Warning: this post is sexually graphic and vulgar. Please don’t read it if that upsets you. It’s about online dating. [Read more…]
For almost half a century now, I’ve had the hardest time trying to write with a pen, and now I know why. Brace yourself. All pens are actually made for men! Yeah, I know! Wow, right?
But fortunately, that situation is changing. Thank God for progress. I’ll let’s let Ellen tell it:
But maybe you’re not really sure what to do. In that case, reviews are unbeatable in helping you make a decision. There are a slew of them on Amazon. Here’s an example:
Someone has answered my gentle prayers and FINALLY designed a pen that I can use all month long! I use it when I’m swimming, riding a horse, walking on the beach and doing yoga. It’s comfortable, leak-proof, non-slip and it makes me feel so feminine and pretty! Since I’ve begun using these pens, men have found me more attractive and approchable. It has given me soft skin and manageable hair and it has really given me the self-esteem I needed to start a book club and flirt with the bag-boy at my local market. My drawings of kittens and ponies have improved, and now that I’m writing my last name hyphenated with the Robert Pattinson’s last name, I really believe he may some day marry me! I’m positively giddy. Those smart men in marketing have come up with a pen that my lady parts can really identify with.
You can read more reviews here.
One of my greatest fears is that I will sleepwalk through my life, only to figure out at the end of my days that I did it wrong. I wasted an opportunity. Maybe I’ll realize I played by the wrong rules, worked hard to get to pointless places, or simply failed to fully appreciate the gifts that were showered on me: the people who love me, the quiet of my patio, the chance to have a picnic in the nearby mountains, time out for music. A slow read of a good book. A movie, designed to inspire. A gallery, just an hour away, that I’ve been telling people about for ten years, and have probably not visited in the same amount of time. A walk through the oasis that is The Indian Canyons.
I’ve been remiss. The new year brings a desire for change, a resolve to do better. I’m not sure how, but I’m taking the first step: my eyes are open now.
I’m reminded of a passage from Gilead by Marilynne Robinson:
This is an interesting planet. It deserves all the attention you can give it,” says the character John Ames. “I know this is all apparition compared to what awaits us, but it is only lovelier for that. There is a human beauty in it…I don’t imagine any reality putting this one in the shade entirely…”
Happy New Year, my friends.
Sometimes I have a hard time reading all the blog posts arriving in my inbox every day. Some bloggers post several times a week or even several times a day. It’s a challenge to keep up, and I worry that I’m missing something.
Some bloggers are even doing newsletters now! Thus instead of one post in my inbox, they’re sending me a collection of six or seven articles at a time. Holy cow.
On the other hand, a few of the longer-winded bloggers are cutting back, worried they’re overloading their readers. That’s why I’m thinking of switching to every other Friday to make your life a little less cluttered. I’d like to do what works for you. So spill it, good buddy, and we’ll go with the majority. Let me know what you’d prefer, and thanks.
Miley Cyrus, former Disney child star, turned in a shockingly slutty performance a few days ago at the Video Music Awards on MTV. Talk shows and cable news responded immediately. Some people are calling for censorship. Parents are outraged. Feminists are baffled. Celebrities are laughing.
Anaïs Nin once said, “We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.” That video is like a Rorschach test for America. If you didn’t see it, here’s a glimpse of the talent.
Here’s Miley advancing her career at the recent VMA Awards.
Here’s another shot for the family album:
On the Today show, Matt Lauer and Star Jones were trying to tell Mika Brzezinski that this is what girls think they have to do to make money and have a high celebrity profile, and that’s the saddest part of the whole thing. Mika, whom I like, was too busy ranting to hear that message, wanting only to have the performance banned or censored – I am not really sure of her point, she was so upset and everybody was yelling. I mean, it’s MTV. What did she expect?
Anderson Cooper posted a smirky essay about how boring Miley’s performance was, in that there was nothing new and she’s banal. Which is true but also kind of scary. What’s a girl singer going to have to do to get attention in the future? Film at the zoo?
Some were angry that nobody’s angry at Robin Thicke, that we’re all a little too quick to criticize Miley and not him. Okay, I’ll start.
What’s with the outfit, Robin? Channeling Beetlejuice?
Some people have expressed compassion for Miley, because she apparently was raised by wolves and doesn’t know any better. I was surprised to find many erotic photos of her on the web, going back a few years. Well, very few; she’s only twenty. But anyway, you’d think she was a porn star, not a little girl who sings.
Some have mentioned there’s a feminist aspect to this. That Miley is a grown woman, and she should be able to do what she wants with her body, even if what she does sets us back a million years. But then if we’re going for equality, I say Robin Thicke should be wearing a g-string instead of assuming the power position while Miley approximates Downward Dog.
