Pompous Sauce

spirit-science-8

Fair warning. I may use the F word. A bit. More than a bit. I just finished making swordfish with….hold on let me look at the title….roasted tomato mushroom salsa in white wine, dill sprinkles and lemon relish. Really? Sprinkles? I sent a picture to my friend titled Swordfish in pompous spew. I don’t know what’s happened to me in the last couple of years but I feel like the horrible veil of ego and inflation has just worn thin. So thin actually for me it’s gone. I’m just out of energy for it. All of it. Maybe it’s the 40’s. Maybe it’s just the way I’ve always been. I think so, I just forgot. I went wrong when I lost faith in that and veered off into “I must be wrong and the rest of the world is right” land.

You really stop seeing the stupid pretense that you tried to in your 30’s for a “normal” adult life even though every day there were little signs of vapor life and you slowly realized that everyone around you was just that…vaporware. Or your 20’s when you didn’t even know yet it was a show and you basked in it. In your 40’s you come back to who you were when you wanted to drop out of college because you didn’t get the whole sheep herd thing (or in my case did drop out). You’re in the who the fuck am I and why do I care so much about anything else besides what’s real to me phase again.

But when I dropped out of college so many amazing things happened. I met people. I took jobs on pitching confidence that I didn’t know I had no place having. And you know what? I fucking rocked it. All of it. I had great relationships, friendship, opportunities. Life was grand. I missed out on promotions, kudos and stock options because I wasn’t carrying the image. But you know what? My clients loved me, I did great work, I learned and I felt good. I’m running back to that person. Keep your fucking titles and stock options at work, and your glossed over holiday picture marriages that have about as much behind them in relationship as your unicorpse company.

Really this is to get random thoughts out of my head for my personal sanity. They are exactly my thoughts, not cleverly spun to appeal, not hoping for any advancement in meaningless number of followers or ‘likers’ or anything else beyond get the fucking thoughts out of my head and I don’t care if you like it or agree with it or even read it. But if you do and identify at all, then cheers.

I remember going to Thanksgiving at a former boyfriend’s house ages ago and his mother was running around making dinner for 15, in heels complaining about how her feet were killing her. I asked why she didn’t just throw some flip flops on. Her reply was Steve would love that (her husband). My response was really? Steve wouldn’t like that you’re not being the sexy wife with heels on, cooking up a storm for everyone? Fuck that. Put some slippers on lady. I just realized as I’m throwing my swordfish in the oven I have heels on. He was cheating on her anyway, the heels don’t save you. Fuck that. I’m going barefoot. That’s for you Jane.

So, in this world of Hickory Roasted Duck with Dried Cherry Cane Syrup Reductions which when the veil is lifted is Duck with some Cherries and other shit poured on it that just tastes good, what can you do? I know, people have their images, their worth, their amazing talents to promote. I’m over it personally. Get some meaningful shit done, give up your images, pretense, processes and fucking crap baggage and just grill the swordfish and enjoy it. People will like it. People will say it’s great. People don’t really give a flying fuck if you called it swordfish with relish or swordfish with chopped stuff on top or wore heels while you were making it. Will they? God please tell me they wont. And if they do, well then, fuck it.

I see it more in other things. Work, friends, whatever. Everyone tries so hard to compete. To make sure they’re promoted, their mark is on everything, they look like they’re doing it better, sooner. Updating other peoples’ work with inconsequential changes like the word ‘the’ to ‘it’ so they’re recorded as making changes. Booking meetings that someone else just said they’d put on the calendar first so that their name is on it. So meaningless, all of it. All you can do is let it go and do your best to create something meaningful. Once you do that you can enjoy the show and be grateful you don’t give a damn anymore. The duck will still come out great, and in a year nobody will remember who won the race to stab the duck first, just that it tasted good.

