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kleinbl00  ·  12 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 18, 2017x 2

a year in the life.

We had our first class in there last night. Coats were hung on coat hooks I had hung five minutes previously. The person running the class had my phone number for two days to coordinate everything she might need; instead she showed up half an hour after she said she would and expected I could make it all work. And I did. But it's galling - "Yeah, I've never been here before, or met you before, and the last time my organization stopped by the sheetrock had just gone up I'm sure you can make my three hours of powerpoint and Youtube videos work just fine, especially if I give you half an hour, despite the fact that I've been forewarned the internet is spotty I'm sure you can work it out."

And then my wife showed up and then I took the kid home and then she got home at eleven. I'm on my 3rd or 4th 10-11-12 hour day on this fucker. Monday night was two hours naked knee-deep in lukewarm water scraping blue protectant off a tub. Yesterday, on the other, was easier... but I discovered that the tub they were 3 weeks late in delivering (thereby setting us back 3 weeks) is a factory 2nd with a massive chip in it that will spread if I can't get it fixed. So that made me happy.

The difficulty is the minute that class got there, it was abundantly clear that I don't belong. Nobody in the birth community says "husband" because it's offensive. We're all "partners." And we're all "supportive" and we're all expected to get out of the way so they can focus on women's mysteries. Except during the birth where the philosophy is basically "thou art thy partner's bitch who is suffering more than you can ever know to bring about the miracle of life you're lucky we let you in the room worm now help your master breathe!"

So what I'm left with is I've spent like three years building a business in an industry actively hostile to my gender, that will never have anything to do with me, and which resents my participation. I am a fish building an airplane. It's a fuckin' P-51 Mustang to be sure but I still got gills, you know? The only thing I get out of it is gratitude from my wife, and despite spending the better part of two days cleaning and tidying and polishing that place I was denied any reaction from her last night because god forbid we speak too loudly to interrupt the class.

I realized yesterday that while I've been maintaining social media channels for two years and organizing ad campaigns and infographics and all the rest, I've never once mentioned the birth center on my own Facebook page.

This is really the only place I talk about it.

That probably says something.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  15 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 18, 2017

This last week has been overwhelmingly positive. I've come to terms with demons that are years old through coming to accept my limits, had nothing but desire to learn about and have fun with people, had a sober mind to help a friend go through a break-up with her girl friend (of which I'm particularly proud) and found some awesome music.

I've also survived chickenpox (which wasn't as bad as people think: just a flu) and had to come home - a place that used to loathe - for treatment, which may have given space to all of the great transformative experience I've had lately. It's the same city steve had so much fun exploring today/yesterday in the IRC, which fills me with joy. Dude, go ahead and drive around Tomsk and Novosibirsk, too! Let me know what you think! Tomsk is much calmer and more narrow than Kemerovo, with a lot of history on its streets, while Novosibirsk is bigger, more urban and modern (though the latter might be my own perception of it: I do love that city).

One of the biggest changes was in how I see other people. Some of you may know a friend used to have, Sveta; we've been friends for two years before breaking up badly: our flaws collided hard and I couldn't take it. This year, I wrote her a message saying how grateful I was for the time we had, given that I've never said it at the time. She responded with the same. Something clicked in my head: that maybe the person I've been demonizing all this while isn't evil at all and it was me who projected my problems onto her, which is what led us to all the trouble we've had. Suddenly, things became clear: she was no longer the demon - just a person trying her best to stay afloat in life, like the rest of us. Made me realize I still wanted to be friends with her because she treated me with kindness and care.

She said she wasn't sure she can let me into her life again - I was, after all, a major source of emotional pain in her life before. It's okay. What matters is that I've finally recognized my own feelings and expressed them openly; whether we become friends again, I'm just glad it happened to me and, hopefully, I was able to mend a couple of bricks of her bridge of life.

Which is another thing I came to realize: the past isn't merely gone - it builds a bridge that we walk on. Conflicts, when left unresolved, crumble and corrode the bricks of which it's built. We affect each others' bridges when we enter people's lives, and by leaving anger in their lives, we corrode the bricks. An apology, then, is mending another person's bridge - and, perhaps, your own; to mend another's bridge is an achievement, and if you are the source of the damage - a duty.

