New Year’s resolutions do seem to be a bit pointless to me, I usually change whatever needs to be changed when I recognize it instead of waiting for a specific date.
I do thank all of you that get gym memberships and then give up mid-february and subsidize my membership for the rest of your contract. I figure it all evens out when I pay $25 at an all-you-can-eat buffet and only have one plate.
Oh yes, I just did.
Here are my suggestions for New Year’s resolutions that everyone can easily keep:
2. Organize your passwords into one password or master-password with slight variations, I have chosen one that has a capital letter, a number, and a symbol and is eight characters long. If I hadn’t already chosen a different one, I am pretty sure I would have changed all mine to: F*ckYou2! (without the asterisk). I kind of love it.
3. Figure out what change you can easily make that can reduce waste and pollution, conserve resources, and reuse or recycle what you do use. It could be as easy as carrying a reusable water bottle and grocery bags, organizing/combining your errands into one car trip (or walking), buying locally made produce, switching to paperless bills/statements, and not showering alone.
4. Pick one day and “Like” everyone’s blog post or Facebook status updates, even if you have no real feeling about it either way. Everyone likes to have recognition and it takes minimal effort to “Like” that so-and-so is at Home Depot “buying nails.” Without naming names, that was a true-life example from my friends feed.
5. Get into the habit of texting/emailing/calling/tweeting/mind-melding people when you think about them throughout the day. It takes just a second to send a text to someone to tell them you were reminded of them.
- New Year’s Resolutions. . .or just screw it! (misleadingtonowhere.wordpress.com)
- Green New Year’s Resolutions: Add Your Own! (huffingtonpost.com)
- How to Test-Drive a New Year’s Resolution (yellowinspiration.wordpress.com)
- Have a Godless New Year: Atheist New Year Resolutions (alwaysquestionauthority.wordpress.com)
- Make Small Changes Now to Boost the Chances of Success with Your New Year’s Resolutions [Resolutions] (lifehacker.com)
When sexual abuse is frequently in the news, I unfortunately get to relive my own. I relive it, but I relive the whole story of my life, not just the abuse. It is a trick I have figured out for dealing with the difficult memories. I can relive the abuse and the years of hating myself and wanting to die, but I also make myself relive the part where I begin to figure it out and I start to like myself. There is no avoiding being reminded of the abuse, but I chose to remind myself of how far I’ve come from there.
I wrote the below piece a while ago and have edited it bit by bit over time. It all still matches what I believe and I still sometimes have to go against my first reaction and behave in the way the person I want to be would behave. I still sometimes “fake it.” Those situations are seldom, but I still occasionally find myself thinking “the old Scott would do this or that” and then choosing to do the opposite.
The P.S.A. on SPA
The first 25 years of my life, I had a different name, actually 25 years and 28 days. On the 17th of February 1995, Scott Parker-Anderson was born. My original name has been lost to history. I took “Parker” from my maternal grandfather’s last name and “Anderson” from my maternal grandmother‘s maiden name. I also dropped my first name completely. The act of a name change is mostly ceremonial, a marker of change, nothing happens inside of you when you do it. It is usually an outward feature of something that has or is in the process of happening internally.
I was sexually abused by my grandfather, my father’s father, when I was quite young, five years and younger. It is a bit confusing, that term: ”sexually abused,” I was raped. That explains it. My thoughts and feelings on a man who when entrusted with the safety and well-being of a child, his first and grandson, chooses to absolutely destroy that child are obvious. He was a predator and a monster, and I feel sorry for whatever happened to him that caused him to lose his perspective of right and wrong. None of that changes anything, what happened, happened, and I saw no need in keeping his last name.
Looking back, I was your standard-issue “abused boy.” I wet the bed, I was a bad student, I was angry and depressed, scared, everything It is easy to look back and see everything so clearly, so obvious, so black and white. While you are in it and while it is happening, it is not so obvious to you or people around you. It takes a while for a kid to understand what happened, to put it into perspective, and be able to express it in words, and to not feel like it was his fault or he deserved it. Until that time, the anger and depression tell the story. It is interesting how life and circumstances and events all can snowball into creating a “you” that is so far from the real “you.” The abuse manifests itself as depression and self hate, which results in bad grades, which causes the understandable conclusion of parents and teachers to think you aren’t very smart. You are put on weekly interim grade reports by school counselors and was told by your father that your mother and sister got the brains in the family. You start to believe it and see no reason in trying to prove anyone wrong.
