Wednesday, December 3, 2014

History, Herstory

Only time will tell what momentous events stand out in history.  For instance, it appears that the assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy are big deals, while the assassinations of Garfield and....whatshisname, not so much.   McKinley!  That's who it was, McKinley.  But I think you get my point.
That even holds true with wars.  WWI and WWII are memorable, but almost no one talks about the War of the Roses anymore.  (Not even the movie.  Which wasn't bad.  Didn't see that whole chandelier thing coming.  Oops, sorry, spoiler alert!)
At the end of the day (I am using that phrase as a metaphor for when you're dying.  I thought I'd explain that for any Asbergery-types that may be reading this.), I think what really matters is your own personal history--the people and events that impacted you, helped define who you are and how you view life.   And sometimes historical events end up influencing that as well.
I was in high school when the Vietnam War protests started and, in my own small way, I supported the protest.  I wore a black armband to school and refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.   Rebel Lite.  I didn't get in trouble for this--I was a Theatre Kid, and everyone knows they're Weird.  My parents were confused, more than anything.  But then, they never understood me and didn't feel the need to.  They figured my liberal leanings were a passing phase, like when I was in seventh grade and thought I was John Lennon.  So they just let me alone.  Irish Parenting. 
Anyroad, those liberal leanings stuck.  I still believe in peace and equality, even if those things are as elusive as unicorns and a comfortable bra.  I just don't have the emotional energy to be vocal about it anymore.  Also, due to my current employment status, I have to keep my mouth shut so the kibble and beer may continue to flow at Maison de Debala. 
But of all the Momentous Historical Moments I might see in my lifetime, the one that would make me the happiest, (other than scientists determining that Hot Fudge Sundaes are an essential part of a nutritionally balanced breakfast) is if women were finally universally not seen as inferior.  That, all over the world, they could get any education and job they wanted.  They could wear whatever clothes they wanted, and feel free to say whatever was on their mind.  And that the entire world held the belief that a woman's mind, despite the fact that it is encased in a body that bleeds once a month, and pushes out tiny humans on occasion (or not), is every bit as intelligent and worthy of respect as the minds that are encased in the bodies with dangly bits between their legs.   That is my dream.
Hey, it ain't no MLK, but what do you expect from a Weird Theatre Kid?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Loathing of Fear in Birmingham

Preamble:  My subject for today's discourse is fear and I decided to look up some famous quotes about it.  I came across this gem:
Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it. - Bill Cosby
Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.....
Anyroad, I lost interest in research after that (why I didn't enter academia), even though I had to throw out a funny FDR joke.  (Again, writing itself.) 
Let us, dear reader ((s)??  No, that seems overly optimistic, I'll stick with reader.), harken back to an earlier time, right before the last election when campaign ads were blaring, "A vote for a Democrat is a vote for Ebola" and "ISIS is only one letter less than Obama.  Coincidence?  I think not!!", and other assorted bullshit.  And then the election happened and nobody talks about those things anymore, even though ebola and ISIS are both still around, and just as deadly.  But Fear served its purpose, so we can put it back in the closet, next to the dustbuster and the Murphy's Oil Soap.   Tale as old as time.
It's the selectivity of Political Fearmongering that bothers me.  It's okay to encourage fear of ebola and ISIS, two nasty buggers, for sure, but let's totally dismiss the growing threat of climate change, because to acknowledge that would acknowledge our dependency on foreign petroleum and all the delicious, delicious money pouring into corporate pocketbooks.  And, yes, sir, I DARED to use the word pocketbook!!  Harrummpphhh!!
Evidently, there is a Large Portion of the Population (aka Idiots), that crave Fear.  They will go out of their way to be afraid of something just to be afraid of something.  This would explain the viewership of TLC. 
For example, this morning at work a co-worker started moaning and kvetching that there is a threat of tornadoes this Sunday.  It's forecasted for South Alabama, BUT STILL!!!! THERE IS AN INFINITESIMAL POSSIBILITY THAT THE WEATHER IN BIRMINGHAM MIGHT BE NOT SO GOOD ON SUNDAY!!!!  AHHHHHHHH!!!  Thanks, Obama.
I realize that I live in the Land of Unicorns and Rainbows more than most people, but, please, stoopy hoomans, stop by for a drink and a piece of cake.  Just for a moment. And listen as the birds sing this happy refrain:
Shit happens.  Nine times out of ten you can't do anything proactive until the shit actually does happen and worrying about it beforehand will not help the situation when it does happen.  So chill out.  And be grateful for the all the awesome shit that you do have.  Cause tomorrow ISIS could drop an ebola bomb in the middle of a tornado and you'll be toast. 
And beware of Bill Cosby bearing drinks.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Blest Be the Sides that Blind

