Francis-stein

Allowed that despair to overtake me yesterday. Just for a moment or two. Enough time to sob deeply and feel a tear drop from my eye. Then I shook myself, sighed, and went to the gym.

Exercise has become a time waster. A thing to keep me from smoking. Not a thing I enjoy. Not a thing I do to get in shape or lose weight. Just a thing that keeps me out of the house, away from my ashtray. The goal is to spend as much of the afternoon at the gym as possible.

Hope to tire myself out. Get back here and almost fall asleep for the rest of the day. Wouldn’t need to smoke then. Wouldn’t need to do anything, other than chill.

Doesn’t quite work, of course. The more I do, the better shape I’m in, the longer it takes to tire me out. Half hour on the cross trainer. Half hour on the treadmill. Half hour on the bikes. Half hour on the free weights. Was surprised all evening long. Kept expecting my eyes to close while watching tv. Nope. Wide awake.

Telling myself I shouldn’t feel all wimpy and weak. My stamina has improved. I’ve moved up settings on everything, including heavier free weights because a 15 year old BOY had to go and pick up the lightest free weights in the gym to exercise. Really, kid? I didn’t want to, but I picked up the 4 kilo weights and started working – after I shot him a dirty look. He’s a healthy BOY CHILD and should be working harder. I’m an OLD WOMAN and should be working less.

Gave a lot of thought to what I wrote about yesterday. Thought so much about it I think I might have handled one of those disagreement points better than usual. It came up in conversation. I could hear it in our words and the slightly harder edge in my brother’s voice. My head said ‘this is one of those times when he feels you’re not hearing him’. So I stopped trying to get my point across. I acknowledged what he said ‘I hear you, and agree’. I dropped the pitch and volume of my voice. And I heard him stumble a moment, expecting a fight and getting none. Then he dropped his voice volume and tone, and suddenly that horrible argument moment was over and done with without our getting into a shouting and/or blaming match.

….And no, it didn’t escape me that in handling and defusing the situation I had zero opportunity to speak my own mind. That could be an issue, so I hope nothing too important comes up. This whole thing began in part because I feel un-listened to. While I’m very pleased to have no arguments or bad feelings to overcome this morning, as far as the subject goes my brother has NO IDEA HOW I FEEL ABOUT IT. He’s assuming I feel one way or another because I haven’t spoken up. But I can’t speak up without causing an argument. And I can’t prevent and argument AND speak up. That’s two conflicting things for me. Either I concentrate on keeping the peace or I speak my mind. And if I continually choose to keep the peace, I end up feeling like my opinions and thoughts don’t matter anyway – which is exactly what started the whole fucking thing in the first place.

Why does this shit always fall to women? I never hear men talk about compromising themselves in order to keep the peace with someone. NEVER. They just bulldoze over. Me, me, me. Hear me. Listen to me. Honor MY fucking opinion. Oh, you have one too? Well, that’s just silly. You should think like me. You do, don’t you? Oh…you don’t? What’s wrong with you?

Round and round. Get ready, women. If you haven’t hit this shit in life yet, prepare yourself. It’s gonna happen, and you’ll be blamed no matter what you do. It’s what men do. How they react. It’s their fragile male egos, which we pamper and coddle because some of us like to get penises shoved up our vaginas. Or maybe all of you put up with it because you think you need men. We don’t, you know. Plenty of sperm in the sperm banks. We can kill every man on this planet and be just fine. Better than fine, with their male egos out of the way. We can make real peace, real change. And never, ever let another person with a penis think they’re better than us. Never, ever let them take over again. Return to a matriarchal society. Burn every book that uses ‘he’ as a gender neutral pronoun or ‘mankind’ to describe humanity. Destroy every testosterone driven film. And yes, cut off all the dicks of every male ever born because frankly I’d find it cathartic.

Right about now is the time when some man usually pops up and asks ‘are you a dyke?’

No, for the record, I’m straight. I just see men the way they really are. Oh, got a problem with that? Can’t reconcile the idea of a strong willed woman who’s not gay? You are so immature.

But that, of course, is just another male put down. Oh, if a woman has a strong opinion, she must be a lesbian. Regular women don’t talk like that. Real women don’t think like that. I’m rolling my eyes as I type.

No wonder I remained single all my life. Sure, part of it was choice. Part of it wasn’t. No one ever wanted to spend their life with me. And I suppose that’s got to do with having a strong opinion. Dad told me long ago that I’d scare men off. Too smart, too opinionated, too outspoken.

