Pick a location:   random location

Places I've Been And You Should Go
San Francisco & Napa
Stockholm, Sweden
Oslo, Norway
St. Andrews, Scotland
Tokyo, Japan

Good Reads
Bitter Pill

march 2006

One Year Ago

December 31, 2006 4:04 PM

I'm plagued these days by constant reminders of big moments in my life. Today is one of those. One year ago as the clock struck midnight and ushered in 2006, I asked Nina to marry me.

The story starts much earlier than that actually. The procurement process for Nina's ring took months and months. Why? Because the diamond was hand cut by a diamond cutter in San Francisco and is flat-out one-of-a-kind. It's a square brilliant diamond, more commonly referred to as a princess cut. Call it a princess cut to the guy who did the cutting however, and you'll get quite the lecture.

The cut diamond was near flawless. Completely colorless, it was also incredibly rare in that the cut dimensions were perfectly square. It was also cut a bit deeper so that the "fire" of the stone would be even better. The head is not perfectly flat as most princess cuts, rather has a very nice beveled head more like a well cut round. All in all, it's nothing short of stunning, and is by far the most beautiful stone I've ever seen.

It was shipped to a jeweler here in Minneapolis who set the ring for me. The original head of the ring wasn't strong enough to hold a stone of that size, so the guy in San Fran sent a separate head along with the ring and stone which is what ended up holding it.

It was mounted only a few days before Nina and I would get on a plane for St. Lucia to spend Christmas and New Year's with her parents. Nina went out and got extremely drunk the night before, something that I'm not happy about to this day. I had to pick her up from the bar, and only a few miles outside of downtown, she threw up in a car I picked up brand new only five days before. I ended up awake that entire night cleaning my car and babysitting her. I didn't sleep at all. Our cab was to arrive at 4:00 a.m. as our flight departed at 6:00. After getting out of the taxi, Nina immediately shoved her head in a trash can outside the departure desks and threw up again.

Why did all this concern me? Because getting through security with her barely able to stand was increasing my chances of having all my bags searched dramatically. My odds of that are rather high to begin with, but that's another LONG story. Anyhoo, in my carry-on was the finished ring, and the last thing I wanted security to do was start digging through my bag.

Despite having to sit next to Nina on three flights that day (her hair had some "debris" from the night before and didn't smell extremely fresh) the traveling was uneventful. Every minute we sat down, Nina was out cold.

I'm glad I carried the ring on the plane and risked the security search. Our connection in Puerto Rico was so tight, our bags didn't make it. They wouldn't be delivered until almost 24 hours later. How tense do you think I'd be with that ring hundreds of miles away from me in somebody else's custody?

After settling in to St. Lucia and getting our checked bags, my nerves about traveling that day unwound. I only had one engagement task outside of actually getting down on one knee left: Be a gentleman and ask her father for permission.

My moment came a few days later during "Men's Golf" where all the guys who belong to the golf club go out for a round. I ended up playing the front nine OK, but the back nine for me was simply a waiting game of when my best opportunity to spring this on him would be. I played some really shitty golf, which sucks because I even have a reputation in St. Lucia of being able to swing the sticks. I actually took the ring out of my golf bag and carried it in my pocket for the last six or seven holes. My moment actually came at the end of the round. As we were getting our things together from the golf cart, I asked him to stop for a second, showed him the ring, and then said "I'd like your permission to have your daughter's hand in marriage." His response was typical for him, replying by saying that I didn't need his permission to do that. I told him that it would mean a lot, and he happily smiled, shook my hand, and said "Of course."

I had already called her step father Ralph, who was like a second dad to her, the week before we left. He and I talked for a bit, I told him how much Nina meant to me, and asked his permission. He said yes, and sounded very happy.

That night after asking her dad's permission, I was relaxed. Nina and her step-mother actually came to pick us up at the golf club, but her father and I had a nice conversation as we got our dinner clothes on in the locker room. To this day, I think that might have been his most chatty moment with me. He said a lot of nice things, and it's one of life's few moments that I'll keep to myself. The only thing I will repeat is that he said one funny thing: "Tell her step mother and the entire island will know by sunrise." My proposal would be our secret.

New Year's Eve rolls around and an annual party thrown by one of the restaurants in St. Lucia is where all the "Flamingos" (the name given to the golf club members) go. After a wonderful meal, as midnight approached, Nina and I walked out on to the beach.

New Year's in St. Lucia is like our 4th of July. There's fireworks, and it's the biggest party you could possibly imagine. So as the countdown began, I led Nina out to the beach in the quietest spot I could find. My only mistake that night was grossly underestimating the number of people on that beach. I'd guess about two or three thousand people witnessed what I did.

When the fireworks began, I kissed her on the cheek, turned around in front of her, got down on one knee and opened up the ring. I said exactly this:

"Nina, you're the love of my life. Will you marry me?"

