Express Yourself.

Posted in SoForth on January 31st, 2015 by Diva

Sometimes your position is more solidified when you express yourself aloud.

Other times, speaking your mind makes you understand the other side better, or helps you see red flags you missed.

Then there are those rare moments when, as the words pass your lips into the air between you, even YOU can’t believe what you just said.

Knowing when to speak and when to keep your mouth shut helps all relationships, intimate and platonic. Some things are important enough to be expressed. Some things aren’t.

It’s your job, no matter how emotional the exchange, to know the difference and to act accordingly.

Because once it’s said, it can’t be UNsaid.

Can’t take it back.

Shout at the Devil.

Posted in SoForth on January 28th, 2015 by Diva

Yes, that’s the trouble with mothers. First you get to like them, then they die.

Trouble in Paradise, 1932

……

Have I said QUIT FUCKING SMOKING lately?

No?

……

……

Oh.

Oh, well.

……

……

I could slap you up alongside your out-of-touch, narcissistic, unbelieving, “science doesn’t apply to me” head.

STOP IT.

STOP IT RIGHT NOW.

……

But heeeey … there’s no immediate reward or punishment.

I mean, it will take literal decades to regret the decision you make this very moment.

……

……

……

Would it help if I uppped the ante?

……

……

……

Okay, then.

……

……

I’ll quit drinkin’ if you quite smokin’.

……

……

……

……

Yeeeeaaaaah …

……

… I can’t do it, either.

It’s always harder than you imagine.

The Journey.

Posted in SoForth on January 19th, 2015 by Diva

Orlando. Los Angeles. Las Vegas. Seattle. Vancouver. Bozeman.

Wait …

… Bozeman?!

Maaaaaybe.

Watch this space.

Untie the Knot.

Posted in SoForth on January 10th, 2015 by Diva

She awakened fully to the painful knowledge that this was a day when she would be possessed by a mood which cut her off from fraternity.

It was also at those moments that she would have the clearest intuitions, sudden contacts with the deepest selves of others, divine the most hidden sorrow.

But if she spoke from this source, others would feel uneasy, not recognizing the truth of what she said. They always felt exposed and were quick to revenge themselves. They rushed to defend this exposure of the self they did not know, they were not familiar with, or did not like. They blamed her for excess of imagination, for exaggeration.

They persisted in living on familiar terms only with the surface of their personalities, and what she reached lay deeper where they could not see it. They felt at ease among their falsities, and the nakedness of her insight seemed like forcing open underworlds whose entrance was tacitly barred in everyday intercourse.

They would accuse her of living in a world of illusion while they lived in reality.

Their falsities had such an air of solidity, entirely supported by the palpable.

But she felt that on the contrary, she had contact with their secret desires, secret fears, secret intents. And she had faith in what she saw …

Yet she was never surprised when people betrayed the self she saw, which was the maximum rendition of themselves. This maximum she knew to be a torment, this knowledge of all one might achieve, become, was a threat to human joy and life. She felt in sympathy with those who turned their back on it. Yet she also knew that if they did, another torment awaited them: that of having fallen short of their own dream …

Carrying this ultimate knowledge, she was often the victim of strange revenges: people’s revenge against the image of their unfulfilled dream. If they could annihilate her they might annihilate this haunting image of their completed selves and be done with it!

~ Anais Nin, Children of the Albatross

Isn’t the bird burden getting heavy?

The Road Less Traveled.

Posted in SoForth on January 8th, 2015 by Diva

I’ve got the road trip bug again, but to go to territory I haven’t yet had the pleasure of visiting. I’m too familiar with the drives from Denver to Las Vegas, L.A., Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, and Dallas, so this means either heading north or flying east and renting a car to explore.

The northern itinerary would have to include Mount Rushmore, lots of Montana (including Glacier National Park and maybe Yellowstone), and perhaps just over the U.S. border into Banff if there’s time and money. The eastern one would entail either flying into Boston and driving to various spots all down the seaboard, or going to Baltimore/DC and driving south along the coastline.

I’ve also threatened to go to the World’s Longest Yard Sale for years now. It’s in early August and stretches 690 miles, from Michigan to Alabama. I talk myself out of it consistently because it’s only four days long … how much ground can one vehicle cover, with stops to browse? No way I could find all the good spots and bargains in such a short time. Also, it’s in the midwest in late summer. I do NOT do well in heat, humidity, and direct sunlight during the height of bug season. And I don’t want to go it alone, but who would put up with “hot & cranky Diva” for more than a few hours?

