Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Hot Stuff Buffet

"Looking for your hot stuff
Baby, I need it
Looking for your hot stuff
Baby, tonight
I want your hot stuff
I got to feel it
Got to have your hot stuff
Got to have your love tonight"

sung by Donna Summer

The other night I had one of those bizarre moments when everything just struck me as a hilarious irony.  We were eating dinner at Shoney's.  Now, I know a lot of people scoff at Shoney's, but I've found that most of them have never actually been to a Shoney's - they are just on some anti-Shoney's bandwagon because they don't have the guts to go against the "cool" crowd who loudly hates certain things they've deemed "uncool."  The Shoney's we go to has a top-notch salad bar with three times the variety of fresh cut veggies than other uppity places offer (Ruby Tuesday, for example, has a rather limited salad bar in comparison).  This Shoney's even has the premium spring mix of baby greens and "fancy" lettuces and spinach in addition to the standard iceberg and romaine mix.  The salad bar also has chick peas and a wide variety of fruits, nuts, raisins, etc.  Anyone who claims that there is nothing good at Shoney's is just showing their own ignorance.  There is also a hot food buffet with a variety of cooked veggies and meats including fish, chicken, pork, and beef. There are soups and breads too.  It's not all fried fast food style junk, nor warmed up canned stuff. Honestly, I just love Shoney's because it's quick and good and satisfying.  I sometimes crave the variety of salad and hot stuff without having to cook it all and clean up afterwards.  Besides, when I was a kid my dad was the manager of the Gatlinburg Shoney's so it has always had that nostalgic aspect.  Back then it was still called Shoney's Big Boy, and they did not have a buffet but just a menu.  I have lots of fun memories about that Shoney's.  Some time after my dad moved on to another career the Big Boy company parted ways with the Shoney's company in this part of the country.

So, back to the bizarro moment the other night.  We had just sat down with our plates of steaming hot goodness, and I noticed that Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" was playing in the background.  I looked around and saw that we were, at 50 and 52, the youngest people in the restaurant other than some of the employees.  I wondered if all those older people noticed the music.  It seemed so strange for such a song to be playing in a place populated by people with oxogen tanks, walkers, wheel-chairs, and canes.  Then I realized that all those old people were probably in their disco partying primes when that song first came out in 1979.  Wow!  I couldn't help but laugh out loud.  It was similar to the feeling I got when I first heard Nirvana on the "classic rock" radio station.  Getting old can be weird and surprising, and I wonder if other people are as struck by the oddness of these moments of in-your-face passage of time.  Did their hearing Donna singing about wanting "hot stuff" bring about memories of their youthful pursuits of hot love?  Or were they like me and the only hot stuff they were thinking about was sitting on their plates?        

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

On My First Half Century: Maiden, Mother, Crone

The other day I celebrated my 50th birthday.  I had fretted about it for several months prior, just trying to grapple with the whole concept of having lived a half century and getting older and considering that I most likely had much less than another half century of living to come.  But I feel fine now.  I mean, what else would I do?  I'm happy for each new day I'm given even though sometimes I complain or worry about generally trivial things.  Life is good.

When I first started this blog I was in my mid-thirties, my children were still quite young and the future was still wide open, at least in my mind.  I have lived a large quantity of experience in these last dozen years.  Most of my intensive mothering life has happened as my children are now young adults.  My youngest will turn 18 later this year, and that freaks me out almost more than my own turning 50!  As mothering goes, the hardest part for me was about the time when my previous blogging slowed significantly.  I just had less time to write as my family needed more of my attention.  The kids were involved in school band, and my oldest particularly excelled and required much more of my involvement with his success and extra activities.  I absolutely love that I got to be his mom during all of his experiences and accomplishments.  I've enjoyed my teenaged children most of all their growing up stages.  

To be totally honest, motherhood was a bit of a struggle for me at the beginning.  I loved my babies more than anything, but it was so hard for me to reconcile my maidenhood and motherhood aspects.  By maidenhood I mean the youthful independence and freedom of self that comes from not having the responsibility for another's life and well-being.  Losing my own mother to cancer less than a year after becoming a mother myself was especially difficult.  I had no guidance and no motherly direction or support.  I was on my own and had to just figure it out.  Books were of little help, frankly, because every child and family is a bit different and no "authority" of parenting and mothering fits everyone.  I did get help from my mother-in-law, but that was more relief than anything else because she would babysit while I tried to keep my sanity.  Those breaks allowed my inner Maiden some time to finish some of the things she needed to do before passing the full-time baton on to the Mother.  Blogging was one of those things, as was dabbling in digital artwork and physics and some other random interests.  Eventually, life demanded a full-time Mother so the Maiden laid to rest in hibernation.    

