Archive for the ‘if you won’t leave me i’ll find somebody who will’ Category

I fully expect this post to get me forever kicked out of the Showtunes Geek Club. Even though I met 99% of the requirements, I can’t write this post and stay a member in good standing. Sure I’ve sung the entire Andrew Lloyd Weber/Tim Rice repertoire into a knitting-needle faux mic. Of course I made the pilgrimage to the West End. Yes, I had one of those wonderful souveneir mugs from Phantom of the Opera where the mask appears when filled to the brim with hot liquid. And of course I can name pretty much any musical to have played on Broadway during the years 1935 to 1991.

But I don’t think Glee is all that. I’ve made it through the first three episodes; three more await, green-dotted in the TiVo queue for that day when I can again deal with lipsynced hip-hop and low-flying freak flags.

I first saw the Pilot back when it aired in June. It felt fresh and funny and different. Then I saw it a couple more times when it was replayed as often as that one guy’s 90-yard run for the touchdown during the Superbowl. That’s when I started to fall out of love. Why? Because every fresh, fun “It’s great to be different and to be good at something” moment is followed by a lot of mean-spirited and cruel jabs at “normal”. There isn’t a traditional marriage that isn’t played for snide laughs. The glee-club director’s wife is a nagging, self-centered gold digger. His mother is an overweight booze floozy. His sister-in-law is a nag stuck with a hen-pecked milquetoast. The only other married couple we’ve glimpsed are the gay fathers of the lead chorine. They’re not mocked, because it’s apparently not cool to run down gay marriage yet.

Abstinence is derided as an impossibility; the abstinence club is portrayed as a joke. Christians are shown as using Jesus for manipulation and further gold-digging. Lupus is–as in 30 Rock–treated as a punchline; a hypochondriacal excuse for getting out of real work. Apparently we can only Not Stop Believing if the thing we are believing in is that the very best thing in the world is bad lipsyncing to hip hop songs that treat women as vile objects to be avoided for every purpose except sexual release. Tonight’s shows treated me to the ideas that a woman who wants child support is a gold digger, that a woman who wants love from a man is poison, that a woman is good only if she pushes it real good and lets you sex her up.

Here’s the thing. I dig non-traditional. I live in a largely non-traditional universe. In this wild side that is my life I’ve often encountered the school of thought that says it’s okay to mock traditionalists because they’ve mocked the rest of us for years. That strikes me as a really immature “he hit me first” way of thinking and I don’t like it. I also don’t like how often misogyny shows up as the flip side of that coin. I don’t know if it’s because of Phyllis Schlafly or because you can’t have straight marriage without a wife or because a lot of people don’t get along with their moms. But honestly. Everyone–no matter who you are–has times when they feel inadequate. When they feel lonely and scared. The decent way to treat people is the way you WANT to be treated, not the way you FEAR to be treated. That’s why I just can’t get behind Glee as the best idea for a fun TV evening.

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It’s really hard being a libertarian sometimes. My parents were down here a couple of weekends ago and we had a long sort-of talk about how I’m wrong to be so, well, libertarian. It makes me feel bad because I like to please my parents and yet I like also to be intellectually and spiritually consistent. Libertarianism is the only way I can do that.

There are times I fantasise about going back to Republicanism, but then I think of how the Republicans in office are in many ways indistinguishable from the Democrats in office. As far as spending goes, that is. I’d also like to say there are times when I flirt with Liberalism and then I realise that, well, it just cannot happen. I can’t condone Forcing Your Way To Doing Good.

I suppose “libertarianism” is the best way I can think of to say “look, we’re all adults here.”

I’m not a pot smoker. Whether or not I’m a gun nut remains to be seen. But there are some other things about me on my mind tonight.