One of the biggest challenges lately has been losing weight. I took up this rather extreme meal plan to get rid of the belly. It was fun the first couple of days because of the challenge of not eating, and I also tried to do "cardio trim" alongside, but soon my strength, both of body and mind, deteriorated to the point where I could no longer sustain the exercise or have any will to do anything, in obvious contrast with the week prior. I guess the effect's supposed to be drastic, otherwise nothing would happen, but this is a lot; I took a day off it today, to figure out how to proceed. My motivation is that I can't wear my usual white shirt until I trim the fat - and, given how damn good I look in it, it's a strong motivator for me.

Moving to Tomsk tomorrow, partly for uni, mostly because I'm full with what this house has to give me.

And to finish with some awesome music...

Zvenit Yanvarskaya Viuga is a cover of a classic Soviet film soundtrack by the Italian pop-rock band Vanilla Sky. It hit the Italian charts a couple of years ago like a hurricane, and I'm so glad to finally find it myself, because it sounds awesome. There's a snippet of the original in the beginning of the clip.

Prisencolinensinaincuisol is a song from another Italian artist, Adriano Celentano. He may not be as known in the rest of Europe or in the US, but he was popular as an actor in Russia during my childhood. The song is a nonsense verse that means to imitate the sound of American English to an Italian ear; if you turn off your language recognition, you can hear something distinctly American there sometimes. The second video is the modern remix by Benny Benassi, featuring old Celentano in a background role.

goobster  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 4, 2017

I read through the whole thread, and all of your responses, and I see one thing that has not been mentioned: Agency.

You had no agency in "cheeks" asking if the man with you was your dad.

You have no agency in the actions your brother is taking on your behalf.

Rest assured, Cheeks will lose his job. I have friends who are in both Management and Training at Goodwill, and one strike is enough to put you on the black list. They aren't hiring the cream of the crop at Goodwill. They are giving people an opportunity to pull themselves out of whatever hole they are in, by providing free job training, counseling, and other services people need to get back on their feet. So they have a very quick fuse. If you cause any sort of problem, you are out. There is always another person waiting behind you for the opportunity, and Goodwill needs to get people through the system and trained so they become productive employees, as opposed to unproductive trainees.

This man will now lose access to that opportunity permanently, because there was a claim made against him.

Goodwill will do the right thing and talk to your brother about the experience, and will do most of this verbally instead of in a written format, because it is a discovery process.

However all of these actions and activities are being taken on your behalf, because your brother has robbed you of your agency in this situation.

You chose to simply ignore Cheek's request. That was you taking the action you felt was appropriate to the situation.

I have no horse in this race, or have a position to defend in this situation. I'm just stating the facts in a way that might encourage you to take an active role - to regain your agency - in this situation.

I equate your brother taking action on your behalf as equally as demeaning to you as Cheeks' initial comment hitting on you. These are two men who have acted in their own interest, with you as the fulcrum.

Personally, I would not be happy in that place. I would feel used. That's my $0.02.

mk  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 21, 2016

Yesterday, I essentially put in my notice at a workplace I have been at for 15 years.

This next year ought to be a different one.

flac  ·  42 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 7, 2016

So, thenewgreen commissioned a shirt from me, and I decided to make a Hubski-themed one. Still mid-process, needs buttons and hems.

Here is is head-on. Mostly black, subdued, but then...

BLAM color everywhere.

Collar down.

Cuffs closed.

placket.

Proud of how this one is shaping up, lots of nice details in it - goobster, there are honest-to-god pleats and plackets on this puppy, I'll upload detail pics later.

----

Also

Made my sister a dress for her birthday.

(There is a picture of me modeling it, but it's a bit early in the day for that...)

-----------

Relatedly, my mother, who is a saintly woman, saw me working on this shirt last night, and she literally pulled my father by his shirt to the machine and said "OUR SON CAN MAKE A PLEAT" like it was the most mindblowing thing she had ever seen. My dad has been, uh, not super pleased with my sewing in the past, so it was nice to at least get a "huh, pretty good" from him (even if it was kind of forced).

