Friday, April 30, 2010

No Money For Me

The credit union I've banked with since 1975 has turned me down for a line of credit secured by my unencumbered house.  I'm now officially fucked. I can do nothing to take care of the problems with the house, and the boys have said they'll move in on the fourteenth, after the construction is done.  Now there'll be no construction.  And who knows how this will effect their decision to move in.

During the five years I was taking care of my mother, my own financial life went down the toilet with my sanity.  I ended up with a bankruptcy.  It's five years later and I have been a very good girl.  I haven't any debt at all.  But in the world of banking, that means I have no credit score.  And with no credit score, no current debt and record of payment, despite the fact that my collateral is an unencumbered house means no credit line.  With no credit line on the house, I can't do the repairs I need to do. I'm fucked!

And let's not forget those medical bills rolling in after my horrible hospitalization.  And for a moment I forgot all about Comcast.  I really am fucked.  And saddest of all, I'm not alone.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm Alone But We're All In This Together

My doctor appointment went well. Kristen and I always chat as she goes about pricking my finger and testing my clotting factor.  She thinks, given the shit, both literal and figurative, that's going on in my life, that I'm doing very well.  I'm coping.  I haven't spun off into thumb sucking depression or raging lunacy.

I've talked about the problems with my departing tenants.  This would be mostly of the literally shitty kind.  Three days of cleaning up other people's shit.  I felt like the Sisyphus of Shit. They knew they were leaving then.  It seemed so very deliberate and mean.  His response was little more than a shrug.  They'll be gone by tomorrow night.

Now I have to replace the dead washer and dryer.  And since they flooded the laundry room floor and the basement, I may have to make repairs before I can replace these appliances.  Shlepping laundry to the Laundromat is a bitch.  It's costly, too.

In taking a look at some of the things that needed repair in the main house we, the handyman and I, found what seemed like termite damage under the kitchen sink, and into the cabinet.  The kitchen dates from the very early 1050's, maybe earlier.  You don't fuck around with termites.  Though termites are not all that common in this dry climate.  But the damage is in a spot where there has been a water drip.  We won't know how extensive it is until we tear out the cabinets.  My handyman has a sink that will work there.  Sad that I don't get to design the kitchen of my dreams for that house.  But it will probably be an inprovement.  Hopefully more convenient, cleaner looking, better organized for a cook.  I hear the Dartmouth boy likes to cook.

The handsome young gentlemen with nice personalities and sense of humor will still move into the house.  Only not until the 14th of May.  But in the meantime, there will be some costly remodeling going on even if it is fast and on a severely restricted budget.  So today, after my doctor appointment, I went to vist the branch manager of the branch of the credit union I have a banking history going back to the mid 1970s.  I have a house that is unencumbered.  It's a big lot in a nice part of town.  You'd think that would count for something, but still it will take two weeks.  Two fucking weeks might as well be two months.  I need money now.  She asked me about family.  I have none.  She asked me for references.  I must have given her a blank look.  She said, "Friends?"  I had to think about it.  And though my friend and neighbor lives only three houses away, I don't know her address.  Fortunately I do know her phone number.  I don't have a cell phone with a bunch of programed in names and numbers.  I'm a relic.  I hardly exist.  She asked for another friend.  I wracked my brain.  I thought of a couple of people, but didn't know phone numbers or addresses.  I was ashamed and flustered.  I had documentation for proof of property tax and tax valuation of the property.  I had proof of homeowners insurance.  I have little credit history anymore.  But if she googled me, she'd see that I do exist.

Demolition starts Saturday.  Anybody in?

It's Snowing and I Have Termites.

I had to call my new tenants last night to let them know I'm going to have to tear out the kitchen cabinets to repair damage done by termites.  So the day the new tenants were to move in construction will begin on the kitchen.  The termite situation is due to bad calking around the sink.  Water has dripped on the wood supporting the sink and this is where termite damage is visible. Having termites anywhere in your house requires the hiring of a good exterminator to surround the house with pesticide specifically targeting termites.  It's expensive and a royal pain in the ass.  And all this needs to be done quickly.  I want the new tenants to be happy in their new home, and I want the house clean and in good repair.  This is going to be expensive.  After my doctor appointment today, I'm going to my credit union to apply for a line of credit on the house.

And to make all this just a little more painful, it snowed all night and I awoke at 7:30 to see snow on the ground.   It's been snowing all morning as I've been making calls to exterminators setting up appointments for tomorrow.  Now the snow is really sticking.  This comes after I've taken houseplants out for the spring.  If they die, they die.  I have bigger problems than a few dead houseplants.

The bad tenants are slow-walking their departeure.  Despite the fact that they have access to their new place, they are not going to be completely out of my house until the 1st.  There is no way they'll be able to get the place as clean as it was when they moved in.  I'm not sure they know how to clean.  So I have scheduled a cleaning person to come Saturday morning to start cleaning the bathroom and both bedrooms.  While were in the kitchen making a gawd awful mess, she'll be upstairs cleaning a gawd awful mess.  I'll make sure the kitchen is sealed off from the rest of the house with both a closed door and a plastic seal. 

