The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Dusting Off My Skates...

The lightning pace and technological limitations (five and a half people sharing the internet on one computer requires much patience and sacrifice) have made blogging lately even more of an indulgence than it used to be. Which, you know, is likely a lucky stroke for most of you. Nobody likes it when I dig the skates out of the closet.

But as I've been pretty aggravated this week, and as Bunnyman and new River City resident AaA are pleading silently with their eyes for a break, I've come here to lace Seems like that's all I ever do here anymore. (Which actually bothers me, too.) I keep thinking once things in my life calm down, I can get back to talking about politics or current events or funny anecdotes. But I'm just not close to that place in my life. Events of this week haven't moved me much closer, either.

Let me start by clearing the air on a few things. Things that I've always assumed were pretty obvious. I'm not a fancy person. (Which is NOT to say that I'm not cool OR classy. 'Cause I'm both of those!) Certainly, I could appreciate some extravagances in my world, but I don't have to have them. I don't pine for them. Never. I don't need a big house or a new car. I don't need expensive jewelry or big trips. Like most out there, I guess, I've gone without so that my children could have what they need. But I certainly don't feel like I'm lacking anything.

I guess I really don't think about it much, because I simply don't feel resentful because I don't have what others have. I'm just not competitive that way. I have a roof over my head. I have food in my belly. I have children who are happy and healthy and whom I love more than life (and, yippee, that's vice versa). I have a husband who means the world to me and who makes me believe that I mean the world to him, and we both have our health. I don't want for more. Truly. Now, I'm not saying I don't think about what I'd do with lottery winnings, or that I don't wish that I could do more for my children, or things like that. I look around and see so many people who don't have what I have. How could I possibly feel it to be inadequate?

My ex (don't you hate it when I start that way) has, in the past, during child support negotiations, indicated that if I were to get the standard amount of child support he would be unable to provide for our children. Specifically, that he'd be unable to buy groceries for them. A tactic to get me to relieve him of his legal share of the support of our children...on my smaller salary, no less. But let's not forget that I'm the one in this situation who is manipulative. I am the one who uses the children. Or at least that's the way he likes to tell it. He would never be that way.

I explained to him then, that if he could not afford to adequately care for these children, I would volunteer to have them with me more of the time in order to insure that they were fed and appropriately cared for. My offer did nothing but make him angry, as it was clearly my place to manage his finances to make this equation work for him. Except, the way he wanted me to do this was to make things tighter in my budget so that he wouldn't have to make any adjustments in his own household. I was simply being unfair.

He came to figure out a way to make it work at his house and, as that is entirely his business, I haven't once worried about this again.

Until last weekend.

Last weekend, I happened to overhear a conversation between my [Kid 1] and Nate. They were simply chatting about things in her life and I wasn't really paying that much attention, as I was goofing around on the computer. Until I heard the following, which stopped me short...

"...I often have to skip lunch when I'm at my dad's so that there is food enough for my sisters to eat."

I immediately stopped what I was doing. And, much as it was probably rude to insert myself into their conversation, well, there wasn't much chance that I wouldn't be doing just that. When I asked for clarification, I was then made aware of this gem, too...

"when we tell dad we need more food in the house, he brings one can of soup and one pack of ramen noodles and says 'This should be enough for a couple days.'..."

...for three kids, two of whom are teenagers.

I could feel my face heating up. My heart sank, thinking that my kids were having to deal with these conditions. I was furious thinking that he was making such inadequate financial decisions that had my children going without basic necessities.

A conversation with [Kid 3] weeks earlier about a lack of toilet paper (which I'd just blown off and attributed to a singular episode of poor planning) came back to me. Another where she'd mentioned (while we were shopping) that she wanted to set up a booth at her dad's and sell food in the yard, but that I had to buy the ingredients because dad couldn't. I'd blown that one off as being a matter of simply being at the grocery store at that moment. And then the flashback to when I dropped them off earlier that afternoon, when he'd told me that he was waiting for his sister to come help him with an inoperative vehicle, and that he may need my help as he had no food in the house. (I never got a call, so I never gave it another thought.)

