is sex for your brain -
I once knew a guy who claimed that hearing the word "delicious" uttered slowly by a woman gave him an instant hard-on. I totally understood. Since I was a young girl, random words or phrases have had an electrifying effect on me too.
I remember looking through cheap mail-order catalogues as a kid and fixating on some of the descriptions of girdles and trusses and other restraining undergarments, rereading the words and silently forming them with my lips. It's so unpredictable and strange how some words and phrases sometimes will still inspire a bizarre little thrill. I saw an oil can (of all things) on eBay, and, well, wtf do I need an oil can for? NOTHING. But it was the title that got me, and specifically the words "extra long flexible spout." I had to look. And, yep, it was just your average oil can. But it did indeed have an unusually long metal hose -- an obscenely long metal hose. An obscenely long sinewy flexible metal...*shudder* spout.
Words can sometimes do that to me. Even innocent words. The right place at the right time, suddenly even the most innocent phrase words can make my mind whirl into depravity. It's just a metal hose, for God's sake.... But wait. Ooooooooooooh! It's an extra long flexible spout. *pant*
Someone's orifice will have to pay.
Couple days ago, I blogged about the new study which claims that BDSMers are happier about life than other people. Personally I never trust studies that say "X is happier than Y" since happiness itself is undefinable in concrete terms. Happiness, like unhappiness, is subjective, plastic, and fluid throughout life.
As straights try to parse the study results, though, many are dismissing them of hand rather than deal with the underlying message that BDSMers are indeed as normal and well-adjusted as "regular people." Oooh. How can it be? We do naughty things AND we're functional. Imagine that. Well, apparently a lot of vanillas cannot.
Even seemingly more tolerant and enlightened quarters are issuing quirky theories. Not sure whether to laugh or cry at this Atlantic blogger's absurd conclusion. Suffice to say, though, I suspect more Evangelicals will be offended by it than BDSMers.
In which I explore parallels between evangelical Christianity and BDSM, though probably not in the way you're expecting
This popped up in my Digg feed this morning:
You might think that wanting to be tied up and whipped is a guaranteed sign of psychological distress, but according to a recent study, people who participate in bondage and dominance/submission play may be happier and less anxious than those with more conventional sexual tastes.
Public health researchers studied 20,000 Australians to determine that despite the stereotype that people with off-the-beaten-path sexual interests are somehow damaged, men who take part in BDSM score significantly lower on a scale of mental distress than other men.
The prurient mind immediately wonders if there is a difference between the anxiety levels of those who are beaten, and those who do the beating; being tied up and flogged does seem like the sort of thing that is supposed to make you anxious. But that's not really where I'm going with this.
My secondmost immediate thought was, of course, of evangelical Christians. Specifically, the fact that they report being happier than the rest of us. The article in Christianity Today argues that this is a function of the social support provided by an inclusive community. But I wonder if it isn't, in part, the decision to stand out from the community that leads to greater self-reported happiness. People who have decided to do anything so far outside of the mainstream are people who a) have a powerful preference and b) have satisfied that preference. The mainstream, on the other hand, contains all the people who have extreme preferences, but not the willpower to buck convention and satisfy them.
What is it about me that makes other species GLOM onto me?
I understand, all too fucking well, why I'm the only member of this household who has, repeatedly, been swarmed by red ants. I'm a klutz. "You don't look where you walk!" family members have been saying to me ever since, at age five, I walked into an upright girder on a subway platform and broke my nose. In my defense, it isn't that I don't look where I walk: it's that I don't see the things other people see. Like walls in my face or obstacles in my path. Or ant hills.
But why is it I'm always the lucky person who gets the first mosquito bite of the season -- and then is eaten alive while the person next to me yawns comfortably. Once I was sitting innocently in bed reading a book when a stag-horn beetle suddenly crash-landed on my skull. I shrieked and jumped like I'd burst into flames while Will (after assuring himself I hadn't actually done so), about died laughing. Sure, everyone has memorably horrible bug stories: still, facts are facts. Take three people, a random selection of insects and bugs, and vote me "most likely to dance like a chicken on a hotplate" before too long.
