Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sunday Stealing: Questions 41-80

41. Growing up, who was the easier mark: Mom or Dad?
Man that’s a tough question. Neither one was an easy mark, and they perfected the “what did the other parent say?” response to every request. Nothing was slipped by either one. Neither was willing to spend money on nonessentials. I think Mom was more likely to believe made up excuses so I guess I’ll go with Mom.

42. What is the stupidest pet that you ever saw?
A snake. I just don’t get having a snake as a pet. There is nothing cute and cuddly about a snake.

43. Tell us about a band whose every CD is a “must have”.
Dixie Chicks. Love them.

44. Were you surprised when Jim Parsons came out?
Who is Jim Parsons?

45. Have you ever shoplifted?

46. We currently have a person who plays both this meme and Saturday 9 who signs in to Mr. Linky every week. Yet, if you click on that link, you are told that only “members” can read the blog. Why do you think that person even bothers to sign in or for that matter, do the meme? (Don't misunderstand, we have no rules and we aren't angry. But it is damn peculiar, no?)
I can see doing the meme for oneself and one’s readers even if it is not on a public blog. I suppose the person signs in just to register that he/she is participating and assumes that people want to know how many, even if in private, are participating in the meme.

47. Have you ever driven a Ferrari?

48. What do you call those little plastic things on the ends of shoelaces?
I know they have a name that I can’t remember and don’t feel like looking up. I call them “those little plastic thingies.”

49. Have you ever walked more than a mile?
Of course! Hasn’t everyone?

50. Do you believe in magic?
I believe in sleight of hand

51. Have you ever been arrested?
Heavens no.

52. Have you ever skinny dipped?
Of course! Hasn’t everyone?

53. Explain what you think about hippies.
What do you mean? Hippies. They are people. Individuals. Free spirits. What’s to think about?

54. New York or California?
California. No question about it.

55. Have you ever been dumped?
More times than I care to count.

56. What are you wearing right now?
Illini polo shirt, blue capris, orange sandals. And no, I had no idea I’d be answering this question when I got dressed this morning.

57. John Edwards had a mistrial. How do you think he conducted himself after the verdict?
I don’t know. How did he conduct himself? I really have paid no attention to him.

58. Did you watch the series finale of House?
Nope. Never saw even one episode.

59. You may need to go back a long way if you are old like Harriet. Who was the last person who asked you out? (Or that asked you out. Same dumb question either way.)
I have no clue. Probably BJ.

60. Do you have any collections?
Dust bunnies. I collect them under my bed.

61. Ocean or pool?
Pool. Fewer unknown creatures in the pool, and it’s clearer so you can see whatever unknown creatures might be there.

62. Fridays or Ruby Tuesdays?
Ruby Tuesdays

63. Did you want to go to college?
Of course! I can’t imagine not going to college.

64. What did you last time at a mall?
Hmm… seems to me there is a missing word between “you” and “last.” Could be “buy” or could be “do” or even something else. Let’s go with “do” and then try to think when the last time is that I was at a mall…
Hmm… may have to come back to this one.
After much thinking, I do believe it was a couple of months ago when I took N because he wanted to do some shopping. He wanted to do his shopping alone so I sat in the food court sipping my diet soda until he finished. Yes, I am just that exciting…

65. Which close friend have you known the longest?
This question presumes that I have close friends…

66. Why do you like the music you do?
It is melodious and makes sense.

67. Do you read much?
Not as much as I’d like to.

68. Favorite country?

69. What is something you wish you were better at?
Social interaction… and playing piano. Both of those I could improve with practice.

70. What’s your favorite album/CD?
Netherlands by Dan Fogelberg

71. What's a good dinner order?
Grilled shrimp, rice pilaf, grilled asparagus, Caesar salad, chardonnay

72. Planes or boats?

73. One rumor that’s been spread about you:
That I was a stuck up bitch. The truth was that I was supremely socially awkward and shy, but somehow that was perceived by many as me looking down my nose at people.

74. Who is your newest friend?
A woman I met through the bi support group. She is awesome. She is totally out, a vocal advocate for the LGBT community, and is just great fun to hang around with.

