Saturday, July 31, 2010

Back to the Woods

About this time last year, I was fixing to take Velvet to college. At the time, I thought it felt a lot like taking him to sleep-away camp, except he'd be studying Forestry Engineering instead of survival skills (In Which Velvet Runs into the Woods, Stonerdate 06.28.09). He did study, some. Actually, he thinks he busted his ass - and maybe he did - but it looks to me like he focused exclusively on Survival Skills.

It was a freshman year destined to become legend. I'm not sure which part was my favorite: The King of the Halloween Party (Stonerdate 11.04.09), his arrest for being a dumb ass (Velvet Gets Arrested, Stonerdate 04.17.10), or finding this photo on his Facebook account:

He considers his freshman year a success since Tree Hugger Academy is allowing him to return. He's on Academic Probation for another semester, and he's on Disciplinary Probation for life due to his run in with The Law - and I figure that's a good place to begin his third semester as a college freshman.

He's going up to Hookah House today on the bus. I'm heading up there tomorrow with the first load of provisions for his new apartment. He has to appear in court on Tuesday. It's a damn good thing that Tree Hugger and Big Beautiful Private University share services so that the boy gets a free lawyer because if there had been legal fees attached to his arrest for being a dumb ass, I'd be pissed off. But the whole episode has been handled so neatly by the Institution that it looks to me as if keeping privileged dumb asses out of jail is standard operating procedure.

A close review of events determined that the boy was not arrested for swiping the fraternity letters at all. He was arrested because when Big Beautiful Private's University Police wanted him to reveal the name of his friend, he said, "I don't have to tell you because you're not real police." One of the officers then said, "That's right. We're not real police. But we can put you in handcuffs until they get here."

I still wish that we could have a copy of the mug shot for his baby book. Maybe I can get one through a public information officer - but for now, I remain content that the arresting officers speak highly of his manners.

He's no longer a Forest Engineering major either. He's switched to Environmental Studies, which is the closet thing Tree Hugger has to a liberal arts degree. And I'm in the process of arranging for an Executive Functioning Coach to facilitate his transition to college from a Self Contained Special Education setting for kids with ADHD, Dyslexia and other learning differences. Tree Hugger and Big Beautiful Private both have adequate generic supports for SPED students, but the differences between his school in New York and college was so great that we have to build our own bridge.

Private measures must be instituted to deal with this situation. Fortunately, the Education Department at Big Beautiful Private offers a BA in Inclusive and Special Education and five students have already applied to be my son's Coach.

Now that we know what to expect at Tree Hugger and Big Beautiful Private, I feel like he's set up for success this fall. It's a lot like he's going back to Sleep Away Camp and Hookah House is his cabin. All things considered, he was very successful in the social arena last year. He's a kid who needs solid peer support, and now that he's got his Hookah brothers, he feels comfortable.

I still have no clue where this path is leading, but it's leading somewhere. I'm pretty sure there's blue skies ahead.

The Road up at Hippy Dippy Quaker camp in Vermont and the sky over the field where I was taking a nap a couple of years ago.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Socioeconomics of Romance

The swirling shitstorm of Class and Race in America on account of Shirley and the Teabaggers has many implications for our collective future, but I am much more interested in socioeconomics as a factor in the demographics of dating.

Granny the Ho was not the first woman to say that it's just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man. She stuck by that bit of advice her whole life, and went to her grave saying she never loved any one of her five husbands. She got married because she needed the money. That's reality for you. Granny was born and raised in North Carolina during Prohibition and The Depression. She graduated from 8th grade, and I don't really know what she did besides tend the garden, cook, sew and clean until she married the bootlegger. The point is that there weren't a lot of career options open to women at that time, so women got married and had children.

One of her children was my mother, who never once acknowledged that nice girls do indeed have sex outside of marriage because we only focused on Marriage. However, Mother never failed to point out that being Married is a hard way to make a living, and she still hasn't worked outside the home since her part-time job at the Florist shop in high school. When I was in high school, she strategically placed a small poster in the hallway outside my bedroom that read: What if Prince Charming Never Comes.

When I wanted to drop out of college, she said, "Patricia, the same man who says he's going to love you and take care of you forever when you're 19 and cute will get up and leave you when you're fat and 35. THEN what are you going to do?" Made sense to me, and I got my BA in English from the University of Texas at Austin. My female role models were Farrah Faucet and Daisy Duke.

That was then and this is now. I'm not hung up on the Socioeconomics of Romance largely because I have my own money - thanks to Buzz Kill. Not a lot of money, but enough to pay my own bar tab. And my date's, if I choose to do so. Typically, if I pay for anything on the first date or two, a man can rest assured he's not getting anywhere near my pants unless there are extenuating circumstances. Further, it is important to note that getting your own money through the divorce process does not make a woman a feminist disgrace. As my mother said, being a stay-at-home wife and mother is a hard way to make a living - and staying at home is a damn career choice. A choice that doesn't provide an income.

