September 2006

September 26th, 2006

Next week the third season of Battlestar Galactica starts up and I'm excited. Having been a young boy in the 70's who saw Star Wars in a drive in theatre the original Battlestar had me at hello (now I feel all icky having said that!). When I heard a remake was in the works I couldn't contain my excitement and I enjoyed the mini-series so thoroughly I watched the VHS tapes I'd recorded several times over. Vipassana and I were on the edge of our seats the entire first season, watch excitedly through the first half of the second, and wondered what kind of mushrooms the writers were eating during the second half. Now that the third seasons is upon us we thirst to see if the original flare of the show is back and if we can truly immerse ourselves in the universe of these characters as we did the first season and a half.

Baring some artistic disagreements I have with the writing and production of the show in the latter half of the second season I entirely love the program--with one large exception: it's not something I can allow my daughter to watch without close adult supervision. You see, unlike the old show which my parents could let me watch to my hearts content the new program has sex and not just some sex but a lot of sex and not just a lot of sex but a lot sex bordering on soft porn. Now I've heard the producers reasons for this. The new BSG is for "adults" and that it has "adult" themese.

What the hell do they mean by "adult"?

Now we can argue until the cows come home whether or not it's appropriate for an eleven year old to be bombarded by sex on television every day. I'm not writing to convince you of my opinion on the matter. However I'm fairly sure a significant number of parents don't like having to limit their children's tv viewing habits sooooo often because of the amount of gratuitous sex shown on tv programs now-a-days.

So that brings me to my question for tonight: why couldn't they have made the same show with the adult content and the "fracking" cuss words but without watching people rip each others clothes off and fuck like bunnies without regard for anything going on around them? Would it have hurt the story? The realism? What does it mean for a show to be more "adult"?

My two cents?

In the late 70's us 30-somethings had this show called Battlestar Galactica and cheesy as it was it was fracking awesome! Now that we're adults we want our show, damnit, except not for our fracking kids, for us, us, us! The producers and writers who loved the show as kids want to keep it instead of making it completely available to a new generation of children.

Call me old fashioned but I think we can have artistic integrity, realism, share something with our children, and share some valuable ideas and themes through our programming.


September 24th, 2006

There are two parts of me.

On the one hand there's me. There's the me that most people see and can comprehend. The me that was born in Australia and at three years old came to America, lived in Spokane, Washington for a bit, discovered gravity, then grew up in as an unpopular nerd boy weirdo in a small cowboy town I hated and only later learned to love. There's the me that ran away from home and my problems and my "friends" at seventeen in search for hope, the me that twisted hope so tight it choked the blood from my arms and legs, the me that moved from apartment to apartment, friendship to friendship, school to school, illusion to illusion. The me that found a good job, a good home, a good family, and a good life, and yet who struggles with a bad knee and loneliness, a me that misses parts of my past, learns from other parts of it, struggles when it comes to who to allow and who not to allow into my life, a me that questions and wonders and spends the last few hours every night snuggled in bed asking the big questions and meditating and praying. There's the me who felt like having a few glasses of red wine, who smoked part of a cigar someone from work gave me (the only thing I've smoked in a year and a half!), the me that sits here now with passions and hopes and fears.

And then there's me. There's the me that watches with a compassionate indifference, the me that looks over my shoulder at what I'm saying and doing and thinking, the me that makes observations about these things and sublty prods the other me into a more right way of living. There's the me that knows the feeling of missing the past but understands there is no difference between now and then, the me that is always connected to everything in a unified line, a me that can walk with the dinosaurs, experience the moment I lost my virginity, and move forward a thousand years. There's the me that understands that nothing has ever changed, that change is only the illusion that we learn to accept so we can progress to the next level of understanding, the me that "gets it". There's the me that has empathic sight, the me that can push into the unknowable and come back with answers and say, "Here is tomorrow, here is tomorrow, here is tomorrow." The same me says stay in today, the same me that is not afraid of death, that can travel anywhere, anytime, the me that sees more than I am yet willing or ready or able to share with anyone.


I am what changes without announcement, that struggles with or without verbalization, that which sees and knows and screams and whispers and strives and plans and hides and seeks out.

I am, without a doubt, amazing.


P.S. And so are you.

September 20th, 2006

A theme in my life over the last few years is starting a book before I go on a long, grand, adventurous trip, only to return home, finish the book, and find that that characters in the book are taking a very familiar trip. I'm not speaking metaphorically either. I'm not saying I identified with the characters emotionally. I'm sharing moments of bonefied synchronicity, reading the right books at the right time, so to say.

Last year, for instance, I began reading Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac before my first long motorcycle trip which I did alone. On the last day of the trip I started out in Weed, California, worked my way up highway 97 then took the south road up to Crater Lake, then went West, hit I-5, and experienced my first full fledged rainfall while on two wheels (a somewhat nervewracking and highly educational experience, but I should have expected it after all I was on my way towards Eugene where I quite literally rode through two inches of water on Beltline). I stopped in Eugene, had lunch and coffee at one of my favourite restaurants, then headed north to Portland on Highway 99 West. That night I was home and either that night or a following night found myself in bed with Dharma Bums in my hands reading as the character hitch hiked from Eugene up Highway 99 West towards Portland.

It was a trip.

Just under a month ago Vipassana and I returned from our trip through Oregon, Northern California, and the California/Oregon coastlines. Before starting the trip I began reading a little book called Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance, something I haven't read since just before I met my x-wife (wow, that was a bazillion years ago!). But I only got to page 150 or so as Vipassana kept asking if I was done yet, if I was done yet, if I was done yet, and because I was reading two other books I just said here, you can read it, I'll finish it later, and I went on my motorcycle trip to Hell's Canyon. Fast forward, we get back from our California trip and I pick up the book and start off from page 150 and before I know it I'm reading about how the main character and his son are motorcycling through Unity Oregon and it sounds familiar and I realize they're going to be on the same road I was on when heading east to Baker City earlier this spring. He doesn't mention it but he's going through Prineville, the town I grew up in, then they're out toward Mitchell and Prineville Junction which I believe is on highway 97 near Redmond/Madras, a road I've been on relatively recently on my hooligan. Then they're headed south towards Bend, through Bend, where they stop in La Pine and I'm thinking why did you stop in fucking nothing La Pine (it must have been even less something back in '72!), keep going, there's a decent restaurant in Chemult where we stopped. Then he turns and goes up to Crater Lake where we turned up to Crater Lake then he goes down to Klamath Falls and I'm thinking why the Hell are you doing that if you're going to Medford next?--but then that's what being on a motorcycle is all about, really, finding the longest, most windy, most beautiful way you can to get from point A to point B! Finally, they head from Medford down highway 199 to the Redwood Forest and on down south through Crescent City and I'm thinking wow, I've got bloody video footage of the afternoon Vipassana and I went out for five or so hours just to ride and explore the twists and bends of highway 199 which is just GEORGOUS and we stopped in Crescent City to check out Pebble Beach where my grandparents took me when I was five.

