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Showing posts from July, 2014

Some Ways I'm Making My Life Harder Than it Has To Be

A former colleague shared this article on Facebook today and a bell went off: this'll be my final blog entry for the month.

These are very common errors in perception, often misdiagnosed as character flaws.. Some of them I'm immune to, and always have been. Some of them are things I've overcome in my life. Some of them are very much still with me, and I'm trying to fight them.

Behold, TEN WAYS YOU ARE (or might be...) MAKING LIFE MORE DIFFICULT THAN IT HAS TO BE

1) YOU ASCRIBE INTENT...."Happy people do not do this. They don't ascribe intent to the unintentional actions of others."

This one plagued me through my teenage years. I was absolutely certain that every little slight (and I was very good at manufacturing slights) was not just intentional but pointedly aimed and fired at me. I don't do this anymore. It's exhausting, and I realized long ago that most people are just intent on living their own lives. It's also emotionally liberating to sh…

Cats and Dogs

"Georgia, quit humping the cat."
This is a sentence we find ourselves saying all too often around here, and quite frankly it's a sentence I never thought I'd find myself thinking, let alone expressing. Georgia is (was) a female dog. Mooch is (was) a male cat. But Mooch presents, and Georgia obligingly tries to mount him. Shake, rattle and roll, baby.

I don't get this. I'm not sure if Georgia think she's a he-cat or Mooch thinks he's a she-dog, but it's endlessly entertaining.

Our cats in general are endlessly entertaining. Life is all fun and games to them. Let's see, there's

"Rolly-Cat" (this always brings the Tux running to restore order because he's afraid they're fighting)

"King of the Cat Tree" (almost always Bubbles)

"What's  That That Dropped" (played by both cats to great effect; Bubbles, again, usually wins)

"Lick Daddy's Eyeball" (Daddy does not like this game because the to…

I Could Teach The World...

Think of the best present you ever got in your life. Something so nice it almost made you cry. Got a picture of that thing in your head? Good. Now...
What was it wrapped in?   Don't care, do you? Don't even remember? That's how I feel about bodies. 
I'll just pin that there so everyone can stare at it. Because that's what people do. I've been repeating that, in person and online, for twenty years or longer now, and the reactions (still) speak volumes,  Strangers, particularly male strangers, think it's bullshit. In the manner of online strangers everywhere, they're not afraid to tell me so, using words that you'd never say to a stranger face-to-face. I've been told I "must be a turd-burglar" (funny how they can't just say I must be gay, they have to go for the insult). Last month I got "that is soooooo beta". And just last night I managed the highest number of "downvotes" I've ever received on a single Reddit p…

Moving Forward

Before I met Eva, and I mean the week before, I wrote up a questionnaire to present to a potential partner. On the surface, there's no reason I should have even considered doing such a thing. I'd been celibate for over two years at the time. There were no sexual/romantic prospects anywhere on my horizon.
But for the first time ever, that didn't bother me in the slightest. I felt truly comfortable being by myself. That doesn't mean I had grown up...far from it...the previous blog should make that clear. But I knew, for the first time, that I had all the ingredients necessary to do it. I wasn't looking for someone to complete me. I was looking for someone to help me 'complete' myself. And along came Eva. Almost as if she had been summoned.

That questionnaire is a little embarrassing to look at. (Of course it's in here...the blog entry that contains that  is worth reading at if anyone needs a reminder of just why we married: it all holds true today).
 A co…

Rejecting Rejection

"You teach what you most need to learn"--Richard Bach

I like to think I'm pretty good at helping people.

That's mostly empathy--I've got a tonne of it. I hate to see people in pain and I will do whatever I can to alleviate it, even if only a little.
Eva had a saying posted over her cubicle at work, once, and that saying has seeped into my consciousness: "no shame, no blame, FIX THE PROBLEM." In today's vernacular, "it is what it is, now let's make it better".  That lesson has served me well professionally, especially coupled with immediate ownership of my mistakes. "Yes, I screwed up. HOW DO I MAKE THIS RIGHT? Can I make it better than right?" Or if it's somebody else's screw-up, I ignore that entirely: this is the situation, let's resolve it." It's amazing and a little depressing to see people so caught up in who did what and how badly. Never mind. FIX THE PROBLEM.

Many things can't  be fixed, direc…

Gazing into Gaza

Sorry, this is going to be one of those political entries.

I'm generally pretty pacifist. Not as hard-core pacifist as some of my friends: there are causes and people I'd fight for, even die for if it came to that (and my friends are firmly in that category). If a war broke out--and if I would somehow be found fit to fight (wouldn't happen)--I'd have to think long and hard about whether I'd choose to enlist; or, in the case of conscription, if I'd willingly be drafted or choose to dodge it. Give me clear-cut evil on the enemy side, like a Hitler, and truth be told I still might not throw myself into a meat grinder. Because while Hitler and his cadre were undeniably evil, the vast majority of German soldiers fighting under him were no different than you or I. And if you can kill people just like me, especially after reading this...well, then, you're not just like me.

