Monday, October 31, 2005

What I should be for Halloween

Your Haloween Costume Should Be

A Scary Bunny

What did you carve?

We carved pumkins over at Rayette's house on Saturday night.

Kevin (almost 13) wanted to do something he designed. Here is his creation.

And here is Erik's (8 year old, so it's pretty obvious that I did all the carving). He scooped out all the guts and picked the design though.

Friday, October 28, 2005

S.H.I.T - T.G.I.F

I can wait for this work day to be over. I am taking off at noon.

Just for some laughs you need to check out these commercials. I sent 3 of the files around yesterday, but I should have looked harder for a website... here it is

Kevin had a band concert yesterday that I totally forgot to put on my calendar. Luckily he called me an hour before it started.

I am really impressed with his band teacher. She has really done a great job teaching these kids to learn and love to play music. She has so many kids to teach, way more than I did when I was Kevin's age. She had to split the band into a band per grade level (6th, 7th, and 8th). Back in the day we had 2 regular bands. The Symphonic Band (you had to try out for this one), and the Concert Band which all kids could join. I think this was a decent way to seperate things, but I see some problems with it.

Kevin's teacher has also had to split up the band into multiple classes because she can't fit all the kids in the room at one time. A brass class, a woodwind class, and a percussion class. I am amazed that when they finally all get together it all works.

Kevin's middle school is way overcrowded (about 55% over capacity), which is a big issue with me. We can't seem to pass some tax increases to build some additional schools. It seems that our school district is plagued by the fact that the largest portion of the district is rural. For some reason the rural folks have too much power in the decisions for district expansion (and voting down the needed tax increases). If they are going to cause our kids to be this over crowded then we need to split the district. It's that or I need to move to a different district.

Don't get me wrong. I hate taxes. I have been paying more than my share of taxes for years and I am sick to death of it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Some Light Reading - HNT

It seemed like tonight was a good night to do some reading.

Ya, I'm a geek, and I am reading a tech book, but sometimes your mind is just hungry for something to think about. Am I right? Most of my reading this week has been of all my blogerful friends out there. You have no idea how much I appreciate your kind words. Then I come in and gross you all out with this. :D

It's been an interesting week of people talking about anal sex, coke can poop, talking dirty, graphic novels, pussy (I mean cats you pervs), Ritz crackers, girlfriends, boyfriends, divorce, marriage, being slutty, carving pumpkins, loved ones that are gone, work, kids, and we battled it out with someone that is too uptight to understand or to keep her mouth shut. I can hardly believe what all we've covered this week. Some of it is still making my head spin (Coke can.... holy hell!).

Happy HNT my friends


Next Steps

Rayette and I both knew that getting back together would require us to go slow. This seems to be working so far. I tend to see her about once a week, sometimes twice. We talk on the phone every couple days. I really feel good about the fact that we are trying again and really working on the areas where we had problems 2 years ago.

She cracks me up on Sundays. She is a big Denver Broncos fan (I am a fan, but not an intense one). When she is watching the game from her house she calls me to scream about the awesome play or the bullshit call that was made. She gets so intense about it. Picturing her going through this is hillarious. She is only 4' 11" with an equally tiny voice, but the intensity of her love for the Broncos makes her seem like she is 6' 5". She's got me excted about football again.

Things are going pretty well, but I am not totally confident or comfortable yet. We spend time together, but have not been intimate yet. Our kissing has not been the passionate kind we had in the past. I am all for the passion, but I sense that she is not. I have a wall up (a short one that is easy to hop over) because I don't want to get too close and get hurt again. She has a wall up, but it's hard to know exactly why.

We have plans to get together with the kids up in my neck of the wood this Friday evening. We're going to take the kids to a go-cart/arcade place and a haunted house. I kind of hope to have them spend the night, but I won't be upset if they don't.

I have some female friends that I do things with from time to time that think something is wrong because we haven't had sex yet. These friends are women I used to date so maybe they are looking at it as a comparison to what had happened between us. I am not upset about the state of things, but I am ready for the passion to begin.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My Enemies

*** Revision...

I forgot to mention that I did this after reading Chrissie and Steff's posts on the same subject (we all picked different titles though). This took me a number of days to write because I would get started and I would get pissed off and need a break. Get a drink now... it's another long one. Enjoy! -Jon


I don't know too many people that I don't like. I am generally a very likeable guy myself (at least that is what I am told), and I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I also can read through the bullshit really quickly. It tends to make some interviews people have with me go really fast. I try not to piss people off, but sometimes to get the job done you have to ruffle some feathers. I've had some managers and directors tell me that I am too nice (I think they also assume easily influenced), and that certain strong personalities in the groups that I deal with try to control my efforts. I guess some people see someone that is nice as an easy mark. I am not one of those.

Marty was a back stabbing moron that my manager hired out of desperation to fill positions on a government contract we took over. Marty and I butted heads almost right away. This had a lot to do with the fact that he could not do the job he was hired for, but then my manager, Bruce, was not writing up his deficiencies because we were too busy trying to get this contract working.

Marty and I argued a lot. He did not like me and I did not like or respect him. He lied on his resume, and my manager was too technically ignorant to read through his bullshit in the interview. He did have one thing that he was good at... lying.

I was promoted to supervisor of the department and quickly got things into motion to get rid of him. I started documenting his deficiencies and our arguments, and with the help of my manager we compiled a nice folder for HR.

Marty obviously knew how the game was played, but he was probably a third stringer on the team. Before I was ready to go to HR, Marty brought up a harassment claim on me to my manager. It was quite harsh and complete bullshit. My manager and I had a sit down meeting with Marty.

Bruce was the master! He knew just how to turn this around on Marty. By the end of the meeting we actually had him admitting IN WRITING how he was reacting harshly due to his hot temper. We also documented and had him sign off on how he was not following my directions and doing things the way he wanted instead of how the procedures were written.

Renee was one sneaky bitch. She was hired at the same time Marty was (I really hated this job). She was the ultimate back stabber. She was hired as our media librarian. She was then transferred under me to keep an eye on here. Why did I become the damn babysitter.

I was not happy with her work, and I came to find out it wasn't even her work. One of her jobs was to write up "engineering" changes for a particular customer on our project. The changes were mostly just equipment moves from one part of the building to another, which required drawing updates and ensuring adequate power and cooling. I found out that she was actually having one of the customer's engineers write up the changes, then she would transfer these to our forms and submit them.