75. Have you ever sat on a rooftop?
Yes, as a teen my bedroom window opened out onto the roof. I loved climbing out there and watching the stars.

76. Was your last text useful?
Yes, it was N answering a question I texted to him.

77. Favorite soda?
Depends on whether it’s regular or diet.
Regular – Strawberry Crush, it is sickly sweet, leaves a red rim around your mouth if you drink it without a straw, and is absolutely the ultimate soda in my opinion.
Diet – Diet Dr. Pepper, it tastes about as close to regular as you’ll find in a diet soda, and is just quite tasty.

78. Do you like yourself?
Mostly no although I do like certain aspects of me.

79. The worst weather: Hot or cold?
Cold, without a doubt cold. I love hot, summer weather and can hang in there with the best of them. Winter, on the other hand, totally sucks. I do not like being chilled and hate having to bundle up, not to mention the cold air bothers my lungs.

80. Do you play an instrument?
Only five – piano, flute, oboe, organ, and trombone, listed in the order I learned them. I am sad to say I have not learned any new instruments since high school, which is a bummer. I would like to learn more, like bassoon and saxophone and maybe guitar.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

And So She Goes. . .

TS2 told me this morning she has found an apartment and will be moving the beginning of August.

Hallelujah!  I think it's all for the best that she is moving out.  Tensions have run high between W and TS2.  She wanted to be part of the family.  He wanted her to just be a tenant.  They rarely see eye to eye on things.  I can get along with her just fine, but then again, I tend to be an easygoing sort.  Things don't irritate me as quickly as they irritate W.  N likes her fine most of the time, but he too gets irritated with her at times.  She does tend to overstep boundaries and has to be reminded to step back occasionally.  Therefore, hallelujah, TS2 is leaving.

Drat!  We lose the rental income.  It wasn't a lot, and we didn't charge market rate rent because we were kind of doing her a favor letting her live with us while she got on her feet financially.  Yet that extra $$ we got sure did help out in keeping the household budget under control.  Therefore, drat, TS2 is leaving.

Do we rent out the spare room to someone else now?  Living in a university community means there would be decent opportunity to rent to a student or a visiting lecturer or other person associated with the university.  If we did rent, we would need to be a bit smarter this time and do some things very differently.  I would insist we have a written contract, and that certain rules and expectations be clearly stated in it.  I would charge market rate rent.

Through the years we've rented to various people in various situations.  We've had good experiences and bad.  I kind of like having extra people around.  W and N aren't as good about having extra people around unless those extra people do everything their way.  I don't know for sure what we'll do.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Can't Help but Notice

I was perusing my stats this morning and noticed that someone in Beirut  had visited one of my posts on infidelity.  How interesting, I thought, particularly given the part of the world.  Then I noticed about a day before that someone from Texas had also read it.  Seemed kind of a big coincidence given that I wrote it back in 2009.  What're the odds?  So I thought that perhaps the Beirut reader had been pointed there by the Texas reader.

I went back and read the post myself.  Good post.  I totally agree with it, which isn't always the case when I go back and read my old stuff.  Sometimes I wonder at how I could've thought that way at one time.  Not with this one.  It is spot on.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Return of Sunday Stealing

I used to participate in Sunday Stealing's memes on a fairly regular basis.  Right now they are in the middle of a giant 200 question meme at the rate of 20 questions per week.  In order for me to catch up (and kill time) I'm going to try posting at the rate of 40 questions per week until they and I are in sync.  Here are the first 40.

1. Have you ever peed your pants as an adult?
Yep. I have a bad habit of waiting to the point of desperation. A few times (less than half a dozen) I’ve waited just a bit too long.

2. Who do you have a celebrity crush on now?
Howard Stern. I know, I know, but I’m really loving him on America’s Got Talent.

3. Would you date someone you met online?
I would and I have, and you know how that’s turned out if you’ve read the older parts of this blog.

