Tag Archives: aging

My Mutant Deer

My Mutant Deer

Deerinheadlights1

Holy shit you guys! Seriously! Was that a motherfucker of a YEAR or what??

So, how are you? I’ve really missed you! You look fantastic. Is that a new haircut? Did you lose weight? Those jeans make your ass look FIERCE! Seriously!

Me? Well, that’s a story best told over a bottle of bourbon. Suffice it to say though, that despite what you may have read in the headlines, I am somewhat alive and did not die in a fiery crash whilst dodging pesky paparazzi. So, rest easy, dear reader, when I last held a mirror under my nose it fogged up.

Figured it was high time I started this party back up after over a year of extreme life changes. Not Caitlyn Jenner kind of change (now SHE had a year!) but probably just as hormonal.

One of the many annoyances of being a writer (and the list is fucking extensive, by the way) is that we often want to write about what we are actually experiencing and living and seeing and thinking. When those experiences are exceptional in nature – they are too personal or painful – we can become a deer frozen in the glare of headlights, afraid to type a word that would be the wrong one and further hurt yourself or others.

As an aside, I am the deer in this scenario, if said deer were, let’s say part of a horrible Dr. Moreau sort of mutation experiment who now had fingers and thumbs and the ability to type.

And think.

And speak passable English.

Actually, all that would be super cool. I’d totally want that deer as a pet, right?

Anyway, I am sort of doing the mutant deer thing right now.

Most of what has been on my mind of late has to do with the idea of starting over. In particular starting over at a bit of an “advanced” age. I think making sweeping life changes have different challenges based on your stage in life but I also think a vast majority of the experience is pretty universal regardless of age.

It’s exhilarating and it’s debilitating.

It’s uncomfortable and it’s authentic.

It’s confusing and it’s all crystal clear.

It’s the best of times and it’s the worst of times.

I think you get the idea….I ain’t no Dickens, people!

But, sometimes you get to the point where the unknown is better than the known and you have to just go with it.

The easiest logistical path can be the hardest emotional one.

So, there it is. My vague and mysterious explanation for my absence. I will try hard to get some more stuff up here and make it at least mildly entertaining and worth your time. At the very least it will be something to do while you are sitting on the crapper.

And I will befriend my mutant deer. And maybe even knit the poor animal a sweater and take it out for a walk now and then in the light of day.

Rock on, 2016!

Mosh Pits And Incontinence – Recapturing Youth

Mosh Pits And Incontinence – Recapturing Youth
Step off, bitches!

Step off, bitches!

I’ve been fortunate to have accidentally lived in certain cities during their heydays. In the 1980’s I was in Silicon Valley and San Francisco for the high tech and new wave music boom. 1990’s it was Seattle for Microsoft and the grunge movement.

I’m not sure exactly which city best represents the 2000’s but for me it was split between Portland (before Portlandia existed) and Santa Barbara.

Not sure there is much to say about Santa Barbara…..Michael Jackson’s pedophile case was tried here. Does that count for anything?

As I’ve gotten older and my kids are no longer the parasites they once were, I’ve been trying to recapture a little of the person I was before I turned into the life-giving drone I became.

So, when one of my dearest and oldest friends mentioned that The Specials were on their reunion tour and playing in San Francisco, I immediately committed to getting my saggy ass back up to The City by The Bay to do some serious recapturing.

Let me start by telling you that I have always FREAKING LOVED THE SPECIALS! I believe they are one of the best but shortest-lived bands ever. I am a closet ska girl. I made the DJ at my wedding reception play all their songs, even though there were only a few of us who would get out there and skank (ska dancing for the unenlightened).

One of the steps in recapturing my inner rude girl is going to a concert that is general admittance where one must stand pressed inappropriately against strangers.  In recent years I’ve gone more the barc-o-lounger route, because I say shit like “Oy, my aching back!” or “Is it loud or is it me?” and “What the hell is that smell?”

But see, with a Ska band, you CAN NOT sit down. It is physically impossible not to dance.

This is a scientific fact. Go look it up.

The next step is remembering all the important concert rules. First and foremost of said rules is that one must never “break the seal.” Meaning, hold your pee because once you go the first time, you will have to go constantly through the concert and no one wants to have to go to a bathroom in a venue that would have any band you’d want to see. So, if you hold it until that initial need passes, you can hold it for the duration.

This is yet another scientific fact. See, I entertain AND educate.

Or, at least that’s what used to work when I was in my 20’s and had not yet had children. Suffice it to say that there is really no “seal” to speak of after that.

But, pissing oneself aside, this was one of the most fun nights I’d had in years. It was easy to get right back to that place of feeling so much joy in music that you love while being surrounded by friends that you love.

