Thursday, December 30, 2010

again with

The blog This is Fag City has only been in my reader for a short time.  I forget where I found him originally, which doesn't really matter, but I always like knowing these things.  Or maybe I don't really care until I realize I can't remember.

And like I said, it doesn't really matter.  What does matter is my bummer house.  It's a little woo for me, but I love the quote near the end of the post Fantasy Castle.  He is discussing mental attitudes and says, Trying not to make myself a bummer house cuz I do not want to live in a bummer house.  I want to live in a Fantasy Castle.

It ties in perfectly with my not resolutions, because this idea fits nicely at the core of my goal.  I'm not in a good place because the universe has always been out to get me, so I've always lived with that in mind.  But if the universe isn't really out to get me, and if it's okay to maybe imagine I might could live in my own fantasy castle, then maybe I can start to do something about it.  And maybe I'll just make enough of a fantasy castle out of where I am to get me started

I know, kinda woo, and it kinda grosses me out that I'm talking like that.  It seems so trite, but there again it ties right into my thing that isn't resolutions, because it's new.  Plus, fantasy castle!  Fuck yeah!

p.s. trying to edit and reread that first paragraph is giving me a headache, so with all apologies I've opted to leave it alone for now.  Just ignore it as best you can.

Monday, December 27, 2010

resolute these nuts

I've never made new year's resolutions.  I don't really believe in them.  They always seem like they were made up in a moment of clarity that happens to be surrounded by a lot of getting and then being way too drunk because you were at a NYE party, and it's what you're supposed to do.

At the same time I want my life to be different, and a lot of this wanting is coming to a bit of a head right about now.  I've been thinking and thinking, and I think I've come up with some ideas.

The only solution that I have is to give myself this arbitrary date at which point I want to begin putting my bad behavior to an end.  And it's not that I'm so bad of a person or that my behavior is so bad, but it's not even a little bit helpful, and I want my life to be different.

What I've come up with, in my head, is this idea of new.  I've done things the old way for a long time, and I'm still here, broke and alone and unhappy.  The old ways aren't working, so I need to try some new ways.

I'm not sure the shape this will take, but I'm setting a deadline, and after that I really have to figure out what changes are going to get me to a point.  I need now to figure that point out.  I need now to set some goals.  I've got twinnyleven to figure my ass out, and then I've got twinnytwelve to make a point of it.

How will I start?  Putting the boys in school is a big start, both for them and for me.  I'm going to worry more about their education, and I need to be involved in their school/schooling.  Another step that should be easy and maybe even fun is to begin to put more concern into both my diet as well as the boys'.  We don't eat very well, and I could easily solve that problem.  Beginning work in those areas will help me to want to work harder to better myself. 

How happy am I in the world of food as I've known it?  What would I rather do?  I've been in food service seemingly as long as I can remember.  It's what I do.  It's how I earn my dough. 

How can I find a way to make my life better in solely monetary terms?  I hate to think of it that way.  There's a stink of "selling out" that punk me finds repulsive, but punk me barely pays the bills and seldom on time. 

I need to remember throughout the year that "I'm too old for this shit."  And I need to devote my efforts to better things, better places, better meals, better friends.  And it has to begin with me.  I have to take that first step and then the second and on and on.

Repeating past mistakes will never yield new successes.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

what christmas means to me

First I stole the title from a Stevie Wonder song of the same name.  Listen HERE.

This being the first Christmas season that I've celebrated with some distance between me and Momma it's been a much easier time for me.

I'm sure that sounds mean, but really it's not.  She celebrates much differently than I do, and it's difficult for me to just be throughout as she sees what seems to be me not getting into the whole thing.  That's truly a shit rendering of the portrait, but it's close enough.

I'm happy to roll through Christmas.  I'm happy to peruse the wish lists the boys craft so perfectly and sometimes leave leaned just so against the computer screen where they're still not sure I saw it.

I'm happy to not get them the things on their list, but I'm quite happy to get them things they will love nonetheless.  Both boys will absolutely love The Simpsons Hit and Run I got them for the PS2 their uncle gave me a few weeks ago.  And it's not the exact Lego thing they might have asked for, but they'll be happy. 

And that's where Momma steps in.  She's already got them the lesser huge Lego thing they wanted and plans to get them the other huge Lego thing that turned into THE toy this year and would be available for a buck and a half at the store if it weren't gone to ebay and up to an even five hundred.  She's not planning to pay that much for it.  Her idea is to give them a picture of what they'll soon be getting.  I kinda want to talk her out of it.  I think she does too much, but I love that she loves it so much.  It's how she does Christmas.

