History is Written by the Winners, the Vexing Scourges of Cougardom, and Halloween=Diabetic Hell

Yikes.  Sometimes when I look in the mirror I see my mother.  I am not saying Mom’s a bad person or anything- her heart is in the right place, but sometimes she can be scatterbrained.  Maybe my surprise comes from my own presumption that I was going to be more flexible, more with it, more cosmopolitan, etc. than Mom was.  When we were kids she seemed to be (and truly was) incredibly naive.  Working in the public school system has done much to erode her naivete, especially now that she works in one of the poorest sections of Crack Town and she gets to see exactly why some people should be forbidden to breed and/or to have custody of children. 

I have my own brand of naivete that comes from spending the past 20 years or thereabouts firmly entrenched in white middle class suburbia.  I freely admit I have absolutely no idea (nor do I care) what songs are on the Top 40- I despise rap music and don’t care for country either, so my knowledge of popular music ends around 1985.  I also really don’t give a rat’s ass about fashion other than it pisses me off that it’s hard to find shirts with frigging sleeves and I really hate the “hipster” style pants which obviously were not made for women who have a.) given birth, or b.) had abdominal surgeries, in which case I am disqualified from attempting to wear them on both counts.   I want pants that go up to my waist, thank you.  And I want shirts with sleeves to cover my meaty arms that are still meaty, although thanks to the shake weight thing, the flabby flaps underneath them have mostly been replaced with muscle.  See, these things sound like Mom talking, as she would repeat the nuns’ admonitions (she went to an old school Catholic school ) about modest dress and all that.  Mom learned about coverage from Catholic nuns who wore the full length nun habits:

Back in the day I had no problem with mini-skirts, fishnets, displaying cleavage, etc.  My quest for modesty today springs more from a desire to be polite.  There are things the rest of the world shouldn’t have to endure, namely the visions of an aging cougar’s thunder thighs, meaty arms or sagging boobs.  I don’t think I am to the point of needing to don the nun’s habit, or even to resign myself to the muumuu, although the nun’s habit would save on hairspray.  I hope if I get to this point though, that someone will put me out of their misery, or at least cover the important stuff up.

I am surprised that there is a TV commercial pawning a prescription cream to fight the scourge of female facial hair.  It is a lesser known scourge of cougardom that post-menopausal women grow facial hair.  Yeah, I mean like beards and mustaches, and I am not talking just about certain ethnic groups whose women are hairy from birth, but about women of northern European descent like myself.  I’ve been using the face Nair for the past few years.  Unlike leg hair, arm hair and unmentionable hair, shaving face hair  just makes it grow back worse.  Plucking is just too labor-intensive even though I have had to tenaciously fight the unibrow since my teens.  It’s not just about the unibrow these days, although Mom was wrong about that.  I pluck and pluck just as much as ever and my eyebrows do NOT “naturally thin out.”   Two days of no plucking and The Unibrow Returns.  With a vengeance. But now it’s the unibrow AND chin hair and upper lip hair and farking sideburns for heaven’s sake. 

I can’t afford to pay $60 for a month’s worth of a script cream to keep face hair from growing in the first place, but I can pay $5 for a bottle of face Nair to burn it off every week or so.  I so wish I could afford laser hair removal, and that I could get rid of leg, arm, pits & bits, unibrow, and face hair forever.  I think Permanent Unwanted Hair Removal needs to be #1 on my Bucket List.   The Bucket List is something I need to start putting together.  Assuming that at 41 I am middle-aged, if I’m lucky I might have another 40 years to accomplish it.

I love Halloween.  It’s one of my favorite holidays even though some people argue that Christians shouldn’t celebrate it.  I don’t have a problem with it as long as nobody is sacrificing black cats or damaging property or anything.  But for a diabetic, Halloween is difficult.  I can’t have the candy.  I used to love the candy.  I hope Mom keeps Dad away from the candy. 

As a kid I wasn’t diabetic and I could enjoy the candy cornucopia with impunity.  KitKats, Snickers, Mounds, Milky Ways, Milk Duds, Smarties, Tootsie Pops, Sweet Tarts, Reeses, Hershey bars, I loved them all.   Today I have to be satisfied with watching Steve-o and his buddies stuff their faces with chocolate,  as I am wistfully chomping away on sugarless spearmint gum. Dammit.  But I can still dress up.

