Wednesday, August 22, 2012

THE SIMPLE THINGS ABOUT YOU

It is the simple things with you that bring joy to my soul…

Hearing you breathe gently while you sleep,
Seeing your eyes twinkle and sparkle as you smile,
Listening to you sing to me,
Singing along with you,
Receiving a text from you and knowing it will say something nice before I read it,
Watching you carry my bags because you don’t want me to strain my injured back,
Feeling your hand in mine as we walk in the park,
Touching your heart with true compliments I tell you about yourself,
Spooning,
Engaging in philosophical conversations,
Tons of little mouse kisses,
Having you pick on me,
Picking on you back,
The scratchiness of your unshaven face,
“Worshipping” your lips,
Giving you a back rub when you need it most,
Giving you a back rub when you don’t need it,
Feeling your soft fine hair in my hands when I give you a haircut,
Dancing with you,
Traveling to the “writer’s retreat” to “work” in front of our lake view,
Floating-and-spinning in the hot tub,
Skinny dipping and sunbathing,
Passionate and intimate lovemaking,
Falling asleep on skype together,
Walking the “mean streets of _____” and feeling safe with you,
Road trips,
Make-up sex,
Taking walks at the same time “together” despite the miles separating us,
Hearing songs on the radio that you’ve sung to me,
My head lying on your shoulder with your arm around me,
Cooking for you,
Watching you enjoy whatever I feed you,
Seeing you do work you enjoy,
Hearing you keep me accountable,
Holding you after I have not seen you for two weeks,
Hearing “I love you sweetie!”,
Knowing I can count on you… and especially,
Believing in us, our love, our relationship…

For all these things, I am joyful, and thankful!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

BREAKING UP, BREAKING DOWN, & BUILDING UP

“Are you breaking up with me?” she asked.

“Yes, I guess I am,” he responded. “I don’t know what I want to do. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I just don’t think we have much in common. I’m a Rooster and you’re a puppy Dog.”

She felt miffed. “I never could relate to Chinese astrology. It never made sense to me so I’m not sure I buy that explanation… besides, we have a lot in common! People see what they want to see. If you read something you just automatically agree with it? What about our compatibility report that shows we are a near-perfect match based on our western astrological signs?” She picked off a dried leaf from the bottom section of a nearby palm tree and started picking at it.

“I don’t know. I just don’t think we should get married. I also don’t want you to miss out on opportunities with your job working with Jim and all the plans you guys have.” He looked down over the boardwalk safety railing into the water flowing underneath, staring blankly.

“Again,” she insisted, “I think you are putting too much importance on what other people say, or what you read or are told. Can’t you make up your own mind?”

“I’m just a pea-brained male,” he responded with a smirk, realizing their old private joke was probably not quite appropriate this particular time.

She sighed, but not because of what decision he was having trouble with, but because he was actually breaking up with her when he was still unsure what was best to do. She could barely believe her ears. It was a shock, yet she had feared this might happen since she felt him pull away months prior to this moment. “Are you writing me off for good?”

He glanced up at her. “I definitely want to stay friends…” He noticed two palm trees nearby swaying in the warm Florida breeze.

She choked on her words, “I would like that. I don’t know what to say. I still love you. It’s not my style to scream or cry and beg and ask you to stay if you don’t want to stay. It is what it is. If you don’t want to be with me, then I’m not going to ask you to stay. I don’t want to be with someone who is not interested in being with me. But I do still love you, even right now, through this.”

His ears hurt hearing this, because he fully expected her to fight with him, and for it to be easy to break it off. This was not easy. “I’m not sure I’m made the best decision here…” His voice trailed off as he, too, picked dried leaves from nearby plants and worked them between his fingers.

The two stood silently, leaning on the boardwalk railing, picking at dried palm leaves. Neither of them looked at each other, they just stood there tearing dead foliage apart simultaneously, as if some kinesthetic energy were working through them to break down their lives, which had grown together and intertwined in love and friendship, only to now be dying and shredded before their eyes.

She broke the silence with a cracked voice that matched look of the dried leaves. “My dedication to you, and my love for you have not changed. Nor will it. I am letting you go because you want it, not because I want it. I will continue to love you, even if you don’t love me.”

His eyes welled up with tears. She always knew how to make him cry with her words. “I love you too. I just don’t see us together long term, so I figured we should just break up now and get it over with.”

She came forward and faced him, asking, “If that’s what you want. Thank you for being honest with me. Can I hug you goodbye?”

“Yes,” he said, opening his arms to her.

The two embraced one last time, and she began to weep in his arms. “I feel like I’ve done something wrong, but I don’t know what it is. I’m sorry… I’m just so sorry.”

He cried with her, holding her tight. “You haven’t done anything wrong at all. It’s not you.”

