Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My eyes....

....they are a-burnin'!

Why? Could be this.

This is the view from my house, which you've seen before. Do you see the lovely mountain in the background? No? Oh, well, maybe that's a storm blowing in, covering it up.

No? No. It's smoke. From California. Yep, it's made it's way all the way to the Western Slope of Colorado. My eyes and sinuses are in full protest.

If it's so bad here, I can only imagine what it's like there. You all are in my prayers.

And speaking of prayers, Fella called again last night, and we actually got into a religious discussion. It's normally a topic I avoid, like politics, but we seem to fall along the same lines. And I figure it can't hurt to be sure his Presbyterian butt knows that Mormons are Christians. You never know what kind of poppycock anti-Mormon crap he's heard.

Oh "poppycock crap" reminds me, guess who kept calling while I was out with Fella on Saturday? Yep, my ex. And Old BF. Did they sync their watches or something? They have a distinctive ring, though, so I can just reach over and turn it off without needing to look at who it is.

The ringer? Nickelback's "I Should've Listened."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"No matter where you go...

...there you are." I remember that from Buckaroo Banzai. And that's how I feel right now. Here we are. I'm not quite sure where that is, with so many "what ifs..." hanging out there, but here we are.

I'm taking friend Krissie's advice. After nearly three months of dating (in one more week), New Fella is no longer New. He's a Fella. So, from here on out, he's just Fella.

I'd assumed I wouldn't hear from Fella until Saturday this week, if even then. He had parent/teacher meetings Wednesday and Thursday night, and a dance to chaperon on Friday. Late nights, all, and he mentioned staying with his pal up there and squeezing in a couple of hours more sleep.

On Tuesday, he'd been non-committal about weekend plans. I texted him on Wednesday morning to say forget the movies - Game 3 of the World Series was on Saturday evening, but I didn't know if he wanted to hang out for that. No return text. No call that day, either.

Thursday and Friday I controlled myself. No texting. No calling. Work is crazy-busy, so that helped me not think about all that's going on. I have to give one of the "sermon" talks in church on Sunday, so Friday night I settled in to write that talk. It's supposed to be 15 minutes long, so I did a lot of research on quotes and such. And this was made much easier to do because my daughter had a friend spending the night. Twelve-year-old girls do two things: cry and giggle. I had lots of giggling.

While I tried to tune it out and concentrate, my mother decided it was a good time for a chat. She has a knack for this, wanting your attention when your attention is required elsewhere. And she's offended if you run her off. So, I'm sitting at my computer, patiently listening to her, when I hear it. Fella's ringer going off on my phone.

I was genuinely surprised. It was 9:30 and he's exhausted, but he's calling. We talked about the dance and how these middle school kids just have no appreciation for the music he played for them (he listens to country). He asked about how my week went, and I mentioned the conference coming up. He was surprised to hear I'd be gone for five days.

And he actually called back twice, when the signal faded. That was nice. I did manage to tell him about my friend's pull with the local schools, but he gave me all the details of the position he's in. It's a sweet one. Really sweet. I had no idea. He even told me roughly how much he makes. After I got off the phone, I realized that he'd never mentioned Saturday or plans at all.

Like the doober that I am, I called him at nearly noon today. It was 11:00 last night when we got off the phone, so I knew he'd be sleeping late today. I didn't wake him up, but he certainly wasn't fully awake when he answered. Poor guy, I said. Long silences. "Uhm, I'm not quite awake yet," he finally said. "Let me call you later." I told him I was about to go run errands, and I'd call after that instead.

It took a couple of calls, but I reached him. Much more awake this time, but still fatigued. It had been such a rough week for him. I finally made the first move at asking. "So, do you want to get together at all today?"

After thinking a moment, he said yes, but that he wasn't up to going anywhere. Not surprised. "I'm being a bump on a log today," he said. "Want to come be a bump on a log with me?" Okay, I'll take that.

And that's exactly how it went. We had some activity at dinner time. He cooked fajitas on the grill for dinner, but discovered he was out of tortillas. I volunteered to go get some and asked, "What kind do you prefer?" I mean, the guy cooks; he might have a preferred brand.

He gave me such a blank, "what the hell are you talking about?" expression that I started to laugh. Then he said, "Uhm....white?" Daughter and I about fell out laughing. I explained, but daughter just said she'd go with me and know what he wanted when she saw it. So, she and I had a trip to the store, talking about the pros and cons of her brother wanting to join the Army. She even flirted with a guy in the checkout line. She's a confident girl.

She also talked about how much they like her brother's girlfriend. They've even talked about her moving into their house if he does go to the Army. That gave me pause -- if they're talking about her moving in to be with them long-term, then how can they be talking about selling the house and moving an hour away?

We watched the last part of a movie he'd started. "Reign On Me," it was called. Looked like Adam Sandler's attempt at an Oscar role, to me. But it absolutely tore my guts out. I could hear daughter literally sobbing through it. Fella was in the middle, and had sniffles in stereo from us. I was wiping away tears, hoping that it didn't make my nose swell (as crying tends to do). He shook his head at both of us, but we all know he sometimes cries over Hallmark commercials.

We watched Game 3 of the World Series. That was another reason to cry. And that's all I have to say about that. BUT I will say this is the first time I've shared a sporting event with him, and it's one I actually understand quite well. Interesting to hear his commentary. He gets annoyed with the "idiot" commentators and watches a good portion of the game without the sound.

I got to sample Fella's famous cheesecake. Son had told me about it, singing his dad's culinary praises. He didn't do it justice. The stuff is amazing!

Son came in with his girlfriend, wanting to borrow some cash from his dad. He finally got it, and tried to give Fella a kiss on the cheek for it. Fella dodged him and his scruffy face. "See? You remember that!" son said to me, laughing, pointing at Fella. It was time for them to go. Girlfriend gave us "goodnight" hugs, like they were kids leaving for the evening and telling the parents good-bye. When she stepped back from me, she said, "She just smells so good!" Which caused laughter, from last week's smell fiasco.

Still, I was concerned. Fella had been aloof all evening. Conversation was minimal. He didn't often look at me directly, but when he did, he smiled at me. As the evening passed, I said silent prayers, pleading for some indication of whether this was distance between us, or just the side effects of exhaustion.

The game ended. It was time to go. As usual, he walked me to my car. Enjoyed the evening. Take care. Have a good Sunday. He leans in to kiss me, but it's only brief.

This is my indication. I'm disappointed.

For a moment.

He lingers. His hand moves to my cheek. He kisses me again. Longer. His fingers entwine in my curls. My hand slips from his neck to his back. His other arm moves around me, holding me. Deep, sweet, wanting kisses. The ones that make my toes burn.

When we pull back, his tone is gentle. "I'll talk to you tomorrow."

"Yes," I say. "And I'll see you again in two weeks." We're still standing close, my hand on his arm.

He stops. Looks skyward, turning this over. "What....?" He's forgotten.

"I'll be in Utah next weekend."

The lightbulb comes on. "Oh, that's right. That's this week." Maybe, just maybe, I detect a hint of disappointment.

My hand slides down his arm as I start to move to the car. My fingers barely graze his hand, and he makes a move to catch my hand, but misses. But I notice, and move back, putting my hand in his. He holds it tight.

He wishes me luck with the conference, and my talk in church tomorrow. He tells me to be careful traveling. Goodnight, and sleep well.

It's going to be a long two weeks. I just hope it is for him, too.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


You, my lovely lady blog mates, amaze me. I can't thank you enough for the wonderful pearls of wisdom you've shared with me over my last blog entry. I sure needed it. And your support, encouragement, and affection have been priceless. Thanks for helping buoy my spirits and alleviate my self-doubts when I'm feeling like the world has beat me up, yet again.

New Fella called early Tuesday night, and the conversation was as normal as ever. I've noticed that when he gets tired, he's a little abrupt and cranky. It's just an edge he gets, but no biggie.

He did share something with me that gives me yet another thought to obsess about. His daughter needs a new job. Hers is commission-dependent and in the mortgage industry. Bad place to be right now, if you're interested in making money. Add to that the possibility that son's income might be leaving the household; he's seriously considering joining the Army. New Fella has been able to swing two interviews for daughter. One is with the school district where he works and the other is another hour's drive past that. If she were to get the second job, they would relocate to the town where he works. An hour away.

He said they might rent a small place up there and keep the house here. Maybe, if they're making enough. They'd be saving his $300 in gas, even though she'd be driving an hour each way to work. But renting a place where she'd be working is difficult because it's very popular with the rich and famous set, making it expensive to live there.

An hour away. I wonder what he thinks that would mean for us? I know it's a selfish thought, but I have to think of that.