Everyone gets blindsided at some point in their life.  But sometimes it feels like I've made a career out of it.
I will not bore you with the list of blindsideries I've endured. You're welcome.  But, I would like to address the PTSDness of getting blindsided repeatedly. 
You would think that after the 2,309,583rd time of getting emotionally sucker-punched,I would have developed a kevlar-like attitude about it.  Just mumble a couple "fucking assholes" quietly to myself and carry on.  But my psyche is kevlar resistant, evidently, and instead each time I get BS'd, I soak it up like like a giant sponge and then squeeze that sponge and the pain from every other fish-slap-in-the-face moment surges forth.  Well, I don't care for that sentence at all, but let's pretend it makes sense and move on.
My latest episode of blindsiditude occurred yesterday at work, so you know it really wasn't a big deal.  More importantly, I know it wasn't  a big deal. Even as it was happening, I said to myself, "Self. This. Is. Not. A. Big. Deal."   And yet...after my reprimand, for the rest of the day I felt like a crushed turd dipped in garbage and thrown on the coals .  This is not a pleasant feeling.
My next step is to feel Outraged.  "Hey!", I yell at the Universe (aka my cats), "I'm 20 billion years old!  Can't I live out the few years I have left in relative calm??  I'm not asking for happiness, goddammit, I would just like a little peace!  Is that so much to ask??"
The answer, of course, is yes, it's way too much to ask.   Doesn't matter how old you are, the Universe is going to fuck with you until you're dead.  And maybe afterwards.  I'll get back to you on that one.
My final step is Acceptance.  The ole' "It's been a long time since someone made me feel like shit, I guess I'm due" phase.  It's sadly comforting.  The Circle of Life.
Oh, well, at least I might get a break before I get my ass ripped again.  But, next time, I'll be ready.  I'll let it bounce right off me and...yeah....Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tolerance and Repeat

I am a firm believer in different strokes for different folks.  Granted, sometimes other follks' strokes rub me the wrong way, but everyone's entitled to their own opinion, even if it is wrong. 
Case in point, one of the attorneys here had a group of attorneys from another firm (Point of Information:  what is the proper term for a group of attorneys?  A gaggle?  A murder?  A portfolio?  Discuss.) and they had a twenty-minute conversation on how the various founders of this firm made their money and how wonderful it was.  Now, I'm not about to bite the hand that feeds me, so I'm very grateful that The Founding Lawyers made money, I just never think in terms of it being "wonderful". 
Elaine Stritch was wonderful.  James Garner was wonderful.  Some dude who started a company and made a shitload of money was just another dude who started a company and made a shitload of money. 
To me. 
But I guess a legion of lawyers gets as emotionally moved by the birth of an LLC as I do by Elaine's "Here's To The Ladies Who Lunch" or James' proposal to Sally Fields in "Murphy's Romance." 
I reserve my right to disagree with people who have opinions different than my own, but I don't have the right to yell or shoot at them because of it.  That's not Having An Opinion, that's Being an Asshole.  And nobody has the right be an asshole, though there seems to be an Abundance of Assholes in the world today. 
In my opinion.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

May The Brute Force Be With You

When I was a kid, I got beat up a couple of times by twins (a boy and a girl, known as The Infamous Birch Twins.)  I was in fifth grade, they were in third.  "How humiliating," you mutter between laughs.  Not really, I just found it confusing.  As they pinned me against a tree and started pummeling me,  I remember thinking:

A. Why are they dong this?
B.  How will beating me up make them feel better?
C.  What the fuck??

The second time this happened, one of the neighborhood moms saw it and stopped it. And, being third graders, they really didn't inflict any noticeable wounds. But the whole incident left me bewildered.

