Archive for the ‘Words’ Category

The Joy Of Trying To Tidy Up

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

SnowWhiteClapping

In my continuing effort to make life livable, I’ve sunk to self-help books. It’s a poignant conundrum. The more you succumb to self-help books, the more of a loser you are, by definition.

Still. I have high hopes for The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. a worldwide best seller that makes a bold promise:

In this book, I have summed up how to put your space in order in a way that will change your life forever.

The book is slim, like The Prophet, and similarly filled with wisdom, only more useful wisdom. I vaguely recall stuff from The Prophet, like your children are arrows and sadness is a well or something. Great.

But compare that to the revelation that everything you own should spark joy. If you pick something up and you don’t feel any joy, YOU DON’T KEEP IT!

It’s such a huge but simple concept. All the shit you’ve acquired is shit that you have to put somewhere and there’s just too much of it. Duh, you know that. But you don’t know how to cull your stuff, and you’ve tried so many times. You can’t get rid of stuff because you paid good money for it, you might need it, you might lose weight. it’s a memento, it was a gift, it isn’t broken, one day you’ll give it to someone.

Anyway, the first brilliant edict from the author, Marie Kondo, that shook me to the core was this:

Don’t demote clothing to ‘lounge-wear.’

Right?!? Even my husband admitted to this practice. If something is too ugly or worn out to wear in public, you put it with your PJ’s.  Ms. Kondo insists that even when you’re at home, you should be wearing something that sparks your joy. Right now I’m wearing a green tank top that I’m going to throw away later tonight, because the color and cut bring me NO FUCKING JOY, none.

It’s that simple.

So, I’m not following Kondo’s instructions to the letter but I’m making a start. I emptied each drawer of my dresser and picked up each item. If there was a distinct No Joy feeling, I made a contemptuous face and threw it on the floor. If there was a ‘meh’ feeling, I hesitated.

But I did collect two bags of shit to throw away. I have to go around the house and do this with everything. It will be exhausting but I think I can eliminate tons of stuff from my amassed belongings, which have become burdensome.

I also got a book for parents whose adult children hate them. It is somewhat comforting.

Throwing shit out is the way to go, the road to harmony and contentment. Maybe the less I need, the less needy I will seem. I will be spartan, disciplined, and self-contained. I will accept no nonsense from green tank tops.

And throwing shit out puts you in a position of power, which is good. Like George Bush said about Donald Rumsfeld, I am The Decider.

Just No.

Friday, April 17th, 2015

boombox bag

No. No no no no no.

Make a bag shaped like a boombox if you must, Moschino, but not this big. Is the joke, ‘Haha, you can’t even get it into a car?’

Or just, ‘Haha, you bought this!’

I like the words ‘spacious’ and ‘roomy’ in the description.

boombag description

At $3,195, there are only 2 left!

Jeremy Scott must think he’s Andy Warhol. Can someone fire this cunt?

 

The Age Of Indignation

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

crybaby

Some guy who’s going to host a TV show has just caused a huge fit of umbrage because he once tweeted about ‘fat chicks’ and made a joke about Jews. How dare he! People are arguing about whether he deserves to host a TV show.

Prepare yourself for an endless witch-hunt if this shit goes on. Nobody will be allowed to say anything that might be objectionable to anyone.

The subjects of gender and sexuality are already so fraught with potholes of political incorrectness, it’s not worth getting involved. If you use the wrong word for transgender, you’re just a big mean homophobe. The Fat-Shaming thing is a variation we have already discussed here.

I’m wondering if this is the result of social media and internet trolling, or if it’s a natural consequence of liberalism. Being progressive now means being constantly indignant. When did everyone become such big babies?

I’ve been reading about the problem of free speech on college campuses, and the absurd level of sensitivity that students now require. There is a controversial ‘Trigger Warning Movement‘ afoot. You have to be careful not to ‘trigger’ someone by talking about rape or racism. You have to make sure everyone feels ‘safe.’ It’s like there are only two factions, bullies and victims, and if you’re not one, you’re the other.

Oberlin’s faculty members are advised to:

“[u]nderstand triggers, avoid unnecessary triggers, and provide trigger warnings.”

Triggers are something that:

“recalls a traumatic event to an individual, and experiencing a trigger will almost always disrupt a student’s learning and may make some students feel unsafe in your classroom.”

Now, here’s the juicy part. Professors are told to be aware of….

“racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other issues of privilege and oppression. Realize that all forms of violence are traumatic, and that your students have lives before and outside your classroom, experiences you may not expect or understand.”

