Wednesday, November 28, 2007

TAGGED - BOOK MEME

Ell over at the Pomegranate Tiger has tagged me with a book meme.
Instructions:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fourth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences along with these instructions.
Don’t search around and look for the “coolest” book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.
5. State the book title and author.

Being a person who follows directions well (OK, stop laughing y'all!)I spin my 'puter chair around and grab the first book off the top of the stack in the floor (the bookshelves are overflowing and I have books stacked all over the house. No flat surface is left empty, dusty tomes litter every spare inch of surface and I've already read most of them). I open the cover, flip to page #123 and count down four sentences. Here's what I find:


She started to take off her uniform shirt, then stopped.
"What?"
"I'm too fat."
"You're goddamn right." She always said she was fat. One time I'd told her that she should shut up about it, that large black women wore their fat like mink coats.


From "Drinking Coffee Elsewhere" by Z. Z. Packer, a wonderful collection of short stories that tease, tempt and tantalise your emotions. All the stories are written from a growing up Black prospective but one also meets an array of other characters; from African American church ladies, white intellectuals, to inner-city dwellers, but the morals and feelings of these literary gems apply to us all. Well written, these tales don't have the feel of the usual short story but instead are well fleshed and thoroughly enjoyable.

This is my first book by Z. Z. Packer and I'm making it a point to find some more of her works. She's been published in lots of magazines (starting when she was just 19). Her work has appeared in Seventeen, Harper's, The Best American Short Stories (2000), Ploughshares and has been anthologized in 25 and Under: Fiction.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

EVENING STROLL

Opening one eye to check what o’clock it was, I was blinded by the light! A ray of lethal brilliance stabbed straight through my pupil and into the pain center of my puny half-awake brain. Instinct made me jerk the covers over my head, blocking out that damned invasive sunbeam, until I had time to decide whether it was worth the trouble of getting up or if I should just be lazy and catch a few more hours of shuteye. After working 3 straight weeks of midnights, sunlight’s only a distant fond memory. It’s usually twilight by the time I get up and hit the road, and still dark when I head back home; good thing I don’t suffer from SAD! Deciding that a beautiful day was too good to waste I half heartedly talked myself into getting up early and catching a little daylight before hitting the plant.

After slowly easing my head out from under the quilt and shoving the cats out of the way I staggered out of bed and into the shower. 15 minutes of pounding hot water later I was starting to feel half way human and ready to face the world. Dressing warmly, I headed for Recede, the company park, located on the Tennessee River and only 10 minutes from work. That way I could stroll the riverbank to my heart’s content and not have to worry about clocking in late.

There’s something about water that’s always called to me. The sound of a fountain, the vista of any lake or river, the majesty of the ocean; it doesn’t matter as long as it’s peaceful and not too crowded. This time of year there are no campers and there weren’t any fishermen out today, so I had to the place all to myself. TVA always drops the river’s level in the winter so there was plenty of room to walk along the shore, the exposed sand and pebbles showcasing treasures hidden by muddy water the rest of the year. The sunlight was bright enough to require shades but the breeze off the river was chilly, making me glad that I had my work jacket on. All in all, a nice day for a leisurely stroll.

Nickel sized muscle shells crunched beneath my feet, scaring away the mallard ducks who minutes before were busily catching minnows in the slew that borders the side of the park. Oddly shaped chunks of driftwood lay haphazardly upon the sand, smoothed and rounded by the tossing and turning of the river’s current: Mother Nature’s works of art deco. River rocks and quartz nuggets gleamed in spotlights of sunbeams, free gems for anyone who had an eye for beauty.

As I walked I noticed several sets of deer tracks leading down to the water. The largest ones no bigger that those made by a decent sized dog but the smallest ones....... OH! They were so tiny! It almost looked as if someone had stabbed two fingers into the sand; the fawn couldn’t have weighed more than a few pounds (what the deer hunters around here call a “shoebox deer” because when dressed out it would fit inside a shoebox). I could picture Mom and baby deer tiptoeing down the bank, nervous and afraid of anything that moved. Not only did they have to be wary of wild predators, it’s deer season here. Believe me, there are lots of rednecks who aren’t above shooting Bambi. But in movie of my imagination, they drank unmolested and continued back into the safety of the forest; the fawn’s dappled coat blending into the shadows of the undergrowth. Hey, it’s my story and I’ll tell it the way I wanta.

