Prison Pete

Tuesday, May 10, 2005
  Your Own Worst Enemy.
1:00 PM. same schedule again today. Up at 6:45 AM, breakfast at 7:00 AM, walking from 9:00 to 10:00. From 10:00 to noon basically read some, napped some. Lunch at Noon, shower and now I am ready to work.

The heat wave continues. It is almost to the point of harmful in here. The real stupid point is that it is still much cooler outside, and if they would just put one or two of the fans by the doors to the hallway, bringing in that cooler air we would be comfortable. The Hershey's chocolate bars have now assumed a semi-liquid state, and the individually wrapped cheese is pre-melted. I am used to drinking warm soda, but this is getting to the point where they tepid.

You might want to create a post out of the following and include what I had written yesterday as the lead in. Yesterday I finally started to answer your question about friends. I am reading "Your Own Worst Enemy" and came across the following:


"For those accustomed to sailing through life effortlessly, real relationships present unaccustomed demands. It takes more than social contact, good times, clever conversations, interesting stories, and lively exchanges to make a friendship. Profound relationships develop over years and involve all that it means to be human.

To be profoundly satisfying, relationships require wisdom, sincerity, honesty, reflection, forbearance, self-control, patience, and time. This in itself is a tall order. But they also involve risks. SLHPPs [Self-Limiting High Performance Person] are often at the center of a lively discussion at a party and are, as we have seen, likeable and often well-liked. But they often have few truly profound friendships because they prefer to avoid the hassles and exposure to rejection. Some SLHPPs reduce risks of rejection by never inviting and always waiting to be invited. Eventually, people drop away. Intimate relationships require even more work, and if you skip over learning the skills that relationships demand, the complexities can overwhelm you. As with any other achievement, investing energy produces rewards."

This is my take, by recognizing the "recipe" for a true friendship before I even read the above, shows me I am really paying attention to life's important lessons.

A few more quotes:

"When you stop blaming circumstances, bad luck, and other people for where you are, you can make progress. It is important to recognize your own hand in having arrived where you are. But attacking yourself is different from taking responsibility for your mistakes. Attacking yourself is actually a way to avoid deeply reflecting on, and soberly acknowledging what you have done to get to this point."

I think Annabel would really benefit from this book. Her background as a teacher, yet she accepts this lower paying job, and pines after an unavailable guy? Next time you e-mail her, tell her I said Hi, and am sorry about the shit Marty pulled, and then tell her I think she could really get a lot out of this book.

Let us get back to answering your letters.

My typewriter has been pretty good. But like any intermittent problem it is tough to say if it is gone. I did type a short letter on Monday, the typed draft was fine, but when I went back to print it, two characters in the reference line got replaced with some unprintable symbols.

Unlike the previous times it did not go on to destroy all the memory. I had seven to eight different pages in the memory and was able to do some major deleting; usually a sure way of asking for trouble, and it all went well. I hope they agree to replace it but if not

Yeah, legal research is not something the average citizen has a skill for. Although now with all the legal websites, it would be a good thing to teach in the high schools. For the time being there is not much happening on the legal front. Provided I did not screw the pooch, I am hoping the court will send me copies of my two motions I filed with the U.S. District Court.

Yes, I heard Jonnie Cochran is dead. Yeah, a better lawyer would have helped me.

Love Line/Howard Stern etc. I am getting a pretty clear picture of Love Line as being a pretty one dimensional show. While they search for prurient information, sexual abuse is the cause for all actions that they consider out of the norm. The problem is their norm seems to be a pretty narrow slice. I think I heard about a Rolling Stone article that showed there were more fines levied by the FCC for on air indecency then the EPA handed out for polluting the land and waters. Again, proof that you have to watch who the government goes after!

2:45 PM. Pages one and two are finished. I was about to scratch off the letters on the keys. I actually started to scratch one key, them it dawned on me; I may have to return this machine.

I got another idea. Pop all the keys off and put them back on randomly. The reason for this is I am basically a cheater and I could not stop looking at the keyboard. Now I have no choice. I am using the same little cue card I had when I used the alternate keyboard on the IBM.