I didn't find out about the termite damage until Tuesday when I took my handyman into the main house to have him look at a couple of small jobs there.  I had the first of three exterminators look at it yesterday.  I have two more inspections scheduled for tomorrow.  So this place is going to be very busy for the next few days.  This will seriously cut into my writing time as well as my twitter time.  Damn.

And for some reason spellcheck isn't working on blogger.  So if this is full of spelling errors, it's blogger's fault, not mine. I've never been able to spell well and don't notice typos.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

POTUS Is Looking For a Few Good Writers

Peggy --

We're looking for a few brilliant writers and organizers to join the email team at Organizing for America and the Democratic National Committee.

It's a challenging role that requires the ability to think strategically about advocacy and elections, write at a high level on tight deadlines, and manage sophisticated national campaigns. (A working knowledge of HTML is also really helpful.)

The salary and benefits are competitive, the team is great to work with, and the gig offers a historic opportunity to help President Obama and millions of OFA supporters change our country for the better.

Find out more and apply today:

Hope to hear from you soon,


Patrick Schmitt
Director of Email Campaigns

P.S. -- If there's someone you know who'd be a great fit, will you forward this email to him or her?

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Simple Solution To Illegal Immigration Now That Arizona Has Gone Crazy

Since most of you are descended from illegal immigrants of Eastern European ancestry, I propose that we preform a simple DNA test on everyone who claims to be a "citizen of the Untied States," and only those with Native American DNA may stay in this country. Simple, and relatively cost effective. Those Native American descendants moving north will be fine. Yes, there has been some intermarriage with those of mostly Spanish ancestry, but so long as the DNA shows that they are also descended from indigenous peoples they would be welcome.

I find it comical that there is such hysteria about "illegal" immigration. It is the people who self identify as "white" who are most hysterical about "illegal" immigration. This landmass was populated by native peoples for many thousands of years before it was "discovered" by the English and Spanish. Then came the hoards of others of mostly Eastern European descent. All these immigrants were, "illegal." We did not invite you, but we were not hostile to you until you started killing us, stealing our lands, and making and breaking treaties with us.

Let's be clear about a few things. You stole Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California from the Mexicans. You claimed it was your "Manifest Destiny" to move from the East Coast to the West Coast, gobbling our land and "giving" us the least habitable lands on this continent, the poorest of soil, and without much water. You "gave" us the lands where little would grow and our livestock could not graze. You tried to exterminate us. Well we are now sick of you and we want you to go home. The only immigrants among you we will keep are those you captured, transported here in ships, and sold into slavery. These people are our brothers and sisters. The rest of you should start packing. Your time has run out. If you cannot claim ancestry on this continent (which does, by the way, stretch from Canada to Argentina) prior to the early 1700's consider yourself served with an eviction notice.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

This Should Have Been a Great Day

I took a nap yesterday.  I got a good night's sleep and woke up naturally and dreaming good dreams.  I love dreaming.  I love the way I feel when I've been dreaming and wake up in my own natural time.  I didn't have a list of dreaded chores and faced no looming deadline, didn't have a list of errands to run.  So this should have been a wonderful day.

My friend and neighbor who likes to take Marley with her when she and her husband walk their Chihuahua every moring, called to let me know I needed to put Marley's harness on and send her out.  That was fine.  She's a good friend.  But she's married to a man who can't stand me.  I seem to have that effect on a lot of men.  She offers to do things for me.  I accept her offer. But eventually he gets pissed off that she's spending so much help either over here or on the phone with me.  She'd talked me into letting her screen prospective tenants since she thinks I'm too easily charmed. She says I give too much information and that I tend to be too nice.  Hard to believe, isn't it?  But rather than argue with her, I say, "Fine.  You do the initial screening."  This means that her phone number is on the information sheet attatched to the For Rent sign in front of the house.  Now her husband is pissed off that she's taking those calls. So she sets up a time to meet the poeple when they make an appointment to see the house, but he has forbid her from entering the house.  He claims the recent plumbing problems have made the house potentially hazardous to her health.  There was raw sewage in their kitchen sink a week ago this past Tuesday, but the New Kids were told by the plumber they had to wash everything that came in contact with the sewage with bleach.  They're still alive.  And there were two days of raw sewage flooding my bathroom/solarium.  I cleaned it up and she's been over here several times drinking beer.  I think mainly to get away from him and to drink beer without having him count the number and add up the cost. I buy beer and borboun for her so she can get her coping buzz on.  Who the hell am I to judge?  I thought part of the reason she offered to help me was to get away from his controlling behavior.  But now it's her safety he's worried about. I won't let her help me anymore, since it always turns into a problem. I won't call her house since it seems to put her on the spot with him.  My world grows ever smaller.  But I'm sick of the bad vibe and the hastle.  Seems the more contact I have with the world out there, even if it's with girl friends, the more my happy day gets ruined.  I've had adrenalin poisoning all damn day.