Eternity is Fixed in the Minds of Men, Horribly Politically Incorrect, and a Cougar’s Eye View

Leave it to Steve-o to find an authentic SS helmet to try on when we were doing the museum tour with Dad’s car club last weekend.  I understand Steve-o is half German at least as far as ancestry goes (his “sperm donor” was 3/4 German…as if that means anything- I am more English than anything, but have some German ancestry) but the Nazis weren’t exactly the pinnacle of German culture.  The only things Hitler did right were building the Autobahn and commissioning the development of the Volkswagen.  Other than those two exceptions, he was a Really Bad Guy.  I’ve tried to explain to Steve-o, being the student of 20th century history that I am, that the Germans lost the war.  I hope he’s changed his mind about going as a Waffen SS officer for Halloween and about having his buddy paint a Luftwaffe cross on his newly acquired ’68 Bug.   Knowing Steve-o he will do both things, because he likes stirring up shit for the sake of the smell.  Perhaps Steve-o’s love of all things German goes back to a co-worker of mine who had commented that when Steve-o was a little boy he looked like a perfect specimen of Hitler Youth.  Thanks a lot.

When I confronted him about his bizarre love for the rebel flag, (Steve-o adores the Confederacy) I also explained that slavery really wasn’t a good idea, and that no one in my family as far as I knew ever owned slaves even though many of them were originally from Virginia.  Even for those who claim that the Confederate states had the right to secede, (which they may very well have) the Confederacy was defeated.  I don’t see Jefferson Davis on the $20, Robert E. Lee on the quarter, or any other Confederate player on any other denomination of American currency, and I don’t think I will any time soon.

History is written by the winners.  Had Germany won the war the world would have been a very different place. Better, who knows?  Worse, one could only imagine, but it would be different at least in ideology.   One could speculate that instead of communism being the forced collectivism menace of the 20th century that fascism would have taken its place.  However, forced collectivism or totalitarianism, whatever one wants to call it, and regardless of the ideology that is behind it, total governmental control effects the same results. 

It’s a shame, but all the hot ones are queer.

A Sad Farewell to Heidi, the Presence of Absence, and So Much Left Unsaid

I am still finding it hard to believe she’s gone.  This time last week Heidi was going about her business, a bit stiff and ungraceful, but doing all the normal dog things nonetheless.  Yes I knew she was 12 years old, which is the outer limit of the normal life expectancy of  female German Shepherds, but in the back of my mind I envisioned Kayla (also a female German Shepherd) who had almost reached an astounding age 16 before she lost use of her rear legs.

Heidi was getting along reasonably well with minor accommodations for her progressing muscle wasting and rear limb ataxia (unfortunately GSDs are prone to a number of neurological and orthopedic disorders as they age) -that is until she fell.

Thursday of last week we decided to go to the campground with the dogs.  I brought the girls down and decided to sit out on the deck because the weather was nice.  I’d been keeping an eye on Lilo because she was very interested in what was going on in the woods and I didn’t want her jumping over the edge of the deck.  At its steepest point it is about a sixteen foot drop from the deck to the hillside below.  Out of the three dogs I would never thought Heidi would try to go over the edge.  Heidi was usually happy to simply lie on the deck and listen to the birds and sniff the air.  I had gone back to my reading and iced tea- glancing over at Lilo from time to time just to be sure she wasn’t getting any ideas about jumping off the deck.  A short while later I heard a blood  curdling scream and thought to myself, “dammit, Lilo, what were you thinking?” I had envisioned Lilo with a broken leg or some other grievous injury.  But it wasn’t Lilo.  Lilo had obediently stayed on the deck where I had told her to sit.  Clara was clinging on to me like she always does when she’s away from home.  The screams were coming from poor old Heidi, lying on her side, bleeding from the nose and either too startled or hurting to move.