Odd, then, because he’s the man who made me this way. Encouraged me to think, to debate, to challenge his viewpoint at every opportunity.

I feel like a freak. Some Francis-stein that’s half modern woman and half old fashioned lady. Don’t know where I fit in, don’t know HOW to fit in.

Some days I hate being a woman

Woke up to a blessedly cool 15 degrees. Such a big difference in temperature I needed a hoodie on to feel comfortable. It’s supposed to heat right back up to 31 today, but for now the air is cool with that hint of fallen-dew smell, and I feel if it stayed like THIS all summer, I could be a happy person.

Rehearsal last night. Surprise: my acting partner came home from holiday early and showed up for last night’s work. MUCH better. I like working with my director, but I need to pick up the timing and habits of my acting partner. And the director needs to see both of us interact in order to do his job. One-upped my partner (and for all I know, everyone else working on this play) by having my lines memorized so well that when we began the run thru I didn’t need the script – which the director noted with a smile. Disagreed on a minor point of dialogue; the director feels a few of my lines are all double entendre. I disagree; a person may use double entendre, but for a whole paragraph? Didn’t feel right to me, but he’s the director so I’m delivering the lines the way he wants them done.

Learned something, too. There’s a short bit in the scene where I notice a photograph that’s been cut in two. I’d been playing it exactly the way I’d react – when my partner talks about it being his ex who left him for a guy on holiday, I widened my eyes in shock and concern. HOWEVER, I was told cutting people out of photos is now a normal thing to do. Everybody does it. It’s not a sign of psychosis and I shouldn’t have any concern or fear over it. …Really? Have things got that bad out there? I was taught that behavior was wrong, wrong, wrong. A sign of immaturity. An inability to deal with anger. Something to fear: someone who’d do that might snap and pick up a gun at any moment. And now it’s “normal”. Accepted behavior.

Dear Goddess! What are you people thinking?

…And it’s no wonder we have so many mass shootings. So much violence. If you think THAT’S fucking normal…!

*sigh* Gotta say, it’s nice to be back on my blog. A place where no one can interrupt or override me. The real world ain’t that nice. Felt like I had a big dose of that last night, as well. There came a time near the end when my partner and the director began discussing the education system here – something both have worked in. Something I know nothing about. So there was a long lag when I had nothing to say, nothing was said to me, and any attempt of mine to add in a thought or statement was talked right over. Then I got home, tried to talk about it to my bro – who interrupted me and overrode my line of thought, interjecting with HIS night, HIS work, HIS thoughts. I did what I always do: clam up. If I’m not important enough to be listened to, fuck you. You don’t get to know anything about me. But then, as ALWAYS, I’ll be blamed for ‘putting up walls and not letting anyone in’. What a fucking load of twat! And sorry, but this SHIT always comes from MEN. Can’t quite shake the feeling it’s all chauvinistic bullshit from the start.

Yeah, there’s quite a bit of anger in me today. Had to read another article about burkinis from a man’s perspective. Piss the fuck off!

Does not help I was told last night I look 40 something. I should be pleased, right? It’s still 10 years junior my actual age. Instead, I find my ego punctured and deflated. What? I don’t look 30 anymore? Fu-u-uck! Horrible to feel so torn – to want (at the moment) every man’s penis to fucking fall off and rot, yet still want to look young and attractive.

Some days I hate being a woman.

Just a person

Am I the only woman on the face of the planet who thinks running ‘women only’ blogs or competitions ‘in support of female whatevers’ is detrimental to equality? Do we not declare that yes, we are unequal and we need extra help in order to compete in the real world by participating in these things?

By the Goddess, judge me on my work, not on my sex!

What a sad situation. I participate in these things to try and get my work read and noticed. I hope for the best. Yet I grit my teeth as I submit (truly, in every sense of the word) to this male-dominated ‘we are victims’ ideology.

Many a time I’ve submitted as a male, or as an unknown quantity (always the best) by using my initials only. Fallback is to assume I’m a man: again, I view that as a compliment. They don’t see me as a female writer, oh, please! Read my pitiful work and give me a nod because I’m a woman and I need it. No. Straight up addressed to “Mister”.

And what the FUCK is chick lit? Puh-leaze! Another male dominated term used to belittle anything with women or women’s issues as the focus. Suck it up, guys: as women, we’re expected to read and admire many pieces of literature with men as main characters (even the current Harry Potter series chose a boy to focus on, NOT a girl). Tit for tat. Deal.

But, no! Never has there been a more whining minority than that of men. Oh, we can’t read that; it’s for girls. Chick lit. Discount.

