Archive for July, 2014

Hey-o. I had a minute this morning where I felt all bad again about being righteously indignant and then Facebook suggested I “friend” the wife of an ex-boyfriend and, as I looked at the woman, it all came flooding back to me. The wretched little drama that played out publicly in a small town with people taking sides like some pathetic, redneck version of the Aniston-Jolie thing. I’m pretty sure I was the Aniston, although I’ve since become a lot more Jolie. Anyway, I was reminded how much I cried and how awful it was to see them get married, even though I’m pretty sure I didn’t want to marry him. He fell too easily for this woman and her schtick, and there was something about that that really bothered me. I mean I get that people are trying to find their thing in life, and that they break vows sometimes and are imperfect. I have a friend who went through something similar and she owned her part in it. She blamed herself and really had to work out what she had done. And I respect that. But this chick — I heard her say once that Yoko Ono was the love of John Lennon’s life. I mean come on. Read up on that relationship and you’ll know why that’s just a hokey thing to say, and I’m pretty sure she was saying it to justify her own infidelity etc. And I just wasn’t righteous enough back then not to get trampled on and I have some regrets about that. So yeah, I think I’m going to stay strong going forward. Besides, sometimes it’s just good to call it like it is. Like this guy.

I need to get moving as I have a softball game in a few hours but on the subject of Israel — it’s pretty simple y’all. Hamas threw some bombs and Israel answered. Anything else you may read about occupying forces etc is not only inaccurate but bait for suckers. Think of it this way — if a Palestinian were to move into your neighborhood and was a peaceful, law-abiding citizen who was just trying to give his kids a better life and some crazy Christian fundamentalists threw a Molotov cocktail through his window, would it bother you if he came outside and cracked a few skulls on the hoodlums? Think about it and get back to me.

Beyond that, this is great. Have a good weekend and stay righteous.

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I’ve always known my family was loud and a bit out of control. Predominantly Scots-Irish and Eastern European — as well as Southern, part Catholic/part Baptist, and huge — we drink, have been known to smoke, curse, fight, tell bawdy and inappropriate jokes, yell at each other, cry, love fiercely, and try to have a really good time in this sometimes disappointing roller coaster of life. One of my sisters-in-law said when I was home last week: “this is a hard family to be heard in.” That’s true, even if you were born into it. And I like to refer to them (myself included) as “crazy” or “insane” or “offdachain”. But something hit me upon my return to DC after a week in Atlanta. We are actually quite chill compared to the manic insecurities that force me to adopt a different personality just to survive in DC. And it basically comes down to one thing: we’re not full of shit. And so much of DC is.

Now let me just say that the great parts of DC are really great. I’ve met some of the best people I know here, and frankly some of the worst people I know simply live here but aren’t from here. So I don’t want anyone to get the impression I don’t love my adopted home. I do. But upon returning to town I was immediately confronted with two things that made me realize my people back home — family and friends — are superior, at least to my sensibilities. And yes, I use the word “superior” pointedly. The first was a “friend” of mine sent me a picture of this twerp I used to know to show me how ridiculous he is now. This guy spent something like 4 years just being a complete ass, and I spent the majority of those years trying to get him to be nice to me because I was so confused as to why he felt the need to be a jerk. My bad, because it never occurred to me he was a jerk just because he sucked as a human being and I couldn’t fix that. Because he is plagued with his own manic insecurities that force him to be, the best I can determine, something of a gold digging opportunist who changes his personality — right down to how he dresses — to fit whatever crowd he thinks can get him what he wants while he wants it (what he wants changes, too). And DC has a way of sheltering and promoting that kind of loser. Just take a look at a lot of our politicians on the Hill, mostly on the left. Where I’m from, people like that have their asses kicked pretty quickly by men who can’t stomach the weakness of that kind of “integrity”. And honestly this jackass would have been better for a few asskickings. He’s clearly never had one. My hope is that now that his hero Obama is leaving office — and his progressive ideology is falling out of favor — he’ll stay true to the coward he is and just peace out and leave town. You really should, dude. Your opportunities are in Chicago or San Francisco or some place like that. Really, go.

