July 4 - August 29, 2003

These entries are from multiple sources. See the footnotes for details.


July 4, 2003
» picture it

º³

I have taken to my new camera like a duck to water. (Note to self: ducks are cute - get a picture!) I'm still practicing, not quite ready to take the fabulous imaginative shots I have planned, but I'm enjoying the proverbial journey.

Yesterday I was determined to participate in Theme Thursday; the theme was 'yellow' and I was on the lookout for potential shots as I drove home from work. I thought I'd found the perfect one: a furniture store that was painted pale yellow with murals of trees on it. I waited a little while then went over there, hoping no one would stop and ask why I was trespassing. :) (I was ready to explain about Theme Thursday, just in case.) After I took a few pictures there, I decided to go home a different way, looking for yellow. I found it, so I stopped and took a few more pictures. When I transferred the pics to the computer though, the ones of the store were a bit dark - you wouldn't know that I was standing in direct sunlight. I liked one of the unplanned shots better and posted it as my first Theme Thursday entry.

Today, shutterbugs from all around can try their hand at the Photo Friday challenge, which is currently 'solitude.' I wandered about the neighborhood a bit, but nothing really grabbed me. Considering an inside shot (to get me out of the hot sun) I thought, "What about a closed door?" This is the result. I may try another one, but I'm pressed for time since I'm going to a cookout at my cousin's.

Speaking of which, I've got to go. Have a safe and happy Fourth!


July 7, 2003

ºº

This morning, I woke up from the best dream. Sark (from 'Alias') was there, and for some reason I urgently needed information from him so that I could update a website. I was being all grovelly, but it just seemed natural, since he is so sexily evil and confident. Even then though, I was like, "I'll do anything . . . except THAT." Then I realized THAT was probably what he'd want. It was quite a dilemma; then I woke up.


July 9, 2003

ºº

Brace yourself: I feel like rambling, but I hardly know where to start. :thinks: Well, I'll start with Brian, or whatever I'm calling him here. It's the guy that I was seeing briefly, then he said he was giving up after . . . well, after a long story. Still, though, we see each other at our jobs (yes, both of them) and we're always friendly. So he called me a few weeks ago, saying that he'd like to go out again. I agreed. I want to be honest with him and not lead him on, but I truly do like to hang out with him, and I think that our relationship will grow if given time.

Anyway, on Saturday we took a little road trip to a state park that's not too far away. It was great - a really good time even though we got a bit of a late start. On the way back, he shared some thoughts about our (potential) relationship. To broach the subject (side note: what do you know, I used the word 'broach' correctly even though I had to double-check after using it) he showed a cartoon that he'd found of a couple talking. For most of the frames, the guy character was saying, "Me. Me, Me, Me ..." and the girl character looks on intently. In the last frame, the girl character begins to say, "I -" and the guy characters looks as though he's suddenly nodded off. That's what Brian felt like he was doing: he thought he was talking and not listening to what I had to say. As I've mentioned, I really want to hang out with him and see where things go, but I don't want to lead him on, asking him to wait for something that may not happen. I tried to explain that. (It's nice to talk about uncomfortable things while one is driving, that way you're not expected to look the other person in the eye when you probably should.)

As we were talking I began to think really fondly of him, wanting to encourage him that I *really* do feel like our relationship will go somewhere. I realized I might just be getting caught up in the moment, so I didn't say that. As I was dropping him by his car, we chatted a bit more and he said at one point that he was going to say something that really was ... oh, I forgot what he said - flattery I think. Anyway, the remark was that when I wear things that show my "curves" he finds it hard to think straight. Yeah, I know, it's a bit cheesy, but I believe it. Please don't think I'm vain, because I have a remarkably plain face, but I've been complimented several times on the way I look in jeans. :grins: Hearing Brian make that remark makes me start to think of him in an entirely new way. He proceeded to say that he hopes I know he doesn't just think of me as a body. Oh, believe me, from his actions I can tell he knows there's more to me.

The next day he called to say hello, and I was pleased to hear from him. I realized that I should probably call him first, but I usually don't think about calling people. That made me panic a bit that my thoughtlessness might one day drive him away. Seriously: I meant to tell him before that when he said that I might be "lazy as a lover" he was probably right. Especially now that I've gotten out of the habit of being part of a couple. I don't have any close friends nearby either so I can pretty much get away with being selfish with my time. Lately though I'm starting to be mindful of that: hopefully the next step will be overcoming it.

I got off track there: he called and I was really glad to hear from him. Then he mentioned his ex-girlfriend and asked for advice for a situation she was in. They've remained friends, and I think he told me a while back that they usually talk once every couple of weeks. As soon as he mentioned her name, I got very jealous. I didn't say anything to him about it because I honestly have no right to, especially at this stage. But believe me, she's definitely the type to be jealous of. She's brilliant: she graduated from MED SCHOOL at age 21 or something, and I'm sure she's beautiful, too. Hearing him mention her and being surprised at my own reaction reminded me of another thing that I almost told him: that I'm so jaded and so scared to start a new relationship. I don't doubt that he cares for me, but my past makes me paranoid that perhaps part of his infatuation with the thrill of the chase. In just about all of my previous flings, I've started out feeling pretty ambivalent about the guy, then as soon as I really start to like him more, he starts to like me less. I wrote that to Brian before when I was trying to explain that my feelings were mostly friendship, and I meant every word. I wrote that when it happens like that three or four times it makes a girl start to wonder just what it is about her that makes that happen.

In Brian's defense, part of my past woes could stem directly from my choice of guy. I've picked guys that were not, shall we say, Long Haul Guys. When things don't work out with a guy like that, you can't really say that you're surprised.

Another part of my relationship reluctance is that at this point I can't honestly say that I'd "forsake all others" for him. I don't suppose anyone's asking me to at this point, but I wouldn't want to pursue a relationship with him and date other people. What about my guy e-pal that I'm thinking of meeting? What about other guys that I'm extremely attracted to? I have realized one thing: attraction alone will never be good enough for me. It's powerful, and it's what they write stories and songs about, but you can't base a long-lasting relationship on that alone.

