Monday, January 26, 2009
Rent (because he's not in school and we don't house freeloaders who are of age),
Clean his room and himself regularly (because no adult wears his underwear 4 days in a row and isn't living in a box),
Don't lie to us,
Don't steal from us,
Don't smoke or do drugs.
Really, not a difficult list, but one he was wholly unwilling to abide by. We'll see if he can handle it. So far, so good, but after living in squalor, anything is better the first few days.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
2 years later, the oldest boy is going back to live with his father because he's just willful and not improving in school or his attitude. So, from that point on, we took care of his younger brother and all was going to be sunshine and roses. Oh how wrong we were...
Michael is a good kid. He was pretty quiet and had it pretty rough before he got to us. I get that, but things started changing about junior year of high school. His friends introduced him to smoking, sex, then pot and God knows what else. Our quiet shy kid, soon became our moody, secretive kid who was pretty stupid and thought we were class A idiots, to boot. Eventually, things came to a head and we threatened to have him leave. Repentance, improvement, then backsliding and new bad behaviors began (stealing from us, lying, etc.). One more come to Jesus meeting, and the law is set...you shape up or get out. Three rules: clean your room, get a job or pay rent, make restitution for stealing our shit. Easy peasy. On New Year's Eve 2007, he went upstairs, began cleaning his room, changed his mind and packed a garbage bag and left. No warning, no real goodbye, just "I can't follow your rules and I'm pretty sure I'm gonna screw up again, so I should go."
Fast forward to now: He calls a couple of days ago to tell us he's been evicted from the apartment he and a friend had rented. The "friend" stole his stuff, lied to him, blahblahblah and now he needed a place to drop his clothes off. We agreed to take his things, but put them in the garage instead of up in his old room. This morning, he arrives on the doorstep before dawn to say he hadn't slept in 2 days and just wanted to sleep, so hubby let him in and put him up in his old room to crash. He slept from 8am off and on until we woke him at 9pm to go to work. Before he left he asked if he could move back in.
Why do people really want to raise children again?
Dilemma...do we let him back in? Give him access to the house, our food, our stuff again after he's lied to us, exposed our house to people who have stolen from him and he's stolen things from us to give to them? Do we let him go back out in the cold world and say "Suck it up. You made your bed now get comfy." How mch do we trust this person we hardly know anymore and looks every bit the addict? (And we KNOW addicts, so that is not an overstatement.)
Thursday, January 22, 2009
So far, the season of theater under the direction of our new Director has been less than stellar. Some would say it is bathed in wrong sauce. Take "Tommy" for instance. Yes, the rock opera "Tommy" was done onstage as the season opener. Now, admittedly, we see the first show of the season which means the performances haven't jelled yet, but there would have to be a metric ton of Jell-o slapped on that trainwreck to make it jell into something watchable. We have a director experimenting with color-blind casting, which I applaud, but felt awkward in this show where a White mother and a Latin father created a Black child. Fine. I get it. Color-blind = searching for talent, not color THEN talent. Still, there was a scene in the play where Tommy is bound to a table by his White cousin who is tormenting him and torturing him that felt completely oogy to watch. Not to mention the clumsy sexual teasing of the 40-50ish acid queen on the still 10 year-old Tommy. Ew.
So, fast-forward to last night. When we received the list of shows for this season, the play was not listed because it hadn't been selected yet. We arrive to see that we are watching a play called "In the Beginning," a look at the first 10 chapters of Genesis, from creation to Noah and the Ark. We had hopes for drama and thoughtful conversation afterward. The play began and the actors all took the stage in street clothes and we get the first look at our new DTC acting troop (we had actors specifically hired for each show in the past, so this was a change). A couple of hotties, a couple of passable cuties, and the rest (Okay...I'm a gay man. We look at these things.). They explan the play to us as an examination of the book of Genesis and that the 2nd act would be an opportunity for the audience to participate in the discussion and creation of the 2nd act. Huh?!? Zoinks! We are PARTICIPATING in the play?!? How does that work? Sadly, we would find out.
We get the story of creation. Light. Earth. Sea. Man. Animals. Sky. Blah, blah, blah. So far so good. What is this? Man is naked onstage in a thong?!? Rock on! Hottie onstage with his buttcrack out. I'm awake and watching. Let's create woman. Man lies down. God plucks rib from side in weird dramatic gesture, then woman appears. Pasty white, naked woman onstage. Blahblahblah...moving on. Love. Discovery. Warning about the tree. Snake in odd bodysuit enters stage right. Apples plucked. Angry God. Shame. Really...kinda not a dramatic story. I mean, we know this version. The actors are reading it directly from the text. Getting bored.
