Tuesday, September 27, 2005

D'oh!

Samantha Burns: Fool. I responded to her guest post offer, and she actually took me up on it.

Satanists everywhere are suddenly presented with signs that the dark side has taken a giant stride forward.

And this despite the fact that I threatened to photoshop her head onto Bea Arthur.

Another good day today! And to top it off I had dinner with my brother, his wife, and his three kids. I discovered, however, that I have fallen behind on my parenting. His sons are four months younger than my son, and they can say Woohoo! In a family of Simpsons fans it is an absolute requirement that all children be taught many Simpsonisms, including Woohoo and D’oh! I hang my head in shame.

Monday, September 26, 2005

A Great Day

Today was one of those days that just went well. There wasn’t a major event that made it good, it was just a series of little things. I even got my work laptop today, about a week early. I got a good laugh when I picked it up, too. When the man who called me opened the door to his office I thought I was looking at Meg Kelso’s ex-husband Rick. The resemblance was astounding. Then I looked at his badge. His name was Richard. Pretty damn close. Then he said “Hi – I’m Rick”. Life is bizarre sometimes. As he was finishing up with the laptop he restarted it and the Windows Tour screen came up – he cursed under his breath. As he was canceling it I told him “Hold on! I don’t know Windows very well – let me watch that.” I said it in a completely serious tone of voice and the look he gave me was one of mixed disgust and shock. Then I started laughing and he realized he’d been taken. I think I made his day. Let no one say that you never get anything from making somebody laugh. He went out of his way after that to find me some more equipment. When I showed up at my cubicle laden with boxes people were in shock – they couldn’t believe all the loot I’d managed to score.

I think some of the stress of starting a new job is wearing off because I slept well last night. I was also in a much better mood for the entire day. Maybe it was all the video watching I did last night too.

I’ve been making my usual smartass comments on other people’s blogs and having a great time doing it. I had to do it in disguise on Heather’s blog, who will apparently wait to call a doctor until a small alien has dug it’s way out of her abdomen, turned to her and said “Would you pass the salt? You’re a little bland”. I have been looking for an excuse to hassle Samantha Burns, but haven’t found a suitable entry to be smartass about. So I’ll just start a fight with a back-handed compliment. Sam, to me, you are the Bea Arthur of Bloggers. That ought to get a reaction.

The Wily Norwegian finally got around to posting again. I can’t believe she got busy and took a few days off. Kettle, I say to thee, art thou not black? I have a question for you, though, Ms. Cruise Line (you know…Norwegian…ok, bad joke). How did you manage to post without your internet connection?

An addendum to last night’s discussion on videos. Upon reviewing the tape, I discovered that the Goose of the Apocalypse was not, in fact, trying to get my son’s attention when it bit his leg. Further analysis clearly shows that this was one of the rare carnivorous geese, and it was trying to drag him into the water. That’s exactly what I’m going to tell my son when he’s 13 and I show him the video.

I saw another video that just made my night tonight. This is Arnold being reunited with his dad after they were separated during Hurricane Katrina. Great stuff.

Ok, it’s almost ten and my chariot is going to turn back into a pumpkin. Time to post this and head to bed.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Geese of the Apocalypse

I’ve spent the last hour watching video of my son and his cousins – I can hardly wait until he’s older. He is going to enjoy seeing this – the chases, the shrieks, the lizard attacks. The savage geese that are clearly out for blood. The ducks swarming like army ants. The joy that my son and his cousins have at this age is amazing – they find wonder and fun in so many things.

If I keep this up I’ll have enough footage to make my own “When Animals Attack” video, starring my son. So far I’ve got various bugs, a lizard and the Geese of the Apocalypse. The lizard was by far the funniest, and it was an extended attack. He did battle with it all afternoon.

