ReBlog: Epoch of Autocratic Fuckery

This was EXACTLY what I needed to see today!

In these trying times, we must find something/anything that makes us feel better.

Chuck writes:

“I want to articulate a finer, more poetic sentence than the one I’m about to write, but I find that difficult, so instead I’m going to go with the sentence inside my heart:

Shit is pretty fucking fucked up right now.

I mean, it just is. Look around. This country, and by proxy the world, is a hot, hot mess. It’s like a preschool where all the toddlers are drunk and have been given power tools, oh, and also, they’re not toddlers but actually tiny grifters pretending to be toddlers, and they don’t just have power tools, but also, THE POWER TO REWRITE AMERICAN POLICY AND LAW AND THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM FOR SEVERAL GENERATIONS AND..”

Read more here

 

 

 

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A Hairy Situation & Making Lemonade

If you could, what parts of yourself would you throw out?

I wish I could be all blasé and “woman-power” and act like I am perfectly comfortable in my middle-aged body. Smiling at myself in the mirror upon awakening every single morning in wonder at the transformation that seems to take place every night while I sleep.

I so want to be that graceful, all-knowing woman, who welcomes the aging process taking hold all over her body, as she books a yoga class or weekend retreat to some coastal spa, where she will consume nothing but raw kale and green tea, sitting in a cross-legged pose, and listening to nothing but the sound of birds, or waves or Enya.

I want to be her so badly that I can picture her in my mind and I know she has a name like Caryline, or Kathryn, or Jayne with the random “Y” just carelessly tossed into the mix- but it seems so far away from my reality.

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I have been a pretty a good sport about this aging shit – I really, really have.

I have accepted my new stomach, and the loss of my once rounded bottom.

I woke up one morning and realized to my horror when I accidently glanced in the bathroom mirror while stepping into the shower that they had somehow decided to switch places! The fullness of my bum had sneakily moved around my waist somehow and placed itself in the front of my body at some point during my sleeping hours! And no matter how much celery I ate or how many squats I reluctantly did, while watching Sister Wives, and yelling at the t.v. ” you should ALL grab a few brother-husbands and fix his little red wagon but good!”, I have never been able to coax those body parts back to their original home stations. So, I reluctantly made lemonade with the lemons and moved on. I started eyeballing tunics and leggings online and laughed until I cried at the “shapers” that had built-in bums in them.

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Side note: Shapers my ASS! Call it a girdle, girl – our mothers certainly did and who are we to think we are somehow better than that generation at the aging game, anyway? I can still recall the first time I walked in on my Mom fighting to get into one, and the combination of my squeal of utter shock and her efforts to get the damn thing up over her hips made us both erupt into giggles that left us gasping for breath afterwards. Me from giggling, and her, I’m sure, due to the combination of laughter and the oxygen restriction she was enduring due to the vice-grip that girdle had on her abdomen.

The lemonade I have made out of the sad state of my 60’s era National Geographic cover-worthy boobs, is that on cold winter days, while I am sitting in my house and feel the chill, they provide bonus warmth to my new stomach, and have actually become pretty good friends, as a result! They almost seem to suffer separation anxiety on the rare occasions when I need to strap on one of my industrial strength bras, with the steel reinforcements, and the 23 clips required in order to constrain all that matronly sexiness that just wants to ooze out at the most inopportune times in public. I’ll be totally honest here – sometimes just getting the thing on winds me – similar to the days I need to swap comforters out of the duvet covers.

Life’s a struggle and we all have our hills to conquer, but we carry on, don’t we ladies?

The hardest thing to make lemonade out of for me regarding the aging process has been the hair situation occurring in the last few years. This unforgiving trauma I endure on a daily basis has been one of the stealthiest missions of my life as a woman, and my secret shame.

In my youth, I had eyebrows like Brooke Shields. I actually had what some affectionately refer to as a “unibrow”, in fact. I was not allowed to pluck my eyebrows or shave any body part OR paint nails until I reached the age of 14 (some of my mother’s rules were absolutely wack- just pick an age out of your ass and make it law? Regardless of circumstance or evidence to the contrary??)

