Saturday, January 14, 2006

#524 Freakin' Out

It is now a little after 10 pm on Saturday, and I'm annoyed.

First off, it's very windy outside. The kind of windy where you can hear the waahoooorraaahooo of the wind coming up over the mountain and swooping down and over our ridge. One gust comes through and dies out, to be followed immediately by another. I can hear the trees whipping and creaking. Wind like that always keys me up, makes me jumpy. If there's anything bugging me at all, it'll come out in wind.

I've been doing the laundry (finally), and the washing machine has been very uncooperative. The cold water shutoff has totally quit, which means I have to manually turn the cold water on and off at the appropriate moments, or the washer will overflow all over the floor. Which it did twice already this evening.

I realized tonight that the lawyer from the online dating site, who was going to call to set up our meeting sometime during the week, hasn't called. I probably scared him off. Actually, that's alright. I was getting a bit nervous about him anyway. But it's still annoying.

And Roman's mother was supposed to have surgery yesterday morning. I haven't heard from him as to how she is, and I don't know why I haven't heard, and that's worrisome. I left a message on his home phone yesterday evening, and set him an email this morning, and there's nothing more I can do but worry and wonder.

I hate wind.

#523 Explanation & Multiplying Love

I got a heated reaction to entry #519 from someone who thinks I am obsessed with "her". I don't think I am obsessed with the other woman. What is driving me crazy is that I don't know what's going on in his mind. Her presence at the meeting (if it even was her, which I don't know for sure) would seem to indicate that something is off kilter, and it's that that's driving me crazy. Not knowing what's going on, what he's thinking or feeling. And with the family concerns he has at the moment, I'm not going to push for answers from him.

Something I came across in the newspaper (and what's going on, of course) got me thinking about "shared" love. Everyone always says that if you have ten children, you love them all equally, just maybe in different ways. That it's not like there's only so much love, and it's diluted by being divided among several. That the capacity for love expands, and is separate and complete for each.

Having had only one child, I have no personal experience with this. But I still have an opinion.

I think it sounds really nice, but I don't think it's true. We want it to be true, but although love might want to expand, time doesn't. Attention might want to, but it can't. So maybe when you are lying in bed at night and you think of each of the children, the love you feel is equal for each. But the actual day-to-day expression of that love will not be. One of the children might need more of you, and you will naturally give more of your time and attention to that child. That matters. Priorities matter. It's not just the abstract feeling that you hold that counts, it's also the expression of it, and I'm sorry, but that just isn't going to be equal.

There has been some concern expressed that since I loved Jay so much, any man who might come after would feel intimidated by his example, jealous of his memory. It's not the same, because, well, he's gone. There will be no division of affection. I am sure that I can love again just as deeply (although differently, because another man will naturally be different.)

I've also been thinking about the dogs in this context, about something that surprised me. Ninja (the Keeshund, the gray and black in the photos) spent his first five months of life in a tiny cage in a pet shop. Consequently, he never learned how to play, and had difficulty accepting and displaying affection. We often had the impression that he merely tolerated us. He had some emotional problems, trust issues, as evidenced by the lick-marks on his right paw in the photo. Baby, on the other hand, the blond mixed-breed, lived with us since she was six weeks old, and she was 40 pounds of pure happiness and love.

Each dog did get separate time from Jay and me. Ninja was obedience-trained, and so he got to go places with us that Baby (with her excess exuberance) couldn't, and he and I spent a lot of time practicing the commands, which he seemed to enjoy. He liked knowing that he was doing something right and being praised for it. He had a problem with his hips (Von Willebrand's Disease, which eventually was fatal), so he could not go on long or difficult walks.

Baby, on the other hand, went with us on hikes. She was very good off the leash. Ninja was hard of hearing, so if he got too far away from us, he couldn't hear us call him back, and not being a "scent" dog, he got lost easily.

I thought we knew both dogs well, and that we loved both dogs equally.

And then one day, Ninja died of a massive internal hemorrhage from the Von Willebrand's.

And we discovered that we hadn't known Baby at all as well as we thought. I guess a lot of her attention and affection had been going to Ninja, and she had been getting validation from him. Now she turned to us, and we discovered that she was a lot more intelligent and interactive than we had thought. The workings of her mind, which we had never noticed before, were fascinating. And I fell madly in love with her. I thought I had loved her before, but I hadn't really known the real her before.

