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First ride of the summer! [Aug. 14th, 2014|12:48 pm]
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So Saturday was a full day. Ihad two classes in the morning in Morningside Park and then wandered through a nearby farmer's market. The first class was chock full of cuteness--5 girls and 1 boy, and the girls got very territorial about who was going to sit in Coach Clara's lap and who was going to sit next to her. they started side-eyeing each other like I KNOW you don't think you're going to sit there when I JUST left her lap. SO CUTE.

In the afternoon I crossed the bridge to Randall's Island and FINALLY got a chance to ride again! The lesson, which was in the ring, went FANTASTICALLY. They gave me a quirky little mare named Rosie who was docile enough on walk and trot but took some convincing to bump up to canter. The instructor, a Barnard student named Christina, was terrific, giving me a lot of specific instruction on how to get her to canter and finally we did it 4-5 times, yes I canteredcanteredcantered. SO AWESOME. Christina told me the first time she'd ridden Rosie she had not been able to get her to canter so that made me feel even better.

After I dismounted Anna told me that DB had said if I wanted, I could ride another horse (Magic, I've ridden him before) out of the ring, in the small patch of grass and trees near the gate. Naturally I said yes! So Magic and I had a nice little 20 minutes or so which was a lovely end to the afternoon. Afterward DB and I talked--he said if I liked I could take Magic out into the big pasture next time and work him there (much more room). And said that any time I liked I could come over and work the horses for free. FIR FREE AAAAAAUAGH Riding is so expensive, the phrase "for free" is never heard. And the honor of being asked to work the horses! It really is an honor and I am so excited.

Me on Magic

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Soccer [Aug. 14th, 2014|12:09 pm]
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So soccer this week was AWESOME. One of my rugrats, this precious little 5 year old with adorable blonde braids named Anna, drew a little offering for me:

HOW CUTE IS THIS It is seriously cute, that's how cute. I had a lot of fun with them last week, I felt as though I were getting into a good groove. The most important thing is to connect with them so they enjoy it but this is sometimes difficult when little kids, 5 and 6 years old, are at camp for 6 hours. That's a long time for a little kid to be doing the same thing, essentially, so the more they connect with you, the more they'll like it. But at the same time they are there for a specific purpose, to become better soccer players, so you can't neglect the skills and the drills. The funny thing is, I'M becoming better as well--I instituted a new practice wherein every time they go to the bathroom (it's a five minute walk away), they have to dribble a ball so they can get more touches on the ball. I try to take them as often as possible, and when I do, I will practice various kinds of dribbling--pullbacks, rollovers, tick tock, etc. It's important to practice skills like this so it gets into your body, becomes part of your body vocabulary.

One of the kids last week was awesome--this skinny little black kid who was far and away the best all around player I had all week. (And yet not at all arrogant or showoff-y, he had a terrific attitude as well.) I had to choose teams very carefully because whichever team got him automatically had a huge advantage. The Big Game (every afternoon we had The Big Game after lunch) would start and he would go to town. Not only did he have phenomenal ball skills, he had an amazing shot--his favorite move was to take the ball, work it around behind the other players to his right, and then BAM--his right foot would strike. His team would rack up a 4-5 goal differential so then I'd have to step in as goalie for the other team (whenever I played I made it so that I couldn't score, I could only defend). So THEN it became this mano a mana situation, where the kid's taking shot after shot after shot and it's only because I'm obviously much bigger, older and more experienced that I'm blocking them! He would nail this amazing shot and I would grab it but was he disappointed or angry? Nope, he would just grin and say "Clara stops it AGAIN." Just a great example for the other kids. (I talk about that from time to time, how one of the best ways to learn is to watch those who are better and model yourself.) At one point I pulled him aside and said when you get a chance, start developing your left foot--you're obviously an amazing right wing but at this point I know what you'll do every time you get the ball. Become ambidextrous and then you're a bigger threat and less predictable. (Which is what I did in my teens--I trained my left foot and now I usually play left wing.)

