Category Archives: Misc

Darnell Family Reunion 2017

We even had a cake, of which I forgot to have a piece of.

So, yeah, I spent the day at Mom and Dad’s, where we had the reunion for my dad’s half of the family. I pretty much just ate and drank beer. I didn’t talk much, but that’s not unusual for me.

Dad and Ron grilled hotdogs and hamburgers. We had a bit of a smoke storm in there.

 

Some fished, others sat around.

Mom set her karaoke stuff up on the balcony. The music could be heard across the yard.

When it got dark everyone sat around the back deck. It was decent weather. A bit warm, but not terribly. Fireflies were out.

 

Not In Good Spirit

I’ve been depressed this week. Trying to snap out of it and get back into my normal routine. It still feels like there’s pins and needles stuck in my heart and I’m having a hard time motivating myself. I pretty much want to stay hidden, but at the same time I feel a need to stick my neck out again.

I went ahead and bought the second season of Six Feet Under last night and watched the first episode. It’s kind of neat how I’m remembering these episodes as if no time has passed since I last saw them in 2003. I wouldn’t mind going back to 2003. It was a good time. I was in a relationship with a woman I never got over.

I woke up this morning remembering something from my childhood. It was the last year that my brother Fred and I were on the Lapeer Steelers’ freshman team. This young, college-aged assistant coach, after speaking to the entire team, threw a football into the mud down the field.

I’m not positive that this is why it happened, but I had been under the impression that the assistant coach, after throwing the ball, told Fred to retrieve it, and then he told the rest of us to tackle Fred.

I’m not positive that those were the words the coach said. My deafness didn’t allow me to pick that up clearly. But the coach did say something after throwing the ball and Fred went to get it. Then the coach said something else and the entire team went after Fred.

I trailed behind the charging team, uncertain of what was going on. I watched the dog pile grow as thirty to forty guys jumped into it. I think I added my weight to the pile, though by the time I got there, the pile was so high that I couldn’t do much more than lean against it.

And then I heard Fred yelling. I knew it was him and his yelling was a terrifying sound. I realized what was happening. In a minute the coaches were there pulling everyone off. When the last guy was pulled off, Fred was lying face down in the mud. I remember sitting beside him while everyone else took off to run a few laps as punishment. But then I got up to run the laps too. Not sure if someone told me to or if I just thought I was supposed to.

Normally when we ran laps, our running path was a simple triangle. We’d run down the field to this big tree near where the varsity practiced, turn and run past the J.V’s practice area to another big tree where the cheerleaders practiced, turn and make our way back to the freshman practice area.

But that time was real punishment. Instead of the normal triangle route, we were made to run along the outside of the entire field. Our practice field was a big park, surrounded by hills and a creek on one side.

Here’s a Google Earth screenshot of the field. Looks like they cut down a lot of the trees that used to be there.

We had to run along the outside of the field three times. When we finished our laps, Fred was sitting on the picnic table recovering from nearly being killed by the entire freshman team. But then, one of the coaches made him run the laps that the rest of us had just finished.

That was a bad year to be on the Lapeer Steelers’ freshman team. The years before that, Delbert Anderson was the head coach. Delbert was a good coach and a true role model, and the assistant coaches were all good guys. My dad was one of the assistant coaches.

But that last year that Fred and I were on the freshman team, Delbert Anderson and the other coaches from the past years had moved up to coach the J.V.. Several of the new coaches were stupid assholes, true posers putting on some pretentious military-wannabe act.

My dad was one of the defense coaches that year, but he usually arrived late because of his job. He worked as a painter at an auto body shop in Rochester. I imagine if my dad had been there when that thing happened to Fred, he would have beat the shit out of the assistant coach who set it into motion.

Just Remembering

When I was a kid, I didn’t know the difference between a Catholic and a Cadillac. Those big castle-like churches, I thought they were Cadillac Churches and the people who went to them were Roman Cadillacs. I thought Cadillac vehicles were named after the religion.

I remember once when Fred and our cousin Jimmy tried to explain that it’s Catholic, not Cadillac. But I just couldn’t hear them right and went on talking about the Roman Cadillacs.

A Nice Day

Looks like it’s going to be a nice day. Hope I can get over to Mom and Dad’s and do some target shooting. Bought 9mm plinking ammo a few weeks ago, but haven’t had a chance to shoot yet.
But before I go anywhere, I need to mow the lawn.

Anger & Anxiety

I’ve been arguing with myself for weeks about whether to write this entry or not. On one hand, I want to get it off my chest, but on the other hand, I don’t really feel like it.  I guess I’ll write the damn thing and get it out of the way.

I lose my temper very easily. A lot of people have witnessed that. Some have found themselves the targets of my anger. Sometimes I get so mad that my vision blurs. I don’t know why I’m like this. I can make some guesses, but they are just guesses.

I’m a monster. I’m not above dragging people through the mud if they piss me off to a certain degree. I’ve really torn people down at times. I can be very vile, mean, hateful. But then, when the smoke clears, I’m angry with myself about the things I said while in a rage.

After losing my temper, I often feel a need to hide from people. The shame overwhelms me. Questions rotate in my head. Was my anger justified? Did I overreact? Did I take the issue more personally than I should have? More times than not, I decide that, no, my anger was not justified and, yes, I overreacted and took the issue too personally.

Which brings me to anxiety. Worse than my struggle with anger is my struggle with anxiety. I have a hard time looking people in the eye when I talk to them. My gaze automatically flicks from one corner of the room to another, to the ceiling, to the window, to the lamp on the table, and, of course, to the floor.

Some people take my difficulty to make eye contact as a sign of disrespect and get pissy with me. That usually results in me getting pissed at them, and then they’ll probably have eye contact with me.

I have other habits that people don’t seem to understand. When nervous or bored, I’m often touching my head or running my hands through my hair. I’ve been asked on a few occasions, “Do you have a headache?” No, as a matter of fact, I do not. I rarely ever have a headache, not even after a night of drinking.

At any gathering, I tend to pace back and forth from one end of the property to the other. Most of the time, I don’t realize I’m doing it until I’ve been doing it for a while. It’s pretty embarrassing, but I’m unable to stop myself for very long. I’m not sure why I do it, but I think it might be a combination of anxiety, Tourette’s and pure boredom.

When I go to a gathering, I go with the idea that I’m going to enjoy myself. But often I end up feeling like I’m not involved. This is largely due to the fact that I can’t hear a damn thing anyone is saying. Everyone is talking around me. I hear their voices clearly, but their words are gibberish.

I’ve been told that I need to start inserting myself. Into group conversations? Are you kidding me? Am I supposed to say, “Hey, what are you guys talking about?” and completely interrupt their brilliant exchange of words?

They might turn to me and try to explain, but they’ll likely have to repeat themselves several times and I still might not understand them. Then, after I’ve moved on, they might not be able to resume the conversation that they were apparently enjoying.

If everyone involved in a group conversation starts laughing, I might ask “What’s so funny?” Or if someone is passing around a cell phone, showing pictures, I might ask to see the pictures too. But I’m not going to insert myself into a conversation that’s being carried on by a number of people.

Although I’ve gotten better at being around people, sometimes I feel like I can’t deal with anyone. That I need to stay out of sight and be forgotten. This is usually when I find myself thinking about something I said or did that was stupid. It can take me a while to overcome that feeling and get to where I’m comfortable interacting with people again.

I wish I could be one of those dudes who is always mellow, confident, outgoing. But I’m not and I probably never will be.