As it happens, when Grand Master A (aka Velvet aka Irving aka Mandark) was a baby, the Wall Street Journal ran an article saying that Stay At Home moms were a status symbol. If a man could afford for his wife to stay home, he must be doing pretty well. My New Mothers Group and I were asked to be on the local news where I argued that decent child care costs so much that it doesn't pay to have both parents working unless they are both making at least $60,000 per year. There are plenty of statistics to show that all a couple has to do so that one person can stay home is Simplify.

I'm pretty sure that trend will continue now that the Republicans are trying to push us all into another Depression so that folks will be living in their cars and working for food. If they force all the illegals out of the country, that means more and more White People will be waiting outside the Home Depot for day jobs. My brother - the Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographer - says that the way things are going at Newspapers, the delivery van will swing by the Home Depot with some disposable cameras and call it a photo department. But I digress . . .

As a woman of a certain age with a degree of financial security, I don't care about man's net worth or earning potential like I did when I was interested in breeding. Here, I have to admit that whatever fears Men have about women and money may very well be justified. A long time ago, some guy was saying on Oprah that men may view women as sex objects, but women view men as Success Objects.

I don't know how all this stuff will change for kids in college now. When it became clear to me that Grand Master A (aka Velvet) needed a personal assistant to stay organized and prioritized at college, I remembered that girl friends used to provide that service. Young women protect their organizational and executive functioning skills these days. Why spend your time supporting an engineer when you can be one yourself? Saves a lot of trouble - as long as you feel like being an engineer. And there's no reason a man should be an engineer just to support a family when the woman can be the primary breadwinner and the man stay home. Or the other man or woman. One mom and one dad; two moms or two dads. Doesnt' matter. There are options.

The trouble these days is that Business can now get two workers for the price of one, and people are convinced that the only way to know for sure that God loves them is to have two cars, three TVs and an annual trip to Disney World or Myrtle Beach. But I digress, again . . .

All I'm looking for is a single, straight, mostly sober man with no small children. That's it. I've only been interested in looking for a couple of weeks now, and I'm really not ready to date until Grand Master A is back at Tree Hugger. Notably, his landlord is cute and doesn't wear a wedding ring.

Sadly, the lack of a wedding ring means absolutely nothing. I had coffee last week with a man who wore no ring, and it turned out he's married and still living with his wife and daughter. I met him when I was reading at KGB and he seemed to have some information and insight that interested me. Once we were at coffee, he said right off that he was looking for mistresses - and went on to declare that the difference between a girlfriend and a mistress is that mistresses don't do laundry. I had to correct that statement instantaneously since everybody knows Mistresses are Kept which means cash, jewelry, vacations etc. etc. etc.

I had to correct a lot of that man's statements, especially when I learned he was an unemployed journalist who had been hanging out at that bar looking to get laid for two years. New York is filled with unemployed journalists these days, but they are typically more interested in picking up free lance work than picking up sex partners unless that partner can potentially get them free lance work, too. It's all about the networking - at least it is when you're way over 40 and single.

I've got nothing against unemployed journalists, or unemployed anybody, because half the world is unemployed. It's the Married part that bothers me - as well as the bar tab. What kind of person hangs out in the same bar three or four times a week when their spouse is paying the tab? If his wife is happy to pay that kind of bar tab, he must be quite the asshole at home. I asked him point blank what he had to show for himself after spending two years in a bar, and he said, "A Paunch."

Now, I like a man with a paunch, too. Makes me more comfortable with my own paunch. I just expect him to be fully single. Some people may have good reasons for being Separated for years and years - but to me, Separated is still Married. Although I wouldn't rule out Separated men all together, that kind of marital status means you'll eventually be referring to his Wife in conversations. When I'm at the nail salon with my girlfriends, the last thing I want to mention is my boyfriend's wife. It doesn't sit well with the married women in the nail salon.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What Kind of Cracker are You?

The shitstorm swirling around racism, teabaggers, Republicans in General, Fox News, the Obama Administration and the NAACP and Shirley Sherrod presents another opportunity to open an authentic dialogue abut Race in this country. Although Shirley herself concluded that the real struggle in America is not between races but between socioeconomic classes, race remains a major determinant in socioeconomic status. Looking at all the Genteel Decline in Tennessee Williams, we see that money is often less important than race. Certainly there similar examples of race vs money in the North, even though Northerners often try to make Racism seem like a Southern issue. If you ask me, Yankees are always trying to make themselves seem smarter and more important than Southerners anyway. Just look at the way they make fun of the way we talk.