Just watching the video I have I can’t imagine not having it. I love being able to watch it whenever I want – it definitely makes me happy when I start to miss him. I just got done watching him roll down a hill in the grass, something I used to do when I was a child. Video of me as a child is pretty scarce – there’s only one that I know of, and my Aunt and Uncle in California took it when I was in my very early teens. I would love to see video of me when I was a child – there’s so much I don’t remember.

Speaking of remembering, video is a great memory tester. I watched the video I took yesterday of my son feeding the ducks and geese and many, many things happened slightly differently than I remember. The most notable was the attempted maiming of my son’s leg by the goose. The goose did bite his pant leg, but the “shriek” he let out was pretty minor, and I asked him if the goose got him, he didn’t say it. I also forgot the look he gave me after the goose bit his fingers – he was trying to figure out if he should cry about it when he told me it bit him. His injury was immediately forgotten when I reminded him there was more food he could feed them. The discussion he kept trying to have with the ducks and geese was pretty funny too. I so wish somebody had been present to film the goose attack on me.

I have to stop watching it and get ready for bed or I’ll be dragging again tomorrow. It’s just so much fun watching.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Perfect Day To Be A Daddy

So, back to the day. We went to get something to eat, which he devoured. We rode the merry-go-round again, which he really seems to like. He still won’t ride on the horses, he just likes to sit on a bench seat on it, but that’s fine. I’m sure that all too soon I’ll be looking back with nostalgia on the days he liked to sit with me. It was a beautiful day here in the northeast so I decided to go to a park I’d heard about with him. It was great! There were boardwalks all over the place, which made for a great place to start.

We explored that for a while and then went into another section that had lots of ducks and two geese. We got food from the dispenser and fed them, which was hysterical. He wasn’t afraid of them at all, and he kept trying to pet the ducks, which would run back and jump into the water. When we started throwing food again they’d get out and pretty soon we were surrounded. The two geese arrived and they were very good-tempered for geese. They ate out of his hand, which he didn’t mind, but what happened next was the best. When he had thrown the last of the pellets, the geese wanted to get his attention so they’d get more food. One of them reached out and grabbed his pant leg and shook it. He shrieked and laughed and ran back to me telling me that the goose had gotten him.

Not long after that I was squatting down next to him giving him some more food when the same goose grabbed the back of my shirt near my shoulder and started pulling. He was laughing so hard he started getting short of breath. He was saying “Daddy! The goose is getting you!” I thought the concerned look of a nearby woman was even funnier. I think she thought things were getting out of hand and the goose would soon take me down. She’d probably watched too many “When Good Pets Go Bad” shows.

We went up to the Aviary at the park next. They had a lot of different birds there, including many not native to the U.S. We walked around there and the last area we came to had some Emu. Here’s a picture of an Emu with some people to give you an idea of the size. When I said “Look at those birds!” my son turned to me and laughingly said “Those aren’t birds, Daddy! They’re too big”. He said it in a tone that said “I’m too smart to fall for that one!”

While we were there, there were two weddings actually going on, another wedding party getting pictures taken, and a “Sweet 15” party. This was really interesting. The girl who just turned 15 was in what looked like a wedding dress, and her “date” (I don’t know, he could have been her brother for all I know) was in a tuxedo. There was a full bridal (for lack of a better word) party of young men in tuxedos and young women in surprisingly good looking purple dresses. When I saw it I thought it was a wedding party until I met the limousine driver. He told me it was a Sweet 15 party, which I had never heard of. To my dismay, he began to tell me that it was something that the “blacks and Hispanics, but not us” did. When he said that I honestly didn’t know what to say. That doesn’t happen very often. I wasn’t sure how to respond. There are events that some cultures celebrate and others don’t, but to put it this way seemed wrong.

He suddenly had to go because the party appeared, and he jumped into the limousine and drove off to pick them up. As we walked, a bus (yes, a bus) pulled up to let off a wedding party to get pictures taken. It’s apparently a very popular place for pictures. We started back to my car, and along the way I divested myself of the pocketful of acorns he’d made me hold for him and the stick to which he’d taken a liking. I have to admit it was a pretty cool stick. Looking back, I should have kept it.

