Starting off the New Year with some fun stuff from Feef ...

Subj: In the News - January 1, 1998
Date: 98-01-02 01:40:55 EST
From: Feef
To: Bottle, Edmund, Sec

The World Today, by Fifi OToole (Some editorializing included. Because my opinions count! )

-Steve Fossett is busily trying to fly around the world in a balloon carrying 700 gallons of fuel and a facsimile machine.

-Fifi O'Toole's balloon burst last night at a "Guesstures" party when a 30-something guy announced to the room that she was remarkably agile for "someone her age." Feef was flying on 12 ounces of beer and a couple quick hits while trying to act out the word "crab" by walking sideways on all fours........and was wearing a facsimile of Bob Dylan on her tee shirt at the time.

-Michael Kennedy bit the big one yesterday In Aspen while auditioning for the sequel to the movie "George of the Jungle." He will now go down in the anals of history as "that nice man who bonked his head on a a spruce tree shortly after he bonked his children's 14-year-old baby-sitter."

-Fifi O'Toole, who hardly ever bites anything -- but does know the words to all four verses of the cartoon version of "George of the Jungle" -- would bonk just about anybody to get to spend a couple weeks in Aspen.

-The entire world remains deeply and darkly depressed about Jerry Seinfeld's decision to cancel his 9-year-long quality show on NBC.

-Using her Casio calculator to do the math, Fifi figures that since she didn't start watching Seinfeld until four years ago she can remain Prozac-free if she watches one quality re-run a week through the year 2003.

-Buddhist monks and nuns began seven days of prayer and meditation yesterday for 1.3 million dead Chinese chickens.........ostensibly to keep their evil little birdsouls from migrating into the eternal fires of Hell.

-Uh huh. So the three or four bazillion PEOPLE in China, finding themselves temporarily bereft of hot lines for Buddha and KFC, are being encouraged to visit their neighborhood McDonalds for hot apple pies instead. As frequently as possible of course.

-The Purple coneflower cultivar Magnus -- a/k/a Echinacea purpurea Magnus -- has been named plant of the year for 1998 by the National Perennial Associaton. (I KNEW you would all want to know this!)

-When queried about its outstanding performance as a long-flowering easy-to-grow plant, the Magnus replied, "Two words: horse hockey! Or bull the case may be."

-Loo-uh-vulle Councilman Paul Bather has admitted to running up an $11,000 phone bill last October on his city cellphone and has applied for a second mortgage on his home in order to pay the tab.

-Asked for her own personal opinion on this outrageousness, Fifi O'Toole, who spends nearly all day EVERY day on the phone with chicken pluckers but has NEVER spent 11 grand doing it, said "Hel-LO???? Whuttaya bet that guy's having phone sex with some chick in Botswana? "

-Floyd Cramer, who played piano on Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel," and whose "slip note" style on instrumental hits such as "Last Date" earned him worldwide recognition died early yesterday at age 64. Cramer got his start playing in country singer Webb Pierce's band and later did recording session work with The Everly Brothers, Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison and Perry Como.

-Perry COMO???? No shidt???

-The El Paraiso Mexican Restaurant on Preston Highway had several big pots of souped up Menudo on hand today for last night's revelers. Menudo -- the basic ingredient of which is tripe........a/k/a bovine stomach lining........chopped in small squares -- is a purported Mexican "delicacy" sworn to be excellent relief for a hangover

-I dunno for sure, but I think I'd rather eat SPAM.

-Jean Banet, well-known organizational specialist, (YOU guys have heard of her, right?) recommends buying greeting cards in January for the entire year and then filing them by month and day in one of those cute little recipe card boxes.

-And as soon as I read that in this morning's paper, I set out to do that very thing! But on my way to the card shop I had to pass my favorite bookstore.

So I stopped in and purchased "Thrift Score" by Al Hoff -- which was foisted upon me by Shellpile's favorite son and features an entire 3 pages on whut to do with used bowling balls as well as other cool hints on how to use good junk. Since nearly all my worldly possessions (except for an extremely valuable Art Deco toaster) can be classified as either "seriously good junk" or "mediocore good junk" I think I'm really gonna like this book a bunch!

I also purchased a novel by one Glenn Kleier, who just happens to be president of a local rival ad agency and so naturally I need to read that........... I bought Drew Carey's new book for 25% off because even though I can't decide if I like his show or not, I think maybe I like HIM.


And then I got back in the car and was on my way once again to the greeting card shop, but then I had to pass my favorite CD store......earX-tacy.

And I stopped THERE too.

And whoa!!! I found a Tex Ritter album! "I've Got Spurs That Jingle, Jangle, Jingle!" And "Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling!" Wow!!!


And THEN I found Bob DYLAN production! Gawd! I can't believe I've never SEEN this before! "The Songs of Jimmie Rodgers -- A Tribute." Fourteen different people doing fourteen of Jimmie's tunes!


So then I got all excited and hadda come home and play THAT one IMMEDIATELY.........and it's all FANTASTIC! Mellencamp, Aaron Neville, Van Morrison, Dwight Yoakam, Bono (yeah! and it's good!), Steve EARLE (!), Dylan, Iris Dement, etc. etc.


