Skipping to the Good Parts…

September 15, 2017

(Because I can and because, predictably, I’ve gotten bored with the project. I’m skipping around with the transcription. The “I Love You” anniversary is coming up, which makes me want to talk about it and get to that part of the transcription.)

(So, a synopsis…partly for brevity’s sake and partly because I’ve discovered the chat transcripts end with July. πŸ™ Makes me sad. Jared may have them stashed away on one of his ancient computers, but for now, I don’t have them. Here’s the short version: )

(Jared and I talked through July and August 2003. Things were as serious as internet dating can be without actually having met someone in person. I was head over heels and hadn’t even met Jared yet. )

(Meanwhile, Jared was in the process of moving from Lincoln to Grinnell, as he’d gotten a new job. Β Here’s an excerpt of the email I wrote him the week he moved: )

From: Caroline Ellison <C’s Email>
To: <J’s Email>
Subject: > : D <
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2003 22:54:14 -0400

…I’d like to meet. As soon as possible. I want to know what your hand feels like, just as you described wishing for the other night. I want to feel your arms around me. I want to take that long walk, and I want to see the quaint little town you’ll be living in, and the adorable little house on Main Street that we both seem to be taken with. I want to see a few of the thousands of expressions your face takes on throughout a single day. I want to reassure you that not only are you “enough,” as you put it, but that you’re more than I’ve ever hoped to dream for. I hope that I am enough for you.

(I had season tickets to the Fox that year and had enjoyed taking a variety of friends to shows all summer. The end show of the season was Les Mis. I’d already invited another guy when I got the tickets months previously and I told Jared this–it was sure to be awkward.)

(Other guy came in from Tampa to see the show, which was Saturday, September 13, 2003. The show was amazing, the company predictable.)

(But as I said, the show was absolutely stunning. And, well, my screen name on that dating site was “Cosettecie,” after all, so Les Mis was pretty fundamental to the roots of my new relationship with Jared.)

(So, that’s the context of what was going on in September of 2003. Jared moved, I went on the awkward outing to the Fox with the other man, and then, I decided to see if there were tickets available for the next weekend, September 20, because it really was an awesome show. And, I wanted to see it with Jared. I think the arranging for that must have happened on the phone, because there’s no email record of it. Except: Β )

From: Jared Price <J’s Email>
To: Caroline Ellison <C’s Email>
Subject: Did I mention…
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 8:56:07

…that I’m excited about this weekend. *blushing*

> : D <


To: <J’s Email>
Subject: Re: Did I mention…

As am I. > : D <


From: Jared Price <J’s Email>
To: Caroline Ellison <C’s Email>
Subject: Time…
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2003 13:53:37


It looks like I’ll likely not get home until sometime around 8:30 to 9:00 (your time) tonight. πŸ™ I’ll see if you’re around, but if you’re not, I will understand. Talk to you soon.


p.s. I’ll be airborne in 26 hours. πŸ˜€ Β > : D <

(He wouldn’t be home until late because he had to drive an hour and a half after work to an outlet mall to buy a garment bag for his suit. πŸ™‚ Β )

From: Jared Price <J’s Email>
To: Caroline Ellison <C’s Email>
Subject: πŸ˜€
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2003 10:25:43

See you soon! > : D <


(The > : D < was the way you made an emoji on Yahoo! Messenger to make a hug. Except there were no spaces between the characters and I hate the emoji that has come of those symbols since those days. So we now put spaces between the characters. Jared showed up with a gift that first weekend he came to see me: a palm-sized rock with that symbol engraved. It still sits on my dresser.)

(Mushiness happened. I picked him at the airport after telling several friends and my parents where I was going and what route I was precisely taking to the airport. It was, indeed, confirmed love at first site.)

(I took the day off work and dragged him all around my favorite haunts in ATL. We went to the show. We held hands. We went to Panola Mountain before he left for the airport on Sunday, where he told me he loved me for the first time. He surprised me with that. I told him I loved him, too. That happened this precise spot, except picture it still green in September, instead of mid-November as the picture shows– I took the photo in November 2012:)

From: “Caroline Ellison” <C’s Email>
To: <J’s Email>
Subject: Thank you. > : D <
Date: Sun, 21 Jun 2003 22:00:21


Thank you so much for this weekend. I don’t know how else to say it, other than to say thank you. There are so many emotions that I’m experiencing right now that I simply can’t put into words. However, I can tell you that the feelings of serenity and stability have not vanished even though you’ve gone home.

The future is a much brighter place now that you’re in my world. I only hope I can return the favor. You’re an amazing man. To think of the seemingly random happenstance that brought us together is the frightening part now… though, to tell you the truth, I don’t think it was random at all. I think everything happens for a reason in due course. Though our time has to be separate for now, I know it is also for a reason. If something else is meant to be in the future, then we’ll find a way to overcome it.

