Anti-semitism

April 24th, 2017 | Posted by Mush in Memes | Web - (0 Comments)

In which there’s a clarification.

In case you don’t know, internet parlance uses “jew” to mean the 1% far more often than the race. It’s extreme stereotyping parody.

Is it still racism, to hyper-attenuate a quality typically associated with a particular race and use that word to mean certain financial activities?

Is all stereotyping racism?

Blogging

April 21st, 2017 | Posted by Mush in Memes | Web - (1 Comments)

There’s still a blogosphere, sorta.

Entirely by accident — I was looking for recipes for leftover fried fish — I found a blog written by a middle aged white woman. I read a couple of her posts (one entirely about a jacket; another, about internet anxiety and unfriending people on Facebook and not really using certain platforms), and then I clicked through her blogroll.

The blogging experience we all had ten or fifteen years ago, and think of as “over”? Is still happening.

I clicked through to one and the author’s been dead of breast cancer for two years. Another featured a year-old post about how the blogger’s giving up blogging because of fatigue and a fucked up family. But another was current and about buying and using makeup. Another was also current, with brilliantly written little posts about everything, about anxiety and a sort of timidity about enjoying things.

And they all link back to one another and all have or had non-ironic readers who comment. They have layouts and themes even older than this one. It’s so great.

It’s also really weird, because every blog I read back in the day is dead… most of the links in my blogroll haven’t been updated in years, and three of the domains are expired.

I remember blogging earnestly and non-ironically. I remember how the internet was, in various corners, before the wonderful and terrible shit-show that is social networking and trolling and painful awareness of privilege. I remember it so well that now I keep an analog diary now and rarely post here, even though I pay for the hosting and the domain year after year after year, even though nobody reads it but me and maybe Stanley.

I love goblinbox, though, and my dad still blogs here, so it’s worth it just to host that.

As for my “what should I be wearing at my age” question, apparently middle-aged white women wear skinny jeans, expensive shoes, expensive tee shirts, leather bomber jackets, carry an expensive handbag and, for a pop of color, wear name-brand red lipstick. So, that’s me in sweats forever, then.

Breakfast

April 17th, 2017 | Posted by Mush in Life | Moving | Travel | Weather - (0 Comments)

In which there’s a blurb.

I slept really late. So late that it’s 2:19 and I’ve only been up long enough to shower, cook and eat, and make the bed! I’m not even dressed!

My hair’s clean, though, and this was delicious:

Breakfast

I have no idea why I thought I needed twelve hours of sleep, but I’ve always slept a lot and still do (more because I can, I think, than because I need to). I keep seeing research about sleep and metabolism and circadian rhythms and the effect of artificial light thereon, and I feel like, well, I’m lucky enough to have such an incredibly open schedule that I might as well just sleep until I wake up, because God knows I’m not limiting my exposure to artificial light at all.

I mean, we’ve got blackout curtains on all the windows, sure, but we live in Uptown where it is never dark, and between the two of us we have at least, what, five tablets, and two phones? And that’s not even counting two dual-monitored desktop computers, two laptops, and a television. It’s literally wall-to-wall blue light up in this bitch, is what I’m sayin’. Scott is perpetually sleep-deprived, but then, who isn’t at his age.

Anyway, it’s gorgeous outside, so after I’ve finished my coffee I’m going to do the dishes, make up a quick grocery list, and head off to the store. Pretty sure the bike needs new tires but hopefully it’ll hold enough air to get to Cub and back with something for dinner.

The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and the tree out front has gone from only the merest hint of buds to actual greenery in the past six days:

Finally

I really need to get outside a bunch in these next few weeks, because after that it’ll be summer and I’ll be in the bathtub crying with a bag of ice for four months straight. I was so miserable last summer that I’m actually considering one of those floor A/C units. (I’ve also been half-assedly apartment hunting, but moving is such a bitch, and the expense is daunting this year because we’re booked for two vacations: Amma in July, and then my grandmother’s 95th as well as the Wendover-Briggs wedding in September.) They’re, like, three hundred bucks or something, but anything to be feel less terrifically awful during the hot months. This apartment is an oven.

Well, coffee’s drunk and the goddamned dishes aren’t going to do themselves!

Blathering on about change

April 11th, 2017 | Posted by Mush in Admissions | Food | Introspection | Whining - (0 Comments)

In which I catalog not terribly relevant stuff!

