Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Writing Emails

Tonight, I got caught up in responding to emails. I have a few contacts I still need to reply to - MySpace is not something I look at often, but I managed to find three people that I actually know trying to contact me through it. One was my friend, Melissa, from my pool hall days who now seems to be interested in computers. I had two emails from high school contacts - I'm delaying those responses. Also, a friend from the bank who moved away over 2 years ago found me and contacted me. That was a nice surprise.

I also wrote back to Andriy. Finally. I had a couple of problems writing to him. Part of it had to do with the fact his reply was delayed and I didn't want to seem too anxious. I also didn't know what to write about. I'm being overly careful with my correspondence with him. I don't exactly know why. And the main reason for the delay? I didn't want to be stuck in the "oh-when-will-he-reply" waiting game again. It's going to be a continuous cycle.

I've given up on trying to post each night - but I am back in the habit of writing more than once a week. I'm going to try and find something to write about each night - even if it is just an update about my day.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Well, I missed a day in the whole NaBloPoMo. Oh well. I guess missing one day isn't that bad and I am back in the habit of posting more often.

The problem? I'm running out of things to write each day. Taking the time each night to stare at a blank screen does seem to help and I randomly just start writing about something.

This weekend, I was an awful friend. DM moved and I didn't help. I feel bad about this. My stomach felt good, mainly because my reason for skipping out happened to be Thanksgiving dinner at my dad's. And that dinner included garlic injected turkey. Yum, yum, yum!

After dinner, Dad flipped through the channels and found Pulp Fiction playing. I do enjoy this movie (because I'm morbid or something) and we had to laugh at the horrible editing job the cable channel did. To edit for content on a movie that violent and that heavy on foul language, it certainly was interesting. We only watched a few scenes, but they were just plain bad. An entire character (while a minor character - but one that drove a significant storyline) was deleted. There was also a part where the "kind of" replaced the word that is never allowed on basic cable (unless it is really late at night).

And what really bothers me about TV editing of foul language? Movies are changed to leave out words like (and pardon me here) "Fuck," "Ass," "Goddamn," and "Balls," (the last is absolutely ridiculous) and leaves in words like, "Bitch," "Whore," and racial slurs. Why is it appropriate to use terms that are derogatory towards women and minorities, but white, heterosexual males are protected? Pisses me off. Sorry, that was my rant of the morning.

I've been helping Sarah with her accounting homework. Well, there's this problem that we've been working on this past week and it kept stumping me. Tonight, Sarah brought her homework up to karaoke (yes, I still went even without DM - horrible friend! Yes, I know.) And I finally figured it out! It's kind of lame to be this excited to have figured out a basic accounting problem, but I guess it frustrated me and I am glad it is over.

I think that's good for tonight (morning). There's something else I need to write (non-blog related) and I'm stumped with bad writer's block. And it bothers me. If you were me, and you needed to write to someone in a way that is interesting, what would you suggest I write about? Work? Family? Silly movies that were edited in a bad way? Okay, strike that last one.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


On Monday, I went to my mom's and brought out the camera (as usual).

Pepper and Smoke, dog and cat, started having a bit of fun and were play fighting.

I just enjoyed this picture:

Pepper and Smoke Fight (1)

Friday, November 24, 2006


A couple of impatient saps - that's what we are.

I get one email from him and am ecstatic. Gaining composure, I reply a couple of days later.

He replies. Tells me news that I don't expect. I wait a few days to reply, gaining composure again.

In the meantime, before I write a really long email with pictures, he forwards the message he wrote two more times.

So I reply. No response for two weeks (turns out he was away on business - typical). I forward the email I wrote. I send another email asking if he received the email.

Finally, finally, he replies. I haven't replied yet.

But after a couple of days, he forwarded the email again.

We are pathetic and impatient, if nothing else.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


The work week is about to begin for me and I have what most people would consider Monday morning blues. Except it is Tuesday afternoon. I stayed up way too late last night, playing this dumb computer game about Egypt which probably explains the dreams about mummies, and am paying the price. Don't worry. There's a solution that they sell in this marvelous red can, the great, the strong, the perfect drink: Coca~Cola. I am feeling it will be my friend today.

Many out there in the U.S. are ready for a short work week, followed by grand feasts, long naps, and shopping-'til-you-drop. Not I. This is a typical week for me at the office, except Thursday will most likely be slow for call volume.

Here's an odd thing about me - sometimes when I am dealing with an issue, I tell only select people. My parents are rarely in that group. It's not that I don't trust my parents (because I do) and it's not that I think they'll make fun of me (which they probably would in a good-natured kind of way), but problems were not really discussed when I was little and I never got into the habit of sharing.

