1998-06-21 SvsG emails

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1998 Messages


Staddon vs. Griever: SvsG Messages: 1998

01:09 from Nick

From: Nick Staddon <nick-2023-01-28-19:55-spam@redhousespam.com>
To: Bubba G. <bubba-2023-01-28-19:55-spam@redhousespam.com>
Subject: requested response
Date: Sunday, June 21, 1998 1:09 AM

-- [ From: Nick Staddon * EMC.Ver #2.5.02 ] --


This is partly just so you know there is a package on its way (will go out Monday a.m.) with (1) PaintShop CD (2) money for Keilly for the copier and (3) money for the printer.

It's also the detailed response Lynne requested, so either sit her down in front of the computer or else perhaps wait until the check arrives, go out and get the printer, set it up, and print this out... :-)

---- BEGIN PART II ----


Please let me know if there are any particular points I'm not responding to which you would like me to say something about. I'm going to skip over some stuff which seems more or less obvious to me and get to the meat of the discussion (or perhaps I should say the bones of contention, the sinews of our argument which rather cut to the marrow, requiring tissue(s) all around because I was using too much muscle and had a bad tendoncy to draw blood <FX : Nick being hit over the head with a brick>

(from your preface:)

Since I'm only responding to points of issue it appears that this is about who is right and who is wrong in all of this and the one who is wrong loses and the one who is right wins. I don't like that.

If it must be that then I must get some stuff out up front.

Not exactly. The whole point of assigning blame, if blame is to be assigned, is to figure out what needs to change and who (what combination of people) are responsible for changing it -- not (as you seem to fear) to make some people feel bad or make others feel superior. Yes, there are usually at least 2 sides to any argument, and this is certainly the case here (I'd say 4 or 5 for starters).

I've been analyzing the way I handled this whole situation, and I think I've figured something out. I've noticed that I am capable of very easily falling into a feeling of powerlessness combined with fear of being blamed or taken less seriously or in some other way losing credibility (with 3rd parties not directly involved, mainly). I really should learn to relax a bit more about money and such, especially now that there's enough of it to get by on, but working against me I've got (a) the ingrained habits of the last 5 years and (b) a the weight of past experience (and I'm talking _way_ past, like childhood -- still analyzing this one) which is even harder to shake than (a), not to mention (c) certain people from the 12th century when a penny was a good year's salary and you only got to eat real food twice a month etc. etc. etc.

Anyway, what it comes down to is that I tend to be afraid to express myself in a way that matches the energy level I feel about it -- which may be appropriate due to the fact that often my energy level is at least partly due to misunderstandings, e.g. your being away when I was sending urgent email -- right up until the safety blows off.

Also bear in mind that I do have _things that I want to do_ with money, and when other people are making decisions which drastically affect how much of that money I get to keep, that can easily put me in the powerless/fearful mindspace I mentioned earlier. This is true even though our goals may overlap a great deal because (key point) having overlapping goals is not the same thing as sharing priorities.

To explain: Your priorities seem to be something along the lines of (1) keep Griever family fed & sheltered; (2) feed homeless people in Athens while building reputation for RDA; (3) find time for music and other enjoyable things; (4) find time for r&r. (Just to avoid possible misunderstanding: I'm not criticising your priorities, whether this be they or if I've got it totally wrong. I'm a great believer in enlightened self-interest as a force for good in the universe.) Your work for me being of assistance to you in most of those items in various proportions.

On the other hand, my priorities are more like this: (1) keep Staddon/Wade family fed & sheltered; (2) find & secure creative outlets for myself in the long haul; (3) express myself creatively in the here & now, when possible; (4) save the human race from extinction & live forever. (This is oversimplifying things a bit, as I'm sure is the priority list I did for you.)

