Realistic Goals

I came to the realization this morning that I might have to start more realistic goals.  Like, maybe being a good person, is a kind of a stretch goal right now.  And maybe a more realistic goal is just to not be a jackass.

I’m not one of those people who normally pats themselves on the back for doing the bare minimum, but this are unusual times, and maybe I can’t be the compassionate cheerleader who provides unconditional support.  Maybe the best I can do is not tell say that I think you’re an idiot, or listen when you tell me your fears of being induced and wondering what your parenting experience is going to be like in our new world, or just not hang the phone up when you call.

So the new goal that I’ve set for myself is “don’t be an asshole,” and I can manage that, I’ll award myself a shiny gold star.  Here’s hoping.

What’s been going on

Passover was surprisingly easy.  My husband suggested it was because it was split out across two weeks so neither week seemed particularly bad, but I think that any change from the norm was such a vast improvement that at least passover gave us something else to think about.

Zoom Seder with family was about as expected.  They zoomed (pun intended) through a couple of things and we were halfway through the four questions because I even got a bottle of wine uncorked.  We did 45 minutes with them and then they went off to have dinner, and we started over from the beginning.  So our Seder started at 6:45 and ended around 11:30.  Our second Seder started at 6:00 and ended at 11:15.

We had some really interesting questions at our Seder this year.  There was a lot of discussion around How is this Passover different from all other Passovers.  And we talked about how most Jews celebrating Passover, especially in concentration camps and ghettos didn’t have much in the way of food, but they had many, many attendees at the Seder. Kind of the inverse of what we experienced at our Seder this year; where we had, thank G-d, plenty of food, but no guests.  I said it was more likely that we were experiencing a Passover similar to the crypto-Jews of Spain during and after the inquisition, where they were home alone, afraid to go out.  And very much in common with the 1st Seder, wherein we are afraid to leave our homes, and don’t know what to expect tomorrow; life or death; salvation or torment.

I recently found out that a very good friend is recovering from COVID-19.  The friend is still weak and tired, but it was good to hear.

I watched two episodes of Eureka (I show I loved) recently and I wrote up these notes apparently thinking to publish them somewhere and then I forgot.  But then I saw these notes and oh, did I remember!
So I rewatched episodes 2 and 3.
(Quit now. Spoilers ahead: )
Episode 2 resolves around the fact that in the pilot, the wife we met turns out to be a clone. The guy wanted to start a family and move to Eureka, the girl didn’t. They split up. He REPLICATED her and started a family with the replicant. How many shades of NOT OKAY is that? I can’t remember if i felt horrified by it at the time, but…

Episode 3 is dude who has been stealing his wife’s memories and genius to promote himself for decades. At least they admit that’s oodles of wrong. The punishment is pretty much a slap on the wrist, although he does have to leave without his wife, but he was already living with the knowledge that he was a fraud and a thief, so I don’t really like much will be different for him. The worst punishment he seems to suffer is that his wife took his memory fixer device. He still gets paid for his ‘work” in this episode and he probably has plenty of money. So what if he never works again? He’s rich and no one is going to tattle on him, so he can probably still get more employment, even if he can’t be the golden boy hero wiz of every story the way he used to be. He can even skate by saying he is retiring to mourn the loss of his marriage and he just hasn’t felt the same since. Point is, he was a major creep and a criminal for years and faces no punishment, while his soon to be ex-wife has to reconstitute her life as best she can. His weak sauce justification, “I gave her a good life.” To which Henry says, “No, you stole her life.”

The husband sees her a pet. As long as he gives her a pat on the head and some food and a bedroom, why should she be mad that he stole her memories and exploited her genius?

The replicant creator’s excuse was, “I didn’t want to live without you.” But the sheer violation…. And can you imagine finding out that you’ve been repeated raped by your ex for years?  That he created a you to willingly submit to his rape for years.  I’m so revolted by the idea.  And how did she find out? The replicant died in the first episode and her parents were notified and her parents called her to find out WTF.  And then she was all WTF? Which is why she came to Eureka to find out what was what.

And dumb-ass Allison is like, “But your son…?” Like this woman had anything to do with that child that she never even knew existed. It would be like “waking” from a concussion to find you suddenly have a 5 year old son who you’ve never seen, but he has all these memories of you as a mother. I can only imagine the trauma. Here at least the villain is dead, but the consequences of his actions live on.  What does this woman do now?  Does she try to raise this son she never had.  What does she tell her parents? What if she walks away?  Is that even a choice?  Suddenly she’s mired with the consequences of the decisions her ex made without her consent or permission.  She *thought* she tapped out before things got complicated and suddenly she’s front and center of all of these inherited problems.

