Sunday, June 28, 2009


After replying to an e-mail tonight I decided to go read some saved messages from a year ago. I wasn't really sure how reading these messages might affect me but I decided to hazard a click or two anyway just to see. I guess you could call it a test.

And honestly I don't know whether I passed or I failed the test. I suppose it depends on how you're grading it. I passed in the sense that these messages didn't make me cry or even the least bit teary. Instead they brought a smile to my face along with good memories, memories that I wish very badly were more clear in my mind. So, if no tears means passing then I did so with flying colors.

But it seems to me that I failed the test as well. Because the messages I decided to read were from FMHW who I continue to think about on a daily basis. I have not spoken to or heard from her since prior to Christmas and that was in response to a message I sent her not something she initiated. I have not seen her since the middle of last August; the last thing she said to me as she hugged me goodbye (which I suppose was goodbye goodbye and not I'll see you later goodbye as I'd hoped at the time, hope springs eternal after all) was "I'll be in touch, Buddy." She'd never called me buddy before then. It drove a nail into my heart.

She still haunts me. I see traces of her in other women (from co-workers, to celebrities, to people in the grocery store). I wonder what she's doing and where she is and if she's happy and how her kids and her roommate and dog are doing and whether she's finally moved the bed out of her kitchen. And honestly I don't want to be dwelling like I am. I would really just like to chalk her up to a rebound after Ms. Ex. Or maybe just a fun Spring/Summer fling. But I don't seem to be able to do that. And I don't know why.

Not that I'm letting this dwelling on her stop me from living my life. I am trying to meet someone new. Although, as previously blogged about, that hasn't been going as well as I'd hoped. I'm doing fun things with my friends and my family and enjoying my life. There is no rush to meet someone, I'm content to be alone. Unlike some people (Ms. Ex being one of them) I do not need to be with someone because I'm scared to be alone. Not that the longing for that special someone doesn't exist, because it is most decidedly still there. It pops up during the quiet moments and the moments I'd like to share. Like the spectacular sight of the fields of fireflies I drove by on Thursday night on my way home from a concert. Or the quiet of an overcast Sunday morning spent finishing a book in bed. Those are just two of the times the lack of someone to share these moments with hits me, but there are certainly more, many, many more.

A week ago last Friday I went home for my father's retirement party. The drive to my parent's takes me through the town in which FMHW grew up. Hard not to think of her as I'm driving by the street where her parents still live. I have no cell phone service at my parents and as I was driving back to CT on Sunday I got a text message from Ms. Ex. She'd sent it at 10:54 on Friday night telling me that she was thinking of me and would love to chat sometime. It's been a couple months since I heard from her and I'm no more desirous of chatting with her now than I was then. Also I'm left to wonder why she was texting me at 10:54 on a Friday night. Where was her live in girlfriend?

Then as I'm driving into FMHW's hometown a song pops up on my iPod that will probably remind me of her for as long as I live. It's one of maybe three songs that bring her immediately to mind. I've got nearly 5000 songs on my iPod and it was on shuffle at the time. I found that an eerie coincidence which I tried not to read too much into. I really wanted to e-mail her when I got home to tell her about it, but talked myself out of it. How can I move on if I don't just let coincidences like that pass right? But then again everything happens for a reason....

So, did I pass the test or did I fail it? I don't really know. And does it even matter? Probably not in the scheme of things. I am right where I am supposed to be in my life right now. I will be right where I'm supposed to be in my life two weeks from now, two months from now, two years from now, twenty years from now. The only thing that remains to be seen is what special woman will be at my side.

I suppose the only fitting song for this post is the one that popped up shuffle as I was driving into FMHW's hometown last weekend. This song brought tears instantly to my eyes for a few months after she broke up with me. It doesn't now thankfully because I really love the song. Here's I'm Yours by Jason Mraz.

