I posted this @ 4/29/2007 12:00:00 PM.............Need a link?..........
THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS
My maternal grandmother passed away a couple weeks ago. I didn't mention it at the time because... well... really what is there to mention about her? She is someone that I haven't spoken with since I was about 10 years old. Her husband, my maternal grandfather passed away a couple years ago and it was the same feeling. Or lack of feeling...
These are not the Grandparents who raised me. These are people on my Mother's side of the family.
Should I feel worse because someone that I am related to died? Because I honestly feel nothing. I can't even say I'd call them family. I keep a very unconventional definition of family. I am closer to some friends than I am some blood relatives. The saying goes "you can pick your friends, but not your family." I would disagree with that to a certain extent. You might not be able to pick who you are related to, but you can certainly pick you who you choose to call family.
Before my maternal grandfather passed away, I received an email from my mother. She said that he was ill and suggested that I go see him at some point. While I didn't see anything wrong with that idea. I didn't see the point either. It would be like visiting a stranger. While the news of my maternal grandmother's death was a bit more of a surprise (no one to suggest I should go see her before she dies), I can't imagine much was expected really.
My paternal Grandmother (the one who did raise me) called me to give me the news. She read it in my hometown paper. She asked if my mother had called me. She had not. A few days later I was planning on making a trip to see my paternal Grandmother. It was then she asked me if I was contacted by anyone on my mom's side of the family. Again, no. I guess I was to be a pallbearer at the funeral which was the prior weekend. My name was listed in the obituary as such. Oops!
Now here is where I get emotionally confused inside. Do I have much contact with that side of the family? No. Would I have gone to the funeral? No. Am I surprised that no one bothered to tell me at all? Yes, actually... A little. While I openly admit I don't feel anything, that doesn't mean that they don't. Or my biological mother specifically doesn't. If she cared enough to want me to go see her father, I'm surprised that there wasn't at least some acknowledgment for her mother.
Don't get me wrong. It's not keeping my up at night. But it just goes to show the on again-off again feeling of caring that she has. Does she want to maintain an open line of communication or not? I can't tell most of the time.
I learned that there are several families of aunt and uncles here in the city that I never knew existed. The curious side of me wants to know who they are. I probably won't... because.. really, why? It wouldn't serve to gain anything.
Maybe this is a little too personal for a blog, but I guess if you know me then you probably aren't' surprised by any of this, because you've heard me mention it before.
I posted this @ 4/25/2007 11:56:00 AM.............Need a link?..........
RETURN TO INNOCENCE
Aaaaaaaaaand I'm back.
I find that it is difficult for me to focus on blogging anything when I'm at home. My work affords me the luxury of downtime that I can do some writing. Plus I get in the habit of reading as part of my morning routine while eating breakfast. So when I'm home and sleep in later or in the schools and not in front of a computer for the work day... it throws off my routine and I may not read that day.
ANYWAY... So what's been going on lately?
Mark and I went to the zoo over the weekend. This was the first time in almost two years that I've been to the zoo and actually enjoyed myself. We looked at everything the zoo offered. It made for a very entertaining day. I'm pretty lucky because he has the patience of a saint. Not only for working with children, but for putting up with me at the zoo as I took over 100 photos only to use about 25 of them. He even let me take a photo of him!
I finished another book. I finally jumped on the Harry Potter train only many years after the first original book. It's not a difficult read, but I wasn't expecting to finish it in two days. I couldn't done it in one sitting had I the time. I've read more books in the last 6 months than I have in the last ten years.
I have a few topics of things I'll probably write about at some point. As a teaser...
-Death in the family -Public auction -How my mind works -Grad school
I posted this @ 4/25/2007 08:05:00 AM.............Need a link?..........
KNOW THIS CHILD WILL BE GIFT, WITH LOVE, WITH PATIENCE, AND WITH FAITH
My coworkers and I were passing the time in between classes to read a few magazines. One of the articles was about a woman in her early 30s who wanted to freeze some of her eggs. She didn't feel she was at a point in her life to have a child. This conversation topic lead to women who sell their eggs for money. One coworker mentioned how it seemed wrong and mercenary to do so. Going on to say that you were selling your body. While I don't necessarily disagree with what she is saying I did see some hypocrisy in it. This was coming from someone who was part of a research study that was testing a cholesterol drug. Is that not similar if not the same? I was intrigued by how these weighed out.
