October 15th, 2001

Chalkboard

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Television Depression, Personal Alarm Locators, and a Conversation with Captain Mike Rodriguez

Am having pasta for lunch. I have been avoiding going to the market for so long, I don't think I can put it off any longer. I try to limp by with orders from Pink Dot, (who mystify me with their ability to stay in business when they are sooo incredibly bad at what they do) and the occasional stop at a yucky 711 or some other quickie place, but I'm certainly not doing any favors for anyone's health around here by doing that. Argh, maybe I can gather enough energy to go to a regular market today. Wish me luck.

Hey, I know why I'm not as depressed as I usually am by this hour, I haven't listened to any news or watched any television since last night. Aha! I think I started my weekend television depression programming by watching too much TLC. I really liked the specials they had on the disaster, but the trouble is I just sit there watching it, and then I start sobbing.

There were some videos I hadn't seen before, one where a woman, who is videotaping the cloud of debris coming her way, gets pulled in to a store by some quick thinking people, and shoots the cloud passing by the window from inside the store. The blackness, the horror of it, and this woman shrieking, "Oh my God," over and over again, and then thanking the people for saving her life.

Then there's the video taken by a doctor who rushed to the scene. I'm grateful to him for shooting it, but it's horrible. At one point he thinks he's going to die and is talking to his camera in the darkness. Then there is that high pitched alarm/ringing sound that seems to be coming from everywhere, and I don't think I'll ever forget learning that those are the sounds of the firefighters personal alarms going off when they haven't moved for a period of time.

I feel so angry and helpless and lonely when I watch these shows. I feel so far away from everything, I want to go to New York, just so I can hug someone, anyone there, but I can't afford to, and there's the whole fear of flying thing I'd have to deal with.

I just called our local fire station. I had a long conversation with Captain Mike Rodriguez. He was amiable, chatty even. He told me that the alarms we hear on the video are personal alarm locators or PALs. "We tell the guys these are their pals." They're tied in to the guys breathing apparatus, some of the older one's were worn on their jackets. If one of the men falls or is trapped or is hurt in some way, the alarms will go off after twenty-thirty seconds. They bleep at an incredibly loud 110 decibels and flash a red light as well. The Captain said they will work under six feet of water, a grim piece of information if ever there was one.

I asked him if he knew my ex-brother-in-law who is a firefighter. When he wanted to know where he was stationed I had to tell him that I don't know anymore because our family blew apart when Robby and I did. This prompted a conversation about firefighters and marriage. He said some wives can't take the twenty-four hour separation, that many of them cheat, and the guys worry. He said he tells the men not to call so much, that the wives will call them when they want to. That you can't worry about something like that or you'll end up with an ulcer. He also told me not to be sad, that firefighters don't ever die. "We don't just die, we trade. We'll do our job and we'll do it bravely, but we don't just die, we never give up like that. You gotta remember that for those three hundred and fifty guys that went down, there were forty-five to fifty-thousand people that were saved. That's a good trade."

You know, in all the years I've lived here, I've never paid them a visit. They're right up the street, and I've never taken Beau, never thanked them for risking their lives for us. I had thought about going by after the disaster in New York, just to let them know we were thinking about them, and were grateful, but I never got around to it. So today, after I pick the kids up from school, we're going to pay a visit to Captain Mike, and the men at our local fire station. I'm going to pick some roses from my garden to take to them. I'm going to thank them and give them hugs if they'll let me.
Chalkboard

(no subject)

Well, not if you wanna have a laugh or two at my ex.

Uh, God, I feel like I'm going to throw up. I was just doing a search for the PAL, firefighter, rescue device, because I wanted to put a picture of it up for you, and somehow I got sidetracked and as trying to find out where my ex brother-in-law is stationed, then stupidly I thought, Hey I know, I'll look and see if my ex has any kind of net presence and found the following links. If you didn't know that he was forty, how old would you think a guy who lists his interests as "Fencing, Motorcycles, Classic Cars, Girlies" is?

He would have a Yahoo club called "fencingissexy." Man is he shallow. I found his comment that he, gets involved with the wrong women, particularly cheery. I guess I'm now being lumped in with his crack-addict, stripper, ex-girlfriend from Vegas, and his little sister's friend, who gave him genital warts.

Poor little, innocent, motorcycle-loving victim. It's the women who do it to him, not his total lack of courage, or his fear of intimacy. Women, they done him wrong, yup that's what it is. He's just an angel. I guess when you pick people based on youth, and beauty, and the desire to have them suck your dick whenever you want them to, no matter how shitty you are to them, well, then you're liable to wind up with some real winners.

I wish someone would go over there and deliver a blow for my honor. But then again, compared to the entire journal I created to mock him, the one I slaved over for more than a year, before I stupidly (seriously, stupidly,) sent an e-mail to his mother's computer, with a link to my parody journal in my sig., and had to delete the whole thing, I guess his little yahoo pages are pretty damned mild.

This must be his first profile, his middle name is Demetrios, but he rarely spells it the same way twice .

DemetriosLA
Hobbies: Fencing,Motorcycles,Classic cars,Getting involved with the wrong women.
Latest News: It's a long story
Favorite Quote: "Bitches leave!" - Robocop "
(I can't believe I was with someone who would choose this as his personal quote. )

Then I found what looks like his latest profile. They're both pretty deep, well, about as deep as he is.

rdcarrillo
Hobbies: Fencing, Motorcycles, Classic Cars, Girlies
(I guess his eighteen year old, Islamic studies student, girlfriend, didn't like the earlier reference to getting involved with the wrong women. So he had the grace to change it to...girlies. How nice for her. Yup, I think a long distance relationship between an incredibly immature forty year old and a shy, bookish, eighteen year old is a safe bet, don't you? I mean, he's charming enough that it might take her a week or two to figure out that there truly is no bottom to his selfishness, to say nothing of his total love and respect for women.)

And here, just for laughs is his fencingissexy club. Blech.

Or you can skip the link and read some of his better posts right here. It's a comfort to know that this is what he's doing with his time, rather than spending it with his son.

9/15/00 8:34 pm
Bootie and then some ! ! !
You speek the truth o wandering one. However I have come to know a few fencers with extra junk in the trunk. I will not out them here though for fear of retaliation.

This was in reference to someone's comments that women fencers all have big asses, nice debate that, but what I really think is fine is the expression, junk in the trunk. It takes a particularly sensitive man, to be able live with a woman struggling with major weight issues, for sixteen years, and then post something like this.

9/16/00 1:45 am
Thanks for sharing. The staff at "Fencing is Sexy" always appreciates tasteful photos exploiting women, especially in the context of fencing.

Lovely.

10/19/00 9:17 pm Re: Okay. I'm in.
Need you ask? Isn't it obvious that if I founded the club then I am the "Sexyness" by witch all other sexyness is measured? I'm so dissapointed in you. Please try to redeem yourselves post haste.</i>
Witch. Okay I admit it, I'm being petty, but hey, the guy continues to hurt us, so leave me my small pleasures.

11/9/00 10:58 pm Denver is Sexy!
The tournament in Denver was lots o' fun. I made some sexy new friends, and had a good time all around. Sorry you couldn't make it. Perhaps I'll see you in Ontario, Cal. for the next NAC, or "Vegas Baby" for the Duel in the Desert! Until then... STAY SEXY ! ! !

5/9/01 11:35 pm Reno is Sexy!
I didn't compete, but still managed to have a good time. I officated all three days and was at no loss for opportunities to check out all the sexy women fencers. Soon I will aquire a digital camera to share worthy subjects with you all. Fence well, and stay sexy!
Regards,
DemitriosLA

Well, color me demanding, but you'd just have to be in my position to understand why this particular entry hurts. I think a good dad ought to stick around for his son's birthday, (5/11,) rather than running off to Reno, to check out all the sexy women fencers. But this wouldn't be the first time he's done that. Hey, points for saying women instead of girlies.

4/11/01 9:36 pm Sorry Everyone!
I'll get a new picture up as soon as I have time. It appears I'm not allowed to use Kimberly's picture without Hefners consent. That's understandable considering I'm making sooooo much money off of it!(sarcasm).

3/29/01 12:14 am Howz about a little feedback?
What do you think about the club picture? Too risque? Too disrespectful to women? I think it's sexy, and after all the club is called "Fencing is Sexy". I welcome your input!

You know I'd be willing to bet that he does think being disrespectful to women is sexy, but how would I know, I was only married to the guy forever.

Okay well, thanks everyone for wading through this, I'm feeling a little better now. At least I can always have a few laughs at his spelling, but I needed something more than that so I went to fencing sucks.com and posted this;

Well, it sure is nice to find such a spiffy looking site about what is undoubtedly my least favorite topic, Fencing and Sucking. Although I wonder if you take your topic as seriously as I do. I was the unfortunate recipient of what I like to call, selfish-partner-egotist/rotten-man, fallout syndrome, or SPERM for short. You're right about the shaved heads, although I think it has more to do with aging, sexist jerks, trying to look younger than they really are, than anything having to do with style. There is something fairly sad and pathetic about these old guys, hanging around high school girls, hoping for some action.

Bitter? You bet. Spending years as a fencing widow can do that to a gal. The lack of money, the endless traveling, the late night drinks with the guys, the immaturity, the stench of sweat and stale cigars, not to mention the cheating, and a total lack of chivalry, (oxymoronic considering the sport is fencing), have helped form my opinion that yes indeed, fencing does suck. Or at least certain bald, forty-year-old, West Coast fencers do.

Thank you for this fabulous opportunity to vent my rage and frustration.


Ahh, that feels about as good as it must have felt for Nicole Kidman to show off her high heels on Letterman.
Chalkboard

(no subject)

Opening Mail, a Visit to the Fire Station, and The Contender



Is anyone else afraid when they open their mail? Oh, I forgot to tell you, we did go to the fire station today. They were so nice to us. I was surprised at how poorly they live. I want to do something for them, make it cozier somehow, but I think that's the way they want it, sparse. It just seems so lonely.
God, I really like firefighters. I can honestly say that I always have. Not just because of the tragedy of September 11th, but just because they're such good guys. I always wave at them and am friendly whenever we meet, but of course now, in light of all of this loss and fear, I feel like adopting them and making them breakfast. Huh, maybe I should make myself breakfast first.

Oh yeah, I saw The Contender again tonight, on cable. This is such a good film. If you haven't seen it, please rent it, there are so many good performances in there, and Joan Allen, she's magnificent. I had forgotten that Rod Lurie directed it. I used to listen to him every weekend on the radio. I'm so happy for him. His is really a Cinderella kind of story.


Pretty.