Friday, September 30, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

My compatriots over at RoundTree7 have initiated a "drum roll" in support and solidarity with Occupy Wall Street ( Gwendolyn Holden Barry expanded the regular show she does with Jack Jodell - Here Be Monsters - so that they're broadcasting everyday during the occupation of Wall Street and the occupation of Freedom Plaza next week in Washington DC.   It's a call-in format so no matter where you are - whether you're at work in Oklahoma or Tennessee, in bed with the flu or another more serious condition keeps you homebound in Florida, Texas, Connecticut, Iowa, Nebraska or Timbukfuckingtu - you can have a virtual sit-in in solidarity with the demonstrators.

I'm heading to Zuccotti Park(remained Liberty Park in honor of the Occupation) later today with my dear friend and former boss. She's the one I was with that day at IKEA when I spontaneously turned into a shoplifter as a result of an overwhelming overload of institutionalized stupidity. This shoplifting phase nearly got out of hand at the grocery store when I realized that corporations made a business decision to replace humans at the registers with Self-Checkers. Absorbing increased shoplifting is still cheaper than paying salary and benefits to a human.

My mother always told me that shoplifting was wrong because stores charged more for their merchandise to cover the cost of the shoplifting so if you steal from a store, all your neighbors pay for your bad behavior. She didn't know what to say when I told her that the grocery stores were already charging you, say, 20% extra for your purchases to cover shoplifting whether people shoplifted or not. So it was actually incumbent upon us all to use the self-checkers - which have eliminated jobs - to swipe 20% of the items in our carts.

It's really easy to put a $15.00 pot roast on top of a 12 pack of toilet paper. Slide the toilet paper across the scanner, and plop the pot roast straight into your bag. Take three boxes of pasta and stack them neatly, scan one.  Presto! It's practically your moral responsibility to stick it to The Man.

I stopped shoplifting because I had gotten so ballsy that it was only a matter of time before I was apprehended, and that would have been embarrassing not only to my buddy Nicole, but it also would have been problematic given that I was in the middle of the romance with that preacher from the mountains.  You don't get busted for shoplifting when you're dating a preacher.  You'll never hear the end of it.

Anyway, Nicole is helping me tote some supplies down to the food committee.   I'm not sure, but we may wind up in the middle of the march to One Police Plaza.   By now everyone should be aware that a few cops have been unnecessarily rough. Lee Camp explains:

Whatever happens, I'll be writing it up for Roundtree7.  I still love Joe over at Worldwide Hippies, but now that I'm working full time and in the writing workshop (and hopefully dating a strikingly handsome, if somewhat narcissistic yoga master with an outstanding retreat near Ithaca), I can't commit to a deadline anymore.  Ergo: I'm no longer part of that team.  Hopefully that situation will work itself out somehow since WWH brings a lot to the party.  Meanwhile, Roundtree7 has graciously included me in their collective.  I like being part of a group working toward a common goal - and right now, that goal is to keep sharing the news from the occupation since Corporate Media has a blackout on the information unless they are denigrating the efforts.  That's what happens when you've come to depend on golden showers from Goldman Sacks

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Red Flags Flying

I'm not nearly as excited about the Yoga Master as I was a few days ago.  Now I'm skeptical.  It's still a few days until we're supposed to have lunch - assuming that will actually happen.  He's dropped out of sight.  On the phone the other night, he told me that he was in the middle of some Zen thing involving ten days of meditation and wheatgrass juice.  This spiritual and physical cleansing undoubtedly explains why he hasn't responded to a little email I sent him via Match yesterday.  All that connecting with the infinite interferes with ordinary conversation.


Left to my own devices to satisfy my natural curiosity, I googled his name and discovered that the 115 Acre  Compound is for sale and that his wife was included in business photos as recently as mid-2010.  Plenty of divorced people maintain business relationships, but the happy family in the photo is apparently a fiction for marketing purposes.  I also discovered that, according to his Facebook page, he started using a site called Girls Date Free on or about September 8, 2011.

It's surprising that people leave information like that up on Facebook walls for all the world to see.  I suppose his page is fully public because he's using Facebook for marketing/self-promotional purposes.  Plenty of people do that.  Even my Uncle Jenifer who is running for City Council in Houston.  What I can't understand is why anyone who is trying to attract partners and/or buyers for a 1.9 million dollar property outside Ithaca would think it's good business practices to leave Girls Date Free in his personal news feed.

From the way he posts status updates and never goes back to respond to the comments, I suppose it's possible that he doesn't even know Girls Date Free is there.  Most likely, he went on Facebook to post something ultra-vegan or Zen Masterish, saw an ad for Girls Date Free in his side bar, followed a link or two so he could cruise for chicks, and the news wound up in his newsfeed when he clicked "allow access."

