Hey, you know who has a GREAT attitude?  NOT me.  No, I’m easily offended, temperamental, and a notorious grudge-holder.  As one of my friends once put it: “Joe is the type of guy who, years later, will remember that pencil you stole from him in high school – and finally exact his revenge.”  While not exactly true (I’ve always been more of a pen man), the statement is certainly accurate in spirit.  Hey, don’t misunderstand.  I’m incredibly loyal and generous to my friends, but simply (and completely) unforgiving when I feel I’ve been wronged.  Yes, I have a bad attitude.  Admittedly.  On the other hand, my buddy (and former Stargate Special Features Producer), Ivon Bartok, has a GREAT attitude.  Even when life deals him a disappointment, he’ll let it roll right off him and always look on the positive side of things.  He has an ability to step back and consider the big picture, apply logic to a potentially emotional issue and say “Hey, that’s too bad.  But let’s not dwell. Moving on!”.  More often than not, I’m the one who ends up more affronted – on his behalf.  In hindsight, I suppose this is why he was such a great traveling companion on our trip to Japan a few years back.  Despite Air Canada misplacing his luggage and delivering it days later, his losing his subway pass only two days into our trip, our receiving word that our show (Stargate: Universe) had been canceled (Day #10), his spirits never flagged.

July 27, 2014: Attitudes, Good And Otherwise!

I admire him for it and, while it would be nice to say “I wish I could be more like him.”, the truth is I’m perfectly happy being my acerbic, disgruntled self.  Next to writing and my uncanny ability to instantly offer the numerical counterpart to any randomly-generated letter of the alphabet, complaining and plotting revenge are two things I’m really good at and it seems a shame to just give up on them like I did the clarinet or Mad Men after that “I ate a bad sandwich” episode.

Still, if I can’t have a good attitude, I can have the next best thing: a friend with a good attitude!

21 thoughts on “July 27, 2014: Attitudes, good and otherwise!

  1. *nervouses*

    Well, heh.. um.. it’s good to play to your strengths, I guess!

    Got home from my trip to NH and am feeling pretty tired, but all in all it was a good break away and took my mind off of things. That said, this week I have my step-mom’s memorial/wake to plan for. I’m going to scan some photos of her to go along with ones I already have to do a slide show detailing her life as best I can. I hope I do her memory justice.

  2. You should do one of those hokey, Facebook thought experiments. The most recent one I saw was “I stopped complaining for 21 days and it changed my life”. The important thing is that it changes your life because “and nothing changed” has no viral potential. So “I stopped plotting revenge for 21 days and it changed my life: I have a lot of catching up to do so don’t call me or else” should work.

  3. ..and maybe “fix” the date on your Header..?

    But meanwhile, put your Avenging-Abilities on stand-by for me. I could be in near future need of them… Our Insurance Carrier is being snickety… I might have to Karmic-“Crowd” Them on Twitter later and could use your “Resources”. [Or, actually attend the next Shareholders’ meeting and go over Certain Peoples’ heads…]

  4. I think the world needs grumps like you, Joe. Who is going to yell, “Get off my lawn!” to the local kids when you are a senior, if not you? I look forward to it.

  5. The “mayday” part of my name is not an ode to spring, but rather, “Mayday! Mayday! We’re going down in flames!” Well, more like, someone is going down in flames and it ain’t me. From the Hayduke Revenge series of books. Too bad he used my rough notes, not my later beautifully written stories (He either died or was sent to prison, dunno, the letters just stopped one day). I used to be quite the evil mastermind, but gave it up in favor of the power of nice. But if you ever need to fuck with someone’s electronics, I’m your girl. Or sabotage a borrowed ballgown. Or slowly drive a roommate mad in tiny ways, bit by bit with myriad small shifts in the arrangement of personal items. Or suggest hilarious ideas to friends who go and try out the practical jokes, and when they get caught, realize that blaming Margaret does no good, as she was at home finishing up her homework. Ah. Good times.

  6. My minister once told me that I was vindictive, and that even if I have to wait a long time I will eventually exact my revenge. He said that right after I squirted him with a garden hose. 😀

    (In my defense, I am only playfully vindictive.)


  7. Bad attitude? I’ve never seen it. I have, however, heard a couple of rumors and consider myself forewarned. 😳

  8. While I’m here, everyone, I’m glad to report that my friend Beth Baisch, a former Gatecon attendee, flies to Australia tonight to begin a year’s working holiday. Please say a prayer or think good thoughts in support of a safe flight and a great new chapter in her life.