We talked some more about it. What about people who sell plasma, or blood, or guys who sell sperm? Is it really any different? Is it more or less mercenary?
It turned more personal when it was said that if a person couldn't have kids naturally that "maybe that [is] G-.. nature's way of telling you that you shouldn't have kids." Nature's way?
Ok, so the question becomes this... Say, one day my partner and I want to have a child. Neither of us have sex with women so we find someone willing to be a surrogate. Are we not supposed to have kids? The question was never really answered.
But seriously... I don't know whether I'll be a good parent or not. Does anyone ever really know for sure until they have a child? I struggled for a long time with being gay because of what that meant for having a 'family' one day. I'd never met any gay man who had children of his own. It was an unknown to me at the time. Yet, to have it insinuated that I shouldn't have kids... that's malarkey. Nature's way of telling me something or not. I don't agree.
I posted this @ 4/20/2007 11:26:00 AM.............Need a link?..........
AND THE WORDS OF THE PROPHETS ARE WRITTEN ON THE SUBWAY WALLS
In the recent school I worked in, a motivational speaker had recently been there. A project had been completed wherein the students were to write their names an something they hoped to accomplish or hoped would happen in the future. I was actually quite saddened by what I read. There was obviously a large percentage that had the generic statements of "I want to be successful" or "I want to be a better person."
Then there the percentage of kids who wrote about wanting to be a good father/mother/husband/wife, or model/actress/musician. The combo of world famous brain surgeon/drummer was my favorite 'this or that' goal. Reach for the stars kiddo!
What saddened me was the number of students who wanted to help other people. Help stop abuse... Be a therapist... Be a psychologist... Help drug addicts/alcoholics... because most of those statements included some variation of the phrase, "like my counselor helped me."
Amongst these groups were the occasion... "Hope to stay out of prison" "Wish kids would quit calling me gay" or "find someone who will love me." I thought it was extremely brave for these kids to not only write these things and put them out in the world but to also sign their names so everyone else would see them.
There's nothing I really feel like saying about this. Other than just saying it.
I posted this @ 4/20/2007 09:08:00 AM.............Need a link?..........
MY FLAG BOY AND YOUR FLAG BOY SITTIN' BY THE FIRE
I read a book. Huzzah! Don't be fooled, that is a bigger accomplishment than it might sound. While I enjoy reading, I really have to like the book to read it. Some books I've read quickly. Mark loaned me a book a couple months ago that I finished in a week. I handily broke that record. I finished The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time in a day. I started reading at around 8am and had it done by 2pm. This is unheard of for me. It was an excellent book.
The story is told from the point of view of an autistic child who lives with his father. It begins rather frenetically. Christopher explains why he doesn't like the color yellow and why he is writing the book to begin with. He explains why doesn't like to be touched. He explains in the best way he can how his mind work. He explains why the book is titled in seemingly random numbers.
He is a very bright child. He is very logical. Logical to the point that his quirks seem perfectly understandable once you see his point. The problem is communicate why he does what he does effectively. Most autistic children probably couldn't do so.
There was even a part where I teared up a bit. I won't give away what brought me to that point. But I will say that while I can't relate to having autism, I can relate to Christopher's family dynamics with his mother.
Go read it!
*Bonus points if you get the connection between the song title and the post topic.
I posted this @ 4/16/2007 12:23:00 PM.............Need a link?..........
FOR THE ACTOR
Music has always been a big part of my life. I've said on this blog dozens of times that life should have a soundtrack. Just the right song playing at just the right moment to bring everything together. A classic romantic moment heightened by the crescendo of a catchy chorus.
I have many playlists on my iPod. Some based on a theme (cover songs, 80s, musicals). Some based on moods (dancey, mellow, sing-along). Mix tapes are like soundtracks. I think they are one of the 'milestones' I mentioned in a relationship. Especially if the two people involved are both in music. Even if the other person has a different taste in music than you do, knowing that someone put a collection of songs together just for you makes each song a little more special.