In the last three weeks, my mom has used the phrase, "Well, that's all I know that's new." And every time, I've replied, "Yeah, not much here either." Which is not true. I don't understand why I haven't shared the pictures of Andriy and his emails with her yet. I haven't told my dad either. But I've shared each contact and my impatient ranting with all of you here. I've told everyone at karaoke and told a few a work. I guess I'm resolving to tell my parents that Andriy has contacted me, especially since they are the people in my life who actually know him.

Okay, going to do a few things and head to work!

Monday, November 20, 2006

I'm Going to Pretend I'm Annoyed But in Truth, I'm Wanting to Scream with Excitement, Fooled You, Didn't I?

Oh, sure, you were out of town. Oh, sure, you were busy.

Actually, I'm very happy right now. I woke up this morning afternoon to find an email from Andriy. In his normal fashion, it is brief, to the point, and does not share much about himself personally. He's like that. For years, the emails I got from him usually said, "Did you get my email?" It always seemed the ones he would write about himself were eaten up by the World Wide Web, you know, taking a vacation in the void.

This new email pretty much tells me he's been busy at work, traveling for his job, and just got back. I am a bit awed by his English skills in this letter - normally there are a few errors and he doesn't seem to have any here.

Well, back to being on cloud 9. I'll reply and the waiting game will continue, as usual.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Northern European Heritage

When I was a teenager, I became quite interested in my family's history. I wanted to trace my roots to find where my ancestors came from. While other families went to Disney World and Disney Land, my family took trips to rural Ohio to sift through country record books. These are good memories for me.

It is no surprise to find that I am a full quarter Swedish. The fact that I have been asked (not by an overly smart individual, but asked nonetheless) if I was albino. My skin is pale. Not the porcelain skin, but just lack of pigment. My skin is actually rather pinkish. My great grandfather, Bernhard, came to America on a ship, through the Great Lakes, and settled in Chicago. He returned to Sweden to marry Alma, my great grandmother, and then brought her back to America. This made my grandma full Swede and taking a look at my nose, you can guess which traits passed on.

My maternal grandfather's family had immigrated to America during Revolutionary times and while I have an extensive history since landing here, I don't know all the countries they arrived from. I can guess by the arrival times and settled areas, Northern Europe was the primary source of genes. On my paternal side, the family came from England, Germany, and France. There is a little bit of Scottish somewhere in there too.

What does this mean for me? It means that the sun, that great big ball of yellow in the sky, is not my friend. My eyes, blue, are quite sensitive to natural light. Ten minutes of summer sun will make my skin feel like it is on fire and I never tan. The closest I come to tanning is having a white band of skin surrounded by varying levels of pink where my watch resides.

My sensitivity to sunlight is a factor that I work the night shift. It feels better to be awake at night. At work, one of my peers will jokingly refer to me as Vampira. Today, on my way in from the parking lot, my peers saw me and we walked in together. Not a bright day, but bright in terms of fall/winter sunlight and I was having trouble keeping my eyes open. More teasing ensued.

Living the night life is not always exciting, yet I do enjoy it. There are things I miss out on because I sleep while most people work, but I do enjoy a pleasant summer evening. I love driving at night (as long as it is not raining). I don't deal with traffic, ever, and I don't get tired when I go out at night. Even on cold winter days, my car is usually frost free on the way to work - which gives me that extra 10 minutes in the morning. It also works out that if I want to chat online with foreign friends, I can usually catch them during their mornings.

It's not that bad. I do get to see the sunrise, usually once a week right before I go to bed. It does make me schedule more events and fall into routines to visit family.

Welcome to my world. I'm a night owl.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Random Moments from the Past Few Days