Well you done done me and you bet I felt it
I tried be chill but you're so hot that I melted
I fell right through the cracks, now I'm trying to get back

Before the cool done run out I'll be giving it my bestest
And nothing's gonna stop me but divine intervention
I reckon it's again my turn to win some or learn some

But I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait, I'm yours

Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you're free
Look into your heart and you will find love love love love

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


This is a picture of a man I never met, my grandfather, during his time in the Air Force. He died a little less than two years before I was born. My father's father. I know next to nothing about him other than he was a raging alcoholic and that after my father's mother abandoned my dad he did the best he could until he ended up basically abandoning my father too. We never really talked about my dad's family while I was growing up and in fact I didn't find out my father's mother had abandoned him when he was just weeks old until I was 32 (or that his parents were never married). That explained a whole heck of a lot about him for me.

Now, I'm in touch with my father's cousin through Facebook. She's only 5 years (EXACTLY 5 years) older than me and doesn't really remember my grandfather either. She says he was a good, kind, quiet and smart man and I want more than anything to believe her. But how do I reconcile that with knowing that this man also abandoned my father leaving him to grow up with his aunt and his uncle who were the definition of poor and had children of their own to feed and raise?

I do of course realize that the alcohol was most likely the problem and that things might have been very different for my dad if his father didn't have a problem with the drink. But that's a lifetime that exists only in the what ifs and it's best not to dwell on those too much.

Anyway, my dad's cousin scanned and e-mailed me some photos of my dad when he was young and his dad. This one is the most striking to me. I keep trying to see my dad in him, and myself of course. And I can't tell if I want to see us or if I don't. I just cannot reconcile my emotions about this whole thing. I'm really glad I have the pictures, but at the same time maybe the past should stay buried. I haven't sent the pictures on to my parents yet. I don't even know if I should. As you can imagine he has rather a lot of bitterness about his parents.

I don't really have the perfect song for this post so I'll settle for one that I've always loved, Nightswimming by R.E.M.

The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago,
turned around backward so the windshield shows
every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse
still it's so much clearer

Friday, June 12, 2009

Good on paper but...

A little while ago I got home from coffee date number two for the week. I didn't blog about the first one, probably because it actually went well for a change. So well I'm actually planning to see her again. So well we've done a little texting. Today however, not as good.

First, let me say, I am still incredibly tired and while I'd like to think that colored my view of the date today, I know it did not. Second, I will say in her favor she was more attractive in person than in her pictures online (great eyes). Usually it is the other way around, people's pictures look great but they do not live up to expectations in person. I have found in my oh so scientific study that while most people resemble their photos they do not really look like their photos. Third, we are compatible musically meaning we have very similar tastes in music. This is important to me because who wants to be stuck on a long car ride arguing over who's music to listen to because neither of you likes what the other person does?

Anyway, as I sat there across the table from her listening to her talk (conversation was split about 85/15, with me being the 15 of course) I felt like I was on a job interview for a position I was completely unqualified for. Like say you were a regular joe, someone who goes to the office every day and may one day hope to be promoted to middle management if that's what you aspire to. For some reason you as a regular joe decided to apply for a new job just to see what else was out there and were lucky enough to be called in for an interview. But when you got to the interview and you started talking to the hiring manager you realized you hadn't applied for an office job, but rather to be an astronaut which you A) know nothing about and B) are soooooo very very unqualified for and C) really have no desire to be. That's what my date felt like. I was the regular joe and she was looking to hire an astronaut.

Now, don't think I'm selling myself short. I know I'm a catch in my own unique and special ways and I know that when I meet the right woman she'll think so too. But today? I was not the astronaut and frankly I didn't really want to be. In fact toward the end I was thinking of things I might say in order to make sure she never wanted to see me again (and also? I did really well at speaking awkwardly today, conversation was in NO way smooth unlike the first coffee date of the week). And for someone who calls her self a laid back Californian transplanted to the East Coast, I saw an awful lot of East Coast in her and not much, if any, of the laid back Californian.

