I kind of love Criminal Minds. Derek Morgan is adorbs, Dr. Reed annoyingly/lovably nerdy, and Penelope Garcia is funny, brilliant, and nobody comments on the fact that she's not a size two. Love. Her.
However: could we please STOP blaming mothers for the actions of serial killers? Because, really, LOTS of kids are abused - by fathers AND mothers, alas - and the vast, overwhelming majority of them do NOT become serial killers. So, really, lay off the Mean Mommy Made Him a Bad Man story line, please.
Actually, I think I had it on Saturday morning, and it passed by Saturday afternoon, as soon as I realized why I was asking existential questions about my reason for existing at all, much less being stuck in dumbfuckistan.
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. —Ben Franklin
I can't say I'll quit flying, because I'm going to have to at some point, and I still haven't been to Asia, but until this fascist invasion of bodily integrity calms the fuck down, I will not be engaging in elective air transportation.
Oh, holidays, how do I hate thee? Mama-drama, family-drama, turkey carcasses, agonizing over gifts (and how to pay for them), giant fund-raiser at work that pushes all of my buttons and, furthermore, requires formal attire, meaning stockings, and girl shoes, and ass-kissing of rich people, and entitled rich people getting all up in my grill. Oh, and the annual "all I want for christmas is for my family to go to church with me," and really, why would you even want me to go if it means NOTHING to me? Whyyyyy?
Wah. I am whiny today. Luckily I still have some delicious vegan chocolate truffles from Whole Foods, and a nice new bottle of bourbon.
Memo to Rich White Ladies Blocking Traffic at 8:30 A.M.:
Yeah, you! The three rich white ladies pushing strollers, side by side, filling an entire lane of 5th Avenue? Yeah. Cut that out. Pronto. Just because you are rich white Republican mommies doesn't mean you own the roads. I realize this is brand new information, so I'm gonna give you a second to absorb it.
There. Got it? The roads, they were not built for your strolling convenience.
You happen to live in the only neighborhood in town with sidewalks. USE THEM. The roads, as it happens, are there for people with cars to get to work. You've heard of that, right? Jobs, which people go to in order to get paid? I have one of those, and I have to drive my crappy car down the road to get to it, so GET. OUT. OF. THE. STREET.
I bought a purple bike at a yard sale last month, and this weekend, for my birthday, my dad helped me fix it for riding. I haven't owned a bike in 20 years. Yikes. He had an extra helmet, gloves, and lock, so at this point my total investment is $25, so if I don't ride much I haven't blown a wad of cash, but I'm looking forward to getting to ride it after work today.
Dumbfuckistan just got dumb-fuckier. Gene Taylor, one of the most conservative Democrats in the House of Representatives, just got ousted by a giant corporate-money-loving douchebag by the name of Steve Palazzo.
Seriously, y'all, it sucks here SO MUCH.
And if "dumb-fuckier" isn't a word yet, I declare that it shall be so, henceforth.
Oh, wait, no it's not! I live in Buttcrack, deep in the heart of Dumbfuckistan, so the city fathers have decreed that Halloween will take place on SATURDAY, so as to not interfere with CHURCH.
You know what, Halloween-hating Christians? Fuck you. Don't go trick-or-treating, fine, but don't fuck it up for everybody else. They also moved it when it was on Wednesday a few years back because, uh-oh, the BAPTISTS THEY GO TO CHURCH ON WEDNESDAY.
Again, don't fucking celebrate Halloween or Samhain or anything else you don't want to celebrate, I could not give a shit, but don't bloody well fuck it up for the rest of us.
So, my best guy friend has this girlfriend who's kind of an infant. And she's nice, and he likes her, but sometimes he complains about their relationship. And this puts me in an awkward position. I want to be supportive and agree with him, but I can't cross the line and be like, "You are so right. That manufactured drama was a bunch of toddler bullshit. Tell her to put on her big girl panties and quit whining."
Because, well, yeah: he can talk shit about her being a giant baby, but if *I* say it, he'll have to defend her and be like, "don't talk shit about my girlfriend." And if he takes my advice and tells her to grow a pair, it probably won't go well, and then he'll be mad at me for giving him bad advice.
So I'm in this awkward position of trying to figure out what tone to take when he complains. I know my advice is probably terrible, because my love life has been a 25-year-long train wreck, but I'm much better at giving advice than doling out sympathy. I'm trying to get better at the sympathy bit, but I have a short attention span when it comes to whinging adults. I can say "there,there" to a child all day long, but an adult? Either quit whining or get a room and have a good cry, but leave me out of it.
