Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


So, This Was Thanksgiving…

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,By Bread Alone,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is late at night or 11:36 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

So, another Thanksgiving has come and almost gone.

Another holiday.  Another celebration, though not what I’d planned, not what I’d expected.  Good, though.  Better.
Today, instead of the big Thanksgiving dinner I’d been imagining all year long, I had a much quieter, more intimate dinner.  It was better, really.  Tomorrow, I’ll have my big celebration.  Not with the family I was born into, but the family I’ve chosen, the family that I’ve gathered and that has chosen to gather around me.  Today, though, was a different celebration all together.  Rather than distract myself from a bitter anniversary with lots to do and a big crowd, filled with noise, I spent the afternoon and evening with three very dear people.  A friend who saw me through the confirmation of my diagnosis with cancer three years ago.  Who stayed with me when I was checked into the hospital unexpectedly, making sure I was settled, forever earning her a soft spot in my mother’s heart.  And her son, a young man I don’t know too well, but who’s quite something in his own right.  And another friend, who is hard to pin down.  One of the things I enjoy about her, actually, is that just when you think you have her figured out, she reveals some new facet, some new twist that shows you really haven’t figured her out at all.  She’s the riddle to which there is no answer.  And, surely, my readers know by now just how much I love those virtually impossible to solve puzzles, especially when they come in human form.

As always seems to happen during events like this, someone shares a secret with me.  Something intimate and private and not known to the greater mass of people.  I don’t know if it was the tryptophan or sugar-high of the Goode Company pecan pie or some weird vibe I give off, but, well, there it is.  And, outside of mentioning how amazed I am that such a diverse variety of people find me worthy of being trusted with such very intimate details of their lives, I do my best to keep those personal secrets.  In truth, I am honored to be trusted so, since I know so very well how I was not always so trustworthy.  It’s hard for me to remember that these people never knew me in that life, that they have only known me as I am today, not how I was when I was so deeply and painfully enmeshed with my ex-wife and that life we led together.

I’m proud of the fact that I made it through the entire day with out telling the story.  The story of how she left the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  How we’d had a discussion, a somewhat one-sided discussion, about how I knew she’d been cheating on me for months.  I stated it as a fact I knew, though, in truth, I only had circumstantial evidence and a feeling.  Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that I was right.
So, while I was in the shower, without any additional warning, she gathered up her daughter and a couple of suitcases, jumped into the only working car we had and left.  There was no note, no voice-mail.  I had to call her.  Since she didn’t answer her cell-phone, I had to call her parent’s house to find out where she was and find out what was really happening.  I knew, of course, but it was as if my mind refused to understand it, refused to take it all in.  I imagine it was a kind of shock, like what amputees feel when they wake up and find a limb has gone missing.
A week later, she was in Phoenix, Arizona with her lover, who’s become her fourth husband.  And, I’d gotten into her e-mail, where I read everything they’d been e-mailing back and forth for six months or more.  I read every last detail of what she’d told him about me.  Every lie and half-truth, spun to serve her particular purpose.  Worse still was seeing every intimate detail I’d ever shared with her, every embarrassing secret, every fear, every vulnerability vomited out and mocked to paint me as a particular sort of person, to color me through a very much not-rose-tinted lens as something small, dark and twisted.  Something I very much feared I really was and, in my worst moments, believe I still am or can become.

But, today, I was reminded that I am not that man.  Neither the man I was nor the man she tried to make me.  To be honest, I’m not entirely sure who or what I am today, this year, this moment, but I most certainly know what I am not.  I am not the man who was an empty, hollow shell when she left.  Nor am I the fool who was suicidal at the thought that of being left and getting a divorce.  Perhaps most importantly, I am not the man who was ready to stay married to a woman who obviously had grown to hate him nor am I the man who hated himself so much that he felt drawn to someone who never loved him and only wanted, well, wanted something from him.
No, today, people who didn’t even know me five years ago embraced me as part of the family that they chose to be with on this holiday.  They reminded me that I do have integrity and that I am worthy of trust.  That I’m safe.  Safe enough to be truly intimate with in the most important way possible.

So, this was Thanksgiving.  And, this year, though the anniversary that I can’t seem to escape hit me harder this year than it has in several years, I was reminded just how much I have to be thankful for today.
I am thankful for my family, both the one I was born into and the one that has chosen each other.  I am thankful to be employed and reasonably solvent.  I’m thankful that I have a far deeper spirituality today than I did even five years ago.  I’m thankful that I have both the inspiration and means to be artistic, in my way, and have a hobby that I can pursue with as much relish and intensity as I care to put into it.  Most of all, and this has not always been true, I am thankful this year to simply be alive.