And I bagged the greeting card/recipe box idea.......which I wasn't too serious about to begin with.


Oh yeah.........and I got a letter from "" suggesting that I buy some subliminal tapes to seduce women. I bagged that idea too, but I did save the info in case any of you all want it..........


And that's pretty much it. "The End."


Except that I cooked cabbage and black-eyed peas. Because I was properly raised to always do that on New Years' Day.




Happy New Year Guerrillas!





My mother wrote me a marathon e-mail filled with family gossip. Parts of my reply:

Subj: Re: Sunday Morning
Date: 01/04/98
To: kbeeson

In a message dated 98-01-04 12:02:34 EST, you write:

<< Guess this is turning into a book. Hope you're enjoying your Sunday. >>

Maybe so, but it was a most enjoyable & interesting *book.* Thanks for helping me catch up on so much family news.

Tim is working a few hours today, so I've spent my Sunday morning puttering around on the 'puter (playing with my new journal program, reading old e-mail and saving it to disk, surfing the 'Net a little, etc.) and doing a little housecleaning. He'll be home soon and then we'll probably go grocery-shopping. Such is my glamorous new life.

His surgery has been postponed, incidentally. Long story. Bottom line is that he's having problems getting the Dept. of Labor to approve all of the surgical procedures recommended by his physician, who doesn't want to operate if he's not going to be allowed to do everything that needs to be done. Tim went in for a second opinion, per the DOL's request, and the second physician seems to concur with the first, but it's taking forever to get everything approved & scheduled. In the meantime Tim is down to working 30 hrs. a week at Starbucks because he can't take the strain of being on his feet all day. All of this has got him plenty discouraged at the moment.

We're excited about moving into the new place in a couple of weeks, though. It's a fresh start that we both need.


<<< I guess AH and the tots may be moving into a house by McMicken Heights >>>

How funny to hear you refer to him the "AH"!!!! (You do realize that it stands for "Anti-Husband," right? Some people think it means … uhhh … something else.)

And yeah, I'd heard from Daughter #2 that they were thinking of moving soon. Also, I got a handwritten letter from the A.H. a couple of days ago: mostly it's an itemized list of stuff he expects me to pay for, plus a thinly-veiled threat or two but he mentions that they'll be moving within the next few weeks. No details, though.

What schools would the kids be going to if they get the McMicken house? Any word on whether Jason is going to be living with them? Keep me apprised, if you can.

Anyway ..... I'd better get off the computer and get a grocery list going here. Have fun going back to work tomorrow. We'll talk soon.

Love you!



Mom's reply-to-my-reply:

Subj: Re: Sunday Evening
Date: 98-01-04 23:43:14 EST
From: kbeeson
To: SecraT


… Anyway--yes, I knew (sort of) what AH stands for, although I reallythough it was ANGRY husband. Either one seems to work. The kids would
be going to the same schools--Kyle's too close to the end to switch at this point and it's just down the street. The walk won't kill him but I think he has a bike???? Tyee is the high school for McMicken too.
Same for Chinook so no changes for Kyle next year either.

I have no idea why Jason would be living with them. At one point I got the impression that his parents had offered to help Ray get into a house if he needed it but don't have any indication that he might be an addition to the household. Am I being naive?

Interesting to hear that L & I claims don't move any faster in Oregon than they do here. Tell Tim to hang in there and get all the treatment he needs--it won't be any easier to try to go back and get it done later.

Love, Mom





Subj: Re: Sunday Evening
Date: 01/04/98
To: kbeeson

In a message dated 98-01-04 23:43:14 EST, you write:

<< I have no idea why Jason would be living with them. At one point I got the impression that his parents had offered to help Ray get into a house if he needed it but don't have any indication that he might be an addition to the household. Am I being naive? >>

I dunno WHAT'S going on, to tell you the truth. I've been getting e-mail from Jason every couple of days -- the girls gave him an AOL screen name of his own -- and he said something about how he's trying to get permission from his dad to move in with the A.H. & the kids. Basically that's all I know at this point. (Except that he closed his last e-mail to me -- written late New Years Eve & sounding slightly sloshed -- "I love you MOTHER IN LAW TO BE." Eeek.)

Heading for bed with a caramel roll and a good book. Tim's at a Starbucks meeting tonight, but I'll pass your message along to him (about "hanging in there" until he can get all the surgery he needs) when he gets home.

Talk to you soon.



Letting my friends know in advance that I plan to be a crashing bore for the next few months ...

Subj: I Have Eleven Seconds To Write This E-Mail
Date: 01/04/98
To: Feef, Bottle, Edmund, Mizzle, A Few Other Peeple

Sorry I've been even more scarce than usual the last few days, but TicTac officially declared war on Oregano, as of this weekend.

Let the divorce begin ...

I was sorta hoping that the A.H. and I could settle things like grown-ups, but he will be happy with nothing less than my head on a plate, apparently.