I do miss you already, but I can still feel your arms around me, and your lips upon mine. I’ll savor those feelings for as long as I possibly can. I love you. Thank you for making the world a better place.

Love Always,


From: Jared Price <J’s Email>
To: Caroline Ellison <C’s Email>
Subject: Always…
Date: Sun Sep 21 (printer screwed up the date printing. Don’t have the timestamp.)


The pleasure of the weekend was mine, indeed. >:D< I hope that you are sleeping as soundly as I suspect you are. I dropped you a quick IM, and called, though nobody answered. Zzzz… Happy Dreams. > : D <

Day by day, and over this past weekend, moment by moment, I am continually amazed to have such an amazing, wonderful, beautiful woman in my life. As I sat in my seat on the plane, I could feel your hand on mine. I can, even yet, feel the gentle touch of your lips. I can feel the strength and surety of your embrace.

I do love you. I don’t anticipate getting tired of saying that anytime in the future, either.

I’ll hope to catch you tomorrow, even if only briefly. Sleep well, deeply, and know that my thoughts are with you.

With all of my heart,

> : D <

Wed 9 Jul 2003 6:02:07

August 28, 2017

From: “Caroline Ellison”<C’s email>
Subject: So so early in the morning… πŸ™‚
To: <J’s email>

Good morning, Jared!

For about a week, my schedule has been off-kilter because I’ve been sleeping way too late, but I decided to get back on track this morning, so here it is 6:15 am (my time), and I’m already (almost) conscious. πŸ™‚

Let me say once again how much I’ve enjoyed our time talking together; it really does pass much too quickly! It’s not difficult to see why you end up acting as “counselor” to many of your friends, as you seem to have a gift for putting people at ease (which is doubly amazing, given that all of our conversations have been through the sometimes cold veil of a keyboard).

It occurred to me that the note I sent with the smile at [dating site we met on] said something about asking me about what I pictured us doing on our first date, and I’d never actually said what exactly that was. Well, the truth is that I had absolutely nothing in mind at the time. πŸ™‚ However, for my part, it really wouldn’t matter what the activity was, just so long as there was the freedom to continue in person the conversation we’ve started online. Given that stipulation, I think visiting a park would be nice. πŸ™‚ Of course, I’m certainly not discounting the distance between us. Only daydreaming…

Hmm… well, I suppose the night was long enough for me to come up with a few more questions. Of course, always feel free to not answer anything you’re not comfortable talking about.

You said you’d never really had a pet before Murphy came along; what made you decide to make the plunge in becoming a “parent?” And now do you ever wonder how you got along without him? πŸ™‚

Tell me a little about Lincoln. It boggles my mind to think of more land being the only thing within easy driving distance!

I hope you have a fabulously productive (yet relaxing) day!


Unknown Date, early July (Missing a Page)