And there I was, a motorcycle trip just finished up, reading a book about someone who had shared the same roads with me. I wonder what book I'll be reading next year when I plan to put 2,400 miles on my bike on a trip down to San Fran and L.A. I'd ask for suggestions but that would defeat the whole random synchronistic spark from the thing.


September 19th, 2006

This afternoon I had a very disconcerting experience.  It was so upsetting that it took me about sixty seconds to realize what had happened and why it had hit me so hard.  "You're just tired," came rationalization number one, "You've had a bad day, you're frustrated, and you want an escape."

My physical therapist verbalized my frustration.  "With a broken arm you'd just get it set and be good in six weeks," she said, "but with something like this six weeks goes by and you're not healed and another and you never have a set date for when you'll be better.  That's what sucks about chronic pain."

She was more right than she knows. I've been experiencing this chronic pain in my left knee for six or so months now and there have been times when my right knee has started to hurt as well as my left ankle.  I get better, I get worse, I get better, I get worse.  I feel the same way with my acid reflux.  I get better, I get worse, I get better, I get worse.  It wouldn't be such a big deal if I was progressively in the "getting better" mode while on a fruit and vegetable diet + water but no, I can drink coffee and alcohol and eat chocolates and spicy foods and true, they make it worse but only a little worse just as a little physical excersion makes my knee worse but not a whole hell of a lot worse.  The same can be said of my motorcycle which is in the shop.  They fixed it yet today when I went in the engine was misfiring again.  The mechanic, who I trust, was startled as it was running smoothly Saturday when he finished putting the air box, fuel injector, and tank back in place and realized whatever the problem was it was something that raised its ugly head when the engine was cold.  What else can I say this about?  Friendships, check.  Work, check.  Home life, check.  Sense of hope in humanity, check.  As of late my life has felt like one step forward, one step back--and I've become frustrated with my frustration!

So the last hour of every day I stretch.  It's boring as hell but I stretch my legs and my arms and my back and I listen to the television or the radio and I smell the Nag Champa insence burning.  What else can I do?  What else should I do?  I can't redefine the nature of the universe--only my relationship to it.  And it's a good thing I've picked up these skills over the years as what happened today would have sent me over the edge years and years ago.

Before I left the therapist's office I talked with the receptionist about my upcoming appointments.  I asked when my  next one was and asked her to schedule at least one more within a week of it.  She read the computer screen and told me when she had openings and my mind was a blank.  I asked her to repeat it and she did and my mind was still blank.  Finally I said sure, fine, and pressed my fingers and palms against my face, starting at my eyes and moving down over my chin saying the words, "Sorry, I'm having a really hard day."  She looked at me with an extraordinarily look of concern...and I felt nothing.

Maybe that doesn't seem out of the ordinary to you but ordinarily I would have felt her concern.  No, I wouldn't have "empathized" with her I would have literally felt her emotions wash over me as if they were my own! This time I felt nothing and when I looked at her and saw the sincerity on her face it was if she was moving her lips in conversation but no sound was coming out.  The room had gone dark, someone had hit the mute, the sense of empathy which I've had since birth was completely turned off.  Once I realized what had happened I just wanted to be home, in my comfort zone, and try my damnest to just be, just be, just be, just be.

I am so tired.


September 18th, 2006

I talk to the TV. Not a lot and not enough that you'd think I'd lost my mind. And no, I'm not talking about talking during television programs or movies, something I'm loved and hated for. No, I mean at times, usually when I'm alone at night, I have conversations with the television.

For instance they (you know them, the proverbial "they") have these commercials with these vuluptuous half-dressed young girls who ask me questions like, "Aren't you tired of those internet chatrooms?" to which I respond, "Mu." I can tell their feelings are hurt at this point as they get the big pouty lips and tilt their heads to the side and ask, "Wouldn't you like to meet some sexy girls for a hot chat tonight?" to which I say, "Uh, nope." This is when they get pretty desperate. They make all sorts of assumptions about my life, what I'm up to, what I want, and though I can't blame them for wanting a piece of my ass, I get back to my leg stretches or what not before heading to bed.

I also love to talk to car commercials but they're not as fun to talk to as they used to be. For the most part they've become short and fancy music videos (often with some good music, I might add) so really unless I want to shake my booty there's not much to be said. I miss the days where smarmy car salesmen with kangaroos said things like, "If you don't come today I can't trick you into this overpriced paperweight!" Okay, so that's not exactly what he says and he's not the guy with the kangaroo but you get my drift.

Oh, those were the days!

That's not to say I wouldn't mind having a long conversation with a vluptuous half-dressed young girl--but she must be Chinese or Japanese and drive a little VW Bug and be creative, passionate, sexy, and sane! And I wouldn't mind having a long conversation with that guy's kangaroo.

Seriously, though, I enjoy talking to smarmy car saleman.

About once a year I consider trading my car in for something different. Maybe I want something cheaper. Maybe I want a truck so I can do more projects around the house. Maybe I'm ready for that Toyota Prius or maybe I'm just bored. Typically it's all of these so I do a little research, examine the pathetically small set of options our capitalistic society has to offer (why can't I get anything but a mercedes or big truck in a deisel? Where are the pure f'n electric cars?), and I set out to see just how strong my voice has become. And what better place than a car dealership?

Here's how it works. On a typical day in your typical car dealership you, the potential customer, drive your car into the parking lot. The moment it's 51% in the parking lot and only 49% in the street one to fifteen sets of predatory eyes turn at you. The vultures turn their heads then wait, wait, wait. They watch where you're parking and suriptitiously move your way. As like many pack animal the salesmen will spot who is closest to the prey and those not will poliely move to the sides. Don't let this fool you, though. As soon as the alpha salesperson runs in to get their card one or two others might swoop in and introduce themselves with greasy cards in hands.

Don't you just love recyling though? Try it with one of these cards, it feels GOOOOOOD! :) Anyhow...

If you spend an entire day going to car lots you will experience:

Now I must be crazy spending hours out of my weekends going to car lots. Vipassana thinks I am sometimes, I'm sure. But what better place to challenge oneself spiritually and emotionally? Is there any other place on earth where you can just walk onto a slab of pavement and be surrounded by a group of people that will push all your buttons, challenge you in every way, and make you just want to kick (90% of) them in the balls? It's not the kind of place we go for fun, it's a training ground, an opportunity to be around people that feel icky and who push and push and who often are rude, impolite, and just plain deaf. I go into this environment with the intention of keeping my calm and staying polite and saying what I want and being clear about it without getting angry at anyone. Here's what I want, I am safe and centered regardless of how you act, and guess what?

I can leave anytime I want! Ha!