(Apologizing in advance for the next eight and a half months' worth of e-mail all about MY DIVORCE. Sheesh.)




Subj: Re: The D word
Date: 98-01-04 22:49:59 EST
From: Feef
To: SecraT

<<(Apologizing in advance for the next eight and a half months' worth of e-mail all about MY DIVORCE. Sheesh.)>>

Email away, Terri. There'll be times when you need to well I remember!

I'm glad you're getting out, but I'm really sorry to hear that Ray's set on making a difficult chapter even more difficult. Maybe........just maybe..........there's a slight chance that the holidays have fudked with his head like they fudk with so many of the rest of us, me included. Maybe he just feels prickish on account of the New Year and he'll run out of steam after awhile and get too lazy to keep up the animosity. It's hard work you know......

We can hope, anyway.

For the time being is whut I wish to hell someone had told me:

1) The best defense is a good offense..........but only if you happen to have a good attorney to be offended along WITH you. If you can't afford a lot of attorney fees, shop around for an inexpensive one who'll take installments and give good advice about keeping costs down. Word-of-mouth is your best shot.........ask around at work.

 2) Even if/when you find a good attorney, NEVER never ACT "offended" within hearing distance of Ray or HIS attorney. This will be's an emotional time. But keep your cool until you get around the corner from them because it is impossible to display anger or hurt (or hurt AND anger) and act intelligent at the same time, let alone think straight. Treat this as though it were a business deal. It is.

And remember........he's holding better cards than you are at the moment. For every time you lash out at him in anger, he will lash back twice as hard because he can. Be quiet & be shrewd. (Not to be confused with being evil & shrewd, because the kids will always and forever remember any evil that is done. By either parent.)

3) Make a list of things you want to take away from this divorce........whether they be material or non-material..........and then work and negotiate the hardest for the most important ones. Three categories:

a) "Essential" (like self-respect and visitation privileges)..........

b) "Need" to have (like any personal items, copies of old tax forms, medical records, your granny's canning jars and the ability to be able to have future civil conversations with the father of your children)............and

c) "Would be nice to have" (like unlimited calling and visiting privileges, being released from all joint debt that pertained to the house or car, and that set of coffee mugs you bought because you liked the handles).

4) Don't be obvious about trying to get the kids on your side. You'll do it.......everybody does.........but be a little bit subtle. Don't hide anything from them.........but don't go out of your way to tell them he's a jerk. In fact........amazing as it may sound, the more you tell them that he is NOT all bad, the more they will see HIS faults and be blinded to yours! I dunno why that is, but it is..........and I found it out quite by accident when I was desperately trying to "be fair" while walking around with my fists and teeth tightly clenched.

And last but not least.......don't share ANYTHING like feelings or discussions with an attorney with anyone, including the kids, who might be talking to Ray unless you don't care if he knows it. Because people are people and they slip up. And he will use info as ammo just when you least expect it. Divorces are emotional teeter-totters for ALL the people involved. Even when they really WANT to be divorced.

And the only reason I'm yabbering on and on about this is because, obviously, my own divorce was a royal, agonizing pain. And 15 years later I STILL wish I had done some stuff differently.........but I was naive as hell. So toughen up and be smart for yourself, okay?

Take care! I'm glad you have Tim.



Feef's e-mail, as usual, was incredibly uplifting.  Part of my reply:

Subj: Fwd: Wedding
Date: 01/04/98
To: Feef
From: Secra

… And thanks for the D-word E-mail. It was A-mazingly informative. I will take all of your advice to heart, I promise.



To which she replied:

Subj: Re: Fwd: Wedding
Date: 98-01-05 00:45:39 EST
From: Feef
To: SecraT


>>> I will take all of your advice to heart, I promise. <<<

No you won't, Goobette! (g) You will alternately SEETHE and COOL OFF.

Give a shidt and NOT give a shidt.

etc. and etc.


But I hadda SAY it anyway!






A written-in-a-hurry note to my best pal

Subj: Out The Door
Date: 01/05/98
To: Edmund

My bus will be here momentarily. It is a cold, rainy, dark, yucky morning in Oregano. I didn't sleep well and I'm 'zausted. I don't want to go to work.


But at least I am wearing my new green and white polka-dot suit, and it's cheering me up somewhat. There is just something sublimely ridiculous about DOTS. Y'know?


I look like a clown.



A cute clown, of course.



A cute, happy clown.




A cute, happy little KILLER CLOWN ... on her way to the KNIFE FACTORY ...





I hadn't heard from any of the kids in a few days, and I was starting to get worried. I sent this e-mail to Daughter #2, thinking that perhaps the lure of having her beloved AOL taken care of might get her attention. 

Hi Kacie.

I'd like to talk to you about AOL, whenever you get a chance.  

Love you.  Hope all is well.




Note to Feef.

Subj: Just A Quick *Hello*
Date: 01/11/98
To: Feef

Odds and ends of news, typed in our usual big fat HURRY:

* We move now into the second week of **Divorce '98** ... and find the A.H. holding my HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALS for ransom.