Then my time was up. The setting sun made the temps drop causing me to zip up my coat, peep at my watch, give the river one last lingering glance and then head on out for work to make a dollar or two more.

Monday, November 26, 2007

REVISITING FAVORITE BOOKS

"He had discussed it in great detail with the two people in the world closest to him: his wife and his mistress. Anna, a middle-aged, ugly, bitter woman of peasant stock, had ordered him to keep away from the airport and stay in the background so that he could not be blamed if anything went wrong. Melina, his sweet, beautiful young angel, had advised him to greet the dignitaries. She agreed with him that an event like this could catapult him into instant fame. If Skouri handled this well, at the very least he would get a raise in salary and - God willing - might even be made Commissioner of Police when the present Commissioner retired. For the hundredth time Skouri reflected on the irony that Melina was his wife and Anna was his mistress, and he wondered again where he had gone wrong."



Damn, I wish I could write like Sydney Sheldon!

Friday, November 23, 2007

THANKSGIVING MORNING

A blustery breeze swirled moist mustard yellow leaves around my ankles as I stepped out of the car. Dawn’s anemic sun peeked through the remnants of storm clouds, casting a sickly sepia tone over everything. Last night’s thunder-boomer had passed; a goose-bump inducing drop in temperature and icy mud puddles the only evidence that summer’s long drought was over.

Puppies peeked out of the insulated doghouse, little black noses and floppy ears signaling that while they noticed Mommy was home, not one sorry flea-bitten hound bothered to leave their shared body warmth long enough to say “Good Morning”. Can’t say as I blame ‘em. Usually they play this fun game of twining around my legs or darting beneath my foot just as I try to take a step, trying to see if they can trip me between the car and the house. Selfish beasties, letting a little cold and wet interfere with their display of doggy affection, I should short them on their kibble rations!

After a long 12 hours sitting on my ample ass in front of a bunch of computers I was ready to hit the bed and snuggle with the poo-kitties for a long nap. I shed my coat and bags in the kitchen and was walking through the house leaving a trail of clothes behind me when I noticed the blinking amber light on the answering machine. Thinking “It’s Thanksgiving, someone is inviting me to fix a plate on the way to work or just giving me a cheery 'Happy Turkey Day” I hit the play button.

A sad/little boy lost/I just lost my best friend/nobody loves me voice said “Junebugg, its ex-sweet thang. I just wanted to talk, give me a call”. NOW HE WANTS TO TALK. Sounds like a personal problem to me, and it ain't no problem of mine.

Hitting the delete button, I slid between the sheets with the cats draped on each side of me and drifted off to dreamland. After all, I don’t get a day off until nest Friday week and I don’t have time for all the drama.

My new motto courtesy of Popeye: “I stands all I can stands and I can’t stands no more”

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

'PUTER VIRUS

Be careful! When you see this on your monitor:



You know it's been infected with another crappy virus!

FIVE THINGS OF WHICH JUNEBUGG IS SUSPICIOUS

The ever entertaining Schmutzie has come up with a new meme, “Nine Things of Which Schmutzie Is Suspicious” and has graciously invited anyone who’s interested to play. The rules are simple:

• Write a list of things of which you are suspicious. Any number of them will do. Even the number 0 works. This is the first meme that can be done without even doing it. In fact, you're doing it right now.
• Include the list of rules, if you feel like it.
• Link back to the person who tagged you. Or not.
• Tag however many people you want to tag. You can skip this step.
• If you acted on rule four, leave comments on their websites to let them know that they have been tagged. This step is also completely optional.

Feel fantastic.

