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All things change.
I've just been feeling the itch to write again.
So I'm scratching my trigger finger.

I'm in Russia.
Only packed a few items, was expecting to be here for 15 days.
However, ahead of this trip, I got a new passport and a 3 year tourist visa.
Was a good thing I did.
Looks like I'm going to be here for awhile.
Have quite a few things I want to sort out.

Current Location: Russian Federation,
Disposition: awake awake
Auricular confession: Leave a Sign [Mix Cut] - Irisdeejay

Scrawl on Parchment
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Don't mind me. I'm just meandering around in my own mind. Since my car wreck in Portland a few years ago, my hand writing has really began to suffer. With enough visits to the chiropractor I'm at least able to type. My hand written journals have become sloshy.

Facebook has become a mindless soup lately. So I am coming back here to reacquaint myself with my writing, my mind, my soul.

Since my last writing I have been meandering around the other side of the world. I loaded my passport with the required VISA stamps and bought a one way ticket to Eastern Europe.

In Romania I was lied to and trapped until I learned to pay bribes for the ability to purchase a train ticket out of there.

In Ukraine I was robbed at gun point and his parting words were, "Welcome to Russia", after he asked where I was headed and I informed him I was going to Moscow.

In Russia, I was literally lit on fire and as my life was flashing before my eyes I managed to get my passport into the hands of the ring leader of a torch bearing mob. Upon realizing that I was as a matter of fact an American and not an escaped convict pretending to be one; There was much drinking of Vodka and uncomfortable hugs. A couple of months later I was showing my burn scars to the lady who is now my fiancé, her comment was simply, "That's not bad enough to stop you from getting married." Sound Russian attitude there. . .

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Current Location: UT, USA
Disposition: thoughtful thoughtful
Auricular confession: Proff feat. Gliss :: I'Ll Try (B.O.N.G. Remix)

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...Bridge to Terabithia. After she died in the book. I put the book down and never finished it. Several times in years gone bye, I would pick it up and hold it. But not once did I open it.

Vika's birthday was yesterday. The iPhone has saved our last SMS exchanges. I smiled with sorrow as I read our past exchanges. Then I clicked the calendar. To delete or not delete was the question. I knew from past experience if I clicked delete it would ask for this event or all future events of this occasion. Every year for the last three we had gotten together to celebrate this instance of her spontaneous introduction into reality. Yalta, Prague and even Russia proper.

How long am I going to let this haunt me?
How long will I feel that deleting her birthday from my calendar would give me grief?

Her photos are still in my facebook and our recent adventures in Prague on my laptop and Apple TV. The photos from Russia are the majority on my iPad.

In an odd twist of fate, I am once again working at the Evil Empire in the same building as my first stint there. Yesterday I stopped and lingered in the stairwell in building 43 where we had our first call. She had called me on my 33rd birthday to sing, "Happy Birthday Mr. President"! because she didn't know the words to "Happy Birthday". Afterwards daily calls became almost a regular thing. I would call her up every evening which was her morning in Russia. I would instruct her on what outfits to wear to work and for work. I even made up a silly diddy which I would sing as her wakeup song. "Vika of the Blue sockie" was the gist of it. Inspired by one morning when she wanted to wear her blue socks but could only find one of them.

Moments with her litter my hand written journal. We were definitely each others nemesis and perfect compliment in all the wrong ways. She was my bad penny and I was the American she would have gladly killed but never did in order to avoid an international incident. We argued like an old married couple and when we played, well, this is a public journal so I'll let that one slide.

I honestly thought the day we discussed would come about. Married in some dive in Vegas and afterwards staring down the barrel of a 9mm in the parking lot outside. We had the long time understanding that she had to tell me she loved me and mean it before she pulled the trigger.

I closed the calendar. I am not ready for that level of goodbye. Yet. . .

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Current Location: United States, Washington, Redmond
Disposition: contemplative contemplative
Auricular confession: Plastic Stress - Terranova

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(Note: This was sitting in my LJ buffer. I obviously lost my mind for awhile. But here it is.)

In less then 4 hours I will be interviewing at the Evil Empire. It has been a most interesting ride to come back from. Wandered around the world last year. France twice, Czech Republic, Germany, Romania and Russia once, Ukraine 3 times. Eventually I'll get all the photos put online. They are strewn across two laptops, two desktops, and my iPad (version I).

I can't sleep. I don't know why I am so nervous about this interview. I guess it's just because such a long time has gone by since I last interviewed. It's been over a year since I had to prove anything to anyone.

