December 31, 2012

I Hope 2013 Knows What Is Expected Of It

Let's just do a 4 year rewind for a moment.

2009: Tried couple's counseling, decided it wasn't going to work, filed for bankruptcy in pre-divorce planning.

2010: Filed for divorce, tried to start dating again, lived in the house with the ex and his GF to try and save a buck/the house.

2011: Gave up on saving the house, listed and sold it in a short sale that I thought might just kill me, donated what felt like half my stuff, moved, met Adrian, started performing and running tech with the Samurai of Spoken Word.

2012: Moved again, started dating Adrian, changed jobs, bought Donovan at the end of the lease, checked off the last item from the "I need to change my life around" list, realized I get bored without a challenge. (And by challenge, I seem to mean "life event")

A word to the wise, 2013; I've got teeth man, I hope you're into that sort of thing. It's going to be mighty boring if you're not.

December 26, 2012

Finding Help - Addendum to "Let's Talk About The Nutjobs"

It occurred to me that I’m breaking one of my cardinal rules; don’t tell me that shit needs to change and not give me a solution to try with my post “Let’s talk about the ‘Nutjobs’”.  

I didn’t bother to give you any resources with which to change the world, and for that I’m sorry.

December 25, 2012

Much Love To You On Christmas

Hey you guys.  Before I forget or have too much of the Christmas Spirits, I wanted to say thank you for helping contribute to the weirdness that is my life.  Whether it's in a small part, occasionally, or every other Tuesday when I'm on the verge of peeing myself, howling with laughter.  I say it every year, and I mean it just the same; I'm nothing without good friends, laughter, tough love, heated debates, and the occasional pinch on the bum.  Y'all keep the poly in polymath.  Merry Christmas.

December 24, 2012

The Gift of Loved Ones

My insurance company would tell you I live in a blighted area.  To hear me talk about the state of the apartment the day I moved in, you’d think it was located in downtown Beirut.  After the fun with the domestic violence unit and case of microwave popcorn that got us through the summer of tough love, you'd think I'd know all the beat cops by name.  However, despite all this, I'm probably the happiest I've ever been.

December 19, 2012

Tech Support Yoga

I think I’ve had one.  One of those million dollar ideas.  I’ve got a line on the next zumba or px90 weight loss craze that will sweep the deskbound wage slave culture like Paul Bunyan cleaning up his wood shop.  The idea came to me as I was watching the motions of my fellow tech as he was taking on of *those* calls.  You know, the kind where you have to *sound* like you’re perfectly calm and collected, even after you’ve told someone how to resolve their problem 6 times already, and they’re still rambling on about the sweaters they knit for their cat last night, or complaining that their background is full of polka dots when they called to report their printer was eating paper like it was constipated and needed the fiber.  

My One Night Stand with the Mexican Farmacia

The only thing that would have made the illusion that the inside of my head is an awful lot like an old school arcade better would be the nostalgic sound of a pinball game in play.  As I was stepping off the low speed treadmill workstation at work this morning, I noticed that my right hip was a bit sore, but not as sore as it could have been, having slept on the equivalent of a queen sized marshmallow overnight.  In years past, if I wasn’t sleeping on some plywood with a couple of cottonballs hot glued to the top of it, I’d be in a world of literal hurt in the morning.  

December 18, 2012

Let's Talk About The "Nutjobs"

Pillow talk last night wasn't about the flatulence trapped under the covers, a weird mole one of us had sprouted, or how much we'd missed each other during the day.  It was about this damn, ever present shooting we're all talking about.

First off, I'm offended that we're overlooking the hospital shooting the following day, and the mall parking lot shooting that happened on Sunday.  Yes, those kids were taken too soon.  I don't think there's a single one of us that thinks otherwise.  But, if we’re going to claim the news isn’t over sensationalizing for the sake of ratings, then we should all know about the guy who shot up the 5th floor of the hospital, wounding three before being killed himself, or the gunman who fired 50 shots into the air at the mall.  We don’t know about them because there wasn’t enough of a headline worth more than 15 seconds of airtime.  Nobody was a victim.  We couldn’t sell headlines when none of those 50 shots hit anyone, or the only person to die was the gunman, who was killed by police.

December 16, 2012

The Practical Mini

It’s Dec 16th, 2012, and there’s snow falling outside.  Not enough to have to shovel, or to even really stick yet, but the city noise is dampened, and kids out there have their hopes for a white Christmas renewed.  I figured, there’s no better time to go over why I have a Mini Cooper as my daily driver than when people are going to start considering it a foolish choice.

December 15, 2012

Week of Epic Proportions

The second to last week of October 2010 managed to cram a whole lot of stories into 7 short days.  On the 23rd, my short but intense relationship with Flyboy came to an end when he packed up the stuff I had left at his apartment, delivered them to my house, and told me that he didn’t see me in his life a year from now, much less next month.  I spent that evening in an “is that your bellybutton?” shirt, enjoying a drink or two with some ladies that are dear to me.  By Monday, I was more or less ok.  I’d come to the conclusion that since he was the first thing I could call a relationship I’d had since I’d opted for divorce, that I had been nearly ready to say I love you to the feeling I had around him, not the boy himself.

Which was good, because nobody likes a mopey birthday girl.  I ushered in the big three three two days after being dumped, and without the “bag of shit with penises on it” I had been threatened with if I didn’t tell Flyboy what I wanted.  (He was under the impression that I was only telling him what he wanted to hear when I said I didn’t have anything I wanted or needed, that if he got me something, it would be a pleasant surprise and not a necessity.  Really, I had a 3 bedroom house stuffed to the gills at the time.  I didn’t need anything else and didn’t give a damn about his paycheck.)  I can’t remember what I did to celebrate.  I’m not sure if that means I didn’t do anything, or I just had so much to drink that I blacked out.  Either way, it was the perfect setup for Tuesday when the legal system gave me the best birthday present ever.

December 14, 2012

Movie Night With The Ex

I had this moment a week or so ago, when I was reminded exactly what kind of strange and wonderful life I’ve got.  My ex-husband and I started our divorce in late 2008.  Well, at least the emotional part.  Financially, we weren’t solvent enough to split.  So, we were trying to settle up some of our debts before we did the paperwork.  That led to some wild times at the house on Crown Point.  And by wild, I mean living in the same house with your soon-to-be-ex husband and his girlfriend.  That’s enough inspiration for many a Hollywood Tragicomedy.  Somehow though, we made it work.

December 13, 2012

And Think About What You've Done!

You know the phrase, “talking out of your ass”? Some people do it to sound important.  Apparently, Thunderhead and I do it to express affection.  Literally.

I’m a gassy person.  I’m pretty sure I could have been included in the national study on cow flatulence and global warming.  It’s that epic.  I also like to sleep in little to nothing, and enjoy curling up under a really heavy comforter (or two) on the bed.

December 12, 2012

Crouching Libido, Hidden Cockblock

When I was growing up, we had a security company in town named Cox Home Security.  After the 3:00 AM shocker Thunderhead had last night, I would love to travel back in time to pitch the idea of coxblocked as an ad slogan to their marketing department.

I can tell you one of the reasons this fat girl is jolly is because life never ceases to be entertaining.  And let’s be honest, at the time of this writing, I’m weighing in at 207 lbs, and wear a size 16 if the pattern is generous or has 15% or more spandex in the fabric.  I’m not slight, and have no intentions of ever being so.  One of the hazards of being a plump girl is that parts of your body tend to either rub together, or moosh into slightly lumpy versions of what your average runway model has.  For me, being apple shaped, it’s my belly and my thighs.  I’ve long told the joke that pants that are too tight tend to show off an entire herd of camel toes if I’m not careful.  I’m a meaty woman.  My thighs rub together when I walk and apparently create a vacuum chamber with the help of my vulva while laying on my side.

