Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bridget Lynch Is My Role Model

Bridget is my second kiddo. She is 24 years old. And -- like her older sister before her -- she is my role model.

Bridget loves people. Really loves people. If you are Bridget's friend, or even her internet acquaintance, Bridget loves you. Unless you are a douche-bag. There's no in-between with Bridget. She either loves you. Or she doesn't. But she's not too hard on people, so don't fear. Although, you will win a bit more favor with Bridget by being a person of logical thinking skills. She favors St. Thomas, but if you are a Nietzsche fan, she'll be (sort of) okay with you. As long as you do Nietzsche right and don't use him as an excuse to be a douche-bag. If you learn the proper lessons from Nietzsche, then Bridget will be your friend. Which means she'll love you. 

Bridget will also love you if you are -- like me -- more a person of intuition than a person of logical thinking skills. As long as you use your intuition for good, and have at least a passing amount of respect for those who favor logic, Bridget will be your friend. Which means she'll love you. If you don't have at least a passing amount of respect for logical thinking, Bridget will still love you (as long as you aren't a douche-bag), but she may roll her eyes a lot and say "ugh" when not in your presence.

I learn a lot from Bridget's love of people. I, myself, like a great number of people, but it is harder for me to love them. At least in the way that Bridget does. Bridget loves people in a truly heartfelt way. Bridget loves people with the deepest of emotion. I love a few people like that, but not too many. I keep more of an emotional distance. I'm a bit more guarded with my heart. And I admire Bridget for opening herself up to love people -- even after having had more than one experience of being hurt and disappointed by her fellow human beings. And Bridget has had some pretty bad experiences with people. Those she thought were good have, at times, turned out to be douche-bags. She doesn't actually love those people, anymore (unless they were douche-bags in an unintentional, innocent type of way), but she lets herself go on loving new people. I would never do that. I don't do that. So, I really admire Bridget. And I wish I could be more like her.

Bridget is an exceedingly generous person, with both her time and her talents. She is also generous with her treasure -- even though she doesn't actually have any. If you're talking about percentages of net worth, Bridget probably gives more away than pretty much anybody else I know. For -- if you know Bridget -- you realize that she is, for health reasons, unable to work a normal job. She has a little home business (her Etsy store is The Bagel Box), making beautiful baby blankets and nursing covers and baby clothes. As you can imagine, this doesn't pull in a great deal of income. But Bridget still gives the people she loves gifts for all manner of special occasions. And she hates charging people for her baby items -- especially her friends, because she loves them, and wants to give them all things for free. She also donates regularly to her alma mater, because she tells me that they receive certain grants based on the percentage of alumni who donate. If I were Bridget, I would not even think that I should give money to my alma mater, being that I really didn't have an income. Bridget does it, though, cheerfully and without reservation. I am always telling her that she doesn't need to do this, but she ignores me. Bridget is also willing to help you out in any way that you need help, if you are her friend. Because she loves you. And I see that it truly makes Bridget happy to be generous. I ask her what her bank balance is, and she doesn't really know. I ask her if she actually has the time and energy to be helping out at church so much, and she always says she does. Even though I kind of know better. Last night, she hauled ass WAY down to La Mesa to help out with a choir that she isn't even going to perform with, because she knew the song they were rehearsing, and none of the other ladies did. They practiced the song for two hours and today Bridget has taken two doses of migraine medicine, thus far. I would be a little annoyed, if I were Bridget, but she is not in the least bit annoyed. Sometimes -- I admit -- I have to put a lid on all this generosity. I am glad, though, that she has such a giving heart. I'd rather have to put a stop to her once-in-a-while than have her be any different than how she is. She inspires me to be more generous myself, without worrying so much about my future assets.

I also see that because of her health problems and the -- not insignificant -- suffering they cause her, Bridget is developing a very deep spiritual life. Hers is not the kind of "spiritual life" that leads a person to become some sort of annoying "Christian motivational speaker." It is not the kind of "spiritual life" that leads one to judge other people who aren't being "Catholic enough." It is, rather, an authentic spiritual life, in which she is becoming closer to God and becoming great buddies with Him. They keep each other company. She doesn't talk about this, but I can see it. And I can tell she relies on this relationship with God, who is her friend (and because He is her friend, she loves Him, as she does all her friends) to sustain her in what she suffers because of her health. I also see that her spiritual life is authentic because of the way it leads her to be LESS judgmental and more open and loving to all kinds of people -- including her "hippie" mother, who loves nothing more than a good drum solo at Mass.