Bottom line: my mom is awesome.

johnnyFive  ·  61 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: You Are Still Crying Wolf

I was with Scott's explanation until the Mexican immigrants statement. He had to twist himself into such contortions to explain why saying that Mexican immigrants coming into the U.S. illegally were rapists and murderers isn't a statement about Mexican people that the rest of it lost a lot of persuasiveness. I mean, he literally says that Trump saying that "Mexico isn't sending us their best" means that Trump thinks that Mexicans are some of the best people (completely ignoring what "their" means in this context). Talk about starting with your conclusion and then twisting the evidence to fit it. I also think that while it's not the same as actively supporting the KKK, if the KKK is supporting you then it's important to at least explore why.

But at the end of the day, I don't actually think Trump is truly a racist, and I think Scott totally and completely misreads who Trump is as a person.

The thing is, I almost wish Trump were a true racist. As the great Walter Sobchak said, "I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos."

As the saying goes, hate is not the opposite of love. The opposite of love is indifference. Trump doesn't hate Mexicans, black people, Jews, women, whomever. He simply does not give even a single fuck about any of them (or any of the rest us). As David Brooks wrote in early October:

    Imagine you are Trump. You are trying to bluff your way through a debate. You’re running for an office you’re completely unqualified for. You are chasing some glimmer of validation that recedes ever further from view.

    Your only rest comes when you are insulting somebody, when you are threatening to throw your opponent in jail, when you are looming over her menacingly like a mafioso thug on the precipice of a hit, when you are bellowing that she has “tremendous hate in her heart” when it is clear to everyone you are only projecting what is in your own.

    Trump’s emotional makeup means he can hit only a few notes: fury and aggression. In some ways, his debate performances look like primate dominance displays — filled with chest beating and looming growls. But at least primates have bands to connect with, whereas Trump is so alone, if a tree fell in his emotional forest, it would not make a sound.

Trump doesn't insult people because he feels anything about them, he insults people because he literally feels nothing. He didn't say the judge hearing the Trump University case is biased because he's Mexican because Trump actually believes this to be true, it was just the first insult that came to mind, and one that would get him attention.

I don't remember if I ever said it here, but the underlying feeling I kept getting through the campaign was that Trump wanted to be elected president, but that he doesn't want to be president. Sure, he has ideas (or gets them from other people), but they're not tethered to anything. That's why he keeps changing positions and why everything seems so schizoid. He doesn't seem to have the courage of his convictions because he has no convictions. He wanted the validation from the outside, because he's wholly incapable of finding contentment within himself. That's the same reason he's purging his inner circle with a priority on loyalty rather than ability; he has to be the center of adulation.

He can brag about groping women or be perfectly comfortable calling his daughter a "piece of ass" because he's never really had an emotional connection with anyone. He wants the approval of those immediately in front of him, so he takes a guess at how to do that and runs with it. He was okay calling his daughter that because he was on the Howard Stern show, and he thought that was the best way to get Stern (and his listeners) to like him. He was Mr. Right Wing Crazypants during the election, because that's how he got his supporters and campaign staff to like him. He got to speak to crowds of thousands who thought he was just the greatest. Why would he change? The more outside criticism hurt him (and I believe that it does), the more he would just shift his focus to those who were worshiping him while lashing out at the outside. The best way to feel like part of one group is to talk about how you're all under attack.

Notice how now that his "circle" has expanded, suddenly he's become more moderate? It's because he wants the rest of us to adore him too.

So I for one don't hate Trump, and am not angry at Trump for being who he is. I pity Trump. I can feel sorry for all those who will be hurt by his latest round of narcissism, and can only hope that our country and our world are strong enough to survive it (and I think they are). He's like the dog chasing cars, and now he's caught one.

someguyfromcanada  ·  59 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What We Lost: Undoing the Fairy Tale Narrative of Adoption

Outside of the Canadian residential schools system this is the first time I have heard an adopted child frame their experience as one of victimization. I know a lot of adopted kids, including all of my siblings. 2 out of 3 of my siblings would say it turned out great.

