Thursday, April 24, 2008

Embracing your Inner Floosie

I don't care about those stupid Disney Princesses or the Four Horsemen. Looking at all that Princess crap the girls own - as well as the Dora and Lightning McQueen underwear - does underscore America's destructive consumerism which is part of the Hell in a Hand Basket phenomenon, but the fact is that I'm really bummed out about Granny the Ho. Not even Tinkerbell or Cinderella's Fairy Godmother can fix that.

It may be that by thinking about who should be included in The Four Horsemen I have come up with a new essay, "In defense of Barbie," but that would be because of Embracing your Inner Floosie. If Granny was only one thing in her life, it was a Floosie for sure. Some dictionaries overstate the definition of Floosie - one online dictionary even uses the term "skank" which is, of course, absolutely untrue. Floosies are simply Loose with their Favors, that's all. And why be uptight about sex? As long as a person is safe, responsible and doesn't toy with other people's feelings, the number of partners a woman has during her life is her own prerogative.

Granny always had lots of admirers - and lots of husbands. It was a scandal back then, and as it happens, I caused a bit of a scandal myself during my divorce crazies. I'm glad I'm more like my grandmother than my mother who announced this weekend that she still considers Bill Clinton a pervert for getting a blow job. The look my father and I exchanged after her comment spoke volumes, but neither of us said a word. It's unwise to contradict my mother when she's on to the third glass of wine and making moral decrees.

All this thinking has led to another point on the Menopausal Stoner Manifesto: Embrace your Inner Floosie. Loosen up. Life is short; Gather ye rosebuds, etcetera.

PS: Love and Light from Menopausal Stoners everywhere to Kittywrinkle in Blogland. She's having a bad day.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Disney Princesses = Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

As a preschool teacher, I find myself confronted every day by The Disney Princesses. The most popular are Cinderella, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel and Jasmine. Somehow, Snow White never seems to be any one's favorite. They appear on their own and in various combinations. The other day, I was sitting around the table with some Almost Four-year-old girls who were claiming identities. One with thick, curling blonde locks declared she was Sleeping Beauty. Another girl, who is scary smart when it comes to innate mathematics, said she would be Barbie.

So that we have a total of four horsemen, we will use Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine and Ariel, plus Barbie.

I have some reservations about including Barbie because despite marketing ploys, when kids play with Barbie she has a tendency to exhibit all manner of "bad" behaviors: such as getting naked with Ken in the bathroom sink which becomes, for the purposes of the play scenario, a jacuzzi. Barbie has a deservedly bad rap among many for the trouble she (or rather Matel) has caused girls about their body image. And despite Mattel's efforts to make Barbie into an educated professional the fact remains that at the end of the day, someone can say they have Astrophysicist Barbie, but she's still a naked party girl in a pink convertible. We could use the term "slut" but that word perpetuates a societal stereotype wherein men are allowed to fuck around but women are not allowed to experiment and explore their sexuality. Barbie does provide girls with that opportunity in a safe way especially since Ken is completely emasculated.

At this juncture, it is important to remember that Menopausal Stoners might have been called Post-Feminist Pothead Floosies except that we're not in the post-patriarchy. I maintain that more women need to embrace their inner floosie and through Barbie - with or without the intention of manufacturers and marketers - young girls embrace that floosie instantly especially if their brothers have GI Joes (are they still around? My Barbie was infinitely more interested in GI Joe than Ken)

Another problem with Barbie is that, despite her education and opportunities, she remains a Bimbo obsessed with clothes and shoes. Until recently, however, Barbie had sense enough to dress her age. In the beginning, Barbie was comparable to Ginger on Gilligan's Island. You never saw Ginger dressed up like a trendy teenager - and at the time there were already Pop Stars with Bubble Gum songs in the top 40 on the radio. So back in the day, it would have been possible for Mattel to sell outfits that would make Barbie look like a ridiculous tramp. Now that I think about it, though, I don't think anyone except street walkers went out in public dressed like that when I was a kid. With the advent of Brittany Spears and Sex in the City, Slutwear prevails.

These days, Barbie's fashion choices have deteriorated to the same level as Brittany Spears'. Mattel probably owns the same factory exploiting workers somewhere in the world where they make Barbie's clothes and the clothing sold to girls through mass marketers like Walmart. Ginger's dignity has been preserved. Poor Barbie lives on as a character subject to the styles of the day and that includes Grown Women dressing like The Charmed Girls.