Later on Saturday, [Kid 3] called to tell me that her dad had bought her a cd she'd been wanting badly. "And he paid FIFTEEN BUCKS for it, too!!", she'd squealed. I was happy for her...hard not to be...but couldn't help but think about how much canned soup and ramen noodles fifteen bucks would buy.

It would have done no good for me to have broached the subject with my ex at that point. I would have never been able to have discussed the issue calmly. Hell, it's been days and days and the possibility is still pretty iffy.

On Monday, I happened to get off work early and got to see [Kid 2]. She comes to our place after school (her dad picks her up there when he gets off work during his week with them). She was starvy...which is NOT unusual for my kids at all...and she asked if she could have something to eat. I pshawed her and told her of course she could have anything she wanted to eat.

"All Dad has to eat at his house is a package of cookies, a jar of mayonnaise, some lunchmeat and a loaf of bread."

Holding my tongue is getting harder and harder, I tell you. A discussion of how to let her dad know she needs more yields the information that she feels guilty asking him to spend money on food when she knows he is overextended. Which is great, you know. My kids are put in the position of having inadequate nourishment and are feeling guilty about the situation. It's a two-fer! Physical and mental discomfort.

Oh, and apparently, her boyfriend is aggravated about the situation (which is not my biggest concern, but it's clear that others see the absurdity here, too). Apparently, she's not eating a lunch while at her dad's. Why? know...there isn't any.

Tuesday afternoon, [Kid 2] got spacers put on her teeth. For the uninitiated, it's the precursor to an expander that is being installed in the roof of her mouth in the next few weeks. I met her and her dad at the orthodontist and brought her back to our place afterwards, so she could hang out until her dad finished work.

Before I could call to check on her before bed, she called to let me know she was having some difficulty. She was in some pain and was asking what she could eat for dinner. This was at 8:30 at night.

She was miserable and complained that there was nothing at her dad's house that she could eat. Her voice sounded so pitiful. It was breaking my heart. I offered to go get her something and bring it to her, but she indicated that her dad was going to do it. She was merely looking for suggestions of what she could eat with little or no chewing. I listed a few items and talked to her a little bit. And then worried about her all night.

Worried about both of my younger girls, actually. I've had a full week of that.

It's so frustrating to think that he doesn't see that his financial decisions have put such hardship on the backs of his children. It's not my business how he lives or how he spends his money. But it is my business when my children are not being fed when they are with him. I don't believe this is done maliciously. More that he doesn't realize the impact that his lifestyle choices are having on his children...and maybe that he doesn't know how to fix the situation. It's not advice I can offer, because he simply doesn't want advice from me these days.

Subsequent conversations this week with both [Kid 2] and [Kid 3] have made it clear that after Tuesday night, food enough to finish out the week made it to that house. By whatever means. So, I've tried, very hard, to calm down. To believe that they will be okay until they are back with me. And to remember that THAT is the most important thing in the short run.

I'm going to talk to him about all of this tomorrow. I'm sure the upshot of the conversation will be that it's somehow my fault. Either because I've spoiled the kids by allowing them a skirt to hide under when their lives are difficult, or because I've upset him by writing the truth about him on my blog, or because I've twisted their minds against him. But he needs to know this. And with the very limited communication between them, they don't feel they can talk to him about the hard things.

But I'm hoping that instead of buying baubles and googaws, he'll realize that perhaps that money should be spent on food, as his children are going hungry when they are with him. And that'll take the steps he needs to take to make sure that changes. Quickly. Because this is not something I am going to overlook for very long. You can trust me on that.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007


While finishing up the previous post, I ran across a couple of random links I wanted to share.

So, what if Tom Hanks had opened up one of these in one of those Fed-Ex boxes he opend in CASTAWAY? I'll bet he'd have been pretty pissed at himself for waiting so long to open the damned boxes. I know I wouldn't mind one right about now.

