“I’m an Idiot”, or “The One That Got Away”

Hi. I’m an idiot. And I get reminded of it often. But every once in a while, the reminder is so explosive that I just cannot help but to reexamine exactly what went wrong.

I guess it was 1999 (which seems like an eternity ago – heck, it was nearly a quarter of my lifetime ago), when I decided to break up with my girlfriend. I was in my second year of college, and she still in high school (chicks dig older men). She also happened to be one of my sisters 2 best friends, which can certainly be awkward. But it worked for the most part. Until I decided, however the hell I convinced myself of it, that she just wasnt quite mature enough for me. Perhaps it was the fact that I was working and in college and she was still in high school. It really doesnt matter because it was set in my mind that the relationship wasnt going anywhere.

She ended up going to U of A that fall to study medicine. I kept in touch every once in a while, mostly through AIM and email. And then communication just stopped. Its like that with everybody – there’s no real attachment (certainly not a relationship based in love) to maintain – and therefore you just stop talking (like with Vici, or friends like Sarah D. or Kevin G.). But, unfortunately for me, she is still friends with my sister, and therefore I am privy to information that I may not hear elsewhere. Like the bombshell that blew apart my world.

I don’t remember the exact year, but I do remember the exact day: Valentine’s Day. This wasn’t the day that I found out, but when they got together. I thought to myself, “How cheesy is that? Hooking up on Valentine’s Day?” And I didn’t necessarily agree with it either. Somewhat because he was the roommate of her best friend’s boyfriend and it was just circumstance – two single people hanging out with each other on Valentine’s Day with nothing better to do because each of their best friends were already dating (mayhaps even engaged at that point) – that brought them together, but ultimately I was jealous. For by this time, I already knew that I had made the mistake.

Over the years, I heard that they had broken up. And I heard that they got back together. And I heard that they got engaged. And I got an invitation to the wedding. Somewhere in there, after the engagement, I had lunch with her. It was quaint, just kind of catching up. Me congratulating her. Me being an AFC, bringing her a rose (this was before I knew what an AFC even was). And the wedding came and went. I showed up for the reception, but not the ceremony. Truth is that I slept in. I really didn’t intend to do that, but am not sure if I can convince anybody that it was not intentional. Perhaps it was subconsciously intentional, but I didn’t mean to do so. If there is one thing that I do know about me, it is that I wish nothing but the best for her. And if her choice is him, so be it. I am genuinely happy for her. And genuinely miserable for me.

The one that got away. I get reminded of it every so often. It’s a running joke, that doesn’t rear its ugly head too often (fortunately), within my family. She will come up in conversation, and my dad will remind me. Or my brother (who you would expect nothing less from) will remind me. My sister, my mom, my brother-in-law. They all remind me. She’s the one that I let get away.

Rumor has it that if I had made some sort of move to get her back, I could have done so (I have no evidence that this rumor is true). Maybe I should have told her that day at Mimi’s Cafe that I was crazy about her. But being a ‘nice guy’ has its major downsides – like bottling up feeling and emotion. But sometimes you have to keep your mouth shut if what you really want to say has possible major life-altering implications.

Do I believe that I am better than he is? Not really. I don’t have the confidence to justly say such a thing. Could I provide for her better than he can? Probably not. Is there anything that would suggest that I have a positive going for me? Well, there’s 1 thing for sure: I play a mean game of Guitar Hero.

Which brings us back to that reminder that got this entire post started. Today, I helped my sister and brother-in-law move into their new house (btw – congrats Jabbi). And this afternoon, Abbi’s 2 best friends stopped by to have a look. I hadn’t seen her in years, so when they arrived, I kept myself busy by unloading the truck and having some lunch. Mostly because her husband came along too, and I was a sweaty pig from moving stuff, but also because it was hard for me to make eye contact with her. After all these years, I just couldn’t look at her and not think about all of the stuff written above. I warmed up a bit after a while, and became all smiles, life is wonderful, I am awesome, all that stuff (like playing some Guitar Hero with my brother, then the husband (who had never played before)). But I don’t think I can hide my pain very well anymore. Hence, I lay it all out here, names withdrawn, for you to read for yourself.

Getting this out in the open will make me feel better. It has been bottled up for too long. If, by chance, any of the parties involved read this story, I apologize if you are offended or have any other non-positive emotion. I am not trying to hurt anybody, just get it off of my chest for perhaps the last time.

