Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Date Postponed...

Well it didn't happen. I am a little pissed about it, but I feel stupid for being upset. I guess I am just disappointed.

Many people have said that getting back with exes means you are dooming yourself to the same mess that you were in before. I can't argue with that, but if I don't go through with it how will I know for sure.

I respect women for a lot of reasons. One big one is for putting up with the bullshit that we guys dish out. Not that women don't feed us a bunch of crap too, but women always need to be on the defensive to a certain extent because so many guys are just after a good lay.

Some things that women do deserve more respect than others. In Rayette I have always seen her as a very strong will woman that will always be able to pull herself out of any fix that she is in. Not that she is even in one. She is in her early 30s, has 2 boys that she loves and cares for VERY well (the boys have an almost absent father as he sees them maybe once a month although she would allow a lot more time). She currently owns 2 homes on her own (not because she gets anything from the ex). She works her ass off, and is still trying to go to school to advance herself even further.

I see the problem with Rayette being so strong is that she has also put up a wall that is very hard to break through. She is too quick to add additional boundaries when something isn't quite to her liking. I am hoping better communication will help this. I beat myself up a lot after our initial break up wondering what I could have done differently. There are a few things I have figured out. I need to see if it will work.

In addition to her strength that I am attracted to there is also her personality. Even when we haven't taked in many months we can still make each other laugh. From day one when we met after knowing each other only through an on-line dating site I always loved just being with her. It didn't matter what we were doing.

Then of course there is the physical. Some may not like this fact but she is very short (4' 11"), but that never seemed to bother me one bit. Actually I like it a lot. I know she feels self-conscious about it, but I hardly even thought about it. She has an incredible smile that I did capture in a picture (I was always glad that she didn't mind having her picture taken)

I know that starting over is going to feel like a first date all over again. I am already nervous about it, maybe even more so than our actual 1st date. This is probably because I already know that I would want future dates. Also because I know those things about her that I know because of how close we were at one time. I want that feeling back.

It's already been 2 months since I broke up with Chantel. It's hard to believe.

I have done some productive things in the past couple months, including painting the interior of the house (finishing the main part that Chantel started), and now I have painted my bedroom. I picked a different color than the rest of the house. The rest of the house is that chocolate milk brown/tan. I needed something different than that, but also non-white.

I went to Lowes (similar to, but better than, Home Depot if you don't have one near you) on Sunday and picked up a couple gallons of what I expected to be a grey/blue. I wanted the blue to be very muted. Well I put the brush on the wall and immediately hated it. I stopped right there and sealed the can. All of a sudden I didn't want any blue whatsoever. I compared it to the chip I selected it from. It matched, so I could not return it, so $50 down the drain. I picked up a different color yesterday on my way home from work This time I knew that a green would work, but I also wanted it very subdued. I wanted it to mostly be grey. I also went a bit lighter this time.

I like the color. I got all the trim done last night around midnight. I started the rolling when I got home and am almost finished with the room, but still need to do the walk-in closet (I am not looking forward to that).

I took the kids out to dinner last night. It is their mother's week with them, but I get to take them out one night on her week. They liked the color I selected. I showed Kevin the color I had started with. He wants it for his room. Woohoo! $50 is not wasted.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Getting Back With Exes

Back at the beginning of August, 2 days after all the crap with Chantel had gone down, and old girlfriend of mine, Rayette, called me while I was at work. When I saw her name come up on my cell phone caller ID I immediately thought the worst. I figured Chantel had gone through my address book and started calling girls she knew I had dated. I was pleasantly surprised when she was just coincidentally calling me to see if I would like to go out to dinner sometime.

I typically stay in good standing with most of the women I have dated. Some of them I stay friends with, and others call me when they need their computers fixed or upgraded. Rayette and I dated about 2 years ago. She had ended our relationship after about 3 months for some reasons that she told me, and I am sure many others that she didn't. Communicating is a problem for her. I was very much in love with her, and could not figure out why things got so bad between us.

She would call me up from time to time for computer help, but it was a major ordeal for me to help her because she lives an hour away. Then last year she called and was trying to mend things between us romantically, but because of something I said to her son that she misunderstood, she broke it off again.

This phone call was going well. She apologized for how she ended things and told me that she now knows I wasn't trying to be a father to her kids (long story). We had a really good conversation catching up on what's been going on. I told her about just breaking up with someone, but I didn't go into any details. She kind of backed away thinking that I was still in the middle of a relationship. I promised her that the relationship was over.

