Not the Life I wanta

I write with a weary head—last night made my heart tired, and I carried that heavy heart to bed, as I finally got home sometime after three in the morning.

My friend, he’s 37, a former Army man. We only met this summer, but we’ve hung out quite a bit since that chance meeting in August.

He invited me to his friend’s karaoke night. She’s a friend, a co-worker I think, young, something like 26, and single. I met her earlier that night as I learn he’s procured the “goodies” for his friends and we’re going to drop hers by her place in Ocean Beach before her dinner… karaoke isn’t until later. I learn that it’s something like $60 bucks worth of white powder.

As I see her, I already feel underdressed for her party to come… She’s in a short shirt (or shirt dress?) covered in sequins, black fishnet leggings, and applying false lashes with very dramatic, artfully applied eye makeup. I had chosen a striped knit shirt that shows of my curves, but isn’t much more interesting than that, and a pair of jeans with boots.

Her apartment is typical of that in Ocean Beach. Her front door opens to her parking space immediately adjacent to the alley and the busy street. Incense of some sort is burning, and it’s adorned in an eclectic mix of items collected, the quantity and quality expected of a just-out-of-college girl, as I assume she is.

We leave and make our way back north along I-5 and into a neighborhood where, coming from my beach life perspective, I’m pleased to see real houses. You know, the kind that some kids are lucky enough to grow up with. This one a split level, enough bedrooms for the parents and kids, a small yard, garage, lined up on a street of all the same and a culdasac or two for good measure.

Here I’m to meet the friends he grew up with. He considers these friends his “family”, inasmuch as he considers the friends in his Mission Beach ‘hood and co-workers just “friends”.

They have two little girls, about 5 and 6 years old, one a red head and the other a blonde, otherwise difficult to tell apart. We bring the count of couples up to three, and we’re there to hang out a bit before taking his pal, Pete, with us to the party. He grew up with the boys too, and is in from out-of-state. He seems quiet, though it’s hard to tell, as he’s sort of stuck back behind me in the corner in a seat a little apart from the circle.

Sitting in the living room with these friends, I quickly felt welcome and included. Much like eager parents, they are happy to welcome a girl into his life. They tell stories about childhood in their suburb of San Diego. Playing football, warrior like battles of throwing sticks, then graduating to swiping liquor from the uncle’s cabinet and replacing the vodka with water.

As I relax in my rocking chair it’s easy to see myself hanging out with these guys again. Easy going and warm, and when we have to go, a round of hugs to go with their hopes that we’ll do it again soon.

I go to grab his car, he borrows a cooler to stock for the party. I’m the designated driver. Pete climbs in the backseat.

I’d been hanging with my pal all day, and I wonder at how it is he’s not simply starving. No breakfast, at about three in the afternoon we’d had a half of a Rubicon deli half sandwich each. Plenty for that moment, but long since forgotten and long in needing. As we approach Muzen, the Vientamese karaoke join, I ask if I can drive through Wendy’s real quick for a burger. He doesn’t eat anything.

Earlier he had explained a bit of the in’s and out’s of cocaine to me. How it just amplifies whatever it is someone is… crazy people become crazier. Normal people just seem to have much more energy. He said he’d had a “bump”, “testing out the goods” earlier. I think maybe he’d had two or three lines thus far. I have no idea how much that is, I have no idea about using cocaine, and just a little more about living with it in your world. I think maybe it’s the cocaine that keeps him from being hungry. In this moment, I feel like I should apologize for being hungry, for the quick drive thru detour…

We arrive, and turns out this isn’t the same place as they’d been before. It’s not BYOB, but he hustles the guy at the desk, passing him two bills, a twenty on the outside, as I help him carry the cooler past into the room.

The room is much larger than times I’ve gone to Asian karaoke. I’m relieved to see that the people inside are dressed like me, I fit in. Peter was ahead of me and grabbed a seat on the corner of the couch. My pal seems to now been in performance mode, assuring his presence is noted among his friends. I take the small corner of the couch next to Peter, happy that there’s someone else here with us. It’s not feeling much like an us. As far as us goes, I guess you’d say he didn’t introduce us—Peter and I, to his friends.

He fixes me a drink—it’s three or more hours before I’ll be driving us home. I’m okay with that, though I know to some of my more conservative friends being the DD means respectfully no drinking at all. Meanwhile, it the party girl is smashed, and he is keen to catch up quickly adding two more beers to the three or so he had at our last stop.

Peter and I talk a bit, left to each other alone in this group of commrades. He doesn’t know anyone here either—maybe he’d met two of the girls once before. I learn he’s single, and as quite an attractive guy, I comment on the single girls. Turns out it’s just the belle of the ball who’s solo, and so far her performance isn’t attractive to his eye.

The contrast deepening between these two men, I become ever more thankful that Peter was along for the ride.

Meanwhile, the shirt dress outfit struggles with boundaries, especially as she starts performing dramatic drops to the floor in a half split. Obviously intentional, but I’m not so certain about the intent of her friend who routinely comes from the couch to stand from behind, hoisting her back to her feet lifting from her under her pits. It makes for interesting people watching, but I wonder if she’s aware of how it looks to us. It appears to be no easy task for her friend.

Our pal is quick to ensure everyone has a drink, and with assistance his bounty is gone. He’d taken $20 from Peter in the purchase, but I notice he’s had only a couple beers, turning down new ones from our ever eager host of sorts. Some are dispatched to the store nearby to procure more. I don’t know if our pal went or not, while the room was open, I had long given up on his movements. He hadn’t even spoken to me more than once or twice since entering.

Peter was a back up singer from the couch, but I took on a couple of songs. The other single guys interacted with me, seemingly uncertain of who I was and why I was there. Sitting besides Peter the entire time, I don’t blame them, who knows who I am, and if I’m game. The volume prevented conversation to distill the truth.

I watched him encourage dancing on the couches, the leader of the pack. Not that they needed too much encouragement, but I suppose it was something of the age difference, made more apparent by the two of us—Peter and I—as the seeming wall flowers. He called for the party girl to get up on the table and dance, suggesting Coyote Ugly. I fear for her, as she’s already kicked over my cup, spilled a few drinks, and besides the table being strewn with drinks, it’s also covered in liquid. I don’t know if she ever made it up there, I just recall seeing her making an attempt, lifting her foot to the table, but teetering backwards. I wonder if she realized that her top wouldn’t allow her to make it up there… though since I’d seen everything between her legs several times already, I’m not sure that’d really be something that would matter to her. I wonder how much of her goodies she’d consumed already. She talks to one of her friends about how the guy running the place has singled her out, I couldn’t hear the descriptive she used, but the point was clear. She thought herself undeserving.

All in all it wasn’t so bad. Tame really. I compare to my experiences with my friends in San Francsico, and frankly with them I’ve had far more fun. Packed in, having to share laps as seats, hot and smelly. We too have plenty of sequins and short dresses. And we’ve definitely danced on the tables.

The unsettled difference isn’t quite apparent to me yet.

I’m surprised to find it’s after 1am, as I had known the reservation to have gone until midnight. Frankly, it pleased me that time passed so fast. Hanging out with my pal has made me feel a little bit lame. Not quite able to hang as long, as strong, and no desire to waste my days away in hang over.

My self-prescribed lameness returned as Peter and I hear our pal working making plans to move the party to his place. I think Peter had hoped for some time with his pal, being as he’d driven 8 hours to visit, and was just here for the weekend. I know I had hoped to return to a scene more like the house of friends earlier. Several people had left already, it was the singles who were raring for a plan, and he was all too happy to promote his, to our dismay.

I was going to drive Peter “home” on the way back, but our pal applied multiple aspects of peer pressure, I think it sealed the deal when it came down to the other car following us. Meanwhile, I could hear the negotitations of the other car. Party girl wanted to carry her open bottle of champagne, and I heard someone suggest putting it our car, as I was the sober driver. Geez. I saw that bottle set aside atop a trash can.

In the car, our pal became an animated conveyor of plans, repeating himself again, and again. As he addressed Peter—his wanting to go home, his not singing a song, etc, I found myself wanting to defend him. What? Our pal didn’t get up and sing a song either… he was just a clown on the microphone, using it to instigate, notsomuch sing. And hey, not being introduced didn’t leave either of us much impetus to converse, let alone that the volume that accompanies Asian karaoke.

Peter relented. I just knew he’d regret the decision.

Our pal urged me on—faster—to the liquor store, worrying we’d not get there in time. The shop was closed. I’m aware of being careful of those following behind, and negotiating where I was going with my drunk (and I assume, still high) navigator who urged me again to go faster, even though we’d exited the highway and were now on the closing time, people strewn streets of Mission Beach. I was relieved to hear Peter pipe up from the back seat trying to settle him down a bit. The next liquor store was also closed. Darkened so that we didn’t even notice it was there as we passed. Now, onwards to the grocery store—it’s 24 hours. I park in the underground lot, and the other car pulls up aside. He runs into the store, Peter in tow. Peter arrives back at the car to announce that they aren’t actually open and that our pal has moved on to CVS.

A security guard comes over to tell us that we can’t be parked there.

If I hadn’t already, this is the moment that I realized my position as the “adult”. The driver, the local, the one in the lead. I decided to stay put. Who knows where the pal that joined all of us together in this night was?

Turns out it was a smart move. When he returned to the car it was from 7/11, as it turns out that CVS was also closed. He proudly proclaimed his feat of aquiring 32 cans of cheap beer, and a bag of ice, which somehow had something to do with cutting the line.

I drove us, leading the car behind, to his place.

As he took my place to park his car in the garage, he told me that he wasn’t sure what they’d do with out him. When I replied that I wasn’t sure what he’d do without him, it was just a reply. He gave me the key to the door with quick instructions—open the door, put on music… anxiety isn’t quite the right descriptive. I don’t know what you’d call it. There were mere moments between my opening the door, and he coming in behind me.

I put the music on, and moved into the bedroom. Exhausted from his interupting my sleep the night prior in the wee hours in the morning, setting this day into play, I crawled on top of the covers to rest. Knowing that I would, earlier he’d said he’d change the sheets—the bed being given over to his guy friend and some girl he hoped to score with the night prior—but that wasn’t a priority now, and frankly, it wasn’t for me either. It’s not like I was going to be getting any sleep in this setting.

I got up after just a few minutes. I stepped into the living room to see him leaning over the stereo. He didn’t hear me. I warmed my hands at the heater, and when he turned he came over. Nearly the same moment, Peter came in from outside. He was going to catch a cab—go home. I quickly considered offering to drive him, borrowing the car, and perhaps even taking myself home while I was at it… No, at this point I was there to observe from a separated distance.

I felt for Peter. $20 funding drinks for people he’d never met, and now a cab ride that couldn’t be any less than $60 or $70, just minutes after arriving at the party he’d never wanted to be apart of any way.

Peter left, and he turned back to me. I snapped. I pulled my arm away, as he said I could just take a cab home too. No, I was going to wait until it was all over. I was appalled. How had I missed how little respect he’d shown his friend he considered “family”, and the girl he considered his “girlfriend”.