You will notice, dear reader, that nowhere in this tale did I scream or cry for help or run and tell my mother. (Who, as we remember from The Legend of Cousin Ned, had the ability to inspire others to commit suicide.) The whole idea was so out of my realm of life-as-I-knew-it that I was in denial.

When I was a sophomore in college my soon-to-be-ex boyfriend threw me down the dorm hallway. (Granted, it wasn't just for shits and giggles, we had been fighting.)  Then, at least, I had enough self-preservation to call my parents to come and get me.  But I never confronted him about it, I just iced my bruises and never talked to him again.  The whole incident seemed so surreal, I chose not to deal with it.

So it's no wonder that when the motorcycle gang stormed our play in December and started beating the shit out of the audience and cast,  instead of getting out of the line of fire, like my friends were telling me to, I sat there, stunned, and thought, "Jesus Fucking Christ, really??? I am the wimpiest, most mild-mannered, peace-loving 61-year-old cunt in the Southeast and AGAIN someone's trying to beat the shit out of me???"

Okay, Karma, you've had your three chances.   Next time....NEXT TIME.....oh, hell, I'll probably just do nothing again.  The Wimp is strong with this one.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Playing Goalie

Whenever I hear anyone talking about setting goals, I feel guilty.  (Disclaimer:  I also feel guilty about global warming, the growing economic disparity, racial intolerance, child abuse, unneutered pets, and the Johnstown Flood.)
I  never really got the whole point of the thing.  If I set my goals too high ("Become tall."), I'll fail.  If I set them too low ("Get out of bed in the morning."), well, that's not really a goal, is it?  It's more of a lifestyle choice.
At this stage of my life, longterm goals have become irrelevant.  Twenty years from now, there's a large probability all that will be left of me is a name on some posters in the BFT lobby. If I am still around, then, okay, I'll go ahead and make "Get out of bed in the morning" an actual goal.  But don't expect much. 
 Rather than goals, I divide my life into two categories:
Stuff I Gotta Do
Stuff I Wanna Do
and try to create a balance between them.  Although, to be honest, the SIWD almost always takes precedence.  "Duh," you say.  But, here is my Cosmic Reasoning why Wanna times are better than Gotta times.  The Gotta times (work, housework, bill paying, etc.) pretty much  always follow a similar, predictable  pattern, while Wanna times (doing plays/improv, seeing my kids, hanging with friends, etc.) always are an unknown adventure and rarely turn out exactly the way I expect.   It's that World of Who Knows What Will Happen that turns life into Life, and, since my finite life is getting finiter every day, my goal is to scoop up as much Life as I can. 
Well, look at me...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Reflections on Reflecting

I have always admired people who had such strong beliefs that  they never questioned them; life would be so much simpler that way.  But, in the words of the great Charles Busch, "Ira, you are what you are!".  And I am not not one of those aforementioned folk.
My spiritual credo is nebulous, best summed up as, "I can't explain what I believe, but I'll know it when I feel it."  There are, however, a few truths I hold self-evident:
1.  That whole "Do Unto Others" thing makes sense.  If you don't want people to shit on you, don't shit on them.  If you do want people to shit on you, please move along...
2.  The whole "God wrote the Bible" thing does not make sense.  Unless he's Harper Lee (hmmm....), you think he'd want to cash in on the royalites of Bible II, Eclectic Boogaloo, with all kinds of modern-day rules we should follow.  "Thou Shalt Slaughter the Trans-fatted Calf and Fry Potatoes in it's Glorious Oil", stuff like that.  And maybe put a qualifier on the cloven-hooves ban.  "Oh, except for bacon, that shit's amazing." 
3.  I don't like guns. I'll go so far as to say I Hate Guns.   However, you have every right to own one... (*arches eyebrow*) Responsibly... and I won't give you a hard time about it.  So shut the fuck up about abortions and gay people.
4.  I sometimes only make sense in my own head.   (See #3, above).
5.  Most of life is spent treading water, with the occasional jump off the high dive and a rainbow through a waterfall.   It can be hard to accept that treading water is as good as it gets, but you should try, cause then it's easier. 
Obviously, the above does not constitute the Greatest Story Ever Told.  But, honestly, I don't think the Bible does either.  I enjoyed "To Kill A Mockingbird" a lot more.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Learn On Me

