I strongly object to children being used in any kind of competition. I don't like it in fierce competitions and I don't even like it when it's like "this cute kid dancing on Ellen". I think it messes with their heads. I think we can't understand how it affects them in long-term ways, to have that much attention. I moderately object to children being taken to protests etc.; on the one hand I think it's nice that we share our values with our children and that's a good parenting thing; on the other hand, when I see pictures of children holding signs, I feel a little queasy and the Hart family contributes to that feeling.
I find myself having issues with commemorative statues. Maybe not even individually, maybe I don't like them at all conceptually. Like, maybe nobody's good enough to have a statue commemorating them as a human being. There's a statue going up in Brno in honor of a man who was an architect but was also a child molester, an issue that came up at a trial while he was still alive and for which he was found guilty. And like all heroes are problematic or whatever but why does he get a statue, particularly.
A car changed lanes for the purpose of hitting me as I was mostly across a crosswalk a couple days ago; I had to jump back to avoid him as he sped up to the next stop light. I guess it was the kind of really great traffic signal that you need to spend maximum time revving at; anyway that was what he did after he didn't kill me. I think cars make you a worse person because you think you are isolated, invisible, you can entertain ideas of being better than others when you are separated from them. The other day on the tram it was my stop and I wanted to get off and it seemed like nobody was moving, and I pushed a bit and said "excuse me, but I need to get off here" and the woman in front of me slightly impatiently said "Yes, a lot of us need to get off here" and when I had moved forward a bit saw it was one person standing in the doorway blocking us all; when that person was finally persuaded to move we all got off at normal human speed. And I laughed I'd say ruefully and apologized to the woman for pushing her and she laughed too and said she was also afraid she would miss her stop. We can't do this in cars; we spend all day being pissed off at people we might have laughed with in empathy. Or trying to run down pedestrians.
I got invited to the open mic show that I organize and host by someone who is planning to perform there and I found this hilarious, like being invited to a really killer party at your own house or something.
I saw a play earlier this week with some really uncomfortable themes for me -- domestic violence, workplace harassment, the things we do and the people we hurt in pursuit of power. And I KNOW that sure there were some things I missed because of language. And I KNOW that the person who did bad things and experienced unpleasant consequences... well, they weren't supposed to be the "good guy". But the audience laughed so much (hahaha, his girlfriend provoked him and he punched her!) that I almost wanted to walk out. Who finds this funny? I have had this feeling often with the standup comic circuit, that the hahaha Catholic priest jokes* are going to drive me out, but maybe comedy is lowbrow, what do I know, but the theater! WTF.
*Catholic priest jokes particularly upset me because it pretends like it's making fun of the Catholic priest but I can pretty much guarantee you that there is not a Catholic priest in your standup audience, so you are actually more likely to be heard by a victim who might actually be in your audience and haha it's not so funny now is it, asshole?
I voted today. I love voting. I'm super bummed I'll probably never get to serve jury duty but at least I get to vote. DEMOCRACY! such as it is.
Oh, haaaai. Remember when we used to blog like at least once a week? Stupid Facebook which gives me a tiny grazy snack of connection and takes away my appetite for digging a bit deeper into things that actually interest me. It's easy to say "I did this or that" "I thought about this or that" but ... motivations, reasonings, responses, feelings, it takes too long. And my own attention is more and more like a hummingbird, so why shouldn't yours be? What right do I have to hold it? Nevertheless, here's what I've done in the last six weeks that I thought about (and failed to write about). Clearing the cache, so to speak.
The Brno Expat Centre held a fair so that foreigners in the city could find out about services that are available to them and Czechs in the city could learn about what foreigners do. So there were English-friendly businesses run by Czechs and Czech-friendly businesses run by non-Czechs, and it was mostly pretty fun. It was interesting to me that some people who hadn't been here very long complained about the absence of services they simply didn't know existed and other people who had been here for rather longer resented the existence of services that they hadn't been lucky enough to have. Like one side of the room complaining that there are no vaccines when there are, and the other side of the room saying there shouldn't be vaccines since we didn't have them back in our day. Back in our day we all died of the plague and I don't see why it should be different for these tenderfooted fools. Still no vaccine for ignorance and arrogance, I guess. Most of the exhibitors had a bowl of candy out and I enjoyed going around and seeing who had the best sweets.
It was my birthday and my friends took me out to dinner but I was so tired I almost fell asleep in my sushi. Still, aren't friends the best? I've been doing the "review and measure of my life by decades" and I think in my 20s I worked on developing myself professionally, and in my 30s I focused on being a mother, in my 40s I focused on how to be a good friend, and in my 50s it seems to be (so far) how to build a sense of community. Not like I've completely sorted myself professionally, but while I love my work, thinking about its meaning is no longer my primary focus and I feel like I've got a pretty good grasp of my skill set. Similarly I think I did okay at being a mother, and my friends are clearly the bomber type of people who love you even when your head lolls to the side before you've finished your nigiri. So here's hoping I figure out what community means in the next 8 years.
One of my oldest and dearest friends got married in New York and Squire and I went to the wedding as if we were proper jetsetters who will hop across the pond for a weekend. But it was so magical! My sister came from California and having the three of us together seemed like a perfectly reasonable explanation for enduring a four-hour delay in the Philadelphia airport. Also the wedding included gorgeous weather, Adironack chairs, fireworks, and the most intensive test of "waterproof mascara" I've been put to in recent years. I don't know how I feel about weddings or marriage -- it depends on the wedding or marriage itself -- but two people deeply in love and surrounded by people who love them is a pure good. I was glad to be there.
Next week I'm going to do standup in an actual venue, rather than in a corner of a bar, in Vienna and I'm extremely pleased and honored and terrified.
The play we've rehearsed for two months with the theater group is happening now and makes me think about honesty, art, creativity, stress, process vs. product, and how much sleep I'm not getting. That's about all I can say about that.