Close enough!

May 16th, 2017 | Posted by Mush in Weather | Whining - (0 Comments)

In which there’s another slightly wonky Android map of my adventures.

I went for a bike ride! Now I’m melting like a bad witch because: heat and humidity!

I felt like I had to go because it’s my day off, the dishes are done, and I sit around inside ALL THE GODDAMNED TIME, because it’s either a blizzard or a sauna out there. (Or I have nowhere to go. But I digress!)

So a bike ride it was, even though it’s 80-something and 70% humidity.

Went to unlock the Schwinn from under the stairs and it had a flat tire, of course. Went to the Marathon on the corner but their air’s off, so had to wait for the light across Lyndale at rush hour to go to Eric’s Bike Shop for air.

They let you borrow a hand pump, the bastards, rather than having a compressor. Plus you have to haul your ride up stairs and through a manual door to get in, which is weird for a bike store. You’d think they’d let you enter with your bike through the level garage door entrance on the side or something, rather than making whoever’s working the front desk hold the door all day long.

Anyway, then I rode along 28th to the Bryant street Greenway ramps and headed back toward my place. Passed it. Exited the Greenway at Nicolette, rode around a bit, moseyed on home, passed it, went down to Lake and turned left, and rode until I finally found the damned Walgreens.

Bought the mini-scrunchies (that’s how thin my hair is now! i buy mini-scrunchies!) and pair of sunglasses that have been on my to-get list for months, put them on, and rode home.

So humid. So hot already. It’s only the middle of May! It’s only bearable if you’re on the bike and moving (which I discovered when I tried to sit on a rock under a tree on the Greenway for awhile). I hope so much that it cools down and acts spring-like for the next four weeks, because this is bullshit!

Rode home. Nobody hit me with their car!

The apartment building itself seems somewhat bearable in the hallways, but my living room is miserable! Stuffy, hot, humid as fuck, just uncomfortable. I love you for supporting all life on earth, Sol, but sometimes you overdo it on this little ol’ brick building I live in! Ha ha!

LUCKILY, THE BEDROOM NOW HAS AN AIR CONDITIONER. So I turned it on high and stripped off and am sitting here in blessed refrigerated air in a cotton bra and prairie skirt and probably will not actually melt. Yay!

Portable air conditioner

Whenever I tell Scott I hate the weather here, he just ignores it like I’m saying I hate TV commercials or something. I don’t think he groks that I legit do not like Midwestern weather, and that this is not merely my third, but my sixteenth (at least!) year living in it, so it’s not just an offhand observation! I really think it’s not the best!

Compared to Walla Walla — a town with the mildest, most pleasant weather on the continent, and all four seasons fairly represented in their time — the weather here does suck! The grass was still brown a month ago, and now Spring’s over! It’s summer! Turn on your A/C! Fuck you!

But he did buy me an air conditioner (which just basically astounds and amazes me), and I suppose since he won’t fucking move to Walla Walla, it’ll have to do. Heh.

Revision (8:53 PM): I went to bring my bike in just before dusk and it was cooler, so I went for another brief ride. Would still be out except I didn’t have my bike lights with me. Sky was doing a Maxfield Parrish thing, and although the humidity is still high it was much nicer!

In which I’m just going to go right ahead and say that maybe the reason women didn’t traditionally run universities was because everybody knew we’d start giving out PhDs in queer vegan comic blogging.

This is another anti-feminist rant. I know, I know, nobody cares. I get that. It’s fine. Listen, I know I’m a bossy, frequently abrasive little twerp, but this?

THIS is a motherfucking DOCTORAL THESIS:

Interviews? COMICS? HOW IS HAVING YOUR FRIENDS DRAW COMICS ANY SORT OF “DOCTORAL RESEARCH”?

Do I care about animal welfare? Fuck yeah, I absolutely do. I “came out” as vegetarian at 19 or 20, and am proud to have not eaten hundreds of entire beef cows, chickens, pigs, and goats in the decades since. Am I aware of the life cycle of the commercial milk cow? Yes, I am, and it’s crap, and don’t even get me started on the calves. But I’m also aware that people in those industries aren’t all brazen assholes, and that we’d have an awfully hard time producing dairy products at current volumes from low-yield, hand-pastured, hand-milked Imaginary Idyllic History cows.

