June 2009

Jack avatar

Apparently he is not a sprite after all (note the lack of wings).  He is an elf.  I am glad that I have been alerted to this incompatibility.  Look how happy he is, though, smoking underneath the magic mushroom.  And when Jack is happy, I am happy.


I drew this picture years ago and just found it in a pile of old papers and craft supplies in the basement.  It does look kind of ancient and runic, no?  Like something found in a battered leather-bound tome?   OK, I’m just really disorganized and delusional.  But I wanted to share it.  I hope it brings a bit of delight to your day.


I’m honestly asking!

I’m kind of a hoarder and so many things just defy classification. You know…shoes go in the “shoe place”, cans of sardines go in the “cans of sardines place.” Hair doodads have their own (big) bag. But…man. This coconut bra has me stumped. I haven’t been invited to a luau for two years (although it’s a great vowel dump as a Scrabble play, so technically my rack (PUN!) has invited me to several since then. (Ever had a rack full of “U?” “I” follows me around too. I sense a bad Scrabble Club pickup line.)


History would seem to indicate that the way to get oneself invited to a luau (or anything else) is to get rid of the perfect outfit for it. That’s the real reason that Russ Feingold didn’t get elected president: because I still have the dress I planned to wear to his inauguration (it is a formal;  deep blue. Perfect.) Honestly, though, that is how it goes: whenever I have gotten rid of any of my hoardings, the opportunity and need for that item has soon arisen (although, I got rid of a box Sharpied “Bible Outfits” and still have yet to get cast as Mary from Jesus Christ Superstar).  So my entire theory  paranoia could be completely off-base.

Hoarding, I must say, has both advantages and disadvantages.  Sartorially, I am prepared for just about anything.  The bigger question is, will I be able to find the item in question?

So, help me out here: whither the coconut bra?

Why does it amuse thoughtful irreligious people when they discover that there are thoughtful religious people?

It’s part of a comment by Jag (whose own blog, The Day that Dawns, can be found here), left on this post at Althouse…worth a look.

It’s always an interesting discussion at the Alt-House.

Well, I finally don’t (usually) need a cane to get around. It’s kind of nice. But on the other hand, I’m going to miss the thing. Here are a few reasons why.

1. It just looks damn cool. So jaunty, so Fred Astaire, so proper– yet so steampunk at the same time (unfortunately, mine is not also a sword, but it can be a decent weapon). It was like a fashion accessory. Since I’m so trendy, I noticed all the other hipsters started using them too, so that’s the real reason I’m not using it much anymore. I have to stay one step ahead. Fashion is cutthroat, man.

2. Canes make you look smart. House, anyone?

3. It’s a great conversation piece. It offers variety, for one thing: on two separate Christmases, I had to use a crutch to get around. Do you have any idea how many times I had to hear “God bless us! Every one!” Barf. Come up with a new joke. (addendum: I did hear “you’re you’re just using that as a crutch” at least once too).  The cane, on the other hand, inspired a million hilarious comments, including a rendition of “One Singular Sensation” (every little, painful step she makes…) I laughed so hard my sides hurt even more than they already did!

4. It’s great for waving angrily at motorists that declined to politely slow down for me to cross the street- p a i n f u l l y s l o w l y. If my other hand was free, I could give the finger too at the same time- imagine that! That hurt, but hurt so good.

5. It made a great cat-grabber. If Sheba was doing something naughty (which is too often), I could just kind of hook her off-stage, a la The Gong Show.

6. It’s great for picking up inanimate objects too. Dropped keys? No problem. Shoulder bag? Piece of cake. Same with reaching for high objects. Hook ’em.

7. Moth killa. I love wool. Moths love wool too. I stay up late at night with the lights on; moths come in, ravenous for fiber. Pop! Sheba ate the slowly dying ones. Once I can really move again, I’ll finish getting the woolen items put up until next winter. Until then, moths beware.

8. Clearing out the clothes chute when something gets stuck in there, clogging the thing with two stories worth of clothes. Um, Jack? Yeah, be more careful when you put your clothes in there. That’s why you don’t have any clean “draws.” Thanks.

9. Getting offered seats. I went to see a lesbian band, and I swear those fans were some of the nicest people I have ever encountered. I had not seen more overalls at a rock show ever (the band members are all super-cute; their fan base is by-and-large twice their age. It’s rather sweet, actually). I never had to stand. Seats were premium, and generously offered. Good show, too.

10. Same with getting to the front of any bathroom line. Sort of like how we always let pregnant women go first. We really do.

11. Pulling the car door closed. That trick earned me a look of awe– from someone obviously easily impressed, but nonetheless.

It’s wonderful to have the thing. I found it in a dead man’s basement that I cleaned out several years ago (in exchange for getting to keep the stuff!)- along with war memorabilia and a few other amazing items; I always keep it where I know I can grab it when needed. Because, you never know: I might need to pull stuck clothing from the chute, or have an uninvited moth to kill. Or put my back out sneezing. It could happen to you.

This post at Cheeky Pink Girl– a wonderfully thoughtful (and smart, and interesting) blog- is about me.