Having already lived through the "real deal", I found this parenthood preparation test pretty hysterical.

Personally, I don't need an ad campaign to get me in the mood for this idea was kinda funny...and seems like it should have been obvious long before now.

As a Skunk Baxter fan (from both Steely Dan AND the Doobie Brothers), I was surprised I hadn't heard about this new turn for him. Pretty cool.

88 Monty Python "mini-films" (we call them skits, but okay, whatever) all in one place. You may all thank me later.

While trippin' around the 'net, I ran across this list of the Top Ten Supervillain Costumes of All Time. Knowing how many regular readers are comics fans, I wanted to pass it along for your perusal. I'm sure your mileage will vary.

A brief article on the Politics of Harry Potter.

All right, that's all you get for now. A CRAZY week coming up for me will probably have this site suffering for it. I've got three big presentations at work this week (one is a busy week for me), the first day of school for two of my three kiddos, Nate is getting in mid-week, and a party next Saturday (which means cooking, baking and cleaning). Take care, Gang! I'll see you on the other side, k?...well...a few of you before that...;)

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Been Awhile...

Since I did a You Tube Post. Saw something that started me down this path today and wanted to share it. Sound really isn't necessary for the first one...

It was this video from Japanese tv about an Indian rollerskating girl.

And then there was this 1957 German stocking ad...

You are aware that season two has started. Right?

One for my Sweetheart...

Pinky the Cat has a grudge against Thomas Edison.

And, well, I can't talk about Pinky the Cat AT ALL without including this clip. The first time I saw it (probably ten years ago), it was indelibly etched on my brain. Just hearing the words "Pinky the Cat" put this picture (or, more accurately, series of pictures) in my head.

My kids think this (longish) video is pretty funny. I just think it's weird.

Lastly, the one for Tony Collett...(you knew it was coming).

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Mr. & Mrs. Crack Me Up

I used to love to read the wedding announcements in the Sunday paper. Looking for gems just like this one


Whew...let me compose myself long enough to pass along a link to this site...where you'll find more of the same!

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Simpsons Ultimatum

In between all the drama yesterday, my hubby and I had a "Date Day". The younger kids are with their dad this week, so, given my half day Fridays, gave us an opportunity to spend some alone time together. We'd both been wanting to see THE SIMPSONS MOVIE, plus THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM was opening and we both had an interest there.

The original plan was to see a movie and go out to eat. But I couldn't make up my mind on the movie. I tried. Really, I did. But I just couldn't. My mind began formulating a plan, even before I'd considered the absurdity of it. Why couldn't we see BOTH movies? If we could work out two matinees, the price would be more realistic. But could we really do that? Wouldn't that be ostentatious? And was it a double-billing that just wouldn't work anyway?

I'd never done anything like it before. It seemed too big a dream.

I began to look at the logistics of it all. Could it be pulled off? And if so, could I be the one to pull it off? It didn't seem likely.

Our neighborhood theatre was showing both films, but the closest to a back-to-back experience I could get, and keep both shows in the "matinee price range" was with a two hour gap in the middle. Well, we could use that time to go out and grab and early dinner, but that wasn't the way I wanted the experience.

I nearly gave up at that point. Feeling defeated, I began trying to choose between the movies. But who could do that? Chocolate or vanilla? Damn it! I wanted BOTH!!

River City is a big town, with many moviehouses. Friday morning I looked at the schedule for the next closest one and found a set up that would allow us to see THE SIMPSONS MOVIE a mere 20 minutes after THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM had ended. Both as matinees. I hadn't really worried overly about the order, but (especially in hindsight) I likely would have rather seen THE SIMPSON MOVIE first.

In any event, we pulled it off. Even with THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM starting late and running a staggering amount of trailers. I'm happy to have had the experience and happy to report that I really enjoyed both movies.

My husband will tell you that he enjoyed the second show more than the first, but I felt just the opposite.

