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Archive for October, 2008

|| October 7, 2008 || 9:50 am || Comments (12) ||

[Guest poster Captain Dumbass has a five-year-old and a three-year old who dress up as Spiderman without needing a special occasion to do so. They're all, 'It's TUESDAY! Time to DRESS UP AS SPIDEY!' Coincidentally, I also have a son who dresses up as Spiderman. Only, he's sixteen and does it in special places like Lowe's paint aisle and the local high school football stadiums.]

Never trust a 5-year-old

So it’s way past bedtime on a school night and I’m perched on the side of the bathtub patiently waiting for my 5 year old to poo, which he assures me he HAS to do. As he sits there going off on a stream of consciousness soliloquy (and yes, a soliloquy is the act of talking to oneself, but he’d be talking whether I was there or not so I’m using it), I float off into my own world and wonder what the hell I’m going to write for my guest post on All Blogged Up. My first guest post ever. My first guest post ever and I can’t think of anything to write. No pressure.

I was a little surprised (shocked) when Jett twittered me the other night to ask if I’d like to write something. I twittered back asking if she’d sent the message to the right person. She replied back that she had. Excitement and terror ensued. Much like being in the delivery room for your first born, just without the screaming accusations. Aside from the fear of writing for somebody else’s followers, the fear of letting someone down who is putting a lot of trust in you, Jett intimidates the hell out of me. Maybe it’s just the boot and all that tartan? Maybe I’m just waiting for her to scream “too right, mate!” and head butt me.

So now I’ve wasted two paragraphs writing about nothing and still have nowhere to go. Wait, don’t go yet, I’ll come up with something.

Hey Connor (pooing 5 year old), what should I write about for Jett’s blog?

Jet planes?

No no no, her name is Jett… well, that’s not really her name, it’s… forget it. Are you done yet?

Not yet daddy. But I understand that “Jett” is merely her pen name, like your “Captain Dumbass.” It would be nice if you didn’t treat me like a five year old all the time.

But you are a five year old…

Did you want help with the blog or not?

Ok, shoot me some ideas then.

How about the election? Americans love to talk about politics.

True, but we don’t want to step on any toes here. It’s not our country and we don’t want to cause any backlash on Jett’s site.

What about some Sarah Palin jokes? Our province borders Alaska, we could tell them we’ve had diplomatic relations with her?

Heh heh, ya, that’s pretty good. We could tell them we can see her head from our front window.

Ha! Good one dad. Then again…

Ya, she might have some Republican viewers.

How about our upcoming election?

Um, I watched the VP debate instead of our own. If I thought the Canadian debate was too boring to watch I don’t think they’re going to be interested.

So daddy…

Yes, hon?

It’s like, what? Two days after this little story began? We’re not sitting in the bathroom having this conversation and Jett hasn’t had a post up in three days. You’ve turned this post into a bad episode of Seinfeld. If you’re going to keep dragging this imaginary conversation on, could you at least replace me with Liam (younger brother)?

Really. Well why don’t we imagine your ass upstairs for a little nap then, shall we?

It’s ten o’clock in the morning!

Well then, I IMAGINE I’ll get the TV all to myself for awhile, won’t I?


|| October 4, 2008 || 3:31 pm || Comments (7) ||

[Guest poster Chris Robinson is a long-time reader and commenter here; he could safely be called the measured voice of reason within my readership. We've had a sporadic but rich e-mail correspondence over the years, and I can say about him what I can't say about much of Cyberia: I implicitly trust him. He is sage and kind and completely honest. Sadly, he has no website for me to link, but I can tell you that he has letters in Philosophy and Political Science and is way, way more learned than me. Don't let him fool you...there are a wealth of things going on in his innards. Maybe one day I can audit one of his courses and heckle him just a little bit.]

Life Changers

Greetings to all you readers in Jett-Land. I’m honored to be the guest blogger for the day. When I was asked by our hostess, this invitation initiated some pretty deep reflection on life changing events. I’ve led a fairly uneventful life so far. There’s been no trauma or religious epiphanies (darn the luck), but I’m struck by how I have been altered fundamentally by small, mundane events. The promise of such moments gives waking up each morning a sense of adventure.

Several years ago, some students told me about the growing universe of blogs in the on-line world. I had never heard of a blog, and I set out to see what it was about. Within an hour of searching around I found two writers whose work I continue to read with fascination to this day. The first was “Sugarmama.” I was drawn to this blog for three reasons: First, the writing was vivid and funny. Second, there was a column on the side titled “Buy Me Shit” and it had a fairly long and hilarious wish-list of things Sugarmama wanted. Finally, Sugarmama’s blog featured photos and tales of her very cool dog Ruby. This blog has changed over the years, but what remain consistent are the thought-provoking writing, the humor, and the occasional photos of Ruby. The second blog I discovered that day was linked to Sugarmama, and this was Jett Superior. Jett’s writing is fiery and unpredictable. Her writing features her family, thoughts on the sacred, and a talent for poetry. I continue to read these blogs every day, and I am very grateful to both writers for all their work. They have brought me a great deal of happiness over the years.

This is just the backdrop to my post for today. I’m interested in hearing about life-changing events you’ve experienced. The one I’ll tell you about by way of example is Bob Dylan’s great record Blood on the Tracks. This record was my personal and intellectual awakening. I was dreaming my way through my teen years, and I was headed toward a safe life that I would live close to home, with a job that didn’t challenge but paid enough to get by, and a formal education that would end at high school graduation. What ambition I did have was shaped by suburbia and network television. All of this was shattered when I started listening to the first cut of Blood on the Tracks, “Tangled Up in Blue.” That lyric went straight to the marrow of my being. I was shaken. I wore out my copy of the album in a month of near-constant listening. Every corner of my life and thought was illuminated. My expectations for the life I would lead were transformed fundamentally. Within months I was reading and writing, exploring the history of philosophy, planning for college far from home, and engaging in political activism. To this day, hearing something off this record sends me back to that time when I learned to cast off mere satisfaction with what is and began to work for what could be.

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed many interesting conversations with folks about the song, book, or event that changed their life. What is yours?

|| October 1, 2008 || 10:08 pm || Comments (4) ||

company meeting

Hello, precious and lively Muffinasses. One of the best features of living on the last mountain in the Appalachian chain is that you can drive a few minutes out of town, wander into a stand of trees and scream your fool fucking head off when life gets to be A Little Too Much.

Yesterday, my friend Suze lost her mother to cancer.
Della has been battling the beast for a couple years now, but she took a sharp turn for the better back in March and we were all very, very hopeful. Then a couple of weeks ago it was reported that she only possessed function in one lung because the other was one white mass of tumor on film. All in all, she has survived far longer than anyone is supposed to with her ratio of cancer to healthy tissue; it was enmeshed in several regions of her body. We love this family so much, we Superiors. Our children are the same ages and we all just have so much fun together. Suze and her husband have vacationed with us (not something we would even ask some of our own kin to do), dined with us countless times, helped us gut and reconfigure our Brady-style home. They are beautiful and compassionate people of great heart: Not one time throughout her mother’s illness have I seen Suze shed even a single tear. She drove her mother back and forth for treatment over an hour each way, every other day for most of this year and never once have I heard her complain or fret. “I’m fine, I’m just fiiiiine,” she told me just today, “Just see about Mina and the girls, okay?”

Which brings me to my friend Mina, whose three teenage daughters are close friends of Sam and Scout’s. Their father, forty-five, died on my lunch break today; it was a horrible and racking process over the course of this week. I don’t want to belabor too many of the details, but it was a sweet hot mess there at the very end and those babies and their momma are several kinds of wrecked right now.

I am thankful that Maxim had taken the day off today, because for a good portion of my lunch hour(s) we just sat, holding hands, while he made me laugh over and over again. I cannot explain the kind of lonely I would be if I had to know life without him. Who else knows that I sleep easier with a hand resting lightly at the base of my throat? Who else could talk me down from the ledge of myself without breaking a sweat? Who else could do the chicken dance for me at six-thirty in the morning without acquiring a mortal wound from me, a prime example of Not Really A Morning Person?

After I came back from lunch, I was putting a patient I’d not seen in a few months on a table when she let a wince of pain slip. When I inquired as to her well-being, I was met with the news that she was fresh off a double mastectomy and reconstuction. I’d no idea why she’d been away from us for so long; I guess it was diagnosed and dealt with just that quick.

“Well,” I said, “I can’t tell you how glad I am to see you. You look really great.” And then I snuck back to the x-ray room to drop some saltwater for a minute.

As some of you people know, this sort of business just wrecks my contacts, so I’ll be sporting my glasses over the next couple of days. Something else I’ll be doing is taking a little bit of a break from posting here. The events of the last handful of days, coupled with some health issues I’ve been dealing with for a few weeks, have left me feeling drained and resolved to use what good energy I’ve got going for me toward shoring my friends up (and maybe writing nutty comments on the posts of others).

Another something I’ll be doing is asking a few people that a) you might not have read yet and b) I’ve been spending a little time visiting to step in and throw some words at you to see if they stick. In eight years of doing this voyeurnal thing, I’ve only had dog-and-pony guest posting ‘events’ a couple of times. It’s always turned out really well

(oh God, please do reference this VidBlog posted by theDane during my trip to Scotland…I don’t give a fuck what the rest of Cyberia tells you, the birth of the VidBlog happened one afternoon many, many years ago while theDane and I were on the phone talking about one of my audblog posts. He mentioned that he’d like to do a VidBlog, whereupon I let out a wild whoop of encouragement. Thus, blogging in video format. And nobody seems to recognize theDane was doing it before anybody else. BOO, very BOO.)

and I have no expectations of anything different this time around. I will communicate in as convincing a fashion as possible that if there’s any letting out of a wild hair to be done, there’s no place more suited to that sort of thing than the site you’re squatting on right now. Everybody put on your rhumba panties, let’s dance!

Me, I’ll be sitting sidestage, making sure all the pulleys and knobs get yanked and twirled in the appropriate places. And I’ll be smiiiiling, all chill, because luckily all this stuff fell in my lap at the beginning of medication week. Who says the universe ain’t on my side? Not me, that’s who.