Tuesday, June 23, 2015

It Would Be Easier If I Didn't Give a Shit...

I am an observer of people and their behaviors.  People fascinate me.  Cultures fascinate me.  I wish I could say I love people, but I don't.  People...are assholes.  I have been watching the news and reading about the Charleston tragedy and now there is a debate about the Confederate flag.  Every week we see senseless violence all around us.  The future appears bleak at best.  I found myself getting caught up in this flag debate, but then...an epiphany...

First let me just say that I do have a definite opinion in regards to the flying of the Confederate flag.  The flag is a part of history and should be kept as such.  Why it flies over a state capital or any state building is beyond me.  Museum yes, government building no.   I am well aware that the Civil War was not entirely based on slavery...it was about states rights and the south not agreeing with what the north was wanting it to do.  Of course...one of those states rights was slavery.  One of those states rights was the right to own, buy, sell, trade a human as property.  Treat a human being as you do cattle. Work them with no wage, beat them at will, rape them if you wish...you know... practice state's rights.  But let's take slavery out of it, let's take that whole part about the south being dicks and all out of the picture.  The south lost.  There is no Confederacy.  Flag is down.  Final.   This should not be a debate in the year 2015. This should have all been taken care of in 1865.  Basically, this is how I feel about the Confederate flag...


The flag flying over South Carolina means nothing in the scheme of things though.  It solves nothing.

I was getting all riled up and on my soapbox about this flag fiasco when I was checking my Instagram as a distraction.  One of the people I follow is an actress who is Jewish.  She has traveled to Israel with her children and had posted a selfie saying she had survived the fourteen hour flight with her kids and landed in Israel, "it's good to be home."  She is not from Israel, however as a Jew, Israel is often referred to as home.  I noticed that a comment was defending her travel to Israel and this raised my curiosity.  I have found that the biggest mistake I make is reading the comments section.  There were a few negative comments but the one that stood out was someone calling her a "Jewish c---."  This is Instagram people, the teddy bear of social networking.  It's where I go to relax because it's pretty pictures and so little bullshit.  A Jewish woman has traveled to Israel, the Holy Lands, and she is attacked and called a "Jewish c---?"  I began noticing the posts on Facebook and the comments that people made that were so full of anger and hate.  And it's not just over this issue, it can be something as simple as a local news report.  It seems the general population has a chip on it's shoulder, is bitter, and angry.  Now through the wonders of technology, they can sit alone behind a computer and say whatever the fuck is on their mind.  Cyber-courage.

Our society has a heart problem.  Yeah we're fat and unhealthy but I'm talking about our souls man!  Nine people were shot dead in a racially motivated hate crime.  But no one is willing to look at the real problems...guns are easily accessible, mental health is a joke, racial profiling, racial and ethnic hatred, it's all right there in front of our faces...so what do we do?  We start arguing about a damn flag.  The flag should come down, I've thought that for years.  But that flag did not make Dylann Roof shoot nine people in a church.  That flag did not make the system incarcerate Kalief Browder for three years without a trial.  That flag did not make a police officer shoot and kill a twelve year old boy on a playground with a plastic gun.  Hatred, fear, and ignorance did that.  Take the flag down South Carolina, I'm all for that.  But then stop with the smoke screen...let's actually work on the real problems, shall we?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

If You Don't Like the Femmes...Just Walk Away

I have had an AMAZING weekend!  I got the opportunity to go see the Violent Femmes in Cincinnati at the Riverbend Music Center.  I have been a fan since high school...which was about a year or two or twenty-five ago.  I danced and sang, screamed and threw my hands up in the air.  I put on quite a show for audience members sitting around me.  After the concert, a man sitting across the aisle actually came over to me and shook my hand, "I just want you to know I admired your energy." After he walked away, I asked my husband, "Did I make an ass of myself?"  He assures me that I didn't and that he would tell me if I did.  Actually I believe he would have gotten great pleasure from telling me that I acted like an idiot.  The incident did give us a new code to use.  Whenever one of us is being an ass we now say, "You sure are energetic today."  It's perfect!  I can call Mike an asshole in front of the kids and they have NO idea! Brilliance in the making there folks!

