grinninfoole: (strangelove)
2014 has brought some unpleasant changes to my life, but some good ones, as well. The best has been getting to know a woman who lives on the west coast via Facebook and Google chats. The other day I could no longer deny that I was smitten with her, so I wrote her an email professing myself, and asking if perhaps she felt similarly.

As of this moment, I have no idea what she will say. I can imagine a range of positive and negative replies, but I really can't even make a guess what she will do, and I'm both nervous and intrigued by the uncertainty. This will be a profound turning point in my life, no matter what she does. If she turns me down, I'll be sad and my days will continue on as they have been until my next big decision or crisis. If she shares my affections then this could be the start of a whole process that leads to... marriage? A new home? Kids? A new career? An ugly divorce? Learning a new language? A tattoo? Finally finding a form of exercise I actively enjoy?

I can't find the words to capture this mix of feelings. A bit of dread, certainly, but also excitement. Hope, blended with anticipatory heart break. Pride that I have put myself forward with what I believe to be an appropriate mix of confidence and humility. Curiosity, and a desire to preserve this person I am now, before I am reborn into a new life. I am the larva inside its chrysalis, and I wonder what imago will be revealed.

Who, me?

Sep. 1st, 2013 08:28 pm
grinninfoole: (strangelove)
I plan to go back and fill in some retroactive news over the past 10 months, since last I posted, but here are few key notes:

1) Mom is home again, and happier, and slowly getting stronger.

2) Opening a comic book/game store is really hard work.

3) I may be evolving into a romantic relationship with an old friend, Miss Hannah-Belle Goulet, a woman I have known for many years.  I'm not plunging into it, I'm not smitten, but I am definitely interested and it feels... homey.  Too early to make too much of it.  She has kids, an ex about whom the less I say the better, a home 100 miles away, and I'm not sure if she sees it the same way.  But she and her kids just stayed overnight yesterday, and it was fun.

4) The process of making my home what I want continues, not as quickly as I would like.  The root of the problem is that I'm truly bad at budgeting my funds, something I should learn to do before I do myself a real mischief.

5) Man, I really like playing games with my friends.  I'm still playing Deadlands, I've added a 13th Age organized play campaign on Tuesdays, a Star Wars Edge Of The Empire game on Wednesdays, and I'm looking for more.  Pity I can't find a game that involves regular cardio workouts. :P
grinninfoole: (Default)
I'm working a 12 hour day here at the NY store, and another full day tomorrow.  It's only our fourth day open, so things are slow.  The store looks good, but there are lot projects to work on before we're ready for the grand opening.

My mom is apparently running a fever of 102 F (44 C) and has gone back to Holy Family Hospital.  I'm starting to grasp that she's really ill, and that this won't be over soon.  :(

New York is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.  I'm staying with usakeh, and many roads in her town are still blocked off by fallen trees and severed power lines.  There a long lines at every filling station.  I fear this is just the first taste of our societal collapse as climate change accelerates, but it's great to see the way people here are rallying  to meet the challenge.  They're even excited to see a new comic book store. :)

I think I'm finally figuring out what I want from Grounded, so I guess all the driving around has been helpful.

I just saw a short video by a Mount Holyoke professor in which she discusses correcting a congenital vision problem she had, and how she trained her brain to correct it in her 40s.  

The big election is on three days away.  I hope the candidates I support win, but more than anything I fear that no matter who we elect, we won't do what we must to save ourselves.  It's frustrating that years of Bible-thumper ranting and cynically poisonous Republican rhetoric have made scientifically valid warnings that we're on the brink of disaster sound like just more political bloviation.
grinninfoole: (Default)
•Ran two Magic tournaments at the store this weekend. Was hoping for 32 people to play today, but only got 29. Still our biggest one yet, and I think everyone had a good time.

•I like the new set, Avacyn Restored. It has a lot of great cards, but I think my favorite is the Conjurer's Closet artifact.

•Feisty still sneezes sometimes, which worries me. I want to take her off the steroids altogether, but I don't want her to get plugged up again. She's nearly 14.

•Put $5000 more into the store, to help start up the New York location. I do hope this works out well.