(Gustav Klimt, "The Three Stages of Woman")

All females have these three stages of life - maiden, mother, and crone.  The youthful Maiden will surrender to the Mother as life requires us to focus on new roles, needs, and goals. And as the Mother's responsibilities of raising children into adulthood are fulfilled the Crone is allowed to emerge.  But all three aspects co-exist within all females throughout their lives.  It's just that the changing demands and expectations of life will require the prominence of one over the others.  Oftentimes in young girls the Crone will be there in the back of the mind with her wisdom and intuition.  She can also be there for the Mother.  I think my innate Crone helped somewhat in replacing my own mother when I was just a young mother myself.  As my Mother aspect has grown and matured the Crone is emerging with a renewed sense of Maiden-like freedom from the heavy responsibilities of young motherhood.  Once a Mother, always a Mother, but once the children are grown we can again begin to look at our own hopes, dreams, and goals.  I'm not saying that mothers can't have their own lives.  That is not my point at all.  This is just the psycho-social-spiritual idea of changing stages of female development throughout life.

So now that I have turned 50 I've decided that I am glad to welcome the Crone.  The truth is the Crone has been eagerly awaiting for her time to shine.  I've always liked my prematurely graying hair.  I have already accepted the physical changes that come with "middle-age."  I really could not care less about being sexually appealing to every man I meet.  The Maiden's need to be desired in that way has expired, thankfully, and what a relief it is.  There is a lot time and energy gained with the freedom from constant sexual thought.  I don't know if men ever have that freedom even at an advanced age.  It is an idea that my youthful Maiden certainly would have difficulty understanding or even seeing as normal and acceptable.  But there are stages of to our lives and normal changes in desired activities.  Just as little girls eventually lose interest in their dolls and toys, it is normal for grown women to lose the need for other youthful impulses and activities.  I do worry that my husband misses the sexually spirited Maiden/Mother aspects, but good lord, it's not like he didn't have many many years of fulfillment and if he didn't get enough then that's his own damned fault.  He got the best of my youth and beauty and vitality, and now he needs to honor his vows to make the best of what is left of me.

Our society worships sex and its obsession with youthful virility has caused widespread depression, divorce, and other dysphoria and dysfunctional aging.  The whole "anti-aging" industry is worthy of its own damning blog entry.  The measures people take in attempting to recapture or artificially maintain some unrealistic ideal of youth and sexual prowess are costing too much in money as well as healthy aging.  To each his own, I suppose, as long as those who refuse to accept the natural life stages don't judge and mistreat those of us who are fascinated and enthusiastic about getting to know all of the wealth of experience that our changing lives provide.  This hard-won wisdom is something our world desperately needs in these days of instant gratification and virtual reality.  The arrival of the Crone and her age's cogent perception, intuition, and testimony are welcome in my life.

The one life experience I hope to enjoy before my time is finished is to be a grandmother - the perfect blend of Mother and Crone with a little Maiden thrown in too sometimes.  My own mother was a reluctant grandmother who feared and rejected the Crone aspect of herself.  Her favorite scene from the movie "Terms of Endearment" is the one where Shirley MacClaine's character screams "Why should I be happy about being a grandmother?!?"

I really don't know why being a grandmother seemed so objectionable to her other than that she associated it with being old.  It's terrible and ironic that she died at a young 54 and less than a year after becoming a grandmother for the second time with the birth of my oldest son.  Her first was 11 years before when my sister had her son.  By the time I had my first baby my mother had been a grandmother for quite some time, but she still seemed reluctant and even a bit uninterested.  She had her job and didn't have time to babysit or just come and help me learn to be a mom.  As an early feminist she generally put her needs first.  Probably part of my embracing of the Crone is in opposition to the way my mother approached aging.  She almost seemed relieved that cancer would take her before she had to get very old.  That just seems sad to me and maybe the two decades without her have hardened my memories of her.  Maybe my mother just never learned to reconcile her own Maiden, Mother, and Crone aspects.  But I do know that I want to live much longer than she did and I will accept whatever aging brings me in exchange for the time to continue to enjoy my children and hopefully their children.

So here's to another half century, or at least another quarter century!  

