Nice evening, not too hot, not too bright. Hit with the 9 iron for a while, switched to the 6 iron. got very consistent very quickly. Before long, I was knocking them out about 125 yds, straight as an arrow. with a nice loft. If I screwed a shot up, I almost always knew why. The hardest part was keeping my shoulders level. I had nice clubhead speed, and when I connected right, I knew it.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
I am tired. Last night I was ready to shut the TV off and grab some Zs when I happened on to "Thank You For Not Smoking". Two minutes, and I ended up watching to the end. It's what I call a trainwreck movie. You don't like the characters, yet you just can't stop watching, same as a train wreck.
Got up by 8, went to the South Hill Wal-Mart, to get Mrs. BiW's Oil Changed. Bought the sheet sander that Dick said I needed. Came home, put laundry in the wash, sanded the spackle, applied the super-lightweight spackle, took the seats out of the van, took a bunch of stuff from the garage to the Goodwill. Stopped by the other house, can't see where Mom made any progress moving out ...ggggrrrrrrrrrr. Came home, swithced the laundry, went to McClendon's, bought 12 yards of beauty bark, came home, trimmed, and mowed the yard, finished the weeding, and put the beauty bark down. I could use another 4 to 6 yards, but it'll do for now. Then I got out the power washer, cleaned the sidewalk, which was really bad, and half the driveway, which wasn't much better, then took apart a bunch of the cheapo furniture that had been in the garage, showered, went to my in-laws, got their mail, then came home, cooked a steak and my last twice-baked potato, washed it down with a Hornsby's, and I will shortly do the laundry (Folding, Ironing, Putting it away, vacuum, and maybe clean the bathroom so she will just relax when she gets home tomorrow afternoon. Or not. Any way, the pix should speak for themselves.
Friday, July 20, 2007
He sat next to the open patio door, listening to the gentle rain fall from the grey skies. He missed the thunderstorms in the midwest. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't accurately describe the experience to people who had lived in this state their entire lives. He remained convinced that nothing demonstrated the sheer power of nature more effectively than a good, house-shaking, window-rattling thunderstorm. From the black and threatening clouds, the wind that forced decades-old trees to bow before it, to the occaissional, unatural stillness and errie green skies that preceeded the tornados that such storms sometimes spawned, Washington simply had nothing to compare to it. When the infrequent thunderstorm did come through, its tame nature and distant thunder seemed to be a pale immitation of the real thing, an ersatz show of power, yet it was more than enough to frighten the natives.
Nevertheless, he enjoyed the tranquilizing effect that the soft, light rain was having on him. In the neighboring trees, he heard a night bird trilling, and he sat silently as the wind blew up around him, cloaking him in the scent of the wet earth.
He considered how much had happened in the last month and a half. It still seemed strange to him that he could feel something other than anger and irritation. It was stranger still that he frequently did. Of course, it had been so long, that even though he was feeling things again, it did mean that he knew exactly what he was feeling. The hardest thing for him was the clarity. He really wasn't prepared for the abilty to understand some much of what was going on around him, or how much he was actually responsible for it. Even though he had faith that it would, with time and work, all turn out better in the long run, that didn't stop the niggling little doubts from popping up like daisies in the field of his days as they streched out before him. But like any nuisance, they faded. He smiled. A miracle in itself.
He took another pull on the beer. The craft brews of the Northwest were pretty good, but there were times, he would surrender a testicle for an icy Molson.
He thought about how nice it would be to just go to the ocean. The roar of the waves crashing into the shore were a sound he never tired of. He shivered a little as the sun sank lower into the horizon, somewhere behind the clouds. Soon he'd have to go into the empty house. He knew it was temporary. She and the kids would return in just a few days, and he knew that she actually wanted to come home. That didn't make the evenings any easier. They never were when she was gone. Maybe he'd listen to the stereo for a while. The music kept awakening things in him that he thought long dead. He sighed, got up, and went back inside to meet with himself for a while.
Tried to go to the Spanaway Wal-Mart and get Mrs. BiW an oil change for her car before she comes back. They're remodeling. The Oil and Lube Center was closed. Stopped at the Albertsons, got salad shrimp, cukes, vine tomatoes, romaine lettuce, black olives, blue cheese and Ken's Greek Salad Dressing. Oh, and a six pack of the new Hornsby's Crisp Apple Hard Cider. I may be alone here tonight, but I had a good dinner.
He shifted uncomfortably in his chair as the pastor wound up his sermon. It had been a long day already. He and children left the house ten minutes before the start of church. He had waited, knowing that she wasn't going to arrive before they left. Not after the argument they had the prior evening, and the distant looks betraying an unmistakable anger that he could no longer identify with. When she left the house to go to her friend's, it had a feeling of permanence that felt like a spear through his spirit.