He might offer words of affection regarding those friends he’d known since grade school, but his actions showed no concern for the relationship. I counted myself the same. He didn’t care what I did—he’d pay for my cab—as long as it wasn’t an interruption.

In the moment my heart sank with sadness as I realized that the way I yanked my arm back from his touch showed more than any words could. My eyes must have too. And that I knew that from his perspective, it was all my problem.

I gestured that he should just join his friends, the party in progress, and return to his intent of getting wasted. I stepped away and back went back into the bedroom, this time pulling the blanket over my head to block a little of the noise, and the lights, leaving room to breath and see.

Party girl entered the bedroom, and a plate with more of the white powder was had. He stepped out of the room trying to prevent others from joining and having to share, and in that moment she took all there was left. Three swipes I believe, from the sound of the snorting. I’m pretty sure he was offering just one, but then again he didn’t intend to give away the $60 worth earlier, but I was starting to see why it was that he was so confused about the night before and all the money he thought he’d spent. He’d muttered something about $400 bucks. Yeah, I’d be concerned too, as it seemed that that was just another of his typical Thursday nights.

He came back in the room, and drawn with him with another of his co-workers. He saw the plate too, apparently he would have partook, but there wasn’t any left, but he’s offering to call his guy.

In the course of the next hour, while I attempt to rest in the dark room, waiting out the chaos, I hear conversations… someone pushing him to get more “goodies”, though the his guy hadn’t responded. Other voices join the mix, distinct in that they carried foriegn accents, Irish maybe. More hopes that they might score. Even from my distance, separated, observing by ear only in the bedroom, I could hear things growing out of the scope of his intent. He had come in early on to bring in my iPad, so it wouldn’t be swiped, and that left me thinking of my iPhone, sitting there playing the part of Rdio DJ. People came in and out of the room, to get to the bathroom. Party girl came in numerous times, her words were slurred to begin with, I don’t know how to describe the progression from there. She dropped something loud to the floor, in the darkness, and I wondered why she was spending so much time apart from her party people. Earlier she’d been alone in the house, on the couch, looking over a book. I’d gone to check out what was up, as she’d dropped something to the floor then too, and that sound alerted me to something amiss. My pal had been robbed apparently a few times before, people in and out of his open house while partying… oh, it’s just her. I didn’t address her, just moved to get some water before returning to the room.

It was near 3:30am. They are deciding to go to the bay. Chaos, commotion.

I’m not ashamed, I suppose purely for the fact that I think there shouldn’t have been enough shame left for me to take a part of it.

I got up and pulled on my boots, and grabbed my bag. She was huddled near him in the doorway to the room, a sad gesture to see. She thought she wasn’t visible, and the look that passed was obvious. Yes, I’m lame. Oh, wait. No, I’m not.

He stepped from the doorway into the living room, to clear way for me and that left her lingering oddly in the room. She stepped uncertain to the door, and I gave a firm hand to her back to guide her out the door, closing the door partially to make sure my intent was clear.

He had wide eyes, hard lined pupils.

I told him I was taking his car to go home, and conveyed my judgement.

He didn’t respond, except when I asked if Peter was still here, to say “No, he can take care of himself”.

For a moment I thought when he stepped to the door with his keys, that he was leaving me to take a cab, the only means by which it seems he’s ever able to travel or to convey me. No, he was going to pull the car out for me.

Again, sadness.

This guy, really, he’s a great guy.

But it was just that day that he had told me that he’d been mean to me to see how I’d react.

He opens doors, and he always pays for dinner.

He always pays for my cab.

I want a guy who can pick me up.

I left knowing he’s not that guy—he’d rather a beer in his hand.

Standard
Jamie Viviana Glass

In memory of adorable Jamie Glass

When I was younger, my family was good friends with the Glass family. I’ll never forget when Darryl came back from Peru with his beautiful Angela.

Her name, like mine, was Angela Marie/a—except in Peru the girls were all named Maria and then a different middle name, so technically she was Maria Angela, and referred to as Angela: I adored her.

Darryl and Angela married, and had Adrian and Jamie.

Jamie died in a very tragic family accident at three and a half years old.

“The most unnatural death is that of a child before the parent.”

Continue reading

Standard

Lost, Please Find.

It started with opening facebook to a post Patrick Terry had just put up:

“That’s all I wanted, something special,
Something sacred in your eyes,
For just one moment, to be bold and naked
At your side”

Daddy and Me

I wondered for a moment at who wrote it as I gestured over the comment notifications, coming to one from a name I know from my oldest memories, Rosalee.

Rosalee Matt was a great artist, he had his Lincoln Life uniform on. I hope Arlene saved some of his work, it was amazing.

Angela Baxley Hey Rosalee—unfortunately I don’t think we have anything left of his. It seems each piece one by one met by some untimely demise along the way. I’m most heart broken over the one he painted specifically for me. If you do come across anything of his, including reproductions, Heather and I would love to collect whatever we can.

Daddy's Tired

Pam That’s you, Heather—in his expression!

Lisa Is that the hat that they gave your brother in December? The one of your Dad’s!

Heather You know—I don’t know. I’ll hafta ask Momma. That would make it that much more special!

Lisa Yes it would.

Heather It certainly does look like it!

Lisa That’s what I thought. I think it was Wonda was tagged, ended up being your pics. So I was checking them out again. But it’s time since your trip home. When I looked at this one I was like OMG I think that is the hat!

Angela Wow. That makes me so happy. I’ve always hated Matthew hasn’t had anything of his. It seems so unfair they never met—they look just alike. It’s so hard to see my father stuck at the same age as my brother. We’ve all grown older than he has now.

If you have any artwork by the artist Matthew Raymond Niblick (1958-1983), this is my father. Please contact me via spunkygidget@facebook.com.

Momma and Daddy

Update 4.9.2013

This morning via Twitter I was alerted to the Facebook “Other” inbox—others also being made aware that there might be messages missed… I went to check and there was a message from a nun in Wisconsin responding to this post. She had written in February:

A friend of mine is doing research on the paintings in the back of St. Michael Church, in Dane, Wis… I know that these were painted by Matthew Niblik as they are signed..

He painted these pictures when our church was new…1975. One of St. Michael sending Lucifer to hell, one of Our Lady of Guadalupe and one of our school and church.

I remember he had a sister who is a sister of St. Agnes…Sister Lael.

Not sure if this helps you.

longtime teacher at St. Michael…now Blessed Trinity School.

I’m hoping to they’ll be able to send digital photos — so exciting to really get to see artwork of his we’ve never seen!

Standard

Dad

I’ve been told that I was Daddy’s girl. I’m not quite sure if that means he adored me, or that I preferred him over my mother—the concept is difficult knowing how critical my relationship with my mother is to me, but then again, perhaps that’s because the first best friend I lost was actually my father?

I took my love, I took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around

After he died, I was taught that one day, I could see him again in a resurrection in a paradise earth where we could live forever, together. As long as I made it there myself.

And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought me down

Today was a special day for me, one of reconnection. I experienced my nervous system exploding where it felt like my nerves were crawling, struggling against the skin on my face for release from capitivty in my body.

Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?

I wasn’t raised to believe that he’s in heaven, looking down on me. My mother sat me on the back stoop on Reid Street and explained how he was no longer, and that he would go back to the earth—crumbling a leaf in her hand demonstrating how life deteriorates, ashes, dust. It was March, in Indiana.

Can the child within my heart rise above?

I’ve struggled—”would he be proud of me?”—my whole life to live.

Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?

I have. I will. I am.

Can I handle the seasons of my life?

He would be proud of me.

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you

I don’t know how to breath, and I don’t know how to feel emotion—my nerves are deadened, a life lived in conflict.

But time makes you bolder

I guess today was the day I came to terms with my life.

Even children get older

My sisters had babies, and they are growing up without me.

And I’m getting older, too

And so is my mother.

Oh, take my love, take it down
Oh, climb a mountain and turn around

I wonder if my mother will hold true to this torture our whole lives.

And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down

I had my father for 42 months, and the days of my birth and his death.

And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills…
Well, the landslide will bring it down

I wish I could know my mother.

Oh, the landslide’ll bring it down.

Standard
Culture,

Expansion

Expansion
From the moment we are born,
the world tends to have a
container already built for us
to fit inside: A social security
number, a gender, a race,
a profession or an I.Q. I ponder
if we are more defined by the
container we are in, rather than
what we are inside. Would we
recognize ourselves if we could
expand beyond our bodies?
Would we still be able to exist
if we were authentically
‘un-contained’?

—Paige Bradley

Standard

hurt

Did you really not think of me on New Years Eve?

“Now don’t blow smoke up my ass, say things you don’t mean…”

Dressed for him, eye makeup, hair, and lotion, selected my jeans, shoes, shirt. I was complimented at bar by guy on my shirt. Jeff complimented the jacket I chose previously, and the manicurist complimented my jeans.

It was all for him. What about him? Was I not attractive? Did I not succeed in looking good for him? Did he not think I looked pretty? Did he not appreciate me? Worse yet, does he think that I had dressed for someone else? Does he think that I do it for anyone else? Does he know it was all for him, and that it always is? Does he know that I look forward to seeing him and picking outfits to appeal to him and doing my makeup to please him?Does he know that all this makes me happy?

Dreaming of him… “you and I are…” he says, and I wake up. I know what we are. So strongly that I wake up and am here wide awake still.


You think I shouldn’t need to feel your touch


To know that you love me


I shouldn’t need to hear your words


To know that you care


I shouldn’t need your gifts


To feel special


I shouldn’t need your time


To know that it’s me


How is it that I should know?


I wonder


But still my madness is that I do


Without your touch I long for you


Without your words I need you


But without you I still believe


You love me.

I begin to wonder what it would be like if you were to reach out to me, to start the night anew, if it were to go differently, if you were to affirm me—not even us, but just me…

I open the door, and you step in to close the space between us and give me a big warm hug. Told me, wow—you look great! I love that… shirt, glow on your skin, your hair, your smile, your outfit. (Instead you didn’t compliment me, but denigrated yourself—commenting on your coat. It made me wishI had been faster to compliment you, because as usual you were stunning to me…but it was then too late to tell you.) What if you had brought something to the night to tell me about? Something that you wanted to share with me? The problem you might have solved, all the apartments you’d seen, what you did this weekend while I was busy, how you’re looking forward to your first weekend after working again. What if in the car you reached out to me? Offered me your hand, or your arm, or guided me by your hand on my back? What if when I showed my insecurity, you turned to me and hugged me tight, kissed my forehead and told me that I’m beautiful and you’re so happy that we were getting to spend time together? What if walking to the bar you had wrapped your arm around my shoulder walking with me side-by-side? What if you had laughed, smiled, caught eyes, asked questions, or interjected—in short, contributed to any of the stories I told? At the bar, what if it wasn’t every other man’s eyes, but yours that were on me? If you looked at me, instead of staring ahead or at the television? What if you reached out to me with little touches here and there as I do to you, a quick rub on the back, a touch on the knee, a moment resting your hand on my arm?

