Comic time

Ok, I actually drew these for a friend and coworker to post on his blog, 52 Fridays, a very cool comic blog. Go check it out. Now.

I wasn't going to post this comic on my own blog, since it would be on his, but ... well, it took a long damned time and I'm just a teensy bit proud of it. Kinda. So, here's my view on uninvited visitors, more or less. And it's all because the place is such an incredible mess most of the time (small place + lots of stuff = continual catasrophe).

Actually, I wish I really had a pit ...

Full of himself, isn't he?

King Heironymous allows you to adore him. He suffers your awe with great but humble effort, and knows his place as All-Mighty Emperor of your tiny tiny world. Look on him and know majesty. He shits majesty.

Bow down. Grovel. Sacrifice crickets in his name.

You know you want to.


I haven't forgotten you. Really. I'm just busy. Stressed. Allergy-stricken. PMSing.

You know.

But I still love you all.

Back to the grind

Curl the lip, flash white the would-be fangs, that
Slicing pink meat of lip and gum
Only to add heat, red, wet,
To the grimace,

Shut the fuck up, think thought
And eyes.

Rictus, too wide to be a smile,
Draw the flies
That they might smash themselves against the grin,
Hummingbird suicide on invisible glass;
Smile sweet enough and
They'll all fall broken, shattered
By ice shards of a cold stare
To the back of the head.

Oh, if only ...

Leave the smoldering behind,
Run fast, little ratchety thing,
All elbow bearings and knee bolts and too much grease -
Run until the rictus cracks,
A laugh or scream or sigh, just to
Break the silence
Seethings and teeth.

Seek solitude to redeem
Close the eyes.

(I really could have used another week of vacation. I never have much patience with trivial bullshit when I return too soon.)

New hair color

New Hair
It was time for a change.


It's official. That very high B+ in the one class was bumped up to an A.

I'm on the Dean's List.

Ya know what's better than that? I'm on the M-Fing Chancellor's list.

This is the best I've ever done in school. And I mean ever. I've even had art classes in which I didn't do this well. I'm more than just a wee bit proud.

This feeling - it could be addicting ...


Today Matt, Phoenix and I set out on our roadtrip up north to take Phoenix home and hang out with friends. Matt will get to see the best friend he hasn't seen in years, and I'll get to see my best friend, who I see much more often than that but still not nearly enough.

And, as if to send me off in style, I just recived the grades on my last two asisgnments. Both As. I'm grinning real big right now - can you see the glow from wherever you are? Did you hear the "Whooohoooo! YesyesyesyesyesyesYES!" from wherever you are? Betcha did.

Now all that's left to do before we take off is wrap up the little things, like grabbing some snackage for the road, getting Harry some food ( a bit more than usual, too, as we'll be gone a few days) and fresh water, let the apartment manager know where to find Harry's crickets when he comes in to feed him for us on Sunday. The usual.

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone. See ya next week.

Self Portrait

Only, my face is wider. This is propably closer to what I looked like when I was 14.

And yes - that is a tattoo. A real one. Only, it's maybe not quite so big.

oh my freaking god.

Ok, people. Here's some news that may confuse (ooo! I'm a poet!): International trade deficit is a good thing. No, really. I'm serious. Stop freaking out about the fact that we owe a whole bunch of countries a whole bunch of trade-related-and-induced money.

It's all good.

Just to bore you with the details cos I'm saddistic like that, I'll post my last (seriously fucking hard) assignment for my Global Econ class later. Well, if I get a good grade on it.

On a sorta-side-note: I am SO glad this is my last assignment for this term. I don't think I can think anymore. And that's scary.

Like father, like son

Ok, say it with me, folks: "D'aawwwwwwwwwwww!" Here's what wer'e "awww"-ing about:

I have been endlessly amused since we first started dating that Matt (the boy) loves Star Wars. And I don't mean he just really enjoys the movies; I mean we have one whole wall in our bedroom devoted entirely to Star Wars posters, magazine covers, bags, and various collectibles (inlcuding still-boxed action figures and Pez-dispensers). And that's just the stuff that can be tacked to a wall; the rest of his Star Wars stuff is in a box until we can get a bigger place for proper displaying purposes (groan). Also, he likes Spongebob Squarepants - who still kinda gives me the heebie-jeebies, although I must admit that I have been finding myself enjoying the cartoons on Saturdays more and more. Matt has Spongebob stuff too, just not nearly as much of it (thankfully; a wall of Star Wars I can grin at. A wall of Spongebob would be creepy.)