She sobbed and told him she missed him already, and said her goodbyes, even though she knew they would stay friends. How could they not? They got along so well. “I’m just so sorry…” she just couldn’t muster any more words, for the tears were overwhelming, and the emotions overpowering. She held onto him tightly. She tried to look up at him but he just pulled her back close to his bosom, keeping her tears landing on his shoulder.

He couldn’t bear to see her cry. “I am not sure I made the best decision here. I’m really thinking that this was too drastic and not necessary.”

She did not try to change his mind. She also did not respond in any way that would support or deny his words. She just felt that this was the most positive way any two people could break up… in each other’s arms, crying in mutual feelings of loss and love, with friendship as the foundation between them. She had been through wonderful relationships that ended badly, and horrible relationships that ended okay, but this was the most horrible and simultaneously beautiful thing she had ever experienced in a relationship break-up. The connection she felt with him at that very moment was utterly intense, and strangely, it was also immensely peaceful.

He was a mess, emotionally.

The two finally let go of their embrace and collected themselves. Slowly their tears dried, and they decided to walk off the boardwalk and back into civilization. People walked along the beach, and the sun was setting.

She thought it felt weird to be among people again. She turned and looked at him, “You know, it’s strange… I walked onto the boardwalk back there and was in a relationship, and I walked off the boardwalk as a single person.”

He did not know what to say. He was fully realizing what he had done. He reiterated, “I’m just not sure I made the right decision at all here…” He didn’t know how else to say he wanted to change his mind.

She had a flash of insight so spoke it aloud to him. “I think you needed to do this, for your own peace of mind. I think it’s important that you stick with your decision for a while and make sure whether or not you made the right decision. If you change your mind, I am here. But I want you to be sure. This is not fair to me otherwise.”

He cringed. He already knew he had made a mistake. He kept his mouth shut, but he knew had let go of something precious. Their relationship meant more to him than he had realized... he had thrown it away like a piece of trash when he should have saved it out, and held it, and caressed it, and taken care of it, and called it his own. His wishy-washiness suddenly seemed frivolous, his indecision a mistake.

They walked back to his house and sat together the rest of the evening, as friends instead of lovers… as two people who cared for one another but were no longer intimate.

Later on they sat on the couch and watched a movie. He put his arm around her shoulders, and she let him.

It was then that she noticed tears coming from his swollen eyes again. She didn’t quite understand it, but she knew everything was going to be okay. “I feel strangely at peace.”

“I don’t,” he answered whether she wanted to know or not. “I’m a train wreck.” He wanted her to know.

A while later he rested his head on her lap. She allowed it.

Her time to go back to her own home was not due for a while, so she lied down to take a nap. He followed her and snuggled up behind her. She sighed deeply with content. She loved his touch… it was one of his best qualities.

They fell asleep, and as they slept they embraced.

When they awoke, he kissed her gently, and began making love to her.

She asked, “Are we still broken up?”

He held her gently, and reassured her. “No. Let’s be together. I made a mistake. You are very special to me and I love you too much to let you go.”

“I will allow it.” She said with a huge smile. “How do you feel about us now?”

“I feel good,” he said, “I feel really good.”

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

MAKING CUSTOM BIGFOOT SIGHTING MAPS

"Where can I get a bigfoot sightings map of my area?" is the question often proposed to me; or I hear, "Can a map be made of a particular region in the U.S.?" My answer, in the past, was to direct them to making their own map the same way I did... do your own investigations, interview alleged witnesses, write up sightings reports and articles, plot points on the map of sightings that you feel are authentic and not hoaxes (weeding out the latter is ever-important to not muddy up the data if you are looking for patterns), and viola! you have a custom sightings map! Easy cheesy, right?

The problem is that this method is very time consuming and not everyone has the money or patience to devote to such an endeavor! It took me years just to get enough plotted spots on the map to get an idea of what was happening around our city of El Paso, TX (yes, we had a plethora of sightings in the desert southwest, much to my own surprise!). That little map can be viewed here: http://www.sunstar-solutions.com/BFgeological.htm

Who knew that I would wind up expanding my research into southern NM, just north of there, since it appeared that these giant hairy beings were following the north-south running mountain ranges, and waterways!

Still, making a custom sasquatch/bigfoot sightings map in your area may not take all of this leg work and expansive effort. It can be done utilizing data (in databases) that is already out there on the Internet (that other researchers/investigators have done), which is already published, free, and available to anyone to use.

As an example, my nephew, Derek Eby, was in college last year, and used the type of database I mentioned above in a GIS map making program to create a bigfoot sightings and footprints map of the Pacific Northwest--the states of Washingon, Oregon, and California, in particular. He got an "A" grade in school for making the map. We've since made a few more changes to make the map better, including adding in the full text that I wrote for informational purposes. That map is now available to the public for a suggested (fixed) donation at my website in hard copy or digital format.

