12/31/08

A Synopsis of the Musical Dancer in the Dark

Finally, after sitting on this movie from Netflix for six weeks, I watched Dancer in the Dark, starring Björk (and Catherine Deneuve in the first video) this evening. It's a very good movie and if you are not planning on watching it yourself, or have already seen it, the following five music videos tell the tragic story beautifully.

(Warning: They will spoil the movie.)














12/28/08

Next Stop: Tender Viddles

If it weren't for the fact that I'm having about the 20th bad hair day in a row- which I think qualifies my hair for bad haircut status, and if I weren't falling asleep here at work with a headache, which is rare for me, then I might not have very much to complain about right now.

My sons are with my in-laws, The Future President is with her dad and only The Lip Model is with us this week, which is her choice for a change. Her timing is impeccable- we almost had a full-on break, but that's ok. Her 15 year-old self is enjoying a quietude our house usually doesn't have and she pretty much wants us to leave her alone anyway. Unfortunately, in a rare twist of fate, she is not grounded, but a few of her closest friends are, so she's crawling the walls from boredome a typical teen-aged amount. Yea boring. I love boring. I crave boring.

I say that now, but with still 3 weeks before school starts back up for me, I may be complaining later. Oh gosh, I couldn't even delay my punchline delivery long enough to insert a few quirky words there. There is no truth in that whatsoever. I have a shitload and a ton of cleaning to do. I have a year's worth of sleep to catch up on, some school things I need to do, tons I want to write and still 400 things in my Google Reader just today. Oh, and I have four kids. I work at a job where I have very little to do 2 X 12 hour days a week and people stop and see me here at the computer, after I've been here 3ish years ,and want to pity me and the boringness of it. I say, "Pisshshaah!"

I love it. It's never enough time, to get my schoolwork done, to read as much as I want to read, to write what I want to write, to crochet what I want to crochet (another half a scarf, anyone?). I will never complain about my slacker job, nor will I complain about being bored... unless I just have nothing else to complain about.

Now, that Mr. Bee, well, he has a thing or two to complain about. He's got a blog-hustlin' wife who's paranoid he's getting blowjobs from the office secretary with the crush on him, but that's only because it would be her perfect karmic due or because she doesn't have a kinky co-worker of her own right now.

The people Mr. Bee works with are Republican nutjobs (except that lady, of course) and think me quite the weird one. The three guys he's worked with the longest have wives who stay home with their kids and when Mr. Bee has to call into work half the time one of us needs to stay home with a sick kid, they just think us more dramatic.

For a few weeks, I had to study at night toward the end of the semester and he would have to get off early enough to get the kids after their after-school program, while his co-workers are work-aholics and worked their 12-hour days. The thing is, Mr. Bee is no workaholic. He's loyal these days, but he would far rather be home than work if he weren't feeling pressured by his boss.

On the first day of the kids' winter break, after he'd been telling his work, "Oh, I'll be able to work tons and tons with Ms. Bee out of school," I awake at 2 in the morning to our orange kitty who's getting big's rustling around in the stacks of papers on my desk. A few minutes later he came and sat on top of me..., but not in his usual purry manner. He felt tense and when I petted him, there was something wet on him.

I got up and took him into the living room and turned on the light and saw that he was... foamy at the mouth. Arrrgghhh! When I tried to look at him, he freaked out, scratched me and tried to get away. Since I had the boys + friend there and no spare rooms, I put him outside, so I could put him down and figure out what I needed to do. He acted weird on the porch for a while and I read online enough to feel I had an bonafide Old Yeller situation on my hands. Crap!

Because we found that cat as a wee tiny, we had to wait to have him vaccinated and then were given another even tiny tinier kitty, I had decided to wait until she was old enough to be spayed to take them both in to get shots and their junk wacked. That time is just about now, so I shall be making an appointment Monday for the both of them, as our 10-day waiting period is about to pass.

I called the 24- hour UT nurse line to ask them what I needed to do considering it looked like I might need a rabies shot. Typically, one could get infected with a bite (and we have seen skunks, armadillos, possums, and squirrels that the cat could have tousled with all at our house), but it is getting the animal's saliva in the blood that can cause a problem. Since, I had the kitty's saliva on my hand (ew- the wet stuff I felt petting him), when he scratched my hand fairly badly in two places, I figured I was at risk, and so did the nurse.

She informed me that I needed to act quickly, but not instantly and should come into the health center when it opened in the morning. By now, it's 3:30AM. I woke Mr. Bee to tell him what happened, to which he muttered a bunch of "Fucks." To have to miss work on the first day of the kids' break he was none to pleased about.

I called animal control, but they weren't open and a city phone line lady told me that the city wouldn't do anything about a rabid cat on the loose. Frankly, I think she didn't know what she was talking about, though I never quite found out for sure. I'd just gotten the number to the health department, which was going to open in three minutes, when The Future President- who claims official ownership of said cuteness- reported that he was at the front door looking normal.

When I'd put him out earlier, he was doing a strange wandering thing and after I'd woken Mr. Bee, he and I heard the cat let out a gawd-awful screech as though he were in a fight or getting eaten by a coyote. Oh yeah, we have those around too. The kitty, which annoyingly has a people name I have not been quick to reveal in this, Isaac. There I said it. Some of you may know from here that that is one of my pet peeves..., when pets have "people names," or at least when my pets have people names. But, The Future President named it one of her friends' names, so what could I do? What could I do? I got all choked up, and I called him my son .... Ok, ok. I love breaking off into Johnny Cash when I use that phrase.

Anyho, Isaac was back and he was purring like he was not the night before. He seemed to not be confused and wandering as he was the night before, and I wasn't sure what to do here. It didn't seem reasonable that he would be in the grippes of last-stage rabies and then just be fine, so I called my aunt, who, fortunately, is a vet in Arkansas.

She agreed with my assesssment, but said I should take him somewhere, just in case. After we talked for a bit, and I expressed a strong desire not to have him killed when rabies did not seem so likely, she told me what they would do at her clinic in that case. They would keep the animal in a cage for observation and see what its condition was after 10 days.

Great! We have a big rabbit cage and put Isaac in it in our living room, so that, if he had to be entrapped, he could at least meow incessantly at people who cared about him. My aunt said if he acted normal for ten days, then he was going to be fine, but that she didn't know about the people's health side of things. I would have to find that out elsewhere.

When I put him in the cage, I noticed that he smelled very, very strongly of cinnamon or some such other sickeningly sweet Christmas smell. Ahhh, did he get into something? She had said that or losing a tooth could cause a foaminess and pain in his age cat, as well. Online, I saw that though doctors want folks to get the gabba globulin shot right away, it can be done later and the rabies shot has a two week window, so I decided to wait a bit.

An hour later, I discovered that The Genius's visitor friend's shirt smelled the very same way, like some stinky-ass potporri. But, why? We don't have anything like that. I washed his shirt and found out that he'd held the cat the night before and that may be why his shirt smelled like the cat. Fortunately, we did not poison anyone else's kids, and his parents knew nothing of the smell, so we still don't know where it came from.

I let my kids know about the smell and they smelled it every once in a while and we still have no idea what it was, though the neighbor's dog which comes and visits was reported to smell of cinnamon the other day as well. It doesn't lick itself though, like our cat does.

After four days, I talked to my aunt and we concluded that with no other sign or symptom, that the cat had a bout of ingesting something that made it sick, and was safe to let go. Now, it's been ten days and I am very glad I did not take him to be unecessarily decapitated, though I certainly would have to save my life if I'd thought it necessary.

So, the point. Oh, Mr. Bee had to call in "My wife probably has rabies," that day, but then, 30 minutes later, called back and said, "It's all good. I'll be in." Oh, the humanity.

We had another thing he almost had to call in about, though it is quite personal re: my own health. The Vaginal Episode of '08. Maybe it'll be another post. Maybe not, but I did want to let you know we survived The Great Rabies Scare and I'll be taking my cats in to the vet this week to get their naughty bits altered. Maybe their Festivus Catnip mouse will get them through. The lucky bastards.