I think most of you readers know my favorite song. If not it's pretty easy to find out what it is. I've sat in my car listening to that song on numerous occasions. I have the song on my iPod. I had the cassette. I have the movie it's in. I could hear it in any number of places. Yet, when it's played spontaneously it is suddenly more special.
Pamie quotes Rob Sheffield, "I'd rather hear the Beatles' 'Getting Better' on a mix tape than on Sgt. Pepper any day. I'd rather hear a Frank Sinatra song between Run-DMC and Bananarama than between two other Frank Sinatra songs. When you stick a song on a tape, you set it free."
I have probably heard this song on their album. Yet, for some reason Mates Of State's 'For The Actor' is all I want to hear right now. I've been playing it constantly all week. I even woke up in the middle of the night at one point and was humming the song. I had to start playing it on the keyboard, the next day, in an effort to get it out of my head. I just sat down and started pecking away until I had Kori's (the wifely half of the duo) keyboard part recognizable on it's own.
The easiest way to hear the song if to check out their My Space page and click on For The Actor in the audio box on the right.
So if anyone asks what song I have in my head right now, this would be it. It is the current song on my 'soundtrack'.
I posted this @ 4/13/2007 12:25:00 PM.............Need a link?..........
THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS
I frequently shock Mark when I mention I've not seen a certain movie. The latest shocking reveal coming from the discovery that I've never seen any of the Evil Dead movies. This was quickly remedied. I enjoyed them.
Thinking back there are quiet a few 'classic' movies that I haven't watched at point. My Grandparents weren't big movie goers. While my television viewing habits weren't monitored for content, the scariest movie I think I watched as a kid was Teen Wolf. Scary movies never held any allure for me. Cinematic blockbusters were few and far between. The first movie I watched in a movie theater was E.T. and I only went because it was with my father on a visitation. I'm pretty sure I went with the kids of the woman he was seeing at the time while he went with her to another film.
Here is just a short list of some classic* movies I've not watched.
One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest All About Eve Army Of Darkness The Godfather The Good The Bad The Ugly Citizen Kane A Christmas Story (not in one sitting. i just catch pieces over that 24-hour span) A Clockwork Orange Jaws Ben Hur The Graduate The Omen Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas A Streetcar Named Desire The Passion Of The Christ Home Alone Cars There's Something About Mary Rain Man Platoon A Few Good Men
The list could go on, but I think you get my drift. I'm sure I've caused a few gasps with some of those titles. Yet, some of these movies have been so ingrained in our culture with their references after a while you feel like you HAVE seen the movie. This is where I talk myself out of watching something. I know how The Passion Of The Christ ends. Coo coo ca-choo Mrs. Robinson, she IS trying to seduce you. I know what that is on Mary's ear. I know what Rosebud is. While I understand that I've missed out on some very good cinema, it is hard to go back and watch something that I feel like I've already seen. That is without some extrinsic motivation.
*I define classic as movies that have either worked their way into pop culture history or are cinematic blockbusters.
I posted this @ 4/11/2007 09:15:00 AM.............Need a link?..........
WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERL-.... BULLSHIT
I woke up this morning and looked outside to find what some weathermen call a wintry mix. Or what I call bullshit.
I understand it is still Spring and that there are times where the weather is going to be unpredictable. I understand that I live in Nebraska and the weather can change on a dime. Yet there is somewhat of an expectation that Spring is the time for the weather to improve. Not to do a complete 180 and go running back to Winter.
When the weather became warmer I put away my winter coats. I am stubborn enough that as this snow... excuse me... wintry mix began I wrestled with the need to actually pull out the winter coat. It's not like this coat is hiding deep within some cave. It's not guarded by the undead or anything.
But alas... I broke out the coat. Damn you weather!
This is why I like Summer. You know what to expect with the weather when you wake up.
I posted this @ 4/11/2007 08:38:00 AM.............Need a link?..........
HOW SOON IS NOW
Mark and I have been seeing each other long enough that the little quirks that each of us have don't come as a surprise. My 'system' of how I hang my clothes. My slow-paced eating. My preference of warm over cool. My habit of flipping the light switch on and off 8 times before going to sleep. Wait... Did I not mention that last one? Sorry babe.