•I have many balls to juggle, and a couple of them have bounced a bit.
-I need to finish and submit a claim for my dad's long term care insurance. (ughh, it's not the hard intellectually, but very difficult emotionally.)
-I need to fine a contractor to come repair the damage to my house.
-I have some work projects that dangle unfinished.
-My home is getting messy
-I'm not losing weight. I need to make more healthy food, go to Weight Watchers, and exercise. I still want to fit into my tux for Bottledgoose's wedding.
-I want to get some new furniture for my house, which is cash I probably don't have.
-Also, just spent 1300 getting brakes etc. fixed on my POS minivan. Probably more than its worth. Should have just unloaded it.
-I can't tell if I'm scarily obsessive about Grounded or not, because I think about her constantly. Not just every day, but all through the day, whenever my brain slips into neutral.

•Reading the new history of AIDS, Tinderbox, and loving it.

•Great TV: the recent run of Fringe, the season finale of the Good Wife, and the new Avatar series, Legend Of Korra. (Amon is totally a puppet of Ko, the Face-Stealer, hence the mask.) the Awake series is growing on me, too.
grinninfoole: (Default)

I had lunch today with my old flame, whom I shall refer to as Grounded henceforth. This is only the third time I have seen her since I got in touch, and I still must contain a tumult of emotions when I see her. The best word I can think of for it is "elation"--it's like my actual heart muscle is spontaneously resisting gravity. It's unsettling, unnerving, distracting, and wonderful. I'm happy just being in her presence.

Can this last? Should I place any faith in this passion? It will all end in tears, but when and why will it do so?

For now, I'm just happy that she laughed and smiled at me, (and were her eyes always so blue?) and will come to my birthday party.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

grinninfoole: (Default)
Last week when I posted about contacting S again, and it being a major turning point in my life. Still haven't seen or heard from S again since then, but I notice two things:

1) thinking about her makes me happy, and is giving me a little spike of adrenalin I can feel behind my sternum.

2) I have been feeling BETTER since then. Depression has been dogging me for a while, and about a month ago I increased my daily dose of Sertraline by 50%, which helped, but I've still been feeling unable to do stuff like laundry or cooking. (I was seriously eating out every meal for a while.) Since seeing S, I have gone shopping, made food, changed my bed, and gotten niggling stuff done at work.

I don't know why I feel like this. It could be that I'm still deeply in love, or it might just be that I have undone a fifteen year old psychic logjam, but I have decided that I want to find out. I even have these moments where I feel like we're meant to be together, and all I have to do is let it happen.

I don't entirely trust that feeling, since I am a drama queen, but I have enough faith in my subconscious and my self-awareness to give it a try. I'm going to try something new for me, and not spend so much time and energy imagining how something would be that I don't actually do it, yet still entertaining the possibility of it, rather than assuming it's hopeless and giving up before I even try. In other words, I'm going to live in hope, but carry on with my ordinary life as best I can. If S and I are 'meant for each other', then it will work out if I just have patience. If we aren't, then it's still a great adventure for me to find out, and definitely worth the price of admission.

I'll keep you all posted, of course. My secret plan is to invite her over to dinner with me and M, and she'll have such a good time, she'll call me a lot.
grinninfoole: (Default)
It was OK. Not as dramatic as I had hoped/feared, not painful or joyous or intense. Really, it was nothing like what I had imagined, but just what I had wanted: a conversation between two people who used to know each other, who had had a relationship once, and who had moved on to make different lives, and were happy to catch up again.

For my, my relationship with {Grounded} had been a major, emotional intense episode in my life, unmatched by anything else. For her, I think it was part of a drama that played out mostly with other people, that started before we met and continued after we broke off contact.

In some ways, I'm pleased with myself for having made a real life for myself, that I haven't been simply sitting around pining for her, and that I'm a grown-up she can respect. On the other hand, she's got a full, busy life as a doctor, a mom, and someone with friends and interests and autonomy. I must strive not to take the opportunity to flog myself with a litany of ways I could be cooler, busier, more accomplished, etc. My life is a process, I can change the things I don't like, I can rescue myself from my dungeons, and other people who know me well don't see me as a failure unworthy of respect. (Thank you, little blue pills and years of therapy for letting me even perceive this perspective.)

We're going to get together again for coffee or something in a few weeks. I feel a bit of a let down, but I am glad to finally have some reality to deal with, to scorch away Miss Havisham in her yellowing dress. Because I still like her, and I want to get to know her as an actual person, and not a memory.
grinninfoole: (Default)
Or, in my case, not so much.

Hurricane Irene, which did enormous damage in the Caribbean, was barely a tropical storm by the time it got to my house.  Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, even nearby towns in Massachusetts, have all had dangerous floods.  Fortunately for me personally, my house is near the top of a hill with excellent drainage, so I'm basically OK.  M and I got some groceries and extra batteries, and spent a few hours making food that we could have if we lost power for a while. 

