Sunday, October 31, 2010

Turning the Page

There's a song stuck in my head again.   

It's a good song and everything, but it's not one I ever paid much attention to back when it was originally on the radio. It just popped into my head one day last week - right after I officially became a correspondent for World Wide Hippies.  Or maybe it was the day of the Magpie meeting when I heard Black Magpie Theory is getting 5500 hits per month and picked up by The National Review.  Fancy stuff, but I'm thinking this song is resonating for me right now on account of Impending Separations.

Little by little, my apartment is becoming bare. Moving day is a ways away, but once you've reached a certain age, seven or eight months is no time at all. If I can swing it, maybe I'll leave New York on my wedding anniversary. Seems fitting. Or on June 14th, Flag Day, the anniversary of my first real date with Buzz Kill. He had sent me a plane ticket to come to New York. I felt like I had won the Grand Prize on the Dating Game and was so excited I got my teeth cleaned.

Since we got married, I suppose I did win the Grand Prize in the Dating Game.  It gets even grander when you add the Central Park West address.  If you ask me,  the best part was being a family or at least it was the best part until the marriage fell to shit. You can't be a Family when one person regularly makes unilateral decisions that have lasting repercussions without acknowledging that his wife might have preferences or an opinion - much less a right - to be consulted about family finances. 
It fucking sucked.

Back when we were suing GE because their defective dishwasher started a fire that resulted in spending four months in a hotel, GE's insurance adjuster came to inspect the apartment.  Buzz Kill worried that I would say something silly and inadvertently cost us money.  In his determination to control the process, he insisted that I wait in our building's basement laundry room while the adjuster was in the apartment.  Most likely, he was afraid that I would answer any questions the adjuster asked truthfully which would, consequently, expose some of Buzz Kill's big fat lies about the value of certain items.  When Buzz Kill told me that he didn't want me to meet the adjuster, I didn't give him an argument.  I figured he could fuck up the law suit all by his own self, and that's exactly what he did.

It worked out okay.  The court determined that GE owed us the sum total of the loss from the fire we declared on our income taxes that year.  It was about $85,000, but we owed it all to his wealthy sister.  She loaned us the money to cover the hotel expenses and to fix the apartment because Buzz Kill let the insurance lapse.  He was in charge of all the bills, but I should have stopped nagging and paid the insurance myself.  I didn't, though, because I was trapped in the cycle of marital dysfunction.

I packed all those legal papers away a long time ago.  And really, as troublesome as all that financial stuff was, the most telling part of marital therapy came when the therapist asked us if we would be together if we didn't have a child.  Buzz Kill was quick and confident when he said, "Yes."  I shook my head to silently say, "No."

I finally had to admit that Buzz Kill was so stuck in his own bullshit that he couldn't imagine his life without it.  When the rubber hit the road, he chose his bullshit over the marriage.  It's beginning to look like that guy who won't see me is just as stuck as Buzz Kill.  I would go on and on about how I don't understand how anyone can be that way - but I've been so unable to imagine other ways of being that I was hospitalized for suicidal tendencies.

Actually, I could imagine other ways of being - I just couldn't imagine it was possible for me.  About a week after I got out of the hospital we took Velvet to Tavern on the Green for his fifth birthday.

While we were waiting on our lunch, I took Velvet to check out the topiary on the patio.  He especially liked King Kong.  I was glad I hadn't killed myself because I would have missed that afternoon, so I committed to life - for the time being anyway - and set about doing the hard work of creating new possibilities.

In April, Velvet will be twenty.  In those fifteen years, I've become pretty much the woman I wished I could be.  There are goals I wanted to accomplish and didn't; and I accomplished some things I hadn't even thought about back when Velvet was five years old.  It certainly was never my goal to divorce Velvet's father, but there was no way I was getting stuck with Buzz Kill's life.

It's one of life's little ironies that now that it's finally time to fully separate from Buzz Kill, I'm realizing that I haven't been able to imagine a life without him.  And no matter what I imagine about that guy who won't see me, the road is in sight.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Existential War and Peace

Recently, somebody told me that he didn't want any Drama.
I don't blame him - who wants Drama?  But then, I started wondering exactly what people mean by Drama.

For example, a number of men on state that they don't want any drama when it would probably be more accurate to say that they don't want anyone giving them shit or saying they are wrong all the time.  Frankly, when a man on Match says he doesn't want drama, I figure he's pretty fucked up or else so many women wouldn't have been giving him shit all these years.  Or else he's a baby and always wants his own way.  Or else he's controlling and won't tolerate dissent.

But women don't like Drama either.  A female member of the Facebook Group, Down with This Sort of Thing, posted: Women OVER 40 who cause drama.  Down with this sort of thing!  I suspect that this woman does not object to rational dissent but to needy tantrums. As a teacher with many, many years in a preschool classroom, I have dealt with a few tantrums.  I must admit to throwing a few tantrums myself but I am not a Drama Queen - at least, not anymore.

I absolutely get theatrical and animated when I'm making a point.  I've delivered more than a few soliloquies over the years when I could practically hear the orchestration in the background myself.  Theatrics are not Drama. Granted, some people in this world are overwhelmed by animated, theatrical conversation, but there is a distinct difference between Drama and a Rant.  Rants can be well executed and well delivered - and being on the receiving end of a Rant can be unpleasant even when you must acknowledge that the Rantor makes a valid point against you, the Rantee.