I can’t fucking write that. I can’t even fucking deal with the idea of a ‘chick lit’ category.

Managed to take care of all those traditionally female jobs in the household: dishes, laundry, hoovering, dusting, shopping. I do these things despite the stereotype, despite everything in me thinking good Goddess, I’m supporting all the bullshit chauvinists spout because I can’t wrap my head around the idea that keeping your personal space clean is a women’s only thing. It’s not. It’s a health thing. But let’s face it: if you live with anyone else, it’s also a support issue. Helping out people around you by keeping things clean, making their lives easier – that’s just caring and common decency, right? Or am I really fucked in the head?

What’s so difficult about being decent people?

What’s there to belittle or discount?

Do you see me? I’m a person. Can you hear me? I’m human. What’s it matter what set of sexual organs chance saw fit to equip me with?

All this bullshit makes me sick. Makes me wish I was sexless. No sex organs whatsoever. Not male, not female, not stuck somewhere in-between.

Just a person.

The Bad, The Ugly, and The Good

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Been working on my script, doing spring cleaning, even managed to get out for a walk during the spring-iest spring day we’ve had so far.

Also feeling fat, worthless, and that nothing I do matters anyway.

The Bad: The ringing in my left ear is down a bit, at least to the point that now I’m sure I’ve got ringing in my right ear as well. I can hear things – it’s a lot like listening to a crappy little AM radio, tho: tinny, high end, and ugly, ugly sound. Tried my iPod the other day and it sounded so shitty I just put the iPod away on a shelf for now.

I miss bass. Thumping, deep, soul shaking bass. Of all sound frequencies, the deep rumble of a good bass is what gets me going. It moves me, it vibrates me, it makes me feel better. The high end doesn’t have the same effect. Music is pleasant, but only pleasant in the manner that sun on your back on a spring day is pleasant; a bit is okay, but you can live without it and too much isn’t nice at all.

The dizziness is ongoing. Just when I think maybe it’s better, I bend over or twist my torso and everything goes wonky. I experience a moment when I feel I’m falling, even if I’m not. Over and over again: put my head on the pillow and I fall 12 feet, turn around too fast and I fall 5 feet. Almost think like I should go bungie jump just to remind myself what falling really feels like.

The Ugly: My brother’s autistic quirks have all focused on one thing: his music theory writing. He’s been doing it a long time, and is finally working on pulling together all his tidbits into a book. A book I hear about 24/7 – me, the writer. I hear about how my brother thinks it will sell. I hear about maybe some publishing house picking it up. I hear about how difficult it is to sit in front of a computer and churn out the writing itself. How the layout is tough. How he needs me to proofread. All in all, the topic of my brother’s book is THE topic in the household, and sets everything – me, my health, my own writing – a distant concern.

He’s so caught up in his book that he didn’t even ask me how my appointment with the doctor went the other day.

Sometimes he won’t even let me complete a thought about my work. He cuts me off mid-sentence to tell me something else about his graphics or his writing or his layout frustrations.

It’s not helping.

I’m headed out back into life this week, come hell or high water. Fuck the dizziness; I’m going to the gym and if I fall and die on one of those machines I only hope the gym pays out for my fucking funeral. I’m going back to class, too, and screw the deafness. I’ll ask ‘what’ a thousand times over rather than sit here one more fucking day, alone with my thoughts.

I’ve had enough.

My mind is made up regarding the theatre group as well. IF I hear from them again (no guarantee in my mind), I’ll go to their meetings, I’ll participate in their silly warm-up exercises, I’ll audition for a role. I’m also going to pull together my own group to help me with my script ideas and just have fun. The theatre group’s loose scheduling isn’t good enough for me. We don’t meet often enough, don’t get to participate in actual acting opportunities enough, don’t move fast enough. I don’t plan on actually starting a theatre group. But people interested in acting, who want to have a bit more social interaction and group fun, coming together every week to act something out or read something aloud or improv a scene – yes, that I want to create.

That, I need.

The Good: I’m pleased with the work I’ve accomplished. The spring cleaning was needed, and you’re never really aware how much cleanliness affects you until you get things polished up. It’s subtle, I’ll give you that. The gleam and shine on everything, just out of the corner of your eye – it cheers me. The script is turning into something more than interesting. I’m pleased with how often I find the female references a bit grating; that’s the point in switching them. Listen up, boys. This is the type of thing we hear all time. Decided I’ll take it to the next level and remove every gender reference. I want to find out how it reads completely sterile. But I’ll work on a duplicate file, and save this version. Not sure which version will end up being ‘the one’.

