November 25, 2007

Harvest Time Round-Up

Having heard from several loyal readers that I've been slacking most distressingly these past few months with my posts, I couldn't possibly further disappoint my dozens of fans! Of course I cannot, and so - harvest time round-up.

It struck me yesterday as I was driving to my family's yearly Thanksgiving gathering that this was my 37th Thanksgiving, and I've spent 35 of them the same way: on the Friday or Saturday of the holiday weekend (to escape traffic; my family is much more practical than sentimental) my father's side of the family gets together. For years we rotated between my parents' house and my aunt's until the cousins began setting up houses of their own and entering the rotation, and then a few years back we settled into cousins Donna and Ed's place due to its central location. I missed one year when I was in England, and once while I was in San Francisco, but other than that it's a tradition that's stood the test of time for a family that doesn't have all that many traditions.

Though I look much more drunk than I was (which was not drunk at all) here's me getting caught by one of the camera-wielding fiends that turned the event into the digital equivalent of a 3-camera shoot. Fully documented and recorded, I don't suspect we went more that a few minutes without some photo being snapped. If you listen closely you can hear my sister's scrap-booking scissors snipping away today as she turns the raw footage of the event into a page or two somewhere between her dog's first birthday party and our upcoming Chanukah party. The family changes with fresh additions and the loss of those fondly remembered, but the event goes on.

Sukkot followed by Thanksgiving are anachronistic reminders of the agrarian past we all share, which puts me in mind of the biblical prophesy about one reaping what one's sown. Ever since I was actively involved in the Landmark courses a few years back, I've been burdened with a keen sense of accountability. Those courses work to focus your attention on the areas of your life you've abrogated responsibility to other agents - be it people, a deity (regardless of the mythology you adhere to), capricious fate, or random chance - and while they haven't always inspired me to take responsibility, I suffer from the keen awareness of when responsibility is lacking both in my actions and in others. This past month I was encouraged to realize additional ways in which I'm not taking responsibility for how I've been pursuing romantic relationships.

Another bit of philosophy of Landmark's is the idea that you always win the games you're actually playing. For instance, for years I claimed to be playing the health and fitness game and losing, while I was actually playing the watch TV and eat pizza on the sofa game which I won easily. Being able to deduce from the circumstances what games you're actually playing will provide insight into those subconscious behaviors that may be inhibiting you. This past month, with the help of yet another woman who now hates me (and who is reading this post, I expect) I've learned three valuable lessons. The first is that I expect others to be playing the same games I am by the same rules I am and yet they rarely are (and there's no reason to expect that they are except my own hubris) and secondly I realized the extent to which I never discuss the rules in advance with those who I invite to play with me. But lastly and most importantly is that I'm not actually playing the game I claim to be pursuing.

In the interests of brevity and discretion, let me just jump to the end result: it's entirely possible I just don't want the committed relationship/marriage deal. Not sure that's true, but the evidence would suggest it and I can't keep ignoring that I don't appear to have the patience or willingness for a committed relationship in my life. Letting you all know in case you were really expecting that June wedding next year.

Other goings on these past few months...

In October my Boston friends held their yearly October party, which isn't so much a Halloween party as a "remember when we were all in college and no one had kid? Remember how much fun that was?" party. Now since I still live that lifestyle it's not such a big release for me, but as I'm the only single person there, and one of the very few without children, I can totally understand that for the crew it's a very nice opportunity to cut loose. Unlike everyone else, I tend to dress up for it Halloween style, because as I said, I need to make it more of a challenge seeing as how the novice level is just my regular daily life. This year I thought about going as one of those Chippendale Stripper cops, but as usually happens when I'm involved, it turned into a big homo-erotic thing before I was done, and I ended up looking like the cop from the Village People if he were even gayer. Pictures exist, but of course I won't be posting them online. (And if any of those who have pictures decide to get rambunctious, just remember the many photos of you which I possess; Mutual Assured Destruction worked for Reagan, it'll work for me too...)

