Sunday, July 31, 2016

Day 31: If we were sharing a box of wine on my porch

Tonight is the last night of July, and I'm pretty happy that I managed to only miss 2 days this month. I'll make those up, of course, because my OCD insists on it. Coraline has written -- or at least inspired -- some of the most popular posts this month. One of the reasons I haven't been blogging as much is because I thought my life as a single grandmother might not be nearly as interesting as my life as a single woman living alone was, but apparently I was wrong. I intend to encourage Coraline to start her own blog as soon as she can write.

As always, I appreciate everyone who comes here to read and stays until the end of the post. Blogging experts advise choosing a topic for a blog and then sticking to the damn thing in each and every post. Other rules include posting consistently and keeping posts short so readers don't have to scroll. I'm pretty sure my batting average wouldn't get me into Little League, must less the pros. My rule is I do what I want, and you all get what you paid for.

All kidding aside, I, my ego, and my Muse Dolores do sincerely thank you for reading.

And now, on to tonight's random, rambling one-sided conversation which really would not happen if we were sharing a box of wine for realz. I would let you talk sometimes, especially if you wanted to ask me something about myself. That's if, OC, we were sitting on my front porch sharing a box of wine. (It's OK if you drink something else as long as you bring potato chips and chocolate to share.)


If we were sharing a box of wine, I would counsel you that experience tells me cucumber slices are a poor substitute for potato chips no matter how much salt you put on them.

If we were sharing a box of wine, I would tell you I've decided to stop checking out books at the library. And that's significant because between the 2 of us, Coraline and I always have at least 50 books and videos checked out. It's obscene really, but they let me take them for free, and so I get greedy. I've decided though that I really need to read the books I own, both hard copy and on my Kindle, instead of putting the library books first and never getting to the ones on my personal shelves.

The other day I took back a full bag of books so heavy I could barely carry it. I kept only one book, the latest by Louise Erdrich, titled LaRose. I'll still check out DVD's, but no more books for a while. I feel lighter already. I'm going to get rid of a lot more books in August too. It's not right that I should feel so weighted down by paper and words. Sometimes I think I'd like to live in a hotel and just visit my house.

If we were sharing a box of wine,  I'd tell you about the play I'm in, titled Semple Gifts. It's a play about Aimee Semple McPherson, who had a crazy interesting Pentecostal life. I'm playing one of the lead roles, so I'm glad it's reader's theatre so I don't have to memorize a long script. Apparently someone else was cast in my role, and she wasn't very reliable and quit or something. I don't know for sure. I said yes when the playwright/director asked me, because I miss theatre so much. I think it's going to be good. The music is fun, and I learned a lot about a pretty influential woman in American 20th-century history. We would raise a glass and toast Aimee, and the irony would not escape us, because she was probably against drinking, at least on paper.

If we were sharing a box of wine, I'd tell you every time I have a birthday, I feel like I become more and more transparent, and someday I will become utterly invisible. I'm finally tempted to lie about my age, and I hate that. So vain. Only a couple of people really give a shit about my age, and that says more about them than it does me. You would try to reassure me, but I'm a realist. I would appreciate that you tried though, and then we would probably end up talking about dating -- which I'm not going to do here.

If we were sharing a box of wine, I would tell you I sometimes buy the best presents! Coraline's favorite birthday present from me was definitely her magenta Kindle Fire that came with Amazon's Freetime. That means  she has access to hundreds of books, movies and games free for a year. Her addiction was immediate. And scary to me.

But I think the best gift I gave her was 8 cans of shaving cream. Often after I've finished my shower I'll call her in and wash her hair. Then I'll give her a big pile of shaving cream to play with and she'll stay in the shower running up my water bill for a while. So I gave her her own shaving cream so she could play with it out on the glass-topped patio table.

She had a ball. I had to get my hands in there too, and it felt so cool -- smooth and squishy. Eventually though, she had to come in for dinner, and by then she was covered in foam from her forehead to her feet. I had to spray it off with the garden hose. I thought the cool water would feel good on such a hot day, but she started whining. "What is the big deal?" I said. "It's only water."

"It's not that," she whined. "You got my clothes wet, and dark pink just isn't my color. I need to get these off."

1st world problems.

If we were sharing a box of wine, I'd tell you I have such shitty luck with gardens.  My community garden plot is in a new bed that sits right under a tree. Not only that, the soil is loaded with weed seeds that grow like fucking tribbles, That's my plot there. Not the one you can see. The one on the other side of the tree.