August 27, 2017

5:24 pm

maxtheape: Do I get bonus points if I can guess other things?
cosettecie: probably, though again, I think I’ve given you a better basis for making educated guesses
maxtheape: Perhaps. πŸ™‚ It’s a common “A” name. Popular, or not, I don’t know.
cosettecie: Adam?
maxtheape: Nope. Right number of letters, though. πŸ™‚ See, I’m helping. o:)
cosettecie: yes, thank you ever so kindly πŸ™‚
maxtheape: Any time. Glad to be of assistance. πŸ˜‰
cosettecie: Alex?
maxtheape: Nope. You’re getting colder. You were only two letters off the first time.
cosettecie: hmm…
cosettecie: Alan?
maxtheape: Ding, ding, ding… We have a winner, folks. How about a big round of applause for Caroline? *audience applause ensues*
cosettecie: Why, thank you. πŸ™‚
maxtheape: Oh, but of course.
maxtheape: Let’s see what else could I try to guess without freaking you out? Hmm…
maxtheape: Not sure…
maxtheape: The dangers of knowing way more than one should about two to find information…
cosettecie: So you’re saying then that you’re a stalker? ;-P Or do you prefer “good researcher?” Just kidding πŸ˜‰
maxtheape: No, not a stalker. I am often called upon to figure out information for people. That leaves me with a lengthy lis of resources to use for finding all kinds of information.
maxtheape: I don’t think I could make it as a stalker. It’s difficult for guys my size to be sneaky. πŸ˜›
cosettecie: okay, shoot…what else can you guess about?
maxtheape: Hmm… are you sure? I could be wrong. It’s happened before.
cosettecie: well, if you’re wrong, I’ll tell you
maxtheape: Does your father’s name begin with a “K”?
cosettecie: yes and no πŸ™‚
cosettecie: his first name, no
maxtheape: The name he goes by.
cosettecie: the name he goes by, yes. πŸ™‚
maxtheape: πŸ™‚
cosettecie: that wasn’t terribly difficult to find out, though
maxtheape: And the numbers 0299 are familiar?
cosettecie: maybe… hang on a minute πŸ™‚
cosettecie: Yeah, I think so πŸ˜€
maxtheape: Okay.
maxtheape: Thought they might be. πŸ˜‰
cosettecie: well, I tend to forget that number. I rarely use it.
maxtheape: And the name [neighbor’s name]?
cosettecie: that one I have no clue about.
maxtheape: Across the street.
cosettecie: [neighbor’s name] is their last name? I only know him as [neighbor’s name]
maxtheape: πŸ™‚
cosettecie: hehe
maxtheape: See, all sorts of interesting information. πŸ™‚
cosettecie: evidently.
maxtheape: Sorry if that was “freaky.” I certainly didn’t mean it to be.
cosettecie: So go on– you might be able to tell me more than I know about myself. πŸ™‚ Nope; all public information.
maxtheape: Hmm… Not sure what else I can tell… I might have to look a bit more to find more information.
cosettecie: hehe, it’s okay; you don’t have to look too much. Might dig up things I’d rather you didn’t πŸ˜‰
maxtheape: Then I shall leave things alone, if you’d prefer. I can’t imagine finding anything too incriminating, but those are the things that make for the most interesting stories to be told by the person who experienced them. πŸ™‚
cosettecie: I don’t think you’d find anything terribly exciting. No criminal record to speak of 8-|
maxtheape: Just one that you’d prefer NOT to speak of? /:)
cosettecie: Well, I don’t think I’ve broken any laws. Not any civil or criminal laws. Maybe moral ones, but they don’t arrest you for those are write them down. Well, I tend to, but you wouldn’t find them anywhere. πŸ™‚
maxtheape: πŸ™‚
cosettecie: And, by the way, since you know it, feel free to use the 0299 number any time you wish. Though, there is a much better one to reach me by πŸ™‚
maxtheape: I’m fortunate enough to have a clean slate, as well. Not even a traffic violation. πŸ˜€
cosettecie: me too πŸ™‚
cosettecie: well, I did get pulled over in Dekalb County once, because I didn’t have my lights on. The street lights were so bright I didn’t notice. But I only got a warning. :-S
maxtheape: Thank you for the phone invitation. I will tell you now that I quite dislike phones, but on rare occasion can be caught using one.
maxtheape: Warnings don’t count. Though I’ve never had one of those either. πŸ˜€
cosettecie: It’s okay, though, because I do too!
cosettecie: Normally my phobia only stretches to COMPLETE strangers, like having to order pizza or things like that, though. πŸ˜€
maxtheape: I have a little webcam around somewhere, if I can find it after packing it up for the move. Don’t remember whether AIM supports those, or not.
maxtheape: Well, between the two of us, we’d never order a pizza, then. πŸ™‚
maxtheape: I was the kid who would walk a mile and a half to the library to find out if they were open, rather than pick up the phone and call. :”>
cosettecie: And I’d never ask you do to do anything you’re uncomfortable with. Well, I HAD one, but it was a not-so-good one. Daddy’s king of getting things free through rebates, and my webcam was a product of that talent
maxtheape: πŸ˜€
maxtheape: Nothing wrong with that.
cosettecie: nope, not in the least πŸ™‚
maxtheape: Mine isn’t a great one, but it does the job. My friend up in Ontario and I use it from time to time when we feel like begin able to talk and see one another.
maxtheape: Then again, we usually use NetMeeting.
cosettecie: What did you think of Montreal? Was it a nice place?
maxtheape: It was a nice place to visit, but it was insane to drive there. I was just glad I never got lost. I’m not all that keen on such enormous metropolitan areas.
cosettecie: well, the insane part of driving there was choosing to do it without taking a night off in the middle /:)
maxtheape: Fortunately, I didn’t have to drive all that much while I was there.
cosettecie: That’s good. I hope you at least stayed 24 hours, to make our visit at least as long as your drive?
maxtheape: I was there for closer to 48, thank you very much. πŸ˜›
maxtheape: It had to be a “quick” trip, but I dint want to pass up the chance to visit before my friend headed overseas for the better part of a year.
cosettecie: that’s very good to hear. πŸ™‚ It would be absolutely silly to make a long drive just to have to immediately turn around and go back home
maxtheape: Yeah, but I probably would have done it anyway. πŸ™‚
cosettecie: It’s 5 o’clock, and I’d wager you haven’t gotten much done in the past hour or so
maxtheape: No, not a lot, but more than you might think. I’ve been writing PHP code in between messages. πŸ™‚
cosettecie: impressive. πŸ™‚ But I was also getting at that it’s time for you to go home
maxtheape: Oh, yes. That it is, I suppose. And time for you to be enjoying dinner.
cosettecie: soon, probably. I hope you have an excellent time with your friends tonight πŸ™‚
maxtheape: It says it would take 17 hours, 3 minutes to drive to your address from mine. About the same as Toronto. πŸ™‚
cosettecie: depends on how fast you go πŸ˜‰
maxtheape: Yes, you enjoy your evening, and take care. I’ll look forward to possibly catching up with you a bit tomorrow. πŸ™‚
cosettecie: I never trust Mapquest when it comes to times they give. Okay, thanks for the lovely conversation, Jared. Bye!
maxtheape: As my friend from Ontario says, “You drive like a Nana.” She’s very fond of calling me that.
cosettecie: hehe
maxtheape: Thank you. Talk to you later. It’s been delightful. –Jared πŸ™‚

