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Random Musings

September 2002


Tuesday, 03 September, 2002:  "My answer is that love, as we are talking about love in an intimate person-to-person relationship, is not something that consists of one person. It's like 'pull'. There must be something on the other side of the rope that enables you to pull against it. Love, there must be something on the other side that enables you to love. The feelings and whatnot may be there regardless of there being something on the other side, but to actually love, in the way designed by God, there has to be something on the other side." - Paige

My musing about the nature of love prompted the above. I like this idea better than any other I've ever heard. Being on a roll, Paige continues...

"Then comes the problem of, who leans back first, to discover whether the rope is lose or held tight? The edgy danger of falling prevents some from leaning back, testing the tautness of the rope. And if one does not lean back, there is no tautness for the other... must be mutual in timing as well as force. Seems impossible." -Paige

I don't know how she came up with these insights, but it seems clear to me that Paige was certainly inspired at the time she was writing this. The secret I think is finally losing the fear of pulling only to come up with no resistance and fall backwards. So you land on your butt a few times, that's why it's padded.

Thursday, 05 September, 2002:  
"I never did believe in miracles,
But I've a feeling it's time to try.
I never did believe in the ways of magic,
But I'm beginning to wonder why." - Fleetwood Mac

One of my favorite songs. Always has been. But the lyrics didn't hit home until I'd been dating Shanna for a couple weeks. A part of me sees that this is probably just the initial "high" of a new relationship, but it's still what I'm feeling and thinking so it doesn't really matter that it's the newness.

Tuesday, 10 September, 2002:  Pavel and Paige. Who would have thought. And yet, who would not have thought. A surprise that's not shocking, a bolt out of the blue that doesn't stun at all. Had a great conversation with Paige last night about that and other things. She's excited about it all, and for once Pavel is speechless. Esoteric individuals must be in season during the late summer of 2002. From the corn fields of the Middle West to the suburbia of the Northwest we're finding others like ourselves and hitting things off. Synchronicities. Lives running in parallel. People meeting, sparks flying.

It seems inappropriate to sit here 40 minutes from midnight and not at least mention the approaching anniversary of 09/11. I can't help but wonder just what sort of anti-American protest the socialist group on campus has planned to disrupt the memorial services. Last year around Veterans' Day the socialists threw their support behind Afghanistan and railed against "U.S. imperialism" as we were fighting the Taliban. I wouldn't put another bout of blaming the victim beneath the socialists either, not even on such an occasion as tomorrow will be.

Never mind that though. The majority of the people are right minded and will offer their respect for the thousands of innocents who died and their condolences to the families and the friends of the honored dead.

I've got the picture Shanna gave me over the weekend sitting above my computer. It's very nice to be able to look up from whatever I'm doing and see her face. Nothing quite like it. I don't have any delusions about her being perfect or anything, but I don't think that I'd change a thing about her if I had the chance. In fact, I know I wouldn't.

And one last thing:  Paige, I'll be you'll be wanting to take back that bit about mutual timing and force seeming impossible. ;-)

Saturday, 14 September, 2002:  Had the most interesting time last night with Paige, David and Pavel. Got very much involved in joking around and basically unnerving David. The internet is an amazing thing. Four people in four deferent states and two different time zones joking around like a group of old friends in a back room somewhere.

I wish time could just stand still sometimes. I look around and life is speeding by. Two months ago I was single and not expecting anything. A week ago I was laying in my backyard with Shanna watching the stars. Today I'm in Pittsburgh wishing it was last week. Seems like just yesterday I was a freshman heading out to a new life in a new city. Now I'm worrying about what's going to happen in two years when I've graduated. The weeks roll on and on, picking up speed like a brakeless semi running downhill.

"Summer's going fast, nights growing colder
Children growing up, old friends growing older
Freeze this moment a little bit longer
Make each impression a little bit stronger
Experience slips away
Experience slips away...
The innocence slips away." - RUSH

I feel bad for Shanna in all of this. I want to be there in her life. At the same time though, it's just not an option for me to drive 500 miles round trip ever weekend to see her. Over eight hours of driving time, it just reduces a weekend to a single day. Still though, I want to be there with her. It doesn't seem fair to her for me to be away so much. She's made the choice though, and I'm an incredibly lucky person as a result of it.

