Monday, December 31, 2012

Back, NO ForwarD

This post was pondered for hours over the course of many days. Well, not this post, but a post in its place. For the post I'd been pondering had to do with loss; the loss of a girlfriend, an aunt, an uncle, other relatives, and our beloved Diamond, not to mention losses suffered by the nation, the world.

As of December 27th Chicago had booked 500 murders for 2012.

But in the pondering, moreover, in the writing (or rather, the staring at the blank screen) I decided not to dwell on the losses of this or any other year (except or unless it has to do with weight--which is a whole other post). I'd rather focus on the gains (again, not weight) or rather, the good over the bad.

I'd rather be the opposite of my mother who is very much about the tragic, the loss, the bad. Who sends me Christmas greetings, thank you and thinking of you notes that include the most recent illness, accident, or death as well as another tidbit about her final journey. The organization that will receive her brain (upon her death, of course) will indeed pay for the transport of her corpse.

Ain't that good news?!

Oh, don't get me wrong, I very much appreciate the foresight, the pre-planning, the taking care of business aspect of her eventual demise for I know without such instructions and plans in place my brothers will be at my door (should we all still be around) making all kinds of demands about what should (or shouldn't) be (despite ignoring her "live and in-person needs" for most of the past 30 years.)  I just don't need to talk about it. I have the papers, the contact numbers, the list of instructions. I understand, do not have any questions, and don't need to discuss her final journey (anymore.)

So yes, while I we have suffered many losses this year, feeling each one deeply, extensively, and for what has felt like an eternity, while trying NOT to. Or rather, trying to mask that desperation. I have been (more, lately) endeavoring to dwell on the gains, the positives, the goodness from this year, for it wasn't ALL bad. I am working to re-train my brain to focus on the promise of each new day,  new chances to turn tides, change directions, alter outcomes. I am re-dedicating myself to . . . well, me. Mind, body, and overall me for me, for you, for our nation, for the world at large.

And for Cinnamon who came bounding into my life unexpectedly but most thankfully.

Happy New Day, Happy New Year to one, to All!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Holly Jolly

The song begins, "have a holly, jolly Christmas; it's the best time of the year" and for weeks now it's been looping in and around my head, double dog daring me to just DO IT! > BE IT!

Jolly. or in everyday vernacular: happy.

It has been an uphill climb, but on this day above all others I am reminded that despite the not so grand in my life and the world at large, there is still very much that is good and cause for happiness. There is shelter, food, love of family and friends, Buttah, Pete, and puppy dawg Cinnamon.

A good friend is spending Christmas day in the hospital recovering from knee replacement surgery. Not the happiest of places to be on this (or any other) day, but the key word:
recovering. I got word earlier today that physical therapy is going well.

Jolly, or in everyday vernacular: happy.

I could name hundreds, perhaps thousands, of things that can be counted on to cause unbridled happiness and joy to wash over me like warm showers, but I won't. I'll just state for the record that I know, I remember, and I am grateful for those things and those people.

Have a holly, jolly Christmas and may those feelings spread over many days, weeks, months beyond.

"Christmas isn't a season, it's a feeling."  Edna Ferber  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Testing 1. 2. 3.

There is plenty to say, just no time, energy, focus to get it organized and down on paper or rather, screen. What I can say is that I'm glad it is raining instead of snowing. I'm glad my hip stopped hurting. I'm so saddened and distraught over the most recent (and seemingly constant) spates of mass violence. The fact that I had to ask mom for my younger brother's address speaks volumes. I don't intend to buy any "Christmas" gifts, though I will be gifting, much. I had the best time with my good friend at dinner the other night. Can't wait for a repeat. The cats are leery of the dog. Buttah however, will test his mettle against the big baby hound. And speaking of the the dog . . . 

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Anatomy of an Unfriending

Hair. It seems to always be about or revolve around hair in some shape form or fashion. This time was no exception.

Many weeks ago Willow Smith (you know, the daughter of Jada Pinket and Will Smith) cut her "whip it" long hair short. Very short. Soon after, as predicable as the chiming of church bells, the media weighed in with opinions as to why and whatnot.

Then, of course, just as predictably, parent groups weighed in... "How Could Jada 'LET' her daughter . . . " (Why criticism doesn't seem to be directed toward dads whenever 'parent groups' weigh in is a topic for another day.)  Jada responds to her critics with a letter on her FB page, which reads, in part: I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair.