I'd leave my journal entry at that tonight but I want to take a moment and congratulate those that work in the industry who are honest, intelligent, polite, and honorable. I bought my first new car, a 99 VW Jetta, from one, and my second vehicle, a shiny new black '05 RX-8, from another. To these and those few car salespeople out there who earn their living without subterfuge or coersion, my hat goes off to you.

September 17th, 2006

Sometimes need to just stop. Whether that means leave the meeting or put the book aside or stop talking or listening I just need to stop. Maybe it helps me find a new way to creatively weave the story I've been writing or maybe the distance from a conversation allows me to better see what others are saying and how I'm communicating is being taken by others or maybe I just need a breath of fresh air to rejuvenate my spirit.

I can't really say why I haven't written in the last week, only that I've needed to stop. I've gone over all the possibilities and none of the answers are satisfactory. It's not because I needed the before mentioned fresh air. Though it's been a busy (crazy) week I've always had a few minutes to write and instead I've chosen to either read or vege on the tele. Even now I feel more interested in turning to the tv than writing-and to stair at pointless commercials I've seen thirty times, no less. And so of course I have to ask, am I depressed? Well, I am fairly frustrated with my knees which are not improving after weeks and weeks of physical therapy, but overall I'm just plugging forward. Actually, I think the most likely theory is that as I get to bed earlier more often my body is telling me it rather likes that and would rather be up there right now just relaxing and breathing and exploring the universe, not sitting here typing.

Anyway, I will quickly tell you about my week. It has been busy. Usually I have one or two appointments outside of work to attend to but this week it was every day, sometimes at lunch then after work as well. One school function for my daughter as well as meeting with a stranger I met of Craigslist to purchase an alto sax. Met with someone interested in working at my company and with an old co-worker for sushi. Speaking of sushi I had some of the best sushi of my life at a little restaurant in Beaverton yesterday! Some nigiri tuna and red snapper, I really was blown away by it! Got to test drive the new Jeep Wrangler. Watched my daughter at a Karate demonstration. E-mailed back and forth with a few people I'd met on Craigslist. Still have to write back to one who I've not been avoiding but waiting until I felt refreshed. Been enjoying the hot tub almost nightly now that it's back up and running again. Tonight watched Hauru No Ugoku Shiro by Hayao Miyazaki who did the absolutely fab film Princess Mononoke back in '97-gotta add the first to my collection (Mononoke-hime's already there, of course). And I spent a few hours working Friday and Saturday nights and was in the office for about four hours this afternoon. Other than that, the two slices of pizza that sit in front of me, and the knee exercises I'll be doing shortly it's goodnight to you with a promise to write something more substantial later this week.

September 11th, 2006

I'm a slow reader. I can read fast but the truth is I prefer to savor every word instead of skimming sentences, paragraphs, and pages for meaning. So it's a huge thing when years pass and I decide to pick up a book to read it again. Examples include Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, the Tao Te Ching, The Prophet by Kahlil Gribran, Richard Bach's Illusions, and most recently Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig.

One of the main themes of this novel is Quality. Pirsig's main character spends a great deal of time and thought analyzing quality, relating it to the objective, subjective, quantifiable, qualitative (of course), and so on.

I've recently been asking myself progressively deeper questions regarding quality. Specifically, what does it mean when a person describes something as being, "good."

You've been in this situation too, I'm sure. You're at work and it's Friday and you think you'd like to get out and see a movie tonight but you don't know what's "good" right now and you don't have the time to surf the net for reviews. You turn to one of your co-workers and ask about movie X and they say movie X was absolutely excellent. Another co-worker overhears this and interrupts saying they saw movie X and thought it was a complete waste of money.

Who is right?

Subjectively speaking both opinions are valid but I want to go past such a simplistic understanding. Instead I've come up with a theory regarding two primary ways people judge quality (of which most aren't consciously aware of). To simplify I've created two groups people fall into at any given time:

Group #1: The Identifiers. In this group are those that say something is good because it touches a chord in them. Judgment tends to be emotionally based and has a direct tie to their personal experience.

Group #2: The Analysts. These are people who examine multiple facets of a thing, disregarding their own emotional reaction to it, and look at the skill necessary to create a thing it. The analyst looks past their immediate reaction and considers how others might perceive a thing (and why).

We've all noticed that people have different opinions about something's quality. We listen to opinions and learn who has reliable feedback and in what areas. For instance, if we know someone who knows how to pick out the best Hong Kong Kung Fu flicks we might ask them about the new Jet Li film, but if we're interested in a touching family story we might ask someone else. Whether we do this consciously or not we gravitate towards those we consider experts or in other words, people we believe we can trust.

Listening to people we can trust is a rational behavior. But why wouldn't we tend to go to one person for an opinion, surely there must be a handful of folks out there who can give a clear analysis of what quality is and give us a thumbs up or a thumbs down when we want to know if a film was good enough to spend $7 on? Isn't there a single movie super genius out there we can put our faith in?! Why must we waste money on tickets and shitty popcorn for some of the crap that's out there? Oh sweet pocket book, how we must take chances with thee!

I think the answer lies in the fact that as humans we're by nature Identifiers. We experience something not for the skill that was necessary to create it nor how it might affect a large number of people but mainly in how it effects "me". There's nothing "wrong" with this, we're simply emotional creatures and we respond to things that touch our experience, yet there's something to be said for understanding this phenomena and when and why we fall into the category of the Analyst or the Identifier.

For instance my early child-hood idol was a certain cultural icon, the Vulcan first officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise: Mr. Spock. He was my hero because I could identify with him. He was half vulcan and half human living with humans and "feeling" more vulcan. I was half Australian and half American living in America and feeling more Australian. He was unique and though he fit in stuck out like a sore thumb (sometimes to his detriment), I was unique and though I fit in I stuck out like a sore thumb. He was smart and followed science, mathematics, and was interested in computers, I was smart, interested in science and math and would do anything to get my hands on a computer (I love them Apple II's!). He showed little emotion and I, having grown up with a blind father, had learned to show little emotion. When he suffered he did so alone. Ditto.

As a six year old I identified with him but it was to my detriment that I didn't dig deeper, I just thought he was "cool" and "awesome" and "rad", and didn't go any farther. This, however, proved to be detrimental as my identification with him in large part caused me to push my emotions down deep where they'd later blow up in my face (see major depression, 1989 - 1999). If I had instead recognized the reasons I admired his character as identifications instead of "absolutes in quality" I might have had a better understanding of myself and would have been in a much better place to evolve more rapidly into the person I am now.

How else might the understanding of analytical quality and identified quality benefit our lives?

The other night I watched a movie called Sliding Doors (I mentioned it a few entries back). When I originally saw the film I didn't really identify with anyone in it and so I fell into my natural pattern of looking at it for pure analytical quality. The script was decent, the acting decent, editing decent, and nothing really jumped out and objectively said that the film was a skillful rarity. Yet the person I was with back then, the person I was madly in love with, said they really identified with this film. So there we were, the two of us talking about completely different things. She identified with the protagonist so the movie was good while I had yet to have those experiences so I just shrugged when the movie was over. We saw the same film but because we were looking at it in vastly different ways a rift of misunderstanding had opened between us.