[derisive noise]

I wrote him a courteous-but-vaguely-murderous letter this weekend, explaining that

a.) I'm not exactly living a life of untold wealth and glamor and stuff, here in Oregano


b.) I transcribed all of my journals to disk about three years ago ANYWAY, so neener neener neener.


* Tim and I went to look at our new apartment again yesterday. It'll be another three weeks before we can move in. We haven't even seen the INSIDE of it yet: we just park outside and gaze fondly at the outside of it (no doubt causing the current tenants some amount of discomfort ... "Honey! Those people are sitting outside in the JIMMY again" ....).

Thing is ... I felt a weird momentary panic yesterday. I looked at the apartment, and I looked at him sitting there next to me, and I thought about the fact that I've just signed a ONE YEAR LEASE with this man ....




.... and all of a sudden I honest to God thought I was gonna throw up.

But I didn't. I drew a smiley face on the car window instead.

I guess it was just a case of the Oh-My-God-I'm-*Committing*-Again Jitters, and I feel a little better today, but it was a close call just the same.




* I bought The Wallflowers CD a coupla weekends ago, did I tell you? I absotively ADORE it.

(It's prolly as close to Dylan as you're gonna get me.)




Gotta fly.

My SIGNIFICANT DRUTHER will be home any moment ... we're going grocery shopping. (I'm voting for frozen processed sodium-and-fat-enhanced batter-dipped chicken ... but he'll probably want the pukey *natural* stuff, sans skin & bones & anything else of interest. If so I'll have to compensate with an extra scoop of Jif on my baked potato. So there.)

Love you to pizzas.




Letter to Ray.  I was desperately trying to keep things civil, mainly because I was the only one with a shirt to lose in this divorce.

January 8, 1998


Thank you for your letter. I'm happy to see that you're interested in working out an arrangement that is fair to everyone, and that you agree that the kids are the priority.

I do have concerns about some of the issues you raise in your letter, though, and I think they need to be addressed right away.

As I've said from the very beginning, I want to contribute financial support for the kids. The only condition I ever made was that support payments would have to wait until I was employed and receiving a regular paycheck.

My new job began in mid-November. Since I have been with this company less than ninety days, I have not been paid for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years (or for the three Fridays following these holidays). In fact, it will be another two weeks before I receive my first full paycheck, on January 23. In the meantime I have been sending you and the kids more than half of everything I've brought home so far, as an indication of good faith.

The $600/month payment arrangement you've suggested is something I simply can't afford at my current income. I wish I could. Hopefully in another couple of months I will see a payraise, and then we'll be able to re-negotiate. But for the time being I am able to honor our original support agreement of $225 per pay period, beginning with my first full regular paycheck. I also hope to help the kids out with special financial needs as they occur, and to try and pay their AOL bill each month. As soon as possible, I will also take care of my outstanding personal bills. This already totals well over 60% of my projected take-home income for the next few months. The truth is that it's going to be extremely difficult financially -- after I pay you and pay my rent, there is virtually nothing left -- but I am sincere in my desire to contribute support for the kids.

I'm still hoping that we can avoid going through a complicated legal process to settle this. I don't think either of us can afford it, for one thing. For another, there are many available alternatives to courts and lawyers.

However, since it appears that you've already consulted an attorney, I have taken the precaution of having a preliminary settlement agreement drawn up this week. It is an agreement that is fair to both of us AND is one I can actually afford. I will send you a copy as soon as it is processed, and if we both agree to the terms we can probably settle the situation quickly and at very little cost to either of us.

 In the meantime, I am enclosing a check for $100 as a gesture of continued good faith. Beginning on January 23, when I finally receive my first full paycheck, you can expect the twice-monthly support payment of $225 we agreed on during my visit in September.

Again, thanks for your letter. Hope you are well.




And finally ... a state-of-the-life e-mail to Mom.

Sunday Afternoon. Snow. Old Coffee. New Socks.

Hi Mom.

 I'm taking a break from packing & cleaning this afternoon to write some quick e-mail.   Computer problems have kept me offline for most of the week, and I've got that icky *out of touch* feeling.

 How are you?

 Any TicTac news to report?

I sent Ray a letter and a check this weekend.  The letter courteously, regretfully but firmly outlines what I can & can't afford in the way of monthly support.  (I bring home $1000 a month.  He wants $665.  My rent alone is $345. The math speaks for itself.) 

 I imagine this is just the beginning.  Sigh.

Haven't heard from the Tots for several days, but then again I've been "unplugged," cyberly.   Kyle calls me at work sometimes, using the 800 number, but I didn't hear from him at all this week.  Guess I'll just keep filling up their e-mailboxes & wait *patiently* for a response.  Sigh again.

Incidentally  .........  I'm having their AOL account switched back over to my name, starting in two weeks.  That way, payment will be drawn directly from my checking account, rather than from Ray's.  As long as they take care of their computer & have a working phone line, this should guarantee their cyber existence.

Are they moving?  If so, do you know when? 

I still have a lot of stuff there: should I be thinking about coming up and rescuing my journals before the bonfire?

