Log in

Eulogy for My Father

 Many years ago, my father made me swear to him that when he died, I would tell it like it is.  He said, "Son, if I've been an asshole, you promise me you'll tell everyone I was an asshole.  Don't let them act like I was a saint if I was a dick."  Not knowing what would happen in the next 12 years, I promised.  And I keep my word.

As many of you know, my mother and father divorced in 2000.  It was messy, thankfully I was old enough where custody was not an issue.  My father lied to us, used me, and consequently the last time I spoke to him was on December 28, 2001 when he called our house, drunk, to harass my mother, and fought with me when I refused to let him.  I won't go into the particulars.

Tuesday morning, my mother woke me up, saying she needed to talk to me.  My aunt Dana, who has always been kind to me, had called.  My father died Monday night.  He had been sick for many weeks, and while he was in the hospital he suffered a massive heart attack and went into a coma.  He began breathing on his own, so they took him off the respirator.  He woke up, took two deep breaths, and then he was gone.

Last year, I wrote a letter to my father as an attempt to finally begin dealing with the hurt and anger he'd caused me and my mother.  The letter was never mailed, but I present it here in its entirety because I feel it is a suitable goodbye to my father.  It reads:

"June 15, 2009

Dear Neal,

I'm not going to whine and complain, saying you ruined my life.  In fact, I highly doubt this letter will ever be mailed.  I'm not writing this to reason or beg with you, nor am I writing in false hope of you seeing the error of your ways.  Actually, I'm not writing this for you at all.  I write this for me.

I'm not even angry at you anymore.  I thought I was, but if that were true I'd be shaking with rage as I pen this.  I think that, after all these years, I'm just frustrated with you for being such a silly, stupid ass.  It might be funny if it weren't so sad.

Don't be fooled, I won't be calling you and trying to have a relationship.  We tried that.  You weren't man enough to handle it.  I'm finished with your silly games.

Actually, you weren't man enough to handle a lot of things.  You couldn't be a husband because you were too busy trying to impress the people who didn't matter.  You couldn't be a father because you were too busy being a tyrant.

All we wanted from you was for you to make a genuine effort, but you couldn't handle that.  You threw us to the wolves when we needed you.  What kind of man does that?

I'll never know if it's true or not, but I think the reason you did all this was because deep down, you are afraid.  You're afraid of owning up to your mistakes.  You're afraid to stand up for your family.  You're afraid to try.

Someone who refuses to stand against his fear is called a coward, and you certainly act like one.

I'm not going to be bitter about you anymore because it hurts me and not you.  I pray for the day to come when I can forgive you, but I'll never be able to forget what you have done.

You have taught me many things, however.  You stand as an example of what I do not want to be.  As I grow as a man, I have you as the perfect anti-role model.  In a way, I'm grateful for that.  Thank you.

The truth is I don't need you.  If I can't have a father who is brave, selfless, responsible, kind, and a true man, then I don't really want a father after all.

I have my Heavenly Father to take care of me, now.  He's always there for me, He always listens, and He always shows me the way if I ask him.  My Father will make my life wonderful.  He will wipe away every tear and build me up into the man I long to be.  He will even heal me from all the pain you have caused.

I'm sorry, Neal, but I will not have you in my life.  Not unless you truly change.  I have to take care of my family, and that means keeping you away from them.  It isn't personal, it's my duty.

You will miss my wedding and you will miss your grandchildren.  You will miss a lot.  That's the sad truth of it all.

I will forgive you.  God told me so, and He doesn't want me to hurt anymore.  Neither do I.

William C. Mitchell"

So there you have it.  Never let it be said that I don't keep my word.  

My father was cremated at 1400 EDT in Asheville, NC with his new wife, stepdaughter, step-grandson, and his mother Shirley in attendance.  I write this in Florence, AL.

If you want to read his obituary, here's the link: http://obituaries.citizen-times.com/obituaries/obit.php?id=73775  

You will, of course, notice no mention of my name, or that he has a son at all.  I have been omitted.  Replaced with a stepchild.  That is the work of my grandmother, Shirley.  A last petty attempt to wound me.  It worked.  But she will not make me bitter, I will get over this and forgive her.

If it weren't for my aunt Dana, I would not know my own father was dead.  For that, I am truly grateful.  Sadly, she had to find out from her uncle, as she and Shirley haven't been on speaking terms in years.  

I wrote one last thing: 

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family during this time of grief.  Neal was loved, and will be missed.  

