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42 / M / Straight / Single
Sugar Land, Texas
His journal posts
Apr 6, 2012
I'm a male divorcee, so I can hardly claim to be a believer in lifelong monogamy. But what I do believe in, what I do adhere to, is what is imperfectly termed "serial monogamy", which is to say, faithfulness to one's current partner, for as long as can be maintained, as long as it remains satisfactory to both partners. I don't believe in cheating. I do believe in walking out when it's no longer working out.
I recently learned that two Aspie friends who are dear to me are pursuing an extramarital affair. What makes it worse is that I was giving a regular lift to the male, who is otherwise jobless and car-less. He casually admitted to the affair last weekend, much to my horror. While I had my suspicions, to be sure, I did not necessarily want them confirmed. I was quite content to continue our support group meetings so long as I remained blissfully ignorant of what these two were up to.
But once I became consciously aware that this mother of two was cheating on her husband with a friend of mine, well, then I became morally implicated. I lost any shred of plausible deniability. I was an unwitting enabler, but found myself unwilling to become a conscious co-conspirator.
I backed out of giving the guy any more rides. I backed out of doing any further events planning for the group. I'd be damned if they were going to continue getting away with this shit using my group as a cover for their nefarious schemes. Fuck that.
I hate losing friends over this, I hate hurting innocents in the group who were really benefiting from the support group...perhaps it can be re-constituted later with expanded membership, but for the time being it remains dead to me. We were Yoko Ono'ed.
I had feelings for the woman myself, I won't lie....but I sublimated that love into a warm friendship because there are certain lines I just won't cross, and that was one....married mother of two boys....no thanks...
I'm sorry if her marriage is as loveless and there is such a dearth of romance as she claims, but I had a shitty marriage once; I didn't cheat, I got the hell out.
I realize she has more to lose, but there are still honorable ways to end relationships, better ways that what she's doing.
In 100 years I've little doubt my attitudes will be regarded as borderline Neanderthal. While I'm hardly in favor of painting her face with a red "A" and all, I also can't abide what she's chosen either. I might be less harsh if I had a current girlfriend or if I were gay, but neither of those is the case.
There are a few women working at the library that have caught my eye and that I've either had a crush on for at least a year or otherwise feel attracted to; but I'm also very hesitant at taking any action.
come May it will be nearly a year since I learned that a woman working Circulation at my local branch actually was attracted to me, but that I acted far too late and she couldn't start a relationship with me because she was moving back in with her parents who themselves had recently moved up to North Texas...she was a trained teacher but couldn't land a job here in the greater Houston Area due to budget cuts in ALL school districts...she had to move to North Texas to try her luck there instead. I felt very sad because in our communications it became clear we were very compatible and could have fallen very deeply for each other given enough time and exposure to each other....once again I found myself staring metaphorically at a train driving off into the setting sun while I stand alone at the station...taking a long, mournful drag on a cigarette...yet another one that got away...
Feb 11, 2012
One thing I like about Atheist Nexus and Facebook is that it doesn't limit or control you with respect to images you can post; OKCupid insists that YOU be in the image otherwise they will delete it.
Which means I can't "legally" post stuff that also describes me or that relate to me...help explain my personality, such as the the "autism awareness" ribbon, etc.
It's just such crap...the "insert image" link means cribbing a link from elsewhere on the internet, which is so Web 1.0 ... wasting another's bandwidth is definitely NOT cool.
Feb 11, 2012
There was a recent New York Times article about "Love and Life on the (Autism) Spectrum"...featuring the recently diagnosed Asperger girlfriend of the son of noted author and famous Aspergian John Elder Robison....Jack Robison & Kirsten Lindsmith...it was a delightful article and I'm glad to see these two hook up and find happiness together, though the article notes it was not at all easy for them.
I realize also that A.S. casts a long shadow over all my past relationships, especially with my ex-wife. There was a lot else going on with that dysfunctional relationship, of course, but A.S. was the undisclosed 800 LBS elephant in the room. She thought perhaps I had adult ADHD, and this is a common (mis)diagnosis for Asperger's syndrome.
I've thought perhaps I should give up entirely on OKCupid but I've looked at sites like Aspie Affection and Wrong Planet, and it seems those cater to people who are A) more profoundly affected than me and B) looking mainly for online, long-distance companionship....
So anyway, here I am again. I don't take OKCupid all that seriously anymore and it takes me forever to respond, so apologies in advance. I have a few prospects of interest from the working world and also from an Asperger's support group locally...logically I should probably find the best success with an Asperger's female, but they are severely under-diagnosed and hard to locate for potential Aspie men.