BOURNE really doesn't disappoint in the action department. Incredible car chases and fight scenes (one of which, I'll admit, looks choreographed) keep you on the edge of your seat. Matt Damon delivers, once again, and while I still think the first movie in this franchise is the best, it was a great deal of fun.

After the intensity of the first movie, THE SIMPSONS MOVIE didn't mesh quite as well for me. It was funny and there was certainly an abundance of classic Simpsons' behavior. Bart and Homer's dysfunctional relationship, Burns' heartless, self-serving nature, and how each resident of Springfield remains so true to character in reacting to a crisis. Just that it may have been too significant a jarring between the two styles.

In any event, I really did enjoy them both and am delighted to have had the experience of seeing two shows, back to back.

On the way home, we decided to pick up some Chinese carryout, as opposed to a sit-down somewhere. It worked out well, as I'd picked up [Kid 3]'s favorite stuff, too. We'd barely gotten in the door, when she showed up (having been cut loose from work early).

Not long after, [Kid 3] took off, having made some plans with a friend, leaving the old folks to entertain each other. Much Magic The Gathering ensued, as we mulled over a grocery list/menu for the week and talked off plans for welcoming a new resident to River City.

Today will hold grocery shopping and housework, as the kids come home from my ex's tomorrow evening (due to a small modification to the regular schedule), but all in all it should be a pretty quiet weekend.

Hope you guys all have a good one!!

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Rooby Rooby Roo!

Last weekend, D and I received a mystery package in the mail. It was postmarked from Indiana, but it had no name on it, nor note inside it.

I know what you're thinking. Coulda been anthrax or anything! Don't Open It!!

But, hey, you know that D is a sucker for packages. So we alerted the bomb squad...and then we opened it.

Inside, we found the DVD pictured here.

Some years ago, I had the opportunity to see CONTINENTAL DIVIDE at the theatre. I never thought it was a great film, but I did enjoy it quite a bit. I admit, John Belushi made me laugh. Of course, it was college days and the liquor coulda had something to do with it. But I don't think so.

Some months ago, the film happened to show up on one of the pay cable stations and I watched it with D. I'd presumed that he'd never seen it before and it had been years since I had. As I had fond memories of it, I'd wanted to share it with him. (I later found out that he'd seen it before...ahhh Cinema Board stories...and that it happened to be one of his friend, Jeff Webb's, favorites.) It suffered a little...some twenty years later...but the sentimentality I felt (and still feel) for the film keeps it on my list of movies I enjoy watching. And I still feel that it's one of Belushi's best roles.

Ernie Souchak is a curmudgeon, and who doesn't love a good Curmudgeon Who Gets Redeemed film? Plus, also, I like Blair Brown. She's a classic girl next door. She's pretty without being artificially so. And she nearly always plays smart, classy chicks.

I didn't even remember mentioning it...or listing it on our wedding registry...but I after erroneously thanking the Collett's (they are usually the culprits behind this stuff) and finding out that they didn't do it, I started backtracking. And eventually, once I'd oiled the right gears in my head, I sorted through the clues to this particular mystery and the answer came back...Gibsons.

So I shot them a note that was kinda like..."Ha Ha! Colonel Mustard in the study with a candlestick! So There!!"...and they were like, "Drats!!" (and then I could totally see Mark doing a Muttley laugh...which, when I'm laughing really hard, I kinda do...yeah more info than you needed, huh?).

I've put a proper "Thank You" in the mail, but wanted to share our thanks with them here publicly. You guys are good friends and we deeply appreciate that. Thanks to Tony for setting me straight on this, too.

Come on, Scooby. Let's go solve the next mystery!

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All About the Honor

Not a Flashback Friday! (though my mind has been working it's way there recently), but recommendations from a couple of you to get this outta my system here haven't fallen on deaf ears. If nothing else, it's closure for me. And, hey, that's just one of the many things that these here blogs are for, right? Let's away, shall we?