I was talking to my lesbian friend about this and what he does for a living. She asked if he would be interested in a position here, where we live. She actually has the contacts to pull that off. I'll have to find a way to ask him that, though, and not seem like I'm interfering or being selfish.

Anywho....that's what happened the night after the other talk. It's been a great week. I didn't hear from him last night (and you'll be shocked, but he'd promised he'd call Wednesday). His evenings are so busy at work tonight and tomorrow night that he might not even come back home until Saturday. So, I have no clue if I'll see him Saturday or not.

Knowing I probably wouldn't talk to him later in the week, I asked on Tuesday about watching a particular movie this weekend, but he was non-committal. "Saturday is too far away to think about, " he said, which is normal. He doesn't do a lot of advanced planning. Like, any.

So, if I don't see him this weekend, then I won't see him for another two weeks. I'll be in Utah next weekend, running around with former coworkers from Texas Tech, friends from LSU and other schools across the country. And one new friend, it seems, from South Carolina who spent the afternoon e-flirting with me through the conference listserv. We're such geeks, I swear.

Again, we'll see.... I have a gut feeling that Saturday won't happen, though.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Left turn, Clyde. Again.

Well, I just got my heart strings tied in a knot. Not broken, mind you. Just knotted. Reality sucks.

New Fella called me tonight, on his way home. We had a great conversation, about his week of hell ahead (busy, busy), and my bad day yesterday. "Sounds like you've had a rough couple of days," he said. "Tell me about it." After the telling and discussing, he lost the phone signal in the canyon.

He called back. And I decided to cut to the chase and ask some questions that have been driving me batty lately.

"Can I ask you something?"
"Am I the only one you're seeing right now?"
"Yeah. Why?"
"I was just wondering that. I've turned down a couple of invitations lately, and wondered if we were on the same page with that."
Pause. A little nervous laugh. "Well, I don't know that I'd tell you to turn down anyone who asked you out, just yet."


I shouldn't limit my options, he says. If someone comes along who is better suited, I shouldn't turn him down. If I had a date with someone else, it wouldn't hurt his feelings. He said his life is very full, very busy. He doesn't have time to really do much, or get too involved in anything. He's in no hurry to get married again. If someone he works with said, hey, I have this friend you should meet....he would.

Yeah, he said that. Exactly.

"But I'd tell you about it," he said. No lying, sneaking, hiding things. At least that part of my paranoia can stand down.

"The ones I've turned down," I explained, "have been because they weren't someone I wanted to see more than I wanted to see you."

"I can understand that," he said. He wasn't trying to be conceited, just understanding where I was coming from.

I also reminded him that, at the onset, I'd said I wasn't in any hurry to get married. And I'm still not. My kids have had two bad experiences with stepmothers and it's made them gun-shy about me getting married again. And if he looks at my track record since being divorced, I was with my last boyfriend for the better part of eight years. Definitely not in a hurry here. And I also have a very busy life, between kids, work, and school.

He told me about the last woman he dated. For nearly five months. He said he "really thought she was something else." Then, out of the blue, she breaks it off. It baffled him. "Didn't send me into a dark funk or anything," he said, but baffled him. He thought she just couldn't handle it starting to get serious.

Five months, eh? We've been together about half that long.

He explained that just after his divorce, he felt almost desperate to not be alone. But as time goes on, he kind of likes being able to do his own thing and not "have to answer to anyone." He can sit around all day and watch sports or stupid sitcoms, if that's what he wants to do. "I'm not going to miss a Broncos game or a Rockies game," he said.

"And you shouldn't have to," I added, but I'm not sure he heard me. And I do mean that. A lot of women make the mistake of demanding a man give up what he likes to do, for what she likes to do. It's not about "either/or"; it's about melding the two.

I told him that I do appreciate the pace we've been taking things. The slow pace is new to me, but it's good. He said he's liked that, too. "Except for that one time...," he says.

"Yeah, that was a weird day," I said.

He's referring to the passionate "incident" in the foyer, when he had me against the wall and things got a little wild. I've since realized that being interrupted was a blessing in disguise. Our "intimacy" has gone other places since then, that having sex would have probably derailed. It would have upset the progression we've gone through now and made things a lot harder.

He went on. "That day, I just said 'Whoa! What's going on here?' I mean, I can do meaningless sex, if that's what we want, but in this situation it would really confuse things. I thought that we really need to be careful."

I jumped in. "And as I get older, I find keeping it meaningless is increasingly hard to do."

"Yeah, me, too," he added.

"I do think we've got a good start to something going here," I said.

"I do, too," he said. "But if we get to where we want to take it to the next level, then there's some things you should know about me. We'll have to sit down and have those hard conversations. I've done some things in my life that I'm not proud of, and you should know."

Okay, I know it's not a criminal record. I've already looked into that (I can't help it!). So, I'm not quite sure what he's referring to, but I'll have to wait for it. A little scary. But if these are regrets, and things that stay in the past, I'll be okay. I think.

So, I wrapped it up by telling him that I really do enjoy him, and his family. He answered by saying, "Yes, it seems to be going very well." And he promised to talk to me tomorrow, as usual.

I'm sure no one is surprised that this conversation disappointed me. Perhaps I shouldn't have asked, but I also needed to know. I'm afraid that now I've pushed him to want to have a date with someone else, if only to make a point to me or put some distance between us. I don't know how I'll handle that.

And I also have to say....it smarts. In essence, he let me know that I'm not so special after all. He's interested, but not enough that he doesn't want me to see someone else, and he can certainly imagine being more interested in someone other than me. But he thinks we have a "good start" and it's "going very well." How confusing it that?

I think God likes to screw with me. Again. Dangle that carrot, then yank it away. Why do I not deserve the "happily ever after"?

Dang. I hate this.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It's one of those days....

I should have just stayed in bed, I think.

It started with a big huge SMACK in the shower. Not the good kind. I hit my head but GOOD on the shelf in there. I actually have a swollen spot across the top of my head. Ow. About cursed a blue streak, too.

Church went okay. The lesson in the women's group today was about how men and women can honor the gospel and strengthen their marriages and their families. That's an okay topic, when they stay on it, because it's true. If both of you do what you should, make the right choices, nurture one another, then you will be on the right path to Happily Ever After. If you both do it....

The trouble comes when a young stay-at-home wife with a new little baby in her arms decides to speak about how families fall apart and children are harmed when a women loses her grip on her priorities and puts her career before her family. "I'm all for education and all that," she said. "But your children have to come first."

Is it really so cut and dry, sweetheart? Really?

This pisses me off.

My marriage did not fall apart because I had a career or education I cared more about. It did not fall apart because my priorities were wrong. It fell apart because no matter how much you do the right thing, you cannot make another person make the right decisions.

I am independent, with a career and education, because relying on my husband for strength and support did. not. work. In any way, shape, or form. I drew a line because my priorities were right. Someone had to be that strength and support for my kids, and it came down to me. I have to be both Mom and Dad to them because Dad is a big ol' effing flake.

So, yeah, sweetheart, it's nice when it all works out that way. But sometimes it doesn't. And it's not always because the woman didn't take care of her home and family first.

I look at New Fella's situation and mine. He's here trying to give his kids the support and strength they need. He's taking care of everyone around him. I'm doing the same thing. What I've been looking for is someone who can respects that, understands that, is capable of taking care of his own crap, but who is okay letting me help take care of him now and again, and who reciprocates that....giving each other that safe place in the middle of the storm.

I do not -- repeat, DO NOT -- want someone to simply take care of me. I cannot give up my autonomy again, and risk a repeat of the disaster that was my life with my ex. I am responsible for me and my kids, and that won't change.

I'm supposed to talk in church, sermon-style, next Sunday. The topic they gave me? Get this.

"Living Happily Ever After."

Yeah, I think I can do 15 minutes on that.

Many mundane details

At some point, I need to find a way to tell New Fella that when he doesn't call when he says he will, it drives me wonky. And I need to say it without sounding like an insecure weenie. Even though I am one.

Last night, we had a great end-of-day conversation. He was tired, but he told me about his day and evening, and was in a good enough mood to be a smart ass about it. He loves being a smart ass. Then, he asked about my day. When I said it was good and didn't elaborate much, he pushed for details. "No meetings?" he asked. No, no meetings, but I did have one instructor who was sure the system had done something to her. He asked for more details, again. "What was it the system was supposed to have done to her?" He asks questions. We have give-and-take. I like that.

"I'll call you in the morning and we'll see about getting together, all right?" All right, even though I planned to do the calling.

And I did. I left a message at 10:15, letting him know that the kids and I were going to lunch in a c0uple of hours, and he was welcome to join us. He has not met my son yet. By noon, I was in a foul mood, and I do mean foul. The kids and I were headed out for our lunch. I almost left my son at home because he wouldn't stop texting and just get ready to go. My nerves were about it explode.