Flash ahead to the 21st of May 1994. My cousin Erik committed suicide The first thing I thought and possibly said when my mother told me was “he really did it.” I had thought and daydreamed about doing it for years. I mean, why not? I was stupid and worthless and ugly, I was never going to amount to anything, so why bother keeping on with it? Right about a month before, Kurt Cobain had done the same thing, which in Seattle was the equivalent to losing a brother. Something changed inside me on that day. I had spent several summers with Erik and had been more than once compared to him in various ways, including as the family’s “Black Sheep” by relatives that had no way of knowing the whole story.
I guess the seeds of change had been planted before that day, I was reading books and trying to create more peace inside and around me, but that day, it was presented to me as a yes or no choice. ”Are you going this way or are you going that way?” Make up your mind.
I went to the lake house and lived there alone all summer. I read and wrote and walked in the woods. I would walk way up into the woods at night, away from all the electric lights, lay on my back, and stare at the stars. I would try to memorize their order and pattern. I would think about how many there were and how small I was and how small my problems were. I made promises to myself, to be everything I wanted to be, to not need anyone, and to behave in a manner that made me proud of who I am. I thought that as long as I could look up and see the stars no matter where I was, I would be familiar.
The thing about sexual abuse is that it happens to you for a specific amount of time and then the abuse stops. But the thought patterns and self-destructive behavior that it creates continue the abuse for years and years, until you stop it. He may have raped me when I was five years old, but I continued to tell myself how worthless and stupid and ugly I was for the next twenty.
The results of all this introspective work in the beginning makes everything seem and feel much worse. Like stirring up the silt on the bottom of the lake, the water looks clear and clean until all that has settled to the bottom gets mixed up back to the surface. Things often get worse before they get better, I think that is why so few people make the changes without a rather extreme catalyst.
The fall of 1994, I went to work in Seattle and in time, moved back to the city. I continued reading and sticking to the promises I had made. I became a huge believer in “Fake it ‘Till You Make it” as far as how I was treating others and myself. Over time, gradually, I began to have a rough outline of who I wanted to be. I had the framework of SPA. Then, on my lunch break on the 17th of February 1995, I swore in front of a judge that I was not running from anything and she read to herself my explanation, asked me if everything I had written was true and correct, and granted me my new name. I took those papers and walked to the DMV and got a new drivers license and went back to work a different person.
In no way, shape, or form was the process of transformation complete then any more than I think it is now. I have created a habit and belief in me that frequent and regular, if not constant, evaluation of my decisions, thought patterns, and reasonings is required for me to continue my path to who I want to be. I think that part of who I want to be is someone who is evaluating himself, and not just sitting back, creating outdated ways of operating, getting stuck in ruts that do not support who I want to become.
Fourteen years later, I went back to the place I last saw Erik, the place where he took his life. In more ways than I think I had every really realized, I owe him my life. I was part of the results of his decision to kill himself, and while I hated myself, I didn’t hate everyone around me. I couldn’t do that to them. There were other casualties from my decision. After telling my father, he vanished from my and my sister’s lives. We haven’t seen or heard from him or anyone from that side of the family since. That grandfather died at some point, I got the news from my mother whose coworker had read the obituary in the newspaper. One last casualty was my sister’s name, she changed it away from the name she grew up with to honor our maternal grandparents.
We are all born and raised differently, with circumstances, some better than others. If I could travel through time back to when I was that young boy and protect him, would I? I probably would. But who would I be today? We are all products of our life experience and how we decide to interpret it, are we not? I am happy with the SPA of today and wonder if without being confronted with the decision of living or dying, without being pushed to that point, would I have created the changes needed to be the same today? I don’t know.
What is the point of telling people all this? Originally, a lot of the power that abuse has is because it is kept a secret, that the kids feel that it is their fault or feel guilty or embarrassed. None of those things are real. I did nothing, I was a kid, an innocent. Keeping the secret only protects the abuser. Telling it removes the power, telling it kills the secret.