This probably makes me kind of an asshole. Or, I dunno: a dude? Yeah, it makes me a *dude*, doesn't it? I'm just not wired for sympathetic maternal behavior towards grown people, and I have no idea how he can spend fifteen minutes having the same conversation over and over:
"My cat's been missing for ten minutes. What if he's dead?" "He's just hiding somewhere in the house. He's fine." "But what if he's dead?" "He's not. He's hiding. He'll be fine." "BUT WHAT IF HE'S DEAD?"
Lather, rinse, repeat for two separate fifteen minute phone calls.
My head would totally explode if I was on the receiving end of that phone call.
I don't have a point, really, I'm just trying to figure out what tone to take because it's happening more and more.
I think I've written about this before, but five years ago today, I spent 8 hours huddled in my hallway on a futon, listening to pine trees crashing all around me. I thought it was transformers blowing, so I didn't realize I was in danger. The cats were completely unfazed: they lounged on the bed and looked at me, there on the floor in the middle of the house, like I had lost my mind. I woke to the storm around 8 am, the power went out around 9, and it raged until 4:30 or 5:00. I walked out, wondering if it was the eye passing and we had another 8 hours, or if it was over. The storm was over, but it was only the beginning. I didn't see the devastation in New Orleans on TV until four days later. Power was out for almost three weeks, water was out for 4 or 5 days, and it was at least three days before the roads were cleared so I could drive off my block. Luckily the Poet, who I was dating at the time, was in the National Guard and came to stay with me two days after the storm. He'd go down to Camp Shelby to work overnight, then come back in the morning with a vegetarian MRE for me. I don't know what I would've eaten otherwise, except for crackers and peanut butter, because the free meals at churches and community centers were all full of meat.
I grew up in New Orleans, and among other storm preparations, we always filled the tubs with water, and put an axe in the attic, just at the top of the ladder. I don't have an axe, and I'm not below sea level here, but I did fill the tub with water. For the first time in my entire life, that turned out to be a good idea: I didn't have to drink it (luckily) but being able to flush one's toilet can not be too overrated. It was also the first storm in my life where an axe in someone's attic in the suburbs of NOLA saved their lives.
A few months after the storm, when the NY Times was doing features on people who died in the storm, my dad's long-time (former) secretary Gloria was featured. She drowned in her attic in Central City. She was one of way too many. I don't even think my dad could go to her funeral; he couldn't return home for several months and there was no way for him to get in touch with her people.
It's a hot and muggy Monday morning here in the Buttcrack of Mississippi, and I just want to run away. I want to run away to about 1987, where I can drop some acid and go see the Butthole Surfers play, and then have the free time to spend a couple of days looking at the world sideways, and then maybe do my English major homework, which consists of lying on the couch reading some novels. It's not so much that I want to be 19 again, because, fuckity fuck, 19 was a brutal age to be, and I wouldn't be back in my 1987 relationship for all the money in the world, but I don't have any escape outlets now like I did then. I think the time for psychedelics is probably over, and the trippy intense live music available to me occurs 30 miles away and after midnight, and I have a stupid JOB, where I have to be on time and dressed like a grown up and can't dye my hair random colors. I have to be NICE to people I'd much rather kick in the eye. I have to listen to people's stupid fucking DIET TALK all the goddamn time. Some days I am just sick and tired of being a grownup. Today is one of them.
It's come to my attention that my peers, mostly in our forties, are all going one of two ways:
1. getting fit 2. getting decrepit or actually fucking *dying*, like dropping dead of a stroke at age 48, mang.
This aging business, it is for the birds, yo. Mortality? Likewise. My parents, having completely retired finally, are starting to act like old people. I do not dig this development.
My own self, my blood pressure has jumped forty points since the last time I had it checked. I have been 120/80 since like FOREVER. Went to the doc Friday, it was fucking 160/90. Not good. No, not good at all. I attribute this primarily to my depression-induced excessive smoking, which I am treating with an anti-depressant and nicotine gum. It's too hot to exercise safely outdoors - we're talking heat indices over 100 from 9 am to 9 pm. This does explain my rampant headaches over the last few months, at least.