Fin.

Thankful

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There are plenty of times I accept the old adage it’ll get a lot worse before it gets better. The disarray that a large scale cleaning project brings, the slogging work of trying to lose those last five pounds – been there, done that. But I did not expect to experience the workings of that old adage with my head.

The last 24 hours I’ve experienced some of the worst sinus headaches of my life. Pain around my eyes, pulsing at my temples, radiating down my neck and into my shoulders. Stuffiness on a scale I only get during the worst of sinus infections. Coughing, drainage – you name it, I got it. And the dizziness is worse.

Give me a weak laugh because this is me getting well.

My bro expects me to get out of the house today and meet him downtown for a Turkish pizza. I don’t want to disappoint him; he’s been talking about Turkish pizza since our favorite place went down for renovations (it’s open again, so now there’s urgency in his talk). But if I get socked with more of what I had last night, I hesitate to go out. My goal this morning is to ride out the day between codeine pain killers and smoke, doing my best to ease my own discomfort without sending me to sleep. We’ll see how well I do.

Back to script writing. My idea to gender bend the last script set me on fire. As I went thru my writing, modifying the he’s to she’s and him’s to her’s, I began to get a real sense of what I was creating. A lot of what I had in the original script stands, but some I have to write from scratch. This piece is not fantasy; it is not set in a reality where men can get pregnant (which is a problem because pregnancy jokes were a big part of the original). Not doing that. But the rest is getting flipped, even down to substituting ‘goddess’ for ‘god’ every single time, and ‘gals’ for ‘guys’. The point of doing this is to emphasize how our every day language, particularly the way it’s used in the US, is male orientated – and I’m doing that by flipping the references. I figure if anyone gets annoyed by hearing ‘goddessdamn it’ rather than ‘goddamn it’, I’m hitting my mark. But throughout my notes, particularly to the actors, I need to make it clear that this needs to be played absolutely 100% straight. The men, tho shown as caretakers and generally submissive to the females, can NOT be effeminate. The women, tho shown as blunt and abrasive, can NOT be masculine. These people simple are what they are. The behavior they express seems outrageous now: where once I had the father harping on about checking the oil in your car, now the mother is doing it – and it shows how strange that behavior is. The crassness of what was a brother and now is a sister seems doubly crass. The worry and control exhibited by what once was the mother and now is the father almost feels over the top.

And how strange to have my characters keep saying ‘daughter’. Hearing parents refer to their male children as ‘son’ is fairly common, but hearing them refer to their female children as ‘daughter’ is weird.

The cultural references I sprinkled throughout the script are tough to switch up, too. Not many female counterparts to reference, and most are not as well known.

Most of all, this work is an eye opener to me regarding how rigidly my own mind is set in male dominated roles and labels.

Other notes on the script: I’m tossing any reference to dates. This piece shouldn’t be shackled by any particular decade in human history. Actor direction has to include a bit on make-up. I want the actors to use make-up but only to the extent a male would: a bit of foundation, some powder, maybe a hint of blush under the lights, but that’s it. Only one character should wear any other make-up, and that’s a male – but only to the extent of some eyeliner and maybe a bit more blusher. These are people and just people; the paint shouldn’t reflect any particular sub-set of people.

I’ve even thought about the idea of doing as sexless as possible. Removing all references to ‘wife’ or ‘husband’, ‘he’ or ‘she’. I might still write a version like that.

…Whatever ick I feel over this illness is offset by my re-ignited enthusiasm for the script. And for that, I’m thankful.

Shrinky-dink

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What a thing to open my email and have half a dozen GUARANTEED COCK ENHANCER advertisements pop up and glare at me like some fucking porno film charges on your hotel bill. You can’t ignore it. Unfortunately, I also cannot delete them without first marking them as spam, so for a split second I get the full monty on my screen and my head registers that even if I don’t look directly at them. Goddess, I’d like to cut the balls off of everyone who sells my email address. How’s that for a guaranteed cock enhancer? Snippety-snip.

No worries, men. I do NOT have the urge to go Bobbitt on your asses. Not at the moment.

