All posts by picklejuicesoda

A dad here that shares custody of our beautiful daughter. 2 older ones that pretty much stay with me all the time. 2 cats and a house. Plenty to keep me beyond busy but I enjoy sharing thoughts and little stories with people that appreciate those things. I enjoy music, somewhat of a musician(depending on who's listening I suppose...) I play mostly guitar and I have been practicing banjo and a mandolin that has taken the backseat. I must play that more... I also enjoy drawing and will most like be sharing the weirdness that ends up on paper. Just keeping this brief and simple now until I get a system down. I hope you all enjoy.

Blondie- Pollinator

I haven’t posted or even been on here I a while…life gets hectic sometimes. Had to express my delight in the new Blondie album. I was slightly hesitant at first, not sure why, wasn’t that I doubted it. I decided to listen on Apple Music first and bought it had a pretty good sound so I ordered it from my “dealer”. Found a record store with a really cool owner that always lets me know when he gets stuff he thinks I’d like. I wanted the red vinyl but were sold out and now are going for 75+,he was able to find a cool white vinyl. With that being said I brought it home, dropped the needle on the record and turned it up. The sound of course was way better through my speakers than my earbuds and the album delivers! Has a good nostalgia feel to it, and if you didn’t know it would be hard to believe it’s a now 71 year old woman belting out the lyrics. Full of energy and emotion. Fragments has become my favorite on the album the few times I’ve listened to it this weekend. I highly suggest checking this one out! 


Sunday vinyl

I’ve been playing a few records today and I was thinking of when I was younger, either sitting around with my girlfriend or the times when a few friends would come over. There would be those days when there just didn’t seem like there was anything to do, or we were too poor and didn’t have gas money to do it! Other times I’d be sitting around myself possibly bored out of my mind. Usually listening to music would be the go to event, actually most of my life music was in the background. It was almost an event, I mostly had cassettes and I can remember sitting on the floor pulling out tape after tape, the playlist of the 80s and into the early 90s. Making mix tapes was a lot of work, I recently got a taste of how much work it was one rainy day when I decided to make one. It took a few hours, and that was recording from vinyl with the ability to choose the song without fast forwarding and rewinding. I wonder how many hours of my life were spent making those tapes? Good times…

I’m happy the vinyl craze is back, not so happy some of the ones I’ve been getting or want are pricy but coming from an ex drinker I justify some of my purchases because at least it’s not bad for me. It’s especially nice when you find a beautiful pressing that was well taken care of, which is one of the video I’m posting. Orchestral manoeuvres in the dark, I especially love the song “electricity”. It’s one of those upbeat songs that get you going. Enjoy. 

Growing up

While reading a blog post last night I was inspired to write this one. It started as one memory and during my 2 hour commute to and from work today (horrible), it gave me time to think. Think I did, amazing how your mind can pull up so many thoughts and emotions and before you know it you’re in such deep thought that you don’t remember the last 2 hours going by.

My blogging friend’s post was about root beer soda, which brought up a good memory of mine. When I was young I would go to my grandfather’s house with my dad, we would sometimes stop for a soda on the way. We would get R.C. cola in a glass bottle and he would put peanuts in his. I of course had to do the same, and I liked it. Now and then I will stop and do that still, the memory with me every time. Such a simple pleasure. Most people I tell this to look at me funny, a few understand the peanuts in cola thing.Anyone else out there do this? If not you should try it.

So while reminiscing it made me think of the “good old days”, now, Im not old, 46 this year, but old enough to have those good old days memories. This sent my brain on another track and I thought how so many people talk about the good old days and how things just aren’t the same.Sure, this is true,but something that stuck out to me is how a lot of older people will look down on the younger generation. “You kids don’t know how easy you have it” and “If i would have done that when I was a kid my parents would have…”. You know what I mean. I sometimes feel the same but today I felt enlightened. These are my kids “good old days” they are living now. Who am I to deny them that, after all, the world they live in and the things they do are a direct result of what our generation did to get them here.

