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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Handle With Care

I have a peeve with online merchants. I won't even go into a lot of detail, but consider the following:

With a $15 gift certificate from (please, don't get me started on their asses & why I have this chintzy gift cert), I have been trying to order some earbuds. I just want to use the 15 bucks before the gift cert expires.  I found 2 pairs to add to the Shopping Cart:

--JVC HA-F10C 3 3.5mm Connector Earbud Headphone.
Price: $4.25 Shipping* $2.99


--Maxwell 190560 3.5mm L-plug Connector Earbud Dynamic Earbuds (Black)
Price: $2.99 Shipping* Free

(The descriptions are straight from NewEgg. *Shipping is noted on item detail pages as "restricted"; a note on the Shopping Cart page warns, "Additional fees may apply to shipments to AK, HI and PR.")

No problem. Just about dang anybody that has something online to sell online tries to charge more to those outside the Lover 48. Whatever.

I'm thinking that, surely, 15 bucks will cover a both pair of such cheaply priced earbuds - even with the "additional fees". (The weight of the JVC buds Googled out at 0.46oz. I've probably swallowed a greater weight of spiders in my sleep.)

I enter in my zip code (so that S&H can be calculated) and...

The subtotal/products less S&H (even though, for whatever reason, the JVC's priced at $5.99):

The total of Shipping (my zip code gets one choice of "NewEgg 2 Day"):


So, the total I'd have to pay for a couple pairs of cheap earbuds that weigh practically nothing is $28.15

What the happy hell?

Now, back when getting things to Alaska (or almost anywhere else) was pretty troublesome, ridiculous shipping and handling charges were just a part of our lives. Every time my family here sent gifts to my Lower 48 fam, we longer saving up for the mailing charges than we had for any gifts. That was just life. Then. These days, people in the Lower 48 can have groceries delivered cheaper than some other folks can drive back and forth to the store. Global supply chain management goes on every day. What the hell is it about merchants having a problem shipping between the Lower 48 and Alaska (or Hawaii and Puerto Rico)? 

I was so irritated that when a buddy called to chat, all I did was complain until they decided to just help me look up some stuff while we were on the phone. Probably only to shut up my harping ass! LOL

He told me to go over to

Guess what?

If someone in Miami (which is about as far away from Anchorage Alaska as you can get without leaving the U.S.) sent me a 10" x 5" PRIORITY Flat Rate Envelope, it would cost them a whopping 5 bucks at the Post Office - or $4.90 online. FIVE DOLLARS. Five.

So where the hell are the sellers at NewEgg shipping this spaceship-sized package from? Mars? Hell, I could skate my happy ass down and get the package for cheaper than they want to charge.

This whole rip-off of shipping prices when it comes to merchants selling to Alaskans is insane. I know that some merchants do the right thing. One of the most fabulous places to shop online is The Fragrance Shop. They manage to send bubble-wrapped, fragile bottles of oil fragrances for a super-fair price (around 4 bucks, if I remember right). If you want to talk handling charges, TFS also wraps each order in beautiful paper inside a nice box and they include a free sample of fragrance in every single order. I'm pretty sure the last item I got from them weighed more than 6 pairs of earbuds.

Seriously, you merchants out there, you have to start thinking better of your customers. You probably are losing some good business. Plenty of Alaskans make great money. We are stuck up here in snow for months and always looking for ways to keep from succumbing to Cabin Fever. Do you know how many folks practice "retail therapy?" It's not even that regular working people can't afford the S&H; sometimes, it's just an attitude of not wanting to be screwed over.

Now my friend is writing NewEgg a complaint letter since I am starting to feel a little too Sarc-y too focus. I told him how nice he is to do that. He said it's only because I can worry the stink out of shit and he doesn't want to hear me bitching about this every time we talk. Heh heh.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Media, Aging, Acceptance, Esteem

(I started this post a couple days ago, then a BFF & I got hold of a few nothing-to-do hours, some lawn chairs and we had a sky full of sun... So, ya know.)

