Good day

Well, OU trounced the #1 Missouri Tigers last night in the Big 12 conference from the Dallas Morning Newschampionship. It was a great game on neutral ground, and OU still beat them by 21 points. But will the BCS let them be in the championship?


While I would put our schedule up against any other team’s schedule, and even though the two games we lost were away games — and one was lost in the final seconds to a rogue field goal while the other was lost after our star quarterback left the game in the first quarter with a concussion — I don’t think the BCS votes will go our way.

It’s too bad, too. I think OU could beat anyone right now, and I’d love to see them get the chance. As it is, they’ll probably be in the Fiesta Bowl playing against Kansas.  Don’t get me wrong — that would be a great game. KU was awesome this year, the coach used to be OU’s offensive coordinator, and he’s a great coach and a good friend of Bob Stoops, and OU didn’t get to play them this year, so it would be a great opportunity to show that yes…we’re better than KU this year.

KU didn’t really have a tough schedule until they played Mizzou. Every team they had played but two were having losing seasons and the other two were something like 6-5.

Nothing to write home about.

I guess we’ll find out tonight on Fox’s BCS show.  Whatever happens, OU can call themselves champs again!  And for Sooner fans, they’ll always be number one!


UPDATE:  OU will be in the Fiesta Bowl, going up against #3 West Virginia.  It’s too bad we won’t be in the national championship, but it should be a great game. Stay tuned! :D

Every year about this time I have a dream that is so sweet and poignant that when I wake up I’m left with such longing that I can hardly stand it. Each time, I desperately try to go back to sleep — to from: back there once again and live within that joy for just a little longer,and when I can’t or when I ultimately wake up, I can’t help but cry for the loss.

The dream is never the same, and I never remember it for long, but it’s always about the same person, and the situation is always the same. His name is Mark, and he loves me, and I love him, and we’re blissfully happy.

Mark is a real person. Well, Mark was a real person. He died around this time of year in 1986, when he was only 24 years old.

From the time we were 12 years old, Mark was one of my dearest friends. We had deep conversations, we shared sensibilities, and it was one of his greatest goals in life to make me and his other friends smile.

As wickedly funny, talented, and brilliant as Mark Wilson was, he was also an enigma. He loved to make people think he was something other than he really was, and since it was the 70s, Mark spent much of his time pretending that he was on drugs. When asked a question in class, he’d lazily look at his teacher and say, “huh?”

It was all a complete act, though. He was always keenly aware of everything going on around him, and he thought it was hilarious that the teachers were so naive that they thought a straight A student who was involved in extracurricular activities that required a lot of effort and time was a druggie.

So, while the teachers wrung their hands with concern, those of us who really knew him used our hands to hide our grins and stifle our laughter. Mark didn’t even try pot until he was 21, and he didn’t drink. In reality, he was the perfect kid; he just hid it very well.

Mark played guitar, wrote amazing music, was the best high school trumpet player in the state, had his own comic strip, wrote and created comedy tapes and made me laugh every single day I knew him. He did irreverent things. For instance, he had an old station wagon that had push buttons on the dash to change gears with, and he once drove me home from school in reverse in that car, going 55 mph down the highway…backwards. Every day in fifth hour, Mark made up a different story for me, our legs crossed one over the other on a chair that sat between us, and each one made me laugh till I cried.

By the time we graduated from high school, Mark and I had become very close — likely much closer than anyone realized. We relied on each other. In college, we arranged our classes, making sure they were all in the evenings, so we could stay up all night together, drinking coffee and from: french fries at iHOP. Our relationship was completely innocent, and it continued as flitted from boyfriend to boyfriend. He was my friend, and I never wondered why such a cute guy never had a girlfriend of his own. I’ve often wondered how I would have reacted if he had ever told me he was seeing someone.

I don’t think I would have liked it. In fact, it might have changed everything.

When we were 20, Mark came over one evening, and in the midst of telling me about The Hobbit, which he had just read, he asked me if we might try having a real relationship, go on a real date and see how it went. When he looked at me that night, there was something in his eyes I’d never seen before, and it scared me, because, even then, I was an intimacy-phobe, though I didn’t know it yet. But I agreed, because I’d been comfortable being alone with Mark for eight years, and there wasn’t a thing about him I didn’t like, and well…I loved him.

So, the next night, we went on a date to dinner and a movie. I don’t even remember what the movie was. What I do remember is him holding my hand, and how his hand shook with nervousness, and how mine was clammy with anxiety. And I couldn’t take it. When he took me home and tried to kiss me, I wouldn’t let him and told him I couldn’t have a relationship with him. It was just too weird. It was like dating my brother. He took it well…shrugged his shoulders and smiled, and that was that.

It was probably one of the biggest mistakes of my life. If only I’d gotten past my initial panic and just let him kiss me, the wall would have come down, and I would have let myself love him and let him love me. But I didn’t, and gradually he stopped coming around every day, though we still remained close friends even after I married. He obviously hated that I had married someone who didn’t cherish me the way he did, but he swallowed his feelings and continued to come over for visits.

The last time I saw him was just after leaving my husband and moving back home after spending a year out of state. We had a chance meeting as we walked in opposite directions down the street. We talked for a long time and made plans to go to the big football game that Friday night — a game we’d gone to together every year from thefrom: first year we’d known one another until I got married. But he didn’t show up that night, and it was only after his funeral that I found out that he’d committed suicide that evening, shooting himself in the station wagon with the push button gears.

I can still remember driving to the cemetery and searching for his grave, and then crying my eyes out and railing at him while I stood in front of that freshly turned earth.

That night, I had my first dream about him — the only one I remember. He came to my back door and asked to come in, and I let him in. I asked him why he hadn’t come to me before, and he told me that he couldn’t, because I didn’t know that he was dead yet, and he didn’t want to freak me out. I hugged him, and he kissed me, and it felt so real, and then he walked out of my life.

And each year, I dream about him again. I know that the dream is from: nothing but an expression of unexplored love, a wish fulfillment thing, but I always wonder if he’s not really there with me for just that one night.

I still miss him. I still wish I’d let that wall come down when I had the chance. I still wonder if he’d still be here if I had.

This is a very personal tale — one I wouldn’t normally tell — but after dreaming that dream again, I want people to know about him. He was a special, sweet, wonderful person. There’s no telling what he could have done with his life had it not been cut so short.

Unrequited love is never good, but I believe that unexplored love is even worse. The former has no hope, because only one person is doing the loving, while the latter is full of possibility, because both people love one another. The fact that such wonderful possibility is ignored and left to die makes it a tremendous loss. It leaves a future that never was.

And so, here I am today, mourning my friend, Mark, one more time, and looking forward to next year when we can live that lost future together once again, even for just one night.

The prevalence of close online communities have brought an issue to light — at least for me — that I believe is becoming almost systemic in nature, and that is an increasing number of people who have serious intimacy issues.

It could be that I notice this because these communities themselves are the perfect haven for emotionally unavailable people, and they are drawn to it because of the safety it provides. Where else can they go to have close relationships with others while still keeping them at arms’ length?

The question is whether these online communities are enabling the issue or are providing an outlet for otherwise pent up emotions.

I tend to think it’s a little of both.

The sad truth is that in the past 16 years that I’ve been heavily involved in the online from:, most of the people I’ve met and become close to fall into this category. They all fit into the same pattern — they’re friendly, witty, intelligent and have no lives. All of their close friendships are with people online, and the people in their “real lives” are relegated to the status of friendly acquaintence.

I, myself, fit into this category. At work, I’m friendly, outgoing, some might even say effervescent. I have lots of work friends who I just love, but when work is over, I pull back. I keep to myself in the evenings and reserve any socialization for my online friends. Life is easier, less complicated and…well…safer that way.

People with intimacy issues often fit that mold exactly. They use wit to avoid having or facing emotional turmoil of any kind. They avoid confrontation and don’t allow themselves to get angry or offended at situations that would normally send someone through the roof. They are extremely introspective and willing to share their viewpoints on intimacy with others like them.