I want to go back to sleep and dream it all again, have at least one good day this week.  Is that asking too much?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Let's Imagine the Perfect Tenant For Me

First thing comes to my mind is a gay couple.  That would be ideal.  Or a man who can do things.  A man who knows how to change a furnace filter or insulate the attic.  I'm not crazy about the idea of the young. I know that's ageist... But god dammit I'm sick of dealing with naughty children.  I'd like someone who really liked the very old house that doesn't have a dishwasher but has a great back yard, the patio, the hammock, the shade, flowers, great neighbors, off street parking for two cars.  And it's the best little neighborhood in the city.  A real locally owned coffee house, The Coffee Garden.  There are good restaurants and Salt Lake's first art theatre, The Tower, where I rolled around naked with my first boyfriend who worked there after school.  I was thirteen. Nearly.  But I digress.

Where were we?  Any suggestions?  He or they could have cats but it would be best if they were inside cats.  It's a doggy world back here.  So, these new and wonderful tenants will love my dogs.  And because of the dogs and the hardwood stairs, I think the house isn't child friendly.  I grew up in it and if my parents hadn't lived there it might have been lovely. The neighborhood has improved since they died. But I digress.

Monday, April 19, 2010

For Hanging In There With Me.

When the shit hits the fan there's nobody like you to make me feel that someone feels my pain and wishes me well.  There's nothing better than that, unless it would be a sweet, sexy, handy man in bed with me.  Now that would be The Top! Make him a bass player and I could die happy.

Feelin' Better

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'm Drowning In Shit, And It's Not Mine.

I spent five hours cleaning my bathroom and solarium floor last night.  Once all the sewage was cleaned up I bleached everything: the floor, the tub, the toilet, the sink and the legs of the furniture that's too big for me to move.  By the time I was finished it was close to 10:30.  I put the furniture I could get out of the Solarium back in place and then spent a little bit of time on twitter.  While I was sitting at my computer I started hearing a bubbling sound.  It was sewage bubbling up through the floor drain.  And while I was listening to that disaster begin again, I could also hear the New Kids having a party in the backyard.  This situation is getting very close to pushing me over the edge.

Phillip called me last night to let me know that he's getting spam type email from my facebook site.  I've sent no one any email invites from FB. I don't know how to use facebook well enough to do anything with it.  Turns out I have two facebook accounts, and one of them is sending out email.  I now want to close out all of my facebook existance and stop that madness. By the time Phillip and I were through talking I was in tears.

I did a 1:00 AM clean up of the last shit storm of the day and then went to bed.  I got up this morning to find the floor still clean and used the toilet.  I flushed. So far so good.  Then I got my coffee and took the dogs outside.  I came back into the house to hear the bubbling noise.  The bathroom/solarium is now flooded with about 3 inches of sewage water.  I'm shaking with rage and grief.  I called Joe's Triple A.  Joe answered the phone and said his weekend crew is in Church but as soon as they're out, he'll send them to my house.

I walked over to the main house to see if there is sewage water in the basement there.  It didn't look like there's new flooding there, but it's 60 degrees outside and they have the furnace cranking hot air. I'd bet money they also have the windows open.  I'm shaking with rage. I know I can't talk to them now, or who knows what the next assault on the house will be?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's Baaack.

Now the plumbing problem has worked its way to my place.  Thank god the bathroom and solarium are a couple of feet lower than the main part of the little house.  The floors are tile, so once I unplugged all the entension cords and lifted the fifty pounds of dog food and the good leather backgammon set and the rugs and stuff, it began to slowly drain, but now everything that sat in it, if for only a moment, must be washed with bleach.  Bugger!

I had other plans for today.  But if it weren't this making me put it off for a day, it'd probably be procrastination.

The weekend shift of Joes Tripple A only took an hour to get here, but now they have a tall, swarthy charmer who wants me to write a screenplay for a low budget film he wants to make.  He sounds and looks Yugoslavian.  I know that's so old school of me, but I spent a month traveling the length of the coast line, staying in people's houses.  I thought pretty much everyone was interesting looking.  This man, I'm guessing to be in his sixties.  Maybe he's Turkish or Algerian, last name Vasiliou.  But I'm guessing one of the parts of the old Yugoslavia.

He was the one of the two guys from Joe's who came into my little house to see the result of the problem.  He asked me what I do, and I told him I'm a writer. Then he told me he's a movie maker.  He works for Joe as a second job, but movie making is what he wants to do.  He left me his business card and, as business cards go, it's well designed and looks serious.  Biggest drawback for me is his politics.  He's going to run for public office as a Republican.  I think he's a Sarah Palin fan.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dirty Laundry

Friday the weather's going to be beautiful, but I'll be lugging five loads of drity laundry to a the Laundromat.  Next week I'll start looking for a newish washer and dryer.  I'll also be getting a line of credit against the house.  I'll have to hire help with the garden and yard this year.  Ms M, I miss you.  She was very helpful with the yard work.  The New Kids did none of the things they said they would.