That happens all the time.  It's one reason I never click "allow access." The main reason is that clicking on that shit leads to your email account being usurped to send Viagra and Vicoden advertisements.

Now, even when I am at my most enthusiastic about an individual, I keep a close watch on my wallet.  If it's one thing I learned growing up in the Sabine River Valley, it's that some people are always looking for ways to separate you from your bank account.  Uncle Jenifer again comes to mind.  Any time someone asks you to lunch, you know they want in your pants, in your wallet or both.  Uncle Jenifer would also want your vote.

When the Yoga Master and I crossed Match dot com paths back in June, I dismissed him as a Narcissist.  A strikingly handsome narcissist, but a narcissist none the less.  This additional information further supports my original assessment.  He may be just a hapless fool, which would be perfectly great since we're all Bozos on the Bus after all.  However, the thing about Narcissists is that they are so thoroughly convinced that everything they do is Right and Good that they don't bother to consider the potential repercussions of their actions.  Anthony Wiener and BP provide examples of this phenomenon.  So do Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney and that blogstalking ex-boyfriend of mine with his eight page XXX rated google trail.  One of his on-line dating profiles claimed he was a gourmet cook, and I know for sure the best he could manage was tough, dry London Broil and microwaved broccoli.

This new fellow is probably not as ridiculous as that douche bag, and it's highly unlikely he is a petty criminal with incestuous tendencies like my Uncle Jenifer.   Certainly he's not a blight on the planet like Dick Cheney and Tony Hayward since few people are that awful.  Nevertheless, it's very likely that his former wife has a stake in that 1.9 million dollar "private hotel," and that he's imagines he's still the babe magnet he was back when he was a ski instructor in Vermont and a freelance film producer in New York City in the 70s.

God knows I cherish my own delusions, too, but at least Mama didn't raise no fool.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Yoga Master

I am excited about a man again.
I've been momentarily excited about this one before, but he disappeared about the time my dad got here to help me move.  He found me on Match dot com - or maybe I found him back when I was still enthusiastic about Match dot com and could search through the profiles without blowing my stack.

Since then, as you may recall, I got totally bent and wrote the feminist manifesto profile (Stonerdate 07.22.11).  I'm pretty sure that my disappointment over Abilene Steve had a lot to do with my hostility toward Match Men in general. I really did like Abilene Steve, but it turns out that Debra, She Who Seeks, was right when she commented that it looked like I dodged a bullet.  Although he may have calmed down by now, in my imagination Abilene Steve will continue to run through the Hudson Valley with a bottle of vodka in one hand and a dead cat in the other.


I don't know if the Yoga Master was monitoring my progress on Match dot com or if it was simply a matter of synchronicity, but as soon as I updated my profile and sounded friendly, he reappeared.  Could be that once there was finally a nip of fall in the air, New York admitted that we were not on Summer Hours anymore.  Could be that he got his personal projects finished up enough to turn his attention back to recreation.  Maybe it had to do with my mentioning in the profile that I had a brief episode on Ashley Madison after I had filed for divorce but wasn't strictly single.   I don't know, and frankly I'm not so sure I want to know.  In any case, I'm excited again.

In the past, I have made disparaging remarks about men who post photographs of their property on dating sites.  I could go on about the offensive nature of materialism in general - but I have a feeling that my real objection was that the property itself was entirely pedestrian.  The Yoga Master's property is not only a manifestation of his authentic self - it's a hotel, of sorts, that he created and is currently promoting.  I thought it was brilliant to combine on line dating with marketing since a lot of broads in NYC may not ever consider actually living at a yoga retreat in the countryside outside Ithaca, but they'd spend a bundle to hang out there a few weekends a year.

I was intrigued when I saw a couple of photos on his profile back in June, and I am even more intrigued now. He's coming into the city next weekend and has asked me out to lunch.
For the moment, I'm cooling my jets because we may never go beyond lunch no matter how easily I can see myself traipsing around his countryside.  But stranger things have happened, and besides, I like the anticipation as much as the date itself.  Sometimes more.

There's also another little fellow trying to come in from the periphery even though I've told him I am fundamentally opposed to his profession.  He's a military contractor who trains pilots for electronic warfare.  He says that Brits with a certain pedigree all spend time in the military.  I figure his pedigree isn't particularly remarkable or he wouldn't be living in New Jersey.

