Skip to content

A Joe-k

Joe-k. Get it? A joke that Joe wrote. That’s not the joke though and don’t go saying ‘that was obvious.’ No need for all that. I have feelings. The joke follows:

A man goes to see his psychiatrist.

“So what’s the matter?” The doctor asks the man.

“I don’t know really, but lately I’ve noticed that any time I hear someone talk about politics, I get mad.”

“Oh,” the psychiatrist said. “That’s interesting. This could be one of two things. To figure out which, tell me, under what circumstances causes this anger?”

The man thought for a moment and replied, “It’s almost all of the time. I’m getting mad at everyone regardless of their position. I used to love talking politics, so I really don’t understand what’s going on.”

“Ah yes, well I’ve got some bad news and some good news for you,” the doctor said. “The bad news is that you’ve developed Common Sense, and it’s likely fatal.”

The man gasped. “Fatal?” he asked, face displaying the queasiness he was feeling.

“Yes,” the doctor said. “But the good news is that it is only fatal to your Sense of Optimism. I’m afraid that without drastic measures, you’re going to become a cynic.”

The man shed a single tear as he contemplated his future. He thought to himself that life as a cynic might not be as bad as it sounded, but somehow he knew it probably was actually worse. He gasped then, realizing it was already happening.

Eventually the man came out of his contemplation and asked the doctor, “You said there were two possibilities? Is the other possibility better or worse?”

“In one regard it’s almost better, but in all other regards it is much worse,” the doctor said. “The condition feels better personally but is actually an incredibly contagious plague on society. It destroys friendships, divides families, and can even take over people making them mindless slaves.”

“Thank God I didn’t get that,” the man exclaimed. “What is this terrible affliction called?”

“Partisanship.”

I pissed on my cat. – An ADHD infused story about a man, a cat, and piss.

Photo by <a href="https://burst.shopify.com/@sarahpflugphoto?utm_campaign=photo_credit&utm_content=Free+Scared+Kitty+Hiding+Image%3A+Browse+1000s+of+Pics&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=credit">Sarah Pflug</a> from <a href="https://burst.shopify.com/pets?utm_campaign=photo_credit&utm_content=Free+Scared+Kitty+Hiding+Image%3A+Browse+1000s+of+Pics&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=credit">Burst</a>
Photo by Sarah Pflug from Burst

I pissed on my cat today. 

Well, one of my cats. 

We have two. 

The older one is a long hair female. 

The younger one is a short hair male. 

Still a kitten really,

But close to adulthood. 

He’s the one I pissed on. 

He’s curious and loves to play. 

The female cat hates him. 

She’s probably happy I pissed on him. 

It happened in the bathroom. 

Thank goodness, right?

I swear it wasn’t my fault. 

Except I left the door open. 

He wandered in

To see what the commotion was. 

The commotion was me.

Pissing.

It was one of those early morning pisses. 

Long and hot. 

Dark yellow.

You know. 

Piss. 

The cat stood up on his hind legs.

He peered into the bowl. 

He could do that 

Since I was standing. 

Yes. 

I am a man. 

A man who pissed on a cat. 

I mentioned before how the cat is curious. 

And I’ve worried about that curiosity before. 

Especially while pissing. 

He’s jumped to climb my leg to get to my car keys before. 

I thought about that then. 

Not to brag, but I’m bigger than my car key. 

Wink.

And right then I was exposed. 

One curious leap and… 

Honestly, I don’t want to think about it. 

Just believe me. 

I was worried. 

So believe me when I say

I did not expect him to jump up on the rim of the bowl

To get a better look. 

At the piss.

I guess. 

He’s a male cat. 

I assumed he knew how this worked. 

Then it happened. 

I simply could no longer resist. 

Despite everything running through my mind

All the anxiety and confusion

About a cat watching me piss. 

I could no longer hold back. 

I yawned. 

It was a morning piss. 

I don’t really wake up for an hour or more after. 

Yawns are expected. 

A yawn while pissing isn’t a major ordeal. 

Usually.

Maybe you splash a little. 

Maybe you clean up after. 

I’m certain I do. 

Wink.

But never before

In all my pissing. 