Mon 7 Jul 2003 10:32:30

August 26, 2017

From: “Caroline Ellison” <C’s email>
Subject: A not-so “Manic Monday”
To: “Jared Price” <J’s email>


I had a great time during our chat as well; the time really went by too fast! I did have a good visit with. my grandparents; though I’ve only lived an hour or so away for most of my life, they love having me ten minutes down the road, and I go several times a week to have dinner with them.

I look forward to hearing anything you’re willing to share about Jerusalem. I think the most intriguing thing I’ve heard from other people is visiting the Western Wall; the social dynamics of how strict they are about keeping the men and women separate fascinate me. But I’ve only heard the Jewish perspective on that; How does it work with the other faiths?

My absolute favorite song in the entire world is Josh Groban and Charlotte Church’s version of “The Prayer”… πŸ™‚ Their voices make an incredible combination.

Well, I’m calling it a short day at work today; during the week I do data entry, and I just can’t stare at the computer screen to edit our database anymore! It’s pretty deserted because lots of people are still on vacation. I love my job and the fact that it’s a flexible schedule, but the downside to that is that sometimes there’s little motivation to make myself stay all day!

I hope we can chat again soon,


Mon 7 Jul 2003 09:24:59

August 25, 2017

From: “Jared Price” <J’s email>
Subject: A relatively short reply πŸ™‚
To: “Caroline Ellison” <C’s email>


It was such a pleasure to have the opportunity to sit and chat with you the other day. Thank you for indulging me. πŸ™‚ I hope you were able to enjoy a nice visit with your grandparents.

I do, as you guessed, have some amazing stories from my time in the Middle East, which I would be glad to share sometime. They tend to take some time for the telling, but it was one of the most influential times in my life.

It sounds as if our tastes in music are quite similar. I tend to prefer the softer more lyrical music, as well. I would not have guessed that the Chicago soundtrack had taken up residence in your CD player. My old roommate and I went and saw that movie at a sneak preview. It didn’t capture me as much as I had thought it might, but it was a good show. Lately, I’ve been listening to a mix of songs by John Mayer, Josh Groban, Daniel Bedingfield, and Amanda Marshall. All of it would fit quite nicely under the umbrella of “soft rock.”

It has been so very long since I last read Animal Farm that I’m not certain I could speak about the book with anything even remotely resembling intelligence. This is probably a good sign that I should re-read it.

The Harry Potter books keep getting longer and longer, but I still enjoy them. I read the first four over the course of about two weeks just before the first movie came out. I tend to prefer the book versions of stories, and this case proved to be no exception. The movies were very well done, and I thoroughly enjoyed them, but I still prefer the books.

A “full-blooded Georgia Peach,” eh? I’m afraid that I’ve moved around a bit too much to be considered a full-blooded anything. I suppose I’m a full-blooded American, but that’s about as far as it goes. My family’s roots are spread a bit more far afield, I suppose. For the most part, we have always lived in the Midwest, though I have aunts, uncles, and cousins living near both coasts. As for my family history and genealogy, the only thing I Know of any note is that one of my ancestors signed the Mayflower Compact. So… we’ve been here for a while. πŸ™‚

It sounds like St. Simons Island has suffered from the same commercialization as many of the truly beautiful old spots. Hopefully it will retain at least some of what makes it such a special place for you and your family. It sounds, from the way that you speak of it, as if it must be a beautiful place.

Oh, dear. Time is flying, and I have much to get done today. I had better be bringing this to a close. I hope this little note finds you well, and enjoying yourself. I realize that it is a Monday, but there are small bits of ten Mondays that can be not half bad.

