Thursday, April 29, 2010

Here in my mind

Assuming a role, that's something I'm good at. Mom, wife, friend, librarian, there's an outfit for each one of these. Just like Veronica, I can change out of one and easily become another, but there is always a little of the character in all of the realms.
We had a retirement party for my boss yesterday, and we had spoken about what she was going to do with all of her boss clothes that she wasn't going to wear anymore. What I ended up thinking about was how do you not wear the boss anymore, how do you make the shift, or do you? I'm always in leadership mode, whether it's trying to explain to a cashier that you call the next person in line over from another isle when you open up your register, or when I'm explaining to Jack what and how to deal with puberty, it's all the same to me. Now from one angle I'm sure that "controlling" comes to mind, but from another, it's just that I don't have props that stay in one place, I take them everywhere I go.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Only to trip

If I remember correctly, there was a course in the social work department at CWRU that talked about how rolling your eyes at or about a client was much more complicated than just the action. I've been seeing a lot of action lately, and I have to say that to me, the person making the motion or scoffing at someone looks really nuts. I know that the behavior is kind of like code to spouse, friend or coworker, but I still attempt to avoid doing it and or acknowledging when someone does it in my direction, especially at work.
I know that it's an acceptable form of affiliation, but recently a friend was trying to engage me in the practice when I really wasn't feeling it. So am I then to just roll them in solidarity or give a knowing look, when I really don't.
What I do know, is that there is no we when it comes to assessing. It only affords us to align ourselves with someone when they are with us, later, there are no rules as to whether you become the other.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The toughest role

It might not have been fortuitous to have watched Defendor and then gone to see Kick Ass the next day.
On a few very important levels, they are the same movie. Ersatz superheros, corrupt police in cahoots with powerful bad guys with goons aplenty, tension+violence= comic relief, it's somewhat formulaic, but it's really all about the execution. I liked Kick Ass better even though I'm finding that Woody Harrelson can do no wrong.
Hit Girl has been maligned by Roger Ebert which concerns me because he rarely misses the point but does so with this movie. This is as close to a story about real people that fiction can get. Kids are brutalized everyday, all day, everywhere. They rarely if ever have any recourse, except of course for a cathartic 100 minutes every so often. And Nic Cage, reminding us that he can act, rules as the dad who initiates and supports it all, knowing that fighting fair, ignoring the bullies and telling an adult just doesn't hold a candle to kicking ass.

Friday, April 16, 2010

We came out of it

Eamon and I have been watching John Mortimer's Paradise Postponed on DVD. I think it was shown on PBS in the eighties, at least that's how I remember watching it, anticipating the Sunday evening spectacle.
There are a few things to touch on regarding this show. The first is, that we both watched it and that we don't think we were a couple yet, so independently we viewed a program on TV, in our twenties, when we should have been doing much more exciting things. Such a good match are we! The second, is that it's such a satisfying story. Not unlike my number one movie choice in the universe, Rules of the Game, the subtleties and norms of social mores and class distinctions are ripped open and shown glistening in the sunlight, but it's done in a very British way, so all of that is barely noticeable. What is however, is the focus on how the struggle for power and position is so fruitless, so unbearably empty that you actually have strong feelings of empathy and sadness for the perpetrators; what an astounding feat! And in addition to all of that, the hair, music and clothes circa 1985 don't disappoint

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'll show you

I've read or heard about when individuals rail against a company or a bigger entity and how through perseverance and determination they manage to overcome whatever obstacle they have to contend with; and then I wonder how is it that even though I follow those same protocols and pursue with all my might what I know is a just, or at least a sane solution, I get none.
A little over a month ago I made an inquiry into a alternative Bank of America Mortgage program because last year ours was purchased by BOA and since then I've dealt with the closest I've ever come to an organization that is set out to destroy people.
That show of interest for some reason translated into enrollment and participation in a vast and illimitable hell ride known as "let me transfer you," click. There is no way out. No matter that each person I talk to after hours of waiting and explaining says that they understand and they will fix the problem. Even when they really get it, because the one's that don't are easy to identify. Even then, the next day I receive a fed ex packet with new enrollment materials, hot off the devil's presses. Let me add that I've been to countries where it's your turn in line after waiting hours a local inhabitant runs up to the window and throws down their papers and gets immediate help; so I do know the frustration of normal procedures. It's that I'm asking them to take my money and keep charging me lots of interest, just like they've been doing. That, is the rub.

Friday, April 09, 2010

There is no sense in pretending

Gus had his annual breakdown this week, it's actually past due I think. He's been managing well with five advanced placement classes, college decisions, daily play practice, and some community choir he got himself mixed up in.
It's not like I'm lamenting his gang activity here, it's the overachiever which is on the other end of the spectrum, but equally punishing and dangerous.
That's because either way, if you do nothing to further yourself or everything, there is going to be a price to pay. He is in the play Bye Bye Birdie, and has a pretty pivotal role so Wednesday when he walked into the house only an hour after he left claiming play practice ended early, I thought nothing of it, until later when Eamon, Jake and I were talking about something, and out of nowhere the words, "he walked out of play practice" poured out of my mouth.
And, he had, he was overwhelmed and on the verge of tears when we confronted him, perhaps it was the bare light bulb and spare interview room. But we got it out of him nonetheless. He needs to learn how to say no, that's something I can't teach him, but what I can impart to him is that he just needs to find someone to blame when he can't do something rather than actually having to decline.

Monday, April 05, 2010

No one likes to be let down

Oh, my glorious wonderful job! To be paid for taking care of people rather than slaving away for free. The needy abound. At least here I know that I'm going to be jumping up every minute or so to serve the compulsions of the public. At home this last week, I was on call, sort of like one of those ball girls at a tennis match ready to jump at any time.
Last night Jake and Jack Henry kind of melted down. They are most like my side of the family, feely, touchy and neurotic in an East Coast way. So with the departure of our west coast contingent they were feeling at a loss for what is familiar and known.
Jack likes to be around his cousins because he can be himself and not feel judged. He understands that fully and laments his lack of freedom to be as comfortable here, with his friends.
I haven't lived around my family of origin for over twenty years, I think in many ways it could be desirable, especially for my kids, but for me the thought of living in Southern California again reminds me of when Eamon and I drove past the you are leaving California sign and I felt this enormous sense of relief. I wonder if I would feel the same thing now after leaving here.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Upon the rocks

I stepped over to the dark side yesterday, I bullied Jack because I buckled under the stress. What stress really? Letting an 81 year old 90 pound woman push me around, well not literally but who cares, the outcome was ridiculous. Realizing that size really doesn't matter is essential to understanding power and control and the elements that make it possible to make a reasonably sane person start screaming about ice cream.
Jack knows me well, he's aware of how hard I work at being better than what I might have been. However. my actions yesterday make all of that meaningless. He's not going to say to himself, this is just my mom acting out, displacing her anger on to me. So I'll excuse her these transgressions. No, he is just hurt and sad that I couldn't have come up with that myself.