oh, christmas. how it feels like anything but. sandwiched in between my hard-of-hearing grandfather, who is spending the first christmas in seventy-four years without my grandmother, and my father, whose quirks and behavior have caused both my sister and i to recently hypothesize about him possibly being aspergerian.
it’s weird and sort of laid back on this holiday trip. i’ve been reading a lot and playing a lot on my laptop, having been blessed with the christmas miracle of poachable wi-fi from a generous -or more likely unknowing- frankenmuth neighbor. i finished the last twilight book with some sadness but am now pleasantly ensconced in the hour i first believed. i love the feeling of being comfortably settled in the middle of a good book – it’s dependable and there whenever i want it.
when it’s not really quiet around here it’s ridiculously painful. my grandpa, in his deafened state, has also grown picky of late – in food, of action… he reamed me the first night we were here for my lack of capitalization of his name, said that i could do what i wanted to with my own but that he wanted a big E and a big H. he spends hours a day playing sudoku, laying on his bed, and i swear sometimes i can hear his mind whirring busily.
i have such a difficult time listening to my father talk to him. he raises his voice and when my grandpa still can’t hear him, he shouts at him – as if the irritation and agitation are something he can’t hear, either. no amount of persuasion causes him to pause before one of his screamed tirades. he just can’t see what is wrong.
i miss todd. this is our third christmas together, yet not actually together as 600 miles separates us again. i find myself still reluctant to do christmas with his family, although we all gather together for easter and thanksgiving. i think it’s still ties to my mother. even if christmas current is nothing like the christmases with her, it is still tied to her memory. as if doing something with todd’s family would cut one last tie. things with him are still off, and i’m not sure i know what to do anymore.
my youth pastor and i found each other on facebook. i always liked him a lot and thought he was pretty cool. i remember thinking how cool it was that a pastor had once been a bartender and still enjoyed margaritas. he sent me a message that asked, “So…where did I go wrong that you list your religion as: “confused”???” i wish i had an answer.
Today is the first time in three weeks I haven’t had pain in my shoulder, which has been awesome. I tweaked it swimming and been near constant annoyance since, but today has been great. So naturally, I go to the gym to lift today, since I haven’t gotten to in the past three weeks. Smart, right? Thankfully, it seems to be alright. But the sudden disappearance of the pain makes me worry that I might have a piece of junk floating around in there. Ah well.
But that isn’t what I wanted to talk about today.
Over the years while working out at the gym, I’ve been exposed–completely incidentally, honey! Honest!–to various, shall we say, tramp stamps. Mostly, they are the run-of-the-mill variety: flowers, butterflies, dolphins, stars and the like. But today I saw one that furrowed my brow. It read, in swoopy script: Misfortune.
Now, I’m not entirely sure why women get tattoos in this particular part of the their bodies. They may have various reasons of which I am completely unaware. I can say, however, when guys see them, there’s pretty much only one scenario that plays through our cavemen minds. And I have to say, getting all mammal-y with the subtitle “Misfortune” repeatedly bobbing through the scene is not particularly heartening. Why not just print “Chlamydia” or “I’m the crazy one you’ll complain to your friends about!”* across there?
But (ha!), that doesn’t beat the oddest one I’ve ever witnessed. Nope, the one that still has me pondering is the girl with the Cross tattooed there. I understand professions of faith but I can’t quite comprehend being such a fervent Christian as to put the symbol of the crucifixion six inches above one’s pooper. Really? I mean, maybe you’re taking the whole “love Him from the bottom of my soul” thing a bit too literally. Because given when a guy might be seeing that particular tat, it brings a really unwelcome new meaning to concept of the “Come to Jesus” moment.
*Really, only feasible for Kim Kardashian.
P.S. – Being an old fart (read: over 25), I’m not entirely sure what a ‘guitar hero’ is, but after seeing Heidi Klum selling them in this commercial, I got a text message from my penis saying I need to by a dozen.
a trio of reflections from my first work week this year:
1) this is the 3rd of the 4th schools i have worked in that feel it appropriate to engage the faculty in prayer the first day. how is that okay, really? is it just because no one’s gonna turn them in for fear of becoming tagged as That Asshole Who Hates Jesus? i just feel uncomfortable on behalf of anyone who doesn’t follow a christian belief system. and uncomfortable because i know it’s not right. why is this okay? i mean, with all the VA schools i have taught in following this practice, someone somewhere must be giving a green light, right? or am i just the bigger asshole for being bothered but not voicing my concern?
2) i am so, so, so over the all-knowing, apple-motif, denim-jumper wearing old lady teachers who think they rule the little elementary school world because they have been teaching the ABCs since the time of noah. do us all a favor and retire, you prima donna, technology-befuddled, seasonal-sweater-wearing fossils.
3) did you know that the fabled ‘permanent record’ really does exist? at least in VA, it follows you from grade to grade and collects grades and writing samples and state test scores. it’s called your cumulative folder, and is often abbreviated for ease. it’s not so bad when it’s said aloud – pronounced CYOOM. but never will i be unshaken by seeing a note or request for someone’s “CUM FOLDER.” seriously? seriously!
i think i want to found the church of alan moore – be a moorist. his notion of afterlife is extremely comforting to me:
we might get this life forever — you’ll have to read the book to get the whole thing, but I tend to think that it’s a pretty watertight theory: That you don’t get reincarnated as somebody else, but that you get reincarnated as yourself, over and over again. You have the same thoughts, and you never know you’ve done this [before], except for those little moments of déjà vu.
i’m a little addicted to the website freerice. it’s a really basic vocabulary type quiz, but for every word you get right, the site donates 20 grains of rice to an underprivileged country through the UN world food program. how cool is that?
The Vatican has “updated” the list of vices, from 7 to 14. The new ones include birth control, drugs and causing poverty. Yeah, I bet people really rally behind these.