I just talked myself out of it again. *sigh*

Oooooh, I just remembered something a friend did a few years ago: The American Gods road trip. I’d set it up as a mobile book club, though, where the group follows the novel as we travel – maybe even read to each other aloud in the car – and then actually stops at the spots Gaiman wrote about.

This appeals to me on so many levels, I very nearly emitted a *squee* just now.

By the by, all this contemplation started with one little video posted by @TheGoodDeath on Twitter.

I just adore roadside America. That’s why I love to drive it so much.

Clearly Gaiman liked it, too.

Future Perfect.

Posted in SoForth on January 2nd, 2015 by Diva

I was 10 years old in 1976, the year my friends and I each calculated exactly how old we would be in the year 2000.

I didn’t know it at the time, nor did I figure it out until well past that year, but from that one minor conversation among children, I had begun to obsess on the upcoming, turn-of-the-century date. In hindsight, I can plainly see I’d developed a superstition about the number 3 by then, and I was going to be 33 on New Year’s Eve 2000, so that would (obviously) be MY year.

I know my interest in 3s wasn’t based on the grand trilogy of the Bible; I didn’t know about the “divine” 3 until I was well into high school. I got active in a church around 14, where I heard about it first, and then in school choirs I was told a lot of music from certain eras is written in 3/4 rather than 4/4 because the time signature was “closer to god” somehow. This information made me feel better, too, because it turned out I wasn’t the only one with that particular superstitious quirk.

Anyway, this little belief of mine had me convinced the year 2000, at age 33, was going to be my best year ever. No matter where I was in life, that was going to be all for me, and it was going to be AH-MAY-ZING.

New Year’s Eve, 1999, I dressed up and went out with a slight fever that turned into strep the next day. By mid-year, I had moved from a lovely 3-bedroom in a safe neighborhood to a studio apartment in a questionable one. I’d lost my dungeon and could no longer afford a phone, so the business I had as a pro domme dried up. I gave up my car because I couldn’t afford the insurance or gas.

The rest of the year, MY year, included betrayal, heartbreak, vengeance, loss of an entire support network, extreme poverty, and more difficulty I’ve had in any other year before or since.

It was a doozie, but it popped me clean out of the habit of forming expectations of the future. When you’re worried about where to find your next meal, you don’t think much about tomorrow or next week or 24 years from now. I learned, in the hardest way possible, not to put stock in what’s next, but to focus on what’s right here, right now, in front of my own damned face.

I also came out of it thinking anyone who has been born into privilege and never suffered for food, shelter, or clothing should be forced to live as poor as I did for the next two years. It’s a helluva wake up call, not just to the psyche, but to the suffering of others. I still occasionally dream about the cockroaches and the endless ramen meals and wake with the fear and loneliness that enveloped me back then.

I let go of a lot in 2000. I don’t plan to do the same in 2015, but if it happens, I know I’ll get through it just fine. It’s what I do: Survive. Thrive. Live better than before.

I haven’t quite let go of 3 yet, though. Maybe someday.

It’s a magic number.

Um… What Holidays?

Posted in SoForth on December 12th, 2014 by Diva

I spent Thanksgiving Day on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean.

Specifically, we went to Rome, Italy last month for two days of wandering about town, then boarded a boat and spent 11 days visiting other port cities. In Rome, we saw Constantine’s Arch, the Colosseum, the Forum, and wandered St. Peter’s Square a bit. By booking tours from the boat nearly every day on the cruise, we got to visit Florence, Pisa, Monaco (Monte Carlo is the name of the casino, not the country), Marseille, Aix-de-Provence, Barcelona, Valencia, Sardinia/Pompeii, Palermo (Sicily), and Naples. Then we disembarked back in Rome for another two days, where we toured catacombs, crypts, bone churches, the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Then we plowed through a downpour to see the Pantheon (worth it!).

It was a dream vacation, though I was pretty sick of the boat by day 7. I don’t like people in general and prefer not to spend any time around giant crowds of them if I can help it. We went because the fare was super cheap over Thanksgiving, which is why I spent that particular day on a boat, eating turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce from an overcrowded buffet.

Ok, I lied: I didn’t eat any traditional Thanksgiving dishes, on that day or any other. There was more exotic fare from which to choose. And for the record, the food on the boat wasn’t up to European standards really, but it was quite tasty because the worst food in Europe is much better than any food here. Homemade pasta al dente, pizza in Naples (where the concept was born), meat and cheese plates with ingredients so fresh you could practically hear the cows mooing and so delicate it melts in your mouth. Not to mention the gelato – oh, the gelato!