Things that told me that you love me, last night:

You smacked my ass playfully as we walked up the stairs.

You told me that you like my talking.

You took me to the Irish bar instead of just going home after giving up on La Puerta.

You walked me to my car door when we were going home.

Nip/Tuck had a quote about Julia—the only way she felt she could get your attention is through screaming or sex. That quote struck me so hard. Of course, I thought, I have always known that I desperately desire your attention, but it had not occurred to me that what happened to us was an unhealthy shift to my trying to obtain it by either screaming, or sex.

Last night when you got mean, which is what you do when you go on defense, you told me that what did I want, you to say things you don’t mean or blow smoke up my ass? I was hurt and retaliated. I spit at you that you just like to hang out on the cheating side of town. Could you ever been faithful to someone? You said with venom, yes. I of course heard what you wanted me to, yes you could, just not to me.

I am a failure that I do not inspire you to care for me. I long so desperately for your touch, your words. I learned that it was acts of service, which make you feel loved, and I began to look for ways to show my love in that manner. Making dinners for you, for us—shopping, cooking, and cleaning. All the offers to do things that you don’t let me do—wash your clothes when you were visiting, return your shirt, mail your phone. I asked for you to show me love in your language—would you repair the leg on my wine cabinet (you had even offered!), would you hang my mirror and my pictures? I appreciated when you hooked up the Wii for me.

Do you know that I hurt so much when you asked if I wanted you to say things you didn’t mean, to blow smoke up my ass, because I believe that there’s no way possible that you couldn’t have thought there was something you could have offered to me that night. 

Do you know that I feel madness in loving you because I feel you still, you there, just beneath this cold veneer, this shell, this surface?

I hang on to the tiniest things.  You will have to cut me off entirely to make me give up on you. I recall you telling me how you were pleased that I looked hot the night we went to the Mizzou game at the bar. You may have chosen to tell me as a stab when you were being mean, instead of just telling me upfront, but I remember it regardless. It has fueled my continued pleasure in dressing for you. You smacked my ass last night. It was spontaneous, and playful. It was reaching outside of yourself for something you wanted to do. It was touch. It means something to me. I imagine that you don’t go around smacking other people’s asses like that. I immediately thought of Christian, who I spent nearly all weekend avoiding being smacked by (and failed miserably) and just as immediately knew how I loved that you smacked mine. I would never avoid your smack—only playfully. It gave me the courage to ask for permission to kiss. I will hang on to that you like to hear me talk, that you want to date someone like me who does talk.

While I wish I could stay on the highs, I feel like maybe you’d understand me better—my madness—if I continue in train of thought… the point is to understand the oscillation between feeling love from you while there being no evidence that it’s true, and feeling rejected. As such, I’ll tell you that from those highs I’m reminded of the things you don’t do. I spoke to you once about the book I had been reading at the time—about bids. It meant the world to me when you referred to bids later in conversation with me. You were listening to me! Something I said had enough value that you would adopt the terminology! But here we are now, and I wonder why you don’t respond to any of my bids. I wonder if you even see how classically I am constantly begging for affirmation, reaching out, and instead being rejected. How you turn away, or turn against, but very rarely turn towards. Are you doing it on purpose? Last night I told you that I know that you are intelligent. I think that you are capable of being the cruelest man on the earth. It’s actually a compliment—I think that you are so very intelligent that you could ruin someone quietly while standing by their side as if loving them. I just don’t think that you could that to me, at least I won’t let you do so without awareness.

Then I think about New Years Day. I think about how I wonder how I could offer you more affirmation and love, and what your needs are. You give so little to me, that I have focused so much on what I desire and forget to offer in kind what I seek. As much as I don’t forget the little highs, the notes that remind me so securely that you love me despite your desire to deny it, I also don’t forget the moments the remind me that we are both people who have been incredibly hurt by life. New Years Day, you honor me by asking me to breakfast, while I was still in bed myself. Then you arrive mere moments later. I open the door, and you joke about worrying that you would have arrived to an awkward situation—me in bed with someone else, while you stand at the door.Oops! You “joked”. In that moment, I was saddened because I never believed that it was anything more than a thinly veiled confession of the fear truth. I took it that you honestly believed that I would have been in such a position. Later what saddened me was two-fold. One, not that you don’t know me well enough to know that I wouldn’t do that, and instead to you would believe that I would, but that you don’t know how much I love you and how much I live my life loving you, regardless of what you choose to do, or where and with whom you sleep with on New Years Eve. And secondly, that the joke was a joke about you. You weren’t actually insulting me, but showing your vulnerability. I want you to know thatI appreciate your showing up at my door, your inviting me to breakfast, your knocking once you arrived and had that moment of fear; I appreciate your taking the chance at having gotten hurt.

And that moves me to the breakfast where we leave and you want to show me Carlsbad… the drive up the coast, driving in Leroy with the topdown together. It’s another moment that I hang on to where I know that you love me.

I know that you love me because you don’t hide that you are with me to Randy. When he calls, instead of avoiding saying that with you’re with me (as little as I feel he values me) you affirm me by acknowledging my presence. I even feel like it’s with pride. Are you proud of me? Do I add value to your manliness? Am I the kind of girl that you’re proud to tell your buddies that she’s with me, and yeah, she wants to be?

I can’t appreciate how much it is that while Vanessa and my entire family may know many gory details of our relationship that require a stomach of steel to swallow, that you have not shared any of this with Heidi (or Gretchen). That you instead of recent told me that you present me as something desirable, as worthy of competition, as someone you love… that means the world to me.

The sun is coming up. I suppose I should try to get some sleep, and I think now that I might be able to.

I will send this letter as an email. I will probably wait until around 4ish or something… late enough that you possibly have time to read and digest it and perhaps that it alters the course of the evening, but not so early that it distracts you from your day, your focus at work.

You see, I believe in you. I believe that you are a beautiful and so incredibly strong man. I believe that you are a loving person, and that you are good. That is to say, that I believe that you cannot turn a deaf ear to my pleas, that your heart could be untouched by an appropriate expression of my love. We have gone so far off our path, but I don’t believe that it’s hopeless. More than anything else that you could desire in someone that you would share your life with, understand this—I believe in me. I believe in you. And I believe in us. Those are three unique and individual statements.

Believing in me is what is required for me to find my way back to wherever it is that I left my smile. You cannot save me.

Believing in you. That’s the most special thing I have in the world. Believing in you as I do is a unique experience that I have shared only with you, and you alone. Believing in you is so close to loving you. The first two days we shared together were the happiest of my life. But they were not love. I did not believe in you. I will never forget the moment I looked at you and I knew… the moment where I believed in you. I believed in you as a man, as a partner. I will never forget that moment, because that is also the moment where I knew that it was true, it was love, that I had fallen in love with you, and it was truly love. Those first two days, and the first week or so after you moved so swift and sure. I wasn’t there. The irony is that we changed places.Once I knew I was yours, I moved swift and sure, and you were uncertain. I then was the one to come on too strong.

Micheal, in this time of darkness in our life together, I wait for the day when you look at me and tell me that you have decided to love me. I keep hoping each time I see you that you have chosen to love me.

Our life will not exist without love. We are special. I don’t quite know how to express that I feel that we are so entwined. I’ll try…

Friendship is love. You love your friends. What you desire to share with me is a friendship. To be friends, you must love me. To love me, you must look at me and act lovingly in my best interest, as a friend would doin kind. To love me right now, I need affirmation and touch. I am a friend in need.

Tonight I realized that what I seek from you is completely okay, even in the context of just a friendship. If you were to go back and read what I’ve written again, you’ll see that. I am seeking support. To receive your support is to be loved. To be loved is to be restored. Love is the strength tor ecover.

The careful thing is, the disclaimer that you must know, is that if you were to act kindly to me; if you were to support me; if you were to love me; then we would fall in love again.

We are intertwined.

Being near you without your love destroys me. Likewise, to be loved by you is more than anything I’ve ever known in my life.

I want to find my sparkle, and restore my smile and the light in my eyes.

I am asking you for your help. I am asking if you can choose to love me, to be my friend.

Standard

Conscious streams of rambling…

From: Mike Tyler
Date: Wed, May 27, 2009 at 2:26 AM
Subject: Conscious streams of rambling…
To: Angela M. Baxley

I’m often up late, or early, I guess, depending on your perspective. 😉 I am pretty much the classic nightowl, and I feel much more energized at night. It can be painful for those who love me, I’m not going to lie. Or it can be REALLY great. 😉 I actually participated in a Delayed Sleep Phase study at UCSD to try to learn more…. more on that later, as your interest piques. 😉

I tend to overuse emoticons. I know this about myself. Please don’t get annoyed by this – like Skynet, I am self-aware. Are techy people such as yourself generally annoyed by excessive emoticoning? I just can’t help it…I like to think I’m expressive, but my tone is lost in email or text or IM form. Not in Twitter form though – you’d know my tone there. See I just typed that entire paragraph with no emoticons, and it was painful. 😉 😉 I’m sorry.

What happened to Book-n-Beach? Inquiring minds are….inquiring. 😉 (yay, tautology!)

I’m glad you enjoyed the picture of the unmade, Angie-less bed. You do not want to see the picture of the unmade, Angie-less Mike. It is not as cute. It’s nearly a mess.

Is that consulting gig in San Diego your Dream Job? Could it be? I’ve heard San Diego is a good city, but I have much more to explore. I’m currently looking for someone to do more exploring- I checked Craigslist, but their "Strictly Platonic" section seems like a ploy. Guess I’ll have to settle for a more romantically inclined exploring partner…

Not sure what I "just don’t know", but what I do know is that I’ve been positively plagued by thoughts and memories that threaten to turn my stomach inside out from all of the increased Lepidoptera activity. And by plagued, I mean constantly. And by positively, I mean it feels amazing.

(and oh yeah, I just did write that. "Lepidoptera". Let it roll off your tongue. 😉 )

I didn’t realize you weren’t going home until today. More LA fun?

If it makes you feel any better, I find Elvis very distracting too. Like I would want to work with such singable happy tunes around me! Ha!

A perfect picture? Glad you asked….imagining you trying to work, shifting your legs, noticing a slight bruisy soreness – and seeing a certain "goofy smile" creep across your face as memories flood back with attendant aching in their wakes. And not getting back to work until 11 minutes later. Thank you for the imagery…I think I can now get through the next 17 minutes.

I can’t tell you how many times I got "caught" today….staring off at the sand, the ocean, the empty-Angieless spaces, getting completely LOST in frantic mental reconstructions of the exact places our bodies meet when you perfectly nestle into what I used to think of "my space", but can now only think of as "ours". And then a sound, a change in breeze, an aroma, and I find my way back to the present….to see my friend’s incredibly amused face because she knows just where I was, just how long I was there, and just how submerged I was. And 3 new shades of blush ensue.

Living without your smile just will not do. It is life.