I got some pictures, but, even better, I got video of the duck and goose feeding. I think I even got the goose biting his pant leg. Watching that is next on the agenda. Ahhh, for more days like this.

Just When I Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Water...

I thought I was having another run-in with mental illness today. You might remember this post – where I was happy that the STBX had suddenly decided to stop interfering with me having time with my son. Basically, she agreed that we should follow the plan we came up with in mediation and ease my son into staying with me overnight. In reality I don’t think it’s necessary, because he’s stayed with me overnight several times and never had a problem. I’m willing to do it, though, just to get the time with him.

So this morning I show up at 9am to pick up my son. I ring the bell and I hear my son yelling “Mommy! It’s my Daddy!” I can tell he’s all kinds of excited, which just makes me smile. I hear the window on the second floor open up and see the STBX looking out at me with a “WTF?” look on her face. She asks me why I’m there, and I tell her that I’m here to pick him up, just like we agreed. She then looks at me and says “When we agreed to that I didn’t know it was going to be permanent!”

I’m really concerned now, because this makes no sense. The plan that we came up with in mediation was clear and we were clear that we were going to follow it. It’s been two weeks since we agreed to it, and last week I picked him up at 9. Why is she suddenly claiming ignorance?

She told me it was going to be a few minutes because he wasn’t ready to go. When she brought him down she told me that he hadn’t had breakfast yet, but didn’t say much more. We left and had a great day. In the back of my mind, however, was the thought that she was going to try to back out of our agreement, which really bothered me.

When I brought him back I was expecting problems, but I didn’t get them. She seemed back on track with the agreement and I didn’t mention anything about the morning since it seemed to have been resolved. I’m thinking now that maybe she just forgot that I was picking him up at 9 now and was too embarrassed to admit it when I got there. It just doesn’t make sense otherwise. Thankfully, whatever the reason, we’re now back on the same page.

Friday, September 23, 2005

When Real Life Attacks

It’s strange to be writing the first paragraph of a post last. I wrote everything else, then somebody (who shall remain nameless) emailed me to let me know they hadn’t seen me post in a while and hoped the road-rager didn’t get me. Thankfully I haven’t seen any more road-ragers. And thanks, nameless one, it was nice to hear from you.

I am exhausted. You’d think that sitting in my little cubicle studying would not take much energy, but you’d think wrong. At night I nearly fall into bed. What’s most annoying is that the stress of starting a new job (even though I like it and I’m happy to be working) has kept me from getting a decent night’s sleep. I keep waking up in the middle of the night and usually an hour before I have to get up. Then I’m dragging during the day and stalking the coffee pot. Especially in that post-lunch food coma.

The new job is going well, but the biggest thing I’ve learned in all my studying in the last two weeks was how much I didn’t know and how much I’m going to have to learn. I can do it, I just have a hard time feeling like I’m not useful. I’ve gotten a lot of encouragement from my new coworkers. Many of them have told me that it’s important to learn the basics in detail now because it will help me later. They also told me that I should resist any feelings of not contributing because it would be unrealistic. All of them have offered to help me if I need it and insist that even if I think a question is stupid I should ask. I’m pretty encouraged by all of this.

In addition, I’m stressed about money right now. Due only to timing, I started in the middle of a pay period, which didn’t give payroll enough time to get me in the system for the first payday for which I was there. So I have to wait until next Friday to be paid (though it will be for three weeks rather than two). Money is getting very, very tight. I’m going to have to borrow some money just to pay for gas to get to work. I spent as little as I could because I knew it might be a while before I was paid, but the high gas prices have seriously depleted what I was able to save. Once I get paid it will be all better, but right now it’s just another bit of stress I don’t need.