My Sincerest Condolences,
William Craft Mitchell, Son"

I inscribed this in the online guestbook for my father's funeral, just so Shirley would know that her little vindictive scheme didn't succeed.  I am forgotten, but far from gone.

Before you ask, no, I am not okay.  I hurt.  I hurt badly.  But I will be fine.  And with all the loving, wonderful people who've given me their prayers and support, I will always be fine in the end.  My heart goes out to all of you.  I love you all, and I try very hard to pray for every one of you.

There is one thing you can do for me and my mother, who is hurting too.  If you are one of those people who have good, loving fathers, please call them and tell them how much you love them. 

Pimping Myself Out for the Greater Good

Happy Halloween, everybody!

While I am about to begin preparations for my own festivities, I thought I'd take a minute to tell you about Movember, which begins tomorrow.

Everywhere you look, you see pink ribbons. Cars, cereal boxes, NFL football players, all supporting breast cancer awareness and research. That's great! Breast cancer is a serious issue. It kills far too many women, and robs even more of one of life's greatest joys: boobies. Hey, I'm a straight guy. I dig boobs. Deal with it.

While breast cancer awareness is important, and equally important disease has fallen to the back burner. I'm talking about prostate cancer. Prostate cancer (as of my current data) actually kills more men annually than the number of women killed by breast cancer. Want me to put it into scary terms for you? Think of six of your male friends and/or family. Statistically speaking, one of them will get prostate cancer. That sucks, doesn't it? Yet there are no ribbons, no commercials for prostate cancer awareness month, nada. Little to no media coverage.

Luckily, there's the good folks at Movember.com.

So I've thrown my hat into the ring. Never before have I even attempted to grow a mustache. You see, due to me losing the genetic lottery and an unfortunate land dispute with a gypsy 400 years ago, I've never had really thick facial hair. The most I've ever been able to grow was a small goatee. However, this is a cause I can get behind! Who cares if I can't grow a proper mustache, as long as it helps spread awareness and raises money to help save lives? It's down right noble for me to look goofy!

And who knows? I just may be able to pull it off. My father, as thin as his beard was, was able to grow an army regulation mustache, so I might just have the follicular fortitude to do this. And maybe, just maybe, I can grow a proper Magnum P. I. mustache, don an Hawaiian shirt and baseball cap, and go solve mysteries with Higgins!

So here's what I'm going to do to make this fun for you: Every day of Movember, I will take a picture of my blooming testament to manliness and post it online, via Facebook or maybe Twitpic. At the end of the month, I'll use this handy dandy Facebook dealy from the good folks at Pepsi to compile a short stop-motion film of my progress! It is sure to be hilarious!

Here's the catch: I need your help. It is a fundraiser, after all, for the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Livestrong Foundation. I have my own donation page, where you can make a tax-deductible donation of any amount, that to which I am supposed to direct you: http://us.movember.com/mospace/64398

Sure, it would be great if you could donate through my donation page. That way I get the credit, and it advances my team at The Art of Manliness. But honestly, that isn't important. I don't need the glory, I don't need the recognition. I don't win anything by participating in this event. This isn't about me. You can donate through the main page, and I will be just as happy.

Now I understand that times are tough and some of you just can't afford to donate. In that case, I'm counting on you to spread the word and to support all the Mobros out there, such as myself, looking goofy for the greater good. And you can grow a 'stache and try to raise funds yourself!

In any case, I thank you in advance.

Happy Movember everyone. Wish me luck!

Dear Politics, I Quit.

It seems that everywhere I go nowadays there is nothing but politics to be had.  The Liberals are crazy, the Conservatives are petty, the Liberals want to destroy the country, the Conservatives already destroyed the country, the Liberals want to sneak into your homes to steal your guns and abort all your babies, the Conservatives are agents of the Anti-Christ, and on and on and on and on...

Now it's bad enough that Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN are beating the everloving piss out of this dead horse, but now it's gotten to the point that I cannot log onto my own Facebook account without being visually assaulted by this same behavior.

Before I continue, let me clarify something:  I am neither a Conservative, nor a Liberal.  I am a human being who believes that labels lead to a lack of thought.  I find any lack of thought highly dangerous.  If you want to understand why I feel this way, I recommend that you read "The Sneetches" by Dr. Seuss.

I also need to clarify that this post is not directed to anyone who occasionally expresses their political opinion via Tweets, status updates, comments, etc..  This doesn't bother me at all, even if I don't agree with you.  Also, this blog is not directed at any one individual, but rather an offending party of individuals.

