oxymoron67: (Default)
Discovery Times Square has just opened an exhibition on The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Holy Land titled Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times.

I will be all over this.

So, I had to e-mail me family to gloat about it. I forwarded them the e-mail announcement and added this message:

ENVY ME!

Oh, and right across the street is a Junior's, which has reubens so large that you need a knife and fork and amazing cheesecake.

Just so you know.


See, I come from a family of geeks, so I knew I;d get a reaction. Here is what my brtother said:

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!



DEAD SEA SCROLLS?!? You're not even getting sour grapes here, Mister! I'll have to reschedule the Reuben envy, this is so unfair. You MAKE ME SO MAD!



Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!


I e-mailed him back "Aw.... I love you, too, big brother!"

Hee.
oxymoron67: (stalking)
We were talking about science fiction, and then, for some reason, we started talking about genies.

Him: ... so, since the genie told this guy that he couldn't ask for more wishes, the guy asked for more genies.
Me: Nice!
Him: I thought so.
Me: Of course, if I were to get a genie, I'd only want a man-purse wielding eagle-headed genie.
Him: ....
Me: The Assyrians have spolied me.
Him: ...
Me: Standards are a good thing.
Him: Wouldn't you be worried that it would be sort of ... I don't know... out of date, like disco?
Me: The classics never go out of style. Besides, it's only three wishes. I'm not a patient man. I wouldn't actually have the genie for any length of time.
Him: Good point.

If you don't get the reference, here is a man-purse wielding eagle headed genie:



See? Don't you want one now, too?
oxymoron67: (Default)
That I didn't get the promotion? It's the number three family storyline.

1) My eldest nephew got into a (bar?) fight and managed to break his ankle. His ankle now has two or three pins in it. Since this happened on Friday, surgery was yesterday and he is on SERIOUS painkillers.

We don't know what's going to happen when he;s released. He thinks he can go back to his apartment, but it takes an outdoor flight of stairs to get to it.

Also, no electricity right now.

He says his electric bill is paid up, so no idea why.

2) My brother did indeed get laid off.

The folks at his job wanted someone who could work with live wires, and my brother doesn't have the experience. Of course, as one of the people at his apprenticeship program pointed out, he can't get that experience if they don;t show him, which *IS* what they are supposed to be doing.

Granted, this could be complicated work, and not something that would work as a training exercise.

However, given recent events, you'll forgive me for not giving anyone in a position of power the benefit of the doubt.

3) My non-promotion
I'm actually mostly over not getting the promotion. The way I was informed? Less so.

Life moves on, I can't dwell on it.
oxymoron67: (Default)
My brother... is a total fucking jackass.
I don't even... )
oxymoron67: (Default)
I returned to the NYC branch of the National Museum of the American Indian to see an exhibition on the effect of the horse on the American Indians... primarily the American Indians tribes of the Great Plains, the Southwest and Pacific Northwest. Also included were some items from the First Nations of Canada. The exhibition was called A Song for the Horse Nation.

First off, the building that houses the museum: The Alexander Hamilton Customs House, is worth visiting for itself. The Rotunda has several wonderfully well done murals about seafaring trade and portraits of various explorers.

The exhibit was clearly aimed at a younger audience, though it engaged adults, too. There was one interactive station, which discussed the spread of the horse across the New World. This was neat: it showed how the Spanish, Dutch and English all brought horses over and how the horses gradually spread (well, until 1680 and the Pueblo revolt, when the Pueblo Indians stole a huge number of horses -- perhaps over a thousand-- from the Spanish.

Lots of different items were shown: masks for horses, pipes shaped like horses, saddles, bridles.

For me, one of the most interesting displays was one about what the various tribes called horses. They had never seen them before: they needed to create a new word for them. The five languages highlighted all used the word dog as a base: red dog, elk dog, mystery dog were used, for example. There were also recordings of the words.

I loved it. But then again I would. American Indians have always fascinated me, particularly the Nez Perce and Chief Joseph and their ill-fated run tot he Canadian border. Also, when I was in grad school, one of my friends did a lot of work at a museum out in Western Illinois that was built around oneof the mounds that the mound builder tribes built.

At one point, I almost had a chance to study an American Indian language in detail, but I couldn't fit it into my schedule: at the time, I was working in the language lab, teaching ESL and tutoring writing in the dorms, so time was tight.

Still, this was great. For me, one of the highlights was this glass sculpture of a horse head. It was neat and beautiful.

After this, I went to see The A-Team (starring Bradley Cooper's chest!) again. Mostly for the AC. And Bradley Cooper's chest.

Then I went to dinner: I had Lasagna Bolognese and a lemon tart. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

After that, I called my brother to gloat... share the experience.

Today was a good day.
oxymoron67: (Default)
Good God.

The social worker called my sister-in-law today, saying that their autistic son was recovering from his psychotic break quickly. He hadn't had any violent episode nor had he left his room at the facility all day.

So... why do you think this happened?
1) My nephew is genuinely recovering.
2) He has been drugged to the gills since he got there.

