Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tuesday is Late, So I Guess I Get a Punishment

Have fun with that. I'm tired. My sleep schedule is royally bombed right now. I just woke up, for instance, and it is 3:00 AM on Wednesday. So, yeah, hi.

@Carlyn, My favourite culture... depends on the era, I suppose. If it has to be modern, then I guess I would say that of the Netherlands. If it can be historical, then probably Heian Japan. Or Nordic ala Vikings. Or maybe the Victorians.

I should say now that I don't celebrate Father's Day. My family doesn't celebrate Father's Day, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, or really any holiday except Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, and even those we half-arse. Also, I haven't seen my family since Christmas, so I don't really know what they are up to at this time. I'm sure they're doing well, though, or else I'd know about it.

My immediate family consists of my mother, my father, and my younger brother. My mother's family is from Connecticut, and I have several great-aunts, great-uncles, a great-grandmother, and some distant cousins who live there, still. My grandmother and grandfather (my mother's parents) live in Patchogue, about twenty minutes from where I grew up, on Long Island. My grandmother, as I grew up, was over every few days. But only weekdays. Her and my grandfather spent their weekends bird watching. She works as an accountant at a library, and my grandfather is retired, but used to work as a wildlife researcher at the Brookhaven Laboratory. He's Swedish - both of his parents were born in Sweden, though he was born in Oregon. My grandmother is mostly French.

My father was born in England, his parents lived in Surrey the last time I saw them. All of his family lives out there, so I only see a handful of them with any frequency. My nonna and granddad were the most frequent, though my granddad died when I was in high school. Maybe junior high? I can't recall. We never really got on. He was a bit of a curmudgeon. I remember my father was on a business trip in Germany, though, and that he was out of town for a while to help my nonna prepare for the funeral. And how the funeral director switched the records they were going to play for his wake with another dead guy's, leading to a bit of humour. I have one aunt on that side, Auntie Kate. She married my dad's science teacher. The story is that he was such a troublemaker that he had frequent parent-teacher conferences, met his older sister, and they fell in love. They have two kids, James and Tom, who are a few years older than me. I'm seeing Nonna and those two this August, for my wedding, but none of my other great-aunts or second-cousins, because I frankly do not care.

Extensions explained, let's talk about the people I grew up with. My brother and I basically got the exact opposite traits of our parents. He looks a lot like my father, I look a lot like my mother, except we both got the facial structure of our opposite-gender parents. I act way, way more like our father, and he acts more like our mother. My mother is the one who mostly raised us, unless it came to education, which was more my dad's department. She only ever had her GED, whereas he got his M.A. at Oxford University, so that was obviously of greater concern to him. She didn't work, so she was pretty omnipresent while I was growing up. We never really had baby sitters, unless the two of them went on an anniversary vacation, in which case our grandma would watch us. My father worked at Cisco, the computer company. Bit of programming, bit of sales from what I could tell. I never really asked for the details. It paid well, and he travelled a lot, but not so often that we never saw him. In high school, he owned a pub for a bit and mostly did his Cisco work from his laptop at home.

My brother and I had a pretty typical relationship. We'd unite against our parents, but other than that, we were always at each other's throats. He wasn't a great student, though hardly as dumb as some of the kids I knew, and we were just at odds when it came to our personalities. By far the most annoying thing was his incomplete OCD. Everything had to be organized, until he got bored trying. Every few months, he would try to replay every game he owned, but always gave up. DVDs were occasionally organized by such things as release date and director for no adequate reason. He seems to have grown up a bit in my absence. He's in AP Art History, he even has a Dali on his wall, and 'The Garden of Earthly Delights' (a fantastic painting which, if you take the time to observe the detail, shows a man having sexual relations with a large strawberry). We Skype frequently to catch up on things.

Not much else to say about them, honestly. We get on alright. My mum and I probably the least - we didn't have anything but our love of horror movies in common, and even then, if you're raised on The Shining and Nightmare on Elm Street, they sort of become... childish. I mean, I may reminisce on tumblr about my hard love of Rugrats, but I don't honestly want to watch it all again; it wouldn't be half as entertaining. The same thing applies to horror movies for me, because that's what I grew up with. I DO love b-movies and obscenely gory films, though, so we have that much in common. I think the only thing my father and I have in common is our mutual dislike of people. The times we best get along is when we can sit against the wall, watch people, and make fun of them. Best instance of that -- Penn Station a couple of years ago, waiting for the LIRR, and we saw a couple at Starbucks. Married for forty or fifty years, by the conversation. She had him get up to get the bottle of cream, and he came back with whole milk instead of half-and-half. She went on a little tirade, "fifty years and you still haven't" blah, blah, blah. He goes back, gets the half-and-half. When she asks him to get a refill and fill it with cream, he goes and buys her a new coffee, goes over to the milk station again, and fills it with whole milk. Hilarious.

My brother and I are probably the closest, but that's a very, very recent development. After I've moved out, if I'm honest. I think the best memory I have with him is playing the awful, awful abomination that is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on the Wii. It just didn't work, it would read 'Accio!' as 'Incendio!' and was just a disaster. We've really only got on since I left, though. I've just always been way, way closer to my friends, or a loner. I kind of have a new family now, if I'm honest. I live with my fiance and his mother, Barbara - she works as a bank manager of sorts - and I see Ian (his brother) and Bruce (his father) far more often than I ever see mine. And I feel about as strongly about Barb as I do my own mother; and that really isn't much, honestly.

I guess I just don't value blood, much. Makes me a terrible Slytherin, eh? Maybe I'll view that differently if I ever have kids of my own, but really, I've always held the relationships I've made from nothing more than the ones I was born with.


  1. I think your punishment should be to post a blog with the words in backwards order, so that the phrase "I think Justin Beiber is peachy keen!" would become "Keen peachy is Beiber Justin think I!"

    You would sound like Yoda, but it would be great. Please do this :).

  2. In addition, I'm giving both of our punished theme-picking duties for three weeks. Casey: Weeks 17, 18, and 19 are your responsibility. Alexandra: Weeks 22, 23, and 25 go to you. These skip over Just Another Blog weeks and Week 21, which is our next challenge week.

    Enjoy! :)

  3. @peaceandpenguins, Sure, but have fun reading that. ;p

    @CassieG, no problem.