I am amused, as a woman, to see that kind of targeted advertising come in on my ‘male’ persona email address. If you don’t have an email address registering you as a member of the opposite sex, I suggest you remedy that right now. You’ll find a very interesting mix of stuff come thru. I did it to stop the dickheads of the world discriminating against me just because of my vagina, but it’s become a real learning experience. Not only do I get the cock enhancement ads, there’s also all the ‘make your woman cream herself’ ads and then a fair share of auto and financial advertisements. My female persona email addresses receive none of this; only the male one. Sad to see that men are supposed to think about (1) their cock (2) pleasing their sexual partner (3) their car and (4) money. In that order. If you’re a man doing this, I’m sure you’ll get the opposite; woman are supposed to think about (1) their weight (2) their breasts (3) their diet and (4) their weight. Weight comes in twice because it’s that big a deal. And you’ll notice the stuff geared towards women is completely about our bodies. We just don’t have the brain power necessary to think about stuff like finances, oh no! That’s what we got you MEN for in our lives, right? *batts eyelashes like a fucking airhead until she pukes*

Ugh.

Spent a fair share of time yesterday going thru my posts and making notes for Yoda. That was a slightly nauseating experience. Useful, yes. I now have my ‘up’ days and my ‘down’ days noted since I last saw him. I also had to cull through my own repetitions, the back and forth saying the same thing to myself in slightly different manners. The last 30 days have got me stuck in a few ruts, and that’s mostly due to Heike’s poor steering. Yes, I’m gonna lay that right on her shoulders. She’s the one who brought in the calendar, she’s the one who asked me how I was gonna stop smoking, she’s the one who’s told me she can’t take me seriously (in effect) because I’m not down to my ‘real’ emotions. Thirty days ago I posted after seeing Yoda with a reminder to myself that he didn’t want me to quit smoking, didn’t even think I should consider it right now. The remaining posts show a gradual wearing away of that thought under the peer pressure I’ve felt from my therapist. HELLS BELLS! I just fucking said it – I get fucking peer pressure from my therapist. Holy fucking shit. And I’m right about it, too.

Didn’t do anything yesterday that would have been on Heike’s list of ‘things to do while trying to quit smoking’. I didn’t do the dishes (my bro did), I didn’t make my bed, I didn’t take a walk or go outside, I didn’t even get out of my pjs. I sat on my ass all day long, watched films, smoked as I bloody well pleased, and didn’t give a shit about what I ‘should be’ doing. It was fucking great! I so needed it. Slept better and longer than I have lately.

*sigh* I accept my RA is out of control again, despite the last huge booster shot I got barely two months ago. Blame the weather, blame my increased activity. Don’t care. Just need it managed. It’s almost useless to call for an earlier appointment; my new rheumatologist is only available at my location on Fridays and my appointment is now only four Fridays away. So I’ll tough it out. I can still walk easily, and in my book if my brother doesn’t have to help me on and off the toilet, it’s a good day. I just can’t do eight hours of activity to save my life. Still at that half life stage, about four or five hours before I just can’t go on.

The only constant that’s stuck with me through the last 30 days and is still here by my side is the idea of being kind to myself. Still figuring out what that means. Still catching the sadistic side of my nature berating myself or wanting to hurt me in one fashion or another. But that sadist looks less and less like my mother or sister in my head, and more and more like me. That tells me I’m accepting control in one way or another. I’m doing it; I can turn it off – once I learn how. Right now I have to attack it with logic and mantras, smoke and an occasional Ativan. One day I hope it just fades away.

I’d like to stay here, in my safe cocoon behind my computer, J in hand, coffee by my side, until my 4 p.m. Friday appointment with Yoda. Can’t do that. And my Wednesday appointment with Heike (she’s guaranteed to keep it due to where I’m at emotionally) looms like a dark thing, wanting to make my week look nasty and hard to get thru. But the bright outweighs the dark; I’ll be getting fitted for my new shoes tomorrow, I’ve got two swim times planned this week, and we’re off from language class so I’ve got extra time to do whatever I please. Take that picture in my head of my appointment with Heike and shrink it down. Squeeze it into a tiny box. Turn down the volume. Take the high end off the sound. It’s a small thing.

Just a shrinky-dink.

A full life, indeed

I noticed the extra little ledge of fat on my butt is gone. It was hanging there in back like some bad remodeling add to my ass; didn’t quite match the rest of my butt and stuck out in the air. It be gone, now. Don’t know when it went splitsville, but return to sender ’cause it ain’t on MY ass any more, baby!

My upper arms are another matter. I think the extra flesh there would cover a good sized window. An exaggeration, no doubt. My arms aren’t that big. But I FEEL like they are; I FEEL like they’re giant bat wings ready to spread and fly my ass off to Witch Mountain or something. And my thighs, oh! my thighs. Cellulite ridden complete with extra love handles on the outer edges to bulge my pants all that more when I walk. Blah! I’m waaaaay beyond the fucking mini skirt stage.