I'd really love to talk to one of my on-line friends about this, but she's not having such a great time in the romance department and I'd hate for her to feel bad or think I was bragging. Several months ago, I was telling one of my real-life friends about going out with Brian - I was trying to emphasize that we were mostly hanging out as friends. My real-life friend is also not having much luck in the romance department, and she said, "Oh, you had a DATE." At one point she said it in a way that implied she thought I was bragging. That was certainly not my intention: I was just telling her what I'd been up to lately. However, since then I've been especially sensitive to not telling others when really good things happen - or might happen. So, here I am, spilling my guts in the Secret Journal. I also sorta wish that somehow I could see Brian and not have my sister know about it, because when some guy is trying to "woo" me, she often gets depressed and demands why no guys ask her out. It makes me feel bad, but it shouldn't. It's like, "I'm sorry that someone likes me." I know that it's tough to watch other people get what you think you want, but I crazily believe that someone's friends should be happy for her when something good is happening.

Okay, trying to wrap it up now. At work, my boss seriously ticked me off last week, and I've been a major slacker much of the time since then. I hate when I get like that, too. Regardless of my petty feelings I owe them a day's work for a day's pay.


July 9, 2003
» "What is past is prologue."

º³

I hope that everyone had a lovely and safe Independence Day. As mentioned earlier, I went to a small family gathering at my cousin's, where I saw my favorite cousin Jennifer. We usually email each other and get together every so often, but we've been busy/lazy and have been major slackers lately. When we saw each other we both started making our excuses: "I've been meaning to call you ..." The get-together was very nice; afterwards, I went over to Jennifer's and we discussed options for her upcoming painting project. She's re-doing her bathroom and plans to paint her living room as well; I offered to help whenever she does the living room, since I have mucho experience painting.

I also told Jennifer about my plans to build a garage apartment on our land; she suggested that another option would be adding on a section - I like to call it a "wing" - to the house. Hmmm. I've thought of that before years ago, even going so far as to draw up a sketch of a possible layout. It wrapped around so there was a central courtyard, which I loved. Yes, I know that I'd have to get a licensed professional to create the actual plans, but it would be good to have some ideas for him or her to work with. I haven't yet tried to get pre-approved for a loan and I haven't looked at many house plans, but I want to do those soon.

On Saturday I went to a state-park-type thing [Noccalula Falls Park] that has a small waterfall. I had been there several years ago after a dry summer and the falls were little more than a trickle at that point. This time, my friend Nicholas went with me. (That's right, we're hanging out again. :) We had to work that morning until about two, then we went to visit a retired friend of his, who provided us with a very nice lunch. The weather forecasted a chance of storms, but I kept saying that I had faith that we would have good weather at the park. During the drive we ran into some heavy downpours, but as we neared our destination it was just cloudy with the sun breaking through from time to time. After we arrived, I was surprised to see that the falls were way more than a trickle. I was really looking forward to hiking on the trail that passes under the falls, but by the time we arrived, the entrance to the trails was closed. Drat. We still had a good time exploring the parts of the park that we had access to.

This week, I'm back at work after the long holiday weekend. Yay. (Sarcasm there.) The boss was out of town last week and for the better part of this week. Now, he's back and saying that he hopefully won't have to travel for several weeks. Hope not. (Yeah, sarcasm again.) He *really* ticked me off last week, but I plan to post that story at my service website so I won't put it here. Plus, I don't want to get angry again at the moment, and I'm sure I will when I write about it.

Quickly changing the subject, today is one of the more notable dates that I know of. For one thing, it's the birthday of my ex-boyfriend's ex-wife. (I've no idea why I remember that.) It's the two year anniversary of the day I took over the Angel site. Well, "took over" sounds too much like a military coup; I certainly didn't overthrow the previous webmistress or anything. She became extremely busy so she asked for someone to take over, and I stepped up to the proverbial plate. Today is also the birthday of one of my favorite small-time stars. I've only seen him in one less-than-famous show, but I thought he was so cute, funny, and smart. True, he might've just been acting, but I can dream, right?


July 11, 2003

ºº

Yep, I'm back again. You know how I was going on about feeling fondly for Brian? Well, I'm feeling less fond. Yesterday he reminded me of what he does that I REALLY don't like: he brings up a line that I said casually weeks before and politely inquires what I mean by it. I know he's all deep and stuff, but I just rattle off lines sometimes. If they do mean something, I don't really want to know. When he does that it makes me really uncomfortable - I feel like I'm talking to a shrink or something. He also mentioned wanting to talk about our views of religion: why do I get the feeling that I'll be searching uncomfortably for what I'm trying to say while he looks a bit concerned continuously asking what I mean. It's like taking a test where you can't possibly give an answer that satisfies him. Plus he called last night while I was trying to work on my website projects. I know I mentioned before that I'm selfish, but darn it, I don't want to talk to him all the time. I took the call because I figured it would be brief, about our plans for tonight. He wanted to bring some sort of mini salad bar and eat at work! What?! I said that I'd prefer not to and he wanted to know why. BECAUSE I DON'T! This is a business, not a recreational facility. When my time here is done, I want to leave, particularly when the other employees are still here.

On the bright side we probably won't have much time tonight to talk about religion. (I wonder if he does that with his other friends.) If he asks about tomorrow I'm going to be busy. I don't have any gigs and I plan to catch up on my projects in a big way. I guess I'll have to park on the Internet so he can't call. Heck, I'll just not answer and say that I was "in and out." On a related issue, I'm really glad I didn't tell him how I was feeling the other day when I was caught up in the moment. About religion, I've had the nagging idea several times that suppose he's waiting to see how things go between us, then announces that he's going to be a preacher or something?

Sigh. I'm sure I'm over-reacting. I'm taking specific actions as an indication that we're wrong for each other. I don't know about that, but those actions really bug me. And if I tell him that I'm uncomfortable when he digs up a line I've said previously and asks about it, he'll wonder and probably even ask why that is. Sigh. As if all this isn't enough, I've got an extremely tender spot that concerns me. Plus, I've got a hair appointment tonight before the dance and I'm sure I'll hate the results as I always do. :shudders: Also, I found out yesterday that I didn't get the fanlisting I applied for months ago; I guess my skills weren't deemed worthy. I know I didn't need another project, but I am a bit disappointed. I'm forcing myself not to apply again. Maybe I will after all my projects are caught up, which will be no time soon. Plus, I shouldn't start any seeing as how I refuse to join anymore. I mean, really they're not a list of fans - they're a list of fans who happened to be on the 'Net and who happened to find the fanlisting and join; they're hardly a comprehensive list of every fan.


July 15, 2003

º²

Today at work, the HR (Human Resources) guy sent an email to everyone reminding us of company policy about "appearance and behavior." Why do I think that this little veiled threat is brought on by the outfit that I wore yesterday? Don't get me wrong: it was a perfectly respectable outfit. The skirt was knee-length - with a small slit in the back so I can walk - and the shirt is maybe a little too hip, but it's not that bad. I took a few pictures; they don't show the length of the skirt but you can get the general idea of the outfit. The only borderline aspect of this outfit is that when I reach up, a wee-small bit of my back shows. :pause for everyone to gasp in exaggerated shock: I know. If that's what brought on that email today, that's pretty sad.