And we did lose power at about 9 AM. 

It was back on before 10 AM, and we haven't had any problems since.  For us, it was just a cloudy, blustery, rainy summer's day.  It cleared up after  4 PM, and we went for a walk.


Some more general stuff about me and my life:

1) I hemmed and hawed from March to July about my job. On the one hand, I have a job that's reasonably fun, at which I'm reasonably good (and experienced) and which has several attractive perks (wholesale cost graphic novels and games, running D&D games professionally, serious nerd cred, lots of time around things I love), but which pays poorly.  On the other, I love teaching, almost any teaching job would pay at least 40% more (and could easily reach 100%), and teaching has a social cachet that retail store clerk does not.  However, searching for a teaching job requires the same mental and emotional resources as research did in grad school, and that's hard for me.  Plus, this is a bad job market.

After careful reflection, I decided to ask for a raise at Modern Myths, and to stay if i got it.  After some awkward negotiations (salary negotiations require a somewhat different approach from home purchasing negotiations), I got a raise that met my minimum requirements.  After a month of the new regime, I am pleased with my choice.  I have found MG a pleasure to work with/for, I'm getting more free weekends (and more latitude in my hours in other ways), I'm finding the new mix of responsibility and autonomy energizing, and the opportunities for personal and professional growth open at the store right now (as JC starts up a store in New York) must be seized now or not at all.  Everything that's appealing about teaching will still be there in, say, two years (assuming society doesn't implode).

2) Millari and I continue to share the house we bought together.  We continue to be best of friends, and good housemates.  She was away for about a month this summer, visiting her girl in Germany, and I found living alone to be difficult at times (especially when I got sick), but also to have its attractions.  The biggest surprise for me has been that I would often prefer to go home and watch TV alone, rather than go out and see people.  I don't know if that's a genuine personality trait (given my father & brother's dispositions, it might be), or if that was an effect of depression.

Anyway, now that M is home, we have begun to discuss the painful subject of furthering our separation.  I know that it's something that I need to do, but right now it's difficult.  I'm not dating anyone yet, so I have a very comfortable home life with a beloved family member on the plus side, and no real drawbacks.  It's different for M, because she's got a girl (who is actually pretty cool), so she's got an emotional stone in her shoe to prompt her to make changes.

I have, for now at least, made a firm professional commitment, which has in turn reinforced my sense of identity.  I am loathe to undo the other mainstay of my sense of self (and, really, the best decision I think I have made heretofore in my life), but I know from experience that if I don't keep moving on this, I'll regret it later.  I just hope that I don't have to let things turn into an ugly confrontation in order to proceed, as I have seen that happen to others.  (in particular to Fran, a woman I have known since college, who used to have a lovely relationship with the woman she married, but which has curdled, to say the least.)  I would find it deeply painful if my friends found it necessary to pick sides.

3) My parents continue in declining health.  I visited on Friday and Saturday, and in addition to helping my brother make (as it turned out, unnecessary) preparations for the storm, I gave my dad a short test I found in a book M gave me about living with and caring for people with Alzheimer's.  The idea of the test is that, if the person does well, they most likely don't have it, and if they do poorly, they might.  Dad did poorly on one element (naming as many animals as he could in a minute--he got 10), but had no trouble remembering the month, day, date, year, who is and who was president; telling time on a clock face; and little trouble remembering four images of common objects that I showed him (which is fine, since he is 82).  So, it's possible he doesn't have Alzheimer's, which is great.  Except that I have no idea what the hell is wrong, or what to do about it, if he doesn't.  My loins, I must gird them.
grinninfoole: (Default)
I am pressed because it's nearly July and I still have much to do on my research project. It's so easy to find other things to do, that I have not made nearly enough progress. Yet, to be fair, I have made some. I now know more or less what I am trying to do, and I think I can churn something out of it. I don't know if it will be very good, but with work it may well be good enough. All I need to do is get this done and retake the American science comp and I'm finished. Closer, closer....

Millari and I are slowly and steadily getting better at living together, and despite the occasional personal crisis for either of us, I am very happy, and I think she is, too.

I'm looking forward to getting the research out of the way, because then I can make time for many things that I have been putting off for awhile, including:

--finishing unpacking our things and arranging our home to our satisfaction.

--visiting my family. My mom called today, and she said, with a hint of tears in her voice, that she missed me. I need to go home soon. And, she needs to come visit.

--play OverPower. Unimportant, but fun.