Velvet and I go through the Rantor/Rantee thing every so often.  Those situations might be called Melodrama because my ranting can become extravagant and unintentionally comedic - especially when I'm serious as a heart attack.  Sadly, one of my life-long communication problems is that it's easy to forget I'm serious, but there are times when the existential absurdity of a situation must be recognized.  Besides, who can stay mad at Velvet?  And Velvet would say, "Who can stay mad at Mommy? She's so silly."  Those dang little kids in my class tell me I'm silly all the time, too.  I'm pretty sure they only do what I say because they realize I fixed it so that I'm the only one who can reach the graham crackers.

I'm thinking Drama is distinguished by the belief that another person has the ability to make you feel better.  You may intend to voice Rational Dissent, but you're creating Drama when you present a situation as if you are the victim of somebody's bullshit.   If you realize that you're in command of your own reactions and response, then no matter what bullshit may come your way, you're never a victim.

That's not to say other people aren't problematic.  Certainly, when you're involved in an authentic, intimate relationship there will be conflict.  In my case, Drama has ensued when I was so afraid that a conflict would destroy the relationship that I swallowed my feelings and pretended to be happy.  Worse, I believed there was something wrong with me for feeling angry and hurt. 

When you've become accomplished at pretending nothing is wrong - as so many of us are because most families have idiosyncratic dysfunctions - the other person typically goes about his/her merry way without knowing that you're seething on the inside.  Then you get mad because s/he is so insensitive that s/he can't imagine your feelings.  Eventually you explode over some minor incident, making it into a federal case because you've been stewing in your own resentful self-pity.  You attack the other person, clinging to the notion that somehow s/he could fix you on the inside.  Dashed expectations and hostile complaints come out in a terminally unattractive whine. That's Drama.

I'm not saying that the man who told me he didn't want drama is an innocent bystander, but I was relentless once I was so distressed in the relationship that I didn't care if it was destroyed.  I decided to get in a full blown fight and quit playing the Victim and switched to Valkyrie.  Fights are different from Drama because they are more direct.  There's a manipulative quality to Drama because anger is hiding under weakness.  Victims are weak, after all.  When we fight, we take direct aim at the other person's weaknesses and blast them until the target submits.  At least, that's what I do.  That's why I don't want to get in a fight with somebody I love.

If my relationships with Velvet, Buzz Kill and my mother are any indication, the Drama days are behind me.  Maybe I've mellowed with age, but I think the key factor in Drama Reduction has been taking responsibility for my feelings and my reactions.

For example, we had a situation here at HQ over the summer because Velvet was compelled to test my fortitude regarding the rule I made:  He and Cupcake were not allowed to be in his room with the door shut when I was awake.  I freely admitted that sexuality was entirely appropriate for college students.  It's just that as his mother, I reserved the right to be uptight about his sexuality for a few more years.  It takes time to grow accustomed to some ideas.

Because Velvet is Velvet, one afternoon he was fixing to get ready to go to his busboy job when Cupcake came over.  They hung out in his room, with the door open about six inches, and all was well.   Then Velvet decided to see if I would notice the door shutting, and of course I did.  A few weeks earlier when I was making a point, I had threatened to take his door off the hinges.  I wasn't likely to forget the dang door, but Velvet had to check.  He thought he could get lucky - literally.

I was stunned and furious at his audacity, and I knew I had to do something or I'd lose my shit.  Fortunately, I was reading The Power of Now.  I banged on his door and said, "I notice that this door is shut and I'm not going to calm down about it."
He shouted, "I'm in the shower!"
I replied, "Oh yeah?  Where's Cupcake?" then I went out on the terrace.
I breathed in through my nose and out through my mouth, reminding myself that Velvet was not attacking my identity or my parental authority, exactly.  He was just testing the limits, which is what kids do.  The situation had nothing to do with me, per se.  It was all about Velvet being a kid.  When I turned around to go back inside, Cupcake was sitting in the living room.  She wasn't even rumpled. 
It was a beautiful moment.

Before I ever picked up The Power of Now (at the recommendation of Max the Magic of Life Coach who happens to be my hairdresser), I understood intellectually about being in charge of my own inner peace.  I knew all about my patterns and emotional triggers as a result of years and years of therapy.  The idea that Mind and Ego interfere with Spiritual Authenticity was brand new for me.  You can only have inner peace when you are connected to your own authentic spirit.  The Ego/Mind has a vested interest in keeping us isolated from others so that we feel unique in the universe.   It's a big idea and people write whole books about it, so any attempt to explain it in 25 words or less is an oversimplification.  The good news is that once you get the idea, all you have to do is breathe yourself into the moment, and let go of that Mind Bullshit.

Somebody may have made you mad, but no one has annihilated your essential spirit.  War in Real Life is different than individuals and our spirits - even if it's a class war.  When people are trying to kill you in any way shape or form, it's War which is not healthy for Children and other Living Things.

When you let go of the Mind Bullshit, you find you're not a powerless victim.  Forgetting your mind doesn't end anger, and you can choose to fight if you want to.  But you can also choose to move from Fear into Love before you respond.  I still think Biff Rose said it best in Fill Your Heart:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Republican Women

Juanita Jean has this video up over at her place, Juanita Jean's The World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc.  It's a professional political organization, and Juanita Jean knows a thing or two about how the cow ate the cabbage. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Of Painting and Pranksters

It's time to turn my attention to Hippies.
I've been gearing up to plunge into Hippiedom for some time now which may sound silly but declaring yourself to be a Hippie is a major commitment, if you ask me.  I won't declare myself to be a Democrat, for example, even though I almost always vote Democrat.  I certainly won't declare myself to be a Christian, even though I generally support everything Jesus allegedly had to say.