Standard

You drove away…

From: Mike Tyler
Date: Tue, May 26, 2009 at 3:18 AM
Subject: Re: You drove away…
To: Angela M. Baxley

Wow……so much to comment on. 🙂

a) Thank you for sharing the Stroke of Insight speech…wonderful stuff, and yes, I can completely see why you would think of that during the course of our conversations. I loved this “left hemi = serial vs right hemi = parallel” concept – I’d never heard that before, and it really makes so much sense to me because for the last few years, I’ve really become aware that I am an extremely poor multitasker. It’s been frustrating, and I never felt like it made any sense because I feel like I’m a reasonably organized, with-it kind of guy. But my left brained trappedness being described as a serial processor makes so much sense. Not less frustrating, but an explanation. 🙂 And of course, my desire to move ever more to the right side increases after hearing Dr. Bolte Taylor’s experiences.

2.) I would have loved to hear Ori’s version of your cousin kissing. You’ll have to recount. 🙂

iii. And thanks for sharing Ms. Roach’s talk too….because you know, nothing makes this expanse of time go faster than spending 20 minutes thinking about you and orgasms. Aye. 😉

E.) Love to see the crazy outfit for today. I’m assuming pics? You seem to be a chronicler. Which book did you spend time with today? What was your favorite new thought or insight directly inspired by your book?

V.) Did you know today was Memorial Day? beach was a little crowded [he said both ruefully and ironically], so we ended up downtown again instead. Tomorrow is beach day I guess, because our mutual friend needs to see her some ocean something fierce.

(8) Now who’s rambling?

and finally…..it’s the comfort and pleasure of sleeping near you that is exacerbating the “bit of emptiness” to near excruciating levels now that you are no longer here. oops….I mean…..yeah, I liked sleeping near my pal too.

😉
m.

On Mon, May 25, 2009 at 2:58 PM, Angela M. Baxley wrote:

Ori describing the kissing cousins scenario from last night, over breakfast with friends, was hilarious.

Current note of interest, when O asked how I slept, I said like a rock like usual, because totally comfortable with my pal. He said well, yeah, he has an awesome bed. I pointed out that while that’s true it’s more the comfort level with whom you share your sleeping space… At which point I get that now classic goofy grin of the weekend when I realize how very well I slept next to you… Even on the floor!

Headed to the beach. With a good book and a crazy outfit. Cowwwboy baby! 😉

On May 25, 2009, at 1:22 PM, Mike Tyler wrote:

No question still sleeping…..and now time for eating. Nothing to distract me today, so i’m painfully aware that I’m STARVING. Van and I always go to a beautiful place with an elevated deck LITERALLY “on the beach”, so we can sit there and eat and chat and watch dolphins and swimmers and surfers and beach bums contemplate how utterly beautiful San Diego is, and how it just may well be the most perfect place on earth.

You know….as far as cities go. 😉

(can’t wait to get back to check out TEDTalks, one of what I hope will soon be at least 3980 things that you will share with me in the near future. 🙂 )

On Mon, May 25, 2009 at 9:18 AM, Angela M. Baxley wrote:
The first thing I do on waking is grab my phone and, yippee!, you’ve emailed me back!

Hopefully you’re still sleeping.

And Ori knew your t-shirt quote before I finished it. He quipped, us scientists get it (or something like that). Told you you’d get along.

:))

On May 25, 2009, at 3:10 AM, Mike Tyler wrote:

Is this your way of asking for my number? 😉

I was right…..just a bit empty here now. Days being counted as we speak….

On Mon, May 25, 2009 at 12:13 AM, Angela M. Baxley wrote:
…and I wanted to text you a cute message… And that’s when I realize that I can’t. We never did exchange numbers.

Ori was confused. Thought *you* were my cousin. That was hilarious! I couldn’t figure out why he was hanging around. That explains it. 🙂

I can’t even describe my appreciation. I won’t try.

Kisses.

Standard

So giddy so crazy so caffeinated!

From: Angela M. Baxley
Date: Wed, May 27, 2009 at 1:44 PM
Subject: Re: So giddy so crazy so caffeinated!
To: Wm Micheal Tyler

Okay, back at computer for a minute… Responding inline…

And also, wondering what you do to manage your body stress stuffage. (Stuffage being my highly technical term) Basically, I forgot to take my adaptgen support stuff all weekend, and felt the effects yesterday. Realized in your situation you would be susceptible to all that stuff too. (Stuff being a technical term too.) I take this: http://www.newchapter.com/products/stress-advantage. Meanwhile, I’m curious. As a science guy are you a Rx only type, or how do you feel about naturopathic medicine whatnot shizz.

Btw, I am NOT a SF hippy. 😛 I was SO hippy before I ever showed up here. And I was raised more conservative than most anyone I’d bet, so I also don’t get into things that I don’t find scientific reasoning for. Doesn’t mean I understand the reasoning, but I understand how it could be.

On 5/27/09 1:13 PM, “Wm Micheal Tyler” wrote:

okay…. Truth Helmet Activated. Here are the facts as I know them, in no particular order:

1) I have this “job thing” on the horizon that I’ll know a heck of a lot more about on Monday. Could be real, could be imaginary, but I’ll know much more Monday evening.

2) Job market for my types is a bit tight, and and income to coffer the stores again would be good.

3) I really want to hear Miss Willie Brown.

4) I really wanted to have this conversation with you in person, but I appreciate that time is of the essence.

5) I had decided that precluding other extraneous events, this was my last job search in SD. I was going to start searching SF exclusively if this did not pan out. I already started reviewing job postings. Like 4 days ago.

6) I feel a new city would be a very very good thing for me.

7) I love SD, and I would love to see it fresh again through your eyes.

8) I feel having financial resources would be a very good thing for me.

9) I feel having you in my life would be a very very very very very very good thing for me.

So the timing is tricky. Can we wait until Monday? I can totally seeing each of us doing contracts in SD (I’d almost surely start on contract) for a while, and then looking out at the horizon. I can see you taking your Apple gig and me finding something in SF ASAP, doing that for awhile, and then looking out at the horizon. Other options wouldn’t be so scary if not for my current resource depletion.

Thoughts?

feeling naked,
m.

On Wed, May 27, 2009 at 12:54 PM, Angela M. Baxley wrote:

Oh no oh no oh no oh no! I forgot you’re going off to Yosemite. Will you be out of touch? That’s really okay, I suppose, I mean realistically I still have one (girl)friend sleeping in my bed right now, and she reluctantly (may) leave the day that both Margo and Brian descend upon me on Friday night… Then I’m off to Napa. So, realistically I can survive, because that’s my social life that carries me from day to day… I mean, uh, I’m sitting in the sunshine and grass listening to a rockin’ two-girl country music band called “Miss Willie Brown” right now at work. Life is hard.</abaxley@gmail.com>

Ok – so here’s the deal. I’m an organized one, and since we might not get much time to talk before I start having to make decisions (Apple being the forcing function) and I’d like to have you included in it, I’ll lay it all out. I’m not a poker player… Besides, these aren’t those kind of cards, really. 🙂

So, to go to Apple feels like I’ll be in the same place I am now in another year. Burnt out, albeit with another amazing company name on my already illustrious resume. But who wouldn’t take the job… Unless they found more truer options to compel them otherwise?

Enter LA/San Diego. I love the beach. Sunshine. Ocean (though I really don’t like the salt on my skin). It re-energizes me, relaxes and soothes me. My ideal, when it comes to the closest I seek of “normal life” is to be able to work from my laptop with my feet in the sand, and occasionally from a little distance in a café with a cool breeze. That’s contracting. That’s been scary when it’s been a thought of just moving to a random city and going for it alone. So, points for San Diego in that only one of us would be uprooting life, and that I would have a transitional job (the contract position I got in email).

Meanwhile, I don’t know if what I seek is just a little more relaxed break from “real life” normal job stuff, or if it’s to really go. So many people I know have gone to Chile, and Thailand, and I don’t know, all those amazing places. I’ve done far more structured travel. I’ve never been that free. And I’ve never had someone to travel with me.

Real world will always be waiting. The question is, what is the next step.

The last of options is that there is a lot of bio stuff (insert jokes here) in SF, and I could work a solid year at Apple (or even staying put in Yahoo) and prepare and plan for the great world tour.

There are lots of options, lots of fairly clearly defined variables, and then there’s yours. Tell me, what does your heart call out for, besides of course, me? 🙂

On 5/27/09 12:25 PM, “Wm Micheal Tyler”  wrote:

I want to explore every where and every when with you. and every beautiful, delicate inch of you too.

It was metaphorical energy – but it was extremely INTENSE metaphorical energy that threatened to rip my heart from my chest. Hmmm….I wonder if we can come to consensus on metaphysical energy? 😉 Nah….that’s way to “hippie/New Agey/San Francisco” for me. ‘;)

It does roll of the tongue…. maybe you just need more tongue practice.

And it’s funny (although am I really surprised at this point?), but “catalyst” was the precise word I chose yesterday that finally gave me the first measure of contentedness in describing you/me/us/we. I’ll leave the other words for your discovery at later times.

and if you are referencing the REO, you, dear one, are a geek and I love it. And I love the REO – I’m not ashamed. Although I can be quite cheesy, apparently.

I think that we have much to discuss and talk about and figure out… and there is time. 🙂 Without saying too much – I’ve (very) recently been thinking that SD may have run it’s course for me, and it’s time to leave ghosts to their peace. Not sure on that one yet, because of my love for this place – but I am having thoughts.

I don’t scare easily.

sorry so short…..I have to prep for my adventure to Yosemite, to be awestruck at the 2nd most perfect of God’s creations that I will have encountered in a week’s short time. Clearly, I am a very lucky man.

On Wed, May 27, 2009 at 11:12 AM, Angela M. Baxley  wrote:

And are you really sure that you were conscious?

No, “Lepidoptera” doesn’t really roll off the tongue so well. Not sure it rolls at all. I’ll have to examine your tongue when you say it. Butterflies in the tummy does. I am secure enough to admit that I had to look up the definition, and now I an going to point out that you, dearest sir, are a geek. I love it.

Soooooooo… You are a catalyst in a plan, a movement, a peristaltic process if you will, that has been underway and not wholly unlike an undertow in my life. That’s a whole bunch of saying that I have been thinking (oh man, really?! guess what song just came on?? “I can’t fight this feeling any longer…”) and I’m ready to jump. Jump with me. For if either of us falls, the other will life him up. Reminds me of one of my favorite lines of a song… “Would you like to dance around the world with me?” http://spunkygidget.com/?p=325

Virgin America flights are still at $38/each way. I want to see you again. If you can’t come here, I’ll come there. Or we can do both.

You make it possible for me to go chase finding my dreams, if that doesn’t scare you, let’s figure that out. Are you ready for “real”? Please remember the conversation about focus… It’s all in the lens and the focus.

Am I scaring you?

Standard
Mike Tyler's Bed

1 for 1

On May 26, 2009, at 3:25 AM, Mike Tyler wrote:

One day of unmade, Angie-less bed.

