Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Invisible Dog and His Incessant Barking

altThe other day I had company over at my place around noon for nothing in particular and we were just hanging out and chatting.  At some point during our conversation, we both noticed a rather deep sounding bark that had been going on for quite some time.  My neighborhood is filled with dogs so the lone barking of single dog is usually of little note.  I just sort of tune it out.  And I’ve been here long enough to recognize the barks of the various dogs.  This bark was actually a bit odd because it was coming from the side of the house and there’s no neighbor that way that has a dog with such a bark.  We made a joke about how the dog sounded like he was on a timer because of how evenly spaced the barking seem to be and at one point I stuck my head out of the door to see if I could spot the dog.  Then we promptly ignored it for the rest of the day.

At some time that night I left the house for reasons I cannot recall and when I returned home it was getting on towards midnight.  I was exhausted so I performed the usual bedtime rituals and moseyed off to bed.  And by “bed” I mean “the couch”.  My bed is so terrible that I find I sleep better on the couch and thus I often wind up there.

After settling in and being pushed to the edge of the couch by my dog Buckley, I started to drift off.  It was in the silence – as silent as my neighborhood ever gets at least – that I noticed distantly the deep, almost even barking of the mystery dog.  I pushed it out of my mind.  Or tried.  I lay there and couldn’t help but notice it and soon my ears attuned to nothing but this sound until it was thunder in my ears.

Woof… Woof… Woof…

I tried to focus my mind on other things.

Woof… Woof… Woof…

I put the pillow over my head.

Woof… Woof… Woof…

Finally I could take no more and I arose to go check on him/her.  It was nearing 1AM but this is not an uncommon event for me.  There have been several times in the wee hours of the morning that I’ve gone out to check on one of the dogs next door because they are barking non-stop and their (terrible) owners never do anything about it.  But I’ve seen how they treat their dogs and I’d rather deal with the barking then have the owners discipline the animal, which would probably end up with the poor dog being beaten with a stick or that fence board that has fallen and they refuse to fix.  I can usually just bring them a treat, pet them for a minute, and they are good to go.  The dogs, that is, not the neighbors. 

Now honestly I probably shouldn’t have gone out to find this dog because he sounded like he was the size of a bear and if he was aggressive I’d have been in for some excitement.

But I needed sleep and a man will make silly decisions when all he desires is a few moments of blissful slumber.

I open the door and stick my head out just to look for the dog.  And he stops barking.  Excellent.  That was easier than I expected.  I close the door and head back to the couch.  I crawl back under the sheets blanket, get comfortable and start to drift off.

Woof… Woof… Woof…

Grumble.  I ignore it, thinking it will stop, but of course no such luck was to be mine.  Back to the door, I yank it open and let out a very manly “SHH!”.  I may have pressed my index finger to my lips too, I can’t be sure.  Silence.  Done.  I get halfway back to the couch.

Woof… Woof… Woof…

I grab a flashlight, throw my shoes on and head outside.  The dog again has stopped barking but I know he’s there.  I look all around the house and surrounding area, but no dog.  I must have scared him off.
I get back in, head back to the couch.  My bum hits the cushion…

Woof… Woof… Woof…

As I’m walking back to door through my kitchen, I realize that the barking sounds like it’s coming from under my floorboards.  I instantly remember my crawl space entrance has no door on it.  Clearly the dog has gotten under my house.  At this point I’m both exhausted and worried in equal measure that the dog might be trapped or hurt and stuck under my house.  I also have an app on my phone that tells me about lost pets in the area and I’m always keeping my eyes out for them.  Maybe it was one of these.  I know how distraught I’d be if I lost Buckley so I wanted to check. 

I throw my shoes back on and grab the flashlight.  Walking to the entrance of the crawl space I don’t hear the dog but I know where he is now.  I kneel down and shine my flashlight in all directions under the house but I don’t see him nor hear him.  I call to him and try to sweeten the deal by displaying the slices of deli turkey I had brought with me.  But he doesn’t take the bait. After about 10 minutes of this, I give up, leaving the meat just outside of the entrance, hoping to lure him out when the scary human has gone away.
Back inside, I lay on the couch and try to rest.

Woof… Woof… Woof…

There’s only one thing I can do at this point.