My garden in my yard suffers from the same fate. Too much shade from the neighbors' trees on either side. The neighbor to the north is growing a massive patch of poison ivy up the trunk of said huge tree while my poor tomatoes are pale and sickly looking. I think I should probably give up and put my energy elsewhere next year. Coraline thinks we should just grow raspberries, and let people pick as much as they want. I'm not sure that's the answer either.

If we were sharing a box of wine, we would laugh about this. Because we either need to laugh or run screaming from this country in terror.

If we were sharing a box of wine, it would be empty and I'd mention that it's after 3:00, so I should get to bed. Feel free to crash in the guest room. I'll open some windows and turn on a fan.

What would you tell me if we were sharing a box of wine?

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Day 30: 44 Things

I don't know why I'm compelled to do this silly thing tonight. I used to love reading these when people would do them on Facebook. That was back before people could click a button and share an article or a video, back before my Facebook feed looked like the evening news. In the midst of all of that sharing, I noticed a friend had taken the time to do this tonight, so I decided to do it too. Since I didn't have time to write both this and a blog post, it's going to be a blog post whether it wants to be or not. Feel free to add your own in the comments. I'd love to read them.

44 Odd (and not so odd) Things You Don't Know About Me

1. Do you like blue cheese? Yes. And all of blue cheese's cheesy cousins too.
2. Have you ever smoked? Yes. I still miss it sometimes, even though I quit decades ago. I still dream that I've started smoking again. I think it's because I grew up thinking smoking was something adults should do. Also, it's a bitch of an addiction.
3. Do you own a gun? No. I just stick my index finger out and my thumb up and say, "Pow! Pow!"
4. What is your favorite flavor? Chocolate. I hate having to choose favorites though because I also like banana, strawberry, grape, blueberry, carrot, potato chip, and wine flavors. 
5. Do you get nervous before doctor visits? Usually. Not so much now that I've found out she'll treat me much better if I let her think I'm a retired Lt. Col. It's not my fault they fucked up my records.
6. What do you think of hot dogs? They're disgusting. I buy the ones without nitrates -- or is it nitrites? -- that are supposed to be better and cost the earth. Mostly I don't eat them, and I don't feed them to Coraline either.
7. Favorite Movie? I hate choosing favorites. I'll say Sound of Music although Crossroads (the one about the blues) is a close second. I've watched the cutting head scene at least 100 times. I'll post it below. White Christmas is a good one too, as is Prancer.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Water, if I have to drink in the morning. I prefer to sleep in the morning.
9. Do you do pushups? Do I look like I do pushups? Fuck, no. Pushups are hard on my wrists and make me feel clumsy and weak.
 10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? A little silver J that I used to wear all the time until the chain broke. It reminds me of who I want to be. I also have a queen necklace, but I think I'm allergic to the metal.
11. Favorite hobbies? So many. Playing music, gardening, reading, cycling, socializing, karaoke, crocheting, collage/art journaling, acting. I'll post some of my hobby art soon.
12. Do you have A.D.D.? Probably, but I've never been diagnosed. I never get done all that I want and even need to get done.
13. What’s the one thing you dislike about yourself? One thing? See #12. I could go on and on and on, but why do so? The thing I berate myself most about is not writing enough though. So I'll say that one, because being overweight is so trite and most of us dislike that about ourselves.
14. What is your middle name? Jo. 
15. Name three thoughts at this moment. This is probably a really stupid thing to post on my blog. Standing on concrete all day in a hot market with no AC apparently destroyed enough brain cells that this is all I can write tonight. I need to go to bed earlier tonight than I usually do. I think that every night.
16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Water. Wine. The blood of innocents.
17. Current worry? Sending Coraline to all-day kindergarten in a couple of weeks.
18. Current annoyance? Once again I don't have enough hours in the day to answer this one, but I'll choose the way my neighbors park. Total disregard for their neighbors, while at the same time complaining about how there's not enough parking. It's pretty crazy. And annoying. Also, while I'm whining, I've had a rash under my eyes for weeks now, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to face #5.
19. Favorite place to be? My front porch with friends. But again, I have a lot of favorite places. The friends part is most important. The bike path along the river is a close second. Ugh. Favorites.
20. How do you ring in the new year? I usually go to a party with a large extended family of relatives and friends who have allowed me to be a part of their family. We consume many delicious homemade pizzas and lots of booze, sing karaoke, talk, laugh, toast with champagne, shoot off poppers, hug.
21. Where would you like to go? Ireland. Montana. Seattle. Arkansas. Anyplace.
22. Name three people who will complete this? I don't know. Surprise me.
23. Do you own slippers? Of course. I live in the midwest where we have winters. I own several pairs.
24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? Really? Black. 
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Nah. Too cold and slick. Egyptian cotton for me. Or flannel in the winter.
26. Can you whistle? Certainly. I just put my lips together and blow. 
27. What are your favorite colors? Black, teal, and blue.
28. Would you be a pirate? Not unless I can be the captain.
29. What songs do you sing in the shower? "Let It Go."
30. Favorite girl's name? Josephine.
31. Favorite boys name? Joe.
 32. What’s in your pocket right now? Nothing, but only because my cell phone is beside me on the desk.
 33. Last thing that made you laugh? I was at a friend's house tonight, and his dad, who is in his 90's was telling us about hitchhiking across the country back when he was 16. He has some great stories.
34. Best toy as a child? When I was 4 my cousin bought me a guitar at the grocery store where he worked. He was in high school. I was visiting my aunt and uncle for a week, and she took me grocery shopping. I saw that little guitar up on the wall and I wanted it so bad. I might even have asked for it, although that wouldn't have been something I'd usually do. I didn't expect to get things. When my cousin came home from work that evening, he gave me the guitar. I was so thrilled. I took it home with me, and my mom made me let my cousins who lived up the street play with it the night I got home. One of them broke one of the strings. Of course. It's still one of the best toys anybody ever bought me.
35. Worst injury you ever had? I tripped and fell face first into a brick hearth. You don't want to hear the details. I lived though.
36. Where would you love to live? Dayton, Ohio. Although I've heard good things about Austin.
37. How many TVs do you have? One. Computers are another question.
38. Who is your loudest friend? I have lots of theater friends. Do you really want me to choose the loudest?
39. How many dogs do you have? One. Crow Cocker, a 90-pound autistic blackish standard poodle. He's a good dog. If only he could brush himself and pick the boogers out of the corners of his eyes.
40. Does someone trust you? I hope so. I try to be trustworthy.
41. What book(s) are you reading at the moment? American Gods, LaRose, and Short Takes: Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction. Plus Pippi Longstocking and a Pixie Hollow book with Coraline.
42. What’s your favorite candy? Dark chocolate with sea salt. Or salted caramel. Or homemade marshmallow. What's with this favorite shit?
43. What’s your favorite sports team? Wright State University Lady Raiders. 
44. Favorite month? Summer.

