Friday, December 24, 2010

Ray's Journal 12/23/2010


Today, the second viewing of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, among other things. It was truly fun to see the movie again in 3D! Though I sometimes fail to see the value of seeing movies in the theater as prices have risen steadily, there is no denying I enjoyed being at a movie with a group (some of the Thursday night encounter group went also) and of course being out with V. Coda even made the time special by moving quite a bit as the movie ran.

The rant of the day perhaps was the success of Harry Potter over the success of the Narnia franchise. I mean, Harry Potter has a them park, seven books, and seven movies. Narnia is just as good, has been around longer, and should have the same success. Yet I read (though mostly hear from V) that it is doing poorly in the box office. This makes me worry as I am hoping movie makers pick up the projects of the rest of the C. S. Lewis titles such as “A Horse and His Boy,” “Magician’s Nephew,” and “The Silver Chair.” The Chronicles of Narnia speak about issues highlighted only in the Bible. And the Bible itself is a book that tops the bestsellers list for all time. Why, when such a beloved series as this comes out in movie form, does it do so poorly. I am told many were upset by some “cinematic improvements” to the movie versus the book. Though I can see these as I of course read the books, I cannot help but overlook this as I believe the message is much more important than how close to the book it is.

More talk about my family and the new unit that will be our family. Realized that V is right, the moment Victoria and I produced a child, she became a part of the family. I am her family and she is my family. My parents and Janet seem bent on keeping our families separate and not accepting the fact that Victoria’s family is my picture and my family is her family. We do not get to choose our family in this world. Though in this divorce I left Janet, she will always be a part of my family and be linked to me through the girls. As Victoria and I have produced a child, she and I will always be linked. Pieces of paper and legal documents aside, Victoria is my family now. The boys are my sons, my daughters are my daughters, and coda is my son.

Wondering how Janet will react to becoming Coda’s godparent. I fear that she will see this as asking her to accept the affair as a good and right thing. This is not what we are asking. We are asking that she recognize Coda as not burdened by this and as a separate creation. A creation of love. We ask her to be involved in this child’s life and recognize her as the mother of my daughters Isabelle and Katie. She is a figure who is worthy of asking this honor. I do not hate my ex-wife.

Bad times in our lives caused me to feel disconnected form her. I was deeply depressed from a lack of work and an inability to find new work. I felt disconnected from Janet as she was often gone at work and even on the weekends, times I wanted to go out with our mutual friends, she would be unable to go as she felt the need to work and provide. Though I am grateful for her provision during that time, I would have valued her going to one night of Karaoke over a million nights of work. Yes, we had a lot of debt to pay, but we missed opportunities to go to concerts, city events like the Big Fresno Fair, and cheap local concerts all because she felt that she alone had to hold up Family Christian Stores. At least this was my perception…Does she know this? Maybe…of course she blames me for all the debts.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ray's Journal 12/22/2010


Went shopping for Christmas presents today. The fact that we were able to buy what we did is a miracle in itself. My last unemployment claim had ended on 10/31 and the Department of Employment had continued to send me claim forms. A letter indicated that I “may” be eligible to begin a new claim, but said nothing about me actually needing to call and start one. This put a delay on things as I didn't call until well into the first week of December.

However, the money came yesterday and thankfully the worker was able to process the claim forms that I had turned in. So, in a moment that could be described as our own “Christmas Miracle,” I received over $500 in unemployment benefits.

It wasn't as if the boys and the girls wouldn't have received any gifts this year. The boys birth father and his parents had after all sent two gift cards with a combined total of $100. Vika had also managed to pawn some jewelry, and my grandparents had given me a $50 check in a Christmas card. Of course most of the $50 went to pay the main December bills (PG&E, Internet, and Netflix).

I had a new found confidence today. I actually felt the nerve to make phone calls and ask for information. I have never been completely comfortable with having to make phone calls and express a need for help, particularly concerning financial matters. My provider personality and personal pride always complain if I am forced to admit that our financial situation is precarious at best. This included accepting the mystery “Unknown” phone call always made to my cell phone several times a day. Of course this was the student accounts office asking if I was ready to make arrangements to pay the $400+ I somehow owe for a previous semester. I believe my confidence is a direct result of the relationship I have with Vika. She accepts me and all my faults, and I can communicate with her on all levels. I don't have to be embarrassed to share my feelings with her and even reveal what before now would have been labeled by others as a “dark” or “unmentionable” side.

