Ever get annoyed? Ever feel like someone needs to be told where the dog died? Or handed a crowbar and a tub of Elbow Grease to help them pry their head out of their arse? Congratulations--you've come to the right place.

And when I'm not commenting on the latest thing to piss me off, I'm trying to figure out my own twisted life. Because, hey, I'm like that.

On a gentler note: for anyone dealing with depression, anxiety, and other assorted bullshit: You are NOT alone.

And if you're looking for a laugh, search on the key word "fuckery." It's just my little thing (as the bishop said to the actress).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Bottle and the Damage Done

The siren song that is your madness
Holds a truth I can't erase...
You let me down, I said it...
- "The God of Wine," Third Eye Blind*

alcoholic: One who has accepted they have a drinking problem and is dealing/has dealt with it
drunk: Fucking loser who has a drinking problem, blames everyone else and keeps drinking, destroying their own life and the lives of everyone they possibly can.

Alcoholism, addiction and their attending madness have been a part of my life since conception. My father is a drunk; has been for all of his adult life. All three of my mother's brothers have/had drinking problems (two of them are dead; sadly, the youngest is still alive and making life fucking miserable). My ex-husband and three long-term ex-boyfriends were all drunks. I had a brief flirtation with the bottle about 9 years ago--partied a little too hard for about eight months and then got really bored with it.

Drugs... with the exception of a little weed every now and then, I've never bothered with them. They scare the fuck out of me--most of my idols and Celebricrushes have battled the bottle and/or drugs, so I learned my fear from them: I learned from the stories of Peter O'Toole and David Bowie back in high school to keep my nose clean and behave myself (granted, Peter O'Toole is one of the greatest actors on the planet; and Bowie made incredible fucking music when he was a mess, but his best album came after he cleaned up [Scary Monsters & Super Creeps, if you must know, although the Berlin Trilogy has some spectacular songs]). John Belushi's OD had a major affect on me through Robin Williams--his comment made on a talk show (Donahue, I think it was), to the effect of, "He was a bull. What was that going to do to a little guy like me?" [paraphrased from memory; it's been 30ish years]

All of the people I've really admired have had addiction issues--all of the comedians especially. Carlin... Carlin was famous for his drug use, and so much better for quitting (although he was another one who kept a little weed around). I think I was the only person in the audience who cheered when Jim Jefferies said he'd been sober for a month in New York. The two guys I was sitting next to had said he was awesome fucked up; I've seen enough clips of him fucked up--he was better sober. Sharper, more on point (and he looked fabulous). And honestly? Enlarged liver and shitting blood... no. Not something I would wish on anyone but my mother's younger brother. That comment snapped people, but not really. I mean... WTF? Haven't we lost enough great comedians to substances? Stay sober, Jim--stay alive, keep making people laugh, and get your ass cast in a movie that will actually showcase your acting talent. That's an Imperial Edict, dammit. ;-) Stay sober, and the next time you're in Boston, I will buy you dinner (yes, a beautiful chick DOES know how to pick up a check), and unlike most of the men I've dated, I won't expect sex afterwards.

Hmmmm... that also reminds me... need to think about finding an agent for Keith J.'s script. Anyone know anyone looking for a film script for the best buddy comedy ever written? I could kill him to this day for that--boring me to tears with all the proposals for action adventure CRAP, and all the time he had a near-perfect comedy script on his shelf. I love the guy like a brother, but there are days... *smack* And that's why we're still friends.

But I digress...

Back to substances... The only thing I've ever really had going for me was my brain. I mean, my body has never worked properly, and even my brain is pretty fucked up with the chemistry issues, but I've always known I had intelligence, creativity and talent, and all of those relied on me keeping my brain up and running properly. The one thing drugs fuck up completely is your head, and this goes for the legal as well as the illegal.

Now, I take anti-anxiety meds daily. They are necessary, unfortunately--if I don't take them, my panic attacks get pretty ugly. During the PMDD, they get even uglier and require the additional support of Xanax. I take a low dose of that--just half a tab of whatever I was given because if I take the whole thing, I fall asleep instantly. I drink rarely these days and have to be careful about what I drink because certain things will send me off the deep end--I don't touch Jack Daniels any more (and I used to be legendary for dancin' with Mr. Damage), can't touch most grape wines unless they're fizzy (don't ask me, I don't get it), beer is baaaaaad (although the coffee porter was OK--must be the crap-ass American piss), and me and absinthe never liked each other. The gastric bypass made drinking even dicier because if there's no food in my stomach, I go bright red and burn up--seriously, I have to ice my face. I've been told it's like a diabetic reaction to alcohol, and considering the fact that my sugar & fat filter is no longer connected, I get it.

At one point in my life, I was misdiagnosed as bipolar II. THAT was entertaining. NOT. Before the diagnosis, to deal with the weight that was packing on for no apparent reason, my GP put me on Prozac. I slept for two weeks and felt AWESOME afterwards. Then we tried Zoloft: no reaction until PMS kicked in and I went homicidal. Entertaining... I chased a guy all the way across Somerville with the intent of pulling him out of his car and dribbling his head off the pavement like a basketball for cutting me off. A little voice inside my head kept trying to get my attention and tell me that it was a bad idea. It took three miles for me to register that voice, and I was traveling down Somerville Ave--consider the number of traffic lights, pedestrians, and other cars I had to deal with in that three miles. Yeah. Zoloft... NOT a good idea. Then came the lower does of Prozac--sleeping without the happiness afterwards. Then shipped off to a psychopharmocologist who evaluated me as bipolar II. Paxil was my friend, and then Depakote got added, and then the doses went up... and don't forget the emergency Xanax, and then the anti-psychotics when the Xanax stopped working for the panic attacks... that was about the time I started keeping at least a bud around because three tokes did what all the meds in the world couldn't--calmed me down and kept me from slashing my wrists.

Of course, I ended up in a blanket of cotton wool about three feet thick, lost my sex drive, and didn't function as an artist. Due to circumstances, I ended up having to stop all meds, cleaned out my system, and then... started over again. Once the hypothyroidism was diagnosed and under control, the anxiety disorder became apparent and that was treated, and the bipolar was off the table.

Whew. But I still need the meds.

I hate them. I hate what I'm like without them even more. I have gotten so attuned to my body that I can feel the chemical changes--I know when my thyroid is off, I know when my hormones surge--there's a little bump mid-month, then a BIG bump about five days before the bleeding starts--and I know what real depression is.

I also know when it's safe for me to drink, and when it's NOT safe because it will start a chemical downward spiral that will end with me trying to slash open my veins and die. I am long past the days when I want my friends babysitting me to make sure I don't shuffle off the mortal coil under my own steam; it's humiliating and exhausting, and eventually, it loses you friends. So, legal or not, I guess I'm a drug addict like damn near most of America these days (at least, those of us who have health insurance with prescription drug coverage).

But I'm not a drunk, and the drugs I take are to keep me sane and functioning. It's a very different thing from the animal I'm dealing with at home. Now, Moron has been sober since the end of January when I had his ass clapped into rehab. At the court hearing, the court shrink--who it was obvious he thought he had flim-flammed, FUCK! HE IS SO GODSDAMNED STUPID!--who evaluated him stated that he had stated that he had "tried cocaine a couple of weeks before."


The reality--as we found out from his friends--is that he had a full-blown coke habit. It explained quite a bit, like why the flooze he had been trying to bed was calling in a panic, the impotence issues (there are some things NO ONE should know about older members of their family), and of course, the paranoia.

Now, understand that I really DON'T like cocaine. I've never tried it, but I really DON'T LIKE what it does to people who use it constantly--the paranoia, the itchiness, the suspicion, the coldness, the one-step-removed from the world. I don't like it. I have run away almost every time I've had it near me; I have never forgotten a coke-fueled ride home from a friend--beautiful girl to look at, smart, funny but coked out of her head and telling me how much she envied my ability to say no and stay away from it, that she and the hottest guy in the office [whom I had been crushing on up until that minute] were fucking each other and getting high all the time and were both broke and losing everything because of it; I was 18. I didn't need any other warning or example.

Alcohol is a familiar demon--I understand alcohol-fueled violence and stupidity--been surrounded by it all my life--I know the signs, the stench, the clues, and I know how to deal with it. I can kick a drunk's ass easily--let them think they're leading the dance, fake 'em out, step aside, let the punch fly by, and then step in under the guard, and WHAM! Easy-peasy, down he goes. Coke adds something to the mix that makes a drunk think he's invincible--it adds a persistence, an unstoppability that means the one punch won't take them down. It sharpens the shit the alcohol usually dims.

Once I found out that coke was in the mix, I knew why he was overheating and freaking out. And why he swung on me (and yes, as empowering as it is to know I have the PTSD under control, I still wish I had crushed his windpipe. Life would be very complicated, yet so much simpler). See, Moron learned back in '02 what happens when you swing on me--I humiliate your ass. He backed his car into mine so it looked like I had those special shocks to make the car bounce. Several times. And then, when I ran over to his car to get him to stop, he started throwing punches out the window. I caught the punches in my hands and forced his arms back, bending back his fingers.

He's now trying to blame the surgeries he's had for his hands on me--because of that, I caused all of his problems with arthritis in his hands. It's not he was a telephone lineman in the worst weather for 25 years; it's not that I was defending myself and not allowing him to pummel me--he had a right to do that.

*slams head on the desk*

Can I just state for the record that I am done? Beyond done. I had a conversation with Elder Services today because I can't take the madness any longer. Mum doesn't make it any better--she just accepts life with an addict. And I wonder why it took me so many years to get healthy, why it took me so long to wake up and realize that no one has to endure being abused. I lost it last night; she spent fuck knows how much in the grocery store to buy a shitload of stuff that we have no room for. He strong-armed her into buying a small refridgerator with an ice maker--vital for a drunk who sucks back cocktails, not necessary for two women who like to cook and need storage space. I cannot take the hoarding, I cannot take the addiction, I cannot fucking take it any longer.