Now it's your turn!
(Template in the comments.)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Day 29: Dildos I wouldn't buy

I realized today when my son sent me an article about dildos it was time to stop writing about politics. No, not that dildo. I have no idea how a person would use that dildo, assuming it's even a dildo and not some kind of fish from deep in the ocean. People will call anything a dildo these days. For example, did you know you can get Pokémon dildos to poke yourself with?

Ooops, sorry. My mistake. Pokemoan dildos. Capitalizing on the captivating Pokémon Go game that's so popular, these hand-made dildos are sure to go fast. Pokémon Go is so ubiquitous my daughter even caught one in my van the other day. I couldn't see it, but she showed me a photo of it on my steering wheel so I have to believe it was there. It's not such a stretch to believe some poor woman is going to discover she's got one in her vagina some day.

Or she could just put one there herself.

I'm not sure if my son was trying to get me interested in Pokémon Go by telling me about these dildos or what. I'm probably the last person on the planet who is not playing , but I do have reasons. First my phone is too old. Its memory is shot. And not only that, I'm simply not interested. I have a dog, and walking him gets me out of the house. 

Not only am I not interested in the game, I also don't find these dildos very appealing, although a couple of them are almost clever. Like the grass-type Pokémoan named Bulby that has a seed tip. I mean .... a seed tip!?! That's so penile. Somebody was stoned when he came up with that one. Oh, and I have no doubt it was a he.

 And then there's the one named Squirty that's a water Pokémoan. I don't get the appeal of the little turtle shell. It kind of looks like a venereal disease, or maybe a turd, but I'm sure Pokémon fans would recognize the need for a turdle shell on the dildo named Squirty that doesn't squirt.

The one that's most disturbing, is the one named Piky, because Piky is an electric-type Pokémoan and he's .... he's ..... I said he's. See this is what happens when you start giving names to your dildos and butt plugs. They become almost human, and before you know it you've got a camera crew in your house filming a documentary about lonely misfits who fall in love with their life-size dolls. (No offense to any reader who likes to fuck life-size adult dolls as long as it's consensual.) I digress.

Look, it's probably just me. I don't play Pokémon Go, so I don't get why somebody would want a lightning bolt plugging up their rectum. I don't judge though. It's not a real lightning bolt, although I do think playing with these sex toys could invite trouble and possibly other real Pokémons into your private orifices. My van was locked and one still got in. I'll just let you imagine where that might lead.

