Amusement.

Posted in SoForth on March 26th, 2015 by Diva

I met a unicorn a couple of nights ago.

I knew when I saw him. I always know. I can’t explain it.

Don’t think I want to – the wonder might be lost.

After that initial moment comes the maneuvering. It’s second nature.

Some who’ve seen me do it have been impressed.

“Watch: I’m going to make this go-go dancer jump off his box for me.”

He jumps. We dance.

When the moment is over, the poor boy looks confused.

Why would he, a gay man in a gay club, do what he did?

The watcher thinks, “Could she do that to me?”

Haven’t I already, darling? (Would you even know?)

Some have been more wary. “Where do I fit in your game, Diva?”

“You don’t. You objectively see the game as it happens.”

I didn’t tell her she was a muse. Too much responsibility, that.

My strengths lie elsewhere.

Drinks. Open body language. Flirt.

Ask a question. Join the conversation. Smiles.

An invitation to more.

As slowly as the hand is played, some still turn tail and run.

But this one … so curious and open and free.

Priceless.

No reservation. No judgement.

Let me in.

Focus. Relax.

I’ll do the digging. It’s what I do.

You work toward fruition. Live up to the ideal.

Only virgins are supposed to attract unicorns.

Sacred whores are better at it.

Make a wish.

Black Sabbath.

Posted in WhatNot on March 21st, 2015 by Diva

Not the band. A movie.

Actually, three horror stories pieced together into one cinematic travesty. A horrible, wretched, terrible movie from the early 1960s with Boris Karloff as narrator, story presenter, and Eastern European vampire in the final piece. A film that’s definitely worth a Rifftrax or Cinematic Titanic re-do.

I highly recommend it, especially if you have friends who love to make fun of awful movies, or if you’re really high. Or both.

What? It’s legal here in Colorado.

Smoke it if you got it.

It’s Tammy!

Posted in Celebrity Encounters, WhatNot on March 20th, 2015 by Diva

About a decade ago, a good friend of mine in L.A. introduced me to a fantastic California-based spa chain. I’ve pretty much booked some time at one of their locations every visit to SoCal since.

At the end of that first visit, though, my friend and I were at the front counter to settle up our bill when I realized I recognized the gent standing at the other side of the desk.

It was Bruce McCulloch. I think the comedy nerd in me peed a little.

As with many encounters with various celebs over the years, I did not approach; I didn’t even make eye contact. Most famous folk don’t appreciate the scrutiny, but more so, who wants to be bothered by a fangirl after a relaxing time at the spa?

I was quiet, but my stomach was not. I’ve been a fan of Kids in the Hall since it’s premiere way back when and those flip-flops in my gut were proof the man and his work held a certain sway over me. Still does, because I just finished purchasing tickets for the upcoming Kids reunion tour show here in June and my stomach is doing the exact same jig.

Some things never change.

Tammy!

That Is All There Is About It.

Posted in WhatNot on March 19th, 2015 by Diva

I found a 1937 edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette for $3 at an estate sale today. This is the first passage I flipped to when checking the condition of the book.

One inexorable rule of etiquette is that you must talk to your next-door neighbor at the dinner table. You must, that is all there is about it!

Even if you are placed next to some one with whom you have had a bitter quarrel, consideration for your hostess who would be distressed if she knew you had been put in a disagreeable place, and further consideration for the rest of the table which is otherwise “blocked,” exacts that you give no outward sign of your repugnance and that you make a pretense, at least for a little while, of talking together.

In other words, your host/ess minds their own business, doesn’t play into your various dramas with mutual friends or acquaintances, and expects you to behave like a well-bred adult when attending their function. No so hard, right?

Yet several times over the years I’ve shrugged – or more likely rolled my eyes into the back of my head – when someone has said they “can’t possibly attend [insert event] because [insert name’s] going to be there.”

I’ve been to birthday parties, weddings, funerals, and a host of other functions with former friends, various haters, exes with whom the divorce wasn’t final, and in one case someone I was actively suing in court at the time. But I’ve known the rule since I was a kid, thanks to L. Frank Baum, Emily Post, and a mother who insisted on good behavior: An event is about the person or people throwing it.

Didja hear that? Let me put it in more current terms:

NOT ABOUT YOU.

Got it?

How does expressing your feelings about [insert name] come across as “all about you?” Well, you’d only say it in the hope a host/ess would cater to your whim. You want assurance [insert name] won’t be invited or worse, you say you won’t attend if they are there. That’s selfish, needy, and pathetic. Not your event = not your choice. Their event, their expense, their time, their energy, and their guest list. And all a good host/ess thinks when you make such a demanding statement is they are better off without you there.

Civility and decorum. Diplomacy and etiquette. It all just really boils down to “Don’t be a dick,” don’t it?