12/27/08

A Long-Ass Pissed-Off Semi-Political Rant

When I first started blogging here, I was faintly political. I know Utah likes to say that everything's political, and I tend to agree with that, particularly re: how we spend our money.

Since corporations really run this country, the ones which run it are determined by how we, as consumers, spend our vapid dollars. Though I'd rather it weren't the case, I do believe this is true. If no one shopped at Wal-Mart, it would go out of business, no? If those who buy groceries were to buy greener, wouldn't the other co.'s switch their practices? If people don't buy cars, won't the automakers who push against green policies go out of business? Crap.

Since Kucinich dropped out of the presidential race (I know, he was barely in it, but it was fun to pretend.), this blog has nearly become apolitical. I don't regret it, though. I think it's rather where it naturally belongs, selfishly and therapeutically speaking.

I tend to think the politics which touch our lives most directly are not those which play out in Washington or Hollywood, but rather in our workplaces, families, blogomospheres (sic), etc. Granted, trickle down politics affect us tremendously, the effect tends to be a bit more delayed than how someone speaks to us in the here and now. Wars cost money, which take away from our domestic resources. State lawmakers legalize certain drugs or partnership contracts, but what we do day in and day out to each other very often ignores these legalities.

I would venture to say that the same goes for isms. Racism, sexism, classism, anti-semitism, homophobia, too are widespread phenomena, that even if illegal, affect us directly on the personal level and more indirectly via the realm of policy. There are so many blogs that go out there and say what's going on in the macro world, that there are not many new ideas I can add to it all. And, neither is there one voice which I can say speak what's true for me on every level. Some come close.

All that, longwindedly, is to say that I'm gonna get a tad political and philosphical. I don't claim I have the authority to do so or that I speak for anyone else, but myself, but do feel the personal need to do so. That is what drives my blogging, honestly.

"I don't want no drama drama." I strive for that in my personal life and fail all the time, but sometimes this here blogging becomes personal, even beyond my usual scope of the innuendo of sexitudity, and drama cannot always be avoided.

For expressing my opinion, I have encountered something in commenting that I categorize as sexism. I do not blame it on the other person involved, as I was willing participant. I commented his post. I have seen his posts and comments for the past year and know what speaking my mind yields, an argument.

While I like to say I loathe avoiding conflict and think people are squeamish that way, I too can be scared of anger and emotions in general and that is a societal tendency that should be undone. Anti-emotionalism? I don't know what it should be called, but it is one of my beefs, in myself and others. I think it is at the core of many isms. As a mother of two sons, I will act like a she-bear to my father-in-law to protect my sons' rights to cry without being chastised. I will defend my daughters' voices when expressing their anger to their teachers, their fathers, even myself (that gets internally tricky, I tell ya) quite fervently, but like all things bodily, I have tended to soften with time and have come to find fighting quite tiresome.

For the sake of functionality, I have curbed my tendency to yell in favor or more productive forms of communication. I am no master by any means, and neither would I want to be, but harnessing my emotions has been one of my greatest challenges. So, it finally went and happened. I got pissed off about how I feel I was treated in these blog parts. I feel as though I am not the only one, and I feel I want to speak my mind here.

This whole thing is centered around a particular issue, but I do think the issue itself is microscopically telling of a more macroscopic issue, be it mine, the other person involved's or even more widespread than that. I don't claim authority there. Alls I know is that for my own therapeutic sake, I have to get a bit political.

I am afraid that this emergency rant will delay our regularly scheduled "Vaginal Episode," but that will be re-scheduled at my earliest convenience.

Good Lard, does anyone else prelude their rants to such lengths? Doubtfully. I am almost tempted to leave this as it's own post and then start meh ranting in another post, but then Robert Downey, Jr.'s juicy mug would be there nonsensically, and that is the one and only crime I am not willing to commit.


Ok, enough of the vaguaries. The other day I saw this post that Kelso's Nuts posted over at the Dis Brimstone. I shared a bit in comments about what I thought of his idea to start a movement whereby straight folks "Come out as gay" in solidarity with the gay community in protest of Obama's choosing Rick Warren to speak at the upcoming inauguration. I think it's a rather clever idea in actuality, but one that I do not wish to participate in for reasons I stated in comments there, and will just post here for transparency (and so I don't have to re-type it all).


Freida of the Bees said...

I took part in a bi/lesbian/questioning support group this past semester and was privileged to be able to have some very safe/ controversial conversations with some women about topics which touch on this. I'm kinda torn. While the mainstreamization of homo/bi/ mixed-race/ whatever couples helps to normalize what was once extremely ostracized, some in the gay community feel that moving homosexuality into the realm of hetero male enjoyment (akin to the lesbianism's being a novelty for men's pleasure) diminishes the struggle of what gays go through, in this case in coming out. As a woman struggling with my sexuality right now. How much bi-ness is lesbianism habitually repressed? I don't know, but am just winging it on this one. After having the hardest time ever telling my mom I'm a (10 years married) lesbian, it feels weird to hear you guys talking about coming out so flippantly.

I'm not saying it's you. It's probably not, but I wanted to say it.

15:20



KELSO'S NUTS said...

FREIDA BEE: Those are rather serious accusations you're covering with a veil, my friend. I stand by my meaning and integrity and every word I've written.

Normally, if someone who has never acknowledged my existence, let alone left a cheerful hello on my posts, nor even a response to a comment on your post and then comes at me on my spot with attitude, they get it 100x back. I ENJOY criticism. I don't tolerate bad manners.

You're close to Fred, though and that's good enough for me to let it go and if you want to discuss this further we'll do it over the phone and I'll be happy to explain everything and give you all my "bona fides". I make this offer out of love and respect for Fred.

I'm happy to make a fresh start with you and let you know where I come from and why this might be very important to me. Trust me, I can match you sob story for sob story in all aspects of life. I assume nobody's particularly interested in my sob stories and I don't like to use the confessional format in my expository prose.

Trust me, if you're questioning how you best enjoy what to do with your body, I'm not your enemy. I'm not the enemy of anyone who's had that experience. Defensive, however, isn't my style. I got nothing to apologize for. If you feel a need to stop me from writing something, please take it up with Diane or Cavalor. I will abide by however they decide with a smile on my face and not a single hard feeling.

And please don't take the directness of my response for anger because I'm not angry. I will be happy to explain myself OVER THE TELEPHONE AT MY EXPENSE whenever you like if I have a decent block of time to do so.

Cheers,

K

16:51

Freida of the Bees said...

Well, I merely wished to discuss this in light of what were some enlightening opinions from lesbians who even felt cheapened to have bi's included in their more exclusive (and less accepted, presumably) sexuality class. I disagreed, but one woman expressed a strong discomfort with the notion that one's sexuality was as fluid as (in the case of our discussion) the media sometimes portrays.

I understand that whites necessarily had to march for civil rights and do not presume to know any one of your sexual preferences. With no veil intended, I sought to point out the way this post made me feel. I feel no such need to take matters up with anyone else. I spoke as I wished directly as are you welcome to.

I like to think that no one goes around thinking I have issues more than me, though you are welcome to think as much.

Kelso, are you saying I have never acknowledged your existence or commented your posts prior.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to come here as often as in the past and will take this opportunity to express a few of the whys. I mentioned that the sidebar and the text overlap some months ago on my mac and they still do, which makes some posts (the lengthier) difficult to read. I am on a pc at work, but do not feel visiting nsfw sites in my best interests. Oh, and with school, I haven't been online quite as much, but I assure you I am quite fond of this Hellac realm.

Kelso, I don't need references to read or skip over posts as I choose. I'm not so fond of reading about sports, and don't have time to read every good thing written, but generally appreciate your thoughtful posts.

17:22


KELSO'S NUTS said...

Freida: I'm sorry if my posts gave you offense. It certainly was not my intention. This particular issue of the temerity of Barack Obama and Rick Warren hit me in a very bad way for all sorts of reasons which I will happily share with you over the telephone.

I'd prefer to set the collected injustices aside and just be friends.

