I promised a (new) friend

I don’t write much these days, which is no revelation, but I promised a friend that I would start again, a little every day.

She’s actually a new friend. I met her online. That’s right on an online dating site and we are actually friends.

Question: Does this conflict with my rule that I do not write about any woman I have dated until I’m certain there is no longer a chance of any romantic involvement?

We are just friends after all. Yes, we did meet via an online dating site. And yes, we did go out a couple of times, but neither time was what one would classify as a date. When I suggested a real date is when she – we’ll call her Casey – told me that there was another guy that she’d met only just before meeting me and that while I was interesting and attractive to her and definitely someone she would consider dating she felt compelled to pursue this other relationship. But, she did enjoy meeting me and talking with me and hoped that we could possibly pursue a friendship.

Yeah, right. Sure. Whatever. That’s what I thought at the time. This sort of thing has happened before. It’s a standard brush off, because people don’t mean it when they say they want to try to be friends. That is what I have experienced, and as such I usually just move on. But that was not the case this time. It took some time to figure it out but Casey was/is genuine. And we are now friends. And I’m quite pleased with the friendship – it strikes me to have potential to be one of the more significant relationships in my life, at least for now but I sense there is a future there as well, whatever that might be.

But here is the rub —  no not that kind of rub; get your mind out of the freaking gutter – the guy she “brushed me off” for is now out of the picture, or so it would seem. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that he’s currently exiting the picture, but not quite gone. So what does this mean?

Question a la When Harry Met Sally: Can a man and woman really be friends?

I don’t know. I don’t know that anyone knows. I’m not even so sure that it really matters.

I find that I have adjusted my perspective when it comes to “meeting people” now. In this way; before I had expectations, too many – I’d find myself futurizing (is that even a word?) about a relationship before it even had a chance to really begin. And that was always bad. Or it turned out badly in any case. So now, I try – as much as is possible – to simply be open to experiencing a relationship with a new person, and simply letting it be whatever it is going to be – friendship, romantic, etc. At least this way you can be sure that whatever it turns into it is genuine, or as close to it as possible, rather than something that one or the other or both people orchestrated, which seems so… phony, and ultimately sad.

Anyhoo…I promised Casey I would write. And there, I did.

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Which came first, the batshit crazy woman or me? …and other scotch-induced reflections

A jumble of blog post ideas clanking around in my head tonight. Plus, been sipping the Johnny Walker Red again, so look out.

Where to begin…?

Well, first today it was pointed out to me by several people that I seem to have a penchant for attracting batshit crazy chicks. This was pointed out me by someone I’ve known for only 6 months, a woman I work with, as well as an old college friend whom I’ve known for years. And upon scotch-induced reflection I have to say they have a point. It was true in college. It was true before college. It was true after college. It was true in grad school. And after grad school. And now. Apparently.

The question one has to ask is, do I attract batshit crazy women or are batshit crazy women drawn to me? Or are they normal (and by normal I mean just regular crazy) until they mix it up with me and then go batshit crazy? Who knows? Maybe I am the catalyst? Maybe I am the final straw, the missing factor that really sends them over the edge? Or maybe I’m the one who is batshit crazy? Only the shadow knows. …Muh ha ha ha ha ha. Come on shadow, tell already…..you dick!

On the upside it seems to be raining women for me as of late. Sure, a date cancelled on me on Saturday (and thank God for that too, eh), but I managed to find another date that same night. And I met another woman online Sunday morning. We were going to hang Sunday but it never happened. We made plans to meet tonight but she had an accident, fell and hurt herself, and swore it wasn’t cold feet or her pulling a Peter Brady. I guess I believe her. In the end, it doesn’t matter. Cancelled dates are par for the course, I’m learning. Get over it. What are you gonna do? Fucking cry about it? Yeah that’ll work wonders for you.

Anyway, it didn’t phase me because I’d spent the day chatting online with another woman that I’d met on eHarmony, which suddenly is producing for me. In addition, I had email messages from two other women. Although one lives in Ontario, Canada, which is of course within my 25 mile range, but I can’t help wondering how that would work — dating someone from another country? Granted it’s not China or Brazil but still. What would happen if it got serious? One of us would have to move to other’s country. And I’m not moving to Canada, sorry. Guess we’ll find out. I should update my passport in any case.

