Wow... I haven't posted anything here in over a month... when is the last time THAT's happened? Been awhile... Christ, even Monk has posted within that time frame.
Random thoughts on the passing scene...
What a difference a month makes. Last month at this time, I had just wrapped up a really, really nice weekend visit with Ana, that included the celebration of her oldest son's 17th birthday. After a marathon drive from Cruces back to Albuquerque, I then flew out to Atlanta for the National Business Aviation Association conference, as well as to spend some time visiting my friends Pete and Toni. Life was good.
And then the tailspin started. An abortive attempt to kick off Aero-TV that, suffice to say, ended extraordinarily badly (the exact details of which I won't get into here) was just the start. The only good thing to come out of Atlanta was that I was able to spend some time visiting my old friends (I stayed at Pete's place, a side benefit of which was the chance to accumulate some time in his new, admittedly midlife-crisis-mobile -- a new Honda S2000 roadster.)
I can't be clear enough on this... that was the only good thing.
Following a hellish flight back to Albuquerque -- saddled in the next-to-last row of a Delta Air Lines MD-88, with a spectacular view of the starboard engine nacelle and nothing else (my ears rang for two days afterwards) -- I was at least looking forward to settling back into my life here. Ana was scheduled to come up to Albuquerque to have her son's wisdom teeth pulled, and while it wasn't a "fun visit" we figured we'd at least be able to spend some time together.
Well, we did... but something was clearly up, and it weighed on our times together like an anvil.
As it turns out, her youngest son (she has two) is having problems in school... major problems, that Ana was not aware of until his teachers starting calling. In the blink of an eye, her focus turned from "I have the coolest, sweetest boyfriend ever" to "my son needs help." Like a good Mom does, her son's issues took front-and-center, with little room left for me.
And, by-the-numbers, I'm OK with that, really. She has done a fantastic job raising two growing boys, almost completely by herself, over the past 10 years. Long before our feelings for each other turned romantic, I admired the hell out of her for this fact. To whine that she's not spending enough time with me during this time would be an extremely self-centered, prickish thing to do. But I would be lying if I said I'm not bugged a lot by the fact that, over the past 30 days, I've pretty much been pushed out of her life.
This isn't the first time something like this has happened; her sense of obligation to being a mom, first and foremost, was the biggest reason why we didn't get more seriously involved back in 2005 (the distance between Las Cruces and Dallas also came into play.) She literally cancelled a trip to visit me in Dallas -- while standing in the airport -- because she felt too guilty.
I told myself there was a chance stuff like this would happen. I entered into this with eyes wide open, I know. Hell, she warned me of as much, as we sat outside in her backyard on a clear August night, watching the Perseids shower and talking of our respective futures, and how they might intertwine. I just didn't think this would happen so soon.
"This isn't fair to you, me spending all my time doing this," she's told me repeatedly. Well, she's right, it's not. But we seldom get to determine what's fair.
For now, though, it would be misleading to say we're "dating."
Lo, if that were the only drama in my life, things would still be OK. And before I go any further, let me say the single most important thing -- my health -- continues as more-or-less normal. My checkup last week went fine, as Dr. Rabinowitz ("Ian") gave me a quick once over, glanced at my bloodwork, and pronounced me good to go, complete with another "well-baby" affirmation. I'll have another CT in December, ahead of my next visit... and assuming all looks OK from that, I'll go on checkups every four months, instead of every two.
Of course, that came as a relief, although it took another day or two for my nerves to calm down... probably because of having other things on my mind. I mentioned the job before. That's another source of aggravation.
- Ennui (noun): a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest; the feeling of being bored by something tedious
My boss knows this, and sympathizes. We're hiring on more people to cover the weekend, and to spot me through the week. I don't know if those things will happen in time, though, before I throw a keyboard through my third-floor window. I don't remember being this stressed out about a job since going back to some of the darkest days in the warehouse at DMC.
I rarely stay at a job longer than two years. That hasn't been by design, it's just how things have usually worked out with me. My two-year anniversary of working full-time for ANN is coming up November 1. I'm trying not to read anything into that.
Let's see, what else... in an odd bit of happenstance, my football team (the Rams, sigh) and my friend Lee's team (the Dolphins, double sigh) are the only winless teams left in the NFL. It takes a big man to stand by an 0-7 team.
I dreamed the other night I was taking skydiving lessons. This is something I've expressed interest in doing before, but have chickened out on before coming anywhere close to standing in the doorway of a Cessna 182 at 6,000 feet AGL. Give me metal wings over fabric and straps any day.
In the dream, though... I loved skydiving. I loved it so much, that feeling was still with me when I woke up, and it stayed with me for awhile after that. It was enough to keep me from remembering that, wait, falling dreams are supposed to mean you're going to die soon.
This weekend, I came across the phone number for the Automated Terminal Information System (ATIS) recording at Addison Airport. I've called it a dozen times since then, listening to the wind direction and active runway information, recorded by the same controllers I used to listen to while sitting for hours on end at ADS, watching planes.
Sigh. I've said it before... of all that I miss about Dallas, and there's a lot, I miss having an airport just down the road the most. You can still talk to friends via email, phone, et al. I miss Addison. It was the closest thing to an inspiration point I've ever experienced.
I have to drive 30 minutes -- duking it out with the sorriest idiots Albuquerque streets have to offer -- to watch planes at the Sunport. It's nowhere close to the same, a bastardization of the real thing.
Fortunately, at least I still have my mountains, visible right outside my windows. It's getting too cold to sit outside and watch as they turn pink every night... which they still do, right on cue.
It's still enough. Not to say I wouldn't appreciate something -- ANYTHING, take your pick -- shaking out right at this point, though.