Today, I'm curious about the influence of socioeconomic position on self-perception among White Folks. Identifiers such as Cracker, Redneck, Hillbilly are often derogatory because none of those folks have any money to speak of, but at the moment, I can't think of any vocabulary words that describe middle class white people - except, maybe, Honky. There are variations within that demographic based on country of European origin - like Italians or Irish, for example. And there are Religious variations, too, such as Catholic, Protestant and Jewish - although Jewish gets a little complicated because there is a cultural component that extends beyond simple religious affiliation. When money becomes a factor, all these variations become irrelevant because nobody has near the kind of money that the descendants of Robber Barons and Slaveholders have. Now that the middle class is growing smaller by the minute (Swerve Left, The disappearing middle class), a lot of white folks have to scramble to keep from getting mixed up with their dark skinned neighbors. Maybe that's what the Teabaggers are doing - but miscellaneous groups of White People have always been jockeying for position among themselves.

If you look at college admissions statistics, we see that lower class whites are underrepresented at "selective" or "elite" universities. A NYTimes article this week, The Roots of White Anxiety, sites Minding the Campus where Russel K. Neil states:
Most elite universities seem to have little interest in diversifying their student bodies when it comes to the numbers of born-again Christians from the Bible belt, students from Appalachia and other rural and small-town areas, people who have served in the U.S. military, those who have grown up on farms or ranches, Mormons, Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, lower-middle-class Catholics, working class "white ethnics," social and political conservatives, wheelchair users, married students, married students with children, or older students first starting out in college after raising children or spending several years in the workforce. Students in these categories are often very rare at the more competitive colleges, especially the Ivy League. While these kinds of people would surely add to the diverse viewpoints and life-experiences represented on college campuses, in practice "diversity" on campus is largely a code word for the presence of a substantial proportion of those in the "underrepresented" racial minority groups.
Personally, I wouldn't let in Pentecostals either - and I don't think there is a place on the demographics information form to check Italian or Greek like there is for Caucasian, Pacific Islander and Hispanic. I can't remember if Black is the race or if it's labeled African American because, here in New York anyway, there has been some disagreement among African Americans who have been here since Slavery and recent immigrants from Africa who aren't American citizens but are certainly Africans living in America. It's all very complicated.

I wonder how The Rich benefit from having all of us in the dwindling middle class arguing about Racism. It's easy to forget about a Class War when somebody is trying to instigate a Race War.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Filler Post

The topic of class distinctions came up in a recent family discussion, and my mother wanted to read this post again. With current events are focused on Shirley Sherrod, Reverse Racism and the NAACP, we can conclude that folks at Fox News and their Teabagging Friends are still gunning for blacks. If Rupert and Rush decided to fight with Wall Street, then maybe there would be reason to worry about the safety of American Jews - but that's not going to happen any more than Congress actually challenging the status quo. The Fox Crowd may bitch about Geithner or Rahm Emanuel since they are Obama's Men, but as Shirley herself reminded us: Oppression in America is not about racial or cultural identity, it's all about class.

It's a school holiday here in New York on account of Yom Kippur which is the culmination of Jewish Holy Week.

Ever since I came to New York City, I've been friendly with lots of Jews. Jesse Jackson didn't call it Jaime Town for nothing. Folks said Jackson was an anti-Semite. Maybe he is - what do I know? I do know that some Jews are quick to holler Anti-Semite. Jews get touchy. Who can blame them? The Jews have been targets of genocidal mania for centuries.

Throughout European history, the Jews worked to remain a distinct people while the rest of us blended together with the conquerors when our regions were seized by another tribe. The Angles and the Jutes and the Celts and the Saxons and the Normans all fucked each other and became one mass of bloodthirsty white Europeans who then proceeded to build empires on the backs of dark people the world over.

This dedication to Jewish community and identity is plain to see in the family of The Artist from the South of France until WWII when his grandfather married a Catholic woman. His family lived in France as Pope's Jews who came into being when the Vatican was transferred to Avignon. The Pope's Jews did business for the Catholics and in turn were allowed to live. Since his mother and grandmother were Catholic, The Artist from the South of France was not Jewish. He wasn't a practicing Catholic either, but I thought dating an Artisit from the South of France would be a big change from the Ukrainian/Polish Jews to whom I gravitate. As it happened, The Artist from the South of France's family was so Jewish there is a street in Jerusalem named after his Great Uncle. So much for me not dating Jews.

I am not going to chronicle all the Jewish men I have dated here because (1) my mother would figure out that I was still married while I was dating a couple of them and (2) the story is too good to tell for free on the Internet. Further, most of my interactions with Jews have been as Velvet's mother and as a teacher. At Firestarter School, for example, there was a large population of Israeli Jews.

