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Something Positive April 27, 2009

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , add a comment

Well not really. Just a reminder to myself, after looking over my last few posts, that I need to put something positive on here.

Anti-Gay Rhetoric Costs a Crown April 21, 2009

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We live in a country that celebrates free speech. So it is that I believe that Miss USA pageant contestant Carrie Prejean, Miss California, is entitled to say whatever she wants, provided it doesn’t impinge upon anyone else’s Constitutional rights. (“The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins,” as Oliver Wendell Holmes said.) Nonetheless, I am glad to see that the right of others to express their beliefs has brought consequences to her use of her position to support a policy of disparity and bigotry.

What did she do? When prompted with a question about her thoughts on gay marriage, Miss California used her position to espouse the view that marriage should be solely reserved for heterosexual people. Again, she is free to hold and put forth this antiquated and harmful thought. This time, however, it apparently made judges of the contest take note. Miss Carolina, Kristen Dalton, carried away the Miss USA crown and Prejean was relegated to runner-up.

It is good to see anti-gay rhetoric treated with disfavor on the part of other free-willed human beings. Kudos to the pageant judges. It is good to see the country slowly moving towards an end to this particular institutionalized practice of discrimination.

The Anger April 19, 2009

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , add a comment

Seriously, I was hoping to write something new and potentially interesting tonight. But the anger I feel about my last post is still there, and prevalent. I have gotten emails from folks that share my feelings on this. Thanks for the support.

Hm, well I did have a pretty interesting political discussion with a dude from Trinidad and his friend from Jamaica, this evening. It wasn’t about to erase the recent scars, of course.

Maybe Someday Little One April 17, 2009

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , 1 comment so far

Until last Saturday, I didn’t think that my ex-wife could do anything else to hurt me. She already lied to me for years, cheated on me to the point she was willing to hook up with online RPG chat regulars and a random dude from Craigslist, tried to run off the half of my friends she wasn’t using and/or flirting with, put me into thousands of dollars of debt for a sham wedding (I have since paid that off, thankfully), got me into trouble with my job directly by manipulating managers and indirectly by fucking around in the same web venues which fell under my responsibility to manage, trashed my house, stole thousands of dollars of stuff (including hundred of books, scores of wedding gifts and even a computer), falsely claimed that I was abusive to her and her kids, showed up with another guy at a convention that I had to work, repeatedly pretended she wanted to work things out, and strung the divorce along so much I nearly had to pay the lawyer extra.

Seriously, that sad run-on of a sentence is just a snapshot of the ills which she rained down upon me, starting while I was a lovestruck pawn and continuing long after she had enlisted emotionally toyed-with goons to strip my house while I was out of town on business. This is a woman who was already cheating on me before we got married – I just hadn’t figured it out yet.

Anyway, I thought that it was all over, and that nothing was left but healing. The divorce was finalized last year. I haven’t seen her physically since 2007. Not only had I managed to get out of the debt she left behind, but I was saving money with astonishing speed. I had survived her attempts to sabotage my job, and discovered that my friends understood she was fucked up before I did. They didn’t have to decide whether or not to believe my side of the story because they had already seen it for themselves.

So, I said that I didn’t think there was any other way that she could hurt me. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I didn’t think that there was any other way that she would hurt me. One connection remained.

When I first met my ex-wife, Rachel, she was already pregnant. This had a remarkable impact upon me. I was there the day that her youngest daughter, Deva, was born. I cut the umbilical cord myself. I had spent my life not really wanting kids, and here I was participating in the first breathing moments of a delightful human being. As Deva grew, Rachel decided to introduce me as her father despite the fact that I was not Deva’s biological parent. Imagining that we would be together for the rest of our lives, I couldn’t see anything wrong with this – provided we explained things to her when she was old enough to understand – so I went along.

Out of her own mouth, Rachel proclaimed her daughter Deva a “daddy’s girl” because of the strong attachment the two of us formed. I drove her to daycare early in the morning, before I went to work, even though Rachel was not working. I read her bedtime stories, and stayed up with her when she had nightmares. From changing diapers to taking her to the doctor when she was sick, I was always there for her.

When Rachel left me, she left a letter telling me that she wanted to work things out, and stating that she wanted me to continue to be Deva’s “daddy” no matter what happened. Perhaps I should have understood that both of those statements were so much more garbage thrown into the pile. But, I didn’t. I explained to Rachel that I wasn’t sure that I would be able to endure the pain of keeping in touch with Deva if things didn’t work out, and she screamed at me at the top of her lungs and called me a selfish and evil person. I tried to be straightforward about the difficulties I saw if things continued to go as poorly as she was making them (remember that she had trashed my house, stolen lots of stuff, and cheated on me at this point).

Instead, I discovered that the high point of my phone calls, before the divorce, was the time I got to talk to Deva. She always seemed ecstatic to hear from me. Indeed, one of the handful of times I visited (post-leaving), Deva tried to go home with me even after we explained that she couldn’t because she would be leaving her mom. As things progressively got worse, over a long distance, the sole remaining bright spots in otherwise ugly bouts of attempts on the part of Rachel to mistreat or malign me were always her younger daughter. “Hi daddy,” she would cry in delight every time I called.

