Saturday, December 3, 2016

What I'd like to say to Rosie's friend Bob

Bob, you ignorant asshole. I keep wanting to call you Tom, because you're That One Man. That one man who, every time Rosie posts something positive about Hillary Clinton or something terrifying about Donald Trump, you show up at the party, shit in the punch, and then act like you presented us with some fancy pink Andre champagne. And until recently, you signed all of your comments "Love Bob." GMAFB, you condescending hound of the patriarchy. You represent so much of what is wrong with this country, and tonight, old white man, I have had it with you. I bite my tongue every day until it bleeds, and tonight I'm taking off the teeth.

You know, Bob, it used to be kind of fun to play with ugly old troll dolls like you, but since the unimaginable results of the election -- you know that election, the one where all those men like you voted for the orange man because you hated the black man so much? -- the election in which more than 2.5 million more people voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton than the loser you backed, you're not such a funny joke. Somehow people like you .... people who share possibly one brain cell among the lot of you ... you, Bob, put your finger on the button in the voting booth in a swing state and managed to go around the will of the people to put the tiny orange finger of the most dangerous reality star in the world on the button that leads to the possible destruction of the planet as we know it. You fucking idiot, Tom Bob.

Here's an example of how fucking stupid you are. Tonight Rosie posted an article titled   "Indiana Taxpayers Will Be Paying Salaries of Carrier Workers Whose Jobs Donald Trump 'Saved'" I'm sure you didn't read it. You never do. You're not here on this planet to have an intelligent conversation. Instead you said (and I'm leaving out some of the comments that don't matter so much) "The Jill Stein and Hillary recount in Wisconsin is costing Wisconsin tax payers 4.8 Million Dollars." Now, Bob, that's what we call an argument fallacy, and that's not what this post is about. Take my word for it, because smarter people than you understand these things.

Nevertheless, Rosie, in her infinite patience (she's a retired teacher; you probably think she was paid too much), refuted your claim with proof that Jill Stein had raised money to pay for the recount.

You said, "The Wisconsin State Election Official...the top dog.... was interviewed by Carol Costello at CNN and she said the fee to ask for a recount was $900,000 and by law the tax payers of Wisconsin have to pay $1 per each recounted vote so the tab is $4.8 Million dollars since there are 4.8 million votes to recount." No link to a source. Bad form, Tom Bob.

I said, because I will admit I'm just itching to wipe the smug look off your face, "Maybe they should only have counted legitimate votes in the first place. Then there wouldn't be so many Trump votes to pay for in the recount." [I know! I know! Dear readers, I know I fed the troll. Apparently he doesn't digest irony well, sharing that one brain cell as he does.]

And that's when you, Bob, repeated that oft shared bit of greasy, putrid turd that some idiot pulled out of his unwashed ass and tweeted one night while he was watching porn in his parents' basement on a couch that would glow under blacklight like LA from his many Sarah Palin-fueled masturbatory emissions: "I'd like to see a recount in California where in many polling stations across the State you don't have to show an ID to vote...maybe that is where the 2 million in the popular vote came from."

Sigh. Bob, do you realize there's a video of you, or people who share that one brain cell, that those of us with a few more brain cells have been laughing at all week. Here it is, buddy. Take a look. This is you.



Idiot.

In the meantime, your brain cell refuses to look at what happened in the news just today, starting with the Carrier travesty, which even Sarah Palin called "crony capitalism." What the fuck happened there, eh? Did you all decide to let Palin use the brain cell all by herself? That's possibly the first time she's made sense in all of recorded history.

Nor did you pay attention to the terrifying conversation Trump had over the phone with the president of Taiwan, which could damage US diplomatic relations with China. I'm not going to try to explain the ramifications, but your tiny brain should be able to find at least a bit of discomfort with the fact that Trump is investigating the possibility of building a big old resort in Taiwan.

Not even a twinge of fucking concern yet, Bob? It doesn't even bother you that the Trumps are too good for the White House and have plans to cost this country millions -- even more millions that DT has lost to bankruptcy added to the millions he's kept after he stiffed those poor working-class people you're so sure he'll find jobs for -- so he and his family don't have to sully themselves by living in the White House. You'd think he'd want to make it white again for all you "I'm not a racist" racists. And you're OK with that, Mr. Patriot of the Year?