Note how the author writes “twelve (12)”, as if there were a real danger that we, as readers, would be overwhelmed by THE ONLY NUMBER ON THE PAGE. Autoethnography sounds like a nifty science-y word… if you’re an idiot who thinks writing about your subjective feelings is some form of scientific research. It’s not. It’s a diary.

And I’d wager you did little to no historical research into vegetarianism, veganism, and the moral and ethical issue surrounding meat-eating, or, you know, actual ethics, let alone any past or present scientific research into diet and metabolism. If you’ve ever even heard of Jain Dharma, let alone possess an in-depth understanding of their philosophy and the ability to speak intelligently about the meaning of “harmlessness” and renunciation, I’d be pleased for you.

But I’m guessing you chose to turn your diary into comics because you didn’t, don’t, and haven’t.

I’m not anti-diary. I majored in English and I’m very interested in diaries, journals, experiences, inner voices, growth and change. And I’m not anti-blog, either. I’ve been blogging since you were in grade school, and there are some insightful-as-fuck pieces scattered in amongst the self-indulgent, whiny crap on this domain, and I wrote IT ALL.

I’m just pissed that I didn’t get a doctorate for it.

THE POTENTIAL USE OF COMICS IN RESEARCH.

I do not think “research” means what you think it means.

And what the fuck does queerness have to do with diet? I’LL TELL YOU. It informs your choices and causes you to avoid certain foods, increasing your chances of self-inflicted malnutrition, but it does not have any impact whatsoever on what nutrients you actually need to thrive. Digestion doesn’t give a FUCK about how you identify, because it’s an actual thing you could study if you weren’t trying to get a PhD in vegan comics blogs.

I’ve been letting my feelings inform my diet for a long time, way longer than you, so I’m an expert in this shit. I get it. The very concept, the very idea of animal suffering is nearly paralyzing. I remember feeling that way, too. It’s the normal tenderness of youth, for some of us. But with perspective there comes an understanding that everything suffers, everything dies, animal products have always been in our species’ diet, and nobody cares if you do or don’t have some cheese, and even you won’t care about such trivial shit when something truly transformative finally hits your life.

I have no issue, honestly, with people who want to study twee shit like gender theory, and hang out in their little enclaves. Knock yourselves out. But it is not academia. The person who wrote the captioned thesis is obviously not equipped to tell the difference between a feeling and a fact, and yet will believe they’re scientifically qualified when they receive a doctoral degree. Meanwhile, in truth, the one single skill they’ve learned is useless: how to torture the language of the diarist into some ersatz, technical-sounding, empty jargon. This is an absolute failure of education. In a decade, when that candidate realizes they don’t actually know anything, they’re going to be furious, and rightly so.

When a person leaves university they should know facts, actual facts, like how things work and where various things come from, and they should be equipped with the ability to learn more things. They should be able to effectively self-educate, to discern between hard and soft sciences, they should have an understanding of human and natural history, and they should be capable of problem-solving. A PhD in blogging is bullshit, and according to Based Mom we can thank third wave feminism for this cloistered, self-obsessed pseudo-scientific bullshit.

Academic feminism co-opted the language style of scientific papers in order to give their own “research” more gravitas and cachet, and all it did was teach a generation of students how to write impenetrable, unreadable crap. As a life-long reader and a regular writer, seeing so much noise in the signal, in an effort to emulate science, and, by extension, men, just bugs the shit out of me.

As an equality feminist from the 1970s, I am dismayed by this new craze. Women are not children. We are not fragile little birds who can’t cope with jokes, works of art, or controversial speakers. Trigger warnings and safe spaces are an infantilizing setback for feminism—and for women.”

– Christina Hoff Sommers, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

Honestly, if this is what women-run education looks like? I’d rather put those horrible, oppressive white men, you know, the ones who gave us medicine and food preservation, back in charge.

Can you even? I mean, like, the logic is so circular it blows the mind.

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

In which there’s a rant about the joyous experience of aging-while-female.

This piece about perimenopause made me laugh. Especially the line, “Last week, I cried because I saw a high school marching band coming down the street playing Stevie Wonder.” (I sobbed during the end of White Christmas last night, and I’ve seen the damn movie a dozen times. Shit, I nearly cried watching part of an episode of DS9.)

