Thursday, August 28, 2008

You have the right...

To remain silent.

We all do. Sitting at a bar tonight with folks who have the ability to separate their lives from what they do - it is amazing - I know nothing of their families, of their trials, of the way the perceive the rest of the world, all I know is that their starched stiff shirts still are brisk and confining, and they giggle with the complacency that has made them what they are, and they still protect and gaurd their egos agianst the few things that someone, anyone, might feel for them. I see it in their faces, it resonates in their words, it clings to the smell of them - that they need to be accepted in the club - and their individuality is a function of what they are supposed to be. I would like to be able to remain silent, and sell that part of me, but I cannot. I will not. I give them me, in return, I get to see them be a success, and I, well I am what I am, and get to chalk up my honesty and ability to swim through the matrix as a a selling point for the next group of innocents that may or may not walk through the door. Ambassador, sure, Naysayer, sure, Fortune Teller, sure...

Blogs are not supposed to be about what I am - or what few simple rights we may think we possess - I have no rights. I have to remain silent, I have to be able to take what I get, and I have to accept what is offered - in my life - which (if you read or listen) is not about taking what I can get, it is about giving until I can't give - I want nothing more than to be taken for everything and be able to sleep at night knowing that I am next to someone who loves Me. I want to give until that person realizes that they are the one that maybe I should have worked harder for, told the truths to more, and sacrificed more for - I have a wife and children - just like the plan said I was supposed to have - someone forgot to tell me that the plan, well, much like a budget, it is just a plan - and there are failures and successes, and you have to live with them, grow with them, and move on with or without them.

Love is a futile emotion that is based somewhere in the reality that no one or someone does not have to return it - I will love people until it hurts or it pays off - sort of like that nickel slot machine that you sit at for hours on end, it will pay off - it will, eventually...

I have the right - and I do, love. I do not have the right to ruin her world, or to pressure her into ruining that world. I have the right to cherish what little bit is left - of time - and have the right to hold the rest of the feelings in here, in me, and one day, maybe I will have the right to wake up next to her, and not worry about the world around me or her, and just worry about whether the kids get sugar free pancake syrup or get to do what the rest of us do - and taste the sugary sticky sweet maple that makes Saturday mornings worth while.

Most of all, I have the right to love - and I am exercising that right - but sometimes, just every once in a while, that vote is not the one that counts -

I love, and I have the right to do so.

There is no next time - I think I am closing this blog, it has gotten to be a part of me, and if I am going to go through separation - maybe, now is the time to get back to the normal things in life- suck it up, I made a choice, and now live with it - I appreciate the folks who read it, but in all reality, the rest of the world will still go on - there will still be tennis matches I have to enjoy and halibut fishing the rest of us have to enjoy and I and we play second fiddle to those bluegrass tunes - maybe the next blog will be called Kitchen Floors - I don't want to travel anymore- I want kitchen floors with checkerboarded linoleum and bright letters on the fridge -

Too much about the right to have - goodnight all, I have the right to remain silent, but I know that silence is not going to solve anything...

A Demain Mon Ami - I love you.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Perfect Afternoon...

It's not everyday or every week in this case, that you get locked in a house with two stir crazy children, a wife who has no patience, and 60 mile an hour winds and sideways rain pouring down - thank god.

My children are busy shooting each other with rubber bands and Nerf dart guns, my wife has finally made it out of her pajamas, and me, I just went to the gym - I have this rule where I have to pay my body 255 minutes per week of physical exercise - as it stands, I owe my body 13 more minutes, and I think (if I can get my wife to move from the bed to a standing position for more than 15 minutes) that some afternoon abdominal yoga might be in order (I love those perky breasted yoga instructors on the FitTV on Demand feature - they make me feel like shit, but hell they are so positive about it!)

Right now, we are under a tornado warning - rotation has been sighted within 5 miles of the house, and with any luck, maybe I will get a new roof out of this entire ordeal - and I may actually be able to convince my wife to get out of the house...(then again if we lose just half of the roof, with my luck it will be the part that covers everything but the bedroom, and in that case, well 24 more hours stuck in fucking paradise).