I'm more interested in writing now than I have been in a long time.  Chapters are lining up waiting for me to catch up and be done with life's dirty laundry.  I want to go riding, so I'm taking one of my characters riding.  None of my characters wants to do the hard work of moving the pile of bricks from outside the back gate to inside the back gate.  It would be great exercise for my arms, but would kill my back.  I'm going to hire a couple of the young men from the Ward to help me.  One of my two Mormon friends in the neighborhood has given me phone numbers.  Slowly I move forward.  But only I can do my dirty laundry.  It can't be put off another day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shit Happens & It Does Run Down Hill

This is the last month the New Kids are occupying the main house.  The male part of the New Kids (I'll call him the New Guy) and I had a contretemps over an unpaid gas bill and an open door.  Words were exchanged in anger and apparently no one has ever spoken to him in that way ever before in his life.  I'm that scary I guess.  Who knew?  Now all communication having to do with their tenancy has to go through an intermediary.  So this morning just as I was leaving the house to go buy a new washer and dryer, I got a call from the intermediary telling me that the male New Guy called her to inform her that water is leaking from the shower into the basement.  I went over and took a look in the basement and sure enough the basement floor is wet.  I looked around for a dripping pipe or some other source of leaking water and could detect none.  I called my friend Joe at Joe's AAA Drain & Sewer Cleaners and he was here in half an hour. 

Joe asked me to got upstairs and run the shower.  This is the first time I've walked through the main house since they've moved in.  I'm in shock.  I've never seen a filthier house.  The shower probably hasn't been cleaned since they moved in.  I ran water and no, it isn't the shower that's the culpret, it's the washing machine drain.  Joe's been working on it for a half an hour and it isn't clearning.  I don't dare talk to the male New Kid since he thought I was horrible about the unpaid gas bill (since paid) and now will have nothing to do with me.  I'm so fucking mad I'm shaking as I type this.  How can people live in a house littered with trash.  Everything in the bathroom is on the floor: wet towels, dirty clothes and debris of an unknown origin.  The house smells bad.  I'm shaking with anger and I  know I can't get into it with the New Guy who is now home and feigning total innocence (ignorance) which seems fake to me.

Joe had his assistant ran water into the washing machine and that drain is plugged so bad Joe can't get it to clear.  He asked me to check the kitchen drain.  When I looked at the kitchen sink it looked like someone had been dumping a months worth of coffee grounds in the drain.  I reached in to move the coffee ground looking stuff and it turned out to be several inches of backed up crap (possibly literally, since it is very slimy and stinky).  Now I want to throttle the 6' 6" New Guy.  He came home while we were trying to find the source of the plug and is Mister Innocent, all wide eyed and way too pleasant.  I can't express my anger or disgust with the state of the house and the plumbing.  I obviously will have to postpone the washer/dryer purchase until the plumbing problem is solved.  I suspect sabotage.  I suspect passive-aggressive bullshit as payback for my speaking harshly to The New Guy. I'm trying very hard not to say anything that will piss him off any more than he is already pissed off. 

It's looking like I'll have to get a line of credit against the house and replace the sewer line.  It will require digging up the sewer line and that will require a backhoe in the backyard.  I had plans to spend tomorrow with my friend who has MS.  We were planning a trip to Costco.  I have a feeling I'll be spending tomorrow at the bank and then taking bids on a major construction/plumbing job.  Anybody know a good plumber?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Behaving Badly

I took a challenge from a man to write a little erotica.  Sure, I can do that.  I have a lifetime of sex, good and bad, and scandalous behavior, and too many men, and some very crazy women to draw on.  I have been pursued by both men and women.  And though now I may sound like the kind of woman who always knew what she would do and what she wouldn't do, life isn't always so simple as yes to this and no to that.  I might pull a gun on a married man who wouldn't leave me alone, and turn around to passively accept from another man what seems now, in hind sight, like the worlds stupidest bad behavior.  I have actively participated in a three way with my significant other and another woman; a woman of my choosing.  Bad behavior, willingly engaged in.  And it ruined everything.  At least for a couple of years it did.  I became the woman who broke another woman's heart and made the man who wasn't sure whether or not he loved me jealous and insecure for the first time, maybe the first time in his life.

When I moved back to Salt Lake from Santa Barbara I started modeling again.  I was a known commodity here and had for decades known all the women in the fashion industry in Salt Lake from the models to the agents to the buyers, store owners, and fashion coordinators, so I had a head start.  The amazing thing was the change in the industry.  Older models were in demand for the first time ever and there weren't any in my age group working here then.  So I filled a niche.  I was in demand.  And I ran with the wild women.  They ranged in age from late twenties to late thirties and I was ten years older than the rest.  I was also the only one with a fairly large house and no husband to frown on our behavior.  So we did a lot of partying at my place.