My parents both came from families that had their problems. My maternal grandmother (who is likely one of the most generous and real human beings I have ever met in my life) had a penchant for bad boys. It made her life more difficult than it needed to be. But she was who she was. She owned it. And she did so without ever letting go of who she was. And that “who she was” was a pretty remarkable woman.

My Dad’s family wasn’t without problems. As the oldest of nine children, my dad watched (and sometimes became involved) in sibling disputes that have spanned decades. It’s all about the “honor” with these guys.

Factored in there, somewhere, there's all kinds of random stuff, too. Apparently, I got the mixed bag.

I like who I am…most of the time, anyway…and I cling to it. And personal integrity is something I value not only in myself, but in everyone around me. Nothing would please me more than to see my daughters grow to womanhood seeing the value of those lessons. Lessons like the importance of doing the right thing (even if it’s not the easy thing or the best thing for you). Lessons like being trustworthy. Lessons like bringing out the “shovel” (a reference only my beloved will get) only after you’ve exhausted all other options. Lessons like earning respect by having character.

Not everyone lives their life with personal integrity. It’s simply not important to some people (which I find most ironic in people who claim to live their lives in response to biblical teachings). I totally get that. Me? I choose not to spend time with people I cannot trust. It’s not that I feel morally superior (though that may be more of a factor than I’d like to admit), it’s just that I feel I’m wasting my time on people I will be unable to respect. And I would much rather spend my finite time on this plain with people I can and do respect.

Now, none of that is to say that I do not have the capacity to forgive and forget. I do. (I gotta believe that 20 years with my ex will give me some cred in that department.) But, like with my ex, I’m not gonna keep turning the other cheek indefinitely. Lying and disrespecting me over and over and over is gonna turn those bridges to cinders. And being in construction, I can tell you that we rarely, if ever, use cinders as building materials. Cinders simply cannot be rebuilt once it gets to that point. It’s best to move on to a new site, and start from scratch.

I say all of this, because of recent events I feel obligated to share. Buckle up.

The end of this past June, I received the following email from the woman my ex broke up with some months prior.

Hi “T”...
I just read your post today. I am sorry about all your money struggles. I am having the same problem with my ex-husband and most likely will have to take him to court to get it all worked out. [2] and [3] are both great girls and I would hate to see them not get the dental work that they need. We are experiencing something like that here, only in the vision department.

Anyway, it seems as if it bothers you greatly that I read your blog. You are simply on my blog list and I routinely check them all to see what everyone has written. If it bothers you that much, I can take you off my list. And “D”, too. I mostly check your blogs to see how the girls are doing. I don't talk to "M" [Editor's note: my ex husband] anymore and he hardly ever posts anything on his. But I do like reading about the girls. I spent a lot of time with them, and sometimes I miss being a part of their lives. I do know that [R] (her daughter) keeps in touch with [2] and [1], which is fine with me. I think [R] and [S] (her oldest son…his initial is not “S”, but rather than duplicate he will be for the purpose of this post. Deal.) said they would love to get together with the girls sometime, but if they did, I would rather it be when they are with you. I am not comfortable interacting with "M". Anyway, if you have taken the time to read this, let me know what you think.


PS. I do not equate good parenting with being able to drive. My ex can drive, which proves my point right there. (smile) I think “D”, in his own unique way, is a good stepdad to the girls.

Have a good week, and good luck with the money issues.

Now, I gotta stop and interject. Gotta. Sorry. This message came to an account that I don’t check regularly anymore…from an address that I had never seen before. (I note that because I have previously blocked not one, but two, email addresses from this person…so she clearly considers my doing so a challenge…um, can you say “stalker behavior”?...I knew you could.) Interesting to me that she would state that she was uncomfortable interacting with my ex. I had, only days before, noted to my ex that she was still “stalking my blog”. He lowered his eyes and shook his head, and then he indicated that he understood completely because he was having “similar issues”. (Keep this point in mind, though, because while she was uncomfortable interacting with him on this day…well…she got over it nearly immediately.) And, you know, it's not like it's the first time she'd indicated that she wouldn't read my blog anymore.