Nevertheless, he awoke, fed and dressed the children, and came to church. He knew the name of the demon plaguing him for the last decade, finally. He wasn't afraid to say it out loud and call him out. He had done that earlier in the service, and now felt as if a great weight was released from his soul. It didn't make it any easier to listen to the sermon, which seemed to be an encyclopedic litany of the many ways he had failed, as husband, father, and man, but at the same time, he realized that knowing was half the battle, and he could do things correctly moving forward.
He heard the buzzing of his phone in the bag before him, which had been set to vibrate. He leaned forward and seruptiously opened the new text message. It was from her. Three simple words. "I am home."
He quietly shut the phone, and put it back into his bag. He couldn't help wondering who would be greeting them when they came home. The wife and mother, or the woman who acted like an angry stranger. He pondered this as he rose, and bowed his head for the closing prayer.
His phone buzzed against his side as they pulled into the driveway. The kids, seeing the other car in the driveway, couldn't wait to get out of the car, run through the garage, and bound up the steps and into the house. When he was half way up the first flight of stairs, he could feel that something was different. He could hear her, hugging the children, and talking to them about their morning. As he turned on the landing, he looked up, to find her looking down at him. He was surprised to find that it was a soft look, as if colored by affection not displayed in some time. When he reached the top of the stairs, she stepped forward, into his arms, and hugged him tightly. He looked down, she reached up, and before he could say anything, her lips pressed hard against his, as she cradled the back of his head in her hand, her fingers running through his short, bristle-like hair. When it was done, they both drew back, and regarded each other. She said, in a quiet voice, "I want to come home."
Thursday, July 19, 2007
OK, so I bit off more than I could handle in one evening. The two smaller front beds are weeded and ready for beauty bark. I'll finish the other one tomorrow. After all, its gonna rain again. (This is the Puget Sound, you know.)
Oh, and the spackle I put in the was last night started to crack. Any ideas? (Dick, that means you.)
Got a call from Mrs. BiW this morning. Apparently, her mother has ratcheted her hen pecking up about five notches, and Mrs. BiW is squarely in her sights. Add this to a less than pleasant visit to her grandmother, who isn't doing well, and fatigue, well...she was pretty upset. The upside is that her sister is doing well and the boys are having fun playing with their cousins. In retrospect, I should have done all that I could to fly back with her and the boys, if only to be a shield for some of the inevitable unpleasantness. I know that her Mom is stressed, spending the week caring for a sister who is dying from the same awful disease that took her father, and her mother, who is fighting a losing battle with cancer, and had a penchant for being unpleasant on her good days. (But seriously, Mrs. BiW lived with her for years, I came to love the mean old lady too. I know how much it upsets her to see her like this.) Her Dad is upset because her Mom is upset, and therefore, the criticism, and the sensitivity to it both go up tremendously. She texted me later to say she was better, but I think this is going to be a very rough trip for her. I'll be busy when they fly back on Sunday trying to get her relaxed before the big meeting on Monday.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Got a nap, went to the golf lesson. Used the nine iron. Worked on technique. Wasn't hitting too bad by the end of the session, but I know I'll be sore tomorrow.
Came home, fixed Heir No. One's dresser drawers. The nails that held the bottom of the drawer in place and prevented them from moving around fell out, so the bottom would slide, creating a gap. A few nails later, and everything is groovy again.
Then on to the hole in the wall. I stuffed it full with paper towel, then applied spackle. Once it all firms up, I'll sand it and then that will be taken care of.
Dropped Mrs. BiW and the heirs off at the airport early this morning. I may take a nap this afternoon. 4:30 am wake-ups suck.
Work today, into the evening, golf lesson, then home to two smaller projects at the house: fix the drawers on heir no. one's dresser, and patch a hole in the wall on the staircase. No real excitment other than the brief eyeful of the gorgeous Mrs. BiW this morning as she dressed and the text message she sent after I dropped her and the boys off and was almost to work.
I have a lot of projects to tackle in the next 4 days, and not enough time to do them.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Sorry for the light blogging. It was a very busy weekend, and I have been struggling to help Mrs. BiW and the heirs to prepare for their upcoming trip. I'll post more later tomorrow, after things slow down a tick, and I have my first golf lesson.
Friday, July 13, 2007
I may have some more narratives like the one below. I'm actually feeling inspired for the first time in a very long time, which lead to me writing the best thing I have written in over a decade the other night, and frankly, there is much more where that came from. I pretty much decided that I'll write a novel, and I'll test fly a few portions here from time to time, just for some feed back on how they read.
