Cell phone lots 

All hail the person who invented the cell phone lot! No more circling the terminals or paying for parking while waiting for that flight to get in. 

They do have their drawbacks, though. In larger cities such as Austin, Boston, Chicago, you are only allowed to idle your car for 5 minutes at a time. 

That may not seem so bad until you are in the heart of Texas on August and there’s a heat index of 113 or you’re in Chicago in January and its a balmy -3. Those precious 5 minutes make the difference between frozen toes or a cheerful disposition. 

Another flaw is the whole “first come first served”. I, personally, have no problem with this. However, there’s always at least one douche bag who refuses to circle the terminal a time or two until a spot opens. Instead, he parks right in the middle of the lot so traffic can’t navigate around him. 

Most lots have a 60 minute time limit. I always thought that was too generous. My thought is if you’re going to be waiting for an hour, you should have grabbed a cup of coffee on your way to the airport! I suppose if a flight is delayed, that might hinder things but every airline has an app now that allows you to check flight status. 

Julie and I have spent plenty of time in cell phone lots. Waiting on the other persons flight to land. 

Today is the first time we’ve ever been waiting in one together. Jess’ flight gets in to Austin in about 15 minutes so we are sitting patiently in a spot. Julie checking emails and me..well..blogging. 

We got to Austin about 1:30. Grabbed a late lunch at a Greek restaurant that I like and navigated traffic. 

We decided to wait to check into the bnb until we pick up Jess. We were a little worried we’d be late retrieving her because we got wrapped up in conversation and next thing we knew it was almost 4pm. Oops! 

I have turned off my work phone. Activated my “automated response” for my email and already dealt with time sheets and expense reports! 

This is my weekend away with my wife and friends and there isn’t a single bridge “crisis” on this planet that can’t be handled by someone else! 

Austin bound! 

Thanks to the miracle of TLC and plenty of orange juice, I am back to about 90% of my original self! 

Julie and I have spent two days, alone, in Beaumont and we are about to head to Austin. 

It’s that time of year! When we meet up for J Mac’s birthday! It’s a non leap year celebration. (Her birthday is actually Feb 29)

Julie and I are packed and getting ready to drop Riley off at Louie’s for a long weekend with her playful pooch. Then it’s up to Austin. 

Jessi is flying in from San Francisco and we are picking her up at the airport at 4. The three of us have rented a small house in the SoCo area for the weekend so we will have plenty of privacy but still be close to everything!

Two weeks ago Julie and I were at the Holiday Inn. It was clean and comfortable but it had that “sterile” feeling. Hopefully, this will be more comfortable for all of us. 

Tonight it’s happy hour with some of my other friends until around 9, then off to meet up with J Mac at the pub of her choosing. Tomorrow it’s Dave Atell at the Cap City comedy club. 

I’m looking forward to a few days away. Just me, Julie and my friends in a town that still feels like home! 

Happy weekend, my friends!! 

Games we play 

Remember when you were younger? You’d find yourself developing a crush on someone and suddenly you couldn’t think, speak or even breathe when you were close to them. 

As soon as you’d walk away, you kick yourself because suddenly, a dozen witty, intelligent words popped into your head. Things you should have said. 

Then you’d find yourself over thinking every word or gesture they made. “Does that mean she likes me? Does she want to go out? Is she available?”

That then led to the awkward “flirting but not flirting.”  You know. Those little gestures, giggles, jokes, brief and fleeting touches that could easily be dismissed as “just friends” in case the feeling weren’t reciprocated. 

Once there was that established mutual attraction, the true courting could begin. Dates, calls, the kiss! 

As I got older, I stopped playing those games. Yes, I enjoyed the feelings of butterflies in my stomach and the anticipation of hearing from someone, but that constant tug of uncertainty made me crazy. 

Too many times I’d find myself enamored by a girl and I’d spend the next several months wrapped up in a knot wondering if our exchanges were ever going to develop into more than just friends status. 

When they didn’t, I felt rejected and hurt. I’d then go off to sulk in my self imposed pity party thinking I wasn’t worthy of love. 

One day a friend (who was drunk and being an ass) gave me a piece of advice I followed from that day forward; “Just fucking put it out there! Be done with it!!”

And that’s what I started doing. 

I’d meet a woman, there’s was an attraction and interest on my part and I’d let it be known. Sometimes it worked but sometimes it didn’t. 

What it did do was soften the blow when those feelings weren’t mutual. I avoided weeks or even months of pining over someone. Building up an image of them in my head just to have them crush my heart. Those few additional weeks made the difference in getting over it immediately or feeling sorry for myself, indefinitely. 

