And The Competition Starts Now (2) ~

Yesterday I mentioned that I usually enjoy the non-US competition shows more … here are three reasons why … Just so you know, there is no 90 second time restraint, so the real talent can shine through … in other words these clips are a little long – but so, so good.

This was the clip that first introduced me to Ukraine’s Got Talent … I actually had to go back and look up the history to understand it – I’m including a short lesson:

“…the overwhelming brunt of the Nazi occupation between 1941 and 1944, as of the devastating Soviet reoccupation, was borne not by Russia but by the Baltic States, by Belarus, by Poland, and above all by Ukraine…. nowhere is it made clear that the largest number of civilian casualties in Europe were inflicted on the Ukrainians, millions of whom were killed both by the Nazis and by the Soviets. Thanks to persistent wartime prejudices, many British and Americans still harbor the illusion that most Ukrainians spent the war either as auxiliaries in the concentration camps or in the Waffen-SS Galizien….[but] the Waffen SS recruited three times as many Dutchmen as Ukrainians.” (New York Review of Books June 9, 1994, p. 23).

Here’s the 2009 clip of an amazing sand artist …

This years winners were amazing as well … it’s the Street Workout group – who manage to make working out beautiful, sexy and powerful.  No, I wouldn’t want to be next to them at the gym!! This was the final performance…

I have enough trouble riding a two wheeled cycle … maybe I need a three-wheeler!!!!

BONUS CLIP:

And last, but certainly NOT least ~ The world’s best bartender … unless you’re in a hurry to  get that drink!!!!

🙂

A Slight Pause ~

I had intended to continue the ramble today about “How We Got Here ~” but yesterday and today a number of items literally ran over me, and I’ve been rethinking where this ramble is headed.  I’m still with the same premise, there’s just a few more additions to the supporting cast of characters I want to deal with …

I’m assuming this picture came from Demotivational.com …

And We Got Here How? (Part 1) ~

When I first began to gather my thoughts for this “ramble” … I was concerned with discourse, or lack of discourse.

As I thought and worked through how I want to try and connect my thoughts – yesterday, THIS report was released by the PEW foundation – which has been polling the polarization of America since 1986.  This report, which I’m going to link to in it’s entirety, shows that we are more polarized than we’ve been since they began tracking.  This does not surprise me in the least. http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2277/republicans-democrats-partisanship-partisan-divide-polarization-social-safety-net-environmental-protection-government-regulation-independents

As I’ve said before – I’m a member of several forums, follow an insane number of blogs and news sites (and the comments) as well as being part of World of Warcraft and Pogo games.

I cut my computer “teeth” – so to speak – in the AOL chat rooms of all kinds – where one had to have an advanced degree in AOLese or AOL speak or you would be five conversations behind everyone else.  (For those who may not know, you had to learn to read through the typos/spellings and strange constructions because people were typing so fast and thinking so quickly that sometimes things didn’t quite match-up.)

All of this introduction is to simply say, I didn’t need the PEW organization to let me know “There’s Trouble In River City”, all I’ve had to do is be around people on-line and even in real life.

What has happened over the years is a steady decline in the ability of people of differing beliefs, hopes, dream, ideas, lives to even civilly approach each other.  At one time, personal opinion, you either were willing to listen to another person or you didn’t interact with that person at all.  Much of time now, I feel it has become a game of seeing who can one-up another in either hate/degradation/intimidation/provoking (not to be confused with trolling – that’s a special sub-set of behavior!!)   or proving how much more someone knows than anyone else.

Just the other day on Facebook, I entered into what I thought was a discussion involving the concept of gay marriage (how’s that for a hot button at the beginning of these postings?) and the difficulty someone had found in talking to someone else about it.  Those of us who are friends with this person and know the overwhelming love in her heart for all people, commiserated with her and offered some light-hearted and yes, even snarky thoughts to help.  Another person had entered the conversation and within two posts it had devolved into 1) necrophilia 2) pedophilia and 3) bestiality.  Even with AOL speak, I couldn’t figure out how we’d gotten there.  It became very obvious that the person simply wanted to anger everyone and bait everyone into an “argument” so that they could present themselves as a 1) winner 2) extremely knowledgeable and at the same time 3) the victim.

