Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Way We Overreact About Things

To preface this so that people don't jump my shit about being insensitive or making light out of a bad situation, I'm talking specifically about Maine here. I'm grateful that my friends and family in New York, Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia (and any others I missed) are safe and sound.

Maine. So far north of landfall they didn't even label it.

However. Mainers fucking freak out during hurricane season if one makes its way up the Eastern Seaboard. Last year, with Irene, people panicked. I will say that conditions are always different on the coast, but where I live, snugly in the central part of the state? People still panic. Buy all the water. All the batteries. Freak the fuck out. And I roll my eyes as it rains no more than it would in the summer, as the wind blows no harder than it does in January. Maybe the power goes out, maybe it doesn't. But it's absolutely stupid to panic about hurricanes in Central Maine. I honestly think the last one that actually impacted the interior of the state to any degree was Hurricane Bob in 1991; I remember our neighbor at camp coming to tell us to chain up our boat because he'd heard it on the radio that we were going to get hit.

No, we don't need to freak out about hurricanes, Mainers. It's Nor'easters and ice storms we need to be concerned with (and people still freak out and panic). You know, thinking about it, if we didn't have so much media bombarding us, I don't think the panic would be as great. But no, we have to have round the clock satellite coverage with stressful music and strategically placed WalMart ads. It's all kind of nauseating. I was so not worried about things that I completely slept through the thunder storm we had this morning and guess what? I didn't watch a lick of news beforehand!

So really, people, stop panicking, or I will mock you and make fun of you. You're not being hit by any hurricane so why not worry for the ones who did?

Sunday, October 28, 2012


I do most of my best thinking in the car. Recipes, blog posts... I even do the "female thing" where I have a full blown fight with someone, beginning to end, entirely in my head, in the car. Sometimes, when I'm restless, I go driving, and when I come back, I'm full of ideas.

I used to write a lot. I was writing short stories and poetry constantly. I've had, since 8th grade, a story running through my head, that I tell myself. A little bit of escapist fantasy, and I've only written one very small part of it down. It just hasn't come to me in written form. I know that non-writers probably can't understand this, but the other night, as I lay in bed trying to sleep (for some reason, I have a hard time sleeping at John's. It's probably the mattress) a new character showed herself to me. Piece by piece I saw her. Just her, and her immediate surroundings. She did not tell me her story.

There was a period of time that my roleplaying character kept tapping on my brain, showing me her story; it drove me crazy until I wrote it down, even if it meant getting up from bed to do it.

It's been a while, then, since I've had someone new come knocking. I know it sounds crazy. I just need to figure out who she is.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why Half-Vampires Don't Work (For Me)

It's okay. Twilight is often a source of my anger.

As we get closer and closer to the release of Twilight: Breaking Dawn part 2, the more and more I stew over the idea of half vampires. It's an idea I've never been comfortable with, and I feel I am predisposed to have these feelings, since I am possessed of naturally long and pointy canine teeth and love vampires (but not in that way). So it bugs me when someone tries to use a half-vampire (or damphir, if you will) as a plot device.

A vampire, by nature, is not a living creature. Regardless of how the exact process goes down. the vampire bites its victim, transfers some of its blood (or if you sparkle, venom), the victim's body dies as the vampire infection takes over and the body metamorphoses a bit, then it reanimates with fangs and night vision and all that cool stuff. Some key points to address here: when your body dies your lungs cease to breathe and your heart to beat.* Of course, there's no explaining higher brain function, but that's not what we're discussing here...

So. No heart beat, eh? Without a heart beat there can not be blood flow, and without blood flow, there is no male erection (because let's face it, it's always a male vampire and a human female). It was in Anne Rice's novel Pandora that I first saw this addressed, and I apologize in advance since it's been so long since I've read it that I have only a vague recollection of the scene, but the main character, Pandora, was begging a vampire to make love to her and went so far as to try to put his penis in her and he was just "sorry... it doesn't work any more." Because it doesn't. If you don't have a beating heart, you can't get an erection, and you therefore can't get someone pregnant. It's absurd.

