My wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary by going on a very long walk and simply talking. Its something we used to do without consideration when we were dating. But today, it requires scheduling the time and getting a sitter. From the time we leave till we return, it feels like we fill each other in on the details of our lives. I love it.
As part of our Memorial day tradition, we have taken to flying kites. It began several years ago when we went to a city wide kite festival near the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. It was an amazing site to see kites of all colors and sizes floating in the sky. There were dragons, box kites, and everything you needed to make a kite and take off.
So yesterday, we met up with some friends along Lake Michigan, and let the fun begin. We were well equipped with our $1.99 kites from Walgreen’s. Some of our friends brought the big Chinese dragon kites. Others had the super powered rocket ships. And one even had a kite that not only flew, but was constructed to sound like a buzzing bee. Some barely got off the ground, but our Walgreen’s kite touched the clouds and seemed very reluctant to come down.
You remember that line from the movie, “Field of Dreams,” “If you build it, they will come.” Wow, is that ever true for kites. Despite open fields, soccer games, and playgrounds; kids from all over came over to watch the kites. They wanted to put them together, touch them, and hold them in flight.
At one point, this very lonely boy, came by and asked to hold the kite. Despite my request that he hold on tight, he, of course let go. However two older boys ran after it in this jumping, laughing, silly manner. They seemed sure they could catch it. But …..the kite flew away.
We have two cats. One is fat, likes to sleep, and snuggle next to you. And the other is slender, anxious, and looks for any moment to sneak out the back door with you. Once he is in the yard, we all try to figure out how to quiet the others, so we can snatch him up and bring him back inside the house. After going through this ordeal for the last couple of weeks, we decided to let him hang out in the yard with us. It was going well, till someone asked where’s the cat?….”look mom, he’s in the tree ,” said my youngest son.
Yes he decided to venture up the tree. “Cats are great at climbing up, but not always so good about coming down,” my wife said. “That’s why people have called the fire department to come over and help.” When I heard that, my internal shame meter went from 0-60. There is no way I am calling the fire department over to our house to get a cat. Furthermore I am not about to answer questions from gawkers that will come over to watch the show their tax dollars paid for.
So we try coaxing him for about 10 minutes, and then agree to wait and see what happens. At that point, my wife and son leave for the grocery store. My youngest son is on the swing. And I’m raking the yard, with one eye on the tree. All I don’t need is a dead or injured kitty on my hand. As my son yelled out, “he’s going up the tree,” I’d call to the cat, hoping he’d respond.
I tried gently tossing the soccer ball, hoping he’d scooch-no luck. And then I wondered about spraying some water from the hose, but the sprayer was so messed up, I got more water on me than the cat. And by now, I noticed the birds were watching him, and appeared to be taunting him. “Here dumb kitty,” I could hear them chant. The only problem was they were not on the same tree, which would mean he’d have to do some leaping from one tree to another. So I took out the ladder.
Of course, my son wanted to climb up with me. We got one of the cats toys, hoping he’d come to that, but he just slowly walk down the narrow branch, and then freaked out. You could almost hear him say, “I can’t. I just can’t. I’ll fall. I know I’ll fall. HELP!!! Get me a kitty xanex.” When I thought of him falling and hurting himself, I could only imagine the vet bills-so I climbed up the kids castle, which is near the tree. And before I knew it, I was climbing up.
I reached out, pulled him to me. Strangely, I was waiting to hear, “My hero,” followed by purrs of adoration. Instead, I got a freaked out cat with claws extended, screaming, “I’m going to die…you’re going to drop me..Where are you going..how are you going to get down..I’m going to jump..I can’t..I ought to scratch you..So I moved down slowly and put him in the castle. Of course, he then scurried around the yard and then flopped on the ground from exhaustion.
It was as if realty hit him. He was on the ground reflecting on his near death experience. For a moment, our other cat came out, and …then quickly returned back in the house and went to sleep.
Today is day 12 of my 90 day writing challenge. For the most part, I’ve got nothing. But a little voice inside my head paid attention to a sports story about an umpire touching Magglio Ordonez after calling him out on strikes. When I read about it, I didn’t understand what the fuss was about. After seeing the video, I still don’t understand.