Apparently none of this bothers you as you spout off senseless, refutable bullshit that comes straight from faux news where the reporters are telling you -- flat out telling you to your stupid fucking face -- that they've been fucking with you, because they hate you and they wanted you to see how stupid you are, but you're too fucking stupid to even see it. They punked you so hard you put your finger on that button and you pushed it. And now, unless there is a god, which I doubt now, you put the tiny, sticky orange finger of a devil on the button that can destroy the earth as we know it. A man who spends the wee hours of the night throwing twitter temper tantrums over imagined insults and reposting the ridiculous and refutable, if he only had a brain, lies of other Twitter trolls like the guy who made up the lie about the California voters fraud. This is your idea of a suitable President of the United States. Even the Georges Bush hate your fucking guts. and that second one wasn't the brightest or most honest bulb in the White House, but he's smarter than you.

And if I may go off on a tangent, I'll just say I'm sick and fucking tired of hearing that the election was lost (we fucking won by over 2.5 million votes so suck it) by intelligent, educated people because we -- and I don't include you in that group, Bob -- alienated the stupid, uneducated people who sit around on their worn-out recliners twisting in their panties over the lies they see on Faux News. So now it's my fault for not lowering myself and pretending I have the intelligence of a goldfish so they feel more comfortable about being too stupid and lazy to do even the rudimentary research my kids could do when they were in 4th grade?

Why the fuck should I do that? How will that make you smarter, Bubba Bob? How about when I show you a well researched article like this one from Politico with the real story about voter fraud in California  you fucking read it?

Instead you said, "I have friends in California....they said they are very lax in asking anyone to prove who they are before they vote."

And all I can say to you, Bob, as my lip curls with disdain is, "That's what I call citing a source." Seriously, thanks for finally citing a fucking source that proves why Donald Trump, top deplorable in the basket, could become the most powerful toddler in the world.

And the worst thing, Tom Bob, is that you are just one Fox-tranced troll and there are millions and millions of you out there ruining the world -- the world you have to live in too, idiot -- because you're too stupid to understand how stupid you are.

I'm done with you, Bob. I'm going to block you now, because you can't be saved. And don't you dare look to Jesus to save your stupid ass, because he's not coming back to this mess any time soon, and you would deport him if he did. If things go the way they very well could, the radiation would kill the Holy Son anyway. You do know he was considered an intellectual in his time, right? An educated young rabbi. A radical, socialist Jew, as the song goes.


And you, Bob, you are nothing like Jesus, you stupid Trump troll. So maybe consider shutting the fuck up and not dirtying Rosie's every post with your endlessly stupid and patronizing and easily refuted faux news vomit. Because what could have been funny -- as in laughable to anybody with a full brain -- is no longer funny. It's a dangerous fucking disaster, and the ship is sinking before our very eyes while you tuck your pasty gray head up inside your ass and repeat the lies in the dark so you don't have to see what you have unleashed on the world. 

I am terrified to see that you still don't fucking get it. And you never will as long as you rely on that one, shared brain cell.

I hope Rosie hits the unfriend button on you soon, Bob, because she's way too good for you. And you're way too stupid to be allowed to sit in her Facebook living room and participate in the conversations of reasoning adults who may not be able to save this country .... this world ... now that you and your one brain cell have won (that's irony, Bob, you fucking idiot) the election.





Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Day 30: A post mortem

Photo credit: Reticulated Writer

I did it! I finished my 5th year in a row of NaBloPoMo. Of course, I do commit to writing a post a day during other random months, but November is a hard one to finish, mostly because of Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep, which has been rare this month. I'm lazy and I procrastinate, so I end up starting to write when I should be crawling into bed most nights. And then when the alarm clock starts beeping at 6:00 am, I'm a sorry tigger.

I don't have anything exciting to say about the genitals of either sex tonight. Those aren't the posts people seem to like best anyway. In fact, the post that got the most views this month was day 4, the one about not putting corn meal in the cornbread. I should share either more embarrassing stories or more recipes. I suspect it's the former. No problem. I have plenty of those.

The post that came in second for views (and not even close, which I cannot explain) was the one about finding a note on my van on day 21. However, that one got by far the most likes and shares on Facebook, as well as the most comments in various places where I shared it. It was also my favorite, if I get a vote. Probably one of my favorites ever.

A not very close third was the one about voting for Hillary's vagina on day 6. A day when I was still innocently sure I'd finally see a woman sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office. Turns out it doesn't really matter how many of us voted for her vagina .... well, nevermind. I'm bitter, that's all.

The biggest surprise of the month -- in Reticuland, not nationally -- came after I posted about my art journaling on day 27. I came close to pulling that one in the middle of the night after I went to bed with a rock in my stomach. Real artists read here, you guys! But I didn't delete it. I stayed in bed and left it there and probably had a dream that I went to school naked and forgot my locker combination, and then had to pee in public. My dread was for naught. Thank you for being kind. More of you left positive comments on Facebook than I could have imagined. And, yes, even a couple of the real artists did. I blushed and teared up several times. 