I listened today as a friend told me that “she’s a terrific person. She’s loyal, lots of fun, great sense of humor. She’s just not my type!”

I asked her why she said that. “D. What is your type?”

She stuttered and stammered. Not able to come up with a logical answer. I asked “do you think she’s not attractive?”

“No! That’s not it at all. I think she’s very attractive!”

After several minutes of back and forth, she admitted to me that she is very interested in this woman. She’s thought extensively about pursuing a relationship with her. However, her fear of rejection keeps her from doing so. 

I asked if she had told anyone else “she’s not my type”. She stated that she had and I couldn’t help but grimace. 

“What if she is just as interested in you, but she’s been told you aren’t attracted to her so she won’t pursue things with you?”

She hadn’t thought about that. She also hadn’t thought about how while she was flashing pictures on Facebook of her with various women, out and about, in an effort to make her crush see her as desirable…she could very likely have scared her away. 

The movie Clueless showed how a popular girl knew all the tricks of the trade for making yourself irresistible to the opposite sex. Things like sending yourself flowers, for example. 

Maybe I’m old fashioned. I don’t want to have to compete for a woman’s heart. I want her to give it to me. Freely and willingly. I’m willing to give mine freely and willingly and don’t expect her to jump through hoops. 

I thought about what D was doing. I imagined I was in her crush’s position and Julie in hers. Hell, in the beginning, Julie indicated that her and Milly were very happily married and it was enough to make me take a huge step back. 

If I were the crush, I’d see this act of self preservation as a huge turn off. If I knew she’d said, “she’s not my type” id always wonder if I was really who she wanted, or if I were just a pit stop until someone better came along. 

If I saw her with multiple women, pretending that they all wanted and desired her, I’d question her ability to be faithful or at the very least committed to me. 

Yes, I realize I’m a rare bird. I got tired of the bullshit and baggage a long time ago and decided that putting myself out there was better than missing out on greatness for fear of rejection. 

Maybe it’s that little jolt of the what if that makes the chase as good as the prize. 

For me? The quickest way from point A to point B was just a straight line! 

Is that a truck on my chest?

In my last relationship a sick day meant laying in bed, alone, and fending of my ailment in isolation. 

I guess I got used to just toughing it out, because after a while it was what I came to expect. 

About a month ago, Julie had the flu. She was feverish, grumpy, runny nose and miserable. While I was home, I tried to take care of her, the best I could. 

I fixed her chicken soup, took her temperature, made her peppermint tea and rubbed her head while sitting in bed watching movies. 

I don’t know if it helped, but it made me feel better about how miserable she was and she was very appreciative. 

Well, last night I noticed a tightening in my chest starting to develop. My throat was a little sore and I was kinda achy. Oh no! Not me!!

This morning I felt like a truck was parked on my chest. Every breath was a chore because breathing too deeply led to a fit of coughing to the point of almost gagging. I had a fever and my nose was runny. 

As I headed to the job site, I enjoyed my usual morning chat with Julie. I was scolded for even attempting to go in today but I assured her that with the cold and the rain, I would simply go in, issue a rain day and send everyone home. That’s exactly what I did. 

I pulled up to the apartment and texted Julie to let her know I was back home. She has taken this week off because we are traveling to Austin this weekend for a friend’s birthday and she wanted to take care of some stuff since I won’t be home. Because of that, it didn’t phase me too much when she didn’t answer my text. 

I went inside, stripped down to my pajama bottoms and compfy t-shirt and slid into bed. This was about 9:30 am. I had taken a dose of NyQuil before laying down so it didn’t surprise me when I didn’t wake up until almost 2pm! 

As I lay in bed, I suddenly became very aware that someone was in my apartment!! I sat up, grabbed my gun from the nightstand and slowly opened the door to the bedroom! 

As small as the apartment is, as soon as I step out of the bedroom I was able to see that something was cooking in the kitchen. 

What the fuck? Someone broke in so they could fix lunch?

About that time I hear that familiar, wonderful voice come from my favorite chair, “I may not make the best potato soup but you don’t need to shoot me over it!”

I smiled, put my gun up and walked over to hug her. 

Apparently, she decided that she would catch a flight to Beaumont today, rather than one to Austin tomorrow. She came by the apartment, grabbed the keys to my truck and made a grocery run where she purchased all the stuff she needed to make potato soup for me. 

Sheamd I have sat on the couch while we watch Practical Magic and she has refilled my orange juice at least a dozen times. Even the Thera Flu she fixed seems to taste better than it usually does! 