When I make it a point to actively NOT watch the news, which now have become an outlet for the opinion of the anchor (i.e. NOT NEWS), and stay away from political bullshit in general, and the first thing I wake up to in the morning when I log on is blog upon blog upon blog about how the Conservatives are stupid elephant rapists or the Liberals like pink dildos shoved up their asses by gay donkeys, I become somewhat perturbed.

Expressing your opinion occasionally is just fine.  Assaulting people on your friends list with your lengthy sermons is not.  You have made it perfectly clear that you are not interested in my opinion, so why should I be forced to see your's every single morning?  And at what point do you realize that you are becoming the very thing you hate, just another loud mouthed pundit?

So, being who I am, I have developed an action plan encompassing two steps.
  • Step 1.  I intend to return to the old rule of etiquette that recommends one should discuss neither politics nor religion in the company of one's friends. (Though I will make exception for private company who are mature enough to discuss and not debate.)
  • Step 2.  After a few days have passed to allow this blog to be read by those who inspired this action plan, I shall begin to unfriend those who do not accept this plea for reason and sanity.
This action plan is not designed to offend anyone, in fact I have been guilty of, in the past, taking part in this very behavior.  This action plan is simply so I can have a little more of what I crave: Peace and Happiness.  I've never hid the fact that I am a Christian (nor do I claim to be a particularly good one), and anyone who reads this blog or is my friend on Facebook knows this.  Part of being a Christian is placing your trust in God.  You are supposed to have faith that, no matter what, God will provide and protect you.  The Bible says that we aren't supposed to worry about tomorrow.  It also says that we shouldn't fret over our public officials. 

That's right, the Bible says to not worry about politics, and that's exactly why I don't care anymore.  If anyone wants the particular chapters and verses that back this, or anything else I claim is in Scripture, I'll be happy to oblige.

All politicians have failed me, both the Democrats and the Republicans.  I don't care which side you claim, Liberal or Conservative, they've both lied, cheated, and stripped us of our rights.  But if God is for us, who can stand against us?

So, if any of you suddenly find, in a day or so, that I have been removed from your friend list, please know that it is nothing personal.  I wish you well in your endeavors, and hope you actually start to make some real money off your rants and raves.  I won't vote for you, but if you actually try to make a difference and run for election, I wish you all the best of luck.  I simply want my peace, quiet, and geeky fun.

Finally, I believe that Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc. are supposed to be used as a means of keeping in touch with friends, not alienating them.

I'll leave you with a bit of wisdom from my very favorite philosopher:

"Is it ignorance, or apathy?
I forget these lessons taught to me,
Some say life isn't fair,
Hey, I don't know and I don't care.

Therapy is extremely expensive,
Poppin' bubble wrap is radically cheap,
You choose which one helps with your problems,
I'm gonna get some sleep."

- from "I Don't Know and I Don't Care" by Jimmy Buffett

Save for any questions or comments, let this subject now be closed.


Ladies and gentlemen, friends, family, there is something that must be said.

You see, folks, something dawned on me recently. After turning 26 last month, I've been doing some thinking about my past, present and future, and I've got to tell you, something has changed. Something has changed drastically, and I think I've finally figured it out.

I'm getting older. I'm not as young as I used to be. But I've come to the conclusion that this isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Many of my old ways have changed. I don't look on life the way I used to. I'm no longer a dark, brooding, angry person. My opinions have changed. I do weird things like give people the benefit of the doubt. Many things that used to be black and white to me are now shades of gray.

This in and of itself doesn't bother me, however. It's the lack of consistency that really makes me worry. Is nothing constant? Can I ever be certain that the way I feel or think today will be the same five years from now? Knowing how many times I was wrong in the past, what's to ensure that I'm not wrong now?

It's kind of scary. Everything changes, including change itself.

Dark, isn't it?

But then again, when I reflect on my life so far, constants start to bubble up from the abyss like barrels from a sinking ship. They give me something to cling to, something to ride out the storm. Another one bobbed to the surface this very night, and it's strong.

All of my life, as long as I can remember, there has been a constant that I almost forgot. I knew this fact when I was in diapers, my first day of school, the day I graduated high school, and after many years I still remember. My opinion on this matter has never changed. Not through the ravages of puberty. Not through the anger and hate I still have to fight, thankfully to a much lesser extent. Not through the many years of finding my way to God.

I am Captain William C. Mitchell. Some call me friend. Some call me family. Some call me brother. Some call me Unkie Will. Some hate me. Many love me. I love many. It is an honor to be as blessed as I am.