  • I have to have two procedures where they snake cameras down your throat and up your bum. I don’t mind the idea of that so much, as I’ll be asleep for the whole thing. Or so they’ve promised. What I AM dreading is that apparently I have to buy this nasty beverage stuff and drink it by the gallon. I’m quite terrified of that. I plan to spend the next 10 days dreading the thought of drinking that ooze. The doctor has promised I may take my phenergan, so there’s that anyway.
  • I’m supposed to be writing a 50K word novel for this National Novel Writing Month challenge. I’ve hardly written anything because I am just petrified and I don’t know why. In case you haven’t noticed I haven’t even been blogging. I’m like one of those guys who tells everyone he’s a poet but has never written a poem. It’s shameful.
  • I’m almost irrationally angry at the striking writers in Hwood. Intellectually I see their point, but functionally I’m just seething. I don’t ask much from these people. Just give me a couple hours two or three nights a week of something I can look forward to. Something which takes my mind of my world and transports me someplace else. We have an agreement. I’ll put my books down and step away from Age Of Mythology on the Mac [blast them for not releasing the Titans expansion pack for this platform]. You’ll churn out something at least PASSABLE. How hard is that? I know everyone’s fighting over what they think is right and that’s okay, but here’s the deal. I can just as easily go back to my books and my games and my knitting to Books on CD or whatever. Those few hours I gave you each week can become filled with something else pretty easily. It’s like how when I went to Florida my boyfriend took another girl to the Beach Boys concert with the tickets I bought him. I wasn’t there so he found something else to amuse him. If you all aren’t careful I’ll go to the Beach Boys with Civilization IV. That’s all I’m saying.

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It turns out that my cousin–newly married, as of yesterday–runs triathalons.

I get exhausted watching edited triathalon coverage on television.

Now that I think about it, we’re all united by diarrhea. The triathaletes have that “losing control of all bodily functions” thing that sometimes happens and the portly bookworms now have alli.

I guess it all really DOES come out equal in the end. Or something like that.

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I think I’m at that age where my “couple friends” are starting to be picked off like weakened gazelles by the roving predators of Sexy Outsiders, Fights About Money and Dear God, This Isn’t Where I Thought I’d Be Five Years Ago.

It’s making me beyond sad.  It’s making me emotionally exhausted.   And yes, I know that I’m not going through a divorce right now.   I can’t fully comprehend the unique pain that my friends are suffering through.    So I feel teh stupid writing a post about having pity on the friends of the divorced couples.  It’s so lame I can’t even begin to believe I’m typing this out.

But you know what?  I DO matter.  My feelings and emotions DO count for something.   I’ll grieve with you as your marriage dies, because I know how hard it is.   Look, gang.  I’ve been with the man who is my husband for nearly 18 years now.   You’re seriously deluding yourselves if you think he and I haven’t had problems from time to time.   There was a point in time where we both thought it was over, where he moved out because he couldn’t stand my behaviour.  And I was happy to let him go.  Well, we got over that through a lot of work and patience and caring and forgiveness.  And it’s been hard.

Marriage is not like they tell you at the Retreats.  Marriage is not all hearts and flowers and big houses and fancy cars and nineteen vacations a year.  Marriage is good and BAD.    Personally, I’d rather see everyone stay married.  But I’m old enough to realise that I have no idea what goes on behind the closed doors of other people’s houses.  I’m sure that there are many people who are not well and truly married.     It is not my place to fault anyone who decides to get off the train for whatever reason.

But here’s the thing.

Let’s set a few ground rules, shall we?

  1. Just because you have a problem with the person you’re no longer married to, that doesn’t mean that I need to have the same problems with that person.
  2. You may have had bad luck with A man or A woman.  That doesn’t mean that ALL men or ALL women are deserving of your contempt.  So don’t force me to listen to “all men are a waste of time” or “all women are heartless bitches” speeches.  I’m married to a good man and I’m a woman.   I don’t care to be tarred with your bitterness brush.
  3. Don’t try to turn me against your Former Significant Other by telling me all the bad things your FSO has said about me or my husband behind my back.
  4. Don’t assume I don’t know that there are always at least three sides to every story.
  5. Don’t ever assume that I don’t love you.  Because I do.  I want to see everyone in the healthiest possible place.   But I don’t want to be wounded as you go through your healing process.

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There are now no fewer than 8 topics I wish to write about here on the blog but cannot address for fear of offending someone. Part of this stems from the fact that it seems that nearly everyone I know now reads my blog. My parents and extended family included. I cannot now say “ass” without fear of retribution over Christmas pie. (No. We don’t really have “Christmas pie.” But I like the word “pie” and am striving to use it regularly.)

And suddenly I think I’ve stumbled over the truth behind the truth about writing. Many of history’s Great Writers have had horrible family lives. Sucks for them, but they get great books out of it, I suppose. After all, what would The Great Santini have been like if it were not for Pat Conroy’s hell-for-leather father? I know people talk about how the pain fuels creativity, etc. But frankly I think it’s just because the people with Bad Families aren’t afraid they’re going to piss someone off.