Which Firearm are you?
brought to you byStan Ryker


Monday, 16 September, 2002:  No, I don't really know why I put that up there. I'm not exactly a firearm fanatic, but for one reason or another the impulse struck me to post that, and I'm going to stick with it. I will admit to having a bit of a soft spot for Government-issue sidearms though. Considering the career path I want to take I'd better.

Talked with Shanna late on Saturday. Burnt up all 80 minutes left on my cell phone in one call. Never come near anything like that before. They just went flying by and before I knew it they were gone. I wish that the bad times passed by as quickly as the good times seem to. I'm going to have to see about that $35/month cell phone plan with 3300 minutes, I'm thinking that if things keep up this way I'm going to have more than enough reason to use those extra minutes. It's not as nice as being there with her, but it's still easily among my favorite ways of passing time.

Things here are going well. Hopefully the money order will have reached my Betamax seller tomorrow and he'll be able to ship. I'm not going to worry unless it's still not to him at the end of the week though. There aren't many people who are crazy enough to want Betamax over VHS, but heaven help me, I'm one of 'em. As far as classes go, nothing of note. I'm just taking the basic business courses and they are more mind-numbing than anything else. I do like my Quantitative Methods course though. I'm very glad that I decided to take the version of the course that is taught through the Honors College. I could have taken the easy way out, but what fun would that have been? Plus, this way I've ended up with one of my friends here as my TA, which is cool. I like to think that the feedback he solicits from me is helping him.

That's about it for now. Things are looking up. I'm distracted enough by all the light that I'm completely oblivious to the city and all the rest of this that I dislike. "I can walk down the street, there's no-one there, though the pavement's one huge crowd." - Cream

Wednesday, 18 September, 2002:  Talked with an old friend last night. One of Shanna best friends way back in grade school, and one of my best friends back in high school. Christine know us both pretty dang well. Something about the conversation sticks with me though.

Zenmervolt: I don't know what it is, but we just click.
Her: yes you do, you have found the one, i told you to just wait and it will happen
Zenmervolt: There's my little logical guy who wants to say that it's rather unlikely to find the one on the first try.
Her: no!!, it is fate

From someone like Ashley I'd be able to just dismiss this as naiveté, but Christine's just not like that. She doesn't lose herself in the idea of a couple. She's not "in love with being in love" as the saying goes. Christine's based firmly in reality, which makes me really stop to think about what she said and why she said it. I don't think that I'm prepared to accept that I've found the one after not even two months of a relationship. I'm not going to dismiss the possibility, but to latch on to something like that so soon just doesn't sit well no matter how well things are going.

Christine knows us both though, and I know that she wouldn't be saying what she said if she didn't believe it. I'm not sure how to react. Part of me is saying that since every instinct is telling me that this is right, I should agree with Christine. A big part of me is saying that. It kind of scares me that a part of me thinks she's right.

If things with Shanna continue to get better (as they give every indication of doing), what does this mean for my (our) future? Why should I even think about the future of this sort of thing anyway? Isn't it inherently a "here and now" dynamic that is easily destroyed when one tries to analyse it? Why should I even want to analyse it if it's producing such great things when I leave it alone and follow instinct? Why am I thinking about this so much? What did Christine's comments trigger to make me think about this so much?

Oh well. Let it be. The important thing is that Shanna and I are both happy, and that's not likely to change any time soon.

Twice in one day. I might actually be getting the hang of this thing that Pavel calls "updating".

The old enmity between the city and me has come back today. I think that I initiated things though. I broke the deal we had to just let each other alone. I've been throwing my rural viewpoints into discussions during classes. It's been fun though. A lot of the other kids look as though they have never heard of such viewpoints before. I'm just not about to allow a professor to state that, "a lack of wealth redistribution is a disadvantage to a pure market economy" without challenging him on the point. After all, to my mind a system for the redistribution of wealth is one of the worst things a society can have. Why punish the diligent and reward the lazy? Why take things from those who have earned them only to give handouts to people who have earned nothing?

