In which I’ve read so much socially acceptable male-bashing bullshit online today, I just can’t even.

But I’m going to anyway, and it’s this: what if society was structured with women’s and men’s spheres mostly separate… for a reason? Maybe women domesticated ourselves, just like cats, deliberately.

Also, I’ve been out of school a long time, and don’t really remember how to structure a thesis, so this is a sloppy-ass brain dump.

It started with this diatribe (go read it, and come back) this morning, from a woman who appears to blame men for the fact that she’s never won an award for any of her books? She doesn’t say exactly, but random entities tell her ‘no’ a lot, and ‘sexualize’ (or gender) her, so I assume they’re men, because women are never imperfect unless a man makes them that way. The piece is well-written, quite, but I’ve never heard of her nor any of her published works, and as cream does rise to the top, couldn’t it be possible that she’s just not award-winningly brilliant? It’s not like women don’t get Man Booker and Pulitzer prizes, you know.

Then there’s this next one (click the image to read it). I generally like McSweeneys, but if you’re a man and you ever speak to a woman, compliment her, disagree with her, stand when she enters a room, hold a door for her, or ever make any social judgement mistakes, you’re a fucking monster:

The best thing about feminism right now is hating men and brutally mocking men and all things male, like when men hold open doors or breathe or make mistakes or exist, because by merely existing they’re ogres and hideous, and to brutally mock them is acceptable and widely celebrated and witty and clever, and it’s their fault that we’re not exactly like them with their qualities and leanings and abilities and ambition, because men and women are identical in all ways!

Oh, and the fact that women appear to be less ambitious in the workplace? MEN’S FAULTS:

Alert! It’s entrenched, systematic sexism that women don’t care as much about devoting life and self to work, that we don’t have the identical values as men, that we make different choices and have different goals. Because companies make women less ambitious over time!

There’s no possible way that maybe we just don’t care about work like men do, oh no: anything men can do, we can do better. And if we don’t, IT’S THEIR FAULT, it’s their SEXISM that stops us from being exactly like them!

The pervasive, endemic male-hating is astonishing. Even from males. Here are two males discussing economic policy, taking a break to dis men:

The alt-right unequivocally hates women? Because it’s impossible that A.) the alt-right doesn’t hate women, or that B.) they treat women as equals, and bitch at them and berate them right back because women demanded equality, and they’re giving it to them?

I mean, I’m not defending the totality of “the alt-right,” whatever that really is, but if you want all the rights, risks, and responsibilities men have, it means you do not get preferential treatment because of your sex. It means when you fuck up, they’re gonna treat you like they treat each other when they fuck up. Because that’s what equality is. When you do dumb shit, they’re gonna mock the shit out of you, and you’re not gonna get a pass for being a girl.

And if you’re going to say that “the problem” is, in fact, in the way males treat each other, you’re still male-bashing. Men didn’t demand entrée into womens’ space, we demanded entrée into theirs. Now that we’re here, we don’t get to whine about how male society error-corrects for wrong behavior.

(I begin to think, here. Men didn’t demand that they be allowed to leave their work and come do ours, but they did engineer us out of it. They gave us stoves, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, laundry machines, easy-care fabrics, dry cleaning, blenders, microwaves, preservatives, and the pill. They basically took our work away from us, or at least reduced it a great deal — keeping a home is not trivial, but it certainly isn’t a dawn-til-dusk proposition anymore. They basically drove us into their sphere. So maybe I’m wrong. Maybe we do get to emasculate them so we feel more comfortable among them. Shit, I don’t know, but I’m betting compassion and accountability are probably key, rather than victimhood-as-identity, derision, and rage.)

It’s embarrassing that women demand rights but reject responsibilities, and yet bitches be doin’ it ALL THE TIME. This whole imbalanced, irresponsible, male-bashing ideology is part and parcel of the social fabric right now, and it’s driving me nuts. (Last night I told a male feminist that when a woman puts herself in a dangerous situation and something bad happens it’s her own fault more than anyone else’s, and he said he was too uncomfortable to discuss it. Just the idea that a woman could ever be responsible for her own choices freaked him out, and he’s a feminist. This is how insane it’s getting: to be a feminist is to demand to be absolved of responsibility for their own choices!)

Paglia — love her or hate her, she is a pretty solid thinker — talks about fighting for equality in college in the 70’s. The girls’ dorm had a curfew, girls had to be in by 11PM and girls were looked after and protected not only from the big bad dangerous world, but also from themselves. The boys could do whatever the fuck they wanted because, assumably, they’re hard to traumatize. Paglia says those girls, those women, wanted to take responsibility for themselves, wanted to make their own decisions and accept their own consequences. Wanted the right to make their own decisions, come what may.

Today as you read about the male gaze, and the modern feminist’s discomfort being looked at or spoken to, the vast number of consensual hook-ups she realized in retrospect were rapes, her perpetual fear of society, of being hurt, of being objectified, and her desire to be in spaces free of men, you can’t help but wonder if maybe this is why society was structured that way in the first place. Men and women for much of history had mostly separate spheres. Women had their power, men had theirs; women were spared putting up with masculine jock bullshit, and men were spared getting endlessly bitched at about hurts women inflicted upon themselves.