So, how did we get here? There were news events from when PEW began tracking the polarization: 1984 The Aids Virus is identified it is not the worldwide problem it is today. Following on from the PC Apple releases the Macintosh computer. Following the Widespread Famine in Ethiopia many of the top British and Irish USSR pop musicians join together under the Name Band Aid and record the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas”. Following the boycott by the US of the Moscow Olympics the soviet block boycotts the Los Angeles Olympic games. Recession continues to be a problem in the US and 70 US Banks fail in just one year.  But I think it goes back to even before that.

Here are three images and comments that will start this series of posts ~ and hopefully, you’ll forgive the length of this one…

At this point in time, we as a people were pushed into the realization that those dedicated to protect us, could indeed seem to turn against us.

Kent State by John Filo

Add to that another realization that perhaps our view of life wasn’t quite so quaint as we wanted to believe.

Birmingham Alabama 1963
I don’t know whose picture this is

 

And lastly – an event that shook our already shaky belief in our government.

So bear with me, and more on this journey of thought over the next few days ….

Dr. Who And A Contest ~

It’s no secret, I’m an enormous Dr. Who fan.  No, I don’t have a Tardis Talking Cookie Jar (in England shouldn’t it be referred to as a biscuit jar?)

or even a Dr. Who  set of minatures ~

However, that said ~ I’m also a fan of contests that get “young-uns” involved and creative.  Enter  BBC Learning in collaboration with Blue Peter announced this year’s Script to Screen competition:

“Launched by the Doctor himself, the challenge was simple. Schoolchildren aged 9-11 should write a short Olympics-themed script full of the usual Doctor Who ingredients including humour, drama and a touch of magic!

There was a huge response to the competition and Doctor Who’s Executive Producer, Caroline Skinner, praised the quality of the entries, saying: ‘We loved reading all of the scripts from schools across the UK and the standard of entries was truly outstanding. It was a difficult, but a tremendously fun task to choose a winner and it was just brilliant to see so many children being creative in developing an adventure for the Doctor. We hope all fans enjoy this special one-off mini episode!'”

Stephen Moffat picked the winner – and here’s the episode complete with sonic screwdriver and weeping angel … and the Olympics – who knew?”

 

And The Beat Goes On ~ Early Afternoon Thoughts

Normally I use early afternoon thoughts for elegant time wasters, I found there actually were legitimate times wasters in the real world over the last several weeks. In the recent spate of headlines there were several news stories about a councilwoman who objected to another councilman saying that the “paperwork would disappear into a black hole. . . ” I always thought that astronomical term was perfectly respectable, and could be used to describe the mythological place where things (even the socks from the dryer) could be described as disappearing.

Evidently the PC Police feel otherwise. Now, had the man said “black Ho” I might have understood – but black hole? What is this woman going to demand – that Astronomy change its term? That the Black Hole of Calcutta of history be renamed? Hold up on the cards the letters, I DO know that the Calcutta story has been debunked . . .

By this point I was ready to get on a roll of time wasters, and was perusing the blogs I follow on a regular basis when I was literally knocked off my soap box (which was pretty large by-the-way) by the following from the blog Joe.My.God . . .

For some time I had followed a blog called Coopers Corrider where a gay man adopted two children and aside from being an incredible writer allowed us inside his life and feelings.

Joe titled his post:

Apology Revoked
(And Munchausen-By-Blog Syndrome)

And then the OMG portion of my day began –

“Oh, gentle readers, what a twisted, fascinating, maddening, saddening place is this thing called The Internets.

Remember Cooper? The firefighter gay dad of two adopted boys who pulled his widely-loved blog after an “attack” of malicious comments and emails from the readers of this blog? Causing me to get extremely bent of out shape and offer Cooper a heartfelt (really) public apology? Over the last few days our little blogosphere has retched forth some unpleasant, uncomfortable revelations about Cooper.

