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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Caturday on the Road

Landed last night at, around, 9:45 and, mondo boy howdy, was I ever exhausted!

Our boy HATES to have his pic stolen. Can ya tell?
This could have, in addition to the fuss of travel, the crampedness of flight and the two hour time difference, something to do with my Y time on Friday morning. I managed to swim 14 or 15 (lost count) laps! That’s a new peak for me. I’ve been doing ten at a time which, by the by, always left me exhausted. Why up the level if ten was tiring me out? I was on a roll. At the end of each lap I thought Oh, just one more. I could’ve kept going too but a little voice (it was The Amazing Bob actually) told me Don’t forget, you’ve got to walk back to the locker room after this.

Yeah…walking. Too bad I can’t swim everywhere. Possibly, in another life, I was a mermaid.

In any case, Jenny, John and I are about to head down to Bisbee. It’s a four-ish hour drive. Wow! I’m a New Englander – in four hours, I could be in NYC or Bar Harbor, Maine or, traffic gods willing, even Montreal!

Distance – it’s a relative thing.

Jen’s minding my wee herd of cat while I’m, gone. She’s making headway with my fearful boy Rocco too. He doesn’t hide when she comes in anymore. This is HUGE! How long before he invites her to pat him, to skritch behind his battered ears?

Coco's doing just fine. She's a big fan of Jen's, probably enjoys the change in cat cossetting and doesn't m,iss me AT ALL. *sniff*

Side note, it's a weird thing to see Christmas lights on cactus. Is this the desert version of Christmas tree-age? And yes, pics of this funny, cool, odd sight are coming.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.
T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Friday, December 9, 2016

Westward Ho!

And I’m using the word ho as an interjection (e.g.: Land ho! or What ho!) NOT as in prossy or tramp. I hear you snickering out there (neat trick since I'm deaf, eh?) – STOP that!

In any case, later today I’m hopping on my fave carrier (Jet Blue of course!) and zooming out to Arizona to visit my wonderful friend Jenny. On Saturday morning we’ll motor down to Bisbee which, I’m told, is a cool art mecca. Psyched!

Also too, it’s just 12.5 miles from Bisbee to Mexico. Yes, I’d like to go just so I can say “I’ve been to the real Mexico" (versus tourist Mexico) BUT the closest town is Naco in Sonora and, from a quick round of Googling, it doesn’t look like it has much of interest unless I’m after inexpensive meds or a dentist. *sigh* I want art galleries, cool cantinas and....ummmmm....shit like that there.


I used to have such a laissez-faire attitude about travel. I’d pack my rucksack minutes before heading out to the airport. I'd read my Lonely Planet guide en route and just buckle in for adventure. Mind you, that was when I was traveling on my own, NOT visiting chums and I was going to brand-y new, no-idea-what-to-expect places.

Now, however, I’m actually thinking about shit and planning. What’s the weather/the temperature gonna be? Should I bring both cameras – the new, I-can-make-BIG-prints-from-these beast AND the basic point-and-shoot/these’ll-look-fine-online baby? Will my laptop fit in my purse or my backpack? Do I need to bring shampoo or will the B&B supply that?

Also too, I've the cats to consider. Jen and Oni, saints that they be, will feed them and clean their boxes. Both kittens need LOADS of attention so, naturally, I’m already feeling guilty for being away. Coco will enjoy J&O’s ministrations and general TLC. My sweet, scaredy-cat Rocco however, will likely hide out in the depths of the closet the whole time. Poor boy! I’ve written out instructions for the Cat Cosseting Team – they should leave plenty of treats near his food bowl. That and they both get a little people-tuna at lunch. Fuss, fuss, fuss, fuss, fuss.

OH and then there’s Ghost Cat to consider!

Another thing, in the last few weeks I’ve become a real regular at the Y. I NEED to get in a solid lap swim (and maybe some weight work) before I go. My mood levels, weight loss effort, muscles and shaky-ass balance will thank me for that.