4. Do you wear underwear always?
Nope. Most of the time but not always. Sometimes you just need to air out.

5. Do you hate yourself at times?
Yep, more times than not though I’m working on that.

7. Do you like dirty movies?
Sometimes, but I’m really more the dirty stories type.

8. Could you believe Josha Ledet was voted off Idol?
Don’t watch, don’t care

9. When was the last time that you bought a car?
About five years ago I think, maybe more.  With over 110K miles on it, I might start thinking about buying a new one if I can find the $$$.

10. Have you ever been camping?
Yep, but not recently

11. How many times a day do you go on facebook?
Too many

12. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?
The Avengers

13. Have you ever worried that you'd cut off a limb?
No, I can’t even imagine partaking of an activity that would make me need to worry about such things.

14. Where did you get your last email from?
My answer is a who not a where: A coworker

15. Favorite website?

16. Are you down with ghetto?
I have a 13-year-old biracial son. I better be. :-)

17. Will the world end in fire or ice?
Don’t know, don’t care

18. Do you believe in the afterlife?

19. Would you be upset if facebook stopped working?
For a while until I could find another online way of staying in touch with friends

20. How did you start your blog?
I went to Blogger and followed the instructions. Oh, you mean how did I make the decision to start my blog. Well, I had things to say that were clearly unacceptable to say in real life to real people I knew so I started talking to the invisible internet people, some of whom I have since found out are real people too!

21. Have you felt that life is like being on a roller coaster?
Hell yes.

22. Favorite year so far?
1979, the year I graduated high school and started college

23. Do you consider yourself religious?
Very much so

24. How do you dress to impress?
I don’t dress to impress. Period.

25. Have you ever been to Connecticut?

26. Do you eat sushi?

27. Would you smoke pot providing there was no risk or driving involved?
Probably not

28. What do you think of Idol Winner Phillip Phillips??
Don’t watch, don’t care

29. Do you believe that animals have souls?

30. Who did you last talk to?

31. What is one thing that always annoys you?
People chewing on ice

32. Do you believe in a higher being?

33. Have you ever fallen in love with a neighbor?

34. Any plans for this weekend?

35. Would you like to rule your country, if you could?

36. Do you like watching films about the nature of animals?
Not generally

37. What's the difference between lust and/or lust?
Umm, aren’t lust and lust the same? I assume this was supposed to say “lust and/or love” and will answer accordingly. Lust is the overwhelming feeling of wanting to have sex with someone and can be fleeting. Love is a deeper emotion that takes time to grow, includes a lot of elements like trust, devotion, honesty, respect, and in my experience never really dies.

38. Do you have a soul?

39. One best friend or many good friends?
Many acquaintances, sadly not exactly sure how many I could count as friends much less good friends.

40. Do you believe in spontaneous combustion?
No, I believe there is a scientific explanation for such things.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Barely a Post

Recently joined a bisexual support group locally. It's good to talk with others who understand. All the feelings that I've had about things are finally validated by hearing that others have experienced similar reactions from people both straight and gay. I may expound more on this at another time, but right now I've got to get to work.

Monday, June 18, 2012

When Words Aren't Enough

One of the reasons I've been writing a lot lately is that I have a lot of thoughts and emotions that I can't seem to put into words and can't seem to let go of. So... I write... I write in hopes that somehow the words will evetually come and that somehow that will help bring peace to my restless, troubled soul. So far... Nuttin'.


I hate when this happens. I hate when I'm unsettled and can't begin to find a solution because I can't even define the problem.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Frustration? What Frustration?

Yesterday was too busy for blogging, but I do want to write about my session with Freud the other day.

We talked about how I can handle certain situations where I acquiesce to others to keep peace and don’t look out well for myself. (This aspect of my persona is well documented here on the blog and can be perused by you at your leisure.)

This week’s focus was an episode that happened last week between W and me. God bless W. At least he is consistent about certain things – things that naturally drive me crazy.

Here is our exchange:

TS – W, you don’t need to go with us on Saturday if you don’t want to. I’m just going to drive N’s friend home to LOH and then turn around and come back. [Note to readers: LOH is approx. 3 hours away] There’s no need for you to go if you don’t want to.

W – That’s okay. I’ll go.