I did my fare share of fucking around, but now that I’m older, I’m no longer ashamed to say that I know very few women with truly high libidos. Most of us have very little if any use for dick that isn’t attached to a decent human being who is capable of feeling love and keeping his word. The sex positive movement sold me a crock of shit when it told me that I want and need and enjoy sex exactly like men do, because I don’t. I’m thankful for contraception, yes, but not for sex for its own sake on a grand scale. Out-of-context sex is, for most women, satisfying only on the rarest of occasions.

The rest of the time, it results in disappointment, heartbreak, and fatherless children. And these things foment a culture-wide, seething hatred for men because the assholes took our word for it that the sex had no strings attached.

Isn’t it possible that maybe, just maybe, it’s not that men are universally hostile and predatory, so much that women are just not that into living in their sphere with them? Sure, we can have commutes and be head of household and earn a living and work for the weekend, but where’s the evidence that we’re thriving? Mostly we’re just doing it because we have to; and most women are saying that they feel unfulfilled, unhappy, and unsafe.

There are outliers, naturally. Always were, always will be. The Joans of Arc, the women physicists and researchers and astronauts and warriors and firefighters and visionaries. But when basically every female you know, just, you know, kinda feels like shit all the time? Maybe it’s because most of us don’t like living like dudes, doing dude stuff, having dude responsibilities. Being the breadwinner sucks ass, as far as I’m concerned. Let him do it.

We all know at least one man who is neither hostile or predatory, not under any conditions. So it’s easy to extrapolate that to say that most males are just normal human beings who’d love to protect and care for you, if you’d just stop telling them they’re all just one dark alley away from committing the brutal rapes they all carry in their souls.

Just stop it. If soldiers can be socialized to rape, then civilians can be socialized not to. Men, as a group, are no better or worse than women. Some are psychopaths, some are geniuses, most are normal and common and not about to rape you.

I know that for every woman who’d like to stop working, there are a dozen who can’t, because they have to pay the rent and the bills and keep the children well, and still others who enjoy — or believe that they do — their jobs and responsibilities it the public realm. I get that. But if women were happy with their lot in life as it is, why would there be this deep need to vilify and denigrate males?

…Now that men have basically engineered/invented us out of our sphere’s previous domestic work, maybe we should invent another one for ourselves. Running a household doesn’t take much time these days, since “a household” is rarely more than a few people and we have wall-to-wall dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, electric cookers, and can buy canned food from the store any day of the year. So maybe we should focus on, I don’t know, philosophy. Altruism. Eradicating world hunger. Maybe instead of living separately in little homes stuffed full of meaningless shit, we should all live together with less.

Maybe “women’s work” isn’t making dinner, maybe it’s figuring out how to make the most people fulfilled and happy on a global scale, rather than being as “ambitious” as men in corporate settings.

I really do like cooking, though.

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.

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

Current status

February 5th, 2017 | Posted by Mush in Admissions | Domestic Goddess | Food - (0 Comments)

In which it’s Superb Owl Sunday, and I’m not even sure who’s playing!

It’s 1:24 in the afternoon and I’ve already downed this:

Bloody Mary

(It’s a brilliant bloody mary with lots of pickle juice.)

And this:

Tostada

(A mostly-homemade bean tostada of excellent excellence.)

Life is a wonderful — and delicious and tipsy — thing!

I’M AWARE OF MY TONGUE!

January 17th, 2017 | Posted by Mush in Health - (0 Comments)

In which I even googled it.

My tongue feels slightly too large for my mouth. My bite feels like it’s off. My mouth seems to be watering more than usual, but it’s hard to tell because normally I don’t notice how much I’m salivating.

But today I’m super-aware of it.

And it’s driving me nuts! It’s been this way all day today, and some of yesterday, and a few days last week, and I want it to stop!

I think I bit it last night in my sleep. (I have a new teeth-grinding thing I do in my sleep now, according to the hygienist I saw a couple of months ago and my subsequent self-observation. It’s dumb. Sleeping me just grinds the shit out of my teeth. What the fuck, sleeping me? Sometimes I make my own jaw muscles sore. Which is probably contributing to this tongue awareness problem I’m having.)

Since I suffer from neither thyroid problems or allergies and my anxiety is reasonably under control, I’ll just chalk it up to the new teeth-grinding thing and more of the joyful fun that is aging while female.

Perspective: January 13th

January 13th, 2017 | Posted by Mush in Introspection | Life - (0 Comments)

In which there’s a retrospective.

Ten years ago today, I lived in Fairfield, IA, freeloading off of an ex-boyfriend and his girlfriend by staying in their extra bedroom after having made myself homeless by leaving my husband a couple months before. (Well, technically, my ex-boyfriend and I were both freeloading off her, really, since it was her house and I don’t think either of us paid her rent regularly. I did pay sometimes, but not enough, although I did a lot of cooking while I lived there, and some cleaning, too, so hopefully that helped her out some.)