One of my favorite parts of the concert was when the band played a song that they had not performed in a long time.  They felt that given the recent tragedy in Charleston, SC, it would be fitting to perform.  The song is entitled "No Killing" and the words were perfect for the situation.  Listen below if you are unfamiliar.

I love how the song has no political stance, no complicated solutions, "The world is starved for love."  Simple.  I love the simplicity of that statement.  There is so much truth behind that. I have been reading the articles and the political rants about the Charleston tragedy.  Gun control, mental health and the lack of programs, etc., etc., everybody is weighing in.  But what it really boils down to...is hate.  As a society, we want to believe that we are all healed from the racism of the past.  We want to believe that prejudice is dead.  But we all know, that is a lie.  I still hear the whispers in the white community about other ethnic groups. Just because you're whispering it people does not make it nonexistent.  Police brutality, hate crimes, the justice system, neighborhood investment programs, all point to the chasm between the black culture and white culture. Are all white people racist?  No.  Are all cops racist and brutal? No. But our culture as a whole has got to admit that there is still an open wound of racial divide in this country.  Dylann Roof is not mentally ill.  Dylann Roof is full of hate.  Hate toward a race of people that he wants to punish for the color of their skin.  Even the judge opened up his bond hearing with a quick acknowledgement of the nine victims murdered by this young man and pointed out that Dylann's family are victims as well. Really??  I have long said that I feel empathy toward the families of people who do unspeakable crimes, I truly do.  But would that have been pointed out had the church been predominantly white and Dylann Roof had been a black man. Interesting to consider.  Kalief Browder sat in jail for three years without a trial, ultimately leading to his suicide.  Some say its the extreme backlog of the court system, but I can't help but consider that it happened to a young...black...man.  We want to make excuses.  We want to deny the obvious when it is placed right in front of our face.  Facts are facts...it is what it is. Racism.

I do not have a solution.  Would more gun control be the answer?  Aren't drugs illegal, but people can always find them. Better mental health?  Mental health programs cannot treat hate.  Maybe the Violent Femmes know the answer.  Maybe, the world IS starved for love.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Apparently...Girls Need to Know This. *commence eye rolling*

The USAID organization has a campaign to help girls worldwide to obtain an education.  The program is called "Let Girls Learn."  Here in the U.S., we struggle with encouraging girls in math and science, however, children are required to go to school or be home schooled under state guidelines. In other countries, girls are denied an education and many times discouraged from it as a way to "keep them in their place." Young women die fighting for their right for an education.  Many young girls are married off to much older men at very young ages without education and without choice.  Many suffer from domestic violence, female mutilation and rape as a way of life.  Here is a brief commercial about this program, in case you are interested:                           

I have a Pinterest board that is fairly popular entitled "Hear Me Roar."  I use it to pin issues that I feel passionate about in regards to women's issues, feminism, gay and transgender issues, anything that I feel I need to roar about.  I thought that I would like to post some information about the Let Girls Learn campaign so I did a search.  Here is some of the bullshit that I found...

Here is something you may not have known...

Yeah, this is encouraging...

If you really want to educate girls, make sure they learn this...

Math and science??  Aw hell
who needs any of it if you have shoes!

I did find pictures of girls getting an education...

She appears to be half naked...that's ok, right?
Encouraging marine biology perhaps?

What the hell??!!  Not one drop of information that is actually about girls LEARNING, not one.  Unless you count the half naked college student who may be studying physics on her tablet.  Doubtful.  This...this is why I rant.  This is America! A country of opportunity, pursuit of happiness, home of the free dammit!  But this...this is the best we can do?  I fully support USAID's Let Girls Learn campaign and hope you do too.  I also support the education of our own society in the equalization of women and women's rights.  'Murica!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Vacation? Take the Pepto...

