Monday, June 26, 2006

OOoohh nelly.

I'm going through paperwork that must have required no fewer than 25 whole trees to create in the first place. Wish me luck. Everything is out of the file cabinets, and in sort mode.

It's interesting how when you work in the automotive industry, it touches every part of your life somehow. How you clean is no different. In automotive, we have a "5S" program we learn. The "S's" are sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. Fairly recently I realized that other idustries use it too, but I have to doubt that it's pushed into culture the way it is in automotive.

If you are curious, look here.

My problem is, at home, I never get past the middle of the sort phase. :o( So I've used a vacation day to overhaul the office.

Off I go!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I should also report with a smile that Aaron called to check in regarding the eerie green sky and tornado sirens where he is. Apparently he just saw his mother pass by his top windows on a bicycle.

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

A running theory

Sometimes I can barely make it down the street, and other times, like tonight, I can jump from only running a half to three quarters of a mile without needing to rest and get my breathing under control to running three miles, non-stop, and feeling like I'm on top of the world.

I think I have figured out why...

It rained today. The air is moist. There is no dust/pollen/smog/other crap in every breath I take. I don't get dizzy or feel lightheaded or wheeze.

It also matters that it was about 72 degrees fahrenheit when I ran today. 72 with a breeze and moist, clean air, I can do. No problem. 85 degrees and hot, is a recipe for disaster.

I don't really even need an inhaler anymore. As long as it's not scorchng hot.

My hope is to get stronger so I can breathe more efficiently no matter how hot it is. That would be nice! Asthma sucks.

Only a week from Friday and I'm on vacation! Can't wait to get down to sunny Atlanta and guess this year's Peachtree shirt design. I have gotten it right two years in a row!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Small Miracles and Thoughts on Nexus

While sitting on an outside patio in lovely Perrysburg, Ohio last night, I couldn’t help but focus on a vine that was growing up, along, through, and around the wrought iron fence that served as a 6 or 8 foot tall barrier between the outdoor patio area and the public sidewalk. I immediately wondered how a vine can spin itself around something. It has no mind. No capacity to think or reason. The position of the sun can’t be a factor. The sun goes back and forth across the sky, and this vine was able to twist in circles or spirals or any other direction that achieved the means.

It struck me as another small miracle. It struck me as another reason I believe in God. Because my personal opinion, developed over many years of education and experience, is that there are no other explanations that quite do justice to explaining a miracle.

As I sat there, sipping a drink slowly and watching my husband polish off a pre-embargo Cuban cigar that he’d saved to enjoy after we got married, a whole chain of thoughts unfolded.

At work today, I saw pictures of a tiny newborn baby born to a coworker’s wife recently. The same stroke of thought on small miracles in this world happened, which reminded me of the little green vine, and subsequently the same whole chain of thoughts once again.

Now, for the chain of thoughts.

I came to ponder about the different views on the existence of God. (All views are welcome here on this blog, but that debate is not even the focus here.) From there I crunched on thoughts from a recent and yet ongoing debate of interest between several fellow bloggers on the issue of homosexuality. If I haven’t mentioned it, it’s only because I am still behind in posting my blogs in general, and I’ll get to it….

From thence I turned my thoughtbeams to a guy who runs the church that a fellow blogger attends. His name is Bob Enyart. And now, I shall reach my whole point.

I was raised to think and reason much as the aforementioned vine cannot. I question authority. Not because I wish to argue it, but because I want to believe things that appear truthful and right with a sense of personal conviction and passion, not passive acceptance. I don’t want to just believe something, I want to BELIEVE it. With my whole heart and soul, unwavering, steadfast in the decision that whatever it is I agree is real and true. Or, the precise opposite.

Now I don’t know Bob Enyart personally, and I shall not judge him personally. I will however, speak to his activities on a professional basis. He considers himself a pastor. He’s been a “pastor” for a few different churches.
Here are my concerns with Enyart as a pastor.
• He’s been convicted of child molestation.
• He’s been divorced and remarried a few times.
• He openly speaks out about entire groups of people in a very strong and hateful way. In fact, his name is synonomous with several hate groups all over the Internet.
• Clearly, after reading his own work, he does not encourage his “followers” to seek truth, but rather to fight the battle he’s waged against modern day society and speak out against common beliefs he considers wrong.
• He’s done ridiculous crap such as purchasing $25,000 in O.J. Simpson crap to burn and “prove a point.”

