Saw New Amsterdam last night, if only because its premise was similar to my novel Scarlet Woman. Mm. Well, it was a little better, and in some ways, a little more wanting than I anticipated. The novelty of casting an actor (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who was actually, well...Danish (hey, it's close, right?) who learned Knickerbocker English as a second language (as opposed to an actor from, say, Kansas, and then voice coaching them to sound Dutch-New Yorker) was an appealing one: yes, with whiskers he does look like an Old Master painting (or close to), yes, his accent turns some words into melting butter (and has much the same effect on me) and yes, he is as cute as a button and as an older lady, I feel like I could have a chance at him (beside him, all women are younger than springtime). The notion of John staying pretty near New York all his life, and therefore, knowing a great deal of the city's history is appealing, giving the show a Neverwhere touch, as he throws away scraps of his accrued knowlege about wherever he is, among other subjects (watching him smoke a nargile is precious), and taking what I suppose to be an annual photo standing looking south from George M. Cohan's statue on Duffy Square to what is probably to him, still Longacre.

However, one character doesn't make a series, and the writing, I feel was a bit flabby. One example was when he tracks down a mural in a hotel from the 1930's to its artist: his son remarks that his mother was primarily a muralist, "and as such, is counted one of the first graffiti artists". No, not at all. She didn't vandalize existing walls, use spray cans, or champion "street culture", from what I saw: she painted in a wholly classical mode, used rare pigments (including gold dust), and was probably quite well rewarded for her work. (She may have been a Communist sympathizer, but that's another story...) To put it this way, by the criteria they're using, he might as well be saying that Giotto was "a graffiti artist". Another jarring inconsistancy is when he attends an AA meeting, and gives his dry time in terms of days, ending somewhen in 1964: AA is more a cultural artifact than a medical treatment, strongly dependent on pre-existing attitudes about religion and drinking for its utility, and somehow I don't see a 17th century Reformed Dutchman espousing the Temperance/Evangelical base of the Maintenance Movement. Yes, he IS that old, but still...Perhaps I should know better than to expect excellence out of FOX?

The mystery is no better, looking and sounding like a subpar Law & Order episode minus the "Order" part, but with Briscoe given a social-work degree. Enjoy this one while it lasts, kiddies, dream your dreamy dreams, cause this one's going straight to DVD Heaven.

Restoration and Resurrection

I like to look at difficult times and dangerous crossings as an opportunity to re-assess. Disappointment, loss, tragedy and everything else in that bag of marbles can cause a person to step down and surrender. I see it as an opportunity to test your ability to cope with events and circumstances as well as to test your ability to overcome and move forward in a new direction.

So, now that I am nine months or so removed from the personal tragedy I went through in New Hampshire, it becomes more of a historical event than anything else. Using my methods of personal mythology to give perspective to the people and events that frame my life story, I can put those events in perspective and see beyond the negatives. Once you can see through the negative attributes of any events or periods of time in your life, you can focus on the components of that time period that are valuable for the journey forward.

Those components fall into two major categories, (1) What you have learned from the experience, (2) What positives came about that your focus might have been led away from because of the weight of the negatives of the experience.

The greatest positive about my time in New Hampshire was that I gained a great deal of experience in the human services field. It not only gave me an experience, it gave me momentum towards a career path that finally makes sense to me. When I came back to Florida I insisted I would use that experience and continue working in the field, and I held out for six months waiting for the right opportunity, working part time and temporary gigs in the meantime. I scraped along, barely making ends meet and depending on the kindness of others to keep me afloat at times. I was resolute. I was not going to take a job working in some office or doing things that did not hold any meaning or purpose for me. I was going to hold out for as long as it took to get a job doing what I can best be described as, "What I am meant to be doing."

Apparently based on my experience, the way things went during my training, and some other factors, my new employers have high expectations of me. I was told the head of the training program went to the person who is now my supervisor to give me high marks and a hearty recommendation, which impacted the job assignment they have given me. This tends to make me a bit uncomfortable, as I like to go into situations without any expectations, or even with low expectations, because then I can only go upwards from there.

And so, right out of training they are assigning me to a group of individuals rather than just having me roaming around lending a hand to experienced therapists. And it is a group of seven dudes with a wide variety of developmental disabilities and behavioral issues that have reportedly driven others insane. I told them I wasn't worried about going insane since I am already completely insane.

And the thing about restoration and resurrection is that experiences you saw in a negative light can later be a benefit in other ways.

Last night I was talking to the person who was training me in working with my group and I told her I spent more than two years living with a self-destructive bipolar cutter who attempted suicide three times while I was living with her.

She said, "That is going to help you a lot here."

Never doubt that tragedy and loss can be turned into a positive later on down the road in your journey through life.

Have finally decided on my next (meaningful) writeup, which'll be about my hero Marta Becket and her opera house in Death Valley. Am scheduled to fly out there April 18. Wilson is going, too. Should be hysterically fun. Dude, I love Wilson.

I dont really know how I should start,perhaps by giving a short description of my love-life? well,I've had 1 girlfriend at the age of 13 for 3 months, nothing really serious and then, at 15 I met a german girl on msn and we decided to "get together"(I live in Canada, she lives in Germany), we had never met before but we met last summer, I was 17 years old, we really loved one each other but I just couldn't stand the distance anymore, I finally broke up after 1 year and a half of relationship.    

I have never been the kind of guy who managed to get a girl to his knees, it actually never happened, I'm just the average guy, you know the one that nobody notices? It actually really affects me, you know when you feel like everybody ignores you? When it happens too often, you just get to feel like you're worthless and that nobody likes you...(that's how I feel at least). 

Well, it happened maybe 2-3 weeks ago, I was in the escalator and there was that girl from my german class, a very quiet kind of girl but how pretty she is! I was just behind her and...what did I do to engage the conversation? I poked her on the shoulder, haha, I asked her if we had a homework in german. We sticked together pretty often, I saw her 4 times a week because she was in many of my courses, so we got to know one each other more and more and one day, I asked her if she had a boyfriend. She was very confused, she really didnt know what to answer, she finally said that she knew a guy with whom she saw herself in the future, the near-future but that she was still unsure. It meant that she was still opened to me. Which was true! So i asked her if she'd like to go skiing with me, she said yes.

That Wednesday, we went at her appartment to get her stuff and while we were in the bus, she felt a bit sleepy so I told her: you can put your head on my shoulder if you want. So did she, I felt so happy, I knew that it meant that she kinda liked me. Then, we got to my home, got prepared and everything, nothing special happened in the meantime. While on our way to Bromont, she, again, put her head on my shoulder and guess what....I grabbed her hand! I was extremely glad, I hadnt felt the touch of a woman in ages! We did the same when we came back from the mountain. She ate supper at my home and we went downstairs a bit after. We had a tickle war and then we went upstairs in my bedroom. we kissed, we kissed a lot! I finally accompanied her back to her appartment and we spent so much time kissing that I missed my bus and I had to sleep at her apt....how sad...

Nothing happened during the night because she had a small bed and I didnt want to impose myself. To make it short: I spent the whole day with her and we had sex together. Well, I thought that was it! She was mine! Haha,how foolish from me, she wasnt! The day after, she told me that she was with that other guy...I was so mad, so disappointed, I couldnt concentrate on anything for the next 3 days. At work, I just kept smashing boxes with metal bars. And then, we met again during the week and we spent a lot of time together. On the next Wednesday, I told her how i really felt about her, in other words, I told her that I loved her. She didnt exactly know how to take it, she sure was surprised though, she was incredibly cute to see when I told her...but it still didnt do it. She told me she wanted to wait to see how things would evolve between her and her b-f to make a clear decision about me and her. I asked her yesterday what was going on and well, she is officialy closed by now...

I feel pretty bad now, I mean, she was the first girl to have a slight interest in me for like 5 years (I dont count the german girl as a "normal relationship",she probably would have never been my girlfriend if we had met in real life), I had so much hope in her, I really wanted to be her boyfriend. You know, I almost even cried,which almost never happens.

The wee one gets home sometime today. This is just a chronicle sent by the director of the National Young Leadership Council of her day three on the road.

Dear Parent,

Today Anna investigated Washington D.C.'s rich history of leadership in a series of site explorations of some of the capital's most important sites. After a walking exploration of the seat of our country's legislative branch, Capitol Hill, Anna explored the Korean War Veteran’s Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Lincoln Memorial and stopped for a photo opportunity at the White House. The scholars also visited the National Portrait Gallery, which houses nearly 20,000 works of art featuring men and women who have made significant contributions to the history, development and culture of the United States.

At each of these sites, Anna learned how leaders use their voices to take a stand and make a difference. In the evening, she worked with her LFG members to create a social organization to serve as their own "voice of change" for a special topic that impacts local communities. This final project tasked her with using the new leadership skills she has developed at JrNYLC this week. Be sure to check in with Anna to hear about her LFG's project!

That last line sounds a bit prophetic. I’m going to try and coax her into writing about her trip in her own words…

Later

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