I’ve had that thought for some time now actually. My parents generation shaped mine. I know there is so much bad happening and there are epidemics that are worse but, think of all the good that has come from each generation. I had a great talk with my 20 year old daughter when I got home about what I am actually writing now. I bring her up because I mentioned to her how women were treated, and people of different races and cultures. That is something I wouldn’t consider as part of the good old days. Of course we still have a long way to go and with our next generation I’m sure it will get better. When I was in elementary school they still spanked, I got a few. One funny story (not really) was when my friends and I were swinging as high as we could and jumping off to see how far we could go. Our teacher told us to stop and if we got hurt we would get a spanking. Well, she walked away and of course I said, “watch this”. I had my winter coat on and it was unzipped, when I jumped it hooked to the swing and down I came. Head first. There was an immediate goose egg and here comes the teacher. I’m bawling now and she tells me to go stand in the hall outside our classroom. Yes, she went to get the paddle, spanked me making me cry more of course. Sure, I should have listened to her in the first place, but looking back at that now I’m almost appalled by it. Did the spanking stop me from doing it again? No it didn’t, the memory of my pounding head and the luck that I didn’t get hurt more did though. Then there was a kid in kindergarten that had to wear a sign that said “blockhead” around his neck at lunch because he misbehaved, and me getting spanked in front of the class then having to sit in a chair by the chalkboard facing my classmates so they could see me cry. Oh yeah what about the time I didn’t finish my lunch (never did, i was a very skinny kid and didn’t eat a lot) and the teacher made me take the tray to the classroom to finish it all while everyone else went to recess. This is where I insert ‘lol’, not really but it’s been a long time now.

I can say that there is not one time I look back and say that by being spanked it made me a better person, or even prevented me from being bad again. I generally don’t like to say things that may start controversy or get people wound up but must say that when I hear people saying they spank because their parents did and they agree, I cringe. Those are the people I don’t need in my life. I use this example and yes it is the same…If you work for me and you mess up or purposely do the opposite, I should be able to come over and wail on you. A good beating will make you do it right. Of course that’s not the case, so why do it to a child. My point here is so many kids had this same thing happen to them. A lot of parents don’t spank now and trust me, with the luxuries our children have it’s very easy to punish now. So, i will apologize for my spanking rant but it is one example that I can relate to that shows one of the “not so good old days” ways.

Now to turn back to the positive, engage your children. Be part of their good old days, make them smile at the thought of something sweet and out of the blue you did. Write them a letter, hug them, tell them you love them. Tell them stories about yourself, open up a little. Yes we are parents first, it’s our job to make sure our children are safe and to teach them, but make yourself part of their good old days. Make them laugh years from now because they remembered the funny thing that dad said or did. I don’t want to get old and die, I want to see grand,great,great great grandkids. I do hope that when that time comes my children will be able to remember me as a good father. Sure i’ve messed up countless times, yelled, blew my top, but I have also apologized when I knew it was uncalled for. Nobody is perfect but it’s learning from our mistakes and actually correcting ourselves when we see what we may need to work on. My kids are 20,19 and 8 and I am constantly learning, sometimes repeating mistakes but always trying to do better.

I realize this took quite the turn from peanuts in cola, so after all those spankings I got from my mom and dad, it’s good to know that it isn’t the only thing I dwell on. I’ll always remember that special time with my dad and I know that he loved me. I will be sure to tell him about it when i see him again.

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed. Now go make some memories!

80s club mix

So I wrote a whole post, then couldn’t be post the link, then just deleted it out of frustration. Now I’m too tired to start over! Oh well, here’s an 80s playlist from a mix tape I just made, because I wanted to feel nostalgic. I’ve made a few recently actually, and yes they are as time consuming as I remember. I enjoy it though, when I’m free to do it that is.

Some of these songs are popular and some are more underground. Some a little mor chill but most have that 80s dance beat that makes you want to crank it up and dance around like you were a kid again. Hope you enjoy! I will write a separate post about my club experiences later.

My song for tonight

I’m sure you’re familiar with the band The Human League. Don’t you want me, and Fascination both great songs. Dare is a good album and the instrumental version is a great listen, but the earlier stuff in my opinion is better. The first album is awesome, of course I’ve been going through a synth pop phase lately. It happens, I’ll listen to a lot of hardcore punk, switch it up with some rockabilly, some roots Americana stuff. Like I said, I’ve really been enjoying that 80s synthpop sound, it just gives me a good feeling when I listen to it. I just want to go back to the clubs and hear it play and have a good time.

