It’s really a lovely place, even if the toilet does leak, or at least run non-stop, not bigly, but kind of a nice little tinkle, not a deluge, no on and off to it, and I can’t even hear it here at the desk where I sit. I mean, what the hell, it’s mostly a passive process, the water isn’t going anywhere beyond where it would go anyway, even if I suppose the re-processing to make it, um, drinkable, or at least flushable again, isn’t a totally passive one.
It certainly could be, easily enough.
But the Dumb Luck Hotel is more of a conference center that wants to be a resort kind of a place, with an indoor pool and a sauna, a huge eating area, a bar and a restaurant, volleyball, games galore, very spacious, all mostly idle and empty.
I'll see if there's pinball. I am, after all, quite the pinball wizard, another of those pool hall skills honed during my youth. Lots of fun, too.
The Dumb Luck Hotel sits way up off the main road, has a road of its own called Hospitality Way, here in the town of Lake Harmony. I mean, how could a place sound much nicer than that?
The huge eating area was nearly empty this morning, one couple there with me, really nice folks, we chatted, no TV, at least not on and talking. A lovely woman brought out plates of freshly cooked sausage and eggs and spuds, piled higher than high, all of it too much. I'll not "order" eggs again, lived and learned, even if we didn’t order beyond response to “you want scrambled or omelet?”
She just cooked and served, not super high quality food, no, but not awful, either, and served up with joy.
The restaurant and bar are both closed, full time, or at least that’s the case while I’m here. It works, very well. The pool is in use, the sauna, not yet, but soon, assuming it's fucntional. I’ve not yet checked it out to confirm that I’ll use it.
The room is roomy, plenty for sitting and stretching. The large windows open, face woods. The trail of purple amidst the white clover flowers brings a smile to my face. The old man who just walked by, looking in, makes me hope that the weed on the desk beside me didn’t disturb him, that he won’t tell on me.
Probably not; he walks his dog in the rain. I smiled, waved. He almost smiled back. The big blonde dog had far less problem with his grin.
The Dumb Luck Hotel is a cheapie, sixty something a night, except for the guy who was acting like a jerk as I checked in, just nasty, for him it was more, no room like the one that he wanted, saw advertised, he could get two, not together, but it was going to cost him.
There are not more than 10 cars in the massive parking lot, the place mostly empty.
The Dumb Luck Hotel is a nice little stop along the way; a great place to relax and unwind and process new data. I think I’ll stay another day.
This land is a place I’ve wandered quite a lot, some areas of it I’ve explored much more than others, and in greater detail, mostly because I loved what I saw and felt and sensed in every which way while in a particular place the first time, so went back. And the this of the land to which I refer is the USA, me and Bruce were born here, both of us in New Jersey even, even if via routes quite different.
As I understand it, I was conceived upstate, along the Hudson, Dad’s RCA stop before NJ, not all that far south of where I sit now. Bruce was from the Jersey shore.
The only two states I’ve not yet visited are ND and SD, so I’ll check them out, might as well, as well as the UP in MI. I quite like visiting places I’ve not been before, just to see what’s there, what the people are like, how the vibe feels.
As much as New England appeals to me, there’s a vibe in many areas there that is so strictly North, and Ivy League Uppity North, and angst and anger, coldness, like, Ice Hockey North, a sense of hurry, something that’s just flat out missing from much of the Slow South.
New York and New Jersey, I mean, cross either state line, and driving gets aggressive. PA is okay, mostly the middle part, but get too close to Steel Country and it gets kind of funky dirty quickly. Up north leads to Upstate NY, very pretty, but still, lots of uppity, at least until one gets over to not really Midwest, and brutal winters, and Lakes industry and pollution.
Florida is Florida, where I spent most of my childhood, so it I know well, and it’s funny, the east side is mostly transplants from NY, the west side transplants from the Midwest, which isn’t Midwest in this country, at all, it’s freaking way north and east-ish, but whatever, lots of the westside of FL is more from the not quite east coast, northways. Then there’s the northern part of the state which has lots of deep south influence, and the panhandle, kind of a mix of snowbird northerners and deep south rednecks, the latter not commanding the oceanfront properties. The interior part of the state, farm workers, Disney and Orlando, the Magic Kingdoms, except if one is poor and black, and swamp folk. Of course now, it’s all just kind of a big mess.
Hot and humid as all get out, too.
The Midwest which isn’t, I haven’t visited all that much, but I’ve done time in WI, Madison, that was fun, plus we explored bit while there, up into the WI vacation spots. I’ve done time at Niagara, and Toronto, and the wine and peach country up there. Did Minneapolis, too, but that was a quick trip, a little exploration, and Chicago, great town, for a city, one of my more favorite cities, but never Bemidji (don’t ask me why, it just appeals ), and never into the Dakotas.
The West, well, I’ve done all over the Rockies, several times, there’s not much more spectacular, north to south, alpine to low desert, freaking Yuma. The change in environment that goes hand in hand with the change in altitude is magnificent, the vistas breathtaking. Yuma is breathtaking, too, in a different kind of way. I did have more than enough low desert.