So I called Elder Services. I'm getting her a lawyer to deal with the foreclosure issue; Elder Services is going to get referrals for help with the house. I've contacted her kidney doctor for a shrink. The bills will go on a schedule; there will be a calendar posted on the fridge for her fucking doctor appointments so I don't get surprises sprung on me.

As for the Moron... argh. I have one possible ace up my sleeve for that, and Gods help him if I call that one in because his ass will be nailed to a wall. There is one person who, if he finds out what that idiot has been doing, will set his ass so straight, it will be practically set in cement.

Cement might work, too, come to think of it... Nah. Considering how toxic his body is at this point, I really wouldn't want to poison the river any further.

Any advice anyone has to offer, I'll take at this point.

ADDENDUM: Just wanted to add that I DO NOT condemn drinking and recreational drugs in general. If you've got a handle on it (and I know a lot of people who can do a little and be fine), no worries. Hey, I like my shot of silver tequila (with five slices of lime because it's going to take me 10 sips to get it down and sea salt on the side) and the occasional toke still. It's just the idiots whose bodies can't handle it and who are destroying lives... *sigh*

* Today's epigram is from the first album by Third Eye Blind--amazing friggin' album from start to finish, only two songs that I didn't bother to put on my Zune. Lyrically astounding, musically fabulous... if only their other albums had been as good. This song is incredible, especially if you've ever had a drunk in your life. You will know it and weep to it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hi Diddly Dee, the Single Life for Me...

Or, I Really DO NOT Have Time for this Shit...

*heavy sigh*

So, Saturday's post ended on a really positive note with a lot of good stuff happening that day, one of which was supposed to be a date.

Guess which thing didn't happen? Yep, you got it--the date.

I really had hope, y'know? It looked like things would finally come together with The Captain, but he has disappeared again. *slams head on the desk* (And yeah, I know I owe you guys Part 3 of Adult Toy Story; sadly, it's not half so amusing as Part 1.)
So, I'm taking my hat out of the dating ring for a while. It hurts--really looked for a couple of weeks there might actually be a little ray of sunshine, something to balance out all of the bullshit. I'm not really asking for the Love of My Life at this point; I don't know that I really believe in that any more.

Is it stupid to be looking for a damn good friend with whom I can have amazing sex?

Seriously. That's all I really want--someone I can hang out with, talk to, possibly share some music (I'm getting my drum set in November) and art with (comedy or theatre, either one would work), a few laughs, and some good fucking (making love would be even better; before bed AND first thing in the morning would rock; during the day, too... ). I don't care about the kink (I mean, I like it, I want it, but I can live without it; after all, that's what wanking is for). Someone I could cook for would be even better. I really like cooking for people, and there's something special about being able to make a meal for a man (yeah, I'm a bit old fashioned in weird ways). And I CAN cook, dammit. Someone to watch a movie with--and make out on the couch. Someone to play the damn Wii with because it's no fun playing Rock Band & Guitar Hero alone. Someone to playfully bicker with. I don't even need someone who's around all the time--I'm a writer, fer fuckssake, I'm anti-social half the time and don't want to be bothered. Except when I'm horny, of course.

I miss that, and the longer I go without it, the more I fear it's never going to happen again. But I'm also not willing to settle. I'm not willing to be dicked around and led on. Third strike, Captain, you're out. It hurts; there was a connection there I hadn't felt with someone for a long time, a camraderie and commonality that I've missed. I'm still a kid from the neighborhood--still working class and "common as muck," as Nanny Ogg would say, no matter my Imperial nickname and bearing at times. And I really wish I was going home to someone with whom I'd be making dinner and chatting about the day, and later cuddling up and maybe even making love with...

And yeah, I know the other option is going home to an asshole who doesn't help and whose looking for a fight. I've been there, too.

I know relationships and marriage are no bed of roses--I know it's damn hard work, and you have to make compromises and deal with shit you rather not at times. When things don't work, it's hell, but when things DO work... The payoff... the payoff seems worth it from this outsider looking in.

As long as what you're compromising isn't yourself.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Quickie...

Leesh has told me my blog posts are really freakin' long for blog posts.

Oh, well. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but I ain't Shakespeare. I'm just one of his many bastard decendents, muddling along and philosophizing. Besides, his plays ain't short.

Well, it's a beautiful October Saturday. I just had coffee with the Mighty Lucifer--first time I've seen him in at least six years. *sigh* Gods, that man is so fucking beautiful. I mean, STUNNING... (he'll kill me for writing this, but I don't care. Deal with it, babe--you're one of the guys I'll never be completely over, and I'm good with it. If I can fall for someone as good as you, there's some hope for my battered heart. Besides, it reminds me to keep my standards high and NOT to settle.) I talked about men being beautiful earlier in the week; Lucifer is one of the men who solidified my concepts on this.

See, while he is physically attractive (and he is--finest arms, ass and thighs I've ever seen [even if never naked, dammit]--amazing facial planes, thick jet hair which looks fab with the little bits of grey and white now, eyes... ooooooohhhh, the mischief in those eyes.... and with the crinkle laugh lines starting in the corners... Gods, has he aged well... just HANDSOMER than ever, sexier than ever), it wasn't his face or body that I first noticed when I met him: it was his eyes and the intelligence and soul burning there. Hit me like a freight train, and I knew that I HAD TO KNOW THIS MAN, and while I never managed to bed him, I did end up with a cherished and beloved friend who I would defend to the death. And I'm gonna shut up now before I get myself into trouble.

I give away no secrets--he's known for a long time how I feel; however, we share a number of characteristics--we're both brutally honest and hopelessly honorable--and so long as he is married, we will only ever be friends. Neither one of us has ever cheated on a partner and aren't about to start now. We'd smack each other. THAT'S the real reason I love him. He's one of the few people on the planet not afraid to kick my ass.

My head is deep in my panties right now--not only did I start my morning with Himself, there is a date on the horizon for the late afternoon. I shan't reveal who the candidate is, but if this goes forward... I may find myself no longer partner-less.

But we shall see. I'm not holding my breath. Because while I am most faithful, I have little faith until after I have some proof. Ah, my cynical heart...

As for that comment about noticing eyes first... that's the secret with all of my crushes: it's always about the eyes. ALWAYS. From the first to the latest, it's always, always, always about the eyes for me. My first clear memory of Peter O'Toole were his startling blue eyes in The Stunt Man trailer; my favorite pic of Jim Jefferies (you KNEW I'd mention him--just two weeks to Alcoholocaust!) catches his eyes, full of soul and sorrow and bruised innocence. You want to know the secret to great comedy? Those two words: bruised innocence. That's where the funny starts: in pain.

And now, my cherished blurkers, Her Most Imperial Majesty needs to refresh her coffee and get to the NaNoWriMo Meet & Greet, a date (hopefully), and drinkages with former students who have become dear friends. Which is how a beautiful October day should be spent... with people you like and love and who remind you how much life is worth living. I may not be in Nova Scotia, but I cannot say my life here in Boston is not filled with love and light.

Now, I must go fetch my Viking hat. ONWARD!

Much love,
Your Empress

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Cloak of Hypocrisy

"I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Mohandas Gandhi

Yesterday was the day to wear purple in support of those who have been lost because of bullying. I didn't wear purple because I discovered I don't have any in my wardrobe. Who knew? So I'm writing this instead and encouraging everyone to support Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" Campaign because GLBTG kids need to know that not everyone out there is a fucking hate-filled moron; that there are good people who will love them and accept them for who they are. And because the yahoos need to get the message that they need to CUT THE SHIT. Mob behavior like that is for Nazis, not intelligent human beings, and bullies... *grrrrr*

Anyway, something has been sticking in my craw over the past week, and I finally realized what it was: hypocrisy.


My best friend Vicki introduced to me to today's quote, and I truly love it. It's better than Gandhi's comment about Western Civilization ("I think that would be a good idea!"). I had a hard go at religion last week, and the more I think about it, the more I feel like I was too soft on the hypocrites.

See, whenever someone wants to get away with saying something that will expose their prejudices, they start their sentence with one of the two following clauses:
"I'm not prejudiced, BUT..."
"I have PLENTY of friends who are insert group here..."

Both of those bastard phrases were used at me last week. They're bullshit. You ARE prejudiced; you are being narrow-minded, you ARE WRONG, so just own it and shut the fuck up because you're embarrassing yourself in public.

Now, I have used these phrases at various times in my life. The first one has been around for a while--it's the one that really got popular when political correctness became rampant. The other one has been a phrase white people have used for a looooooong time to cover up that they are scared as hell of anyone not from their color/nationality/religion/social class/etc.

And they're both BULLSHIT.

For fuck's sake, WE ARE ALL PREJUDICED. EVERYONE--I don't care what color you are, what higher power you do or don't believe in, how much money you have, where you're from, who you sleep with--EVERY HUMAN BEING ON THIS PLANET OVER THE AGE OF 9 MONTHS IS PREJUDICED. Learning to discriminate one thing from another is one of the first things babies do--little babies KNOW who Mom is, and most of 'em know who Dad is, too. Discrimination is the beginning of the learning process, and in and of itself, is not a bad thing.

It becomes a bad thing when it's used to penalize, exclude, hurt, whatever, others.

Allow me to be concrete:

Natural, acceptable discrimination:
Example 1 - Objects: There is a blue shirt and a green shirt. I chose the green shirt because I like green better--it makes me feel warm and goes well with my coloring.
Example 2 - People: There are two people standing across the street. One is my mother; the other is a clown. I walk over and give my mother a hug because I have, through the power of discrimination, determined that she is the person known to me, and I can do this.