12:15, my phone rings.

He's yawning. Sounds tired. Here it comes, I think. He's gonna back out of the whole day.

"We're just getting up and around." They slept late. He's running several errands with his son. "What are you up to?"

We're leaving the driveway and trying to decide where lunch is. "Who is 'we'?" he asks. I tell him and say they are welcome to join us. He thinks for a moment. "No, why don't I get my stuff done and we'll get together later." I ask, and "later" means about 4:00. Fits with my schedule, too.

4:00 comes and I call to see if I'm supposed to meet him somewhere or at his place. No answer on the cell, so I try the home phone. I don't often call the home phone, but I'm sick of his cell phone today. Daughter answers. I say "Hi" to her and start to say it's me, but she hollers over me. "Hi, baby girl!" I needed a friendly greeting like that.

She hands me off to her dad. He's yawning again. "How are you?" I ask.
"Pooped. But I got a lot done. You?"
"Fine. Got a lot done, too. Should I head that way? Or....?"
"Yeah, that's fine. I don't feel like going anywhere, but we can hang out here."

Fine by me. He is still determined that I should see the "American Pie" trilogy, so I figure we'll do that.

I get there and daughter is in the front yard with the neighbors. She waves enthusiastically at me. We go inside and New Fella is in His Chair, a white leather recliner opposite the TV. He talks to daughter for a moment, then turns to me with a big grin. "Hi! How are you?" I have a momentary urge to kiss him, but he's never seemed big on that in front of daughter. I probably should have anyhow. (sigh - I love seeing my missed opportunities in hindsight. I wish I'd quit missing them.)

He doesn't get up. A black and white cat is cozied up in his lap - a situation that seems to confound him. "Why does your cat want to sit on me?" he asks daughter.

"I don't get why you can't just put her on the floor if you don't like it."

"But she looks comfortable." I have to laugh. Big softie.

We chat and watch football for awhile. My alma mater is getting a thorough public flogging. Lovely. He pops in the movie. Dang, those are raunchy movies! But effing hysterical, too. We seem to have a wide variety of cinematic tastes we can share.

Usually, when I'm at his house, the first time he heads for the kitchen, the conversations goes like:
"Can I get you something to drink?"
"Sure, what do you have?"
"Coke, Diet Coke, Sierra Mist...."
"Diet Coke, please."
"With ice?"

I haven't mentioned it before, but New Fella has a daily ritual of getting a HUGE fountain drink cup of half Coca Cola and half Diet Coca Cola. Yesterday, he had two of these cups sitting on the kitchen counter, fairly full. As the movie starts, he goes to the kitchen, grabs a glass, adds ice, picks up the cup, and fills the glass from it. Then hands it to me with a smile. No need to ask anymore, it seems. And he filled it from his own cup.

Before movie 2, New Fella starts rumbling around the kitchen for dinner. I head to the restroom, but let my hand trail across his back as I pass. Didn't miss that one! He doesn't really react, that I can see, though.

He has to run to the store, so I stay and visit with daughter. We laugh a lot. She shows me a picture of her grandparents on their honeymoon. It's so sweet. Then, she shows me a picture of her parents - their engagement photo. She says her dad hates that she has it in a frame. Even in the black and white photo, his eyes are piercing. He has long hair and a ridiculous mustache. It's about 1977. When I was nine.

His ex-wife is pretty. I comment on this to daughter. "Yes, my mother is gorgeous," she says. And she tells me a story of her own now-ex mistaking a younger picture of her mother as her. Daughter and I get along famously, but I do wonder exactly why she decided to show me that picture.

When New Fella is back, I get to help with some of the cooking again. I love that. It's fajitas and he makes them a little on the spicy side. Yum! This guy is such an amazing cook! While slicing peppers, he accidentally stabs one of the fountain drink cups. "It's bleeding!" he says, to get daughter to clean it up. She's busy, so I reach in and cover the wound with my finger, taking the cup away to the sink. He has me pour it into the other cup instead.

And I learned something else about him. He throws nothing away. The cupboards have stacks of sour cream containers and empty cranberry juice bottles. All washed and waiting for a new purpose. Drives daughter nutsy.

Son and his girlfriend come in when movie 2 was almost over. Son is very friendly and sweet to me, like before the trouble. I'm relieved at that. They cozy up on the couch at the far end of the room to watch. At some of the raunchy parts, son shoots a glance at me, like he's not sure about how I'm reacting to such overtly sexual references with everyone there. I'm laughing, though, so he relaxes.

At the end of movie 2, I stand up to stretch. New Fella has movie 3 in his hand. "What's wrong? You don't have a third movie in you?" He's thinking I'm making moves to leave. I reassure him otherwise. I'll make a third movie just fine.

The end of the movie 3 was when things got....silly. It started with girlfriend and daughter cracking each other up. That uncontrolled giggle-laughter that people get when they're too tired and something just a little too silly happens. Tickles the funny bone, and won't stop. This is apparently something that happens with fair regularity! They are trying very hard to contain themselves, unsuccessfully.

And it makes me laugh.

Girlfriend notices and points to me. "Oh! We got [Blogget], too!" I just can't help it. Son looks astonished a blurts out, "They've infected you, too?" I gain my composure and say, "I'm sorry. It just spread."

Girlfriend started needling New Fella. "Come on," she's pointing at him. "You want to smile, too. You want to laugh." He's stoic. "I think I see it! Come on!" And he busts, too. Laughing, I reach over and touch his arm. No reaction, but he keeps laughing.

I stand and begin to make motions towards leaving. It's late and time to go home. Son looks at his sister and girlfriend as they try to compose themselves. He puts an arm around me. "This is so sad. My sister has corrupted her!"

"Tragic," I say.

He keeps shaking his head as he says, "You don't really care. You're one of them, aren't you?"

"Uhm...yes," I say, and send them into all new laughter.

Girlfriend walks past me and does a double-take, sniffing at me. "You smell good. What perfume do you wear?"

I tell her and she sniffs again. Son comes up and sniffs. "I don't smell anything," he says. "Where do you wear it?" He points at his wrist, which is the most likely spot he can think of.

"Back of neck," I say. "Where my hair can catch it."

He doesn't hesitate and actually sniffs the back of my neck. New Fella is watching this with a look of utter consternation.

Son says, "It's okay," and shrugs. Girlfriend gapes at him, and laughs. Now, I have a look of consternation. New Fella just covers his face and laughs.

"Oh what the ladies man you are," daughter says.

Son realizes his mistake and starts apologizing. "No, it's good! It's just....maybe I just couldn't smell it...." Oh lord, it's getting worse.

I turn to girlfriend. "I guess this means this isn't a perfume you should pick up." Son gives me a hug, again, and I head for the door. I wave at daughter.

"Bye Stinky," she says, laughing still.

At my car, New Fella apologizes for a "boring day." He always does this when we've been hanging out at his place. I shake my head. It's not boring. It's nice, I tell him. And tonight was a lot of fun. He's happy I've seen all those movies now.

A long, sweet, passionate kiss, that melts my toes. I think he disappeared to use mouthwash when we were sorting out the perfume thing. He asks what I have going on the next day. Tells me he's going to spend the day baking cheesecake (which is to die for, by all reports), for his mother's birthday and for someone at work. A short kiss, and "I'll see you tomorrow."

I'm fairly sure he meant "talk" tomorrow, though. But we know how well that goes....

So, that's a long story, for a pretty tame day. I think it was nice, though. I'm still kicking myself for some big missed opportunities, but trying to relax and make them not so big.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I had a good hair day

And I'll be damned if it's going to waste.

Things with New Fella have been weird all week. Not calling when he says he will, but calling and texting when I don't expect it. Especially the texting. That's new for him. He's been particularly exhausted this week. He started off tired because of the trip and watching baseball. Plus, basketball practices have started and it puts him in pain. The surface they use tears up his knees and ankles. He loves the game, though, and loves being with the kids.

I don't know if it's the exhaustion talking, but his tone has been flat with me all week. He hasn't seemed particularly glad about talking to me. Our conversations have been short and dominated by how tired he is and things that have pissed him off. Not especially pleasant. If you know me at all, you know that drives me wonky, wondering what's happening. Is it the exhaustion? Or is it me?

New Fella called me early this morning. We talked about many things that are on his mind. It's a teacher workday, so no kiddos and he can leave at a normal time. It dawns on me later that it means he's back in town early tonight. Like dinner-time early. We could have dinner tonight.

