Hanging out

Do most people only spend time with friends in the form of doing something together?

Growing up, we would sit on the phone together, talking for hours – or as long as our parents would allow us – or we would go over to one another’s houses with no specific plan in mind, and just sit around together, talking, exploring aspects of life, and then doing whatever struck our fancy within the realm of that house/yard/neighborhood, but mostly house.

We didn’t really arrange anything – we just said to come over, and the other person did.

Nowadays, I can tell if it is adulthood or changing culture, but it feels as though this is no longer an option, or, at least, and acceptable one.

There are people with whom I want to spend more time in my life, and yet it feels as though I must come up with something for us to go do together, not at anyone’s home…

And I kind of feel like this is because, if I invited the person to my home, I would be at extreme risk of sounding like I am sharing an invitation for sex, or something like it, be it male or female I invite over.

Do you ever get that feeling?

I make a really good long-distance friend, in large part because – okay, mostly because I remember to call and I make time for my friends, but also because of this – well, because I can hang out over the phone.

One of my good friends and I regularly call one another to talk while we go on walks, sometimes together and sometimes with only one of us walking… and we just talk about anything and nothing, as though we were walking side-by-side.

My mom and I set the phone on speaker, and then each continue doing whatever we were doing, working on projects at home, or running errands, or whatever…

I love just hanging out with the people in my life, no pretext; just simply a matter of wanting to know what he or she was up to then and for the rest of the day, and does he/she want to hang out for a while (via phone or in person)…

And I’m scared of doing that…

Is that a real concern worth having, or is it all in my head that this isn’t exactly normal behavior with adults these days, just to invite one another over to hang out and do nothing in particular but be around one another voluntarily?

I’m thinking it’s kind of a mix… perhaps only good friends do this, not people of varying degrees of acquaintance… you know what I mean?

Hmm… we’ll see what I manage about this… I’m curious to see what I’ll do and how…

::finger rolls/drumming

Post-a-day 2019

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Yearbooks

***Update on the ant bite: My bicep still rocks, but the bite swelled and split open this morning, only to close up, turn green in the middle again, and start swelling again… we’ll see how it looks in the morning, now! (And the coach’s bites did not turn green, he said, but one was hurting a lot.)***

We now return to regular programming.

There is a guy working with me who graduated high school with my youngest brother.

I pulled out the yearbook from their senior year today, and had a brief look through the senior photos.

I enjoyed how much hair this guy and my brother both had in their photos, and how they both have almost none now, and both keep their heads shaved (though my brother uses a razor, and the other guy only seems to buzz it as short as possible).

One thing I noted was that their service work locations seemed almost stereotypical for each of them…. interesting, perhaps.

Something bigger, however, was the other people I found in the yearbook.

I crossed names of people whose faces I knew not, but whose names I knew well from my brother – how fun to put faces to the names, even almost two decades after the fact.

And then I realized that I finally had the opportunity to look up and remember my brother’s best friend’s full name – I forgot his middle name a few years back, and haven’t recalled it since…. I just always thought it was fascinating, because he was the fourth with the name, so he had a “, IV” at the end of his legal name.

And I use the past tense here, because he died at the start of their sophomore year of college.

It was drinking and a bit of drugs at a party, and everyone thought he’d simply fallen asleep, but, of course, he hadn’t… I’ve always remembered most that my brother was invited to that same party, but chose to work on his absurd amount of homework, instead (thank you, UT Architecture program [not for the first time]).

And so J—– died at the party, and my brother spoke at the funeral, at the request of J—-‘s family, and he did a wonderful job.

My mom and I also attended the funeral, along with a lot of people.

After the funeral, since J—- had always said that he wanted to go out with pinwheels and fireworks, we (a handful of select people that happened to include my mom and me) went to an open land area across from a movie theatre, and set off a bunch of little rockets and a few big shebang fireworks (the pinwheels had decorated the casket) – it was a true party and celebration to send off J—- and to say goodbye together.

When I came across his name today, I was delighted – I finally have it(!).

And then I gave his photo a good look.

And it was almost terrifying as an experience, though terrifying just is not quite the right word…

It suddenly occurred to me that this was the first time I’d seen a photo of J— since around the time of the funeral – I’d only had mental visions of him since then.

It was weird to think that, u like my brother and that other guy, J— had not aged from this photo… maybe two years’ worth of aging, but that was little different from the boy who sat in the frame that is in front of me now.

These were posed senior portraits for the yearbook, and so they each are looking directly at the camera…, directly at the viewer of the photograph… J—- was no exception…

And it was spooky, knowing that those eyes, so true and almost penetrating in this photo, were no longer here, no longer existed.

And then, it had me wonder how many people in this book, this yearbook are no longer around?

And that was perhaps even spookier…

I had to move on to other things then, both in terms of productivity and in terms of an emotional desire to step away from the increasing discomfort and potential sadness of what sat before me, visually and mentally, at that moment, and so I closed the book, put it back in its place, and walked away.

I soon had tears in my eyes, and the feeling of hollowness just behind the bottom of my ribs was growing.

