Sunday, August 19, 2012

25 Things to Love About Being American

A Bunch of  Things to Love About Being American (in  no particular order):

1) It’s hot here in Southern California today (not as bad as some parts of the country have been, to be sure. Hey, global warming doubters? Suck it): I’m not required to wear head to toe covering. I CAN if I want to, but it’s also acceptable to be in public in shorts, tank top and flip flops (Yes, Mom, I showered, did my hair and applied mascara first).
2) Hot dogs
3) I’m relieving the heat with a Dark & Stormy (DARK rum and ginger beer). Well, sort of. I don’t have Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, which is the quill for Dark & Stormies.
4) I can say “Fuck the Yankees” without censorship. I could also say the same thing about the IRS, Republican ticket and the Dallas Cowboys, if I so choose. 
5) The tire store was open today. Technically, if the business was hardcore “Christian” , it would have been closed today.(seriously, if you’re going to shut down for the Christian Sabbath – Sunday – but give money to organizations that promote intolerance, your “Christianity” deserves to be questionable. Christ didn’t have limits). I got some necessities for the home, my lunch for the week and  accomplished some stuff because of the still putative secular nature of our society.
6) Immigrants who have brought their food, God bless them: burritos (although I don’t eat them), avgolemono soup, bubble tea, kappa maki sushi with avocado (it’s cucumber and avocado. I like it.  A lot). Ropa viejai. It’s all good.
7) Shark Week on Discovery Channel.
8) “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”
9) Dog News. It parodies Fox News and in America, nobody gets locked up. They have an ongoing series called “Stump” that parodies the Presidential election process. Pussy Riot just got locked up in Russia for mocking Putin. How long do you think Dog News would have lasted?
10) I’m 51, unmarried and it’s okay.  Actually, I’m renting from a great, laid-back lady and her dog and cat love me. Life is good.
11) I can get a drink of clean water just by turning on the faucet.
12) My most involved discussion today was divided into the relative merits of Tide Boost v. Oxi-Clean and the Tide Pen v. Shout Wipes (Shout Wipes rule).
13) My neighborhood isn’t  getting shelled by government forces. It’s not getting shelled by rebel forces. It’s not getting shelled, period.
14) Bacon. No limits (and yes, according to Steve Kamb, , it’s on the Paleo Diet). 
15) I can live anywhere I want in the USA. I chose Southern Cal. 
16) We get to choose what newspapers to read, TV channels to watch, food to eat and teams to support. Suck it, Yankees, Giants (football), Rays, Cowboys, Lakers, Jets (NY or Winnipeg) Canadiens (Habs), Heat and especially the fuckin’ Yankees.
17) Even if the tax rate goes back up to 39.6 (Clinton-era rates. They worked, by the  way), I can afford to support myself. 
18) Classic rock radio stations. And if I get sick of listening to them, there are about 10,000 other different things I can listen to FOR FREE on the radio  (not including Sirius).
19) I’m free to eat barbecued ribs/chops/pig.
20) If I get sick of  being a Congregational Protestant, I can choose to follow another faith without government interference.
21) If I decided to drive to Disney World in Orlando, FL (Disneyland being about 2 miles down the road), I can do it without having to get approval from any government or even have papers other than a driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance (if the state requires it). It’s A Small World. We are free to move about the country (except for the unintended consequences of SB 1070 in Arizona. Hey, Jan Brewer, Governor of Arizona, to enforce your stupid fucking law without racial profiling, I’LL have to carry my passport in case I’m stopped in Sedona. You fucking stupid bitch, you. And that’s another thing I love about America. I can call the Governor of a sovereign state  a fucking stupid bitch without official consequence). I could leave the country if I so chose. Hey, Rush Limbaugh: you SAID you’d move to Costa Rica if Affordable Health Care was upheld. Need help packing”
22) State fairs that experiment with the limits of deep frying, even if I don’t indulge. What[‘s his name, Abel _____ in Texas who deep fries damned near everything for the Texas State Fair?  Go for it, Dude.  You’re earning a damned fine living.
23) We got a fucking SUV on Mars. Yeah, Bitch, MARS.
24) It is written into the Constitution that the sins of the father will not be held against the offspring (Madoffs, Mansons, Bushes). It’s also written into the Constitution that nobody foreign born will be President (and that was specifically to screw over Alexander Hamilton, the guy on the $10 bill, born in Jamaica). Hey birthers: He proved it. Shut the fuck up.
25) I can write a list like this without interference. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Viral Post

The first clue that I was coming down with something should have been the iced tea craving.