And like any segment of the population some of us drank too much, did drugs, had reckless and naughty sex with the wrong people and talked about it.  The main difference is that we were great looking women.  So what I haven't done myself I've heard about in detail from each one of those women.  Some of the stories are legendary and the women in question notorious for having lived to tell those stories.  There were parties I didn't go to that were so outrageous and talked about so long that these stories have survived like famous jokes from legendary comics. I could write about those parties I didn't attend perhaps better than I could about things that happened in my own house, even in my own bed.  You see, I'm ambivalent about my own bad behavior, but not so much about someone else's.  But can I turn the me character into a woman who wasn't so ambivalent?  Can I give that character permission to enjoy her bad behavior more than I actually enjoyed my own, in point of fact?  Am I a fiction writer or am I a woman who writes nothing but memoir and only changes the characters names and hair color.  We shall see.

The first five chapters of The Masseur (a working title) were a breeze to write.  But the sixth chapter is the real beginning of the women behaving badly in a way most of you will say is pure fantasy, grotesque, just wrong, couldn't possibly have happened, so it must be fiction and not that believable as fiction.  But do some of the scenes turn you on, despite yourself?   That's the part that interests me.  Can I make these women real to you?   Can I make your naughty parts tingle a little in spite of your disapproval?  That's the challenge.

Is there an objective truth?  Does anyone really ever tell the complete truth about themselves?  Perhaps it's only when you stop telling your story and start make shit up that you get to the truth.  Is anything in the new book really fiction?  I'll let you be the judge of that.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Paul Winter Consort: Icarus

And You Thought You Knew Everything About Me

I wrote this early in 2009.  Here's the link to the original; I think the comments are as funny as anything I wrote here. A word of warning. You might not respect me once you read this.

I think farts are hilarious. And the reaction of humans and their farting behavior is also hilarious. I have female friends who have been married serially and once for a real long time who claim to have never let one rip in front of the hubby. I think that's insane. But in doing an informal and not quite scientific study have found an alarming number of women who just don't get the humor of retaliatory farting.

I'm also a fan of the fart machine. Especially the fart machine with a remote control.

My longtime (and recurring) ex and I used to take the fart machine to the Symphony. I would slip it in my elegant Armani pants pocket and he would use the remote control. You might think this sexist--giving him all the power, but I beg to disagree. The farter is always the one with the real power. The one with the remote just gives the farter the power at the moment of maximum discomfort for the people around the farter, thus bestowing great comedic power on the farter. Innocence feigned is best in situations like that. The elegantly dressed female farter going round the nosh table at intermission in the important peoples room, the big contributors room at intermission of the symphony is one of my favorite comedic moments. I lean in next to a women who is more than likeley wearing magic underwear and has her Temple Recommend in good order and Tom hits the button on the remote control and out comes a two or three tone blast of a sound that is none other than a fart. I slit my eyes at the matron in the gold lame and quickly look away and her face turns scarlet. My eyes are watering with suppressed laughter. I put two fingers to my nose and pinch it gently. I roll my watering eyes at the man behind me as I slit my eyes toward the unfortunate matron ahead of me. He smiles involuntarily. And I leave the table with a couple of cookies on a napkin to take to Tom.

We sit for a second and laugh decorously. A man sits next to me after we regain our composure and Tom gives the remote control two hits of the button. One long bleating fart and then a very loud single note blast. Tom and I move two seats away from the man and then we lean out to look at him. He turns his head away in shame. And so it goes. I do one trip completely around the table farting gayly every time I reach for something. I stuff my face and giggle as I fart my way around the table. I'm amazed no one ever had to do the Heimlich maneuver on me. Then the bell rings and intermission is over. I am doubled over with laughter as we take our seats for the second act.

I have so many heinous stories of farting this will have to become a series. Tom once smacked me for farting most foul in the bed. He started it, so my retaliation seemed quite reasonable to me. I did not cotton to the double standard. His smacking me hard on the ass for a particularly silent and stinky fart was such a grievous breaking of the rules of fair play that it resulted in my leaving him. Oh yes. There are rules of fair play when it comes to farting.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Remaining Twelve Things

13.  I carried on an affair with a man I had no respect for because he had two polo ponies from Argentina and I wanted to help train and condition the horses over a winter and spring.  I kept having sex with him through the polo season so I could learn to play polo.  Then he went on a vacation to South Africa. He came back telling stories about how inept and corrupt the blacks in the government were compared to the old Apartheid regime.  Then I dumped him.

14. When I was twenty-one I spent a year in Italy modeling.  I became the darling of a very famous group of artists.  I also had an affair with Nino Cerruti.  He was such a lovely, sexy man.  I was afraid I'd fall in love with him, so when he invited me to his birthday party I lied to him and told him I was going to the country house with Arnaldo Pomodoro and Toni Del Renzio.  I was always invited to spend the weekends with Arnaldo and Toni and the rest of the artists in the group.  But the real reason I declined Nino's invitation was the fear of loving him.  Loving a man has always frightened me.  It's all about fear of rejection, fear of abandonment.  What a shame I've deprived myself of love.