The problem with the Princesses is two fold. One: They are all waiting on a Prince before they can get on with their lives. In point of fact, the prince is the culmination of the princess' life which brings us to the second problem. Princesses are NEVER Queens. I keep telling the girls at school that if they really want to have some fun, they need to be the queen because somebody is always bossing princesses around. Queens may have responsibilities, but ultimately they have the power of self-determination. Ask Prince Charles.

While Princesses may be terminally young, beautiful and filled with hope, they are no role models for anyone. But they are everywhere from Pull-ups to bicycle helmets with no prospects in life except for a Prince. It is also important to note that the Princes are virtually ciphers in the stories. They show up at the end, kiss the girl and live happily ever after. What real man can live up to that? The Disney Princesses cause problems for both sexes. Disney may have enough marketing savvy to introduce Princesses of various ethnic backgrounds, but when will we see a Lesbian Princess? Or Two Princes?

I understand the value of Fairytale, but perpetuating this hip-deep level of bullshit is reprehensible. It's like the revenge of Phyllis Schafly. We see a similar phenomenon in recent movies, for example The Three Hundred, which are Military Recruiting Vehicles. No one is immune - but I don't pay much attention to the Problems of Men. I believe wholeheartedly that The Patriachy causes just as many problems for men as it does for women because Dick Cheney is the Ideal Man. But back to Girls . . .

Interestingly, at rest time in the classroom the only girl who keeps her blanket strategically placed between her legs with the right amount of pressure is the one who chose Barbie. The others drift off to sleep stroking their own long hair. The worst of them spends nap time playing with an Ariel who has a sparkly mermaid outfit as well as some gowns for when she chooses to have legs. When stating her identity, our little ray of sunshine won't be a Disney princess at all. She goes straight for Mermaid.

This three year old beauty (a Gemini - coincidence? I think not) whose looks have been applauded since birth recently told me that she was unable to clean up the art table because she is a mermaid. Mermaids don't clean; they sit on rocks and sing. She settled back into her chair preparing to serenade the children as they wiped away the crayon marks with tiny sponges.

Thank G*d I grew up with those same damn mermaids, princesses, fairytales and Barbie dolls so I could straighten Sunshine out in an instant with a glare. Remember the Evil Fairy in Sleeping Beauty? All preschool teachers should master such glares. My assistants are clueless when it comes to The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I imagine if they think about The Four Horsemen at all, they think of specters on ghost horses like in Lord of the Rings.

If I understand my Revelations correctly, the Four Horsemen are one of the signals that the Antichrist is among us. Since I don't believe in the Bible in any literal sense, I figure that's another lovely story like Creationism, etc. However, I fully believe in the Hell in a Hand Basket syndrome and see evidence everywhere which brings us to Idiocracy and the "Dumbing Down" of America which we can securely fasten on education that relies on high stakes standardized testing as an indicator that someone knows his/her head from his/her ass. Standardized testing, as it is used in this country, also guarantees a perpetual socioeconomic divide wherein people must go into the military or jail - both of which are big money makers in the USA. Without the Idiocracy, questioning authority would be common place. Not so. Princesses may hope and dream with orchestration, but they don't question and rebel. As a matter of fact, neither do the Princes.

This 2006 movie is every bit as provocative and chilling as Network. When Network first came out, plenty of people thought that vision of the future was simply impossible speculation. Today we see TV that is even worse than Network could imagine. Idiocracy finds us in the very same boat. It's happening this very minute as more and more people abandon simple grammar. But that is a topic for another day.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Chuckles the Nurse

As it happened, Jose the Hospice Nurse didn't come to see Granny today. Chuckles did. As it also happened, my mother was at the dentist leaving me completely in charge.

I told Chuckles that poor Mother was convinced that the minute she put an eyedropper of morphine under Granny's tongue, Granny would be bugled up to Jesus and Mama would go to Jail. Chuckles assured me that nothing could be further from the truth. In Harris County, Texas the medical examiner is only called in when there is trauma involved - like a blow to the head with a blunt instrument. When someone is on palliative care, medicine is never questioned. In fact, Chuckles said that if Granny wants a glass of wine and a line of cocaine it was just fine for her to have it. He had no suggestions on where to get said cocaine, but given that we have a refrigerator full of morphine I suppose that is irrelevant.

I explained to Chuckles that Mother has been overwhelmed since Granny came home from the hospital a couple of months ago with so many conflicting diets that she was afraid she could kill Granny with a slice of banana bread. Chuckles allowed as how if that were possible, bananas would be selling by the case.

