Monsters and Madness and Coffee Machines

 

So my coffee maker is a jerk.

Hold on……let me come at this from a different angle.  But just so it’s on record, my coffee maker is a total jerk.

My husband and I agree on approximately three things.  That may be too harsh, so let’s round it up to ten.  We agree on ten things.  In this vast wide world…ten.  He hates fabric softener and I like Downy.  He likes Colgate and I prefer Crest.  He likes wimpy Blonde Roast and I like coffee that could pave a driveway.  He fishes for a day and a night and another day in all kinds of weather and I shun the sun. I wear a hat almost everywhere and he worries about his hair.  I am a music fanatic and he is just now learning about Led Zeppelin and Rush.  I want to learn French and he barely manages with the English language.  I bought a honey soap that apparently will be our next common ground.  Take it where ya can get it baby.

We had a Keurig for a long time.  It sounded like an old Boeing 747 taking off.  It was about ten years old and begged me to kill it gently so it could leave this cruel world.  It was tired.  It was old.  It needed diapers.  It was time to get a new one.  I’m an avid follower of reviews.  I don’t even buy soap without reading reviews.  It’s not that I always take heed, it’s that I find them terribly amusing.  People lose their minds over the slightest mishap or what in their minds they feel should be an appropriate response from an appliance.  I read a review on Home Depot for the washer and dryer we have that one person felt the melody at the end sounded sad and therefore they regretted buying it.

So, Magilla wanted a new Keurig.  I’m a bit of an environmentalist hippie and wanted something that wouldn’t make me feel like I needed to confess to the EPA that my household singlehandedly contributed to the point of overflow to one landfill.  So I bought a simple, highly rated coffee maker which in short – sucks.  It’s basic to the point of rude.  There’s no timer to make coffee automatically.  There’s no keep warm button.  Nothing.  You brew and you drink it.  Or else.  It was like Keurig was telling me their version was better and I should take my high-minded ethics and shove them where the sun don’t shine.  I made coffee yesterday that was absolute crap.  It was awful.  I called my coffee maker a few names and Magilla valiantly offered to buy a new one.  All I have to do is pick it out and before anyone says, “Awwww he’s so sweet”, no he’s not.  He’s just trying to preemptively shut me up.

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This is possibly the best Q&A I’ve ever seen on Amazon.  Karen’s husband is a genius.  I don’t know him but I love him.  It’s the kind of snarky crap I would come out with out of sheer boredom – or in other terms…this blog.  As I’ve been writing this I’m listening to Monster by Eminem (and yes for the record – I’m a huge fan.  Anyone as crazy and blunt as I am – actually more so – has my undivided attention).  It’s amazing what inspires us to create, draw, write, sing, act.  Could be a crazy review or it could be a song or it could be the need to feed monster that thrives on creation.

Caffeine just fuels the span of attention required to examine this nonsense.

This is my 50th post.  I’ve ranged from humor to tears.  I’ve nailed politics, celebutantes, racism, appliances, family genetic deficiencies and I readily admit that there is no set rules here.  I write about my life.  I write about my quirky, crazy husband, my father’s losing fight with Alzheimer’s, my mother’s propensity at 75 to still think everyone is kind and good and my daughter’s sass.  I write about what I see daily.  My friends will see the left corner of my mouth pull upward into a smirk and probably pray that the words running around my mind like bad children with scissors and a sugar high doesn’t involve them.  It’s not that I don’t care if I offend somebody (though chances are that if you’re reading this you can handle it – it’s not for the faint hearted).   I think most artistic people flirt with madness.  I think most logical people need rhyme and order and meticulous detail.  But what if you have a foot in each world?  Who in their right mind would spawn a tale combining bad appliances, funny reviews and a rapper with a potty mouth?

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Yeah, I can’t figure it out either.  Like Eminem, I made friends with the monster under my bed years ago, which is probably was spurs me onward to continue writing.  I think the monster that scares us as children is a matter of perspective.  We’re small and defenseless and he has fangs and claws and scales and yellow eyes and if our foot dangles over the edge of the bed, his putrid curling talon may just scratch the bottom of our foot, drawing blood as he tickles it.  As adults we should have the wherewithal to claim our fears.  The rapist in the alleyway behind a dumpster with their unconscious victim is far more scary than the monster who used to live in my closet or under my bed.  Life is scarier than imagination.

I wake up with the strangest imaginings as an adult.