Had I yawned with a cat on the bowl. 

I’m not sure, 

What happened.

Exactly.  

Did my aim stray? 

No, that never happens. 

Wink. 

Did the cat reach in to touch the piss?

Taste it? 

Eww.

Or lose balance?

No idea. 

Two seconds later 

Two seconds of 

Screaming cat

Splashing water

And piss 

My yawn ended. 

Piss was everywhere. 

My cat?

Gone. 

Damage done,

I finished. 

I flushed. 

And then

I went back to bed. 

I know a sign when I see one. 

Paranoia or Where Does This Crap Come From?!

I have an impressive imagination and an significant ability to connect dissimilar things including concepts. These two skills are not exactly always helpful especially when you combine them with a low self esteem and perfectionist nature. And not the cool OCD everything is always ‘just so’ kind of perfectionism, but the kind that says “hey you’re never going to do that right so don’t even start” kind. That kind sucks.

Anyway, these skills and flaws combine themselves in manners that produce paranoia or something akin to paranoia in me. Combined with my recovery from depression over the last year or two, and I’m looking back on my – everything – career, life, relationships with friends – everything, and I say to myself, “Shit. You f’ked up buddy. I bet people are pissed with you.” Then my imagination starts up my fuzzy logic module, takes some data from that, and presents it’s findings as “Yes sir. You’re f’ked.”

Well my low self esteem then kicks in and says, “It’s not like those people you’ve pissed off or let down ever really cared for you THAT much.” And the perfectionist says, “Yup. And you’re just going to screw up again in the future, so you might as well not even try to fix things.”

Well f’k.

Nah … I’ll spell that one out. Fuck.

So lately I’ve been wondering what to do. Should I take my family and flee everything that I know … or be brave and face the music of life? Honestly that would not be a difficult decision except my daughter has some close friends that we’d be leaving behind so – sigh – I think I’m stuck trying to “improve” my life.

The upside is that I’m learning all new ways of being miserable and none of them are nearly as horrible as the misery I was experiencing when I was in the middle of my depression and didn’t realize how miserable I was. I think that sentence is correctly structured. If not, you get what I mean. Or you should. You’re intelligent people. Probably.

So yeah. Paranoia. Yet another thing I wouldn’t wish on anyone else, and mine is exceedingly minor. I couldn’t imagine what this must be like for people who have lost the ability to distinguish between reality and imagination.

Hopefully I never will.

State of the Ass July, 2017

WTF have I been doing for seven months?

Really. What the F**k have I been doing?! I sure as hell haven’t been posting to Niassne.com, my flagship website. Nor have I really been posting to JosephKLittle.com, my author site. So what HAVE I been doing?

Well I’ll tell you. Not that you asked.

At the beginning of the year, I ended up in charge of my team at work when our lead went into labor some two months early. Yeah I wans’t prepared. Not emotionally at least. I mean it isn’t as if I hadn’t been a team lead before, and I’ve been pretty good at it – I thought at least. But apparently I was … sufficient but not exemplary at my tenure of replacing my team lead. And you know what? I agreed with that assessment. I was nervous and angry and overworked the entire time, and then JUST as I was starting to feel comfortable (some 3 months later), my boss returns and … then I had nothing to do. A big pile of NOTHING. It was a stinking pile of nothing too. I was seriously down for a whole week. That sucked.

About a month later I went to see my doctor to get checked out for ADD or maybe anxiety because I’ve known something was up for years, but most recently I’ve found it terribly difficult to concentrate. And then when I’d get home, I wouldn’t work on my writing or anything … I’d just play video games until way too late and then drag myself to bed only to dread getting up in the morning. I knew I was avoiding work, but I didn’t know why. I mean I love my job, still do even after the rotten day I’ve had and a certain realization that’s led me to believe I need to go somewhere else. I love my job. Anyway, the doc sent me to a psychiatrist because as he said, he could give me something that day, but since many mental illnesses have very similar symptoms, it was probably best for a specialist to take a look under the hood. I agreed.

I’m not one to flee from mental health issues. Your brain chemistry is very specific and fragile. An iron will cannot help you out when you have certain illnesses any more than it would help you walk with a broken leg. Sure maybe if you were a big strong man you COULD walk with that bone sticking out of your leg, but it is probably best you don’t, at least for a while. So I went.