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My Grade 7 School Picture

But I digress – the minute I hit 14, I went off in a frenzy of hair removal and nail painting. I spent more time pulling hair out of my body than I did eating, or sleeping or exercising, or cutting the David Cassidy pictures out of Teen Beat. Any pictures of me from that summer show my sleek, tanned, bare legs with cute polish on the toes and my brassy Sun-In’d tresses blowing in the breeze. Two razor-thin lines where my eyebrows used to be – one cocked up in what I thought made me look quizzical, and mature. Oh- and my boobs where they belonged- their original placement, their designated lane.

I have barely any eyebrows now. A few wispy strands here and there. And the majority of them a glaring white that makes me squint if I look too close. It can sometimes make my head ache so bad from the glare that I need a vodka cocktail vitamins to make the pain go away. So, I sit there, with my cocktail vitamins and stare into the abyss mirror deciding which method I should deploy on that day to draw some on. I have pencils, and brow powders, and fancy brushes designed specifically to create eyebrows. Every shade from auburn to gray. Because the white hairs hurt my self esteem eyes, I usually pluck them all out, leaving myself with a larger canvas to work on. Most days, I just style my hair so that my bangs are hanging down past them, and call it a job well done!

Pat myself on the back for my exquisite time management skills.

The lemonade I cannot make and refuse to swallow involves my eyelashes. Somehow, maybe during that period of time that my ass went AWOL, my eyelashes started one by one dragging themselves down my face towards my chinny-chin-chin. I couldn’t swear in a court of law that the little hairs ARE my missing eyelashes, but I suspect that is what happened. So, now there is the extra work of removing them from my chin and then because life is so brutally unfair that it HAS to be a man, I cannot simply move them back where they belong – I have to decide whether I am going to use 56 coatings of mascara, glue a set of fake ones on ( glue= kryptonite), or just say screw it, and let my bangs grow even longer until they are completely covering my eyes. The mascara option is the one I most frequently choose, as it doesn’t involve the potential for blindness that the eyelash glue does and has frequently in the past.

The only downside to the mascara is that even with the application of the $40 primer to my eyelids, I end my days looking in a mirror to the sight of the menopause spiders© above my eyes. I assume it is because my temperature these days fluctuates from arctic deep freeze all the way to tropical rainforest, sometimes within a 5 minute span of time, but I am starting to take it personally, and that always means more vitamins.

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Menopause Spiders ©

The plus side to all of this aging bullshit, and disappearing body parts, and the sketchy hair realignment process, is that once you are my age, nobody really looks at you anymore anyway!

You are past the age of child-bearing, out tripping through the world blindly due to your long bangs, and the fact that your melting pool of mascara has temporarily blinded you. You are light-headed from the constriction of your bra and shape wear, hot-flashing like a mutha, sleep deprived and quite possibly in search of anyone to be mad at due to your raging hormones and the fact your face is slowly morphing into Doc’s from Back to the Future.

And you know what the answer to all of that is, don’t you?

MORE vitamins!

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Vitamin V ©

The OG Shannon

Individuality.

Something we all strive for, I guess, since we first looked at someone and hoped we were not like them at all. Our core uniqueness and character comes from the fact that we all see and experience life through different eyes and distinct perspectives due to experiencing particular events in our lifetimes.

I am aware that I think very differently than others think and also respond to events in ways that others cannot understand. By now,  I am long used to the reactions I get, so don’t tend to let them bother me in the least. I am pretty much an open book to those I invite into my inner circle. That circle is actually pretty small, the older I get, as not everyone can be trusted with knowing the real me, in all my uncensored glory, and with the tact sometimes of a drunken 3 year old.

I am fortunate where I work, as most times when I comment in inappropriate ways, they think I am joking around. That works great for me, as I don’t have to pretend and can basically say what is on my mind at any given moment in time. Of course, I am very aware of my audience at all times, so behave accordingly when I absolutely have to.