Most of my Neurotypical friends and colleagues to whom I disclose my A.S. condition always seem surprised and tell me how "normal" I seem to them. *sigh*
As a high-functioning Aspie, I used to feel superior to my more "classically autistic" brethren, but I no longer do. They have their problems, I have my own unique ones myself.
I can sometimes "pass" for NT, but I can't sustain it forever....it's just too mentally exhausting...
Sep 25, 2010
...it just saved my job today!
That was my battle cry about 2 weeks ago, when my job seemed to be in danger at FBCL. My boss was losing her patience with me, despite my continually steady improvement in my cataloging output. She was threatening to have me dismissed if I did not satisfy her expectations with my work output by Friday, 9/17. On 9/16, I asked for a face-to-face meeting with her and produced my official DX letter from UT Health Sciences here in Houston, confirming my Asperger's diagnosis. This got me an official face-to-face with the Library director, head of Library HR, and my boss. The HR person was straight to the point and asked what accommodations I need. I said basically I need a little more time, maybe 3 more weeks of hands on training in cataloging and editing, for me to prove myself that I can do the job, error free, without supervision. They grudgingly agreed. Thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), I still have my FBCL job...at least for now.
As hard as it has been at times to accept the reality of my Asperger's diagnosis, I'm grateful for the protection afforded me by ADA. Protections you can be darn sure the Tea Party would get rid of if they had their way.
I'm glad to still be gainfully employed, but I'm not out of the woods yet. I have confidence that I can prove myself if given a fair shake, but I'll feel better once my boss gives me her seal of approval. At the very least, she's become more patient with me and shown more compassion towards me after learning of my Aspie diagnosis, which I appreciate.
In the meantime, I still work on keeping my level of physical fitness high. I've reduced my weight to 180 LBS from a frightening high of around 220 last December 2009. I set myself a goal of meeting the HPD entrance requirements for my age group/height, and I have met that goal. I also keep an eye on the Texas DPS requirements for new State Troopers.
I'm not eager to go Law Enforcement, but it's what I'm willing to do if forced to by economic desperation, etc. Better than going military. I'd much rather do Police work than soldiering.
On a side note, is it weird to feel attracted to someone in your Weight Watchers' class? I'm totally infatuated with this Hispanic American gal in her 30s who is basically "at goal" or near it who attends regularly with her mother. Her mom has a heavy accent from the old country, but her daughter has no trace of that old world accent and has a brassy North American accent instead. She's kind of a stocky girl but has a pretty face and is very buxom. I think she'd look sexy as hell in a police uniform, actually ;-) I haven't mustered the guts to talk to her and probably never will. She is single and available, though, I think...at least I see no wedding ring on her finger, nor have I seen nor her heard her speak of any boyfriend.
I started attending the later 10:30 meeting Saturdays so I could see her...and so I could eat lunch out afterwards instead of at home.
I promise I'll change my meeting time if I meet someone on OKCupid and start dating exclusively again. I'm always loyal/faithful to my current partner--that's an Asperger's trait, too, btw.
We Aspies are probably the most loyal/faithful lovers you could find...cheating is just unthinkable to us--we'll break up with you first if we're not happy anymore.
I also attend a local Houston ASPIE support group, and I was really infatuated with a 26 year old woman, an unemployed special ed teacher with Asperger's herself. She was cute and she had a cute personality...even a girlish charm about her. She became deeply curious about the church building we meet in, wanting to explore every alcove, etc. Short, dirty blond hair, blue eyes...I was really smitten. I missed the last Aspie meeting, but I hope she keeps coming back and doesn't have a boyfriend yet.
There's a cute redhead working part-time in my department whom I'd really love to go out with, but I'm so worried for my job if things went sour in a potential relationship. So mostly I'm content to admire her from afar. She's got shoulder length red hair and pretty blue eyes and a pretty face...and nicely shaped body...she's a little shorter than me. I enjoy imagining holding her in my arms, having her look up at me and smile.
Work relationships are always the most risky, though, and with the job jitters I already have, all the more reason to cool my jets.
I realized I needed to re-vamp my profile a bit and also update my photos, etc. over here on OKCupid.
Anyway, that's all for now.
