Life After…Go figure

A Narrative of Life Outside The Box

Archive for the category “Stupid Stuff”

More things I can’t say in a sermon + the Ten-ISH (ok 20) Commandments as I wish I could discover and distribute them

Well. first of there would be more of them. so TenISH. Ok, more like 20. WHATEVER.

Preamble: Spoken by Whoever. I exist. I’m holy for you, I’m holy for the universe and all existence which means I’m holy for living beings DIFFERENT from you. You will now stop and think about that every time you read or hear read these ten-ISH commandments.

Worship whoever you want, however you want, including worship of Nothing, if that is your choice. Just make it in full conscience and stick to it–so if you have a sabbath, honor it, if you have laws, follow them.

If you ever, EVER try to do harm or evil–especially by breaking one of these ten-ISH commandments in God’s name, ANY God’s name,  So saith the conscious Universe, I will ride your rear-end like a Harley over a field of hot coals next to a cement plant with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra on full bass and then, after that, circumstances will get REALLY bad for you.

 

1. Do not kill anyone. (Hey, never said I wouldn’t keep the classics)

2. Do not take anything that is not yours.

3. Don’t stalk people in committed relationships–Ok, so your neighbor has a nice posterior. She’s married. She’s chosen somebody who is NOT YOU. It’s not about forbidding to covet her like she’s a thing. It’s about NOT STALKING OR PREYING ON ANOTHER HUMAN, GENIUS.

4. Be polite and respectful to your parents and the elders in your clan. If they treat you like crap, and you know it is unjustified, make sure that they are cared for to the best of YOUR ability and then get away.

5. Stop polluting. Stop dropping trash and garbage in woods and on roadsides, don’t drive freaking SUV’s when you live in the burbs and they aren’t hybrids. And stop leaving deflated latex balloons and old TV’s full of chemicals all over the place.

6. In fact. Just stop being an insensitive, selfish, cruel wad of bat feces to anything that isn’t human. Civilization is as civilization does.

7. Do not  cheat on your partner. Be honest with them and yourself and move on.

8. Do not  picket Family Planning offices–you know what the one thing you’re most  likely to accomplish there, Sonny Jackboots Bible Thumper? You’ll scare some church-going, married, conservative, 40 year old housewife away from getting a mammogram and her kids will grow up without her.–so she won’t be there to tell THEM what you’d prefer: NOT to use Birth Control.

9. Do NOT interfere with women’s rights and access to the following: (At minimum) Birth Control, abortion, medical care, maternity leave, breast feeding in public, equal pay for equal work, voting and oh, yeah, being able to wear what they want without declaring it an invitation to assault. And make your own fracking sammitch; she’s a four star general for Godssake.

10. Do not rape. (not as obvious as we need it to be)

11. Do not abuse, physically, emotionally, verbally, socially.

12. Do not commit acts of Bigotry.

13. DO NOT MESS WITH LITTLE OLD LADIES regardless of creed, nationality, ethnicity or geography. Son. Ma’am.  Just don’t. I am doing you a REALLY big favor here.

14. Recycle.

15. DO NOT Bully

16. DO not commit, allow or encourage mass pollution–corporate, coal, oil CEOs’ politicians’ sort of decisions.

17. Do not. Ever.  Suppress and or deliberately corrupt the scientific method, anyone’s history, media. Or Charles Darwin. Among others.

18. Do not discriminate or persecute any living being or human including, but not limited to, the grounds of religion, gender, gender identity, Sexual orientation (LGBTQ or Hetero), income, address, piercings, tattoos, ethnicity.

19. DO NOT commit Genocide. You Absolute Cockroach lovers. You contemptible vomitous wads. YES! YOU! AT THE BACK! You gormless, torrential spandex-and-slime-suckers. You know who you are. AND STOP MAKING ME REPEAT MYSELF.

20. Denial of Genocide. Yep. You self-righhteous,  lackluster, ferunculated idiots over by the coat room. You utter toe-rags.  You too.