I will declare myself to be an Early Childhood Educator and a mother and a liberal.  In real life, I won't even declare myself to be a Stoner because in my mind, I don't smoke enough weed to be a stoner.  Some would argue, however, that when your kid has swiped your bong you better stop trying to pretend you're not a stoner.  Somehow saying you're a stoner is like saying you're a lush.  I can hear my mother saying, "If the shoe fits . . . " right this very minute.

The whole Hippie thing started about a month or so ago when I left a comment on a post over at World Wide Hippies.   They had just started the "Hippies May Be the Only Sane and Rational Force Left," series and Hunga Dunga Phil had this post up:  Come Out! Come Out, wherever you are!  In a way, leaving that comment was like walking into a recruiting office asking for information.  Just to clarify, Phil doesn't call himself Hunga Dunga Phil.  Part of the title of a book he wrote is Hunga Dunga, and I just like the sound of it.

Anyway, we corresponded briefly and he gave my phone number to Joe, one of the founders of World Wide Hippies. I'm not sure when they started the website, but they put up a Facebook fan page this year and have over 5400 fans (!/worldwidehippies).

Joe is supposed to call me again this afternoon to talk about what I feel like writing for World Wide Hippies.  I feel kind of goofy about needing to be hand-held through this process since WWH makes it very clear that anyone can send them anything anytime and they will seriously consider publishing it - but from the beginning, WWH has seemed like a commitment to me.  I like posting over at Black Magpie Theory - especially since my latest post over there feels more like my own self instead of me being Political.  It's just me talking about Velvet who - news flash - broke up with Cupcake and I wandered into fairy tales, feminism and wound up calling Ginni Thomas a teabagging pimp who is paying a bunch of whores to cock block a happy ending (Happy Endings, BMT 10.25.10)  My mother is proud of my writing at Black Magpie and we all know I live to make my mother proud.

That's no lie - I really do live to make my mother proud which may partially explain how I spent 15 years in therapy.   Another partial explanation is my Uncle Jenifer.  Here's my Uncle Jenifer's facebook photo.  S/he has 1,641 facebook friends, but nobody from his/her family will speak to him/her.  That's another story all together.

Now that I think about it, though, maybe Uncle Jenifer does illustrate why I've become an adult who likes to stick my toe into the lake before I take the plunge.  You really should check the water before you wind up over your head.

I've always liked the concept behind World Wide Hippies because it's got the potential to grow into something beyond Facebook Activism.  In this TED talk, Derek Silvers discusses how to make a movement. He says:  the first followers are what transforms a lone nut into a leader.  When a leader embraces the first followers as equals, then everything is about The Movement, not about feeding the leader's ego.  Joe and Phil and Dre are like that, and it's cool.

I've always been a bit of a Romantic, but it seems to me that the spirit of the Merry Pranksters is alive and well over at World Wide Hippies.  It's just beginning to grow - as if they've finally scraped together enough cash for the bus but haven't started painting yet.   I think I'm ready to pick up a paint brush and get dirty - but I'm hesitating, trying to figure out what I feel like painting.

I can already imagine Joe on the phone this afternoon saying, "Relax, Sister! Just paint."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Changes in the Air

I'm not writing for Black Magpie on Saturdays anymore.  I'm switching off Mondays with Lisa from That's Why which is good because I simply cannot and will not sustain a focus on politics anymore. Instead,  I'm preparing for Armageddon which will be coming any day now if the midterm predictions are an indication.  I remind myself that I was afraid that Ronald Reagan was going to kill us all in a nuclear war and that didn't happen.  We're just stuck in pile of Bull Shit that has been trickling down on us from those rich bastards for thirty years.

What else is there to say?

I maintain that all the best thing to do under the circumstances is focus on raising our consciousness individually which will, in turn, raise planetary consciousness and perhaps, in another thousand years, we'll have a peaceful, harmonious civilization.  Like Ghandhi said:  Be the change you want to see in the world

There could be other changes afoot because I skipped my period.  I haven't skipped a period in years, and being 51, it may be time for my periods to start skipping.  But it may not have anything to do the that Change.  Could be because I've been going on and off the pill for some months due to changes in my health insurance prescription plan and since I'm not what you'd call Active these days, I wasn't concerned about birth control.  So maybe that irregularity led to this irregularity.   It's puzzling, however, and turned my attention toward change in general.

That man who won't talk to me is now the man who won't see me.  That's  a change, but I'm pretty sure he won't see me because he thinks nothing ever changes.  It's true that our essential nature doesn't change, but everyone evolves - unless they are stuck.  I'm coming to the conclusion that he's stuck, which is actually the same conclusion I reached this time last year.  Last year, it made me angry.  This year it is simply one more sad fact of life.

Meanwhile, an investor is supposed to be looking at the apartment this afternoon.  I've made substantial progress in the sorting and packing department, so the place looks fine - but this new development takes moving home to Austin out of the conceptual stage and puts in firmly in Reality.  Consequently, I'm starting to get anxious about this impending, major change -specifically finding a job.