Examples:

  1. Co-Worker standing at my desk waiting for me to acknowledge their presence.

Me: “Can you be helped?”

2.  Co-Worker complaining about flight delay during departure for her 20 day   Mediterranean vacation. Launches into long, whiny, entitled rant on losing 2 hours of her holiday time sitting in the warm heated airport waiting for “her” plane to be de-iced twice prior to boarding.

My reaction:

hangover

So, in a nutshell- very low tolerance for bullshit and pity-parties, and some pretty intense black humour.

I could blame the humour on the Irish in me, but really think it is due to the life I have lived and even more so the things I have seen.

I’ve seen a lot- both in my personal life and in my career, back when I worked Hospice.

My experiences make me unique and quite the individual- some have even suggested I can be “a handful” at times.

I wouldn’t have it any other way!

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday Musings on Life & Aging

I finally get the deal with quinoa. It just slowly saps away your will to live, effectively becoming one of the best forms of population control the world has ever seen.
A GLOBAL conspiracy if I ever saw one.

Thirty years ago,  I would have  been just heading to bed after my Friday night of revelry.

Today, I am eyeballing the enormous left over stash of quinoa in my fridge and attempting to do my best to not have to throw it out.
Quinoa meatballs
Quinoa patties
Quinoa loose “meat”

It smells like I am trying to repel vampires in my house at this moment.  So much garlic..soooo much garlic.
Just to trick my brain into thinking it’s ground meat.

I have given up bread. I have given up pasta. I have virtually eliminated sugar from my diet.

I eat so many blueberries, I was reduced to googling green poo a week ago, and then making sure to delete my search history in the event I deceased and one of my kids went through my phone.

I have deduced that the only reason people lose weight eating clean is because they spend most of the day on their fucking feet chopping vegetables.

I am forced to admit that I feel better physically. I have lost twenty pounds in two months cutting out the wheat, sugar and most carbs.

I have increased energy, which is a great thing,  being  as all I do anymore is stand and chop vegetables for hours!

I google probiotics, iron-rich foods, and goddamned quinoa recipes in my spare time now. Time that used to be spent on YouTube watching bulldogs riding skateboards and old Aerosmith videos.

I plan my outings around if they have a Jugo Juice within ten kilometers of my destination.

I see Carl’s Jr commercials now and right out loud to the tv say ” oh get that into you now, you silly twats, cus in twenty more years, it’s all gonna come crashing down,  and you are going to be gagging back vitamins the size of that bikini bottom, and chopping veggies until you have forearms that rival Popeye’s!”

I also can’t wrap my head around how the girl I once was could munch on wild berries and mushrooms ( yes, yes THOSE!) and swim in murky rivers and creeks and consume all manner of illicit substances, but now needs to stand in the drugstore for FORTY-FIVE minutes debating which $ 4000.00(I kid) probiotics supplement she should purchase!

I was the generation who drank out of rust-laden garden hoses and had a dirt sandwich for lunch!

Now I need to worry about how much “good” bacteria is floating around in my tummy?

That’s gonna be an issue for me. I’m the girl who when asked by the obstetricians when my last period was,  responded ” Am I supposed to be like writing this stuff down?”

So, that’s my new existence,  in a nutshell.

I have to run – I smell the quinoa meatloaf burning.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/youth/

So Many Players You’d Think I Was a Boardgame

I am a piece of work and in my defence, I have always warned potential romantic partners of this fact.

Right in the beginning, actually.

First meeting.

” I can be a “bit” of a handful.”

Of course, the sociopaths ( I kid- a little) that are attracted to me just become more intrigued and grab on for dear life, usually.

I am the mistress of the game, I’m afraid.

I start like gang busters, providing you with advice and listening to your troubles and staying engaged and becoming your most trusted advisor/spiritualist/psychologist.

I prepare your most favourite meals, and remember all those little details you share with me about your preferences in clothing, television programs, music, and entertainment outings.

I could write tomes about your issues with your mother/father/siblings/ex-wife/children/boss/co-workers, and also provide reference material and perhaps footnotes at the end, like academic papers.