She called me later in the day while I was in a meeting so I couldn't take the call. She left this really sweet message saying a bunch of things that she apparently forgot to say during the previous call. Stuff about how she knows I am a good dad, and that she really wants to have a relationship with me. It was like music to my ears.

That night after work was the night that Chantel started talking about killing herself. I knew I was going to be buried in drama for a while. This was not good. I called Rayette back the next day and told her that things were a mess with the ex-girlfriend and that we should hold off on dinner for a while so that she wouldn't get pulled into the drama. I was also realizing that I needed some time to get my life back in order. I told her that I still wanted to get together, but I would call as soon as the drama was over.

Apparently she mulled things over and still thought that maybe I was breaking up with Chantel to be with her. She called while I was dealing with the Chantel crap that night to tell me that she was sorry that she called me and to forget about dinner. I knew what was going through her head, but I had other shit to deal with.

I have gone almost 2 months and had not called Rayette. Part of me was thinking she didn't want to hear from me, while the other part was telling me she was hoping that I would be free and clear and would call. Well, I finally called her Thursday night. Her voicemail answered right away. I just left a simple "Call me when you get a chance" message. Friday afternoon she called me back. We set up a tentative date for Saturday. She had some plans with some of the girls she works with to go to the Chili and Frejole Festival, but was thinking they were going to flake out on her.

Well Saturday came and went for the most part. I had given up on her calling when she finally called at 8 p.m. She had worked the night before (12 night shift), and forgot to set her alarm. She asked me if I had eaten yet. I hadn't, but it was already 8 and I had an hour drive there and an hour back. It wouldn't be much of a date. I guess I hesitated or some other negative signal because she said "Maybe we should just reschedule". We talked for a few more minutes made plans to go out on Wednesday night and said our goodbyes.

I thought to myself after getting off the phone that I should have just gone down there. If I really want to get back together I should just get off my ass and go. I called her back... no answer. Did I piss her off by not being enthusiastic about coming late? Time will tell.

Today she called me back. She said she must have been in the shower when I called. She ended up meeting her friends at the festival. She informed me that she forgot that she had a change in her work schedule. She has to work Wednesday. I was thinking I was about to be blown off (I must be getting cynical) when she said she would skip her book club meeting and go out on Tuesday if I am free. How can I say no when she is passing up being with a bunch of women talking about the latest smutty book they've all read?

I have mixed feeling about getting back with Rayette. I think it can work if she will try to communicate with me right when things happen instead of holding it in and letting it stew. Nothing that had happened between us before was so bad that it warranted a break up, but when you don't try to work it out you are doomed. I don't want to be doomed. I'm unfortunately going to have to have a difficult talk with her about this stuff and lay down some ground rules. I hope she is okay with this.

Sorry that was so long... I figured you needed the background. Wish me luck.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Answering the Meme

Five things I plan to do before I die.

1. Play trombone in a band/orchestra again
2. Travel to Mexico and Europe
3. Own a successful business
4. Get my pilots license (not that I am working on it)
5. Learn to use my digital camera better

Five things I can do.

1. Laugh out loud (everybody that knows me)
2. Raise great kids
3. Find another job (eventually)
4. Drive too fast
5. Make an engineer feel like an idiot (not intentionally)

Five things I cannot do.

1. Stop worrying about my kids
2. Write music
3. Be mean
4. Make a scene
5. Change who I am

Five things that attract me to the opposite sex.

1. Great teeth/smile
2. An honest laugh
3. Eye to eye contact
4. A sensual voice
5. A simple touch

Five things I say most often

1. That's bullshit!
2. Fuck that
3. Bite me
4. Brush your teeth
5. Is your homework done?

Five celebrity crushes

1. Lauren Graham
2. Sela Ward
3. Elisha Cuthbert (ya, I know she's too young for me)
4. Nancy Travis
5. Penelope Ann Miller

Five people I want to do this next

1. Tara
2. Ava
3. SGT
4. ??
5. ??

Monday, September 19, 2005

Are there options?

My situation is kind of fixed as far as me and Michelle seeing each other are concerned. I won't move because that would mean giving up my time with my kids. I love having them every other week. I could not stand to not be in there lives as much as I am.