Questions like:

What if I’m actually a nice person at heart?  But only 15 people have actually seen that?

What if people think I’m weird?  Do I care?

What if they’re the crazy ones?

What if I really unleashed what I thought?

What if you can adopt friends and make them family?  Would it be official?

What if scones could actually induce happiness?  Who would I make them for?

What if I gave more?

What if I showed less?

Is it anti-feminist to flash your boobs for something you really really really want?  Like a Tiffany necklace?

What if?

What if the monster under my bed is just an extension of me?  What if he is the less logical version of me?

What if I brought him out into the light?  Would he cease to be a monster and start to be the adult, rational…….

Worst idea ever!

I’d like him to stay under my bed.  He’s the reason I write.  He’s the artistic side of me.

This is my last post of the year.  I’m putting away my computer now and I’m going to take a nap beside my husband for an hour and then have my parents over to play board games and laugh ourselves stupid.  Old year…new year.  Let’s see what Magilla and I spar over tonight.  Could be Ryan Seacrest versus Dick Clark or it could be which ranch dressing to use for the veggie platter.

What I do know is that I’ll slip a plate of cookies to the edge of my bed while I sip my champagne.  I plan on keeping the monster happy on 2017.

I wish you all a peaceful night.  Feed what you love – even if it’s the side that only you understand.

Peace

 

 

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Will Botox Cure Chickenpox?

So fun fact……you can get chickenpox at 45.  I did.

I got a vaccine since I’ve never had chicken pox thinking that I was being smart…proactive….efficient.  I’ve got a four year old in my house.  He’s going to school.  They’re little carriers for germs.  Smart right?  Turns out….I’m an idiot.  A week to the day later….I got chicken pox.   No one else around me had them.  So there wasn’t secondary exposure (and if there is, then the little turd needs to present themselves ASAP).  I had, what I thought, was a spider bite on my arm.  It was a week after my vaccine shot.  I had already forgotten about the the injection location because…well LIFE…

The initial “spider bite” started small at first but later, like the Grinch’s heart, grew and Grew and GREW.  Turns out that it was ground zero for the plague.  I woke up two days later with a rash on my neck and one solitary mark on my temple.  I undressed to get in the shower and that’s when I saw it.  The bastards.

Five little chicken pox jumping on my chest.

One more popped up upon my…..you know what rhymes with chest.

Don’t make me spell it out.

I called my boss and said, “So funny story!  I may have the chicken pox, but I actually feel fine.”  He instructed me to get my ass to the doctor.  So I called my doctor.  Dr. Fabulous insisted that I come in because apparently he thought I was delusional or hallucinating or drunk at 7 AM or pulling his leg.  The only hitch was that he didn’t have an appointment until 5:30 at night.  So in I scoot thinking this is some sort of false positive type of affair.  He sat with me for over an hour stating that in his 26 years of practicing medicine, he’d never seen anything like this.  I first showed him the one on my head.  He wasn’t impressed.  I showed him the ones on my left arm.  He still wasn’t impressed.  I pulled up my shirt to show the now twenty that harbored there and he said, “Oh shit, you’ve got the chicken pox.”  Really?  Hmmm, interesting.  So he gave me some horrible concoction to fix this situation which basically rendered me more useless than normal.

During this particular recuperation I received an email from a swanky spa near me offering a BOGO for Botox.  As in if you brought a friend, they could get their Botox for nuttin.  For the record, I’ve been to this spa, I love this spa, I got my mama a gift certificate for this spa…I love them so much that they have literally wrapped my ass in a seaweed concoction and I didn’t even flinch.  That’s how much I love them.

But Botox?  Really?  A BOGO because YOLO which made me say to myself GTFO and STFU.

So I’m presented with the main question regarding this post?   What does Botox do?  It’s a derivative of the main toxin in Botulism and hey, that’s fun right?  I have a friend who posted an unfiltered and unaltered picture of herself on social media a week ago.  She is unequivocally stunning.  She has some lines or if you want to put a finer point on it, some character to her face.  She’s utterly stunning.  She’s lived.  She’s loved.  She’s lost parents.  She’s fought illness.  She’s aged and she is beyond gorgeous.  I’m at an age (staring down the barrel of 46) that I have a choice.  I can accept gravity and the after effect of stress, laughter, partying, child rearing and life in general or I can retaliate with surgery or injections.  I choose acceptance and I won’t even joke that it’s mainly because of a fear of needles.

