Lady Power! (Or, I’m Actually not a Lesbian)

Just look at those ladies! Tell me you wouldn't snuggle them…

It’s been brought to my attention that, sometimes, I sound like I’m into girls. Now, I do like lesbians. Well, I guess not all lesbians. How could I know that I like all lesbians? So I guess I’ll say that I have wonderful lesbian friends that I like a whole lot. But alas, I *like* dudes. Well, actually, I have a bit of a complicated relationship with Dudes, but I like one dude. My husband. I have a very awesome, uncomplicated relationship with him. Ack. This got super convoluted all of a sudden. Let’s start over.

I compliment ladies a lot. And I sometimes want to snuggle with them. I’ve mentioned being entranced by the adorable Mary Louise Parker and wanting to snuggle with Dr. Brené Brown. I’m totally goofy over Alice Bradley. And kinda lots of other women. I’m like that in person, too. Maybe worse. I kinda want to be uncomfortably friendly with a lot of women. Doesn’t everyone feel that way? Aren’t there some women that you think, “I could just snorgle her a little”?

I wrote a draft of this post and had my husband read it and he said, “Nope, you still sound like you want to make out with women.” So, let me explain a little more. When I say “snuggle,” it’s like I want to pinch cheeks and rub noses and squeeze shoulders. Kinda like you would with a kitten, you know? Like you see the little kitty, and you just want to squeeze it and talk through your teeth and say stuff like, “Awent you just the sweetest wittle kitty evoh?” and then the kitty looks at you like it’s kinda fun but also a little terrifying. That’s what I picture in my mind. Anyone? You know what I’m saying? You know that feeling when someone is just so remarkable and funny and awesome and beautiful that you feel like you can’t control yourself?

Maybe it’s just me. I’m aware that I shouldn’t actually do those things, though. I promise. You don’t have to worry about me if we meet in person. I think that I want to snorgle people, but I don’t actually do the snorgling. I’m not totally bananas, it’s just that…well, some women—a lot of women—are super amazing. And there’s something about the fact that women walk around oozing with awesomeness that makes me want cuddle strangers.

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that those same women—the same women that floor me with how gorgeous and vivacious and smart they are—probably had a life experience not unlike mine. And my experience went something like this: be a kid, gain a teensy bit of awareness, hate yourself from then on. The de facto position of most girls as they grow is to be utterly disappointed in themselves. Criticizing your body and hair and teeth and laugh and knee shape is basically a full-time job from about age 10.

Love me some Tina Fey. Things would get real awkward, real quick.

I know it sounds dramatic, but I’m pretty sure that’s the deal. It was for me. And there’s some data to back it up, too. According to some research that Dove (the soap company) has done, only 4% of women worldwide think they’re beautiful. Holy crap! I personally know a boat load of beautiful women, and I see beautiful women all the time. Like, every day. So, either all the beautiful women gravitate to places where I can see them, or we women have a BIG discrepancy between what actually is (there are LOTS of beautiful women and you’re likely one of them) and what we think (we’re all a bunch of uggos).

And that’s just looks. When we get to the workplace, our intelligence takes a hit as we’re routinely valued lower than our male counterparts (the stats show we make 25% less just because of our boobs. Or maybe it’s the uterus. Both? Something about our lady parts is getting us in trouble.) Women hold a stupidly low percentage of power positions in government and we have a puny representation in the film industry as writers, directors, or producers. Even in cooking—a chore stereotypically thrust on women as their duty—when it comes to the role of head chef, women only eek out 15% of the positions nationwide. Chores at home go to the ladies, high-powered glam positions go to the men. Lame.

