Thursday, September 27, 2012

Moonlight Feels Right, Unless It's Wrong.

Women can form a friendship with a man very well; but to preserve it, a slight physical antipathy most probably helps.  --Nietzsche

Antipathy *would* help. Alas, there is nonesuch. 

An urgent message from The Offbeat Drummer and Her Heterosexually Progressive Female Pals: 

Hey, you guys. Listen. All of y'all. You collectively need to quit being so mind-blowingly hot. Or heart-crushingly cute. Or alluring. Or traditionally handsome. Or unconventionally bewitching. Or painfully beautiful. Or strapping and robust. Those of us who are young enough to still have hormones, which is, uh, all of my girlfriends (though I probably rank as the one with the fewest, but with the biggest, boldest mouth) are dying over here. Why are your eyelashes so naturally longer than ours, with your Atlantic Ocean blue or sweltering brown hues with which you gaze at us longingly?  (Not to disrespect the hazel and green-eyed men.  I just don't personally a) know any and b) I have a major thing for salt-and-pepper hair and blue or brown eyes.) And you all have such great hands. (I like hands a lot, myself. It's feet I can't stand.) 

And for the love of Christ, don't get new glasses that spark up your facial frame or like get in amazing shape or alter any other facet of your appearance without warning, that accentuate your genetically-predisposed sweltering hump-worthiness. 

Add to that charming, compassionate, witty, talented, rugged, humorous, cheeky, sensitive (most of you, anyway), lyrical, handy, helpful, wise, fit and/or strong, creatively gifted, with nice voices and interesting accents, generous, complimentary, bold, brazen, smart, crafty, seductive, older, younger or somewhere in the middle.

What am I trying to say in lots of words, and it's not just me being Me? Guys: sorry, but we want you.  You want us.  What is the big goddamn deal with that? I'm speaking as the 2nd in command in the Order of An Unfortunate Return to Virtual Virginity. I think Steven Hawking gets action more often than I do. 

Note: It's maddening. I don't need to ask for an "AMEN!" in the house of several of my girlfriends, because we're all on edge enough as it is. And, as my circle of friends of "all" genders* trade dunce caps in the giant ballroom with the sign at the entrance pointing to "IS THIS UTTER IRRATIONALITY?," I can't help but take to heart the wise words of a conversational exchange with an old Knox friend recently. He was an older, what Knox called "non-traditional" classmate of mine, who also majored in English. Actually, a few years older than Guy Friend. He lived through and enjoyed the free love of the 60's, remembers little of the 70's, and has continued to employ that philosophy in his life to the present day, even (and perhaps especially due to the fact) though he's happily married and for all intents and purposes, polyamory aside, lives a very comfortable, stable, "normal" and successful life and no, is not strung-out on booze or drugs.


(*A female classmate of mine, who sat next to me in Ethics this week, whispered to me during the professor's lecture, "There are 5 genders." Random, but I guess fit in with the topic du'jour. I can think of 3....male, female or transgender. What am I missing? I guess you could be like Morrissey and claim to be asexual (a point totally lost on my younger readers). I don't mean to sound mutliculturally ignorant, God forbid, at my school, but I seriously should've asked her what she meant. Given our washrooms at school are "male identified" and "female identified," shouldn't we thus have at least one extra bathroom for the declared gender-free/gender-neutral, gender-denials? Ok, side note. On the 2 floors of the school, as you go down the hallway, there are the 2 allotted washrooms, one for each, er, sex, BUT! They're opposites directionally on either floor. Imagine my blushing when, in a hurry, I flew into what *had* to be the "male identified" washroom, which I swiftly deduced after seeing urinals in the mirror reflection, whereupon I bolted out with my eyes closed, I think, without anyone of any gender seeing me. Only in afterthought did I realize I honestly *could've* peed in that bathroom, just claiming that I was feeling particularly masculine that day, which would've been an utter fib, especially given the fact that I'm not anorexically emaciated anymore and seemingly, all the weight I gained zeroed into my ample-as-it-already-was bust, the part of my body of which I'm the most horrifically self-conscious. Sorry, no, Larry Flynt, I'm not posting pictures.)


Anyway, my Knox friend's largest point in our dialog was something that I must say, I have found to be sociologically and biologically tested and proven experimentally throughout the course of my life, with both positive and negative results working both in and out of my favor, which is the evolutionary, primal notion that humans, despite Adam and Eve (who were NEVER married, by the way...where the fuck do you think the term "living in sin" came from anyway?), were unequivocally never meant to, um, mate with one person for life. Some religious doctrines point you towards lifelong monogamy, steeped in legal and ethical vows you take in a house of worship, in front of God, your friends and families, and, if you're lucky, the ex you never got over who's still in love with you and actually cuts the ceremony off when the minister asks if anyone objects...while other religions openly endorse winging it. Polyamory is the big, secret exception to an old-fashioned Puritanical ideal of what's socially acceptable and, for lack of a better term, correct.

Knox guy said something, I think, about the very tenet of, gasp, adultery being a moral "law" that's out of date (like everything ELSE in the Old Testament).  Perhaps it's a by-product of lots of us having liberal arts educations, or being bohemian free spirits. It could pertain to a lot of our "we all survived immeasurable shit and goddamnit, we're going to ENJOY life." 

Maybe my ever-growing, merry band of artists, writers, musicians and even religious-but-non-conservatives is just a big, bloody slathering of amoral, hell-bound, misguided, judged, sinful, corrupt, disgraceful, degenerate, evil motherfuckers who are out to break hearts and commandments far and wide, who have zero respect for the sanctity of tradition towards those who disagree with the sluts and philanderers we all must be. Hey, it's a free country (at least for now). 

My best friend's #1 Rule: NEVER MAKE THE FIRST MOVE.

Ok. I didn't. I haven't. I flirt and woo, admittedly, but I leave the ball in the fella's court.

Nobody trips and falls into a new flirtationship alone. Eventually, you're hearing this: "Oh, I kissed you? I didn't mean to kiss you. But my lips just sort of landed on yours. You made me kiss you.  It was all your idea. I best get cleats just in case I slide across something and our DNA intersects more intimately next time, which would be a situation radically changing the entire course of our lives." Seduction and wooing are finely honed, deliberate attempts to surreptitiously intertwine what's actually an elating, steamy, fun and intense but different level of "friendship." That rush of passion could last a day or a few months. It could grow over the course of a few years. Sometimes, that level of, well, really super awesomeness can take almost 2 decades to explode outside of its eternal flame.