Eventually my manager had Renee move into my cubicle so that I could watch her like a hawk. I really hated that, especially because I could not stand her. I did notice that the majority of her day was spent BSing with people. I had to get on her about that. Then she was having a house build, so she was always on the phone with her general contractor or a supplier. That had to be stopped as well. She said she did. My boss wanted her gone, so I needed to start compiling data on her.

I was preparing to fly out to LA Air Force Base to assist with a project when I saw her computer screen unlocked (unusual for her... she always covered her tracks very well). A floppy disk was in the drive. I saw that it was all personal stuff. House building info, kids projects, resumes, etc. I made a stupid decision because I was about to leave for LA. I decided to copy the data over the network to my system and bury it in a directory. I was going to analyze the dates and times of the files when I returned to determine if she was using government equipment (the computer) for personal use.

When I returned I was immediately called to the program manager's office. Renee had contacted HR about me invading her privacy. She found the files on my system (which was locked), and erased all the files using a tool that wiped the sectors to eliminate being able to recover them. She was smart except for one thing. Why did she feel the need to remove the evidence that proved I invaded her privacy. She knew I had her. If I would have said that I didn't do it there would have been no evidence. I was honest and admitted to what I did explaining why I did it.

They were totally on my side, but she got HR involved (we worked for 2 different companies, so HR from both were involved...yeah!), so they needed to have a big meeting with all of us. The big guns were on my side along with my HR guy. They gave me a pretty hard slap on the wrist and instructed me on what to do next time. This being my first time in a management position I asked for some management training. Renee on the other hand got severely slapped, and received a written warning for what she had done.

She and I both found new jobs soon afterwards. This all made me not want to ever be in a management position ever again.

A few years later I met Dawn. She knew Renee from the job that Renee went to, and ran into her from time to time. She didn't care for Renee, but would tolerate her. I told Dawn how I could not stand her. Dawn and I got along great. Dawn took it upon herself to play along with the bizarre situation. She had Renee's e-mail address and they started talking shit about me. Renee had asked how I was to work for. She told Renee that I was ok, but kind of a hard ass (so not true). Renee proceeded to tell Dawn that my boss and I were fired from our jobs out at the NTF for sexual harassment of another woman in our department. I was so tempted to sue her ass. Dawn gave me copies of the e-mail. I decided it wasn't something I wanted to waste my time on.

Pamwas an incompetent bitch that was hired as the lead of the department I work with. This was right after I first went into consulting. The director that hired her (not knowing a damn thing about what we do) in a staff meeting the day before she started described the type of person she was. He made it sound like a good thing. We all let out a collective groan. We all knew that she was going to make a lot of enemies throughout the company. But I gave her the benefit of the doubt... for a short while.

We spent about 2 hours with her on her first morning. I knew we were in big trouble. This woman was so totally clueless, and just wanted to brown nose her way up the ladder. It was so incredibly disgusting to watch.

About the same time she was hired they brought in a consultant to manage our department (we all agreed that having a consultant as a manager was odd, but he was good so we gave him the respect he deserved). Greg was an awesome guy. Smart as hell and knew exactly what needed to be done. Pam of course saw this as a road block to her future. She went around him to other managers and back stabbed him at every opportunity. We all quickly got to hate her.

Greg quickly figured out that I knew what I was doing, and he trusted my judgment. We let Greg know all of the bullshit Pam was trying to pull. Greg immediately started talks with his boss. My friend/co-worker Evans had actually taken an issue to HR about her. He was not going to let the bureaucracy slow him down. I'm not sure if that was a good thing or not.

I figured she was not going to last, but there were so many things we were up against that HR was too chicken-shit to do anything.

I asked Greg if he had Pam's resume. I asked him if he trusted me to read it over. He took me to lunch and he had me read it. Her resume was so packed full of lies. I was just floored that someone could get hired claiming they knew so much, but not being able to do any of it. Greg said the one thing that his being a consultant does is ties his hands. He was given the title with zero authority. His boss was reacting to all the problems she was causing at a snails pace.

She wanted to hire a friend of hers. Greg told her know, so she went to a project manager and got this PM to pay for bringing this new guy in. This PM didn't like me or Greg because we didn't suck up to her. We all protested to Greg's manager, who ended up letting this guy to be brought it.

Pam told me to get him up to speed on what we do. I figured this guy had to have some experience in our area, but no... he had none. His claim to fame was that he sucked up to Pam at her last job (which we subsequently learned she was fired from FOR INCOMPETENCE!!!). We use very specific type of software tools. Not only did he have no experience in these tools, he didn't even know anything about UNIX, which was the platform we were working on. So basically I was having to teach him EVERYTHING. Greg had enough and soon found a new consulting gig.

After a long weekend of work where Pam jumped in and mispoke in a teleconference with our customer I decided I couldn't take it anymore. The following Monday we had a meeting with our director present. Three of us (including her brown nose buddy) jumped all over her shit. We told her how wrong she was and highlighted all of the bad decisions she had inflicted on us. She of course wouldn't listen.

A week later my contract was cancelled. I was told it wasn't because of Pam. I told the manager that he didn't need to blow smoke up my ass.

A couple months later Evans got a new job in a different division of the company. Pam had come to him to ask if he though I would come back. I am sure he was holding back a gut busting laugh. He called me a few minutes later. I told him to tell her to kiss my ass. I told him I would go back only if she was gone.

She basically gutted that department. We had 6 employees at one point. I have no idea how they are getting by these days. It's sad when companies are too afraid to fire someone. It effects so many people and costs the company so much money. A few months ago she actually got a different job in the company, then was soon fired for incompetence. We considered having a party.

Sorry this was so long. I need to hire an editor.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sadness sneaks in

I have been really down today...

My weekend has kind of sucked. I am wondering if my depression is coming back. I sure hope not.

Late this afternoon I read the blog that my brother-in-law created last years after my sister died last December. There were some new entries this week.

One where Paula had created these things she called letterboxes. She would create these handmade return-addressed postcards decorated using her enormous rubber stamp collection. She would send this out to friends of hers all over the world. Her friends would hide them in various places. The people that found them were to write a note of who they were, and when and where they found it, then send it back. Two of them arrived this week. My sister did some really cool shit. It amazes me still how she found the time.

Another entry was that John and Katie and a bunch of friends buried some of Paula's ashes in a plot in a park in Ann Arbor. John wanted to do this so that he has a peaceful place to go and talk to her. I wish I could have been there. They are planning on planting 1000 Daffodil bulbs for Paula somewhere nearby as well. Apparently they have done this together in the past just to make Ann Arbor even prettier. I will be there in about 6 weeks for my other sister's birthday. I'm sure we'll make the rounds.