I grew up in Lower Manhattan in the 1960s and 1970s and from say age 13on I hung out with a fair share of lesbians and I have to confess I never discussed these complicated shadings of more bi or more whatever with any of them. It was more like whether we had enough money combined to buy a deli sandwich and a 16 oz Yoo-hoo to share. Like normal friends, you know?

I appreciate your nice words about my posts. That was kind of you. I wasn't asking that you should read my posts. I don't read any of those group fiction things because I probably feel about them as you do about sports. I wouldn't have cared about any of this baloney had you not come at me strong as you did. I would have preferred us to have had some friendly interaction before getting into personal business like this. That way you would have known me a little better and would not have assumed certain elements about me. I don't MARCH. I don't claim to speak for you. Or for anyone else. I feel no obligation to anyone outside those people with whom I have an ongoing relationship of some kind.

Should you desire to discuss something private, I'll do it with you over the phone or on an instant messaging client.

Be well.

-K

18:26

Freida of the Bees said...

Kelso- You are not alone on that list, and I was referring to the idea in general. You know, for over a year, you and I have commented the same posts, I commented over at your old site just before you came over here and you and I have quite personally cross-responded here in comments to Fred Ricky's (he) posts. I don't feel the need to talk to you on the phone or leave precursory comments before I express my opinion re: a post of yours. If you'd rather I didn't, this is your blog and you can do what you wish with my comments.

I non-apologetically questioned the sensitivity of heteros coming out in solidarity with queers. I don't claim to have the market on sensitivity cornered. In fact, I'd venture to guess I'm quite offensive to many. And, I apologize if I brought my own personal issues here and dumped them disrespectfully, but I do feel that what is meant to be a sympathetic gesture can only be done with an accompanying assumption of male privilege. This is a grudge I have against sexism in general, not you and does not make my impression accurate (if there were such a thing).

I do not speak for all queers. In fact, I feel marginalized from most of the queer community and did even when I was actively dating women after I had kids, but that's quite likely my own doing and to be remedied elsewhere.

Though, I'd prefer to avoid troll status on any blog I am going to say what I think when I wish to. I'm not quite sure why or how I have offended you so much in this, but I do appreciate your candidness.

I think we're good. We're not going to agree on all things political, cultural. Very few people do.

See you around, Freida

19:21


KELSO'S NUTS said...

Freida:

We're cool. I took the middle position and abandoned the project but deleted no words. I took a guess that the sexist/homophobic bogeyman in your neck of the woods are a lot worse than me! I only know big city life. Soliidarity in big cities is based upon friendships which are based upon common interests, hobbies, etc. It's an organic thing and if you lived in New York or London or Madrid or Moscow you'd understand how it works and why it works. I understand just how difficult it must be to be a lesbian outside of a major metropolis and how you HAVE to take sides.

Because I have such respect for Fred and because you seem sincere, I took you seriously but didn't respond as I might have. For example, I see White Gentile people from the interior of the USA as having power that I lack. Rick Warren and anybody male or female who shares that characteristic to me is dangerous, because I've seen the damage that ethnic cohort is capable of doing with a smile on their faces. They hate me for who I am and I got the legal bills to prove it. Nobody has the market cornered on this shit. You'd be shocked to know that I think of you like I think of Sue Myrick or Bull Connor, but deep inside my DNA, I do. That's the way I was taught to think at home and it was actually well reinforced by Latino NYC and queer NYC as well. Just the way you see me as part of a patriarchy oppressing you. But we're friends (or should be anyway). We should have been past all this by now. What the hell, now we are!

And my closing out of the project and our exchange of letters may also provoke some interesting exchanges.

20:40

KELSO'S NUTS said...

You may comment on my post any time you care to, by the way. I encourage it.

20:47

Freida of the Bees said...

You know, Kelso, it may be that the more we say about this, the more we'll have to say about this, but I do want to clarify that live in Austin, in Travis county, the only county in Texas, I believe, which voted against the gay marriage ban Proposition 2 in 2005. I am in a liberal bastion of the south, so I feel no pressure here not to be whomever I feel I am. I don't.

I just thought of an analogy to the solidarity thing (which I do not encourage you to abandon unless you wish to abandon it).

People in unions have made pacts to stand up for their rights in solidarity. If the union goes on strike, all stand up and are affected equally. Some cross the picket line.

Does someone who reaps the benefits (or can- myself included) of the legal privilege granted to hetero couples, health care benefits, tax whatevers really stand in solidarity with gays in the gay marriage fight if they are not willing to deny the rights they have by virtue of their being on the fundie. theocratic side of this mess?

Heteros may claim to come out, but are they saying we are willing to be denied the benefits gays are denied in solidarity?

It's interesting, but I have not thought of any of this to such an extent before now. I, personally, think the best protest in solidarity with gay folk that hetero couples could make would be to drop out of the legal marriage game themselves. If fundies think gays threaten marriage, I think it is non-gays who should say, "If that's what your marriage is, then I want no part."

That is what I do w/ my partner of 10 years, yet, we still are able by law to file taxes together, to both be on our children's birth certificates, etc. These are privileges we receive even without seemingly requesting them, by virtue of being male and female. these are rights gay couples do not have.

We are on the same side of the gay issue and I am confused about whether I am bi or les, but I know from others I have talked to that the legal rights one forfeits in coming out as gay and living with a partner of the same sex goes further into the realm of discrimination in society.

You said:You'd be shocked to know that I think of you like I think of Sue Myrick or Bull Connor, but deep inside my DNA, I do.

I presume you mean that you were brought up with discrimination that is nearly impossible to undo due to its being deeply ingrained rather than that I deserve to be thought of amongst mentioned company. (I hope). And, there I admit that most of the discrimination I face or fear facing comes from within and those in my family who think me straight, my parents, my extended family, my in-laws. I also recognize that it is a cowardly way to live being near the age of 40. But, I did grow up in Arkansas and never even heard of people being gay- though I had kissed girls early on, not realizing it was even a lifestyle choice for me- until I moved to Austin to go to college. I just love Austin, and the people of Austin, and really wanted to say that I am in a very tolerant community- as I feel I am in the blogomosphere and that is not where this issue lies within me.

But, I understand what you are saying because I do see you, even just being a male a few years older than me, as having a "power-over" me societally and that is not really right.

Sadly, I feel that way about my partner, my father and I do my darnedest to teach my sons to express their feelings and not be oppressed themselves (as males are) to not show their emotions. "Isms" are two sides of a coin and I don't think people oppress unless they are oppressed or taught to oppress, naturally. But, even, that is a little more optimistic than is likely true.

I can't say we're done, but I'll stop for now. I get tired of bickering, but I Vygotsky-esquely accidentally learnt a thing or two in writing this, so I'll forgo thinking it purely masturbatory on my part.

G'day, sir.

21:48


Freida of the Bees said...

Oh. BTW- wanted to say, upon re-reading the red parts there, that over at FluffPo, DCup's and my new blog, we had a person come over and complain. I expected it to be a fundie who would first to protest the quite heinous characters behind the whole deal (besides the reclamation of one's virginity. I'm all for that daily), but no. It was a liberal fella from California. I'm not going to stop the blog, the nature of it, or apologize there, because I know my intent. It's to be half-offensive, half-humorous.

Though I have expressed my opinions re: the quite creative activist effort you came up with, I want you to know that you do me no favors to shut it down on my behalf. Warren only "wins" as you say, if you feel that way, if you let him.

23:10


KELSO'S NUTS said...

Freida:

Thanks for continuing the discussion. I like the way you write. I like the way you think. I like the way you reason. In my experience, often the great friendships begin with a small misunderstanding between two people who are like-minded and find the great extent to which they respect one another.

This is EXACTLY how DT and I got to be close. We had a tiny misunderstanding up Fairlane's over an issue very similar to this one and we got past it quickly and discovered a mutual love of boxing and that was it. Her suspicion of me as "the man" melted away. She saw my compassion and strength. My suspicion of her as humorless melted away. I saw her amazing sense of humor and strength. This goes back to my original point. Once you see someone as a multi-faceted person like you and not a member of a category, prejudice goes away.