Let's dream about that perfect afternoon for a while, humor me. I want to be in a car pulling up on Second Avenue right about now - things are ready, a simple backpack with clean underwear, some extra blue jeans, a passport, a bottle of white wine and a six pack of coors light, a couple of candy bars, a few cd's, some smart food popcorn, and a full tank of gas. The kids are lined up and away - we said our goodbyes and gave our hugs, and now we are going to wander. I like to wander. Maybe a drive north across the border, maybe out into the desert, maybe we go to the airport and catch the cheapest flight we can find to anywhere - but we just go. It does not have to be planned, and does not have to be perfect, but ending up in the Super 8 motel somewhere near North Dakota with you sounds like a place to be - or maybe even the Drury Inn somewhere in the middle of Arkansas - who cares - just going and being sounds like the perfect weekend. Then again, a short nap at the Gasworks and a couple of rented movies, an hour or two burying the kids up to their waist at the beach, a sandwich and a salad, those sound pretty good too. It is nice in my mind - the weather outside of my mind sucks, but the forecast is pretty damn good between my ears -

I want a perfect afternoon, and I want everyone who can read this to have one too...

A demain mon ami.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Last Lecture and Dancing Frogs...

Wow, what a read! It is certainly an anolmaly for me to be able to sit down on a Saturday afternoon and be pulled through 206 pages of lesson - all good, all sweet, all simple - I highly recommend this book to everyone who can read - and for those who can't - it is a good book to start with. I am going to make my son read it this week - before he starts school, and I am going to read it again - with him, and we are going to highlight the parts he thinks are cool, and the parts I think are important. Then, I am going to pass it on, and ask that the next person do the same thing - mark the things that are cool, mark the things that are important, sign their name, and pass it on with the same simple instructions....maybe one day the lessons will make it back to me, and the Last Lecture will touch people in different ways.

Christy is dressing to go out with Moira - probably the closest thing that we have to friends who would actually be swingers, given the chance - I think Christy is a little pissed that I don't particularly want to discuss garage sales or mulch or pulling weeds - I just wanted to read my book in my chair on the patio, and then have a beer or two while playing with the kids - so she is going out with Moira, and I am going to take the kids to the pool - it is still 90 degrees at seven PM - so I dip in some blue chlorinated water will feel good after the obligatory child toss games and Marco Polo contests...

Dancing Frogs - not much to say about these, except they brought a smile to my face. An epiphany of sorts - who are the frogs? Who cares - they are my dancing frogs.

Hopefully tonight the frogs will dance and laugh - the good thing is, if you separate these two frogs - both of them are still dancing - I think it is because they know that they have a friend somewhere that is dancing for them, with them, and because of them...

Until next time,


Friday, August 15, 2008

Angry Old Men...and of course, Rythm...

How many days will I have to spend in this fucking hotel? I guess inevitably, I make that decision - for some, it is easy to just fall off the face of the earth and say there are no more than a few miles, another airport, and some warm free cookies to make it all better - for me, maybe I am too smart to realize that this is not what any human being should be subjected to forever, a nomadic traveler, holding back anger, smiling to sell, and giving away the best years of his life for a few dollars, a platinum Hilton Card and a few free upgrades on airline fares...

Angry is an understatement. Sell out - sure, I sold my soul to the devil for a few sheckles, went to the school I was supposed to attend, did what I was supposed to do...what do I get in return, but several other folks who did the same thing, competing for the same spot in hell that we all run around in.

I figured out what and who betrayed me - Angry old men betrayed me - they were bitter, devious, cunning, and smart about it - me, in my youthful exuberance, trusted and gave, and in return, was made a laughing stock. For me, maybe the last straw. No, I am too good of a camel for that - hell, let's bring another round of beer, and have another song. How much can that camel carry...