And say, for shits and giggles, you could get an erection. Why would you have viable sperm? You already have a means of propagating your species that is both tasty to you and almost instantaneous, without the tedium and mess of childbirth and infancy. Think about it: you bite someone, get a little tasty snack in the process, make a buddy. Such efficiency!

So please, let's stop this half-vampire bullshit. It's just ridiculous. And can we stop the plot device that half-vampires are the only ones that can effectively kill vampires? It's been done. A couple of times.

*I'm giving author Kresley Cole a pass here because she actually uses a vampire's sudden beating heart and breathing lungs as a sign that he's found his Bride. It's actually pretty funny because it usually scares the shit out of him because he doesn't know what the sound is. Yeah. Anyway, as a plot device it shows a major vulnerability to his enemies when they can tell he has a pulse again, so while yes, her vampires can have sex once they find their Bride, they still can not impregnate them.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Whales and Unicorns

I was sitting on my bed, eating pumpkin ice cream and listening to Enigma when I heard whale song. It was something they commonly sampled into their music, and quite effectively. But at that moment, mixed into the ethereal music, I thought of unicorns, a green forest dappled with sunlight. In the 1985 movie Legend, the sound of whales was used for the unicorns, and I have associated them ever since.  When that song played, it was like I was Lili kneeling before the mare in the stream. I even saw the scene in my mind.  In fact, sometimes when I am in the forest, I am almost expecting to hear, amidst the bird song, a peal of whale song, as it has become to seem so natural, thanks to the wonders of music and media in general.

I'm going to put the song in this post. Listen to it. Imagine yourself in a verdant, virgin forest of dappled green light, fresh air, life. I'll bet you see unicorns.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Hot Topic Today: Bullying

I've been thinking a lot about bullying lately. I don't know if it's that kids these days are just too damned sensitive and coddled, but bullying just didn't seem like a big deal when I was a kid. And before you jump on me for being insensitive because yes, I understand a little girl just killed herself over it, and that's not okay, but I was bullied as a kid too. So looking at my experiences, and with kids today, even though there is an added element of the Internet, I'm wondering, is the generational  gap so wide, is how kids are raised now vs thirty years ago so different?

See, as a kid, my ears developed a lot of wax. No matter how often my mom would pin me down and have at me with the Q-Tips, the next day I would be full of earwax again. It was just how I was. I knew it and accepted it. Unfortunately, when you develop a lot of wax, it's visible in the ear canal, especially when you always wear your long hair in a ponytail. Kids are cruel, and would make comments, and once or twice in junior high, an eighth grader would put Q-Tips on my lunch table and run off snickering. I shrugged it off. Earwax wasn't something I could control, and frankly, at that age I was surprised they weren't picking on me for my acne or the fact that I didn't shower or wash my hair. It just wasn't a big deal. And while hurtful, it wasn't exactly malicious. Not what I would consider malicious, anyway, and certainly not life-damaging. I had no reason for retaliation or tears.

High school was a different story. A very horrible rumor was spread through school that I had used a racial slur in reference to a student that had passed away in a car accident the year prior (people that know me know I will jump people's shit for using the N-word). This  could have gotten me kicked out of school. However, I realized the root cause of this rumor, the source, and worked with my guidance counselor and dean of students (my school didn't have a vice principal, but a rotating pair of dean of students) to address the situation. It didn't stop the threats I received from the student body to beat me up, but some people were reasonable enough to listen to my side and no violence ever happened.

I also had a friend named Chris in high school and sometimes I think I was his only friend. He was a huge geek and I used to make him pay me in Magic cards for my geography homework. He had the worst acne I've ever seen in my life, but he was a pretty decent person. His family raised Arabian horses and I was fascinated by that. Unfortunately, everyone seemed to hate this kid, and I'm not sure why. Granted, it's been a long time since high school, so he could have been a jerk to people, we all have it in us. I remember him being bullied pretty frequently. One day, I remember going between sections (our school was color coded into sections) to another class and seeing him being separated from another student. Have you seen what a fist can do to severe cystic acne? It's not pretty. He'd gotten some punches in, too, and his nostrils were flared, panting, filled with adrenaline and rage. He'd snapped and had enough. Of course, it got him suspended, but he fought back instead of laying back and taking it. I don't think that was his only fight in our high school career, either.

So now, when I hear about bullying, I think, why don't kids talk to their teachers/guidance counselors/principals/parents? Sure, some are apathetic, but I keep thinking of the articles I've read about Amanda Todd, and how she didn't really have much parental involvement. Sure, she was driven to the hospital when she drank bleach, but she was cutting for a while. Why didn't she have a behavioral therapist working with her, why didn't anyone get involved? You can know for damn sure when some malicious cunt was trying to get me kicked out of school by spreading rumors about me, my mother was there like a rabid bear.

John's very disingenuous roommate that I wrote about a few days ago has a 19 year old daughter that was getting bullied last year on the bus. I don't know if it's still happening, but their response to it? Just let it be. Doing anything will make it worse. I'm not saying get violent. But if you're getting consistently harassed by a kid that already has a probation officer, grow a fucking backbone and report their behavior! I just don't get it! Retaliation isn't always violent, sometimes it means protecting yourself and others and doing the right thing.

Before I blocked the person on Facebook, I read a thread about bullying in another local school posted by someone that is a friend of a friend. Parents of kids who had been bullied actually said that their sensitive and gentle children shouldn't have to stand up for themselves. People. Seriously. Do  you think weakness of character is going to get your child far in life? Standing up to a bully is only going to make a stronger individual. If you are always afraid that you're going to be hurt by the bully, then you're going to be afraid of everything your entire life. Parents, raise your kids with some goddamned backbone and stop coddling them! Bullying will always happen as long as there is someone bigger/stronger/more aggressive/more cunning but that doesn't mean the whole world must cower to them.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Prostitution Should be Legal

With the recent scandal (ohnoes!) in Kennebunk about the Zumba instructor who was also serving as her own pimp and whore, I thought I'd bring out an old post from my sexuality blog (no, you may not have the link) about prostitution and why it should be legal.


A good friend and I were taking about jail and how celebrities are released due to over crowding because we frankly have the wrong "criminals" in there. What do I mean by the wrong criminals, you ask? Let's talk drugs, for a moment. Now, I am one of the most anti-drug people you'll ever meet, but jailing a small-time user or dealer of marijuana is ridiculous and a waste of time and money. Fine them and be on their way. Now white-collar crimes like tax evasion. Not only are the taxes not getting paid, but it actually costs taxpayers money to have tax evaders in jail. Way to go, the legal system.

So what does this all have to do with prostitution? A number of things. Since I'm composing this on my phone (anyone wanna donate a Samsung Galaxy Tab? *wink*) and it's becoming cumbersome, I present to you the numbered list. Besides, people feel tl;dr with paragraphs sometimes.

1. Legalization would allow for federal regulation, meaning taxation (because really, it's only illegal because the government isn't getting their cut) and access to healthcare programs.

2. Also, legalization would decriminalize the sex worker industry, freeing up space in the jails for rehabilitation of real criminals and would help our government save on wasteful spending.
3. No more pimps! No more girls or boys abused, held hostage, raped and kept strung out and controlled by the god-damned pimps. Prostitutes in a legalized sex industry would have a safer work environment due to the lack of pimps.

4. Regulation... I touched on this briefly. One thing that there is no control over now that legalization could enforce is something that is done in the porn industry: mandatory STD and AIDS testing every 3-6 months as well as immunizations for hepatitis.

5. Oh, and let's put an end to human trafficking, shall we? Of course, legalizing prostitution doesn't put an end to the exploitation of the impoverished and desperate denizens of third world countries, but it will help.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Season of Death

Sandy River photo by Ben
It's Fall, and I don't have the excitement that so many people have for the season. It makes me cranky. Sure, apples are ripe and ready to pick and every coffee shop and bakery is putting pumpkin into their stuff, but I'm still miserable. For me, Fall is the season of death. It's not just my Paganish leanings  that make me feel this (the Fall and Winter are traditionally the domain of the Horned God, lord of the hunt, a god of death) but it's all around. The beautiful green deciduous forests of Spring and Summer that I love so much turn quickly and briefly to brilliant scarlets, vermillions, and oranges. But those colors don't last and with the wind and rain of October, the leaves fall away and rot on the ground. The flowers have died back, frost has killed the tomato and squash vines. The last of my already blight-rotten tomatoes are putrefying in their buckets in the yard.

I don't suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) in the traditional sense, because I don't give a damn if the sun is there or not. What bothers me is that the birds are silent. My only comfort is the massive flock of non-migratory crows that covers the town; last year they did not leave until nearly Spring. But with the crows gone and no birdsong to ease my mind, I start to get depressed. It took me a while to figure this out, and this is  what makes me crave leaving the state in the winter. It's why Florida this past March helped me so much in my road to understanding my mental illness. I was hearing birds, I was seeing green growing things again, smelling flowers. I wasn't near deciduous forest (I love palm trees though, I have no idea why I am so fascinated with them) but there were still trees. If I could afford to be a snow bunny, I would.

This is what March 3, 2012 looked like for me

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


26 minutes ago, there was an earthquake. They're not common in New England, but they happen; there is a fault line in Quebec somewhere, so sometimes, the earth shakes.

I distinctly remember my first earthquake as a kid. It was probably some holiday, because all of my cousins were there and we were at my Grammie's house. Now, her house would occasionally shake anyway, being not far off from a major route that big trucks would speed down. It's a fact of life up here. Big truck speeds by, house shakes. It just so happened that my cousins and I were in the living room playing bullshit (it's a card game)  behind the couch when my mother yelled at us to stop  running and jumping.

That's right. I got blamed for an earthquake.

Naturally, my first instinct was to blame my cats tonight to "knock it off" and "you better not be in that pan of shells" but I couldn't even get it out because Calypso was napping in the warm exhaust from my laptop and Eden was begging for my dinner right in front of me. I couldn't even blame big trucks because they have no reason to pass through my neighborhood. So. Earthquake.

It's now been 33 minutes and my phone has finally quieted down from all the Facebook alerts. It's how we do. We get excited, make sure people are okay, and go on with our lives.

Edit: Here's some info on the quake if  you're interested (or concerned out-of-state family).

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fakey McFakerson

I don't know why I fall into the snares of disingenuous people and become their friends, but I do, and when I end the friendship and burn the bridge after, it's not pretty. One of those former friends is one of John's roommates. I've written about her before. For the sake of anonymity, we'll call her Munchhausen.

Several years ago, Munchhausen and her family used to live with another friend in his large house, since they can't own their own home due to being financially irresponsible. Another person, we'll call him Mama's Boy, is best friends with the home owner (since their days at boarding school) and lives in the adjacent apartment. Everyone lived in harmony until the homeowner's wife and stepdaughter (who are both massive cunts) made life difficult. Munchhausen and her family moved into an apartment down the road, and the next summer I met them.

As I was introduced, I was told all about their life there and how terrible a person Mama's Boy is. How he cheats at games and lies and cries. His racism, lack of grasp on reality because he can just run  to Massachusetts and come back with a check from his mother if he can't pay his bills. How, overall, he is a shitass. I met him. I didn't think he was all that bad, and in some ways, I could see why he acted the way he did. I didn't get the big deal. That September, we all went, as a big group, down to Cape Cod to Mama's Boy's mother's house and had a lovely weekend with him and his mother.

Now fast-forward to the present. I am no longer friends with Munchhausen and there is absolutely no way in hell I will rebuild that bridge. I listen to her and her husband call Mama's Boy all kinds of horrible names whenever his name comes up, and constantly talk shit about him. Last night, I overheard them arguing about it. See, John and Munchhausen's husband just don't enjoy Mama's Boy's company. They're gamers and yes, Mama's Boy does cheat. They'd just rather sever ties. Munchhausen doesn't want them to. Wanna know why? She doesn't want to give up the Cape.