While I’m very much aware that I wouldn’t have garnered this attention had it been a typical Wednesday that she had to work, I’m already feeling about 200 times better than I was! 

Have I mentioned that I am not ever letting this woman get away from me? 

Thought provoking.

I read a person’s post on Facebook a few minutes ago. She lost her husband about a year ago, in Iraq.

As a former soldier, I can sympathize with her pain.

The post was from a friend of hers and while I’d like to give her full credit for it, I would feel as though I was violating her anonymity.

It was a conversation between two people that I was allowed to witness.

The statement was so thought provoking that I wanted to share it too. It gave me a different perspective about the grief we feel when a loved one passes.

My friend is terrified to date again. She worries that she will suffer the same pain and loss all over again. She knows that allowing another in means giving them an opportunity to break her heart.

She also feels that she is betraying the love she feels for her husband.

“When you lose the love of your life, they never truly leave you. They sit in your heart. Waiting silently, patiently, hoping that you will once again find a love that you will allow to touch you. That way they can have someone to share you with. Being alone in there can be a truly lonely place!”

Boundaries! Hello!!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am far from being a prude.

I can laugh at the dirtiest jokes, swear like a sailor on shore leave and even appreciate the occasional provocative photo.

However, when it comes to blatant vulgarity, I don’t really see the need for that.

Remember my friend C? Well, she called the other night.

I’m not exactly sure why she called, but the conversation left me feeling uncomfortable and my opinion of her dropped another notch.

Several of us had suspected that she was pursuing a relationship with a friend. While my opinion of that was one of skepticism, I believed (and still believe) that it’s none of my business. She is the only one who knows if she is truly ready to resume dating.

During our conversation, she asked how Julie and I spent Valentine’s Day, how work was going, etc. Then, things took a drastic turn.

She began telling me about this person that has been “pursuing” her. Explaining that she believes that she could develop deep feelings for this woman and she isn’t sure how she wants to proceed. I assumed she was asking for my opinion/advice so I told her that if it were me, I’d proceed with caution. Taking my time to nurture a relationship based on trust and respect so that if things didn’t pan out, they could maintain a friendship.

“But she’s an amazing fuck!”

Alrighty, then!!

C began detailing their sexual exploits. Positions, things said in the heat of the moment, different techniques the woman used to satisfy C’s desires…everything! And using graphic and crude details.

I sat there with what could only have been a look of disgust on my face. Thank goodness she wasn’t in the room with me.

At the end of her narrative, I simply said, “you’re a grown woman. You need to do what feels right to you.”

Her response, “I’m just fucking my way through this!”

At that, I excused myself from the conversation and hung up.

What two people do in the privacy of their home is none of my concern. However, I’ve never been one to go into any details about my sexual experience and really have no desire to hear about another’s. Especially in a vulgar and crude manner.

I’ve talked to Julie about our conversation and she was just as shocked as I was. That C would feel the need to speak to me that way is very uncharacteristic of her.

I don’t know if she’ll call again anytime soon or if she’ll feel the need to share any more details with me. What I do know is that if she does, I have no problem telling her I’d prefer not to hear about it.

Some images you just can’t “unthink”!

Conversations.

Today was one of my telecommuting days. I had a few presentation questions to “word smith” for two contracts we are bidding on, expense reports from my inspectors to review and approve for payment, time sheets to authorize and the weekly project meeting in Beaumont to attend.

Luckily, I only have to go to that once a month.

While I could easily sit around the apartment and watch tv in my sweats, I feel as though I’m cheating.

I have enough work to justify 8 hours and knowing me….if I lolly gagged around, I’d be working off and on until time for bed.

Because of that, one thing I did do today was to deal with some of the maintenance on my work truck. I changed the air filter, wiper blades, cleaned it out inside and scheduled an appointment for an oil change.

I get to the local chain mechanic and this is how that whole situation unfolded.

Me: “I have an appointment for 4 o’clock for an oil change.”

Service tech: “Ok? But it’s only 3:45.”

Me: “Yes? Is that a problem?”

Service tech: “your appointment isn’t until 4”

Me: “Ok. Should I go outside and stand in the parking lot until 4?”

Service tech: “No. Your just early. I’m not sure how to handle that”

Me: “you won’t be the one actually doing the work on my truck, are you?”

Service tech: “No. Why?”

Me: “no reason. I’ll just be sitting over here until you figure this out.”

IMG_1278

I’m convinced his parents had the same last name BEFORE they were married.

And for the record…I left at 6:27pm. Apparently, he wasn’t the only one confused.