Picked up by a number of media outlets, the letter brought Jada praise and of course, more criticism.

Enter my (now) former FB friend. The "friend" updated her status by posting a link to the article, prefacing said posting with her considered opinion that Jada is an awful parent by allowing her twelve year old to shave her hair off. She went on to defend and expand her stance in the comments. After a few of her other "friends" commented I chimed in with my own, "what's the big whoop? It's just hair."

A few of her friends "liked" my comment and the discussion (such as it was) continued; with the original poster responding to accusations that she was making judgments based on appearance, defending her 'right' to direct her own child's fashion choices, bristling over the commentary that she may have stifled her own son's freedom of expression and or creativity by such a staunch stance on something as innocuous as a haircut.

A couple of the other "friends" observed that the staunchness displayed seemed out of character for the liberal, gay, feminist, activist, they thought (or known) her to be.

After saying my piece, sharing an anecdote about my son's JR high years and baggy clothes (by way to answer the meme: you can't tell a book by it's cover) clicking, 'like' to a couple of the expressed opinions, I backed out of commenting but read with interest at the discussion was careening downhill.

Fast. During this portion of the program I kept thinking of the Bugs Bunny quote.  And nearly posted a para-phrased version. Nearly.

Eventually my (now) former FB friend took exception to the accusations and judgments (over her judgments) and "name calling" as she expressed it and asked NOT to be disrespected on her own page.

Well, that statement set off another flurry of comments. . . "what, I can't call you out?"  "I can't disagree with you?" On and on until the (now) former FB finally responded with, "F*CK YOU ALL!!!" and minutes later, I saw that I had been un-friended and I presume the others in the mix were as well. I hadn't been "friends" with any of them.

I'm not at all offended or distressed by the unfriending for I'd been very close to pulling the plug on our friend status prior to this incident. This woman and I met a few months ago on a dating site and then became FB friends.  We shared a few interesting exchanges, and then (a couple of weeks prior to the incident) met in person--as we live in the same town and found ourselves at the same LBGTQ event. It was this "live" meeting and subsequent FB exchanges that led me to believe we wouldn't ever be friends, so why keep up any pretext.

So, while the incident all started with hair, it became a much larger issue, as is so often the case, especially in my corner of the world.


Saturday, December 01, 2012


Some time over the past few weeks Cinnamon and Buttah have formed some kind of . . . grudging acceptance for the presence of the other. Buttah braves journeys to the lower perches and the floor because he craves interaction and attention.  As a result, he suffers the clumsy, flopping ministrations of the big brown pup.

Eventually he tires of the game, fends off the big brown pup, and scampers back to higher ground. Or barring navigation his own escape, is rescued by one of the humans.  Still, somewhere in the midst of the ministrations, protestations, fending, and rescuing, they . . . bonded. Of sorts. More often than not, they are just sitting, in the same place, on the same bed, without incident . . . that is, until big brown pup deems the amnesty period over.

The game, or rather the dance being played out has the feel of something brewing. . some kind of relationship. . . some kind of friendship.

Bearing witness to the brewing over the past few weeks has had me thinking about friends generally and my friends specifically. I count very few people in that category of friend (FB semantics aside). As a child I had difficulty making friends; our multiple moves, the sheltering thanks to my girl status, my being a bona fida introvert all played a role.

My high school years were the most static, as I spent 4 years in one school and was able to form a few solid (as solid as possible considering I couldn't / didn't invite people home) relationships. One such relationship followed me well into adulthood only to be lost to lesbianism, or rather her homophobic reaction to my lesbianism.

Fastforward to today and there are, as I said, very few people who I consider a friend (again, FB semantics aside). Each of the few are a treasure to me, golden. I trust each is aware of their importance to me as I am active in the cultivation of these relationships.

Still, something is amiss. Or rather, I am missing. The One.  Not necessarily a girlfriend in that sense (though that would be sweet) but a running buddy, a wing-woman, a "kick it" partner. There is a certain pathology at play with the relationships I have formed (and those that have stuck) that bear some exploration.

Perhaps some adjustments are warranted.

In the meantime, I thank you friends for being there / here for me. For helping me through some tough days (even if you didn't know you were). Your humor, honesty, creativity, and most of all your presence is a treasure, golden.

And, Cinnamon is pretty sure she wants Buttah for a friend. Buttah, on the other hand, seems somewhat wary. Though, I think eventually, he'll come around. I believe he will be able to teach Cinnamon to temper her ministrations, a bit.