Realizing that your youth is well and truly over is so fucking weird.

One, you now know that people don’t even know what youth is until they’ve left it. Two, now you’re a grown up, and you’ve finally gotten some wisdom and some work ethic, and now you do chores because you prefer to have a somewhat tidy apartment rather than out of childish resentment, but you can’t help mourning your lost measurements rather than being grateful you’ve lived long enough to even become middle-aged.

I have no idea what to do with this body. It’s fat. It’s low energy. It’s hard to dress because it’s basically square, and it’s even harder to lever up off the floor. I’ve been dieting for months, and after losing an initial 4″ off my waist: nothing. No change whatsoever that isn’t monthly cycle-related. I mean, I feel better, yeah, but I’m still fat.

Also, the diet’s morphed from a sincere LCHF attempt to just plain old calorie restriction, because I wanted to eat some motherfucking beans and bread already, but since I tend to end up gorging once a week my calorie restriction attempt isn’t all that legit. You’re eating a thousand calories a day for six days, then you have a 2,100 calorie day because you can order literally any meal you can think of to be delivered.

Doubtless our bodies evolved for frequent bouts of lack, but our brains engineered themselves into a future completely filled with food.

I mean, where, exactly, is the line between reasonable discipline and self-flagellation. Being on a diet can turn the normally pleasant act of eating into an unsatisfying chore. “Oh, well, I’m hungry, and I have 300 calories left for the day. Looks like I need more protein, but the idea of a cheese and olives and almonds again makes me just not want to eat.”

My hair. I don’t want to be vain and idiotic, but: my hair. It’s so fine, and thinning, it’s brittle and frizzy, and it looks like shit. I don’t want to be attached, I don’t want to resist what is just regular old change, but MY GODDAMNED HAIR. I’m trying not to be negative about what’s happening to my skin with the puffiness and the wrinkles and the sagging and the — based on what my relatives look like — unavoidable jowls, but MY HAIR.

I feel like my boobs are more or less normal, I guess, especially when I have them squished into a sports bra so they’re not getting in the way, until I see myself in the mirror and realize I now have Matron Bosom. What the actual fuck.

I watch a lot of period TV, espcially British period TV, and I feel like I should replace all my clothes with, like, whatever 48-year-old adult women should be wearing, but I have no idea what that is. Used to be a dress and sensible shoes, I guess, or a pantsuit? What do 48-year-old women wear now, leggings and tunics? And what do you even do about Matron Bosom?

I’ve spent the last week in a pair of boxy sweat pants and a tank top, with some long sleeved t-shirt or another. I never leave the building.

All those years I thought I was fat! All those years! Now that I actually am, I want to go back and smack myself upside the head for wasting energy on nonsense.

All those things older women wore and said that I thought were ironic but weren’t. All those things older women wore and said that I thought weren’t ironic but actually were.

I’m in a relationship that feels comfortable and easy, but I never could have been in it before. Part of it working as well as it does is that my body doesn’t want to go out and do stuff all the time, and he’s a homebody. If I were even ten years younger, we’d probably be, if not fighting, at least getting along less well, because instead of doing the dishes I’d be out at a my full-time job or with friends at the bar or at a gig or just somewhere he wasn’t.

These days I just don’t want to go do things very often. Couple times a month rather than couple times a week. I really can’t even imagine him with a woman his own age, to be honest, which is probably why he ended up with my old ass!

We get along so, so well, but as I am now and not as I used to be. When we met, I had a robust social life and a band. I was out all the time (even if I was getting sick of the band and beginning to realize that “going out” wasn’t any fun without the drinking; that it really wasn’t about the people as much as I’d thought).

These days, when I go out, he stays awake until I’m home, and usually texts me things like “???” if I close the bar. I feel conflicted about that; on the one hand, I’m fucking thirteen years older than he is, and I can stay at the VFW until it closes if I goddamned well feel like it. On the other, he actually gives so much of a shit about me that he stays awake and texts me when I’m out alone. And not because he’s a controlling fuck, because he’s not, but because he cares.

Right now, I have an embroidered pillowcase on my pillow. Last night as we were preparing to go to bed, he turned it over for me so the smooth side was up. He does shit like that every single day. Like I said before, relationships aren’t hard work at all when you’re not with an asshole.