And this fuck-you-menopause rant was pretty great, too, mostly because I too have been asking myself why I feel like shit all the time for the past few years. (Although, to be fair, I don’t feel bad as much as I don’t feel good, if that makes any sense. I’m not in pain or anything, I’m just missing that throbbing vibrant good health of breeding-age hormones.)

I mean, I know there is much room for improvement. My diet’s pretty good most of the time, but not always. (I’m either eating homemade, additive-free soup and home-baked whole wheat sourdough or I’m horking down fries and a Frosty from Wendy’s. Sometimes I live on soup for a couple of days in a row. What the fuck do you want from me.) I definitely need to be more physically active, and, knowing that, I do asanas and mild calisthenics; I go on walks and bike rides (during the three months a year it isn’t 98F with 100% humidity or -11F with a fifteen degree wind chill factor). Sometimes I just do circuits around the apartment building because it sucks ass outside but there’s three storeys and a lot of stairs so it’s a pretty good walk.

But ye gods, this weight gain! The thinning hair! The jowls and the sagging skin! When I take the time to really look at it, I can barely recognize this body as mine. And what, just what the holy fuck has happened to my thighs? They’re horrific! Jiggly and squishy and weird-looking. There are fucking varicose veins appearing on my feet and legs! I HAVE DEAD SKIN ON MY HEELS, for fuck’s sake, AND IT’S GROSS. THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE.

My lovely 33-day menstrual cycle is now down to, what? Twenty-seven days? I have thirteen-and-a-half periods a year now, rather than 11! What bullshit!

And yeah, sometimes I go to pee and it’s a thimbleful. Fuck that; it’s a waste of time and toilet paper.

My nipples now officially point floor-ward. Do I care? No, not really. I mean, my identity isn’t substantially compromised, but yes, yes I fucking do care, because they didn’t used to and now they do and I haven’t done anything wrong and what’s the bloody point of this?

Sometimes I can’t sleep much, which is interesting for someone who spent most of her life having trouble staying wake, but not all that great. I generally use the time to meditate, read, or do chores. But being wide awake for no fucking reason is weird.

And then there’s the intense anxiety, the hammering heartbeat, and the miserable hot flashes. It is possible to be intensely miserable about absolutely nothing, you see, and it fucking SUCKS.

Then there’s the horrible heat intolerance that makes me very nearly incapable of accomplishing anything at all beyond basic metabolism all fucking summer. It has literally made me cry, just being too hot. How stupid is that? You can’t handle a little temperature! Your brain shuts down and in your misery and confusion you cry. You can’t even figure out that what you should do is go get in a cool shower; you just lie there and weep until your fiancee puts you in the truck and drives you around for the better part of an hour with the A/C on full blast and all the vents pointed at you. Eventually your brain boots back up and you say, “I should have taken a cool shower,” and he says, “I suggested that but you said no,” and you think: holy shit, what the fuck is wrong with me? I never used to have problems in hot weather. I never used to have a brain that would go offline, leaving me helpless and stupid.

It’s the subtle changes in nearly everything that just make me feel off, somehow, but not in any, like, emergency medical way, but in a is something wrong? sort of way. Dizziness. Bloating. Joint pain. Tingling extremities. Unexplained fatigue. Brittle nails! It’s a motherfucking laugh riot, this is.

You have no idea how robustly healthy you are until you find you’ve aged out of it. That constant background sense of well-being goes away and you find yourself forever listening for doom.

All the sites say the same shit: stay hydrated. Exercise. Keep a routine. Don’t drink or smoke. (I did quit smoking last spring, but I’m not interested in giving up the wine just yet.) Exercise. Take psych meds. Exercise. Consider hormone therapy if your symptoms are awful. Exercise. Avoid caffeine. Exercise. (One almost senses a trend.)

They also say a lot of stupid shit, even the apparently bona fide medical sites, too, like “take vitamins” or “get acupuncture,” which is troubling, since neither supplements or acupuncture do anything but separate one from her money, but my species is not generally known for its logic.

Let it be known that I am soooo not looking forward to “night sweats,” which is a thing women get, apparently. They sound fucking awful.

Just now I’m feeling more okay than usual, for which I am grateful, and I’m getting cleaning and laundry done while I’m feeling sprightly. But sometimes it’s about all I can do to keep up with the dishes and make the bed every day, let alone exercise or be creative.