In my opinion, which matters only to me, they’re both kind of trashy, but it’s what the public pays to see. I’m trying to think of what to tell my granddaughters. “Yes it’s true that in 2013, Miley Cyrus had a net worth of $150 million. She has yachts, houses, cars, and the very best in health care, but nobody respects her, and she is really a very sad person.”
I don’t want my granddaughters to grow up thinking society only values them for their girly parts, but if they manage to overcome that in this sick culture, it’ll be a miracle of good parenting.
As an Adult American, how do you see this? What do you think?
I used to look at Ashton Kutcher and think pretty boy tech geek who got lucky when he caught the eye of Demi Moore. And that’s true, but it’s not the whole story.
When I saw this video of Kutcher, I fell in like with the guy. (Skip the first minute.) He tells his teenaged audience three important things, all of which I agree with:
- Opportunity looks a lot like hard work. He’s been a roofer, a custodian, a sandwich maker, and a sweeper. “I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than. I’ve always just been lucky to have a job. Every job was a stepping stone to the next job, and I never quit my job until I had the next job.”
- Being sexy: “The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap, I promise you. It’s just crap that people try to sell to you, to make you feel like less. So don’t buy it.”
- Living life: “Build a life. Don’t live one. Build one.”
I think it’s reassuring to feel a sense of commonality with younger people. it’s nice to think we’re in it together, because otherwise, we divide up into tribes, which is a bummer, and a waste of potential synergy. Life is hard for everybody. We’ve got our old problems, and they’ve got their young problems.
Jay Z made me happy, too, with the way he related so generously to people who are talents in their own right. In this video, he gets out of the stadium and does an interactive gig with about 50 people.
In the video, “Picasso, Baby,” Jay Z performs for artists, dancers, and other creative types, who in turn perform for him, and I dare you not to dance. I especially liked when a stylish woman in her late 70s, early 80s? sits down in front of him and he forgets his lines, like he’s blown away by her fabulousness. She throws back her head and laughs.
One of the ways we create tribes is through our music. I wonder if there’s not something about the way our brains form when we’re young that causes us to imprint a certain kind of rhythm and sound. For example, I love the music of my era, the 60s and 70s (Led Zepp, Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, Turtles, Beach Boys; you get the idea). I don’t cotton to hip hop or rap. But then along come Jay Z and his friends, and suddenly I’m dancing to hip hop. That made me happy.
In earlier times, tribalism kept us safe. But now the challenge is to break out and see if you can share a feeling with someone not of your tribe – in this case, the tribe of age. I loved what Ashton Kutcher had to say, and I danced my @$$ off to Jay Z’s video. I felt happy and safe, thinking I’m not alone, that I’m part of their tribe and they of mine. Life is sweet.
On another subject, when I was in Rushville, Indiana last month, I went for a walk every morning in the neighborhood around my hotel. It was pretty enough, in an old-home American flag way, that it choked me up. I was listening to a particular song one day on my iPod, and I thought, dang, I have to make a video of what I’m seeing, and set it to just that music, so you can experience my heart land. So here it is, my love letter to Rushville, accompanied by Gregory Alan Isakov’s The Stable Song.
So now there’s a chance we can extend longevity to 120. Yay, right? Not necessarily. Many midlife people, myself included, don’t want to see that happen. I think it would make an elder person go nuts. It would me, anyway.
Let’s consider the challenge of keeping up with your profession. How much information can you learn, discard, learn, discard, learn, discard in middle-age and beyond? And even if you can learn it, after fifteen or twenty new campaigns, do you even care to? You’ve seen change after change in your corporate setting, much of it brought about by new people refusing to learn from history. If your brain absorbs sixty, seventy years of information, might there be a point where, like an old draft horse, you simply refuse to haul that load one more step?
What about technology? Born in a time of party lines and carbon paper, you’ve mastered the tech revolution, with all your new passwords and tech support and wireless and ether and RAM. Do you really want to be around when they start doing microchip implants under the skin? I don’t want to be sitting out on the patio of an evening, wondering if that bug I just swatted was a mosquito or a miniaturized drone.
Now consider the emotional challenges we face during a long lifetime.
When I was researching Dakota Blues, I drove around rural North Dakota and saw many crumbling homesteads from a time when there were no roads, stores, or neighbors within miles. The parents would produce a dozen kids, because half of them would die before adulthood. Drought killed crops. Locusts ate the paint off farm tools. Cattle starved. I imagined the woman of the house looking up from her labors and thinking of her family still in Germany, whom she would probably never see again. Then I pictured her, years later, as a very old woman standing by a grave in ND, and I wondered how she handled being the only one who remembered sailing from a dock in Hamburg. Assuming this woman was born in 1900, do you really see her thriving through 2020?