That's when things get complicated...having loving feelings for somebody who maybe appreciates us or thrillingly adores us more than what we're used to, who is shitpickles for us and hangs on our every word, while in our primary relationships, which may or may not be, generically, healthy and proper, the razor's edge of youthful love is but a memory, now settled into Sternenberg's Triangular Theory of Love...commitment but little physical intimacy, "complacent" or "companionate"  or even "empty love," of which I wrote some time ago. A lot of my friends are stuck in this rut, or were until their socks got knocked off by a new paramour. In the latter case, sometimes the object of such grand affection doesn't feel worthy of it, SO complacent in his/her (lack of) attractiveness and appreciation that they're lucky one or two people engage with them and make them smile on any given day.  The object of affection frequently underestimates how much the new person is attracted to them and has to process those feelings, often solitary. I certainly had that problem of low self-esteem and lack of confidence in my beauty, when Best Male Friend and I began our romance after many, many years as "just affectionate friends." We were openly affectionate towards one another and while we don't see one another very often, only a few times a year, we've at least shared a bed. To the average passerby, BMF and I, walking together, looked like young lovers ablaze with intrigue and I must say, as eluded to in the early paragraphs of this entry, Best Male Friend is One. Stunning. Looking. Man. Who. Is. Incredible. In. Every. Way. He is, next to Kate, the most interesting person I know. Still. I can't shake it.

Best Male Friend and his primary have an unwritten agreement about my role in his life. She does, though I don't like it really, refer to me as "his girlfriend."  He has his obligations, and as long as he keeps bringing home the bacon and respects his primary relationship, she really doesn't give too many shits about her husband being closely linked with someone else. And I wouldn't dream to fuck up what he's got at home. My best friend thinks I *could,* if I really, really wanted to, but I'm not so sure. Sure, we talk about running away together and have toyed with me moving closer to him to be with him, but I wouldn't uproot my own child's life for a lover any more than he would. On that we can agree, our fantasies in the clouds. 

I told Best Male Friend that I was going out the other evening with Guy Friend. I was irrationally nervous (mostly because of the overly-busty top I ended up covering with a long sweater, though I DID have my come-hither punk boots on, which Guy commented on for the second time...) and had to wait until pretty late in the evening for him to emerge from work to pick me up. Was chatting with BMF about Guy and tattooing, and how late Guy was running, and texted a couple girlfriends as I waited patiently, telling them that I had every intention of coming home with a new tattoo after dinner and would attempt to charm my way into it. BMF friend would once again complain about Guy the next day, shooting me an insulting text. BMF told me to play this song in the car for Guy, though this is really one of mine and BMF's signature songs, mostly because we both think it's really, really funny, especially the singer's sinister, laughing "Heh heh heh" at the end of every verse.

(Naturally, I had made a new CD for Guy Friend, but in the flurry of mild friendly petting when I got home, I forgot to give it to him. My brain sort of stops functioning in such situations. It's a great CD. Lou Barlow would love it. Next time.) 

Analyzing our evening in hindsight, I can almost objectively pick out nuances and the obvious. We went Ethiopian, for food, in the same neighborhood as the tattoo studio. (Food was strange but decent, I guess. And you eat with your hands, so there's a lot of strange finger-licking goodness to the experience.) I was surprised that he picked me up having changed out of his dress shirt from work, which would've been entirely fine at the restaurant. He actually wore the same shirt that I told him I liked, which he wore when he met BMF. (And yes, he was wearing new glasses which looked very nice. I think he's just crazy cute.) Distracted probably by hunger, tiredness and whatnot, neither of us touched one another until I asked him for a hug in the parking lot when we got to the restaurant, over which he cooed, but he always does that and I'm not sure he's aware of it or not.  Dinner and chatting with us is never a problem. It's a LOT of fun, and we have a lot to talk about, except now we have a whole other level of discussion topics that center around our careers and my study as a mental health provider, both of us being in the "helping professions." I can talk to him about reading a journal article on Factor V Leiden, a rare blood disorder my ex-husband has, and logically explain the genetics of it, and my son's predisposition to present with the illness in his lifetime. All very interesting stuff that frankly, BMF and I couldn't talk about, so I can see right there the "you-get-me-this-certain-way" mechanic that Guy fulfills that BMF can't. Likewise, BMF and I have a ton of stuff Guy would never understand to talk about. 

Surprisingly, Guy asked me if, during my graduate studies, I'll take a course on sexuality. I nearly choked hearing THAT word come out of HIS mouth. I said no, but that LGBTQ rights were spread across the spectrum of the school's curriculum, and I wasn't sure how to answer his question:  1) Why do you ask? Do you HONESTLY think I *need* a class on sexuality? 2) And this is important WHY, exactly? 3) I think you need another beer. 4) Sexuality is a pretty broad term. Could you narrow your question down? and finally, "I'm pretty sure I've had imaginary, mind-blowing sex with you in my dreams, in fact I'm sure I have, but I'd never tell you that to your face" and besides, I quite honestly haven't even ventured into thinking much about that remote chance of experience in the context of Guy, who all my friends tell me it's factual that he most likely has or had similar fantasies during the years we've known one another. (Like he'd ever admit to that either! May God strike him down!) Best Male Friend is, um, a LOT more communicative and open about what he envisions or wants, so at least it's not a guessing game of pure speculation and me wondering if he finds me attractive, because I know BMF totally does.

After dinner, we pit stopped (er, I did, I don't know if he did) and I begged him to take me to the Tattoo Factory, which he denied me. I played the spoiled brat card. Didn't work. I played the "I'm not leaving this restaurant!" card. Wouldn't budge. In the washroom, I ripped off my nicotine patch and whether he liked it or not, and I hate to smoke in front of him, I lit up because I was MIFFED in the moment. He tried explaining that it was simply too late, he was too tired, and that he'd need to both mentally and physically prepare to go there with me again, but that perhaps we could do it in early October, which I said was a decent compromise. Then I said, "Really? With all of my womanly charms, you still won't go?" 

He laughed and said, "I thought we were just friends." As I was smoking, I think I said something like, "We are just friends. Yeah, Guy, I'm so sure."  He laughed more. We were both unwilling to elaborate and "Ha ha ha'd" our way through the issue. "That'll be, like, decades' worth of more therapy for THAT part of it, Guy," I replied. He laughed more.  He wanted to know the specifics of my next tattoo, so I told him what it would be, where it was going, that it'd be black, and what it meant to me. (The Sanskrit symbol/word for "mindfulness.") I didn't realize my body art was up for a peer review, but I told him anyway. 

We had a philosophical discussion about Christianity, religion, and a woman's right to choose (which he's all for, even as a Catholic), as I mentioned there'd been some tension in my world about at the moment, about socio-political opinions, on our way home. Pulled into my alley, when he intertwined my hand in his in my lap. He was talking about my life philosophy of seizing the day or the moment, because tomorrow's not a guarantee, in the context of his own life and mostly, his career, from which he still garners a lot of satisfaction even when maybe only 1 or 2 people will seem to have been helped by him on any given day. I said I never disputed his happiness (and whether he meant it in a broader sense to include his personal life, I don't know) nor did I demand that he change to meet my needs. I do, in fact, have no desire to de-stabilize the life he's leading. If anything, I just want to (and I think I already do) augment it.

My life and that of my close friends is nothing if not utterly fascinating to Guy Friend, because it's SO different from what his life is like. I like to invite Guy into my culture and expose him to new things and while he said he has to be "mentally and physically prepared" to go to the Tattoo Factory, at least he's willing to take me again. He said, "You'll get it either with or without me." I said, "But I want to get it with YOU," which was a larger, open-ended statement in which I reaffirmed how I felt about him. Yes, there are a number of people I could venture into Uptown with, like Pastor Dave and his niece, who want to go, but scheduling with them is really rough and Guy knows I want to hold his hand the most. 