Monday, September 19, 2011

On the Horizon

There's something weird about how straight male doctors and medical technicians move my hair when they are examining my neck and/or shoulders.  It's not a bit like Max the psychic life coach and hairdresser touches it.  Max is totally professional, efficient and matter-of-fact.  The technician who managed the X-rays of my shoulder today lingered just a bit too long.

I probably shouldn't have said, "I wish," when he asked me if there was any chance I was pregnant.  But the doctor I saw back in March seemed almost reverential when he lifted it gently off my shoulders and smoothed it on either side of my neck to look at my spine.  It seemed unusual at the time.  The doctor I saw last Wednesday, who may be a lesbian but I don't really know, just brushed it out of the way with professional efficiency just like Max.

The technician today wasn't creepy or anything. He just lingered, and I got the feeling he'd have fucked me right there in the X-ray room.  That might have been my imagination, though.  I'm feeling kind of sexy these days because I've lost ten pounds since I went on the anti-infammation diet the nutritionist recommended.  I haven't been totally detoxing since last week when I got that tooth pulled, I had champagne and mango sorbet for dinner a few nights in a row as well as some little 100 calorie chocolate bars from Trader Joe's.

I've been walking a lot lately, though, making home visits to the kids in my class this year.  I love home visits because it's fun to stomp around the Upper West Side with my assistant looking at everyone's apartment - although we do get apartment envy sometimes and can never quite understand what the heck all these people are doing so that they have enough money to afford these lovely apartments.  Then Comrade Kevin and I did a lot of walking while he was here over the weekend looking at stuff.

Walking is my favorite exercise - besides getting high and stretching on my pilates ball, which I haven't done lately because I'm a little afraid I'll hurt myself since the shoulder has been out of whack.  I did do some balancing last week now that the ball is blown up again.  My dad deflated it when I moved in June, and it's still not fully inflated because I'm pacing myself.  My shoulder has been steadily improving and I haven't wanted to over-do it.

I was able to get in push-up position on it and hold myself steady, distributing my weight equally between each arm while I lifted my legs straight out behind me.   Kind of like this:

I wasn't on that much of an incline, but I still did it.  I wouldn't even have attempted it a couple of months ago.

I'm especially excited because Gwendolyn Holden Barry, from Daughters of Isis, has mixed up a healing potion specially for me.  She noticed something I said here on the blog a while back about how I thought that petrochemicals in the environment when I was growing up contributed to my Morphea Scleroderma, so she wrote me on Facebook said that if I could get some of the soil from the old neighborhood, she thought she could develop a homeopathic remedy.  As it happened, I was going to Houston the next week. One afternoon, my sister-in-law drove me over to our old house and we were able to get a few spoonfuls without being noticed.  Except we used sticks to dig, and I used my bare hands to collect the dirt.  It's been so dry in Houston with the drought and all that the soil was baked and hard.  

My mother was initially concerned about Agent Orange in the dirt on account of all the weed killer folks spray around there, but I figured that if there was that much Agent Orange in the environment, it was already in the drinking water - so What the Hell?

Gwendolyn just put the potion in the mail, and it should be here by the weekend. Gwen is a blogger (a new global myth), and she does a blogtalk radio called Here Be Monsters.  Years ago, she studied mythology with Joseph Campbell at Columbia.  That's cool in and of itself - and as a result, she wound up following her bliss to Ancestor Aromachologie.   She says the worst thing that can happen from using the potion is that I'll be drinking a little dirt.  That's not nearly as bad as running behind the DDT truck when they sprayed the mosquitoes back in Beaumont when we were kids.

I'm sure that when Velvet is home this weekend and hears about the potion he's going to start up the Witch accusations again, and when he does I'll tell him that Witches were the original healers until the dang Romans chased our ancestors into the woods and demonized them.  Patriarchal Dick Wads.

Velvet is coming home specifically to spend time with Cup Cake.  He was just here over Labor Day, so I'm thinking that there's a 50/50 chance he'll wind up going to school here in the city next year.   I've been impressed by how well those two have managed their whole relationship.  Sometimes I think they may very well be one of those couples that get together in High School and stay together their whole lives.

He could do worse.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Comrade Kevin's Photos

Comrade Kevin is visiting.
We've been hanging out talking politics this evening.  Earlier today I was making him go with me to see what was going on at the Occupation of Wall Street, but there was a police situation on the subway and we had to get off the train.  We went out for barbecue and to the Met instead.

He's got pictures up at his blog.

Comrade Kevin's Chrestomathy

Monday, September 12, 2011

Friday, September 2nd

For the last two years, when it's been time to get Velvet situated for school, the phrase "Into the Woods," sprang to mind.  The associations have consistently been pleasant, suggesting the stuff of fairy tale, which inevitably led to Sondheim since it seems something is always reminding me of a song.