December 11, 2012

Ephemily's Crucible

If you have to fracture your soul to create a horcrux, then I think in late 1999, early 2000, I would have been on my way.  When I asked a friend and fellow Samurai whether I should press the publish button for this post, he asked me if it was true and if it was something I feel.  I can answer yes to both questions, even if what I feel and what I remember are the ripples on the pond of the original events.  In short, I was emotionally abused as a young woman. 

I'm not sure why I chose to write about this now.  I know that I am absolutely not doing it for pity.  The idea of that being the emotion I invoke makes my stomach turn.  Maybe it's an effort to show others that even if you're face down in an emotional mud puddle, it's not the end of the world.  Maybe it's because I'm tired of carrying it around.  Maybe it's because I blame the failure of my first marriage on my being gunshy to love.  Maybe it's to ask forgiveness in a sly way for when I become emotionally flaky.  Because of all this, I tend to disengage when I'm unsure about my involvement in a person or event.  I can't say.  I've paced and pondered and chewed my lips for years asking the same question.  In the end, all I can do is type and realize that maybe I don't have to know why this time.

December 10, 2012

Itchy Hands

My phone buzzed this morning. It was a text message from a good friend of mine asking how things were since we hadn't spoken in a while. While we chit chatted to catch up, she mentioned that she could barely believe that it was December, and that 2012 was nearly over. I mentioned that, compared to previous years, it barely feels like I've accomplished much this year. She, being the smartypants I know her to be, responded by telling me that you can't declare bankruptcy, get divorced, sell a house, and move twice every year. It would get old and pase in a hurry.

November 22, 2012

Obligatory Thanksgiving Post

Maybe this is a little bit meta, but today I'm thankful that I can be thankful. Plenty has happened in life, and there's lots to be bitter about. I'm glad I have a place of my own with a few perks I wasn't expecting, I can have my dog with me, and that I was able to find a way to keep Donovan (the loyal sidekick that he is).
I'm thankful for a job that pays shamefully well and where I feel appreciated, even if I don't want to work chained to a desk and my bladder's needs are metered out in 10 minute increments forever.

I'm thankful that there are only 3 years left on my garnishments, and that I can not only survive until then, but I can thrive in the meantime.

I'm thankful that, despite having "gone to ground" for the better part of the year, I haven't been completely forgotten by my friends, and I'm thankful for Zoloft.

I'm thankful for my muse, as fleeting and finicky as the bitch might be.

I'm thankful that when Thunderhead said "Don't you dare pull punches or opt not to speak your mind to me." he actually meant it instead of not quite understanding what he was getting in to and regretting it later.

Lastly, I'm thankful that we're having brunch today instead of traditional Thanksgiving. I can only eat so much turkey, you know?

November 21, 2012

Wobble While You Work

Like many foreward thinking worplaces, my employer has provided several resources we can use to enrich our day to day experience with the company.  I have yet to take advantage of the 15 minute massage offerings, but the walkstation and I have become fairly close over the last month.

What we have is a standing workstation area fitted with a special treadmill that tops out a 2 miles per hour.  There are no handrails because the theory is, you'll be typing while walking, so you won't need them.  Once you clip the safety auto-stop to your clothes, set your weight and speed, you're off and puffing.  Or at least I was.  (My greatest fear was to have a caller hear the humming of the machine in the background and hear my heavier than normal breathing and get the absolute wrong message about which number they'd dialed.) 

October 26, 2012

The End Is The Beginning Is The End - The Living Wake Saga

Hey everyone, this is Thunderhead, Ephemily's boyfriend.  It is with a heavy heart that I'm writing this status update for you.  Last night Ephemily finally succumbed to the 1812 Overture that had been playing in her head the last few days.  Somewhere between 9:12 and 10:25, she suffered a massive heart attack.  We can only assume she was scared to death by an attack of her EHS after having been on edge and without sleep for the past several days.  I found her unresponsive, and rushed her to Creighton Medical Center, but doctors were unable to save her.  She was declared dead shortly after 1:00AM

I can't express how deeply saddened I am by her passing; she will be utterly missed by myself and her friends and family.  There is a little less leopard print in this world, and we are decidedly worse off for it.

We will be holding a wake for her tomorrow, Saturday, October 27th, at Vivace (1108 Howard St) starting at 6:30 PM.  Please come and visit with everyone and pay your respects as we share stories of Ephemily's (mis)adventures in life.  May she find peace at last in that great sex shop in the sky, where the lube is ever flowing and batteries never run out.

Please note, this will be the final status update I'll be able to post here.  Ephemily left behind explicit instructions regarding her computer hardware (ever the planner), and after I run this giant magnet over every hard drive in the place, I won't be able to access the page again.  Even in death, she refuses to share passwords.

Please join us Saturday evening for a celebration of her life or comment here.

*Disclaimer - This post is part of a series.  It is meant to build up to my party for my 35th birthday and is a work of fiction

October 25, 2012

Dinner - The Living Wake Saga

I will hold it together. I will hold it together. I will hold it together. How many times do you have to say the same thing in your mind for a lie to yourself to sound like the truth? Family dinner tonight, and I don't want to worry them about this mess in my head. Gotta be on point. Man, I hope they have diet soda with extra caffeine at the restaurant.

*Disclaimer - This post is part of a series.  It is meant to build up to my party for my 35th birthday and is a work of fiction

Sharp Teeth - The Living Wake Saga

Have you ever tried to be polite AND helpful when you’re running on no sleep?  I haven’t gotten a full set of 40 winks under my belt in days.  I’m so frazzled that every time I hear a new explosion, it jolts me to attention and my heart races like I got caught with the neighbor boy in the back of dad’s chevy.  It’s like watching the Hunt for Red October; action sequence, lull.  Action sequence, lull.  Action sequence!  . . . Lull.  Fuck this noise, literally.  I make no promises the be able to hold my tongue today.  You hear that world?  You’ve been warned.

*Disclaimer - This post is part of a series.  It is meant to build up to my party for my 35th birthday and is a work of fiction

October 24, 2012

Bedtime Longing - The Living Wake Saga

Since my bedroom windows leak like a sieve, I figured it's time to put the flannel sheets on the bed. Now that it's done, all I can do is stand here, staring longingly about the night's sleep I want, but know I won't get. I've been nothing but stressed and sleep deprived for what seems like forever. This wears on a person. I miss you, Mr Sandman. We had such good times together; you, me, and the boys from the car wash fundraiser.

*Disclaimer - This post is part of a series.  It is meant to build up to my party for my 35th birthday and is a work of fiction

Vapors - The Living Wake Saga

The upstairs apartment is being renovated, and there have been loads of workmen tromping through the building. Today, it was re-seal the floor day, apparently.

Fun fact; strong odors give me migraines. And my head is doing its best M80 impression. God dammit. This is torture. *Indignant fist* Cosmos, we're gonna have words as soon as the Vicodin kicks in.

*Disclaimer - This post is part of a series.  It is meant to build up to my party for my 35th birthday and is a work of fiction

The Decline - The Living Wake Saga

Oh, what a beautiful world.  I’m not sure my day could get much worse.  It’s been silent on the cranium front all day.  Well, all day until a few moments ago when I had what sounded like a 5 car pile up happen behind my left eye socket.  I was so shocked, I yelped out a “Motherfucker!” at hockey volume.  Not only did the call center go deathly silent, but the cantankerous biddy I was talking to thought I meant that for her and immediately took offense.  Now she’s on the line with my manager and I just *know* nothing good will come of this.   I mean, Exploding Head Syndrome made me do it?  Come on.  Even *I* think that sounds like the twinkie defense.