If you think that I'm being a bit paranoid, let me explain about our office. Most of our employees work at different locations, so there are only three of us there in the office: the boss, HR Guy, and me. HR Guy has only been there since April, and from the moment I met him, he's always struck me as being false, like he just tells people what they want to hear. After working with him a bit, I realize that he's also got a bit of a manager complex, and he often tries to delegate the "menial" tasks to me. I, of course, tend to put those off. *g* I wouldn't mind helping him if it appeared that he did something besides sit in his office on the phone. When he's not on the phone, he's writing up emails like the one he sent today, trying to keep all of us in line. :rollseyes: More accurately, I'd say that he's trying to give the impression that he's important.

I guess that's enough complaining and being petty for now, so I'm off to find something sufficiently trashy to wear to work tomorrow. ;)


July 16, 2003
» suffering for art

º³

Yesterday I updated eclectic and I wrote how my scandalous outfit may have inspired a guy who thinks he's the boss to send every employee at my job a reminder about company policy on Appearance and Behavior. Before I remembered my outfit from the previous day, I thought that the email might have come from the fact that I've been listening to a DC Talk CD at work this week. I try to keep the volume low, but I'm sure that passers-by can hear it.

That email might also have been inspired by the way my hair looked on Monday. I got a trim on Friday, and I HATE it. I can't believe that my hairdresser think it looks good, because it ticks me off every time I look in the mirror. Right after a cut, my hair always seems to freak out, so I can't do anything with it. Plus, since my bangs were so incredibly short, I couldn't do anything with them, and it's no exaggeration to say that my hair looked a mess. Still, do I need some jerk emailing me to work on my appearance? No. I was trying to maintain my appearance by getting a trim, but it went horribly wrong. Now all I can do is wait for my hair to grow out. In the mean time, I plan to dress and act the way I have been, because it is certainly no violation of company policy.

I tried to pick an average-looking outfit to wear today because I don't want to give Bossy Guy the satisfaction of thinking that anything he says has power over me. He usually sends out one of those emails every few weeks, either reminding us of company policy or telling us that Action is Urgently Required about some lame thing he's decided we need to do. He hasn't been with this company long, and we've gotten along very well without him all this time.

I'm actually looking forward to the return of my "lady boss" who has been out of town for most of this year with her daughter, who recently had another baby. I can already picture the clashes that she and Bossy Guy will get into, because she LOVES to have the last word. I honestly think that she's had some management training that instructed her to never accept anything as is: always change something so that the people know you're in charge. (That's pretty ridiculous, too, changing stuff simply for the sake of changing it.) It's that very quality of hers that I think will cause her to clash with BG over . . . well, everything. He has been trying to change things about the company, such as the company logo, which she thinks is just the best logo ever. That's just one example of why I think they won't get along.

Anyway. Last weekend, I went looking for shots for the 26 things photo scavenger hunt: some of those items are very abstract, but that's what makes it so challenging. On Saturday, I walked around town for about two hours, which resulted in sunburned shoulders, a blister on my left foot, and maybe half of the shots I wanted. (My town is remarkably uninteresting from the angle of photography, btw.) I have a couple more shots in mind; I really need to get cracking on that because it needs to be ready by August 1.


July 18, 2003
» maybe not

¹º

I changed the About page to say briefly that I was planning to make this Alias News page, but now I'm too lazy to do that. Plus I'm spread too thin as it is, and a site like that would need to be maintained to be any good.

So, this'll be an extension of my Secret Diary. I like the other version better simply because it's easier to back up. I know I just ramble here, but I like to back up these writings then laugh when I re-read them later.

I thought I had much to say today, but suddenly I'm not feeling so chatty. I've got a bit of a headache. I'm peeved with my boss as I frequently am these days. (Why must he be SO condescending?!)

I *do* love this layout: it looks so great, you'd hardly know it was imageless, yes?


July 21, 2003
» sometimes, I just wanna quit

¹º

A lady comes into the office this morning asking for help - then she proceeds to tell me the answer. That really rubbed me the wrong way - WHY are you even asking if you already KNOW IT ALL?!!

This right after I manage to look like a doofus in front of the boss - once that starts you just can't recover. And the boss is the type that just loves to make me feel stupid, always talking down to me and over-explaining even the most simple of ideas. I like to say, "I know I'm an engineering student, but I *do* have a wee bit of common sense." You wouldn't know it this morning though. I was thinking the other day about how the boss phrases things in a challenging/insulting way; what a perfect way to NOT get something accomplished. Believe it or not, most people don't *like* to feel stupid! So if you ask a question trying to expose their ignorance, you sort of force their hand so that they lie to your face.

One of my long-term goals needs for me to remain at this job until next summer, but some days I really don't think I'll make it. However, if I was to lose this job, I'd carry on with the belief that my original long-term goal wasn't in God's plan. (It's kind of exciting, waiting to see what will happen.) In the mean-time, I'll carry on according to my long-term goal.

Sunday, my guy friend that wants to be more called me - he'd ridden his bike about fifteen miles and was near our house. Unfortunately, I was still half asleep and when the phone rang, the only person I could imagine it being was someone trying to call me into work, so I didn't answer. Maybe I shoulda felt bad, but I didn't too much: if someone doesn't call before going to see someone else, that person shouldn't be surprised if their plans don't work out.

This guy friend - sigh. I really should be attracted to him, but I'm really, really, really not. Part of it could be my jaded and hard heart ... actually that could be a big part of it. In my experiences, relationships are nothing but trouble and most of the time we're truly better off alone. I heard a song by Luther Vandross the other day and that one line says exactly how I feel: "I once believed that love was fair. But I don't any more ..." I'm selfish, and lazy, and I don't even want the hassle of trying to start something new.

Then I see one of my friends and her sister having trouble with their guys and I just want to tell them "don't try to change him, just leave him! Leave him!" As I wrote to my friend, "There's something to be said for trying to work things out," but then again, you don't want to be blindly hanging on to a relationship that is going nowhere. Believe me, I can testify about that.