Friday, January 19, 2018

I Can't Quit You Baby

"Well, I can't quit you baby
But I got to put you down a little while"

-Willie Dixon 

I really, really, really would like to quit In-Your-Face-book, but it unfortunately has become an almost vital outlet of communication in our world.  It is pretty useful in getting party invitations and other social information distributed quickly and easily, but I do hate all the other garbage that swirls around the bits of important stuff.  Yes, I've contributed my share of political crap to the mess, and I'm sure that more than half of the "friends" on my list have either unfollowed or otherwise filtered me out of their feeds.  What kind of friendship is that?  But I have unfollowed and filtered out people too, and I don't really feel any guilt about it because I've finally admitted that I am not an introvert but a misanthrope.  I bet a lot of self-proclaimed introverts are actually not introverts at all, but are, like me, those who just pretty much dislike most other people.  There do seem to be a lot of loud introverts on Facebook - so many memes proclaiming introversion and how to "deal" with it and so forth.  Well, screw that.  It's just another politically correct term for misanthropic and antisocial tendencies.  

Facebook is all the worst of high school, and I hated high school too.  I do have a few real friends and people I truly care for and whose company I enjoy online and in real life.  But sometimes it really strains positive relationships when we have to see the snarky, hostile comments that our friends make about people and issues that we might care about, even when those comments aren't meant for us.  It's like reading the worst entries in our friends' diaries.  Facebook puts all of those things In-Your-Face and that has fostered a huge increase in sarcasm, passive-aggressiveness, and paranoia.  And on the other hand are the braggarts and boasters who try to make their lives and relationships look perfect.  I know some people use Facebook as a kind of accountability journal so that they can keep up with tasks and responsibilities, but sometimes it looks like boasting.  And then there are the couples who seem to put all their love on Facebook and brag about every aspect of their partner and relationship.  It can be nice to have public validation and recognition, but I have to wonder about the real health of a relationship that measures itself by its Facebook presence.  

I've always been a bit antisocial, and today's prevalence of "social media" has been a struggle and challenge.  The antisocial feelings have always been a defensive response to the meanness and ignorance of people in general, and now our society has become even more hostile towards those of us who don't fall lockstep into the common mindset.  I've found myself severely self-censoring ever since Trump was elected because the world has become so hostile towards anyone who thinks for herself and questions the validity and reliability of mass media.  I cancelled my NYT subscription because every time I read an article a day or more after initial publication there were notes of correction where they had failed to adequately fact-check, edit, and/or proofread the original articles.  There's no excuse for that kind of incompetence, especially at that level.  Journalism has become a sad joke of unacceptable lack of quality and accountability.  Anyone who looks truly objectively at what is happening will have to admit that "fake news" is a real thing, and that it is an enemy of free people because it is seeking to control and manipulate the narrative and create its own reality instead of reflecting the actual reality.  We had hoped that Trump's election despite all the horribly wrong polls predicting otherwise would have opened more eyes to the problem of fake news and the media trying to create reality instead of reporting it.  But I guess people love their blinders and don't want to admit that they were fooled by a bunch of unscrupulous "journalists" who have abused the concept of free press to their own ends.  That is the real danger in this fake news movement - it truly does weaken the freedom of expression and the trust in the validity of information.  I would consider that an enemy of the people just as much as anyone else who abuses their power and position for personal gain or for the effect of weakening the people's chosen leadership.  I have been truly afraid of expressing my support for Trump because of the vicious attacks agains anyone who stands up and defends him. Accusations of "racist" are the witch-hunt of today.  The last time I was so afraid to speak my mind was in high school, but at least back then it was only the class bullies who could hurt me.  Now it is the whole of the internet and Facebook itself that can label and punish me for saying something that others might not like.  No wonder the antisocial feelings and paranoia are rising in me and many others.  

Although I think about quitting Facebook I most likely won't, more due to my hoarding tendencies than to social obligation.  After all I still have my landline phone (another thing I hate - talking on the phone).  I keep it because it might need it someday - the typical justification of all hoarders for their keeping everything.  I will keep Facebook because I will need it sometimes to communicate and to send birthday and holiday greetings.  Eventually, Facebook will be as relevant as the landline phone, and even then I'll probably still hate it.  To the friends and loved ones who might find these words, please don't take them personally, but I'm guessing you already knew these things anyway.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Obamacare, Mental Health, and Guns