(I’m kind of thinking about going with “Angie”…..how do you feel about that?) 😉

From: Angela M. Baxley
Date: Tue, May 26, 2009 at 6:43 AM
Subject: Re: 1 for 1
To: Mike Tyler

I think I like it. My momma is the only one who seems to ever call me
Angie. Obviously it’s something special you two must see in me. 🙂

And okay, okay, I must confess I occasionally tidy up the ends. My
bedroom has “wood” floors which get dusty.

Love the photo. Your bed will never be the same again.

Dying without photos of you/us though. Decided best not to aggitate
the lovely one by begging her to send them too soon.

You’re up late, and I’m up early. Walking the cool morning. Book and
beach never happened. That story to come.

Standard

Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?

They’re Pinky and The Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain
Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain
Brain.

Before each night is done
Their plan will be unfurled
By the dawning of the sun
They’ll take over the world.

Pinky and the Brain gave me endless joy after school. For years, I’ve meant to get around to posting the compiled list (I have it on my hard drive somewhere for such a long time). Today, @dkr inspired me to get around to it.

SMRTrWorld (2014) Pinky & The Brain TrailerBecause the Real World wasn't reality. Introducing cast members, Cameron & Jeromiah, and Darryl Glass and the original voxox of digg nation.Posted by Angela Glass on Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Continue reading

Standard

“You’ll get an excellent reference from me…

From: “Wayne Smith (EXPRESSION)”<Wayne.Smith@microsoft.com>
Date: Monday, January 21, 2008 at 3:15 PM
To: Angela Baxley <abaxley@microsoft.com>
Subject: RE: Notification to interview

You’ll get an excellent reference from me if you need one…

From: Angela Baxley
Sent: Monday, January 21, 2008 11:24 AM
To: Wayne Smith (EXPRESSION); Keith Smith
Cc: Luke Williams (HR); Shauna Phillips (Spherion); David Persson
Subject: Notification to interview

Employee’s Name: Angela M. Baxley
Current Title: Product Manager
Current Level: 60
Length in Current position: 18 months

Current Manager: Wayne Smith, Expression Group Product Manager

As I am an employee in good standing with Microsoft and eligible to transfer, I am formally notifying you of my intention to interview for another position within Microsoft.

If I am offered and accept the position for which I am interviewing, my transition to the new group would happen within four weeks of offer acceptance.  In this event, the hiring manager will contact you to discuss my specific transition date.

My notification is applicable for 60 days from the date of this email.

Standard

Sunday Morning

In the morning light he stands silhouetted against the kitchen window’s gaze. Trees are a near image of black and white the backdrop behind him. They have grown there of dinner’s waste disposed of in pots of soil to late reap trees of plum and lemon, dates, and tomato vines, melons sprouts that will never grow pregnant into their confined space, and a new sprout yet to be determined as orange or lemon, but he knows that it is citrus.

As he pours the water (word for just before boiling) into the pot the gas flame flames licking at the sky stretching great feats of distance, three and four inches high unbridled flame. Tea and toast and little cookies. He watered the plants and there is a slow cascade of water dripping that blends into the choirs music wafting through the kitchen that seems just all to fitting for a Sunday morning. He discusses living in the shadow of the Roman Catholic Church and wonders why the Pope doesn’t save lives instead of souls.

He plays the harmonic on the toes of one foot—no, it’s the pan flute—on all ten toes to Mozart’s K622.

Standard

The Arms of a Lost Lover

White froth
Of water disturbed
Path gouged in depths
Of raging darkest blues
And once serenest greens
A momentary trail
Remembrance
Of where he has gone

A small dark room
Cool stone walls
On tiled floor her feet move
Fluidity of movement
Leg to thigh
Hip to breast
Arm to neck
Viewed only
By the cicada
In the corner
A haunted dance

The fan vacillates
Antiqued metal stirs the air
Strings flutter
Its grace never touching
The sweat upon her face

Lowered arms
Slackened form
The music fading
The melody that was
From within

Standard

Piazza Prati Strozzi 33

Piazza Prati Strozzi 33

Walls of burnt caramel with bookcases holding treasured and worn volumes of poetry, Dorothy Parker, textbooks of youth and scholar, biology and war, movies in black and white, and dust covered CD jewel cases. A desk faces the window—a tall and double width window—out of which a pale sheer flutters through as the wind inhales causing it to move about as a woman’s dress tangled about the knees giving hint to life’s source.

The desk has space for one to sit and spans nearly as wide as the room, much longer than a bed might be. Papers and books, and documentations of authenticity are strewn, but neatly, across. All are centered about the chair which faces the window of flirting blue reminiscent of clouds.

Piazza Prati Strozzi 33

Against the only other wall with space not adorned by books—volumes and volumes of books in mixed language and genre—is a red couch. The couch is of modern style and pulls out into a bed in a way which seems unique, though this is really nothing altogether new.

Old jazz music plays—a pianist who played with Miles Davis.

Piazza Prati Strozzi 33

It smells of rosemary and fennel and of roasting aubergines.

Piazza Prati Strozzi 33

Against the back wall, opposite the window, is one framed photograph. Black and white, matted against creamy white, in a thin wooden frame. A table of elegant men and women are frozen in a moment. The woman in the right corner stares out with clearest eyes of glass, just as la Fornarina. She wears a hat. To the other end sits a mother, though not yet realized. She looks out of the photo from the slight turn of her face. In between, men are locked in various states of unaware being, one looking at the camera, the others simply arranged in a Caravaggio construction of the Last Supper. The photo is placed high on the wall—positioned for the tall, dark and handsome Italian man who lives here. Or is he Spanish?

Sometimes, even he’s not certain.

Standard
Travel,

University of Washington Creative Writing Program, Summer 2007

“JOIN a band of ink-stained writer-adventurers for a month of concentrated exercise and conversation in and about the Eternal City. This is Rome from a generalist’s perspective: history and geography, art and architecture, language and literature, the color and vagary and flavor of daily life all constellate in the writer’s notebook. Following in the footsteps of those poets, painters, saints and soldiers who for some two and a half millennia have traveled where all roads lead, we’ll sack the city word by cobble, in conversation, practice, and stride.”

Of note, Rick, or Professore Kenny is a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Award”.

Here’s a link to my photo album for this trip. Will be updated daily or so. Check back often for updates! Ciao!

Standard
Gatehouse Alliance Discovery (Angela Baxley, 2005)

Gatehouse Alliance Discovery (2005)

See also Gatehouse Alliance Discovery (Angela Baxley, 2007)

Personal Profile

Angela Baxley, Microsoft, Designer abaxley@microsoft.com 
300 110th Avenue NE #212 Bellevue WA, USA 98004 425-705-9582

Download PDF

Gatehouse Alliance Insights Discovery 3.0 © Copyright 1992-2005 Andrew Lothian, Insights, Dundee, Scotland. All rights reserved.

Overview

These statements provide a broad understanding of Angela’s work style. Use this section to gain a better understanding of her approaches to her activities, relationships and decisions.

Personal Style

Angela is extremely perceptive about the attitudes of others, aiming to understand rather than judge events. She can find it hard to concentrate on the small details and she may get bored with projects quickly. She appears to thrive on a wide variety of tasks focusing on a motivating or promoting role. She needs work that makes use of her strongly creative drive. Angela may generate more ideas, possibilities and plans in one day than others might manage in a month!

Tasks that involve practical day-to-day maintenance tend to frustrate her. Angela’s interest, enthusiasm and energy levels are high. She will dismiss negatives, being eager to accomplish the task. Angela gains motivation from her ability to generate ideas. Her almost permanently positive state can often carry others with her. Angela tends to know intuitively what structure and organization is necessary to harness ideas and people to achieve long-range goals. Angela is energetic, enthusiastic, responsible, conscientious and persuasive.

She gravitates to other people and is highly skilled at understanding others’ needs and motivations, usually appearing friendly, tactful and sympathetic. She focuses attention on achieving success and acquiring status symbols as evidence of that success. Routine is the real bad news for her, and it may sap her energy. Angela is an ingenious and original problem solver. Tending to pursue success mainly to reinforce her sense of self worth, she likes to experience a steady stream of new ideas to assist her in goal attainment.
She tends to have an interest in the new and unusual and is gifted at expressing her feelings. Writing important facts or steps down on paper helps her keep from getting side-tracked, but she may lack the discipline necessary to do this well. She feels constantly drawn to begin many different projects, yet by failing to complete many of them, she allows her energies, inspirations and insights to become dissipated. Her life will tend to be a series of initiated, but unfinished projects. Her aim is to fit all the pieces of the jigsaw together into a complete picture, but for Angela the jigsaw keeps expanding with the discovery of every new piece.

Her imaginative perception gives her the energy to start lots of new projects, and keep a large number of balls in the air. She is inventive, independent and can be extremely perceptive of the potential contained within the views of others. Details and the deeper interpersonal skills are not her strong points as she is mainly interested in seeing the possibilities beyond the present. She will invariably have more to show for her efforts when she follows through to completion the necessary but tedious parts of a project. She enjoys projects where she can be seen to bring out improvements.

Interacting with Others

Angela enjoys involvement in many activities, with a variety of people. She is stimulated by doing the unexpected or the unusual. Unconventional in approach and enjoying motivating others to exceed what is accepted and expected, she likes to live freely, looking for variety every day. Angela’s feelings play a prominent role in her life and she manages to inject a friendly element into any work she is assigned to or involved in. Angela is both charming and popular, constantly enthusing through her gift of ready articulation.When Angela is in charge of a project she offers the team long-term vision and the ability to inspire and communicate that vision to others.

Her “drive” is natural and not contrived. She prefers democratic and participative processes rather than written instructions or autocratic systems. Angela remains open and perceptive to the attitudes and views of others, often seeking to understand others rather than to judge them. Because she is so interested in possibilities, Angela sees significance in everything while preferring to keep lots of options open. She prefers what might be, rather than the reality of what is already.

People see Angela as enthusiastic, ingenious, imaginative and dynamic, with highly developed interpersonal skills. She may sometimes present herself as an “expert”, fully knowledgeable on a subject and eager to educate others about it. This can sometimes prove embarrassing when challenged by a more qualified expert. She can be very vocal about social or people issues that concern her and can often be seen as the underdog’s “champion”. She is at her best in co-operative roles that deal with people and allow her to air her views. Angela’s preferred focus is on the positive, harmonious and uplifting aspects of people and human relations.

Decision Making

People occasionally see Angela making decisions that appear to fly in the face of logic. With her enthusiasm and spontaneity, Angela brings a refreshing approach to decision making. Angela expresses what she thinks are strong, decisive opinions in the hope that unresolved issues and conflicts can be concluded quickly. Constantly generating ideas, she sometimes has trouble focusing on just one thing at a time and can find difficulty in making consistent and lasting decisions. Trying to focus more on the facts, not just on the people, can be helpful in her decision making.

As an extraverted, future oriented person, she may fear failure but knows how to turn it on its head into something positive, if the event occurs. She is a quick decision maker and considers people within the context of the result of the task. To carry out her innovative ideas, Angela relies on her impulsive energy. She is a keen initiator who finds most problems stimulating. Angela is inquisitive, versatile, adaptable and resourceful in solving challenging, theoretical problems. A tendency to take rejection and conflict personally may lead to her not taking early notice of the opinions of key members of the team.

Work that uses her ideas to improve or start a project suits her, but once these ideas get off the ground she prefers someone else to carry on with the details. Because she finds the information gathering part of a project the most tedious, she runs the risk of never getting past the “start” phase, or once started, never completing. She can be creative and imaginative. She sees so many possibilities that she sometimes has difficulty selecting the best activity or interest to pursue, or in keeping to the agreed track. She has a tendency towards making higher risk decisions.

Angela Baxley (2005)

Key Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths

This section identifies the key strengths which Angela brings to the organization. Angela has abilities, skills and attributes in other areas, but the statements below are likely to be some of the fundamental gifts she has to offer.

Angela’s key strengths:

  • Can make impossible dreams possible.
  • Participative and involved team player.
  • Articulate and competitive self starter.
  • Becomes involved in many activities.
  • Has a well developed sense of urgency.
  • Enjoys and seeks variety.
  • Articulate and active in communication.
  • Adaptive and versatile people skills.
  • Constantly juggling a large number of projects.
  • Investigative, interested and inventive.

Possible Weaknesses

Jung said “wisdom accepts that all things have two sides”. It has also been said that a weakness is simply an overused strength. Angela’s responses to the Evaluator have suggested these areas as possible weaknesses.

Angela’s possible weaknesses:

  • Gets so involved may ignore her own and others needs.
  • Her confidence can sometimes be interpreted as arrogance.
  • May appear devious.
  • Feels that some who may be modest are justified in their modesty!Takes losing as a personal failing.
  • Can be perceived as manipulative or coercive.
  • Can be rather patronising or somewhat superior.
  • Becomes impatient with routine and repetition.
  • May not actively listen to (or hear) others’ points of view.
  • May not appreciate symptoms of underlying stress and anxiety.

Value to the Team

Each person brings a unique set of gifts, attributes and expectations to the environment in which they operate. Add to this list any other experiences, skills or other attributes which Angela brings, and make the most important items on the list available to other team members.

As a team member, Angela:

  • Creates considerable activity.
  • Can focus effectively on both task and people issues where the team is concerned.
  • Provides inspiration and perspiration.
  • Motivates others with contagious enthusiasm.
  • Is opportunistic, original, spontaneous and versatile.
  • Is an excellent mediator.
  • Has an ability to predict accurate outcomes.
  • Has strong personal and interpersonal skills.
  • Uses her highly-developed relationship skills.
  • Influences others by her infectious enthusiasm.

Communication

Effective Communications

Communication can only be effective if it is received and understood by the recipient. For each person certain communication strategies are more effective than others. This section identifies some of the key strategies which will lead to effective communication with Angela. Identify the most important statements and make them available to colleagues.

Strategies for communicating with Angela:

  • Be enthusiastic and positive.
  • Encourage her to stick to the agenda.
  • Check that she is with you as she may be easily distracted from listening attentively.Share in and promote her ideas and visions.
  • Be warm, friendly and open.
  • Provide information that stimulates conversation.
  • Maintain a positive and open stance.
  • “Temper” her optimism with realism.
  • Allow scope for negotiation.
  • Be aware of her becoming defensive by watching her body gestures.
  • Be bright, be brief and be gone.
  • Support her need for new ideas, material and challenges.

Barriers to Effective Communication

Certain strategies will be less effective when communicating with Angela. Some of the things to be avoided are listed below. This information can be used to develop powerful, effective and mutually acceptable communication strategies.

When communicating with Angela, DO NOT:

  • Be vague or imprecise.
  • Be negative or non-communicative.
  • Be obscure, obtuse or dogmatic.
  • Forget to agree outcomes or decide conclusions.
  • Prevent her moving on to other challenges.
  • Let her imagination run riot at your expense.
  • Be addicted to rules and procedures.
  • Be vague or leave things open to interpretation.
  • Overload her with facts, details and paperwork.
  • Spend too much time discussing “what ifs”.
  • Burden her with too many papers to read.
  • Challenge her perception of herself.

Possible Blind Spots

Our perceptions of self may be different to the perceptions others have of us. We project who we are onto the outside world through our “persona” and are not always aware of the effect our less conscious behaviours have on others. These less conscious behaviours are termed “Blind Spots”. Highlight the important statements in this section of which you are unaware and test them for validity by asking for feedback from friends or colleagues.

Angela’s possible Blind Spots:

Angela is occasionally tempted to opt for the quick decision even though some of the key facts may not be in place. She needs to resist the urge simply to perform and instead try to more readily share who she really is. Her intense dislike for routine and predictable events can make it difficult for her to notice or even acknowledge the necessary details. As a forthright, results oriented individual, she will challenge authority, take risks, overstep boundaries and act without reference. She would do better if she sought the advice of more practical people to find out how workable and useful her ideas are.

Angela’s tendency to become distracted from finishing the tasks she starts sometimes may make her appear indifferent or disinterested to some. She expects to win and is very assertive in attaining outcomes despite how narrow her view may sometimes appear. She could sometimes slow down and pay closer attention to the finer details of her projects. Angela is often so involved in her own processes that she fails to notice what is happening elsewhere. When she doesn’t see the logic in others’ feelings, Angela can appear argumentative and difficult to approach, and may not seek or accept common-sense advice.

As an extraverted, future oriented person, she may fear failure above all else. It is difficult to know what to expect from her next. She would much rather engage in quick intellectual banter than complete some mundane task or consider spending quiet time on her own. She is honest and fair but can be seen as rather blunt and tactless in her ready criticism of others.

Suggestions for Development

Insights Discovery does not offer direct measures of skill, intelligence, education or training. However, listed below are some suggestions for Angela’s development. Identify the most important areas which have not yet been addressed. These can then be incorporated into a personal development plan.

Angela may benefit from:

  • Accepting that decisions based on solid analysis are more reliable than intuitive decisions alone.Focusing more upon objective, measurable criteria.
  • Spending a few hours each week in the reference section of the library.
  • Exploring work that gets in touch with the inner self.
  • Being less vocal at group meetings.
  • Taking over fewer new projects.
  • Monitoring the in/out process flow of the department or office she works in.
  • Withholding her opinions.
  • Thinking very carefully before rushing into action.
  • Learning how to relax completely.

Management

Creating the Ideal Environment

People are generally most effective when provided with an environment which suits their preferences and style. It can be uncomfortable to work in an environment which does not. This section should be used to ensure a close match between Angela’s ideal environment and her current one and to identify any possible frustrations.

Angela’s Ideal Environment is one in which:

  • The emphasis is on informality and tapping in to inner creativity.
  • A flexible approach is taken to the specification of hours and days worked.
  • She is free to be herself.
  • Family and outside interests can be discussed, and mementoes displayed prominently.She can set the pace.
  • Bright, motivational, inspirational posters and prints abound.
  • Detail and routine tasks are carried out by someone else.
  • Rules on time keeping and dress code are generally more relaxed.
  • She can change focus immediately to deal with opportunities as they arise.
  • The culture promotes a democratic management style.

Managing Angela

This section identifies some of the most important strategies in managing Angela. Some of these needs can be met by Angela herself and some may be met by her colleagues or management. Go through this list to identify the most important current needs, and use it to build a personal management plan.

Angela needs:

  • Limited exposure to bureaucracy and paperwork.
  • To fully understand the corporate mission.
  • To understand systems and cultures if she is to avoid upsetting others.A big goal to aim for.
  • Regular reinforcement of goals, activities and timeframes.
  • A “walkabout” manager whose presence is obvious.
  • As little time as possible spent on the details.
  • The opportunity of networking during her working day.
  • Meetings with strict agendas and timetables.
  • Involvement in all the team activities.

Motivating Angela

It has often been said that it is not possible to motivate anyone – only to provide the environment in which they will motivate themselves. Here are some suggestions which can help to provide motivation for Angela. With her agreement, build the most important ones into her Performance Management System and Key Result Areas for maximum motivation.

Angela is motivated by:

  • Challenging and changing the “status quo”.
  • People who express flair, talent and creativity.
  • Public recognition.
  • Personal appreciation and public recognition for a job well done.Taking risks and “smelling the danger”.
  • “Pioneering” opportunities with little limitation.
  • Knowing she has the approval of others.
  • Authority to match her responsibilities.
  • Seeing the results of her efforts.
  • Setting stretching goals for herself and others to achieve.

Management Style

There are many different approaches to management, most of which have different situational applications. This section identifies Angela’s natural management approach and offers clues to her management style, highlighting both gifts and possible hindrances that can be further explored.

This section identifies Angela’s natural management approach and offers clues to her management style, highlighting both gifts and possible hindrances that can be further explored.

In managing others, Angela may tend to:

  • Worry about having to depend on people whose main interest lies in the detail.
  • Welcome free expression within the team.
  • Show great pride in, and demand recognition for, her team.
  • Offer tangible rewards for extra effort.
  • Try to do several things as once.
  • Appear somewhat shallow at times.
  • Surround herself with like-minded, open, enthusiastic people.
  • Lead from the front in a “follow me” style.
  • Fail to listen actively to the views and opinions of others.
  • Motivate best when working towards a bonus or prize.
Standard

real estate in the DR

From: Derrick Glass <derrickg@microsoft.com>
Date: Friday, October 29, 2004 at 10:07 PM
To: Angela Baxley <abaxley@microsoft.com>
Cc: Angely Glass 
Subject: RE: real estate in the DR

CC’ing Angely, she’s done most of the investigations.

“go ‘spy out the land’ first”

M. Derrick Glass, October 2004

First, if you’re thinking about serving where the need is greater, it’s probably better to actually go “spy out the land” first. There are a couple of major metropolitan centers – Sto. Domingo, and Santiago – and some resort areas – Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, etc. – which are attractive to the more westernized visitors.However, much of the need is in areas where there is no real well-established real estate market. As a matter of fact, if you are not sure where you’d end up, you might prefer to look into renting. You can usually find attractive prices – RD4000-5000 per month seems to be common for decent houses outside the capitol – and you aren’t locked into a decision you later regret.

There’s a need-greater website that has a lot of information you should really pay attentioin to. Angely can give you the link.

A word of caution – don’t buy off the web. Dominicans are scandalously famous for scamming tourists. The prices I saw were unreasonable…

Derrick


From: Angela Baxley
Sent: Friday, October 29, 2004 6:08 PM
To: M Derrick Glass
Subject: real estate in the DR

How could I get info on this. Seriously thinking about figuring out how to buy a house down there, even if I can’t move for a few years…

A

Angela M. Baxley
Product Designer : Web Platform & Tools
42/3641 : 425.705.9582 : abaxley

Standard

State of Affairs

What’s been up lately? Work sucks. It’s been a literal nightmare for several months now. I won’t even address it, except to say that it’s causing me to have an ulcer.

