Perception is reality

silly cat picI envy Mozart.

I would love for my biggest problem of the day to be “How do I get this cat toy off my head?”

But then, Mozart doesn’t see this as a problem.

He’s the only cat that wears protective gear before commencing in any sort of feline sporting event. Mozart is at an advantage if he’s boxing our largest feline Bailey, because cats don’t know how to stick a jab. When Michelle catches him trying to headbutt the other cats he always looks up at her as if he’s attempting to get that thing off his head. He’s living proof that humans aren’t the only ones with an active imagination.

It’s interesting how our perception of events affects our reaction to them. Our days are spent interacting with the world around us, judging that input based on our own belief system, viewpoints that may or may not change based on our frame of reference.

I’m very good at facing economic & educational tasks, but lately I’ve been sucking on the relationship front. Last week blew up as my birthday passed with barely a whisper (amongst other things) and I partly blamed Michelle.

This is not the forum to list the sordid details of events, but I will say that our issues have been due in part to our own perceptions of the relationship as of late. Let me say that even the best communication can break down when you factor in long work/school hours, financial stress and any other number of factors. This only leads to endless rounds of conversation on the same topics breeding contempt as “We’ve already discussed this before and YOU aren’t doing enough”.

Have you ever encountered a problem that you just couldn’t solve only to have somebody else point out an obvious solution? Programmers call it being “code blind”. Like a Monet painting, sometimes you have to step back to get a better view of things. Until recently, I didn’t know I needed to do the same thing with my relationship.

The epiphany came over the weekend when Michelle & I witnessed some friends having a similar argument. Neither of us wants to call it quits, but we both agreed that conversations aren’t productive when we’re both pissed. My mood this morning is hopeful.

Last week I had this cat toy stuck on my head. I didn’t realize I could pretend it was a space helmet.

Am I doing enough?

drunk picturesI never really paid that much attention to politics. When I was younger my understanding equated to this simple fact: A Democrat in office meant we moved around like gypsies and Dad didn’t make as much money while the family would thrive financially in one place if a Republican was in office. An over-simplification I know, but that was my reality as a young boy.

My ignorance continued into my early adult years and when I voted for Reagan in my first election I did so because I thought he was simply better during the debates. Better didn’t translate into a meaningful understanding of the issues, just his speech writers did a good job and he had more charisma than his opponent. I’ve lived most my life ignoring the issues because honestly they never personally affected me.

Things are different now.

The United States is one of the greatest countries in the world, but I think “we the people” take that for granted. Recently, I have attempted to stay current with the news and much to Michelle’s dismay I do A LOT of reading on the Internet these days. I would agree with Kevin Holtsberry that both sides arguing over the War with Iraq really have nothing new to say. I think it’s as impassioned as the abortion issue. Opinions are either for or against, but neither side will be easily swade. I think it’s great that we are blessed with the freedom to express our opinions EVEN if they are in the minority. However, I worry about our civil liberties being taken away during this crisis.

I wonder how many people are apathetic to these news events as I once was?

I wonder if voter turnout for a presidential election will ever be as high as 70%?

I wonder when the next significant socio-economic change will come to this country or if we’ll step backwards and continue on this Puritan trend?

I think we really need a valid third party to shake up the political structure in the US.

I think not reporting the news is the same thing as censorship.

I’m older than 25 and I agree that today’s generation has it too easy.

I would like to see less legislation and a little more personal responsibility. Laws on reckless driving already cover stupid people using cell phones without a headset. Some people can walk & chew gum at the same time some can’t.

I think this next election I’ll actually vote instead of playing EverQuest all day.

gay people in the mainstream

Thank you Dawn. Let’s be honest if I wasn’t reading your blog everyday the content here would most certainly be boring. *chuckle*

Let’s talk about sex. Dawn mentioned her friendship with a gay couple and posed questions regarding courting rituals. I think much of the problem that comes with the acceptance of homosexuality stems from how people view gender roles.

