Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why I Rarely Throw Anything Away

I am still finding places for stuff in my new house. You’d think, now that 80%+ of it is done, that it would be easy to finish up these last few little odds and ends. But instead, I think it gets harder. I have done all the obvious stuff, like put food in the pantry and toothbrushes in the bathroom and books on the bookshelves, etc. Now, I’m left with questions like where do I put a wreath that I don’t necessarily want to hang 24/7, but that I don’t want to give up yet? Where should my huge electric roaster go? It’s not like I use it everyday, but it’s too big to take up valuable kitchen storage space. So anyway, I am struggling with things like that. Those of you who helped me move, know how much *crap* I have accumulated over the years, and how difficult it is for me to part with my "stuff." I won't say I never throw anything away, but it is a pretty rare occurrence, indeed.

In my old house, I had a CD-player that held 200-some-odd CD’s. When my ex and I purchased it roughly 10 years or so ago, we loaded it up then and there with all the CD’s we had. The slots on the CD-player were numbered, and it came with this handy book filled with plastic sleeves, each of which was numbered, as well. The idea was that you would put the liner notes insert from the CD’s jewel case, into the sleeve with the corresponding number matching the slot number on the CD-player, into which you had just inserted the CD that accompanied said materials from the jewel case. When we were done, we had roughly 190 or so empty jewel cases, which we promptly tossed in the garbage. “Ha ha!” we laughed. “We’ll never need these again!”

Oh, reckless youth. Turns out that since I left the outdated PITA CD-player with the PITA ex but took my CD’s with me, that now, ten years later, I DO need jewel cases again. (Note to Kim and Mindi: This is why I never throw anything away.) So, roughly $50 in jewel cases later, I thought it would make a great task to delegate to my children, to have them match the CD inserts up with the CD’s again, and insert them into the new cases I bought. I had visions of shelves full of neat stacks and rows of CD’s, alphabetized by artist, organized by genre: a mess made soothing to the soul by its newly-found orderliness. Aaaahhhh! I could hardly wait!

I usually make a list of chores to be done, and let the kids take turns choosing which ones they want to do. So, because she picked it, the CD project started out being Bretten’s job. Somehow, though, she never quite got around to finishing it. I was getting annoyed and wanted the pile of CD’s and cases and inserts gone from my family room floor, so I finally assigned it to Mychael and made Bretten pay her to do it.

Several more days passed. I knew Mychael was working on it, but I still had a pile of CD booklets in my family room. WTH?!? Finally, I asked Mychael: “What’s the deal with all the CD booklets and stuff – weren’t you supposed to put them in the cases, and match them up to the CD’s?”

“I can’t, Mom!” she replied. “They don’t fit!”

“What do you mean, they don’t fit? All CD’s are the same size! They have to fit!” I said.

“No, Mom,” responded Mychael, patiently. “You got the slimline cases. They only hold a CD. They don’t have the little tabs that hold the booklets in the covers, and even if they did, the booklets are too fat to put in there, too. The cases won’t close with them in there – I already tried.”

“So you’re telling me I got the wrong kind?”

“Well,” she said, “Yeah, if you want to put the booklets in the cases, too.”

“Grrr!!” I thought to myself. “If it’s not one thing, it’s another!!” Out loud, I said, “Well, never mind, then. I’ll figure something out.”

I thought I might have to resurrect the book or something, but instead I just stacked the inserts and liner notes up and gave them their own space on one of the shelves in my new CD cabinet. It’s not as neat and orderly as I would’ve liked the finished project to be, but it’ll do. At least there is no longer a pile of cases, booklets, boxes, and discs on my family room floor.

This would normally be the end of another “Meh!” post about how children are sometimes (and often, with increasing frequency) more on-the-ball than their parents. However, Mychael put the icing on the cake. My mom, who was at my house at the time and witnessed the exchange about the CD cases between Mychael and me, later reported to me the following: As Mychael was leaving the room after I told her that I would take care of the liner-note-insert problem, Mychael brushed past her and muttered under her breath, “Phew!! Squeaked my way out of that one!”

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lesbian Day At The Supermarket

This is the long-awaited (and much-promised) “Lesbian Day at the Supermarket” post. Sorry it took me so long to deliver, and I hope I can do it justice.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in a different part of town than I normally frequent as I had some kind of medical appointment (at least, I think – there have been so many between me and the kids with Mychael’s ears, Bretten’s strep, dentist, eye doctor, orthodontist, counselor, etc., etc., etc. But I digress.). I found myself in the southern part of Ogden – it could have even been South Ogden, but I’m not sure of the boundaries in that area. I needed to go to the grocery store and pick up a few staples, and rather than go all the way back past my house to the neighborhood store I usually frequent, I decided I would save a little time and get my groceries from the store closest to my current location. It happened to be Smith’s – the one on Harrison across from WSU.

I am actually kind of excited as I am walking into the store. "Woot!" I think, "New layouts to wander, new products to discover!" This is an indication of how dull/lame my life is lately - it takes very little to excite me. Anyway, I grab a cart and head to the left. I notice out of the corner of my eye that two women had entered just behind me, and were also heading left. I thought to myself, “Hmmm…those two look kind of butch-y. I wonder which one is the fem?” but immediately, I chastised myself for being so judgmental. “You can’t judge a book by its cover!” I lectured silently. “Appearances can be deceiving! They’re probably just good friends who play together on the women’s softball team or something!”

I stopped to look at something on a particularly well-arranged endcap display and then continued on, pretty much forgetting the two women until I happened to look over and realized they had gone past me while I was browsing. They were now in front of me….holding hands! And not like, “Oh, Good Friend, come over here and look at this!” but more like, “I’m so comfortable with the one I love, I just want to maintain that connectedness by linking hands with her.”

