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11/01 Direct Link
That prince and princess rescue thing.

Real women don't want rescue and real men don't want to rescue real women. Or anyone else.

But.

It's wired in, stronger in some of us (of both sexes) than others, thanks I suppose to instincts developed to aid survival of the species, and to how those instincts have us respond to experience.

For example, my mother losing her first child and turning to the baby (me) for comfort may have beefed up my rescue circuits, while another person might have come to find needy women repulsive.

I've learned to meter it pretty well.
11/02 Direct Link
Once I decided not to do NaNoWriMo I realized I actually have a little time for it. Not nearly enough, but some. I kinda wish I was doing it, now. But I won't wish that later. So.

Or? I have a document to do by mid-morning, but other'n that I could go home and write a bit. Why not?

Because I would have to write 3,333 words just to catch up, is why. That's a couple hours, maybe more. I don't have a couple hours, and tonight is a free night. I'll have no time tomorrow, or Saturday.
11/03 Direct Link
Some time ago I wrote here a short fictional sketch that took place in San Francisco of the late Victorian era. It was nothing more than an instant's inspiration from listening to a Beethoven piano sonata. For the hell of it I published it on my blog. My friend read it and now wants me to write more. As if I started something that can't just stop.

I keep saying no no no, but you know, I could. I created these two characters in a place and time, and now they stand still, holding their breath, ready to continue living.
11/04 Direct Link
Pretty much spent the day getting a test board to work. After all sorts of time spent getting the test probe software installed and running, and more time discovering that the pulse-width modulated backlight control comes from the base board in this firmware configuration and not the display panel as expected, and yet more time determining that the test probe scripts provided by my man in Bangalore don't do shit, I finally went home satisfied that I had done everything I could be expected to do, and that the project was ready to hand off to the software engineers.
11/05 Direct Link
Rarely have I had a fuller day. At midnight I was out dancing and then back at my place with an old friend from whom I am still concealing my suspicion that it isn't my deep-seated sexual issues but that it really is her, and I say nothing because she thinks she has this issue with lots of men. Mid-day I was rearranging my bedridden father's house. Midnight again I was partying in the cold wind and rain at a riverside campground converted into a mini Burning Man complete with DJ domes, costumes, free booze, and fire barrels.
11/06 Direct Link
At midnight I was with a crowd in a large dome tent watching a young woman in mini skirt and stiletto-heeled boots get tied up and suspended from the ceiling, completely helpless, her grimaces revealing a pair of vampire fangs. The complete trust and love between her and the man managing the ropes was a beautiful sight.

A few hours later I was approached by and dancing with (and kissing) a young woman who moved like a goddess and looked in the dim light about half my age.

Afternoon saw me and the ex yelling through our cell phones.
11/07 Direct Link
By lunchtime I was certain my midnight adventure was a fluke, a young woman flirting with an old man because she was drunk.

But as I dressed after the gym, she left a message.

I called when I could, and we made a date.

I drove downtown after work and met her. Found she's not quite as young as I thought, yet much younger than anyone else I've ever felt out a romance with. I'm not an older-men younger-women fan, and this one has even more inherent drama than most.

So of course I am full speed ahead.
11/08 Direct Link
The woman who decided we shouldn't date anymore sent a text. We'd stopped because I cannot be monogamous and she cannot settle for that.

"Gobble gobble!" she wrote.

"It's a date!" I wrote back. I was thinking shamelessly sexual thoughts. But I was joking, and said so. She understood.

We are meeting tonight. I want to continue to build the friendship. Friendships with women that are intimate yet non-sexual are on my list. My issues with the female half cannot only be worked out through sexual relationships.

Just as well. I have a cold and don't want to share.
11/09 Direct Link
*hack* *hack* *cough*

Oliver Sudden, my life is tiring.

I'm presently chatting with someone on Anybeat, was until recently getting rather energized texts from SW, got another from MP describing her bipolar son's rough day at school, calls and texts from ST cancelling her resume review session, a surprising invitation from GB (who does not know I have lived up to my potential to add to the mix), a lament from my son that his scabies hasn't gone away ...

I don't include the mails and texts from NA because they don't count, any more than does every breath I take.
11/10 Direct Link
I met J on plentyoffish dot com. I said I was married and not wanting to date, I just liked her face and was a fellow Burner.

Turned out we were co-workers.

Now we go to concerts and to parties. She brought her daughter to the last one. A is a gorgeous big-boned blonde woman. She brought M, her boyfriend and father of her baby.