Again… These concerns are not personal. Bob is likely a really nice person. I don’t judge him as a person for having past transgressions, particularly since he claims to have repented for his past and started a new life.

But there is a clear nexus here, people. A person working as a janitor, mail carrier, garbage collector, accountant, or teacher would certainly lose his/her job with the sort of legal convictions bestowed upon Bob Enyart. Yet he’s a pastor?

Let’s talk for a clear moment on what a pastor is and does. I found this description at
“ambassador, advocate, administrator, baptizer, building usage consultant, confidante, confronter, community builder, discussion leader, encourager, emotional baggage handler, funeral companion, grace giver, grounds inspector, historian, interpreter, justice seeker, knowledge dispenser, latent gift discoverer, mediator, missionary, nurturer, organizer, opportunity spotter, public speaker, problem solver, questioner, quarterback, reviewer, Robert's Ruler, spokesperson, spiritual director, teacher, trainer, unifier, utility player, volunteer coordinator, vision caster, wedding ceremony presider, X-traordinary ingenuity with limited resources (like figuring out a way to use the letter X), youth advocate, yule celebrator, zeal stoker, zoo keeper (okay, so it just seems that way).”

Folks, we’re all worried about having a convicted child molester pick up our garbage or wash our cars, justifiably, yet some are okay with this guy being a pastor? Offering guidance? Being around children? Serving as (ideally) a key participant in many families?

He may be a great friend to invite over for Sunday night poker for mixed nuts at the kitchen table with friends, or a great business partner, but pastor? I don’t care how much he’s “changed” or “repented.”

And, what kind of pastor is proud of landing himself on hate sites? No pastor worth his salt would be proud of that. As if it’s an accomplishment to offend an entire group of the human population. Pastors are leaders to assist people in keeping their faith strong. I don’t think that publicly crucifying an entire piece of the population to gain respect and admiration from followers should be okay for a pastor. And if he does it to “strengthen” those followers’ faiths, well, there are much more appropriate ways to do that, if it can even work at all. Teaching, fellowship, singing, and shared activities with like minded people are a few to start with. Just the thought of it reminds me of people who work in offices who put people down and point out shortcomings of peers in front of their respective supervisors as a way of gaining brownnose points and favor with the management team.

The divorce/remarriage thing is always okay for general people, but to be a pastor with distinct views on it seems a little contradictory. Contradictory is never a good fitting adjective for a pastor of a church.

Back to the idea of a nexus. We all need to think things through with our own mind. We wouldn’t be supportive of a convicted thief gaining employment in our community as a firefighter. If the person needs access to strangers homes, clearly he needs to be worthy of implicit trust. It doesn’t even have to be a criminal issue. We don’t want someone dyslexic working 9 to 5 as a bank teller.

Of all the traits that a pastor could possibly have that would leave me in outward refusal to be part of the church he lead, a past conviction for child molestation? A public acknowledgement to a past of serious hardcore pornography?

And regarding this guy’s position on homosexuality, the church I attend holds the same views. It is the single most difficult part of my church for me to look past. I don’t agree with it. But far more importantly, the pastor of my church doesn’t scream condemnation over the radiowaves or publicly attempt to belittle and demean people for what I believe is a piece of their genetic makeup. If he did, he wouldn’t be my pastor. I would see that as a lack of tolerance and love. That doesn’t mean he should run out and partake in homosexual activity. It just means that even he, a man of the cloth, has no right to publicly demean people over his own personal beliefs, morals, faith, ethics, and interpretation of the Bible’s messages.

It is one thing to forgive a fellow human being for past transgressions. It is quite another to turn a cheek to past criminal tendencies of someone who wishes a position of authority, power, and influence. I say he should go make music somewhere, or bag groceries. Maybe, just maybe, he would be okay to make lattes at Starbucks. But he’s not okay as a pastor.