Learned, unacceptable discrimination:
Example 1 - Objects: There are two rare, autographed books sitting on my coffee table. One belongs to me; the other is the property of my ex. My ex's is in better condition because he is semi-illiterate and has never cracked open the book; he just got it signed for the ebay potential. I keep the pristine copy and sell the crappier one and keep the money. (Yeah, I know, I'm reaching here; give me a break.)
Example 2 - People: Person A belongs to a group I find unacceptable for irrational reasons (color of skin, religion, sexual orientation). I take steps to curtail their Constitutional rights.

Now, I've been labeled a liberal by many (and sometimes, I'll own it myself), but I'm not, really. I'm not really even a Democrat. I'm a Rational Anarchist. What does that mean? It means that I hate rules, but at the same time, I understand the need for some of them. In short, it means I believe in common sense, something that just doesn't seem to exist these days in great supply.

How does that translate? Well, it means that I think you should use things like turn signals and observe speed limits in populated areas. It means I think you should stop and think before you open your mouth. It means I think you have a right to believe in what you believe in, but you don't have a right to force it on anyone else. You've a right to your opinion (though no right to being taken seriously).

It also means that I think you have a responsibility to the world around you and to yourself. It means that you have to take responsibility for your thoughts and actions and behavior. It means that if you say stupid shit to me and expect me to back down because you've taken something seriously that wasn't meant that way, you need your head examined.

I work in Political Correctness Central--I work in a university in Cambridge, MA, a place where we have tissues, not issues. A place where I learned to hate feminism even more than I already did because of the way a great idea was bastardized and destroyed by a bunch of hypocritical women who suffered from bad cases of denial, ignorance, and white guilt, and who had extensive educations to give them words to hide behind. And I have seen what happens when a minority gets uncontrolled power and how corrupt it can be--I saw a number of good people lose their jobs because they were the wrong gender or orientation, so NO ONE is innocent. Israel is a good example of this--they learned Hitler's lesson from the Holocaust really well and have nothing to be proud of. (And before you call me an anti-Semite, note I said "Israel," NOT Jews--my ex-husband was Jewish, and I experienced anti-Semitism up close and personal as it was assumed I was as well. My point is that every human being is capable of being an oppressor if they do not maintain awareness of their fears and remembers to THINK FOR THEMSELVES.)

Political correctness started out as a good idea--watch the hate language, think about what you say--but quickly devolved into just another bastard form of racism. Sorry, kids, but if you're saying "African American," but still thinking the n-bomb (I really DON'T use that word--I'll say "cunt" without thinking, but only use the n-bomb when I'm talking about my own people), you're really not doing anyone any favors.

Political correctness--or, as I like to call it, intellectual Naziism--has forced prejudices underground and prevented people from speaking freely. It's created more prejudice and problems than any hate speech ever did. And while I don't think using racial/social/sexual slurs is appropriate or acceptable, I'd rather hear someone come out and say it than get that sidelong lying look on their face, and say, "Well, I'm not prejudice, BUT those people..."

As for claiming to have friends who are from the group you are discriminating against... tell me, if that person is your friend, why won't you grant them the same rights you enjoy? What is the difference between denying a gay person the right to marry and racial segregation? You are telling another human being that, because of a condition beyond their control--a PHYSICAL difference from you--they aren't good enough to be treated like a full citizen. There's no logic to it, there's no rational reason to it--it's a decision based purely in prejudice, and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Now, I am NOT claiming innocence here. I learned almost every racial slur I know at home, most of them from my grandfather. My mom, however, had friends from all walks of life--she had friends across the spectrum and taught me from the beginning the necessity of tolerance and acceptance. However... we ARE Boston Irish, and a more exclusionary, isolationist, racist group of white people are pretty damned hard to find. Mum didn't escape all of her conditioning; neither did I. That is not a justificiation of wrong-doing--it's a statement of fact. The other side of that statement is that, since becoming an adult, I have done my best to be aware of my prejudices and NOT act on them--to rise above bigotry and stupidity and be the person I think I should be, not the person I was taught to be.

I don't always succeed; that's not possible. I'm not perfect. The positive thing that's come out of it is a driving need to understand hatred--fear is the base of it all: fear of the Other, fear of what is different, fear of what we've been taught is WRONG. And the fear we feel when we recognize what we dislike or distrust in the Other in ourselves--human denial. That's at the very bottom level of homophobia, especially in men in this society. We teach our boys to fear anything soft inside themselves, to be as "masculine" (whatever the fuck that means; I still don't get the false concept of feminity so many people try to shove on girls), and that to feel anything tender towards another man is BAD, never mind any kind of attraction.

It's stupid, dangerous, and it's costing lives, and bringing out the very worst in people, and I am bloody fucking sick of it. Listen to a child cry because they've been told, "you can't be gay and live in my house." Watch the face of a beautiful young man you know twist as he fights between accepting who he is and the shame that's been put on him by his family. Hear the bitterness in a friend's voice when they tell you how their parents no longer speak to them because they came out... then tell me your prejudice is correct. Don't be surprised if I spit in your face. I am tired of seeing these beloved children and friends hurting because of the ignorance and fear in others. GROW UP AND GET THE FUCK OVER IT!

Claiming to not be prejudiced--in the case last week, homophobic--and then trying to limit the civil rights of a group of people because of your religion is an act of homophobia. Sorry, it is. Claiming you can't be seen as homophobic because you have gay friends and love them is also bullshit--if you love them, why won't you grant them the same civil rights as you enjoy? It's already been proven that sexual orientation is not a choice--it's hardwired in the brain. If our society wasn't so twisted up about sex and so stupidly uptight and obsessed with it, this might not be a problem, but because the rules the religions operate on were created by human beings (and some really FUCKED UP human beings; this is where being a historian with a fair grounding in psychology comes in handy--human denial of humanity and sheer hypocrisy in the religions have caused more pain and agony than anything on the planet. I give away no secrets here).

As I stated last week, I'm not asking the various churches and religions to sanction homosexuality and perform same-sex marriages if it really does go against their beliefs, but don't tell me you're a Christian and a follower of Christ if you hold to that because you're not--Christ NEVER came out against homosexuality--NEVER--and hey, when you hang out and travel with twelve other men, it would be a bit hypocritical, eh? Especially if you believe the expurgated version of the Jesus story that would have you believe him unmarried. Thirteen normal men, traveling around together, sleeping together... *stands back and warms self at the fire I have just thrown gasoline on*

See, sex isn't a sin. It's not--it's a part of being human. It's natural, it's normal. All the rules that we've put around it? Bullshit, honestly. Just social crap that's been forced down our throats. It's the prejudices and fears that others have developed and passed down that have become ingrained. I'm a historian--I've researched it. Want to know when the Church came out seriously against homosexuality? Happened after the Plague, when too many of the men in Italy (I think it was Venice, but I might be wrong--it's been a few years since that class) were spending too much time in the brothels which were staffed by both male and female artists (and if anyone knows how to prevent or disable a pregnancy, it's a professional who can't be out of action to make a living) and not enough on rebuilding the population.

The government of the city-state cooperated in this because they needed bodies for the army because they were always waging war back then. There was no real separation of Church and state--you bowed to the Pope or you were excommunicated. It took Martin Luther's 95 Theses and Henry VIII's dick before Europe found its backbone.

Outlawing prostitution made sense up until the later half of the 20th century when reliable birth control and disease prevention became a reality, and crime statistics have proven that legalized prostitution cuts down the sex crimes. Now? Now, it's just old prejudices and fear keeping women in a place of powerlessness and poverty.

Abortion is another issue that drives me up the wall. I would love to see the need for abortion to disappear--for a universally effective and universally available means of birth control (aside from abstinence because, after the age of 18, it's bullshit and a denial of humanity) to become available, for that to happen it would mean that universal, common sense-based sex education would need to happen. You know, the kind that involves information: this is what sex is, this is what happens, these are the possible consequences, these are the REAL odds, with no fear, no paranoia, just INFORMATION and treating kids like they're intelligent human beings capable of making sensible decisions for themselves. I don't think kids should be having sex before 18; high school is complicated enough without throwing fucking into the mix. I lost my virginity to date rape at 16, and I was stupid enough to want to prove to myself that it didn't hurt me, and I was fine. Sex can wait, but the only way a kid can make that decision is to be given clear, simple information without all the bullshit.

Think I'm wrong on that one? Allow me to share: when she was about 14, myself and my friend Keith took my niece, Sammi (who is now 21 and utterly fabulous), out for coffee. We got on the topic of substances and substance abuse. I was honest with her that yes, I drink at times and occasionally smoke weed; however, I also made it clear that I smoked for the first time when I was in my 20's and already knew my limits, and that I never did it unless I knew I wasn't driving and I was in a safe place with people I trusted. Also made it clear that I didn't touch any other substances. At which point, Keith and I started telling her stories about people we'd known who'd done all of that crap and what happened to them.

Sam sat back, looked at the two of us and said, "If my parents had put it like that, it would have totally made sense! They just said, 'DON'T DO IT,' but didn't tell me why!"

Now, to be fair, this is what she remembered them telling her. Also, I am NOT her mother--I have a remove and a freedom her with her that her mother doesn't because of the role she has to play in her life, so this is not a criticism of her parenting style. I have the Aunt's Advantage--I could send Sam home and didn't have to live with her. ;-) I didn't ask for the other side because she got the message we were trying to get across to her: keep clean until you're of age because substances can really fuck you up if you don't know your limits and don't play safe. By being honest and up front and giving concrete reasons and examples, by respecting her intelligence and ability to make a good decision--in short, by treating her with the same respect we expected from her--we were able to give guidance rather than creating a climate of fear (and the rebellious curiosity that comes out of it).

By not framing it as "sin" or "wrong," but as a part of life and a choice she had the power to make, Sam was given power over her own fate.