--design NPCs, setting details, and adventures for the new D&D game I shall start running in September. And, maybe, prep another one to run at the store, perhaps on Friday nights when Jim's game isn't running. I think I can set up a campaign in the Southlands of the Cloth with a pleasing mix of old-school dungeon crawling and a lot of the politics, role-playing and macro-scale plot that I enjoy.

--Call folks out of town or state that I want to speak to at length, especially Justin, Gwyn, Fletch, Fran, Shawn, and Ronnie & Amy.

--plan and research for our upcoming trip to Europe. The main impetus is a reunion with some of the other people who were part of the Kenyon Exeter program in 1990-91. I haven't seen any of them in seven years, and I'm worried that they'll all decide that I'm lame and that they hate me, but they're special people and I wish I was close to them as I used to be. Of course, the reason I haven't been so good about staying in touch as I was a few years ago is that I am no longer so painfully lonely. I realized this when I read a letter I sent to someone years ago that got returned, and it was difficult to read because it seemed so needy. For this, I must thank my good friends here in Western MA, some of whom no longer want to talk to me, so I shan't mention names except to single out Millari for especial appreciation.

--Life goals, medium and long term. Medium: once I have the MA, I want to get a job and support myself. Talking with Jim, there may be a possibility of more hours at the store, which is very exciting, though it depends on our continued sales growth, which is definitely counting chickens early. If that proves unworkable, I'll have to explore other options. I'd like to work 25-35 hours a week, which would leave me enough time for a Long term goal: writing. I have ideas for novels and essays (and even a couple of documentary films, for what that's worth), and they may all suck, but if I don't ever confront my fear of failure and inadequacy and try, I'll never be really happy with my life.

Cool thing I have to mention:
I did well on my job performance review last week. I must credit Jim for his patience and help with my punctuality issues. I have gotten a lot better about timeliness and it no longer feels like a huge effort to be on time for things. (Credit for this also goes to Dr. Lange and my Tuesday therapy group for calling me on this a lot, and, for that matter, to Filthyassistant for her frustrated efforts over the years.)

Oh, I forgot to mention the other cool things about going to Europe: 1) we shall visit Michelle's old friend Arnaud in Toulouse. I hope to get to see the cathedral at Chartres on the way, and spend a day in Carcassone! (I'm interested in the Albigensian Crusade.) 2) I hope to see my friend Rob Shearman, a wonderfully nice, hugely talented, incredibly smart and, last I saw him, modest play/screen writer. He's working on the new Dr. Who show, which means that at least some of it will be really, really good.

Check out these links for more info on Rob and his work:

http://www.tertiary.consoleroom.btinternet.co.uk/interview-robshearman.htm

http://www0.bbc.co.uk/cult/doctorwho/cd/interviews/index.shtml

Hmm. Somewhere, I have copies of a lot of playscripts Rob wrote back in the late 80s and early 90s. I should check them out again, and then see how much he squirms when I bring them up. :)


Unimportant matters:
I have become a regular follower of the LJ life of a woman in Chicago who writes for the Onion. Check out [livejournal.com profile] rollick for a more interesting blog than this one.

And, finally, cool LJ name spotted at random: amorousuroboros


That's all for now. Hope all my friends (and any other readers) are prosperous and healthy.
grinninfoole: (Default)
since I last posted. There have some technical glitches, but mainly I haven't been able to muster the energy. I hate posting only trivia, so when I can't get myself to post about important things, eventually I dry up altogether. Right now, as probably everyone bothering to read this knows, I'm in Andover at my parents' house. Last Sunday night, Millari and I found out that her mother had suffered a heart attack, and from Monday morning onwards, we've been out here, hovering in hopes of being helpful, praying that this wouldn't turn into a death watch. Happily, I don't think it shall--AM has had a triple bypass, and is having another corrective procedure even as I type this, but I believe that she has weathered this crisis, and that the challenge ahead will be to manage her delicate health.

I have been very gratified at the way in which M's father, brother, aunt and uncle have all been very receptive to me. While M and I do plan to marry, we aren't formally engaged, so they could easily look askance at my inclusion in such a private family matter. Instead, they treat as one of their own, which greatly pleases me. My family has long since embraced M (in fact, Dad made it very clear that he views M as one of his own children this morning when he badgered her about various stuff in her life.:), so I'm very pleased to be well-received by hers, too.

While our life together is a work in progress, both of us are pleased with our relationship right now, and we're enjoying the process of working out the rest. It seems more of an adventure, and less of a chore. Which is good, because we ADD folks aren't so good at doing the chores....

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