Friday, October 24, 2003

Dream: I dreamed I was going to a pagan ritual and I was waiting outside the doors in the courtyard to be let in. A bunch of other people in cosutme were mulling around. There was a lady sitting on top of a picnic table, her feet resting on the bench. When I walked over to her, I realized that it was my friend Jen whom I haven't seen in 17 years. I haven't even really thought of her.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

People think I'm kidding when I tell them that I work in a sitcom. They just have no idea. I mean, look at the situation: I'm a 33 year old femmy female working in a company comprised almost entirely of retired military guys. The only other females in the office are the part-time contracts person and one of my drafters. I'm the only one in management.

These guys are old school, too. They call me honey, kid, sweetie, and a variety of other terms of endearment indicative of their generation. I can only imagine what they call me behind my back. And, I probably deserve it.

They rarely piss me off, though. My background has given me a thick skin. I was raised by a U.S. Marine who thought his kids should be as disciplined as his troops. And, I spent six years in the Air Force myself as an aircraft mechanic. There isn't much I haven't seen or heard when it comes to the nature of men. I actually prefer working with them - you always know exactly where you stand.

The cast of characters is about what you would expect. I've changed the names to protect the guilty.
"Charlie" is a gruff old retired Marine who still thinks he's stud enough to date me even though he's in his mid-50's. He struts around here with half a cigar in his face with his shirt open and gold jewelry showing. When I first got here he tried to be really intimidating to me and to come across as being super intelligent.

He chilled out after I embarrassed the shit out of him in a manager's meeting one day. It was one of my first meetings and he was trying to be ultra-delicate because there now was a female in the room. With obvious restraint, he proceded to describe a messed up situation using the metaphor, "A monkey at a football came." There was tense
silence. I looked at my boss - the president of the company - like 'what the hell is this guy's problem?' And then I loudly asked Charlie, "You mean a monkey fucking a football??" The whole room fell apart laughing. It's not pretty to see an old Marine blush.

In one of his efforts to appear more intelligent than he actually is, he sent me an email one day apologizing if he caused me any incontinence for missing an appointment we had. I assured him that he in no way caused me to shit myself.

"Len" resents me and my gender no matter what I do, but is smart enough to keep it diplomatically tucked away enough so that it's not too obvious. It comes out in other ways, though. Like the time he was talking to one of his colleagues on the phone with a group of us around him for technical input. He told his colleague how intelligent I am about avionics (for a girl) - and how surprised he is about it. My other colleagues just shook their heads. I secretly cried in the bathroom for about half an hour over that one. He's just an old school guy who doesn't see women as good for anything but ironing his shirts. Silly me for thinking I would be the exception. We're a helluva team when it comes to selling our services, though. He talks the contract stuff and I talk techie.

"Judd," on the other hand, thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. He's in his 70's, retired in 1974 from the U.S. Marine Corps, and used to be an aircraft electrician. We sit around in the morning sometimes and swap stories over coffee. He likes the fact that I've been "in the trenches." Oh, he has stories about how they used to get things done in the "old days," and it usually involved booze and women.

... more later ...

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

I just had to fire somebody. It was my first time having to do that, and it did not go well. I'm calling a meeting with the team so I can dispel any rumors and field any concerns. Everything is documented, and it's completely justified, but those facts don't make things any easier.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Ever have one of those days when you're just ... off? Nothing feels right. Nothing seems right. The whole world is just a little off kilter. Motivation has taken a vacation. I want to go home and sleep.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

I have never been happier in my entire life than I am at this moment.

Is it boring to read about other people's happiness and success? Maybe. I'm sure people look at me today and see just a normal, average, every-day kind of person with bills to pay and a job to go to. I'll bet that none of them can imagine what a miracle and blessing every new day is to me.

It's funny, this migration into normality. I marvel that sometimes I can actually complain about needing to change manicurists because the one I have doesn't do this or that. Me. And the worst thing I have to complain about is my manicurist?

Five years ago I never would have dreamed of having a regular manicurist. I barely even got my hair cut! I wore thriftstore clothes, no jewelry, no make up, and I always looked tired, and I always looked like I was bearing the weight of the world (yes, people often told me that). I was trying to save the world when what I most needed to do was take care of myself. I agonized over every pound I was over the doctor's standard weight chart. I never allowed myself to cry. I never pampered myself, treated myself to anything, and then when I rarely did I felt guilty because it was money I could have spent on the kids or saved for their education or whatever. I never dealt with things as they happened, but hid my emotions (there's that military bearing I was raised to always display). Sometimes I wouldn't cry over an even until six months later.

