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I figure I daylog here because it's some sort place in-between a private journal, which nobody but myself will ever read, and a blog, in which all my friends have more or less gotten sick of my endless whining and pondering and postulating and pontificating and alliteration. But on E2, I can just write to people who range from strangers to mild acquaintances, and you can either read it, or ignore it, or whatever.

I want to thank everybody who offered advice about the domain name deal I posted about on February 8, 2008. As of right now, as far as I know everything is still up in the air, although I made sure we renewed the domain name just to be safe. I'm really leaving it all in my wife's hands, as it belongs to her, but I do think I'll print out some of the advice to pass along to her. I'm inclined to agree that capitalism rules above all else, and the guy was not acting in good faith in the initial negotiations. He deserves to get his ass handed to him.

I'm writing here at the close of the first Easter Sunday that my daughter has existed (outside of a womb, that is). I took her to the relatives' place alone, as my wife is gone staffing a convention in Boston -- she wasn't able to go last year, what with the being pregnant and all, so we agreed she should be able to go this year and see her friends from that area again. Of course, this was before she realized the convention fell over the Easter holiday, and by then it was a bit too late to back out (without making things massively inconvenient for everybody there).

So I have been the single dad for three and a half days, and have one more to go until she returns. All in all, it hasn't been bad at all. My daughter has been very well behaved -- well, okay, not so much today, as she was climbing up the walls from all the excitement of seeing aunts and uncles and second cousins. And I've definitely been exhausted, getting to bed at 9:00 or 9:30pm most of these nights. But I've weathered it.

I was sitting here a few minutes back, browsing the web. I came across the website of some guy living in China who, among other things, developed an extensive Linux library used to dissect game ROM images. And for a moment, it made me illogically angry. Why? Well, that probably goes back to being at the Easter party. Everybody loves my daughter there. My uncle asks if she's reading yet, saying "probably just technical manuals right now, right?" My sister jokes that she'll be speaking a foreign language by the time she's three. And it irks the hell out of me, despite the fact that they're joking. I just smile and nod.

I was the first grandchild on both sides of my family, and I was the child prodigy. I've heard all the stories about how I was reading a newspaper in my dad's lap when I was two, telling people how televisions worked when I was five, playing piano and winning awards from first through sixth grade. I was the big computer whiz, and I could not turn around without some other relative telling me about how I was going to grow up to be rich and powerful and famous.

I'm not.

I mean, I have a great job that I love. I just got promoted to a team lead position. I have a wonderful wife, and a beautiful and adorable daughter, and a house with a good old fixed-rate mortgage (even if the house is tiny and seems to fall apart if I look at it funny). But I have made no giant contribution to the computing industry at large. I am hardly rich -- hell, in this America it's hard to even be middle class on one income. I'm about to turn twenty-nine and I feel like I am essentially a ghost, visible to my wife and daughter and very few others.

And I should really be satisfied with my life, as it is a very good and fortunate life, but there will always be those voices at the back of my head, from so long ago, telling me how successful I'm going to be. They built up this enormous ego in me and it's hard to let that go. I somehow feel like I let all those folks down; it's stupid, but that's how it seems. For all of my childhood brilliance, I'm just another guy.

I never want my daughter to feel that kind of pressure. I want her to know how much she means to me, and how special she is, but I will never lay the burden of being labeled a "prodigy" on her.

Thank goodness for the daylog. Unless one's famous or has a vast and caring readership, common garden-variety bloggers can't possibly get nearly the kind of magnificent support that dayloggers do here. And journals and diaries I must admit were never for me. Go ahead; call me needy for attention.

Those who've read what I've put here for posterity have heard me yell about successes, wail about pain and grief, and share my ability to marvel at the stupidest things on earth. I believe that every voter (and downvoter, as well) who's read my previous daylogs deserves the candor that I'd like to express here. What is friendship, whether face-to-face or in cyber-space, without honesty?
 