You understood my point about Sue Myrick and Bull Connor exactly. Obviously, I think if the barricades went up we'd be on the same side! My question is: can you see past my gender to understand that about me?You haven't read my posts in detail so you don't know my life experience. It's easy to ASSUME anything. I could just as easily place you into the same societal box as the assistant US Attorneys from Liberty Baptist Law School who made my life in the US a living hell and broke my family apart because of your ancestry, geography and color. That would be silly, though.

Isn't it equally silly to see malign intent at worst, callousness at best, in who I am? I could give you a lecture in how no matter how liberal your congressional district is maybe it's best for certain arcane reasons for you for example NOT to volunteer at a food bank for Central American immigrants in your home town, that you're not really HELPING anything by doing that and quite possibly you're enabling a very bad situation. I could tell you that if you really want to help, you'd be focusing on criminal justice reform and the Legal Aid Society is a more efficient place for your efforts. Or I could demonstrate 1000 ways in which you yourself are aiding the White patriarchy which keeps Black and Latinos down. I'd be "correct" but it wouldn't mean anything. I'm 47 and I live in Panama. What is the point in reliving cross-cultural arguments I had when I first left the city to go college 30 years ago? And despite having some of the edges sanded off by prep school, I was still very street and very feral then. And I was angry and immature. It would drive me beserk to be lectured to by suburban parlour Marxists and sexually-experimenting goyim about being part of the "patriarchy." I wished I could have shown them what it was like in the neighborhood. My father was ACP when they broke heads. I HUNG with neighborhood adolescents long OUT OF THE CLOSET who had the same suspicions and fears and anger about "shit kickers" and "rednecks" that I did. I'll cite you chapter and verse about how blurred the lines get between politics, crime, prejudice and survival. But I already wrote that I REALLY don't like to use the "confessional" format here. In my own way, I like to hew to a more traditional opinion-in-prose structure.

I've heard the "topping from below" line of political debate 1000x before and it ipso facto doesn't play with me.You know what this entire blog is about. Why would I be trusted with this sacred space if I were some kind of patriarchal quisling, oiste?

We've established that we're both smart. Let's now be friends. There sure is a lot of MUSIC for starters which we both like.

Adelante!

Un abrazo de mi parte,

K


03:09

KELSO'S NUTS said...

F-O-T-B:

O'Tim's letter to me wanting to join up having read the entire polemic inspired me to keep it going.

On thing's for sure. I may disagree with you, but I'll never censor you. So, THE NEXT TIME something I write hits you wrong, PLEASE don't hesistate to comment.


Were it that I could believe that..., fine.

It is what Kelso has written since then that makes me feel quite angy and disrespected. I cannot feel for a second that leaving comments there on a post of his is emotionally safe for me in the slightest.

The sad thing is that this form of sexism or really anti-emotionalism is so subtle and ingrained that it is often not recognized. I do not claim to never be a participant in it. Maybe, what I am doing here is calling myself out as a participant as well, but I felt the need to do so.

Kelso has written two posts since referring to my comments, the following most directly:


Under El Espiritu De La Escalera- translates to something like, "In the Spirit of the Stairs (or Escalation)"

"Freida Of The Bees and AnitaXanax Now remain none too pleased that as a SWM I am part of the patriarchy and have no business playing at "outing myself" for a cause, considering that I can always rejoin the patriarchy at any time. My belief about these things is that you take your friends where you can get them. Barack Obama sure does."


There's quite a bit more there that you can go read for yourselves.

He had previously stated that only a few Mock, Paper, Scissors readers (aka Scissorheads) had the courage to "Come Out," saying,
"no other MPS regular had the guts to do it."

What a deeply arrogant thing to say.

He also says in reference to himself in contrast to Anita and I,
"So, in this situation, aren't I the purer 'victim' than two White Gentile Americans?"
He then says,

"(2) But, if there are purists who like the idea but don't like that SWMs feel they have a right to do this. I'm going to offer another option (We Jews are good at selling things, you know....); I can divide the list into SWMs in support of the movement and a parallel list of "bona fide" members of the LGBTQ community. Then, I'll redo the list into Black/White pairings, and Jew/Gentile pairing since these seem to be the identity-breakpoints in the whole polemic."

I never said he didn't have the right to do that. What a martyred thing to say. After his calling the whole thing off I, as I wrote in his comments, I encouraged him to do what he thinks right. What bugs me is that I even care at this point, that I feel maligned.

I recently had the pleasure of watching Tropic Thunder and to anyone who has seen it, I refer to the scene in which Robert Downey, Jr. (as a white actor who doesn't leave character in his playing a black character) is questioning Ben Stiller's use of the words "You People" (think McCain's "That One") and RDjr gives his hilariously self-moving speech of his and Brandon Jackson's struggle as black men, which is actually just the words from the theme song to The Jefferson's, to Jackson's disgust. That felt the same as non-gay people "Coming Out"... to me.

But, others are, of course, free to hold a different opinion than me on the matter.

What I do assert here is the idea that to receive this sort of treatment- having a post written speaking of me so derogatorily- after leaving the above comments, is what I refer to as sexism, in that I believe it is a (perhaps unconscious) tactic to get me to keep my opinions to myself.

A punishment, as it were.

12/23/08

Ok, Here's Your Damn Title

Holy fuck, my children are creative, lively, active and funny and I have been around them being kinda stir-crazy the last few days, and despite the chilly overcast weather, I finally just made them go outside.  I didn't even fight for jackets.  I don't care.   "Leave Mommy to curl up in her ball."

We already opened Yahtzee from Santa ("I don't know how he snuck his fat ass in here without our knowing.") and Uno, the stocking (Well, it's gonna be socks this year, folks.  I don't know where those three christmas things we own are.) stuffer. 

You know, when my youngest brother- who was twelve years younger than me- was born,  there had just come to be the miraculous technological advance called "The Leash."  When my mother took us to the mall, my brother in his stroller, while my other brother, #2, and I were down at the arcade, crazy with "Pac-Man Fever," brother #1 had to ride around in his stroller wearing... a leash.  For his own protection, of course.

When we ate dinner and my baby brother was smearing beef and peas all over his face with a big poopy load in his Huggies™, he was secure in the fact that he was not going to get out of all this by falling on his head.

No.  He was going to have to try a little harder than that. 

I kinda know how he felt today.  I'm crampy.  I'm cranky.  I'm bored.  And, I'm lazy.  I don't even care that those are the perfect first four lines to a Dr. Suess book featuring the fat lady with bloody panties.  That's not good enough right now.  The Future President is cranking The Yeah Yeah Yeah's and it's way too loud.  Everything is too loud today.

I know you don't want to see me like this.  That's fine.  Just go away.  I want to be alone anyway.  Why, oh why, does our culture not make the menstruating go off into the woods to bleed in their holes anymore.  I know they were secretly trying to lure the wolves to the cranky women, away from the tribe, but not even a wolf would want to eat me right now (oh, the neglected innuendo).  I haven't eaten meat in a year and I would definitely eat rather than be eaten if it were not for the fact that I am so lethargic.  We're even out of eggs.

Now, it's Elliot Smith.  Too perky.  The Future President and I (It was all her.) made a Christmas dinner menu this morning and even invited her father.  I'm not a Christian.  I am from, now until eternity, referring to Christmas as The Wrath of Baby Jesus (TWBJ- Oh wait, The Wrath of BJ is better).  I don't want to eat.  I'm full without even eating.  My yuppy speedball combo (coffee/ zoloft/ emergen-cee packet) isn't even working.

I want that bear to come to our house and daddy me.  If he were to lay on me with his fur, I might be warmer.  I'm cold.  I let the fire in the wood-burning stove die out.

Update:  I just took 1000 mg. of Calcium (w/ magnesium, of course) and two children's vitamins.  I'm still cranky, and now I feel vomitous.  No, I'm not pregnant.  Mr. Bee is vasectomied and I ruefully have not had sex with another man in ten years.

Wait.

I'm even too cranky to complain that that is why.

Crap.

I'll leave you to go have fun without me.  Go ahead.  Go.

Seriously.  I don't want to be touched.  Really.

Come baaa...aaack.

I'm lonely.

Pathetic.  

Thanks.

