Sunday, June 27, 2010

Word Casserole

If I tell you I'm fixin to pitch a fit, you probably know what I'm talking about.  If you're from the South, you definitely know. You may even know the different kinds of fits one may pitch.  I could pitch a tizzy or a conniption or a shit fit.  But what if you were talking to someone who was just learning to speak American?  How would you justify saying you were fixin to pitch a conniption when you meant you were becoming upset?

The words don't make sense.

If you tell me you were petrified or mortified, I probably understand you were afraid rather than turned to stone or became gangrenous.  Why do we say really good or really tired?  Do we need to inform people that this time we mean what we say?

Why is it cool to be called hot but an insult to be called cold? How neat is a pin?  Do pigs sweat?  Do fish drink? Are whistles slick? Do you realize that birds eat all day long?

What does it really mean to haul off and pop somebody a good one?  What does it mean to be a piece of work?  Is pie easier than a piece of cake?  Wouldn't it be scary if things really came out of the blue and hit you like a rock? Are buttons really that cute?

Dogs are man's best friend but if you call someone a dog or a bitch you might get socked and it would have nothing to do with what you wear on your feet.

Sometimes we just exaggerate or we redundantly say the same thing over and over again repetitively.  Do we need to say brutal when describing a murder or a rape?  If something is very, very, very strange is it stranger than just very, very strange?

I knew of a man who gave his brother a ton of shit for his birthday.  It was cow manure, actually and he had it delivered to his brother's driveway.  But usually if we say that, we don't mean it quite that literally.  The same goes for giving someone flack or grief.

It was a scream!  It was a riot!  That guy was killing me!   All that might mean t comedian was good !

I've only scratched the surface, too.  I could go on forever.  There's a ton of examples I could use.  But you get my drift don't you?  I mean you get my point, right?

At a meeting this morning, someone mentioned that someone was really into the ganja and no one batted an eye.  We didn't skip a beat. Of course, we were all pretty laid back and took it all easy. 

Don't get your undies in a bundle or anything, I mean I guess it's not that big a deal.  Let's just try to think about the words we use.  It will blow your mind, Baby.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Invasion of the Body Savers

When someone dies in our society, we generally have the blood drained from the body then refill it with toxic preservatives. Then we have the body gussied up with nice clothes and makeup and give the hair a good do, put it in a very fancy metal or polished wood box that’s well-cushioned and put it on display under pink lights,. Then people who cared about the person can parade past and talk about how life-like it looks. Actually, it looks like a dead body that’s been gussied up. I prefer not to look.

After the funeral, we close the fancy box and put it in a fancy car that is driven ever-so- slowly – presumably to not cause the embalmed boxed body discomfort - to a beautiful piece of land, where the box is then lowered into yet another box at the bottom of a six foot hole. These boxes are often guaranteed not to leak for many years to come. Then we cover the lot with dirt and put a fancy engraved stone on the top.

None of this makes the person any less dead.

Meanwhile, back among the living, people wait on long lists for organs that would help them live longer, healthier, more productive lives. There is a need for all sorts of bits of bodies from bone and skin for grafts to corneas to livers and hearts. And there is need for whole bodies to be used to advance medical research and training.

There are stories of poor people selling one of their kidneys. Horrible. There has also been some talk lately about funeral businesspeople who sold body parts to companies who supply hospitals, research and teaching facilities without the consent of the families. That is disgraceful. I think if there is selling to be done, the family of the person who used the body should get the money. But then I suppose there would be the danger of people knocking off old Uncle Henry to sell his organs.

People are like that.

So I reckon the only way to solve this problem is for everyone to make arrangements for the responsible disposal of their bodies once they are done with them. I have sent away to for planning kits for my husband and I. We are also both organ donors and have indicated that on our driver license and in our instructions to each other. So chances are good that my body will actually do someone else some good once I’m done with it. That thought is comforting to me, although at the time I don’t reckon I’ll care one way or the other.