My parents thought they were unable to have biological children and in 1964 a priest approached my Mom and asked her if her and my Dad (who are white) would be interested in adopting from an orphanage in the slums of Kowloon. My eldest sibling, my only sister, then arrived in Nebraska at the age of 3, not knowing a word in any language and obsessed with hoarding anything she could get her hands on. The theory is that the orphanage was simply a dumping ground for children and they did not bother with education or have many resources. Weeks later they were asked if they would like a white boy from Ohio and along came my brother when he was something like 6 days old. So my parents went from zero to 2 kids in the span of about a month.

Less than a year later my Mom got pregnant and then popped me out. I assume they then realized I was a mistake and so went back to adopting. :) My youngest brother, who is black and Native American, arrived from Kansas at about the age of 1 month.

It was obviously never a secret that we had an adoptive family and we learned a lot about black, Native and Chinese culture, celebrated Chinese New Year, literally knew every black family in the small town we grew up in, lived on Native reserves for a few summers (my Dad was an archaeologist), etc. If they ever had any questions or concerns they knew it was always open for them to discuss it with our parents. Our very large extended family was 100% supportive if you can even say that about a bunch of people who never had/made an issue with any of it. Even my racist Southern Grandma who disliked all black people she did not know. Nowadays our extended family holiday dinners look like a meeting of the UN with whites, blacks, asians, muslims, jews, athiests, renecks, artsys, etc.

My sister and eldest brother have never really had any issue, and certainly no feelings of stigma or victimization about being adopted. My sister overcame her early lack of contact and education due to in large extent my Mom, who was a language special education teacher and probably as loving a person as one could be. She went on to get 3 university degrees and a long professional career. She is more well travelled than anyone I know and has even visted her orphange. Not to look for her bio parents (although she found out that even if she wanted to it would be impossible due to lack of paperwork) but just out of curiosity since she was in Hong Kong. My older brother went to university and was an Olympic and pro athlete and runs a very successful business. Neither one of them could care less about who their biological family is. After my sister's visit to Hong Kong I asked my older brother about it and he said something like "Why the fuck would I want to do that?" We get along great and have very similar personalities.

My younger brother is a different story though. A lot of it no doubt had to do with being one of the few black kids in a small, redneck white town. People would stare at him so he was very aware of his "otherness". He got called nigger. He would get watched by staff when he went into stores. All kinds of bullshit like that. It was a constant issue. Another factor is that he and my Dad had absolutely nothing in common and never really got along once he got into highschool. He did not give a shit about school and my parents were very academically inclined. He was completely irresponsible, extrordinarily self-centered and started acting up. I just recently realized that it started when my Dad developed a degenerative, progressively fatal disease with no cure. Maybe he was angry that my Dad was getting all the attention? Maybe he felt victimized by my brother and me giving him shit for not picking up the slack and being more supportive of our Dad? He would run away from home on a regular basis and only come back when he needed something, which my Mom would give to him. He would live in hell-holes and things would always go wrong and something would get broken or he would be evicted, etc. In his mind it was never his fault and he would not accept responsibility and it was always me that came to his rescue. He stopped going to school, eventually dropped out and never even finished high school. The first complete break in our relationship came when he and my Dad got into an argument and he physically attacked my disabled father and I jumped in and we duked it out until he ran away. That was the last time he ever saw my Dad alive. But of course he showed up at his funeral so he could act like the bereaved son and soak up the sympathy.

And so it went for many, many years. One of his "problems" is that he is incredibly charismatic and good-looking; he looks like a black Brad Pitt but better looking, with a better body. So he has always had women take care of him. My Mom has always given him money as he is a personal trainer and model whose income has always been inconsistent. I have bailed him out more times than I could count. Figuratively and literally. He had a son with a long-term partner and when that relationship came to an end he was charged with domestic abuse. I do not think anything happened but whatever. I had to come up with $10,000 cash bail on a Saturday morning to get him out. He moved in with me and I drove 90 minutes 3 times a week so he could see his son. For all of his flaws he was an excellent father who really loved his son. That went on for a year and a half until the charges were dropped. But he and the Mom hated each other so I still had to be the liasion in between the 2. For years. She was horribly cruel and manipulative even to me and he had it worse.