I’m sure I could continue this way for a while. Google easily coughs up a pile of reasons for women to say, “Hey, wait a minute…” But I don’t need to. The point is not that we need to boo-hoo ourselves OR poo-poo men, the point is that when I see women—smart, radiant, AMAZING women—I think the appropriate response is to be enamored. To be amazed. To want to snuggle up on the couch and soak in the goodness of another soul, and be at least one voice that says, “Hey, you’re kinda great.” Maybe it’ll rip a plot hole in the story we’re told. Maybe it’ll make a way for a tiny sapling of self-worth to break through the concrete that got poured over our rich lands. Or maybe it’ll just make for some super awkward moments. That’s entirely possible, too.

So, cough it up, people. Isn’t there someone who you think is so amazing that you want to snuggle them a little? Just a little nuzzling? Please, do share. Let’s compliment the crap out of each other for a while, okay?

—-

p.s. – Loads of love to the ladies in my life who have lost track of how amazing they are. You know who you are.

p.p.s. – Finding an image for this post was kinda infuriating. I searched for “women” which brought up a bunch of sketches of bare-breasted women. Really? “Women” = “something naked that I can do”? Come on, internet. Get your crap together. So, then I searched for “badass women” and got a bunch of pics of roller derby players, which was kinda funny.

It’s Easy to Dream. It’s Hard to Do.

FAME IS FOR DOERS

Image by AMERICAN ARTIST BEN MURPHY, on Flickr

I watch a lot of TV. It’s time to admit it. Sometimes I like to pretend that I’m all modern and innovative and “above it all” (ohmigod, how obnoxious) because we don’t have cable or an actual television, and we just watch Hulu and Netflix on our MacBook Pros. Soooo progressive, right?

As it turns out, you don’t need cable to watch a billion hours of TV. Netflix and Hulu work just fine for that. And I’m like an addict. Once I get on a show, it’s like I can’t get enough. I can’t watch enough. I need to see what happens next. I don’t care that it’s midnight and I need more sleep than a hibernating bear—I NEED TO SEE IT!

Netflix is actually worse in this way. Case in point: on Netflix, you CAN watch 4 old episodes Grey’s Anatomy in one sitting, because they’re all there, just waiting for you. They even prompt you to click the “Next episode” button like it’s the most natural thing in the world. I wish they would get rid of that button and just put up a quick screen saying, “Who are we kidding? You’re not going anywhere. Just sit down while we play the next one.” Just so we can all be honest.

TV Shows We Used To Watch - 1955 Television advertising

Photo by brizzle born and bred, on Flickr

At least the cable company controls your consumption. They give you just a little at a time. They give you commercials so you can go pee or brush your teeth and stuff like that. They give you the opportunity for a little dignity.

(Story detour: one time when we actually had cable, we decided that we wanted to cancel it. Cable companies are NOT cool with this move. They think it’s weird. Plus, they like your money. So I called and said, “I want to cancel my cable service.” and the lady said, “How about we give you three months free?” and I said, “Well, okay…not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth, lady.” At the end of the three months I called back again to cancel it and they offered me another great deal. They’re like drug dealers, I tell you. Drug dealers with a call center. So finally, I just said, “I want to cancel my cable service because the TV is sucking my soul out.” to which the lady said, “Right away ma’am.” and we were done. Which proves once again, crazy works.)

ANYWAY, so I’ve been serially watching episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. We watched the first two seasons a few years ago, then just never picked it up again. But the first 7 seasons (seven!) are on Netflix, so, you know…I kinda watched many, many episodes in a row.

Now, if you don’t like the show, just shush for a second, okay? I just want to say that the writing is brilliant (brilliant!). Sure, there’s the occasional unbelievable response or plot hole—some unconvincing element that likely arose from talent leaving or needing time off or something—but by and large they deliver on every. episode.

What I love about the show is that it always has a theme, it always weaves little life lessons. It deals in fears and struggles. Grey’s Anatomy finds all of those intimate moments where we keep our words silent for fear of facing them, and it intrudes upon them. It unearths the mess.

