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Intimidation [Dec. 9th, 2016|11:26 am]
Why do "men" find "strong women" "intimidating"?

I mean, I live in a world where this is a pretty pervasive thing. Strong women are intimidating to men.
Intimidation implies a threat. So... When women are strong (which is to say, I guess, stronger than women should be? Or, stronger than a man?), it is assumed that the strength will be turned again men?
If that is true, to what end? Are we, as men, supposed to be believe that women will attack us? Are we really supposed to believe that women see us, all of us, as the primary threat in their lives, and so we must be cautious around the strong ones, lest they turn on us at first opportunity?

That's ... insane.

Let us recognize, in our culture, "men" are probably the biggest threat to women. Not necessarily any individual man, but so many of such variety and in such a huge variety of ways that the behavior of any individual within in given situation cannot be assumed at the outset.

So. We, as men, look at that and say "We are a threat to women. Rather than stop being threatening to them (fixing us), let's just be afraid of them, and do all we can to prevent them from becoming a threat to us, as they surely will."

Fuck that.
Fuck being intimidated by (strong) women.
I am privileged to know rather a lot of women who are "strong" (physically and otherwise). I do not regard them as intimidating. I will freely acknowledge the mayhem they can cause in my life, were they so motivated. But rather than telling them "Hey, don't be strong so _I_ don't have to be afraid", I think the better solution is for me to never give them reason to inflict mayhem upon me.

(there is also the fear that strong women will not "need" men. This implies that the only reason men exist is to be needed by women. This is, of course, also insane, and subject to another days rant).
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Fifth Grade Anxiety [Oct. 1st, 2016|12:48 pm]

So, here's the deal. I want, I need to talk about anxiety and money and adulting and stuff. This is NOT a plea for help. I have issues about asking for money; I really really really hate being someone who only ever takes from others, and never gives back. That is, literally, the exact opposite of the person I want to be, and I am trying to be. But right now, still in recovery from the incident that led to job transition, I am feeling the struggle. And this is more about feeling the struggle, about naming the demon, than it is about anything else.

Short Version; I'm Anxious.

DetailsCollapse )
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Advice [Aug. 26th, 2016|01:59 am]

Fewer words.

Somethiing someone I love very much told me once. I have tried to live up to that idea, with varying degrees of success.
And it is not advice that everyone should follow (Neal Stephenson, I am looking at you; use all the words you want, I will read them). But it's good for me, and it is good for me to remind myself of that, sometimes.

Often, really.

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Easier [Aug. 6th, 2016|12:08 pm]

i would be easier to leave.

Thursday, I got back to work at CW. I was just starting to unload the back of the car when  co worker Ct. came out, to put something into the storage bin I was piling things on top of; he saw what I was doing, and turned to walk away. At the same time, since there were only two boxes, I said I would move them. He ignored me, and i said "Get over it'.

He came back out and confronted me, telling me to not talk to him. Never talk to him.

Which, since we have to work together, is not, in my mind an accceptable situation. I told him so.

And, for the second time, he hit me. (interruption, for phone call). Specifically, he tried to grab me by the throat, and ended up hitting me on the jaw. He did this once before, some weeks ago, when he took it upon himself to tell me that he did not like that way that I was goofing around with R, (which is fair, I took something a bit too far, and had already, of my own accord, apologized to R, and peace was made between us; but, R told him about it, and so Ct. decided that he needed to threaten me, and basically hit me twice times (in that poking kind of aggressive pushing way), and grabbed me by the throat.

Since i was in the wrong, and I did not want to raise a fuss, I never said anything to the boss about it. Or C, though I assumed she knew (I was wrong). I tried to resolve matters, I asked him directly and via email what i needed to do to make things right. He never responded. Every time I said anything to him, he just glared at me. Anything being I need to get by you, or I am behind you. Basic work safety courtesy. And he was, constantly and consistently hostile towards me. Until, finally, this.

I am comfortable, more comfortable, in how I dealt with it, physically. I didn't just let it happen, I responded appropriately (and, sufficiently) in my own physical defense. If and if and if aside, i got out of that situation without harm, and I took appropriate steps to deal with the drama in the aftermath. Which leads me back to here.

