Monthly Archives: July 2016

It’s a Blonde Line Between Love and Hate

Sorry I’m so late…I’m on vacation and in low gear, plus, I kind of worked today. Anyway, no excuses, here’s this week’s post…Because I’m a white, raving liberal, I tend to give non-white, non-majority people the benefit of the doubt. But, ugh, majority white people? You’re going down. My perimenopause-induced, random anger likes to flare up at all kinds of white people, but today, I hate fake blondes.

Recently, I got off the train and as I was walking to work, I found myself stuck behind a group of youngish women walking four abreast on the sidewalk. They weren’t lollygagging, but they weren’t going at a get-to-work pace either. More like, “Oh, I’m on vacation, and I don’t give a rip how fast or slow I walk in front of you slobs who are going to work.”

You know the type.

I wanted to tell them, I don’t know how they walk wherever you’re from girlies, but that’s not how we do things here in Boston. Partly it’s because the sidewalks are hardly big enough for two people. But it’s also a personal space thing. We’re Bostonians. On sidewalks, we steer clear of others. We don’t touch or brush and we don’t walk four abreast. It simply isn’t done.

But there was no way for me to get around them, so I decided to quietly judge them instead. Oh my. Where do I begin?

First I noticed they all had similarly long, fake blonde hair with enough roots showing to start a goddamn botanical garden. Their hair reminded me of a declaration my friend Mike and I made the previous Sunday while dancing. There we were, swaying and jumping with the sea of dancing men, when a couple of girly women with long blonde hair stood on the dance floor, not on the edge, but on the dance floor, and one had a drink in her hand. Mike often laments, “Why, why, why do people dance with drinks in their hand?” Because they are amateurs, and Mike and I are there to dance, so don’t blame us if one of our cool little moves knocks your drink out of your hand. It’s a dance floor. If you want to stand around with a drink in your hand, go to where ever it is they do that. In any event, Mike did his cool little spin and sure enough he knocked girlie blonde #1’s drink from her hand. She glared at him, and Mike and I shrugged, kept dancing, and declared blondes should be banned from the club, unless it’s a wig and the blonde is in drag.

So as I was nursing a good dose of blonde hate, I next noticed they were all wearing short shorts — slightly different styles, but all the same length. So that gave me the opening to judge their bare legs of various levels of fitness, ranging from none to almost some, and colors, ranging from very white to translucent white. What a bunch of fake blonde losers. And how dare they come to Boston and obstruct my commute?

Finally, the sidewalk opened up enough for me to pass them. Hallelujah! I was about two steps in front, and could finally hear what they were actually talking about. Just as I was wondering what sort of vacuous conversation they would be having, I nearly tripped when my brain, clouded with nasty thoughts, finally registered what I was hearing.

They had British accents.

And instantly I was flooded with love for all four of those fake blonde ladies, as they hail from the land of drawing room dramas, bad teeth, afternoon tea, and the Queen. I’m a hopeless anglofile. As I pondered the ridiculousness of my reactions, I resolved to meditate more. Or send my myself to my room, or at least try to just think about unicorns and rainbows rather than be a judgmental, hypocritical witch, as fun as that can be.

But that’s what this is, right? Realizing how we can all be walking, talking, very nice judging machines, who are making snap judgments based on nothing more than a bad day of perimenopause hormones or a distaste of fake blondes. Many years ago, I was a grad student in a writing program, and I wanted to try out teaching. They gave us two semesters of freshman comp. God help those poor kids. Let’s hope all the money they were paying was well spent on the other teachers in their later years. The second semester was themed multiculturalism, and even as I write it now, I don’t think people even call it that any more. Christ, I feel old. Anyway, we had a couple of training session so we wouldn’t completely  traumatize those freshman. I remember one of my fellow teachers having this realization while we were trying to figure out interesting ways to teach mostly white kids about multiculturalism. She had caught herself in a moment of frustration waiting in a long line, saying something to herself that was not nice about the ethnicity of the person in front of her who was not moving up as quickly as she would have liked. And then she realized a lot of the shit we say about other people can be boiled down to “Get out of my way.” That always stayed with me, and I remembered it after my little hissy fit with the fake blondes who were in my way, but then ended up being something I love, goddamn it.

So next time I’m behind a guy with an annoying man bun or one of those huge, overly manicured beards (sorry dude, I’m still not kissing you, that’s nasty) and slicked back hair, I’ll just take a deep breath and try to remember they are not really in my way, and if all else fails, I’ll pretend they’re  British.

 

Photo credit:  Get your own bad dye job here.

The Birds

I don’t know about you, but I feel like the world is not only just coming apart at the seams, but that a pissed off tailor has been left with one too many unpaid wedding gowns with expensive alterations, has lost his shit, and is grabbing the fabric of our world in one hand and a seam ripper in the other and is splitting us wide open in a primal, mad rage. I can’t really blame him —  in my post-married state, weddings still kind of piss me off too, although I’m working on that.

And in this heightened state of mad-tailor-seam-ripping, I think paranoia may be tapping at my door, or at the very least I’m having vague thoughts that we are headed for some kind of post-apocalyptic Mad Max world. Why you may ask? Unusual birds have begun to appear in my neighborhood, and rather than simply thinking that’s interesting or encouraging me to take up bird watching, I’m doing a Hans Solo and having a bad feeling about it. I’m thinking there’s a good reason Hitchcock picked birds for his movie and not, say, cockroaches, which are creepy and disgusting, but let’s face it, they can’t peck your eyes out. Birds are innocent and lovely to behold alone or in small groups, but there is something disturbing about them gathering by the hundreds in a tree; or finding them alone in an unlikely place, and they look at you with beady eyes as if to say, “I can have 1,000 eyeball-pecking birds here before you can tweet about my creepy stare.”

You see, a block from my house, I saw a chicken strutting in a straight line from right to left across a front lawn. I live in urban Revere, and believe me this is not a get-chickens-as-a-status-symbol type place. My instinct was to protect my eyes and call animal control. I mean even if there were a family that felt the need to have chickens, aren’t you supposed to keep them all together in a coop? And if you’ve let them loose, where are the others? I tried to peek around the back of the house to see if there was a coop, but I didn’t want to be too obvious. Although my neighborhood isn’t rough by any stretch of the imagination, it is inhabited by descendants of Italians, and they generally don’t take kindly to people poking around in their business.

Instead, I took a surreptitious photo and posted it on Facebook with the caption, “Chicken in Revere!” and moved on. That is, until a few weeks later, when I drove by the same house and saw a turkey striding across the same front lawn, in the same straight line, from the right side of the yard to the left. Only this time I couldn’t even get a picture because there were three other people crowding on the sidewalk taking one. That same day a friend posted a picture of a turkey she saw in the street near the station as she was getting off the commuter train. Hers seemed to be a wild turkey, and I would have thought the same of the one in Revere, only it was at the chicken house. I don’t think it’s paranoid to consider that in three years, I’ve seen no stray birds, and now the world is coming apart and I’ve seen two. At the same house. Gathering, one might say.

I joked on Facebook that I shuddered to think of what bird would be next. I was not amused by the person who suggested an ostrich or rhea, although I’d never heard of a rhea, so of course I had to look it up. I learned that rhea are a relative of the ostrich and are native to South America, so in my now paranoid mind, I decided it’s possible they could come overland to freak me out in Revere. Less likely is an ostrich, which would have to bust out of a zoo or commandeer a boat from Africa to come and get me. I’m telling you, at this point not much would surprise me, and I’m stocking up on canned goods, cigarettes, and booze.

So what bird did I see just a week or so later? One street over from the chicken/turkey house I saw a hawk floating in lazy, dangerous circles high up in the sky, very possibly looping over the chicken/turkey house. The circling implied to me that one false move on my part would lead to a swoop down and an eyeball pecking. And I wasn’t the only one who noticed. A guy walking his medium-sized dog was also looking up repeatedly at those calculated, lazy circles. He looked very much like a man who was deciding if the bird was capable of taking his dog. In these are trying and unpredictable times, I’d put my money on the bird.

So there you have it– a chicken, turkey, and a bird of prey. And, no, they don’t walk into a bar, but they may very well be plotting something. What’s next? I have no idea, but if you see a news story about a body in Revere being pecked to the bone by birds, just remember: it starts with a damn chicken.

Did anything good happen this week on Earth?

I have really been struggling with what to say lately. I try to see the humor in life, but there’s not a lot of funny right now. Lucky for me, a blogger I like a lot had some great perspective, so I’m passing along his words. Peace.

Home Yoga Practice

While it was a veritable s***storm here on Earth with news I don’t even want to mention, another event happened millions of miles away.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft is has awakened after a long slumber of space travel and starting turning its sensors on to give us more information about Jupiter.

Juno’s nine science instruments were off when the probe entered orbit around the solar system’s largest planet Monday, to reduce complications during that night’s make-or-break orbit-insertion engine burn.

The mission team powered up five of those instruments Wednesday and plans to turn on the other four before the end of the month, NASA officials said. So Juno should be ready to gather some science data when Juno makes its next close pass by the huge planet on Aug. 27. The probe is currently in a 53-day orbit around Jupiter.

The Juno mission launched in August 2011 to help better understand Jupiter’s…

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Happy Let’s Keep It Together Day

As a country, we seem to be in kind of a shit storm right now. I feel like every group is rightfully angry or scared about something and is being vocal about it, and we’re all screaming, or quietly affirming, or firmly declaring as our beliefs and level of emotion require. It feels chaotic and overwhelming, and although I’m trying to be a good citizen and sort and sift through it all and be supportive, I don’t feel very effective. So I am clinging to something Bono of U2 often says about us. He loves America as an idea. He says it at every concert I’ve been to. He pumps us all up on being Americans, and then he specifically inserts the needed realism that as an idea we’re great. We haven’t yet achieved what the idea is capable of. But the idea of equality, the idea of freedom, the ability to fight for these things in our society, even among ourselves, is something worth appreciating and worth preserving.

We’ve had shit storms before and we’ll have them again. Let’s find a way to keep it together. Happy Fourth.