It’s about 2AM by now.  And there I was.  In track-pants, a t-shirt, a flashlight in one hand and turkey in the other, under my house for the first time, crawling on my stomach, through bits of insulation (which is extremely itchy if you’ve never experienced it on your skin), covered in dirt and mud, with bugs and spiders crawling all over me, hoping I don’t get bitten in the face by 1) a rabid, scared, or wounded dog 2) a snake 3) a freakin’ spider.  I crawled under every inch of my house looking for this dog, who was ninja quiet at this point.  And I never find him.  He must have gotten out between my first visit to the crawl space and when I went back in the house.

I get back inside and I’m amazingly eager for a shower.  There are spiders all in my hair.  I can feel them.  I resist the urge to let out a high-pitched scream, slap violently at my hair and then run upstairs with my arms lifted high, waving my hands to and fro.

And then I hear it.

Woof… Woof… Woof…

But there’s no way I’m going to look for it again.  I open my fridge to get some water before my shower and then, oddly, I hear the dog more pronounced.



I open the freezer…


The mechanical arm for the ice-maker that rotates had apparently gotten stuck against some ice and become jammed causing it to reset itself over and over and make this noise. perpetually  But when the door was closed, it apparently sounded like a dog to me (and my friend from earlier!) 
I closed the freezer door.

Woof… Woof… Woof…

Still amazingly dog-like. 

The sad part of this adventure is that I had been in the freezer earlier and noticed the noise but didn’t really pay it any mind at the time.

My ice-maker is now turned off just in case this happens again and I somehow forget that it’s not a dog making that noise.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


altMy grandfather passed away mere hours ago. I had thought to write about his many fantastic qualities, but I find myself speechless and unable to form my thoughts.

I will simply say he was an amazing man and the world is diminished now that he is no longer in it.

I love you Pop. I'll miss you everyday.

ScreenShot196 ScreenShot197

Nobody said it was easy, oh it's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be this hard

Monday, August 02, 2010


I've been trying to mentally prepare myself for the days ahead. When I received news today that my grandfather had slipped into a coma, I knew I was never going to be ready to face it.

I'm glad I was able to see him this week. We had milk and coconut cake while he made jokes and told stories. Just like we used to do so long ago when I was a little boy. I'd wake up at 4AM and go into his room so he could keep me company and we'd sit together until the morning.

Milk and cake will never be the same again. Nor the mornings.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Someone Has Poisoned the Waterhole

As I was walking by a friend's desk at work today, I took note that he was drinking a Dr. Pepper from an odd looking can. So I stole it from him to take back with me and snap a photo. Here is the can in question, my water bottle looking on jealously from the background (but keeping his spirits high):

Dun dun dun duuuuuun
This can is obviously of design most retro and I found the slogan to be a bit odd because the "Drink A Bite To Eat" and "At 10-2 and 4 O'Clock" are so disjointed and I initially didn't realize they belonged together.

None of the matters however, because I simply wanted to point out the dastardly looking gentleman in the window. I don't know if he is the Dr. Pepper, the Penguin, the Monopoly Guy's relative, or just some random soda drinker, but his facial expression makes me feel that, were he my doctor, I'd want to get a second opinion on whatever diagnosis he gave me. And if he's the fellow who made the beverage, it has clearly been poisoned.

I also find his choice in eye-wear most curious. The type of man this is plus the slender cord clearly indicate that the lenses were meant to be monocles with the obvious exception that there are two of them. And they are connected in the center as regular glasses would be. So I thought perhaps the cords connected to the lens - assuming another cord is hidden by the left side of his face - were simply to keep them from falling off, but it is not draped over his neck.

Old school design is very strange to me.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cleaning Up, Moving On

(Do you ever jot down random, orderless thoughts onto a notepad? That's what this is. Except with numbers. Prepare for very scattered thoughts)

1) This past month has been interesting. Tough, but probably something I needed to shock me into much needed action. Why did I decide to spend all this time being there for someone who was never there for me? I have no idea. Sometimes I make foolish decisions. But I've cleaned out all this clutter and I'm starting fresh. It's going to be a good. I don't easily get into a funk, and I think this is the longest one I've had in quite a while. Being grim and droll just isn't my style. I'm pleased that those (funky) clouds are passing.

2) I was reminded recently by someone I haven't known all that long that there are still unique people out there who are truly individuals. And that pretty much made my day. I can't recall the last time the sheer force of someone's personality blew me away, but it's a fantastic thing to experience.

3) Work life has been a bit up and down lately. My company was recently sold - well, not my company or I'd not have anything to worry about - so we've all been quite unsure about the future. For some reason, the uncertainty hasn't bothered me as it probably should have, though I'm sure a day was coming where it might start stressing me out. But I had a hard time not seeing this as an opportunity.