Best Male Friend was inquired about, but I only spoke of him briefly at dinner, and intimated before I got out of Guy's car that pretty much everyone who knows me (including Best Male Friend) can't figure out why I haven't run off with BMF yet, and continue to want to be around a guy like Guy. It's not just a distance thing, though that is a mitigating factor. I don't just love Guy because he lives closer. The two men are at polar opposite ends of the spectrum and would probably agree on one thing alone: that they both love me and want me to be happy. (Well, that and that they think I'm cute, probably. I honestly don't know.) 

Regaled some of my experience further with the swinging Knox friend, who's coming to town soon, incidentally, who, like everyone else, thinks Guy is confused and afraid (though he forgot guilty), which is OK. Talk to me about it. Affectionate friends negotiate. Not that I'm sleeping with EITHER of these guys, nor is that on the table, Knox guy said of both Guy and Best Male Friends, "Women fuck who they want. Men fuck whoever lets them. Given the situation, I'd say either he can't see what's in front of his face, or he's afraid. The other true statement? A woman chases a man until he catches her. So if Guy is not catching, he ain't payin' attention." 

Pretty much. He did kiss me. I should've kissed him again. Great. Next time he picks me up, he'll be wearing a suit of armor.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Penises Come Up An Awful Lot in This Entry. Just Sayin'.

Oh, Nez, you're not in Texas anymore. Trying to snazz up his Monkees tour wardrobe for November, Michael Nesmith went with a personal shopper for spankin' new duds. The shopper/friend of his eyeballed these Jimmy Choos. Nez doesn't feel particularly comfortable in them and thinks they're over the top. When he posted them to Facebook, I was more or less like, "Dude. You're in your 70's. But you're a rock star. Totally wear them and rock it out. I'll bring sunglasses along for the glare." I could have said "I'd pay to see you wear these shoes in public," but I already am, so that point is kind of moot. Nez is totally hot. I'd pay to see Guy Friend walk down the street in a pair of these. Seriously.

What is UP with THIS BED? I've approached it from a psychoanalytic viewpoint, and if it's owned by a woman, she has a serious Oedipus complex. If it's owned by a man, he has some serious other...issues regarding his masculinity, or maybe he just likes dick. To each his own. What I said of it was that if it were in my house, I'd have someone sew giant flowing linen condoms to drape over each of the penises, and furthermore, how must it make the uncircumcised man feel? (Though nowadays we prefer to call it leaving boys "intact.") Gives whole new meaning to one's "love nest."

Y'all know "bag of dicks" is one of my favorite phrases, ever. But it wasn't until this week when a friend posted a picture of one online and OMGoodness, it's nasty. But it sort of goes along with the above picture. Again, every one of them is circumcised. What's up with THAT?

I'd put money on sticking a pin into this guy and watching water, blood, pus and other bodily fluids ooze out of him as he quickly deflated. Quite possibly the world's most disproportionate man alive. PS, anyone who uses steroids in such a ridiculous fashion doesn't have a dream in the world of getting it up, though who in their right mind would sleep with him? Blech! PPS, his ball sack is totally fake. PPPS, he's going to have a heart attack and keel over in about.....let's say 3 days.

Speaking of sex, this living-as-a-nun thing is really getting to be old. My BEST friends are all girls, and I don't swing that way, not that there's anything wrong with that. This is getting to be laughable. I am, still, after all, a vital, active newly-middle-aged woman. There's always Best Male Friend, though distance makes a hookup a near impossibility without serious time-management and foreseen planning. (Don't even ASK about Guy Friend. A) I'm not even *there* thinking about him in such a role and B) no pun intended, but he's a really tough nut to crack, and as any man who's been with me can attest, I'm a pretty persuasive seductress.)

To men, I'm a seductress. To competing women, I'm...

I loved this adaptation. Mona Lisa goes Modern. Would she be such an icon had she been painted with short hair? I wonder. It looks totally cute on her!

What would happen if Guy Friend got an iPhone, betwixt his kids:

If I were strong enough, I'd totally do this to the President too. Big bear hug. (This pic widely made the rounds this week.) I donated $5. Don't I get a hug from the Prez?

Too many loonies running amok this week. I'm still stable. Barely. Totally enjoyed my first appointment with my new psychiatrist. She's Russian and her last name is that of a famous vodka. It's really fucking helpful to know your psychiatry/psychology shit walking into an appointment, to walk out 20 minutes later with all the drugs you need. In thinking of what "fuck with the doctor's head" book to bring in for my next appointment in a month, this month having been the ethical guide to practicing psychology, I first thought of the giant DSM-IV-TR. Now I'm re-thinking that and contemplating bringing my favorite-of-all Russian novels, Fyodor Sologub's The Petty Demon. In Russian.

Having children is a wonderful, fulfilling thing. The most awesome experience any human can ever attain. I must warn you potential parents out there, anyway...

My friends and I all loved this list of Reasons We'll All Burn in Hell. Especially the postmodern, fornicating, levitating vegetarians who listen to XTC:

I've said it many times: In a perfect country, Bill Clinton would still be president. 

On a similar note, this is totally me:

...With this as the end result....

Especially considering:

Although it's worthy of note:

I mean, really....I'd wait..

Monday night is dinner "date" night with Guy Friend. Trying to convince him to take me back to the Tattoo Factory to let off some steam (for me, while he holds my hand). He's been working 14-hour days, and he's exhausted. I told him he needs to let loose and enjoy a night out with his favorite alterna-pal.

Dinner will most likely be vegetarian, as Guy Friend is always championing my urge to go all-veggie. Though this is more apt to what I am. I offered to pay for dinner, as it's only fair, and urged him to have a drink for God's sake. It loosens him up so nicely:

Spent a good deal of time this week learning about--gasp--evolution for my Life Development class. No, God wasn't included in the mix, though I give him snaps for this, because apart from women, only the Divine can correctly separate and functionally use a washer/dryer:

This is most certainly true.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Jesus, Joe. For Crissakes.

(Yes, I clicked the box on that indicates that I demand a reply. Giddy to see what I'll receive.)

Dear Mr. Vice-President,

In re: your email tonight, which said:

"Andrea --

Look, you've really got to get involved here.

We've got the last Dinner with Barack of this campaign coming up, and before this tradition is over I think you should give it a shot.

Supporters like you mean a lot to Barack and me -- it's time for you to take your seat at the table. Chip in $5 or whatever you can and you'll automatically be entered for a chance to fly out with a guest for dinner with the President. Your airfare and hotel are on us:



P.S. -- We've got just 48 days left in this campaign -- and every last one counts. Donate today and help fund our ground game for these last few weeks.

Your "ground game?" Are you playing a 2-on-2  basketball tourney with Romney and Ryan? This election is not a game, no matter how goofy and gaffe-ridden ALL FOUR OF YOU are behaving.

While you and Mr. Obama indeed have my vote, I feel compelled to call you out on the alarming, threatening, bum-with-a-cup-of-jingling-change plea for $5 to donate to a campaign already overflowing with millions of surplus dollars with which to throw fancy dinners and supply airfare and hotels for your adoring constituents. I live in Illinois. You already effectively won my state by virtue of of Chicago being Mr. Obama's town. (My $5 wouldn't even cover a pair of Mrs. Obama or Dr. Biden's pantyhose.)