So, yeah, it's decision time: get fit, or get decrepit. Shit. I hate exercise. It's boring as fuck, walking around in a goddamn circle for hours on end, going to the same gym over and over with the same people and the same smell and the same machines. I don't like games where people propel balls at me. I can't get a good yoga class anywhere in the county. Wii Active fucking busted my ass the last time I tried it, and my thigh muscles turned into boards so I walked around like the Tin Man for a week. Seriously, I loathe all forms of exercise. I would totally try martial arts if I could find a woman-friendly beginner class within, oh, 20 miles. But there ain't one. I would go to yoga if it didn't involve driving 45 minutes each way.
It is expensive and time-consuming to have a body. Could somebody just download me into a low-maintenance machine? Kthx!
I was in Jackson yesterday at a beer-tasting event for most of the afternoon. There were maybe, I don't know 800-1000 people there over the course of the afternoon. And during those 3 hours, I saw four young people with their arms missing below the elbow. Four. In their twenties. Three men, one woman. What are the odds of that? Well, I guess they're higher what with these never-ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Those were just the kids with visible damage. Heart-breaking and then infuriating.
So, I don't usually pay attention to celebrity gossip media, with the exception of fashion-oriented blogs like Manolo, Go Fug Yourself, and Tom and Lorenzo. It's about the clothes and the snark, though, not about the celebrities themselves. I try to avoid the gossip stuff because it's frankly a cesspool of blah-blah about people who aren't really that interesting as human beings.
That said, the recent revelations that Mel Gibson isn't just in the habit of verbally abusing police officers, but is also an abusive husband, have come to my attention. It's kind of hard to miss, you know? That guy is seriously one temper tantrum away from homicide. I kind of thought, once the tapes were out, that we could all be in agreement that this is a reprehensible human being in need of incarceration and re-programming. But LO! NO! What should I discover but I was actually completely wrong about this.
I turned on my TV yesterday to see what was on, and I accidentally watched a few minutes of Entertainment Tonight (Tonite? Wev.) And there, sitting in the dark, wearing sunglasses, with his voice changed, was some douchebag opining that Mel Gibson's wife was a "gold digger", that she was obsessed with flirting with celebrities, that all she ever wanted was a celebrity husband and a bunch of money. I mean, who is this guy? Some random douchebag who, for all we know, could be Mel Gibson, or one of his PR flunkies, or some out-of-work actor Mel Gibson's PR flunkies paid to trash Oksana Grigorieva. So after this CHARMING little "interview", the announcer says, "Tomorrow, Oksana's plastic surgery REVEALED!" And there's a clip of some guy pointing at her face, smirking, and saying "Oh, that's a telltale sign of plastic surgery!" Like every single on-camera member of the ET staff hasn't had plastic surgery. Puh-lease.
Now, here's the thing. This isn't fucking news. Trashing a victim of domestic violence with RIDICULOUS accusations of being a "gold digger" and (gasp!) getting cosmetic surgery, as literally tens of thousands of women and men do every single year, is fucking beyond the pale. I know ET is in the making-money-by-selling-ads business, and people will stop and watch if the announcer says "Mel Gibson", but why the fuckity fuck would they make this particular choice - the trashing/blaming the victim choice - if they weren't being pressured by someone with a financial interest in Mel Gibson's longevity as an actor? Or are they just making this choice because it is in the best interest of perpetuating the patriarchal myth that only bad women get beat up? Whatever reason, it's unacceptable. It's sickening.
Obviously they aren't saying *OUT LOUD* that she deserved to be abused, but it's an easy leap from a to be: "she's imperfect, therefore the bitch deserved it." Using anonymized sources is just the lowest of the low. It makes me sick to see a victim of abuse - and well-documented abuse - being trashed for no other reason than that she's... um... what? Female? Married to someone rich? What the fuck?
Screw you, celebrity entertainment complex! I hope you all die in a fire.
Seriously, it's too hot to string together enough words to form a coherent sentence, much less have original thoughts.
I commend all two of my readers to visit the blogs on my sidebar, which apparently are written in, like, the Arctic Circle or summat, or else written by people who do not wilt in 97-degree heat and 90% humidity, as I am prone to do.
Ain't much happening here. I've spent the last week resisting the urge to burn down the house of a lying, cheating fuckwit who can't keep his dick in his pants. Lucky for him he lives three hours away, or I might've at least showed up on his porch to see how long it would take to make him cry. Alas, he and I are scheduled to be in the same building this Saturday. I hope he doesn't show, because I'm actually in no mood for drama. I'm kind of hoping he'll drop dead between now and then.