Best Wishes,

Sunday, July 6, 2003

August 24, 2017

5:18 PM

maxtheape: Good afternoon.
cosettecie: hello πŸ™‚
maxtheape: How was your trip to the lake?
cosettecie: absolutely wonderful! Atlanta’s so busy and growing so much that it was very nice to go back somewhere that hasn’t changed too much in the last ten years. Have you had a good weekend?
maxtheape: I can imagine how getting away from the busy city would be quite nice I’ve had a fairly relaxing weekend. A friend came down to visit, and we actually just got back from seeing a movie.
maxtheape: Did you get to spend any time with family on the 4th?
cosettecie: which movie did you see? Well, I’ve known my best friend’s family for ten years, so it was pretty much like being with family. πŸ™‚ But no, none of mine were in town. We’ll make up for that this next week though, my aunt, uncle, and cousin are coming in to town tomorrow
maxtheape: Sounds like a fun time. πŸ™‚ We actually had been wanting to see “Finding Nemo,” so that was the pick of the day. πŸ™‚ I’m afraid my Elementary Ed. background pokes it’s way through in my movie selections at times.
cosettecie: actually, I’ve heard lots of people wanting to go ee that one, so you’re not that weird. πŸ™‚
maxtheape: Well, thank you. πŸ™‚
maxtheape: I’m afraid the three day weekend is going to catch up with me tomorrow morning. I have a terribly bad habit of staying up far later than I should. :”>
cosettecie: and how much later is “later?”
maxtheape: Well, if I’m in the middle of a book I’m enjoying… 3:30-4:00 is “later.” I’m terrible about saying to myself, “one more chapter.”
cosettecie: yeah, that might be a bit too late. /:) What are you in the middle of right now?
maxtheape: Right now I’m in the middle of a set of books by Sean Russell. Unfortunately, only 2 of the planned 3 books in the series are out. I have no idea how long I’ll have to wait for the third. πŸ™
maxtheape: I still haven’t picked up the newest Harry Potter, I’m afraid.
maxtheape: That won’t be far off, though. πŸ™‚
cosettecie: uh-oh, you’re going to be behind everyone else. πŸ™‚ Actually, I haven’t either. Still have to finish the fourth one, though. I’ve never heard of Sean Russell…what genre is the series?
maxtheape: His series would fall into the fantasy genre. It’s a very interesting tale.
maxtheape: It’s something more of a Shakespearean fantasy than elves and dragons type.
cosettecie: hehe- that would be more along the lines of my tastes, then.
maxtheape: I enjoy that kind on occasion, as well, but there’s just something about a story where the people can be easily related to.
maxtheape: What would?
cosettecie: Shakespearean vs. elves and dragons πŸ™‚
maxtheape: Ah. πŸ™‚
maxtheape: So, have you any favorites to recommend? Are you in the middle of anything at the moment?
cosettecie: unfortunately, no. I just finished Wuthering Heights and haven’t started anything new yet
maxtheape: I must admit that I’ve never read that one. There are a number of the classics that have slipped through my fingers, I’m afraid.
cosettecie: it was really a lot better than I expected- definitely a romance novel. I’d read it in seventh grade but didn’t comprehend a whole lot of it then
maxtheape: I’ve still got a copy of Great Expectations siting on my shelf, awaiting my attention.
cosettecie: hehe- I’m in the same boat with that one too
cosettecie: Robinson Crusoe is next on my list, though
maxtheape: I would imagine that there are quite a number of things that you’d catch now that you wouldn’t have then. Another one I need to read. I’ve got to re-read A Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights.)
maxtheape: And I just can’t seem to go too long without revisiting Les Mis.
maxtheape: Murphy (my cat) has decided to lay across my arms as I type 😎
cosettecie: well, I haven’t tried that book in quite a while, but I know all the lyrics to the show by heart. 😑 Well, that’s trouble. Cricket, mine, is usually anti-social. She just likes to be in the same room with you. So I’m curious…
cosettecie: Where does “max the ape” come from?
maxtheape: Ah, that one. πŸ™‚
maxtheape: Well, when I first ever was asked to come up with a “username” for something, I had no idea what to use. the name “Max” was simply pulled from thin air, while “The Ape” was just a small nod toward my fraternity in college. (No, I do not fit the typical “frat boy” mold. Sorry to disappoint.) πŸ™‚
cosettecie: which fraternity?
maxtheape: The college I went to was a small one, and all o fate fraternities and sororities were “local” ones. The fraternity was Alpha Pi Epsilon.
cosettecie: ah. Well, I have friends at Georgia Tech in Phi Kappa Sigma, and the whole group does not fit the “frat boy” mold– that’s a good thing πŸ™‚