And most importantly, of course, is the fact that I'm having a Great Hair Day. Red-gold curls, falling long and perfect over my shoulders, with my new sexy-but-not-too-sexy-for-work black blouse. I'm having a gorgeous day, and I don't mind saying so because it doesn't happen that often. If he says no, then I'm calling my lesbian friend to go out to man-bash, and looking gorgeous while doing it.

So, later in the morning, I text him. "Hey, want to grab a bite to eat tonight? Maybe 5:30 or 6:00? My treat since I'm doing the asking." He doesn't like to let me do that, but it's bad form to ask a man to dinner and expect him to pay for it.

No answer. That's okay. He probably can't answer until their lunch break, anyhow.

But still no answer. FOUR HOURS later, still no answer.

So, I followed up, thinking I've stuck my foot in it but good. "...if you feel like it, I mean. Just felt like seeing you and it's not often you're around early. Was just an idea...."

That's way bad, isn't it? I know it. I knew it when I sent it. Pathetic weenie, I tell ya. But a pathetic weenie with good hair today.

I go about my business, thinking I'm having dinner at home or with a lesbian. Thinking I talk to him too much.

Two hours after my second message, he calls me. He's almost back to our town. His tone is light. His mood is light. Yes, dinner sounds good, and he sounds happy about it. We arrange to meet for dinner, at his favorite Mexican food place.

Conversation flows well. He's nursing a margarita. We talk a little about their plans for San Diego, which won't happen for another month or so. Maybe Thanksgiving or Christmas. You all are here for Christmas, I ask. Yes, they are. I tell him I will be in scenic Lubbock, Texas, by myself in a hotel. See, it's my ex's year with my kids for Christmas, but my daughter is petrified of being stranded there with her bitch stepmother, who has already expressed that she harbors "bad feelings" towards my daughter.

So, for my daughter's sake, I'm staying nearby to give her an out, should she need to get away. My ex hates it. "You will not interrupt MY time with the kids!" Sure, as long as your effing wife leaves my child alone.

With a mouthful of chips and salsa, New Fella regards me for a moment. "You're a good mother," he finally says. I look a little sheepish for a moment and say, "Yeah? Thanks."

We talk more about our kids, what's happening with them, about exes and former in-laws. He starts talking about his former brother-in-law and his failed college career. "He double majored in Photography and Radio Communications," New Fella explains. "He wanted to take pictures and be a DJ. How do you flunk out of that? I mean, he was passionate and good at both. How do you flunk out of that?"

He starts laughing and says, "That would be like me flunking out of Coaching 101 and .... and ...." he's searching here, for another topic he's "passionate" about, and finds it, "....and Hands-On Sex!"

Oh yeah?? Well, he certainly got my attention. Was it the margarita talking? Or the "cozy in bed" comment I made the day before?

He resisted slightly to giving me the check. "Hand it over," I insisted and he eventually did. We walked to our cars, which were parked beside each other. He put his leftovers in his car and shut the door, leaning back on it to look at the stars. Too much light, we agreed, standing close and gazing at the sky. The view is better from our neighborhoods, where there are few streetlights. Hey, maybe I can manage a little star-gazing getaway over the weekend. An idea to pocket for later.

He kissed me like he hasn't in weeks. Long, sweet, passionate...lingering, stroking my back. It's 40 degrees outside, but I'm a furnace.

"I'll call you when I'm on the way home tomorrow night," he says. "We can plan on doing something Saturday. Okay?"

Another, shorter, sweet kiss goodnight. And Blogget is a happy girl again. With a good payoff for good hair.

Join me for a flashback?

Won't you? I'm a silly schoolgirl, but it's what I've been thinking about this morning.

I don't think I ever wrote about my first date with New Fella, other than it being a blind date. When he'd first called me to chat and set up the date, I was in my pajamas, still in bed on a Saturday morning. I was madly trying to finish Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before my friend in Texas did. And I told him so. He was running Saturday errands. We agreed on dinner the following Friday.

I arrived early, and he was a little late. His hair was grayer than I expected. The mustache in the picture I saw was now a beard. His eyes, though, were just as kind as I thought they were in the picture. A captivating green, with an easy smile.

The restaurant was one of the nicer ones here. An Italian place, with white table cloths and attentive wait staff. He ordered a Tom Collins, and the waitress said, "Good choice," and scurried away. We talked about our children, our families, the joys of moving, and eventually about dealing with our exes. We covered what happened in our marriages and how we knew it was over. I learned that he loved to cook and would be catering his mother's bridge party on Sunday. Apparently, a BIG bridge party.

We were at that table for over two hours. The waitress quit refilling our water glasses, to urge us to leave. We left a tip to compensate her for the extra time, though.

He'd promised his son they'd go to a movie, and we hadn't planned on anything but dinner. So, he walked me to my car.

"So, do you want to get together again sometime?" Yes, I agreed. That would be nice.

He gave me that now-infamous hug goodbye. I was a little relieved that he hadn't gone for more, but puzzled by it. Did it mean he wasn't attracted to me? That was okay because I wasn't sure about him yet. Could I fall for him? Not sure. I decided I'd wait to see if he called again.

I'd worn my favorite shirt for the date. It was a lovely aqua color and soft and comfortable. I got home and hung it back up. I'd been in it a couple of hours and could happily wear it the next day, and no one would know I'd worn it the night before. I love that shirt.

The following day was filled with routine tasks. Got up late. Told my mom I'd help her with shopping at Sam's Club. I didn't fuss with much makeup, although I had to put on a minimum of makeup (foundation, mascara) to appease my mother. Left to my own, I would have skipped it. Who's going to see me and would care, anyhow? I have pretty good skin. But Mom is from a generation that wore Sunday best to take a flight. And I just didn't want to hear about it.

Eventually, I slip into my favorite shirt and we head out. Daughter, Mom, and I and an exciting day at the crowded price club. Yippee skippee.

As we're winding our way through the crowds near the meat counter, I catch a glimpse of something. I double-take, but it's gone. I must like this new guy because I'm starting to think I see him all over the place.

On to the bread. Picking out what we need and there's that glimpse again. When I look this time, the person is leaning to get something. Can't see their face, or even a profile.... Maybe....

At the checkout, we find a long line. Mom has forgotten something important, too. Okay, I'll rush off to the other end of the store, hell bent for leather, and grab it before our turn comes. Right. Off I go.

I round the corner and...there he is. I stop and smile. He's on the phone, and looking down. I watch his gaze come up and rest on my face. Focus. I see the recognition dawn and he blinks in surprise, then smiles. Holds up a hand for me to wait while he's on the phone. I mouth, "I'll be right back," and he nods.

I take off again on my errand, rushing back. He's two lines over from my mother and spots me. I deliver her item to the basket and say I'll be right back. She's puzzled. "Remember the guy I met last night? He's right there." I'd told her before that he was older than me, but not exactly how much older. She's looking to see if she can tell, I'm sure. Stop it!

I go to chat with him. He's cheating and buying the cheesecakes for the party instead of making them. He tells me those bridge ladies get vicious in the food line, so you have to be sure there's plenty to go around. We laugh a lot, then I go back to help Mom.

"He looks very nice," she says. "I can't tell how old he is, though. Maybe late 40s?" Close enough.

It dawns on me later that I was wearing little makeup and the same short he'd seen on me the night before. Oh great googly moogly, I must look like a right bum. I said so later, but he very kindly said he hadn't noticed it. Nice of him.

That was the weekend of August 10. Nearly ten weeks ago.

Now, I know I could fall for him, and I have to be careful. Now, I can get hurt. Now, I'm hoping for it to work out.

Stay tuned.... I know I will.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I doubt he knows....

....how much the little things he does make a difference to me. As I've said before, he's retraining me to understand that a guy can be honest and upfront, and not have anything hidden. In my past, many men have been deceitful and dishonest. Not answering the phone during prime calling time meant there was something to hide. I'm unlearning that.

New Fella is very "what you see is what you get." In the discussion I witnessed with son and his girlfriend, New Fella made reference to having been someone who lied in the past, and that he just won't do it for anyone, for any reason, anymore. I think about that when I start getting insecure and paranoid about little things. Like him not calling, or not returning messages, or not answering his phone.

I was worried about him last night. We had a front blow in, with high winds. The road he travels home is considered the most dangerous in the state because of the number of accidents each year. It's a winding road, traveled heavily by large trucks. Wind makes it very difficult to navigate. And he is very tired at the end of the day right now, after basketball practice. And he's in pain, from arthritis in his knees and ankles that's aggravated by the playing surface.

When it was almost time for him to be on the road, I sent a text. "Looks like nasty winds up there. Please be careful on the road home. Talk later." I finally called at 8:00. No answer. I left a message. Once I leave a message, I'm not calling again. I won't be that pesky call-call-call kind of girl!