- Early Sexual Abuse Increases Heart Risks (nlm.nih.gov)
- Childhood Abuse May Increase Risk For Heart Attack, Stroke (huffingtonpost.com)
- Why Boys Do Not Tell About Sexual Abuse (psychologytoday.com)
- What is Sexual Abuse (abuseinsports.wordpress.com)
- Seattle Archdiocese accused of not stopping abuse (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- The Aftermath of Childhood Sexual Abuse (everydayhealth.com)
- 7 accuse Archdiocese of not halting abuse (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Seattle Archdiocese accused of not stopping abuse (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Sex abuse pamphlets issued for victims and accused or convicted abusers (cbc.ca)
- Dad denies daughter’s Prairie Bible Institute sex assault accusations (calgaryherald.com)
- Pam Reeves: Reporting of sexual abuse required by state law (knoxnews.com)
- Mark Trahant Examines Catholic Church’s Abuse of Alaska Natives in FRONTLINE’s ‘The Silence’ (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)
- ‘Tens of thousands’ of children victims of child sexual abuse at the hands of paedophile priests in the Netherlands since 1945 (alisonsgypt.wordpress.com)
- ‘Tens of thousands’ of children victims of child sexual abuse at the hands of paedophile priests in the Netherlands since 1945 (dailymail.co.uk)
- Dutch apologise for abuse (smh.com.au)
- BBC News – Institutional Dutch Catholic abuse ‘affected thousands’ (2012indyinfo.com)
- Sexual Abuse: New Statistics, New Hope (psychologytoday.com)
- How to decrease the risk of child sexual abuse (rakhealthmatters.wordpress.com)
- Thousands abused by Dutch priests, says report (vancouversun.com)
- Thousands abused by Dutch priests, says report (windsorstar.com)
- Judge dismisses military sexual abuse suit (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Thousands of children abused in Dutch churches over 65 years, inquiry says (cnn.com)
- Get the Facts on Sexual Abuse (lifestrategiesforwomen.wordpress.com)
- Sex Offenders v. Sex Abusers: Is there a difference? (wisecounsel.wordpress.com)
I was reading an obituary on the New York Times app about a recently deceased Salvidor Dali collector and they described the first Dali painting she purchased as: “The painting depicts an elongated, seemingly molten human figure draped over a dead tree and trying to play a cello, while off to the left a horse is shot from a cannon.”
R.I.P.: High School Jerks
I would say that through my junior high and high school career, I had four real consistent bullies. Well, at least four people come to mind. There were plenty of other minor players, but four serious ones. I could use their names (and call them a few new ones), but name calling was their style, not mine and anyone that went to that school, know enough to know who I they were/are.
One sat behind me in history class. He would flick the back of my head and ears, he would make that fake sound that he was spitting on my back, and he would call me fag, faggot, and queer. He made it really hard for me to pay attention in class and learn anything. He was also in my gym class. He would always hit me harder than needed for whatever sport we were playing. He died our senior year. I think he was hit by a logging truck while walking down the road.
Another bully called me the all standard names, but also added hard shoves into the school hallway walls. I was very small compared to everyone else my sophomore year, my mother bought a winter jacket for me that was on the big side with anticipation of my growth. The first day I wore it to school, this bully asked me while he was standing in front of the class if the jacket was my boyfriends. He sat in the front of the class right near the door and the clock, the obvious direction that everyone would look. He would embarrass me by telling me loud enough for the whole class to hear to stop looking at him. Then he would turn to a friend and say how gross it was that I was checking him out, I obviously was not. I rearranged my entire route between classes to avoid going down the hallway where his locker was. He did and said things to me that he knew annoyed and upset me and he clearly got pleasure in my torment. He was instrumental in me hating myself, my school, my town, and my life. He died a couple years ago. They never say why people die in the newspaper.
One is a minister in now, he sent some bullshit grace/bless message to our class for the high school reunion. Maybe he found a different path. Maybe he found other people to bully? Whatever.
I don’t know what happened to the other one.
I do not feel sad, I do not feel anything really. I guess I feel odd that people my age are dying in general. I guess that I feel sad that they are dead and the only thing that some people remember about them is that they were total assholes in high school. That has got to suck because I know or at least hope that they got to love and be loved by someone. I hope they did. I hope that they got to experience passion and and deep connections to other humans. I hope that they managed to deal with the unmanaged fear or rage or whatever it was that caused them to strike out at people.