Certainly, life for me has been good overall. I have a good job and great friends. And the best family in the world. Who knows where I would be today if things had been different. Maybe in Tucson (which sucks, but is totally worth it for the company that moving there would provide). Or maybe on the east coast somewhere. But I wouldn’t be as close to Jott as I am today; nor to my family; nor to Rickey, Randy, or Mark; nor would I have ever spent 6 wonderful months with Courtney; nor hung out with Denny, Bob & Kel, or Stinkle; nor ever have met Doom, Shorty, Mikey, Ben Araiza, Richard, Lary & Laurel, or Sandii (to name a few – sorry if I missed any of my dear readers); nor enjoyed 3 of the best years of my life in Phoenix Down.

But regardless of all that, she’s the one who got away. She will always be the one who got away.

[tags]Love, Heartbreak, Life[/tags]

Update 08.16.06

I don’t have much on my mind right now. Actually, that’s not true – I have tons on my mind right now, but the limited ability to express such things in words at this time. So instead of just posting another “Mr Clean” photoshop, I figured I would kill a few birds with one post.

Reminder: Ben Araiza is having the second annual “Perfect Day for a Cure” this Saturday night at Alice Cooper’stown. Show starts at 8. All proceeds go to the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Go here for more information, or contact me.

A perfect day.

And (like this is an afterthought)… I made yet another Mr. Clean Photoshop. I have created a Mr. Clean page in the blog where you can see all of my Mr. Clean images. It is also linked in the left sidebar under “Miscellany”. Enjoy them, for I know that I am having fun creating them. If you have any suggestions for other Mr. Cleans, let me know via comments.

Avast! (see, that’s a hint about what the newest Mr. Clean image is…)

[tags]Mr. Clean, Ben Araiza, Music, Jack Sparrow[/tags]

Design Decision Complete

When I last left off in my Credit Card Design post, I had a majority vote for design #4, but I was still leaning towards #5. I asked my brother why his preference was for #4 and he said that the crease in the sheet music wasn’t as apparent as it was in #5.

I sided with Mark about how the Keys should appear on image #5, so I decided to use the best of both worlds. I took some new pics of sheet music (Metropolis Part 1) without a crease in it, and combined it with the Keys from #5. Here is the final product.

No takebacks now. The image has been submitted, and accepted, for my new credit card.

Final.

[tags]Music, Capital One, Credit Card Design[/tags]

Remedy, Part 2: Resolution

In Remedy Part 1, we find that music makes a Yarsh better when things go wrong. It turns out that a “fixed1” Yarshmobile makes a Yarsh better too.

Friday, I received word that the car was fixed, and I went down to the shop with Randall. We hung out with Bob for a while and worked on getting Randall’s car running with its new engine. Bob had warned me that I was probably gonna need to get the clutch plate replaced very soon (in order to get the car back on the road, cluch master and slave cylinders were replaced). I took off after an hour and a half or so, and realized what he meant – I had to put the clutch pedal completely to the floor just to get into gear, and lifting off a quarter of an inch meant that the clutch was engaged. That’s all the play I now had. Not fun to drive.

I made my way home, and called Randall to let him know that it wasn’t right, and he suggested that I bring it back in on Saturday morning, since they would be in the shop making the finishing touches to his car. I drove extremely carefully to my parents’ house for dinner, and back to my house after I cleaned the collective clocks of the Smith family in Hold ‘Em (of course no money was involved, lest I would have failed miserably in conquering said family).

Saturday morning, I contacted Randall and he told me to meet them at the shop. I gingerly headed across town to see if we could take care of it. It didn’t help that I was a bit rushed because of Maddi‘s first birthday party. I got down there while Randall was at the parts place picking up the necessary parts for his car, so Bob immediately pulled my car into the bay and we took a look. The general consensus between myself, my dad, Randall, and Bob, was that there must be air in the clutch’s hydraulic system.

We bled the system a few times, and sure enough the Yarshmobile responded. The pedal was fully functioning once again. Better than ever. I took the car around the block with no issues, and was happy. I thanked Bob for helping me out, and offered him a pack of smokes for his help. He took me up on the offer – because hey, free smokes – and I zoomed out of there to the party. And I was only a few minutes late.

Thanks to the Yarshmobile, and it’s brilliant technician2

1: The term “fixed” is relative. Sure, the Yarshmobile still has some issues *coughsmokingenginecough*, but at least I can drive it again.
2: Bob was not the one who originally did the work, so he is still brilliant in my book

[tags]Yarshmobile, Cars, Philip Morris[/tags]

Remedy, Part 1

Music makes me feel good. Writing and playing it, even more so. Although I didn’t play much tonight to make me feel better about my day, I did resort to old faithful – Dream Theater DVD’s.

I popped in Metropolis 2000: Live Scenes from New York. Immediately, I felt soothed. I had nearly forgotten how awesome of a show that was. Granted, the Video production was not that good, but the music totally makes up for it. And for the first time in God knows how long, I shed tears. Just the grandiosity of the track The Spirit Carries On, complete with live female choir and lead female vocalist for the female character’s part. Not much else, besides music, can truly fill me with such raw emotion.

