Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Break Up Alphabet

For those of you who have ever had a bad break up with an idiot. This is a tribute to not one but several ex boyfriends of mine. Yes, those who came, stole my heart, stole me a present, and always made me pay. But don't give up on love kids, because at least when you are unlucky in love there's a good story afterward.....

A is for Alien Abduction, when you dropped that bombshell I wasn't woman enough to stick around.

B is for Bobby, your broke ass broke best friend who always needed money and was living rent free with his girlfriend. Now I know where you felt so inspired.

C is for Child Support. You made them. Damn, they are making you pay for them.....even when you lied and told me you had no kids.

D is for Double Wide. I wax nostalgic about what we could have shared sometimes.

E is for Engaged on the 3rd date. That was a bad decision on my part, especially when you considered marrying in secret and breaking the news to my parents when the time was right.

F is for Five Finger Discount. I wish I could say you stole me something nice, but the things you took were always stupid and classless just like you. But you did steal me an air mattress once and that I needed, thank you :)

G is Gina, your weirdo sister who knew waaaaaaayyyyyyyy too much about your relationship with me. I think she was really the girl of your dreams. Alas, as they say, a family who sleeps together stays together.

H is for Holland Tunnel, the nickname I gave the vagina of your ex-girlfriend Jenny, the one who has 5 kids with 4 different guys who insists you are just friends that happened to send naked pictures.  But maybe she was your Cinderella. And you are the next Prince Charming (who doesn't pay child support).

I is for It's All Her Fault. Yes, your child's mother is so unfair dragging you to court and making you pay for the kid you sired and denied. She's not being mean, anyone would be pissed after realizing that not only did they sleep with you, but they have created a new breed of genetic mutant that might potentially destroy the world......oops, it's got your DNA, it's not smart enough to destroy the world.

J is Jail, what is where you were when you not only missed my birthday but you lied about the fact you were even in legal trouble. And J is also Judge who locked you up for being dumb enough to get caught.

K is for Katrina, the ex who still loves you and is all over your social media like velcro. She cheated on you, had a kid by that dude, but wants you back because he has a job and why would she want a man who pays child support? Oh and you, yes you, who has no job and lives in your mother's basement will rescue her!

L is for Love. It's the shortened version of the phrase, "I need a place to stay rent free and you happen to be in the neighborhood where I hang out most. I also intend to eat your food and use your utilities like the dirt bag I am."

M is Move Right In and just leave your things after the first date. Of course this is after you threw in love.

N is for Not paying rent here because I let you use my body. While it might work for your moocho bestie who's hot, your body ain't that good.

O is for Open the Door, leave, and don't let it hit you in the ass. I threw your stuff out the window in case you are looking for it.

P is for Penis Pic. Shouldn't you have taken me to McDonalds and made me pay before the disappointment set in?

Q is for Quit making excuses, we both know you are a lying sack of shit who mooches off of women, makes kids he doesn't support, and lies when all is said and done.

R is for Ruiner of Life, that is the title you should write books under but that would mean being able to read.

S is for Stalking, that is a crime. Now get the fuck off my lawn you weirdo. And yes, I know it's you under that ski mask.

T is for Trash, yeah, that's the name of your ex girlfriend you were cheating on me with, and the one you hooked up with the night we broke up. (But as I said you were one big old sexual disappointment, Big Guy. And now that it's over you do need a new place to live).

U is for Undercover, that is how you were operating before your wife called. Apparently she was unaware you had an open relationship.

V is for VD. I heard Swamp Thing, the girl you hooked up with after we broke up because she looked like me (that is, if I really gave up on life). You said I couldn't get mad for that reason alone. But she gave you something that you needed penicillin for. HA! (God hates the same things I do).

W is White Trash. You all hate Obama but he is feeding you whole family, the families of your friends and their throngs of children out of wedlock. How? (Answer: By making America work for them!)

Z is for Zzzzzzz, the stupidity of you and your idiot friends has left me rather tired.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Clinky S. Truman: Tale of a Snuggle Buddy

I have a new man in my life. Relax, it's not a boyfriend. At least not in the technical sense. His name is Clinky S. Truman. You see, Clinky is a Valentine's Day present from someone whom I have grown super, super fond of. A true kindred spirit, he like myself is a complete history nut. When I went to his house and saw he had original newspaper clippings from the day Lincoln was shot I was awestruck and I don't know if starstruck is the correct word, but eh.

Like myself, this fellow can name all the presidents in order, and like me he even knows the name of their wives. What does this accomplish in the scope of the world? Absolutely nothing.

It's rare to have the dork taled bond like this, and most people don't understand it. Once, I was on a date with a dude who was a complete and utter Neanderthal. Granted, he was handsome but in the words of Judge Judy, "Beauty fades and dumb is forever."

In any event, it was a party that was pretty horrific and my date went to watch some show on television which was more akin to his IQ. Yes, a show where the participants risked death and the barbaric spectators at home gaffawed. My date, the duranged version of Pauly D, thought the show was the bees knees as he and his fellow cave men engaged in a bizarre ritual of chest pounding. Bored and ready to put a pencil through my eye, and trust me his friends were too stupid to have ever seen one, I left and found the two dorks I knew in the room.

My date for the evening. It looks as bad as it was, trust me.

Within minutes, we found ourselves discussing General McClelland and how he nearly bungled The Civil War for the Union. We also began to engage in a discourse about how the art of war had changed. While I didn't want to be disrespectful to my date, I was talking about things that expanded my mind. I didn't mean to be gone for long but was sucked in. I figured my date found some cave dweller closer to his phylum of pretty, feeble minded trash. In events like these, usually not only is that the case but he leaves with her, the girl who's panties he doesn't have to work to get off.
Not here. Pauly D walks over, harshes my mellow, and hisses, "What, am I not exciting enough for you?" No Slow Poke. You aren't. And then he went on some trailer park-esque tirade about how he spent money on me therefore he owned me for the evening. I told him I had a job and if he wanted that attitude he could hire a hooker. Then I reminded him I was in fact smarter, and that was the beginning of the end. The end came when he sent me a text, I corrected his massive spelling mistakes, and he told me just because I could spell didn't make me better, but alas he misspelled the word better.

I do have the connection to one person aside from the man who sent me the teddy bear. That person is my dad. When we watch Big Battles, we are like two Gremlins at the movie theatre. The rest of the family whines as we hold them hostage. Hitler and his evil Nazi shitheads are about the be defeated by the Allies Goddamnit! The rest of the family groans, we know America is going to win. Yes, but don't tell us that. Don't spoil the miracle.
My dad and I watching Big Battles. Yeah, it scares everyone.

