March 22, 2014
Sibling Love

Earlier today I was reading through the comments on this HONY post about a young woman who had her tooth chipped after wrestling with her brother.  Afterwards, she spends 30 seconds trying to convince her panicked brother that it’s not a big deal: 

image

As 1 of 4 siblings (and an older brother to a younger sister) I couldn’t help but feel a little nostalgic as I read some of the comments:

My big brother goes from being the biggest pain in my ass annoying jerk to one of the nicest most caring persons in my life and sometimes in the matter of seconds lol.

another:

I know my brother can piss me off and I can piss him off, but if he hurt me he always made sure I was okay (and not going to tell mom on him) or he did everything in his power to make it better.

another:

Once my sister pushed me off a bike and I hit my head on the road and it was bleeding a lot. But I didn’t say a word because I could take a hit, but I couldn’t stand my parents yell at my sister. Haha!

another:

My brother [chipped my tooth] when I was 8, he was 6. Except he threw a golf ball at my mouth and I spent the next 2 hours consoling him while he was a hysterical and my parents were trying to find a dentist.

another:

I chipped my brothers tooth when I was 12 and he was 8…spent 30 min convincing him to tell my mom he fell so I didn’t get in trouble. He got me back later in life when he was bigger than me.

another:

 I once had a fight with my brother that ended with him accidentally fracturing my knuckle. He couldn’t look me in the eye for days, but he did buy me a couple of stuffed animals as an apology, which I was more than happy to accept.

another:

I accidentally kneed my older brother in the nose and it started bleeding, and at the time I was about 8 so I started crying as he tried to calm me down and say that it’s ok.

My siblings and I used to piss each other off and fight all the time when we were young.  Things that seemed reasonable at the time now make absolutely no sense to me now.  I often think to myself, “how could I have possibly behaved that way?”,  or, “how did I convince myself that it wasn’t my flying elbow smash into my brother’s back that caused him to hit his head on the bedroom door?”

It was even worse with my younger sister.  My parents used to force me to do “girl” things with her when I was younger, and you can imagine how thrilled a 12-14 year old boy would be to play with his sister’s barbie dolls.  My attempts to weave in the G.I. Joes were usually of little consequence.  I was often resentful of the obligation.  Most days I wanted nothing to do with her.

Then came the day that my sister came home crying before my parents were home.  I asked her what happened.  She said some kids on the bus made fun of her.  I was furious.  The next day, I picked her up from the bus stop, I stormed on to the bus, and I screamed at everybody.  I said, in so many words, that anyone who wants to talk shit to my sister is going to have to deal with me afterwards.  And if my sister ever came off the bus crying again, I was going to kick someone’s ass.  Why the bus driver didn’t intervene, I have no idea.  It remains, to this day, one of the few times in my life that I lost all my inhibitions and acted on complete emotion.  All I knew is that somebody hurt my sister.  Time to go to war.

Fast forward 15 years later.  One day my sister hears from my mom that I’ve fallen on hard times and I’m running out of money.  She calls me, pissed off that I didn’t tell her about my situation.  She tells me that I can come and live with her for free.  That I wouldn’t have to pay for a thing.  That I could stay there as long as I like, no pressure.  When I told her that I was going to stay where I was, she offered to pay my bills.  She said if I needed any money to call her.  She didn’t care how much it was.

When I was young, I fought with my siblings all the time.  Now, as an adult, I find that my emotional health is tied to their well-being in a very profound way.  Shortly after I moved out of my parents house, it occurred to me that if I were to lose any of my siblings at this point in my life, the emotional distress it would cause would be so great that I would be utterly useless.  My love for my brothers and younger sister is violently strong, despite the fact that we used to piss each other off all the time and kick the shit out of each other when we were young.

I know that not everybody’s relationship with their siblings remains strong as they grow older.  It’s a tragedy.  My relationship with my siblings is something that I cherish.  I still don’t know what it is about sibling relationships that causes them to take on such a strange countenance early in life.  But I’m glad that as an adult, my relationship with my siblings is stronger than it’s ever been.