It's not just the tangible differences though. There's a subtly different lifestyle here. Monday morning was foggy and I was reveling in it. No-one else seemed to take notice. I can't imagine not noticing something like that. Fog has a certain way of bringing one into the landscape. Objects hidden and slowly revealed, shapes drifting into and out of the haze and the subtle muffling of every sound. The image of the canal boat from my summer job has popped into my head. I can see it moored under the bridge with the gravel mule path running along the side of the canal as the early sun creeps through the dense foliage of the trees, sending random rays of light through the steam rising off of the still water in the canal. That's a memory that will remain a fond one for as long as I am able to recall it. A brief glimpse into an era long past. More than anything else the canal boat stands out in my memory. The night spent on the lantern tour is marked as a favorite as well. There is something about that sort of thing I like. Immersing myself in a time where the ideals I hold were more prevalent.

I talked with Shanna again tonight, it's absolutely amazing how well we work together. The funny thing is that she has been told by other friends of hers the same thing that I have been told by Christine. Talking with her about it, I suddenly feel silly for worrying about what this or that interpretation of "us" would mean for the future. I feel that I can talk with her about anything, there is no secret about me that I would keep from her. I know that I can be open and honest about what I'm feeling. And I know that because of this, I don't need to worry about what I'm "supposed" to do, or where the relationship is "expected" to go. I don't have to commit myself to either the future or to the immediate present. I can let the experience flow through me. I can direct it without being inflexible. I can be shaped by the current without losing my ability to change the direction of the current. I'm striving without being shackled to a single path, aware that an infinite number of paths will lead to the same destination and that because of this I needn't worry about whether I'm doing what is expected or what is "right" for the timeframe. When all is said and done, what is happening is happening between Shanna and me. We are the two who will figure it out. I have confidence in us.

Monday, 23 September, 2002:  
"This city desert makes you feel so cold,
It's got so many people but it's got no soul." - Gerry Rafferty

I don't think that the city brings out the best in me. It's just a matter of time before I start going off on the leftists it seems. I end up defending the simpler midwestern life to all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons. The vegans yell at me for eating meat, the socialists yell at me for being a laissez-faire Capitalist, the peacenicks yell at me for being a "warmonger", and the conservatives yell at me for not belonging to the John Birch society. I guess I must be doing something right if I'm pissing everyone off though.

I don't know what it is that makes these kinds of feelings come over me sometimes. A friend has suggested that it's the Autumn that's doing it. Perhaps. And perhaps not. And most likely, it's the Autumn combined with things escalating here on campus as the more liberal groups begin to come out of the woodwork. Then, of course, there's just plain ol' homesickness in the equation. The coming Summer will really be a test when I'm off on my internship. I feel lost enough right here, how am I going to feel when I'm even farther away?

Friday, 27 September, 2002:  Fixed a Betamax machine today. The two machines I'd gotten (SL-HF750's for those of you who care) were neither one working properly in the beginning. The one decided that its first order of business would be to eat a tape, and the other simply refused to open and allow a tape to be inserted. Turns out that the second machine had a dodgy power supply, so I just swapped the dodgy one out and replaced it with the good power supply from the tape-eating machine and I now have a functional SL-HF750 SuperBeta Hi-Fi VCR. All-in all I got a VCR that originally sold for $1,300 in 1986 for a whopping $25. Not a bad score. It's nice to be the one who fixed it too, feels good knowing that I'm the one who made it work. (Of course, I had more than a little help from an experienced Betamax technician in Dayton for the trouble-shooting, but the work was all mine.)

Tried calling Shanna tonight. Kept getting the machine. I'll have to catch her tomorrow. I suppose that it wouldn't be as big of an issue were it not for my odd aversion to answering machines. I guess I just don't like the impersonality. I was looking forward to sharing my elation in regards to the Beta machine with her though. I guess I can do that tomorrow too, but it's just not the same a day late.

Seven days. Fewer than seven days actually. Something like six days and nineteen hours, and I'll be home again. I'll get to see my family and friends. I'll get to hear my parents openly contemplate just where they went wrong when they raised me since a person who goes out of his way to buy a Beta deck certainly can't be normal. Of course, I also collect vinyl records so it's not like this whole Betamax thing is all that far off the radar scope for me. Most importantly though, I'll get to spend time with Shanna again. It's absolutely amazing to me how much I miss just being with her. Not to say that I miss my family or my friends any less, but it's not in the same way. I'm sure that it's at least partially an effect of the residual "new-ness" of the relationship. Still though, that doesn't mean that it's any less of a powerful feeling. Just sitting down with her and watching an old movie is all I could ask for. To borrow a line from ELO, "It's got a strange magic". Strange and good.

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Last Updated:  14 September, 2002

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