Why, hello there! Quite a few things happened since we last spoke. Mick and I are having marriage growing pains. Sucks, but we come out the other side better and stronger for it. This is one of the nicer things about being older – recognizing that not everything is a be all, end all situation and that sometimes you simply have to shovel shit for a while before the mess clears.
Speaking of older…I had my 55th birthday last Sunday! It was a mellow and relaxed birthday with pizza and family and some pretty cool loot. Got the birthday blizzard out of the way earlier in the week so by the 21st it was actually almost balmy outside. By far the nicest weather on my birthday EVER. And if discussing how the weather on one’s birthday was is deplorably boring then you do not have a winter birthday. Have most of your birthday plans derailed by a lashing ice storm or 9 feet of snow or sub-zero temps and a power failure then get back to me, m’kay? As it was I was delighted to go out for pizza wearing the neoprene and knit cool-ass jacket my son got me and not freezing my tushie off.
As predicted I have a new department manager. She’s VERY young. Seems nice enough. One upside – the regional manager is spending the entire week training her and establishing procedures, something NOT offered to the previous manager. Poor Rue was tossed in feet-first and then got blamed for the resultant chaos. Shitty deal and one I resent on her behalf. Me? I’m doing my job as always. Helping where I can. I’ve accepted I am always seen as a leader and whether I have the official title or not am always a ‘boss’. I struggled with this in the past. Problems owning my power. Believing people deferring to me was some kind of slur and insult because of my physical size. Whatever. Realized most of my problem was a lack of being nurtured. Nobody takes care of the caretakers, you know? If I was always forced to be in charge then no one was ever going to help me or fuss over me or pat me when I was feeling small and low. This was true until Mick. But my guy absolutely acknowledges my strength and size and prowess and still treats me as someone fragile and precious. The former doesn’t negate the latter at all. In Mick’s view it’s because I Do All The Things that I deserve cossetting and coddling and spoiling. See why I keep shoveling when it’s shitty? All worth it in the end.
Onward with the meme! This one is courtesy of that amazing bright light, Karyl.
1. What bill do you hate paying the most? I don’t pay the bills, Mick does. My job is to renegotiate our payments and keep my eye on our overall spending. If there’s a payment I resent I shop for a better deal, haggle, and adjust things on our end as best I can.
2. When was the last time you had a romantic dinner? Food is a love offering with us. So in that sense every meal is a romantic one. Sebastian and I will whomp up a terrific dinner or a weekend brunch and we all sit at the table together having family time. Mick comes in late and half-frozen from deliveries and I’m waiting with a hot dinner. He makes me tea and toast EVERY morning. I come home completely out of gas and Mick bundles me off to the diner or runs out for Chinese. Meals are one tangible way we say, “I love you.”
3. What do you really want to be doing right now? Aside from not dreading yet another kidney surgery next month? I am doing pretty much what I want to be doing. Just cruising. Working. Enjoying my life. Doing memes.
4. How many colleges did you attend? Two. Starting in the 6th grade I took extension courses through the state university system as the regular coursework was absurd. I ran the entire year’s curriculum in a couple weeks and would otherwise sit twiddling my thumbs for the next ten months. The only class I attended with grade peers was math. I had a math block. After graduating high school with 90% of a bachelor’s degree I went to Central Texas College and took any and every course that caught my fancy. Without a declared major I never did get an actual degree in anything. This is what happens when you’re really, really smart and incredibly dumb.
5. Why did you choose the shirt you have on? I am not wearing a shirt, I’m wearing a plaid bathrobe. I chose it because my other robe needs washing.
6. Thoughts on gas prices? Aside from being an artificial construct raised and lowered by a handful of disgusting greedy sacks of filth wearing human skin suits? Again, Mick gasses my car and I rarely pay attention to gas prices except when it’s time to renegotiate my utility bill or make adjustments to the overall budget.
7. First thought when the alarm goes off in the morning? “Wait. What? Which reality is this?” My night world is vivid and visceral. The only reason I concede that this is the ‘real’ world is that it tends to follow the rules of physics more consistently. And that my cats don’t speak Spanish in this reality. “Buenos dias, Senora LA. Meow Mix y’ agua, por favor.” The only thing more irksome than a nudging cat first thing in the morning is one that does it in a foreign language.
8. Last thought you have before you go to sleep? “Ahhh….David Attenborough….”
9. Do you miss being a child? I don’t think I’ve ever been a child. Not really. Seriously. Being a child was never offered.
10. What errand/chore do you despise the most? Crazily enough I actually enjoy cleaning. What I despise is sifting through junk. GAH! Getting rid of, finding homes for, and otherwise dealing with CRAP drives me batshit. Clear away the junk and I will scrub until everything gleams.
11. Up early or sleep in? Sleep is my favorite drug.
12. Found love yet? Well, duh! Not just Mick. I have Sebastian. I have you guys. I have a dog who thinks I’m wonderful. You bet I have love.
13. Favorite lunch meat? I usually say bologna from the deli, and this is still true, but right now I’m having a fling with Boar’s Head teriyaki chicken. Yummy.
14. What do you get every time at Target? Oy, unfortunately I am not in the cult of Target. I wish I were. It sounds great. However Target and Kohl’s just don’t do it for me. Don’t have my sizes. Don’t cough up the goodies. Maddening, especially because I have a black belt in bargain shopping. Ask me about mining the clearance racks at Old Navy or Barnes & Noble or Macy’s and you’ll get a treatise on going home with $200+ of stuff for $11.00.
