Posts Tagged ‘Daughter Person’

Culture Shock

August 25, 2011

Girl Child has been home now for a day short of a week.  it has been amazing having her back.

no, she didn't actually walk home

well, amazing for me.  for her?  a bit of culture shock.

it’s to be expected, yes?  she spent the last two years in a place where the village population was about the same as the number of people in the local mall at lunch hour, yet spread over an area about 10 times as big.  she’s just not used to people, so many and so close.  despite me suggesting she go off and see friends (hers and mine…i wanted to show her off), her first few days desire was to cocoon in the house.

we’ve been playing games (kicked her butt in Boggle, she kicked mine in Bananagrams), watching tv shows (old “West Wing” episodes that we both enjoy), and letting her experience a wide choice of fresh foods (the spinach salad i made her the first night was a total hit!).

oh, and we did end up taking that bike ride that she wanted to go on.  on the way home from the airport, she was reiterating her wish list of things to do, which included the bike ride.  we had this interchange – – –

Daughter Person:  i’m looking forward to a bike ride.  but…i’m a little nervous, too.  it’s been so long since i rode a bike, i’m not sure i remember how.

The Dadster:  don’t worry…you’ll remember…it’s just like riding a bike.

[a quick duck from a flying elbow to the head and i survived that bad joke]

after a few days, she finally wandered out and is slowly re-acclimating to the weather (it’s still winter down in ZA), the hubbub (cars! people! noise!), and to the reality of having to find a job and place to stay.

we’ve been out quite a few times.  she’s relearning how to drive a car.  she met my Pub Friends at the last get together (so i DID get to show her off!).  she took a hike with me, Dear Friend, and another friend.  and tonight?  she wandered off on her own to meet up with old friends who still live in the area.

she makes it look easy.

she went to the mall by herself, to buy new shoes.  and ended up overwhelmed by the choices.  yes, they have choices in South Africa, but not in the village where she lived.  to get to the choices, she’d have to take a hike, bus, and taxi…some 3 hours to go 40 miles.  here?  a 2 minute drive to the mall.  too close, with still too many choices for her.  culture shock.

she’s off again, too soon, to start her new life.  heading to Washington DC to look for a job and an apartment.  she’s already invited me to come visit and is looking for a time to return here*.

i find myself wondering how much more culture shock that will be.  while the local city is clearly much bigger than her Peace Corps village, it’s by now means close to the size and frenetic lifestyle of Washington DC.

i’m thinking she’s in for a bit more culture shock.

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*she damn well better…i’m lending her a car and want it back!

Exile Completed

August 18, 2011

Hooplah!

Daughter Person is returning home!

The Prodigal Daughter Returns!

Having served her time for tax evasion  for gun running  in the Peace Corps, she is coming back to the U.S. of A

The experience in South Africa was a treasure to her.  Her host family was…IS…welcoming and embraces her as a family member.  She will have fond memories of the children and teachers at the school she was assigned to.  She will have wonderful memories of holidays taken to other corners of South Africa, as well as the surrounding countries.

She will have not-so-fond memories of what seems to be endemic across the world – the bureaucracy of governments, local and national, that seem to impede, rather than assist.  Her idealism, a necessity of youth, is tarnished a bit by beating her head against the veritable brick wall of red tape and beliefs of leaders.

But she is undeterred in life.

She has many resumés out to various organizations and firms in the Washington DC area.  Her true hope is to obtain a job which will allow her to continue ‘Saving the World’ [trumpet voluntary].

She’s coming back here to the Wilds of Ohio, where she spent most of her youth (I was going to add “growing up”, but think she did much of that in the Peace Corps).  Spending a few days with her old Pops, she’ll ease back into a lifestyle she hasn’t seen in two years.

On her wish list of things to do when she gets home –

–          Mexican food.  Mexican food, Mexican food, Mexican food.

–          A long bike ride

–          Beer, with my friends

–          Watch “Music Man” (she admits, “I don’t know why.”)

–          Eat a huge spinach salad

I’m not sure if I will get her for three day, three weeks, or three months before she begins her new life in DC.

But, we will enjoy it, Girl Child and I.

The Reviews

November 4, 2010

Community theater actors thrive on reviews.  We wallow in self indulgent preening when we get a good review.  We despair in chest pounding, wailing fits of anger when we get a poor review.

Our show?  Great stuff.  Reviewed in three papers, we got consistently positive critiques of our performances.  All recommended folks go see our show.

A couple of the better comments? – – –

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One thing I know from my theater experience is that it’s not enough to simply act like the character, but one must become the character, thinking and feeling as they would. This cast was incredibly convincing. They truly became the characters.

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There is no question that Broadway could learn a great deal from community theater, especially GnuKid’s Theater Group.  Gifted local theater removes the special effects and production numbers and replaces that hyped aspect with highly personal acting, in this case, perfect zaniness.