I do not believe in karma, it isn’t a fair trade. While I admit that they did make my school life horrible on purpose, I really do not think of them or what they did much anymore. I know that it is because of them that I went through a very rocky period in my late teens and early 20′s. I hated myself so much, I thought I was stupid and worthless and futureless. But I came out of it and it is because of that journey that I am who I am today. For the most part, I like who I am today.
I guess that I also am a bit sad that I will never have the chance to see and meet them now. That I do not have the chance to see their growth and change and say, “Think nothing of it, I know I don’t” if they are able to recognize the torment they caused.
It get better. It really does.
That said, it is most important that parents do not dismiss their children when they say they are being bullied. Advice of ignoring it is horrible, it does not work. You have to understand what your child’s reality is. While it may seem trivial and no big deal to you as an adult, school and fellow classmates are your child’s entire reality. Being an outcast in your reality sucks. Being called horrible names day in and day out by the inhabitants of your reality really sucks. Do not expect the school to change anything. You need to teach your kids to fight, not necessarily physically, but fight for themselves as people who have just as much of a right to be there as they do and to be there unharnessed. And if it comes to it, fight physically to protect themselves. And if you are a parent, teach your kids to not be bystanders. When they see something happening, teach them to stick up for what is right. There were 30 other kids that sat silent in that classroom while one kid called me “fag” and knocked my books out of my arms every day. They did nothing. While it may not be your child that is the bully or the one being bullied, they can still change the situation.
For whatever reason, even in liberal non-confrontational Seattle, I still get called “fag” to this day, usually from across the street. If they are closer, I simply reply “I know. Does calling me names make you feel better about yourself?” It is a lot to take in all at once, so I have rarely had a reply. That, and I weigh 50 pounds more than I did in high school. That helps.
- What Should I Do If I’m Bullied? (education.com)
- What do I do if I suspect that my child is being bullied? (education.com)
- What is a fag (wiki.answers.com)
- Bullying Lesson Plan for a Bully-Free School (education.com)
- How Common is Bullying? (education.com)
- Social Media Reduce Allure of High School Reunions (nytimes.com)
- High school anti-bullying campaigner gets surprise boost from Lagy Gaga (osocio.org)
- Ohio School Scene Of Second Homophobic Bullying Incident (lezgetreal.com)
Do you reread your ‘tweets’? I just did (from 2010) and I am freaking HILARIOUS! I am going to give you the best of @SParkerAnderson and explain them right now:
Will figure it out. Will download app when in town. I blame it all on Anderson Cooper.10:38 AM Jun 4th I would jump off a bridge if Anderson Cooper told me to.
Don’t tell me not to live, just sit and putter. Life’s candy and the suns a ball of butter. Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade. 10:17 PM Jun 9th I am guessing I was watching “Funny Girl” or having a “Funny Girl” moment?
I saw a hiking boot on the sidewalk this morning and glanced inside to make sure there wasn’t a severed foot. Very northwest. 7:06 AM Jun 11th They found a foot in a boot in my home town and I could not stop thinking about it.
I wish I could get bonked on the head, lose myself, & embark on a series of madcap adventures to discover who I really am. Like in the 70′s. 11:17 AM Jun 11th Who doesn’t want that?
I’m all kinds of TGIMFF! Like a bunch of these —>. !!!!! 6:57 AM Jun 12th I really really hated that job.
I still want a bee beard. 5:36 PM Jun 21st It’s true, I still do.
The ground is lava! 2:25 PM Jun 23rd I was playing that game, probably by myself.
How is it that I can shower, shave, and pack in 30 minutes and my phone cannot be bothered to sync in that amount of time? 7:20 PM Jun 24th Those updates were epic for a while.
What does one wear to a Quinceañera? 12:18 PM Jul 11th I was headed to one and wanted to make sure I was properly dressed. Turns out, it is pretty much anything goes, but extra points for ostrich boots, huge belt buckles, and white hats. A jacket is a good idea because you may end up sleeping in a tree house.
Everyone that just ate a pound of apricots, raise your hand. Oh, just me? Awkward.10:58 AM Jul 15th I ate a pound of apricots.