When you look at it organically, death might be as much a relief at the end of a life as sleep is at the end of a day.
My Mom sometimes laments being “so old” (she’s 88), and I try to cheer her up with some positives: after many years of seeing your kids slaving away at careers, they’re enjoying retirement – and you’re getting more visits than ever. Your grandkids are having adorable babies which you can cuddle and hug. A great-grandson just graduated from Marine Corps boot camp. Life is long. That’s a privilege.
But there’s a price. You may be the oldest person around. Nobody remembers what it was like back then. You’ve been widowed for how many years? You miss your parents, who’ve been gone half your life.
For all the good, longevity comes with an accumulation of sorrow. You might manage it for thirty, forty years. Then what? You can rejuvenate your face and maybe even, eventually, your blood cells, but what of your heart and soul?
That’s a saying I invented recently. It means no matter what you’re going through, the minutes keep passing, and eventually you’ll be done and things will get better. I know I said I couldn’t post, and really, I’m racing. I have to run. Won’t be able to answer your comments, if any – sorry! – but just this: our first week in Indiana was wonderful. Lots of beautiful countryside (see above) and loving family. Our second week, in Missouri (misery?) is the opposite. See you next Friday.
UPDATE: Hi all, I think I have my answer, so please ignore this post. Thanks!
Here was the original question if you’re interested:
My traffic monitoring service tells me my blog is waaayyyyy sloooooowwwwwww. (They mean the loading speed, smarty pants.) If true, I’ll convert it to WordPress.org, which is not how I want to spend my summer. But I’ll do it if it keeps you, my reader, from getting frustrated. So that’s my question: when you click on the link in your email inbox, does my blog load slowly? Either leave a comment, or send me an email or, if it’s loading just fine for you, click the LIKE button. Thanks so much. Happy Sunday.
I’ve started babysitting again. My book and my grandson are infants, and I’m nurturing them both in the same crazy year. So while I plan for a book signing at my home on Saturday, I have to lean on my sweet, hard-working hubby to handle the logistics. And while I have my hands full babysitting my grandson and, once a week, his sister too, at least I get to go home. My son and daughter-in-law are in the heat of it. I tell them they’re young. These are the years they’re like a nuclear reactor; they’re vibrant and powerful and everything feeds off them!
I know I’m a big help, but I couldn’t do it without Bill. He’s my support team. Not only does he fix our dinners every night, run errands for Mom, and do all the home stuff, but he was prepared to come over every day for a couple of hours, as he did in spring of 2011 with our granddaughter. This time around, I suggested he take Tuesday and Thursday off. I don’t want to burn him out, but also, I feel less guilty because on those days he ends up with a pretty big honey-do list!
I told him to hang in there – next year will be the year I start to age gracefully! My kids know this is the toughest year, at least until the babies turn into teenagers. My kids both work fulltime as teachers, and with two children under two years old, they’re grateful for the help.
I’m typing this right now as my grandson watches my fingers. We’re sitting on the carpet together. He has a bunch of mobiles dangling overhead, his feet can kick me, and I reach over every few seconds to pat his belly and coo at him.
I also feel a bit guilty falling in love with him, because my first love was his sister. However, she’s moved on. She loves being at her daycare with other kids to play with. When she first started going there she wasn’t yet walking and was frustrated that the other kids could run away from her, but now she plays on the swings and the sandbox and runs everywhere rather than walking.
Wow. He’s waking up from his nap – thirty minutes, just like the first one. What happened to the two-hour one he was supposed to take this morning? Or even the hour? Stay-at-home-moms, I feel ya!
But it’s a dream for me. I never got to be a SAHM. I went back to work when my son was one month old! Horrific, but thank God my Mom was able to babysit those first six months. I had no choice. I was the primary breadwinner. So staying home now is like revisiting those days, one generation removed. I don’t have to dress up or be ready for a boss – my little boss doesn’t care what I look like. My favorite time is in the middle of the day, sitting in the rocker in his room while he naps, listening to him breathe. The neighborhood is quiet, and I’m all alone in this daytime world of mothers and babies, snoozing within the walls of our houses.
Sometimes it floors me, that my son is a grown man and I’m a grandma. Beautiful and weird at the same time.
Today I’ve got a Skype conference in the afternoon. I’ll probably have the baby on my shoulder. That’s where he’s quietest. Such a snugglebug. It’s not with a client, it’s with people who I’m helping develop a curriculum for a writers’ organization I belong to. I told them next year I’d be there physically to teach or whatever they need, but this year, it’ll have to be Skype or Saturdays.
My dad used to say family is everything. While I don’t believe family is defined by blood, I surely do agree with him. We need each other. Life is hard. We’re in it together.