 

OH. And,  on a tangential note: Stop killing Whales. Frankly, more often than not, they  produce better quality sermons and they don’t just preach on Sundays.

 

That’ll do for the moment, folks. Let’s just see how we do with these. I mentioned the hot coals and the prostate-cannons and Lawrence Welk, right?

More Stuff I Can’t Say In a Pulpit (or anywhere on site)

1. “Here: hold my dignity…I’ve got some sketchy shit to do.” *

2. (During the Annual Meeting) “Mawage…that dweem within a dweem…And WUUFV. Twuuu wuuufv.” **

3. “So today I’m gonna show you all how to petition the ancient Romano British God of Bowel disorders.”

4. “You guys ever stop and think that less than two centuries ago, people who went to churches like this thought that people with Irish last names like me were semi-human troglodytes who would run off with all your valuables, booze and women? and now you’ve got me called at your pulpit? INTERFAITH IS DOPE, AMMIRITE?”

5. “Ok, people, listen up! This time, once, JUST ONCE we are gonna be at the sit-in protest BEFORE the Quakers get there.”

6. singing any of the following: ***

a. “Aaand shee’s CLIMBING A STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN”

b. “DAAAAAAAAYYY—O! ME SAY DAAAAAAAYO! DAYLIGHT COME, PREACHER WAN’ GO HOME.”

c. “I was runnin’ down the road tryin’ to loosen my load; I got seven women on my mind…four that wanna own me two that wannna stone me; one says she’s a friend of mine…”

7. “So yesterday was Halloween. AND GOZER STILL DIDN’T APPEAR IN MY FRIDGE. (Sobb. Sniffle) The sermon today is titled: “Learning to embrace disappointment.”

8. “A Minister is never late. She arrives precisely when she means to.”

9. A sermon entitled “{after defining fan-fic} Why the Gospels are Fan-Fic.”

10. “Instead of preaching, I am going to lead a dance and air-guitar session. Any congregant under 80 and in good health who does NOT join in can do all our fundraising cold-calls  for the next 10 years.”

11. “So d’you all think God looks like Kenny Rogers? or more like James Brown? I vote for Oprah.”

12. a sermon entitled “The seven principles might be overstating it a bit: just don’t be a dick, ok, people?”

13. “I would like to remind parents that unaccompanied children will be issued a water pistol full of grape juice and an espresso.”

14. “As Unitarian Universalists, shouldn’t we be trying to explore interfaith networking around, well, the Universe? You know, with aliens?”

15. “I have fifteen socks and only seven of them match. I just wanted to share that with you all.”

*Random facebook quote for which I cannot claim credit

** “The Princess Bride” film, directed by Rob Reiner, quoted at the suggestion of Mrs. A. Camargo

***  1.”Stairway to Heaven” Led Zepplin, 1971″

2. “Banana Boat Song (Day-O)” Harry Belafonte 1951

3. “Take it Easy,” The Eagles

 

****The original idea for lists of this nature comes from the brilliant-five-alarm-screaming-laughter-inducing Skippy’s list: http://www.skippyslist.com, although Skippy has a much more interesting career and list of things he’s not allowed to do….

 

 

Things I Can Never Say From the Pulpit

1. The obvious, if beloved four-letter words.

2. I cannot point out that Jael killing the dude with a tent pole may be the first sex-toy fatality in scripture (death by pegging).

3. I also cannot point out that Deborah was 1 million percent done with everyone’s Sh—t. Especially because it was probably true.

4. I probably should not talk about the Witch of Endor summoning the prophet Samuel’s spirit–specifically because I always imagine that he appeared as an old guy with a cane shouting “Damn you kids GET OFF MY LAWN!”

5. “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing we call…life”*

6. “I have come here to chew Bubble Gum and Kick Ass. And I am all Out of Bubble Gum.” (John Carpenter)

7. Attributing statement 6 to ANY identity in theology, scripture or the history of social justice.**

8. “Does God sit on the toilet?”

9. “Holy Moses!”

10. “Come on, guys ZOMBIES ARE PEOPLE TOO, DAMMIT”***

11. “The next Congregant that I see littering can volunteer to test the 18th century lightening rod on our 19th century church.”