I wanted to name my new stuffed friend after the man who sent him. This fellow, as I mentioned also a history nut, has bloodlines descending from The Mayflower. His name even sounds so, and it would have been a dignified teddy bear name. Then he said his childhood nickname had been Clinky. Thus it became the bear's name.
I decided to give the bear the second half of his name after perhaps the most underappreciated but perhaps the most honest leader America has ever had, Harry S. Truman. Yes, the little senator from Pendergast. The one prone to occasional vulgarity and the one who didn't take any shit from anyone. They called him "Give 'Em Hell Harry" and oh yes he did.
I wouldn't want to piss this dude off, ever.

Truman became the Vice President quite by accident. Roosevelt's advisors felt Truman would be the best Vice Presidential candidate because his predessor leaned too far to the left and America was paranoid about Communism since the Russian Revolution. Roosevelt was intrigued that a man from Missouri, a notorious conservative state, could be balanced, fair, and a middle of the road liberal.
However, Roosevelt and Truman only met a few times. Because he was Vice President, Truman was treated like an understudy, akin to the backup quarterback. While benched, he had to be ready to play at any given time, but as we all know most of the time the back up does not see game time. Truman knew the basics of Roosevelt's foreign policy, but his job was to lead Senate and stay out of Roosevelt's hair. Added bonus, also to avoid any major scandal but no one truly cares about the Vice President.
That is, until Roosevelt died in the arms of his mistress. Truman went to comfort Eleanor Roosevelt. He asked her if she needed anything. She said, "Me? You're the one in trouble now."
Of course she would know. Much like the House of Clinton, while the man who benefitted from the patriarchy was falling weak to his basest of instincts, his more intelligent wife, not given the opportunities because of sexism, was running the country. The more her husband was out of the house the better. Truman knew this too. This is why he gave Mrs. Roosevelt so many UN opportunities.
The real President Roosevelt

The antithesis of the overeducated, out of touch, yet benevolent near dictator he replaced, Truman hadn't recieved a formal college education but somehow became an administrative judge and then head judge of Jackson Country, Missouri. Direct, feisty, and fair, Truman was not only a welcome relief to America but someone who was truly in touch with the people he ruled because not so long ago he had been one himself.
While Germany surrendered, America was still in the grips of conflict with Imperial Japan. Truman wanted a swift exit with a swift solution. America had been at war for far too long. So was it a land invasion or the atomic bomb?
 Either way, the American dead had piled up throughout the years. Americans were weary of body bags and weary of mothers burying their dead sons. While it meant killing Japanese innocents, it was either a million of ours or a million of theirs and it was no other way.Needless to say, after a heartwrenching wrestling match with his conscience, Truman did the still controversial thing of dropping the bomb.
Truman warned the Japanese government of his intentions and gave them ample time to surrender. Alas, they did not take the American president seriously. One atomic bomb came their way. There was still some resistence. Then another one was dropped. Finally, Japan surrendedered. Truman knew this was a lose/lose situation. He wasn't happy about it. But he was thrust into the seat of commander and chief and had to do what was necessary.
Action shot, Truman doing something presidential.

As far as leaders went, Truman was ahead of the bell curve. He was a practical progressive and a liberal with a backbone. Long before Obama made Obamacare a reality, Truman proposed national health care. His heart aching for the Jews of Europe, much to the consternations of conservatives, he helped create the state of Israel. Truman was also instrumental in the Civil Rights movement. Like Roosevelt before him, he sought to desegregate. He wanted Civil Rights not just for blacks but for Native Americans, Latinos, and women as well. Being a fair and balanced man, Truman, if he had the dialogue, would have probably opened the conversation to the topic of LGBTQ people. Also, he led the Americans from a war time economy to a peace time economy and saw growth both times.
Korea, nicknamed Mr. Truman's War, in some ways it was a blunder. The goal was to contain The Soviet Union. It was the auspicious start of America acting as an odd big brother. Truman wanted Wilsonian ideals and wanted to end isolationism. Still, while national security was at an all time risk, more so in those days then it is now, with the Rosebergs and all, perhaps in retrospect his actions make sense. 
Like everyone else in America, I have mixed feelings about this. Not every culture is equipped to embrace democracy. Yet at the same time, the arrival of America presents the fact their might be a better option. Also, each time America has taken down a dictator they were an evil presence that needed to go. While we have done so in countries where the natural resources were plentiful, it still bettered the lives of those people. Perhaps America should decide whether it wants to be Big Brother to no one or everyone and not just the people who had oil. Like Truman said in regards to Israel, "It's not because they have oil but it is my moral duty to do so."
Either way, much like Obama, he had a conservative house that attempted to thwart him. Not taking his hits lying down, he fought right back. He knew a great many Americans voted Republican, but knew the very party they supported was the one that sought to impede their rights and resources.
Truman also caused quite a stir when he fired Douglas MacArthur. At any job, you cannot obey your boss regardless of your military expertise. Especially if you boss is the president, Pal. Thus Truman's approval ratings were at either an all time high or a bitter low.
MacArthur, smoking on the job. No wonder he got fired.

His daughter sang and a critic ripped her to shreds, he became a dad and responded in kind. Truman said he responded not as the president but as a father. Bess Truman, his wife, hated The White House and being First Lady. His mom would call and tell him how to run the country. Bitter about the outcome of the Civil War, she refused to stay in the Lincoln bedroom even if her son was president.
At the end, what made Truman so tremendous was he was president during a difficult time. He had to make some decisions that no leader should have to make anywhere in regards to the safety of the people he governed. America was in the midst of a tough time home and away, and we needed a tough leader like Truman. While he had much to contend with, moreso than the Bush father and son duo, he dealt with these things as he kept his sanity, sense of humor, and above all things dignity as well as honor.
God, do I wish Harry Truman were running today.
Upon retirement, Truman returned to Missouri and didn't want to collect off of his past as President. He felt it would degrade the office and the people of the United States. No man who has held the office, before or after, would have been so noble. While financially unstable in those times, Truman made money from selling the rights not only to his life story but history as he understood it.
Later, when the gravity of Truman's situation was revealed, a bill was past to give a pension to those who were president. Bottom line, Truman would rather die a pauper than be a shill who ever feasted off the bones of others. Since that time, those that proceeded him were overeducated, opportunistic, silver spoon fed sons christened for political office who would have had no problems capitalizing off of once being commander and chief.
History has been kind to Harry Truman and with good reason. He was not a career politician who sought to sell out those he supported. Truman's main focus was the people he governed, the sanctity of the office, and above all things, being fair. And FYI, Truman was a true student of history and literature. If he were alive and well, he would probably he happy as a pig in shit in front of the History Channel, too.
However, high schools still do an injustice to this leader who perhaps was the most unsung American hero. They gloss over his presidency in order to finish the year on Civil Rights. While these things are important, one cannot ignore the man who laid the groundwork for that. Or as Truman would say, and this is a Truman quote in the room of a history teacher who ironically gave him the shady skip treatment, "There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know."
The teddy bear is really named after this man, Teddy Roosevelt

So perhaps half-naming a teddy bear after Truman is not far off, although it was originally named after another president, Teddy Roosevelt. That being said, my teddy bear reminds me that it is important to be fair, kind, balanced, just, and it is okay to have a backbone. That it's okay to stand up to bullies. That sometimes, you give the most when people expect the least from you.
On the flipside, you are never too old to have a stuffed, oversized, snuggle buddy.
Truman giving me a big teddy bear hug and kiss
 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Great Beyond (REM)

Last night I went to an event where I got to finally meet an internet friend of mine in person. His name is Alain Nu. His moniker is "The Man Who Knows." Alain and I sort of met on facebook and began chatting on the regular. It was discovered we had a few mutual connections in Las Vegas. So when I found out he was in NYC I decided I wanted to meet him.