We were browsing World Market last weekend. I was looking at their kitchen gear. I was commenting that most places only carry blue and red silicone bakeware. I would like to procure some but I'd rather have black. My kitchen right now doesn't have a color or a theme to it. But I have been buying black, white, and chrome items. My reasoning? When I do have a different kitchen that has a bit more ability to be decorated I have kitchen items that I can easily use and not worry about color. Or if I change my mind I'm not stuck with all blue or all red appliances.
This would be a quirk.
I realized this when I was looking at box graters and Mark found one, but I rejected it because of reasons that were wholly inconsequential to the actual ownership of said grater to begin with. Basically put... If anyone is judging me because of my cheese grater then they are the ones with the problem. Not me.
Welcome to my neuroses. I think he's in for a bumpy ride.
But seriously, I am fascinated by people and how relationships progress. I know there are no hard fast rules to dating and getting to know someone. I know that what might work for someone might not work for someone else.
For people that have been married or together for a long time... take a moment to think about these things.
When was the first time your significant other said "I love you"? How far into the relationship were the two of you before you cooked for the other person? These are the type of things I find fascinating for reasons that I can't exactly put my finger on.
How long was it before you spent the night together? How soon before you met their friends? How soon before you were comfortable enough to burp or fart in front of them? How long was it before you met their family? How long was it before the two of you moved in together? How soon did you take a vacation together? How long was it before you let them come over even when you were sick? How long did it take before you cried in front of them?
It all fascinates me. Like I said... I know that there aren't rules that govern things that can be equally applied across all relationships.
I started this post out by mentioning quirks. While I don't think any of the questions above are quirks, I do think they all kind of play into each other. It's about comfortability with another person. Being comfortable being yourself... I am at comfort.
I posted this @ 4/09/2007 12:10:00 PM.............Need a link?..........
THE FIRST CUT IS THE DEEPEST
Last week I suffered no less than five papers cuts on my index finger and thumb. What I find odd is that I have not done any more filing of envelope stuffing or paper shuffling than usual. So my activities haven't changed, but my injuries have. I don't notice the cuts at the time.
Here is a short list of things that have cause me to notice I have paper cuts.
Hospital hand sanitizer Hospital industrial strength soap Lemon juice Salsa Any carbonated beverage Wind Taco seasoning Salt
I posted this @ 4/09/2007 10:58:00 AM.............Need a link?..........
COFFEE & TV
This was a favorite song of mine when it first came out. Occasionally I'll put it back on my Currently Spinning playlist. The little Milk Carton was pretty darned cute running around trying to find the missing guitarist.
Now here is the really great part! Some time ago I stumbled across this on Flickr. Now you can make your very own little Milk Carton!
I posted this @ 4/09/2007 07:28:00 AM.............Need a link?..........
THREE STRANGE DAYS
So remember when I told you that I had a photo used for a Jelly Belly advertisement? Well, here is the next stage of This Doesn't Happen Everyday.
I received and email from someone who referred to me by my screen name, which I rarely use on this site. He mentioned a couple trivial bits about me from my 100 Things page. Then goes on to ask if I would write about his clients candy if he sent me a free sample.
WTF? ...as the kids say.
I wasn't sure it was an actual serious email. While I enjoy writing this blog, I don't fancy myself a writer. From looking at his website I'm not exactly sure what kind of candy his client even has. I think they might be mints. But it looked more like a decorative tin company than a candy company.
So say it was serious... Say I did say that I would write about some guys candy... What if I didn't like the candy? Have you seen that episode of Friends where Monica is asked to create a dish with "Mocholate." To quote Phoebe, "This is what evil must taste like."
Considering I wasn't too keen on trying the wacky Chinese 'candy', who knows... how willing I might be to try the next mocholate.
If the same guy is reading this now... You now have an idea of what you might be in for. Bring it on!
I posted this @ 4/04/2007 04:23:00 PM.............Need a link?..........
IT'S LIKE A RAINBOW
About a month ago I received an email from a guy saying he noticed a photo of mine on Flickr. He worked for an advertising agency that was working with Jelly Belly. He wanted permission to use my photo. Now I thought it was a bit odd that anyone might search through Flickr for photos to use in advertising, but it happened.
So I agreed and asked that I'd be credited. I casually asked how much it'd pay. Why not? He told me the standard photo fee was eight dollars. Since they usually pay photographers for hundres of photos at a time. Not just one.