My point: we share most of the same goals -- my 1 = your 1; my 2&3 =~your 3; my 4 ~= your 2 -- though the details may differ. But note the different order of priority. I'm more selfish with my time and resources, and I don't apologize for that (nor am I under the impression that you would want me to). It's when my ability to accomplish things near the top of my priority list (and in the way I feel makes the best use of my abilities) feels somehow threatened by things at the top of your priority list (but lower on mine, or in a way that doesn't feel like an optimal use of my abilities) that my lizard-brain goes ballistic and starts mentally hoarding things -- MY time, MY money, etc. etc. And what with the combination of circumstances -- feeling generally oppressed by being here, oppressed by these one-celled amoebas in the financial services industry, frustrated by lack of communication on many fronts (only one of which was yours) -- my perspective got all distorted and points which might have been valid in the right context and presented the right way got dragged out when there was no need for it and in a way that was unnecessarily harsh.

[note: my writing combined with the note I'm answering is so long that my email program is starting to choke on it -- I'm having to delete some of what you said in order to continue typing.]

1) Your friendship is more important to me than being right

Advice: when I'm feeling paranoid, it's probably best not to try to calm me down using words like "friendship", "care", "love", etc. A lot of the wrong people use those words as tools. Now that I've calmed down about the whole thing I think I remember that I believe you, and I apologize for not being more certain. If you want me to go into this topic in more depth I probably could.

2) ...problems involved in this senario are based on misunderstandings that originated because of overwork and under rest on your part ... complied with your requests to the best of my ability.

I think I've answered this between what I said above and what we've said on the phone.

3) My responding to your understanding of what has gone on here is merely an effort to clear up misunderstandings I feel have happened and not to PROVE YOU WRONG...

Yes, I do appreciate that. As I said, there's a difference between arguing for the sake of being right and arguing for the sake of successively approaching the truth.

I think I was not taught how to argue very well. Arguments in my family tended to be loud and emotional, and usually ended badly. When I first had real friends in high school, I assumed this was how everybody argued, and I lost some of them because of it. I have since learned better, but the instinct is still there -- like a foreign accent that comes through in moments of stress.

4) If accepting the "blame" ... might be willing to just own it all but I don't think it would.

Agreed; see above.

6) ...even though it's more difficult for me ... in writing ... A compromise, from my standpoint ... when I really ... need to talk with you on the phone about something ...that you could agree to take notes in a journal designated for that singular purpose

I have a notebook for taking phone notes, and will try to identify things-in-need-of-note-taking when we are conversing. As I think I said at one time or another, note-taking was my major weak point in college and probably one of the main reasons I did so badly.

... I can send you all of the NSS stuff right away if you want

Here's what to do. Look for any envelopes saying "urgent" or "time-sensitive" on them. If you email, just tell me who it's from and any other relevant info on the envelope (or in, if you have a chance to open it). If we're talking on phone, I'll try to make a point of noting any envelopes you ask me about.

Either way, there's no need to immediately send anything except for Negia bills, InterNIC ("Network Solutions") bills, and orange envelopes from CardService (if I think of anything else, I'll let you know). All my other bills are either direct-withdraw or invoiced via email (why Negia doesn't do this I don't know).

--- chopping out the bit about cc:ing Livia because I responded to it earlier -- let me know if any unaddressed points.

Your email seemed like an introduction to how we flog the peasants...not how to work together.

(Humorous note: but don't you see -- if L forwards this to RBW, this will give RBW increased confidence in my abilities as a serf-lord and perhaps she will relax and start cooperating... :-S)

Also L's main response to the cc: was to ask if I was sure you had sent the late NSS envelope, because she had also sent me some NSS stuff and thought maybe I had gotten them confused (not that it matters, but the NSS thing was in the same box with the Anita tape, so for once I don't think I was confused about it).

The utility bills have been bad...worse than we had thought they would be. If you remember...and maybe you don't...I mentioned to you recently that we were very concerned about the probability that the electric bill could be terrible and realized that something needed to be done.