We had always got along amazingly but the relationship between him and the rest of the family began to unravel when he decided he was done trying to be a father to his son. It was too much work. Too mentally and emotionally tiring. To a great extent I could understand as the mother did everything she could do to make it hard on him to see his son. But I tried my damndest to talk him out of it. Perhaps I shouldn't have, but when I had used every other argument I could I even begged him not to reinforce a negative stereotype by leaving another black son without a father.

A few months later I had a bad break-up and, as I had been paying his mortgage and he was looking for a roomate, I offered to move in there. The night before the move I called to confirm that I would be there at such and such a time and he told me I could not bring my cat with me. When he already had 2 cats and a dog. And he would not relent since "I just don't want another cat here." "Umm... could you have not told me this a month ago?" "Do you understand what kind of position this puts me in?" At ten at night with ten hours before the movers show up. Too bad. Don't care.

My other brother was simply disgusted and my sister and Mom called him to say how unbelievable that was, especially considering all that I had done for him. He denied I had ever done anything to help him. So I emailed him once a day for ten days demanding the money I had lent him to pay his mortgage. He reported me to the police for harassment. I was so livid when the police called me. I told the cop to fuck off and mind his own business as this was a civil matter. I never tried to contact him again after that. My Mom and sister did but he would not get back to them.

That was 6 years ago. A month or so ago I was fixing something on my Mom's computer and saw that she sends him Xmas and birthday emails every year. And every year he does not respond. She told a good family friend that she cries all the time because she misses him so much. My sister emailed him a year ago and told him that our Mom has Alzheimers and he has not bothered to respond.

My nephew is in grade 12 now. I talk with him all the the and we go on vacations twice yearly at least. One of his friends told me that she looked his Dad up on FB and saw that he was posting pictures about meeting his "real family".

Going back to the original topic, as far as anyone knows he never had a desire to track down his bio Mom until after he abandoned us and am not sure which way the detective work went but he was the one who traveled several hours to meet them. There was no black man in the pictures so I guess he has not met his bio Dad. I might get some hate for this statement but I am unsure what he would have in common with them as he has always considered himself black and they are all Natives, obese, live in trailers and look they have had very hard lives. But apparently he now considers them his "real family". As I said, our mom would never have had an issue with meeting and getting to know them but I am not really sure in these circumstances since he has chosen to abandon his actual family. Twice now, both times when one parent was very sick. I think calling them his "real" family is simply wrong and maybe even cruel to our mother. Perhaps in this instance the adoptive parent is the one that has been victimized. We will never hear her side of the story though due to her disease.

Well shit, I did not start out with the intention, but that was by far the longest comment I have ever posted on any social media.

To finish on a happier note, my sister got knocked up in her last year of university, moved away so no one would know of her "shame" of having a child out of wedlock and gave the kid up for adoption. Only my Mom and I knew. That was 27 years ago and we have never spoken of it since. Not that it was taboo, it just did not come up. Two years ago the kid's Mom emailed my Mom asking if they were connected. My Mom was all confused so I handled it from there. First of all, I wanted to know if it was her quest or her daughter's quest. So she put me in touch with her daughter and everything was cool. My sister's first reaction when I told her was "What does she want?" and she was not ready to meet her. The kid and I kept in touch and about a year later my sister asked for her email address, emailed her and did not receive a response. I followed up with the kid a couple of weeks later and the email was in her spam folder! So they emailed, then spoke on the phone, then met, she eventually came to meet my Mom, my sister met the kid's parents, then we attended a large gathering of our family. And everything is great.

The odd thing is that they are so incredibly similar. They both have arts degrees, have traveled to dozens of countries, are in love with Jamaica (my sister lived there for years and the kid has spent 3 summers working there) and they are both obsessed with and have the exact same taste in clothing and jewelry. Next week end we are going to my younger brother's ex's house for dinner and my black nephew is going to meet the black/asian/jewish cousin he does not even know exists! So far, so good for that scenario.