I told you that Tim and I are moving, right?

I'm having some last-minute "jitters" about the whole thing  ...   signing a one year lease seems perilously close to making a (gasp) COMMITMENT   ...  but I suppose under the circumstances this is to be expected.   Basically we're getting along great: I just need to learn to relax and enjoy having someone love me, I guess.

Tim's doctor sent a letter to the Dept. of Labor last week.  Here are some interesting excerpts:

 "To whom it may concern:

We apparently have received authorization to proceed with arthroscopic examination and patellar shave without any option for [insert a bunch of technical surgical-ese here]   ...  I feel that it would not be in your best interests to proceed with any procedure with this restrictions.  Having reviewed Dr. Mandenburg's opinion which I respect, I must, however, disagree with.  Altered mechanics of the [something-or-other] joint are not easily demonstrable on x-ray  ...  I feel that it would be palliative at best to proceed with the above-mentioned procedure with the restrictions imposed ... "

So it looks like we're back to playing the "wait and see" game.   He's been mostly pain-free for the last several weeks, but when it flares up, it's pretty bad.  (Thank GOD the new apartment is on the ground floor: stairs, in ANY increments, are total killers.)

Nothing much else to tell, I guess.  Work is going well: it's one of the real bright spots in my life right now.  (Every day I have to sorta pinch myself   -  I can't believe I work for such a great company.)  I'm reading a lot, writing a little  ...  walking a lot, sleeping enough  ...  missing the kids terribly, but finding peace and pleasure in unexpected places  ...

Write soon and catch me up, OK?  (And send any response to the e-mail address, since I don't check my Internet account very often at all.)

 I love you,




Letter to The ‘Grillaz

Date: 01/12/98
To: Bottle, Edmund, Feef

"Winter Storm '98."

That's what the local news puppets are calling the .0005523 metric inches of "snow" on the ground this morning.

**REED COLEMAN,** the seriously cerebellum-challenged puppet on Channel 6, looked directly into the camera ten minutes ago and solemnly informed me that if my power goes out, I can always visit the news channel's website ( for all the latest weather info.

Sometimes this place really scares me.

Talk to you guys later ... maybe after *Winter Thaw '98.*



Subj: Just A Quick Response
Date: 98-01-12 03:33:04 EST
From: Feef
To: SecraT


Terri, you sound REALLY good!

You cracked me UP with the High School Journal deal........the idea of him holding them for RANSOM was hilarious, but I think I liked "neener neener neener" the best.

I've heard and used nya nya nya nya nya nya more times than I can count.......but this one's new to me. I will DEFINITELY be borrowing it........but I promise to always give you credit.

The apartment sounds good too. It's already made a difference and you're not even THERE yet! Don't panic, girlfriend. You can do ANYTHING for a year for crying out loud. And if your "committment" or his "committment" doesn't feel as good at the end of a year, then you don't sign another lease, right? Right. It's not like either of you signed the Magna Carta here......we're talking apartment!

(Although yeah......there's some symbolism there. I admit it. Grudgingly, but I admit it. So don't think about that part. LIfe is too short to be annoyed by panic attacks.)



You like the Wallflowers, huh? Hey......if that's as close as I can get you to Dylan, I'll be quite content with that. I like 'em too. Besides, that's pretty damn close you know.


I would ALSO like to know whut OTHER music you're into these days. I'm expanding my talk to me. Maybe we'll find we have more in common than Chumbawamba (whom *I* adore, btw). I had a tough time trying to guess some stuff you might like for the guerrilla tape........I hope there's nothing there that's gonna make you puke or anything.........LOL. *I* gotta run.


I have written my BRAINS out tonight (make that LAST night) for some reason..........answering correspondence from MONTHS ago and typing like a maniac in my journal........which I get around to about 3 times a YEAR. Dunno where all the words came from all at once..........but come they did. And man.....I am gonna HATE myself in about 3 hours when I hafta get my butt out of bed!

Of course, before I can get OUT of bed I hafta get INTO bed. And I'm not especially sleepy, as I am sure you can tell by this frenetic style of writing. So I've gotta go eat some protein. Works every time........

knocks me out like a rock. Don't ask. I dunno......unless I'm part cat or dog or something. You know......suck down a can of Friskies or Mighty Dog and go curl up in front of the fire.


Love you!




Here we go: the bi-monthly "Dad wants to know where the support check is" e-mails begin in earnest.

Subj: hi yourself
Date: 01/14/98
To: Daughter #2

<< dad was wondering where the check was cuz he hasent goten it yet , and hes kinda worried. >>

The check is in the mail, as they say. The crappy weather may have slowed it down, but it's definitely on the way.

And thanks for the e-mail. It's always great to hear from you & hear all about your life & stuff.

Love you, Oh Silent One.





One of my regular state of the life e-mails, cc'd to a handful of people.

Subj: *News From The Ant Farm*
Date: 01/18/98
To: Several Pals


How's every little thing? And every not-so-little thing?