When I went to bed at 10:30, without a call, I was a little disheartened and worried. I'm trying to fight the disheartened part, but I'm still breaking this old habit. But the worry was still there. Deep down, I was still hoping for a call in the morning, like he'd done last week. I know that I won't hear from him after 7:30 in the morning, though, once he's at work.

7:30 came and went. Other calls and emails came in at work, and I didn't think about it for a little while.

7:45 my texting goes off. I check it while on the phone with our helpdesk people.

"U up?"

It felt good to laugh. It's almost 8:00. Of course, I'm up! Why would he ask that? Unless....

My cell phone rings. It's New Fella's ringer. I tell helpdesk I'll call them back.

Guess who overslept?

"Dammit! I'm so tired!" he yawns. "I could not get out of bed this morning! Should have called in sick and stayed in bed. It's cold and rainy up here. Probably going to turn to snow. Crap."

His phone signal starts breaking up, but I catch snippets of "Sorry I didn't call last night...." I don't get the rest.

The signal is back in time for me to hear him yawn again. "How was your night?" I tell him that sleeping with the window open at my house (which overlooks a park and is close to "the country") has it's hazards. Namely, last night, something close by got sprayed by a skunk. And the smell drifted into my room. He laughs. "Poor girl," he says.

He gets to work and we get off the phone. Poor fella.

I decide to respond to his text. "Yes, I was up! Take [daughter] to school @ 7:30. Sorry so tired :( It'd be a good play-hooky, cozy-in-bed day.... Take care. Hope to talk later. ....[Blogget]"

It's a warm fuzzy kind of day for me, as it is....no matter what the weather is doing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

For those keeping score....

....I have two points to cover.

First -- do the Rockies ROCK or what?!?! The game started late (for me) last night and I knew I wouldn't make it to midnight. I echoed New Fella's sentiments -- they'd better got 7 or 8 runs on the board early on so I can go to bed! Well, 6 runs in the 4th inning was good enough for me!

Second -- yes, that means I talked to him last night. Did he call? No. I wasn't taking any chances with a Rockies game starting at 8:15 MST. I called at 7:30, while he was still on the road back from work.

Good conversation, about his basketball season starting, what I did all weekend, when he'll see his younger son again, the Rockies, and Iraq. He told me he loves coaching football, but basketball is (in his words) "my game." Except that the floor makes his knees hurt. He should see his son again at Christmas time. I already mentioned the Rockies -- dang, what a series to watch! And Iraq....

This is a tough subject. Anything close to political is. New Fella and I already discovered, much to our mutual relief, that we are perfectly aligned politically. And it's a hard match-up to find in this area, which tends to be quite liberal. But we also are not fond of talking politics, so we don't.

However, his former son-in-law (who had been a athlete he coached when the boy was in high school) is still close to their family. He's married again, but keeps in touch with daughter. Personally, if he'd done to me what he did to her, I'd never speak to him again. But I think she feels somewhat responsible, so they are very amicable. No kids involved.

Anywho.... FSIL is a Marine. They just learned he's been severely wounded in Iraq. He's on his way back, to the hospital at Camp Pendleton. His injuries are not life-threatening, but his spirits are very poor. He blames himself. "If I'd done my job better, then this wouldn't have happened." He doesn't want the Purple Heart he's been issued. New Fella is saying that he'll take it and keep it safe, in case FSIL ever changes his mind. He and daughter are also talking about taking a trip out there to see him. New Fella apparently has a knack for saying what this kid needs to hear, when he needs to hear it. He wants to make a difference.

"Just let anyone say a word cross-ways to me about the troops in Iraq right now," he said, "and I'll rip them a new one." Fiercely protective of home and family, this one.

I have to be in Utah during the first weekend in November. It might be a good time for them to go, too. We'll see.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fall, she has arrived

Just a few snaps of the fall colors arriving in my neighborhood. It's a beautiful time of year!

On my street:

Close to my street:

And this you can compare to the previous post with a pic of this view. This is from my balcony:

Okay, I'm a pathetic weenie

So, the "Crap Weekend" post revealed my not-so-pretty obsessively panicky side. Again. I could delete it, but that would be dishonest.... I'm a ball of insecurities that I manage to conceal to the world at large, to appear as a kick-ass college admin, so that I can spill it all over the floor and walls of my blog, for all of my diary pals to tiptoe through.

I sent that one pathetic text when New Fella was leaving town. I sent another yesterday, when he was probably on the road, telling him to be safe and that my home phone is working again. See, my cell has been crapping out only when I'm at home, and my home phone broke. But that's another rant (moral of the story: Sprint SUCKS).

He's said he'd call Sunday night, when they got back. I think he forgot that Game 3 of the NLCS was on. The man doesn't talk during a Broncos game or a Rockies game (which I can totally understand). So, the game is over about 10:00, but he usually crashes on a work night by 9:30. Add to that the fact that he's bad about calling in the first place. Not a pretty picture for the Blogget-girl, is it?

As I write that, it all looks really reasonable as to why he didn't call. So, I was hoping for another early-morning call, like last week. No. My phone was silent. Except for Old BF, who still calls multiple times a day (yet another story).

I'm at work, trying to concentrate on this presentation I have to give in Utah in November. You know my obsessive nature by now. Can you imagine the scenarios running through me head? I'm thinking of all the things I'll miss about him and that will remind me of him once he's dumped me. If I ever talk to him again. Maybe he'll do like the last one and start ignoring me. I don't deal well with being ignored. How will I contain that? What mental gymnastics do I need to do so that this pain isn't so bad? I hate being someone guys can so easily forget about. Why is GOD doing this to me again??

It's a spiraling train to Hell, I tell ya.

Just then, my phone goes off. It's the lightsaber sound, which means a text. Has to be my son, since he's text-addicted and messages me all the time. I know he has homework he ignored, so what can it be now?

I brace myself and flip open the phone, to see the "missed" list.

The name staring back at me is New Fella's.

He texted me. He actually texted me. You see, I recently had a conversation with his daughter in which we surmised he didn't know how to use texting. He read texts, but called to answer them. One weekend with his 15-year-old son, and he texts me.

"Hey, thanks 4 the notes. trip was good but hectic. talk 2 you 2 night."

I feel much better now.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Helping me to smile

On a day when I don't feeling much like smiling, I think I'll take a moment to think about that simple act, and it's significance.

Darling Darth Sardonic has kindly seen fit to name me in his blog as a "worthy recipient" of the "Blogs That Make Me Smile" award. Thank you so much! It makes me glad to know I can bring a little brightness to a day, now and again. Darth is passing along the kindness someone else showed him, so I'm following suit. It's a good time to think about who makes me smile here. There's a long list and I appreciate each and every one of you!

First kudos go back to Darth, who understands that the ability to bring a smile to someone else's day is a gift to not be taken lightly. Next is Hor-gal, whose words of encouragement and enthusiasm ("EEEEEE!!") and ballsy blog about all things sexual brings me a smile and out-loud laugh most days. And Krissie who is so willing to be open and honest about her thoughts and feelings, both the pretty and the unpretty. Sgt Redline whose personal tidbits are as interesting and entertaining as the odd news items he finds to post. To dear Driving who spills the good, bad, and ugly of stay-at-home mom-hood, and reminds me so much of those days in my own life. And Ellen whose love of books made me feel....well, not as weird as my mother says I am!

I have many others I'm starting to read, but I'm still getting to know you. I hope you're not offended to not be in this initial list, but know I'm visiting frequently even if I'm not commenting much. I'll comment more as I learn more about you and what you write about. Keep reading me, too, and maybe we can make the smile factor mutual!

Okay, so maybe I'm smiling a little more now than I was when I started. Thanks ;o)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Crap weekend

New Fella and I chatted tonight about what complete ASS I KICKED in my meeting with the Nursing School people today. It was nice that he cared! His tone sounded odd through the whole conversation, though. So, I finally asked if he was okay. Sure, he said, just tired.

A few minutes later, he said, "Uhm, I won't be around this weekend. I'm going to go to Denver with [daughter]. She has her reunion thing and I'm going to go see [son #2]. We'll probably come back Sunday, so I'll call you then."

Now, understand that I don't begrudge him going to see his son. Quite the opposite. I'd be concerned if he didn't want to go see him. And it'll be his last chance to go until after Thanksgiving. He should go. He should spend some time with him.

But my heart sinks, too. I think I've been a little boring lately, to be honest. I think I've missed too many chances to be demonstrative because of daughter being around. I'd hoped to talk to him a little about these things, or maybe even be more demonstrative despite daughter's presence, this weekend. But that opportunity isn't going to come.

And now I'm afraid he'll go, come back, and realize.....hey, I didn't miss her.