I know some of you are probably thinking that this is a rather boastful blog post. I don't mean it to be, and I'm sorry if it comes across that way. I just want Bridget to know that I do admire her. And I look up to her. Even when I tell her to stop writing those checks to TAC, for heaven's sake. ;-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gotham: Okay. Where is the damn ring??? ;p

If we knew the answer to this question, it would clear a whole lotta things up.

"What ring?" you may be asking.


Because I believe she had one. If she didn't, this whole post is pointless and you may as well click away now.

Barbara, if you are not aware, is (or was) engaged to Jim Gordon. After being kidnapped by one of the seemingly infinite array of gangsters running around Gotham City, she ended up "taking a break" from Jim. She left him a "Dear John" letter -- as well as her fancy apartment -- and headed back into the arms of her long-ago lover, Renee Montoya. I don't blame her really. Renee -- in many ways -- is much less annoying than Jim. I mean, I love Jim. Jim is great. But, he would be a rather difficult man with whom to be involved. He is intelligent, honest, handsome, looks nice in a suit, and -- apparently -- mixes a good cocktail. On the other hand, he is stubborn, rather emotionally unavailable, and so gung-ho and hard-charging that he probably would not be the most relaxing person with whom to pass a pleasant Sunday afternoon watching the Dallas Cowboys. After observing Jim for a while, it's kinda easy to understand why Barbara drinks a little.


Back to the "Dear John" letter.

We see Jim reading said letter and then leaving Barbara a heartfelt phone message -- begging her to come back to him. As he leaves this message, Barbara is in the arms of Renee. This little scene led many in the "Gotham" fandom to "hate on" Barbara. (Ben McKenzie really does know how to do those facial expressions that get you totally on his side. My Bridget thinks -- based on these facial expressions -- that his teachers probably let him get away with a whole lot of stuff when he was a little boy.) But if you close your eyes and ignore the facial expressions and stay calm for a moment, I would like to point out one thing. It did not take long for our hero to find himself a new girlfriend -- all before even tracking down Barbara and talking with her. I mean -- come on -- the man is a DETECTIVE. Don't tell me he couldn't have found Barbara. He knows Barbara used to be involved with Renee. If I were a detective, I think I'd know where to look first. Come to think of it, maybe this is why Gotham is in such a mess. Do ALL their law enforcement officials have such weak powers of deductive reasoning? That would explain much. No offense Jim, but I don't think you tried all that hard here.

(Now I am going to get "hated on.") ;-)

But -- STOP.


There is one little question that would solve this whole conundrum of who is in the right and who is in the wrong and who (if anybody) should be "hated on."



If Barbara kept the ring, then we should "hate on" BOTH her and Jim. Because that would mean they are still "technically" engaged. If the lady says, "We need to take a break," AND she keeps the ring, then she really hasn't broken off the engagement and she shouldn't be in anybody else's arms. Period. End of story. ESPECIALLY if her man is on a detective's salary. And if the man has not gotten back the ring, then it is his obligation to track down said ring AND the lady to whom he gave it, requesting (respectfully, of course) some answers as to their relationship status, before he takes up with a beautiful doctor. ESPECIALLY if that man is a detective, who would be logically assumed to possess "detecting" skills.

If -- on the other hand -- Barbara left the ring, along with the "Dear John" letter, for Jim to find, then both are off the hook. The engagement is over, called off, nullified. Period. End of story. And each party is free to be in somebody else's arms. Although -- perhaps -- they might find their new lovers in a way which employs a bit more good, old-fashioned, Italian common sense/suspicion. One thing we know, for sure, is that both Jim and Barbara are lacking competent Italian mothers. We've seen Barbara's mother, of course. And she's obviously NOT Italian. Not at all. If Barbara were my daughter, I would have met her at the door with coffee, cookies, and a good rehab doctor. We haven't seen Jim's mother, but she is -- evidently -- no better than Ben Sherman's. And we all know how that turned out. And if you don't know how that turned out, you'd better go watch "SouthLAnd." Right now.


"SouthLAnd" forever... ;-)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Andrea Lynch Is My Role Model

Andrea Lynch is my 26-year-old daughter. I raised her, yes. But -- she is much a much better woman than I. Especially for her age. I often think kids are born with their own characters and personalities, at least for the most part. It is basically our job as parents to keep our kids alive until adulthood, allowing healthy opportunities for those characters and personalities to unfold. Andrea actually reminds me A LOT of my nana (my father's mother). She looks like her, acts like her, walks like her, talks like her. And they never even met, as my nana passed away when I was 12.

Anyway, Andrea is a stellar person. And my role model. I don't try to be exactly like her, of course. That would be silly, and unnatural. She possesses certain wonderful characteristics, though, in much more abundance than I. And I try to learn from those.

One of the things about Andrea that most stands out to me is her nonjudgmental nature. Andrea is the MOST TRULY NONJUDGMENTAL person I have ever known. I really don't know how she does it.