I’ve been working out almost every night to help control the stress, which has helped. I skipped last night because my shoulder let me know quite clearly that I’d overworked it. I need to start running again, and I need to figure out a time to do it. There’s a gym in the building I work in, but it’s small and it costs about the same as a regular gym would be. I think for right now I’ll hold off and concentrate on more important things. I can always run outside, bizarre as that might seem.

I’ve heard from a couple of people lately checking to see if I’m still alive, which is very nice. I’m forcing myself to write out this post despite the siren call of my bed. There’s a couple more things I’d like to write about, but I think I’ll have to wait until tomorrow. Call me weak-willed.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Tales of the Commute

It’s been a long week, but not in a bad way. I get up between 5 and 5:30 (if I manage to sleep until the alarm goes off), leave at 6:30, and get to work around 7:30-7:45. We take an hour lunch in there somewhere, and I leave around 6. I get home around 7 (traffic coming home is usually better than traffic going in). I have to start looking for a place that’s closer to work – the commute is way too long.

Yesterday’s commute was interesting, but only at the end. On the exit I take off the highway the off-ramp is very long and merges down to one lane. At the end it forks and the fork I take is the less busy one. As I approached it traffic stopped, which isn’t unusual. The road is wide enough for two cars here if you count the breakdown lane and I’m on the right side of it waiting to get close enough to the fork to get off. Suddenly I hear honking. I look around and there’s a car in the breakdown lane right behind me. He’s obviously going to the fork also, but he’s in the extreme edge of the breakdown lane trying to go around me and doesn’t have enough room.

I hadn’t pulled into the breakdown lane and it wasn’t wide enough for him to get by. I don’t feel all that sorry for him because I’m getting off the same way. I can see he’s making a lot of hand gestures and yelling in my rear view mirror and he’s still honking. Then he decides that there might be enough room for him to get by. He starts inching forward very slowly, because it’s going to be a tight fit. As he pulls up alongside he opens his window and starts calling me names and flipping me off.

It’s funny for two reasons. First, he thinks I’m trying to be a jerk and keep him from getting off, when in reality I’m getting off the same place. Second, this man must drive fast, because if he behaves like this regularly somebody would have hurt him by now. He’s downright scrawny. And he’s telling me that he ought to kick my ass.

It gets even better. There’s a loud scraping noise and I realize that he’s hit the bottom of the cement wall that he’s against on the other side. Now I laugh. Which sends him into the stratosphere. He’s turning red he’s so mad. He finally got enough room and spun his wheels as he took off towards the fork. With me not too far behind him. Great, he must think I’m following him now.

I can tell he’s getting nervous now because he’s checking his rear-view mirror constantly and he’s trying to drive faster to put some distance between us. I hang back, but I end up right behind him at a light waiting to make a left hand turn. He must really think I’m after him now. I can see him hunched down in his seat, and gone are the hand gestures. He’s looking into his rear view mirror constantly at me. When the light changes he zips off, but the cars in front of him won’t let him make the speedy getaway he’d like. Because it’s raining people are driving slow, so I’m stuck behind him without a way to put some distance between us. Eventually I turned and was no longer following him.

I’m trying to imagine how he’s probably telling the story to his friends. I’ve probably morphed into a gang of six foot six thugs, prison tattoos on my arms and looking for a fight. The high-speed chase ended when his superior driving skills allowed him to get away, but not before he damaged his car dodging the surface-to-surface missile we’d fired at him. Maybe he even has a blog and is writing up this story as I write up mine. If anybody reads it let me know, I’d love to leave a comment.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


I meant to post this the other day - it's Brum! Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 12, 2005

Short Post On The First Day

It was great. Started out with a completely empty cubicle and by midmorning had populated it with a laptop, two monitors, 3 VPN routers, a trash can and a $700 chair. All made possible through what I call “Corporate Foraging”. That’s where you go around with a mentor who knows where all the extra stuff is kept and is adept at asking people for their extra stuff.