But it also looks for beauty among the dying, diseased, and broken. The hospital has to be the perfect metaphor for our lives—lives in constant states of repair, remission and relapse. Lives without a known ending. Lives full of mystery and defeat and hope. It’s the perfect metaphor and the writers of Grey’s are freaking nailing it.

As I watch episode, after episode, after episode of this cursedly good show, I find myself dreaming…I want to write those words. I want to write the words that inspire thought and introspection. I want to write words that remind us all of our humanity and of our connection. Words that remind us that grace can be as battered and bruised and defeated as a dying man, but it can still fight its way back to life. I’m a writer, dammit, and I want to write those words.

But in order to write those words, or any words, I’ve got to get my fingers on the keyboard. I’ve got to force myself to get something on the page. I’ve got to force myself to churn the work out. I’ve got to grab the creative fairies by the toe as they flutter through my mind at inopportune times, and scribble their thoughts down on notecards and napkins and post-its. And then I’ve got to be a freaking adult and make something of them. It’s easy to dream. It’s hard to do. I need to do some doing.

The Best Man on the Planet

someecards.com - I want to grow old and disgusting with you

I ABSOLUTELY feel this way about Stephen. I'm pretty sure he's in for a doozy.

It’s Valentine’s day today, and so I chose to write about Stephen, whom I love to teeny, tiny bits. Because he’s awesome, and he deserves a pile of words that tell him so. I’m a little worried, though, that if you’re single or not in the mood to believe in/read about love, you’re going to be bummed out now. And I don’t really like that idea. So, I found this thing on the internet. Just for you. It’s pictures of cat heads (and one dog head) shoved through bread products. God bless the freaking internet. Go look at it. I’ll wait.

Waiting…

Waiting…

…Okay, now that you’re feeling happy, here’s a gooey pile of love mush in honor of my incredi-husband:

Me: You’re my favorite person. You’re the best man on the planet.

Stephen: Thanks, honey.

Me: You make me believe there’s at least one other good man out there.

Stephen: Awww…thanks.

Me: He probably got in a car accident just now.

In light of recent times, struggles, et cetera…this conversation is actually saying a lot. It’s hard to believe in the goodness of men when you’re reading about pimps, prostitutes, and the men that buy them (read here and here if you’re wondering why I’m doing that). So, the fact that my husband is so wonderful that he makes me believe that there might be one other good man out there is significant. Even if I think that one other good man got in a car accident, so we’re back down to just one good man. (For the record, I know a good deal of good men. I do. I’m VERY thankful for you all, okay? Good.)

But my husband is the best man on the planet. He’s amazing. He’s smart and attractive and kind. He does the dishes every day (because I hate them. And I’m lazy. And he’s a little compulsive about it and could never wait around for me to get to it.). He also vacuums. He loves our kid. And he loves me. He’s unbelievably creative. And talented. And dedicated. He believes in the goodness of the world, and he gets sad when that goodness falters.

Let’s be clear, though: he’s not a perfect man. That’s not a thing. It doesn’t exist. See, he also falls asleep sometimes when we’re watching TV together, or sometimes when we’re talking. And once in a bar. I think he might have a mild case of narcolepsy. When he gets frustrated he pouts around like Charlie Brown—it’s sincerely absurd. He gets super weird in emergency situations (like the other day when our kid dropped a big heavy thing on her toe and I needed a band-aid—sheesh! Pandemonium!). And sometimes when he hurts my feelings he gets so mad and panicked and turned around that his apology hurts worse than whatever he did in the first place.

But I don’t care about any of those things. Those things are normal, and human, and everyone has them. Plus, my list of weird things is way longer than his. By a lot.

He’s not a perfect man, but he is perfect for me. Perfect. I love him more than anyone else in the world. He is, truly, my favorite person. He’s who I always want to be with. He made me love from a place in my heart that I didn’t know existed. I thought happy marriages were impossible. I thought that a loving, life-long commitment was a myth; like leprechauns or unicorns or non-pervy-looking mustaches. But what we have together proves me wrong every day. Every. single. day.