maxtheape: We were/are just a very diverse group of guys who happened to be great friends.
cosettecie: that’s as it should be
maxtheape: Being at a small school changes the whole dynamic of greek groups, I think. When I joined, there were a sum total of 24 of us. The college doesn’t allow “frat houses,” so everyone lived on campus, and it was just a whole lot of fun.
cosettecie: wow. Have you been able to keep in touch with most of them?
maxtheape: A good number of us still keep in touch. We’ve got a list serve which ensures that I hear something from someone virtually every day. πŸ™‚
maxtheape: Actually, up until about three weeks ago, one of my roommates was one of my old fraternity friends.
cosettecie: that’s great! How many roommates do you have?
maxtheape: Now I have none. πŸ™‚ I had two, but one took a new job about 100 miles west of here, and the remaining two of us decided to just go find our own places. I’m getting used to the quiet. Murphy, on the other hand, wishes there were more people around to attack…er…play with. O:-)
cosettecie: hehehe
maxtheape: He’s a great cat, but he still has a little bit too much energy.
cosettecie: how old is he?
maxtheape: Oh, there he goes. He’s off to sleep in his little bed in front of the window. Sunning himself. πŸ™‚ He’s about a year old. I don’t know exactly, as I got him at the animal shelter.
cosettecie: That’s where Cricket came from; she fit in the palm of my hand when I got her seven summers ago
cosettecie: so Murphy’s still got plenty of kitten in him πŸ™‚
maxtheape: Oh, how cute. Murphy was about 4-5 months old when I got him.
maxtheape: Yes, he’s still got kitten energy a plenty. He loves to attack my feet when I’m laying in bed. It would probably be more fun if he didn’t have his front claws.
cosettecie: haha, to you yes, but not to him, I bet. Cricket didn’t get de-clawed until I tried an experiment in introducing another cat to the household– a BAD idea. So they both got declawed at the same time when I found a piece of Muffin’s claw in the fur next to Cricket’s eye.
maxtheape: Oh, dear.
cosettecie: I wasn’t happy about having to do it, but they both still have their back claws, and have proven that they can still fight plenty with those; I have a scar on my hand to prove it. Unfortunately, Muffin just couldn’t stay in the family; neither cat (nor their owner) was very happy. So I gave her to a friend who recently moved to a new town and didn’t know anyone, so he’d have some company. Muffin liked guys better anyway πŸ™‚
maxtheape: Well, hopefully, Muffin is doing well in her new home.
maxtheape: I’ll see if I can’t send a little picture of Murphy sometime.
cosettecie: what a pretty kitty! Looks like he’s strategizing. Yes, actually, I’m convinced that I was only meant to be a foster parent….my friend Chris absolutely loves her, and I’m pretty sure Muffin’s in the lap of luxury in his apartment
cosettecie: I got the picture
maxtheape: Ah, it worked? It gave me an error on my end. Not sure what happened there.
cosettecie: It went through fine on my end
maxtheape: Cricket is just a long-term placement, then? πŸ™‚
cosettecie: she’s the reigning queen of the castle, yes. Let’s see if I can find a good picture of her…
maxtheape: That would be wonderful.
cosettecie: I know there’s one on my webpage (now defunct), but here’s another one:
maxtheape: How cute. Looks like she’s about to flop over the side of the staircase. πŸ™‚
cosettecie: Well, I tried to send you a picture, but yes… you see the problem too
cosettecie: it gave me the option of uploading it to a server, would that help you?
maxtheape: That would work fine, I think.
cosettecie: okay
maxtheape: Just having moved into my new place, and using a new internet service provider, it might well be a problem on my end. I’ve not really played with all of the setup things yet.
cosettecie: completely understandable. Does Murphy sleep like this on a regular basis?
maxtheape: He sleeps anywhere and everywhere, “on a regular basis.” He’s quite fond of sleeping by my legs at night, but as certain as any alarm clock, he wakes me at ten minutes before five in the morning every day.
maxtheape: He sleeps on his back, for the most part, only when I’m holding him.
cosettecie: wow. See, for me that would be a great alarm- that’s my normal wake-up time. But how does that work out for you?
maxtheape: It’s not too bad. I’d prefer to sleep until about 5:50, but it’s not too bad. Just need to train myself to read in the morning, rather than late at night.
cosettecie: you’re adapting well to being owned by a cat then, changing your schedule to fit around his. πŸ™‚