Since the premiere clinics are on Randall's Island, all this summer I've been meaning to stop by the barn and reintroduce myself to the Blairs. DB is pretty old (84) although he looks much younger, so I was hoping they'd remember me. I didn't get a chance to walk over until last Thursday when during lunch I told one of my rugrats, this 6 yo girl named Lucy who followed me around like a puppy :) that I was running an errand, if the other coaches didn't mind if I stepped away. She asked what kind of errand so I explained it to her. She then asked if she could tell the others and I said "don't say anything until you actually see me walking across the other field--that way you'll know the other coaches don't mind my stepping out." Anyway, so the other coaches were cool and I jogged over to say hello. DB remembered me right away--he said "who could forget Clara! Now when are you coming over to ride?" We set up a time for Saturday and I jogged back to THE cutest thing ever--lunch had just ended and my kids were running across the field to me, arms flung wide, and when they got to me I was surrounded by moppets hugging me, all asking me "Did he REMEMBER you? Are you going to RIDE again? What HAPPENED?" It was like the soccer Family Von Trapp.
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Robin Williams [Aug. 12th, 2014|03:12 pm]
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[mood |sadsad]

I was going to give a long account of the past week or so, which was very good, but like pretty much everyone else I'm stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, and it's what I've been thinking about all day.

I can remember his career going all the way back to Mork and Mindy--I was in 6th grade when that came out and it was a big hit. I remember being so aware of that show I wrote a short story and named a character Morkimonia (who was otherwise not at all like Mork--not an alien, for example) and got twitted by my teacher for unoriginality. (I wrote a makeup story about a girl who couldn't fall asleep one night because it was too hot so she held her breath to make herself pass out.) I remember those rainbow suspenders everyone wore, that was from M&M. (God, did we love rainbow-anything in the late '70s/early '80s.)

And Dead Poet's Society! To this day that movie gets me. That gorgeous cinematography, the liberal quoting of so many of my favorite poets. That magnificent ending, when Neil struggles to do what is right and finally surges to his feet and onto the desk, knowing it will mean his expulsion. And the other boys joining him (including the one who'd written the doggerel "the cat sat on the mat" earlier) as that brave Scottish music swells louder and louder, drowning out the obnoxious teacher as he impotently tries to get them off the desks. And that last perfect shot from Keating's POV, looking up at these young men, now grown. I'm struggling not to cry right now. I just love that movie. I love its message, its themes and actors, its lushness and its beauty and its heartbreak.

It's interesting to note how many times in his work Williams confronts or deals with suicide. Neil in DPS kills himself; What Dreams May Come also dealt with suicide and the Oscar-nominated songwriter for Good Will Hunting, Elliott Smith (he wrote "Miss Misery") also killed himself.

Good Will Hunting
the Birdcage
Aladdin--oh, so upsetting. My favorite movie of the Disney Renaissance, and he was a huge reason why.

And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.

These are what we stay alive for.

Make your lives extraordinary.

Thank you, Genie. thank you.
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(no subject) [Aug. 1st, 2014|11:11 am]
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So maybe I spoke a little too soon about adjusting to the constant work--between the two jobs (soccer and L***** (office job)) I have been working literally every day for weeks now (not 8 hours a day necessarily--weekends are maybe 3-4 hours a day) and it hit me this week. I started sounding hoarse Monday day--things deteriorated rapidly that night and I sent an email to soccer people saying tomorrow might not happen but I would show up anyway* and we could decide what to do. I woke up Tuesday completely unable to talk and walked over fully expecting to have to come right home. But on the way some remnants of my voice came back and I croaked my way through a conversation with the English dude who runs the program and they REALLY needed me. I said I could help out but someone else would have to run the kids' classes and I could silently assist. So this went on all week and I'm still sick, though not as bad as Monday/Tuesday.

But I am enjoying the classes more and more--for one thing the kids are really warming up to me. No greater feeling for a coach than when a parent says "are you Coach Clara? Anna can't stop talking about you at home." AWWWWWW. (Anna is my personal challenge, she has an amazing foot but doesn't really have a game face, just kind of spaces out in the scrimmages. But one on one she's great. I want to teach her aggressiveness.) I love all my precious lambkins. And when the super shy kid who sits out most of the classes finally decides he likes you and follows you around. There's another kid too who has his good side and his bad side--he is a bit of an antagonist (not quite a bully but he can't seem to stop singling out one of the other kids for attention). But he is also super helpful setting up the goals and picking up at the end of the day. He pranked me the other day, stuck a FIFA World Cup player sticker on my back. So I vowed to tickle him as punishment and now that's our "thing" and he giggles like crazy when I chase him.

