I would have gotten off of it earlier, but I decided to yack at my friend Will. He's headed back to our hometown in Ohio (what is with all my friends going back to Ohio lately?!). He leaves Sunday, and is going back to go to his 20 year highschool reunion. I forgot to ask him if he was taking his girlfriend with him. I'm kind of watching this relationship to see what happens. Will is only three years younger than I. He married about a year or two before I did. Shortly after marrying, he went to Pennsylvania, without the wife, to work on a movie for about six months, and shortly after he returned, he and his wife got divorced. I guess they weren't cheating on each other, to hear him tell it, but the time apart must have given them pause to reconsider the wisdom of their marriage, or at least given him pause. He's been drifting around in various relationships with various women since then, some of them got a bit serious, and he wasn't happy about those not working out, and now he and the woman he's with now have been together for two years and they don't act like they're in any hurry, but they do seem to be serious about one another. Hmmm, I hope it works out for him. It is not good for man to be alone.
Will's in the midst of a six-month sabatical from working on movies. Hmmm, must be nice to be able to take that much free time to ruminate and consider options. The last time we talked, he told me that he was wanting to purchase and tinker with a replica of the B-9 robot from the old TV series, "Lost In Space" made by Hollywood robot restorer Frank Barton. He was asking me about the embedded software in the thing to make it do what he wanted it to do, and so I attempted to explain robotics, digital and analog I/O, networked microcontrollers and embedded firmware while metaphorically standing on one foot. If he goes through with it, he's going to have tons of questions. I'd help him, but McGuffin is not getting enough of my time as it is.
After talking with William, I went to go watch a DVD my mom had sent me. It was Nothing But Trouble" starring Dan Ackroyd, Chevy Chase, John Candy, and Demi Moore. It was a cute movie, kind of a bizarre comedy take-off on, or almost parody of, Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but nothing to write home about. I got myself a cold Diet Coke, popped myself a bag of Pop Secret Kettle Corn, put on my robe, climbed into my woman-forsaken half-acre of bed (King-sized beds are nice, even if they don't come with complimentary company) and watched the movie, and then found that I wasn't going to go to sleep afterwards. I should have gotten up and attempted to do something with the time, but I didn't. I lay there until I finally conked out. It was 3:40 AM the last time I looked at my alarm clock. Is it being alone that makes my insomnia get this stupidly chronic? Why? I can't figure it, but I think it's true. It has flared up at those times in my life when I am alone. It's silly, really. I wasn't even feeling particularly stressed or anything. Ah well, if I'm going to be single again, I might as well have the full monty. I have my complete single life back again, after about fifteen years, and I had never really thought of the insomnia as being part of that, but upon reflection, and I have a lot of time for that, now, I realize that it was/is.
Well, the McGuffin-talk around the lunch table is starting to get serious. Tom is beginning to get itchy about getting the company up and running. He wants to start brining in investors, which means Robert will have to think about getting serious and getting a formal agreement nailed down among us so that we end up with real shares of stock. It's worth about seven billionths of a cent right now, for taxation purposes, but if McGuffin flies, we stand to be more well off than I ever could have possibly imagined. Ack. Robert and I are still some distance from getting McGuffin to fly. We both need time to work which we just haven't had. We're meeting in Berkely again Sunday for a nice long discussion of where we are going. This is getting interesting, but very scary.
Robert came back from Cleveland with a check for $3000 from his uncle, who wants to contribute to our crazy quest. It's something. Tom is talking about bringing in much bigger investors. If we can scrounge up another $250,000, more or less, we can probably afford to set up a lab and leave our current employment to work on McGuffin full-time. I'm really spooked about it. I'm not used to a high level of entrepreneurialism in my life. I've always been a wage slave, even if a pretty damned comfortable wage slave, and this is a whole new experience for me. I have a scene, running through my head. It's from a Stephen King novella called The Langoliers, from the anthology Four Past Midnight In the scene, a man on an airplane is asleep, having a lucid dream about being on an airplane. He notices a hole, fist-sized, if I remember correctly, in the fusilage of the plane, through which air is whistling. Near the hole, on the fusilage, someone has made a graffiti arrow, pointing to the hole, and written the caption next to it: "Only shooting stars beyond this point."