The short version:
He is not a firefighter.
He is not an adoptive father.
He is not gay.
He is not, in fact, a he. “

(OK ~ now I’m really intrigued.)

“Intrigued? The long version:

The story began to unfold at Sweet/Salty, the blog of a woman named Kate, a young mother dealing with the death of her infant son. On the day of the supposed attack on Cooper’s blog by JMG readers, Kate had emailed him, extremely distressed to have discovered that Cooper had lifted many of her gorgeously written posts verbatim, including photographs of her husband.

Upon receipt of Kate’s surprisingly kind request to remove her plagiarized material, Cooper deleted his blog and apparently then concocted the JMG attack story to placate his legion of starry-eyed readers, people who avidly followed Cooper’s Corridor as a place where they saw their most earnest ideals about gay parenting realized.

Shortly afterwards, Cooper’s Corridor resumed as Nico’s Niche, a private blog where Kate’s material continued to appear. Kate found my public apology to Cooper and emailed me about the situation. Knowing that Father Tony has had a longtime internet friendship with Cooper, I put him on the case. What he uncovered may blow your mind.

According to the bizarre confession wrangled by Father Tony, Cooper’s Corridor/Nico’s Niche was written by a woman, a 52-year-old British Columbia grandmother named Jo, who says that ever since she was a little girl she has felt that she is a gay man trapped in a woman’s body. Cooper/Nico (Jo claims) was a concoction created in order to deal with her lifelong gender identity disorder. She says she calls her inner gay man “Nicky”.

Oh, but hang on a minute, it gets curiouser still. Turns out that there are extremely similar aspects between the Cooper/Nico story and another infamous case of blog imposterism. Years ago there was the (now-infamous in the gay blogosphere) case of A Priori Ad Lib, a blog supposedly written by a gay Canadian grade school teacher slowly dying from leukemia. The dying gay teacher’s name? Nicky. Who lived in British Columbia. Who turned out to be a woman, exposed when a blog pal of mine attempted to actually visit “him” in the hospital only to find no such person existed.

As the initial outrage and sense of betrayal about Cooper died down a bit, there have been some rather generous expressions of pity towards Jo/Cooper/Nicky. Kate (the blogger whose occasionally tortured, but always lovely prose was stolen) has been by turns baffled, angry, stunned…but most of all, kind. (Her readers, understandably, not so much.) Even as evidence was put forward that Jo had plagiarized other blogs, the conversation turned to pleas for understanding for the mentally ill.

Go read Kate’s initial angry post, then you absolutely must delve into Father Tony’s post, where in addition to publishing Jo’s emailed “confession”, he muses in his typically artful way about the anonymous nature of the internet and how much we can ever really know about people, even when we think we have an insider’s view of their day-to-day lives.

To my readers who leapt to defend “Cooper”, I thank you for your kind words to him, however misguided we all were. I know some of you had even sent Christmas presents for “Cooper’s” nonexistent children, so I can only imagine how incredibly betrayed you feel. Jo has told Father Tony that she’s been suicidal over being exposed, but has found a mental health counselor and is considering gender reassignment surgery. Color me extremely skeptical on that, but at the end of day what we have here is a very troubled person who needs help of some kind.

Even this post may please the sort of person who engages in what I call “Munchausen-by-blog syndrome”, but consider this yet another unhappy lesson about trust, gullibility, and how we as gay people are sometimes overeager to find our heroes.”

Aside from leaving me speechless ~ A difficult feat in itself ~ I was struck by the last paragraph (as in the solar plexus). I have to take a little issue with Joe on the last line, I don’t think it’s only gays that are overeager to find heroes ~ I think many people have fallen into the “Hero de Jour” trap.

Erin Go . . . ~ Late Evening Thoughts

To say that last week was interesting would be an understatement. It was a wild, intense and one where a lot was accomplished. Not easily ~ not always with charm ~ not always without some stress. But then the weekend had arrived and I was “good to go.” Little did I know it should have gotten up and gone!