I am good with kids. I may have a learning curve for the nuts and bolts of coaching, but at least I've got the kids down.

*I have this weird need to prove how sick I really am if I ever have to call in sick. I rarely do anyway, I have many faults but I do have a strong work ethic. But it's also--this is going to sound weird but I have this worry they won't believe me, they'll assume I'm faking it. Sorry to say, this goes back to my dad and stepmom who were great in many ways but did a number on us that way. They were always trying to test us and trick us in weird ways and the assumption was that we were always lying. I remember when I was 7, someone had broken or stolen something (can't remember what the misdeed was) and none of us owned up. (Realistically it was probably the middle brother who was ALWAYS the one who pulled crap like that.) My dad called the three of us (my youngest brother was an infant at this time) up to the bedroom on the second floor and pointed to the window and told us we had to jump out the window, and whichever of us broke our leg, that was the one who was lying. I was horrified--I remember protesting we're ALL going to break our legs, what does THAT prove?! (Even as a kid I was logical.) This terrified me--are you kidding, I'm going to have a broken leg AND be blamed for something I didn't do!!

The worst "we assume you're lying" incident was later on in 7th grade. Some guy I didn't know in my grade called me up and wanted to talk to me and I'd told him I had a sort-of boyfriend. For some reason he looked up the phone of that SOBF in the phone book, called the house, SOBF's mother called and I guess he used a lot of foul language on her and then named me. SOBF's mom called my parents who confronted me. I had no idea what they were talking about and said so. To this day I remember my stepmother saying "why should we believe you?" To this day.

I should've said "because I'm not a liar and you should know that. Because I would never misbehave like that. I don't steal, I don't bully, I don't damage the neighbors' property--I don't do really bad things. In fact whenever I have messed up in a major way, I would go to them and tell them myself. Acting in such a sly, creepy way would be completely out of character for me. And you should know that."
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(no subject) [Jul. 25th, 2014|12:48 pm]
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Also, have been working like CRAZY the past two weeks--all my regular classes plus a bunch of the premier clinics on Randall's Island. The money is terrific--my paycheck next month (we get paid mid-month) is going to be monster but the pace is a little crazy. I get up before 7, walk over to the office on the Upper West Side to help load the bus and corral rugrats, ride with everybody over to Randall's Island, coach the little ones (5-6-7 yo) for 6 hours including a lunch break and a snack break), ride back and hurry home as quickly as possible because I have to clean up and change for my office job. Still though. MONEY.

But I'm actually adjusting to the pace rather well. My feet don't hurt so much at night and I've been sleeping almost enough. (ALMOST. Last night I fell asleep unexpectedly before 10:00 and then woke up at 3 am.) And I think I'm doing a decent job with the little ones. When I first started with the clinics I was assisting one of the other coaches but last week they just handed the little ones over to me. I was flailing a bit at first but started coming up with drills and exercises and fun games that also taught skills. The website for the coaches lists articles that teach coaching skills but when I checked them out, the links were expired so I mentioned it to the head of the premiere division. He said they were having a coaches' camp in late August and he'd make sure I'd get invited to that. I also asked them for a premiere tee-shirt so I didn't have to wear the regular one--I wanted this for several reasons. 1) I already stand out--I'm the smallest coach and the only female, and I don't want to wear what the kids might think of as the uniform for the "baby" classes. 2) The regular shirt is REALLY getting worn a lot, I've had to hand wash it several times already! Anyway, got my premiere tee-shirt and it's too big but still--I don't stand out, yay! I can shrink it anyway :)

Also when I was speaking to the head coach, I saw him typing up some kind of list of names of all the coaches in the premiere division and their responsibilities and I saw my name. Yay, I've proven myself! I really do love this job (exhausted as I frequently am!).
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Mental Stuff [Jul. 25th, 2014|12:03 pm]
Sometimes I think I'm getting more...headcase-y as I get older. I have a few mental quirks--one of them is that I have a horribly high gag reflex and it's often triggered by other people's...well...bodily functions. Example, I CANNOT be around other people when they get sick or I will gag myself and have been known to sympathy-vomit. Basically, The Revenge of Lard-Ass Hogan (from Stephen King's The Body which was made into the movie Stand By Me) is definitely within the realm of possibility for me! But really, any kind of bodily fluids coming from someone else will do it--as much as I love kids, if they don't blow their nose I really, really struggle. In fact just thinking about this now is making me heave. Don't even get me started on bodily fluids from the other end. And it's not just humans, it's cats and dogs--I have literally vomited cleaning out the cat box. One time I woke up and Tatia'd had an accident--everything came up and I kept wanting to get sick again for the next two days. That was bad.