Also: not to whine or sound vain, but I want my hair back. This shit on my head now is baby-fine, straight, brittle, and thin. Three years ago it would still curl, if I put product in it and scrunched it under a hair dryer just so; now it’s just straight. It’s like somebody else’s hair altogether. And I color it not because I care about the grey, but because it gives it the tiniest bit of body. So there’s another mystery solved: not only do women my age know exactly what they look like and not give a fuck, but they — we — also aren’t coloring our hair because we think it makes us ‘look younger.’ No. We’re coloring it because Better Living Through Chemistry.

So not only is my face melting off my skull and pooling under my jaw, but my hair is crap, too? I have no waist, my feet are ugly, my hands look old, I feel bad more often than not, my sleep cycles are fucked up, I have hot flashes and anxiety attacks: can’t I at least have nice goddamned hair?!

In which there’s some perspective.

Oil is in everything. Oil is in every single thing you ever use, touch, or buy.

How does food get to the store or farmer’s market? In trucks that are running on gas. How do you carry your food home? In plastic bags. How do you store your leftovers? In plastic containers in plastic fridge interiors sitting on linoleum, laminate wood, or carpeted floors, all three of which are petroleum products.

Your prescription lenses are a petroleum product, your window blinds are a petroleum product, your brassiere is a petroleum product, and every board and nail your house was built with were made with and transported to your property on equipments burning petroleum products.

Your toothbrush is a petroleum product, the materials used to make your shoes and coats are petroleum products, and the plastic clothes hangars in your front coat closet are petroleum products. Nearly all your personal care items are in plastic containers or contain petroleum products.

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It’s easy to get mad about spills and pipelines and fracking, but we have to remember that “the fossil fuel industry” is us. If we’re sick of it, if we want it to change, then we have to change.

We have to demand wooden toothbrushes, woolen coats, fewer cars and more trains. We have to refuse to place every single piece of succulent produce we buy into a thin plastic bag we subsequently throw away. We have to be okay with things arriving at stores unwrapped and possibly in need of cleaning before we can utilize them. We have to bring our own containers for nearly everything, and we have to recycle the shit out of what’s left.

We have to demand less plastic in all packaging, from bed linen sets to hummus to children’s toys. We have to quit buying baggies and Tupperware and Saran wrap, and re-use the stuff we already have. We have to quit buying plastic plates and forks and Solo cups for BBQs and camping.

We have to quit buying disposable crap. We have to demand that our appliances be repairable, long-term investments, rather than engineered to fail in 18 months.

We have to buy fewer cell phones. We have to keep our computers longer. We have to walk more and drive less. We have to quit ordering take-out and eat in, on dishes, instead. We have to demand paper wrapping for our drive-thru foods.

We need to stop buying individual beverage servings; everything in those cold cases in gas stations has to stop. Buy fountain drinks only, in paper cups or a reusable container you brought with you, or STFU.

We absolutely must stop buying bottled water. There used to be drinking fountains all over the place. Bring them back.

We also have to be willing to accept things that aren’t quite as good. Wooden toothbrushes are porous and capable of harboring germs. Woolen coats aren’t waterproof and compared to modern synthetics are heavy and bulky. Paper bags fall apart in the rain. Leather shoes are cold and they leak. Real rubber degrades in sunlight. Shake shingles don’t last as long.

These massive oil spills are not just happening in a vacuum. The fossil fuel industry exists because we buy their wares, and we buy them all day long, every single day.

Americans consume petroleum products at a rate of three-and-a-half gallons of oil and more than 250 cubic feet of natural gas per day each.

Every latte lid, every drinking straw, every produce bag, every cell phone, every oscillating floor fan. Every quick little errand in the car, every elective surgery, every bottle of herbal supplements or tube of organic moisturizer.

Every plastic laundry basket, every pair of Fiskars, every casserole dish lid. Every bottle of liquid laundry or dish soap, every bottle of shampoo and conditioner, every shower shell, every vinyl floor tile, every set of speakers, every stick of deodorant. Every hand tool, every automobile, every plush toy, every microfiber throw, every Rubbermaid storage bin, every USB cable and extension cord and surge protector bar.

Even if you ride your bike to the greenhouse for a bouquet of fresh flowers, your bike was built with petroleum products and the greenhouse’s mulch and seeds were brought in on trucks.