  • In the spirit of Teri, I'm going to bullet point these jumbled thoughts
  • I saw Shrunken Head Man at Perkins again
  • He shows up often there
  • Today I went shopping for the team with Steve
  • On the way to the store, I asked Steve if he remembered the random thing I wanted to buy for home
  • He didn't know
  • He was offering suggestions though
  • He seemed like he wanted to suggest femine hygeine products
  • But was way too embarrassed to bring that subject up to his boss
  • Even if we are friends
  • Cheese ended up being the random answer
  • Food court food is barely edible
  • And it may make your stomach hurt for hours after
  • Even if you typically have a strong stomach
  • Our team is moving our desks at the call center
  • We're not going far
  • Moving my desk is a week long project
  • How much crap can one person accummulate over 6 years?
  • Over 4 cart loads it seems
  • But I have every training manual from every class I've ever attended
  • I don't know if they are all worth keeping
  • I'm printed the pictures of Andriy to bring to karaoke and show Liz and James
  • Andriy is always on my mind
  • That may be why I had a problem falling asleep last night
  • Three hours is a long time to lay in bed trying to clear your mind
  • I've been watching movies lately at home
  • Not a good plan
  • Not good because of the movies I've been drawn to
  • Love, Actually
  • Princess Bride
  • Sleepless in Seattle
  • Hitch
  • Four Weddings and a Funeral
  • Maybe I should switch to the action section of my DVD collection
  • Is it too obsessive compulsive to organize my DVD collection by genre
  • And then alphabetize it?
  • It is very specific
  • Comedy
  • Disney Animated
  • Anime
  • Tarantino
  • Musicals
  • Animated - non-Disney
  • Based on comic books
  • Based on TV shows
  • War
  • Based on Real Life People
  • Classics
  • Westerns
  • Scary/Thriller
  • Sports
  • Based on books
  • Drama
  • Romanic comedy
  • Action
  • Television
  • It is rather sad that I have over 400 DVDs
  • And that I my TV has a five disc DVD player
  • Surround sound
  • VCR
  • PS2
  • and N64 attached to it
  • And the TV is so old that the remote stopped working 4 years ago
  • And needs an adapter to plug in any additional systems to it
  • Seems like putting custom rims and custom plates on a Geo Prism
  • My stomach still hurts from the food court food
  • One of my favorite people at work is retiring this week
  • There's a party for him on Wednesday night
  • I'm going (duh, right?)
  • And I'm out of random crap to post
  • Good night!

Monday, November 13, 2006


Funny how the month that I decide to write a post daily happens to align with the time that I have one thing on my mind. How boring. I'm trying very hard not to write about the same subject each and every day - unsuccessful in my humble opinion. Those nights I sit down and try to write a post that is not about the feelings driving me insane are the nights I pull out old high school essays, write about sitting in the dark at work, and random book reviews.

This blog is supposed to be a place where I write out stories about events I've had in life. Situations that were a bit funny or touching, or something at least.

It does seem that every time I try to stop thinking about a certain, insignificant connection recently reestablished, my "logical" mind decides to find another reason to think about it. I wonder if the fact this is on my mind constantly is the reason my team is dipping at work a little. Probably not, but the timing fits with everything else going on.

On my bookshelf, I have a little book called, "The Book of Questions." It's written by Gregory Stock, Ph. D. In it, there are 217 thought-provoking questions (with some follow-up ones). I rarely get past the first one.

The first question posed is, "For a person you loved deeply, would you be willing to move to a distant country, knowing there would be little chance of seeing your friends or family again?" Wow. Really? Really? How did you know to ask?

Sharing my true emotions is not an easy task. It's almost as if my mind, typically residing in logic mode, trips up my words, stunts my speech, and bottles up what I really out to share. I'm going to try to share those feelings here.

Hope. The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. Thats one of the feelings I keep having. Does it sound insane to know, want, and wish for a life with a man who lives almost 5000 miles away (8000 kilometers)? A man who I have spent one month of my life with (out of 337)? A man that I've had contact with three times (each a short span of time with a few emails and chat programs) in the last 8 and a half years?

It's ridiculous. I'm an optimist, sure, but this? Holy crap. That's a test of optimism. How the hell will this ever work out? As for the question the book presents, I know my answer. And it doesn't make me feel good.

When is love not enough? It is in songs, movies, books, etc. Surrounded by the belief that love is all we need. Love can conquer all. Nice sentiment, but a bit unrealistic. I looked up the circumference of the earth. A little less than 25,000 miles. I guess he's not half a world away, only a fifth of a world away. That doesn't make it any better.

Blast! I don't even know how to write all I'm feeling. It's like my mind is a jumbled mess, trying to make it a logical thought process and all I can really come up with quickly is, "A memenah ma me him." Why do I feel the need to turn into a bubblering idiot? That frustrates me. It almost angers me that there is someone out there who can make me feel like this. Yeah, angry. Angry because I want him in my life so badly and it can't happen so I have a constant stuggle to make sense of it all.

Another question in the book, in the follow-up section, poses this, "Is it better to have dreams that will never come to pass or to have no dreams at all? How much better would your life be if the things you dream of doing or having were granted to you?" I don't know that answer. But it seems to be what is kicking around in my brain.

This post, or desperate attempt to clear my head, is not working as I want it to. I'm still faced with questions, still struggling with emotions, and still checking my emailfifteen times a day, hoping for the familiar address to show up.

