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The man is 91 years old, and still works with plaster, clay, wax, and bronze. His eyes are bright. They dance as he talks about his work, the many forms of lovely women stretching up into the air, rising above tragedy to perform an aerial ballet above Ground Zero.
His wife bears remnants of the twenty-something redheaded hottie she had been 40 years before. Her skills have also not dimmed. She took keen interest, her eyes sparkling with interest when I mentioned my own artistic outreach.
It was a day well spent. I was happy to have the connection.
It took no one by surprise. Her ex-whatever -- her baby-daddy I guess they call it -- was grinning. The woman near me said, sharply, "Good, she got what she wanted!"
I admit that a triumphant "a-ha!" leapt into my mind when the baby-daddy told me.
Just now my boss walked in. "You heard, I presume."
I nodded. "It's important to know that this was a one-off. There is no action taking place. She's the only one to go. So, if anybody asks, soothe them."
She has no buffer. I shouldn't feel vindicated.
I wonder how these guys managed these many projects without this information!
They just sort of keep things up in their heads, or on scraps of paper, or in files kept on their local hard drives. Nobody else, even the managers, have any real clear idea of what's going on.
This is what I'm to take over. The training consists of him talking me through things and showing me the scraps of paper and the HD files as he clicks around in them. I am to somehow absorb all this.
I scribble notes. I'll fix it all eventually.
The cooling rain has been welcome, even though it will bring the torment of higher humidity that, when paired with the blazing heat of the desert sun, makes living a bit less tolerable.
The living isn't quite so easy in these times, even though it's far easier than for some. Job pressures make it challenging. I want for little, and those wants are picayune, yet there is such appeal in living simpler, living day by day.
Fish are jumping; the cotton's high. It sounds idyllic, but reality probably was otherwise.
Everyone faces pressures of different sorts.
Need more rain.
I can attest to the fact that when it came to her job, she was organized. She had processes, and she followed them. She could be successful and she demonstrated that.
In her day-to-day living, at least as far as her office and personal systems therein were concerned as I have no knowledge of her life outside of the office, she was far less structured.
I don't wish to sound critical; I am really noting the challenges I face as I replace her mess with my fussier collection of the things I prefer to have on hand.
It's tempting to get maudlin over the plain and sad fact that my ex misinterprets me more often than he gets it right. We were married for so long, and yet for all that, he fails.
It's tempting to get pissy about the phone update. I muck about in it, you see. That ruins the automated update experience and I spend hours trying to get it set right.
It's tempting to feel lazy and not want to do the things I set for myself to do, just lump about in front of the screens.
It's all tempting. But I'll behave.
I was less productive than I wanted to be. I was more productive than I could have been. I indulge myself, though, and when I should be pushing myself to do things that matter and will matter more, things that are ultimately in my best interests, I instead choose to gratify wants that are of lesser import to my overall happiness. Simply quick gratification types of activities.
I wonder if it's the result of so many years being the "good" person who pushed to do the necessaries and now I'm being the "bratty" person?
Tomorrow will be a better day.
D1 has learned when I get stubborn and knows to back away. It took him time, but he learned well. D2 doesn't ever push. He offers suggestions and steps away, trusting I am smart enough to make a considered decision.
E has no experience with a woman such as I am. He still pushes. He chews on a problem like an old dog with a favored bone. I am calm, and resolute, and listen, then smile, then thank him for the information. I say nothing more.
He'll learn. It just takes patience and I have plenty.
F, however, in spite of no longer being my husband, is in an amorphous stage when it comes to offering advice and help. On the one hand, his need to be the authority, to assert it, to be acknowledged as being right bubbles to the surface. On the other, his insecurity, his fear that I will utterly reject him if he pisses me off causes him to be apologetic with his opinion.
When I push for details, he mistakes that for argument and he effects a passive aggressiveness. How dare I question him? Oh, but please don't be upset!
Day starts at 3. Work at 6:30. Usually home by 4:30, latest. Today? Made it home by 8. Dragged through the few chores I could manage. Mind felt emptied from the intensity of the work day. Too much new information to absorb, too many tasks for me to take on all at once, yet I have little choice outside of walking out the door without letting it hit my backside.
I'll get the rhythm, in time, and probably make some improvements so things are easier but now it's grueling.
My professionalism is a curse. Still: income.
For me, a measure of caring includes demonstration. You think of your lover. You consider what makes him happy. You want to do those things that are within your grasp. You're frustrated when they are beyond your grasp.
