July 5th, 2002

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Shockwave

For those who haven't picked up on this fact, I live in the Eastlake neighborhood, on a pier built out over Lake Union. It's a lovely location. I can get to work quickly by driving, and it has easy access to bus lines. My building is also located in close proximity to the Washington Mutual Family Fourth on Lake Union. Very close. And it's also gated behind a security fence, so the only crowd I have to fight is other building residents.

Darren (stryper666), Jason, Lance (spirochete) and I set up chairs on the edge of the parking lot with a prime view. The show started with an army transport helicopter carrying a flag around the edge of the lake. I want to know how the spotters controlling the lights were able to train the lights on the flag so unerringly. Then the fireworks themselves started. The organizers threw in some pretty cool effects: the now standard smiley faces, purple lights on parachutes, and rains of sparks that filled the sky. One effect I particularly liked was a normal death star explosion with embers blowing straight away. But then they followed it with continuing death star pieces that appeared to come right out of the middle of the previous death star. Hard to describe but it gives the impression of a constantly growing fireball.

But what amazed me most was the shockwave on the explosions. On some of the fireworks we were right under the pieces. On all of them we could feel the force of the air as it bounced out and then sucked back momentarily. The building literally shook every time (probably helps that it's built on a pier rather a than foundation). I had to check several times to see if my heart hadn't skipped a beat because I felt like someone had been punching my chest.

Now I have bits of firework ash all over the inside of my apartment. I don't really know how they got in, as I only had one window open and it isn't near this desk. Yet I have ash bits all over the desk. They do not clean up with a wiping. That action just smears them on my fine wood. Ah well, I shall leave them and rely on my fine cleaning lady to fix the fireworks mess.

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The exes

I normally don't talk crap about the exes of friends cause they are often my friends as well. My opinion of someone doesn't change at the moment of break-up. If the now-ex didn't strike me wrong before hand he/she won't now. Of course, if they did bother me before, I probably would have told my friend if I cared enough to bother. If I do have a problem with the before-ex, out of deference to my friend's choice, I will tend to keep it toned down or only tell the friend once. After that they are on their own.

I do make a point though to ask my really good friends, after one of their break-ups, if the ex is persona non grata (which can happen for any number of reasons). I won't go after them to rip them a new one, but if my friend (and it has to be a good friend) gives that nod, I will refrain for including the ex in my social circle. I do this mostly because if they are uncomfortable, I don't want to put them in close proximity.

Now, did I keep all the pronouns straight?

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Dealing with others

A few years ago (as in late 80s, early 90s), I was "angry boy." I seethed. I was also extremely afraid of confrontation. So rather than talk to people about problems, or just do something about them, I played passive-aggressive games.

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So here I am at the point of my story. I have to ask myself almost every day, "would I rather be right, or happy?" I don't play those kinds of games any more.

I don't keep track of who owes who lunch. When I lived with Curtis, I told him the food is shared. Purchase some, purchase some that I like, purchase some that you like. But we weren't going to get into pissing matches over who was purchasing slightly more food than the other. If I have to complain about it, it will be so bad that he would agree that he wasn't buying anything.

So when a friend of mine bothers me, I may tell them, or I may not. I will work around their bad behavior if they do not change it. But I will not get into pissing matches over shit. No "he better call me first to apologize" crap. No "I didn't get invited to his party so I won't invite him to mine."

The key is that I don't carry the resentment. If it's occupying time in my head enough that my actions feel like retaliation, then I have gone over the line that keeps me happy.