Alain warned me the place would be filled with so called "magic geeks." It was filled with magic geeks, but I found the lecture interesting honestly. Yeah, I am a huge dork. Put me in front of the History Channel and I am happy as a pig in shit. Plus as a ventriloquist I am no stranger to magic shops. Many times it's where I get my figures, and I shoot the breeze with the dudes doing card tricks.
As I suspected, I was the only female present. Actually, I take that back. One wandered in with her father and the other might have been someone's girlfriend. Magic is not usually a woman's game, which made it even more enticing. I am not a woman who minds playing with the guys. Actually, I think men play far more fair than women. That is what is setting feminism back, but that is a topic for another blog.

Apparently, there is some crazy East Coast v West Coast rivalry going on between mentalists and magicians. There is a definite turf war that I was unaware of, but in the dorkosphere I got a kick out of it. This crowd was passionate about both magic and mentalism. Alain did a coin trick and this would be David Copperfield in front of me spent the whole evening trying to master it. Actually, it was quite adorable. While he never did master it, I was going to give him high marks for persistence.
I learned the meaning of the word equivoque means. Yes, as in you can suggest something to your volunteer during a mentalist act.

There was a break and then the thing everyone had been waiting for, SPOON BENDING. Alain admitted he was friends with the very controversial  Uri Gellar. Yes, some say the man is a fraud because Johnny Carson debunked him on live television. Others stand by Gellar as a genius and true mentalist. Alain said that Uri Gellar is actually a super nice guy. If you have a friend or family member who is infirmed in any way, Mr. Gellar will call that person just to talk and cheer them up. Apparently it's not a one time thing. Mr. Gellar likes to keep in touch and is a true friend.
In any event, Alain had me help with the spoon bending. Despite my ease in front of crowds, I was also conscious that it was not my evening and therefore it was not my job to be front and center. Alain introduced me as his facebook friend and all. Then he had me autograph my spoon. He began to bend it. Alain said he wasn't giving away his secret......hmmmmmm.....

Then Alain hypnotized me and had me hold the spoon in my hands. Never in my life had I been hypnotized. Either way, maybe he was equivoquing me. Because I couldn't open my eyes and my hands felt glued together! Then I opened my eyes and I had helped bend a spoon. YA BABY!
Alain ended his evening by telling us this: "A lot of magicians go for the trick, but you should go for the miracle."

This spoon bending made me smile. It brought me back to the time when I was a kid. My dad had a friend named Arthur Valentine. Uncle Art, as we called him, was one of my dad's best friends. He met my dad when my dad was a labor lawyer on a deal. They were fast friends because Uncle Art was deeply involved with US Steel, and both my dad's dad and his grandfather worked in the mill, one as a master machinist and the other as a roll turner respectively. Uncle Art had been active with the union and had even been friendly with Jimmy Hoffa. Alas, he and Mr. Hoffa had a disagreement one day and Uncle Art dodged a car bomb  by literally seconds.

In any event, Uncle Art, aside from having a colorful personal life had an even more colorful companion. Her name was Cordelia LaMont. Aunt Cordelia was from West Virginia and was married to a guy simply known as Ram who worked in the mines. She herself was a seamstress and dance instructor.

In any event, Aunt Cordelia was on the picket line protesting for the miners. She was a bleach blonde with an hour glass figure adorned in hot pants. The camerman, probably overworked and rather sex starved, had a close up of her the entire time as the newsman was doing his voiceover narrating the strike.

Meanwhile Uncle Art was unhappily married to a super Catholic zealot who he had 5 kids with and felt chained to. Needless to say, when Cordelia walked his way he was rather smitten and left his family. His kids hated him and his estranged wife bitter. But eh.

While Uncle Art was cool, Aunt Cordelia was completely zany and bonkers. Most people tolerated her because they liked Art. Looking back he probably had a thing for crazy women and this is what kept getting him into hot water. What I am trying to say was, Aunt Cordelia was into UFOs, Ouija Boards, and the paranormal. When you met her, she spoke about her son Vince. Yes, the story we got to know so well. The young man was abducted by aliens and dropped into a gay cult.

During the time Vince was present, he would corroborate Aunt Cordelia's claims by showing us the plugs in the back of his head where he was supposedly probed. Oh, and he was simply leaving the supermarket, putting his groceries in the trunk, and lost track of time. Sure the story was insane, especially as a starter. But it was bold, I gotta give Baby Girl that much.

Aunt Cordelia not only introduced us to Ouija Boards but designed her own. She insisted that reincarnation was a real thing, and sometimes she was visited by her past lives. Skipper, Wendell, and I were enthralled. My father was less than amused, reminding us that we were Catholic and we did not believe in such things. Usually when my Aunt Cordelia started, especially the one where her dead mother walked her basement along with her dead husband that she was supremely unfaithful to, my mom would smile and bear it. Skipper, Wendell, and I would try to contain our laugher. The look on my dad's face was always priceless.

Aunt Cordelia was a student of Uri Gellar. For years she had been reading on psychic phenomenon. So much so that Aunt Cordelia, through Uri Gellar, became convinced she could bend spoons. As usual, during a get together, Aunt Cordelia espoused her evidence that the paranormal was real. Not only could she bend spoons, but she had been practicing. To prove her point she got out a wooden box with spoons that had been bent in various ways.

Then she invited my siblings and I to try.

Skipper and I, ages 8 and 10 respectively, tried with all of our puny elementary school brain waves to bend these spoons. It didn't work. I gave up after about a minute or two, but Skipper sat there and focused for at least five minutes. Akin to Kerri Strug on the vault, she was not giving up.
Wendell put his spoon behind his back. Always a strong kid, he bent it. I saw him cheat the rascal. Then he exclaimed, "Look, I bent the spoon!"

Aunt Cordelia was enraptured with Wendell's psychic energies. He was the hero of the night. I didnt want to burst Cordelia's bubble that my brother had cheated. Neither did my parents nor did Uncle Art who was forced to endure her.