There IS a correct answer here.

In "Let's all dogpile on them" news, my sister-in-law was laid off today.

I know that they probably CAN get coverage through my brother's job, but I know hers was better. God knows how this will affect their son's treatment.

My sister-in-law stopped by her parents' house and then something happened that can be best described in terms of the Match Game:

"My sister-in-law's mother was so drunk..."
Audience: How drunk was she?
"She was so drunk she tried to change the channel or her TV with a BLANK!"

Cue Match Game "Thinking Music"
the answer under the cut. )
oxymoron67: (Default)
We were on the phone for over three hours a few nights ago.

We avoided politics.

Me: So, I met up with John, and he said he was still a little scared of mom.
Bro: I get that from people I went to school with, too.
Me: So, when I relayed this conversation to mom, she said she didn't understand why people were so afraid of her.
Bro: She did not.
Me: Yes, she did. Of course, it was over the phone, so I don't know if she had that carnivorous grin that we all have when she said it.
Bro: But... the image she projected...
Me: I know... her entire school persona was BASED on a "Cross me and there's an unmarked grave waiting for you in the woods" thing.
Bro: Seriously.

Mom does seem to be worried that people think that she's an ogre. Which she isn't. The one dependable thing about mom was that she set the boundaries. Within those boundaries, you were free to do as you pleased. Step outside them, and she crashed down on you like boulders on Wile E Coyote, but you knew that going in.

After that, my brother and I talked about his new job and the old one at the mass transit authority down there in Atlanta. The mass transit people really did screw him over, but that was almost three years ago, and he needs to let it go, if only so it doesn't affect the current job.

And who knows, he might only talk about that stuff with family and friends. It may not affect his work. I doubt it, mostly because my family tends to dwell on things.

Finally, his oldest son came on the phone to ask me a question. Here;s the question:

"Can you name a paradox in Beowulf?"

Now, it's been almost a decade since I read Beowulf (the Seamus Heaney translation. Excellent.) As a result, it took me a few minutes. The best I could come up with was that Beowulf gave his all to save his people, who were cowards and refused to help him, thus they were cursed to be conquered. Yes, that's irony, but it was the best I could come up with on short notice.
oxymoron67: (Default)
We talked for three hours last night. Most of it was fine: we were talking about job issues and family stuff. But, of course, we had to talk about the gay, religion and the big lie that is "Al Gore's Global Warming".

Let's go through the issues:
Him: A lot of homosexual activists say that it's genetic, that there's nothing you can do about it... and maybe..
Me: What difference does it make? The APA says it's not a pathology...
Him: But the only people researching this are gay. So I can't believe them.
Me: Again... what difference does it make?

I never did get an answer on that one.
_______

The Kennedy v. Church brou-ha-ha

Him: Kennedy put the bishop of Providence into a box. He had to deny Kennedy communion.
Me: It bothers me.
Him: Really?
Me: Well, the whole "communion denial" thing can easily get out of control. Suddenly, it becomes a bigger witch hunt than it already is.
Him: And I think the bishop in DC is doing a brave thing, threatening to stop doing charity work in the city if the gay marriage bill passes and the Church has to give benefits to same sex couples.
Me: Really? I like what the DC council said which was "Well, you only provide about 6% of those services... we'll find someone else."
_______

Global Warming

Him: ... and one of the things that Global Warming causes is Global cooling? How is that? (Insults directed at Al Gore)
Me: ....

_________

On a lighter note:

Me: Well, I finally have extra money this month, so I went to Amazon and bought books!
Him: Buying books? Surprising.
Me: And they're in entirely new genres... stuff I never read.
Him: Really?
Me: Yes! Biography and history!
Him: (sarcastically) Biography? And history? Wow. That IS new for you. Enjoy broadening your horizons.
Me: You know, I can't discuss this with my friends in NYC.
Him: What?
Me: They think that if I'm not reading Jane Austen or Charles Dickens I'm just wasting my time.
Him: Seriously? Why waste your time with these people?
Me: Which is funny, considering that I'm better read in three languages than most of them are in one. Plus the last great book I read was Thoreau's Walden and, frankly, I was not impressed. I mean, there may be something of value there, but I couldn't get past the whole "I spent 2.5 cents of a bag of beans and built my shed from five planks of good wood and six nails."
oxymoron67: (Default)
While we avoided politics for the most part, there was one brief exchange.

Bro: The gays are at it again.
Me: Oh?
Bro: They've taken another symbol.
Me: What?
Bro: It's bad enough that they've taken rainbows. Now they've co-opted penguins.
Me: (boggled silence)

Okay, maybe my heterosexual friends can help me here: were penguins ever considered the most masculine of birds? Because I don't see it. I need an explanation. I tried to get one from my brother but he started talking about tree sloths and manatees, and I was even more confused.