I have spent enough time among the Jews to be concerned that Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin or somebody is going to blame the Jews for the Wall Street clusterfuck and whip the Crackers into a frenzy.

Maybe Cracker is also a racist term - but it's helpful to use racist terms when discussing racist issues. To clarify racial and class distinctions, I like to look at New Orleans before the flood. During Katrina, you could see that an antebellum social structure had been dominant in New Orleans. The plantation owners became the folks who got out of town way in advance of the flood. Poor blacks and whites were left to die. Cracker Overseers were in minor positions of authority. They weren't so powerful they could get out of town and hang out with the plantation owners - and even if they had the money they were too tacky to come to dinner. But the Cracker Overseers were powerful and corrupt enough to take advantage of the situation.

The South is not the only place with lots of Crackers anymore than the South is the only place with the Klan. There are plenty of Crackers in Pennsyltucky, Ohio and other Midwestern districts where the settlers were primarily white - and Ku Klux has chapters in all those places. Of course, Gone With The Wind shows that land owners were also in The Klan. The need to keep all the wealth and power in the hands of the White Men is not restricted to Crackers. The rich supremacists simply boss around the poor ones, although those hoods must equalize them somehow.

Crackers will never have as much money as Land Owners. God made that clear with the Divine Right of Kings. Although that world view was challenged during the Reformation, the idea that some people are rich because God likes them best runs rampant in America today - from NASCAR rallies to Congress to Corporate Junkets.

Rednecks have nothing to do with anything in this context. Redneck just means you worked outside a lot. Men who stomp around checking on their oil rigs and other property are just as big of Rednecks as hired help - and in point of fact, none of them are necessarily racist or conservative although Rednecks got that reputation during Vietnam. There is plenty of White Trash at every socio-economic level, too, because Trash is Trash - rich or poor, North or South. Two prime illustrations of trash with money are Crystal Allen, played by Joan Crawford in The Women and Dan Packard of Dinner at Eight played by Wallace Beery.

Joan is the bath tub being taunted by Rosalind Russel and Wallace Beery is with Jean Harlow. The Jean Harlow character has always been one of my favorites because she forced her Robber Barron husband to do the right thing in business so she could social climb to her heart's content. The point of bringing these movie characters into the discussion here is to show that rich folks may be ruthless, self-interested opportunists, but they aren't Crackers. There are no rich Crackers. Not for long, anyway. If a Cracker made money off Wal-Mart stock back in the day or by hitting lotto, the family either drank it all or educated themselves and aren't Crackers anymore.

The Teabaggers of September 12th are middle and lower class whites who, by racist definition, are Crackers. I say this with all the authority of the Southern Petite Bourgeoisie. I might have been a Duchess in Beaumont's Neches River Festival, I'll have you know. I'd have been on a float in a parade wearing a tiara and everything.

On this Jewish High Holy Day, I worry because now that Rupert Murdoch and them are stirring up the Crackers with all the fear they can muster about a Negro president, it won't be long before the Jews are the target. If the Crackers get going on the Blacks and the Jews at the same time, nobody will notice anything else about Health Care, Afghanistan, Education, the Environment - nothing.

I'm not worried about Long Island becoming a Jewish Reservation like in the movie C.S.A.:The Confederate States of America because enough Jews are in positions of power and influence in this country to prevent that sort of thing from happening in Reality.

If the people manipulating the teabaggers have their way, then we will become as close to a world like The Confederate States of America as we can legally be. Now that the Crackers are just as broke and without prospects as other minorities in America, they are running scared. Of course they were horrified when Obama addressed classrooms. The last thing Crackers need is more Negroes with education, money and access to power.

The propaganda mongers might be able to find the one black man with a machine gun in Arizona and trot his ass out for the news to make it look like people besides Crackers are riled up - but that blip in the 24 hour cycle is not the first time somebody found a token black to prove a point.

I don't know enough about Zionists and American politicians of every variety working together to protect Israel to even begin to participate in that kind of discussion. I'm just saying that today I'm worried about the malevolence on the loose in our country as we hover on the brink of a class war. I wonder how much longer it will be before Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh starts going after Ron Emanuel. I wonder what they'll make of the Rabbi in Michelle Obama's family.

Michelle Obama's cousin, Rabbi Capers Funnye

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Hour in the Blogland Bar & Grill

Doctor Von Monkerstein, of Monkey Muck, Cover Me, Dr. Monkey's Retro Blog, Panel World and Book Monkey 88 has declared I am a Ray of Sunshine. It must be true because he's an observant, insightful fellow - not simply one of those cranks with multiple blogs. Most of those blogs are all about images and illustrations where he demonstrates that he's talented with a caption. At Book Monkey 88, you'll find Used, Rare and Out of Print books for sale.