During that part of my life, people made fun of her in a malicious way behind her back. Granted, the vodka guzzling, over made up, crack pot homewrecker did make herself an easy target. But Cordelia was creative. She was a hell of a seamstress, could make a dress out of scratch, and even designed an earring that my dad helped her get a patent on. Not to mention for as flipped out as she was, Cordelia was thoughtful, never forgetting a birthday or anniversary. She also was kind if you were upset like she was to me plenty of times when I was an over sensitive  kid. Oh, and she was VERY SUPPORTIVE when it came to my dreams, especially my writing.

The long and the short of it is, sure she was eccentric but she was harmless and at the root of it actually rather kind hearted. She made my Uncle Art happy and really tried with her stepchildren who hated her guts. But more than anything, Aunt Cordelia wasn't afraid to break the rules and didn't give a flying fuck what anyone thought of her. She wasn't afraid to have the conversations about UFOs, the afterlife, and the possibility that one could bend spoons. More than anything, she wasn't opposed to people telling her she was wrong, and spoke to children on an adult level about these things. The last update I got she had a severe stroke. Better give the poor thing a call.

Are there UFOs? It only makes sense with The Big Bang Theory and how Einstein's Theory laid the universe out, that Earth would not be the only place with life. Is there life after death? We shall never know. While I don't believe Parker Brothers has the gateway to the netherworld, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. As for bending spoons, Alain's secret is Alain's secret, and Cordelia wasn't cracking the code either it seemed.

The trick sometimes is that we don't want to know. That we shut our minds off to possibility. The miracle however are people like my Aunt Cordelia who aren't afraid to ask those questions even if it annoys the people around them. And the fact she wasn't afraid to try to bend spoons let alone be a zany presence to the consternation of others. People like Alain are also the miracle, magicians who believe in magic. Mentalists who are not afraid of magic. Masters who are dedicated enough to give the lecture to those who are just as passionate.

Maybe we should all bend a spoon at least once in our lives.


 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Strange Dreams

As of late I have been having some odd dreams and I don't know what any of them mean. One dream was that I got back with an ex of mine-one where things ended badly, VERY BADLY. (I don't want him to know where to find me kind of badly). Not only were we back together, but we had just gotten married and we were talking about having a baby. YES, A BABY!  In any event, we discussed a plan so I could conceive and he suggested taking out my IUD. I thought this was A GREAT IDEA. Anyway, I was all so excited to have his baby. We even planned on having his friend who is a complete leech and waste of flesh who owes everyone money act as the Godfather.

Then I realized what I had done. I WAS HAVING HIS BABY!!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!! I HATED MYSELF BUT NOT THAT MUCH! I panicked at the bad decision I saw myself making. Not only was I ruining my life, but creating a mutant who had no chance. So I woke up screaming, but then clamed down once I realized my IUD was where it was supposed to be and my uterus unpolluted by his damaged DNA.  So then I got a glass of water, went to sleep, and had an okay dream I really can't remember.

The next strange dream I had was set in the back of a chapel. I was getting ready to get married. In any event, I was given a wedding gift by the grooms mother. It was an old antique purse filled with Bubble Yum. I was told it was their family tradition that the bride must chew bubble gum. So I put this bubble gum in my mouth and it was really thick and sticky. I tried to open it, but it was so thick and sticky I could barely chew it. Then I had three dresses to pick from. The first was this beautiful form fitting dress. The second was a nightmare of lace, and the third was nice and ivory. In any event, I picked the first but there was no time to get changed. A wedding was being had. So they pushed me down the aisle in my street clothes towards this husband who from far away looked non-descript.

Then I woke up like WTF?! Yes, like what the freak just happened?! I'm not seeing anyone. No hell no way. And wow, just wow. Either way, it was a relief to still be single in real time.

The final weird dream was that I was 11 years old and was doing gymnastics again. It was hot and the Olympics were on TV and we were all following them that summer. So here we were in the gym, and I had just mastered my half twist. I was doing a perfect routine, and even did a perfect layout on the tumble track. However, I had forgotten to bring my water. Yes, my freaking water. And the worst part was, I didnt know where to get any water. My instructors were clueless as to assist me, because we had trampoline next and that was their big priority.

All of a sudden I start coughing violently. I can't breathe but we have to go to trampoline next. I needed to make it to trampoline. But I had to get to trampoline BUT I COULDN'T BREATHE!!!!!!!!!!! HELP ME!!!!!

And then I wake up coughing and get some water.

So who knows what any of this means.........Sigh. Maybe it is that a lot of my friends are having kids and said ex has been coming up quite a bit on convo. Maybe it is my sister's wedding. Maybe it has been watching gymnastics on youtube. Either way, these dreams are spooky. Sigh.

Love
April
 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ex's and Oh's (Elle King)

Lately I have been having a lot of conversations about relationships. Both of my housemates are straight men. One is divorced and has two sons, ages 18 and 20 respectively. The other is exactly one day older than me, born the same year. He is single but met a girl on instagram that sparked his fancy that lives in Austin. Living with two dudes has made me get more of a sense of humor about love, but made me realize yes, dudes do have feelings.

My divorced housemate whom I will call Don was married for 20 years. As he explained his wife used sex as a weapon. Eventually the sex disappeared and when it happened it was 3 minutes of pleasure that didn't make up for nearly 23 hours of pain that followed. As Don explains, he loves being a parent. He loves his sons. But as for getting married again, NEVER! He will have another kid, yes. But never another wife. Maybe she can live elsewhere Don surmises.

The other day Don and I were talking and the conversation turned to open relationships. Personally I think they are the wave of the future. Don brought up people have feelings and from a disease standpoint monogamy is safer. Plus if you can find a person who is a friend, has things in common, and the sex is great because both people are that committed you found your match. I asked if such a thing existed. Don said it must. But then we both agreed if we had the answers we would both have not been dateless on a Friday night.

My other housemate Al, like Don, is a painter. Al as I explained is enamored with a girl who lives in Austin that she met on instagram. The last girl Al dated was another painter he met in the gallery world. Yes, she was crazy. All female painters are crazy. Al found that one out the hard way. The girl on instagram is a writer. Al has faith she might not be as crazy as the painter. Truth: Female writers are cat shit crazy. I reminded him of Anne Sexton and her oven trove of adventures. Yes, I am making a tasteless joke. However, he surmised that while this was true at least it would not be painting discussions all the time which drove him over the edge.

Don suggested it was important Al met said lady in person. "She could be a real beast." Don advised. Then he told two stories. One was of a date he went on with a beautiful girl who turned out to be absolutely crazy and nearly killed him. The other was when he was fixed up with a troll looking chick who was the salt of the Earth but all these gorgeous girls were throwing themselves at him. But the troll had money. Don let the troll down easy. He wasn't into it. But the pretty girl had nearly killed him. The question is, can one ever win?