15. Truth is, I've been happiest living alone.  I have no family.  Only a dwindling few friends.  Death is stalking us all.  But I live my life the way I choose.  There is no one telling me I should or shouldn't do this or that.  There is no one monitoring my every purchase.  There is no one trying to coerce me, or trick me into doing what I'd rather not.  There is no one to fight with over control of the remote.  There is no one to do the things that I think men ought to be able to do.  I miss this aspect of having a relationship with a man.  I can cook, but I can't install a programable thermostat or fix the broken dryer.  I can paint the walls, but I can't paint the ceiling.

16. I've had the strangest weakness for bass players.  I lived with a very talented bass player for twenty some years, off and on.  I had an affair with an Italian bass player in 1965.  His name was Toio.  Sad I can't remember his last name.  He too was very talented.  He was also a patient and skilled lover.  Actually, except for the symphony bass player, my bass player lovers have been spectacularly good in bed.  Something about the hands.  I love the look of a man playing the stand up bass; it's shaped like a woman, and I especially like to watch the fingering.  Don't care that much about the bowing.  Maybe that's why the symphony player wasn't that good in bed.  He couldn't improvise like the jazz bassists.

17. I've had a strange sexual reawakening lately.  I thought I was through with all that.  I'm not actually engaging in any sex with a real person in the flesh.  But I've had a lovely flirtation with man I've admired for a long time.  I've never seen him. I very likely never will.  And most likely if I did meet him, it would ruin everything.

18. And while I'm on the subject of sexual fantasy versus reality...  I've always believed one of the differences between men and women is that men try to live their sexual fantasies. This often results in unintended consequences.  And it also lessens the power of the fantasy.  I think most women know the value of fantasy as fantasy.  It has real power so long as it remains a fantasy.  Nothing can ruin a good fantasy faster than reality.

19. I've become nearly invisible in my old age.  This happens to all of us as we age.  At some point you notice guys are no longer checking you out.  I found this very liberating. Now I rarely wear make-up.  About the only concession I make to pulling myself together for the public these days is to wear a bra.  I don't really give a shit how I look these days.  Having spent my life having to look good and then hating the attention that it drew, I now luxuriate in my invisibility.

20.  I think beautiful women are given a power that always becomes problematic.  Someone once said to me that great beauty is like great inherited wealth.  You did nothing to earn it or deserve it, and you'll never know if people love you for just your looks or just your money.  The beauties often feel like objects. It's not a good feeling.  For some men a beautiful woman is a great accessory.  Beautiful women are a challenge to a certain kind of man, kind of like prey. The nice guys don't tend to court the beauties.  I'm not sure why.  And very few women really like the beauties when they show up at the dinner party.  They too objectify the beauty and dismiss her.  How could it be possible to be that pretty and be smart and funny as well?  Where's the justice in that?  The beauty is often seen as a threat. I'm no longer a threat to anyone.  It's nice.

21. I have a temper.  I will no longer muzzle myself.  Good thing I live alone.  I'm probably a lot nicer to animals than I am to people.

22. I lived an interesting life in interesting times.  It was not easy.  But now I have a great deal of material to write about.  For me the real challenge is to use the material less as memoir and more as fiction.  The new book is fiction.  The characters are drawn from life, but I have taken great liberties with them.  Like they say, "The characters in this book are not based on any persons living or dead." And whenever I see that disclaimer, I think, 'sure they aren't.'

23. I'm addicted to twitter.

24. I've smoked cigarettes since I was five.  My heinous mother taught me to smoke and mix simple cocktails. She thought it was amusing to have me smoke and tend bar at her parties.  I had a very strange childhood.  I've smoked pot since I was eighteen or so.  My doctors are amazed that my lungs are clear.  My lungs are huge, but clear.  Suck on that haters.

25. It's been so long since I've been held or felt naked skin on naked skin, I have skin hunger.  I'd like once more to be held in a naked embrace by a man I trust.  I think it isn't likely to ever happen again.  So living in my head is the next best thing.  Now I'm writing about being held in a naked embrace.

If I've repeated myself in this list I apologize.  I'm too lazy to go look at the first list of things to check.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Midnight Sun

A little sexy talk and I'm craving music like this:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Twenty Five Things

Yes, you're in for twenty five things you may wish you didn't know about me after I tell you what they are.  This sort of thing is a direct result of giving in to peer pressure on facebook.  And if you've been crazy enough to have followed me from the beginning you may know some of these things, but if your new to my place, this will be news and you might not respect me in the morning.

1. I'm known to the men from my past as: difficult, mean, argumentative, that know-it-all bitch, and the woman who left for no good reason.

2. I'm a terrible flirt.  I have no inhibition when it comes to telling attractive men just how attractive they are.  This means the guys at the pharmacy love to see me coming.  They remember my name. 

3. I'm a very good shot.  I've written about my history with guns.  There are two little essays in my short story collection about my early years with guns and my later years with guns.  The last time I owned a handgun I was being stalked by a discarded lover who came to my door about 2:00 AM.  He kept knocking and making a general nuisance of himself.  I got my handgun and opened the door.  I pointed it at his face and told him to get the fuck out of my life, and if he didn't, next time he came knocking on my door I'd just shoot him.  I never heard from him again. And I got rid of my gun not long after that episode.  I realized I really did want to shoot him.