Phoenix came over on Wednesday evening and has been here ever since. Turns out he's crazy about Star Wars, too. And likes Spongebob. In fact, like his father he has a bunch of Star Wars stuff at home, only it consists of legos, action figures (unboxed, I'm sure) and video games. For his birthday he had asked for the Lego Star Wars Playstation 2 game, so we got it for him. As he unwrapped it, he began chanting, "Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!"

He spent the rest of the evening playing the game of course. And while at first it was just Phoenix playing, I came out to the living room a few hours later (I had been doing school stuff) to find both Matt and Phoenix plopped on the couch and leaning forward eagerly, controllers in hand, huge grins on their faces as they blasted and jumped and used The Force and unlocked characters and argued goodnaturedly about which character would be best for which scenario, chapter and level. And then there was the pod race and the crashes that ensued, and the giggles and hollers and yips of glee (and exlposions, of course, from the game- mustn't forget those wonderful explosions).

I think I may have to get the game for Matt for Christmas, if not sooner. He was just as hooked on it as Phoenix.

So far, I think Phoenix likes me. He regales me with Star Wars trivia (which I just nod and smile at, because although I very much enjoyed the movies, that's about as far as my knowledge of it all goes) and yesterday played catch with a nerf fooball with me before and while swimming in the apartment complex's pool. He's a cute kid, and not at all bratty and noisy and rude and out of control, as most nine-year-olds in this typical hick-town seem to be.

He and Matt get along famously, of course.

But no worries, Mama Wren - I haven't decided to drop out of school and have kids. Phoenix is great - really great - but I'm both level-headed enough to know that even if I wanted any right now we can't afford kids, and I'm still just not sold on 'em, or even all that terribly interested. I am charmed, though, and learning to accept that not all kids are horrid screaming little monsters that need military school by age five (as most five-year-olds around here seem to). That may get me thinking in a few years, but for now you're safe from the title of Gramma. ;)

The plan was to take Phoenix back down the hill to Matt's parents' house this morning so Matt could work and I could do school stuff, but a fmaily emergency changed that. Matt's dad went into the hospital two nights ago for Appendicitis (sp?) and although he's recovering alright (had a fever yesterday and this morning to contend with, but that's gone and he is otherwise fine) he's still in the hospital and will be until tomorrow. So, Matt took today off and Phoenix is still here. We just came back from breakfast at The Waffle Shop in town a little while ago, and as I write this the two of them are once again playing Lego Star Wars (I can tell by the explosions). I'll be doing one of my two last assignments for this term after this post, and getting started on the other, then the rest of the day will be spent with Matt and Phoenix. Which will probably include swimming again, watching a comic-book movie or two, and Star Wars.

Sounds good to me.

We'll take Phoenix back to Matt's parent's tonight, then pick him up agian either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Matt and I have a week off, starting Wednesday, so Phoenix will then stay with us the rest of his time here and we'll take him home (several hours North of here), then spend a few days there in Matt's highschool hometown visitng friends and touristing. Might swing over to San Francisco on our way back here, stop at Ghirrardeli's Square for chocolate, and then spend tha last day or two of our vacation just resting at home.

I need that. Getting away for a while, then just being flat-out lazy for a bit (and eating chocolate). I will sleep in. And take naps. And lay around reading, and drawing. And, of course, kicking much demon-butt in Sacred (love that game).

And now, I suppose I should go ahead and get started on that assignment. Should be no problem; it's the super-easy ethics class and it's just a short three to four paragraph discussion board post. The other assignment is a report, and though that class is more challenging it will go quickly enough too, once I get the discussion board post out of the way. I'm doing great in both classes. All A's in the ethics class, all A's except for one B and one C in the other. So, an A average one class, B+ in the other (which may very well raise to A if I get an A on the assignment I turned in last night and this last one).

I believe I said "Dean's list, here I come?" Yeah. Here I am.