Of course than Don mentioned his ex wife was cute but not as pretty as he was into, and she was crazier than all the rest in the end. Yet she lured him in with gifts and such. Years later she tells her sons she chased their father and wonders what the hell she was thinking. He wonders what he was thinking taking the gifts. Love is a narcotic. When you are on it you are out of your damn mind, screw over those you really care about, and turn into a complete dick. Afterwards, you are forced to pick up the pieces.

My mom always said God doesn't give you everything. I still recall a Match.com date I went on where the guy walked in and was better looking than his picture. All these years I was lusting after Ashley Wilkes when I could have had Rhett Butler. The date went well for the first five minutes until he revealed his plans to overthrow the government. Then he mentioned all the other presidents were in a conspiracy. Ronald Reagan was the only one not aligned with this conspiracy because he didnt need to use a teleprompter let alone cue cards. In the words of Chris Rock, "When God puts it in a pretty package it's just to fuck with you."

And then there was the dude I met on Match who was my Ashley Wilkes. First date we hit it off and the dork squad texted into the night. Second date it was like who is the  wimp across from me. Third date I tried to give him a pep talk and made him cry. Am I mean or was he just nuts? Hell if I know.
In my chats with my housemates my last ex comes up quite a bit because he is recent. Don reminded me once that not anyone is all bad, and he even found some good qualities in his ex wife still. He reminds me there was a reason I liked my last ex who I will call Sam. Yeah, Sam and I ended because Sam was deceitful and lied about something huge. Maybe it was because he was in denial. Maybe it was to protect me. Or maybe it was because he just lies like all men do? Who knows.

But the truth was, Sam was generous to a fault. He would bend over backwards for his friends. At a rough time in my life, Sam was selfless with his efforts in order to get me back on my feet. When I was forced to replace 80 percent of what I owned, Sam showed up at my door with a bed and dressers. He brought me a purse and brought me food when I was too weak to move. Sam was patient when I had my breakdowns as my hair was falling out. He let me have my moments. Yeah, Sam had some good qualities.

In the end my last relationship was like a curiously built European car. No one could understand it. When it ran it ran beautifully. However, when it broke down it exploded like nothing I had ever seen and there was no fixing it. No way no how. Yes, it ended badly. All my relationships do. To date me is to hate me. I'll admit I am a jealous control freak who wants what she wants and she wants it now. My ambition always comes first and my lovers suffer. Plus Sam and I saw life two very different ways in the end. He was ready to settle down, I wasn't. If things didn't end when they did, Sam would have had issues with me going to Vegas like I do. He most certainly didnt want me going to Europe.
In reality, we were people who started out as friends that should have stayed friends. He hates my guts now. I have no feelings on him either way. You see, I don't like how he lied to me, but wish him the best as a person. He has some things to figure out. We all do. And maybe Sam would have been more honest with me if I was at a better place in my life. I don't know. It's over and we probably will never be friends again. Actually, I can say that with accurate certainty. But it's fine. All is fair in love and war.

The truth is, this was my first big foray into being monogamous and I think I did a good job. I hadnt been faithful to a partner since my former fiance. Sam and I operated as a unit to the point where it was scary. I had plenty of chances to cheat but didn't. Through the grapevine I heard Sam was planning on getting some side action with a would be actress/waitress and an old girlfriend from South Jersey where he was from.

The revelation didn't upset me when I found out long after our relationship ended. Because truth being, I was being lured in by an old comedian friend and another dude I had something with once upon a time. Not to mention the nephew of a prominent New York City judge was beginning to pique my interest. While I didn't bite, the offers were on the table and things got harder and harder to resist.
Maybe both of us wouldn't have been exploding out of our skins if we just agreed on having an open relationship. Yes, I would have a date night with another dude and Sam would have a date night with another woman. Sam was more blue collar and was a genius with sheet rock. It was dead sexy, but ultimately when I said the names Thomas Paine and Albert Camus his eyes went bored. I still remember chatting with a vegan history professor about them and being oh so turned on. Then Sam walked in and I felt guilty. If I could have did the business with the professor and came home to Sam all would have worked out well.

Sam had throngs of women throwing themselves at him. He was funny and good with his hands not to mention kind hearted. They drooled over the flexing of his muscles in a primal way that I never could muster let alone understand. My need for intellectual stimulation frightened Sam because it meant I didnt always need him, and I know he needed a break from the history references and the talk of an ambitious, driven woman. What Sam wanted was someone to cook for him and worship him. I don't do those things to men. If he could have had a date night with one of them on the same night I had my date night, it could have eliminated a lot. Plus I think we could have been happier.

It was a relationship where he knew he couldn't give me certain things and vice versa. Had we opened it up, I think maybe, just maybe, everyone could have gotten their needs met. Because we didn't open it up, what happened was resentment built that is eternal and lasting on both ends. I think had we opened it up and if we decided we didn't work, we could have remained friends. However, he viciously hates my guts and that's fine. His friends and family distain me as well. Wouldnt expect anything less, it's the way these things always shake out. 

I did suggest opening it up at one point because I could feel Sam's unhappiness growing with me. Instead of being on board he accused me of wanting to cheat. And then he went on a jealous rant about feelings and heart and blah, blah, blah. At the beginning he wanted monogamy and made me promise that, but towards the end I think he secretly regretted it. This outdated social norm was the rope that was hanging us both cold and dead.

Maybe that's why I got as jealous as I did at times. It wasn't because he was a bad guy who didn't care about me. It wasnt even that he didn't love me, he would have given me the world. I think I knew deep down we both had an itch we needed to scratch and unmet needs on both ends. It wasn't so much about what he was doing, it was because I was so aware of mine that I became painfully attuned to his.

In a way it was a blessing things ended the way they did and when they did. We hurt each other at times, and a lot. It wasn't because we were bad people, it was because we knew we couldn't give each other everything and we wanted to so badly to where it was just plain painful to watch.  I know I would have been the first to cheat and felt the urge but I didn't want to lose Sam. Had things been open we wouldn't have had that issue though. Because my partner wouldn't give me that option, I would have been christened the bad girl lacking morals and would have had a crown of thorns placed on my head. It's not that Sam wanted to oppress me, his upbringing and the world he was from couldnt fathom that option.  In reality, I wasn't bad or evil. I was a person simply bowing to the basest of human instincts like we all do at times.

Whether you want to cheat or not, monogamy is like Vietnam, the memory messes with a person's mind. After my relationship ended, and even though Sam does not want me back and vice versa, I felt my first date with another dude I was cheating. He took me to a nicer place than Sam could ever afford and brought me flowers, but it felt as if Sam was watching me the entire time.  I wasn't doing anything wrong. But society has brainwashed people so badly to make them a slave to the paradigm that the second you question it or break away, you are akin to a slave on the Underground Railroad running to your freedom. I have seen said gentlemen twice since then and both times have been lovely. And I want to see him again.