I didn’t see her land so I don’t know how she hit.  She only fell about four feet as she was on the side of the deck and not the part that juts out the highest above the hillside. I could not see that she had broken any bones, and she could stand with help.  Unfortunately she wasn’t herself again after that.  She didn’t want to eat or do much of anything beside just lying down.  Her every move looked to be an agony.  To make a long story short I took her to the vet- who did not have much to offer in the way of hope of recovery or improvement- and had her put down Saturday.  As painful as it was to let her go, it was obvious that I was not doing her any favors by trying to prolong her misery.  It sounds so high and lofty to say that but in practical application it is harder than hell to do.  Even as the injections are given and you know they are irreversible, something in your mind and heart screams, “take it back!” Even though you know you have sent your beloved over the Rubicon and and there is no return, you still want to cling to that last moment.

Finality is not a concept I accept willingly.  Perhaps this is what Dylan Thomas meant when he said, “rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Now it seems that many things remind me of gentle Heidi- when the dogs have their treats and Heidi is not the first one leading the way demanding her share, when I see Clara sniffing at the places Heidi used to nap to get a trace of her scent, when I look at her rug in the hallway and Heidi’s not there.

So much left unsaid.  Welcome to the void of absence, where there is no breath and no words.

A week ago I would never supposed poor Heidi would be in her grave.  A week ago she was doing all the normal dog things like she had done for the past three years she lived with us.

I know, I know, ask not for whom the bell tolls.  It will be ringing for me soon enough.

Yeah, this was the deck, and this pic of Clara and Lilo was taken just minutes before Heidi fell.

An interesting aside concerning the pic below- back in the 19th and very early 20th century, undertakers also made furniture.  I guess if you’re already making coffins, why not couches in the off season?

Golf Spelled Backward is “Flog,” and Other New Things I Learn Every Day

I would have to think that advertising a “Blowout Sale” at the porn emporium is somewhat counter intuitive.  Think about it.  This is a place that sells inflatable dolls, ya know?  I sure would hate to think that “Hunky Hank” would spring a leak on our first “date.”   I highly doubt if Lion’s Den takes returns even if the merchandise is defective.  I  can’t imagine being the one to explode the love doll OR having to be the poor sucker who would have to verify defective returns.  Can you say contagious bodily fluids?  Nasty!

I have a whole week to make these kind of observations as I’m on vacation next week.  Since I can’t really afford to go anywhere I have plenty of time to simply muse upon things I normally wouldn’t have time for.  I discovered today while playing word find on the DS that “golf” spelled backwards is “flog.”   Yes, I would rather be flogged than to be forced  to play or even watch golf, so that was a minor epiphany.

I share some of George Carlin’s feelings about golf and golf courses.  It’s a tremendous waste of real estate for a bunch of pretentious, pompous fools to wander about chasing a ball.  When I worked at the Infiniti dealership we dreaded the whole Memorial Tournament deal as we would be invaded by every PGA wannabe who needed car repair. Infinitis are popular among the golfer set- and the out of town owners were notoriously demanding and rude.  Granted there is a lot of money in and around the sport of golf, but I have no use for it other than it is sort of fun to ride around in the golf carts.  I still for the life of me can’t understand why the real estate surrounding Muirfield is so ungodly expensive, as if it would be a good thing to live right next to a golf course where you run the risk of wayward duffers putting their little white balls clean through the picture window.  I guess if you can afford to live in that zip code you don’t give a rat’s ass about having the glass guy come out a few times a year.  It beats living in the hood where they break out your glass so they can steal your stuff.

Toilet Paper Love, Canine Communication and More Medical Fun

You know you’re getting old when your significant other measures the depth and intensity of your love for him/her based on whether or not you have left him/her sufficient toilet paper to handle the “morning paperwork.”  Jerry expects me to leave him a whole roll of TP in the mornings, and I can understand why. 

I am continually amazed at how my dogs communicate with each other.  I’m not talking so much about the dog greeting that we humans think to be so nasty, even though I wonder why a creature with such an infinitely acute sense of smell will readily plow its nose into a fetid pile of trash, a steaming pile of shit, or into another dog’s asshole.  I am a dog lover, but I find their preoccupation with offensive (at least to humans) smells rather bizarre.  Kayla (rest her soul, and yes I do believe dogs have souls) used to love to roll in dead things, and she would come in smelling to holy high heaven of some partially decomposed carcass from time to time.   I miss dear Kayla, (she is much of the reason why Clara is such an excellent dog) but I certainly don’t miss that dead carcass smell.   Luckily for me Clara didn’t pick up that nasty habit.  Lilo likes to carry around dead things, but not necessarily to roll in them. She spent two weeks playing with a dead bird before it got so gross I took from her and put it in the dumpster.   Heidi as usual is in her own little world, happy simply to have food to eat and not have to spend her whole life in a 6X6 pen outside anymore.