MaxTheApe & CosetteCIE

August 21, 2017

I’ve been anxious because I’m sitting with a lot of unknowns at the moment. To distract myself, it’s time for a project.Β This blog has been aimless for a while now. It’s time for a serial project for the blog.

Jared and I met online, most of the folks we know realize that. What you may or may not know is that for that first Christmas we were dating, in 2003, I printed and bound every single one of our conversations and emails to that date. We still have those binders, decorated in my handwriting with lyrics from the songs we’d been listening to together.

This is a personal project, but it’s one I love and can throw myself wholeheartedly into. I am going to publish the contents of those binders. I am going to transcribe those binders into this blog.Β I am doing this with Jared’s permission.

One more note of background: My screen name on the site we met on was “Cosettecie,” and his was “MaxtheApe.”

So with no further ado, here goes.

(Sent on July 30, no official time stamp because it was copy-pasted directly from that dating site.)


Thank you, ever so kindly, for the smile. It is a rare pleasure to stumble across someone with whom I share so many interests, and such a common background.

Ah, where have my manners gone? My name is Jared.

I must confess an immense curiosity in regards to your experience as a Religious Studies major. I have a Philosophy/Religion major, and I also find that the narrow view of my youth no longer suits the person I am today, or the person I aspire to be. If you ever feel inclined toward sharing your thoughts, I would be honored.

I did have to laugh a bit (with, not at) about your list of “loves.” Cheese simply isn’t something that often appears first on a person’s list. I quite agree with the choice, though. πŸ™‚ My cat also finds his way into my heart, though often times it seems more through his attempt to claw his way through it, rather than the standard affection. I’d not give him up willingly, though. And should spaghetti (or pasta in almost any form) not be found near the top of my favorites list, rest assured that it is only the result of a terrible oversight on my part.

I am left to wonder if perhaps one of those thick books on your shelf might, perchance, be Les Miserables? It is one of my favorites, and it was with no small measure of delight that I finally managed to make it to a live performance of the musical version just this past year. If not Les Miserables, may I ask what are some of those unread books?

For the time being, I must bring this letter to a close. Work clutters my desk, and diving headlong into it seems the only solution. I hope this finds you well, and enjoying a beautiful summer day.

Best Wishes,

Jared (MaxThe Ape)

(Sent on July 1, on the same dating site which I will not name here because it is embarrassing…its focus has changed so that it is not so family-friendly.)


I have to admit that yes, Les Mis is one of those books on the shelf I haven’t gotten around to finishing. I’mΒ absolutely nuts about the musical, and I’ll see it for the third time this next September. Glad you’re acquainted with it– not too many people tend to pick up on the reason for the nickname! My name is Caroline.

I chose Religious Studies as a major completely on a whim; I had no clue as to what I wanted to do with my life, so I decided it would be best to study something that at least sounded interesting. The downside is that I’ve constantly had to answer the question, “And what exactly can you do with that sort of degree?” I think I’ve found my calling in non-profits. But it’s not too often that I’ve found someone else out there with a similar educational experience, so I couldn’t resist contacting you! I’d be happy to discuss anything you wish on the subject.

I don’t know that I’d describe our current weather just south of Atlanta as a “beautiful summer day;” we’re dealing with the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill. Got five and a half inches of rain yesterday! But for now it’s just overcast– at least it’s not terribly hot. Hope your weather’s a bit better.

If you’d like to continue our discussion, please feel free to email me at [email now defunct]. I hope to hear from you soon!


Date: Wednesday, 2 Jul 2003 11:42:09
From: “Jared Price” <email probably stillΒ functional but it’s J’s so I am not publishing>
Subject: Fury of Mother Nature
To: <email now defunct>


Thank you for the speedy reply, permission to use your normal email address, and sharing your name. It is always much easier to share a conversation with someone when you have a name to associate it with the words.

Like you, I developed a love of the Les Miserables musical. That later transitioned into enough curiosity to get me through the book. It’s such a wonderfully done show. Just incredible.

I somewhat accidentally stumbled into my Philosophy/Religion major as well. I was fortunate enough to have a couple of exceptional professors in the field, and that can make all the difference in the world. Did you have any favorite courses, or areas of interest?

I would image that work ing in non-profits has some wonderfully rewarding aspects. I’m seemingly on a continuing adventure toward discovering where I want to be. The last six years have seen me working in education, helping teachers at various levels with how to use computers in their classrooms. The down side of that is that my positions have been grant funded, and yet another end of grant deadline looms ominously at the end of August.

No, I don’t imagine that the remnants of “Bill” are making for wonderful summer weather, at all. I’m afraid I had somewhat forgotten about that. We’ve had a bit of poor weather up here lately as well. A small town that five of my friends are from was hit with somewhere between 4-8 tornadoes just a couple of weeks ago, and nearby they reported hailstones as large as 16-19 inches in diameter. I’m not sure what is irritating mother nature at the moment, but a brief break from severe weather would be quite nice about now.

Curiosity may be getting the better of my manners in asking, but what sort of non-profit organization do you work with? (Of course you may feel free to not answer that, if you’d prefer.)