Utah, tentative plans make it my next state of residence, kind of, at least for a month or two, and as odd as it might seem, Utah is among my favorite of western states. I mean, face it, the whole world is weird, politically. It’s super diverse, from the magic of Zion to Arches and the huge clonal Aspen stands in Fish Lake Forest to the beautiful Unitas, climbing into Wyoming.
Wyoming, Montana. ‘nuff said, or at least before the pine borers got too bad. Montana had some sick spots last time I passed through, but both places, magical.
Southern California, other than its climate, holds no appeal. None. Don’t like LA, San Diego is so over the top Uppity, it makes Boston look, well, Boston still looks uppity, but without the tan.
No, give me citizenship in the North side of that state after the Water Wars, except probably not, because the Left Coast is just way too freaking expensive for anyone of my ilk, particularly as one moves northward.
The PNW is way pretty, with good food, way over the top expensive. Way pretty and good food is for the beautiful people, and Bill Gates. It’s dreary, too, I’m way too fond of Sunshine for too much time in the upper left of the country.
I like Arkansas, it’s pretty, and not very densely populated, at all. It’s religiously weird, most of the south is, but everywhere there are young people who have more open minds than did their parents and grandparents. Land is relatively cheap there, too. Parts of Tennessee and Louisiana were okay too. N'walins, a nice place to visit, don't want to live there.
I still haven’t written my piece on the south yet. It will come. There is something about the south, the vibe, lots of beautiful souls in the south, I think it's a population density thing.
That very middle bit of the country holds little appeal for me, that line that runs from Kansas down on into Texas, right through good old Oklahoma, even if it is the birthplace of the guy who wrote the song about This Land being Made for You and Me.
I like Hobo’s Lullaby better. This land wasn’t made for you and me, nor for those who claim ownership, nor the nation, nor the indigenous people who lived on it before the Jambalaya (a Hank song, but Woody doesn’t mind sharing) that invaded it and lives here now.
The land was made for that which inhabited it a hundred million years before we arrived, and that which will inhabit it long after we’re gone. It was made for itself, by itself. Maybe, just maybe, we can learn to live on it.
First we need to get over the idea that it is yours, or mine, or made for us. That’s just not so.
Honoring the ancestors is a rich tradition in many cultures, and certainly in my own family, sitting around the Scrabble table learning the family lore was part of the program, at least the lore of the maternal lineage. The Pater’s line, not so much. It’s just as rich, I’m pretty sure.
So learning the lore was part of it, and what’s kind of funny is that I learned that my grandmother was a saint, and her mother, a heroic saint, so I suppose that as the lore was passed down, the further back one went, the more saintly, even if the great aunts and uncles and such were more often portrayed in all of their often funny and flawed humanity.
I wonder if it’s that way in all families, that the direct line is the least flawed.
At any rate, the other day I heard a podcast that included a guy named Orland Bishop, and he was talking about ancestors and such, and one of the things that he said is that our bodies only know five generations worth of our ancestry, and I grok that bodily knowledge bit, for sure, even if the five generations thing was new to me, and like all new ideas I take it for exactly what it is, at least for now, an idea, and I consider it.
I kind of like that idea.
For one reason, I like it because in terms of honoring five generations worth, heck, I honored the crap out of three generations worth, for years, by spending lots of time with them and tending their graves. And it weren’t no easy tending to do sometimes. So I figure I have pretty good ancestor vibes, I mean, I put lots of hours into the family burial grounds, and communed with them, it’s kind of hard not to consider them when resting one’s butt on their graves. The paperwork was often even more of a chore, mostly because I don’t like paper work nearly as much as I like physical work.
But the other reason I kind of dug the five generations idea was that I decided I could pretty easily consider myself an indigenous person in this land, I was going to say an indigenous American, but it’s getting so disgusting and shameful to be associated with the political entity that runs this land, the one that’s running it into the ground, that I don’t want to call myself that, I’m just a person, just like that person from Syria is just a person, and that one from Botswana, and the one over there from the Philippines, and very, very few of us have anything to do with or say over the Powers That Be.
So as a totally non-patriotic or apolitical which really I’m not but a good word isn’t coming to me, a person without loyalty to any political entity, but instead as one who feels complete love and devotion to the Land, and Water, and Soil and Sun, one who loves Life, and not just human life, and this is the Land that I am biologically and genetically and ancestrally for way more than five generations on both sides of the family connected to, well, I like that five generations idea.
And what’s kind of funny as I just ran back through that maternal lineage on the web site for the family burial grounds, and yes, the grounds has a website, with genealogies, kind of cool, that, while I spent two generations with folks born in Oklahoma, very quickly I get to New England, Vermont and Connecticut, and in New England for about just as long as those of us with western european ancestry have been.
Six generations is as far as I can get with the mitochondrial line, in Connecticut then, three generation's worth. If I start letting the men into the picture and go back nineteen generations, turns out I’m descendant of Robert the Bruce, cool that, too, a freaking king, and when I look up WTF a bruce is, I kind of like it, too, especially given the number of spiders in my life in recent weeks.
Lots of spiders.