Later, we were talking about things, and the movie 300 came up again.*
Bro: I can't picture myself wearing that outfit.
Me: Why not? If it's good enough for the manly not-at-all-gay men of Sparta...
Bro: It's just...
Me: Plus... a fetching red cape! Who doesn't want to wear a fetching red cape?
Bro: But...
Me: I mean, I'd just sit around my apartment wearing my fetching red cape. It's like a reverse Snuggie.
Bro: But the leather speedos are so... gay.
Me: That's why you need the fetching red cape. Without the fetching red cape, that outfit is just fetish gear for a fun Saturday night.**

*My brother has a strange obsession with this movie, even though he's only watched fifteen-twenty minutes of it.
**Really, though, even WITH the fetching red cape, that outfit is fetish gear.
oxymoron67: (Default)
Background information: when my grandmother died, my cousin the priest gave the eulogy. He said something like, "I read a story about someone who had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary took him aside and told him all of his faults, but he knew she loved him. That's what my Aunt Bid was like. She always let you know when you were out of line, but she always loved you."

My brother and I were talking about Purgatory last night.

Him: You know they'll just have grandma follow us around berating us for everything we did wrong.
Me: Totally. She'd be in Heaven and we'd be doing Penance.
Him: She'd be all 'Do you remember this? What were you thinking? Jesus wept!'
Me: I'd get in trouble with the Purgatory Bureaucracy though.
Him: Why?
Me: Remember how grandma used to tell stories? You know half the things she'd say would be like 'What were you thinking when you and who's-its were at the place doing what you did?"
Him: That sounds just like her.
Me: And I'd say 'You have to be more specific. I... don't know what you're talking about.' And suddenly, St. Jude would have to intervene as grandma would be chasing me across Purgatory.
Him: Then she;'d do that thing where she'd list every single family member before coming to you.
Me: I hated that. She'd start, and you knew you'd be there for five minutes before she hit your name, then she'd start lecturing.
The scary thing is that grandma could say "Remember when Sean and who's-its were at the place ..." and mom would totally know what she was talking about.
Him: I couldn't do that.
Me: Me neither. I never was fluent in grandmother.
------
Later we were talking about the movie 300.
Him: I only lasted about forty minutes.
Me: Really. All those men in leather speedos and fetching red capes did nothing for you?
Him: Why weren't they wearing body armor? Did they think they'd just dazzle the Persians with their six-packs?
Me: Their manscaped six-packs. Sparta had body waxing, but, from the looks of the hair on the men, no hair conditioner.
Him: I just couldn't do it.
Me: So you missed Xerxes' entrance?
Him: Yes.
Me: That's too bad. HE's seven feet tall and in a gold lame speedo. He is FABULOUS.
Him...
Me: This is the gayest action movie ever.
oxymoron67: (Default)
Background: About two weeks ago, mom hurt her back, and pulled out her walker (which she hasn't needed since she got the knee injections)

Me: ... you can tell she was hurting, she pulled out her walker.
Bro: That's bad. I thought she got rid of that thing.
Me: Nope. But she did hide the damned thing.
Bro: Really?
Me: Our sisters threatened to put racing stripes on it.
Bro: That's good! We need to replace the wheels, too. Put really big ones on there.
Me: Oh... oh... and we can make it into a low rider walker... so it can bounce up and down.
Bro: And we have to attach a boombox to it...
Me: We totally need to pimp mom's walker.
oxymoron67: (roll eye)
My brother and I had a two hour-long phone conversation a few nights ago.

No politics. Thank the Heavens.

However, we did have an exchange over religion.

Brother: I was reading the article from a conservative Catholic group and it said “The only queen in Heaven is the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
Me: Really.
Brother: Yes (laughing.) Isn’t it great?
Me: But what about St. Elizabeth of Hungary? Wouldn’t she be upset about that?
Brother: (exasperated sigh): They mean GAYS.
Me: So no Heavenly cross dressers?
Brother: No.
Me: Not even St. Augustine?
Brother: What?
Me: That man led a crazy life… maybe St. Monica* REALLY started pestering him about converting to Christianity when she saw that he was borrowing her clothes.

(From here we started talking about Padre Pio.)

* St Monica was St. Augustine’s mother. My brother and my mother have occasionally said that they think their relationship resembles that of St. Augustine and St. Monica.
oxymoron67: (Default)
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Well, more enjoyable than the last Writer's Block I did.

If I listen to anything: a song, a prayer, a poem a few times, I remember it. So, as a result, if I like a song, I end up knowing it by heart.

Even the potentialy embarrassing ones. (MacArthur Park, anyone?)

That reminds me of a conversation I had with my brother. He said that he found that song hard to believe, because in our family, no one would *EVER* leave a cake out in the rain.

He's right. It's cake. Protecting a cake is a sacred trust.
oxymoron67: (Default)
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Yes, I do, but neither of them are really pleasant.

The first involves me as a kid in the park and ends with my dad's death.

The second revolves around an incident from my childhood: my brother almost drowned, and I was totally lost and confused. I couldn't have been more than five or six when this happened.

My guess is that these dreams are my subconscious's attempt at processing things that I don't recall clearly. (While I remember the night my dad died, it's my first memory. And everything surrounding my brother's almost drowning is a big blur.)

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