On the plus side I did get a high five from her for having read The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Glad she approves of my selected reading. So, while she looked great on paper the in person meeting did not live up to expectations. I'm sure she's saying the same about me and I am perfectly fine with that. And I think she intended for our 4:30 pm first meeting/coffee date to go A LOT longer than I had planned on or had any interest in. She wanted to get dinner and I was ready to go home before I even got to the coffee shop to meet her (an hour or so from home I might add). Also, she is what I like to call a "do-er" which means she has to be doing something to enjoy herself. I am not a doer. I'm perfectly content sitting and chatting with someone or even sitting and not talking if I'm comfortable enough with someone. That was one of the things I really loved about FMHW, she was not a doer. In fact we talked a few times about how neither of us understood why people get so hung up on having to go do something. I need someone who is not a doer.

I have no reason for posting these lyrics today other than I really like the song. I had to transcribe them while listening to the song since I could not find them online (Allie is, I believe, trying to get her name out there still). I give you Corner by Allie Moss (who sounds a lot like Ingrid Michaelson which is probably why I like her).

Your world trembles and quakes
and your footing suddenly shifts and shakes
take my hand we'll hide in the corner
hide in the corner
take my hand we'll hide till it's over
till it's all over

we have choices to make
we have promises that we can't break
there is nothing left to lose
so hold on to me I'll hold on to you
take my hand we'll hide in the corner
hide in the corner
take my hand we'll hide till it over
till it's all over

Thursday, June 11, 2009

June, June and June

For those of you who don't know I work in fund raising for a college. The end of June is the end of our fiscal year. Thus June is always our busiest month of the year as everyone scrambles to meet their year-end goals.

This year June started in May so we are now well into our second month of June. Third June will be the first couple weeks of July. How many Junes can you have in one year? My answer? Well, three of course! As you can imagine fund raising in the economic climate that the U.S. currently finds itself is, in a word, difficult. I sympathize with our front line fund raisers, those people who are actively going out to solicit people asking them to donate their money to the college. These folks, my colleagues, do an amazing job. This is not easy work even under the best of economic conditions. And is not something I would ever want to do to earn my living.

Instead, I sit at a desk behind the scenes and make sure that all the gifts and pledges received by the college are recorded correctly in our database and receipted correctly per IRS regulations, manage all the other types of data entry (address, phone and e-mail address changes for instance which are just a small slice of all the kinds of data we update), manage the people that do all of our prospect research, act as a liaison between our Accounting Office and our IT department, write ad hoc reports, answer all sorts of questions and basically put out fires and problem solve all day.

June is a tiring month for doing all of the sorts of things I listed above. Everyone has questions, everyone needs things yesterday and the volume of our gift entry spikes which means the volume of all our other work spikes as well. And since June started in May we're still only about half way through "June" now or in the midst of second June as we've all taken to saying.

I am exhausted. Mentally I am drained and I have been having bizarre dreams again the last few nights. I am more than ready for a vacation (which I will be taking as soon as we close our books after third June is over, otherwise known as the middle of July). Being mentally drained makes it really hard to be creative. Really hard. All I want to do when I get home from work is sit on my couch and drool as the TV plays mindlessly in front of me. It's very hard to do any serious (or even unserious for that matter) writing when your brain can barely string two words together, dinner consists of pretzels and water because the thought of cooking is overwhelming, and you feel sort of beat up because you're shielding your staff from crap they don't need to deal with or even really concern themselves with. So the writing that I thought I'd have so much time for now that the tv season is over has not yet happened.

I have a writing prompt I need to work on and I even have an idea for it, but I haven't yet taken the time to sit and write it and then post it for my writing group. I feel bad about that, but I'll get to it in the next couple days. After work and my second coffee date of the week tomorrow. And perhaps then after a good night's sleep or maybe not, we'll see how tomorrow afternoon goes.

