Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflections on '08

I suppose it's pretty common for most of us to consider the past year on the day before the New Year begins, and I'm no different.

2008 was a year of tremendous change for me. I learned a lot of lessons, and made a lot of changes. My outlook on life, love, and happiness seems to be light-years ahead of where I started at the beginning of the year, and in many ways, I'm a lot more "grown-up" now than I was back then.

Some of those lessons were excruciatingly painful, and if I had the ability, I would have tried to avoid them. But life doesn't work that way. The lessons come when they come, and we can only choose between doing the work right then, or putting it off for a short time. Once a lesson has been added to our assignments, we cannot avoid it entirely, it just has to be done. And now that I've finished that work, learned my lessons, I feel a whole lot better about myself - my ability to deal with almost anything that life can dish out - I now know, that I can withstand a lot more than I thought I could.

One of my friends says that the number "9" signifies completion, and that 2009 will be a year when lots of things that are currently in transition will finally be resolved. I've been focusing on that thought quite a bit over the last few days. What if completion means failure? What if completion means loss? To be sure, constant uncertainty is a tough way to live one's life, but uncertainty carries with it a small hope of a successful outcome. Would I truly be happier to know for sure that there is no chance of receiving what I want, versus hoping, but never knowing for sure?

I've sought within myself, and the answer that I hear back is "yes".

Yes, at this point in my life, I would rather move forward with knowledge of where I stand in this world, good or bad, positive or negative, loved or disliked, cherished or despised. (I am asking the questions, and I am ready for whatever answers may come.) Will I get my promotion in 2009? Will I find true love? Will I make a difference in the world? Have I raised a son who is able to stand on his own and be a well-adjusted and successful member of society?

It is not without fear that I ask these brazen questions. But as I've said before, real courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to continue to do the right thing in spite of one's fear. And so I courageously move forward, trying to live my life with honor, asking only for truth, giving only what I hope to receive. My greatest wish is that if the cards are stacked against me, if I am not going to receive the answers that I hoped for, that the answers come swiftly and sweetly, with compassion.

One of the most important decisions that I made for myself in 2008 was to "stop waiting". For the longest time, I was waiting for the right opportunity at work, for the right partner to share my life with, for the right time to speak up, for a bigger paycheck, for a break from parenting. I was putting off many of the things that I really wanted to do, things that were important to me as a person. Sometime in 2008, that switch got flipped. I fixed that.

I like to volunteer my time to charitable work. I did that - I did a lot of that. Though it would have been nice to do that "with" someone else, it was still very rewarding, and very fulfilling, to do it alone.

I like to write, I like to sing, I like to dance. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at any of those things, but I enjoy doing it. So this year, I joined a writer's group and started taking dance lessons (singing lessons will have to wait until another time). Sure, I have a long way to go before I can proudly refer to myself as a dancer or a writer, but I STARTED something. I did it for myself, nobody else, and I'm very proud of that fact.

In 2009, I will learn how to sail a boat. (I already found an instructor, and I'm looking forward to better weather, so we can get started on the first lessons!) I want to learn to ride a horse - not just sitting on a trail horse, but actually riding one, getting it to go where I want to go - having the freedom to ride anywhere we want to. (Maybe I'll get a tattoo. Who knows?)

My eyes are getting dimmer, my legs are getting weaker, and my hair is getting thinner. Some of my friends have died, others have had their lives turned upside-down, and so they are starting everything over again. Statistically, I've almost reached the halfway point in my life, and I want to make some changes in the next half.

It's no secret, I've lived the majority of my life taking care of other people. Seems like I've been more concerned about everyone else's happiness than I was in finding my own happiness. I was always putting myself last, waiting patiently for "my turn" to come. Heck, I didn't even know what I wanted, because I didn't want to think about myself. It was all about other people, not me. That part of me has changed, too.

In 2008, I charted a different course. I am starting to live a life where my own wants and desires have become part of my plan. Not exclusively, mind you. Not to the point where I think only about myself and nobody else, but I am now to the point where I look at my own needs and desires, and I weigh them equally (just as important, as other people's needs and desires). And that, my friends, is a tremendous accomplishment for me - a huge step forward in my personal development. I am starting to think of myself as somebody worth caring about.

I look forward to 2009.
The year of completion.

I love you all.
Thank you for being part of my life.

Now let's do this!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Friends and Family

I want to thank all of my friends and my family, for making 2008 a wonderful and joyous year.

This was a strange one for me, full of ups and downs, but all of you have been here with me, providing constant encouragement and sending lots of love, and it has been a blessing to me.

For those that I wasn't able to see in person, be patient: I'll get another week of vacation next year, and I plan on making some visits, so hopefully we'll be able to see each other in person.

I'm looking forward to a bright New Year.
This will be one for the record-books, for sure.
Thank you for giving me your love.
Thank you for accepting my love.


Monday, December 22, 2008


Star-crossed lovers
Crossing over the line
Don't get cross with me
Crossing to the other side
The old rugged cross
Merry Cross-Mas

Thursday, December 4, 2008

"Love is not blind -- it sees more, not less.
But because it sees more, it is willing to see less."
Rabbi J. Gordon

Monday, December 1, 2008

Better to burn out

The me of the last twenty years is fading into oblivion.
I reach out, but they can't hear me. (I dissolve.)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Son Rise (Update)

My son drove away with a Marine Recruiter today. He'll stay at a hotel tonight, then take physical and mental tests tomorrow. He will report for basic training in May. He will be on his way to Afghanistan by July. My heart is heavy, my house is empty, and time plods mercilessly onward. -- Update Dec 1: He's been sworn in. It's official now. My son is a US Marine.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why I Dance

Last night, I learned to dance the Meringue'. I joined a class for people that want to learn Latin Dance. The group meets on Friday evenings.

If someone were to casually ask me why I'm doing this, I would probably respond that I was doing this for myself, that I like to learn new things, that I've wanted to learn this for a long time, and now is a good time.

Although all of those statements are true, I would be lying if I said that I was only doing this for myself.

By nature, I don't enjoy doing things for myself; I actually prefer to do things for other people. I've been working on overcoming feelings of self-denial for more than two decades, but I still find it difficult to do things for myself, especially when I am by myself.

Q: If a man is neither selfish, nor afraid, what is his motivation?
A: Helping others? Feeling appreciated? Duty and honor?

For the past twenty years, I have been a single dad. During that time, I found motivation in being a good parent. Protecting my child, setting a good example for him, nurturing him, and encouraging him to become the person that he was born to be. And so, when he turned 19 at the end of 2006, I found myself searching for new sources of motivation.

I tried the "drinking buddies" thing. Spent $1200 on a big party in the atrium of a local hotel. Bought lots of booze, trophies for people that wore costumes (it was a Sci-Fi convention, after all), bought decorations, special lighting, arranged for a DJ, etc. It was fun, but it didn't work for me. Sure, I was the host, the center of attention, and everybody loved the party. But it didn't really seem motivating to me. It motivated me beforehand, but not afterward. It wasn't something that I wanted to continue.

In March of 2007, I went on a vacation. I knew this would be one of the last vacations that I would be able to take with my son, and it was a total Sci-Fi overload (we toured the studios where StarGate SG-1 and StarGate Atlantis were filmed, and we listened to and met several of the actors from the shows. The event lasted three full days, and it was awesome.) On day two of the event, I found my source of motivation.

WOMEN. Powerful motivation for the male species. Not the sole motivation, but definitely one of the most powerful. We learn these lessons from Animal Planet: the female is typically stronger and deadlier than the male. The male goes to great lengths to attract a mate. Showing off, dancing, singing, fighting and posturing with other males. In some cases, dying. The Peacock, the Lion, the Black Widow. We are made of the same stuff.

WOMEN. From the human perspective, and psychologically speaking, my own motivation to please women probably comes from early childhood 'mother issues'. My mom was unhappy during those times, and I tried my best to make the situation better. I was already a good son, but I knew that as "man of the house", I had an obligation to protect and nurture my family. It shaped me into the man that I am. I have no regrets. I like who I am. I define myself as someone who lives and loves to serve other people, especially women and children.

WOMEN. Like many other things that I do, I'm learning to dance with the end goal of making myself more pleasing to women. I want to become the perfect partner, the ideal man, a worthy and attractive mate. I want to become the kind of partner that a woman yearns to be with, someone that she is proud of, someone that she wants to commit herself to. To date, my efforts have been less than successful, but I can change myself, and I am going to continue to make myself better and better, until my some day, some woman, somewhere, comes to claim me as her own.