Now that I've had a few rather distasteful experiences I can watch this movie and…damn, is it good (and much better two watch a fictional account of someone else going through that shit!).

So what's the point of tonight's little diatribe?

First, pay attention to what you think is cool and learn to view them as identifications, not simple attractions: you'll be surprised what insights this will give you.

Second, what the people you love identify with is one of the most powerful tools you have to understand them, support them, and accept them. Open your heart and pay attention!

September 10th, 2006

Last night I challenged myself to do something completely different. I sat down at my desk with the intention of writing my journal entry but I had another intent sitting patiently at the back of my mind: to post it in the personals section on

I'd love to jump to a cop-out and say I didn't know why I did it but the truth is I did it for a very simple reason: curiosity. Many of my journal entries this month have revolved around the theme of relationships and I felt if I was going to write, publish, write, publish, I'd give others the opportunity to respond to me directly and in particular I wanted to hear from those without prior knowledge of myself or The Temple. Perhaps I am an eccentric but I found myself compelled by this strong urge to toss pebbles into the pond that is Portland and watch the sun reflect off the ripples.

Now I have posted ads to and other dating and pen-pal sites in the past. Typically my desire was for friendship and as such I've met people from all over the world (one of my best friends is from Turkey--hi Muge! Love ya, sweetie!). On a few occasions, though, I've posted ads with the intention of meeting a soul-mate and engaging in a life-long relationship. Typically these personal descriptions went as follows:

"32 year old male, 5'10", long brown hair, blue-green eyes, looking for a LTR. I'm a software engineer and am interested in computers, reading, writing, cooking, gardening, motorcycling, and much more. I like walks on the beach and having fun. Find me, hold me, love me, etc..."

That's a gross exaggeration, of course. I usually spent up to an hour writing these ads in hopes of attracting "Mrs. Right", however only one person responded to my ad over a period of six months (this was a little over two years ago mommy said if you can't say anything nice...). A few years before that I'd worked up the courage to respond to ads from about a dozen women on a site much like Craigslist; those that did respond were unnecessarily rude and verbalized harsh criticisms of my website and in particular writing an online journal which they said was self absorbed--yet here we are, five-six years later, and 'blogging' and are the norm, not the exception. I guess being a few years ahead of the times is just inviting trouble! ;)

But I digress...I'm not so interested in sharing the past with you tonight as my present and in particular my inbox which contains several responses to my posting which was titled, "I don't know what I want." In truth, I was overwhelmed by the number of letters I received and how they represented a validation of a theory I and others hold about life, the universe, and everything (in particular that you get what you ask for or in the words of an ancient prophet, "Knock and the door shall be opened to you"). The honest, creative, and sometimes courageous responses to one of my midnight keyboard dances brought surprise and more than a little joy to the start of my day; I have never had so many people express interest in me in such a short period of time. I read every letter closely, with curiosity, and sometimes with a grin on my face and spent the day wondering how I'd respond to them. I still don't know what I want in terms of a relationship and frankly it would take a truly amazing woman to convince me that the added complication of one would be worth the time, money, and energy. Perhaps I sound hardened by time but the truth of the matter is that though I sometimes miss the physical and emotional intimacy of a relationship I live an honorable and good life as is (or in the immortal words of some other prophet, "If it ain't broke don't fix it.").

So there we are. I don't know what I want except for some honest feedback and to all of you that have taken the time and energy to share yours with me, thank you. I was touched by each of your responses.

Bon soir,

P.S. What's with today's photograph? Check out the Visions page for the shoot I went on today. The answer lies there-in!

September 9th, 2006

I don't know what I want. I wish I could say differently but the truth is after thirty some years I've come up with a larger list of what I don't want than what I do want. For instance, I don't want to meet someone who "wants to be a model" or who "knows what they like when they see it." Though I readily admit such an attitude might come across as overly judgmental the truth of the matter is in my experience those who express the first view are preoccupied with the superficial whether it be dreams of external validation on a grand scale or simple vanity while those in the second group tend towards (how do I put this politely?) frivolity. Granted these are only the limited realizations of one being yet these realizations, as many others, were made during a time where I thought I knew exactly what I wanted.

I started off this journey thinking I wanted to get married to my high school sweetheart, have children, grow old together, you know, the nuclear family part of the "American Dream" (minus the uranium). Our friendship never ended but we did go our separate ways, she towards marriage with the kind of awesome guy you wish for someone you love and me towards, well, where I am now which happens to be at my desk writing this. And for some time I wanted long term, committed, loving relationships and for the most part that's what I sought until one day I experienced that whole "one night stand" thing--excepting I'd be reticent to relate it in that fashion as it was actually a week which I eventually put a stop to due to the dishonesty inherent in that particular situation (I admit complete responsibility in this matter). Long story short I wanted the whole she-bang most of my life, to commit my heart and soul to one person in perfect, life-long, unity (yadda, yadda, yadda)--excepting of course those moments where I felt let down by those that took advantage of my naïve one mindedness (after which points I just wanted to get, well, laid)--and now I'm in a strange sort of limbo where I don't necessarily want one or the other but could be sweet talked into either or neither given the right person with an exceptional and rare personality.

So yeah, I don't know what I want. There are moments where I want to put my whole being into a committed, loving, "win-win" relationship, but then I can't help but be reminded that those times I've put my money where my mouth is and likewise my heart where my mouth and money were I realized, three to six months later (after that whole honeymoon period thang was over) that a large withdrawal had been made without my consent. What follows are times where I simply say to myself I've had enough of that, I'd simply like an honest, passionate, mature, (and yes, STD free) lover who I can spend evenings with every now and again spooning, discussing philosophy, drinking red wines, and making love to (sometimes like bunnies after a Starbucks binge and sometimes like slow-warm waves washing over an Australian beach). Of course I could just lower my standards completely and wish for a stalker with listening skills but truth be told I've been an experiencer to half of that equation (the former) and that (frankly, honestly, ad naseum) was more than enough for my taste so there we are.

Right here.

So what do I want? I don't know. I know what I don't want and that experience, that knowing what I don't want in my life, is strangely atypical in thirty years or reckoning. Then again, I like experiencing things I have not known before so there we have it.

Take care,


September 8th, 2006

I finally did it! After three years living at my home I finally found the right person to teach me the Zen of schedule 40 pipes! Sure, they did much of the work but yesterday I, all by myself, went out to purchase a butane torch, something I've never used, spent thirty minutes ripping two last rusted parts apart, then put the whole thing back together--then watched the rusty gasket leak like a siv... So today I went to the hot tub place, picked up two new rubber seals, a new gasket, and two metal heat sinks (shown at right) and spent an hour this evening reassembling several of the pieces.