It's torture. Not like pins under the fingernails torture, but emotional torture. I'm sure most people have a way to identify with this feeling. It's frustration. Frustration for what we can't remedy, what we can't change, what we can't do.

Gar! At times like this, I resort to speaking like a pirate. It's because nothing else I can say seems to fit.

More on this topic to come. I hope I don't drive everyone away.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Descriptive Essay, ca. 1996

My junior year of high school, I took a creative writing class. One of our assignments was to write a descriptive essay. Being the bowler that I was, I wrote about daily practice. Since I'm at a loss of anything else to write tonight, I bring you that essay.

First of all, as I walk into the bowling alley, sounds come from all over, sights blaze around me, and I have a feeling of a good time to come. When I go to practice, my team and I always have a blast. Although our coach wants us to behave and concentrate, we never do. I believe that practice is a time for fun, a time to socialize, and a time to make lifelong friends.

Practice begins when I sit down and take off my beat up, old, comfortable Nikes. They are quickly thrown under the seats, while I take my clean, well-laced bowling shoes out of my bowling bag. I put them on, then am aware of everything I step into or near for the next hour or so. If I had taken that muc care of the Nikes, they would still be presentable. My faithful, old Brunswick shoes have outlived four or five pairs of street shoes. Afer my shoes are securely laced, I take my heavy purple ball, with "Brooksie" engraved into its outer core, and place it on the ball return racks. Then again, I throw my bright purple bowling bag, with its gleaming pink seams, under the chairs to join my street shoes, hidden from the world.

Then I quickly say hello to everyone, and hear everyone answer in their usual manners. To the left a couple of lanes, I hear my friends arguing about rides home, who said what, or plainly what they did wrong on the last ball. The coach comes over and screams at them about no horseplay. Everyone quiets down for about a minute, then it is back to the fun. Our team's best player, our anchor, is stepping up to the line and throwing his all-powerful curve, which smashes into the pocket sending all ten pins packing. He turns and it is obvious he is ecstatic. After we hi-five him, it is my turn.

As I position myself, aiming directly for the pocket, I hold my fourteen pound ball at my side. I walk slowly and steadily, bringing it back high above my head. I speed up a little towards the foul line, bending low so I can release the ball on the line and not drop it on my foot. It flies down the lane, speeding faster than I do driving down the highway, to be abruptly stopped by the towering pins. But the ball drives through, only slowing slightly as it knocks the pins over. I grin, standing gracefully after my release, and walk off the approach to get congratulated by my team and receive pats on the back. Calls of "Good shot" and "Man, that was pretty" come from all sides. Hoots and hollers come from the next lane, as yet another friend bowls well. Only this time it is a split that is picked up. He comes over and congratulates me and I tell him the same.

Soon it is time to leave for the evening. Everyone packs up their things, and I take off my shoes and put them away next to my ball in the bag. My old Nikes return to my feet, ready for travel. I say good-bye to my friends, telling many of them to call so we can continue our conversations, the one s that the coach shouldn't overhear, and talk of when the next practice is and who is going to be there. Some may call it bowling, but I call it a piece of my life.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Interviewing Tips #3

If there is something nice to be said about interviewing for entry level positions, it is that the process can be quite entertaining. Sometimes I think I've seen and heard it all. Then I find another new surprise. Bad interviews, while a waste of time, are a bit like a present. There are moments where you are able to say, "Oh! I didn't expect that."

With that said, tonight's newest interview tip is about the thought process. It should be internal. The candidate tonight was doing much of her thinking outloud.

For example, when asked a question about sales experience, she looks away, drifting, and said, "Should I use an example from Company A or Company B? I've already told her about Company A a lot so maybe I should go with Company B. I'll go with Company B." Then she looks up and at me. "When I was at Company B..."

There were some other odd moments and strange responses, but the "loud thinking" is probably what was the most detrimental.

As an added bonus, here is a resume tip: Don't use bubble font. Unless you are applying for some sort of creative design job, funky fonts are not appealing. And if you are applying for a creative design job, generic bubble fonts are not going to cut it. Please pick a font that is easy to read and doesn't make the recruiter/hiring manager recoil in horror.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Now, for something completely different

A few weeks ago, I was out shopping with Sarah. We were strolling through the book section of this particular retail store and as usual I lingered in the Stephen King section, wondering if there would be a story I've missed or one that grabs at me. I really should read more authors and I should read more often, however; I tend to gravitate towards SK. He was the first author I liked growing up and that's stuck with me.

As we were standing there, I noticed, "Eyes of the Dragon," on the shelf. This is one of my favorite stories of all time. SK wrote it for his daughter when she was younger - it is not graphic or scary. Amazingly enough, it is a fantasy story and I usually don't like sci-fi or fantasy.

