Sunday, January 7, 2018

Top 10 Lessons I Learned in 2017

(Photo credit:

The beginning of a new year is always a good time for introspection. It's tempting to just say "Fuck you, 2017. You gave me nothing," but that's neither true nor does it kick a new year off with much hope. So here's the short list of lessons I either learned in 2017 or was left to ponder for 2018. Next I can make some of those pesky, but well intended, resolutions that I'll be breaking in the new year.

1. Women can make change happen, but it will be harder, take longer, and be more brutal than we can ever imagine. We are still stronger together though, and we don't dare stop or those damn Republicans will be up in our vaginas before we can knit a pussy hat.

(Photo credit: Time)

2. Sometimes a 6-year-old is wiser and more compassionate than I am, and that's OK. Sometimes that same 6-year-old needs to do a thing simply because I said so, and that's that.

3. Even the so-called best medical care can suck big green donkey balls, especially if the patient is a woman over 50 of any age. On the other hand, the so-called best medical care can make cancer go away and leave only a faint scar. Better to have it than not. Also, show any weird spots to your doctor. 

4. I can memorize more than I thought I could, and I can even perform with more confidence than I thought I could. Performing two monologues for All the Sex Monologues was a revelation. Apparently I'm the only one holding me back. 2018 should be the year I write my one-woman show.

5. I envy people with money. And by that I mean I envy people who don't have to worry about money. Who can pay other people to do mundane jobs for them and who can shop at the best grocery store deli and who don't, like I do, have a panic attack when their refrigerators need repaired, because to replace my built-in Sub-Zero would cost around $10,000, which is a little too close to what my van cost. And who buy expensive new cars instead of used, as-much-as-I-can-afford mom vans. (I love my new old van, and I'm grateful for it. Don't get me wrong. This is about envy, not need.) I probably wouldn't be feeling this way if I hadn't started working for someone who never has to worry about money. It's hard not to compare. More thoughts on that in another post.

6. I'm lonely. I wasn't lonely until someone asked me how I could not be lonely. Then I couldn't stop thinking about it. So maybe I am lonely. I probably just need a best friend. I am not always a great friend though, due to both circumstances and self-absorption. The lesson here is that I don't need to dwell on any of this, but I do need to stop trying to fill that hole with chocolate and wine.

7.  Shit can fall to pieces while you're watching it happen on your screen of choice, both on large and small levels. When lies, obfuscation and shaming become the norm, how can you stay in a place that's become so toxic you hate to watch the news or open your email? I'm still learning when to walk away and when to try to help fix the problem.   Sometimes I just have to give up and let go no matter how painful, because nothing stays the same, even what was once a perfect fit. I can leave a place that's not working for me. With a country, it's not so easy to leave though, so I go back to #1. When it comes to a planet .... I hope we haven't worn out our welcome.

8. I need to take better care of my body. It's the only home that's all mine, and I've been treating it like a house in an episode of Hoarders.

9. Old wounds can heal, but it takes a little courage and even more humility.

10. People will come and go from my life, sometimes more than twice. When the going happens it can hurt like a shard of glass stuck in my throat. Other times, it's just a fucking relief to build a wall against the drama. It's a cliché, but I'll say it anyway: Cherish the people you love while you've got them. If 2017 taught me anything, it's that we don't always get to say goodbye.

Bonus 11. Write shit down! I thought of one more thing for this list last night, and now I can't remember it. It was a good one too. I'm sure of it.

What lessons did 2017 teach you? Comments are open and the drinks are free.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Day 16: Into the wilderness

I've just finished reading Brené Brown's latest book, Braving the Wilderness. I marked so many passages I wanted to go back to I had to go ahead and order a copy for myself. Add $2 in library fines to the cost of the book, because I didn't want to give it back and they made me. I'm going to write more about some of what she said in the book later in the month, but I have to be up at 4:30 AM -- yes, that's AfuckingM -- to catch a flight, so I'm keeping it short tonight.

I have made a decision to go into the wilderness, because a place I loved for many years is no longer that place. It's a hard thing to accept, and I'm grieving. Some would say I'm still grieving someone who died recently, and that's true. I am. But this grieving the place, the community, is a separate grief. One did not have to cause the other, but .... well. Spilled milk and all that.

The last few lines of the book spoke so hard to me, much as the entire rest of the book did, as she wrote about what it means to be connected by going into the wilderness, as she calls it. Alone. I'll just share these words tonight, and I'll have more to say about going into the wilderness in the future. Or you could just read the book yourself.