4. Most of you know this, but for those who don't, I was sexually abused all through my childhood and my mother knew about it and did nothing.  This leads to all kinds of problems in later life.  I neither trust men nor women.  This also means I spend all my disposable income on therapy and psychoactive drugs.  It's this early trauma that triggered the PTSD, anxiety disorder,  agoraphobic tendencies, and may have exacerbated my bipolar disorder.  It also led to a lot of inappropriate sexual acting out.

5. I modeled almost all my life.  I have lived in small towns where there were no opportunities for a model and in those places I did things like manage a huge disco and bar where I turned a losing venture into one so successful it eventually imploded.  See the short story, Too Damn Big.

6.  The young people who worked for me in the Disco/Bar wanted me to be their Madame. Yes, it's true. I was asked to be the Madame for a bunch of very smart, talented, attractive college students wanting to make a buck and have me manage their business. I said no, but by then, at that point in my life, as the wife of a college professor living in a small college town, I knew it was time for me to get the hell out of Dodge. Scandal was a brewing.

7.  I was always athletic.  I learned to ski at five until I wrecked both knees in my forties.  I rode horses all my life. I danced. I twirled my baton and stepped high in my white tasseled boots. I tumbled. I was a softball champ in grade school.  I was the pitcher and the home-run champ.  I took fencing as a way to work off excess hostility when my third husband and I were living in Denver where he was getting his PhD.  I was skilled enough to compete, but it was my raw aggression that made me dangerous with my custom made epee.  I still have it. I imagine I could still be dangerous with my epee.  Every now and then I sharpen the edges of the blade.  I might not be able to stab anyone with the point, but I could leave some nasty cuts and welts.

8. I've had so many lovers I can't remember half of them. Shameful isn't it?  I've had three husbands.  I've left every man I ever lived with or was married to.  I'm the kind of woman who leaves.  The reasons I leave are many, but most of them are rooted in my childhood.

9.I've been writing for forty years or more.  No man I've lived with or loved in all that time was ever been willing to read anything I wrote.  I asked them to read this or that and was always told no, or maybe later, but none of them ever read a word I wrote until I was living alone and writing on this blog.

10.  I've been in therapy since I was 16.

11. I was an early admissions student at the University of Utah in 1961. I'd always loved books.  I read adult books when I was a child.  I thought it might help to know what the enemy was up to, and reading the books they read might help me understand them.  So English Lit was a breeze for me.  I'd already read those books.  I was a good reference librarian for a too brief year.  It was my favorite job. Then I got promoted to the worst job I ever had: Assistant Director for Marketing and Development of the Salt Lake County Library System.  I discovered a massive fraud.  I blew the whistle. Nobody likes a whistle blower.

11. I was incredibly passive well into my thirties.  I had no desire to marry any of the men I married, but they pursued me so aggressively I just acquiesced.  The men I married were of the generation that believed it was their birthright to be cared for by a loving and obedient woman.  I went to school, worked outside the home, kept the house clean, did the laundry, shopped and cooked, and even bought their clothes for them.  I was also a pretty passive sexual partner.  I don't mean that I just lay there like an inanimate object but I did what they wanted and I did it with the same energy I did everything else.  It just wasn't what I wanted to do.  But then, I didn't want to do the laundry either, yet I did it well.

12.  I tried every drug that came my way during the 60s.  I was a woman of my generation and I traveled.  I planned to live and die young.  I believe anything my elders told me.  I pretty much knew they were lying hypocrites. So, my motto was don't knock it if you haven't tried it.  I discovered that the only drug I took that didn't exacerbate the depression and or rage was pot.  So pot it was.  Pot it still is. 

I know I haven't got to number 25 yet, but I'm exhausted and need a nap.  I know that unless these lists are limited to a very narrow field, like jobs you've had, or favorite books, I'll say some dark and scary shit.  You might not like me after you read what I say here. You may cover your eyes and run screaming from the room.  Don't trip on the way out.  I never claimed I was going to be easy.  I quit being easy when I was 35.  I was long overdue and my rage had been simmering for a long time.

It may take me a day or two to get back to finishing this list, but I don't write about myself in an openended forum and hold back.  If you're asking about me, and I'm answering, I'll tell you what I believe to be the truth, no matter how dark that truth might be.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Dear Fred

Fred is my therapist.  He says he reads my blog and can tell how I'm doing by what I'm writing about.  And he might be a bit worried about my mental health since I'm all over the place lately.  I wrote a bit of "erotica" (some would call it porn, some would say it wasn't nearly graphic enough). I have almost no inhibitions about writing.  For Fred, this might be a sign that I'm acting out in a sexual way.  This is one of the "problems" facing those with poorly managed bipolar disorder.  We can be very impulsive when mildly manic.  But no one as reclusive as I would be out acting out in the real world.  I'm home alone acting out.  My dogs are fed and napping and I can act out without hurting anyone.  So what's the damn harm in writing a little erotica?