Here is a picture of a long line of people standing on a beach protesting fossil fuels:

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Swimwear and flipflops? Petroleum products. Lotions, sunglasses, SPF cream? Petroleum products. Ice chests and parasols? Beach towels and plastic zippers? Nylon rope, surf boards? All petroleum products.

Everything in your medicine cabinet and under your kitchen sink: petroleum products. The kiddie pool, the lawn hose, the patio furniture: petroleum products.

It’s not that I don’t think massive spills aren’t a problem. I do. But we need to change the market if we want to change big oil; there’s no other way to reduce these risks or to reduce or stop fracking.

Oil is in everything. You use three gallons a day just sitting on your [synthetic and therefore petroleum product-containing] couch doing nothing but looking at your petroleum product-containing TV, the channels of which you change with your petroleum product-containing remote. When you get up to have some eggs, you cook them in your petroleum product-containing pan, and top them with cheese that came out of a petroleum product-containing package. When you go to wash your plate, you use a kitchen sponge made of petroleum products.

“The fossil fuel industry” is us. If we’re sick of it, if we want it to change, then we have to change.

In which I’m ranting about “rape culture” yet again.

Rape culture doesn’t exist.

No matter how many articles you see about it, it still doesn’t exist. There was a national hysteria in the 80’s about an underground ring of satanic day care centers, where American children were being sodomized by the thousands. That didn’t exist either.

Back then the battle cry was, “We believe the children!” because only an asshole wouldn’t protect children. Now we “believe” the women, but the boogey man is equally unreal.

If you go look up the study that the 1-in-5 allegation was based on, you’ll find that even THE STUDY’S AUTHORS THEMSELVES say that it was never meant to be used this way. Not to mention that the methodology was ridiculous and biased, and basically all of the sexual contact reported was counted as rape or assault whether the respondant thought so herself or not.

Do you really think that all sexual contact is rape or assault? Really?

Seriously, gentlemen, just stop and THINK ABOUT IT for a minute. If 20% of women were getting raped, you wouldn’t be online right now. You’d be out with a baseball bat fighting men off of your mothers and sisters and daughters in the very streets. After all, it takes a long time to rape 31,400,000 women.

Rape culture was manufactured. Probably by college feminists for their own grant-generating agenda. Who knows. I don’t know, but I do know it’s a massive goddamned waste of time and attention.

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The snake analogy is utterly ridiculous and lacks intellectual rigor on every conceivable level. Snakes are animals, and they behave instinctively. Men are humans and have brains that are orders of magnitude more complicated than snakes’ brains. The snake analogy is straight-up sexism because if I can judge all men by their dicks, I can judge all blacks by their melanin, and all idiots by their IQs.

Men have become so soft now that they just accept brutal sexism — from one of their own! — without even a whimper. (There are few things more incorrect-seeming than the self-loathing modern male feminist.)

Feminism is now making men hate themselves for their masculinity. HOW IS THIS A BEAUTIFUL, RIGHTEOUS SOCIAL MOVEMENT?! It’s fucking not. It’s a disaster. It’s hateful, it’s ugly, it’s whiny, and it’s childish. There’s no academic rigor; it’s just a bunch of complaining about being rich and Western and how awful it is when you’re and public and men look at you. These women honestly believe that the world owes them perfect comfort and perfect safety, and that their feelings of discomfort are exactly like what Malala went through.

And the duh moment: the idea that men should police their own sex, particularly in the protection of women, has existed as long as men have existed! (See: nearly everything men have ever done, ever.)

Why are we letting idiots write articles? (Yeah, yeah, it’s HuffPo. They’ll let anybody post anything.)

As a woman, I think mens’ desire to help and protect women would be better served if it were based on facts and evidence rather than hysterical press. I also wish that they’d hold both themselves and women to a higher standard of truth.

This ‘rape culture’ hysteria distracts from real issues, like the fact that ISIL just burned a bunch of sex slaves to death in public. Let me say that again: they took a group of women and lit them on motherfucking fire and burned them until they were dead. THAT is a women’s issue. THAT is where our attention should be. THAT is what feminism should be working on, not making boys ashamed of their sex.

White chicks “feeling uncomfortable” when men look at them, or walk past them, or speak? IS FUCKING NONSENSE. White chicks are the safest, most educated, freest, and most privileged class IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. They — we — are not victims, and letting us tell you we are is a disservice to us all.

Rape culture is a lie. Kill it with fire.