It’s good to be working again, even if my trash can knows more about my job than I do.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Maybe I Should Just Drive Brum

Yesterday as I was driving on the highway the car in front of me saw a state trooper up ahead. I was quite a ways behind them, so when they hit their brakes I wasn’t worried. I started to slow down a little bit. The trouble came when the car in the lane to the right also hit their brakes. The car behind them was definitely following too closely and to avoid an accident swerved into my lane. Right in front of me. Now I had to brake in earnest. Accident avoided.

So as I made my way home hours later I was coming to a stop at a stop light and I heard a horrendously loud scraping/grinding sound from the passenger side front wheel. It happened when I braked and continued for a few seconds after I started to accelerate again then went away.

It turns out that the brake pad on that side disintegrated – there is now no brake pad there whatsoever. I checked the driver side and saw that it is fine. To check the pad at all was a royal pain in the neck. I jacked the car up, took off the lug nuts and then went to take the tire off. It wouldn’t budge. I gave it a few swift kicks, but it still wouldn’t budge. I went and got Thor’s Rubber Mallet and whacked it several times. It laughed at my feeble attempts.

I gave up and put the lug nuts back on, but decided a few hours later to try again. This time, it gave after a few more whacks with the Mallet O’ Fury. I’m trying to imagine what the neighbors must have thought, seeing me out there hitting my car with a mallet.

I didn’t like what I saw. The rotor is pitted and scarred from the caliper scraping it with no pad. The caliper itself has seen better days, too. Now, if it were just the pads that I needed to replace I’d go ahead and do it myself. But I probably need to replace the rotor, or at the very least have it machined, and I probably need to replace the calipers. Replacing the calipers is a bit beyond my level of ability, involving bleeding the braking system. As much as it pains me, I’ll have to let a professional do it.

This is a little annoying because the brakes were done about 2000 miles before I bought the car and I’ve only put about 6000 miles on it so far. Since the brake warranties don’t transfer from one owner to another I’m out of luck there.

I’ve decided that I’ll have it done one day this week while I’m at work since there’s a Midas about 3 miles from where I’ll be. I’m going to ask them to keep all the parts since I want to punish them a little before they get thrown out. Just another thing for the neighbors to see me pounding on with a hammer.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Sometimes It’s The Little Things, Like Brum and Lizards

Today was a banner day for my son as far as toys are concerned. I had decided after the Evil Lizard Incident to get him a toy lizard, but they turned out to be harder to find than I thought. We wandered through the mall, looking at the cars that the local Subaru dealership had brought in (I miss my Outback!) which he thoroughly enjoyed. Then he suddenly pulled my hand and said “Daddy! Look!” He was pointing over at the Radio Shack, which had put a gigantic radio-controlled motorcycle with rider out front. It stood about a foot and a half tall. My son was mesmerized. I looked over to the side and saw that they had also put some radio-controlled cars kind of behind some other stuff. I looked and saw Brum. For those of you who don’t know, Brum is a car on a kid’s television show. Here’s his website.

When my son saw the Brum car he got excited and told me that he had watched Brum in the morning. I looked at the price tag and thought I was seeing things at first. It said that the original price was $34.98, and the sale price was $4.98. I checked the others and they were all marked the same. So we bought a Brum car.

We did find a lizard, but it wasn’t like the one he played with. He loved it anyway. It was in the Discovery Store, and when you pushed a button on the back it’s mouth opened up. There was a bright multicolored LED in the mouth that lit up when the mouth was opened, and he made it a point to show it off to everybody he could.