Finally, there's a fire-type Pokémoan with a flaming tail named Charmy. Supposedly he "gives intense orgasms everywhere [he] goes."  Umm, sorry Charmy, but I don't believe that. First, that pointy tip looks like it could cause pain. Maybe even a rupture. And second, that's not the way orgasms work. Poking a flame-shaped dildo into .... well, any orifice at all does not produce an orgasm. I find that claim quite disappointing and not at all charming.
I've never understood the veins.

So there you have it, all you Pokémon fans. Number one on nerdy Christmas lists all over the world. Order early, because these babies are custom orders, and they're shipped from Australia. What will those crazy Aussies think of next? Light saber dildos?

Nevermind. They've got those too. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Day 28: Deal me in

I'll get back to writing about something else tomorrow night, I promise. I spent the past few nights watching the DNC, in case you couldn't tell. This night I spent obnoxiously posting the juiciest bits of Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech on Facebook. Even I can hardly believe I paid a senior $5 to get drunk and do my outside-of-class practice typing when I was in high school so I could go to basketball practice. I'm a modern miracle I type so fast now. (Is it still called typing even though it's not on a typewriter?) I digress.

I had to watch, because history was being made. And that really matters to me. And also, even though I know I was drinking the kool-aid, the kool-aid tasted delicious to me! And that matters to me too, because I can get cynical at times. The speeches made me feel hopeful. I'm not even sorry about all the kool-aid I drank. Burp.

And the other thing that matters to me is getting some sleep, so I can go to work tomorrow and stand on a concrete floor for a few hours and try to avoid the woman who works next to me and who thinks Obama, and really all black people, are .... Ugh. I can't go into it. I just want to avoid talking to her.

Before I retire though, I do want to share what I consider the most important of those quotations from HRC's speech with you. I mean, it's important if you think the survival of the human race is important, and I realize some of you may be cynical and fed-up enough that you're not sure. I only have to look at the precious face of my granddaughter to know that I am sure. So here are the words. 

"A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man you can trust with nuclear weapons."

I made it big, because it's absolutely the most important thing that came out of what I considered to be a fine and inspiring speech. If there is any man in this country who should not have his finger on the button of a nuclear weapon, it's Donald Trump. Many things are important. One thing could destroy this planet as we know it.

Don't worry. I have more to say about vaginas before the month is over. And I owe 2 extra posts for the week I was celebrating my birthday. After tonight, we're back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Day 26: Broken, but not destroyed

Live your life as if Bill Clinton were going to someday give a speech about you.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Day 25: What little ears hear and little eyes see

Tonight's post will be a short one. By the time I grilled dinner, ate, spent some time with my daughter-in-law Montana, got Coraline ready for bed while watching the DNC speeches, and then cleaned up the kitchen, the clock was pointing straight up midnight. I checked out Anomalisa almost a week ago at the library and that's all the time they will give me. I'm watching it tonight .... unless I fall asleep.

Here's what I want to say tonight though. Coraline paid little attention to the DNC speeches. She recognized Michelle Obama. She asked why I got angry when some guy named Scott posted a comment on the NPR Facebook page about how "adorable" Elizabeth Warren is. Fuck you, Scott, you condescending, patronizing flea on the ball sack of a mangy warthog. Your time has come, whether you recognize it or not. And here's why.

Coraline may not have been paying attention to the speeches tonight. She's 5. But what she heard tonight will be her norm, and her norm is so radically different from the speeches I heard when I was her age --the speeches that were all given by white Protestant men, except for the Kennedys, of course.

I was taught that little girls should be seen and not heard. And that meant women too.

Her norm, if tonight is any indication, includes women who will be heard -- women of color,  Jewish women, and a slight, blonde woman who is a powerful, outspoken US Senator. She heard and saw men of color and a Jewish man. And just so things don't change too much, there was even a Kennedy on the stage.

This is her norm. This is what she will expect from the democratic process. If her generation can grow up knowing anybody can get up on that stage, just think how different their world will be from the one I grew up in. We have a long, long way to go, but this much we have done. This much we have done.

"I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves — and I watch my daughters –- two beautiful, intelligent, black young women –- playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters –- and all our sons and daughters -– now take for granted that a woman can be President of the United States." -- Michelle Obama

Note: I didn't even turn on the RNC. I see no reason to show her that. She will experience the ugliness of the world soon enough. I don't need to expose her -- or me, for that matter -- to such a level of hatred and aggression. This too has changed, and not for the better. Civility has been broken, and it's not only evident at the RNC.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Day 24: I'll give you these beads in exchange for ...