Good news everyone. I have depression!

So I got meds.

I thought I was doing good after a month. I’d had a string of “up” days. So many in a row that I thought I was starting to feel the effects of the drugs. I was wrong. I was just having some comparatively good days. After two months I really started to see a change. My appetite was decreasing. I was starting to be able to focus. And the best thing ya’ll, the best thing was that I didn’t feel like I was walking around wearing a lead coat all the time. In fact, I could FEEL more emotions than just the extremes or nothing. My days started to balance out. I could enjoy just sitting and not doing anything but breathing. After what must have been years of a slow and steady decent into depression, a depression that happened so slowly that I didn’t really notice that my lows were getting lower every time and my highs were not quite as high as before, I was myself again. After having a pretty bad day at work about a month ago, I realized that the day didn’t end with me spiraling into a darker and darker place. I just went home and decompressed. That’s when I finally realized that my prior depression filled good days, were actually worse than my normal bad days. How the fuck does that happen?

Yeah, I don’t know. But it can and it does. So if you ever suspect you aren’t yourself, and it’s lasted for more than two weeks, go to the doctor and say something. Don’t try walking on that compound fracture. That’s just silly.

So what else happened?

Oh yeah, during this time I finished the rough draft of my novel.

Yeah I know, bury the lead.

So I’m doing revisions now, and I’ve got to say, I’m fucking terrified again. I mean everyone KNOWS that rough drafts are shit, but a revision is supposed to be better. At some point (maybe revision four or forty, I’m not sure) this thing is supposed to start to verge on good. Considering that I haven’t ever actually done that on a novel level, this is new fucking territory.

Shit.

Fucking shit.

I mean, damn. What the flying fuck?

Shit.

Like … really.

Ungh.

So somewhere in the past several months I’ve also started drawing again. I’ve read a few books (audio books mostly since I have a 30-45 min commute one way). I cut my hair. It had grown for about a year and was starting to get in my mouth. Ew. I’ve started crafting dungeon terrain. (Think 3D dungeon tiles for DnD if you know what I’m talking about). The family went to PAX South early in the year, and my daughter and one of her best friends got to meet one of their heroes, TheOdd1sOut. He seems like a cool d00d. I visited my family and my wife’s family, and I feel like there’s something really cool that we did but I can’t quite think of it right now.

Lack of preparation for the win, yo!

I’ve also recently started a new routine to build good habits. I think they failed in the past largely due to the depression combining with my natural laziness. My will power has often been strong enough to get me over one of those two at a time, but rarely both. So now that I’m on drugs (YEAH!) I will have to give up that excuse. I’ll just be lazy if I don’t do my stuff, I guess. Yay. It could be worse. I could be forcing myself to learn better grammar.

Anyway, that’s my past several months. You’re caught up now.

Go away.

Just not forever.

Please?

New Year’s Resolutions


New Year’s Resolutions (NYRs), I don’t make them. I resolved, fifteen or twenty years ago to make no more NYRs, and I’ve kept up with that single resolution ever since. I’ve had a pretty good run.

Why don’t I make NYR? The list is long, and I’ll probably forget many of them. If I had to choose a single reason why I no longer make NYRs (other than I’m lazy), is this; New Year’s Resolutions fail. Almost every time.

I don’t like being a failure, and I don’t like feeling like a failure early in the year when most resolutions putter out and fail. I mean damn, who wants to realize mid-February that just as ole St. Valentine comes a knocking, you’re off the wagon once again? What kind of unnecessary, and undeserved stigma does that put on Valentine’s Day? The day already has a ton of stigma all on its own. Leave Valentines day alone.

Maybe mid-February isn’t your failure point. Maybe it’s mid April. I think that’s why so many people get depressed when it rains. Did you know that April is the month with the highest number of suicides? No? Well that’s probably because I just made that statistic up for the sake of this post. I have no idea what month is the worst because I’m too lazy to do that Google search.