And then as I was writing this, my CW boss texted, and before I could respond, called. Side note, the little joys of running a small business are without measure. He is on vacation, was leaving on Friday. So, this was timed badly, from his point of view. And, not trivially, I gave two weeks notice (and he asked me to stay an extra two weeks, past that, matching my pay with BtSq). So, i am halfway out the door, anyway. And, during that conversation, he said something that I had not thought of; that I will be stressed, while driving. That I will not, necessarily, be able to my best driving, when I am driving scared. Which is true and valid.

I started this entry as a way to talk myself into staying. I am finishing it realizing, that just because it is easier to leave, it is ALSO, for all concerned, the right thing to do. I cannot drive, with this hanging over me. Bosses assurances aside, I cannot be certain I will not cross paths with Ct, as long as we both work there. Boss can make rules,  but Boss cannot be counted on to enforce them.

Financially, it is not ideal; I was looking forward to an income boost, from working two jobs and a lot of hours. But, I can pick up hours from Bite Squad. Oh, yah. I quit working for Postmates,  and started working for Bite Squad. Better pay, and they provide the bike (an E bike, no less). It's a trade off of some measure of autonomy (I have to wear a uniform shirt, my schedules a bit more rigid than before, etc). for about half again more money per hour. Probably more than that. It's a much better gig.

And... something I realized yesterday. I don't actually like driving a car. I mean, I do it, and I am reasonably good at it. But i don't like it as much as I like riding a bike. So, there's that.

I learned, a long time ago, that the hardest thing to do is most often the right thing to do. In this case, though... it's not.
The reasons to stay are far outweighed by the reasons to leave.

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Reflections of Laura [Jun. 28th, 2016|09:50 pm]

I do not know how it started. I know how it ended.

She would lie, I would get angry. And, being honest, my anger was not the go in the corner and sulk variety. It was the yell and say horrible things variety. And we did that, for pretty much all the time we were together. I mean, there was other stuff, too. She came to me, not knowing why, but she showed up at work the night i got punnched in the face by a coworker (that job sucked). She did not know what to do, how to deal with it, but she was there for me, as best as she could be. We went throught two pregnancies, together. Both ended in abortion, one induced, one "blighted ovum". We had cats, and bad room mates, and good roommates, and sexy happy fun times. We supported each other through school.

But she lied, a lot. And about ... everything, really. Anything that she thought was the least bit difficult, anything that required her to do something she did not want to do, she would ignore it and lie about it and pretend it did not exist. And eventually, I found out, and I was often furious, and I would yell, et al.

And it was a long time ago. 16 years. I am not, not the same as i was then. I would like to say, I am over it. That I have forgiven her and healed my pain and dealt with it. And some of that is true. I am not as inclined to anger as I used to be (my behavior on the road notwithstanding). I certainly conduct my relationships differently. I think.

But I heard from a mutual friend, recently, that Laura has changed. And ... all i can say is, I have to take your word for it. Laura has specifically blocked me from all relevant social media, so I do not see anything she says.

Why do i care? Because, on some level, I really wish she would say that it was not all my fault. That each of us bears a portion of repsonsibility. That I did not screw that up alone.

I know that I made a lot mistakes, and I have said so. I do not even know what all of them are, not in the details. I do know that I learned a lot of the wrong lessons, and i was slow to unlearn them. And at the same time, it would mean something to me to hear her say that she is, also, responsible for what happened.

But she never has, not to me. And probably never will. And I wish that did not hurt me, at all. But it does, and all I can do is accept that, and move on through it. Healing just has to happen, has to be made to happen, regardless of the cause of the injury.

I know all this. This is nothing remotely new. But reminding myself of it, once in a great while, is part of the process. Someday, maybe, I will not need to. But for now, I remind myself to heal myself.
Also, to look into Yoga.

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Satisfaction [May. 21st, 2016|01:03 am]

torrential downpour, follows partly cloudy day, are you happy now?

For a time, I wrote one haiku a day. Marketting for my studio, mostly. Then i got out of the habit (and, well, other relevant stuff). Recently, though, I have decided that I will not become a better writer if I do not write. So, good or bad, better or worse, i will resume the Haiku a Day.
Many of them will be substandard. And I will have to spend time fixing some Which is the point, i suppose.

Oh, and this one goes out to everyone who did not like the 80+ days Seattle experienced recently.

Being, as noted, a bike messenger, I rather appreciate the heat and the light and the lack of wet. For as long as possible.

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Butterflies [May. 12th, 2016|10:27 pm]

God of Tech Support,
Drunken Master Haiku Geek,
Butterfly Victim

I wrote that one a long time ago, under the title Resume. It's all true, more or less. And that last line... It's a reference to Eris, to the butterfly wings whose flapping determines the course of hurricanes.
The other night, though, I decided I am not a victim. I am a chaser; I chase butterflies.

Not catch them, because that would be completely different. But I decided, I am going to chase them, and see where that leads me.

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The First Martian [May. 1st, 2016|01:49 am]

If I have ever talked about this, here, I cannot find the entry. If not, well, it's probably about time.

Saw a meme on FB the other day. About Futurama, it showed a variety of tear jerking scenes, with the tag line, "Says it's a comedy, then makes you cry." And, one of the tear jerking scenes is from "The First Martian", which does, in fact, make me cry, every time.

Not for the obvious reason, though.


It was a couple days past Christmas, three weeks and some after my wife left me. I was at my parents house, as were Joe and Julie and Max. I told Max about the old irish tale about why Manx cats (like the one my parents had) have no tails. Dad insisted, yet again, that the Isle of Man (which is where Manx cats originate) is not off the coast of Ireland, but rather "a channel island". This is something we have disagreed about before. And, not trivially, this is in the time before Google, so evidence to support one position or another was not readily available.

In any case,  I said "It is just barely possible for me to right about some things, sometimes."

To which Dad replied "Not to me."

So, yah. I was... heartbroken, already, and my dad decided to insult my intelligence. And be wrong about it besides.

So, I ran from the house in tears. Joe followed me, hugged me, and got me to sit in his car. And then he drove, and I cried, and talked, and cried, for the next several hours.
Eventually, we came back to parents house.  He stayed,  Dad apologized, Max gave me hug, I left.

Went home, alone. Turned on the TV, and saw "The First Martian." Which was all about brothers, and the love they share, and how they can surprise you.

It was 15 years ago. It still gets me. Every Time.

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Can I tell you about Ann? [Feb. 9th, 2016|11:53 pm]

Not that I am asking you that. This is LJ; I am asking myself that.

Aunt Ann. My mom's older sister. She died today, of a sudden heart attack (apparently). She has (had) lived in an assisted living facility for that last several years, since Granny (her mother) died. Though she was the older sister, ... She was, essentially, mentally retarded. Though that is not quite accuate. She had developmental issues, due to early childhood scarlet fever. She just turned 80 a couple months ago; at mom's request, I sent a bithday card. I thought about sending something more kid oriented, more fun focussed, but I didn't want to be patronizing. I thought it was one of those times when what i thought was funny would not have been. So, I sent a mature card. The kind of card an adult send to another adult. I like to think she liked it, but mom has not said anything about it.

When I was a kid, whenever we went to Kentucky to see Granny and Grandaddy, she was there. When they came to see us, in California, she was there. She liked needlepoint, we had a picture she made hanging in our house in Santa Maria.

As an adult like person, I never had much contact with her. It's ... a thing in my family, in my immdediate family, not to talk too much. And it bugs me, but my attempts to be social with my brothers have never been altogether succesful. Same with my parents, for a lot of reasons. Not least? I don't have children, or at least, as far as my parents are concerned, I don't have children. So, calling my Aunt Ann was never really a thing. But she was there, and now she is not.

So. Ann is gone. She was sweet and kind. She loved (according to mom) to watch UK basketball. There was a game on, tonight. I got the call while I was postmating, and I saw that there was a UK v Georgia game on. I watched a bit of it, thinking of her.

I don't know how to talk about it. Here's the thing. I don't know how to feel about it. Or, rather, I know how I am supposed to feel, how i am supposed to react, to mourn, to heal and move on. But... So, I had only Two aunts. Each of my parents had a sister. But I had literally about a dozen great aunts and uncles. My maternal grandparents each had 6 and 7 siblings, many of whom I got to meet and interact with when I was a kid. And, as I got older, they started passing away. And each time, I knew I was supposed to be sad (and I was), I was supposed to ... do something? Feel deeply depressed for a time? But not be too dramatic, not too demonstative (Never, in my house, too demonstrative, which is a whole bundle of stuff for another time). It is the same here. I loved my Aunt Ann. And I will miss her. But I don't know when or where or how it is going to really affect me. I am not going to force tears, or prayers or mourning. I will talke about her where I can, and deal with the consequences of her death, and the impact on my mother (who I will be calling). I will deal with it.

When I was living with mom and dad, in Salinas while I was in college, mom told the story about how, when she was a little girl, and she got excited for Christmas. And Ann said "I remember when I got excited like that". And mom said, Hmph, she's only two years older, but Oh so much more mature.

That was the first time I found out that Ann was the older sister. Oh, and her first name was, in fact, Magaret. Margaret Ann Petty (Southern naming conventions, you see). And, from there, I found out that Granny's first name was not Ruth, but Ila. Grandaddy's first name was Milton (not Earl). And so on, down through the assorted great aunts and uncles.

So, yeah. Family stuff. That may have an impact on things closer to home, in the days and weeks ahead.

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The Long Goodbye [Jan. 10th, 2016|09:00 pm]

So, there is this episode of The West Wing, that addresses (but does not resolve) CJ's father and his issues with Alzheimers. And though I have been watchning WW, again, for the last couple weeks, I kind of avoided this one. I didn't really think about it much, I just decided to watch something else, or read, or do the dishes or feed the cat...
See, it's my dad. The short version is, Dad had a bad couple days, a couple months ago. And in the days that followed that, as my brothers(1) and I talked about it, one of the things that came up was a list of the medication that my father is taking. Six prescriptions. Some for his heart, or related issues. Two, though, for Alzheimers.

Oh, and I was reading The Shepards Crown(2), when the accident that started all this happened.

This is what I know. Alzheimers is not readily diagnosable from direct evidence. I mean, I think that you can get a brain scan, and see that there are bits not working properly. But, mostly, it is something that is diagnosed behaviorally. Observations from the spouse, and or self reported. Also, Dad has been an alcholic for 50+ years(2). And I know that has ... likely has, some measure of impact on brain function and structure and integrity.

So, short version, for whatever reason, my dad is ... not doing as well as one could hope. Of course, given 50+ years of drinking, plus 30+ years of smoking(3), plus 75+ of just plain living, raising four young men born over the course of 10 years... etc, Dad is doing remarkably well, considering. In any case, it is something that is on my mind. I know that none of us are immortal, and it is the right and proper order of things that I will see him pass.

I just know that I don't know how. I just know that when I talk to him on the phone, a difficult conversation in the best of times, lately it has been more difficult. I don't know if that is because of the a downturn (temporary or consistent; we all of have our bad days), or if this is the new normal. I know that I am here, and they, Mom and Dad are there, in Salinas, California. Brother J is in the Bay Area, and Brother C is in San Diego. So they can each be there on relatively short notice. (Brother M lives in the Virgin Islands, so is somewhat less able to get there quickly).
When I decided to move to 207, to stay here, this was something I considered. I thought, hey, I can save up and move to San Jose, do Postmates delivery work, build a life and be there for my parents... Reconnect with friends, while maintaining and continuing and moving forward with Seattle stuff and friends and family.

Which is, of course, probably a vastly unrealistic and completely unfeasible image of how things would actually go. It is actually more expensive to live in San Jose  than it is in Seattle. I have no idea how much I would make on my bike, there, and the fact that I might be able to get an office / desk gig for Postmates is a lot to gamble on.

Do you know what your sin is, Captain Reynolds?

I ask myself that. Do I know what my sin is? Leaving aside that, like Mal, I am pretty fond of all seven. I acutally tend to fall prey to Pride. Specifically, the pride, the arrogance that says "I can do that", "I can Handle that". I promise more than I can deliver, to myself, and to others. I know that, finally, and I am getting better at it. I am more willing to take a moment, and more than a moment, and look at the situation, and make an honest assessment of my abilities. Which is not say an Accurate assessment; Let's not get crazy(4)

The thing is, I am pretty sure that this is a sin, a trait, not unique to me. I am dead certain I have seen it elsewhere. One place I am ... afraid, I have seen it is in Mom.

She is the one who is taking care of Dad. She is the one, the only one, that deals with him daily. They have no social life to speak of, don't go to church or engage in hobbies. They do go to the Gym, frequenly by walking. But that is pretty much it. I mean, they go out to eat, they go to the movies, they go camping (though not, I hope, in this season). They do stuff. But they do it all alone, together. And if there is something that goes wrong, if there comes a time when Mom is not able to handle the changing and changed circumstances, I am afraid that Mom will not be able to see it or recognize it for what it is.

On the other hand, there is my Aunt Ann. Moms older(5) sister. Ann is, for all practical purposes, mentally retarded. Though not really. Though she does display some of the traits, physically and developmentally of someone with Downs syndrome, this is the result of early childhood Scarlett fever. She just turned 80, and lives in an assisted living facility in Kentucky (6). The point of which is, Mom has been dealing with this sort of thing, literally, her entire life. I am sure it is not what she wanted, but it would be the height of arrogance (hah! see what I did there?) for me to assume she cannot deal with this. That she is not prepared for it. I mean, I know that this is different, in ways I cannot even begin to imagine, and I am far from being the one who knows definitively what to do.
Which is kind of the end state. I don't know what to do. I am seeing, on the not very very distant horizon, something that looks like the end of my relationship with my living father. And it looks like it is not going to be a swift and easy end, but maybe a long and difficult one. Though swift and easy is a really, really inappropriate term. But in any case, I am here, dealing with all the stuff that I am dealing with here. And in the background, one of the things is that.

So. I watched that episode. And now I am going to get my laundry out of the dryer. Because, really, what else can I do? Right here, right now, what else can I do?

(1) Three older brothers, plus three wives. And, in one case, an additional wife, and ... others, whose title I am not privy to. Another issue for another day.
(2) Not just a can of worms for me but an entire bait shop, that I may or may not address here another day. This is not about me, or at least, not about that.
(3) He quit about 25 years ago. It was quite amazing.
(4) I also think I am funny.

(5) Until I was about 23 years old, I never knew that mom was the younger sibling. Also, I thought that Ann's first name was, well, Ann. Nope. Mom is the younger, and Ann's first name is Margaret. This revelation was followed by detailing that I did not know Mom's parents first names (Granny was, as far as I knew, Ruth Malone Petty. Her Maiden name, however, was Illa Ruth Malone. Grandaddy was not Earl Petty, he was Milton Earl Petty. I was also quizzed on each of their siblings (six for Granny, Seven for Grandaddy, though not all of them survived long enough for me to have met them), and I was nearly perfect. I actually knew Aunties full and correct name ... which, suddenly and embarrassingly, escapes me right now... Jarmin. Her last name, by marriage, was Jarmin). Alma Petty Jarmin. Which means she probably has another first name, also.

Funny Story; when oldest brother Chris was getting married, 30 odd years ago, soon to be sister in law Cathy was getting the invite list. She asked Chris what "Aunties" name was, and he replied "Auntie". That is all we called her. Cathy ended up calling my mom, to get the correct information. I actually knew that, though for the life of me,  I cannot tell you when or where learned hat.

(6) Where mom was also born, lived, and went to college. UK, class of '58, BS Mathematics. This may go a long way towards explaining how I got this way. And why I am deeply proud of my mother.

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