You want me to show you my what?

First, I want to say thank you to all of you who read and added to discussions of last night's post about misogynist language. And especially thank you to those who shared the link on Facebook. That's one of the highest honors for a blogger, and it lets me know I said something worthwhile.

Apparently nobody else knows what "wolf-titted" means, so I'm going to have to let go of that one. So far as I know, the one thing Hillary Clinton hasn't been accused of is making porn or even sexting naked photos of herself. In other words, I don't know of anybody who's seen her breasts and can judge their wolfiness. Bill's keeping mum on the issue, as well he should. He's probably still in time-out for his own sexcapades.

My tits? Seriously? Ha! Ha! Ha! No, really. Go on. Ask me again.
Come closer and ask me again.

Moving on.

Although I can't persuade Coraline that it's over, we have celebrated our birthday week to the fullest. And I'm done. Or maybe I've just run out of friends who want to buy me dinner. She still hasn't heard from one of her grandpas, so she's holding out for the full week (Thursday to Thursday), but I'm done. I will probably break my scale after tonight's final birthday dinner with my kids of genuine Mexican burritos, fresh sweet corn cooked in my new Instant Pot pressure cooker, and Dairy Queen ice cream cake.

When I went down to the basement freezer to put the ice cream away, I found part of my basement was flooded. Apparently when the furnace guy came last winter to repair the furnace, he unplugged the AC pump, and it's been hot enough here the past week even I have turned on the AC. Fortunately Drake was here to get his handi-penis next to it and now it's working just fine.

He's also going to help me rebuild my back porch, once I get permission from the historic somethingorother, because I can't make any exterior changes to my house without a special permit. That's his birthday present to me. My daughter Elvira gave me wine. My kids know what's important.

I've suffered through some pretty miserable birthdays in the past, mostly when I was married and had expectations. But some that were lonely because I didn't make anything happen when I could have. This year I decided to be more proactive, and as you might have predicted, it turns out I didn't have to be lonely or alone on my birthday. 

Lesson learned. Too many blessings to count this year. In fact, I stayed so busy I still haven't thanked people individually on Facebook for their birthday wishes. Happy birthday to me. Being happy is exhausting.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Day 23: Just shut up

Do you want to see what misogyny looks like? I copied this from a friend's Facebook after he posted a hilarious comparison of Donald Trump with a lonely chimp playing with his own turd. One of his friends commented, "I'd vote for the turd before I voted for a cackling, sneaking, lying, duty neglecting, elitist, wolf-titted, she-bitch."

I don't think he meant Jill Stein.

He meant, of course, Hillary Clinton. I see shit like that every day on Facebook, especially in the comments of posts where people dare to say they support Clinton, like my friend did. It's like a slap in the face every single fucking time I see something like it. My stomach clenches. My skin crawls. My temper flares. It's verbal violence, and verbal violence is often followed by the threat of physical violence. Especially when that verbal violence is toward a woman who has stepped out of her place in the world and dared to climb too high. It's not just Hillary Clinton. It's any woman who takes a place in the world that belongs to men. But right now it's open season on her, and anything goes.

Don't believe me? Ted Cruz said this about Hillary Clinton: “I’ll tell you in my house, if my daughter Catherine, the 5-year old, says something that she knows to be false, she gets a spanking. Well in America the voters have a way of administering a spanking.” Bad enough the image of him hitting his 5-year-old daughter, who will simply learn to lie better, but he's also insinuating that Hillary Clinton deserves a spanking like an unruly child. Hillary Clinton, who has been shown by a respected journalist to be the most honest of the candidates, including fucking Ted Cruz. Bend over, Ted.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie said, “I’ll beat her rear end on that stage and afterward she’ll be relieved that I didn’t serve her with a subpoena.” Not "I'll kick her butt," which I could have tolerated, but "I'll beat her rear end." Where is our national safe word?

These are men who wanted to become the president of the most powerful nation in the world, and this is how they talk about their female opponent, a former US senator and Secretary of State? I haven't been able to find any examples of infantalized violent talk toward any of the male candidates, because it doesn't exist. Although this does.

I'm constantly telling myself I need to get off Facebook. I feel like I have sand under my skin from the open hatred, the derision, the perpetuation of lies, the total lack of rhetoric skills. Somehow people like that guy up there in the first paragraph have forgotten they're talking to friends in a public space with a megaphone. We can hear you. All of you. We hear you, and it's a cacophony of woman-hatred that reminds me, as a woman, that I'm fair game any time I stick my head out of my shell and piss off the guys. As if that hasn't been pounded into me all my life.