At the time, the reasoning that was getting my goat was this: when I was @RH, the electric bill never (to the best of my recollection, but I could be wrong) got significantly above $120. I also was recalling frequent occasions where you and Bubba would leave the house and the A/C would still be set on what seemed to me a very low temperature. I was picturing this continuing to go on without my being there to turn it back up, and imagining hundred dollar bills slowly leaking through the gaps in the wall over the course of a month. I was also thinking about the equally humongous water bill (what's the story on that?) and remembering the several times when the hose out back developed leaks and STILL people would leave the water on at the tap (HOT water), and remembering that Livia had mentioned that both Mark and Frank seemed to be back, neither one making contributions towards these expenses (that I've heard, anyway), and I basically just started to feel (whether correctly or not) very taken advantage of.

(Another self-observation:) A lot of my understandings about things tend to be non-verbal -- the easiest way to explain it is to say that I generally think about things as diagrams or picrtures -- and when questioned verbally about my understanding, because they're not in some neat linear form I often forget key points until I can pull back and see the whole diagram. Words make the water ripple and I can't see the details; it takes awhile for the water to smooth out again.

(speaking of water) I'd still like to know what you know about the water bill, and why nobody mentioned to Livia when the lawnmower broke (as I said, I do have a problem with that), but you do seem to be doing your best to keep the A/C bill down.

They [ceiling fans] would have been needed whether we were here or not. That is between $150 and $200 in input from us not including our going to where they were and removing them...and bringing them here and installing them here. We didn't do this to win points with you or Livia...we did it because it was the right thing to do in this situation to help everyone involved.

It is very petty and small of me to pick on this, but I'm going to do it anyway: I disagree that they would have been needed. I've always done just fine with floor fans, and generally prefer them because of the more directional breeze, and since we're often lugging large heavy things around in there I worry that the fans will just get in the way. As for claiming it as a monetary contribution -- that's morally equivalent to Rebekah's "giving" us that addition to our house that we didn't really want & then expecting us to be grateful. Don't assume that I will agree with what you think is useful and/or necessary. If you need/want it for your own purposes and it doesn't conflict with my needs/wants, then that's fine -- but don't try to put it on my tab unless I agree to it. (The give-&-take there is that I know that if I always diss everything you bring in, eventually you'll stop bringing things in.)

But on the balance, I think it's probably a good thing, and I do recognize that floor fans don't satisfy everyone. Guests/clients will probably like them, and they probably make the place look less stark and more livable, not to mention helping the air to circulate. (This could be especially good in winter when the hot air tends to float to the ceiling, despite the forced-air ducts.)

We owe you money on other accounts and just because we are not discussing them right now...does not mean we have forgotten about any of that.

Ok. It's just that sometimes I can't ever picture you having that money. And I know you've tried very hard and people just haven't come through for you, and I'm not going to "jump ship" or something because nobody else is on the bandwagon. Which isn't to say that my part wasn't worth doing after all; it's just that it means that what a lot of people say is true, and I don't want that to be so, and part of my panic is trying to prevent us as a unit from being in a situation where you're a drain on my resources (so that I can say so completely without reserve to anyone who asks). I'm caught between on the one hand being willing to look at the situation from an "all in this together" perspective and going by what _feels_ balanced, and on the other hand being questioned by (what seems like) lots of nosy misguided people who only care about numbers and who make subconscious appeal to my own worser instincts for accountability by the numbers. It's a brawl, folks.

you said that you wanted the equipment to stay dry and below meltdown temps.

The equipment can survive up to 120F or so, maybe higher. The LPs will be ok up to that temp as long as they don't get any direct sunlight. (If they get direct sunlight then it doesn't matter if it's below freezing, they'll warp anyway.) Ok, so I should have been more specific. Anyway, I recognize that you've gotta keep the place habitable by homo sapiens. My point is that I _could_ keep the temp much higher if you weren't there.

this place leaks like a seive.

In this, we are in complete agreement. One of my first budget items is to get some siding for the back & front and fix those HOLES in the wall. Maybe some insulation too, what a concept. (Livia will be supervising this.)

we still only kept it between 80 and 85 degrees

If that's the case, then that's fine. (Are you changing the air filter? It's supposedly supposed to be changed once a month, but you can get away with banging the dust out a few times. Bear in mind that they only cost about 69 cents at Kroger.)