I would be honored to know Bob Enyart. He’s a fellow human being, and I’m sure life has afforded him experiences enough to have many interesting things to talk about and reflect on. But I wouldn’t allow him alone with my children, and I wouldn’t be interested in attending his services.

Just today I read that the mayor of Brideport, Connecticut was charged with using cocaine. People, he runs the dang city. How can you have someone with addictive tendencies, using mind altering substances, and then making decisions that affect every resident of a given chunk of geographical space? And the same story rings true. I have friends who have done cocaine. They are just as important to me and accepted by me with this past “habit” known. But clearly, it disqualifies them from holding a position as mayor of a city. Or doctor. Or nurse. Or child care provider. Or financial advisor.

*****Edit - 7/24/06. As the anonymous commenter pointed out, the actual charge was misdemeanor child abuse. I did find two sites that cited child molestation for this case, but now that I look at where it came from, it's not as reputable as those which list the charge as misdemeanor child abuse. It's possible, that in the state he was accused in, spanking is considered molestation, particularly when it's involving minors. But I'm happy to go with misdemeanor child abuse. Thanks, Anonymous. EB *********

Friday, June 09, 2006

Broke broke broke

OMG I don't think I've ever been this broke! It's going to take us the better of 6 months to catch up. But one day... One day... I will be able to NOT carry a balance on a credit card. Or five credit cards. Ugh.

I remember life before my first marriage. I was in charge. I knew where my money went. I had balance in my life. Money was always available for a little fun here and there, and responsibilities were accounted for and forecasted properly. I bounced one check when I was 18 years old, because I'd been totally dyslexic with the checkbook and just made an honest error. I was only around 4 bucks short, but still, I remember the horror of it all. I was beside myself. I never really liked debt of any sort.

Then came the first marriage. Suddenly, I had no money. And everything I spent money on was scrutinized. That wasn't allowed to proliferate in my world very long. It took 3 weeks, people, and I flat out insisted on SEPARATE accounts and finances, just because he was such an ass. He had a brand new truck, a separate car that he loved and refused to put any mileage on, 4 quadrunners, and a bright, shiny, red, brand spankin new motorcycle. Many things were bought on loan. Me? I had an old Chevy Cavalier. It was about 9 or 10 years old. I'd paid cash for it, and my insurance was very reasonable. I made more money than him, but suddenly, despite having no bills of my own other than a portion of a mortgage payment for housing, insurance, tuition and books three times a year, and a cellular phone, I had no money to spend. Go figure. So we divided up the financial responsibilities of our new "household." He decided that I should pay a greater portion of the bills out of my account because I made more. Fine. He decided that I should pay only things that could not hurt his credit severely if they went unpaid for any reason. Fine, but I had to laugh about it. (I understood his fear. His ex-girlfriend was a bit of a mooch, and never really worked much, and he'd also watched his sisters marry men and then decide that their jobs were now to spend money.)

The divorce certainly left debt. I won't even go there.

I was on my way to being back on track. But this wedding really set us back by a landslide. It was so worth it. I look forward to the next 6 months of eating at home and living as cheaply as possible. With my new wonderful husband. Who I love more than anything earthly and tangible. With a love that makes me tingly and overcome with a rush of emotion every time I think about it.

Now, we've just come together with our respective piles of debt, threw it all in one pile, and then had a big expensive wedding on top of it.

And true to the "American dream," with all this debt in mind, I still stopped at two houses yesterday that were for sale and had flyers out front. :-P

I buy what I really need, and he buys what he really needs, and neither of us could possibly give a shit less. It's only money. What a difference love and respect and compatibility have in a marriage, eh? I don't think he's ever asked me what anything cost, and I know for a fact I've never asked him.

Blissfully, we've lived through times when we were both unemployed, not by choice of course, and lived to look back on those times as the best we've ever had.

If I see a star tonight, I'll wish that other couples can manage to not focus on money as being so important, much less cause for arguments.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

It's a beautiful day

It's Wednesday. Hump day. I get happy when it gets to Wednesday now, because when I sit at work on Wednesdays, I know there is only tonight and tomorrow night, and then the next time I come home my husband will come home! (That word still doesn't seem natural... But it's fun to say.)

And I love weekends. :o) Love them. It's the only time life has any hint of normalcy.