A good friend of the family had his 41st birthday and a bunch of us are got to talking about aging. (The friend in question is a guy and he's not been in on the conversation. So far.)

There are a lot of jokes about how we spend the first few years of life counting our age in fractions and spend our elderly years doing the same thing. I for one just think of myself as "30 + experience." (My friend is more honest and says she is "40 + change." (I always want to tell her, "Yeah, Change of Life," but I won't go there since I am the older of the two.)

Okay, here's the thing: why is getting older such a big deal? It's not like we spoil or something. At whatever "mature" age we are, we still feel and think and love and crave and dream and all the same good stuff we did at our younger ages. Hell, we know how to do all that stuff better.

When my friends (and my sister) and I started our conversation, one of the things we all wondered about is Why? Why is getting older such a big deal? Why - even if you are not in optimum health (physical, financial, emotional or whatever) - does it seem that we are not supposed to be okay with who and what we are? We are never supposed to be okay with where we care in our lives unless we meet some media-sanctioned ideal.

Want to heat up a discussion? Bring up the media. I did and, man, we broke out the Malibu and O.J. then and just got down. We didn't have a simple girl chat; we had a freaking convention. One of the ladies went up and grabbed my laptop so we could Google shit. Yeah, that serious.

If you read gossip-type news at all (or catch it on CNN, MSNBC, E.T.), you know that "media" is obsessed with women looking "half their age," or snapping back from 9 months of pregnancy to be a "Yummy Mummy." What the hell is up with having to fit into a size 4 after months of harboring another human being inside your body? And try doing that without the help of personal trainers and chefs, and without the motivation of the Bod Squad Mafia of fans waiting for you to fail. Those celebrities get no downtime unless that's they totally give up "press." No wonder it seems that most of Hollywood is kind of nuts. They have to be. That's nothing but pure pressure 24/7. Forget a sex tape - what if you wanna pick your nose? How'd you like to have that caught on film. But that's another rant. Let's stay on topic.

Now, because I and none of my friends are famous (or even infamous outside Chilkoot Charlie's), we can sneak out to stores in the dead of night looking like Hell and his ugly brother. Not that we do this. No. But the thing is, Media makes it so hard for even "regular" people to be, well, regular.

If you don't look 30 when you are 50, well, you better get out there and buy that new laser-treatment-in-a-bottle. If you can't shop in the Juniors' "small" section - even though you were never small and have two kids and are glued to an office chair 9 hours a day - well then, shame on your sorry, fat, old, ugly self.

Look at what the media focuses on when dealing with celebrities: their bodies, their age-less looks, their hair, etc. As a pop celeb, unless you somehow corner the market on it, you're not going to get a lot of attention for feeding the hungry, helping out a community of citizens or just being a good and decent human being who is more financially fortunate than most. What do you think would get a celeb the most press: saving a family's home from foreclosure or going on a racist or homophobic rant? Matter of fact, that whole Kardashian clan has made a freaking franchise that started with Kim banging Ray J and releasing the video. (Leaked, my ass; that was a planned career move.) And now, we have to hear about Kim's curves and hair every time we hit the wrong button on the TV remote. (By the way, what the Joker-from-Batman hell happened to Bruce Jenner's face?)

Maybe it's just me (me and my group), but I've had days when I was feeling alright with life, then I spot a picture of a 65 year old "diva" who has better tits, ass and legs than I do - oh, and who looks 45). That will crash your day so fast... One of my friends says that when she looks at photos of the current hot chicks (Jolie, Aniston or, heaven forbid, one of the really young Hots), she feels as if she is looking into a trick mirror that's telling her what she ought to look like but never will. And this woman is actually just so pretty. Without Photoshop. Such a downer.