 

 

Toy Story (not the Disney version)

I get why there’s no Disney version of Toy Story with sex toys, but we do all seem to have funny stories about them which makes me wonder if it would make for a fairly amusing adult cartoon.  Pixar should really consider expanding their market. Saving the damsel in distress could take on whole new meaning. I’m picturing the Jack Rabbit as our big, buff Buzz hero. It buzzes, it lights up, perfect casting! (oh don’t pretend you don’t know what Jack Rabbit is, if not YouTube has some educational videos for you). Perhaps you’re thinking more appropriate as ‘Woody’?

image1 (640x480)

We could get creative with names…Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head scream for a play on words, no? Just sayin’. And if vibes were originally created to cure crazy women then maybe Maleficent, Mother Gothel, Ursula and the rest of them can be turned around with a good orgasm. Peace, love and orgasms will conquer evil you crazy bitches.

Not that I personally have A LOT of stories about them, I’m not so attached I put them on after earrings in the morning, although I was recently made aware of the term sexessory so maybe I need to bone up on fashion trends.  But we all have at least a “one time…” story. It’s one of those topics that once introduced to conversation, inspires everyone to chime in. My friend Janeamabobmadeupname from college is my earliest recollection of sex toy stories. Her and her boyfriend would use her mom’s when she wasn’t home. I was horrified and fascinated at the same time. “WHAT?? Your mother’s?” I got caught in the details – what if she had VD, what if her mother had something? What if her mom was part of some Wednesday night single parent date swap and had hundreds of unknown partners with dildo fetishes? That’s used to the nth! “We wash it of course, no big deal”, was the response. It was like a whole new world. Friends really used sex toys. Hell, their MOMS used sex toys. I was missing out, why wasn’t I using sex toys – real sex toys I mean, the ones that come in a box and are actually made for that. Not random objects that are….oops scratch that, joking. Still, used sex toys? That just seemed well, dirty. But then:

Did you know that 82% of women have used vibrators? The other 28% have new ones (cymbals).

My first dildo arrived in the form of a Yankee Swap surprise. I was the only guest a friend invited from work; everyone else was part of a close social group. I went for booze – everyone knows tall, thin boxes are booze. Right? And they were all tall, thin boxes. How could I go wrong? The pretty one with the shiny red paper called my name! I unwrapped it expecting vodka, rum, gin or any other suitable salve for what ails you. Well now…I believe the phrase is ask and you shall receive. I got a salve alright. It was the one box that wasn’t booze. Of course. The only contender for swapping was the gay guy, but the rule was you couldn’t take what you gifted. So, I was the proud owner of a squeaky new toy (pretty sure gay guy bought the XXX-Large counting on taking it home). I had that one for several years until my mother came to help me move. I threw it away afraid I’d forget where it was and she would pack, unpack or otherwise encounter it. My mother was not at all like Janeamabobmadeupname’s and might literally have died of embarassment.

Fast forward through several years of thankfully not needing one and then screeeeech (oh my gosh I just looked Screech up to make sure I was spelling it right and did you know what that means in urban dictionary?) holy cow. Mind blown. Moving on. So anyway, married. Kids. Not so happily married as it turned out, sex life not good (in my defense I’m not big on sex with people I don’t like). Again a Christmas gift – my husband decided it a good idea for the one gift we exchanged. In front of the kids. After having to explain it as a kitchen gadget too dangerous for them to use, I wasn’t all that interested. Until, well…. thankfully I didn’t throw it out like the first one. Came in handy after the divorce.

Now that I’m dating again, I’m learning some new rules. Here are two:

  • If a man tells you he purchased the toys he’s giving you for someone else who showed no interest….well, he doesn’t have much interest in you. It’s sort of like proposing to someone with a ring you gave another woman.
  • When a man asks you if you have any you’d like to use with him you should NOT pull out the Jack Rabbit. First, they’re pretty lady colors (why brand teams choose pastels for sex toys is beyond me. Who does that turn on? Personally I’m not looking for my substitute dicks to be feminine) Second, when your date loses their ‘ability’ they may tell you and I quote mine here “holy shit, this is what I’m competing with? How the hell am I supposed to feel good about my chances against something 15 inches long that spins, has extensions and runs on diesel?”