Not that Facebook has a lock on it. The misogyny is even worse on Twitter, Reddit (dare to find a Red Pill thread), and the addictive Straight White Boys Texting. But I can avoid those sites. I can't avoid it when it's coming at me on Facebook from my friends' friends, or even worse, from my friends. What used to be a place to keep up with people's lives and send out invitations has become a place where people feel anonymous enough to flaunt their true colors .... and often their color is that ugly shade of greenish brown that is nobody's favorite color.

I'm sick of it. I tell myself I need to ween off Facebook, because it's only going to get worse. And yet then I would miss the rare intelligent discourse that happens there. And I'd miss the personal posts, about pets dying, babies being born, about dealing with a parent with Alzheimer's or about a friend's adventure on the bike trail. I resent that social media has become one more place where men can spank women who get out of line. Like we need more of that shit.

Here's my suggestion. Start deleting. Send a message to guys like that one up there that we don't want to see that shit. If he can come up with a reasonable, well supported argument for whatever he's trying to say, let him talk. If he's only interested in spouting his woman-hating mouth-shit, then take away his forum, because you damn sure aren't going to change someone like him. You could keep that shit away from my eyes though.

And what the hell does "wolf-titted" mean anyway? Was that supposed to be clever?

Note: When I googled images for "shut up," more than 80% of the images were of men saying some version of "shut up," often with the word "bitch" attached. Shut up, bitch. Google also offers options for narrowing the search to "shut up woman," some of which were pretty vile, or "shut up mom," but not "shut up man" or "shut up dad." Just noting a fact.

Note: If you prefer videos, watch this video from Blue Nation Review, which of course comes with an agenda. It's propaganda. Don't think I don't know it. But it's still scary. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Day 21: Coralineisms #55

July 21, 2011
Today, in honor of my granddaughter Coraline's 5th birthday, I offer another episode of Coralineisms, words of wisdom from a --drum roll, please --- 5-year-old.

First though, I'll say that she had a pretty good birthday. We ate lunch at the market where I work sometimes, and she had a surprise play-date with her best friend Carlie. The most magical thing happened though when we stopped at a cupcake shop for cupcakes.

We've watched every episode of Cupcake Wars on Netflix. Which is to say, we got a little bit addicted for a few weeks. So for her birthday I wanted to take her to a real cupcake shop. She did get distracted by the cupcakes at Kroger, and we almost bought her special birthday cupcake there, but I persuaded her to wait and get one from a real cupcake store. 

Turns out it was the right decision. We got there and a photographer was doing a photo shoot. I never did ask why. But when they found out it was Coraline's birthday, and probably because she was dressed like a regular princess in a princess dress and cardboard tiara, they asked if the photographer could take some photos of her choosing a cupcake from the case. I was even asked to get in some of those, which I'm sure the photographer regretted. As photogenic as Coraline is, I'm the opposite. Thus the absence of photos of me on this here blog. I digress ...

So then the owner asked if she'd like to actually decorate some cupcakes herself! She brought out a plate of 3 cupcakes (just like round 2 of Cupcake Wars), a bag of frosting, 4 colors of sugar, sprinkle dots, and gummy bears, and she showed Coraline how to make a big frosting flower on the top of the cupcakes like a real professional cupcake baker. All the time the photographer was snapping photos and Coraline was posing her little princess butt off. 

Thank you, Miss Serendipity, for taking time out of your busy schedule to drop some magic right onto Coraline's birth day! It was so much fun! The owner of the shop even boxed up Coraline's cupcakes, plus all the extra colored sugar and the rest of the bag of icing, and sent them home with us. We still bought the 2 cupcakes we'd gone in there for, of course. I ate one of the cakes Coraline decorated, and it was one of the best cupcakes I've ever eaten. You all know I prefer the cookie, but the cupcakes at Twist Cupcakery are almost as good as a cookie. I will definitely be giving them more of my business.

On to the Coralineisms.

Speaking of food

Coraline: Here. Eat some of this soup I made. Eat a big bite. (Offers air soup.)

Me: OK. That was a huge bite.

Coraline: Yeah, that soup is called the soup of sadness.

Me: Soup of sadness? That was kind of mean, feeding me that.

Coraline: No, that wasn’t mean. It hardly has any carbs in it.


Me: (raging about something that was probably stupid) I’m really quite at the end of my rope!

Coraline: And am I in the middle of my rope?

Nice Save

Me: I think these new blue glasses might make me look older. Do they?