Fate and the phoenix

Have you seen the movie The Number 23? The boy and I watched it recently, and wow. It's a damn good movie. I'll try not to give anything away for those of you who haven't yet seen it but want to, but here's a philosphical question for you: if a person has a not-so-happy past, do you consider them "damaged goods," and therefore interact with them differently than you would if they'd had a happier past or if you didn't know their past at all? Is there a knee-jerk yes or no answer, or would you take into consideration all the details of past situations before passing strict judgement? This plays into the last bit of that movie (again, no spoilers), as well as circumstances in my own life recently.

I've been thinking a lot lately about fate, or the idea that some things are just meant to happen the way they do. I've never been comfortable with the notion that "someone, somewhere" was directing my life, be it some god or just some strange spiritual something that magically made things happen a certain way for unrevealed reasons and then kept score. Maybe I just want to know that I alone control whatever destiny that I have (or don't have). Maybe I've just learned well that old adage that "if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself;" I don't want some thing screwing up what I think I know to be best for me.

But then, some things do happen in ways that seem eerily predestined. As much as I might lash out against whatever unseen overseer may make things line up the way they do, I cannot deny my own experiences. When things aren't lining up eerily, I want to pout and stomp my foot at the possibility that I'm not the only one steering my life. When they do line up I'm quiet, contemplative and - usually - relieved in the end that for whatever reason, be it fate or coincidence, things happened as they did. Because usually, those things that line up so eerily have profound effects on my life and my idea of who and what I am; it feels, then, like "this was meant to be."

It's creepy. But - I think - in a good way.

One set of events that had a great effect on who I became is my mother's previous marriage, to my step-father. I won't go into details, as they aren't mine alone to go into, but suffice it to say that what could easily be (and I'm sure oftentimes was) seen as a miserable situation in fact was one of great opportunity and growth. And I get the feeling that I'm not the only one who grew and became a wiser and better person despite the challenges; Mama Wren did, too. It wasn't a horrible or traumatizing marriage - please don't get that idea - but it ceratinly wasn't a happy one either. But it did take us all to Germany for six years during Desert Storm (my step-dad was in the Army and so stationed was there). We went there when I was five and came back when I was eleven.

What this means is that at the most impressionable and formative time of my life, I was adventuring through a foreign country and culture, learning things I may well not have learned had we stayed in the U.S. By that I don't just mean I learned how to speak German - actually, I learned more about customs, songs and games than how to speak the language, so don't ask me to interpret anything, please. What I mean by learning there what I may not have learned here is that I grew up with an acceptance of other cultures, other religions and races and backgrounds, with the experience of "growing up" in that culture to keep me open-minded. I didn't have to try to learn this slowly later in life. I had German friends who spoke little or no English that I still managed to play with, our communication being impromtu hand gestures, facial expressions, and drawings. By the time we came back to the U.S. when I was eleven, I think I probably knew more German folk tales and festivities than I did American, and that opened me up to learning more about other cultures when I was older. To truly understand other human beings, I think that this understanding is a very important thing; it takes the blinders of race and country off the eyes, so to speak.

Further, the details of my mom and step-dad's marriage had an affect on making me who I am today in terms of having a good head on my shoulders about love and gender roles. I understood long ago that adults can be very childish and self-centered, and from that learned that society's "ideal" image of family is bullshit. The father being the bread-winner and the mother a stay-at-home housewife whose entire purpose in life is to be a virtual slave to her husband and children, and those children being only able to grow up into healthy functioning members of society if they have both a mother and father in their lives is not how things are, nor is it how things should be. Women can be the bread-winners, or share that responsibility with men. Men can do dishes and iron their own shirts, or again share those tasks with women. Most importantly, children can grow up to be stable, intelligent, compassionate and loving adults with either both parents or only one - or only one who is capable of functioning in any role other than self-inflicted misery - in their lives.

Because of this, not only do I do not look to the boy to bring in all the money and make al the decisions but I do not put my functionality as an individual in his hands; I realize that without him I'd still be who I am now and I'd be just as capable of being happy and successfull in life. That's not to say I don't hang hopes and dreams on him; of course I do, but I don't do so to such an extent that my world would fall apart if those hopes and dreams were suddenly shattered and we split apart. I have known people - women and men - who are incapable of living without a partner of some sort in their lives; they feel as if they are only half or even just a shadow of a person unless there is someone else there to make them whole and validate their existence. It's sad to see, and I had one very long friendship slowly crumble and end because of this very attidtude of "worthless, unless."