That two-faced sack of shit will use someone for their mother's Cape house.

This morning, John and I were enjoying cuddle time in bed when he froze, arms actually locking where he held me. We heard a voice downstairs. It was Mama's Boy. And what was Munchhausen doing but laughing and being jovial with him. John didn't want to go downstairs. I told him Munchhausen was the most disingenuous person I'd ever met. He already knows I have no respect for her. Needless to say, it was an unpleasant morning.

Some people, man.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The State of my Life at this Moment

For those of you not in the loop, John and I are officially back together.

If you've been following along, it's been a difficult time for me this summer, dealing with our separating, self-doubt, depression, mental illness, unemployment, money.

But I've also had good times, reliving the summers of my childhood, devouring books, going to fairs, eating good food, going sailing.

I've been accused of being overly negative, of the "poor me" syndrome. I beg to differ. Life's been tough, but it's been a learning experience. I've been frustrated and angry a lot, but I have also used my time to really turn an inward focus on my feelings both physical and emotional, to understand that what I feel is okay. I've reexamined my spirituality again, as I do every 10 years or so. I've stopped being afraid of the word "feminist."

I'm not going to say my summer has been great, it's been tough, but it's been okay. Despite my struggles, I count myself fortunate that I've been able to experience the things I have, go to the places I have. I appreciate those of you who log in every day to read, and hope you keep reading.

Here's to hoping Fall and Winter are just as interesting.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The State of Horror Movies Today

There are few movies I can say lately that have actually scared me to the point where I had all the lights on and  plenty of things making sound so that I wasn't sitting in silence. The last one  that I can really remember doing that to me was White Noise because fuck ghosts. When you grow up in century-plus old houses your whole life that people died in, you hear ghosts in everything. So White Noise freaked me the fuck out and I texted a friend through the whole damn thing, because I was watching it alone. I recently watched Insidious,  and that had elements of White Noise along with demons, exorcisms, psychics, possessions, murder... it was like a mixed bag of horror, but it wasn't really nightmare fodder for me (it should be noted I don't have nightmares).

Hahaha wtf this is perfect
I don't think it's that I've become numb to the horror genre, growing up in the 1980's which was Renaissance of Freddy, Jason, and Michael Meyers, or the 1990's with Chucky (okay, I admit, Chucky did give me the creeps, because I don't like automata, and a doll moving by itself is less possession and more automata to me).  I grew up watching horror, Tales from the Crypt on HBO (I loved the Crypt Keeper, there was something endearing about him) and all the new movies rented from the video store. My parents took me to see Pet Sematary at the local drive-in when I was 9, and once it came out on cable, they taped it and I watched it on repeat every day of my summer vacation. I'm not numb to it, and it's not that I've seen it all, it's just that it's not scary to me.

Maybe that's not it, either.

You see, I'm one of those annoying movie-talkers. I can't enjoy something unless I'm ripping it apart. Horror movies these days leave too many gaps, too many plot holes and inconsistencies for me to notice, to ferret out and expose. By then, I've figured the movie out and I'm no longer entertained by it. Screenwriters and directors are getting sloppy. They're churning out crap to make release dates in order to gain the top spot in the box office. Sure, less intelligent, less discerning moviegoers will enjoy something that will leave me bored to tears. I enjoy gore too. Don't get me wrong. That's why I enjoyed the reboot of Texas Chainsaw Massacre but honestly? The girl and baby live? Fuck that noise.

I want an intelligent, well thought-out horror movie. The Saw movies offered that, until they kept churning out sequels for the money machine that I never bothered to see. But when I first saw Saw, I was mesmerized. Here was gore, here was a mindfuck, here was a brilliant killer who didn't kill. It was executed so well. The next two movies worked so well also (although Saw 2, I admit, was weak). It was almost cerebral. The FX series American Horror Story has me absolutely in love. It has a certain creepiness, a lot of intelligence, and a subtlety to the horror that I can really appreciate. In the first season, there are characters that are dead that you don't realize until the season is almost over. If you can, pick it up in stores, season two starts this Wednesday, and looks to be awesome, from the teasers they've put on Facebook.

Tonight I saw Sinister, which I had been looking forward to since I saw the first trailer. I'm not going to say that I was disappointed, because I wasn't, but it wasn't all I had hoped. Certain plot elements were introduced but not built up enough or enough back story presented. It was, however, scored exceptionally well, and there was a delicious creep factor. It just needed more. Sinister just didn't feel like a complete film to me. Don't let this prevent you from seeing it-- there were some great scary moments, jump out at you moments, and as I mentioned, scored exceptionally well to fit what was happening in the scene. I  will note that in the previews before the movie there was one for a movie called Mama that looks really, really promising. Like, creepy dead shit good.

Please don't let it suck.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Best Role Model Today

This post was bound to happen eventually.

I can't help it. I have a huge love for drag queens in general, but I really have to dedicate an entry to RuPaul, and not for the reasons you'd think.

In this day and age when reality TV is flooding our senses and young people with less than savory characters and athletes are doping and movie stars are drunk driving and snorting coke in bathrooms,  we despair that there are no more positive role models left. I beg to differ. There's RuPaul. Despite being a drag queen, there's nothing disingenuous about him. He doesn't lead you to believe he is really a woman; on the contrary, he's quite frank about having to tuck.

The big thing about RuPaul that makes him such a great role mode though, is his positivity. Watch his shows, Drag Race and Drag U, some time. Sure, Drag Race is a little gritty, since it's a competition between drag queens, but the core message he gives the competitors is "if you can't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love anyone else? (can I get an amen?)" You have to remember, a lot of the competitors on Drag Race are coming from less than supportive homes, were bullied, disowned, had their self esteem ripped apart, and were only brought back up through the drag community. RuPaul as a pioneer has provided them, by his very presence, a safe space and a positive place to grow. Let's look at Drag U, since I just finished watching season one. In Drag U, three women with image issues come to be made over by previous contestants of Drag race. Maybe they've always been picked on, maybe they're overweight, maybe they just don't feel sexy or happy in their own skin any more. RuPaul assigns each woman a beautiful drag queen to help her regain her femininity, confidence, and make her over.

Even RuPaul's music is positive. It's always upbeat, poppy, and full of positive messages. And some of it is actually really good. You can't help but feel uplifted and in a better mood after listening to it. I mean, look at the lyrics for Champion. That's some motivational speaker material there if I ever saw it.

You don't have to love RuPaul, but certainly, even the biggest drag queen hater (if they exist) can admire the positive energy he puts out in the universe. Everybody say love!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

TV is Bad for [Your Cat's] Health

Last night, I settled in to bed, not ready to sleep for a while, but as I normally do, I popped a movie in and grabbed my book, ready for a night of cuddles from the cats. Calypso hopped up on the bed, walked all over me, purring and shedding (thankfully, not drooling this time) and then she sat on the edge of the bed to watch TV. At this point, it was just previews, but she was rapt, her satellite dish ears fully forward, big eyes fixed. And then I hit play on the main menu (tonight it was Snow White and the Huntsman) and she kept watching, even through the parts that were slow, boring, or otherwise known as Kristen Stewart trying to act. All jesting aside, she was watching the parts where there was no fast movement or sound that would otherwise keep a cat's attention.

Amongst her other hobbies, knocking over stacks of shoe boxes
This isn't the first time she's sat and watched TV. She used to love Ugly Betty, sitting by her water cup on the side table to watch. If anything, Calypso always sits a safe distance from the TV. That's what makes it so hard to get photographic evidence. She's not one of  those cats that wants to get up and chase what's on the screen. She watches. Sometimes I wonder what's going on in her head. How much she understands.