When I was little, my mom used to read this story to me. It was published in 1988, so I must have been 9 or 10 when she read it aloud to me. I remember curling up on the couch, wrapped up in this soft, lime green blanket and just getting lost in the story. Prince Peter, the main character, was most likely the first fictional character I fell in love with. Flagg, that evil magician (and DM's fake boyfriend - long story and I'll find the link someday), was the first real "good" bad guy that I judge all future villians against.

The story is about two princes, one meant to be king who is wrongfully imprisoned and one who is weak that ends up ruling. The evil magician is behind the plot and it is a story of amazing escape.

The plot is actually very simple. It is an easy read, nothing that you're going to get tripped up reading and stuck for months on end. What I love about the book, and the author's style, is that whether reading or being read the story, I feel like I'm being told a story. It's not work trying to determine the hidden message behind the words. There's no assignment behind the plot (I hated that about English classes). It grabs at me and I've been listening to Sarah tell me about her reactions every few days and remembering what it felt like to hear the story for the first time.

I think I'm going to take a bit of time to lose myself in the story again.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Day

Polls are closed, the votes are (mostly) in, and the results are full of ups and downs.

I wore my "I Voted" sticker with pride today, well aware of the fact that my voting area would most likely sway the same direction as my votes. I'm happy that the Senate race went in favor of the Democrat (the other guy reminded many I know of a child molestor - you know that vibe) and I'm glad to hear the news reports that the House went to the Democrats.

I'm liberal, but I'm not necessarily with the Democratic party. I tend to prefer the Independents, but sometimes feel it is a wasted vote. Not in my district, but Minneapolis did a tiered voting system. People were allowed to pick their choices. If their first candidate didn't get enough votes to win, their second choice would receive their votes. I kind of like this idea - gives the Independent and Green parties a fighting chance. People don't feel that they are wasting a vote.

This woman won the House seat in another nearby district. She's the first female Republican (from our state I think - maybe nationally) to win. I wish I could have voted in that district to pick the other candidate. I have a few friends who refer to her as "Crazy Eyes." You know the type - when they speak there is nothing in the eyes. It's quite stunning that she won - her campaign was an attack against the other candidate, stating that the other candidate was against families and that candidate was one of the key supporters and contributors to creating the Amber Alert system. I'm surprised by these results.

In the past ten years, I've voted on all the even years. I'm going to admit, I don't make it to the polls in the off years, unless I know a bit more about the city council positions. I turned 18 a week before the elections in 1996, so I'm a bit proud of the fact I voted in a major election where Bush was not picked.

Minnesota reelected a Republican governor. This state is getting more and more conservative. It's hard to believe that the (only?) state to vote against Reagan is now in question when it comes to swaying "Red." One used to be able to say that a Minnesota Republican was still more liberal than an Arizona Democrat. Not so much anymore.

I'm sad to hear that Wisconsin passed a ban on marriage act. Just drives me mad to think that so many people want to limit the rights of Americans. I'll never understand why there is blind hatred out there. Who does it hurt, really, to have a same sex couple? Honestly. This country has people who seem to always find the need to pick a group to discriminate against. The entire arguments against equal rights for homosexuals is religious in nature, heavily influenced by Christianity. This country has a history of discriminating against Native Americans, blacks, women, and the disabled. Right now, the group in the hot seat is gays. What is next? With all the talk about illegal immigrants, I would predict Hispanics, although the heavy religious right influence is probably going to try to bully all other religions - Muslims come to mind here. When does it stop? For a country founded on equal rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and separation of church and state, we don't seem to be headed in the right direction.

As I typed earlier, election day had its ups and downs. Small victories here; defeats there.

I wonder what the history books will write about this time. What perspective will be taken?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Quick Post

I'm leaving the house in about 10 minutes to go vote. Have you gotten to the polls yet (if you're in America)?

It is interesting to note that this year's voting is such a hoopla, considering it's not a presidential election year. We have a chance to voice our opinions, have a chance to demand change (or keep the current if that's what you wish).

I will be wearing my "I voted" sticker proudly. How about you?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

In the spirit of NoBoPoMo (or whatever the abbreviation is), here's my Monday post.

Not much to write about. I've become addicted to this computer game called Oasis. It's rather simplistic, but I'm addicted none-the-less.

Today is another lazy day. The fact I don't work on Mondays is quite nice. I slept late, played Oasis, went to my dad's to finish some laundry, and am now relaxing at home.

And this is what I keep thinking of, knowing that I shouldn't because it is getting hopes up. Realistically speaking - this is never going to pan out well. Too bad I can't stop thinking of him.

Here's a picture of him.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

I replied

After a couple of days worrying about how to respond to the email I received from Andriy, worried that it would sound like:

Dear Andriy,

Blah ba gar da anhuoasnayha



I finally came up with a response. I'm trying to figure out if it sounds over the top and I'm not sure I care if it does. This is crazy. I know I'm not going to move to Ukraine. I know he's not going to move here. This is not going to work. Duh. Yet... There is still a part of me screaming to get on a plane RIGHT NOW and go there. Who cares if it costs more than I can afford? Who cares if I don't speak any of the language (take that back - I can say "chicken" in Ukrainian. Just to irritate DM. That will get me far. And sure, DM and I got through Portugal knowing, "Bacon," but that's not the same. Poultry is not pork. See? There is relevance there. I'm not sure where, but it's there.)

Okay, so back to the point. I replied. It's full of endearment and doesn't send any negative signals, but it doesn't come right out and say, "You are the most perfect man I think I will ever meet and I want you to move to America so I can be with you always." Because that would sound crazy.

I wrote to him how I was happy to hear from him and how I was sorry I never sent an email, thinking he didn't want to talk to me (which, apparently, he did). I congratulated him on his promotion at work and asked some questions about what he does. I briefly touched upon his failed marriage - not prying but offering a listening ear anytime he felt inclined to talk about it. He asked to pay for this computer battery that I shipped (because his computer failed after he got it) and I (read: SUCKER) told him not to worry about it. Honestly, I wrote that off quite some time ago and I don't worry about it.

I told him I want to visit him. I don't know how, I don't know when, but my belief that someday is stronger. I also invited him to visit here anytime he wants - jokingly suggesting immigration.

He asked for pictures and instead of sending him the link to my Flickr account (not quite ready for him to read my blog or see all the pictures), I sent him a few pictures that I didn't hate. A few were from Portugal. One is from January 2006 and the other from last year. All have been my profile picture. Funny how that works. I told him that I went to Portugal, but not too many details. Hopefully this round of contact will last longer and there will be plenty of time to share those stories.

I complimented him on the pictures he sent me. Yes, there is still an attraction there. He looks older, but that's not a bad thing. I asked questions about his life, hoping to prompt him to write me more and more. Each email does bring me joy - even if it is tortured joy. I told him about school and work and how I go out with friends many nights a week. Then I told him how much his letters mean to me and that I look forward to his reply.

Oh, did I mention that it took me a couple days to reply and since he hadn't heard from me, he forwarded his email again? I guess he's anxious to hear from me. Damn, that touches me too.

Someone out there is laughing at me. This is just torture. This is a bit too long-distance for me. And yet, I can't stop thinking about him. Even without hearing from him for three years, I never stopped thinking of him.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Half a World Away and Still Able to Surprise Me

A week ago, I turned 28. On that day, I opened my AOL email account, an account I use infrequently (since switching to gmail and a school account) but maintain because it is the one I've had the longest. I was stunned to find an email from Andriy (fake name in the original post) and wrote a quick blurb about it on this site. There was some nice comments, sentiments that made me smile. I know that Andriy is a man I'll never forget. I know that all men I've met since have been compared to him (rarely standing up to him).

I wrote the phrase, "He's happly married, working hard, and making a life for himself." Well, I guess I jumped the gun a bit. The last I had heard, he was married, working hard, and making a life for himself. I assumed the bit about, "happily."

Last night, right before bed, I pulled up my email again and found another message from him (as well as some other emails I need to respond to). He was able to shock me again. I was expecting more news that would make my stomach hit the floor - something along the lines of, "My wife and I are now the proud parents of 2.5 children who are absolutely beautiful and the center of our world." You know, something that just proves that there is no chance, how little, in the world that I should hold onto.

What I did not expect was the line, "As to my family, it broke apart even not a year of living together." Oh, great. He's divorced (or had the marriage annulled - I'm not sure of details).

Okay, I can deal with this. It's still absurd to get my hopes up over a man that I spent 4 weeks with 8 1/2 years ago when I was 19. It's crazy.

The rest of the email contains bits and pieces (coherent, and utterly adorable broken English) about the computer battery I had helped him purchase and shipped to Ukraine. He gives a solid reason for not contacting me for the last three years. As it turns out, his laptop fell shortly after getting the battery and broke into pieces, unrepairable, and the hard drive (where my email address was) was completely destroyed. Then he spent the last three years searching the Internet for my email address (okay - so he's not a detective and this took too long - I will give him the benefit of the doubt here in the fact that my name is pretty common). He did offer an apology for losing contact. He wrote, "I was looking for any possible information about you via Internet. But it was all no result. I lost any hope to find you."

Then, just randomly surfing Yahoo, he looked for my name and included my state. He found a genealogy site for a program that I haven't used in years but had my oldest email account, one that I've considered getting rid of but never quite did, listed on it. He wrote about how he was happy and lucky. Between the two sentences, there are 19 exclamation points (I did not count them until James made a joke about counting them, so there.) He was obviously happy to fin me.

He's been promoted at work, vice governor of his state. (Because that's not impressive - no, not at all. Bah!) He's quite passionate about his work, having finished law school.

Oh, and then there is the part where he asks me to come to Ukraine, anytime I want. He wrote, "It would be nice if you could come to Ukraine, whenever you want - I'll be happy to see you here." Sure, when's the next flight? Ha, ha, ha. Someone is laughing out there, right? You should. It's funny. Because it is driving me insane.

He sent me three photos of himself. He wants me to send him a picture of me (I may just send him my Flickr account address - plenty of pics there with easier upload/download times). And he is "looking forward to [my] answer."

I have no clue what to write to him. How does, "Baha blkah knjahkn nanabyada ebada, Always, Beth" sound? Because that's what is going through my mind.

Don't get hopes up - this is what I keep telling myself. It is crazy to think that this would ever work out. I'm not moving to Ukraine and I can't honestly think he would move to Minnesota and give up what I'm not prepared to leave behind. And who knows, I'm probably reading into all of this too much. Maybe he's just a rose-colored glasses memory. Maybe he's just dedicated to maintaining contacts in his life. There's an ocean between us. We were both 19 when we knew each other. We've both grown and changed in a million ways.

And I still see him in my mind's eye walking down that ramp to the airplane, turning back one last time for a final glance.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"And what did you do on your vacation?"

The past two days have been filled with this question. I leave work for more than 3 days and everyone seems to figure I left the country. (Okay, a trip to Portugal and a trip to Canada later, and this is the reputation I get.) Actually, last week was just a week to relax. I finished up hell my finance II class and am patiently awaiting my grade. An "A+" is probably not on the transcript for this one, but I should fair at least a "B." If I receive a decent score on the last individual paper and the team paper, I may even pull an "A-." I did not try quite as hard the last couple of days, knowing that I only need a "C" to get the reimbursement from work and knowing that I do not plan on ever pursuing a career in this type of finance.

On vacation, I slept late every day. I stayed up all hours of the night, getting into the habit of being awake at 7 or 8 am most nights. Oops. But it worked for me. I'm a complete night owl, enjoying the stillness of the dark. For some reason, I actually sleep better when the sun is up and appreciate the fact that I don't have to squint in the daylight that often. Maybe that is why I do prefer winter to summer. Sure, it's cold, but I can bundle up.

Karaoke was on the agenda four of the nights of vacation. I went up on the first Sunday, without DM. She was not feeling well. The bar has been completely empty on Sundays and I just sat, writing in my notebook (a post to come, none-the-less) waiting for James and Liz to arrive. After karaoke, I went with them to Bryan and Liz's house to play with their dog, Theo, and watch classic alternative music videos on VH1 Classics. VH1 Classics reminded me of being in Portugal, visiting Johnny, with DM. We had quite a few giggles over the thankfully gone fashions.

The bar was also where I went on Wednesday night and Thursday night. On Wednesday, I was just wanting to visit with Angie Ang. She and Sara were there and so was this woman named Barb. Barb was friendly, overly as such, and wanted to invite us all over to her house the first night we all met. I didn't go. I'll mention Thursday night in a bit.

Sunday was another night of karaoke, this time with DM. Again, it was dead in the bar. Unlike the last three weeks, there were no awkward moments when the boy, Pete, Guru, and their new friend, Mullet Man, arrived. We've been steering clear of this particular group, realizing that the boy only appeared smart because of who he was with. Here's a thought - if you KNOW that you don't like tequila, you don't feel well after drinking it, and you hate it, then you don't HAVE to drink it. That's not hard to determine. Bah! But back to this past Sunday. We were listening to Bryan's CDs play, just relaxing and waiting for Liz and James when this softball team showed up. Unfortunately, the "leader" of this group is a woman that neither DM or I can stand. It's not that she's a bad singer - in fact she can sign pretty well, it's just that she's so arrogant and tends to strut around the bar thinking that everyone should worship her. I wouldn't care that much, except for the fact she's rude in other ways. One night she came very close to burning half the bar (including me) with her cigarettes that she didn't pay any attention to in her flailing arms and she never claps. Not even for her friends. Rude.