"Boy, this girl is a delicate thing,
So much time spent wondering
If what you see
Is what you get.
I keep lookin' for a friend and a lover,
when I find one, he ain't the other
sometimes
I just wanna quit.
One wants a maid
One needs his mother,
They either want space
Or they wanna smother me ..."

lyrics from 'Take it Like a Man'
by Michelle Wright


July 22, 2003

º²

If anyone reads the comments for the previous post, pay no attention to that remark about my "risque clubbing" outfit. That was written by one of my on-line friends: he so silly. :) That same friend has recently given me permission to post some of our correspondence. :claps hands gleefully: Well, I would probably have posted some of the ones I wrote anyway, but it's always polite to ask. I plan to work on that during my vacation (repeat, vacation - woo hoo!) which is supposed to be in a couple of weeks. I'll also add some more letters from my dear friend, Michele. I'm thinking of turning that into a separate section ...

A few days ago, I changed the layout at rusted-crush - since it's now a tad on the scandalous side, I avoid visiting that page while I'm at work. I'd hate for the HR guy to see it; I'd probably get another email. Anyway, I also recently opened my on-line photo gallery although it's pretty small at the moment. Most of my picture time lately is devoted to working on the 26 things photo scavenger hunt. (Of the 26 items, I have four that I want to use. Yikes!) I plan to go out tomorrow during lunch - and after work, too - to attempt some shots that I have in mind. :crosses fingers:


July 29, 2003
» men of few words

º³

Last week, as part of my master get-a-house plan, I checked my credit rating. I was hoping it would be okay and - without going into the gory details - it is REALLY good, if that source is correct. That thrilled me greatly: I need to go talk to a banker. Soon.

Also thrilling: my vacation is next week. :weeps for joy: I'm very much looking forward to it because I think I have a slight case of burnout. I've been trying to have a better attitude at work lately, but still, the work itself is rather mundane. During my time off, I'm planning to accomplish a few of my "ambitious plans;" hopefully the weather will be nice and I won't be overcome with laziness.

One thing I *definitely* plan to do is go see Pirates of the Caribbean. I put up a new layout featuring POTC at neloo so I should probably see the movie to be sure I like it, yes? I can't imagine not liking it. I've heard several good reviews of it, plus - like many people are these days - I find myself obsessed with Orlando Bloom. Hmmm . . . I wonder if he speaks with an accent in that film. :gets excited, tries to calm down:

Moving on before I have to go write some fanfiction, I don't know if I've mentioned it before but I've been a member at a certain "friendship site" for over two years. In theory, one can find anything from a penpal to a marriage partner on this site: you just post some info on your profile and wait for The One to contact you. (They recently changed their format to severely limit the benefits of us Free Members, but that's another gripe for another day.) No, I *really* do not expect to meet my Mr. Right on this site, but what have I got to lose, you know? On my profile it says clearly that I prefer members who are in my city, which is clearly listed. Still, people write to me from the other side of the world. My other big complaint with most of the letters that I get is that they're SO short. It's like, "Hey. I like you. Write me." Well, how could anyone resist such thoughtful and pithy prose? :rollseyes: It also says in my profile to "write and tell me about yourself." It doesn't have to be the Great American Novel, just tell me something: what you like, what you do for fun, the quirky story behind your pet's name, anything!

Last night, I spent most of the evening working on my photo scavenger hunt entries. Can I just say: yikes. If I had the time (and the skill) I'd like to replace about half of them because they're so ho-hum. I've taken over two hundred pictures, but I still need about four of the items on the list. Since I'm working on Thursday evening, I have *got* to have my collection ready by tomorrow night.


July 30, 2003

ºº

There's not too much going on here. I'm still fretting over Brian - I just can't imagine being physically attracted to him. I know I'm no prize, but he is just not what I have in mind. I like a tall guy, with broad shoulders, who isn't scrawny. No, I really don't like fat guys, but he can't be scrawny. I honestly think Brian weighs less than I do, and I don't find that attractive. That just makes me feel sorta bad. Since I don't see me being attracted to him, I really feel bad that he wants to hang out. I'm sure there are plenty of girls that would love to go out with him; at the moment, I'm still very jaded, and I'm more than content to be alone with my fantasies.


August 3, 2003

º²

This week, I am on vacation from my full-time job. :weeps for joy: My plan is to accomplish some things on my To Do list, and to enjoy every moment of it to the fullest. I've already completed one of my tasks: my collection of pictures from the 26 Things Scavenger Hunt is posted. That was a really fun project - I hope I have time to participate in the next one. School starts back on August 25th and theoretically it will be my second to last semester of college. :weeps for joy again: I'll have classes four days a week, so I'll only be able to work 32 hours at my full time job. I think it'll go well; I've been having a great time this summer with no classes to stress over. Hopefully I'll be rested and ready to hit the books again.

Earlier today I found a comment from someone that told me (in all caps) that I need to update the Angel site more. I know people like to visit sites that have been updated fairly recently because I feel the same way. But when I receive comments like that it tells me two things: 1) that the person writing has probably not run a website and has no idea how much time it takes and 2) that they clearly haven't read my disclaimer - which I have on the "major" sites - that I do have a life. Happily, many of the people who send feedback tell me how glad they are to find a site that is actually still updated regularly. Several people have written something like "I know you're a busy lady, but I appreciate you maintaining the site." Those kind of comments mean more, and those are the kind of comments that motivate me to keep working on it. After all, you win more flies with honey than with vinegar. ;)


August 11, 2003
» How I spent my vacation

º³

I was afraid I'd be lazy and not accomplish anything over my vacation - instead, the thing I slacked off of most was the website work. Ah, well. I believe I did mention that I didn't plan to spend the whole time in front of the computer.

On Monday I went to see "Pirates of the Caribbean." I liked it, but I think I was expecting more after all the rave reviews I'd heard. (This is why I don't like to read reviews of a film before I see it. Actually I didn't read reviews of POTC, but a guy from the office raved over it.) As I said, I did like it - I'm sure I'll get it when it's out on DVD or video - but I didn't LOVE it like I thought I would. Ah, well. On Monday also I had my only part-time gig of the week: it lasted about an hour and a half and it was a shoe store, so it honestly could not have been much easier.

On Tuesday, I planned to update the Angel site in the morning, but there were storms so I found another project in organizing our junk room, which I frequently refer to as "The Landfill." That went much better than I thought it would. Later that day I took some clothes to donate to the thrift store and I bought some storage boxes to hold my extensive collection of videotapes. Previously, most of the tapes had been sitting all over our piano; I didn't really think about how bad that looked until I started taking pictures. :shudders: The tapes filled both of the new storage boxes: I know I have over 100 tapes, and the majority of those are shows that I taped. I'm sure at least a third of those shows are ones that I could tape over but they're so scattered it's more trouble than it's worth to find them. Sigh. That's another project for another day.