I was especially looking forward to Sunday when someone that I have gotten to know quite well and I were going to have a quick sandwich and coffee at a small streetside cafe and then spend the afternoon exploring Half Price Books. We had arranged to meet at the cafe around 1:30 in the afternoon. This would still give plenty of time for enjoying the book store. Around 10:00 in the morning I began to get text messages and then phone calls changing the time and location of where we were to meet. Finally I told that the place we would meet would be La Strada. (cue mournful music here.) This establishment was an attempt at an upscale Italian restaurant. Fortunately, they managed the upscale and the upscale price part. Unfortunately, (as far as I was concerned) they didn’t manage the food part.

I decided that I would have some dessert and let that be that.
I headed out on the adventure of the day. (cue Psycho violins here.)

When I arrived at the place, I realized even before I got to the door, there had been a change. The place was very noisy…very noisy. I though maybe it was because the windows on the street were open but then as I approached the door I had the reality hit me ~ this was not the case at all.

The upscale restaurant had become (on Sundays) a 21 (barely) and up (barely) party central location. It’s a little hard to remain upscale when all the drinks are being served in plastic glasses – coffee in foam cups!! And the place was packed. I realized that probably 80% of the boys “guy’s” voices hadn’t changed (21??) and NONE of the women’s voiced had progressed beyond grade school. It was as if I were at a Hanna Montana concert that was never going to start.

My friend? He was at the bar trying very hard to get under it – I think. To say that he had been drinking his lunch would have been been an understatement. He had used all the breakfast, dinners AND lunches for three weeks or more. I am now surrounded by people in high-pitched shriek(s) and a very intoxicated friend who is pawing me and giving me bone crushing bear hugs inbetween telling me what I was going to do and asking me for money. Great conversation points there!!

And, of course, Monday was St. Patrick’s Day . . . I found something very interesting and decided to end tonight’s post with these VERY clever cell phone charms from Japan. They are called the 6 stages of drunkenness ~

the first stage is the lecture stage: “Let me tell you something … over and over and over…

The rest and the conclusion tomorrow …

Post-Valentine’s-Mortum ~ Early Evening Thoughts

Let me say up front, there were a couple of people that thought I was little (!?!) cynical about Valentine’s Day. I will reply in honesty … Yes, I probably was. However – let me explain.

(Assuming best Masterpiece Theater voice)

My week of working in the florist shop began on Tuesday … the calm calm before the storm. It was a long day, but fairly uneventful. By the afternoon, the temperature had begun to rise in the clients calling in for orders. Still, no one appeared to have “lost it” at this point.

Wednesday the floodgates opened at 8:30am and the phone did not stop ringing until 5pm that night. There were 120 orders and walk-ins that went out the door that day … some were called in, some were web orders from Telefloral and FTD. Still, the day went smoothly and people seemed pleased. By the end of the day – there appeared to be over 230 orders that were going to have to be delivered on Thursday.

Thursday (the actual day of Valentine) the phones started ringing at 7am … they were not answered until 9am. From that point on it was non-stop. We actually had people calling in at 10am wanting to know why the arrangements they had ordered had not been delivered yet.

Finally all the drivers had loaded their vans and headed out to all points of delivery. At this point, we are keeping tabs on inventory AND zip codes. There were several people who had not listened when they were told there were no guaranteed delivery times for that day … it would get there, we just couldn’t say when.

The day was moving forward (cue sound track from Jaws here). At this point the calls were being balanced between people wanting to know when, people wanting deliveries to areas we didn’t and people wanting the impossible. “I’m sorry sir, we don’t sell carnations — of any color and we would be unable to deliver them to Clutch, TX even if we did. (actual name of town).

There was only one complaint at that point – she didn’t think her arrangement was “perfection” and wanted another. Fortunately, she was in the building so a new one was walked up to her – and the “imperfect” one brought back to the shop. As it was sitting on the counter ready to be put back in the cooler, someone walked in and bought it. The front of the store was beginning to resemble a bargain basement – people trying to wheel and deal.

Technically there is no smoking in the building, but as I was not going to be able to leave to go outside, I was given an ashtray and I took two smoke breaks the entire day. Lunch was at the desk … the work must go on.

At this point I was dealing with people who forgot it was Valentine’s Day — or just waited until the last minute…not a good idea on this holiday ~ trust me on that one!! There is a certain 800/internet outfit that takes any order that comes in and then tries to farm them out to local florists at the last minute. I had to deal with about 10 phone calls from them and ended spending quite a bit of time explaining each time why we couldn’t/wouldn’t be able to help.

The wire brought in 3 orders for funerals in town and I ended up wiring out several funeral orders for out of town. And the phones kept ringing. The system that the shop uses allows us to look up florists in a specific zip code – I was using that a lot to tell people who to call that might be able to deliver. Also, we have a similar name to another florist close by … several calls from people who were unhappy with the arrangement only to be told that they had called the wrong shop …

Four O’clock came and thought we were surely through with all the last minute orders – when this gentleman(?) called in to demand that a dozen roses be delivered to an address forty-five miles away in rush hour traffic. He became highly incensed that had to tell him that we were not going to be able to do that. I was going to offer to deliver it for a $100 delivery charge, but thought better of it.

Why the chaos? It can be summed up, I think, by saying that of all the holidays Valentine’s Day is the most personal. People do remember their friends (thank you DB, EM for your ecards!!) But by and large this is a time that seems to be for those who are in a relationship, want to be in a relationship or need to be in a relationship. And, they get crazy and somewhat stupid illogical. For example … I got a call (on Thursday) from a gentleman who wanted to recognize that he had been with this person for two Valentine’s Days. He was insistent that there be only two roses in a vase … no greenery, etc. AND that it be delivered. This delivery was going only a few blocks from where we were ~ and not much further than from where he was. No, it had to be delivered and as soon as possible. This arrangement probably would have cost him at the most $12 using premium rose buds. We have a $35 minimum delivery AND a $15 holiday delivery fee. He spent $50 to have it delivered.

Ah yes, the wonders of the holiday…I’m glad I only do this once a year to help out. There was talk about having me work Christmas week, but I think I’m going to be very “busy” that week. I think I’ll be able to appreciate the season more!!!

He loved her very much.

He wanted this Valentine’s day to be special, so he had ordered a bottle of her favorite liquor imported from France and it had arrived in time for the occasion.

On his way home, he stopped at the local florist. He had planned to have a bouquet made with her favorite flower, white anemones. But to his dismay, he found that the florist had sold all her flowers and had only a few sterns of feathery ferns left for decoration.

In a moment of inspiration, he had the answer.

He asked the florist to make a bouquet using the flask of liquor instead of flowers and what she produced was magnificent well beyond his expectations. He added a card, and proceeded home.

When he arrived, his wife was beautiful in her most elegant gown, and it was apparent that she had spent much of the day preparing a romantic candlelight dinner for the two of them.

He presented her with his gift, and she opened the card to read, “Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.”

With a tear in her eye, she whispered to him lovingly, “Yes, and with fronds like these, who needs anemones.”
—Stan Kegel

Pant, Pant, Puff, Puff ~ Late Night Thoughts

A quick update ~ and I apologize for not posting Friday as I said I would. This was an absolutely wild, crazy, frustrating, amazing week. Monday was just the tip of the iceberg about the job that I had taken. When I finally got through some of the paperwork, I found that the corporate office (deliberately lower case), my boss and myself were operating on completely different figures. I had one set, my boss another and accounting a third. Unfortunately, the office was in the midst of updating how the accounts are done and posted.

We know how much fun changing anything can be, this involved approximately 15 properties of various sizes, shapes and states of being. And this was…fun was maybe one of the words I might have used this week.

I also have (finally) seen the apartment that goes with the job, and am seriously considering moving into it.
Not that it would add any more confusion to what’s already going on ~ right??

I put in quite a few hours this week (as in over 56) – and I think I ran myself slightly down in the process. Today I have felt a cold trying to take over (sooo not going to happen!!). So, as my dear friend SGB said to tell everyone: I’m not doing a lengthy post tonight ~ I’m going to bed with a hot number (and that’s my temperature!) (What were YOU thinking?) and a dose of “Theraflu.” ….

I should be back on track tomorrow ~

THE JOB

Imagine that
the job were
so delicate
that you could
seldom-almost
never-remember
it. Impossible
work, really.

Like placing
pebbles exactly
where they were
already. The steadiness it
takes… and
to what end?
It’s so easy
to forget again.

Kay Ryan

–crazy doesn’t cover it magnet
http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/HPM/BM1162~Crazy-Doesn-t-Cover-It-Posters.jpg
–Job Poem by Kay Ryan
Published in the New Yorker Magazine dated January 31st 2000

The Ass Of Assumptions (end) ~ Early Morning Thoughts

A very dear friend of mine (SGB) has a wonderful saying:

“words written can not be unread and
words spoken can not be unheard.”

As D&D would not listen let alone ask, their reactions became more and more pronounced – to me and toward Toby. I was walking a fine line that was no longer a balancing act but a high wire act without a net.

Eventually when walking a high wire while trying to balance any number of things, something is going to fall – and usually the person on the wire is the one that falls. I had been trying to keep everyone at peace and trying to compartmentalize what was going on in my life. While that can be a valid and valuable contribution of life – it can also be a major trap with no escape.

I’ve written before that I have a tendency toward “peace at any cost.” Sometimes there is no peace, and the end cost can turn out to be quite expensive. In this case, with D&D it had several unintended results. The friendship with both came to an immediate end. It wasn’t just that one single comment, but rather a gathering of a number of comments – not just about Toby – that led further and further down the road of erroneous assumptions.

And because they had built themselves a “construct” out of their assumptions, there was no way I could see that would change anything in either their maps or territories.

A construct is any idea that people invent in order to accomplish some particular end. And a construct, while not an absolute truth becomes something people assume to be an absolute.

I finally realized that I was not just walking the high wire around D&D, but I was also being untrue to myself by allowing the comments and assumptions to basically be unchallenged and/or unchecked. I had added false luggage tags and added baggage to my train – and it really was slowing the engine down. It actually spurred me even further to look even more into my life and the assumptions I’ve held onto, and which ones I’ve – perhaps – turned into constructs that need to be de-constructed.

In Wait
There are waves of emotions
that travel on land,
there’s beauty in silence
when you cradle the sun;
there are channels of thought
that use sweat when they paint pores,
there are smiles in drawers
that wait to be released . . .

There is a hidden power within us,
just lying around, waiting to be seen.
—Alex Luna
(copyright 2005)

The ending of a friendship
is a painful
as the click
of a coffin lid.

Letting go
Of assumptions
That don’t fit
This emerging life
Of a planetary
Consciousness,
Releasing
Unjust claims
That hold us hostage
To outworn mindsets,
Which drive us
To destroy ourselves
And others,
As penitence
For our power.

Releasing our minds
From the slavery of violence,
Freedom rushes in,
Flying to
Animate fresh visions
Of who we are
And what we can do,
Enwilling us with
Power over ourselves,
To choose
To be and do
With others.

Discovering love
Encoded in our genes
And compassion
That has been building
Through eons of change.
We find
Revived meaning,
A common purpose,
Shared action,
Different ways
Of seeing life,
New learnings,
A whole-some mix,
A holy diversity
Resolving
To empassion compassion
And stride forward
In myriad modes
Of Peace.

This is our time,
Our chance,
To rally Peace
Into the world.
—Verie Sandborg

The Ass In Assumptions (two) ~ Early Morning Thoughts

Some time ago, I began talking about assumptions and the problems I faced with D&D because of it …I had written (in part):

Assumptions are typically picked up from the culture in which we live. We acquired them as we acquired so much of our other knowledge from the culture, without being especially aware that we were learning it.