12/21/08

The Legend of The Seximillion Dollar Man: The Virus Ends Here!

It seems that every time it is passed on, it gets stronger. Randal, as he was formerly known, became the unfortunate recipient of the Splotchy Story Virus (V3) one too many times, by my own hand I am afraid to say. We may all be sorry for what we have done, as he is now... The Seximillion Dollar Man!

Here's what I would like to do. I want to create a story that branches out in a variety of different, unexpected ways. I don't know how realistic it is, but that's what I'm aiming for. Hopefully, at least one thread of the story can make a decent number of hops before it dies out.

If you are one of the carriers of this story virus (i.e. you have been tagged and choose to contribute to it), you will have one responsibility, in addition to contributing your own piece of the story: you will have to tag at least one person that continues your story thread. So, say you tag five people. If four people decide to not participate, it's okay, as long as the fifth one does. And if all five participate, well that's five interesting threads the story spins off into.

Not a requirement, but something your readers would appreciate: to help people trace your own particular thread of the narrative, it will be helpful if you include links to the chapters preceding yours. (Yea, but I'm ending it, unless either Splotchy or Randal has Super-Ambition™ to do otherwise with it.)


The bus was more crowded than usual. It was bitterly cold outside, and I hadn't prepared for it. I noticed that a fair number of the riders were dressed curiously. As I glanced around, I stretched my feet and kicked up against a large, heavy cardboard box laying under the seat in front of me. (Splotchy)

I couldn't believe my eyes. Surrepticiously, I tried to establish, without giving it away, if anyone else had seen what I had. For ten years I had been looking for that box. What looked like an ordinary cardboard box to most contained something most precious. Only by the small golden "P" was I able to identify what I was looking at. (Freida Bee)

How the box got here, or how I happened to be on this bus with it now--these questions were immaterial. I just had to get that box. The bus slowed to a stop, so I steadied myself. Just as I was about to make a grab for the box, however, it moved. Someone else was picking it up to take it away! I had to stop her! (Dguzman)

What? This couldn't be happening--to get this close and watch some quick-footed little dwarf just up and snatch it away from me...no! I got up and just as I did the sweaty hillbilly in front of me stood up and stepped into the aisle. Moving like a bad mime imitating a man in a box he extended his arms and stretched, looking up at the ceiling as he did so. The dwarf with the box--I couldn't be sure if it was a man or a woman, but something about her seemed feminine--slipped out the front door and off the bus. I took a deep breath and slumped back down into my seat. (Bubs)

I sized up the chances of getting bodily fluids on me for a few seconds before I decided to risk it. I needed to get that box back.

"Sir, do you think I could get past you?" I ventured, standing stiffly, hoping to move near the front door to catch a quick exit at the next stop.

"Ah's gettin' off a' tha nex' stop," he said as he wiped his brow and placed his hand squarely on my shoulder.

"Well, fuck," I thought, getting more and more irritated each second his residual touch seemed to burn itself permanently into the fabric of my sweater.

"I need to ask the bus driver about the next stop, really quickly. Do you mind?"

I could see he was challenged. His size alone made the bus an unfortunate place for him to endure, but I was concerned I would not be able to catch up with the thief who stole my box this time.

"Sir, I really just need to be ready to step off the bus as soon as it stops," I said irritatedly now, as the bus jerked to a stop in its typically abrupt manner.

I fell forward smack dab into his chest, catching a whiff of a strange smell that simultaneously made me gag and feel groggy only moments before I felt my head spinning as he caught my fall, grinning knowingly.
(Freida Bee)

A maelstrom, an undulating circle of dwarven moustaches twirling faster and faster, was the last thing I saw before I passed out. Or at least that's what I seemed to recall upon waking up -- and it had to be the truth for I hadn't taken a hit of acid since the Great Acid Scare of '78, which later became a major made-for-television event starring Christopher Plummer, Fred Gwynne and a young and vivacious Halle Berry.

Upon regaining my sense of direction, I directed my eyes directly around the room. I saw neither the ordinary cardboard box with the golden "P," the miniature thief nor Halle Berry.

What I did see in the wretched gloom that would have otherwise been black as pitch if not for the faintest light whose source I couldn't locate despite using the entire repertoire of my faculties was a series of immense, framed images on the wall whose dull sepia tones were so reminiscent of a daguerreotype yet were obviously painted -- painted with violent, erratic strokes as if applied, not by a brush, but with a quivering tentacle.

I also saw that I was lying on my back on something large, flat and comfortably plush. And that I was tied up. And that I had been stripped of all my clothes.

"Admiring the Order's past presidents, are we?"

Half-expecting -- for when can one fully expect anything when faced with a frightening yet alluring oddity such as the situation I found myself in -- that broken voice spewing forth its hideous patois, deeply stirred were my loins when I heard instead the sultry sound of a woman.

The nauseating stench of greasy, sweaty hillbilly was nowhere to be sniffed either, in its place a lovely, yet understated perfume reminiscent of wildflowers on the steppe.

"Ouch!""Oh, so sorry dearest," said the sultry voice from an unseen mouth in the darkness engulfing everything save the taper of a single finger and its radioactively neon nail drawing blood from my bare chest.

I blinked. And there she was, her unnaturally green eyes piercing me, her breath rolling over my mouth as she moved to speak, causing me to shiver despite its warmth; whether from fear or arousal, I was afraid to know.

"You really must save every last drop of strength." Her lips brushed against mine as she languorously formed each syllable, moving away as quickly as they came. A kiss from this strange woman, for that is what I now wanted, along with an answer as to why, would have to wait.

"For the wild, cosmic sex orgy?," I nervously deadpanned in a feeble attempt to avoid solving my unspoken query.

"You watch too many made-for-television movies. If you had watched too many made-for-cable movies, my sweet, sweet morsel, you'd know that you're destined for something much greater."
(Randal Graves)

With that she approached me, naked, bound, and vulnerable, and had the gall to tell me to relax.

"Would you relax if you were in my position?" I inquired. I wasn't sure why, but I wanted this woman as my ally, likely because she seemed to be in charge, but there was something about her....

"I have been in your position," she said reflectively and sighed. "You'll get through this, but the more you resist, the more painful it will be. I suggest you relax to whatever extent you can. It's going to be a long week."

"A week!?!" I started to protest just before she leaned forward slowly enough to give me pause.

She kissed me earnestly and whispered, "Shhhh. It's going to be fine." And then, she gagged my mouth against my protests.

"I can't think with all this noise, and you do not want my administration of the formula to go wrong, I can assure you of that."

She proceeded to mix up some sort of concoction that turned neon instantly, like those glowsticks I used to play with in my childhood. She worked for a while behind my back where I could not see her for a really long time, before she was again standing beside me. I pleaded her with my eyes to remove the cloth covering my mouth, but she only smiled as she injected the neon poison, no doubt, directly into the vein in my arm.

And then she left the room.

What happened next is a big blur, but I know I began to feel like I was sinking into myself, into the plush table and vanished into a dreamlike state.

After a long period of complete, pitch darkness, she approached me.

"Am I dreaming or is this real?" I asked her.

"What do you mean by real?" she mocked. "Do you always question your destiny?"

"Are you going to answer all of my questions with questions?" I asked, feeling more desparate to get back to the library. I was only on my lunch break. I hoped that the fellow I had recently hired to cover some shifts while the employees were on vacation would be alright on his own.

"Are you merely going to worry about those petty matters? she asked pointedly, assuring me she knew exactly what I was thinking.

Of course, it was then that I noticed that she was wearing next to nothing.

"You would see me that way," she said accusingly even as she approached me. "What is it that you want?"

We stood there for a very long time. As I thought of what the answer to her question might be, my mind reeled. I saw my life flash before me. I saw the love, the injustices, the missed opportunities. All of it. I felt my breathing deepen and speed. I felt my heart thumping in my chest so hard it woke me up to the room.

The restraints were digging into my arms and legs more deeply than I'd previously recalled, and I was again aroused.

I felt something tickle my abdomen. "What is that?" I wondered. It felt nice.

I moved it.

It was me.

"My penis did not do that before." Am I growing a tentacle?"