With all my fretting and fussing you’d think I was gonna be gone a month. Nope. I’m back on Wednesday morning. On that note, blogging MIGHT be a little sporadic until then. I will, at the least, be posting pics.

Just FYI and shit.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Nostalgia Land


Seriously now, I’m just basset hound tired of seeing these ridiculous, simplistic beyond belief memes. They laud the wonders, the life-was-so-much-better-back-then of carefree childhoods spent splashing about in creeks, staying out past dark on warm summer nights, going to the prom with your first BIG crush and whatevs. According to these images, in our collective youth, it was always summer, no one was poor and parents were benevolent but in the background. Life was good and safe.

They’re all about Like and Share too. Fuck that noise!

I get it though. Rilly. For the vast majority of us, life’s just 599 kinds of complex and about to get even more so now that the Cheeto Brain Fart’s gonna be Prez and, OOPSIE, destroy the world. (yes, yez…hyperbole, it’s what’s for motherfucking breakfast). It’s nice, sort of, to imagine that our little universes used to be so much simpler and sublime. *snort*

Back in my hearing days, songs could trip me into wistful little pools. I’d hear Gerry Rafferty’s City to City album and remember the very, very beginning of my carnival years. I was at the start of a big, new adventure in an unknown jungle, (commonly known as Being an Adult. AKA Old Enough to Leave Your Parents Land). But then, almost immediately – before Baker Street ended – the crazy horrors of the road would come back to me.

Blondie’s One Way or Another or Heart of Glass would come on the radio and I’d instantly transport to the painting or ceramic’s studios from college days. Kevin and I’d be dancing and singing (off key 'natch) – getting all silly. The Hipster Police, (the profs who MUCH preferred the very serious painter boys with their cloaks of world weary, downtown-don’t-give-a-fuck), would always come in to bust us though. We were just too damn happy and uncool to be making that much noise. Assholes.

And then, mebbe, Long John Baldry’s Don't Try To Lay No Boogie-Woogie On The King Of Rock and Roll would play and, boyhowdy, that’d take me back to the hell that was my high school years. Love the tune but the place that it took me to was a time when music was my only sanctuary. Nowhere else was safe.

I’m no good at nostalgia. I keep snapping back to RealityVille. Context – I’m doomed to see all life within context.

My older sister remarked once that I only remember the bad things about our childhood (we’re just two years apart and, until adolescence, were pretty much inseparable) while she recalls only the good parts. Possibly there was too much of each for either one of us to carry alone? There were some good times!

Right now, I’m trying to keep the fabulous, wonderful memories from my 30 years (!!!) with The MOST Amazing Bob in mind. The harder MGH images keep fighting their way up to the top of the pile. I much prefer having our sunny times in that easily accessible prime spot. Ya know, fer instance, that hilarious, fun, tremendous wedding of ours.

By the by (and EVEN related!) I found a great (short too so click ovah!) post by Michelle Parrinello-Cason of Balancing Jane. Yes, a new semi-escapist blog to follow.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Who I’m Reading Now

Right now, these are my go-to blogs when I want to escape the  heinously surreal world of President-Elect Trump (!!!!#$@&%*!!!!!) and the extreme damage he’s now positioned to unleash on the vast majority of us. Oh yeah and that includes, possibly, especially, the folks who were conned into voting for this fetid, rage-addicted, sociopathic, entitlement-mad, economy sized Oompa Loompa.

While, yes indeedy, I plan to stay well informed, resist and fight in every way that I can, I need a lot of escapist reading right now. Being in a flaming state of fury 24/7 ain’t healthy. Just FYI and shit.

Toward that end, I’ve regularly been tuning in to Michelle’s posts at Rubber Shoes in Hell.  She’s hilarious in an I-can-SOOOOOOOO-identify kind of a way. From My B Cup Runneth Over:
I could totally get behind some good old fashioned bra burning right now.

Not because of feminism.

