Shoes To The Rescue!

shoes to the rescue

When life gives you lemons….. .ugly shoes!

Ugly shoes got your back.

Thanks, Miu Miu.

I don’t even know what these shoes want, except to offend. Mission accomplished, Velvet Ankle-Wrap Ballerina Flats!

Just tell me, why those fucking buckled straps? Are they there to make sure no one can yank off your $890 shoes and run off with them? Or are they just there to discourage potential suitors?

These shoes are the essence of ‘I can’t even’.

I hope they bring you a spark of joy, as Marie Kondo might say before throwing them out.

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Posted in Fashion, Horrible Stuff | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Looking For My Group

my-group

In my desperation for contact with kindred spirits, I joined Meetup.com with the idea of finding a social group in my community that I could join.

You punch in your zip-code and you’re presented with a bunch of categories to click on.

There’s arts and culture, fitness, career, health and wellness, hobbies and crafts, etc.

It wasn’t long before I realized that I don’t like to do anything! It came to me like a bolt of lightening, even though you’d think I would know myself by now.

Hiking, no. Goddess Women, no. Yoga at sunrise, nope. Watercolor, no. Spiritual living, beginning motorcycle, exploring pubs, paper crafts, games, improv, no no no.

THERE I S NOTHING ON EARTH I WANT TO DO.

I complained to my husband and I complained on Facebook. Where’s the stuff I like? What about sitting around complaining? Where are the people who enjoy that? I can’t be the only one, right?

So a couple of days ago, I went to my own group called “Wandering around Nordstrom,” and talked to a beautiful young Russian emigre who works in cosmetics. She was willing to help me look for a product whose name I forgot by a brand I wasn’t sure about. She had beautiful long hair and a nice accent that she let me try to imitate. I fucking loved her!

We admitted to being kind of isolated in our new communities. So I told her about my effort to find a social group. She had tried that, too. We mused about forming a group to talk about fashion and hair. I added complaining and she was down for that too.

Feeling inspired, I went home and began to start a new group at Meetup. I was pretty happy with my description of ‘Fashion, Hair, and Complaining’, and clicked on ‘finish.’

They wanted $9.99 a month to list my group. Deal-breaker.

Somehow, that ruins it for me. That would be like buying friends, almost. I can’t stoop that low, even though I’ve stooped much lower on countless occasions. But still. I logged out in disgust.

Now they’ve sent me an offer to start a group at half-price.

Are they testing my principles? Or just trying to see how cheap I am?

Please advise.

 

Posted in Disorders, irritants | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Six Years In

Grave of a Suicide Victim - Wilhelm Kotarbinski, 1900

I went to the cemetery today to mark another year. It’s the most barren, godforsaken cemetery you could imagine.

Across the way, there are great big headstones and grass, with benches to sit on. On our side, the side for indigents, there is no grass and no benches.

You have to sit in the dirt, wipe off the flat gravestone, and pay your respects the old-fashioned way, on your knees, with tears.

One year, I went to visit with my best friend. Have I told this story before? Anyway, it was around 100 degrees, the gate was locked, but a gardener for the Nice side let us in.

The gravestone was dirty, with what we thought was a footprint. My friend pulled off her shirt and began wiping the dirt away. I was stunned to see her in the harsh sunlight, bending over in her black lace bra. I took off my shirt to help  I will treasure her gesture forever and ever.

Today we kept our shirts on, and my husband used some napkins to wipe the gravestone. It says “Max is King,” a proclamation he used to write over and over when he was a kid.

My husband left a purple guitar pick and I left some stones I collected since last time. I almost forgot to show Max my new tattoo, but I remembered! It’s a piece of toast with butter, his favorite thing besides music.

And I imagined I felt his pleasure.

toast-butter-tat-small

Max is King.

 

Posted in grief, love | Tagged | 14 Comments

More Crap About The Gorilla

harambe the gorilla

Maybe you’ve had more than enough of the gorilla story. If so, I fault your limited imagination.

There is so much here! It’s a story so rich in metaphor and allegory and philosophical questions about parenthood, ethics, and humanity.

Just sticking to the facts, it is awful. Let me quote an essay in The Guardian by Ian Redmond:

Harambe is a KiSwahili word meaning “pull together” – a good name for a gorilla because gorillas live in stable family groups and they do look out for one another. Over the past 40 years I have had the good fortune to spend hundreds of hours in the company of gorillas in their natural habitat. Most of them were habituated – that is, used to, human observers with an understanding of gorilla etiquette – but misunderstandings sometimes occur. I have been charged by a nervous female who thought I was too close to a member of her group, a blackback (adolescent) male who I was filming feeding; I have been walloped and bowled over by boisterous blackbacks, treating me just like one of the family, and on occasion, been on the receiving end of defensive silverbacks giving their awe-inspiring screaming charge. But I’ve never been hurt by a gorilla.