I can’t say I was ever a great beauty.  I can’t say I really care.  I relied more on brains and humor and a stunning set of………wits.  I said WITS.

I don’t get plastic surgery.  I just don’t get it.  Maybe I was blessed with the self-confidence of Zeus, but unless there’s an accident or illness or other issue…

For vanity’s sake?  Perhaps it’s not for me to judge.  In all fairness I should probably end this here.  But I won’t.  We’re all beautiful, mainly in the form of acceptance of who we are.  Perhaps I’m a little introspective tonight  Perhaps I’m tired.  I know I’ve eaten about 3 glasses of Chardonnay.  It’s been a long frigging week.

And though I look in the mirror and see a tired woman, I also see a fighter.  Botox got nothing on my fire baby.  Nothing.  It would only quench the fire.  And that’s something I’ll never accept.

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The day we all realize the inherent beauty that wisdom holds, is the day vanity will recede.

 

 

Quit Rushing Your Roux

So it’s the end of the year.  Not quite, but almost.  Close enough to part the veil.  We all know that 2016 is a bitch.  She’s the reason we can’t have nice things.  Aside from celebrity genocide, including some of my artistic idols like, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen and Alan Rickman (you truly are a ragged whore, 2016), this has actually been a pretty good year for me.  I just keep plugging along.

After spending most of my twenties and thirties amassing a collection of stuff; I’ve decided slowly over the past few years that I don’t really want gifts anymore.  I want memories.  I want to laugh while I can.  I want to go to concerts.  I want to hang out with my friends and make them dinner.  I want to feel rain on my face as I walk on a path towards a lighthouse.  I want to swim in Loch Ness.  I want to lay my head in my husband’s lap while reading a book.  I want game nights with my family and friends.  I want to make snow angels and built forts out of pillows.  I want to remember one good thing about each day.  I want to drink in a pub and sing silly songs.  I want to walk into the woods without a compass and wander according to the position of the sun and stars.  I want to make friends in every corner of the world. I want to squeeze every drop out of life while I can.

It’s not the destination; it’s the journey.  I know it sounds trite but the older I get the more I realize how true it is.  My birthday is in a handful of days and I don’t know whether to be proud or annoyed.  I’m turning into a cranky old woman.  And yes…before you strike, (looking at you, you crazy bitch from Iowa – you know I love you) I realize the only difference in my crankiness is the age I display it.  I was a cranky young woman. 

 I am now a cranky middle-aged woman.  

I will become a cranky old woman.


We all rush to get the things that we think people will admire us for and somewhere along the way our own loves and thrills get lost.  We drive cars we hope will be admired.  We wear clothes and jewelry with the big labels oft times to impress.  We marry the right guy or girl.  We buy the pretty house.  We boast about our jobs.  I’ve never seen someone brag that they shovel horse shit for a living.  We’re more apt to say something like, “My title is equine fecal removal facilitator” and to that I say, if you work an honest day of work, you scream it from the rooftop even if it’s covered in shit.  We rush through the inevitable markers that we’re supposed to.  We’re bred from a young age to compete, which is a separate blog entry for a separate time.  I don’t think it’s a bad thing, but in today’s day and age of instant accessibility, it ramps up the competition in a staggeringly unhealthy way.  We now can brag about it on demand.  We used to have to bring photo albums of kids, cars, houses et al in order to brag whereas now we can whip out a cell phone to induce envy in others.   Death words at reunions are “Just look me up on  Facebook”.  They’ve recently discovered the ancient Aramaic translation of this phrase is “Bitch!  My life is better than yours!”  

We just whizzed through Christmas…the engagement season.  For the record, anyone that ever proposed to me on Christmas day would get a flat ass no.  That’s my present?  A rock as a swap for a lifetime of washing your undies that you’re passing it off as a Christmas present?  Hard pass.  My husband proposed to me in August when there’s NOTHING going on. Surefire yes.  I not only wash but I fold his undies.  I’m a raving feminist.  

We’ve become so robotic in meeting the needs of others that we give little thought of what makes us happy.   My resolution (don’t believe in them)…my mantra is less stuff, more substance for the upcoming year.