Amma’s summer tour schedule has been announced and I’m obsessed with my job’s time off board. It currently ends June 30, and they should have posted the first week of July yesterday but didn’t. I want July 4 & 5 so we can go to the D.C. programs again, but might not get them if I don’t request the 4th the second it’s posted. Other option is Boston the 1st & 2nd, but it’s farther so the airfare would probably be more. I haven’t been to the Boston programs since Reni and I drove the East coast part of the tour probably fifteen years ago. Old me probably wouldn’t even consider driving the tour because it’s so exhausting. (I mean, if Mother herself told me to get on the tour bus, I would, but like that’s ever gonna happen.)

The best part of being shaped like a sailing frigate is that I still wake up with zits! Somebody once told me they’d go away when I grew up, but they never did!

The day before yesterday, it was 70F. Last night, it snowed. LOL Minnesota.

In which there’s a picture of food, because isn’t that what the internet’s for?

Look! It’s the spinach frittata from The Lowry.

Spinach Frittata

It was delivered, of course, because we never go out, especially not for brunch.

The love of my life is basically impossible to roist out of his home for trivial things like eating out or interacting with humanity. He’s great at errand-running, and typically does the grocery shopping, even, but I can only nag him into going out for brunch a couple of times per year.

Anyway, it’s a spinach and basil chiffonade frittata with brie and oven-roasted tomato, Parmesan, and herbs; sided with hashbrowns, rye toast, and a cup of Hollandaise.

The Hollandaise, shockingly, was real (and not the instant, lemon-flavored gravy you often get). The frittata was rubbery and overcooked, but the toppings were brilliant! Super-crispy browns, too!

This and a couple cups of coffee with heavy cream is all I’ll eat today, because whenever I have a high-carb day I keep my calorie intake really low.

Potatoes! Toast! Carb indulgence!

Entitled first-worlder rant!

March 30th, 2017 | Posted by Mush in Gadgets | Life | Whining - (0 Comments)

In which I whine like a little bitch.

I decided I wanted a thing. A thing I don’t need, but it’s so cute and would be so fun. And there’s a sort of sense of nostalgia, as well.

See, way back in the day, when I lived in Iowa, I had a Gameboy Advance and a camera attachment and a thermal printer that printed on sticker paper.

gameboy selfies

I took the thing all sorts of places. At one point, I made a collage: I printed images of friends and parties and road trips and arranged them on a piece of paper, printed with clouds and blue sky, and stuck it in a frame.

Being thermal paper, the adorable picture stickers all turned first beige and incomprehensible and then black after a couple of years. I hadn’t counted on that. I remember leaving that framed black-squares-on-a-sky-background art on the wall when I packed to leave Iowa for good.

(It was just one of many, many things that had become garbage in that old farmhouse. Like the trunk that fell apart after being left in standing water in the basement-which-had-been-the-living-room-I-had-had-to-live-in, and the two leather coats that had literally molded while hanging in a closet on the floor above, and all the filthy and rusted kitchen implements…)

Anyway. I can’t even remember where those devices are now; I probably sold them on eBay. I used to be really good at selling old electronics on eBay. Sold all my Apple Newtons and retired cell phones on eBay.

NOW. LOOK AT THIS:

ZINC

It’s a tiny printer. A tiny Bluetooth printer. It’s a Polaroid Zip instant photo printer, and it prints without ink on some sort of magic 2×3″ paper that is also a sticker.

You can send images to it from your phone! It’s adorable.

I really have no need for such a thing, so I bought one.

Used. From eBay. Because dropping $120 on a toy seemed stupid, I got a used one for $70.

Now here’s the actual point of the rant, which actually doesn’t have shit to do with mini-printers but is basically a variation of YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN:

eBay sucks now.

Totally.

Everybody’s an idiot slacker.

The Story of the Mini-Printer Purchase

I bought a used Polaroid Zip from an eBay seller back on March 18th, and he’s got my money but he still hasn’t even shipped the fucking thing.

I waited a week, then contacted him politely asking for the tracking number, and he told me it was at the post office and that there was “something wrong” with the shipping label.

Finally he got me a tracking number – TEN DAYS AFTER I PAID FOR THE THING – but that was two days ago and USPS still doesn’t have the package. He told me it had been dropped off and that it takes “a day or more” for it to show up.