I didn’t have a Bad Family. And I’m afraid of pissing people off. That’s why one of my best entries has been stagnating in the back of my head. My mother forbade me to mention it “on that Blog!” because she thought I would be making fun of the uncle in question. Yet here I sit, realising that I must-must-must tell about How My Great Childhood Enemy was finally vanquished.

One of my uncles was a travelling preacher who also had a television show. On that television show he played a pirate. Now, many pirates have parrots or peg-legs or patches over their eyes. Those are things you expect from faux buccaneers. Not my uncle. He had a dummy called Seasick. Now, I really do like this uncle, because he’s expansive and flamboyant–qualities I myself have been known to possess. However, I think he woefully misjudged his 4-year old niece when he showed her the dummy corpselike in a box underneath her bed. I promise you that as creepy as a dummy is when it’s chatting away on the ventriloquist’s lap it is a dozen times more horrifying laying in a box. Its lifeless body stares up at you with a malevolent grin; its box a tiny coffin full of form-fitting foam rubber.

I think my Pirate Uncle thought he was giving me a treat by giving me a backstage pass to his act. Sadly, that is not the way it played out. Unaware of my clown phobia and my general creeped-outness from baby dolls, he presented me with the ultimate in terror. A clown doll-baby. Heaven help my heart.

Anyway, 33 years later I was riding down a winding road with my parents and sister, talking about the this and that of life when all of a sudden my mother drops the glorious fact in my lap. My Pirate Uncle actually burned Seasick the Dummy. Not touching-the-hot-stove-burned, but blazing-conflagration-burned.


No, I don’t have a bad family. But I think my Good Family is how many families happen. My uncle was dealing with me under the best of intentions. He didn’t know I was crazy, and despite his good intentions he left me frightened. But he left me with a good story, and I suppose for a writer that’s better than the best intentions could ever turn out to be.

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The Oddest Week of My Life continues.

Potter spoilers are piling up fast and furious.  I’ve talked to more than one person who has read the entire online copy; I’ve had more spoilers than I asked for.   I don’t care.  I’m still eager to hold that last copy in my hands, and to sink into the experience of finally–after seven years’ waiting–READ it.

I ate lunch yesterday at Atz’ Soda Shop.

When I was in high school I was in many plays.   Because we were a small school, those plays were held in the larger auditorium of Concordia Lutheran High School.   I spent many a night hanging out late at Concordia for dress rehearsals, tech rehearsals, prop set-up, stage set-up and just plain teenagerisms.   The Atz down the street was open late, and would often feed us suppers.  I flirted with guys I liked, laughed and joked.   Eating at Atz’ yesterday was a trip down memory lane.  I loved it.

I’m in a weird place because so much of what is happening this week begs to be written down, but I don’t have the silence of mind to get it all in a neat, digestible form.   I certainly don’t have the discipline right now to make it all entertaining.

Our plans have changed slightly with regard to the Harry Potter Party.  It turns out that the Allen Co. Public Library is hosting its own party, and will have books for sale from the BookMark–an independent bookseller.   That’s the party we’ll be at.  After covering all the parties for Music City Bloggers, I realised that the Chain stores are having Chain parties.  I assume that they’ll be fun, but still feel slightly “canned”–sort of like Vacation Bible School.

I imagine that every store in the chain will get a “Harry Potter Release Party Kit” from the Home Office In New York City.  While the Accidental Tourist vibe may be okay for some, I’d just as soon go to the party hosted by people who have to use their own ingenuity and put their own twist on things just for love of the books.   Besides which, the party is at the LIBRARY.   The library.  My secular church.  So, yeah.  I’m getting quite excited.

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I rode 7 hours in a car with my sister to get here. She was born on July 14th, and so was my dog. I feel bad for missing my dog’s birthday, but I don’t really imagine he’ll notice. As long as someone (hint hint, husband) gets him a can of moist dogfood to celebrate his turning eight, he’ll be happy as a clam.

My sister, on the other hand, is providing a cake that I WILL enjoy–seeing as I’m not personally wild about canned dog food–and we’ll also go swimming and have the kinds of family times the people at Hallmark dream about. Hopefully those won’t be punctuated too often by the kind of family times the people at rehab centers count on to earn a living.