This leads to changes in curricula and worries about material that might trigger someone. Madame Bovary might really fuck someone up, given its ending.

Here is a great essay on the situation.

Meanwhile, here’s one of my favorite jokes.  A Priest and a Rabbi are standing on a corner chatting when a little boy walks by. The Priest says, “Let’s screw him!” The Rabbi replies, “Out of what?”

I’ll Feel Fat If I Want To!

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

fat is a feeling

Facebook has responded to a petition by eliminating the status option of ‘feeling fat.’

If only I’d known about this option! And now it’s gone, thanks to political correctness.

The Change.org petition said this:

Did you know that Facebook lets you tell all your friends just how much you hate your body?

Uh-oh, body hatred! Make it stop!

And this:

Having these word choices completely normalizes using derogatory descriptive terms in the place of real feelings. How can a person feel ‘fat’ or ‘ugly’ when these aren’t actually feelings?” …What’s worse is that these adjectives are judgmental and forced on us by society to make women (and increasingly men) feel negatively about their otherwise healthy bodies!

fat is not a feeling

Well, Facebook is sorry and never again will it allow us to fat-shame our own selves. Here’s the Facebook statement:

We’ve heard from our community that listing “feeling fat” as an option for status updates could reinforce negative body image, particularly for people struggling with eating disorders. So we’re going to remove “feeling fat” from the list of options. We’ll continue to listen to feedback as we think about ways to help people express themselves on Facebook.

I’m going to call bullshit on this and I don’t expect a single person to agree with me. But still, this is a disturbing trend. It’s not good to censor feelings, and fat is indeed a feeling, no matter what any petition says.

I feel fat RIGHT NOW. I’m not actually fat but I feel fat. I also feel guilty much of the time. I feel depressed most days and often angry, too. Naming these feelings  actually makes me  feel better. I know that I don’t need to live in denial, that self-expression is healthy and liberating.

Positivity is nice but shouldn’t be enforced by word police. Fat-shaming is a big deal at the moment but it’s a made-up problem created by scolds, overly sensitive crybabies who think Everyone Is Beautiful even though we’re not all beautiful.

At the same time experts are urging people to talk about mental illness to dispel the stigma, Facebook is now telling us we can’t confess to feeling fat.

Fuckers. Fascists. Fat-phobic fascist fuckers.

P.S. You can’t ‘feel ugly’ anymore on Facebook, either. Because, I don’t know, it’s mean to people struggling with ugliness issues.

 

Banished Words for 2015

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

banned-words

Lake Superior State Universary has published its 40th Annual List of Banished words, “Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.”

Considering what an awful year it’s been for language, not to mention humanity itself, it is a short and vastly incomplete list, compiled from nominations received via the university’s website.

Here we go:

Bae
Polar Vortex
Hack
Skill Set
Swag
Foodie
Curate/Curated
Friend-Raising
Cra-Cra
Enhanced Interrogation
Takeaway
-Nation

I’m going to say meh to this list, even though most people might include meh on their own list. I’m also going to complain about the spelling of cray-cray.

Takeaway is a good choice. Bae, though, I’m really conflicted about, since it’s so stupid that I hear it as tongue-in-cheek even if it’s used with sincerity. I enjoy it in a perverse way, like when I hear someone say ‘conversate.’

So let’s get to the shit they overlooked. Just off the top of my head:

Unpack, used to mean find out more about the subject. I hate this. It’s the new ‘Drill-down.’

Folks, as in ‘Yes, we did torture some folks.’ Enough of folks, for fucksake! Let’s just say ‘people’ like we used to!

Bro– as a suffix. Brogrammers, Brodouches, we get it, now let it go.

Let it go is a prompt I never, ever want to hear again, ever, unless I’m holding on to a butterfly or something.

A Red Lip as in ‘wear with simple jewelry and a red lip.’  God, why?? Say ‘red lipstick’ unless you want to die.

 

Okay, I’m going to stop now before I get too worked up.

What about you, bae? What words and phrases need to be banned for 2015?

 

 

 

And For Our Jewish Friends…

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

hot-jewish ladies

In my 20s, a hundred years ago, I remember enjoying newspaper ads for grocery stores that said “And For Our Jewish Friends,” with photos of Hanukkah or Passover food. I enjoyed what I felt was the discreet racism of “Our Jewish Friends” and probably inferred a silent “You kikes!”

I thought this Jewish specificity was a thing of the past but nope, the clickbait above popped up yesterday.

So where are the Hottest Presbyterian Woman Under 40?  I couldn’t find them, but I did find fifty more Hot Jews, including many names I’ve never heard before plus Sarah Silverman, the poster girl for attractive Jewishness.

If you google the phrase “And for our Jewish Friends,” it crops up everywhere, usually a polite afterthought to an Easter or Christmas wish. “Hey Jews, look, we’re not excluding you!”

When will America single out Muslims and Buddhists in their holiday greetings or hot babe galleries? Until that happens, I resent the shout out to Jews.

Fuck you, Dominant American Culture! I’m not your friend. I don’t even believe in god. But here’s how I served some pastries at my housewarming party last week.

jesus-treats-housewarming-party

L’chaim and Merry Christmas, inshallah!

Dumbing Down

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

big-ass library

We are packing our shit and preparing to leave our house, the house where nobody likes to throw anything away.

I like the idea of a fresh start, in terms of starting over in a clean empty house and pretending that we’ll learn to not pile things on every available surface. We’ll want to keep things tidy because we’ll be motivated by the nice empty canvass of the nice empty house.

Ha.

But still, I am trying. I’m giving shit away and getting rid of stuff I can live without. So I started getting rid of old books, the kind that are really yellowed with tiny print and smell really musty. Eventually, I had boxes of books to take to the thrift store.

I realized that now when someone visits me, they won’t know I was once smart. They won’t have any idea of how well-read I am! Most of the fiction I bought over the years was in the form of cheap paperbacks, with a few rare exceptions when I felt justified in splurging on a hardback edition. I packed up dozens of wonderful moldy books that I would still recommend to anyone who likes to read.

All that Balzac, Zola, Bronte sisters, Goethe, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Nabokov, Iris Murdoch, Hermann Hesse, Tolstoy, Fitzgerald, Doris Lessing, Camus, all those great books that helped me to understand human nature while escaping the awfulness of being me.

If you know you’re not going to read those yellowed pages again, why should you keep them? Do people keep enormous ‘libraries’ of books just to remind themselves how much they’ve read? Or because books are too sacred to throw away? I really don’t know the answer. I will still have tons of books that are in good shape, because they’re newer or because they’re big art books made from high quality paper.

But people who meet me now will think I’m some idiot who just reads dictionaries and books about street gangs and mental disorders.

Meanwhile, my mind is now preoccupied with stuff I’ve never thought about in my entire life. Toilet seats! Kitchen cabinets! Media consoles! Wicker porch chairs!

It’s pathetic, these new preoccupations. We even discovered this TV channel where ALL THEY DO is buy houses, knock down walls, and argue about tile! It’s a whole new world, a world I never thought I’d relate to.

And it’s brought me and my husband a new kind of intimacy as we mock those losers who always talk about ‘natural light’ and always, always manage to say the word ‘granite.’

And Now I’m A Fucking Midget

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

PRINCESS tiny

I’m sad to say that Pico is gone, as you might have predicted. Life seemed so miserable for him.

I will blame myself for making the call, because I don’t know how long he would have lasted, despite the chronic pain and cognitive issues.

I miss him terribly but I’m not traumatized, because it seems like I’m already stuck with permanent PTSD that time won’t budge.

However! I am still capable of being dismayed.

I fucked up my back when I had to carry Pico inside from the backyard. He was only 40 pounds but I managed to lift him improperly.

So after whimpering (i.e. screaming) about my back for two weeks, I went to the doctor. The first blow was when she measured my height. I am supposed to be 5′ 6″ but now I measured 5′ 4 1/2″ for a loss of one and a half inches of valuable height!

Fuck me! I can’t believe this, even though I know that age and shitty bones lead to shrinking. What next? A dowager’s hump? I’ll probably go bald and whatever else is available to elderly women. I had to have ex-rays of my back, which revealed a degenerating spine or something that sounded like that. All those years of weightlifting, for nothing.

I’m going to get physical  therapy for my back, but for now I have two new prescriptions plus a bottle of Pico’s narcotic pain-killers.

To further drive home the old age thing, my husband and I were talking about TV hosts and we couldn’t remember Larry King’s last name. It was a moment of shared horror as our eyes met and we silently acknowledged that our brains have turned to mush.

Trying to retrieve Larry King’s last name was like gazing into an infinite black hole where a memory bank used to be. I hate Larry King now. I would say He’s dead to me, except now I’ll probably remember him as a symbol of senility, both his and mine.

Big Sister, Part I

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

sisters in matching outfits

Years ago, I read a book called ‘The Sibling Bond‘ after reading an enthusiastic review somewhere. I remember its theories and insights as uniquely thought-provoking. Now, it’s all just depressing.

The sibling bond is like no other relationship. It is fraught with everything under the sun – issues of identity, intimacy, security, fairness, all woven together in  a complex knotted mess.

I’m calling it a mess because I’ve had a major falling out with my sister, the sister I grew up with, the sister who was half of what my mom called “You Two Brats.”

In healthy families, children’s roles and identities are not fixed at birth or rigidly imposed early in life. In other families, however, parents fuse their children, treating them as if they were the same. The children are lumped together, treated as if they were each other’s twin despite differences in age, stage, sex and temperament. The children can become fused in their minds, because they are fused in their parents minds.

Sibling bonds will become intense when, as children, the siblings have had plentiful access, contact, AND have been deprived of reliable parental care.

I remember myself as an anxious, fearful child who looked to my sister for warmth and companionship. She was two years older, husky and athletic. I was skinny and clumsy and still can’t ride a bicycle. We ate together, bathed together, were punished together and rewarded together. When we fought and I tried to get our mother’s attention, she would scream, “You two fight it out!”

I gave up on the hope that my mother would intervene and protect me. So when my sister devised tortures to try out on me, I learned to accept my fate. The worst came at bath-time. My sister would take my cotton undershirt and hold it under the hot water tap until steam came off it. Then, I would have to put it on. It hurt and I cried but there was no escape.

The other bath-time torture was the wet bar of soap: She would order me to choose whether I wanted it “in the eye or in the mouth.” I remember the panicky brain work of making the choice. The choice was always wrong, naturally.

My sister had a huge problem with being copied. She became enraged if she perceived any copying. If I drew with a blue crayon, it might be construed as copying. She made up a thing to yell when she started to do something, meaning it was her idea and could not be copied. When she decided I had copied her, there was ‘slavery.’ It was actually called slavery.

Did everyone grow up this way? I really have no idea. But I loved my sister, because she was all I had. We made up a private language that we could speak a mile a minute. She taught me how to shave my legs. We both had to smoke our father’s cigar when he picked us up for Divorced dad dinners in expensive restaurants. We both had to endure his criticism of our hair and our teeth, and his self-congratulatory appraisal of his latest girlfriend.

Once, my sister was determined to get even with some guy for something, and the only way she could do it was to sleep with someone. I tried every argument to change her mind. When she announced that she planned to pick a stranger off the street, I told her to just use my former lover, a compliant stoner. She fucked him alright. She fucked him for around six months. At some point, I begged her to stop, but she wouldn’t. She told me that she wasn’t through getting even.

It was still a choice of the eye or the mouth, but without the choice factor.

We spent years of our lives, fused together or enraged at each other. We used to rely on each other to be what we called a Reality Guarantor, to compare our experiences or point of view. It was so reassuring. Whatever I might be worried about, she swore that it was nothing serious, it would go away or never happen or that she had it too and it wasn’t cancer.

Now we have crossed a line. Too many grievances have been aired. I see her as pathologically competitive and sadistic. She has rewritten my history, casting me as the villain in pieces where I was once the clear victim. Maybe it’s better to be the villain. The truth doesn’t matter to her, and I am the truth police, as everyone knows.

According to her, I’m the devil himself. “You think your shit don’t stink?” she shouted at me over the phone. Who even talks like that? Who are we, Mob Wives? Shouldn’t she at least say ‘doesn’t stink’?

 

 

‘No Mediocre’ Exegesis

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

I discovered this new video because it features my darling Iggy Azalea. I had no idea who T.I was, that’s how ignorant I am.

But now I know, and Knowing is the First Step.

Anyway, T.I. is somewhat controversial, but that’s due to his personal life. “No Mediocre” is just a standard rap song evidently, and yet it is so rich in poetry. Let me share some of the lyrics:

Right hand in the air
I solemnly swear
I never fuck a bitch if she don’t do her hair
No more, you won’t get no dick if there’s a bush down there
Girl I should see nothing but pussy when I look down there

Fair enough. Got it.

However, rap genius offers choices in interpreting the heartfelt couplet about dick with regard to bush.

rap-genius-mediocre

See? He has standards. But if a bitch meet the standards, here is what will happen:

Out here trying to find someone that better than my last go
Take her to my castle
Drown her in my cash flow

Okay! Again, got it. But I like this clarification from rap genius:

“T.I. would like to find a female that looks better than his last, if that’s possible since he all he fuck is bad bitches.”

And with a net worth of around $50 million, T.I. can afford to be discriminating with his bitches, and he don’t want no bitch that will settle for mediocre either. It’s all good.