Of course at that point I knew better than to simply think hey, it looks great. Looks can be decieving, especially when it comes to high pressure (and yes, high temperature) plumbing. So I flipped on the water heater and primped the pump then clicked the power switch and waited for the pump to push water throughout the pipe system again and after a few minuts it shook with a thump, thump, thump, the water pressure went up to 41 psi, the water heater went "woooosh!" with flame, and it did not leak. Three years of minor and major triage and it now works like new!!!

I'm a big boy now!

On an unrelated subject Vipassana and I were at Hollywood Video tonight and as we often do we noticed films in the comedy section that just didn't belong there. Now I recognize there are films that don't necessarily fit into any specific genre and others people might argue non-stop regarding, but we've noticed that with some consistency some films end up in the comedy section that frankly, though having humorous elements, aren't that (fucking) funny. In fact, some of them are downright depressing.

Take for instance the film Sliding Doors. I haven't seen this movie for years and though I hadn't remembered any of it had this gut feeling it was time to revisit the movie (see below). Though I didn't remember the film as being even remotely humorous we watched it and agreed it really was a serious, if not somewhat depressing, philosophical drama asking a very important question: what if my life went this way instead of that one? Sure, there were a few humorous moments but I might also argue it was really a science-fiction film since the premise was based on parrallel universe theory which is founded in advanced quantum physics.

Two other films we've noticed fall into "comedy" are About Schmidt and Lost in Translation. Like Sliding Doors both had humorous moments, but for the most part these films were drama tales about personal experience, growth, learnings, and the like. So I asked myself, "Why do these films keep showing up in comedy when they're so clearly dramas with no more comic relief than the average life?"

And then I think we (Vipassana and I) stumbled upon a theory which makes a great deal of sense: these films cause people to experience cognitive dissonance (psychological and/or emotional discomfort). Think about it, Sliding Doors has a character who has an excellent sense of wit about him yet it's gloomy. The main character, who has a personality split at the beginning of the film, is cheated on, lied to, used, manipulated, looses her baby, and dies (in at least one of her realities). Not a comedy and definitely something that can be upsetting to watch (especially for those of us who have been through similar experiences--not mentioning names though). Lost in Translation and About Schmidt are really more focused towards a male protagonist who nearer to the end of his life feels more separate, old, and alone, and goes out on an interesting if not somewhat depressing exploration of this thing we call life. Both had their moments of humor but frankly their tones were subdude and often empty feeling and who the hell wants to go through life, much less a movie, dealing with feelings of (omg) emptiness?

So the question is this: do dramas that honestly explore aspects of life we're uncomfortable with, that do not fall into the category of "oh, isn't that a sad little drama", that touch too close to home for many of us--do these films cause so much cognitive dissonance that the little comic relief found in them, much like our lives, makes us look back at them with a viewpoint much different than the one we had while originally watching them? More succinctly, do dramas that touch us deeply in areas we're not comfortable being touched cause us to latch onto their minor thematic elements?

Anyway...I haven't watched Sliding Doors for about eight years or so now. When I first watched it I didn't get much out of it. I understood the little trick and thought okay, that's mildly interesting, but so what? You're really going to carry an entire movie on that simple premise?!? Yet I've felt pulled to watch this film again over the last month or two and I'm glad I did. I really couldn't empathize with the characters before but now, after many years of some pretty wild and sometimes upsetting experiences I can relate to every character in the film including but not limited to the supporting female friend, the jocular supportive male friend, the lying rationalizing cheat, the girl friend who wants the guy to make up his mind and commit, the good guy who really loves the girl, and the girl who's had her trust broken so often she expects to find more lies around the corner. Tonight I identified most closely with the protagonist who lost her job, was cheated on, lied to, etc., etc., etc. Been there, done that, and in some ways I'm still a wreck because of it.


Glad I watched it again, though. And just a word of advice which you may or may not choose to acknowledge: If someone you love says they like and/or identify with something you think isn't that great...shut your flipping mouth and ask why.

Anyhow, I must get to bed. Thank you for reading this evening's ramble. Goodnight,

September 6th, 2006

When I was young you lived next door and dropped in from time to time to visit my parents while I played in the other room. As a young adult I learned to adore you as you helped me keep people close; sometimes I loved the comfort of you when no one else was around. I know you, Misery, and I have had enough of you. Yet when I try to move on you grab tightly onto my hands and fingers with a sick-numbness and pull me into the darkness. "They've all died, don't you see?" you say to me and it takes me a moment to find my bearing for I know they're not dead--all but a few are in my life, the rest are without gravestones, just memories pulling me in. "You cannot have me," I retort, "I am not that one anymore!" I feel the pull and I want to give in yet I fight and I fight and sometimes, my friend, it feels so utterly useless moving away when it seems there is so little but struggle and lies beyond the pull of your cold hand.

My trust in humanity, in those near or far, has dwindled over the years. Misery, as you may already know, comes much easier to those of us who have years under our belts, who have made terrible and regretful mistakes, to those whose hopes and dreams are so very far from the reality, and to those of us who know the temporary comfort of sweet lies and the broken bones of repeated misuse. I have seen what it means to suffer in comfort, I have seen the lies and the games and yes, I have foolishly participated.

I stand still.

There is hope. And there is fear. Not all stories have happy endings and in truth all our lives end in death and in between there are deaths both big and small, enlightening and dumbfounding. Sometimes I find myself in rediculous monologues. Will growing my hair out again produce negative results? A toss of salt over my shoulder and I'm wondering if there's a certain sense one has of a thing, present and future, that provides a seemingly unrelated compass some of us have learned to see and others have learned to avoid.

We must fight for understanding. We must strive for compassion. We must thirst for truth. We must find the courage to love. And we must joy.

There is enough misery.

September 5th, 2006

I give up. Building that shelf is such a big pain in the butt I decided to take some spare wood and some wood screws...and...

So I told you how a little over a year ago or whatever it is now I had this general doctor who "diagnosed" me with allergies time and time again when it turned out I had acid reflux. Well, the acid reflux, which another doctor diagnosed me correctly with, caused me to tighten up my shoulders. She gave me medicine for my tummy and muscle relaxants for my shoulders and they worked like charms but then my general practitioner was still convinced I had a sniffly nose so it was off to a chiropractor who showed me how to pop my back to keep from getting those nasty shoulder and headaches. Then my knee started hurting so I stopped jogging and did some research and did some strengthing for months then went to a "specialist" who said one thing and sent me out with more excercises then I went back and asked to see a physical therapist so I saw them for a few weeks and they gave me stretches and excercises and you know, I actually started to feel a tiny bit better. Then she had to go work downtown and was replaced by another gal who had a slightly different point of view than my first therapist and both had a much different view from my specialist and all three were night and day from my general practitioner and NONE of them talked nearly as much as the substitute doctor who renewed my faith in humanity and the functionally insane.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't want a pill or a quick fix but it's been six months and I just want one simple, straight forward, and consistent methodology for getting back on track. Oh, and I even pondered on this so much I came up with this spiffy quotation which you can quote me on...oh crap, I forgot! But it had something to do with opening yourself up to all the dogmas so you can have some superdogma or some such thing...but trust me, the wording was much more spiffy, I just don't have a photographic memory and apparently it popped in and out of my mind while I was doing my knee excercises and thinking about dogma and GOD how much it drives me up a wall all these little dogmas running around with their tongues wagging getting the rest of us wet!