Now, if you’re concerned about the Rapture, when according to some Christians bodies will rise again; I don’t think you need worry. I am absolutely positive that a God who can raise up dead bodies from their graves, reanimate them and take them to Heaven, isn’t going to be flummoxed over organ donation or even cremation. Heck, if those guaranteed vaults and fancy caskets don’t slow him down, I reckon he can handle reuse of his greatest creation.

I know a lot of people who spend an amazing amount of time planning their funerals. I know I have. I want certain songs played, poems read, stuff like that. I don’t want anyone parading by looking at my dead body in a casket. That’s just creepy to me. Just leave dead bodies out of my funeral.

In fact, I think I’ll have my funeral when I can enjoy it. I’ll have a party that’s all about me. Have people bring me flowers and parade past me telling me how good I look. Then we can all eat and laugh.

And as for epitaphs, I think we ought to write those where people are more likely to read them. Like maybe on the front door. Or if more appropriate, on the door to the bedroom.

“Here lies Fay. Her life is short, but it is wide.”

Instead of taking up some prime land for a chemically poisoned body inside a box inside another box, you can plant a tree for me. I don’t care where. And for crying in a bucket, use that body every which way you can. I won’t be needing it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Only Alternative

We have been waiting for "alternative" energy to be perfect before we start to use it.  We've been told it's not feasible, that someday we might be able to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by using renewable energy.  How perfect does solar, wind, tidal or harvested methane power need to be before it's as perfect as oil or coal?

It's not some weird, hippy stuff we're talking about here.  When I was a child, (oh, come on, it wasn't THAT long ago) every farm had a windmill that pumped water from a well.  Forty years ago my brother built a functioning solar collector from recycled beer cans and an old storm window.  It put out some major heat. 

The sun has been powering the whole planet for quite some time.  It's going to be around as long as we need it.  Coal and oil are limited.  They will run out.  It takes millions of years to make them and not so many to use them up.  And getting to them isn't pretty.  I don't need to say more about that, do I?  And what fills in the holes they leave behind when we remove them from the Earth?  Does it make sense that we keep removing stuff from deep within the planet in huge amounts and there is no negative consequence.  I'm no rocket surgeon, but I seem to remember that Nature abhors a vacuum. And if scarcity and collection aren't disasters enough, when we burn them we create poison. 

We all feel helpless and guilty about the energy crisis.  After all, what can one person do?  How about

  • Wash clothes in cold water.  You don't need hot water for that.  Really.
  • Insulate your house.  Plug the holes. Weather strip
  • Replace your dead appliances with energy efficient, hopefully solar new ones.
  • Cut out unnecessary trips.  Take the bus.  Walk.
  • Don't run your dishwasher unless that puppy's full.
  • Vent your attic
You get the idea.  Those are little things, but if we all only did the first one - washed in cold - I wonder how much energy we'd save?

And stop thinking about how imperfect alternative energy is.  Even without a battery, we can have a small wind turbine on the roof that creates electricity we use first - before we tap into the grid.  Solar water heaters are hardly hippy technology anymore.  We have to have a roof anyway, why not stick a couple of collectors up there.  Maybe it wouldn't be enough to keep us completely free from the utility company, but it would make a dent.

Renewable energy isn't an all or nothing thing.  It's not weird or unfeasible to cut down on the fossil fuel powered energy we use.  It's ok to take a baby step.  We just need to put one foot in front of the other and stop going backward.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Gardening Fay Style

Today I went to the garden to pick some green beans. But while I was there I thought I should check for other ready veggies. While peaking under the big leaves of cucumber and squash plants, I sort of got stuck in a little fantasy and decided that if I were a fairy, I might make my summer home there. And that reminded me that I’ve been meaning to make a toad home for some time, to encourage a little critter to move in and eat bugs.

So I searched the French drain for the perfect flat rocks and built a nice little cool, shady home and thought about putting up a “Free Rent” sign. But while at the French drain, I’d noticed that there was a lot of silt among the rocks, evidently from the recent downpours.

So I got a bucket and trowel and my little stool and dug out about five feet of the gazillion foot French drain. It was sort of like panning for gold, only I was panning for rocks and bits of broken brick. I did get a couple of buckets of really fluffy, black, worm-filled soil out of it and decided to build a new raised bed.