But there is a subtle difference in the shape of the keys on each row; I mixed up the rows so the layout is a little lumpy now. It is even more extreme than blinders on a horse. It is really strange since when I look at the keyboard now my brain gets so confused. I know that those are not the keys, and am then forced to use the layout stored in my gray matter but it's not as easy as looking down on the keyboard.

Your rant. What time lag, said with tongue firmly placed in cheek? Seriously, I know I have already mentioned some of the things you do that do relate to me. These last two letters were full of great stuff. Look back over the definition of what is needed for a true relationship. I think it was more a question of timing.

Okay, first I have to be patient and wait for your letter, and if the day it arrives I really need a pick-me-up and instead, you are busy, so just sent a fast letter. The important part is that I was able to express myself in a way that did not come off as we bitching at you. The proof in that is your very clear explanation of what I said in your words. This is where I might just be expecting boo much. I get such great support from you that I come to expect it. Again not necessarily a bad thing.

A sign of your own people skills; you do hear what other people are saying about you. Remember Rule Number One in Relationships: You can not change the other person. That is good news. It narrows down the person that needs the work. You can change. (Previous 'you' is the plural you) In your case just do not accept defeat so easily. You are a people person, just a little rusty.

We computer nerds have been able to get too soft. We are afraid of risking our personal selves. When we work on programming, if we use a wrong command or violate one of the other rules of the language we are using, the computer tells us. We jump right in and fix the error, recompile the program and perhaps another error comes up, which we fix, and eventually the compiler accepts our work. But the entire process has us in control, yes sometimes we may scratch our head and work a bit before we fix the error, but what I think we get too used to is making "mistakes" and not having a human say you are wrong go fish. Not only do we not get "noticed" we can then try another approach, generally without any negative connotations. In the old days you might have gotten a bill from the computer saying how many compiles and how much CPU was used.

In human terms, think about how cool it would he if every time your spouse made a comment, you could switch her into debug made. A cheesy example. She says, "Do I look fat in this dress?" You reach for handy wife remote, hit "DEBUG", and ask first question, "Do you want a yes answer because you do not like the dress anyhow?" Depending on the first answer, you might then ask, "Do I need to suggest we go out and buy you a new dress?" Once you got your answers, switch back to "run" and you now know the way the program is going to run, you can give the "right" answer. Get the idea?

Life does not work that easy. Even when, the program error is pointed out by one of my clients, they were so amazed that I could tame the beast; the error did little to affect my self-esteem. (Damn, 4:20 PM, and I just got out of chair for first time since I started working) Mail is not ready yet. A few more minutes.

Yes, I do think I know a lot more about women in general having read so many women authors. I am far from an expert. For example, that woman with two kids that thought a three-way with another woman and her husband would be a good idea. Could that be a bad idea that as the husband I am suppose to say, "No way honey, you are all the woman I need." The Sex in the Bible Belt book said that swinging couple are less likely to divorce. What is the right answer? There is none, each relationship is unique in my humble opinion.

Damn it, no letters, and no catalogs. Back to the letter. At one point in our marriage, my ex had a fantasy crush on the owner of the store where we both worked on and off. Somehow, I am really fuzzy on how this got set-up, but at one point the three of us ended up in the front seat of his car after closing down the store.

The point of this attempt at a threesome was not at all to include any mano to mano contact. In the pure sense, this was being done for my wife's benefit. There was some minor front seat fondling with him, and then she wants to stop. An attempt was made to soothe her nerves, but we ended up leaving the car and walking home. If she ever acted on the feelings again without my knowledge I do not know. The other man was probably around 10 years older than us, married, and had two kids. He eventually ditched his wife years later and picked up younger chick.

What is the moral here? Well, should I have allowed it to go past the simple fantasy? , I do not remember any repercussions from this event. He went on to get a younger chickee so he does not seem to be suffering from his explorations. He is able to attract younger woman. If that makes sense.

One of the books I got from Hamilton was the Mammoth Book of Women's Fantasies. 300 plus pages. It covers the full range of possibilities. Girl on girl, threesomes, mild bondage, complaints about passive and boring husbands and more. There is no one answer. But it seems that you need to be willing to risk a little rejection to make some progress. I hope some of this makes sense.

I am having a minor panic attack, going to take a break and get some dinner.

Even writing about this emotional stuff years later causes a rise in the stress level. Computer nerds are coddled by our machines; we want people to be that "safe."

While I was waiting for the last three pages to print out, I got an idea. I know it is not a good idea to preach to another person, but I am just throwing this out there as a random thought that I have no use for at this time, so rather than waste it, I give it to you with no strings attached. I will not be insulted if you do nothing with it, but please tell whatever you decide to do.

One way you might be able to throw a curve ball to your wife is to tell her that you do want to be more open with your feelings. Tell her your "fear" of rejection (or whatever phrase you are comfortable with) and ask her to be patient with you.

That might be just the thing to melt her heart a bit. Beware though, she may come right back and say okay, so what feelings would you like to express. Yes, it would be nice if she would appreciate your first step, letting you proceed at your own pace. I have to warn you, she will probably want to know something more right then.

You probably need to frame your thoughts as statements. If they come out as questions, they lack the conviction that shows risk. No, I am not suggesting this is the time to tell her you "feel" like a three-way. (At least not as the first thing ":-)" But you might say something that while it is a statement, it leaves some wiggle room in it, depending on her reaction.

Yes, this stuff gets tricky. Remember to start with something that has a direct benefit for her. Not, I was thinking about a way we could improve our sex life.

Be more specific; think of a novel suggestion for bedtime. I am under the impression that on some (most) nights she heads to bedroom, you to your computer. Same thing I would do. Suggest you want to spend ten to fifteen minutes with her at her bedtime. This might be before her shower, or if she reads right before sleep, you might take the time before or after.

Once the time period is agreed, then the next thing is to nail down the activity. I suggest you have a couple things ready to suggest. Remember the idea is to show you have given this some thought and you are really offering your time for her benefit. Remember, first get her to agree to the time, you could eventually end up with different things at different times, but for now you are shooting for a specific time, and activity. Later on you can put some flexibility in it.

You should make clear that the activity is not sexual in nature, does not include the kids and is her time. But you still need to show the initiative and thought.

Some of the possible activities:

A. Listen to her day or allow her to blow off stream about someone or something that is bothering her.

B. Give her a comforting foot, back or hand massage. You might look up some web sites for techniques?

C. Read a love letter from the Fulghum book. I know you said she was not into that, but it might be worth exploring again.

The point is you need to show you really want to do this, you are willing to try different activities, some involve touching, some do not and she does not have to make a list of what she wants. You are making the suggestions to show you care.

This may all sound like a plot from a cheesy bodice-ripper, or one of the more modern romance books you have sent. I do not care if you use all, part or none of it. I am romantically inhibited at this point so I have no use for it right now. It could always be recycled later for my own romance novel.

Enough of that. 8:15 PM. Let me see if I can at least finish up this letter.

Direct contact. As I have previously written, there does not seem to be any half-way point in terms of contact between me and the blog readers. There is the once-a-month blog, but besides the fact that is an increase in your work load, it dies not give me much more contact then I have now.

Once again, the "comments" you now send me, are they seen by anyone reading the blog? The worst case scenario I foresee, you give my address to an individual, he or she goes ballistic, and puts trash comments all over the blog. You can shut off all comments? I am not really worried about someone getting my name; I am wondering how you might have to deal with any fallout. Would a no-comment blog still be worth doing? Is there a way for a person to comment, but it is you that gets to decide if they become public? Someone could still trash this blog on their blog? Bottom line, if you are comfortable with giving my name to someone, it is okay with me.

One point of fairness though, they would have to be able to give me an address I could mail to. For example, someone may not be able to have a place I could write since her husband opens all her mail. If someone is willing to give you a mailing address, I guess you can trade mine. I would not need you to send their address; I would just wait for them to write. You could explain that if they felt the need, they could notify the prison and tell them I was not to write to them. That might also sound too ominous. Hey, they say Scott Peterson gets tons of mail!

Gotta print the last three pages, almost 9:00 PM

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