I mean, I am 100% feminist, but I don’t need to burn my bras as an offering to the goddess of feminism. I want to burn my bras for another reason……
She also writes about growing up with a seriously untalented (to the point of being mentally unbalanced) parent. Narcissistic Personality Disorder: I Need Five Minutes is one recent post.
As a child, I listened to my father as he tended a running commentary. “My life would have been better without you in it. You should have been a boy. You embarrass me.”

I listened to him for years until I was able to remove myself from his daily abuse in my late teens. His voice lingered on as my own demon, pouring a stream of poison in my ear. The little girl who lives inside of me twisted and morphed into a contorted ball of springs and twine. She looks like a child created from a crayon scribble.….
I can relate, BIG TIME. Dunno if my mother was an actual narcissist but those refrains, "You should have been a boy. You embarrass me.” are all too fucking familiar.

And Michelle rants – politics and the general nastiness of humanity are frequent topics.

And then there’s the awesome John Scalzi. In his blog, he writes about science fiction novels, politics and life from a tremendously pragmatic, caring, thoughtful stand. Also, more often than not, he's wonderfully, archly amusing.

Four Weeks In is part of an ongoing Q&A (where he writes both the Q and the A). (There's also Two and Three Weeks In)
Hey, what about that GOP elector from Texas who says he’s not gonna vote for Trump because he’s unqualified to be president?

Good for him for voting his conscience. So that’s one down. You’ll need, I think, 38 more to deny Trump the White House via the Electoral College.

Think it’ll happen?

No.

But it could happen, right?

Sure. But there’s a lot of air between could and will. I think you should at least make contingency plans for if it doesn’t.

So you’re saying there’s a chance.

Yes. There is also a chance you will win the lottery when you buy a ticket. You shouldn’t have “win the lottery” as your retirement plan.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
He regularly posts about new sci fi/fantasy authors who strike his fancy. These come under the heading Big Idea. Yesterday he posted about Ruth Vincent's latest book.

Sometimes his posts are so YES, EXACTLY! that I've just GOT to share them everywhere I can. Repeatedly. You may well've already read one of these. Being Poor, The Cinemax Theory of Racism, Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is are three stunning examples. Well worth a re-scan.

Neither of these authors are all-acrimony-all-the-time. They’re also not all laughs and Hallmark moments. They both have a great balance of humor, warmth and sanity. Balance – it's what's for brekkie! I find it too damn easy to indulge my inner, monster Wrath Queen. I gotta leaven the heavy duty, keeping-up-with-the-insanity-du-jour, seriosa fare with humor and, ya know, cats, spaceships, art and...ummmm.....CATS.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

One Fine Day

I am somewhat exhausted; I wonder how a battery feels when it pours electricity into a non-conductor?
~ Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Dying Detective

And the looks on the faces of my countrymenpassive heads bent arms at their trousers everyone guilty of not being their best of not earning their daily bread the kind of docility I had never expected from Americans even after so many years of our decline. Here was the tiredness of failure imposed on a country that believed only in its opposite. Here was the end product of our deep moral exhaustion.
~ Gary Shteyngart, Super Sad True Love Story

Exhaustion is a thin blanket tattered with bullet holes.
~ Matthew De Abaitua, If Then  

For me, it was a lonely season. Whenever I got home and took off my clothes, I felt as if any second my bones would burst through my skin. Like some unknown force inside me had taken a wrong turn somewhere, and was leading me off in some strange direction to another world.
~ Haruki Murakami, Pinball, 1973

It's hard not to feel humorless, as a woman and a feminist, to recognize misogyny in so many forms, some great and some small, and know you're not imagining things. It's hard to be told to lighten up because if you lighten up any more, you're going to float the fuck away. The problem is not that one of these things is happening; it's that they are all happening, concurrently and constantly.
~ Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist

Man was made at the end of the week's work, when God was tired.
~ Mark Twain

the tired sunsets and the tired
people -
it takes a lifetime to die and
no time at
all.
~ Charles Bukowski

Recipe For Happiness Khaborovsk Or Anyplace

One grand boulevard with trees
with one grand cafe in sun
with strong black coffee in very small cups.
Edward Dalmulder – Buddha in golden light

One not necessarily very beautiful
man or woman who loves you.

