innocenceproject's Profile > Messages Posted

Subject: Re: Gaydar

Forum: Gaydar
In many ways, I miss the 20th century, but in one or two respects, life is better now. I was born into a world where homosexuality was a crime. Nowadays, most of us accept LGBT people are just that: people. People who love each other, get married, get divorced, raise kids etc. Back in the day, people used gaydar the way they used radar: to detect the presence of a threat. Nowadays, what's the point? We aren't afraid anymore, are we? At least most of us aren't.

When I see a man who has the sense to dress nicely, comb his hair, shave etc. I still assume he is gay but, if anything, I admire him. I have so little sense of dress and decor, I might as well be a gorilla or something. But I don't think much about a guy's sexuality any more than if I heard him speak French. I might think "Cool! That guy must be French or something!" Something to take a brief interest in and then get on with the business of living.

Subject: Re: Dollar Stores-Are they really a bargain?

Forum: Dollar Stores-Are they really a bargain?

Even on a good day, I dislike shopping. I'm cheap and usually too busy to take the time. But the Dollar Store is even worse than the mall. Most of the stores patrons look impoverished one way or the other: economically, educationally or both. Have you ever seen videos of poor people picking through trash on Smokey Mountain on the outskirts of Manila? That's what the Dollar Store reminds me of: poor people picking through trash. The only way I will set foot in the Dollar Store is if 1) my wife tells me to do so or 2) I'm out of town and forgot my deodorant.

The Dollar Store where my wife lives is a good example. The first thing you see when you go in is that all the aisles are clogged with inventory. It looks like they had an earthquake, everything fell off the shelves and landed in the aisle and no one has the time to put it back where it belongs. The "manager" is out having a cigarette (he's outside so often it seems as though he gets paid in cigarettes) he looks like he just got out of bed and that he slept with several long haired cats. And then there are the poor patrons...... Put it this way, think of the most successful demographic in America's schools, for me that's the Asian kids that get 100s in everything and then become microbiologists. Ever see one of them at the Dollar Store? Me neither. The people I see look as though they made it through High School by the skin of their teeth and now they are hanging on for dear life.

Then you see the price of things and wonder..... well in the immortal words of Aunt Em "being a Christian woman, I can't say it!" The stuff costs more or less what you'd pay anywhere else! If I go into the "Dollar Store" I expect things to cost a dollar. The other day, my wife told me to go in and get Drano, I paid $7.99 a bottle. I left thinking "Judas Priest! I might just as well have gone to Wegmans!" I can shop at Wegmans without having to reflect on the downfall of America. The Dollar Store puts that right in your face.

Subject: Re: Zip Line or Bungee?

Forum: Zip Line or Bungee?
I tried to think of a situation where I would prefer bungee jumping and I can't. I used to do crazy things like that for the thrill of it but these days, life provokes enough anxiety on its own. So put me down for zip lining with the others. I've done it several times and it is a blast! Just don't ride your neighbor's zip line. I've seen amateur zip lines break.

Subject: Re: How do you cope with death?

Forum: How do you cope with death?

I think about my own death a lot these days. As I write, I am reminded of a classic Batman episode where Adam West says in his inimitable fashion, "a man my age must always be prepared to meet his maker." My grandparents and my parents are gone. Little by little, I hear of the passing of schoolmates. I look like a have years left but the way I drive, who knows?

You know what? When I was younger I thought that we all more or less live until we die. But what you will find is that little by little your body parts wear out just like your car does. Things that you take for granted at an early age disappear in your later years. In other words, we die in slow motion. If you live long enough and enough parts wear out, you might find yourself thinking "ALRIGHT ALREADY! LET ME GO!"

Once I had a job taking care of a 90 year old man who had suffered a stroke. I remember telling him," Bill, I hope to God that I die before I get to be your age because I am not man enough to go through what you put up with." It was the only time I ever heard him laugh. As embarrassed as I am to think of my own failing body, it's nothing compared to my father-in-law. He has to live in Depends because he has become a walking urine dispenser. His wife has to be thinking "WTF?!! One of us has to go! Hm...."

If no one ever died, there would be no point to having kids. I hope to live long enough to tell my grandchildren "You are my replacement. You were born because it is inevitable that I will die someday. I am proud to have someone like you represent the family when I am gone. Remember me but don't cry much, your turn will come. If no one ever died, it would have to be against the law to have kids. The planet would fill up with humans and then everything would die all at once. This is for the best."

Subject: Re: Do you have a favorite comedian?

