Date: Sun, 19 Mar 1995 23:05:36
To: Carolyn L Burke
Subject: Re: Please do send that Web page address!
The Web address is: http://carolyn.org/~clburke/Diary.html#today
Bear in mind the it was probably mid to late January and I was not kindly disposed towards anything you said. My quarrel with the Pigeon has more to do with his inability to 'make right' the times that he hurts me rather than whether your message 'should' have been offensive.
In your message of 11:29 Mar 18 1995, you write:
> And thanks for yesterday. You really helped me a lot.
Thank you for listening to me. I feel a lot lighter with our dispute in the past. I'm a pretty good friend when I put my mind to it, stuborn has it's advantages......
> paraphrased (you know him) last night's chat with you -- I found it very
> interesting that you came away with the same evaluation that you had
> before the evening.
Actually I sort of watered it down a little. Before the evening I had a MUCH better opinion of her than afterwards.
> There is one thing you did not get to see -- Athena
> in her own power.
> It seems you discourage it - which I'm all for. But let me explain that
> bit .. in which she might (low chance though) not be only sheepish.
> When dug into by Peter, she doesn't only mirror.. she has a style to the
> mirroring. She tells longwinded parables that have punch lines much
> like Peter tells stories of his life with a refined essence of moral at
> the end. And hers are long and boring .. but enough like Peter's in
> style that this could explain his confusion.
Well I'm sure that her stories may be unique but I believe (now) that they are not her stories...possible hypothesis... someone in her family is a talented story teller, this would explain why she tells meandering stories with great punch lines. She can remember the 'general' drift of the story, the specific punch line, and is a good enough actress to get the emotions just right.
> Anyway, these parables *sound* Interesting and on topic if you let her ramble on.. you would
> never tolerate someone wasting your time that way.
hahahahah that's funny and all too true, I even get visibly anoyed when someone stutters!
> But with Peter's ravings these past weeks, I did a couple of times. Especially when she
> just walked into my space unannounced or invited.. I had to believein
> those instances that throwing her out would've have made me seem even
> more vindictive to Peter. So I let her in this way without defending
Carolyn as the political animal! Well you were probably right, Peter wouldn't have listened to any of this a week ago. He is very good as self dillusion when he needs to be.
> Now *if* she really only can communicate her real non-sheepness through
> this one channel, then you would not have seen it. It could have been
> the reason that she acted so helplessly last night - no one would put up
> with her lack of conciseness (although I also thought she lacked beingon
> topic most of the time - but like I said the stories she tells only
> become on topic at the punch line.. a manipulative tactic that
> encourages people to listen to the stories next time, I think).
See above, I think my alternative is more likely.
> My question remains - how can we test out this last place of possible
> humanity? Ideas? Hope so. Peter doesn't need this test, but I'd like
> it so that I understand Peter's weaknesses about people better.
Well between the two of us we have an incredible variety of talents and options for dealing with people. The chances of a non-sheep slipping through both of our fish-nets without a trace is unlikely. And if that is the case and he/she then withstands the sheep treatment...perhaps we could declare that final judgement could be withheld for some longer period of time.
From what I understand Peter wants the opportunity with Athena to try to turn her into a non-sheep. This would benefit me in the following ways:
However if you managed to scare off the lab-rat you have to find the next one for us to play with.... or I could net-fish something.
and a woof back at you.
> I'll cc this to Peter.. what the hell
I won't but you can forward if you want.
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 1995 10:30:37
To: Carolyn L Burke
Subject: Peter aftermath
It seems that I may have caused exactly that which I was most afraid of. When I left last night Peter was in his cave stating that he was going to completely restructure his life and become "normal". Now I don't believe that even if he wanted to he could...but he will hurt himself immeasurably in the trying.
He has also told me that he no longer considers me a friend.
If there is anyway you can convince him that what I did I did because his friendship is so important to me that would be a debt I may never be able to repay. If this is not possible then so be it. I will not be chasing after him. This is twice within the last three months that when I've attempted to let him know that he has not been a very good friend to me he has retaliated by 'dissolving' our friendship.
Anyway, Athena agreed last night to move out of your home approximately May 1st, I hope she keeps her promise.....
From: Carolyn L Burke
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 1995 11:36:36
To: yesterday evening's party attenders
The above is the URL to my online diary. I think I mentioned too many times that I write here for this to remain un-shared with you. So here goes.