[As I may have mentioned once or maybe a thousand times, I live in Buttcrack, MS, deep in the heart of Dumbfuckistan.]
Dear Grocery Store Cashier:
I belong to a sub-culture known in these parts as "Treehuggers". One of the quaint customs of my people is the use of re-usable tote bags at the grocery store. You may have heard of it before. I hear it's very big in Japan, this custom. Also in most places where people don't want to use a plastic bag for ten minutes that will then go into a landfill for decades. I know, it's a crazy idea. Humor me, though, okay? Approximately 9 out of the 10 times I get into line with my tote bag, you are dumbfounded. Even at the grocery store where I shop like three times a week. Seriously, whatever you are doing that wrecks your memory, cut it out, okay?
Let me help you out here with some advice.
1. Do not try to charge me for my own bag and be mystified that it lacks a tag. It's RE-USABLE, see? So I bring in my own.
2. This happens probably 5 out of 10 times: you ask, "Do you want me to put EVERYTHING in this bag??" Hm, I don't know. Depends on how much stuff I have. It's not a TARDIS, see, so if I happen to have picked out more stuff than will fit in the bag, then, you know, put the rest in disposable plastic. I will re-use it for cat litter. Easy peasy, see?
3. I realize that the custom in most stores is to put one item, maybe two in each bag. But I'm guessing that somewhere along the line, you learned NOT to put squashable things in the bottom of a bag. For example: eggs, bread, chips, $5 bags of organic baby spring greens, bananas; these do not go in the bottom. Do not give me the stinkeye when I stop you from dropping canned goods and orange juice on top of squashable things.
4. If I have, say, a box of cat litter and two smaller items, do not put the 15-pound box of cat litter in the tote bag. This is just fucking stupid. Would you put it in a plastic bag? No. Do you think the bag is made of woven titanium and not some kind of flimsy fiber? God, I hope not. Seriously, put the small shit in the bag, and I will carry the cat litter with the HANDLE ON TOP OF IT.
5. Do not bag my items in plastic before putting them into the tote bag. This just defeats the purpose. You DO understand the purpose, right? To not waste plastic bags??
6. When I tell you not to pre-bag my items in plastic, don't roll your eyes, take the item you already bagged out of the plastic bag, wad it up, and throw it away. I can't tell you how depressing it is when you do that.
So, this charming piece of crap appeared in my mailbox last week.
Jillian wants ME! to lose weight. Does she know me? Does she know every single person this was mailed to? No, no she doesn't. It's a piece of direct mail that landed in the mailbox of thousands, maybe even millions of people last week.
You know what I want? I want Jillian to mind her own fucking business.
Here's the thing. I could be a thin person with no need to lose weight. I could be an average sized healthy person with no need to lose weight. In other words, I could be one of the more than 50% of Americans who are average or below average in weight.
I could be recovering from an eating disorder, and therefore triggered by this random assault on my recovery. I could be a fat person who is struggling to live fat acceptance. I could be a fat person who is SICK AND FUCKING TIRED OF STRANGERS GETTING IN MY FUCKING BUSINESS. I could be a woman who is tormented by those "last five pounds" I think I need to lose, even though I am a perfectly healthy person with a perfectly healthy weight. I could be a person whose prescription meds, disability, or illness has caused me to gain weight, and I KNOW I've gained weight, and I'm uncomfortable with it, but I can't do anything about it without compromising my health. I could be a fat lazy gluttonous Fatty McFatterson who hears from everyone, all day, every day, that I am a Bad Person because I'm fat. Jillian has no business telling anybody they should lose weight. Screw you, lady, and get out of my mailbox. Stat.
I once spent a whole ass-load of time filling out forms and mailing letters in order to prevent direct mail garbage landing in my mailbox, and somehow all those do-not-mail directives have expired, so here they are again.
You know who wants to hear this shit from Jillian? Exactly nobody.
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs, And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots, But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! -- An ecstasy of fumbling Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time, But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime. -- Dim through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin, If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs Bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, -- My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.