A little housekeeping to wrap up

My parents stayed with us recently. My mother is an obsessive compulsive organizer. I’m neat to the point where picked up is fine. Things don’t need to be military folded. Take the dildos for instance. Where I thought tossing them out of sight in a basket in my closet was sufficient, my mother apparently found it better while she was color-sorting towels to stand the dildos at attention in their basket, lined up by size. Opening the closet I expected to feel around for my hidden friends and instead was greeted by their blank “where the hell have you been and why are you neglecting us” stares followed by “at least your mother listens to us and lined us up like we deserve” accusations. I wonder if at any point during her cleaning she thought eh, maybe this is a boundary thing. I like to think she just didn’t know what they were and carried on. I pray to God she isn’t closer to Janeamabobmadeupname’s mom than I thought and I should be disinfecting.

When they are that handy, you may find yourself in the shower one morning frantically diving out when you hear “WOW, mom so cool! I found a light saber!” In which case you’ve gone from Toy Story to Star Wars before you can hit the water and slide across the floor.

Pied Piper

I don’t play the pipe. I don’t play any instrument unless you count self-taught piano, good enough for my kids and really (really) drunk people to cheer but I’ll take it! I do however, talk to strangers, which in my experience is enough for them to follow you home. In some cases I don’t even talk to them and they still follow me. I don’t know why, my best guess is eye contact and a smile go a long way.

Not everyone follows me home, some are happy to sit and chat for a while in a park, or grab a coffee and then go back to their lives. I have on occasion offered my home to some for a few hours (or more), and while people think that’s nuts and I’m sure hate that they’re on my “hey, I have this stranger in my house so if anything happens to me here’s a picture of them” distribution list, I’d like to hope when they’re sitting in church on Sunday listening to ‘give them shelter’ the irony resonates.

God is in everyone you meet. I can’t remember where I heard that but it’s one of those things that’s always been a water rod for me. You can learn something from everyone, even the guy that pees on your shoes while you’re searching for change to give him. I’m not really sure what I learned from him except to stand back a little and that I am blessed  I have a bathroom. Oh, and on the rare (come on, don’t act all shocked. If you’ve given birth you get it) occasion that I pee myself, have laundry machines.

I’ve learned I have a lot in common with a guy that lives under a bridge in San Francisco. We both have similar thoughts on religion, politics, and consumerism in America. At least one of his personalities and I got along quite well until the other one showed up. I also learned that every day I wake up without my career and family ruined by uncontrollable schizophrenia is pretty good and something to be grateful for.

I’ve had some amazing experiences that started from talking to strangers. Job offers (I know what you’re thinking and no not THAT kind of job….although if I think hard enough maybe that kind of job too), invitations to events, making new friends, and once I was even offered a spot on a tour bus while waiting outside a show for the rest of my group. I still wonder what might have been….

My friends and family don’t much care for the wandering and socializing but nothing ‘really’ bad has happened to me with strangers yet that I remember. I run fairly fast and have a considerable amount of luck. The worse things that have ever happened to me were done by people I know. Sadly. Wow that’s one of those aha moments right there. I think of it this way – I’m middle-aged and have made it this far with, I’m assuming, the worst decades of debauchery behind me. Although I hear 70’s are the new 20’s so will have to report back when I’m retired, traveling, and not able to run as fast.

Oh shoot, I just thought of a recent incident involving a group of drunk Hungarians for some reason wanting to put me in a dumpster, that I wouldn’t call a “bad” situation but could have been I suppose. I learned to be grateful I wasn’t alone that time (and that my friend is really strong). And a not so recent incident with a gang in NY. Thankfully luck showed up as a cop at just the right time on that one.