Reading about this really brought everything to a head. Then of course my ex brings my kids over to pick some stuff up. I don't like my kids to see that I've been crying. I explained what was going on, but I don't really like to talk when I am like this.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


In my current job I don't have a local direct manager. This is both good and bad. My manager, Brian, currently works up in the Fort Collins office. He is a great boss, and I respect him a lot. I would never do anything to make him regret hiring me.

When I was hired I was told that since I don't have a local manager that this guy Doug would be a "dotted-line" manager to me. Doug is the manager of the software test department. I see the need for this arrangement, but I have been annoyed more than once with Doug. Brian has asked me from time to time how the arrangement is working with Doug. There was an incident early on that made Brian shut Doug down on something having to do with my responsibilities. I didn't know the details, but Brian wanted me to let him know if Doug over-steps his boundaries.

Doug seems to think that this "dotted-line" arrangement means he has some power over how I do my job (technically). Well, simply put, he hasn't a clue.

Doug invites me to his department meetings every week, maybe to give me a sense of belonging. I'm not sure. A couple weeks ago in Doug's weekly meeting he announced that we needed to cut way back on the working from home (what we call WFH). Every morning you will typically see at least 2 messages to the project e-mail group where someone is announcing that they are working from home, and how to contact them. Doug said we need to cut way back. I wasn't sure he was counting me in this "order" until he singled me out as needing special arrangements due to the weeks I have my kids. I thought this was odd. He now wants us to request a WFH day through him instead of just deciding to do it, and announcing it to the project.

I don't necessarily need "special arrangements", and especially not arranged by him. Brian, my REAL boss, told me months ago that he understands that sometimes you can't get things done in the office when you are constantly interrupted by the developers. He specifically told me that if I needed to work from home that I could. I don't abuse this privilege, and typically when I am WFH I am busy from the first thing in the morning until sometime late in the evening. Working from home does cause a slowdown because of the VPN connection.

On the weeks I have my kids I leave work early if I am requested to do a special "build" of our software late in the afternoon. It takes at least 2.5 hours to build our product, and many times these requests come in after 3. Once it gets to be that late I will leave and do the build from home. I have to get Erik from daycare before 6, so after 3 and I am pushing the time.

Anyway, right after Doug's meeting he had to leave town because of a death in the family (mother-in-law). He was gone for a week. He returned last Friday for half a day, then went on vacation for a few days until returning to the office yesterday.

Early this week since Brian is not here, and Doug was not available, another manager, Brad had to give me my written Work Force Management package. This is the contract that the company has put in place since they are moving the project to Scotland. The package states when my last day will be (June 30, 2006) and all of the payouts I will have (roughly 5 months of pay as a severance package). Brad told me how he was so glad that they hired me. He complimented me on the fact that I don't need a lot of hand-holding, and came in and figured things out and made some immediate improvement in their processes. He offered a lot of advice that managers are not supposed to give us for these coming months before the lay-offs. He also said he will gladly provide me a letter of recommendation even though I don't report to him in any way (although he benefits greatly from me keeping things on track). That was a great ego boost.

While Doug was gone I had 2 days that I needed to work from home. The first was because of icy streets after our snow storm. I worked at home until from 7:30 until noon, then I went in to the office and worked until 6. Then I stayed home with my kids one day while they were on their fall break (some people did WFH most of that week).

Yesterday after Doug got back in the office he asked if I could walk down the hall with him. He wanted to discuss the WFM. At first he was very calm and was clarifying his point from the meeting 2 weeks ago. I told him I understood. He told me that he knows I work very hard and everyone is very pleased with the work I do. He then got an attitude with me and said that I was insubordinate when I was WFM those 2 days. Well I stayed calm, but I was thinking 2 things. How the FUCK am I supposed to get his "permission" for WFM when he is not here, and I don't need him getting in my face about this when I work my fucking ass off.

I was totally pissed off, but hid it well. I explained to him that since he had to be gone right after that meeting I didn't know I needed to inform him, it wasn't like he could determine if it was going to cause a problem. He said that he appointed Antoine (one of his Sr. Testers) as in charge while he was gone. I felt like saying "Excuse me, but I don't fucking report to you OR Antoine", but I held my tongue.

Most of the time I like Doug. He's a reasonable person. I am going to send Brian an e-mail about all this. I am 90% sure he'll be on my side on this, but you never know with management types. He is swamped with relocating the Fort Collins office to Loveland next weekend. I know he is totally stressed out without having to deal with this.

I was going to do a Arch Enemy/Nemesis post like Steph and Chrissie wrote, then this popped in my head and I needed to get it off my chest. Thanks for letting me vent. As usual I have way too much to spew.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

As tagged by Mel,

1. List your top 5 80's songs – There's no way I can possibly figure out my top five. Here's some great ones.

Elvis Costello - (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding
The Police - Next To You
Marshall Crenshaw - Someday, Someway
Gary Myrick & The Figures – She Talks In Stereo
Joe Jackson – Sunday Papers

2. List your top 5 favourite scents
(not necessarily perfume)

Spring time in the Rockies
Freshly baked bread
Orange Ginger (Bed, Bath & Beyond)
An ex-girlfriend's perfume (I have no idea what it was)
Outside, after the rain.

3. List your top 5 holiday destinations

Vegas, baby
Australia (someday)
Disney World
California (many parts)
Michigan (family)

4. List your top 5 favourite nightclubs/pubs/haunts where you live.

15C Club
Phantom Canyon Brewery
Sing Song
Jack Quinn's

5. List your top 5 favourite drinks.

Velvet Hammer (a martini at 15C Club, Colorado Springs, CO)
Jamison (shots)
Glenmorangie (w/ splash of water)
Side Car
Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale

More Shock!

What on Earth is that!?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Late Weekend Report

It was a pretty busy weekend with me and the kids. It started off with us all going to see Flightplan. Not a bad movie. Somewhat predictable, but had a couple good twists.

Saturday we slept in, which I desperately needed after staying up too late the previous 3 nights. Once I was up we decided to take advantage of the nice day and go for a bike ride. We took the same trail we went on a few weeks ago, but we went earlier so we could ride further.

That is Erik on the left and Kevin on the right.

The sun was shining with a few clouds in the sky when we got started. The Autumn colors were out, but we've probably missed the really good colors in our area. I love it when the scrub oak changes to a bright red.

