Monday, December 29, 2008

Blasted by the past

I had the strangest emotional reaction today. I followed a link on Twitter that led be to a website where I saw a name I recognized. The name was the husband of woman I dated in college. So I decided to read what he wrote.

It was a poem. In it, he made a reference to sex. Of course I assumed the reference was to his wife. And what I felt shocked me. I felt a pang of jealousy.

How could that be? Of course this woman was very important to me back in college. She was, I now know, my first love. She was my first really serious relationship. But that was 20 years ago.

Why would I feel jealousy now, after all these years? I haven't even scene her in probably a dozen years. It didn't make sense.

But then, feelings don't subscribe to logic.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Think pink

The C-word. Cancer. It seems to be everywhere lately.

Someone very dear to me had surgery this week for breast cancer and I'm all out of sorts over it. If it's messing with my head this much, I can't even imagine how see is dealing with the stress and mental anguish of being the patient, let along coping with the physical assault on her body in the name of trying to get well.

I also recently learned that another dear friend has been undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. And another friend's spouse has been dealing with the same disease.

This seems like a time when I should have something profound and meaningful to say. But I'm just numb. I don't know anything appropriate to say to them or those close to them. I want them to be better. To feel better. And selfishly I want to know that they will be around for a long, long time for myself and those I care about who care about them.

My thoughts are also inevitably drawn to the cancers survivors -- and those who lost their fights -- among friends, family, former colleagues. I am reminded of their strength and spirit and appreciation for life.

Get better my friends. Some great people have blazed the trail you now tread.

Friday, May 02, 2008

What's wrong with this meter?

I found this meter on my friend 3T's blog, so I decided to check it out. She had this Cuss-O-Meter on her blog that showed an 18.2 percent swear rate on her blog, with the needle just about reaching the red. So, being the perverse fuck I am, I figured I needed to rate my blog. At times I pride myself on being a foul-mouthed son of a bitch, capable of swearing enough to make sailors, marines and every other branch of the military blush.

But when I tested my blog I Only got a 10.8 percent cuss rate.

There was some small consolation though. After testing the site, I was informed that this blog does have contain more cussing than 20 percent of the sites that took the rating test.

Fuckin' A! I'll take anything I can get. But I think I need to post more often and use a little more colorful language!

And if you don't agree, well, who the fuck cares!

Maybe I need to start blogging about the weather here in Western Oregon this so-called spring. That's enough to make me swear a blue streak. Brrrr-fucking-rrrrr!

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Price and value are not the same thing

I saw this March 3 Annie's Mailbox advice column today. I liked the advice Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar offered to "Perplexed in the Midwest," but people like "Perplexed" could use a little more information when choosing an engagement ring.

Perhaps it's not too romantic to think about the practical aspect of money when trying to buy a ring intended to tell the woman you love you want to spend the rest of your life with her. It's hard to put a price on that. But people need to know that jewelers do put a price on our sentiment and they inflate it far beyond its value.

That's where I take issue with Mitchell's and Sugar's advice to "Perplexed." They use the word "value" in their response. That's the wrong word. If you buy an engagement ring retail, whether it is diamond-jeweled or sports a simulated stone, the price you pay will only have a fractional relation to its financial value.

Depending on where you get your information, retail markup of jewelry, particularly in mall stores, is commonly 300 percent or more. I've written several posts on this blog (search engagement ring if you are curious) detailing the prolonged and financially frustrating process I went through to try to sell a ring a few years ago after a failed engagement. I'm not sure if I confessed that I got about one-fifth of the original price of the ring after it was sold on consignment.

So, if you are thinking of buying an engagement ring, don't be afraid to compare prices. You might also want to consider shopping at a store that specializes in estate or consignment jewelry.
Precious metals and jewels are expensive enough (have you seen the price of gold lately?). Do you really need to pay three, five, 10 times beyond what jewelry is really worth?

You can't put a price on love and no one who buys an engagement ring ever expects to have to recoup their costs. That's not what buying an engagement ring is about. But you don't have to pay hugely inflated markup for what will be an expensive purchase, no matter what. Making a smart purchasing choice will get you a far better value and leave more money in your pocket to start your life together on the best financial footing. It's hard to have happily ever after when you start off by pissing away, let's say, $5,000-plus for something that is really only worth about $1,000.

Mitchell and Sugar are right. A man shouldn't lie to his prospective bride about the type of stone in a ring. But prospective grooms shouldn't buy the lie that that ring in the shiny display case is really worth its obscenely bloated price tag. If she's worth spending 4 or 5 or 6 digits on, then shop around and get her 2 or 3 or 5 times the ring for the same price. You may find that cubic zirconium can transform into a diamond right in front of your wallet.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The longest goodbye

At various times, I've written posts lamenting the fact that so many people find this blog by doing searches looking for the answer to the question of how long it takes to get over someone. Frankly, I've been annoyed that this blog's Google image is that of a breakup blog. But maybe Google knows something that even I don't.

That's because here I am writing another breakup post.

Back shortly before I started this blog I had rekindled an online friendship with a woman I had met several years earlier. That relationship had suffered through a couple of prolonged separations, during which we both explored relationships in which we didn't need computers or cell phones to maintain contact.