Plus, I have come up with a new product idea. Concert diapers for the post-30’s crowd. You can buy them next to the t-shirts in the lobby with the band logo on them. Let’s face it, most of the bands could use these too.

Introducing
Piss Off! Concert Nappies ™

 “Not Your Grandma’s Diapers.” ™

Rude Girl is back.

A Bunch Of Words About Aging

A Bunch Of Words About Aging

I am 35 years old.

Oh, shut up! I know I’m not 35 – let me explain!!

I seem to have frozen in time at that age. I have not advanced one second past that age. I would say I will die at the age of 35 even though most people will argue that I will be more like 95 (and a HUGE pain in everyone’s ass).

I felt my best at that age and decided I’d hang out there indefinitely. At 35, I was in good physical shape, blazing trails in a successful career, had disposable income and was under the misguided impression that I was in control of my destiny.

I was not too young, nor was I considered old. I was in my sweet spot.

But, my body clearly did not get that memo.

So, this being the case, I feel I’ve become somewhat bi-polar with my insides and my outsides not matching up. I have a good angel/bad angel on each shoulder giving me opposing views.

Sitting on one shoulder sits the woman who will stop at nothing to remain young and beautiful. Let’s call her Carrot Top.

I know!!! I totally look like a woman!!

I know!!! I totally look like a woman!!

On my other sloping  shoulder sits the gnarled and bent figure of the aged and self-possessed woman. We will call her Kathy Bates.

Yep, I’m naked and I’m OK with that, goddamnit.

Yep, I’m naked and I’m OK with that, goddamnit! Get over it!

It doesn’t help that I live in the land of happy, shiny, perky breasts. The buying public, and no matter what my Visa statement says, it does NOT include me, has set the standard for what beauty is all about. The buying public is named Stassi, Shauna, Brandeeeee or some other made-up name.

Do I, like, have something in my teeth?

Do I, like, have something in my teeth?

So, back to Carrot Top and Kathy. Let’s start with Carrot. He sits there with his plump lips, surprising eyebrows and permanent eyeliner. He is telling me that all I need to do is a lift here (to help those falling butt cheeks),  a tuck there (to shore up the jowls that make me look a little more like Nixon every year), a tweeze (because what is it that makes you turn into the Fly after 35?), and a few good shots of some unnatural material to plump you up in just the right spots.

All this for the special package cost of your soul.

But there is Kathy sitting there, a little stooped and a bit androgynous in her look. She wears no makeup or adornments because, well, what the hell’s the point?

She whispers into my ear in a raspy voice “We’ve worked at this beauty thing for decades. We’ve bought every lip plumper, push up bra, gut-sucking underwear, and spent the national debt on anti-aging everything like good little soldier.

Aren’t you just weary of all that work and wasted energy? You could have written several novels, found a cure for the common cold AND found Bin Laden way earlier with the time and brainpower put toward “beauty”….which is a subjective word, by the way.”

(We will pause here while Shauna looks up the word “subjective.”)

So I ask, is there a happy middle ground? Aren’t we supposed to learn moderation as we get older (along with where interest rates are and how our 401K is performing)? Can we learn to love ourselves enough to allow our bodies to age gracefully, as intended?

I see you getting all indignant, shaking your fist at the sky and bellowing “But it’s not us, its MEN who make us this way! It’s MEN who expect perfection!” This may well be at least part of the problem. I don’t know of any men who hang posters of Madeleine Albright in their rooms because she has a really big brain.

And, yes, most men would take a killer rack over a sagging one any day of the week. Who wouldn’t?

I know we’d like to think of ourselves as highly evolved creatures, but the bottom line is, we’ve been doing this little dance since we crawled out of the primordial slime. The vision of a healthy, big-breasted cave woman with childbearing hips sent all the knuckle draggers into a frenzy…just like today.

Oh, our foreheads have come in a bit (except for James VanDerBeek), we’ve discovered bathing (except for Joaquin Phoenix), and now we can talk (often, this is NOT a good thing), but those pesky little DNA strands are still calling the shots.

Don’t you give me the stink-eye young man, you get in that shower NOW!

Don’t you give me the stink-eye young man, you get in that shower NOW!

Women still want to look attractive to men and men still want them to look attractive.

So, do we go against our very nature? Do we thumb out nose at our chemical make up? Why are you asking me? I have no freakin’ idea!

But, it would be nice to think that our intellect would have exceeded this need by now. It does seem like we should know better and would be able to hold other deeper traits in higher regard.