I loved debating with Nick in Scotland, making Anna from Germany’s last night in the US so much better than it was going before we started talking, and meeting The Rev Horton Heat’s groupies. And all the little insights I’ve gained from the people I’ve met whose names I never got or don’t remember are threads in the fabric and equally beautiful. I hope that if I ever find myself homeless or just lost at least one person makes eye contact and sees humanity not danger.

Beach Horror

On Sundays when I lived on the coast, I would walk to the beach and camp out for hours until the sun set, usually dosing off to catch up on the week’s deprived hours of rest. There’s nothing like sand and sea to erase the stresses of a week and reconnect you with simplicity and your natural self.

Normally, I would walk to the end of the beach where there weren’t many people. On this day, I perched myself at the entrance because there was a group trip of some sort at the other end. I have children now; I love children. But listening to 50 or so of them running around screaming on the beach doesn’t exactly produce serenity. In your 20’s, worst case is it produces hives. Best case, you have to lie in sandy footprint trails across your blanket (….lie still long enough, and you may have them across your forehead).

So, I relinquished my distant tranquil spot, threw down my blanket and commenced letting the sound of the waves wash away my first world stresses (which in all likelihood was a hangover from the night before and the dying smolder of a train wreck relationship).

sunset

Like clockwork I woke up after a couple hours with the sun setting and air cooling off. Rested, stress-free and ready to take on the new week I laid there appreciating the scenery and the silence of nobody on the beach except me. I was grounded, peaceful and….something else that took a few minutes to pinpoint. Drafty?

Have you ever been naked on a public beach? Me too! Have you ever had to shield your children’s eyes from someone naked on a public beach? That may have been me. My apologies.

Spandex is like a rubber band. When your bathing suit splits all the way up the back while you’re sleeping it snaps back, disappearing under you. Picture that trick where someone pulls the table cloth out from under a fully set table without disturbing anything. I’m sure that’s what it looked like. And I certainly was undisturbed (well I’m always a little disturbed but bygones) as I slept right through. I wish spandex yelled ‘ta-da!!’ when it did that like people do in the table trick. It may have jolted me awake.

Definition of horror: Looking back and seeing your white ass glowing in the pink sunset in public….compounded by the realization that everyone on the beach including 50 children and their chaperones also had to witness it on their way out.

Bright side (not glowing ass bright, figurative bright): Either nobody called the cops or I was able to get out of there before they arrived. I wonder if somewhere there’s a kid out there remembering the first time he saw a naked woman. Again, I’m so sorry. I hope I didn’t ruin it for you and that the counseling worked.

Crickets and Wolverines

There are moments when I’ve amused myself so much and then I laugh even harder because nobody cracks a smile. Does that happen to you? If not laughing with me, at least if they find me completely nuts or weird you would think they’d laugh AT me. I’d take that. A laugh is a laugh. It’s the crickets that get you. In any event I count myself lucky that I’m the one laughing.

Case in point. Opportunity has presented itself twice in the last week to tell this story, believe it or not.

One time at band camp….oh wait no that’s not how this starts. One fine night a long, long time ago (as in my 20’s) I was at a house party and found myself sitting in a room alone for a few minutes while everyone else was either visiting the bathroom, keg or…oh my gosh this just occurred to me is it possible they were just hiding? In any event I looked up and there was a wolverine rug (can you believe there is such a thing) hanging on the wall. Picture a bear rug but, well, a wolverine*

wolverine

So of course, left alone with a wolverine rug what do you do? (God no! You sick person). I thought wouldn’t it be hysterical to take it down, put it on and run out into the other room to scare everyone. So I did. Amazingly heavy, head hanging over mine, claws flinging wildly I ran out into the keg room “GRRRRRRR!”

Oh my gosh, I’m still laughing. I find that funny today. Unfortunately, nobody else did. Not even a giggle. Crickets. I’m fairly sure the people I went with were humiliated and pretended they didn’t know me. The worst response to any weird act.