So I joined a class for people like me, people who have no idea how to Cha-Cha, Salsa, or Meringue'. (I don't know why I picked Latin Dance - it just seems romantic to me.) I drove through a blizzard to get there, but I was determined. I was motivated.

I could have sworn that I had two left feet going in, but at the end of the lesson, I was doing okay. There were some older couples there, and I expected that, but I was relieved to find that I wasn't the only person who showed up without a partner. Thankfully, a couple of High School girls were there to get credit for a Spanish class that they're taking. (Hey, at least I didn't have to dance alone). I'm a quick study, and I learned. Two more lessons, and we'll all go out to a public place to try our skills for real. I'm excited.

Accomplishments to date that I attribute to the influence of women: (1) Lost forty pounds of weight. (2) Started writing. Began with this journal, and in the near future, will try my hand at a fictional novel. (3) Fixed up my house; not completely done yet, but looking really pretty. (4) Learning to dance.

I get the credit for actually taking the initiative and DOING these things. Changing one's self is not an easy thing; it takes a lot of courage and discipline. I get credit for that. But the motivation would not have been there, were it not for women.

(Thank you, ladies)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Past is past

To my Browncoat friends:

I want to thank you for responding positively the other night. Although we might not have ever been really "close" friends, your hugs and smiles mean a lot to me, and I really appreciate having you in my life. Thank you.

I want you to know that it was never my intention to try to drag you into a messy break-up. I have not, and will never say anything bad about "Eve" to you. Unfortunately, many of you first met me when she and I were already starting to have relationship problems. I take full responsibility for causing that situation in the first place, but when things began to really crumble, it ripped me apart. As a consequence, I was miserable in some very public situations (around you), and I couldn't tell any of you what was going on, because half of the time, I didn't know what was really going on myself, I just knew how I felt. Some people assumed that I was just a bad person, that I was trying to "control' Eve and purposely trying make her unhappy. I just wanted to say in my own defense that I'm not a bad person, I'm just a normal person who observed someone else trying to take my fiancee away, and I felt powerless to stop it.

When I tried to contact you in the past, it wasn't to try to get sympathy or to talk bad about Eve. I was really just reaching out to my friends - to all of my friends - for love, encouragement, and support. I totally understand that you didn't want to get caught up in the drama, and I respect the fact that you remained neutral throughout all of it. You are good people, and I'm glad that we can be still be friends regardless.

In conclusion:
The past is the past, and I'm over it.

Thank you - God bless all of you.
Your friend,

Sunday, November 23, 2008


The last several days have been about re-connecting with friends and family.

Tuesday evening, I went to a Pink Floyd concert with my son, my father, and my best friend/roommate. It was the first time that my son and I have been to a rock concert together, and it was nice to experience that, to do an "adult" thing with him, and have it all be cool. The concert itself was awesome, too. As my friend so aptly put it, calling Australian Pink Floyd a "cover band" would be an insult. They are an homage. They are a note-for-note reproduction of the original, and they put on a truly spectacular show.

Thursday evening, I visited my friend from work. She is currently fighting stage 4 cancer, and she just finished her sixth week of chemotherapy. Needless to say, she's lost some weight, and she's lost some hair, and she was feeling pretty weak. But we had a great conversation, and it turned out to be a really good visit. I'm going to put together a charity auction to help her pay medical bills, so watch for that soon.

Friday evening, I went to the Browncoat Shindig. I talked a good friend of mine into coming with (she's a little timid about these things), but she overcame her fears and had a good time. It was an opportunity for us to catch up on things. She has, to put it lightly, a very complicated love relationship, and she tends to lose herself, to completely give herself away, which is something that I have done in the past. So being able to talk with her was a good start to the evening.

I also took the opportunity to "be honest" with some mutual/neutral friends (a group of people that know both Eve and I; people that weren't part of the concentrated effort to pull her away from me and push her into the arms of another person). I consider these people to be my friends, and it was painful to think that the hornets had not only driven a wedge between Eve and I, but had also talked bad about me to my friends and caused me to lose them as well.

I was happy - so happy - and relieved - when several faces smiled at me warmly, told me that they were still my friends, that they had nothing to do with what happened over the summer, and that they were as surprised as I was. That's really what I needed to hear. {I guess I was giving the hornets too much credit for being able to manipulate people; that they had somehow convinced everyone to stop being friends with me, to stop communicating with me, etc.} It felt good to reconnect those friends again. To let them know that I really value their friendship, and that I am really not a bad person, and to hear them tell me - that they still like me. In the end, there were lots of warm hugs given and received, and I felt good about confronting my fears and letting go of the past - it felt really good, really healthy to do so.

Saturday was Angel's birthday; it was nice to hear that her father is doing much better (he was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, but it sounds like he's beaten it). I spent most of the day working on the house, re-doing the electrical myself, and then went to dinner with a new friend, who I will call Mel. Mel is a good twenty years younger than me, but she's probably one of the most fascinating people I know. She and I talk a lot about metaphysical stuff (energy healing, psychic connections, the law of attraction, etc.). She's recently come to the conclusion that she has fallen in love with her ex-boyfriend, and she needed someone to talk to. We had a great conversation, and ended up talking until 2am, but I wasn't tired in the least. We seem to be on parallel paths; both good people, both in love with other people who aren't emotionally available, both struggling to come to grips with the "why can't I find my true love?" question. She is such a sweet and wonderful person, and find myself wanting to protect her, to keep her from experiencing some of the pain that I've had to go through myself.*

Sunday was a long day. The day before, my friend "Dee" had called out of the blue, saying that she was feeling disconnected from all of her friends, and that she wanted to reconnect with all of them, starting with me. {Dee and I have always been close. Our kids practically grew up together, and both of our sons are about to join the Marine Corps at the same time -- they're going in under the "buddy system", so they can train together and be stationed together.}

Anyway, Dee and her husband, and her son and daughter, joined me and my son for breakfast at 8:00 am ... on a Sunday morning ... downtown. I had my doubts about how it was going to turn out, whether or not I'd have a hard time getting up, or getting my son up, etc. - but it all worked out fine. In fact, it worked out better than fine. After breakfast, we went to see a movie matinee (Twilight*), which is a love story between a vampire and a human. Now, normally, I don't care much for vampires, because there's sort of a long-running rivalry - almost a war - between vampires and werewolves, and I'm a werewolf fan. But this movie focused more on the love relationship, how he sacrificed himself to protect her, etc, and there were a few moments where I was genuinely moved by it. (Dee, being a long-time friend of mine, felt an obligation to mock me for crying during those scenes, but she's earned the right to do so; I'm secure in my masculinity, and I can be moved to tears from time to time, and I'm not ashamed of it in the slightest.)

Afterward, I took both of the boys with me, and we paid a visit to a homeless shelter that I am very fond of. It's run by a group of Catholic nuns, and they still have a picture of Steven, when he was only three years old, hanging on the wall. We went there to donate some food and diapers and other necessities that I bought earlier in the week, and for Steven, it was like a trip down memory lane. (He's really "getting" the whole humility and charity thing, and I'm proud to have a son that genuinely cares about other people and is willing to help out.)

We wrapped up the weekend by watching the new James Bond movie (Quantum of Solace), which was pretty much a direct sequel to the last movie (Casino Royale). It's a perfectly reasonable guy movie, and I enjoyed the combination of having seen a chick-flick earlier in the day, and then a straight-up action movie later in the day. -- Balance is important to me.

So tonight, I feel like I am connected to a larger community of friends. I feel really appreciated for who I am. I feel like I am doing good things, carrying my share of the weight, making a difference, being there to support other people, and feeling supported in return.

I'm sleepy, but I'm happy.
Life is good. I am blessed.
People like me.
I belong.

* I won't go into it in this blog, but I experienced some things this weekend that were probably designed to help me "understand" Mother Hornet, by putting me in her shoes, putting me in a place where I was less judgmental, more understanding of the fact that her original motives were probably good ones; that even though I detest her tactics, I can understand and appreciate her motives. I'm going to continue working on this lesson. As long as I live, I will continue to love and forgive - even Mother Hornet. Because in my book, anger is a sign of unresolved issues, and I don't want unresolved issues. I want to get to the point where I no longer feel angry at what she has done or is doing. I certainly can't change the situation, but I can change how I feel and how I react to it, and I'm too good of a person to be holding on to anger like that. I have to resolve it, let it go, and get on with my life. This is something I have to do for my own well-being, and it's time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thank YOU!

Results from charity work that I've been inolved in recently: raised $35 million nationwide to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Our work at the 9-Cares food bank was "record-shattering" according to 9News:

*** Folks, I can't take any credit for these kinds of results. It comes down to pure generosity on the part of fine people like you. Thank you for being so selfless, especially in times like these when so many families have so little.