As an unemployed, single mother yet flag-flying, liberal member of the infamous "47%" and a peace-loving anarchist who votes Democrat as the lesser of 2 necessary evils, while I am deeply grateful for the Medicaid and all, don't you think squeezing an extra $5 out of a 40-year old who lives back home with her mother (in order to be entered into a CONTEST to dine with the Heads of State, where you'd probably serve like lamb, or some other meat I don't eat) just a wee bit tacky? It made me very uneasy, Joe, if I may address you as per your email greeting. Besides, I spent the last $5 I had on me parking at the train station today. I have friends who are Rock Stars! and Doctors! Eek a few thousand out of those guys, one of whom I seriously considered writing in as a candidate for your job, actually. (I may have been the only US citizen who actually took the Coyne/Drozd ticket seriously.)

If the USA ran *my* way, Clinton would've served innumerable terms, for I affirm that our fair country saw nary a more prosperous and peaceful time than when Bill was in charge and getting a little on the side.

Happy President = Happy USA.

Good luck with the rest of the campaign. Don't worry about Romney. I have every confidence that you and Mr. Obama will ultimately swing the voters into the Blue.

But seriously, enough with the emails that make you look like a douchey mafioso loan shark. If my $5 will honestly keep women's bodily choices up to individual women, or will actively aid in stopping senseless wars to bring our troops home, let me know and I'll give it consideration. Until then, with all due reverence, Joe, cut the political fundraising email crap.

Love you guys. Totally.

Andrea Miklasz

Monday, September 17, 2012

Annie Goes Postal, Part MIXVII: The Bully is Back.

For all the anti-helicopter parenting rants and raves I spew, when it comes to someone fucking around with Luke, my Mama Bear claws are sharp as razors.

In other words....the bully is back.

Luke passively tries to co-exist with this boy, Tim, in order for him not to have his world turned upside down. He doesn't like the boy, but towards the end of the school year and the summer, they played peacefully together. (The other resident bully left the school this year, glory!) Tim routinely kicks Luke, pushes him around (despite being 1/3 Luke's size), and likes to throw his lunch garbage at my son, often encouraging other kids to put garbage inside Luke's lunch bag while Luke's off microwaving something. Petty, stupid shit. (Keep in mind, the rest of Luke's not-eaten-yet lunch is in the lunch bag in which Tim and other boys throw trash. Sickening.)

This kid is fond of throwing footballs in people's faces, just because he can. Because nobody, apparently, is willing to stand up for himself and just kick the living shit out out of Tim. Luke says they all either like Tim or are deathly afraid of him.

Yesterday was an epic, colossal wrongdoing by Tim towards Luke. (Not quite as epic as Tim deleting Luke's YouTube account entirely and Luke losing 250 handmade films since 2008, which YouTube wasn't able to retrieve and Luke didn't have all backed up on his computer. That was Luke's magnum opus, but Luke didn't cut the throat of Tim as a result, or even bring it up to his ignoramus parents.)

Big fans of the game Minecraft, the boys had each created their own universes along with a couple other boys in the class, each having his own space, over on XBox Live.  Luke and I had a little jaunt planned to the Apple store yesterday, and while we were gone (for an hour), Luke left his XBox online, vulnerable to Tim and his other friends. Neither of us thought twice about it. (I've since forbade Luke from playing with Tim online indefinitely.) While we were out, Tim decided to destroy about 3/4 of Luke's universe on Minecraft, work Luke had done almost all summer. No reason. Again, just because Tim could. Luke hadn't pissed Tim off. Tim's really, at his core, just a  little ill-mannered prick.

Bluntly, Tim effectively destroyed Luke's intellectual property. Again. You can't put a dollar value on the work Luke did either on YouTube or his XBox. It was months  (years on YouTube) of blood, sweat and tears he put into his online presence and has since lost his motivation to create new videos, now appearing as a novice channel when previously, he had almost 2 million views. His XBox universe on Minecraft included an exact replica of our church, down to the smallest detail, that Luke wanted to film online and give to Pastor Dave.  If I wanted to get really fidgety, I'd put forth the effort to sue Tim for his destruction of Luke's work and file for punitive damages and emotional turmoil.

This is not the first time I've had to report Tim bullying Luke. He's been doing it for upwards of 5 years. I've gone to every teacher, every principal, and NOTHING EVER FUCKING HAPPENS. There are no repercussions towards Tim, though the school's code of conduct clearly states that suspension is the punishment for harassing a fellow student. "Zero Tolerance Policy." The last time this bullshit went down, I talked to the principal, who's utterly clueless. She referred me to Pastor Dave to handle it. Hmm. She's in charge of the school (which is consolidated of several local Lutheran schools, St. Paul being the campus Luke attends) and passed the buck to our church's pastor. M'kay. Makes sense. (???? In any case, I left Pastor a message and perhaps a strong, male figure talking to Luke about assertiveness and upholding God's laws wouldn't be a bad idea.)

Enter knee-jerk reaction by Mom. Luke came in sobbing over what Tim had done when we got home yesterday. I shot some insanely insulting and vile texts to Tim's mother, who's a piece of fucking rat-ass work. The mom called me. A series of "Fuck you, NO, Fuck YOUs" went back and forth. The mom claims that Luke had destroyed parts of Tim's Minecraft world, when Luke didn't. The mom played the "your kid's not as innocent as you think" card on me. She said that Luke swears. Ooooh, big surprise. They ALL do amid one another. I heard Tim's father in the background calling me a "fucking bitch" and I was just completely and utterly taken aback. I had to tell the mom to tell her husband to be quiet so I could hear what the hell SHE was trying to say.

Pulling the immaturity retaliation card, I told Tim's mom, "Yeah, well at least Luke's being confirmed, unlike Tim." The mom was like "So what?" I said that Luke explained to Tim why he wanted to be confirmed into the Lutheran church and what it meant to him, and Tim rejected the idea. You can't fault Luke for witnessing. The mom's great comeback? "At least I'm not divorced!" Oooh. What a dig! (NOT.)

But what do you expect, after I called Tim a "fucking asshole stupid prick." (Yes, I ended the conversation by apologizing for my gut reaction, though in hindsight, I was totally right.) She insists Luke has gone in and wrecked parts of Tim's Minecraft universe, and Tim thinks it's no big deal and just rebuilds his world. Bologna. Luke has never gone and taken apart anything in anyone else's universe. He's never destroyed anyone's hard work. The mom was out-and-out lying to me, playing the "I'm a better mom than you are" card at that point, because she's raised 2 boys and I've raised one pansy.

Luke's not a liar. Luke also can't be accused of "running to his mommy" with all of his problems. The mom's thing? "Boys are boys, and they fight, and they make up and go on." There's a delineation, however, between commonplace roughhousing and blatant abuse. Tim plays DIRTY.

Luke feels strongly that if he doesn't appease Tim, if he doesn't take his lumps as they come, he will face worse bullying and further disrespect from the few boys at school who ARE his true friends. He's leery of embarrassment. He's afraid of tattling. I tried to explain to Luke the difference between tattling and reporting to the teacher what is blatant bullying and abuse.

I had over 2 hours of reading for Ethics to do last night. Instead, I spent over 2 hours counseling my son, trying to wrangle in his father (who was at Riot Fest and couldn't hear us on the phone, so he was pretty much useless, apart from his suggestion that Luke text his real friends last night and put them in the loop before Tim had a chance to spew his lies and discredit our family, so Luke did do that).

I worked with Luke on questioning whom he wants to hold the power dynamic at school--he or the bully. I told Luke that the power is in his mind to overcome this issue, though he's very hesitant and scared. His self-esteem has taken such a beating at his school that he's utterly paralyzed to defend himself. I told him if the shit really came down, and after he attempted to repeat again and again, "No, don't do that," or "No, don't treat me that way," or "No, I don't want to be around you," that he had my endorsement to physically beat the shit out of Tim, who's a scrawny but fast little bastard.

The mom was mad that Luke videoed, on his iPod, an instance where Tim fell off the monkey bars and was crying. Luke maintains that he was videoing Tim throwing footballs at peoples' faces as evidence to show the teacher, when Tim climbed on the monkey bars, fell off, and wept, which Luke also taped. The mom heard 1/3 of the story--that Tim fell, hurt himself and Luke caught it on video. At the time, Luke was reprimanded by his teacher for having videoed it, but in my opinion, his evidence was justifiable. Hell, he should sneak his iPod into lunch someday and take a picture of Tim throwing all of his lunch garbage onto Luke's tray every day, or stuffing Luke's lunch bag with trash and encouraging the other boys at the table to do so as well. I'm fucking exhausted of this crap, truly.

The church families at the school? I have little, if no issue with any of them. Some of the strictly-school families, like Tim's? They can all rot in hell after 8th grade as far as I'm concerned. Luke asked me last night about Jesus' credo to "turn the other cheek." I said that in practicality, that doesn't really apply when you're being emotionally or physically abused BY someone. I don't think Jesus said that to open people up to enduring multiple instances of blatant abuse.

Frankly, I could care less about socializing with the other parents after school, as they all greet their sprouts at the school entrance, including This Mom. I'm quite content, actually, to remain anti-social, sit in my car, smoke and Tweet while I wait for Luke to meander to the car. He didn't want to go to school today, out of fear and embarrassment. I told him he had to face the music anyway, be brave and that if Tim causes him any more trouble, TELL the TEACHER. Why he HATES this idea so much is beyond me. I guess it's emasculating in a sense, which I get. But it's not going to get any easier in high school.

I don't buy that "boys will be boys" bullshit. My boy was raised intelligently, to have respect for his friends and treat them fairly and with care, not to pick on them, poke fun at them or prank them to death for years upon end. That's That Mom's poor, neglectful parenting snafu. The old adage that my family is getting used to is that of the "reasons why someone hates you: 1) they hate something about themselves and are projecting that hate upon you, 2) they wish they were like you or 3) they see you as a threat." I think all of those traits apply to Tim, honestly.

I'm not around school very much, probably to the delight of most of the parents. I'm uniformly reviled by the vast majority of moms and liked by the majority of dads, with few exceptions. I'm quite content to wait in the car for Luke to come out. This divorced pariah could give 2 shits what the other school parents think of me. I have to consider Luke's sensitivities and reputation, though.

But I'm utterly fucking serious that there are potential legal ramifications and punishment towards this twerp, Tim, for what he's done (and continues to do) to my son. Tim's parents think they're smarter than me because I have no husband? FYI, my ex-husband's not stupid, either, and when parent-teacher conferences come up, we will be back on the staff's ass about keeping an eye out for bullying and intervening. The societal insistence to believe the perpetrator instead of the victim of abuse extends into this school and somehow Luke gets deemed the not-so-innocent perp. I believe my son, who's not a conniving liar like Tim is. Supervision is lax at school, the administration is blase, and fine, if they want me to take my grievances up with Pastor Dave, I have no problem doing so, while trying to thin or cut the umbilicus between Luke and myself.

Luke's not terribly motivated to rebuild his universe or his YouTube presence, as a result. For now, fear is curling him up into awkward abandon of his passions, which is saddening and unfortunate. I told him, "I never give up. Give me one example where I have ever given up on something." Luke couldn't come up with one. I'm not a perfect person or a perfect mom, but as far as an example of fortitude, Luke can and should look to me as a fighter who could give a damn what other people think of me.

I urged Luke to regain the power in the dynamic between he and Tim. Right now, Tim has all the power because Luke tolerates the abuse, and that's just WRONG.

Yes, he needs to learn how to fight his own battles. But he needs to be taught the tools with which to do so, which I'm trying to teach him, though his reluctance is evident. We'll get there--via parental encouragement and his therapist's help.

Until that day when Luke asserts out.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Apple? No, No. It Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree.

An actual recent 7th grade "free-writing" prompt exercise by my lovable, yet extraordinarily snippy son. While his father is likewise capable of biting wit, Craig is more on a "for when it's justifiably called" as opposed to my world view, which is "Take 'em all by the balls and run!"

Assignment: Free-write a hand-written page on the following topic:

"If I could fly, I would...."

Luke's Response:

"If I could fly I would...

Wow. What a childish and unimaginative prompt. "Hey," she said. "Free-write." So that EXACTLY what I'm about to do. Hey, maybe it is up for interpretation. I would, at this point, write some overused internet meme, like "FUS DO RAH!" on which the pathetic level is "OVER 9,000!" but she might think that the former is some kind of African swear word or that the latter is some kind of kid slang for some kind of illicit street drug. No, and No.

(Editor's note: sarcastic tone implied): "If I could fly, I would save people and (not) rob banks and save the world and eat cheese and on, and on, and, and...."

Ehhh. The above is a sample of what a 2nd grader could do with this prompt. Hey, the kid might just be able to do something decent with the prompt (for a 2nd grader). I, on the other hand, need a more sophisticated topic of writing. I'm not asking for any special treatment; far from it. I'm just making observations about a sub -par writing prompt for a 7th grader. Ehhh. I'm ready for the F now, Mrs. U. (Just kidding, I hope.)"

Teacher's response: "Agreed on childish. Not so much on unimaginative. There can be great value in opening your mind to the impossible--stretching your thoughts & ideas beyond what would ever be possible. So challenge yourself & do something more. Show me what an intelligent 7th grader you are with it! :)"

Score: 10/10

I'd argue that Luke's point of it being unimaginative is valid, as he's been asked to so very similar writing SINCE 2nd grade. How about "Imagine Susan Sontag having a conversation with Larry Flynt. GO!" I remember, in 5th grade, having to do a writing exercise on what my fantasy day at school would entail, and it (yes, a time capsule moment) had the band Journey leading our classes for the day. Now that'd be a score!

I did feel compelled to argue that it was a probable guarantee that none of the other classmates would be casually commenting on "illicit street drugs" in their essays, which is a reflection of not only Luke's advanced exposure-by-force in the world at a tender age, but also his resilience and strength. An off-handed remark like that from a kid probably wasn't what the teacher was expecting. Yes, as a matter of fact, shock value DOES have its benefits.