This can’t be good for my blood pressure.

*Disclaimer - This post is part of a series.  It is meant to build up to my party for my 35th birthday and is a work of fiction

Dance Party - The Living Wake Saga

What do the noises in my head and “Party Rock Anthem” have in common?  They’re both loud, and have a beat you can dance to.  *bangs on skull*  Hey you in there!  Keep it down already.

*Disclaimer - The following posts about my health for a few days are fake - they're to set the mood for the Living Wake this weekend. Please don't take me seriously.

Morning Commute Music - The Living Wake Sage

I think I'm going to add the William Tell Overture to my morning commute music. I might be playing my theme song on the violin that is my nerves today, but I'm at least going to try and have a sense of humor about it.

*Disclaimer - This post is part of a series.  It is meant to build up to my party for my 35th birthday and is a work of fiction

Rock Me All Night Long - The Living Wake Saga

Apparently, Exploding Heads have no concept of noise ordinances.  All.  Night.  Long.  zzzzzzzz.

*Disclaimer - This post is part of a series.  It is meant to build up to my party for my 35th birthday and is a work of fiction

October 23, 2012

Research - The Living Wake Saga

You know, when you’ve got some weird kind of thing going on that you just don’t understand, I’m pretty sure WebMD should suddenly be off limits to you.  Come to find out that SSRI withdrawal, which can cause “brain zaps” can also trigger this EHS crap.  I detoxed off Effexor years ago and went through all the pains associated with it, including the sweats and zaps.  Now my overactive imagination has me thinking that this is like an LSD flashback, only a whole lot less fun.  Fuck you SideEffexor!

*Disclaimer - This post is part of a series.  It is meant to build up to my party for my 35th birthday and is a work of fiction

Diagnosis - The Living Wake Saga

I have always said my head was a noisy place.  I say was, because it has apparently exploded.  No, really.  That’s what the doctor said.  When I first told him what was going on, he looked at me like I had two heads.  I had to insist that I only had the one, but it was awfully noisy in there, like sudden, window shaking thunder out of the clear blue sky.  He was dubious, but pulled out his iPad (I love that they have those at Creighton.  Always on the cutting edge!) and after a few “hmmmms” and “interestings” he excused himself for a moment.  When he came back, he said he’d spoken with his colleagues, and they came up with a diagnosis.  Ladies and Gents, it should be so fitting that I have Exploding Head Syndrome.

*Disclaimer - This post is part of a series.  It is meant to build up to my party for my 35th birthday and is a work of fiction

Doctor's Visit - The Living Wake Saga

Grrr.  Forty minutes and $150 later and I’m still sitting in the waiting room.  For this, I’m going to ask for the doctor to look at every single thing that I have questions about. That’s going to be everything from these repeated batman noises *bam!* *kapow!*  *bang!* in my head to whether or not these new brown patches are age spots or cancer.  I’m getting my damn money’s worth.

*Disclaimer - This post is part of a series.  It is meant to build up to my party for my 35th birthday and is a work of fiction

First Attack - The Living Wake Saga

Holy FUCKNUGGETS! Apparently, my inner monologue is celebrating the 4th of July instead of Halloween this year.  I just heard an explosion that was like what the last sound a suicide bomber might hear.   I hit the deck like it was all out war, and my neighbors looked at me like I sprouted a second head for doing so.  They didn't hear a thing.  It happened while Moxie and I were outside and let me tell you, she’s not the only one to crap on the grass this afternoon.  I gotta call a doctor.  Thank goodness my primary care guy has evening hours.  

Man, why couldn't it be voices like any normal crazy person?

*Disclaimer - This post is part of a series.  It is meant to build up to my party for my 35th birthday and is a work of fiction

It Begins - The Living Wake Saga

Ug. Rough day. I really don't feel right. So help me if Web MD tells me I'm going to die again. . . Might be a good day for an early bedtime tonight. Going home from work early, gonna walk the dog, and take some Advil to see if I can shake this.

*Disclaimer - This post is part of a series.  It is meant to build up to my party for my 35th birthday and is a work of fiction.

October 22, 2012

For My Birthday, I'd Like A Midlife Crisis

For easily the last 18 months, I've had this idea in my head about how I wanted to celebrate my 35th birthday.  I had this fear that my wish would go the way of my 32nd, which I wanted to be my saccharine 32 since I had a sweet 16.  Alas, time, money, and circumstance kept that from becoming a reality.  Which is really too bad.  I mean, I could have kept Deb in business with all the pseudo prom dress sales that would have come out of that.  However, celebrating my mid life crisis with a living wake seems like it's going to be a thing.

October 21, 2012

Like Mr. T, I Pity This Fool.

In case you didn't see it, this happened:

'Last Thursday was national "coming out" day. This Monday is national "disown your son" day.' 
- Ann Coulter

September 26, 2012

Up Yours, Pants!

I'd like to take a moment to talk about pants.  Not what's in them.  Not how they look on people.  The two-legged, three buttoned, self-esteem destroying abominations that every single one of us puts on one leg at a time.  I hate 'em.  I do.  I'll scream it from the rooftop - "Fuck Pants!"

September 23, 2012

Pass the Beer and Banish the Ghost.

From the "This town is so damn small" files, have you ever found yourself in the presence of someone who was a part of your life during some of your lowest moments, years later, only to have them not realize it was you?  There's some real satisfaction in that, isn't there?

September 19, 2012

Tips from the Rubber Dick Store

Tell me you didn't have a similar thought.
The day after Christmas in 2011, The Samurai of Spoken Word had their first ever show at the Pizza Shoppe in Benson.  Since that day, we've grown an awful lot as a troupe.  We've had people audition who've made it, a few we've had to say we need more out of them, and some who've sadly, left our ranks.  However, one thing that's become almost a ritual for us is to visit the hilariously nicknamed "Rubber Dick Store" after every show.

September 17, 2012

A Bit of Token Zen

I've used a few centering thoughts over the years to keep me from grinding my teeth down to stubs in the face of ignorance, frustration, anxiety, and hardship.  However, the two most important ones that I've used to keep my neurosis in check enough to fit them in my car have been, firstly, "The world takes you much less seriously than you take yourself.  The second has always been to be the bamboo.  (I can't help but hear Chevy Chase from Caddy Shack saying "Be the ball.  Nananananananananana." every time I parade that thought across the back of my eyes.)  These two ideas have done more for my sanity than any therapists' couch might ever accomplish.

September 4, 2012

Gimme Yer Dough

I'm dreaming again.  It's 10:15 on the Tuesday after Labor Day, and I've got this silly thought in my head that perhaps, I would be one of the few who would actually enjoy being a collections agent.  Give me permission to be a creeper and try and find ways of getting in touch with a deadbeat, show me the rules about what can and can't be said, put a quarter in me, and turn me loose.  I'm having visions of grandeur that involve me standing on piles of money stained with tears, wearing a viking helmet, and yelling into a phone.  I wonder how many other help desk agents have these sorts of wet dreams?

I think it comes from all the years I've spent swallowing being yelled at by people on the other end of the phone.  Occasionally, I've deserved it. However, if you're screaming that you need help right goddamed now, and you refuse to help me help you solve your problem, then you can wait till we have someone available to drive to your location.  And you know what?  I will sleep fitfully tonight if that means you have to wait till tomorrow afternoon.  For fuck's sake, my crystal ball has been cracked for the last 6 months, and government employees don't take home enough to put a down payment on a new one right away.  However, these are all things that I can only think, never say.  Well, never say *and* keep my job.