I remember one time when I was all ready to go out with friends and I passed by the TV on my way out and caught a glimpse of some female celebrity. In two seconds, I went from ready to have a great night with friends to feeling like I'd grown a hump on my back and a gray chin hair. Of course, I wasn't trying to impress anyone. I hadn't even thought about how I looked (I was clean and presentable, and, damnit, I smelled so good!) until I saw that image. It actually sort of affected my whole evening. I remember looking at other females at the bar and thinking, We don't look like "them." How crazy is that? Of course we don't look like Them. We don't have pros doing our hair and makeup, we don't have the wardrobe (or the slaved for - or Spanxed for - bodies), and we don't have "looking good" printed at the tops of our job descriptions. We are just trying (most of us) to look like the best version of ourselves.


One of the ladies I will not name (she doesn't read blogs, but I'm making sure she sees this post) even talked about how this kind of thing seriously affects her relationship. She says that when she knows she has a romantic evening coming (and with the both of them working and three kids under 8, trust me, she and her husband plan for sex like some people plan for a sabbatical), she refuses to look at anything that has those perfect celebs pictured. She says her husband can't live up to "media" stereotypes any more than she can, but he doesn't have the same body issues. She says (forgive me, L, for blog-blabbing) that if she has any images in her head of those perfect females that it just messes with her libido. Wow. That's rough.

I think that men do have body issues just like women do. Maybe not to the extent that we do. It's crazy that any of us have to have these "issues" at all. Just a few years ago, I always laughed that whole "body issues" thing. How silly, I thought. Until I went through my pharmaceutically-induced weight changes. There is nothing in the world like sprouting a muffin top and fat side handles to make you want to torch every little, lacy, sexy, non-granny-panty item in your wardrobe. Sex in anything than complete darkness is just a memory... Boy, I was so naive at sizes 5-8.  Naive and smug. And have I learned or matured about this? Nope. I'm losing the weight now because of a change in meds, thank goodness. (And let me tell you all something: Once I can fit back into my "little & cutes," I might wear only slut clothes. So damn glad I just stored all my cute shit.) I don't like myself at over 140 & I won't feel like "me" until I'm back to that. I don't know why. I could have lost some limbs or one of my senses, right? I don't care. I just want to look good in my cute jeans and undies again. Is that media-influenced or is that just normal craziness? One of my weirdities? Whatever. It is what it is.

Anyway, my friends and I shared a bunch of stories. Stories about our insecurities about our lifestyles because we don't have homes with vaulted ceilings, blue bedrooms with wall-sized fish tanks or servants' quarters...  Stories about being brainwashed into not finding and loving the right person because they don't look like the photo-shopped people on a movie poster or CD. About being made to feel as if we are worthless because we are raising children who aren't being pursued by colleges at the age of 10 or who aren't playing Chopin after only one lesson. About having the media dictate to us that unless we drive the latest, wear the most expensive, own the biggest or fuck the hottest, our lives just cannot be as joyful and satisfying as the people they give us a models.

The Chicks and I decided that not even one of us is as bad off as we first thought. We have our insecurities, but we deal with them pretty well. The people we love love us. We love each other not for the way we look but for the way we love. The men in our lives appreciate us for our toughness and humor. We love the men in our lives because they are worth loving. We're not perfect, but we're pretty freaking okay.

We regular folk need some positive affirmations. Here is what we came up with as a group. Not everyone of us agreed on all of them, but...

  • It's okay to be whatever size you are. As long as you are healthy and feel okay with it. If you don't feel okay with it, do something about it or find someone who loves every delicious pound of you.
  • Having a wrinkle is not the end of the world. Injecting poison into your face and refusing to smile is a lot less fun than developing laugh lines. (You have our permission to pluck that chin hair!)
  • If you are 40, 50, 60 - whatever - it's okay to look your damn age. Why the hell does everyone want to be Benjamin Button. Why the hell do you want to be with someone who isn't okay with you looking your age. Matter of fact, beautiful, why would you want to be with someone who only wants to be with your for your looks?
  • Look the age you look, act the age you feel. If you are 70, but feel 20, then enjoy. Age has nothing to do with joy. Put a big purple bow on your cane and do your damn thing.
  • Love people the way you want to be loved. Not for their looks or their money or for what they can do for you, but for the way they make you feel.
  • There are no "perfect" people. Even beautiful people have heartaches and fears. Sometimes, they have more than the rest of us. They have to learn to accept happiness just like everyone else.
  • The next time you see the "10 Sexiest," ask yourself this: Do I really want to work that hard to look that good? 
  • Accept you. Do you. 
--Free (and the other chicks)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Nice and Random

One of my girlfriends and I went on a little run the other day. Nothing big, just lunch and some shopping. One thing did happen that got us both thinking and has me obsessing.