I discovered he's bestowed this award on me yesterday when my statcounter showed a familiar referring link: When somebody's blog appears as a referring link a few times in the same afternoon, it generally indicates that something's up. Something, indeed, since Dr. Von Monkerstein is not a bit sunny. Sarcastic, Caustic, Twisted and/or Funny - but Sunny isn't an adjective that springs to mind regarding the doctor.

The thing I like best about his version of this award is that he has abandoned all the strings that may or may not have ever been attached and declared the recipients can do what they like regarding said award. I am, therefore, passing it on to a few bloggers who consistently lift my spirits when I've gotten bogged down in The Bullshit. These individuals have a perspective on Life, The Universe and Everything that consistently entertains, encourages or sends the reader off on a tangent s/he may not have ever considered were it not for the opinion and analysis offered by said individual in blog posts and comments -- kind of like a virtual drinking buddy whom I'm always glad to find here at Happy Hour in the Blogland Bar & Grill.

Comrade Kevin
Beach Bum

As usual with awards going from bloggers to bloggers, this one could have gone out to any and every blog on the blogroll in my sidebar, but it is often said that Eight is Enough. I do want to specially mention Mad Priest, though, because of the time he put me on his prayer list. As a general rule, I'm totally not into prayer lists, but I remain astonished and significantly touched that people all over the world took a moment to say, "Thank God for Trish." Now that's a Ray of Sunshine - even if, in Reality, there is No God at all.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Don't be a Slactivitst

The Punk Patriot is a cute little fellow up in Maine who had an idea about 70 days ago, when the gusher was still gushing, instead of leaking and seeping from the cracks and fissures: Revoke BP's corporate charter. Essentially, revoking the corporate charter would be like a death penalty for the corporation. The only business BP could conduct in America would be to make restitution for the mess they made.

He made a facebook page. Apparently, lots of people have joined the page, but haven't even clicked on the link to an easy-peasy petition at Green Change. He must be getting frustrated. Here's a recent FB status:

Don't be a slackivist!

And from this morning:

Att Gen Beau Biden doesn't check this FB group. He does check his email though. Tell him to revoke BP's charter:

In this video he posted on his blog today, The Punk Patriot discusses the idea of Citizen Reform. We all agree we need Campaign Finance Reform, Health Care Reform, etc etc etc - what we really need is Citizen Reform because We The People who have fallen asleep at the wheel.

I started having issues with Facebook activism some time ago when all the women were posting the colors of their bras as a status report in order to raise awareness about breast cancer. I did it myself. It was diverting for an afternoon - but did it raise awareness? Unlikely. Did it raise money? Even more unlikely.

I had similar issues with the outpouring of financial support to Haiti right after the earthquake. It seemed totally wrong to me that anyone watching MTV could text ten bucks to Haiti. Certainly the earthquake in Haiti was (is) such a big problem that it necessitated a global response - but there are hundreds of situations that deserve a massive response who go neglected every day because it's too much trouble to write a check - much less actually become involved in a solution. I wish they all had special numbers to text ten bucks.

It's troubling when the only action people will actually take is to click a "like" button on Facebook. I wonder why the hesitate to take the next steps. Is Revoking BP's Charter, in particular, something they don't really support, or is this a pervasive tendency - so that people "like" miscellaneous causes and concepts but that's as far as they are willing to go? Certainly one of these marketing outfits who is studying social media has already done this research.

In any case, I sign petitions and send a few bucks here and there. I've even picked up the phone and called Charlie Rangel and Chuck Schumer. Hopefully that's enough to prevent me from being labeled a Slactivist since interacting with real people often gives me the heebie jeebies.

Black Tea Party

Gordon and Fixer over at Alternate Brain had this video up this morning - asking the question: What if the Tea Party Was Black?

From the accompanying text from youtube:
A few months ago, Tim Wise wrote a widely circulated article called, "Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black " which challenged America to take a close look at the hypocrisy of the Right Wing. Now, a Pittsburgh rapper is accepting his challenge in true Hip Hop form. Jasiri X has released a video called "What if the Tea Party was Black."

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Of Popeye and Profiles

I think I must be regaining my sense of humor.
I've been thinking about signing up for Match dot com, again. Only this time - I'll tell the truth (mostly) and watch what happens.

The last time I was on Match, I wound up deleting nearly 1200 profiles because I got an attitude about men who were older than me who stated for the record that they were only interested in younger women (Stonerdate 01.27.09). For the uninitiated, it's not like they wrote a paragraph about the attractions of nubile females. When anyone fills out a Match profile, s/he has to give age parameters for their prospective matches. You click an age on a drop down menu. Men who are only looking to get laid tend to put 80 years old at the top of their age range. Women don't usually do that because some horny old geezer will start winking incessantly.