Lastly, SHE was the one who indicated that a person had to drive to be a good parent, and seems to have completely forgotten that she was the one spouting that rubbish from her soapbox. Or, I don’t know, maybe this is classic political flip-flop. Whatever it is, I can tell you that it’s NOT personal integrity. Not even close.

It took me several days to formulate a response to her note, as I know that her kids and our kids do, indeed, enjoy each others’ company. The children of J’s that I have met, appear to be pretty good kids. So, I don’t have an issue with my kids spending time with them. But because, I would rather they didn’t spend time with J, and because my children have confessed to me that they are uncomfortable spending time with J, I talked to them and came up with a plan I thought would work for all of us. Consequently, I sent back the following note.

J -

I have thought long and hard about your email and while I do not plan to address all the points in your original note (for obvious reasons), I will address those that pertain to my children.

I've talked to the kids and mulled over the situation. After talking with the two older girls, [1] and [2] would like to spend some time with [R] and [S]. They'd like to go [Visiting the Establishments in Our Neighborhood] with them, if that is acceptable to them, and to you. Obviously, the relationships between the adults involved make things a little complicated, but I would like to propose that you drop [R] and [S] off at [A Well Known Local Coffee Shop] (they have tables outside where the kids could meet) up at the corner of [our street], and that [1] and [2] could walk up from our house and meet them there. The pick up (a few hours later) could be handled similarly, with [1] and [2] walking home and you coming back to pick your kids up shortly thereafter.

This will eliminate friction between the adults. This also allows all the kids the opportunity to meet without having to deal with any parents from either side being present. [1] and [2] are most comfortable with this option, and I hope, as this is being done for the kids, you and your children can respect that.

I've asked the girls not to mention this meeting at all to [3], as she is only going to want similar privileges with [A] (the youngest son), and that isn't nearly as simple, as we can hardly leave young children unattended. [3] seems to have achieved some closure as regards her relationship with you and with [A], and the uncertainty surrounding any kind of continuing relationship for her in this regard cause me to opt to preserve that sense of closure and try to protect her from further unnecessary and unhealthy emotional upset.

Therefore, after a great deal of thought, this seems to me to be the best way to go forward with this. If this is agreeable to you, [S], and [R], then let me know. As much notice as possible would be helpful, and please let's confine this discussion to email.

In the future, I think both our sets of older kids are capable of initiating and formulating plans to socialize, and will only need to involve parental authority as concerns permission and transportation details.


My intention was to allow these four children the opportunity to spend some time together without the stress of the grown-up issues. I thought it was a way to put aside any issues between J and I, so that the kids in this equation (who'd formed a friendship) wouldn't have to be caught up in the drama. It would have been far easier to say "no" and "don't contact me ever again"...again...but, as usual, I was trying to do what I thought was best for the kids. In this case, all the kids. The response I got back was this…

Hi T,
I am glad you answered. It gives me the chance to clear something up with you. When I wrote to you on June 26, I was not talking to "M". But when I wrote to you, it caused me to think about my situation with "M" and I decided to send him an e-mail as well. He responded with a phone call, and we have been talking off and on since. He told me you asked him if we were talking and when he said yes, you responded that you knew "she was lying". I wasn't lying. After I contacted you about the kids, shortly after that "M" and I began talking again. Sorry about the confusion. I do think it will still be easier to plan things when the kids are with you, since they are there much more of the time.

As for your arrangement with the kids, that sounds good. I agree with leaving [3] and [A] out of it. And I won't call the house. Unfortunately, [S] is in two plays right now as well as working so I don't know how soon they will be able to coordinate schedules. Maybe [R] and the girls can work something out. [R] has much more free time than [S], since being 15 she can only work 18 hours a week. And you're right, I think all 4 of them are more than capable of arranging their own social calendars, but I don't think any of them wanted to initiate anything since none of the adults were in contact.