Reasonable or not, that's the thought that will pre-occupy me for the next three days.

UPDATE 10-13-07, 8:55 PM: So far, not so good. I'd hoped the text I sent him would prompt a call, even if it was just a "Hey, I'm leaving and thought I'd call before we got on the road." And maybe, just maybe, he'd want me to know he would miss me, too.... But I guess not. I know he said he'd call on Sunday, but my what is sniggling in my brain is that if he missed me and thought of me, he'd just give me a little call. But I guess not.

Things are not looking at all good.

You'll find this hard to believe....

....but I can write killer letters. I know, I know...the idea that I could write to someone at length is a stretch (is the sarcasm coming through?), but it happens. It sometimes happens when I'm really pleased with something, but more likely when I'm really pissed about something.

The blood of my Irish-Scottish-German-Viking ancestors runs hot. What can I say?

The family crest of the Celts in my bloodline actually has a dismembered head on a sword on it, with blood dripping from it. It's that way because someone got pissed. And they apparently gave him a castle for it.

So, not only do I carry the blood of those who would cut people's heads off, but they also got a big payoff for it. Hey, early Celt hitmen. Hadn't thought about it like that. Those who piss me off should be thankful that I just write letters.

Dang, my ex is really lucky the worst I did was not give him a blowjob for five years.

Wow, and this isn't even the point of this post. If there were any doubts that I could write a lengthy letter....well....just look at my post history. And suffice it to say, it's been an irritant to many guys I've been with.


Last night, I'm visiting with New Fella and he's piiiissssed. He was trying to save a fellow teacher at the far-away school a 160-mile-round-trip drive to our town to pick up a tux for her child to wear in a wedding this weekend. He gets to Men's Wearhouse, where she had pre-arranged to pick up the tux a day early than their usual delivery date. They didn't have it ready.

"I'm sorry, our policy is to have it two days before the event."
"Yeah, that's why she arranged it with you all to pick it up a day early. She has to travel with it."
"I'm sorry, our policy is to have it two days before the event."
"But she talked to you about getting it sooner and your manager said it would be here."
"I'm sorry, our policy is to have it two days before the event."

He's pissed. So, guess what he did about it?

He wrote a letter.

In his words, a "scathing" letter.

He actually gets my letter-writing tendencies! He does it, too! And he told me about the letter. It's exactly what I would have said in the same situation. Hahaha!

So, I said, "Wait...you're telling me you're a letter-writer?"

"You bet I am! If I'm unhappy, they'll hear about it!"

I laughed, which seemed to confuse him, until I said, "Good Lord, me too!"

He wasn't pissed for much longer. His son was in the car with him while we were talking on the phone. The last few times I've seen son was during tense family situations, so I've not been sure how much he really wants to talk to me. But he participated in the conversation, too, by hollering over his dad. All of us ended up laughing all the way through them picking up dinner and heading home.

I also told him about the situation with my daughter and the kids calling our house. Being a teacher of 8th grade boys, he had lots of good advice on handling the situation. He felt very useful, which he seems to really like.

So, for something that started about my temper, it ends with Snoopy's happy dance.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bad pickles just get more rotten with time

Many of my current beloved readers probably either haven't read or don't remember my posts from 2005 and 2006. To fully appreciate what I'm about to blog, you'll want to time travel back to two posts from then. (Scroll down this page until you see blog titles on the left. Click on 2005, and look for "Well, Here's a Fine Pickle" from 12/15/05. Then, go to 2006, and look for "Revisiting the Fine Pickle" from 2/23/06.)

I'll wait while you catch up.....almost done? Okie dokie.

Guess who is back? Yep. Mr.

I forgot to follow up on the old post, that he'd emailed my alter-ego (the one who stood him up) and said he'd realized he had a lot to lose at home and was stopping the nonsense. Forever.

Fast forward to last night. He IMed me out of the blue. He recognized my ID (real, not the alter ego) and saw I had moved. I asked how he'd been and he said he'd send some pics. Boy, howdy, did he.

He's apparently doing fine. All over his house. His family's house. With many women. At once.

But the pictures also show his kind and considerate side. He covered his wife's sofa (the one with the handmade afghan on it) and bed with towels before fucking lots of other women on them.

He sent me ELEVEN pictures of this.

I still have her email address. I forwarded it all to her.

I really don't have words bad enough to describe what a scumbag this man is.

Here, There, and Everywhere (again)

I'm learning....

....a lot from my boss. You've heard me rant before about our IT folks and how difficult they are to work with. The head of that department is on the same hierarchal level as my boss. I hold a meeting between our department (population 2) and the key IT people, twice a month. This is when we try to extract the information we need to keep things running, from these folks who guard it as though it were the location of Jimmy Hoffa's bones.

So, today, I watched my boss go head-to-head with this man today. Very interesting. He kept it quiet. When the guy raised his voice, my boss lowered his and made a subtle gesture with his hand to keep it down while he kept talking. He would let the man speak, then say, "I really appreciate you saying that," or "I understand where you're coming from on that." Then, he would present his argument. And best of all, when the man was being overly argumentative and stubborn, my boss would say, "I think we need to take a step back because now we're both being difficult." HE hadn't been, but saying this kept the man from feeling accused. And they'd take a step back. Excellent.

I think I can use this when I'm dealing with the 16-yr-old in my house. Sure can't hurt....

8th Grade boys....

suck. My daughter is a percussionist. She has a percussion practice set that she keeps in a zipped case in the band hall at school. It's impossible to haul the thing back and forth from school, and they don't have any lockers in the band hall. So, instruments are kept in cubbyholes.

Now, I warned her repeatedly that leaving the drumstick case there isn't a great idea. It can fit in her backpack, and it holds not only her plain hickory sticks, but some collectible ones as well. But I'm Mommy and that synonymous with "has no clue" in a 12-yr-old's world.

You see where this is going, don't you?

Her sticks are missing. All of them.

She found her bag dumped out and some sticks missing on Monday. She told the teacher and used some other sticks that were in the band hall. The next day, ALL of her sticks are missing. She's in tears. Wait, I said that wrong. She's in TEARS. Even that's insufficient to describe the waterworks we're experiencing at home.

I'm resisting the "I told you so" impulse. She knows. She regrets. She's remorseful. She's in mourning.

However, yesterday afternoon, we get two messages on our answering machine. The first one is from a boy who is YELLING about my little darling stealing his drumsticks (apparently, the pair she found, used, and left in the band hall). So, he says he took hers because she (and I quote) "pissed [him] off by fucking with [his] sticks!" The second message is a softer voice, giving a name and apologizing, saying the other message was a prank and ignore it.

This morning, after we left for school (and before school started), another message was left by the first voice, saying she'd messed with his sticks again. (How this happened between closing of school and before it opened is beyond me).

I started making calls last night. Band teacher. School counselor. Principal. They've all now heard the messages. It's been determined that the voices do not belong to the kid named, but to two other 8th grade boys.....who happen to pick on this other kid mercilessly. Now, they've involved my daughter in this kid's problems.


Now, I'm not saying 8th grade girls are angels. They're just a whole other brand of mean.

I'm a techno-junkie geek

I have a new toy. I finally got paid for all the extra work I have done for Old Boss. So, I got a treat, Blogget-style. (and I apologize for the bad camera phone pic)

A new iPod Nano with video. I just about can't stand myself, I'm so tickled! What a dork, eh?

And this dork is a little pissed. I can't find ANY accessories for the thing, like cases and crap like that! The stores stock the gadget, but not all the nifties to go with it! SUPER ugh!!

Someone dropped the ball. All over the country, there are geeks like me standing aghast in the stores, money in-hand, lower lip quivering, saying, "What? No cases? You don't have cases? I have money! And you don't even have silicon color-coordinated earbud covers!"

Fine. Ugh.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Look at this photograph....

I've been collecting pictures from this area and thought I'd finally do something with them. So, here's a few images (some good quality and some really bad) about why I love where I live. This has been a great move.

This is where I work:

This is the view near my house (springtime view of the Colorado National Monument):

This is springtime where I USED to live:

Here, R2D2 hangs out downtown:

And so does a dinosaur. I found it hiding under a tree. (This van actually has the triceratops horns on the front, over the roof, and a tail down the back.):

My pictures from the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival didn't come out. So, you'll just have to imagine the lead singer of a classic rock cover band, in his white shirt and flouncy red blouse (who hit on the ladies a LOT). And the little old lady in the chicken-head hat, doing the Chicken Dance (it was a contest). Expect some pictures next year, though!

The days are turning cooler and the evenings are getting cold. My back porch faces the Bookcliffs, which look spectacular in the sunset (below, from my camera phone). I watch the darkness move in and count my blessings.

