that's a great line from the album i've been listening to fairly frequently lately. it was a xian hardcore band called six feet deep. (although friends of friends called them "six feet thick" because their sound was very heavy, chunky, thick, plodding, wall of sound stuff.) anyway, that line is from the first track ("angry son") of their first album struggle, which came out in 1994. lyrics follow...
December 2005 Archives
actually, i didn't go hunting while i was home. i haven't been hunting in a number of years. i just like the sound of the phrase and how for a time it was one of the favored catch-phrase/sound-byte "reasons" for school violence. some of them media folk are real swift.
i did go out to the gun range and put about 100 rounds through my kel-tec .380 and walter ppk/s. they had no problems with any of the ammo, including hollow-points. very nice.
my charles daly, on the other hand, didn't fare so well. when i first got it some months back, it was having problems misfeeding. my dad seemed to fix that by replacing the stock clips with wilson combat clips. unfortunately, when firing this time, it would frequently lock open as if there were no rounds left even though there were. hopefully he/we can figure out what is causing this, as it's a nice looking gun and i wouldn't mind keeping it.
while there, i also got to fire some rounds through a 9mm beretta cx4 storm and a bushmaster ar-15. i might just have to pick myself up a bushmaster sometime soon.
i mentioned cynthia in my last entry...she's a hometown girl i dated from the summer or fall of 1994 until late 1995. this started after i graduated from a&m in may 1994 with no job and ended up living with my parents doing part-time menial labor dead-end jobs...my life was headed for great things -- a rocket scientist doing carpet cleaning and janitorial work. we got engaged in june of 1995. i called everything off in september or so of 1995 because it was pretty obvious (to me) that it was all going to end poorly, and quickly. unfortunately, in late 1996 i went back to sort of seeing her from time to time (i didn't want to date, but i kept visiting her). anyway...she's gone through a lot of stuff in the last 10 years regarding relationships, marriage(s), etc. (i get to find out these things when i come home.) i would like to say it shows my wisdom in that area -- figuring out to get out and wait (even if my actions didn't show strength of resolve at all times) -- but these days i can't say my next choice ended up working out much better. i bet cynthia and i wouldn't have lasted two years though...maybe not even one.
and i'm clamoring to get myself into another relationship? i don't think anyone i know would call me a dreamer, or even an optimist, but i do think i'm a bit of an idealist and somewhere inside of me is the belief that i can have a wonderful, loving, committed lifetime with someone. i'm too much of a realist (or pessimist) to believe in the fairy tale version, but i really don't want to give up on the hope that there is something wonderful out there for me in regards to relationships. what happened with tamara stings horribly, both for the ways i feel i failed (whether small or large, short-term or long) and for what she did to me and has put me through, but i don't want that failure to scare me from being able to acheive the goals i would still like to believe are available to me in my life.
and while we're on the topic of failure, i'd like to state the obvious: my domain name has the word "failure" in it, as does my blog. i get asked often why i would choose such a negative word to represent myself. first off, people need to nurture a better appreciation for sarcasm, irony, absurdism, and other forms of humour. these things are wonderful. and secondly, i'm completely and utterly petrified of failure. (bet some of you saw that one coming.) what better way to try and weaken what you are scared of than to embrace it, to champion it, to wear it? it's the defense mechanism of a perfectionist. (and a questionable psychiatric methodology for trying to overcome phobias.) if you embrace failure, the only way to go is up. but it's more a mental parlour trick than any functional way of appropriately dealing with life.
and since i recently mentioned it's a wonderful life... clarence, angel second class, wrote in his book: "remember george: no man is a failure who has friends." (inspiring, ain't it?)
going back home usually leads to lots of memories, both good and bad. i grew up in the small town my parents still live in, so riding or driving somewhere takes me through and by numerous locations of my past: friends' houses, breaking band equipment, the houses i grew up in, my junior prom, cynthia, elementary school, burning things, etc. in better times it's fun and wistful, in bad times it feels like that's all i've got. so toss another yuletide log onto the memory fire.