There are some institutional loose ends here that need to be addressed, but for the most part, I'm exactly where I need to be right now.  I just wish things were different with that man.  I keep telling myself that there's nothing I can say or do to convince him to take a step into new territory - but part of me believes that if I could come up with exactly the right words, he'd respond. But that's not true for me and him anymore than it's true for America and The Teabaggers.  Which brings us back to forgetting about the wider world for a while and getting my own world in order.

It's just hard to accept that sometimes things are doomed to stay fucked up, and I'll never really understand why. I can have theories, but I'll never really understand.  And you never know.  Maybe he'll notice there's a change in the air and come around.  A girl can hope.

No time for moping, however.  Now that the apartment is as clean as it's getting for a while, I've got to figure out something inspirational to say over at Black Magpie.  Plus VeryMissMary is in the hospital with Bacterial Pneumonia.   I'm putting together a care package of organic fruit for her since she'll be in isolation for a while with nothing to eat except hospital food.

Velvet has also asked for a Halloween Care Package that includes glow sticks and bling for his Ali G costume.  I have a feeling he's aiming to be the King of the Halloween party this year too.  I have a feeling that's not going to change for a few more years.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Long Dong Silver and Turkish Delight

I'm supposed to be cleaning the house and getting ready for curriculum night, but I don't feel like it.

An investor is allegedly coming to see the apartment over the weekend.  If I knew for sure that he and the real estate broker were really coming, I'd be more motivated to scrub every surface.  Sadly, this whole concept could be a figment of the broker's imagination.  I could do it all on Friday after work except that I may be driving up to Connecticut with VeryMissMary.  She's got a temperature, however, which may nix that trip.

I'd clean tomorrow except that it's curriculum night at my school followed by a parent pot-luck.  Typically, these events are pretty good at my school since the parents often get competitive, and the food is always good.  This year should be better than last year since the parents agreed that we all need more wine.  The format of the evening is:  One hour in the classrooms then everyone meets in a large, lovely room for dinner.  I'm fully prepared to hit the bottle - but the classroom is not where it needs to be by this stage of the game.  I should be putting together a couple of hand outs this very minute.

I don't feel like doing that either.  All the headlines about a GOP Victory are harshing my mellow.

I keep trying to be all Namaste about this shit and accept that if the teabaggers win, that's the direction we need to go in order to break the Republican vice grip around our collective necks.  Maybe so - but I can't stop the feeling that dark days are ahead.

The news that Ginni Thomas called Anita Hill to say she'd love it if Anita apologized for stirring up that trouble with Clarence just shows how delusional and ballsy these teabaggers can be.  Nina Totenberg, in this NPR article, discusses how Ginni's fundraising for Teabaggers across the nation compromises the Supreme Court because she's relying on the anonymous donations her husband authorized with the Citizens United decision.

It would be poetic justice if that voice mail to Anita Hill brought down Ginni and Clarence Thomas.   Some of us still remember that gave testimony at Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearings about his sexual harassment, but I had forgotten all about Long Dong Silver until Ginni put this story on the front page again.

Even thought Dick Armey just endorsed John Boehner as Speaker, I still have to get up and go to work in the morning, sell my apartment and move home to Texas. One bright spot in the political arena these days is that there are so many stupid, hateful teabaggers making noise around the country that Texas is no longer the epicenter of right wing bull shit.  There's loud mouthed stupid, hateful bull shit spread from Coast to Coast these days.  It feels like Flying monkeys are running for every office in Oz.  Fear crazed Munchins are determined to shove us all on the Yellow Brick Road, leading to a money filled capital city where a charlatan has been enshrined.  These mental Munchins are convinced Sarah Palin is the Good Witch of the North when she's really the White Witch of Narnia, rushing everywhere in her flashy sleigh, covered in furs and spreading poison with her Turkish Delight.

If SCOTUS & Turkish Delight were stars in a political porn movie, Orgasmo could vanquish them all.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Packing away 1994

I'm nearly done sorting and dealing with the things on the living room shelves.  My dad and Buzz Kill worked together to build this unit years ago, when Velvet was three or four.  We needed storage and a cabinet for the TV.   I still have the big old Sony.  It still works great and now that Velvet took his Xbox to his own apartment, that TV is rarely on at all.

Buzz Kill and I easily decided who would keep which wedding presents that have been living on those shelves longer than we were married.  I packed them all away early this morning in sturdy bankers boxes that he left here last week.  He's off running a mini-triathalon in Austin, Texas of all places.  Maybe his girlfriend went with him; maybe not.   They've been together about 2 1/2 years now, so she wasn't a factor in the divorce at all.  Maybe she's helped him re-orient himself.  I hope so.

I'm going through the photos from when Velvet was a baby and we were all happy.  In the yard of the Ahwahnee Lodge in Yosemite, in the hills outside Lake Tahoe when we were on the way to see Granny the Ho.  An autumn weekend in the Berkshires with Velvet peering Into the Woods which has become the leitmotif of our mother/child dyad.  Memorial Day with Buzz Kill's family at their ancestral beach house in Wrightsville Beach, NC.

The beach must have been the following year since I'd cut my hair short.  There are some pictures of Buzz Kill and Velvet, but I didn't scan them into the computer.  Velvet still has a father, but there is no husband anymore.  I get a check every month and very few arguments which is more than many women can say.