In any case, it's reflective of, frighteningly so, my son's personality makeup being Just. Like. Mine. That exercise is Pure Annie, though he did it in class. But back in my junior high days, I'd have been reprimanded and failed on such a bawdy, mouthy free writing activity response. That said, our teachers also had the option of spanking us with a paddle, unless our parents signed a waiver that corporal punishment wasn't congruent with our family's value system (though I'm sure it wasn't worded that tightly, and yes, my parents signed the waiver. But it was congruent to old-school, German-run parochial school law at the time. I graduated from grammar school in 1986.)

Since my days at Luke's school, they still employ archaic sentence-writing as punishment, which always sucked, because you had to do it out in the hallway, all the passersby *knowing* you had to be in BIG trouble, time-outs (even for upper grades) and other largely parochial school typical systems with regard to ill-behavior in the students. Here's what I don't get. Luke's got a new, hardcore gym teacher who puts the "physical" back into Physical Education. Great, the kids need that. What they also NEED, for self-care, bodily and mentally, is recess. Here's where I will have an issue to bring up with the gym (and science, inexplicably) teacher at conferences this year: Why was Luke disallowed 5 minutes of recess time, during which he runs around and gets exercise, and bonds his social peer groupings, because he didn't do a push up to your STRINGENT standards? He tried his best to do a push up. Sorry, but A for effort, Taking away recess time for students who misbehave? Appropriate. Taking it away for students who don't achieve your pre-determined standards? Not terribly fair. (This teacher is new to the school this year, and has no idea what she'd going to deal with when it comes to Camp Miklasz/Bechtel.)

Luke? Build your muscles, I guess, kiddo. And no, I refuse to sit through Ann Romney's RNC speech on YouTube, no matter how funny it might have been. I have too much else on my plate than to listen to a comedy stand-up act by a Republican.

In other Luke news, he made an exclamation and announced at dinner tonight...

As I was explaining the theories of Alfred Adler, founder of my school, I mentioned that a lot it stems from an individual's superiority complexes or inferiority complexes as to how they develop, which trickles down to the individual in counseling. It's neither Freudian psychoanalysis nor Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, though CBT's credos are very similar and there is some psychodynamic Freudian-influenced adaptations in the balance. We are learning that to be Adlerian means to be more socially conscious of society as multicultural whole, and our job is to dissect what's called "The Family Constellation" and early childhood experiences from as soon as we cognitively interpret memories or dreams. The client's self-personalization or self-image are judged by the therapist to be either congruent or incongruous to that person's adult living and functioning within society in a socially-conscious role. Alderians set goals for each session. "Try a little of this, try a little of that, and report how it made you feel," that sort of thing, in terms of changing behavioral patterns that are maladaptive.

Also, the order in which you were birthed in your family has a tremendous impact on how you grow, think and feed later in life. Many of the students could cite examples of where they fit into the model. It has to encompass toddler decision making and pairing of instinctual needs, which can't be conclusively proven if the client remembers their memory from a dream, or from a reality one memory that parents regaled when you were too young to understand, with beliefs and behavioral models held through childhood up until adulthood. Adler believed we were constantly adapting and changing, and Adlerian practitioners can be a particular pain in the ass to their clients, though I see both the use of the theory and its misuse (especially for drill-sergeant like counselors who expect miracles out of their clients and are haughty when their clients don't do what they're assigned).

PS--If you're the oldest child, you're screwed. If you'e somewhere in the middle, you'll resent the time spent with the new baby or babies and project your own reality onto your parents. Adler believed younger children were always on a quest to out-do their older siblings, even in a 2-child household like the one in which I grew up. Strict Adlerians would say that I'm in grad school solely because I want to out-success my older brother, when in reality, I could give 2 shits about competing with him (as an a child, that was very different).  If you're the youngest, you're the spoiled baby whom the parents uniformly pamper and adore. And only children! If you're the only child, you get used to constant pampering (or tasks which could be done independently, but refuse to, to which we parents kowtow) and being King of the Castle, and don't want any interference, particularly the older they get.

Do I believe in and plan to practice Adler's theories, while I go to an Adlerian-disciplined school? Nope, not really. Not entirely. Inasmuch as I only believe in Freud's notions of dream interpretation and discredit the sexual nature of the rest of his psychoanalytic theory, I only take bits and pieces of Adlerian theory as applicable in modern life.

Which brings me to Luke's big announcement. He said, "Text Daddy and tell him he can't have any more children," after me explaining a bit about Adlerian theory over dinner last night. I sort of told him that it was kinda out of my control, what his father did about reproducing, approaching his mid-40's, but that I'd certainly done MY part to ensure his reign as King was preserved ,as we all know, because I can't have any more children. But what's worse? Luke asking me to text his father and share Luke's opinion, or me actually having gone through with it and done it? (By the way, my ex-husband's response was a simple, "Ok, thanks.")

Mini-Me's teacher emailed me late last night, saying she'd read online that I had possession of Luke's free-writing exercise, which Luke pocketed secretly after passing out papers as a job from the teacher. I wasn't supposed to see it until Thurs night, for which Luke technically should be reprimanded. The teacher also said she's concerned about recent behavior of Luke in class, which is unlike him. I WILL say he's getting VERY good at pushing both my and Craig's buttons in adolescence and seeing how far he can take us until we crack. Every teenager does it to some degree or another, so it's something to address with the teacher and his therapist. Luke'll love that. NOT.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Poison Pews

There are some church-folk who don't routinely come to the Contemporary services at which my band plays, who prefer the formality and tradition of a standard church service. There are also church-folk who are so deeply rooted in their ways that they refuse to bend an inch when it comes to staking out their territory in the sanctuary, applicable to the elderly, chiefly, and those who come to church to see-and-be-seen.

The band is set up in the front of the church, on the right-hand side as you're walking in, right up against the arm rail for the front pew. When there's a pianist, as SuperJuls was last night, she's behind the 4 vocalists who are front and center. The guitarist is beside the pianist, and I'm beside the guitarist, just behind the singers.

Enter this 90-something woman and her daughter, who came to last night's contemporary service because they don't *like* the church picnic, being held today. But alas, as they're regular churchgoers, they caved & came, and with about 5 minutes left before we had to be in position for the first song, plopping themselves in the FRONT PEW on the aisle, or DIRECTLY in front of the 4 singers.

Ok, nobody *ever* sits there. But that section of pew is unofficially reserved for this particular woman, the same woman who demands the only chair at the Wednesday Bible class that has a cushion on it to envelop her entitled ass. The same woman who refuses to drive wearing a seat belt, because she never has and refuses to abide by the law of the state, which isn't applicable to her.

We all like our little nooks of the pews. Most times, I'll look from my drums out at the congregation and people are in their "usual" seats. (I sit in the front pew, on the right aisle, to get to my drums easily. It's pragmatic. When I'm not drumming, I sit with my mom about 3/4 of the way in the back.) Seeing as the left aisle, front pew is THIS woman's pew, there she sat, and we were all horrified but too timid to suggest to her that perhaps she *didn't* want to sit there.