March 11, 2014
'A Dancer Dies Twice': The Unique, Sad Challenge of Retiring From Ballet

An interesting article regarding the plight of American dancers who typically retire in their 40’s and must make a career transition.  Apparently, some European countries solve this problem by providing early access to public pensions for dancers:

report titled “Dancers’ Career Transition” by the International Federation of Actors explains: “In general, dancers in Europe can benefit from general national pension schemes applicable to all workers, provided they have contributed to the schemes.” It further mentions that “A few countries have specific provisions on early retirement of dancers. Conditions to access schemes and the amount of pension benefits vary considerably across countries.”

“Some of these early retirement schemes,” it goes on to say, “are applicable only to dancers employed in national companies/national ballet (France and Norway, for example). In Latvia, a specific law applies to early retirement of dancers (and other live performance professionals). Several other countries provide in their legislation for special conditions under which dancers can retire earlier (like Hungary and Poland). In Sweden, dancers employed in public owned dance institutions, can benefit from a special pension plan run by the state which gives the right (under certain conditions) to a pension between 41 and 65 years of age.”

In the United States, though, “There is no governmental support for dancers that transition from full-time performing,” James Fayette, a former NYCB principal dancer told me. “The only benefits American dancers receive are the same as every other American has access to, Social Security and Medicare at 65 years old.”

February 26, 2014

kia-kaha-winchesters:

221cbakerstreet:

lexillest:

darksilenceinsuburbia:

Beautiful.

This is rad

we need a superhero like one of these ladies

maybe another hawkeye??

i didn’t even notice until halfway down the post when i read the “being the teacher with the robot leg” sign that i realized everyone is missing a limb. Biomedical Engineers are really outdoing themselves and it’s both fantastic and sometimes even glamorous. 

LTMC: I’ve always appreciated this sort of photography subject matter.  One of my favorites is the front of ESPN’s Sarah Reinertsen cover:

Also Related: Scientists invent robotic hand that can feel pressure

(via priceofliberty)

February 15, 2014
We may need to have a talk about relationships

squashed:

This morning, The Callus brought this little gem1 to my attention from Susan Patton: A Little Valentine’s Day Straight Talk - WSJ.com:

“You should be spending far more time planning for your husband than for your career—and you should start doing so much sooner than you think. This is especially the case if you are a woman with exceptionally good academic credentials, aiming for corporate stardom.”

Feel free to read the entire editorial. It’s essentially a repeat of the thing Patton did for the Daily Princetonian a year back. The gist of it is that all you high achieving ladies should dedicate your energies to landin’ a man so that you can spend the rest of your life catering to his insecurities.

I’m not going to insult anybody’s intelligence or waste anybody’s time by trying to catalog all the bodies in this trainwreck of an editorial. I’m more interested in the flaw in the tracks that made such an epic derailment possible.

Read More

LTMC: I don’t pretend to be a relationship guru or life coach, but I think another “flaw in the tracks” for this sort of thing is that people (a) overthink it, and (b) think that silver bullets exist.  They don’t.  I’ve found that the best thing to do is keep your “first principles” of work-life balance simple, and let the life lessons roll in as they may.  My thinking has always been as follows:

1. Try to find something you love to do, and try to find a way to get paid to do it.

2. Try to find someone who you can stand to be around, and who can stand to be around you.

If you can accomplish these two things, you will probably live a more-or-less good life.  If you are doing something you love, then work will be less stressful, and you won’t completely hate yourself if/when you are spending too much time doing it.  If you find someone who you can stand to be around (and who can stand to be around you), then you know that your flaws aren’t going to drive each other crazy.  And if the two of you do decide to get married one day, it probably won’t end in divorce like the majority of marriages do.

None of this is absolute though.  People change over time.  Sometimes what you used to love to do for a living you find you don’t love anymore as you grow older.  Sometimes the people you used to love, you don’t love anymore.  Sometimes people who could stand you in the past can’t stand you anymore.  People grow.  People change.  These are actually good things—it shows that human beings still have the flexibility of disposition to change our minds about what is important to us as we grow older, and that we aren’t doomed to stagnate around the old and familiar.