Then I did scratch the itch with the judge's nephew who has spent a ton of money on me and took me to places Sam would never step in let alone dream of as he joked about being a trust fund brat. We ate lobster, talked Camus and Thomas Paine, and even laughed about literature.  But the judge's nephew has a long time lady friend who he is with but not really. They sleep in two different rooms and it's complicated. He does what he does and she does what she does, not questions asked. I don't want serious and neither does he. People would say he's cheating and I'm the other woman. But we aren't hurting anyone and I am having fun. And I want to see him again, too.

In Coming of Age in Samoa, Margaret Mead surmised someone should have three partners in their life. Each should be for 7 years, and at the end of that term you should decide if you want to renew or not. And if you do renew for another term, don't renew for another 7. Essentially a romantic partner is like an apartment. There are people who have decried Ms. Mead and said she is full of baloney. Yet in this world 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. It's not always because both people don't love each other and that they are bad. People grow, people change, people get bored, people evolve. Relationships also run their course, and we must realize this without the malice typically involved in a split.

I still remember being in high school, working as a lifeguard and regularly being propositioned by married men. They all agreed they loved their wives but that they were bored. Yes, bored. They all said she was a good woman and a good mother but they craved that new adventure and then would tuck it away to go back home. And even those that were too pure to proposition me admitted to looking at porn. One got in big trouble because his wife found his search engine history. It wasn't that he didn't love her. The man had needs. It's not that she wasn't enough.......it was complicated.

It's all complicated. People cheat for a myriad of reasons and the person they cheat with isn't always a Playboy/Play Girl model type. Heck, I have been cheated on a bunch of times. My former fiance cheated on me with a former girlfriend I will call Busty. She was a bigger girl, which made me do a double take when I found out she was the side piece. But Busty was attractive not to mention a semi-celebrity on the roller derby circuit. When I bitched about it, people cited she could have had a better personality. Maybe she did, I never met her so I can't comment on her either way. However my ex cheated with her so I didn't care for her therefore she was  a bitch by default at the time. But then others saw her picture and exclaimed, "She's fat and ugly! What was he thinking!" He was thinking he had needs that needed to be met and I wasn't the woman to do it.

Isaac regularly dated other women as he dated me, but got upset when I did the same with guys. The much older Playboy with the Park Avenue apartment was once out with this frumpy would be writer who sometimes contributed to some feminist blog that no one besides feminists care about. She was cute, but not pretty. The lady looked like she had never seen a tube of lipstick. I remember she was pleasant enough. Isaac tried to pretend he was parading her around to make me jealous and it kind of worked.......but then I started talking to her, liked her, and came to the conclusion Isaac was the idiot not her. Still, she was closer to his age and I wasn't. She understood how to have a good time and let go whereas I was a clingy kid. We all have our strengths I suppose.

And of course there was Paul who was on the run and working as a male stripper and rent boy. While living California, he called me from the home of his "sugar mama" to tell me he still loved me. I saw a picture of his sugar mama and she was easily 200 pounds. Not only was she bank rolling him and his coke habit, but she had three kids. Yeah, it was shitty and he was using her. But she wanted to be used. At the same time, although I was easily better looking I hated her guts because I loved Paul so much even though he was a terrible mistake. But feelings are not facts, they just are. In the end she found out Paul was calling me and had a shit fit. But he needed funds in addition to emotional support. As I said, one person cannot give us everything......

While Sam never cheated, as I mentioned he was getting ready to. The actress/waitress he was going back and fourth with on facebook that I will call Pasha adored him to no end and seemed to need him. Sam was the type who needed to be needed. I wouldn't say she was pretty or ugly, but she was distinct looking. I saw some of her youtube videos and she is a good actress, and she could be great someday. Ultimately, she decided to forgo Sam for a homeless, married man because the poor thing is more invested in good decision making than I am. I met her once and did like her. I hope she's okay. The other girl he wanted to get it on with was a girl named Jennika who had 3 kids and had her ex desert her. While she wasn't unpretty, she wasn't above a 6. She also wasn't the achiever I am. Yet at the same time she was probably a better cook than I was and like Pasha, needed a man whereas I don't.  Sam needed to feel important and valued and I wasn't giving that to him, and maybe it was because I didn't know how. Freak if I know......

When each of my relationships ended in disaster they were truly over. I can honestly say while I am no angel, there was no ultimate bad guy on either end either. In each case, we were all people who had a journey together and that journey was ultimately over. We had run our course. The lease to this schlepp truck was not being renewed. We were all relieved.

This is where relationships become like free therapy sans the Freud couch. We all claim that they are the bad guy when we seldom look at our role in things. But we want to point the finger because as I said, relationships are akin to therapy, and we learn truths about ourselves we don't want to learn. Maybe that's why break ups are hard. We don't adore them, they weren't so great. It's because we beat ourselves up for being such pathetic doormats who forgo what we really believe in because we sell out to the social norm that it is better to have a partner who pisses you off than to be alone and happy. Or we realize how much we gave of ourselves when really we couldn't give them everything and were pissed we tried in the first place.

Then there is always the bullshit promise we will do things different next time but we never do. I'll admit I will always be the same jealous, self-centered hot mess with trust issues. My puppets and my career will always come before any man. I don't cook, clean, or do laundry and never will. I am iffy about wanting a family and marriage is eh. That being said, at least I'm honest which is more than can be said for any man I have ever been with let alone most people out there. I do some things right and need to give myself credit somewhere.

Do open relationships work and can they? I have 2 friends a witch and magister in the Church of Satan respectively. Their relationship is open, and it is more honest and healthy than anything I have ever seen. Each has a date night and then they compare notes. At times I don't understand it because it is like nothing I have ever seen. But they are truthful in a way no couple I have ever met is, and not to mention their ethics are amazing when it comes to the rest of the world. They come to the aid of those who are bullied constantly. Not to mention they are good friends with their other sexual partners and at the same time love each other unconditionally. While there are those who judge the witch and the magister, maybe they have stumbled upon utopia in the way the rest of the world hasn't.

On the other hand, I had another friend do an open relationship with a vampire dungeon mistress as the man on the side. She fell in love with him and her husband got jealous. In the end, he used her lifestyle against her in order to get full custody of their kids when he had been game for an open relationship before all this went down. Then my buddy married her and she picked up a female side piece with mental and emotional issues who later fell in love with my pal's wife. In the end, she tried to kill my pal and his wife and was led away in a straight jacket. That time it didn't work.

Maybe it was because they didn't have boundaries or people developed feelings. But I also think it was because people wanted control. Long after the fact I found out my bud's wife was jealous of me because she thought he wanted me  because he called me talking for hours about the depth of their relationship. Meanwhile she had no reason to be jealous. She had a date night with someone else. So again, maybe they needed to figure some things out.

But then there was the dude when I was 22 who lied and said he was in an open relationship. I didnt know this until his wife called me to scream. Alas, they should have had an open, honest discussion. Nonetheless, I do believe open relationships are the wave of the future.

My mom disagrees. She says, "Women will continue to be jealous. Men will continue to be possessive. People will continue to die."

Who knows? I wish I had the answer. If I did I wouldn't be writing this blog. I know one thing for sure though. Hell will be a round table support group with each of my ex boyfriends exchanging notes and me walking in on the meeting. Eh, what can you do, right?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy Birthday, Thomas Paine

"These are the times that try men's souls. When, in crisis, the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot sink from the service of their country....." Thomas Paine penned those words in regards to the American Revolution. He is a founding father. His birthday just passed. Instead of giving him a postage stamp or a celebration we seemingly banish this patriot and dedicated Son of Liberty.

Over the years, Thomas Paine has been taught by history teachers as a part of The American Revolutionary unit. Then he is forgotten like the rest of high school. I still remember learning the first part of "The Crisis" in Mr. Tietz's history class with hand motions. I thought it was funny and eccentric just like my beloved instructor. However, I remembered the words but gave little thought or meaning to them let alone the man until some years later when I began my own journey with my pen.

George Washington was the general who made America possible. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the statesmen who's knowledge of government and how things work made the penning of the Declaration of Independence even a thought let alone a reality. Benjamin Franklin was the foul mouthed diplomat who moonlighted as an inventor that got the revolution foreign aid from France. John Hancock was the loud, obnoxious merchant who only joined the cause because he was sick of the British taxes making him lose money. Before that he admitted he could have cared less about the outcome of the war, but this Harvard College educated man was known for his quick wit and naughty sense of humor as well. Not to mention he signed his name the biggest on The Declaration of Independence, a proverbial middle finger to the British crown. George Washington, a hero of the French and Indian War and easy going father type, led the charge. Then making his entrance was a red haired, stubborn, Scottish born lawyer named Patrick Henry who cried, 
"No taxation without representation!"

In this play peppered with characters that the American education system waters down for the sake of time, we forget the voice. That would be Thomas Paine.

Yes, Thomas Paine, or TP as we called him in 9th grade. He was a British born sometimes homeless vagabond who was literally a professional revolutionary. Mr. Paine was a rebel without a cause long before James Dean dawned the leather jacket. Of course he found his cause, America. Mind you his revolutionary ideals were groundbreaking and long before their time. He was Marx and Engle, crafting pamplets readily available for people long before such a thing became a consideration. He was Che Guevara before the beret wearing bandit was even a thought let alone any of his ancestors. Thomas Paine was dedicated, matter of fact, vitriolic, and inspiring. While leaders encouraged their townsmen to take up arms, Thomas Paine's words put the weapons in their hand.

Thomas Paine's words were a challenge to the status quo. He encouraged America to break free from the tyrannical boot of King George III. Yes, the German born monarch from The House of Hanover who's inbreeding gave him both physical and mental problems. Yet this imbecile and his handlers who regularly took advantage of him, both revealed in historical hindsight, were given the divine right to rule. (I wish I were lying really and truly).

The Americans tried the easier, softer way. But King George was relentless in wanting to keep the colonists down and when the colonists took the civil steps to stick up for their rights, King George further punished them. That is when they said they would not accept nor would they tolerate. Thus began the American Revolution.

In hindsight, America was a crazy place during that time. Families were divided as sons took up arms against the crown, and others were loyal to the king. Native American tribes served as mercenaries for both sides, because the rouge government and the crown both made promises of land they never intended to deliver. Add in the Hessians, mercenary imports from the territory of Hesse-Kassil in Prussia, fighting for Britain, because in the words of the red coats who tolerated them, it was "a benefit of His Majesty the Sausage Sucker."


We must of course not forget the minutemen on the American side. They spring up in this epic around the time Paul Revere, a respected blacksmith and son of French Huguenots rode and warned, "The British are coming! The British are coming!"

As the scene of Lexington and Concord unfolded and those that similarly followed, minutemen lined the green as people who were forced to long accept and endure but would no longer tolerate. The illustrious, ill-trained, yet enthusiastic troops composed of illiterate farmers who knew how to carry a rifle to survive alongside overeducated city professionals who could correct their grammar but had no idea how to hold let alone carry a weapon. These men were all united, however, in that they would rather die free than enslaved to a monarch who was out of touch, out of line, and the dictionary definition of a despot gone oppressive. Together, despite their differences they decided they were sick and tired of being sick and tired. "Don't tread on me" became their motto and with good reason.

Lest we forget The Sons of Liberty who had many Founding Fathers as members. Today they are celebrated as heroes. Then they were little more than a terrorist organization. They tarred and feathered tax collectors simply doing their jobs and burnt down Loyalist owned businesses.

The old saying goes, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." It is ironic that we fight a war against terror when we have not looked at our own postage stamps lately. But yes, they were freedom fighters. Because of their struggle America exists as it does today, a nation taking the moral inventory of others but not looking at it's own side of the street.

Thomas Paine's words not only helped inspired a colonist led revolution, but also was the voice that kept the Johnny Tremain's in the ranks  going when things looked bleak. For the first part of the war American minutemen got slaughtered by British soldiers literally as a sport. Battles were being lost and many were deserting. In "The Crisis" Thomas Paine speaks of the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot, freedom fighters who are gung ho when the cause is easy. However, his words encouraged them to keep fighting. He promised them it would get better. They just had to keep going just a little longer......

It cannot be said how many people continued as a member of The Continential Army because of Thomas Paine, or how many enlisted because of him. But sure enough, the colonist did not back down their revolt. They kept going. Sure enough, the tide did change. France, the eternal enemy of England in those days, gave aid out of spite. French troops joined the cast, and even Rochambeau, a colorful French noblemen and military officer. Alongside him was Baron Von Steuben, a stern Prussian general and taskmaster that whipped the troops into shape. Washington soldiered on, secretly resentful of the British generals he had once worked alongside who were born into wealth and looked down upon him once upon a time for being born and raised in the colonies despite his previous service to the crown.


America won her freedom. Yet Thomas Paine has no postage stamp or national holiday celebrating him. Whatever happened to this man?

Thomas Paine was a professional revolutionary as I explained. When France revoluted, he held a seat on the Revolutionary Tribunal. Supporting their cause, Thomas Paine further encouraged the people to strike down the concept of Divine Right. His words cheered the French as they beheaded Marie Antoinette, the Austrian Princess who thought it was not only beneath her to learn the language of the people she ruled, but insisted that starving people should "eat cake." He also enouraged the execution of Louis XVI, the weakling king who was divinely christened by the Lord to rule, yet had no clue on how to do so.