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There is one local theater critic who rarely gives out rave reviews…yet he willingly and glowingly gave us just such a review.  Rumor has it that he has a penchant for young, cute actor boys (of legal age, mind you).  Given that one of our actors came out on stage dressed in Indian head dress, breech cloth in front, and in back… well… and a jock strap… just may have had something to do with such a positive reviews.  Oh, and his attending a second time (which he NEVER does for other shows).  For some reason, he sat on the aisle where the young man departs the stage.  Hmmm…

the motley crew...with indian boy up front

We were, of course, thrilled.  It’s very likely that one of the reasons we had near sold out houses for the run of the show was because of the reviews.

The leads got glowing reviews that reveled in their acting and comedic brilliance.  The other supporting actors got great reviews.  The chorus – – to me the true stars of the show wonderfully playing multiple roles each – – were called out for praise by all the critics.

And it’s reviews like that, coupled with big audiences who laugh honestly, loud, and long, that makes it seem – –  not just worthwhile – – but magic.

Me?

Not glowing, but pretty good in my book.

I got a “…flawless accent and perfect comedic timing.” (which, actually, is pretty damn good).

I also got a “…suitably crazy…”.

And finally, a “…loony, yet authoritative…”.

I shared the latter with Daughter Person who commented, “Hmm, that perfectly describes your parenting style as well.”

<sigh>

Yep, she’s my kid.

<big, cheesy grin>

Irrationally Siblingated

July 10, 2010

Got a phone call from Daughter Person this afternoon.  A care package I’d sent had arrived and she wanted to thank me.  Took the opportunity to catch up a bit (why, yes, I should have been busily working instead of yakking…why do you ask?).

One topic of conversation was the Boy Child.  She’s felt a bit left out of his life because he’s not good at keeping in touch and, complicating that, he’s been dating lately.  I may have said too much when I informed her that he’d left on vacation – – –

GnuKid:  Well, I know he left this morning.

Daughter Person:  WHAT?  He went on vacation?  Where did he go?

GK:  Jamaica.  Hey, I just got the itinerary from him last night*.

DP:  WHAT?  I’m his only sibling and he didn’t tell me he was going out of country.

GK <barely stifling my laughter>:  Well, I’m his only father and he only gave me the itinerary last night.

DP <mildly incensed>:  And he left this morning?  Is he going there with anyone?

GK <starting to feel a bit sheepish at revealing apparent Boy Child secrets)>:  Well, yes…he’s going with his girlfriend.

DP:  WHAT?**  Oh, she’s just not right for him.

GK:  What do you mean?

DP:  Well, I’ve only seen one picture of her.  She just doesn’t look to be his type.  I mean, look…she’s blonde!

GK:  I’ve only seen one picture of her and I think she’s an attractive lady and he looks very happy in the picture.

DP:  And her name…c’mon…Stacy?  Just not ‘him’***.

GK <laughing openly now t her irrationality>:  What should her name be?  Gertrude?  Stella?  Jessica?  Amy?

DP:  I don’t know…it’s just not right.

GK:  So, he should base his dating choices subject to your approval.

DP:  Well, yeah!

GK:  <laughing so I can’t talk>

Daughter Person saw the futility in further conversation on this with me and quickly changed the subject.

Trying to decide now whether or not to forewarn Boy Child.

…a storm is a’coming from South Africa…

<Chortle>

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*Which is technically true.  Now, he had told me the last time we talked on the phone that a vacation was in the works.  Apparently he didn’t even let her know he was thinking of going.  Oops.

**Now I’m starting to worry that DP’s hearing is going bad

***Okay, to be fair, Boy Child has favored darker haired women…and enjoyed hanging out with Asian young  ladies in High School.  This Scandinavian blond is a departure from his norm.

Ohio GnuKid

May 19, 2010

Daa-da-duh-daaa, daa-da-daaaa….*

In a break altogether from pictures from the trip, we take you now to an adventurous day during my ZA trip.

Daughter Person wanted to do everything while on holiday with me.  Of course, there wasn’t enough time in the day (nor Rand in my pocket) to be able to do so.  One thing she really wanted to do was go white water rafting** on the Sabie River.

I was not thrilled at the prospect.

Don’t get me wrong.  I think going white water rafting is a thrill***.  But, in my mind, you can do that anywhere.  Back in the good old U. S. of A.  there are places to go within a half day drive of where I live.  Why would I want to come all the way to South Africa to do something I could do in my (relatively speaking) back yard?

But, the excitement in Girl Child’s eyes countered any arguments already dying on my lips.  We were going to go.

Prepping for the trip, our guides gave a pretty concise overview of what to expect, how to handle the rapids, and what hand signals meant.

On that latter, had to laugh when he indicated one hand signal where he put both hands to his head, opened his eyes extra wide, and opened his mouth in an “O”.  This meant, and I quote, “What the fuck are you doing?”

Knowing my lack of skills in handling watercraft, I paid particular attention (and actually remembered this advice from my earlier experience white water rafting) to what you do if you get tipped out of your (in this case) two-person raft.