TS – Well, to be honest I’d really rather just go alone. I find driving by myself to be relaxing, and I enjoy the time to myself.

W – You can drive by yourself. I’ll just sit next to you.

TS – [quizzical look; perplexed; unsure of next move]

W – [pouty look starts to form]

TS – Okay, if you’d like.

W – Okay.

So I seethed. I wanted to go by myself. N had already told me he didn’t really want to go. His friend was likely to sleep all the way down (which he did end up doing) so there really wasn’t much point in anyone else going. But no. W was going. Now, why didn’t I put my foot down? To protect N from his pouting and anger. Based on prior similar situations I knew we’d be in for several days of pouting until a day or two after the trip. Based on prior similar situations I knew the pouting would turn to anger at least once or twice during that period and would most likely be misdirected toward N rather than me because it’s more dangerous to vent anger on me. So… I sucked it up and took W with us… and, as it turned out, N because N’s friend talked him into going too.

I seethed… on the inside only. I said nothing to W or N about my frustration. I almost called Freud for advice but hesitated. What a silly petty thing to bother Freud about.

And we went on the trip. Three hours down, N listening to his Ipod, N’s friend sound asleep, W offering driving advice (because we all know what an awesome driver he is \sarcasm). We dropped N’s friend off at his house and visited with his mom for a short time. We headed home. I wanted to stop for lunch. W and N weren’t hungry. It was only 1 p.m. after all. Fine. I inwardly seethed some more. If only I were by myself I could have lunch whenever I damned well pleased.

Around 3 p.m. W and N finally acquiesced to stopping to eat. It was a good thing because we hadn’t eaten since 9 a.m., and I was starting to get a headache and feel a little bit shaky. Of course, I was only the driver so no big deal, right? (Oh, the sarcasm is really dripping now, isn’t it? Sorry, hope none of it dripped on your shirt.) I insisted on a sit down restaurant rather than fast food drive through to eat on the way despite the resultant whining from N.

After we got home around 5 p.m., I announced I was done for the day. I’m doing nothing else. Make your own dinner should you want any.


So we all took our turn acting childish.

I related most of this to Freud (actually we never made it to the stopping-to-eat drama, but just covered the who-goes-on-the-trip drama) and told him that I just didn’t have a clue what I should have done differently. He agreed that it was made a bit trickier since N might have suffered from fallout had I just put my foot down with W and said “Suck it up and deal with staying home.” However, he gave me suggestions of ways I might have been able to approach it to lessen the chances of that happening although he couldn’t guarantee success. He also suggested that if I am really feeling a strong need for a “me day” (and I am) then I should tell W that now and offer to work with him to determine a day that will work for both of us. This discussion is now at the top of my priority list for this weekend.

As much as W would like us to spend 24/7 together (he’s told me this oh so many times over the years) I would go absolutely stark raving mad if I had to endure that. Shoot, I almost go stark raving mad now, and we don’t spend near that much time together.

Oh, and let me just share a little tidbit of a recent conversation with a friend. She said (very tactfully I might add), “W can approach things with a bit of negativity sometimes.” She wins the prize for Understatement of the Year.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Catching Up

Well, let's do a little catch up post, shall we?

Whassup with some of the infamous people in my cast of characters?

J - Birthday! A milestone one. We talked. He continues to be married to wife #3. She continues to monitor his phone, email and FB. He continues to want to get together. I continue to be ambivalent.

TS2 - Still livin' here. Rarely pays rent on time. Irritates W with everything she does (so it isn't all bad having her around). It is pretty clear why she can't keep a woman in her life. Needy. Very needy. Also, nothing has ever been her fault...

N - Growing like a weed. Can't believe I have a teen with a teen's appetite in every way. Eats me out of house and home. Loves the xbox games. Loves South Park. In another couple of years he'll be driving. Fortunately, he is not girl crazy... yet...

Boss - The longer I work for him the more I get along with him.

Betty - Continues to be the Golden One at work, but at least I know I'm not the only one who sees who she really is behind the mask.