The Santa Fe Trail goes through most, if not all of Colorado following the front range of the Rockies. Through the city I believe the trail is paved with asphalt (who's fault?) most of the way through, but on the north end of town it is a dirt trail. It is not a technical ride, but has a few hills along the way that can challenge a novice. I am a novice, but last year I had a friend who was into riding her bike a lot, I decided that this would be a good way for me to get some much needed exercise. She introduced me to the trail.

We take the trail from about a mile or 2 south of where it turns to dirt and ride north. A few miles up it enters the Air Force Academy grounds. If you've ever been to Colorado Springs this is one of the prettiest areas.

Erik only has a 10 speed, and he is still getting used to dealing with shifting gears. He gets a bit frustrated, but with some guidance and encouragement he does really well. I just need to keep Kevin from trying to tell him what to do. Even with 5 years difference in their ages, the sibling rivalry is very much there. It doesn't help when Kevin tells Erik to shift up when he should shift down. I'll eventually get him an 18 speed, but until he gets the shifting down I don't see the point.

This time around we went a good 12 to 15 miles up into the Air Force Academy ground. We saw lots of snakes along the trail. Some of them could have been baby rattlers, but I didn't want to stop and look. I warned the boys not to stop and check them out, because boys will be boys.

On the way back down it was getting chilly. We saw a 3'+ bull snake sunning itself on the trail. It looked like a few people hadn't seen it and ran over it. It was still alive and freaked out everyone that passed as I tried to block others from causing more damage to the poor thing.

Unfortunately my digital camera doesn't give an accurate reading of the amount of battery charge that remains so I only got a few pictures from some of the least pretty areas. I'll be smarter next time. We went about 3 or 4 miles further than we did our last time out. One of these times I'll take my GPS unit with us to get an accurate reading.

We stayed home Saturday night. Kevin had a friend spend the night. This usually ends up being a bad idea, but they were really good about letting Erik participate. The XBox tends to get a lot of use on nights like this. They stayed up late and watched a few episodes of the first season of 24. My kids are way into the show, just like me. I had watched these episodes last week while they were with their mom, but I didn't tell them that. The kids eventually were all asleep on an air mattress and the couch. That's where I left them.

Sunday I slept in again. I am going to get to enjoy that if I'm not careful. I eventually woke up due to XBox noise with the volume turned way up. I didn't complain, I needed to get my ass moving. We were headed for mom's in Pueblo to have yet another birthday celebration for Erik.

I invited Rayette to bring her kids along. Her oldest son came. We had fun trying to inflate this hot air balloon thing that my mom bought Erik. She always finds the oddest toys. This would have been really cool if it would have worked. There was a slight breeze that was preventing it from filling.

We had a great lunch, cake, and ice cream. The hit the living room to watch a little of the Bronco game. Rayette is a huge Bronco fan. I am torn between the Broncos and the Lions (ya, I know, don't laugh). Two years ago when Rayette and I were first dating she bought tickets for the cross conference match-up of Broncos vs Lions. It was hard to cheer for both sides. I ended up giving in and cheering for the broncos. I snagged a t-shirt on the way out with both team helmets on the front (score!). I had a hard time answering a question in one of my last posts about the most romantic thing a woman has ever done for me. This was probably it, because it also came with spending the night in Denver (her dad works for Holiday Inn, so the room was nice and cheap). We went out to the bar Sing Song (dueling piano bar). What an awesome weekend. Anyway I digress.

We needed to leave early because I had tickets to a comedy show in Colorado Springs. Unfortunately Rayette could not find someone to cover her on-call time at the hospital. She decided to give it a try too late. She missed an excellent show. My friends Mike and Irma and I had dinner at my favorite brew pub before walking to the show. The comedians were Henry Phillips, Drew Hastings, and Pat Godwin. I laughed my fool head off. Pat Godwin is so damn funny. I am really sorry she missed it.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Tagged... I'm it... You're next

Thanks goes to Chrissie for tagging me. This is to find the 5th sentence of my 23rd post.

Title: Lacking time when unemployed?

"I was actually contacted by 7 different recruiters for that same position."

As with many of my posts at the time, this section of the post had to do with looking for a job. Now that I read through them I realize that I sure jump around a lot in my posts. I wonder if I should break them down into smaller posts covering one thing.

This particular one was pretty boring. Maybe I should have plucked one from one of my "other" blogs. Oh nevermind.

So now I get to tag 5 people. So I am hitting up... Ava... Mel... Steph... Ailyn... Echotig. If I tagged you and you have already done this let me know and I'll tag someone else.

Google Fun

I borrowed this from Stacy's blog. Go to Google and type, including the brackets, "[your name] needs".

Jon needs help. [like that is news]

Jon needs to answer some questions. [would you get that light out of my eyes?]

Jon needs to be a member of the Administrator's group. [God mode... YES!]

Jon needs to learn how to spell "allowed" before he ridicules other people's work. [I cannot alow this to go on]

Jon needs to raise his standards. [I think this is a general consensus]

Jon needs everyone's thoughts, well-wishes -- and financial help. [especially the cash people].

"Improv" is really something Jon needs to "Improve" at. [duh]

Jon needs a break today... a coffee break... just take a look and see what happens. [what am I supposed to look at?]

Jon needs to learn that his actions can ultimately destroy the very cause he seeks to protect. [Sounds like a bad quote from a Star Trek movie]

Jon needs to be put in prison and locked up for life. [did I screw the judges daughter?]

Jon needs someone 1 on 1 most of the time. [the 2 on 1 is just getting too tough]

Jon needs something more to do. [something, not someone. This is true, even if I won't admit it].

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Open and honest

R and I have had some very blunt and honest discussions about us and what we do and don't expect from each other. It is good to get this all out in the open considering our past. I personally think that she had asked for my help with the computer a few times last year partly because she didn't want to completely lose touch with me. She could have found someone closer. Some of the "help" was pretty "manufactured". She had been a stubborn and proud person and definitely has a hard time saying she is wrong or sorry. She has done that in a big way this time around. This is what gives me hope that she has possibly grown during these last 2 years.

We have both learned some very hard lessons, that is for sure. I am still very skiddish about bringing down the barriers. I know I will eventually need to, but it's been a pretty rough year for me.

We have gotten together a couple times this week. On Tuesday for a Nip/Tuck viewing at her house with a bunch of her friends, then today she came over with her oldest son to my mom's house for lunch and a small birthday celebration for E.

I think mom was a little weirded out by this. She is in a protective mode hoping I won't get burned again. I told her not to worry about me and Rayette. She seemed to relax once Rayette arrived and they had a nice chat. I don't think they talked much about us, I think mom was glad that she was still as nice as she had always been toward her.