"Love the sinner; hate the sin" was quoted at me last week. The problem is what some people consider "sin," I don't. A "sin" involves deliberately causing harm to yourself or another. It involves intention and action. It isn't about how you think, so long as you're aware of destructive thought patterns. Sin... sin is a human concept, like "god" and "religion" and "beliefs." We created it to keep people in line to prevent them from hurting each other and make it possible to live side by side. The common sense rules about not murdering, not stealing, not cheating--they make sense. The other crap--about honoring a god and parental figures--not so much. Those rules are about submission--control. "Do what I tell you to, OR ELSE!" Bastard rules, the kind you give a small child when they're misbehaving. (And sometimes, absolutely necessary--there comes a point when an authority figure does have a right to say, "Because I say so!" but it needs to be used lightly and carefully or it just becomes an arbitrary attempt at controlling another human being for your own pleasure. It's all about balance.)

Trying to control how another person behaves or thinks--trying to force them into conformity--is an admission of your own powerlessness and fear. It's an admission of your own inadequacy and ignorance.

So, as I've said before, I don't give a rat's ragged ass if you think the same way I do. I'd prefer that you're intelligent enough and mature enough to think through your prejudices and reason out whether or not you're doing right by others by trying to control them and prevent them from enjoying the same rights you do.

And if what I'm saying is making you angry--if it's making you feel defensive, or hatred towards me... go back and read what I wrote above about that reaction. You're letting your fear rule you. It's not me you hate ; it's the dark places and doubts inside yourself that you aren't ready to accept. What you hate me for is pointing them out to you.

Judge me as you will, but don't be surprised if I throw it back in your face. I am who I am--flaws and fabulousness, brilliance and stupidity, arrogance and wisdom. I know what I've done in this life and who I've done it with or done it to. I know what I am willing to do, and what I am not. I have a strict code of ethics and honor--not morals. I don't love everyone in this world; there are a fair few people I hate with a passion and would gladly carve out their hearts with a spoon. But then, I'm not a Christian. I'm just a human being. My Higher Power is a sensible one who accepts me for myself and only demands that I do my best and make amends when I wrong and take my laurels when I excel; and also, that I try to accept others for who they are; that I take right action, not act on my desires and self-gratification alone.

In short, like every other god, created in my own idealized image.
BTW, today's pic is of a magnet offered by Northern Sun, a progressive accessory company. Pop over to www.northernsun.com for awesome shirts, magnets, buttons, stickers and other cool stuff that let the world know you've got a brain and aren't afraid to use it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Letter to My Beloved Baristas

"Caffeinate me before I kill someone." - from One Flew Out of the Broom Closet

I am a hard core coffee addict, so hard core that my baristas at my local Sbux know me and know my drink. When I come in and they're training a noob, they introduce me. They get embarrassed when they forget how I take it (the introduction of the Trenta made things a little stressful at first, but they've adapted).

As a corporation, I don't particularly like Morebucks, but I love my local because a) it did not open across from or in the space of an existing indie coffee shop; b) it has parking; and c) the kids who work there.

Reason "c" is 98% of why the place has my loyalty. I love "my kids"--they're a lovely bunch of 20-somethings who treat everyone who comes in there with humor and honesty, kindness and courtesy (even if you're a pain in the ass--I know, I've seen it). The regulars know each other and say "hi" and chat. It's not like going into a chain--like most of the Dunkins I've been in and most of the Sbuxes--it's like walking into a little neighborhood coffee shop.

The past couple of years have been monstrously stressful for a lot of reasons. Last Wednesday sucked so badly, I can't even put it into words. I walked out of the house to be greeted by two guys from NStar (the electric & gas company in the Boston area), a locksmith, and a cop with a court order. Why? Because the electric bill was "seriously" delinquent, and they had to shut it off.
Now, I know that Mum paid the bill on Monday; I heard all about how she ran around doing it (instead of asking me to drive her to the bank and Western Union, which I could have done easily on my lunch hour). However, a call placed to the office showed no record of it. I cried. I couldn't help it.

So I called work, told them I had an emergency and would be late, called the dialysis clinic and told them not to let her leave, I was coming for her, sent a couple of text messages, and went and fetched her, took her to the house, she picked up the paperwork, and I took her into work because it was fuck all cold in Boston that morning and our furnace starts by electricity. I had intended to be into work early to finish up the monthly reports and paperwork. I got almost nothing done because of all of this. Argh.

Long and short of it: she never called NStar with the confirmation number. I gave them the number, got a reinstatement order put in, made her a cup of tea, settled her in the Atrium with her book, and then tried to get some work done. Got some advice from a friend with elderly clients, empathy from another friend, asked another good friend for crash space in case it didn't get turned on by nightfall (because it could take as much as THREE BUSINESS DAYS despite the fact that Mum is elderly and not well; getting her put on something called the "Frail List" which will prevent this from EVER happening again), and generally tried to keep my shit together.

What helped was the fact that I had a venti-sized cup of iced coffee with 8 pumps of caramel and a shot of espresso in it in a trenta-sized cup, with the extra space filled up by 1/2 & 1/2. That is the Riz Uze (short for "usual"). One of my favorite moments in that shop was the crazy busy Saturday morning I walked in, and Mallory (now in an assistant's position in a publishing house; I miss her!) yelled over her shoulder, "I need a Riz!"

You know you're a regular when... :-)

That cup had been made by Alex and John (and Toni may have had a hand in it). Alex had started it, but was going on break, so it was handed off to John... and there was a bit of chat with all of them. Heather was on the register... we worked out that Alex has been there the second longest (after Austin)... wisecracks were traded, smiles were exchanged, laughs were had. I left there grinning. I miss the kids who don't work there any more--the ones who've gone on to better jobs or back to school or just gone somewhere else... Christian, Nick, Bree, Mallory, Derek, JJ... I know I'm forgetting people... plus the current crew of the above plus Andrew, Stash (probably spelling it wrong, but he'll forgive me. Or at least give me a ton of shit), New Heather, Ginger, Alan... crap, who am I forgetting? Whoever I'm forgetting, forgive me--I am old, but holiday baking season is coming up and I will remember you then!
I just about always leave there grinning. All of the guys who work there are HOT--intelligent, funny, decent and just plain good dudes. The girls are sweethearts--not a stuck up bitch in the lot--and everyone who works there is just a damn nice person. Some I've gotten to know better than others, but there isn't a one of them I wouldn't call a friend or do whatever I could for.

Why? Because they take care of me. Because that Sbux is my "happy place," my safe haven. It's where I escape to when I need a breather. Because I am treated with kindness and respect and camraderie. Because I have had days when I wanted nothing more than to crawl into a hole and die, and after five minutes in there, I've got a smile on my face and I'm laughing.
That is not a small thing in this world. Most of the second draft of my novel was either written or edited in there, and I can't tell you how many days they've rescued--like the day I was rushing home to take my mother to the hospital for the umpteenth time and was wrapped up in a comforting hug (and like the hugs I got on Monday when I got back and the message I got on my phone asking if I'd abandoned my darling Graverobber). What a lift it was to be greeted when I hit the house party hosted by one of them. The "in jokes" we share in there. The shit I take (and by shit, I mean the kind of ribbing you only get with people who genuinely like each other) from the guys. Being told about new jobs, new loves... Laughing when two of the guys pull off an amazing bit of drumming to a Paul Simon song... getting Ricky-rolled (Ricky Martin... *shudder*)... laughter. So much laughter.

It's my place to go for a "first meet" with an on-line date because I know that I'm safe; not only do the baristas keep an eye on the place (and on me), cops stop in for their coffee; ditto local construction workers, Nstar techs, students, and a lot of people doing their laundry. When someone wants to meet up just for a coffee, we go there. Friends who HATE Sbux love going in there just for the atmosphere.

So, to "my kids" at the Somerville Ave Sbux... Thank you. Thank you for gracing my life and bringing me joy in those moments when I've been lowest and starting my work days with necessary caffeine and even more necessary joy.
Can I get my uze?

Monday, October 18, 2010

In Praise of Men... or a Question of Taste

She's as sweet as Tupelo honey...

She's an angel of the first degree

She's as sweet as Tupelo honey

Just like the real thing from the bee - "Tupelo Honey," Van Morrison

This one is for all my crushes, and my favorite barista, the Graverobber. ;-)

I am (in)famous for my use of language, both in the written and spoken form. I'm someone you piss off at your own risk because I WILL verbally rip your heart out and serve it to you (unless I love you, and then I will take a deep breath, walk away, calm down, and then come back and discuss it with you. And it will suck for both of us because we'll end up crying and hugging and Having a Moment), especially in traffic.

Now, as erudite as I can be in a public forum (such as this) or in a debate over a serious issue, I am quite possibly the most foul-mouthed driver on the road. Behind the wheel, I progressed from "cocksucker" to "motherfucker" to "cunt." I love all three of those words. They are lovely, ugly words, and I have thoroughly embraced them.

And, lest someone think the embracing of the c-bomb is merely the influence of a Certain Australian Gentleman, I'd like to assure you that I have been using that one for a while in traffic, much to the chagrin of St. Teresa. Speaking of Mr. Celebricrush, why do critics use the expression "foul-mouthed?" It sounds so stupid--"foul" doesn't refer to language; it refers to a state of physical decay. I mean, I'd understand if he had rotten breath (he didn't when I met him), but his language... Give it a break and grow the fuck up. As George Carlin said, "It's only words."

So, that leads me to a funny moment last week in Nova Scotia. Now, understand that Vicki has two daughters, ages 12 & 15, so she is used to trying to keep her language clean. While she can cuss with the best of them, there are still a few she doesn't use. The c-bomb is one of 'em. And, like so many women, she really hates it.

Well, it was in the morning, and she had the C-100 morning show on (pop station in Hfax--blech!), and they did a teaser gossip lead-off with, "Guess who website Cougar World has offered $1 million to be their spokesperson!" And I just shuddered.

See, Cougar World advertises on Plenty of Fish. Out of curiosity, I clicked on their ad. I was potentially interested until I saw the word "cub."

Yeah. "Cub."

Evidently, this is the term being used for a younger man dating an older woman. Now, I guess it's better than "gold digger" (what they call the girls dating older men) or "trophy," but CUB? It really turned my stomach. And I said this to Vicki with that look of complete, utter distaste I get--you know the one, it looks like someone has held something incredibly foul under my nose (there's that word again!).

Well, Vicki looked at me with complete incredulity and said, "You are crazy about a comedian that regularly drops the c-bomb, and YOU'RE OFFENDED BY THE TERM 'CUB'?!? You have GOT to be kidding me!"

She was genuinely amused at my distaste. My response was, "The c-bomb is one of the oldest curses in English. Shakespeare uses it [Henry V, for one, and a few other places as well]. It refers to a body part; it has a great effect in bed during sex. It has a use. But 'cub?' It's so... so... INELEGANT! So... TACKY!"

And Vicki just shook her head at me. She is probably still shaking her head.

See, I have an issue with the whole battle between the sexes. I agree with Spider Robinson that it should be reduced down to a friendly, non-competitive arm wrestle (a happy bed wrestle is even better). I like men; I love their company. I have a damn good time hanging with the guys, and I really empathize with them when it comes to dealing with the more militant women on the planet. While men and women are very different in how they deal with some things and how they communicate--part of it due to socialization, part of it due to physical differences (it's the whole exposed genitals vs. non-exposed genitals. I'll go into that some other time)--for the most part, we're not that different. In the end, both sides need to be understood and loved and accepted.

And respected.

Today's epigram is from one of my all-time favorite love songs. In Long December, my favorite scene, and the one love scene, is choreographed to this song, when Nate surprises Rebecca with a candlelit dinner at home, and they end up slow dancing and making love to this tune. Of course, I always change "she" to "he" in my mind, especially when I picture the man who was the model for Nate.

Because as raunchy as I get, I am very much enamoured of men. I love them. Love to look at them, talk to them, touch them... I've had an orgasm just from a kiss from a cherished lover and there is nothing so awe-inspiring and moving to me as my lover, naked, in front of me. Aroused, even more so because I know I've had something to do with that.

One of the most moving moment in Jim Jefferies (yeah, yeah, I know... always with the Jim Jefferies) show was when he did a bit on foreplay. Most of it was utterly hysterical--spot on (as always) and very, very funny. Until the last line, which was one of those heart-breaking moments he is so incredibly good at. He sums up a man's need with one line: "All we need is YOU." And the delivery... he could have had every single straight woman in the room right then and there. I hope that is on Alcoholocaust--being able to watch his facial expression during the delivery of that line alone will be worth the cost of shipping from England. (And the charity auction proposal is still on the line if I get multiple copies of the DVD, but proceeds will be going to disabled vets in the U.S., Canada and the UK. THROW DOWN!)

While I will say, yeah, I need a bit of the kissing, touching, etc. part of sex, I also I know that need--the need just to see my man naked and near, his warmth, his eyes... that moment. And for me to get to that point where I'm ready and waiting and wanting... there is so much emotion that goes into it, such emotional commitment, even if it is just for a night... For me to open myself up to another human being like that, it takes a measure of respect with the desire--it takes an insight, a glimpse of the soul of the person I'm opening my secret and sacred places to. That's actually the one bit of psychic talent I will lay claim to--I can read souls, and I know when the person I am with is a worthwhile soul or empty.

The word "beautiful" is so seldom applied to men, and it bothers me because I find so many of the men in my life beautiful--it's not just about their appearance, either. It's about their eyes, their voice, their intelligence, their spirit, their soul... all of the elements that combine to make the incredible human being who is gracing my life. I repeat my earlier statement: I LOVE MEN. Not just all that is good about you, either--I love all your exasperating, frustrating silliness--your illogic that develops when you're little boys (and I am one of the few women I know who truly wants a son--I LOVE dealing with small boys because of their infallibly illogical logic when they get into trouble) and stays with you. The vulnerability that lays beneath your strength. The glory of your smile. The sparkle of mischief in your eyes. How beautiful you are naked and wanting, eager... Gods, is there anything more moving than a man during an orgasm? And afterwards... the sleepy warmth of your arms, your scent...

How the best of you struggle to do what is right. The protectiveness over those you love. Even the walls you put up to Be a Man about things... All the contradictions and complications that go into you breathtaking darlings who claim to be such simple creatures. Love every bit of it. Cherish it. Ache to have that back in my life. It's why I'm willing, in a fight, to shut my mouth and back off and calm down before going on. It's why I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt. It's why I've never cheated. It's why... *sigh* It's why I'm such a fool when I'm in love.

So that's why the word "cunt" can fall from my lips, but "cub" makes me want to wash my mouth out with bleach. To denigrate men the way that some of the less enlightened of their gender have denigrated women... I can't do it.

If I had a religion, it would go against it.

Till next time, my darlings,
Your Empress

Wrestling the Noonday Demon

We're learning to live with somebody's depression
And I don't want to live with somebody's depression...
- "Fantastic Voyage," David Bowie

Good afternoon, cherished blurkers.

Your Empress returned to Hell's Vestibule last night, an hour past schedule. I took the long way home after I hit NH--got off in Portsmouth after 300 miles of freakin' Maine to get some gas (and wasted 15 minutes outside of the restroom while some little kid played in there--was ready to murder the parent), took the Route 1 toll road bypass, got back on 95 as far as Lynnfield and Wakefield, and then took a wrong turn on 129, and ended up touring Wakefield instead of back on Route 1. The Jerry Jingle (Lynn Fells Parkway to modern readers) didn't even look familiar, I was so zonked at that point. I actually had a cigarette (yes, I smoke the occasional clove cig--deal with it. It prevents me from killing people, and one cigarette every other week ain't gonna kill me. And if it does, it's my own fuckin' fault) to keep myself awake.

Sorry, did I sound a bit defensive? Ah, well. I feel like I have a little gremlin in my head whacking away at the inside of my skull with a sledgehammer. It also doesn't help that I woke up so depressed at being back, I posted a status of: "Dear Monday: Drop dead."

I had to talk myself out of bed. Even the cat purring didn't help. Of course, I realized then that I'd forgotten my meds the day before, so I popped the happy pills quickly, knowing it would take a little while for them to kick in. I may still need an emergency half-tab of Xanax later. Argh.

My own fault, in part, for forgetting the meds. In part... in part, it's just returning to that Gods-forsaken, hateful, horrible, ugly, miserable, awful, fucking hellhole. The title of today's post is taken from a book (that I have yet to read, but I liked the title and the book flap): The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression. I invoked an old David Bowie song in today's epigram because I've realized that I'm depressed not because I'm depressed because of other people's issues.

Let's start with Mum's hoarding.

All of the fucking cleaning I did while she was in the nursing home has been undone. All of it. My kitchen... Oh, Christ, what a fucking mess. She hadn't cleaned out the fridge since I left. the table... the table was a sea of crap. Papers, DVDs, meds, supplements, junk EVERWHERE. No clear place to sit and eat, the one thing I had asked her for. She never had Idiot close the windows for her, so the house is freezing, which means we're wasting heating oil...
*slams head on the desk*
*slams head on the desk again*
*slams head on the desk repeatedly*

She had actually prepared a meal (and to be fair, it was good) for me so I could eat when I got home. I was thankful, but at the same time, who the fuck wants to eat in a place where there's no place to sit and prepare a plate and eat like a human being? I want a dumpster, I want a shovel, and I want the whole fucking place EMPTIED. She's hugging me and telling me she's glad I'm home, and all I want to do is curl in a ball and cry.

The fucking cat couldn't even get to her shitbox because Mum had (as usual) blocked her path. There was no fresh water down for her, and there were papers over the dry food. And she tells me that Piddy has been "very vocal." NO FUCKING KIDDING! I'D BE BITCHING TOO IF I COULDN'T GET A FUCKING DRINK OF WATER OR TO HALF OF MY GODSDAMNED FOOD! Yes, I corrected this immediately. I don't care if she has a water dish in the bathroom as well, as soon as I put that fresh water down in a clean dish, the poor little thing went at it like she'd crossed the Gobi.

"Need to murder... rising... rising..." [Thank you, Homer Simpson. BEST SIMPSONS EPISODE EVER!]

If I had the gas money, she and I would be heading north right now and never looking back.

So I guess I should be grateful that they're foreclosing on the house, right? That she's not even going to fight it. I should be happy that soon, the place will be gone. Of course, that leaves us homeless, but hey, that's just a little concern. After I gave her a stack of information of where she could get help, she's done nothing. NOTHING.

Makes me want to hit something. (Note, I said "something." I've talked about this before, just in case someone of lesser intelligence reading this thinks I'm contemplating elder abuse. I'm not. I'm just considering forcing her arse into counseling because I think she's FUCKING INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

This is not a happy blog today. I am sorry. *ack* *gag* *choke* And the Idiot in the Office has just blown by me in a haze of heavy perfume. Fuck, I hate people. I really do.

*sigh* OK, time for an attitude adjustment. I will allow myself to feel like this for another hour or two--while getting copious amounts of work done--and then I will find a more positive approach so that I can change my situation and better my life.