Ask most straight men if they would look at your typical Penthouse lesbian spread and they wouldn’t blink. Two girls gettin’ it on? Most men aren’t turned off by this. It’s erotic, men live the fantasy and project themselves into the photo, video, etc. Somehow two women together can still be seen as feminine. Break the Penthouse mold, beef a girl up, cut her hair really short, throw on a flannel shirt and now that the guy isn’t physically attracted to her she’s a dyke. Personally, I don’t know any lesbians that own “Where The Boys Aren’t 69”. That’s why they call it “Gay For Pay”.

Now ask any man or woman what they think of viewing male porn. For some reason both straight men AND women are turned off by this. Why? I feel it’s because two men together can’t be seen as masculine. If Britney & Christina were caught in liplock, instant chubby for most of the male population. How many women fantasize about seeing Brad Pitt & Tom Cruise having hot sex? “Ewwww!” says the straight crowd. Even in a straight threesome, put two girls with a guy and everybody licks & sticks no rules. Put two guys with a girl and Tom better not be stickin’ it to Brad while he’s stickin to Ms. Thing.

I think people who are gay while being defined by gender roles also have the clarity to see through them. My sister is gay and it occurred to me when she dated men while they were physically strong, they’re personalities were submissive, however, when she dates women she’s not as dominant. I think my sister’s softer side comes out when she is dating a woman.

I hope for the day when there is more acceptance of homosexuals in the mainstream. If you think about it take away the physical act of sex (which REALLY is people’s problem right?) and you can’t logically argue that loving someone, even of the same gender is wrong.

Bestiality – WRONG. Animals have no soul. While God will most certainly allow Fido a place by your side in Heaven, he won’t be speaking there either.

Pedophilia – WRONG. Children do not have the physical, mental or spiritual maturity for a committed relationship let alone sex.

Two adult men or women spending their lives together, sharing with one another, moving towards a common goal… seems odd that anyone could consider that wrong.

Time to stir things up a bit.

Dawn has made some comments recently about the issue of Pro-Choice. I thought I’d drop in my two cents as most people think I just party all the time and couldn’t care less about social issues. (You know who you are)

I think Pro-Choice hasn’t made an impact because most people feel “that would never happen to me”. Pro-Life currently has the advantage of strong political clout and extremists on the religious right who are more than happy to harass people who would dare venture into an abortion clinic (abortioncamsDOTcom). It’s easy to be Pro-Life and shake your finger at immoral sexual behavior. If a couple gets pregnant “they deserved it”, “they shouldn’t have been having sex to begin with”, or any number of God driven justifications. But the fact is accidents happen, women get raped, men get trapped and both sexes can be irresponsible when it comes to bedroom behavior.

I agree that Pro-Choice is not Pro-Abortion. I also believe that abortion shouldn’t be used as a means of birth control. I’m not sure what I think anymore of it being called “a woman’s right to choose”. I would rather see it as “a couple’s right to choose”. I know it’s idealistic, but just because it’s a woman’s body doesn’t mean she bares the sole burden. It’s a reality for many sure, but why enforce that behavior by isolating women even more? Any man is capable of providing emotional & spiritual strength during a pregnancy and should be encouraged to do so.

Most of the movies I’ve heard or read about on the topic involve a woman protagonist struggling on her own endowed with this heavy responsibility. Where are the movies that show men involved in the same crisis? If you’re attempting to sway public opinion and rally support wouldn’t you want to include all races & genders?

I think it’s “a woman’s right to choose” because there haven’t been any role models or stories that men can identify with. Personally, I know guys who’ve dated women that had abortions without telling them, who had partners that lied about birth control or STDs. These things don’t just happen to women. I also know guys who stood by their girlfriends/spouses/lovers when told about an unexpected pregnancy. And Chuck & Ken aren’t alone, there are plenty of single fathers out there doing the best they can.

On a personal note, just because I’m Pro-Choice doesn’t mean I’m a sexual deviant or completely without faith in God. But if someone else chooses to have an abortion, they have to live with the consequences not me and if it is a sin then shouldn’t God be the one to punish them? If you force people to have babies that don’t want them do you really think that child will grow up in a happy & healthy home environment? There are already enough children in foster care being railroaded by the system, why would you want to condemn more innocents to that?

If society educated men & women to be more responsible for themselves and share more as a couple then perhaps Pro-Choice wouldn’t be seen solely as a woman’s right to choose. And maybe one day society wouldn’t care about Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life because people would be more responsible period.