Okay, kid, you’re a slacker, I get it. But you’re basically just phoning these lies in. Everybody knows packages show up right after they’re scanned. An hour at most, not TWELVE FUCKING DAYS, you lying little shit.

So I just messaged him that if USPS doesn’t have the package by the time I get off work tonight, I’m going to report the transaction and get my money back.

Just get the fucking thing to the post office already!

And if you’re gonna lie, at least try for something plausible. “I haven’t shipped it yet because my mom’s in the hospital,” for example. Because “the post office has the package but I called them and they said there’s something wrong with the label” is fucking ridiculous. People don’t call the post office, son, and the label would have had to have been acceptable for USPS to have ever had it in the first place. Duh.

You’re an idiot.

I’m so mad bro.

The Story of the Video Card

A couple months ago, I sold a video card for Scott. Explicitly noted in the auction that it was used, in good condition, and that I did not accept returns. Got a decent price for it.

The guy received it, contacted us for technical support on how to use it (which we mostly ignored, because fucking google it this is an eBay transaction we’re not the fucking OEM), put it in his machine for two weeks, and then reported to eBay that it had never worked—

—AND THEY REFUNDED HIS MONEY OUT OF MY PAYPAL ACCOUNT.

What. The. Actual. Fuck.

I did appeal and get my money back, but my Paypal account had a negative balance for two weeks and it was a pain in the ass. The little fucker told us he’d used the card for at least two weeks, then claimed to eBay that it was DOA!

The Story of the Other Stuff

Okay, to be fair, I bought a bunch of retro dishes off eBay last year, and all those transactions were flawless.

And the extra ZINK paper I bought the same day is already here, and has been for over a week.

So I am forced to revise my premise: eBay doesn’t really suck, but these fucking kids, man. Who buys a used video card, asks for fucking technical support when he’s already ON THE INTERNET, and then lies for a refund?! Who sells something and then doesn’t expect to get some shit for not shipping FOR TWELVE DAYS?!

I’m so mad bro.

Dip

March 16th, 2017 | Posted by Mush in Food | Soapbox | Whining - (0 Comments)

In which I don’t understand.

Why do store-bought dips suck?

I bought a huge container of artichoke-jalapeno dip last weekend, and while it isn’t exactly inedible, it’s really not good.

You can safely buy salsa — well, many of them, at least — and those sort of 70’s-style chip dips (like French onion or whatever), and a few bean or cheese dips, from, like, Tostitos.

But guacamole? Awful. Creamy spinach or artichoke dips? Bad. I’ve never bought a hummus that wasn’t mediocre at best, and bitter at worst.

Which is so weird, because it seems like pre-made dips would be really easy to get right. Especially hummus! Or spinach and/or artichoke dip, or guacamole!

In which I rather complain a little.

It’s 29F outside. I cracked the windows while I tidied did the dishes and made the bed, and it can’t be over 73F in here, but I’m overheating! Very hot water just used to be very hot water; these days it’s like I’m being tortured and my hands turn red and swell up! Just doing the damned dishes!

Then there’s the times I’m suddenly freezing and need a blanket, though nothing’s changed in the past half hour. Temperature regulation: I barely seem to do it anymore! How weird is that!

I will probably die this summer. It’s impossible to keep this apartment much under 80F even with blackout curtains, because the building is made of brick and both windows face south and have no awnings. The entire external wall just radiates heat all fucking day long all summer long, and the AC unit verges on useless. Last year I was miserable. I don’t know what I’ll do this year. Sit in the bathtub in the dark with ice cubes, I suppose. Or spend all day every day in an air conditioned coffee shop at five bucks an hour.

And I’ve been on a diet for, what, two months now? No pizza, no pasta, no lattes. I’d kill for a bowl of black beans and brown rice, let alone a nuked tray of cheesy, creamy, carbolicous Stouffer’s® mac & cheese! I’ve had maybe six pieces of bread, and all of it was 100% whole grain! I’m being good! Where are the results!

Breakfast

I keep refried beans, which used to be a staple of my diet, as a treat. (I know I said that in my last post, but OMG seriously. Fucking beans.)

I’m living on omelets, vegetables, cheese, hard boiled eggs, tofu, and miso. Shredded cabbage really doesn’t substitute for hashed browns, no matter how hard you try to pretend it does, and spaghetti squash gets old real quick, even drowning in cream sauce or marinara and cheese. I’m completely bored of Boca burger lettuce wraps and mugs of broth.