And then a truly crazy thing happened. My friend Starfish said she wanted to buy one of them. She said it spoke to her of our friendship and what we'd gone through in the past. I was kind of stunned. I'd made no plan for such a thing. I asked an artist friend about pricing. And I also had to get used to the idea of letting go. Selling words is one thing. They're always still mine, in a way. Selling art ... well, I had to realize it's no different. And it creates a unique connection between the artist and the buyer. Just like the words on each of these blog posts represents something about who I was that day, so too does a work of art represent in a visual way where the artist was that day. And with the art journaling, the words I incorporate are often linked to something that is happening or has happened in my life. So .... yeah. That was unexpected and very cool.

And inspiring. Just like writing here and then engaging in conversations about the things I write about inspires me to write more, so did sharing my little art journals inspire me to want to create more. I've got ideas for several I'm working on now.

I hope you all went out and bought some Native deodorant. I know some of you did. I'm still bummed that I didn't hear back from them after I sent a link to my post. So if you get a chance when you order, please tell them where you heard of it. Or not. It doesn't really matter, now that I think of it.

John Cheever said, "I can't write without a reader. It's precisely like a kiss. You can't do it alone." I'll finish tonight by thanking you for kissing me back, and even slipping me some tongue every once in a while. Thank you for your likes and your comments, which are like a trail of breadcrumbs to the next post for me, and the times you shared a post with your friends. Shares are always welcome and flattering.

If it weren't for you I'd have no reason to come here to my little piece of the blogosphere and write in the late hours of the night. I don't make money from it (except the $250 I won the first year I did this). I don't get free products or invitations to speak at conferences. (Hell, I didn't even win one of the 4 free scholarships to the big Blogher conference in Orlando that were given away this month.) It's just you and me here on Free Parking, and I'm doing most of the talking. Just as I like it.

I'm taking a short break to get some sleep and maybe make some art. See you in a few days. Promise!




Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Day 29: If you don't count your own blessings, who will?

Photo credit: Reticulated Writer

Did you ever have one of those days that require you to either baste yourself with pity all day, or to grab yourself up by the lapels, give yourself a hard shake and set yourself down inside a new attitude? I know you have. Today was one of those damn days, and even though we all have them, I'm going to tell you about mine.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I've been going to some doctors at the base to clear up a few minor health issues. Today was dermatology day. I got Coraline off to school, got ready to go, and walked out the door with a good half hour before my appointment. Plenty of time. I had my Kindle with me, because I knew I'd be early.

I hit the unlock on my van with my key fob and nothing happened. Tried again. Nothing. Must need a new battery, I thought. First time in 14 years, but OK. I used the key and got in, automatically hit the button to lock the van and .... nothing. Put the key in the ignition and turned it .... nothing. Looked at the stupid, easy-to-bump button for the 30 interior lights and it was rocked forward. I'd left the lights on when I came home Saturday night. Probably bumped the button with my purse, and not the first time.

I called my son Drake, woke him up, explained the situation, and he said he'd be right over. I ran through the house and out to the garage for my jumper cables and got everything set up to jump my van. Fifteen minutes later he pulled up. I looked at my phone. Twelve minutes until my appointment. "Just take my car," he said. "Montana is on her way over. We'll jump your van with her car. Go!"

So I did. And I was 10 minutes late for my appointment, which meant I had to wait almost 20 minutes for the doctor on an examining table in one of those backless gowns , because she took the patient who was early ahead of me. Can't blame her.

I had asked for a skin cancer screening, because I'm a redhead and I can be a bit of a hypochondriac -- even though I rarely go to the doctor. I just worry -- so I wanted her to look at a few spots and secretly laugh at me for worrying about my freckles and bumps.

Except she didn't laugh. She was quite serious. And she wants to biopsy a spot on my face next week to see if it's basal cell carcinoma. Out of the 5 spots I showed her, of course it's the one on my face she's worried about.  Sigh. I really wanted to be a hypochondriac.

Next I went to the pharmacy. She'd given me a prescription for a new medicine for a rash around my eyes, and she told me I'd have to ask them to order it for me. When I told the tech, he started laughing a loud, booming fake laugh and said. "Well, that's not the way we do things around here. You don't just walk up and ask me to order you something. We have procedures that have to be followed. This is not the way you do it." He looked at my prescription and continued, "Looks like I'm going to have to have a talk with Lydia about this. Lydia. Lydia. Lydia. You are going to have to learn how we do things here, and this is not the way we do things, Lydia. You need to get with our program, Lydia, and not be sending patients down here talking about special orders, Lydia. You need to learn a lesson, Lydia." And he laughed his fake, booming laugh again.

