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Thread: Thoughts, Rants, and Musings

  1. #741
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Love the prom picture , J
    You're a heartbreaker ;)

  2. #742
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by reinventmyself
    Love the prom picture , J
    You're a heartbreaker ;)
    Thanks, Reinvent :)

  3. #743
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    I walk regularly with one of my coworkers, Lisa, around lunch time. Last week, two other girls joined us on our walk, as part of their new year's resolution.

    Both girls, Alice and Paula, work for Frank. I always hear Frank talking down to Paula in particular. It brings back old memories and stresses me out. I don't know how she can deal with it. Yesterday, there was a big problem with one of Frank's projects. The client came in and spent the entire day in the office while Paula fixed the errors in the drawing set. Needless to say, Paula didn't have any time to walk yesterday.

    Today during our walk, Lisa tried to draw out the story from Paula. Paula and Alice seemed convinced that the structural engineers were the source of all their problems. But Lisa played a gentle sort of devil's advocate.

    I've complained to Lisa many times about Frank and I'm never sure if she believes me. She plays the devil's advocate with me as well. It can be frustrating and I can become exasperated.

    But in this case, it seemed like Lisa and I were on the same page. Neither of us were convinced that the structural guys were to blame for what happened. Lisa actually said, "But don't you think it's Frank's responsibility to make sure that everybody has the correct information?"

    This kind of got Paula to talk a little more about her frustrations with Frank. But she still didn't come right out and criticize him.

    As we approached the path back to the office, Lisa finally blurted out: "Jibralta hates Frank. She can't stand him. Sorry Jibralta."

    I turned to Paula and said, "He's mean to you. I hear how he talks to you." Paula agreed that he was a jerk, but Alice seemed less convinced.

    Paula started to unload all of her frustrations about Frank--they were just like mine! And Lisa egged her on, telling her how I kept a list of all the things he didn't address and how I complained about him to Ivan and Mark. It was great to hear Paula go. She had miles of complaints.

    As we turned onto the path back to the office, Lisa said something to get all of our attention. They saw him before I did: Frank, about a 1000 feet in front of us, crossing the parking lot. I stopped dead, wide-eyed. The other girls burst into laughter.

    I have no idea if he heard us or saw us. I'd feel a little bad if he thought we were laughing at him, but not all that bad.

    I've never seen him in that particular area before, and part of me wonders if he followed us, worried that I might pollute his new workers.

    I'm not particularly worried about it, though.

  4. #744
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    My boyfriend and I have an 'empty' Facebook account that we created last year so that we could subscribe to various content. We don't have any friends or family attached to it, just subscriptions. I have to say, it changes the whole Facebook experience. I had a Facebook account from 2009 - 2013, and I find it was much more interesting then, when my friends and family were on there too. But despite the fact that it's boring, I really prefer it this way--it's less of a time-waster.

    But I digress.

    Last week, it finally occurred to me that I can look up members of my biological family on Facebook. I mean, I used it to look up the siblings that I attempted to contact, but until last week, I never thought to look up the other people who showed up on Ancestry and 23andMe!

    Boy, does social media help to put together some of the relationship puzzles! These sites give you all of these names and potential relationships, but they don't show you an actual family structure. So, if you're an adoptee like me, it's just a mess of names with little meaning.

    Between January 2018 and January 2019, I attempted to contact seven close biological relatives. Four of them were immediate family members: One was my biological father, who didn't respond at all. Three were half-siblings, raised by said father. Of these half-siblings, one of them corresponded with me briefly, one of them blocked me, and one didn't respond at all.

    The other three people I contacted were 1st or 2nd cousins. Two of them responded. Interestingly, both of them were adopted. But unfortunately that meant that they couldn't provide any information about our biological family. The third one had an extensive family tree. I took screen shots of it before I contacted her, because I'd lost access to a family tree the year before, when my bio-sibling blocked me.

    To this third cousin, I wrote an email explaining that I was an adoptee and that she (the cousin) shared a surname with my biological mother. Since she had so much information on her profile, I asked if she could provide any information about said bio-mom. I never received an answer from her.

    The other day, I used my dummy Facebook account to find her Facebook profile. She's much younger than I'd initially thought and had I known that last year, I probably would have taken a different approach.

    Anyway, I clicked around through friends and family until I actually came to my bio-mom's profile. There's no doubt in my mind that it it hers; I have known her full name for most of my life.

    I didn't try to contact her. Her Facebook page is extremely closed-off. No photo. Only an "About" that states she is disabled an unemployed. Based on the lack of response from my bio-cousin, I feel pretty sure that my bio-mom knows that I am looking for her and is not particularly interested in meeting me.

    It's kind of disheartening to be hitting all of these closed doors, to be honest.

    One bright side of things is my fourth half-sibling, a sister, who contacted me late last winter. We've been in touch since then. I hope to meet her one day.

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  6. #745
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Ok, on that last post I got totally distracted from what I really came on here to say.

    I contacted ANOTHER first cousin a couple of days ago, one that I stalked on Facebook first. I haven't heard back from him yet, but I hope he does respond.

    He's a retired former clergyman. I wasn't going to reach out to him at all, but as I read through his posts, I found that I really liked his quirky, gentle sense of humor.

    But then, a couple minutes after dispatching my message, I read a post that made me regret sending it.

    This cousin (I'll call him Carl) had written about an exasperating situation that his daughter experienced with his young granddaughter.

    When they returned from their misadventure, Carl handed his daughter "a bit of prose." He posted it right below his summary of the glasses-situation.