I don't have an issue with personal preferences. We all have them. I do, however, have an issue with people who don't have enough sense to be polite about those preferences on the internet. Using myself as an example, when I think of dating someone, I have an idea in my head of what race, height, weight and age he might be - but I'm not going to post it on the internet - not because I'm scrupulously politically correct but because what if some fabulous guy was put off because I'd nixed extremely tall or short, skinny, Asians, Arabs, East Indians and Puerto Ricans, Muslims, Jews and Non-Denominational Christians?

This time, I'm thinking I'll quote my favorite Todd Snider song and state for the record that I'm a Tree Hugging, Peace Loving, Pot Smoking, Porn Watching, Lazy-Assed Hippie who has an attitude about men who say they aren't interested in women their own age - because I think they're most likely delusional bastards with such unrealistic, egocentric expectations it's no wonder they never got married. Maybe that's a little harsh, but I figure if I link to the blog, anyone who is remotely curious will get a picture of who I am pretty quickly. And besides, if they're scared off by a simple opinion, they may as well keep trolling profiles for a sweet, compliant woman who never got married either and doesn't know that lots of things are worse than being alone.

There's a bit of nostalgia behind my current Match dot com idea. I'm settling in to the notion that it really is my last year in New York City. There are things I've been meaning to do - like go to the Guggenheim and the Whitney, for example. Restaurants I've been meaning to try. Stuff like that. I've got plenty of girl friends who would be happy to go with me. They might even join me for Drinking Liberally one Thursday night - which is something else I've been meaning to do but haven't done.

I'm not looking to get up to my ass involved with someone - but there's something appealing about a relaxed, casual relationship with somebody who thinks I'm lovely and talented. For the most part, the only people who think I'm lovely and talented are lesbians and gays. I think they're lovely and talented, too, but when dating, sexual preferences have to be taken into account. I wouldn't rule out dating a woman - who knows? But that's the last thing I'd write on Match because it would sound like I'm bi-sexual, and straight men lose their shit entirely over busty bisexuals.

I'm not saying I'm bisexual, of course. I would never say that on the internet. But I am saying, here on the blog anyway, that I wouldn't rule out dating a woman. I'm just not going to actively pursue a woman like I used to be willing to chase a man. I'm not willing to chase anybody anymore.

Truthfully, I have to wonder if I've got the energy for Match. The entire process is sort of like shopping at Loehman's or Daffy's. Generally, you're digging through overpriced rejects - but occasionally, you find a gem. A warm, cozy sweater in just the right color, or pair of shoes that is sexy and comfortable.

It could happen.
If all goes according to Plan A, I'll be able to use one of Dr. Von Monkerstien's illustrations for a profile pic. Dr Von Monkerstein (Monkey Muck) is working on a graphic novel, and he's got a character in mind for me. I'm not sure how much of his idea is currently Top Secret, so I'll only say that the term MILF was used.

I have always aspired to be a MILF, although I guess I'm getting a bit long in the tooth to be one in real life. One of the reasons I don't have a problem with wearing Mom Jeans despite the collective disdain toward Mom Jeans in the fashion world is that the first word in MILF is MOM. What should a mom wear besides mom jeans? There's a lot to be said for accepting yourself and having a great time as you are instead of dieting yourself into a nervous breakdown just so you can look like a 25 year old who never had a baby - especially since even if your body is that small and tight, reality is in the wrinkles, stretch marks and random facial hair.

If I start feeling insecure, I just remember what Popeye says:

I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam.

Sounds like a good way to start a dating profile to me.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Empathic Civilisation, RSA Animate

Some guy named Alex Steed, who is running for the Maine Statehouse, posted it on Rev Billy Talen's facebook page

It presents an intriguing concept about DNA, evolution and empathy.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lovers and Fuckers

It's easy to get bogged down in the terminal bullshit of life. I would say "these days," but people used to be militantly convinced that the world is flat - which proves that Teabaggers have been around forever in one version or another. Those people who cling fiercely to their fear-based, closed-minded way of being.

The Deepwater Disaster illustrates that the world today is not that different from back in the Empire building days where white folks spread across the globe claiming territories - and their natural resources - for queen and country. Looking at the state of the Gulf of Mexico today, and the fate of indigenous peoples at the hands of Conquistadors and other European Explorers - as well as the whole Manifest Destiny idea - we can easily conclude that a lot of white folks are seriously fucked up. I wonder if anyone back in the 1500s ever pointed out that since people had clearly been living here for generations, building pyramids and stuff, it was pretty stupid to call this place The New World. If anybody brought that idea up, s/he was doubtlessly executed as a heretic. The sun revolves around the Earth, after all. The same way of thinking is behind the appeals court's rejection of a ban on deep water drilling. More evidence that You can't Cure Stupid, and Stupid is as Stupid does.