I got the job. I started this past Tuesday. . .

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Current Location: United States, Washington, Issaquah
Disposition: accomplished accomplished

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...I wanted to scream at her. I wanted to yell into the phone as loud as I could, "What the fuck!" Instead, I sat there calmly as possible. The world began to blur as the tears clouded my eyes before they reached the pressure required to overflow and trickle down my face. I did not wipe them away. My hands tightly clutched the suede leather arm rests of my new chair. How could I argue with her about this, really? She was telling me all the things I would say if I were to do it myself. I listened and felt the tears become a steady stream. She described to me how her left hand was now useless after slicing through her wrists. Her call waiting went off and she asked me to call her back in 10 minutes. . .

The phone had barely gone silent when I stood up and began to frantically pack. The night before I had just been laid off. There was no way I could get the funds to go do some kind of super man rescue. 4 dress shirts, 4 pairs of boxer briefs, 4 paris of socks, one nice shirt and two pull over sweaters. Macbook Air, iPad, and Mac-Mini, 2 airport express routers, (3) 7' ecat 5 cables, DVI to HDMI cable, the new Apple TV (black mini edition), and the 27inch SamSung and of course the iPhone 4. I was packed. I took the regular sized Russian winter coat and left the full trench on the hook. I was packed and in the car. An SMS to Q telling her to expect my company.

It was raining as I pulled away from the house and into the evening streets. It would turn into a blizzard for the rest of the drive. But it did not stop me. I just had to keep moving. As if somehow the fact that I was moving would make it all better. 10 minutes later we are talking again. Once again I felt the burning desire to be a hypocrite to shout, to scream. Instead I simply said, "Who's going to kill me now then? You are carrying my bullet."

"You will find someone else." she said and in that moment I had a flash in my mind of being like the immortal man who was cursed to take photos of death in X-files, because he had cheated death from taking him almost 100 years before. It is not every day that you meet the one who is carrying your bullet. It's definitely not everyday that they die before you do.

The call waiting had been her mother. Her mother a drunken waste of life who has only leeched off her family and brought them misery for the past decade suddenly had money. Always before she was borrowing from us. But this time, the one time I wanted that woman to be flat broke and perhaps sober up to the realities of her situation, she had money. She was going to send it in the morning so her daughter could buy the pills she needed to finish the work at hand.

At that moment, I pulled over at a gas station and filled the car. I left it running, feeling oddly reckless in my own ways as I tried to come to terms with the situation. I had already lost one lover to cancer this year. I just was not ready to lose her too. The moments we had shared in Yalta, Prague and Novosibirsk. She had become my traveling companion, my partner in nefarious situations. We'd shared strippers and cam girls together. Late night raves, and crazy mountain horse rides. Ocean piers in the freezing rain at midnight and roses stained with our mutual blood in a pack of friendship. I was not ready for her to go.

Her phone died. I tried calling back every hour on the hour for the next six.

Driving. Driving. Snow covered roads. Blizzard snow fall. 4 to 6 inches of snow on the road. Fog so thick that even with my new cars fog lights I could see only 1 car length. I refused to stop. I had to keep moving. Just keep moving. Utah had become Idaho, Idaho had become Oregon. The snow kept falling and the fog kept me in a blanket of darkness. I kept the music loud in hopes it would drown my thoughts. But over half of my music was tied to memories of her. Damn lovers. How they get into our music, our minds, our souls.

On New Years Eve, Vika took the pills her mother had paid for. The one single act of mercy, pity, or maybe even love her mother will ever do for her.

As I sat in silence upon the couch in Seattle, watching the minutes slowly pass as if I were in a vacuum, my phone rang. It was my mother. Being in a snarky mood, I answered, "You have reached Colten brothers mortuary. You stab 'em, we slab 'em. How can I help you?" To which my mother began to sob, "My mother's dead! My mother is dead!"...

R.I.P. My cherished Vika.
R.I.P. Beloved grandma.

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Current Location: United States, Washington, Seattle
Disposition: indifferent indifferent
Auricular confession: The end - The Doors

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I was laying on the trampoline underneath the stars. Lil mischief was purring near my feet. I smiled at the code in my editor as I paused for a moment to just breathe. All consumed with my work has become my usual state of mind lately. No writings, no musings, not even the occasional video games. Just line after line of code as I juggle the 5 projects that I have been working on all at once for 3 different companies. I allowed myself that brief pause as I waited for the command "service httpd configtest" to respond with either 'Ok' or '[Error]'. It responded with the former. My fingers itched a bit as I typed out the restart command and entered the passphrase for the SSL-key. Tada! At last, my project list was down to 4 and cash would be in the bank in the morning. Then came my mothers voice in the darkness and my happy moment was ended.