M was tall. He looked down on me without expression. He was polite enough, but works as a bouncer and I think was habitually deciding whether or not he could take me out.
11/11 Direct Link
Took one more sick day from work despite feeling somewhat better. A fair bunch of the team took the day off for various reasons. This new job exemplifies engineering as I know it better than does the old: Periods of panic and long hours interspersed with periods of low activity. I prefer that over a steady schedule.

Indeed I would prefer a semi-chaotic work environment over the predictable cubicle farm. Salaried engineering is just like school: Heads-down study and work only occasionally relieved by a semblance of sociality. I didn't do well in school so it's no wonder ...
11/12 Direct Link
Glad I stay in shape. She's eighteen years younger than me and can dance for hours at a stretch. So we did. She liked that I kept up.

Her life story isn't for me to publicize but from a would-be novelist's standpoint it's pretty damn interesting. And within her youth lives the potential for a lot more of the interesting.

She also carries a lot of pain. Evidently I am drawn to pain. She appreciates the gentle safety net I cast but does not want any help. Good thing. I don't want to go on any more rescue missions.
11/13 Direct Link
I'm slow but I get there. Bits and pieces of her life story make their way into my memory, and the bits and pieces clump and gravitate and swirl and eventually form patterns in the mist, patterns that inspire other patterns, until, days later, a story emerges.

The story is not hers. It is mine, a frame of speculation formed on the bricks and concrete of a few facts. But the frame is consistent with what I know of other women's lives as young girls, and how their experiences formed them, and it is both unspeakably sad and unspeakably familiar.
11/14 Direct Link
Still I can smell the paint, the silver paint in its tiny glass bottle. It was so viscous and smooth. I would dip my little brush into it and draw it over and around the little plastic pieces, transforming a car bumper from yellow to chrome or a piece of spaceship from white to polished steel. Magical! Mundane injection-molded plastic parts became exotic and valuable when the strong-smelling silvery goop flowed over and coated them. I breathed in slowly, smelled the chemicals, inhaled the intoxicating toxicity, then gently blew over the part, made it dry silver and perfect.
11/15 Direct Link
Trembling I stand between the temples. The ground does not yet tremble, only me. But deities are jealous by nature, and if my worship is not sufficient, the earth will shake. I do not want the earth to shake, for then there is no rest, and instead much work to soothe it again.

Of course, goddesses are all different, and have vastly different needs. Some may be content with a kind thought, others with the occasional offering of wine. But if any one requires a burst of sunshine every day and a blood sacrifice on weekends, there will be trouble.
11/16 Direct Link
I am so glad to be moving on.

She called, crying that my mother told her she was excommunicated from the family, that she didn't like her anymore, etc.

I called my mother. She gave an account of the conversation that included exactly what my ex would say. Started off with "I know you hate me" and dramatized how her children are being taken away for Christmas. Of course, they are not. I am skipping my mother's gathering so that the kids can be with their mother.

Long story short, my mother didn't need that shit. Neither do I, but.
11/17 Direct Link
Passion: A Precious Resource.

With one partner, the passion is a heated compression of unmet need with desire for her specifically. If one has been alone awhile, it can be overwhelming.

With multiple partners, the passion is diffuse. Basic need has been met. The focus is on what makes a lover uniquely who and what she is.

I worry that in a given encounter I won't muster enough passion. Does this signal an issue deep down with the relationship? Or am I just indulging in the usual unnecessary worry?

The answer is: Don't worry. Be happy. Be fully, joyfully present.
11/18 Direct Link
Really nice room in the old Gold Rush town. Tub, fireplace. Claimed she'd never stayed in such a place. When I told M, she was put out: No one ever takes HER to some really nice place.

Dinner conversation took a left turn: Have you slept with anyone since we--

She knew the answer. I obviously could not say no.

Concert was great. I knew it would be. Her slightly bad-ass public behavior, though: Was it her normal party persona, or anger making its way to the surface?

Then, talk and tears. Slept most chastely. I didn't mind, obv.
11/19 Direct Link
Didn't rock the room like we might have, but oh well.

Drove her Mercedes SLK 320 through some lovely valleys. Never had occasion to go from Grass Valley to Chico before.

Walked into a warm household of relatives: uncles, parents, cousins, in-laws. I've been advised taking me to family was proof positive she has fooled herself into thinking I am the one. And I did read a vibe of doubt: They all watched her. They knew her. They knew I'd never be seen again.

But I chose not to worry, played my role. We both had a good time.
11/20 Direct Link
Woke to an air of affection and hidden sorrow, and shared what surely was our swan song, barely veiling her tears.

Saw laid out in another room the costume she had made for the party I never invited her to.

Held her hands and through swimming eyes saw she understood I was not who she needed, and that her heart would just keep getting broken.

