Thursday, October 4, 2007

Another Miraculous Conversation with my father

Today marked another phone conversation with my father, a phenomena that I still find truly bizarre (mental flash back to two years ago, when the only time he called me/ talked to me for more than two seconds on the phone in 5 months was to tell me my sister was in the hospital).

That said, tonight's conversation included some particular gems of true father-daughter bonding:

Dad: "So I've got diabetes now too, just like Mum"
Me: "Oh..."
Dad: "And the doctor said I've gained 15 pounds since my last check-up, which really surprised me"
Me: "You do realize your shirts don't fit anymore, don't you?"

Dad: "The Dr. told us a lot of interesting things last night. Did you know that a sweet potato or yam is healthier for you than a jacket potato?"
Me: "I think I've know that for about 10 years now"
Dad: "Oh, and you should have an orange instead of orange juice, because of the sugar"
Me: "Glad to know whom the enabler for all unhealthy eating habits in this family has been"
Dad: "That's not true. Hey, and she said I don't have to give up drinking - I was really worried about that!"
Me: "You do realize if you did, you might actually lose those 15 pounds, right?"

Me: "Ok, Dad, I've got to go - I was going to talk to Mum to, but dinner's almost ready, so can you tell her I'll call again?"
Dad: "Oh, I'll get her for you. CHRIS! HEY CHRIS!"
Me: "Dad, no! I don't want to... Dad? Dad?"
Mum: "Hi Honey"
Me: "Hi Mum, I'm hanging up now, I'm making dinner"
Mum: "Let me guess, you told your Dad that, right?"

Maybe, one of these days, we'll actually get to a conversation where sarcasm or selective hearing isn't a major factor.

In related news, hell still hasn't frozen over: Both the Flames and Leafs lost their hockey games tonight.

RIP Grrl Genius Blog

Cathryn Michon's sensational blog, Grrl Genius, is shutting down.

Although I know that just about anyone reading this already knows that the blog is ending, I feel a need to write about it.

I feel bereft, as if I have just lost a family member, and in a way, this is true. The grrl genius blog (and Cathryn) was not just amusing, thought-provoking and witty. It did not just celebrate the wonders of being a Grrl Genius or an enlightened male.

It created, more than anything else I have ever seen on the web, a family. A wild, multi-cultural, multi-national, sometimes disjointed family that often saw impassioned differences of opinions (if not cyber yelling) but none the less, a family.

The blog was a secure place that we could all turn to, and as such, it became a safe, comforting locale, just like returning to the family home (and, for some that do not have that home, probably in some ways replaced it). It gave us all a chance to speak, to share our deepest feelings, and to gain love & support. Yes, most of us never met/ will never meet. That said, I don't think it will ever matter. The blog managed to transcend the fact that it was entirely virtual, and become a part of each of our lives. It was a place to laugh, to cry, to rail against injustice. What was best, it was a place wherein we were supported for doing so, encouraged not just to speak our minds, but to yell them from our keyboards into the ears of a receptive and loving cyber-family.

Thank you Cathryn for giving us this place, for not only your words and wisdom, but also for the family you encouraged us to create. Thank you all for the support and love you gave me during my struggles to start up my career, my learning pains through falling in love & moving in with Jeff (with whom I will be celebrating our first year of 'marriage' within the next two weeks), through the fire that left me homeless. Thank you for your ideas, wisdom, comments, jokes, support, encouragement, sympathy and love.

Thank you for all being part of the place I went for a 'pick-me-up', to feel empowered, and to see just what 'sisterhood' can create - a vibrant, living, supportive family!

I will miss the blog, and everyone on it, very deeply. It has been part of my life for the last 18 months, and although I was involved in more than one argument on it, I will honestly miss everyone whom contributed positively to it. I will miss getting to be a spectator & commentator in your lives, just as I will miss your support in mine.

I know, to some, this might sound weird - as if I am living on the web instead of in real life- but it's how I feel. Of course, this isn't like losing a member of my actual family, and I have many others that I can go to for physical as well as mental & emotional support. But it still means something to me to lose Cathryn's words, and the words of everyone else, losing the smile that seeing everyone's supportiveness & friendly personalities & achievements celebrated on the site always gave me. It was a forum to celebrate everything that makes us uniquely US, without fear of being swatted down by others, or ridiculed. It was a place not only to make a claim to everything that makes us wonderful women (from our stances on education and abortion rights to our concerns about how many margaritas we’d need to consume before we could all go on a bikini beach party together), but also to be mentored and applauded in doing so.

We have celebrated so many wonderful events on the blog - Joy's being accepted to grad school, M triumphantly returning to teaching, LawSchool Kirsten becoming just that, Maria joining the diplomatic corps, UKYankee's marriage, AKCop Girl's engagement, GG's "Cook Off!", and we have also provided support for each other during the hard & even terrible moments - Jenn's struggles with both her ex & all the care her family needs, NoIssue's marital troubles, me (NGG) loosing my home, and, most terribly, Sandi's husband being diagnosed with cancer.

We have shared it all; deep dark moments of anguish and fear, moments of tragedy, moments of triumph, moments of spellbinding joy and happiness. And through it all, we were there for each other.

As such, I can say that I am losing a family with the end of the Grrl Genius blog - my virtual family.

Best wishes to everyone reading this that was part of this family - my cyber sisters and brothers, our cyber 'big sister', GG, and our 'cyber mommy', the amazing MFD.

Please stay in touch, and hopefully, one day, we will all be able to have a 'cyber-family' reunion thanks to what GG started, and the continuing wisdom & power of the Grrl Genius Movement.