Now, hours later and many tasks and conversations later, I feel less afraid, and more aware of the fleeting aspect of life, the circumstances that allow us a promise of a chance at everything, and at a chance of it all going away at any moment, in a moment’s time…

On my way up to the house where I am housesitting tonight, I passed their church, where J—-‘s funeral had been… I think of him every time I pass it (though that doesn’t happen too often), because it’s the only thing I’ve ever attended there…

……

I don’t have anything insightful about this… I just wanted to share…

Post-a-day 2019

Dorks

My brother asked me if I was doing a carry-on bag for our trip.

I told him that I was, and he said that he was hoping/planning to do the same for the whole trip (with an exclamation point at the end!).

That was in text messages.

Talking over the phone a little while later, after our tickets (one set of them, anyway) were booked, we discussed the bags again, and the matter of bringing only a carry-on bag plus a purse.

‘My biggest concern right now is really what watch I’m gonna bring,’ he says to me.

‘I know what watch I’m bringing!’ I counter, and my mom laughs behind me, knowing full well what my brother must have just said, and laughing at him for it (not at my comment alone).

I only currently wear the watch this same brother gave to me several months ago.

It is awesome, and I wear it lovingly and with pride at the company, at my brother for finding and supporting it, and a little at myself for wearing it.

eone Bradley Compass Graphite

My brother knows this, and so does my mother, so we all got my teasing joke of a comment, and, once I told my brother that Mom was laughing, we all laughed at his dilemma.

My brother has an entire collection of watches, each one different from the rest, and all of them stellar quality and style…, and I would guess that they add up to around a hundred thousand dollars altogether…

He typically travels with three watches as a minimum – a casual chic, a sport, and a work watch that doubles as formal.

Sometimes, I believe, he brings something like seven, when it’s a longer trip, and he’ll have varied activities in which to participate and events to attend.

I always bring my one watch, and simply remove it whenever I do sport.

(The moment this company comes out with a sports-safe version of their watches, however, I am totally likely to have two watches, and quite suddenly so…. until that time, however, I have just the one.)

We absolutely love my brother’s love of watches, and I laud him for and value his efforts in creating watches with an awesome private watch company that has begun to make watches for him and to use him and his sports to create advertising for their watches…. frankly, he has done what we all dream to do, by turning a dorky passion into something that not only allows him to pursue his passion but to be encouraged in it and to be paid through it, all while always having a wonderful time with it all.

I am proud to share blood with him, and I love having fun with him around his love of watches (and many other things, too, actually).

At the end of our call, I ask him how the boating went with his friends earlier.

He tells me that he took some pictures, and so he’ll send me something.

After a few moments of flipping through photos, he sends me a wrist shot of the watch his buddy temporarily swapped him for two of his watches…

Seriously, brother?… You went boating, and you took pictures, and the only photo that actually comes out of it all is one of your wrist and a watch, where you really can’t tell that you’re out on a boat in the first place?

But, for him, of course it is. πŸ˜›

And, to be fair, when I saw the photo, while my secondary comment and thought related to the aforementioned concept, my first thought and comment were immediate: “His Carbotech!”

I knew exactly what watch it was, and even I was excited that my brother was getting to wear this watch… πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

What goes down at the museum

So, this happened while we were walking around the current exhibit (Fashion photography) at the museum today…

We actually had a somewhat difficult time not laughing too loudly as we were doing this.

I had asked my mom if she was going to give me back the cash I’d lent her anytime soon… (She was leaving town right after we finished the painting class we were doing one day, and she realized that she had forgotten to stop and get cash at the bank, so I just gave her some that I had.)

A couple comments later, my mom has turned to me and is opening up her wallet… as she starts flipping through the bills contained within it, I notice myself taking a quick glance around the room (exhibit room), and suddenly feeling like I was just checking to make sure no one could see what we were doing….

And I instantly thought about how shady a scenario this, under different circumstances, could be.

‘Are we doing our sketchy drug deal in the museum?’ I said quietly to my mom.

We both then glanced around and could hardly contain ourselves as she counted out money, and I gave her a coupon I had recently been given and wouldn’t be using.

Quite the dealing, though I say so myself. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Family

………………….

Journal entry for August 2, 2019

Today, we learned that C— has no penis…

………………….

This evening was an extended family evening, and a rather wonderful time.

There was chatter, discussion, story-telling, and lots of laughter.

At one point, one of my cousins, G—, shared this delightful story with us, and I knew immediately that I just had to write about it, because it was well worth sharing with the world.

She and her husband have two little girls, approximately aged four years and two years, and then a baby boy aged almost ten weeks.

Her husband, C—, was changing the diaper of the baby boy, and A—, the eldest girl, was observing.

A: Daddy, what’s that?!

C: Uh, well, it’s a penis… it’s because he is a boy… he is a boy, so he has a penis… that’s what makes him a boy, instead of a girl…

A:……. But Daddy, you’re a boy and you don’t have a penis….

C:… Actually, yes, I do have a penis…

A:….. Really?????

