Archive for August, 2008

Brighter Glimmers

August 31, 2008

(N.B.:  This post was written under the influence of a very fine Irish Whiskey [Jameson’s]… this is on the advice of a very good friend who suggested my words would come easier if my mind was lubricated with libation).

I write this as a purge of my own experience of the events of yesterday, so I can better remember.  Also, I’m thinking someone somewhere may see this as being an example of hope in a similar situation they may be going through.

I hesitate to be hopeful myself, but find it difficult not to consider the glimmer of hope brightening for a more amicable settlement with The Wife.  This was based on an emotionally draining, but positive sit-down with her yesterday to see if we could actually negotiate who gets what.

Anticipating the meeting with fear of a very negative emotional event, I nonetheless decided to apply some of my training as a facilitator and approached the meeting from a systematic and logical perspective.  I started off stating my goals and objectives for the sit-down (and, no, the goal was not “GnuKid wants to keep from throttling you when you go off to inane conclusions about impossibilities”).

Actually, my first goal was to make her feel more comfortable that her financial state after the Divorce would not leave her scraping the worms off the sidewalk for her supper.  My second goal was that we could, as stated in an earlier post, avoid buying our lawyers new BMWs.

Discussions went fairly well, albeit with quite a few bumps.  I forced myself to fully listen to her questions without wanting to yell at her to grow a brain.  Fairly successful there, too.  At no time did I blurt out that she’s been a life sucking vampire draining me of happiness and joy in my life.  Aren’t you proud of me?

And the hopeful news was that was actually semi-agreeable to the concessions I made.  She repeated that this was all too confusing for her and she wanted to walk it by her lawyer (GnuKid’s blood runs cold and a bit of vomit rises in his throat).  But… for the moment… she seemed willing to negotiate.

At the end?  I thanked her for her patience in listening to me and being open about her fears and concerns.  She thanked me as well, then (admittedly a bit surprisingly to me) asked if it would be too uncomfortable for me to give her a hug.  Wow… of course, I did so.  There was hope…

…there IS hope…


Shots Across The Bows

August 29, 2008

Well, The Wife and my quest to ensure our lawyers can buy their new BMWs continues.  Paperwork is flying back and forth, each sheet with a not-so-nominal price tag associated. I found out I get charged a minimum of 6 minutes for each e-mail and phone call, even if it really takes 30 seconds.

I was notified that, despite The Wife and I still living at home, I have to pay temporary alimony.  Huh?  Confused I am.  Even more confusing is that the order, officially official and signed by the judge, said that that alimony can be in the form of the mortgage and utilities I already pay.  Plus, there’s a specific clause in the letter saying the enforcement agency (the folks who make sure alimony is actually paid) is not actually bound by the letter, so don’t have to enforce my paying it.  Huh? again.

But, not to be outdone, my lawyer sent The Wife a 40 question package requesting all sorts of information in great levels of detail.  For example, being we’re at the edge of the frontier of Ohio, there’s also a question in there asking, “Do you own any livestock?  List in detail.”

But, the shots across the bow seem to be working… When The Wife saw the detailed list of questions, she asked me, “Can’t we just sit down and negotiate something so we don’t have to do all this paperwork?”

Yes!  A glimmer of hope!

So The Wife and I will sit down this weekend and walk through the finances to see if we can’t come up with an agreement.

Poor lawyers will have to settle for used Hyundais…


August 27, 2008

I’m a tired puppy. One of my roles in my job, which I’m currently deep in the midst of, is to be a facilitator for project teams coming in for assistance. For those who don’t know what a facilitator does, they are a combination meeting lead, mediator, consultant, and twit.

As a meeting lead, I’m in charge of keeping the team on track to both the schedule and to the meeting objective. Sort of like herding cats, you’re always on the move to pull folks back to the topic at hand and moving them along so they don’t get chatty.

As a mediator, I have to keep an eye on each of the team members. I have to make sure those that have something to say get a chance to do so, while quieting those who don’t have a damn thing to say but like hearing their own voice. Figuring out which is which is not always an easy task.

As a consultant, I have to have some level of expertise in the topic under discussion so I can provide my glaringly amazing input to quickly knock down roadblocks, solve world hunger, and otherwise be the answer guy to any questions. Needless to say… well, okay, not so needless since most of you don’t know me from Adam… much of this part of the job involves me exercising my acting skills and downright pretending to know what the hell I’m doing.

