Monday, September 7, 2009


So it has been a week or so since the last post. A few things have changed for me in some very interesting ways. I started realizing that each one of these steps in my evolutionary process is neither linear, familiar, or necessarily sticky...meaning right now i am prone to being at one end of the spectrum of normal and healthy or not. I'm feeling like this might just be the way that it is when you are experiencing this much change in an extremely short time frame.

I still feel a whole lot delusional about a number of things...or it might be safe to say that everything I wrote holds true. I would say I have become a little jaded about some aspects of the online dating thing, maybe dating in general...but sadly about relationships in general. I think from the perspective of any psychology professional this might be a good thing for me. I have a background in human behavior and I would categorize my overall mental state as empathetic overkill. Problem the extremely empathetic, they expect the same level of empathy back, because they live in a world where it's okay to have feelings. It's okay to discuss these feeling, and well they (me in this case) can be trusted when you tell them your deepest darkest feelings. They aren't going to do anything but empathize, and try and help you if you ask them to help and if they are in a place that they can help you. A baseline empathetic person will listen, and care as much as they can.

Empathy has had some benefits for me. I think being empathetic has been great for me when it comes to developing friendships. I have friends that I have known for 20 years and we are still as close as we were when we first discovered commonality. It has also been a huge benefit for me in the work that I do. Empathy has allowed me to take myself out of my shoes, my situation, and my knowledge base and see things from the perspective of someone else...and really try to understand how they feel about it.

The other side of it is relationships, where my heart is involved. I have realized that my empathy may be rather attractive early on. Or it might scare the hell out of you if you have met me for the first time, and I am concerned about your scoliosis enough to do research?! I don't know, but i could see how it might worry some people. Inline with that feeling is the expectation of similar and reciprocal stated above. My problems start when that level of empathy is not returned it really hurts. I for my part get bitter and shut my empathy off, if it is really bad I tend to get mean, if i am really hurting i get downright nasty. In reality this is my whacked expectation. So back to the top....

What I am realizing about all of this is that people are not like me (generally) and that as a result I probably need to be a lot more like the rest of the population, which is sadly less empathetic. Or maybe more moderate in their empathy. It is figuring out what a safe and healthy level of empathy looks like, and consequently adjusting my level of expectations of others to match. Less weirdness all the way around.

I'm realizing in all of this is that doing things that truly make me happy are usually the best things for me and those around me. Not saying that I am selfishly just doing what makes me happy or only thinking about me. It is more like putting me first in a situation and being true to what it is that I need. Internalizing my worth and seeing the value in me...which is extremely difficult task...because in all honesty I seek the approval of others. (that has everything to do with my childhood and my family dynamic...see it always goes back to what your parents did or didn't to you as a child....great.)

As I have started to look at the overall situation from a 50k foot level it all kind of makes sense in some way, not that I have been able to truly internalize all of it and make it part of my MO. There is some zen like quality to every day being a separate and unique day filled with its own set of joys and challenges. I guess being the type A that I tend to be the day has been something to just get through on to the next one. All the time with some goal in mind...but it's been 38 years and i haven't really reached the goal. I don't even know what the goal is anymore. I was convinced for a while that it was survival, now it seems like quality of the content from the day. Was coffee good, did i get a funny email from a friend, did i get a wink, did someone say something funny and clever that made me laugh out loud? I guess it is any and all of those things, and that brings some joy and happiness in the moment. It doesn't further a goal or move me closer to anything, it just fricking feels good and that is enough. For now it is enough.

Developing a deep sense of value in myself seems like the next horizon in this whole mess. You can't really expect that anyone is going to value you to the extent that is going to make you best to feel content from the inside out.

Speaking of content I am going to go outside and sit on the front deck and watch the people and boats go by, and read for a while. Maybe even nap. That sounds like the best use of this part of the day. It's like a mini vacation before heading back to all of this other stuff.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

totally delusional

So it starts with something as simple as she is going to come back gee, I think if I hang out long enough in a hip coffee place someone will actually pay attention to me and that will lead to some conversation, and wow new friend or relationship. Uh, yeah right.

I have spent countless hours in coffee places and my own brand of dinner places working and hanging out hoping that someone might notice me. Fact of the matter is, in the world we live in we are pretty well trained to look down, look away, and not make eye contact with anyone that wants something from us. If you live in a big city it is more a matter of self preservation. You add a pair of sunglasses and some headphones and you can virtually walk around without your invisible wall preventing anyone from getting in.

Problem is now I'm on the outside, desperately hoping that someone will let me in, even if it just for a simple smile or a nod, a hello, something. Hard because that's a lot of survival training to ignore. I started to realize how little I smile at other people. That must be kind of off putting, but I don't even know where to start…I don't know how to just smile at someone? What does my smile even look like at this point.

I decided that it was just silly to think I would meet new friends or someone that I would find interesting sitting in a starbucks or a restaurant, or a bar (at least the kind of bar I would hang out at). That lead to being more active and really trying to put myself out there. Which involved a lot more effort than passively sitting around and hoping that someone will notice me.