When I was a little girl I used to love to watch my grandmother cook.  To me it was akin to watching Monet paint or Beethoven write music.  The kitchen was the one place she was truly free.  I have that in common with her, little else, but at least that.  I’m very territorial about my kitchen and tend to growl when people intrude on it.  I think she started teaching me to cook somewhere around the age of five or so.  She taught me well.  We started slowly on simple things like scrambled eggs and oatmeal.  We moved on to cakes when I was about 8.  I grumbled finally that I really wanted to cook dinner.  So she let me loose in her kitchen one night and told me we were going to make macaroni and cheese.  We started with a roux.  I ruined it about 5 or 6 times – maybe more.  She just kept washing out the pot only to set it back on the stove and cut another tab of butter and set out another tablespoon of flour and tell me to start again.  I had the heat up so high that it burned the butter and ruined the sauce.  “Quit rushing”, she’d hiss.  Finally I had to suffer through the eternity of letting the sauce thicken properly.  It took forever (eight minutes).  I was so bored (sang Henry the Eighth by Herman’s Hermits).  I couldn’t stand the wait (watched pots never boil).  It went from the frothing, bubbling scent of melted butter to the somewhat bitter tang of flour and salt to the burning whiff of black pepper to the sweet pour of milk which swirled and eventually thickened into steamy creamy perfection.  Each stage had its own magic, because I finally learned to watch it evolve after many failures.

We expect instant gratification.  We demand it.  Tomorrow isn’t soon enough in our modern world.  I want Tina Turner’s legs.  I would like them right now as a matter of fact.  Now ask me about the last time I traipsed my ass into a gym.  I’ll take yoga class in September for 1000 Alex.  Yeah, it’s been that long.   I don’t have time so the best I can do is to google the shit of Tina Turner’s legs and call it a day.

I’ve watched people wish their lives away.  They can’t wait until the weekend, the next vacation, the next party, the next day, week, month, year, the next house, the next car, the next….

Patience is the key to a good roux sauce.  You have to keep the heat low, stir it constantly and pay attention to the sauce as if it were a living, breathing thing.

Is patience also the key to a good life?

I had to call a nursing home today to inquire about the next steps for my father.  He’s lost and I can’t help him find his way back.  He’s trapped somewhere in his disintigrating mind.  I can’t help him.  I can love him.  I can guide him.  I can bring him to doctors.  I can cook for him and nuture him as he did me.  I can read to him or buy him his favorite movies. But I can’t bring him back.  I can’t bring back the most wickedly brilliant sense of humor I’ve ever seen that was, in my mind, his defining trait; that and his smile. 

For the first time ever I had to say out loud, “We don’t know where else to go.  We don’t know how else to help him and my mother is tired.  I think it may be time to bring him to a nursing home because I don’t know how else to help and if I don’t do something, I’m going to lose them both.”  I said those words.  I almost vomited as I choked them out.  Thank God it was only over someone’s voicemail because if I had heard an ounce of sympathy on the other end of the phone I would have crawled under my desk until I died of heartbreak.  I’ve thought those words before today.  I knew this was coming.  I am logical to a fault.  It’s been pointed out to me that my logic is sometimes cold and clinical.  I knew this was coming.  I’ve rotated the words around my mind, editing or adding as needed, but this time, I had to say them.  It was tantamount to verbally articulating, “I think I may have just failed my parents because I have to turn to strangers to help care for them because my brother walked out on us years ago and I have no other siblings to help me and my mom is slowly drowning in this mire of watching my dad recede day after day and I have to work full time and I want to make it better and I can’t because at this moment, right now, I’m utterly helpless.”

I would sell everything I own to keep them healthy.  I would give my own life if it would bring back his mind.  I would give up every night of sleep if my mother could sleep through one night uninterrupted. If I could spare them all of this heart ache, I’d give it all.

What did I learn this year?

We all die in the end.  We are born and we die.  These are known facts.

In the meantime, all those days in between….do we live?

 

Don’t rush your roux.

 

 

Blogger Recognition Award

I received the award yesterday from the lovely and talented Kim from Kimmy’s Patio.  Kim is a fellow blogger and exceptionally talented.  Her tagline is “A Place We Can Talk About Anything” and that’s exactly what it feels like.   I feel as if I’m sitting at her kitchen table discussing life with an old and dear friend as she plies me with muffins and advice about my temper and inability to refrain from saying the eff word.

I will try to follow the rules as best I can and we all know this is not my strong suit.  But after a compliment such as….