Feedback would be appreciated; offers to buy copies of the completed work are encouraged.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
He stood at the corner, as the beeping crosswalk droned on, telling him that it was not safe to cross the street yet. He reached around and tapped the button again. A robotic voice interrupted the beep and said "Wait."
Even with the dark sunglasses, he found himself squinting in the early evening sun, which glowed overhead in a cloudless sky. While he was not sweating yet, a fact which surprised him given the fact that it was 92 degrees and he had already walked a block to the corner, he felt the familiar dampness and tingle of beads of perspiration start to form underneath his arms.
The beeping had stopped, replaced by the robotic voice, stating, "Auburn Way North, Crosswalk is Open..."
As he stepped off the curb, a hot wind washed over his body, making him feel as if he were naked and had just stepped into a hot shower, despite the fact that he was still wearing his dress slacks, shirt, and tie that he had put on in the morning, before getting the boys off to their Grandparents and gently carressing his wife's half-dressed, slumbering form with the lightest of touches for nearly twenty minutes before she awoke to see the time. The memory of the deep, low moans the touches elicted from her sleeping body and the slight smile on her lips as she saw the clock, but could not bring herself to be angry with him was echoed in the smile that came to his own countenance. The wind stopped and he again felt the oppressive weight of the sun pressing down on him as he crossed the street on the way to get the Claratin she had called and asked him to pick up before their date that night.
He softly laughed as he marveled at the extraordinary stress the two seemed to cause each other, yet he knew, deep in his heart, there was a smoldering ember of affection that she harbored still, that with time, effort, and great care, could be fanned once more into a roaring conflugration. This mated to the realization that he would do anything for her in his power that she asked him to do. These paired thoughts stopped all other ones from racing through his head, as he continued on his way to the store, his shoes clicking in a moderate, even rhythym on the sidewalk below his feet.
Posted by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur at 5:36 PM
I've been pondering James chapter 1 a lot in recent weeks. The idea that you should rejoice in trials and temptations for the opportunity to grow spiritually is very difficult to embrace when you are actually in the thick of it. Don't get me wrong. I'm in a much different place today then I was a month ago, and yes it is a better place, (and no I didn't take a Xanex, today, Dick.) where I can see things I didn't before, understand a lot more, but I am still confounded by the woman in my life.
I'm gonna get mushy here, so bear with me.
My wife has the brightest spirit I know. She's has always had this bright light shining from inside here, and it damn near blinded me when I first really saw her. Years of me not reconginzing and dealing with the demons that have haunted me made me do everything but treat her right. That kind of damage takes its toll. A month ago, I was asked to leave my home. I refused. At the same time, I found my way to a particularly insightful tome, partook of it, and let God pick me up by the scruff of my neck, smack me around a few times with a clue bat, and say "Do I have your attention now, Son? Good. Let's talk for a while." And we have. And I have been studying, and talking with my wife, having real conersations. Some good, some not so good, some downright discouraging. She isn't asking me to leave anymore. I think the best way to describe her current feelings, based on a lot of what has come out in our conversations is hurt, angry, and conflicted. I pray with her daily. I pray for her daily. We've had some fun moments. We've had some nice moments. We've had some wonderful moments, and we've had some very HARD moments lately. I have heard her say some things that make me wish that speeding bus I imagine behind me would just run me over. But the difference is that I don't avoid those confrontations any longer. I don't want to. I realize now that no matter how painful it might be to talk to her about some of these things, and believe me, painful is simply a generic term to get through this sentance, I would rather be having this pain, gutting it out with her, taking ownership of this mess I helped to make, and rebuilding this marriage, brick by back-breaking brick, than to be without her. I know God brought us together. She's told me (recently) that she believes the same. It can't be just to leave behind two very wounded people, and two boys who would never really recover from what that would do to them. And so I fight. So I change. So I seek understanding, and engage, rather than withdraw when faced with conflict. It isn't easy. My trip to the doctor yesterday confirmed this. Don't even ask about my blood pressure. This is the biggest battle of my life, and I am working on at least five different things every day. Anxiety is the least of my troubles. But she is worth it. My eyes have been opened to the possibilities, and I know now that we can be so much more---live out loud, and that is why I don't just get up everyday, but I catch myself smiling, for no apparent reason at all. I guess it is a vote of confidence that I can handle it, straight from the guy upstairs. In weaker moments, I think a little less confidence would be nice. But I know better.
Sorry if that is too Al Gore for you, Dick. It is the truth, and it is very much on my mind. Even when I sleep.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Doc says the chest pains are stress related, but not a heart attack, or angina. He thinks anxiety attacks. Prescribed Xanax. The good news is I got to come home and take a nap, and I have apparently lost about 20 lbs since March. Yeah, me. I think.