Not just insects. Before I lived with cats, I didn't care for them. That never bothered any of the assortment of friends' cats who took special delight in nesting on my face when I slept over. Indeed, once upon a time, I was not terribly keen on dogs either. At least not on a conscious level. Almost all the dogs I met, in their divine canine wisdom, decided to awaken me to the reality that we were fated, one day, to join hand in paw. A thousand disgusting dog-licks later, I saw the light and got my own pack of constant kissers.
Now that I've given up the fight against cats and dogs of the world -- along with the wild birds, squirrels, aquarium fishes and dwarf shrimp-- I feel like I should have worked off all my bad-animal karma and restored the cosmic balance. Like "Ok, guys! I feed hundreds of you now. No need to torture me into awareness of your existence. OM."
But clearly the insects still bear a grudge. Specifically the fruit flies. Or maybe they're drain flies. Or perhaps what we down here call noseeums (flies so small you no seem um). No matter where I am in this house, if I have a cup of coffee, there will soon be a tiny brown fly carcass floating on its surface. Will and I can sit side by side, drinking coffee prepared in exactly the same way (we both take milk and 2 sugars), and he will enjoy his cup to the last drop while, by my second or third sip, I am sure to spot a floater. It's maddening to brew a fresh cup of coffee and find a fly by the second or third sip. It's more maddening to go downstairs, repeat the process, bring the fresh cup back upstairs, pose it on the table while I sit, and then find another tiny bastard has snuck in for a final swim. And when -- as just happened a few minutes ago -- someone's spreading his limp wings in the third new cup I had to brew, I start wondering: why do fruit flies so enjoy committing suicide near me?
I may need to set up a scientific experiment to determine whether it's all a cosmic joke or just my own stupid fault. Do microscopic traces of lipstick or makeup migrate to the cup's lip, attracting flies with their fragrance? Is it my perfume drawing them to me (or, again, microscopic traces, since showering doesn't change anything)? Or perhaps I just naturally secrete some special stinky something that drives insects wild.
Meanwhile, I've resorted to Emergency Plan A for the rest of the day: keeping a lid on the cup between sips. The system's failed me in the past. One time, only seconds after removing the lid, a fruitfly kamikaze'd past my nose and drowned in front of me. Gruesome. If you can think of an Emergency Plan B, I'm all ears.
Found this yesterday, went back to check on it today and discovered the eBay link is already dead -- most likely deleted for violating some policy or other. Pity. It's not every day that someone tries to sell an "erotic vagina rock." Asking price half a million bucks and there were already a few offers on the thing. Damn eBay (or the twit who complained): this auction promised to be one of the funniest.
Fortunately, I snagged one photo of this objet and some of his text before eBay censored it. The vendor wanted half a million for this oddity. A tad high, I thought. On the other hand, his narrative is priceless.
EROTIC VAGINA ROCK
THIS BEAUTIFULL EROTIC ROCK WAS FOUND IN THE RIVERS OF POLISKY N.Y. DURRING A SALMON FISHING TRIP. IT WAS A CHANCE MEETING AFTER SEPERATING A BAD RELATIONSHIP OF 12 YEARS. WHEN FIRST FOUND I TRIPED ON IT AND FOUND MYSELF IN VERY COLD WATER, WITH POLARIZED GLASSES I FOUND THE CAUSE OF MY DISCOMFORT, WET AND VERY APEALING I FOUND IT WAS A GREAT STROKE OF LUCK. IT FOR STRANGE REASON GAVE ME MORAL SUPORT TO ENJOY LIFE AGAIN, NEW RELATIONSHIP WERE EASY, CONFIDANCE WHICH ATRACTED THE OPOSITE GENDER WITHOUT ANY PROBLEMS.