The second was such a weird display of bitchy entitlement that I don’t even want to relive it. It made me incredibly embarrassed, depressed, and disappointed to the point that I wanted to break associations immediately so that no one who may have seen the event would ever think I had anything to do with it, even though for the most part I was just a bystander. And so I won’t go into it. Except one part of it, which I think may have been part of what set the tone for the whole thing to go down. I know I’m cryptic when I write about stuff like this, and it’s intentional to protect the innocent — and to attempt some diplomacy. So the part I’ll address is thus: look here queen bee, bitchy women, I do not cultivate relationships with you because your affinity for minion keeping in hopes of being worshipped makes me a little sick. I have many lady friends, some since nearly birth, and they are very different from one another save one very important similarity: they do not expect their friends to be their subjects, they do not consider themselves part of a court, they are strong and independent, brilliant and beautiful, and would check me in a heartbeat if I acted like they needed to bow to my authority or to the strength of my personality. So when you come into “my house” and start telling me to behave certain ways you’re likely to understand — because I’ll tell you — why you can get bent. There’s a reason I don’t come to your parties. Because I’m not afraid of being alone and prefer it over acting like you don’t piss me straight the f*ck off.

One other thing I was reminded of when I went home: almost all my childhood friends are big Democrats, if not outright progressive liberals. But being chill allows for differences of opinion.

I actually have some “professional” writing to do later, and I’m formulating what I want to say, but here, as always, are a few things I found compelling. Some are old as it’s been a while since I’ve written anything. Do with them as you like.

Uh, yeah.

But, in foreign relations, I want someone who seems to be on the ball, who looms large in the international imagination, who recognizes that his primary responsibility is to the national defense and not to the nature of domestic policy, and who understands that there is a time for partisan politics and a time for national unity — especially when it is being widely reported that American citizens have been blown out of the sky. The lattermost is a distinction that this president — a man who famously made his national debut pretending to be a uniter — has never matured into observing.

This will feature — I think — in that “professional” piece I mentioned. But I’m still trying to decide how I want to approach it…

Uh, yeah. Was talking to a friend of mine the other day who works on some of this stuff for a living and he mentioned that Israel doesn’t always do the things we want them to do. Well, yeah. Why would they really.

As slanders go, it’s almost funny, like the old paranoid delusion that George W. Bush was simultaneously an idiot and a criminal mastermind.

Just read it.

Pretty much. Look I love you American people, but back off the condemnation when the House talks about using the power of the purse. It is a reasonable and effective tool and it is within their applied powers.

Oh you dirty birds. I look forward to football season.

I want it all. Just for funsies.

Uh yeah. The weirdest is that I’m not sure they’re — en masse — aware of their ignorance. Which is a bigger problem.

Get up man.

In honor of the anniversary of the moon landing, here’s a good one from a man I’m not sure wasn’t actually an alien. He definitely had his doubts about his origin as well.

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Just adding to the coozie collection. So proud of my friend. Their business is truly marvelous. Excellent product, service, environment, music, the whole shebang. And, judging by the line out the door, others know it as well. Heart bursting.

Just adding to the coozie collection. So proud of my friend. Their business is truly marvelous. Excellent product, service, environment, music, the whole shebang. And, judging by the line out the door, others know it as well. Heart bursting.