Tomorrow it's off to the local super awesome used book store where I'll satisfy that family tradition of the pile of books under the tree.  That's my favorite of our traditions, and I'm looking forward to what I'll find.  The best part?  Momma gave me her store credit she earned by taking in a pile of stuff we'd collected over the years.  Really it's our store credit.  She just did the work of actually boxing it up and offering it to them.

Christmas for me is an entirely secular celebration.  I get what it means and signifies to others.  Momma and I shopped together today and left the boys at Great Grandmother's house.  At some point between then and picking them up she told them that Christmas is Jesus' birthday.

The Boy told me about the Jesus birthday thing, and that led to a short conversation about the number of celebrations that happen to occur at this time of year because of the variety of belief systems that exist which then led to my pointing out that  many people celebrate similar holidays, different holidays or even the same holiday for a different reason.  Later we watched part of a show about Buddha, he told me he believes in the god that's called god and that he thinks Christmas Eve is Santa's birthday.

I celebrate the fact that people really might one day be capable of the things they claim when they are thinking Christmas.  I love the ideals we echo and hear echoed back by Charlie Brown and some woebegone sitcom dad-as-Santa right after he fails his family yet again, but gosh they love him anyway.

I've let so much of my anti Christmas cynicism go over the years.  I built up this anti Christmas-as-religious-holiday hatred for the whole of the holiday seasonbecause that's all I'd ever known it as and wasn't then able to separate the Christian beliefs from the holiday as a thing unto itself.  My faithlessness prevailed to the point that I went to the other extreme and wanted to reject this whole end of the year thing.  The kids have been a big part of me pulling back from the edge.

And now this year has been nice.  I don't have Momma's endearing if incessant barrage of cheeriness.  I also don't have a tree.  I do miss the lights and the smell.  I miss those keepsake ornaments that are special because of their forced rarity.  Momma wants me to spend Christmas eve at her house so I'll be there for the usual Christmas morning thing.  I can do this, and it will be good, though I'll bitch about sleeping arrangements.  The boys will want to tear into Christmas while I'll want to slink into a cup of coffee, but that's just another tradition.

Next year may well be different, and we'll look back from there and then look forward.  Another truth?  I've been using this holiday as the end of year celebration it's becoming to me.  I've been taking an honest look at some aspects of areas, and I'm finding some things I don't like, some paths I need to work my way off of, some edges I need to be done peering over, some cliches I've worn to nubs and need to dispose of. 

I want to build up a nice supply of desire-to-do-better that I can use to help power me over the course of what I'm going to call Twinnyleven.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.  And this time next year, as it's all been sucked out of me, I'll be somewhere not unlike this (in a good way) refilling my tanks.

btw, if you're in my neck of the woods Christmas day let me know.  Momma and I are working yet another tradition where we do our family thing and then start cooking for friends and other family that want to come by and make a time of it.  You're welcome to bring kids and booze. 

p.s. just read a bad review of the other PS2 game I got them, but for five bucks I aint about to complain.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

no, seriously

For full context go HERE and watch the video of Alex Nicholson (homosexual) who was booted from the military because of being homosexual and DADT versus Peter Sprigg, professional sayer of lies about homosexuals.  It's some CNN show where the host doesn't take sides but instead introduces some sort of information and follows with a question.  Hat tip for this nugget to Towleroad.

Peter Sprigg says the most outrageous things about homosexuals, and Alex Nicholson answers his questions with reasoned responses.  They aren't asked the same questions, and it's arugable that the CNN guy chose questions for Peter Sprigg to point out the folly of his ways, but then he mostly sits back and lets the loony go.

When I first watched the clip I found myself getting irritated as Peter Sprigg was allowed to talk uncontested.  Thinking about it now I wonder if that wasn't part of the plan from the beginning.  The only way to fight these people is to let the world know exactly what it is they are suggesting that America do to its sons and daughters.

Also when first watching the clip I found myself doing this thing that I sometimes do that sometimes annoys the people around me.  I correct people's language.  I don't just do it about homosexual sometimes.  But I do because I do think it's helpful overall to worry about our words.  I had a discussion recently with a coworker in which he mentioned that he'd stopped using gay as a pejorative because of me calling him on it.  I know other people who at least don't do it around me anymore, and I hope they've stopped doing so in general.
There needs to be that voice, saying things like, "Is the knife really gay or is it that you need to sharpen it so that it works right?  I don't think knives have the ability to be gay or not gay."  fwiw, I work in a kitchen, so knives are a huge part of my day. 