AFTER ALMOST 4 YEARS IN MY OF OWNERSHIP MY LIFE JUST GOT BETTER IN EVERY WAY, AT THIS POINT I FOUND THE RIGHT PERSON AND I CAN SAY THE ROCK HELPED ME .. WHEN WET IT LOOKS LIKE A VIGINA, THE CENTER MOVES FREELY. 5.5 INCHES LONG, 4 INCHES WIDE AND TALL WEIGHING AROUND 5 LB.
YOU CAN BID ON A PEICE OF TOAST THAT LOOKS LIKE JESUS, OR A PIZZA IN THE SAME FORM--- LETS GET A GRIP THEY CAN BE ALTERED AS A PUBLICITY STUNT... BUT IN REALITY THIS WAS FORMED OVER YEARS OF WATER CUTTING A RIVER BED, WAY BEFORE THIS COUNTRY WAS ESTABLISHED, AND SITTING IN THE SAME SPOT, AT THE SAME ANGEL EVERY DAY... NOT A CONTROLED EXPERIMENT IN THE KITCHEN.
But wait! There's more! Wanted to see if the above had been relisted and discovered that another vendor is offering a much-discounted (a mere $169k) and far less exciting Vagina Rock! What in tarnation....?! Is there a market for rocks shaped like genitals?
For sale on eBay this week: a 1940 edition of Casanova's Memoirs, illustrated by Vincente Minelli, father of Liza, one-time husband of Judy Garland, and the gifted director of many a classic American movie, including "Gigi" and "An American in Paris." Apparently before his career as a film director took off, he had time to illustrate this scandalous work. This piece immediately caught my eye.
Ladies, you may wish to wear your sports bras next time you go through airport security because it seems the T in TSA stands for tit-grabbing.
A big-busted woman, Kates was wearing a large underwire bra as she went through the security check at Oakland International Airport but when it set off the metal detector she was pulled aside by a TSA agent.
Kates accuses the agent of getting a little too personal. "The woman touched my breast. I said, 'You can't do that,' " Kates said. "She said, 'We have to pat you down.' I said, 'You can't treat me as a criminal for wearing a bra.' "
Sorry, Ms. Kates: obviously, they can.
Interesting that the TSA is being so vigilant about underwire bras, given that they take a lackadaisical attitude towards verifying passengers' identities, as Ketzl recently found out.
It's always cool to find out that some celebrity-type takes a broad-minded attitude towards BDSMers.
It's even cooler when they seem interested....
A bustle of BDSM aficionados (a gaggle? a passel?) gathered at the Cutting Room in the Flatiron district last night to celebrate all things lusty and heinous. Co-owner Chris Noth (aka Mr. Big of Sex in the City fame) was there, ostensibly fixing the jukebox (according to event organizer Aerik Von, who admitted he didn't even realize who Noth was.)
Noth also found time to hang out and admire two women in action. One was topless and enjoying a good swish of cat-o'-nine-tails from her attractive dominatrix. Von, who said his aim was to make the BDSM scene in New York sexy again, was having a grand time. His events, he said, were also designed to reunite two things so long torn asunder in the city: bondage and booze...
(Image of Noth and SJ Parker from Sex in the City)
Found this strangely interesting rubberist site while looking for sexy nun images (as below).
Aw, pity this never happened. On the other hand, if he wasn't going to let the nuns show a little leg, I guess pervs would have been left to the same old fantasies about what they're hiding under those habits. And perhaps it's better that way after all.
An Italian priest who had planned an online "pageant" for nuns has suspended the project, saying he was misinterpreted and had no intention of putting sisters on a beauty catwalk.
"My superiors were not happy. The local bishop was not happy, but they did not understand me either," Father Antonio Rungi told Reuters by telephone from his convent in southern Italy Tuesday.
He said his concept for the contest, in which nuns would vote for themselves on his blog, would include attributes such as their spirituality, social awareness, charity and other qualities...
Thanks to Lyn for sending me this link to
The Erotic Map of Canada
(pssst, it's a pdf file)
How very interesting :) I'd like to think it's true -- certainly feels true for us.