The rest of this week will be all about swimming, going to the Three Rivers Festival, preparing for our Giant Family Reunion and going to Harry Potter parties. (Just to clarify, the size of the reunion is large. We are not a family of giants. Nor are we a family NAMED “Giant”.)

I’ve been unusually stressed–so much so to the point that I’ve been calling Ivy and using swear words over the phone in such a way as to make Ivy believe she’s receiving collect calls from a stevedore. Hopefully swimming in a pool and eating cake and working in front of a different computer will remedy some of that.

I’m torn about this, because I’ve left Husband at home to guard our children, our possessions and our livelihoods. I miss the husband and children and about 2/3rds of our possessions. (I really am getting sick of that couch in the basement.) But the time away should be good.

I had a great drive up with my sister. We stopped in Pendleton, Indiana for gas and I bought us Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Bars. I remarked that it was like Fat Thelma & Louise, where we went on a healing road trip but ate ice cream bars instead of shooting people. I’m thinking of changing my name to Fat Thelma. Attractive, no? But seriously, it reminded me of just exactly WHY I hate that movie so much. Women don’t need to shoot people and blow up semi trucks and sleep with Brad Pitt to have a good time. (I’m not a big Brad Pitt fan.)

I woke up about an hour ago, completely unable to sleep, and decided that I would write. Which is why there is this rambling nonsensical blog entry here. Unfortunately, I’m no less awake than when I started typing. Oh well.

I would go sit in the pool, but it’s 56 degrees outside. Fifty-six. And they wonder why I left Indiana.

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On Saturday, July 22nd, I will be participating in a huge family reunion.    We’re all the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of one remarkable man.   My mother compiled an archival family history and asked us all to contribute our memories about my great-grandfather Nafe.

I’m posting my memory here as well.*  (No comments about how I’m too lazy to write anything original this morning.   Consider this my clip show.)

It IS long, so I’m adding the jump tag.   Relax…it’s not to trick you out of your RSS reader. ;-p


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My childhood family–parents, sister and brothers–takes a vacation together every other year. Those who are able to make it throw in for a good time in various locations around the country. We’ve done Disney World, Sedona, San Antonio, Branson and Gatlinburg.

This year was the second time we did Gatlinburg. Coincidentally, the last time I was able to make one of these family trips was also to Gatlinburg. And I was TERRIFIED. Not “a little bit scared”. Not “reluctant”. I was cold-sweat nausea vertigo terrified. We had a cabin on a mountain which could only be reached by a drive not unlike the first hill of the Gemini. Rickety and unpaved, that road to the cabin caused me to whimper like a child. I swore I would never again stay in a Gatlinburg-area cabin.

Never say never, of course.

Eight years later I found myself going and I found myself having a pretty good time. Of course, going up and down the mountain still required some dissociation, self-hypnosis and begging my dad not to have discussions about Slippery Falls while we made that last hairpin turn.0625071340.jpg

Speaking of “rocky top”, this is me in my hat. For reasons I don’t go into on ye old blogge, I am now required to wear a hat in the out-of-doors. I bought this blue one in the first five minutes of my visit to Dollywood, and wore it all around the park. May I just say now that I felt like the biggest tool in the state of Tennessee as I carted around that chapeau? It was sort of like crossing your crazy great-aunt Matilda who cans her own jelly with your sullen poseur cousin Sam who thinks he’s a beat poet and spells his name Sam’l. Since I’m required by modern medicine and the laws of nature to wear a hat at all times I really wish hats would come back in style.

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When you come home from a week away and you:

1. Kiss your husband

2. Hug the dogs

3. Feed the dogs some leftover prime rib you’ve been saving from last night’s supper and hauled 200miles just for them.

4. Eat a piece of the candy you bought from Russell Stovers Outlet

5. Check your email

6. Check your blogs

7. Write a blog post

8. Make a slideshow of your vacation pictures in iPhoto

9. Write another blog post about your last blog post.

10. Shower and unpack.

(Of course, I haven’t done the “shower and unpack” thing, because I’m too busy trying to pick a good song for the slideshow. I’m darned if I’m gonna use “Rocky Top”….as obvious a choice as that is.)

UPDATE:  I decided to go with the theme to “Firefly”–I figured the whole “You can’t take the sky from me” and “there’s no place I’d rather be since I found serenity” fit well with the whole mountaintop cabin thing.  It’s probably better than my second choice, which was Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.”

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