Now I don't know if you're familiar with the military, but his use of her first name was shockingly inappropriate. Even though he was a no-ranking civilian, he should have known better. And I don't think if he'd looked down and seen that my doctor's name was James or John or David he would have spoken so condescendingly nor would he have used her first name. That pissed me off.

I said, "I'm sure Dr. Smith* thought you would be able to lead me through the proper procedure for getting this prescription." I was not smiling.

He simply grabbed a cordless phone and said, "I'm going to talk to Lydia now and tell her how WE do things here, and it's not the way she does things."

I opened my mouth to say, "Her name is either Dr. Smith or Lt. Col. Smith to you," but he'd already walked away. He talked to 3 other techs, and then reached into a bin on the shelf and pulled out a box, which he then dropped, kicked, and had to pick up. I don't think he made that phone call.

When he came back over to me, I said, "Is that my prescription?" He had to admit it was. I said, "So Lt. Col. Smith wasn't so far off giving me the prescription and asking me to bring it to you?"

"Not this time," he said. "You can have a seat. We'll call you up when it's ready."

I'm so super sensitive right now to sexist slights like that. I really wanted to call him out. And then again, I'd already been waiting for 45 minutes, and I just wanted to get out of there. So I didn't. I waited another 15 minutes, got my prescription and left.

I drove Drake's car to his house to trade for my van. We talked a while. I got into my van and drove home. I was just waiting for the next shitty thing to happen, even though the sun was shining, and the temperature was mild and in the 50's. A beautiful day, and I hadn't even noticed it until 2:00 in the afternoon. And that's when I decided I needed to take inventory on my perspective.

My battery was dead on my good old reliable van, yes, but I don't need a new one. I also had someone I could call who came right over and helped me out. He could have left my van sitting there dead and let me call roadside assistance or jump it with my trickle charger, but he fixed it for me. I am loved.

And as for the impending biopsy, I am hooked into some of the best socialized medicine in the world at one of the best military hospitals. I hope I don't have skin cancer on my face. Of course, I'm freaked out about that. But if I do, I will receive good medical care, and I pay very little for it. I won't have to fill out tons of paperwork or beg for an insurance company to pay for my care.  I am one of the fortunate ones.

As for that asshole at the pharmacy, fuck him. He's a sexist loudmouth, and that's that. At least I don't have to sit down to Thanksgiving dinner with him.

After Coraline got home from school, we went out to run some errands. We had to drive out to the suburbs to return some boots I'd bought her that broke the first time she wore them. A 40-minute round trip. But I didn't have to pay postage to send them back, and by the time I got home Amazon had credited my account.

Coraline's school is doing a canned goods drive, and the class that donates the most gets a doughnut party. I don't really want Coraline having doughnut parties at school. They give her a ridiculous amount of sugar there. But I do want her to know generosity. So we made an unplanned stop at Kroger, and I asked her how many she thought she'd bring. "A dozen," she said.

"A dozen! You know you have to carry them on the bus, right?" I said. 

"How much is a dozen again?" she asked.
"Twelve."

"Well, I want to take a dozen," she said.

And so we picked out a dozen cans of tuna, broth, soup, fruit, and beans. Because lots of people are hungry, and we are blessed with a big pot of homemade turkey soup in our fridge made from the carcass of our Thanksgiving turkey. So if she wants to haul a dozen cans of food in to school on the bus, a dozen it is.

At the library, I was grateful that we had our choice of thousands of books, CD's, and DVD's. Imagine what that would look like to most people in the world.

2016 has been a difficult year. November has been an especially difficult month, especially for those of us who were sure we were going to see our first woman president .... It's been hard to feel grateful even during this month when we focus on it so much. So many days I have to give myself a shake like I did today, and remind me to appreciate the support and the love I have beneath and around me. It's so easy to get pulled down by .... well, by all the things that pull us down.

November is almost over, but I'm making a vow -- because I think we're headed for a devastating crisis in this country -- that I'm going to hold on to the good things, the loving acts, the generous gifts. And I'm going to fight even harder for what is right and necessary for the safety of my family and friends and even strangers who could be friends.

Damn, I got all preachy there, didn't I? Well, it happens. I needed to see it in writing tonight. I know I'm going to have a pall over my head until I find out the results of that biopsy. And then ... well, I can't see around that curve. So until then, I'm just going to be glad for what I've got, which right now is one almost finished blog post, a nasty woman cocktail, and the dregs of a bag of potato chips. I don't have to get on the scale until morning, so right now, I'm OK.