Then tonight I find myself chatting via OkCupid with three different women, one of whom got frustrated with the slow response time of the chat option and wanted to talk on the phone and handed out her number pretty readily, which I don’t think is a good idea, but she’d only been on the site for two days and may have been an online dating newbie entirely. We texted a few times and then she disappeared. So did one of the other women, which was cool by me because the woman I really wanted to chat with stuck around. Booyah! Sorry, though, no serious details. Dat’s da rules.

And now for something completely different.

Well, not really. It is still dating related. It’s about STDs. From a post by a very sexy, wild lady. Check it. Respect it. And condom up people.

Oh yeah. I know what else I wanted to jibber jabber about — ex talk. Everyone tells you never talk about your ex on a date. Never never never. It the subject comes up, give a short sweet answer and move on. I, of course, have a hard time doing this. It was an issue with the first woman I dated after my divorce. She gave me a pretty good talking to about it. But the way she did it kind of pissed me off and should have been a red flag. Hell it was a red flag, I just fucking ignored it. Look, I got no problem with a woman telling me that I talk too much about my ex but there are better ways to do it. Such as this: I don’t mean and disrespect but it seems to me that you still have some healing to do. Still, though, the message is, I don’t want to deal with your problems, which I’m sorry come with a person. Better get fucking used to it. You can’t expect that issues with my ex are never going to back up on me, especially  when your relationship was a clean break because you were never fucking married and only dated for three fucking years or you divorce didn’t involve kids. Life is messy, like a porno set after a full day of shoot (pun very fucking intended) sometimes, get used to it.

And anyway, the woman I chatted with online tonight told me she enjoyed chatting about this stuff. Of course, that could be a whole other kind of red flag. Who knows? We’ll, see. Because I intend to find out. She’s smokin’ hot, baby.

Thus endith tonight’s drunken blog post.

Don’t blog drunk, you say. Ha! I don’t need your rules. I’m a blogger. SPLAT!

The New Reality

I’m hearing this term thrown around a lot lately at my soon-to-be former place of employment — The New Reality. It comes up in discussions about how work is going to get done once I am gone. Don’t get me wrong I know full well that I’m not an irreplaceable pillar of the workforce here but I know that I do a lot of work that is still going to need to be done once I’m gone. The thinking is this will be handled by outsourcing (we’ll see) and by others simply doing more work than they already do. Thus The New Reality.

But it’s not just here. This term is getting tossed around a lot in the wider world as well.  And perhaps has been for some time and I just haven’t noticed it until now. Like the person who works here who discussed her daughter’s work situation. This is a young woman with undergraduate and graduate degrees in music, a very smart and educated individual, and she’s working as a barista as well as doing some performance and I think giving music lessons. No full-time job, but instead a patchwork of part-time jobs. This may be what is in store for me, unfortunately.

Another movement in The New Reality is people starting their own businesses, like the one reported on in this article from the Detroit Free Press. Because even if you do have a great job with a good company there is no guarantee that your job will be there a year or six months from now, or even tomorrow for that matter.

A bit from the article:

OK, so if you accept the reality that all companies today are scrambling to control head count via software, automation, outsourcing — anything to limit the number of full-time workers with benefits — where’s an example of people adapting to that reality?

Last week, I visited Grit Design, a Web design and digital branding outfit of 15 people, mostly 30-somethings, working since March in space carved out of the Elevator Building, an old warehouse along the Detroit riverfront east of the Renaissance Center.

Almost all of them previously had swell jobs at big agencies — Ogilvy, Razorfish, Young & Rubicam — working on big-brand accounts like Ford, Disney, Cadillac, Dollar General.

I was asked last night if I would ever try to open my own business, instead of looking for a job with a company. It made me think. I guess I’d never really considered it. Mainly because I have not a clue what kind of business I would start, which might just be a sign that it’s not a good option for me. It would certainly have to be something viable in today’s market. It’s no time to be starting a labor-of-love business.