On Wednesday my mother and my sister were off of work too. My mother asked if I'd planned to trek over to a nearby city's collection of outlet stores. I hadn't really thought about it but since she mentioned it, I gathered that she wanted to go. So, we three went shopping, which is not something we often do together. I found several items, including a CD that I'd been looking for.

On Thursday, I . . . don't remember what I did. :thinks: I think I watched "Hardball" which I bought on Monday for about six dollars at Wal-Mart. (I liked it, btw. Who knew Keanu could make me cry?) I think I also watched an episode of Angel - or that may have been on Friday. I don't suppose the details matter: I can summarize Thursday and Friday by saying that I puttered around.

On Saturday I went to Chattanooga with my friend Nicholas. We went to Rock City, then to the Tennessee Aquarium. Very nice. I've been to both places before, but it's been a few years. I took plenty of pictures until my camera batteries gave out about two thirds of the way through the Aquarium. Ah, well.

On the way back, Nicholas decided that was the perfect time to tell me that he loves me. I was surprised to hear that, but I probably shouldn't have been. Sigh. I've often suspected that trying to hang out as friends is a very, very, very bad idea when one person wants to be more. I'm fighting the urge to be cowardly and write him a letter, trying to explain how I don't feel. I hope to be as honest as he has been with me, and tell him face to face that I'm just not looking for a relationship right now. I've settled in to my selfish single ways, and I like it. Plus, ever the cynic, I strongly suspect that he's in love with the idea of love, instead of being "in love" with me.

His birthday is Wednesday and I was planning to treat him to dinner, since he did the same for me on mine. However, now there's an elephant in the room. I feel I should set him straight the next time I see him, but how cruel would that be, to give someone The Speech on his birthday? As I said, I was surprised at his so-called confession of love because I've tried to maintain a friendly distance. We don't kiss - - we don't even hold hands. When I suggested hanging out as friends and seeing where things go, I meant see where things go over the course of many months. Sigh again. This is what I get for ignoring that voice in my head telling me that was a bad idea. I seriously want to hide from him, but I think I left my sunglasses in his car. Maybe I'll just buy another pair.


August 11, 2003
» still my beating heart

¹º

Saturday my "guy friend" told me he loves me. I really thought that was coming out of left field. I know he hasn't had much experience dating but if he's interpreting my friendly-distance actions in any way to mean that I feel more, he's more confused than I thought.

I admire him for telling how he feels, but if I were him, I'd take my cues from the other person. True, that can backfire and maybe you both wait for the other to make the first move. Still, since his little confession, I don't want to even be around him. There's an elephant in the room. I feel I should set him straight, but he confessed his fear of rejection. Hey, who DOESN'T fear that? Still, it would be wrong for me to lie and say that I feel more. That would make things worse.

He also shared that his parents have a less-than-perfect relationship. (Again, who doesn't?) He said that he was afraid of ending up like that. Great, so now besides confessing this deep love, he's shared too much about his own insecurities. I think he believes he loves me, but now I think he's just anxious to be loved. Heaven only knows why he's decided that I'm the one for him. I'm always mystified when guys are attracted to me because I don't see anything lovable in my actions or person. I think they must think I'm this sweet girl . . . that is SO wrong. Truth be known, I'd say I'm a pretty despicable person. Sure, I'm polite, friendly and charming - on a good day. But that's just a front. Inside, I'm all mixed up. One part of that is that I only seem to be attracted to men that I can't have. Seriously. If I can have the guy, I don't want him.

Plus, about my friend, so many things about him bug me. A lot. The main thing is that he tends to correct me about little things, and offers instructions on whatever. I know he's just trying to help but it makes me feel stupid, that he feels like he needs to offer poor dumb me help. Plus, sometimes his know-it-all tone is aggravating, particularly when he won't even consider whatever option I suggest.

So, as I said, now we're at this awkward point. I feel I should set him straight soon, but I don't know if I can cough up the words. Although I need to say them, I hate telling people what they don't want to hear. Still, the thought of kissing him almost repulses me. That's so mean to write, but it's true. There are many guys that I'm at least marginally attracted to, but he is not one of them. I wonder if that's how my former crushes see me: as a nice person but someone they aren't even remotely physically attracted to.

Yesterday he sent me an email where he'd wrote in his journal back in November (!!) that he was "longing to tell me how he feels." Tell me how HE THINKS he feels, anyway. He doesn't even know me! As I said, I'm despicable when it comes to relationships. Why do you think I don't have any close friends? I'm selfish and I don't like other people inconveniencing me. I feel like tell him some of the terrible things I've done, just to give him a clearer picture of this one he claims to love.


August 13, 2003
» baby, we can talk all night

¹º

Today is my guy friend's birthday and I'm taking him out to eat, since he did the same for me on mine. I was hoping my sister would be free to go with us, but she's closing at the store where she works. My mother is working until 6 this evening, so that's no help either.

The past two evenings, when I got home from work, he's been there. NO, that is far from a common occurence, and I was a little miffed on Monday. I was feeling that I just wanted to hide from him then BAM! He's right there. He'd mentioned that he wanted to come by and help us move a broken limb, but I'm sure he said that he planned to do that when I was there. I was a bit cool to him on Monday, then he called and we talked for a while about his little confession of "love" the other day. I expressed that I was overwhelmed and wonder how he can claim to love me when he doesn't really even know me. He had plenty to say about that - and all the while he's rattling off this talk about why we should be together, I'm thinking it's a bit ridiculous to even discuss it. I do believe that people can choose to be involved in a relationship despite their feelings, but that's just it. I don't want to be involved with him when I feel zero attraction.

All that talk and I didn't seem to make it to my other point which is that I honestly don't want to be involved in a relationship right now. I know a lot of people don't understand that, and if he doesn't believe me when I tell him, there's nothing more I can say. I'm very happy being by myself.

The other thing that I don't appreciate about his little confession is that I think it'll make me uncomfortable around him. I know I said we should hang out as friends and see where it goes, but his little speech makes it clear that's not what he's doing. I suppose that, feeling like he does, it's tough to hang out as friends, but I told him that was a big consideration of mine: is it fair to ask him to hang out and not be able to promise that I'll ever reciprocate his feelings? Obviously, it isn't fair and it definitely was a bad idea to try to hang out.