seasonal random thought: you know, it's amazing how depressing it's a wonderful life can be when you're down. not that i'm that down right now, i'm just saying from experience. i used to watch it and cry. not like most others watching it: crying from happiness because he represented all of us, not realizing what an impact we have on others and what a wonderful life we have. no, i cried because it was depressing that he had a great life and a wonderful wife and children and he didn't even appreciate it, while i had nothing to realize i was not appreciating. and as depression is wont to work, then you realize there are those who have it worse than you so you feel guilty and worthless for feeling down when you don't deserve to...like you can't even make it when it's not that bad. depression is a self-feeding downward spiral. it sucks.
i remember my grandfather (my dad's dad) used to sit out on the porch of his house and sing church hymns. to himself, to the squirrels, to the land, to G-d...i don't know. his wife had died in '76 and he lived all by himself out on the land. he'd been a ranch hand almost all his life, even cowboying huge ranches for some years. he was a quiet, opinionated, tough old man of german-american stock. but sometimes he'd just start crying. and he'd usually say "you know, i never used to cry. but you get old and sometimes you just can't help it."
even though people who don't know me very well might not think it, i don't have that demeanor at all. while i may present a stand-offish, aloof, stoic personality, it's mostly just an act to protect myself. i can (and do) cry. sometimes a lot. but very rarely in front of others. a feeble attempt to not show what society considers to be weakness in a man, i suppose. while i certainly spent plenty of time being angry and/or bitter beyond words at what happened with tamara, most of my personal time was spent either feeling completely numb from life events or curled up in a fetal position crying. not exactly the epitome of the stoic, tough, american male who handles adversity with grit and determination.
but i did get myself a christmas present today: a stainless steel walther ppk/s. it's chock full of 7+1 rounds of .380acp goodness. i'm planning on taking it, my other .380 (a kel-tec), and my charles daly 1911 .45 out for a holiday visit to the range. nothing like blowing holes in things to excite that festive holiday spirit and get that masculine spring back in your step.
over the last couple of days i've had two reunions with people i've not seen for different amounts of times and for different reasons.
the first was at dinner on sunday, where i met up with vance and julie and their two children and julie's mom at amazon grill on kirby. they were in town over the holidays and made plans to see a few people they hadn't seen in a long time. i knew vance from a&m and had hung out with them a few times during the mid to late 90's, but i hadn't seen them since like 1999 or something crazy. they have been living in colorado for the last number of years and have two children now. i must say their 5 month old daughter is really a beautiful child (and i'm not saying that just because vance reads my blog from time to time ;). it was cool to meet their son as well, whom i've never actually met. (did i mention they pick cool names for their children?) anyway, it was an enjoyable but short-lived time. they offered their place for me to stay if i ever made it to colorado, and i hope they were serious because it's possible the next big motorcycle trip i go on may be up that way.
the second reunion occurred monday evening. i went down to league city and hung out with jennifer and her kids. i'd not seen her or them since she decided she didn't think i'm exactly the right kind of guy she's looking for and ended our dating relationship (back in june of this year). but she still thinks i'm a good guy, and her kids like me. anyway, i went down there because i'd decided i liked her kids and missed hanging out with them and wanted to get them xmas presents (just gift cards to toys'r'us). they were excited to see me and pretty quickly slipped back into the same mode as when i was going down there regularly. they're really great kids. at one point while horsing around, the head of one of her sons slammed into my nose. he claimed my nose was hard, but his head got the better end of the deal, most definitely. i didn't (as i had feared) wake up the next morning with much of a bruise across the bridge of my nose, but it still hurts a day later. i also evidently chipped a sliver of enamel off of one of my teeth during all of this.
also, as i fully expected i still have feelings for jennifer (which is a big part of the reason i had to keep my distance after she called things off), so i doubt i'll be visiting as friends very often -- i don't think i can take hanging out as friends with the constant underlying hope that at some point maybe we could start dating again...or wrestling with my one-sided feelings. i already went through that with her during my junior high and high school years (and at least some of college). i'm not even going to deny that her analysis of the situation might not be accurate, but it doesn't change the feelings i have. still, i really do miss playing with and talking to her kids. and i think they miss me some too.