I've been trying to get some e-mail written this afternoon, but I can't seem to stay focused for anything. I get a line or two written and then my attention wanders, and the next thing I know I'm back on the WWW, browsing the "Official Patty Duke Made-For-TV-Movies Internet Site," (my favorite? "If Tomorrow Comes"),or searching the cyber Yellow Pages for old classmates from sixth grade, or downloading an animated clip of dancing waffle irons ...

Oh well.

Work continues to consume 75% of my time, energy and brain cells: the remainder is pretty evenly divided between Tim, getting ready for the upcoming move ... and wondering/worrying about the Tots. Not much room for anything else at the moment. (No wonder I just sort of mentally *shut down* on these long lazy Sundays, while he's at work: no conversation required, no ringing phones, no decisions, no Maybelline. Nothing but me and a pot of coffee and Roy Orbison on the boombox. Bliss.)

Not much in the way of news. We signed the lease on the new apartment this weekend (gulp), and yesterday had our first "walk-through." We'd seen a model version of the apartment when we were considering moving there, but this was our first glimpse of the real thing. The previous tenants just moved out this last week so it still needs to be cleaned & painted, but compared to the ant farm we're in right now, it felt like ...


... a BIGGER ant farm. Sigh.  But still. We just sort of walked around with our mouths hanging open, saying "WOW." A second bedroom! A second BATHROOM! A kitchen you can actually turn around in! As an added amenity, our apartment is tucked into a back corner of the complex, overlooking nothing but forest ... very quiet, very secluded. A little island of sanity in an insane world. (She says hopefully.)

Anyway, we'll start moving Friday night (the 30th) and expect to be fully moved in by Saturday night (the 31st). Mr. Organization already has the new phone lines ordered, and they'll be operational (as will the 'puter) by the time we get the last of the unpacking done, prolly.

As for TicTac .... I sent the A.H. a check & a letter earlier this week (explaining my financial situation and suggesting that we find the least-expensive, least-stressful way to settle). Haven't heard anything back. The kids are never online anymore, or at least never at the same time *I* am, but I continue to send them e-mail as often as I can ... just silly little "hi I'm thinking about you" stuff. I would love to get them down here for a visit, now that we'll finally have the room, but we'll just have to wait and see whose head explodes/doesn't explode when I suggest it.

OK. Gotta get back to the WWW ... the "Jesus of the Week" website is calling my name. (Plus he's going to be home any minute -- Tim, I mean, not Jesus -- and we're gonna go ... you ready for this? ... SHOWER CURTAIN SHOPPING. It just doesn't get any more exciting than this.)

Loveyouguys. Hope to be more of a cyber *presence* again here as soon as everything settles down.





Subj: Greetings & Salutations & Stuff
Date: 01/18/98
To: Daughter #2, Son #Only, Daughter #1

Hello everyone.

Just checking in. Haven't seen hide nor hair of ANY of you in days & days, so I thought I'd better check and make sure we're all still breathing ... ?

Work is taking up 99% of my time, energies and brain cells these days ... it keeps me busy and out of trouble ... but the three of you are ALWAYS on my mind.

(Btw ... any of you gonna be interested in coming down for a visit soon? After I move in two weeks?)

Write and let me know how you're doing.

I love you guys a bunch.





Daughter #2 takes the bait.

Subj: your moving?
Date: 98-01-18 17:52:42 EST
From: Daughter #2
To: SecraT

Yes id love to visit , the only reason i wasent interested befor was because i dident want to share a 1 bedroom apartment with some dude i dont know :P , gymnastics is allmost over so i wont be so busy anymore.Oh ya , im going to be worthy advisor for IORG (international order of the rainbow for girls) on march 28 at 3:00 PM at the Des Moines Masonic Temple, Brooke should be back by then to.




Subj: Re: your moving?
Date: 01/18/98
To: Daughter #2

<< your moving? >>

Weekend-after-next ... January 30th & 31st. The apartment we're in now is just too small ... and, ironically enough, too expensive. The new place is bigger but cheaper. Go figure.

 << Yes id love to visit >>

ALLLLLLLRIGHTY then ....... this is the best news I've heard all week!!!!!!

We'll have to start making some arrangements SOON!!!!!!

<< the only reason i wasent interested befor was because i dident want to share a 1 bedroom apartment with some dude i dont know :P >>

Perfectly understandable. *I* felt the same way when I first moved here. :0)

<< gymnastics is allmost over so i wont be so busy anymore. >>

So you can, like, write your Mom an E-MAIL once in awhile??


<< Oh ya , im going to be worthy advisor for IORG (international order of the rainbow for girls) on march 28 at 3:00 PM at the Des Moines Masonic Temple, Brooke should be back by then to. >>

Congratulations. I mean that sincerely.

You know I like to tease you about your Rainbow stuff sometimes ... but I know that it's important to you, and it's wonderful seeing you attain this sort of success.



We'll talk very soon. Say hi to the other Tots for me.




Son #O's e-mails are few & far between, so I always answer them immediately when they do land in my mailbox.