I’ve decided to play along. I'm not going to tag anyone so play if you wanta, I'd love to see your list. Schmutzie’s is amusing and well written but I’m at work and blogging on the sly so I’m just going to hit the hi-lights and hope for the best. So here, in no particular order, are

FIVE THINGS OF WHICH JUNEBUGG IS SUSPICIOUS:


• Anytime someone is extra sweet to me for no reason, especially if they’re usually self-centered (several of you reading this know who you are). My skeptical mind figures (from past experience) that either they want something, have done something nasty, or are planning to do something bad in the near future and are attempting to store up good conduct credits in advance
• People who try to forcibly “convert” me to their way of thinking. Whether it’s religion, lifestyle, what foods to eat, clothes to wear or anything else you care to name, I’m not in the mood to be brainwashed into thinking/living/believing like you. I’m a grown person and have a reasonable, logical mind with an above average IQ that I’ve been using for over 52 years. I’ve attended and graduated Analytical Trouble Shooting classes, Problem Solving seminars, Leadership Skills training, and tons of other “how to decide shit” classes. Talk to me if you want but don’t yell, belittle me or condemn me to hell. I’m a stubborn old bitch with the temperament of a mule; the harder you push the more I’ll refuse to listen to you.
• Car salesmen and mechanics; enough said. They see a female with her checkbook in her hand and think “Sucker!”
• Men who take longer primping than I do.
• Things that go “bump” in the night. I live out in the country and it’s dark out there. You city folks worry about muggers and thieves. We’ve got werewolves, cattywampuses (Alabama for wampus cats), vampires and haints running around just waiting for someone to jump on here in the boonies. Warning: I sleep with a shotgun AND a rifle next to my bed and I tend to wake up in a very bad mood.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

WOMAN OF A CERTAIN AGE

Friday I'll be the ripe old age of 52. I consider myself to be in the midst of middle age, so imagine my surprise when I found this while digging around on the web:

The phrase was popularized in a 1979 book by the psychotherapist Lillian B. Rubin, "Women of a Certain Age: The Midlife Search for Self," in which midlife spanned 35 to 54. Reached in San Francisco, Dr. Rubin, whose book indicates she is now in her early 70's, was surprised to learn of the long English history of the phase because "it has a long history in French (femmes d'une certaine age), where it refers to women of fortyish and thereabouts who are able to initiate boys and young men into the beauties of sexual encounters. The early use in English seems to be about spinsterhood, but the French meaning has nothing to do with marriage." In French, the phrase has erotically or sexually charged overtones. "It comes from a society where sexuality is freer," Dr. Rubin notes, "and more understood as an important part of human life."


It's nice to know that at least in certain parts of the world that a woman isn't past her sexual prime. Here in America if you're not a young 20 something, lean and have a figure like a boy with boobs you're considered over the hill. Poo on that! We over 50 women have a lot of life left in us: we're vivacious, sexually active (even with all our lumps, bumps, wrinkles, sagging boobs, dragging butts and love handles), got jobs and money of our own and now we Baby Boomers are outnumbering all the other age groups. So look out world, it's our time to shine!

I've never lied about my age and I'm not starting now. 52 and proud of it Y'all! Hell, being over 50 damned sure beats the alternative! Who knows, I might even go out and find me a trophy guy. If the men can do it why can't we women? Or as the French would say, "Vive La femmes d'une certaine age"

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Cowboy Crosses Country on Horseback to Reveal Unseen American Culture

Now this man has my respect! Go and read the entire story.

Weary of the daily drumbeat over war, crime, poverty and assorted social ills, he and his wife are burning through their life savings to tell the stories of hardworking, honest everyday people in rural America. Inman soaks it all in atop Blackie, a 16-year thoroughbred-quarter horse mix who's averaging 20-25
miles a day along backroads from Oregon to North Carolina.

Monday, November 12, 2007

UNREAL BEAUTY-UNTRUTH IN AVERTISING

I found this post over at The Curvy Counselor and just has to share it.
Wanna look like the models you see on billboards? Well... it may not be humanly possible. Have you seen this video clip from Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty? Called Evolution, it’s a powerful illustration of the process of manufacturing beauty.
Take a moment to see the clip for yourself. And please let me know what you think

After watching the video I can see why it's no damn wonder women are so depressed when we compare ourselves to the altered images in ads marketing techs use in order to sell their products to us.