As far as number of hours spent and whether or not we've been earning our keep...I am a little caught off guard. My understanding was that "We're all in this together" and we have been acting accordingly.

This gets back to what I said earlier about priorities. We're in the same boat heading in the same general direction, but we have different places we want to visit. I'm happy to see all your sights, because I'm sure I'll find them well worth visiting, but it's important to me that the sights on my list don't get overlooked. Before I overextend this metaphor, this is not an accusation that you're ignoring my priorities. All I'm saying is that we each need to keep our hands mentally on the wheel -- i.e. check the bearings, make sure we're on a reasonable approximation of a course that satisfies everyone. I got a little panicked because I thought I saw icebergs and we were supposed to be headed south...

Autonymous didn't answer calls and had number changed and changed hands and the whole nine yards, but to you...they were still something I hadn't resolved.

Yes, and for good reason: because I kept asking and didn't hear back. Ok, so you were away and I didn't realize. Having thought that you were already back (e.g. writing on Monday and Tuesday, I assumed you'd be back from a weekend outing, which was all I remembered of what you had said about when you'd be out, which is (once again) why I would prefer dates in writing... but you know all that... but as it turned out you didn't get back until Wednesday, or at any rate that's when I finally got a response), and already being too mad to have a decent phone conversation, I didn't know what else to do except keep emailing.

I did this whole line of stuff and gave you a 20 minute report on the phone

Yes, but that was the week before. Does it seem unreasonable to want a weekly update? Livia gives her boss a daily update. We have a somewhat different working arrangement where you have a lot of other things to attend to, so weekly seems more reasonable. At the time, a small portion of my ire (say a couple ounces out of the gallon) was that I kept thinking that if you were "really" working for me, I wouldn't have to ask every week for that update; it would be part of your job to remember that. This is the part of me that wants the numbers to add up. We're trying to work it out, us parts. I think I probably just have to shelve the whole internal argument until I can get back to figuring out what the hell matters to me anyway; right now (especially at this time of night), it doesn't feel like a whole lot does.

Card Service... ... (There is one transaction that looks as though it is possible that the $790 could have been included as one of more than one transaction but there is no breakdown). I mailed that quite awhile ago and should have gotten an answer by now but have not. I am willing to call again if you would like me to but it's not like I've just let the whole thing rest. I've gone to a considerable amount of trouble to resolve this already.

I said this once but I'll say it again -- I have generally been very happy with the way you've handled the CardService and LeaseComm things, if the word "happy" can be applied to such a thing. My only problem is (as we've discussed) needing to be updated on some kind of regular basis, e.g. weekly, what the status is -- what's been done, any new results, and what the current plan is (to do what when). Things don't have to happen every week. I just need for my information not to be more than a week out of date.

They don't make it easy and I don't think it's an accident.

The LeaseComm thing only seems to confirm that theory.

I got those taxbills cut like in half and got them to do it retroactively as well as automatically from here on out. That's alot of money if that counts.

Yes, it does. (The half of my brain which is counting can provide you with a receipt... :-$)

Many hours are spent maintaining the yard and we consider that to be included in our taking care of things while you are away.

Yes. (With caveat regarding lawnmower as mentioned above.)

... responded to drywall and kitchen paragraphs already...

I have seen this as a situation where I would do what was necessary for the common cause long before this current arrangement. I took [Mr.WB] on as a project to keep your sanity. I wouldn't have done it for [Mr.WB].

Ok, you have a point. If I am going to start demanding dollar figures on everything then I had better be sure to include your many hours per week over many weeks of counseling [Mr.WB]. I guess this is, in a way, very similar to the 1-900 fiasco where we all thought we'd get "paid back" -- in Matt's case, we thought we'd end up with a saner, more productive Matt who could be of great help in all our various artistic endeavors. Instead he grabs the money and hides, just like Stan. We lose. (But you would have benefited too, had we not lost. Maybe you did it primarily for me, but if you hadn't seen the worth in doing it for its own sake I don't think you would have offered to do it at all.) (Nor would I have asked you, if I hadn't seen the same thing.) Not sure exactly what I'm saying except, maybe, I don't think I should be paying the _whole_ bill on this one. We all had hopes invested in it. (But you're not the one asking for a bill, I'm the one kicking up the fuss, so never mind. Point taken.)