Well, still... I didn't think I'd ever hear any more about it. Until the other day...
I posted this @ 4/04/2007 08:27:00 AM.............Need a link?..........
THE CANDY MAN CAN
Not too long ago a coworker went to China. She brought back some 'candy' for us. This is not to be confused with the 'candy' that a previous coworker brought back from China. That candy turned out to be fish bullion cubes. (I'd link you to that post, but I fear it was lost in the great blog explosion of Ought Six.)
Top row: -Some sort of squishy fruit concoction. It reminded me of one of those party favors that you pull the ends and confetti explodes out of it.
-It looks like a jello shot with a piece of fruit in it and some thick goop at the bottom. The fruit was determined to be peach. The thick gel at the bottom is yet to be analyzed.
-A paper and gel sandwich. That's right... Paper. Gel. Sandwich. It's as if you melted flavorless gummi bears inbetween sheets of rice paper.
Bottom Row: -Four seasons eight blessings tea. It looks like a bag of lawn clippings, but it's the thing I am willing to try the most.
-In apperance, it would look to be cherries covered in chocolate and the glazed with something. But you can't forget about the sesame seeds in it as well.
-It was described to me as a fruit roll up, that doesn't unroll. Yet it is strangely solid in some parts and super soft in others.
I posted this @ 4/03/2007 12:42:00 PM.............Need a link?..........
SO DON'T ASK ME NO MORE QUESTIONS AND I WON'T TELL YOU NO LIES
What are you gonna get Cute Teacher for his upcoming b-day? You will no fool me with your Jedi mind tricks. I will not tell you what you're getting for your birthday. You'll just have to wait and see. :P
Have you ever considered making a career out of giving out dating advice? I have thought about it as a career. When I switch to "hotline mode", as it's been called, I tend to tell people what do to less than I would if I wasn't in hotline mode. The reason being... when it's a friend I am more honest with what I think. But in my mind when I'm doing it with a more professional purpose I tend to try and guide them to their own answers.
Tho, both Mike and I and Jay's friend Lisa and I have joked that we should have a radio call in advice show. I'd do it. I'm Fraiser enough. Plus I have a face for radio.
Kathie Lee or Kelly Ripa? Kelly!! They are both bat-shit crazy, but I think Kelly is less so.
Which question should I ask you here and not in our chats? A little explination behind this question. Ramperto is my friend from Italy. I live vicariously through him and his exotic land or wine and food. He is an amazing photographer and one of these days he'll make it to the Midwest. Tho I can't imagine why, when you live in a place as beautiful as Italy.
What career would you feel passionately about pursuing? Something in counseling? Research? I would stick to something in the counseling field. I have ideas of doing other things. I think about culinary school, but between my lack of wanting to eat some foods and my allergies... probably not a good combination. I toyed with the EMT idea once upon a time, but reality of that is that I'm too old to start into a career where the starting salary wouldn't do much to help me at this point. Unless I wanted to work 80 hours a week. Research isn't my bread and butter. It pays the bills for now, but I find it a bit dry. I'm more of a hands on person. I would love to work in an ER setting of some kind. The variety of patients. Always something new going on. Like the Hotline, but in person. I'm down with that.
I posted this @ 4/02/2007 08:49:00 AM.............Need a link?..........
SAY MY NAME
It is worth mentioning that the Cute Teacher did not nickname himself. Which is a good thing because you really can't give youself a nickname. I'm looking at you Sting! When I blog I am torn between using a persons real name and a name they might choose to go by online. Maybe it is for anonymity. Maybe it is a gaming name. Maybe it really is their nickname. I have always felt that it was more respectful to use their real name when writing about them. It wasn't until many many posts ago that it was brought to my attention that everyone might not see it that way.
So I took a cautious middle of the road stance. If they blog, use their blogging handle until I know otherwise that it is ok to do so. It was never done maliciously. Mainly just meant as a show of friendliness.
But I'm getting off track. The Cute Teacher, or CT as I have sometimes referred to him, did not ask that I call him that nor does he call himself that. That was my doing. Jen even upgraded him to Hot Teacher at one point in time. I would obviously agree. Hot Teacher... CT... Cute Teacher... etc... they are all the same person.