Lunch was supposed to be my treat, but when I went to settle, someone had already done it for me. The staff couldn't tell me who had done the nice deed and I hadn't noticed anyone in particular. (I really should have taken a good, long look around before I left!)

When I got to the car and told my girlfriend, she and I talked about how sweet it was for someone to treat us. We tried to remember the last time something like that had happened to either of us. I can remember a lot of times when someone picked up a bar tab for me. That's about partying and trying to hit on or be hit on. Common. The only time someone ever picked up a meal tab for me, I was around eighteen or nineteen and ended up engaged to the guy.

This incident struck me because I've been talking a lot about how men don't respect women anymore. They don't have to because so many women are too busy throwing themselves at the feet of anything hetero and single. Women are not really practicing the art of being ladies. I sometimes think that men have no idea exactly how females want to be treated. If they hold a door or pull out a chair, will they get ripped for being sexist? If they offer to pay for a date, will the female remind them of her own economic abilities? Then there are the women so busy ripping the balls off men that they can't answer their own question of, "Where are all the good guys?" The answer is that they are somewhere in hiding, protecting their hearts and souls from being made into trophies.


My girlfriend has another theory about lunch. She thinks that maybe we owe our meal to the trio of older ladies sitting next to us. Maybe. They certainly were all up into our conversation. Not that our conversation was all that interesting, but I swear one of those women was about to throw in a question or two.

Well, whoever you are, you did a really sweet thing. I'm sorry I wasn't able to thank you. You made one of the last really good days of our summer even nicer. The next time I can afford to be nice to a stranger, I am going to pick up their tab.


Friday, August 24, 2012


**Insomnia is visiting tonight. My mind is personality traits (mine). Thought I'd re-post a favorite.**

I know that I am not supposed to be into astrological signs. At least, that's what I was raised to believe as a Pentecostal. (I am pretty sure that if I look hard enough, there are posts here against astrology.)


I was on G+ earlier and got all excited because I thought I was about to Add a fellow Cancerian. I was wrong. but... My mind is all on the astrological now.

Maybe there really is nothing meaningful to do with stars and moons and all that when it comes to personalities - in which case, I am just weird. I think there is something to it all, though. I so fit the general ideas about what it is to be a Cancer. According to one site, my strengths and weaknesses are:

Attached to familyEmotional
EmpatheticMay be indecisive at times

(Laziness should be on the list since I just straight copied and pasted that!)

But, damn! That is all so me. Except for that whole being adaptable thing. Nope. I do not like change. Otherwise, I really am a crab. For one thing, come at me the wrong way and I will crawl right into my little shell and just shut you the hell out. For years! (But I will remember how I care about you and let you back in. Damnit.)

So, is it really all about a birth sign, or is it that we all share the same traits? Someone once told me that Astro-signs are b.s. and that you can apply the same traits to a Leo as you can to a Cancer. Personally, I don't believe that. For one thing, I was married to a Leo who is batshit crazy, but who had a Leo sister who was only half as crazy. Tell you what: thee Leos I've known can be some cold-hearted folks - only in my opinion, of course...

In search of Cancerian me, I went over to my online mentor (Wikipedia) only to be a little disappointed.

Wiki got my Characteristics and Relationships down perfectly, but I don't know where the hell they were going with Occupations. I can't stand the sight of anyone sick or bleeding, I kill plants just by walking near them, and I hate real estate with a passion I can't begin to describe. (And trust me on the real estate crap; I have a Broker brother and an Agent niece. I never again want to see a piece of HUD paperwork as long as I live.)