When the temps go up and the sun comes out, all I can think about are pools, drinks with umbrellas, and vacation!  I am traveling in a couple of weeks to Outer Banks.  It's our first trip there and I am ready!!  Ocean, beach, sun, bacteria that I understand... Oh yes, stay inside the safety of the U.S. borders and you may find yourself with the occasional discomfort of overindulgence.  Go outside the borders and...don't say I didn't warn you.

Several years ago I traveled to beautiful Cancun, Mexico. Absolutely beautiful place with beautiful people and beautiful sites...you get the picture.  I have always heard, "Don't drink the water in Mexico."  So I didn't.  I drank margaritas, beer, coke (Mexican coke is kind syrupy *shiver*), no water.  Finally, I couldn't take it anymore.  I needed some water, NOW.  I called the front desk and ordered some bottled water sent to my room. I am so smart.  Why did I not think of that.  Bottled water will be fine.  They brought my water to me.  It was so cold and smooth. Mmmmmmm... After drinking the last drop I was looking at the label, "Bottled in Mexico." Dammit.

The next morning we were checking out and flying home.  I woke up to severe cramping.  Uh oh!  I ran to the bathroom and sat upon the porcelain throne.  The most explosive diarrhea of my life happened at that moment my friends.  After my agonizing wrestling match with Montezuma's Revenge, I took my shower.  Thank GAWD that is over!

After my shower, I am drying off.  I bend over to pick up a towel and...fart.  Shit shoots across the room and onto the wall! I stand straight up, afraid to turn around.  Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod.  That did not just happen.  I turned around slowly to see the crime scene.  Oh mother of god and all that is holy... I just shit on the wall!  I have to hide the evidence.  I begin cleaning up the mess with my dirty towel.  I hide the towel by throwing it away.  I really should have been a criminal.

I step out and sit on the bed.  My boyfriend was sleeping.  He woke up, "Hey are you up already?"  I am staring straight ahead, "I just shit on the wall." He looks at me bewildered, "What did you say?"  I hold my stare, "I said, I just shit...on the wall."  Being the understanding boyfriend that he was he comforted me, "That...is disgusting."  Needless to say,  he never made it into my ex husband collection.

Feeling miserable, I got everything together and headed home. I shit in the airport bathroom, on the airplane, and above Mexico, Texas, and at least two other states.  I'm well traveled...

You are never too beautiful,
for Montezuma's Revenge.

The moral of the story?  Travel the world, see the beauty of different cultures and lands...but always, and I mean ALWAYS, come prepared.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Why I Need a Limo Driver...

I am a terrible driver.  I can perform the task of driving without issue, but I am not only directionally challenged; I am a road rager.  If you have been on the interstate lately and seen a middle-aged white woman flipping you the bird...yep...that was me.  I have no patience with other drivers.  Deep down in the trenches of my soul I just know, they are out to get me.

I recently made a road trip to visit a friend of mine who lives 3 hours away.  This was my first trip to see her as we generally meet halfway, so I was a little anxious.  I was prepared for my adventure.  I had her exact address that I could put into my GPS so that I would not get lost.  Small sigh of relief.  I had snacks and drinks and a full tank of gas so that I would not have to stop at a gas station.  I do not like to stop at gas stations when I am traveling alone because I am quite sure someone is waiting to slit my throat.  Not this time...I have snacks asshole. Take that!  Now I just have to make sure I pack everything and have a heart to heart with my bladder. Again, no stops.  There is raping and pillaging afoot.

I'm now ready.  Let's hit the road!  I have got to make a couple of stops before leaving town.  I turn into the gas station, "Make a right on the Bypass .  Make a right on the Bypass. Recalculating.  Recalculating."  Ease up there GPS lady I just need to fill up the tank.  I run across the street to pick up some toiletries, "Make a left on the Bypass.  Make a left on the Bypass.  Recalculating.  Recalculating."  Chill computer.  I get back on the Bypass and GPS seems happy.  Then I turn into the car wash, "Make a right on the Bypass. Make a right on the Bypass. Recalculating.  Recalculating."  She seems a little pissed.  Um, sorry.  Should I have discussed this with you first or something?  I am done with my errands and ready to go. "Turn left in 1,000 feet. Turn left now."  Alright now you are just being bossy dammit.