Mrs. BiW drove me to the doctor and tofill the script, and home. she seems genuinely concerned. Her words this morning when we were talking aon the phone and it happened again? "BiW, you're scaring me."
Once I get Mom moved out of the house she hasn't been paying me rent for in months, that will reduce a lot of stress for me right there.
Friday, July 06, 2007
Don't ask me why. I just seem to have a lot of nervous energy today. The walk at lunch helped, but I foresee some SERIOUS Nordic Track time tonight after the boys go to bed. I have to wait that long since Mrs. BiW is going to dinner with a friend. The nice thing about learning to name your inner demons and face them down is the control that it gives you. My pants just seem to be a lot looser now, and I really don't feel like I am missing anything if I don't eat (unless I just don't do it at all, then I get that nice "Whoa! What the heck just happened to me?" feeling.)
The bad news is that I seem to get these little fits of anxiety(?) for reasons I can't explain. Physical activity helps, but when you're engaged in a serious rewrite of an LLC Agreement and the associated documents that go with it, you can't just get up and go for a walk for an hour. At least it will be good and warm when I go home. (That's a joke. If it warmer than 75 degrees farhenheit, it is really too warm for me. When I lived in Michigan, this was the time of year I would immerse myself up to my neck in Lake Huron [See Liquid Ice] for as long as I could stand it until the sun went down.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Didn't win Tuesday. As of this morning, tonight's drawing is worth $126 Million. Cash Lump sum payout is $71.5 Million. I would SO like to call in uninterested come Monday. Just dreaming my way through it:
Taxes off the top : about $17 million.
Amount left over after paying off all debts: Still over $50 Million.
Gifts to family, freinds, our church, and establishing several scholarships and foundations: Still got about $43 Million.
Being able to tell Mrs. BiW that she can have what ever she wants in Tiffany's and flying to Paris for dinner? Priceless.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
I think I am one of 5 attorneys working this week, and frankly, I don't want to be here this July 3rd afternoon. The good news is that tonight is dance lesson night. Mrs. BiW and I practiced last night. I think one of the reasons that "it feels right" this time is that she is having to learn things also. She danced when she was younger, so consequently, she is used to knowing what she is doing. This translates into her leading. She can't do that in swing dancing, and it is hard. We had to work on hand positions for a few minutes last night so she could feel me push as well as pull. She got it. She is having trouble with the West Coast Swing steps also. Fair is fair, though. I have real trouble with the East Coast Triple Step, which is the one she really wants to do. Its ok though, because we both have to work on it. Together. Without children.
Did I mention that I really look forward to these date nights?
Bought a Mega Millions ticket. $106 Million means we don't have to work and we get to take a few trips. Plus a whole lot o stuff gets taken care of. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. If I could pay off my lawschool loans, maybe I could learn a trade and work with my hands. It would be nice to step away from my work at the end of the day and see something that has actually been completed instead of a pile of paper.
Y'all have a good fourth. I'm gonna do some stuff with my family and be back here on the 5th, moving more paper around on my desk.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Ok, I haven't had a history of official endorsements, but I felt the need to speak up about this one.
"Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul"
"The Way of the Wild Heart: A Map for The Masculine Journey"
By John Eldridge
Up to the point I read the first one, I would have to categorize myself as an "Intellectual Christian". Its kind of like hearing the melody, but not the rhythym. The result is that I was not LIVING life true to myself. I was like a blind person, really only able to feel anger and irritation, which meant that I was making a mess of my home and my family. Well, a mess would be polite. I found myself in a very dire place, where I was in serious jeopardy of losing my family. I walk around the mall after work lead me to wander into the bookstore and find the first book. While I read it, I kept seeing so many things that made sense. A lot of sense.
For the first time in years, I actually have some feelings and emotions. I'm fighting everyday for my marriage and my boys, not taking anything for granted, and understanding that I have have to continue changing who I am and how I do things regardless of whether my wife and boys will decide that I'm someone they want to live with.
That isn't to say that I don't wrestle with doubts and uncertainties, but the difference is that I am not afraid any more. Turning all of that over and living faith grants a kind of peace that nothing else brings.
I know this isn't everyone's cup of tea; I don't expect anyone to change what they are doing in their own lives (Dick comes to mind). I just wanted to let everyone know what is going on in mine...you must have at least a "I can't turn away from the train wreck" fascination. After all, you're reading it.
Saw in the news today that while I enjoyed a blissful weekend in the land of the free, courtesy of brave men and women in uniform in all parts of the globe, that the UK has had some "issues" with those peace-loving muslims CAIR keeps telling us about.
Keep your eyes open, Alex. I'll be praying for you, Anita, and the girls to remain safe.