What else?

I hate my official birthstone (or maybe I've never seen a good cut) and always choose pearl instead. Never noticed before, but I can get down with the moonstone. Silver is my favorite metal - but I look like a black Popsicle if I wear orange or silver clothing. White clothes? Yeah, I can do white, of course. Most dark-skinned folks do white beautifully. This is why people who tan wear white.

Hmm... So.

Back over to the site that got my Strengths and Weaknesses so right.

This one gets me better. Except for the one part about my not taking revenge. That's only sort of true. I won't actually do anything to someone who hurts me, but my therapy is to spend hours just thinking of how I could get  them back. I've gone all Wile E. Coyote before - drawing out detailed plans...

I almost choked when I read that part about the making and maintaining wealth. First, I thought, "Hah! Not this kid." Then I remembered that for years I did help raise, feed and shelter four kids who are not my own. Looking back I have no idea how I managed that, but there you go.

The most Cancer thing about me? I guess it's that I have emotional amnesia. If you are ever my true friend, you are always my friend, no matter what.


**Earlier tonight, I found a site exploring the more sensual traits of the different signs. My roomie & I are both Cancerian, and only a week apart by birth date  This site got it mostly right about me but not for my friend. (Weird, right?) Their mention of water as my "element" made me laugh. Me, the chick afraid of anything wet and deeper than a puddle! But I love that it has all my best traits defined so well. Hell, I'm thinking of printing this crap to hand out to prospective partners, therapists and correctional officers! The bad thing? It has my best "partners" all wrong. There is no freaking way that a Leo should be in my orbit (although seducing a Scorpio sounds hot). Maybe it's wasn't about being a Leo with T**; maybe that was about him being an asshole and me being stupid. Anyway... Since I'm awake and it's 3 in the morning, maybe I will go and check out more on those Scorpios.** Peace.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Translate This

Boy, I needed a good laugh and I got one day before yesterday.

My girlfriend drove me over to the Walmart pharmacy. We saw a commotion and, of course, we rubbernecked like crazy. There were quite a few folks trying to see what was happening. There were a few  police cars blocking off half the parking lot, the store manangers blocked the entrance closest to the happenings... it was crazy. Mostly, I was annoyed as hell that we had to go all out of the way to do what we needed.

A couple of nice looking fellows were stuck same as my girlfriend and I, trying to get back out to the parking lot. One of them said something to my friend and she almost fainted because he had an accent. French, I think. He and his friend seemed nice, kind of shaking their heads and hoping that all was okay.

Now, I am wary of men with accents. I am not into looks or money so much. Intelligence, kindness, sweetness and maybe a little swagger... That rocks me. An non-American accent will just do me in. Accents are sexy. I watch out for that because I married a man once and I am pretty sure the accent did something to my hormones. If he'd been from Tuscon, I might have dated him without going into heat. My crazy girlfriend just loves an accent. She once dated a guy for six months that she didn't even like because he had some kind of islander accent. This was around the time of Stella getting her groove back. I'm not even sure if my friend liked this guy enough to give her groove away. They talked on the phone a lot. Whatever.

My friend tends to stereotype situations and has no qualms about using friends as bait. As her black friend, I'm her magnet for guys with a Euro accent. We have another friend who has a body that's a freaking siren call for guys with any kind of "Island" accent. (We are all still shameless flirts. You get better at it with age.) Lately though, I'm not feeling cute. I don't even feel sociable. This didn't stop my friend from flirting her ass off with the guys at the store. (I need to talk with her about our age and the need for some mature dignity.)

So, there I am, nauseous, sweating and just wanting to get back in the truck where there is air conditioning. My friend is batting her eyes and chatting away with her new buddies. (I also need to talk to her about how silly the whole eye-battng thing s for a woman anywhere past high school. And, for us, high school is a really dim memory.)

Anyway, I finally tear the BFF away by  threatening to either faint or throw up. As we are walking off, the two guys start speaking, yeah, French. My friend, who has no self-esteem issues, wanted to believe they were being complimentary. Maybe. I couldn't help pointing out to her that the problem with hitting on foreign men is that they could be saying anything.