I start to take care of the little things for you like reminding you of bill payment deadlines, doing five years of back taxes for you by hand, arranging payment schedules for your student loans, and sometimes even arranging visitation for you with your children, if you have a difficult ex. She would rather deal with me than you, anyway- who wouldn’t?

I seem like the best thing that ever happened to you and you will tell me that over and over and over again, as you happily hand responsibility for all the boring minutia in your life over to my care.

We will carry on in this fashion for many years, until I suddenly wake up one day and realize that I am exhausted by the crushing weight of you and all your problems.

You will have long past forgotten to thank me for performing tasks, and will now take for granted that I am content and happy, due to the fact I don’t ask for anything and don’t complain.

This will carry on for approximately three years – this new phase.

I will catch you looking at me when you think I can’t see you- puzzlement all over your face at times.

You may start asking me what I am thinking about if I am quiet and I will respond with a laugh, ” oh nothing…you know me…just in my own little universe.”

Historically, around relationship years 12-18, I am coasting on my own cloud.

I begin withdrawing,  then dreaming, then planning on how best to extricate myself from you.

I can justify this by your bad treatment of me and how I am the one always giving but getting nothing in return.

Please note that I never once asked you or told you or even discussed in a serious way with you my own needs or where you were lacking.

I just assumed that you loved the same way I did, and that I would receive back automatically what I had given in the name of love.

I don’t and never have shared relationship problems with friends, so when it’s all said and done, I can tell those in my life whatever I want to as far as reasons for the breakup.

That is the game I play and although I am not in any way winning at it, until I change the rules of this game, I am afraid it will continue until I decide the time has come to forfeit my turn.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

 

 

 

Lonely

Lonely is such a strange word to me and forces me to think about how being lonely and being alone are entirely different things, which bring up very different feelings within me.

It arouses no pangs from within me, but the sight of the little bunny in the picture brought tears to my eyes, so there must be something lingering, likely related to my sons in some way. My youngest had a Peter Rabbit themed nursery, so that is where my thoughts have taken me today.

When cleaning out my sons’ rooms, after they moved away, the sight of their things made my chest hurt and tears sting my eyes, but I didn’t take the time to process the feelings inside me. There was work to do and things to stuff deep, as that is always easiest, right??

I think the only loneliness I feel right now is one for those sweet little boys and those simple days of routine and ruckus all rolled into one.

The days where I couldn’t think straight for lack of sleep, but recall laying in bed or on the couch, with little ones in my arms, their sleeping breaths fanning my cheek. Tickling my face from tendrils of my hair drifting back and forth.

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The absolute mess and devastation of my bathroom at all times, but particularly around seven in the evening, following their nightly bath. The time my oldest ran screaming down the hall to tell me his baby brother had decided to try and get the poop off his butt by using his Dad’s toothbrush.

The sight and smell of them together tucked into one bed. Always had their own beds, but the younger always seemed to find his way into the other bed by morning, so they woke up together.

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Their chubby little legs running through tall grass to get to the swings or slide. The way the sunshine made their cheeks so pink and hot. The smell of wet puppy that little boys always seem to have lingering on them after a day outside in the sun.

My oldest wanting Willow every single night for almost a year as his bedtime story. Reciting every word by heart. The expression in his voice and the sparkle in his eyes.

 

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My regret that I hid Curious George because it was 40 pages long and I had more important things to do than read a book that long at bedtime. Funny how I can’t remember now what was more important than poor Curious George- likely dishes or laundry. That saddens me.

My baby serenading me with Bryan Adams playing in my old Camaro. 2 1/2 years old, every lyric in his tiny little memory bank; him strapped in his car seat maintaining eye contact with me in the rear view mirror, ” Ebberyything I dooooooo…….I do it for YOU!”

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Assorted action figures, some with no heads, some missing arms and legs, buried in yards from the past. Pieces of paper with every colour of crayon utilized- torn, taped, and stuffed into file folders in a chest rarely opened, unless someone needs to know if they ever had chicken pox for their HR department.