I felt like I needed to eat my own dog food which meant the internet would need to be involved. Here is where it all starts to go awry.

So I decided to start lowest common denominator. Craigslist. You can find furniture, a job, a box to move your crap, a car, a motorcycle, so why not someone to hang out with. It seemed really logical as I sat down to creatively craft my ad. I spent a lot of time putting my heart into it.

I posted it, and waited around. I got responses within like 20 minutes. I was shocked. I started opening emails to see what people had thrown back. Thrown back was more than right.

Yeah, there are three kinds of people using craigslist for this purpose:

1). The scammers. They put up a pleasant profile make you think that there is someone normal on craigslist and they might actually have something in common with you. They don't. They are doing one of three things: get you on to a sketch paid dating site, steal your identity so that they can be you and get people to sketch sites or worse, really get you hooked into something and steal your wallet digitally, or last but least sell you sex. If you are down with that cool. It gets frustrating. Now none of this happened to me, but you read about it and I have to say anyone that looked normal was basically someone phishing. I won't be surprised if someone calls me and says that they have seen my ad on craigslist, or at least some phisher with my photo and description out there trying to sucker some poor woman.

2). The freaks. They are just freaky, they are mean, they wantto suck your brain out of your skull. They are coming to get you, and somehow they can track your IP address through a million gateways to your exact location, and they are doing it now, and they are coming. Lock the door, arm yourself. I was utterly frightened by some of the responses I got from the freaks. They were utterly frustrating to me, some of them did have me checking the door before I went to bed.

3). Last but not least, the sad normal people (like me, but they really haven't figured it out, seems like they may have been at this for a while). I don't want to sound snobby, I do feel for these people because generally I was feeling like a sad normal person on craiglist. I certainly was sad, I certainly feel normal. The problem is the normal people have is that they all have been victimized by classes 1 and 2 Every normal person probably gets there about 3 hours with their ad out there. I know there were a lot of people looking at ads, I did it. I certainly wasn’t going to put myself out there and write anything back to them after my experiences with groups 1 and 2. So, if you did see someone that peeked your interest you end up writing a note like this:

"Hi, saw you ad. Wonder if you are real. You probably aren't. I'm not sending you a photo incase you are a scammer. I'm not going to tell you any thing about me, other than I like the fact that you like cats. I'm not saying I have cats, or that I even like cats. I'm just saying I'm glad you like cats. If you are actually real. Well have a good night, and I am not saying in any way that it is night where I am. You probably don't even care because you aren't real."

Really, how are people going to connect on something like that. The first one I got like that I was like WTF???!! What did that even mean? Then after another 20 minutes I started to get it. I tried to respond to one with something like "no, I'm real. I do like cats. It's night here. I hope you have a good night too."

I didn't hear anything ever again from her(?).

Yeah, by the end of the evening I pulled down the ad, stopped looking at other people's ads and went away pissed at myself for even thinking that was a good idea.

One ad said "fk u cl, I'll pay for match." Me too.

So I started thinking about match. I realized that I had already put myself out there with the ad on "cl", I had something to say and I thought it was reasonably clever. More importantly I had sat down to try and encapsulate my extremely 3d personality into something extremely flat and pixilated. Fun.

Yea, okay so here is the next level of delusional thinking I fell into. The people that you think are going to be attracted to you are not. At first you make these blind decisions like "oh she looks nice, and wow we both like animals and she even has a job, and look we both make over 100k a year." yeah. Okay, so, what the hell is she doing on match? Well, what the hell am I doing on match. Okay, sending an email.

Yeah, I received no responses at all to any of my most crafty clever emails. Of course all of these women were thinking to themselves what's the fat, bald, old guy doing pinging me? So I started to think about it. I probably have an over inflated sense of myself being able to attract the women that I thought were "hot". I'm not 30, I don't have an amazingly toned body, and I don't party in SF like I did when I was 25, I just don't. Okay, so reality set in. Stop sending email to 30 year old party girls who are doing a few things: corporate climbing, hiking Mt Tam daily, surfing, skiing on three continents, climbing rocks, and drinking their weight in crappy beer every weekend. I would find that exciting for about 20 minutes. Again, superficially, those were the women that appealed to me, until I realized it would be really painful to actually date any of them. I want to be able to have a reasonable conversation with them, and certainly not trying to chase them up mount tam on my road bike, how are we going to discuss anything?

Oh and a demographic observation: every woman between 28-36 just loves to camp. They even have picture of their camping adventures. Its usually just one, and then you look closely and you see a bathroom and a car in the background. This is just outdoor out of city partying with your favorite crappy beer. I mean come on. Really? No, really? Is camping really considered that hot of an idea? I think guys take women camping because it is a cheap way to keep them captive drinking beer and likely screw outdoors. I don't know, I know I am ranting now, but I was truly amazed and unimpressed. Maybe you have to put camping on your list for market parity. Whatever.