I also keep thinking about what he said months ago when he said he was giving up on us. He seemed to realize then that I don't feel like he does, and I remember being relieved that he seemed to understand. He said about my journals and my websites that I was building a museum to myself - then I learn that he has a journal, too! Excuse me?! He said that perhaps I'm lazy as a lover, which I really take issue with because if I actually loved him I would certainly NOT be lazy about it. But, I let most of those things go because he was obviously hurt at learning that we weren't going to work out.

That day also, he mentioned how he'd done things to show that he cared, but I hadn't done anything like that. Inside, I took issue with that too, because I saw his constantly trying to hang around and give me things as an attempt on his part to force a relationship between us.

I remember the day he called to ask me out - I'd been outside at school and I'd seen his car drive by. I thought, "Oh, I guess he's back in town," but didn't think more of it. Then he called that night and I mentioned seeing him - he said that he was unintentionally stalking me. I'm sure he meant it as a joke but I didn't think it was even a little funny. When we went out, we met at the restaurant. When we parted ways, as I turned onto my street to go home, someone at the gas station on the corner was flashing his lights at me. It was the middle of the night, and I didn't think my friend could've got there so fast so I drove on. Then he followed me home, saying that he'd forgot to give me the CD he mentioned wanting to loan to me. I'm suspcious my nature and that is something I still think of as a red flag. I wanted to meet him at the restaurant specifically because I did not want him to see where I lived, but thanks to his little trick, he knew. Later he kept showing up at school - once I even saw him drive by as I was waiting for my class to start. He must have been waiting for me in the back parking lot and I parked in the side lot that day.

Happily he's chilled out much since then, but this showing up business reminds me of that. He said that he has the gifts of giving and service, but perhaps that's not how I feel most loved. No, it most certainly isn't! I do stuff for myself, and I certainly don't need some trinket as a sign of someone's affection.

Well, I've rambled on and said very little. The bottom line is that I need to tell him *soon* that I don't want a relationship right now.


August 13, 2003

ºº

Today is my friend Brian's birthday and I'm planning to take him out to eat, since he did that for me on my last b-day. However, given his recent "confession" of love for me, I really don't think it's a good idea. See, we've been "hanging out as friends" until Saturday, when he felt compelled to tell me that he loves me. I was overwhelmed, and now I seriously want to just hide from him.

I was determined not to dwell on it, and not make a mountain of a molehill. Then he tells me a few minutes ago that he's looking forward to spending time with me. Oh, brother.

One of my guy on-line friends told me that maybe trying to hang out with Brian as friends is a bad idea because guys can be blind when it comes to picking up on clues that the object of their desire isn't interested. Apparently he was so beyond right. I've been trying to maintain a friendly distance from Brian; we never kiss or hold hands or anything like that. I mean, that's why it's called hanging out AS FRIENDS. Perhaps some people kiss and hold hands with their friends but I don't.

I need to make it clear to him that I'm not interested in a relationship right now. I also want to tell him that since I know that is what he wants, I think we should cut back on hanging out. But I don't plan to do that today, since it's his birthday. I'll be the same as always - maintaining a respectable distance. However, if he tries to hold my hand . . . it could get ugly.


August 14, 2003

ºº

I'm sure you're all wondering how it went - lol - so I'm here with my report.

We did meet yesterday evening so I could treat him to dinner for his birthday. He picked a lovely Chinese Buffet when had tons of tasty vegetarian dishes. Then we went to walk at a nearby pond, casually chatting and watching turtles in the pond. As we were about to part ways, he touched my arm and I'm sure I bristled because he could tell that made me uncomfortable. Yes it did, to say the very least. He admitted that he wanted to kiss me. (Again, how does he consider that hanging out as friends?!) Then of course, he proceeded to talk about feelings again and I managed to say that I honestly don't see myself in a relationship right now. I was in some bad relationships and now I'm truly not looking for anyone. For some unknown reason, he felt compelled to go on (!) and [talk more]. What the ...?! I didn't respond to that and thankfully we parted ways soon after but D*MN! That really blew my mind!

I don't mean to judge him - I'm certainly not perfect - but hearing that disappoints me a little. Heck, I remember thinking that if he knew some of the things I'd done, that *he'd* be disappointed in me. Again, I'm not judging but I guess I had him on a bit of a pedestal. Believe me though, I would not have asked him to confirm my assumption.

I wonder if he is sharing all of this in the hopes that I'll share some about myself. I admit that I don't talk much: I feel especially goofy when trying to have a serious conversation with him. That's probably due to his habit of questioning things I say. I know he just tries to fully understand what I'm saying, but his questions are nerve-wracking. So I usually just clam up, limiting my talk to brief responses to his questions and casual chatter. He'd learn so much more about me if he'd write me more.


August 19, 2003
» back to school, away from him

¹º

I know I keep rambling about my guy friend, and I hate that, I really do. It bothers me that I'm nice to him to his face, but then I am SO annoyed by some of the things he does. For example, yesterday, he entered the office at 12:02 and I smiled and said my standard greeting, "Good morning." Immediately, he politely asks, "Oh, is it still morning?" Irked, but hopefully hiding it, I retort, "It is somewhere in the world." A bit later, he asked when my classes will begin next week, and I answered that they'll start on Monday. He replies, "Don't they usually start on Wednesday?" Okay, he JUST asked me and I answered - his challenging my answer made me so angry I could not see straight for a minute. He does that ALL the time and it annoys the living stuffing out of me! I replied tersely, "Not this time." I mean, heck, why would I know when classes start? I'm just the one that will be taking the classes! GRRR!

Last night I was hoping that some things I do bug him that much. Isn't that a fine, loving attitude to have? Yeah, I'm being sarcastic against myself. He's also extremely neat and orderly about things. That doesn't bug me . . . but, yeah, well maybe it does a bit. When he was driving us on our recent road trip, I offered him a cracker; when he ate it, he did so holding a tissue about six inches under it with his other hand and driving with his knees. (And I weird to think that's a bit over-the-top?) Then I felt bad for eating my cracker without regard for the crumbs, the same way I do in my own car; he said, "It really doesn't bother me that you're eating in my car." Or something to that effect. Yeah, right. I bet it does.

Months ago, he asked me to read a book by Dr. James Dobson titled "Love Must Be Tough." It's a good book, but it's largely directed at married people who are trying to salvage a relationship after their spouse has cheated. I didn't read all of it, but skimmed the chapters that my friend suggested. The book's basic advice - which even applies to single people - is to not be clingy to the one you're interested in. Particularly if they seem to grow disinterested. The worst thing you can do is to overwhelm the other party with profuse confessions of love, begging them not to leave, etc. My friend admits that he isn't following the book's advice by telling me how he cares for me, but he still keeps on talking, telling me way too much. And it's having the exact effect that the book predicts: I want to run away from him at top speed.

When I suggested that he and I hang out as friends - like I wanted, with no pressure for the relationship to grow - I really thought that my feelings for him would grow. But now, he's said way too much. I know that he hasn't been hanging out, content with being my friend. He's been pining away to tell me how he thinks he feels. I need to tell him that I don't feel comfortable hanging out with him at this point. I hope I can be tactfully honest. Given the way I complain about him here and to my sister, I've been dishonest to have hung out with him as I have. When I talk to him, I usually have a good time. (No, *everything* about him does not get on my nerves.) I don't feel attracted to him; I just feel a companionship.

He knows what classes I have scheduled, so he is probably already planning when we're free to hang out. There aren't many classes but they're spread out of four days of the week. One of them is basically a project, so if I wimp out on telling him that I don't want to hang out, I can hide behind that taking up much of my time. Plus, two of the classes run late in the day, so I can't spend time with him on those days. Then, of course, the other days of the week will be spent catching up on other stuff.

If he asks me out for later this week, I plan to say that's probably not a good idea. That would be a perfect time to say my bit about not feeling comfortable at this point. I pray that I can be honest with him. It's so vain of me to act like I'm doing him a favor by not rejecting him or something. If he wasn't wasting his time with me, he might could find someone that likes him back.


August 19, 2003
» It's what they call a "vicious cycle"

º³

My Summer of Freedom is almost over. Sigh. I've had a great time being free from homework, projects, cramming for tests, etc. but now it's time to . . . return to all of that. Sigh again. Since this semester should be my next to the last one, hopefully I can muster up some enthusiasm. I'm so paranoid that I've missed a class I need, and that when next May rolls around "they" will tell me I can't graduate. I plan to get a list of the required classes - soon - and check off what I've taken. Theoretically, my advisor should have all that taken care of, but as I've mentioned before, he's pretty worthless. Knowing he thinks my schedule is okay does not help me sleep better at night; I want to check it out for myself.

The boss asked me yesterday if I plan to stay with the company through this semester. Um, yes? That would be why I informed him of the hours I plan to work around my classes. I'm still torn about remaining with the company in January, though. I'd love to resign and just concentrate on my schoolwork, but if I remain with the company I think I have a better chance of getting a loan and therefore, a house, after I graduate. If I leave, I also lose the benefits that I have, such as health insurance, dental insurance, paid holidays, etc. I had thought that my last semester would be extremely busy, but I can currently think of only one class that I need along with the second part of the Senior Design Project. (Again, I've got to check to be sure that's right.)

In website news, I'm in a frenzy this week trying to accomplish some last minute projects. I've only got about six weeks to catch up on the Angel reviews before the new season starts - and I have seven episodes to go. Yikes! I also want to create a new, somewhat-okay-looking layout for the MacGyver site, because I'm not pleased with the one that's there now.

Wow, this is boring. (But if you regularly read my journal, you're probably not surprised by that.) Still, I wanted to give you all a heads-up of my general plans.

Speaking of general plans, I seriously intend to stop seeing my friend Nicholas. I thought we were hanging out as friends, casually seeing what - if anything - would develop between us. But given all he's said lately, I know that is not what he's been doing. He's said too much about what he thinks he feels and I'm very uncomfortable at the thought of spending any more time alone with him. I have a feeling he'll ask if I want to get together later this week, since he knows that I'll be starting classes next week. I hope I can honestly tell him that I don't want to hang out with him for a while, but I'll probably wimp out and give him a hundred excuses of things that I need to do. If I just say, "I have some things I need to take care of," I know he'll reply with, "Like what?" I honestly can't think of something that he'd buy at this point, but just the fact that I'm trying to get out of it should speak volumes. Still he'll persist in trying to talk me into it, then my stubborn side kicks in and I become determined not to give in. Yet, I can't bring myself to use some blatantly obvious excuse like, "I'm planning to read both of my text books completely through and outline the first half of each book so I'll be prepared for class," or the classic, "I have to help my mother watch television." :snickers then feels bad:

He knows about this site after doing a bit of snooping, but he claims that he doesn't visit it since I asked him not to. I almost wish he would visit it; that would save me the trouble of having to tell him how I don't feel. I keep wanting to send an email to that effect, but no. I want to be as honest as he's been with me and pay him the respect of telling him to his face, as kindly as I possibly can.


August 20, 2003

º²

I had a plan for this evening: get the pictures of my trips to Rock City and to the Tennessee Aquarium ready and post them. Well, they're ready but they're not yet posted because neloo.com is down again. Sigh. It's not really a surprise, since the 'Net has been a bit wonky the last day or two. Hopefully this outage in only temporary. :crosses fingers:

In other news, my vacation (two weeks ago) was quite lovely. The boss didn't call and ask me where anything was, which really surprised me. Next Monday, I start back to college. Before life gets too hectic, I plan to go Monday afternoon and watch Pirates of the Caribbean again.

Great! I checked again and was able to post the new pictures; hopefully the site will still be up if any of my visitors want to see the pics . . .


August 21, 2003
» Friday, where are you?!

¹º

My boss .... I just don't know how to complete that sentence to fully express how furious he makes me sometimes. Just now, for example, he was asking about some travel expense reports from one of our employees. I reply that I'm sure we've paid her for all of her previous ones, or she would have mentioned. He still persists in asking me to find the reports; well, they're not with the others in my file, but that certainly doesn't mean they haven't been paid. He, trying to be a smartass, says, "Oh, they disappeared?" I said that perhaps they are in his office and he insists they're not, but he goes to look. He returns a bit later, admitting he did have one of them. NO?! Perfect you?! Well, I'm sure it's somehow MY fault that they were in your office. See, I'm not saying that I'm perfect and never lose things, but he damn sure isn't perfect either, and his constant "I'm right - it's your fault" attitude makes me CRAZY!

Another example: earlier this week, he sees that one of our employees has made a mistake on his timesheet, so the boss says, "Anne, you need to check those timesheets closely." Why is it MY FAULT that frickin' ENGINEERS can't get their timesheets right?! One guy was messing his up every week for several weeks in a row. He's a computer genius and I can't believe he's having this much trouble with filling out a simple form. I'm starting to think he just wants to talk to me ... or perhaps he's secretly trying to drive me insane.