So, it may seem obvious that the Kathy Bates has won the fight. She has triumphed over shallowness and has driven her point down our turkey-like throats. We will be happy with who we are. We will find healthy, graceful, and proud examples to follow. We will love ourselves, cellulite and all.

And, only the evolved, forward-thinking men will be allowed in our sacred presence.

Only the men who, themselves have reached that inner peace. You know, the ones with the “love handles” because somehow that makes fat cute. The ones with arms that jiggle like your grandmother’s…

Gotta go now, Carrot Top is driving me to my Liposuction appointment.

Andy Williams, Shelley Winters and Me

Andy Williams, Shelley Winters and Me

I will blame this maudlin exhibit of nostalgia on two events from this past week: I had a birthday and my imaginary childhood husband passed away.

I could launch into a monologue about the Depression and the Great War. But, while I may feel that old, in reality I’m not.

Instead I will now launch into a monologue about being a little kid in the 60’s during the Not So Great War.

A few houses down from us lived a family by the name of McRuffian.

(This is not their actual name but I figured I’d made it pretty far in life without being sued so thought I’d keep that going. Plus, I’m totally loving this whole fictitious name thing. Our milkman was named Milky VonLactose. See…nothing but fun!!!)

I’m not sure how many kids the McRuffians had but there seemed to be a herd of them running around and terrorizing the neighborhood like a scene out of Clockwork Orange.

In fact, in our house, one of the worst things you could hear from our parent’s mouth was “Don’t be a McRuffian!” It snapped you out of whatever inappropriate and cruel behavior you were participating in immediately. The very name turned your blood to ice.

It seemed to me that Mrs. McRuffian was never fully clothed. I only saw her in a slip. I’m sure she wore clothes at some point but I, honestly, have no memory of it. In my mind I will always see Shelley Winters – disheveled and lusty.

A bitch is no match for a lady except in a brass bed, honey, and sometimes not even there. ~Tennessee Williams

To me, she was exceptionally intriguing. Oozing sexuality when, in reality, I think she was just tanked early in the morning. And, probably with very good reason.

But, to my romantic sensibility, that house was the Minnesota version of a steamy Tennessee Williams play. Drunk, sexy mother raising a house full of men’s men.

I wonder if she called her husband Big Daddy….

By the way, I know there was a Big Daddy somewhere in that house but I can’t come up with a single memory of him.

Mickey McRuffian was my first kiss….and it grossed me out because I thought he was a troll.

Anyhoo, my best friend was Matt Snottowski (see, again, so much fun!!), one of 11 kids that lived down the road from us. He had a perpetual stream of green snot running out of his nose but he let me boss him around so you all have him to blame for how pushy I am. He was my childhood enabler.

We played house a lot. I’d put on my mom’s apron and put some Andy Williams on our giant console record playing machine.

(Go look up “records” in the Google, kids.)

Andy Williams, to me, was the perfect husband. He seemed clean and looked like he smelled like Christmas. He sang of romance and wore the hell out of cardigan.

I’d greet my phlegmy pretend husband at the door to the sounds of Moon River as he carried a paper sack that was supposed to be a briefcase. He’d put the “case” down at the door, sit down on the couch and say “Get me a beer.”

To which I replied “Get your own damned beer and get me one while you’re at it.”

Clearly, I was ahead of my time.

(Oddly, I started this post right before Andy Williams passed away this week. So, a tip of my fedora to you, Andy! Perhaps we will marry in another life. And I bet you would get your own beer.)

Movie Review: Magic Mike (The Power of The Pectoral)

Movie Review: Magic Mike (The Power of The Pectoral)

I am your patron saint of protection from horrible pop culture. Bow before me.

The number of crappy books and shitty movies I will put myself through just so you don’t have to! You should all buy me a trophy or a medal or a new blender.

Once again, the mighty power of the horny middle-aged woman has reared her shiny, dyed head. They could rule the world if they took a break from the bodice-rippers and put down their Chardonnay long enough to join forces.

Several of these horny middle-aged women (herein referred to as HMAW) happen to be friends of mine and wanted me to join them to see Magic Mike. You know, the one about the best friends just working for a living in a skanky male strip club. Kind of like a nasty Laverne and Shirley.

HMAW: “But, Roger Ebert gave it two thumbs up!”

Me: “Didn’t he have a stroke or something?”

HMAW: “And, it’s directed by Steven Soderbergh. He did Traffic and is an Oscar-winner!”

Me: “Does he have kids in private school then? Why would he do a movie about strippers?”

HMAW: “Really, Irene, why wouldn’t you want to watch hot, naked men? The question is what is wrong with you?”

Me: <long pause> “Fair enough. OK.”

Anyhoo, I went because the pull of being snarky about bad entertainment is just too strong.