So I piled up the recovered wormy soil and got some compost out of the bin to mix in with it. But while I was at the compost bin, I noticed that it needed some water and a good stir. I got some great compost from the bottom though.

I mixed the compost and the soil from the French drain and piled it up. I thought about what a great bed this was going to make for some more beans. And then I remembered. I came to pick beans!

And that’s the way I garden!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Yesterday I had an email conversation with my supervisor who was two doors away. 

"I have been informed that you are not wearing a bra today.  If staff notice, clients will notice.  I need you to go  home and put one on."

"Actually, I have one on.  Please tell whomever that I'm sorry my breasts are offensive."

"I'm sorry.  If I hear any more complaints I'll tell them they are mistaken."

Later I flashed a bit embarrassed supervisor a bit of bra strap.  She said she thought someone must have been looking too hard.  I want to be clear that I don't blame my supervisor.  Someone put her in a silly situation when I'm sure she had more important things to do.

Very often I don't wear a bra.  I just hate them.  Who came up with the idea that women must corral, cage, bind their breasts?  What is this breast obsession?  Usually, I figure if someone is offended by the sight of my possibly cage-free breast though a shirt they should just look elsewhere.  It's really not my problem that they have nothing better to think about and unless they have an appointment, I can't treat their neurosis.

Grown men call them boobies, pink-nosed puppies, headlights, racks, knockers, melons, titties.  Adults actually giggle about a little jiggle.  Careers are made and broken over breasts.  I don't get it.  Television shows critique famous women on the appearance of their breasts in bikinis.  Movies are deemed unfit for young people to see if a breast is flashed and so surgically enhanced breasts are flashed in movies to make them seem  "adult."

AND I'm told to go home and put on a bra.

I fed two babies and donated a lot of milk for babies who needed it and I was never ashamed or hesitant to do so. However, I've known lots of people who hide when they nurse their babies.  But heck, everyone feels perfectly ok about sticking an artificial breast holding artificial milk in a baby's mouth in public.  Huh?  Tell me that makes sense.

They are just breasts, for crying in a bucket.  It is very unlikely that they are going to sneak up and bite someone.  They aren't venomous.  They don't make funny faces to make people laugh and they can't hypnotize.  They aren't satanic or evil in any way. They are breasts.  More than likely you've got a couple, I've got a couple. 

I also have elbows.  I brazenly expose them in public.  Sometimes I gently poke people with them in an ever so suggestive manner.  Don't you think they're cute?  I don't wear elbow pads.  I'm a naughty, naughty girl!

Melons are fruit, headlights are on cars, knockers are for doors and if you giggle about breasts you are a boob.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Politics As Usual - Ain't It a Shame

I hate, hate, hate political ads and to tell you the truth, I'm not crazy about politicians, either.

Why do these yasswipe incumbents only tell us what they've done when they want our vote again? Let me answer my own question - because they want to keep their jobs. Politicians' jobs are to get their jobs and get them again.

I like the idea of representatives of the people. I don't like the idea of professional politicians. And I can't figure out why anyone would vote for someone who prefers to badmouth the opposition rather than say what is good about himself.

And for crying in a bucket, when did it become a cool thing to call the President of the United States bad names? That makes me sick. I find it nauseating that politicians are advertising how they refuse to work as a team member. When did that become something to brag about? I think it stinks that we have to choose from contestants whose only chance of looking good is to make others look bad.

I really don't want to vote for anyone who actually wants to be a politician. I would be in favor of filling Congress with people who are smart enough to go into it kicking and screaming.

What sane person would choose to put herself and her family through a campaign? Who, other than someone who hasn't had a life, has not a single skeleton - not one dry bone - in his closet? And just whom would someone like that represent? I'm afraid it's become either a government of the perfect, by the perfect, for the perfect; or of the liars, for the liars, by the liars who have enough money to cover their stories.

Groucho Marx said he wouldn't want to join an organization that would have him as a member. I don't want to vote for a politician who wants to run for office. And ain't that a shame.