The Things I’m Thankful For

I know Thanksgiving was a couple days ago, but I haven’t had time to get to a computer until now.

My aunt did this “month of gratitude” thing where she had to post something she’s grateful for every day through the month of November. I thought I’d do my own list and share it with you guys.

1) My family… the huge, insane, lovable mess that it is
2) My friends… for introducing me to lots of good movies and music and for always being there
3) Music… for getting me through every allnighter and making me happy
4) Movies… because they are wonderful. Nuff said
5) My faith in God… I don’t know where I’d be without him
6) Coffee
7) Chocolate
8) My bed
9) The wood stove in my basement
10) Cute animals
11) My education
12) My mom’s accessible car (even though it’s falling apart)
13) My wheelchair
14) Electricity
15) Humor
16) My insane dreams
17) The ability to use language
18) The ability to make music
19) The ability to help others
20) Forgiveness
21) Love
22) Art (literature & visual art)
23) My medication
24) Technology (even though it insists on fighting me most of the time)
25) Video games
26) My eyesight (as crappy as it is)
27) My hearing (because it’s awesome and therefore I’m super good at eavesdropping)
28) Traditions
29) The sacrifices people make for me and for each other
30) The absurdly satisfying clicking sound my keyboard makes when I type

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

He Put Up A Fight

Well, since I wrote about it last night I thought it would only be fair to let you all know that Papa passed away this morning. My mom told me when I got up and I said I was fine to go to school, but we made it halfway there and I had to turn around. I wouldn’t allow myself to cry all day yesterday, but now I can’t stop. It almost seems strange to be so sad. He’s in a better place now, and he’s young and healthy again. I guess the point is that he’s not here any more and we’re never going to see him again in this life. The wake is on Friday and the Funeral is on Saturday. We’re still planning on doing everything we said we would with Thanksgiving dinner and the Christmas tree and everything. I think I’m still going to try and see the Hunger Games if I feel up to it later.

Anyway, thanks for reading.

His Time To Go

Last night my dad got a call from my grandmother. When he hung up he said that his dad probably wasn’t going to make it through the night, so he got in the truck and headed to Maine around midnight. Well, Papa made it through the night, but my dad sent a text to my mom a couple of hours ago saying that he had a fever of 105 and was having trouble breathing. We haven’t had any news since.

I cried when I went to bed last night, but the weird thing is, I haven’t felt all that sad today. Other than my dad not coming home for dinner it’s been a pretty normal day; I got up, finished my homework, played some Minecraft, went to class, went shopping with my mom and my brother, had dinner, and now I’m procrastinating working on a philosophy paper.

The only thing I really am bummed out about at the moment is that this had to happen right before Thanksgiving. A friend of mine is coming home tomorrow night and the new Hunger Games movie just came out on Friday. It was going to be like any other fun holiday weekend. Now we’re all just sitting around, waiting for something to happen. We had made plans to go out to eat in Portland for thanksgiving, and we had invited a bunch of my mom’s cousins and her two sisters. We were going to have a big party and stay in a hotel for the night. On Friday a bunch of us were going to go cut down our Christmas trees. Mom said we could still do all that if Papa goes, but I’m not sure I’ll want to. I know the best way to deal with sad things is to keep busy, so maybe I will anyway. It just seems like it would be too soon to be trying to have fun.

It would honestly be a blessing for Papa to go. He’s been in a nursing home for two years. He could barely talk, and what he did say hardly ever made any sense. I suspect the stuff he did say that made some sense was by chance. After the first year I started avoiding going to the nursing home. I never really knew Papa as a normal, healthy person. The only distinct thing I remember about him is that when I was really little, maybe even before my brother was born, dad and I would go to Grammie and Papa’s house and Papa would make me Ovaltine chocolate milk. I do feel bad about avoiding the nursing home now that he’s going to be gone for good. From what I know, I believe that he was a good person before he got sick, and I believe that he’s going to heaven. I just hope he forgives me when he gets there.

I’m not sure what things are going to be like for Grammie once he’s gone. She’s been going to the nursing home every single day since he’s been there, and my dad has gone up to Maine every other weekend, alternating with my aunt Betsy. It would be good if Grammie decided to move down here to Massachusetts, but I don’t think she will.

Honestly, it feels weird talking about this with my mom. I think she thinks that I’m not emotionally attached to Papa, but I am. I mean he is my grandfather. He’s not just some old man, even though I hardly know him. My mom tends to think that it’s not good to be sad for very long and that people should get over things as soon as possible. I guess I sort of agree with that, but getting over it does take time. I think things are going to be weird for a little while even when we’re done being sad. Life is going to be different anyway.

Well, I should get back to my paper.

The guinea pigs will always be flying.

Share Your Pizza

On Friday night I had to go into Boston for work and then I met my parents for dinner at a pizza place. After dinner I had a little over half a pizza left since I was bad and had a pumpkin spice latte at work (I have an easy job). On the way back to the car we walked right past a homeless guy who was sitting on the sidewalk, and after we got in the car I thought, “Crap! I could have given him the rest of my pizza!” It wouldn’t have been a long walk, and I could have gone back and given it to him, but I didn’t. I felt bad about it the whole way home, and I prayed that God would send someone nicer than me to share their pizza with that guy.