And, finally, my favorite part of this role is “The Twit”, for which I’m uniquely predisposed to play. I get to be nasty and rude, all in the name of accomplishing the other three facilitator roles already mentioned. I can tell people to shut up without feeling guilty. I can sidetrack inane conversations by telling people, “That’s not important right now” while sneaking in my own irrelevant story. I can declare victory in the face of utter defeat just by saying so. Somehow it all works out.

Wearing so many hats and dealing with so many people is draining on me. Still not sleeping that well, it becomes extra tiring. But, I can’t let a little thing like getting a Divorce get in the way of keeping the job which will be funding The Wife’s alimony (ooo, did I just sound a wee bit bitter there?). But, still, dealing with and controlling 5 – 20 distinct personalities, many of them Type A asses who demand their moment of glory, is very tiring.  Especially today when I thought for a bit that two of them would come to fisticuffs arguing over some petty little problem… 

I believe I will take on a facilitator role for myself here in this blog, tell myself to shut up, declare victory, and head to bed.

Apoidea Anger

August 24, 2008

…(and still being in avoidance of The D Word issues, a quick and brainless story)…

Daughter Person (… yes, and Spousal Unit [heavy sigh]) have returned from visiting family. My virtual vacation is over. But, nonetheless, it is very good to see the Girl Child again.

More stories to come from her about her trip, I’m sure, but the first one she told me about had to be shared.

Daughter Person, though of adult age (just), is still my daughter. So, when she wears a pair of pants that rides all the way down to just north of her hoo-hoo forest… or wears shorts that are cut so short that an ill-timed bend-over would run the chance of revealing more than just her modesty… my Dad genes take over and I chastise her choice, suggesting she wear something much less revealing

(Ed. Note: As a side thought… I do realize the irony of chiding the Girl Child over wearing such clothes while knowing–and accepting–that my still active hormones likewise cause me to seek out just such revealing costumery in women more of my age… okay, within 15 years of my age. I’m a mess and admit it…).

So Girl Child shares that she was wearing one of her too short shorts while taking a side trip yesterday. On getting back in the car, she unknowingly let a bee (species Apoidea… there’s the title reference!) into the car.

Girl Child: …but that’s not the worst of it, Dad. It somehow landed on the seat just before I sat down.

GnuKid: Ooo, did it sting you on your “Byew-tocks*”?

Girl Child: No [wince]… it stung me in my crotchal region…

Ouch! (but serves her right for wearing those shorts!) [and Pop is proud of Daughter Person adjectivizing those nouns…{chuckle}…’crotchal’…]

And, yeah, she’s feeling just fine…


*This pronunciation of ‘buttocks’ is an affectation I picked up from watching Lee Marvin in the movie “Cat Ballou”.


August 22, 2008

…and that’s the word of the day.

GnuKid spent one whole semester at university as a biology major. But I never ran into this one… I guess if I’d actually made it to a zoology class, I may have learned this word.

Yep, crissum is a zoological term and it is defined as the feathers or area surrounding a bird’s cloacal opening.

We’ll get back to “crissum” in a moment.

Guess we have two words of the day as I had to look up the definition of “cloacal”. The easy definition is that it is the bird’s hoo-hoo. But that’s too simplistic… be glad you’re not a bird. The biology of a bird is such that – brace yourself – its genital AND intestinal AND urinary tracts all converge and come out of… or into as the case may be… one opening—the cloaca.

If I may editorialize at this point… Ewww.

Reminds me of the joke about the design of women – – –

A bunch of engineers are sitting around at a party, discussing the nature of the God, and who designed women.

The mechanical engineer states that God must also be a mechanical engineer because “if you look at all the pulleys and levers that drive the body, how the tendons and muscles and bones all work together, well, it’s just amazing.”

The chemical engineer says that no, God has to be a chemical engineer because “if you look at all the chemical processes that drive the body, how the hormones and the brain and the glands and everything else all interact, well, it’s just astounding.”

The electrical engineer says that no, God has to be an electrical engineer because “if you look at the circuitry of the body, how the thousands upon millions of nerve cells transmit signals from one part to another, well, it boggles the mind.”

The civil engineer speaks up last of all and says, no, God is definitely a civil engineer, because “only a civil engineer would run a sewer next to a playground. “


But anyway…

What caught my eye about ‘crissum’ is the derivation. From the Latin, crissare, which means—

…to move the buttocks during intercourse…

Hmmm… Ummm… The ancient Romans needed a name for that? Okay.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll just sit here and wallow in some great mental imagery of feminine crissare until it’s time to write another post…

Busy Hands

August 21, 2008

…are the devil’s playground? Nah… I’m mixing metaphors again (but they sure are tasty when baked just right!).

