Monday, October 16, 2017

This thing of #Me too got me thinking. I don't usually comment on anything other than food, BBQ, my adventures or my loves. I can't say why this made me feel like I should share, but it did It's kind of a long ramble, with no answer or eventual advice or opinion. I' just felt like I should share some experiences. I guess if being groped, kissed, or touched in a sexual way when you don't want that attention, or that kind of attention from that specific person doing it, that even though I'm a guy, I could also say #Me Too. 

It's happened more times than I can count over the years, on one occasion, from an older man, back
in the high school days, and once from a guy in a bar who thought I was girl back to when I had long blond hair down to my butt, but overwhelmingly for me through the years, it’s been by women. As a guy, you're supposed to be always "on" and willing and horny. You’re supposed to want ALL the attention, and somehow something is wrong with you if you don’t want that attention. Let me tell you, a drunk girl in a bar can be just as aggressive, undesirable and embarrassing with unwanted attention as any guy. She can really cause you a lot of grief if you are in a relationship or married. I haven't felt the fear of physical harm if I didn't comply, I know that's way different... that takes it to another level entirely. But there are lots of ways to intimidate and threaten outside of the physical realm that can be scarring or leave unpleasant things in your head that you'd rather forget. Untrue negative stories or rumors around the dorm, neighborhood, bar or social group about your sexuality can be long lasting and very damaging, and the threat of them just as intimidating as being hit or hurt, especially in the years when your social group's thoughts about you are important. It’s another form of bullying that you might not think of.

Way back, when I worked in a hospital, there were co-workers who felt like they could do or say
Anything in a sexual way.  More than once , I got in the elevator with a women who, as soon as the door closed, push up against me, kissed me hard and grabbed my parts.... all the while offering that I could come to her place and do stuff with her and her boyfriend or with her in the back room. Sure... it could be every guy's fantasy if the attention was from some hot girl he liked and wanted to get with... but not so much from some haggard lady 20 years older than you. I think Rom-Com movies, romance novels, the Hallmark channel, porn... they all play up to that erotic chance encounter with someone you would really, really want to be with. And yes... It could be awesome. That sexual adventure that you still think about years later. Or not. Desired or undesired is the key. I avoided elevators with housekeepers after a while. Unwanted and more than once after you said "no thanks" is what makes it icky.

When I worked at a grocery store in high school as a bag boy or shelf stocker, women would lean in, say dirty stuff to you and even grab your butt or worse. My butt was always getting grabbed or commented on. Apparently women in their 30's and 40's feel its ok to mess with a 17 year boy. He'll like it, I guess is how it goes. Everyone is getting a thrill. Admittedly, if it was an attractive older lady doing it, it would be arousing and a story to tell your buddies. I don’t remember particulars, but I do remember there were some beautiful moms and ladies going through the checkout line. Customers we couldn’t wait to see each week. I'm sure a few knew that they were very attractive, and that the look and the smile they gave you, or the asking you to help them to their car and somehow brushing up against you and letting a hand "touch" you by mistake was giving you a huge thrill. No harm no foul, right?  I'm also sure that if it was unwanted and you found the customer unattractive, and you didn't want the attention, then it was embarrassing, intimidating and not so much fun. Something you didn't want anybody to have noticed or find out about. No thrills there. You switched cashier lines when you saw that customer line up. You were horrified when then they switched lanes. I can see it might be true that it’s probably not something all unwanted perpetrators could guess beforehand... will this be wanted or unwanted. How would they know unless they tried? Everyone can be lonely and want affection and maybe they have no other social atmosphere but the grocery store. It’s not nice to judge someone just because you find them unattractive and don’t want them to touch you. How shallow to judge whether someone is allowed to touch you by how attractive or desirable YOU think THEY are. Right? You want to be a nice person and not judge, right? Maybe that’s where the groper's power lies. I’m also sure a guy doing that stuff to a girl grocery bagger would be in huge trouble, but a woman doing that to a boy, not so much.

Years ago when I lived in town in apartment with my wife, I had a lady call the office and make up some story about a car accident I was supposed to have had with her with in our company truck, so the secretary gave her my home phone and address. She called and lurked outside my apartment for about a week. I was in trouble at first at work, because they thought I had had a car accident without telling anyone, and I had to go through lengths to prove I didn't do anything wrong. My wife was very upset wondering who this woman was calling me at home, and I felt creeped out that this lady would say she could see me walking around in the apartment or knew what my lunch order was at the deli.

Surveying on the side of the highway or on the road in town, women seem to feel, even today, that they can lean out the window and say all kinds of lewd sexual stuff. I'm 51 and it’s not like I'm Chris Evans or Ryan Reynolds, so it’s surely not because they really think I'm hot, or want to get my attention and can't help themselves. They just say crude shit because people do that when they go by construction workers. Funny, right. You only thought construction workers did that to walkers and drivers by.

I could say in some ways it’s kind of flattering to receive attention from people... in the high school days, when I had no confidence and felt like no women liked me, it would make me feel like I was liked after all. Really, though, it’s the unwanted or embarrassing parts, and the continuation of the attention after you've said "sorry, no I don't feel the same way for you," or "aren't you friends with my mom" or "stop," or "I'm married" or "I have a girlfriend" or just plain "NO" that doesn't seem to have any weight at all if you’re a guy.

I guess maybe I can understand some of it.... sometimes it’s just a way to reach out and see if the other person is receptive.... there have been plenty of times where I'd been kissed or grabbed in college and I was all "Ohhh, hell yeah, here we go" If she hadn't decided to go for it, a great thing might never have happened. But also, there were quite a few times where I didn’t want the attention at all, and it sucked. No... I've never felt like I was in harm’s way or like I would be physically hurt, (except maybe from some wierdo at the YMCA when I was a little guy) but sometimes I was embarrassed to the point of never wanting to go back to a place. Or I've felt the need to duck and hide so I wouldn't get spotted.

I would say I don’t think it ever happened to me because I was hot or that attractive, that people couldn't help themselves. I was goofy and shy and I've been told as much by friends. I would say it’s just what happens to people... probably to everyone. I would say it happens to everyone, girls and boys, men and women alike. I would say it comes from the same sex and from the people of the opposite sex. I would say that there could be times when it could end up being not so bad, and maybe even the spark that starts a new relationship... at other times something that causes you distress and embarrassment for a long time. I would say that I don’t feel scarred or distressed in any way. For me, the experiences that I had were just stupid stuff that happened in my past that I either choose to forget about or don't worry about. Certainly they weren’t like some of the horrible things I’ve head friends and relatives describe having happened to them. I do feel it would be wrong to not share that this isn't just a thing that happens to women by men. Or that only happens as some severe assault. It’s a thing that happens to everyone by everyone to lessor or greater extents. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

I had a dream

I had a strange dream last night. I received a call from R_ at my old company to come check out a new position they were offering. For some reason, I went to the Riverside Plaza parking lot, and there was  a huge glass greenhouse looking building behind the 99. I went inside and both R_ and my old friend and co-worker G_ were there... and it appeared they were making bread.

R_ told me the position was to be a baker for the company...strange, since it was an engineering/surveying company. They needed 500 little dinner roll sized loaves of bread every day. He showed me how they kneaded the dough, and put it on boards or in little bread pans, but I never saw an oven.

After R_ left, G came over and patted me on the back and said it was nice to see me after all these years.

R_ came back told me the job paid $80k and all I needed to do was bake the bread. I thought I might be bored, so I asked if I could cook meals, too. "Do whatever you'd like," He said. "It's your kitchen"

I felt excited to have my own kitchen and the opportunity to cook for so many, but also insulted that this big company didn't even want to utilize the professional skills that I possessed. I also realized I was taking a pay cut. Then I woke up.

"Bread is a very basic symbol, and is common amongst many different cultures and religions.  As in life, bread in dreams can represent nourishment and sustenance.  If we dream of bread, this is often a symbol that something we really need is readily available to us.  In waking life, the nourishment we seek may not be simply food, but may be more abstract things such as emotional support, understanding, creative outlets or even more spiritual concerns.  To dream of bread may symbolize that our basic needs of love and and support are being, or about to be met.Bread in dreams can also symbolize the basic requirements we have on the material level, to be fed, clothed  and sheltered.  We can look for how the bread appears in the dream to understand if we are looking at life with an approach or abundance or scarcity.  To dream of losing bread, of it spoiling or being stolen is a sign that we are not having our basic needs met in waking life, and we may wish to consider getting “back to basics” in taking care of ourselves.On the other hand, a dream of breaking bread with someone, of sharing bread or receiving it are all profoundly wonderful symbols that our most essential needs are being catered to.  To share bread can symbolize that we have more than enough of what we need in life, and are able to give freely, for we are living with abundance.  A sense of abundance does not mean that we have lots of “stuff” – possessions, money etc, but just that all of our needs are met with some to spare.  Abundance is a joyous state, where we are able to give, confident that it does not meaning losing anything essential, that what we give is never truly lost, for it returns, even if in other forms.  In this way, bread can symbolize the cycle of life: birth, growth, death and rebirth.  Bread comes from the harvesting of wheat, so when bread appears in dreams it may indicate the completion of a certain cycle of life-stage, and the beginning of another.  Receiving bread in a dream can be a symbol of your higher Self, even Spirit Guide or Divine messenger offering you a gift that will not only keep you alive, but also nourish your very soul.  Whenever you are offered a gift in a dream, you should always accept it graciously, even if you do not fully understand the significance or purpose oft he gift.Bread is used in many cultures to highlight the relationship between the nourishment of the body and the nourishment of the soul.  This relationship means that dreams of bread can often have a profoundly spiritual nature.  But bread can symbolize procreation, and therefore creativity and growth.  We use the phrase “bun in the oven” for being pregnant.  If you dream of baking bread, it may symbolize a new child, new creative project or something you wish to nurture and help “rise.”Bread dreams encourage us to look at our basic needs, and where they are being met of not.  Bread in dreams ask us to consider what sustains and nurtures, what helps us grow, and to return our focus to that which is essential to our physical and spiritual well being.You may also be interested in the meaning of food and eating in dreamsfeasts and banquets in dreamsnew clothes in dreamsbeing pregnant in a dreamdeath and dying in dreams"~

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Just checking

I felt like I might want to start writing again. Next post maybe.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Has it really been a year?

Wow! I was thinking the other day it might be a fun rainy day thing to do a couple blogs. When I logged in, I realized that its been over a year since I wrote anything.. That's a long time to stay quiet. I used to keep  three blogs going on a fairly regular basis.
I guess I partially blame social media. I post so many pictures and status’ as they happen on Facebook and G+ that it hardly seems worthwhile to sit down and actually think of something today. What’s new with me? Anyone that follows me on FB & G+ already knows.
Yet… I feel like I want to say something….to write something… An update… a retrospect on the last 12 months, just to get me back into the writing thing. who knows. Maybe just a ramble to relax a little bit.
Its been a busy, eventful year. Lots of changes.
In February, my big buddy George had some kind of stroke….which turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg. He was riddle with Cancer and left us on March 14th. I was trying to remember the date and went scrolling through some of my FB posts at the time….made me all teary eyed again. He was the best big buddy.
In March, John & I did our first pig roast of the season at Killkenny’s for Saint Patty’s Day. It seems like forever ago. Again, looking through Facebook I can remember the day so clearly. I can’t really believe it was snowless and fairly warm. It was such a great day! Interestingly enough, this would be our last BBQ/pig roast until September. Got to work on advertising. But really, since both of us were sooo busy with other things, it turned out to be OK.
Then in April, there was Ingress and that battle for NH/VT began. Ingress is a game you play on your phone…a game of two teams, Frogs and Smurfs, a game where you have to actually visit and then check in/capture portals (kind of like a capture the flag game), which can be churches, historical markers, fire stations, statues, famous buildings etc. I spent hours upon hours with Stellabloo, Seebee7, The Gunns, SpookyToady, mcricket & QRM  taking and retaking Keene from Nymble, Coopdetat, Scurra7,  Piglet03431 , Andythebomb2 & ObiwanD2. The battle continues. It’s a very addictive game, you travel a lot and see a lot of local history. I’ve met a bunch of cool people too!
On Memorial day weekend, John & Mickey brought the pig roaster to Otter brook State Park and we had a killer BBQ party. This wasn’t a J.R. Smokey’s gig, just a party, but at least we got to cook for people. The next weekend, we volunteered for Sy’s Fund at the Up in Smoke BBQ Fest at the Cheshire Fairgrounds in Keene. Nothing like being part of the show! We got to serve BBQ, listen to great bands, eat great food, meet great people and even got a free beer. What’s not to love?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Aww, dammit, Castaneda!!

the_dark_legacy_of_carlos_castanedaI’ve loved Carlos Castaneda's books since I discovered them 20+ years ago.  To get more “info” about him and his ideas, I even read books by his female followers. I recently got his last book as a gift, one that I wasn’t aware was published, although apparently it had been out since 1998. So yeah… I guess it had been a while since I really was “into” his books

Well, yesterday, I finished that book… and I just felt a little disturbed.  I guess the fact that the book is prefaced by a note that he died in 1998, coupled with the fact that in his books, his premise was that his ending was going to be very different, kind of bothered me. It’s all kind of fantasy ,“way out there” stuff anyway, although some of his first novels actually do read like an anthropologist’s journal. Somehow, though, in the back of my mind, I guess I hoped some of the stuff about spirituality and energy was true.

So… I Googled him this morning and found this article. The dark legacy of Carlos Castaneda. Much darker than I would have guessed.

Its not so much that I believed everything he wrote was true, but that to be such a favorite author of mine and then read about a truly dark and somewhat insidious past kind of pulled the rug out from under me.

Awww, crap!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

“What’s new?” you ask

I see some exciting new things on the horizon. 

2012-08-25_06-49-53_6822012-12-25_18-14-28_723A cook book, a catering business and a restaurant.  It’s all in the works, some of it in the near future, some of it a little further out there. At the moment, I daren’t say more, because there are things to take care of yet. I’m sure you all will be the first to know when things take off, so stay tuned.

2012-10-15_21-38-49_29I’ve picked up my pencils, paints, pens and other artsy tools lately, and have begun playing around putting the doodles in my brain on paper.  If I had a natural talent, drawing and sketching would probably be it… I just never practice or think to do it, so my creations aren’t necessarily Art-in-the–Park worthy. Not that I do them for anyone else but me anyway.

GuitarI’ve been playing a bit more guitar, not necessarily a natural talent, but it is something that I love to do. 

cien anosI’ve put a little work into re-learning and studying more Spanish. Here again… not even close to a natural talent, but I love that language! Who knows… maybe someday I’ll even get good enough to speak to someone other than myself in the truck.

DSCN0207It seems like it might be time to brew a couple batches of beer too.  Something hoppy, something delicious.

And finally… I’ve started applying for Licensure as a Land Surveyor in a couple other states, Vermont & Massachusetts. I’ve been licensed in New Hampshire for 14 years. Getting the first license is the tricky part… it takes a 9 hour SIT exam, years of gaining experience and building a portfolio, 6 hours of the National exam and 3 hours of the State exam.  I’m just a number of months and a 1/2 day State exam away from being a licensed Vermont surveyor…hopefully.

So there is is… a bit of what I’m up to. I know what you’re thinking…. not much of a blog post really … but I just felt the need to play with blogger and I’ve got an hour to kill before I pick up my daughter.