We ALL have a lot to be thankful for this year.
May the spirits bless all of you greatly!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pink Floyd

I'm going to a concert tonight - woohoo!
ME - I did something nice for myself! Yaaaay!

I bought tickets for me and my son and my dad and my best friend/roomie. We're going to see "Australian Pink Floyd" at the Paramount.

I've seen their DVD. This band is so much like the real thing, you simply can't tell the difference. They even purchased the props from the original band (like the floating pig and the brick wall!) I am SOOO stoked.

Notice to anyone who has a psychic connection to me (to my emotional state): I will be tripping out on music (not weed) starting approximately 8:00 pm tonight. My intention is to broadcast these feelings on all frequencies to anyone who receives. Please do not attempt to operate heavy machinery or motor vehicles during this time.

Today was one of the best days EVER!

Love you all!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A leaf silently falls

I just got the news. Mike Pope passed away yesterday. It was peaceful - perhaps the first peace he's had in years.

He was one of the bravest, most selfless and giving men I have ever known. He suffered for years, and there was nothing any of us could do about it. But he never complained, and he never stopped. He just kept on giving of himself, even when he knew the end was near. He gave, when others stood by and watched. He gave, when nobody else would.

This is God's joke on humans - the good people suffer, and the scum of the Earth live lavishly. Where is justice? Where is the frakking justice?

Rest now, Mike. Your work here is complete. The rest of us will carry on with the work - we will follow your brave example. But I want you to know, brother in service ... that we're going to miss you.

So there it is.
Another friend gone.

It hurts.


A fellow can't keep people
from having a bad opinion of him,
but he can keep them
from being right about it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Food Drive

It's Satuday, 5:45 am
And I'm leaving in fifteen minutes to work at a food bank.
On my day off.

I'm not just an asshole.
I'm a good guy too, lots of times.
I like to think it balances out.
Darkness and light.

Hurtling through time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

They're Coming Back!

Australian Pink Floyd.
The whole Floyd experience, including flying pigs and laser shows.

I missed thier concert last time.
I'm not going to miss it this time!

I don't care if I have to sell my blood, I'm going, baby!


So - I've been asked to serve on a board of directors (no pay, but lots of publicity). This will be a first for me, and definitely a step in the right direction. It's so interesting, fascinating, that things like this are just coming to me right now. My future is seeking me out, finding me, even though I've done little more than visualize, believe that the right things are happening, and move into it instead of shying away. Have I mentioned that I love this life?

"When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else."

Monday, November 3, 2008

"I wish they would only take me as I am."

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Tonight, I hit a bit of a low spot. I'm a little drunk, a little sad, a little hurt, and more than a little angry. I'm lonely and I'm alone. I feel ugly, inside and out.

You ever notice how the weaker dogs bark loud, and bark often? You ever notice how the stronger dogs wait to growl til they really mean it? Well, the following is a growl. It's my growl. It's a low, rumbling growl, but it's getting louder by the second.

It is especially directed to queen hornet and all of her little drones. I won't deny, it felt good to just say the words. But don't think that I don't mean it (because I do).


Here's a handy recipe for making a friend into an enemy: {Some "friends" I met earlier this year passed this recipe along to me - try it, it really works!}
  1. Judge me from a distance. Don't talk to me directly, talk about me behind my back.
  2. Accuse me of having feelings or motives or issues that you actually have yourself.
  3. Take some good things I've done and retell the story so it makes me sound bad.
  4. Create gatherings. Invite other people that we both know but don't invite me.
  5. Try to get others to join your "side". Form a movement against me.
  6. Pretend to be a good person. Smile to my face. Be friendly in public.

Earlier this year, I held out my hand in friendship. I tried to make the best of a very difficult situation. I was meek and apologetic and striving hard to make peace. I was honest and genuine and open-hearted.

But instead of being my friend, you betrayed me. I tried to share, and you tried to steal. You lied about yourself to my face, and then you lied to others about me. You stabbed at my heart, and when that was no longer effective, you went after those closest to me.

In the past, I really tried to forgive. I am one of the most patient and peaceful people on the planet. I always try to hold my head high and avoid trouble. I walk away whenever I can. In this case, I walked away, multiple times. (I let you win, multiple times.)

Now, I regret to inform you, that you have successfully brought me down to your level. You have made me into your enemy. I didn't want it to be this way, but you insisted.

From this point forward, there is no more patience in me. I'm on a hair-trigger, and I'm very much tuned into your tactics. All you have to do is cross the line once - just once - and I will come at you with a vengeance like you've never seen before.

I am not attacking, but I am FIRMLY standing my ground.
It's your turn to walk away. (I suggest you do so.)

Stay away from me; stay out of my circles. Find someone else to focus on. Find another obsession. If you insist on provoking me, there will be hell to pay. Talk won't fix this any more. Go away, and don't come back.

Leave me and mine alone.
You have been warned.
The clock is ticking.

p.s. Number one way to ensure that I can't trust you: Lie to me. Repeatedly. (Assume that I'm just too dumb to know better.)

Friday, October 31, 2008


Her: "You're beautiful"
Me: "Nobody else sees me that way"
Her: "Well, you are"
Me: -choked up-

Now and then, I get insecure
From all the pain, I'm so ashamed
But I am beautiful no matter what they say
Words can't bring me down
I am beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring me down, oh no

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mi casa es marrón

My house is brown.

The exterior will be finished in the next couple of days. The outside of the house is looking really good. I got rid of white and blue and went with tan and brown instead. Pulled out some trees, got the lawn back into full bloom, cleaned up some junk. Now time to finish the inside of the house.

I need more money. (Waiting on the next miracle.)


"A memory is what is left
when something happens
and does not completely unhappen."
Edward de Bono

Monday, October 27, 2008

Klingon Kindred

Three new friends:
Todd the Barbarian (Nosferatu)
John: the man, the legend, the bartender.
Gunny: fierce friend, deadly foe

All the girls in their bustiers.
And the tails, and claws, and the kitten ears.
And vampire girls with blood-drenched teeth.
Oh my, oh wow, oh dear.

But none of the sweet things could compare.
With the long-legged beauty called Sweet-Pea.
Lips like candy, eyes like fire.
She's dangerous - she's deadly.

Little red lighter?
I'll keep it close to my heart!
(Glad I was single, I think I'm in love!)
And a voice like you wouldn't believe.

And then, to top it all off, my son, my own son
WON the Bat'leth championship battle.

I spent some money to help out a good cause.
I was able to spend time with good friends.
What an awesome weekend!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Twilight Fading

It's getting darker now.
Each day the sun sets quicker.
Cold seeps into my bones.

And just when I think it's time to hibernate,
Angel sends an annoying birthday card,
Eve lets me know that she misses me.

The candle in the corner flickers for a moment,
All of a sudden, I remember feeling love,
and it warms my soul.

Yes, I am invisible now, but that won't last forever.
One way or another, I will rejoin the land of real people.
I will not return to my ice cave. Not this time.

We're filming again this weekend.
Too bloody early to be awake on a Saturday.
Fortune and fame, that's what it's about.

The hornets will be there.
I'm on a hair trigger lately.
They better just stick to the script.

Whining doesn't suit me; I want out of this funk.
Think I'll drink a bit tomorrow night.
Trying to remember, trying to forget.


Con Job

Upcoming convention this weekend.
Those things are always dangerous for me.
(And this one is an anniversary of sorts.)

Circles and more circles.
And I'm just a tangent line that touches all of them.
(Barely notice-able.)

I dread my next encounter with the hornets.
They've gotten their way, and they'll be gloating.

(I'm strong. I'll be stoic, chin up.)

Last year, I was a scientist.
This year, I'm the invisible man.

(Boo mutha-frakka)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Week One

Time marches slowly this week.
Many people were let go at work.
I'm coming down with a cold.

The hornets finished their task of taking Eve.
Now snuggled warm in their hive.
They will slowly consume her.

Winter is here.
Joy to the frakkin world.
Kick the snow off the pumpkins.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Happy Birthday To Me.
Happy Birthday To Me.
Happy Birthday blah blah blah.
Blah-blah blah-blah blaaaaah blahhhhh.

Got calls and cards from my mom and my dad. (sigh)
Got a gift from my son (he actually remembered! he actually wrapped it!)
Got some well-wishes from my friends (thank God for each and every one of you!)
Spent most of the night at work, the rest sending text messages.

No cake.
No beer.
No party.
No songs.

