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Friday, June 10, 2011

My Blog Is Dead And So Am I - Save My Blog

My Blog Is Dead and So Am I - Save My Blog !
Yesterday, the second worst thing that could happen to me happened. The worst thing that could happen to me already did. While working on my blog in my truck, stealing the public library's WiFi signal at 8 am, my nearly six-year-old white Apple iBookG4 died. I can't scream loud enough to connect to the Internet, so for now, I'm done.

QUICK VERSION

I had it all in 2004. By 2009 I had lost it all. I was diagnosed with several mental illness, but I can still function at a high level. In 2010, I wound up being shipped 2,300 miles away from my daughter 10 year-old daughter to be close to family. I haven't seen her since December 13, 2009. Being separated from her is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. We Skype a couple times a month on my sister's computer. With the time difference, my sister's computer is not available that often, since she's off to bed when my daughter is ready to chat.

I've had a rough time. Blogging has rejuvenated me and I'm kicking but. Last month, this blog passed up over 2,000,000 websites, based on traffic data from Alexa.com. Not bad for being at it for 90 day.


Why I'm doing this. For her to see Daddy.
However, when my computer died, it put an end to what I was doing on this site. My computer can't be fixed - too old, Apple doesn't supply the parts. So, I need a new computer. Apple has all the tools I need. AND a new MacBook has a camera on it and a microphone. I could Skype with my daughter whenever we wanted. Both of us would be in heaven.

Cheapest MacBook $999.00 + 7.5% sales tax - PayPal fee (3%) + cost to transfer old hard drive to new computer $100.00 (est). Roughly about $1,200 gets it all done.

The problem... I'm not working... I'm broke. I live on food stamps, and this blog is not making enough right now to make a dent in my bills. So, I need help.

In the last 90 days, there have been around 30,000 visitors to this site, and over 60,000 pages viewed. If 1,200 people gave a DOLLAR, I'd be back in business.

If you've enjoyed this blog, pitch in a buck or more to the keep it going. You can use the PayPal DONATE button on the top right of this blog.

I cannot do the research and write the pieces I've been writing (3 to 5 posts a day) with 2 hours of library computer time. I'm starting a second blog that is primarily stories and a journal. That's all I'll have time to write when I get computer access. It will be linked to this blog. That's all I can do. I can't quit.

Help me.... Thanks in advance.


LONG VERSION

 
Right now, I'm at a friend's house, using his computer. Something I would not be able to do on a regular basis. There are only a couple people I even know in Cleveland that have computers. The rest are still waiting to see if they'll catch on.


Yesterday evening, I went to the Apple Store at Legacy Village. I had a chat with Travis. He gave me the bad news. My trusty white iBookG4 is considered by Apple as a "Vintage" machine - which means there are no parts available for it anymore. They can fiddle with software, but there are no parts to be had, and I think the power supply is blown.. So, my poor iBookG4 has passed on to the great processor in the sky. If I can get this situation resolved, there will be a YouTube video of the cremation, replete with a uniformed Navy bugler playing taps.

In the meantime, I'm screwed. Only Chuck, whose computer I'm using really gets it.

I need to give you a little background and explain why my computer was the only thing between me and an early grave.

In 2004, I had it all. I lived in a big home in a fabulous gated community in Las Vegas. I had a wife, a teenage step-daughter and a four-year-old daughter. Our neighborhood was full of kids and parents that interacted with each other, a rarity in Las Vegas - people tend to keep to themselves in other Vegas neighborhoods

My wife and I ran a very respected boutique advertising agency our of our home - Blazic Design, Inc.

We had marquee Las Vegas clients: Nevada Development Authority, Memphis Championship Barbecue, WorldDoc, Bank of Nevada, Robert Maddox & Associates (prominent construction defect attorney), Century 21 Moneyworld (largest real estate broker in Las Vegas), and about 40 more. We had a great reputation, produced award-winning work and had the respect of the advertising and business community.

For reasons I don't want to detail, my wife left me in February of 2005. My dad died a month later and my cousin died a week after that. That was just the beginning of what would to come.

After the first brutal days of 2005, I went into a massive depression. My family physician prescribed Zoloft. What she and I didn't know is that I'm bipolar. Zoloft was like rocket fuel to me. And I went nuts. I became invincible and made very bad decisions. I made a couple huge BAD investments.


