Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Another One About Death, Done With Class.

For some reason or another I end up writing about my father's death a lot, I'm not really sure why, I honestly don't think about it that much. Today though, I was doing something that I would normally never do; listening to Mark McGrath on the radio...but only because he was being interviewed by Howard Stern. He talked briefly about his father's recent passing and about his divorced parent's relationship and I guess that's why I thought of this.

As would seem typical of 1980's divorced fathers, my father seemed to be late or absent altogether when it came to child support. I was too young to know why and I'm now too old to care why, it just was what it was. They never really spoke after their divorce. We weren't the family who got the divorced members in the same room for birthdays, holidays, or anything other than the few moments they saw one another when passing us back and forth on Thursdays and a few weekends a year.

Later, my father moved out of state and their contact became even less, as we saw him less. Eventually we got our driver's licenses and the contact dropped out altogether; save a rare moment. I'd say, in the last 10 years of his life my father and mother were in the same place at the same time for a total of about 3 minutes.

When it became evident that my father was about to die my mother was calling me all the time to check in on her youngest son, as I'm sure she was with my brother as well. She was helpful. She is always helpful in times like that.

After he passed away I flew home for his funeral. Not really knowing what my father would've wanted my brother and I excused ourselves from the planning and it was evident by the total lack of class the event showed. I remember a "Top Ten" list that included 100% too many beer and "tit" jokes; let me also note that if you're going to be classless you should make damn sure you're going to be funny...it was a failure on all levels.

On the other hand there was a corner of the room that was 100% classy, it was where my mother and step father sat. Not only did they out-dress everyone other than my father's children and siblings but the fact that they were there at all, just sharing their sympathy was a life lesson that I will not soon forget. I can't even begin to say how impressed and proud I am that they were the ones who raised me.

Often you'll hear people say that men marry woman who remind them of their mother, normally the links between Georgia and my mother aren't easy to come by but this example really shows the most important thing; they have integrity and empathy. Tonight Georgia and I signed up to donate blood again and also, while I was home putting the finishing touches on an extremely long and arduous work day the love of my life was serving chicken to the homeless.

(Note: I've got it fucking good.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nature vs. Nurture, 101

I really don't update this a lot, mostly because the thought of writing something can often be daunting but more likely than that is the idea that things are going really well in my life right now and who the hell wants to read me bragging about how great I've got it? Even I have a hard time sitting through that one. Speaking of great, Georgia, my beautiful fiancee has a new video up today and every Monday to follow (for 10 more weeks at least) on food2.com/drinks The videos are hilarious, informative, and, for my money, they start the sexiest little lady in the world. So, go and check those out right away! Believe me, this blog isn't going anywhere...or it's going nowhere to put it more bluntly.

With little to say or talk about I'll dive into the past for something....thinking....thinking...thinking...

My Aunt told me she recently checked out my blog for the first time, which is cool. She's from my father's side of the family, which, being the product of divorced parents actually means something.

Growing up in a small town that was stuck in the 1740's divorce was still somewhat novel an idea. Most of my best friends' parents were still together and the few who found themselves in the same situation as me all had it the same; we lived with our mothers, we saw our fathers very infrequently, and rarely did we ever see his side of the family. I've come to realize that not only is that a reality of divorce it's also a trait in my family; assume all is well and don't bother to ask.

It's neither good nor bad. It just is what it is. I remember fondly the times I did spend with my father's side of the family and it's not hard to remember them because they were rare the memories tend to stick out. When my father died the communication picked up some. For a few months I would speak to my Aunt and each Uncle on an almost monthly basis, usually a 2-3 minute conversation. When it came to my uncles, more of a 2-3 minute pissing match of "who can be funnier," I'd let them win because I'm that kind of guy.

As the years since my father's death have passed the communication has settled into what I imagine will be it's final pattern. Every couple of months I hear from one of them, there are a few emails tossed about, and all is well. It's well more than there was before but I would certainly welcome face-to-face meetings. Of course, we're dealing with 3 time zones and the unfortunate truth that old habits die hard.

I suppose, in some way, knowing that my Aunt will read my blog every now and again makes me feel good. It's nice to know that she has an idea what's going on in my life even if I haven't a clue what's going on in hers. My wedding will probably be the next time we're all in the same place at the same time and it only adds to my overwhelming excitement.