After a brief inspection of the ring, she said yes. Her dad knew exactly what I was going to do, so when we returned to the restaurant, he grabbed Nina's hand to show the ring to her step mother. Her eyes almost popped out of her head, which was reassuring to me. Champagne was poured and everyone was delighted.

The next day was the official golf club best-ball event, where I played much better without the pressure of any engagement tasks. A lot of beer also helped. That evening, her parent's hosted a lovely party and Nina and I got several congrats from all the people that were there. In retrospect, that was probably one of the best days of 2006 I had. Golf, drinks, good company, and most of all, knowing I'd spend the rest of my life with a beautiful and smart woman who I adored.

A year later I sit here, going from single to engaged to married to divorced in less than 12 months. I want more than anything to rewind to that day a year ago and live it all over again. It was the same feeling as the day of our wedding. Everything else didn't matter - I had Nina.


Tonight I'll be ringing in the New Year with a very good group of friends. I'm not exactly sure where we're going, but I know it will be a good time. A part of me however will be thinking about a year ago, wanting, but not having.

Well, this will also be the last post for the year. I sincerely hope 2007 holds promise for us all. The sun will rise tomorrow on a new day and a new year, and we should all feel fortunate to watch it.

Peace and good will in 2007 to you all.

Sigur Ros Strikes Again; My Friends Re-Emerge

December 29, 2006 6:27 PM

"The Roos" let me take a listen of some Sigur Ros discs that she was converting over to her new iPod. Some of you may have read my earlier Sigur Ros post back in May. Well I was listening to their new album Takk (which means "thank you" in Icelandic), and it might be even better than their earlier endeavors.

Sigur Ros is something you're either going to love or hate. I doubt there's much middle room in most people's ears for their music. I'm not quite sure why it strikes such a cord with me. Maybe since all the lyrics are in Icelandic, it gives the songs a bit of mystery. I can't put my finger on it, but whatever it is, to me, it's very good stuff.

In other news, I managed to see or hear from several people that I haven't seen in a long time all in the span of 36 hours.

It started with an email from Skim, who managed to catch my update about what happened with Nina. Her and I were never very close friends, but there's something about working at Techies.com that's kept a lot of us in touch over the years. I guess when you all spend enough time sleeping under your desk to get projects out the door, an unspoken bond is formed. It meant a lot to me to get a note from her, even though I haven't seen her in probably 4 or 5 years. Her words had a very "skimish" tone, but what she wrote was very, very thoughtful. Knowing there's people out there who care like that means a lot.

Next up came Tim. He flew into town for Christmas. He and I managed to catch up and have dinner and drinks together last night. Despite living on the East coast, Tim and I have managed to catch each other either here or in D.C. a couple of times in the last few years. He's another Techies.com alumni. I worked closer with Tim than anybody else really at that joint, and he and I saw our share of long, nasty nights. Despite being deaf (and me being horrible at ASL, especially a few years without practice) I've never had the feeling that he was hard to communicate with. You type/write instead of talk. Big whoop. He and I destroyed 16 pages of paper last night in conversation, and it was really good to catch up with him.

Then, as I was stealing a parking validation sticker from a competing restaurant, I ran into Heather. Heather and I used to work on some projects at my current employer involving Accounts Payable, but she's since moved to another department, and we haven't connected very much at all in the last few years. Last night we sat and had a few drinks together after Tim took off to catch some other friends. She was as shocked and supportive as everybody else has been about my life in the last few months.

Obviously the pain is still fresh (very), but seeing and hearing from so many people and spending time with a lot of others who mean a lot to me definitely bouys my spirit.

I'm going to close today with a quote from Immanuel Kant (I can already hear Rob firing up the Monty Python song about him...). I'm surrounded by several very "good" people, and I think this fits well for all of them. Keep it in mind for the New Year:

"The good will is not good because it achieves good results. Even if it were unable to attain the ends it seeks, it would still be good in itself."

Song Of The Day

December 28, 2006 9:12 PM

Originally by the Beatles, Covered by Eddie Vedder for the "I Am Sam" soundtrack. "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away":

Here I stand head in hand
Turn my face to the wall
If she's gone I can't go on
Feeling two foot small
Everywhere people stare
each and every day
I can see them laugh at me
And I hear them say

Hey you've got to hide your love away
Hey you've got to hide your love away

How can I even try?
I can never win
Hearing them, seeing them
In the state I'm in
How could she say to me
"Love will find a way?"
Gather round all you clowns
Let me hear you say

Hey you've got to hide your love away
Hey you've got to hide your love away

102 Days

December 26, 2006 2:52 AM

September 8th, 2006 was easily one of the best days of my life. It was one of those few moments where everything mysteriously lined up, and the world worked out a small sliver of perfection. On that day, I told the woman I love how much I loved her and how I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I ended what I said to her with "I do." At that moment, we were husband and wife.