But it wasn't always this intense. Not sure what's going on, maybe I've just had more time to think about it. I have always had a very hard time swallowing pills--I just COULD NOT as a kid. I dreaded having to take any kind of medication in pill form and one time I got in trouble for hiding my vitamins behind the trash can instead of taking them. (And I remember when I was 6 I was on some kind of week-long medication regimen and one morning the pill went down--I literally jumped for joy, I was so happy.) Most of the time I'd just chew them up--you can imagine how great that tasted. And then in 8th grade I remember trying a new trick--I just shoved the pill as far back as I could and gulped a ton of water and voila! Now I could swallow pills, yay! Still didn't help with the bodily fluid revulsion though. I have an elaborate coping system though--I look away and either take ginger (not ginger pills, just straight ginger spice) or I can think of ginger and that helps. Thinking of lemons also helps. But I have to get the picture out of my head.

Anyway so I have another weird anxiety thing--I really, really do not like talking to certain kinds of strange people on the phone. I'm fine calling someone up in, say, customer service or making a reservation or whatever, because those people's jobs are to speak with strangers. But when I have to call someone who's not expecting a phone call and try to explain who I am, why I'm calling--ugh, I just want to die, I can't explain it. I'm fine with email or texting but the dynamics of a phone conversation with a stranger literally makes my heart race. My dad is the same way, maybe it's genetic!
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(no subject) [Jul. 21st, 2014|06:56 pm]
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Had an absolutely exhausting week last week. Soccer company scheduled me for three days in a row out on Randall's doing the select clinics, the first time I'd ever done that many days doing those clinics in a row. The money's great because you're racking up the hours but last week there was some sort of problem with the permit. Normally we do the clinics at the fields directly under the Triborough Bridge but someone else had the permit last week so we had to move to different fields. Which were NOT under the bridge in the shade, but out in the 80+-degree sun.

I had brought water of course but I've never spent that much time outside in the sun and really did not realize how much more water you needed to drink when you are directly in the sun. By Tuesday night I had a raging headache that simply would not go away. I realized I was technically overdosing on ibuprofen since I'd taken more than the recommended 6 tablets per diem regimen. And the headache wouldn't stop. I was weak and trembly and confused and just EXHAUSTED every night (like seriously, I had to nap before I went to bed, if that makes sense) and honestly wondering if I shouldn't go to the ER. Finally Thursday morning I started woozily thinking about it and it occurred to me I'd hardly gone to the bathroom at all out on the island, despite the water I was drinking. And how when I got my motorcycle license, the instructor (who spent all day out on the course) guzzled water--whole cups of water--every chance he got. Then it hit me--I think this is severe dehydration. So I tripled my water intake and just kept drinking throughout the day, every chance I got. I didn't really recover until Friday or so and the headache crept back a bit but today I didn't feel it at all. Yay! Lesson learned.
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Debrief [Jul. 11th, 2014|02:29 pm]
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So the visit went okay. It was awesome seeing my niece and nephew again, and Dad was okay. My stepmother was kind of cold though, have no idea why. If she's annoyed about the thing with her friend whom Dad said "was like family"--well, I wasn't the rude one. As to being "like family"--hello, I AM your family. Why would you reflexively side with her over me, especially when she was clearly in the wrong? I also noticed a few goddamns and shits being uttered in front of the twins--and not by me, of course. Hilariously at one point (there was a bee nearby) Emily uttered the F-word and was scolded by my brother. Um, just gonna point out again, I didn't teach her that word. Wanna rethink that "you're not fit to be around the children" insinuation, Dad? The twins adore me (I usually get on great with kids) and I played with them every chance I got, including several appearances of the dreaded Tickle Monster (I stagger around like Frankenstein chasing them and when I catch them I tickle them).

At one point we were sitting around the porch chatting and throughout the course of this conversation various misdeed's of my middle brother's were mentioned. The time he wrecked one of my dad's cars, the time he was arrested, the time they threw him out for growing weed. I had to stifle my laughter (laughter as in--if I don't laugh I'll go crazy). I haven't done anything nearly that bad, like not even one-tenth as bad as that. I never even skipped school. I was a well-behaved kid growing up for the most part and I did not get into trouble as a teenager. Graduated with honors from college (the only Green granddaughter, BTW, with a college degree), worked hard, great credit score and credit history, own my own home, etc. Why the hell are they so hard on me? I just do not get it. Mom called me after I got back and we had a cool discussion, deconstructing the weekend.

In more cheerful news, I LOOOOOVE my new job. Love. It. I adore all the kids I've been working with, and the office has been giving me tons of classes. Most of my classes are for very young children (ages 2.5 to 4), teaching very basic skills but they also have premiere clinics for older kids that go on all day on Randall's island. Those are GREAT--six hours on Randall's Island working with kids, teaching them my game! So much fun :) The one tiny drawback is that it's a little exhausting--my feet are generally quite painful after a day on one of the premiere clinics. But the money is good--I was thrilled to see they gave me THREE days next week doing the clinics! Next week is going to be long but lucrative :)

Seriously though, I just love working with these kids. I have a small class on Thursdays and one of the little girls just crawls into my lap--SO CUTE. And then two days ago on Randall's Island I was sitting around eating lunch with my class of 6 year old boys and one of them chirped "you're a really good coach!" SO. CUTE.

In more soccer news, last Sunday I picked up two games, one a league game (they needed women). And I scored twice in that game :) The first was set up by another player--we approached the goal together and at the last second he passed it to me and I sent it on. But the second was ALL ME on a breakaway which is especially satisfying :)
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(no subject) [Jun. 30th, 2014|05:19 pm]

Got an email Saturday night from my dad saying they'd love to have me visit and we could "discuss our differences, or not....The visit with you is much more important. My relationship with my only daughter is even more important."

Which, well, brought and is still bringing tears to my eyes. Dad's not really an apologizer and he can definitely hold a grudge. I'm really glad he said something. And language like that is not like him at all (in a good way--I've never heard him say anything like that). I kept marveling over this vitriol, this stupid, stupid fight over the F-word? What the hell? I haaaaaaaaaaate family fights. It's just not worth it. Really, really glad he said something.
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(no subject) [Jun. 27th, 2014|09:53 am]
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So this happened.

A few weeks ago my stepmother sent out an email to my two stateside brothers (Bart and Erik) and me, inviting us up to MH to spend the 4th. She and Dad even offered to pay. I replied that I wasn't sure if I could get off the time, given that I was starting a new job, but I would definitely try. By last week I knew I would have off at least that Saturday (the 5th) and emailed back I think I can come, just working on the logistics. Didn't hear back anything.

Sunday I watched the USA/Portugal game and live-tweeted my reactions on Facebook, and used profanity (at one point I posted "HOLY FUCKING SHIT"). My Dad posts "Nice language" and this irks me for several reasons. 1) He's used language like that on many occasions, he is no choirboy, 2) I'm an adult, it's inappropriate to scold me, especially in a public forum, 3) it's passive-aggressive, and 4) it's a GAME. People get excited. It's not as though I talk like that all the time. But I'm trying to keep it light, the last thing I want is a public fight with my own dad so I post back something like "I know I've heard worse from you! Age has its privileges."

My friends are commenting on my various posts about the game and then someone else voices her opinion--a friend of my stepmother's whom I don't know at all, some older lady, but she friended me awhile back. She has never ever said anything to me before this--not online, not in person. This is literally the very first thing she ever says to me. And she posts something pretty awful, like "Ignorant. Your deplorable vocabulary and shameful ignorance is apparent in what you post," something awful like that. THIS is how you introduce yourself? The hell? I wrote back "Excuse me? Who are you and why are you being so incredibly rude?" And then blocked her/unfriended her.

Dad then posts this LONG post about language and how it's different online. Basically it's okay for him to swear in conversation but not for me to swear online because "it's different." And how employers might find this post and yada yada yada. I mean, it went on. Oh, he also brought up Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic rants as an example of how speech could be used against you. Uh, there's a big difference between swearing while you're excited watching a game, and what Mel Gibson said. Seriously, there is no comparison. The reason Mel Gibson's words continue to held against him is because he's ANTI-SEMITIC. Not because he called a cop "sugar tits." MG also has a history of anti-Semitism, from his creepy interviews where he endorsed his dad's weird AS views, to his movie The Passion of the Christ which set off many people's triggers.

I refused to engage in a long riposte to my dad because I thought the whole thing was a complete overreaction. It's a GAME. A moment of excitement in a GAME. Jesus. It was all basically a joke, I'm making fun of my own excitement. Which is what I said.

My friend James K. from high school posts "wow, your dad wrote a book!" and I couldn't--just could not--resist responding "no shit!" which frankly still makes me laugh. I'm sorry, I shouldn't've poked the bear but I did think that was the perfect coup de grace.

Dad then posts another, even longer diatribe and here's where the issue really comes out. "Is it a joke when you post about Trayvon Martin? Or your anti-gun views?" AHA! I knew this had nothing to do with profanity--this is about my political views, which are very much to the left of my dad's. Sad to say as he's gotten older he is turning into the stereotype of the angry white male conservative. [And again, he is being hypocritical--he posts on Facebook some pretty creepy anti-Obama stuff. He used to send out a lot of emails like that--anti-Clinton, anti-Obama, etc. and finally I had to tell him "please don't send them to me, I just delete them. I'm not the audience you want for that." Notice the distinction--I did not tell him not to send them at ALL, just not to me.] And he's going on about how he's "worried" that employers are going to find my Facebook posts and judge me and I don't know what all. I didn't read it because I was getting pretty angry. I just posted back "STOP. Drop it."

Dad, allow me to educate you. You have been retired for over 10 years, and before that you worked at the same job for 30 years. And it was not any kind of "office politics" environment, you were employed because of your valuable skill set (he was a pilot). I on the other hand have worked many jobs over the past 20 years, and have stayed at one particular one for 14 years. I think I know the lay of the "office politics" land a lot better, and can negotiate boundaries much better because I've had to. I know exactly what I can and can't get away with. I'm not posting inappropriate pictures. I'm not bragging about running a meth lab. I'm using the occasional swear word. I don't even do it that often, that's what kills me! Generally speaking I don't swear that much. But I do sometimes when I get excited, it's a kind of deliberate over-the-top reaction. There is no company in the entire US that would give the slightest crap about someone who gets excited and swears while watching a World Cup, unless they were extremely religious or something. And may I remind you, I JUST GOT HIRED for a job, one that entailed a strict background check. So this is about my politics, not my language. Again Dad, I know more than you about this. The firm where I work, the office culture is definitely to the right of me. But we don't talk about it much. To the extent that we do, everyone is pretty respectful. My political views are not extremist in any way and for him to express "concern" is way out of line.

Allow me to educate you again--this time about Facebook. Dad does not understand really how Facebook works.

[As an example, last summer my uncle--Dad's oldest brother--had some kind of breakdown or something. Uncle's oldest daughter, my cousin Nancy, sent out a group Facebook email to all her aunts and uncles and cousins sharing what had happened. Every one responded with "that's awful, what can we do to help?" etc. I slept in, got up late, saw the email trail and was the last to respond. "That's awful, what can I do to help?" Dad goes onto Facebook, sees this email trail in his "messages" notification, reads it and for some reason thinks I'M the one who sent this out in the first place, and that it's a POST, not a private email. He then puts me on blast in full view of everyone, "yelling" as it were at ME for violating Uncle's privacy "where everyone could see it." AT ME. At fucking me. I was flabbergasted. One of my cousins emailed me separately like "wow, he really went off on you, sorry about that." Frankly I wish Nancy had straightened him out! I tried to explain to him that 1) it was not a public post "violating Uncle's privacy" but a private email sent to family members, and 2) I didn't send it. Uncle's own daughter did. But he refused to acknowledge he'd messed up. No apology, nothing.]

So yeah, that's one way he doesn't get how FB works. Here's another--I have strict privacy settings on my FB feed. I've gotten way too many weirdos trying to friend me, not here for that shit. My settings are so strict, it's actually very difficult to friend me unless we have a friend in common! So it's unlikely any company would stumble across my feed. Also Dad doesn't get that you can hide people's posts, you can "unfollow" them so their posts don't show up in your feed. In fact I think I did that already with him, because he posted too many anti-Obama rants. Love you but I don't want to read that stuff. He sees it as me FORCING my views down his throat. Then hide it, Dad. Not a big deal. I wouldn't be offended or hurt if you did that, not at all.

He thinks of FB as some kind of after-church social hour. It's not. It's another way to have a conversation, that's all. You can keep it light, you can use it as a social or political platform, it's pretty adaptable. No one's forcing you to be part of the conversation--you don't have to read what I write. But he'd rather get angry and insist "that's not what Facebook is for"--last summer he posted this angry rant about two weeks after the Zimmerman verdict where he threatened to start unfriending people if they didn't "calm down" and stop posting about it. I mean it was so nasty, so ugly. Can you imagine? Dad, I know you don't give a shit about that case. But I see that verdict as a profound miscarriage of justice. Sorry my social conscience bothers you so much. Go ahead and unfriend me if you need to because I'm not going to stop talking about things like that. Jesus.

So, to wrap this up, two days ago my friend Allyson sends me a link, a funny "here's a doctor's note to get out of work tomorrow so you can watch the USA/German game." I responded "FUCK YEAH GO USA!!!!!" Dad comments on the link "check your email." I do and he's sent me this angry email, DISINVITING ME to come up for the Fourth. He says he "can't have that around the twins" as though I were just some Tourette's person, swearing all over the place. And snidely comments that he hopes I don't use language like that when I coach soccer and work with little kids and he can't imagine how I got the job. It was truly unbelievable--unbelievable. I'm stunned he's reacting this way to a few f-bombs.

But that's my dad. He looooves being angry, he prioritizes his anger over family. He and my other uncles stopped speaking to all his sisters--all four of them--after my grandmother's death. [As I said to my Mom, "it must be nice having so much family that you can turn your back on half of it."] Over the years the aunts tried to reach out, make amends, but he refused even when it looked like my aunt Nancy was dying. Can you imagine? It's more important that he nurture his anger than try to come to terms with your DYING sister. [She actually did recover but we literally were told she had just a few more days.] He'd rather deny me the chance to spend time with my niece and nephew so he can tell himself he's right.

The irony is, my uncle (not the one above, but the other one, Son #2--Dad is very close to him) LOVES me. He has posted many times on Facebook how proud he is of me, how special he considers me to be, how he loves hearing about my soccer and my acting and my life in general. He's actually in town right now and he and his son (my cousin) and I went out for dinner Saturday night and had a GREAT time. Uncle is so much more supportive of me than my own FATHER is. Dad has always been incredibly hard on me, alternating between distance and contempt. Examples:

*Didn't come to either my HS or college graduations (and I'm the only female cousin to graduate from college).

*When I lived with them, it was a huge struggle to get them to come to any of my games. Like I think overall they came to maybe 3-4? In three years, over 3 sports. The most hurtful thing is that I was a great athlete--I was a select soccer player (on a mostly boys team--I was one of 2 girls) and I was also nominated for a major local award, the Louise Gale Scholar Athlete Award. Of course they didn't bother to come to the ceremony.

*Over the course of my theater career, overall they've seen only 2 shows of mine. Missed productions include the 2006 (free) production of Midsummer in Central Park when they were in town already. They were already in town but just couldn't bother to come to see the production their daughter slaved over.

*Still haven't seen my new apartment that I OWN. In fact they haven't visited any of my apartments except for one in the 14 years I've lived here. They've visited Bart on Long Island many times though.

For some reason he just does not like who I am. I feel like I have to justify myself to try to figure out WHY he is so hard on me. Dad, I'm a good person. I have good friends who love me and support me. I haven't messed up--haven't done drugs, haven't been arrested, haven't done anything illegal. I try to do the right thing, I try to respect people, I try to live a conscious, questioning life. Every time I see them I am without fail enthusiastic and supportive of their lifestyle, their beautiful house, how nice it is to visit and spend time with them. Why the hell do you have such a problem with me? Why can't you love me and show that love?

I just don't get it. Very sad and tired right now.
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