These photos were in little albums on the book case.  They are packed away with Buzz Kill's stuff now, and I have to go through several photo boxes that have been stored safely on the shelves in my little office for years and years.   This little office used to be a very large hall closet, and the shelves are overhead.   From a feng shui perspective, it's bad to have those shelves up there because all that stuff supposedly weighs down my thoughts.  Maybe so.  But it's only photographs and Christmas decorations.

One more Christmas here and I'll be gone.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Menopausal Stoners, Aromatherapy and Propostion 19

I had just finished my post for Black Magpie Theory this morning when I got a call from VeryMissMary.  She was having a nerve spasm, or maybe it was a muscle spasm on account of nerve damage in her spine - defining this stuff gets complicated, and really, when a person is in intolerable pain, specifics don't make a hell of a lot of difference.  What matters is that your friend feels like somebody inside her spine has attached flaming threads to every centimeter of skin and is yanking on those threads until she implodes.  It fucking hurts.

VeryMissMary had taken her prescription pain medicine just as the doctor ordered, but those kind of medicines don't relax the body like good old marijuana.  Naturally, I had a bit of weed on hand so I got out of my night gown and into a taxi.   She took one hit, hooked herself up to her Tens Machine (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator) and started to feel better in a few minutes.  Because she's on a regular pain regimen, VeryMissMary doesn't need to smoke much weed to get relief.  We discovered that once her muscles begin to release, it's helpful for me to stand at the foot of her bed, take a big hit and blow the smoke in her direction.  VeryMissMary says:  Now THAT'S aromatherapy.

Unfortunately, she's going to test positive for weed the next time she goes to her pain doctor.  For some reason, doctors in New York State run blood tests monthly to make sure patients are taking their medicine as directed instead of selling it on the street, I suppose.  There's a chance that if she tests positive for weed, he'll make her come in for weekly testing - which is a hassle for anyone.  It should be a crime to requrie a chronic pain patient to endure the chronic hassle of traffic and transportation just because of Weed.

Soon, we're going to have to commit further crimes to get more weed, and then another crime when we smoke it, or brew it into tea make it into Cannibutter.  The good news is that while standing in VeryMissMary's doorway, I was balancing on one foot because I like to get high and do yoga.  We decided to call that W-oga for Weed Yoga.  As she was describing the effects of Cannibutter on a former boyfriend, we decided we needed to post some Weed Recipies - or Wecipies - here at Menopausal Stoners.  We can do that next weekend from the bungalow in Connecticut.

I have to say for the record, however, that it's bullshit that two old ladies like me and VeryMissMary should be criminals on account of her nerve damage and my moderate use of marijuana for marijuana.  We weren't driving or flying airplanes or anything.  We were just chatting while she lay in bed hooked up to a TENS machine, for crying out loud. 

You would think that The Establishment, in its efforts to turn America into a zombie army of underpaid workers who are perpetually on the edge of financial ruin would throw us a bone and legalize weed.  Man can't put up with this shit with Alcohol alone - or pharmaceuticals either.  I would also like to state for the record that we here at Menopausal Stoners fully support the use of pharmaceuticals of all kinds.  Better living through chemistry and all that.  We love pharmaceuticals - especially Valium and Ritalin and the occasional Tylenol 3.  Nobody wants to cut in to Big Pharma's game or Liquor's game either.  We just want to smoke weed when we feel like it.

I'm watching California's Prop 19 situation with interest for a number of reasons - not the least of which is that I'm tired of risking jail time for something so innocuous.  The other reason is that I have a fantasy about opening a weed spa with my cousin the Pilates instructor out in Lake Tahoe.  My mother would never approve - at least not until we started making money.  VeryMissMary is thinking more along the lines of a weed dispensary in New Jersey, since they have authorized medicinal marijuana under very limited circumstances - like your prognosis has to give you less than a year to live.   Pretty dang limited when you consider that people need relief and can't get it through regular medical channels.

People need relief from Reality, too, which is why I like to smoke weed.  I'm not surprised to hear that the alcohol lobby is openly spending money to defeat Prop 19, but they need to relax.  People will still buy as much wine and scotch as ever.  The thing is that when I smoke weed, I have to be prepared to check out for a couple of hours.  Not so with a glass or two of wine. I can drink a couple of glasses of wine at a function for work.  Even if weed were fully legal, I would never smoke weed with people from work.  Waste of Good Weed.  Weed and Alcohol are not mutually exclusive, and in fact, they go well together.  Further, weed makes some people feel socially awkward and otherwise paranoid.  Those people don't even want to smoke it.  And plenty of people have never smoked weed in their entire lives and never, ever want to try it. My mother springs to mind.

It's kind of the same as Gay Marriage.  Nobody is forcing you to marry someone of the same sex.  It's just that some same sex couples want to get married.  And speaking of Gay Marriage, this video is making the rounds:

Phil turned me on to it.  He wrote Hunga Dunga: Confessions of an Unapologetic Hippie and is sort of a Hippie Recruiter for World Wide Hippies.  The more I think about it, the more I think those guys are right when they said, “Hippies may be the only sane and rational force left.”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

PMS: Pre Midterm Syndrome

A couple of days ago, I was optimistic about all kinds of stuff.
Not today.
Early this morning, I was feeling touchy about some comment over at Black Magpie thinking that when some men see tits, they can't hear and automatically miss your point and/or think you're dumb because you have tits.  Not all men, of course.  Maybe only 25%.   I was fixing to get agitated when I realized I was probably PMSing.