You'll find an index, links to the latest entries regularly, and discussions of things you might recognize in my life. But beware .. this is really a diary, and I really do write things of "personal" import sometimes, and you might not know me in this sort of light currently.. I have included below the standard blurb about the diary (I advertise it as modern feminist writing on the 'net).
I had a great time last night. Let's do this again!
Carolyn's Diary is the diary of Carolyn L Burke, and an experiment in online self-disclosure. Updated daily (or thereabouts) it contains Carolyn's thoughts on her life and the world. You can start at the beginning, index, or go straight to today's entry. Send Carolyn email at email@example.com to respond to her ideas, or to let her know what you think!
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 1995 14:48:22
To: Carolyn L Burke
Subject: Party etc
HI, I had a fine time at your birthday party last night and although I'm a little hung over today was glad that it went as well as it did. I received your web page message and read your entry for today. Thanks
I just looked at the clock and realized that you and Arthur and Lancelot are probably smoozing with Apollo and Hermes about now...hope you're having fun! Although I'm a little jealous that I can't participate in anything like that because of Apollo's fear that Hermes will put 2 and 2 together.
Anyway I'm really happy that you got a chance to talk with Apollo, I think he has some interesting things to say to the world if you can get past his 'persona'. I have also been saying for about a year now that I don't understand why FSC and The Olympus Group don't do business together (but no one listens to me about this sort of thing).
Well just wanted to say hi and thanks. BTW Apollo's e-mail address is "firstname.lastname@example.org" he says its not that reliable but if you want to include him in any future mass mailings I would appreciate it. In case you wonder why: I've decided to make it a personal enhancement project this year to try to reduce the fragmentation in my life. I don't go along with Peter's 'transitivity of friendship' but I would benefit from my friends benefiting from knowledge of my other friends. This realization actually occured when I was thinking about how unlikely it was that anyone could give me a surprise party! Peter probably knows the most of my friends and acquaintances of any single person but NO ONE could possibly contact ALL of the people who are socially significant to me. Just writing this makes me very sad. If I were to die tomorrow my funeral would be the first time that many of my friends met. (sigh) sorry don't mean to be morbid.
This was not intended to be an epic so I'll close now, but hope that we can get together soon.
From: Carolyn L Burke
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 1995 16:51:22
Subject: Re: Party etc
I've been thinking about you a bit. I want you to know with absolute clarity that I am not do anything to come between you and Apollo .. and that I will actively prevent such too. Although he seems capable of being charming when he wants to be, Apollo is not the sort of guy for me. Thought you should know that.
> HI, I had a fine time at your birthday party last night and although I'm
> a little hung over today was glad that it went as well as it did. I
> received your web page message and read your entry for today. Thanks
I'm glad to hear you had a good time. So did I. Thanks for coming and for bringing both Apollo and Aphrodite. She seemed interesting enough too in my opinion. Cool.
> I just looked at the clock and realized that you and Arthur and Lancelot are
> probably smoozing with Apollo and Hermes about now...hope you're having
> fun! Although I'm a little jealous that I can't participate in anything
> like that because of Apollo's fear that Hermes will put 2 and 2 together.
None of that now. I hadn't realized that that was why you were not invited along during the party. Naive me was hoping you'd come along too. But now I remember more. You guys will come out of the closet eventually!
> Anyway I'm really happy that you got a chance to talk with Apollo, I think
> he has some interesting things to say to the world if you can get past
> his 'persona'. I have also been saying for about a year now that I
> don't understand why FSC and The Olympus Group don't do business together
> (but no one listens to me about this sort of thing).
Apollo's work is interesting enough. I wish him the best of luck with his grant proposal. I am not clear as to why we were actually invited along the other day. The days of us doing the hardcore programming are long over, and that is what Apollo was looking for. In the other hand, I ope the advice we offered was of some assistance. It seemed to me that Apollo and Hermes were not fully informed as to the type of person they needed, confusing the knowledge of a CS person (theoretical) with the knowhow of the CS engineer (the person with the solutions in hand).
Don't get me wrong though .. the Olympus group does some exciting stuff, much like I found at CMU. highly skilled and motivated academics are always a pleasure. They really could do with a web site.