[Fun Fact: My niece's cell phone was stolen from a bar and used by a gang-banger to phone the media trying to sell the cell phone video of Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack.]

camarillobrillo  ·  85 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: So long hubski x 2

I don't know what to tell you Taco that you don't already know. Obviously the months (years?) leading up to this moment have been a rollercoaster. Perhaps, like me many times past and present, you're thinking that you've just had a stroke of bad luck lately and if people would just fuck off and give you some space to get your collective shit together everything will go back to normal. It won't. I think we both know that. The only question you need to ask yourself is how far down the rabbit hole you're willing to go?

Do you have any criminal charges pending? Probation? Before you make any harsh decisions about rehab realize they WILL make those for you eventually. You'd be better off just letting go and letting God as the AA nuts are wont to say. It'll go a lot harder for you if you don't, believe me. Don't even think about driving anywhere far right now. If you plan on sleeping in your car don't you dare keep any shit in it. They will find you, and your family, love notwithstanding, WILL let you rot in jail.

Have you ever been homeless? I spent about half a year in my car and IT SUCKED. Worst months of my life. Spent a week truly roughing it when a cop dropped me at the doors of a state facility and didn't bother to check me in himself. I learned a lot about myself and the world around us that week, none of it inspiring. That is a dark road man, and it's getting colder outside. That's what stuck with me the most: the cold.

Rehab SUCKS. I've been to the best and the worst and they're all fucking miserable. THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO BE. You will meet some truly sad and crazy individuals there. You will be sick. Hopefully they'll give you some decent meds and you'll hit the pink cloud within the week. By the month's end you'll be more than ready to get the fuck out of there. You'll think that was a one time thing and you've got your addiction under control now. You will be wrong.

You've still got family that cares about your welfare. That's a plus for sure. No matter how much you may hate them or how much you think they hate you, you've got people and that's most important. What you decide now will determine how many of those loved ones will remain once the dust settles.

You're one of us now. It's a big club. You're not special. Left unchecked you will die a lonely, excruciating death. AA is mostly bullshit. It's bullshit you would be wise to suffer through at least a couple months. There's no going back. You will have this disease the rest of your life. Like I said: HOW FAR DOWN ARE YOU WILLING TO GO?

I'll be thirty next year. My addictions have cost me half my family, several relationships, over a year in county, half a dozen hospital visits... my sanity. Yet, even with all that misery, I still go back. She welcomes me with open arms every time. One day I fear she'll never let go.

Get your shit together man. I'll keep you close to heart. Take your medicine and come back to us stronger and wiser.

kleinbl00  ·  77 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 2, 2016

The difference between "too much" and "not enough" is tied to demonstrating that you're interested and interesting.

"I am thinking about you" qualifies if you are in a committed, stable relationship. If you are 2 dates in, "I am thinking about you" violates protocol. And yes, there's protocol, you little simps. Your demonstrable ability to communicate your desirability is the one real task of courtship and the sooner you accept that it's a shorthand for a much larger discussion the happier you'll be.

Which is why "I am thinking about doing cool shit and would welcome your participation" qualifies early in a relationship. Importantly, this should reflect who you are at your best, not who you think she wants you to be. You must be genuine because you are effectively performing you and you must give a good performance. If you attempt to perform someone else she will feel betrayed (subconsciously) as soon as you cease to be that person.

"I think it would be fun to go to the fair, would you like to come?" is a great reason to contact someone. "I'm going hiking Saturday" works, too. Full disclosure: I haven't had to date since y'all were in grade school so I'm sure that some things have changed but to my sensibility, "netflix and chill" is something you use to cement a relationship, not develop one. The test is one of silence: are your silences comfortable or uncomfortable? If only one of you stops trying to fill the pauses with speech, you are not ready for "netflix and chill" or any other low-energy bonding pursuit.

One of the great things about kids is they allow you to pursue endeavors that you would not otherwise. Wanna go to the Lego store on a Saturday afternoon? Congrats. You have an excuse. How 'bout the Aquarium? Saddle up. Relationships are similar - there's a barrier to checking out that new cafe by yourself unless you are exceedingly comfortable with solitude. However, "I'm thinking of checking out that new cafe - wanna come?" demonstrates that you are sociable, interesting and fun to spend time with.