Andrea is a very Catholic person. She knows her faith well and practices it seriously. This leads many people to believe she would judge them -- on at least some level -- for their moral failings (or maybe it is better to say their moral failings as defined by Catholicism). But, she doesn't. At all. Really and truly. Andrea is able to be both a serious Catholic and a completely nonjudgmental person. This is a wonderful gift, because she is able to move throughout society, living her life as she believes she should, and allowing others to live their lives as they believe they should. She is kind and positive and happy towards everybody. She is able to be a true friend to all kinds of people. Unless -- of course -- you are not a nice person. And believe you me, Andrea will KNOW if you are not a nice person.

Back in her college days, Andrea had a Latina friend who told me, "Andrea has the sixth sense." And I think this is true. Andrea just kind of knows about people -- whether they are good or bad. She does get a sense about them -- very quickly. She doesn't make a lot of noise about it, but she'll let me know if she thinks somebody is shady. And at least 9 times out of 10 -- probably more like 10 times out of 10 -- she has been right.

Andrea also has a very well-guarded tongue. She is quite observant, but she is not quick to speak. Andrea could work in the most sensitive of places -- the CIA, the NSA, Hollywood -- and be completely trustworthy with the most sensitive of information. Of course, you could get nothing by her, either. But, you would know that she wouldn't shoot off her mouth about your business.

One final thing I would like to mention about Andrea is her work ethic. The girl just loves to go to work. Absolutely loves it. I have never seen anybody love to go to work like Andrea. And she works hard. Really, really hard. Harder than I ever have.

Again, please don't think I am bragging here. Because Andrea really is my role model. These things I have mentioned are things that I don't think I taught her specifically. They are things that have just developed over time, and which I would do well to learn from and emulate.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Liza & Leslie -- Two Peas In A Pod?

If you are not watching "Gotham," you should be. I know some of you gave it up in frustration after a few episodes, but it has really gotten its groove on, lately. So, you should give it another try.

And if you are watching "Gotham," you will know about Liza and Leslie. Liza was a beautiful young woman (who also seemed to have spent some time fighting MMA) sent to spy on Falcone by Fish, as part of Fish's attempt to stage a coup on Falcone's empire. Liza was all dressed up and trained by Fish to appeal to both Falcone's remembrances of his dearly-departed mother and his sex drive. It really was kind of kinky. But Fish -- being all about kink -- knew how to do it exactly right. It would have worked, too, except for the Little Bird telling. And -- now -- poor Liza is at the bottom of the proverbial river.

Dr. Leslie Thompkins is another beautiful young woman (sans any apparent MMA skills), who has suddenly become the love interest of Jim Gordon. Or -- rather -- in my feminism, I prefer to think of Jim Gordon as becoming the love interest of Dr. Leslie Thompkins. She seems to be the ideal gal for our beleaguered hero, after he is dumped by Barbara and booted from his detective position in the GCPD and forced to work as a security guard in the Arkham Asylum For The Criminally Insane. Dr. Thompkins appears as an angel out of nowhere when poor Jim is at his lowest point. She both admires him (exactly what his battered male ego needs) and gives him much-needed assistance (while still respecting that male ego). She is beautiful, intelligent, idealistic, funny, and impeccably coiffed (this last being a quality which Jim seems to value, judging by Barbara). The lovely Leslie is able to joke with Jim -- even poking a little fun at him. But, she jokes in such a way as to amuse him without crossing the line into stomping on that aforementioned male ego. She -- in short -- is both the perfect ally and lover for Jim.

A little too perfect, maybe???

A little bit like Liza, maybe???

I know, I know. These are absolutely HORRID thoughts to be having about Leslie Thompkins. HORRID. I am ASHAMED. But, there you have it. I can't help but be a bit suspicious. It's in my middle-aged Italian mother nature to be suspicious of ALL love interests -- whenever and wherever they may appear, real or fictional -- until they prove themselves worthy of my trust.

One thing I know, though, is that if Leslie does turn out to be a bad guy, she won't end up at the bottom of the proverbial river, strangled to death by our hero's hands. I don't think so, anyway. But... This is Gotham, after all.

And Gotham -- when all is said and done -- will be Gotham.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Let's Not Slut-Shame Barbara. Okay???

Who is Barbara?

Barbara is Barbara Kean of "Gotham". She is engaged to Det. Jim Gordon and let's just say there's a lot of trouble in paradise. I'm not going to summarize the whole plot here, so if you don't watch "Gotham," you'll probably be confused. Sorry.