But seriously, what do I know?  At the end of the day, I feel like all any of us can do is “the best you can,” and hope that it works out.  You try to find work you like, and you roll the dice.  You try to find a person you like, and you roll the dice.  The rest is just drunken dumbshow.

February 9, 2014
70-Year-Old Looks 30, Reveals Fountain of Youth

This woman looks better at 70 than I do at 29.  Pardon me while I wallow in the #shame hashtag for awhile…

7:43pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZMMjnx16y1UXY
  
Filed under: medicine lifestyle 
September 29, 2013

From a frend in my facebook feed.  This 4-year old girl is better at dancing than I ever will be.

Don’t even try to be better.  You can’t possibly.

September 22, 2013
"

A year after Jazz Fest, New Orleans, after two stints in rehab and being kicked out of high school and having made the trade from uppers to downers, and you have me at 17, once again run away, this time to San Francisco. I was still with the same girlfriend, only now she was sucking off this dude named Twig. I was a mess. I was seeing my self-proclaimed spirit animal (a clichéd crow) everywhere. I had broken into an Econo Lodge and climbed through the window, stripped down naked and cut a huge slice across my abdomen — attempting to free my soul — before lying down in a pool of blood and watching a documentary about Jesus.

Eventually, my girlfriend called my parents. I didn’t know this at the time. My father flew across the country and showed up in the middle of the night. I remember a banging on the door. I crawled out of bed completely naked. My stomach was stained red, as were the white sheets. My father stood there all small and speckled gray. He grabbed me by the back of the head and pulled me close, his own forehead pressing to mine. He said, “Jesus Christ, son.”

"

Peter Stenson, from his essay, "Runaway Feelings" for Aeon Magazine.  Definitely worth reading the whole thing if you have time.

September 16, 2013
humansofnewyork:

"Do what the fuck you want."

LTMC: On facebook, HONY writes:

I told her: “I have no idea if I did a good job because it’s impossible to take a bad picture of you.”

 

humansofnewyork:

"Do what the fuck you want."

LTMC: On facebook, HONY writes:

I told her: “I have no idea if I did a good job because it’s impossible to take a bad picture of you.”

 

August 23, 2013
humansofnewyork:

"What was the happiest moment of your life?" " Probably when I saw my husband for the first time.”  “Did you know he was going to be your husband?”  “I did.”  “How’s that?”  “Oh, I don’t know. He was just so exciting.”  “What’s the most exciting thing he ever did?”  “Oh, I don’t know. One day when we were working in the garden, he got down on one knee and proposed to me. At that point, we’d already been married for 35 years.”

humansofnewyork:

"What was the happiest moment of your life?" "
Probably when I saw my husband for the first time.”
“Did you know he was going to be your husband?”
“I did.”
“How’s that?”
“Oh, I don’t know. He was just so exciting.”
“What’s the most exciting thing he ever did?”
“Oh, I don’t know. One day when we were working in the garden, he got down on one knee and proposed to me. At that point, we’d already been married for 35 years.”

August 23, 2013
humansofnewyork:

"What was the saddest moment of your life?" “When my father died.”  “What happened?”  “He committed suicide when I was nineteen.”  “Did he leave a note?”  “No. But he was a contractor, and his business was going under, so he was facing bankruptcy. I honestly think that he thought we’d be better off if he wasn’t around.”  “What was the greatest day you ever spent with your father?”  “Well, he was my soccer coach. I’ll always remember driving to practice in his Fiat, with all the soccer balls in the back seat, singing along to Tom Petty… what was that song?” “Freefalling?”  “Freefalling.”

humansofnewyork:

"What was the saddest moment of your life?"
“When my father died.”
“What happened?”
“He committed suicide when I was nineteen.”
“Did he leave a note?”
“No. But he was a contractor, and his business was going under, so he was facing bankruptcy. I honestly think that he thought we’d be better off if he wasn’t around.”
“What was the greatest day you ever spent with your father?”
“Well, he was my soccer coach. I’ll always remember driving to practice in his Fiat, with all the soccer balls in the back seat, singing along to Tom Petty… what was that song?”
“Freefalling?”
“Freefalling.”

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