This year, I was fixing to sigh with relief since it looked like Velvet was finally out of the woods when he cut class so he could spend as much time as possible at a three day electronic music festival on Randall's Island called Electric Zoo.

He had been planning to go to the concert with some of his brothers from Hookah House for over a month, and of course Cupcake was going too.  It was a pricey festival, but things in New York City are often pricey and the three-day pass included transportation to and from midtown via ferry.  I was always cool with the idea of him coming to the city after class on Friday.  The trouble is that he skipped class.  Skipping one class on a Friday when the instructor has already said that attendance will never be taken may not be a big deal - but when it's the first week of school for a student who is a Fifth Semester Freshman, it creates a bad impression.  I was fucking pissed; Buzz Kill was fit to be tied, and Velvet hadn't realized he'd done anything stupid.

It all started on Friday, September 2nd.

Buzz Kill was on the rag because Velvet is supposed to see this guy at the beginning of every semester to get Letters of Accommodation for all his classes.  Velvet had already emailed the guy, but hadn't followed up by calling to make an appointment.  Although Buzz Kill isn't wrong about the importance of this process every semester, he has always put an irrational, anxiety based amount of emphasis on The Guy.  Ergo:  Velvet stalls just because he's in a pissing contest with his father.  I called Velvet at about 2:30 to tell him to call the guy before he left Syracuse.

As it happened, Velvet was already in a car heading for the city.

Apparently Velvet woke up Friday morning with the best of intentions.  Just before noon, though, but one of his brothers, who has graduated and is now an unemployed engineer, showed up with two lovely young women in the car and suggested Velvet come along.  Another Hookah Brother, who is in the same Friday class as Velvet said he'd take notes for them both, and Velvet just jumped in the car.  He might as well have been one of those lively dogs who think any open car door is an invitation to adventure.

I figured that if Velvet had had any clue that I'd be pissed he cut class, he simply would have let my call go to voice mail and shown up at home at 11:30 like I was expecting and I'd have never known the difference.      I took some comfort in that realization, but I was still pissed that he was in a car flying down the highway, and reminded him that his keys were here in the kitchen - not in his pocket - which was a problem for him since I wasn't going to be home at 4:00.  While he and I were on the phone, the physical therapist called to say he was running late, so I rescheduled the appointment and was able to be home to open the door for Velvet and his friends - who, incidentally, were all planning to stay at our place.  Then I called Buzz Kill to discuss the idea of pulling Velvet out of school while we could still get our money back.

While I was waiting for Velvet & Co. to arrive, I realized a number of things.  First of all, it was clear that Velvet is convinced that I believe everything he ever did was cute and that all I do is hang around the apartment with milk and cookies waiting for him to brighten my day.  When I mentioned this observation to him late Saturday night, he had to admit that he took my full support and constant presence for granted.  But, we agreed that mothers really do want our children to feel unconditionally loved and supported - so even though it's annoying sometimes to be taken for granted, it's sort of an occupational hazard.  The second thing I noticed was that Velvet had no idea that there was a direct connection between his behavior and his bills getting paid.  Most important to me, though, was the realization that for the last 10 years or so, Velvet has not made me and Buzz Kill mad at the same time.

Buzz Kill gets pissed at Velvet, and I tell Velvet not to worry about it because Buzz Kill is an Idiot.  I get pissed at Velvet, and Buzz Kill tells him not to worry about it because I'm a Crazy Bitch.  As a result, Velvet has been able to run between us and get away with all manner of shit.  All that changed on Friday.

Buzz Kill came over at about 4:00 so that Velvet would be greeted with the sight of Parents United Against Velvet's Bullshit.  The sight was effective.  While the friends settled into the TV room, Buzz Kill and I informed Velvet that we would be having a chat before he went back to Syracuse.  Velvet tried to raise a ruckus there and then, saying that he couldn't understand why we were freaking out since he'd been responsible for children's lives all summer at his day camp job.  Certainly we could see that if he could be responsible for children's lives, he could be responsible for college.  I told him it was tacky to have animated family meetings when guests were in the house particularly since they were all waiting to go to the concert. We agreed to have a breakfast meeting on Monday since the guests were leaving Sunday evening.

Velvet and I had a nice talk when he got home on Saturday night, and I brought up his college fund. It's my job to set up the college account as per the stipulation in the divorce decree.  I explained to Velvet that although his father was totally prepared to contribute 75% of the total amount, also as per the stipulation, there was no way in fucking hell either one of us was putting in any money at all whatsoever if Velvet didn't perform up to expectations.  Even if Velvet thinks his father's requests are unreasonable and stupid, he better do as his father asks if he wants the dang cash.  Reality suddenly dawned on Velvet in that instant, and he understood that sometimes parents are like a boss at work.  It doesn't matter what you think about the tasks assigned, if you want the money, you will perform said tasks with a smile.