When I hear "same sex marriage" I want to just loudly enough say, "marriage equality."   When Peter Sprigg tries to say "sexual assault, molestation," I just want to ask for proof and for stats for both same gender and opposite gender sexual assaults.  When I hear "preference" I say "orientation."  Sometimes it's almost involuntary, but I'm also kind of an ass apparently.

And whenever Peter Sprigg opens his lying mouth at a camera that is in the on position there needs to be the counter point.  There needs to be someone else on camera saying to him, "No, seriously.  How does the presence of out homos make it more likely that you will lose a leg in combat?" at which point I'd follow up with, "and does my presence here today next to you increase the odds that you will lose at leg during this interview?" and that would possibly end my career as the voice.

And you know, it's not that I really want to control people's language.  What I really want is for us all to think about our words.  Peter Sprigg flat out lies.  He makes words do bad things, and he never really comes out and says what he means.  He hits around the whole more than a suck up playing golf with the boss.  fwiw, the "w" in "whole" is accidental.  I mean to put "hole" but then I liked the way it sorta worked.  Let's pretend I did it on purpose.

p.s., homosexuals on CNN should never say, "That's a good question," when in fact it really isn't that good a question.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

or is it cuz my glass is half empty

I'm still not convinced about DADT repeal.  I know it's essentially happened, but there's the whole other part where it doesn't really take affect until the military has thought about it a little bit more and figured out how to go about it.

It really shouldn't take more than to rewrite some passages in whatever written guides/codes/manuals they use to make their rules clear to the people in the military.  The rules aren't changing at all as far as members of our military should be concerned.  The only difference that anyone should really notice is that more gay people are able to be out and honest about themselves, and that's just good for everyone.

I can't imagine that should take too long to figure out, and then you actually train people.  I don't know if it would be a sensitivity training class or a video.  I suppose it would more likely be a DVD these days, but still.

Really, all it should take is for everyone to sit down and reread the rules rewritten to include reality as concerns sexual orientation and individual gender recognition.  The rules aren't changing, they're just recognizing everyone now.

And I know how a Republican can spin some shit, and I fully expect enough of them to band together and try to make this study/implementation process take two years while their brothers and sisters in the party continue to bombard Obama with obstinacy and rhetoric.  I should hope that the American people finally begin to recognize the shenanigans on both sides and push us in the direction of a third party that isn't spoiled by the big time guvment jobs.

I know it's a done deal, and I'm not concerned for the actual repeal of DADT as much as I am the hurt that could be done to too many people if this thing continues to drag on.  What you have to understand is we're gay, and we're not going back in the closet, and we're going to keep being out and open so that we can one day close the useless and finally empty closet because no one is going into it anymore.

Monday, December 13, 2010

what links are for

Now for a semi homeschooling post.  From Towleroad we get the link to dlisted, and from there we go to the actual interview at the Telegraph.  The story is about a young girl whose parents are actors in movies.  Her father's initial rise to fame was as a rapper.

Towleroad tells us that her, "parents would rather put their ten year old child to work rather than give her an education."  fwiw Towleroad, minus point for redundant rather.

dlisted asks, "who needs math anyway?"

And the Telegraph is the source for all this.  The first two sources listed here quoted from the story, but they picked little nuggets of what the young girl said and inflated them with their own issues.

If you didn't follow the links just yet I'll give you the story.  Will and Jada Smith have kids, and those kids may be embarking on their own careers as stars of things.  Their daughter Willow has acted and done voices and now has a song about giving herself neck problems because she's head banging to pop music that she creates.

I really don't feel like disecting it all, so I'll try to summarize.  In the Telegraph article/interview Willow mentions that her peers are ahead of her in math and that she often misses classes and tutoring sessions due to being on set or whatever it is ten year olds in her situation go to to perform/work. Someone read the interview and assumed negligence and ignorance, and they blogged it where someone else read and assumed ignorance and negligence and they added malfeasance.

I did read the "anti" stories first, and of course I disagreed.  I believe that this family and this child are fully capable of achieving learning in a variety of situations.  And as I read the Telegraph article I noticed that she seems like a really bright young lady.  She seems to speak with candor and understanding and seems like a smart kid, and I think that's more important than "education" or book learnin' as we say down here in the south.  If you aren't forced into one educational model you can take what you need from all the sources around you, find what you need when you need it.

I feel that this just proves the idea that we need variety in our education models.  More than that though we need for people to break out of the idea that it's school or nothing, because schools need to be a part of the model that I think works best which is that whole variety thing, but we need more than just typical brick and mortar schools. 