The umpire touched his back, in a manner that suggested he made the call, so move on . Its not like he was giving him a frickin massage or a pat on the butt. Never the less , the sports commentator experienced this as a severe boundary violation. In addition, the manager, Jim Leyland, almost gave himself a heart attack, screaming at the umpire. What the F@#!K?How homophobic are these guys? So homophobic that the umpire immediately issued an apology, followed by Mags and his manager doing the same.
If baseball players are interested in making an amends for physical contact, then do so to the entire nation, for the number of times we have to witness players scratch their balls in high definition tv.
Many years ago, I remember my wife revealing an inside secret about women and their friendships. She informed me that from a pretty early age, girls can be pretty mean to one another, but it is done in a more indirect way than guys. It made for an interesting dialogue, but I just didn’t get it. And then “Mean Girls” came out and this seemed to validate her observations. But since then, I haven’t run across to many more articles or movies addressing the issue, until yesterday.
In the Sunday NY Times, there was an article entitled, “Backlash: Women Bullying Women at Work.” According to this article, “a good 40 percent of bullies are women. And at least the male bullies take an egalitarian approach, mowing down men and women pretty much in equal measure. The women appear to prefer their own kind, choosing other women as targets more than 70 percent of the time.” I guess while our society was obsessed with boys and men, the women were secretly doing some serious smack-down to one another.
Joel H. Neuman, a researcher at the State University of New York at New Paltz, says that “bullying involves verbal or psychological forms of aggressive (hostile) behavior that persists for six months or longer. For instance, over the last 12 months, have you regularly: been glared at in a hostile manner, been given the silent treatment, been treated in a rude or disrespectful manner, or had others fail to deny false rumors about you? If you can actually glare or give the silent treatment for six months or longer, you should also get your props-that is not easy to do.
The Workplace Bullying Institute says that 37 percent of workers have been bullied. If you are like me, at this point, you are just surprised to learn there is actually a place called, ” The Workplace Bullying Institute.” I can’t let a name like that slip by. My mind thinks about the children of parents working there. “hey Joe, where does your dad, work?” “huh?” ” I said where does your dad work, moron?!” “The Workplace Bullying Institute.” “Hey everybody, Joes dad works at the workplace bullying institute-that’s hilarious!”
So while the Bullying Institute may help adults in the work place, it may also be creating a new breed of bully’s and victims in the school yard. Read the whole article, 10women.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&sq=women%20bullies&st=cse&scp=1#
I find it interesting that we can all agree on “mother’s day.” People will protest in the streets and on blogs about the rights of gay people to “marry.” But today, on mothers day, there appears to be no debate.
I wonder why no one is challenging who actually gets to celebrate mothers day. Given all the reasons that have been used to deny gays the right and benefits of getting married; I am surprised no has said only straight women who married straight men, had sex, got pregnant, and had a child could celebrate today.
In fact, how come no one has questioned whether a woman who adopts; has a child out of wedlock; or has a kid through medical interventions is entitled to be called “mom.” I guess I wonder why we’re so comfortable with a woman entering motherhood through any means necessary, but we struggle with a gay couple wanting to be married.
As I was reading the NY Times today, I found myself intrigued by an article about pirates. On one hand, I was struck by the fact that there are still pirates. And then I read about Abshir Boyah, a towering, notorious Somali pirate boss who admits to hijacking more than 25 ships and to being a member of a secretive pirate council called “The Corporation.” In the past 18 months, Somali pirates have netted as much as $100 million hijacking dozens of ships and holding them ransom. I’m guessing they aren’t doing this with a peg leg and a pirate on their shoulder
According to the Times, Mr. Boyah, 43, was born in Eyl, a pirate den on the coast. He said he dropped out of school in third grade, became a fisherman and took up hijacking after illegal fishing by foreign travelers destroyed his livelihood in the mid-1990s. I wonder if he’s considered going on the motivational speakers circuit sharing his inspiring story;
How I went from third grade to being a wealthy pirate …And how you can too!
Recently at a meeting between foreign journalists and Pirate Boyah, he grumbled over a plate of camel meat and spaghetti “Ha! Me eating with white men. This is like the cat eating with the mice!” And then it hit me, he’s black. Let’s face it, the powerful Somali pirates do not fit our Johnny Depp swash buckling pirate ideal.
Sure we voted an African American President of the United States, but are we truly ready to embrace an African American Pirate?