Wednesday, August 31, 2011

send in the clowns

Hoo-hah, my favorite sacrificial goat has surfaced again and this is as much fun as watching Sara Palin nosedive into the pool of political rhetoric, high heels and all.  Actually, there are lotta lotta similarities between the two, they could have been in the same Pilate's class and of course I'm talking about Michelle Bachmann, two n's.
In this new age some women candidates behave like men thinking this is what the voters want, a sheep in wolf's couture and I'm going to throw Hillary under the bus here. Any person who has or had a female boss trying to emanate male qualities in her supervisory tactics knows how cruel and relentless the bitch can be. Women acting like men come off as insanely fierce, perpetually PMS'd and screechy fishwifey.  Here lies the beauty of Sara and Michelle. They are girls who enjoy being girls and if this were the 40's they'd be straightening their nylon seams while cheering politely for Rosie the Rivoter. But they are subject to the rules of a contemporary political machine and in this campaign femininity is shoved rudely aside, as it should be.  It is still a man's world, it just is, don't kid yourself.  So I applaud women entering this arena, but not these two women, they are bringing Lucy Ricardo to this contest. 

 Consider this. The woman does have education.  She earned a law degree from Oral Roberts University and then one night across the supper table hubby said "Michelle, honey, I want you to go back to school and earn your master's degree in tax law." "Tax law?" she says, "I have no interest in tax law."  But then the clouds parted, the sun burst through and against a background of singing cherubim  Michelle realized that God was speaking  through her husband and she must and would submit.  That was the actual quote, the word was submit, she said it, we heard it and it was vilified by the press, passed over by the tea party enthusiasts because they were embarrassed.
 She did get the degree, and this amazes me as she keeps appearing in campaigning scenarios spouting all kinds of just plain stupid wordage. For all that time spent in classrooms the woman never did get the hang of common sense. 
And she's still insisting that Lion King is gay propaganda, whoo whoo, go Michelle.

Friday, August 26, 2011

yet another great fairy tale

Like thousands of movie viewers across the country I checked out "The Help" over the weekend.  I  read the book a few weeks ago, needing something fluffy to balance out the histories and biographies my father keeps pressing on me.  I was moving through Target trying to keep ahead of an out-of-control three-year-old buzzed on Mike & Ikes.  The book promised to be the next best thing to To Kill a Mockingbird, a story that took my breath away when I was twelve years old, the same age as Finch. I tossed it in the cart but to my dismay I turned the last page and was still breathing normally, it hardly dented my interest, it seemed to doze like the heavy hot afternoons on the verandas of those Southern plantations it described.

The story's premise is difficult to believe. The plot revolves around Skeeter, a debutante journalist who wants to write about black housemaids and their working experiences.  In the 1960's in the deep South black women spilling the nasty beans about their bitchy bosses was a stretch for me.  In the book a black woman's teen aged son accidentally used a white toilet and was beat savagely until  he was blinded.  What mother would risk this kind of feral insanity just to embarrass her employer?  "You are a godless woman," says Abileen after she is fired by her boss, Hillie (a kickass performance by Bryce Dallas Howard.)  And Viola Davis flashes that same amazing expression that won her the Oscar nod in "Doubt."  Some of my fellow movie-goers were wiping their eyes at the end of the show.  Crimany, I must be a cold, cold wonder but even fiction for me must resemble real life.  No doubt the same women who cried for "Bambi," yet another great fairy tale.

I was raised in a town of whiteboy mavericks who never traveled more than twenty miles outside their backyards unless the hunting was better in the next county. My minority group contact was virginal. There was one black family in town and why Mrs. Scott kept her brood in this lily-white city escapes me.  I would have wanted a bigger city, cultural contacts with that rich black African heritage for my children. Dave's father called them "jigga-boos", the black kids on the TV college team. My grandmother would rave "how cute their babies were," like beagle puppies, I guess.