Oh, and just kidding about the wall, screwed up some scrap boards to keep the cats from ripping into the drywall and yes, eating it!

P.S. The quote as I remember it now: "To correctly skin a cat first consult a thousand dogmatists." Of course it may have been, "Stay vigilant: There are a thousand dogmatists who want to skin your cat."

September 4th, 2006

Today I learned about PVC pipe primer and cement as well as sawing and fitting PVC pipe together. I did not, however, have an opportunity to work on the closet so no closet pictures today, just this artsy-fartsy shot of some pipes. I'm also a bit tired, not particularly looking forward to work tomorrow and thinking about selling my car for something more simple and my bike for something a bit more, "Lets jump on and do a six thousand mile trp next summer, eh?" We saw a gaggle of bikers today riding beautiful machines of all shapes and sizes and a girl was riding on the back of one of the sport bikes and I felt sorta alone. Oh well. I am at home now in my bedroom. The house is quiet and Nag Champa is burning. In a few minutes I'm going to take a shower because the hot water heater wasn't on this morning. I've spent the afternoon feeling like I've had one foot in life and one trying to keep up with the car. I finished up the last few bills for August and one of the checks was #666 paid to the U.S. Goverment foma edgumakation.


My daughter goes to a lot of churches and temples with friends and families who all think they're right. Oh, and my knee is feeling better although I have slacked this weekend on some of the strength excercises though on my behalf I do many of the stretches up to a dozen times a day. I've wanted to bring stretching into my daily life but I had to hurt my flipping knee to do it. The universe works!

Pain in the arse.

September 3rd, 2006

I'm not good at names, never have been. For years I used this as an excuse and there's truth to it. My physical therapist for instance, is named Morgan and I made a strong conscious effort to remember and call her by name by somehow Morgan became Megan and I made a slight fool of myself (or at least felt so as I'd put so much effort into getting it right). As an empath the name of a person is such a quiet echo compared to the energy beaming from their hearts and souls--yet I still continue to try and remember these simple little things we monkeys use to identify each other.

The same is true of concepts and in particular techniques. Ideas, which are in many ways the heart and soul of the human mindscape, pound their way deep in me but I find that the sounds we associate with them are fleeting.

For instance, today while I was extending the studs in my closet wall some friends from out of town arrived. One of them, who has much more experience working on homes, asked me what my design ideas were. I explained to him what I was doing (and what problems I had run into) and he asked why I hadn't done some such thing and some other such thing and I'd love to share with you the exact details of what he told me but I don't remember the terminology for relating the techniques. What I recall is the ideas and the ideas were those of someone who's done similar things a few times.

One of the things he asked is why I didn't simply remove the studs which weren't providing direct support for the stairs and replace them with deeper studs. I thought about this for awhile then asked myself why I hadn't thought to do that and the answer was simply that a project of this magnitude was completely new to me so instead of going in with the idea I'd rip everything out and start clean I'd leave everything I possibly could in place and work around what was already there.

The irony is that when it comes to computer programming, something that's a vocational experience for me, I rip out as much of the old as possible and replace it with new. Sure, I'll take a look and what's been built before to determine what can best be used, but if a board isn't as deep as I'd like it I don't extend that board out by attaching it to another board but I replace the board with one that more closely matches my needs.

So often I find that the superficial venear of a problem clouds one's ability to solve it in the same manner one would in another setting. This is actually a common theme in Buddhism and in particular Zen Buddhism; both often focus their lessons on putting aside the illusions of form and shape and understanding the underlying reality of things.

There's a lot home improvement and software programming have in to absolve myself of other illusions that limit my reflection. For those who commonly pursue the understanding of their illusions my hat goes off to you.

September 2nd, 2006

This afternoon my daughter and I entered the hallway closet with drywall saw, hammer, and chisels in hand and began to rip the bloody thing into pieces of all shapes and sizes creating in the process a dust cloud that covered our arms, jeans, and feet in a thin film of snow white. We kept this up for over an hour after which time the inner wall was exposed as necessary for tomorrow's work so while I went to pick up some wood and drywall screws my daughter made use of the dry vac to clean the last of our little escapade.

My daughter has never worked on a house before and though I have helped in projects such as reroofing and building garage shelves I have never ripped into the very structure of a building so though I've wanted to build Book/DVD shelves into this wall for years I've always had some trepidation. Not having a truck has served as a somewhat convenient excuse not to get wood however I finally gave in and asked a fellow co-worker for their help and so now that I have the wood here I am jumping right in, taking the plunge, and feeling a bit excited about what it will look like in a week or two.

When I was a little boy my dad taught me how to use a hammer. I learned to build little projects and he helped me build an old fashioned go-cart like you'd see on The Little Rascals. Later I helped build shelves into our garage and when I was a teenager I spent a month on the roof of our house nailing shingle after shingle into place.

Similarly I learned to use a screw driver, a hand saw, an axe, a splitting maul, a power saw, a soldering iron, a level, pendulum, a miter box, a square, and a router. I did not take classes to pick up these skills but aquired them by playing around or working on projects with my dad or others or what have you. No one's ever taught me how to build a bookshelf much less build one into the very structure of a house yet I knew I wanted to do it so I spent my time thinking about this problem. What would I need to do? Were there any skills or tools I was missing? What materials would be necessary? Later, after I answered many of these questions using the knowledge I had as well as input from those with more experience than I and research on the internet I began to ask more focused questions such as: how deep should the shelves be? Since the studs aren't deep enough how do I make the wall deeper? What types of wood should I use? How can I insure what I build is stable and will add value to the house? More importantly, how can I, a simple computer programmer and motorcycling fanatatic, build a high quailty book shelf that will be part of this house for decades to come?

Now how in the hell can building a bookshelf into a wall relate to what I want in a relationship?

There are people in this world who live in idle acceptance that there are areas of inexperience in their lives. I have found these can be split into two types. The first assumes they are completely incapable of endevours for which they do not have expertise and so shy away from many of the rich challenges that life affords them. Those in the second group understand they lack the skills and experience to successfully accomplish a goal yet they bury this reality under a false sense of confidence, ignore those with experience, and subsequently blunder into things causing a bigger mess.

I don't fit into either of those groups and the woman I want in my life does not either. I need someone who understands what it means to take on a challenge and understand ones limitations, listen and learn from those with more experience, and only work on a project when they know what the hell they're doing (or at the very least that it's safe to experiment). People who have successful (non co-dependent) relationships use some of the same mental and emotional tools I use to build a shelf into the wall so that's something I look for in a partner.