Apr 18, 2010
Had an awkward conversation with my mom last week, where she suggested to me the possibility that I might be someone with Asperger's syndrome. Asperger's syndrome is on the autism spectrum and is basically a mild version of it. Mom had heard an NPR story by author Tim Page whose new book Parallel Play is about his growing up with undiagnosed Asperger's syndrome. Mr. Page is a noted music critic for the Washington Post. I am also reading John Elder Robison's Look Me In The Eye, yet another adult Asperger's syndrome memoir. Robison is notable because of his more famous younger brother, Augusten Burroughs, author of the critically acclaimed Running with scissors. I have not read Burroughs, but from what I've read about him, I would probably like him. I'm guessing anyone who likes David Sedaris and/or Sarah Vowell will probably also like Augusten Burroughs' work. I'm reading Robison's work as an audiobook on my daily walks. Page I am reading in print. Both men are, I think, further along the spectrum than me (and Robison is probably further than Page), but there are definite chords that their stories strike within me. The same is true when I read my first Asperger's book: Asperger's From the Inside Out: A Supportive and Practical Guide for Anyone with Asperger's Syndrome (Paperback) ~ Michael John Carley
Also eye opening was the following guide to women:
It is a really good book and very quick to read, for it is very short and to the point. It shed a whole new light for me on why my first marriage failed, etc., what my then wife must have been going through, etc. My Ex thought I was ADHD, but this is a common misdiagnosis for AS people. I don't believe I'm ADHD. But I am becoming increasingly convinced that I am at least mildly AS. It would certainly better explain my erratic behavior as a graduate student at Rice U. back in the mid 1990s, and my social isolation living in Germany as an undergrad exchange student circa 1992-1993. Or my odder repetitive tics in High School that I have since consciously eliminated...like fussing with my hair, etc.
Reading Page and Robison, though, I can't help repeating to myself "Damn. I'm good, but I'm not THAT good."; Robison has a gift for mathematics. Page a gift for music. I have a gift, of sorts, for Foreign languages. Robison and Page have parlayed their innate gifts into prestigious jobs. I have not. Foreign language skill alone is never enough. It's always got to be FL + something else to have much impact in the world today. My something else is History. Not exactly going to rake in the dough with that as my double major.
I've also understood better why Libraries haven't been the ideal workplace I'd hoped they'd be. I viewed them as being on par with university teaching positions, where eccentricity is tolerated or even cherished, so long as you do the work. Not so libraries, which in reality are more like a regular 9-5 office job. There are all kinds of social pitfalls and booby-traps I never dreamed existed that have (in part) cost me 2 jobs already. I really kick myself for walking away from my insurance job with AIG International Services where I worked for the better part of 10 years as a Medical Travel Assistance Coordinator, doing the logistical arrangements for emergency medical evacuations as specified by the AIG medical staff RNs and MDs. I was very meticulous in my documented casework, very good on the phone with clients, came up with creative solutions, bringing many cases back from the brink of disaster, etc. My case documentation was solid, I was getting praises from claims personnel even years after I left. Unfortunately, I can't go waltzing back into that job now after the big gov't bailout of AIG. They're under a promotion and hiring freeze and state that for now they are fully staffed and even if someone quit they wouldn't be able to hire a replacement anytime soon. All of which leaves me rather in the lurch.
I'm considering alternative career paths, including possibly going into Law Enforcement. I'm too old realistically for anything military, but police work I could do, and I'm still within acceptable age limits for HPD and for Texas DPS. Maybe it's all the episodes of The First 48 that I watched last year, but I really think I could make a positive contribution to the force. I'd welcome the mental AND physical challenge. I'm having a lot of success with my weight loss regimen with Weight Watchers and have pulled to within 10 pounds of the upper limit of height/weight ratios for my age group as mandated by HPD. I need to push past that, down about 20 total more pounds, so I have plenty of "wiggle room", literally and figuratively. Been lifting weights also but need to start martial arts, perhaps Kung Fu. I did Tae Kwon Do in High School, and Shotokan in Middle School, but slacked off in college. Its high time I got back to doing some form of Martial Arts, especially if I hope to have a chance to get into the Police Academy before my 45th birthday. Sure I keep up with Library jobs and am still applying actively for them...but I've got to have alternatives, and right now LE work is looking pretty good to me.
As for Asperger's syndrome, well, I've read that among careers Aspies go for include "teacher, librarian, policeman". Go figure. I may hold off on getting a formal diagnosis for the time being, maybe forever. I just don't know. I don't want a diagnosis to hurt my employment prospects.
But I do continue to read about the condition in an effort to better understand myself.
I've developed many coping mechanisms, but I still have some underlying AS traits that influence my behavior and how I talk about the world and relate (or don't) to people.