“Does It Count If My Fingers Were Crossed– Known to her blogging buds as Mrs Magilla, Shannon Butler is hilarious and relevant, crazy and chatty…a real hoot to read. Go check her out, but don’t be surprised if she smacks you with some reality!”….

I haven’t heard anything this nice in at least a week.  (totally lying – but this is what it’s about – the want and need to connect with kindred spirits)  That’s what this boils down to….this blogging thing.  If you’re in it for anything other than the need to get your words or thoughts or perspective out there; the good, bad and ugly.

So here’s DA RULES

  1. thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog- So a heartfelt and a little bit teary thank you to Kim who has been a cheerleader, mentor and genuinely kind soul at Kimmy’s Patio.  Thank you.  I consider it a damn fine patch of good fortune to know you.
  2. write a post to show your award ———yer readin’ it
  3. attach the award to the post-there’s a picture but I need to link it up and with my tech savviness this could take a decade or so
  4. give a brief explanation of how your blog started
  5. give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers
  6. select 15 other bloggers you want to give the award to
  7. comment on each blog and let them know know you have nominated them and provide a link to the award post you created

So having laid out the rules (which I usually break)…here goes

I started this because I love to write.  It soothes me and often times helps me make sense of things I otherwise struggle with, sometimes serious, oft-times banal.  I started writing years ago in an attempt to quit smoking.  My screen name was Cranky Kitten.  It fit.  It suited me on so many levels it was absurd.  I wrote in a journal that I thought was private, but sadly it turned out that the whole world could read it.  Thus was born a platform to speak from.  I had no idea what touched people or why.  I was just trying keep a chronicle of my struggle to focus on living a smoke free life.  One day I received a message from somebody telling me that they were going to take their life the night before.   They had it all planned out.  The note, the method, the reason and they started reading my journal and for the first time in a month, they smiled, then they laughed, then they were wiping tears of joy, sorrow, laughter, grief, agony, ecstasy……….but what they finally realized as the end sum – emotion.  For the first time in a long time, they felt.  I still have the note printed out somewhere.  I’m amazed that anyone can relate to some of the stuff I write.  I’ve been told that I say what others think.  I’ve been called crazy.  I’ve been called wise and everything in between.  I’m a big believer in the yin and yang of things.  Where there is laughter, there had to have been tears, joy from sorrow, etc.  From that journal, my first blog was born.  I walked away from it because it actually became a divorce chronicle of which the identity of Cranky Kitten became my divorce, not me.  I’ve moved on from it because I’m in a much happier place.

If someone is starting out – just leap.  The hardest and scariest thing is publishing your words and opening yourself to all of the negative that could happen.  I can tell you, as long as you are willing to stand by your thoughts and words – you’ll live.  Every writer has their own methods.  Every writer is afraid of the rejection of the words their soul has been harboring for a year, a month, a week or a day that have been now hurtled into cyber space.  There’s no taking it back.  It’s out there and there are days it’s like walking naked down Broadway.  You have to like what you see before anyone else can like it as well.  If you write for money or for love, is up to you.  My one and only bit of advice…just take the leap.  There’s no net, but do it anyway.

So here’s my list:

My first nomination is Recipe in a Bottle written by a lovely young lady who goes by the title Story Telling Chef.  Her food is delicious and she writes in a way that you feel like you could take on the culinary world if you just took one brave step in her direction.  I’m a great cook…she’s a freaking phenomenal cook.

Second is –The Little Mermaid.  Not only is she a lovely lady, she is eloquent and elegant.  I enjoy her writing immensely and am mildly to moderately jealous of her hair and fabulous writing skills.

Third is Petter R and Mittened Hands – you can easily get lost it the photos.  It’s nostalgic yet modern.  It makes you dream of far off places from the comfort of home.  I come here when I need to escape and I’m never disappointed.

Fourth is Maura and Spinning With Pearls.  She is a friend of a friend who I’ve never formally met, yet I love her journey.

Fifth is Karen French.  Girl…just take me with you.  No really.  Wherever you’re going…

Sixth is Cedric Ramey – a new found perspective.  Love this guy.

Seventh is Randomly Yours, Alex – if you love to read, you’ll love Alex.

Eighth is Foodie On Board – otherwise known as Chef Julianna.  Fabulous recipes with an eclectic twist.

Ninth is Wanderlust or Bust – Chicago at it’s finest.  You make me want to brave winters there.

Tenth is Saulce– oh the way you dress.  Lord have mercy.