Some men hunt for sport, others hunt for food. The only thing I’m hunting for is an outfit that looks good. 6:09 PM Jul 16th Mr. Burns‘ song.
Pulling weeds on the beach. Iced coffee. Paco has issued a fatwa against the entire scientific family: Sciuridae (squirrel). 12:10 PM Jul 19th Paco really does not like squirrels.
I want to marry a slurpee and live in a slurpee house and have a million slurpee babies. 4:16 PM Jul 27th The Crystal Lite Orange flavored ones are the best!
I just drank a beer in the shower. Um, yeah, so, GAME ON! 11:18 PM Jul 30th I pretty much bring the AWESOME.
“What kind of girl do you think I am and how could you tell so fast?” – Blanche Devereaux 9:38 AM Aug 16th No truer words have been spoken. We should all think WWBDD? And do it!
Whenever the bus stinks, my immediate worry is that it is because of me. I never default to the guy in the camo pants with the sleeping bag. 8:30 AM Aug 17th He really stank.
I press trigger, I don’t press people button. 7:43 AM Aug 28th Cobrastyle.
I just watched a pot boil. So, there! 11:42 AM Aug 30th My life is very exciting.
I think tomorrow is a “Say Something” hat day. 6:30 PM Sep 14th This is the day Patrick Swayze died. It is a line from “To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.”
Dude is sitting in his car parked on Broadway, scale on the dash, weighing out dime bags. I love this city! 5:57 PM Sep 17th Making the dollars.
“This ain’t no place to be if you plan on being a star.” 7:16 AM Sep 18th ”Car Wash”
Well, there’s not much to see actually, we’re inside a Chinese dragon. 10:01 AM Sep 26th ”What’s Up Doc” is probably one of the best movies ever made.
They are playing The Village People‘s “Macho Man” in the P.O. Dairy Queen. Do I really need to add my social commentary? 1:38 PM Oct 2nd In a town where I got beat up several times, they now play the GAYEST songs at the D.Q.
I just broke up with the gym. I told them there was a another gym. There isn’t. Changing their name to Vision Quest was the last straw. 3:26 PM Oct 8th That gym is a hot mess.
I just had my stitches removed by a farsighted lab tech. She kept cutting hairs thinking they were stitches. I am no longer frankenscott! 5:04 PM Oct 9th She was a very bad lab tech.
Who took the bomp from the bompalompalomp? Who took the ram from the ramalamadingdong? 8:24 AM Oct 13th Le Tigre, anyone?
I will do unspeakably depraved things for chocolate-covered espresso beans. about 14 hours ago Oh, I will.
- Celeb Tweets: Anderson Cooper goes to DMV; Chaz writing again; Sean Hayes shares Stooges pic! (pinkbananaworld.com)
- 8 Ways to Get Your Content Ignored on Twitter (hubspot.com)
- Funny ReTweet of the Day (whiteglossyundergroundboard.com)
If I am cut, do I not bleed? I bleed nerd blood.
I noticed a picture on facebook of my first grade class a while ago, I was not tagged as I was not facebook friends with the person who had posed the picture. I remember the girl and remember her name, I actually remember a bunch of the people tagged in that photograph. I thought about friend-requesting them, but I just do not know what I would say or talk to them about. How do you nutshell 25 years? One girl I remember best because she and I were always seated next to each other when classrooms were organized alphabetically. We went kindergarten through senior year together and even went to each other’s birthday parties in grade school.
I know, you are waiting for it, so here is where the story turns. Since we were alphabetically connected, at least at the beginning of the year, we sat next to each other most of the time for twelve years. I mean, whenever we had a class together. In junior high social studies class, she called me by my whole name, first and last, then turned to another girl and said “Isn’t it funny how we always call nerds by their whole name?” It hurt, I won’t lie. We had been friends all through grade school, our mothers knew each other, we had history.
In her defense, I was a nerd, a short, skinny, awkward nerd. At the same time, the cruelty of children is absolutely bottomless. She didn’t need to call me a nerd, I knew I was a nerd, I heard it from every single guy in my P.E. class, well, actually I heard much worse.