So I can't help but wonder - when there is a passle of kids, especially if they are close in age, can you really know each of them that well? Since a lot of their interaction will be with each other, rather than with you? (Yeah, I know, dogs aren't children, but the social interaction, the satisfying of emotional needs, still applies.)

Now, don't go sending me flaming email that you have five children and you love them each and every one equally to distraction. I'm sure you do. But I'm wondering how well you really know each and every one. If there's one who needs you least, it's possible your knowledge of him or her is superficial. They may surprise you one day.

I don't know how any of this applies to my love life. When a man has two women, I suppose it is theoretically possible to love both equally, but in actual practice I don't think so. One will always be a higher priority than the other. In this case, I know she is a higher priority than I, and I suspect (but knowing nothing about their relationship it is pure conjecture) that it is her physical need for and dependence on him that tips the balance. Sort of like when Ninja got more attention and love from me because he needed it more than Baby did.

Maybe love expands - but time and attention cannot.

Friday, January 13, 2006

#522 Missing Comments

If you left a comment recently, like in the past two weeks, and it never showed up on my journal, please try again.

Comments are sent in an email to my AOL address, where I approve them for posting. Well, big surprise. AOLers are reporting that NO EMAILS FROM BLOGGER are getting through to their AOL mailboxes.

Very strange. The AOL reps are mystified. Nobody can figure out what went wrong. Blogger (the host of this site) is supposedly on the "white list". In AOL, if it comes from somewhere not on the white list, emails get thrown away as spam. You never even see them. Which seems to usually work pretty well, since I get only an average of one or two spam emails a day on AOL.

A lot of AOLers are very suspicious. Especially since several hundred of them pulled their journals off AOL when AOL added advertising on their journals with no warning and no permission, and many of them moved to Blogger, while keeping their AOL email accounts. Me included. Hmmmm.

Other AOLers have said it's been going on for two weeks. I know a week ago I was still getting comment alerts, so last night I tried an anonymous comment, and, no kidding, no notice.

So I changed my Blogger comment notification address from AOL to my id on Yahoo, where I hear they do get through.

If you left a comment recently, like in the past two weeks, and it never showed up on my journal, please try again. I did not ignore or censor you.

#521 Read This!

Ack! Three posts in one day! So hate me!

I almost never touch on the news or politics in this journal. It's a personal journal for a reason. But if I ever did want to say something controversial, this - - is what I'd say. Read the comments, too.

It might make some folks angry, but I do agree fully.

So there.

#520 No Alignment Yet

I did take the van to the local garage early this morning to see if they could do the alignment. They didn't feel that they could get it onto "the machine" (whatever that is) because of the van's dropped floor and 4" clearance, but they do have a special pit that they use for very large heavy trucks. It has adjustable supports (I think that's what Roman was describing when I told him about the problem), but there was a truck on it at the moment, so they couldn't check. But the son took some measurements of the wheel span on the van, and will check this afternoon whether the supports can be adjusted sufficiently to fit the van. They'll call.


#519 Near Collision

Meeting and lunch with Piper yesterday. I like having lunch with him. He really is so nice, and so easy to talk with. He seems to have a unique insight into people, their feelings and motivations. He seems to understand what's going on in relationships so much better than anyone else I know, even my female friends. (I wish there was some chemistry - it would make things so much easier. Or harder. I don't know.)

He asked how things were going with Roman, and I told him. We talked quite a bit about it. He made two major points that I'll have to think about. One, that it takes most men a very long time to make relationship changes, especially from something sure to something unsure. If it's going to happen at all, it most certainly can't be rushed. And two, there's a total cutting off of contact on one side, and a continuation of the current situation on the other side, and there's a very wide range in between, and that somewhere in between is the probably best way to go. I just have to decide how far down the continuum I want to be. He said he can tell how I feel about him by the look in my eyes when I talk about him. That was one thing I didn't want to hear.

Returning to his office in the car, I said something about how all I knew for sure was that there was one thing on that continuum that I was going to have to give up, and I'd hate giving that up because it's so very goooooooood!