Yesterday at last we were given some news and it is quite favorable for me. Much better than I anticipated. Sadly, I won't be able to retire, but I'm thinking that this time next year I might finally be able to take a decent stretch of time off and go see some of the places I've been wanting to visit for so long. Machu Picchu and the Blue Hole in Belize are high on my list.

But for now I'd be happy with any [oil free] beach as I've not been in a number of years, and surely it cannot be healthy to spend so long a time without smelling ocean air, hearing the crashing of waves and feeling sand between your toes.

4) I'm sad that I will miss hang-gliding YET AGAIN this year. The trip happens this weekend but I have developed bicep tendonitis (for the second time this year) in my right arm and it currently hangs uselessly at my side, so it's probably best not to do any activities that require me to hold onto something so that I don't die. Speaking of tendonitis, does anyone else hate it when a word can be spelled two ways and both are correct? Pretty cocky. I'm looking at you too, "judgment".

5) I've been making great strides with my project to get myself back in shape. Sure, I've seen more bare, male ass (at the gym, let me clarify) than anyone should ever be forced to endure, but hopefully it will be worth it.
I faltered for a few weeks but I've been back on track for a bit now (which makes the gimp arm all the more frustrating). I've even been sticking to my good eating habits and that is where I usually mess up the quickest. I have one time attempted to eat badly and fate was against me and foiled my plans. As I [for some reason] jogged up the steps in my house, my foot slipped, causing me to painfully slam my knee into the stairs and to awkwardly hit myself in the face with a hamburger.

6) I'm going to see my grandfather this weekend. His time appears to be growing exceptionally short and I have to make sure I see him at least once more, even though the man he was is buried so deep that he's hard to reach. But he's in there.

When my Mother visited him recently, he was having a good day and they were talking about life and my grandfather told her to tell me "not to worry". As she left, he told her to pass along the message that he'd like to see me. Then he grabbed her and turned her around and said, "No, you tell him I need to see him".
So see me he shall.

And that is all really. I'm back in my optimistic frame of mind and I'm looking forward to the future and seeing where I end up. Not where I expected, but it will be great all the same. There's a few rough patches ahead but I'll make it through.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Well, that was an expensive rejection...

Where to even begin...

I always hate to write negative things, but events of this week are all that will be dominating my mind for the foreseeable future, so I might as well start the venting process.

That move I previously mentioned that I decided to make blew up in my face. I can't make the font bold enough to really drive home the amount of blowing up that happened. It blew up even more than I feared it would when I thought my most negative thoughts about potential results.

Someone very important to me is having a hard time right now. It keeps me up at night with worry and I've felt powerless to do anything. So I decided at least to make sure she knew I was there for her. I'd said the words, but I really wanted to show that, hey, here I am. I wanted M-Pie to know without a doubt I was there for her. I wanted to give her a hug and tell her things would work out. To tell her that I don't say prayers, but that I say them for her.

I didn't get to do any of the things I'd planned. I never really thought it was possible to feel like an asshole for trying to show someone they are important to you, but apparently it's not only possible but really freakin' easy to accomplish.

While there are questions I've desired answers to for a while now, this week was not about that. At all. Yet I received those answers - indirectly - by the reaction of the gamble that I made. The answers were not at all what I wanted.

I have this cold pit in my stomach that feels like a constant nausea. You know the one. I haven't had that feeling since high school. It is not a feeling I've missed. I didn't even think it was possible to feel it more than once a lifetime, because people simply aren't made of tough enough stuff to deal with it multiple times.
Unfortunately they don't make a switch you can just flip to turn your emotions off for someone. But they really should, because I'm in dire need of one right now. That would be the healthiest solution for me. I'm certainly not up for dealing with the problem like I did before. I definitely need to find a better coping mechanism this time.

I guess that 10 years may have been for nothing after all. My stubbornness or willful ignorance doesn't change that fact. And I think it says something about how damaged my brain must be that, even after all the very clear signs of this week, part of me still thinks maybe all is not lost. All I know is that it's not healthy to keep carrying feelings for someone who doesn't - and possibly never did - have any for you. But like I said, there's not a switch to flip.

It's also troubling that - if I can't judge a person or their intentions after 10 years - then how am I ever to make decisions about someone and feel confident with my conclusions? But that's an issue for another time.