Okay now, all this said, my next big birthday bash will be in spring of 2016. Leave your baggage at the door.

When I said “bury the hatchet,” I didn’t mean in his skull.

Stupid Demon.

Posted in WhatNot on March 17th, 2015 by Diva

Less than 30 minutes after posting that last one, I read this passage from Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please.

I HATE HOW I LOOK. That is the mantra we repeat over and over again. Sometimes we whisper it quietly and other times we shout it out loud in front of a mirror. I hate how I look. I hate how my face looks my body looks I am too fat or too skinny or too tall or too wide or my legs are too stupid and my face is too smiley or my theeth are dumb and my nose is serious and my stomach is being so lame. Then we think, “I am so ungrateful. I have arms and legs and I can walk and I have strong nail beds and I am alive and I am so selfish and I have to read Man’s Search for Meaning again and call my parents and volunteer more and reduce my carbon footprint and why am I such a self-obsessed ugly asshole no wonder I hate how I look! I hate how I am!”

There have been forty million books and billions of words written on this subject, so I will assume we are all caught up.

That voice that talks badly to you is a demon voice. This very patient and determined demon shows up in your bedroom one day and refuses to leave. You are six or twelve or fifteen and you look in the mirror and you hear a voice so awful and mean that it takes your breath away. It tells you that you are fat and ugly and you don’t deserve love. And the scary part is the demon is your own voice. But it doesn’t sound like you. It sounds like a strangled and seductive version of you. Think Darth Vader or an angry Lauren Bacall. The good news is there are ways to make it stop talking. That bad news it is never goes away. If you are lucky, you can live a life where the demon is generally forgotten, relegated to a back shelf in a closet next to your old field hockey equipment. You may even have days or years when you think the demon is gone. But it is not. It is sitting very quietly, waiting for you.

This motherfucker is patient.

It says, “Take your time.”

It says, “Go fall in love and exercise and surround yourself with people who make you feel beautiful.”

It says, “Don’t worry, I’ll wait.”

And then one day, you go through a breakup or you can’t lose your baby weight or you look at your reflection in a soup spoon and that slimy bugger is back. It moves its sour mouth up to your ear and reminds you that you are fat and guly and don’t deserve love.

This demon is some Stephen King from-the-sewer-devil-level shit.

Ouch.

OUCH.

She’s Like the Wind.

Posted in SoForth on March 17th, 2015 by Diva

I spent a dinner out with friends last night and happily farted up a storm at our table the entire time.

Don’t judge. I was very discreet. Plus, we were with close friends. You know, the kind who would say something if they suspected.

If they had spoken up – and trust me, this crowd would have had to qualms about it – I would have excused myself to take the over-the-counter medicine I keep in my purse.

Have I ever mentioned the medical-related contents of my ultimate bag of holding purse? No?

Ibuprofen. Tissues. Travel-sized roll of toilet paper. Two types of antacid, one for regular use and one for when the heartburn gets really bad. Lotion. Antibiotic wipes. Lip balm. Hand sanitizer. Gas reducer. A pill box with a calcium tablet, a multivitamin, and a few other supplements. I think there’s even still a Valium from my last dentist visit a few weeks ago.

I am just one unwrapped, lint-covered hard candy away from being my grandmother. (Don’t even get me started on the small pharmacy on the night table next to my side of the bed.)

So I had the gas reducer with me last night, but I didn’t take it. I’ve always been of the opinion that short of a major life event – a job interview, wedding, court appearance, meeting the President, etc. – gas should be set free. It’s a natural body function and constantly putting a cork in it is bad for your health.

That got me to thinking that since my chances of being in a situation which requires absolutely zero farting is pretty slim these days, it’s probably time to stop carrying that particular packet of pills. I pulled them out when we got home and …

… it had expired.

Wait … when did I stop caring enough to take it?

Shit. The purse is just a symptom. I’ve turned into THAT old lady.

Don’t say I haven’t. The signs are obvious to anyone looking. I audibly groan when I get in to or out of bed, a chair, or a car. I have a favorite daily talk radio show. I express surprise, disdain, and joy aloud in public, even when I’m alone. I make PB&J sandwiches with a high fiber, seven seed mix and sugar-free jelly … on a low-carb, whole wheat tortilla.

I think Hipsters go to an awful lot of trouble and expense to look bad (or like my Dad circa 1973, when it was actually in fashion to look that kind of bad) and Millennials are spoiled brats who don’t “get” hard work. I don’t understand why a passenger in my car / dinner companion / business associate can’t put their phone down for two minutes, let alone for the duration of the ride / meal / meeting. I use coupons. Coupons.