A study of 20,000 Australians by public health researchers at the University of NSW has found that couples who enjoy BDSM role-playing are generally happier than those who have a more traditionally "normal" sex life.
Professor Juliet Richters said, "People with these sexual interests have long been seen by medicine and the law as, at best, damaged and in need of therapy and, at worst, dangerous and in need of legal regulation."
The study found that men in particular may be happier, scoring much lower on a scale indicating psychological distress than other men, contradicting commonly held professional views.
and from another report of the same study,
The researchers did not study why this was, but suspect it might simply be that they're more in harmony with themselves because they're into something unusual and are comfortable with that.
Prof Richters says the findings go against professional views of BDSM.
"People with these sexual interests have long been seen by medicine and the law as, at best, damaged and in need of therapy and, at worst, dangerous and in need of legal regulation," she said.
From Olympics Fanhouse
Page and Leona Lewis performed a version of the Zeppelin classic "Whole Lotta Love" that had some of the lyrics changed and others excised so as not to offend. Lewis didn't want to sing the line, "I'm gonna give you every inch of my love" in the second verse, because she said she didn't think that particular "sexual innuendo" made sense from a female singer. So "inch" was changed to "bit."
And the third verse, which includes the line, "Shake for me, girl, I wanna be your backdoor man" was deemed inappropriate and was cut from the ceremony.
My question: If the song was considered inappropriate, why didn't they just pick another song, instead of saddling the closing ceremony with a bastardized version?
I haven't been blogging much about the garden because it's been so hot this summer that it raises a sweat just to think about it. I stopped all planting in late May this year because of the heat and drought (some years I go clear up to late June) and have barely done any of the trimming and weeding the garden so desperately needs because it was so hellish to work in the sun. So all incentive to take photos and report on what's in bloom has vanished behind a welcome wall of air conditioning.
Meanwhile, this was the summer of a renewed interest in aquariums. As a kid I wasn't allowed to have pets but nonetheless saved up for a fish tank and managed to convince my mother to let me set it up. I was about 10 and, predictably, in those pre-Internet days when I couldn't ask Google to guide me through life's complexities, I made all the mistakes every aquarium first-timer makes, from overpopulating the tank to bad feeding habits. What really turned me off from my experiment in fish keeping though was when my adults ate their children. One day I was rejoicing to see tiny babies darting around, and the next very confused to find they'd disappearing. All was revealed when I saw a tiny fish skeleton gently drift through the water. Later I read at the public library that adult fish will eat their fry if left together in the same tank.
Until then I had no idea that such cruelty as parents devouring children could exist in the world. I cannot even begin to explain just how profoundly shaken I was. I won't say I began looking suspiciously at my own parents after that, but my faith in the fundamental goodness of the world was shattered. Thus ended my romance with the fish tank: I couldn't bear to look after cannibals.
But a few months ago, while idly browsing eBay, I saw a tank that looked very cool: a wall-mounted variety which offers an easy and aesthetically pleasing way to keep fish. One of my subs had recently sent me an eBay gift certificate so I had some cash waiting to be frivolously spent.
The miracle that is Google helped me this time around. Over the past couple of months I've been reading up on all manner of fish-keeping details, from creating healthy and diverse biosystems, to habits and needs of various community tank fish (i.e., fish which can live harmoniously with others). I soon realized the tank I'd bought was never going to be a great environment for the three danios (known as "The Homers") and the dwarf shrimp I'd purchased. They needed more friends, more room, and more bio-diversity than my 2 1/2 gallon tank could possible provide. So for my birthday this year, I asked Jen for a second tank. This one's more utilitarian, a 20-gallon model that sits on a table. Armed with Googly-knowledge, I'm creating what I hope is a near-ideal environment for the fish I have, and the ones which will soon be added.