Examples of this in my own life are many. Jogging is one. Until I hurt my knee I'd never heard of pronation. What the fuck is that? My knees turn in a little when I walk? I need arch supports? My I.T. band is too tight? And that's going to make my knee ache every day for months so badly I can no longer get out on the track? So I consulted the internet and talked with people who jog thirty miles a week and went to specialists and have been doing physical therapy. I spend at least fifteen minutes stretching and doing strength excercises twice a day and though I have a long way to go I'm getting better. Other areas where I'm constantly setting goals and acknowleding what I know and what I don't know include but are not limited to: computer programming, motorcycling, interpersonal communication, public speaking, woodworking, cooking, gardening, parenting, and so on and so forth.

I'm in an ongoing process of setting goals, determining what I need to do to accomplish those goals, then filling in the gaps before and while I move forward. Sometimes I'm missing knowledge, sometimes a tool, sometimes an idea, or sometimes the help of another being, but whatever the case I look at the problem realistically. And yes, I try to pass this important lesson on to my daughter.

Tomorrow we continue our work. I look forward to sharing more pictures with you then.

September 1st, 2006

I just returned from an overnight motorcycle trip to Seattle, Washington. I went up to visit an old friend from fourth and fifth grade who now lives in Minnesota and returns this way from time to time to visit his dad. I met him today around 2pm near Seatac but more on that another time. I rode up yesterday around 6:30, went up highway 30, crossed the Columbia River into Longview, Washington, then took I-5 up to WA-512 East towards Puyallup then headed on WA-167 to Sumner where I stayed the evening with my brother's family.

So that's where I've been the last 30 or so hours. I don't know why I share that with you. I've come to realize lately just how much I don't tell people which is ironic given how much of an effort I make to share my thoughts and feelings with those in my life and though I realize I'm not the most fully articulate person esp. when I'm not in my comfort zone which happens to be (surprise, surprise) the written word I spent an innorbinant amount of my time learning how to express myself better and interact with those in my life in a more meaningful way. There are some that might say otherwise but you know, in the end I'm not writing to convince anyone of anything and people will believe what they want so there we are.

I digress. Back to things on my mind that I haven't really shared and the thing that's brought it up.

My good friend who I haven't really seen except two other times since fourth and fifth grades asked me today, "Are you seeing anyone?" I answered, "No." Except I didn't stop there. You see, with the exception of this journal (which doesn't have the emotional context of a conversation with a friend over lunch) I don't have many people I feel I can just talk with and share my thoughts, feelings, hopes, frustrations, and all that with. Sure, Vipassana is my sounding board but we've known each other for so long and are both intuitives so often we don't even need to talk, we just synch up...damnit, I'm off on a tangent again.

I have to admit I've been thinking about his question a lot lately. If you made a frequency chart of my dating since 2000 it would be logarithmic function where I dated a lot in (for me) in 2000-2001, less in 2002, less in 2003, and so on. Since I moved into my home over three years ago I have only dated twice and both ended poorly and have...well...given me a lot to think about.

For much of my life I felt I needed a partner. I was one of those people that didn't feel complete without one. I'm also one of those people (one of the few in this day and age, it seems) that was mostly in a handful of long term relationships as opposed to a speed dater (the worst I knew bragged about having seen over thirty men in a month, many of them of whom she slept with). That's not to say I haven't had some short-short term relationships. Over a decade ago while I was severely depressed, trying to get my life on track, and the love of my life wasn't returning phone calls, I felt so empty I manipulated one girl and got her in the sack just to suit my own fancy--but I hated myself so much for playing her like a violin I haven't pulled that since. And I've had a few very short relationships since but hey, when you find someone's a completely screwed up alcholic who critisizes you half the time they open their mouth.......

As of late I've wanted a girlfriend again which is new and actually quite annoying. I haven't had one for years but now I want one. The difference from my past is I don't feel like I need one. I haven't felt that way for three or four years, actually. I have enough on my plate. Much of my life is dedicated to my daughter. She comes first. Many have said, "You've gotta be happy too," but you know what, I find that attitude a sign of the times, something that comes from a selfish American culture that doesn't really get it. Children come first. Yes, we need to be balanced adults to raise them but the fallacy is that we need to be dating or in a relationship to do so. When I make choices I ALWAYS ask myself how those choices effect her and personally I choose being lonely from time to time over being in relationships with people that have a negative impact on my (and by extension, her, life).

And so the next topic for discussion comes up. I want one but what am I willing to do to get one? Truth is, I'm not interested in doing anything. I've met people through a plethura of means but I'm just not intersted in looking. I don't have the energy and frankly I'm not interested in getting caught up in the thought of want; instead I prefer to simply allow myself to experience the feeling of wanting something I don't have, breath in, breath out, let go, and move on.

It's a very buddhist attitude but life is so much more contented that way.

The next subject for me then becomes, what am I looking for? Short answer: To be accepted for who I am. Okay, whatever. That was my highschool answer and the kind of superficial bullshit you read on next to, "I like to have fun" (which is perhaps one of the most uninformative things one can say about oneself!). The thing is I have always had this tendency to overlook people's shortcomings and although I have been admittedly critical of people I've dated at times I have let people cheat on me, lie to me, and use me, with the thought, "If I stand by them they'll see and appreciate my loyalty." It took me a long time to see what part I played in those relationships and it's been hard to learn the skills to communicate what I want, where my boundaries are, and walk away when others take advantage of me.

Yes, you broke my heart but I love you for giving me the opportunity to grow.

Anyway, this list is by no means complete and one could argue I'm simply rambling this evening but hey, my fingers are babbling so enjoy (in no particular order):

What I want &&|| don't want in a girlfriend.

1. Honesty

Every girl I've ever dated, with the exception of one, has prided themselves in their honesty. Ironically, the ones that preached the most about their honesty and forthrightness were some of the least honest people I've been with. For instance one gf was seeing an x behind my back and when I confronted them they lied to me about it--to date I've heard three different stories. I'm not okay with that and never will be. My problem has always been I'll put up with this kind of crap for months--and obviously this sends the message to whomever that they can pull that shit with me. So no more. As far as honesty I've got a three strikes and you're out rule. And if someone told me flat out they weren't that honest I'm not interested. I require honesty in my friendships and by extension of that concept my relationships as well. I'm not interested in sales pitches or the political spin but actually knowing I can trust what comes out of someone's mouth.

2. Walk the walk

That's related to #1. I want to meet someone who walks the walk. I don't care if they walk my walk but they'd better walk their walk and by damn that means if they say, "I'm a vegetarian," I won't catch them sneaking a Jack in the Box big cheeseburger while they think I'm not looking. Walking the walk, to me, is about doing what one says. If someone says they're the kind of person that will have the tough conversations but sticks their head in the dirt when something upsets me, then they don't walk the walk (and frankly lacking in the friendship area). Anyhow...none of us are perfect but this is a must.