Friday, November 09, 2007

ADVISE FROM MY FRIENDS

THE WOMEN:

“It’s about time you dumped the guy. We missed ya.”

“You didn’t cry when you kicked that loser to the curb, did ya? Cause men’s egos always make ‘em think that you’re bawling over losing them when you’re actually crying over the thought of getting nekked in front of a brand new feller and wondering if he’s noticing your wobbly bits.”

“The way to get over a man is another man. It’s like when you get thrown by a horse, you gotta get right back on or you’ll be scarred for life. And it’s gotta be just for fun, you don’t want someone to fall in love with, just a nice warm body to rock your world one time and one time only. I recommend that you don’t give him your number and you can even lie about your name if you want.”

“Speaking of new studs, here ya go: from me to you” (waving a gaily ribbon wrapped, large economy sized box of condoms with “RIBBED FOR HER PLEASURE” in bold print on the front for the whole restaurant to see). “Remember, no love without a glove. If the man wants to play, he has to dress for the party!”

Naw, what she needs is a new BOB(battery operated boyfriend). “No muss, no fuss, always ready when you are and won’t bother you when you’re tired. Plus it don’t care about love handles, saggy boobs, or a big ass; and it doesn’t eat your groceries or cheat on ya.”

“The old man has a friend….he ain’t nothing pretty, got a pot belly and a bald spot but he’s sweet and he’s got a brand new Harley that’s FINE.”

THE MEN:

“If you ever decide to fool around with a married man be sure I’m the first to know”

“Hell, you got a good job, money, land, and your own house: you’ll have to beat the men off with a stick.”

“I’ll volunteer to be your ‘friend with benefits’. Just call when ever you get an itch and I’ll scratch it for ya, baby!”

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

GOT ONE RIGHT

At last, a horoscope that rings true!

Scorpio
Junebugg,
You will know that thoughts of passion are now deflated by the illusions a partner had about you. The tension between true and false is uncomfortably apparent. Look to move on rather than change who you are to fit someone else's desires.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

ALONE AND LOVING IT

“I don’t think I’ve ever felt love; I don’t think I’ve ever loved anyone, even when I was married. I care more about some people than others but I’m self-centered. Can’t help it, I’ve always been that way. I’m not sure I even love my parents; I feel obligated to them for all they’ve done for me, especially after the way they’ve taken care of me after my wreck and all. Hell, I don’t even know what love feels like. But I do like you, I feel comfortable around you, I like your company. I just don’t have strong emotions of any kind. But I’m not gonna be alone, I’ll always have some female to keep me company if you’re not interested.”

Isn’t the lack of any kind of emotion the description of a serial killer?

This is the excuse I got the next day; after Ex-Sweet Thang called, told me he’d be over soon and then didn’t show up, didn’t call, didn’t answer his cell. AGAIN. It’s the same way he disappeared for months twice before in the last 4 years: breaking up by disappearing until he got lonely; until he found out that the younger prettier thinner women weren’t interested in a self-centered overweight 47 year old blue collar worker. Then it's time to call Junebugg again: the doormat, the one who spoils her men, the one who always seems to be around until something better comes around.

And what am I, a holey pair of jeans that you put on when you don’t care what you look like, when all the nicer jeans aren’t available?

Fuck that!


So I’m now foot loose and fancy free. No more sitting at home waiting on someone who may or may not show up or call or even just think of me once in a while. No more putting my life on hold until someone else feels like doing something.

I want passion in my life! I want feelings: love, anger, sex, hate. I want to feel alive, and if I’m with someone I want them to do more than feel “comfortable”. I realize that I'm out of shape and over 50 (of the 57 million American women 45 and up, nearly half—25 million—are unmarried, outnumbering entire populations of countries such as North Korea, Taiwan, and Australia) and that demand for women of my age aren't in high demand. I don't care, being alone is the way that I've spent most of my life.

I do believe it’s time for a girls night out.