Sort of a side point, but the person she is with right now who treats her so terrible makes me furious. For a variety of reasons. I think I can say I've been "furious" about two times in my life, if that gives you a gauge. I don't anger easily. Obviously someone treating a person I think is so special with anything less than near-reverence doesn't make me too happy, but it always upsets me to see a person not appreciate the things - or people - that they have. Especially in this situation. Whereas there's little I want more, this undeserving person (nor to say that I am deserving) has to make no effort to get where he is, and then abuses that position by not treating her like she deserves. And I've no doubt he doesn't understanding how lucky he is.

The fact that his behavior is being tolerated for even a moment sort of lets me know how much she is struggling. Normally I'd expect M-Pie to punch someone like that in the face and then go about her business. It worries me that his nose is still in tip-top shape.

But what can I do?

As much as all the above is weighing on me, wondering about the latest news from her is what is keeping me up tonight. I hope some progress has been made.

Don't release this stranger's hand, cos I think I've got this covered.

Monday, June 21, 2010

More M-Pie

These past few years I've been so concerned that something was damaged inside of me, where I was unable to feel connections to new people and find love in new places. Maybe - despite my normal optimistic view on life - I had just become too world-weary. So I was pretty ecstatic that I was able to feel some excitement for a few new people this year, though that fizzled out pretty rapidly. Still, it showed I had the capacity and I thought at least that was a sign I was not broken. Which is good because I don't really believe I am.

Instead, I wonder if I'm not damaged, but if I'm just too biased towards you and this connection we've had for a decade. Even when we don't speak for a while, during every relationship there's always you there in the back of my mind and often very much in the front of it. And when that relationship falls apart, I think, "well of course it did, it's not her".

Apparently I'm still holding out for you sometime down the road. It was easier when I thought you were doing the same, but yet here I am. It's easy, really. I've had a lot of practice at this. You might even call me a master at it. And being the optimist that I am, I refuse to believe it was time wasted that won't amount to anything.

I am walking through midnight, singing in chains

Friday, May 21, 2010


From this site:

"My parents have been married for 35 years. The other day my mom told me that when my dad calls her up at work to see if she wants to grab a cup of coffee, she still gets butterflies in her stomach"

That pretty much sums up what I've been looking for. Well, minus the coffee drinking.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

More Awkward Moments

I've mentioned the problem of naked old men roaming the gym locker rooms without a care in the world, flapping in the breeze and allowing themselves to air dry after a shower. It appears this was only the start of a much larger issue and evidently their hippy-esque, carefree way of exposing themselves is really more of an epidemic, spreading with a tenacity akin to kudzu.

I had thought the naked lunges to be bad - and don't get me wrong... they are - but I assumed it couldn't possibly get any worse. It can.

We were all the way upstairs on the 3rd floor, so in theory we should have been safe, what with the locker room being both all the way across the building and two floors down. But this snake in the grass was waiting for us and struck when least expected.

At some point I noticed this older gentleman because every time I looked up he was right next to me at another machine. He was exercising with great fervor and I will hand it to him that he was in excellent shape for his age, and also ridiculously flexible, both as an older fellow and as a human being in general. Perhaps he was making a statement with his close proximity and vigorous exercise. He's may be a century older than me but he was making me look like an invalid by comparison. Whatever the reason for his constant presence, he was easily ignored, so I didn't really pay him much mind initially, but it shortly because impossible to ignore him. Believe me, I tried.

I began to take note that after each short set he would do on any given machine, he would walk over to the leg press and stick his foot on top of the section that houses the weights, which basically means he had to stick he leg straight up in the air, which appeared to be no hurdle for him. The problem with this stretching was two-fold.
  1. He was wearing shorts. Now, even regular shorts will ride up a bit when you go too far out of the normal walking range of motion. The shorts this man had on were anything but normal and already showed too much leg even when just standing normally.
  2. He was facing us often times when he did this stretch.
So what do I see when I look up but some random old guy's cash and prizes staring me in the face. Augh. I thought I must still be in the locker room for a second. How else could this possibly happen?

I didn't know if any of my friends who were with me noticed, but I didn't want to call attention to it lest I draw its dark gaze down upon me, like naming Voldemort in Harry Potter... not that I have any idea who that is. But apparently someone noticed, because after a while I hear one of them say "I'm tired of looking up and seeing that old guy's naughty bits." Though, I think they said it a little more vulgarly but I can't be sure as my mind tried to wipe that whole day from my memory as some sort of defense mechanism for my sanity.