And I appreciate that the purpose of Eureka, at least in part, is to highlight both the good and the bad in technology and show how the technology can be abused. (like Malcolm says in Jurassic Park , “You were so busy trying to find out if you could, you didn’t stop to think about if you should.”) But this level of abuse should have real consequences not just for the innocent bystanders, but for the people who create them.  And I realize that in the real world rich, crafty white men get off easy while everyone else bears the consequences, but in my scifi, can we at least pretend that someone gets justice?  That it’s not women who suffer at the hands of men who need all their needs met and exceeded and their egos stroked so they never have to hear the word, “no” or live in a world where other people are smarter than them or equally deserving of consideration.

This too shall pass

I am freaking the fuck out about Passover.  Not for whatever reasons you’re thinking.  Sure, it will be challenging doing a Seder for our small family.  Yes, I hate cleaning so mandatory Passover cleaning is like acid to my soul.  But the real problem is my parents want to do a virtual Seder.

I want to go along, I really do.  To that end, I started talking to my brother to do some coordination.  Now that last time we had Seder altogether, it was a cluster-fuck of epic proportions.  This one is looking to be heading the same way.  We were in a hotel and we were going to have the Seder in the hotel and it was all arranged, but, apparently my mother’s and my questions (although literally my only question to the hotel was, “Can I have a fax sent here from my office?”, but when I heard the story from my brother, it was that we…) were such a giant pain in the ass for hotel that they called my brother and told him they refused to accommodate us any further and demanded we go somewhere else.

So I asked my brother what technology we were using since free zoom only allows you to have 45 minutes.  He told me he thought we’d be done in 30, so that gave us an extra 15 minutes to play with.  I told my husband and he laughed and laughed.  Our typical Seder runs 4.5-5 hours.  Now, to be fair, we usually don’t start quite at 6, like I plan and we will probably take less time over the meal than in years past because we’re a smaller group.  But 30 minutes?  I guess it’s possible we can do the first part of the seder and be on our own for the rest.  But if he’s planning a full Seder, that’s not going to work.  My husband soothed me and said that we’ll do what we do with them, and then do whatever else we need to do afterwards.

Why is this year different from all other years…?

This could be important…

But it’s not.

There’s a lot going on in the world and I’m not going to talk about any of it.  I’m going to talk about this post Well, you know… and some follow up.

The other day, that same women posted a “Don’t give up! There’s always hope!” message to the infertility group.  She posted this shortly after another woman posted another negative test and lamented .  Way to read the room, asshole.

Hard as it may  be to tell from this blog, I’m actually very much an optimist.  I look for the good in people.  I try to stay positive.  And this is pretty much my one outlet for all the pent up negative thoughts I try to ignore or suppress on a regular basis.

So here’s one more.  I don’t need pregnant Pollyanna* blowing smoke up my ass with her, “don’t give up hope!  It happened for me.”  Okay, here’s the paradox, you’re not that special.  It happens to a lot of people.  I don’t happen to be one of them.  Until the negative test lady gets a positive, she isn’t one of them either.  But this idea, this damn pervasive idea, that if I can do it anyone can do it; that’s neither true nor helpful.  I know it’s meant to be encouraging.  “If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.”

Well, fair.  It *can* happen to anyone.  But it doesn’t.  And no amount of saying, “It can happen to you.” will make it happen for me.  So please take your sunshine and blow it up own ass instead of mine.  I’m a fucking realist.

*And by the way, Pollyanna would never say that.  Pollyanna wasn’t about ignoring reality, she was about finding the good even in shitty situations.  She’d be more likely to say something like, “Well, your period being late means you have time to go buy pads!” or “When the world reopens, you can celebrate with a sushi buffet.” You go on with your bad self Pollyanna.  I think sushi buffet sounds awesome.

Everybody knows…

I was thinking about perfection.  Do we all kind of assume that everyone we don’t know really well has it all under control?  Perfect house.  Perfect family.  Perfect husband.  Perfect wife.  Perfect kids. Perfection.

I mean, obviously we don’t think they’re perfect, but….doesn’t it look like the candy coated fairy tale?  Standing outside looking in at that perfect scene of domestic bliss?  We don’t see the struggle with depression.  We don’t see the aging parent who needs increasingly more care.  We don’t see the children struggling at school, battling self-esteem issues.  There’s so much we don’t see.  So much compassion we don’t give, because we’re too busy looking at that glossy surface and not seeing the people drowning underneath it.