The time is right for personal PMS, but I have to wonder if there's something like PMS that goes along with elections - like Pre Midterm Syndrome.  Reading that Sharon Angle raised 14 million dollars at the same time as she said Detroit, Michigan was under Sharia Law illustrates the whole syndrome this cycle.  She's a well funded moron - but where is the money coming from?   According to Think Progress, the US Chamber of Commerce has launched "an unprecedented $75 million partisan attack ad campaign against Democrats."  A bunch of this money comes from overseas, and there's more from the Koch brothers.   The thing is, though, that people have been buying elections for generations, so this news is old news - which is why it sucks so hard.

I guess it's worse now that the Supreme Court institutionalized this bullshit with Citizens United - and it's even worse when you consider that Clarence Thomas' wife is a notorious Teabagging fundraiser.  So it's the same old shit only deeper which is probably why everybody is so grumpy.  We can't all have PMS.  Men don't even get PMS.

The trouble comes when the world is grumpy - for very good reasons - and you add PMS to the mix.  For a little while this afternoon I was excited on account of I got to talk with Joe McEvoy who is one of the founders of World Wide Hippies.  I'm fixing to be the correspondent from New York for World Wide Hippies.  I'll get press credentials and everything.  All I have to do now is figure out something to write about.  I have confidence something will come to me, and talking with Joe is fun.  But before you know it, I was feeling a little hopeless.  Who can help it? Everywhere you look, there is news of the impending Republican victories and the election is three weeks away.  If 9-11 proved one thing it's that people on TV jabber away for hours and hours without having the slightest clue of what is going on, but they generate self-fulfilling prophecies all the time.

Maybe I caught the PMS from Distributor Cap, who had this video up at his own blog and some compelling observations about the Right posted over at Black Magpie in Mother, Jugs and Speedos.  I believe he made the video himself which makes him the lovely and talented D-Cap.

It all goes back to that old saying: In a democracy, people get the government they deserve.  The trouble with that idea - true as it may be - is that even if these candidates all get elected either because Teabaggers turn out on November 2 in droves or because Democrats don't get out and vote at all, I don't see how we deserve their bullshit.

Deserve it or not - we're stuck.  Especially on account of that endless war that has trashed our country.
What's a poor girl to do?  Drink a glass of Pinot Noir and go to bed, secure in the knowledge that for what it's worth, Tomorrow is Another Day.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Time for Tea

I want to crawl under the covers and read a book, or maybe listen to a Carolyn Myss CD on Spiritual Alchemy, but I'm avoiding my bedroom.  Buzz Kill came over this afternoon and busted out some bookcases that my dad built for me some years ago.  Buzz Kill hadn't moved out of the apartment yet when my dad came up from Texas to help me with some major chores - like getting the Faux Queen Anne dining set that I always hated out of my apartment and over to the Goodwill.  I'm pretty sure Buzz Kill got the message that the next thing to be tossed out of this apartment was him.  It may have been a full year between the time Dad was here and the time Buzz Kill finally left.  During that time, Buzz Kill mostly he slept on the couch during that year, but he figured out ways to weasel himself back into the bed.  Illness and Injury, for the most part.

The shelves are gone now.  They were on either side of a very big window.  The room itself is the color of bluebonnets, but the bookcases were cream.  The walls behind where they used to be are cream, too, and there are white stripes showing where the shelves used to be.  My curtains had to come down, too, because the rod ran across the window from one bookcase to the other.  A duet shade covers the window itself so I don't have to hang a sheet over the window, but my embroidered silk organza sheers are waiting to be laundered and packed in preparation for my move to Austin.  Buzz Kill had those sheers made for me in India years ago, when he was trying to use gifts to convince me of his eternal love.  He brought me cabichon emerald earrings too.  I was obnoxious about them at the time because gifts wouldn't make up for decades of financial deception - and in fact buying things like emeralds when the electric bill is past due was part of the problem - but they're nice earrings for sure.  Granny the Ho would have loved them.

Granny's ashes are packed away too  So is The John Robert Powers Way to Teenage Beauty, Charm and Popularity.  Things are getting serious here at HQ.  The apartment won't officially go on the market until February, but it will take that long to tie up all the loose ends - like fixing the ice maker and putting new caulk around the bathtub.  Velvet's bathroom needs a new sink.  That sink was always ugly, if you ask me, but it's trashed now since the kids used it for an ashtray when they were hotboxing the bathroom.  Little burn marks everywhere.  Ruffians.

Cupcake is visiting Velvet at Tree Hugger this weekend.  I looked at the Tree Hugger website today on account of it being Global Work Day according to  I meant to pay more attention to this environmental fiesta, but I haven't paid much attention to the news this week.  And besides - those fat checks we keep writing to Tree Hugger ought to be good for some environmental brownie points.

The kids at Tree Hugger aren't even doing anything to mark this Climate Change occasion, so I feel vindicated.  I was also very proud to see that the Sierra Club has named Tree Hugger one of the coolest schools in the country.  It made some other fancy lists, too, but I liked the Sierra Club best.  It would be nice if Velvet got off of academic probation.  He's working very hard.  Well, he's working anyway, which is an improvement over this time last year when he was working on being King of the Halloween Party.  I better send that child some glow sticks.

As diverting as it is to think about Velvet, and Cupcake since yesterday was her birthday and that's why she went up there this weekend - sooner or later, I'm going to have to go into my room and see this tangible new reminder that part of my life is nearly over. 