I chase alley cats out of our yard with whoops and hollers. I read food labels. I go to happy hours and early-bird dinners to save a few bucks. I take advantage of AAA, NPR, and other member discounts. I call out people who are rude, passive-aggressive, or outright annoying, even when they’re not doing it directly to me. I have a pair of reading glasses – sometimes two – in every room of the house. I listen to podcasts or talk radio instead of music and the TV plays news, Discovery ID, or TCM all day.

My last post was about a cranky old lady who confronts a homeless person and this one is about one who farts through a meal. No one knows how to drive, I don’t WANT to upgrade my phone, and holy shit, can you believe kids these days?!

*sigh*

You can lie to my face and say I’m not all that old – it’s appreciated, even – but I won’t kid myself.

And don’t go by my photo here. That “current” photo is from 2008.

“I’ll get around to a site update sooner or later,” said the old lady who does it every 6 years.

Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

Coulda.

Posted in WhatNot on March 5th, 2015 by Diva

You don’t understand. I coulda had class!
I coulda been a contender! I coulda been somebody,
instead of a bum, which is what I am …

~ Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront

I saw him through the glass as I exited the bank. I only had a few minutes to finish my errands and be back in time for a conference call, so I was in a bit of a hurry. My local bank branch is near Colfax and a major bus stop, however, so I had already guessed what would happen moments before he started following me toward my car.

This situation happens a lot and always when I’m alone. No one bothers me at all when The Beast my love is with me. The homeless can be just as sexist as anyone else, of course. It doesn’t help most of the people I’ve seen giving handouts in our neighborhood are women, but I don’t blame them – sometimes you just want to get a strange man away from you in the quickest manner possible. Some homeless men understand this and prey on women walking alone exactly for that reason.

I’m not an easy mark. Oh, I empathize with them; I certainly had a “no money for food in a roach-infested apartment where the utilities were cut off for non-payment” era of my life, but even then I had too much pride to call my own parents for money, let alone bother a complete stranger for a few pennies. I’ll happily flip burgers or take a convenience store job first. Hell, based on my history, there’s evidently not much I won’t do to avoid panhandling.

Nowadays it’s more about knowing where my money goes. Being self-employed means I’ve needed every tax write-off I can get. My 35% tax rate means if I make $10K, $3,500 of it goes to the government. Hence, I’m very financially conservative, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that I don’t care. I merely prefer to donate directly to homeless charities – and get the subsequent tax deduction – than give cash to someone on the street.

But the charities can only do so much because some people out there just don’t want the help. This guy was surely one of them.

“Excuse me, ma’am …” I heard from behind me.

Without turning around I responded over my shoulder, “I don’t have time to talk right now, sorry.”

I smiled when I said it – a smile can be heard in the voice, you know – and I thought it had come out nicely. Polite even. Apparently, I hadn’t been quite clear and firm enough.

“It’ll just take a second …”

By this time I was unlocking the door of my Mercedes, which very often results in a bit of a confrontation in these situations. I’ve been asked all manner of rude questions, most variations on the “you’ve got nothing for me, but you can afford THAT” theme. I once I told a guy in front of another nearby business I couldn’t chit-chat because I had to get my boss’s car back to him, just to avoid the hassle.

I faced this latest harasser – that’s exactly what they become when they follow you after you’ve specifically expressed disinterest – as I opened the car door. I smiled a little less, but still tried. “I’ve already said I don’t have the time right now, sorry …” I placed emphasis on the “sorry” to ensure it got through, which it usually does. No such luck.

He looked me in the eye and said, “Listen, ma’am, I’m a 60 year old man. I ain’t no bum like other people you run into around here.”

I interrupted him, no longer feeling the need to hide my aggravation. “I’ve told you I don’t have time. I even tried to be nice.”

“You’re not nice,” he sneered at me.

“And whose fault is that?” I replied as I turned, slipped into my car, and pointedly locked the doors.

He wandered away making gestures and talking, but I couldn’t hear him, nor did I care. And yes, he could have escalated the encounter – I’ve had that happen with others, in fact – but he was smart enough not to. After all, it was broad daylight in a busy parking lot and he was starting to yell at a well-dressed woman with a luxury car, which any security guard or cop will tell you wouldn’t look good for him. Or maybe he realized I have zero compunction about defending myself.

Menopausal women can be volatile, you know.

Careful, now.

Small.

Posted in SoForth on March 2nd, 2015 by Diva

I don’t ski, but my love does. He doesn’t like long drives, but I do. This makes for a great symbiotic relationship during the winter months.

This morning, I dropped him and a friend off at Vail, then drove a little further west to Edwards. I have an annual tradition, running on four years now, of doing some shopping on the River Walk here. It’s quiet at this French bakery on a weekday mid-morning, where the quiche is marvelous and the coffee is just the right amount of hot.