That's how I've always been. I think a lot of us are that way. I recognize that not everyone is that way, though. For some, they love and it's true, but they may not be wired to naturally try to make their lover happy.
It's difficult for me to internalize this, but I must. I mustn't feel abandoned. He loves me.
Microblogging in 100 word chunks is more challenging than microblogging in 143 character chunks. It's relatively easy to come up with a pithy blurt. Much more difficult to arrive at some insightful entry that simultaneously avoids the overly maudlin, moves the reader out of the writer's rut, and stays interesting.
Stays interesting ... even to the author.
My rut concerns my job. I could moan on about how consuming it has become (and was a time that was very welcome as it enabled me to avoid the situation at home). But how dull is that?
So, today, we stay disinterestedly within the meta.
Not my month for gadgets.
I am attached to my electronics. I get nice quality bluetooth headsets. I get top-of-the-line latest android phones. And then I lose them, or break them, or hack them until they stop functioning. All of that happened to me with several devices recently.
Dropped the phone, cracking it. Got an insurance replacement. Lost the expensive BT headset. Ordered, but haven't received, a replacement. Bricked the replacement phone when the update came. Waiting for that replacement and fell back on an older phone for the meantime.
Am tired of effing up my gadgets.
Love versus Lust. It can be measured via brain scan. Love, it turns out, has three distinct, overlapping systems. Hypothalamus is where lust happens. That's a component of love. The ventral tegmental area is where romantic love takes place and the ventral pallidum is where we see activity for attachment. Love = lust + romance + attachment. And you can start with just lust and then grow it into love. In fact, that's usually how it happens.
Love and desire activate different parts of the striatum. Lust impacts the ventral (reward system). Desire's linked to the insular cortex.
This is why we get confused about it.
I see the appeal in working wood. Granted, it's only plywood, and not very high quality ply at that, but the act of turning the rough sheet into something that felt like butter to the hand was pleasing.
I'd watched Himself do this with good wood in the past; hell, I'd even assisted! I used coarse sanding as one might plane. Then a finer grit to polish, and curve the edges in lieu of a router. Then a very fine grit, hand done, lovingly, to a soft, almost glowing surface.
Running my fingers over it gives great pleasure.
Feel my pain! While I acknowledge the benefit of having a job and having something meaningful to do within it, I still can't help but continue feeling sorry for myself that the job I am given to do is such a morass. I hope I can get over it, but it's quite a shock.
How effing mismanaged this program has been! The people working it now have suffered for far longer than I have, and have been doing what they can, but are in a perpetual state of panic and catch-up.
The customer would save money by easing up.
Be grateful you have a job. Be grateful you're working in a role where they need your skills. This is a depressed economy. You're making a wonderful income.
Except each morning I feel -- not seriously, but the feeling is similar -- that taking a razor blade to my wrists is a more pleasant option than sitting down at my desk.
Clearly a change is in order.
Don't want to take a job that removes a position from someone who is limited to that, so Wal-Mart greeter is out.
Don't want to rely on my cushion, either.
Anyone hiring engineering managers?
You don't want to find blame in people you know to be good people, but in the end, everyone, yourself included, holds some responsibility. Sure, there are upper managers in the overarching organization who've driven the policies and atmosphere to this point, and there are the lower level managers who always pass that pain on downstream rather than stand up against it, and eventually it comes down to you. You rail against it privately, but even you don't push back, don't manage "up."
The right thing would be to say, "Ain't gonna happen." Don't refuse. Just be realistic.
He's always been manipulative. It's so easy to see his techniques. They make me smile, but also make my skin crawl.
"I know you're not here to see me," he says as he notes me looking over at the other people at the party. "So I'll cut it short, but this is the only time I've gotten to see you."
I owe him nothing, but he expresses a bitter, self-pitying disappointment that I do not carve time out for him. Others place some emotional demands on my time, but I find I want to spend time with them, not him.
"Hunkering Down" because that's what I've been doing this month. Finding my space, crouching down solidly, squarely, and waiting it out.
What do I await?
For one, I await the passing of this phase in my career. I'm still too passive with this. I ought to align the ducks, at the very least, to give myself options.
For another, I await the time I can be, for a short moment at least, more significant in your life than I have felt over the past few months. Not letting my emotions take me to dark places. Simply waiting for the sunshine of your smile.
I don't ask him. He doesn't volunteer. I'm used to open sharing of details. I find it easier to just tell people what's going on. Even the ex knows what I'm doing, and when. It's easier.