One fine day.
~ Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Not until the creation and maintenance of decent conditions of life for all people are recognized and accepted as a common obligation of all people and all countries - not until then shall we, with a certain degree of justification, be able to speak of humankind as civilized.
~ Albert Einstein

am waiting for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe for anarchy
~ Lawrence Ferlinghetti, A Coney Island of the Mind 

What is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris? What's the proper salutation between people as they pass each other in this flood?
~ Siddhartha Gautama

Monday, December 5, 2016

TABday

Yesterday was the five month anniversary of the day that my astoundingly Amazing Bob left the planet. It seems like no time at all – a hummingbird’s wing beat. And it feels like forever.

What have I learned so far?
1) That people can be utter, complete shits. There’s, quite possibly, nothing more despicable than the humans who, when I was at my lowest, zoomed in like vultures impatiently waiting for me to either kick off or become so weakened that I’d give it all up to any passing predator.
a) BUT, even at my most fragile and wobbly, I’m strong. Way. Survival – it's my super pwer.
b) I can forgive and even come to understand a person’s motivations for behaving in such a callous, rapacious, cold-blooded and altogether selfish manner. That I can forgive and comprehend – shocking, no? I learn my lessons well though and make sure the person can't damage me again.

I’d rather be alone than surrounded by avaricious jackals.
2) There are so many brilliantly, wonderful, caring, helpful folk. I’m so damn lucky to know or just come across so many.
Jen and Oni were away this past weekend. I found myself experiencing a bit of panic. The only other time they’ve been away since TAB tossed off this mortal coil, Helen and fam were here with me. Afraid to be alone? Yeah, a little bit. I miss my brilliant man so damn much.
It’s not as though I’m ALWAYS over at J&O's. Nope. Just knowing they’re right there is très comforting though.

Before they left, Jen called my friend Paula (she's my boss too!), gave her the skinny and asked her to check in on me. How thoughtful!!! Paula texted more than a few times, even stopped by AND invited me to stay overnight at her place (just a mile away). I've got some seriously, fabuloso considerate chums!

I may be strong BUT it’s nice to be cared for so’s I don’t NEED to be all superwoman all the bleedin' time.
Some snippets of TAB poems, found in a discarded notebook:

You could walk away from my disengagement
And my low rent, so called space-agement
And yet, so far, you’ve stayed
~~~~~~~~~~~~
She doesn’t remind me what
    A fossil I am
With personality
    So much like a clam

It remains our own secret
    The times we’ve been through
~~~~~~~~~~~~
A destination
    Is a launch pad
    For a next destination.
A next destination
    Is a place people arrive at
    Yawning and blinking, walking around
    And saying Where the fuck are we?
~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Arguers – these are people who go on and on and, therefore, never get to finish a sentence. Nor are they likely to let other endless Arguers finish a sentence

Favorite opening word of Arguers: "Clearly"

Arguers Heaven? A place they go where everyone agrees to disagree – minimum of twice an hour.

Arguers Hell? A place where people say things like:
So what
Who cares
Fuck you
Big deal
Ooga Booga
OK
Me too
No shit
Whatever
Gotta go

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Cheeto Hell

I just can’t deal this morning. Every day brings a fresh hod of insanity.
Now might be a good time to shoot off a letter to every rep who'll listen and maybe even fight. The Fluorescent Grifter, right outta the gate, has some mega astounding conflicts of interest (DUH!) and, just for starts, stands to be in solid violation of the constitution. (source)
Consider the fact that the party of racist Geert Wilders is currently leading in the polls in the Netherlands. Far-rightist Norbert Hofer is neck-and-neck with his Greens Party opponent in the race for Austria's presidency. And white nationalist Marine Le Pen could conceivably win the French presidency.