Subj: Re: im still breathing
Date: 01/19/98
To: Son #Only

In a message dated 98-01-19 22:17:36 EST, you write:

<< hello i dont have much to say or much time because kacie is right next to me. i just wanted to say im interested in going to your apartment and that dad said to give him a call sometime ya. >>

 Love ya too, Boo Boo. Can't wait to see you guys again.






Subj: How're You Feeling???
Date: 01/20/98
To: Daughter #1

Hey, James.

It was fun talking to you yesterday. Thanks for the call.

Are you feeling any better today?






Whoa!!! Looks like I got outta there just in time ... (this is the job I walked out on when I ran off to Oregano)

Subj: Community Newspaper Group (CNG) will cease publishing...
Date: 98-01-21 15:15:00 EST
From: AOL News
BCC: SecraT

Community Newspaper Group (CNG) will cease publishing three biweekly newspapers in Southwest King County with the Jan. 28 issues

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 21, 1998--Community Newspaper Group (CNG) will cease publishing three biweekly newspapers in Southwest King County with the Jan. 28 issues.

H. Mason Sizemore, president of the Seattle Times Company, which owns CNG, said the community newspapers have not been profitable and that there are no indications they will be. The Seattle Times Company bought the community newspapers out of bankruptcy in 1991.

Despite award-winning journalism by the Federal Way News, the Highline News and the Des Moines News, the newspapers have been unable to attract enough advertising and subscribers to cover costs, Sizemore said. The newspapers serve a market of 110,000 homes covering Federal Way, Burien, Des Moines, Tukwila, Normandy Park, Northeast Tacoma, Kent West Hill, and SeaTac.

The approximately 60 CNG employees will receive severance benefits based primarily on their length of service.   Some employees will remain on the job for a few months to handle business issues related to the closure. Several of the employees will be offered positions at the Times or with one of its subsidiaries.

"CNG has been blessed with a dedicated work force that has produced among the best suburban community newspapers in the country. The newspapers and staff members have won many national and state awards. We regret that we are unable to continue to support the outstanding work they have done," Sizemore said.

Subscribers who have paid in advance will be able to apply unused portions of their payments to Seattle Times subscriptions or they will receive refunds.

"No owner wants to face the closure of a community's newspaper, but we have no choice," Sizemore said.

"Since the Seattle Times Company's purchase of CNG in 1991 there has been a fundamental change in retail businesses with the growth of national big-box stores and no-frills discounters in our market. This trend has forced many small- and medium-size retailers, who were strong CNG advertisers, out of business. At the same time there has been a major shift in the way traditional businesses place advertising, with a greater number of advertisers using metropolitan newspapers exclusively and no longer duplicating coverage with weekly and suburban newspapers," Sizemore said.

"Consequently, many community newspapers are losing money with little hope of that changing. Because the Times is committed to quality journalism, our losses were greater than for some other similar newspapers in our market.

"We concluded that we could better serve Federal Way, Highline, and Des Moines by beefing up our zoned coverage in the daily Seattle Times, which remains the most-read newspaper in those communities."

The decision to close the CNG newspapers does not affect the weekly Issaquah Press, which is also owned by the Seattle Times Company. Sizemore said the Issaquah Press is profitable.




My mother writes to inform me that the A.H. is getting legal advice from a member of my family.

Subj: HI
Date: 98-01-24 18:09:44 EST
From: kbeeson
To: SecraT

Just got home from a WAEOP board meeting (overnight, in Bellevue) and thought I'd write a quick note. Actually, I've been delegated to ask you a major question. Don't know if you've heard from other sources that Ray is looking into the issue
of a divorce, but he is. Through getting advice from Tim re: real estate, he learned that Tim's
brother is a lawyer. He has asked Chris to help him with the legal work and Chris doesn't want to do it if it would upset Deb or I and we don't know how you feel about it. Chris would do the legal work for nothing, the only cost would be the filing fee.

What's your real, honest reaction. We don't want to do anything to hurt or upset you, but if this will be helpful we don't want to give the wrong answer. Please let me know ASAP.

I love you and only want to help--Deb too.





Basically, I didn’t give a shit: I just wanted to not be married to RAY anymore. But I did have some teeny tiny reservations.

Subj: Re: HI
Date: 01/25/98
To: kbeeson

In a message dated 98-01-24 18:09:44 EST, you write:

 << Actually, I've been delegated to ask you a major question. Don't know if you've heard from other sources that Ray is looking into the issue of a divorce, but he is. >>

Jaymi "delegated" herself as the one to break the news to me, actually. She called here on Friday afternoon -- I was home with the flu -- and told me about it.  At the time I was flying high on Thera Flu and Vicks VapoRub and didn't feel much of a reaction, one way or the other ... "I just want everybody to get through this in one piece," I think I told her (when in fact all I REALLY wanted to do at that moment was slip back into my coma) ...

... but over the weekend I've had time to think about it, and I've gotta admit that I'm somewhat less than thrilled by the idea. It seems a little ... creepy. Once again he's using my family, and I'm on the outside looking in. But so what? If it's easier for Ray ... fine. If it enables him to move on ... fine. If it doesn't cost either one of us an arm and/or a leg ... fine. I'll cooperate.

