Monday, May 20, 2013

Procrastinating at Report Card Time

I'm supposed to be writing report cards - or more accurately, End of Year reports.  Important stuff, and I take them seriously (sort of), but I'm just not into it.  I've been agitated about a lot of stuff lately.

Cupcake's mother, for example, is trying to guilt trip me into socializing with them.  Occasional obligations are okay - like Cupcake's graduation from Swedish Massage school last week.  I was delighted to attend the ceremony and celebrate her accomplishment, but there was no way I was going to dinner with her whole family.  If it had just been Cupcake's immediate family, that would have been okay - but her father's brother was going to be there with his wife and kid and there's been resentment brewing between Cupcake's dad and his brother for some time.

No way was I taking a front row seat to drunken family dysfunction when I was stressing over work.  I'm not so stressed about work anymore - but I'm not going to talk about work on the internet given that I already got fired from one job for revealing my true feelings in blogland.  The work drama has mellowed out for the time being, but now I'm contemplating what kind of business I would have if I started my own business.   Last summer, it occurred to me that Gigi and I should set up some kind of service where we counsel single dads about parenting stuff.  I figured that if I were somehow fated to continually find myself mixed up with men going through divorce shit, I might as well make it into a business.

The last day of school is June 7th, and even though I'll be working all summer running the little day camp, I'm transitioning to my activist self effective next weekend.   I'm going to go help my friend the pineapple head with a kids' event down at the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS).  We're making musical instruments out of recycled materials.  I'll be going out to see a performance by a children's dance company, Experimental Dance Group, which a dear friend of Pineapple Head's developed.  He's a dancer and educator.

As it happens, my good buddy Nicole, of the I Love Nicole Show, is going to be singing with a new band next Friday night and that's on the Lower East Side, too.  So once I get these report cards off my neck, I can start thinking about what to wear and worrying about losing the five pounds I gained between Spring Break in Texas, the road trip with Mom and all those meals in good restaurants during Woody's Birthday Weekend.

I really am bummed about those five pounds.  It all started when I fell off the gluten free wagon down in Texas.  I was fairly mindful, but once you start eating foods you're supposed to avoid, cravings kick in and everything goes rapidly down hill.   Five pounds is no big deal, but looking at the scale every morning, I realize that I really do feel like my value as a human being is tied to the number on the scale

Intellectually, I know I am more than a number on a scale - but I swear there's the tiniest hint of jowl just starting to show up on the corners of my mouth.  It's alarming.  I'm back on the gluten and dairy free wagon and increasing my activity level by walking home from work, so I could very well lose all five pounds by Friday.  Or three anyway, and that's enough to get read of the jowl action.

Although I am concerned about my looks because of the man issue, I'm also nervous because I have to have pictures taken next weekend.  Joe needs some new photos for Worldwide Hippies News & Stuff. I'm scheduled to start turning in my two minute segments to Joe after Punk Patriot is here for Left Forum.  I'll surely need pictures taken at Left Forum - maybe even with somebody famous like Noam Chomsky.   In any case, there's no room for jowls in my life especially when I'm fixing to be splashed all over the internet again.

Years ago, when I was still married and when Max was still doing hair full time, Max and I were talking about my hair one day before a color and cut.  I told Max that I wanted to be a cool old lady with a long, gray braid.  At the time, I was a long way from being a cool old lady, and my hair still has a ways to grow before I'll have a long braid.  For the moment, I don't feel like an old lady either.  I wish I could be like this woman in the French Revolution, only with my clothes on

I'm pretty jazzed about giving focus and attention to my activist self.  Who knows?  I might even meet a man.  In any case, I'm going to commit to a fearless summer both politically and romantically.  Fearless Summer is name of a partnership of environmental groups, "a movement against extreme energy."  Tim DeChristopher's group Peaceful Uprising is one of the partners.

I doubt I'll be charging into a battle shouting, "Liberté, égalité, fraternité!"  I hang out in a community garden making music with little kids and cook for the emerging generation when they're working on the revolution.  Either way, though, I shouldn't be thinking of myself as an old lady with a long gray braid any more than I should be making plans for Access-A-Ride.

I'm not going anywhere until I finish writing these dang report cards, though.

Fearless Summer (
Summer Heat (

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Inner Floozie: Thing of Beauty #068-101

On my way to work, when I'm on time, I pass a big, old black woman.  She wears her hair in dreds.  Her arms rest on her standard issue cane, metal with a padded crook.
Every time I see her, I smile and say, "Good Morning."  There are lots of strong women up here on Sugar Hill.  I'm glad I landed among them and that I can say I'm from Harlem.

