Saturday, July 02, 2005

I Love My Child

Every parent hopes they raise thoughtful, loving children. It's gratifying to get a reminder of that fact that my x-wife and I were able to do just that: raise thoughtful, loving children.

I met up with my oldest, Emily, tonight after she got off work. She called me to see if I could help her run an errand after work, then we went over to Denny's for dinner.

Those of you that know me, know that I am a big guy. Most restaurant booths and I don't get along too well, because the tables are usually kind of a tight fit for me. Not usually real comfortable. I much prefer tables with normal chairs.

Well, the waitress sat us down into a booth, and I slid in across from Em. It was tight. My tummy was pressed kind tight against the table, but I didn't say anything. C'est la vie - I am what I am and I don't complain. Em and I were chatting, I was looking at the menu trying to decide what I wanted. When the waitress wandered by, Em told her that she liked to sit at the counter, and asked if we could sit there instead. I glanced over at the chairs (barstool type things with backs) and saw they were on a fixed post in the floor. No moving them back from the table.

Sigh. Oh well.

So we got up, I squeezed out of my seat, and we wandered over to the counter. As I turned to face where Em had been pointing, turns out she had been pointing to a couple of regular chairs at the counter. Normal movable chairs.

Obviously I was pleased, but it only took me a second to realize Em had asked for us to move because she knew I was uncomfortable and she didn't want to embarrass me. She just saw my discomfort and did something to ease it. I smiled.

When we sat down, I whispered to her, "You are very observant and a very sweet girl. Thank you." She smiled, blushed a little, and no more was said. We had a wonderful dinner, good conversation, and I got be reminded what a sweet, wonderful, considerate woman Emily has grown into.

New Aged

It's been so freakin' hot here the past few days. I shouldn't complain too much, because it took till nearly July 1st to hit 100 degrees, and then for only one day, but 98 degrees isn't much different! My car is absolutely an oven when I leave work to come home.

Gotta hit the pool for a bit. Take a quiz, folks, real short.

You Are 28 Years Old


Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Avoidance Therapy

I stayed up late last night, till about 3am, watching TV. I slept today till about 10:30, got up and made some coffee, and sat around for a while. I had it on my mind to go in to work and get some OT on the books today, but I have such a hard time motivating myself to go in when I don't HAVE to. We have so much OT available at work that all one has to do is call in, tell the supervisor you want to work today, and they'll say "Come on in!". But, unless I actually sign up in advance, I just can't get myself to go. Since I have a trainee right now, I'll get getting a 5% bonus, plus 3 hours of OT for working on evaluations, so.... I guess I really don't need to go in all that badly anyway.

So, instead, I did a few chores, cleaned up my kid's room, washed sheets and towels... just mundane household work that needed to be caught up on. Right now I'm listening to some UFO conspiracy show on Sci-Fi. I think I'll go catch a movie later.

I think I'll post a short survey stolen from AntFreq, who in turn stole it from someone else. It's interesting to see the responses.

Where were you....?

1. When John F. Kennedy was shot? (11/22/1963)
Quietly incubating in my mommy's womb.

2. When Mt. St. Helens blew? (5/18/1980)
Freshman science class at Sacramento High School. We followed the lead up to the eruption on a daily basis, and caught all the news coverage on TV in the classroom.

3. When the space shuttle Challenger exploded? (1/28/1986)
Delivering mail at McClellan AFB. My partner and I pulled up to one of the warehouses with a delivery, and everyone was running inside to the break rooms where the TV's were. I didn't see the actual explosion, but I turned on the radio and caught the news accounts starting from about 5 minutes after it happened. Someone I know was actually in Florida on a tour, and watched it happen. The tour bus driver at the time said, "Oh, no, it's supposed to look like that. Those rocket boosters always come off. " Little did he know.

4. When the 7.1 earthquake hit San Francisco? (10/17/1989)
At work at Mather AFB. I didn't feel a think. Neither did my boss. We were working late, and when we got in his car to go home, he turned on the radio to catch the start of the Oakland-San Francisco World Series game, and we had all this news about an earthquake. We looked at each other at the same time, and said "What earthquake?"

5. When the Berlin Wall fell? (11/7/1989)
I don't really remember. It was a news item, but the build up to it was so long in coming I didn't pay that much attention.

6. When the Gulf War began? (1/16/1991)
Again, I don't remember. It was a news thing that I followed, and it's all a big blur now.

7. When OJ Simpson was chased in his White Bronco? (6/17/1994)
I was at work, answering phones. We had it on the TV's. I remember the pursuit going so slow and lasting so long. I also remember yelling at some of my co-workers to get the heck back to work, because our own law-enforcement phones were ringing like crazy, and everyone was watching the stupid pursuit!

8. When the building in Oklahoma City was bombed? (4/19/1995)
I woke up to the news on CNN.

9. When Princess Di was killed (8/31/1997)
In my dining room, reading. I had a small TV on in the background, and they broke into what ever was playing at the time.

10. When Bush was first announced President (11/7/2000)
At work, watching the news raptly. I remember the newscasters going back and forth between Bush and Gore as winners, when they finally said we'll need to wait till morning to find out. Even more significant to me was the Supreme Court decision that stopped the recounts. I listened to almost all the Supreme Court hearing, and I was raking leaves and cleaning my parent's yard when the decision came down.