Now playing: Nickelback - Photograph
via FoxyTunes

Monday, October 08, 2007

Poor not-so-little kitty

Old BF had two cats. He was silly about them. They were his babies. Both were strays, both rescued on rainy, stormy nights.

The second one was captured among the carts in the Wal-Mart cart corral. She was tiny, and the guy who found her left her on old BF's doorstep, right in the middle of our argument about him actually cheating on me and sleeping with his neighbor. After nursing her to health, he actually gave her to the neighbor. She gave her a stupid name and mistreated her, so he took her back. Yeah, that woman was a gem....

Anywho, he renamed her. Now, if anyone out there knows Irish Gaelic, you know what an impossible language it can be, especially for spelling. So, he had some fun with her name and gave it a Gaelic spelling. I actually can't type it here because there's characters in it that my computer won't do. Suffice it to say, her name was pronounced Maggie.

Maggie immediately started gaining weight. Pretty soon, she was a Fat-Kitty. She didn't eat a whole lot, but she was rotund for some reason. Her "sister" kitty would jump up on a favorite stool and perch there to have a visit with you. Maggie tried it and took the whole damn stool down. Here's a snap of her playing on the stairway.

She also liked to hide in the couch. If she happened to see you sitting on it, though, she brought a very concerned "meow" to your face. "Uhm....you're sitting in my hidey-hole." She also really hated it when people closed the bathroom door. You'd see her paws swiping underneath it at you, like "Open up!"

When I'd arrive at the apartment, I'd holler "Maggie-May!" and I'd hear her coming to greet me. "Meow! Meow!" It was sweet. Especially from a cat so territorial as Maggie. Feline guests were not welcome. She didn't even like it when they hung out at their own houses; she'd hiss and growl when she saw them in their own windows.

That's actually one of the hard parts about not being with old BF. I miss "the girls." I loved them. And they loved me. I'd been around their whole lives.

But Maggie's story is now told. She passed on this morning, at the ripe old age of four.

Old BF's move to Dallas was too much for her, aggravating a condition that was probably already there. She'd been hiding under beds and not eating. She'd gotten thin. She stopped purring on Saturday, so he took her to the doctor today. She was in acute liver failure. Her suffering is over. She died in his arms.

Goodbye, Miss Maggie-May. I love you and miss you, and will always remember.

I'm completely silly....

...like a school girl. I swear. If I haven't already, I'm bound to eventually make you nauseous with all the New Fella shit. So, go sip some Sprite because it's not going to stop for a loooong time!

Last night, he was supposed to call me back after they finished watching a movie ("1408," for anyone who cares). He never did. I know.....shocking. I was a little disappointed that we didn't have our usual Sunday evening how's-your-week-look check-in, but I'm a big girl and held it together nicely (no paranoia, thankyouverymuch!).

This morning, I had to run to Walmart before work. Heading in, I realized I left my phone in the car. I decided it could stay there because (1) I wouldn't be in long and (2) nobody calls me at 7:30 in the gosh-dog morning anyhow.

Except for today.

When I got back to the car, I had a voicemail. From New Fella.

I had to look twice and make sure I was reading it right. Maybe he'd called the night before and I was just now getting the message? My phone service at home has been stupid lately. And I mean STUPID. If I sit at my desk, I might get a signal. But if I don't tilt my chin up, no one can hear me. STUPID, I say.

ANYHOW, it wasn't from last night. It was from this morning. I was a little concerned because I never hear from him in the morning. I mean, never.

No need for concern. But it brought me a big smile.

"Hello. Good morning! How are you doing?" Okay, this part gets me for two reasons. First, he's stopped identifying himself. Second, he's asking my voicemail how I'm doing. Cracks me up.

"Just calling to say Hi, and apologize for not getting back to you last night. We watched the movie and then I had to clean things up and then it was pretty late." Okay, he's never explained why he didn't call before. In fact, I usually assume he doesn't even remember it. And silly boy doesn't know I was up until 1:30 this morning. That happens a lot.

"So, I just wanted to say Hi. So, I'll talk to you this afternoon. Or this evening. Have a good day, okay? Take care."

His voicemail-voice cracks me up, anyhow, because he really sounds like he's chatting with the voicemail, rambling and saying "ANYhow" a lot, and even sometimes yawning in the middle of it. Very funny.

But this brought me a different kind of smile because this just might mean he missed that conversation, too. And that he thought of me this morning. I often wonder if he does think of me during the day. I know....silly Blogget-girl. But I am a Girl. I wonder silly things sometimes.

I saved the voicemail. It will come in handy when I need a smile this week, while I'm kicking some Nursing School ass.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Eye of the storm

It was a calm Saturday. For a change. I'm thinking that's a good thing. In my life, I've learned to enjoy the mundane.

I was a little worried last night. I asked what New Fella had on tap for Saturday, and he said he hadn't thought about it yet. Hadn't thought about it. Oh, that felt good.

Thinking about it off the cuff, he listed a few errands for the morning, and I listed mine. Then, he remembered the Rockies game tonight. "So, we should do something early in the afternoon, instead of tomorrow night." In a nutshell, we need to wrap up before game time. I got that message and it was all right. This man is a big baseball and football fan. I love watching baseball and am learning to love watching football.

But New Fella has his game routine, and I'm NOT going to be one of those women who demands he change it. The last thing I want to be is a high-maintenance pain in the ass.

So, I get out and about early today. It's a glorious day here. Well, for me, it is. It's cold and rainy. I LOVE it. I told him I'd call after I'd taken care of the early errands. So, I did.

His sleepy voice answered. I rather like his sleepy voice.

"Oh no....did I wake you?"

"No, I was just laying here, kind of awake."

"You didn't get up early!"

"It's too cold to get out of bed," he laughed. "I like to sleep with my window open."

"So, do I. I like to sleep a little cold...."

"...me, too...."

"...Makes it cozy." And I make a note to myself. Compatible sleeping styles. Check.

He groans. "So, what do you have going on now," he asks. "Right now."

Crap. Crappitty crap crap. I can hear it plain as day. His voice has an unmistakable growl to it. This is his "come hither" tone. He's cozy in bed and just might be asking for some company.

And my stupid ass is committed to help my mother shop, in fifteen minutes.

No way out. And I tell him so. He sounds a little disappointed, but he never actually asked, did he? We make arrangements to meet for lunch.

Lunch is fun. It's a place I haven't been to before, where you combine your own ingredients and they cook it up for you. His daughter joins us for lunch. I love how it's now assumed that I take the spot beside him, whenever she joins us. It wasn't like that three weeks ago.

We get back to our table, with our steaming bowls of personalized concoctions. We're digging in and he says to daughter, "You want to try some of mine?" They like really hot flavors. I don't mind them, but I'm not sure he remembers that. So, he scoots his bowl across the table and she stabs a few things from it. It's apparently quite good.

The bowl comes back and he turns to me, "Want to try? It's pretty hot, though." Sounds good to me. My fork is poised, waiting for the bowl to be passed my way, but it's not. Instead, he fills his own fork with some tasty tidbits, and I realize...he wants to feed this taste to me himself. He's never done that before. It's always been "here's the plate - stab it yourself." It's a little thing, but it's sweet.

I reciprocated, when he looked into my bowl and said, "What do you have?" He laughed when I told him it was a much more mild mixture than what he made, but he took my offered bite and was complimentary.

He and daughter started discussing what they needed to do to prepare the Big Ol' Pot o' Chili for game-watching. I'm not part of the game watching, so my heart sank as it dawned on me that these were plans that didn't include me. So, as we left, I was a little surprised when he asked if I wanted to come shopping or go wait at his house for them. We went shopping.

New Fella loves Sam's Club. I gather that he always has, since its inception. So, we make our way through the crowds who have gone shopping instead of the various outdoor activities that were rained out today. At one point, a woman (with her family) said hello to him and they chatted for awhile. Daughter and I gathered that this was a fellow teacher at his school. When she walked away, he explained to us all about who she was. Note: neither of us were introduced to her. I picked up a vibe that this bothered daughter; she gave him a pinched look that brought nothing more than a bewildered "What?" from New Fella.

A little while later, I glanced up to see a coworker of mine right there. "Hello [Coworker]!" I said. And he said hello back, using my full first name. See, New Fella knows me by a shortened version of that name, a nickname. It occurred to me again that he might not actually know my full name, and I made note to remedy that later.

Anyhow, Coworker chatted about the weather and shopping, then I introduced New Fella and daughter to Coworker, by first names. I didn't attach "boyfriend" or "friend," just names, and told them I know Coworker from work. Chatted some more, and went our separate ways.