First thing I noticed was the clientele. It was a sea of mom jeans with a smattering of long-suffering husbands. I have no idea what the argument may have been to get a husband to this movie but I would have liked to have been a fly on that wall. Or, of course, the husbands are gay. That would actually explain everything.

So, let’s start out with the good bits, shall we?

Hot. Naked. Young. Men. Well, most of them were. There was one Mickey Roarke look-alike (not 9 1/2 Weeks Mickey Roarke but The Wrestler Mickey Roarke) that I found disturbing and uncomfortable. And, I think whoever that actor was also felt disturbed and uncomfortable. The rest, however, were young, tight and exceptionally well-oiled.

I did, however, find myself thinking that I’d kill my kids if they ever did something like this. So, while I may not wear mom jeans on the outside, I clearly have some on inside my head.

Ummmm, I think that was it for the good bits.

OK, now for the bad bits.

It was dumb.  You could have muted this entire movie and known exactly what was happening and how it would end. In fact, bring your noise cancelling headphones, eat your Dots and just watch.

The story is as old as the bible. Gorgeous single guy with lots of chutzpah who just wants to make it in the world who has multiple sexual encounters with multiple women but really cares and has a heart of gold that gets him in trouble until a nice grounded girl comes along who believes in him and clearly doesn’t seem to care about the multiple venereal diseases that she has now exposed herself to.

Pretty sure that is exactly what happened in the book of Job.

Matthew McConaughey.  I know I am inviting the wrath of all women out there with this one. I can feel the collective stink eye right now. Go ahead, start putting your hate mail together, I am expecting it. But, he does nothing for me. And, in this movie, he was so ridiculous and such an asshole that I had a hard time watching him.

If you have other-worldly abs hanging off a douchebag, is it still hot? Probably but I feel compelled to ask the question.

Men gyrating and groin-thrusting at lightning speed. I know what it’s supposed to simulate and I don’t know that it would be all that pleasant. Slow it down, Sparky. I am not a construction site and you are not a jackhammer.

It’s impressive how they don’t appear to throw out their backs when doing this, I totally give them that. And, actually, (SPOILER ALERT!) my favorite part of the movie is when one of them actually does throw out their back.

But, men are not built for this kind of movement. They are stiff and utilitarian and that’s how they should be.

Call me old fashioned but I don’t want my men prancing about with jazz hands.

I’ve been to a male strip club before and I never got dry humped.  Should I take that personally? Maybe I’m just all sour grapes on this because I feel slighted. In this movie the women in the crowd were being whipped around like rag dolls, getting felt up and ground upon. My mind ping ponged between “Law suit! Law suit!” and “Purell! Purell!” the entire time.

There you have it, good citizens of the blogosphere. I can’t necessarily say you should not see it. I just feel it is my public duty to make you aware of what you are seeing….which is a whole lot of shiny, pretty men.

And there ain’t nuthin’ bad about that.

I Hope They Don’t Serve Peanut Butter in Heaven

I Hope They Don’t Serve Peanut Butter in Heaven

I know I’m a little tardy on a Father’s Day tribute but I chose to write about porn last week instead so now a word about my Dad.

(By the way, I believe my father would not only support the porn decision but would have been surprised had I gone another route. And then he would have whacked me upside the head for being late because that’s very rude.)

My Dad seemed to be in a pretty crappy mood for a large portion of his life. Or, at least the portion of his life when I knew him. I try not to take that too personally though. He was Irish and that can tend to explain all sorts of things. And he was raised by the Christian Brother’s Catholic Church in New York City during the Depression and, since he only had peanut butter and bread to eat for long periods of time, he most likely had scurvy….which would explain everything that the Irish part didn’t.

I began to grasp the real reason he was so cranky in the past several years since I had kids. He and my mother produced six offspring.  I never did get them to fess up about their reason for this terrible lack of judgment. Did they actually intend to have six or was it the no-birth-control Catholicism? Either one paints them as lunatics.

When my father passed away 7 years ago, no one was especially surprised. For one thing, he was 84 years old so not exactly taken down in the prime of his life. Also, he was supposed to have died several times prior to this and didn’t, I believe, so that he could keep us slightly off kilter and nervous at all times.

My father’s wishes were to be cremated so me, my sisters and my mother found ourselves in a hushed conference room with soothing colors and quiet background music at the funeral home discussing the receptacle we would pour Dad into for his final burial. My father was a very no-frills, pragmatic man so an ornate urn was out of the question upon risk of being haunted for the rest of our lives with a litany of ghost rantings about wasteful behavior.