Oh, and I have to admit one other thing; people that seem too much like me, I had to avoid. There was one woman that was like the cute female version of me, but I was almost worried that we would be like brother and sister. There was another woman who seemed really cool and she winked at me, but she was a user experience consultant. I figured we would spend our entire time arguing about user centered design, or user centric design. It just seemed like our "religion" might get in the way.

Now here is where it gets interesting. The women that pinged me. Okay, I was amazed at how many of them started pinging all at the same time. They were all older, they were mainly tall and skinny, a lot of them had children, but they were all EXTREMELY introverted. I'm thinking to myself, hmm, they would probably find me exciting for about 20 minutes. Then it dawned on me... ok, they are doing the same thing I just got done doing. They think that the younger and hopefully more evolved guy is going to be the "boy" that they think they should be able to attract. I just looked at their accomplishments, their well manicured looks, and the background of far and exotic trips, and well designed houses. I realized that I could not be that refined. I didn't have enough game to roll up to their McMansion in Danville in my reasonable priced car with the coffee-can muffler and the flying lizard racing sticker on the back window. I also didn't get the sense that my occasional belch or need to drive fast, and listen to crappy 80's music at top volume was going to be appreciate especially around their 15 year old kids. I might be a potential bad influence.

Then I turned off the computer and sat back and thought about the problem for a while. I also started to realize what an impossible situation this was turning into.

I decided to edit my profile. Be completely honest, just less descriptive, change up the main profile image to something that was a little more fun, and a little less close up. I added a few more one liners and was a bit more snarky.

It immediately dropped my skew to 30-40, still getting the mothers here and there, but I was now shocked at the number of people that have a similar set of interests to me, and oh dear, they are actually normal and a lot of them were really cute, at least to me.

So now here comes the next level of delusional thinking on my part. I decided to lay back a bit see if anyone found me attractive. A few did, enough to "wink" and send emails.

Finally, i get an email with a profile that really fits what I'm looking for, both realistically as well as what I kind of hoped for. A snappy email, saying how cute I am, and how interesting my profile was to them. Now because I am prone to delusions; I'm instantly smitten. Not in love... I mean, for god sakes I know nothing about this person, she could be a serial killer. But it is the first person who has been 1) nice, 2) paid me some complements, and 3) seems attracted to me & is attractive to me.

So we engage in some back and forth and exchange some witty banter, and finally it comes down to: hey, I think we should meet. Her: "yeah, let's meet, when are you available?" I responded.


I sent another email explaining my timing had changed a day later. I thought that was a responsible thing to do. Nothing. It's been three days.


I was crushed. Sad, I admit. Crushed. It was like getting removed from my house all over again. Obviously nowhere near as painful. But again, I had put myself out there and had been crushed. Can we actually trust anyone at this point? Kind of feeling like no...

So, I wrote it off, wrote her off, and shut off all of the email alerts etc. It wasn't a revolt, or a "f this" like cl, but it was something that set me back to reality.

I think my two biggest takeaways from this, one I have written something descriptive about me and put it out there in public, to be reviewed, scrutinized, and on the whole ignored. I did it with little regard for the fact that I was putting myself out there, which I think was a big hurdle. The other thing that I've learned is that everything needs to be approached with reality, and with reality my decisions get a little easier to push forward, it reduces my fear of being out there, and things seem imminently more survivable. All of those skills seem like a necessity for putting yourself out there for dating.

Beyond that, I am trying to put myself in the shoes of the people on the other side and trying to be humane where other's haven't been quite so nice to me. I hoping that somehow that karma pays off for me.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


…and that feeling of really not knowing…anything.

I realize that my sense of well being changes on a daily basis and I am highly susceptible to anything in my environment. I catch a cold like a 5 year old in a kindergarten class without flu shots. Well no, not actually (trust me I prayed for the killer strain of H1N1…something that would take out the entire Sunset District in San Francisco, or at least the Muni train). I actually feel like my sense of well being is effected by everything. Work, conversations, the coffee, difficulties with anything.

I can't really ditch the feeling that I am being ditched. I feel like I have been put out with the trash. Worthless. I think I'll save all of the feelings of worthlessness for some other blog entry. I don't think I have the strength to go into that abyss today. That and I have to stay somewhat focused or things at work will seriously hit the floor.

I don't know how long I will be alone for, and lately I have been worrying about wheter or not I have totally f'd up my afterlife along with this one. I did stand up in a church and do that whole celestial bond thing. My mom seems to have conveniently bent the traditional Catholic bend, by saying that the whole vow ends with until deth do us part…meaning we are free of that bond after we croak?! Ok. Sure. I guess I'll have less in my after life by fucking the universe here. I guess Steph and her new husband and their kid will live in the bigger house down the block. Maybe me, Tiff, Phil, and Daisy can hang in the hovel down on 40th. You see how my craziness had gotten me to this place.

I guess I don't even know how to fix the here and now and somehow I am worried about what happens after I die.

I have been reading on the internet that these are reasonably "normal" thoughts and feelings. Your sense of loss takes over and you are going to go through this rollercoaster of emotions.