I have a friend who, after getting laid off from his long-time job, tried to start a home-restoration business. I don’t think it went well. He burned through his saving and may even be in debt now. I don’t want to end up like that. And I know, I know, you have to take risks be willing to put yourself out there and all that jazz. But there’s a time for risk and a time to exercise caution, and right now, in this economy and job market, I think more caution is warranted. Frankly, I’m just trying to weather the storm without winding up in debt. So far I’ve been able to to that.

 

Should we stay or should we go….

…to California.

According to this Time magazine article about the Golden State the answer would be, well, duh!

Even with it’s problems — the budgets, unemployment, housing market — and all the braying doomsayers that are sure that California is going to go busto, it’s still a mighty fine place to be right now. Anyway, it’s got to be better than Michigan. Plus, as I”ve harped before, it’s got great beches, the Pacific Ocean, huge national parks, cool deserts (if you dig that sort of thing, and I do) and there’s something to be said for not having to wear pants. Plus, this article makes California seem like a place that we’d more at home in, more in tune with the thinking and attitudes.

In the interest of comparison, Time has also been conducting an on-going long-term reporting projec on the city of Detroit. Of course, we don’t live in Detroit proper, but still.

It doesn’t help Michigan’s cause any that after cutting the K-12 budget by approximately $10 million they are cutting it yet again, to the tune of $165 per pupil, and possibly more. We won’t know for sure until the standoff in Lansing if brought to a close.  The most frustrating thing about it is that the schools already budgeted according to what they were told they would be afforded only to have to readjust after the fact, because pols in Lansing can’t get their shit together.

…the wheels are in motion….

…and rolling towards California.

Although we’ll probably end up flying there.

Of course, I am speaking of where my wife, daughter and I plan to relocate, with any luck by this time next year. It would seem that certain events and circumstances have conspired to help this happen. Mostly to do with C’s career. But also the behavoir of certain familial elements have only served to reinforce the desperate need for this move. Plus, The Woodward Dream Cruise this past weekend gives me yet one more reason to want to bolt Michigan.

For those not familiar with The Woodward Dream Cruise, and I’m assume there are at least a few, it is an annual event that takes place here in Southeast Michigan in mid-august, in which hordes of motor heads, car enthusiasts and other assorted automobile fetishists converge on Woodward Avenue, one of the major hub roads that runs from downtown Detroit up into the northern suburbs, and either drive their cars, many of which are sweet classic rods, although I did see this year one old Grayhound bus painted purple, up and down Woodward, or pop a squat on the side of the road and watch cars roll by. Yes, here in Metro Detroit cruising is a specator sport.

Anyhoo…before I lived so close to Woodward, I was pretty indifferent to The Dream Cruise (for short, sort of). Depsite having been born and raised in the Motor City, having a father who worked for GM for 35 years and a brother who worked for Ford for some time, and growing up with many friends that were really into cars, I’ve never been much of car person. To me they’re mostly just boxes with wheels that get you from one place to another. Don’t get me wrong I can appreciate a fine automobile as much as the next guy, but my appreciation for large hunks of metal on rubber wheels has diminished a bit since we’ve been living in B’ham, not far off  Woodward. The traffic is a pain in the ass. The cruisers that lose their way and decide to turn my street into a drag strip are all being nominated for jerk of the year, and are just lucky I don’t decide to chuck eggs that their cherry rides. ( Plus, this year my wife and her friend, while on a walk, had the misfotune of encouthering a couple of 18 year-old little pricks waving huge signs with graphic pictures of aborted feteuses on them.  Hey, I’m all for free speech, which apparently covers this sort of abhorent display, and yet if I want to parade around with a big photo of two lesbians going to lunch on each other  I’d be arrested, but this sort of thing is just wrong. Not to mention these little dickheads feel perfectly within in their rights to accoust anyone that passes close to them, verbally pistol whipping them with thier self-righteous indignation. )

What I’d like to know is what is the environmental footprint of this event anyway? Cuz it can’t be good.