So this song, “Zero as a limit” starts off a little slow, then the beat picks up just making you want to jump up and by the end you wish you had a bunch of people join you bumping and spinning out of control almost like being in a pit. I have had my eye out for their first two albums on vinyl, I suppose I will prefer them if I don’t come across them soon. I’m not a vinyl snob but there’s nothing like the feeling of dropping the needle on a great album at home!

I will put together a playlist of some of my favorite 80s tunes later, but for now enjoy this one! I used one of my 80s inspired drawings for the header image.

Love, marriage, divorce and dating.

Funny, what inspired my thought on this was a question I heard on Family Fued, which I will get to in a moment. Forgive me for what may be just a jumble of thoughts that come pouring out all at once, by no means am I a writer and when I do have an inspiring thought I’m generally busy. So I’ll do my best to keep you with me!

I met my wife when she was 16 and I was 20. She dated my friend and I ended up dating her friend, 18 by the way. We all hung out all the time, went to shows,clubs, downtown Orlando. We just had a lot of good times. Her friend and I were an on again off again kind of couple and after a couple years we packed up our belongings and decided we were moving to Minneapolis where another friend lived. The next day we were on the road…except for my girlfriend as we were “off” at the time.

This is when I got to know her, my friends girlfriend, and no it’s not as bad as it sounds. We managed to find a place a couple days after we got there and we all got jobs almost immediately, except her. I worked the 3-11 shift at a place called Annie’s parlor in uptown Minneapolis. Everyone else worked days so she and I would hang out during the day. We became friends, real, true friends. There was nothing else happening there but our friendship did grow stronger. After 4 or 5 months we grew homesick and decided to head back. We had no apartment so she moved in with her grandmother, her boyfriend back home and I was just kind of winging it… her grandmother had a spare room so I moved in and we all started back again. Hanging out doing our thing, even my ex and I got back together.

After a few months they broke up and my girlfriend and I were on our way out as well. I decided to get away again for a couple weeks and took a trip to Virginia where I was from. Got a bus ticket and my soon to be wife dropped me off at the station. It’s like she knew I wasn’t coming back, I hadn’t planned it but I think she could tell. We hugged bye and I remember it felt so nice to hold her. We had remained very close and still had never hugged before. On the bus I was, miserable, I missed her and riding on a greyhound didn’t help. I would call her every day and we would talk for at least 2 hours at a time. I knew I had feelings for her before, I just repressed them. Now these feelings were something else, I knew it, I was in love with her. After a near 3 hour talk one night I thought about telling her, I had thought the whole conversation about it. I couldn’t do it. We said our goodnight, and after a few minutes I had to call her back. I know she knew what I wanted to say, and I fumbled with my words and was afraid at what I may hear but finally I told her. It was such a weight lifted, to have it out there, and to hear she felt the same. We talked for another hour that night.

I had told her before that I decided to stay in Virginia. So I had to go back to get my things and told her she should come visit, which I then told her she should pack more. It was my intentions of never letting go of her now. You always hear the question “how do you know when you’re in love?” . Of course the answer is, you just do. I knew for sure, she made me feel like I never had before. It was a crazy couple months that we endured together with some things beyond our control happening with the friends we were living with. We were free spirits and kind of used to moving around and making due. We found an apartment and that’s when I knew, we had only been dating a few months but I knew that I wanted to spend my life with her. I was so nervous to ask her to marry me, but I couldn’t go on any longer. We were married in 1995. We went every where together, hiked trails, went to book stores, just enjoyed being with each other. We were pretty young, I was 23, she was 19. We still had growing up to do but I had the best person to do it with.

We had a daughter in 96, a son in 98 and another daughter in 2008. Yes, big gap in the last two! Our marriage wasn’t perfect, but then no marriage is. We had some ups and downs but it was good. I truly loved her and was happy.