Even when Rayette and I weren't dating, but we were doing the "just friends" talking, she always asked how mom was doing. She always volunteered to help her out if she needed anything since they live in the same town. I always declined. I always thought that would seem too weird to my mom. I probably should have taken her up on it a few times when I couldn't get a hold of mom and drove all the way there and found out my timing was just bad, and mom had turned off her answering machine.

There's a number of "what if" scenarios I have thought of to figure out what Rayette was thinking. It's stupid to worry about shit like this, but I think we all do it to some degree.

Friday, October 14, 2005


Meme from Mel

Name people with the same birthday as you.
Bo Jackson, Mark Twain, Clay Aiken (UGH), Winston Churchill, Ben Stiller, Billy Idol, Robert Guillaume, Mandy Patinkin, Richard Crenna, David Mamet, Ridley Scott, G. Gordon Liddy, Dick Clark, Oliver Fisher Winchester (rifle maker), Ferdinand I, the Righteous, king of Aragon/Sicily,

Where was your first kiss?
In my 1971 Datsun 1200, what a babe machine that was.

Have you ever seriously vandalized someone else's property?
Yes, when I was a kid in Michigan. I egged houses, soaped windows, broke a couple car antennas, I even broke into a businesses lot with some friends and got in a semi trailer and dumped out the contents of a bunch of bags and barrels stored in there. Not a proud moment in my life. We were never caught... shhhh

Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex?
No, never, but I wanted to twice in my life.

Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people?
Grade school concert with my whole class. I never enjoyed singing although friends that have heard me sing in the car say I am very good. I have played trombone in front of large crowds. Nothing more nerve racking than playing an improvised solo in front of 1000 people.

What's the first thing you notice about the preferred sex?

What do you order at the Coffee Bean?
Chai Tea. I am not a coffee drinker.

What is your biggest mistake?
There are so many...
Not finishing college, although I am doing fine in my career now, I wouldn't have had to struggle as much if I had that damn piece of paper. Also, not being more agressive when it comes to women when I was young.

Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose?
No, unless yoiu count using a hair removal spray on my back thatwas left on too long and left a nice burn and scab for weeks.

Say something totally random about yourself.
I used to have blue eyes

Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?
Yes, when I was about 21 a girl said I looked like Tom Cruise with my sunglasses on. Then a couple months ago my friends Evans and Linda said I look like Steve Carrel. I said "I wish". Although that scene in 40 Year Old Virgin where he has his chest waxed struck home really hard.

Do you still watch G movies or tv shows?
Absolutely, I can't wait to see "Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit"

Did you have braces?

Are you comfortable with your height?
Yes, but I wouldn't mind being 2 inches taller

What is the most romantic thing someone of the opposite sex has done for you?
I had a hard time thinking of something, but I guess it would be giving me a massage.

When do you know it's love?
When I can't wait to see her again, and I hate the thought of never seeing her again

Do you speak any other languages?
Pig Latin

Have you ever been to a tanning salon?

What magazines do you read?
Maxim, Consumer Reports, Playboy, Money

Have you ever ridden in a limo?
Yes, always coinciding with weddings

Has anyone you were really close to passed away?
Yes, my sister Paula in Dec '04. Her death was why I started blogging.
My dad back in '99

Do you watch Mtv?
I would if they had music on it

What's something that really annoys you?
Shitty drivers that flip me off when I honk at them

What's something you really like?
"...long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days."

Do you like Michael Jackson?
Only if he's on fire

Can you dance?
You could call it that

What's the latest you have ever stayed up?
I've stayed up for 35 hours straight. Does that count?

Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room?
No, but I have had to call an abulance for others

Do you actually read these when other people fill them out?
Yes, especially if it is a friend

Thursday, October 13, 2005

My First HNT!!

This was very impromptu. Roximoon kicked my ass and made me do it while I was at work. I took a pic last night at home and had planned on posting, but got distracted (it doesn't take much). That's me... scary and hairy.

Credit goes to osbasso for getting Half-Nekkid Thursday rolling.


I happened upon Craigslist this evening and read it thouroughly. I had heard of it in the past but had never seen it myself. I found it in someones blog, so I had to go there.

I freaked out when I saw that Chantel fit perfectly into 7, 8, 9, and 11. I feel even more like an idiot now.

A new tool to help me... hurray!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

My three worst dates

I strolled through Chrissies blog where she asked everyone to tell about their three worst dates.
This was an interesting question. I have had so many, but I guess there are a few that really stand out.

#1 Yahoo my ass
I met Marcia through Yahoo Personals. She seemed very nice, but a little shy when we talked on the phone. I immediately liked her (well what I heard from her), and we made a date. We met at one of my favorite brew pubs downtown. She had only been here for a couple months and didn't know what there was downtown. She arrived quite late. I almost felt like I was being stood up, but then she called because she was lost.

She finally arrived, and I gave her a hug. She was about 5'1" hispanic and very cute, but she was very shy. Wait, let me rephrase that. She was so shy it was like I was talking to a damn tree. I don't get too uncomfortable with the wierd silences that you have on early dates, but I am not used to being the only person talking all night. We finished dinner, well I did. She was too nervous to eat what she ordered. That was a full to go box.

I was trying to figure out what would break her out of this paralysis. I didn't want to take her to my brother's bar. The would add to my discomfort as well as her's I am sure. Some people would freak out about meeting a family member on a first date. I asked her if she wanted to go upstairs to the billiard room. She agreed in a sheepish way.

We got a table right away. My brother used to manage this place so the bartender, who is a friend of Mike's put me on the top of the list. She explained that she really sucked (she didn't lie), but that didn't matter to me. I just wanted to do something that might spur some conversation. It worked a little bit. I did get her to laugh a number of times.

Later I walked her to her car, gave her a hug and a little kiss and sent her on her way. I thought to myself that she might be fun if I can get her out a little from that shell.

She e-mailed me the next day to thank me, and to tell me that she couldn't date someone that is as forward as I am. I think my jaw hit the keyboard. I couldn't believe I was being called forward after that date. Damn, if that was forward I'm not even sure how to classify some of my "great" dates.

#2 The Music Teacher
Tina was a music teacher at a grade school about 5 miles from where I live. She also contacted me through an on-line personals ad sometime in 2002. She did not have a picture on her profile, which is typically a BIG red flag to me. I'm not sure why I opened up so easily to her other than that maybe we were both into music. She seemed really nice, and wanted to talk to me on the phone right away. This woman had the sexiest voice I have ever heard. I even joking asked her if she works part time for a phone sex line. She was very charming, and toward the end of the call she kind of got a little sexually suggestive. It both excited me and set off more red flags at the same time. I backed away a little bit. I asked her to send me a picture. She said she'll have to scan one in and get it to me in the next day or so. She told me I won't be disappointed. The way she said that put a vision in my mind of receiving some sexually explicit photo of her.

