First, I'd like to apologize for the intrusion on Darlene's blog. I am somewhat at a loss, having no web presence of my own (blog or otherwise) or any other available forum in which I now feel comfortable discussing this topic. Though I did not ask her for it, Darlene graciously offered her space to me.Second, my thoughts below are the result of several blog posts and comments on those posts contained here and on other blog pages. Anyone needing further background information should start on Roo's page (links on the side) at the October 05, 2003 original post date. Related information can be found on Reilly's page with an October 08, 2003 post date. Third, this will be the last time I will comment on this matter and, quite possibly, any other. My previous reluctance to post comments on blogs has been recently reinforced by the resultant backlash. My only solace comes from the fact a reaction was indeed generated... much better than being ignored, I think. Enough preamble... I do believe that in expressing my opinions and passionate feelings, I also made it quite clear that I defended everyone's right to their own... twice in fact. I also felt I was being careful not to personally attack anyone willing to share their opinions in what I thought Roo's blog to be - an "open" forum for discussion. However, this did not appear to be a shared sentiment and people WERE responding in a rather personal manner, even if names were not used directly. If anyone was to perceive an attack in my comments, it most certainly should have been Roo, as she was the one my comments were most directed to, and the one responsible for starting this tempest in a teapot. While I fully admit my opening comments were flip and irreverent, that is something anyone with personal knowledge of my character would have recognized immediately. As I was posting those comments on Roo's blog, I expected her to understand. I never tried to invalidate her passion by asking "why," I only wanted to understand her motivation for it. Now, while I agree with Reilly, on certain levels, that passion is the stuff of life, I can not agree that my own expression of it is worthy of such retribution. As I felt the situation was escalating to a point where personal feelings were being involved, I was, in my own unfortunately ham-fisted way, trying to diffuse the situation which had arisen. I suppose the outcome was inevitable and in hindsight I should have left well enough alone, but the instinctual, passionate response is not something one can always control. It is this very nature of passion that found us where we came to in this debate... sensitivities ran high, attacks were made, feelings were hurt and people were directing character assassinations at others they didn't even know. To further clarify my position, I simply wished to avoid the continued hurt feelings of someone very close to me. If I am to be misunderstood, misinterpreted or even judged unfairly by this infinitely small portion of commentary, of which only four people had full contextual understanding, then I am saddened. Rest assured, I will recover.