him and at this point, J showed up behind me.  Somehow a bouncer caught my attention and suggested that I leave.  So I did.  I thought that the group was directly behind me; but evidently,I left the bar at an even faster clip than I realized.  I walked back to Phred’s apartment, alone.  J got into his car and left.  The Auteur and her friends got a ride with one of the girls who showed up late and beat me back to Phred’s place.  The Auteur, who had taken the proverbial high road all evening, simply suggested that I “sleep this off”.   I passed out at Phred’s place – only after putting a hole in her wall – and drove home at about 6:30 that morning.

That morning, I spoke with J, Phred and The Auteur and I was forced to do some serious soul searching.  Phred suggested that I talked to somebody (i.e. a counselor or psychiatrist).  I told The Auteur that I would, and that I was giving up alcohol.  I ruined her birthday celebration and I scared her.  To be honest, I scared myself as well.  I made an atrocious first impression on several of her friends simultaneously.  Even now, as I type this, I’m nauseous thinking about the entire experience.

At one point in our conversation Sunday morning, The Auteur said something to the effect of:  “you can’t act like this anymore.  you’re not 20”.  The fact is, I could not have even done that when I was 20.  Since my divorce, I started drinking A LOT more than I ever had before.  I have my seen my tolerance steadily increase.  I had had a few scares similar to this: one time not knowing where or when I spent all my cash; another time not even remembering my drive home.  This incident with The Auteur’s birthday, combined with my other scares, led me to the conclusion that I had to stop drinking.  As of this writing, I have been sober for 17 days with absolutely no intention of ever taking another drink.

Some Kind of Monster – Part 2

The following is a re-telling of an event that occurred on the night of Saturday June 8th into the morning of Sunday June 9th 2013.  It is on a very short list of the most shameful experience of my life.  It has taken me literally two weeks to process everything that occurred, get multiple perspectives on the chain of events, mend the most essential fences and finally have the nerve to re-live it.  I chose to write this now because I realize that this blog may one day burn some bridges with it’s brutal honesty; and I want to show future readers that I am just as willing to hold myself to the same proverbial fires. 

Click HERE to read part one of this story.

Many of the details that follow from the bar I received second or third hand.  There are some things I do recall; I assume they occurred during my brief moments of clarity.  To paraphrase Prince: I was drunk when I lived this.  Forgive me as I went astray.

I remember all of us getting a round of drinks and me toasting the Auteur a “Happy Birthday”.  A little later – although it may have been during the same round – I remember one of the Auteur’s friends – whom I shall code name “The Set-Up” wanting a Jager, but not having any cash.  I apparently offered to buy her one – not really thinking anything of it – just extending an olive branch to one of the Auteur’s friends.  Apparently right around the same time that I was offering to but The Set-Up a drink, our waitress was coming around to collect on our round.  The waitress was giving me an opportunity to pay for The Auteur’s drink, but I was too fucked up to pick up on it until about the second or third time she said so.  The waitress took my money and gave The Auteur back hers as well.

After this point, I didn’t even know what happened to all the money I had on me.  Granted I was only carrying $40 or so, but STILL.  I had no recollection of who, where or what I spent my money on.  I’m starting to wonder if I didn’t give the waitress mentioned above an extra $20 on accident.  Something similar to this happened to me one night when I went out with a few friends from the Social Club; only that time I didn’t think much of it.

Throughout our evening at the bar, I made several trips to the bathroom.  This is not all that uncommon as I will typically visit a restroom at the slightest inclination my body has to urinate – drunk or sober – that’s how my body functions. Seeing how this was a bar and I had clearly had too much to drink already, one might assume that I was going to the bathroom to vomit.  This was not the case. I think that I experienced a few blackouts while I was in the bathroom.  I didn’t throw up and I didn’t pass out.  And yet, this was a case of something far more than just losing track of time.  An article on Wikipedia refers to this experience as  a fragmentary blackout or  a brownout.  Once again, it was only after I discussed the night with The Auteur that I realized what had happened.  Even now, over two weeks later, I have only vague recollections of standing at a bathroom stall for an excessive period of time.  If my stomach, liver or kidneys had refused to take part in this alcoholic decathlon I was subjecting them to, it might have been an easier night for me.  Instead, it was as if the booze had gone straight to my brain, literally.

Click HERE to read part three of this story


When it’s quiet and there’s nothing else to distract me, that’s when I think of my son.
When i imagine what my next time with him will be like, that’s when I get sad.
When I think of how much I miss him, that’s when I cry.

  • Affliction (
  • Hurt (

a bump in the road

I don’t think I mentioned this before, but for the last few years, I have been dealing with anxiety, taking prescription medication for it.  For the most part, I’ve been able to live with it; but there is no wonder drug that magically makes you feel 100%. Not that I know, legal or otherwise.

Just as I was going to bed last night, I had what i can only describe as an anxiety attack.  I don’t know if it was the worst one I’ve ever had, but it’s the worst that I’ve had in a long time.  As laid down, all my fears, anxieties, frustrations and anger just came to the surface.  I felt as if I was suffocating.  I had to release all this energy.  I had to get out of the house.

Normally, i would probably start pounding beers, but I had just brushed my teeth; and nothing sounds worse than beer and fluoride.  If I was a smoker, I probably would have gone outside to light up. I was to wigged out to go driving, so I decided to go for a walk.  Surprisingly, it helped me, far more than I expected.

My mind went to some really dark places last night.  It was, as I described it to my mother, like my brain had shifted into another gear.  Maybe a nuclear meltdown would be a better analogy.  Everything was fine one minute; nearly catastrophic the next. And something had to give.  Fortunately, the feeling passed almost as quickly as it came on.  I guess the little Homer Simpsons in my brain managed to get things locked down just in the nick of time.

I tried to keep today as stress-free as possible, of course, it helps that the Tigers won.  God, I’m gonna miss baseball this winter.

I talked to my son today, and yesterday too actually.  He’s enjoying Kindergarten, which is as it should be. He’s already asking me to visit again.  Good news on the school front, but I won’t get into that just yet out of fear of jinxing things.

HERE i GO AGAIN WITH ANOTHER VIDEO: Rumor as it that Paul McCartney wrote this for Julian Lennon, when his parents were going through their divorce; although there are conflicting stories on the song’s origin.

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