Things are fine. No, wait, no they aren't (too much cream in my coffee). Wow I can't believe how angry I am, I mean for god sakes I did everything I could for her? Oh, geez, I'm sad, I hate being alone, who's going to pass me the gravy at Thanksgiving? Do I still get her a Christmas gift or a Birthday gift? Oh, wow what the hell am I going to do for Christmas?

I actually miss her.

What the hell is the matter with me? No, things are fine. No, wait they aren't (our client just bailed on a multi year contract). Wow I can't believe how angry I am, I mean for god sakes I did everything I could for those people. FUCK, now I am sad again.

Steph used to at least listen to me when these things happened. Now where do I turn? As messed up as it was, a major part of my life has been completely removed and I am left not knowing how to fill the void.

How do I tell Hootie from Hootie and The Blowfish from the singer in the Counting Crows? I guess I'd have to ask them both to sing.

Lastly, in this space of confusion. I start thinking about my friends and my family. Jeebuz the burden I have placed on all of them. Which is the worst for me. I have spent my entire life trying to stay out of the burden space…well unless you are Steph, then you probably doubt that I understand the definition of the word. True. I have such a hard time asking for help, asking for support, and asking to not be alone.

Again, everything I read says that this is a very natural reaction to this situation…well because I guess most humans feel broken and humiliated by this situation. Uh, yeah, that one I don't think is too confusing. That one landed square and I can check that one off.

So what to do?

I don't know. Breath?

No, I think you continue to ask questions, wonder. It's killing me, but I don't really know what else to do.

Did I mention it is killing me?

Oh, but let me thank the people that support me, and that I have burdened: mom and dad, Jeff, Sarah, Jennifer, Jennifer, Damon, Christina, Sara, Miriam, Alan, Dave, the starbucks in downtown Campbell, the starbucks in Los Gatos, the Starbucks on Battery and Clay, and who could forget the starbucks at Levi's Plaza…oh and a shout out for Levi's in general for getting me through last week with their building size ad campaign at Levi's Plaza. Oh and I guess Los Gatos Coffee Roastery.

The soundtrack for this blog was provided by Neko Case, Agent Orange, Frou Frou, Pink Martini, China Forbes, The Shins, Zero 7, and the Sneaker Pimps…and feels a bit like endless sumer crashed into garden state.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Okay, so it is truly something you never expect. I know I certainly didn't. You come home, you get into a fight and one day you are alone.

I'm alone. For the first time in a long time. Some context:

I have been married for 7 years, almost to the week. I have known my wife for 20 years almost to the month, and we dated, lived together, or were married roughly 16 of those 20 years. I started dating her about 3 weeks after I graduated from college, and with the exception of a few months of being separated, I pretty much have spent almost every day with her. If we didn't see one another we at least spent some amount of time talking on the phone. Suffice it to say there's a significant hole in my life with her pared out of it.

So what happened?

Well, I wish I could say that it was something dramatic (well not really). It is still painful and dramatic enough without something catastrophic. There was not cheating, (that I know of), there was no smack across the face or anything like that. What there was: a lot of yelling with no one listening, a lot of mean spirited comments in both directions. Two incidents, one on each side that distinctly showed that we could have cared less about the other one. The kind of thing that leaves a deep scar, and something that you can apologize for and make go away. No matter what, you kind of can't take it back. Overall you have two people that have lost respect for one another over a series of a thousand and one cuts. None of them life ending…just another injury.

For the sake of privacy and my own sanity I will not give the details of all those abuses, they are irrelevant at this point. It is definitely one of those things for each of us that we wish we could take back. I know there isn't more than a couple of days that goes by that I don't think about my crappy treatment of my wife, and unfortunately there isn't a few days that go buy where I don’t think about how poorly I was treated.

I just don't know how it went from best friends, lovers, to married, and then finally to two people who are at bitter odds with one another despite the repeated mantra and veneer of "we want want it to be better, more humane, more caring." I haven't really seen that humanity from either of us, and despite being sad (extremely sad) there have certainly been many times over the last few weeks that I have been defensive and spiteful based on feeling hurt, scared, or ias a result of a protective shell I've buit, ready to do battle to continue to protect myself.

Most of all I just feel sad. It's a sadness I can't rid myself of no matter what I do. All of my friends have given their helpful and not so helpful anecdotes.

"time heals all wounds."

"this is the start of a new life for you."

"you'll be better, and you will find your real soul mate, it just takes time"

"you're better than this, and it is good that you finally figured out this was a crappy situation"

"there are other fish in the sea."

So I guess everyone has kind of said some derivative of the person before them, of course I am thankful that they will even listen to me…but what do you really say to someone in my position. I know they are all struggling with it as well, and a lot of them have been there themselves. Here's what I boil it down to:

Yeah, it's going to hurt, and probably for a long time, and of course I am sad. The situation was crap, and (logically) good I can finally see this. Umm, my special someone is out there somewhere, uhh, hmmm, not sure I would even think to look at this point. Though I know I don't want to be alone, at least over the long term.