12. “Let me explain to you all a thing”

13. “To tell you all the truth, I think that particular denomination is_______”

14. “In the end, the differences in Religious belief and practice and how those spread through populations around the world all come down to SECTS”

15. In order to teach you all the flaws in Reverend Forrest Church’s ideas on the “all loving mother goddess” we will be holding an authentic Iron Age ritual TO said mother goddess. Bring raincoats and 40 pounds of raw kidney.” ****

16. Any AC/DC Lyrics. Ever.

 

* Prince/Artist formerly known as Prince “Let’s go Crazy”

** Because really how could that EVER go wrong?

*** I’m not even going to elaborate on biblical figures this could relate to for fairly obvious reasons.

**** Forrest Church “Cathedral of the World” 2009.

 

 

In which I am not just Aghast but, I suspect Der Flabberghast

Well, I have not kept up with this blog. Real life has not been busy so much as it has been…draining. The sort of thing I’m much more interested in escaping than commenting on. And, on the platform of honesty…yeah. I discovered The Great Pit of rationalizing and Waste of Time….Tumblr.

 

I’ve been at my field ed site, serving our version of a ‘mini’ internship, since October. Rural Massachusetts is a joy. The site is a joy. I love our community and our minister is an intelligent, well educated, sincere and  lovely woman who believes in the importance of profanity almost as much as I do.

 

And these are things I have been thinking about which may or may not become posts:

Jesus and Poop

My old Neighborhood

Grandstanding

The Protestant Druid

A Christian Education (?)

Obnoxious Monikers–with Social Commentary

So this happened. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/01/diplomat-breastfeeding-_n_3529826.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

 

Police and restaurant customers in New York decided that a diplomat’s wife was using the pretense of breastfeeding her child to conduct a plot of terror and violence….

 

The  Horde of Sub-functioning Trolls responsible for ruining a young family’s day out and the reputation of their entire community inspired me to think of the many inanities that men and society–and therefore, dirty little truth, other women occasionally–force upon women. You know. Us? Just us Girls? Women? Humans who make up whatever enormous percentage of the population that we do….

Clearly we are a problem. I mean, first of all there’s all that nonsense and ‘screaming’ I believe Rick Perry calls it about our rights.  Then there’s the way we complain endlessly about inequality.

then…well, then, boys and enablers it gets truly intimidating because a woman feeds her baby in public and:

BEHOLD she wields the Boobs of Death

the Gladiatorial Gazungas

the Mammaries of  Mordor

the Twin Glands of Terror and Fury

the Bosom of All Things Dark and Powerful…

Breastageddon

The horror…the Horror…

she’ll put everybody’s eye out with her Nefarious Nipples

confound them with her Audacious Anatomy

SCAR THEM FOR LIFE at the sight of…

I wanted to end with a shark-like and ferocious comment about this small incident mirroring the demonic ridiculosity of the opposition around the world to women’s freedom–or to common sense. But really, I just wanted a chance to see how sarcastic I could be about an event that, let’s be fair, deserves all the sarcasm it can absorb, only I wanted to not say ‘t–s.’*

 

*Steve–why didn’t you want to say “t–s”?

Me–because the mockery this called for needed to be better than t–s.

Steve–but those were my favorite. T–s are amazing!

Me–yes, Sweetheart. That’s why. I had to aim for better-than-my-husband’s-favorite if I was gonna try taking this on.

Steve–Well then. Goodnight Honey. Miss you.

Me–Miss you too, Sweetheart. Have fun in Avalon till I get there. **

 

**Yes I have conversations with my husband, who is dead. They take place silently in my heart. I believe it’s him. And sometimes they end up in my blog. that is all.