"There will be times when standing alone feels too hard, too scary, and we'll doubt our ability to make our way through the uncertainty. Someone, somewhere, will say, 'Don't do it. You don't have what it takes to survive the wilderness.' This is when you reach deep into your wild heart and remind yourself, 'I am the wilderness.'"

I am the wilderness, and I am in the wilderness. It can be a lonely place. I'm looking forward to being held in the actual physical arms of my family tomorrow. I'll try to get here to write every night, but don't hate me if I can't. Family comes first for the next few days.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Day 14: Go ahead. Hack my vagina

I don't know if this makes your blood run cold or if, like me, you simply wouldn't give a shit, but if you use a WiFi-connected, $200 dildo called the Siime Eye, someone could actually drive around your neighborhood scanning for your dildo and hack your vagina. Or your rectum, depending on where your dildo was inserted. Apparently it only took some guy who knows about this shit about five minutes to hack into one of these dildos and take over the camera so he could see, if he wanted to, some random strange woman's most intimate, hidden tunnel of love. Like this. 

And apparently among people who know about this shit, that's a big problem. One that you should consider before you start sending videos of the inside of your vag all over the place with your $200 dildo. Let's just hope the Republicans don't get wind of this.

I don't know about you, but I have no fucking idea why someone would go to all the work of driving around until he found someone's WiFi signal and then hacking into her dildo just so he could see ... that. Is that sexy? Do men crave seeing a woman's cervix? I mean, this is some Master and Johnson shit right here. Sure it's creepy if a guy wants to sneak up on that and watch it stare back at him, but it's not like spying on someone soaping up in a shower. It couldn't possibly be a turn-on for most people.

Back me up here, ladies. I wouldn't know my own cervix if I had to identify it in a lineup. I've never seen it, and I don't need to see it, and neither does anybody else. But furthermore, I have 100 problems and some hacker looking at my cervix isn't one of them.

Not that I intend to stick a camera -- did I mention this thing costs $200? --  in my vagina and give him (does anybody think a woman would do this?) the opportunity. What am I missing here with this thing? Is this supposed to be sexy? Because I suspect if you think too much about what a vagina actually looks like -- a tunnel of meat -- it's not going to arouse anyone's passions. So why would I want a vibrating camera up in my hoochie? And who would find that sexy anyway? Hey, baby, send me a dick pic and I'll send you one of my vagina. The real thing. You don't get to see my cervix until the second date though.

OK, supposedly the thing vibrates and the point of it is to observe a woman's mounting excitement and the resulting orgasm. I hate to bring Debby Downer to the orgy, but it's the rare woman who will orgasm from a vibrator inserted into her vagina. Not even with a camera on it. Not a penis either, for that matter.

Maybe I'm just too old for this shit. I'm not saying I'm not adventurous, but if someone asked me to masturbate with a vibrating camera while they watched on a laptop or a phone screen, I suspect I'd become bored very quickly. Frankly, it's an activity that can't compete with The Great British Baking Show. Paul Hollywood is exciting. Watching my cervix is not.

Let's look at Paul Hollywood. 
You feel me?

I'll bet Paul Hollywood doesn't drive around scanning for vag cameras.

Also did anybody else see "Siime Eye" and read "Slime Eye"? An unfortunate name, that. I find nothing appealing about the Siime Eye, so I guess my vagina and cervix will remain safe from slimy prying eyes. If you do like showing off your inner lady bits though, just change the password that came with your dildo camera and all will be well. So glad I could divert that disaster.

In conclusion, if you were thinking about getting me a vag cam for Christmas, please take that one off your list. I'll be posting my list for Santa soon, and this won't be on it.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Day 13: If we were sharing a bottle of wine

I haven't done one of these in a while. The original idea was for bloggers to write a blog post about what we -- you and I -- might talk about over a cup of coffee, but I write at night, and I don't drink caffeine. Also I do what I want. I can think of a few things I might talk about. Maybe you could write what you'd talk about in the comments.

I'm sitting on my couch in the middle of my living room as I write this. I pulled it out earlier and cleaned behind and underneath it. Yuck. Where does all that dust come from? I understand the socks, colored pencils, markers, and almonds, but the dust? It's disgusting.

After I finished vacuuming and mopping back there, I couldn't bear to put the couch back, because it looks so good. I will before I go to bed. I don't know what possessed me to do that at 11:00 at night, but I am glad it's done.