That’s all I’ve got.  Each of these bloggers is so different yet we all try to offer a different view.  Thank you again for the honor, and it truly is an honor to keep your company.

 

 

 

 

 

Felony….Part Deux

I belong to a trading page on Facebook for my town.  They trade, give away or sell all kinds of things from furniture to football tickets to terror apparel.  Yes that’s right.  Right after Halloween, and to put a finer point on it…the creepy clown epidemic which seems to have run dormant in this neck of the woods; someone posted a complete and rather ornate clown costume for sale at the bargain price of 85 bucks.   What a steal.  Got to get me some of that!!  I can only imagine what may or may not have gone on in this suit.  


Clowns are inherently creepy anyway.  Many people I know feel there should be an Olympic category for clown beat downs or at the very least making them run full throttle while wearing their ridiculous oversized shoes from a hungry crocodile.  I don’t think all clowns are bad, only about 94.8 percent of them.  While I feel a mild to moderate annoyance of them, I have a friend who foams at the mouth with rage when they are even mentioned in passing conversation; like they were purposely put on the earth to chap his ass.  Then again, maybe they were.  He also has strong feelings on show tunes, particularly A Chorus Line, but I digress.

With the skies darkening earlier and earlier and my husband traveling more and more, I’ve been blessed with walking Hellhound at night.  One can hear me shuffling behind her with a poop bag in hand mumbling ridiculous shit like, “For the night is dark and full of terrors” while she hunkers down low at each passing sound and/or refusing to poop because someone might steal her soul.  I swear she was either dropped on her head as a puppy or she single handedly feels responsible for guarding my zip code.   These are the times I feel unrealistically hostile towards my husband for doing his job (leaving me unattended) because it leaves me to my own devices which is never a good thing.  This leads to things like me consuming an entire bag of Doritos in bed while telling my dog she’s overweight and can’t have any or texting my friends about their love lives while lip syncing Gloria Gaynor in my full length mirror or falling asleep in a bubble bath with wine or watching Love Actually and blaming Mr. Magilla for not being more like Hugh Grant until I remember the hooker incident and then yell at him that he should be nothing like Hugh Grant.  Something has to kill my boredom while he’s gone.  So I send him pictures like this…


  I swear if she could talk I would hear things like in our nightly walks like, “You see that you ungrateful bitch?  There’s a man with a white chalky face over there and you’ve laughed at me so many times, I’m gonna let him sell you off to the gypsies because you’re a doubter and a hater.”  There has to be some sort of primal fear ingrained in us.  Everyone I know hates clowns.  So somewhere back in across the eons, a clown done somebody wrong.

So here’s my question; what idiot would purchase this knowing the coverage that this particular phenomenon has generated.  Yes, please!  Could you please also include a size 12 Bruno Magli shoe with blood on the sole and DB Cooper’s parachute?  Let me put MY DNA on your costume so that way when the cops show up I can be the one they find guilty.  HARD PASS.  I’m fine over here in plain vanilla legal land.  I don’t even do well when men try to flirt with me for cripes sake.  

I would never do well in jail.  Especially dressed like this…

Where Do the Globally Vague Sit?

I read a very interesting article on BBC.com today about a boss who requested that his top management take a DNA test.  His viewpoint was that he wanted challenge preconceptions in the world and how that fits on a global scale.  All of the participants had some idea of their heritage but the results proved almost every one wrong; not so much in terms of being incorrect of the origin, but more that countries in their lineage were discovered that they didn’t even know about.  One found a huge concentration of Scandinavian heritage and another found traces of Russian bloodlines while yet another found out they were more Irish than British; yet they’re all British citizens.  So what makes a person?  Is it their birth place?  Or the bloodlines which have been blended and merged yet still carried centuries later?

Here in United States we live in the most glorified melting pot in the world.  We lay claim to almost every nationality in the world who call this patch of land home.  Does this make us all Americans?