My best friend has left his wife, and was removed as a servant on Tuesday. He decided that he doesn’t like being married and doesn’t want to be anymore… That he’s happier living a single life. His wife is devastated, and confused. I think back and wish I would have stopped the wedding… which the time seemed overly dramatic, though in hindsight seems fairly reasonable. I adore him, and hope for the best, but only fear the worst. He didn’t sound himself at all.

I talked to an old friend from back home, and she told me that pretty much everyone I grew up with is either disfellowshipped, sleeping with an elder’s wife, doing drugs or marrying a stripper or something. No, I’m not kidding. She studies for meetings, but rarely attends.

My sister and her husband don’t go to meetings at all. Haven’t for quite a while. My brother and his new wife are disfellowshipped, but I’m pretty sure they’re all right.

My little sister is terrorized by the small minded small town folk in their Kingdom Hall. She’s a pioneer who is shunned by the other pioneers in the congregation. Although she’s pioneer for a couple of years now this is the first time she’s old enough to go to Pioneer School. She was going to quit this year because she didn’t get her time (apparently the other pioneers in the congregation don’t really support her or go out with her in service) but I encouraged her to keep it up. I told her Pioneer School is supposed to come at the end of the first year for a reason… because you need it so bad. I told her how amazing it is she’s survived this long without getting to attend, and to keep it up and go. Apparently, she’s going!

My mom is flipping out. I guess she’s going of the list again. I don’t think she drinks any water, and I understand that she eats very little. I worry about her, and ave no idea what to do, or really what’s going on. It seems as though ever since I had problems with demons when I still lived at home that she’s never quite been the same. Since then it really seems as though all the trouble has just transferred to her. I don’t know what to do for her, I don’t know how to help. I feel helpless.

My newest friend here seems to be shunning me. He explained that he’s not sure whether I really want to be the pioneer I talk about doing or the party girl everyone thinks I am. Apparently I don’t fit into the spiritual progress he’s outlined for himself.

So everything is pretty much rough, but I’m alive, kicking and screaming.

Standard

“Yeah, we’re watching you….

Emphasis added by Editor, now, today. Published 30 Nov 2018

Two minute reply time, given time zones.

Didn’t even get to take a breath or break…


From: Derrick Glass <derrickg@microsoft.com>
Date: Monday, May 10, 2004 at 12:16 PM
To: Angela Baxley <abaxley@microsoft.com>
Cc: <angelyglass@hotmail.com>
Subject: RE: Is this…

Yeah, we’re watching you….

Helps you appreciate why you should never do anything you wouldn’t want other people to know about. It comes out sooner or later.

“Yeah, we’re watching you….

Helps you appreciate why you should never do anything you wouldn’t want other people to know about. It comes out sooner or later.”

M. Derrick Glass, May 10, 2004 11:16AM

We would love to contact Irene and her family. I attempted their email a while back and it was rejected. Angely may call her from time to time. Rainer Thomson cannot forget us. He made an announcement from the morning worship table the day we left from a four-day assignment in Bethel: “We have some sad news. The Glass family is leaving today, and they’re taking *our* children with them.” Our kids were a big hit.

To spend three months, you need to do this (in order):

– Get married.

– Have a baby.

– Take your fully Infant Care Leave, including unpaid absence.

Let us know how that goes. 🙂

By the way, we’re friends with Todd and Mendi Hibbs (more Microsofties). We IM them, with video, frequently. Her sister is currently in D.R. as well, in Santiago.

Do you have any recent photos you’d like to share?

Derrick


From: Angela Baxley (BENSON)
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 2:11 PM
To: M Derrick Glass
Cc: Angely Isabel Glass (angelyglass@hotmail.com)
Subject: RE: Is this…

Yeah, I went blue with MS mid-February. While I was contracting I had planned on taking my three month break in the D.R., but now I just have three weeks. How do you manage to  spend so much time down there? I see you’re some how related to VS… what do you do? Forgive me I still have so many acronyms to learn.

BTW, the Thomson family (from Redmond) also says ‘hi’. Isn’t it such a small world? Aunt Rhudelle had told me to contact Rainer Thomson in D.R. to have him keep an eye out for me for someone to partner with… then I happen to start dating a guy by the same last name, only to find out that a.) they are cousins to that brother I was supposed to track down… and b.) they also know you guys, who ironically have been spending time in the D.R. too.

A


From: M Derrick Glass
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 11:00 AM
To: Angela Baxley (BENSON)
Cc: Angely Isabel Glass (angelyglass@hotmail.com)
Subject: RE: Is this…

Yes I am.

How are you? I talked to Melvin a couple of weeks ago, and he gave me the news. Obviously, he’s passed it on to you. Congratulations on your job.

Incidentally, my family and I just got back from the Dominican Republic a month or so ago. We were there for three months. We’re planning on going back shortly. I hope you keep your plans alive as well.

Please stay in touch. I’ve been sent to Seattle a few times. I’m on the SIE team now, and get sent out a lot to other places; I’m supposed to be in Puerto Rico at the end of this month.

I’m copying my wife, since I’m sure she’d like to get acquainted as well.

Derrick


From: Angela Baxley (BENSON)
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 1:58 PM
To: M Derrick Glass
Subject: Is this…

Derrick?

If you’re the right Derrick, then you’ll know it.

Just taking a chance that this might be you… Let me know!


A

Angela M. Baxley
Product Designer : Web Platform & Tools
42/3641 : 425.705.9582 : abaxley

Standard

Things to do in an elevator when you’re bored

  1. When there’s only one other person in the elevator, tap them on the shoulder and then pretend it wasn’t you.
  2. Push the buttons and pretend they give you a shock. Smile, and go back for more.
  3. Ask if you can push the button for other people, but push the wrong ones.
  4. Call the Psychic Hotline from your cell phone and ask if they know what floor you’re on.
  5. Hold the doors open and say you’re waiting for your friend. After awhile, let the doors close and say, "Hi Greg. How’s your day been?"
  6. Drop a pen and wait until someone reaches to help pick it up, then scream, "That’s mine!"
  7. Bring a camera and take pictures of everyone in the elevator.
  8. Move your desk in to the elevator and whenever someone gets on, ask if they have an appointment.
  9. Lay down a Twister mat and ask people if they’d like to play.
  10. Leave a box in the corner, and when someone gets on ask them if they hear something ticking.
  11. Pretend you are a flight attendant and revue emergency procedures and exits with the passengers.
  12. Ask, "Did you feel that?"
  13. Stand really close to someone, sniffing them occasionally.
  14. When the doors close, announce to the others, "It’s okay. Don’t panic, they open up again."
  15. Swat at flies that don’t exist.
  16. Tell people that you can see their aura.
  17. Call out, "group hug!", then enforce it.
  18. Grimace painfully while smacking your forehead and muttering "Shut up, all of you, just shut up!"
  19. Crack open your briefcase or purse, and while peering inside, ask,"Got enough air in there?"
  20. Stand silently and motionless in the corner facing the wall, without getting off.
  21. Holler "Chutes away!" whenever the elevator descends.
  22. Wear a puppet on your hand and use it to talk to the other passengers.
  23. Listen to the elevator walls with your stethoscope.
  24. Make explosion noises when anyone presses a button.
  25. Stare, grinning at another passenger for a while, and then announce,"I have new socks on."
  26. Draw a little square on the floor with chalk and announce to the other passengers, "This is my personal space!"
  27. As you are walking out, push as many buttons as you can.
  28. Tell a stupid OJ knock, knock joke & laugh at it.
  29. Stare at your thumb and say "I think it’s getting larger."
  30. Pull your gum out of your mouth in long strings.
  31. Announce in a horror-movie voice: "I must find a more suitable host body."
  32. Carry a blanket and clutch it protectively.
  33. Wear "X-Ray Specs" and leer suggestively at other passengers.
  34. Say "I wonder what all these do" and push the red buttons.
  35. Bring a chair along.
  36. Take a bite of a sandwich and ask another passenger: "Wanna see wha in muh mouf?"
  37. Blow spit bubbles.
  38. Walk on with a cooler that says "human head" on the side.
  39. Stare at another passenger for a while, then announce "You’re one of THEM!" and move to the far corner of the elevator.
  40. Burp, and then say "Mmmm…tasty!"
  41. Leave a box between the doors.
  42. Ask each passenger getting on if you can push the button for them.
  43. Wear a puppet on your hand and talk to other passengers "through" it.
  44. Start a sing-along.
  45. When the elevator is silent, look around and ask "is that your beeper?"
  46. Play the harmonica.
  47. Shadow box.
  48. Say "Ding!" at each floor.
  49. Lean against the button panel.
  50. Whistle the first seven notes of "It’s a Small World" incessantly.
  51. Sell Girl Scout cookies.
  52. On a long ride, sway side to side at the natural frequency of the elevator.
  53. Offer name tags to everyone getting on the elevator. Wear yours upside-down.
  54. When arriving at your floor, grunt and strain to yank the doors open, then act embarrassed when they open by themselves.
  55. Lean over to another passenger and whisper: "Noogie patrol coming!"
  56. Greet everyone getting on the elevator with a warm handshake and ask them to call you Admiral.
  57. On the highest floor, hold the door open and demand that it stay open until you hear the penny you dropped down the shaft go "plink" at the bottom.
  58. Do Tai Chi exercises.
  59. When at least 8 people have boarded, moan from the back: "Oh, not now, darn motion sickness!"
  60. Sing "Mary had a little lamb" while continually pushing buttons.
  61. Meow occasionally.
  62. Frown and mutter "gotta go, gotta go" then sigh and say "oops!"
  63. Give religious tracts to each passenger.
Standard

Welcome to Seattle.

I’ve been neglecting to write in here lately. Moving from Texas to Washington just got passed by, with good intentions of telling the story in the vivid detail I remember it with. So here I am, going to give up a few of the morsels of thoughts that remain in my mind to be shared with all.
First off, I thought living in Texas was bad? Driving out of Texas is worse. I drove the first four or five hours, and the wind was TERRIBLE. The road was boring. Flat. Plain. Ugly. At one point in the past I marveled at how the sky in Texas is actually bigger… And I figured it out. Its because there’s nothing on the earth to look at. Few sparse, bare trees, and fewer hills or other earthly distractions.

New Mexico was interesting. Started to see a bit of what I’ve seen only in movies. Mountains started to appear. Stopped in Albuquerque for the night. (“Don’t forget to turn left in Albuquerque!”)

The next morning proved to be a nice drive. It started to snow a bit, and mountains popped out of the landscape as if they were after thoughts. We stopped at this really scary gas station. I had needed to go to the bathroom, and we hadn’t passed a city in a long time. I think this was the first gas station for about an hour. There had been a sign a while back that said “No services, 140 miles”. Well this gas station was scary. It looked abandoned. The restrooms were next door. Next door was an abandoned diner. It was completely empty, very eerie. Classic barstools and booths emptied as if a chainsaw massacre had chased all the locals out of town. What I would have given for a camera with film at that moment! Needless to say I tinkled as fast as I could and got outta there!