There's even an Aspie dating website called "Aspie Affection", but it's not very big or very popular and it's kind of user-unfriendly, clunky; kind of a crappy web design that could learn a lot from OKCupid, frankly. I signed up for it, but I don't check it very often. Very few people in Texas on there. Mostly just potential penpals, especially the girls in foreign countries.
I guess I should update my profile in light of this new information.
Michael John Carley
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Jan 27, 2010
I am very impressed with the number of "out" atheist women on OKCupid; After having married an agnostic and divorced a raging fundie, I need someone who is decidedly atheist, not merely "apathist" who might be swayed by some religious argument smoke & mirrors. While I'm encouraged also by the numbers of more low key "Religion: -" people, I do prefer women who have the courage to out and out say "Atheist" to the OKCupid Religion query. Religion "-" says to me "not a believer but haven't really considered it one way or the other". I need someone who has done their philosophical homework and is a little more decided on the issue.
If you cannot answer the question "Do you believe in God or gods?" with a "yes", congratulations, you're a "small a" atheist, whether you want to admit it or even like that word. Agnostic may sound more polite, and I do consider myself an agnostic atheist; though with respect to certain incoherent definitions of God, I'm a gnostic atheist; I *know* they *can't* exist in the same way as there's no such thing as a square triangle or a spherical cube. The traditional Abrahamic God falls into this category and is a pure mental collective delusion, and quite a dangerous one.
My Ex-wife returned to her fundamentalist roots and we avoid all contact now. She didn't mind my atheism at first but it increasingly became a bone of contention with her waxing religiosity, and that conflict undermined the foundation of our marriage, along with her control-freak paranoia, which goes hand in hand with religion, when you think about it. Big Brother is real to the religious mind and his name is Yaweh and sometimes Yeshua.
Dec 18, 2009
Adieu, Ladies of North Texas, I'm moving back to the Houston Area very soon.
I resigned my position at TWU Libraries due to irreconcilable differences with a passive-aggressive boss who got determined to get rid of me and made work conditions intolerable. I feel as though I've learned all I can learn up here and it's time to move on.
I'm planning on relocating to Sugar Land, Texas and going back to work for my former employer in Houston, a branch of AIG that services travel insurance policyholders 24-7, worldwide.
It's the one job I've consistently been able to do well, year in, year out.
My second foray into Libraries ended less happily than I'd hoped, but I still gained valuable work experience that nobody can take away from me. I also learned what kinds of jobs to avoid in the future. Failure is sometimes the best teacher, even though it may not feel that way at the time.
I am feeling more and more that I'm better suited to Reference work, that Cataloging may just ultimately be over my head, no matter how hard I try.
I've missed Houston very much and look forward to returning. It's familiar territory, where I feel most at home...love hanging out in the Montrose/Museum District/Heights area(s). This is where my former employer is now located, too, just off Allen Parkway. They used to be in Sharpstown, but Hurricane Ike forced their permanent relocation when it trashed their former offices on Regency Square.
For me, Denton, Texas has brought me only heartbreak a second time now. I've never felt "at home" here, never felt comfortable. I just can't develop much of a liking for the greater DFW Metroplex, no matter how long I live here or how often I come back. Houston's where my heart is, and it's to Houston I need to return right now.
It's been hard losing my job up here, but I guess in the back of my mind I always knew it was an imperfect, impermanent thing, that probably from the start I knew I'd bitten off more than I'd ultimately be able to chew. The position seems designed to fail for all but those who are Niezschean supermen able to read minds. They keep hiring 2nd lieutenants to do a lieutenant colonel's job, or rather, a Librarian I to do a Librarian III's job. I was set up to fail, in other words. This actually seems to be common practice in libraries, no matter the personal toll it takes in emotional damage on individual lives, etc. In retrospect it could be said maybe I just should have walked away from the initial job offer (which I nearly did when I found out my ex was not only back in Denton but also a SLIS grad student at TWU herself)...but work experience is work experience, and I have it now and it can't be taken from me no matter what.
I am still open to date, though probably won't try very hard until I'm back working again in Houston in some capacity. I'd like to rekindle things with my most recent old flame but I don't know if she's available still. I hope she has someone and is happy, but if she's lonely and alone, I'm willing to give it another chance. I definitely believe in 2nd chances.
Purely subjective personal experience, but it also seems like Hispanic girls in Houston are more willing to date white guys than they are in the DFW Metro area. It also feels like in Houston the different ethnic groups rub shoulders more often and with less tension than in the DFW Area. Houston feels more diverse and welcoming, something I've always loved about my hometown.
I also am looking forward to enjoying the Vietnamese food places in Houston which I could never find here in North Texas. There's a family place right in Sugar Land that I positively love, and their prices are always reasonable. Ditto the Kolache Factory down there, too.