I did a DNA test myself not too long ago.  I found out that I am over 55% British, Scottish and Irish and the rest is a blend of Viking heritage mixed with Western European/could be German/could be French/I like berets/you decide mutt type mix.  I was hoping for a different outcome that my friends laugh over.  I was really, really, really hoping I could tweak someone I know by telling them I was anything BUT the above referenced list, but alas….blood doesn’t lie.  You know what else doesn’t lie?  My birth certificate.  I was born in America.  That’s who I am.  At the time of my birth, I was the end result, the consummate final product of many generations who were much stronger than me braving the unknown to come here.  The actual date, we do not yet know.  My grandmother bragged about her pristine research of our family history (which with all the modern technology and records – I cannot corroborate) and in my opinion whatever she didn’t know, she made up.  Allegedly we can be traced back to Charlemagne.  Well ain’t that sweet?  Shirley MacLaine told you that did she?  She knew?  From one of her former lives as a serving girl at Philip the Fair’s banquet hall or during the Crusades when she fought for Saladin?  She slipped this knowledge to you? At lunch?  Over martinis?  At the Savoy?  We were farmers and you didn’t drink Gram…. let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  I’ve thought better of it since my overwhelming urge to rip up her annals of history which it would appear were both mendacious and loquacious.

Supposedly there were kidnappings, and near misses, and narrow escapes, and almost rapes (a favorite topic of hers by the way), and horse thieves and bigamists and Indian princesses who ran away with handsome Englishmen which is why we have high cheek bones yet fair skin in our family.   I poop you not.  She wrote it down.  My grandmother most assuredly contributed to my need for therapy.  She was a pip; and by that I mean passive-aggressive, prone to guilt trips, and latently psychotic. 

So, most of us can probably say that we are more than likely global citizens.  Very few of us can lay claim to being absolutely of “pure blood”.   We live in a world where everyone and everything has to have a label and a compartment to be safely ensconced in for us to feel comfortable with them in our world.  When this happened I do not know.  How this happened, I would venture a guess, is probably the need to distinguish and differentiate ourselves from the masses; to feel important or special going horribly awry.  The need to be special has rendered us all ordinary.   Has it helped that we can identify and label everyone without a trace of humanity?  If we are globally connected through the internet and in commerce; if we can watch another country’s news and shoot a text to our friends on another continent then why do we not feel more of a global responsibility to each other?

I wrote yesterday about Santa.  We’re worrying about whether a man doesn’t look the part when somewhere in the world…

Continue reading “Where Do the Globally Vague Sit?”

As Bob Marley Said

The Mall of America has hired a black Santa.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune had to shut down the comment section of a lovely, upbeat article offering a little insight as to why this man chose to put up with the crying, coughing, pant-wetting, demanding, tired, cranky, runny-nosed, entitled, whining, overly-indulged youth of America.  His father hurt his back and at the tender age of twelve, this man took over Santa duty in their household.  Their black household.  Just thought I’d throw that reminder out before I go any further.  His name is Larry.  The Star-Tribune had to shut down the comment section of this article due to the backlash over Santa.  This particular Santa is an Army veteran which was also spelled out quite clearly.  In true online fashion, it went straight to profiling the snot out of this event, if one could even call it that.  It’s Santa.  People voicing their opinions on Santa’s ethnicity is one thing but the primary reason I’m writing about this has more to do with the torrent of racist comments and/or slurs which caused this shutdown to occur.

Santa, in point of fact, isn’t real.  Maybe he once was, but now it’s like trying to prove Jesus exists or find Bigfoot or Nessie or decent tasting decaf coffee.

For the purists out there, the real Saint Nicholas supposed originated from Asia Minor; in what would now be considered Turkey.  He supposedly saved three sisters from being sold into either slavery or prostitution by their father by paying their dowries for marriage.  This man was born around 280AD, long before the notion of good old fashioned Anglo Saxon claims could be thrown upon him.  Those claims came later during en mass emigrations to America where the legend grew; as we merged cultures from Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands.  This is where the legend took root and grew therefore allowing whites to lay sole claim on him.  Huh?  Funny.  Where have I heard that before.  I’m sorry if I’m flushing any Anglican potties here, but….

However, culturally we are more than okay with girls dressing like Santa sluts.  We’re fine with Santa getting screwed in the back of a car in movies, and yes, for the record, I laughed myself stupid over Bad Santa.  But if we can tolerate this..

miley-santa

or this…

drunk-santa

then surely our world won’t rip off of its axis because there is a black Santa in a mall giving hope to all childrenwho meet him by letting them get a glimpse of what is kind, and good, and right, and fair, and just, and loving, and compassionate in this world.

Really?

We have real issues in this world.  We have real problems.  This isn’t one of them.

We need to get a grip.  Really, honestly…….

As one of my favorite people said….

Everything gonna be alright.