Never mind that I had felt like there was a golf ball under my jaw. In the past, I have been the queen of over-reaction (I have a zit. LEPROSY!!!!!!AAAAAUUUUUGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!). However, I like to think I’m much cooler now. Okay. Swollen lymph node. No sweat. It’ll pass. A couple of friends that I’d talked to ON THE PHONE were ill with some kind of upper respiratory infection  and  I had just seen the tail end of “Mr. Skeffington” (Bette Davis. Claude Rains. ‘Nuff said) and Fanny Skeffington is “ravaged” by diphtheria.

Fanny Skeffington before
Fanny Skeffington After. Ew.

Not knowing the effects, I had looked it up on Wikipedia and the golf ball in the jaw materialized hours later. I told my brain not to be such an idiotic wuss and knock it off, for God’s sake. I ain’t catchin’ nuthin’ from nobody. Because I said so.

Okay, so the iced tea was the second clue. Denial is powerful.

I found myself waking up in the middle of the night covered in sweat (not unusual: it’s in the mid-90s here and not cooling off at night, I’m in menopause) with a raw throat and a uvula that felt like Muhammed Ali had used it for a speed bag. Okay, I was probably snoring. Again. And the golf ball was gone, but every lymph node I owned was screaming “Red Alert.”

Nah. I’m not sick. I haven’t been exposed. I don’t think. It’s just from the way I’ve been sleeping.

Still craving the iced tea…and water…it's HOT out, I am NOT sick...and avgolemono soup (Greek chicken soup).

I can’t get sick, I thought. I’m protected by a flu shot. They always boost my immunity. Colds? Flu? Pshaw. I am mighty.

The germs are mightier. Little fuckers.

I rummaged in my purse and found Advil Cold and Sinus. Apparently, I needed Advil Cold, Sinus and Black Death. No good: I heard teeny tiny laughter (think Horton hearing a Who. A nasty, vicious cheerleading bitch Who)

Time for the heavy artillery. Time for NyQuil.

Denis Leary referred to NyQuil’s flavor as “Green Death.” Mucinex has an equal number that while it’s not green, it tastes every bit as filthy as NyQuil. And it is a shade of blue not found in Nature (Merry Berry, my ass). However, they work.  I don’t want to know how.

As previously mentioned,  we have a heat wave here in Southern California (go ahead and gloat, rest of US. We got ours. We also had 2 moderate earthquakes within 12 hours of each other. Shake N Bake! Oh shut up: you’re jealous because I got there first). I found myself lying in bed the other night, after downing the Blue Death (sorry, Denis) and thinking, “I have a fever and the land has a fever. When I am ill, the land is ill…I AM MOTHER EARTH!”

New theory: Jim Morrison thought he was the Lizard King. I don’t think he was into mushrooms, LCD, heroin or anything like that. Mr. Mojo Rising must been into the NyQuil. Did anyone check the Lizard King for a green tongue?

Of course, there is always the Overprotective Parent at work. One sneeze and he/she is demanding that your desk be moved so that your bourgeois germs are not carried home to Versailles to infect precious little Disney, his/her daughter (Conceived in vitro with twin brother Walter. Couldn’t you just vomit?) After all, little Disney is just getting over the sniffles herself.

I’ve got news: little Disney is a biological warfare weapon, as is her runny-nosed brother. They’re in daycare, a veritable critical mass of microbes. You, OP, are immune because you are a carrier monkey.  You are Typhoid Douchebag.