The time has come when my nose must be put back to the grindstone. In the absence of wonderful weather, I hope you are able to surround yourself with wonderful people. πŸ™‚


Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2003 14:08:52
From: “Caroline Ellison” <email now defunct>Β 
Subject: Re: Fury of Mother Nature
To: “Jared Price” <J’s email>


Most of the religious studies classes I took were of a comparative nature; I didn’t focus on a particular concentration. Our program is still in a fledgling stage, and attached to the philosophy department. At a school with over twenty thousand students, there were only about eighty of us RELS majors! When I graduated this past semester, we had the largest class ever from the program, at something like twenty graduates. Luckily, I too had fabulous professors committed to trying to expand the program and also give us individualized attention.

Among the more interesting courses I took were Modern Judaism, Consciousness and the Paranormal, and Death and the Afterlife. Modern Judaism traced the development from Orthodoxy into the various denominations, and touched on the development of the state of Israel. Consciousness and the Paranormal focused mainly on mysticism in a variety of religions, but the class itself was not quite as interesting as the professor was.

Death and the Afterlife explored the mourning traditions of Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism. As part of that course, we visited the chaplaincy office athlete major trauma office here in Atlanta, and that visit was so inspirational that I’ve been thinking of pursuing the career. However, that requires seminary, and I just don’t think I have the patience for school right now. Besides the work would be so emotionally intensive that I think it would be a better second career.

I definitely don’t mind talking about work– I am the volunteer assistant for Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. At any given time we can have up to 12 houses going at the same time, and only one person on site is usually actually staff– the rest are volunteers. It’s my job on Saturday mornings to meet and send volunteers out to sites based on where we need help that particular morning, and I also do some office work during the week.

So tell me more about yourself and your passions. Are you originally from Lincoln? And do you mind if I ask how a “violin playing goat” is any better than a regular goat? πŸ™‚


Date: Wed 2 Jul 2003 20:50:27
From: “Jared Price” <J’s email>
Subject: A more lengthy response.
To: “Caroline Ellison” <email now defunct>


My experience in my Phil./Rel. program had certain similarities to yours. The college I attended was quite a bit smaller, with only a little over one thousand total students. If memory serves, there were three of us graduating with degrees in the field the year I graduated. I was fortunate enough to have quite a number of classes that numbered twelve, or fewer students. My religion professor had just come to the college the year before I started after spending about seven years teaching at a graduate school in Jerusalem. During the summer after my sophomore year, he took a group of about twenty of us to Israel for the better part of three weeks. It was an amazing trip. As my senior year approached, I realized that I would e able to virtually take a semester off, and still finish both of my majors in four years. With his recommendation, the school that he had taught at accepted me as a part of its fall class of 42 clergy and teachers of religion (an me.) πŸ™‚ It was a wonderful experience, being surrounded by people from all over the world and from a wide variety of religious backgrounds. I stuck around for an extra month and a half, working as a volunteer with a group that leads camel treks through the Negev Desert. One of these days, I would very much like to get back to visit some people.

Wow! That list of courses sounds like it would have been terrific. I imagine that you’re quite right about how emotionally intense a position like hospital chaplain would be. Perhaps one of these days, as you said, it will seem the thing to do. It sounds, in the meantime, like you have found a position you feel quite passionate about.

Ah, tell you about myself and my passions… this could prove a rather time consuming literary adventure. πŸ™‚ I’ll opt for a shorter, condensed version for the time being. I am not originally from Lincoln, and have only called it home for the past three and a half years. I’ve lived in Iowa, several towns/ cities in Nebraska, and Colorado. I actually count myself fortunate for having had the opportunity to move about a fair bit while growing up. I must confess that my travels have never managed to take me to your “neck of the woods.” As for my passions, I must count among them reading, music, theater, and travel. I also quite enjoy my work. As for specifics in any of those, it’s difficult for me. My literary tastes range from the classics, to best-sellers, to Tolkien and the like. Musically, I can enjoy virtually anything that has intelligible lyrics. A star as theater goes, I can enjoy either live shows, or a good movie. My general taste in movies shows through in the reference to the “violin playing goat,” as quoted fromΒ Notting Hill. I tend to enjoy movies that fall under what many people would term “chick flicks.” Yes, I am man enough to admit that. πŸ™‚ My opportunities for travel have been relatively limited, but I have enjoyed the opportunities that have come my way. I also look forward to doing more. There are many places, both in the U.S. and abroad that I would love to visit.

Are you originally from Georgia, or do you find yourself something of a transplant? Have you any favorite places that you’ve been? And favorite books to recommend, shows to see, little known musicians to listen to? Where would you most love to go? What, or who are you most inspired by?

Alright, perhaps that is enough questions for the time being. πŸ™‚

Take care,

P.S. If you’d like to chat sometime, I do have Yahoo Messenger. I’m not on often, but would be delighted to share in a more interactive conversation, if the opportunity presented itself.


That’s enough forΒ today.

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