Friday, June 25, 2010

Your charms

Gus and I spent the last two days at OSU for his orientation, and I thought it would be fun to share of few of my observations and experiences.
I'll start with that he toyed with, just for a moment the idea of joining the Air Force ROTC once we heard about how much school was actually going to cost. We went on the tour of their building which is one you can kind of spot a mile off because it's the only one with a howitzer in front. The image that keeps repeating regarding that entire experience, is the sign on the bathroom door, refrigerator, and office window that is a dehydration chart and is based on urine color. I'm betting it depends on where you hang out as to how familiar this might have been, but for me it seemed churlish.
It was a chaotic and exhausting experience, with two stand out funny moments; the first being standing at a McDonald's counter as two employee's were yelling at each other and I interrupted with; "hey could you save the Mcargument until after I get my coffee." and then later as we were getting closer to the university and saw a large sign for OSU, Gus in his deepest most video game voice said, "time for re-education".
In a sense, he was right, they kind of broke us down; the parents because we were running around disoriented trying to find the right location for the next session, wondering where our kids where and if they were okay. And then the students whom they separate from us, in order to start and get them integrated into the college experience. They have to actually text and call their parents back for the first time ever which probably as I think about it was the most challenging thing they experienced.

Monday, June 21, 2010

And the wrong rhyme

For a graduation gift, Gus received a memory book from the mother of one of his close friends. It includes pictures and scrapbook cut outs of graduation oriented items. It's something I could never make, ever, not even close. It is amazing and totally made me feel like shit.
Not that I haven't been feeling that way lately anyway, it just amped it up. But, that's wrong, I should have only admired it and saw how happy it made him that someone went to such trouble for him.
I rationalized that my entire life is about this family and the work I do is so they can have their fun, go to school and live in a way that makes them happy. But, it doesn't. Gus has expressed great sadness lately. Jack is unhappy at school, at the lack of friends with common interests and just having playful people around him. Jacob is still unable to attach himself to something that makes him feel anchored. The short of it is that we are rudderless and there is very little hope of a repair or a replacement part if I don't find my way through the haze. I need some clarity, and it's not going to come from an external source.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A hole in your old brown overcoat

So many things to talk about, so little time to sit and have a moment to reflect.
There are some light and airy moments to last week, and then there is the darkness. I guess it's always there but is much better hidden in the summer months, it can barely keep up.
We went to see Toy Story 3 yesterday, which I reluctantly agreed to but am so, yes, I'll say it grateful I went. It was heartbreaking and not in the Disney I just got manipulated way ,just in a what matters the most kind of mode.
And with that, I think about my sons, all of them complicated . We couldn't foresee any different, as Eamon and I are a molten mess of neurosis and OCD. Should we have expected a group of varnished and well adjusted youth? Ultimately we didn't think about it, we just did our best and our worst, as all parents do.. Yes, I've said it, even mine. Sure they really could have done better, shown a modicum of interest in taking care of my basic needs when I was young. But, with what they had, they gave it their best shot as well. Okay so I guess that means I've traversed another level of maturity or growth, yet I still find myself looking in the mirror at a child in an adult's body, wondering when the coming mash up will appear.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I've got a stone

As I was doing my Tracy Anderson this morning, and listening to her say the same things for the maybe three hundredth time, Gus, who was lying on the bed and watching her, (his form of entertainment perhaps) , asked why I didn't just turn the volume off and listen to music, and I explained that when you are not watching the screen, you need to listen to ques for the next move. Then, he asked why I didn't write a letter and complain to her because she said that my arms would be "teeny tiny and long and lean", and they aren't.
I know my face got red, or redder, and I told him to get out of my room; okay I yelled at him to get out of my room. Then I finished up and was gratefully distracted as I composed my more appropriate response to his comment.
When I told Gus, the purpose of my following this regime had little to do with how I looked and mostly everything to do with how I felt, he explained further that he just didn't understand why people can claim that what they are selling will actually work like they say it will. I told him that it's not the people selling the stuff, but the one's buying it who have to at least know that they are banking on something that isn't real or that the product will not work for them the way it does on the telly; his response, "obviously".

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

This very day

I had a conversation with a friend about anxiety. He does not strike me as someone who would really have much, but he called to tell me about how he has realized lately, it's more that when he starts to feel anxious, he gets aggravated, which, well, aggravates the situation. I gave him my standard line, of which I have many; that it's primal. That if you just watch pretty much any animal in the middle off the food chain, not one near the top who have less to fuss about. But one just trying to make it through the day, or night if it's nocturnal, they are always on alert, always watching and checking things. That has translated into our more complicated world as an underlying anxiety that can either be mild or in the case of people who experience any trauma, broken trust, poverty, bullying, illness, loss, okay anyone who is now or has ever been alive has some level of disquiet. Reconciling that it's there and it's not going away is what I suggested was the only viable solution. Then I had to go because I had to pick up two kids, in different places at the same time.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Of means by no means

Acting like your restaurant or whatever establishment it is, is working from a regional or local perspective and adding that the "craft" of either the food or product is so vital to the process, is merely an elitist take on basic goods and services that everyone else is providing but, somehow "yours" is as close to pure as it can be.
Gus graduated on Thursday, but beforehand, Jake, Eamon and I went out to eat downtown. Being the country folk we are, our server took it upon herself to make sure we understood the menu by holding her pen under words for me to read better because I asked for a description of something, and subsequently she spoke real slow for Jake when he had a question about a translation from French.
Oh, the joys of spending lots of money to be made to feel like merde! After a while, I gave up even looking at her, it was like trying to talk to a teenager, something I'm very familiar with. Everything was an argument or had a retort. In fact, it was just like what I'm used to because even after all that frustration and combat, I had to hand over huge wads of cash.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

When I was around

We went to the rib burn off this weekend. There, I've said it, owned it and can move on. Actually we went there to meet a friend; one whom both Eamon and I feel as if we've not come through enough for in the past. Well, that's all been taken care of now it that he didn't even show.
We took Gus and Jack who just thought it was me being my crazy cheap self when I balked at the prices which were so beyond outrageous I just gave up. And, there's the whole ticket thing. This is maybe set up so you think you're not actually spending fifty dollars for a few ribs and a drink or two. Here, this isn't money, it's just paper with writing and it's not green so I'll just give you lots of them.
We actually did have a good time. The four of us have not gone anywhere together since last summer's trip to the shore. There was little bickering and just a little freak out from Gus regarding the aforementioned balk. If it wasn't such an obvious and blatant swindle, I would have appreciated the experience even more. But sometimes, you have to take artificially flavored lemonade and pay seven dollars for it.