When I turned back, daughter was saying something quietly to New Fella, and her body language was very "so there!" And he was conceding something. With the immediate contrast in how we handled introductions, I can venture a guess as to the topic.

We returned to his house, and I helped put away the purchases. The thing is that it was all very natural and comfortable. He and I had a few minutes alone, while the preparing of the chili was underway. I actually helped with a little of the cooking. Now, cooking for and around people who really know cooking is nerve-racking. And he knows cooking. Very well. As I'm browning beef, I realize he's watching me cook. Now that I look back, I see missed opportunities to touch him, reciprocate the touches on my shoulder, back, that I've been receiving from him. But I don't know if "Cook Zone" is the same as "Coach Zone." But I see that I need to do something, and soon, I'm sure.

A few minutes later, I see the time and it's getting late. Close to game time. I need to vacate before asked to..... I mention that I have to go soon.

New Fella is chopping tomatoes. He stops dead. "What?! Why? Where?"

I laugh a little and explain about what I need to do.

"Are you coming back?" No, probably not, I say. I'm a little bewildered. Less than 24 hours after saying I shouldn't be there, he really wants me there.

"You'll miss my chili!" he says. He feeds me a taste of his chili. It's to die for! Dang! He laughed at my reaction, saying, "See? I told you I was good."

I refrained from a number of raunchy jokes, all aimed at the fact that I've not yet seen how good he really can be.....but daughter was present.

Again, mundane. But my life needs some mundane!

---------- OOPS UPDATE ----------

10-7-07: I forgot to say how I remedied the thing about my name! See, it's not really something you can come out and say, "Hey, listen, do you actually know who I am?" But my job actually helped with that this week. I FINALLY got business cards. So, as we're sitting around visiting Saturday afternoon, I said, "Oh, I nearly forgot!" and reached for my purse. I extracted my new business cards, saying, "Look! I'm official!" and gave him one of my new cards. He examined it for awhile and put it in his wallet. I felt clever :o)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Lesson #1....

....about dealing with the Blogget-girl is to never, ever order me to do something, unless you have the express authority to do so. To attempt to do this makes you (put bluntly) a fuckwit.

I also don't take challenges to my intelligence or abilities nicely. Old BF said, in our early days of dating, "I bet you don't even know how to make chocolate chip cookies." He thought it would make me prove him wrong.

My great-grandfather was a baker. He owned 18 bakeries, and worked in each one. He invented pre-mixed cake mix. I. Can. Make. Cookies. Dammit.

But not for old BF. Never for old BF. Fuckwit.

Stubborn much?

Today, a certain administrator in the School of Nursing here became a fuckwit.

Boys and girls, you cannot write a contract with an external company and include a clause in it that says, "And [Blogget] must help us complete this monstrous, pain-in-the-ass project...." without asking Blogget. Or Blogget's boss. We are not happy.

And we wouldn't have known about it if the people in Purchasing hadn't thought, "You know, I wonder if [Blogget] has heard about this?" before they paid the contract. Good thinkin' in that office.

They aren't fuckwits.

Rambling thoughts this morning

I'm loving the weather on the Western Slope. Fall arrives just when I'm sick of summer. I get sick of summer pretty early in the season. School starts and BAM! I'm done with heat. Old BF called the other day (oh yes, he is still dependent on what I think. What does that say?). He's in Dallas and it was 95 degrees and humid. The high here today is 70 degrees. Thunderstorms expected. The lows are in the 40s. We've actually used our wood-burning stove a couple of times. The mornings are glorious! Which makes my thoughts ramble -- as though you couldn't tell already -- as I sit here in my big office with my steaming cup of herbal tea (Tazo's Wild Sweet Orange. Yum!).

I've read a few blogs and comments today, which feeds my ramblings. Thank you, blog-pals! I've had cozy thoughts about New Fella. I probably won't talk to him tonight, as his game is 110 miles away. He'll probably stay with his friend (the one I wasn't introduced to) tonight in the town where he works, which is 80 miles away. There's no cell service at this man's house, in the mountains. And there's likely to be some celebrating with the team tonight. This is the last game of a perfect-record season. The closest game was a 16-point victory. If they win tonight, some small-town pizza joint is getting slammed with a very excited bunch of 8th-grade boys, and their coaches, teachers, and families.

New Fella has been a little cranky this week. It's an exhausting week for him. But I know he loves to be a smartass, so I let him hassle me about what I was cooking for dinner. It made us laugh, which was a good sound to hear.

We got talking about birthdays. I said something about how it kills me to hear the music of my high school years on the classic rock station. He pointed out that it's better than the rockers he listened to in high school...who are all dead. I thought a little bit about our age difference. It doesn't bother me. I think it bothers my mother, though. My folks were young when they had me. Heck, my birth made my grandmother a grandmother at 35. So, New Fella is actually a little closer to their age than mine. Twelve years older than me and nine years younger than them. He showed me some family pics a couple of weeks ago, and was kind of bashful about it. They were of his four-year-old grandson. His son, the troubled one, fathered this child when he was 18. He repeated a couple of times that this was his grandson. I think he expected it to bother me. It didn't. For Pete's sake, his oldest child is 28. Did he think it hadn't occurred to me that he was old enough to have a grandchild?

The other night, my son was asking about New Fella's kids. See, my kiddo has been proud of the fact that if you count up his half-siblings and step-siblings, he's oldest of seven kids. New Fella has three kids - 28, 23, and 15. My son was shocked, but not for the reason I thought. "Wait a minute!" he said. "If you marry this guy, I won't be the oldest anymore! Dangit!"

I had to laugh. He's getting waaaaaay ahead of me, but I love his priorities as far as judging if this would be a good or bad thing.

So. We're going on eight weeks of dating, as of Friday. Roughly two months. I read something that really made me think. A friend of mine back in Texas has been reading this new book about "catching" a man (she's a 38-year-old virgin), in which the author claims a man will wait to have sex with a woman if he's interested in her for the long term. That hasn't held true for the previous men I've had lengthy relationships with, but it could be holding true for New Fella. As was mentioned in Hor-gal's comments here, this is proving to be a good thing.

Mind you, we had those few, very passionate, minutes against the wall in his foyer that one afternoon that were enough to let us know that sex between us could be...well...spectacular. Just those few minutes left me trembling for hours. He said then that we needed "more time, to do this right." That time alone hasn't presented itself, but he let me know this isn't something he's taking lightly. Good. I'm not either.

And the things that have prevented that time alone have done more to add dimension and depth to our relationship than I think sex would. Like I said, I'm in uncharted waters for this Blogget-girl, with a man who does things in his own way. It seems to be my kneejerk reaction to rush, but that's a bad impulse that I'm fighting. So, I don't feel like I have a good grasp on when I might be pushing, when I don't mean to.

Okay, better stop rambling for awhile. Work has intruded on my blog-time, and someone has pissed me off. Maybe I'll blog about that later. ;o)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Those who don't listen....and those who do

I've resolved myself to the idea that some people are just not teachable, when it comes to cyberspace. Well, education in cyberspace. How ironic is that?

I work with higher education faculty, teaching them to teach online. I've seen a good deal of success in this field. One of the most technology-challenged professors here is now teaching totally online courses. It took some hand-holding, but then sweet success! I love it!

But it's hard to hold a hand when the arms are folded. That's what was staring across the desk at me today. Pinch-faced, arms tightly folded. This woman should not teach online, and I honest-to-God hope she feels the same way.

The moment I knew I could do nothing to improve this woman's experience or opinion came when she, her colleague, and I were sitting in my office. Her colleague and co-instructor was saying, "But this didn't happen because of the system....this is MY fault. I did it wrong." And she had. She was right. It was user-error and we all knew it. Except this woman. No matter what evidence is presented to her, she is going to insist to me and everyone else that the computer created a problem for her, all on its own and with malice in it's nasty little mainframe heart. And I'm fairly sure she hates me personally for it, too.

Ah well. To quote our IT admin on the topic: "Eff her. Bitch." It's been a lovely day all around. Made a little brighter by an elderly professor, who spent an hour in my office learning to put her PowerPoints online, when she said, "Dear, they don't pay you enough." Or give me enough days off. Please tell my boss.

A long-distance online friend of mine made me feel a little better about New Fella's mixed signals on Game Day. He asked how that day went, and I told him. Without missing a beat, he said, "He didn't know what to say about you. And he's their coach. Their undefeated coach. He can't risk the rumor mill in a small town until he knows what's what with you."

Hmm. Could be right. This was another guy's kneejerk reaction to the situation. Could it be right? He went on to explain that this was the wrong approach to take, that New Fella screwed up with that, but to let it just be a mistake and nothing more.

Could he be right? Anyone else have that impression?

Thanks for listening ;o)