My need for justice, to balance the scales, makes me pretty sure I've got enough of this venom banked to be very effective at not backing down till someone opens their wallet or hangs up.  The thing is, my skin's thick enough for me to almost make it a game.  Heck, even just sitting here, I could probably whip up a collections bingo card based on the kinds of things I hear working an IT help desk.

August 30, 2012

An Open Letter/Question to Republicans Under 40

This is the first election year I've both been old enough to vote, and had any inkling of what's going on regarding the stances of the different candidates.  I should also say that this is the first time that I've been sober when talking politics.  My last fervent discussion was with my ex father in law.  I needed those margaritas to stomach him in my house, much less to talk about the election.  Previously, I just did my best ostrich impression; head in the sand.

This year, I'm just...  Well, I'm waiting for Ashton Kutcher to show up on some national news program and say that we've all been pretty good sports about it, but the Republicans just can't stand it anymore.

Help Desk Dafuqu?

As my time at my current employer winds down, it has gotten me thinking about all of the interesting times I've had doing this sort of thing over the years.  Working in a job that requires you to talk to End Users all day frequently offers up a platter full of confusion, comedy, frustration, and non-recreational hair pulling.  Usually.  It’s not always the callers though.  Sometimes it’s the management.  Let me tell you about the time I worked for a large purveyor of data in the area.  You know, the people who you buy your mailing lists from.  

My boss was an ex-marine.   He staffed his help desk entirely with young, busty, virile women.  Think about that for a moment.  When you picture help desk employees, what comes to mind?  My best guess is that it doesn’t include attractive, 20 something women, does it?  And yet, that was what all 6 of us were, to varying degrees.

August 23, 2012

Fat Girl Colors (Represent!)

It’s become a routine that after Thunderhead gets off work, he heads over to my place to snuggle up and spend the night.  For the first couple of months, I’d be awake as soon as I heard the key in the lock.  Moxie, my mixed breed dog, would thump her tail on the bed and give a slow and muffled woof in greeting.  As time went on, I’d still wake up, but not as quickly.   I often let myself slowly drift up from deep sleep to crack one eye open just in time to see him walking out of the bathroom, or taking off his shirt.  These days, I’m either really tired, or I’m used to the timing of his late night arrivals.  It’s not uncommon for me to wake up to him already stroking my hair, matching the odd curve in my back with his body,  or stealing all the covers.  But, last night, I was apparently in a sort of coma.  Though, I wasn’t “motorboating” as he likes to call it.

August 22, 2012

The First Three Words

After looking for something disgustingly upbeat music in my playlist, I managed to rediscover Sugar Lee Hooper.  She's a Dutch performer known for her bald head, flamboyant style of dress, room-filling voice, and quirky beats.   She was also the Netherlands' first openly gay woman to marry her longtime partner.  I was saddened to learn that she passed away in 2010 after developing complications from hip surgery.  Though there wasn't an awful lot written about her in the English language searches I was doing, one thing remained consistent.  Somewhere in the very first sentence, usually within the first three words, was a description of her sexuality used as part of her identity.  That pattern caught my eye for a moment.  Then it occurred to me that this sort of thing isn't exactly uncommon.

Pain, Pain, Go Away

OK, I promise that I won't bang this drum too much.  But, I just came to the realization last night that since putting in my 2 weeks notice, my body hurts less.  I'm not talking just a little.  I'm talking I'm no longer hunched over for the first 10 minutes after getting out of bed, and I got a joint to release just today that I've been fighting with for almost a year.  I wasn't even trying for it either.  I was merely slouching in the chair, and *pop*.  Suddenly, I had more range of motion.  That made me sit up and think.

August 20, 2012

The Job Swap Yardstick

I think I’d like to thank the health insurance company where I worked prior to my current gig.  They helped me by teaching me about the yardstick to use when you suspect you’re in the wrong job.  Having only been there a little over a year, it was a crash course.  To me, it was a bit like taking that 5 credit hour combined macro and micro economics class in college during summer school.  It was hell.  During that time, I started noticing myself slipping deeper and deeper into an episode of anxiety and depression.  I had had that controlled for a couple of years, and was off medication so I was disappointed to see it back.  The most telling (and at the time, most frightening) sign that it wasn’t right for me to work there was when I started to dry heave into the sink while getting ready for work.  When you’re a woman who’s trying not to be pregnant, that whole “Is this morning sickness?” voice in the back of your head is persona non grata. During the worst of my madness in college, my anxiety had manifested as a tightening of my chest.  Not like a heart attack, but more like someone set a stray shot-put on my sternum.  So, to be nauseated to the point of my body trying to bring something up made me sit up and take notice.  

August 19, 2012

Live, From the Beardverse!

Last night was a friend of mine's birthday party, and it was a celebration of all beards, great and small.  Being that this friend is a fellow Samurai, and an all around great guy, Thunderhead and I couldn't miss the event.  Late yesterday afternoon, we headed out to shop for facial hair.  He decided on a fancy handlebar mustache, and I went with the douchebag villain model.  Should you need an image to keep you up at night, here are the two of us, with me feeding him freshly smashed hulk pinata leg.

August 17, 2012

My Wheezy Impression

Just a short update.  I was offered and have accepted a new job with another company yesterday.  I have submitted my new hire forms, peed in a cup, and notified my current employer that I'll be leaving at the end of the month.  The commute is shorter (if you can believe that it's less than the mile and a half I drive now) the pay is better, and the desk is above ground.  I didn't know how much working 60 feet down would bother me till it happened.  I'm not a sun worshiper, but a good window as a reassurance that the Zombie Apocalypse hasn't actually happened helps me make it through the day.  Beyond that, I just felt like I'd reached a sort of dead end, and it was time to move on before all of my skills and knowledge withered too much.  So, when this new opportunity came up, I pounced.  Unless they're exaggerating, it sounds like they're happy to have me.  That feels pretty good.

So yeah.  Call me Wheezy, since I'm movin' on up!

August 15, 2012

Reviewing White Gloves and Party Manners - Childhood Throwback

Skepticism in Pigtails.
In my recent bid to use my bossy (instead of greasy) elbow and push my crap around my apartment, I came across the textbook we used in charm school all those years ago.  Originally published in 1965, White Gloves and Party Manners is a yellow, hardcover manual about how to white wash your kid into being socially acceptable.  And the thing is, it's written in a voice that's speaking directly to the child.

Let me first say that I'm not anti-manners.  There are more than a few people in this world that don't know how to behave in a way that won't get them punched in the face, eventually.  Politeness, knowing your place, balance, and behavior that doesn't inspire violence goes in the pro column.  But, there are times when you've got to break or ignore the rules to get something accomplished.  The real lesson (that's hard to teach) is knowing when.  I'm afraid this book doesn't really help with that.  The tone is such that this is the be-all end-all source for every social situation.  My opinion is that there's still room for a "but" and a "why?", and there's no allowances made for that.  It's written in absolutes.

August 14, 2012

Klutz in a Cup

Dear Dole, and companies that make delicious, lunch sized fruit in a cup.  I am both a grown woman, and the kind of person that warrants a few stupid warning labels.  Your packaging, while probably efficient in their use of materials, makes me look like an extra in bukake porn before I even finish consuming them.

August 11, 2012

Time Out For Grownups

It's about 4:30 in the afternoon on Saturday, August 11th and I have done absolutely fuckall today.  That's the technical term for nothing.  The day certainly had potential.  I mean, I woke up (the first time) to an eager boyfriend poking me in the ass with the sort of insistence that says "I'm horny, you should be horny too.  Forget happy ending, let's make this a sloppy beginning."  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it.  I kinda get off on his eagerness like that.  But, in the end, I wasn't ready to be awake yet, and drifted back to sleep.  An hour later, he woke me up again to let me know he had to get going so he could  make it to his company summer event early enough to get parking in the same zip code.  I grunted a response, gave a feeble wave, hugged the dog, and went *back* to sleep. 