I tried to keep Blazic Design alive, but my wife's talents were just unmatchable. She was that good. We were good. It was like the split of Lennon-McCartney. Freelance artists with the wrong programs, the wrong file formats, or not enough talent cost me over $100,000 in botched work over the next year and a half - except for Annie. In May of 2006, I closed the business. I hadn't had a paycheck since January of 2005.

I kept the house and paid all the bills, further depleting my savings.

I had to get a job. I sold two vehicles and worked on my resume.

After a couple weeks, I was offered a job at a small ad agency and I was to begin the day after Labor Day. On August 1st, 2006, I put my dream home up for sale. It sold in a week. The closing day and the day I had to move out was August 29th - my 50th birthday.

Over the next couple weeks, I did all I could to sell all of our custom furniture, art, belongings, etc. I would put ads on craigslist - IT'S FREE, COME GET IT. I gave up or sold nearly everything I loved - plants, gardening tools, cooking utensils, art, music, audio equipment.

Then, one day, something bad happened. I couldn't talk. I couldn't concentrate. I couldn't look straight at anything without my eyes blurring. I started to shake. My friend and my ex-wife took me to a psychiatrist. I was in the middle of a massive nervous breakdown.

The medication I was put on made me pass out in the shower and when I fell, I pinched a nerve in my neck, losing the use of my right arm. And I had to pack and move.

Fortunately, my sister and brother flew into Vegas and helped me get through the packing. My brother had to leave. But my sister was around for moving day.

On my 50th birthday, a lady came with a moving truck to haul away the custom bedroom set that originally cost $6,000+ - I was ditching it for $1,500. She had only paid me a $500 deposit. When she showed up with the truck, she didn't have the money and said she'd get it to me in a couple days. I had nowhere to put this bedroom set, so I let her take it. I never saw her again. She never answered my calls. At least I can say I got fucked on my birthday. ;)>


All day, my sister and I moved my stacks of boxes into the small house I was going to rent from my friend down the street. My 50th birthday concluded with my sister, daughter and I staring at some dry hamburgers in a restaurant that is now closed - the food sucked.

So there I was, crammed in a little house. The entire garage was filled with boxes from floor to ceiling. All we could move inside the house were my furniture, a few cooking items, toys for my daughter and my Apple G5 and printer. Over the next 15 months, I 'd constantly say, "Gee, I could use one of those. I own one, but I have no idea how to get to it or where it is."


Two days later, I had to go to work. With one good arm and no ability to speak sentences without stuttering, I started my new job.

I was fired the week before Thanksgiving.

Over the next six weeks I planned to kill myself and never left the couch.


I still had a big chunk of change left from my father's estate and I had taken expensive courses on trading stocks and stock options, something I had always done well with over the years. But now, I thought this was my only out.


None of the other ad agencies were hiring. And no one wants to hire a guy with nine years of stand-up comedy and seven years of advertising on his resume. For 14 of 16 years, I was the boss and controlled my own destiny. HR people don't like people like me. We're too honest and focus on getting things done instead of following the rules. I've had interviews where people either laugh or smirk at my resume and throw it away, right in front of me.

Stock option trading was up and down for six months, then I hit the jackpot. I was nailing trades and made in three months what people would die to make in a year.


This was right before the market started to slide. The housing market was already sliding and had been for two years. I thought it was near a bottom - WRONG. I bought a big house as an investment. BAD MOVE.

From the day I moved in the house in October 2007, I started losing money in the markets. I could never get on the right side of a trade.

With big bills and market losses, I wound up broke by June of 2009. I was selling the remainder of my possessions to keep the water and electric on. I was feeding my daughter and myself by going to the food banks, churches and charities that I used to fund or donate to so heavily in the past.


The only calls I received were from collectors. An ex-friend, as a practical joke, signed me up for everything you could imagine on the Internet. I started getting calls for free wheelchairs, diabetic supplies, baby supplies, pregnancy aids, insurance, work from home schemes, free medications, adult education and about a hundred more. My "friend" works in a mattress store and he has all kinds of time on his hands, and he's an evil prick.

My cell phone rang day and night. I couldn't answer it.

I had started blogging and trying to build money-making websites early in 2009. My goal was to create a business that would allow me to earn a living and spend time with my daughter, the most precious person in my life.

None of it was panning out.


I tried to dive back into the job market, but the pool wasn't filled. Unemployment in Las Vegas was 14%+ - the highest in the nation.

I couldn't get an interview. I forced myself on three companies, just walking in and demanding an interview.

I landed a job at a vacuum cleaner store.