I think I'll have a cup of tea.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Oompa Loompas, Cum Sluts and The Rally to Restore Sanity

Texas Tea Pad has this clip posted today.  I don't know a thing about this fellow's record as governor of New Mexico, but I like his style.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Gary Johnson
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

I'm still trying to figure out if I'm going to the Rally in DC on October 30th.  It depends on if Gigi is going or not.  VeryMissMary and I might go, but she's been sick lately so we don't know if she'll be up to the trip or not.  With Gigi, the issue involves a romantic development.  Gigi and VeryMissMary are the only people I'd want to go with, except for The Man from San Antone and that's out of the question since he's busy suing people.  The reason I'd want to go with him anyway has to do with accommodations.  He can afford a swanky hotel near the Mall so I wouldn't have to use a Port-O-San along with every drunk kid on the east coast.  When you're my age, the social, political and cultural significance of an event must be weighed against personal comfort.

It would be fun to be at the Rally to Restore Sanity and to Keep Fear Alive, but I want to get there on Friday, have a nice dinner and sleep in a comfy bed.  Saturday I want to have a lovely breakfast and get ready at a leisurely pace.  After having a wonderful afternoon on the Mall, I want to rest, take a long, hot bath, wrap up in a cushy towel, rest some more then go out for another lovely dinner - but that would all be flexible because you never know who you'll meet and where you'll go from there.  After a good night's sleep and a quick but delicious breakfast on Sunday morning, we'd head back to the city and maybe stop at a farmers' market along the way.  All very doable, but only if I'm sharing expenses with somebody.

The main reason I want to go is to hook up with some buddies from Blogland, especially Joe and Dre from World Wide Hippies.  Today they've linked to a letter written by Kurt Vonnegut Jr in 1991 in which Vonnegut declares: Our government doesn't give a fuck about our troops.  Onward and Upward.

This morning, I've spent my political energy discussing Tits and the Progressive Agenda over at Black Magpie Theory.   Although I'm not sure it's actually true, Obama and other prominent Democrats have been insisting that the choice between Republicans and Democrats is clear.  Frankly, I'm of the opinion that Democrats are only slightly less bad than Republicans - and I'm not factoring in Blue Dog Democrats who have been fucking up everything.  Nevertheless, it would suck to see that Oompa Loompa John Boehner as Speaker of the House.

In Real Life these days, when I haven't been trying to convince a man that he needs to allow me to become his Cum Slut, I've been dealing with some of the most spoiled children I've encountered in twenty years of teaching preschool.  I can handle the kids, but their parents are going to get a stern lecture on curriculum night in a couple of weeks.  Either they are scared of their two year-olds or they are operating under the delusion that everything their kids do is cute.  I may wear my new black motorcycle boots and smack a ruler against my leg while I'm talking.

Actually, I haven't gone on the Cum Slut mission yet.  I've made a simple suggestion.  I hope I don't need to go on a full blown campaign because I'm not sure exactly what that would entail.  I've never been a Cum Slut before.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Forgiveness and Reality

Forgiveness is a tricky thing.

I have been trying to get somebody to forgive me even though I'm not sorry for anything I've done.  I am sorry that he was hurt by my actions, but I maintain that under the circumstances my actions were understandable.  In fact, I think he wouldn't have respected me if I had behaved any other way.

It's easy enough to say that I haven't been forgiven because that man is limited by his own perceptions.  That, like many, many people, he is trapped inside a mind that manufactures isolation in order to preserve a sense of being a unique, distinct individual in the universe.  An individual defined by his thoughts and wounds.  You can't get judgmental about that shit, though, because the reason it's so easy to recognize those qualities in others is because you have those very same qualities your own self.

Plenty of people say that you're never going to heal unless you learn to forgive.  Plenty of people say that some things are unforgivable.   As someone who experienced a damaging, incestuous episode at the hands of my uncle - who is now my aunt and running for city council in a large Texas town - I can get behind the idea that some things are unforgivable.  When you hear some Authority on Healing say that you have to forgive a certain person to get back your spirit, it's like being told you will never have inner peace until you take Darth Vader out to lunch.

I'm finally beginning to understand that when you're content with the way things are in your life Now, it's because you recognize that the events in your past made you the wonderful person you are today.  Ergo: things might have sucked at the time, but as part of the process of human growth, they were necessary to you.

I'm not so sure I understand how being abused was necessary to my development.  Sunshine, oxygen and water are necessary to my development.  And Chocolate. Given that most shrinks say that everyone can make a case for coming from an abusive, dysfunctional family - I suppose that abuse and humiliation are part of life, and getting over it is essential to your own development.  And truly, with regard to my uncle - or my Ankle since he was my uncle and is now my aunt - I have to wonder if his whole life would have gone differently if he'd only been allowed to Twirl a baton instead of being forced to play Pee Wee Football.  That didn't give him the right to be a child molester, but in the scheme of things, I am the one who decides whether to be irrevocably damaged or not.

This man who won't forgive me is not a perp.   He's just a guy.  An Every Man struggling to get by in a cold, cruel world.   It's been almost two years since he said he forgave me for causing a shit storm in his life - and maybe he has forgiven me.  At the time, though, it sure sounded to me like he was playing the forgiveness card in order to make himself feel morally superior.  As it happened, another man was forgiving me at the time.  That guy actually said I had sinned against him which is why I handed my Drama Queen crown straight over to him.  The point is that some people forgive those who trespass against them without having a bit of compassion, empathy or understanding.  It's all about being holier than thou.