  9. I don’t seek revenge. I am much more straightforward with my responses. 🙂

    I simply say what I think and move on. Sometimes what I think is probably disproportional to what the person thinks their behavior was.. but once you push me to that point, I am f’ing done and I spell it out. No time in life to carry grudges, I believe in taking them out for a ride and move on with life.

    But yes, I have a lot of great friends who are thankfully less “debraly” than I am.

  10. Wow, what a great post! Is it Ivon’s birthday? He’s not dying, right? I wish I could be more like Ivon. It’s no wonder Lulu is so crazy about him. 😉

    Apologizes for anyone here I might have pissed off. Sometimes my brain doesn’t filter thoughts well. You and everyone else that posts here are very special too me. I’m just not good at expressing that affection. 🙁

    baterista9: I’ll put your friend, Beth Baisch, in my prayers for safe travels and happy trails!

    Das: How old were your when you sprayed the minister? I’ve never had a minister say I was vindictive but I did have a preacher visit and give me “a talking to”.
    We tried going to a new church and let’s just say I’m not “Church of Christ” material. 🙄 I say, if they are going to have a butt load of rules, the least they can do is write them down!!!!! Apparently, visitors are just suppose to knowwhat to say or do. Go figure….

  11. I don’t suffer fools, but I try to be civil when I can. Anger is toxic and contagious. When someone is specifically rude out of the blue I try to shake it off before I pass it along to someone else.

    I work at a hospital and often the rudeness is coming from people who have sick loved ones, who have gotten bad news, who are mentally ill, or just plain sick. I try not to let rudies get to me, but I do step in if I see other people being mistreated.

    I would like to move to Cedar Cove where the people are made of nice; the streets are so clean you can eat off them, the people are lovely and every house has gorgeous vistas. CC is replacing Eureka as my fave make believe town.

  12. Ponyta Tam Dixon – The hose thing? That was about two months ago. 🙂 At church. 😀 😀 And he wasn’t giving me a talking to…he was just making a lighthearted observation. See…I am rather…whatwouldyoucallit? Mischievous? I think that’s it. So…let’s say (hypothetically, of course) that two years ago said minister jokingly teased me about something…well, he knows that it will eventually catch up with him…as it did this summer. 😈


  13. Das: You are too funny! Your minister sounds like a nice guy. Actually, the preacher that came to talk to me was a nice guy too. He felt the whole situation was ridiculous but he was elected to come over (twice!). It was a lot of fun debating church policy with him AND Church of Christ have A LOT of policies.
    Did I mention they had TWO problems with me? 🙄 I can only imagine if I’d been divorced, gay or ….. Well anyway, what goes around comes around in this case. That church imploded later.

    shinyhula: I completely agree with you. Bad behavior can be the result of problems we don’t know about. Cedar Cove?

  14. @Tam Dixon – I’ve occasionally visited Church of Christ churches since I was tiny because some of my family go to them. I totally know how to be a visitor there. No communion no matter how saved you are. When they say “foreign churches” they are talking about you, not churches in other countries. No banjos. Don’t call it a denomination no matter how much it is clearly a distinct denomination. I even know when the women sing vs. the men for the really, really Appalachian churches, but I can’t quite hang with people who have been practicing non-instrumental harmony since they were toddlers so I just lip synch.

  15. I’m sure it will be lovely memorial to our stepmom gforce. 🙂

    I;ll cetainly try not to annoy you should I ever meet you Joe. :p

  16. @Tam Dixon — Cedar Cove is on Hallmark (and Netflix), it’s had Elyse L. and Mike Dopud from SGU, Bruce Boxleitner from Babylon 5, the lovely Teryl Rothery from SG1, Carl Binder writes on it and Andy Mikita, Martin Wood and Peter Deluise have directed.

  17. I’m sort of a mix between you and Ivon. If you knew the stuff that has gone on in my life, you would be shocked at the things I have forgiven of things people did to me (or Patrick), including Patrick’s school district and you KNOW that was very difficult to put to rest and move forward. I have a very short limit for drama including within my own family. I love so-and-so, but don’t talk to me about your husband if you refuse to leave him for abusing you. Things like that. I put boundaries on those people. If the topic I have a boundary for is brought up, I remind them that we can talk about anything but so-and-so. But there are 1-2 people I keep waiting for karma or the law to catch up with.

  18. I just found this Joe…. so beautifully written. I admire that about Ivon as well. I try to be like him but I’m not really successful. Thanks for putting into words what I can’t.

    You are so talented Joe.

    xoxo Maryanne

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