Ultimately, my unwillingness to kneel before the altar of the American Automobile companies (can’t really call them The Big Three anymore, now can we) probably disqualifies me for residency in this area anyway, at least in spirit if not legally. Hell, I drive a Honda.

Of course, one could argue that you need to move from the state entire to escape The Dream Cruise. But hell, if I’m gonna move, I’m gonna move. Besides, you know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific Ocean? They say it has no memory. And that’d suite me just fine.

Global warming: a reason to stay in Michigan

According to this slate.com article, part of week-long series that wonders how the United States might finally come to an end, if global warming does in fact inflict the damage that some predict it will Detroit is one of the places you’re gonna want to be. Along with Buffalo and Cleveland.

There’s a reason these cities were settled early on in the country’s history — there’s an abundant source of water, and for Buffalo there’s Niagara Falls nearby (i think; i’m not looking at a map and have no memory for geography and believe that i’m recalling the article correctly) to provide power. Makes sense to me.

Which is why I’ve actually considered this a factor in whether or not we should move, believe it or not. As appealing as California sounds right now, if water becomes scarce, which it already is out there, then it is not the place you’re going to want to be. Also, worst case global warm scenarios expect that both coasts will be pretty much devastated, driving people inward. The slate article assumes that cities like New York and Boston will be entirely abandoned.  Yikes! Just imagine. If you can, let me know, because honestly I can’t even begin to.

As for Texas, well, it, along with other gulf coast states/cities, will be pummeled again and again by increasingly powerful hurricanes and storms.

The Great Plains will turn to dessert. Southwest will become almost unlivable. And all the people there will have to migrate somewhere — inland and northward.

In such a scenario some think that we could head towards a conflict, ie war, with Canada.

Of course, the aticle concedes that this isn’t going to happen suddenly, like a James Cameron action flick. But rather it will unfold more slowly, like, say, a Terrence Malick or Stanely Kubrick film, over the course of years, perhaps almost a century. But still.

Bite your tongue, young man!

Another nice side effect of being on meds and in counseling is that I don’t feel so compelled to “pick a fight.” Of course, I don’t mean a fist fight, for I learned long ago that a guy of my size should avoid physical confrontation whenever possible. Getting tossed through a plate-glass window will do that too you. Okay, I exaggerate — I was thrown into one of those wire-mesh re-enforced glass window. It broke, spiderwebbing but not shattering. And really it was just my shoulder that went into it — no harm done. Now that I think about it, I actually kicked some pretty serious ass in that fight, which I felt compelled to get into when three punk-asses threatened my little brother — and get this, because the girl standing next to him mouthed off:

“Oh yeah. You would hit a girl,” said mouthy girl.

“No,” said punkass “But I will hit the guy standing next you.”

I remember not even thinking — I just popped the guy in the face as soon as he laid hands on my brother. Then his two buddies jumped me, but I was punching the one in front of me and then, on the cock back of my arm, elbowed the other one behind me — rapid fire. it was very Steve MaQueen or Bruce Lee, maybe Clint  Eastwood. Someone tough like that anyway. And eventually all three of us crashed into the window. And now that I think about it, the guy that had me from behind, his hand was on my shoulder that went into the window, and it, his hand, took the brunt of the blow, cutting his knuckles and causing him to bleed. Stunned by the sight of his own blood (wuss) I clocked him a good one and then took the other one down to the floor. Which is all to say (besides bragging, I mean), I kicked ass,  but that was the best fight I’ve ever had. It was all down him from there.

Anyhoo…where was I? Oh, yeah. Picking verbal fights, usually over politics, but about any debatable subject really. There was a time when I could do this without losing my cool, but over time I transmogrified from being simply argumentative into being  the kind of dickehead that lays in wait like a cobra just itching for an opportunity to strike an unleash its venom on the poor soul that with misforutne of crossing its path. Often, I wasn’t even waiting, it was just there, roiling beneath the surface, and the tiniest thing could set me off. Instead of simply disagreeing with or refuting someone, I had to pummel them with my counter-argument. This was actually pointed out to me by someone who said that I could be pretty vicious and unrelenting in an argument, which isn’t to say that I was necessarily a good arguer just more aggressive. I had a sort of Cobra Kai, a la The Karate Kid, mentality — you know, Strike first! Strik hard! No mercy! Which served little purpose other than to convince people that I was a jerk; it’s not as if they would actually listen to me.