Charlotte- the blog’s author- is the only person that I could have even mentioned these things to. (Jack- bless his heart-has circuit overload when I try to talk about it. He’s wired a bit differently than most, too: don’t judge). Char and I had the most wonderful, loving phone discussion. When I say love, I mean tough love: the kind that she knew I really needed.

Usually I am an optimistic person, but sometimes the dark clouds take over- for instance, severe lasting physical pain brings them on, but also the winter SAD that for some reason was the worst this past winter than ever. I can get into a hole that seems to have no escape route other than exercising my free will to…well…but Char helped me find the some real escape routes: Prayer- of course; even the simplest of prayers; ways to find the right fit of a counselor; and possibly antidepressants just for the winter, and just getting the stupid light box already!!! (I had forgotten to tell her about my horrible EAP experience and our ridiculous stepfamily counseling sessions that hurt more than helped.   So my fear of finding the wrong counselor is not irrational). And then she opened up the discussion to her thoughtful and kind blog readers. People whom I have never met, and likely never will- except online!

What a blessing. What a cloud of believers on the Internet. Think about that- people’s souls- never having met IRL-, touching each other, praying for each other, in the ether, on the way to eternity. It is a beautiful thought.

Ok, this is an old one, but…it’s hot and bright out, so I thought of it.

(Backstory- I’ll keep it short) A long time ago I went to a Christian retreat for college students. One of the guys we met from a different college was glasses-dependent and one of his tiny eyeglass frame screws fell out. I wore contacts at that time, but could totally sympathize, right? So I took off my (very cool, black-and-white mod plastic) sunglasses and asked, genuinely,

“Do you want a screw?”

He literally ran away and never spoke to me again.

The original quote that referenced the greatness of towels is found in Chapter 3 of Adams’ work The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Now I have always appreciated this advice, being the kind of person that simply needs lots of stuff surrounding me (more than just the usual keys, wallet, cell phone kind of thing).  Lip balm in multiple flavors, sunscreen, sunglasses, camera just in case, notebook and mechanical pencils, water bottle, coffee cup,  toothbrush, toothpaste, earplugs (never know when Jack’s going to take me to an ear-blistering show), books, gum, sweater (perhaps it may get chilly), plastic cutlery, electrician’s tape,  handkerchief or bandanna (usually- the smaller version of a towel); snacks; extra everything when I play with my punk band (except my bass amp, the biggest thing- and the most fickle); inhaler; everything but the all-important towel.  It just has never made it into the mix.  That needs to change.  I had a revelation today.  Because I got chided by my physical therapist (and not for carrying so much crap around, surprisingly).


She patiently explained to me all the things that are wrong with my body, in that optimistic “we can fix this” kind of way.  She showed me how my posture was affecting everything.  She put tape on my belly to remind me not to be all swaybacked ‘n’ stuff.  (I am a sucker for biofeedback).  Also, she massaged my ass ( valium removed the fancy name for this particular ligament from my memory), which hurt so good.  And she told me that I need to get rid of one of my favorite comfort objects- what do you call the adult version of a binky?


It’s a pillow I have used for lumbar support for years.  A very special pillow, carefully crafted years and years ago in complicated needlepoint, in kente cloth colors; it is monogrammed MLK.  I thrifted it years ago, pre-Jack, and it is like a part of me.  I imagine that it was lovingly created during the civil rights era, perhaps while listening to a televised speech given by our fallen hero.   It is now faded, torn, and  has had more physical contact with my body than any seat belt.  It has dried gum on it.  I’ve had it since I bought my 1984 Toyota Corolla in 1995 from a lesbian with bad scoliosis (her dad knew my dad.  Before I went to her house to purchase the thing, he warned me, “She’s kind of deformed.”  [Scolioisis, dad.  I have it too.])  She had to tuck herself carefully in with an elaborate system of pillows in order to drive it- I lucked out by needing only one: my trusty MLK.


At any rate, my PT now tells me- as the binky/pillow/MLK is shredding to bits, that it is just too thick.  And not variable enough.  It may have been harming me all these years even while I found its presence comforting and necessary- I may need help ending this possibly abusive relationship.


This story has a point.  I’m getting there.


So the PT pulls out a standard-issue hospital towel- you know the type: scratchy white terry, previously saturated with other people’s juices- and she showed me Magic.  Towel origami.  How to know when to roll ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away (without limping, I hope) when the lumbar support is done.  There was no chair that could resist this system.  It was eye-opening.  It was incredible. 


I am not going to carry around a terry cloth towel.  I am going to create my own Towelesque magic symbolic art object.  I will crochet (or knit?) it from soft, absorbent, dirt-resistant fiber. I will represent an important social justice issue in a beautiful way that promises to not make you yawn with boredom.  To paraphrase Mr Adams,  I could wrap it around myself for warmth as I bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; I could wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; I could wave it in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry myself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.  And, of course, I could also use it to sit comfortably and avoid re-injuring myself, both of which will make interstellar hitchhiking a much more likely possibility.

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