One thing, however will never change. Not as long as I draw breath. Not as long as my children remember me after I am gone. Not as long as the English language survives.

You see, friends, after all these years... "C" is, and always shall be, for "cookie." And dammit, that's still good enough for me.

The Book of Madness

Everyone who knows me, even reasonably well, knows that I am an avid reader.  No, you won't normally find me with the Complete Works of Shakespeare, or War and Peace, but I'll try anything once, depending on my mood.  Hell, I've been known to sit back with a good Louis L'Amour western from time to time, I'm not too picky.  And God help you if it has Dresden on the cover... you can just hook that straight to my veins.

The two books I'm most proud of finishing, cover to cover, are The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (with complete Apocrypha), and The Stand by some kid called Stevie King.  Both books took a lot of time, and a lot of effort to get through, but I finished with a true sense of accomplishment.

However, there exists a book that has tormented me for the last nine years.  A book that is so treacherous that even the mention of the title may cause an outcry.  A book that I've only been able to read exactly halfway before complete burn-out, followed by me crawling into the nearest closet and crying until the voices stop.  It is the one book that has broken me every time I've made the attempt to read it.  The Book of Madness.

The cursed tome of which I speak is 1066 page demon screech I call Battlefield Earth.

Now before you go "enlightening" me about one L. Ron Hubbard, save your breath.  I already know.  Yes, Xenu is my home boy, too.  Yes, Scientology is retarded, and its followers should be rounded up and beaten with reeds for stupidity.  Yes, I hate Tom Cruise just as much as you do, I refuse to see his films.

If I can get a word in edgewise, I want you to ask yourself a question:  If a man can make up a religion based off of galactic overlords, space ships, and atom bombs, and have people actually buy it, doesn't that mean he has to have some modicum of talent to make his story somewhat believable?  Think about it.  If the Xenu wasn't made up to start a false religion, but was published harmlessly as a novel, it might make a damn good one.  Hell, I'd probably even see the movie adaptation.

The thing about Battlefield Earth is that the first 500 or so pages are great Sci-Fi.  It's post-apocalyptic, the villain Terl is so much of an arsehole that I can't help but like him, and best of all, there's Scottsmen.  Oh yes, when the Psychlos attacked the British Isles, the Scotts just reverted back to their old clan systems and are doing just fine.  In fact, they help our progagonist, Jonnie, form an army and eventually defeat the Psychlos.  My people.  I enjoyed the hell out of this part of the book!  That horrible movie does it no justice at all!

But then, it happens.  The story, you see, is only halfway over.  And instead of being about destroying the alien occupying forces, the book shifts into politics and plots to gain power.  The Scottsmen who give so much comic relief shift to the back burner.  It goes from action to boring in about 50 pages.  I have attempted to breach this barrier twice before, and have failed both times.  We're talking crushing defeat here, people.

Until now.

You see, since the last time I attempted to finish Battlefield Earth, I've gotten some heavyweights under my belt.  As I mentioned, The NRSV Bible and The Stand were my biggest triumphs.  I read The Stand while I had peumonia.  It took me three weeks, I nearly put it down more times than I can remember, but I made it to page 1141 feeling like bloody Superman.  I read the Bible little by little, a few chapters a night over about 8 months.  1772 pages, every verse, Old Testament, New Testament, and the apocryphal books of the Catholic, Greek, and Slovenic churches.  Let me tell you, folks, that gets hard.  You don't read the Bible so much as it reads you.  Ask anyone who has read it, 1st and 2nd Kings and 1st and 2nd Chronicles are mind breakers.  In the midst of those books, I started having Vietnam flashbacks and I wasn't even born yet.  But I finished it. 

Finally, two weeks ago, I saw my old enemy sitting on my shelf.  It's a paperback copy my mother read while she was pregnant with me.  It was sitting there, over 26 years old, tattered and torn, cover repaired with scotch tape, mocking me.

"You can't win," it said, "You'll never finish me.  I'll just be a keepsake on your shelf."

I shuddered.  But then I spied my old friend The Stand.

"You're gonna let that book talk to you like that?" it asked.

"I can't do it," I said, "I'll just burn out again!"

And then I spied my Bible.

"You finished me, you can finish anything," it said.

"You're right," I realized.

"Take it down," said the Bible.

"Make it your bitch," said The Stand.

And then there was a cacophany of my favorite books cheering me from the shelves.

"Revenge!" cried The Princess Bride.

"Use headology!" called Lords and Ladies.

"Arr, send him to Davey Jones!" cheered Treasure Island.

"Oh yes," I said, "It's on."