It is amazing how dogs read behavior- not only among other dogs but also human behavior.  Since I am very weak in intuitive skills (I gravitate more toward the concrete that I can see and understand and prove) I gain much from observing my dogs.  They speak primarily through their body language with the others.   A head nod or a nudge or a glance speak volumes in the world of dog communication, which makes me wonder if they are not more visually oriented than many researchers think.   We know they are heavily reliant on  olfactory and auditory input (far more than humans who are primarily visual) but I believe there is much said in the visual signals.  I don’t know exactly who did the study, but even the way that dogs carry their tails is a form of communication.  It’s more than simple up or down but even the direction of the tail wag means something- subtle visual cues that are likely used in combination with the auditory and olfactory information all dogs both emit and translate.  They know and understand more than we give them credit for.

Thankfully (hopefully) for the next month or so I will not have any more medical fun to endure.  Yesterday I had the liver ultrasound, more blood draws, and the paper nightie visit.  The scary part of this is that as many times as I’ve had to have medical tests, procedures, etc. it is becoming almost second nature.  For the most part I know the drill a lot better than I want to- where to park, to make sure to ask the phlebotomist to draw blood from my left arm because that’s where the good veins are, and to have my laundry list of meds neatly printed out so I don’t have to try to remember them all and/or scrawl them all down in a space where there isn’t enough room to scrawl them all.  I am thankful most of the Dr.’s offices have gone to an automated format so all they do is input your information. It saves me time too.

I’m trying not to get too freaky about the liver tests, etc.  The abnormal readings are likely a result of diabetes and may not mean a whole lot.  I know they want to rule out really nasty things like hepatitis or cancer.  The whole idea of cancer scares the hell out of me not so much because I am afraid to die but I am afraid of a long,  painful and expensive death.  I can only hope and pray that when it’s my time to die I go quickly, painlessly and inexpensively.  Sometimes I wonder why the medical profession tries so hard to delay the inevitable rather than do what they can to make a person more comfortable if they are terminally ill anyway.  I don’t have the answer for that.    I am glad that I don’t have to endure the paper nightie visit again until next year.

The Wussification of America, Blame it on the Bullies, and What a Crock of Shit

In all fairness I can’t really say my parents beat me, at least not intentionally.  My sisters and their friends and kids at school beat me pretty much daily and with impunity, but I didn’t get too many parental beatings.  Mom could be rather severe when giving whacks or other physical punishments (i.e. being dragged out of church by the hair as any good Catholic mother would do if a child slips up on the proper performance of the Catholic calesthenics during Mass) but I really wouldn’t call those physical punishments “beatings” as they were probably deserved, or at least Mom thought they were.  Mom is bi-polar and at that point in her life she was both undiagnosed and untreated, so she deserves a lot of slack on that one.

It’s in the news again- the media and others raising a stink about cyber bullying.  Granted, the most recent case of cyber bullying in the news is rather shocking- someone broadcasting a video of a guy with his male lover in compromising activities- and I can imagine the emotional trauma involved, but suicide is a little extreme a response. I have to think the guy had problems long before his comrades took their nasty video into cyber space.  There is no way to rightly justify the invasion of privacy and the just plain malicious nature of broadcasting such a thing and I don’t condone such activities, but to hold the perpetrators responsible for a suicide death or to call it a “hate crime” is a bit much.  A lot too much. 

I understand more about bullying than most people probably ever will, even though the Internet was unheard of when I was in high school and college.  I endured not just name-calling and embarrassing pranks- but regular full-on physical beat downs that would be referred to as aggravated assault today.  Yes, it’s traumatic.  Yes, it sucks.  Yes, I do agree that kids should face severe repercussions for inflicting physical abuse on others, unlike when I was growing up and everyone just looked the other way or just joined in on it themselves.  But I draw the line at holding another culpable for someone else committing suicide.  After all, suicide is defined as a self-killing, an intentional act of the will, and a conscious decision to end one’s own life.  Believe me most people have had times in their lives when they have considered suicide for whatever reason (been there…more times than I can count) but thought better of it.  In my mind I would want to live and to overcome if for no other reason than to stand in defiance to those who would destroy me, and to fulfill whatever purpose God has for me- even though I am far from clear on that one. 