Human History is one long, strange trip for sure; however, there is reason to believe humanity can reach a higher consciousness. My renewed sense of hope is based on the look on Velvet's face when he opened his wallet and said, "What the Fuck happened to all my money?!"Ever since the boy got his first paycheck from the restaurant where he is busing tables, with deductions based on his $4.30/hour wage plus estimated tips, he has had a new orientation toward money and the hard work his parents have done all these years. He may be a dumb ass, but my son can be educated.

There is Beauty, Hope and Justice in the world - not when you look at Society, of course. Ask anyone in Oakland about Justice this morning, and you ought to hear: No Justice, No Peace. The Merserle Verdict, that Deepwater Disaster and the consumer culture that created it, Wars, Violence and Abuse - all part of Reality. Can't deny it, but we don't have to be trapped in this land full of flat-worlders.

We can choose to be Lovers. Even Flat-Worlders can choose to be Lovers. They don't because they're trapped - but they could. I understand that most folks see the word Lover and think about sex. All I have to say about that is:
There is a big difference between a Lover and a Fucker whether you're having sex or not.

Monday, July 5, 2010

It's Only Castles Burning

I've lost my sense of humor. I'm pretty sure it's been covered in oil. Destroyed by an exploding methane fireball.

As it happens, I feel better by simply admitting before the world that my sense humor has left the building, although there's nothing funny about poor old fat Elvis surrounded by sycophants and overdosing on prescription drugs.

There wasn't a whole hell of a lot to laugh about after the World Trade Centers imploded, either, but I cracked up the minute I saw this photo back in late September, 2001.

Some people were totally outraged by this example of photoshop wizardry. I expect that was because America had been attacked by someone - and I still don't rule out the possibility that the Bushes and Bin Ladens hatched that plot by their own damn selves at the urging of Dick Cheney and Karl Rove - or maybe it was Mossad, what do I know? Sabers started rattling and we charged off to stop the Taliban. We're still there; so are the Taliban - and now we even have our own Taliban in Texas rewriting history.

Nope, nothing funny about that at all, but I regained my sense of humor almost as soon as my mother-in-law, Vagina Dentata, went back to her own apartment. She was too nervous to sleep there for a couple of nights. She was over here for the Black Out, too.

My mother says I'm moving through the grieving process over the Deepwater Disaster, and that we should all be grieving for the Gulf. True enough, and so much has been written and said about BP, the government in general, Obama in particular, the oil industry, Republicans, and everything remotely related to the whole enchilada that I've got nothing to add. No matter which way you look at it, The Deepwater Disaster points to everything that is inherently wrong with our society. Let's not even look at Nigeria where oil "spills" have been a way of life for fifty years (John Vidal, Guardian, May 30, 2010). We get a lot of our oil from Nigeria. Namaste.

In the face of all this tumultuous bullshit, it's no wonder I've lost my sense of humor. I wouldn't worry about it except that I've got to read at KGB in less than two weeks in the humor series, Drunken! Careening! Writers! with Jaffe Cohen, who did stand-up on HBO. I've read with Jaffe before and can hold my own - it's just that I can't get it up to write the story of The Preacher and The Pagan, which I know is funny, on account of it doesn't seem a bit funny anymore.

Nothing seems funny anymore - and that's just wrong. Like they said back at 9 - 11, when you stop living a normal life, the terrorists win - and that's true even if the terrorists are in your own government and/or selling gasoline and beer on the corner. My mother also said that holding the bastards up to public ridicule is a proven, time honored tactic of resistance and revolution. There were the pamphlets back in 1776, and we've had Dick Gregory, Lenny Bruce and George Carlin in more recent years. My mother is right, of course. She nearly always is, but that's because she tries to keep her mouth shut if she suspects she's wrong.

I have no illusion about sparking any revolutions over here at Menopausal Stoners. I just want to get that story written before I have to stand up in front of a room full of people at KGB, and frankly, my lively spirit resists being bummed out for weeks at a time.

The Deepwater Disaster sucks, no doubt about it. I still hope a hurricane blows toxic tar babies onto the house Sarah Palin had built by her companions in corruption at Spenard Building Supplies (Think Progress, July 3, 2009). Life goes on, and there is much work to do to further La Resistance. At the moment, I've got to share what I learned about the relevance of Mainstream American Protestantism to Social Change. Some people might have done the reading - I fucked a preacher.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Free at Last

Marie was one of the first bloggers to give me a follow which made me feel like I was writing something worth reading. Her blog was Attentive Aphorist. I had to look up the work Aphorist to learn that an aphorist is someone who uses terse sayings which embody a general truth or astute observation. She certainly made some astute observations in her unforgettable rants and in many inspiring pieces about being a free thinking neighbor and mom.