"Girl, they are checking out my ass and you know this."

We get home and, because my friend is a great friend, she sticks around to watch TV, help me cut my hair (again), try to fix food I might want to eat, etc. It wasn't until a few hours later that my sister noticed something on the butt of my friend's shorts.

"B____, how the hell do you have a bicycle tire mark on your behind?"

I don't think I even want to guess at how it happened, but, sure enough, my friend had a perfect tire mark right across the back of her pink shorts.

How the hell, right?

Anyway, I had such fun freaking her out with what those French dudes might have been saying. At least they probably really were checking out her ass.

Seriously, how did she get a tire mark on her ass?


P.S.: Number One - Typing this on a tablet (cos I had another PC mishap) so I hope it is readable. Number Two - Had to change my cell number after YEARS because of the stalker who is my ex; if I haven't sent you the new number, hit me via email.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Leaving Something

I have talked here before about a friend of mine who is fighting cancer. The fight doesn't look fair anymore. I guess that, without realizing it, this is what's had me in this mood lately.

When I went over to see my girlfriend the other day, she looked as if she was making her peace with things. I hate that. I don't want her to "make peace." I want her to keep fighting. She isn't. She is getting ready for something. I asked her if this was so and she said that we should all be making our peace. This is the same friend who told me a truth about dying when she said that we all want to see Jesus, but none of us wants to die. It scares me now that she seems more ready to meet Jesus than she ever did.

So, what happens when it's over? The body will be empty and cold. What's left? My friend had thought of this. She told me that what she wants more than anything is that, after she is gone, for the people who loved her not to be sad. She wants to believe that we will remember not that she "left" us, but what she left us.

We didn't talk for hours the way we used to. Her daughter is taking care of her and she told me when I got there that her mother sometimes just fades out. How selfish am I that I didn't want to be there when she started "fading?" I was scared that it would be the last time. I don't want to be there for that.

What I want to remember about my friend is how she laughed loud all the time, but it never seemed like an unladylike thing for her to do. When she laughed, everyone around her wanted to laugh, and we all wanted her to keep laughing. She has a great laugh: silly and high-pitched. (And why do I slip back and forth talking about her in the past and present tense?)

I want to remember the fun we had. Like the time that when we were younger and I borrowed my father's car for us to go out in one night. We went by the Cattle Company (when it used to be a real hot-spot here in town) and cruised the parking lot, flirting with guys and seeing what the competition looked like. We passed by one group and I almost ran over a guy's foot. My friend, of course, did that screaming laugh of hers.

When I tried to reconcile with my first husband and things weren't going well, my friend was going through her own divorce. One night, after a fight with David, she and I went down to Jamico's (another "spot" back in the day), ordered nachos and sat in the parking lot, drinking Jack and Coke out of the soft-drink cans. I got so fucked up that we had to sit out in the cold lot for a couple hours before I'd left my friend move the car.

There are a lot of things I don't have clear memories of. I had to ask my sister about some of the things that went on "back in the day." My sister's best memory was of a dance contest. There was a hangout downtown in the lounge of the Holiday Inn. My sister and I both liked to go there. I'd be there with my friends and she and her friends would kind of absorb us into their group. One night, there was a dance contest. You'd couple up with anybody and take turns dancing down the middle of the line of other people. My friend and I had ten years on my sister and her friends. We kicked ass, but my friend slid down on something and almost brought down forty people with her. Hilarious.

If my friend leaves me, she is leaving me with so much. I can't even out into words the times she made me laugh or smile when I just didn't want to laugh or smile ever again. She is the only female friend I have who had a habit of kissing me on the mouth when we said "Hi" and "Bye." She is the friend who helped get me through my mother's funeral. She is the friend I called one night from Texas from a bus station in the middle of a thunderstorm, in the middle of one of my fights with Tim. She is the friend who has always known when I was hurt or embarrassed or in trouble.

