Tuesday, October 08, 2013


I think of interesting plots and characters but when I sit down to type, all ideas leave.

Covering the recent death of author Tom Clancy, news reports liked to repeat his advice to "just sit and write".

At the gym today, half-heartedly completing "jack rabbits", the nearest TV monitor was showing a commercial for Abilify - the cartoon of a woman who struggled with depression, now completing everyday tasks. The woman, bearing a Mona Lisa-like pleasant expression, walks with colleagues to a meeting and distributes papers. At home, she carries a pitcher and glasses on a tray to join her family's cookout. Watching the ad with the sound muted, my life does not seem so different from that ad - the cartoons walk, look around, smile at one another. Is that all there is?

Later, I read an email from my soon-to-be-ex brother-in-law: "I have always loved","there are two sides to every story","I never yelled, never hit,""my first priority is our son","I would rather crawl through glass than". Of course I believe my sister is quietly crazy - there is more than a passing resemblance to the post-Abilify cartoon. I never saw what the big deal was with her husband, but he was harmless.

Is it terrible I don't think much of their son, my nephew? He is one of the generation that has never been left alone, surrounded with adoring encouragement and constant parent-provided stimulation. It would almost be better if he were a spoiled brat, but instead he politely asks you what he can do to help. I am reminded of the boy in the movie A.I. - if you don't interact or provide entertainment, he sits passively like molded plastic. What does a boy like that grow up to be? Not that I'm a big fan of any children.

My partner laughs because when we are around children, in a few minutes they surround me, chittering away. I don't know why or how it happens except to say that I'm paying attention to them and talking to them. I have survived those situations, no problem, with a giant sense of relief that it's over, only to dread the next interaction. I can understand why parents might be exhausted when out at restaurants or other public places, they let their little darlings run amuck, seemingly oblivious. Still, those are the times when I least like children and there's no excuse for unleashing the brats and expect a round of applause from an approving general public.

Twenty years ago, one of my ex's "line in the sand" - and there were many lines - was to adopt. He never ably answered the question "why" ("why not?"), except perhaps some obligation to prove gays were just like everyone else. So I wrapped my head around the adoption thing, researching how gay couples did that. I was moving towards the idea of a biological child, using a surrogate or a shared arrangement with a lesbian couple. Because my ex was HIV-positive, it would have been my sperm - my child.

When that relationship ended, I thought, would I still want a child? I asked a close lesbian friend what she thought, maybe we could share parentage, she said, "Having children hurts" - meaning the process of birthing. "I'd still consider it," I think I told myself, and then put off any further steps until later. And then, as with anything that was never a natural priority before, the idea just faded away. No feelings of loss or regret.

When someone asks that question of my partner and I, we both react as if the thought had never occurred to either of us.

# posted by B. Arthurholt : 10:46 PM : Luscious

Thursday, March 29, 2012


I don't know why I wrote in my last post about A***, so secretive or paranoid. The new dog's name is Andy or Andrew - depending on whether he's being good or bad.

Sometimes I become paranoid about using blogs and such, although how they're used in the last ten years has changed and I shouldn't have to worry. Blogs' time in the sun has been displaced by twitter and facebook. As if some forensic investigator from BIPC will rout my six-year-old posts for any badmouthing.

I rarely - more rarely than ever I posted here - update Facebook, and post only the blandest and most noncontroversial of statements. Maybe a lame picture of Andy (or A***) rolling around with a shoe. Or destroying a discarded milkjug. Or a picture of boyfriend and I at dinner. Two days ago, when I posted my last blog post, I had thought about uploading to Facebook a photo of the front apple tree in bloom.

At some point, I will have to plan a grand new online presence roll-out. What I plan is to study LinkedIn and no doubt an endless number of options, and Facebook and their endless number of options. When I start thinking about it, like right now, I become less interested in doing anything at all. My Facebook settings are set to the most private for everything (unless Facebook has changed them, haw). And my LinkedIn profile has my name and title and maybe that is it.

I know this is 2012 and I'm supposed to be all post-sexual revolution, but I was appalled at photos of Boyfriend and me other people have tagged of us on Facebook. Us in a series of pics, with boyfriend wearing a steady stream of baseball caps and trademark purewhite goatee in various lengths, and me in a steady stream of thrift store duds, trademark Hawaiian shirts or striped tees and skinny jeans, holding up martini glasses, and all I can hear is my mother: "Is this age-appropriate?""how would potential employers see this?"

Not that I plan any changes. Except for the potential future job searches involving online forensic investigators, I could really care less.

But I still didn't "Friend" my boss' boss' request. Paranoid.

Earlier this week, I attended a chat with headhunters from a competitor to BIPC, the first I've ever attended something like this. We typed out a question that was sent first to a moderator, who then passed them along for the headhunting panel to type out answers, for all to see. I asked a question about requiring access to Facebook profiles or other online vetting of candidates.

"We never ask for passwords," they responded. They sometimes Google a person's name, but only look deeper for an online presence if it's tied to the intended job.

They also rely less and less on job postings such as Monster, and more and more on social networking sites "like LinkedIn".

In tonight's management class, the two-thirds that have shown up try to look interested in the lecture while doing other things such as chitter away on Facebook or answer their work emails, and being much more accessible - expanding their networks and such. And here I am, using the same time to read through investment property listings and only going online to Google addresses and streetviews. Not very network-y at all.

# posted by B. Arthurholt : 11:58 PM : Luscious

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Up In The Air 

Lately I find myself comparing life now to a few years ago. How things have changed.

Today is one of those days. Bright, sunny, not too warm. I sat reading a book in this house's courtyard. The ancient apple trees in the front yard in full bloom, already losing soft pink petals in a slow drizzle in the breeze, give off a sweet scent. A flash of sail from a skiff flashes on the sliver of lake between our neighbors across the street. How different from Dayton.

The newest member of the family rolls around, happily grunting and snorting. Although hailing from the same mixed breed as Grace, A*** has established his own personality. Where Grace was independent and barked only at squirrels and geese, A*** "talks" and is needy for affection. A*** is growing; at just over four months he's almost the size of full-grown Grace.

Reading in the courtyard this afternoon - a little hookie during work - A*** made diligent work for himself under the pine trees. Looking up to see two front paws furiously in motion, dirt flying behind, and a head intently focused as it submerges into an ever-deeper hole.

At other times, A*** sits staring at me, a head with two inverted triangles for ears on top of an overgrown inky milk jug in silhouette. When he sees me look up, he elicits a whine-bark and a tentative wag of the tail.

Boyfriend tells me when irritated, that he tolerates "your" dog. But frequently, even after the discovery of hijacked shoes or socks or destroyed glasses or baseball caps, I come across A***, lying on boyfriend's chest, both snoring quite contentedly. "We can't have nice things," boyfriend says, as he holds up a half-chewed extension cord. "We already the nicest," I respond, rubbing A***'s stomach.

# posted by B. Arthurholt : 11:24 PM : Luscious