So that makes two men who don't tend to share, and one who shares practically everything.
I find the not-sharing upsetting, because my mind plays tricks on me. Who knew I'd start feeling this way with this one, though? It's not that I have to know. It's that I want them to want me to know.
I don't trust that the poison that coursed through him isn't still in there, you see. Was a time he would take my honest words and twist them to suit his own perversion and berate me, try to hurt me. He would threaten to take the kids from me, knowing that was the greatest hurt of all.
He's different than that now, and he wants to be a good man, but I fear and distrust. I fear he'll turn again. I distrust what he says he is now.
It no longer matters much to me. He has no real weapon.
A lot of the span of time is eaten by the guy's slowness. There are benefits to taking your time, looking things over several times, ensuring you understand everything, that you're not missing something. I can appreciate that.
But I got things done sooner today than when he was doing the driving. The one or two mistakes I made were caught in the review and, besides, they'll be re-reviewed tomorrow and there will be changes. There are always changes.
His need to perfect to the last pixel is not value-added, so there's a time savings, too.
I feel a level of guilt. I think my mother instilled that within me. But the guilt is also pleasure.
He is in that phase where he derives deep pleasure from providing pleasure. He's had as tough a day as I, maybe even more challenging, who's to say? But he rubs my feet tenderly. I tell him how guilty that makes me feel and he chides me.
"I want to make you happy! It makes me feel good!"
So I make an effort to do the things he likes. I hope he doesn't realize it's an effort.
Tomorrow night, but between then and now is a mountain of difficult work on a difficult program I only a quarter understand.
Tomorrow night, and I received communication that, two months ago, a month ago even would have caused my stomach to knot, my heart to pulse crazily, and my throat to squeeze shut. Today it made me feel a bit of sadness and a rush of desire to find the writer and squeeze tight. And pet.
Life marches on. Change is inevitable. We live through it.
I just know that my heart expands more, and I love you.
Half a day of hellish intensity and half a day of anticipation and tail wagging joy.
Timing for this new group was unfortunate. But I have learned to not feed myself to the monster birthed on the mistakes of others. This place isn't worth it.
A couple of months since last we were together. The passage has been mixed with frustration about what I mean to you. The words you'd told me once seem no longer to hold true.
The smile on your face put my frustration and fear on hold. The tenderness of your kisses filled me once again.
The Ex made it a sort of torment, except for my 40th. I dreaded the day. I wanted to forget it existed. Then my life changed, but I was frustrated because none with whom I wanted to celebrate were near enough.
It continued to be a different sort of torment. I needed it, though. I had a childish need to be a Princess to someone on this day, to share it, to be celebrated.
The one who vexes me most hadn't initially grasped this, but once he did, oh, he made good!
Twas the finest birthday to date.
"We both have special reasons to stay for that."
It hit me, just then. It hadn't even occurred to me until that moment, but yes. He's right. We do. I do.
Last year, even though I had a small emotional investment in watching the Temple burn, I skipped it. Heart was weary, bones were weary, and I'd convinced myself I'd accomplished what I came to do so staying was not necessary.
This year, though, I must. We must, and if we can do it together, all the better for our tears to mingle.
Gotta say goodbye to my daddy.
I've always been susceptible to cold, preferring the heat. I dislike feeling chilled. Perhaps it's because I moved to the desert at a young age and was imprinted.
It surprises me that I have been strolling about a chilly gray city in sandals, bare of leg, light jacket without shivering to death. I haven't been warm, no, but I haven't been suffering.
Glorious, the colors, even in the gray fog. If something of this could be transplanted to the hot desert, oh how perfect that would be? Yet, can it? Perhaps this city is this way because of its dankness.
I am not going to make this semi permanent space into an arena to play out my feelings of the moment. We each deserve better than that. We are intertwined and while that can mutate over time, at this moment, in this slice, it is immutable.
We are linked. A flutter of one's wings causes winds in the life of the other. Keeping things quiet from one another is not the best way to handle it. Respect for one another includes thinking about how what you do will impact the domino on the other side.
Nerds Are Us. I seem to hit my stride when I bury myself inside an Excel workbook. I'm always looking for ways to make the information analysis not just easy to pop into the spreadsheet, but to make it more automatic. I'm sure I could accomplish more if I learned the power of a good database tool, but databases are slightly less accessible to the common man -- databases seem to require more arcane knowledge. Any manager can put information into a spreadsheet. My joy is in transforming what the upper manager enters into something useful.
I love spreadsheets.
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