Chuckles also said that the itty bitty bit of morphine Mother would be giving in the drops cycles out of the system in an hour and is, therefore, much less dangerous than the methadone they were giving Granny regularly last week. Mother feels much more comfortable now. I recommended she put the alarming word Morphine out of her head and look at Granny's shortness of breath simply as Spells which require The Drops.

I spent an nice, relaxing hour floating in the pool secure in the knowledge that, for now, my work here is done and I can get the hell back to New York. From the safety of New York, I can contemplate how to deal with my father who has turned into a proverbial Grumpy Old Man. But first, I want to change my closet over from Winter to Spring and fill my apartment with daffodils.

I have to say that the Northwest Suburbs of Houston are lousy with Witnessing Christians. Mother says that being a Democrat who doesn't go to the big Baptist church down the road severely interferes with a person's social life. She listens to a singer named Todd Snyder who sings about Conservative Christian Right Wing Republican Straight White American Males to entertain herself out here, but that's not the same as attending cocktail parties regularly. As soon as Granny dies, they are planning to move inside the loop where there are substantially more Democrats. Inside the loop, you can't see your own Democratic vote in the election results. There could be 100 Democrats you haven't even met yet. Alternative lifestyles are also more accepted inside the loop. In fact, years ago a Mayoral candidate here in Houston dismissed one entire neighborhood, Montrose, as being filled with Oddwads, Queers and Weirdos. Now that I think about it, that's probably the neighborhood where my Uncle Jenifer lives - but nobody in the family actually speaks to him/her anymore. Maybe from the safety of New York, I'll email her and inquire.

I have complete confidence that if I told Uncle Jenifer that Granny the Ho was dying a few miles north of him/her, Jenifer would want to visit Granny. Jenifer is from my father's side of the family (generally a group of awful human beings) and Granny is from Mother's side. Years ago when Granny lived at the beach in Galveston and later in Laguna, Jenifer (who was a teen-aged boy at the time) visited her often. I'm sure Uncle Jenifer would want to pay his/her respects and my father's head would definitely explode.  If Jenifer decided to pay back the $800 s/he still owes Granny from wrecking her Mustang in 1968, my mother would pass out.

The power I hold in my hands occasionally staggers the mind.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dying, Danielle Steel and Food Network

Granny the Ho had her 92nd birthday yesterday. Mother and I took her to Target and then we all went out for enchiladas at Chuy's. Granny had a nice time telling everyone it was her 92nd birthday. The women who were checking us out at Target were the most fun since mother and I shared the information about Granny's five husbands with them.

The trouble started when we got home and Granny couldn't get her breath. Mother and Granny both say that's because she was late with her medication by nearly a half hour, and that may be true. Granny was off her oxygen for three hours which may have been a factor. One thing is certain: when she couldn't get her breath she freaked out which worsened her already high anxiety which in turn made it harder for her to breathe. It was a tense situation.

Mom and I got Granny in her night gown and hooked up to her oxygen, then I lay beside her on the bed holding her hand while the meds took effect, she relaxed a little and got her breath back. As she was drifting off to sleep, Granny told me I should make more of an effort to get along with my mother-in-law since she's family. I suspect that when she made that statement, Granny had forgotten I was divorced. Evidently she's worried about family these days although I doubt she could even name all eight of the sisters which is probably why she's worried about family ties now.

Granny spent today resting in bed. Her breathing is still labored because of the fluid in her lungs, but the renal failure will finally carry her off. In the meantime, she reads Danielle Steel novels and watches Food Network. This afternoon, I watched the Gilroy Garlic Cook-Off with her and when the winner was crowned with a wreath of garlic cloves, I had to wonder if getting into Heaven is like winning a cook-off. I told Granny that I felt sure she was going to get into Heaven, if there is one, on the strength of her oatmeal, pecan, chocolate chip cookies alone not to mention the meatloaf sandwiches she made me for lunch in High School.

Last time Jose the Hospice Nurse was here, Mother told him Granny had been wishing she could go ahead and die. Jose the Hospice Nurse says people need to quit praying for Granny. He also told Mother that she should forgive Granny for being such a Ho. It'll be a cold day in Hell when that happens unless Granny says she's sorry first which will happen on another cold day in Hell. Busy, Busy, Busy.