Right now the new tank has my three zebra striped danios (who, the pet store had assured me, would die within 2 weeks as the first tank cycled -- but who remain robust and frisky 2 months later), plus three dayglo danios (aka glofish, and we call them the Glomers, as they are genetic kin of the Homers). These dayglo relatives are the result of scientists injecting fluorescent DNA into the danio stew to produce an assortment of bright creatures that glow when the tank is lit (contrary to what one pet store worker told me, they do NOT glow in the dark). The old tank, meanwhile, has been cleaned out and completely re-designed as the pretty new home for a single betta (aka fighting fish), with long cobalt blue fins. After living here a day or two, he told me his name was Babaloo (pet owners know how that goes). He's really adorable (for a fish) and loves his environment, especially the heater which keeps water temperature just the way he likes it (on the warm side). Here's a pic I found on-line of someone who looks almost exactly like Babaloo. Handsome fellow, isn't he?
The assorted danios and a few dwarf cobalt-blue shrimp are enjoying (and breaking in) the second tank. Will and I had quite the little adventure trapping and transferring these tiny things into their new home but they look awfully happy now. They will soon be joined by a small school of neon tetras, another batch of dwarf shrimp, and a couple of cory cats (small bright catfish to eat gunk)...and, if I can find them again, some mini-freshwater clams. The impulse to add everything all at once is almost overwhelming but for the sake of fishie longevity, I've been trying to stick to the recommended schedule.
Needless to say, I've been as obsessed with aquaculture as I am with the garden. Plants currently in tanks include anacharis, water lettuce, bacopa, myria, ludwigia. Dwarf baby tears (hemianthus) and java moss are on order. As with my outdoor garden, I'm trying to do organic aquarium gardening -- don't want to add fertilizer unless I must. I've been learning a little about water plants. Most people use them as decor but I'm aiming for them to do the job they would do in nature, i.e., add nutrients, improve water quality, offer hidey-holes, provide shelter, shade and food.
The fish are actually the cheapest and easiest part. Getting the water properly balanced, creating biodiversity and selecting the right rocks, gravel, and plantings, and then adding stuff to improve quality of aquarium life for its residents is more complicated, time consuming, and waaaay more expensive. Example: wanting to be sure that Babaloo is as happy as a fighting fish can be, I typed "how to make a betta happy" into Google, and searched around eBay to see what breeders were selling for their specific needs. Discovered that bettas favor a certain kind of leaf in their water. Not only do they like to cozy up to said leaf, but the leaf also improves chemical levels in the water. Who knew? Only catch is they're rare and imported from Thailand. But is anything too good for my little blue Babaloo? Of course not.
The big tank is moving in another direction: heavy on plantings. I've got java moss on order now and plan to create a moss wall. I'm fighting the urge to get yet another aquarium meanwhile (it's madness I tell you, madness), and suppress my natural tendency to be a responsibility junkie.
Pardon: not really sure if this is the ultimate fuck-me shoe or the ultimate fuck-YOU shoe. Either way, highly fuckable. Well, except for the Mickey Mouse ears.
I believe this was a design for iconoclastic wild fashion diva Vivienne Westwood. No idea if it was ever actually executed though. Any Westwood fans know more?
Found while researching fetish boots/shoes for the blog, not sure where this image came from, but did make a note that it was made at the turn of the 20th century. Very curious to know how they were worn. The heels rule out standing, unless you were strapped to something to prevent you from tipping over. If anyone's seen Victorian boots like this before and knows more, would love to know. Would also LOVE to know the provenance, including cobbler and customer, whether there was a cobbler known to work on such specialty fetish boots or whether some perv designed them and hired a cobbler to execute.
Or at least, the wits at Gawker are feeling that way about it, and summarize their dyspepsia in this hilarious piece (with hilarious links):
Week In Review: The Week That Killed Sex
Mrs. Robert Zemeckis wrote a terrible book, with terrible sex. Michael Phelps had sex with everyone in China, which is terrible. Rielle Hunter has a terrible baby! John McCain was tortured by gay sadists! Oh, and ugh, someone is maybe a sadistic gay rapist. Don't break up with Andres Martinez! And then, finally, the Mrs. Jared Paul Stern sex tape. See? No more sex for anyone, ever. It's gross.