A day or 2 pasted and I got an e-mail from her with her picture. Nothing sexual about it... Damn. She was fairly pretty and a little heavy, but not bad at all. We talked some more over the next week or so when she asked if I wanted to meet for lunch. Although I like to be the one to ask I didn't mind. Instead of suggesting a time and place she asked me to pick her up. I thought this was strange since most people are a lot more careful than this. I got to her town house, she yelled out the window from upstairs for me to come in. Her place was nice, but fairly cluttered. She wasn't even close to being ready to go. She came downstairs in her silk robe and I saw that she was WAY heavier than she was in her picture (so why was I not going to be disappointed?).

I am not one to just cut and run. She finished getting ready and we headed to a place for lunch that she picked out. I live on the east part of town, She lives on the south end of town, so of course she wants to eat up on the north end... Whatever. It was a good restaurant, but nothing to be thrilled about. We talked a while and we headed back to her place. She was in the middle of some story so she asked me to come in so she could finish.

Before I knew what was going on she changed the subject and started taking touching herself. I was in shock. I could not believe someone would act like this. I got out of there untouched and without disease as fast as I could. After that she would call me all times of the day or night. She would IM me if she saw me on (I quickly set her to ignore). It was a month or so before the hone calls stopped. After not having any contact with her for more than a year I remember going through my yahoo IM ignore list and clearing it out. Most of them were scam artists that would have been removed by now, but I also cleared hers out. Miraculously she IMed me within just a few minutes of being off the ignore list. "Hey, how's it going sexy?"

Needless to say, my kids will never be going to that school.

#3 KimRX

Here's a long build up...

Within a month after my ex and I split I was unemployed (company shutdown) and not feeling too good about myself. I had to go to the doctor to get all my meds re-prescribed for the year (allergies and asthma if you must know). I have my prescriptions filled at a Walgreens right down the street from my house. I took my stack of 6 or 7 scripts to them and had them fill 2 of them and put the rest on hold. I went back later that day to pick the 2 up which is when I saw Kim, the pharmacy tech. I had seen her before but never really paid much attention. She was very pretty and was very nice to me. Maybe I was hallucinating, seeing things that I wanted to see now that I was "single".

I had to go in a few weeks later for one of the meds I had on hold. I thought about the previous time I was in and looked forward to seeing Kim again. Alas, she was not there. I got my stuff and headed out. I was walking down one of the aisles and then she turn up the same aisle. She stopped and said a quick hi. For some bizarre reason I had the nerve to ask her out right then (totally unlike me). She immediately agreed, then asked if I could wait around for 10 minutes until she was on break so we could exchange numbers and talk.

I was kind of in a hurry, but I quickly ran next door and filled my truck with gas, then came back and met her on the bench outside the store. She was very sweet and we talked for her whole break. She asked me about my marital status. I knew this wasn't going to be good, but I told her the truth. That concerned her, but didn't make her break the date.

I called her the next day (I know I should have waited at least one more day, but I was stupid back then). We talked for about 30 minutes. She told me how she is a singer and was doing some recording. I asked her what kind of music. "Gospel", she said. I knew right then I was screwed. It came out how I don't go to church. She said she wouldn't hold that against me. I started thinking this was too perfect. She seemed really intelligent and sweet.

The next time we talked she seemed a bit different. She opened up and told me a lot of different things like how she was once a cage dancer at one of the nightclubs in town. This was a regular dance club, but they had girls dancing in the cages that were raised off the ground. This surprised me after our last conversation. She asked me if I had ever been to TNT's. This is a topless club in town. I told her that I had gone there a few times. I asked if she had worked there too. She said she could never do that, but she has a couple friends that work there. She asked me if I wanted to go there with her sometime (red flag). This was a little uncomfortable, but it wasn't like I wouldn't.

Eventually we made plans for a date. We originally were going to go see a movie, but then we changed plans because we wouldn't be able to talk. She suggested a bar and grill called Frankie's. I agreed, but we had to do this in the early afternoon on a weekday. She had her kids that week and needed to get them by 6 from her ex. I got to the bar first and got a seat as far from all the smokers as I could get. She came in a few minutes later and was recognized by a few people at the bar (red flag). She made her way around the bar and head toward me. I was TOTALLY blown away by her body. I was feeling a bit intimidated, but I figured hell, she agreed to go out with me.

We sat and ordered some nachos and drinks. I think hers was a rum & Coke, and I had a beer. We talked a lot and I felt really comfortable. She ordered another round of drinks. She actually asked me if I wanted to go to TNT's. I was in now way ready to do something like that, so I said let's save that for another time. Was I being tested?

She noticed these guys playing pool near by and asked if I wanted to play. I said sure, we can as soon as they're done. Well that wasn't good enough. She went over and challenged these 2 guys to a game. I started getting uncomfortable. These guys were complete scum. One of them clearly married and hitting on her hard. She was good at deflecting it (a seasoned pro?).

She kept drinking and these guys were both pouring it on. I asked the guys to chill out when she was distracted. They did for a minute. She was getting pretty drunk, then she told these guys how I didn't want to go to TNT's with her (BIG FUCKING RED FLAG!!!). That was as cold as you can get. Of course they both said they would go with her. My comfort level just took a kamikaze nose dive. She asked me to reconsider... basically making it sound like if I don't go she'll be going with them. I reluctantly agreed to go only because I figured if I was not there she would be in serious trouble. I told her I was going to hit the bathroom, then we could go. When I came out they were all gone. Remember, she needed to pick up her kids by 6. This was around 4.

I did not go to TNT's. I did not need to feel responsible for her after all this. I called her house and left her a message asking her to call me when she got home so that I don't need to call the cops looking for her dead body in a ditch somewhere.

She returned my call around 8 and asked me why I didn't go to TNT's. Was she that drunk that she didn't hear me say that we would leave when I got out of the restroom? She apologized and told me she would make up for it the next time we went out. She called a few times, but we never made plans to see each other again. I started getting my prescription threw mail order so I hardly ever saw her at Walgreens.