Monday morning, we made a list of things that Velvet had to accomplish before close of business on Wednesday if he wanted to stay in school.  As it happened, Buzz Kill was already scheduled to be in Syracuse for the weekend to train for a bike race. The race is next weekend, so Buzz Kill will be back there again to follow up.  Velvet didn't challenge the idea at all - most likely because the idea of Buzz Kill in Spandex, in a huff and bitching while he packed up Velvet's stuff was such an alarming image that Velvet knew better than to argue.

He's certainly not out of the woods yet, but he should be able to find his way - despite the silver spoon hanging out of his mouth, tripping him up.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Post #420

When I saw on my blogger dashboard that this Menopausal Stoners installment would make 420 posts, all the little things that typically swirl around in my head on their way to becoming blog fodder froze in an instant.  420 is an important stoner number.

When you consider that 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of Life, The Universe and Everything, as every good student of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy knows, and if you multiply 42 times 10, you get 420 -- 420 takes on a philosophical significance. In my mind, that means that everyone who can smoke weed should be smoking weed, at least for a little while, so we can shift the energetic vibration of the global population and finally enter into the New Age, or the Age of Aquarius, if you will.

I'm pretty sure Ronald Reagan & Co., which must include the dastardly Koch family, have worked ceaselessly to ensure the New Age never dawns - no matter what the Mayans, New Agers and miscellaneous Hippies have to say about it.  But then, I have been in utter despair over the state of the nation.  I would say the "state of the world," but as an American, I don't know much about the world.  I only know about the shit trickling down before my very eyes.

For me personally, however, things are pretty good.  The very existence of Post Number 420 is a thing of beauty (#31-101 on the Explore Beauty Challenge), for one thing.  That I love my job is another (#32-101).  I mention my job because last week all the teachers at my school came back to work, and life is good there in the big church that shines like a beacon of peace, hope and justice on the hill in Harlem.  The Beacon of Whatever statement was part of the PR we put out about ourselves at some point during the history of the congregation - very likely about the time some Rockefeller grandkids or cousins felt so guilty about the Robber Baron thing that they donated the money for the building a little over 80 years ago, back in the days of the original Progressive movement in America.  Although it may be marketing bullshit, I still like working at a Beacon of Peace, Hope and Justice on a hill in Harlem.

I like doing the Explore Beauty Challenge because it helps to prevent me from being thoroughly  overwhelmed by the ways of the world - such as Obama's record on the environment, especially the latest episode where a man whose own children have asthma blew off the idea of cleaner air in favor of business interests as if there is some correlation between jobs and air.  There's a fundamental correlation between rich fucks destroying the planet and keeping all the money for themselves and No Jobs, but in the Corporate Fascists State of America, that's heresy.  I figure that the state of the nation/world is such that the kind of country Martin Luther King, Jr dreamed about (and for the record, MLK delivered the famous "time to break the silence" speech from the pulpit of the very same Beacon on the Hill where I work) is so far down the road that even Velvet will be pushing up daisies before anybody sees a glimmer of Peace and Justice.

Since we'll all be dead before anything political changes enough to trickle down to peons like you and me - I have determined that it's infinitely more productive for me to focus on personal creativity (aka my own writing) and interpersonal, human connections so that no matter what those bastards do, I'll be okay.  I'll still do Worldwide Hippies stuff since I like being part of a larger project with a focus on telling stories that never make the mainstream media, and of course, I like having press credentials that say Worldwide Hippies.

Actually, I don't have those credentials yet because there was a hold up on account of my name.  The name on a person's press credentials needs to match the name on his/her drivers license or another equally as official photo identification, and my drivers license is still in my married name.  When I went to the DMV to change the name on my drivers license, they wouldn't do it because I didn't have all 100 pages of my original divorce with me.  I had copied the relevant material - but that would not satisfy the DMV.  Fortunately, I learned from that experienced, and all my documents were in order on Friday when I went to the Social Security Administration up on 183rd Street and changed my name from Patricia Sxxxxxxxx back to my original, God Given Name - which is still a secret in blogland due to various problems that could arise - like work and/or stalkers.  Be that as it may, I have my own name back, and that's thing of beauty number #33-101.

Here's the photo from the last surviving photo id with my real name.

Most observers will note that I knew all about 420 before I'd even heard the term 420.  Maybe that's because I already knew all about 42, too, even though we're all still learning about Life, The Universe and Everything.