I miss things. I miss the life of secrecy and hidden vibrance that we have. I hate phone calls and distance and not being the one to say that things are okay when I grasp shoulders and feel tears. I don't like having friends three thousand five hundred miles away - they might as well be a million miles away on some star - especially when you wake up, and don't feel or hear anything. People wonder why I go to sleep with the television on its highest volume setting - because empty sound and the hum of another hotel room air conditioner is just not quite the same as a laugh or a snore, or even a push. Pillows make great bedfellows, but not good companions - they don't talk to you or read, or wear thick glasses and want to share your late night Chinese food with you - pillows just get smushed and when you wake up next to one, there are no kisses or hellos or sets of big beautiful eyes staring back at you letting you know that it was just a nightmare, and that they are here, and that you can breathe again...breathe again, slowly drifting off to sleep.

I miss things more than I ever expected to. Giving that much in so short period is not fun nor fair - but it was given, sort of like those overpriced tickets you give to the carnie at the fair - the ride was the best creaky, scary, risky thing you have ever done - but you can't afford to do it again, and the weakness in your knees and the sickness that comes and goes probably is a good sign that you should not....but you do.

Giving things away, particularly when you give away a piece of yourself, and you don't do it to sell your soul, you don't do it to get something in return, you do it because that was what the right thing to do was - and then paying the price of having to lose the ability to give - well, that is what is making me more bitter than anything. My decisions are making me angry, and sit here in this hotel, this shoebox for smelly business men, this trap, and think.

I miss things. I want to walk into and see rythm and ride elevators all day long, and walk to the coffee shop, and tell people to fuck off, that I did not sell out for less, I gave in to my Rythm.

Good night mon ami


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Kansas City Blues

Ah, the vision of life for us weary road warriors, the babyshit brown Hampton Inn somewhere in the midwest with the same amenties, the same breakfast, the same beds, the same cheery blue and white and grayscale advertisements stuck in the middle of suburbia...the things we have to look forward to are few and far between - maybe there is a better gym, or a really good mexican place within walking distance, or the air conditioner is really,really quiet - sad - but for the most part, it is true. I have spent 178 nights this year in a hotel, not including those hotels that are not in the Hilton Family - and don't care anymore really what they look like - I see the same people in the swimming pool, the same kids excited about all the Fruit Loops they can eat, the same old couple on their last hoorah through the country, the same business men in their suits with their laptops and coffee, trying to work through last night's business dinner that ended up with a few too many bottles of wine, and no closed deals.
The first day of any new assignment is a let down - I don't even get psyched up for them anymore, you put on your Sunday best, and go in and shake a large number of hands, try to remember a few names, try to keep your sanity while you watch the clock tick away and pretend to be genuinely interested in hearing about another persons children or how many pets they have, or even why they live in such a god foresaken piece of land like Kansas City.
Kansas City carries some firsts for me - this is where my son was born, this is where I first decided that I needed to travel more than I needed to be at home, this is where I started realizing that happiness is objective as well as subjective - and where things progressively started to change in my close personal relationships. It is probably the city that reminds me most of some of my biggest professional failures and accomplishments, and my biggest personals blessings and losses.
This assignment, I have been told to "dumb it down" a little bit - that's always tough for me to do - every audience requires a certain approach, and I guess for the sake of the reader's humor I should throw in some things that I am really going to try hard to do this week to make sure that I just follow the rules:
1. Refer to everyone as Bossman or Bosswoman.
2. Have an obvious problem with my outfit - i.e. a few buttons unbuttoned, a crooked tie, an open zipper, two different socks.
3. Tell everyone that I am trying to not make water in big boy pants.
4. Drink all liquids from the wrong side of the cup, and then exclaim "These things are tough!".
5. Make the clear pronouncement that I ain't never been good with math or cipherin', but they keep sme around to meet some sort of quota.
6. Yes Sir, just working here sir. Making sure you look good, making sure you are happy.
7. Hum - constantly, banjo and bluegrass tunes.
8. Finish every sentence with a reference to Bob Evans coffee and their damn good biscuits and sausage gravy.
9. At lunch time proclaim "As a pentacostal revival minister, I have found the demons are eliminated by me drinking gasoline at lunch breaks. My dad (who happens to be my uncle) is in heaven now, but did this everyday and lived to be 47 and with clean spirit was welcomed into the streets of gold by a multitude of anuses"
10. Say "Huh" and snort after anyone asks a question (whether directed at me or not)
That should help the appearance of dumbing things down a bit, and hopefully will go a long way to making everybody feel more comfortable.
On another note - separation is the worst feeling anyone can every have. Permanent; however, is a state of mind - and I can assure you, that there is no way to make things permanent right now - finished, done, over, complete - these are all things that I refuse to accept - sure, things always change - and things are different and odd and uneasy - but things are never permanent. Maybe that's what I learned in Kansas City - maybe I learned to go through the motions here, and accepted that life as permanent, but the past year has taught me differently - and I don't want to go through the motions - or be reminded of that life when I don't have to be.
Until we speak again....