After a while, that guy vacated the area and we were able to use the leg press for which we had so patiently waited. On my last turn, I looked over and noticed another guy waiting on me to finish. He was a giant who looked to be around 6'7" and his biceps were as big as my torso. He also looked angry, but was pretty polite and told me to take my time. I let him know when I was done as he was looking elsewhere at the time and I moved over to another machine. It was around this time that I (as well as my friends) noticed the free-spirited elder gentleman returning. And he was headed right towards the leg press, which the Giant now occupied.
I didn't really think anything of it at first, because of course the old guy wasn't going to do his crazy stretching on the machine that someone was using, especially not the current fellow.

Never have I been so wrong. And I've been pretty wrong in my day.

Old boy didn't even hesitate when he shot his uncomfortably muscled leg straight up and let it come to rest on top of the machine, facing the Giant, shorts falling open to display himself for the world. Quite frankly I expected the big guy to just punch him at which point the old bloke would have exploded into a fine mist. Instead he looked right over at me, right in my eyes where I saw a plea for help, and deep, deep sadness. At which point my friends and I all exploded in laughter, though our joy was mixed with sympathy. Giant kept eye contact as if afraid to look away and was just shaking his head non-stop. Not really what I expected from such a scary looking guy. But he may have been in shock.
When Giant was done, he made his way over to us and we all had a laugh and talked about what had happened, like survivors of some great tragedy. We would all be forever changed after that day.

Personally, I'd have steered clear of Giant. Turns out he's actually a pretty stand-up guy but he sure looks scary as hell. That old guy really has some balls on him. And unfortunately I am qualified to make that statement.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Moments of Doubt

I am not what you would call religious. The idea of religion in general does not sit well with me. I tend to frown upon religion but I look upon belief or faith - even when they are more simply disguised as hope - far more charitably. I possess those things myself.

I've questioned religious topics my entire life. At least, when I was old enough to realize I should question. Not to the point where I studied religion, but simply that I was very aware of when something I was taught felt wrong. As I grew older, I learned to doubt. and not to just accept simply because I was told by people who "knew better" that this is the way things are.

Certain events in my life helped drive me down the road I am now on. Nothing amazingly dramatic, but people I trusted to provide me with these answers turned out to be flawed. They made mistakes. Some of them huge mistakes that didn't involve me yet I still saw it all happen. I realized they were people. Just normal humans prone to err just like I was. They weren't qualified to give me the answers I needed.

So I question. And I torment myself because my current self conflicts with my past self and his beliefs. The things that I believe now which seem only logical to me at present clash mightily with my young self, who was terrified by scare tactics. Who feared the bite of the flames. Those two sides of myself war constantly, even though one side I've stopped believing for years.
It's rather exhausting.

I believe all the little details are unimportant; you know, those little details that have caused people to argue, clash and kill over the centuries. All of that waste for something that won't matter in the end. It's the overall song that matters, not the notes that make it. Yet it's the little details that keep my mind racing. I feel like I know better but my brain can't convince my sub-conscious. Years of conditioning can do that to you.

I've never doubted the existence of God. Not once. I don't know if I have that capacity, and I'm completely fine, even relieved, with that. I think it's important to note this point; I am not a bitter, jaded person who has suffered great tragedy and feels like his creator has wronged him and thus began to question. I simply think we have been gifted with our minds for a reason. To use them. To seek answers and understanding. To create.
What greater joy could there be to the one who gave you such a gift than to use it to its utmost potential? To utilize such an amazing gift.

Certainly I've doubted a million things I've been fed over the years about what is right, what is wrong, what God frowns upon, what God rewards, what matters, what doesn't. I can't trust people on this and there's no one to look to for answers except myself. That's a hard truth to uncover when you realize the one person who you can go to for answers has none.

Over the weekend, I doubted something new as I lay in bed sleepless. I don't know what conjured the image but for a second - a terrifying second - I doubted an existence of life after death. For that one second, I was completely convinced of the truth of this. And then the moment was gone but I was left a bit shaken. As weary as that one moment made me, I can't imagine going through life with such a belief. That this is it. That there is no great mystery we will get to unravel after we pass on. It must be horrible to live with that constantly gnawing at you.

I would hope for the people who have such views that it would spur them to take better advantage of life than most do. And that when they are done, they will have a pleasant surprise awaiting.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

When I Think About You I...

As I was walking by our training room at work on Friday, a guy who always asks me each time I see him if I've played my guitar lately walked out of the room and saw me. Having for once played a little bit, I beat him to it and said, "hey guess what, I played a little last night". I saw the joy in his eyes as he was about to unleash a barrage of questions. I knew he'd think maybe I'd met up with friends and jammed or some jive, which I did not. So I stopped him before he could ask.