I have mentioned before that I'm only reading women authors this year. Actually, my Year of Women Authors was supposed to start in January 09 (it was a rare New Years' Resolution), but at the time I was in the middle of a half-dozen books by dude authors. So I finished those up and commenced in June of last year. Just yesterday I was looking around the house for something to read, and found I was fresh out of new stuff by women, so I picked up one of my abandoned books by male authors. "The Art Thief" by Mansplainy Mansplainerson is what I picked up, and it's like reading an Art History 101 lecture, only without pictures. Criminy. Have I mentioned that I've been teaching Art History 101 since the mid-90s? Yeah, I don't need a lecture on van Eyck's Arnolfini portrait, which by the way is no longer called the Marriage Contract. Just, FYI. 30 pages in and I'm already skipping entire pages. Coincidentally, The Rejectionist, over at Tiger Beatdown, just posted about ManFiction and how tedious it is. For example:
"What’s a manfiction book, exactly? It is indeed, almost but not entirely exclusively, a book by a man; but it is a particular kind of book by a particular kind of man, a Real Man, a virile, manly man, who gallops around on horses in between penning great works."
all 12 literary stars appear to be white, though one has a Hispanic name** 4 of them are female 10 recommended books by men 1 of the books by women was about getting your baby to sleep through the night so! only ONE of the books recommended was a narrative work by a woman about something besides traditional lady-business*
In conclusion, well, you know: it's all about the white people. I note with interest that Mother Jones is supposed to be a progressive publication.
*I kind of want to give the one narrative book by a woman bonus points for being about teen Latinas, but then again it's a book by a nice white lady sociologist about teen Latinas, so, you know, that could go either way, right?
**Vendela Vida, whose wikipedia entry mentions her husband, a pretentious author whose name rhymes with Wave Weggers (whose first big deal famous bestseller book was so loathesomely self-absorbed I couldn't finish it) almost immediately, and then constantly, throughout her bio.
Paul never answers a question he is asked. NEVER. He just blathers on, man-splaining, diverting, evading, and telling unrelated stories.
Paul believes freedom of speech encompasses the freedom to discriminate. This is patently false.
Paul also believes that the right of businesses to profit is more important than human rights. Fuck you, Rand Paul.
He also throws in bullshit "examples" about how the ADA is intrusive and unreasonable, like "hundred thousand dollar elevators". Adding an elevator to a two-story building is not going to cost $100,000.
In the gross-out category, he is surely named after Ayn Rand, which just makes me want to hurl.
Went to Jazz Fest this past Saturday, where I got a wicked sunburn on the spots I missed with sunblock. Back of the arms, edge of the tank-top, ouchy. Made for uncomfortable sleeping last night.
Started the day with a little bossa nova tune from Russell Batiste and friends, but didn't stay long as we needed some margaritas and my compadre needed some Crawfish Monica.
Charmaine Neville was next; she is always funky and fresh. She's got this violinist these days who throws a sometimes fiddly, sometimes classical, groove into her usual mix. I remember seeing her at Benny's Blues Bar back in the 90s, tiny little joint, the woman just owns any room she plays, whether it's a dirty little blues dive or an outdoor crowd of thousands.
Next up was Dirty Dozen Brass Band, who make me want to JUMP. High energy. Never thought I'd be into this, but there was a baritone sax solo near the end of the set that was a wackaloon psychedelic jazz freakout, and it kind of made me feel like I was high, the way poetry and music and art sometimes do.
Moved on to the Fais Do Do stage for a little Cajun music by the Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band. Didn't stay too long, as we were kind of on the outer rim and when Rebirth started, I could hear both bands. Hearing two kinds of music at once makes me crazy.
So, next up: Rebirth Brass Band. I freakin LOVE a brass band. So good. Always tight, fierce, and powerful. I could go see them every week.
Back to the Fais Do Do stage for Beausoleil and Michael Doucet. Despite the presence of a murderous ligustrum in my orbit, it was a great set. Love me some Cajun music, everybody was dancing the Cajun two-step, and the Fais Do Do stage is the epicenter of wacky hats on men and women alike.
After Beausoleil we walked over to the Gospel Tent for the Aaron Neville Quintet. Couldn't get in - it was packed - so we sat outside and listened. His voice is sweet like syrup, I just can't get enough of it. I'm surprised he was at the Gospel Tent, though, that's usually the venue for traditional stomping-and-shouting gospel with a choir backing. I ain't complaining, though
Stopped by Economy Hall for twenty minutes or so of traditional Dixieland from Pete Fountain. He's an institution, and my traveling podner had never heard him, so it was kind of a must-see.