And I guess if I read between the lines of what some friends have told me: "We never really liked her anyway." Or maybe the slightly softer way of putting it "you guys just aren't good for one another."

Yeah, again, logically I get that. I see it, and everything in me says it is right, but the freaking pain that I am feeling is so acute, so evil, so hard to stay focused on anything else.

I don't remember a presentation I gave to 20 people in a large room at one of my clients last week. I heard it was a good presentation. Probably because I have great support from my coworkers who are some of my best friends.

There are so many things that remind me of her, that it is hard to not trip over something or forget about something that ultimately brings me back to thinking about her and what we were (good and bad). I mistakenly went to the church that we were married in, actually I made a conscious choice to go there to meditate for 5 minutes before walking in the door of my old house to deal with the finances. It slipped my mind that the place I have turned to for sanctuary all these years would be an extremely painful reminder of our relationship and the vows we took there. We vowed to figure out our problems and not leave one another alone and destitute, but sometimes the thing you swear up and down to do are the things daily that you seemingly forget to do.

I lost it. I just started bawling in the back of the church. At that moment I knew just how broken I was.

…so now what.

You know, I don't really know. I think that there are a lot of good and bad things about this situation. I am just going to start writing about them and see what happens. See if is anything that makes me feel better.

There are certainly good days. I have a lot to be thankful for, I know that. I have great family, and amazing friends. I have a lot of people that like and value me. It's just that the person I have spent the last 16 years with is gone. It's a giant void, it creates a lot of uncertainty and doubt in me. I know it will get better as time heals that wound and I start fishing again. ;-) or whatever the blend of that ends up being.

What I've learned to date:

  1. Being alone sucks, but I can choose to not be alone all the time. I can hang out with friends and I can hang out with family. If I can't see them daily, it is good to check in with them on the phone.
  2. It is good to be busy and doing different things
  3. It is good to reach out to people I haven't seen in a while and see what they are up to. Expanding my social circle has always worked well for finding business and getting ideas about my work. In this case it is just good to have support and new ideas.
  4. Trying new things, and looking at things that I might have been restricted by in the past that are now open to me. Independence I haven't had really since I was about 23?!! Was it really that long ago.
  5. Trying to understand "why" is more and more pointless as each day goes by. I have natural curiosity, and I have a natural need to explain myself. I guess if either one of us really cared or were really willing to listen, and more importantly do anything about it….well we would have when it mattered, the why. I am sure I will deal with all the painful stuff in time, and I am sure that I will process through. Maybe then addressing my own "why". Likely, I will never be able to explain why to her, or understand her why.
  6. My memories of the past are mine, and they are never going to changed (good or bad) by anyone. My reality is my reality, is my reality. That is comforting because I can remember things how I chose to remember them. I can stick to the past pieces as I want to see them, and see the pieces I want to. I know that it will all get processed through at some point, but for right now I can look at the good and bad as they come. Not worried that everything is going to be changed by something that someone says.
  7. Right now every day isn't seemingly any easier than the last, I am surviving, and right now that is a struggle. Based on all that I have been through over the last 30 days, I imagine it is going to be a really long time before I start to actually feel better.
  8. Sticking to a feeling helps me deal with it. I go a little nuts when the feelings change from happy to sad to angry, to sad all in a 60 minute cycle. That is exhausting and it feels like a loop I can't break out of.

I have to take this one out of the numbered list but it is something I know: there will be mistakes, nothing is always as it seems, and there is nothing to say that set of feelings won't continue. I also know there is no going back. It's a sad reality, but as much as I wanted to fight it, a fundamental truth.

No, I haven't lost my fight, I am just admitting it's over. Like it or not, it is time to move on.

Some other crap I can't shake...

I will never sleep in my bed again, I will never come home again to my wife, we will never cook dinner, or hang out on the deck. It's like part of me has died. Unfortunately we are both still walking around about to meet to discuss our bills…which will send all of these feelings through the same wash, soak, spin, dry cycle again.

What do you do?


Saturday, August 1, 2009

A new leaf

So, a number of things have definitely changed, but as i now read about the past 2.5 years a lot of things have remained the same.

I took down some of my more bitter posts. I am trying to look at everything with fresh eyes, and a different perspective. it's hard, but i know it is the right thing to do.


Again moved out (though this time for good).
Getting a divorce.
It's difficult, and it is complex. The things that you expect are never quite what you get.

I have been writing about the experience in sequence, and that seems to be hard to do, because it changes daily. Some days are really great, and some days are so dark. Super dark. This week has been dark. Like stock up on Sominex dark. But some how that would be stupid and too too easy. I think one thing i have realized about me is that i am stupid in other ways, and determined to fight for something better.

I think the path has been set, though i have no idea where the path leads to, and for someone that likes to plan things it is hard to just let it go and keep moving.

For once I don't know.

I think i am getting comfortable with that.

"stay tuned"
"see what happens"
"stay curious"

Friday, September 19, 2008

long time gone

Crap has definitely been different since the last time i posted. I really had given up on writing. Mainly because I was convinced that i could write nothing but sad sad thoughts.