The time they found a box of tampons under the bathroom sink and proceeded to soak them in the sink and then tie them around their Batman and Superman action figures ( parachutes – duh) and fling them down the hallway. Unfortunately, during a Tupperware party being hosted by moi.  The looks on the faces of the some of the ladies present and the roar of my Mom’s laughter filling the house.

Explaining over and over and OVER again that it is not OK to try to get up on Gramma’s lap, but that it WAS OK to kiss Nanny square on the lips if the feeling over came them.

Hearing their voices raised together ” Brudders stick together!”  – my lazy-ass version of a family mission statement.

The sight of them dropping their shorts to pee on the camp fire and try to put it out that one summer at the cabin. Still not sure where they got that idea.

Endless knock knock jokes and magic tricks from my eldest.

What I thought would be endless kisses and strokes of my hair by my youngest.

Their clear gazes- no blinking at all- staring at my face as if they were trying to remember it forever.

Those memories make me lonely now and I would give anything to go back for even one more day.

The Last Time

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before,
When you have freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.

You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feedings and burping,
Nappy changes and crying,
Whining and fighting,
Naps or a lack of naps,
It might seem like a never-ending cycle.

But don’t forget …
There is a last time for everything.
There will come a time when you will feed
your baby for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.

One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this.

One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus”
and do all the actions,
Then never sing them that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face.
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.

The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times.
And even then, it will take you a while to realize.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sylvester the Hun

The writing challenge asks my reaction to a black cat crossing my path.

If THAT was to happen,  I would scoop him up in my arms and check to see if he was our  Sylvester.

He was 23 years old when he died in my eldest son’s arms and I still miss him every damn day since he left.

Sylvester came to us in a very sneaky way. It was show and tell day in grade one and a little girl in my son’s class brought  a box full of kittens! (well-played, Mom *wink*)

Soon, the neighbourhood was full of black cats running around and he was but one of many for about five years.

From the start, he was the best cat ever. Chill. Low-maintenance. Independent.

He shared his home for the first few years with a very bitchy spaniel, so he learned to amuse himself in high places and outdoors.

God, how he loved to roam. A true tom-cat if there ever was one. Gifts of bunnies and birds on my back step for years; symbols of his love for us.

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The Circle of Life

Dragging his sorry butt home at 6 in the morning, ears torn from some fight in the night…remorseful looking to a degree, but also with a male swagger about him. One can only imagine how many lil Sylvesters roaming the city due to his midnight interludes.

He lived in five homes with us over his lifetime and grew up with my boys.

According to his Facebook page ( yes- he had Facebook) he enjoyed slow jazz, Nirvana and Bob Marley, as well as the occasional second hand puff of the herbal variety.

At the end, he was demented, and had cataracts, and also arthritis in his hips. The vet suggested watching to see if he seemed in pain, and if so, to bring him in, but he never showed pain. Just a slowing down phase. A following me everywhere phase, sniffing, hoping for a bite of cheese or maybe some meat. Some yowling randomly, where I would say ” Oh, Vesters, you bugger, you don’t even know any more what you are yowling for, do you, old guy?”

The saddest day for me was the day he yowled to be let out the patio door and as I stood there after opening it, he just lifted his head up a bit to the sun, but didn’t move a step towards outside.

He turned around and followed me back to the chair, where he lay on my legs in the sun, instead. He was a smart guy and knew his days of roaming were over. He could no longer defend himself in the great outdoors.

The day he died, both sons spent hours with him…petting him, talking to him, holding him, and loving him. He was loved so much by those boys; another brother of sorts.

He had heard all their secrets, and their tears had fallen on his fur many a time, in the quiet of their rooms.

He was wise and all knowing.

He knew all our secrets.

He knew where the bodies were buried and who broke the lamp.

He was a king among kings and a majestic proud beast and also a bit of a cad with the ladies, or so I assume.

I sure hope wherever he  is, that there is sunshine and warm summer days, squirrels and birds and bunnies to chase, and a warm lap and a hunk of cheese whenever he has a craving for it.

 

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