twicketface: (You suck McBain!)

I had the first therapy appointment last week. I think it went pretty well - it was hard to know where to start but I think I hit the points I wanted to. The therapist was empathetic to my situation and talked about forgiveness (how it's about the other person but it's mostly about ourselves) and about mindfulness to keep control of the negative thoughts that tend to crop up. She did more talking than I thought she would

She mentioned a diagnosis of, um, traumatic disorder but I don't think that's right. Basically, she said it's somewhat of a catch-all diagnosis and has to due with issues arising from a traumatic experience. She said she wasn't envisioning long term therapy (and I didn't think I was either but didn't totally know what to expect). She talked about CBT and using that as a tool. She recommended a mindfulness app to try out which I'm going to start doing. My next appt is in three weeks, which feels comfortable to me.

I've had good support from friends and family (present company included), but to have a professional tell me that my feelings are normal felt pretty good. I'm still pretty emotionally constipated but one thing at a time. So, it might be a situation where I need a checkup every few months vs. a more frequent schedule. And once I figure out how much insurance will cover, that might dictate frequency too.

I also joined my local YMCA over the weekend and will start my new workout routine there next week. I'm trying to focus less on the scale and more on having a physical activity six days a week and subbing a protein shake and a salad for a typical meal after I lift weights. I'm fortunate to have a job where I can workout over my lunch hour and only need to worry about stinking up my home office without my co-workers noses being offended.

There's a chance I'll be in the Los Angeles/San Diego area in early October for work, which will be nice. My California experience thus far has been a few stints at LAX. Life seems to be otherwise fine - Nate's handling being a 4th grader with ease and I think getting back into a routine will do him good.

I joined another small group at church - focused on a monthly discusison topic. Last night was our first meeting and it seemed to go pretty well. The topic was Invitation but we spent most of our 90 minutes together talking about the Black Lives Matter movement which was interesting and horrifying at the same time. Over the last year or so, I've become so much more aware of my privilege and how vastly different reality is for non-whites. I'm proud to belong to a faith community that is in the right side of history and hope we can continue to support equality and justice. It's just such a big, big issue with so many nuances - a lot of which I'm still figuring out.

I'm also glad that Nate wasn't interested in Bob's Burgers, as I'd forgotten it's a little more adult than I'd like him exposed to at age 9. He's asking me more questions about The Simpsons and his current favorite episode is Homer's Phobia (where Homer meets a John Waters-inspired (and voiced) character who is gay. Nate often will shout out "Everybody Dance Now!" as a nod to the gay steel mill scene, which is pretty great.

twicketface: (Michael Bluth)
Back when I was working in HR proper, I spent a significant amount of time working with managers on employee discipline.  Large insurance companies tend to go overboard with rules and stipulations and conduct was no exception.  I didn't mind the write-ups - most were for clear-cut infractions or sometimes, unique situations where I had to become somewhat of a wordsmith.  And of course, at times there were employee separations.  Corporate poilcy dictitated that a third party needed to be present for that meeting between manager and employee.  Occasionally, it would be the manger's manager but the vast majority of time it was HR.

My role was really to just serve as an independent (I mean, not really, but hopefully impartial) representative and to make sure things didn't get out of hand.  I think there was a sense that if a third party was there, everyone would be on their best behavior.  This wasn't always the case, but that's for another time.  I still remember the feeling in the pit of my stomach leading up to the door closing and the meeting starting.  Almost all of the employees recognized what was happening as soon as they saw me.  But I had this impending fight-or-flight response along with a strong desire to urinate every time.  Even when I knew they would go well.  Even the ones that were over in 15 seconds.  It was a feeling of anxiousness that something unexpected was going to happen and I'd have to be the one to take the lead. I was younger (and usually less-tenured) than nearly every manager I worked with, but they would so often defer to me if things didn't go according to plan.

So, when I got the chance to unexpectedly meet [ profile] hexkitten in person for the first time after knowing her for 13 years on-line, I was a little shocked to find that same feeling arise when she pulled up to my house.  Here's someone who's known me at my best and worst and most places in between.  Who's made clear efforts to stay in touch over the years, through changes to both of our personal lives.  Who can make me laugh and also avoid going into my basement without every light in the house on and a baseball bat in hand.