Anyway, so, I feel like I’ve honored my ancestors, plenty, and I’m not all that much into looking back, not beyond fond remembrance of people and places and things and events, or lessons learned, regrets, eh, not many, wrongdoings, I can come up with a few, for sure, but none I can’t live with, I mean, I live with them, very few if any I can atone for, that’s the thing about learning lessons, just try hard not to do wrongly that way again, so for me, looking to the future, and not so much for myself, at all, it will be what I make with what comes, but for the progeny, even if I don’t have any, lots of folks do, and there’s also all the other progeny of the earth.
I mean, the earth, well, we’re all its progeny, no? It’s not ours. It is our ancestor, that’s a fact, we are its children, unless of course the ET’s seeded us here, but then I guess that would make them the ancestor, but really, face forward, look ahead, think of the future, at least a little bit, if not for the earth itself, then for your children and grandchildren, because the fact of the matter is, if they earth dies, so do they.
The planet is pretty sick, it’s not anywhere near the end of its potential lifespan, and as much as I hate to say it, it’s all our fault. We can be parasitic or mutualistic. The former leads to death, the latter, life. Which shall it be?
Virtual reality is big these days, and dangerous as all get out, at least in my arrogant opinion, because the fact of the matter is, it’s unreal. Killing a dozen people during the course of one’s favorite video game is very, very different from the blood, and screams, and smell, of mass murder.
And while I’ve never committed mass murder, and never will, and I’ve never experienced it first hand, you can trust me on this.
What I have experienced quite a lot of is human physical trauma, within the context of an emergency room and career in health care, and I can promise, to experience the Reality of it, the sight, the sounds, the smells, is so vastly different from a computer game, or even a violent film (no smells there, nope) or photograph of genuine physical violence, it cannot be adequately described.
Computer games don’t tend to cause PTSD, not like war does, not at all.
One of the most horrific things I ever encountered was the sound made by broken bones grinding against each other inside someone’s legs, and I promise, I encountered some really horrific stuff. What most stuck with me in the autopsy I watched was the smell of it, a lot like a butcher shop. There’s a reason that live animals and real bodies are used in educating folks for a life in health care.
But what brings this to mind is one of the “computer games” I’ve played in life, one designed to exercise our minds, improve our cognitive abilities, not one aimed at making us mindless killers, which oddly enough seems to be what lots of them do, this one was trying to train me to work at Starbucks, and oddly enough, I totally suck at it.
The reason I find that odd is not because I suck at it, I suck at several games, like, the remember this person’s name game, I mean, I figured out a way to do it, I just wrote their names down, along with a brief description, and they rarely changed their clothes or facial expressions, if ever, so that was easy enough, but then I decided that that was kind of cheating, that if I was a real waitress or whatever I was, I’d learn the names of the regulars by talking to them, and doing word/name association, so I quit that game, it bored me, but I don’t quit all that I suck at, I like some of them, but because back when I was a med tech, back to that career in health care, the task at hand was not all that different from the task of the coffee shop person, and I just totally rocked it.
Multi-tasking, that’s the point of the coffee shop game, and it was the point of the med tech game, fast and accurate multi-tasking, and in real life I rocked it, I mean, I even had all the tubes of blood arranged by size and anticoagulant type (if any) and time of test and all leaning the same direction, neatly, in the rack, everybody else tended to have chaos at their station, and virtually, I totally suck at it.
Not med teching, coffee service, although it’s been a long time since I’ve med teched.
But my suckitude is because the VR version is about clicking a mouse, moving from one spot to another with my fingertips, keeping track of “orders” without the mindlessly simple tool of an order pad, or these days at the fast food joints (and probably Starbucks, I don’t much Starbucks) a screen with all the orders on it in front of one’s face, and even if there was one, an order pad, my fingertips would be too busy mousing the appropriate spots on the computer screen to use it.
So, no matter how good a kid might be at mindlessly killing the bad guy on that computer screen, if he does it in real life, it’s probably going to be pretty darned traumatic, for everyone involved.
This is the problem with virtual reality. What reality do we want to create? I’ll certainly go with the coffee shop over the battlefield, any day.
It’s one of those songs I can sing, pretty much all the way through, just as long as I don’t run out of breath, and I almost always do, Grace had to work at that, the big voice, and she was young, she probably can’t do it any longer, either, but she and I share a range, for sure.
And of course there’s the theme of the song, the lyrics, they’re great, and I look it up and see those lyrics credited to the Band, not the one that backed Dylan and then Fronted themselves, quite well, each and every one, but Jefferson Airplane, which went through all kinds of iterations, but that the song was written by all of them, not one, is so just White Rabbitly Perfectly Pure, I love it.
And the building crescendo, if that’s what it is, it’s almost like, 10, and Ravel, and Bolero, but it’s very specifically about the One Pill that makes you Larger, and the Other, that makes you Small, and Asking Alice, and being 10 feet tall, look at that 10 in there twice, no relation, like 10/10, but yeah, I can go through all of those lyrics (OMG I just sneezed on the woman in the painting next to me, OMG, I’m so sorry), I can feel that bass, and I can get to that place where I’m telling y’all to FEED YOUR HEAD with all my might, WTF, it’s fun, FEED YOUR HEAD.