Going back to D&D for a bit – They both, but one of the D’s in particular have acquired a number of assumptions from the culture we live in AND (although they would be loath to admit it) the gay culture they surround themselves with. That happens no matter what the orientation…but in this case, the one D’s (hereafter D2) assumptions have stronger influences than most. . .Quoting from above: Assumptions typically take for granted that something or other is a fact, the way things really are. Even if they are not that way.

D2 had placed Toby in a category based on his assumptions…even though the assumptions had little basis in fact.

It started the night he told me that I “had more patience that he did what “those’ kind of people.” Now, “those kind of people” is a phrase that has always had the effect on me that fingernails on a blackboard have. And usually my reaction to each is about the same. Being a product of the 60’s and 70’s albeit not directly in the South (except for one VERY long year) – I am extremely aware of just how that phase was said and used.

I never expected anyone I was deep friends with (and who knew anything at all about me) would ever show serious bigoted assumptions or anti-people assumptions at anytime. As time marched/moved/tip-toed on with Toby and me, there were other remarks that were made showing a lack of understanding.

As I had written IF they had asked question and truly listened to the answers, there would not have been a problem. However, for them it was easier to make the assumptions then to find out the truth.

Toby has a bit of an image problem…I would be the first to admit that – but also the first to find out that the image does not match the reality. (Hmmmm, sounds like a few other posts I’ve written.) Toby is 6 feet 4 inches tall with tattoos on each arm. He’s somewhat “built”, keeps his hair buzzed short and has an Ohio accent (crossed with a deep South accent) you could – at times – cut with a chain-saw. He enjoys people of all types and is very gregarious and at times exceptionally outgoing. And yes, he can be mistaken for a hustler.

When I first met Toby I had problems as well. I had written about a deep rooted cynicism that I had to root out.

Later, after D&D’s return from successful errand running. Toby (not his real name or initial) whom I had never seen before, literally came and starting “working” me…I’d use the term hitting on me, but I didn’t want to give the impression of violence. I found that unidentified feeling really rubbing me … and then I realized with a shock what it was. I was surprised by cynicism. Actually a very deep rooted cynicism. Something I was totally unprepared for, and unaware of how much I had.

cyn·i·cism(sĭn’ĭ-sĭz’əm)-n- An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others:

And how was it expressed? Thank heavens only mentally. I think I realized it before it became expressed either in body language or verbally. My inner reaction was one of very high mistrust of the integrity of him and his motives.

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
–H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956)

And now – “the rest of the story ~

At one point, I was asked to house/dog sit for D&D. It was going to be a simple weekend – in on Friday – back home on Sunday. On Saturday evening, D&D were expected to be at a contest that a mutual friend was entering. I was more than willing to go and would be back for the dogs within about 2 1/2 hours.

In the middle of the afternoon chaos struck. (this IS a story about D&D after all!) The person who was entering the contest was being pulled in about five directions for rides to the contest and a couple of other places. This was not a problem – however, Toby was riding with him. So, he dropped Toby off at D&D‘s for about 45 minutes. All the people were delivered, I had a delightful time at the contest. Our friend didn’t win, but wasn’t too upset about it either. The weekend came to an end (and yes, there was a problem with the puppies – it only took a couple of hours to clean-up ~ they do belong to D&D after all.)

As I was driven home by D1, I explained what had happened and everything seemed to be fine. Alas, it was not going to be. On my part – I made the assumption 1) that D1 had discussed it with D2 and 2) that everything was fine.

Several weeks (!) later I received a very boozy phone call from D2 that literally started off with “I know what you did.” My response was an ever so polite “What?” “I know what you did and I have a few things to say about that.” Again, my response was an ever so polite “What the ______ (insert any word you want here) are you talking about?”

“I know that Toby was here and I want you to know that” (here is it)those kind of people stand on the porch and if they have to poop or pee – oh well, that’s where they do it.”

—tomorrow the final chapter of my friendship with D&D.