Just over a month after our 15th anniversary I came home from work and out of nowhere she said she was leaving me. No reason, no explanation. She just didn’t want to be married to me. Nothing I could say or do could stop her. I offered to try counseling, no, she didn’t want that. She just wanted out. A few days later she left. I knew people who got divorced, I knew people who had their hearts broken. I never knew how they felt. Now I do, it was horrible. I lost 15 pounds, I was only at the most 140 anyway. I felt sick all the time. I only ate when absolutely necessary, usually just a little in the evening. My whole world just crumbled. I fell into depression and started drinking…again. I had quit 12 years earlier because it became a problem. My drinking became more frequent until it became everyday, and a lot. I’m fortunate I was able to catch it and now I’m happy to say it’s been over 2 years since I’ve had a drink. Things are better, my kids were what helped me make it through. I knew I had to be there. We share custody 50/50 so I’m not just a weekend dad and I’m happy about that. Life is definitley better for me now, not because she left but just because I’ve accepted it.

So what about this family fued episode? Well tonight the question I heard was “we surveyed 100 men and asked what do you like to watch your wife do?” Well, it made me remember a couple things that were always endearing to me. We would go to A lot of holiday parties and other gatherings at my uncles house and I can remember watching her talk to people from across the room. She would sometimes look over and when she did she would give me this little smile. It always made me feel warm inside. I felt so lucky to be with her. One other thing I thought of was so simple but to me was so sweet. When she would wash the dishes she would hum. I loved hearing that. It was comforting to me.

You know, I was going to talk about dating after divorce but I think I’ll leave that for another post. I’ll save this one for mrs.picklejuicesoda. I appreciate the 15 years and the 3 beautiful children you gave me. I have no regrets, I spent the best years of my life with you. And now it’s ok, I missed you, but it’s ok. I have nothing bad to say about you and as weird as it is for me to say, I sincerely hope you are happy. I’m letting you go. It’s time for me to find my happiness now. Thank you for the years we had.

Coping (or not) with anxiety

Those of you that suffer with anxiety will understand. I’ve been dealing with it for, I’d say, 15 years maybe. I took Zoloft for 10 or 12 of those. I finally quit taking it because it wasn’t doing much and instead of increasing my dose or trying something different I decided I didn’t want to be dependent on something. I struggled with alcohol after my divorce years ago after being clean for 12 years. It was 2 years sober this past September, which I’m proud of and yes, that in itself helped my anxiety.

I know some of it stems from financial troubles, some from procrastination. Sometimes I worry about things in the future that I have no control of. Unfortunately I’m a worrier. Other times it just seems to come out of nowhere, I just go around with a heavy pressure in my chest. There are days I end up walking around aimlessly in my house knowing there’s things I need to do but I decide it will be better to just lay in bed.

It’s a horrible way to live sometimes. It’s not always like that though, if I’m very busy with work I generally (not always) don’t have those intense feelings. I know there are things that help, yesterday for example, I went on a hike with my 8 year old daughter. Nature in general helps tremendously, almost instantaneously when we step on the trail I get a feeling of calmness. I’m somehow able to leave those worries and focus on my beautiful daughter and how happy she is to be hiking with me. Hearing the birds, the wind through the trees and the sound of the river running beside us. One time in particular I felt as though the wind was pulling my worries out of me and could almost sense them being circulated through the air and then being refreshed as I breathed in fresh air. I can’t always go on a hike though so I just need a way to remember those feelings.

Music is also a big part of my life and as I’ve gotten a little older I find myself reminiscing of my younger days. Reliving those memories while listening to the soundtrack of my life. I can almost always listen to music, which I do.

Most of my anxiety is most likely self inflicted. As I said I procrastinate because the pressure to handle something at times is too much. As always when I take care of it I think to myself, why didn’t I do that much sooner. A lot of times it would have helped a situation.

I’m writing this now just to get these thoughts out. I could probably dive deeper into the ‘craziness’ which is my brain but as of now I’m just doing some “cleaning”by putting those feeling into words. I hear my daughter laughing in her room which just gave me a sweet, warm feeling. So now I must go and give her a hug and be happy I have such a wonderful child that loves me and looks up to me.

Thank you for reading. I’ll be back with some happy positive thoughts, maybe some funny stories to share of those embarrassing and awkward teenage years we all went through. Happy Sunday everyone!