And I was afraid.  Afraid that I'd somehow fuck it all up.  She'd realize that I'm not who I seem to be in real life.  Without the benefit of time delays between messages, I wasn't witty.  Or smart.  Or kind.  Or anything, really.

That all evaporated within five seconds of opening my front door.

I can honestly say it's the nicest time I've had in a very, very long time.  We went out for breakfast at the coffee shop I usually take Nate to for gelato.  Conversation was easy and engaging.  She was a little bundle of feisty energy, just like I've always known her to be.  She was also incredibly polite to the waitstaff, which is the surest sign to me of someone else being a good person.  Not that I had any doubts.  She's top shelf.

And above all, she was easy to just be with.  It's hard for me to be comfortable around most people unless I know them very well.  I fall into the trap of believing all the things my brain is trying to tell me.  But this time, I didn't have to shush away those thoughts.  We could just talk and laugh and I didn't have to pick apart every word or assign doubts to things that weren't there.

Friendships come in all shapes and sizes.  For the longest time, having an online friend seemed to be the eptiome of strangeness.  It was for creepy loners and those who weren't mature enough to have 'real' friends.  What utter bullshit.

My dream is to win vast fortunes of riches and then create a utopian society where all the people I love the most get to live together (but each in their own dwelling). [ profile] hexkitten gets the spooky mansion at the end of the street where all the little kids only retrieve their baseballs from her yard on a dare, while desperately hoping to avoid seeing that clown wig silhouetted against the window.
twicketface: (Michael Bluth)

Over the past few months, I've been trying to teach Nate how to ride a bike.  At almost 9, there's a feeling like "he should know by now" and him not being totally opposed to the idea was all I was waiting for.

A few weeks ago, it clicked and he got it.  He's still wobbly and unsure, but sure enough to travel half the length of the outdoor basketball court at the park where we've been trying.  30 minutes before, we'd hit a wall.  Leaning on the bike racks, he had dismounted and crossed his arms in frustration.  Like his dad, he does not handle disappointment well.

"You're doing a really great job and are so much further than you were last time."
"I know, Dad.  It's just so hard!"
"It is.  I realized that while you're learning for the first time, I'm also trying to teach someone for the first time.  Remember before we removed your pedals?  That was a disaster."
"It was a TOTAL disaster!", he said with a giggle.
"But I'm really glad we can talk about it - there's lots of stuff in life that's hard and frustrating.  We need to learn and adjust - there's usually more than one way to solve a problem.  I'm so proud of you for sticking with it."
"Thanks, dad."
"Do you want to go home or do you think you can try one more time?"
"Let's just try once more."

As he tried again, he decided to start coasting a bit instead of trying to pedal from a deadstop.  Thus the missing link was discovered.

There are traits that I hope he inherits from me, but a lack of gumption is not one of them.  And I hope that by talking about my own experiences (as a person, just like him, and not as a Parental Authority Figure), we'll be able to relate just a bit better.

Last weekend, we stayed at my parent's place.  They'd rented standup paddleboards for us to try.  Nate was so excited and bravely tried it without hesitation.  It's so rewarding to see him do things on his own but also a little sad as it's a reduction in the things he needs from me.

twicketface: (Default)
I've neglected you for too long.


Nov. 13th, 2008 12:32 pm
twicketface: (yipyip)
Can we please stop the process of saying 'knock knock' when approaching a co-worker's desk?  Cause that's fucking lame.
twicketface: (Nate)
Nobody pinch me - I still can't believe it.
twicketface: (cottage)
I keep waiting for a call on the job lead I have, but the voicemails I get are urging me to not vote for a Muslin baby-killer.  Sigh.  I'm actually hopeful that Obama will win and actually DO some good.  His campaign has been breathtakingly good at motivating and organizing.  I believe he will realize his limitations and surround himself with talented, intelligent people to help take back this country.  I am deeply troubled by the clear divisions in this country and anyone who after two years of campaigning still believes an email forward over the truth.  A lack of information is no longer a legitimate excuse.  How can anyone still be undecided is mindblowing and terrifying to me.  While I held my nose and voted for Kerry in 2004, I will proudly vote for Obama and hope hope hope that America has finally started to come to her senses and that the Republicans are misguided on nearly every major policy issue.  A McCain presidency would make the Bush Administration look rational.  You don't vote for someone to run government when their platform is that government doesn't work.  Frick!

Plus, I lost my first fantasy football game.  Double Frick!  Frick Frick!!