He said that was the one thing I could get elsewhere any time I wanted. I said that I don't do casual. He said something like that it isn't casual when it's with friendship and respect. He has told me a few times that his only female relationship now is platonic. I may have misunderstood, but I think that may have been an offer. (Sorry, but I still think that's casual. I don't do casual.)

When I walked into the house after lunch, at about 2:30. the telephone machine was taking a message - Roman's voice. I ran to pick up. He was calling from a parking lot outside a doctor's office. He said that his father had a problem and he'd had to take him to the doctor's, and here it was 2:30 already and he hadn't been to the hospital to see his mother yet, so he was pretty certain that he wouldn't make it back in time for the computer club meeting. We talked about the software that would be offered (a version of Adobe Photo Shop). He had done some research on it, and said that since he and I were both on Windows 98, and the program ran only on XP, we couldn't use it. He made no effort to discourage me from attending the meeting, seemed to assume that I would. This is significant.

I went to the meeting. If I ever want to meet more men in their 60s, this is the place! There were more than 100 of them there. The program had been heavily advertised, and there were many "new" attendees. One guy even chatted me up. Not bad looking, either. And apparently after the meeting some folks regularly go to the Friendly's up the road, so it would be easy to get ... friendlier. I may have to attend more of these meetings.

The speaker was interesting.

It would have been more interesting if Roman had made it, because there was a woman there who fitted the description of "her", the other woman, to a T. I was shocked. I wanted very much to introduce myself and find out if it really was her, but I couldn't think of how right then. I was absolutely stunned. I waited around in the parking lot to see if she and her driver headed for the Friendly's, since by then I had figured out a way to approach her without giving anything away, but they turned the other direction. Phooey. A lost opportunity.

I didn't catch a flicker of recognition from her, although she had to be aware I was staring at her. You'd think the hair might mean something to her. I mean, he has to have turned up occasionally with long pale blond hairs on his sweaters. (And damn! My hair looked good last night! It was silky smooth and actually sparkled.)

So today I am filled with questions.
First off, I truly believe Roman's reason for not making the meeting. I accept it as completely honest.
IF that WAS her, was he unaware she would be there? How could that be?
It would make sense that she might go, since she would be aware of Roman's fancy new digital SLR camera (which she is probably NOT aware was a gift to him from ME.)
If he was aware that she would be there, wouldn't he have tried to discourage me from going?
Is it possible that if the timing had worked out, we could have found ourselves all together in the same room?
Wouldn't that have been fun?

Damn! I wish I knew if that was really her. How many women are there around here who would fit the description so well, AND be likely to turn up at that meeting?

I hope it was her. If so, I need no longer feel that I might suffer by comparison. (Oooo - catty! Bad girl! Slap fingers!)

Later edit - 2:15 pm. I have about convinced myself now that it was not her. It couldn't have been. Too much coincidence. Maybe I just want it to have been her. Oh, the drama! Oh, the excitement! Oh, I wish I knew. I wish I could find out for sure.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

#518 Scary Dream

I had this dream about 10 days ago. For some reason I didn't write it down then, but also for some reason I told Roman about it the last time I saw him, the morning after I had the dream. It's still bothering me. It's one of those where I woke up panting and shaking, and very frightened.

The house in the dream was not this house, but the previous house, the one my daughter grew up in, except that the living room wall next to the door wasn't there. It was late evening in the dream, and someone was ringing the doorbell over and over, like it was an emergency or something. I went to the door, and asked through the door who was there. As was often my habit in that house, the door was not locked. A man answered in a very excited and pleading voice, but what he was saying was in some eastern European-sounding language that I couldn't understand, except that every so often he said something that sounded like my name, but distorted by a heavy accent.

As I stood there trying to understand what he was saying, he became more excited and louder, less pleading and more angry, and I felt the doorknob slowly turning. He was opening the door! I caught a glimpse of him then. He was very thin and disheveled, even dirty. I tried to push the door closed and throw the deadbolt, but the door was ... weird. It swung both ways, and there was a wide space between the door and the frame. When I tried to push the door closed I pushed too far to his side, and he stuck his fingers over the deadbolt so it wouldn't engage. We struggled back and forth over the door, and I started screaming for Daughter to call 911. I finally managed to beat his fingers away from the deadbolt and got the door closed and locked, and then I ran down the hall still screaming for Daughter to call 911.