I started to panic.

That was when the pain began. I felt as though acid (and not the kind from the Great Acid Scare) was coursing through my veins. It started in my arm and traveled through my entire body. My entire body burned and I started perspiring perfusely. My sweat stung my body. When I felt the burning race through my brain, it was so tortuous that I ripped my arms right out of their restraints.

And, it stopped.

I looked around again. Though the room was dark, I was able to see everthing in it in the clearest of detail. That is when I saw her standing in the darkened part of the room.

"What now?" I asked.

I had been anxious to leave, but the urgency diminished every second I was free.

"What is your name?" I asked the woman.

As she approached me, she pulled some sort of robotic eye out of her head. I am Lindsay Wagner. The Bionic Woman. Have you heard of me?"

"You're gay, right?" I instinctively asked, instantly regretting it.

"Do you know who you are?" she asked expectantly.

"I guess that would make me Lee Majors, The Six Million Dollar Man." I quipped sarcastically.

I started to think that this woman was a lunatic... until she pulled out the box with the "P" on it.

"How did you get the box?" I asked her accusingly.

"Patricia asked me to give it to you just before she died. It was me who handed it to you at her funeral"

"That wasn't you."

"Yes, it was, before my own transformation."

She opened the box and reveavled what looked like a Halloween costume of some sort with an "S" on the front.

"Are you telling me I'm Superman, now? Woman, you are a lunatic."

I started for the front door, half-way hoping that I might actually have some super powers after all I'd been through.

"If you leave now, you will not be able to complete the work Patricia started, the work she asked me to finish."

I stopped and turned to her.

"You have been transformed into The Seximillion Dollar Man. Do you think I would do such a thing for no reason?"

I noticed that, as she neared me, my arousal became more and more pronounced. She plugged her Bionic eye back into its socket and took off the robe that, as she got nearer, I noticed was the very same one I'd seen in that Victoria's Secret catalogue I'd stolen out of my neighbor's mail slot the week before.

She opened my pants to reveal my penis. I tried not to stare when I noticed how much longer and fuller it seemed. She made that easy to do by easing the entire thing into her mouth and down her throat like only a bionic woman can.

She led me to the plush table and tied me back up. "Kinky," I thought, as I laid, awaiting my "fate." I chuckled as I thought of my previous aversion to the word.

"Stay focused, Seximillion Dollar Man," Lindsay said as she slipped her amazing Bionic Cunt down onto my newly Sexified Cock and fucked me slow and hard until I once again melted into the table with a more amazing orgasm than I had ever even fathomed was possible.

As I came to, I noticed I was back in the pitch darkness. Lindsay was there, but this time she was stading next to a hideous, though admittedly sexy, creature and Patricia!

I felt such a mix of happiness and guilt. I had missed her so much all those years.

"Stop with your sentimentality," she snapped. There was no doubt that this was her. She was such a scientist, a pragmatist. Tears of joy came to me.

"You were always such a romantic. Don't you see what's going on here?"

"Uh. No. Not really. Can you explain it to me?"

"When you thought I died, I really wasn't in a car accident. I was trying to develop a DNA formula that would enable women to be able to reproduce without male sperm."

"Oh. Why would you want to do that?" I asked, starting to feel a little nervous that I hadn't been paying more attention to the hideous creature standing next to her than I was.

"Cthulhu here is a Mormon and he is the most powerful creature in this part of the galaxy. He has been working for over 2000 years to try and make all human women immortal, and able to genetically reproduce for him, so that they can, all of them, be his wives. He was really close long ago, but Jesus turned out to be male. He mastered the science of Diety/ human reproduction, but it has taken him this long to insure that all of his offspring would be female."

Lindsay then added, "Patricia volunteered to be the one to take in the formula experimentally, back in the 70's and it did work to make her immortal, but she was not able to reproduce. We have been working here in Cthulhu's lab ever since perfecting the formula. We think we have."

Patricia placed the male formula in the box with the "P" all those years ago, but was not allowed to administer your alterative formula wastefully. Since she made the formula specifically to match your DNA, we had to use it on you, but she was not allowed to see you all this time, as there is no way she would have been able to resist the temptation to administer the formula simply for the sake of pleasure."

"Yes dear, Cthulhu has not allowed his wives to have sex for pleasure, except with him... and each other. Lindsay and I have been lovers for many years. That is why I wanted her to be the one to take the new injection and carry your Super Sperm."

"My Super Sperm?"

"Yes, the injection altered your DNA and you will now be our modern day 'Adam.' According to our calculations, if you are kept alive until the age of 150, you could impregnate about 100,000 bionic women at a rate of 3 a day," Lindsay informed. "But, Cthulhu will only allow you to fulfill his will, as a favor to Patricia, if you are compliant in the matter and do not try to alter the course of history he has set into motion."

Patricia looked at me hopefully. As much as I hated to be a part of the extinction of the males of the human race, I really didn't see that I had much choice in the matter.

12/20/08

The One in Which I Attempt to Appease The Wrath of Baby Jesus

Hello, Love. I've missed you. You know, 'tis the fuck-a-day season and I've been gettin' in the mood. When I finally got my tires patched on Thursday, I thought Elvis muttered under his breath, "How about a kiss for the holidays?" and I just kinda laughed until I saw his reaction, put two and two together and asked him what he said. "How about a tip for the holidays." "Uh, sure." I pulled out the two bills in my pocket. A one and a ten. He got lucky; he caught my scroogey ass off guard.

So, we went on home, all stocked up on groceries, bicycles for each kid purchased. If you want something else, you're gonna have to make it. And they did. Tomorrow, I will show you the most beautiful Chrismas tree you've ever seen. It's 100% home and kid-made and it really is stunning. The Future President wanted nothing to do with the saw we couldn't find after she saw the axe. That poor cedar tree never knew what hit it. I convinced her to only kill half of a tree that was near our driveway, but I'm not sure if that was crueler than kind or not. It will likely miss its better half. I think Baby Jesus™ will be mad that's what we got him for his birthday. I fear Baby Jesus™'s wrath.

I used Craig's List™ for the first time, and not even to have an affair. I bought two cool vintage bikes for my daughters from a guy who fixes up olde bikes in his garage while his son plays nearby. I bought Mr. Bee a used sci-fi series I'm 83.3% sure he's never read from Half-Price Books™, and bought bike locks and helmets for the kids. They might get some cash, there are a few books, a Batman Lego Nintendo DS™ game and then I went and spoiled it all. I went to Wal-Mart™. I hadn't been there in over a year, and I had made a vow to Baby Jesus™. Dogma™ as it may be, I made a vow. I think that is him I see crying tears from heaven, right now. I think tonight he's going to make Hell™ freeze over. Boy, is he pissed!

But, after eating only sides at The Salt Lick™ with a roomful of Republicans™ and the woman who's in love with Mr. Bee, trying to get my Baby Bee's to stop spitting spitwads at the nice policeman who left "The Force™" (I think he was a storm trooper.) to work in construction, but is going back to it, all with only The Future President's beautiful sanity to keep me company, she and I decided to stop at the Wal-Mart™ in Taylor to try and find bicycle helmets for her and The Lip Model, after two other stops that day had proven fruitless. Oh, and spray paint- she wanted to spray paint the vintage bike silver. It was the biggest Wal-Mart™ I've ever seen. We found what we needed, grappled with the urge to buy all the stuff The Genius might like, but not really and in the end were wise and only also bought recycled yarn, so that I could crochet TFP two very soft scarves, one charcoal, one cream. I actually felt good coming out of Wal-Mart™ and, for that, I still feel kinda dirty (and I'm not talking about it being in that very special "I-probably-just-exposed-myself-to-The-Bird-Flu- in-the-Bathroom™" kinda way).

Well, it's time for me to go appease Baby Jesus™ by crocheting him a baby blanket made out of yarn containing recycled plastic bottles. I hear saviors don't need to worry about toxins in the liver. In fact, I think it increases their Super Powers™.