I really didn't mean to write two posts back to back dealing with education, but they did both feed off each other.  I read the stories about Miss Smith and got irritated, but then there is no finer place than the internet to find some douche referring to a ten year old with the sort of bile you can only find here.  And who doesn't love when people damn children based on the perceived sins of the parents?

I wouldn't recommend it, but if you don't know about the whipping about of hair and the too adorable Willow Smith you can go HERE.  fwiw, the video is from Ellen.  You do get a fairly shitty video with the color all kinds of busted, but the option is her Vevo and having to watch that damn cotton ad.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

hs to ps

My family will soon join the normal world, as, after this winter break, when the public school kids return to school, Big Brother and The Boy will be joining them.

Momma and I have had to face the we haven't been doing the job right recently, oddly enough for the last couple of years.  We haven't really focused our attention with all we've been up to, if you know what I mean.  We discussed over the summer putting them in to start the year, and in retrospect we probably should have, but I argued for one more chance.  I really believe in the idea of homeschooling, but I also argue more than anything for a variety of options when we think about educational models.

A huge part of my desire to continue homeschooling, I have to admit, is that I've allowed homeschooler to define my identity to such an extent.  I can kinda invoke the closet again here, though I hope that I'm not just continuing to blame the closet.  But part of my whole thing here is to try to understand the power of the closet even if this isn't really the blog post for it.

Having said that, I keep losing my identities and keep not figuring out how to get/form new ones.  Having said that, I keep finding that it sorta happens sometimes when you're not looking.  It's like that whole homeschooler thing.  I don't really think that I'm losing the identity or becoming not a homeschooler, I'm becoming more, maybe?

We've visited both their schools, and while The Boy seems excited, Big Brother is his usual calm and somewhat impassive self.  The Boy's school is on the route we drive daily to get to most places we go, and Big Brother's is on a common route to some place we don't go as often, but we have used their field as a practice field a few times over the years during soccer seasons.  They've been pointing out their schools as we've been driving past.

And while we think of school for them I kinda think maybe I could think about school for me.  I think I can't imagine what I would study, and this time it wouldn't be about getting a career like last time.  I'd have to only study things I enjoyed learning, or it wouldn't be worth it.  And fwiw, look for a post soon that might be a clue.

I'm excited for them.  I've kept them too close to the rut I'm in for too long, and if I were honest I've been worried for their sake.  I put my own fears onto them and worry that it'll all be too much, the lines, the crowds, the noise.

It's a part of a journey inside the journey I suppose, and it's time for it to happen.  I'll tame my distrust of the man, and I might even try to get involved.  I'm sure the schools can find something I can do.  I could always be a lunch lady.

Friday, December 10, 2010

now where were we?

This post is alternately title, Bruce Springsteen's voice kinda makes me wanna take my clothes off.

The local college rock station has been playing a really cool song lately, one I hear and think to myself, Is that Bruce Springsteen?

I used to like him, and I think I do again.  I should rephrase that, but rather I'll explain.  After breaking away from the fundamentalism with the help of a friend I found myself in a place I didn't then recognize, but I was trying to earn some sort of something with this new friend, or maybe I was trying to find a way to fit in.  I gave up a lot of what I'd been into in order to be the punk I thought I was supposed to be, and I'd just gotten through giving up a lot in terms of beliefs and related whatnot.

So I started not liking things I perceived were perceived as being uncool by my new friend/s.  I wasn't then trying to find myself as much as I should have been, but that doesn't really matter.  I gave up a lot of music, some of which has remained gave up.

Bruce Springsteen may be back, and here's why.
This song is just loads of awesome.  I'd been hearing the song every now and again.  I usually listen to the local college radio station at work, but the KM hates hip hop, and the local college radio station sprinkles it in liberally during the day.  I personally love the station even when I hate the song they're currently playing, but I digress.

Of course hearing Springsteen makes me think of older Springsteen.  Yes, that first song is older, but because it's new to me it's essentially new.  It's probably at least newish to you as well, so get off me.

I remember the song that should have been a bit of a warning, but I didn't see it then.  Listening now and remembering then, if I'd had even a slight clue about myself as a person this song really could have been yet another early clue about my actuality, aka that whole gay thing.  It was then one of my favorites, but listening to that voice now I think I just didn't realize then that I wanted him singing it to me rather than me projecting those ideas outward.  Or perhaps my young mind just hadn't discovered the same sex just yet.

And here that one is.  fwiw, I include this particular video version because of the randomly gay picture that essentially is the video.