I ran into her again many months later at the McDonald's right next door to the Walgreens. I was there with my kids and she had one of hers and was with a girlfriend. I waved when I noticed she was looking at me. Our kids were all up playing so she came over to talk to me. She asked how I was doing and asked if I got back with my ex. She assumed that Irene would change her mind and want to come back. Well she was right about that, but I had told Irene no.

She told me that her ex was moving out of town for work and her son was going with him. She just about broke down crying talking to me about it.

Kim said she still owed me a date. She asked if I would be up for that. I said ok, but I am sure I didn't look too enthusiastic.

She was a party girl, and I had no room in my life for that. I never heard from her again.

I learned 2 important things from Kim.
#1 Hot younger girls will go out with me... I was not an ugly duckling like my ex made me feel
#2 Hot younger girls can be really fucked up.

I would like to TAG: Tara, Melly, Ava, Ailyn,
Le Synge Bleu, SGT,


I can't believe that we got snow this past weekend. I am guessing I had about 6-8 inches piled up on the deck Monday morning. The is early for this much snow. There is this misconception that we have snow on the ground all but a few months of the year here. The fact is we hardly get anything. Colorado as a whole gets lots of snow in the mountains. The mountains themselves generate a lot of there own weather patterns. The snow doesn't make it out to the foothills/plains all that often. We are a very arid state all in all. When we do get a big snow it melts almost as fast as it fell.

It snowed in the evening Sunday, then on and off all day Monday. Today it all melted except where there is shade. Personally I would love to get about 6 big snows a year. I am talking over 12 inches each. I love the snow. Maybe some of this is from growing up in Michigan.

I have reserved a cabin for a weekend in November up in the mountains about an hour or so away. These cabin are for Agilent employee use, and don't cost a thing. You gotta love that. Near the cabins there is a great looking sled hill that I know we will be using if there is enough snow.

The pictures here are from March of 2003. Yes, that is me crashing hard after going off a jump. I had a worse one later that day where I did a back flip. My back was killing me that night. I remember it well.

My sister Patti and her family will be here for Christmas, so I know we'll get in at least one day of skiing, and possibly more. We have a mandatory shutdown at work which gives me time to go. I typically only get to go skiing once, maybe twice a year. Last year we didn't go at all since we had Christmas in Michigan.

I booked a flight to Michigan for my mom, Mike and myself for Dec 3rd through 5th for Patti's surprise 50th birthday party. Her birthday is on Dec 1st (the day after mine). It is sure to be a tear jerker considering that Dec 2nd last year was when Paula died. This has been a tough year for all of us.

Chantel has been trying to call a lot lately. I have ignored every one. She should be getting the last of her stuff tomorrow. She gave up on calling and sent me a text message last night. I didn't see it until this morning. She asked, "Are you never going to return my calls?". I debated whether to answer the question. I decided to just send back a message saying that her stuff should be there today or tomorrow. Once I hit send I knew I was going to regret it. She then asked why I won't talk to her. I basically told her that I don't want to talk to her anymore. I stopped responding to further questions. She then asked if she could send Erik a birthday card. I told her "no". I decided a while back that I want no contact with her anymore, and since she has used the kids to try to manipulate me before, then they were off limits too. I personally thought she had a lot of nerve to even ask.

Is her behavior typical? Normally when I date someone and we end up breaking up (whether I break it off or she does) I have never been mad at the other person. Granted most of the women I have dated in the past 4 years didn't go past 2 or 3 weeks, but I still stayed cordial with many of them. Hell I still get my hair cut by someone I dated. Have I just been lucky in the past? Is it easier to just cut and run in all cases? Is this another change I need to make for the future?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Idle time

I have a headache yet I cannot stop reading blogs. What is wrong with me?

I shipped off the last of Chantel's stuff yesterday. I am glad to have that out of my hair.

Today I got over to my brothers house to get my truck towed to the shop. Mike was out to breakfast with someone, so I went in his house and made myself at home while waiting for the tow truck.

I got on his computer and did some surfing, played some solitaire, but was bored. I went out to his living room and contemplated turning on the TV , but then decided against it. I sat in his recliner and just relaxed. I was about to fall asleep when he and this very young woman came in. Mike said, "you just hanging here with the sick boys?". I was wondering what he meant, but then I turned around. Mike has these 2 twin beds in one end of his long living room. There were people sleeping in both of them. I guess they went to dinner last night to an Irish pub downtown. These 2 both ordered the pork tenderloin (something I probably would have ordered as well). They both got food poisoning from it. Mike said he hardly slept last night since the only bathroom is right outside his bedroom.

I can't believe Erik is turning 8 on Wednesday. He had a sleep-over birthday party last night at Irene's house. They were supposed to all sleep in a tent that was pitched in the back yard. I doubt they slept out there all night. I think I'll call and find out. I went over for burgers and cake.

Kevin turns 13 next month....HELP!!!

I originally wrote and published that Rayette and I were not going out tonight, but she just called and said she needed a break from all of the work she was doing on the house. I was feeling like maybe she didn't want to see me, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I think I am just paranoid. I probably will be with her for a little while yet.

We are going to have another mini party for Erik at my mom's next weekend when I have the boys. I invited Rayette and her boys to come over as well. I don't know if they will. I have tickets for a comedy show on Sunday night (Friends of The Bob & Tom Show) for Mike and Irma and I. Last week when we went out I also invited Rayette. I've had these tickets for a few months. I originally intended to take Chantel. Rayette showed interest in going as well as seeing Mike and Irma again.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The end is not so near

We received word this week of our lay-off dates. The project is going to go through 3 phases of lay-offs next year. The first phase comes at the end of April, followed by another in June, and a final phase in September. I was a bit torn between getting laid-off earlier and wanting to stay on the project through the last phase in September. Most of the people I work closely with are going to be there through September. I was told I would be in phase 2 in June. Some people are really surprised by my not being there until the end since I am in charge of maintaining the system that they use for accessing the source code, as well as me responsibility of building the final product for shipment. In a lot of ways it doesn't make sense, but then again once the team is smaller I would be needed for the system administration less and less.

I am not upset about this except for the fact that I will have to leave a great team that I just barely started working with. I know that some of these people I will work with again. Colorado Springs is not that big of a town.

Rayette and I have plans to see each other again this weekend. I am not sure what we'll do other than maybe work on her house a bit. She didn't say her kids would be there, but I am assuming they will be. I am hoping that we can have some alone time. I am not talking sex here, I just want us to be relaxed around each other without any distractions.

Chantel tried to call tonight around 11 p.m., but I noticed the caller id saying "Colorado Call" and a 303 area code. The only time I saw this before was when she called from the house in Parker. I ignored it. She was calling about the things she left behind. I have everything together. I just need to get my ass down to UPS to send it on its way.