Does "Denny's" still give you a free meal on your birthday? (I'm about to find out.)
I'm sleepy tonight. Maybe I'll celebrate tomorrow.

I make this promise to myself:
This is the last birthday that I will spend lonely.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Storm Front

Weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society -- things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed.

E. B. White

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Earth Shifts

This is going to be a HUGE week for me - lots of changes.

- My first paid speaking engagement (yaay!)
- There's talk at work about a new Directorship for me (coool!)
- Major shifts in my romantic life (I'm gonna have a lot of time on my hands) :(
- It's a birthday week for my sister and I :)

I spoke with the Shaman woman last week.
She told me that she sees LOTS of changes in store for me.
That all of these changes are good - my angels are watching out for me.

I'm so excited!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

All or nothing

You're still the same,
I caught up with you yesterday.

Moving game to game,
No-one standing in your way.

Turning on the charm,
Long enough to get you by.

You're still the same,
you still aim high.

(...Let's roll those dice one more time...)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Autumn Closing In

Welcome to my new website (friends old and new).

I want to thank all of you for for listening, for your kind words over the years.

You are all part of this beautiful experience, and I really appreciate you.

As the next chapter begins I can't help but wonder -
what adventures are waiting around the corner?
(Only time will tell)

Love you all.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Soldier

Brace yourselves for bad news.

Found out last week that a friend of mine has cancer. It's already at stage 4, and has spread to three of her major organs. She starts chemotherapy this week, and it's going to be very intense (and therefore very difficult).

Tonight, I'm going to participate in another "walk" (it's an event that different groups do to raise awareness, encourage donations, and honor those who are currently fighting cancer, have survived cancer, or have died as a result of cancer.) Tonight's walk is supposed to be just for lymphoma, but I don't draw a line between different types. I think of all cancer awareness events as being worthy of my time.

More bad news.

Last time I heard from Angel, her father was fighting stage 3 cancer. That was over a month ago, and I haven't heard anything since. Angel is really close to her dad, she really cares about him and spends a lot of time with him, so it must be incredibly difficult for her right now.

My heart is heavy as I walk tonight. If you believe in prayer, please pray for Marilyn, and Lawrence (and Angel too).

Best wishes,

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


"Liberty is the right to choose...
Freedom is the result of the right choice."


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Play Nice

Attention mean people:

Please stop trying to use my words to hurt other people.

If you have an issue with me, you are welcome to talk with me about it.

If you don't want to talk about it, that's fine. Just be quiet; don't say anything.

You hurt my friend's heart, and that is NEVER okay with me.

Please. Try to be nice.

Thank you.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Can't escape this feeling.
This love isn't dead.

We poisoned it with hurt and anger.
We smothered it with empty routines.
We starved it with inattention and silence.
We burned it with fear and mistrust.

We did so little to keep it alive,
... but the stubborn thing still surives.

Love's seeds are on the ground, waiting.
Winter's cold will claim many of them.
Some will be trampled and crushed.
Others will dry up and wither.

But if even one tiny seed survives.
The whole tree can bloom again.


Summer Daze

Before the breakup, I bought tickets to a play.
It was 4 weeks later.
But we decided to go through with it.
We would go together, as friends.
Prove to ourselves that we could get along and be civil.

I got the time mixed-up, so we were way too early.
It was a sunny day, and we decided to hang together.
We talked and laughed and held hands.
We cleared things up, we were honest with each other.
It was wonderful, easy, natural, magical.

We both had a really great time.
So wonderful to experience that joy.
Nice to remember "why" we fell in love, (that we weren't totally wrong).
So easy to fall in love again. So easy.
And then the day was over.

Thank you for that day.
A day of love.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Answers

I was driving in my car a couple of nights ago, thinking about two unanswered questions that had been nagging me. "I bet I'll never get a real answer", I told myself. "I just wish I knew the truth. It would help me decide what to do."

Then, a small voice inside me said, "you already got your answers, remember?"

For some reason, I thought back to the two mysterious answers that I received from the shaman woman (three days before I actually asked my questions). When I rephrase the first question into the one piece of information that I really wanted to know, it all became clear to me. The answers are "yes", and "no", in that exact order.

I laughed out loud. Leave it to the spirit guides to give you the answers to questions that you haven't even asked yet. The moment was priceless. It all made sense. Wow!

I am good, I am whole, I am blessed.
I know the answers, and I'm okay with it.
There is magic in this world, and I can tap into it.

My thanks to the source of Universal Goodness.
I am amazed, and I am humbled.
Life is good.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Home Base

An awesome thing happened to me yesterday.

I was approached by a colleague who wants me to participate in a public speaking gig next month. In this case, I'm going to be a featured panelist along with two other people in different, but complimentary careers. Each of us will provide a brief presentation on our chosen area of expertise, and then we will answer questions posed by the audience. Yep, it's a professional seminar, and I am going to be speaking, and this is exactly the sort of thing that I want to be doing in my next career. (Terrific opportunity!)

It's so interesting the way that life keeps pulling you downstream (if you let it). I've been telling people for more than a year that my next career - or better said, the next part of my career - would be writing and speaking. A few weeks ago, a friend invited me to a writing class, and this week I've been asked to speak. Shazam!

My future is coming to get me, and I am simultaneously excited and a bit intimidated. I am honored that I would be accepted into the ranks of speakers and writers without the benefit of a formal education, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity. I guess people want to hear what I have to say, because I've been there, I've lived it, I've done it, I've proven myself (I know what I am talking about).

I think about this new life, and then I think about Eve. We had a conversation recently, where she described what she was wanting for herself. She described a "home base", where she would feel welcome all the time, where she could recover her energy and then be ready to go out and tackle the world again. It's a good goal, a desirable goal. I smiled to myself when she was describing it, because in this case, she and I are looking for exactly the same thing. Explains a lot.

If I'm going to travel (to speak at seminars and events, and to consult with different companies here and abroad), I'd like to have the peace of mind that comes with having a "home base". A space that makes me feel relaxed and comfortable. People living inside that care about me, who are warm and active and happy, so that when I come back from my travels, it's to a living home, not to a cold empty room. (I like that picture.) This was the primary motivator for wanting to "settle down" sooner rather than later. I have this urge to build a nest.

I'm still moving forward with that plan. One way or another, I'm going to build a "home base" of my own. A place that nourishes me. My castle, my keep, my family, (hopefully, my queen?). It is all part of this dream that I am building, and I feel the future coming right around the corner. (Life happens so FAST !!)

I figure in 3-4 months, I need to have my current home in order and be ready for a dramatic change in my work routine (traveling to different cities, etc). I can't say why, but it just feels like that's going to be the timeframe. I trust my intuition. I accept the blessings that life has to offer. I'm ready to start my new adventure. (Yippie-ki-yaaay!)

Six Pearls

When I mentioned the 'crystal bowl' ceremony in the last entry, I might have inferred that it was linked to Native American beliefs. Actually, the two are completely separate. The yurt is owned by a couple that honors the ways of the Lakota (check out the story of White Buffalo Woman). The interior of the yurt was adorned with leather and hoops, and smelled like sage, all Native American. However, the crystal bowls derive from Eastern mysticism (I believe Tibet), and were designed to unlock all of the different chakras of the body. Two worlds combined in one place, and it worked quite well.

Anyway, when I participated in the 'crystal bowl' ceremony on Friday, the Shaman (Hope) channeled a psychic message from her spirit guides. There were actually six parts to the message, and I quote them here, to the best of my ability:
(1) "you need to be more clear in communication, in what you are asking for"
(2) "you are going to have new opportunities with your job very soon"
(3) "this new job opportunity will involve lots of travel"
(4) "a new person is coming into your life, a new relationship, it will be important"
(5) "Yes"
(6) "No way"

My thoughts:

I suppose the first item is true. Well, obviously it must be true. When I consider the problems that Eve and I had to work through, most of them came down to a lack of clear communication. I often like to think that this is one of my strengths, but I did a poor job at delivering my message to her. I wanted to convey a message of love, freedom, happiness and mutual support. The message she got was insecurity, unhapiness, and desire to control. Clearly, I have some work to do in this area. (Okay, I have a lot of work to do in this area.)

The next two messages were no surprise. My intuition has been telling me this for quite some time, and this is right in line with where I want to be. (Yippie!)

The fourth message made me uneasy. I don't know whether I'm in or out of the current relationship, and I'm really not eager to start over with another person (especially this soon). When I described my concerns to her, Monica was quick to point out that the message didn't indicate what TYPE of relationship was coming my way (in other words, my involvement with the other person could be based on friendship, business, spirituality, etc). I suppose I'm open to that. I'm a little bit lonely, and I've got room in my life for a new face, or two, or three...