We never asked for money for the InVest Prop deal. We knew we were taking a risk and it didn't pan out. It did pan out really well though that I had kept records of the places I'd faxed and mailed out info to. They backed off of their request for their $700 really quickly when they got the list. I never asked for that to be counted but I would consider it as a plus if I were you looking back at our relationship.


Perhaps I have enough at this point that I could really actually do up an accounting, looking only at "justifiable" expenses, and still have it come out ahead. Hmmm...

The Chris Cox move 'em out and clean up his messes was no picnic either but it was for the good of all and we did alot of it.


Before there was any discussion of you're leaving and us doing this for that or whatever...I contacted all of your accounts. We mailed out letters and got status reports on all of them...because it needed to be done.

If you're making the point that this counts as work, yes. But there's still follow-up which needs doing.

Bubba contacted all of the bands you asked him to contact except 3

Responded to this already.

As for the work we do for RDA ever affecting you in a positive way...I really thought that you were committed to the concept for moral and ethical reasons. It is our goal and hundreds of hours have gone into laying the groundwork to acheive the goal of bringing in the funds to hire Red House to design and oversee a mega web project that could benefit many.

This is the priorities thing. I probably should have been more clear that for me it was one means to an end, a means which happens to appeal to me in a number of ways and which I'd still like to see happen and will continue to work with you on (and provide equipment etc.) but which is not now and has never been my number one priority. I hope this isn't new information to you.

The plan, as I understand it, has been to build the foundation and develop the reputation to get the funds and pay you alot of money to do what you do best. I understood that you knew it could be awhile and that you doing what you are doing now was to help to better facilitate goals we shared.

Yes -- but we need to be clear on what our goals are, and what our priorities are within those goals. (See near top of email.)

...complementing the store -- responded already...

Bubba has been working on something that seems like it could pan out money wise before the independant artists do. It could be the mainstay part of the store that could support it while the artists part built gradually. Fast cash has begun flowing for you but it hasn't for us. Being dependant on your fanancial boon puts us in position that we don't like.

Yes, but (says some part of me) you're still being dependent on me to do the work (and provide the equipment and Internet accounts) necessary to make that thing work. So what have you gained? (If it starts making money, then the question is a little different but rather clearer ethically i.e. you're clearly entitled to some of the proceeds, which are clearly "ours" rather than "mine". Legally I could be a rat-bastard and say "thanks, now I'll take over" but even at my worst I don't think I would do that -- especially given the enlightened-self-interest-related fact that if you're doing some of the work which brings the money in then getting rid of you isn't necessarily a financially smart thing to do.)

If you get stressed out and forget what we've done for you lately...we could become "those people" and we'd wonder

Yes, I'm aware that you're in that position. In general, I think I'm one of the least likely people in the world to just file somebody away and forget about them, but from your POV you can't assume that.

at things...you could spiral into becomming just another piece of meat on the cube farm.

Already done (to a turn)...

I think you know that and that your subconcious encourages you to obsess on things that are safe to obsess on because the real issues are too painful to deal with.

What, specifically, might those issues be? I've always thought that I obsessively find the most painful issues and think them to death.

It's nearly midnight here and my brain (the pieces of it that still work) are starting to shut down for the night... Let me know if there are any significant points I haven't answered (maybe after you've got the printer and can print everything out so you remember what you asked and what I said and what you said about what I thought you said and what I forgot you said about what I asked about what you'd said earlier that I remembered then but forgot later, so you look at the four in the tens place now that's really four tens so you make it three tens regroup and you change the ten to ten ones and you add it to the two and...)


Please wait while Nick shuts down

It is now safe to turn Nick off