Sure, I still have moments where I slip back into that life, but they're so rare these days that they are noticeable and I can recognize the situation that triggers that survival behavior. Now I can use those survival skills as a tool only when necessary and not run around like a scared animal all of the time.

As my friend Michael was always fond of saying, "Never been better, never had more." Yeah, Michael. That's the ticket. When you realize that very thing, then you can enjoy the day. No matter what kind of day it is.

Friday, April 25, 2003

I've been carded twice this week. Not bad for going on 34.

A man's penis is a beautiful and metaphoric thing. In its guise of spear, sword, rocket ship, and missile, this emblem of power has changed our world profoundly since ancient times.

You know, I was going somewhere with this, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment. So much for profundity.

I just got back from a six-day vacation in Michigan to visit my son. It was dark, cold, and damp the first five days. The sun did manage to come out on my way to the airport on the sixth - too bad it was only 34 degrees. I think I'm convinced that I do not wish to move back there. Ever. However, the time spent with my cool dude kid was wonderful and fun. He's growing up beautifully. And, if I may be so Forest Gump about it, that all I want to say about that right now.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Okay. I think the universe is trying to tell me something. I had three people today tell me on three separate occasions that they're worried I'm going to burn out. I'm managing two projects and trying to be a full time tech writer. I can understand their concern. And, my writing is suffering because of the other tasks. I've delegated everything I humanly can, and I've stopped going to classes for a while (I was going full time). Something has to give.

Monday, March 31, 2003

WOMEN IN COMBAT

War isn't pretty. It's especially not pretty when women are in the front line. It gets down right ugly when a woman is captured by the enemy and becomes a prisoner of war (POW). Plenty of people are against women in the military, especially when they are assigned jobs that place them at risk of becoming a POW.

I've heard a couple of arguments from guys as to why women should not be in combat. The second most common reason for men objecting to a woman in combat is menstruation. Oh, yeah. They don't think we can deal with our personal hygene, and many of them are terrified of tampons. What they don't realize is that there are progesterone shots out there that will suppress this natural phenomenon. Yep. A little stick a few times a year and no more period. Bye bye argument.

The number one most common objection from men I know is that they can't bear the thought of what might happen to a woman should she become a POW. For this, I love men. Adore them. Adore their protective nature. I especially adore the incredible man I've been seeing for this very reason. If there were more men like him in the world, women wouldn't need to take combatant roles. I'm getting off the track - ANYWAY, the problem men have with women POWs is that they could be raped.

Yes, rape is ugly. It's horrid, and terrible.

What men don't seem to understand is that - to a woman - rape is not the worst possible thing you could ever do to her.

Shocking? Here's the logic:

Rape is a hostile act. It's a violent act. It's impersonal. It's obviously an act of dominance and hatred. Women aren't dumb. We know this. Rape me, fine. Yeah, it'll fuck me up emotionally for a little while, but it's certainly not the worst thing you could do to me.

One of the most terrible things you could do to me as a woman is flirt with me, court me, make me fall in love with you, tell me you love me, get me all fantasizing about a little house, white picket fence, a 2-car garage and 2.5 kids, and then reveal to me that you're already married. That pain is far worse than any one episode - or even repeated episodes - of impersonal violence.

Woo me, marry me, have kids with me, make me think I'm your world, and then leave me cold and alone for a younger woman. Shit, I'd rather be raped than have to deal with that pain for the rest of my life.

You see? Rape is a man thing. There's nothing personal there. Women are emotional animals. Impersonal violence doesn't have near the impact on us that personal violence and deceit has. As a woman, I can eventually blow rape off as a sensless act of violence, but I'll never get over the feeling of being second best to a cheating husband's wife, or unsexy and frumpy after finding out my husband has taken a younger lover.

You want to rape me? Bring it on. I'll get over it. But, break my heart? I might never get over it.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

First fight over. Man, I'm looking forward to when we finally get to make up. :-) It won't be this weekend because of his crazy schedule. I'm really kind of bummed about that. I don't think I'll feel right until I see him in person again and I can be held in his arms and reassured a bit.