Nuns, Book Review and Troubling (For the Geek) Questions…

I wrote this as an assignment to review a book on one topic or person outstanding in the history of Christianity in Europe. Hildegard of Bingen fan that I am I ran with an early but supposedly definitive academic biography: Hildegard of Bingen, 1098-1179: A Visionary Life. (Sabina Flanagan, 1984). And while I was working on this, my usual gift for happening upon the staggeringly obvious did not disappoint; I realized that the book is a sullenly abysmal chore in terms of narrative and writing quality..Still, this work from the academic stage twenty years past may be a good opening point for some exploration of an ever-increasing trend: flat, unengaging work that does nothing to make a given subject more accessible beyond the students or PhD’s reading the work for research and even then, creates a spike in the ant-acid budget of scholars. 

So let’s look at an example of this unsightly phenomenon.

Sabina Flanagan wrote her Doctoral dissertation on Hildegard of Bingen’s prophetic works and later published Hildegard of Bingen, 1098-1179: A Visionary Life in 1984. Flanagan attempts, in this short biography, to provide an introduction to the outline of Hildegard’s life and some exploration of her written works, both their wide ranging subject matter and their intellectual scope. Flanagan’s principal argument, that Hildegard’s works outpaced many male contemporary scholars of her era in diversity of topics and in intelligence and aesthetic beauty, moves consistently through the book.

One passage of Hildegard that I have especially valued comes in a later chapter where Flanagan summarizes the Abbess’ body of work:

Her interests were intellectual rather than mystical.…as well as understanding, Hildegard wanted to change the world: in a general sense, for man’s salvation in her writings, and more particularly, by recommending certain attitudes and positions. To these ends, the migraine experience was a wonderfully adaptable instrument, as was Hildegarde herself  (209).

Migraine headaches and accompanying illnesses are pernicious, cross-cultural, era and continent-spanning complications. Hildegard was already overcoming the difference in the education she had gained and that of the male scholars whose respect she had won. She had already moved from a future of permanent sequestration with her mentor Jutta to the subtle but unavoidable politics of establishing her rule as an Abbess. And, as Flanagan relates, Hildegard also faced the challenge of a frequently occurring condition that, when compared to the modern detailed ‘check-list’ of Migraine symptoms, fits their pattern quite efficaciously (201). A medical diagnoses at more than eight centuries would be ridiculous; and to Flanagan’s further good grace, she makes no attempt to cast a possibility as a certainty.

As a trained and experienced museum educator I will always have a very powerful desire to see history presented and taken in as an interesting, engaging and thoughtful experience. I want people to be aware of the past, and I want women  in my denomination to be aware of spiritual leadership that contributed to one of the sources of our faith. Hildegard is a tremendously important example of such leadership.  In order to understand how Hildegard experienced her visions and understood them we in turn, need to gather what we can about medical and metaphysical factors—even as some of Hildegard’s writings do as she details what she saw, what she experienced the noticeable connection or parallels between her headache-related sickness and her visions.

I especially appreciated the lack of bias or ‘mission’ in Flanagan’s narrative arguments—she gives no indication of any great drive to discredit or canonize Hildegard’s visions. Although I have unreserved opinions about academic style, when we scholars can remember our training and abandon bias it is a very fine thing. Perhaps I value this so much because I see no need to ‘debunk’ her mystical visions or to prove that they were entirely powered from the realm of the feminine spiritual (a popular catch phrase I still run into in spirituality, history and biography sections in the bookstore). Still the unbiased presentation of the interaction between migraine and spiritual vision in this work is both interesting and informative.

This book is indicative of a problem that existed at the time of writing in 1984 that is alive and well in 2013. While I am indeed engaging in mighty presumption from my soapbox on writing quality among academics, I will presume onward and upwards. I have found the book to be a horrible read. Flanagan, it could be argued for charity’s sake, may have assumed that someone else would surely go ahead and put together a biography of Hildegard of Bingen that would be engaging, provide a more chronologically consistent narrative of her life as well as her career, and, in general, prove informative for someone at least one remove but preferably two or three from the halls of academia. Because, after all, if Hildegard was important enough to write a dissertation on, Flanagan must have cared…?Very well. Charity.  Speaking as an avid reader, a tutor and an educator I know that I would have been very happy if Flanagan had taken the works she analyzed, quoted or translated and put them in one section, then devoted a front section to Hildegard’s life with considerably more on the geography, cultural history and even the geopolitical climate of her region than she did in this 1984 edition.

I’d like to say a brief word about biography, particularly that of a subject in the more distant past. I am actually very aware that considerable challenge and pitfall can await the intrepid scholar who seeks to make their work engaging and detailed.—In the UK, in 2000, I happened upon essays shellacking Paul Murray Kendall’s biography of Richard III—a book hailed as a humanizing, dramatic and thrilling masterpiece of compassionate storytelling. Unfortunately, it seemed that while Kendall had done right by the poor king in pointing out that Richard was the obvious worst suspect in the murder of his nephews, he had simply spun details of crucial battles in the wars of the roses out of not terribly much. (The British Academics used less complimentary words needless to say. Quite a few of them. Rather like coyotes tracking sick deer)*. I contrast that experience with the (possibly coincidental; you know, like the coincidence that Superman and Clark Kent are never together) tendency of professors at my Northern Grad department in history to react with contempt in the face of every well-written monograph , even if it’s just proportional contempt beside their rhapsodic love of brilliant scholars–who cannot write their way out of a wet paper bag. With a chain saw. And ninja stars.

The upshot of this digression is that I have seen the void that well researched but badly written biography creates. I have also seen an equal vacuum created by well written and badly researched work! Both are problematic.

I am left wanting to find some more engaging and accessible sources on the history of spiritual leaders among women in the history of European Christianity. I’m a geek, after all. Learning cool stuff and finding ways to share it with others is hardwired to my personal Geekdom, where I let my Geek flag fly high from the ranks of the humanities, history, literature, folklore and such. So part of my ministry, I suspect, will always include trying to make the past more relevant or interesting—perhaps even inspiring—for anyone whose spiritual care I’m honored with. I will try to keep and maintain a list of updated books on a variety of topics in this vein and Hildegard, long a personal hero of mine, will always be on it. Speaking from this bias, I think every minister should have a minimum of two books on Hildegarde specifically and several on women who were leaders during the first thousand or so years of Christianity’s evolution. I simply don’t see this book as a useful example of one of them.

That concludes my review and raises the question: why aren’t there more books out there that are well researched, and well written and well received for people who are not in graduate study seminars?

 

*I am unable to recall essay titles or names; hopefully I am at least scraping the bottom of citation protocols by emphasizing that anything about Kendal or the British Academic Community’s response to him belongs to those brilliant lovely people, etc…

MORE SEX

Well, then. Maybe. Perhaps not.

I’ve put no pressure on myself with that promise in a title, have I?

Online dating….wow. I’m registered with one of those services that claims they’re in for the long haul. Meaningful relationships. True compatibility.  The sort that has a grinning over-tanned spokes-person-pseudo-doctor asking us: that’s what’s important right? Something more solid than a match up that acknowledges attraction? Right. Sure. And I am, in fact, an alien-cloned Russian dowager countess in disguise.

The problem I’ve encountered is that the sites that DO run more ‘casual’ motifs are overstocked…with baseball hat wearing, receded hair-lined, HR reps trying to recapture the glory days of Frat binges. Or, in almost equal population density, unwashed looking male skanks with enough gel in their hair–UNDER the baseball caps, if you please–to unstick a locomotive.

Now, I did not date in high school. I had a boyfriend for two weeks at summer camp–whose kissing technique involved pushing my teeth down my throat–and went out once with a very handsome guy who explained that he was gay and needed to date once in a while because the christian and compassionate catholic gentlemen at his high school would beat him up for openly following his sexual orientation. That was it.

So, as tenuous as it may be, On-line dating has given me some options that I’ve never had–like power. I’ve turned down as many matches if not more than those who turned my ‘profile’ away. Of the half dozen dates I’ve gone on, or so, I think I’m one or two ahead in being the first to decide I didn’t want to continue. Not to mention that in my thirties, I can say for the first time: I’ve dated. It can be fun. It’s nice.