Forum: Do you have a favorite comedian?
I love watching Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock. But they swear so much I have to watch when my wife isn't around. I loved watching Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy. Hell, I even have fond memories of Bill Cosby. Lock him in jail and throw away the key if you will. But you will never erase the fact that Cosby could make thousands of people laugh in a live stand up without ever using the N word, the F word, the C word or the like.

Subject: Re: Second Mother's Day

Forum: Second Mother's Day

The situation you have described is my greatest fear: that my daughters will need me and I will let them down. My entire life really is just a succession of failures. The only thing I ever did right was to be their dad. If I did not have them in my life, I would be like a tree with no roots. I'd probably fall over. I'm so old that my daughters are probably older than you. They're in their mid and late twenties, off on their own, living together in an apartment in NYC. I am like their dog, one call from them and I will either send money or go down there to help even if I have to run.

When I brought them home from the hospital, I knew that we would always live together like that. I would always read to them, carry them on my shoulders and that sort of thing. That's silly right? I mean, it was necessary that I learn to let them go. It's not normal for adult children to live with their parents. But I wish mine did. There is never a minute when I do not miss them.

I wrote more and then erased it. The only reason I am not dead is my daughters. They are the reason I get up at 4:15 each work day, strap on my uniform and get to it. I pray that some day your dad realizes what he did was wrong.

Subject: Re: How Do You Reduce Your Food Waste?

Forum: How Do You Reduce Your Food Waste?
I'm with Savann: if you don't want to waste food, use some judgment before you buy it. In rough terms, I eat the same thing every week and I only have to plan for my own meals. If there is a week where something goes bad, I don't buy it again, I buy less of it or I eat it sooner. After a couple weeks of that, I rarely waste anything. I know exactly what I will buy each week and what I will eat each meal. It may be repetitive, but nothing gets wasted. I would be distracted at work if I had to think of food going bad back home.

The only idea I have not seen listed is juicing. Yesterday I realized that I was about to loose some peppers and cucumbers so I cut out the bad parts and juiced what was left.

Subject: Re: What are your values?

Forum: What are your values?
I think I learned most of my values from my mom. Even when I pretended not to do so, I listened to what she said and I always watched her. My mom taught me the value of hard work and of self discipline. I don't remember her taking a break until she reached age 70. When arthritis bothered her, she just took more meds. Mom taught 5th grade and in her last year, she broke her foot during February recess. She continued to teach until June and on her last day they had to carry her out the door because she could not put any weight on it. Like most women, mom gained weight in mid-life. Then she decided to lose it all and presto! It all came off like a magic trick. I'm still trying to figure out how she did that.

Mom always helped others behind the scenes. She gave rides, comfort, meals, "loans" that were never paid back, etc. What's the saying? Random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty? That was my mom and you had to watch closely to catch her at it. As a single mom, there had been plenty of times when she was on the proverbial "ropes" and someone gave her a hand up. Mom never forgot to pay it forward.

Mom taught me the value of frugality. If I often have money to help out loved ones in spite of not making much in the first place, it is because I don't spend it on myself. You know how lots of women have 100 pairs of shoes etc? Not my mom. The only time she ever spent money on herself was to buy ice cream. She had the cheapest car, the least clothes, plastic jewelry and plastic plates. When we cleaned her house out, it was sort of sad to see the way she lived. But then I realized why she had made the choices she made. There is a quote from the book of Matthew that goes something like "for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." In every room of her house we saw the proof, we were mom's treasure.

Subject: Re: Professionalism and Hair

Forum: Professionalism and Hair
It is my fervent prayer that some day my grandchildren will live in a world where diversity is truly valued rather than paid lip service. In such a world, we will acknowledge that wavy and curly hair is the norm, there is nothing unprofessional about it. Consider the case of Michael Jackson. As a kid in the Jackson 5, he reveled in his curly hair. By the time he recorded Rock With You, he was starting to grow his hair out. For Thriller, it was longer still and by the time he went completely crazy he had hair (and skin) like a white person. What prompted that? Think living on a racist planet had anything to do with it? When was he happiest, curly hair or straight?

Professionalism? Bollocks! We live in a world where everyone is expected to learn to be white and to speak English. I don't much care for that.

Subject: Re: Need a few drinks before dancing at a wedding?

Forum: Need a few drinks before dancing at a wedding?
By all means, dance! Dance while sober, dance while intoxicated but dance all the same. No one cares if you’re any good, they’re all on their phones.

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