Interestingly enough, these people are very caring and giving to their online friends, where they have difficulty behaving the same way in their real lives. Again, I believe this is because they are “safer” online. Trust is not as much of an issue, because they don’t have to worry about being hurt in the same ways as they would in real life. They can be happy and enjoy their online relationships without fear of betrayal, because they tell themselves that the people they meet online are somehow not as important as people in their real lives, so if they get betrayed by someone online, it isn’t as big a deal.

Sadly, though, it can be.

When people who have never allowed themselves to really love another person let the wall down enough to actually let someone in — even online — getting hurt by that person can be as heartbreaking as any emotional pain they’ve felt in their real lives. And if the wall comes down enough that they actually start getting together in the “real world” with the object of their online affection, the breakup can be devistating. I experienced this first hand when I broke up with Brian, a man I grew to love online and subsequently dated for two years. When we finally parted ways, it was one of the most painful emotional experiences of my life. Luckily for me, I got a great friend out of it, and he and I still keep in contact, albiet sporadically, today.

That said, one of my very close online friends and I were discussing this recently and he said, “Being in love and feeling in love are two very different things.” That really struckfrom: me, because it rang so true, and I think it is the very crux of what happens when a person has intimacy issues. Romantic relationships online allow people with intimacy issues to feel like they would if they were really in love, but in most cases, these people don’t allow themselves to actually be in love. Not in real life.

If you’re a person with intimacy issues, this makes sense. If you’re not, it’s probably meaningless. But trust me, it’s true.

When all is said and done, I’m of the opinion that, for an emotionally unavailable person, online communities and the close relationships they foster are both good and bad. They do give people an emotional outlet where they might not get one otherwise, but they also remove any incentive to get out in the real world and experience real life.

I’m telling you, there’s a book here somewhere. I’ve been toying with the idea of writing about this for some time — I’ve certainly done my research, and it continues today. I’d be interested in seeing what other people think about the issue. If you have an opinion, please feel free to comment on the site. Let me know whether you’d like your comment to be public or private, and maybe we can get a discussion going on the subject.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Internet love…real or not real? That is the question.

As more and more people live a large percentage of their lives in virtual space, we have begun to see more Internet romances bloom. But what are these romances really?

The feelings are certainly the same. That heady, I’m-in-love-and-can’t-get-enough-of-you yearning is there, but usually, the visual and tactile components are missing. So, with that in mind, how can it possibly be real?

Some people, particularly those who are relatively new to cyberspace, will tell you that they know the object of their affection better than they know most people in their real lives. They will argue that, when all you have is text, there is more deep discussion of values and moral principles and an opportunity to find out what makes the person really tick.

All that is certainly true.

Those who have been around the cyber block, so to speak, are more jaded in this area. They will tell you that, while that is true, the lack of visual and tactile stimuli also removes the ability to see through a lie. It is also certianly true that those of us who communicate online often present the person we would like to be rather than the person we really are, so that also has to be taken into account.

That said, I have been witness to several Internet romances that worked out well in real life. in 1994, I and 20 other cyber friends attended a wedding of two friends who met on the Internet while working in AOL’s guide program. These two, who were both in thier 50s at the time, met and worked together online for a couple of years before they set up tentative real life meetings, and it was those few real life meetings that led to their engagement and subsequent marriage. Happily, they are still together today.

I’ve seen the other side of that coin, though.

Case in point - NoogyMnstr and So Sexy Lisa, who met and lived in AOL’s Flirts’ Nook chat room for years. Noogy was a handsome ex Navy lieutenant with a heart of gold, and Lisa was his paramour, beautiful with a voice like honey and a body to match. Or, so Noogy thought. The two spent hours together on the phone and in the Nook each night, sharing their lives and falling madly, deeply in love. Though they both lived in Chicago, they never met in person, because, Lisa said, she had been sexually assaulted and had to take things slow. So, Noogy waited patiently, falling more and more in love with this beautiful, fragile girl. Eventually, they became engaged, even though they still hadn’t met, and Noogy began insisting that the meet in real life. After all, she had agreed to spend her life with him. They set up meetings, but something always happened to prevent them.

