Wednesday, October 26, 2011

how hot is the person beside you - Part 2

hot women I know - socializing at a party

X had her 35th birthday party last week. it was the day before some fundamentalist dude had said would be the end of the world so she celebrated that she was turning 35 right at the end of the world. it was an "End of the World" party. i had been thinking that most people i know don't even get all that interesting until they turn 35 or so but X might be the exception to that rule because she's already been interesting to me for years now. she's had her struggles, we all do, but she has PRESENCE. she stands up and says, "I'm important. I'm hot. I'm caring and classy and brilliant and you need to pay attention to me." but at the same time i've never heard any of those words come out of her mouth in the decade or so that i've known her. X is hot. her husband is a very lucky man and a good, caring friend in his own right. still X, you are hot and i'm proud to know you.

Z has been a fellow cyclist and member of my church community that i have loved to meet with as we both commute home from work. she recently moved to a different part of town so we won't get to commute together anymore and we have both regretted that won't be possible any longer. we were just socializing in the kitchen at the party when someone commented that the hi-lites in her hair were very pretty. i was right in the middle of my "how hot is the person beside you" thoughts so i promptly chimed in that she was hot, and i used that word. Z looked at me with her kind eyes and thanked me for the compliment. she seemed flattered. Z, you are definitely hot. you have a strong, confident and stunning air about you that people notice. it's what i call, presence.

this is just a sampling of the hot folks around me. i'm a truly blessed man.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Red Flag

i had to put this on here because Wendy kept laughing whenever she saw it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

how hot is the person next to you?

how hot is the person next to you? don't let that person actually be your partner because we know you already think they're hot otherwise why are you with them? seriously, it's stuff like this that gets me into trouble sometimes because i'm kinda unafraid to ask questions like this. there is definitely a time when you should not be asking that sort of question so if your filter is temporarily off then think for a second before you do ask it.
i got into trouble a few months ago because i didn't let my filter stop me from asking that sort of question. some pics from my football official's association dinner (which i hadn't attended) came around and as i looked at the pics it struck me just how old and fugly my association is. so i sent out an email cracking wise on how we were a bunch of middle aged sourpusses who looked so unnatural in pictures because we didn't smile as a general rule in case our faces would crack. i did make sure to say that i thought all of our dates/partners/girlfriends/wives were beautiful but i couldn't fathom how they ended up with whatever loser they were sitting with.
apparently, that wasn't very "professional". i guess the emails were flying around the executive of our association because i had the audacity to say that middle-aged, overweight, sullen-jowled men who didn't smile was somehow less than appealing to look at. in the end i sent out an email apologizing for the offense if any was taken but i was careful not to apologize for actually saying what i had said. i thought it was funny actually but ... i guess that some don't appreciate it when the elephant in the room is pointed to. it's not like i have any illusions that i'm still the 25 year old stud that i used to be, but i do still have a little game left.
i know i'm not the only one that stuff like this happens to. i'm not. we're all social klutzes if i read my social cues correctly, some are just better at hiding things like that.
so seriously, how hot is the person next to you right now? on a scale of 1 to 10. right now for me? 6.5

as i've aged i've noticed that i don't see very many beautiful people anymore. my opinions of beauty have changed too. for me a REAL woman is one who has lived through the wars of life. 20 something? not a chance. beauty is seen in the scars and hard knocks of life so just because you're pretty doesn't mean you're beautiful. hotness is seen for me in the mishaps while you continue on your journey.
several weeks ago i sat out front of a doctor's office and waited for my wife to come out of an appt and i just people-watched for about 20 minutes. i was just wondering how many beautiful people i could see. some 20 yr old guy walked by with his hat on backward and that "don't mess with me" walk and all i could think about was that he's pretty but not beautiful. some python armed dude rode by on a bike and i thought he probably needed to read more instead of testing how much he could bench ten times in sets of three.
then a woman in her late 40's with salt and pepper hair and a flowing skirt sauntered down the sidewalk. she wasn't anything close to a supermodel but she was absolutely stunning in her presence. she was window shopping and in no particular hurry but i couldn't stop from staring at her for the few seconds she was near the same businesses on a busy Portage Ave afternoon day.
i guess what i'm saying is that presence is HOT. there are women and men in my church community who are just plain hot because they've been through the wars and their presence is such that i love and respect them a great deal. i've never got the idea that grey hair should be dyed, and i don't personally dye my greys because i've earned every single one of those shoots of wisdom. there are women that i know whose wisdom adds to their hotness even though they're already stunning.

want me to think you're hot? have some presence. we all know that we're mostly messed up anyway but at least we can confidently say, "this is me. i'm hot, now deal with it".