[Wrote this Wednesday. The process is instructive so I’m keeping it.] Hey ya’ll. I’m forcing myself to write because I’m not really feeling the muse so much at the moment but I know that when it hits me sometime oh, say, Saturday afternoon, I’ll be away from my computer and won’t be able to justify getting back to my computer to capture the brilliance (ahem). So, here we are. I have some thoughts on a few things, for sure. I mean, of course I do. But I don’t know how eloquently they’ll flow. But I’m finding as I write this, just the act of typing seems sublime to me. Really, really comforting and reaffirming. If you ever want to know why some people that write don’t call themselves writers, and others that write do, it’s probably somewhere in there. If the keyboard feels like home — all the backing up and changing of language and stopping and grinning with satisfaction at a well-crafted thought — you can legitimately own the skill. If it’s a chore every time, then you may have made a vocational error somewhere down the line. [end Wednesday effort]

Saturday — Got negged by a 70 year old man yesterday. One of the strangest things that has ever happened to me. I’m finding that there is a subset of men who share a similarity of character that is one that, I’m guessing, many women find endearing (?) but I do not. Women must find it endearing or these guys wouldn’t do it, right? Isn’t that the whole point of negging? The veritable definition, even? But I do not enjoy it – I find that tactic not only in tremendously bad taste, but also dull and clunky and not very smooth, playa. Not even in the slightest. And I have the hardest time not simply calling them out verbally – seriously, I had to stop myself from verbally dressing down a 70 year old man — in the moment and embarrassing them just as egregiously as they are trying to do to me. But my momma raised me better I guess because I politely make a joke, count to 10 until my ears stop burning and being beet red (I hate that so so much), and then try to act like it doesn’t bother me at all. Because I have grace (ahem). But inside, my 5 year old little girl is crying and punching a wall. Here’s what went down…

I went to a small exhibit at the portrait gallery that was all about dance! Of course I did, and I went with a young female friend of mine who is a compatriot in the dance thing. She also happens to be working toward fundraising in the dance world (she’s in fact interning at the Washington Ballet this summer. Badass.) and so she’s testing out her hobnobbing chops with some of the mucky mucks who throw their money at the arts. So we were wandering around the Portrait Gallery and this older couple called out her name and I could tell based on the conversation that they were patrons, if you know what I mean. And so I politely stood and listened and tried to be as pleasant and quiet as possible when the man – who had been cutting his eyes at me and definitely had that little glimmer of mischief, finally said to me, “So, you’re her mother?”

Oh holy fuck.

Look, I’m not really sensitive about my age. Never have been. Don’t care about it, probably never will. Which, honestly, has, looking back, been a detriment because I’ve never felt the pressure to do any of the stuff that requires youth. Stupid, I know. It only bothers me a little when I think about being able to do certain things – specifically not being able to do things I used to be able to do — and missing out on doing other things because of the constraints of the physical self as one ages. But this man assumed, I’m sure, that I was sensitive because most women (maybe most people) are. Now, my friend is about 14 years younger than me so I guess it is technically possible that I could be her mother. But I’m aware that I look relatively young for my age (HUMBLEBRAG!), and I was standing there in a dress and blue Chuck Taylors for Christ sake, which generally gives one an idea about what generation someone belongs to. So this man didn’t for one second believe I was my friend’s mother. But he wanted to get my attention. And the way he wanted to do it was to try to embarrass me and make me uncomfortable. Sigh. As a Southern woman, I’m familiar with the tactic – although women are way more apt to do it in the South as the concept of “gentleman” still has some meaning down that way – but it’s just unimpressive as a behavior. Hell, it’s unimpressive when a frat bro does it in an attempt to get laid. And it’s downright pathetic when a 70 year old patron of the arts does it. So, guys, let me just end by saying this: stop. Because if this tactic works, you’re not dealing with the right kind of woman. I think Tucker Max was fond of this strategy and the women he … ah, got? were probably not that impressive either. Just a guess.

Anyway, there I was, fully aware that my friend is starting her career and these are the kind of people she’s going to need to hit up for money, so what could I do? Swallow it, make a joke, retain my composure, and feel sorry for his wife. All of which I did, with as much dignity and grace as I could muster. Because slapping a 70 year old man and going full redneck on him would have been excessive.

