Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What I Did on My Blogger Vacation

Can you believe, it’s April 22nd and I haven’t blogged at all this month?!?! Me, neither. I’m going to be playing catch-up, then, instead of blogging about Earth Day or the epic battle between good and evil in Pennsylvania. I didn’t mean to blow anyone off, nor did I worry about ”blogging to death.” I neither took a vacation from the toxins like Jeremy at Good as You or gave up on the drama like Bastante Kim. Hell, I don’t usually get toxins or drama, mostly, I believe, because I keep my blog on a very small scale. This is just my life and my opinions, and y’all can come sit on my front porch and talk with me if you like.

So what was it? Work can be summed up with BBB, busy but boring. I am doing an elaborate project for my interior decorating class—CERTIFIED THIS SUMMER!!!! I am also doing a real and large project for a friend of a friend of a friend. She wants to get her loft fixed up before the economy really tanks, and her fear rubs off on me. I’m thankful I don’t want to even try to become a high-end decorator, because ironically, I would get no work then.

There were a couple of eventful dinners. I was invited to one by the mother of the nine-year-old boy I tutor. He said he wanted a new game for the Nintendo DSL he won last Christmas, not dinner, but she insisted that we both go, and he behaved himself. We celebrated his first-ever report card with all A’s! I was so thrilled for him. We met through a program that attempts to help first-graders struggling in reading, basically nipping problems in the bud. We are now off the program, but I still tutor him. He is in third grade and reads at a fifth grade level! He won’t need me at all soon, but I’m still going to stay in touch with him and his mother as long as they want.

He called me out on something. I gave him a $20 gift card to Borders. (I know! Evil chain bookstore! But indies don’t have gift cards.) I always give him gift cards for bookstores on occasions that call for gifts. “You just want to make sure I’m reading a book, or else I waste the money if I don’t use this card,” he said.
“Aw, you broke the code.”
“Can I get a book about zombies?”
“If it’s okay with your mom, I don’t care as long as you’re reading.”
“Mad magazine? Not the fake one for kids!”
“If you absolutely have to.” Now, I’m going to keep a secret from him. I have read Mad magazine since I was eight, and maintained a subscription since I was twelve. I love Mad magazine. However, I think knowing that would reduce its allure a bit for him, even if I did turn him on to Calvin and Hobbes. He says his teacher hates it; I wonder if she’s doing the same as I am!
At the end of the dinner, his mother pulled a Nintendo DSL game out of her purse. Both of their faces about split open from grinning! I know it wasn’t easy for her to afford both dinner and the game, but I also know how much this occasion meant to her. I felt wonderful all over.

Another dinner left me and L’Ailee feeling less wonderful. As I’ve said, her male cousin married my female cousin. They came to NYC a couple weeks ago because he had business here, and of course we had to meet up. She grew up very conservative Evangelical and he grew up with a Jewish father and Russian Orthodox mother; they are both liberal Protestants now. We got to talking about religion. This was a mistake.

L’Ailee’s cousin was kind, and he listened, and he expressed his opinions well. My cousin…well, it was different. To be very fair, we grew up with relatives who yell and shout their faith and think that an almighty God somehow needs their defense. She didn’t yell. She belittled instead. When L’Ailee’s cousin asked me for examples of rituals that I perform as a Witch, which I consider much more intimate than talking about sex, she dismissed a couple that I really love as “weird.” Then she asked L’Ailee how it feels to “believe in nothing.”

L’Ailee got angry. Her anger looks and sounds different from other peoples’. Her voice gets very low and slow, and her eyes look really scary, and her demeanor ices over. “I do not…believe…in *nothing*,” she began. “I believe in *many* things. I believe in helping others, I believe in learning, I believe in science, I believe in my relationship with Jayelle, I believe in good design. I simply do *not* believe in a god of any sort. And I will have you know that ignorant comments like the one that you just made will not convince me.” My cousin literally jumped back in her chair while hers tried to soothe her. We turned things around after that, but it was still sort of a bummer night. I was hurt that my cousin, who has enlisted our help and been kind to us, thinks these things about us. I guess it’s good to have things out in the open, but it didn’t feel good.

I have other things to talk about, and I’ll get to them eventually. I’ll get to your blogs, too. But for now, just have to say, glad to be back. I'll be seeing this after work.

Oh, and even though it’s not really appropriate for Earth Day, CONGRATULATIONS, DANICA!!! ABOUT DAMN TIME!!!


20 Things You Didn’t Know About Recycling Good stuff, especially the sheep-poo air fresheners! Don’t click if you’ve recently lost a pet.

King Features' comics, from Blondie to Zippy the Pinhead, are all Earth Day themed today. Funny that USA Today, which doesn't have comics, has a photo gallery.

But maybe we shouldn’t have Earth Day. Maybe, like the old Florida Cracker activist I keep citing, we should instead think in terms of saving ourselves and the things we love.

Defending the right to be a hate-filled imbecile.

Speaking of which, one claims that the rise of atheism threatens art. (Never mind how much my wife relishes good design--see above--and a day at the art gallery...)

GLBTs read more blogs than straights.

Food writers need to get real.

Finally, Don't you just hate a smart-ass laboratory mouse?


alan said...

Welcome back, darling! I missed you!!!

You taking time from your life to tutor a child is something that says just how wonderful you are...

Here the decorating project that begins as soon as I retire is finding the walls...(alas, I am a packrat!)

Sorry that the 2nd dinner turned out the way it did. It's sad that we thought "the age of enlightenment" had already come, eh?

And before I run off to get ready for work, a big 2nd to that congrats you put out there! I've been waiting for this day for 40 years!


Deb said...

I like to support my local stores, but when giving a gift, I usually give the :ahem: chain store gift cards too.