Then, the sheriffs sale notices started showing up on my door. I started stuttering again. I couldn't think. I would freak customers out at the vacuum store because I would speak in tongues or some foreign language to them, trying to pitch the latest vacuum. They'd hurry up and leave.


Plus, I was allergic to the volumes of cat hair in the vacuums that were brought in for me to repair when the technician was busy. I couldn't breath.

That was when I got serious about suicide. I set up a contraption, which I won't explain because I don't want to give anyone any ideas, and I'd practice suicide. It was a good plan. It would work, when I was ready.

As my health deteriorated, my family decided I could no longer stay in Las Vegas. I have a sister in Cleveland and a brother in Columbus. They could help me from there, but not out in Las Vegas.

On March 18th, 2010, I was brought home by my sister from Las Vegas. My boxes and truck had been shipped to Ohio a few days earlier. I cried for two days because I had no idea if I'd ever see my daughter again.

In Ohio, I was going to stay at a friend's house that had been unoccupied for about six years. I couldn't call the house vacant. My high school friend is a hoarder. The entire house was packed with crap. Stacks everywhere. Add my piles of boxes and there wasn't much room left. I live in a La-Z-boy chair. The room with my bed in it is too claustrophobic and I can't sleep in there. I've sleep in the bed about 20 times in 15 months.

The place didn't even have a shower when I moved in. I could only shower once or twice a week at my sister's house, who lived two streets away, for the first three months I was there.


My brother and sister, supported me financially. They paid the utilities and kept my cell phone on so I could talk to my daughter in Las Vegas. I haven't seen her in person since December 13, 2009. She's 10 now.

We do get to Skype a couple times a month. My computer didn't have a camera. My sister has a camera, but we can't hook up all the time.

For months, I sat in that La-Z-boy chair. I couldn't cook. There were no hobbies left. No Internet access. No place to unpack my stuff. Just walls of cardboard everywhere or piles of junk.

In July of 2010, I started this blog. I found a couple places that had FREE WiFi and I could start writing.


During the last week of September 2010, I wound up saying the wrong things at a meeting with my psychiatrist and he stuffed me in a psychiatric hospital for three weeks. When I got out of the nut house, I had lost all hope. Can't get much lower than where I had just been. I was broke, deeply in debt, nuts and 2,3000 miles from the love of my life. Why go on?

For five months, I never opened my little white iBookG4. I didn't talk much. I never smiled. I never went anywhere. I got to know all the reruns on TV.


In January, 2011, I started attending several mental health groups. One in particular, Recovery International, had a very positive impact on me. On March 7th, 2011, I opened up my laptop and started writing, and I haven't stopped. In 90 days, I amassed over 60,000+ page views on this blog. I must be doing something right.

You may be one of my regulars readers. Thanks. I hope I either made your laugh or learn something. That's what it's all about here. - laugh and learn. Laughter is the best medicine. It will extend your life. And you have to learn something new every day. My passion is to make sure you get chances at both - laughter and learning - every day.

Even though the blog traffic has be incredible, it's still not enough. I make small change on the ads. I need 30 X the traffic to make a living out of it.


In the meantime, I'm living in a La-Z-Boy chair, moving around from FREE WiFi hotspot to the next 24/7, living on food stamps and charity.

The job market won't have me. Even idiot jobs won't have me, too old, too experienced, wouldn't be happy here, etc.

But I'm a fucking American. We don't quit. We reinvent ourselves. We make something happen. And that is exactly what I set out to do with this blog and my writing skills. I wanted to be crawling up Perez Hilton's ass (figuratively) in a year or two. He has one of the top blogs in the country, and he only writes about Hollywood fluff and gossip. No real human substance.


This blog was going to be the platform to start from. I was also planning on compiling all of the funny, most useful and most emotionally touching stories into a book, an adult reader. Perfect for the night stand or the bathroom. Pick it up, open it up, and read a story. No beginning, middle or end to the book - just stories - like mom used to tell you at night.

In the process of my blog education, I've become a specialist in blogging, blog marketing, blog search engine optimization (SEO) and anything else related to blogs. I'm constantly learning new things and love to share them with my readers. You can never know too much. A new friend I met on Twitter wants me to teach a blogging class in LAS VEGAS...  but I can't get there.


So this blog has given me purpose. It is the only alternative that can get me back to my daughter in Las Vegas, because it works anywhere there is Internet access. Becoming a manager at McDonald's isn't a transferable skill. I know a guy in Vegas that is a manager at Mickey D. and he's still living on a friend's couch.

Yes, the worst thing that could ever happen to me has already happened, separation from my daughter. The second worst thing happened yesterday, my laptop dying.

In the last 60 days, I've had my truck vandalized, my wallet stolen with my food stamp card in it, and my laptop blow up. It's been fun.


I went to the Apple store and the smallest MacBook that will do what I need it to do is $1,000 + Tax. I'd also need to pay to have my old hard drive salvaged. I need a memory stick for my video camera so I can start adding videos to this blog. But the Macbook and the hard drive transfer is job one. I can't afford orange juice with breakfast, and I just can't bring myself to ask my brother or sister to do anything more for me. They've done so much.

My sister offered me a seven or eight year old HP laptop her daughter had. But my blog wouldn't load on it. And it's a PC.... OUCH.... it doesn't have the cool iThis and iThat tools that I use every day on my old iBook.

Right now, iFucked.


So, I"m asking for donations. I performed for money for nine years at comedy clubs. There was a paycheck. Being funny on the Internet doesn't pay until you get tons of traffic. I'll get there. I'm relentless. I'll steal Al Gore's computer if that's the only way I can get on the Internet. Bur for now, I'm trying to do this legally. I need help.

Give a buck. Give 50 cents (if you send rapper 50 Cent here, we won't have no problems, for real.). You can make donations using the PayPal donation button at right. It's secure.


The other thing this MacBook will do is give me a built in camera and microphone so I can see my daughter any time she's on her computer, which is a lot, and not rely on using my sister's camera for Skype - which hasn't worked out very often.

Once I reach my goal to get the computer and the hard drive restored, I'm taking the Donation Button off this site and letting this post drift away into the archives.

I know people are hurting. But in my world, the tornado, tsunami and meltdown just happened yesterday. I'm done. I have a La-Z-Boy chair and a TV with 8 channels - 4 are PBS. That's my life. And that will all that will be of my life until I get a computer and access to the Internet.

I can't survive by getting on the computer once a week at a friend's house. The library computers don't offer me enough time to write and research. Some posts take hours to compose. Can't do that on the public 'puter.
For now, this is farewell. I'll repost this on Facebook and Twitter when I can. But I've had my Internet removed. I hope I can get it back.

Thanks for all the times you've been here... and thank you if you're a first time visitor.

You can make donations using the PayPal donation button at right. It's secure.

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3 comments:

  1. Ok SO i KICKED IN 10 BUCKS. THATS ABOUT 3 CENTS A DAY ANNUALLY. SMALL PRICE TO PAY FOR A COOL BLOG. HOPE YOU WILL DO THE SAME!
    JIM K

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am where you are, looking for an exit strategy. All this time, I have been hoping for a move forward strategy, what a waste. How many times can you hit the 'reset' button. By 42, I just don't have the will to reset anymore. Constantly re-inventing myself. Huh, just gets old. Your blog is likely the most interesting reading I have done in a very long time. Like a book I could not put down. How Odd, it's like reality TV that I refuse to watch. But yet, this is captivating. I have found, that, I am not alone. It does not however stop the wheels of life as sun rises today, I wish that today would never come. In a nutshell, I would have liked to have taken my best day, and like in the move "Groundhog Day" and repeated it over and over. There is no tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Roger:

    I've felt many of those same things since an accident forced me to drop out of college nearly 18 years ago (I have no real talents - unlike yourself - and have thus since bounced from one shit job to the next, with long periods of unemployment in between). I won't bore you with the particulars, but you can imagine the loneliness (I'm told I look good - but NO girl will look at someone whose pockets look this bad) and humiliation I've had to put up with - and the countless times I've considered suicide.

    Following a painful breakup and failed suicide attempt in 2000 (pills, vomiting - you get the picture), I realized that I just didn't have the guts to go through with it - and that I had better make the best of my life sentence as one of the damned (a family curse on my father's side, so I've been told).

    What has gotten me through it all since then? St. John's Wort; I take one each in the morning and at night - and one or two more if I'm having of of THOSE days.

    I cut out dairy, sugar, and white flour (if you have a Whole Foods nearby, pick up some Hemp bread - it's THE BEST); stopped eating before bedtime; and bought a used weight bench at the thrift store (a loser's best friend).

    When all else fails I take a DEEP breath, think of a blue light all around, and repeat to myself: Nam-Hyo Renge-Kyo; try it.

    All the best. J.

    ReplyDelete

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