Well i was right i am incapable of blogging anything here that isn't my little sad BS, and honestly i am over it.

So here it is; more of the same.

So what has happened since i last posted anything here:

Im a year older
ive destroyed a Mercedes
i ditched my house
i bought a new house
some how i am still in business with the same people
amazingly i am still married (which is a topic of constant question...i can't figure it out, because it has got to be one of the most pathetic places to be.)
I'm still stuck
I'm still lost

I have my head examined weekly, and best i can tell my problem has something to do with giving the wrong report in 8th grade, and my parents never telling me that people are shitty.

Well now that I know those two things i have no course of action but to be a happier healthier person. mental illness be damned.

Just knowing that makes me feel more whole, more complete,and more aware of my feelings.

Great, so i have felt like at any point in a given day that the end of my world could be brought about by just about anything, and I have felt that way since 8th grade. Great, knowing that makes me "feel" so much better. Knowing that not knowing the difference between a Mayan, and an Incan civilization has caused me to feel uneasy about the rest of my life has really helped restore my self confidence.

I don't think i am doing myself any favors by continuing to create iTunes mixes that have the song under the milky way in them. can that really promote a happy sense of self worth balance.

Who can i blame? i think i have tried about everyone:

Clients are fuckers
Parents suck because they were too nice to me
Wife is a complete hooch
My live in sister in law is a scab
The police are out to get me
The republicans have done this to us
Blue Shield ruined my life
where have all my friends gone
it's Steve Job's fault (iFault)

No, i think the bottom line is that I am just not happy. I only have me to blame. I haven't been happy, maybe ever, and the best i can seem to conjure up is 10 minute spans where things are okay. I catch my breath and the blackberry flashes a lightning bolt of dread through my life yet again.

Who can i hate next for fucking me over.

Nope, still just me. That grey feeling is sweeping over me.

Get on Muni
Get off muni

Go above ground
Go below ground

Fear your neighbors

Forget the world around you and don't ever think about anything other than what is immediately in front of you.

Don't plan
Don't engage
Don't attach to anything
Forget that you were ever here


Wake up in five years to a different but shockingly similar world.

When did 415 move to Battery Street?

How did U2 manage to put out another 5 crappy albums

Oh my, you drained your retirement account.

Who is this slightly older, but more sharply angry person in the bed next to you? (maybe she suffers from the same sickness that you do)

How did you get here? why are you here? How do you go back? How can you escape?

OH MY GOD! The only thing that has become more usable is you.

Push through to the next thing? Why? What will it really get you? A sharper pain in the pit of your stomach? It has never brought you happiness, you couldn't find happiness if it was the size of the Soviet Union and you were standing in the Ukrane.

will you ever stop crying in a starbucks, has it replaced church?

Why do you feel more at home at a chain fast food coffee place than your own home?

How can this be fixed....

It can't, you can't, something snapped a long time ago, and you are broken.

...just fucking broken.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Okay, no hiding behind someone else's thoughts

So i am back to actually putting down my thoughts as opposed to borrowing from others. I have an appreciation for the crafty lyrics of Elfman, but to help myself get back into my head I am listening to things only in foreign languages to keep me focused on my own words.

I was checking email this morning and saw a note from one of my clients, one of their key advisors died on Monday night of a sudden and quite unexpected heart attack. I was floored, because I just met this man on Thursday of last week. I instantly became worried about his family who I've never met. What will they do now that dad or John isn't going to come bounding through the door tonight after work in the city or teaching at Berkeley? I gave this a fair amount of thought and started realizing that while I barely knew this man he left some kind of impression on me, and that I was missing the potential to collaborate with someone well respected and revered in many ways. John, i didn't "know" you, but by all accounts of what I am seeing around me, you will be sorely missed.

"...and just like that, he's gone."

Has my blog just gone sad? I guess it always has been. It certainly wasn't intentional. I feel like i am going to have to burn sage and start over. I may actually do that.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Yet more philosophy from Danny Elfman

Not really sure why it is that i am finding solice in 20 year old Oingo Boingo songs, but anyway.

I've always believed that lyrics can summarize my state, mood, or general being...

Here you go:

When I was young, my mind would always wander away
I couldn't talk, never had nothin to say
But now I'm grown, nothing much seems to have changed
I think I'm going insane yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Is this a fairy tale, are you the seven dwarves
Did Snow White really die while fighting in the war?
They were the only friends I ever trusted
Now they're scattered, and livin' in the city
Unlisted numbers, Huh

Cinderella undercover
I say, better alive than dead

The war is coming, but there's nothing much that we can do
Stuck in a pay-phone, but the operator won't let me through
I close my eyes, but the memories burn in my brain
I think I'm going insane yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

I heard a rumor, they said it's gone nuclear
I stockpile cigarettes, and double bold the door
A sanctuary for all my friends
We'll stay in bed until the world ends
So please don't wake me, I gotta get some sleep