Well, that makes me feel sad. This makes me feel sadder:

Clearly if a silverback wanted to kill a child, he could do so in an instant. But he didn’t. It would seem that the danger was more to do with whether the boy might bang his head on a rock while being dragged.

There were other possible outcomes. In two other incidents where children have fallen into zoo gorilla enclosures (Jersey in 1986 and Chicago in 1996) neither the gorillas nor the children died. It is cogent to examine the specifics of each case before drawing conclusions about this one.

Redmond suggests interventions other than killing the gorilla, like distracting him with his favorite food. And he doesn’t have a word of criticism for the boy’s mother.

Here’s a question though. Why didn’t the mother jump in to save her child? It was only a 15 foot drop. What’s her fucking problem? I haven’t been put to the test personally, and I have been stupid enough to take my eyes off my young children. But I have no doubt that I’d do more than stand there and yell, “Mommy’s here!”

On the other hand, how many random kids is one majestic gorilla worth?

I say random because I don’t include my own kids. Just being hypothetical here. An innocent gorilla, born into captivity with no choices at all. A member of an endangered species whose lifespan should be 35 to 40 years, killed because some bitch thinks the zoo is a playground for toddlers.

I don’t know what would satisfy my distress about the gorilla. I have seen a gorilla in captivity and even that is distressing beyond words.

Let’s move along into metaphor.

Are we not all gorillas in captivity? We’re stuck here, minding our own business, trying to make the most of our situations, and some happenstance that is not of our making comes along to freak us out or confuse us and no one asks us how we want to proceed.

Maybe some of us are zookeepers, acting in fear without empathy.

Or maybe we’re impulsive, selfish little kids, fucking shit up for others because we want a little thrill.

Or – and here I’m probably revealing too much – maybe we’re all stupid fat mothers who can’t protect our kids because we’re just not equipped for the job.

To support one of the charities helping protect gorillas in Africa visit www.4apes.com and click on gorilla. And visit Gorilla Doctors.

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Posted in Horrible Stuff, News | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Heil Melania!

heil melania

Let’s take a break from the Donald and turn our attention to his glamorous wife, Frau Trump.

If you missed Greta Von Susteren‘s probing interview with Melania Trump, you’re in for a treat! From the moment Greta asks if it’s true she speaks several languages, and Melania confirms this fiction in broken English, it is pure fawning bullshit.

The more I get to know Melania, the more I feel compelled to adopt her heavy accent and delivery, which is like Zsa Zsa Gabor after a lobotomy. Once I start channeling her, it’s hard to let it go.

When Greta asks her if she’s okay with the nasty fight between her husband and Hillary Clinton, Melania says smugly,

Eetz chust beezinuss.

What a perfect wife for Donald Trump! A steely heartless moron who sold her Slovenian soul for a hideous penthouse and some Louboutin heels.

How many dicks did she suck to make it to the top of her third-rate modeling career and get invited to a party where men like Trump could ogle her? I say this with all due respect.

I have already written about Melania for my day job here, here and here, but I just can’t quit her. I am fascinated by her transformation, and by her self-satisfaction. Like her husband, she feels entitled to everything the world has to offer, including the White House.

heil melania

And like her husband, she has no idea of how stupid she is, which I find incredible. Why doesn’t she know? Someone needs to sit her down and explain.

And you know what, her antisemitism is icing on the cake. Please enjoy her while you can.

Posted in Horrible Stuff, News, Rants | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Green Rihanna Creepers: A Love Story

green pumas of love

If you live in the world of pop culture and fashion, you know all too well that the green suede Puma creepers by Rihanna are the new holy grail.

And you’ve been anxiously awaiting May 26, when they were scheduled to go on sale.

I discussed the challenge of obtaining them with friends online, and we braced ourselves for the effort. And the probability of disappointment: Rihanna’s shoes sell out in the blink of an eye, leaving a global trail of broken hearts and frantic eBay searches.

I missed out on the pink creepers and it was a bitter loss. It still hurts. It will hurt forever.

So I discussed my plan with my husband, and we both logged on to the Puma website at midnight eastern time, thinking how smart we were. After a long period of nothingness, I called customer service, who said they would be available at 7: a.m.

Now, here comes the love part.

My husband knows I can’t get up before noon except for catastrophes. So he set his alarm and tried to buy the shoes for nearly an hour before giving up. Every time my size seemed to appear, he clicked on them and got “SOLD OUT.”