Onward: Pearl Jam. (one of these things is not like the other, eh? it's jazz and "heritage" and heritage covers a lot of stuff, including grunge, yo)
The old guys still have it, y'all. They fucking rocked it. I thought I had seen them at Lollapalooza years ago, but was kind of fuzzy about it, because, you know, *Lollapalooza*....but a woman I was in line with for the potty confirmed my vague and aged memory. I remembered Vedder climbing up in the scaffolding and singing from way up high. Boy, was *I* in a different place the last time I saw them live. 1992, eighteen freakin years ago. I'm sure they were in a way different place then, too. We were all in our twenties, for one thing. Anyway, absolute pros, Vedder is in fantastic shape, the band was tight and looked like they were having a good time and I am SO glad I went.
Or wait, let's call for a permanent deletion of this phrase from the English language:
"the esoteric wisdom of the East"
Christ on a crutch, people, can we let go of the Orientalist tropes of previous centuries already? I ran across this phrase in a tome on Chinese snuff bottles published in 1993, a full 15 years after the publication of Edward Said's Orientalism. Any art historian worth her salt should've known better than to engage in such stereotypical and antiquated rhetoric by the 1990s. Alas, the snuff bottle obsessives who wrote this tome - and good lord, is it a high-falutin' tome - had been publishing since the 1960s and had probably been so obsessed with the ins and outs of snuff bottles, spoons, and stoppers that they hadn't bothered to keep up with, you know, *art history" per se.
I am also in a bit of a snit about Hester Bateman, but I'll save that for another day.
1. Antihistamine eye drops. Sheer freakin genius. Over-the-counter itchy eye relief for people allergic to, say, Mississippi. Take out your contacts, put in drops, wait ten minutes, toodle off to a world without itchy eyeballs.
2. Budget billing from your utility companies. Each month you pay the average of your last twelve months' bills. Also genius, because I don't get surprised with a giant bill when it's hella cold or hot. Makes budgeting way easier, because the bill never varies by more than 5 or 10 bucks. You have to have paid your last 12 bills on time for them to switch over, at least with Mississippi Power and my gas company, which has a long name I can never remember. I have it for electricity and gas.
3. [TMI alert!] Paragard IUD for the lady readership. I know the IUD isn't for everybody, but I love it. One moderately painful insertion, one doctor bill, and you're set up for a decade, with no on-going expensive prescriptions to refill. My insurance covered most of it. No hormones involved, which is awesome because hormonal birth control is bad for me. It makes me depressed, makes me gain weight, and also wrecks my libido. Highly effective, because, you know, I don't want to have sex, but that's not quite what I'm looking for in a contraceptive. Made for heavier periods for a while, and obviously still need condoms for STI prevention, but it's highly effective and once it's there, no worries. Love. It.
4. Planned Parenthood, y'all, seriously, look into it. They've got free condoms, low-cost scrips for contraceptives, the ones with a clinic can meet all of your reproductive health needs (and most have a sliding scale), STI testing for men and women, and their website is chock-full of useful info. I just recently recommended it to a friend feeling anxious about talking about sex with her 11-year-old daughter. She found it very helpful. They've got all kinds of literature about everything to do with sexual and reproductive health. PP was my primary health care provider during the no-insurance years, really. They're an absolute lifesaver for women who can't afford for-profit medical care.
5. Volunteer! DO! EET! Want to meet like-minded people? Volunteer for an organization that matters to you. Say, Planned Parenthood for example. Or your local museum. Museums would not survive without volunteers, seriously. Most orgs are happy to have a few hours a month of your time. It's a great way to tap into the community, it's a way to give back if you don't have extra money, and to be honest, I feel like the rewards are far greater than what you're giving to the org.
Here come de pollen. My white car is a dusty yellow.
I love the phrase "toxic airborne event" for some reason. It featured prominently in an early Don DeLillo novel - White Noise, I think - the one whose main character was an Elvis Studies professor. The government never would say what was in the air, just that it was a "toxic airborne event". This vaguely threatening language covers a whole realm of possibilities, from a really heinous fart to death from above.
I spoke too soon. The down comforter is back on the bed and it's chilly in the mornings. Daffodils are still in action, and I've got some swanky new herbs on the deck: sage, oregano, and parsley. The rosemary is looking a little sorry after a long winter, might go ahead and put her in the ground instead of a pot. I think she'll be happier there.
No, this is not a gardening blog, but it's spring and I want to get my hands dirty and grow stuff. I'll get over it as soon as I have to start having to take daily benadryl in order to breathe through my nose.
