I have no living blood siblings. However, I have five brothers. And a sixth, who is mean, so we won’t count him.
One is my neighbor from Alexandria, Virginia, from when I was 14.
Two others are from college: I lived with the family, old friends of my parents, for a year.
The fourth is my Danish exchange brother.
The fifth is my brother out-law, my niece’s father.
I am very well brothered. Three are mixed Caucasian/African American, one is Chinese American, and the other is Danish. I have a very diverse group of brothers.
My brother out-law owns a bike shop. I took him the t-shirt pictured, boxed in a beer six pack box. He is very pleased because he runs a bike shop. The t-shirt won’t fit him but he promptly hung it up. The t-shirt is a hand me down from my daughter to me and now to him.
In the world of international finance, what do the abbreviations, USD and GBP stand for? USD stands for Use (the) Stocks, Darling and GBP stands for Good Bonding Place. See number 3.
What exactly is cryptocurrency? Currency that is cryptic and actually invisible, as well as unstable. You can’t hold it, you can’t touch it and it only exists as long as the servers have current. That why it is called currency. Once the current is off the cryptocurrency disappears.
What is the difference between stocks and bonds? Stocks are immobile, usually made of wood, and are not all that common now, except in really retro BDSM dungeons. Bonds are very mobile and can be made of velvet, or metal as in handcuffs, or nearly anything that you can tie someone up with. Wire and barbed wire are not ok. Use the safe word.
What is meant by a “bull” market? This is a market that sells a lot of bull. It is very very common.
What is meant by a “bear” market? This is when the bears show up and devour all the bulls.
What is a stock split? Usually one uses an ax or a chainsaw to demolish stocks. Rarely, those demolition people who blow up buildings are called upon, but this does not leave neat halves. Stock splits are often the product of either a divorce or the sale of the building holding the retro BDSM dungeon.
What exactly is crowdfunding? My favorite crowdfun involves the pop up singing where one person starts singing and it turns out that the entire chorus is standing around in a crowd. Flash mobs! Some people prefer demonstrations or driving a lot of trucks around the beltway. I do not think storming the Capitol is a good crowdfun.
What is a pension? These no longer exist in the US.
What is a 401(k)? 410K is the number right before the answer to the universe, number 42. Once we reach 41, everyone says OK, because 42 is next.
What is day trading? Trading that does not occur at night.
I am taking a writing class and our next book is on cultural appropriation.
This interests me. I tend to be a little gender blind and race blind when I meet people. I am using my super skill instead. My skill is developed from a really scary childhood: I read the stuffed emotions. The stuff people are hiding.
No way, you say. Oh, yes, I say.
My sister described coming home from high school and stopping when she walked into the house. She was trying to sense what was going on. Were our parents fighting? Was our father drunk? Yes, he was drunk, but which stage?
We talked about the stages and which we hated most.
Stage goofy/silly was annoying but not toxic. We said we had homework.
Stage asleep in a fetal ball in the upstairs hallway. My sister said she would step over him to get to her room.
Stage maudlin. We both agreed this was the worst. He would cry and say, “You can tell me anything.” Once he caught me in that stage and I was in tears by the time my mother got home. I left the room. The next morning mother said, “He said you two were discussing the cat’s disappearance.” I didn’t answer. We never said a word about the cat. I didn’t know if he was lying or was too drunk to remember it the next day, so made it up. Don’t care. Avoid.
He was never physically abusive. He and my mother would scream at each other at 1 or 2 am through most of high school. Reading her diaries, she writes that she drinks too much. I think they were both alcoholics, thought the family story is that he was the bad one. But I can’t imagine yelling with a drunk at 1 or 2 am for an hour. What is the point? They are drunk. So either she was drunk too or needed to fight.
Emotionally abusive, yes, both parents. My mother would take any show of fear or grief and tell it as a very very funny story to every person she ran into. Is it any surprise that I had to go into therapy after she died to learn to feel fear or grief? My sister would say, “She’s got her stone face on,” about me. Um, yeah, I am NOT going to let my family see my emotions…
Anyhow, that is what I read in people when I first meet them. It’s not the suit, the clothes, the make up, the race, the gender. I pretty much ignore those. I was fashion blind in junior high, a girl geek, could not read the code and did not care. I had given up on socializing with my fellow students. I was hopelessly bad at it. I did a lot better with the adults around my parents. I could have actual conversations with them.
I had one patient who was transgender where I couldn’t remember which direction. I didn’t care, either. That was a really angry person. Anger is always covering other emotions, so I avoided pronouns and tried to be as gentle as possible.
I complained to a counselor once that I can’t turn this “off”. And that it’s fine in clinic with patients, but it screws with my relationships with my peer doctors. They do not like it if I “read” them.
It took me years, but I finally realized that I have to use my clinic skills with everyone. I can’t turn off “reading” any more than you turn off your eyes when you meet a new person. But I can be as gentle with everyone as I am in clinic. I realized that as I started on a trip and the trip was amazing, everyone was so nice.
This reading is a product of a high ACE Score: Adverse Childhood Experiences. I score about a 5. One of my patients set off my ACE alarms on the first visit. I asked if he had had a rough childhood and gave a very short explanation of ACE scores. “Oh, I am a ten out of ten,” he said. He was, too. Ran away from home at age 6 or 8.
The ACE scores of all the children are rising from the last two years. The war will raise them even more, worse for the children there and the kids trying not to starve in Afganistan and Syria and world wide.
It will be interesting to read about cultural appropriation. But I don’t care much: I don’t “see” those things when I meet someone.
Hugs and blessings.
The photograph is me and my sister Chris in 1987, before my wedding. We were dancing before the wedding. She died in 2012 after 7 years of breast cancer.
Doctors and nurses and hospital staff are the last caregivers for the elderly alcoholics and addicts who are alone, whose families have finally cut them off. I think this song illustrates their pain. We try to take care of them.
Refugees welcome - Flüchtlinge willkommen I am teaching German to refugees. Ich unterrichte geflüchtete Menschen in der deutschen Sprache. I am writing this blog in English and German because my friends speak English and German. Ich schreibe auf Deutsch und Englisch, weil meine Freunde Deutsch und Englisch sprechen.