–  Put your feet downstream (so as to keep sensitive body parts from the likely rocks)

–  Go with the flow and find a spot you can safely exit the water

–  Most importantly, look professional and smile…there will be cameras and people watching.  You want to make a good impression on both.

Girl Child and I set off with the group going downstream, safely and joyfully passing the first extremely small and slow rapids.  We were enjoying ourselves, seeing the other rafters, watching the birds along the banks, and following the talented guides who made it look easy.

Coming through a particularly narrow section, one of the guides pointed to the river bank and urged those of us who could to come over and look as we paddled past.

A crocodile… okay, not a huge one.  Only about 4 feet long.  But there he was, only a few feet away from us.  Very cool.

A few more rapids down the way, I did the inevitable (though I tried not to) and fell out of the raft.  Following the advice of the guide (especially the “look professional and smile’ part), I let the swift current take me downstream.  Yes, I bashed my knees on a few rocks (Ow!) and couldn’t get out of the water right away, but was finally able to climb up a rock on the side.

Triumph!  I successfully made it.

…then…

Oh, SHIT!  I was just swimming in crocodile infested**** waters!

Glancing around furtively, I made sure there were none in the immediate vicinity of my rock.  But still, I was a bit shaken (not stirred).

Daughter Person did a dandy job of maneuvering the raft on her own to come and pick me up.

The rest of the trip went well, with much laughter and even a planned swim (the guides claimed it was safe).

Indiana Jones?  He can have those adventures with dangerous critters.

But I still had a great time.

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*Okay, so it’s difficult making recognizable music in a blog without attaching a video or some such.  That was supposed to be the theme from “Indiana Jones”, but…[sigh]

**Thus the lack of photographs.  No water resistant camera in this man’s rucksack.

***So, the last time I went was in university some mumblety-three years ago, but still…

****Yes, I do realize one 4-foot crocodile does not necessarily qualify as a dangerous infestation, but it’s my story and I’ll embellish it any way I want…nyaah!!


Observant Child

July 21, 2009

Girl Child is moving stuff from the soon-to-be-sold ex-homestead to my condo* in preparation for her leaving for the Peace Corps.  Moving stuff over the past few days, Daughter Person (DP) brought over a van full of stuff yesterday evening.  I’d just returned from a bike ride and was still in my bike shorts.  DP stepped out of the van, saw me, and did a double take…

DP:  Hey!  You’re bowlegged!

GnuKid:  Yeah…just a bit…

DP:  How long have you been bowlegged?

GK:  All my life…how long have you known me?

DP:  I just never noticed before now… does it hurt?

GK:  Why would it hurt?  I’m just a little bit bowlegged and never had an issue.

DP:  Wow…I just never observed that before!

No, not a picture of me...and i'm not quite this bowlegged...

No, not a picture of me...and i'm not quite this bowlegged...

Sheesh…she lives with me 22 years–including trips to the beach and summer shorts weather–and just now noticed?

Glad she didn’t try and go into detective work…

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*It may alter my decor of “Bachelor Eclectic”, but I can live with that.  And I’ll find room in the garage for her boxes of stuff.

Harvest Time

June 12, 2009

…as in the “Fruit of my Loins”…

Major transition this weekend.  Girl Child graduates from university!

Over 20 years in the making...

Over 20 years in the making...

Hooplah!  Huzzah!!

Proud Pop, obviously.   Increased a bit by finding out that Daughter Person was recognized by her Political Science department as one of two Top Senior PoliSci students.  She was happy with the $500 honorarium that went along with it.  Extra fun comes in that Boy Child was able to take vacation time and will be flying in just a few hours from this posting.  We’ll get to spend at least a bit of his visit just hanging out together.  Very cool.

Of course, as seemingly typical in my life, there’s no good thing that goes without a bit of boat rocking—and forgive me for sharing this minor downer, but had to share.  Girl Child’s maternal grandparents are coming in for the graduation ceremony.  That’s not a bad thing.  What got my hackles up was a conversation with Boy Child…seems ex-father-in-law sent both he and Girl Child an e-mail which said, “I don’t want to see your father while I’m there.”   While a very fair statement (I’m not exactly thrilled at the chance of seeing him either), the fact that he laid that on my kids—on my daughter’s special day—pissed me off big time.  Both kids, having been raised peacemakers by me, started stressing about how they would have to make that happen.  Boy Child called me and I assured him that I was entirely flexible and had zero demands other than actually seeing Girl Child graduate…I’d even sit alone.  A great relief, as the kids could gauge the situation and make a decision without worrying about what I would think/feel/be angry about.   But, he’s a twit (I like better what my best friend referred him as being – A Douchenozzle!! ).

So, the last of my (known) progeny is soon out of school and officially on her way in life.

I will revel with pride over her accomplishment.  Hell, I am already.

They grow up so (too?) quickly.

Next stop for her? Peace Corps…