Next door, there’s an upscale, very haute couture resale shop where I usually find something interesting, if I don’t actually buy. And there is a fantastic local bookstore nearby which carries a lot of alt press items. When I’m done here today, I’m heading to Minturn to check out a couple more resale shops.

All this plus the snow-covered mountain scenery, each direction and as far as the eye can see … I don’t think this L.A. girl will ever get used to (or tired of) the view; short of the Swiss Alps, I’ve never seen a place that comes close to Colorado. Every time I’m up here I get Rocky Mountain High stuck in my head.

What I mean to say is I totally get why people leave entire lives behind to move here. Yet as much as I love these little Colorado mountain towns, I can only visit them once in awhile, just for a few hours, and I certainly couldn’t actually live in any of them. Yes, the scenery is exquisite and there is eclectic shopping, but I’m the furthest anyone can be from “outdoorsy.” I don’t spend my free time out in the open air unless it’s a walk in my own neighborhood. I’ve spent enough time camping, snow mobiling, hiking, dirt bike riding and such to be aware of how miserable, dirty, bug-bitey, and sun-burnt it can get.

There’s a lot of nature out there in nature. I want no part of it.

Then there’s the early sidewalk roll-up. Most not-so-populated areas close up much earlier than urban areas. If you’re a night owl like me, what the hell do you do with yourself after 8pm? Unless there’s a late-night diner or you like to hang out in bars, there’s a whole lot of nothing to do after hours. In Denver, movie theaters are abundant, have late showtimes, and I can go out for midnight sushi afterward. After moving to Denver from Albuquerque, in fact, it took me a couple of years to realize most places were open much later than I thought. I ain’t going back (or backward) now.

The only other negative is the same across the spectrum of small-town America: Everyone knows everyone else and, as a result, everyone is all up in each other’s business. As much as the goth scene complains about drama, there ain’t no drama like small town drama.

First, there is no privacy to speak of, because everyone goes to the same businesses, gas stations, and churches. You have a fight with your spouse at the Conoco, someone you know saw or heard it. The rumor mill, once it’s going, is faster than in big cities, too, because everyone is aware of who you are. It’s “Hey, didja hear what went down with Joe and Jane?” not “That blonde girl that comes in regularly had a fight with some dude.” The latter is something most people let go as ugly rumor, because they don’t know the people involved; the former, well, it’s interesting in those typically human ways: Pity, empathy, and/or Schadenfreude.

Most of all, you have to be somewhat “normal” (in quotes because I think the concept has more grey area than people realize) to live in a small town. Trust me, I’ve seen what small town talk can do to someone who plays quietly and privately in the BDSM realm, and it ain’t pretty. Add my fervent atheism and penchant for speaking my mind and well … I’d be a pariah in no time. Or relegated to hanging out with the drunks, meth heads, and other outcasts. No, thank you.

Notice I’m not saying “never” here. I don’t know where I’ll be in 5 years, let alone decades from now. Until just a few years ago, I had no idea I’d have this yearly tradition of playing hooky from home/work and writing a blog post in a French bakery in small town Colorado. And “never” is like “forever;” I try not to promise either, because both are a very, very long time.

Right now, I’d just settle for getting John Denver’s voice out of my skull.

He was born in the summer of his 27th year …

Yes Ma’am.

Posted in SoForth on February 24th, 2015 by Diva

No one throws a party like one of my closest friends – well, except me of course – and his birthday this past Saturday in Orlando was no exception. One of the highlights was the various performances. Technology has made such things mobile, so a song that started in the kitchen could wend its way through the house and out into the yard and back again.

I love the 21st century. Other highlights:

Pippin.

Good food, excellent company, and adult libations.

Belly laughs.

Your sister sucks. Your mom ROCKS. (So do you, you know.)

Capes.

Introducing the my favorite 50s housewife around.

That redneck hat with the attached wig.

Tiaras.

Surprises.

The Time Warp.

Just drunk enough? Yep … just drunk enough.

Cabaret.

Everything tastes great on a cracker!

The Wooden Throne.

WHACK!

Letting go.

Those shoes. Oh my, those shoes! (And that husband …!)

Wait, that guy talks?!

Crowns.

Put that boy in his place, would ya?

Listening.

Whoopi.

Princesses, queens, and divas, oh my!

If all this seems enigmatic, well, I’m not going to elaborate. If you want to know, you’ll just have to make the trek to Florida and experience it all for yourself, up close and personal.

Just be careful what you wish for.

Whachoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?

Season’s Greetings.

Posted in WhatNot on February 19th, 2015 by Diva

Since one of my personal mottoes is “Over the top is a good place to start,” I have a hard time knowing when enough is too much.

New Year Cookie Basket (cropped)

I may have gone a tad overboard. As I do … consistently, constantly, and continually.

No sense in stopping now I suppose.

This one’s for the ladies.