This is directly from the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare, iow):

added by section 10101(e)(2) 
‘‘(1) WELLNESS AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS.—A wellness and health promotion activity implemented under subsection (a)(1)(D) may not require the disclosure or collection of any information relating to—
‘‘(A) the presence or storage of a lawfully-possessed firearm or ammunition in the residence or on the property of an individual; or
‘‘(B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition by an individual. 
‘‘(2) LIMITATION ON DATA COLLECTION.—None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used for the collection of any information relating to—
‘‘(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition;
‘‘(B) the lawful use of a firearm or ammunition; or
‘‘(C) the lawful storage of a firearm or ammunition. 
‘‘(3) LIMITATION ON DATABASES OR DATA BANKS.—None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used to maintain records of individual ownership or possession of a
firearm or ammunition. …  Page 20

So, attention: all you TV talking heads and stupid politicians who passed a law that you didn't read,

Before you go spouting off about "what to do" about the "mentally ill" being able to "get/have guns" do a little research!  Lord have mercy.  I'm just a middle-aged, nobody-reckneck housewife and don't get paid to look up this stuff and don't have assistants or interns or "fact-checkers" to help me out.  Do your freakin' jobs already!   

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Necessary to the Security of a Free State

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. 

What it says and really means is that individuals' rights to keep and use weapons shall not be taken away or reduced because the security of a FREE state depends on the government's military powers being balanced by a citizenry that is capable of defending itself from a government that has become oppressive, like the one that the Revolution defeated.          

Friday, October 05, 2012

Don't Cry for Big Bird - He's Rich!

According to the financial statement of Sesame Workshop their total revenue for 2009 (most recent year available) was a whopping $130,606,413.  Don't believe all the whiny "poor" Big Bird nonsense being spouted by mindless bots in response to Mitt Romney's statement about ending federal funding for PBS.  But back to the numbers for a moment, according to Sesame Workshop received $5,000,000 in federal funding in 2009.  Clearly, Big Bird isn't really relying on federal funding for his income.  I think maybe he needs to be audited if he's trying to convince people otherwise.  Another interesting figure from their 2009 form 990 Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (because it's supposed to be a 'non-profit' organization) is that the list of highest compensated officers, directors, employees totals well over $5,000,000.

Can I get a job at Sesame Street?  They sure do pay well for a non-profit.

So don't cry for Big Bird because he's looking a lot like a top 1% greedy rich guy.  He sure as heck doesn't need any of my money!  And how about that writer making $658,789?  Dang, I wonder how his personal tax rate compares to Romney's.

Typical street thug.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The 99% Stupid

If you align yourself with the self-professed "99%" who were "occupying" various parts of cities around the country then you might not want to read this because your feelings will get hurt.

While a couple of the issues associated with the OWS "movement," such as bank bailouts and government corruption, are valid complaints, most of what the protestors represented has been just plain stupidity, unAmerican goals, and selfish greed. Protesting greed with greed is uneffective and ridiculous. If those people are so against Wall Street, wealthy corporations, and capitalism, then they need to throw out all of their iphones, ipads, macbooks, ipods, and whatever other idevices they "own" (even though they don't really believe in private property) because Apple is a wealthy capitalist Wall Street traded corporation with more money than the US government. Yeah, why aren't they camped out in front of the Apple headquarters since it sure looks like they are hoarding a big chunk of the American wealth. Of course, I don't really care how much wealth Apple hoards for itself. Their wealth does NOT prevent me from increasing my own wealth. I choose not to be beholden to any particular corporation because as an American I really do have choices and I have enough brains to make good choices. I don't need the government or some bums on the street telling me how much money I am allowed to have or how or where to spend it. If other people are too stupid to make good choices and do things that do make them slaves to some bank or other corporation, then maybe that's why they are bums. There are consequences to being stupid.

While hesitant to admit that I am probably smarter than most people I will admit that I know I am much better informed. Instead of believing every biased article on the web or every snarky satirical show on tv I go to the source for my information. I don't know why that seems so hard for everyone else. It's not like I have any more time than anyone else to find things out, but maybe that limited time is put to more efficient and effective use. You think some immigration law says that the police can just randomly question someone who looks Mexican? Well, go read the actual law and you'll see, at least if you have half a brain and use it, that it does not say that at all. Jesus. You think the Bill of Rights gives you absolute and unlimited freedoms? Go read it and learn the truth. It's not that hard! You ask for kindness towards one group but then ridicule someone for being offended? Walk the walk, don't just talk the talk. Freedom comes with lots of responsibility. And your freedom ends where someone else's begins. You can't trample on my freedoms while asserting your own.