"She has an inoperable tumor on her brainstem."

Time stopped for a moment as I closed my laptop dousing the illumination that had surrounded me in the growing darkness of dusk. I looked up into the heavens above and just enjoyed the view of the stars as I listened to her speak. My beloved sister was heading on to the next level. She had only just gotten herself engaged to a wonderful man. After spending countless years with an asshole. Then this. My milestone deadlines in the morning suddenly did not have the influence they had had on me only moments before. Jumping off the trampoline onto the picnic table, I stepped into my shoes and we were off.

We drove in silence most of the way. The radio was off, the ipod stayed in my pocket. We were greeted in the yard by my niece and two of her friends. We exchanged hugs and I took an adorable photo of her straddled upon her mothers motorcycle in the driveway. Then we went in. Her skin was yellowed and pasty. We stood and just held each other. Words seemed trivial and meaningless. I kissed her on the top of her head feeling her hair on my face. Not wanting to share the thought of how the chemotherapy may soon take that away. After awhile her and my mother disappeared into the bedroom to talk. I went out into the backyard and sat underneath the stars. . .

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Current Location: United States, Utah, Bountiful
Auricular confession: Trip Like I Do - Crystal Method

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72 hours before I fly to Paris. I've never really liked Paris. I only have two memories of Paris. The first being lost and alone there for 7 days. A stranger in a strange land, that had no love for strangers. The second glimpses of a movie while in a drunken state at a party as a youth and hearing the voice of Marge Simpson saying, "Forget Paris!" If you want to experience France, I am of the opinion that one should head south. Thankfully, I am not going to be leaving the airport. I simply depart one plane, meander around the terminal and climb onto another. . .

Prague, here I come. This adventure is a long time in coming. Originally slated for last year in the midst of intense emotional turmoil of a failed engagement and being fired from the Evil Empire for my refusal to sign a document that would let them weasel out of my contract and pay me less. I did try to work it out with them at first. They wished to pay me 10% less. I told them if my apartment complex would let me renegotiate my rent for 10% less then I would sign the paperwork. However, the apartment management in so few words replied, "Hell no." Such was the situation then. Now, after pinching the pennies and counting hours, here I am, counting down a handful of hours more. . .

The flight is purchased, the hotel is booked. Now revising my packing list and checking it all over. Making sure that I have all the basic essentials. Though, I have not been able to find where I last left my iPod Touch. This is somewhat of a concern, thought not as much as it used to be. I acquired a MacBook Air (Enter Ellie: Greek for "light", also the name of a pregnant Cam Grrl) last week. While there were many people who tried to talk me out of making such a purchase (including the sales people at Best Buy, and MacDocs: Odd, I know. I thought they were in business to make money) because it doesn't have enough "umph". Believe me, it has plenty for what I need it to do. I'm not the intense graphical artist. Music, E-mail, the web and Terminal open with screen, several ssh sessions, and multiple vim sessions and nothing is slowing down. Now Lexi my VAIO P by Sony, that was underpowered. It's has become my GPS unit and VMWare slave for Ellie.

Vika will be joining me at some point in Prague. After all, this city was originally her idea. I made all the arrangements and then came the bad news. They hadn't gotten all of the cervical cancer out of her last year. She's doing Chemo like it's going out of style and spends each morning as though she has morning sickness. . .

I find myself reflecting back on the adventure with my late dear friend kazamidori. How I took her to see those places she had longed to see before she went on to the next level. I know that in the end no one makes it out of this level alive. But still, but still. We hope, we dream. . .

Because the world is cruel and
Promises are broken
Don't try to tell me, anything
Don't try to tell me
You'll be true to me
Because we both know the
Real truth is never spoken
And I know the world is cold but
If you hold on tight to what you find
You might not mind so much
Though even this must pass away
The memories may last for years
But names are just for souvenirs
Some kind of angel let me
Look into your eyes
Don't give me whys and wherefores
Reasons for surprise
I don't care for words that don't belong
And I don't care what you're called
Tell me later if at all
I can wait a long long time
Before I hear another love song...
" - SomeKind of Stranger : Sisters of Mercy

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Disposition: awake awake

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California apparently has dibs on me. This time it's San Diego. An offer of better pay with performance bonuses on top of that. Met them for lunch Friday at the Red Iguana.