While this sounds brutal, and in many ways it is, the people of France had it far worse than the Americans. The rich got richer, the poor got poorer and they continued to starve and die as the aristocrats chomped on their bones. While World War I would be the final requiem knell to the concept on monarchy, divine right, and aristocrats feasting on the hard work of peasants, Thomas Paine would be the pen to take the first fatal blow to the concept.

Unfortunately, Thomas Paine made his share of enemies and was slated to be killed during The Reign of Terror. This being an occupational hazard of being a professional revolutionary, Thomas Paine willingly returned to America, the land of his first victory.

Living outside New York City, Mr. Paine wrote about the possibility of there being no God, and instead of enticing debate became a target for the wrathful Americans, those who's freedom his words helped secure. Just like today, many who cling to religion tend to be intolerant of those who are different, especially the non-believers. Rather than celebrate this man for his contributions and just chalking up his atheism to just a difference in principal, he was shunned.

Thomas Paine died alone. His funeral was sparcely attended. Buried in a pauper's grave, for years his bones were moved because when he finally got a stone it was vandalized. For years, his remains moved until it became a fact that part of him was in America, part in England, and part perhaps in France. Thomas Paine probably did not take being ostracized by those he helped personally. He suffered for his cause until the end. Other greats such as Ghandi and Malcolm X and even Yazik Rabin were killed by those they were trying to liberate. Yet, despite believing in no God, Thomas Paine gave selflessly. He wrote and risked execution on multiple occasions so people would not only believe they were entitled to an existence where their voices mattered, but that in fact it was their right. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of such people and that is why there names are known in history. If the world were filled with more, it can be cliche and apt to say the world would be a better place.

His demise was safe and assuring for the Founding Fathers. Yes, the rich white members of the oligarchy, many who owned slaves and never dreamed of seeing women as equals. This atheistic revolutionary, unafraid of a fight, probably made them guard their pocket watches and money purses as more often than not he lived on the run. Thomas Paine would have challenged their owning of slaves and their treating of female companions as second class citizens. He would have cut them to size with their own logic. Thomas Paine was safer dead, because the longer the man stayed alive his thoughts and ideas truly become dangerous.

As Ted Cruz perverts the principals this country was founded upon live on The Republican debates, he dares call New Yorkers "Godless liberals." He spouts out hate in the guise of "Conservative Values." However, this Harvard and Princeton educated, hypocritical, talking head forgets that if it weren't for the words of Thomas Paine, a "Godless liberal," writing as he did America would probably not exist. Then Donald Trump screams of "making America great again." He forgets America is great and was since it's inception, because Thomas Paine encouraged the people to stand up to rich tyrants who feasted on the hardworking people like Mr. Trump.

Thomas Paine's words have served as a guidepost too for other young activists in a myriad of causes. At one time it was against the law to help a slave escape, but even when it was dangerous The Underground Railroad continued to operate. Women did not have the right to vote let alone be educated, but because they continued to protest today we have women doctors, lawyers, professors, and statesmen. People of color were not seen as equals but today not only do they vote and have equal rights but we even have a black man as president. LGBTQ people were treated as less than human despite the fact they worked and paid taxes. Today not only can they marry, but laws protect them from hate crime discrimination. Each time, and in each cause, there was the temptation of young activists to be summer soldiers and sunshine patriots as there were deaf ears, set backs, and religion was sometimes even used as a weapon against them. But they continued to fight knowing it would get better.....and each time it did.

In turn, Thomas Paine's words have continued to inspire the oppressed all over the world. Not only does he assure them that being treated as a whole person is a right, but even from the grave he encourages them to revolt and make their dream a reality. He not only shaped America's philosophy, but has helped make us the go to place and the go to country for the rest of the world. When American troops come into a war torn country with people who have been under the control of a dictator or warlord, we tell them they can have democracy. And when it happens they have Thomas Paine to thank.

This man has no national holiday to commemorate him, nor does he have a postage stamp as I said earlier. Yet he probably would not have wanted one. Thomas Paine is probably in hell if you are Christian and damn atheists there. Or if you are a more progressive, spiritual person he is in heaven or the afterlife yucking it up about how he didn't think there was one and he was wrong. Or perhaps he is long gone, part of the Earth from hence he came.

Either way, last Friday, January 29 was his birthday. So wherever you are, TP, happy birthday as you perhaps float about in the Godless ether. While many do not celebrate you I do. Thank you for for being an author, the true yet uncelebrated backbone to any cause. Please know you inspired this writer and would be revolutionary. 
 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Fear and Loathing in the New Year

Winter is finally here, sneaky bitch. I don't like her and don't care for her. I freaking hate this time of year. Granted, I hate the crap leading up to Christmas, from the shopping to the usual round of familial drama. Which reject is going to jail and who is currently unmedicated that needs to be medicated. Who's fighting with who? Who will make this holiday awkward and God who do I resent?

But then something magical happens on Christmas. Even the family members you can't stand, you are glad to see them happy and healthy. You are glad to see people aren't claiming to be abducted by aliens and are on their proper meds. Life is good and you all enjoy a laugh. Then the New Year comes.

And then it just gets strange. It's like the circus set up on the small town football field, did their thing, and now they are on to the next stop. The field stands empty, looking abandoned and depressed like a chunky girl on prom night who ordered her own limo despite having no date. Nothing is happening. Everyone is doing their thing at half speed unsure of what is next. And then it's cold out.

What is worse is business is slow in my business. There is nothing much to do because people blew their money on Christmas and things just slow down. It's the time of year where my parents agonize over my life. It's always when I should go back to school for this or work for this person who has this job where you make lots of money and don't work hard. But said person usually turns out of be a poser. Or my mom calls freaking out about the fact I'm single and even signs me up for a dating site without my knowledge. The cold gets to everyone. Once I am working beyond my ability to concentrate they leave me alone. They roast my brother or sister......they way it should be, LOL.

Of course my sister is getting married. She's going to be in the hot seat for the next several months. Like my brother and I, she will not only get used to being in the shit house but might even buy property there. It's not that she's a bad kid. No. She's getting married.

I am currently having some drama with my bank, long story. It's not my fault (for once). It's amazing how some people can have their job and suck at it fucking up at every turn. Fired.....never. That is why it's amazing to me when people say they can't find work or won't work. I know plenty of people paid to do nothing. It's not that hard, really.

Either way, I go to Vegas soon and am excited. I got upgraded to first  class last week. Maybe things are looking up. Maybe I better stop being a cynical shithead.

Mom: When you laugh, the world laughs with you. When you cry, you cry alone.

Me: But Mom, it's fun being a cynical shithead.

Sigh.....