Goodbye, Love.
-FCB

12/16/08

Here's to Hoping the Newest Holiday Trends Include Bringing Back How Cool it is to Be Uncool

Dear _____________ ,

     It is so good to see you.  I hope your Merry Blessed Consumeristic Season of Buying Shit for People Because of the Pressure and the Media and the Church of Wal-Mart's Obligatory Hold on The American Psyche is going just irritatingly well enough for you to have adequate blog material for me to read.  I bought the awesomest candle ever and some chocolates for the elementary school teachers of mah Baby Bees, but I can assure you that is only in hopes that some sort of Potentially Smiting Karmic Deity (Warning:  Do Not Speak That Aloud.  Hopefully, This Warning Was Not Too Late.) will not curse me in my future of teaching with a life doomed to Potpourri and Teddy Bears.  

     The early market indicators suggest that my karma is rating at the Just Enough to Get By Without Going Postal level.  I got a D rather than an F in Real Analysis.  I know you guys thought I was being dramatic, but I tell you it's All Truth All the Time™ here.  At least there is the 1 point per hour contribution to my grade point, but degree requirements oblige I pass it with a C to graduate, so next semester while I am student teaching, I will become The Zen Master of Analyzing What's Real, which I am not all that disappointed about.  I really knew I should have dropped it, that I wasn't devoting enough time to it, but I didn't want to take the financial aid ding and scholarship repayment that would have accompanied going under full-time and I really dug my sweet Italian task-master.  I will no doubt do better a second time around.

     It seems that I have maintained, by the sliver of my fangs, a 4.0 in my UTeach coursework, however.  That I kinda care about more.  It's really the only possible GPA that I could have look good after attending UT at the ages of 18 and 19 without ever learning what a syllabus is.  That was back in the day when there were no Internets (oh, the humanity) and Registration involved some sort of snail mail ritual my parents performed of behind closed doors, the results of which can be embodied in the fact that I took Astronomy for a whole semester, final and all, before I ever realized I was not officially registered for the course and did not receive credit, except in the form of lower performances in my other classes (besides Poetry- my only A in those days, 'cause I had a crush on a classmate and attended class).

     What was I saying, ___________?  Why'd you let me get all off-track like that?  Is it because you were preoccupied by the three dream sequences you recall so vividly: the living in a cabin in a State Park for $5/ day, trying to justify the maintainability of the drive; the seeing the history of New Guinea's materialization firsthand; or the staying in the cabin-home of a woman who lived there, which featured a bedroom-only that was not enclosed to the out-of-doors where my teaching project partner and I were setting up a homey camp, mostly in the form of dealing with wood for the fire that we got going.  She even picked up a burning log and blew on it to fan the fire (oh, teh richness of metaphor).  I was concerned I had let the fire die out and being the possessor of my own talented cook hands (you know, those you acquire working in kitchens so much that you can touch hot things with bare hands for a bit of time without getting burned) was most impressed by her dual talent.

     Now, where was I?  Oh yeah, it seems I got one D in the stead of a likely deserved F, a B in a class which I had gotten a 100 on the first test- meh, and then had a minor Made-For-Television-Christmas-Miracle occur in my ultimate (as in last, though it was cool) teaching class.  My partner and I switched the topic of our semester-long project in mid-November, which was the not-lazy, definitely appropriately ambitious thing to do and had to redo all manners of shit and I ended up Pre-Final Presentation with 80 out of 100 points, leaving only 10 more available points, which is what the final presentation was worth.  Outsiders attended the presentation (our final) session to appoint grades and my partner worked her ever-lovin' ass off to make a great presentation structure while I 24-hour stayed up to complete the video that was originally due just before Thanksgiving- though our instructor gave up extension after extension, knowing our results were better for it.  I found out last night that that we were awarded the full 10 points and I eeked out a 90% in the class and now have the video-graphic skills to edit the made for tv montage.  Score one for the Jaded-Grades-Don't-Matter-As-Much-As-Having-A-Project-Based-Probability-Unit-We-Would-Actually-Teach Mothers of 7 Altogether. Though, I must credit my partner for first having that attitude, I am the one who has been assigned apprenticeship with a 6th grade class that will actually be addressing probability during our time together and can nearly immediately implement and refine the unit we designed.

     All good karma is not so satisfying it seems.  Just as I realized that the guy in front of me at the midnight pharmacy was the lead singer of Spoon only as he was leaving, and so I was not able to smile knowingly creepily a few weeks ago, I was not able to project myself into a life of Famitude™ yet again yesterday.  One would think one would learn one's lesson after chit-chatting away, 8 months pregnantly, in my then-usually ostracized friendly southern manner, with Jonathan Demme and cute-ass daughter back when I lived in Philly, without realizing he was directing That-Tom-Hanks-Movie-Down-The-Way until he'd left and my coworker was freaking out.  She brought in a VHS (oh, the technology) every shift from then on out until he came back in and signed her copy of Silence of the Lambs.  Or, perhaps, I might have learned a thing or two after chit-chattily giving detailed directions to a woman and her girlfriend to the neighborhood liquor store when working at the same gourmet grocer, but no, and so K.D. Lang knew nothing of my reverence for her awesome lesbian singing prowess until she just read this.

     Yesterday, was an errand day from teh Hell™.  Everyone and His or Her Dog in My Family has an appointment I put off until I was done with school and then there was the fact that, even though my in-laws came down to help and felt pity on our obvious deprival of ALL-THINGS-GIANT (vats of peanut butter and enough paper towels and trash bags to host a Baptist Pancake After-Church Breakfast every Sunday for a year), we had not very thoroughly grocery shopped in quite a while.  I had delusions of blogging grandeur, thinking I would stop and feign the lives of the hip and leisurely by posing with my laptop in lap and café in hand at a coffee shop (like I do all the time, but this time without the guilt of supposedly studying.)  Unfortunately, I only had enough time in the end to scarf a cookie, check and see if my other two grades were posted yet, and scorn a star.

     I was sitting there all blissfully unstylish in my black socks with olive pants, totally buttoned khaki cardigan with jean jacket atop, and hairs, not a one straightened or mod when a cute gay couple sat down at a table nearby.  They were kinda "too handsome" for the likes of me- the short one, whom I noticed looked strikingly like someone famous and had on man boots to die for, that I coveted.  I thought, "I bet people think that about him all the time," and went back to my meniality.  The tall one spoke rather loudly and I thought him slightly full of himself.  I heard bits of a conversation that seemed to be discussing if it would be appropriate for them to sit at the couch adjacent to my comfy chair since it shared the same table.  I knew they were grappling with this slightly, and would normally be inviting and do a verbal scoot over and welcome them, but instead avoided eye contact, hoping they wouldn't think it was because they were gay, but rather because I wasn't in a talkative mood.  (OMG- I spent several hours with the Genius yesterday and that boy Does.  Not.  Stop.  Asking.  Questions.)  

     The two fellows proceeded to have a nosy conversation with a guy with the bad-assest fro evah who was sporting some fancy art supplies I had also noticed walking in, as he was drawing.  They chit-chatted for a while.  I ended up putting on my headphones by this point, but was distracted by the conversation.  The sense I got from the tall guy was that of entitlement in the form of curiosity and friendliness.  If some stranger walked up and asked 
me out of the blue to read them what I was writing, as he did ask this artist to show him what he was drawing though the couple did take his card and that may have been fortuitous after all, I would be kind of offended, though, I admit, their interest did seem genuine.  In retrospect, it may have been more of a tour of the commoners as these guys did not stay long.  Their table (not at my cozy couch/ chair nook) was breezily by the door.  As soon as they left, a person from behind the counter came over to the fro-guy and said, "Do you know who that was?"  I didn't hear what they said in their hushed tones, but the couple at the next able were all like, "I know.  We were freakin' out that he didn't know."  After a couple minutes, I nonchalantly asked over, "Was that Elijah Wood?"  Yep.

     Damn, my Baby Bees would have been psyched to have Frodo's autograph, but alas and alack I am not so cool a mother as all that.  I could have run to the car and retrieved any number of meticulous medieval drawings the boys have created from the back seat of the car, had them signed and framed them.  Instead, all I got was this lousy blog post.