Now, during Communion, the band communes first, because we have a song to play during the rest of the distribution. When Madame Owns the Place was held back from getting into the Communion Queue, I, standing in line, overheard her questioning the Elder as to *why* she was being held back, which she didn't appreciate by virtue of her Owning the Place. (By the way, I got such a giant gulp of wine last night that I had to almost suck it into mouth to be able to swallow it, afraid I was dribbling onto my shirt. Thank you, Jesus, that I was wearing all black!)

I didn't play on the Communion song, "Alas, And Did My Savior Bleed," which was the only traditional hymn interjected into the contemporary service, which is a Lenten hymn, but whatever. And naturally, I had to stare at SuperJuls as we both snickered over the line, "For such a worm as I."

During the closing song, Pastor Dave asked the congregation to stand. The Old Lady was thus face-to-face, directly, inches away from the vocalists and their microphones. Finally feeling as if her pew position maybe wasn't ideal, she edged over, out of their way, towards my drum kit. So what did I do, when I looked up and noticed that every time I crashed a cymbal, she'd noticeably wince? I threw in multiple *extra* crashes which I hadn't during practice, precisely so I could watch her wince. Why? Because as we all know, I'm really, really mean. Especially to old people who act like they Own the Place.

We all managed to genteelly transport our gear to the 6th grade classroom, the closest room with a door to where we're setting up this morning in Pastor Dave's back yard. What a clusterfuck of a mess our gear was. Tangled cords, broken this-and-that. Nobody's swept our area since LAST year, and it's dusty and grimy and icky. Although, I was giddy that my bass drum & toms didn't have to be taken apart and fit onto a cart to roll down the hallways. I was less than giddy picking up my dusty area rug (Achoo!) underneath the kit, which I need outside, and noticing that my rug totally STUCK to the church floor due to seepage from a formerly leaky roof. Hello, hand-sanitizer!

Ok, off to St. Paul. Anxiety pills? Check. Tummy-calmer? Check. Nerves? Overload. Pastor Dave? Making coffee for SuperJuls and I.

Wake Me Up Before I Go-Go.

I can't decide. Either I'm just adjusting to the new stress of grad school, or in a depressive episode, though nothing concrete is bothering me, per se. But I'm not awakening at dawn, as was my habit, geared up for the day with a thousand thoughts in my head. I'm taking care of business, don't worry, but I am needing more sleep. While going to bed at my customary time (11'ish), I wake up groggy either very early (to take Luke to school or get myself ready for school) or sleep in until 8am, like I did today, and have been requiring a mid-day nap as of late, which I don't always have the luxury of taking, though I did today. Meh, I'll adapt.

Last night's dreams were weird. Dream #1 was that I had gone into Luke's room to make his bed, noticed it was covered in live ants, totally freaked out and went running. Origin? Probably the pesky fly that was in my car last night, that I couldn't eradicate from the vehicle (though I hate ants with a passion). Dream #2 was of a lovey-dovey voicemail Guy Friend left me, in which he called me honey, sweetie, said "I love you" over and over again, and almost begged me to call him back ASAP. Origin: Easy. The voicemail he left me a couple of nights ago, in which, as I said before, he told me to text or email him. So I did email him Thursday night, and received an email from him yesterday, in response to a video from "The Daily Show" I'd sent him.

His email regaled a story about which he wanted my psychological opinion, but what distracted me, forced me into uproarious laughter and is now a running joke between SuperJuls and I? The fact that, in Guy Friend's email, when he referenced his wife in his story, he put it this way: "blah blah blah my wife (her name) blah blah blah." Thank you for the clarification, Guy Friend, because certainly I wouldn't want to confuse her with one of your other wives (Andrea). I took his email seriously and offered both my clinical and patient perspective regarding his conundrum, and didn't tell any of my friends about it, really, other than the "wife" part, so now SuperJuls and I refer to one another and anyone else we know with their names in parentheses (which, when you're texting, takes a LOT of time!).

Guy Friend went on to blame ME in his response email, in which I snarkily mentioned the parentheses. He said this:
 "You have never referred to my wife or any of my three daughters by name either verbally or in private correspondence. Since you don't have a mental block, it must be intentional. So I will continue to place parentheses to refresh your suppressed memory (Andrea do you have a middle name?)."

I was like, "Slow down, pal." You've never *told* me which daughter is which, always referring to them verbally as "my daughter." How the hell am I supposed to tell the 3 apart? I have, in fact, mentioned his wife by name on numerous occasions, so which one of us has the suppressed memory? (Projection again!) I guess he thinks it's an impolite slight on my part for seeming disinterested in his family, when it's not that. For what it's worth, it wasn't intentional. I figured he'd reveal who was whom in his own time, when he felt comfortable, and I was afraid to pry. I *knew* his wife's name because I met her. But talk about passive-aggressive emails, Guy Friend! Make a big "W" out of your hand and flash it at him. I think we all know what that means. [eye roll]

I don't normally like to listen to my mom's answering machine messages, though if I don't pick up her land line (which I don't unless it's Kate), a call came through while she was out yesterday, and I was upstairs with Luke, who'd stopped by after school to get some stuff for the weekend. Amidst Luke talking, I thought I heard my cousin's wife say that another one of my cousins had died on Thursday. I broke my own rule and did listen to the message and indeed, my first-cousin-once-removed, Jim, died. (Heart attack. His wife just died within the last year as well, from cancer.) Jim's part of a band of brothers who are all my dad's first cousins, which makes them all my first-cousins-once-removed. (All of my dad's FIRST cousins' children are my second cousins. Get it?) Also, Jim's brother, Ron, goes to my church with his wife, who was the one who called my mom. They used to come to our contemporary services all the time, but have been absent the last several months, both not in the best of health. I miss Ron's wink and wave as he's leaving his pew and the band's playing the "going out song."

In any event, I'll have to make the wake round next Wednesday, when Jim is being waked at what could be considered Miklasz Funeral Central, this Polish-run funeral home in Niles. Mind you, I doubt I've seen Jim since MY dad died 28 years ago, and couldn't pick him out of a lineup, apart from the fact that knowing all those brothers, he'd probably be the tallest one IN the lineup. (The whole lot of them, like redwood trees!) I don't plan on attending the funeral on Thursday, though I don't know what my mom's plans are. She and my dad, when they were dating, seemed to go to family wake after family wake on an almost constant-basis. It's how my mom got to know my dad's whole family. Over death. Glory!

I guess I'm getting to that age where you have to, by obligation, start going to wakes and funerals. Last week, I went to the funeral of my next door neighbor's mother, who also attend my church. I'm friends with her daughter, who sings in my band, but the next door neighbor woman and I have been on the outs for several months, when she broke the 8th Commandment at church by accusing me of breaking the 6th Commandment. But you do what you gotta do, so I went to the funeral but not the wake, which my sponsor said was unfortunate, because a Chicago firefighter who had a stroke at age 41 was being waked adjacent to the neighbor's mother's wake. Apparently, the joint was teeming with hot firemen. In hindsight, I'm not sure scoping out boyfriends at a wake is such a hot idea...