Anyway, Barbara and Jim are busy being all gorgeous together in Barbara's gorgeous penthouse when it turns out that there are many, many more problems in Gotham than Det. Gordon had realized when he came on the job. Most people would take all that gorgeousness and move someplace safer, but not Jim. Jim is stubborn and tenacious and righteous. And -- by golly -- he is going to fix Gotham.

Meanwhile, it turns out that Barbara has many, many more problems than Det. Gordon had realized when he proposed to her and moved all his suits, ties, and spare guns into her gorgeous penthouse. These problems involve past (and current) difficulties with alcohol, drugs, and a beautiful former (not-quite-gotten-over) lover who works with Jim Gordon. Jim, apparently -- for all of his detective skills -- knows nothing about the alcohol (well, he knows a bit about the alcohol), drugs, and former beautiful lover (even though he works with her). Jim is a very trusting person, for a detective. Bless his heart. I have known a few law enforcement types. And they are usually quite suspicious. Of everybody and everything. I'm glad, though, that Jim has not yet fallen into that cynicism. It is rather refreshing, except it does keep him from noticing a lot of things that would be worth noticing. Like the smell of pot that certainly must permeate that penthouse, from what I've seen.

Barbara, though, for all her problems, really does love Jim. She wants to stand by his side and be strong and helpful. She desires greatly to be helpful. And in her desire to help her man in his time of need, she ends up getting kidnapped by the bad guys. And in the aftermath of this undoubtedly traumatic event, she ends up leaving Jim and going back to her former, not-quite-so-gotten-over, beautiful lover. Poor Jim. You see him leaving a pleading, heartfelt message on her cell phone. He tells her he loves her and begs her to come back to him. (After all, who is going to pay the rent on that penthouse? He is on a detective's salary, after all. No, no. Sorry. That is SO cynical of me. And it isn't true, either. Jim really does love Barbara and wants her to come back.) And while Jim is leaving this heartfelt message, we see Barbara in the arms of her beautiful lover. It really was quite sexy. And I am straight as straight can be. So, that is sexy. Believe me.

After this episode of "Gotham" aired, I noticed something. I noticed a lot of people on Twitter slut-shaming Barbara. Some of them -- in their passionate vociferousness -- seemed to forget that she is a fictional character. There was a lot of real nastiness going on toward Barbara. Downright mean comments about what she was doing to poor Jim. (And yes. Ben McKenzie REALLY knows how to do those hang-dog eyes. He can work it with those "feel sorry for my character" facial expressions and voice. It is quite something. And this is not an insult, in case you're wondering. It is a compliment. The guy knows how to make you feel for his characters, without going all overboard and sappy. He plays it just right. Go, Ben.) I kind of had a hard time, though, dealing with the cut-to-the-bone insults being hurled at Barbara, all about how she's a slut. I mean, wait just a freakin' minute here. Let's think about this.

Now, I am not saying that Barbara did the right thing. But, looked at compassionately, I think she did an understandable thing. She definitely isn't a slut.

First, she and Jim had kinda been having a rocky time. She felt that he was shutting her out of his life. He was shutting her out -- to a large degree -- but, this was to protect her. He could have done a better job in getting this across to her, though. A great communicator, he is not. He is a very, very good guy. Absolutely good. But, he is a little stubborn and a little reticent in expressing himself and -- perhaps -- a bit prideful and self-righteous. And these traits do not combine to make a person a good communicator during stressful times in a relationship.

Secondly, Barbara is in no condition -- dealing with all the baggage of her past and present life -- to be able to form a healthy romantic relationship. She needs to put her own house in order. But, she also really wants to be strong and good. She wants to love and be loved. But, she doesn't know how to make peace with her past in order to give and receive love in a proper fashion. Like a lot of us. A lot of us are like Barbara, at least at points in our lives. We go through crap. We don't know how to put that crap to rest. And it affects how we form relationships. So, before we go hurling stones at Barbara, we should take a look at ourselves and our moments of vulnerability.

Thirdly, if you recall, when Barbara was being held by the bad guys, one of those bad guys made a remark to Jim about having to rough Barbara up a bit in order to make sure that she didn't have any valuable information. Hmmm... It was kind of a passing remark, but maybe more significant than we realize. What, exactly, did they do to Barbara? Did they -- possibly -- sexually assault her? If she was assaulted -- sexually, or otherwise -- that would explain a lot of her subsequent behavior, especially her return to her former lover. I mean, she was already having a struggle with substance abuse. She apparently has crappy parents. Jim was not being the easiest guy in the world to deal with. And then she gets assaulted, perhaps in a sexual way? You put all those things together and her decision to leave Jim and go back to Renee would not be surprising.

Anyway, this is just my two cents, for what their worth. And thank-you for taking the time to read this. Hope to be seeing you in Gotham!!! ;-)