In order to make up for the lack of video quality, I popped in Live at Budokan, which has – without a doubt – the most amazing video footage I have ever seen from a concert. Recorded in HiDef. Unfortunately, the music itself is not played as well as Scenes from New York, but what Live Scenes is to music, Budokan is to video (and then some). Plus, Budokan has 2 of my all-time favorite live songs on it: Hollow Years and Instrumedley (a lengthy collage of Dream Theater Instrumental songs/sections combined into 1 song).

I cannot wait until August 29th, when Score is released. It is yet another Dream Theater concert which took place at Radio City Music Hall earlier this year. They had a full orchestra that played the entire second set with them. Live choirs are one thing. A live orchestra + my favorite band evar? Incredible.

Thank you, Dream Theater, for making my day.

[tags]Dream Theater[/tags]

I feel a healin’ comin’ on!

Ok, I am in need of a healin’… This day is already off to a lousy start.

I noticed last night that my clutch pedal was begining to become loose, but I didn’t have trouble getting home or anything. I made a mental note to check the fluid resovoir to see if it was low in the morning.

This morning, my brain’s version of the Outlook reminder feature popped up to tell me that I needed to check the fluid. Sure enough, it was tablespoon low. I filled it up and headed to the bank to deposit my first Connected Dot paycheck. After my bank excursion, I got into the car and backed out of the parking space. Put it into first gear and started to go… and the clutch pedal stayed on the floor while I was in first gear and rolling through the parking lot. I started to freak out a bit until the clutch pedal popped back up, and I was able to head next door to the gas station. I filled up and checked the fluid once again – it looked lower than what I had filled it to, but nothing earth-shattering. I checked the pressure of the clutch pedal, and it worked. I headed out for work.

I had driven about 5 miles when I got to the left-hand turn lane on Tatum to get onto the 101 freeway. I made a mental note to tell Mark when i got to work that I was scared to death of driving my car with this problem persisting. Only I didn’t make it to work. I “disengaged” the clutch and the clutch pedal rested flat on the floor. It would not disengage. It would not do anything. I put on the hazards and checked the fluid level… empty. I decided to call Mark to tell him that instead of being scared to death of driving the car, I was not driving anywhere period. Mark was gracious enough to stop by the store and pick up some fluid for me and head out to the desert island that I was stranded on. Rickey called me back and got dressed and arrived shortly after Mark got there. I also ran into Abbi as she headed towards Trax for a good bye luncheon. Small world.

Anyways, we pushed the car out of the turn lane and into a section on the right-side of the road, and thanks to Rickey, Mark, and the bike cop who stopped traffic for a few seconds, we were able to get it moved out of traffic quickly. We called Bob, who works for Atwood European and is Rickey’s brother; He had some theories and had us call a tow truck to get the car down to his shop. The first company was not able to do it today. Then it was suggested to call “Tow4Less” – but it might cost us more. Ironic: Tow4Less will cost you more. An hour and 91 dollars later, we arrived at the shop in downtown Phoenix. Yeah, it costs less… than a engine overhaul.

So, now I am finally at work and hopin’ for a healin’ – some good news that today’s adventure isn’t actually gonna cost me $500-$600 (but it probably will). I may not hear until tomorrow, as the shop was busy and may not be able to fit it in. But I trust Bob explicitly – he won’t do me wrong.

Oh yeah – Randall has regularly sent me pictures of the engine that was/is being put into his car. It has been down at the shop now for several months, but may be finished this weekend (s00p3r w00t). I got my chance to take a picture of it and send it to him today.

[tags]Cars, Breakdown, Atwood European[/tags]

Yarsh – always willing to help those less fortunate

The other day, I gave some advice to a friend in need. He was having trouble understanding why his heart got ripped out of his chest by the girl who he was dating for nearly a year. It’s not often that I get a chance to give such advice, especially considering my current relationship status (non-existent), and prior relationships (only 3 actual ‘girlfriends’ – the others never included anything besides talking and hanging out). That’s right – 27 years old, 3 girlfriends. And none of them lasted longer than 6 months.

But I have done my reading, my research. I know what I need to do when the time comes, how to handle a woman in a relationship, how to not become an emotional tampon, and ultimately how to not bore her to the point that she just walks out one day.

There are a number of websites dedicated to helping those of us in need. My main sources are So Suave, The Don Juan forum and David DeAngelo’s Double Your Dating.

The following is the advice that I imparted on him.