I am "working from home" tomorrow. The boys are on their Fall Break which starts tomorrow (actually today). I decided to stay at home with them for one of the days. Well, now there are a number of things I have to get done. I am sure they won't mind running some errands with me.

One of the things to do tomorrow is to get my truck into the shop to replace the fuel pump. Last weekend my brother had borrowed it to get some things for his house. It broke down on him about 2 blocks from his house. I went down there and we towed it back to his house. Since my AAA membership had expired I needed to wait a few days so that towing it to the shop that I use wouldn't cost me anything.

I took the boys to see The Corpse Bride last night. We loved it. I think Tim Burton is one screwed up person, but that type make the best artists.

Lots more movies to see with the kids, but they are with their mom as of tomorrow evening. I want to take them to see "The Wallace and Gromit Movie", "The Greatest Game Ever Played", and "Oliver Twist". It's amazing how we've waited so long to see some decent movies and now they're all coming out at once.

What do you think we should see?

What's on your desktop?

Ava prompted us to show what we have on our desktops. Well, this is what is on mine :D Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Movie and Dinner

Well we made it through the first date (if you can call it a first). Rayette called me back on Wednesday asking if I would like to get together on Friday to go to dinner and a movie. My only problem with it was that I needed to leave my kids at home, but it was time to give Kevin some responsibility. He is 12 (almost 13), and is a fairly responsible kid. Normally early in starting to date someone I won't date on the weeks I have the boys, I would just rather not have to worry about them, but Rayette and I were way past that before, so I felt I needed to not treat this as a first date. I agreed to go out.

She told me that her younger son (12) was going to a sleep over birthday party that evening, but her older son (14) would be home by himself. We made plans to see one of the newer movies, either Red Eye or Flight Plan. I was wondering if she had a thing about intense airliner movies.

I informed my kids on Thursday night over the phone that they would be home alone Friday evening so that I could go on a date. I didn't want to divulge just yet that I was going to go out with Rayette for a couple of reasons. First I didn't want to get their hopes up, and second I didn't want them telling Irene about us dating yet. She sticks her nose too far into my business.

Rayette called me later on Thursday night to see if I wanted to just bring the boys down to hang out with her son. I knew they would love it, so I said that it would be great. I told her I would have to get Kevin from football practice at 5:45, then we would be on the road. So our date wasn't going to start until about 7 since it would take us an hour or so to get to her place. We planned on seeing an 8 o'clock-ish show. The timing was going to be very tight. I was hoping for favorable traffic.

Irene called this afternoon to tell me that she would watch the kids while I was out. I told her that there was a change of plans. I didn't want to freak her out making her think I was going to leave the kids at a strangers house so I let her know I was going to be seeing Rayette. He immediate reaction was, "I thought you were through with her?". I think she got the impression that I was the one that broke things off before. I kind of just told her that things change. She's obviously still jealous of me seeing anyone, especially if they are good looking. Irene has only met 3 women that I have dated. Rayette, Laura, and Chantel, all of which made her extremely jealous. All three having totally different features. It's not as if Irene is ugly on the outside, but she seems to be on the inside.

Kevin called me in the afternoon from his mom's house. I asked him why he wasn't at practice. Well apparently his entomology teacher made deep fried and chocolate covered crickets for everyone in the class to try. I guess it made Kevin sick, so he bailed on practice.

Kevin is trying out for the basketball team Saturday morning, so we needed to get him some shoes tonight. I left work early to pick the boys up, get the shoes and get down to Pueblo early so we wouldn't have to rush to get to the movie. I called Rayette to let he know we'd be there earlier. Her son answered and told me she was still asleep (she worked the night before). I told him to have her call me as soon as she was up.

I called when we were 3/4 of the way there to make sure she was up. She was just getting up... and she was running very late. She got on the phone and sounded annoyed. I was hoping she was not upset with me. She told me her kids had already eaten and she needed to get her son to the party, so I told her we would give her more time and I would get the boys some dinner. Taco Hell here we come. We took our time.

I called and she was on her way back home and needed to shower. I made sure she was ok with us coming over right then... the boys could play. She was in a much better mood. All was good.

I had forgotten how long it takes her to get ready to go somewhere. We were pushing the limits on time for the movie. She had told me the times of the movie the other night, but she didn't pull up today's times. They had changed since new movies had opened today. We got to the theater and the only flick starting right then, and not hours later was Red Eye... we lucked out. We sat down and the movie started. I was not upset at all by having to miss all the damn commercials. I do like to watch the trailers though. Oh well.

The movie was pretty good, not great. We headed over to Ruby Tuesday's for a bite to eat afterwards. She had not had any dinner and I didn't get my usual popcorn for the movie (she even commented on that earlier). Nothing on their menu looked very good except the Asian Dumplings. Well, I knew they would not be up to Chinese food standards, and these were very far from it. It ended up being an appetizer only evening. She order a quesadilla and chips & queso. The food kind of sucked.

I know I wanted to get to talking about us dating. I was clearly nervous, or at least I felt it. I asked her if she was nervous about us going out again. She said no, and seemed very sincere about that. This got us to talking as I had hoped. We discussed some of what we had in the past that was good. She asked if I was nervous. I told her that I was, but in a good way. I told her how I had always hoped that one day we could try to straighten things out. She told me again how she had hoped she had not caused any problems with me and Chantel (not that she knew her name). I reassured her that it was already ended, but in the messy stages. She had me explain what had happened.

I know I didn't want to tell her about having Chantel move in, but I knew I had to since it was the right thing to do. It would eventually become known, so I may as well come out with it. She was quite surprised, but was also glad that I knew to ended as soon as I did instead of dragging things out like people tend to do.

Over all it was a very good conversation. We also talked about some of the horror stories she has had since we'd dated. Get this... One guy that she went out on one date with, followed her and her kids to Las Vegas a week or so later. She did not know he was going to do this. She didn't know he was even around until she spotted him when she was at Lake Meade with her kids. Obviously this freaked her out. I already knew part of this story because she had called me to get directions back to Colorado going a different route than she took going there. At the time she told me a little about what was going on, but tonight she told me the whole thing, including having to get a restraining order. The scariest thing about this was that he also took his kids on the stalking trip. What a freak!

We talked a lot about the kids and how we both did not want to get too serious right now. We got a lot of stuff out in the open. There is a lot more that I wanted to say, but we don't need to get it all out there on the first date. We've already agreed not to go too fast.