Nate and I got to play in the leaves last week.  He wanted me to lay down next to him and bury both of us in the leaves.  And, just lay there.  There was a slight breeze and you could see the leaves falling from the trees.  His head lay in the crook of my armpit and all was right with the world.  He's such a sweet little boy and even when he decides to spend two hours in his crib, singing and talking to himself and his many stuffed animals instead of napping, I can't help but love him.

This weekend we went pumpkin picking with my parents, which included a hay ride and small petting zoo.  I'm not sure who was more enamored  Nate or my dad.  We had to practially pull my old man away from the pot-bellied pig he was conversing with. 

I also watched the Packer game with my brother.  He's got a third interview on Thursday so here's hoping he can get back to work and onto better things.
twicketface: (Default)

Originally uploaded by twicket
He's becoming quite the looker.

And shitter. My God, he shits a lot.

twicketface: (Mad props to alicondc)
Marie and I just signed up for NetFlix - any recommendations?  We see very few movies, so all suggestions are welcome!
twicketface: (crotchglance)
Anyway, I became aware of a heartbreaking situation recently and wanted to pass it along for those of you in a situation able to help out.

J. Robbins has been the most influential musician in my life. He's been involved (as musician or producer) in most of my favorite bands and favorite records/songs (Jawbox, Channels, Burning Airlines, The Dismemberment Plan, Murder By Death, Report Suspicious Activity, Red Animal War, Jets To Brazil, and so on). In short, he's amazing.

He and his wife had a son in January of 2006; a boy named Callum. I'll let you read about the struggles they've had with Cal and the situation they're in through the following link. DeSoto is the label that some of J. Robbins' bands have been on. If you are a fan of any of J. or Janet's bands or simply are moved by their story, I strongly encourage you to donate what you can to help them out with the medical expenses. Please take a few minutes to read the link and help out if you can.
twicketface: (Default)
I had ramen noodles for the first time in my life tonight. Quite tasty.

I'm packing for my trip and that's no fun. I hope the hotel has a pool! Six hour drive should be interesting. I'm planning on taking some photographs along the way.

I also went into work today for a few hours. It's the first time I went to work on a weekend without being forced to. It was eerie being there alone, but I fought the urge to type up an offer letter without my pants on.

Pretty much the only movie I saw this past year was Crash and I hope it wins tonight.
twicketface: (Default)
When Marie and I bought our house two+ years ago, we bought new appliances to keep our food cold and clothes washed. One such appliance was an oven. We went got a flat top model because it was on sale. It also has a digital display. This strikes me as quite odd, since we can change the temperature in the oven by five degree increments. When the hell will I ever need to heat the oven to 345 degrees? 280 degrees? 410 degrees?

I need an oven knob with two settings: Pizza and Cake.

That's it, nothing more.

I mean, seriously.


Nov. 8th, 2005 08:48 pm
twicketface: (Default)
twicketface: (Default)
“Life While-You-Wait”
by Wislawa Szymborska

Life While-You-Wait.
Performance without rehearsal.
Body without alterations.
Head without premeditation.

I know nothing of the role I play.
I only know it’s mine, I can’t exchange it.

I have to guess on the spot
just what this play’s all about.

Ill-prepared for the privilege of living,
I can barely keep up with the pace that the action demands.
I improvise, although I loathe improvisation.
I trip at every step over my own ignorance.
I can’t conceal my hayseed manners.
My instincts are for hammy histrionics.
Stage fright makes excuses for me, which humiliate me more.
Extenuating circumstances strike me as cruel.

Words and impulses you can’t take back,
stars you’ll never get counted,
your character like a raincoat you button on the run ---
the pitiful results of all this unexpectedness.

If I could just rehearse one Wednesday in advance,
or repeat a single Thursday that has passed!
But here comes Friday with a script I haven’t seen.
Is it fair, I ask
(my voice a little hoarse,
since I couldn’t even clear my throat offstage).

You’d be wrong to think it’s just a slapdash quiz
Taken in makeshift accomidations. Oh no.
I’m standing on the set and I see how strong it is.
The props are surprisingly precise.
The machine rotating the stage has been around even longer.
The farthest galaxies have been turned on.
Oh no, there’s no question, this must be the premiere.
And whatever I do
will become forever what I’ve done.


twicketface: (Default)

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