After my failed engagement, I got back in touch with D. I felt I owed her an apology, because at one point my ex had used my online messenger account to reach out to D. The ex was extremely jealous and distrustful of my past, so she had initiated an online chat with D in and attempt to find out if I had been in touch with D since we started dating.

About a year later, after the breakup of the engagement, I realized that I had given up my friend for the sake of my relationship, but that relationship was dead and the ex was gone and I felt like I had betrayed my friend.

We started chatting again and eventually rekindled the friendship. In fact, D was a big factor in my recovery from the breakup of the failed engagement. She allowed me to talk about all the mixed emotions I was going through and gave me the benefit of her experiences with relationships. It was quite a while before felt emotionally ready to date again, but by the time I did I had realized that my feelings for D had evolved beyond friendship. And hers had too.

Unfortunately, we were still living a long distance apart.

We have had several failed attempts to get together. We seemed to be victims of bad timing. But six months ago an attempt to get together failed when D decided not to come for a visit at the last minute. For a while, it looked liked that would be the end. But we got past that, or seemed to, and talked through what happened. We talked daily and soon fell back into familiar habits. Our friendship had certainly survived, but our more intimate, romantic relationship had suffered some damage. How much we didn't know.

Meanwhile, pages on the calendar continued to turn. I lost patience and issued what D called an ultimatum. I bristled at calling it an ultimatum, but I would have to admit, that in the final analysis, that is exactly what it was. I put a time limit on us. In early January I gave us until the end of the month to set a date to meet and I have us until the end of February to meet.

That meeting was supposed to be this past weekend. And we didn't meet.

In the end, what happened and how isn't really the issue. But I made the decision to call off the meeting, knowing full well that it would put an end to a relationship that despite some extended breaks, dates back nine years.

You can only hold on to a dream so long. You can only survive on hope for so long. Eventually you need a hand to hold. To live a life together you have to be together.

I did what needed doing and we said our goodbyes as amicably as could be hoped, but I miss my friend and lover. I wish her happiness, health and most of all, I wish her love.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The old stuff never sounded so flat

I meant to post this days ago, but got sidetracked. I watched Garth Brooks' concert on Friday, Jan. 21, on CBS, which was part of one of 5 concerts he played over the weekend at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. As a long-time Garth Brooks fan, it pains me to say, but Brooks was not in prime form, or great voice. In fact, he was frequently off key.

I admire the fact that the so-called retired Brooks' put on the concerts to benefit Southern California's firefighters after last fall's devastating wildfires. But it also smacks as grand promotion for Brooks' new collection, "The Ultimate Hits."

I do like the two (of three) news songs in the collection that I've heard so far, including a remake/duet with Huey Lewis of "Workin' for a Livin'." But I don't know if I'll buy the collection, as I own all the other songs in the collection, and I don't have much interest in the music videos in the collection, as I just don't watch music videos that often. Unfortunately, Brooks does not have a deal with iTunes to allow for the purchase of just the songs I would want. I mean, Garth, I like you dude, but you've got enough money, and I don't have any need to spend more money on songs I already own.

And Garth, after such a long hiatus, I'd suggest next time you don't do a national broadcast of your first concert back on stage. Perhaps the screaming fans in the Staples Center didn't notice, but my friend, it was not your best outing on stage. The firefighters benefited, and perhaps the fans in the arena did too, as you don't get out much anymore. But for this fan watching on TV, it was a disappointment, as is the fact that I can't now buy your music how and when I want to buy it.

Fortunately, for fans of Garth Brooks' music, his exclusive distribution deal with Wal-Mart has now ended, so if you want to buy his new album you can find it at other music outlets.

Just not iTunes.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Having keys doesn't mean you can get the engine started

I've been sitting here, looking at a blank screen. Classic case of writer's block. I can't figure out what to say, or how to say it. But I've been feeling guilty for not having made a post in a week.

I'm still here. Still breathing in and out. Just not good at tapping text out on the keys. I guess I need to clear out the cobwebs.

But it's not just writer's block that has kept me from posting. I had a busy weekend with family. And I feel no guilt for that. I'd much rather spend time living life than writing about a life I wish I was living.

That should make for some good writing fodder. But now, today, I just don't have it in me to pour it out of me onto the digital page.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A visit from the Salty Dog

When I was in college I took a three-course sequence in music appreciation. The classes covered the genres of classical, folk and jazz music.

I thought the classical music class would make me more sophisticated. I thought the jazz class would make me cooler. And I took the folk class because it was part of the sequence and needed to take it to fulfill the sequence for credit toward my liberal arts degree.

The classical music class did not make me more sophisticated. To be honest, I never really acquired a taste for classical music. But I know I got more out of the class because the instructor, Rachelle McCabe, a concert pianist, conveyed her love for the music through the expressions on her face as she would play part of a piece on the piano. It's the kind of look that you only see on a woman's face when she's passionate about something, like enjoying a rich chocolate dessert. Her passion for the music was contagious and it kept me paying attention. But the interest in classical music faded when I wasn't seeing her face several times a week.