One thing I do sincerely love about travel is the flavors, that’s for sure. But it also makes me sad our tastes here in the U.S. are so low-brow. We settle for Coors Light or Bud when we could have Duvel and Leffe; our fast food is touted as great-tasting but doesn’t hold a candle to anything I can find in a basic convenience store in the EU. If only our standards were higher, in food and many other areas. But I digress.

All this explains why just last night it occurred to me: Xmas is upon us. Really, it took me until 15 days out, probably because we returned home to beautiful 55-60° weather – 68° today! – so it doesn’t even feel like December. We also dealt with jet lag, did a massive amount of yard work (the fall leaves were still strewn about), caught up on work, and took 2-1/2 days in Breckenridge (preplanned and ill-timed) to kick off ski season for the Maestro. Only today have I really gotten back into the swing of things, but I haven’t been to the gym in three weeks, and my brain meats are starting to slooooow doooooown …

Uh-oh. Not only am I behind in our annual gift-a-palooza (sorry, Texas family), but I could not give less of a shit about any of it than I do right this moment.

But hey, at least I posted here. So there’s that.

Vacation photos forthcoming.

Someday.

Halloween Decor.

Posted in SoForth on November 17th, 2014 by Diva

Finally finished editing the set. There are a lot more than what I’m posting; these are just the ones that give an idea of how far I go each year for my favorite holiday.

Mantel Full
The fireplace mantel.

Mantel Demon
Demon child.

Side Window Right
Close up of the window previously posted.

Musical Baby Dome
Just as creepy in person, trust me.

Little Red Wagon
Happiest parts clerk ever.

Light Head 4
Doll head and LED candle. Easy-peasy.

Kitchen Window Left 3
The eyes have it.

Kitchen Window Center Dark
Lighting – or lack thereof – is important to the mood.

Harry
We call him Harry, because he isn’t.

Hallway Right 1
As basic as super glue.

Hallway Charlotte
Charlotte’s been fixed so many times, she’s mostly new bits.

Doll Dome 3
Thrift store dolls + a sale on glass domes at Michael’s = creepiness.

Hall Art 2
Yes, everything – even the art – gets the Halloween treatment.

Dining Doorway
Doll heads on one side …

Dining Doorway Backside
… and doll clothes on the other.

Bathroom Window 1
I think it’s funny. My ex-husbands probably don’t.

Bathroom Head 1
Main bathroom.
There was a corresponding brunette head on the other side.

Bathroom Shower
Inside the shower, for anyone who dared to look.

Barbie Box Dark
Barbie shadow box. In front of it is …

Garland Dark
… garland made of doll parts.

Doll Freak 6
Perhaps it’s best not to ask.

Diva Fairy (cropped)
And the absinthe fairy.

Because the scariest costume in the world – at least to my friends – is me in a pastel color with wings.

What’s the opposite of goth?

So Little Time.

Posted in SoForth on November 5th, 2014 by Diva

October is full of Halloween organizing, decorating, and entertaining. Most of this November and December is already booked with other plans.

This poor old blahg suffers in my absence. It’s not for lack of having anything to say, it’s having the time to write it down in any cohesive fashion.

I’m on Twitter more often because I can do it from my phone, anywhere, anytime. I miss this, though. It’s relaxing to organize my thoughts and place them here.

For awhile I said to myself, “I’ll write on the plane” or “I’m taking the laptop to a coffee shop next week,” but it doesn’t happen. I’m allowing life to get in the way. So it goes, so it goes.

Well, back to prepping Halloween photos for posting, scanning old family photos (newish project, that), and paperwork I’ve neglected.

Be seeing you.

(Another) Battle for the Net.

Posted in SoForth, This I Believe, WhatNot on September 9th, 2014 by Diva

And it’s just as serious as before, if not more.

See, this is what the Internet will look like if we don’t step up and fight for Net Neutrality:

Net Neutrality

Seriously. Cable and phone companies are trying to throttle the free and open web so they can charge people more to have faster Internet. That means users who can’t afford to pay more will no longer have the access we all democratically enjoy right now. From the folks at the forefront of this fight, Battle For The Net:

Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.

Think about what we would lose: all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV. What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon?

Keep the Internet Weird

On September 10th [TOMORROW], just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality. Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet.

If you’ve got a website, blog or tumblr, get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here.

Everyone else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown.

No Seriously People

Just be sure to do SOMETHING to let the greedy behemoth corporations know:

The free and open Internet genie is NOT going back in the bottle.

#InternetSlowdown