Cinderella Undercover
I say, better alive than dead
I think I'm going insane, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Is this a fairy tale, this can't be real
There's fighting all around, they're screwing in the fields
They say that values change when hunger or ambition strikes
Survival is essential, at any cost or any price
The cartoon animals on Old McDonald's farm
Are nodding off in hotel rooms with needles in their arms
The seven dwarves, HA!, there's only four alive today
Cinderella's working for the CIA

Cinderella, the fairy tale's over
You should know, you got the scars to prove it
And your skin isn't as soft as it used to
But I don't care, come on you said it baby

Cinderella undercover
I say, better alive than
Cinderella undercover
I say, better alive than dead

Friday, August 17, 2007


so i am finally done being sick. i have been in my house for a bit. partially recovering from being sick, partially just trying to figure it all out.

i can't say i am any less content...i'm amazed that it is still holding up, even though this has been a hell of a week.

In some ways i feel like today i took a step back. i'm fighting about something that happened to me two years ago and has nothing to do with my current life, but for some reason i can't let it go. i was deeply hurt by a friend of mine and sort of family member which cost me a lot including my business. now this person is partially re-entering my life and it makes me uncomfortable. nothing was clearer than that tonight. really he has little to do with my current life but for some reason all of the old, evil, and crap stuff that went on was surfaced right to the top. It made me mad. it made me angry that my wife would bring this back into our house. as if our situation wasn't tenuous enough, now we have this thrown on top of it. I'm sorry, but the burn i felt over this is not some small thing, or something i can "just let go". This person almost cost me one of my best friendships.

I guess the transition out wasn't all bad. I got the opportunity to work with some great people who are now my close friends and business partners. I got to continue to work with some great friends while at bluee, and i got to meet some great new friends, who i hope will continue to be my friends for years to come.

i also got the opportunity to learn a lot about me. i have grown.

unfortunately i forgot about all of that tonight and just sent myself back two years to that feeling of self destruction. I was just so angry that this was brought into my house.

then i was just angry at me for feeling this way.

I don't know. i just know today will be a different day, and it has nothing but promise to be a better day.

though quite honestly yesterday (since it is now 1:34am) had some serious peeks and a couple of valleys.


last notes. i'm worried about my friends nootsmaak and Jeffy. I haven't heard much from one, and the other i am just generally worried about. I hope you guys are both okay. I'm thinking about you both.

back to wireframes.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

3 strange weeks - or what not to wear when your environement changes by 25 degress in an hour

As of this weekend i have been living with my parents for the last 3 weeks. Strange. I'm thankful that I have parents that are willing to take me in for a bit.

I've also been extremely ill for the last 4 days.

Needless to say i have had a lot of time to think, work, and figure.

First, what i've been up to...

Well i have spent an unbeliveable amount of time in coffee places. Starbucks, Tully's, independent places, and coffee places inside of other places. Banks and Grocery stores seem to be the latest things that go with coffee. No complaints.

One of the things that I realize is that I love coffee. I like food. I like wine. I like Vodka. I really love coffee. I care about how it tastes, I'm picky about the blend, the taste going down, the finish, all that crap. I have paraphernalia for the proper brewing of coffee. I'm a total user. I admit it. I have been away from my various magic devices and those are some of the thing I miss most.

I also realize that i am sensitive to the weather. I want to deny it, but i can't. The brief times i have been in San Francisco (at my house), it has been cold and cloudy, and the fact that it is July and August i'm missing the sun. I don't really want to live in the burbs in the south bay, but i would like to be somewhere that would allow for walking outside in shorts every now and then. i couldn't figure out what to wear for the last 3 weeks. I think i am finally getting it.

I know i mentioned that people stare a bit here. It is still weird. I guess i am beginning to recognize that if i don't want to be looked at weird i might not want to wear the "i stole music" shirt. The kids seem to love it, the parents are wondering what this "parent" looking guy doing with the pithy shirt on. I've been saving the "you learn something new and depressing every day" shirt for a special occasion.

Another nice thing about the burbs, and a tip:

When the Nordstrom Rack in your big city is picked over. Leave town. To Boot New York shoes were plentiful in my size, and cheap. I was kind of amzed. I channeled my friend Damon and bought some cool stuff.

So the last thing I have been doing is watching a lot of movies and listening to a lot of music. Neither has been a waste of time. I realized, again, that i am once again filling in the popular culture voids in my last 7 years. I'm getting it, though this time around, i don't think i missed much.

Okay, onward.

Over the last few weeks i started dealing with some things deeply engrained in me. First of all things are not so great at home, but we're dealing with it.

I'm proud of the fact that we were able to separate and not be at one another's throats. There was no yelling and screaming, no threats, just both of us admitting that there was a serious problem. She definitely had been thinking about it a lot more than i had and she definitely had a plan for where she wanted things to go.

So there was a catalyst for me to start thinking about me, my own issues, and our issues as a unit. I also was giving a lot of time and space to do that type of thinking. I guess i kind of needed that.

I realized that i have a bunch of paterns that i have lived my life by. A lot of them are squarely rooted in fear.