Tomorrow, I will have an unknown number of people over throughout the afternoon and evening, for a bit of fellowship and food.  Even though my house is not quite in the shape I’d like it before having people over, I still look forward to seeing everyone who makes it by, for however long they can be here.  I look forward to the celebration of who we are and our friendships.  Though I often feel very alone this time of year, being separated from my biological family and not in a relationship, tomorrow I will celebrate the amazing number and variety of friends who share my life today.  My life looks very different today than I expected it to, and, more importantly, than it did five years ago, but it’s good life, filled with good people, each of whom I treasure for who they are.

So, I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving this year.  I know I did, and I know why I’m thankful.

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"A man is known by the company his mind keeps."
   --Thomas Bailey Aldrich


Another Reader Warning

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal,The Dark Side,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is in the late evening or 10:41 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the blogosphere….
Some of you may remember my reader warning from November, when my ex-wife was following me to other blogs and leaving strange comments there, as messages to, well, to someone. Guess what, folks? Yeah, she’s still out there and still obsessive-compulsive, apparently. In the past week, I got e-mail from two or three people who asked about my ex-wife, her location and her IP address. Yes, as far as I know, she’s still in Phoenix, Arizona, or thereabouts. Yes, if you have an IP address from that area that seems to, well, show up a lot in your logs, that’s probably her. Now, she seems to be concealing her IP address at my website, or I haven’t been looking for her in my logs very hard, or both, but she doesn’t seem to be smart enough to do that on the other blogs she’s haunting. Honestly, considering that our divorce was final five months ago, you’d think she’d be able to let go by now, wouldn’t you? I can’t imagine what she’s interested in with me anymore. I haven’t been to her blog in months, but she seems to still be very interested in mine. And, sadly, in people who comment on my blog, so, well, be warned that if you do comment on this blog, she will most likely follow you to your blog and, possibly, comment. Until she does, comment that is, just enjoy the extra hits. Feel free to contact me for more details. If you’d like, leave a comment marked PRIVATE: and I won’t let it roll live to the blog.

Again, sorry about this, but, well, these things happen. At least you know now. What a world…
Update: Well, thanks to my intrepid readers, I have more details on the strange goings on. Apparently, the IP address is associated with her new husband’s company. To limit any potential liability, I choose not to reveal the name or IP address publicly, but will provide the information on request. So, now, I’m not sure which of them is more obsessive-compulsive and can’t let go. Or, which is the worst option. Again, my apologies to anyone who’s been adversely effected by this strangeness.


Homeless Pets

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Dog and Pony Shows,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is mid-morning or 10:57 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

I used to volunteer for H.O.P.E.
But, foolishly, I thought I’d have more time, not less, after the divorce was over, so I stopped making it a habit. The end result is that I haven’t been there to help out in months. I’m an official, paid member and everything, but, I had really intended to actually help out at the adoption center. Well, I’ve always been good at compartmentalizing guilt, so I did that very thing and forgot about it. So, yesterday, I’m running errands and swing by PetSmart, where H.O.P.E. does their adoptions from, off 290, to pickup some food for my Hilda. Hilda was a rescue dog that we got at H.O.P.E.. In fact, that was why I started volunteering there, because, at the time I’d lost Hilda, I was keeping an eye out for a replacement pup. Now, I come into contact with these folks for the first time in months.
Okay, here’s the thing… Back when “I” was “we” and “we” got Hilda, there was another dog I connected with named Sage. He was a good dog, though at the time, he had sort of a bad reputation, being, essentially, a Pit-mix. But, click that link and you’ll see that he’s a beautiful dog. And, at least to me, friendly as all get out. In fact, as memory serves, he did better with the women-folk than guys, but he and I got along really well. Unfortunately, he had issues. For one, he liked cats. Apparently, the thought they were quite tasty. Sadly, we had two cats at the time and picked up a third. Besides that little hiccup, my ex-wife was terrified of him. She’d been bitten by a dog, according to her, as a kid and had physical and mental scars. In fact, it was a fight to get my submissive, sweet-tempered Hilda! (I’m not sure how much of her story was true, though, since she apparently lied on a regular basis to get her way. If only I’d realized that sooner… Ah, well.)
Anyway, when I went in yesterday, Sage, was still there, three years later, looking for a permanent home. So, here I am, the ex is long gone, so that obstacle is removed. I got Hilda back because she allegedly killed one of the poor, sickly, geriatric cats that my ex dragged with her out to Phoenix. Personally, I think it was something else, because the story I got doesn’t mesh with how a dog would kill a cat, and, frankly, I don’t trust those two to ever do anything but lie. Still, the upshot is, I won’t take the risk of having cats with her, so that removes another “obstacle” to adopting Sage. Now, the question becomes, how would my darling, spoiled, little girl take to having another dog in the house? She seems to enjoy other dogs, after she gets to know them. But, I worry about how well she’d take it. And, I’m going to have to do some travelling for work here shortly, so I’m not entriely sure I want to add a dog to my house until after that time. Lots of variables to consider, but, well, I can’t help it. I’m seriously thinking about adopting a brother for Hilda.