Michelle could move if she really wanted to. Her ex lives in Arizona as well, but about 200 miles away. Her 2 daughters are already out of the house, but she has a son that is around 10. She has full custody. Her options are easier than mine. She has built a good career working as a psychologist for a non-profit group. She is the manager of the office she is at. We talked about these options before and at the time she said she was not willing to give that up.

After actually meeting it seems like she may be up for moving here, but I have a problem with this. Should she plan on moving after being with me for one weekend? Isn't that a huge risk? What if after a short time we don't stay together? I would feel incredibly guilty for her having moved here. I am certainly not going to invite her to live with me. I've put my kids and myself through that all too recently. I think we would have to have the "Long-Distance Relationship" for a while to see how things go. The problem with this is she has done the long distance thing before and hated it. This was with a guy that lived just 2 hours away from her. How on Earth are we going to make this work?

Do I love Michelle. Yes, on a basic level I certainly do. I have said it before... there are different levels of love. There is the end with the good friends and infatuation stages, and then there is the other end being where you would do anything and everything for this person and be together for the rest of your lives. There are plenty of other levels in between. I am still in the infatuation level. Is this the kind of love you take these kinds of risks for? No, not yet it isn't. Maybe she views her love for me at more of the do anything for me level. But even then if you know the other person is not at that same level do you risk it? Common sense tells me no.

I can tell from recent conversation that Michelle is giving up on the idea of us being together. I feel so fortunate to have finally met her, but I also feel bad for the fact that we can't be together. I know what a lot of you are going to say, "You're not giving it a chance!". I have been through so much recently that I guess I am trying to stay away from painful situations.

On a darker note...

To my surprise my ex-girlfriend called me at work the other day to ask if I had found some more things of her's at my house. Since I am no longer taking calls that come up with her caller ID she has figured out that she can block that information from being displayed. At home I have all unknown numbers blocked, but there is no way to block those on my cell that I know of, and I probably don't want to because some head hunters also block their numbers. I have resorted to ignoring them all anyway because if it's a headhunter they will leave a message. Her trickiness moved up a notch because now she calls my work number. I have to answer that as it displays some caller ID info but not all.

As a matter of fact I do have more of her stuff, but this time instead of her coming to get it I am going to mail it to her. I do not want a repeat of our last meeting. UGH!

The beginning of the end.. and the weekend

We had a party today for 3 people that are leaving the project and the company. It marks the beginning of the end for the project. I hate it when this stuff happens at a place that I love to work.

It starts all over again. I find a job that I really like, then everyone starts to leave or get laid off. I'll be one of the last to go because of the nature of my job, and the fact that I want the lay off package. The way things sound I will be working through next June, but who knows what changes are in store for us in the coming months.

Things are going so well with me and the kids. We're keeping the fighting and bickering to a minimum, and we're getting out and having fun together.

Friday night we went to see "The Man" with Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy. It was quite funny, but way goofier than I would have preferred even for a Eugene Levy movie. It feels good to watch my my kids laugh. It gives me the reassuance that they are doing well even though I have made a mess of things there for a bit.

Saturday we spent the morning repairing bicycles. Kevin had a flat and Erik needed a gear adjustment, so I thought. We went to the local Performance Bike shop where I got Erik's and my bikes last year. They did a tune up on E's bike and found a broken gear in the shifter. The adjusted the rest of the bike (which I should have had done in the Spring). For such a major problem I got our of there for under $10 for his problems. For Kevin I bought 2 replacement tubes since he goes through them so often. I also bought him a new helmet. I have been having trouble getting him to wear one, it is usually at his mother's house (probably in the trash). I got him a nice adult model. It freaks me out that he is big enough to start wearing adult size stuff at the age of almost 13.

Later in the afternoon Kevin asked if we could go on the trail that my friend Laura took me on. It sounded like a great idea. We loaded up the bikes and headed to the west side of town. It's a pretty easy trail. It seems pretty flat, but in reality you are going uphill almost the whole time. After the first 2 hills we had to tackle Erik was getting pretty frustrated because he had to get off and walk up part of the hill. Erik having only 10 speeds had to stop for a maybe 5 hills along the way.

We took the trail north until the sun set behind the mountains. We were somewhere in the Air Force Academy grounds. Erik was looking tired so I asked him if it was time to head back. He wanted to go a little bit further. Five minutes later we hit the worst hill so far. I stop half way up and walked with Erik. When we got to the top we took a quick brake and headed back.