My job for tomorrow is to tell Jose the Hospice Nurse that Mother needs an emergency plan she can trust. Jose has given Mother two phone numbers for Help Lines, but one is only good during business hours and when she called the other for a less important matter, they had never heard of Jose. Ergo: Mother fully believes that something will get fucked up if she follows Jose's instructions and gives Granny the morphine Jose himself said should be administered when Granny is short of breath; Granny will croak, and Mom will be hauled off to jail. While I'm sure Mother's fears are not reality based, Jose told Mother some time ago that if Granny fell, everybody and his dog would be under investigation, so I can see why Mom is worried. Every aspect of caring for a dying parent in your home is overwhelming and Mother never could self-advocate. Fortunately, I've lived in New York long enough to know that when being nice isn't getting you anywhere, it's okay to be a double barreled bitch.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Stoners of the World Unite!

Now that my mother has looked at this blog (gasp!), I find myself compelled to do something with a purpose. Menopausal Stoners for The American Way, for example. I'll think of a name later. In the meantime, I'll be working on the Menopausal Stoners Manifesto.

In an attempt to find out more about Blogland, I've been drifting about following links to other blogs. Lots of interesting writing out there - and lots and lots of the same bunch of BS you get watching and reading The News. Like anybody knows what's really going on.

Which brings me back to Bokonism. During all my travels, Bokonism is the only philosophy/theology/cosmology that continues to make perfect sense. Ergo: Menopausal Stoners are Bokonists. Or witches, but don't tell anyone. People absolutely don't understand about witches. Witches especially don't run around spelling women "womyn." Some people may have tons of fun with Womyn stuff, but to me it's more like a feminist fiesta. No problem with that, but it's not the same as an individual focusing her energies in the privacy of her own home during certain phases of the moon. Some people would call it "prayer;" others might call it devil worship, but they are dumb as dirt. For Menopausal Stoner purposes, it's simply personal ritual. In my case, and the case of my cousin in Tahoe and of The Rebbe Mohammed McCrory, one of Menopausal Stoner's founding members who is now lost but hopefully safe somewhere, it is simply the path of our Celtic ancestors before those nasty Romans chased everyone into the woods and called us witches.

*Aside* In the beginning, The Rebbe and I considered calling Menopausal Stoners "Post-Feminist Pothead Floozies" or PFPF for short. Then I saw a bumper sticker that said "I'll be a Post-feminist in the post Patriarchy." Point taken.

In real life, I write Quaker on all our forms because 1) I like the Quakers and have always had fun at the Hippy Dippy Quaker Camp my son went to in Vermont and 2) Quakers don't get drafted. With George W. Bush as president, Americans need to protect their children.

That Bokonism is based on a fictional character in Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle does not make it any less valid than any other religion - most of which are based on fiction and legend anyway. At least I've read Cat's Cradle twice and most Christians I know haven't read The Bible except under duress. This tendency can no doubt be traced to the fact that someone is forever thumping his/her version of The Bible's truth in our faces so that when the time comes to actually read the damn thing, who wants to? It's already been shoved up our collective ass by somebody like Mel Gibson. Who wants to be associated with that foolishness? Not Menopausal Stoners, that's for sure.

Now that I'm on a mission to link with stoners and alternative thinkers everywhere so that we can indeed do something - like get Stephen Colbert's attention since I believe for sure we can be funnier than the Marijuana lobbyist than that guy who was on earlier this month - I'm hoping that Mary Kathryn aka The Rebbe Mohammed McCrory and her buddy The Rebbe Schmokenbaum will show up. Mary Kathryn is the Mayor of Vicodinville. I am merely Head of the Office of Buzz Management and DJ.

Vicodinville is a lot like William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mom's Hand-Me-Down Weed Facilitates World Peace

I probably shouldn't have given Velvet (aka The Man Child) my hand-me-down weed last week. It's just that he was so disillusioned at having been ripped off by someone he thought was a friend that I thought he needed cheering up. Velvet had bought some weed with his birthday money and his now ex-friend Tofer kept it. Even though Velvet asked Tofer to give it to him when they left Central Park to go to Big Nick's Burger & Pizza Joint on Broadway, Tofer said, "No man, I'll hang onto it." Velvet forgot to get it before he came home and Tofer went back to New Jersey with the weed.

Tofer has done enough lame things to everyone in their little crowd that he's getting a reputation for being a filthy addict. Filthy in the Doesn't Bathe Enough sense and Addict because all he ever wants to do is get high on something. He may not actually be addicted to anything, but he certainly did get kicked out of the private school he attended with many of Velvet's friends. His parents live in New Jersey and now he's stranded out there all the time except when he comes into the city to hang.

