I dragged my ass out of bed at 4:30 once I realized that I wasn't going back to sleep this time.
I've been awake off and on all night. I'd wake up about every half hour to an hour, roll around and around, think about all the things that have been bothering me all week, all month, all year... doze a little, wake up again, think some more, toss and turn... rinse, wash, repeat.
It's going to be a long day. Yawn.

Yesterday was a tough day, I'm sure that's what did it to me. The boy found out that he couldn't play basketball this year due to one of his grades. You can imagine what kind of reaction that induced. It was an awful afternoon. I picked him up at school and dropped him at his dad's. begrudgingly. He was quite an emotional wreck. I asked him to come to my house, but he didn't want to. He didn't know what he wanted to do. So I went home. Within a few minutes he showed up at my house, had come over through the trail. He was hysterical. In a fit of rage (about basketball), he had thrown his phone and smashed it to pieces. He said he didn't know why he did it, couldn't control himself. Now he had two reasons to be a mess.
His father came over looking for him and we all had a talk of sorts. As much of a talk as we could while the boy was in the state he was in. His father and I were both angry with him for doing what he did, but we were also both very upset to see him in such hysterics. Neither of us really knew what to do for him. His father went back to the house and the boy spent the afternoon here. He cried the whole time. I let him. I talked to him a little. Calmed him a little, reasoned with him a little, advised him a little, but mostly just let him cry.
It was a rough day.
I sent him back to his dad's with my tablet, so he could at least keep in touch with everyone through snapchat (which is essentially his lifeline).
Neither his father or I have the kind of money to go out and get him a new phone. That one was an iphone 6plus, and still had a hefty pay off on it. Fortunately for the boy, my boyfriend just upgraded his 6plus and offered it to him to use until he gets a new phone.
When I snapchatted him to tell him last night, he wrote back- "I need to fucking hug that man".

As far as basketball is concerned... I did spend my evening composing an email to the principal, vice principal, guidance director, and athletic director. Yes, under normal circumstances, the boy would be ultimately responsible for his grades. In this case, I don't feel that to be completely true. The boy has an IEP (Individualized Educational Program), and he qualifies for special education. At Hermon, I feel that his support system is failing him. I don't believe he is getting the assistance or the considerations he needs in order to be successful in school. I feel that his grades are a direct reflection of that. I feel if his needs were being met, his grades would be considerably better. I have been very frustrated by this, and more so now that it has effected his ability to play basketball.
Not to mention, the boy is still dealing with a severe depression from the tragedy he experienced last year. That happened right before basketball season. Last year, he said he was going to play basketball for Jayden. He lives for basketball. If he doesn't play, I am afraid he will feel that he has nothing to look forward to, nothing positive in his life. He has already said- "without basketball, I have nothing". If he doesn't play, I have no doubt that he will slip deeper into that depression, and I truly fear what that looks like for him.
And I basically said all of that in my email to them, asking them to make an exception for him, perhaps with some kind of strict academic plan where he has to maintain a certain grade in order to play.
I will wait and see how it is received.
Worst they can say is no, right?
Either way, I will continue my pursuit of better services for him. I don't feel that his IEP is doing him much good there. Sadly, that is why I wished he would have chosen Orono High. I have heard wonderful things about their special education department. Oh well.


The Brook...
The bosses invested and renewed our liquor license, even though we may only be open for another month. And it was quite the battle. The city was nowhere near as easy to work with as they have been in years past. They put us through the paces this year. They knew we were on a time crunch, they knew we had to get our application to Augusta by a certain day or we'd have to close. They didn't seem to give a shit. Our problems were not their problems. Every time we thought we were close to getting them to sign off on our application, they'd make us jump through another hoop, or throw another curve ball at us. And they were certainly in no hurry about it, either. They finally signed off on it, on the very last day we had. Literally, if we hadn't gotten the application to Augusta that day, we would have had to close our doors that night. So much for supporting local business. Thanks, city of Brewer.
And the renewal came with great cost. Not only did the bosses pay the state's hefty renewal fee, but in order to pass at the city level, they had to pay off $2000 worth of back taxes on the building. You guessed it, leftover from when Charlie ran the place!
And so, for the customers, for their employees, and for the tiny hope that we still may end up with the building, they rolled the dice and spent all kinds of money to keep us going for now.
As for that tiny hope... We have heard that Charlie is having a hard time getting his financing. And time is running out. He has until the beginning of December to close the sale, and the bank hasn't even heard from an appraiser yet. He is running out of time. If he cannot close the sale in his allotted time, the property will then go down the chain of being offered to the next highest bidders. It will get to us if it the next bidder passes on it. So we have to hope for a couple things to happen; that Charlie does not get financed, and that the next highest bidder passes.
That's a lot of hoping. But at least there is a little of it.

I still have the opportunity to go back to work at Ramona's if the Brook closes. And for that I am thankful. It will be nice to go to a place that I know, and that knows me. I hear a lot of people are anxious to have me back. That makes me get the feels.  :)

The band seems to be doing well. Right now we are trying to cram a lot of learning into a very short time frame. We were convinced to do a benefit show this coming weekend at the Exiles clubhouse for a friend/customer of mine. We realistically weren't ready to play out yet, but we decided we could make it happen. So we very quickly learned a bunch of new music (much faster than we should have or even thought we could), and are now trying desperately to try to polish it all up enough to play out. And with everyone's conflicting schedules, we only have a couple short practices left before the show. I don't know how we'll end up doing. Hopefully alright. I may be less nervous than a typical gig, because I'll know everyone there, and it'll be more relaxed. Or maybe not... Maybe I'll be even more nervous, because I'll be performing in front of a crowd of my peers. Oh damnit. Shit. Balls.

It is that time of year when I start thinking about Christmas. I always think of Christmas early. Usually by now I've started decorating. Yes, I'm usually one of those people.
But not this year.
I fear that Christmas will be bleak this year.
I have a little left in savings, but I believe I'll have to live on that if the Brook closes. Even though I'll pick up work at Ramona's, I don't think it'll be the earnings I'm accustomed to. And so, I'll need my savings for living expenses, not for Christmas, unfortunately. And if I'm barely making enough, and living on my savings, sadly, there will be nothing left for Christmas.
And I have kids. Yes, one is grown, and one is a teenager, but I still buy for them. I still try to spoil them every year. Still love to buy for them at Christmas time. Don't we live to do that for our children, young or old? And this year... This year just looks so bleak. I cry every time I think about Christmas this year.
Don't tell me "they'll understand". They might. My daughter is old enough to. My son is 16. They may understand, but there will still be a bit of disappointment. And even if they do "understand", it doesn't change my heartbreak about it. I love to give to them, and not being able to, kills me.
I know me.
Black Friday will come. And I will shop with my savings.
Because I can't not give to my children. I just can't.

Well, I've drank enough coffee and wasted enough time so that it's almost time to get ready for the day now. Although, it's my day off, and getting ready for the day just looks like- driving the boy to school, coming back home, coffee, vacuuming, mopping, coffee, changing catboxes, doing laundry, coffee, picking the boy up from school, watching netflix, coffee, going to band practice, driving back home, and going to bed. Exciting stuff, you know.

Be well.