After all, I’m a teacher.
Anyway, it’s funny, because once upon a time when I was kind of investigating Shamanism and there was this thing to go to, so I went, John Perkins was there, and he’d written a book about it, Shamanism, or Shapeshifting, but it was about Shamanism, and I’d drunk some Ayahuasca, and it was in the land of the Quakers, my father’s people, his land, so I went, and the first little exercise that occurred there was, well, I kind of forget the details, but I was partnered with a doula, and I didn’t know what a doula was before that, but Oh Yeah, I guess we were doing something about spirit animals, finding each other’s, and I found a Sea Star for her, and she said far out, just so, but what she found for me was White Rabbit.
And when I asked if that meant, like, cute little bunny, or like, Grace Slick’s White Rabbit and drugs? she said “Huh?” because she didn’t really get the reference to Grace Slick, or who Grace Slick was, or the drug thing, or I don’t know, but my question was not clear to her.
Anyway, the funny thing is, I have a White Rabbit, had it then, before I met the doula, have it now, it’s in the Cosmic Crate. It’s made of some kind of ceramic, or something mineral type soil based, maybe not ceramic, materials aren’t my thing, but it used to live out in the yard at the house on 42nd St., one of the many things left behind by my aunt, and the reason I’ve always treasured it is that it contains a mystery.
Like, literally, there’s something inside of it, and I don’t know what. Some day, I’ll break it, see what’s inside. Or maybe not, maybe I’ll pass it along to someone else, maybe one of the Lay women, prove how patient and trusting and sure I am that it holds something sacred, and not just some random bit of stone or clay left inside by the artist who made it.
I’ve asked my aunt, if she knows what’s inside, and she said no. Maybe she’d not much thought about it, or maybe she knows, and doesn’t say. Personally, I find it rather intriguing.
But then, I always remember what the Door Mouse said.
Not the movie, but I’m sure that’s why she used that line in describing him. But it’s not the line that grabbed me, bigly, but the one that followed it. He had a Beautiful Mind and a Private Heart, and she signed it “his wife of twenty years”.
I knew that private heart. I wonder if the second wife did, any better than the first.
I knew about his mother and father, of course they knew those things, or those people, or at least the first wife did, but I assume the second did, too, I assume he didn’t keep the massive skinny dipping painting of him and first wife that Dad did hanging in the house, so I assume it was the second, the one his private heart was still coming to terms with losing.
And I knew about the siblings, their clash, their estrangement, I hope his not so private heart found itself and them before he left this world, or at least that he reconciled himself to it. Their end of that conflict did not seem so outlandish to me, at all, and I wondered if he’d ever considered it fully before.
Perhaps that was the thing, the why of our meeting, I’m so sure there is no such thing as coincidence, but then, I’m an all or nothing kind of gal, something that Beautiful Mind and not so private heart would (does) appreciate, digital kind of a guy that he was.
Perhaps he needed someone to reveal that Beautiful Heart to before he passed on. Maybe he just needed the reminder of his material mortality, something he was in denial of when we met, perhaps too many years steeped in science.
He’d been kind of taken aback when we met, because he told me he was a magician with flower essences, and I immediately asked him what essences I was wearing, well, not really wearing, but there are two distinctive botanical essences in the essential oil mix I most often use after washing my face, and I was using them then, and he couldn’t tell me, and I could see that it threw him.
Beautiful minds don’t like flunking the test, especially not when they’ve brought so much of life into their science the way that he had after he walked mostly away from the digital world and focused his attentions on plants and the earth. It’s not always easy to straddle the worlds of science and its technologies and life.
Science makes all sorts of ridiculous claims and promises, so godlike those mostly atheists see themselves to be. That’s what happens when we lose our gods, we remake ourselves in their image. It’s a particularly dangerous condition in those Beautiful Minds, the ideal of material immortality, just need to beat the limits to DNA replication, overcome our biology.
Overcome our lives. So silly.
I was a total bitch to him, at least in my total lack of tact in responses during some of our discussions, but the thing is, he kind of appreciated it, because, well, he was kind of a total bitch, too, in lots of ways, those with Beautiful Minds often are. He was definitely a bitch to me, shocked that I found some of his ideas and opinions less than wonderful and attractive, even if he was only trying to help.
Beautiful minds often have a hard time with the social niceties, they’re often blunt, direct, tactless, and when one works in the sciences, runs the Ph.D. gauntlet, she gets used to it, even gains some skill in it. As a direct result, one also learns to protect the heart. Heck, if a person disagrees with the consensus within his group, he might even learn how to quell the passions of heart, build walls around them, keep them private.
He had a Beautiful Heart, and a Private Mind. His soul is just Beautiful.
or at least
So the question of service, and what one serves, and it’s kind of funny, because one of my grandmother Berta B.’s favorite lines was “life is service”, and the question arose during an interview two guys discussing what it was they, or one of the things, I suspect none of us serves just one thing, heck, if you’re a parent, you probably serve your family, but what Big Thing it was they were in service to.