Some hours later, I woke up, decided it was not the kind of day to spend unconscious, and got up.  I took a bath, downed my medication (34 years old, and I'm *still* on a pill for acne.  Ain't that a bitch.) and decided to kick this sore shoulder of mine in the . . .  well, it looks like back tits, but I'm gonna call it an ass to make the reference work.  I took one of my heavy duty muscle relaxants.  To the surprise of nobody, that put me back to sleep no sooner than my head hit the couch cushions about 45 minutes later.  So, today, you wanna know what I've done?  Laundry.  That's what I've done.  I don't count letting the dog out, since that was about 45 seconds of me standing on the porch in my bathrobe, squinting in the half-light of a strangely temperate day, and urging the dog to pee rather than eat the grass. 

Don't get me wrong.  I've been off work for the entire week, and I am at the tail end of it having accomplished an awful lot.  I had help.  Not gonna lie.  Thunderhead was instrumental in getting my kitchen floor re-tiled, as well as reorganizing my kitchen and nerd cave. He's got an eye for saving space and detail that I just don't have.  I was all about getting my crap out of boxes and put away *somewhere* when I moved in.  He was very helpful in getting the stuff put where it just makes sense.  But, I'd also taken plenty of naps and just forgotten about keeping a schedule.  I slept when I wanted to, I ate when I felt like it, and pretty much lived the week in a way that would give a left-brainer hives. 

Has it refreshed me enough to head back to work on Monday?  Only time will tell.  If it hasn't, well I'm always looking for new material for the spoken word events.  Either way, you could call it a week well spent in time out.

July 27, 2012

Thank You, Ben Gray

Last night, I attended the candle light vigil to end violence for Charlie "Rainbow Jane" Rogers.  While there, our City Councilman, Ben Gray, spoke to the assembled crowd.  His words were powerful, and a force of good.  Knowing we tend to hear the negative ten times as often as we do the positive, I sent him a note.  It is as follows:

July 25, 2012

The Right Kind of NIMBY

Tom Merino, you are a scholar and a gentleman.  It's very rare to find a politician who doesn't use vague doublespeak or passive language in their communications with the world.  I find your letter to Chick-Fil-A a refreshing departure from the norm.  Thank you, for standing up for equal rights.  Here's an atta boy from the middle of flyover country.



July 22, 2012

Lessons, Doggy-Style

I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "Once you go black, you never go back.".  And it's true.  There's something subconsciously dangerous about them, menacing even.  But, I can tell you for certain, my big love of a black, mixed breed dog is one of my proudest associations.  Moxie has taught me an awful lot over the years, but most of her lessons have come in the last several months.

July 18, 2012

Bodice Rippers - The New Image

Alright, let's talk erotica.  Fifty Shades of Gray is EVERYWHERE these days.  Apparently, it's flying off the shelves and has the sales of sex toys skyrocketing.  Heck, it has even changed the bodice ripper genre by making publishers think twice about the cover art they'd been using.  Harlequin books has re-released some of their classics with more austere covers and sales are doing well.  However, all this glowing about the book make me a supporter.  I like what it's done for erotic content, but I am gonna be a porn-snob here.  I think there are better sources for your naughty needs.

July 17, 2012

Play Taps for the Boy Scouts

"Dear Boyscouts of America, I'm saddened by your organization's decision to cast judgement of another human being's worth over who they're attracted to. However, to do it using an anonymous panel of people making the decision is shameful. It smacks of white hoods and "I was only following orders". Homosexuality is not the same as being a predator, and it's hard to tell if you can see the difference. Your decision is a blight on your image in the shape of a burning cross."
                                         xoxo ~Ephemily

An American institution as familiar as baseball and apple pie chose to hide behind anonymity when they voted to enforce their exclusionary policy of banning gays from participating in their reindeer games.  Today marks my speaking out against homophobia in more than just a mumble.  Somebody hand me my activist hat.

July 1, 2012

Canine Houdini

Tally ho!
I grew up in a household where my dad, my sister, and for a while, even I, foxhunted.  I'm talking, dress up in fancy clothes, gussy up your horse, and head out to harvested corn fields in Iowa at the break of dawn, foxhunting.  I say I did it for a time because I frequently was awarded the groundtester achievement.  Meaning I was able to prove gravity was more than a theory on a very consistent basis.  The funny thing about that though is that I managed to hold on for dear life until the horse came to a complete stop.  Only then would I hit the dirt.

My sister continued hunting until a severe back injury put an end to her Sunday morning rides.  My dad, however, still gets up on winter mornings when you can see your breath and hear the turkeys in the fallen corn, scavenging for breakfast to go out and chase the elusive, furry scoundrel.

I tell you about the hunting because it was regular thing around the house.  When it wasn't hunting season, my sister and I would participate in dressage or jumping competitions at the stable where we kept our horses.  (Yes, I was that kid who asked for a pony as a kid and actually got one.)

It was at a horse show when  I was little that we first ran across Jack Russel Terriers.

June 29, 2012

Pride and Predilection

Heartland Pride is this weekend, and I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about how honored I am to be there Saturday as a Planned Parenthood volunteer.  I full embrace gay rights, and believe it’s a sad fact that we should even have to fight for them.  The measure of a person is not what sets of bits they like to rub together, it’s in their deeds.  But, because we don’t live in that world where you’re not judged on who you love, I’m going to be there, standing up for my brothers, sisters, and in-betweeners.  Straight, gay, lebian, bisexual, asexual, pan sexual, intersexed, transsexual, transgender, I don’t care how you identify, I for one will not judge you based on what’s in your pants, or who you love.
Never before in my life did I think I would be politically active.  The blowhards from the street corners to the voting booths, to the marble waiting areas, to the highest elected office generally behave in such a way as to make my teeth hurt.  Rather than yell louder, it’s been my practice to be the stream and flow around the boulder in my path.  (Water is amazingly powerful, given time.)  That ability to both accept and move around an obstacle might be what I needed to finally get out there and make some noise for what I believe in.  It started with the slutwalk last year, picked up steam by taking donations for Planned Parenthood at the Samurai of Spoken Word. My voyage reached cruising altitude by saying yes, I will spend a couple of hours out in the heat speaking up and reaching out.  If it’s true, if the journey is the reward, I’m looking right at it.

June 22, 2012

Life is Binary, Accept or Deny

Apparently, I’ve been thinking about life and how to not feel like you’re caught in a riptide recently.  After the last *counts on fingers* three years, it would be easy for me to be a very bitter person.  I mean, after deciding I was done with an emotionally unfulfilling marriage, there was some serious upheaval to look forward to.  We had to file chapter 13 bankruptcy, which means 5 years of garnishments and having a financial nanny watching over us.  There was the actual divorce so that we could start our lives over.  Last but not least, there was selling the house.  Once the ex and his girlfriend moved out, it took almost a year to the day of constant cleaning, showings, fighting with the bank, and waiting to get be rid of it.

Since closing on the sale, I’ve moved twice, had two dogs with incontinence issues at separate times, and found the gas in my new apartment shut off for three weeks while my landlord made repairs.  I’m frustrated, broke, treading water, and have three years left to go before my case is discharged.  If I wanted to be, I don’t think anybody would blame me if I was a bitter, nasty recluse, hating the world from afar.  It would be easy.  The thing is, that’s not the road for me.