Starting at the top, i realize that i am dependent on someone else along with me to dictate my overall happy or content position in life. Things good with the relationship things good with life in general. I also realized, I was worried about being alone. who would i do things with? Who would take care of certain things? Who would laugh at my jokes, and who would be the person on my life insurance?

Work. I worry about work. What am i doing, what is it's relevance, what is it's value, how am i perceived at work and through the work that I do? Will there be enough work for me to do? Will i be able to do and afford the things that i want to?

Friends. I worry about what my friends think, how they view me, and the time that they spend with me. Like my wife, i've become dependent on my friends to help define me. Happy with my situations with my friends, happy generally with life.

Stuff. New stuff provides a short high. I like stuff. I admit it. I like being able to buy stuff, and again to some degree i define my success by the stuff i have.

There is an equation here. People + Work + Stuff = generally happy or unhappy

Another interesting thing about the equation is that the left hand factors are interrelated. Friends are shitty and wife is understanding things can be okay. Work is crap, add more stuff and then going to work isn't so hard. You get the picture.

So i began to realize that wife might not be part of the equation. Fear.

I also realized that friends weren't really in the picture much either. Fear.

Work is okay, but there could be more of it. Fear.

No work, and being on your own means no ability to acquire stuff. Fear.

Still no idea if i would be able to share simple things with someone else. Alone. Fear.

Ugh. Was it midlife crisis v.3? I really thought i was over this kind of catastropic failure. As things were beginning to drop I realized that there was no way that they could hit the floor. I have some pretty hefty responsibilities right now with some things that i think are extremely important.

I started to take inventory, and the baseline is going to sound crazy, but it gets more sophisticated. I'm sitting there thinking about life at it's most basic for me.

Do i still like to eat, and am i actually eating? Yes. I crave certain things.

Can i wake up in the morning and focus on a day of things that need to get done? Yes.

Coffee? I still desire coffee, and i still care how it tastes. Yes.

Do i still like to drive fast? Yes. I was grinning like an idiot driving over 100 on 280 one night. (one of my parents said that this might also signal that I am tired of living. Yes, yes, i hear you. I do my speeding as safely as possible i guess. It isn't for everyone, and i certainly try not to be reckless, but I like that feeling of floating on smooth pavement.)

I am feeling things. I am not feeling like crap. I actually desire to go on. Without fear, andwithout knowing what's happening next. Holy crap. I don't know what's going to happen and I am not freaking out. I'm laughing and potentially normal, even though I am dealing with the things that freak me out most.

What's going on here?

This was a momement that I started to realize something. I'm not an unhappy person. Things were FAR from perfect in my life, and I'm still happy. No this was not the result of coffee and driving fast.

I looked around and realized that I was just happy. I wasn't happy for anyone other than me, i was trying to fool anyone, impress anyone, or prove to anyone that I was something I wasn't.

With the happiness came a content feeling that I can describe. I'm not freaked out. I not stressed out. I'm just living my life, and i am not looking for anything more. Just enjoying the days one at a time.

Then it hit. I don't NEED any of those factors to make me happy. Either I am happy or I am not. I desire some of those things in my life, but I don't need them. Another person isn't going to make me happy. They can add to my happiness, or my sadness for that matter, but they are not the source of my happiness.

Sounds a little Zen. I don't know, I'm simply feeling my way through, and with it has come a ton of power.

I still have bad days. Clearly I have bad days. Being sick the last few days has completely sucked. I started to get all bummed out today. I hadn't seen the light of day since Friday afternoon. I haven't really had much in the way of human contact at all. Then i realized that i was sick, i had needed the rest, and I still got a bunch of stuff done. Pretty good for being totally out of it for 48 hours.

Okay i'm babbling. I think what i am trying to say is:

I don't really know what is next. I am comfortable with that.

I'm happy, and that comes from within. It's only me that is going to make me happy. (don't most people learn this when they are like 5? Maybe some people never learn it.) I think the bigger thing for me is that i am content. I know that happy is going to fade, but content is something that i can ride over the bumps.

Content also means that I am not worrying about what's next.

A few words on the relationship...i don't know where things are going to land with my wife and i. I hope that things work out, but if they don't maybe we will both be happier. If things work it will only be because we have figured out how to be happy together, and happy as single entities. I'm proud of the two of us, because neither of us did anything to sabotage the relationship, and we have been totally humane. We are talking which is a nice change from where we have been the last 1.5 years. I remembered that my wife was once my best friend.

Oh, and one other thing. I am glad to have had this time. It has been a weird 3 weeks, but it has been a good three weeks. I feel like I have been able to grow. I also feel like i have been able to reconnect with my parents. They are great people that i am truly greatful for. I also have to give a shout of to a few of my close friends that have listened and offered smart advice.

Who knows what tomorrow holds. Each day is different. I still count my good and bad days, but I am starting to look at them a little more critically by the event as opposed to the trend of days. I also realize i can pull myself out of a bad day pretty quickly just by looking inside.

Inside holds a lot of stuff. Who knew? It was so close to me, but so amazingly far away for all these years.