She also enjoyed Hunger Games

Now, Eden will sometimes watch TV, but I don't think she has the patience for it. And some cats will only watch stuff that's obviously grabbing their attention, like action sequences. I had a  cat named Spunky once who would watch an entire episode of Xena with me on a Saturday because it's all action. It's like watching birds to them, I guess. But what would possess Calypso to sit and watch a movie? She watched maybe a half hour of Snow White and the Huntsman last night until she decided to nap, then woke up and watched more. I have no idea how much she actually watched while it played on repeat while I slept.

Eden, watching Hoarders 
Eden did watch half an episode of Hoarders with me on my laptop one evening. I think she can relate, since she steals things and then hides them in her favorite hidey-hole. She did leave, with an angry brr midway through, though; I think she got frustrated with the people in the episode and their obstinance.  But why would a cat sit and watch Hoarders? It baffled me, but she sat there, on the back of my bed, eyes glued to the computer screen.

So I propose this: cats are using media to learn more about us in their eventual takeover of the planet. Based on what they're learning from, it's not going to be pretty.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hug Your Local Stripper Today!

Why do we vilify strippers? Look at the graphic, then think about it a minute.

The smaller font says "I'm sorry daddy never hugged you now take your top off"

Okay, done thinking? What's the public opinion on strippers? That they're sexually abused drug addicts that double as prostitutes willingly? Does that about cover it? That they're nasty, stupid, and inarticulate? Now, there may be some like that, but man, do we like to paint everyone with one brush. I love strippers.

I'm not talking out my  ass with this. I've been to a strip club. Probably the grimiest, nastiest one in my state. So low-budget they didn't even have poles. Oh yeah, and panties came off at 10pm sharp. But not for one minute did I think these women were dumb sluts until I talked to them. Yes, I talk to strippers. There was White Boots (I don't recall her name--I'm terrible with names-- and it was loud) who had been stripping for a long time, in different states. She enjoyed  her job. That's right. Some strippers do it simply because they enjoy their jobs and don't want the monotony of a 9-5. White Boots was clearly pushing her late 30's, if not early 40's (or maybe too much tanning) but she still was fit, muscular, and had great (fake) tits.

Then there was the girl that looked younger than me who was a true carpenter's dream that had her children's names tattooed on her pelvic bone and wore 6 pairs of knee socks to make it look like she had calves. She... wasn't the brightest crayon in the box, but I tipped her well for a dance because she was working to support those kids (there was a fourth name to be added, she told me) and be with them during the day and she was so pathetically skeletal I kind of felt bad.

Stripping is a job. It offers safe fantasy without cheating, and an income for what is, quite frankly, a physically demanding occupation. To quote Marg Helgenberger's character Catherine Willows from CSI: "You try shaking your ass in 4 inch heels." So if you disrespect these women that are working hard, on their feet, to feed their family, to get themselves through school, to support themselves so they're not on the system, why do you go to them? It's disingenuousness and hypocrisy  at it's best.

So yes, realize when you go to a strip club, you're helping the economy. You're helping someone get a job, supporting a local business (they have a bar, the bar buys from a distributor, etc, etc) but treat them like people, because they are. Wonderful people who have stories to tell, if you ask.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Evolution of the Human Peacock

Look at me, I'm pretty!
When you look at humans as a species, we're pretty damn plain. Aside from our huge brains, and perma-boobs, animals and birds (even fish and bugs) are way prettier. Humans have to work so much harder to look appealing to the opposite sex, but, paired with that hugemongous brain of ours, the results are fascinating. I've always believed that the body is a canvas, but recently I saw a little macro in a tattoo community on Facebook that said "If the body is a temple, why not decorate the walls?" I so agree!

I was in my teens when I realized that my blue-green eyes and long hair could get me things if I played my cards right. Granted, I practiced this at the fair, on carnies who don't have much of a discerning taste, but at least I got extra-long rides on the tilt-a-whirl and that's what's important, right? I learned, early on, how to wear makeup, and over time, with the advent of the Internet, Youtube, and a sizable investment in MAC cosmetics, I perfected my art. If I don't see glowing eyes and bedroom smoulder looking back at me, I'm not done.

grr baby

And hair. Flip long hair around, twirl it around your fingers, keep it long and shiny and healthy. Maintain it. I always swore I'd never dye it until college when I went full-bore adventurous and put 10 blue streaks in my hair. It looked awesome. I semi-regularly touch up my root color and add low-lights, and have done pink dye and purple extensions. The great thing about hair is that it can always be colored, it can be grown out. It's a living organism and never be messed up that bad.

I have yet to master drinking coffee while taking a self portrait though
And, of course, tattoos. I've talked about tattoos twice before, and like I've mentioned, while I get them for me and no one else, they're awesome to show off when you love them. And why shouldn't this be a mate-procuring method? They get you noticed. Since I had my outline filled in, so many people have just stopped, looked, and complimented. Most of those people men. Now I have designs on one man and one man only, but the compliments and attention are always flattering. I spend a stupid amount of time online looking at other people's tattoos, and some of the most beautiful women I have seen have had extensive ink.

So we are all peacocks in our own way, whether it be the clothes we wear, or makeup, or hair, or even going through the extreme of body modification.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Awareness and being Aware

Every month now is an awareness month, and with so many causes out there to be aware of, they often overlap*, but in the month of October, you can't go into any retail location without seeing a wash of pink everywhere. And, it kind of bugs me. Now, before you call me a sensitive ass for being offended by breast cancer charity let me explain. The lady in the picture to the right is my Nana. She is sadly no longer with us (it is suspected she was reincarnated as my Aunt's cat, but she was Catholic, so I don't know how that works) but she was a three time  survivor of breast cancer. See, back in the day, we didn't know much about breast cancer, because no one we knew was directly affected by it. It happens. We knew about heart disease and lung issues, but not breast cancer. You become aware of a lot in a short period of time. Now all the women in my family get checked yearly when they're of a certain age. My doctor does an exam on me every year too; breast cancer is not a disease that affects only older, post- or parimenipausal women. In fact, when it hits younger women, it is often very aggressive. Early detection is key. So when you have to live through someone you know and love going through radiation, extensive surgeries, lymph node removal and eventual mastectomy, you tend to become very aware, very quickly. And men, you're not immune. Please, always talk to your doctor if you even have a fear that there may be something wrong.

So now you know, I take it personal when people commercialize breast cancer. It's not so much the commercialization and the splashing of pink on everything, it's the legitimacy of the products that is alarming. Big-ticket causes like Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a prime revenue source for scammers setting up fake charities and milking the sympathies and good intentions of people who think their money is going toward research and helping women. This article published on Jezebel.com last year has some alarming statistics about breast cancer scams, and even the results of a Yahoo search on "breast cancer charity scam" are frightening, but taking money out of the hands of scammers and back into research and development is fully possible, just through a little more awareness. Look at the labels on products stating they are for breast cancer awareness. Do they say a certain percentage of proceeds go to a certain fund or charity? If so, is it one you've heard of? If not, look it up. Real Simple has an amazing list of approved, legitimate breast cancer charities.

One foundation that is not on the list, and is often over-looked, perhaps due to a lack of awareness, is Planned Parenthood. That's right, the organization the conservatives love to hate provides early detection screenings, mamograms, and education:
Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses teach patients about breast care, connect patients to resources to help them get vital biopsies, ultrasounds, and mammograms, and follow up to make sure patients are cared for with the attention they need and deserve.
Planned Parenthood also works with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to help low-income women get the vital early detection screenings and exams to help save lives.

So "think before you pink" and ensure your money is going to the right place. And if you want to be a geek about it even the WWE is in on the action with their Rise Above Cancer partnership with Susan G. Komen. I happened to see one of the shirts yesterday on a young lady at the fair.

*October is also Rett Syndrome awareness month. Rett Syndrome is a disease that only affects girls, my good friend Ben's daughter Campbell is affected. He has written some amazing blogs over time about it and his struggles as a Rett parent. Until I met him, I had never even heard of it. Go read the two links there. They're humbling.