Headed to Mandeville, LA tomorrow for a craft beer festival with Dad and Baby Bro. Perhaps I should locate my camera between now and then?
Spent February fighting a cold, having a cold, and recovering from said cold. It's been just delightful. Decongestants are the cure that is often worse than the disease; neti pots disgusting but so effective, though only for a short while; Nyquil makes me dizzy.
I finally feel nearly human, thank goodness, because the shit will hit the fan at work if I don't get productive, and soon.
Stupid weather keeps fucking with my bulbs. Paperwhites never bloomed; daffodils started about ten days ago and then it froze again, so they're probably not going to finish blooming. I am a lazy gardener, and a cheap one, so I don't like planting annuals. I like bulbs because, you know, you plant them once and they just keep coming back. Unless the stupid weather confuses them into starting early and then, cruelly, freezes their wee green little buds. Mean weather.
So, I watched a little American Idol last night, which doesn't happen all that often. Normally I watch some of the early episodes, but then when they start making the kids do group medley numbers like some sort of high school misfits club - only not as awesome as Glee - that is when I quit.
ANYhoo, they showed a montage of people who showed up with Adam Lambert's hair, and one of them was Daniel Franco, the designer who was on TWO seasons of Project Runway. Daniel, in case you are not a PR nut like me, is a strange mixture of sweet, intense, a little crazy, talented, a little celebrity-hungry, and just, just THISCLOSE to occasionally being a little bit creepy. But I think that's because he's so intense. And he's always telling Heidi Klum that he loves her. I'm pretty sure he's in his 30s and thus too old for American Idol, but he got in the door somehow. I have a vague recollection of him singing show tunes in the sewing room with some of the other designers, but I could be confusing him with the other 400 show-tune singing designers that have been on PR.
I think he's kind of adorable and kind of completely from outer space. In fact, when I win the lottery, I think I might hire him to be my personal couturier. I think he actually *likes* women, as opposed to thinking women make conveniently mobile dress hangers for their ARTISTIC CREATIONS.
I would like to note, by the way, that Adam Lambert did not invent backwards hair. Emo boys have been wearing their hair like that for years. Shit, redneck nurses and Kate Gosselin have been sporting the rooster in the back/backwards in the front look for at least five years. Are the American Idol producers so out of touch with the rest of America that they think anyone with backwards hair is copying Adam Lambert? I think it's their job to be on top of what's popular, yeah?
I was in my 20s before I discovered that "When the Saints Go Marching In" was actually a gospel tune. I was sure it was written for the football team. I never heard it in any other context until I left New Orleans.
So, I ran across a copy of "The Band Played On", Randy Shilts' book about the early years of the AIDS epidemic, and figured I'd go ahead and read it. It is thorough, grim, infuriating, sad, compelling, and enlightening. And, twenty years on, with AIDS still ravaging Africans and the drug cocktail that keeps it in check only available to the affluent, I can only believe it's this way because the people at the top *do not care* and have *never cared* about a disease has mostly afflicted poor people, gay people, black people, addicts, and sex workers.
And, furthermore, Ronald fucking Reagan? Was NOT a great president. He presided over what I can only call negligent genocide. His people kept calling AIDS his "number-one health priority" while refusing to fund it, acknowledge it, or throw any resources at it at all. The Congress had to force a tad of AIDS funding into the budget every year, but never enough. Never enough. That motherfucker, if I believe in hell, would be rotting there for sure.
There's also nothing like a week of reading about AIDS to turn one into a giant hypochondriac. I think of those years in the 80s, before they told us straight people could get AIDS, when I did not practice safe sex. I was on the Pill, what else did I need, right? I can't exactly pinpoint the moment when straight people realized we were at risk. For me, living in Texas, it was sometime between 1987 and 2001; I got married in 1987, and by the time I got divorced four years later, the sexual landscape had changed and condoms were mandatory. Before 1987, I don't think I'd ever used one. Birth control was the issue, not STIs. So, point being, every sniffle or new freckle I've noticed this week? Freaked. Me. Out. Which is absurd, considering I have been tested several times and been practicing safer sex for several decades. I cannot imagine the level of absolute terror gay men were living with in the 80s.
[I called this post twenty years on because the book was published in 1988 or so, which was 20 or so years ago, but in reality, the AIDS epidemic is much older. It's probably closer to 35 years old. The first MMWR report on what would turn out to be AIDS was published in the summer of 1981, almost 30 years ago]