Sunday, October 17, 2010

Is There Anything More Stinking Than Burned Microwave Popcorn?

I was experimenting with different methods of nuking popcorn tonight, in order to get more kernels popped. I should have taken the directions on the bag for granted. Surely they knew what they were talking about, but I wanted to push the envelope! Well......I pushed the envelope alright, and I crashed an burned! Twice! The first bag, while totally inedible, only needed to go into the waste basket.The second bag was smoking so bad, that it had to be taken outside, and used in a religious ceremony, as a burnt offering to the deity!

The above picture is proof that autumn has arrived her in the Piedmont. The burning bush is a Dogwood; Virginia's state tree. This picture doesn't actually do the colors justice, since it was shot through a tinted windshield, very late in the afternoon. There is actually a lot more color in the Piedmont right now, than what this picture is showing, but our subdivision has a lot of white oaks, and they tend to stay green until they just turn brown. Our prettiest trees in the fall, are the Gums, Maples, Dogwoods, and Red Oaks. We still have a couple of weeks before peak season, so I will try to get you some pics in brighter colors.

About fifty miles away, up on the Blue Ridge Parkway, it will soon look like this!

Is this not the most beautiful time of year? I've always loved autumn. I think it has a lot to do with my old school memories. Fall was a time when once again, I was surrounded by the females that I so much identified with. I loved the annual return to school, for that very reason. Of course because of my closeted status, I could never reveal this, so I tried to live a secret female life vicariously, through my relationships with them.

Ah.......but if only it could have been so simple! You see, I also had to share classes with boys, and in those days especially, boys and girls did not mix outside of dating situations, unless of course the boys were effeminate gays, and then only at their own risk. The male bullies specifically targeted them. Those of us who where TG, but still attracted to females, often ashamedly found cover in that homophobic sexism. Yes, it was at the expense of our own integrity, and self-esteem, and yes, we were thoroughly ashamed of it, but unfortunately it was the only way our immature minds knew how to deal with this social paradox we were forced to live with.

If we hung around with, and acted like one of the boys, we could avoid getting our ass beat, by one or more of the misogynistic, homophobic thugs, that every school always had, and unfortunately still does. But even that didn't guarantee our safety. I narrowly escaped several beatings myself in high school, but took quite a few in junior high.

Witness the recent rash of gay kids, that have taken their own lives, because of relentless harassment from homophobic bullies. Fifty years after I fought bullies on the sidewalks of Indianapolis on the way home from school each day, gay and transgender kids are having to put up with the same damn thing! Why......after all of these five decades, has nothing changed? Is there a God? I honesty don't know, but if there is, then God love them, and God love all of us as well, because we certainly need it!

Melissa XX


Stace said...

They are beautiful pictures! I only hope that the weather holds off here until the end of the week when I need the car to go to work and so can take my camera with me. The leaves in the that town are georgeous reds and amber - and I want some shots of them!

As for the bullying. I found a third option, though it was a lonely one. I just didn't mix with those doing the bullying and kept as far out of the way as I could. I had a small group of friends and we managed to stay pretty much off of the radar. I got bullied, but not as badly as those who joined the gangs as canon fodder (they got beat up far more often than I did, but took that as a price for hanging around the 'popular' kids - read trouble makers).

In the long term I think that was a good idea. I didn't get caught up in the police as most of my class mates did and left the area to be where I am now. Feels like a million miles away these days! If i had a criminal record I could not do the job I do as I am trusted with finacial data, and in Holland you can't do that with a record.


Halle said...

The bullying was physical and mental here too and I am guessing from what I see that it is changing slowly, but very definitely up where we 'stand on guard'. Bullies still exist, but so do young men with an androgynous look that makes me feel like saying 'good for you'!

On the colour note, we have had a pretty lack-luster year for fall colours here in central Ontario; mostly rusty brown and yellow with very little brilliant reds. It is definitely over at this point.

Thanks for the photos.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, I couldn't help but notice that the list of trees you mentioned is very close to what we have around here. We also have a lot of pine which at least helps it stay somewhat green all year. Our prettiest trees are the sweet gums in the fall...dogwoods and redbuds in the spring.

I was never bullied, so I can't relate that well. I certainly was not part of the "in crowd", but I was athletic enough to garner a certain degree of respect from everyone. The bullies knew I could probably put the hurt on them if I can honestly say that I've NEVER been in a fight...except with myself, You know what I mean. Bullies are just pathetic people that can't gain attention normally...they have to beat it out of you.

Dani said...

Hi, Melissa! We're at or near peak folliage here now, it looks much like your shot of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I've been taking some shots and I'll try to get them up in the next day or two.

I was often the target of bullying in elementary school, both physical and emotional. While I had to suffer with the emotional, the physical attempts ended before 7th grade because I'd always dished out a worse beating than I took.

I think that I like the old fashoned Jiffy Pop better, you remember, the kind that came in the aluminum pie pan that you popped on the stove?!? Do they even make that anymore?

Dani xxx

Lisa Maria said...

Lovely pictures. Autumn is my favourite season to.

Bulying is still an issue although it is acknowledged more and most schools here do have anti bullying campaigns and lessons for kids.

That said it still happens but hopefully it will one day not sour the early experiances of anyone.


Veronica said...

Burned popcorn is pretty bad, but I might challenge it with any pan left on the stove after the water has boiled away -- especially if there's an egg in it. It's a whole new kind of charcoal. :)

I'm a bit younger than you are, so maybe the situation had changed, even in the small mill town where I went to high school. Thanks to being fixed up with a new girl in town, I ended up with a mixed group -- girls and boys all being friends. During Grades 11 and 12, that's pretty much the only people I hung out with, and we're still friends to this day, although we see each other only at reunions.

The high school bullying was never that bad, and for me it stopped when I found the right people to hang out with.

Jenny said...

Middle England is starting to look multi-hued as well. Not quite as impressive as that though.

Attending a male-only school there was no opportunity to mix with girls. There was a definite homophobia, as though being gay was something people could be denounced for, McCarthy style. Statistically there had to have been gay kids among my classmates but none of them were desperate enough to come out. I often wonder whether there was any truth in the adage that the loudest homophobes are deepest in the closet.

Calie said...

Beautiful pictures, as always, Melissa.

Calie xxx