I am entirely honest when I say that these have been the greatest years of my life.  Nothing has made me feel more alive than my accomplishments.  Nothing has made me more determined than to realize that I was the only person I could trust with cutting through the red tape.  Nothing has felt better than knowing that now, when I get home at night, the only needs I need to meet are my own, and my dog’s. Nothing has cemented my own self-confidence than seeing that even in the face of adversity, I won't freeze, back down, or give in to feeling like a victim.  In the end, I am all I need.  And in a strangely selfish way, it's the best way to be ready for whatever, and whoever's next.

June 21, 2012

Emotional Singularity - Here There Be Peace

I’ll admit, for as much as I love the noise and excitement of being among people, I’m also just as happy to sit back and watch the ebb and flow of others’ lives.  Something I’ve noticed more of recently is the constant chase for fulfillment in the arms or someone or something else.  Happiness is not at the bottom of a Starbucks cup, a dating site profile, a smaller pair of pants, a boob job, or an entourage fawning over your every move.  Wanna know why?  Because absolutely none of those various adornments are there when you’re utterly alone with your own thoughts.  Science being unable to agree on the location of the essence of humanity, the best I can say is Happiness is somewhere behind your bellybutton in that fleshy sack we all carry around every day.

June 20, 2012

Vagina Radar Pings

I am pretty proud of my own vagina and its related gifts, as any woman should be.  But really, why is it even on the collective radar?  Not mine, specifically, but vaginas and what you do to/with them in general.  Thanks to The Blogess for posting this article about the ChildFree movement and how it shouldn't even be a thing.  Meaning, a person's choice whether to even get pregnant (not even end a pregnancy) is so far off the radar, there shouldn't even be a name for it.  It need not register at all, much less have enough attention paid to it that there's enough people for a movement.  I know I've written about it before, but besides prospective grandparents, who's business is it if others procreate?  Personally, I don't want kids.  Never have.  I have been, as my best friend puts it, fixed but not declawed.  I figured that would be the end of the story unless I'm telling someone about the Essure procedure, talking through my decision with a partner, or getting an abdominal x-ray. 

To answer some of the accusations from those who are not opposed to being a parent, yes.  It is a sort of selfishness to not have children.  As is the impulse to have them, or even impress your own biological needs onto someone else.  The thing is, it's an impulse we're all allowed to have; you in your way, me in mine.  My keeping my uterus as strictly ornamental instead of functional has no bearing on my ability to do my job, be a friend, a girlfriend, or even an upstanding citizen of the United States.  (Though, in a case of reverse discrimination, really you'd think I'd be the better candidate for a job seeing as how I won't be taking maternity leave, or driving up the cost of insurance premiums.)
Personally, I have more than just a lack of maternal instincts to procreate.  I have some very unflattering and strong opinions of the process post-orgasm.  I can't say that I'd be patient with other parents.  I have no interest in navigating today's school systems.  But, mostly, it's the fact that I've had some bumps along the way that make my body unfit to carry a baby to term without constant medical supervision or intervention.

In short, I agree with Dr Seuss when he said about children; "You have 'em; I'll entertain 'em.".

June 19, 2012

Frugal Fitness and a Love of Midtown

While my apartment certainly isn't perfect, it seems like I find new reasons to love my neighborhood more and more every day.  My building is old, charming, and filled to the brim with interesting people.  My landlord might be a little slow to get maintenance done, but he treats his tenants fairly, and takes a personal recommendation over a credit score any day.  My place is cheap.  I mean, $550 for a two bedroom apartment with two dogs, and no additional pet rent.  Unheard of, right?  I'm within walking distance of a corner store, several restaurants, a lovely park, and a booming retail development.  My neighbors consist of college students, 20-somethings, low to medium income families, oddballs, hipsters, old money millionaires, those looking to avoid keeping up with the Joneses, and people starting over.  I couldn't feel like I should live in a better part of town. This week, I discovered another reason to be happy to have picked up and moved east; my local community center.

June 15, 2012

Mailbox Hellmouth = Entrepreneurship

Yesterday, I got a bill in the mail for an additional $300+ on my recent visit to the dentist.  The short version of the story is that my insurance will only cover silver fillings, and my dentist used the clear kind.  The insult is that they called to verify benefits, and quoted me a totally different price, which I paid at the end of the visit.  This is all after I specifically asked about silver fillings because I'd had a few of the white ones leak in the past.  I was told they weren't as good a filing, and their office didn't like to use them.  Oh yeah?  Well, I don't really like to pay $450, thanks.  We left things with their receptionist saying she'd ask the doctor when he came in on Monday if they could work with me on the bill.  No idea what that meant, but it's better than a "Oooh, that sucks.  So, will that be cash or credit?".

Today, I get a bill from the gas company in the mail.  It's not an absurd amount of money, but seeing as how I had a leak in my gas lines that had my service shut off for over 3 weeks while my landlord made the repairs, I'm still a little bitter.  In looking through my $18.96 bill, I see $14 for an administration fee, $3 for the sewer separation mandate, and $1.24 for sales tax.  That leaves me with having used a whopping $0.72 worth of gas last month.  Forget social engineering or ponzi schemes, I wanna run a public utility to fund my millions!

I complain about all these things because it gave me an idea.  I said something flippant about how if I thought I could talk to anything other than a brick wall, I'd call the gas company.  That led me to thinking that I could write letters for other people who've run into similar frustrations.  I mean, why not?  I have a logical mind, a sense of fairness, use full words, have a basic understanding of how grammar works, use spellcheck, and like to see justice done to those who deserve it.  I figure, if I can get through my own letter writing campaign with my bank when it came to filling out their paperwork for the short sale, disputing a porn charge on a cable bill should be easy!

So, I think I'll throw this out there.  If you've got a dispute you want addressed, let me know.  Send me a synopsis of what's going on, the contact info you've got, any relevant information I might need, and I'll write a letter for you.  I can mail your grievance, or I can send it to you, and you can drop it in the mail as you see fit.  We can talk payment when you get in touch.  I can't imagine I'd want to charge much.  Pizza and beer money is fair, don'tcha think?  Anyway, if you've got something that need a good what fer, email me at  I'll keep my file handy so I can make sure my teeth are nice and sharp.

June 14, 2012

My Food's Too Loud!

The subject of migraine headaches comes up semi-frequently since I know several people who suffer from them.  I also get these debilitating day-stoppers, and sometimes it's good to pass around a few tips to see if they help others who get kneecapped by their brain now and again.  One such conversation was about how awful they can get.  One of my coworkers gets ocular migraines from time to time, and he was describing how they affect his vision, and other senses, including motion and sound.  That reminded me of the very worst migraine I can ever remember having.  And, of course, in typical Ephemily style, I managed to bungle my own self-care. 

June 13, 2012

Putting My Actions Where My Intentions Are

Right as I was walking out of the office this afternoon, my phone rang.  It was from a number I didn't recognize, but I'm glad I answered.  It was a call from Planned Parenthood, and the lady on the other end wanted to know if I was still interested in volunteering.  Despite spotty reception, we were able to make a very last minute appointment for later the same night.  My stipulation was that I would stop home to let my dog out before I headed out to meet her.  It's on the way, and only takes a few minutes.  With her agreement, we hung up, and I think I may have actually skipped the last few feet to my car.  Don't get me wrong, I was still a little nervous.  My spouting support for Planned Parenthood has, thus far, been on my own terms and my own turf.  This is the chance to take that into the wilds, and that's new.  But, there's that pesky idea of doing something every day that scares you, and this is a worthy reason to be a little nervous.  It's the kind of nerves that build character.