Maybe your failure point is early January. Yeah, we’ve all been there a few times. Gym membership purchased and new work out clothes laundered … and man it’s just too cold to get out all of a sudden. Granted we’re having the warmest January in a decade or more, but who saw that coming? Stupid weather getting in the way of our conveniently planned excuses. Well that’s not stopping me! It’s too cold! I had that planned, and I’m still using it, damn it!

If you fail your resolutions past July, fuck you. I mean really? You made it that far and then you fumble the ball? You had a solid trend going, a habit even, and you screwed it up because what? You had a bad day at the office? Bah! We First Monthers can’t stand the sight of you. Get over yourselves.

If you fail your resolutions in November or December, that’s just stupid. Unless of course what you are doing is setting yourself up for a renewal of the same resolution for the next year in which case you’re just a liar. Either way you are stupid or pathetic. Or both. Yeah both. First Quarter failures around the globe look to you in disgust.

There I said it. You now know why everyone hates you.

You’re welcome.

So yeah. As you can see from all that judgmental shit people throw around, I’d really rather not be the target of such slander and vitriol. So no more NYRs for me.

I do make resolutions on my birthday however. A new year of life should bring with it a new set of goals. There’s nothing there to be worried about. Now the fact that my birthday is 4 days before New Years day … well that’s coincidence and nothing more.

Editor’s Note:This post is the first to have with it an audio component. Listen to Joe read the entire post in his voice with very few errors, because we edited them out. If you find any errors – except for that one we know about already – please let us know so that we can fire the Editorial Staff. Wait, that’s me. Ok. Don’t tell us after all. It’s better that way.

Birthdays – A Rated ‘R’ Post

candles5

Birthdays. Man I suck at them. I mean really suck. I have dozens of people that I love in my life and more that I like, and yet I remember like four birthdays. Five tops.

I have my reasons. Mostly that my birthday was never treated particularly special. It is two days after Christmas, and do you know who wants to party two days after Christmas? Fucking no one. Ever. And if they do or did, then they are never in town.

Christmas birthdays suck. If you know someone with one, go out of your way to make the day special. Or get used to those people not giving a flying shit about your middle of the year super well placed birthday.

Oh and fuck you for your luck.

I might be a little bitter.

Today’s one of the birthdays I remember, and I always will.

Happy Birthday, Love.

Oh and the ‘Fuck you’ doesn’t apply to you even though you have a good placement. There are always exceptions. I hope I can remember to make each of your birthdays as special as you are.

<3 ∞ +1

Image courtesy of Meredith Bell (bit.ly/birthday-cake-candles), used under a Creative Commons license


Bad Days

Today was a good day, generally. I performed well enough at work. I was generally awake and well fed. I got along with my friends and family. I had some fun and created some stuff.

It was a good day.

But it wasn’t.

It was a bad day.

Today I couldn’t shake the feeling that I am out of place. I don’t belong. I’m not doing as well at my job as I should. I should be doing better. I haven’t written anything since Sunday, a week ago. I am not a good friend. I haven’t been a good husband. I made my daughter cry.

Yet those are all lies, and I know it. I do belong. Maybe I could be a better worker, friend, husband, and father. Yes I could be more dedicated to my writing. But in all honesty, I’m not doing so poorly at any one of those things that I should feel bad about it.

But I do.

Constantly.

Well today the feeling was pretty constant. I went to console my daughter for making her cry. But I didn’t really make her cry. She was crying because I told her the ugly truth of what happens when she doesn’t do her homework. She gets behind, and then she loses privileges until she gets caught up, including possibly losing her electronics for the entire weekend. I didn’t hit her. I didn’t scream or threaten her. I simply told her the truth, a truth she knew but did not want to face. And she cried some more.

Then I asked her if she wanted me to hold her like a baby and rock her. To my surprise she said, “yes.”

So I did.

And then we talked for thirty minutes about how we were going to 1) keep her from getting further behind 2) get caught up and 3) not fall behind again. This plan includes me writing while she does her homework. It also includes contingencies for what happens when we get behind. Then we had a plan. It was a simple plan, and it was good. That moment, that simple wonderful moment of knowing what was the problem and how we were going to fix it was a good thing. It was a single beautiful good thing, in a day that wasn’t bad, wasn’t ugly at all. Yet it made all the difference.

Today was a good day.

Drunk Destiny

I may not be the first person to play a video game while inebriated, but I can say that man, I’m having a ton of fun playing Destiny while drunk as shit.

I got progressively more and more drunk as I played the Trials of Osiris with my wife Raesmom05 and friend Chairslayer42. Both of these people are stand-up individuals for whom I’d give at least a kidney … maybe more … idk … it depends really.

Anyway, the level of enjoyment I received as a part of playing this FPS game with them was superior to the enjoyment that 300 ml (give or take) of Texas’s fines bourbon could give. Now when you add roughly 300 ml of Texas’s finest bourbon to an evening of FPS fun … well you have something really fine. And that’s what I enjoyed tonight.

So than you Chuck and wife for a fine evening of killing foo’s and getting killed ourselves because we certainly soaked up some bullets ourselves didn’t we?

~Drunk Joe … same as the regular Joe, just drunker.

You Take The Good With The Bad

During a recent conversation with my wife, I called and still contend, that the dormitory run by Ms. Garret in The Facts of Life was a half-way house for young girls. My wife was incredulous, but I think it is obvious. This is why.

In the dormitory run by Ms. Garret, you had four young women, all from different backgrounds, living under the same roof with a single parent figure. One of the young women was a rich socialite. Another young lady was a motorcycle riding, leather clad badass. The third was a spunky African American loud mouth from the tough side of middle-class America.  The final young lady was Natalie. The four had NOTHING in common. NOTHING! Except uteruses of which they had 3 between them which they swapped out on date night.

Hahahha… not really. After Season 1 Episode 2 their cycles would be synced so swapping uteruses was impractical Plus it was the 80’s and Uterine Swapping Technology had not been invented by Nichole Richie and Paris Hilton.

So why were these ladies living together? They were forced to live there. It was a half-way house. Blair was obviously a coke head. Jo beat a man to death with his own helmet, but he totally deserved it. Tuttie dealt weed. She didn’t use, she was way too smart for that, but she did invent vaping which increased her penetration into the college markets. Finally Natalie was a computer hacker in the vein of Matthew Broderick’s character in War Games. Either that or she ate her younger brother after being left alone with the tyke for three hours because the Twinkies were on a shelf higher than she could reach. Or something. Regardless they all ended up at Ms. Garrets for reprogramming rehabilitation.

Ms. Garret was an ex-Madam. She was caught, tried, and convicted, but since she had the goods on several highly-placed political figures, her time was reduced to community service. Twenty-three years of community service. Who better than an ex-Madam to “manage” four rambunctious teen girls with various issues? She knew how to keep a B. in line after all.

Now of course I’m sure that the original TV show didn’t support much of this, but I assume that was simply the network execs bowing down to the most conservative factions of our society. In this day and age however, I think my version of the show rocks socks. The New Facts of Life should be a Showtime or HBO production. The show would be like HBO’s Girls … but good. And it would have characters that are smarter than a four pound bag of bricks. You know, real girls who you can root for. Girls you don’t hope get hit by a random bus. Or maybe The New Facts of Life could be done like Game of Thrones. Ms Garret could be the Queen Regent, and each of the girls could be from different Houses vying for favor. Or maybe the show could have a Sucker Punch like ending where you find out that the entire show is Blair’s mental retreat into her own mind where she’s a rich socialite helping her friends overcome normal teenage problems while in reality she is a poor teenage runaway prostitute on Death Row for killing abusive johns.

If Hollywood is interested in any of my ideas, they are feel free to use them. Just mention me in the credits and pay to get me to the set a few times. I’ll take the good or the bad. Maybe I’ll take ’em both, and then I’ll have … umm … something. I’ll have something. Wouldn’t you know I’d forget what I was going to say. Now that is a fact of life!

Under Pressure

In my life, I have been lied to. Granted there’s nothing special about that as we’ve all be lied to at some point. But to me there seems to be one group of people for whom lying is just a matter of everyday business. And here’s the thing, I’m NOT talking about politicians! This group is large, diverse, and all seem to think they know what is best for you. Yup. I promise. I’m still NOT talking about politicians.