Personal Irritant

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time or 8:45 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

No, I’m not irritated.
But, I have to admit that it gives a little warm spot inside knowing that this blog irritates my ex-wife. It’s sort of funny, and sad, that she has nothing better to do with herself than obsessively read my blog. Oh, I’m sure she’s been posting on her own blog about what a terrible person I am, listing a litany of my sins, real, imagined and invented. On last report, she was mainly going with the imagined and invented sins, though. Apparently, my actual wrong-doing just isn’t quite salacious enough to keep her new meal-ticket, or, if you prefer “boyfriend”, and her therapist entertained.
I wonder why she has such a hard time with the truth of our relationship? Really, in the end, it wasn’t anything complicated or grand or dramatic. We had problems, as individuals and a couple. She decided it was easier to run than stay and work it all out, which it is, and off she went. Honestly, I don’t have any hard feelings about her leaving anymore, though she could have done better than taking the only working car and running off with no explanation while I was in the shower. And, yes, it does help that I ended up with everything because she abandoned it at my house after the divorce. She could have made a better choice of places to land than in Phoenix, Arizona, with a guy who was married for 19 years when she met him, too. His divorce should be final Real Soon Now.
In the end, it was better that both those marriages ended, of course. Not so that those two could be together, as much as so that their partners could be free. And, yes, I know this will really light my ex-wife right up. It’s so easy, really. Just tell the truth and watch her get angry. I’m not quite ashamed of pushing her buttons, though. After all, for years when we were together, she pushed mine.
But, it doesn’t work that way anymore, does it? I don’t read her blog, so I just don’t hear her rantings. Well, except for when I day-dream about it and then she sounds like the helpless, little chimera at the end of The Fly. (Not the “modern” The Fly, but the old one. You know, the one with that little voice crying “Help me! Help me!”)
I wonder just what color she’ll turn upon reading this post?

Oh, and the Advice from your Uncle Jim? “Don’t try to mess with the guy who controls the publication media. Letters to the editor about how the world is out to get you just confirm your paranoia to the rest of the world.”

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"It's nothing against you to fall down flat, but to lie there--that's disgrace."
   --Edmund Vance Cooke


Reader Warning

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Monkey which is in the late afternoon or 5:20 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Your attention, please!
I just thought I should warn everyone who reads, and comments, on my blog that my apparently bitter and vengeful ex-wife still reads my blog. She may follow you from your comments to your blog and comment there in her own very special, petty way. If you suspect such activity, you might trace any IP address associated with comments and see if they take you to either an anonymous proxy or a location in either Phoenix or Glendale Arizona. If said comment originates at either location and is seemingly out of place or otherwise inexplicable, you can be fairly sure that the Harpy has landed.
Please, don’t let this keep you from posting comments. In fact, look at it this way, she’ll add all sorts of intersting traffic to your website/blog! Sure, it might be the Tin-Foil Hat Brigade kind of traffic, but, hey, hits are hits, right? Seriously, I apologize to anyone who’s already been hit by this childish woman who just can’t let go. And, I apologize in advance for anyone who might get her filthy attitude smeared all over their website in the future. But, I wouldn’t worry too much, since she’s basically lazy as well. She might leave a comment or two, but I doubt she can maintain the energy to really do much more than annoy folks for a bit.
At least you get some idea why we’re divorced.


Polyamory for Jesus

Filed under: Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is in the late evening or 10:26 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Oh, Christ, is the only thing I can think to say!
While out looking for something else entrely, I found the strangest website and organization. They call themselves “Liberated Christians” and espouse a very liberal attitude, indeed. According to their website, they see no conflict between the practice of “swinging” or “polyamorism” and Christianity. (If you’re not familiar with these concepts, first off, congradulations! Second, it means having multiple sex partners concurrently.) I cannot imagine what church they’re associated with, unless they’ve created their own. Really, the very idea of this is totally against everything I’ve ever heard or read about the Judeo-Christian tradition. They challenge anyone to show them in the Bible where it says that monogmy is the correct form of marriage and claim that no one can. Personally, I’d refer them to the Book of Deuteronomy, specifically, Chapter 5, verse 18 and verse 21. They seem pretty clear on what not to do, which, by process of elimination, leaves something that suspiciously looks like monogomy.
Of course, I’m still not sure where divorce fits in, but there doesn’t seem to be a prohibition against it anywhere in the Bible that I know of, at least. And, frankly, one at a time seems a whole lot different than what these folks are espousing. Of course, since these rather unusual folks are based out of Phoenix, Arizona, it may be that the heat got to them. I don’t know, maybe there’s just something about living in Phoenix that does something to your thinking. Well, anyway, Phoenix is as good a place as any for them, I suppose. Freaky.

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