Utah was amazing. I loved seeing the red rock jutting out with the Rockies in place behind them. Just amazing to me to see such different types of landscaping put together.

As night fell we were closing in on Salt Lake City. After two days of driving in wilderness and nay a city in site I’ll tell you seeing Salt Lake was a site for sore eyes. Stopped for Arby’s for dinner as we trucked the last hour and a half into our destination, Malad City, Idaho.

Malad City is a tiny place. Exit 13 off the hwy. One of those places you reluctantly stop for gas… unsure of whether or not there is indeed a gas station. It was adorable. We went and checked out the local coffee/soda/ice cream/bait/lotto shop/bar called Jones’. We had a cup of coffee. A cup is .30 cents. Oh, that’s with tax. The woman waved us off when we went to pay. No charge. Reading the signage I could determine that this was a place that still kept tabs for folks. I could imagine Pop’s coming in early in the morning and sitting down at the ancient counter to his morning coffee. Put it the tab Sue, he’d grunt as he walked out the door. I took note that you could also buy an odd assortment of grocery store items as well. Just a random assortment. Like someone was selling what was left over from their cabinets at home. Betty’s Lounge was the bar in the back, but we wouldn’t be checking that out until later. That evening before sundown we got to check out the jacuzzi on the back porch. It was beautiful sitting outside, the Rockies circling around with snow topped peaks, and steam rising into the air.

I went snowmobiling for the first time ever! What a blast. First let me explain. Mat’s family has a “town” house. You know, a house in town. So that’s where we were staying. But they own a farm in Arbon, where Mat actually grew up. It’s a dry wheat farm of 10,000 acres. I nodded knowingly at the dry wheat farm part. Uh, say huh? A dry wheat farm is one without an irrigation system. It depends on natural resources… like rain, duh.

Well we headed out to the farm for snowmobiling. He pulled open the barn’s side door, and I was looking at a man’s dream playhouse. Let’s see… First there was a purple 18-wheeler truck… Bob Sorensen’s d.b.a. Sorensen Farm’s it proclaimed proudly on its side. Next was a huge tractor. HUGE. Um, HUGE. Lined up in front were five or six snowmobiles, and four wheelers each. Tucked in the back was a huge camper. Again, I emphasis HUGE. We pulled out a couple of snowmobiles, gassed up at their gas tank (convenient) and headed out. We desecrated acres upon acres of flawless snow. I wanted to go into the mountains, and so we did. I made a snow angel at an untouched spot. Mat got sagebrush for me to smell. I carved initials into one of the mini barns along the way. I saw a fox. I saw tracks of a fox chasing a rabbit. It was beautiful.

Back to town, dinner with the family. Everyone was absolutely wonderful. They all liked me. There was fresh home baked bread. Yum. Well duh, they are wheat farmers. Mat’s grandparents have a horse ranch. That’s where dinner was the next night. For breakfast it was kind of a fend for yourself thing, Mat made French toast with some of the leftover bread from the night before and it was the best I’d ever had. He put pepper in it, to which we all raised our eyebrows–but the guy knows what he’s doing!

It was hard to leave. Soleil had just gotten used to the other cats, and had actually made friends, sort of, with Calvin. (Three cats, two dogs, including Emma, Mat’s dog.) Note to self, I want a kitchen just like there’s. Amazing cabinetry ## from floor to ceiling on one wall. All stainless steel matching sleek appliances. Counters with marble tops, and a center island. That of course would have to have a hibachi grill for my kitchen!

The next morning it was time to take off. The Ryder truck was wedged into the snow, it didn’t want to leave any more than we did. We finally got off and on our way. Oregon is a state that takes about three hours to cut through. But not for us… It was like nine or so hours. Yeah, moving pretty slowly with snow blowing and coating everything. The roads were terrible in Oregon. As soon as we crossed the border you could see how they hadn’t prepared them for the snow like in Idaho. (Idaho’s were black roads, and Oregon’s were white.) Roads called for snow chains, which we didn’t have. But we moved along slow with the rest of the traffic. (It’s important to note here, Mat hadn’t let me drive again since those first few hours on the first day of our trip. Thanks, Mat!) We finally gave up in Ellensburg, Washington having met our re-negotiated goal of just getting out of Oregon before stopping, versus our intended pulling into Seattle at just about that same time of night. Seattle was a pass away but the worst pass there was to pass.

Snoqualmie pass brings travelers in and out of Seattle. It’s the last hour of driving, and it took about three. Coming out of the pass and into Seattle it was absolutely astonishing how fast the snow melted away into the greenery.

Crossing the lake there were incredible waves crashing into the highway and over the barriers into the road. It was the worst windstorm Seattle had had in countless years, according to the news report. I was happy to be in a larger vehicle, so the water didn’t obstruct our driving view.

Welcome to Seattle.

Standard

I came to say

I came to say…
Hey la, ho ho,
Hey la, ho ho…

Instead I’ll wonder and ponder over a thought… Music can be used to express so much. People could sit and make a CD where every word would apply – or so they could claim. Then you couldn’t believe that a song could mean anything less than every word, right?

I’m left in confusion, left in the dark. I don’t know what fuel’s the fire, I don’t know what happened to the spark. I guess we’re left to leave things as is? Don’t worry because I carry you around. That’s my tribute to the teeth you bare.

Several years ago my best friend died. The same weekend I found out that I was losing my other best friend to a different kind of death. I so wished I could reach out to her and share this song with her, in hopes that it would touch her heart. She’s still out there, and it’s so many years later.

Just Wait

If ever you are feeling like you’re tired
And all your uphill struggles leave you headed downhill
If you realize your wildest dreams can hurt you
And your appetite for pain has drinken its fill

Just wait
And it will come

If you think I’ve given up on you, you’re crazy
And if you think that I don’t love you, well then you’re just wrong
In time you just might take to feeling better
Time is the beauty of the road being long

I know that now you feel no consolation
But maybe if I told you and informed you out loud
I say this without fear of hesitation
I can honestly tell you that you make me proud

If anything I might have just said has helped you
If anything I might have just said helped you just carry on
Your rise uphill may no longer seem a struggle
And your appetite for pain may all but be gone

I hope for you and cannot stop at hoping
Until that smile has once again returned to your face
There’s no such thing as a failure who keeps trying
Coasting to the bottom is the only disgrace

And the song she shared with me, so many nights and stars and memories ago?

I pick up my smile put it in my pocket
Hold it for a while try not to have to drop it…

A pocket is no place for the smile anyway
Someday I will find love again will blow my mind
Maybe it will be that love that got away from me
Is there a line to write that could make you cry tonight

Standard

State of Affairs

“What do you see when you look back at your life?”

When I look back I see good friends, great memories and a life I’m now so detached from. Looking back I see a life I don’t know how to return to. I no longer go to sit in a sea of faces who don’t see me, to listen to the voices that never heard mine. In my dreams my friends visit me, silent and too far to touch.

“I really don’t know what’s going on with you. Good, bad, or otherwise?”

I’m doing well actually. I have a few good friends. People who love me, and I share my time with. How I’m doing with the rest of my life is up to perspective. Depends on who you are and how you look at it.

Standard

Cast Away

Hmmm… Christmas Day. All the world is closed. A very nice day. Yet another morning not waking until lunchtime. Movies, movies, movies in sweats and crashed on the couch. The Muppets Take Manhattan. The Nutcracker. My Cousin Vinny. The Story of Us. Tommy Boy. Varsity Blues. Finally to the theatre for the 10:20 showing of Cast Away. Good movie.

Put my house up on the market on Saturday. Have to do some repairs though. Trim work where Danielle (my puppy) was teething. Also some drywall patching where she apparently thought she’d escape the bathroom. Minor stuff – just the kind of thing that makes me wish I had a handy guy handy. Got to pick up the yard, sweeping away leaves. The left over shreds of the cover to my grill… another of Danielle’s adventures. I hope it sells quick. I want to make a move. Claim my independence in a step. We’ll see though – it’s winter.

It’s Monday – so nice to not really think about it. I have the whole rest of the week off… It’ll be so hard to go back to a work schedule – but so nice to have consistency again by the time it gets here.

Standard

Personal Achievements

Well I’m sure no one else is interested in this – but I’m pretty proud of it. I’ve paid off two credit cards. And am almost there with another one. Last paycheck I paid off a personal loan that’s been around for about three years. Debt is a bad thing. I plan on spending my little vacation tucked away in a room at the beach, snuggled in a warm bed – a treat to myself.

Standard

Dancing Queen!

Last night I had fun being the dancing queen. Did the usual half-price martini’s at Cosmos, and Margo even made it. Then on to Rock Bottom to rock the pool table. Lost a couple coupons on that one, oops! 😉 Then dancing at Have a Nice Day. Dance the night away until two am. Gotta head into work. Tonights another night of fun and pool to come.

I’m going to need a nap!

Standard

Deadlines?

Can’t think of anything of much interest today. Just running to meet deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Can’t wait until “Christmas Vacation” – I’m taking the last two weeks off of the year. I think I’m going to go see my family. I’m definately going to enjoy the time just vegging and wasting away the winter days.

Standard

Lynda.com, Day Five

I hate to admit it, but I’m so ready to go home. It would be a different thing if I was sitting on the other side of this desk, and with that in mind I made an inquiry about teaching for Lynda.com. Hmmm… we’ll see.

Personal Objective – I need to get my page in shape. I’ve got script to check OS/browser, and version – I need to implement that and that way my page will display well depite what you’re viewing my page through.

This afternoon Eric & I are heading into LA. (He’s loved the class, and learned alot.) That will consume the last of my time. Tomorrow we’ll check out and fly out of LA at 2pm. Landing back in Charlotte at almost 10. Talk about losing time!

All in all, it’s been a good week. Point of revelation: l’m glad that Eric and I just work together. I think otherwise we’d go nuts.

Standard

Lynda.com, Day Three

Day Three. Had dinner at the Calypso Bar & Grill here in downtown Ojai last night. The paper said informed us that “that’s where it’s at”. Oops – print error. Rented “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” – interesting movie.

I’m supposed to do an ad for someone to turn in on Monday – I wonder where I can find a copy of Quark around here? Hmmm…

Standard

Lynda.com, Day Two

Day Two at Lynda.com – picking up things here and there from the class. Refining skills. Decided I don’t like Fireworks near as much as ImageReady. Although Fireworks has a cool full jusification setting for text.

I need to find out where Web Designers would go to discuss indepth web design stuff. Like the best way to implement crazy designs – A more creative type class than functional or learning software.

The Moon’s Nest Inn is an adorable place, but we are disconnected from the world! No internet, telephones or T.V.’s in our rooms! Ack! And people can’t call in, you have to call out! Curtis joked about “Hotel California”.

One perk about being in Southern Cali in December. They have outdoor heated pools! I baked in the jacuzzi then went swimming. It was nice swimming underneath the moon and the stars in the warm night.

Every trip I take only emphasis’ the fact that it’s not where you go, it’s who you’re with.

Standard