Coraline: Yes. Yes, they do.

Me: Oh, no! I don’t want that. They really do? The last thing I need is a pair of glasses that make me look older.

Coraline: No. I mean … Oh, no. They just make you look smarter.

Me: A lot smarter?

Coraline: Oh, yes. A lot. A lot a lot.

Things I don't need to know

Coraline: Poops are brown and have little cracks in them, and they don’t taste good. That’s how you can tell it’s poop.

Me: How do you know they don’t taste good? Did you ever taste one? Wait. Just don’t ever taste one.

Coraline: No, but I can tell how they taste by the smell. The smell doesn’t taste good.

Me: Noted.

Oh, ye of little faith

Coraline: Did T Rexes really eat people?

Me: No, people didn’t exist when dinosaurs were alive. People came along something like 65 million years later, after they were long gone.

Coraline: Are you sure? How do you know?

Me: It’s a fact. I just know it’s true. Everybody knows. (Ok, that was a lie, but I simply can't explain those young earthers to her yet. Or maybe ever.)

Coraline: Does T Rex know it’s true?

Me: T Rex isn’t alive now. He can’t know.

Coraline: Then how can you be sure?

Me: Scientists.

Coraline: How do scientists know?

Me: Scientists have ways of telling how old bones are, and there are still some dinosaur bones left.

Coraline: Oh ….. Are scientists still alive?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Day 20: Wordless Wednesday: A view from the stool at karaoke

Note 1: Tonight  went to karaoke for the first time since I was roofied there. I will admit to some trepidation. I only drank water, and I asked the server for a pitcher. It might take a minute before I feel safe there again.

Note 2: I didn't publish a post last night, because it was my birthday, and I was sitting on my porch until 5:00 am drinking bourbon. I hope you saw my full moon. It was gorgeous.

Note 3: These aren't really words.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Day 18: Full moons and clitori

I'm another year older tonight than I was last night. Yep. Just after midnight the number clicked over. I started to write something rather maudlin about what it's like to be inconvenient from conception, and how the night I was born wasn't a happy occasion, but that was a lifetime ago and who gives a shit now? As I was chewing my virtual pencil, a friend sent me birthday wishes and said he was glad I was born. And bam! I realized that's what's important. Not my birth, but my life. I mean, I'm important enough now that even Google knows it's my birthday. Or is that kinda creepy?

Also, the full moon, the Thunder Moon, falls on my birthday this year. At 8:00 on July 19. It's also called the Full Buck Moon, but what do I know about bucks? I know more about thunder.

I don't have much else to say tonight. It's been a long day. I can share a video if you'd like. It's informative. For example, I had no idea my clit would never stop growing. I guess it's like noses and men's ears. Oh, don't tell me you haven't noticed that you can tell how old the man in front of you is by the size of his ears. Even in a car. As for clits though, I hope it never grows so much that it becomes inconvenient. Like the size of a penis. Or bigger. An arm. If so, it's a well kept secret, and maybe I don't want to know. I do  want to know how they know that though. How do they measure? How often do they measure? Who's doing this measuring? Are they trustworthy, or do they have an agenda like every other fool? Have any of you ever noticed such a thing? Ladies? I'll go first. No, I have not. Anyway, here's "Ode to the Clitoris." May it never be forgotten.

If I have to tell you this is NSFW, you deserve whatever happens when you watch it at work. At least it's not as obscene as the Republican National Convention.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Day 17: Birthday wish list

How rude am I? Here it is just a day before my birthday, and I haven't even given you my birthday list. Why didn't you remind me? I mean, you know you can bring over a box of wine, a bag of Lays potato chips, and a bar of salted dark chocolate. I'll supply the rockers and the porch -- front or back. But just in case you want to branch out, here's my list of gifts that would please Queen Reticula, in no apparent order.

1. Books are always a good idea. I read a lot of children's books to Coraline, but I don't have this one, titled Fuck You, Sun. I'm sure it's no surprise to you that I've read Good Night, Moon at least 2000 times, but it doesn't really speak to this moon child. Also, that whispery old lady kind of creeps me out. Fuck You, Sun fits me much better.

2. If' you're not feeling the literature, how about getting me this remote control flying fuck? How brilliant is this? You want one too, don't you? Next time your boss gets on your ass, how awesome would it be to fly a fuck into his office just before you clean out your desk? I don't have a boss, but I wish I'd had this when I was teaching. I'm pretty sure I could have rigged this baby to fly over and drop a great big red F on .... well, I can't name any names, because that would probably be illegal, but I had students who deserved for me to maneuver my flying fuck over their desks and drop an F-bomb right in their laps. I get shivers of delight just thinking of it. Even though I'm not teaching now (or ever again), I'm pretty sure I have plenty of opportunities outside the classroom when a flying fuck would come in handy.