**Note** Velvet does not attend an expensive private school. Not exactly. The school he attends is a Board of Ed approved private school for children with learning disabilities since he is dyslexic and has ADHD. Since the Board of Ed declared after numerous evaluations that there is no public school in the environs of New York City that will meet Velvet's learning needs, he attends a private Special Ed school (in the vernacular, SPED) at public expense. I'm sure everyone reading this missive will be glad to know their tax dollars are well spent. As someone with two Masters Degrees in Education and 20 years experience in the field, I can say with authority that the American Education System is a fucking disaster. In point of fact, the methods used in Velvet's exclusive school for children with LD issues are what every child needs and deserves since we all have different learning styles.
**Note 2** Some people believe ADHD does not exist. I beg to differ.
**Note 3** So many children need these services - because of Disabilities in American Schools not because of anything inherently "wrong" with the children -- that there are reportedly 500 applicants for each opening.
**Note 4** Velvet has a 3.8 grade point average and did very well on the PSAT's for a SPED. Otherwise he wouldn't be smoking weed at all(at least not with my knowledge).

The day after my baby's birthday he was Mr. Mopey. Tofer wouldn't return his calls, and by Monday Tofer had told one of their buddies that he had given Velvet his weed but no one remembered. When I heard the story for the fifth time, I told Velvet that Tofer would have called him back to tell him to his face if he'd really given him the weed - so that just proves Tofer is a liar. The crowd of privileged high school children agreed and plans for social revenge ensued.

In the meantime, his hang-dog ass-dragging demeanor made my heart ache, so on Wednesday morning before I went to work, I put the Hand-Me-Down weed in a tupperware container with a bow on top and left it on his desk. Later that evening, I asked him if it was weird for a mother to give her kid some weed. He said it was sweet and touching - but he could tell it was dirt weed. I had to roll my eyes and say, "As if I'd give you my good weed."

The next day, he and another friend - the one who says I could play the Samuel L. Jackson role in Snakes on a Plane - said that the hand-me-down weed was "train wreck" - which means when you're smoking, it seems like you're not getting high so you smoke more than you should leading to being high as shit in a little while. We called it Creeper in the olden days.

In the kitchen, we carried on further discussion about the weed delivery service here in the city and how I just liked Red Headed Sensimilla. Who knows what people call it these days. I still am not sure what "hydro" is, but I assume it is hydroponically grown in McMansions.

This morning over French Toast, Velvet said they had had a wonderful time hanging out at some one's apartment last night. Everyone there had Tofer stories, so they trashed him happily - but even better, a fellow was there whom Velvet finds alarming because he's allegedly Mafia Spawn. When Velvet first met said Mafia Spawn, let's call him Xenon, Velvet worried that he had irreparably offended the boy. Somehow when they were all at their favorite spot in the park, Velvet dropped Xenon's blunt and stepped on it. Ooops. Velvet believed he was forever on Xenon's bad side, and since Xenon has a gun that was a bad place to be. I don't know where that child gets such an active imagination. Besides, I have my Grandfather's shotgun and my Greatgrandfather's 1912 Remington - neither of them work, but they'd make a Hell of an impression.

As it happened, last night Velvet had the bag of weed I'd given him, and Xenon had some papers that allows the roller to choose his own length. The resulting spleef took an hour and a half to smoke. Velvet is sure that he has thoroughly atoned for stepping on Xenon's blunt.

Velvet has another friend, from Hippy Dippy Quaker Camp, who we will call Big Bear. When Big Bear was in fifth grade, he liked to stick a needle into his glass eye while it was still in his head for the cabin's entertainment. Big Bear knows things. In Big Bear's considered opinion, Xenon has a gun not because he is Mafia Spawn but because he is a Future Terrorist. Racial profiling is involved because he is Palestinian or Iranian or something like that, but half the kids in the Crowd are Israeli. Maybe it will turn out that the ten inch reefer I inadvertently contributed to the party will be a proverbial peace pipe facilitating world harmony while being passed around a high-dollar apartment on New York's Upper West Side. Stranger things have happened.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Menopausal Stoner Notes to Self:

Don't be Cartman's mom. Or Kyle's. Or Kenny's, for that matter. Come to think of it, Butters' are pretty bad, too. Stan's parents did a good job when Tom Cruise was in the Closet.