another co-worker just returned from his lunch. 7.5

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

my mission field

My first degree was in Theology with a Missions major. Short of a couple stints south of the border into the United States I haven't left Canada in the over 20 years since I got that degree. I used to be scared that God would send me to Africa and I would be miserable there. I did try to go on missions once but when my wife and I applied to go to Russia we were told that they had concerns for our marriage since I was too laid back and my dear one was not the quiet submissive type. I had me a strong independant woman and apparently that meant that our marriage was in danger.
Next I thought I would work in the church as a youth pastor or something but I quickly learned that adults in churches expected youth pastors to make their rebellious teens into holy monks and if it didn't turn out that way then it couldn't possibly be their responsibility.
All I wanted was to help people. If I could help them spiritually then I'd be pleased, if I could show a little bit of Jesus to people then that would be a success story and if I could just offer some hope to someone then I was the hands of Jesus in a very needy world. I started to work in jails, group homes, high schools and in social programs. As I did this I went back to school and got my second degree in Social Development Studies.
20 years later and I'm a welfare worker. I see the poor everyday and I spend most of my time trying to dispense hope. Hope is essential when you have nothing left. People give up when its bleakest out and I've learned the system enough that I've determined that I'm going to help. If no one else is there to help then I'm going to find some way to say "YES" to someone without options. I'll knock down walls and barriers to try and get to the core of a situation because if I can't get to the core then saying yes will have little impact on a hopeless situation.
A philosophy of "I just want to help people" has morphed a little into "I just want to give some hope to people", and I find great joy and life in trying to be the hands of Jesus in my world.
I'm still married to that strong independant woman and she dreams her way to good things while I try to to spur this laid back personality into areas of ambition and growth. We have joined a church community that has given us love, life and support for 15 years and we continue in our little circles of mission. We never left the country but as I age I learn more and more that I could reach out right here at home without having to go to Africa to dig wells or to Russia to teach English. The thought that God would send me to Africa no longer scares the crap out of me because I know that I can be useful wherever I'm planted.
My mission field is an urban street full of yuppies where I search in the dark corners for the folks without options. It's a very cool life and I'm blessed and fulfilled more than I can tell you.

protest sign

LOVE this!

ht Jesus or Squirrel?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Election Day

there are a number of Provincial elections happening this week in Canada and today is election day in Manitoba. i'm going to mention a few things about political philosophy that i've mentioned in this space before. if you agree or disagree then that's fine but i'm pretty much set in my ways and i'm not really of a mind to change my philosophies so i'll pretty much ignore arguments that disagree with my slant but get posted in the comments.

i vote on the left of the political spectrum. people may call me a liberal politically but i suppose i view myself as more of a Social Democrat. in Canada i vote for the New Democratic Party and if i were in the US then i'd be more in line with the Democratic Party. i have some fairly simple reasons for my political views and i'll try to lay them out for you.

trickle down economic theory doesn't work. there are some moral policies that i could agree with on the right of the political spectrum but there area slew of economic and societal policies that vex me. the political right is mostly concerned with the bottom line. they help the rich guy so that the rich guy will carry the little guy along with him as he makes his money. that's good in theory, if the rich guy decides to pay the little guy a deserving, livable wage. the era of the union has improved this for many folks over the last 100 yrs or so but there still remains a segment of society who are underemployed and underpaid for the work they do. it's those folks who bear the weight of living in a rich society while working 2 or 3 jobs to try and stay above the poverty line. if the political right is in power then it is the poor who see funding and programming cut in order to maintain the bottom line. the political right cuts programming in the interest of smaller government and the bottom line while it is the poor who are cut out.

there aren't moral policies on the table to be renegotiated. some folks vote on the right because they're anti-abortion and the political right is more likely to be in favour of "family values" or more stringent abortion laws. let me ask this, is abortion on the horizon to be repealed? no it isn't. those laws won't be changing anytime soon and yet some still vote along lines to repeal something that won't be repealed while they're supporting other policies that they also shouldn't like but could still be repealed. what end of the political spectrum would help the poor in our society? the left. what end of the spectrum would be more inclined to bring troops home from a war overseas? the left. so why are people voting for parties that will not change abortion laws while ignoring parties that would be fully willing to change laws affecting poverty and wars. if we're moral people then we need to ask who it is that can affect change in areas where change is possible and needed.

i see no reason why a poor person would be voting for a party on the political right. too often people of faith see themselves as conservative in nature and they vote for parties that run under a Conservative moniker. conservative farmers are trying to eek out a living and they vote for parties that are going to favour banks and big business while squeezing the independant little guy for all they can get. the political right gives massive tax breaks to large companies so that they would in turn create or keep jobs here but then the massive company pays its employees at minimum wage while they pocket their millions daily. and how dare employees even mention the idea of a union before the same company threatens to take their factory to Mexico or Asia where they can pay much less for labour and only have to worry about shipping costs.

the poor you will always have with you. this is a true statement but let me ask further, what sort of society do we want to create? one that looks out only for themselves or one that gives folks with barriers to a better life some help toward self sufficiency? i know what sort of society i want and i realize that programming is going to cost dollars. the person who is down and out will need an option, the poor will need a way out of a social sausage grinder that is the cycle of poverty and what supports will we as a society provide for people without options? is the worry about crime solved by putting more police officers on the streets? maybe, or perhaps there would be less crime if we provided more or better job training for people who are frustrated with their situation. what good does it really do to cut and slash supports in favour of pursuing a more balanced budget? maybe safer streets happen by providing people with a job not by putting 50 more cops on the streets to catch the bad guy doing what he's doing because he's out of options. if that means a budget deficit then i realize that there is a cost to my political philosophies and we who are rich(yes, i'm definitely in the rich category when looked at Canadian society as a whole) need to carry the weight of tax required in order to build a better life for us all.

i don't like paying taxes as much as the next guy but i also see more than my good share of people on the down and out. i think that i'm uniquely placed to affect some change in my world. where i can be a "Catcher in the Rye". Holden Caulfield was telling his little sister about a dream that he has where there are thousands of little children playing in a field of Rye next to a very tall cliff. Holden's job in the dream is to race out and catch any child when they got too close to the cliff edge. it's a hero dream that is experienced by many, including me. i want to do good in this world. i want to provide options. i want to give out hope. i want to find a way to say "yes" whenever i can.

all of that will cost me, and i'll pay the price because that is who i want to be.

so today is election day and i'll exercise my right to speak into a growing void of darkness in society. i will keep saying out loud that there is hope, there is help and if i'm the only one out there willing to help the i will do all i can to help. today my help will come in a vote for supports for the poor and hope for those without options. i'm voting on the left.