Both [S] and [R] are at work right now, so I will talk it over with them and get their schedules and then we will go from there, if that's okay with you.

And I hope you've noticed from your statcounter, I have stopped reading your blog and D's as you requested. I have deleted the links from my blog list. I would imagine you're not interested, but if you ever should be, you are welcome to read mine. Or if you ever have a question about anything with the kids, please feel free to e-mail or call.

I know you don't like me and apparently don't trust me, but I would like to find a way to apologize for everything in the past and move on, to being civil face-to-face or if possible, friendly. Whatever you think of me, I would love for all of us to be able to get together and let the kids hang out someday.

Again, thanks for e-mailing.


Where do I begin? Okay, first, let me note that when I spoke to my ex about the email I’d initially received, he noted he had recently begun speaking with her again. I said she was “lying” to me about being uncomfortable with him…not about not having spoken to him (though that’s more likely his miscommunication). Clearly, she got over the comfort issues, as soon as she’d sent me the note. I’m thinking the issues weren’t as significant as I was led to believe.

Next, she appeared to agree with the arrangements I’d proposed regarding the kids. Wouldn’t you think? I mean, she said, “that sounds good”. I’m taking that to mean that she doesn’t have a problem with them.

For the record, I had noticed from my statcounter that she’d stopped reading my blog. I think D noticed a similar trend at the time…which was July 8th. As you’ll see, that appeared to be part of a limited time offer...though I must have missed that part. Doubtless it was in the fine print at the bottom of the screen, or something.

Lastly, I’m not looking for an apology from J. While I’ll acknowledge that she has mountains of bad behavior for which she owes me an apology, I’m taking the “move on” option and since she is no longer my ex’s current girlfriend, we don’t have to interact. Not even at the minute level we used to have to interact. And that makes the rest of it moot. Further, an apology (or anything else, really) from someone whose word is worthless, simply has no value. I'm not going to mislead anyone, or waste the time pretending it does.

So then, neither the kids, nor I, heard anything back, regarding these tentative plans, for over a week. I asked my kids if they’d heard anything from [R] and they said they had not. [1], in fact, indicated that she’d had an IM conversation with [R] and that [R] had been indicating that she’d really like to get together and do some [Visiting The Establishments in Our Neighborhood]. I just didn’t get why this had been started and then dropped.

And then, nine days later, this shows up in my inbox…

"M" ordered [1] a copy of the latest Harry Potter book, which comes out at midnight this Friday, through me at a bookstore in New Albany. I would like to get it to her this weekend, but "M" will be out of town.

Would it be possible for us to arrange to meet [1] and/or [2] to get the book to her? If she will be working this weekend, I would be happy to drop it by there.

Just let me know what you think will work best.


No mention of tentative plans she’d set in motion nearly a month prior. Plus, this book that was a gift from my ex…wasn’t at the top of M’s list of important stuff to arrange before he left town for his vacation. He’d neither mentioned making any arrangements with me or nor with [1]. But, yeah, being a Potterphile (I’m totally stealing that, Mr. G), I knew she’d be anxious to get her hands on it. So, I decided to reintroduce the option J had brought to me in the first place.

J -
I had expected to hear back from you regarding [R]'s schedule and the possibility of [S] and [R] spending some time with [1] and [2], but have not seen anything back from you. [1] advises me, today, that [R] was lamenting about going [Visiting Establishments in our Neighborhood] with her recently. Have you decided against this for some reason?

Is it possible that "M"'s gift to [1] could be delivered by [R] and [S], if they could get together this weekend? [1] and [2] both have some availability on Sunday, if that would work with your kids.

Let me know.


And so, on the Wednesday prior, this is what I got back. It was the last correspondence between us.

I apologize for the delay. As you know, I had [R] call [2] and talk through plans for Sunday. No, I didn't change my mind. I have been sick for the past week or more and have just recently gotten back into the complete swing of things.