Monday, November 28, 2016

Day 28: Don't drink from that. It's Grandma.



You know what's weird? Taking the cremains of 200 people, making a glaze. and creating dinnerware so that people can drink their morning coffee from cups made out of Grandma's ashes. I'm not even kidding. Here's proof.


OK, nothing is as bizarre as the idea that Donald Trump -- remember when we used to call him "The Donald"? -- could become the President of the United States. I mean, all the weird things I used to write about ... not even contenders for real life in this country any more. So let's pretend that The Donald isn't involved in Top Secret security meetings (when he shows up) and act like this is pre-DT.

How fucking weird would it be to drink out of a cup that was made from Grandpa's ashes? I realize ashes are sterile, and then even more sterile after kiln-firing, and then they are, I suppose, sealed into the glaze as well ... But you don't know! You don't know when you take that sip of coffee what part of Grandpa's body is up against your lips! And it might not even be Grandpa. It might be some stranger's ..... whatever up against your lips.

I watched that video, and it looked like maybe a family of young adults who .... I don't know. Maybe they needed that really large set of dinnerware so they had to get rid of everybody over 35 and under 20 in the family to make all of those dishes.

And parts of the video are so sensual, the dragging of the bread through the oil. The sipping of the wine. It's like they're having sex with the burned, crushed bones of their dead relatives. So romantic, am I right?

And they're so mellow and quiet, like they're at a funeral, but you know that wine is going to eventually kick in, and families are going to act like families act.  What happens when cousin Tina gets mad and throws Grandma her goblet at her sister Darla's head? And it breaks! Do they just sweep up their loved ones' remains and throw them in the trash? Or do they put the shards into an urn? Bury them in the back yard? Isn't that illegal?

And then what happens when they don't have enough cups to go around. Do they fight over who gets to drink from Grandma?

I watched another video with the guy who makes this human dinnerware. (Below.) He says the pieces he makes are "interactive, and they let you integrate the memories into everyday life." Ummm, no. I don't think those bits of crushed ash and bones are actually memories. I can see wanting keep a physical memento -- a lock of hair, or a bit of ash, or even some semen. But drinking your coffee every morning from a cup made partially of your loved one's cremains, along with those of 199 strangers?!?! I don't get it.

Death is hard. I know that. But healthy grieving leads to letting go and accepting, no matter how long that takes. I don't see how making your loved one's cremated body into the wine goblet or a dinner plate is a healthy reaction. You're not drinking memories.

I could be wrong though. Just because I can't imagine doing it doesn't mean it wouldn't bring other people comfort. What do you think? Would you find meaning in using your loved one's cremains this way? Or would you gag at the idea of eating your salad off the ashes and bones of 200 dead people?

You know where I stand. Tell me I'm wrong.



Sunday, November 27, 2016

Day 27: A new passion

Twenty-seven posts down and three to go. For this month anyway. I do love writing here. And I do love sleeping more than 5 hours a night. Conflict! I just never have enough time for everything.

I have taken some time the past few months though to do something new. I'm not really an artist, but I have over the years dabbled in a few different visual art genres: oil painting, watercolors, drawing (I'm terrible at drawing). I even had a little jewelry business for a while. I'm not good at any of it. In fact, I may not even reach the mediocre line on the chart, but I like doing it -- whatever "it" is at the time.

Most recently it's been art journaling, which means I can combine the art (using the broadest definition of the word) and writing. I enjoy the flexibility of it. The lack of rules. It's meditative and yet messy. It's something Coraline and I can do together, each at our own level, on opposite sides of the dining room table, although it's hard to tell sometimes which one of us is 5. Also, I love buying art supplies and hoarding them, so back when I could afford to do that, I did. And now I've been opening boxes I packed up 7 years ago and finding treasures I can use now. Bonus!

I've been reading a new blog lately, The Badass Widow, and she had the courage to post some of the mandalas she's been drawing in a class she's taking. So I thought, What the hell. I'm going to post my little art journal pages some night when I don't feel like writing a lot. Like tonight.

So here they are. Don't judge! I'm neither an artist nor a photographer. I'm just a writer who sometimes likes to do something a little different with words and paper and shit.


I started out with these altered playing cards. I thought I was on to something new. Turned out it was already a thing. Oh well. 


"She had an inside and an outside now and suddenly she knew how not to mix them." ~~ Zora Neale Hurston


"There comes a time when you have to choose between turning a page and closing the book." ~~ Author unknown (to me)


The journaling I obscured on this one. Not everything is meant to be read.


Coraline and I collaborated on this one.