thus ends my reunion stories.
jamie made reference in the profile she created to me having too much fun at work and taking weird pictures of my coworker. i figured i'd provide an example of each for your perusing pleasure.
here's an example of me at work posing as darth what-up-g? as you can see, i maintain a casual business dress code and am very conscientious about presenting myself in a professional and dignified manner.
as for my coworker, here is one example which i will not even bother trying to explain: yo drinks krunk...er...fog juice.
this profile entry was written for me off-the-cuff by jamie...
hi. i'm terry. i like intelligent alt. xian girls with tattoos and large breasts. i like riding my motorscooter, going out to see music shows, and playing on the computer all day long. i don't ever drink or party, except when i feel like it, and then i can be found drinking something coconuty. i am so not into party girls that drink and smoke and get drunk and act stupid. i hate the water and am not one to be found aboard a cruise ship. i love to go out and eat at many different houston restaurants especially house of pies and almost any bbq place....
...i do not eat very healthily and i do not ever plan to. it is more fun that way. i like to take weird pictures of my coworker. we have way too much fun at work. i used to be a rocket scientist but now i am a hard core geek with no trace of windows to be found on any of my work boxes. i like to drastically change my appearance from time to time. i love movies a whole, whole lot...especially anything by wes anderson. i like to smoke cigars and impersonate fidel castro....
...i like to read cyber-punk books. i hate tv and do not even have cable or satellite. i like to take it easy and be mellow as often as possible. mushy whoppers are better than fresh ones. dogs are icky. sometimes i eat cereal for dinner. that is enough about me. email me if you are from this country and like what you read about me. NOTE: if you look like phoebe cates and can name johnny cash's entire discography from memory we can get married on the first date.
i'm not going to say i buy all of it, but there's a lot of accurate stuff to be found in there. now doesn't that seem like someone all of the wonderful ladies would love to be with? ha. i'm so screwed.
i find it intriguing that there are people who don't know me that can read what tends toward very personal thoughts...almost raw internal dialogue sometimes. i'm not an extrovert, but i am someone who cares about truth and honesty and integrity a lot, so if i do talk about something i'm generally willing to be pretty honest about it.
on some level, i bother to write entries in this blog because part of me thinks it's possible someone else might gain a greater understanding of others through it, or empathize with me, or find something of themselves in some aspect of what i'm going through. but a large part is personal...it's somewhat cathartic to write stuff out -- it gets it out of my head. i have to collect my thoughts to express them, which gives me a chance to contemplate them and piece them together, and that keeps them from just perpetually eating me up on the inside. so even if no one reads it, it still has some value to me. but every now and then it does get read.
even weirder is that some people who only know of me because of tamara -- who don't even know *me* at all -- can (and evidently do) read this stuff from time to time. why? curiousity? fear? concern? (i'm not asking for responses, by the way.)
why do i wonder this? because obviously tamara was changing who she was, what she cared about, and how she viewed me and most of the friends we'd ever had. she chose to completely violate multiple principles she had held in very high regard. i've little doubt the person she described to them likely wasn't a very accurate portrayal of the person i really am. (the ones she has had to talk about me with...i probably don't get mentioned otherwise.)
so they come here with these preconceived ideas of who and what i am, and see these very internal thoughts where i'm basically opening up a raw view of my inner self, mostly when i'm in a dark or difficult place due to the choice(s) their friend made. they don't know me, they don't know my relationship with tamara through the years, most if not all of them don't even know the tamara i met, was best friends with, married, and loved. so they come here and read a couple of things i've written while i was in the midst of dealing with betrayal, deceit, being lied to, being taken advantage of...grieving for my marriage, my future, my best friend...wrestling with loneliness and pain.
i don't fault friendship though. friends sometimes do fscked up things, and even if you don't agree with them they are still your friend and in most instances you try to figure out some way get past it. i know tamara herself told me several people were shocked when they found out about her having an affair and didn't even want to be friends anymore. i've little doubt that attitude lasted only until the shock wore off, and they probably are friends now. like i said, i'm not faulting that aspect of friendship. but it doesn't mean an accurate portrayal of me, or an understanding of the person i am, can be derived from that.