11. When the 6.8 earthquake hit Nisqually, WA (2/28/2001)
I have to second Antfreq - huh?

12. When terrorists knocked over the World Trade Center (9/11/2001)
Sleeping in my old apartment on Birdcage St. I woke up to my radio alarm at about 7am, with Peter Jennings giving some news account. I immediately new it was something significant, because the news cut into Armstrong and Getty, which was very unusual. I came out to the living room, where my kids were getting ready for school. It was my daughter Lindsey's 13th birthday (yes, 9/11 is her birthday). We watched for a while, and after the first building fell, Lindsey said, "well, my birthday is gonna suck for years to come."

13. When OIF began (take your pick- the presidential announcement of the expiration of the 48-hour ultimatum was at 10:15 PM EST on 3/19/03, the ground war commenced at 8 PM EST on 3/20/03).
I had to think hard here - wft is OIF? Operation Iraqi Freedom FINALLY came to mind. I was at work, watching the footage of Baghdad at night, when the explosions began.

Monday, June 27, 2005

PostSecret Blog

I found this blog linked over at The Other Side, and its one of the most interesting blogs I've come across. People can post their deepest secrets anonymously. Many of them are funny. More of them are very sad. All of them I've read make me think hard about life .

Catching Up Some

Every once in a while I go through phases where I just don't feel like blogging. I get lazy, and post e-mails and other space fillers, but nothing of substance, or anything that takes work to write about. Obviously, I've been recently going through just such a phase. So, I decided to change just a few things about the look of the blog and take out that silly Flooble Chatterbox. Content is still the same, just think of it as a shower and a shave for my blog.

I just got back from a drive up Highway 49, through Grass Valley and Nevada City, up to Scotts Flat reservoir, where I tried my hand at fishing for a few minutes. I didn't catch anything, which is no great surprise. But it was a lovely lake, a delightful drive, and a beautiful day. I think I may go back in a few weeks and do a night or two of camping. They rent boats for very reasonable rates, which I think would be a blast.

I guess I'm just kinda bored, again. I go through these phases now and again. Work is mundane but not unpleasant. Home life is mundane, and routine, but again, not unpleasant. I have a great time with my kids, and the x-wife and I are getting along very well right now. I think at times I'm a little lonely for female companionship, but I've consciously made a decision not to pursue that right now. I don't have the time or the energy to devote to a new relationship, nor do I want to take the time away from my kids. So, I guess I just have to deal with being bored at times. I know, life could be much worse!

I'm re-reading "Wild At Heart: Discovering the Secrets of a Man's Soul", and being reminded exactly why I started this journal, and why I named it Wild At Heart. It helps be define who I want to be.

I had an interesting conversation with a good friend at work the other day. We were discussing men and why they are the way they are. I brought up some of the views I've learned from reading the book and applying it to my own life. I agree with the author of "Wild At Heart" that most men are posers: insecure and unsure, at their core. They don't know if they have 'what it takes' to be a man and win the heart of the beauty they long to win, that special woman they are attracted to.

Men do all sorts of things to make themselves appear strong and capable, from looking dangerous (tattoos, piercings, clothing styles, etc), to over-compensating at work, or sports, or even sexually (porn, anyone?), in an effort to feel that strength they so desperately desire in other parts of their life. Even those who appear super-successful usually have doubts and fears, just like everyone else. That's why even the super-rich, super-successful men are often very unhappy with themselves or their relationships (Donald Trump - marriage #3? Not much success in that arena, I'd say). It's because ALL men suffer some insecurities. That's just life. But, like most things, realizing the problem and learning to do something about it is the key.

Reading "Wild At Heart" taught me some of what I already knew: I was created by God, in God's image, with the heart of a man, not a woman. Then some things were pointed out that made good sense: in the Genesis account, God made the world, and everything in it: thunderstorms, hurricanes, grizzly bears, lions, tigers, snakes, spiders, rushing rivers, roaring oceans, towing mountains, shear cliffs, sharks.... any number of spectacular things that can crush, tear, main, break, and kill a man in a moment; and yet each of these spectacular things are, at the same time, breathtaking, mesmorizing, tantalizing, and attract a man's fascination and curiosity. And God called all of it, all of creation, "good". Then God told man to go out and subdue all that! Man was designed to be a part of THAT creation.

A true man, a real man, is and ought to be just a little bit dangerous. Yes, you read that right: dangerous. Not mean. Not cruel. Not malicious. But... capable. Able (or at least willing to try hard, not be afraid) to take care of himself, those he loves, and deal with life as it comes at him. Trust me, at the heart of every man is a desire to feel that capable-ness.

Does a woman, at hear true heart, want a "nice" man who never takes risks, or someone who is "dashing", and has just that edge of danger/capableness about him? Controlled strength is almost universally attractive.

I remember looking at my dad when I was a little guy, and thinking 'my dad can fix anything.' He was capable. He was strong. He was a man. I wanted that. Every child wants that. That's what I think men should aspire to. Too many men know they want something, but have no idea what, because they never had a man in their life to learn it from.

I haven't grabbed ahold of this vision I have for myself yet, but I'm learning more each day, and trusting God to guide me. One thing I have done in the past year is, I've realized my life is the result of my choices, and I am responsible for them. I am not helpless, on a boat adrift without an anchor. I am the captain of my boat, and if I ever go adrift, it's because I pulled up my anchor and have done nothing to guide the boat. Personal responsibility has been a very new concept for me, and it's been a hard lesson.

Argh! I've rambled, but that's ok... this is what my blog is for. My ramblings.