It takes me 45 minutes to flip off my first driver.  A diesel truck with a large pipe in the back and monster wheels is in front of me with garbage blowing out of his bed.  Vrooooom!  Black smoke billows out.  Rev up drive fast, slow down.  Gets passed, revs up, passes car that passed him because he...is king of the road. Vrooooom!  Black smoke.   Without thought, I get behind him and flip him off. Congratulations on the driving of your penis. Jerk.

At the first sign of urination, I begin to talk to my bladder like a boxing coach.  You can do this Bladder.  You got this!  You are the Queen of all bladders!!  Dry as a desert, empty as a wallet...you ...are...a...winner!!  Hang in there!  Show'em what you got!  Don't give up!  YOU ARE NOT A LOSER!!!  Next time I'm just wearing Depends, other drivers are looking at me.

I am approaching my next exit, "Turn right in 500 feet."  But, the screen says exit B and you are saying exit A.  What the... I'm doing what the screen says.  "Recalculating.  Recalculating."


Friday, June 5, 2015

Spray Tanning...Not for Pussies.

I have to say, I am fairly health conscious.  I try to think about what I eat.  Try to be more physically active. I wear sunscreen when I am out enjoying the day.  The problem is, I'm the color of...hmmmm...well, paste.  Many of us would have to admit that we want a little color in the summertime.  But what do we do?? Sunbeds give you cancer.  The sun gives you cancer...how do you get your Anglo-Saxon ass glowing???  Spray tan!!  Spray tan is the next best thing right?  No harmful UV rays, no sunburns, just glowing brown lusciousness.  Until you die.

I had my first spray tan and quite frankly...I almost died.  No lie...the booth tried to kill me.  My death certificate would read, "Death by asphyxiation.  But DAMN her lungs were glowing!" I'm just sharing this with you for educational purposes...they will not tell you this at the tanning salon.  They are all like, "Stand this way, then stand that way, the whole process only takes two minutes.  Now give me forty dollars."  They don't care!!!  Your life means NOTHING to these people!  Consider yourself warned...just sayin.

The following are actual events of my near death experience. My son says I'm melodramatic, but he's not 18 so his opinion doesn't count.  TALK TO ME WHEN YOU CAN VOTE LUCAS! I step into the booth.  I have to admit I am pretty excited about my upcoming new look, I. Am. Pumped.  I stand in position, just like they showed me, shower cap on...let's do this.  I am expecting a mist, a light feathery spray to gently caress my skin with beautiful bronze glory.  No.  A cold shower of spray takes my breath away immediately, spraying directly into my face.  I flinch in order to protect the rest of my body from, ya know...dying.  I regain my breath and composure.  Good lord she said two minutes right???  I turn to my second position, tears welling in my eyes...Gawd I never made a will! The spray hits me, cold and furious.  I shudder but hold my position. Know why?  Because I am strong dammit.  I turn to the second position, then the third.  Two minutes or an eternity, it means nothing when you are looking the grim reaper in the eye... not today you bastard, not today.  I step out.  I'm alive.  I can breathe.  Yes!! I survived!  I'm a survivor!  I'm badass!!  Take that death!  I get dressed and step out.  I walk passed the counter like I'm a pro, "Thanks!  See you!" They suspect nothing.  It's hard to hide terror you know.

This experience was not without lessons.  I learned that I need to make my will.  I learned that when you face death you do see a light.  Of course, there is also a mini space heater in the booth so I could be confused but in my mind, Heaven shined down on my freshly painted self!  The last and most important lesson I learned?  Never flinch in a spray tan booth...never ever...

Don't you flinch!  Don't you ever flinch.

This is a public service announcement...