The last two messages are the most cryptic of all, because I wasn't asking any questions (verbally or nonverbally) that I know of. Not to say that I don't have questions on my mind, because I've got a ton of them. But I don't have them organized in any particular fashion, and knowing the specific answers doesn't do much good for me if I can't associate them with a question. (That's spirit guides for you: sometimes too vague to comprehend.) Oh well, maybe I'll look back one day with better understanding.

All in all, it was a really interesting experience, and I was glad to be there. I needed the healing, the group acceptance, and I was glad to receive the messages from the spirit world, even if I don't know what to do with some of the information that I was given.

I am blessed.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Earth Wisdom

The crackling of the wood stove could barely be heard above the croaks of the frogs and the barks of the dog. We had to take off our shoes, to ensure that we didn't track mud onto the rugs, blankets, and animal furs that formed the floor of the meeting place.

There were 14 of us: four men, and ten women. It was 6pm, and I had just arrived after a 90 minute drive from Denver. I should have been exhausted, but already, I felt at home. These were my kind of people, warm and genuine, simple and honest. Hugs were given freely, and smiles were the trendy fashion.

Allow me to introduce you to my newest best friend. I'll call her Monica, which means "counselor". Although I've known her for months, we really only started talking a few weeks ago. Like me, she is quiet and reserved (silent waters run deep). Like me, she listens to her intuition, and she helps people. Monica invited me to this place. To be honest, she's invited me before, but I've been too busy with other things. Still, I believe things happen when they are supposed to, so I don't get to stressed about it.

The leader of the event, a medicine woman that I will call "Hope", knew my name before I reached out to greet her. "Oh! You must be Doug. I've heard a lot about you - so glad you could make it tonight." It felt nice.

We were in a "yurt". [For those like me who don't know what a yurt is, is sort of like a "tribal hut", completely circular, with a dome ceiling. This one was pretty modern, with a polished stone floor instead of mud, glass windows and doors, and even electric outlets, but it still had all the charm and warmth of the classic structures.] The decor was all natural: wood, leather, fur, rocks, blankets. Nothing fake about it. Awesome.

For hours, we participated in a guided healing meditation. Hope believes in wave energy, and she uses sounds to create those vibrations. This time, she was using Quartz Crystal bowls to generate sounds that vibrated through our bodies (and into our spirit souls).

Anyway, I'm not sure if you can really call it spiritual, but one things that I've noticed about myself, is that nature has a very soothing effect on me. The immense gravity of the mountains, the cool and clean air, the noticeable healthiness of the planet in those places. It nourishes me. Ifeel good when I take the time to get outdoors. Sometimes I forget that.

So, there I was, in the middle of nature, surrounded by very genuine people, and listening to healing sounds. It felt good, so good. Some of the participants were regulars, and others, like Monica's boyfriend, a couple of the women, and myself, it was a first-time experience.

I greatly enjoyed it. My father and sister are both very connected to the Native American spiritual ways, but I never really got very deep into it. (This time, I did.)

It felt good to feel valued, wanted, and part of the group.
It felt good to be surrounded by friends. (Not "his" or "hers", just plain friends).
I'm going back today. This time I'm bringing my son. He's gonna love it!

Peace to all of you.
It's beautiful outside - enjoy the weather.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Different Roads

"People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

CAD Project

I have nearly finished with the 3-D CAD representation of my house (finished basement and two levels, only one more floor to go). Took precise measurements with a LASER measuring device (how cool is that)!

The program I got (which took a massive 6 gigabytes of disk space) has a "walk through" feature that shows what everything inside the house will look like. It also lets me print a paper version of my house (using cardstock and paste). I'm really jazzed about the possibilities! This is fun!

On another note, last week, one of my friends told me that she was going to have to leave Denver. Yesterday, she sent me a letter telling me that she isn't going to leave after all. (Last-minute change in plans; not necessarily a good thing short term, but probably best for the long term). I'm very happy for that. She's a blessing to me.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Today feels like an "H" day to me.

happy, hesitant, honest, heckled, harsh, healing, humble, heartfelt, hopeful

honesty, home, heart, health, hair, habit, harmony, hamburgers, hooray, hugs, hello?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Lovers and Dreamers

I first heard the song "Rainbow Connection" when I was a teenager.
For some reason, it really stuck with me (-gasp- I actually liked a muppet song!)
One of my favoritist new singers (Jason Mraz) did a rendition recently, and I like his too.

I won't bother to write the words here. The lyrics are simple. Listen like a kid would.
When Kermit uses the word 'Dreamer', it doesn't sound like a negative thing.
Someday we'll find it. The rainbow connection. The lovers, the dreamers, and me.

Thanks for the song, Kermit/Jason


Friday, August 29, 2008

The Dance

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared beneath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known you'd ever say goodbye

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance

Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn't I the king
But if I'd only known how the king would fall
Hey who's to say you know I might have changed it all

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance

Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
but I'd of had to miss the dance

"The Dance" - Garth Brooks - 1989

Stage Three

Things are looking up. Still trying to heal, but getting stronger every day.
The grief cycle: "denial, depression, anger, acceptance" (Yippie - can I get a treat now?)

Everybody's trying to keep me busy. (Don't the words "leave me alone" mean anything to you people?) Had a goodbye party for MaryBeth, since she's moving to -cough- Atlanta Frikkin Georgia ?!? I keep trying to get out of the BBQ, but I know I they're going to twist my arm. Seriously, they way they describe it, it sounds like fun, but there will be a LOT of drinking, and that is probably the last thing I want to be around right now.  :(  bleh.  Not making any more promises for a while. I'll just see how it goes. Trying to take care of myself, sometimes it really hits me. other times I don't even think about it.

Took K-man out tonight. He's such a political nerd, but I love him. Can you believe we watched the DNC from a sports bar?? I mean, what is this world coming to? Seriously, we had the volume turned way up, and everybody in the bar was clapping and cheering, you'd have thought it was the Super-Bowl! Geez.

Then again, did you see the speech by Al Gore? - No, really, I am serious. That Gore has become a damned good orator! And who designed that blue stage? I mean - that thing was a work of art! Barry did real good during his speech. Not as good as MLK, but very calm and rational and convincing. For an independent like me, it was a good speech. He answered a lot of questions about where he stands and how he aims to get us there. For the first time in a long time, I see people starting to believe in possibilities again (this is a good thing, the world needs a little more hope). My son worked security at the event; got to work alongside Secret Service dudes. (He's so proud !!)

Oh - speaking of proud - I finally got my super-duper program downloaded (yaaaay!), but I tried to run it and it tells me that I'm out of space ... long story short, I have to buy a bigger hard drive. Funny, eh? Oh well, I'll pick one up tomorrow. I can't wait to get the dang program loaded so I can draw my own house in it and then change the interior wall colors (I want it to be per-fect!) We're going to start stripping the exterior paint this weekend, so my ugly house will be even uglier for a little while. (Ah joy!)

Just want to say "thanks" -again- to friends old and new, real-life and online. I really appreciate all of you.I know you've always been there in the past, but it feels good that you all swooped in just when I needed it most. (big hugs) You guys are the best.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


I want to thank all of the special people who have come out of the woodwork to support me during this time. You don't know how much it means to me that you would do that for me.

I am humbled. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Took a night just for me.
Went to a writer's support group.
It was nice to have something to occupy my mind.
Felt accepted, felt welcome.
Did not feel inept.

Noticed that I stutter and stammer when I'm feeling socially awkward.
(Same thing happens when I am being confronted, but I already knew that).

Made a paper airplane for a kid. (His first one got sucked up by an air conditioner vent).
Turned the radio on in the car - sang along to a lot of songs.
Got some more tears out. Feel exhausted. Ready to sleep.

Steven got work today. Big thanks to the Democratic National Convention.
He always gets so proud of himself when he works. It's good for his self-image.

Bought a software program so I can create detailed blueprints of the house.
Decided to purchase the online version, because I just couldn't wait for a DVD-ROM.
Dang thing has been downloading for 14 hours, and keeps failing to finish.
Feeling a little stupid, especially considering I'm supposed to be a computer whiz.

Still miss her.
Don't want to let go.
No choice.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Death of a Dream

Running girl has run away.
She decided to let me go.

It makes no sense to me.
Not long ago, we were so in love.
The best relationship I've ever had.
Now I am part of her past.

Thankful for the good times.
Regretting the bad times.
Grieving the outcome.