Seeing my mother deal with and eventually have the strength to end a bad relationship showed me that alone or with someone else, I am strong and I am the one that makes me so. I can be happy in a relationship - romantic or merely friendly - or out of one. This early-learned knowledge has served me well in life. I've my had my heart broken twice, but these were not fatal breaks; I healed and I moved on. And now I'm in a much happier and better relationship than those two could ever have dreamed to be.

The point I make with that story is that although there were many angry and unhappy times during that marriage, both my mother and I were able to come away from it with happiness from all that transpired because of it. We were able to see all the good times that somehow magically occured not between the bad times but rather during and in spite of them. We were able to see that the unhappiness was a very reasonable price to pay for the wonderful experiences we had learning and adventuring and visiting and eating good hot german food (which, by the way, is still my all-time favorite of foreign cuisines).

One could say that the not-fantastic marriage took place in order to give us those experiences; that it was, actually, meant to be. I kinda like that idea, stubborn "I can do it myself" tendencies aside.

Although there have been other things in my life that have eerily made sense that way, no other has been as important to me as the circumstances the boy and I have faced in our relationship, most especially the ones that have transpired most recently.

Not long before we met the boy was working a construction job during the day and delivering for Roundtable during the evenings. The boss of the construction company one day decided to pick up and move the whole company to Louisiana to help with the rebuilding efforts in post-Katrina New Orleans. He offered a few employees, including the boy, jobs there, bonuses for waiting, and to pay for the move out there from here. Having recently gotten out of a bad relationship and so having nothing to keep him in the area, the boy had decided to go for it, although he wasn't exactly thrilled at the prospect. It was a job and a new beginning - nothing more. The company was shut down here in California so that the boy's only job then until everything was ready for him to move to Louisiana was delivering for Roundtable in the evenings.

In the interval he met me via Myspace. Although we were both cautious about it, we decided to meet for a first date, just to "get to know each other better." Plans were made for dinner and a movie and the date was set.

The evening before that first date, the boy was in an accident while delivering pizza. A woman ran a red light and t-boned his truck, totalling it, and the only reason the boy is alive today is that she came from the right, not the left, and therefore smashed into the passenger side rather than the driver's side of his truck. The boy came out of it with three cracked ribs, bruises, and further damage to an already bad back, but was otherwise okay.

Despite his pain, he still met me the next night, with a rose and some CDs (we had originally started talkng because we have very similar musical interests, so he gave me some CDs of bands I hadn't heard but would probably like, and did). Since then we have been damn-near inseprarable. Aside from about a dozen days all told, we saw each other every day after that, even though that meant one or the other of us driving 50+ miles up or down the hill to do so. He decided not long after that first date that he would not go to Lousiana because he wanted to try for a serious relationship with me.

A few months later, he learned through friends who had gone to Louisiana with his ex-boss that his decision to stay here was a life-saver. His old boss screwed over every one of the employees he had move out to Louisiana, keeping none of the promises he made and even firing most of them, leaving them broke, jobless and homeless in Katrina-torn Louisiana.

To this day, the boy sees the timing of these events as special; he could have met me anytime, but he didn't until he had made a decision that for some reason made him uneasy. He still thanks me for "saving him from New Orleans," as if our meeting at that specific time was meant to be. If much more time had passed before we met, we may not have met at all, and all the wonderful things we've experienced together may never have happened. Who knows where each of us would be right now had things turned out that way?

There have been other strange happenings as well, but one that has had a huge impact on our relationship is something that happened a few weeks ago.

First off, let me state that under normal and even most not-normal circumstances, I'm niether a suspicious person nor do I snoop into other peoples' private business. It's a point I have prided myself on all my life, because it can be so very tempting if someone leaves a journal lying out or remains logged in to their e-mail. It's not the possibility of finding somethig bad; rather, it's a strange desire to just know something that you otherwise wouldn't; to be privvy to a secret and keep your knowledge as another secret. I've only given in to this temptation twice in my life (that I can remember) and the second time happened a few weeks ago.

At home one evening I decided to log onto Myspace to see if a friend had responded to a comment I'd made, and when I pulled up the Website, the boy's Myspace page was up with him still logged in. This has happened numerous times in the past, and always before I'd just log him out and log myself in, quick and easy, temptation properly squashed. This time, however, I got a feeling.

