05 January 2014

5 years later

Four months since I have written anything at all here.

I am really letting my two or three readers down! I'm sorry. Well, not sorry enough to necessarily do better, but enough to write this, right now, even though I'm not really feeling inspired.

My next real post will be on the difference between capitalism and the free market, how they are actually opposed, how government favors the former, and how it could (and why it should) be doing the opposite. Actually, it might even be a series of separate posts.
I already have basically everything I want down in my head, but it still may be a few months or a year before I get around to it. But I have always eventually written all the things I said I would so far, haven't I? So, unless I randomly die before then, it will really happen.

A part of why I stopped writing was the time and thought and energy that went into a major life transition.

I finally came to terms with the fact that the relationship I was in wasn't making me happy, and we broke up.
I was trying to help her find a place to live, when I happened to come across an ad for a building maintenance manager, doing the exact same sort of work I've been doing in my own business for the past 8 years, in exchange for subsidized rent.

First time in my adult life I haven't lived in an RV.
What with the economy, everyone who had an RV for vacations is trying to sell, and the market is much lower than when I bought. Looks like I'll be lucky to get half what I paid, even though Aileen negotiated to well below market rate when we bought, and I have upgraded appliances and added solar since then.

My new place is back in Oakland, closer to where the people are. Also, I have exclusive access to the finished basement, which I turned into my own personal gym.

This building was, less than a year ago, the neighborhood hangout for homeless and drug addicts, but new owners took over, hired a security company, did some much over due maintenance, and effectively changed the culture before I ever found the place. But it's still East Oakland, which is obvious the moment you step outside the front door.

5 minutes by bike from the BikeStation, so no more 15 mile commute by bike or skates once a week. I miss that.

Winter time is always slow for my business, but this year the slow down started sooner than usual. No longer saving, focused on breaking even.

I started dating again.

The title of this post refers to this: biodieselhauling.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-year-later.html

Re-reading it - no, I didn't not follow through with that. Not even close. Looking back, its funny to me that I really believed that was realistic.
I still feel the same way, but I've given in to experiencing whatever life has to offer along the way.

I found several people who looked interesting on the interwebs, and sent messages.
And got no response.
And was discouraged, because I wasn't just sending mass emails to lots of women, I was sending detailed personal messages to specific people because I thought we had stuff in common and would get along. If I like them, chances are they might like me too.
Maybe they are just overwhelmed with spam. Maybe they are out of the country, and not checking messages. Or maybe I am just uglier and stupider than I am aware, and nobody wants to date me because I suck.
Actually, thats not entirely true - I had ongoing conversations with two women, and even made plans to meet. One told me the day before that she decided she wasn't ready to date after all, and canceled. Then the other told me she got back together with her boyfriend.
Maybe those were both true, and not just excuses, but it sure didn't make me feel any less discouraged.
Was this so hard 5 years ago?

Well, all of a sudden, weeks, sometimes months, after I first contact, someone finally gets back to me. Not just once or twice, but 5 separate people. "I'm sorry for the long delay, I've just been busy, but you seem really interesting, and I'd love to meet up in real life"
And I end up on 4 dates on 4 consecutive nights, all with different people.

This was scary. Especially since more than one went well, and left me wanting to know her better. I can barely handle dating one person. How can I date several?

It was moot, because one had more free time than the rest, and we went out several times before I had a chance to schedule a follow up with anyone else. She is smart and shy and she challenged me, which I love, and something seemed to connect. In the middle of a discussion on politics, there would be a sudden romantic moment, a pause, a look, a feeling. 
There was the usual pattern of physical intimacy on the third date (for some reason, it has always been first date, 3rd date, or never. Never 2nd or 4th. I don't know why. I don't plan it that way.)
I was telling her I never initiate that stuff with someone new, because of patriarchy and gender roles and all that, that I always wait for the woman to make the first move, and then she kissed me ;)
I fell hard. Like I did with Valerie. Not counting my ex-wife (which was in a different way, it was more gradual, we were friends first), it was only the 2nd time in my adult life that I really completely fell.

It was interesting to watch from the inside - normally I have love-blindness, and I can't see any flaws or compatibility problems with my interest.  This time I could very clearly see red flags, I was totally aware of the obvious issues, and I almost willfully ignored them. Seeing it clearly made literally no difference. All the reading on love, on cognitive bias, on psychology, literally no difference. It was just as strong. I believed my own excuses, my own rationalizations, even though I knew I was doing it as it was happening.
And I know - and am ok with - that I will do the same next time.

I'm not fully over it. I am still depressed, have no motivation to leave the house or talk to anyone or do anything or even eat. I spent much of yesterday napping.  Fortunately, recognizing this part, knowing it's temporary, that does help. Its like being on a bad drug trip when you have been enough times before. You don't want to feel that way anymore, but you know that a) there is nothing you can do about it, and b) it will go away on its own, all you have to do is wait it out.
So I'm waiting.

She really did have some great things about her though. And we shared a decent amount of fun in a short time. Maybe, with some buffer time in between, we can become friends.

I'm still in contact with the other interesting women I had first dates with, both of them are open to more dates with me, and I will try not to get overly excited too quickly when that happens.  And I'll fail. But that will be ok. Sooner or later I'll get it right, the pieces will fall into place, it will be mutual, and it will have been a great way to begin something special and lasting.

I started out saying I didn't have anything in particular to say, and here we are, 20 paragraphs later.


  1. Good luck! I can't remember if I've ever commented on your blog, but I read it pretty regularly. Came here after reading your posts on MMM a year or so ago. I am always impressed by your thoughtfulness and your way of questioning things. Well, I just wanted to wish you luck - I have always thought you were a super cool guy and I hope you find what you are looking for.
    -Heidi (Meadow Lark on MMM)

    1. What!? Seriously? " I read it pretty regularly"??
      I didn't think I had any regular readers. Not even the people I know in real life.

      Well, golly, I'm going to have to be better about actually writing all the stuff that I think about where I say to myself "I should write about that on my blog" and never get around to it!


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