Aug. 30th, 2014
11:30 am - Hidden in plain sight
My father's parents passed away nearly twenty years ago. They were kind, open-hearted people who had many friends and cared a lot about them. When I was a kid in the early 1970s we used to spend Midsummer's Eve (an important family event in Sweden, think Thanksgiving, I guess) with them. Some of their best friends also came along to celebrate. Being a kid, I didn't think much about it or wonder why those friends didn't stay with their own families. As was the custom in those days with friends of your family, I addressed all of them as "uncle (name)" or "aunt (name)" and that was that.
My older sister was a lot closer to them than I was, and in particular she and my grandmother were very open to each other. My sister probably knew more about our grandparents and about the back stories of my grandparents' friends than anyone else of our kin. After they died, my sister shared some of the stories with me, so I knew about the friend who was depressed and suicidal and whom my grandparents would check on regularly; if he phoned my grandfather would drop everything to have a chat with him. The usual thing that happened to depressed people in those days was to be ostracized, which I guess didn't really help much.
This summer I was told about another friend. This man used to arrive in his car looking a bit stressed out and haunted, but when he was greeted by my grandparents he would relax visibly and be all smiles the rest of the day. My sister told me about the time before I was born, when this friend moved to Stockholm to live in a relationship that by that time was legal but in no way socially accepted. I was told of how painful it was for both my grandmother and him when she asked if she could come visit them, and he couldn't let her. Then the relationship ended, he moved back and my grandparents and he renewed their friendship, never letting go again. It was easy for them to forgive him, because they actually understood how hard it was when your love is taboo (my father was conceived out of wedlock, so they had some idea to begin with).
My head swam a bit when my sister told me this. I had never realized. No one had ever even hinted that there was something out of the ordinary with this man, he was just another good friend. I said to my sister that I was glad that my grandparents had been so progressive in a very intolerant time.
Yes, my sister said. And then, she countinued, there was V[...] and I[...], who moved from their parish because of intolerance and were welcomed by our grandparents...
And I almost laughed out loud from sheer surprise. Aunt V[...] and aunt I[...]? They were queer? They were a couple? No way!
I had the coolest grandparents.
Jun. 5th, 2014
03:56 pm - Hej
Hej Stina Fina Fian <3 Tog just bort inlägget du inte får läsa. Det mesta övriga är nog rätt pinsamt också ;)
May. 28th, 2014
kan inte må dåligt idag
har saker att göra
inte den här dagen av alla dagar
(sorry, needed to vent again, can't post this to FB where I originally wrote it because my kids might read, can't post this to DS because she might read, can't post this to Tumblr... ok I suppose I could, but I'm posting way too much there anyway)
Jan. 30th, 2014
03:30 pm - Women drivers
Today I made someone uneasy again by casually remarking that women tend to be better drivers than men. I'm sorry, fellow men, but that's how it is. Some of the difficulties some men have with this comes, I think, from differing definitions. Most women (and insurance companies, and associations for road safety, etc) seem to favor the definition that the better driver is the one who doesn't cause accidents or even nuisance in traffic. Men, OTOH, have an alternative definition along the lines of the better driver being one who can master the vehicle while pushing it to its limits (while that ability sounds impressive, 99% of the time it's actually rather useless). Following that definition, men assume that a prudent driver (male or female) is inexperienced or unskilled, because if they were any good, they'd drive a lot more recklessly. Of course, there are lots of really lousy female drivers out there, just not as many or as bad as their male counterparts.
Still, while the stereotypical female driver is cautious and plays it safe, it does seem that when women put do the pedal to the metal, they can do so with the best of them, so even going by the "male" definition, women could still be better drivers. They just don't (for the most part) realize that when you turn the ignition key, you enter a competition.
Aug. 12th, 2013
06:40 pm - Elfquest and divorce
I haven't touched my old Elfquest books in many years, but today I added a note about Cutter and Leetah's moment of reconciliation to the Slap-Slap-Kiss trope on TV Tropes.
"Near the end of the first volume, Leetah and Cutter try one more time to reconcile but fail (narration: "Once more a wall of anger rises between them"). Cutter breaks down and turns away crying, half decided that he needs to go away. Then Leetah simply speaks his soul name, the ultimate expression of intimacy among elves, and an implied acceptance of him as her "lifemate".
Leetah: Tam...? *embraces him* You are trembling..."
To get it right, I looked it up in the first book. The artwork for the scene almost made me cry. Thirty years ago, this was the most poignant expression of love I had ever seen, and the concept and struggle of recognition resonated very deeply with my OCD/Asperger mind, as I at the time felt irrevocably emotionally bound to the girl (who, I realized many years later, still hadn't really made up her mind about whether she really liked me or not) I later married.
Now our first attempt to get divorced seems to have failed due to the time limit. We will have to file for divorce again. A year ago, the divorce was a catastrophe for me. Today, I know that a) no matter what, our marriage was over, and splitting up was for the best for both of us, and OTOH b) divorced or not, we are still very deeply connected and bound to each other in friendship (and in shared parenthood -- that will not just go away).
Oh, I have no point to make, just a lot of emotions going on.
Jun. 28th, 2013
06:28 pm - Also
I'm employed now. Doing database and spreadsheet analyses and programming odd jobs. Cool.
06:26 pm - Stop it
"A key that can open many locks is called a master key, but a lock that can be opened by many keys is a shitty lock."
A) A lock that can be opened by many keys isn't shitty, it's essential for places like apartment building front doors.
B) The analogy is bogus anyway. A penis (carrier) isn't a key, and a vagina (carrier) isn't a lock.
End slut shaming now.
Apr. 29th, 2013
05:18 pm - Could it be?
I think I may have a chance of getting employed. The county hospital needed someone to straighten out (mostly) Excel documents for studies of management and economy. My brother-in-law mentioned my name, and I've been doing unpaid work a couple of weeks now to prove my capability. I'm overskilled to say the least, but at this point I'm thrilled to get this chance.
Sep. 1st, 2012
07:12 pm - Arduino
Writing an introductory manual for the Arduino and Arduino C for my 13-year-old son. Kind of fun, but a lot of work.
Aug. 23rd, 2012
05:57 pm - It begins
We've filed for divorce, and got the court's confirmation. In six months I'll be single again. At that point, we will have been married for 24 ½ years, more than half of our lives.
"It is so strange the way things turn"
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