When I was a junior in high school (I’m a junior in college now) I attended a summer program at Berklee College of Music. There were a lot of homeless guys hanging around there, and at the time I was a broke high school student, but I heard a lot of people were buying them water bottles or sandwiches or what have you. I grew up being told that a lot of people were homeless because the probably deserved it; they were probably drug addicts or criminals, so I shouldn’t give them any money. I don’t believe that anyone doesn’t deserve help anymore. Everyone deserves help because no matter who they are or what they’ve done, they are God’s children and my brothers and sisters. Maybe it’s better not to give some of them money, but it can’t hurt anyone to share some pizza.

My point is; don’t pass these people by. Too many people do, including myself, and nothing can change if they don’t get help. They need someone to care about them. We don’t have to single-handedly save the world, but we can lend a hand every now and then. Maybe you will be the nicer person that I prayed for. Please share your pizza next time you pass someone who looks like they need it.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

My Food Problem

I’ve recently become vegetarian after watching a documentary called Earthlings. It’s about how animals are raised, treated and killed on industrial farms. I’ve been a vegetarian for a few weeks now, but I’ve been noticing some things that I’m guessing aren’t so good about it. The first is that instead of meat I’m eating a lot of carbs. I’m not sure of the exact effects this will have, but I suspect it won’t be good long term, especially since I don’t get a lot of exercise. Secondly I’ve noticed that I’ve been more hungry and more tired lately, and I’m wondering if it’s because I’m not getting enough protein. I have been eating eggs maybe once or twice a week, but I used to eat chicken a lot more than that.

The reason I’m writing about this is because I’m having some questions. I stopped eating meat on moral principle; animals have as much right to live comfortable, natural, happy lives as humans, so I believe that eating animals from industrial farms is immoral. My brother argued however that I’m literally not doing anything by not eating chicken. One person isn’t going to change the way animals are treated. That’s not the point, though. The point is that if everyone stopped eating meat then animals wouldn’t have to suffer.

My dilemma is that in the long run I might not be doing anything, and I’m hungry. I’m also worried that in trying to prove a point I’m compromising my health. Maybe that shouldn’t be that big a consideration; people who feel strongly about a cause comprise their safety and health all the time for that purpose. The thing is that even if I’m not making a difference, I’m not sure I could go back to eating meat with an entirely clear conscience, even though chicken was (and I guess still is) my favorite food and I want to eat it.

I would really appreciate some guidance on this issue.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Prayer For Children

Last night I heard a horrifying story on the news. An 11 year old boy was chained to the porch of his foster home wearing only a T-shirt and long pants in the cold with a dead chicken tied around his neck. There were 4 other kids living in that house, which apparently was filthy. The worst part is that the foster mother was working in social services and was supposed to have the best interest of children in mind.

I have an 11 year old cousin who is one of my best friends, and I can’t imagine anything like this happening to him, but the fact of the matter is that it did happen to this little boy who was probably a lot like Dinkens. He was probably in 5th or 6th grade, just adjusting to middle school, on the verge of puberty, interested in baseball, math and video games, and just kind of a goofy kid.

The truth is that I don’t want any kids of my own. I just don’t have that kind of patience and I don’t really know at what age you’re supposed to teach them things. I know myself enough to believe that I’d probably be an irresponsible parent. I don’t know what was going through this woman’s head when she adopted. 5 kids maybe she just wanted kids so much that she was willing to sacrifice their welfare in order to just have them. I don’t know. The point is that people should know themselves well enough to know that children just aren’t a good idea for them, and it’s incredibly selfish to go against that intuition.

Kids deserve to have good, fun, loving childhoods so they can grow into happy, intelligent, responsible adults. Please pray for the kids in that house and all the kids who are in similar situations. Kids who are born into this world deserve better. My mom says that when people have kids they are making a promise to live for those kids. I had an awesome childhood because my parents kept that promise. It just makes me so angry that this lady on the news didn’t.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Gender Roles

I just read a post a out this and thought it was interesting. The main point of it was that people put too much emphasis on being masculine or feminine and doing masculine/feminine things. The author also talked about the “Man Card” concept, which I hadn’t even heard of before.

An important point that the author was making was that concepts of masculine/feminine allow men to treat women like objects, but removing these concepts makes the two genders more equal. He listed a bunch of things that he was into/does/knows about that for someone who has ideas of girly and manly were surprising.

Interestingly, when I was a kid, it seemed that girls really weren’t into video games. I’ve noticed in the past few years however, possibly because I’m simply more observant, that a lot more girls and women (including myself) play them regularly and enjoy them. On the flip side, there are a lot of teenaged boys who watch and enjoy My Little Pony. Furthermore, there have been a lot more men deciding to stay home with the kids while their wives go off to work, essentially switching the traditional gender roles. I am interested to see what will happen when gender differences disappear entirely, which I think eventually they will. Perhaps it won’t change much at all.

What the author of the post I read disregarded was that there do seem to be certain things that men like/do/enjoy/are better at more/than women and vice versa. Again, maybe I’m saying this because I grew up on the very end of gender roles being a defined thing.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!