So today is Wednesday. My coffee is nice and hot. And all is right with the world.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Dialog

A guy who I consider to be a very good friend and a very important part of my past recently seemed to get two steps beyond the bitter and angry status he took on a couple years ago. I'd just figured he was crabby and had a newfound thing against women. But it's become personal. Interesting, eh? The thing is, I'm not sure whether to just walk away and leave it alone, not caring that I really don't feel like we're on good terms, or to push the issue and try to force communication, which would either make it all worse or make it better. It's a roll of the dice. And, of course, there is also my frustration that he didin't really listen to me at all, but rather drew inappropriate conclusions from sources other than my actual words. Because, as you'll see, his conclusions don't match my words at all...

Here is his original blog posting that fell in line with how he's sounded about women every time I've talked to him in the past couple years....
"See, the problem is that I'm trying to date a certain type of girl. I figure that if I have been fortunate enough not to have had to marry someone for the wrong reasons, now is not the time to settle. I'm looking for the entire package and I understand that it's not easy to find. But.....

On occasion I do come across girls that I am really interested in dating. Some, like myself unfortunately, have had similar backgrounds and are at a similar point in their lives. The difference, well, I am still interested in dating, and I am willing to compromise and make time to date. The girls I seem to be attracted to though, well, they're still pretty much attention whores that would rather spend their time updating their myspace page than having a fun night out. It funny that single, sexy, and early 20's equals fun and excitement but sexy, late 20's, and single usually equals issue plagued, frigid, and boring. I think I'll stick to the early 20's girls myself.

It's somewhat ironic. Now, I'm well aware of my past, as most anybody who knows me is, but doesn't anybody look to the future? Most girls claim to want one thing and then spend their time pursuing the complete opposite. The fortunate part is that while I may be attracted to these women at first, when I see that they don't know how to get what they want or don't know what they want, then I realize I'm better off without them anyway.

I'll stay unmarried forever if the best I can find is what I've been finding lately. Fortunately, while money can't buy happiness, it can rent it!"

Here is the response I gave him:
I've been confused by this post since I read it over a month ago... You say you want a certain "type" of girl, and for the moment we'll ignore that you use the word "girl," and then you say you want the "entire package." I'm with you so far. Go Michael Go. Get on wit yo bad self.

But then we get to where you compare and contrast two groups of women. You've identified them as late 20's and early 20's. Fair enough. What do you think makes the "early 20's" fun, exciting, and sexy? Is it because they have more time and energy? Less inhibitions? Less responsibility? I would totally agree with that. Right on. (Gawd I miss those days!)

Is that what you want in a wife? Cuz if it is, that's cool. I'm just not convinced that's what you meant by the aforementioned phrase "entire package." I have a lot of guy friends. I've always had more guy friends than girl friends. When I hear other guys your age talk about the "entire package," it's way different than the attributes you've listed for the "early 20's." I hear other guys say things like... Smart, educated, fun, caring, successful, sophisticated, knows what she wants, and "has her shit together."

I find it really ironic that you say "most" women claim they want one thing yet chase the opposite, yet you are the one looking for the entire package yet referring to a fun night out. I am of the mind that those are opposites, too. You will possibly never find a package if you are looking for a fun night out. They aren't the same. Once every seventh blue moon a fun night ends up revealing an "entire package" and two people live happily ever after. Not common. You wouldn't look for a skateboard at a bookstore, would you? Then don't look for a serious girlfriend at Woody's. It's not much different. If you want a package, look for a package. Be mindful of what a package EXPECTS. Good, bad, or indifferent, the early 20's and late 20's don't have the same expectations. I would expect the term "fun night out" to bode well with early 20's. If I were still single, I likely wouldn't bother with a guy who was openly looking for "a fun night out." At least not if he phrased it that way. If a guy asked for a dinner or coffee companion, or a movie date, I'd think he was looking for conversation and might be interested in who I am. Not in sharing a "fun night out." Which incidentally, every girl at every age knows is better with a group of girlfriends than a guy. You know the saying... Men go to the bar to meet women, but women go to the bar to dance. It is still very much necessary to woo a woman who is the whole package. "Fun night" implies a short term, temporary thing. You are absolutely right. If given the choice between a quiet night at home and a "fun night out" as you've described it, most late 20's would pick the quiet night at home. Why should we waste our time? It's no longer exciting after a certain point to have a cute face with a sexy voice and nice muscles buy us dinner and a bottle of wine. We get to the point where we can do that ourselves. We just want someone to share it with. Someone special who we trust and love, and give ourselves to unconditionally and uninhibited. It's no longer about the excitement, or the attention, or the affection. Or even about the chance to call our best friends when we get home (or the next morning!) to tell all about our fairytale "fun night" date. We're so over it. We want something bigger by this point. Something you can't just "find" but something you have to MAKE.