    The first line read, "There is nothing sadder than the childless couple."

    My heart sank. I thought, "Oh f*ck. He's a bible thumper."

    My imagination flooded with permutations of unpleasant meetings and correspondence. How could I introduce them to Arnold? We're not just childless, we're unmarried! Sinners!!!

    But then I read on. And by the end of the "bit of prose," I found that I still liked Carl quite a lot.

    I hope I hear back from him.

    Here's what he posted. I'm not sure who the original author is:

    Musings of a Good Father on a Bad Day

    There is nothing sadder than the childless couple. It breaks your heart to see them stretched out, relaxing around swimming pools in Florida, and California, suntanned and miserable on the decks of boats, trotting off to enjoy Europe like fools - with money to spend, time to enjoy themselves and nothing to worry about.

    Childless couples become so selfish and wrapped up in their own concern that you feel sorry for them. they don't fight over the kids' discipline. They miss the fun of "doing without" for the child's sake. It's a pathetic sight.

    Everyone should have children. No one should be allowed to escape the wonderful experiences attached to each stage in the development of the young. The happy memories of those early years - saturated mattresses, waiting for sitters who don't show up, midnight asthma attacks, rushing to the emergency room of the hospital to get the kid's head stitched up.

    Then comes the payoff - when the child grows from a little acorn into a real nut. What can equal the warm smile of a small lad with the sun glittering on $1,500 worth of braces - ruined by peanut brittle - or the frolicking, carefree voices of 20 hysterical savages running amok at a birthday party?

    Children are worth every moment of anxiety, every sacrifice. You know it the first time you take your son hunting. He didn't mean to shoot you in the leg. Remember how he cried? How sorry he was? so disappointed you weren't a deer. Those are the memories a man treasures.

    Think back to that night of romantic adventure, when your budding, beautiful daughter eloped with the village idiot. What childless couple ever shares in such a wonderful growing experience? Could a woman without children equal the strength and heroism of your wife when she tried to fling herself out the bedroom window? Only a father could have the courage to stand by ready to jump after her.

    The childless couple lives in a vacuum. They try to fill their lonely lives with dinner dates, theater, golf, tennis, swimming, civic affairs and trips all over the world. The emptiness of life without children is indescribable.

    See what the years have done. He looks boyish, unlined and rested. She is slim, well-groomed and youthful. It isn't natural. If they had kids, they'd look like the rest of us - tired, gray, wrinkled and haggard. In other words, normal.

  7. #746
    Platinum Member milly007's Avatar
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    Great pic of you, Jibralta.

    It's funny, as I read through some of the journals & posts on ENA, I tend to envision which each person looks like - like a character in a novel. So it's always interesting when we get a glimpse of the faces behind the journals/threads.

  8. #747
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Thanks, Milly :)

    I like your new avatar, by the way. I actually have a picture of it on my wall at work. My mom sent it to me because I was Darth Vader for Halloween when I was six.

    That was right after Return of the Jedi came out, and I spent the whole summer emulating Darth Vader's breathing.

    Ah, memories.

  9. #748
    Platinum Member milly007's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jibralta
    Thanks, Milly :)

    I like your new avatar, by the way. I actually have a picture of it on my wall at work. My mom sent it to me because I was Darth Vader for Halloween when I was six.

    That was right after Return of the Jedi came out, and I spent the whole summer emulating Darth Vader's breathing.

    Ah, memories.
    Thanks, Jibralta!

    I can relate to your costume choice. Was never one to gravitate towards princess costumes or more girly things when I was younger. I despised dresses and would inherit a lot of my older brothers clothes/costumes - including a spider man costume at Halloween, which I was completely okay with. Lol

  10. #749
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    I've been researching my biological relatives on Ancestry for the last two weeks and it's been a fascinating puzzle. I find that laying out the relationships in family tree form is a helpful way of organizing information. I have now discovered and mapped out all of my immediate biological aunts and uncles (my bio-parents have about 8 sisters and brothers between them), as well as a bunch of first cousins. Most of my relatives are still in Texas, but some have migrated east to Tennessee in recent years.

    It is interesting to learn about my contemporary relatives, but most fascinating to me are my ancestors, how long they've been in the West, and how they got there. I already knew from my DNA test that I was part of a genetic subgroup that Ancestry defines as "Southern States Settlers," and that my ancestors arrived in this country at least 200 years ago. But now I have names and faces, and I have documents that trace the paths they all took to get to Texas.

    Some came down from Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas. Others came over from Georgia and Louisiana, and before that, Virginia and South Caroline. So far, it seems that my most recent European ancestor arrived in 1814. He came from Switzerland and went immediately west, residing in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. When Texas was annexed to the United States in the 1840s, they picked up and went. They were pioneers who traveled by wagon train into the frontier. Some of my ancestors were already living in the Republic of Texas even before it was annexed.

    At least four of my great+ grandfathers fought in the Civil War. One was Union, three were Confederate. I say great+ because some of them were great-great-grandfathers and some were great-great-great grandfathers. Both great-grandfathers on my father's side were civil engineers, which I find quite interesting given my own career path.

    Their stories are still unfolding and I find that I really enjoy learning and organizing all of the information. Doing this research has been a lot of fun and has given me some broader perspectives on my life and on history in general.

  11. #750
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    You are a lone star girl all the way back! You have the independence in your blood :)

    Interesting that some of your ancestors were civil engineers. They say we inherit genes up to seven generations back, so your love for architecture is no surprise.

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