Right when I started to explain, the owner of our company walked out of the room as well. He did not hear any of the conversation leading up to this. It was at this time that I (and I'm not sure WHY I phrased it this way) said "I just stayed home and played with myself all night".
Why didn't I at least say " myself..."? I have no idea. But this poorly worded phrase is all the owner heard. I can't say for sure that he heard me, but I saw a certain look of shame in his eyes.

Earlier that week he had sent out a reminder to the company that we start the day at 8:00. I guess some people roll in late. Regardless of the fact I come in at 7:00, he's probably going to let me slide on the rules a bit. He now knows that I have a lot on my plate and my hands are full. So to speak.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Math is Hard

Math was never exactly my strongest skill, but I like to think I can usually get by with the basics. While working on a project today, I apparently made a slight error when I was writing out a ratio formula. Or perhaps it's accurate and it means our business is doing very well.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I love it when a plan comes together, but today is not that day

I don't tend to participate in St. Patrick's Day. It's not really my sort of holiday. Today I specifically didn't wear green, perhaps hoping I would get pinched. Thus far, one guy has pinched me...
...this plan is not going at all how I imagined.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Repacking the Bags

Emotions are a strange thing. When this year started, I wouldn't have been able to pinpoint a time in recent years were I was genuinely excited to meet someone and to learn about them. I had forgotten what it was to see a person and feel yourself light up.
I've felt that excitement now twice in three months. I wonder if I gained the capacity because of my recent emotional baggage purge, or if had the capacity all along and it just took the right person to ignite the spark inside of me. And would that spark have taken flame without said purge? Or could it even be that I am sub-consciously making myself experience these things so that I feel I've made progress within myself? I can't imagine that being the case but, if it is, I am far better at fooling myself than I thought possible.

Unfortunately, both of these people have made their escape just as quickly as they broke in through the walls that time had erected around me. And I'm left wondering; do I feel richer for the experience? Or am I stuffing knew baggage into my luggage before it has even had time to air out?
I can tell you I did not miss that feeling of loss when someone special leaves your life. But it is nice to feel that strongly again. I simply haven't been able to determine if one of these things outweighs the other.

I'll keep trying.

Do I quit this game now? Or do I keep on playing?
And I lie in bed still, and I keep on saying...
Is it ever coming? Have I been forsaken?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I'll Keep Digging

It has been an interesting few weeks. I recently met someone who showed me something very unexpected. She showed me that I still had the capacity to get excited about getting to know someone. That may sound silly to possibly everyone who isn't me, but it's been a long time since I've known that feeling. So long in fact that I was beginning to think I had lost the ability and that something was wrong with me. It's nice to learn you're not dead inside.

I was inspired. I'm very aware of the hang-ups from the past that I have. So I decided to emotionally and physically purge all the old relationship baggage I've been dragging around for so many years. Old notes/letters/emails? Burned and deleted. Regret over relationships that went awry in the past? Get that out of here. And even the most recent where I don't even know what happened because the person refuses to communicate? One last contact attempt to try and get some closure. No responses. She must not be worth the time. I moved on.

It felt good to have that burden off my shoulders. I wanted to go into this without clinging on to anything that might hinder me. Finally, here was someone I was ready to do that for. Someone who really deserved it.

The downside to learning that you still have the capacity to feel excitement for someone is learning that, when that person decides things aren't going to work out, you
certainly still have the capacity to feel heartache. I learned that lesson this morning.

As depressing as it is, I have to look at the positive side and be glad something good came out of it even if it didn't go how I'd hoped. I just have to take care and not let her be the first baggage I carry to the next relationship. I can already feel the weight on my shoulders.

I know someday you'll have a beautiful life; I know you'll be a sun.
In somebody else's sky but why...
why can't it be mine?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Layers of Complexity

As I begin to close in on turning 30, I look back and wonder how I could have ever possibly thought I would have met a proverbial "the one" by now. I clearly recall believing any other outcome was impossible. 25 at the latest, I assumed. But at 20, turning 30 seemed decades away.
I would see TV shows where the characters were around 30 and they were struggling to meet their significant other and I thought to myself, "how sad that must be, I'm glad that will never happen to me" which goes to show you that my goal of "become a psychic by 30" didn't exactly pan out either. Of course it may even be that I did meet this person, but didn't know enough at the time to handle it the way it should have been handled.