The Main Event

Two weeks ago, in my home, I had a pretty nasty argument with an employee who was being a dick, and, in fact, popped me twice with a closed fist. There is one thing that people just don't do to me unless they don't know me very well; and that is to strike me or even threaten to. I shoved this person out of the room, sending him down the stairs and then I picked him up and destroyed a very nice glass-faced cabinet by shoving him into it. By that time, the three women in the house were screaming like a bunch of banshees and the guys grabbed me and held on tight. Some of them are quite aware that in my den there is weaponry and I was so incredibly, agonizingly, sorely mad at this gentleman that I may have resorted to at least chasing him out of the house with it.
 

Signs That Something is Wrong

Step back a few days prior. I'd become aggravated with an employee and thrown a cocktail glass against a wall. I don't need to give you a reason why I was aggravated. Nothing can be so aggravating that a rational 50-year-old human being should resort to tantrums better suited to two year old toddlers.

A few days prior to that, I scared the hell out of my wife by driving like Mario Andretti through the streets of Flushing, New York. She cheered, however, when we were cut off at one point, only to end up next to the vehicle at the next streetlight. An exchange of expletives commenced, but I, of all people, should know that road rage in New York City often leads to gun violence or other deadly tragedies.

Now let's speed up to the present. After making a bloody mess of myself, my employee and my wife's lovely cabinet with glass doors (thankfully somewhat devoid of breakable curios; just old VCR tapes and crap like that), I asked one of the guys to take a look at where my victim was bleeding. There was blood indeed and a lot of it. They picked some glass out of it but I insisted that he see a doctor or go to an emergency room. My M.D. couldn't meet me at his office, neither could a friend (who's a Specialist but will stitch for good wine and fine food at one of the clubs he belongs to). They drove him to the hospital Emergency Room.
 

Busted

Speed up a few hours more and despite the fact that the victim told them he "fell," they filed a police report. At about five in the morning two cruisers arrived, came in and I greeted them. Mind you, I was somewhat cleaned up but had blood on my nose and from a head wound. I cannot reveal to you right now what I told the police beside the fact that it was not incriminating. They handcuffed me and off we went to the New Britain, Connecticut police station. I was uneasy about it because I've not dealt much with the New Britain force. I've had a lot of dealings on the right side of the law with the West Hartford police. But from the tone of things they didn't want to hear any of the over-paid, under-worked West Hartford cops vouch for me.

I was a gentleman, used "yes sir," and "no, ma'am." They returned the courtesy in kind, in fact, taking the handcuffs off rather quickly (I come from half a family of cops and am relatively familiar with protocol. These people were being nice.) I called my attorney and called my wife and told her not to even bother bailing me out because I'd get a Promise to Appear. So I waited, in a jail cell, until about 8:00 in the morning when we received two pieces of buttered toast and some tepid regular coffee. At 9:00 in the morning, off to court we went in one of those little boxy trucks with heavy metal mesh on the windows. Funny how I've always been a bit self-righteous and haughty about those trucks. Driving past one often elicited from me a snide comment about "if ya can't do the time, don't do the crime."

I was not frightened of the punk-ass little dope dealers in the truck with me. We were also held in the same cell in the bowels of the jail. It seemed like an eternity before my attorney came by to speak with me. Then it seemed like an eternity before I was called before the judge. I was in jeans and a sweatshirt, what I wore to greet the officers at the door the evening before. Finally the cuffs came off. It looks better to have them off before the judge. Personally, it was one of the more humiliating moments of my life, having gone to civil court many times in suit, white shirt and power tie. And for Heaven's sake it appeared in the "Police Blotter" of the New Britain Herald (or whatever the stuff they wrap fish in around here is called). There I was, along with 2 drug sellers, a reckless driver, and an old lady who thought she heard a gunshot.
 

The Machinations of American Jurisprudence

The cogs of jurisprudence move slowly but surely to their ultimate result: a finding of guilt or innocence. Now, since the "victim" had chosen not to press charges, it was up to the police officers to press charges based on evidence. One slightly bloody, disheveled defendant, and another extremely bloody and battered victim. The police had written down a whole laundry list of charges, kinda like throwing a whole bunch of shit at a wall to see which turd sticks. (I had to stifle a chuckle when my attorney, Marty, said that I'd been charged with attacking the man with a lethal weapon; namely, a two-door glass curio cabinet about 4' x 3' x 1'.)

"We'll call it a 'curio cabinet,' not a 'weapon,' Paul." Marty and I broke out in hysterical laughter. He was, though, indeed displeased with my conduct. Let's speed this up a little more.

The judge is a woman (reminds me of my mother so an extra pang of anxiety gives me the jitters). Restraining orders were handed down to both I and the victim. I go back to Court on April 6th for sentencing. Marty tells me it'll be dismissed, it'll just be a record of an arrest, and hopefully for an arrest on the smallest of the charges, a domestic battery. The judge was doing her best to keep up a very, very stern looking demeanor, but she was no Judge Judy.

The police charged me with "tampering with evidence," because I cleaned up the remains of the curio cabinet (all the tapes, a bright orange Le Creuset stew pot and a lovely wooden salad bowl set remained intact. The cabinet I left at the curb, and picked up and vacuumed the room thoroughly.) Tampering with evidence. Would that they'd have told me I'd have "tampered" with it, I'd have shown them in the light of their police cars the offending cabinet and admitted that the blood thereupon was a mixture of mine and my victim's, and that yes, indeed, the victim came in contact with the curio cabinet.
 

The Hoops I Must Jump Through

I went to see my Psychiatrist a few days later. I told him what happened and asked if he'd vouch for me in court. He agreed to on one condition. You see, I'd been candid with him about my outbursts of temper, so he'd been concerned. Well, this was the icing on the cake. He sat with me and re-assured me that people who suffer Bipolar II disorder don't need to feel as much pain nor as much anger as I've been feeling. He firmly rejected my suggestion that I get a prescription for Valium to calm me down. He gave me instead a new drug to replace the Paxil that'd worked so well up until now; a psychopharmaceutical "one-two punch" containing an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer. (The thought that went through my head for a moment was that great SNL sketch with the punch-line "it's a floor cleaner and a dessert topping!")
 

The Good News

It's been over a week since I started taking Symbyax, the "magic happy happy joy joy" pill. I'll tell you, the first two days I slept all day long from being groggy. Now, however, I suffer a little dry mouth but feel once again like the person I want to be. Less rage, less anger. Of course, there'll be lots more talk therapy; but in this case that didn't do it.

DISCLAIMER:  Kindly do not go out and tell your doctor that you're depressed and suffering panic attacks. My illness has not responded to many other drugs (lithium, Xanax, Prozac, Paxil, Effexor; to name a few). so Symbyax may not be for you. However, it's working in the early stages; let's hope I can hold the course. The best compliment I've gotten yet was from the person who suffered my unbridled rage. He said in Mandarin that "I wasn't such an unreasonable man any more." Well, that's what the translation machine in the office said. Suffice it to say, I deeply and humbly apologized to him.

My prayers these days are to stop being so angry and just vent my frustrations appropriately; grieve a little more for my dad and Lew and my aunt and even my poor kitty, Luscious.

I've taken to talking to my Dad more often. And each night I take one of my small collection of stuffed animals off of the shelf and talk to them about how nice it is to re-live my childhood the way I'd like it to have been. Now, mind you, I'm not placing blame on my mother for anything. And I guarantee you that I'm doing very, very good things for her. I just need to take care of the little boy inside my big, fat grown-up, full-of-responsibilities body.
 

There will be more news to come whether I go free on April 6th or they lock me up for "Assault With A Deadly Curio Cabinet" for many years (in the event I'm incarcerated I have a friend who has my password and will tell any of you who're interested what's going on; Heaven forbid!) Another turn in the river of life; this time, I bumped into the rock instead of swimming around it. It is my sincere hope that, though there certainly will be more rocks in the river of my life, there won't be any more handcuffs.

ANOTHER DISCLAIMER: I treat the idea of being jailed rather flippantly because I do indeed have a criminal record, and was incarcerated once for 30 days and once for nearly six months. But those are other stories that I'll get around to noding as well, in the spirit of candor.

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