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fired...and Kisses...

We'll get to the over magnified picture in a few paragraphs, but you know when you have that awful yicky feeling that you are going to get fired? That's what I have - in fact, I have had it for months now - maybe it is just my gut telling me that I could get fired, and then my family could use that custom fitted mosquito net that fits PERFECTLY on the back of a Dodge Grand Caravan, and turns an otherwise common and generally accepted minivan into a popup trailer...let's see - after the foreclosure, I could afford to live in the K Campground south of Palatka for ($17 per night, 50K in savings - hell that's a fuckload of nights) - my paranoia sometimes is just ridiculous, but this week has been bad - it is a mix of "Am I an Idiot" coupled with "Who is listening" followed by "Did I feed the cats?" (The cats thing is just something that popped into my head, but it does give you some indication of what I think on any given occassion. Just so everyone knows - it would not surprise me if I lose my job - I am a royal pain in the ass, I probably call too much, communicate too much, point out too many issues, fix too many problems, and essentially believe the best way to win the game is to change the game - that is not necessarily what a midwestern engineering firm is looking for. I think they prefer process, provenance, prudence, and purity. Those 4 P's - well they don't really fit my style. The only P that really fits my style is Pugilist...

Okay - so now that I have gotten that off of my chest, I have been thinking about this blog for three or four or five days now - I mean, not just passing thoughts, or those thoughts that you have when you are standing on an elevator or passing someone in traffic - these have been (somewhat scary) constant thoughts about kisses. Yup, kisses. I almost feel as if I have hit the edge of the sanity cliff with those thoughts - and you know what, I rationalize that it is okay to think about those kisses - when I am running, right before I fall asleep, when I am working, when I am on a conference call, I am possessed like some B Movie teenage star with kisses. I guess I should go into why - but first, I digress.

There, done digressing - (that was what I like to call a silent digression, I was actually taking a few minutes to just think about kisses, so there, now you know that without medication, I will have a problem getting rid of this whole kissing fixation) anyway Jonathan Swift (who some think was actually Shakespeare) said:

"Lord! I wonder what fool it was that first invented kissing."

I could not disagree with him more - it is the fool who refuses to kiss that pays the highest price - hell - it's only a kiss, right?

I love those kisses, the ones you steal away after a few beers, the ones you wake up to, the quick tight lipped kisses around the corner, the soft long wet kisses that leave a coolness on your cheek, the kisses that are on stomachs and legs and hands and feet, the kisses that are right in the foldy part of the arm, the kisses that push hard on the shoulder blade and soft on the neck, the kisses that suck in skin, the kisses that push hard, the kisses that have teeth involved, the kisses that don't end, the kisses that are half asleep and lazy, and the fast fun loud music grabs, the kisses with mouths full of a new food or flavor, the kisses that are wine laced, the kisses that are not fair, the kisses that are giving, the kisses that say I love you, and finally the kisses that say I want you.