I am just now getting to a point where I feel like I might be ready to meet said individual, despite all the past years where I was impatient for it. There's so much to right about yourself first, how is anyone ever ready at a young age? I won't be bold enough to claim they aren't but I can say I certainly wasn't ready and I have been witness to many friends who haven't been ready. Some realized it then, some are realizing it only just now. I feel everyone should be given a do-over for the last decade when you hit 30. It only seems fair.

It's taken a lot of effort to get where I am today, and I see so many improvements yet to make that is can be overwhelming. I've had to take so much time to learn who I am. A continually evolving process, often painful when you discover things about yourself that you don't like. A lot of the time I still wonder about me.

I've had to learn how to let go of a few people from the past. I managed that only very recently after I finally understood how damaging it was to me and the vast array of other problems it was causing. How I missed it all this time is a mystery because when the revelation came, it was an iron-fisted backhand to the face. Not to mention everyone else noticed. But really, who takes advice?

Then there was a long stretch of time - partly due to the previous issue - where I was completely unable to feel any excitement for another person that you need to feel to be anything more than friends. I had forgotten what it was like to feel that tug deep inside about someone that kept you up at night wondering just how you could be part of this person's life? How do I become important to such an amazing individual? Making that happen of course is a whole different set of complications. I'm still working on that one.

After resolving a few personal issues, I was forced to examine the growing level of complexity that is involved in meeting people. There's a lot more to it than simply introducing yourself to someone new, no matter what people claim.
As a younger guy, there wasn't really much I had to concern myself with; did the girl like me and was she dating anyone? Oh, if only it was so simple now.
As I grew a little older I had to start worrying if they were married. I recall the very second this happened. Walking down the boring, white hall of the community college, 3 feet behind a girl, trying to work up the nerve to speak with her. She was short, with curly shoulder length hair that often fell in her face. She walked too fast. As I opened my mouth to awkwardly say hello, she brushed her hair back behind her ears with her left hand. She had an engagement ring on. Suddenly my view of meeting women went from a simple two part problem ("yes I like you", "no I don't") to a complex, rubik's cube puzzle that would punch you right in the soul every time you turned a layer the wrong way. Something inside me died that day.
As I grew older still, I had to consider that they might have kids. And, yes, I realize that this and the previous complication could easily be in an alternate order. Finally, the last few years I'm noticing that a lot of people my age are realizing they made a mistake early on and are getting divorced by the boat-load. And I tell you that dating someone who has been divorced (in my experience) is a different animal.

There's so many things to balance. So many things to get right. How can anyone expect anyone else to get everything right? But requirements get more and more strict. I know mine do.
Even when I think I'm on top of things, I often miss something minor yet vital. I can be oblivious when I've fooled myself into thinking I was being perceptive. But I've been trying to think of it as a chance to improve rather than as a weight stacking against my odds.

It's a lot to juggle but I'm sure the right person is worth it. I am waiting to find out.

Monday, February 01, 2010

I've Watched You Change

I am continually surprised with how people's feelings or attitude change for no apparent reason, overnight. If I could trade a year of my life for 5 minutes wandering around in someone's brain to unravel these mysteries, I'd do so without hesitation. A year is rather a short period when you consider how much time I ponder over these changes with no hope of finding answers on my own. Constantly searching, never discovering.

If people could be more forthcoming with reasoning, life would be simpler. In a good way, not in a diminishing way. But I'm guilty of a little secrecy, myself. It's easy for me to say all of this, despite how easy it is to misunderstand my own feelings. I never know what I'm thinking, why should I expect more from others? Yet I do. I realize the injustice in this but I'm powerless to control it. It's not that I feel it's required for everyone but me to be more in-tune with themselves, but I simply feel the need of a little clarify every now and again. For my own sanity.

People can be so secretive about what is going on in their minds. I need some brutal honesty for a change. Untie this string that you use to drag me along and allow me to get my footing for once.

I have improvements I need to make. The next time someone changes so dramatically, or vanishes, I should allow it. I should let them disappear from my mind instead of mentally chasing them forever. I don't have the stamina for long pursuits anymore and I've yet to let anyone fully diminish. I'm exhausted.

Dramatic gestures have always failed me; it's time to simplify.