Not specifically from January 13th, but here’s some food I made a decade ago, as proof:

Golden Lentil Soup

She later became my ex-husband’s girlfriend, and I think she may have moved into my old farmhouse with him (I think so because she bought a building in Batavia), and for all I know they’re still together. They were still together as recently as a year ago, from what I can glean from Facebook, and more power to them.

Ten years ago today I was supposed to go bowling for her birthday, but I blew it off because it was cold out and I was probably doing coke. (And eleven years ago today, according to my blog, my ex-husband made me leave her birthday bowling early and go home, because he always did shit like that.)

Ten years ago today I was unemployed, uncertain, and had been unsettled and afraid for years. My marriage had failed to feel safe in any way: financially, emotionally, physically, or sexually. I’d tried so hard, but when I’d left the autumn before, that house was a standing wreck with holes in the walls, I’d had half a dozen miscarriages, and I was in collections several times over.

Five years ago today, I lived in Walla Walla in my grandmother’s attic, and had a gig in the Tri-cities at a biker bar with my band, for which I was probably paid a hundred bucks, and at which I wore a sweater and most likely got drunk.

I was single again, having broken up with a guy I’d dated from work, and pretty much over relationshipping altogether. More trouble that they were worth, relationships were, and always some guy crying at the end, baffled that I didn’t want to put up with his shit forever.

I was ready to be single for the rest of my life, and absolutely comfortable with it. I had a bicycle, an easy job, a bento hobby, and a band that played festivals.

Coyote Kings w/Mush

Today, I live in Minneapolis with a wonderful person who makes me feel safe and cared for, and who laughs at my jokes… when he feels like it. (Which is to say if he doesn’t laugh, it’s not because he doesn’t get it. He gets my jokes.)

Today I woke up cuddling with my beloved and smooched him off to work. I’ve done a mess of dishes, ordered groceries, and made white bean soup in the electric pressure cooker (it smells wonderful).

I’m old and fat. I will definitely get older, and based on how hard it is to lose weight now that I’m 48, will either stay fat or get fatter.

And so it goes.

I don’t know that I’m any more stable now, by certain metrics, than I was five or ten years ago; I’m still poor and depending on someone else for shelter. I haven’t paid rent since the last time I handed my ex-boyfriend’s girlfriend money for letting me stay in her spare room. I’m freeloader as fuck.

I was having trouble finding work then, and it never really got much better. I’ve had jobs since, and I have one now, of course, but I’ve turned out to not be much of an earner. And my jobs have been, for the most part, pretty low-quality.

With the exception of LISCO, I’ve rarely liked working anywhere — one works for money, not fun — and I imagine I liked working there for a variety of reasons (like youth and enthusiasm and the chance to get paid to learn stuff) that I’d have gotten over eventually, had my ex-husband not managed to get me laid off through a combination of asking me to work part-time so I could focus on cleaning up after him, and then having me take an extended LOA to help him “sell roofs” in Indianapolis.

Most of my life’s contributions so far have been of the unpaid variety, like housewifery, so-called “emotional labor” (which, now that I’m in a decent relationship, I can see really means “picking the wrong partner and expecting then to make sense to you when your basic expectations are fundamentally different”), knitting things, writing things, situational comedy, and music (which, while a great hobby, was never enough to live on).

Money just has no interest in me, and yet I manage to be wealthier than a whole portion of humanity. It blows my mind. I mean, it’s not like I could buy a yacht, but indoor plumbing and HVAC and grocery delivery and I have so many clothes I can’t even guesstimate how many outfits I own.

Another form of wealth is that in my current life, I never, ever have to nag my partner. For anything. Ever. (Except the blender.) [Inside joke.] He does what he says he’ll do. If I need anything, I just ask and he does his best, which for the past three years has always been enough if not far more than.

It’s really easy to be with someone whose fundamental expectations of how a relationship should be line up with yours. I used to believe that bullshit about how “relationships are hard work,” but now I think that’s only true if you’re in one that sucks. My ex-husband and I had radically different expectations of marriage, and that’s why it failed. I would never for a moment allow anyone to think I didn’t put in the hard work, because I worked my ass off. He probably did too, in his ways. But no amount of “work” can turn you into fundamentally different people.

It turns out that good relationship is easy, and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. There’s hard work still, but it’s between each of us and life in general, not between each of us and the relationship itself. We don’t have to “work” to take care of one another, it just happens spontaneously. Even if I were still less domestic, even if I were still interested in pursuing a career, this relationship would work. It’s not the details, it’s the expectations.

The only thing that could make my life better than it is right now would be for us to move back to Walla Walla. I miss my family, and I’ve been too lazy to make new friends here. (Well, not just lazy. The weather’s awful a great deal of the time; I think I’m aging out of just going to bars until I meet random people and befriending them; sometimes I spend months on end feeling exhausted and inward because of perimenopause.)

Plus I already have friends! Tons of friends. They just all happen to not be anywhere near where I am right now, which is, as you can imagine, pretty awkward. But hey, what can you do when the love of your life wants to live in Minnesota for now. Just wait it out!