I still hear her whispering plea: "don't ever let me go".
I held on as loosely as I could. I gave it all. It wasn't enough.
Open hearts aren't safe in this world.
I'm dying.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Over the hurdle

Auditors finished up today.
It sounds like we passed.
I still have my job.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Me and I

They say that our "true nature" comes out when we are alone and nobody else is watching. If that is the case, I seem to be profoundly sad much of the time.

I don't think about it much, because I keep myself busy, I give my time and energy to other people, and I don't think about myself all that much. But then, when I do stop sometimes and I'm forced to think about myself, I'm just lonely and sad.

I wish I could be one of the perpetually happy people. I kinda envy those people that can get happy by buying things for themselves. I'm sure I could do that, if it would help. I don't want to smother it with alcohol or tobacco, I know that isn't the way. What is a man supposed to do?

I recall the Simon and Garfunkel song: "I am a rock. I am an island. And a rock feels no pain. And an island never cries."

... yeah, right.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Letting Go of Stephanie's Stuff

Five years ago, I purchased this big house. I needed the extra space, because the woman I was dating had four kids of her own. All of her kids started out as foster kids, and she ended up adopting three of them. The fourth kid was Stefanie (not her real name, of course, but close enough).

Stefanie was six when I met her for the first time. Her foster mom (the woman I was dating) told me that Stefanie had a lot of problems, especially with men, and that her psychological issues made her difficult to control and unpredictable.

It was a wintry day, and we all went inside to watch a graduation ceremony for one of the other daughters (I'll call her Fiona). All went well, but we had to sit there for several hours, and it was easy to see that Stefanie was bored. So, as soon as the event ended, I grabbed our stuff and headed outside. Stefanie was quick to do the same. It felt good to be in the crisp air, and I was glad for the opportunity to stretch my legs.

I put all of the camera gear in the car, and started to head back into the building, when all of a sudden, a snowball sailed from behind a bush and hit me square in the stomach. I quickly realized that one of the kids was responsible, and I wanted to put on a good show for whoever it was, so I clutched the area as if it were a bullet wound, winced in agony, and fell to my knees.

Then, from behind the bush, came the most gleeful laugh I have ever heard. A high pitched giggle that echoed through the parking lot. Sure enough, it was Stefanie, and she was laughing her head off because she got me so good. She poked her head from behind her vantage point, looking into my face to make sure that I wasn't really hurt. I signaled with my eyes that everything was okay, that she didn't need to worry.

I felt a wet spot, and I looked down at suit coat (oh yes, we are all dressed up fancy that day), and I was thinking of something clever to say, but a motion from the bush made me look up again ... just in time to get another snowball, right in the face!

Ok, despite the stinging in my eyes, I had to admit - she was an "ace" when it came to snowball fights, and I had definitely let my guard down. Yep, I deserved that one, but I toldmyself that I wouldn't get caught flat-footed again! I paused for a moment, trying to decide on my next move. Her foster mom had witnessed the event and was about to intervene. I'm sure she was worried about my suit getting wet, and she probably thought that I would be irritated about the situation. I needed to do something quick or Stefanie was going to get a scolding...

I did the first thing that came to mind. I lifted my arms, as if to surrender, and looked back at Stefanie. Her eyes met mine, and I could tell that she was worried, but I gave her a big smile and hung my head in mock defeat. "Okay", I said loudly, "you got me".

Now sometimes kids can defy the laws of physics. Sometimes they can move twenty feet in the blink of an eye, and that's exactly what Stefanie did. She bolted from behind the bush and headed straight for me, shrill little-girl giggles blasting my ears as she ran toward me. At first, I was alarmed. What was she going to do now? Tackle me? And then, in another blink she was there, arms outstretched, giving me a warm hug. It took me a second to figure out what was going on, and then my heart melted. I lowered my arms and hugged her right back, and from that moment on, we were bonded.

About a year later, things had sorta cooled off between me and Stefanie's foster mom. We had both come to realization that it probably wasn't going to work in the long run. But, we were still good friends, and we would sometimes hang out and do things together (her kids and my kid), as a group. Frankly, I really admired what she was doing, and I had become part of her support network.

Fast forward another year, and I get a strange phone call. The family is on vacation (which I already knew, because she asked me to look after her dogs), but Stephanie wasn't with them. "What happened?", I ask.

Her foster mom had dropped Stephanie off at the foster home on the way out of town. Apparently, Stefanie had become more violent and struck the littlest girl (who I'll call Bunnie), causing an injury. Now I have to explain that Bunnie hada blood-related illness that made ANY bruise a life-threatening situation, which is why she wore a helmet everywhere she went, so this was a heart-wrenching situation. I'm not sure how I would have reacted, or what I would have done, if the eight year old girl I was providing foster care for, had become a source of grave danger to the three-year old child with a serious medical condition that i had just recently adopted. {It must have been a very tough choice, and I don't think there was a right answer.}

I was asked to collect up all of Stephanie's belongings while they were on vacation. The idea was to have her stuff out of the house before they came back, to make it easier on everyone by not having to see it happen. This event was going to wound the family, and I was being asked to do a small thing to make the whole situation a little easier to bear.

So, of course, I did what I was asked to do. I collected up all of Stephanie's belongings. Her box of stuffed animals, her schoolbooks, her clothes, her clock-radio, her bike. There were some things that she really needed right away, and I was asked to drop those off at the foster home.

I tried, but they wouldn't let me see her, because I wasn't family. They couldn't even tell me if she was there in the facility or not, because I wasn't related, and I had no need to know.

I cried for that little girl. I cannot imagine what how she must have felt. Eight years old, ready to go on a family vacation, then the family makes a quick detour, and suddenly you're back in the foster home. Rejected ... again. (This was her third placement.)

I took action. I tried to adopt her. Stefanie had become part of my extended family, and I felt compelled to reach out, to take the place of her mom; to accept her when nobody else would. I knew that inside that troubled mind, there was a wonderful little girl, who just wanted to be loved and accepted -- and part of a family.

It wouldn't have been easy, I know that. I took classes to help me prepare. I interviewed with the Social Services agency, but I didn't get very far. My son had issues of his own that he was dealing with. They didn't trust a single father with two special needs kids; they didn't think I could handle it. "Thanks for your application, Doug. Maybe we could interest you in one of our other children? There are lots of other kids who need homes, you know..."

Fast forward to today. I am packing up this house and getting ready to move. I've put it off long enough, and I finally have to deal with the stack of Stefanie's belongings that has been sitting in the corner of my garage for more than four years. It's silly, I know. These clothes wouldn't fit her anymore. She wouldn't really use most of it. It's all in my head.

I tried to check on her a few years ago (pulling some strings). According to my sources, she had been placed in a two-parent family, with no other kids. "That's good", I thought. "She deserves a good family". It made me feel better knowing that.

If you're out there Stephanie, I kept a couple of things for you. A letter from your Grandma, a photo of your step-sisters, and your red wallet. They're yours whenever you want them. I won't thrown them away.

I tried to rescue you, little munchkin, I really did. I hear that you have a mommy and a daddy now, and I'm very happy for you. I guess things worked out for the best, but I was very sad when I heard what happened to you and they wouldn't let me help.

I want you to know that I thought you really were a good girl, and I would have been proud to be your dad. Thank you for touching my heart. Please try to understand that your foster mom loved you too, but she knew that she couldn't take care of you as good as a mommy and daddy can when they are together. She loved you, and she was crying when she told me about dropping you off that day. She didn't want it to happen that way, and she was very very sad about it. She loved you too.

I hope and pray that you're doing well. Remember the story of the frog prince: trust your heart and you will never go wrong. I love you, little princess, and I always will.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ode to a Beagle

Sadie Mae Beagle

Thank you for watching over my love.
Thank you for loving her when she felt alone.
Thank you for being her most constant friend.
Thank you for saving her life that night.

Though I only knew you for a few short months,
You accepted me too, and I am honored by that.
The howl of welcome when I walked in the door,
Told me that I was a welcome member of your pack.

And now the house is quiet.
No howls, no snorts, no toenails clicking across the tile.
But everywhere I look, there are still signs of you.
Your life intertwined with those of the ones you loved.

Farewell, my friend.
You will be missed.
(by me too)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Sometimes, life surprises me.
Like right now.
Everything is wonderful.
Who would have thought it?
Thank you, God.
Thank you for Eve.

Monday, July 7, 2008


I looked up today.
The sky was pale blue.
I didn't fall in.

Train wreck

Eve called me tonight.
Tears and exhaustion evident in her voice.
She's been ripping herself apart again.
Trying to keep everyone involved "happy".