One of the interesting things about getting older is seeing how things have changed during your lifetime.  And for your timewaster today, I will use the example of education.
When I was a lass, we did not have Middle School, we had Junior High. I don't know why they did away with that nomenclature, maybe the thought was that Junior High sounded like a 7th grade pot party, instead of an institution of learning. To quote Blazing Saddles, "And they was right!"  In the future, kids will attend Ozone Enriched Brain Enlightenment Centers.  Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. (Which I learned in "Junior High", so there.)
In this antiquated Junior High, girls were required to take Home Ec.  (That's short for Economics.  I know.  It made no sense back then, either.)  In this class you learned two essential feminine life skills--asserting your independence and  making it on your own.  Ha! Ha!  Just kidding, girls can't do those things, we don't have a penis.  No, we learned to cook and sew. The first thing we learned to "cook" was a Grapefruit Basket. You slice a grapefruit in half, slice the peel around the edges and pull these cut edges up and tie with dental floss to make a "handle". Then sprinkle the grapefruit with brown sugar and broil it. Thereby ruining an otherwise perfectly good grapefruit. We also made a Doris Day-like apron and an ugly blouse. Mission accomplished.   To show you how affective (or effective, your choice),  Junior High was, I am today extremely independent and just fine on my own, but I can't cook or sew for shit.  Thanks, Junior Higher Education! 
I actually have a point here, other than bitching about my puberty, which is:  what is valued as necessary education changes through time.  All right, I get that.  But I confess to being stymied at the current trend to not teach cursive handwriting.  How are these future-adults supposed to sign legal documents?   Or accept Fedex packages of pot?  Maybe the Brilliant Educators of Today treat cursive the same way the Brilliant Educators of Yesteryear treated sex, you'll figure it out.  But, in my dotage, it concerns me.
I guess I could broil a grapefruit to calm myself down, but I think I'll just wait for the Fedex guy. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Another Post from Debland

One of the reasons I am where I am today (I would tell you where that is, but I don't want you stalking me.  Again.) is because of the skewed view I have of the world.
Take my job.  Please.  (Sorry, involuntary reaction.)  I realize that it is a Primary Law of Nature that people have to go around suing each other.  Wait, I don't actually realize that, I think it's stupid.  And here's my crazy, wacked-out theory why:  If you (or your company) do something wrong to someone, either accidentally or on purpose,  you should admit it, apologize and offer restitution.  The key phrase here is "admit it".  Taking responsibility for making mistakes appears to have gone the way of the steam locomotive and Teddy Ruxpin.  Why admit to doing something wrong and making up for it, when you can spend tons more money and time denying it and not?  That's what Jesus did, right?  ("That guy was alive when I got here, I swear, I never laid a hand on him!")  Totally logical.
But not to me.  Granted, I tend to apologize to everything, including inanimate objects.  I can't tell you how many chairs I've apologized to for walking into.  But, I also try to own up for the actual shit I do that hurts human beings and/or cats. Cause it's the right thing, if not always the easiest thing, to do.  And it's what I'd want someone to do to me.  Which, correct me if I'm wrong here, is what we're supposed to do.   As vivid as my imagination is, it is hard for me to picture a multi-millionaire waking up in the morning and saying, "Holy Moly, I wish someone would sue me today."  (That was a trick sentence.  The only actual part of that sentence which I cannot picture  a multi-millionaire saying is  Holy Moly.)  I don't live in that world.  I function in it, because I have to, but I don't live there.
Bad Steve used to tell me I was naive.  *Pause to appreciate the irony here.*  He's right, I am.  And proud of it.  Because as long as I subscribe to the "Do Unto Others and Unicorns Shit Rainbows" philosophy, I can keep on living in my undisclosed location where lawsuits don't exist and the cats say, "No problem" when I apologize.   It's lonely here, but the unicorn poo is beautiful.               

