Sunday, September 25, 2011

R.I.P. Farley

So, I have some sad news in an otherwise happy time in my life. My old man cat, Farley went to eternal sleep Friday afternoon. For anyone that knew him, they know he was a rare cat. He would do this thing where he wrapped his arms around your neck and hug you. It would truly melt your heart and will be the one thing I miss the most about him. When I shared my sadness with the gents on CPS, one of my friends shared a poem with me and I thought it was a fitting tribute to Farley. Rest In Peace, Farley. You will be missed.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

-author unknown

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I went out with my new lady friend tonight for the ol', Dinner & a Movie. Without going into too much detail, I just want to say I'm not sure I've ever laughed as much as I did tonight. My face is actually sore from laughing, it was that awesome. I don't know what it is about her, but she just fits. Throughout my life I've had signposts that were so obvious to me I didn't have to read them or look where they were pointing or decipher their message, I just followed because it felt absolutely natural and right. Since I think too much about most things in my life, I'm hesitant to say this person is one of those signposts. Besides, that wouldn't be fair to her or to me. But for now, I'm so wonderfully happy to be with her and I feel so wonderfully alive, I'll admit the thought has crossed my mind more than once. Aaaaa............. I can't stop smiling. :) Just wanted to share.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Me and the lady folk

The girl I've been seeing for awhile sent me this tonight. She just so happens to work at Subway on the weekends, so this was funny on a couple levels. But beyond the fact that she makes me laugh, spending time with her got me thinking about what I'm looking for in a woman, or to be more exact, if I'm actually looking at all.

Anyone who was reading ELEVEN in March of this year knows that the girl I was going out with then (the only person I've dated since Ell left) was 24 years old. This one is 22 years old. And if anyone is keeping score, I'm 36. Now before you call me a cradle-robber, or worse, know that I'm not intentionally going after younger women. That said, there's no denying I'm not currently attracted to women my own age. What that means has been the thing rolling around in my head for some time.

The one psychological possibility I've pondered is the fact that when I was with Ell I was madly in love with the idea of growing old with her. It didn't matter to me that Ell was going to get wrinkles or gray hair or that eventually things wouldn't always be pointing in the right direction. In fact, I was looking forward to those things and to the idea of the two of us aging together. Every day Ell got older she was more attractive to me than the day before. I know that might not be a normal guy thing to say -- that I found beauty in extra skin or an aging face -- but it wasn't a secret those things were special to me. Now that she's gone, the end to that pondering thought is I may not want to get involved with someone who's already in the middle of that aging process; i.e. someone my age. I know that sounds superficial and possibly ignorant and rude, but remember, it's only a theory. And if that theory turns out to be correct, it would explain my attraction to younger women.

Those of you who know me well, know I'm not the asshole kind of a guy who sees women as objects for belittling or domineering. As much as I know many people feel differently, I see marriage as a 50/50 partnership. There are unique roles that men and women play in a relationship, but I will never agree that those roles should ever be demanded or forced. A true, even biblical, example of marriage is submission not domination. Every truly happy marriage I see is one where each person involved is willing to be submissive and honoring of their role in the marriage and never, ever demands the other do the same. Furthermore, I see those happy marriages happen because the partners want to respect one another out of only love and nothing else either warped or oppressive.

As a human, I feel deeply, love wholly, and respect completely. If I were to be honest I'd have to admit I'm still at a loss for where my life is headed since Ell left. For many years I searched for answers to the elusive questions like, "What will you be when you grow up?" and, "What's your five year plan?" and as Ell neared the end of her schooling there were finally starting to be some answers to those questions. But when she left, they all crashed to the ground. Where will I be in five years? I have no clue. What will I be doing? Again, no clue. But despite not having those answers, I'm still very happy and wonderfully at peace. As strange as it sounds, I no longer need answers to my questions to be happy. I'm still the same guy but my life is no longer dictated by needing to follow a certain path.

So what am I really looking for? Do I need the next woman I marry (if I even decide to get married again) to be younger so that I can enjoy the aging process I so love? Am I spitting on all those great qualities people say I have by being superficial in my dating decisions? Or am I just a confused individual who's unanswered questions will leave him wandering forever? Well, even to those questions I don't have good answers, but I will say I'm still the same guy I've always been, albeit with some healing scars. I will always, always, always treat the woman I'm with, with mad respect, and no matter her age, give her my all. That will never change.

Am I perfect? Gracious no. Am I looking for the perfect woman? Again, no. No one is perfect, but together a man and woman can find a harmony with each other that washes away imperfection and leaves something even more special. And that's all I want..... a chance to build something of substance and meaning. Is that too much to ask for?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you?

That seems to be the question heard in thousands of circles in thousands of places all around the world today. And as history has shown us, this is one of those moments that people alive during that time will always remember.

I was working for New York Life, of all places, in 2001. As most of my appointments were in the afternoon or evenings, I was home the morning of September Eleventh. After hearing the news of the first plane and seeing the growing news coverage, I called a friend who's birthday it was to ask him if he had heard what was happening. To my shock, as I was on the phone with him, I watched the second plane hit the second tower. As expected, all of my appointments cancelled and I spent the rest of the day in front of the television watching with horror.

This morning I watched the 9/11 Memorial Service in New York City, and more than once felt tears well up in eyes. It's still amazing to me after all these years how emotional the events of that day are to me. We live in such a desensitized culture that I wonder if people get the real magnitude that thousands of our fellow Americans died that day, and that over forty percent of those people were never found. Over a thousand families never got adequate closure. Over a thousand mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, children, never got to say goodbye. I thank God I have faith and hope, and even now I pray to God to comfort those people.

For awhile after 9/11, I struggled with my emotions. Should I care? Haven't we lost more people than that before this? Is this our fault? The reality I came to, is that everyone is going to deal with this their own way. Some cry, some get angry, some are indifferent. I guess all I have to be responsible for is my own feelings. And those feelings are still there for me. Good or bad, right or wrong, I'm still saddened at the loss our country was handed, and for the people who lost someone that day.

So where were you? What are your emotions ten years later?

Friday, September 02, 2011


I met a girl last night. Her name is Angel. She looks to be in her mid twenties, but she doesn't know exactly how old she is as she came to America as a refuge from China when she was a little girl. She seems to have a crazy story hidden underneath but you'd never be able to tell behind her beautiful smiling face. She has a laugh that makes you laugh from the inside out and is a perfect fit for her name. Just talking to her made me so happy. It wasn't a romantic meeting or anything, in fact, I'll probably never see her again, but those ten minutes were the best part of my entire week. It was one of those brief encounters that sticks in your head and heart and makes life truly worth living.