I don’t agree with the whole “hate crime” mentality, either.  The motive and intent behind an action does not make the action itself more or less severe. The whole concept of “hate crimes” seems to violate the First Amendment in a way to me.  In a free society we are entitled to our opinions and our thoughts as long as our actions do not violate the law.  Who cares how much someone hates a particular group or person or behavior as long as they obey the law?   A crime may begin as a thought, but the act of a crime is defined by what’s actually done, whether it be bodily injury or defacing property or even murder.   Why should any crime be considered a more heinous offense simply because it is committed against a “protected” group?  Does one group merit more protection than another under the law?  Is it more evil to kill a gay man than a straight man?  To me that idea – that killing a gay man may carry a heavier penalty than killing a straight man because the killing was done out of hatred for gays-perverts justice by placing a higher value on the lives and property of certain groups than others.  This is disturbing.  Aren’t both killings equally wrong? Aren’t both lives of equal value?

It bothers me that kids today are so sensitive to every slight.  It bothers me even more that we are being conditioned to be ever so careful of sensitive psyches, that we can’t call failure what it is.  I used to get beat up for “throwing the curve” in school- the rest of the class got D’s and F’s because I was the only one to get 100% on certain tests when the next highest grade was 75% or worse.  I don’t agree with grading on the curve even though I usually benefited from it academically because it is individual achievement that should be measured when testing.  Let each one stand on his or her merit.  Today no one grades on the curve for a different reason- not to make the overachiever stand out, but to attempt to keep the underachiever’s failure under wraps.  Instead of saying to the underachiever, “You have failed, you need to improve,” there is this horribly misguided idea that ignoring failure, or worse, dumbing down the entire class to the underachiever’s level, that everyone will be equal.  All I can say to this is that everyone will fall to the same level of mediocrity and failure which is readily evident in the public schools today. 

It’s about accountability.  It’s sad that anyone would be driven to suicide by the callous prank of another BUT when all is said and done, suicide is an individual’s choice.  The prankster didn’t physically push him off the bridge or take the pills or pull the trigger.  No one wants to take accountability for their own wrong choices or failures.  It’s easier to blame the bullies.  I could do that.  I could wrap myself up into my own little world of PTSD and blame everyone who ever smacked me around for all my shortcomings and failures.  They did it because they could.  They did it because it was funny.  But that’s n the past and today I need to choose for myself what I would do today.  I would rather be a thorn in their sides.  I would rather stand up and overcome- learn from my failures, stand up to opposition and succeed in spite of all the circumstances in my life that drag me down. 

I would rather be the one to take such nasty little bastards who would invade my privacy and publicly embarrass me to court and sue their butts into poverty for the rest of their natural lives.  I know a lot about passive-aggressive revenge.

Another thing that bothers me is all the fussing about “sexual harassment.”  To me as long as you keep your hands to yourself, say what you will.  After 20+ years in the automotive industry I’ve cultivated a rather thick skin as well as a catty sense of humor. I’ve been called everything but a fine upstanding white woman at one point or another.   So what.  There aren’t too many things one could say to me that would really bother me much.  Again there is such a thing as the First Amendment.  Say anything you want, but touch me and you cross the line.  How difficult is that? 

Society needs to lighten up.  There are plenty of beatings, shootings, stabbings and robberies being committed in the pursuit of illicit drugs.  The illegality and the harmfulness of the drugs is eclipsed by the illegality and the harmfulness of the violence perpetrated in the pursuit of them.  Legalize all of it, and destroy an entire black market economy in one fell swoop.  When the junkies can get all they want and then they OD on it, then they will automatically chlorinate the gene pool as it were.  The economics of supply and demand state when there is no more demand (i.e. the junkies have pretty much all OD) there will no longer be a market, hence no need for a supply.  Human beings have been getting high for millenia and will continue to do so, legal or illegal.  Might as well thin out the gene pool and let the stoners do as they will without the collateral damage.