He chose these three states because, first of all, we live in Washington, and this state has, by far, the most documented sightings (over 500, whereas only a few states have about 200, and most have far less, according to the BFRO (Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization)). Skamania county in WA (included in the map at the central bottom part of the state) is included, and is near Mt. St. Helens; and the mountain range that parallels the subducting tectonic plate boundary along the Pacific ocean, which extends down into OR and WA, and were included in the map.

One of the great things about mapping sighting locations is finding correlations such as how potassium, water, granite, and other features (that might show rock types (geology), terrain (topography), cities vs. mountains, forests vs. deserts, etc.) where sightings occur most often. Maps show trends, and patterns, and help Sasquatch investigators know where to go, or more importantly, where not to go--and waste time--searching for something that may not be found there.

Researchers, or just curious individuals with access to map-making software programs like ArcGIS/ESRI, may be interested in taking the BRFO's database information and turning it into maps for their own purposes as well. How is this done? I will tell you how my nephew did it, and then I will tell you another alternative method, as well as one more option for those who don't want to do it themselves but still want a custom made map.

HOW DEREK EBY MADE HIS FIRST BIGFOOT MAP:

First, Derek googled the kml/kmz files from the BFRO and reformatted them to plot points on his GIS mapping program. He had to add in terrain features, city names, colors, and make the data look good on the map, which required some tweaking. In the end he had a decent looking map, complete with footprint and individual sighting locations across three states. Rarely will someone want to choose this method as the "reformatting" part of the database is usually only known by people who already understand how GIS programs work and how to alter datasets for this kind of use. It can be quite involved.

HOW TO MAKE AN ADD-ON FOR BIGFOOT SIGHTINGS ON GOOGLE EARTH:

It is important to note that the original BRFO database information that Derek used in the map above was originally intended for Google Earth. Google Earth is a free program available through google.com (just "google" it!).

Go to google.com and search for these words: "BFRO KML bigfoot sightings". The kml/kmz file will come up and you can download it and use in Google Earth. The database already has the plot location points imbedded into the data, so it should populate on the Google Earth mapping program automatically once you have it installed.

It's the same data we have, but realize this will allow you to see the map add-on on the program, but is not necessarily something that can easily be put into a physical map that you can hang on the wall in your home or building.

CUSTOM MAPS FOR SPECIAL ORDER:

You may want the map in poster form if neither of the above options are your "cup of tea" (since many people don't want to go through this hassle of actually making the maps). People often feel their time is too valuable, or they are not computer savvy enough, or they just don't feel like messing with it, yet there is still a serious interest in having a custom map for their area, or region, concerning bigfoot sightings and footprint locations.

Derek and I spoke at length about options for people. We decided we can start making custom maps available for people who would like to order them, for a $100 donation. I will receive no income/cut from any initial map-making endeavor--it is merely for compensating him for creating the custom map for you. Both time and expertise of the cartographer goes into making sure placement and size, text, and other info on the data is correct before publishing the map, and that it suits the person ordering it. The good thing is that you can usually receive the map, complete in PDF and/or JPG form (your choice), within a couple of weeks.

This is probably the best option for those who cannot, or will not, utilize the other two options above for making a custom bigfoot map on their own. If you feel you want to have one of these maps made please email me at sunstarangel@msn.com with "CUSTOM BIGFOOT MAP" in the subject title, and please include the details of what kind of map you are wanting (what cities or states, etc.). I'm sure we can accommodate you!

I hope this article has helped a few people learn how they can make maps of their own, outside of just going into the field and collecting data and plotting maps the old fashioned way.

There are now two Sasquatch/Bigfoot sightings maps available:

1) The PNW (Pacific Northwest) states of Washington, Oregon, and California
2) Central states of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri

GO HERE TO GET YOUR BIGFOOT MAP--> http://www.sunstar-solutions.com/BFmap.htm

See my Bigfoot Map Facebook Page! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sasquatch-Bigfoot-Sightings-Map/448769308487222

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

END OF THE LINE

There comes a time when you realize that a chapter is coming to a close, and you've reached the end of the line for a particular "scene" in your life.

Someone leaves, or dies, or you let go of something...

Always, the end of the line is but a new beginning...

Someone arrives, or is born, or you attach yourself to something new...

Always, the new beginning will have--one day--its own end...

I am here. Now. Divorce looming.

Friendship to that person replacing romanticism.

Moving forward in love... agape, phileo...

Eros dedicated to another.

No end of the line is like another, each scene drumming to a different beat.

Each relationship different, lasting shorter or longer...

I am happy that what I have is so beautiful and warm, especially after years of cold darkness, where everything faded to black.

Today, I am a different person; I have grown, healed, lost weight, and I smile often.

Today my end of the line has come, and I am still at peace, and happy.

Today my end of the line is but a new beginning...