We eventually made our way to the park and played with Brum. He kept standing in front of Brum and when he pushed the lever on the remote control Brum would start forward, heading right towards his feet. He’d shriek and run, laughing and saying that Brum was coming to get him. I ended up with the remote and made Brum start following him. He was running in circles and then lit out across a baseball field. I kept calling for him to come back, but he kept going. He’d look back every few steps to catch sight of Brum, but he wasn’t turning. I realized he was going to run to the next town if I let him and had to run and catch him. As we started back he looked at Brum and realized that it was sitting all by itself a long way away. I think he’s realized that other kids will take the toys he plays with if he leaves them alone. He said “Oh no! My car!” and took off running back to Brum. It was all very comical.

The STBX was pleasant again this trip, which was nice. She was amazed at Brum, both that it existed at all and at the price. I think she’s planning on heading over to Radio Shack to pick up another for her nephew.

So, all in all, it was a very good day. It’s strange, good days seem so much more boring than drama-filled days when you’re writing about them.

Friday, September 09, 2005

10,000 Visitors

Wow. Somebody in Palo Alto, CA or Ann Arbor, MI was my 10,000th visitor. It depends on which site meter I look at. One says the ip address was for somebody in CA, one says it's in MI. Anyway, thanks!

A Pleasant Surprise For A Change

I got quite a surprise yesterday, and it was a good one. I went to pick up my son and he was very happy to see me. The STBX and I were talking about some things and I was trying to tell her to talk to her attorney about health insurance. They needed to figure out if they wanted to keep our son on her health insurance or put him on mine. I am willing to do either, I just want them to figure out which would be better for her. If he stays on hers then she gets a little more child support under the state’s calculations, if he goes on mine she gets a little less.

So as we’re trying to talk about this my son keeps stopping me to ask me questions and point things out. She then asked me about my attorney, since her attorney has told her he’s been unable to get in touch with my attorney for over two weeks. I gave her the basics, saying that I’m going to get another attorney, but I only told her about the one-day-notice calls to me about court appointments.

She then said her attorney told her I wanted to change the visitation and she wanted to know what I wanted to do. I decided that because the current tone of our conversation wasn’t bad to handle it gently and not make any threats of legal action. I just told her that I wanted to put the visitation plan we had worked out in mediation into place. To my utter surprise, she agreed, as long as we eased into it. She also wants to see where I live, which I’m not thrilled with, but I’ll let her if it means getting her to stop interfering with my visitation. She claims that she wants to make sure it’s safe, but in reality she wants to see for herself if I’m living with a woman.

Some of you might remember that she went ballistic after I found a place to live. She was furious, and didn’t seem to understand that I couldn’t live on my friend’s couch forever. She sent me a bizarre email which made an accusation that I had gotten a second phone (my home phone) and that I had moved in with a woman. The proof that I had moved in with a woman was that I didn’t have room for a bunch of furniture and boxes she wanted me to take from the condo. In reality, I moved into a small, furnished basement apartment – I don’t have a lot of room here.

I’ve been trying to get more time with my son ever since this all started. I’ve succeeded in expanding my visitation in small steps, but she’s made it very difficult, presenting roadblocks every step of the way, so this sudden change is very surprising. It’s also surprising in light of the fact that two weeks ago she was making accusations of me “sneaking” my son up to where I live and trying to follow me to see if I was going where I said I was going.

The reason she’s letting it happen is not really that important to me – just that it happens. Two of the most likely things that I can think of would be her friends or her parents. One of her friends is an attorney who has (from what I’ve heard) given her a very hard time about everything she’s done from the start. Every so often this friend will let her have it for something she’s doing – it happened several times over the course of our marriage. She may have told the STBX that she was dragging this out for no reason and hurting our son with her truculence. The other possibility is her parents, who have been paying her attorney fees and lending her money constantly. They may have told her that the gravy train needs to come to an end. The STBX gets very stressed about money and that would have a serious effect on her attitude.