When I was a young Air Force officer's wife, I struggled with a dirty little secret called depression and anxiety. At the time I was awfully hard on myself about it, but looking back I can understand why that young woman struggled. It's not an easy life, being a military wife, and I was very young. I'm not going to talk about that though. Cleaning behind the couch reminded me of one of the things I did that kept me sane during my husband's weeks- or months-long  TDY's (temporary duty).

I'd give myself one job every day that was not a daily chore. Like cleaning behind the couch or sorting out the sock drawers, going to the commissary or alphabetizing the pantry. OK, I never alphabetized the pantry. But I might clean and organize it. Having that one job to do every day got me through some lonely days when college classes didn't take enough time and kids were in the future. It's a shame I wasn't better at building a life back then.

These days, I could make a list with 15 of those kind of chores on it every day here in my big old Victorian and never run out of days. How I wish I could split the work up more evenly over my life. Maybe that's why I rarely get depressed or anxious these days.

If we were sharing a bottle of wine, I'd ask you what you've done to keep yourself sane and above water. If you don't have any tricks, I have a list of chores you could help me whittle down.
If we were sharing a bottle of wine, I'd tell you I miss some of the courtesies people used to offer each other. Coraline and I were driving home yesterday and we came to a traffic light that was green, but the cars who had the green light weren't going through. And the cars that had the red light were driving on through it. It was a funeral procession, of course, but since they didn't have a police escort, it took me a second to notice the little flags on some of the cars and figure out what was going on.

It was a long procession. We sat through 3 or 4 green lights before the last car passed by. A couple of people honked and tried to get the line of cars to go through the green light, but most either knew what was happening or didn't want to go against the majority.

When I was a kid growing up in a small town, people would pull over and stop their cars as a funeral passed by, but I don't see that very often these days. I'm not sure it's a thing any more. Letting the procession go through a light, yes. Stopping along the other side of the road, not so  much.

I miss it. And I think it's not a bad blessing: May your funeral procession be long enough to cause the  drivers in the cars going the other way to honk their frustration.
If we were sharing a bottle of wine, I'd say my granddaughter Coraline and I are going to Iowa for my mom's 80th birthday soon. I wrote already that we're flying. It's her first time, and it's been so long since I've flown it might as well be mine too. I always drive, but my little brother talked me into flying so I wouldn't have to spend 24+ hours driving through Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa. The I states.

It's been 3 1/2 years since I've been home. I always worry about the same things. I just know everybody is going to notice how much fatter I am than last time I was there. And I got a shitty haircut last Thursday that I need to try to get fixed at another salon before I go. It's hard to take the risk again with another new place, first because I could just get more shitty haircutting. And second because I hardly have any hair left to cut. Bitch really chopped a lot off. Also, haircuts are fucking expensive. At least on my budget. So I need to lose 40 pounds and get a decent haircut out of what's left of my hair before I go.

I also need to move my couch back against the wall, and I can predict with reliability which is most likely to happen.
 It's not a joke, those 40 pounds. My 3-year-old standard poodle Crow Cocker is too fat, according to his vet. And I'm too fat. Hmmmm. Seems like we could work on that together, but one of us is too lazy and too busy, both at the same fucking time. Pour me some more wine, will ya?
If we were sharing a bottle of wine, I'd ask if you've noticed things are so fucking serious these days. Remember when we could go days and not think about politics? I do. I tell myself almost daily I'm going to pull the fucking Facebook IV out of my arm and get my life back. But what I really want to do is take a break from politics. I want to keep the personal stuff that connects me to my friends and get rid of every political article on my feed. No offense to anybody who shares political articles. I do it too sometimes, although I've backed way off on that. It's preaching to the choir.

I've never had one of those vacations where you just lie around on beaches and stroll through quaint cities and other people take care of you. I need one of those.

I also need to move my couch back against the wall, and I can predict with reliability which is most likely to happen.
Neither is a fuck buddy going to happen, although somebody commented the other day that I needed to write about that. Ugh. I will, but not tonight. I tried it once, mostly because my daughter Elvira insisted I needed to, and it wasn't as easy as you'd think.

By the time somebody makes a decent fuck buddy robot, I'll be too old to give a fuck. I can almost see the appeal though. Almost. OK, not really.
I'm going to bed now. The wine is gone, and I'm craving potato chips. Sorry this has been kind of a boring ramble. I'm boring these days. I need somebody to entertain me .... and yes, I DO mean like that. Next thing you know I'll be trolling Craigslist again.