November 2007

Thanksgiving’s four day weekend is over, and I have a lot to be grateful for. Not only did I have four marvelous days off in a row, but I still have all the fingers on my left hand. Lucky me!

As restful as I’d hoped the time off would be, circumstances didn’t cooperate with me. I was happy as a clam on Wednesday night, returning home from a great dinner out, when I heard a hiss. Looking down, I watched my front passenger tire go flat in just a few seconds.

Normally, that wouldn’t be any big deal, but I’d been driving on my spare for eight months.

Here is a truism for you. Heed this, and you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache. Ignore it, and life is sure to come and bite you in the ass.

If you think about doing something you know you should do, DO IT.

That’s it; pretty simple. You’d think that I’d heed my own advice; wouldn’t you? Not so much!

I thought about getting new tires last week…even priced them at frlm: shops, but I never got around to going to get them. So, when my tire went flat, all I could do was blame myself. And it wasn’t a big deal…so I have to change a tire? So what?

Lesson number two: If you have a crappy little jack, and your neighbor — who’s always willing to help — has a nice jack in his garage, borrow your neighbor’s jack.

I didn’t.

Instead, I used the crappy jack and was surprised when it just tilted over and the car fell. For a second, my fingers were trapped between the wheel well and the tire, but I got them out — minus a layer of skin but still intact. Had they been under the brakes as they had been a few moments earlier, I wouldn’t have fingers on that hand any more.

So, now the car has four brand new tires on it. It’s balanced and aligned. It drives like a dream…except for the rubbing somewhere in my front passenger wheel. I guess I’ll have to take it in one more time to make sure that’s nothing serious.

In spite of all that, Thanksgiving weekend was wonderful. We enjoyed our family dinner, the football game was awesome (OU beat OSU, of course!) and I got one out of four days to just goof off. What more could a person want? (Strike that…a year to just goof off would be nice.)

Okay, enough dreaming…let’s sing about dreaming…

Because reading a story about flat tires is boring as hell but you stuck with me anyway, here’s a wonderful little ditty for you. It’s not the standard version of the song, but it makes me very joyful when I hear it. It’s by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, who was a Hawaiian sensation and an amazing singer.

You can’t listen to this and not get happy! :)

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.

Wow…I don’t think I’ve ever been as busy as I have been in the last month. I haven’t had time to do anything but run from one place to the next. My poor email hasn’t been read the whole time…last time I checked, there were 230+ pieces of new mail waiting.To tell the truth, I couldn’t even tell you why. It’s not any particular thing but it’s as though the cosmic forces have come together to prevent me from having a relaxing moment to do fun stuff — like read mail.

The good news is that, after two months of living in limbo at work, facilities finally found time this week to build my cubicle. Then it took another four days for phone and network to move my stuff to the new spot. As of Friday at 5pm, though, I finally got all moved in. I almost feel human!

They’re still jacking me around up there. Well, that’s not really fair. They aren’t jacking me around, they just aren’t setting any priorities for me. I work like a demon on one thing and before I can finish it, they want me to stop and work on something else. So, it’s not jacking me around; it’s just unsatisfying for me. I’m the kind of person who likes to put the period at the end of the sentence, and if I’m not allowed to do that, it drives me nuts.

So, I’m a little nuts right now.

(Shut up you people who are saying “So, what else is new?” to yourself! ;)

Anyway…this is just to say, if you are one of my friends (and you know who you are) and I haven’t written you back in a while or called you or even picked up the phone when you rang in, it’s not you…it’s me.

Now, I’ll leave you with the song going through my head right now…it’s one of my favorites, and I’d forgotten it until I heard it on last week’s Las Vegas. Happy trails, everyone.


Growing up in the era I did, I thought I was familiar with the plethora of things people do to get high. Alcohol, marijuana, PCP, cocaine, acid, heroin, airplane glue, mescaline, etc. were the drugs of choice in the 60s, 70s and 80s, but today’s druggies are reaching new lows in their desire to scramble their brains.

Drugs like Oxycontin and Ecstacy are bad enough. With the former, a user can easily die on the same dose they’ve previously used to get high on, and with the latter, they’re left with depleted levels of seratonin in their brains for the rest of their lives. Oh, wow. Do this drug and you can never really experience joy again. Yeah, that’s something I want to put in my body.

Then there’s meth that is made from such things as Draino and bleach that turns users into such scab-picking freaks that it’s hard for them to ever be normal again.

Some drug users today, though, are doing things to get high that I can’t imagine.

While I thought toad licking was just a joke from The Simpsons, people actually smoke from: venom to get high. There’s a toad that lives in the Sanoran desert of Arizona (down by Tucson and Tombstone) called “bufo alvarius” that has specialized multi-celluar glands in its neck and limbs that produce a milky-white venom that contains large amounts of the potent hallucinogen 5-MEO-DMT. When dried and vaporized by heat and smoked, it produces an intense psychedelic experience that lasts a short while, with a lingering psychedelic afterglow.

Okay, as weird as that is, it’s not as bad as the newest craze called “Jenkim.”

Jenkim, aka butthash, is made from fermented human urine and fecal matter. Yep, you read that right. People are using their own waste to get high.

How do they do it? They put their waste into a jar and put it in the sun for several days with a balloon on top as a lid. Then they inhale the gas, which induces a euphoric high similar to cocaine but with strong hallucinations added in.

One of the side effects of this is that users’ mouths taste and smell like feces for weeks at a time. How would you like to date a guy who’s done that?

“Come over here and kiss me, baby.”

“Uhhhh…I don’t think so. Nope…never again!”

What will they think of next? I can’t even think of an example that’s worse than that!

It just makes me happy that I did my own experimentation a long time ago. (Though I have to tell you, no level of peer pressure would have ever gotten me to be a crap sniffer. You could have offered me a million dollars to do it and I never would have.)

Kind of makes me want to go brush my teeth just thinking of it!

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!

Okay, I don’t have much to say today, so I’m going to forego boring you with useless fodder.  Instead, I’m going to entertain you with someone else’s blog post. 

This has to be the funniest thing I’ve ever read.  Add to that the fact that I actually remember this stuff (and wore it!), and you’ve got an explosive combination.

That said, I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did. Kudos to the guy who wrote it!

What were you doing in 1977?

To give credit where credit is due, the original poster’s URL is:

Warning: If you are reading this while enjoying a refreshing beverage, put the drink down and swallow before clicking the link.  You’ll be glad you did.  Trust me.

Next Page »