the fact is, i shouldn't care what people i hardly know (or don't know at all) think about me -- but the reality is i do care about how i am represented and perceived by others. it matters to me that people generally think of me positively (unless their views are so contrary to mine that it doesn't matter).
which wraps back to the oddity of what i do -- write bare feelings, usually when i'm close to an emotionally trying time, in a public medium. i guess it's easier when i can "hide" behind the screen.
a number of months back i decided maybe i could meet a really cool girl through one of the many online dating sites. (don't laugh...i mean, it's not completely in the realm of fantasy, right?) so i signed up for a few and looked around. (and have done almost nothing beyond looking.) i had heard about eharmony and decided to check it out too.
i went to their site, signed up, and went through the extensive self-evaluation question thing. at the end it said "hey, you put that you're separated, and since we're christians we won't match people who are married or separated. but thanks for spending all that time filling out our survey. you can still see our personality profile of you. and come back when you're legitimate." or something along those lines. i respect the moral position, but my wife had bolted to california, told me in no uncertain terms that it was over, and was making moves to take as much easy money as she could get from me via the legal system. it just would have been nice for them to say upfront when i checked the "separated" box that it didn't really mean anything for me to go through their whole question system.
anyway, time passes and i get legally divorced. so i decide to go back and change my status on eharmony. except there isn't a place to do it. at all. so i email support and explain the situation. no response, no change, nothing. so a few weeks later i log in and look around again. still nothing. so i send another email. wait, wait...nothing. i send a third email. still nothing.
so after a couple of months, i finally break down and decide i'll sign up again with a different email address and go through the whole survey thing. *sigh* oh joy. i make sure and check "divorced" this time and finally get through all the questions. i get to the results page and what do i see staring back at me?
"eHarmony is based upon a complex matching system developed through extensive research with married couples. One of the requirements for successful matching is that participants to fall within certain defined profiles. If we find that we will not be able to match a user using these profiles, we feel it is only fair to inform them early in the process.
We are so convinced of the importance of creating compatible matches to help people establish happy, lasting relationships that we sometimes choose not to provide service rather than risk an uncertain match.
Unfortunately, we are not able to make our profiles work for you. Our matching model could not accurately predict with whom you would be best matched. This occurs for about 20% of potential users, so 1 in 5 people simply will not benefit from our service. We hope that you understand, and we regret our inability to provide service for you at this time."
hrmh. i'm still uncertain as to how i should interpret this. does it mean that i'm no good for anybody in a relationship because i'm completely jacked up? or does it mean i have a unique enough personality that i don't fall into convenient/simple categorization demographics? it'd be kind of nice if their system gave a bit better explanation of what makes me not fall into one of their defined profiles.
plus now i've had to fill out that long survey twice, with very little to show for it at the end. although i must admit their personality analysis info is kind of cool. i'm not sure that alone makes the time it takes to go through the whole thing worthwhile though.
you know, you would think with the total number of years of my life i've spent being nowhere near having a relationship it'd be no big deal by now...second nature, old hat, the comfort of familiarity. somehow, that's not the case.
then again, come to think of it, i never really enjoyed it back before i was married either. i still continue to miss and crave companionship, and still find myself hopeful that one day i can try to be a good husband and father. (and i'd rather it be sooner than later, since the idea of being an "old" dad kind of scares me...not that i've got much choice in the matter these days...)
as much as it would be easy to just completely blame tamara and/or alistair and have nothing but hatred for her, i know that i had (have) faults too and her decisions and choices were not made completely independent of my part in our marriage. still, it amazes me what she was capable of in the end. i still don't understand how the person i knew could treat me like she did or do the things she's done. of course, part of the reason for that is that she became a "new" person and walked away to a "new" life. she made a decision to shed her life and chose to create a new path. she also chose to do it in a horribly destructive way. i, however, remain the same person, left to pick up the pieces from the wreck she left behind.
i certainly hope G-d has been able to teach me something about myself and about other people from this fscked up mess. i'd hate to end up convinced this is all random and meaningless.