Fun, Fun, Fun.

Posted in WhatNot on April 15th, 2015 by Diva

Just in case anyone out there thinks this self-employment thing is all fun and no real work, here’s an actual excerpt from a document I’m proofing and editing today:

Revisions to the manual should cover documentary changes which do not impact the showing of compliance with Part 21. All revisions to the manual or its referenced procedure should be provided to EASA for information only.

Picture that for 42 mostly single-spaced, font size 11 pages. *yawn* But on the bright side, our taxes are done.

If I haven’t mentioned it before, let me say a 35-40% self-employment tax rate is just too damned high. It means if a person makes $50K all by their lonesome at home, they owe the gubmint $17,500 to $20K for the year.

Doing the math, that leaves +/- $30K to live on which, IF I worked 40 hours a week, would be a decent $14.42 an hour wage. But anyone who works for themselves can tell you the work takes up much more time than that, especially when you’re on the road as much as we are for business.

So yes, as a matter of fact, I agree with this article I ran across this morning: The greatest trick the rich ever pulled was making us believe they pay all the taxes. The taxes collected this time of year to support our country don’t come from Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, Rupert Murdoch, or Mitt Romney; they come from you and me, kids.

And I’d like to join some sort of fight against this financial tyranny, but right now I’ve got to finalize travel arrangements, update accounts payable and receivable, finish reading over this stupid boring document, and come up with ways to make my quarterly tax payments without depleting my personal savings or retirement funds any further.

Don’t know how people with kids do it.

They Come in Threes.

Posted in WhatNot on April 10th, 2015 by Diva

I had one of those “we need a lot of temps for a week” jobs back in the 90s and, during the course of normal conversation, I casually mentioned I had three ex-husbands.

A coworker gasped loudly and said, “Three husbands! Where are they?!”

Another coworker responded in a hushed tone, very conspiratorially:

“They’re in her basement. You wanna buy one?”

That guy remains my friend to this day.

Fellow blogger Rubber Shoes in Hell jogged this memory recently, specifically her posts 33 Things I Learned From Being Married 3 Times and today’s follow-up, 13 More Things I Learned From Being Married 3 Times.

Go read the rest of her stuff. It’s great. She’s right on about a lot of life.

Shuttlecock IS a fun word.

Back to Greendale.

Posted in WhatNot on April 3rd, 2015 by Diva

Season six of Community is quite possibly their best yet. What’s not to love with dialogue like this?

I’m not psychic… That’s an illusion caused by extreme preparedness.

Are you crying? You cry when I tell you to cry, so reabsorb that disgusting droplet of salt and bad choices back into your doughy body. Then call your mom and ask if you can be reabsorbed into her doughy body. If you don’t, I swear to God I will take that tear and I will freeze it and stab you in the eye with it you waste of a soul-shaped hole forgotten by God!

But my personal favorite from these last few episodes occurs when someone is asked about hope.

Oh, God, no, I never hope. Hope is pouting in advance. Hope is faith’s richer, bitchier sister. Hope is the deformed addict bound incest monster offspring of entitlement and fear. My life results tripled the year I gave up hope… and every game on my phone that had anything to do with farming. What’s true will be true… Our job is to deal with that truth.

If you care to catch up, Hulu has seasons 1-5 and Yahoo Screen has the latest. I’ve loved the series since the beginning, but if you’re not a fan of parody, self-reference, and a fair bit of surrealism – there are episodes and/or segments done as dystopian landscapes, an 8-bit video game, claymation, and anime – you probably won’t dig it. Which is why it was moved around the schedule a lot, nearly cancelled twice, and eventually let go by NBC.

It’s not a typical sitcom, but that’s exactly why I adore it. Well, that and the snappy, hilarious dialogue.

Alcohol makes people sad. It’s the Lifetime movie of beverages.

Lullabye-bye.

Posted in WhatNot on April 1st, 2015 by Diva

Just about all of us know the first verse of Rock-a-bye Baby, yes?

Rock a bye baby, on the tree top,
When the wind blows the cradle will rock.
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.

There’s more to it, of course, but most of us only know that bit. And it’s kind of creepy, isn’t it? I mean, only when you’re old enough to discern what the lyrics actually mean do you realize how dark a little ditty this is. Seriously, who sings about their baby being knocked out of a tree, much less with the cradle falling on them after?

This comes up because I was at a cafe yesterday and heard one of my favorite tunes from the O’Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack on the sound system. See if you can gauge why it reminded me of the above.

Everybody’s gone in the cotton and the corn,
Didn’t leave nobody but the baby.

Okay, so this one’s about abandonment? “The fields gotta get worked, kiddo, so go to sleep.” But then there’s a final bit about “come lay your bones on the alabaster stones” which brings to mind cemetery imagery and …

Holy crap I think the baby dies in this one, too.

Pondering this connection, I vaguely remembered a lullaby I heard years-upon-years ago. It’s not one my parents or grandparents sang to me, I don’t think. I may have heard it on some TV show or something, maybe Hee-Haw or one of those Grand Ole Opry telecasts from the 70s. I could only recall the tune, which happens a lot more as I age; I get a snippet of the melody but not the words, or vice versa, then drive myself nuts with trying to jog my memory for a day or so.

I regret to say this one came back to me this morning.

No euphemisms here. No sugar-coating. No beating about the bush. Two children are abandoned in the woods where they cried (and they cried) until they died. The only thing that’s implied is the starvation. You know how long that takes, by the way?

I do.

*shiver*

I don’t even like babies, but that is some sick, sick shit. Supposedly, the song is based on a centuries-old story of an uncle who got custody of two kids when their parents died. What age and combination of nephew/niece I don’t know, but instead of raising them, he laid the helpless children out in the forest.

Nope – doesn’t make it better. Just proves there have always been sociopathic child-killers out there.

Here’s a classic version with lyrics from the Missouri State Max Hunter Folk Song Collection, which I now want to browse to find out just how many traditional “lullabies” involve infant mortality. I’ll bet there are a LOT, since most children died by age 5 just 100 or so years ago. I could submit a finished article to Death and the Maiden, I guess.

Meh. Maybe it’s best I just leave it alone.

Didn’t leave nobody but the baby.

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.