The man started down the front of the house. He was trying the windows. The house had double-hung windows, and as I ran toward my Daughter's room, I was thinking that all the windows were latched, except ...! In real life, in the end front bedroom, which was Daughter's room when we lived there, the side window didn't fit right, and it wouldn't latch. In real life, I had pegged it. But in the dream, it was unpegged, and when he got to that window, he would be able to open it. Also, in the dream, the back bedroom was my daughter's, and the front bedroom with the unlocked window was mine.

So I ran into Daughter's room screaming "Get your phone! Where's your phone! Call 911! Now!", and she was sitting up in her bed, rubbing her eyes, still half asleep, saying "Wha...?" (She looked maybe about 12 years old.) I knew she was wasn't going to be any help, she probably couldn't even find her phone, so I ran to my bedroom, and the man was at the unlatched window, and was about to open it

when I woke up in a panic.

I couldn't get back to sleep. I checked the bed phone to make sure it was working. I hefted and tested the flashlight. I went around and checked all the door locks. Several times. I even checked the deadbolt on the garage door. I suddenly felt very alone and vulnerable. I was really frightened.

I haven't the faintest idea what it means. Yet.

If I can't have a man, I want a dog. For the first time ever, I was afraid here. I don't like that feeling.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

#517 Trying to Get Lost

I made a quick trip to the deli about noonish, and then wandered some more back roads. I'm getting to know the roads around here too well. I may have to go farther afield to keep it satisfying. I kept ending up on route 9, no matter how well I watched the compass, so finally I gave up and headed home. As I turned into my street, I realized I really didn't want to go home. There's too much to do here that I don't feel like doing. Like laundry. Sorting. Clearing. Bleck. I really want to just go to bed with a book and shut the world out. But the bed isn't comfortable with those damn satin sheets, so I need to do laundry. Double bleck.

I had asked 'him' to call when he got back, to let me know how his mother was (but really how he was holding up), so he called last night. He's headed back down this afternoon, and may or may not make it back for the meeting tomorrow evening.

I mentioned to him that I had received his card, and I didn't know what to think of it, why he sent it.
He said he just wanted to let me know he was thinking of me "during this one or two week break".
"One or two weeks?"
He insisted he had said last Wednesday that he wanted to take a one or two week break.
I said I didn't hear that. I think I would have caught that, had I heard him say it.
Well, he wanted me to know that he was thinking of me, that he "thinks about me a lot. All the time."
I changed the subject.

I haven't changed my mind.

I have an 11 o'clock meeting with Piper tomorrow to sign some papers, and then we plan to go out for lunch. Then I'll be heading for Pok for the computer club meeting. If lunch is long, I may not have an opportunity for a post tomorrow. Friday morning early (Oh god I hate that word) I have to have the van in for the (I hope they can do it) alignment.

Right now, I'm going to take a long bubble bath and wash my hair.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

#516 A Home for My CDs

I'd been frustrated by my CD storage arrangements. They are in a deep mission-style cabinet in the livingroom, in such a way that it was not at all convenient to paw through them, so that they usually ended up in stacks on top of the cabinet (which incidentally also holds the player). The cabinet is right next to my little bill-paying desk, so it would be convenient if I could use it for desk overflow, instead of the piles on the floor around the desk. Therefore, I need a CD cabinet, right? Make the CDs convenient, and free up some useful storage space. I measured, and decided it would fit neatly behind the door in the den.

I bought this, from

It holds 330 CD's or 166 DVD's or 92 VHS tapes.

It arrived today, was left on my doorstep in a box as tall, wide, and deep as myself. And when I tried to drag it into the house, I found that it was also as heavy as myself.

I cleaned out behind the den door, thinking I would assemble it tonight.

Uh-uh. This is going to be an all-day project. There are 184 pieces of hardware, 16 pieces of wood (the visible parts are hardwood, backs and shelves are composite), and 2 pieces of glass. It requires two types of screwdrivers in two or three different sizes, a rubber mallet, glue (provided), various pliers, and who knows what else.