And just to make it official, we have the “productive cough.” Bronchial phlegm, thick and salty. My favorite.
And Tiggers the Cat has been hanging close. Buffett, Vicki, Samba, Cookie, George and Toulouse (not all at once) would stay with me when I was sick. If I was in bed, there would always be at least one furry body with me (they took turns). If I was just being lazy, there were sunbeams to absorb and birds to watch; I was on my own.

I admit it. I’ve been invaded and occupied. Call me Afghanistan.

This shall pass. I’m not going to the gym and that’s making me antsy (good sign). I made my soup, but it’s too hot to temper eggs, so rather than a traditional avgolemono, it was a think chicken stock, breast meat, rice (yes, it’s acceptable Primal. Ask Mark Sisson. and lemon. I juiced two lemons into the pot and another one into my bowl (I like lemon flavor that punches you in the nose). Protein, Vitamin C…that’s a combo that would fuck up any germ.

And  I give you Ogden Nash’s whimsical, “The Germ”

A mighty creature is the germ,
Though smaller than the pachyderm.
His customary dwelling place
Is deep within the human race.
His childish pride he often pleases
By giving people strange diseases.
Do you, my poppet, feel infirm?
You probably contain a germ.

You little fuckers don't scare me: I've beaten your kind before; the minuscule bodies of your ancestors and cousins rot at my feet. I laugh at your fevers, your nausea, your...

God, it's time for more Blue Death.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

What is Joy?

The scale is still in its box. However, I have been eating a helluva lot better than I was 2 years ago. Back off.

What is joy?

Yes, I know it’s a dish washing detergent. Or one of my favorite perfumes (expensive stuff, but it loves me and I love it). But those things got their name from the emotion. I think we have a severe shortage of it right now, so I’m asking the question:

What is joy? How often do you feel it? Do you things to generate it? Do you postpone it? What is your relationship to joy?

Think about it for a minute. Can you answer  those questions?

Joy is necessary, really. It’s like sleep or a nutritious meal. It recharges the batteries, refuels the tank. I ask again: what’s your relationship to joy?

I am blessed/lucky enough to live in a nice house (now) with an easy-going roommate, an adorable little dog and a cat who knows a sucker when he sees one. The backyard is a source of joy and enjoyment:
  Lavender that I added. It's a great landscaping plant.

  A mix including something called "super bells." The lady in the Home Depot Garden Center told me it was a   hummingbird candy store. I didn't get a picture, but the local buzz bombs are already checking it out.

Plumeria. When the breeze swirls around the backyard, you can get a whiff of the lavender or the plumeria.

It's peaceful back there. It's a great way to downshift from a hard day.
This is joy. And Tiggers. If a cat feels at ease enough to sleep, it's a peaceful spot, indeed.

Joy can be a quiet, meditative thing.

Or, it can be as Douglas Adams defined it:
'... on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons."

 I don't have the best camera, but yes that is a BABY dolphin swimming with Mom. And they're surfing on the bow wake of the whale watching boat. For them, it's fun. For the people watching them play in the water, that's fun, too.
 And again. What you don't see is the 8 year old girl going out of her mind because this is the first time she's ever seen real live dolphins and we were in a pod of about 200 common dolphins with lots and lots of dolphin calves.
 Unfortunately, I couldn't get pictures of the two blue whales  Of course, I was too busy WATCHING the biggest animals that have EVER existed on Earth? T Rex can suck it.
Now, if animals, whose lives are spent hunting and eating (and sleeping and making little dolphins,(EXTREMELY CUTE little dolphins) can find the time to just play, that says something about the importance of joy and play.

I'm still smiling over 3 hours spent on a boat over a week ago. And I sat in the backyard watching the hummingbird snack at a feeder. Picture? No. I lifted the camera and she took off. However, I understand there's a whole family hanging out back there. I get joy from spoiling hummingbirds.

What's your joy?