Later, he told some friends about the ordeal, and no one could understand my fixation on the shoes. Apparently, they associated my behavior with “young people.”

Hey, fuck them! 62 is the new forty, and forty is like 25, and at my core I am still 14, stubborn, angry, and style-obsessed.

When I finally got out of bed, I scoured the internet for the green creepers, and using a list of the Top Ten sneaker sites, found a pair at a store in Texas. I figured it was some kind of mistake, even after I paid for them.

But tonight I’m wearing them, and obviously they did nothing to change my life or even dull my greed for more pointless consumer goods. The high is in scoring, I guess, like opiates. Rather than ‘happy,’ I’d say I’m relieved.

I do feel lucky to have my husband. He always has my back. He is my everything.

And I’ve just tried to pick a fight on Twitter with some writer on Bustle who’s gloating about scoring two pairs and describes them as “illusive.”

Posted in Disorders, Fashion, love | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

What Is A Nervous Breakdown? Part II

nervous-breakdown part 2

It occurred to me that SiteLock is some kind of scam, which is odd, because Bluehost is a widely used and seemingly legit hosting service.

When I googled ‘SiteLock reviews,’ I discovered an impassioned community of SiteLock victims, who were justifiably furious. Some complained about SiteLock harassing them with phone-calls. Some described the difficulty of cancelling the service, and being told they needed to speak to a cancellation agent.

Some complained that in trying to remove malware, SiteLock completely destroyed their websites beyond repair. No one could get their money back.

Some even suggested that SiteLock planted the malware just to charge for removing it!

So now I’m fuming. I call SiteLock and someone says to call back during business hours. I call Bluehost and ask them to cancel the service, since they set it up in the first place. No, only SiteLock can cancel the service.

In the morning, Rochelle at Sitelock explains that only Bluehost can cancel the account, since they made the $500 charge on my credit card. She seems genuinely apologetic.

Rochelle offers to get Bluehost on the phone, and to stay on the call with me.

It is then I meet Steven, in billing at Bluehost. He sounds young, dumbish, and bored. He is the definition of the word sullen. Steven reports that he is unable to ‘terminate the service until it expires in January.’ He repeats this with the exact same inflection at least 20 times. I keep saying, ‘Rochelle, can you hear this?’

Steven puts us on hold to speak to a ‘supervisor.’ Rochelle has gone to look at my blog and we start chatting about Prince. She loves him too.

Steven returns to the call and says in the deadened tone of an executioner, “I can’t cancel the service. It will end when it expires.”

Now I scream, “WHO CAN CANCEL IT, GOD?” Steven is silent. I repeat, “Are you saying only god can cancel it, or that He can’t cancel it either? Are you fucking crazy?” I add, “I’m not asking for my money back, just to cancel the fucking service!” I’m getting sweaty. I’ve lost control.

Steven leaves the call again and returns. “I am now able to cancel your service, ma’am. I can send you an email to confirm this has been done.”

Rochelle gives me her contact information so I can confirm with her later. She genuinely wants me to be happy.

I will be happy when Steven is broke, hungry, cold, alone, and desperate, while some little piece of shit on the phone tells him, “I can’t cancel your service. It will end when it expires in January.”

Posted in Disorders, Rants, revenge | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

What Is A Nervous Breakdown? Part I

snake-pit

I think I know the answer! Because I’m on the brink of one!

Haven’t you always wondered what people meant by the outmoded term “nervous breakdown”? I used to picture someone in a padded cell, just lying on a bed, maybe trembling, probably unable to speak, disheveled, with vacant eyes.

I’ve even wished I could have a nervous breakdown, because then someone would take care of everything while I just drooled quietly in a nice sanitarium somewhere.

And then at some point in my life, I decided that I was out of luck, I just couldn’t break down even if I longed for it, it just wasn’t in the cards for me. I’m not the type, I would explain bitterly when discussing someone else’s mental hospital experience.

Well, I have news to report. After enough days of struggling with my website and talking to IT guys who all sound slightly stoned and none too bright, after listening to all these Richards and Darrens and Ethans giving conflicting theories and reasons why things should be working now or not working now, I am a mess.

The sense of powerless multiplied by anxiety and frustration is truly debilitating.

The only relief came in the form of Lauren, an angel who knows all about WordPress blogs and so much more I can’t begin to tell you. She knows about Juggalos, for fucksake. She knows about everything, believe me.

So she agreed to bring my blog back from the Invisible White Screen of Death.

Meanwhile, perhaps sniffing out my anxiety all the way from Arizona  (or tipped off by the IT guys at Bluehost) my web security service, SiteLock, alerts me that I have some malware that urgently needs to be removed. If I don’t remove it, Google will hate me, everyone will hate me and my whole world will end.

However, despite having paid $500 for a year of their security service, they want $300 to remove the malware.

Now, the best/worst part of this is a person names “Sean” at SiteLock. Sean will come out of the gate yelling at you like an angry husband you dared to question about his poker buddies.

Sean seethes with contempt for your ignorance and rage for your audacity in bringing up that $500. He compares the extraction of malware to surgery. Actual surgery. He tells you how careless you’ve been in using plug-ins.  And Sean never backs down. He is aggression personified.

Sean seems like the devil Himself.

But that’s because you have yet to encounter STEVEN, in billing.

Posted in Disorders, Horrible Stuff, Rants | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

The Wolfpack

wolfpack-boys

I finally got around to seeing The Wolfpack, but I was not prepared for it.

The true story of six brothers, aged 11 to 18, who were imprisoned in their New York apartment by their crazy parents, how could it be anything but dark and disturbing?

Somehow, from the promotional pictures I’d seen, I expected something more ‘quirky’ and lighthearted.

I knew the boys had learned about life from the movies that were their only link to the world outside. They were discovered walking down the street in the lower Eastside, dressed like characters from Reservoir Dogs, by a young filmmaker who ended up making a documentary about them.

Watching the family’s home movies, you see a group of children who are almost like puppies, clinging together with affection and loyalty and in the end, fear.

Fear of their father, a delusional South American devotee of Hindu, who didn’t believe in haircuts or exposure to the ‘poisonous capitalist society’ outside their front door, which he kept locked.

The mother has given up all power to her husband, who doesn’t believe in working but appears to like a drink or three.

The story is also a tale of resilience; the six boys are clearly damaged but somehow thrive. They are smart, sensitive, and loving. They are remarkably curious and life-affirming despite all odds.

But the picture of long-term abuse is just staggering. How does this go on?

It made me wonder how many households are run by little individual Hitlers, making crazy rules that no one has the nerve to disobey. The father here is like a paranoid Charles Manson without the charisma. A total shithead who somehow managed to get an idealistic farm-girl to buy into his delusions and bear him seven children.

The boys have a sister, Krishna, who was born with a disorder that keeps her tied to her parents, evidently.

Free Krishna, somebody!

One thing that startled me during this movie is the intensity of my revulsion for the Dictatorial Father. It is a visceral loathing that I carry around with me, ready to explode. All instances of dictatorial men, in books or movies or in the lives of my friends, trigger a deep antipathy, And by antipathy, I mean I want to kill them.

The Wolfpack father will never have to pay for his actions. All the petty authoritarian husbands and fathers out there will keep getting their way and ruining people’s lives. But why do women let this happen?

My own father left when I was 3 but maybe I’ve blocked out memories of his presence in the home. Or maybe it’s just the injustice of the situation that makes me want to kill these fucking bastards.

Everyone who has a daughter or who is in a position to influence young girls should make a point of teaching them to stand up and say No. Say No and walk away or run away if you have to.

It seems so obvious, and yet we haven’t made it clear.

See this movie for its unique gaze into the heart of darkness or because of the beautiful boys with the long silky hair.

But make sure you pass along the message to never let anyone control you. Ever. No matter what.

Posted in Art, Horrible Stuff | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

My Prince

my price

I thought of him as my own Prince, the voice I danced to in my living room when nobody I knew liked Dirty Mind except for me.

On New Year’s Eve at the close of 1998, we went to an awful party at a neighbor’s house but when they put on 1999, I felt that surge of euphoria only Prince can ignite.

I think I even fell in love with my husband while we watched Prince on TV, dancing around in buttless chaps, on a set decorated with flaming torches.

There is so much more but don’t you hate the way people want to make Prince’s death be all about them?? I did see Prince live but maybe you did too. It’s not about what concert we went to or wish we’d gone to.

It’s just about what music means to us throughout our lives. You cannot overstate its significance, but you don’t really know it until you lose that artist who was always there for you, to lift your spirit or console you through the worst heartbreak.

I love Prince so much! He was my little Prince. I was so jealous of Wendy and Lisa and even whatshername, that one in Purple Rain.

I don’t get how someone so magnificent and full of life can just be gone from the world, poof.

I haven’t processed this loss but added to the others it feels more and more like life on this planet is drained of joy and hope and purpose.

I want Prince to come back and Max too. I don’t know how 2 celebrate this thing called life without them.

If you’d like to share something about Prince, even your favorite song, lay it on me.

 

 

Posted in Art, grief, love | Tagged , | 18 Comments