Oh, and space on the floor big enough to assemble it. I may be in trouble there. I mean, that's why I bought it - to open up some space...!

Well, the pieces are out of the box, and it sure is pretty, although it's a lot REDder than I expected, for cherry finish. I was thinking cherry wood, not cherry pie. Oh, well.

#515 Where Oh Where Have My Little Boys Gone?

I received a notice yesterday that there was a certified letter waiting for me at the post office, so today I picked it up. It was from a fertility clinic in Albany.

Back before Jay started his first chemotherapy, he stored several vials of sperm at Albany Medical Center. He was only 46 at the time (I was 54), and the doctors recommended it for peace of mind. Jay had no children and always wanted some, so ....

After he died, I didn't know what to do with the vials. I let them stay the first year, but they really weren't doing anyone any good just sitting there. Then Albany Med closed their fertility center, and I got a notice that the vials were being transferred to another center, followed shortly by a bill from the new center for another year's storage. It's a few hundred dollars a year. I agonized over it a bit, and then called them and signed the papers to have them released - I chose the option where they can use them for fertilization or science, or just destroy them, and I would not be told what happened to them. I decided that whatever their fate, it would be what was meant to be. That was early in 2003.

In 2004 that clinic closed, and I got a notice that the vials were being transferred to another center, followed shortly by a bill from the new center for another year's storage. I called and explained the situation, and they forgave the bill.

In 2005 that clinic closed (Do you see a pattern here? What is it with fertility clinics?), and I got a notice that the vials were being transferred to another center, followed shortly by a bill from the new center for another year's storage. I called and explained the situation, and they forgave the bill.

Here it is 2006. Guess what. They are being transferred again. I haven't got the bill yet, but I suppose it's coming.

I feel haunted. Hounded. I wonder if Jay has a hand in this from beyond. I may have to find a surrogate mother somewhere to use them up.

Anyone out there interested in giving birth to a tall dark furry genius?

Monday, January 09, 2006

#514 Lost Peace

I went to the post office this evening, and then for one of my notorious "try to get lost" drives. I took turns at random, and I found a tiny hamlet I'd never heard of before, named Viewmont, six or eight houses and a church, somewhere north of home between routes 9 and 9G. The road was one of those where the trees and telephone poles and barns crowd right up against the verge, and the deer were out in the twilight. It was a nice drive. I may never find that road again.

I often find places like that, quiet peaceful spots, but usually there's no village sign, or I don't remember the name, so I can't look it up on a map, and I really never do find it again. I like to think sometimes that the place existed only for that moment, and can never be found again.

Like a lot of peaceful places

When I got home, I brought the mail up from the end of the drive, and found among it a card from Roman. On the front it says "Just thought I'd drop you a line to say Hi and to let you know things are pretty much the same" with a drawing of a grinning cat. Inside it says "I'm still as adorable as you remember me to be." It's signed "With Love".

I don't understand.

It was mailed on Saturday, from Westchester. Westchester? Saturday? And then the call last night, Sunday night.

I don't understand.

He's male. Men don't shop for cards like that, especially not for someone they want to "take a break" from.
He's intelligent. If he did want to choose a card, he'd want to make damn sure it was appropriate.
He's cautious. He wouldn't say anything in writing that I might misinterpret.

I don't understand.

How does he want me to interpret this? Is he just wagging his tail, like "Please don't be mad at me?"

Is he trying to defuse any retaliation I might take?

And then I sit down at the computer and find an email from him, written a half hour before, containing details about the computer club meeting Thursday evening and a note that he's getting ready to head back to the city.

Ok, this one I could understand all by itself. But it was a little more than I could take all at once.

I need to find that hamlet again.

Daughter? Do nothing! Say nothing! I am strong when I have to be, and I am allowed to be weak when I want to be.

Right now I am strong.

I will never! ever! be second-class again.

#513 Still Friends, I Hope

Roman called last night. He had his parent's cell phone, and called from the highway on his way back from the city. His mother had been taken ill suddenly Friday, is now hositalized, and it's looking worrisome. His father needs constant care, so that could be a problem, too. He had spent the weekend there and plans to go back and forth as he is able to get coverage for his classes.