Times are definitely changing in Missouri. Not so very long ago, the idea of BDSM mingling with music, poetry and visual art and being staged for the public would have caused controversy, if not censorship, in this bastion of conservative politics. Now, it's cause for a fascinating article about an intriguing spectacle. If you're in metro St. Louis and have a chance to see this, please let me know what you thought of it. (By the way, my husband hales from Missouri -- can't wait to tell him about this.)
The music started, the spotlights came on, and Parr began breathing into the mic, “fuck her hard, she asked for it.” The models, dressed in nude-colored clothing, except for black high-heeled boots and stilettos, stalked down the runway, frequently initiating contact with audience members. The sculptural pieces adhered to their bodies varied from stylized collars and blindfolds to twisting neuronal representations that branched out inquisitively and reminded the viewer that that same brain-stuff is in his or her own head, too. The models would often make clear their dominance over the audience by placing a spiked heel on the knee of a front-row spectator. One piece even seemed to take on a new meaning when interaction was initiated – a large wire and silvery cloth contraption that evoked the energy of an erection became fellatio when the cloth was draped over the head of an audience member.
The crowd attending Gehris’ show that night might lend credence to her belief in the growing acceptance of the fetish scene. Men and women in full leather attire with whips and other toys dangling from their belts mingled with some apparently vanilla, although slightly uncomfortable looking, hipsters....
I blogged a bit about Glenn Marcus, first when he was on trial and then in September '07, when he was convicted. Marcus was accused of torture and abuse by a former submissive who had worked for, and played with, him. A number of Marcus' friends (including his long-time SM partner) believed this was a a vendetta by an angy sub, who regretted consenting to master/slave and turned on her former master with a vengeance. The courts, however, decided at the time that there was legitimate cause for conviction.
Seems the conviction was just overturned, as the judge gave incorrect instructions and allowed the jury to convict based on a law that may not have been in effect. At question is whether a law enacted in 2000 applied to SM acts that Marcus may have engaged in as early as 1999.
Reason Magazine reports the story, and raises the question of whether the courts showed prejudice against BDSM relationships in this case.
Given the nature of the relationship and Jodi's decision to continue it for years after it supposedly became nonconsensual, there seems to be plenty of room for reasonable doubt that anything Marcus did violated her rights. But as Brian Doherty noted in March 2007, a federal jury convicted Marcus of violating the "sex trafficking" and "forced labor" provisions of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). In September he received a nine-year prison sentence. Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit overturned (PDF) the convictions, noting that the TVPA was enacted in October 2000, while the actions by Marcus that prosecutors claimed violated the statute occurred between January 1999 and October 2001. The judge failed to instruct the jury that Marcus could not be held liable for violating a law that did not exist. Since it was possible that Marcus was convicted based on his conduct before the TVPA was enacted, the 2nd Circuit said, "the convictions violate the Ex Post Facto Clause."
Andromonoecy: a mechanism enabling plants to independently allocate resources to female and male function.
A French study reveals the genetic underpinnings to the curious reproductive system of melons, called andromonoecy, in which individual plants carry both male and bisexual (hermaphroditic) flowers. -- from the Strange sex life of melons exposed
Possible SM usages
Breathless sub: "I just saw Sir put on a petticoat. He must be feeling andromonoetic today."
Nasty domme: "Bend over, you whore. You may think you're all man, but you'll always be an andromonoene to me!"
A shout out to Snopes, the ultimate Internet myth-busters, for sharing this mouthful of scholarly penile facts.
Vigorous sexual intercourse is the main cause of penile fracture in the Western world....The majority of cases in the Eastern world are results of patients snapping and kneading of their penis during erection to achieve detumescence....