3. Then again, maybe I just need to chill out with my very own wine sippy cup. I know what you're thinking. A wine sippy cup doesn't seem very sophisticated for someone like me. I get that. But there are people in my life .... and again, I'm not going to mention names .... who like to fill my wine glass while I'm distracted. And then I end up drinking about a gallon of wine, and I can't understand why I fall off the toilet the 6th time I have to pee. Also, it's embarrassing to remember pole dancing on one of my male guests .... umm ... in front of his wife. I'm not going to give up any details, but you'll have to trust me when I say I need to be protected and this wine sippy cup will do the trick. Notice there are 2 in a pack so I can keep one locked and loaded at all times.

4. Changing gears (all puns totally intended), how cool are these bike lights from revolights? I don't ride at night as often as I used to, but any time I ride after dark I always hope some asshole won't look down at his phone while he's playing Pokemon Go and plow into me. I think we all know who would come out ahead in that collision, and it wouldn't be me. The later it is when I ride, the more I worry about being hit, even in the city where it's never really dark. OK, that's a bit of a lie. I don't really worry that much about being hit, but I probably should worry about it. And these lights are cool and rechargeable.

5. For anybody with a literary bone in their body, the Lit Kit has got to be intriguing. This one I'm totally serious about. What a fantastic idea, and why didn't I think of it? The only thing is .... looking at their past kits, I think if I were going to give this as a gift, I'd rather put together my own kit for the person I was giving it to. (Not that I'm here to talk about giving. I'm here to talk about receiving. Take that any way you like.) Certain things they've put in past boxes I really wouldn't appreciate that much, like magnets or postcards or buttons. OK, maybe postcards would be cool. I do like the idea of getting books from authors I might not discover on my own -- if they were excellent authors. And I love the idea of getting a unique journal and a pen, and the prompt calendar (although the one they show seems a little thin), maybe the makings of a handmade journal or a fountain pen or some stickers or stamps would be cool. Maybe because I'm a writer and a reader, not just a reader, I'd be happier with things that challenge me to create.

I do think this is a brilliant idea, and I almost bought myself the mystery box, but the shipping turned me off. I'm pretty cheap or I'd already have all the things on this list.

6. And finally, I saved the best for last. I don't mean to get all mushy, but that list up there .... those are all things I can live without. The real gift is friendship, and I consider all of you who read here regularly friends, even if I don't really know you. I appreciate that you're in my life. I appreciate your support. Many of you are F2F friends who encourage me and mock me and introduce me as the woman who writes about vaginas a lot. Friendship is a gift that doesn't need a birthday or Christmas or any other holiday. So if you really want to get me something for my birthday, come and sit on my porch and we'll drink wine, and you can tell me your stories.

Last week a friend was in town from Colorado, and she made time for some porch sitting. We walked down the alley to the taco truck and got dinner, and then we sat on the porch to eat our yummy authentic Mexican food (fuck your wall, Trump, you fucking oompa loompa) and rocked and drank and caught up, because Facebook isn't the same as talking in person. Never will be. We watched the police go to a neighbor's house and  wondered what that was about. We watched people drive down the street and realize there was a gate at the end. Crow guarded us, and saved us from a guy on a bike who didn't even notice he was almost attacked by a growling 90-pound poodle. It was precious time.

And it was a gift.

On my actual birthday, my friend Colorado (different friend) is coming to town and we're going to do whatever I want. Probably go to dinner and a dress rehearsal for a play and then sit on the porch and drink wine in a bubble of drunken friend-love. Wednesday my DIL Montana is doing a tea party at a local park with a botanical garden for Coraline, whose birthday is 2 days after mine, and me. That night is karaoke, and celebrating another friend's birthday, but before that Maria and I are going to dinner to celebrate mine. And on the weekend my kids will come over -- all of them -- for Dairy Queen ice cream cake. OMG. DQ ice cream cake makes me want to touch myself. Mmmmmm. I've had some shitty birthdays, but this year I'm not dwelling on the past. That's a gift I'll give myself.

Now, that doesn't mean somebody shouldn't get me all of those things on that list. Please do! But I'm not a fucking idiot. I do  know what's important, and while I can order a lot of happiness from Amazon, they don't sell the most important things. If you want to give me the most important thing, clean my house put your butt on one of my rockers and spend some time sitting on my porch. And bring some fucking wine too.

Oscar Wilde