I am pretty liberal, so I don’t much care whether they were holding hands or not. It’s just that, we live in Utah, of all places. I would guess that we have fewer than average practicing homosexuals here. Note that I said practicing – I’m sure we have as many gays here as anywhere else. It’s just that the heavy influence of the predominant religion and the overall conservative nature of local politics here probably tends to keep more of them in the closet than in other areas. So to see not only a gay couple in Utah, but an openly gay couple, and an openly gay couple in public, in Utah – well, let’s just say that was a little unusual.

A little later in my shopping trip, I saw two other people. At first glance, they appeared pretty normal, if a little WT. The girl was a little on the heavy side, not very attractive, but OK, I guess. She was wearing a black T-shirt and red sweatpants, both faded, and had what appeared to be a leather necklace with silver studs on it around her neck. Think narrow dog collar. The guy was rather wirey and skinny dressed in a white T-shirt and white pants, with big chains around his neck and wearing one of those ginormous leather watch bands with the metal studs on them around his boney wrist. Picture hip-hop, but with a mullet. Kind of reminded me of Kevin Federline, actually....

When I first saw them, I thought “Eew. They’re probably going to breed. Surely there should be laws against that.” And again, I immediately followed that with a stern talking-to to myself to be more charitable in my thought processes (it’s a daily struggle…). I also noted the studded-leather accessories, and wondered if it was one of those unity/solidarity things, or something creepier, like a “control” thing (again, think dog collar...).

As I got closer to this second couple, though, I noted that the hip-hop Mullet Man in white had rather large man-boobs (moobs?), even for man-boobs. Don't think Holstein or anything, as they were still small and perky - just sort of....noticeable, is all. As I got closer still, I realized why they were noticeable. They were not, in fact, man-boobs, but rather real-live, female boobs - and apparently she was cold and did not believe in wearing foundation garments. As I'm registering all this and taking it in, I'm also thinking, "Holy crap! Yet another lesbian couple!"

Two openly gay couples in the same place, at the same time, and in Utah as opposed to say, San Francisco – that’s rather extraordinary, don’t you think? Enough for me to declare it “Lesbian Day at the Supermarket,” anyway.

After that I kind of got lost in what passes for fun for me, browsing the aisles of a foreign grocery store for treasures not carried by my neighborhood market. I didn’t really think much about either couple again until I was checking out. Then I looked over to see the second couple standing in the frozen food aisle, about 20 feet to my immediate right. The plumpish, more “fem” one with the dog collar was standing, gazing (longingly?) into one of the freezer cases. The butchier one in white, with the mullet, had her arms around her, with her (his?) chin on her shoulder and his (her?) hands tucked into the waistband of her sweats. Kind of icky enough, but then Hip-Hop Mullet Butch began grinding her pelvis into Plump Little Dumpling’s ample rear. They were swaying to music apparently only the two of them could hear....

I was pretty grossed out – but lest you think I was being my naturally highly-critical, judgmental self, I just want to say that I think PDA’s that are that blatant are gross in both hetero and homo couples, not just the lesbians. Get a room, fer hell sakes.

And this brings me to the point of this whole post: Obviously, the first couple was just a regular lesbian couple. Maybe a little on the masculine side, but no obvious gender-bending going on; just a couple who cared for one another, running a routine errand to the store. The second couple, however: I think they had some issues going on, what with their appearance and actions, etc. They were obviously (in my opinion) going for the shock value. Butch, especially, had some gender issues. I mean, a mullet and a leather wrist band? C’mon, really?

But it got me to thinking: Assuming that a transsexual would be a soul born into a physical body of the opposite gender - if I am a male soul born into a female body, and I happen to find a female soul in a female body that I love, am I homosexual or heterosexual? In other words, is it the body’s physical characteristics, or the soul/personality/essence (or whatever you want to call it) of a person that is the deciding factor?

Personally, I believe that the physical body is just a shell, and I would basically still be “me” whether I was born into the body I happen to have now, the body of a man (wouldn’t that be great? It would greatly cut down on my toilet paper consumption and I would never again pee on my socks! But again I digress…), or the body of a turtle, for that matter. Therefore, I am leaning towards a transgendered person being in love with a same-physical-gendered-but-opposite-“essence” person actually being a heterosexual. But what do you think?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bad Blogger! Bad!!!

I can't believe it has been more than a month since I last posted!! I guess I am not a very good blogger - sporadic at best, is all. It's not that I don't have things to blog about - I do. I just haven't had the time to do it, or when I do have the time, I either forget or don't have the energy.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure I'm going to be any better at keeping up with things, any time soon, as I have another case heating up at work. Bleah. It makes me ornery when they won't just play by the rules and resolve themselves the way they're supposed to. Grrr.

But, just in case I AM able to get back to this soon, I have to tell you about Lesbian Day at the Supermarket! Also, my house is *almost* put together. There isn't any one room that is 100% done, but most rooms are at the 80-90% level, at least. So I'd like to post some pics of all that soon, too - because I also got a new camera, to replace the one that was in my purse when it was stolen in January. Woo HOO! And, my bestest friend (from Massachusetts) and her mom are coming to stay with me for a week, one week from tomorrow. So that will be fun. Cydanie is still Cydanie (I have a story about her not wanting to hang out at her dad's place and being really mad at him), Mychael is still Mychael (funny story about chores), and Bretten is still Bretten (not so funny stories - yes, as in multiple! - about her surliness. Only she doesn't like me to say she's a surly "pre-teenager." I tell her to stop acting like one, and then I won't be able to use that word anymore, but the logic is lost on her...).

So anyway - lots to report!! Hope I am able to find the time soon to do so....