Friday, August 19, 2011

her highness, Michelle

I am not a political animal, I have neither the stomach nor the brains for that kind of activity.  I protested the Viet Nam war back in 1970 on an Iowa university campus and I may be in the background of some FBI helicopter snapshot looking for interlopers and communists on that same campus.
I have a friend who ended up in a Wisconsin hospital for Viet Nam vets with raving PSTD and he penned "Traitor Pig" across the framed picture of George W. Bush on the wall of the psych waiting room.  They quickly whisked him away to a little closet with bright lights and big guys in suits and skinny ties asked and asked the same crazy questions for three hours and they had photos of anti-Republican posters my friend had displayed on the front lawn of his little miners' cabin on West Third street some fifteen years ago. 

Bachmann, two n's, won the Republican straw poll in Ames, Iowa and Pawlenty came in third place and then  walked away.   He told the press he was disappointed because he thought he "would have made a good president."  Surely he should have more confidence on this subject but he did not and this is irrelevant as he has excused himself from the big boys' party.  Bachmann, a Palin spin-off, was the winner of said poll but she doesn't know enough to be President,  neither did Bush. I don't want a President who spends substantial time each day applying make-up.  When that red phone rings I want her to jump on it without reaching for the hair spray first.
I was at the front of the line when Obama took the stage, cheering and whistling and feeling like I  was thirteen years old and kissing a shiny Sixteen magazine picture of Paul McCartney.  Mob worship aside, we are disappointed, all of us die-hard Democrats, liberals waiting for the rich to melt away in the acid rain they supported.  We wanted to turn their mansions into homeless shelters, hospitals for AIDS victims, soup and salad kitchens for displaced veterans.

Obama has had the annoying pattern of soft compromising on every major issue thrown in his path. We wanted bold actions and crazy wild gambles. He's a pussy, a debutante in the field of serious players and history changers. On the other hand, he and with the help of his gracious and seriously classy wife, have gained us ground in the international circle.   A journalist whose name I cannot remember stated that if George Bush traveled abroad he would be arrested for war crimes in several and many countries.
On the other hand, if Barack bites the dust next November, could we hire Michelle and keep her on staff for international relations? This woman was born for royalty.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

she's gone

for Mother

by Stephen J. Kudless

It was a shark, her disease.
It took her in many bites;
At first, in tiny nibbles -
Leaving scars and hope.
Then, the shark, roused by her blood
Became frenzied and cried out,
In the crimson water,
And was gone.

Now the sea is quiet, even peaceful and blue.
The gulls wheel overhead
And the tiny crabs fiddle in the ebb tide.
They are oblivious to what I know.
Children make castles in the sand.
And parents make plans for dinner.

I see it, circling,
Its fin just creasing the surface
Out in the distance,
Just beyond the lifeguards' sight
This shark, fed on motherflesh,
And still hungry.

I fear the water.

Dawn says: I thought she would go away for awhile and then I thought she would come back.  A dream, a breeze, a ghost in my closet, under my bed, an image in the clouds, on the street, a tap on my shoulder, a scent of lavender lingering in the hallway, something, something but she did not.  She left and she has not come back. There is no indication that she continues forever.  She is gone and those of you who possess a religion and think there is something more make me uncomfortable  for all your wasted energy.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

safe sex for Bubba

It is my day off from children, from patients, and I wanna  smell popcorn and I enter the movie theatre. I am a regular participant of the film genre experience and to prove this I signed up for their latest new deal program which allows me $10 free movie credits for every $100 spent.  Today I spent my fourth allotment of free bucks demonstrating that I have handed this establishment $400 in the very recent past, the program starting in June. Okay, it also includes those overpriced nachos and milk duds.

I park my car next to Bubba's silver van.  Bubba is a large man, I would estimate between 350 and 400 pounds although I am not good at guessing massive human weights and he sells the tickets.  He appears to be in his late thirties, a local high school ring on his finger and the previous movie company that owned this theatre allowed him to wear a "Bubba" name tag but the new nationally known proprieter requires him to wear a "Robert" name tag, his God-given. He is such a Bubba but his personality hovers somewhere between a soggy dishrag and cream of mushroom soup. 

The kids and I have a running comedy log on this man. He begs to be laughable.  Earlier this week we were there to see Cowboys and Aliens and I said, let's look in Bubba's car, I bet there's lots of fast food wrappers.  And there were but imagine my surprise when I saw an opened box of Trojans on the floor of the front seat.
Trojans, my voice queries upward, Trojans?  What, grandma?  Nothing, nothing.