Man and wife have baby. Awake now because the odd positioning on stage of Adam and Eve looks like while Eve is giving birth in a standing, yet hunched over position, it looks like Adam is giving Eve a Dirty Sanchez. Eve grunts through the pregnancy. Eve makes a loud noise in mid grunt that sounds like a loud fart. Then more grunting. Then Eve reaches under herself and pulls out a baby. Cain. Ew.
Now, by this time, not only are we kinda shocked at the staging and the level of acting involved, but we're really looking at this as an example of what NOT to do in theater. Okay, I may be a bit too strong in my dislike of the "acting." The actors really did what they could do with the text given since 1. they rarely spoke during the play, but rather acted out the scene to narration and 2. when actually speaking, they were speaking the words of the text. We had some wonderful singing throughout the play, so they handled all that well.
Next, we get the begatting. This one begat that one. That one begat the other one. Blahblahblahhhhhhhhhhh. Joke about the begatting that we all are thinking. Cut to story of Cain and Abel. Cain comes out in loincloth, tall and skinny except for beer gut. Abel comes out, young cute muscular with 6 pack. We know he's a goner, but not because God chose Abel over Cain, but because Cain was jealous of Abel's hotness and wanted his ass off the stage. Drawn out killing scene to Johnny Cash's version of "Hurt." Moving on.
Man is increasingly mean and angry and violent. God is irritated and decides to wipe out Man, except for a chosen family and a pair of animals who will repopulate the Earth. Noah introduced. Family introduced. God gives Noah schematic for Ark. Ark built. Rain. Floods. Death. Waters recede. End scene. Intermission.
Three of the 4 of us would have been happy to leave at this point, because as we were leaving, the cast informed us we would be taking part in a discussion with the minister about the themes of Act 1. Actorsayswhat? Are you kidding me?!? This is not my Theology class. You are supposed to be entertaining me, not trying to work out your character's motivations with the help of the audience.
We stay and we get asked 3 awkward questions while the minister of one of the local churches tries to put some perspective on the questions we had. Interesting, maybe. Done well? not so much. Why did God put the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden? Why did God choose Abel over Cain? What are we to make of God and his full-scale genocide of the species in the Noah story?
As a person redefining his religious views, I might have been interested more if the 2nd act was more a discussion between the minister and other men of faith (rabbis, for example). Let us ask questions. Work out the problems we had with the minister, who, BTW, believed the LITERAL truth of the text. God took a rib and made a woman out of thin air. Noah built an ark and gathered 2 of every species and put them there until the floods came. Snakes talked to women. (ed. note: I watched "Religulous" and have a husband who was practicing Judaism, so I immediately had issues with that.)
As with any clas you've ever been to, the question was asked, awkward silence followed until one soul couldn't stand the silence any longer and responded, then we moved on. Then we got into the many people who couldn't stay on topic and answered issues not even on the table. The few people who challanged the minister's take on the Bible or questions raised by the text were kinda blown off or ignored outright.
Thank the minister, thank the audience, conclude play with a song. Exit theater.
That, my friends, was a painful night of theater. I love a lively discussion of...well, anything, but that wasn't the time or place for it. The wrong questions were asked. The right questions weren't asked (So, if the Bible is literal, when did God create another woman for the sons to sleep with and marry? Or was Eve just a babymaking machine for her husband and sons? If so, were the other women sisters to Cain and Abel? etc. etc.) I don't mean to be blasphemous, but the play kinda asks you to do so, and not in any productive way.
Friday, January 16, 2009
The staff of my store was asked to submit vacation requests for the 2009 calendar year. I'd turned mine in to my Store Manager almost 2 days after the request. (I'd forgotten to do it, mea culpa.)
The schedule comes out yesterday and another manager (Dorothy) says to me, "I need your week off."
"Why," actually..."No, why?"
(laughs) "C'mon Joe...I need your week. A friend of mine is having a kidney transplant and I need to be there. I put in my request for the week before you and she called me today to tell me when her surgery was gonna be. Your week."
"I wish I could help you, but the vacation we have is the only week hubby has in the Spring without meetings or training."