Possibly the most interesting thing is the study between nature and nurture that exists between Jared and I with our Aunt and Uncles. There can be no claim made that the Hughes side of our bloodline should influence us at all, in terms of straight "nurture" but get everyone in the same spot and there is no doubt that we are family. In terms of our senses of humor, our interests, and even our posture, we're family...and where is it written that family needs to be all up in your business?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

That Little Moment

There is a brief instance just before you fall asleep where the truth hides. It's that strange moment where, if you get stuck in it for enough time, you believe you are dying. It's a hazy, drifty mess, that feels like 1-part hypnotism, 1-part dream, and 1-part super-reality.

If there is a scientific name for this flash I am unaware of what it's called but I've been sick since Sunday so I've either been asleep or complaining. I've had more of these flashes in the past 4 days than I had in the month previous...yes, I've been sleeping that much! A small part of me believes that I'm either the last case of swine-flu or the first case of butterfly-flu, the next deadly uprising! By M. Night Shalmalamadingdong.

Anyway, for years I was convinced that the flash is exactly how it feels to die, which would be fine because our bodies would be telling our minds that we are just falling asleep, so that's comforting but now I think perhaps it's just a limbo between the conscience and the sub-conscience. And today, after work, I did what I've been doing, I fell asleep. I brought my fiancee into the bedroom under the guise of needing a nap partner when in reality being sick just sucks and I want her around me all the time (yes, men are pussies when they're sick, it's true.)

As I was drifting and wavering between sleep and awake I had my little flash. It was one that makes me think that there may be some sort of truth hidden inside of these moments. I didn't see myself back in time or anything like that I just knew, 100% that the feeling I was feeling was that of Christmas when I was a child. I felt taken care of, I felt safe, I felt cozy, and I felt loved beyond love.

This despite the mess that is going on around me outside of our little house where I'm giving myself to a job who no longer wants me, I'm going in sick despite everyone thinking I don't work even when I'm healthy. I'm frustrated by the fact that I've given so much and yet it's all for naught now because I've started to have a personal life and I feel punished for it. Probably, some of this is my own mind just digging holes for myself but it feels pretty truthful these days.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Heuristics

I live in California where the state's motto is Eureka, as in "we've found gold!!!" It narrowly edged out the second place motto of "shit, we're out of gold, let's do cocaine." Eureka comes to us from Archimedes, the mathematician/philosopher dude who died of death some 10+ years ago. The point is that eureka was originally "heureka" and that is where we now get the word Heuristic from.

A few days ago my Psychology Today arrived in the mail and there is a little snippet that I read last night about Heuristics and it piqued my interest to turn to wikipedia. If I were going to dive into any sort of higher learning tonight this would be the field I would select. It's basically the grooves we created in our brain to deal with situations that often occur, of course it's not really that at all though...it's sort of common sense.

We wake up, we get ready, we go to work. That's the routine we are in. We start to feel comfortable in that, so we groove that shit into our soft and supple brains. After a while that groove becomes so deep and cavernous and us so deep within it that looking up we fail to see the sky, the path to the top of the walls, a clear way out. Looking up and seeing walls bending in over your head makes you dizzy, if you don't believe me go to NYC and find a really tight old avenue with tall buildings and look up, yes you can see the sky but still it fucks with your head enough to make you feel a little dizzy. Of course, that could just be me, I tend to stare up for a few solid hours and really trash my equilibrium.

Anyway. I'm off subject now, which happens every few moments.

I'd like to buy and read the book "On Second Thought" subtitled (let's ban subtitles shall we) 'Outsmarting Your Mind's Hard-Wired Habits" by Wray Herbert which deals with the subject at hand. Herbert says (via a snippet) that it's not always a good thing to listen to what your instincts tell you, even when you are being told to just stay safe.

It's making me wonder what I do everyday that forces me to walk past the path to the top. Am I trapped by routine in my daily work? Am I being held back by my own fears? Am I overcoming any of this stuff? It's all very interesting and I'm sort of trapped in these ideas tonight. Yes, they make for a boring blog post but imagine the possibilities in my mind right now!!!

Fuck it, I'm going to go eat ice cream.