FU - I have given up on ever having a decent relationship with my dear brother. At least I've learned that my mom doesn't trust FU either. She has named me executor in her will and made me trustee over the trusts for both N and my nieces. No, she doesn't trust FU to use his daughters' money for their benefit. How sad is that?  Also, she doesn't want to tell him that I will be in charge once she's gone.  Yes, that will be fun times once she's gone, and he finds out that I get to take control of the family finances.  (I realize this sounds like there's big bucks in the family.  There isn't.  What there is, though, Mom wants to make sure gets distributed the way she sees fit.)

Ella & Bella - My nieces are cute and sweet and just about the most sheltered girls ever.  FU is afraid to let them be out in the world so their world pretty much consists of FU, FU2 & my mom.  Bella, particularly, is incredibly shy and wary of strangers (including me & N on the few occasions when we've visited).  I feel bad for them but don't know that there is much I can do.

BJ - See him around on the interwebs occasionally.  Still miss him, but life goes on.

That's about it for the catching up.  Pretty much things are just status quo.  I have an appointment with Freud that I need to leave for in a few minutes.  Maybe tomorrow I'll blog about that.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Intangibles

Well, I recently stepped back into the pulpit for a Sunday.  It was Pentecost and the scripture I preached from was Ezekiel 37.  Below you will find the text of my sermon.

I would like to share with you a quote from one of my favorite movies, Miracle on 34th Street, the 1947 version with Maureen O’Hara and Natalie Wood. Fred Gailey, the attorney who defends Kris Kringle, is speaking to Doris, the Maureen O’Hara character, who has had enough heartache in her life that her heart is hardened and her spirit is broken. She is very set on making sure her daughter is raised without anything but absolute tangible reality.

The quote:
Look Doris, someday you're going to find that your way of facing this realistic world just doesn't work. And when you do, don't overlook those lovely intangibles. You'll discover those are the only things that are worthwhile.
Intangibles. Difficult concept to grasp because intangibles are just that, intangible. When I looked up intangible in the online dictionary it not so helpfully said “something that is not tangible.” Continuing my quest, I looked up tangible, and here’s what I found:

Tangible a : capable of being perceived especially by the sense of touch : PALPABLE b : substantially real : MATERIAL

The Holy Spirit is one of those intangibles. The Holy Spirit is definitely something that is not capable of being perceived especially by the sense of touch. The Holy Spirit is not palpable or material. I might argue the “substantially real” part. I don’t particularly think of intangibles as being unreal although I suppose if you use “substantially” as meaning something of worldly substance then okay I suppose so.

I don’t know about you, maybe you have an easier time with intangibles than I do. Maybe you find it easy to interpret metaphor and imagery and to read between the lines. I tend to be a fairly linear, factual, black and white kind of gal. In school, literature classes struck terror into me the way differential equations never could. When presented with a book such as the Bible, filled with literary devices, I cringe. Then there are the intangibles like faith in a God I cannot see or touch, a Spirit who lives in my heart; these are difficult for people like me, people who like the concrete, the predictable, the facts of the matter.

So when faced with a lectionary passage such as Ezekiel 37 for sermon material, I sighed and realized all those literature classes might have been worth something to me after all. Maybe I can look beyond face value of the words and see the message beyond. Maybe I can find the intangible message lurking amongst the words, and maybe, just maybe, I could share what I find with the rest of you in a way that helps you understand too.

To start let’s put the Ezekiel passage we heard earlier in context. This passage depicts not something purported to have actually happened but a vision that Ezekiel had at a time when things were looking mighty bleak, both for Ezekiel himself, and for the nation of Israel of which he was a part. Ezekiel had been reduced from a prominent position of future priest in Jerusalem to that of a temple-less priest in exile. His wife died and God told him not to mourn her passing as an example to the exiled community not to mourn the loss of the Temple. Talk about needing a stiff upper lip! This all happened in the midst of a two year siege by the Babylonians on Jerusalem where many were tortured and died and the remainder were forced to migrate to Babylon.

Just about all hope is gone; death has conquered; oppression rules in the land; and the outcast, the dispossessed, the marginalized sink deeper into their graves. And yet, in the midst of despair, there is a call from God to Ezekiel to see that a promise exists that what was once dead will again breathe life. Not literally, but to see that through the intangible spirit of God that despair and pain can be turned to hope and comfort.

That same Holy Spirit descended into the midst of the disciples on Pentecost. This was a time when, as Ryan shared here last week, there must have been an awful void. Jesus was no longer among them. Their work to carry on his message must have felt like the weight of the world on their shoulders. They very well could have become so discouraged that they allowed themselves to wither and become old dry bones. Then the Spirit came as wind and tongues of fire and turned things around. All who were present felt the Spirit and were renewed by the Spirit into new life, ready to continue the work that Jesus had started.

In the present day, those who exist at the margins of society – because of orientation, ethnicity, gender, ability, or economic status – can become so discouraged that they just want to roll over and die, simply wasting away until they, too, become old dry bones.

To those who are old dry bones, the words Job’s friends shared with him in Job 2:9 often sound like good advice, “Curse God and die.” Seeing hatred rule through the passage of referendums, propositions, constitutional amendments, and laws that rob humans, all of whom are created in God’s image, of dignity is enough to make one want to give up, to curse God and die. And yet, in the midst of death’s victory and the grave’s sting, we are told that the dry bones can be put back together, can have flesh restored and have new life through God. The Holy Spirit keeps us from falling to the way-side, from wasting away under the burdens of hatred and oppression.

We see the Spirit at work today. Take the It Gets Better project, for example. Countless people have posted video messages on YouTube aimed at breathing new life into those who are being bullied in school, often for their sexual orientation, young people with old dry bones as a result of verbal and sometimes physical battering just because they are “different.”

How many of us are like Doris from the movie? How many of us have felt cheated in life? How many of us have been abused? How many of us haven’t had a fair hand dealt to us? How easy is it for us at those times to want to go crawl into bed, curl up and let ourselves become dry bones? The promise of a new Spirit, new breath, and new possibilities for justice is sometimes all we have to hold on to in an environment in which new laws are passed that continue to rob some of their humanity. Full justice may never get to rule in our lifetime, but the struggle continues, turning our dry bones into pregnant seeds that when buried will produce new life for the struggle to continue.

I close by paraphrasing another quote from Miracle on 34th Street:
Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to. Don't you see? It's not just we who are on trial, it's everything we stand for. It's kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles of a loving, breathing, still speaking God.

So there it is.  A short and sweet sermon, delivered to a smaller than normal crowd thanks to it being delivered on Memorial Day weekend.  I know that some of the things I said will not sit well with some so-called Christians, the ones who seek to exclude rather than include, but it reflects my beliefs and my faith.

I continue to ponder the possibility of a second career as a minister and have received a great deal of encouragement.  Seminary seems more and more appealing, and God does seem to be calling me to something.  Just not sure what yet.  I keep trying to listen.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


It's been 8 months since i blogged? Seriously??? That is fucked up my friends, totally fucked up. I blame Facebook. I say everything I can say publicly on Facebook, and there just sin't a lot of shit in my life right now that I can't say publicly. I haven't had sex, clandestine or otherwise, in longer than I can remember. I could probably go back in this blog and find it, but it would just depress me. I haven't done anything truly outrageous in a long time. Somehow when I turned 50 I became an old fuddy dud. I kind of accepted that life is ovedr except for the mom part and the caring for W part. W is tough old goat, still hanging in there through one medical thing after another. Right now, he is enjoying his best health in probably 10 years. I'm starting to believe he is immortal... and not in a good way. Emotionally I think my relatonship with W is at an all time low. I don't really care about him one way or another except when he messes with N's head... and he messes with N's head pretty much constantly. I tried to get family therapy, even N was for it, but W refused. Of course her refused. He's right. Everyone else is wrong. I think he knows that by attending therapy that he would have to change, and change is not his best thing. I can't whine about W to the real world. I went back to him after all. I'm stuck. So here I am. Back in the saddle. Sharing my deepest, darkest thoughts again. Hi anybody who hasn't abandoned me long ago