The other Nook regulars (who were all close cyber friends) became suspicious, and one had a relative who worked for the Illinois DMV who ran Lisa’s real name through the database. The picture that came back was not the one we had all seen of sweet, young Lisa. Instead, the picture returned was of a 40-something woman who looked more like Roseanne Barr. When all was said and done, we learned that Lisa was a married woman, and the picture she’d sent to Noogy was of the 18 year old Swedish exchange student living in her home. Needless-to-say, he was devistated. That was the day we all learned that Internet love can be a complete scam.

Real or not real, I suppose then, is on a case-by-case basis at best and depends on the honesty of the participants. Some people get lucky and meet someone they can spend their lives with while others get nothing but disappointment and heartache. In that way, I guess, it’s like any other relationship. Sometimes you strike gold, and sometimes, you get the shaft.

Whether it’s good or bad, one thing is certain. It’s fun while it lasts, and it feels great. Everyone can use a little romance now and then, whether its just private chats with someone who cares or a late night seranade of your favorite love songs, designed especially for you. I’ll take a night of seranading over late night TV any day!

The only thing I love more than watching a close football game is watching one where we come out the winners. And today, we got a barn burner of a game between 10th ranked OU and 19th ranked Texas.

People who aren’t from Oklahoma or Texas can’t really grasp what a huge rivalry ours is. Both teams are national powerhouses, even in rebuilding years, and with such strong feelings on both sides about the folks on the other side of the Red River, it makes us want to come out on top even more.  (To spell it out, Oklahomans have a bit of disdain – to say the least – for Texans and visa-versa.)

OU has three big rivalries — Texas, OSU (our in-state rival) and Nebraska. In years past, all three of these games would be huge, but with the downfall of Nebraska after their great coach, Tom Osborne retired at the end of 1997, only OSU and Texas are really left, and both are taken equally seriously, because very strong emotions are involved, and when that’s the case, anything can happen and often does.  There have been years when we’ve been unbeaten all season, only to meet one of these teams who wasn’t even ranked that year and then lose horribly.  The simple fact is that strong emotions make for great football.

Today’s game was back and forth all four quarters until OU finally moved ahead and stayed ahead in the fourth quarter, finally coming away victorious with a score of OU-28 and UT-21.

Life is good!!  


So, tonight I had dinner at the Olive Garden on Memorial (just east of May).  The first Originally from I noticed as we waited for our table was that, outside the restaurant, prominently displayed on the wall, is a plaque with the restaurant’s general manager’s name proudly etched in it .

My first thought, of course, was that this was a huge departure from a Kim managed restaurant. Even though Olive Garden is a chain, they obviously take pride in their business and back that up with excellent service.

As usual, my experience there was steller. From Anna, the sweet lady at the door, to Kelly, the best waitress in the world, we were treated with respect and, even more, we were treated like friends.  Experiences like that are why I like to tip well.  The thing is, they didn’t really go out of their way for us. They just did their jobs well and had fun while they were doing it.  Their attitudes put us at ease, and we spent twice as much as we’d intended, so their behavior is obviously smart business.

Why can’t the Kims in the world get this? We don’t want you to work any harder; we just want you to do it right the first time, and if you can’t, make it right one way or the other. Do it that way, and you don’t have to pretend you can’t hear the person complaining on the phone. Do it right, and you can be an adult who would proudly etch her name on a plaque hanging outside your restaurtant instead of an immature poor excuse for a manager who doesn’t have the guts to apologize for your substandard service and instead pretends she’s lost a phone connection.

(I’m still embarrassed for her; can you tell?)

Anyway, bravo to the staff of Olive Garden on Memorial.  Your food is excellent, but more than half the reason we go there is because of you, the excellent employees who treat us like royalty.  Thank you!

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