He kept losing the signal, and after three drops and callbacks, we decided to finish the call after he got home.

The purpose of the call was not so much to tell me about his mother as to ask how I was (which he didn't get around to until after he got home). Rather nice of him to ask, I think. Also to tell me about an Adobe rep who would be speaking at the computer club on Thursday about Photo Shop. The speakers usually have copies of their products for sale at a discount, and he thought I might be interested. And to tell me that the class I had signed up for with him in February looks like it will run (2/3 of the evening classes offered don't get enough enrollment), since there are already three people signed up.

I was actually surprised at my reaction. Of course I wanted to hug him for his mother. But I wasn't hoping he'd ask me to come over. Not that I hoped he wouldn't - it just didn't matter. I suppose I would have gone to him if he'd asked, but I'd keep my clothes on.

I do plan to go to the meeting on Thursday, and although it would be nice if he were there (since I'm not a member), I didn't ask if he would be. In fact, I offered to pick up a copy for him if he wasn't there. He said no, he didn't want one just yet.

I'm glad he told me that the class is going to go, because I do want the subject, and it's nice to know asap because there's also another class starting the same night, meeting the same nights for the same duration, that I was sort of interested in. I'd have been disappointed if Roman's class was cancelled and the college didn't inform me until too late to sign up for the other (they DO that! And they'd cancel the other, too, at the same time, when my signing up for it could have saved it.)

An aside - you'd think the college could be a little smarter. They'll offer three sections on the same subject, one M/F evenings, one T/TH evenings, and one on Saturday mornings. They'll get two people sign up for each, and then a few days before they are supposed to start, they'll cancel all three because none of the sections have the required minimum. Ummm, wouldn't it make sense to check on whether any of the enrollees would be willing to switch to a different day? Maybe all six would be willing to take it on the same day. Am I the only person who thought of this?

So, anyhow, when Roman asked how I was, and I said "Fine", I meant it.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

#512 The Journey Begins

Having checked him out (I even found his ABA registration number), I called the lawyer early this afternoon. He has a nice strong voice. Two daughters, a teenaged son who lives with him, and five grandchildren. One of his daughters (the source of some of the grandchildren) lives just a few miles from me. Near the bridge. (Ack!)

He'll call during the week, and we'll meet sometime at the diner in Hyde Park "after work" for coffee and dessert.

I also got a nice note from a retired guy who lives in western Nebraska. Not looking for a date, just someone to correspond with, with his brand-new what-the-heck-do-I-do-with-this-thing computer. I have set up a special alternate screen name on AOL to correspond with him, and have directed him to some online communities. If he gets weird, I can just delete the screen name.

I will probably do the same with any local responders whom I can't check out so easily.

The lawyer guy was easy to check out, because he gave me a land-line phone number. But having determined that he is an ABA member (since the late 1960s) doesn't mean he still IS a member in good standing, and that he's not totally nutso. I know that. So yes, I will still be careful.

But I do tend to be too open and trusting - so Daughter, you'll get an email shortly with all the details, in case I like, turn up missing or something.

I don't know how to check out someone who doesn't give me a land-line number. That worries me. Even with this guy, even though "Esq." or "Atty" was after his name everywhere I could find it, until I found him on the ABA website I was still not convinced (his home address is not impressive). I kept remembering the guy I knew who decided he was a baron.

This guy, let's pretend his name was Carlesky, decided that his name had been corrupted when his ancestors immigrated, and that his name should be Carlov. He changed it to Carlov with the Mensa main office. Then he decided it should really be VonCarlov. Another change. Then he decided he was by inheritance a baron, so he wanted Mensa mail to be addressed to Baron VonCarlov. Further enhancements ensued. At some point, the main office said enough already, and refused to make further changes. But, he wanted to be Baron VonCarlov everywhere he could be, and he was. Likewise, I suppose someone could get away with adding "Esq." or "Atty" after their name if they want, without a problem, as long as they don't give legal advice.

You know, I'm not really sure I want to do this. It seems like so much trouble, so much potential for rejection. I feel like I have to, though. I don't want to go back into the funk I had been in, before the frog prince kissed the sleeping beauty and awakened her. That would be so easy.... Just to go back to sleep.