Anyway, I will drop [R] and the book (not sure about [S] - his play schedule may conflict) at [the coffee shop] at 5.


Would you make the leap that the plan was on as originally discussed? Would you take this woman at her word? Would you believe that, even though you hadn’t wanted to hurt her feelings unnecessarily, by telling her that she makes your children uncomfortable and that both you and a licensed professional feel it's not in their best interest for them to spend time with this person, you wouldn't have to get into any of that anyway?

Well, if you're me, you'd make that mistake...again. And, like me, you’d be wrong. And, by now, you ought to know better.

That following Sunday, which happened to be the 22nd of July (that date will factor in shortly, just jot it down somewhere), I had my kids intentionally wait to leave the house so that J would have time to drop her kids off and be gone by the time my girls got there. Guess what, she was sitting at the table out front of the coffee shop with her kids…waiting. Which…you know…is directly contrary to what I’d asked her to do and what she’d told me she was going to do and is a fine, fine example of her complete lack of personal integrity. Or maybe I should say “another” fine, fine example of her complete lack of personal integrity. It's certainly why I can never trust her, and another reason why my children’s therapist has advised them never to trust her.

She wanted to see the kids. Period. And she went around me by deceiving me to do so. Despite the fact that it was neither what I wanted, nor what the kids wanted, clearly, no one else’s opinions or feelings matter here. And, well, she pushed the right button. She was "doing something for the kids", and she knew I'd put my own reservations aside to make my children happy.

To ice that particular cake, guess what, she went back on her word about reading my blog, too. Shocker. I guess, though, that only really counts if I believed her in the first place.

So, I've blocked her email address...again...and I'm hoping, one more time, that I'm through with this crap. Bring on the NEXT "current girlfriend". Please. Preferably one that has some personal integrity this time.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Truth Will Set You Free

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.
Albert Einstein

If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.
Virginia Woolfe

As an adult, you must rediscover the moving power of your life. Tension, a lack of honesty and a sense of unreality, come from following the wrong force in your life.
Joseph Campbell

Truth is the highest thing that man may keep.
Geoffrey Chaucer "Canterbury Tales. The Frankeleines Tale"

To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice.

I grew convinced that truth, sincerity and integrity in dealings between man and man were of the utmost importance to the felicity of life; and I formed written resolutions, which still remain in my journal book, to practice them ever while I lived.
Franklin, Benjamin, his Autobiography

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Shakespeare, Hamlet

What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The quality of insight is determined by the degree of our ultimate integrity. Sound vision is the reward of maturity, and maturity is intellectual, emotional, spiritual integrity.
Guggenheimer, Creative Vision, 1950

My strength is as the strength of of ten,
Because my heart is pure.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The spirit of truth and the spirit of freedom--they are the pillars of society.
Henrik Ibsen

Peace if possible, but truth at any rate.
Martin Luther

Man has no nobler function than to defend the truth.
Ruth McKenney

It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe.
Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

Those who think it is permissible to tell white lies soon grow color-blind.
Austin O'Malley

With lies you may get ahead in the world - but you can never go back.
Russian proverb

Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.
Thomas Jefferson

He who does not bellow the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers.
Charles Peguy

Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, radio address, October 26, 1939

The truth is always the strongest argument.

The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
Henry David Thoreau

There is not greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness and truth.
Leo Tolstoy "War and Peace"

Let us then be what we are, and speak what we think, and in all things keep ourselves loyal to truth.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul.
Carl Jung

Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.
Sigmund Freud

Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable.
Be honest and transparent anyway.
Mother Teresa


Do you smell that? It's the pungent aroma of smoking britches.

Got a few things I want to spout off about. (Imagine that, huh?) Just thinking that I'd rather not waste prime real estate giving attention to some who like to piss me off just to see their "names" in print. (Though I'm holding out the option to update that policy at a later date should I feel it's necessary.)

Sooooo, grab your sphygmomanometer and meet me at the secret clubhouse. You know the address...

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