So I started reading.  And I kept reading, through page 500, to where I sit now, 692.  I'm not ready to quit, yet.

The funny thing is, all those times I quit at 500 meant I never reached page 600.  Page 600 is where the story starts to get interesting again, where old characters that I actually like start taking part in the story again.  It's getting good.  I mean, really good.

And the Scottsmen are coming back.  My people.

Soon it will be over.  Soon I will put Battlefield Earth on the shelf in triumph!  The Book of Madness will be no more!

I'm the Captain, dammit.  And no book is going to ever push me around again.

Long time, no blog.

So, it seems that I haven't posted anything since January 29th.  Well that's just lame.

What's more is that if I did post anything new, it'd promptly be buried under my Tweets for Today.  That's even more lame.

So here's the deal, friends and neighbors, I've turned off LoudTwitter, and will be posting actual blog entries as the muse strikes me.  If you'll just stick with me, I'll start entertaining you again.  Pirate-Pinky-Swear.

In fact, I've got some really good topics in mind, mostly things I've been pondering for awhile.  I've also got some pretty good rants built up that I know you'd just love to read.  I'm famous for my rants, I know.

As for Twitter, oh I'll still be using it, just not as my primary blog.  So if you want to follow me, simply ask in the comments section, and I'll be sure to send it your way... unless of course you're a member of the "I Hate Captain Will Club," or your account is past due with the "Pay Captain Will to Like Me" program.

So give me a few days.  Hell, I may even post something tomorrow.  But if you keep reading, I'll keep writing.  And if LJ goes belly up, I've got a Wordpress all ready to set sail.

More to come.
After a solid decade of wondering if our old pal Arnold Judas Rimmer ever made it off the mining ship Red Dwarf as it was slowly being consumed by a corrosive microbe... after 10 years of movie rumors... after 10 years of absolute nothing, it brings me great joy to tell you all...

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Oh yes.

They're back.

All of them.

Every original cast member.

Easter Weekend.

And here it is straight from the good ol' British Broadcasting Company:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7851989.stm

God bless us, every one!


*Married readers with children are exempt, as they are too busy chasing kids and pleasing spouses.  Besides, I only know one set who identify themselves as geeks, and they are, I'm almost positive, fans of the show.


I've figured it out!  The whole mystery of what's going on with BSG!  And I didn't need to read a single spoiler to figure it out!

The evidence is obvious...

Humanity exists on ships... in space, which use ballistic projectiles.

They're following an old prophesy, including a map, to find Earth... a the last hope of humanity... a treasure, if you will.

They take resources from the Cylons to keep going.

Multiple attempts at mutiny.

Colonel Tigh has an eyepatch.

Lt. Gaeta has a false leg.

My friends, the crew of Galactica, as well as the rest of the fleet, are the ancestors of all pirates!


The Cylons preformed a sneak attack to wipe out humanity, and 20 billion were killed.

The Cylons have placed sleeper agents among the fleet.

Their Basestars are look like big, metal stars.


This whole series is about the ancient origins of the Pirate-Ninja Wars!


And THAT, my friends, is why I am, and forevermore shall be, the Captain!

Possibility of Moving

This is just to let all you folks who still like to keep up with me and my insane drivel that, well, I may be moving.

You see, it seems to me that it's only a matter of time before LJ heads down to Davey Jones' Locker.  And no, I'm not talking about that fancy-shmancy version in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies... damn you Johnny Depp... it's the nasty, wet, stinking one that real pirates used to fear.  And what do a proper cap'n do when the ship be goin down?  That's right, we get all the plunder into the longboats, clock the nearest matey over the noggin with a belayin pin, promote him to cap'n, and let him go down with the ship while we row off with the rest of the crew for to spend our plunder on wine, wenches, and mayhap a new ship if'n we can't steal one proper.

And that's exactly what I've done.  I've exported all of my old entries to a new blog I've created on wordpress.com, so they're safe, and have it on standby until needed.  So the plunder be secure, and once again you can't keep a good Captain down.

Because quite a few of you like to follow me and my misadventures, you can find me easily at captainwillslog.wordpress.com operating under KG4UZJ.  Why that insane jumble of letters and number?  Because every form of Captain Will I could think of was bloody well taken!  So I just used my ham callsign because the Federal Candy Company gave it to me and it's never taken.

Never fear, though!  I'll be here until I see the rats swan-diving out of the scuppers, and will give ample notice when I depart.  I'll not be abandonin all me mateys, by garr.

Latest Month

August 2010



RSS Atom
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow