Friday, January 31, 2020

Adults Not Feeling Like Adults

My sister wrote in a text that she had initiated plans for a cousin-dinner at our aunt's upcoming memorial. She told my mom it would be no-adults.

Our mom asked what she meant, and it took me a few hours to maybe understand why our mom was asking that.

The thing is, my sisters, our first cousins, and myself...we ARE all adults. All, but one of us, are in our 40's. And all, but one of us, have teenagers.  Technically three of our teenagers in the group ARE adults themselves.

And if my sister is having age confusion, she's not alone.

A cousin group text thing was started several weeks ago. It was a break off from a chat group involving the older generation. In my mind, it became the chat group for us kids. 

But no actual kids were on it.

Now I don't always disconnect to the fact that I'm an adult.

For example, I felt very much an adult when we took Jack on his college tour. 

In general, I feel like an adult when it comes to mom stuff. And I probably usually feel like an adult when it comes to being a wife, mom, and aunt.

But when it comes to being a cousin and when we're referring to our aunts, uncles, and parents; well, I feel like we're all fifteen again. 

Is this normal? Common?

Very common?

Or is there something wrong with us?

At least I know I'm not completely alone..  At least I know at least one of my sister's is in the same boat. 

How about my other sister?  Does she see it the same way, or does she feel 100% adult?

How about my cousins? Where do they stand?

Do they have the sense of maturity that my sister(s?) and me sometimes lack?  If they do have it, and we don't...why?

I wonder about our kids. Or I should say...offspring.  I expect it's very common for older teens to not feel like bona-fide adults most of the time. 

But when you're in your forties?

Well, I did read this novel recently—Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella.  In that, a VERY old (and also dead) woman doesn't feel elderly. She feels like she's in her twenties. 

And I think I've read other places that people often fail to see themselves at their real age.  Maybe it's more common, though, for people to see themselves as younger adults rather than old adults vs seeing themselves as NOT-adults. 

I'm wondering about our parents, aunts, and uncles, How do they feel? Do they feel like adults all the time?  Or are they like my sister and me?  Maybe they feel like adults when they're with their children and grandchildren. But maybe when they're just among themselves...maybe they feel like kids again? 

I Saw Some of the Oscar Nominees this Year

Jack is into movies these days. He's seen all but one of the Oscar nominees. I'm very impressed. Even back when I was a big movie fan, I don't think I ever managed to accomplish that.

And I haven't accomplished it this year either. But I did see four out of nine of the nominees. That's much more than what I usually see.  I'm looking at the nominees for the last few years. I usually see one or zero of them. Although back in 2010, I saw Toy Story 3 AND The Social Network.

Anyway, I wanted to just give my brief opinion about the movies I saw.

The first was Parasite. Jack invited us to go see that with him.  I had never heard of the movie, and the only thing I got from Jack is that it was Korean.  We all somehow decided that we'd go to the movie not knowing anything about it. We didn't know if it was a drama, comedy, dark comedy, horror, etc. It's kind of fun going into a movie totally not knowing what to expect. 

We all loved it. 

We debated afterward whether the wealthy family were parasites as well or did the word apply only to the low-income con artist family.

I argued that that the wealthy family were NOT parasites, but now I've forgotten my argument.

Don't get me wrong. I definitely think they were awful and took advantage of their employees.

I think it was more about the analogy not fitting as well.  

Oh! Maybe it was that the employees were fully aware of what the wealthy people were doing to them/demanding of them.  Usually, if we have a parasite, our body is being taken advantage of and we have no idea it's happening.  

The wealthy people would probably be more like a diagnosed cancer. You know it's there, and you can maybe get rid of it...but then you're also going to be putting some good cells in peril. If they spoke up and said, No we don't actually want to help out at your child's birthday party, they might have freed themselves from the birthday party, but they might have also lost their employment status.  

Okay, I should move onto the next movie.

This was Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.  I really loved that movie, which made me feel a bit conflicted since I had heard about Quentin Tarantino being awful to Uma Thurman.  But that's nothing new. The Me Too movement has made me feel conflicted about a lot of movies I love. 

Anyway....

What I probably loved most about the movie was the production design, but the storyline was very lovely too.

I want to talk about the ending, so SPOILER WARNING. (and actually...the spoiler warning should probably be applied to all the movie nominees) 

I thought the end was brilliant and very sad. I cried.

I mean cried, cried. Usually, when I say I cried I mean I got choked up a bit.  And that's what happened with this movie as the credits rolled. But later I was trying to talk to Jack about the ending, and I started actually crying.

What's weird about the sad ending is that it's sad, because it's not sad.

I felt very anxious for the last hour of the film...waiting for the bad stuff to happen. And at some point I thought about how movies can be so suspenseful even if we already know what's going to happen. There's that feeling of wishing we can change the ending and knowing it's impossible.  

Anyway, later I thought about Sinead Tinker dying on Coronation Street and how even though it was very sad, somehow Sharon Tate NOT dying was even sadder.  

There's one more thing I need to say about the movie. I was really hung up on the dog issue.

Meaning...why was Brad Pitt's dog at Leonardo DiCaprio's house?

It seemed to me that they got back from Italy, went out on a last dinner together, and then, on a whim, decided to have a sleepover.  But then the dog is there and his food.  

Maybe they made prior plans for Brad Pitt to sleep over, so he went ahead and brought his dog and left him at the house?  OR...my other idea is that Brad Pitt had left his dog at Leonardo DiCaprio's house while they were in Italy and someone was dog sitting over there for them.  

I'm not even sure, though, that their dinner plans happened immediately after Italy. It seemed that way, but...I might have missed something.  

OR maybe there was a scene where, after dinner, they went and picked up Brad Pitt's dog. And that scene got cut out of the film.

I'm guessing also that since Leonardo DiCaprio lived in the big fancy house and Brad Pitt lived in something around the size of a trailer home. Or was it a trailer home?  Well, I'm guessing Brad Pitt probably often found a way for him and his dog to get an invite to the fancy neighborhood. And I guess it's good that he did...that night.  They really saved the day.

Moving onto the next movie.

Little Women.

I didn't like it.

I've read the book and didn't love that. I saw the 1990's Winona Ryder movie and didn't love that either.

I've just never been into Little Women.  For bygone day stories about women, I prefer Little House on the Prairie or All of a Kind Family.  Really. Someone should make a movie about All of a Kind Family. Why hasn't that happened yet?

Anyway, I kind of dreaded seeing the movie. But I EXPECTED to surprisingly like it. I pictured myself leaving the theater saying, To be honest, I thought I wasn't going to like that movie. But I totally loved it.

Nope. I was bored and eager for it to be over. 

Later I realized that I was not just bored by the film but bothered by it.  

I felt it pushed the idea that women need to be self-sacrificing.

It bothered me that Jo (Saoirse Ronan) went from being rightfully furious at Amy (Florence Pugh) for burning her manuscript to feeling guilty that Amy almost drowned in the ice.

It was Amy's fault for following them...when she was most definitely not even wanted.

No, I don't wish that Jo held Amy's head down in the cold water while laughing gleefully. But I wish her feelings had been a bit more conflicted.  I still kind of hate you for burning my book but...I kind of hate you even more for scaring me to death by almost drowning.

The movie had a bit too much sisterly love and forgiveness.

I did like, though, when Laura Dern admitted that she gets angry but...

I forgot what the but was.

Maybe it's that she hides it?

I think that helped me dislike the movie less.  On the surface, the movie pushed this idealism of women being charitable, self-sacrificing, forgiving, etc. But then it was saying that society expects this out of us but if you have to shove down those feelings of anger, resentment, despair, etc....you're a normal human and not a complete moral failure.

Moving on....

The last nominated movie we saw was Jojo Rabbit. 

To celebrate our plans of seeing the movie, I had Alexa play the soundtrack to JoJo Circus.  




I was initially interested in Jojo Rabbit, because I thought Theon Greyjoy was the star. Later I realized he was not the main star, but I did think he was in the movie movie than he actually is.

He's not in it very much.

