Thursday, March 29, 2012

Time Travel, II

The thing about time travel is tricky. What if you go back and change something and you don't like the results? How would you know if it's better or worse - because the "new" reality means a "new" you; you won't know that there ever was anything else once the change is made. Unless, of course, there's some way to look forward in time to the change (like they eluded to in Back To The Future, pt.1, where Marty was able to see whether a picture of his family was whole or empty), or some time delay where you're able to retain memory of the way things used to be... but would you want to possess this knowledge? Would you want the memory of what used to be, in order to make a comparison?

You might. Just like people who divorce and get remarried probably have private thoughts like "well, at least she's not doing that" (whatever it was that drove you nuts the last time). But maybe being able to compare lends to some dissatisfaction with anyone who would become a permanent fixture in your life.

I think sometimes that I wish I could go back in time and tell myself things. Maybe not the three things I said I'd say the last time I blogged about Time Travel (but I'd probably say all those things and find a way to say more), but probably to say that really, I'm not the marrying kind. I think marriage is great for people who want to raise a family, but outside of that, there is no point. Especially if you want to have sex more than once a month (if you're lucky).

Or maybe that's the issue here - that I never got any action before marriage - thinking that marriage was the only "proper" context for sex, and also thinking that once married, I'd have all the sex I could handle. Not so. Maybe this is not the case for others; maybe mine is the weird situation, and everyone else is having sex "regularly", where "regular" means "frequent" and where "frequent" means twice to three times a week. I'm lucky if I get it once a month.

So what would I say to me in the past? Stop being a douche and ask her out. You want to bone her and she probably wants to jump you, so go ahead. And you're not incomplete if you never marry.

UM

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Time Travel

This is something I've been thinking about quite a lot lately: if you could go back in time, retaining all the knowledge you know now, and tell yourself three things (and only three) that would hopefully alter your life, what would they be?

Why only three? I don't know... maybe there's some kind of time collapse field in effect when you get to the past (the past can't handle the paradox of holding a future you and a present you in the same time thread), that makes it impossible to hold onto more than three pieces of information in the detail required to alter events. Just pick three.

I think I know what my three would be, but I also know that information, once out on the web, doesn't go away. Despite the knowledge that literally no-one reads this stuff, I can't help but think that someday someone I know will read it, and the fallout could be life-altering... almost as life-altering as going back in time and telling myself three things... oh what the heck.

1) Sex isn't that big a deal. I used to make a big deal of it, and I was told that it was a big deal. Obviously, if you're a teenager, or if you know teenagers, you want to stop them from having sex with each other as much as possible, and in any way that you can, but here I am in my mid-to-late thirties, and I'm saying to all you responsible adults out there: have sex. Have lots of it. Enjoy it. If you make babies, take care of them. Enjoy them. But have sex.

2) You have Kleinfelter's Syndrome, which means a lot (read a book about it), but the upshot is, you can't get anyone pregnant. See #1. Go to it.

3) Date lots, often, and for a long time. You don't need to be married, unless you want to raise children. Since this is impossible for you, unless you want to adopt or get a donor, take all the time you need to date, date, date, making sure the way she expresses love is the same way you do, or at least close. This opposite thing sucks.

Not great at this blogging thing

Yes, I realize it's been a few years since I "rebooted" the blog. I see from previous blog entries that I hinted at a problem with fertility, but left the subject hanging there.

So here's an update:

1) We have a child now. Her name is Abigail (meaning: source of father's joy), and she is going to be 16 months old in a couple of weeks.

2) We figured out what the problem with conceiving is - and before you say "well, duh" and point to #1... I have something called "46/47 xxy Mosaic Klienfelter's Syndrome". That's the root cause of the issues with conceiving, but it's not clear what this is without some explanation:

a) First a lesson on making babies, beyond the fun part: as the boats drop hordes of soldiers onto the beach, many don't make it out of the water. Many more die just at the shoreline. Many more are gunned down a few steps onto the beach. Of the few that penetrate the many defenses, only one makes it into the bunker. When that happens...
i) Life begins, and the cell starts dividing.
ii) More cells divide from those cells. They tell two friends, and they tell two friends... and so on.
iii) These cells make up the building blocks for every function and form in your body.

b) In my body, the first cell split in two imperfectly. There were errors. One of the two cells decided there was an error, and fixed it. The other did not. This is where the "mosaic" part of the disease comes in - half my cells are normal, half are affected with Klienfelter's Syndrome.

c) Klienfelter's Syndrome is characterized by an extra "X" chromosome (or multiple "x's") attached to the normal XY chromosome (only guys can have Klienfelter's. Sorry ladies.). This makes for all kinds of silliness, including (in my body) the inability to produce Testosterone.

d) No Testosterone means many things, not the least of which means no sperm. No sperm = no conception, no conception = no babies.

e) But... hold on... #1 says we have a baby? She is the result of a donor + my wife. No sperm also means no IVF (invitro-fertilization, where my army dude gets put directly into her bunker). There's something called "ICSI", but it's $5000.00 more per shot, and we're not made of money. Besides, all the children from that procedure would either be carriers of Klienfelter's (all the girls), or have Klienfelter's to some degree (all the boys).

3) I'm coping with this knowledge that I can't make life. Part of me wishes for the technology that would make time-travel possible, if only to go back in time and tell myself this piece of information... I'll probably make that a spin-off post sometime in the near future.