I wish she would just focus on her own happiness.
That is what matters. Nothing else.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Beyond reason

Last weekend, we came to a major turning point in the relationship.
It seemed like all of our issues had been leading to this big inevitable conclusion.
So, I prepared myself. When it was time, I took it like a man.
(Translation: I did my best to not cry in front of her).

Later that same day, we miraculously came back together.
We apologized for hurting each other; intentionally or not.
We took responsibility for our own actions and we forgave each other.
We decided to hold on a little longer; to give it another try.

I am a man in love. And this woman, she loves me right back.
Despite what others may want for us (or from us).
Despite our own internal voices of fear and mistrust.
Despite outward appearances, and sometimes beyond reason.

There is an undeniable sense of peace and goodness that we give to each other.
There is an irresistable bond that keeps us coming back.
We continue to be in love with each other.
And I can't wish for anything better than that.

I am happy.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Time for fun

All this seriousness and intensity and behaving is making me crazy. Time for some fun.
Music is a good place to start - how about a change of pace?
Reprogrammed all my "memorized" radio stations in the car. WHEW!
Tonight, I'm digging on some Katy Perry.
// Ur So Gay - reminds me of Eve's evil ex (except he actually does like boys) // <- I love this song!!
// I Kissed a Girl - the way I wanted it to be; the way I wish it would have been // <- good beat
// Simple - it really doesn't have to be so complicated // <- like Edie Brickell meets Bjork

Monday, June 30, 2008

Eve Triumphant

So much to be thankful for.

Eve has triumphed over evil. She faced her foe and shot him down.
Bonus - it sounds like she's going to have a job offer any day now.
Things are looking very good for her. Awesome, in fact.
I am so happy. She deserves every bit of it.

She is a very special woman. I am proud of her. I love her.
Did I mention how beautiful she is?

Mission Statement

"Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Triple to center

She's been having a tough week. (For the last several weeks, really.) I've been able to listen, to really "be there" for her. And I am proud of myself for learning the importance of validating and reaffirming her feelings.

She has remarked at how helpful it has been for her. She has thanked me several times; heartfelt thanks. I am glad that I was able to give that gift to her. (
During a time when she really needed it.)

It makes me feel good about myself. Which gives me more energy. (That I can use to support her). Because she really does need support right now, whether she asks for it or not.

Peace within

No more hurt, no more tears, no more anger, no more sadness, no more blame.
I have completely let go of all of the crap that I started with my insecurity/jealousy.

I made the conscious decision to forgive all.
I ask for forgiveness in return.
(knowing that whether it comes or not, is out of my hands.)

I understand that things will never be the same as they were before.
But maybe that's not a bad thing. Maybe they can be even better.

In any case, I am thankful for what I/we already have, what is real right now.
What is real, is friendship and honesty, caring and support, acceptance and love.

I really appreciate the fact that we have maintained those things throughout.
And I believe that we will continue those things regardless.

I am prepared for whatever the future brings - I will accept any outcome.
I will support her and nourish her, without condition, regardless of myself.

I think the truest form of love is just wanting the other person to be happy.
I want you to be happy. <---- This means YOU.

Observations (life, pt. 3)

My dream became my hope
My hope became my love
My love became my refuge
My refuge became my shelter
My shelter became my safety
My safety became my concern
My concern became my fear
My fear became my doubt
My doubt became my suspicion
My suspicion became my jealousy
My jealousy became my weakness
My weakness became my shame
My shame became my distance
My distance became my absence
My absence became my panic
My panic became my undoing
My undoing became my loss
My loss became my grief
My grief became my survival
My survival became my purpose
My purpose became my clarity
My clarity became my understanding
My understanding became my compassion
My compassion became my forgiveness
My forgiveness became my release
My release became my tranquility
My tranquility became my comfort
My comfort became my strength
My strength became my courage
My courage became my hope
My hope awaits...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Had a great discussion with Eve earlier tonight.
She made a powerful observation about my life.
That I am surrounded by projects that were started, but never finished.
In fact, that seems to be a central theme to my life right now - unfinished work.

I've got a lot to ponder on this one. She's right.
But I'm so tired tonight. So tired.
I'll have to ponder in my dreams and finish this entry tomorrow.


And now, a message to all of the people who so cheerfully intervened in our relationship:

Hello, my name is Doug. When I shook your hand, I was offering you my friendship.
I actually meant that, whether you meant it or not. (Just letting you know...) 

Maybe one day, you might find out a little more about the person that you were trying to tear down, or about the relationship that you were so eager to dismantle.

You might actually learn that I am not the monster you make me out to be. Yeah, turns out that I'm actually more like a decent, honorable man, (and for the most part, pretty damn selfless). In spite of your horror stories and fear-mongering, I have always done right by her, and I always will do right by her, because that's kinda how I am. In fact, I'm kinda that way with all people. It's just my nature.

On the other hand, you were quick to judge, and quick to condemn, and you don't seem to place a whole lot of value on other people's relationships. So, I guess that must be your nature.

I like to believe that the truth will always reveal itself, and I trust that she will be able to tell what's right from what's wrong; what's real from what's made-up. That being said, I've got nothing to hide, and nothing fear. I am a good man. I've done no wrong.

Best wishes, friends.
I forgive you for judging me.
I forgive you for slandering me.
I forgive you for everything.

That's just how I roll.
Now let's have some fun.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Self Verdict

Not being able to eat.
Crying so hard my guts ache.

Treated unfairly, treated unkind.
Cut down by people who said they were my friend.

Hoping for a day that may never come.
Hearing how I'm really good - just not quite good enough.

It mixes you up, it crushes your spine. It makes you weak.
It takes everything you've got, and it always wants a little more.
It's the hardest thing I've ever been through.

Q: Was it worth it?
A: Damn right it was. It was worth every minute.

Because I've learned that I can experience real love. I can give it and get it. I can attract someone into my life who loves me. I can love without condition, and even if I lose that love, the good parts will ALWAYS outweigh the bad.

That's knowledge I didn't have a year ago.
That kind of wisdom will change my life forever.

So you ask, was it really worth it?
I'll tell you the truth - I'd do it all over again.

I am so thankful for having someone say those words and have me feeling it.
I have beautiful memories to fill my dreams long after the tears have dried up.
Nothing and nobody can take those memories away from me.

I am a better person from all of this.
And though I have some regrets, I don't regret falling in love in the first place.
When I started this, I couldn't even feel my heart, and now it's the biggest part of me.

As long as I live, I will continue to love.
I will take risks, and I will get hurt, and it might feel sometimes like I'm dying.
But I will not stop giving love.

Being in love means that you're going to get hurt sometimes.
But being in love is being alive.
Living people get hurt; dead people don't.
I am hurt, but I am very much alive.

Letter to Eve

Introduction: We both had a great time Saturday at the "Can't Stop the Serenity" event. It is a wonderful event, and supports a really great cause (check it out). Anyway, afterwards, most of the Browncoats that attended the event, went to a party (called a shindig), including the two of us, more or less together. Good news is that everything went very well, it was a good evening.

The following text is extracted from a letter I sent to her afterward. I don't normally do that sort of thing (mix personal letters with blogs), but there are really a lot of good sentiments in that letter, and it kinda sums up a lot of the events over the last couple of months that have appeared in this blog, so - here goes.


I love you and I had a great time with you Saturday at the Browncoat screening and shindig.

The little things you did throughout the night (hugs, glances, cheering, support) made me feel really loved and appreciated. Hopefully, the little things I did throughout the night (hugs, glances, cheering, support) made you feel loved and appreciated too. It was nice to sit together during dinner. (Well, during those rare moments when we were both "actually" sitting down, that is).

I think we have that part worked out pretty well, now - - "how we interact at social events". I know it probably wouldn't work for anyone else, but it feels right - it feels appropriate - for you and me. We need space at social events, space to be individuals, space to freely interact with other people. We need it. But on a deeper level, we also want to stay connected to our partners (we don't want to feel cut-off from each other). We've both experienced being neglected or left-out. We understand the absolutely devastating feelings that can bring. We also understand that it's too easy to accidentally cause that sort of pain, so it's important that we watch out for each other.

The beauty is, I think we actually got there. We've figured out a way to keep the heart-strings intact, and yet be free to express ourselves as individuals. (It took several tries, and many, many hurt feelings in the process, but we've been doing it for the last several events - yaay us!)

I want to acknowledge our mutual achievement. I've always enjoyed one-on-one time with you, but the "social butterfly" part was sometimes painful for me. Now, I experience joy in both situations. Thank you for working through that with me.