When I was looking for this place, I was seriously considering the health and safety of my own self when I'm leaning against the building waiting on Access-A-Ride. My own mother can navigate this environment and so can Woody Konopack. Rex Visigothis appropriately called Woody's birthday a Geezerpalooza.  Since all those Elders found their way here for cocktails and cupcakes, it looks like I'm set for my golden years - which was one of the main criteria when I was looking for a new, permanent home.  It had to be situated so that I could get around easily if I had a permanent hitch in my get-along. Recovering from that surgery on my shoulder alone in the rental apartment gave me an idea of what to expect.   I also got an idea of what to expect from a woman who used to wait for Access-A-Ride up near my work.  She propped herself against the building a leaned on her cane too.

Access-A-Ride is a paratransit service provided by the NYC MTA
While it is entirely sensible to make provisions for my upcoming dotage, and I'm sure that Velvet is glad to know I won't be as big a burden to him as Vagina Dentata is to his father, that lifestyle is twenty years away (knock on wood).   The good news about the apartment is that all of the reasons that make it an excellent place for a little old lady make it perfect for me now.  If you look at the situation from a Law of Attraction perspective, everything worked out beautifully because I was absolutely clear about what I wanted in a permanent home.  For my next trick, I need to develop that same level of clarity when it comes to a man.

The men that have shown up on my radar over the last few years have provided an excellent opportunity to identify what I don't like in a romantic partner.  Max the psychic life coach often talks about how we find our way to clarity by identifying contrast.  Since the Universe simply responds to the energy coming from us, we get what we vibrate - when you're vibrating contrast, that's what you get.

Ever since I first started floating last summer at Gigi's, I haven't met a man who could be a man in my life, much less the new apartment.   There have been men here who would definitely be offended to know that they didn't count as a Man.  Woody sort of does because he's not gay and he's not related, but it's been clear for some years that Woody and I are not going there.  Ergo:  Woody falls into essentially the same category at my dad, my brother, Buzz Kill and Ralph the Super.  Add the guests at Woody's birthday party and there have been several men here now - but nobody who counts as the first man in the new apartment.

As much as it would be nice to think that the next man is the last boyfriend, I have a feeling things aren't going to work out that way.   Before coming to the realization that pretty much every defining characteristic of a Player could be applied to me at some point in my history,  I was entertaining the idea of younger men.  Until recently, though, I had always thought of younger men in a finite sort of way - rather like the Banker or that cute little socialist from a couple of years ago.  It's gratifying to discover that younger men find me attractive, but I had dismissed the idea of a younger partner primarily because I figured most guys would eventually want to be with someone who could have kids.  Maybe that's generally true, but it's not always true.  Either way, there's no reason to anticipate the ending of a relationship before you've even started a relationship.  Or met a man, for that matter.

So when I've been doing Law of Attraction stuff with Max, and thinking specifically about a Man, I've been clarifying, focusing on and giving attention to a relationship with a man who would stand beside me as I enter the Grandma Zone.  A Grandpa to my Grandma, as it were.

Seeing my neighbor in the morning as she waits for Access-A-Ride, and walking around the city with Woody who also needs to prop himself up against a building every few blocks to stretch his leg and rest  (he says it's Sciatica, and maybe it is but I'm betting the discomfort has something to do with him having Polio as a child), I can say with certainty that I'm nowhere near the Grandma Zone.  

Upon consideration, I've decided that Woody might as well be the first man in the new apartment.  It may not be a romance, but I couldn't ask for a better friend - and he is, without doubt, a man.  And there must be something between us since people often assumed we were married.  Woody has many fine points, but I have to confess I was horrified that anyone would think we were married.  It's as bad as when Punk Patriot came to New York the first time and one of the moms from school thought he was my son.  Although I'd already decided he was much too young for a dalliance, having somebody ask me if he was my kid was enough to squash the any ideas I might have entertained in that direction.

In any case, if Woody was the first Man in the new apartment, that takes a lot of pressure off any potential romance which is a good thing.  And since I did have that date back in March, not to mention the afternoon with the banker - I'm definitely back in circulation.  Only this time, I've let go of my preconceived ideas, self-imposed limits and the notion that I'm ready to go out to pasture.  If I'm not careful, somebody might think I'm a floozie. That's got to be a Thing of Beauty (#068-101 h/t Jennifer at realia).