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Gays of Our Lives

I will be the first to admit, there are a lot of things I don't get:  younger, richer, dates...but right now I am totally flummoxed by the worldwide anti-gay sentiment.  Every time I read a headline about someone pitching a fit about homosexualty, I get this mental image of a medieval lord extolling the virtues of the feudal system.  "....and serfs?  Hell, serfs will be around FOREVER!!"  (Okay, you could get metaphorical here and argue there are still serfs today, what with an embarrassingly low minimum wage, but, remember, we're here to talk about The Gays, not our Tragic Economic Disparity.)
This current onslaught of foreign homophobia confuses me, because these people act like being gay is a new phenomenon, sort of like twerking.  "HUH??  We  never had homosexuals in this country until the Condensed Force of Evil that is the United States of America started letting them get married!   Now it's even spreading to the serfs!!"   Hey, Putinpants, homosexuality has been around since heterosexuality has been around, it wasn't invented by Oscar Wilde.
It reminds me of the early 1960's, when I was a kid, and everyone was batshit terrified that someone in some country somewhere was going to set off the nuclear bomb.  Although, in that scenario, the world would be destroyed.  If a gay bomb exploded, it would just leave the world more tastefully decorated. 
Is homophobia the new bigotry designed to bring the world together?  I mean, racism is becoming a bit passe and, frankly, it's hard to get worked up about about the inferiority of black people if you live in Switzerland.  But homosexuals!!  There's a group of Satan's Spawn we can globally despise! 
It is so. fucking. stupid.  And, perhaps because of the three previously-mentioned-in-the-first-sentence items I no longer get, I have very little patience left for the Devisive Irrational Controlling Knuckleheads Hiding Obvious Latent Evidenditiary Shit, if you get my drift. 
Much like other erroneous, outmoded ideas (the world is flat; bloodletting cures disease; Justin Bieber rocks), in time,  this fear-fueled bigotry will pass.  Then the search will be on to find a new undeserved minority on which to focus our irrational hatred!  Huzzah!  Long Live the 15th Century!! 
Or.... (call me crazy).... we could stop focusing  our energy on hating people and see what happens if we all try to get along.  There, at least I gave you one laugh.

Monday, February 10, 2014

And Now in Financial Muse...

There is a factoid floating on Facebook today that says it's costing the Russians $51 billion to host the Olympics and it only costs $2.5 billion to go to Mars.
Either way, that is a lot of money.  And both those things are really cool, I'm just not sure either project is getting the full bang for their buck here. The Russians have already been dealing with bad publicity and they will be left with a bunch of buildings and sports venues that will very likely sit idle till the next Revolution.  And going to Mars is exciting, but what can you do when you get there?  Other than Starbucks and McDonalds, I doubt if there's a lot going on up there.  Who wants to spend a week staring at a giant face?   
 To tell you the truth, my mind always boggles when it comes to money.  You all know  the Sad Saga of Bad Steve, so I won't bore you with it again. But when I finally realized I was never going to get any of the money back that I had "loaned" him, I was not as upset about losing the money as I was in realizing that he had never really cared for me, just my wallet.  It takes a lot longer for my heart to heal than it does my bank account.
I lead a very simple life and I like it plenty swell.  I have no dreams of owning a big house or retiring to to Sochi or Mars. Living paycheck to paycheck works just fine for me.    My biggest expenses are cat food, beer, and going to see my kids a few times a year.  And I wouldn't trade my kids, cats or beer for all the Mars Rovers in the world.  (Granted, there are probably only 3 or 4 Mars Rovers in the world, but you get my point.)
I suspect this sentiment is a common one in people "of a certain age" and explains the feeling I often get of being completely removed from society.  I just don't understand the expensive, greedy, power-driven, mean shit that people/corporations/governments/political parties/ religious organizations do and rather than try to comprehend it, I just want to sit on my sofa  and pet my cats.  (And, no, I don't mean that euphemistically.)
But that being said, it is breathtaking to hear the vast amounts of money people are willing to put forth for something.  And can you imagine what it will cost it when Mars hosts the Olympics?? Let the games begin!