Dylan’s song came up in the Facebook thread that ensued. Love me some Dylan.
But lots and lots and lots of folks are into self service, not as in at the gas station or check out or whatever, but in terms of the whys for the whats of the dos, or does, if it’s just one self serving person, and that’s fine, as long as somebody else isn’t doing the serving against his or her will, however many services removed.
So am I, in lots of ways, into self service, at least in terms on not expecting someone else to wait on me, but in terms of the actions and motivations and such in my life, they aren’t in service to me, other than eating and not freezing but certainly not popularity contests and such, or desire for personal wealth or whatever, no, it's something so much Bigger than me.
Warm, fed, don’t mind working to get there, pretty much happy, easy, in terms of my most basic needs.
I pretty specifically defined it once upon a time, what I was in service to, it was ritual, I was asking something of the nebulous Higher Power, which at the time happened to be personified or I guess materialized in my little ritual by The Sun, Good Old Sol (GOS?), Androgynous, and I had that Salutation to Sol down pat at that point (as of now, that first rise into Warrior usually ruins the back) and I did one, a ritual, maybe a dozen sun salutes, who knows maybe it was three, on the winter solstice, actually I did them every quarter, well, seasonally, for a long time, did yoga every day for a long time, until the back went, I always remember the dates now, the seasonal ones, I contemplate, but the back, and so of course the ritual I created had to offer up something in sacrifice, or a definition of what I wanted to be in service to, and what I came up with was Goodness and Light, what I wanted to serve, what I was asking for, really, was to be in service.
Well, it’s kind of dawning on me that maybe what I sacrificed was alcohol, or gave up, but really, it's not worth sacrifice, that was what I was asking of the higher power, to give it up, just for a year, specifically, and I went like, almost three, no problem, but the what I wanted was to be in service to goodness and light. That bigger than me higher power.
And they seemed like kind of the same thing to me, Goodness and Light, what with Sol up there shining and the visible spectrum spread out hither and yon whenever that EM radiation came on in, which was often enough. And really, I’d always been a sun worshipper, and everybody or every kid in a tenth grade science class knew, once upon a time, that Sol was the god that gave life to earth, at least mechanistically, and heck, its warmth is always pretty much down right lovely, unless one is in the low desert in summertime, when only the most fool hearty sun worshippers, like me, expose themselves, lovely or not, and still, there’s something to it.
Hotness I guess. A kind of Radiant Energy, for sure.
Anyway, what one guy said he and his partner were in service to was to eliminate suffering in the world, and the other guy said the future, or the More Beautiful World He Knows is Possible, and really, in my world, that would include goodness, there is such a thing, I'm sure of it, and light, not to mention environmental regeneration and peace on earth and liberty and justice for all.
Gosh, that sounds familiar. WTF happened??? Were ideas like Peace On Earth and Goodwill Towards Others and Liberty and Justice For All all just a fiction? A myth?
But what is really kind of funny is that I wasn’t really thinking about Energy Balance or Photobiology or Quantum Mechanics during my little ritual, and I am fairly well verse in energy balance, and photons, and electrons, same difference, at least more so than the average bear, even if not nearly so much as some folks, just the very basic simple QM explanations, but in the time since I, well, I guess I incanted my statements and intentions and did the naked sunrise yoga and started drinking the Ayahuasca and wandering around (well, I crouched for a while down in the basement, doing the drums, but that was intermittent) and reading stuff here and there and listening to stories and such, Sol as god is okay, (really, god is so much bigger than sol, but I like practical scales, this is the material world in which we’re living, mostly) and the EM spectrum as a super big, um manifestation or materialization I guess, that verb/noun thing, all is action, of Our Godliness, well, that works out well, too.
And not just our Godliness, of course, you arrogant Human, you silly meat puppet, Rock is simply a slower motion version you. Water and Wind, well, those entities are Pretty Powerful, at least when driven by Sol.
Maybe I’ll add motion. Goodness and Light and Motion. Or maybe motion manifest as goodness, that works. Great feng shui in this place.
So I just did a review of a piece I wrote a little over a year ago, called Bitch, because I’ve been reviewing all sorts of stuff I’ve written over the past few years, but this morning I’m inspired to write a sequel, this one, because I do believe I’ve found myself, the grown up version of the Bitch.
Now I’m the Raging Bitch. I like it, bunches. I’ve even got the image to go with it.
The Bitch is no longer standing there trying to look hot, silly whilst holding herself so chastely belted, arms wrapped up tight, holding on to who knows what, maybe Mom and Dad, chained to them almost, or maybe it’s the image of the sexy male, not Michael J. Fox, he never did it for me, but no, someone else there in that magazine full of naked men, she’s so over that, and someone new has taken her place.
The Raging Bitch is quite different.
She’s got those arms spread out, funky chicken-like, winged almost, hands on hips, the stance one that the folks who look at things like body language, say yup, that’s a raging bitch pose, and clearly I’ve looked at what they think, Bitch was judged that way, her body language, or maybe she was discerned, as I did actually learn about it, who knows, and really, who cares, not Raging Bitch, not one little bit, but then, that’s because she’s discerning.