Whether or not he really forgave me back then is currently irrelevant because I caused a worse shit storm this past February.  I maintain that I was provoked to the point where I had to retaliate, but it's likely that we simply played the cards we were dealt and the shit storm was the inevitable result.  All confirmed Bokonists know that things happen as they are supposed to happen.  That doesn't mean there is a divine plan behind every drama - that means that in the pool hall of Life, once you hit the cue ball, the trajectory is determined by cause and effect.

While I appreciate that these things take time, it seems to me that if this guy and I are talking again after all this hurtful bullshit, we might as well get back in bed together.  If  Make Up Sex with this guy is as energizing as I know it's going to be, we might as well make the most of the few months I have left in town. Some people might think it was foolish to instigate a long distance relationship, but to me, the distance is perfect.  If we were kids and wanted to breed, I could see that being 1,500 miles apart would be an issue, but we're both in the AARP zone.  We both need a lot of space and independence to follow our own paths, and I am not looking to get into his bank account because I have a little money of my own.  I personally can't see the problem, and time is running out.

But it doesn't matter if I can't see the problem.  There's something in the way and there's nothing I can say or do to change that. 

Any time I've listened to somebody talking about healing and forgiveness, everything boils down to accepting and loving your own self.  We're all in charge of our own inner peace.  I can meditate, and sometimes I feel so connected to the life source that I'm flooded with the warmth of Grace.  As grateful as I am to be at that point, and as wonderful as that feeling of ultimate acceptance is - it's also wonderful when two people melt into each others warmth.   It might be sexual, but the point is the warmth and understanding, and you can feel that with your parents, or your children or your very best friends.

They say that atonement is all about being At One.  Right now, with me and this fellow, that oneness is barely beyond our reach.  Just barely.  It's a challenge to finally grab that elusive brass ring, and all it would take is one clear, purposeful stretch.   When you're on a carousel, though, timing is always a factor.  You have to be patient and aware so that when the opportunity presents itself, you can go for it with all your might.

So I'm trying to be patient and to trust that as long as we're living, there will be other opportunities.  Meanwhile, I'm wondering if I have really forgiven him.  I may have totally accepted and forgiven his role in the shit storms, but I'm having trouble understanding, accepting and forgiving him for keeping his distance.  Even though the big picture makes perfect sense, a couple of moment remain frozen into into vignettes that pierced the soul.  We could regret them for a lifetime, or we could melt into an embrace that says all is forgiven.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

This Little Light of Mine

Gearing up to write for Black Magpie this morning, I was troubled.  I think the post (High Time) is timely and political and serious which is what it's supposed to be, I guess. Or maybe we're just in some serious shit in this country right now, so it's timely and appropriate to be serious.

Whatever.  The trouble is that I don't feel Political at all right now.  I feel Spiritual. Somehow, there doesn't seem to be any place for Spirituality when you're sitting at the table with the cool kids in the high school cafeteria.

I fully appreciate that God and Jesus have caused a lot of trouble in this world, but I would argue that neither God nor Jesus had anything to do with that shit.  People caused that shit.  Maybe God is a loaded gun, but it takes a person to fire the gun.  Further, God doesn't necessarily have anything to do with anything at all. Maybe in the beginning, God created Evolution.  Who the fuck cares?  We're here now, and whether or not there's a God has absolutely nothing to do with how we treat each other.

Even if there has never, ever been any God at all  there is still Beauty in the world.  And Inner Peace.  It's difficult to talk about experiencing that Beauty and Peace without referencing Energy or The Source.  The trouble is that tons of people - even militant atheists - are so stuck on God as Grandpa in the Sky that you can't even be grateful for beer without somebody making fun of you.  Or worse, they're afraid you're going to shove grandpa up their ass the minute you mention something that sounds remotely similar to God, when all you're really saying is that there's something more to this existence than meets the eye, and it's Beautiful.

Believing in something that resembles The Force doesn't make me as stupid as Christine O'Donnell.

"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter," says Master Yoda.   Maybe all God ever has been and ever will be is a luminous spirit inside of us that connects us to Life and to each other - but isn't that enough?  God as a judgmental old bastard is patriarchal bullshit designed to keep power in the hands of antebellum dicks like Newt and Rush.  The Church, as a money making institution, needs the bullshit most of all.

The power of the patriarchy runs deep.It ran in me this morning while I was writing for BMT.  I'd be more mad at myself for hiding my light under a bushel, except for it's probably okay to let that light shine brightest over here in my own space.  Max, the Magic of Life Coach, sent me this video about a month or so ago.  It's a passage from Marianne Williamson's book, A Return to Love.  I shared it with a couple of friends, but I hesitated to share it more broadly because the word "God" is so connected to The Patriarchy that merely hearing the word can make your blood boil and run cold at the same time. All she's really talking about, though, is that energy we also call Life and Love. We also hear the same ideas about inner peace and energy in Yoga class, and from Earth based, Goddess oriented theology - so it's not like Jesus cornered the market on this stuff.  The folks at Unity have been saying that the Christ energy is available to all of us all the time it for years and years.  It's basic New Age Hippie Spirituality.

I can't help it that a bunch of patriarchal assholes commandeered God for their own purposes and perpetrated atrocities in the name of God around the globe for generations.  There is a light in all of us - and maybe if more people would let it shine, we could break free from a way of life that commits all our resources to war and start dedicating our resources to each other and our planet.