I am a sex addict. The physical act of sex is crucial and is directly connected to my happiness and satisfaction with life. Vika is as well. Because we share this, meeting this need for each other is easy. Though I believe our actual love languages may differ (I believe it would be wise for us to read the book again together and to assess our love languages and talk about how we can act to communicate to each other in them).


1) Obtain the book, The Five Love Languages. Begin reading it nightly with Vika in order to establish our languages, add any personal observations, and begin planning ahead on how to alter our daily behaviors. I have reserved a copy and have asked to be notified by phone.

My parents did an unexpected thing today. It seems that after reading a Facebook post I made stating my concern that I would not be able to provide gifts for my Vika, the girls, or the boys, my grandparents went to the store and bought the boys what they call a “Santa Present.” A wooden train set, consistent with the kind we have had in our family for years and handed down from me to my cousins. I can't help but question their motivation. Their actions state that they have little love for Vika herself and are disappointed in me for my methods and the act of divorcing Janet and leaving the “burden of the girls and Janet” on them. Yet, then they buy a Christmas gift solely for the boys (on top of the gifts they already purchased for them and sent with the aforementioned $50 and a box of SEES candy). I cannot help but allow the hope to form that one day my grandparents will take on the role of great-grandparents to my step-sons and our newest addition little Coda Ray Nicholas Cooper (Due April 11, 2011).


2) Go on the computer sometime tomorrow and pay those January bills with amounts that have already been revealed and will stay constant. Move amounts into savings for the bills that appear later in the month so that the money will not be touched by accident.

3) Go grocery shopping and pick up a book of stamps. Mail next unemployment claim so that I will receive the rest of December's money, and be able to pay Janet the next installment of child support. Consider calling the Employment Department with the purpose of notifying them of the paperwork I sent and asking if that will increase or make any change to the amount of money I will receive.

The purpose of this journal is to assist me in venting my emotions and to gather my thoughts. I find that because I am often overcome by my own emotions in the moment, I often forget things easily. I have trouble maintaining my concentration at times when I am troubled by other matters. Though I oftentimes deal best with my emotions by talking them out (even though what I say may not make any sense) I can also deal by writing my feelings down and allowing my thoughts to collect in a seamless pattern. Even now, I write continuously not over thinking or planning ahead. I believe this will bring what it is most important in the course of a day to the forefront of my mind.

Our unborn son Coda Ray Nicholas Cooper (name pending exact determination of sex, the ultrasounds are not always accurate after all), kicked me today three times! This was the first time I could really feel the kicks in a consistent and definite pattern in one spot. There is not doubt this boy kicked and kicked at the position of my hand. I have never been so excited! I question my excitement and try to recall how I felt at these moments with my ex-wife and in the lives of my daughters. Was I this excited? Though others doubt me, I do not believe my excitement rests solely on the fact that this child is male. I also do not believe my sole reason for leaving my previous marriage rested on the fact that I had daughters and wanted sons. The fact now that I have two daughters, two step-sons, and son to come is amazing to me. I feel overwhelmed on one hand and strangely at peace on the other.

Great news considering my relationship with the boys today. When Rhythm was presented with the idea of me as his step-father by his mother (though he has been told before) the response had an almost awe to it, “We've never had a step-father before.” The tone suggested this was something that was okay. Perhaps even good. My heart skipped a beat at his words. Though my relationship with Anthem (Colin) has always been more successful than my relationship with Rhythm, I feel it is only a matter of time. I feel that progress is made daily and now that Vika and I are learning how to better communicate with each other, we are uniting as a disciplinary force and are prepared to face the boys, and perhaps even their grandparents (referring to V's parents).

Afraid that I do not know my own daughters as well as a father should. When confronted with what to get Katie for Christmas today, was unable to access what she enjoys doing. I have been away for 8 months. I know she enjoys having small tea party's and inviting her animals and random family members. Though I have visits with the girls ever Saturday from 12-4. I have yet to attend one of Lady Katherine's affairs. I am ashamed to say that when I have had the privilege of receiving an invitation, I was not of the mind or heart to attend. My selfish self denied her. Am thinking of ways of spending more time with the girls and/or keeping abreast to their interests, likes, dislikes, etc.

I think I will not be a successful Blogger yet. I don't know where to start or where to end. These lines have no order and at least right now, I don't have enough time to order them or consider more. As it is already 3:30am, it is past time to quit for today. However, I hope I will successfully establish this habit and use this medium in order to better communicate my thoughts and feelings. For now, enough....