Well, no matter what the reason, it looks like she’ll stop fighting the visitation issues. I’m very excited about this – I so look forward to spending more time with my son, especially with the holidays coming.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Looking Forward To A Life Renewed

I start my new job on Monday, and I can’t wait. I’m finding that I’m extremely bored sitting here at home. I should go somewhere, but I can’t think of many places to go that won’t cost me money I don’t need to be spending right now. So I try to get things done here, some of which will put me a little further ahead when I start. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do over the next few months. I’m really looking forward to it.

I want to find a place to live that’s closer to where I’m going to be working. Right now it’s a bit of a commute – it’s not too bad, but at $3.35 a gallon (at last check 2 days ago) I want to minimize said commute. Finding a place to live will be a fun adventure. I’m not in a huge rush, so I can be a little selective about it and find a place that suits my needs more closely.

I need to find a new attorney, and this time I’m going to be asking some very specific questions before I hire somebody. I want them to be more aggressive in helping me get more time with my son and preventing the STBX from making my life more difficult. I’m going to make it clear that I want to lay down some demands about visitation – if she won’t stop interfering then we make her life much more difficult. The visitation issue is my biggest concern, followed by making sure that I don’t get completely cheated in a financial settlement. If I can get these issues settled then I can let the divorce proceed and be done with it.

The Holidays are coming! I know, it’s too early for most people to be thinking about them, but I love the holidays and last year was very difficult. Halloween and Thanksgiving were very close after the whole ambush, which, when combined with being separated from my son in such a cruel manner made it very hard to enjoy them. Christmas would have been better but I got sick – probably the flu – and was in bed for most of the holiday. The thought of starting to plan tomorrow appeals to me so maybe I’ll make a few phone calls to family to get the ball rolling.

Fall has always been my favorite season. I love the weather and the changing of the leaves. I used to (years ago) watch football – that’s one thing I think I’m going to take up again. Tivo is going to make it easier.

There’s a lot to look forward to, and even though I start Monday it’s hard to wait.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Katrina's Damage to New Orleans Foretold. Twice.

Courtesy of Snopes.com, I have these links for you. Apparentely, the disaster that was Katrina has been predicted at least twice.

Scientific American

National Geographic

The link to Snopes

How Do I Get A Divorce From My Divorce Attorney?

As you might remember, I and my attorney parted ways a couple of weeks ago. Between the horrendous advice and the notifications of court dates the day before I was supposed to be there, I had no problems with ending my dealings with her and finding somebody new. Afterward, she claimed that she had proof of her office informing me on more than two occasions of the court date. I decided to ask for the proof. She avoided answering me directly about it for several emails, if she answered the email at all. I’m in the process of filing a complaint about her advice (that could have led to a felony for me, had I followed it), her surprise notifications and the lies. Each time she has called me the day before a court date she’s claimed that she’d emailed me and that it bounced back. Funny, nobody else has had a problem.

Over the course of time I gave her a couple of email addresses and even emailed her so that all she had to do was hit the reply button. No dice. Until we parted ways. Then the email worked fine for her to tell me that I needed to pay her thousands of dollars. That was a mistake. Once she emailed me for real and it worked, I immediately asked her to forward the “bounced email”, which she claimed had bounced back to her the day before. She tried to avoid the request, but I emailed her twice more specifically asking her to forward the email to me and to provide the proof she claimed to have. She eventually stopped answering at all.

So today my phone rings, it’s her office. I let it go to voicemail so she could leave a message. In the message she claims now that she hasn’t withdrawn from the case (???) and that she thinks she sees the problem now. Said problem being that I don’t want to be divorced. While one part of my mind screamed “What?!?”, another part continued listening. She went on to tell me that it’s normal and that I needed to decide what I wanted to do. “Remember,” she said “it’s you against her, not you against me”. I nearly picked up the phone to call her back and give her a piece of my mind. I wanted to ask her about the horrendous advice, the last minute court dates, the claims that she was informing me and the questions I’ve presented her about the financial settlement that she has not satisfactorily answered. Do you think any of this might have something to do with me not wanting to make things final?