We, along with most of the kids from grade school, got into this familiarity-thing where they sort of acknowledged my existence, but didn’t acknowledge our history. So, they would see that I was standing there, taking up air space, but would not do anything more than that. This started in junior high and continued through high school. It was fine, I made new friends with the other outcasts and misfits, we wrote alternative newspapers, dyed our hair, had dog weddings, and befriended the foreign exchange students. Yes, that was my crowd.
To this day, my mother will say she saw so-and-so-from-grade-school’s mother at the grocery store and I just don’t have the heart to tell her they basically ignored me for the last six years of school.
Basically, at my school, groups of kids were friends almost solely based on the radio station they listened to. I am not sure if those were simpler times and the dynamics are much more complex now with the internet and such, but ours was a gentile time where you either listened to butt rock, top 40, or new wave. I, as well as my clan, all listened to New Wave, C89.5 to be exact. This is when C89.5 went off at 11:00 PM. There was a subset of us that listened to KCMU, also. The radio station influenced everything: the clothes you wore, your haircut, the car you drove, and the friends you made.
I guess in some ways, even though we had our own insulated group, we still felt like outcasts and maybe looked up to the popular kids that listened to top 40. I did not look up to the butt rock kids, they were frightening to me. But the popular kids still had the impression of charmed lives. John Hughes was spot on and we knew it.
It is curious how even today, when someone says my first and last name, I instantly think of “Isn’t it funny how we always call nerds by their whole name?”
- Ask The Dad advice column: On failure, bad grades, and underwear (examiner.com)
- Self Reflection: A letter to my 7th grade self (jennicinparadise.com)
It looks like I am getting ready to step outside into the traffic and WIND. All I hear is dumpster lids clanging and bottles breaking in the alley and church bells. Non stop church bells, they started at midnight.
They ferry will be well worth the price today. I will keep you posted. That is, unless we capsize or get hijacked by a masked gunman, then I will have to do a recap.
A group of mock Santas, all childhood friends, stretch out at the beginning of the annual Santarchy celebration Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, in Seattle, Wash. Under a clear blue sky, groups of Santas waved and handed out candy along the bar route, which had commenced at the International Fountain. While some danced to the sounds of portable boom boxes carried through the crowd, others stuck to benches and barstools to watch the action.
I find a large group of drunk people dressed like Santa Claus break dancing on city streets to music from boom boxes exceptionally entertaining. I also like it when they all ride escalators together at the mall, but truth be told, there just isn’t enough booze at the mall (look for my Initiative on next election’s ballot, it’s called “Gin and Julius”).
Here is the entire photo galleries.
What’s not to love? It is the best Christmas song ever!
He knows your bank balance
He tracks your allowance
Yes, he’s informed
He’d like to be fair
But that’ll get him nowhere
It’s a tough world.
- Who’s The Best Onscreen Santa Claus? (moviesblog.mtv.com)
- Editorial: Yes, Virginia, Santa survives in a skeptical age (knoxnews.com)
- Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus (brandtstandard.com)
- Santa Claus Q&A (neatorama.com)
- Santa Claus Tracker 2011 (forthemommas.com)
I am finding it harder and harder to stomach any holiday-themed TV or movies lately. I am not exactly sure why, but I am guessing that it is a combination of having seen most of them too many times already and I am paying more attention to my glycemic index lately. While “Holiday” is not actually a holiday movie, it has the word ‘holiday’ in the title and that is as close as I feel to go right now.
I will never tire of screwball comedies.
I do love this film.
Johnny Case (Cary Grant), a self-made man, is about to marry Julia Seton (Doris Nolan), but then learns that she is rich. He proceeds to meet her sister Linda (Katharine Hepburn), father (Henry Kolker), and dissolute brother Ned (Lew Ayres). Johnny discusses his possibilities with his more humble friends, Professor (Edward Everett Horton) and Mrs. Potter (Jean Dixon), as he struggles to decide whether to quit work to finally have some fun and whether he should marry the “great woman behind every successful man” Julia, or be with his more free spirited “soul-mate” Linda.
Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn directed by George Cukor? Perfection.
Scream it from the rooftops, from your car, or softly whisper it at the copy machine. Feel it. Reclaim it. It’s pumping through your body, bursting to get out.
It’s Friday, people. Let’s fcuk siht up!
Keep it going with Heavy Cross: