Just Because She Said So

Interesting, engaging drivel.

Can’t we just be nice? Is it so hard to be nice?

I’ve been neglectful. Get over it. I have already.

I have a new job. There, I’m an optimist again. This, too, shall pass. Like gas.

Humans, it seems, are nasty bitches in the middle of one big bitch-slapping fight lately, We just go around kicking each other’s asses and being really fucking rude about it. Bitchy bitchiness in full bitch swing.

The vitriol hanging out in internetland lately is just weirding me out, so today, I’ll leave it to the Confederate Flag. This one confuses me, I must say. I mean, I get it in some ways. The history of the southern states, the confederate states, encompasses a flag represented by the stars and bars.

Stars_and_Bars_posterThere is a 1988 comedy by the same MV5BMTQzNzczMDUyNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjM2ODEzOA@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_

name (Starts & Bars) featuring none other than Daniel Day Lewis, oddly enough, who later portrayed Lincoln  and in fact won an Oscar for his efforts in that film strange coincidence, is it not? I think so. But I am not talking about the film Stars and Bars, I am referring of course to the flag, designed by William Porcher Mills, chairman of the flag and seal committee in 1861.

The flag as we recognize it today was rejected as the national flag of the confederacy and was instead adopted as the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee. This may have something to do with why it was also painted atop the General Lee in The Dukes of Hazzard, but I’m just guessing on that one.

The first actual flag of the actual Confederate States looked like this:

Flag_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America_(March_1861_–_May_1861).svgIt was designed by German/Prussian artist Nicola Marshall, in Marion, Alabama. Similar to the existing flag of the United States, especially when hanging without wind to unfurl it, this flag received much criticism for seeming like a bland copy of the existing flag. Also, this flag shows 7 stars.

The second national flag – and this one is important to learn about, history buffs – is called the “Stainless Banner” and it looks like this:

Flag_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America_(1863-1865).svgThis lovely thing was designed by William T. Thompson.  See the first example of what we now know are the “Stars and Bars?” Yep, there they are in all their glory, waving high atop a stainless field of white. I choose the word stainless here not of my own volition, but because the designer – yes the designer of the flag himself chose this stainless background because it was what he called a “White Man’s Flag.” This was the designer’s choice of terminology.

Not sure of my certainty here? Why, of course I’ve vetted my sources:

“As a people we are fighting maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause.”

Go ahead, dig out the microfilm for yourself. I’m a good archival-checker.

He also said this:

As a national emblem, it is significant of our higher cause, the cause of a superior race, and a higher civilization contending against ignorance, infidelity, and barbarism. Another merit in the new flag is, that it bears no resemblance to the now r infamous banner of the Yankee vandals.

So, yeah, the Stars and Bars got their start over a field of white representing white supremacy, guys. It really did. Unless the guy who designed it somehow fucked up his own statement.
Moving on…
By March of 1865, this guy named Rogers – Arthur L. Rogers, who was a Major in the army, so he knew a thing or two, successfully argued that the beautiful, Stainless Banner, had a pretty serious flaw. It was easily mistaken for a flag of surrender on the battlefield. That’s not exactly what you want a flag to be doing for your men when you’re busy firing muskets, so that turned out to be a bad plan on Thompson’s part. Whoopsie!
Thanks to Rogers, the flag was changed – a little – to look like this:
Flag_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America_(1865).svg

That helpful red stripe on the side prevented the enemy from thinking all the guys at the fort were all “hands-up” and stuff, Thank goodness! Solved what could have been a few messy surrenders with a few Sorry/Not Sorry kinds of not surrenders!

So the third flag of the confederate states had the stars and bars of the battle flag in the corner and the whiter-than-thou superiority field with a blood stain stripe on it from March 4, 1865 until the end of the war. Extra points if you know when, exactly, that was.

Oh, okay…it was April 9. I know you couldn’t handle the suspense. Many Confederate soldiers never even saw this flag, which explains why there is no real sense of loyalty and history to it – how could they feel loyal to a flag they were to honor for a month? More important to them is a concept they could hold onto for years and years – the notion that white rules over all. Now there’s something to sink a few teeth into.

But what is really, truly troublesome is this idea that anyone, anywhere is banning something.

What is happening for realz is that finally some people seated in the governments of the South have finally realized that finally they have to acknowledge that the “confederate” flag (I put that word in those silly quotation marks because, as you can now see, the flag they revere is NOT a flag of the confederate states, but rather the flag of the army of Northern Virginia, co-opted to represent white superiority) must not fly over the places where law is made. At long last, some lawmakers understand that to continue to claim that this symbol of racist thought is just that – a symbol of racist thought.

It’s gotta go.

Now what freaks me out is the number of otherwise reasonable adults who claim that it should stay. WTF, people? There are pretty normal Northerners who haven’t resided in the South at all who are whining about the idea that Gettysburg is removing the battle flag of the army of Northern Virginia from their sites. Gee, maybe so that some other asshat who is on his way to kill nine other innocent people doesn’t decide to to stop by for a hater photo-op?

Now that I’ve explained the history, can we hang on for just one minute and have this OTHER conversation?

If I have a picture of a lynching in my house because, hey, lynchings are part of history and I have a degree in history, but you think the picture is disgusting, do you think it’s polite of me to maybe remove that picture when you visit?

When I am aware that something offends you – say it is a sensitive topic about which we disagree, or that you prefer I not talk about your mother-in-law, I do not do those things, because they are offensive to you. I need not worry so much about how much I cherish my own rights, my own desire to discuss your mother-in-law. I can be sensitive to that which offends you, and not lose my own worth.

Why can’t we see that as the greater good here? Why can’t we see that this flag was, at least on some level, designed to make the black man feel lesser than the white man, or at least to allow the white man to feel greater than others? We are all guests in this house, and yet we all own it at the same time. The discussion about this flag should be about the greater good, not just the right to feel at home.

Is it so hard to be nice?

See Lee Ack – Get your judgment off my disease, man!

Oh my effing gawd STFU about gluten intolerance, wheat allergies and not eating gluten because you think it will stop the belly bulge or whatever already people.

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A-ha! No, I am NOT going to be “that guy” who shames you into talking about the trend that is gluten-free dieting and says that you shouldn’t not eat gluten-free just because you do not, actually have Celiac disease. I am actually the polar opposite of that douchebag. Because, you know what? That guy is, in fact, a douchebag. Guess what, people? You can eat whatever the hell you please AND you can tell the wait staff at whatever the hell restaurant you go to that they need to prepare the food the way your sensitivities are inclined AND the waitstaff is obligated to accommodate your needs or they need to TELL you that they are incapable (or unwilling) to accommodate your request.
That, my dears, is simple courtesy.

You do not go telling a vegan that there is no butter in her sauce, only to see if she really can tell margarine from the “real thing” just so you can pull the wool over her morally-objecting eyes! That is just plain fucking cruel! It makes you an awful person. You do not tell a person with a peanut allergy that your dessert is nut-free just to test the hypothesis that maybe, just this once, his throat and lips will not swell to the size of the Hindenburg, sending him speeding off to the local emergency room because, well, really he is just exaggerating that whole anaphylaxis  thing, in your humble opinion.

No. You do not do this.

When a person tells you that his or her preference – be it health-based or an ethical choice or merely an experiment, those who are serving you are obliged to take heed and honor your choices. Yes, there are studies that say that Non-Celiac Gluten sensitivity may not exist. That’s fine. There are people who eat meat and people who think that is totally unethical. I am fine with that. Everyone is okay with that idea. Some people claim that meat makes them sick. Some people say they are allergic to mushrooms when really they just think that mushrooms are gross.

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I think mushrooms are gross, but I don’t think I’ve ever told someone I’m allergic.  If I was seriously afraid someone would toss them onto my plate, though, I might say I was allergic. I once went to a fancy awards dinner, where I was in fact the award recipient, and the entree was a giant mushroom stuffed with some supposedly delicious stuffing, but the fact of the matter is, I had to push that shit around on my plate to try to make it look like I ate something in order to be polite because no way was I eating mushroom guts for dinner. And I was the guest of fucking honor. No one thought to ask me about my fungus for dinner preference! I might have told them I have mushroom allergies to avoid having that nonsense on my plate!

I have a good reason for sharing this rant and this perspective about gluten, eating preferences, Celiac disease and the “rules” about gluten intolerance. Nobody gives a flying fuck what you eat, people. Here’s an article in the New York Times that claims we should ALL go gluten-free! Here is a Gluten Free Expo! Here is the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center  and here is the largest study to date on Celiac Disease in America.

Guess what? If you fall into any, or none, of these categories, studies, or groups – you can STILL eat whatever you want, and you can still expect that a restaurant can, and should, prepare your food the way you ask or that they will tell you  – honestly – that they cannot meet your expectations. That is their responsibility. I do not give a flying flip whether you actually *have* a gluten insensitivity, or whether you *prefer* not to eat gluten, whether it is a phase, fad, or fandango – you eat what you want to eat when you eat it.

The media needs to leave this one alone. A-LONE. Why? Because, well, the more you reporters, pundits, and columnists talk about how gluten sensitivity is NOT a thing, the more at-risk you put my kid. My fourteen-year-old actually has Celiac disease and he cannot eat gluten. He needs to avoid it. All the time. No pretzels, no brownies, no pasta, no cookies, no pancakes, bread, muffins, breadcrumbs, pizza, crumb topping, crackers, any of it – not one bit. So I don’t need you off debunking his tolerance level so that some kind, well-meaning but misinformed server, sous chef or prep cook thinks that my son can tolerate some cross-contaminated kitchen, or worse yet that he or she will just not take the whole thing seriously and outright lie to me about the ingredients in that sauce or souffle. Because while you may think that intolerance is all in his head, his real illness is in his gut, and your real judgmental asshattery can get him into real trouble.

Your insistence on judging people for their food choices can land my kid in the hospital. You feel the need to spout off, pointing out that gluten-free foods are the latest fad, and I ask you, “so what?” Do you need to care whether it’s trendy to eat rice pasta instead of wheat? Does it really bother you that the table next to yours insists on ordering a gluten-free pasta, commenting that they feel ever so much better when eating gluten free, but then, in their own ignorance, they imbibe, enjoying a dark porter lager later in the evening? Can’t you just keep your self-righteousness to yourself so you don’t end up poisoning the well (metaphorically but also maybe literally) for the Celiac folks out there? It took long enough for us to get chefs to take us seriously, and now you are underminding decades of hard work, all so you can feel superior. Thanks a lot.

Being trendy is always going to be a thing. Paleo – lose weight, but maybe spike your cholesterol. Eat too much meat, but have muscles like a caveman. Go for it, man!

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Why do you care what other people do with their bodies? Atkins? Everybody shrieked when the good doctor died of a heart attack. Well, oh well. There are still people low-carbing it and finding that they lose a few pounds. No-sugar-no-grains, Wheat Belly, the cabbage diet, the lemonade diet. I could go on and on. But you totally screwed up when you messed around with the “gluten free diet.” Because this is not a “diet.” This is a way of living for thousands of people who get really, really sick when they eat gluten, and so what if some other people want to try it out and found that they feel better?

I don’t see anyone fucking with “the peanut-free diet.” Go ahead – tell me just one time – just one – that people are making that shit up.

Of course not. Because people die when they eat peanuts if they are allergic. But there are plenty of peanut-free people in the world simply because they choose to lead peanut-free lives. So get off the gluten-free witch hunt already. There has to be a different diet to crucify.

Isn’t Beyonce eating something ridiculous? Go find her and let me know. Whatever she’s eating, I’m sure that if you want to spread misinformation about its dangers, you won’t have damaged the health of thousands of people and their simple desire to eat a healthy meal undisturbed, without judgment, and without feeling like they are the subject of even more judgment than usual.

Gluten Free Craze is  a Boon and  a Bane for Those with Celiac Disease (NPR)

Fear and Resentment Among the Gluten Free 

Is Gluten Sensitivity Real? 

Backlash against Gluten-Free Dieters

Remember the Ladies! They do awesome shit!

Annie_TaylorAnnie Edson Taylor – now there’s a kick-ass broad, for ya. This lady was the first woman, lo, the first person, to go over Niagara Falls in a Barrel. Not some inflatable raft like the good-for-nothing daredevils who try this nonsense today, either.

Annie was one of eight children, so her parents were busy folks. They probably didn’t have a whole lotta time to pay attention to her risky way o’ life, so she was toddling off trying daredevily stuff and mastering the art of over-the-fallsing from a young age.

Somehow Annie’s life led her to Bay City, Michigan This is, as I found out, NOT the same Bay City from which the Bay City RBayCityollers hailed, much to my disappointment. This is a fact I should have known, since I was a big fan of theirs, watched them on the TV lots as a kid and knew all of the lyrics to their songs, bought their albums

and wore the vinyl right down to nothing. I especially liked the cute brunette lead singer, but who didn’t? And they were British, and there’s the whole reconnecting to my adoration for them when they reappeared in “Love, Actually.” (And here, if you are interested, is a great connection to my pal Kelly’s blog and how BuzzFeed stole a whole bunch from her brilliant commentary on Love, Actually and turtlenecks. *watch out, BuzzFeed, and do not steal from me or I will unleash the Sparrow Mafia on you!*)

Anyhooooo

Bay City, where Annie wanted to be a dance teacher, didn’t pan out so much, and eventually she went to San Antonio, and then to Mexico City. Girl got around! She didn’t have much luck finding work in these cities, so she trekked back on up to Bay City. At the age of 63, worried a bit about her declining years and wanting to secure some money for those years, she figured she’d make this teensy weensy trip over the falls to make some benjamins to keep outta the poor house & stuff.

She grabbed her cat (gently, I think, because I mean she liked her cat, after all), and her lucky heart-shaped pillow, and got her incredibly tenacious shit together. She rassled up someone to manufacture a custom barrel for her, and in it she placed herself, some compressed air, said cat and pillow, and then had her aforementioned self, cat, pillow and air rowed out to Goat Island, on the American Shore.

Why the American Shore, you ask? Well, I think it’s because Canadians are too smart to do this sort of thing and besides, they have better health care. I could be wrong about the first part, but I definitely have the second part right.

There were rumors that the nice little feline perished in the ride, but nope! Sure enough, though the cat suffered some apparently minor injury (the cat didn’t complain much), he was fine in the end and even smiled in subsequent photos.

Apparently the smartest thing our dear Annie did was say that this was a knuckleheaded expedition and that she would advise against it. Okay, maybe that was the second-smartest thing, because the first-smartest thing was becoming a “clairvoyant” after her trip. She earned enough to live pretty well by telling tourists their fortunes, “You shall not go oAnnie2ver the falls in a barrel…” “You will spend too much on admission to the wax museum…” “You will get an all-time low score at mini-golf.”

Her earnings were not great, her speaking engagements were okay, but nobody wants to be lectured by somebody who did a really, really stupid thing, right? And the punch line? Her manager, one Frank M. Russell, apparently absconded with the actual barrel, and a heap of money was spent on private detectives to find the wooden cask. Really? Really? What the hell was he gonna do with that thing? Make wine in it? Call it “Fall on your ass Merlot?” “You Chianti Believe What Happened in This Barrel?” I don’t know about you, but I think the odds of making a profit from that thing were pretty slim. I mean, there was a bloody cat in it at one point. Pretty niche market.

But Annie? Go, you. Go, Annie. Rock that barrel, girl.

 

Annie3

Among the Things I Hate

I could write a very long list, I assure you. I mean a really, really long list. The list of things I love would be, by contrast, quite short. The list of things I like is fair-to-middling, but significantly less lengthy than the hate list. And I do not take the hate-word lightly, friend. (I obviously take the friend word lightly, because you and I may have never met, and therefore we are not, actually, friends. See? See what I did there? Look at me, being all linguistically clear n stuff.)

Among the things I hate, lest I digress my way clear out of this blog post and into TMZ or something, is people who write on their blogs, “It has been sooo long since my last post, I therefore promise to post every single sugary-sweet day until I get my shit together and you love my life again. Promise!” 

I hate this because it’s like a New Year’s Resolution. It is as likely to last through next week as that six pack of doughnuts your boyfriend bought. It’s just not going to happen.

On the other hand, among the things I hate are unfinished tasks and projects. I don’t mind long-termy things, or I wouldn’t be pursuing a PhD for cryin’ out loud. I don’t go in for the simple answer, it’s not that. It’s that a project in progress is fun to watch, but a project stalled is somehow sad and lonely. 

I have let this one stall out a bit, and I apologize. Not to you, because hell, you didn’t check in anyway and like I said before, we aren’t besties or anything, but I owe a certain something to myself if to no one else. So I thought I had read somewhere that Ernest Hemingway made himself write 100 words a day, even if those words were shit and he threw them away, but upon googling this little factoid I found out that I am completely wrong and that I probably made that crap up completely one day to make myself get back on task. Or to compare myself to Hemingway. Because it’s not at all egotistical to compare oneself to Hemingway or anything. Or to aspire to that.

I will not assure anyone other than myself that I’ll shoot for a writing session each day, but as I enter full-on a semester of poverty and PhD-ness, I think one of the things that will help ensure my sanity is to return to the snarky, sarcastic, navel-gazing kind of writing that I enjoy. If nothing else, I will be able to manufacture more references to Hemingway, flying squirrrels, and shit I hate.

Namaste. 

Man of Steel, Man of Iron, Man of questionable integrity

So, in my other life, the one I blog about elsewhere and where I am far less snarky (not to mention less harsh and judgmental), I am a triathlete.

I’m not a very good one in that I am not fast, I am not famous, and I have not done an Ironman.  Doing the Ironman is the epitome of triathlon after all.  It is the culmination of three grueling, impressive distances in the three sports of triathlon – Swim, Bike, and Run.  

It is also a corporation. Image

They make big money off that logo, not just from the advertising that goes into being an Ironman sponsor, or from the Ironman entry fees, which are in the hundreds of dollars per athlete.  They don’t get ALL their money from those – they make money by slapping that logo on lots of stuff and selling it.  It’s good, smart business in one way. Total fraud in another.

For example, I have these snazzy sunglasses that were fairly inexpensive as these things go (roughly $40), and they are super comfy to wear when I run.  I haven’t found any that quite compare to these. But…they have the Ironman logo on the side.  I feel like a cheat every time I wear them because, as I noted before, I have not done the Ironman distance triathlon nor am I ready to do one any time soon.  So I feel a little bit like a phony when I wear them. I am usually quick to point out the flaw, that the glasses are great but that I don’t really deserve them.  In the spirit of full disclosure. Not that anyone would mistake me for an Iron anything. Truly.

That’s not the case with a bunch of people. 

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But there are people who have that logo on their shit and they don’t even explain. And it’s big shit, not like the teensy M-dot on the side of my glasses.  There’s this dude in my tri club who has a goddamn Ironman wetsuit. Sure, the guy has muscles and could maybe pass for an Ironman triathlete, but the fact it…HE ISN’T ONE. So it seems doubly fraudulent to wear it – in a race – where other people are like working really hard to maybe become an Ironman, but he isn’t.

This guy dicks around doing Olympic distances year after year, and for like a billion years he did one goddamn race a season. One. Wow, dude, yeah you go with your Ironman (not) badassery.

He rides a bike that cost a bazillion dollars because even though he is a grownup his parents buy him shit like that, and basically pay his way whenever he needs it.  He has expensive everything, but it’s like his logos are writing checks his ass can’t cash.

I suppose I should just laugh and find it ironic that it wasn’t until I started racing that this guy thought about doing more than one a year. And in fact the year that I started he didn’t do any at all.  I want to repeat here, for clarity and vanity’s sake, that I am not fast nor do I claim to be a good triathlete, I am just a chick who does this because it’s kinda fun.  I probably should have stuck with distance running, but I could go on forever about the misjudgments when trying to impress a man.

I may misjudge when I am trying to make an impression, but at least I don’t wear the M-dot without earning it.

Off to buy new sunglasses.

Oh, shut up already! If you can’t say it right, don’t effing say it!

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Yeah, you heard me right.  If you can’t say it right, don’t say it at all.  Dammit, it is not that hard – this is not, as I tell my kids, “Rocket Surgery.” That shit would be H-A-R-D. I mean, it’s a rocket.  And it’s surgery.  Brain Science would be waaaayyyy easier!

What I am talking about , in this, our nation’s Pride Month, is the damn term “Gay Lifestyle.”

Not Kidding.

STFU.

That’s not like saying “Your vegan lifestyle.” Which, many people say to me, and I get it – I choose not to eat animal stuff and parts and products.  I choo-choo-choose you. Being gay is not a choice, not some decision a fetus makes while still in utero or recently having emerged from the hoo-ha.

The Onion can help you out on this if you are unsure.  See, the Onion is parody.  Pair-of-dees. Parody.  It;s making fun of ignorant asshats.

After Careful Deliberation, Baby Goes With Homosexuality

NEWS • Gay & Lesbian • News • ISSUE 49•22 • May 30, 2013

See? Poking fun. It’s a joke.

So, y’all can stop any time now, or you will become the very joke the Onion is making. If you aren’t already.

Good on ya.

 

 

For the Love of Danger!

As kids, didn’t we ALL have that “thing” we did that we all knew was dangerous, usually because our parents had told us of its danger?  But yeah, we did it anyway, and aren’t we all badass ‘n stuff?

Yes.  Yes, we all did.

In my sleepy little hometown, my grandmother owned one of the stateliest homes -a  sprawling, Victorian beauty with an expansive front porch and nifty corners and hollows and recesses.  But the real attraction was what we called the “barn,” which was really a carriage house, complete with two rooms and an upstairs.  It had old-fashioned wooden slide doors – these big, gaping, over-a-story-high doors.  Those things were flippin’ awesome.  But at the back of the “barn,” there was an oddly-shaped roof outcropping, where the first floors of the two rooms of the carriage house jutted out a bit further than the second floor, so there was a space about 3′ square, and on the one side of that square was a one-story roof.  We could use our spidey talents to scurry up that narrow space and sit on the roof, like we were the awesomest of awesomes.  My dad consistently told us that the roof was, like, a hundred years old or so and that we were gonna get killed doing that shit.

So we did it ALL the time.

I read this blog the other day about a guy who, when he was a kid, played on an electrical transformer.  The high-voltage kind.  Read it here: The Surfing Pizza.

This, I think is especially cool.  Danger, danger everywhere!  Woot!  Fire off the cap guns!  Run with scissors!

Or, do like my big brother did to me, and make your little sister put her pointer finger on the electrical fence, after telling her it isn’t turned on!

shockOkay, it wasn’t that bad.  But still!  The horror! Okay, it wasn’t even horrible.  But I’m still pissed at my brother.

Even for danger-lovers, there is a fear factor that you just don’t want to cross.  Like, go back and look at that blog I told you about – the surfing pizza guy.  Yep.  Read the comments.  Some little dude stayed OFF the transformer not because it suddenly turned into Optimus Prime, or because it could fry his nappies off.  No, sire, it was because the electric company worker informed him that BLACK WIDOW SPIDERS love to nest inside the thing.

Best part is, the kid believed it.  Funniest part, though, is that some nimrod in the responses to this information felt the need to say “He was just saying that to scare you; it’s not true.”

Really, Einstein?  Go have a little confab with Edison and let him know you discovered that all on your own.

 

 

It’s Friday! What? Are you chicken or something?

As they say on my local radio morning show…Hey Yinz Guys – It’s Fridayyyy!

So, on Fridays in my world, we go out for sushi.  This evening’s escapade will lead my friends, Jill and Marily, and yours truly the one with so much to say, out for chopstick-noshing, sake-slurping, raw fish-mongering and (squee) girl talk.

Yeah, we’re like that.

Don’t care so much that the Superbowl is happening on one of the days this weekend.  Erm, Sunday maybe? (Hey, shaddup – we’re in Pittsburgh so all we care about is that the 49ers don’t get no 6th ring!)

SteelersBut even on a good day, a day where the Steelers are playing and it matters to lots of people…I care not one whit.  Know what I’ll be watching on Sunday?

 The PUPPY Bowl!  No lie!! 

Puppy BowlWho doesn’t love puppies?? (Note: if you don’t love puppies, you have no soul.)

I digress.  As usual.

So I’m headed out with my girls tonight, in Sex and the City only older and more athletic fashion. But we are going to the college bar area of town, where they also happen to have the most kick-ass sushi restaurant.

And, you know you’re jealous, because you are totally going to dance like this:

Unless you’re chicken!

 

Insta get a grip

I was going to write some crap about Sensa, but I’ll write that crap tomorrow, for today’s crap is about – you guessed it! – Instagram!

Now that we have all gotten over the “they can sell your photos!” “You’ll be on billboards everywhere without earning a dime!” “Your precious work, sold to the highest bidder *gasp*!” And we’ve regained our senses, or at least our sense of whogivesafuck, we can get back to the business of taking truly awful photos and trying to be all artistic about it ‘n stuff.

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There was no real reason to do this.  Poor Kelvin.  Not just a measure of temperatures anymore, are you buddy?                                                                               Image

And do we NEED artfully-posed toes with special lighting, especially when the big toe is THAT size?  For cryin’ out loud, woman! It’s just a good thing that your legs are shaved, and the manicure is a good one.

ImageAnd dirty dishes.  Really?!?  I don’t want to look at my OWN sludge-covered flatware, let alone yours! Although, I have to say I rather like the faucet.  Cute little farm-style gooseneck you got goin’ on there.  And the colander.  the colander is way nice.  I got one like that for a bridal shower gift.  Well, okay, not “like” that because yours is really nice, but mine was stainless steel, too, so I get a couple of coolness points.  A. Couple.  But I know enough not to post a picture of my colander, let a lone take said photo with Instagram!

ImageAhh, the commercial coffee worship photo.  You see, this couple enjoys going to Starbucks instead of church, then holding up the holy brew as an offering to the tree/sun/filter gods.  They are guaran-damn-teed a spot in the hereafter.  Youbetcha!

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Okay, this one isn’t so bad in that it was taken with Instagram, but jeebus that is one ugly window display.  Do places still sell those weird barbie-head cakes with the dress-cake bottom?  Well, “Delice” still does.  Did anyone realize that Delice can just be De-lice, which would be de-louse, and that is really, really gross?  I guess not. Huh. Must be just me and my crazy linguistic acrobatics.

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And the celebrity bad Instagram montage.

I can almost hear the museum docent’s voice, sweetly flicking, ” Here, ladies and gentlemen, we have an example of early 21st century narcissism.  These photos include once-famous icons of the late first decade and early second.  The photos offer a glimpse into the self-reflective nature of the human species at that time.  And also of rampant hipster bad photography that was the signature of the age.”

ImageAnd last, but perhaps my favorite, the hipster-esque photo of the already hipster material.  What aspiring young artist, artist-wannabe, or pot smoking teenager wouldn’t simply die to take this photo?  What, with all that it says about communications and our disconnected connectivity.

Is that formaldehyde in the weed?

Namaste.

Gym Karma

Friends of mine know that if we are in a gym together, I am somehow, some way, obsessing over how much better you look than me, or how much slower I am than you, and those types of personal feats.

But if I do not know you, and we are in a gym together – a whole different breed of bitch emerges in me.  I am harshly judgmental.  I am not public with this information, of course – I am intensely private about it.  But nonetheless, I am judging.  I am making mental lists of your egregious behaviors and wishing a pox upon you and your descendants.

Or, I am racing you on the treadmill. I’m probably losing, but still – it’s all about the effort, right? And so long as I keep these judgments private, they serve only to motivate me to do better and they cause you no appreciable harm.

But in the locker room – the locker-frickin-room, people. This is not the area in which to compete.  This is the recovering, sharing, quaintly domestic space where we are either preparing for the feats we are about to attempt, or we are trying to make sense of the torture we just inflicted upon our bodies.  It’s a space for gentility, generosity, and yes, even forgiveness.

Unless you take up this much space on the bench!

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And this much space on the mirror counter!

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If you do that, and take up ALL the damn room in front of the mirror – you are a moron.

You are a rude, insensitive, selfish bitch who deserves to be publicly shamed.  And yet…it’s a locker room, where we generally avert our eyes and limit discussion to the soft, “Excuse me,” as we step by.

This trauma queen (sic) however, does this every goddamned morning of her life in this gym, and I am ready to punch her in the throat.  I rent a locker in this row, and THIS is what greets me for my morning workout? Ack! The photos don’t even do it justice, because her shit is splayed all over the one bench, okay fine, there are other benches, but it’s ALSO on the NEXT bench, where she neatly folds and stores her winter coat.  The rest of us cram as much shit into our lockers as the lockers can hold without vomiting their contents all over the floor, but the morning diva gets all the spots.

Believe me, she needs them.  I’ve seen her in action.  The more spackle she can put on her morning face, the better.  Not that I am  a beauty queen, mind you, but my makeup bag consists of an eyeliner pencil, some pressed powder, and a tube of mascara.  It takes me about 2.5 minutes to blow dry my hair.  I’ve got a knack.

ImageShe has FOUR different kinds of brushes.  FOUR!?!?

Yes, my head is about to explode, and NO, I have not yet said anything to her because I think it might be a tad rude, and also because I get a certain enjoyment knowing that my heart rate is elevated, thereby burning more calories than if I was in the locker room with a well-mannered person.

So, solitary reader, what does one do to or for the unruly locker room diva?

Maybe tomorrow, I’ll hide her towel.

 

 

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