See what a Raging Bitch she is?
Anyway, so, it’s something I’m really good at. Once upon a time, back when I tried to fit in here or there, I stifled her, or myself, I mean, I’m not always a raging bitch, but if one is needed, she’s here, I can whip her out, just like that, and really, right now, she’s kind of needed. And the thing, what makes me really, really good at playing host to Raging Bitch, and yeah, I’ll word it that way, it’s perfect (heck, maybe we’ll call her Arrogant Raging Bitch) is that I really don’t give a single rat’s ass about whether or not anybody likes me.
Well, really I do, but since I know some folks do, and heck, and even if not, I do, so, well, I’m good with it.
I’ve had the conversation, more than once, with my aunt, who is so over the top nicety nice in every single way to folks, all the time, when we discussed my epically brilliant piece on Visible Panty Lines, and the offense a former student took with it, which was really, almost my point, trying to point out how phucking ridiculous that one’s ability and brilliance (super capable and brilliant former student) should be judged on the fact of wearing underwear with elastic around the leg holes, former student defending that judgment (or maybe it’s discernment, gosh, that’s a tough one, lots of subjectivity there) because she’s forced to live her life under it, or thinks she is, or wants to, and my response that I gave to my aunt, was about the not one rat’s ass I gave if it offended the former student, whom I love, wildly and deeply.
In fact, I kind of wish we’d all get a whole lot more offended about all kinds of stuff, and rant, and rage, and be raging bitches, which, OBTW, has little to do with being female, unless one is a canine, according to Webster and probably those snobs at Oxford, a Bitch is a pain in the ass, something that actually niggles, at least a bit, kind of hard to ignore sometimes.
Of course, Being the Change would probably be good, too. Raging Bitch has that t-shirt on, she has it on now, and has her tan on, she's going to work on that, shortly, and the smile isn’t so much a smirk any more.
It’s much happier than that.
Oh yeah, she’s a bitch. In fact, I’ve got to sit here with her looking at me as I write this. She’s smirking at me. She was very definitely in smirk phase when this was taken, 1987. I don’t know that because it’s written down or anything. I looked up what year Michael J. Fox appeared on the cover of Playgirl.
Look it up. It’s funny, when you see his picture how young he was. From this distance in space and time, I recognized him right off, and he really doesn’t have that baby face from here. Not in retrospect.
The bitch still had kind of a baby face back then, too. She’d have been around 27 or 28, depending on the season. Her tan was definitely up to snuff, so it was probably summertime, so it would have been 27. I suspect the 3:23 was probably am and not pm, though I can’t swear to it. I can’t imagine I’d have been dressed that way mid afternoon for anything.
Late night/early morning was more likely. I don’t recall the occasion. I do recall the era.
I was a bitch, for sure. The body language says it all.
Mom and Dad are there in the picture with me, along with Michael J. Fox and the fireplace at my first house. I was a homeowner at 27, had been for a couple of years at that point. I was making decent money as a med tech, probably ten bucks an hour or so in ‘87, or something close to that.
There was that Rolling Stones song, already an oldie by the late 80’s. You got the bitch, Sir Charlie, you got the bitch. Really, I hadn’t been all that much of one before Charlie, but this was taken after Charlie. Or maybe I was, who knows? I did gain some bitch attitude over the years with him, for sure. Of course he’d helped me buy the house, that’s how much of a bitch I’d been to him. We’re still friends.
It was after Shelby, too. I definitely gained some bitch during that one, or at least the defensive posture. In fact, as I look at her, I’d say the defensive posture came from Shelby, for sure. The lion on one side of the girly bits and the bison on the other probably is a remnant of Charlie, for sure.
Lots of fight came out of that relationship.
But there the bitch is, standing with her skinny legs out there, beware the lion and the bison down there, and OBTW, don’t even think about it. Not unless you’re ready to get past some pretty serious bitch.
Don’t let the Playgirl fool you.
This Bitch had a standard response to the pick up line about what turned me on.
When I told them that I’d found that direct clitoral stimulation had been most effective, I mean after all, it was the truth, they typically had no idea how to proceed. That was fine, I did’t have much interest in anyone making such inquiries anyway. That was a celibate era. Besides, Tarzan wasn’t afraid of lions.
It wasn’t until I went off to Greece and met a nice Austrian man in a bar who won my heart and got me to let those arms down. He had the best pick up line, ever. He used it after we’d spent a few hours drinking beers, talking about blues music in a funky little bar in Athens.
He said “I really like you. Would you like to sleep with me?”
I really liked him, too. I said yes.
When I got home from Greece 3 weeks later, I found I’d left a lot of the bitch behind. Maybe she leeched out of my body on the roof of that hotel where he and I feel asleep the night before I had to go home. There’d been a full moon, and the Parthenon, and a couple of bottles of Domestica.
God, what a hangover.
Maybe I cried her out on the flight home. The magical fairy tale romance coming to an end. No explosive orgasms, not about that at all. Just a really nice man and a really nice time in a beautiful place. He opened me back up.
Just in time to meet the Economist. Ah well.
So, the other day, maybe it was yesterday, one of those flashes of epically brilliant insight (they flash, brilliant and intermittent as they are) came to me, and I sloppily made a little poetic piece out of it, about bearing the burdens of our ancestors wrong-doings, something those of us with a tendency towards feeling guilty about things we didn’t even do like to cheer for, reparations and such to the progeny of the enslaved, or the kids and grandkids and who knows how many generations now of the folks from whom we White Western Europeans stole this land, I didn’t do it, not me, I bought every piece of real estate I ever laid any claim to, but that’s beside the point, but it is something that lots of folks consider.
Bearing the burdens of our ancestors, the sins of the fathers (and mothers) passed down upon the sons (and daughters), even if paying money for reparations seems scant pay back for slavery or genocide or lynchings or whatever, we white folks with consciences kind of like the idea.
What I suspect most of us aren’t all that crazy about, and this is a real stretch for me, because I don’t have kids, never will, to the best of my knowledge my nieces and nephews don't have any, and this is the reality of my family, I flat out don’t know, not with the one nephew no body knows about and the other nobody talks about, is the idea that their kids and grandchildren, et al., are going to flat-out bear the very heavy burdens of not only our ridiculously irresponsible and ugly behaviors, but all of our ancestors’ too.
And so are the progeny of all the people we’ve f**ked over (Zucking Fuckerburg and his censorship) over the millennia, the kids of our slaves and those we’ve displaced and or mostly wiped out in our over the top we’re number one and our god is best way.
So, I’m just, like, totally NOT GUILTY of any of the crimes or sins my ancestors committed, and really, I don’t know that any of them committed any, I’ve acted criminally a time or three, I’ve even sinned, nobody’s definition but my own, more than once, and I suspect we all do, and I’m guilty of mine, for sure, but not Uncle Bob’s or Great Grandpa Strode’s or anyone else’s, and what’s really a bitch, is that as WE ALL commit sins against nature and the environment every single day, I mean, it’s like impossible not to in the Modern Western World, and really, Eastern, too, not many places a person can live in harmony with the world, and EVERY child of the earth is going to suffer for it.
So really, the “burden” of my ancestors’ sins and wrongdoings that WE ALL carry aren’t mine, they belong to all of us, the world even, and those way, way awful ugly things that seem to be coming down the pike, or pipe, it works either way, they’re all going to belong to EVERYBODY, too.
But I imagine it will be like anything else, or like now, until, well, it isn’t, some will feel that burden, heavily, carry it, let it weigh them down (feels damned heavy to me, all those sins everybody in the past committed), others will blithely go through life flitting with butterflies and burning fossil fuels and enslaving others, bearing little or no burden at all.
Life just doesn’t seem fair sometimes, but then, fairness might be one of those things that silly humans just made up, and only those who believe in it bear the burden of unfairness and injustice. Folks who don’t believe in it just don’t care, I guess, and their progeny, well, I guess they won’t have to bear any burdens, right?
It’s all so confusing sometimes.
So here's the thing. Someone posed a question online earlier, another person with no interest in my responses, ah well, but it was about the things that people believe and just how nutso the US et al. have become, people, really, in terms of the crap they believe.
And of course in my bizarre little world, something falls right into my hands, coincidentally I guess, that makes so bloody clear how it is that people don't have a freaking clue what to believe.
Rudolph Steiner. Brilliant guy. As far as I can tell from what I've read of his stuff thus far, he backs his brilliance up with, well, I'm super cognitively well developed, and I know this shit, so there.
And the thing is, most of the cognitively gifted folks I know, and yes, I know a few, and now there's even something called Profoundly Gifted (oh pulease) would LOL at Steiner's work on Atlantis, which is quite detailed, nothing fuzzy about it.
Thing is, lots of Steiner's stuff gets really serious attention from all kinds of folks. My late friend the Cosmic Science Guy was a real Steiner fan, and profoundly gifted, he'd been whisked off to Harvard out of grade school to work with the Big Brains on problems in theoretical calculus, a super smart dude, and he had some stories even more out there than Steiner's.
He also had some papers to support some of them, at least, not all, but they were published in some bizzaro journal that no well, non cosmic science person would ever accept as "science", but others, the dark side of the moon stuff, he kind of backed up with, I just know this shit, some of which he apparently learned from his mother.
But the thing is (so many things), there are all kinds of folks out there in the world, some really bright ones, who will tell all kinds of tales supposedly told to them directly by God, and a person can argue with that logic about as easily as she can with "I'm cognitively well developed and I know this shit".
I don't know nothing about nothing man, or at least not much.
A community of one hundred, crammed inside a metal tube. You know, a long distance flight.
No, I really don’t want to listen to that silly twit over there babble about his skateboarding adventure in Honolulu, nor to that child wail, uncontrollably, I don’t want your dog humping my leg, nor to have your graphically violent movie running in front of my face such that my only option is to see it, or put a kink in my neck staring the other direction.
So if I can’t take these things, I shouldn’t fly, for sure.