Conclusion from my cousin telling the story: Emasculated by a four-year-old. πŸ˜‚

Afterward, my grandma commented that she thought it was such a shame that no one was documenting this sort of thing, – I had already determined that I was definitely writing about it tonight, but I didn’t mention anything about it – and my aunt said that the point was people telling one another stories…

My grandma was worried that the stories get lost, you see, and so my mom leaned over the counter, and starter scribbling with an imaginary pen into an imaginary book, saying aloud, “August 2, 2019: Today, we learned that C— has no penis.”

My uncle, whose son-in-law C— is, and who genuinely likes C—, nearly cried himself out of his chair, he laughed so hard at that – I mean, we all laughed rather hard, but he practically exploded with his laugher.

It was a very good little time tonight. πŸ™‚

Thank you, God, for this blessing.

Note: Yes, yes, I know gender stuff is all up and about right now, however, I am not letting it disturb the hilarity of this particular stupendous father-daughter exchange – the story is not meant to offend in any way; it is merely something that happened that I find wonderful and worth sharing.

P.S. It occurred to me that, while I still am not there with the solo dancing I want to teach in prisons, I am at the very edge of receiving my yoga teacher certification, – a type of yoga that uses lots of meditation and mantra and healing exercises – and I could look into teaching that in prisons… something also incredibly beautiful and powerful and potentially extremely beneficial to those living in prison, especially as part of their preparation to move back into the world outside of prison… So, yeah… I’m suddenly rather inspired to get that certification finished ASAP.

P.P.S. And then, that had me thinking that I might somehow get the opportunity to do portraits of people in prison…. and that could be a beautiful project, be it for their future work portraits or for a neat project of sharing about prisons with the world… yeah… that’s gonna stay on the side in my mind, ready for when the time is right to act on it… definitely… πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2019

Adulting

I shared with a couple adults tonight about my current endeavors, and especially how grad school is for my back-up plan and that photography is my number one plan… and they trusted it and supported it.

It was my brothers’ dad and stepmom, so they’re kind of like slightly distanced close family… like aunt and uncle distance, in a sense… so they care about me and know me rather well.

And, tonight, that was very clear to me (though I already knew it).

They asked questions first to understand the plan and financial logic, and then to understand the artistry and passion of it all.

They accepted my logic and my back-up plan with only a handful or two of questions (at which point their concerns were relieved), and then they genuinely asked about and listened to my responses regarding what I am doing with photography, artistically speaking.

They understood it.

I showed them some photos, and they had funny comments and then also genuine comments of understanding my perspective and approach to photography…

And it felt so…. freeing, I guess…

People whom I’ve always seen as ‘the adults’ in my life haven’t exactly been supportive of my current efforts, some even openly opposed and contradictory to just about everything I believe regarding work and lifestyle, and others not being opposed but not being supportive either… just somewhat passively accepting that I’m up to something or other and taking care of myself.

So it was truly refreshing – yes, that’s the word, refreshing…. aaahh – to have them respond in such a way, especially considering that they are both very practical individuals, especially financially speaking.

Yeah, tonight was really awesome… and they wanted me to show and tell them even more… and even asked if it were possible to make them look “good” in some photos (as opposed to just tolerable or old), and offered to be subjects for me, if I were interested, which I was and am… and they even offered up the idea that my doing photos would happen in exchange for a fee, which I informed them was unnecessary, because they would be doing me a service by letting me use them as low-risk subjects for practice, anyway.

I mean…, I think that none of my family has done that or even mentioned the idea of doing that with/for me…

Tonight was just a great experience, and filled with love – I adulted really well, confident in my current endeavors and in sharing them with others, and it was all fully accepted and embraced by those others.

Thank you, God and all Creation for the love that has empowered and engulfed me tonight.

May I share it with the world around me tomorrow. πŸ™‚

Sat Naam.

Post-a-day 2019

Happy Birthday

“Happy Birthday….

“Happy Birthday, baby, oh… I love you so!

“Siiix-tyyy candles….”

That’s what I sang to my mom as I played the ukulele tonight… it’s her sixtieth birthday today, and, just after I had sung her our usual birthday song (“On this day”), I suddenly had the beginning of “Sixteen Candles” in my head…

And it hit me: sixty sounds a lot like sixteen… I can do this!

So, I did a quick chord check, and then called her back.

As soon as I hit the third line, she was laughing… ‘sixty candles make a lovely light’… they do, indeed. πŸ˜›

And then, she apparently had her phone sitting open in front of her, with me on speakerphone, because she had just been sending my brother a message while I figured out one last detail before singing to her, and so, as I sang, the Animoji I had sent via her phone to my brother this morning was playing (silently) on repeat… as my mom said afterward, it was like one of those translated Kung-fu films, where the lips are nowhere near lining up with the dubbed speech, but, in our case, it was a tiny digital monkey serenading my mom with my voice. πŸ˜›

When she told me that, we both cracked up at the stupidity of it (including the fact that she kept watching the monkey babbling the whole time in the first place!). πŸ˜€

I love my mom… thank you for my mom, God… really great work there. πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2019