I had my first experience of Reiki this past month, which was something I enjoyed. Though a very relaxing hour-long Reiki session was interpreted as a success by the practitioner, and my thoughts during the experience were interpreted in a way that supports the claims of energetic healing, I was left with the cynical conclusion that since it was low-light, the end of a hard-day, light touch, and soft music, how could it not be relaxing? Yet despite not feeling post-Reiki effects, either positive or negative, the Reiki session itself was very soothing and pleasant. Some of the interesting moments: at one point when I was asked to roll over, it took me a second to "remember how". My mind knew what I wanted to do, but I needed to take a moment to plug back in my nervous system for the message to get to my body, as I was in some deep relaxation. Another point during the session I had the vague sensation of two people entering the room, an older black man and a young white man. It was hazy and dreamlike, and I didn't remark it much when the thought crossed my mind, but a few minutes later I suddenly thought "hmm, that was odd" and I made sure to mention it when the session concluded. "Those were your spirit guides" was the response by the Reiki master. I always kind of hoped my spirit guide would be a dog or a bear, but apparently the guides come and go. All things considered I really can't complain about the job their doing, so go get 'em, spirit guides.

I finally made it to a yearly Diwali celebration that my good friend Namrata and her husband Quinn throw each fall. I've been invited in the past and hadn't yet been able to make it, but this year it worked out and I had fun seeing them in their natural habitat. Since practically the first day I met her Nami has been one of my favorite people, and we normally only see one another on the volleyball court where she and I are two of the greatest corporate volleyball players of all time. The chance to see her and Quinn, who is equally special, for extended non-volleyball related conversation made for a great night.

Diwali is an Indian equivalent of Chanukah; a festival of lights that Nami celebrates each year by inviting her Indian and non-Indian friends to partake of a bit of her culture, food, and her home much the same way I'd be inviting her to my passover seder should I ever have one. She knows I'm fascinated by Indian culture, in particular the extraordinary communities of Indian Jews that have been thriving in Mumbai and New Delhi for centuries, and I appreciate her indulging me.

I write this as the day's football games play out in the background. Giants just got creamed, and the Jets got creamed on Thursday. For some reason I'm much more into football this year than ever before, after having been much more into baseball this year than I have been in some time. Compensating for my gay Halloween costume perhaps? Normally I'm a fair-weather sports fan, Yankee baseball has always been important but even that was generally only during the late summer through the playoffs. This year I was watching the Rockies, watching the Red Sox (while booing ferociously) and every Sunday I've been watching football like a typical, heterosexual guy.

It's hard for me to be a football fan though, because I really don't have a team. Despite growing up in Connecticut I can't possibly enjoy the Patriots because they're not New England's team despite their name; they're clearly a Boston team through and through. And though I'm primarily a New Yorker, I agree with my brother in law that the only true NY team is the Bills as the Jets and Giants play in Jersey, which makes them both Jersey teams (again, despite their misleading names). Once upon a time I was a fan of the Bengals because I clearly remember watching them in the 1981 Super bowl which is one of my first football memories, and they were the team I played when I played my Commodore 64 football game. But none of these are compelling reasons on which to base one's team allegiance today.

In a fit of cultural pride I thought I'd root for the team most comprised of Jewish players, merely because what is more anti-stereotypical than an enormous Jewish linebacker? But alas the only one I learned of was the San Diego Chargers, and I can't take San Diego seriously as a team. If only the Patriots would have moved to Hartford a few years back, I'd have been all set. But now? Taking suggestions...


At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guessed I assumed on some level that being from New York you might actually be a Yankees fan. But since you were raised in CT, maybe I hoped it wasn't so. But now that I have written proof that you booed my beloved Red Sox, I'm not sure our relationship will ever be the same. How could I have not known this about you all these years?

Happy Thanksgiving!

PS--You were one hot gay cop.

At 9:15 AM, Anonymous elisesara said...

If I had a picture, I certainly would NOT post it. ;)

At 11:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even in your attempt to maintain anonymity for those Boston friends, you could at least mention how hot the females in attendance were (and are)!


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