In hindsight, I was dumb to think that Rachel was done inflicting pain on those around her. Obviously, she is far more concerned with selfish desires than with the welfare of those other than herself. After the divorce, we agreed that I was only to call in order to speak to Deva. I tried to stick to hours when I knew that she would be awake, and not at school. Gradually, those hours seemed to mysteriously become fewer and further between. This past Christmas, when I spoke to Deva, I discovered that she didn’t even live with her mom. Rachel had dumped her off on her biological father’s mother. She said that I should only call on the weekends now, but even that proved difficult. Apparently, Rachel scarcely bothers to see her daughter anymore, given the regularity with which she proclaimed that Deva was not there on the weekend.

Nonetheless, the last time I spoke to Deva, she still happily called me “daddy” despite me not being her biological parent. She did tell me that she had “another father” and I figured that finally Rachel must have decided that she might be ready to understand her real situation. I figured that she might be getting an opportunity to adjust to the idea of her real father and still maintain connections with the person she called Dad for almost 7 years. But no. On last Saturday, April 11th, Rachel decided to finally tell me that she wasn’t going to let me talk to Deva anymore.

Congratulations, Rachel. I guess you have proved that you could hurt me one more time, nearly two years later. It seems pretty crappy of you to continue to hurt your daughter in the process, but I guess that is just what you do. Your screaming rants and written demands to keep talking to Deva were just another game? Why didn’t you just tell me this was your plan, two years ago? At least Deva and I would have known that we were saying goodbye.

Maybe someday, little one. I love you and I miss you. I hope that you will meet your biological father, and that the two of you will form a strong and positive bond. But, someday, when you are older, I hope somebody or other will stumble across this, and decide to look me up and tell you how to reach me. I hope that somehow all of the pain and anger that your mother has caused can be set aside, and we can still talk again. I hope that if you read this, you will understand that I love your mother but right now I am angry and upset about the terrible things that she has done. I hope that somehow you and I can be okay anyway. Maybe we exchange holiday cards. Maybe we sit around and talk about your life. I don’t know what sort of miraculous world could allow this, but I hope that somehow your mother makes things right for you and someday we still get a chance to laugh about the Rainbow Fairy Queen and other stories.

Mr. Tambourine Man April 14, 2009

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , 1 comment so far

When I was a little kid, at some point or other I feel like my dad expressed the idea to me that he thought it would be cool to have Mr. Tambourine Man, by Bob Dylan, as his funeral music, when such a day finally came. My father is a devout Buddhist, however, and either I was mistaken or the years have changed his mind. Nowadays, he imagines something more fitting to his faith, which I have trouble remembering and should obviously ask about again.

However, the potentially mistaken idea I somehow inherited or created remains with me. I have already discussed this with my sister, previously, when we had one of those morbid yet personal talks about what we would want to happen if we passed away. Realistically, I will not care what anybody does once I am dead, because I will be dead and beyond all sensation of what physical happenstances surround my corpse. I believe that funerals are for the living, and not for the dead. Their purpose is to bring some sense of peace to those who survive the dead.

Nonetheless, I believe that many people derive a sense of peace from trying to create the funeral they imagine their loved one would want. As such, I hope that family members looking for such solace can look to the song by Bob Dylan, Mr. Tambourine Man, for funeral music for me. I also hope they will honor my organ donor request, as expressed on my drivers license and in my will. Additionally, I hope they will respect my desire that they pay as absolutely little as possible to dispose of my remains and yet satisfy their own emotional needs for putting me to rest.

Happy Birthday Deva April 13, 2009

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , add a comment

Maybe somebody who can tell you I said so will read this. Happy birthday!

Little Reminders April 2, 2009

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I need a real girlfriend again. And not for all the obvious reasons.

I have been married twice, and been around the block a bit. I’ve been divorced for about a year now, as my ex-wife spent untold years cheating on me with the flotsam of the internet and then fled town after stealing craploads of my stuff and destructively redecorating my house. Anyway, enough of that negative reminiscing.

So, the needing a real girlfriend part. I’ve dated a little bit since things were legally settled, but nothing has turned serious or worked out. This week, however, I got another one of those little reminders of the benefits of having a real partner in life.

I have an upscale work party to attend, and people are supposed to—read “be mercilessly mocked if they do not”—wear suits or tuxedos for the event. I procrastinated a bit, but ultimately decided that I should just buy a new suit because I haven’t needed one in so long that I simply didn’t have one floating around my house anymore. At best I could drum up an old navy blazer that is too tight, some black casual dress pants and a tie that looks like it fell out of an 80s music video—yeah, that doesn’t match so well…

So, anyway, I headed out to some stores to pick up a suit. Preferably just something in plain black. I was thinking that investing the money in a suit rather than blowing it on a rental tuxedo was the way to go. Problem is, I got to the stores, and stood there looking like an idiot. I don’t even like formal clothes. I didn’t even know my size anymore.

The salesperson was a lady, so I just figured she would put me in something that looked good to her. Maybe she did. I don’t know. I guess I’ll find out when I actually wear this stuff to the party.

I’ve been lifting weights a lot recently, and it just seemed like nothing off the rack looked exactly right. I settled for the stuff that the sales lady said looked good. It didn’t seem totally right to me, but I must remind you that I hate formal wear, so what do I know? Actually, I used to work in a tuxedo shop, but I confess that I only picked up the basic rules of thumb and then trusted the customer to know what he liked.

So, I bought a new suit, and maybe it will turn out for the best. But… seriously… I really needed a caring girlfriend there to tell me what to wear.