My sister is having a similar problem at the store where she works. The people at the customer service desks have a teensy bit of power, yet you'd think they were Supreme Lord Emperor of Store 57. My sister recently started cashiering and one of them told her - in a snide, know-it-all way - that she'd been watching and my sister's been making a bunch of mistakes. That might be so, but how is a belligerant statement like that supposed to encourage her to do better? All something like that does is create a hostile work environment, not to mention probably make my sister nervous and thus even more prone to messing up. It's a poor excuse for a manager that has to resort to sarcasm and veiled threats to try to "motivate" people.

GRRRR! After that bit about the expense reports, I *almost* said that perhaps I should leave and let someone more perfect take over this job. PRAISE THE LORD that the boss is *supposed* to be off tomorrow.

My other boss, boss #1's wife, is supposed to return soon, and I honestly dread it. She's been out of town since the start of the year, and as far as I'm concerned, she can just stay gone. Of the two of them, he's actually the one that deals with people better, and on a bad day he leaves me swearing under my breath, vowing to quit this job in January. She is just so ... IMPOSSIBLE! She *always* has to have the last word, and most of the time I'm positive she just does that to reinforce that she's the boss and I'm the lowly secretary. Plus, she is always quick to dismiss any answer I give, right after she asks me a question - he does that too, and it always makes me wonder WHY they asked in the first place! GRRRR!!!

Proving what a lousy manager she is, she often blatantly makes up reasons for things she says. As she's talking, I'm often dumbfounded by the ridiculousness of it. Once when we had our accountant in updating the files, the boss called me and the other employee in so the accountant could tell us how important filling out timesheets is. As the accountant said that, the boss stood there looking *so* smug, I honestly thought she'd burst. Meanwhile I'm wondering what all that's about, since neither of us "worker bees" had disputed the importance of time-keeping. :rollseye: Then the boss tells the accountant with a smug little laugh, "They don't believe it when I tell them ..."

That same visit, the accountant mentioned that some employees recorded their time by the tenth of the hour, and the boss replied, "Oh, those engineers. You know how they are." When I started work with them, I was told - by the bosses - to record my time that way, to the tenth of the hour. So WHY did she feel like denying it to the accountant? It's no big deal, for Pete's sake.

That's another thing about Mrs. Boss - she will contradict herself in the same breath. I mean, she will say one thing, and then in the *very* next sentence, say the exact opposite thing. And Mr. Boss, frequently after I tell him something, he'll say in a slightly skeptical tone, "Oh, really..." To me, that is beyond redundant - it could even be construed as challenging what I said. I always feel like responding, "No, not REALLY - I'm just making this stuff up. ISN'T THAT FUNNY?!" . . . I need to stop. I'm already worked up. (Griping about these things is SUCH a bad idea!) Thank goodness it's almost time to go - and tomorrow is Friday.


August 27, 2003
» no harm in looking

º³

School started back this week; I've been to each of my classes once and I'm already feeling overwhelmed. I'm pretty sure it's mostly laziness though. This semester should be a boatload of work, but hopefully it'll be good too. Two days a week, I'll only work half a day - I'm going to love that, I can tell.

I planned to wear makeup for the first two days, but after wearing it both days of the weekend, my left eye turned a bit red. When did my eyes get so sensitive? I replace my eye makeup frequently, but it doesn't seem to matter: if I wear makeup regularly my left eye freaks out. I reasoned that since I wouldn't be able to "make up" the whole time, it's probably better not to start out with it on. If I wear it then stop, I'll look even more plain by comparison. To compensate, I'm trying to wear some of my best-looking outfits.

Since I'm there, looking ultra-plain, of course one of the guys that I think is cute is in all three of my classes. I first saw him last fall in one of my classes and since then I often see him around school, but somehow I've missed hearing his name until this week. Then I learn, to my horror, that it's the same name as the annoying/false HR guy at work. Hmmm, I wonder what his middle name is . . . Anyway, I also overheard him tell another guy his age and he's about five years younger than I am. Plus, before class yesterday his phone rang and as he was walking out of the room he told the person, "Yeah, I left it on the counter . . ." He's not wearing a ring, but I figure he was talking to his girlfriend, because that's just the way my life goes. Ah, well. I still think he's attractive. He's got shoulder-length curly-ish light brown hair that's lightened by the sun, and his shoulders - oh, my! Yes, those are good shoulders to have. :dreamy smile:

No, I didn't enter the engineering field because of the high male to female ratio of the classes - that's just one of the really nice perks. *g* Most of the time, I don't even waste my time looking at the guys, because there are very few that I could/would actually date. Either they're too young, or they've got girlfriends or wives, or they're conceited jerks or sometimes all three apply. Even if I knew the guy was available, I wouldn't actually be able to say anything coherent. I'd just glance at him every now and again, hoping he could see the interest in my eyes. More than likely, he'd perceive that I'm stuck-up: I'm really not, I'm just shy! That's too bad too, because usually it's my personality that attracts guys to me. Of course, usually it attracts people that I don't want, but that's another whine for another time.


August 29, 2003
» Feelin' the same way

¹º

"Feelin' the same way all over again
Singin' the same lines all over again
No matter how much I pretend ..."
--Norah Jones

I'm feeling pretty mellow today - and why not? I'm at work, but the boss has taken the day off, so it's rather quiet. The sun is shining - mostly - and I'm listening to Norah Jones' CD, which has been loaned to me by my friend.

Yes, that would be the friend who likes me as more than that. We haven't spoken much lately, but that gives me strength. I really think I'll be able to tell him how I, um, don't feel. The next time he asks about getting together, I'll say that I'm pretty busy these days, and I'll add lightly, "Plus there's the whole overwhelmed-by-your-confessions slash hiding-from-you thing." That'll probably segue into a (hopefully) brief discussion of our feelings, where I plan to say as kindly as possible that I don't reciprocate his feelings, and since I know how he feels I'm uncomfortable hanging out with him at this point. That will probably hurt his feelings, but I can't believe it'll come as a complete surprise to him.

A few weeks ago I heard the song "Baby, Don't You Break My Heart Slow" - I remember Vonda Shepherd singing that on 'Ally McBeal.' It's a great song, and so true. The basic idea is: don't lead people on if you're not interested in them. It's best to *clearly* let them know so they can move on. That's what I want for my friend: some woman would love to have him doting on her like that. But not me.

In other news, my sister and I are going to a concert tonight: some Christian singers are appearing at a local church. I think it'll be a good concert, but I hope it doesn't last too late. I've had a busy week and I'm looking forward to enjoying the holiday weekend.

N A V I G A T E

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