I assume Trump's going to roll out the red carpet for all of these folks if they win. He's not just going to accept the results of these elections -- he's going to prioritize the normalization of these governments. He's going to lavish the winners with more praise and a warmer D.C. welcome than he's going to extend to, say, Angela Merkel.
“Donald Trump’s transition team has reassured AT&T that its $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner will be scrutinized without prejudice,” the Financial Timesreported yesterday. “After talking with the president-elect’s team, AT&T executives are confident that their deal has a good chance of passing regulatory scrutiny, people informed about the conversation said.” [Ars Technica]
All this happened in the last coupla days. Just imagine the devastation Cheeto Jesus can wreak once he’s actually in office. So yeah, I feel like burrowing under my blankets, not coming out for four years. Instead, I gotta get up, get out, fight and survive.

Toward that end, there’s the OH CRAP! WHAT NOW? SURVIVAL GUIDE,
a crowdsourced collection of health, legal, and safety plans and resources + social, digital and economic security related resources urgent now as an outcome of the recent US election.
There’s Concrete Suggestions in Preparation for January 2017’s change in American government. A LOT of helpful links here.

Ruby-Beth Buitekant at HuffPo has a post up with valuable suggestions: Okay, Fine. Here’s What You Should Do Post-Election.

Also too, let's boycott the bloodless fuckers who’ve supported Trump! Might not be possible to boycott all these businesses but I'm gonna try. Check out the links. Rilly!

All I can say is, thank the little baby Bast for the Y, I'm gonna go attempt to lower my blood pressure and pedal off some of this mondo pissed offedness.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

No Sweat

According to Captain Beefheart, in the Fab City tune Dirty Blue Gene:
Old woman sweat
Young girls glisten
Well, ya can’t prove it by me – not that I “glisten,” mind you. It’s the oddest thing. I’m at the Y, spinning and pumping on the recumbent elliptical machine. I’m huffing and puffing – workin' as hard as I can. All around me are men and women doing the same thing and they’re simply drenched in heavy duty perspiration. Soaked! Me? Not so you’d notice. My pits, the small of my back may become slightly damp-ish but that’s it.

Do I have Hypohidrosis (more poetically known as Absent Sweating)?

Symptoms include:
  • minimal sweating even when other people are sweating heavily √
  • dizziness √
  • muscle cramps or weakness (nope)
  • a flushed appearance (nope)
  • feeling overly hot (More than when I’m hit by a hot flash? How would I know if it’s menopause kickin’ my ass or Hypohidrosis?)
This could be due to nerve damage and, boyhowdy, I rock some definite spoilage. It’s unavoidable when the good surgeons have to fuss about in the mega tight, complex nerve bundles in ma tête. So then, is this yet another side effect of my copious OR time?

Now, you’d think NOT sweating would be sweet, right? Less smelly, less messy, lower laundry bills…right? Aye but there’s the other side.

Working up a primo sweat:
  • Cools your body. It’s  built in AC.
  • Boosts endorphins (or, as termed by a character in Postcards from the Edge, endolphins.) It’s a recipe for calm and happy.
  • Prompts detoxification action – heavy duty glistening helps push junk out of my overtaxed lymph system.
  • Improves circulation.
  • Kidney stone risk is lowered
  • It can actually prevent colds!
  • It’s good for the ol’ skin sack – improves elasticity and tone!
  • Digestion. You know how, after a big Thanksgiving feast, it helps to go for a walk? Go for a jog or a workout at the gym and feel even better.
I’m missing out here! Or, rather, with me rockin’ the glow action versus the heavy duty sudor effusions, I’m not getting as much bang for my exercising buck as I’d like.

On this dry note, I’m off to the pool. If I can snag a lane, it’s time to swim some laps. If not, it's up to the cardio room for more no sweat time. *sigh*