Note that it's important to consider you and to consider her. I had a girl bring me a stuffed gargoyle from the Disney store because she'd been to my place once and had noticed that everyone else used to buy me gargoyles (it's true). This demonstrated (A) she had paid attention but not enough to notice I hate Disney (B) she was thinking of me (C) she spends a lot of time at malls. From her perspective it was a nice, thoughtful gift and I took it as such. That relationship lasted four years. Later, I started dating a girl that had never gone hiking and was coming out of a difficult marriage that drained all her resources. I bought her a $200 pair of hiking boots. This demonstrated (A) that I wanted her to share my passions without any impediment (B) that I was very much not her soon-to-be-ex-husband (C) that I was willing to spend extravagantly on her. It was a risk - that's much too big a present for early on, particularly if $200 is dear to you - but it was a successful gambit. We're going on 15 years.

"Too much" is "I'm here, reminding you that I'm here." "Too much" is the "facebook poke" of relationships. "Not enough" is "I've heard I need to be distant so she doesn't freak out." IT'S NOT THAT. It's that you shouldn't say anything if you have nothing to say.

Courtship is about imagining someone else in your life and inviting them to dream with you. If you work at it from that perspective you'll gain some clarity on a process that both genders work diligently to obscure.

someguyfromcanada  ·  56 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 23, 2016

The highlight of my week (so far!) was on Monday when I attended an event for the #SickNotWeak mental health awareness campaign and a local youth suicide awareness group.

SickNotWeak is a campaign initiated by "famous" Canadian sportscaster Michael Landsberg to destigmatize mental illness, with an emphasis on depression because that is what he suffers from. A lot of the publicity for the campaign comes from sports figures who are willing to honest about their struggles. This was a dinner and speaking event with several very known well athletes who all have connections with mental illness.

Clint Malarchuk and Hayley Wickenheiser were the opening speakers.

Clint was incredibly emotional talking about his ups and downs and admitted he still has the bullet in his head from when he tried to kill himself, which is not something that was public knowledge before I do not think. He always had OCD and was a goalie who suffered a slit throat from a skate and was only saved by a team doctor who stuck his fingers into his neck to pinch off the loose carotid artery ends. He never watched the footage but when he saw a similar accident happen several years later he developed PTSD and was prescribed anti-psychotics so he could continue playing, but that was the end of his career. Big tough guy that could not handle seeing a bit of blood. But that was not something you talked about back then. He began boozing and drugging and only sought help after his 2nd suicide attempt.

Hayley is the greatest female hockey player of all-time. A household name in Canada. She went into a deep depression after losing the Olympic gold medal game at age 19. She was always the best and all of a sudden was a big failure. Even though it is standard procedure now, that was not a phenomenon that sports psychologists managed at that time. She also had very bad post-partum and had a NHL friend that ODed. She probably had the best laugh line of the night when she said (about the time that the US just missed an empty netter that you have never seen a bunch of women so happy about 2 inches.

Theo Fleury, an NHL superstar, was the headline speaker and it would be an understatement to say that he was an incredible speaker. He grew up in a household with 2 addicts as parents, was always told that he was too small to play in the NHL and so had "not good enough" syndrome, was mentored by a coach that promised him it would happen then raped him hundreds of times, ended up drinking a case of vodka and snorting $3,500 of coke a week, would take the Trump helicopter to Atlantic City after games and, after gambling and screwing hookers all night, would get back to NYC for morning practice. He got kicked out of the NHL and after buying a gun and sticking it in his mouth decided he needed to talk.

Theo had a very good point at the end of his talk. As someone standing on a stage with a mike in front of a big audience, most people want to hear laughter or clapping and whatnot. But he likes it the best when there is absolute silence since that means people are thinking. There was a lot of clapping and laughing, but also a lot of silence. And he was masterful in utilizing those moments.

I can't stress how much he was an amazing speaker. That is what he does now full time. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, please do so. We were the event sponsor so he sat at my table and was quite chatty during the 4 hour event.

Other hockey guys with local connections were there as well: Steve Larmer, Cory Stillman, Jody Hull, etc. Luke Richardson talked briefly about the foundation he started after his 14 year old daughter committed suicide. His 14 year old daughter.

I have never asked for a picture like this before but but here is a pic of me and a rather dapper Theo Fleury: