Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Precious !!!!

The picture above is of my baby girl and was taken while cruising around a lake in Arkansas. She was about two, and I happened upon it while going through our pictures a few nights ago. I wanted to share it with you. It got me thinking about fatherhood and how it has impacted my life. I remember my wife in the delivery/surgery room getting prepped for emergency c-section, thinking, "in a few minutes, my life will be forever changed". I remember seeing our baby for the first time and how small she was. I remember being torn between following the nurses that had my little girl and staying with my wife, who was laid up, just having had our life cut from her belly. In my confusion, my wife, anesthesia and all, looked right into my eyes and said, "go with our daughter". It was hard to leave her, but it was even harder to the watch nurses put my little girl in an incubator and roll her out of the door, making a b-line to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She was two months early. I was told that it would be a few minutes before I could go in and be with her because there was still a few things that they had to do for her. I remember walking to the lobby where our family sat, waiting for the news. I was in a daze at this point, having been there to witness the birth of a baby that God blessed us with. I am still unable to put into words, the feelings I experienced while I was walking down that hospital hallway. I immediately thought of my parents. They are good parents. The fear, the pride, the excitement, the worry, my wife, my baby. My mind was working a mile a minute. I remember, as I walked out into the waiting area, looking at my Dad first. He stood up immediatly. He, who was father to three children, knows me too well. He knew I was going to burst into tears. And, I did. I can still see the joy and excitement in my sisters eyes, when I choked out the words, "she is so beautiful". One at a time, family members came up to congratulate me and ease the  emotional whirlwind that I was in. I remember walking every single one of them back to see their new niece, their new granddaughter, our daughter. I remember hearing her cry as I walked into the N.I.C.U. This was the first time that I had been allowed to be with our baby but I knew her cry. I remember her little hand, curling around my finger.

I remember every detail of that day. It echoed in my thoughts for days after and every once in a while, a random memory will pop into my head. For example, while walking to the N.I.C.U. a nurse passed me in the hall. It was like I had my thoughts and emotions written in permanent marker on my forehead. "NEW DAD", "SCARED". She smiled and walked by. She knew that face. I'm sure she had seen it hundreds of times before. That "glow" that a new dad has. I remember tears welling up in my mom's eyes as she looked down at her teeny tiny granddaughter. I remember my sisters, beaming. I remember my dad, the Vietnam Vet and ex Ohio State Trooper, staring at this little girl while tears collected in his eyes.

He later went on to tell me that when he was in that moment, he had flashbacks of being there, staring at his daughters (my sisters), when they were introduced to this world.

Thanks for stopping in. See you on the flip-side

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why Did It Have To Be Snakes ?

Hello and again, thank you for stopping in. I appreciate those of you who have visited. Let us blog, shall we? Along with O.C.D., I have a few other quirks but I would like to concentrate on one that has haunted me since I can remember.Along with the aforementioned anxiety, obsessive thoughts and a slightly larger waist line, I also have ophidiophobia.

Does anyone know what this is? No? Okay, I'll tell you. The term uses the Greek words for snake (Ophis) and fear (Phobia) or, having a fear of snakes. Or, as I prefer to define it, "screaming like a little girl" if one of those death spawn is in or around my safe zone. Just thinking about it gives me the heebee jeebees. It all started when I was about twelve. I remember it well because my mom bought me a pair (Adidas) Shell Toes. A buddy of mine and I were tossing a football around in his front yard, talking about girls when I noticed, what I thought was a piece of green electrical tape, stuck to my shoe. And yes, my buddies and I lived to tape stuff up with colored tape. Now, I know what you are probably thinking. How do you not see a snake latched onto your shoe? And in my defense, I was twelve. I had all kinds of stuff sticking to my shoes and me overlooking something obvious is normal anyways. It was only when that darn piece of "tape" started moving that I looked down and found a Garter Snake having it's way with my shoe. My Mom used to get so mad because I never tied my shoelaces. I wasn't the cool thing to do. And, looking back now, I am happy that I disobeyed my Mothers orders to tie my shoes. If they were tied, I would have been running up and down the street with a snake stuck to my shoe. Shoelaces untied, I was able to jump out of my shoes literally. After a few minutes and a few little puncture marks, the snake  surrendered my shoe and slithered away under a bush. And now, you know the reason for the amount of disdain I have for these evil little trolls. Below are only a FEW reasons why I deem all of those slimy suckers Satan spawn:

The Black Mamba, or "dendroaspis polylepis" for all you snake loving dorks, is widely recognized by many as the deadliest  snake to inhabit our fine planet. It just happens to also be the fastest snake, having been clocked at speeds of 14 MPH. If I was being chased by a Black Mamba, I'd be as good as dead because it can slither around faster than I can run. Luckily, they are only found in southeastern Africa. It's venom is a combination of neuro/cardio-toxin. In short, it causes you to become paralyzed and go into cardiac arrest. Awesome, huh?  There is an anti-venom available but if you happen to be trouncing through the African jungle and get bit by one of these evil grim reapers, you had better be close to the local Redi-Med. It's toxin works quickly, it will kill a full grown man in approximately 20 minutes. The fatality rate for a Mamba bite is 95%. If cornered, it will raise it's head up to three feet off of the ground (chest level) and hiss. If you continue to piss this monster off, it will strike multiple times. In short, it does not want it's victim to get back up. Satan Spawn I tell you, Satan Spawn.

Mozambique Spitting Cobra, commonly referred to as the second deadliest snake in the world. The name rings true because it can bite you or, if you happen to catch it on a lazy day, can spit it's venom in excess of 8 feet, aiming for the eyes to cause blindness. If by chance you encounter a "wuss" spitting cobra, it will feign death to avoid danger, and attack from behind.

The Green Anaconda or, again for the dorks, "eunectes murinus", is regarded by the majority as the worlds largest snake by weight, having been known to tip the "scales" at 550 pounds. It should be noted that most are not quite that large. I however, try not to look at the "positive attributes" of snakes. The Green is the largest of the Anaconda family. They inhabit swampy area's in South America. Their diet consists of mainly birds, pigs and jaguars. What? Jaguars?  Okay, it is not a staple in the anaconda's diet but witnesses can attest to seeing the Green attack, kill and engulf an entire jaguar. On a positive note, they are not venomous, they kill by squeezing the life out of their victim. They have over 100 angled teeth and a fully detachable jaw. Both characteristics enable the Green Anaconda to swallow human sized snacks whole, and with ease. All you have to do is ask Ice Cube and J-Lo. They are so knowledgeable, they made a movie about these snakes. That is only three examples. I need not make mention of the Desert Death Adder (bottom), the Coral Snake (below left) (Awww, it's so pretty, BAM, your toast), the King Cobra (below right) (has ability to inject enough venom in one strike to kill twenty humans), the Russell's Viper (middle) (Generally is not afraid of humans, are extremely aggressive and like the cozy confines of home. Your home.)




So, now you know why I don't do snake. I am (aware) of the fact that most snakes only strike when threatened, but some are extremely aggressive and will attack if you so much as wink and say hi. Northeast Indiana isn't all that bad now that I think about it. I think I'll stick around here for the rest of my life.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A New Beginning

Good evening and welcome to The Habitual Hobbit. I am your host, this is my blog, and you have somehow managed to stumble into my world and for that, I am grateful. Being that this is the initial post, it would be beneficial to us all if I began by filling you in on some of the less complex thinkings that bounce around my brain. 

The Habitual ?
We all have habits and hangups and after being diagnosed as having a mild case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, it just fit. Now, there are things that need be mentioned because people who have this disorder do not always have the same symptoms. Some people are more compulsive. They are the type that check locks, count straws, stack pills according to size, etc. Obsessive's like myself, have very few, if any compulsions but obsess about the most insignificant and meaningless meanderings of the human mind. A "normal" thought that most people would simply disregard may cause me a great deal of anxiety. I will sit and try to figure out why I had the thought. It snowballs from there and gains momentum, eventually turning a mole hill into a mountain. And all the while, I know that the thought is irrational and makes no sense. The anxiety is what bites the most and it hits hard and fast. And then all of the sudden, I become Jack's Atomic Anxiety Bomb. Guilt, fear, depression, all part of the cycle. I am learning to control the anxiety and what triggers it but I still have a lot of work to do. Sometimes I can see the humor in O.C.D., for example, when I dine out and French fries are part of my happy meal, I stack the fries together in piles according to length. Instead of looking at it as some weird  obsession or compulsion, look at it in this sense. All French fries want is to be with spuds that are their own size. I am the guy taking them home. And then I bite there heads off.

The Hobbit ?
The Hobbit part is in reference to my height. I am probably more average than I think I am but I do know that I am not a midget, they smell like cabbage. Plus, I am a fan of Tolkien and The Hobbit. I came to this conclusion after watching all three movies in their entirety. It is my belief that Frodo had some obsessive tendencies (The One Ring) and his anxiety level (when someone attempted to take his precious). Pippen & Merry obviously were suffering from some kind of mental impairment. And, that leaves us with Sam. Poor Sam Gamjee. A Hobbit of integrity, fearless loyalty, blind trust and what some would describe as an extra special "fondness" for Frodo. Now, I am not "fond" of Frodo in that other kind of way but he does have many admirable skills.

It has been a roller coaster ride filled with good days, bad days, numb days, sleepless nights and anxiety overload but the battle is far from over. One of the main reasons as to why I started this? Simple, I use it as a place to unload my mental feces and to help anyone that needs encouragement to push forward. At times, I'll play music critic, share funny pics that I have ran across or display some of my art work and poetry. My hope is that people will read this and learn more about O.C.D. and what it's victims are fighting each day. And maybe to make people more aware of it. It's much more common that the majority of people think. 

Thank You for stopping by.