We don’t really change our stripes, despite these learning lessons.  I think for a few years I tried to keep my weirdness under wraps but who you are is who you are. I have at least a dozen other stories that come to mind that follow the same trajectory.

Buck the Fuck

….as in buck the fucking double standards. But stopping at BtF just seems catchier than the whole sentence, no?

What I’ve learned is that you should love your stripes. Your stripes are stellar. “Buck the fuck”. I’m going to trademark that I think and have a t-shirt made.

I have a hat full of names of male friends who were and probably are still absolutely insane. Fireplace Joe, who thought he could stand up in the fireplace while it was lit and come out unscathed, Jake who thought sleeping naked in a barn in northern Maine in negative temperatures and shouting to that devil to come and get him…oh there are so many. Funny male friends. Crazy male friends. For some reason crazy is the glue of male bonding. Women are just not expected to be that nuts. They are expected to stand inside and complain how nuts their men are then take care of them when they’re hungover the next day. Well, fuck that with a capital F. Streaking is more fun. Sleeping in the barn is more fun. Not apologizing for being weird or nuts is just better. Why should men have all the fun? And why if you aren’t standing inside are you not a ‘normal’ woman?

Today we received an all company email that I responded to. Relax, our company is a 20 person start-up. So at least there’s that. But on the flip side, we’re a 20 person start-up full of some pretty odd, not exactly conservative people so I’m thinking this may be worse or at least on par with a larger company of less weird people. It’s a weighted metric. At least in a company of 500 my odds of getting one lol from the stoned mailroom guy would be favorable.

So, this email was that the construction planned for tomorrow will not, as previously announced, result in horrible cement fumes that would drive us to other spaces.

My response was “Um I was promised cement fumes”. Oh, those familiar crickets. Silver lining, crickets do sound lovely at a distance on a summer night with the windows open. I’m learning to love them as much as my stripes.

*Editor’s note: I’ve told this story for 20 years, always as “The Badger” story. It wasn’t until I was describing it this week and someone informed me it wasn’t possible that it was a Badger because they don’t get that big, that I looked it up and low and behold it was a Wolverine! It’s like new life has been breathed into an old favorite.

Mr. Right?

Joining a dating site is a little like trying to sell your house. You’re encouraged by all that initial activity on your listing that happens because you’re new to market. And then you realize there’s no pre-qualification.

It’s admittedly a little exciting to check your mail and see “He’s interested”! Yesterday I opened such a message to find this profile picture.

He's interested!

I’m not judging so much as trying to figure out the intended takeaway. What is it supposed to be saying about Mr. Interested – cute? tiny? ….is it possible, orange? I’m not racist, nothing against orange. Just wondering. The funniest part is the photos go through an approval process before they’re visible on your profile.  You know there was a stoned intern getting paid pennies on the reviewing end of this laughing their ass off as they clicked “post”.

I asked a male friend who has done this what he thought about the tips “how to protect yourself from married matches who are trolling, or predators looking to violate you.” He didn’t remember getting that. They must not send it to men for fear of false advertising complaints.

Apparently the memo men do get is one that says “nothing appeals more than pictures with the following themes”

  • Sitting on or posing in front of your motorcycle, boat, ATV or other toy
  • Not smiling, and if possible looking angry enough to murder your date
  • With a picture of that huge fish you caught – preferably with a beer in the other hand
  • Hugging your dog
  • Hugging you kid(s)
  • Hugging your mother or sister

I’m sure someone out there has posted the holy grail of profile pictures. An angry looking guy sitting on his bike, dog in lap, kids on the back, mother and sister looking on in clear appreciation of his manly presence.

The postscript on their memo must also read “P.S. don’t forget to work all of the following into your summary: Laid back, honest, simple, hard working.”

I’d love to read one that says I’m an uptight, lazy, compulsive liar and on most days I’m so complex I can’t even figure my own shit show out. I might email that one just out of respect for originality. The most used term is “down to earth”. What does that mean? Every time I read it I picture the alternative as an elusive pool of eligible men floating around in the atmosphere. Actually, that would explain a lot.

floating

There is a match for everyone, the saying goes. I hope everyone finds what they’re looking for. Clearly the users below are looking to impress (I’m just not sure who – from what I can tell, their fraternity brothers).

Caveman72 (caveman should be careful he doesn’t get clubbed by his cavewoman)
Richandhung (if he doesn’t say so himself)
PiercedHung (ouch!)
Hangover73 (I wonder if this means hungover since 73)
Marriedbuthot (points for honesty. No picture to prove it unfortunately)
Chixndrugs (Sounds like the name of a fast food restaurant that’s dealing coke out the back)

Common themes to what they are looking for in a woman and what I gather the translation is

Self-sufficient (will pick up the tab and maybe pay my bills)
Independent (isn’t going to wig out on me if I do what I want when I want)
Classy (will wear heels during sex)
No drama (see Independent)
Fit (hot)

I’m quite sure that there’s a woman out there who ticks all those boxes and is just waiting to hear from you “Inyourdreams”. Happy dating!

Why do cops ask why you’re speeding?

In my experience there isn’t a different ticket fine for how good your reason is for speeding. Why do cops ask you what your story is when they pull you over? It takes long enough to look up all your information on top of doing their whole ‘let me impress upon you my intimidating stature and power’ gig. Do they have competitions at the bar after work for who gets the best excuse? Whatever the reason, heads up they don’t appear to like being questioned about it. I have two personal variations on how this conversation goes. Neither works out well, if it helps you to prepare your own response.

Version 1

Backstory: This guy is very aggressive in his ‘style’ if you can call almost driving someone off the highway and cutting other cars off to pull them over ‘style’. I couldn’t even see the front of his car when he came up behind me even though I had already put my blinker on and was moving across lanes to pull over for him.

Cop: do you know how fast you were going?
Me: Yes
brief pause. I’m assuming people normally try to feign ‘no’
Cop: can you tell me why you were speeding then?
Me: First can you tell me why you feel the need to practically drive people off the road? Isn’t your job to make things safer not endanger drivers?
Cop: Is this going to be hostile encounter? How about you tell me why you were speeding?
Me: I could but will it help because I’m already late and giving you my story isn’t going to help that can I just get the ticket?
Cop: Where do you work?
Me: Nashua (about an hour from where I was stopped)
Cop: When are you supposed to be there?
Me: In about 15 minutes, it doesn’t really matter but I have a meeting I’m trying to make
Cop: You thought you were going to make it to Nashua in the next 15 minutes?
Me: Well no, obviously not but I’d like to be as close as possible so can we move on?
Cop: Hold on while I look up your information
Me: Sure, no problem. I’m here for you. You get me that ticket whenever you can.

Version 2

Much more efficient, same outcome:

Cop: Do you know how fast you were going?
Me: Yes
Cop: Can you tell me why you were going so fast?
Me: Yes, I like to do my part contributing to NH state revenue
Cop: I’ll be right back with your donation form

Trying to be positive about this dating thing

So I joined a dating site. I haven’t dated in 15 years. Not because I was in prison or anything, I was married. Oh wait….

Anyway, I joined a dating site. I’m trying hard not to take it personally that 3 of the 5 men I’ve emailed have marked their profiles hidden – within a day or two of emailing. I’m sure this is coincidence right? I can’t say I’m hugely surprised, most of the men I dated before getting married either turned gay, realized their gayness or for lack of a better term disappeared from the planet with no explanation. I guess hiding their dating profile may be a step up in my evolution toward non-repulsiveness? #silverlining

What are the rules around bras?

I have small breasts. I know that, anyone who looks at me knows that. Why am I supposed to wear a bra when there really isn’t all that much to support (else be subject to comments)? The man sitting next to me is at least size C and would never be subjected to the same rule. Why is it socially acceptable for him to let his man boobs live a free life but mine have to be sentenced?