Well, spending my days packing up right now, in anticipation of the big move which is happening soon.
Oct 31, 2009
Just got an email update from OkCupid this morning that contained an informational graphic of both the USA and the World.
Turns out I'm attracted to Yankees and Left coast gals; or more precisely, ladies from those regions are more likely to be attracted to ME. Well, yeah, ok, kinda figured that. Incidentally my High School sweetheart was born and grew up in upstate New York. What was funny is she could turn on and turn off her upstate New York accent like a faucet.
Another note to self: don't ever live in Ukraine, you will totally strike out.
In South America stick to Argentina and Brazil.
Europe was very predictable...High Compatibility for Germany and all Scandinavia. A few surprises, too...pretty popular in Spain, too. Rest of Europe was mixed/moderately favorable, but the only negative correlation was with Ukraine.
I wish I knew how to capture this graphic and put it on my blog, but I'm not quite THAT tech savvy.
Oct 4, 2009
Note to anyone who is a TWU student; Since I'm a staff member of the university, it is against regulations (as I understand them) for me to fraternize with you. I have had to hold back on a number of individuals I've meet over the past year or so who turned out to be TWU grad students or undergrads...once you graduate, then it's a different story, but until then, I really can't reciprocate. Aside from being against regulations, I just wouldn't feel right. As a librarian, I need to keep apart and be an approachable public servant for the students of TWU.
I've had to reject a few quiver matches I otherwise would've said yes to because the person self-identified as a TWU student...
If you yourself are TWU staff or faculty, then everything is fine, of course.
UNT students, on the other hand, there's no issue. Message away if you like. I'm an '04 UNT alumnus.
Oct 4, 2009
So, I've taken a few more tests;
The Billygoat result; yeah, it's accurate. Not 100% proud of that fact, but it's me...more than I'd admit in person.
My REAL age turned out to be my, well, real age. Kind of disappointing. I guess I've fully caught up with my natural age.
For so many years in my 20s, and even early 30s, I looked considerably younger than my calendar years. I still have hair while some of my High School buddies are balding, though I will eventually go that way myself...I'm still able to pull off the comb over, but for how much longer is anyone's guess.
Remarkably, I'm still a year younger than my dad was when he and mom adopted me.
My ex-wife and I were 10 years apart, and it was still odd, the lack of common cultural references...like movie quotes from the 1980s that she didn't get, etc. Did better with 90s material, which was her teen years and my college years, so more overlap there.
Physical beauty is not unimportant to me in a significant other, but a meeting of the minds is so much more important. I'd rather have a "plain jane" partner I can really talk to, relate to, and have deep, meaningful conversations with than a really beautiful person who doesn't share my interests, or isn't intelligent. Ditzy can be endearing on some level, though.
I'm sure a lot of people might regard my life as pretty boring, but whatever. People that judge me thus, I might regard as superficial and shallow.
I can be kind of a space cadet, lost in thought. I can be funny, witty, but usually only as a response to someone else. I love it when i can pull of a deadpan comment that causes a whole room to erupt with laughter.
I thought it was cool that my "What kind of Knight Are You" test came back "Samurai". Perfect for me, given that I'm kind of Otaku about Japanese anime. Asian cultures and especially philosophies have always drawn me to them...I really like Lau Tsu, and Daoism. Zen is pretty cool, too. Confucius, too, can be pretty awesome.
I should note in passing that I'm totally ok with interracial dating, etc. I've had 1 Mexican girlfriend, and a girlfriend from Ecuador (who spent a significant chunk of her childhood in Brazil) who came to the US in her early teens. I was once attracted to a black woman at my former employer's after she flirted with me. I'm sad to say my mother isn't as approving; she would be ok with my dating (or even marrying) a Latina or an Asian woman...but I didn't ultimately hook up with the beautiful black woman at my last job because I knew my mother would just freak out. I haven't ever dated an Asian woman but I would like to---but not just for that reason either; there would have to be personality matches, etc. It would be a bonus if the right person was a good match at an emotional level and coincidentally turned out to be Asian-American. I wouldn't want anyone to feel I was only interested in them because I thought they came from an "exotic" culture. I want them to know I'm interested in them for who they are as an individual. I was very interested in a young Japanese woman in the area, but unfortunately she turned out to be a pretty committed Christian, so I maintain a respectful, friendly distance. She's drop-dead beautiful, but I just couldn't bring myself to even flirt with her, knowing as I do how it would just never work.
Anyway, that's all for now.