> Well just wanted to say hi and thanks. BTW Apollo's e-mail address is
> "email@example.com" he says its not that reliable but if you want
> to include him in any future mass mailings I would appreciate it. In
> case you wonder why: I've decided to make it a personal enhancement
> project this year to try to reduce the fragmentation in my life. I
> don't go along with Peter's 'transitivity of friendship' but I would
> benefit from my friends benefiting from knowledge of my other friends.
> This realization actually occured when I was thinking about how unlikely
> it was that anyone could give me a surprise party! Peter probably knows
> the most of my friends and acquaintances of any single person but NO ONE
> could possibly contact ALL of the people who are socially significant to
> me. Just writing this makes me very sad. If I were to die tomorrow my
> funeral would be the first time that many of my friends met. (sigh)
> sorry don't mean to be morbid.
:) That is a surprising thing to hear you say. Is it in part due to your feeling isolated from parts of Apollo's life? Or beyond that as well? I'll let you in on a secret. The party was a big success for me - I really enjoyed it. But I noted a couple days later that those people that I spend my time with ona day to day basis, other than Peter and Arthur, were not there. A couple were not even invited. Those that did come were each as related to either Arthur or Peter as to me. I found this fascinating... so I think your worry that everyone you know could not be invited is substantiated but for another reason .. the inviters couldn't persuade *my* friends to come out to this thing! Like Ophelia, Hamlet, Portia, Cordelia, Lear. See? Just a thought.
> This was not intended to be an epic so I'll close now, but hope that we
> can get together soon.
I'd love to. You into popping open one of those homemade bottles and celebrating Peter's infatuation? :) I am seriously considering leaving him, and I'd really like someone to talk to about his pros and cons.. er, if there are any of the former, if you get my drift. Actually, I'm really flipped -- I'm already in my opinion a single person. And I'm totally shredded up inside. Awfully heavy and on this subject, not a lot of fun. So I won't take a rebuff with any bad intentions. I've already learned that the people around here can't talk about it with me. So far I'm left with a diary only to communicate with.
[Please don't forward to Peter.]
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 1995 00:02:46
To: Carolyn L Burke
Subject: Friendship Purring
I won't quote your message back at you because I think it's a lot like starting every sentence with 'you said'. I'd like to be able to have a more natural conversation with you than that.
About me comments regarding you and Apollo and jealousy. That was not about you two; it was only about me and my insecurities. I don't think that you represent a serious threat to our friendship, but I know that Apollo finds you 'very sexy'. On that note our relationship is completely open. However I can't help feeling that you are getting something that I can't have (and would love) when you can participate in an aspect of his life that is closed to me. I lose hope daily that this will be rectified without some outside stimulous. Can you imagine Apollo telling Hermes (his best friend) that he's been intimately involved with someone for almost 2 years and hasn't bothered to mention it? Not without risking that friendship. I was secretly hoping that Lancelot in all his social ineptitude would come right out and ask about Apollo's girlfriend or ask where Cleopatra was in front of Hermes. But short of that I can't see Hermes EVER finding out.
In regards to your party, I know that Hamlet was invited so don't presume that the others weren't. Peter knew that he and I had communicated previously and told me that he had been invited but claimed a scheduling conflict. Perhaps Olphelia, Portia, Cordelia, etc were as well!
I would be happy to discuss your situation with Peter and think that I could offer some useful insights however you should be prepared to hear a lot more about practical concerns from me than emotional ones. I can imagine that it would be challenging to live with Peter but you still recognize his incredible values I know. You just have to figure out a practical way of minimizing the downside and maximizing the benefits. For a closet accountant this should be a breeze. Why don't you start and risk benefit table. Try adding some sort of formula for converting emotional concerns into quantifiable entities. This really isn't a joke, you may think I'm been frivolous but this is honestly meant as solid advice. I think that we are the worst people to decide for ourselves when we are in turmoil. There should be a formula for trying to figure out what we would do if we weren't so upset, and I think that this is it.
Anyway I'm sure your risk side at this point will seem overwhelmingly long but here are some benefits to sharing your domestic situation. Perhaps Peter isn't the perfect one but is he better than nothing?
Cleo's list of the Worst things about living alone:
Well there you have it. I envy you daily, I can't imagine why you would want to give up what you have, and I know the grass isn't greener on the other side it just seems so because the shit is in a different place. Termination of your relationship with Peter isn't a zero-sum thing, try to imagine how it could be different so as to satisfy you and him.