Lunch

All this deprivation and I should be getting results, no? No. I’ve lost a couple inches off my waist, and my ankles don’t bloat as much during The Curse. That’s about it. My fat feels ever-so-slightly less firm, maybe. I see no visual evidence of success, and while I do feel better, I’d like to also look better if I could, please!

Last time I did low carb (well, as low carb as one can as a vegetarian), the inches fell off. Now, my physiology has decided this fatness bullshit is my set point, and I get the feeling I will never not have jowls again. I can barely stand to see myself reflected in anything.

And I’m not eating any sugar! Once a week I let myself sweeten my coffee with Equal. I’ll have a 5 oz. glass of Crystal Light, for fuck’s sake, if I’m craving a soda or fruit juice, and even then I usually dilute it with unsweetened iced tea. I had some sugar-free jello a couple weeks ago. You try eating under 40g of carbs as a vegetarian. It’s ridiculous. (And honestly, at this point, I’m not even really a vegetarian for moral reasons: I just cannot eat flesh. My jaw won’t do it. My stomach won’t do it. I’m just as likely to eat your face as I am a cow.)

They really aren’t kidding about it getting harder to lose weight as one ages. It’s not harder, though, it’s impossible! Gah!

In which I’m dieting.

Tired (again) of being fat and miserable. Dieting (again) in an effort to be less fat and less miserable.

As a vegetarian, I find it very difficult to do really low-carb, so I’m doing a combination of “as few carbs as possible” and calorie restriction.

Eating a lot of eggs, tofu, Boca burgers, olives, and nuts.

Diet jello or Crystal Light when I’m desperate for a “treat.”

CURRENT STATUS: Desperate for a bowl of fettuccine Alfredo. Or mac ‘n’ cheese. Seriously. WANT. So, so bad.

I’m in my third week. I’ve lost a few inches off my waist, have more energy, and feel better overall. My nighttime teeth-grinding and snoring seem to be reducing. I’m meditating daily and ticking off the boxes on my housewifery list with much less struggle. My laundry is done. My mood is much improved (although being off the phones at work while I’m on the 90-day chat pilot also helps).

But I’m still fat. My current hip measurement is forty-three inches, which is insane for a person with a 30″ inseam.

Being fat is miserable. Fatigue, bloating, back pain, low energy, and a pervasive feeling of dis-ease and discomfort.

But beans are a huge part of my usual diet, and I’m missing them. (I had half a cup of refried beans yesterday, but they’re high in carbs, and so are rationed. I miss them.)

Tofu is so boring. OMFG. I fry it in ghee with spices, and put it in broth or eat it with sriracha mayo for dip, but it’s so boring.

Fried tofu

One gets bored of eggs. And you can only eat a single can of tuna per week if you don’t want to over-mercury yourself… so getting enough protein is hard when you’re a lacto-ovo pescatarian-who-is-really-mostly-vegetarian.

But seriously: a huge plate of creamy, gooey noooooodles, with garlic French bread?! And a lovely, light salad? Am I right?!

Or a broccoli-cheddar pot pie with lots of gravy, or a baguette with brie!

Gah!

Oh, well. No refined carbs for me. I guess it’s more omelets.

Feta omelet

Hating holidays is juvenile

February 14th, 2017 | Posted by Mush in Soapbox - (0 Comments)

In which I lecture. (Because fuck it, I pay the hosting fees here AND I CAN.)

You hate holidays. I get it.

You’re woke and clever and can’t be taken in by money-making corporate holidays. You’re totally too smart to fall for any of this shit.

So you reject the few celebrations your culture observes, and deliberately alienate yourself from one of the easiest ways to feel connected with other human beings.

You trot out childish tropes about how giving someone flowers is only meaningful if it happens randomly, rather than on a specific date. You blow off eating celebratory meals with your family. You can’t be bothered to make it to a friend’s birthday party. You think Christmas is too commercial and that decorating as an expression of celebration is tacky.

Well, guess what: you misunderstand human nature to a fantastic degree. Celebration has existed in every human culture ever. We need to celebrate. We’re hard-wired to celebrate.

Are holidays perfect, ideal, without flaw, impossible to improve? No, of course they’re not. Nothing humanity does is perfect, and we all know this. Stop being a twat.

Buy her some fucking flowers. It’ll make you both happy.