The ride back was very easy, as I had promised. We stopped on the way at a reservoir. The kids skipped stones in the water and waved at the train engineers that came by. I think we actually saw 4 trains during the ride. I don't remember seeing that many ever come through town. The boys got a kick out of getting the engineers to blow the horn. The first time one did it, the intense volume of it startled Erik. We were very close to the tracks for that one.

The rest of the ride back was great. Erik kept right up with us. He only had to stop at one large hill which due to a blind corner was hard to prepare for. He made it most of the way up. When he made it to the top he had a huge grin on his face. He was very proud of himself for keeping up with us. So were Kevin and I.

We ended the evening with a stop at Subway for dinner and a scoop of ice cream at the Baskin Robbins. Erik didn't think they had 31, so he counted. They actually had 32. So why do they call it 31 flavors? Are they trying to trick us?

Sunday we picked up my brother and headed to Pueblo to help my mom move some things into the garage. She is preparing to put her house on the market and wanted to get rid of some of the clutter. I wish my house had so little clutter prior to her clearing stuff out.

Mike is having a tough time due to a kidney stone. He's been getting them for the past 5 years or so. It was causing him a lot of pain right about the time we got there. It had subsided around lunch time. Just in time to help clean windows.

We hate cleaning my mom's windows. The house was built back in the 40s during WWII, so it has these single pain windows with a storm window that was added later on the outside. Getting to these storm windows really sucks. Remind me to never buy an old house.

Friday, September 16, 2005

5 Things...

Five things I miss from my childhood:

1. My dogs growing up
2. Playing baseball at the park across the street with all my friends
3. My sister
4. Watching Godzilla and Abbott and Costello movies
5. Playing cards in the spokes of my bike

Five things I don't miss:

1. Stuffed green peppers
2. Going to school/Abusive teachers
3. Fighting with my brother on a daily basis
4. Fear of my dad
5. Living in a smoke filled house

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Weekend Report

Well, my weekend was great!

Meeting Michelle finally after talking to her for the past 2-3 years was great. We got along just as we have via e-mail, chat, and on the phone. She is a great lady. Sorry to report that I was not allowed to take any pictures. She told me about one guy that she used to date that would take her picture all the time when she wasn't expecting it, and she hates having her picture taken. I honored her wishes.

We stayed at the Luxor, which I probably will not do again, only because of how the place is arranged. It was very disorienting. We had a lot of fun checking out some of the sites in Vegas. Our legs were tired from walking the concrete. I didn't do much gambling around her as she isn't much into it. The last thing I wanted to do was have her get bored.

Sunday was kind of uncomfortable. We have been good friends for quite some time, and finally being together made it obvious that we are very compatible. But then comes the time when you have to part. She drove there from Arizona, so she had a few road hours to do. She needed to get on the road around 3 pm. My flight wasn't until after 11 pm, so I was on my own.

Although she promised before we met that she said she wouldn't cry when she had to go, there was no stopping it. She apologized which in turn made me tear up as well. She is a great lady, and for some reason has the same problem I have meeting someone locally that is "right" for her. It was a sad moment in an otherwise great weekend.

Should I not ever do this again? If there is no chance in a relationship, does meeting people this way only cause eventual pain? In the case of Michelle we both have known for a very long time that we like each other a lot, but a relationship beyond good friends is impossible. I have quite a few friends on-line, some I talk to on a regular basis. Most of them are women. Not on a sexual level, just as good friends. We talk about work, kids, family, dating, just like I do with friends I have here. Sometimes the conversation delve into sex, but more of a guess what happened to me talk more than a flirtation with each other. Yes, there is sometimes the flirtation going on. I have been told I am a big flirt at times, but it is really just in play. Everyone understands that and they do the same.

Sometimes we fantasize about the what if, but never take it all that seriously. Am I giving mixed signals even though there isn't a chance of a relationship past a friendship? I know that sexual attraction plays a part in our relationship (even bigger now), but are we doing more harm than good to ourselves? We've always been very supportive of each other when we are dating people, but now this is probably going to change. I will always remain her friend, and I hope that our meeting doesn't change that.

I hit the blackjack tables again after Michelle was on the road. I was already up almost $100 from an earlier time at the tables. I sat at one table and lost a quick $50 and moved to another table quickly. I found an almost full table with room for me that had a good bunch of people. I played there for a couple hours. The dealer assigned to our table was an Asian lady named Lally. She was a crack up. It's always more fun with a good group of people and a fun dealer.