My friend is one those people who can say, "I love you," and it sounds so real and special. Not like the "Love ya" thing I tend to do with people I really do love, but I am just saying words.  Every single time that she has said, "Love you," it's been the real deal. It's saying not just that she loves me, but that she's really down for me. She is the friend that would, if I needed, come get me out of a bad situation. She is the friend who really, actually prays for me. And tells me about it.

This all seems so all about me, but I'm just trying to tell you about my friend.

When I was going through a really horrible time at work and I told her I just wanted to quit my job and run away to Budapest or somewhere, my friend priced tickets to Portland and was going to give me a weekend vacation for my birthday. I told her Budapest or nowhere. We ended up throwing a house party to end all house parties. She met a very Significan Other at that party and I know that she is leaving him pieces of her heart too.

My friend is leaving me with her smile, her laugh, her eyes that seemed to understand deep inside people. She is leaving beautiful memories. She is leaving me some of her strength and faith.

Maybe I am selfish for only thinking right now about how I won't be able to feel her or see her once she's gone. I won't be able to hear her voice. Why does all that mean so much to us? I'm just really trying to understand. I miss her so much already.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Music Flashback: J.T.

This is what I had playing last night while I tried to write. The writing didn't go so well, but the music was still as good as needed.

For tonight: Ladysmith Black Mambazo.


Monday, August 06, 2012

My Inner Child Escaped

I saw a G+ pal's tagline of "World's oldest living child" and I am stealing it. My "inner" child has always preferred the out of doors and yesterday it was in full swing.

My girlfriend and I had a sort of double date for coffee and pastries. My girlfriend's date was a local guy she'd only recently met and really hit it off with. They would only have a small amount of time to hook up before she'd be leaving town. I was kind of hoping things would work out with them because, as a couple, they'd be a little like my guy friend and me. My guy is in and out of town for work, and spends a ton of his time Stateside. I like the arrangement since I don't do those clingy relationships, where he's breathing in my face every moment. Been there and done that with Crazy Man.

We were drinking our coffee out of actual ceramic mugs (instead of the usual paper contraptions) and my girlfriend, who is fidgety, kept tapping her spoon against the side of her mug. She was a little pissed off and embarrassed that her date was not there and the more irritated she became, the more she fidgeted, tapping the hell out of her cup. My friend (who is always on time, by the way, and is never mad when I am late - or even the time I showed up at the wrong damn place) was trying to be the gentleman and keep my girlfriend feeling included. He asked about her latest project (she's a singer out of Portland and is working on some new songs) and praised a performance of hers that he'd caught some months ago. I am a woman, so I kept telling her how great I thought her new boobs looked. (Not that I believe in surgery for something so unnecessary, but, hey.) I think the compliments on her boobs were working, but then, boy-oh-boy-oh-boy - her date called and cancelled. He should have called way earlier if he wanted to be polite.

Let me say that my girlfriend can not only out-cuss me, but she's a whole lot less picky about where she'll let loose with the language. I am still Pentacostal and mama-raised enough not to cuss in public. But, oh, good mercy, my friend let it rip. Before she hung up her phone, I think her poor "date" had been renamed in Greek, Latin and Ebonics. That shit was almost funny, except I felt bad for the guy. Plus I was embarrassed as hell about all the cussing. I tried my damndest to slink down into a crack of my chair. My guy friend handled it by talking really quietly to my girlfriend. I guess that's the trick about people mirroring your behavior. Whatever. All I know is he got the heffa to shut the hell up.

I embarrass very easily and I'm already in early menopause, so right there in the middle of a busy coffee shop, I bet I sweated off about ten pounds. But what happened to my girlfriend after her little rant would have crippled me emotionally for life.

When she quit cussing and being so freaking loud and country, she went back to doing that spoon-tapping thing on the cup. She was tapping so fast it looked like her hand was vibrating. I don't know if it was how hard she hit the cup or if she'd just already cracked it, but the cup just suddenly shattered. Coffee went everywhere - all over her, the table, the floor.  And, the natural reaction to something like that is for a person to jump out of the way or scoot back, right? I jumped up, my guy friend reached over to grab his phone off the table, and my girlfriend scooted back. Except her chair didn't scoot with her.