This exchange has happened three times since the first conversation, each additional conversation getting more and more like emotional blackmail "My vacation is more important than yours," "You should want to help her," " do the RIGHT thing."
I'm just worn out over the whole thing. on one hand, I would trade the holiday/vacation in a heartbeat because I normally am a sucker for that, but this time Jack only has this one week available between now and, like, May to take a vacation that he sorely needs.
I get that this person is giving a kidney to save her husband's life. I do. What I don't get is the importance that my coworker is putting on her being there. This person isn't family and has family (I assume) to help. my coworker had already put in for vacation the week prior to mine and had no idea when the surgery was planned. It's not an IMPOSSIBLE situation, but one I don't feel beholden to repair. And somehow I know I'll feel guilty about it, regardless...
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
And you thought The View would be boring now that the elections are over. I really thought that Whoopi was gonna come over the table at one point. And if Ann thought she was treated unfairly, then she should understand how the people she writes about feel about their situation.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Yesterday was just a "business" day of us running around and picking up groceries and shopping for stuff we want but don't need (furniture, electronics, cameras..). It was absolutely freezing out and the wind was up, which was sort of a change from the morning when we thought it would warm up, instead of getting even colder. So, all of our running around involved running and praying fora break from the cold.
Then we hit Central Market and Kroger for groceries for the week and managed to get things and not kill each other or spend the day bitching at one another.
We came home and watched Battlestar Galactica Season 4, or rather he watched it and I watched it between naps. (Sue me...I was tired.)
Today, we slept in until about 10am, then got showered, dressed, then carried the puppies to the park for a walk. This is an ordeal because the pups have car issues (Max throws up, Missy is afraid we're taking her to the pound.) After wrestling Missy into the back of the hatchback, we put Max in the car and prepared for the upchucking to commence. He doesn't really make a production of it, he just sorta lays his head down, then spews. And spews. And spews. Today, he was good and managed to make it. Both ways without incident. Missy and Max enjoyed the walk and Missy even discovered she likes to wade in the water. She's a good girl. And she gets really regular when she walks, so preparation is key. ; )
Now we're just enjoying a lazy evening of ironing, prep for the next week and just spending time together. I love the beginning of the year.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
Uhhh...gotta love rugby.
I'm amazed that people are as ugly as they showed on the show, but I really am amazed that people ON TV are as stupid and ugly as they are on this show. It is going to be a show full of soundbites of stupidity, and the star of the show is going to be Chelsea (blonde, vain, and shallow, she is every high school beauty you ever hated).
Watch this show!
Sunday, January 4, 2009
This is a whippin' of galactic size. I hate children's clothes, I hate parents of children, and I edge closer and closer to wanting to hate children, but I know they are pretty much the monsters mom and dad mae them.
4 more days of this and I'm done. Woo hoo. If it doesn't kill me first.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Okay, here's the dramatic part...our guests are hosting actual family (cousins, not the gay family we consider ourselves). One is a cousin and she came witha friend and 2 bfs from the mountains of Virginia. My first concern was the disclaimer "You told them about us, right?" Oh sure...we told them. "Your hillbilly cousins are coming?" By hillbilly, they meant the 2 boyfriends are or were klansmen and they have issues with gays. For some reason, gay women are okay, but gay men might rape 'em up the butt. Whatever.
I don't know about you, but this would have been the equation: 2 gay men, 2 gay women, of which there was 2 Jews and 1 Black man, 2 girlfriends and 2 Klansmen. Klansmen. Like, "I truly wore a pointy sheet on top of my head because Blacks and minorities are keeping me down" Klansmen. I, being the Black man, was less than thrilled. I can pretty much get past ALOT of character flaws, hell...I befriended and am still friends with many a dyed-in-the-wool Republican, but they never wanted to kill me, drag me from the back of a truck, or hang me just because I exist.
Thankfully, knowing our general discomfort, the girls had posited MANY options and the group ended up going bootscooting at Billy Bob's. Crisis averted. I just didn't have the energy to spend the night trying to win over racists in my own house. "All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my brothers. But. I. Never. Thought I'd have to fight in my own house!"
The girls came over about 9pm and we ate some yummy spinach puff pastries, then got on a Wii marathon and now I have one addicted to American Idol Karaoke and 2 addicted to Guitar Hero. Mission accomplished and a wonderful night had by all involved. Yeah!
Happy New Year everyone. May 2009 be a wonderful year of change and happiness in your homes and in America.