At least the Captain has been in touch and is eager for my company. Small consolation. Potential Paramour is sniffing around again, as well. *rolls eyes* One of my favorite baristas has gotten a job in his field--HOORAY! That made my morning (as was being greeted with, "I feel like I haven't seen you in forever!"). Finding Cape Breton oatcakes in the staffroom was happy-making. Piddy cuddling up in my arms and purring made me happy. Being welcomed back by friends here made me happy. Knowing I'm going back to NS in April makes me happy. The compliments from and old friend (and the like from another old friend) for the blog on FB were encouraging. KJ bailing my arse out in Northern Maine yesterday (for gas, not jail; long story) was awesome, and a reminder of the amazing friends I have. Seeing Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in the glory of autumn was awe inspiring. NaNoWriMo is next month, and I've figured out the next twist to put in the first book to make it all work. Finding out Russ got married... that's hurting and hurting hard. I will get over it; I may never get over him completely, but... *sigh* Yeah. But I got to meet my latest Celebricrush two weeks ago, and damn, was he amazing on stage and hot as hell in person. And one week from today, I can pre-order my b-day present to myself, his new DVD, Alcoholocaust.

A number of my friends are hurting right now, too... four of my nearest and dearest are in pain, and there's not a lot I can do but be there and give them what I can. Another friend is going to be deployed to The Sandbox... hard, hard, hard. I cannot tell you how guilty I, as an American, feel when I hear about soldier from other countries being sent into a conflict that we started and have failed them so badly at supporting.

So life is OK. Not perfect, not fabulous, but it's OK. And with a little hard work and determination, it will get so much better. Have decided to give Gold's a miss and try Planet Fitness--it's around the corner from the house, on the way to work, parking is easier, and it's right down the street from Sbux, and nothing lifts my mood like lifting weights. Yay, team, go, team.

*slams head on the desk*

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's too damn early

To be awake, never mind functioning.

Although I don't know if I consider blogging functioning.

So, today, I'm off home. Thrills. Joy. Oh, extremes of ecstasy.

Oh, pardon... I seem to have dripped sarcasm all over the lappie. Thankfully, it doesn't cause short circuits or get stuck in the keys.

I have never looked less forward to a trip than this one. I don't want to go home.

Now, this is nothing new--I go through this every time I come up here. I love this place, and when I'm here, I know I'm where I belong. Boston may be home, but Nova Scotia is Home.

Doesn't help that I'm grumpy from last night, either. Started out grand--great lazy day yesterday which Vicki actually got to enjoy (I don't know how she does it. I am in awe), a final Frenchy's run with a couple of interesting scores that will go to ebay, I got to prep dinner (fabulous roast chicken and sides), and finally got to see the Russell Crowe Robin Hood. (LOVED IT! Gods, that man is so damn hot--talent, beauty, and fuck me blind, can he sit a horse! They grows 'em pretty down there in the Antipodes... rough, ready and rrrrroowwwww!) Made toddies for Vicki and I, we had a snack, and then... shakes and tremors, followed by hard retching.

Thank you, high fructose corn syrup. *slams head on the desk*

One of the after-effects of the gastric bypass is that I can't do anything heavily sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Now, I had started avoiding that a while ago--after I kicked the Pepsi habit, I tried to cut it completely out of my diet. Since surgery, I can't go near the shit. A tiny bit won't hurt, but anything that is heavily sweetened with it will make me very, very, VERY ill.

Like last night.

I read labels when I buy things. I have to--I'm allergic to so much shit, I have to be careful. What I didn't know is that in Canada, HFCS is called "glucose-fructose syrup." *slams head on the desk*

I can't abide vomiting. Seriously. It's the worst physical experience on the planet--I find it utterly humiliating to be hunched over a toilet, my entire body spasming, retching, and just wanting to fucking die. I've had people attempt to comfort me in this moment, only to have the door of the bathroom shoved closed--I can't stand for anyone to ever see me like that. It's so utterly undignified.

Last night was so bad, I was crying at the end of it. Wretched feeling.

So I'd like to say to the Corn Refiners Association: Go fuck yourself. HFCS is NOT SAFE for human consumption--it is NOT the same as sugar, you lying fucks. It's garbage, a poison, and has been directly SCIENTIFICALLY linked to the obesity epidemic, and you bastards should be taken out and shot for the commercials you're running on television promoting the shit. I don't get my information about HFCS from my hairdresser--I've gotten it directly from my body. Thank you for ruining my last night with my best friend; instead of hanging on the couch, talking and laughing until 4 a.m., she ended up fussing over me (bless you, Vicki, you are a saint) like a mother hen until I fell asleep (after the tremors stopped from the sugar shock).

And I leave you on that very grumpy note, my darling blurkers. Don't believe me? Just take a troll around Google; you will find a great deal of information on the dangers of consuming HFCS. If you're having weight issues, start reading your labels, and I'm willing to wager that if you cut the crap out, once you're over the withdrawal, you will start seeing a difference. One hundred pounds and dropping later...

Off to pack.
Much love,
Your Empress

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Another one bites the dust...

Quite possibly the one Queen song I never need to hear again. (Although I have a soft spot in my heart for "Fat Bottomed Girls" for obvious reasons.)

Well, it's my last full day in Nova Scotia for this trip. WAHHHHH!!! Yeah, my heart is already aching at the thought of going (forget about packing. Argh). If you've never visited up here, you need to. It's like getting the best of New England with the best of the Midwest scenery-wise, and the people... The people are the best. I think I've heard one car horn since I left the States (and it might have been mine). People are friendly, relaxed, genuinely nice.

And the men... oh, giiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrlllllllllllsss, the MEN ARE FINE!

And, sadly, for the most part either taken or gay. *sigh* Saw my last Canadian Crush last night--his girlfriend is damn lucky.

Which, of course, brings us back to my sordid love life.

Potential Paramour is out. No meeting will happen, and all further communications will be cut off. Those little warning signs I spotted? I was spot-on.

I've mentioned the Xanax Days in the month--the 2 or 3 days I need to pop half-a-tab of Xanax to control the hormonal attacks from the PMDD--well, one of them hit the other day. I was CRANKY. Of course, Potential Paramour showed up looking for IM sex that night. We got into a convo first, and I was a bit contrary.

He said I was cute. *looks for shotgun* *realizes I do not allow myself firearms* *pouts*

As I have said, I AM NOT CUTE when I am cranky. I am a pain in the arse, a royal bitch. Now, by this time in the evening, the Xanax had taken effect so I was calmer and not irrational. We were talking about my drive home; I made a 10.5 hour drive in 8. I am hoping to do the 12 hour drive in 10 but of course, will adjust speed for weather conditions (especially if the conditions on the road are anywhere near as bad as they were here yesterday; I am crazy--I AM NOT stupid). He keeps warning me; I state that I have Jedi reflexes and a serious measure of common sense. And then am told not to let my vanity get the better of me.

Say what? There are a couple of people who have seen my Jedi reflexes in action behind the wheel--no vanity involved. Experience, skill and confidence, no arrogance.

The conversation goes on a bit.

I mentioned I was feeling bratty (because I wasn't allowing him to take the convo into sex).

To which he responded: "You need to be roughed up."
Me: "I beg your pardon?"
Him: "hmm a spanking maybe and later sweet love"
Me: "Uh huh. "

The conversation ended there. He was on-line for another two hours; I worked on my book and other things before having a good sleep, and no word since.

I'm good with that. I'm really good with that. See, I realize that I might have read too much into the "roughed up" comment with my history and all, but at the same time... No. Abso-fuckin-lutely NOT. A sensual spanking has nothing to do with being "roughed up"--it's a game, a bit of fun, and there is no implication of violence. (Yes, I realize the contradictions in that statement, but if it's the kind of game you play, you know what I'm talking about--it's fun, it's exciting, but it's also SAFE, and you know that while your bum may be stinging, you don't have to worry about your lover going psycho and putting you in the hospital. It's a fine line, I know, but it's very, very real.)

My advice to anyone considering bottoming: LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCTS. If the little voice in the back of your mind is saying, "RUN AWAY!" - LISTEN TO IT.

And yes, I am listening to mine. Besides, I'm not interested in getting involved with someone who will require me always on the bottom, not when I have so much more fun being on top.

*slams head on the desk*

You'll notice I'm not talking about the Captain. He's on probation with me; we shall see. Ooohhh, yes, we shall see indeed.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

This I Choose To Do...

The title of today's post is taken from a crucial line in Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett. I love Sir Terry's books--he's an amazing writer who has always made me laugh and think--a powerful combination, and something I aspire to do with my own writing.

The quote is relevant to what's gone on over on Facebook over the past 36 hours. In my last post, "Imagine," I yammered about my distaste for organized religion, a post inspired by the reaction to a humor piece I linked to on FB. Well, I took some serious shit for it and the rest of this blog--some serious judgemental shit that included a slap at my "morals" (I don't have any; I have ethics) and my Celebricrush of the Moment, Jim Jefferies. (SO HIGH SCHOOL! I mentioned a few days ago all the shit I took for loving David Bowie back in high school--it was like a bad flashback. Didn't work then, didn't work now--you're still a god, Jim. ;-)

Now, when I started writing the more personal entries on this blog, I knew it would make some people uncomfortable. I knew it would upset some folks. I knew that; I accepted it. I'm not writing about easy things, and my style is full-on, no bullshit and confrontational, and I take no prisoners.

What that approach doesn't always convey is the level of compassion and understanding behind the harsh words. I get that the people who react the most violently to what I say--the people who really can't deal with it--are people who don't want to deal with it. I've touched a nerve in them, a place they don't want touched, and their response is to either snap back at me or run away.

And, honestly, that's OK. I mean, it's hurtful to me--don't get me wrong, I have feelings and I can be deeply hurt by the judgments of others--but at the same time, I also understand that not everyone can deal with what I have to say. I react the same way when someone hits a nerve in a sore spot I'm not prepared to have examined. I get that we all are in different places and dealing with different stressors, and we're not always ready to examine the feelings challenging statements can cause.