It was resolved well, which is a good sign - and means that future fights are likely to be resolved well, too. That's the most important thing. I was so releived to hear from him that I spilled my coffee all over the place and started crying. I'm really crazy about this guy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Okay. First fight. Things are not going well. At this point, I've done everything I can to remedy it. The ball is in his court. If you start seeing entries every day, then you know it's probably taken a turn for the utmost worst.

Work is kicking ass. I've hired eight additional people, and may be bringing in two more depending on workload. It's a little overwhelming at times, but I'm handling it. Delegation is my friend.

I don't know which direction I'm going in right now. I'm going in circles, I guess. I'm in orbit around my aching heart. It's keeping me tethered to the pain. I think I'm going to have to pick up a bottle of vodka on the way home from class or I'm not going to be able to sleep again. I haven't slept since Sunday. I can't eat much at all. Everyone at work is noticing that I'm sad - sometimes I hate wearing my emotions on my sleeve, but I do, and I have always done so. I wouldn't know how to hide an emotion if my life depended on it.

The ball is in his court and I'm playing the waiting game. Thank gods I'm in class. (The one I was wondering why I was in last time.) I need to keep my time filled or I will go crazy. I'm already planning on what I'm going to do tomorrow after work in case I'm still getting the cold shoulder: get nails done, call the kid, do homework ...

Okay, break time is over ...

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

So, what does it mean when Prince Charming actually shows up on time for a change?

I'm sitting here in class wondering why I'm here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Life is good. As my friend Michael says, "never been better, never had more." Sure, I have a little strep C in my ear and jaw, but it just makes me tired, that's all - oh, and I have to give up beef jerkey for a little while.

So, I'm in touch with my younger brother and my mother, now. I'm keeping everything healthy for me, and life is good. Therapy works! (Oh, how I wish I could prosteltyze it.)

My latest kick is listening to Coast to Coast AM at night. The show is a trip, and the host, George Noory, is great. I wish I had his etiquette. Here's the Web site: http://www.coasttocoastam.com. I highly recommend it if you have a little insomnia.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

So, how do you know whether you're really in love? Is it the knowledge that you would rather die than hurt this person? Is it the way he makes you laugh until you think you're going to pee your pants? Is it the fact that you cherish him and his wisdom, and see him as a valuable human being and wish there were more people like him in the world because then the world would be a better place? Does the fact that he's super-sexy count and you're having the best sex of your life factor in here?

I've been busier than - to quote a former spouse and friend - a three-dicked goat in a sheep fucking contest. Work is growning exponentially. Christmas with the family went over well. Everyone behaved. There are still a lot of things about my childhood mother that make me very angry, but I keep reminding myself that she is a different person now than she was then - just as I am a different person now than I was then. The hurt, neglected, and abused little girl is still angry at her now and then, but the adult woman pities the woman who has never known the love of her daughters.

And, still, I feel a huge emptiness and void that only my younger (no longer little) brother can fill. He has been angry with me for so long. Will he ever be able to let go?

I talked to my mother on the phone today. She was - for the first time in my life - honest with me about her feelings. She admitted something to me [though minor, significant] that made me realize that she is being genuine in her attempts to reach out to me. Of course, I'm suspicious and over-cautious, but hope springs eternal, and I can't help but wonder if we can maybe be close some day.

It's awkward to think of rebuilding with someone you've grieved. I'm keeping a realistic view on this as a woman grown, but the little girl is crying out for the mommy she never had. It's almost torturous, and I'm afraid to go forward.

But, when it comes to my heart, I'm a risk taker. I've not yet given up on finding a healthy love relationship with a man [have I found one?], and, I guess, I've not yet given up on having a love relationship with my parents ... even though they both have violated every right to deserve the esteemed and cherished title of "Parent."

Maybe I'm just damn naieve, but thank whatever god there is that I am, because to feel is real and to feel is to be alive, and I'm so thankful that - even though life has dealt me some pretty harsh cards in the past - I'm able to still fall in love with people, sunsets, animals, children, beautiful plants, airplanes, and anything else that moves me. I'm thankful that I've not become numb to the beauties of this world.

May it always be so no matter what else life deals me.