So, for that (and a MILLION other reasons), I say, “Happy Valentine’s day, Mr. Crutchfield. You’re swell.” And to all the rest of you out there, I hope that love, in its many beautiful, bizarre, frustrating and ridiculous forms, finds its way to your door. Happy Valentine’s day to you, too!

p.s. – I really wanted to put this video up there, but it has two cuddling animals, and if you’re REALLY bummed out about Valentine’s day I didn’t want you to be like, “Ohmigosh, even those two animals have each other! Sad face! Quiver lip!” so I didn’t put it up there. But I am putting it down here. It’s not that I don’t care about you and your feelings. I do. I promise. But this video is too crazy to pass up! The animals are cute, but the music! It’s nutballs! I love it. I’m going to sing it all day. Stephen will love that at dinner tonight. I’m a pleasure to be around, y’all. A real gem.

And This, Fine Folks, is an EP Review: Rodesodes by Creepy Pizza

Guys…this is fun. For real.

Okay, so I got a message from cool guy and owner of Way Grimace records, Sean Duncan the other day. He asked if I wanted to take a listen to an EP being released by the label. He literally described it as “dark, old Nintendo dance music.” Hmmm…

Now, I don’t know how you were raised, but if someone asks me to listen to dark, old Nintendo dance music I kinda have to, right? Because what the deuce is that? Good thing I was saying yes to life!, and yes to listening requests that day because it’s kinda great. How, you say? Well, let me tell you.

The eight track EP, Rodesodes, is a fun romp through what seems to be the entire archive of Casio keyboard sounds, set to steady driving beats that lure you into a magical, digital dream land wherein you use the marimba to fight bad guys in leather pants. The steady stomp of “Trip Chips” gives way to a subtle groove in “Challah Back”, which fades into a staccato vibe reminiscent of early 90s rap in the third track, “Farfel.” Each song, though distinct in its own way, gives a similar feeling, and I can see why Sean describes it as Nintendo dance music. It’s fun, campy, and rhythmic, but more grounded than the grating tunes you endured while trying to get to level 10. It’s video game music, elevated. Some of the tracks, like “Rode Sodes”, have sections that remind me of Dance Dance Revolution. In a good way.

Rodesodes manages to simulate music that could absolutely drive you out of your mind without ever actually being obnoxious. Instead, the EP stays on the good side quirky with each energetic keyboard run and tireless bass line.

If that description’s not enough, let me give you three reasons why you might like this music.

1. The artist is called Creepy Pizza.

Ummm…awesome. It makes me feel awesome saying it. Creepy Pizza. Creepy Pizza. You try it. See? Fun, right? And you know I have a thing for band names. Creepy Pizza is almost as good as the other band I’m in, Pleasure Holiday.

2. It makes you feel peppy.

Did you notice how chipper this post is? I’m listening to Creepy Pizza, right now, y’all. Specifically, track 5, “Caserosmith.” I totally want to kick the air or jog in place in front of a mirror or do some jazzercise or something. Except I hate to exercise. But if it weren’t for that I’d totally be doing jumping jacks and faux-break dancing.

3. No lyrics = good for working.

If you’re trying to write or concentrate, sometimes all the words get in the way. Like that song, The Words Get In the Way. Can anyone get anything done with those lyrics rambling through your brain? Gloria Estefan, curse you and your tender songwriting! But not with Rodesodes. Nope, between the distraction-free soundscape and the pep-making I mentioned earlier, this is music for taking over the world.

So, those are my thoughts on this snazzy EP. And now my thoughts are published on the internet, so you should probably listen to them. Leave your thoughts and feelings on Creepy Pizza below (it’s interactive!). Oh, and for posterity’s sake, you should know that I didn’t receive any payment for this review. That is, aside from the feather boa and four pounds of saffron, but Sean was going to send those to me anyway. People send me boas and spices, like, all the time.

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