Am I going to apologize? Nope. I didn't do anything wrong. A couple of folks took something intended lightheartedly a little too damn seriously and over-reacted. I am NOT a religious person; I hate organized religion. Faith... faith is a different story. I respect people who live their faith. I may not understand it, I may not support it, but I do respect it. I have my own faith, my own spirituality. It works for me. It has nothing to do with dogma or morality--there are little rituals involved, but they're pretty losely organized and open-ended things. I don't hold with the serious ritual magic (or magick, whatever the fuck you want to call it) because I think, at bottom, it's silly.

I found Catholic ritual silly--fairly meaningless, honestly, but for some of the songs which are beautiful and can still move me to tears. That's ME--that's my truth. I don't require that it be anyone else's truth. If it works for you, fine. Whatever. Just do it for yourself and leave the rest of us out of it.

This is where my problem comes in--I am sick and fucking tired of religious people using their beliefs--BELIEFS, NOT FAITH--to hurt the rest of us. I'm sorry, but it's unConstitutional (and therefore, UNAMERICAN) to exclude anyone from the rights the rest of us enjoy based on your religious beliefs. There is nothing ethically wrong with homosexuality. There is nothing ethically wrong with non-Christian belief systems or spirituality. Just because it makes you uncomfortable or some old man across the ocean says it's immoral does not give you a right to pass legislation excluding someone.

End of story. Any law based in religious beliefs is a violation of the Constitution. What does that mean in real terms? Well, it means that marriage for same sex couples should be legal across America; however, it does not mean that churches who disagree with homosexuality have to marry same sex couples. OK? I'm not asking the Catholic Church (or any other, for that matter) to marry gays. I'm telling them to leave the civil side of things alone. I think that's a fair compromise. Let the civil side go forward; the religious side is up to the individual church.

I've reached the end of my patience with all of it, especially after being called "arrogant" (yep, I am--I own it, I'm good with it) and having judgment passed on my life. Get this very, very straight: I don't give a fuck what ANYONE thinks about me or my life. I am done caring about the opinions of others. The world can kiss my fat white ass--if you don't like how I think and who I am, get the fuck out of my life because I have no time for you. If I died right now and had to face the final judgment, I could do it with a clean conscience. I know what I've done, who I've wronged, and just as importantly, I know the good I've done in this world. When I shuffle off this mortal coil, the good will outweigh the damage, and while I have made mistakes, I have done whatever I could to rectify them and make amends where it was needed. I have tried to develop and use the talents I've been given. I challenge everyone reading this: CAN YOU SAY THE SAME? Are you living to your full potential?

I am done with ignorant, narrow-minded idiots who have never once stepped out of their safe little world--who never evolved beyond their own safe place. And if you're reading this and taking it personally, THAT IS YOUR CHOICE.

Remember that--everything in life is a choice. EVERYTHING. And if you're not happy with the choices you've made, do something about it.

"This I choose to do..." because I have to. Because I want to be free of the pain and the past, and because I accept who I am and what I need to fulfill my goals. If you can't accept that, that's YOUR choice and YOUR problem. This is who I am--it's who I've always been. I just finally woke up and embraced it.

Let's end this weighty entry on a cheesy note... I heard an old 80's song, a classic hair metal tune, the other day, and it hit me that it's still as applicable to me now as it was then... "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake. Ahhhh, the fantabulous David Coverdale and his magnificent coif...
"Here I go again on my own
Goin' down the only road I've ever known
Like a drifter, I was born to walk alone
But I've made up my mind
I ain't wastin' no more time..."

G'night, kids. Be kind to each other. Accept each other. And don't let the bastards grind you down.
Much love,
Your Empress

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Imagine... a few thoughts at the end of a productive day

Well, all this blogging has paid off. The rewrite of my novel started finally--managed to rewrite the first two chapters of One Flew Out of the Broom Closet.


On the other hand... I'm a bit annoyed.

Surprise, surprise.

A friend posted a humorous piece on FB today. I shared it because I thought it was brilliant--lighthearted British humor, a poke at religion.


I don't like organized religion. As a matter of fact, I fucking hate it. Why? Because, honestly, I think it's stupid.


I quit the Catholic Church a quarter of a century ago after twelve years of enforced indoctrination (i.e. Catholic school). Twelve years of daily religion classes. I find it really amusing that I always did well in religion--don't think I ever got less than a B. I mean, it was simple enough--pay attention, answer the questions... think about things. The thing I remember the most clearly are two things: Jesus's One Commandment (the whole "do unto others thing") and the statement that a mature faith is a questioning faith.

Well, I asked enough questions that I realized to have faith, I couldn't do religion. Because it's bullshit. I had this realization while sitting in the church during my grandmother's funeral and it hitting me that I thought every bloody word coming out of the priest's mouth (and I hated that evil fucker with a passion, the vicious bastard) was a load. A complete, utter, stinking load and I didn't believe a word of it.

And never had.

THAT'S a hard one when your entire family life revolves around the fucking Church. I mean, not in a go-to-Church way, but in a more serious Catholic-is-how-we-roll way. Being Catholic was as important as being a pro-Kennedy Democrat in my house, more important than rooting for the Red Sox or being Irish, because my family knew what it was to be persecuted (or at least harrassed) for being Catholic.

And I didn't get it.

I never saw the sense in no meat on Fridays. What the fuck did God care? Seriously. If sinning meant deliberately causing harm to another, where was the sin in eating steak instead of fish on a Friday? (People think it's a fasting/sacrifice issue--it's not. It was instituted originally purely for economic reasons. That's one of the problems with being a historian--you learn things like facts.)

This is one of the many issues I had. And although I made myself wait until I was in a calmer frame of mind to make a final decision, I quit the fucking Church. I had to; I'd seen too much hypocrisy committed by the leaders, and too much hypocrisy amongst "believers." I hated the message being preached, the complete lack of connection to the world and the need of the people the Church was supposed to be serving.

And I just didn't see the point. I had NEVER seen the point in going to church. It was BORING. I'd heard all the readings in school, and in church, there was no discussion, no debate--no engagement. I didn't get it.

Everything that was joyful was somehow wrong, and I didn't understand that, either. What the Church taught contradicted what Jesus said, and it didn't make any fucking sense. A lot of other things ceased to make sense once I gained a non-Catholic education and started getting the view from the other sides. And there are so very many of them.

So I quit.

It's been a long, strange trip since then. I have no problem with God; I have a real problem with his various and sundry fan clubs. I have a major problems with the fanatics who like to interpret the Bible and add embellishments that have nothing to do with Jesus's philosophy. I've found my own way, my own spirituality that works for me and satisfies my needs. I have a "personal relationship" with God--it involves a lot of arguing and WTFs, man? And I feel bad for Jesus--he gave us a great philosophy, and we had to go and fuck it up by turning it into a religion.

I don't see the sense in condemning someone for loving someone of the same sex. I don't see the sense in calling anything but missionary-position coitus for procreational purposes sinful. I don't see the sense in killing someone because they won't believe the same thing you do. I don't see the sense in any of it.

John Lennon would have been 70 this past Saturday. I'm going to sign off tonight with the lyrics to "Imagine," a song that I have to turn off if it comes on the radio when I'm driving because I cannot hear it without weeping. It's a Utopian vision for the world, but by all that's good and holy, I hope someday you'll join us...

"Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one"

Monday, October 11, 2010

Don't EVER Call Me "Cute"

So, I posted Part 2 of the Captain Strap-on Saga earlier tonight, and, of course, it's got me thinking.

Today is a national holiday up in Canada--Thanksgiving. Unlike the U.S., Canadian Thanksgiving is actually a harvest festival that falls during the harvest. They're a little less commercially-oriented than their neighbors to the South, the socialist bastards. ;-) Well, I had something that doesn't happen at home for Thanksgiving--I went to a family dinner. Not a huge one, but a three-generational dealie. And, of course, it was lovely. Good food, good company, and just a nice time.

Now, yesterday, I was in touch with Captain Strap-on, and he has reiterated that he's serious about this. I set the rules before I left, but you know they haven't been followed. This has become more of an experiment at this point in time, a failed one, really. I'm just fascinated by it, in this really horrible way. It's like watching a 50 car accident on a slick highway that also involves three oil tankers, a garbage truck, a bullet train and a truckload of live chickens. It's utterly horrible but somehow, very entertaining.

Something's gone wrong--I can feel it in my chest right now, this awful hollow feeling. I always know when something's wrong with someone important because that feeling hits me. I hate it.

Anyway, of course, I'm thinking about the two very different situations I'm dealing with--two men with very different approaches and desires.

I don't know if I want either one of them at this point.

All this talk about wanting a family--you know that even if the sitch comes to fruition with Captain Strap-on, it's not going to be a lasting relationship. As for Potential Paramour... argh. I've finally figured out why I'm hesitating. It all has to do with the word "cute."

I hate it. As a friend pointed out, puppies and kittens are cute. Baby bunnies are cute. Forty-two-year-old women are NOT cute unless they are dressed thoroughly inappropriately (and then, they're not cute--they're fucking WEIRD or mentally ill). I realized why, too, I hate it--it's a bastard word that makes something dangerous safe.

It's why I coo over baby tigers--they ARE cute, but the little fuckers can kill you. Ditto for polar bears--adorable as hell, but one of the single most vicious predators on the planet. Don't fuck with 'em--they CAN lop your head off with the swipe of a paw.

Now, I'm not a polar bear (although I'm currently insulated like one--working on reducing that, but it's still going to take a little time), but I am pretty deadly. I mean, I won't pull out a sword and decapitate you physically, but I will verbally kick your ass if you cross me. I hate being diminished--made safe. I'm not safe. I never have been; I never will be.