I was down, then up, then down again. We were telling the pit boss, John, who was also cool, that Lally was killing us. He said he'll have her taken out back and beaten. She then went on a break. Her replacement dealer was another nice lady named Mary that was the type to give hints of advice to the players as to how she would play a certain hand. For the 15 minutes she was there I was suddenly up a lot. Not that she influenced my hands much, but she helped the others to play smarter as well. Regardless, I was up about $150 for the day.

Lally returned, and everyone kind of groaned. It was really funny, and she didn't take it bad. She gave us as much shit as we gave her. My stacks of chips was starting to fluctuate again. It doesn't make sense to me that the dealer could have that kind of influence on the game. I was holding my own, but I wasn't gaining anything. Suddenly, it was time for Lally to take another break. Up walks Mary, I screamed "Hurray!", but only in my head. I started winning again. Freakish luck is the only way to explain it.

When Lally returned from her break I was up around $300 for the day. Me and most of the folks at the table started yelling for the pit boss not to let her come back. We were all just kidding around... sort of. John was laughing his ass off (at the same time probably working up a promotion for Lally). This time around I actually was gaining more with Lally. I was up around $350. I suddenly felt the need to leave the table. I don't know if it was hunger, or intuition. I stepped away and headed for the restaurant. I hate eating alone.

It wasn't time to leave for the airport, but I also didn't want to squander my winnings. Well, I headed back over to the table I was at before. Everyone that had been there for the previous few hours was gone, including Lally and Mary. Did I get away just at the right time?

I went to another table that looked promising. The people there were laughing it up. I figured what the hell. I sat and played for maybe a half hour. The guys were ego maniacs and the girls listening to their bullshit. It was kind of uncomfortable. In 30 minutes I lost a quick $100. I figured that was enough.

I left for the airport early. I knew it was going to be busy even though it was such a late flight. I went to the AmWest area, and saw the line from hell. I was thinking holy shit it's good that I came early. Just getting an e-ticket boarding pass without checking bags took me close to an hour. I got to my gate and figured I at least I wouldn't have too long of a wait there. Well, my flight was delayed minutes before we were to board due to mechanical problems. I sat in the stinking noisy airport with slot machines going off behind me for hours. I finally fell asleep once everyone stopped playing those damn one armed bandits (I really hate them). Then maybe 15 minutes later we started boarding. We were the last flight out. I think it was close to 2:00 am.

I was not able to sleep on the plane. The girl next to me was nervous, and her new husband, who was sitting across the aisle from her, wouldn't ask the guy next to him to switch seats with his bride. I was trying to sleep but then I felt her leaning on me. She fell asleep. I couldn't sleep with her pushing against me, but I didn't want to wake her either. She finally woke up and apologized for leaning on me. She said that she was freezing and that she tends to move toward warmth... trust me, I am very warm.

Well, I finally got to my house around 5:30 am and got ready to go to bed. I was supposed to go to work in a couple hours, but there was no way I could do that. I sent my boss and another manager an e-mail saying I would be in around noon. I slept good until around 8, then tossed and turned, finally giving up on sleep around 10.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Relaxed Panic

I sit here in the Colorado Springs airport waiting to go to Vegas, and I have been a bundle of nerves all morning. It started off with Kevin giving me attitude because he is jealous that I am going to Vegas without him, not that he has ever been there, but he loves to travel. I am regretting the fact that I told them.

Erik's homework that according to Irene has been checked was sitting on the kitchen table. It had the question "How many fingers and toes are there in your home?". He was supposed to show how he came up with the answer. Well... his answer was 90. Irene checked this? I asked him about it and he said she did. We got in an argument about his mother would not let him turn in a homework assignment that is that wrong.

I got to the airport with reservation on AmericaWest "serviced by Mesa Air". The web site said to check in with the servicing airline. I went to the Mesa desk and the only flights they had were to Albuquerque. I trekked my happy ass down to the other end of the ticketing area and found the AmWest desk. It was the very last one. I was starting to think they weren't here anymore.

So I got in line to get my boarding pass and I here the agent tell this guy and his daughter, "No, your reservations were for yesterday." I thought to myself, what an idiot, but after further thought I remember almost doing that myself. I then felt bad for the people.