4) I'm done school. I work as a youth leader in Cobourg, ON. Sometimes I question that decision. I didn't make it through the second round of ordination testing, and honestly sometimes I question that path as well. I'm doing a lot of path questioning these days.

That's all for now. Before I forget and three more years pass, I'll end this post and post the other one.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Forming Habits

They say the best way to make something become habitual is to keep doing it. Isn't that what habitual means? And who are They?

I thought it would be best to keep this blogging thing up, for posterity sake. Who knows what will happen ten or fifteen years from now - I may look back on this time of life and shake my head, or I might be wondering what was happening in my mid-thirties to make me what I will have become.

I think life happens in stages. These stages may or may not coincide with decade markers - I haven't figured that one out yet - but as far as I can figure, there have been at least four, possibly more, life shaping events that have occurred approximately 10 years apart from each other. Or maybe it's that as I look back, I can see myself progressing through life, reacting to things with varying levels of grace and very different attitudes, and that these shifts happen at approximately 10-year intervals, and the life events around this time have served to shape me into what I have been and am at the time I'm observing myself.

Confused? Maybe I am too. It's late. I'll try to explain.

When I was 5, I had a dream about the occupations I would have to decide between. One was construction work, and the other was more vague, but I came to believe (later, when I was reflecting on the dream as an adult) that the other vocation was youth ministry. I would forget the dream in time, although it was a recurring dream that happened so often, that when I was in my late teen years, and I had the dream again (after deciding my vocational path), I immediately recognized it and found its contents more than mere coincidence.
I think I might have had that dream at the time that I did, because it required the simple belief of a child to not dismiss it right away, as an adult would. I also found faith when I was 5.

When I was 15, my first taste of ministry came in the form of traveling down to Chicago to work with the pre-teens at a camp. I also was asked to be a camp counselor at a camp in Ontario (Pioneer Camp) immediately following this missions trip. My attitudes and actions were clearly not that of a 5 year old, but probably more reflected the crazy energetic actions of an early teen... which was probably perfect timing for whatever seed was being planted there, at that time.

When I was 26, I got my first job as a youth pastor in a church. I remember distinctly feeling that I wasn't a teen anymore, and wondering how I was going to both relate to the teens in the area I was called to, as well as direct student ministries in a church of people almost twice my age. It was a difficult time (I might write more on that later), but I learned a lot. Mostly I learned that youth ministry is hard, but that I'm called to do it, and anything else would be a Jonah experience (read up on Jonah in the bible if you're not familiar with this - it's only four chapters, and has a really cool ending). My reactions were not those of a 15-year-old, nor a 5-year-old, yet I can look back on that era, and I know I didn't have the maturity I have now (just as I will likely look back at this time when I'm 45, and realize how far I've progressed then).

Now I'm 34, turning 35 this year. I'm married; no children yet - that looks to be a great struggle we have only just started grappling with. I have a great working relationship with the church I'm with currently, but I feel called to leave it and go to the Anglican communion, which is in the middle of a potentially great upheaval. It looks like it's going to be an interesting and rocky time, but I think that I'm here in this time, having weathered the storms I have, in preparation for the storm(s) ahead. I find myself to be more patient than I have ever been, and more grace-giving. And, I'm surprised to find myself as sad as I am, when I have the thought that I might never be a father.

I'm definitely a different person now than I ever have been, and I think that change has only just recently come about - or, maybe it has been gradually taking shape, but I'm just noticing it now. I'm getting older. And hopefully, wiser.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Reboot

I've been re-inspired to kick this blogging thing back into gear. A friend of mine (Ryan Paulsen) is moving to Pembroke, ON, and has started a blog about his life there, and his family.

My last post was about my wife and I moving to Oshawa. We did so for a couple of reasons... first let me say that we weren't moving to Oshawa, but that we were, in fact, moving to a house. Which happened to be in Oshawa - we could only afford so much, and the things we could afford which were in Toronto were in scary parts of the city.
So, two reasons for moving - one, to start building equity (stop throwing your money down the rent hole!!!), and two, because we wanted to start a family.

That second one might not be so easy.

It might not even have anything to do with the fact that both my wife and I have crested the 30 year mark (me by a few years, my wife by a couple) - as we progress through the battery of tests (why do they call them a battery of tests anyway? Seems more like a gauntlet of tests), it's looking more and more like conceiving is either going to be really expensive, or not possible at all.
We don't think the problem is with my wife - it seems like all systems are go with her, but I guess testing (when it comes to that for her) will confirm or debunk that - but we do know that there are issues on my end. What these issues are, we're not sure yet, but I think that as things progress and we find out more, it's going to be one of the bigger subjects of the next few posts.

I guess I'll cut things off here; save the next few thoughts for another post.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Testing, testing

Okay, first post. Nothing fancy, just a simple intro.

My wife and I are moving to Oshawa in 2 days. We're very excited. I grew up in the country, and living these last few months in Toronto has not been good for building character. Sure, I've improved my shaking-fist, honking-horn, and traffic-weaving skills, which will no doubt come in handy when the apocalypse comes and I've got to fend off gasoline thieves in the salt flats, but otherwise I'm not happy my vocabulary has been expanded to now include things only a seasoned drunken sailor says on a bad day.

Yes, I'm unhappy that I'm moving further yet from all my friends, but I'll just have to double my efforts to get out to see them regularly.

That's all for now.

UM