I lifted this text straight from Dr. Von Monkerstien over at Monkey Muck

Goodbye my friend

Marie aka Themom passed away last night. She was a great blog buddy and a swell Facebook friend. She'd been battling heart related issues for the past 8 months. She's left behind a slew of kids, grandkids, a funny and touching blog. It was my privilege to have known her and it was my honor to have been her friend. Rest in peace Marie, you'll be missed by many many people.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fucking with The Now

Max the Psychic Life Coach has been helping me learn to meditate. I need to access my spirit so that I'm making choices for myself that are based on what's right for my soul as opposed to what I think I should be doing. Part of my homework for this week is reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Toile.

The good news is that I live in the Now all the time, especially at work. When you hang out with preschoolers, you come to understand fully and completely that past and future are absolutely irrelevant. Life is 100% about Now. The trouble for me comes when I have to deal with grown-ups and to try to live like a grown-up. Another thing I'm supposed to be examining as part of my homework is recognizing my gifts. We all have gifts - some people insist that we all have a thousand gifts. Apparently I can see other's gifts and beauty but rarely recognize my own. That can lead to trouble, too, especially when I'm determined to be compassionate about somebody who is inherently toxic.

There is a distinct parallel between learning how to go into the No-Mind Zone and that alcoholic prayer about accepting what you cannot change. It can be difficult to accept that a person you care about cannot or will not acknowledge that they are, in fact, a vortex of doom - but sooner or later, we have to accept there are people and things we cannot change and adjust ourselves accordingly.

The individuals in our lives are like little local issues, but there are bigger issues we have to accept as well - such as the world being so fucked up that all any generation can hope for is incremental progress.

Israel attacking that flotilla is an example of some major fucked up shit. Once the attack itself was over, the incident itself is in the past. All kinds of people will feel the ramifications of that attack, but what's done is done. Same with those American soldiers we all saw shooting Afghani citizens from their helicopter thanks to WikiLeaks. It sucked hard, but we cannot change the past, and we cannot know the future.

Of course, we all make choices in the Now that are based on our interpretation of the past which will influence the future. It's just that everything we say and do is in the present until it's been said or done. Then it's in the past. Namaste.

The trouble with the crack in the earth's surface underneath the Gulf of Mexico spewing toxic chemicals is that it won't go into the damn past. It keeps going and going and going in The Now. It's fucking up The Now so badly that every foreseeable Now for months will continue to be fucked up because nobody knows what to do in the Now.

I understand that we can all accept the fact that the earth is splitting wide open all because of corporate greed, consumerism, stupidity, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. We can still find beauty in the world and each other, live in the moment and all that stuff. No matter how Unacceptable the Deepwater Disaster is - What's done is done. The crack is there. The gulf is getting more toxic by the minute and there's nothing anybody can do about it. Maybe one day - but certainly not in The Now.

MRMacrum left a comment the other day when I posted that song I like so much about Conservative Christian Right Wing Republican Straight White American Males. He said, ". . . we are all headed for the same place. All there is to argue about is how we take the trip." That comment sums up the situation today quite neatly.

The world has been fucked up for thousands of years, and somehow humanity has managed to survive. I reckon we'll survive for thousands more years - and we'll get used to acid rain just like we got used to war and smog. People will still love each other in thousands of ways whether life as we know it continues or if we wind up banding together in tribes to live off what's left of the land - just like the Indigenous People we exterminated with those blankets contaminated with smallpox. I was reminded of those blankets when I read that the same trailers the government prohibited from being used as homes for Katrina's homeless on account of high levels of formaldehyde are now being sold to workers who are cleaning up after The Deepwater Disaster. The New York Times reports:

Ron Mason, owner of a disaster contracting firm, Alpha 1, said that in the past two weeks he had sold more than 20 of the trailers to cleanup workers and the companies that employ them in Venice and Grand Isle, La.

Even though federal regulators have said the trailers are not to be used for housing because of formaldehyde’s health risks, Mr. Mason said some of these workers had bought them so they could be together with their wives and children after work.

“These are perfectly good trailers,” Mr. Mason said, adding that he has leased land in and around Venice for 40 more trailers that are being delivered from Texas in the coming weeks. “Look, you know that new car smell? Well, that’s formaldehyde, too. The stuff is in everything. It’s not a big deal.”(NYT June 29, 2010)

Boudreax and Bubba are still in charge down on the Delta, and somebody somewhere is making a bundle.