Kevin didn't play in the football game the other day. He is starting to get an attitude about not playing. I would bet he'll want to quit soon. I am going to try to keep him on the team as long as I can even though it is a burden on me. Irene and I agree that it has been good for him so far. He has lost weight, gained a lot of muscle, and is truly concerned about keeping his grades up. Irene said to him yesterday when I was picking the kids up from her house that if he sticks with it he will be much better prepared for next year. Kids don't have the capability of that much forethought, but she is right. I also don't want him to think it's ok to quit just because you don't get to play. I would feel the same about him playing the trumpet. I wouldn't want him to quit if he wasn't first chair.

We played some of the music he is practicing for their next concert last night. The teacher was nice enough to send home trombone parts home with Kevin so that I could play along with him. He is sounding really good even with the braces on. I guess it just takes some time for your muscles to adjust.

Michelle is on the road driving to Vegas as I write. We've been texting back and forth all morning. I am getting really nervous about the weekend. I knew it would eventually hit me. We are not putting any expectations on the weekend, but I am just reminded about a previous meeting I had years ago that went very wrong.

Deep breaths.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Well, I'm anxiously waiting to leave tomorrow for Vegas. The stress of work has really gotten to me lately. Maybe it is mostly due to the impending doom for our project (move to Scotland). It seems like little things have been irritating me more than they normally would.

The kids have been great. I haven't had any problems with them all week. Chantel was a good influence on them in that she really tried to keep them from fighting, even if it was play fighting (which would inevitibly end up as a real fight). I haven't told them much about what is going on with work. I don't want to worry. I'm not worried about it, I just don't like to keep starting over at new places over and over.

Than being said, I don't want to go 3 months without work again, so when the lay-off does happen I am going to take the first good contract position even if out of state. It won't be a permanent plan. I will also be looking for work here in town. Commuting to Denver is looking less appealing considering the price of gas. YIKES!

I heard on the radio that gas prices should start to drop in the near future. I sure as hell hope so. I had a quarter tank left in my truck (I seldom drive the truck). It cost me $56 to fill the damn thing, and it doesn't have the big tank. I don't think I'll be making any road trips this year.

Monday, September 05, 2005

My lack of religion

I was asked by someone in this fabulous bloggy world after I made a comment in his blog, "Why have you never been religious? Has it just never come up or are you trying to be a spiritual Switzerland?". He was not being judgmental, just being curious.

I used to just avoid talking about religion because it made me uncomfortable because of my ignorance, but over the years I have discussed various aspects of my lack of religion. I figure here is a good place to answer Zane's questions...

My immediate family has never gone to church together. My mother and father went regularly when they were young. I went to church a few times with friends and neighbors as a kid, but very infrequently. I didn't know why we didn't go as a family. When I was about 9 or 10 I asked my mom . For me to remember all of this means that I thought very hard about it.

The reason was that my dad had been married before and divorced, and that divorced people were excommunicated from the Catholic church. Then she went on to say that since she married someone that was divorced that she was not allowed either. I didn't pry any further since I was hardly even aware that my dad had been married before (let alone that this was his 3rd marriage). I kind of wanted to get away from the subject since discussing my dad being previously married made me uncomfortable. I don't think my mom liked talking about it either. I often wondered why getting a divorce (which was very rare in those days) would cause such a severe reaction. Over the years I ran into other questions about various religions that added to my confusion.

I know I am generalizing here, but I think my main problem with religions in general is that they all think they are right and others are wrong. It made me wonder if any of them were right. The more I thought about it the less I cared for any organized religion.

Back when I was about 20 I went to church one time with my girlfriend and her family. I don't remember the denomination for sure, but I think it was Methodist. I paid attention to what the preacher was saying until he started making fun of Catholics. This irritated me, not because my affiliation with the Catholic church through family, but because he was making fun of another religion.

I have friends that belong to various religions. I asked around why this joke made any sense. One of my best friends told me how various Christian religions started out as the same, then as various doctrines were put in place people were out raged and they split off to make there own religion. My friend asked me if I believed in God, my reply, "I don't know". He explained that I am agnostic. He explained that it means that I am unsure about the existence of God. I agreed with him.

My ex-wife called me an atheist many times over the years which of course was absolutely wrong. I don't judge people because of what religion they belong, so I also don't think it is fair that I be judged because I am what Zane called spiritual Switzerland.

I appreciate the good that churches do for people. Then there is the assistance that the churches give to the needy. I have a lot of respect for my religious friends in how they get involved with the church groups. They create a feeling of community that is missing in today's society.