June 11, 2012

My Pregnant Laptop

Anybody who has ever worked a job that requires talking to the public knows, it’s a thankless gig.  Make a career of it, and you know why nobody at the DMV seems to have smiled in an eon.  Most days it’s a matter of slogging through and hoping quitting time is its own tonic.  However, today, I took a call from a field tech from one of our vendors.  He was looking to install some software on a remote site, and needed admin access to do so.  He’d called in the previous week to get some prep work done on the PC in question, so today was a follow up to that.  He asked if I could take remote control of the PC in front of him and kick off another installation.  As we were talking, the subject of PC frustrations came up when the installer seemed to crap out.  I said it reminded me of how Vista would do that sometimes, but if it’s between that and a free laptop collecting dust, I guess I can live with it for a while.  He asked what I meant, and I said that I’d been given an old laptop that wasn’t working, and I was able to fix it for the cost of a new hard drive.  Not too bad, we both agreed.  I followed it up with “Yeah, that was easy enough.  But, I think it’s pregnant.  It’s missing a period.”

There was silence on the phone for a few minutes as he thought about what I meant.  As soon as he understood that the period key was missing from the keyboard, he started giggling, and told me he’s going to be laughing about that all day.  I consider those kinds of phone calls paying it forward if it means one more day without blood pressure medication or homicidal urges for a fellow CSR.

June 8, 2012

And Now, a Word From Our Sponsor

Sorry for the break guys and gals.  I've had a few things come to a head recently.  Namely, the gas in my apartment has been off since May 23rd.  There was a leak bad enough that the gas company had to turn off my service.  Long story short, the landlord is still working on getting it fixed, and I'm discovering the joys of slow cookers in lieu of using my gas stove.  My beagle was having accidents in the house at an infuriating rate.  She went to stay with the ex for a while so he could take her to the vet and I could get some peace.  My job has also been a bit of a source of irritation, so I'm trying to find a solution to that as well.  I've got a list of things I want to write about, but I need to find the time and energy for them.  So far, I'm exhausted at night, and the words don't want to flow.  I end up staring at a glowing computer monitor as I shovel leftovers into my face, get frustrated, and end up watching Law and Order re-runs in my muu-muu.  I'll be right back at it though, just give me a bit to get that damned thing called life sorted out.  Miss you much!


May 21, 2012

The Old Toolbox In The Woods

 I can't remember what the conversation was about at the time, but I remember the phrase that caught my attention.  "Everybody seems to have a 'Porn in the Woods' story".  When I asked what that meant, my friend told me that many people have tales of how they just found porn laying around when they were little.  It should surprise nobody that I sure did.  Though, mine was actually in the woods rather than under a sibling's mattress.

I blame my childhood friends Briana and Lisa for the fact that I grew up to be a raging pervert.

May 6, 2012

Short Skirts, Cock Peas, & the Midtown Grocery

I'm going to initiate a little social experimentation today.  I'm going to dress in such a way that I'm fully covered as much as the overly-saturated atmosphere will allow me to be, and head to the same grocery store I went to last night.  Post Samurai of Spoken Word show, I ran to get what Thunderhead hilariously called a bag of "CockPeas" for his angry quadra-scrotum.

May 3, 2012

Jaws Vs Burger King

Sorry cinefiles, I'm not talking about the shark movie.  In honor of the fact that it's "snip day" for Thunderhead, I thought it would be a good time to tell another tooth misery story.  Earlier this year, I told you about my battle with orthodontia.  In there, I mentioned that one of the lines I was fed was that if I had my wisdom teeth out, my headaches would go away.  Fast forward a couple decades, and we see how well that worked out. Well, this is the story of the week or so in the summer of 1995 after I had them removed.

April 26, 2012

Look Him Up In Webster's. He's Under "Keeper".

You wanna know how to compliment a girl?  (Well, this one at least.)  This is how:  (Excerpt from an IM conversation from earlier in the day.)

(12:26:15 PM) Ephemily : That really feels good to hear you say that. Never really felt that before. :)
(12:27:51 PM) Thunderhead: Really? :D
(12:28:07 PM) Ephemily : No. I've always felt like people more tolerate me than anything.
(12:28:11 PM) Thunderhead: The Ice Queen Melteth! ;)
(12:28:34 PM) Ephemily : It was never impossible that it would happen.
(12:29:02 PM) Thunderhead: Never said it was. I'm just joking around :)
(12:30:01 PM) Ephemily : I know you are. Just, be careful with that. You know me and my weirdness about vulnerability.
(12:30:49 PM) Thunderhead: Even if you were to suddenly gusher out blood, hearts, and helllo kitty, I think it would be a tactical mistake to consider you vulnerable
(12:31:05 PM) Ephemily : Ha! And this is why we're together.
(12:31:21 PM) Thunderhead: for the odd descriptions? :)
(12:31:37 PM) Ephemily : That, and the appreciation and understanding.
(12:32:32 PM) Thunderhead: Hey, you're awesome. I've known that from day one. It's not worshiping you or placing you on a pedestal. It's taking you as you are and respecting it. I don't want to change a thing :) Perfect, as is.
(12:32:54 PM) Ephemily : :) Now THAT really feels good.
(12:33:15 PM) Thunderhead: 's true.
(12:34:00 PM) Ephemily : And you know, I think that's what I like. I'm an EQUAL, not something to be venerated or imitated by you. Equal. Thanks. :)
(12:34:48 PM) Thunderhead: Oh honey, I would never venerate you. You'd strap me face first to your vagina and beat me like a six armed goddess. ;)
(12:35:07 PM) Ephemily : *spit take* Bwahahahahahaha!
(12:35:13 PM) Ephemily : I need to save this chat. I really do.
(12:35:35 PM) Thunderhead: You don't already have it turned on? lol
(12:35:47 PM) Ephemily : Not at work.
(12:35:51 PM) Ephemily : That's called Evidence.
(12:36:01 PM) Ephemily : Though, gmail saves them all regardless.
(12:36:44 PM) Thunderhead: Well, still, you have my permission to copy and paste.

Yup.  This one's a keeper.

April 25, 2012

Reality Distortion, and Dental Hygiene.

I feel touched by the spirit of a sane Britney Spears today.  Oops!  I did it again.  You know how I say weird shit just happens to and around me?  Well, let me tell you about *my* day.

Since I moved in Feb, I still am feeling out some of the resources in my new area of town.  I know plenty about the shopping and dining, but not much about what services there are.  I was looking for a new chiropractor since I feel a bit like the Elephant Man.  Crowdsourcing seemed like a good idea, so I asked my friends if they knew of anyone worthwhile in my new neck of the woods. 

Not long after I posted my question, I got the name of someone who's office is walking distance from my work.  I figured, I'd give them a call.  Seems convenient, really.  So, I looked them up online and dialed the number

April 23, 2012

Plotting and Pasta

Fellow Samurai, Dave Nesbit and Alysen Ficklen are part of a local group, the Tea and Villain's society.  Once a month, they all dress up in their evil finery and take a local eating establishment by storm.  Raised eyebrows abound because there's an awful lot of black, leather, PVC, studded accessories, and thick eye makeup.  For some silly reason, I had said I couldn't make the original meeting, and thus hadn't heard anything more about it.  Silly me, I thought it was a one off and never followed up.

Come to find out, it's a monthly thing.  (Somewhere in here, there's a PMS joke.  I just know it!)  And where have I been?!  Thankfully, I'm now in the know and will be on the list of those informed about future gatherings.  The last meeting was this previous Sunday.  I'd heard about it at the very last moment, so I was under the gun to throw something together.   I wasn't too worried.  I mean, the majority of my closet is red or black.  I got this.  The real question was, to rock the eye patch and bitch boots, or not.  Decisions decisions.