But I can't help but be concerned about possible ... ramifications. More than just our marriage could end, if something goes wrong. I just hope that Ray realizes that by doing it this way -- through my family, albeit in a round-about sort of way but through MY FAMILY nonetheless -- that he's going to have to play it straight and fair, all the way.

It's 5:30 a.m., by the way, and I've just crawled out of bed ... Day #3 of The Steamroller Flu, and I'm still feeling like lukewarm shit ... so maybe right now isn't the greatest time in the world to be addressing this issue. But you asked for my "real, honest reaction" ... and right now, that's it. I'm not happy about the idea, but if it's what Ray wants to do, I'll live with it. I just want it to be OVER with, once and for all.

This next week I'll be pretty much *incommunicado.* Most of my co-workers are at a trade show in Las Vegas until next weekend, so I'm going to be doing triple-duty at work ... then, in the evenings, Tim and I will be packing, moving and cleaning, more or less in that order. Friday night and Saturday morning will be The Big Move. I'll check my e-mail as often as I can, though, and I'll call and let you know when we're all settled.

Thanks for writing and letting me know about this, Mom. I'll bet it wasn't an easy e-mail to write. We'll get through it somehow.

Love you.



Letting The Tots know I would be incommunicado for awhile.

Subj: Letting You Know ...
Date: 01/27/98
To: Son #Only, Daughter #2, Daughter #1

Hi guys.

This is going to be an extremely busy week for Mom & you're probably not gonna hear from me much until things settle down.

Friday and Saturday we'll be moving into the new apartment, but by Sunday evening I hope to be all settled in ... the phone (and computer) will be working, so I'll be back in touch ...

In the meantime, hope everyone is well. I think about you all the time.

I love you.


P.S. Jay ... could you send me that photo? Maybe to my work address?




Letting The ‘Grillaz know the same thing

Subj: I Shall Return & Stuff
Date: 01/29/98
To: Edmund, Feef, Bottle

cc: Vlados, Hot Vi

*The Big Move '98** (<--- as the local news puppets would no doubt refer to it) begins in earnest this evening ... so I'm gonna pretty much be "unplugged" for the next few days. We should be all moved into the new place & have the 'puter back up and running by Sunday at the latest ... but until then I'm going to drop off the radar.

 Feel special. Feel very, very special. Because you are.

See you guys when I'm plugged back in.

* * *


Subj: OK Now I'm REALLY & TRULY "Going Away" For Awhile OK
Date: 01/31/98
To: Edmund

Good morning Edmund, she says reverently and wearily.

It's 7:34 a.m. Saturday morning, and here I sit in the mostly-empty ant farm, gearing up for a grueling weak-end of MOVING and FRIVOLITY.

(*He* had to go into Starbucks and do the books for an hour, so I volunteered to stay home and pack the rest of the bathroom shidt ... run one last load of laundry, since we'll be sans washer & dryer for a little while ... gently and reverently slam the six month old bag o' carrots into the dumpster ... etc. etc. etc. So OF COARSE I'm sitting here instead, writing you an *e.* When he gets back, later this morning, the fun begins in earnest. Sigh.)

Btw. We went to a store called "Bed Bath & Beyond" the other night, ostensibly looking for shower curtains. (<-----Life does NOT in fact get any more exciting than this.) Here is what *I* wound up purchasing:

* A refrigerator magnet shaped like a miniature gumball machine

* A coffee mug

* A candle

* A bag of rubber ducks.

(Just thought I'd *share.*)

OK ... off I go to get dressed and start throwing stuff into boxes. When next you hear from me - tomorrow morning, prolly - I'll be writing from the fabulous new digs in Oregano City.






Subj: Re: Hey!
Date: 01/31/98
To: Daughter #1

<< Hey! I need your wrok address again so I can send you the picture, plus a little treat for you.>>

My *wrok* address is:

Benchmade Knife Company
300 Beavercreek Road
Oregon City, OR  97045

>> Dad keeps hiding your phone numbers and address from us so I need it again. <<

If all else fails, you can always ask Grandma Beeson. I'll make sure that she's always got the most current phone numbers and address info.

Speaking of addresses -- we're moving today. It's 7 a.m. Saturday morning and Tim is already hauling another load over to the new apartment. I'm sitting here in the mostly-empty old apartment ... I'm supposed to be doing the last of the laundry (since we won't have a washer or dryer for a little while) and packing up the bathroom stuff, but I figured I'd better check my mail in case one of you guys had written to me. It might be a day or two before I'm plugged back into AOL.

Haven't heard *boo* outta Kacie in days & days. Thought she was going to write and let me know how much she needed for the dance .. ?

How's Kyle? And my "other son" (Jason)?

I'll be sending all three of you some stuff this coming week, btw, for Valentines Day. Would it be better to mail it to you c/o your office? Let me know.

Gotta get busy: this is going to be one looooooooooooooong weekend. Once we're all settled in & the computer is hooked up, I'll write again.

Love you.





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