Oh, and I'm itchy again. Somehow, even though I was cautious, I have given myself poison ivy. Again. I did it twice last June and it was just awful. Thankfully it's not nearly as bad this June. But I'm not happy. And also very itchy. I am beginning to dislike all aspects of the month of June and would like to just skip right from May to July. The only thing I love about June is the fact that it stays light until so late. And fireflies, I also love the fireflies.

What better song for this post than Poison Ivy by the Coasters?

She comes on like a rose, but everybody knows
She'll get you in Dutch
Now you can look but you better not touch

Poison ivy, poison ivy
Late at night while you're sleepin' poison ivy comes

Sunday, June 7, 2009

These are a few....

So, it's Sunday night and I'm watching the Tony Awards. Because my attention isn't fully on what I'm writing I thought I'd make a list of a few of my most recent favorite things.

1. This blog is awesome. I wish I'd had the idea for it, but since I didn't I'll settle for reading it and laughing. Or reading and going WTF? Or reading it and hoping humanity isn't really doomed. Be patient if it doesn't load. They're changing hosts and until that happens the site is a bit slow. But its worth the wait.

2. Love this video. I actually like this song better, but the timing and concentration needed to make that video is awesome. In short, check out David Ford's album Songs for the Road.

3. Warm sunny days. Love them. I love them even more when I get to be outside during them and not cooped up in my office. Like today when I planted my spur of the moment mini garden and took my time mowing my lawn (being super anal suburanite). For me it's not even having my lawn look better than my neighbors, it's the active meditation that riding around on my lawn tractor gives me. What a great day!

4. Making plans. Everyone needs something to look forward to, no matter how small it might seem to someone else. Just like one person's mountian is another's mole hill, one person's little plan is the thing that someone else absolutely cannot wait for, the thing that helps them get through the long intervening days.

5. Buying new sneakers. Before Saturday I don't think I'd bought a new pair of sneakers in at least three years, probably longer. I LOVE sneakers, but I rarely wear them anymore. And lately the colors combinations and the shininess have left me wishing someone, anyone would design a sneaker for someone like me. I just want a nice plain sneaker (but not all white or all black) without shiny or pink on it. On Saturday I finally found a pair that I would be caught dead in AND that actually fit. Very exciting.

6. Grilling season. I eat so much better during grilling season. During the colder months I'm not as good about making healthy dinners. During grilling season I eat enough chicken that I should start sprouting feathers of my own, but at least I'm getting some protein. I made chicken and vegetable kabobs with rice for dinner tonight. So yummy with left overs for lunch.

7. I want there to be a # 7 but I'm tired and can't think of one.

8. I know what I wanted to say for # 7. Since I'm watching the Tony's I keep waiting for a Rent reference. So far it hasn't happened. I have seen far too much of Constantine Maroulis who's facial expressions still kind of freak me out (also glad he didn't win the award he was nominated for, the three boys who shared the award are sooo adorable). Also, Carrie Fisher doesn't look so great. But Susan Sarandon looks amazing. As does Jane Fonda.

9. Hartford Stage got a shout out on the Tony's which is pretty cool.

10. Back to the things I love. Fruit. Specifically summer fruit. I love that blackberries are coming into season. And that watermelon is back. And then there are grapes and cherries and mango. I'm now making myself hungry.

The lyrics for this post come from the song I linked to above, Song for the Road by David Ford. I discovered him thanks to following Ingrid Michaelson on Twitter. She posted a link to the video I linked to above which lead to my downloading his album. I really should thank her for that....Anyhow, I won't post all the lyrics to this song though I easily could. The end of the song is my favorite, it's sung with such emotion and conviction, but that's not what I'm posting (you can listen and decide for yourself). It was hard to pick just a snippet of the song, but I really like this part so here you go.

So you can keep your belief in whatever
I'll wear my cynicism like a tattoo
While poets try to engineer definitions of love
You know all I can think of is you