Really, though, ‘nice’ is about as powerful a word as ‘beige’.

And yes, generally the guys willing to invest time or money in the match-up service I employ will invest enough time in rediscovering sinks, clean faces, and even deign to mention if they’ve ever read a book. Or an instruction pamphlet. I’m afraid the receding hair-line population is alive and well-represented. And while some few men can make having less hair irrelevant, most of them are not on this service.

And yes, I do think it gives me a shot at finding someone who wants commitment and monogamy and is willing to say honest things to get them–and that’s what I want–but I also want sex. I enjoy sex. I don’t know if I am very good at it, but I like it. It’s lovely. I miss it. I sometimes see so many blurbs about true compatibility with this ‘stellar’ service that I wonder: are they suggesting I’m a not-as-good-as I can be sort of person if I also want sex? Is it significant that the only thing guys say on their profile that hints at a similar interest is some sort of code-and-catch phrase: “I want to have fun?” And that I never even see THAT on sample women’s profiles?

So here are some dialogues I have experienced in past, before my wonderful husband and the present. I submit them as part of my matching and evaluation process. Or some of them.

1. Ok, yes I said religion is very important to me, but they did not make a space to clearly designate Pagan or UU, so if religion is very important to you, in what way does that play out? Oh. You’re a deeply conservative splinter-evangelist who lives 20 miles down a logging road and you want four more kids–to round up the whole number to 12. Oh. You know, buddy, I’m not even trying to be flippant when I say this, but you want to just stop with my profile. No sense in giving somebody who seems a very nice and devout guy ulcers. Or giving me hostile conniptions when you refuse to let your kids learn about birth control for health issues other than contraception.

2. Hm. You like Ted Nugent/random rapper who preaches ‘hos and guns and usin’ guns to keep the hos where they belong? (In the interest of full spectrum frustrations).  And you’re the single parent of a boy? And you listen to and praise and endorse their theories about women and politics that were surely crapped from the flames of Mordor–sharing them WITH your kid–your male kid???  That’s the end of the question…I just, don’t, even….oh my….

3. You are demanding a woman who fits “the obvious standards” (Damn near actual words) of attractiveness–but you’re built like a woodchuck; do you see any contradiction in this?

4. Do you perhaps, want a woodchuck…oh wait. no; you want Faith Hill. Doesn’t seem like much of an argument that she’s not (publicly, I concede) into woodchucks? OHHH. You got kicked out of the den this spring for not pulling your own weight….the female woodchucks wanted their version of Brad Pitt-chuck…GOTCHA

5. You’re a weight lifter. WOW. Can you bench-press me…?….Oh. well, oddly BECAUSE the answer is yes, then, Nope; I am not the person to help you through ‘roid withdrawal.

6. Do you really, actually think you look 42 in that picture? Vincent Price could have pulled that off in his eighties. When he was guest-staring on. The Frikkin. Muppets. You can’t.

7. What did you do with your neck? Seriously–that thing that’s supposed to be under the thing shaped like a basketball…oh forget it.

8. Oh. You’re closing my match because I didn’t post a picture. But….you haven’t posted a picture. As a psychologist, do you see any conflict of expectations there?

9. Yes I’m in school. Pursuing Ministry. No I am not (____insert name of denomination that will not ordain women here_____) No I will not cancel my plan to attend the Planned Parenthood rally because your corporate buddies  think I’m a hippie. Just like my profile says, In school. Pursuing ministry. Oh, what’s my question? Good point:

Did you READ my profile? ….back up question: can you, in fact,  read??

10. OK, let’s see here…You are five years younger than I am. Or perhaps eight. Will that be ridiculous? Let’s examine the visual and textual source evidence…yeah. You like parties, hip-hop, and, hmm…apparently, particularly if this picture with the surfer haircut, baggy running shorts to the knees and pimples  is accurate, then you are  19.  Either that, or you are still, in actuality, a fetus.