I’m talking doctors and their ilk. I swear they must all take the same class on the subject. It is probably something like, “Advanced Truth Telling 403” or some such.

My most recent pair of liars was my dentist and his assistant. I recently had a wisdom tooth extracted and like the fool I am I assumed I was man enough to experience the ordeal awake. Such a silly man I sometimes am. And apparently occasionally Yoda like in my speech patterns. Anyway, I digress. The lie I was told is one that I think most of you have been told. It was, “Now you’re going to feel a little pressure”. I didn’t feel pressure. I felt the sharp intrusion of a red hot needle being jabbed in and out of my jaw repeatedly. I should have paid for the anesthesia, but I’m cheap and would have felt the pressure in my pocket book instead. *Shudder*

Google tells me that “pressure” is:

  1. the continuous physical force exerted on or against an object by something in contact with it. “The slight extra pressure he applied to her hand”
  2. the use of persuasion, influence, or intimidation to make someone do something. “The proposals put pressure on Britain to drop its demand”

Neither of the above definitions is ever what someone means when they tell you that you might experience some pressure. What they mean to say is, “Now you’re going to feel a little pain”. For completeness, and to allow you, dear reader, the chance to compare and contrast the two definitions, here is Google’s definition of pain:

  1. physical suffering or discomfort caused by illness or injury. “She’s in great pain”. synonyms: suffering, agony, torture, torment, discomfort

Discomfort. That’s the real word that should be used in the majority of these situations. But as you can see above, discomfort is a synonym of pain. Looking again and I see that pressure is NOT. Why? Because nobody really wants to admit that in order to make you feel better, you are going to have to experience something worse first. I think this is because many people seem to feel more pain and discomfort if they know it is coming. But if this is the case, all that is really happening is that we are instead making people afraid of the word “pressure”. People will then start to expect actual pain and discomfort at the use of the word “pressure”. The pain I felt as the dentist extracted my tooth was completely different than the pressure I felt as his assistant took my blood pressure. The blood pressure cuff applied actual pressure to the arm. Ripping a tooth out of someone’s head causes pain or at the very least discomfort. Ya know, come to think of it, I didn’t get “pressure pills” prescribed to me, I got “pain pills“.

Of course there is the chance that our society is merging the two meanings, like we have LITERALLY done with the word literal. Some literal dumb asses have decided that so many people have used literal incorrectly to exaggerate a point that literal now has a new meaning on top of its literal meaning. And I’m literally not exaggerating.

This can be seen in Google’s “informal” definition of literal:

  1. formal: Taking words in their usual or most basic sense without metaphor or allegory. “Dreadful in its literal sense, full of dread”
    • informal: absolute (used to emphasize that a strong expression is deliberately chosen to convey one’s feelings). “Fifteen years of literal hell”

I’ll avoid digging into the bastardization of the word “absolute” as used in the example of the informal definition above. Let’s just say I hate the English language. Too bad I’m too lazy to learn a better one.

Thinking along these lines, I start to consider what happens if we start to misconstrue all uses of pressure to mean only pain or discomfort. If you suggest that you are feeling a lot of pressure at work, people might wonder about the type of work you do. Queen’s Under Pressure changes context. And high and low pressure fronts really start to make the weather report a lot more interesting.

Regardless I think doctors should say what they mean. Be frank! We can take it. I have yet to have one doctor tell me that I’m a fat ass and I need to diet. WTF people? We all know this! It should be talking point number one right after taking care of the emergency that drove me to your door. “So Niassne. I see you are bleeding profusely. While we are taking care of that, you should know that you are a giant fat ass. If you don’t lose weight we are going to start charging you more and demanding you come in for more frequent visits. If that doesn’t work, we’re going to start applying some ‘pressure’. We’ll start with the scrotum”.

Maybe the rest of us should start using the word “dollars” in place of the word “rocks”. That way when we pay a bill for a procedure that included some “pressure” we can pay with “dollars”.

I don’t know though. Following the rule of Unintended Consequences, if we started doing that I think in the long run we’d just be hurting strippers. (They’d start to feel a lot more “pressure” during their performances as “dollars” were thrown their way – if you didn’t follow).