3. Some humility please!

I make mistakes. I hurt people. When I'm cognisent of doing so I apologize and do my best to make amends. I absolutely need some level of humility in another human being. I don't necessarily need to be placated to, but if my feelings are hurt an, "I'm sorry, what can I do?" would be nice (as opposed to the response "This is just the kind of person I am" response which is frankly demonstrative of a lack of responsibility). Vipassana is one of the few people that ever says this to me and it makes me respect her by leaps and bounds (and yes, I do say it to her from time to time but not often enough, I'm sure!).

4. Evolution

Yep, I need someone that changes and grows because I do this silly thing called changing and growing and I've found I can't have a friendship with someone who's found their niche of absolute comfort and won't move out of that. For instance I was once in a relationship with a girl that smoked like a chimney and I wanted to stop smoking and get my health on the right track; this mindset of personal growth was anethema to her and that difference created a huge rift. I'm always growing and learning and changing and I've found that I can't stay with someone who expects me to have the same hair cut or facial hair or clothes from day one to day ten. I think I deserve to be loved with long hair or short, a beard or clean shaven face, etc.--and that's only superficial evolution. I need someone who can accept me when my views and knowledge change, grow, and evolve!

And that brings me to...

5. No frivolous types

As a culture Americans are frivolous. It's not a criticism, that's just who we are. And I've found the same to be true with dating. After all, what is dating but a word we tag to two people trying each other on with some vaguely defined commitments. So I'm going to share something with you, I think dating is unethical. It allows two people to get together and not make any commitments. Here's what I mean. Person X and Y get together. One just wants to get in the sack, the other wants a long term relationship and who knows. Person X and Y agree that they're dating. The word allows them both to be vague and play with each others perceptions. X doesn't have to say they just want sex, they can simply say they're dating and leave it at that. Person Y doesn't have to push the idea of a long term relationship, they can play and sway the other person psychologically and emotionally. Now here's the deal. If people were committed non-frivolous person X would say exactly what they want and person Y would say what they want and they'd both be committed and responsible for communicating their points of view clearly and also for accepting the reality that what they want isn't in synch so they should move on, not play the situation for all it's worth (a ride I've been taken on far too often).

Anyway, I'm not interested in frivolous girls. I'm going to change, I'm going to grow, I'm going to experience life. Right now I like motorcycling but who knows, next year I might decide I want to jump out of planes. I don't know. But I want the person I'm with not to base their supposed love for me on who I was when we met. Tomorrow I might shave my head. Maybe it's not as sexy to them but I'm sick of people deciding to move on in part because I'm not wearing the right clothes or have the sexy hairstyle. I deserve to be loved at that moment and for every moment thereafter. That's what love, real love, is about.

Frivolous little girls, please go shop elsewhere.

6. Yeah, the loyal type

Loyalty is a must have. By that I don't mean someone that'll agree with me on everything but I do want someone that's really sticking around for the long haul and especially when things are tough. I don't know what it's like (obviously) but I know I don't like the way I feel when my "loving" partner is disloyal so I'm thinking loyalty is probably something I want.

7. Someone who can disagree with me

I can be an opinionated bastard. I have some pretty strong opinions but I change my opinions based on the information I have and am always in the search for a bigger truth than the one I have (or think I have). Part of that equation for me is being around people who can speak up and have a mature disagreement from time to time. And you know what? Study after study show that the healthiest relationships involve regular disagreements after all, how can two unique people with different wants and needs be happy together if they're not openly sharing their conflicting thoughts and opinions then determining where to go with them (as opposed to jumping to violence or silence, which is the all-to-frequent response to disagreements)?

8. Can you hear me?

I need a girl that knows how to listen, I mean LISTEN! I've known those who say they know how to listen but for real? For example I once dated someone who expressed frustration because they didn't know what I wanted. I was confused because I often clearly articulated my wants and do you know what their response was when I told them? "But that's not me," and, "If I did that it wouldn't be as special as me pulling something random out of my ass." Okay, I was somewhat liberal with my choice of words but the point is if I say I like X or I feel Y or I won't accept it when someone does Z to me and it goes in one ear and out the other...

Call me nuts but I want a gf who listens, remembers, and OMG responds to the things I say!

9. You got kids?

I never thought I'd hear myself saying this but I'd be extremely hesitant to date a single mom again. I always assumed men that would avoid women with children was because they didn't want to possibly become stuck with the responsibility of children if the relationship became serius but now I wonder. My experience has been that single mothers love to tell me how I should be parenting my daughter while they themselves will become extremely agitated if you express honest frustration about their kid who threw a tantrum in a public place. And just the whole thing about a person with no psychological education giving me a lecture on parenting--it's downright insulting, esp. when their kids throw multiple tantrums every day or gets caught doing drugs. Last but not least all the single mothers I've known have had co-dependent relationships with their kids but were likewise completely unaware of it. That's not healthy and bringing another person into makes things "interesting", to say the very least.

But if said single parent has read, understand, and actively uses the book Positive Discipline then maybe I'd be open to something...otherwise not really interested. I f'n don't like putting my heart in someone's hands then falling in love with their kid then later being lied to, cheated on, or slandered, then have that child ripped from my life. Not fun. Not one damned bit. Not really interested in going through that again.

10. Accept Vipassana and my daughter

I'm so sick of people telling me just how wonderful it is that I've adopted a daughter and later, when they want to "move on", coming back with bullshit about Vipassana being in my life. This is just a cop-out, plane and simple. Vipassana is my best friend. She's not my girlfriend or my wife. I'm not going to push her or my little girl out of my life and I have a very special and unique relationship with both of them. I have a unique relationship with EVERYONE I know, so frankly it's just redicululous when this comes up--and strangly this only comes up when people break up with me.

To them I have this to say:

Hey, you know what, you're not the loyal, loving person you claimed to be. Be honest with me. You want to move on and find a new stud to start doing the mattress dance with. Don't fucking pull the crap about Vipassana and my daughter, if it had been an issue it would have been an issue on day one, not month three or six. And if it were there's a word for it:


11. Passionate

This person is passionate about something. It may be music or art or spirituality but they're passionat about something. And they actually do what they're passionate about, not just talk about doing it at some point.

12. Sincere

I want all hugs to be sincere and over the years I've had a few fake ones. I need someone who's sincere with me. If we're making love they're sincere and by that I mean they're present not simply going through the motions. And if they're telling me how their day went and how it made them feel it comes from their heart. Etc.

See honesty.

13. Wants kids

If I were a woman I'd have a kid by now. As a man I don't get to make that choice. I really want to have a child some day. Not two or three but just one child who's a biological extension of myself that I can teach and raise to be a healthy human being. So...

14. Just for fun

Some of these are crazy and some more serious but for shits and giggles here's a list:

Anyhow, I'm sleepy and must hit the sack. Goodnight.