     I did google "Is Elijah Wood gay?" 'cause I'm uncool like that, and am apparently not the first one to have her refined senses of gaydar be fooled, not that I give a shit.  Maybe Elijah wanted to sit next to me and not-gay flirt with me.  I think there was a protectiveness on the tall guy's part.  I'm sure that the cookie crumbs I saw were still all over my shirt (even after I had walked to my car, driven to the nearby grocery store, and gone to the bathroom) would have been wonderful conversation starters.

     I am too cool.

Love, Freida

12/13/08

My Cup of Ambition Runnethed Over and Made Me Poopy My Pants

Three down.  One motherfucker to go.  I am sitting here, slightly numb, and partially marveling how I can have more of a feeling of regret from having realized I made one mistake on a final I initially thought I'd aced for a class in which I have a likely shot at an A than I had upon leaving 25% of a final completely untouched and the rest shoddy at best for a class in which I am teetering between a D and an F.  How can this be?  Is zenness a perversion of normal feelings?  I seem to be able to weather the difficult feelings more comfortably than the pleasant ones.  It's ye 'ol fear o' success, self-sabotage tendency of which I am a true master.

I had an infinite amount of creative impetus when I should have been studying, and now the prospect of working on any of the three+ long-term writing projects I have in mind (which do not include blogs) after Monday feels burdensome. 

It might be easy for some to say, "Hey, give yourself a break."  "Take it easy."  But, honestly, I do that when I should not already.  Practically every Saturday when I am at work and could be studying, I tell myself I deserve a day to veg (yeah, I do) at "work" while Mr. Bee is home with kids making up the slack on the housework we neglect through the workweek and "chillin'" with the kids.

I'm whiny.  I'm feeling überlazy and have quite a large amount of stuff to do in the next 48 hours.  Can't I do a little bit more?  Fortunately, my project partner is feeling similarly and we shall take the next few hours off, after we just took the same test and see what motivation (or fear) creeps in.  

I'll just put this out there.  A dare.  Universe.  If you will be so strange as to award me a C and 3 A's, I will be your total and utter servant of something überblahblahblah to such an extent that you will not even be able to contain yourself and will have to do one of those circle of inversion numbers on teh tiny humans and blast them into outer space.  Deal??  Deal.  And, this is not a threat, but if you reward me for all my hard work with a 3 B's and an F (worst case scenario-  errr, that's a 2.25 GPA) I will pout, throw a fit, spit upon the Earth and be a cranky bitch every Wednesday night from 5:34- 9:56 from now until the end of time.  It's up to you now (except on one of these B/A's-  that's still up to me).   Oh, the pressure.  Do what you want?  You know how I hate to try to control you.  Right?  Don't make me force my, uh, awesome hand.

So, I am going with the flow and and going to drink beers and float in an intertube naked down the Colorado River and expect that someone will write that damn lesson plan, make that shoddy video and sleep and work and clean and whatever normal wives do for their husbands... all without throwing up, complaining, or wishing I were off in some sort of lala land where this is all behind me, I am anonymously wealthy and appealing to a harem of folks who come and go rotate in and out of my reality as my fickle whims see fit.

I have no idea what I'm saying with all this.  If you do, then please enlighten me in comments, and if you try to cheer me up, I am here and now warning you that I will make you regret your perkitude if it's the last thing I do.  Oh gosh.  Why isn't that the last thing I have to do?

Oh, don't get all, "What if you get what you wish for?" on my ass.  What if Mr. Bee gets sick of your bitching and takes up his work's secretary's hopeful advances?  What if your grades are so bad after all that you can't even student teach next semester?  That's it!  I'm going to go calculate what my GPA would be in the worst case scenario (particularly, considering that historically awful GPA I came back to in returning to school).  Ok.  Shew.  I would still have a graduateable GPA.  What are you worrying about?  Will that .16 difference between your GPA really matter?  Probably not.  You may come out scarred and beaten, but you will come out and it cannot be any worse than what I am just about to do to you for talking to yourself in the third person.  You're annoying.  Oh yeah?  Well, you're projecting.

Oh.  You're still here.  Well, the nice people with the cozy, warm jacket that protects me from myself are here, so I'd better go let them take my blood and implant that chip like a good girl.  They even said I could go into the mosh pit and flail myself against the padded walls other punkers and they'll even let me dye my hair blue.  They said my boss won't even know.  They're so nice.  Oh.  They said I have to say goodbye to the nice people now.

"Goodbye, nice people."

12/12/08

Oh, the Viral Load of the Splotchy Story Infection Increases Incestuously

I have some good news and some not so good news.  The good news is that I finally got to make out with Bubs in the walk-in while we were escaping the Christmas music and simultaneously reaching for the butter.  The other good news is that we accidentally got locked in there for hours and hours and only had each other's body heat, a pound of butter, and a case of beer to keep us warm.  The not so good news is that, though we survived the debacle with only moderate media coverage, it seems he re-infected me with the Splotchy Story Virus (aka V3)

Here are the rules:
Here's what I would like to do. I want to create a story that branches out in a variety of different, unexpected ways. I don't know how realistic it is, but that's what I'm aiming for. Hopefully, at least one thread of the story can make a decent number of hops before it dies out.

If you are one of the carriers of this story virus (i.e. you have been tagged and choose to contribute to it), you will have one responsibility, in addition to contributing your own piece of the story: you will have to tag at least one person that continues your story thread. So, say you tag five people. If four people decide to not participate, it's okay, as long as the fifth one does. And if all five participate, well that's five interesting threads the story spins off into.

Not a requirement, but something your readers would appreciate: to help people trace your own particular thread of the narrative, it will be helpful if you include links to the chapters preceding yours.

The bus was more crowded than usual. It was bitterly cold outside, and I hadn't prepared for it. I noticed that a fair number of the riders were dressed curiously. As I glanced around, I stretched my feet and kicked up against a large, heavy cardboard box laying under the seat in front of me. (Splotchy)

I couldn't believe my eyes. Surrepticiously, I tried to establish, without giving it away, if anyone else had seen what I had. For ten years I had been looking for that box. What looked like an ordinary cardboard box to most contained something most precious. Only by the small golden "P" was I able to identify what I was looking at. (Freida Bee)

How the box got here, or how I happened to be on this bus with it now--these questions were immaterial. I just had to get that box. The bus slowed to a stop, so I steadied myself. Just as I was about to make a grab for the box, however, it moved. Someone else was picking it up to take it away! I had to stop her! (Dguzman)

What? This couldn't be happening--to get this close and watch some quick-footed little dwarf just up and snatch it away from me...no! I got up and just as I did the sweaty hillbilly in front of me stood up and stepped into the aisle. Moving like a bad mime imitating a man in a box he extended his arms and stretched, looking up at the ceiling as he did so. The dwarf with the box--I couldn't be sure if it was a man or a woman, but something about her seemed feminine--slipped out the front door and off the bus. I took a deep breath and slumped back down into my seat. (Bubs)

I sized up the chances of getting bodily fluids on me for a few seconds before I decided to risk it.  I needed to get that box back.  

"Sir, do you think I could get past you?"  I ventured, standing stiffly, hoping to move near the front door to catch a quick exit at the next stop.

"Ah's gettin' off a' tha nex' stop," he said as he wiped his brow and placed his hand squarely on my shoulder.

"Well, fuck," I thought, getting more and more irritated each second his residual touch seemed to burn itself permanently into the fabric of my sweater.  "I need to ask the bus driver about the next stop, really quickly.  Do you mind?"

I could see he was challenged.  His size alone made the bus an unfortunate place for him to endure, but I was concerned I would not be able to catch up with the thief who stole my box this time.  

"Ah know these parts real good-like an' kin tells you anythin' you wants ta know." 

"Sir,  I really just need to be ready to step off the bus as soon as it stops,"  I said irritatedly now, as the bus jerked to a stop in its typically abrupt manner.  I fell forward smack dab into his chest, catching a whiff of a strange smell that simultaneously made me gag and feel groggy only moments before I felt my head spinning as he caught my fall, grinning knowingly.  (Freida)

I tag:


Thanks, in advance, for giddily doing my bidding.