Yes there were a couple of gloomy poems, but hell, that's what I do when I'm gloomy; I write about it.  Where's the harm in that?

I've been pissed off that it's taken so long to recover from my bout of diverticulitis.  I blame the hospital stay.  It was a real bitch.  I may be pissed off about that for a long time; the bills are starting to roll in.  I'm going to challenge every fucking charge.  They did their best to flip me into a bipolar crisis.  I'm coping.  Maybe not perfectly, but coping none the less.

So don't worry Fred.  I might be flirting with an unavailable and inappropriate man I'll never meet, but god it's fun. And where's the harm in that?

Music Monday

Herbie Hancock Feat, Corinne Baily Rae ~ River

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I Live in a Theocracy; It's Called Utah

Utah has never been anything but a theocracy. It began as a theocracy and has, despite joining the Union, never really changed it's ways. Once in a great great while we elect a Democrat to Congress but unless they toe the Church line they don't last long. And there are a few Mormon Democrats, or so I've heard. Here, in the only liberal bastion in the state, Salt Lake City, we now and then elect a Democratic Mayor, or even the rare Governor. But it doesn't really matter all that much since the Mormon Church owns the State. In my neighborhood we non-Mormons have a majority, but that doesn't matter much given that I live in the most liberal enclave in the city, and it's tiny. I rarely travel outside my neighborhood if I can help it.

In any business in Utah that has a TV in a corner to entertain and inform those having to wait, and so need entertaining, Fox News or the local Fox affiliate is on and woe to the pushy broad who wants it changed. The only good thing about my recent hospital stay was I had control of the remote and MSNBC had not been blocked. For years the one cable channel that's broadcast at a volume so low only teenagers can hear it and they don't give a shit, was MSNBC. It's better now, but still not as clear or loud as Fox.

Mormons are told how to vote, what to think, what to believe, who to donate to, what to wear, right down to the magic underwear. The Mormon Church is homophobic in the extreme and racist to it's very deep dark secret core.  Shit, blacks weren't even allowed inside the Ward Houses (Mormon for the churches every few blocks or so) and then the light went on.  Black people make up a very large tithing opportunity missed and the Grand poobah had a "revelation from God" saying "Now's the time to rake in those dollars, so go ye missionary men to Africa and bring back the converts, for now we see the error of our past marketing plan."  And God must have also said something alone the lines of "But the Gays?  Not so much."  The rich white men who make up the leadership of the Mormon Church are called The Quorum of the Twelve.  It's a multi layer marketing plan and policy making organization.  And as a result of the monetary focus of the official church policy, Utah is the scam capital of the Nation.  The dollar is almighty god here.  And any business person moving into Utah will be smart to join the club. But remember ladies, it's an old boys club.  Women have their place, but it isn't as leader of the church, the family, or business.  It's a patriarchal institution.  But then aren't they all?

The Mormon Church was originally organized as a commune or a little Communist State complete with communal farms and distribution points.  One of Salt Lakes most successful retail outlets was ZCMI or Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution.  The Mormon version of a Church is a Ward house which is the small neighborhood version of a Stake House and next up is the Temple in every town and country.  The Mormon Church has it's own institution of higher learning called Brigham Young University, and it has a very strict dress code within it's code of conduct. Mormon kids are supposed to always look like those clean-cut Mormon boys who go on their obligatory missions just out of high school.  It's what they do instead of Military Service.  And the Mormon Church doesn't pay their way. Their families do.  It's a win/win for the Church. Ship the boys off when they're horniest, to parts far far away where they live with other boys just like themselves, and then when they make converts, those converts will be tithers for the greater good.  But while you're on that mission, boys, don't turn gay. It's an unforgivable sin here in Zion.  Yes, they do call it Zion.

Every voting district in Utah is just a collection/collective of Wards and Stake Houses.  Most polling places are located in Wards.  There is tremendous pressure on Mormons to vote with the Church.  Independent thinking is seen as rebellious and deviant.  It's a threat to the common good.  Every high school has a "seminary" across the street where Mormon doctrine is taught to the future worker bees.  The State Seal is a Beehive.

I know way too much about the Mormon Chruch's strange customs and bizarre history.  I have a girlfriend who was raised in a polygamus family right here in Salt Lake.  They are everywhere and living in plain sight.  The Mormon Church does not want them prosecuated and unless they do something really outrageous like kidnapping little girls and marrying them off to nasty old men they get a pass.  And one last irony:  Alcohol is prohibited in the Mormon Church yet Utah has the highest per capita alcohol consumption in the country.  Welcome to my world.

Into The Dark Quiet

I must cut myself off
Hide my need want nothing
I must go back to the center
Dive into the dark want nothing

I must gather myself together
Want nothing need no one dive deep
Into the dark back to a quiet center
Drive want deep into the dark quiet

© Peggy Pendleton