In other disturbing news, the first three days of this week, found me having a less than pleasant e-correspondence exchange with the ex's new squeeze-toy. He had written to comment on something I had said about the children. I was surprised to hear from him, because normally he doesn't have two words to say to me when I encounter him while picking up or dropping off the children -- not that I feel slighted, mind you. I don't particularly have much to say to him either. Anyway, at first I was curious about what he had to say, but as we started exchanging comments, I became entirely put-off by his oblique invocations of polylogia, relative morality, and other philosophical irritations. I think he was attempting to extend an olive branch, but the conversation quickly got acrimonious, and without hesitation, I will admit that it was entirely my fault. I can be a bastard, and something of a verbal bully, when my dander is up. It's a pitfall of being me. Nevertheless, I am not feeling like apologizing -- not to either one of them. The more I read where he invoked the "nobody at fault" idea, the less I liked hearing it, especially from him. Personally, I have believed that I have been busting my rear end for my ex, but she has not only not appreciated it, but has continued to betray my trust, and stab me in the back, just as she has, periodically, for as long as I have known her. Her little humiliating and uncalled-for wage-garnishment stunt has been the last unforgiveable insult that has wiped out the last of whatever kind regard I had for her. The "conversation" just degenerated from there. Next, he attempted to broach the idea that it was better that Crystal had left me and that it was equally my fault. Well, duh. I acknowledge that. We never were perfectly suited for one another, and something degraded the relationship over the course of twelve years, for which, in my less hostile moments, I am willing to shoulder some of the blame. Nevertheless, I did love her, and I like to think that she loved me, even if only periodically. I just didn't appreciate him presuming to discuss that with me, especially considering the fact that he was screwing her before she even left, and on top of that, he proceeded to helpfully diagnose my relationships with my daughters. What the hell, was the weasilly little shit expecting me to give him a medal for "saving" my wife and daughters from me? Balderdash! I don't know what you were expecting, "Dr. Good-Feelings", but I really have to laugh at your "objective" credentials when I see the thermometer with which you are taking my wife's temperature. Also, presuming to tell me how to interact with my own daughters is really skating on thin ice with me. Also, presuming to posture as a "new third parent" in the lives of my children is outrageous hubris on his part. If something ever happens to my ex, I would have my children out of that apartment so fast that his head would spin. That relationship is just fine, thank you very much. I've known them for thirteen years, and he has known them less than one. Sheesh, what presumption.
Also, yesterday I got a chat message from my cousin, Pam. She left home at a rather early age, under somewhat problematical circumstances, and I haven't spoken to her for sixteen years. She is sebstorm1's sister, and that's who gave me her YIM handle. They're sharing a house back in Ohio right now, although I think sebstorm1 is getting ready to move into one of her own. I've seen Pam online on my contacts list before now, over the course of the last couple of weeks or so, but for the life of me, I couldn't think of what to say to reestablish a connection which has lain fallow for sixteen years. I'm not good about reconnecting with people with whom I have gotten out of contact. The recent attempt to contact my old "first girlfriend" ended in failure when both of the e-mail addresses I had for her bounced. I haven't got in touch with my mom or with Kelli's dad to see if she got a new one. Call me lazy or cautious or whatever. Anyway, Pam sent me a message yesterday and we started talking. She sounds somewhat like I remember her. The tone of her messages though, sound happier than I remember her being, most of the time, from our earlier years. It's a good thing. Life has not been a bed of roses for her, but she seems to have found the strength of spirit to be comfortable with herself and her life. It's hard to tell from just the couple of short conversations we've had, but I would hope that is the case.