Of all the ludicrous things she could have come up with she tells me that I must not want to be divorced from the STBX. I would love for that to be over, but I won’t rush that if there’s serious problems with the settlement. Now that I’ve had a few hours to think about it I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I’d like to call her let her have it, but I don’t want to tip my hand about the complaint.

What did occur to me in the last few hours is that she was likely told by the STBX’s attorney (whom she said she spoke to recently) that I’ve found a job. It would not surprise me if when she heard of this new source of income (and, for her, fees) she decided to try and patch things up. It would explain the sudden change of our status back to client-attorney. I guess until I decide how to handle it I’ll just continue to prepare the complaint.

Is it just me or does everybody have these problems with their divorce attorney?

The Evil Lizard

My son and I had a great time on Sunday and Monday. We went up to visit my brother and his family, one of our favorite things to do. When I told my son we were going to see his cousins he did this little jumping “yayyyy!” and was immediately telling me about how he was going to chase them. They have a little lawnmower shaped toy that my son has fallen in love with. It has Winnie the Pooh sitting with a honey jar on it and Winnie and the jar spin and make noise as it’s pushed. My son will push it and chase his cousins with it, all of them laughing and shrieking. Sometimes they turn the tables and chase him, but he runs away while still pushing the toy.

He got to play in a little pool while we were there. We set up a little slide so the kids could slide into it. Right before they started that I had found a little plastic toy lizard on the ground and showed it to my son. He told me he was scared of it and wouldn’t come closer than two feet from it. Somehow, I’m not sure how, he ended up playing with it while he was in the pool. He’d see it, shriek, pick it up and throw it out of the pool, laughing at the same time. We kept throwing it back in so he could find it again. He started yelling “It’s the lizard!” as he threw it. As he was standing at the bottom of the slide I let the lizard slide down and told him it was going to get his toes. He let out a delighted shriek and jumped back. After that he would take the lizard himself, put it at the top of the slide and let it slide down onto his feet. Then he’d shriek and jump back, pick up the lizard and do it over again. I’m going to have to find him a lizard toy now.

Yesterday I helped my brother move some rocks while my son was inside watching some television. My brother has a tractor which we were using (with a trailer) to move all the rocks, so it wasn’t long before my son wanted to come out to see the tractor in action. While we were loading or unloading the rocks he’d go and find little stones to put in the trailer to help, and when my brother went to move the tractor I’d pick him up. He’d make me follow in the exact path of the trailer, no shortcuts were allowed.

He slept for most of the ride home, but woke up about a half-hour before the ride was over. He had dropped his car and told me he couldn’t find it. I told him we’d find it when we stopped (we were coming to a rest stop), but he got upset and started crying. We stopped and I found the car, but he was still upset, so we went in to eat. That did the trick. He ate like he hadn’t eaten in two weeks and was very happy.

I’ve been in a good mood since then, and watching the video of the lizard-play has made it easy to maintain the mood. One of the best things I ever bought was the camcorder. I suspect the STBX hasn’t been doing a lot of filming of him, mainly because she couldn’t even find our camcorder at one point. Now it’s been at her father’s for months while he pulls video off of it. She’s not shared any pictures or video she’s taken anyway, so I am left to fend for myself. I love that I’ll be able to show this to him (or his future girlfriends, heh heh) someday. Luckily, I had pulled all the video off the old camcorder and have it stored on one of my many hard drives. I swear I’m going to have to buy hard drives in bulk to keep it all, but it’s worth it. I don’t just get to have the fun with him, I get to watch it again whenever I want. And the possibilities for future torture and blackmail make it even better.

So, all in all, a great time. Next post: More lawyer fun.

Friday, September 02, 2005

How Applicable

You know, every so often in the stats you get strange searches leading to your blog. Today I got a really good one.

how to make a crack pipe

Still several daily searches for sicustomerservice.com, and occasionally there’s a search for “best looking man in America” which of course I end up being the top result.