And before I step off the subject of irony... How about this comparison? Attention whores, yet plagued, frigid and boring. Hmm. That just doesn't work for me. Is she an attention whore? Or is she plagued, frigid, and boring? You can't be both. Unless your name is Sybil. I've dated a few male versions of Sybil. Run away! Psycho is NOT good. That kind of psycho will lead to very expensive divorce attorneys. Run…away…

Just as food for thought... I've never thought of myself as plagued, frigid, or boring. Okay, maybe slightly plagued. I'm a little bit of a workaholic. But not boring and good Christ never frigid. But when I think really hard at how I would respond to a guy who seemed to not really be serious... That's EXACTLY the impression I'd leave him with. It's sort of an updated version of, "sorry, not tonight. I have to _____" (Insert one of many options: wash my hair, finish my doctoral thesis, organize a charity event, get a pedicure, etc.)

You'd be surprised how many hot, sexy women your own age with similar background & history would really be compatible with you. Don't think for a minute any of them will be wooed by the same sort of "date" activitiy that they were when they were in their early or mid twenties. They all “done growed up” now. There is no time left for games. They aren’t willing to play. If you strike up a conversation and then have a great date with a "late 20's" and then mistakedly drunk dial her days later, she will not bother with you again. She will see that you are still in an earlier phase of life, which she no longer has time or attention for, and she will drop you like a hot ass potato. She will leave you for the "early 20's" to enjoy. And she will wish you well with all the sincerity a human can have in her heart.

Disclaimer: There’s one exception. A "late 20's" who got bored, needed a lift, was celebrating rebound status, etc. and decided SHE needed a "fun night." Expect one, two, maybe three dates, and she's done with you. It's just not what late 20's do in a serious sense. And when she's done with you, she'll come off as tired, busy, and just not willing to be "bothered" anymore. Sorry. I know it's horrible. But it's what happens. I’ve honestly never done this to anyone, but I know several who do it on a regular basis.

Don't think that when I say there is "no time left for games" that these "late 20's" are hot for marriage and children and a white picket fence. There may be a couple of those, but not very many. The vast majority of late 20's want a whole lot of shit done way before any babies come, and the vast majority will buy her own damn white picket fence, as well as a house to stick in the middle of it. Real women don't typically look for someone to take care of them in the traditional 1950's sense. There's no time left for games because these women have learned that games is such an abominable waste of time that they have BETTER things to do, and just aren't interested in spending their time that way. They'd rather spend their time growing in a million other ways, and becoming better, so when they do meet a real Prince Charming, they're done livin single and ready to settle down and share a life. These are the few unmarried women you see in your graduate classes. They wear business suits, and the bling they wear they bought themselves. (Cue Charlie's Angels theme song.) Make no mistake. These women have a side to them so uninhibited you'll never forget it if you ever catch a glimpse of it. If they come off cold at first, remind yourself that you'd be guarded too, if you had one too many guys you thought were absolutely perfect go and drunk dial you only a few days after a perfect date. Lots of flowers don't open up in the morning until they know the warmth they feel is really the sunshine. You can't fool em. They need time to trust you, and you need time to trust them, admit it or not. The best things in life happen slow. By design. So you appreciate it all more, and really have an opportunity to work for something worth the effort. If I were a guy, knowing what I know, I'd take a 34 year old professional in something satin from Saks on the 12th date than a 22 year old in cotton Victoria's Secret Pink on the 2nd date. It's almost like comparing the preparation, quest, victory, and memory of climbing the Grand Canyon to Mt. Everest. The Grand Canyon is exciting and you can do it in a weekend. Mt Everest takes a lifetime to prepare for and you never forget it. I'm not knockin either one. They're both great. They're just hugely different.

So back to the original question – “What happened to Dating?” Yeah. Dating used to be a process by which a person learned what he/she really wanted in a mate, as well as sort of “weeded out” people until someone came along that clicked and was so hugely compatible that they lived happily ever after. A man would go fetch his lady and escort her out where they would have fun and create wonderful memories while getting to know each other better every minute. They’d share conversation about their lives, their families, and what was most important to them. If he was lucky, he’d get to kiss her goodnight. If things went well, they’d go out again. Now? Dating includes that, sometimes, but more often it’s just… wait for it…. A “fun night out.”

Here's where things get crazy. I didn't realize he posted any response until recently. A friend of his posted something about me being a "genius." To which he replied the following:
"Really? My impression was just that she liked taking the long way to get to her point. Her point being "older chicks are better". Of course, an older chick is going to say that, she really doesn't have an option, she has to be old. Luckily, in my dating life, I've had the option. I can date younger or older. I'll stick with my choices. Besides, who's going to make my babies if I'm going to Father any? Some 30 something woman? Great, so we're both too old to keep up with our kids.

I think she missed the whole point of "a fun night out." I wasn't talking about one-night-stands, I was talking about doing things together with someone of the opposite sex. Younger girls are interested in dating, going out, being spontaneous, older girls would rather take a bubble-bath, watch sex in the city, and bitch about men. Hey older girls (yes I said girls) don't bitch, some nice guys are out there trying to take you out and you're too clueless to enjoy it."

Now seriously, WTF? Where did I say anything that can be construed as "older chicks are better?" And better than what? Younger chicks? Did I ever line the two up and make a statement that one was better than the other in any way possible? Did I not glorify both equally enough? I really like the way he says "...she really doesn't have an option, she has to be old. Luckily, in my dating life, I've had the option." The option to be younger than he really is? I think not. And he happens to be older than I am. What was the intended point here? He goes on to talk about having the choice to date people older or younger than he. I've had those same choices.

Did I really refer to "one night stands?" I think not. As a matter of fact, I was not speaking sexually whatsoever.

I'm just as spontaneous now as I was when I was 19. In fact, likely moreso. (30 is definitely our prime, ladies!) I've never seen a full episode of Sex in the City. I've never declined an opportunity out that was worth taking advantage of for a bubble bath. And, I don't think I've ever really "bitched about men" in a general sense, and even if I have, I wouldn't do it on a date or to a guy I was interested in.

The whole slew of bullshit about a "30 something" not being able to carry a child should he "father" any won't even be addressed. I really think that was nothing more than an attempted cheap shot. It's not even worth talking about.

Now, before I go any further, let me place my personal perspective on the situation before anyone feels any need to "stick up for me." The facts are.... I'll always be younger than him. He's still pissed off that I scored higher on my ACT. I just got married, which incidentally was the second time, and he's yet to embark on the path of matrimony. I have prepared myself to take care of the financial portion of having a family. My children will have an education. If anything ever happens to either parent, the children will be well cared for. He's looking to score with someone in her young twenties, which, in all fairness, will not have allowed her any time to make the preparations I have. I finished my masters before him. I was on mortgaged home number 4 when he bought his first one. I have no personal offense at all by what he's written. My concerns are his twisted viewpoints in the first place, along with the accompanying bitterness, followed by his refusal to really read what I took the time to write to him, and ultimately, the thought of what will happen to him in years to come. I know he sounds really mean and vindictive. But that's not the issue I'm interested in.

So what do I do? Bother to write back? Ignore it all and walk away?

Still Alive!!!

I have blogged bits and pieces of thoughts on Word docs here and there, and just haven't had a chance to put them all up... I'll get to it.

But here it is June! And I'm all married and stuff. Laaawd, are there stories to tell... I'd give a synopsis, but there's just no way to do it. The synopsis would be a small novel in moments. So I shall refrain, and will rather blog about the many events and occurrences over time and do them justice, as well as allow them to give full entertainment value.

Law and Order is just starting. Yay!