No human being is, nor should they be. We all have edges, secrets... dark places that don't need to see the light most days. I have a lot of those places in my soul; to be expected with the life I've led. Now, I'm sure my therapist will have an interesting time dissecting why I feel more drawn to Captain Strap-on than to Potential Paramour.

Captain Strap-on is familiar--I've known guys like him forever. Plus, there's the added dimension of crazy sex, something beyond vanilla. Now, honestly, I have no problem with vanilla sex. I like it--it's fun, it's joyful, and it's good. Ideally, I'd rather this whole strap-on adventure be happening a part of a normal relationship--another dimension to a committed relationship, something added to a repetoire of healthy adult play. Ideally, but ideals are for dreamers.

Potential Paramour... he's not familiar. He's something new, from a different culture and background. He's definitely traditional in his views. The IM sex has been interesting--fairly vanilla but with a few twists that I'm good with. The whole "cute" thing was OK until he threw another word into the mix that sent up a red alert of klaxons screaming, red flags springing up like dandelions on the lawn... "daddy."

I didn't use it. I don't. I went through that phase of need a long time ago and got past it. The closest I ever get is a playful "big daddy" said with a thick Southern accent and a glint of mischief. I don't use it during sex--I think it's creepy. Well, he said something to the effect that "daddy knew what his girl needed."

SKEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *shudder* Really? REALLY? I don't fucking think so, I really don't. I mean, REALLY?

Of course, if I had a brain, I'd dump both of them and say to fuck with it. I have enough shit to deal with ATM, I don't need this silliness. Is it so bad that I want to be an equal partner in a relationship? I don't want or need a sugar daddy, I don't mind paying my own way (been doing it for so long now, I just don't even think about it), I don't want a "manchild" as one of my friends puts it, I don't want any of the stupidity I've dealt with in the past. I want a partner--I don't give a rat's arse about baggage--I come with a matched set--I don't care about anything but being with someone I can actually share my life with without having mine taken over completely. Why is that too much to ask for? A little acceptance, a little compassion, a little understanding, good sex, good company, and no bullshit.

Why is this so fucking impossible to find?

I Wanna Be a Canadian

How's it goin', eh, and happy Thanksgiving to everyone north of the border!

I'm currently ensconced on the couch in Vicki's living room--my home-away-from-hell--lappie on my thigh, foot on the coffee table, enjoying another beautiful fall day in Nova Scotia.

All of the stores (except for the convenience stores) are closed; people are either having dinner with their families today or on the way home from dinner (for those with families in different parts of the Maritimes and the rest of Canada), and it's just a lovely, quiet day.

No football on the telly--THAT is a happy thing, and such a change from the Hallmark-holiday that Thanksgiving has become at home, the tryptophan coma before the Xmas shopping madness known as Black Friday.

I'm fairly disgusted with my homeland and have been since November 7, 1980 when I swore out loud for the first time in my life without caring who heard when I opened the door to head out for school and read the headline that Ronnie Raygun had been elected president. I mean, we were in the shitter long before then, but, Christ... I mean, I was 13. I knew he was full of shit and Carter was being fucked with a spiked stick by the Republican party (and it was proved later on that George Bush and company set that poor bastard up--he got left with Nixon & Ford's mess, did his best, and got fucked by the Republican propaganda machine. They had learned after the Kennedys and MLK that assassination was a bad idea. I think he's had the last laugh). Now people are trying to canonize him. I mean, I remember Reagan: he was an IDIOT. A MORON. He made no sense and talked out of his ass--I can't believe people were surprised about the Alzheimer's.

How many people know or remember that Reagan started out as a Demoncrat and switched parties when he couldn't get elected?

I may be one of the few people from my generation NOT nostalgic for the 80's. I remember the 80's. John Hughes's films were cool, some of the music was the balls, SOME of the fashions were cool, but for the most part, the 80's sucked ass. All the shit that's going on now--the massive poverty, homelessness, veteran's issues, political corruption... right now, watching the news is like watching a bad rerun of the 80's, except the weapons are uglier, and it's our asses on the line in Afghanistan, not the Soviets.

Oh, yeah--and the Rolling Stones STILL haven't fucking retired (GIVE IT UP, YOU OLD FUCKS!!!! YOU'VE TURNED INTO THE MOULDERING BONES!), and Aerosmith needs to.

No one is afraid of nuclear war (although they should be), but everyone is afraid of environmental disaster. Too late. Not only has the horse left the barn on that one, the damn barn's been burned to the ground. Cocaine has made a comeback (maybe it never left; I wouldn't know, I've always been scared SHITLESS of the stuff); you don't hear much about crack, but then there's crystal meth. And heroin. Although I don't think heroin ever really faded. I wonder, though, with the war in Afghanistan, if we're going to see a resurgence of opium dens. I know it's not as easy to smuggle as it was back in the Vietnam era, but there's always a way for a determined businessman. (No, I'm not interested--my drug use extends to the occasional bit of weed [a pinch of hash in there is OK, too, so long as I don't have to drive any time in the next twenty-four hours; that shit is POW'FUL!], and I'm good. I'm old; it doesn't take much to fuck me up.)

There's no such thing as a free election, anywhere--it's finally dawned on most of America that the game is rigged and was from the beginning. The corporations own Washington, the bureaucracy has grown so monolithically huge that there is nothing short of a fast-moving, 99% lethal (Captain Trips, anyone?) that can clean up that cesspit.

In short, we're fucked.

I've been coming up to Canada for about seven years now; I hit Nova Scotia twice a year to hang with my best friend and other friends. I love it in Nova Scotia--it's like stepping back in time about twenty or thirty years in terms of attitude. People aren't so fucking uptight and self-involved. There's actually a sense of community.

I'm ready to repatriate (if McCain and Palin had won, I'd have asked for political asylum). There is a part of me that wishes New England had seceeded back during the War of 1812; the economic power of the Maritimes would be VERY different if we had. Times are not easy here, economically--highest taxes in Canada, poorest earners. The Maritime provinces have also suffered the greatest loss of soldiers in the Afghanistan War (contrary to what most Americans thinks, we ARE NOT fighting over there alone; there's a reason Canada and the UK aren't too happy with us. When we went unjustifiably into Iraq, we left our allies' asses hanging in the breeze. There's a special place in Hell waiting for W & Cheney. With extra boiling oil and BBQ sauce). Like the US, for many folks, the military is the only place to get a job. The difference is the ethnic make-up--there are a lot of educated, white people in the Canadian military.

I'm not going to start sharing stories from the Canadian Forces--I've heard enough of the bitching from folks--but I will say this: Canadian soldiers don't lose three rifles in one year. Yeah. Wanna know where the military stuff on the black market is coming from? *whistles*

One last thing about the Canadian Forces: you want to know how Veteran's Day is supposed to be celebrated? Come to Canada (or at least, Nova Scotia): the whole damn province shuts down for the day to celebrate Remembrance Day and pay tribute to those who have given their lives for their country. It's a somber, moving day--at 11:00 a.m., there is a moment of silence. "In Flanders Field" is read (on the pop music station, for fuck's sake). The sacrifice is honored, and not with car sales.

Prices are high up here. I hear one more fucking American bitch about the price of gas, I'm going to smack them right upside the head. On Thursday night, I went out to refuel the Blue Bomber because gas prices change at midnight; they sell gas by the litre up here (roughly four litres to a gallon). The price jumped from $1.04 to $1.10 PER LITRE. The equation looks like this: 4 x 1.04 = $4.16 PER GALLON. I paid $2.50 per gallon when I filled up in Boston before I left.

Yeah. And it's even higher in Europe. We have NOTHING to bitch about at home.

And I think that's why I'm ready to leave. I love my home--I love living in Boston and having the world at my fingertips. I haven't stopped loving the Constitution and believing in the Bill of Rights. I'm sick and freakin' tired of the idiots and their false, flag-waving patriotism. The slogan, "America-love it or leave it!" is the antithesis of the the spirit of the Constitution. And most of these idiots don't have a clue about history, American or otherwise. Of course, they don't teach proper history in school, so how the hell would any of tghem have a context in which to place our current state of affairs?

What I can't stand at this point are other Americans. Somehow, in the last 50 years, we've gone from being a hard-working, reponsible, committed people to being the biggest spoiled, entitled brats on the fucking planet. We want it all, we want it now, and who fucking cares if it gets paid for on time? The world OWES US.

No, it fucking well doesn't. Like it or lump it, we are all one race of people--we're all human. Doesn't matter what color you are, who you call God (or if you even believe in a Higher Power), if you've been kidnapped by aliens of the saucer or pick-up truck variety, which way you vote, YOU ARE A HUMAN BEING. You end up in a hospital, so long as the blood type matches, it doesn't matter where the donor is from or what they look like. I'm sick and tired of being embarrassed to be American when I go abroad--of having to apologize for the idiots on the TV who make the rest of us look like morons, whether it's our heavily censored, ridiculously biased news they're seeing, our crap TV shows, or even crappier movies. And we won't talk about some of the music... *slams head on the desk*

I realize that I'm lucky--I work in an oasis of liberals, the People's Republic of Cambridge. As much as I bitch about the hippy dippy crunchberries I'm surrounded by, I am profoundly thankful for them because at least I know not everyone is going to vote Republican. I don't know if I'm going to my high school reunion; I'm afraid of being lynched for still being a Democrat, and when I hear the line of reasoning... I have to shake my head. I'm the fucking Neopagan--I'm the witch. I live a far more Christian life than the church-goers, and I don't even believe in the divinity of Christ. Boggles the mind.

I am afraid of my country. That's the reality of it. I am afraid of the hysteria that's brewing, the tension, the silliness, the utter lack of anything that resembles sense, and the fact that people accept it.

Makes me crazy.

So I'm ready to repatriate--I had three great-grandparents come from up here; if it had been my grandparents, I'd be all set. I'm ready for a change.