Already was, she said.

I had to go. "Better spend time with my mother while I still have one," I said.

So my mother and I explored a few small parts of San Francisco together.
11/21 Direct Link
After work, a friend named M wanted company and to make me dinner. We talked and talked and talked. She was very sad for G's sake. When I got her to stop talking about me and talk about herself, I found she was in G's shoes: Loving a man who cannot return it as she needs to have it.

She made it very clear that because G is not the one for me, I need to cut it off with her immediately. She was not so swift to agree she should do the same.

But of course there are differences.
11/22 Direct Link
Morning counselor session. Talked about G, about S, as ways to talk about myself.

There is something about women who are either holding great pain within their strong independent shells, or who are somewhat unavailable. It seems I can be attracted to no other. Maybe this is an evolution in my heart of the woman who raised me.

And then I WFH'd, and S came by. I don't know what to say to you about things that are truly magical.

And there's a whole new set of connection points that do not compete with yours. You two could be enough.
11/23 Direct Link
Dad learned how much the in-home care is costing him and was lucid enough to freak out about it and was able to determine the place he lives can provide similar service for a lot less money so the in-home care ends today.

I must remember to take the rented bed back when I go see him this weekend.

It seems almost otherworldly that a woman with six minor children has trained them so well and is so good at getting what she wants that we were able to meet for dinner and dancing the night before Thanksgiving.
11/24 Direct Link
I am not going to write about Thanksgiving. I am not going to force myself into a square hole and write some thankfulness list just because everyone else does.

I am not going to explain why "a woman with six minor children [who] has trained them so well and is so good at getting what she wants that we were able to meet for dinner and dancing the night before Thanksgiving" does not set off alarm bells. I have seen and heard enough to know it is not some elaborate game.

I am not going to internalize someone else's paranoia.
11/25 Direct Link
Another successful family day. I got there early and both families -- my son's and his girlfriend's -- selected and cut Christmas trees at the lot up the hill. It was fun. There was no angry undercurrent, as there was for much of the past year.

At the house I stood it up, all twelve feet, and ran the cords and put on one or two hundred feet of lights. Got fed for my efforts, and watched some TV. Got home a lot later than I had hoped, but that's okay. Nothing going on around here but laundry.

Played with the dogs.
11/26 Direct Link
Leaving soon for a funeral. Well, no, a "Celebration of Life". A man who built up Berkeley's music program in the 50s and 60s and was a popular conductor for us kids in the 70s. I knew his sons in school. I hope to see people from the old town.

Will see Dad on the way home tomorrow. Wanted Boy and Girl to meet me there on their way south, but no, they will go see him today. Taking their mom with them. Just realized I probably could have coordinated with that.

No matter. Looking forward to my home town.
11/27 Direct Link
A well-loved music teacher was laid to rest with a two-hour program of live music starting with Bach, passing through a bunch of jazz numbers, and closing with Sousa. It was held in an upstairs auditorium of a building designed by the same lady who built Hearst Castle, filled with a few hundred of the man's closest friends. His children spoke, and his granddaughters read poems, and a grandson sang a pop song fronting a jazz band. We all sang a hymn. It was one of the happiest and most moving celebrations of life I have ever seen.
11/28 Direct Link
Back to life. I have been so distracted by my "love" life that I need to really work at wrestling my brain back into a mode appropriate to corporate dronehood.

"Love" is in quotes because I don't know what it is really. An exploration of egotism? Or do I just refuse anymore to do without?

Delta had an overwork crisis and called me for support. That was a pleasant first.

Gamma texted good wishes following what she knew was a draining weekend and did not presume to ask for my time.

Beta goes silent for weeks.

Alpha and I anticipate ...
11/29 Direct Link
I was fighting the usual ennui at work when DW suddenly set up a meeting to discuss numerous pieces of the platform tape-out that he wanted to hand off to me. I started looking into them and suddenly found myself, of all things, intimidated. Oh crap, all this has to get done? I gotta talk to who? But we talked for an hour and my blanks were filled in, and I saw that I was being pulled into more design work. I dove into it and a few hours later realized the usual ennui never hit me at all.
11/30 Direct Link
There was an interesting reunion aspect to the memorial service. The deceased was from my part of town, and so a few musicians from my part of town were there too.

I spent some time talking to a fellow jazz band trumpet player. I still remember him pretty clearly as a sixteen year old kid. Now he's a software engineering manager in his early fifties.

His brother, a trombonist and also a good guy, now a consulting engineer for the gas utility. High pressure job.

I also had the opportunity to shake hands with Steve Kupka. The Funky Doctor himself!