All for a good cause, as some pranksters have been spamming mailboxes with this:
The x-ray illustration above that supposedly illustrates a case of penile fracture is a fabrication.... Although the male of many species of mammal does have a baculum (a bony rod within the penis also known as a "penis bone" or "penile bone"), that structure is not found in human beings. The interior of a human penis is mostly sponge-like and contains no solid, bone-like structure that could snap in half as pictured above.
....Share the merriment with me! On this, my 53d birthday, you can give me the best gift in the world: laughter. Do something simply to crack yourself up today -- and then tell me all about it.
Our neighbors to the north are apparently tired of seeing frolicsome foreigners (that would be us Americans) in adult movies. So some patriotic entrepreneurs are banking on local talent to tantalize adult consumers.
Canadians who may have become tired of being passed over as porn stars will have a new, home-grown outlet to showcase their erotic talents.
Federal regulators have granted Alberta-based Real Productions approval to launch a new digital pornography channel, which promises to serve up at least 50 percent domestic content.
The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved the Category 2 pay-television service on Wednesday, allowing Northern Peaks to become "Canada's first adult video channel offering significant Canadian adult content."
"I think as Canadians there is a bit of a tiredness in seeing all American stuff," Shaun Donnelly, president of Real Productions...."There is always that thrill for something that is local and you get the sense that these are people you can meet at the supermarket."
Personally, I'd be scared to see some of the people at my local supermarket in the buff, but I wish them best of luck.
If you didn't make it to Florida for this event, the Tampa Bay Times photo gallery has got you covered. Lots of great shots of lovely young women having fun with their fetishes.
And then there's this "found poetry:"
It's amazing how many people have been reminding me about and sending greetings for my upcoming birthday. Guess it's the price of a myspace account, which informs everyone on your friends list of the date.
I was sort of planning on pretending it wasn't happening -- even making the executive decision to take off the week *before* so I'd be sure to be busy the week *of*. To say that I'm in complete fucking shock over how fucking old I am right now is an understatement. I don't know if the problem is I never expected to live this long, or that I just don't FEEL any different (apart from the afore-mentioned state of near-perpetual shock). I was raised in a family that dreaded aging (and all types of change, really) with a morbid passion and never spoke of it. Old people were a different species. And since I never had (or, more precisely, never knew) grandparents, the random elderly aunt or uncle I did know seemed to belong to another genetic mutation of humanity. People who were, possibly, born old.
So here I am, now firmly ensconced in my 50s, and feeling pretty much the same about most everything, although all the feelings have gone through so many filters, they have all become refined, defined, and, finally, accommodated. Instead of suffering over imperfections, I've looked for ways to integrate them into a mostly happy life.
For example: I was an exuberant child but also painfully shy and introspective. At school, other kids, mistaking that exuberance for sociability, glommed onto me, which stressed me out. I didn't know what to make of their overtures. I certainly didn't feel popular. I defined myself by all the people who wouldn't have anything to do with me. Their opinions carried more weight. When I went to summer camp, where I got lost in the jumble of other children and felt depressed, the number of people who wouldn't have anything to do with me magnified in my mind to almost all of them. I would escape the pain by vanishing, hiding somewhere behind cabins or under trees to brood alone. Gradually, I've built a life where I almost never have to face any of the above awkwardnesses. I'm reclusive, which suits my shy nature; I live in the woods, where you vanish into the landscape the minute you step outdoors; my life and my work are devoted to thinking about things and putting those thoughts into words, whether through writing or giving people advice. I live with the world's most loving dogs and cats, and with two people who have proven their love for me in countless ways: Will for almost 20 years now, Ketzl for nearly 8. There are bad moments sometimes, but overall, it's a life which makes room for who I really am and allows me to live in peace.
I was thinking these comforting thoughts today while contemplating the new fish tank. For now it is a still landscape of water plants and a beautifully prepared chunk of sandstone, drilled with two trilobal holes (that look like hearts to me) and heat-treated to enhance the striations. Will has kindly volunteered one of the amazingly strange bubble quartz rocks he dug out of his mother's garden in Missouri, when he went home some months ago for her funeral. It will go in later today, and will be beautiful and loved by little fish, but also a warm reminder of his mom. With a substrate of natural gravel and five plant varieties, it's so charming in there, I could imagine swimming through it myself. There are places to hide and places to feed and most of all, room simply to be.