But despite the lack of Theon Greyjoy, I really loved this movie. It's my favorite of the four. And I even declared that it had replaced Us as my most favorite movie.

This afternoon, though, I was thinking about my love for Us, and now I'm rethinking my declaration. I'm not ready to let go of it as my favorite movie. So I'll just leave it as a tie for now. 

I don't think Jojo Rabbit will win the Oscar, but I wish it would. I think it's one of those important-movies-for-our-times kind of thing. 

I wish more people would see it, and I wish it would reach them in the way I'd want them to be reached.

I'd want Trump fans to see Jojo's love for Hitler and hopefully recognize themselves in it. 

Then I think those of us on the left can benefit from the movie as well.  I think it can soften our hearts a bit. Because I think in some ways, our hearts have hardened.  The movie can remind us that good sometimes hides in places we don't expect. And even among those that have become rotten, there's hope of recovery. 

Also....the kids are SO cute in that movie.  Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) looked so familiar to me. But afterwards I looked on IMDb and couldn't find anything in which I'v seen her in. Then I decided she must remind me of someone.  I thought about it and the answer I came up with was Lydia (Cassady McClincy) from The Walking Dead.  I'm not sure if they actually really look alike...or if it's something else about them. 


I'm Sorry If

I'm sorry if I don't believe your apology is genuine.

I'm sorry if you're not educated enough about apologies to know that adding IF to an apology usually renders that apology null and void.

I'm sorry if you don't realize that you apologized for my feelings and perceptions and not for what you said and did. 

I'm sorry if you're not sensitive enough to understand that adding IF to an apology infers that there is something wrong with my feelings and perceptions. 

I'm sorry if you're unable to understand that adding IF to an apology makes the apology insulting rather than compassionate.

I'm sorry if I'm not yet able to forgive, forget, and move on. 




Monday, January 27, 2020

There Often is No Hate

I'm beginning to understand why there is all this fighting between the left and right about whether someone or something is racist or not.

It seems we define it completely differently.

This was brought to my attention with a recent Instagram post. Well, the post didn't bring it to my attention but the comments did. 

The post read:

Let's be clear. 

You can be friends with a person of color and still be racist.

You can hire a person of color and still be racist.

You can be married to a person of color and still be racist.

You can give birth to a bi-racial child and still be racist.

For me, this all makes perfect sense.

For a lot of the commenters, it was hilariously ridiculous.

Why?

Because it seems they define racism as hating people of a different group.

So, if you have black friends, how in the world could you be racist? Do you hate your friends?

And you hate your own spouse and child?  How silly is that?!

I think these commenters were imagining this world where the left was paranoid that all these people were befriending, hiring, marrying, and birthing people that they hate. I guess for...some nefarious reason?  

But no. 

I think most of us on the left define racism very differently.  It's usually not about hate. It's ignorance—either accidental or willful. It's about turning a blind eye to the struggles, achievements, and triumphs of a certain group. It's about fear. It's about having beliefs that the more similar someone is to those in the dominant group, the better they are. (ie: she's very pretty. She looks almost white!

And all this can apply to other types of prejudice as well—sexism, anti-semitism, homophobia, ableism, etc.  

Let's take sexism.

Our family had a texting conversation a year or so ago.  My nieces were asked to dress up as underrated historical figures. My sister asked for suggestions.

My dad jumped in with several ideas.  

Now my dad does not hate women.  He loves his wife. He has three daughters and loves them (or at least two of them). He loves his two sisters. He loves his granddaughters. He's quite close to one of his nieces and loves the others as well. He has had female friends and coworkers that he loves....or at least likes.  

But the names of historical figures that my dad texted?

They were all men!

Within my definition of sexism, this is sexist.  Despite having all these adored women in his life, he was, at least temporarily, turning a blind eye to the fact that women have achieved a lot and are also often very underrated.  

Now this doesn't mean my dad always or often turns a blind eye to the struggles and achievements of women.  But at least...sometimes he does.  

There are different degrees of sexism, racism, etc.

Sometimes it DOES involve actual, obvious hate.  

Other times, it's doing things like my dad did.

Some people often do stuff like that. Some people do it occasionally. And some do it rarely.

Some are aware that they are doing it and think it's fine....since it doesn't involve actual hatred. Some are not aware that they're doing it, and if you pointed it out, they'd get defensive. Then others do or think the wrong thing, realize they have made a mistake, feel guilty about it, and continuously try to better themselves.

There was a day on Twitter when women's heart disease was trending. It was a planned movement to bring attention to the fact that women DO have heart attacks but that their symptoms differ from men and that women's heart problems are often ignored.  

A man complained about this. He saw it as discrimination. There should not be a day specifically for women. This is unfair!  

But did this man ever complain throughout the decades and centuries of women's heart health being ignored?  Did he ever speak up about that?

The people who complain about Black Lives Matter?  How many of them spoke/speak out when the underlying message was/is  that black lives DON'T matter or that black lives matter less than white lives?  

It's like the narcissist who mistreats someone for years or decades and see no problem with it. Then when their victim speaks out against the way that they're treated, the narcissist cries out that they are the ones being abused.  

People will ignore discrimination until the discriminated group starts fighting back against the discrimination. Then the dominant group cries out that they are the ones facing discrimination.  

Anyway....

I'm wondering.

If the left and right could better understand the differing definitions of racism, sexism, and all that; could we communicate better?  Would we understand each other more? Would we get along better?

I kind of doubt it. 

Well, I feel if people so easily turn a blind eye to the struggles and achievements of women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, etc; then it will also be easy for them to turn a blind eye to the whole different-definition thing.

I believe some of them purposely cling to the hate-definition, because then they can halt the conversation, point to the left and say things like, You call everyone racist who disagrees with you! 

If racism is about strong, obvious hatred...there's no need to worry about what's in our own hearts. There's no need to try to better ourselves. And I think that is going to slow down progress.   

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

What We Didn't Do at Disney in December

We went to Disney World in December.  It was a great trip, but I have some difficult feelings regarding it, because we failed to fulfill some of our usual traditions.

I SHOULD just concentrate on the positive, but this is my blog and I want to dwell a bit on our failures.

So...here's what we didn't do.

1. We didn't go on Everest. Well, Jack went on it. Tim and I did not. I feel extra regret about this, because Jack and I also didn't ride Everest when we visited last April. So that's two trips in a row in which I failed to have an encounter with the Yeti. This is really bad, because our cat is named after that Yeti. 

2. We didn't get ice-cream at the Anandapur Ice-cream Truck. We almost always get ice-cream there. I mean not every time we go to Animal Kingdom but usually at least once per trip. Actually, though, I think we skipped this as well in April. I'm not sure we even went to Animal Kingdom at all in April. For the most part, we kept to Magic Kingdom and Epcot. 

3. I never went into the shop at the Norway Pavilion. I am pretty sure there has never been a time, before this trip that I did not go into that store...multiple times.  What's really sweet, though, is Jack surprised me later, at home, by ordering me the Norwegian perfume they have at the shop. 

4. We did not get the snow cone in Japan!  This is mostly Tim's thing.  The Anandapur Ice-cream is mine. But we share the snow cone and the ice-cream, so it was kind of a loss for all of us.

5. I didn't ride three Magic Kingdom rides that I almost always ride: Tomorrowland Transit Authority, It's a Small World, and Big Thunder Mountain. 

I still feel weird about missing those.

But you know what?  The reason I missed all three? I wasn't in the mood. And the same goes for the ice-cream and Everest. Maybe that's why I have the regret. It's like I feel guilty, because I didn't partake in these things by choice.  I think it would be different if I had wanted to go on and we ran out of time or it was closed.

Except Norway.  That actually was about running out of time. Or...running out of energy. On the last day, I started heading over there.  It was hot and crowded.  Then I saw Jack exiting the Norway Pavilion.  He was heading towards China or Japan to get a drink. I love the Norway store but love being with Jack even more. And he's going away to college soon.....

So I walked with him, thinking maybe I'd turn back around later and go to Norway.  I never did.

I think that's about it for the the things we missed...AND regret.  It's not a full list of every missed attraction.  There's a lot of those. It's impossible to go on every ride, see every show, visit every store, and eat at every restaurant on each of Disney Trip.  There's just certain things that become traditions, and it's hard to miss those. 

On the other hand, we did do some new/unusual things. Well, some of the things are unusual for us...not unusual for people in general.

1. We went on Rise of the Resistance. Twice!  And Tim went on three times!  Our first ride was on the day it opened. I'm so proud of the that fact.

We were boarding group 42.




The ride was fantastic...though probably more appreciated by longtime Star Wars fans. (Tim and Jack fit much better into that category than I do).

What I liked even more was the hassle getting onto the ride. It was such an adventure. We got up before 6 am, rushing to the park. We thought we'd be standing outside the entrance for hours or, worse, told that everyone else got there three hours ago, and the ride was already booked up for the day.

Instead, Disney opened the gates AND the rides. We got to experience short lines in Toy Story Land...which is a rare treat.

2. We rode the gondolas for the first time. That was lovely.  It would have been less lovely if we got trapped up there in the hot weather and had to pee or poo. But that never happened.

3. We ate Mickey Ice-cream treats. We rarely get those. But we did this time, because we did the Magic Kingdom After Hours event. This includes all you can eat ice-cream and popcorn. So, of course, we had to partake in all of that.

You know how you sometimes look back at a food. You miss it and look forward to having it again. I do NOT feel that way about Mickey Ice-cream.  And it's not that I ate a huge amount. I had one and half ice-cream sandwiches.  And yeah. Anything more than one is a lot. But it's not like I had like ten of those things.

We had been so excited about it, though. Even though we're not really into it.

I guess what I learned on that trip is that food doesn't necessarily taste better when it's free.

4. I spent a lot of time chilling at the Beach Club and Boardwalk area. I feel often we spend so much time at the park and neglect the resort areas. But on this trip, I spent a lot of time sitting on the benches outside and the comfy chairs in the various lobbies.  I was going to mention walking around the area, but I actually walk around the area on most trips.  So the walking part wasn't unusual.

5. We ate at the new Japanese Signature Restaurant—Takumi Tei. 




The food was really good.  BUT...strangely, it made me crave the much cheaper mainstream sushi restaurants.  My craving was fulfilled a few days later in Gainesville, and I actually enjoyed that food better. Don't ask me why.

6. We ate at PizzeRizzo in Hollywood Studios. That place always seems to be closed, but this time it was open. The pizza tasted better than it looked. It made me nauseous, though. But that happens to me a lot when I eat pizza, so...not the fault of the rats.

7. I rode Tower of Terror not-alone!!!  In previous visits, Tim and Jack would never go on, so I'd have to go on. I stopped a year or so ago, because it made me feel lonely. I mean I think it's great to go on Disney rides alone.  But there's something about Tower of Terror.....

Anyway, Tim and Jack finally decided to try the ride. And they both loved it!  I ended up going on...I think four times? And never alone!

8. We watched a full Fireworks show. I feel bad that this is rare, because Tim likes fireworks.  I mean not that I stop him from watching. But it doesn't usually become a family event. I'm more in the camp of let's take advantage of the shorter lines while everyone else is watching fireworks. Or actually more often...I'm in the camp of it's about time for me to start heading to bed.

But the fireworks show was starting around the time we arrived for After Hours. It was easier to just hang out with the crowd instead of fighting past the crowd.  And I knew the ride lines would be short once the After Hours event officially began, so there was less of a frantic rush to get to the rides. 

The lights and the music was lovely. I think it gave me a few tears. 

That's about it. I think.

But before I end this post....

I feel I should also briefly list the old favorites that we (or I) did NOT fail to experience.

So that would be: The Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, Spaceship Earth, the Mexico Ride, Soarin, Living with the Land!!! (I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I missed that one), the bakery at France, the bakery at Norway (several visits, actually), the ice-cream at the French crepe kiosk, the Japan store, the UK store, Sunshine Seasons.....