15. Beach or lake? I miss lake swimming. Growing up there were several lakes we swam in. Some public places with concessions stands and bathrooms and others were just local water holes with a rope swing and a scrap of shoreline without a lot of poison ivy. But lakes have gone away. Insurance and liability woes, probably. The ocean is as essential as ever. And now I’ve swum in the English (fucking!) Channel! Not to knock my beloved Jersey Shore, but check me out with my international sea cred.
16. Is marriage overrated? Um..what? Overrated how? Held up as the only way to have a relationship? Ya, sure. Relationships are yours to make or break regardless of official sanction from the government. But as a legal construct with rights and responsibilities and protections under the law I think marriage is damn important. This is why I have always been a proponent of marriage equality. Unlike the ignorant and religious chuckleheads who saw marriage rights for all as some kind of ‘special’ thing granted to gay people I believe legal marriage is a right everyone should have because it protects people. It gives the law a place to operate from in regards to property and child custody. It’s about being fair.
17. Ever crashed your vehicle? I’ve never been a serious car accident. I have, however, done the same dopey thing three times. When approaching a yield I’d see the person in front of me had time to go and would look to the left to see if I also had a clear lane. Clutch in and rolling slow I’d bump into the person in front of me because they (freaking) stopped dead instead of going through the yield as anticipated by me. Never any damage, just surprise on both party’s parts. I’d always pop out with apologies and and negating hand waving, hiding my fury that the nervous nelly incompetent dimwit in front of me didn’t understand how a yield worked.
18. How long have you and your best friend been friends? I am currently without a female bestie. I have great friends. Wonderful friends. Friends I’d call from jail for bail. But that singular best pal? Nope. And this is okay.
19. Somewhere you’ve never been but want to go? Y’all know my thirst for travel. One place I want to go is the Winter Market in Vienna, Austria. I see myself wandering the stalls with a wurst in a bun in one hand and a steaming mug of gluhwein in the other. I’d buy glass Christmas tree ornaments. And beautifully iced gingerbread cookies. And mirrors in carved wooden frames. In my mind there’s waltz music and the smell of roasting meat and there’s sparkling snow skirling down.
20. At this point in your life would you want to start a new career? This seems to come up a lot in memes. I like my current job very much. And really, how many people get to say they are professional grocery shoppers? But, if we’re talking dream job then I would like to have a small catering business which specializes in cannabis-laced confections. Not your average rookie cookie or jolly lolly, I’m talking about lovely little treasures of spun sugar, wee bitty cakes, candied violets and fruit slices, tiny works of edible art that produce the happiest, most fanciful of highs. I see my goodies being wedding favors and book club treats and the desserts at select B&Bs. I don’t know if I’d grow my own marijuana or work with boutique breeders/growers, but I do see my product as very niche and upscale. Not exactly for the snob status, but so I can craft delicacies rather than churn out assembly line stoner snax.
21. Do you have a go-to person? Besides Mick? I’m fortunate to have friends in any number fields and disciplines so it depends on the problem, but I don’t hesitate to ask advice from my cadre of learned pals. Lucky, lucky, lucky! Sometimes I think MY best talent is making really smart and talented friends.
22. Are you where you want to be in life? This would involve Goal Setting and Fulfilling Expectations. Not really my brand of burgers. My whole life has been one really slow and mostly lousy surprise party.
23. Growing up, what were your favorite cartoons? Looney Tunes, of course. The original “Scooby Doo, Where Are You?”. I watched ‘UnderDog’ and ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle’ – though honestly my favorite things about those shows were the oddball filler shorts like ‘Fractured Fairytales’ and ‘Aesop and Son Fables’.
24. What has changed since you were a child? Got a week? It would take me at least that long to name the changes. I’ll go with just one – the loss of true American exceptionalism. Growing up in the 1960s and 70s there was the Space Race and the Civil and Women’s Rights movements. My formative years were all about how the US would keep getting smarter, and more inclusive and fair, and would use those ever-expanding fields of talent and scientific progress to help and improve life for EVERYBODY. Crash cut to 40 years later and the US is a quagmire of deliberate idiocy and fanaticism of dogma over facts, belief in the invisible over the provable, and irrational pride in being stupid, selfish, and cruel. Add to that the monetization of services which by now should be subsidized from the common pot (taxes, paid by ALL including billionaires and industry), the choking off of education by the tyranny of standardized testing, and the steady chipping away at our infrastructure until lousy, unsafe, and just plain vanished are the norm, and here we are in the sci-fi fantasy year of 2018 and we live in the world’s largest shithole. I continue to be heartbroken, gobsmacked, and humiliated every single day. If 9 year old me who imagined herself striding into the Senate wearing a cool hat like her hero, Bella Abzug, after having lunch with a Nobel prize winner, a couple of constituents, and Cass Elliot, rolling up her sleeves ready to get shit done, if 9 year old LA could see what became of her country and the absolute triumph of hatefulness and greed she’d have curled up and died on the spot. Sometimes I think she did and this LA is just a zombie too dumb to understand she’s dead.
And that, my darlings, is where I will leave off. Other questions await other days.
Much love, ~LA