In any event, my friend will probably be okay with them, and that’s what counts. But I reckon I can only expect more of that as time goes on and especially if I stay here in the land of one-uppers. Why do they teach you that here, Washington area natives? Are you afraid if you aren’t putting people in their places you’ll be vulnerable somehow? Because honestly, vulnerability’s okay. It can actually be a very good thing at times.

As an aside, I’ve noticed the men trained to do this tend to choose women (for a time and possibly indefinitely) who can dish it as good, or often better, than they can. It’s kind of an ugly in fact. And it will forever make me think of George and Martha from “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Or, ya know, this. Because I’m sure the pictures do show a happy couple. Isn’t that just the perfect macrocosm for the little social media superstars today…

Speaking of toxic marriages, not too long ago, someone suggested to me I was a little odd for not being married. Meh. Look, I want that. Always have. But I just don’t want to be trapped in a miserable life that I can’t extricate myself from given how seriously I take the vow of marriage. I’ve been in long term relationships that were only not marriages because I hedged. They taught me plenty. And thus far, I’ve not met anyone else who takes that vow as seriously as I do. If I never meet him, so be it. It makes me sad sometimes for sure. But all you fools who settle for misery and then divorce are the weird ones to me. And I get the argument about rolling the dice, but I don’t gamble unless there’s at least a reasonable chance I’ll win (see above statement about taking the vow seriously).

Anyway, I see the manipulation and efforts to control in a lot of relationships around me and it alternately makes me laugh and then cry, particularly if I like one of the players. But how do you ask someone why they let themselves be demeaned without offending them? You don’t, that’s how. Okay, other stuff.

So an old article about Hobby Lobby investing in the offending abortifacient manufacturers was emailed to me because of something I wrote on the Supreme Court’s decision. Here’s the thing about that 1) it’s already been addressed here; and 2) Hobby Lobby is actually going against their own evangelical religious beliefs to offer something to the employee via their investment choices. They’re not being hypocritical. THEY’RE BEING NICE. What’s with the hate? I really don’t get it. And I’m not trying to be a bitch about it, I’m really not. But have we gotten so far removed from acts that aren’t directly selfish that we no longer recognize them? Please tell me that’s not the case. Please.

God this was interesting. Turns the idea that higher compensation is the best motivator absolutely on its head and then kicks its butt out the door. Fascinating. Thanks for sharing Dave. But then, since you employ me, what are you trying to say man? (kidding…)

Yeah, pretty much. I don’t know about y’all but I get drained by the shallow and the surface and the Disneyland ride of “Concern for your fellow man!” thing. Seriously, it’s like the Disneyland approximation of the the real thing. With animatronics and everything.

God this was good. I like #11, with apologies to my friend Hallissey, who is both English and lovely.

And, to round it out, a Facebook friend posted this in honor of the holiday and it is an uncommonly eloquent turn of phrase(s), and also inspiring and true.

I do not choose to be a common man,

It is my right to be uncommon … if I can,

I seek opportunity … not security.

I do not wish to be a kept citizen.

Humbled and dulled by having the

State look after me.

I want to take the calculated risk;

To dream and to build.

To fail and to succeed.

I refuse to barter incentive for a dole;

I prefer the challenges of life

To the guaranteed existence;

The thrill of fulfillment

To the stale calm of Utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence

Nor my dignity for a handout

I will never cower before any master

Nor bend to any threat.

It is my heritage to stand erect.

Proud and unafraid;

To think and act for myself,

To enjoy the benefit of my creations

And to face the world boldly and say:

This, with God’s help, I have done

All this is what it means

To be an Entrepreneur.

― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

“If Obama were a movie, he’d be Gigli.” Man, that’s harsh…But you know what? Treat people like shit long enough and eventually they’ll call you a flop without caring you are mortal and can be wounded. Respect is a two-way street.

Grrr. This was irritating. He’s laughing at the hubris of communists. Not drawing a parallel. But nice work Reuters. Way to move the window.

Oh dear, I’m in trouble. So delicious chilled.

Y’all, I seriously love this movie. Melissa McCarthy is a comedy genius.

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