Oh my good happy hell. I have no idea how it happened just from trying to scoot back, but my friend's chair tipped back and she ended up (just for a couple of seconds) like a lyric out of that dirty rap song. I forget the name of the group, but the lyrics were something like "Face down, ass up."

I am so wrong, yes, I know this, but damnit, I laughed so hard I just about threw up. What made it all even funnier is the trouble she had getting herself righted. After falling backwards in a chair - with some of your long hair getting stuck under the chair - there is just no graceful way in this world to roll over, get on your knees and stand up. I don't care how many other people run over to help out.

I told you guys that I've been depressed lately. Well, let me tell you what: I am freaking cured. I still at this moment cannot think about what happened without laughing.

Yes, I should be ashamed of myself because it was horrible. My friend was so embarrassed, but in that way where instead of acting shamed, she acted more pissed off. It never helps when something like that happens and people run around trying to help you. It all just makes you feel more embarrassed. Probably didn't help my girlfriend out that her maniac friend (me) was crying laughing. I think I was a little bit hysterical or out of control. I just could not stop laughing. I swear, it's this fucking menopause.

Anyway, we managed to get out of there without causing anymore damage. My guy friend told me later that it wasn't very cool of me to laugh so hard about it, but that at least I tried not to be loud. (He can kiss my ass because I saw him about to choke trying not to laugh.) My girlfriend is not mad at me, believe it or not. She jokes that she is glad she made me laugh. She is either super-cool and belongs in the BFF club or she is just waiting to get back home and poke holes in a little black doll named Trudy.

So, yeah, I guess I am still a little childish. Don't judge me; you'd be laughing too.


Friday, August 03, 2012

Music Therapy: Ray Charles

A girlfriend & I sat last night listening to some oldie-goodies, sipping some goldie-winies.

Mr. Charles, 1963. A favorite.


Thursday, August 02, 2012

Coming Off The Ledge

I had a few very bad days of being super-depressed. When I get like that and nothing else can bring me around, I go off the grid; close myself up away from everyone and everything so that I can do my praying and thinking in peace. I also try to find reasons to deal better with everything.

The other day - about Day 5 into my time in the abyss - I was re-reading a book about the band INXS. I just loved  this group back in the day. The singer, Michael Hutchence committed suicide (or at least, gave in to sadness) at such a young age, 37. Like a lot of people, I was surprised and had to ask the usual "Why?"

A good way to revive yourself out of a funk - or at least talk yourself off the ledge - is to think of someone who didn't make it out. You think of how much they must be missed by the people who loved them, and all the wonderful things they did not live to see. You think, or I did in the case of Hutchence, of  how the talent they shared with us is the only thing left. I still use the lyrics that Hutch and Andrew Farris put out there for us. And Hutch isn't the only sweet soul who didn't make it; he's just a famous face of so many people's pain. They just didn't make it out of a very bad, and probably very temporary, place. As Bono put it about Hutchence: he was just stuck in a moment.

Now, know one thing about me: I get stuck in moments, but I've always made it out. I have a secret weapon in the war on depression. I have a deep faith in Jesus. If I didn't, I'd have not made it through things that came years before this bad time. Trust that.

Jesus promised, "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you." (John 14:18)

Some people don't have faith in anything. Some people just teeter alone into the bad places that depression can take any of us. If you are depressed, please find a positive way to deal with it. Call someone, hold on tight to someone, pray - just don't give in to it.

Anyway, my bad moment has passed. I celebrated last night by listening to some of  my favorite INXS songs. My "favorites" in anything change with my mood. Right now, this is my favorite:

R.I.P. Hutch


P.S.: If you don't understand faith, I don't either; I just have it. This is a story of a woman who seems to have & understand it.


Suicide Awareness Voices of Education

**Wikipedia has list or resources for those of you who live outside the USA**