The reception was also perfect. We were surrounded by 130 family and friends who were all very touched at the intimacy of the words we had for each other, and the beauty of the ceremony and reception. The happiness and joy we carried was visible, and both of us just beamed.

34 days later we would leave for 10 days in San Francisco and Napa Valley for our honeymoon. We had a wonderful time and Napa Valley was amazing. We stayed in the best inn there, drank the best wine, and ate the best food.

And then...

Five days after we returned from our honeymoon I "discovered" that Nina began an intimate relationship with another man before we even left for our honeymoon, and that relationship continued almost immediately after we returned home.

In the span of 49 days, I went from the pinnacle of happiness to depths of sadness and despair that I could only begin to describe. My heart literally shattered inside my chest. A month into our marriage, the one person on this planet who I loved above ALL others broke the most sacred of marital promises. I was given no choice but to confront Nina and inform her that I would be filing for dissolution of marriage, better known as divorce.

My Christmas present this year is one that I truly never wanted. Thursday morning, shortly after arriving at work, I received a call from my attorney informing me that Notice of Judgement had been entered, and Nina and I were legally divorced.

102 days. Together for 49, at most 31 of which were faithful. Separated for 53.

So I sit here alone Christmas morning, by choice. I knew waking up this morning that I would be an emotional wreck, and I was right. I woke up around 6:00 this morning after having nightmares all night. I've had nightmares about what happened every night except for four...For the last 53 days. You hear stories of people with amputated arms and legs still having phantom pains and itches from limbs that have been gone for years. I still unconsciously roll over in bed (which I've only been able to do for a week as the bed was hers...I gave mine to her friend Erica when we moved in together...and I had been sleeping on a couch ever since) reaching my arm out hoping to find Nina next to me. Much like the amputated limbs, it's something I'll never have back, but the phantoms continue.

I've never loved another person even remotely as close to how much I loved Nina. I would have given her the world if I could. I did everything imaginable to give her a happy life. Above all, I made sure she had a roof over her head, food in her belly, and was with somebody who loved and adored everything about her, even the small mole that's behind her right ear that nobody can see.

The pain and sorrow that is left is almost unbearable. As many friends and family have said in the last several weeks, "It will get better with time."

Actually, it gets worse.

It may be the holiday season where every direction you look, you see family gathered and couples together sharing in the holiday spirit. It's a rollercoaster of emotions every day. Some days are better than others, but the last week as Christmas morning has approached has been a slow steady decline into a very confident and level-headed man broken down in a pool of tears on his kitchen floor.

I (and I'm sure all of you) have heard several definitions to the question of "What's love?" I've heard several good answers, but have come up with one of my own. Two good candidates that I've heard are the following:

  1. The soul's recognition of it's counterpart in another.

  2. Caring more about the well-being of another than of yourself.

The best definition I can come up with:

    Caring enough about another that the rest of the world loses its significance.

Nina was my world, and she had my entire heart. She was my singular significance. To know that only half of the equation of us together was faithful and honest to love & trust, and subsequently the bonds of marriage is something that I can barely come to grips with. Every part of my daily life emits some sort of pain. There's no way to run from it, and no way to hide from it.

Some, including a therapist, have told me to show strength and not really let on how much this hurts. I have one thing to say to all of them:

Fuck off.

I can't represent a lie. This is by far the most painful experience of my life. The last time I heard Nina's voice I got too emotional to talk. She hung up on me. 30 minutes later my father would find me on the floor of my dining room with tears running from my eyes. That happened. I'm not going to hide it. To me, the pain means I did care. I really did love and adore her as much as I thought. She really was my world. I refuse to forget my relationship and marriage with Nina. I refuse to deny the pain. It all happened and will continue to happen, but it's not something I will forget.

It's not that everything else in my life is also bad. Everything else has been going fairly well, outside of a strong inability to focus at work. My friends have dragged me to every corner of this town, and we've had a blast. I've stayed busier than I've been in a long time. I've also relearned that "trouble" is easy to come by. What makes all that meaningless though is that I don't want any of it. I had exactly what I wanted, and the object of my adoration destroyed my soul with it.


I'm sure after reading this many of you will understand why I haven't updated anything out here since October 7th. Expect more frequency out of me going forward. Obviously, Nina, the love, and the pain is something that may take up several posts out here. If the purpose of a blog is to be an online journal of sorts, then y'all are just going to have to bear with me as I struggle to put life back together. I'm a tortured soul, and it's going to take time to heal.

I better pull myself together. I do need to brave my family today, even though all I want to do right now is stay at home by myself.

So now I shall bid you all a Merry Christmas. I hope the holiday season finds everyone and their families in good health and spirits.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.


This is the word barf of a guy named Bob (Ethics major turned Software Engineer) who lives in Minneapolis.

Email me. Buy some photo gallery prints. Do whatever.

Looking for foil pictures? They are here.

Unfoiled, The Movie

Why [IT] Matters
My Life Applied to Corporate America

   © copyright 2007 izeon.com  all rights reserved