Of course on the bus ride down to Boston from Nashua, there are rules. Obnoxious and too loud talk does happen, but it depends on the driver, and it’s rare. The ride is relatively short.
I was thinking myself over the top hypersensitive or something, not wanting to have to listen to the conversation, ready to accept the idea that I have to accept it, or not fly, or ride the bus, or live in a community of one hundred.
But then it occurred to me, that perhaps for just those few hours, or many, it’s not all that many in quiet, at all, that everyone might consider the rights and likes and dislikes and perhaps desire to sleep or aversion to violence or whatever, consider the other’s wants and needs and likes and dislikes and be considerate.
Must you fly that child too young to understand, the infant who might potentially scream, non stop, for six hours, to wherever it is that you’re taking it? Is this not something that might wait? Do you really want to expose your infant to all of those antigens on that flight? Is your pet well enough behaved to sit through a flight, or might it piss on your neighbor’s leg? Do you really have to talk at top volume about yourself, non stop, for the next seven hours?
Perhaps a vote could be taken at the onset of each flight. Shall we have quiet? Are screaming children allowed on board, or potentially screaming children? How about the douchebag who won’t shut up, shall we serve him lots of drinks and make everyone else on board miserable?
Perhaps life on an airplane offers up a good model for cultural designers to follow. A number somewhere not much beyond a hundred is supposed to be the perfect community size, would it be possible to create blissful utopia on board flight 2463 using a randomly sampled population of humanity? Democratically?
A long distance, international flight would be best, one of those things that nine different airlines collaborate on. Segregation of passengers based on something other than wealth.
The name of the movie escapes me, or I never knew it, but I watched it a few weeks ago, mostly because Gregory Peck was the star, and he was hot, as always, just a joy to look at, and of course he was playing the kind of character his almost always played (well, there was Ahab), a really good guy, and indeed, he was the good guy hero of the movie.
He was the son of the Rich Steel Baron in Pittsburg, Scots, or maybe Scotts, I’m not sure if it was their name or national origin, but I heard the family called that by the Angry Irish Dad (old guy, always played AID), and his daughter, the love of Greg’s life, even if only a poor Irish Servant Girl in the household of the Rich Steel Baron, and that woman whose name I also don’t know always played the Irish Lass in movies, but anyway, that was the love story part of the story.
But the main theme of the story was Strike, by the Steel Workers, who all happened to be Irish, or mostly, and of course the conflict between AID and the love of his dear daughter, and really, she wasn’t dear to him at all, he was a total douchebag, he’d been injured in the mines or I guess at the steel mill or something, and he was one Bitter Dude, so AID,BD, but there was conflict there, which eventually got at least a little bit resolved.
After all, Gregory Peck was the rich guy, and his Dad was decent, too, the Steel Baron, but as I recall I’m pretty sure Greg and the servant girl ended up together and happy, even if both of their fathers died, and I’m pretty sure both of them did, it was how it all got resolved, I guess, because he’d even married someone else in between and had a kid, but he basically threw his wife out and kept the kid and the Irish Servant Girl.
But the salient point, and yes, there is one, and I’ve seen it a few times now in old movies, is a deep understanding of Life from the Perspective of not so much the boomers, but the Pre-Boomers, the Greatest Generation, and Greg was one, my parents, too, and man if we get back to the Rugged Spirit of their parents and grandparents, well, it does offer up a very different way to look at them and what they, and we, make no mistake, we, too, have done with the world.
The Super Romantic Isn’t It Lovely Backdrop for Greg and the Irish girl’s romance was the unquestionably ugly and horrific smoke belching stacks of a steel mill. The story was set in the late 19th Century, and to the eyes of the characters, and in the eyes of the Greatest Generation that made that movie, that was something beautiful.
Progress. If you’re Canadian, you pronounce it like pro-gress, in the US, like prah-gress, and no, I don’t know why that is, but in either case, it’s like, way silly.
And I’ve seen it over and over in old movies. We, as a culture, really had not a clue just how much damage was being done. The Big War was glorified, of course it was, we were the Good Guys. I saw another one in which Jimmy Stewart (everybody loved Jimmy Stewart) was engineering offshore oil rigs. It was a Great Thing to be doing.
We’ve only just recently figured out that trees are nicer than Steel Mills and offshore drilling really sucks. But gosh, we can learn, I’m certain of it. The same spirit that led Jimmy Stewart to solve the how to get oil problem and Greg to get that alloy of steel exactly right, well, it has enough sense to look at the data and recognize that both of those great ideas had all sorts of unforeseen consequences associated with them.
We can learn, I’m sure of it. At least I hope we can.
Truth be told, or at least my truth, and Christ, even keyboarding (not typing) my truth becomes totally a part of the whole question, is it just my truth or the truth, I’d lean toward the former and not latter, part of the point, but really, I’m kind of totally or at least halfway an Existentialist. That was a term I threw on out there in a FB thread the other day, denying the existence of free will, just for fun, pretty much, or denying individual agency over one’s destiny, when really, most of my life has been pretty strong willed, even if only recently pretty free willed.