I’m not trying to claim that the physical recreation thing is paramount for me. There’s a reason that even if I wasn’t nauseated at the idea of picking a guy up at a bar I would not know HOW to accomplish that if the world was at stake. It doesn’t work for me. So until I walk into a random bastion of brainy geekhood where I might meet a great guy (which is how I met Steve, although the mold was broken after whoever made him)…Yes. I’ll pick from a list of these oh so helpful form questions….such as:

1. Are you a kind person? (No, I am Darthis Sauron, High Chief Concubine to His Meanness, Lord Scrod, Emperor of Deathville. )

2. When home alone at night do you generally read, watch tv, talk on the phone or clean? (to make stalking me easier?)

3.describe your personal style…(I thought appearances were not primary…?)

 

See if we just brought back the big cattle-fair and group sacrifices from pre-christian Europe this would be so much more fun…

SEX

I am feeling so very risque and heroic for this title. As if. I don’t think that even aspiring to ministry qualifies me as a rebel for writing about it. I’ve begun reading  Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman, and the occasion, as I suspect happens for any woman who finds her own sympatico of outspoken truths with a large percentage of common experiences or thoughts, has prompted the laughingly unoriginal idea of writing about it myself once in a while. Unfortunately, since I am also reading a lot of theologians lately, my writing style has been remarkably affected. Not by reticence or morality, but syntax and length–STOP LICKING YOUR LIPS, GREGORY Of NYASSA– of sentences.

I think so far my favorite that can actually be printed without disgrace is Moran’s discovery, when she was in her teens, of the Adult (not erotica, but, simply not a children’s book) novel, Riders, by Jilly Cooper and its treasure trove of horizontal mambo education–for better or worse. Moran calls it her “Rosetta Stone of Filth.” *

Rosetta Stone of Filth.

I don’t know what will be chipped onto my RSF but wow.

Sex.

It’s not just for lovely young creatures in incandescently expensive clothes or insanely poised and put together pros of my peer professional calling who look like they could reform the entire realm of misogyny with the most simple and civil request issued forth in a level voice from a chest perfectly covered in smooth, calm, never disarranged or out of cant, hideously expensive but somehow always purchased at a thrift shop workplace-sexy-chick fashion or an inclusive and welcoming gesture from a single fair trade-bangle clad wrist.

As a widow, even if I never belonged to the sets I may be (more than I mean to) yelling about above, you’d think, perhaps that I understood the universal gift of sex. And gods bless him, my husband and I had a wonderful time together. But even writing that, I think for “((*&&’s sake, I’m thirty-five, not some elderly and long celibate saint in the Scottish highlands reminiscing about her youth.”

Without falling into any unhealthy or truly unhappy tropes about it (now there is another challenge) sex is something I need to figure out.

 

 

 

* Caitlin Moran How to be a Woman. New York: Casa Bevrom, 2011.  pg 25

A brief moment of social interaction

Laura comes into the bathroom, hitches up her nightie, sits on the throne, freezes. The banging and clatter from what she thought was some inexplicable event in the next door apartment is not only louder, there are clearly distinct and unknown (and, incidentally, male and large-sounding) voices right on the other side of the wall from her bare ass.

So, after a thoughtful pause, it goes like this:

Laura: “Excuse me. Are you gentlemen in my wall?”

Pause. Longer Pause. Unfamiliar voice: “Yes.”

Laura: “Ummmm. OK. let me know if you would like tea then.”

Shorter pause.Voice: “OK.”

When you eliminate the most probable (I’m nuts and simply IMAGINING men in my wall), and even the more readily explicable (they aren’t actually IN the walls, just in a closet or something in adjoining space) or even the deplorable (move over Pin Head, Freddy and The People Under the Stairs), sometimes the best option you are left with…

Is the attempt to be hospitable.

My landlord is a pusillanimous  scum-wad.

and now, on to other realities. As soon as I can actually use the bathroom without it feeling like a sound stage.

Hmmm

So, according to my Old Testament/Hebrew Bible professor, “honor thy mother and father” does NOT mean do as they say, give in to their opinions or defer to them when you do not agree. It means “honor them” with a respectful and extensive funeral and burial rite.

That’s all, folks.

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