And maybe I'm too young to keep good love from going wrong, but tonight you're on my mind, never know

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Fond Quote

"Are you upset little friend? Have you been lying awake worrying? Well, don't worry...I'm here. The flood waters will recede, the famine will end, the sun will shine tomorrow, and I will always be here to take care of you."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Gym, Nausea, and Public Showers

In an effort to get back on track with taking better care of myself, I crawled out of bed at 4:50AM this morning to go to a 5:30 class at the gym. And for those who've been to my house, yes, there were still people walking around on the streets even at that time.
I only managed to get 6 hours of sleep, which clashes a bit with the whole "taking better care of myself" idea, but I'll need some practice to get the balance right. Beyond forgetting deodorant and nearly walking out of the house without pants, I felt I was off to a strong start. But two things were plotting against me; how hard spin class can be after not going for months...and public showers.

Several months ago, I was on a roll and was rather dedicated to going to a class several times a week and that was forcing me to eat better because I'd feel like I did all that work for nothing otherwise. It was working out well. But everything went downhill when I moved because I no longer had to go by the gym to get home and thus 'out of sight, out of mind'. I can in fact be that pitifully weak-willed and easily distracted; I'm not proud.

A note about spin class for those who've never been. If you're not in excellent shape, there are three phases that you are going to experience when you go to your first several classes.
* Wanting to Vomit
* Wanting to Die
* Uncontrollable Urination

Okay, I made that last one up. Maybe. I think the actual last phase is "grim acceptance" but sadly I don't ever make it to that one.

Still it felt good (besides the 45 minutes during which it felt horrible) to be back on track. Or at least starting back on the path to be on said track. ~16 miles wasn't a bad first day. Though it's depressing when the instructor starts talking about how all that effort translates into the kind of food you can eat. Two .99 cent bags of Cheetos and all that work is undone? The effort-to-calories-burned ratio always seems horrible skewed. Thankfully I don't like Cheetos. Though I do like this guy:

It's also depressing that he - the instructor, not Chester - is probably close to double my age and was tearing it up all the while talking to the class without a hint of being out of breath. His legs were moving in a ridiculous blur, like the Roadrunner.

Since I had to go to work directly after class, I was forced to use the public shower or be shunned by my coworkers. I'm sure most people are long beyond the discomfort with public showers that I felt this day but, this being my first experience with a public shower, I was none too pleased. The place was filled with far more naked old men proudly flaunting their cash and prizes than any one location should ever contain.

I wanted to shower as fast as humanly possible, but I had to make it to a free shower-head first. As I uncomfortably make my way through there - giddy elders all around talking about their moles and popping each other on the butt with towels - where do I look? You might think you want to look the people dead in the eye, but you don't really want to do that. You want to avert your eyes and cast them down in discomfort or shame, except you really don't want to look down. You could close your eyes but one ill-fated bump into someone and there's not enough soap in the city to scrub away those memories. Squint. That's the key. You can't make out details but you can make out the octagon shapes of the fellows easy enough to keep clear.

Also, I should note that old people's butts are freakin' weird. The shape and angles are all wrong, like some sort of nightmarish horror from an H.P. Lovecraft story. They look like someone was trying to make biscuits out of their backside but hasn't fully rolled the dough yet. They are pasty-white and soft (...I assume), half totally flat and the other half more or less dome-shaped, though with various pits and dents all over the surface (as if the dome was hit by a shower of meteorites).
And I guess some of them look like you dropped the dough on a floor covered in white cat hair.

It is unfortunate that I try to share this information while attempting to eat my already unsatisfying lunch. It's unfortunate that I had to learn these things at all. Today; the day I lost my innocence and the world became a cold, dark place.

Monday, January 04, 2010


It's been quite a long time since I fell in love for the first time. I still think about her - never forget her. That's not really in my capacity. Even if I've only seen her a handful of times in the last 10 years, she's there. She's part of who I am.

Yet over all the years, she may not have been physically present, but she was consistent. I would on occasion be updated on major events in her life. A big move. When she was getting married. Even when she was had a child. I was somewhere in her mind too, if only a weak presence. So, while apart, we were always connected even if only by a thin thread.

When today I found out by chance that she had a another son, I knew that thread had finally broken. I guess she has fully moved on at last.

The realistic side of me is glad, though the selfish part of me is hurt. But I suppress it; that side of me has no place anymore.

But with the freedom this severing is forcing upon me, maybe I can finally stretch my legs and distance myself from the past and get a little closer to the future. Though I realize before starting out that no matter how far away I get, there's a part of me that I left behind on her doorstep. I've never been able to get it back. Please keep it somewhere safe and look at it from time to time if you ever feel unloved and realize that will never be true.