Anyway. Now, I don’t really feel the need to do that. Or if I do, I can contain it. Actually, I’d prefer to opt out of  most arguments all together. Don’t misunderstand. I’ve got plenty of opinions and grievances, more than I know what to do with. It’s just that now I figure it’s probably better to keep them to myself. And, if I do feel compelled to enage, I’d rather do it in a less confrontational manner.

Example: I was following a discussion about the recent talk of a GM bankruptcy, in which the federal government would have a majority stake in the company. Actually, it was less of a discussion and more of bitch fest, which included reactionary comments that labeled the move as socialism, the buzz word of the moment, and renaming GM as Government Motors. Generally there was a lot of complaining about the government’s involvement, which seemed at least somewhat misplaced. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want the government running GM, but I don’t think that is what they are going to do. The government is not going to be running the company. They’re just backing it until it can get back to a paying/profitting basis. Although I doubt many of the people I saw commenting would agree with me. Not that they could prove their claim, but still…they  heard it on Fox News, so, you  know it must be true. Also, what seemed to be missing from the string of complaints was blame for the white-shirts running the company. I assumed that most of the people involved in the “discussion” either worked for GM or knew someone who did. I didn’t understand how they could give these guys (perhaps there were women too, but largely the largest automotive company in the world is run by men, and no doubt mostly white at that) a pass, but they certainly seemed to be.

And as for their gripes about the govt taking over GM: what is the alternative? Because I don’t think any of these people would be happy  if GM just disappeared all together. And if any of them had an alternate plan they weren’t sharing it. My guess is they didn’t. I don’t either, but then I’m  not bitching about the way it is being handled.

I admit it freely. I was an Obama supporter, a pretty virulent one at times. I drank the Kool Aid early and had no intention of budging. And I’m not sorry I did. I’ve been satisfied with the job Obama has done since he took office. And I’ve got no problem with the plan put forth to save GM. Because that is what it does — saves GM. The only alternative that I’ve heard prestented is the one espoused by the likes of Senator Shelby from Alabama and Mitch McConnell from Kentucky, among others, and that is to simply let GM and Chrysler fail, Ford to if it comes to that. Of course, these Republicans  have Honda and Toyota plants in their states that are non-union, which I don’t really have a problem with either, not a very popular stance to take for somone living in Metro Detroit, and failure of any or all of the Detroit Three (it seems generally agreed upon that The Big Three is no longer an appropriate monicker) would mean more business and more money for their states. You can’t blame them for that, really. Their interest is their state. They don’t give a crap about Michigan.Fair enough, because I dont’ really give a crap about Alabama or Kentucky, although I hear the derby is pretty cool. I don’t know what Alabama’s got — college football, I guess. But what do I know. I do care about Michigan, at least as long I live here. C and I are talking seriously about moving to California or perhaps  Texas, which has a very good economy right now. At this point, i don’t care which really; I’m ready to live in some other state other than Michigan, almost any other state, Albama and Kentucky not being one of them.

Back to my original intent in this post, before I really spin out of control and bore the reader to death. I’d have been inclined to jump into the argument, despite knowing that my view would be largely unpopular and not accepted no matter how I argued with it, which would only have pissed me off, and made me quiver with rage. Seriously, that kind of thing could really set me off.  And that kind of anger/rage/anxiety is just draining. No wonder I was tired all the time. Now I’ve much more energy. Of course, I did sort of particapate, and that was by simply interjecting an article that suggested that the only people who were going to benefit from the GM govt-sponsored bankruptcy were the lawyers and accountants that will charge outrageous fees for their services in making it happen.  That was it. And nothing else.

I’m feeling much better now. Aaaaah.