As you’d expect, we were all quite tired and punchy from emotion and worry about our mother and how she was going to fare through all this so we weren’t thinking particularly straight. As the nice young funeral boy (I believe that’s on his business card) went somberly through the absurdly large catalog of options for housing ashes, we all started to get the giggles. I can’t quite remember what may have started it (I think it had something to do with “veteran” vs. “veterinarian”, him being the former and not the later) but pretty soon there wasn’t a dry eye in the room and not for the correct reason. Our barely contained hysteria went something like this:

“Let’s just put him in a velvet Crown Royal bag and call it a day.”

“Is there some way we could fashion him into a fishing lure?”

“I say we scatter him all over the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. Do we need a permit for that?”

The bad news is that we tend to be loud laughers and one does not normally expect to hear loud female cackling coming from a funeral home as if we were doing Jell-O shots at Senior Frog’s. We were gently escorted to the parking lot to avoid bothering the other, more appropriate mourners.  I don’t know if we were really 86’ed from a funeral home, but knowing how proud Dad would be if we were, it’s what I’m choosing to believe.

Here are some facts about my Dad:

He hated peanut butter

Used to have me believe he was a spy in the war and still had the recording devices and cameras embedded in his eyes and ears

Had a wicked, some would say cruel, sense of humor

Loved animals

He cheated at board games

Scared the shit out of us

Taught me how to skin and gut a trout

Smoked cherry-vanilla tobacco in his pipe

Hope you’re having a hoot, Dad, and they don’t serve peanut butter in heaven.

50 Shades of WTF (or, The Use of a Thesaurus While Masturbating in Public)

50 Shades of WTF (or, The Use of a Thesaurus While Masturbating in Public)

(I was told that the use of sexy words in a title would get more hits. Evidently, lots of people search on the word “thesaurus.” Who knew?)

Listen, I get it. No one is having enough sex. Especially no one I know. I’m sure George Clooney gets laid constantly. It must get boring for him. But I’m no George Clooney.  I suspect Betty White gets more action than I do. I suspect Betty White gets more tail than George Clooney does.

So, given the state of our sexless existence, I felt compelled to dip my toe into the mommy porn cesspit and read 50 Shades of Grey. What a fucking weird book this is. Oh, you could say it’s weird because of the numerous references to anal plugs and spanking. But I mean weird because its level of suckiness can’t possibly match up to its popularity….or the obscene amount of coin the author is raking in.

I have a laundry list of rants to go with this book that could fill dozens of blogs, so I will focus on my top two issues today.

Issue Number 1: The enervating, encumbered, oppressive and exaggerated used of the thesaurus by the writer.

Who the hell talks like this? Especially whilst having a butt plug thrust into a poop hole? “Why, Mr. Grey, what a hedonistic endeavor you are embarking on.”  SHUT UP!

The use of inappropriate SAT-level vocabulary is more disturbing than the handcuffs and nipple clamps in this piece of shit.

I dare you to use “thesaurus” words in a normal sentence in daily life without looking like a complete asshole.

For your consideration:

“Dude, that wave was epic. I will never expunge it from my memory!” See, total asshole.  He will not be invited to the clambake later.

“I can’t wait to dig into this steak with my cutlery.” It’s a knife, douchebag!

“I smoked so much weed this weekend, I was afraid I would somnambulate.” Shut up or I will stab you in the head.

“That inconsiderate misanthrope absconded with my parking space.”  I hate you and I don’t know what you just said, you fucking tool.

I think “Thesaurus” is now my safe word.

Issue Number 2: Don’t read this book in front of people!! You are freaking them out.

For the love of God, if you have the physical book, stick a brown paper bag around it or something. We all think you are either a horny old lady or have terrible sense in your choice of reading material. Both can’t be good for you. Please, you live in a shame-based society. Act accordingly.

And this rule doesn’t only apply to public places like buses and park benches. Do you think your 20-year-old son wants to know his mother (or aunt or gay uncle) is a horny freak show? That could do some serious damage and take years for the visuals to be “expunged” from his memory.

I believe we only fly our freak flag at full mast within the confines of our S&M rooms…or in blogs where consenting adults gather willingly.

What I’m most intrigued about is the writer. Who the hell is this woman and what kind of private life does she have? No offense, E.L. James (not her real name….I wouldn’t use my real name either) but you just don’t look the type. You look like every woman in sweats in line at Trader Joe’s or picking their kindergartener up.

So, you have now made me look twice at everyone I know and have compromised my ability to compartmentalize them into tidy boxes. For all I know, that woman in front of me at the coffee shop who looks like she has not showered in days and has stains on her shirt has a vibrator up her lady garden RIGHT NOW!

She does seem suspiciously chipper about her venti frappuccino….