(And people forget that Hitler thought he was doing good. That in no way excuses his actions…

About Masturbation

If that title didn't make it clear enough, this entry is NSFW.

It shouldn't be, but it is.

I just found out about Matthew Burdette, the 14-year-old who committed suicide last November after he was secretly videotaped masturbating in a bathroom stall at his public school. The video went viral, of course, and Matthew was relentlessly bullied, of course, and he killed himself because he "had no friends".

 Of course.

The kid who took that video (who incidentally needs to be charged with something that carries enough of a sentence that he'll know what he did was wrong)? I guarantee he masturbates. The kids who watched that video, and shared it, and taunted Matthew until he took his own life? I guarantee every last one of them masturbates. I'll further guarantee that at least one of them has locked himself in a bathroom stall somewhere and masturbated. I'm sure people are uncomfortable with that thought: at school? Seriously? They've forgotten (or maybe nev…

Candy Crushed

I'm not a snob. Really, I'm not. In fact, most of the time I'm the exact opposite of a snob: happy in dirt and clutter; unfailingly choosing comfort food over frou-frou nouvelle cuisine; insisting to all the world that while I may be special, I'm no more special than anyone else, and certainly no more special than you are...

*points nose in the air*

"oh, you listen to/watch/play that? Really? How...interestingly boring of you."

I don't necessarily shun popular stuff outright, but the really massive cultural phenomena, like Harry Potter and most of what's on TV and today's blog topic, I'd rather ignore it for a while...I don't like to be seen doing something just because the rest of the world is doing it too. The "stand out/fit in" battle I've been waging all my life shows no signs of abating any time soon.
And so Harry Potter wasn't embarked upon until the third or fourth book came out, at which point Eva brought home the…

CAN-fessions

That last post may have seemed a little negative.  Here are some things I *can* do.

I can play piano.  I'm not the best at reading music, though with guitar tabs supplied I can fake pretty well. Until last month I hadn't played an actual piano for years beyond counting. (Thank you so much,Nicole!)  There's a huge difference between the keyboards I have had (including the very good one I have) and a piano. The biggest thing is the range. Most synthesizers don't have a full 88 keys and you'd be surprised how often you need an extra octave or two, particularly on the bass end. The "feel" is completely different, too: a piano requires more strength to play. I still have the strength in my hands gained from years of pounding keys...my grip is impressive, if I do say so myself. I've been the go-to guy for every jammed jam jar and fickle pickle bottle for most of my life.

I've determined I can still play by ear--useful skill, that--and I'm writing or…

Confessions:

A. STUFF I HAVE DONE

When I went to Wilfrid Laurier University twenty years ago, there was a fairly extensive network of underground tunnels connecting campus buildings. Much of that network has since been closed off. But back then, there was this one light switch. It controlled the lights for a vast section of tunnel, spanning probably fifty or sixty meters, including around a 90-degree angle. You could flick that switch and cause people you couldn't even see or hear to be plunged into pitch blackness. I used to derive great glee in pulling this prank until my roommate/best friend explained to me (a lot more politely than I deserved, but that was Jason for you) that this behaviour was really assholish. It never occurred to me that I might be putting people in actual danger with that stunt (naïve doesn't even begin to describe my teenage self).

I was never a thief--stealing my mother's Valentine's Day chocolates when I was 8, and punishment for same, permanently cured …

My Ears Are Ringing

Eva thinks I should get an earring.

She's mentioned this casually several times over the years, and every time she does, I recoil with a mix of horror and utter bewilderment.

Tattoos are one thing. I used to be dead-set against them too, before Eva opened my mind on them. Tats, I thought, were restricted to two classes of people: criminals, and dumb-as-a-stump teens. Meeting Eva and discovering the meaning behind her tattoos, and actually getting to suggest and help design the ones she's had inked since, I've realized that tattoos have a very personal, very pertinent message, sometimes aimed at the world and sometimes aimed at the self. Every single one of Eva's tattoos--she has more than ten, at this point--is important.

When my mom and stepdad both got inked, I decided I would too.

But what? I struggled to find something meaningful enough. The more I thought about it, the more nothing seemed to suffice.  I toyed with some combination of a book, a Canadian flag, and a…

The Nice, Nice Niece

This is Alexa, age 2. My niece. Chatterbox. Tank. Budding musical prodigy. And a whole lot more besides.
I haven't had a great deal of exposure to children in my life. It's supposedly the only reason Family and Children's Services decided we weren't fit to adopt them. And while it's true that babies befuddle the hell out of me, from about Alexa's age on kids and I get on just fine. It helps that for some reason they all love me.  Alexa does, too. I can't see how a kid her age could possibly remember me:  before this past weekend, I last saw her over a quarter of her life ago. (Then again, if any kid could, it'd be her: the stuff this girl knew how to do before she turned two had me slack-jawed with amazement. She was speaking actual words. Quite a few of them, and she knew exactly what they meant. More: she knew several ASL signs, and the English equivalents. At her age I was--
My mom compiled scrapbooks covering my life from birth to age 6 or so. They…

Going Moldy....

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