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Today I woke up with a headache already begun. It’s a touch and go thing caused by my neck problems. I can tell; move my neck to a certain balance point and the pain eases. Unfortunately that balance point is hard for me to maintain and it looks weird to boot. So I’m gonna get flashes of intense pain in my head today. Fucking GREAT!

My shelves are sitting in the hallway with one side painted bright yellow. Yellow is a new thing for me. Last year when I fell into the horrible 12 week pit of depression caused by going cold turkey off my anti-depressant I scrambled to do anything and everything to help myself. Part of my ‘cure’ was simple color therapy. I’d fallen into the habit of gathering muted earth tones around me, and my wardrobe was mostly black. My room is micro-tiny: I can’t open the door all the way because my bed is in the way. So I decided to pump my life full of bright color to try and lift my mood. I’ve got bright yellow trim, a bright lime green window shade, rose-red sheets, and a bright blue duvet cover. I want to add orange and purple. No patterns, just huge blocks of color. I also ditched a lot of clothes and bought the brightest colors I could find as replacements. Yeah, it’s all just t-shirts and hoodies right now. So what? I’m a fucking punk even tho I am tottering around in this aging fucking body. I’ll wear a goddamn hoodie in my fucking casket!

Yesterday I started my post off with a silly 4 line ditty in my head. It came complete with music and a dance, btw. Really haunted me. And I kept thinking, would I really? Would I really go thru a sex change? The answer is no, of course. If I felt that way about it, I’d be looking at it now. I HAVE envied men in the past. Mostly their ability to write their names in the snow. Other than that, I can’t see a lot of difference between what a man is and what a woman is. My credo: I am an artist first, a person second, a woman third. Been that way for at least 2 decades now and it’s the only thing that really makes sense to me. For a brief time I put being a woman ahead of all the rest. It made me terribly unhappy. I screwed a lot of men. I overate. I drank too much. I tried a lot of drugs. I never did anything with my life because to me being a woman = having babies and I sure as hell didn’t want a fucking baby so what did that make me, a slut? A whore? An easy lay ’cause she’d never pop one out? Well, I tried on all those labels. I was condemned by my family for doing it – altho my biological brother had the same promiscuity and he was not vilified in the same manner. Oh, yeah, I was living it. I was doing the whole sexually free not going to be tied down with kids thing. It was a lie. An empty lie designed to keep me from doing what I wanted to do. I tried to fit into this model of what a woman was: I wore makeup, I did my hair. I wore perfume and dresses. I flirted. I dated. I even hinted I wanted to be married to a couple of guys. I am SO glad none of them took me up on it! Good goddess I’d make a terrible wife. And an even worse mother!

None of the above should imply I don’t enjoy getting dolled up every now and then. I DO. I also like to act like a ‘guy’: I cuss and fart and smoke too much. I like raunchy jokes and toilet humor cracks me up to no end. I like getting behind the wheel of a fast car and revving the engine. And I adore John Wayne films.

I’m comfortable in my skin now. I’m past menopause so no more monthly cramps and all the hell that comes with that. I laugh more when a guy comes on to me: I find it amusing now. I’m amazed at watching other women body check me and seeing their judgements written all over their faces (no, ladies, you’re not good at hiding it). I’m at that wonderful age – even if I don’t look it – when I can say whatever the fuck I’m thinking because I’m an old fucking woman. How freeing! If I think a guy’s acting like a cock, I’ll tell him. I don’t care if he doesn’t want to kiss me later! If I hear a woman being a bitch I call her out and I don’t GIVE a shit what she ends up thinking of me. I’m fully aware I’m in the final decades of this carbon based form, so watch the fuck out ’cause I’m done shoveling the shit with the rest of you.

Ah, how brave of me this morning. My mood matches the weather: as I’ve been writing a thunderstorm has moved in with magnificent lightening strikes.

I keep thinking about a kid I met when I was in my early 20s. I was doing a stint for a landlord and putting in some flowers at a building on the east side. Saw 3 kids walking down the sidewalk: 2 were picking on one. I listened, I watched, I said nothing. The second day it happened I got up and confronted the bullies. I laid into them with the wrath of holy hell, putting all the rage I felt as a helpless kid into my tirade. They ran. And I was left with a puddle of thankfulness that didn’t want to leave my side, that invited me in to dinner to meet his mom. If I can do that one more time for one more person….well, my view this morning is that I’ll have lived a full life, indeed.