I'll be finished writing (hopefully) by Monday or Tuesday and as long as I don't get obsessed and decide to go even more overboard will be freer for friendship kind of things after then.
I hope to see Peter tomorrow for his birthday and may be able to see you at the same time. I know you two don't normally do the birthday thing but since i do I see not reason not to expect peter to understand my need to celebrate his b.d. if I am expected to understand his unwillingness to celebrate mine. Anyway I found a pair of used Rollerblades for him so your problem might get solved (you have him well insured I hope) since he has already said he wouldn't consider a helmet or pads or anything.
Must run now...................ttys..........C
From: Carolyn L Burke
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 1995 09:56:27
Subject: grumbings and thanks
Sure I'll wing letter writing too... I do often in fact.
I'm glad to hear that Apollo's all yours. Next time you want Lancelot-like person to do something unthinkable, tell me first, and I'll help with the setup. Peter and I coordinate many an environment this way, as I'm sure you and he have learned to do as well. I'm all for such things. Of course I realize that in large part that was wishful thinking on your part. Purr back.
Your list of the disadvantages of singleness.. Yikes. Imagine Peter's response to this and you have something similar to mine. I'm much of an individualist -- with a strong need to be loved by someone. The first causes me to strongly want self-governance,awhie the latter pushes me away from it when I'm lonely.
Really the problem living with Mr Fruchter is that the fights we have completely total me emotionally, leaving me unable to create anything for days a t a time. And now is especially bad as he has elected to not speak with me at all anymore. Now I live in constant pain/loneliness. I kow its his bd today and I'm not allowed to mention it at all -- because he will only snear. How is it possible to be nice to someone who insists on going second every time? who insists that he always be in the strong and/or righteous position at all costs. That is what we are fighting about now. He wants to be non-monogmaous and at the same time to keep each of his partners inthe weaker position in relation to himself. Talk about insecure and fearful. To him it seems good strategy. But I'm sick of it. Here's the hook: as soon as I make up mind to just fuck him (er, write him off), I start using all this energy to crete my own life again .. and he finds this attractive,a nd starts giving me what I wnated originally .. and of course also wanting to put me back inteh weaker spot in relation to him. My only option is to push him away exactly when neither of us at the same time want this. Every other option has been tried. As long as he remains this way, I can't see a way out.
I moved to Pittsburgh as a way out. And stupidly forgot why after I got out. I don't find it easy to break up. Wish I did. But there are so many committments in place between him and I that it is not easy. And I might add somewhat cynically, it is not easy moving out on a eastern european cheapskate lawyer either. He offers the "half of our savings" that are not invested and offers to keep the half that is. Swell. Of course event he notion of half here doesn't make a lot of sense given his swindling, er, organizational nature. Whatever happens... even if you end up living with him.. be careful that you don't allow him to manage your funds. You might do better financially while he does, but in the end, everything is his. So be careful about your utopian ideals around Peter. He is pretty good at making it all work out in his own favour. (All except the love part that is.)
See you gave me a list of things that I've never had. Paying the bill might be hell but to me that seems autonomy creating. I used to look after the house accoutns and bills and balancing act for us, and now I've forgone it all sine noone cared that I did it. At all. Once a year at tax time, Joe and Peter would ask me for the books, and they'd simply use them. Now there are no books and nobody cares. It was just a bootcamp alternative. Who says I'd even pay my bills. Hell I have a roommate now who doesn't. Fucked eh? So how's this... the only sorts of persons who would choose to live with Peter ar the ones who don't want to pay for room and board. And once in awhile he's even fun to be with.
I think the guy hates his own life. Too many acceptance trips lead Peter to a dull spot. (in his mind, not mine)
Boy is this ever unconstructive! Thanks for just listening to this ... if you have any ability to do more than that, let me know what it is. For me, talking with you is way better than spilling it into a diary or letting it rattle around in my own head. I think you and I should swap lives for a month or two. *That* would put things into perspective for both of us. You would see that living the the video game king isn't all that swell, and I could try my hand at a 2K mortgage panic plus bills. (I'd leave the chess games to you of course. And I'll keep the diary :)
Have fun today with what you plan. My new house mate twins (hanging the kitchen) thank you for their new green home.