Adulthood, I think, is about making worlds for yourself. Worlds that satisfy. Not perfect worlds -- nothing's perfect. But good enough to make you glad you're alive. My home is one world I've built. My garden is another. In both, I experience a life-affirming balance of intense emotions and tranquil pleasures.
For me, growing up is not about changing and becoming someone else, some old person; it's about building worlds that give me the room to be who I really am.
Thanks to Bertram who replied to my post of some gorgeous astrological body art, I found out it was done by an Australian body artist. I took Bertram's advice and googled Rudi Everts to see his interpretations of my birthday signs.
I'm a little mixed about Leo. Those 3-D paws and the long hair...I don't know. Plus I never really went for the whole eye-tits thing.
Fortunately, according to people who believe in star signs, I'm on the cusp of Virgo. Ah, that's more like it.
Yes, those delightful, delicious days of vacation, those halcyon mornings of waking late and sipping coffee on the back deck, watching birds and squirrels racing through their little lives, are just about over. Ah me.
Tonight's the last night I can stay up until dawn, and tomorrow's my last day of living frivolously. Silly joyous things I did this past week: gave myself a pedicure, facials, rejuvenating mask, and experimented with new cosmetics. Wrote some poetry and played a complicated new wordgame. Watched so many movies, all the plots and characters have merged into one endless and surreal dream. I played with the dogs a couple of hours every day and basked in the companionship of my housemates and life partners. Also basked in some personal time with the remote to Ketzl's buzzy pants. (It's better than TiVo!) Celebrated Will's birthday (Ketzl baked a great cake!). The highlight was today, when Ketzl got me the birthday present I so wanted -- a second aquarium -- and Will helped me set it up. Meaning, he set it up and I paced around in excitement, babbling about how I wished I could be more useful. I did finally get to do something: decorate it with plantings and rocks. It looks like a little enchanted garden. Now we wait for two weeks to let the water cycle, and then we'll add a bunch of new fish. I'm totally psyched, but sense that Will's already glumly preparing for the possibility that increasing numbers of cold-blooded creatures will begin staring back at him from glass tanks everywhere.
Anyway, I'm back to work on Tuesday. Kind of looking forward to it too. I can't believe how much I missed talking to my clients.
(Thanks to Tim for sending the image above!)
For sale on eBay...
EMPTY CONDOM PACKET & A PHOTO OF 'THE TART'S' KNICKERS
UP FOR AUCTION ARE
ONE EMPTY ANSELL CONDOM PACKET (SIZE small)
AND A PHOTO OF THE PAIR OF
'THE TART'S' BLACK LACEY KNICKERS (SIZE HUMONGOUS)
IT SEEMS I HAD VIOLATED EBAY'S SECONDHAND CLOTHES POLICY BY OFFERING 'THE TART'S' (HER NAME'S KYLIE i HAVE SINCE FOUND OUT) ACTUAL KNICKERS UP FOR AUCTION PREVIOUSLY
I CAN ONLY NOW OFFER A PHOTO OF THE SAID KNICKERS AND HAVE ADJUSTED THE STARTING PRICE ACCORDINGLY........ PERSONALLY, I DID THINK .99c WAS A BIT AMBITIOUS BUT, AS THEY ARE SO HUGE, I THOUGHT THEY MAY MAKE SOMEONE A NICE SHAWL OR EVEN BETTER, SOMETHING FOR HALLOWEEN PERHAPS.......
SO HERE'S THE STORY SO FAR.........
Once upon a time there was a women who, after 22 years of marriage, found evidence that the soon to be ex-husband, had had 'The Tart' in their marital bed this very afternoon. This low life deceitful son-of-a-person ( I'm all for political correctness) blatently denied that this event took place even though the evidence is irrefutable and is now up for auction on e-bay.