A disclaimer: I am saying this as a guy and as a friend, so this will differ from the female perspective that you have already received. Also, I do not want to hurt your feelings in any way, but you may take it that way. Please believe that my comment has your best interest in mind…

… So, here is what I have to say. This may be more your fault than you believe. I hate to say this to you because you are a nice guy. And therein lies the problem. Women, no matter how young or old, want a mystery. A man who is confident, unpredictable, a challenge, and even somewhat cocky. Women don’t want a nice guy. They may say that they do, but it is BS. Women want a good guy (not a nice guy – there is a difference) who is confident of himself and is unpredictable in his actions.

You treated her like a queen. That is a good selling point… at the beginning. But no matter how well you treat them, they will get bored. You have to mix it up. Sure, treat her like a queen one day. But the next day, tell her that you are too busy to see her. In fact, everything should be on your schedule, not hers. And your schedule should NEVER be open ALL of the time, for whenever she wants to see you. If she wants to see you, but you can’t see her that day, it will make her want to see you even more the next day.

You gave her “…roses, poems, whatever…” for no specific reason, which is good on occasion. But soon enough, these actions become predictable. I believe that giving her flowers for no reason is a good thing once in a LONG while (but roses are so overdone – try lillies or tulips. Everyone does roses). But, even if they are “surprise” gifts, you are still giving her gifts and she knows to expect them – you have become predictable, whether they are surprises or not, she expects them to come.

You rubbed her feet, painted her toe nails… you became her bitch. She knew that she could make you do anything and you wouldn’t care. You stopped being a challenge to her and she got bored. Ultimately, this is what it comes down to. If she gets bored, it’s over.

So, [name withheld], this is what you need to remedy. I have no doubt that you are confident. I have no doubt that you are a good person. I have no doubt that all you ever cared about was making her happy. And I have no doubt who is more upset about this breakup. But what I do worry about is your well being, current and future. You need to make some mental changes in how you approach a relationship. You need to be the good guy, not the nice guy. The guy who is charming, caring, and wicked hot. The guy who is confident and unpredictable. They want excitement. They want a mystery man.

My friend has already started taking the steps necessary to get his life back on track, and is dropping the bitch completely from his life. He’s ready to start again. His story has made me want to do more with myself. I am once again a student of the masters. And soon enough, I will put what I have learned into action.

Who’s up for going to Barnes and Noble?

[tags]Dating, Relationships, Don Juan[/tags]

Home on the Range

Last week, Mark and I went to the Scottsdale Gun Club with one of his friends. I didn’t bring my gun with me, so I rented one. The NightHawk Enforcer .45 was recommended, so I tried it. Why not, it happens to be a $2000 handgun.

The only thing that concerned me was that the safety release for firing is on the back of the grip; it unlocks the safety as you squeeze the grip. I had fired an older S&W 1911 (which I also rented at SGC) that had the same safety feature and I had nothing but trouble with releasing the safety (which was the cause of my concern). So…

It kicked ass. Not only was the safety a non issue (it released with the lightest amount of pressure), but the gun performs like a dream. I have never fired any handgun that had such a smooth trigger pull and recoil action with a .45 caliber round. My first 50 rounds are shown below.

Warning: Taunting the Yarsh may result in physical injury

I tried to find some more info about the Enforcer, but it is apparently discontinued. However, I did find a review of the gun. Not the exact model, but the exact gun that I fired.

…All of The Scottsdale Gun Club’s (SGC) Nighthawk Custom range guns (rental guns) have proven to be eminently reliable, and have exhibited no problems of any kind. SGC has a Nighthawk Enforcer model (precursor to the GRP line) that “easily has 50,000 rounds through it” over the last year without any reported malfunctions. “And I know that one got abused”, [SGC Purchasing and Sales Director] Hanish said. “It just keeps on chuggin along.” This particular Nighthawk Enforcer has been rented close to 400 times and is regularly used by students for SGC’s tactical shooting classes, in addition to just range rental. During one of these classes, a student will shoot 500-1000 rounds through this gun.

If I had the cash and the desire to build a handgun collection, a NightHawk model would definitely be in there.

[tags]Guns, NightHawk, Enforcer, Heckler & Koch, USP40[/tags]

My decision making skills seem to be lacking…

I came home from work today and found an invitation in my email box. The invitation was to create my own image for my personal Capital One card. They now have this thing where you can upload an image and submit it to them to put on the front of your credit card, and the first one (for Capital One Visa customers) is free.

One of their demo images

I decided to make a musical collage. I spent nearly 5 hours playing with ideas and came up with a few that I like, but cannot decide which to choose (you can only choose 1; additional designs cost money). So I leave it up to my readers to decide. Which one should I go with? Or should I choose none of the above? Let me know via comments, please. I need your help!

Uno

Dos

Tres

Catorce

Cinco

Remember that the card numbers and my name will be written over the lower half of the image…

[tags]Music, Design, Collage, Credit Card[/tags]