With The Wife and Girl Child off on a tour of her family (my soon-to-be-ex out-laws), I find myself alone at home. As said in the prior post, I’m using some of that time to start excavations and sorting what goes with and what stays (and what gets tossed). But, I’m also finding it very easy to seek outside entertainment and company (no, not ‘that’ kind…yet). The end result is my absence from the blogosphere for the last week, barring an occasional peek into other folks’ blogs. Some of the fun I did have—

I took a dear friend and her spawn for a long, leisurely plane ride. Highlights of that trip included a very bumpy landing at an airport on an island in Lake Erie (my still-talking-to-me dear friend thought we were landing in the trees at the end of the runway), a quick tour of the island’s town in a golf cart, being accosted by a drunk on our return to the airplane, and having to have the local geese chased off of the runway before taking off again (we think they used the airport operator’s dogs). The drunk was particularly festive as he kept following us out the plane and saying, with three beers embraced to his chest, “I have just two questions!” But, he never uttered the questions. My last memory of the airport on takeoff were three cop cars coming to cart the guy away.

Got last minute tickets to our local theater awards banquet. I went mostly to support a friend who was receiving a lifetime achievement award for 40 years in community theater. That part was great. They also give out awards of merit and excellence, in ascending order of importance, for acting and technical (lights, sound, et al). That part was painful. Don’t get me wrong, I really like seeing friends getting those awards. But the way the thing is structured, 90% of them go to the semi-professional and college programs (both of which have people who can and do spend their entire days working on shows). It got quite boring after awhile listening to person #37 of a semi-pro show getting an award. A friend of mine did get an award of merit for her leading role in a community show. I applauded her as she returned to her seat only to have her lean down to me and whisper, “It’s still just fucking second place.” Did I mention they served lots of alcohol there?

Continued my house hunting trips. And an adventure it is turning out to be. I’m still trying to figure out, then balance, what I think I want versus what I think I need versus what I likely really need. This is difficult, when trying to stay within an as-yet-unknown budget number (depending on how badly The Wife hits the pocketbook). I’m finding that I continue to find parts of places I like in different houses, but no place (yet!!! I’m still optimistic!) that has them all in one house… or even most of them. I also find my tastes are more expensive than my wallet. Go figure.

Between those fun things, the not-so-fun continuing excavations, the mandatory taking-care-of-the-house stuff (lawn mowing tomorrow… whee), hanging with physically manifested friends (as opposed to you, my binary internet friends), and just plain fried brain, I’ve been blog-absent. It’s been easier, on coming home, to just drool silently in the corner before toddling off to bed. But, having missed this… okay, and all of you… I’m slowly working my way back to the blogosphere.

So, hide the children, make sure your shots are current, lock the liquor cabinet and chastity belts… just when you thought it was safe…

Archaeology 101

August 14, 2008

The Wife and the Girl Child are gone for a few days to visit family! Respite and calm… though I’m missing Girl Child. I’m also starting in on figuring out what stuff stays and what should come with me when I find a place to live.

I was in the military for a bit… and they have this nasty tendency to ask you to move halfway across the country every three or four years. While disruptive (especially to the kids having to change schools and make new friends), this frequent moving had a little known (until now) benefit…

When you have to move, you tend to clean out your junk piles and throw stuff away. You actually get a pretty fresh start at each new place with just the stuff you really wanted to keep in the long run….

But, my last assignment lasted much longer than four years and, because there were jobs here, we decided to stay in the area when I got out of the military. What that means is that my pack rat genes have had full application over the past [mumble, mumble] years. I’m finding stuff I hadn’t seen in 10-plus years! Unfortunately, those same pack rat genes that caused me to save that ‘treasure’ also causes me to say, “Hey, I haven’t used this for 10 years, nor missed it for 10 years… but let me keep it anyway! (I might need that set of 1995 Time magazines sometime).” [SMACK!!] I need to smack myself to pitch the stuff. I’ll likely be asking for volunteers to continue to do the smacking… line forms on the right… no pushing… please… there’ll be plenty of me to smack around…

So, after a couple hours with little to show but slightly rearranged stacks of ‘stuff’, I’ve reverted to grabbing a Scotch and sitting down for a few to type this out…

One room down… and the easy one at that… and only six rooms to go…

… and then will come the return of The Wife and the negotiations between what she thinks can go and what I think should go will begin …