I trust the boy as I've not truly trusted anyone else before - ever - and know through proof and sound reasoning that this trust is well-placed. I do not suspect him of "messing around" or anything of the sort, but like any human my brain has a tendency to override such knowledge with that horrible little theoretical question, "Yeah, but what if I'm wrong?" When his page popped up I had the sudden almost desparate urge to pry. I scolded myself thoroughly, thinking, "I shouldn't do this! I have no reason to do this," as I clicked on the inbox icon and began to read, eventually going through every message sent to or received from another woman. You know - just in case.

I felt horrible doing it, especially since with each message - predictably - he remained true to me, even describing to these other women how happy he was with me, and what a great thing we had. The fact that feeling horrible about it didn't stop me makes me feel like the worst kind of person, and I still cringe thinking about it.

Toward the end of the messages I came across a few wherein he was catching up with an old highschool friend, and in this message he said something that momentarily floored me. After the usual "How've you been, I haven't heard from you in forever," and such, he updated this woman on his family life - namely that he had a son and had been married some years ago.

This was news to me.

Now, let me say right here that the fact that he was married before and has a child doesn't bother me in the least; what confused - and yes, I'll admit, bothered me - was that he hadn't told me this and we've been together for about a year and a half now. I wondered why he wouldn't have told me something like that - not because it would have changed my desire to be in a relationship with him (it wouldn't) but because that son is a part of his life, and I'd find out someday because of the simple desire for father to visit son and son to visit father. I wondered if there was something about the whole story he didn't want me know, or didn't trust me with, and that bothered me. I wasn't angry, really, just confused and ready to be angry it turned out to be some important thing that I needed to know, like if he hadn't been paying child support for years and there was a warrant out for his arrest because of it, or some such. That would be just a bit important for me to know, especially as we live together, you know?

Still feeling horrible for having read his personal communications, I admitted my snooping and asked why he hadn't told me about his son and previous marriage.

To his credit, he was not upset with me for having read his messages - in fact he consoled me while I cried and blubbered about what a horrible person I was. After calming me down and assuring me that "what is his is mine" and that I wasn't horrible, he told me the story behind that years-ago marriage and his son. I will not give out juicy details, as again they're not mine to give, but suffice it to say that, like Mama Wren's marriage to my step-dad, this was not a happy marriage either. In fact, it was downright awful from the sounds of it and had little love left to it, and the only thing that kept the boy with this woman was their son. He stayed with her until Phoenix (that's his son's name; pretty cool, huh?) was two years old, and divorced her then after "the last straw;" another act of her being unfaithful to him. He caught her in the act that time, and that was the end. He signed the divorce papers on his birthday, and left town.

He got into another bad relationahip shortly after that, with a horrible psychotic woman who, due to connections with his ex-wife's lover, consequently hated her and Phoenix. She refused to allow the boy to see him or even talk to him on the phone. She would get violent when the boy mentioned Phoenix, and threaten to kick him out and destroy all his belongings if he went to see him. Sadly, due to the boy's financial situation at the time, he would have had no where to go had this woman kicked him out. And he had no license then, so he couldn't even resort to living in his car if worse came to worst. He was stuck, or felt so.

Aside from sneaked phonecalls on Christmas and birthdays and too-short visits when his parents would pick the boy up and bring him to their house to see him, the boy didn't get to see Phoenix for five years because of this woman. Some of you may argue that he should have done whatever it took to be a part of his son's life, and you'd be right - but it's hard to see options when you're in a bad place, and he felt stuck with this psychotic violent woman and so for the sake of keeping a roof over his head and trying to figure a way out, he saw his son very little, only when she was unaware of it, and only for short times.

Needless to say, he felt like a horrible person, though he is in fact very much the opposite. He says, "I should have done this," or "I should have done that-" but I think most people know what it's like to be in a situation where you think you have no choice about something, even if you actually do. If you can't see an option, you can't act on it, but it's always easier to see options you coulldn't before after the fact. He's not a bad person, or irresponsible; he simply did what he felt he had to do. It wasn't easy for him; he still cries talking about it.