But the there are so many things I don't understand, like why churches need to try to recruit me? I don't mean the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Mormons that tend to be the ones that do the majority of the "recruiting". Maybe it's the fact that I live in Colorado Springs "religion central" Colorado, but there are groups that routinely come through the neighborhood trying to get people to their churches. They make judgment on me because I don't go to church.

My friend Sam told me a number of years ago that his brother-in-law is a preacher in his wife's home town in Minnesota. Sam explained that his brother-in-law had a good talk with him one day when visiting here. He stated that Sam was not a bad person because he did not go to church. He told Sam that he acted like more of a Christian than most Christians do. There are so many people that go to church, but don't follow what the church teaches them.

Is it not enough that I treat people with decency and dignity and to quote Spike Lee's powerful message, "Do the right thing"? Maybe I don't have the morals of the average church go-er, but that doesn't make me a bad person. I have made mistakes, done some immoral things, and I have even hurt people (my recent break up, for example). I know I am not perfect, but my intensions are always good.

When I was with Chantel I met her in-laws. They thought I was a nice guy, and seemed to like how I got along with their family, even Chantel's husband. I was warned that they are very religious, so there may be some tension on this subject. Well it never came up when I was around. One day when Chantel was at their house with her kids they found out that I was not a religious person. All of a sudden I was on the shit list. What gets me is that I was dating a married woman (Chantel and her husband were not divorced), but that fact wasn't an issue.

There are too many hypocrites in the world as it is. I don't want to be one of them. I am who I am.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

College bound and birthdays

My friend Ava is a bit down because her brother is moving away to England to get his MBA, possibly forever. I am sure she will have hole in her life without him near. It made me start to wonder how I am going to feel when something like this happens to me.

Being forced to move here to Colorado when I was 12 I didn't really think too much about missing my sisters. They were both out of the house by then and going to college. I don't really know how they felt when we left. Now that I am older and we have Paula I think about them all the time.

My brother Mike lives here in town. I know I would feel deserted if he was to move. Actually, he just bought a house, so I am pretty sure he is staying put for a while.

My mom on the other hand is seriously considering moving back to Michigan near my remaining sister Patti. Part of me thinks that's a good thing, part of me is going to feel horrible. I am understanding how Ava feels now. Mom asked me, Patti and Billy to look for senior places near each of us.

Patti is now without Paula in Michigan, so other than her husband and step children she is alone there. I have been looking for senior apartments for my mom here, but I don't think she can afford to live up here. I am sure we would all chip in, but I think mom wants to be near Patti. I think she is afraid to say this to me. Billy's 47th birthday is on Monday. He, Pam and Emma are getting settled in their new home in Connecticut. Although mom is originally from Maine I don't think she wants to move back to that region. Cost may be a factor, but I think she has bad memories of winters in Maine.

We are all getting together in Michigan the first week of December for a surprise birthday party for Patti. She'll be 50. Her husband is going to throw quite the bash. We're all going to chip in. I can't wait to see the look on Patti's face. I also can't wait to see everyone again.

We're going to have Christmas here in Colorado. It sounds like my brother in law John (Paula's husband is going to come out. This comes as quite a surprise since we had Christmas at his house last year weeks after Paula died. He didn't get to see much of his family for the holidays.

Katie, Paula and John's daughter, is off to college in Wisconsin, and as mom puts it she is already home sick for Ann Arbor. We're going to send her some things to help her out. She is not the kind of person that makes friends easily. I am sure this is a huge factor. Once she makes some friends they'll be friends for life. I was the same way when I went off to college, except I didn't want to go home (dad issues).

I am going to Las Vegas this coming weekend to relax and have some fun. I am meeting a friend of mine, Michelle, there. I have known Michelle for a couple years, but only through the Internet. We met through a personals web site back in 2002. We're both locked into the locations that we live so we both agree there is no real chance of a long term romantic relationship. After the whole blow out with Chantel we started talking more frequently. She is a psychologist and was trying to help me understand why Chantel was doing the things that she was. Michelle has also given me some great advice as to how to deal with it. She has been right on target 100%. She is a great person. I wish she lived closer so we would have met a long time ago.

I have met so many women on-line. Some I have gone to see and others that I only know on-line. There are a few of them that I consider very close friends. I am starting to wonder if maybe I make these friendships that are impossible to cultivate because I am afraid to commit to someone here. This break up has my head screwed up.