No amount of "revisionist history" can change the basic facts. We've had fun, without losing connection, at the last several events (Browncoats and Stargate fans included). The solution we've created might not (probably would not) work for other people, but it works for us. That is a major accomplishment, and it took both of us to do it.

And I appreciate that you did/we did.
Thank you.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

List of good things

Despite some bumps here and there, we have had some incredibly wonderful times together. The purpose of this entry is to list those beautiful, magical moments. Moments that can never be erased. (This list is not complete - it will grow much larger as I have time to add things to it).*

The List of Good Things:
Me to her - conversation in elevator - "you notice me, you really notice me"
Her to me - "I'm glad you saved that seat, because I wanted to sit beside you"
Both - YOU like Joe versus the Volcano too??  (A: Yes, especially with pauses!!)
All four of us squeezing into that tiny little booth (cutting up one photo for each of us)
Me tying her shoelaces together. Making paper frogs, and boxes, and snakes, and ...
Her to me - text message - "Those hugs are dangerous, young man"
Me singing Harry Connick Jr. on her birthday (plus that little birthday kiss)
Her text messages from the boat (missing you like crazy, can't wait to see you, etc)
Me being there when she was very sick (a fat-lipped green duck and a prescription)
Her bringing me chicken soup and flowers and kisses when I was very sick
Both - my son's observation: "you know you're watching reality TV together?"
Me helping the kids pick out blue flowers and a red vase for Mother's Day
Both sitting on a wooden swing, talking as the sun went down. Perfection
Her buying me a big green road sign that says "exit zero" - believing in the dream
Me to her - text message - "I think we've invented a new acronym ..."
Her to me - text message - "I would marry you. I think you are worthy."
Unexpected dinner proposal (and a special dedication from the guitar player)
Her weeding the bush in my front yard (the day before the inspector came back)
Me getting the grass trimmed in the back yard (night before her parents came back)
Surprise dinner plans (the creepy banker, the waitress, and two stacks of bills)
Her as Starbuck, and Kaylee, and Zoe, and Inara (mmmmmmm - love em all)
Me being her cheerleader during the scavenger hunt (her buying the pom-poms)
Me picking her up when she was lonely. (Wine and crackers, and the damned geese).
Both taking turns holding each other when we fell apart (several times now)
Her whispering: "don't ... let ... me ... go" // Me saying "i will never stop loving you"
Listening to Opie Gone Bad in the middle of a soccer stadium (best blanket ever).
Texting each other while OC Times was winning the international barbershop finals.
Massaging her feet and hands at night when they were painful and swollen.
Eating the best damned meatball sandwiches, ever. (at eleven o'clock pm)
Walking twenty three miles to honor her couage for being a cancer survivor.
Being given my very own garage door opener (and closet, and sink).
The ceiling fan, the vole, the wasps, the light in the car, and the dead hamster.
Sharpening pencils on the last day before school started (eating lemon crepes).
Buying a puppy together with her daughter.
Spending a day together, walking and holding hands. Laughing again.
Buffalo burgers. Damned good buffalo burgers.
Sir Edmund Hillary and his unfortunate discoveries.

*NOTE: There will be no list of bad things. That list has been erased forever.

No more hurt; no more fear

We've both been so abused in the past.
It's easy to understand why we started to fear certain situations.

I am ashamed when I look back at my behavior over the last couple of months.
When we first met, I was so confident and carefree (and - gasp! even fun?!)
And then, I started to doubt my own worth; my place in the relationship.
I became paranoid and suspicious.

When something happened to hurt my feelings, I believed that it was done on purpose.
Instead of believing in the best possible outcome, I focused on my worst fears.
My fears overpowered me, and so, I turned some good times into miserable times.

Last weekend taught me an extremely valuable lesson.
I realize now that nearly ALL of the hurt that I experienced over the last couple of months was not due to her being selfish or uncaring. It was simply her getting caught up in the moment - just having a good time - that's all.

And so, I find myself wishing that I could un-do (or better yet, re-do) these last months.

There is no reason to have bruised feelings - - and there never was.
There is no reason to question her fidelity - - and there never was.
There is no reason to feel mistreated - - and there never was.

So, I go back mentally, and look at my behavior, and it makes me sick.
My lack of trust, my lack of confidence - it started a whole series of painful episodes.
And I can't help but think that we missed out on some really good times together.

I couldn't fault her if she gave up on me.
Lord knows I'm not an easy person to love.
But as long as I'm still breathing, as long as I can,
I'm going to try to make it right.

I've learned so much over the last few weeks.
About filling myself up with love, so I won't end up draining love from her.
About listening - really listening - and how doing that makes her feel appreciated.
About telling her all of the things I appreciate about her, and letting go of past issues.

There is no more hurt or fear in here anymore.
There is only an empty space.
She stood there once.
Beside me.

Fear came between us.
And I let it
(hell, I fed it).
Time for the fear to end.

I love you, Eve.
I am not afraid of you anymore.
I don't want you to fear me either.
Can we get there from here?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Trading Places

We went to a party. An old friend of mine showed up unexpectedly.
I got carried away in conversation. I failed to introduce Eve.
More than thirty minutes later, I realized that I had forgotten her.
It was too late. She was very (VERY) hurt and upset.
She thought - and perhaps still thinks - that I made that happen to "get payback".

This was an unfortunate sleight - not intentional at all - a brief moment of "carried away".
When this happened to me, I was derided by her friends, basically told to "deal with it".
I dealt with it. Sometimes I couldn't take it, and so I had to leave. It hurt.
I didn't hold a grudge. I took responsibility. I worked on myself. I forgave her.

When I learned to function on my own, things were great.
We went to some parties as 'equals' (separate but equal), and nobody got hurt.
She did her thing, and I did my thing, and we both had a good time.

Then, without warning, out of nowhere, the "reverse" situation happened to her.
And she was hurt. I know. I could see it. She wasn't faking. She was hit very hard.
I could have been smug, I could have been a butthead, I could have rubbed it in.
But I didn't. I know it really hurts, and I offered only compassion and apologies.
I'm not here to prove a point. It's not about who "wins" (especially when we are HURT).
I'm here because I want to love her and I want to be loved by her.

Life has an interesting way of teaching us.
I think we really understand each other much better now.
She apologized. I apologized. It was heartfelt, cathartic, beautiful.

I am at peace now. There is nothing to be angry about - nothing to forgive.
We're just two frakked-up people, trying to make some sense of this world.

I pray this brings us closer instead of driving us apart.
But at this point, everything is on hold. Time has stopped.
It's just so sad that it got to this point.

Wow. Just wow. A whole lotta wow.
I'll have a side of pain, please.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I'll be the first to admit that I have some issues.
I've been through some hard stuff - it changed me.
Often, I have a hard time just letting go and having fun.
But I have never hurt anyone physically or emotionally.
I am a good man, I have dedicated my life to helping others.
My only crime is that I have poor self-esteem.
I think I came out pretty good, considering.

With her friends, I am viewed as a stiff corporate type. (I know, I hear the comments.)
But that's not it - - if you thank that's all there is, you don't know me at all.
I choose to play a supporting role in life. I help the people that I love to become stars.
It makes me feel really good to see them having fun and enjoying themselves.
I take care of people. Even people that hate me. I try to always do good and be better.

Lately, it feels like I am being tried and convicted in the court of personal opinion.
People who don't know me (and haven't really taken the time to try) are judging me.
They don't have the moral courage to say anything to me; instead, they're telling Eve.
According to her, they say I am bad for her, dangerous, downer, voodoo, whatever.

She tells me that other people's opinions do not affect her, but it clearly bothers her.
If the goal was to divide the two of us, it seems to be having the desired effect.
She is so fearful about making the wrong choice, that she needs the opinions of others.
I am so worried about making a good impression, that I can't even relax around her friends.

What are these people trying to accomplish? Why can't they just be supportive?
If ANY two people find each other in this frakkin' world, we should ALL celebrate!

I have never experienced this sort of ostracism and prejudice before.
Condemned by people standing on the sidelines, in the shadows.
These people smile to my face and then stab me in the back. Cowards.

I will not return the favor. I have my honor.
I will not stoop to that level.

My fear, in this scenario, is that she will trust their opinions (about me),
more than she trusts her own experience, her own observation, her own intuition.

And that thought makes me very sad, because I'm nottrying to win a popular vote,
and I probably have no chance to do so (especially with this group of people).

I'm just a real person (with flaws) in love with another real person.

If I am going to be judged - - if that is how it has to be,
then I want it to be from her.
She has the right. Only her.
At least she took the time to get to know me first.