He then went on to explain that he hadn't told me all this when we first started dating because he was terrified that I'd consider him to be "damaged goods" and leave him. Of course I wouldn't, but considering the horrible people he dated in the past and how I'm the exact opposite of them, I can understand his hesitation. He knew he needed to tell me, but aside from just randomly sitting me down and telling me outright, which he was terrified to do, he couldn't think of a way to get started. Countless times perfect opportunities to bring it up would present themselves in conversation, but always it was when there was not enough time to talk about it. Understandably, this is not something that you simply mention in passing; it requires and took hours of talking to get through. Furthermore, he knew that the more time that passed the worse the act of keeping it secret became, which only added to his fear of me leaving him and therefore made it harder to bring up. "A vicious circle" is putting it mildly.

I can't imagine what he must have gone through in the last year and a half, not being able to talk to or see his son even though he was no longer with that psychotic violent woman. He didn't even get to call Phoenix on Christmas, because I was with him the whole day and he didn't dare sneak off to make the call when I might overhear.

Seeing this man that I love openly weeping over the actions - both his own and those of others - that lead him to not be a part of his son's life for six and a half years had me crying too, Cancer that I am. Of course I made sure he knew that I was totally ok with him having a son and talking to and visiting with that son. I don't understand how people can be so horrible to one another; how could that psychotic ex dare to keep him away from his son?!? Such atrocity is unforgivable, and I can only hope that with time he can heal, and so can Phoenix. Well, I'm not really too terribly worried about Phoenix; I remember well how flexible and adaptable children are, and how they see the truth of things sometimes better than adults do.

Although vastly relieved that I didn't hate him and woudln't try to keep him from his son - that, in fact, I was encouraging him to call and visit with Phoenix as soon as possible - the boy was afraid that so much time had passed that his son would want nothing to do with him. I told him of my belief that children are far more understanding and forgiving than adults, and that knowing the boy was his biological father, Phoenix would likely be thrilled to hear from him - not wary and aloof, unwilling to trust him to be a part of his life again. After many tears and hugs and reminders that I'm ok with the situation and I think it's important that he see his son, the boy finally calmed down, almost dazed with the realization that he was finally free of the burden of that secret and the fear and guilt that surrounded it. And that I still loved him.

I, of course, still felt awful about my earlier snooping, but he assured me again (and again the next day, and the day after that) that it was ok. Then he said it was fate that the secret of his son came out the way it did. Here are the things that make me agree with the theory that this was all meant to be this way: 1. He had been unable to bring it up himself and hated himself for it, but knew that he had to tell me before we could move farther in our relationship. 2. Until that day, I had only snooped into someone else's personal stuff once in my life, and have always been dead-against snooping, so my actions that day were extremely unusual, especially as I had no suspicions to go on. 3. Here's the trippiest part - this all took place a little over a week before the end of July. Phoenix's birthday is July 30, and the boy had been dreading the day, unsure of whether he'd get a chance to call his son, or if he even should (fearing his son not wanting anything to do with him). 4. We've been talking a lot about marriage lately, and although he was adamant that he would marry me "someday," he would get uncomfortable and vague if I pressed for details; this was because he hadn't told me about Phoenix and his previous mariiage and knew he needed to before seriously considering taking our relationship to that level.

Me doing something very much out of character for no apparent reason took care of all of that. Now I know about Phoenix, so the boy doesn't have to worry about figuring out how to tell me, knowing that each day that passes makes the secret worse. He told me all the details of the story and many of them were details that he didn't need share, so there is nothing more kept from me to possibly wonder and worry about. He is free to finally be a part of hs son's life again, and knows that I fully support him in that effort. And, finally, all this happened in time for him to call Phoenix on a very important day - his birthday.

After talking to Phoenix for hours a few days later, the boy was red-eyed again, having cried when he realized how excited his son was to hear from him again, finally. Of course Phoenix doesn't hate him; this is his father, no matter what may have happened between him and his mother, and you cannot easily break the bond between parent and child, no matter how many miles and years may separate them. After my mother and father divorced when I was a baby, I did not see my own biological father (when I was old enough to remember, anyway) until I was seven or eight I think, and we got along just great at that "first" meeting. I called him dad, even though that's what I called my step-father. And although we've had the typical parent vs. teenager/twenty-something spats, I love him dearly, and enjoy his company. He taugh me how to fish and catch snakes and lizards, and no amount of years of not spending time together when I was a child will change my love of doing just that, or my knowledge that he was the one who taught me - my dad.