Wakes creep me the fuck out. I understand they're part of the family, friends and loved ones' grieving process, and closure and whatnot, but there's scant little I dislike more than going to a wake, which is why I elected not to attend the neighbor's mother's wake and just slightly gazed over at her corpse in the coffin during the lying-in-state before the funeral last week. Rest assured, none of that crap will be happening after I bid sayonara to the world.

Pastor Dave cracks me up. He asked us if we'd been to this other old woman's funeral a week prior, to which we said no, for which he was glad, because he was using the same sermon over again and laughed.

I really should come up with an end-of-life plan for my son to carry out legally, though he's certain I'll live to AT LEAST 100 years old, which I guess *could* happen, but isn't bloody likely. (I think it's what he wishes, though.) Evidently, cremation sort of, I think, goes against my religion, but as in all OTHER matters regarding me and my religion, CREMATE ME ANYWAY. No wake. Please. Memorial service? Absolutely. Lots of music and drinking. Totally.

The next door neighbor's not without her typical nerve. The family is sans a vehicle right now, so after this death in their family, there was much driving around my mother did with her as a favor, which is fine. But then the other night, I was sitting outside working on the patio, and Nervy Neighbor (no, I'm still not over her Commandment breaking) came by and asked me if I would drive her to the Park Ridge city hall the next morning, and presented one of my patio chairs with a bag of drugs, the size I'd never seen before in my life. (The City has an Rx/haz mat drop off once a month, I think, and she had to go in the morning.) The bag of drugs was so enormous that my neighbor couldn't handle putting it in her backpack and riding her bike into town. Being as full of tact as she is, she proceeded to tell me about all the controlled substances that were in the bag, particularly morphine. Because that's really fucking sensitive to do to a junkie. (I guess I broke the 9th Commandment coveting her wealth of morphine.) At any rate, I drove her ass to City Hall Thursday morning, begrudgingly, and listened to her postulate the whole ride over about psychology. I swear, had she mentioned my "sin," I would've slammed on the brakes, thrown her out of my car, and taken off with all of her dead mother's morphine.

Church turned out great. SuperJuls did a great job on the piano tonight, everyone got along, and Pastor Dave rocked it out. That is, though he kept feeling compelled to cough from asthma after being around my second hand smoke outside before the service. Whoops! Sorry, P'Dave! You could've told me you were allergic. I'm batting 1000 today, aren't I? 

And what was up with the 91-year old lady who usually comes to 10:45 Sunday church, who came tonight, and insisted upon sitting in the front row pew on the band's side, with everything booming into her hearing aids? I understand. Traditionally, that's *her* pew. But when we were all standing, and the singers were right in her face, she edged closer to the middle of the pew, close to the drums, whereupon she flinched in noise overload any time I crashed a cymbal or did a tom fill. Lady, honestly...I hope you learned your Contemporary Worship lesson, which is "if you don't care for the band, don't sit in the first damn pew."

Damn afternoon nap has me wide awake at 1am. And I have to get up at 6am. Here, again, is where I think a manic episode, during which  I can get by on 2 hours of sleep, would come in handy. Fortunately, I rapid cycle, so that very well may be the case tomorrow, who knows....But I have church picnicking to do and figuring out wardrobe, etc. Ack. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Picture Says A Whole Bunch of Words.

No, I don't understand this sign. I understand it's about a picnic, that much I've got. It's in my neighborhood, though, so I might pop over just to see what the phrase "I Smokiem Waweskim" really means, because in English, it's funny as hell. Kind of like "Smoke 'em if you got 'em."

I threatened to wear this to the church picnic Sunday, during which my band is playing. A friend quadruple-dog-dared me. Hey, chickie babies, I'm all for it. But you wouldn't catch me dead playing with Pro-Mark sticks. I'm a strict Vic Firther. And no, I don't play PINK drums. [eye roll]

Yes, as a matter of fact, I found this utterly hysterical. I think my new favorite phrase is "Cruci-fuckin'-Around." It's tacky to the gills, but no less humorous. Strict Fundamentalists who oppose gayness in all of its forms seem to forget one little smidgy detail about what Jesus said in the New Testament, paraphrased: "I have a NEW COMMANDMENT: LOVE ONE ANOTHER." (John 13:34) Jesus, refuting the archaic laws of the Old Testament, didn't put a condition on who-loves-whom-and-why. (Read: He never said "boo" about men loving men or women loving women. Sorry, Rabid Fundamentalists.) 

Fuck yeah. I totally love this guy.

The question isn't "Did I do this to Luke?" It's "Would I do this to Luke?" Answered simply? Of course I would! My son has indiscriminate taste when it comes to food, loves onions, so it'd be a total win. It's the other kids I'd laugh at, not mine.

If you're going to consider yourself a progressive American, and you choose to inflict your opinions upon the masses, for the love of Christ, would you PLEASE learn how to fucking SPELL? Sometimes I wish the term "Grammar Nazi" had more realistic practicality.

The Reds had an old coot talking to an empty chair. Millions of more evolved Blue Americans had William Jefferson Clinton, who, if this country allowed multiple-term presidents, would still be in office and we'd all be happy AND gay.

Because I don't have enough academic reading to do, NOT, I bought another leisure book. Why? Because my packed-to-the-gills shelf of half-read leisure books was missing something. This is perhaps the only major Russian novel I haven't read, and I love me some serious Tolstoy. Ordered this version from Amazon, and while realizing that it was over 1,000 pages long, didn't quite expect it to clock in at 1,386 pages in a 4 POINT FONT. My desperate need for bifocals just intensified 1,386 times. How long did it take Kate to read War & Peace? Three years. How long will it take me? Until I'm on Social Security. Hey, it's either read or go out on a date. My second attempt at virginity is more looming than Christ's second coming, no pun intended.

Though no longer topical for me personally, I have to start employing this line when I encounter crotchety women:

He'll get it eventually. It just takes a lot of practice and finding your natural rhythm, which as of yet he hasn't. It's either he learn the skins or re-string his electric guitar, get a new practice amp and take some lessons, kiddo. Admittedly, he was trying the Rogers kit out without me having raised the cymbals and setting up properly, but it's oh-so-fun to toy around. Children never cease to amaze me with their fascination with the drums. Nobody, after the service, walks up and fucks with the guitars. Or the piano. But every child under 18 (and some grown men in the congregation) flocks to the front of the church as I'm trying to break down my gear, liberally picks up my sticks and begins to tinker with my kit. Unless it's Luke, and I've sanctioned said playing, kids? I know you're curious. And drums are fun. But don't dick around with my thousands of dollars worth of awesome. I'm terribly picky.

Social media has turned everyone into Aristotle with a whisper of Frost, the vision of Chagall, intermixed with a whack of Lester Bangs. Thus, everyone's an armchair expert on something. But unless you can back up your shit, give it up.

An email just surfaced from the First Lady. Wowzers, I had no idea I had such profound an impact on the POTUS and FLOTUS. 

"Andrea, thank you for an amazing week.

Barack and I felt your energy up there."

Oh, anytime, Michelle. No, I can't send you any more money.
Smooches, Annie