But then James, Liz, and Dean showed up. I was happy to see Dean who DM and I haven't seen in a couple of months. He's a good guy and always makes us smile. We had a great conversation with everyone and headed back to my place.

Also on vacation, I went to dinner with my dad on Tuesday to Moe's, a supperclub/sports bar near our homes. They make a terrific blackened cajun porkchop - not too hot but full of flavor and it is sauteed instead of grilled so it retains the moisture. Yum! On Thursday, I went to Olive Garden with my mom and Scott. Friday was a night out at Manny's with Liz, Bryan, James, Char, Tom, and of course DM! It was a week of eating.

On Saturday, DM and I visited my mom and Scott at her house. Mom got a ton of new furniture and redid the family room. Looks very nice and I'll post some pictures at some point. I need to upload the images from my camera to the computer. We socialized with them for awhile and then headed back to my place for scrapping. Friday night was spent at home, with Sarah visiting. DM and I also scrapbooked (verbifying that word!) on Saturday, Sunday, and part of Monday. My road trip to Canada album is coming along nicely and I'll probably be done before the end of the year. There's a nice feeling when you know you'll be done with a project before undertaking the next one.

Thursday night was karaoke at the Chalet again. It was my birthday and although I tried to keep it pretty low-key, I was still surrounded by friends. Char and Tom stopped up early to visit with DM and I. Steve and Katie (his roommate) showed up and Sarah was not far behind. Liz and James also arrived. Sarah got me a bag full of scrapbooking supplies - she is so sweet! It was a great gift and has already been broken out. DM and I kept commenting all weekend about how thoughtful the gift was and how well she knew me.

The only other thing I really did on vacation was to go to Perkins a couple of nights and help Sarah with her accounting homework. She's taking classes and accounting is not a subject she's highly interested in and since it was my major at some point back in the day, I can help her out with some basic accounting.

Oh, on Monday I had to head to the DMV to get the tabs for my car and then DM and I went to Super Target. I bought groceries. This is a random event for me. Now my fridge is stocked and I've even brought lunch to work. With this training that I'm running and the fact our center needs to hire three team leads, Steve and I are finding it difficult to find time to meet for lunch. When the team saw I had a sandwich, yogurt, cheese sticks, and a granola bar today, they about fainted! Steve and Sarah both asked me if I felt okay. Maybe I'll save a bit of money by bringing my lunch now. It saves time at least. The only real downside is that I haven't been able to meet with Steve this week about the team.

Well, off to relax again. I do enjoy the fact I'm not in school right now.


The vacation didn't prompt me to write multiple posts daily and I still didn't get caught up on reading blogs, but now that that awful finance class is over, I find myself liking my computer again. Just in time for that blogging month where you're supposed to post daily, write a novel, or at least comment daily on other blogs. I'm going to try two of these - meaning my goal for the month is to get back into the habit of writing nightly (which completely helps decrease my stress level) and commenting monthly. My attempts at a novel have been far between and lacking.

I have a plan for writing nightly. A few stories (posts) that I have in mind are:
Juvenille Delinquent?
Birthday photos
What I Did on My Summer Autumn Vacation
An essay about bowling

That should get me through the first week of this thing at least.

Returning to work today was actually welcomed. As much fun as I had last week, there was something nice about getting back to work and seeing my team. Steve looked relieved to have me back in the office and I got some really nice welcomes from the team. Steve did not get the supervisor job he had applied for (bummer) but I had a decent conversation with the hiring manager to find out how to set Steve up for the next position. As I believed all along, he's a good candidate and if he keeps up his work habits, gets out in front of more people, and gives it a little bit more time, he'll be looking at a future position with the company.

Today (as in October 31 - not November 1 as the post shows) marked the start of my project training new bankers at night. Turns out only one of the possible four accepted the position and I was prepared for a larger group. I'm only training one guy now, but he's a great trainee. I actually interviewed him right before vacation and we were able to get him into this class. Quite nice. He's really smart and if first day impressions are correct, we'll be flying through the training. In fact, we were able to complete the four hour session planned in an hour. I don't think this is going to be quite the huge time commitment I orignally planned. Which is nice, because I'll have more time for my team.

Speaking of my team, it does make me feel good to walk in and have them all look so happy to see me. One guy, our resident goofball, made it a point to stop by at the end of the night just to talk for 10 minutes. He usually dives out the door (a joke about being the first one out) and he stuck around to walk out with Sarah and I. I was told multiple times that I'm not allowed to go on vacation again. Steve may have used the phrase, "You ditched me!"

I'm off now to read a few blogs before bed. I'm returning to the blogging community.