The boy will realize - is realizing, I think - that the same is true of him and Phoenix. This makes him smile even on bad days, and makes him cry with that smile on his face.

Fate is a strange thing, and unpredicatable. The connections made by some thing, or maybe just by our own decisions and actions, never cease to amaze me, no matter how I may wish to believe that I alone control my life and the path it takes. Phoenix is coming to visit for a few days this week, and most of next week when I have a break between terms, and the boy and I are taking time off from work for it. I've never been a kid person; I've always been adamant that I will never have children, that I have no interest in them, and it was true, until I met the boy. I'm still not making any solid plans and may never have children of my own, but sometimes I find myself wondering what name I would pick for a daughter or son, and it's always connected to the boy. (Don't tell my oldest friends - they'll dance with glee and say, "I told you so!" - they've been telling me I'll change my mind about kids for as long as they've known me.)

Now I'll get to sort of try my hand at being a parental/guardian figure, for just a few days, just to see what it might be like. Only I won't have to deal with diapers and all that wonderful baby-stuff. I may be even more adamant about no kids by the end of next week - who knows? - or I may be willing to give in a bit and play with the idea of "someday ... maybe."

On another cool, fate-ish-type note, you do know the legend of the phoenix, right? The bird who, after burning away completely, rises again from it's own ashes? The boy told me that Phoenix is the only reason he's alive, that his life held no meaning for him anymore before his son came along, and that's why he gave him that name. Phoenix was the boy's return to life, so the return of him to Phoenix's life is all the more magical.

I am happy for the boy that he no longer has to worry and feel guilty, but more importantly I'm happy that he gets to see his son again, with nothing to hide or cut visits short; I'm glad he is finally able to be a father again. I'm proud of him. And I will marry him someday.

Thank you, Fate. I guess you're really not so bad after all.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Today has been a good day so far. I mananged to find three skirts and one t-shirt for about $20, and I was really only browsing with the distant hope of possibly finding one somewhat decently priced article of clothing, if anything. So, cool. Once home I got a call back from my student advisor and got everything set up for my new school schedule - also cool. What's even better is the details of that schedule, and what they mean for me.

Instead of going part time (one class per term), I'm switching to the college's "traditional model" schedule, so that I'll be taking one class next term, then two the following, then back to one, then two and so on. So I'll still have every other term of very little down time, but between those terms I'll be able to relax and take things easier. And, in the end, I'll only be graduating a grand total of three months later than I would if I kept two classes per term, which is considerably better than the prospect of another year or so that I would have had to wait if I had only one class each term by going part time. That's a pretty damn good compromise, and what's even better is that in changing my schedule I'm changing the amount of credits I'll be getting in the first school year from 50 to 36, which lowers the tuition for that year, and therefore the amount leftover after my finacnial aid (which I do not have to reapply for, thankfully) doesn't cover for this year. Abso-freaking-luetly cool thing about that: before the change I had about $4,350 not covered for this school year, giving me monthly payment of about $365, and I've made the first monthly payment already. With the new schedule, there is only about $100 not covered by financial aid, so with the one monthly payment I've already made, I'm already covered for this year and a bit ahead for next year.

Very. Freaking. Cool.

Oh, and as of today I have a B+ average in one class (and rising!) and an A average (all A's!!!) in the other (for which my most recent assignment has not yet been graded, but I'mconfident of another A ...) So, despite not havign a whole lot of down time (well, enough for a browse through the clothing section on our errend runs, at least) I'm still doing damned good. Better than I've ever done, actually. Well, except for my first term in college goign for my associate's, but that only lasted one term and then my grades dropped because the school sucked, so I'm confident I can do much, much better overall here.

I'm just a wee lil' bit proud of myself, so the three skirts and one shirts is like a congratulatory gift to myself. Which reminds me - the boy suprised me a couple days ago by calling me at work and asking me if I could come over to the shop for a few minutes (he works right across the street from me). I did, and he handed me the new Bjork album, Volta, as a congrats on doing so well and working so hard on school stuff. Made my day.

I love that man.

Life's good. Go out and live it. :)