It's good to know that fat guys get to have sex. The cowboy doesn't understand  my love of film, especially when I watch the same DVD over and over.  It is like walking on the beach . . . something different imprints itself on your brain each time. Like most men Dave appreciates a good car chase and bare female skin, the more the better.  I require dialogue, character development and interesting scenery and then I am happy. It doesn't hurt if Woody Allen's name is somewhere in the credits. Or well-chiseled male buttocks, either or, I am not made of stone.

Monday, August 8, 2011

three women

In my young and not so carefree divorced days I worked with three women who were friends of like mind.  It was comforting to know that whatever happened in my messy life I could talk about it and receive full attention and sympathy from these muses.

If I was having a problem with a man, which was more times than not,  Wendy would say to me, "Dawn, men are like exotic creatures."  She was in her 30's and she had an affair with a married man whom she met during her college years  while slicing bacon at the meat plant.  He had eight children and Wendy was seriously Catholic and attended prayer sessions during the week as well as Sunday Mass but she allowed herself this one temptation.  He moved to Arizona with his asthmatic wife who had the courtesy to die soon after that and the next day he was on a flight back home to propose.  Wendy uses the word "soul mate" a lot and goes on hunting trips with her spouse despite being a very cerebral and PETA-supporting person.  "You need to treat men in a special manner allowing for their eccentricities and odd behaviors.  They're not like us," she continued.

"They're just like us," said Mary, a gentle woman with a crackling, dry wit who read books about the philosophy behind Grimm's fairy tales.  She was married to a sad alcoholic whom she eventually dumped and then married a fellow with the same tendency, he just hid the booze bottles in better places.  "Men have feelings, too, and they are like little children who need to be pampered and loved.  He's probably just scared, Dawn, and doesn't know how to talk about it."

Susan was a sassy divorcee who wore tight black leather skirts and high-heeled pumps and lived with a manager of a huge sprawling John Deere plant.  He tinkered on antique cars and I never was at the house when Don was there.  He was egotistical and skinny and thought about women in a superficial bored way and after many years he kicked Susan out of his ski lodge home because he had met a younger woman and now he wanted a child.  He married that little blond although the child never appeared and I see them at Appleby's from time to time.  I give him scalding looks remembering how scared and shocked my Susan was, traits not native to that brave girl and she ate nothing but toast and mashed potatoes for weeks. Anyway,  I would repeat my current guy complaint and Susan would descend with wings flapping and fire spewing from her mouth.  "Why that dirty no-good  ************!    I wouldn't put up with that ******* *******  for another night.  Throw his ********  stuff out the window and get on with your life.  Who does he ******* think he is?
Yep, Susan was the preferred confidante, that one was easy. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"there is a house in New Orleans . . ."

The Rock n' Roll Rewind festival is coming and it features bands from my teen days that performed  at  dances and wedding receptions a thousand years ago.  They belted out "House of the Rising Sun" and "My Girl" at the end of every soiree while I sat on the sidelines, a shrinking violet in an orange polka-dot dress sewn by my mother and a bubble hairdo straight out of To Sir With Love, that's right, just like Lulu.

 But some nights were . . . well, magic.  A guy in tight white jeans, black turtleneck, short hair-cut with long sideburns and black-framed (before Johnny Depp made them famous) glasses would tower above me and put out his sweaty hand and I would be rescued from my anonymous misery.
By the end of the night I had decided what color my bridesmaids would be wearing and the guy hadn't even asked me out.  Girls back then needed to hear more stories that did not end happily after.  We needed to know that many times things did not work out when a man was involved.

I don't plan on attending the musical reunion. 
The fellows who will perform are old, bald, fat, stuck on themselves and wearing clothes that belong in retro shops or on the backs of really hip young New Yorkers.  There will be a couple of old boyfriends milling around I don't want to see.  One good thing is that the bands are not allowed to play original songs, and you know they all have that little stand with someone's old lady in a tie-dye skirt selling CDs and after five or six beers you convince yourself that you really want to hear Steve and his Sitar in your home anytime you want.  I have a special place in my CD catalog books for these types of misbought CDs.  I know Ed, misbought, not a word.