Going to the Leonard Cohen concert with one of my oldest friends in Las Vegas, NV this Thursday. Then it's off to San Diego for round two of interviews.

The end of the month draws closer. Making some plans with Q for ways to spend the birthday. . .

Current Location: United States, Utah, Bountiful
Auricular confession: Change - Tears for Fears

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Didn't get the job in San Francisco. But at least I got paid to go out there and have fun touring the city.

Now for something completely different. . .

Current Location: United States, Utah, Bountiful
Disposition: indifferent indifferent
Auricular confession: Let Me Be Your Pirate - Nena

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Almost 36 years on this rock and I would love to say that the puzzle pieces that make up life are no longer fuzzy and the border is filled in nicely, now it's just that tricky middle to deal with. Though, the truth is that more then ever I just wonder how many pieces are left in the box. I have long since given up on making sense of the random chaos. Realizing that all that comes with understanding is the empty reward of itself.

The research fellowship didn't end up working out for a few reasons. The most pressing being that my mother had some rather drastic medical issues crop up. (Due to this being a public entry and in the interest of her medical privacy, that is all I am going to say here.) She was living with my sister who's husband up and bailed on her and their kids, leaving them in a foreclosed house and swamped in debt. I did the sensible thing. Put a pause on my gypsy ways, canceled my trip to Prague and returned to Utah.

Mom and I house shopped for several weeks until we found a quaint stone abode. Using my masterful skills at contracts and my ability to acquire paying projects due to my mad skillz, I bought the place. Now my sister, her two kids, mom and myself live in the abode. At the time of purchase everything was still going well with the research fellowship. So I wasn't really planning on being in Utah for long. Then it all just collapsed with bullshit politics and I found myself on the verge of a deep depression...

I met a lovely lady online and invited her to "The Warped Tour" here in Utah. With the wind in my hair and the moon over my shoulder, I drove to Phoenix, Arizona to acquire her. I only had her for a few days. But in those hours it was like being in a story book. She's one of those ones who enters your life and gives you a fresh and slanted perspective on every topic she touches. Everything that has a beginning also has an ending; Upon her return to Arizona an old high school sweet heart re-entered the scene, stirred her heart and then ate his own gun. I've let her know I am here for her, but being there for someone hundreds of miles away does no good, really, if they never take you up on it...

Then there was an amazingly beautiful Russian woman from a dating site. Everything seemed amazing. One of the first women I have met since Sinnamon Margarita that absolutely adores the writings of Carlos Castenada. The conversations would often last from sunset until sunrise. Between sipping tea and talking about everything from Journey to Xltan to the art of dreaming and relating it all to life and strange unexplainable cross sections of life experience. Then a surprise message that disclosed her being married and having a child. The look on her face when confronted with the truth and the realization that I was staring at a stranger. So many possibilities just faded into emptiness...

This past week my sister was in Europe with the new man in her life. I had a job interview scheduled in San Francisco, California. I packed up her kids and mom, then took them for a road trip adventure. It was my nieces 10th birthday. So we celebrated it in San Francisco. My gay uncle and his husband ended up being there for my uncles birthday and we had a wonderful time hanging with them after we visited the King Tut exhibition at the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park...

I had 4 telephone interviews with the company before going out there. Originally it was presented as come out and meet the team and talk terms. Then for whatever reason it turned into 6 intense 30 minute interviews. 1 of which left me feeling like I had drank cayenne pepper through my nose and another which was just weird while the other 4 seemed to go rather well. Then this morning I get two phone calls to tell me that I didn't get the position but they'd like to offer me a different position. I said I'd think about it, but to be honest, I'm not really interested in the other position. It seems like it would be a backwards step in my career. Then I get an e-mail not 30 minutes later saying that things were looking good for the original interviewed position and they'll let me know next Monday. So I called them up with a "WTF?" card. They have yet to get back to me...

I have finally closed the chapter on believing that there is someone out there for me. I am coming to terms with the realization that what is in the cards for others is not a reflection of possibilities for myself. My great-grandfather had a dream that lead him to his bride to be, they were married for 65 years. The expiration date on that kind of situation for me is long expired. Jubal and his lovely Leah are a story book romance. Q and D are a constant smile for me and just a breath of fresh air for my beliefs in romance and communication. For those of you who are Poly and somehow seem to make it through all that drama, having never been successful at keeping one person for more then a few years, you have my respect, condolences and congratulations. . .

Current Location: United States, Utah, Bountiful
Disposition: indifferent indifferent
Auricular confession: Love On the Rocks - Neil Diamond

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