I love kisses. I can't stop thinking about stupid kisses, and boy howdy, I need one now - no matter what kind it is.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Closets, Rocky Paths, and Rewards

An odd assortment of photos - I know. Closets - these are great spaces. I rebuilt mine yesterday when I found out the entire thing had collapsed in my absence - so I guess this project was the perfect distraction for me. Half the day today was spent putting things back into the closet, the other half was on conference calls making me wish I had another closet to rebuild. I love conference calls. It would almost be easier to sit back, and watch shit happen, then to have to listen to what people THINK will happen - in my short professional tenure, I have found that nine of ten things discussed on preliminary conference calls to discuss the preliminary steps to be discussed on the real conference call are actually just a complete fucking waste of my time. Then again, I am a company man - and as the raging suck ass that I have become for a paycheck that makes it mildly possible for me to rebuild closets - well, hell, I guess I will just listen.
Path -
Sometimes the best paths in life are the rocky ones. Unsure footing, different textures, sore feet, but always at the height of sensitivity - you can feel everything - you can hear everything - you notice everything - just to prevent from getting hurt or damaged or other...
I am sitting here staring at this path for the next rest of my life - and I am more inclined to think that the path ahead should be like the one in the picture - maybe a few steps into more unknowns would not be so bad, some loose fitting on a rocky crag may be just what I need to realize and feel and live a little...
Reward -
At the end of the path, who knows what you will find - in my case, I found a huge open expanse of water, a torrent of plummeting mist, and a boulder being carressed by the clear cool water of Snoqualmie. I think perhaps that was why the path was so rough - the payoff was so great.
I want to walk that path again.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Lucky Half Penny.

I am not really sure where I am going with this blog, except to say that I was given the most simple, most amazing, most perfect gift that I have ever received - I know, children are great, and timeshare anniversary meetings are wonderful too (satire here), but this was a half cent, sitting in a little box amongst bags and bags of matchbooks and diaries, and I knew it was important, and I knew it was valuable - and now, I have one - it is something that I have never seen, never even knew about, and now it is something I own. It is sitting right next to my Joe Morgan autographed baseball, (I am something of a memorabilia junkie, if I ever get forced out, well, those things and some clean underwear are just about the only things I think I will leave with) - the rest will probably be on fire in the front yard, but hell, I travel light - so I guess thats okay.
I had a great week in Seattle - the weather, was typically Seattle, but the last day - on the grass in Pike Place, watching the Blue Angels fly overhead, resting, talking, watching everyone seemingly stare off at anything that could keep their minds off the work or the world around them - that was a good day. In fact, ten days - ten favorite things -
1. Turkey Chili, All Beef Hot Dogs, and Kitchen Floors. Great times.
2. Tulalip and Hypoglycemic Mistakes
3. Cold Cold Cold Hotel Rooms
4. Boeing Sunday Mornings
5. Fresh Fried Prawns
6. Expensive Cab Fares into Ballard
7. Snorts mid-sentence
8. Bathtime and Puke
9. Starbucks Walking
10. Every other thing I forgot to list
This list may not mean anything to anyone except me - but that's what blogs are for - they are for me - and that's why I write - it gets rid of the shortness of breath, the mystery of what if, it lets me share my happiness to re-read again later, it lets me remember, and most of all, it lets me just talk - I know I do my fair share of that, but there is no one in particular listening or yelling or expecting or whatever - it's mine - and after this past week, there are very few things left that I can call mine...
Leaving an acquisition is never an easy thing. I get the normal jitters everyone gets - I don't like fanfare and going away parties and cakes - I like simple, firm handshakes, and a thank you - then the occassional phone call on holidays, and the emails asking how I am doing. Walking into a new acquisition is just as difficult, you never know the personalities of those folks you are going to be working with - and they don't know you - so after struggling for six to 9 months developing trust with a team - you get to start over again.
Today was nothing out of the ordinary - I rebuilt the closet (I have photographs to share with everyone - damn I am good at avoiding things, by doing things I would never have to do if I was not avoiding things I did not want to do...) I moved thirty wheelbarrows full of mulch, and started going through the mounds of shit to put out for the garage sale on Saturday. Maybe I can sell enough so that I can comfortably sit in the garage again.
I am not able right now to go into more detail - I am like those jello molds with fruit in them - there is so much stuff suspended in my brain right now, I can't grab the right one and am not really sure which one to talk about or write about - so for now, I am happy to take a xanax, wash it down with some warm scotch, and try and get eight hours of sleep without waking up to disappointment...
I miss Edmonds already, and the rythm that came with it...