I don't remember my instructors for the folk and jazz classes, but those genres of music became more engrained in my day-to-day musical tastes. I found I liked music, regardless of label, that is rooted in the blues. You can find it in various genres -- rock, folk, country, jazz.

The reason I got thinking about all this stuff now is because I got a comment on a recent post from one of my favorite radio/podcast personalities. Salty, aka Dennis Trevarthen, from the Salty Dog Blues N Roots show found the post somehow, through the magic of the Internet, and was kind enough to say a few words (as was Pat McDougall from PDXBluescast).

If you like blues, folk, blues-rock and related styles, I urge you to check out Salty's show. He plays great music and also features interviews with artists from Down Under or artists touring Australia. It's great music for road trips and air travel, as each show is 2-hours long and there's a new one every Saturday.

Thanks for stopping by Salty. And more importantly, thanks for sharing so much great music with us "all across the globe."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Don't wake me, I'm dreaming

She's a beautiful young woman. And there she was, in my dream. She's a former coworker. A friend. A woman I haven't worked with in years and who I haven't seen in almost a year. We never dated. We never shared a moment of intimacy in our life. But she showed up in my dream in a most intimate way.

I don't remember much of the dream, but what I do remember has haunted me pleasantly for the last couple of days. I don't know how we got where we were or why, but somehow, some way, she was topless, and I was sucking on her nipples.

I'm not sure if waking from the dream was a blessing or a curse. It feels like a curse, because I did not get to experience more of her exquisite charms. But perhaps it is a blessing, because I remember the thrill of tasting her sensitive nubs in my sleep. Perhaps I would not remember if I slept on. The only dreams I ever seem to remember -- and remembering dreams is a rarity for me -- is those dreams I have just before waking.

I tried to go back to sleep. Tried to go on, licking and sucking and nippling, but the sensuous moment was lost.

Lost, except for the memory of a moment shared only in a dream.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Let's get the f---ing blogging started!

Thanks, 3T, for pointing out my pathetic blogging habits of late. At least you admit that your efforts aren't any better.

Actually, I've been spending a fair amount of time working on websites of late. Just not this one.


I'm not sure if I am ready to admit this or not, but those of you left reading this site are friends, so I guess I can admit that I have started a new blog. The new one, is more public in that I don't use a nom de plume. It's just me. The me behind the G-man.

I am not interested in cutting this site loose though. I have put too much time into it at various points over the last few years. It has been an important outlet for me and think it still will be. It's where I can wear the half-mask and be the bolder, cruder, ruder, version of myself that I don't let casual acquaintances or blood relatives see.

I need this version of me. I need the escape.

Now, with that said, I have a favor to ask those of you who know the other me and who find (I whom I tell how to find, in a moment of weakness) the "other" blog. Because minor members of my family (and my mom) may be visiting my new site, I would like to avoid link to this site, given the fact that I've been know to fucking write about fucking (or the lack thereof) and use fucking colorful language from time to fucking time.

And for the fucking record, there better be some fucking in 2008. This is getting ridiculous!

All offers will be given serious consideration.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The vampire within

The date on the calendar says it's a new year, but something hasn't changed. I'm still dealing with insomnia.

Obviously, I haven't been using the sleepless nights to make blog posts though. I did use the time to update some things on the blog. I added some iMixes through iTunes.

But the rest of the time has been spent watching a lot of movies mostly late at night. During the work week, the insomnia means I get less sleep at night. On weekends though, I get plenty of sleep, it's just not during nighttime hours.

Last night for example, I ended up staying up pretty much all night. I finally turned in about 7 a.m. So I pretty much ended up sleeping through the daylight hours of Sunday, waking up shortly before sundown. I guess if I ever seek a new profession I should put vampire, or anything involving a graveyard shift on my potential jobs' list.

The sleep schedule doesn't cause any real problems for the weekend, but now that the work week is getting ready to start again, I'm a little concerned. Especially since, here it is midnight, and I'm still awake (and just had dinner).

Clearly, I should be roaming the streets looking for warm-blooded mammals to suck dry for sustenance.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Hugged in the New Year

Happy New Year everyone. I hope your year is off to a fantastic start. I have to say, so far mine's been right fine. The holiday season has certainly been a bit busier than I'm used to, so I am sorry I haven't been around to post very much lately. But I thought I better check in and say howdy and let you all know I'm alive and well and survived the holiday season.

I hope you had plenty of good memories to toast to on New Year's Eve and were surrounded by people important to you, or at the very least were with people who were fun!

I have no New Year's kiss to report, but I was surrounded by loved ones -- family and friends -- and got some great hugs! I never really appreciated hugs much when I was younger. My family was not the hugging type. In fact, I must confess, I was not (and may still not be) a good hugger. Whenever I encountered a hugger I used to feel very uncomfortable and give that awkward back pat hug with my ass sticking out.

In recent years, I've learned more to appreciate and welcome hugs. I must say much of the credit for this probably goes to my daughter's family, who is a great group of huggers. So to all my friends out there who I haven't had a chance to see in far too long (and you know who you are), I wish I could have given each of you a hug for Christmas or the New Year.

Happy New Year one and all!

The End Debt Daily