Shoulda Stuck With Tori Amos

For my freshman and and sophomore year of college, I went to school at Dickinson College, a school with an enrollment of just under 2500 students. Nestled in the Cumberland valley of the Susquehanna river, the town of Carlisle boasts a population in the neighborhood of 19,200.  While there, I had some adventures, including starting the school's first Japanese Anime club, trying out for the improv troupe (with the proposed name of Hayseed.) and hosting my very own radio show.

Oh, it's not as awesome as it sounds.  First of all, let me remind you of the town's size.  Second, I'm pretty sure the only people who listened were other students, and inmates at the county lockup, since they were the only people to ever call in, and only to request more White Snake.  I called my 2 hour time slot the "I broke it" show.  My orientation was a whopping 15 minutes of "Here's the CDs we have if you want to use them.  Bring your own if you want.  Here's the tape deck, the CD player, and the turntable.  Oh, the mic is here.  Talk into this end.".  And that's about as in depth as it got.  Not a word was spoken about switching mediums, FCC guidelines, or what to do if the phone rang.  So, as you would expect, often times, the show had some rough spots and dead air.  See, it was the perfect name!

2:00 AM Paranoia, X-Files Style

I’ve found myself telling this story twice this past weekend, so, I figure it’s time to write it down.  That, and it's a continuation on a theme of rednecks gone wrong.  So, it's a gimme, really.

As a teenager, I was a fan of the X-Files.  I watched the entire first season on the couch with the then love of my life.  For later seasons, I was in college, so I’d catch them when I could.  It was tough since it was on a Friday, but now and again, I managed to catch a new episode.  I’d either find myself in one of the campus lounges, or I’d be perched in my desk chair, craning my neck to see the picture on my tiny 13” TV/VCR combo.  Home was one of those I saw as a first run.

A Very Deliverance Breakfast

After I wrote the sea beaver piece, I was talking to Stumpy about it, and how we've got a bunch of stories that really need to be told.  I think I'll be working on a few of those in upcoming posts.  However, as a followup to the honeymoon sea beaver story, I gotta tell you about my Deliverance Breakfast. 

Contrary to popular myth, there is not a buffet open 24 hours a day on a cruise ship.  They shut down for a few hours each day.  Not many, mind you, but they do.  I guess they eventually have to do dishes, or something.  Now, because Stumpy can't get central standard time out of his head, when his internal alarm hit "breakfast o'clock" he was awake and ready for his pop tart.  Or, whatever he was eating those days.  So, groggy as I was, we tromped up to the Lido deck to get ourselves good and gorged on the breakfast buffet.

Let us not forget that this is the fogey boat, so half the guests have been up for over an hour, and the dining area is a beehive of activity by the time we get there.  The only place we have the option to sit is at a table that makes up half of a two-table booth horseshoe.  Not a problem.  I like people, and I'll talk to anybody.  We'll take it!

April 19, 2012

Flavors of Crazy

There might be an entire Baskin Robbins worth of afflictions; 31 or more ways to be nuts, but I only suffer from two.  And even then, it's not really suffering, it's more putting up with, waiting for it to fade, and hoping life and the friends that were in it are still there a few weeks later. 

In my middle 20s, I got two diagnoses to call my very own; Major Depression, and General Anxiety Disorder.  Much of my college years and early 20s were lost to these two partners in misery, as I went through 5 separate counselors before I was diagnosed.  I was so good at hiding my crazy, even the pros didn't see it.  I had to participate in a drug study before a no-nonsense psychiatrist who just needed data could legitimately call me nuts.  He didn't need to know me, or what my life was all about.  He just needed to fill out his checklist to see if I qualified.  It was good for me, good for him, and good for my brethren.  I helped bring Lexapro to the market. 

April 18, 2012

Sea Beavers, Bean, Bean, & Ham Soup, & Other Ancedotes

Why I didn't immediately say "Thanks for playing, here's a copy of the home game as a consolation prize." when my now ex-husband said I could call his house and ask for "Stumpy", I'll never know.  True to form, we met online.  I've been meeting people through the tubes since I was a teenager in the 90s.  You know, before the internet when the BBS scene was the geek chic.  He was not so much a geek, he was trying online dating because it's hard to meet women when you're a mechanic.  There aren't a whole lot of women in the car biz.  Oddly enough, that's what we had in common.  I turned wrenches on computers and had worked selling cars when the original .com bubble burst in the early 2000s.  So, we could talk cars.

April 17, 2012

Lightfooted Linebackers

It had been ages since I've seen my buddy Willis.  Ok, so that's not his real name, but it's what I knew him by in high school.  He was part of a group of friends who played probably more tabletop roleplaying games than was healthy.  (I still credit that to my lack of melanin.  Later, it would be my choice to go into IT.)  Our game of choice was anything that White Wolf produced.  Of course, we were also LARPers.  Yes, we were the kids moping around public parks after sundown, waving boffer weapons and skulking around with Halloween fangs in our mouths.  And we liked it, dammit!

Like I said, it had been ages.  But then, through the 6 degrees of Samurai, we got back in touch recently because of our penchant for standing up in front of people and saying whatever the fuck we wanted to.  It was just tonight, after I was able to usher him to the stage after I was done performing with a throwback "What'chu talkin' 'bout Willis?" that I was reminded that I have a story about the old gang that's just aching to be told.

Humility in Knee Socks

I either learn something new about my fellow Samurai, or have an experience with members of the audience that convince me that I gotta keep doing that whole spoken word thing.  Last night, I got to hear that our own Travis and Dave met at a book signing when Dave was waiting in line to have Jim Butcher sign his latest book.  Travis was there signing one of his novels as well.  Interesting how the world throws us into each others' paths, isn't it?

Later, after the show, as I'm tearing down the setup we've got to stream the event on the internet, two gals come up to me and tell me I'm their hero.  I don't think that's quite sunk in yet, so if you hear a story on the news about a woman passing out in her soup for no good reason, the idea of being a role model finally caught up with me and my brain suffered vapor lock.

I still am seriously not used to the appreciation of the people who come to watch our gigs.  It boggles my mind that people have been to more than one event, remember my schtick, appreciate the plus sized pervert in the mini-dress, or know me as Ephemily before they know what's on my birth certificate.  Shit guys, I do this for fun and because it comes naturally.  I never expected anybody to take me seriously!  Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that you do.  It feels kinda good.  But, I'd do it even if nobody was listening.  Thanks for playing with me so far.  It's a wild ride!

April 16, 2012

Mouthpiece For a Rant

When I think about fan fic, normally in involves some illicit romance between two characters that have no interest in each other in the original source material.  However, today changed my opinion.  After waking up to a back knotted tighter than a BDSM playroom swing, I gave the world the finger, took the good drugs, and went back to sleep.  When I finally woke for good a few hours later and could manage to sit up without groaning or swearing, I checked my favorite social networking site.  There I found a message from a gentleman I have only had the pleasure of sharing the same space with on two occasions.  Our very own Samurai, Dave Nesbit was actually there to help facilitate the first meeting at the Valentine's Day social for the Steampunk Society two or so years ago. 

In this message, he tells me that he has written a spoken word piece that he thinks I could really give voice to, and asks if I'd be interested in reading it.  Then, a few hours later, he sent the completed story on, asking if I'd let him know what I thought.  I missed the original message, but responded as soon as I could saying, I'd love to read it, and I'd get right on it. 

This is what I was given:

April 13, 2012

My First Cougar - The Planned Parenthood Experience

Some of you know that I’m a long-time supporter of Planned Parenthood.  I’ve been with my local clinic since I was a teenager.  I’ve seen them through 2 states, 3 clinic locations, and countless checkups, depo boosters, and positive experiences.  I’ve seen all walks of life pass through those doors; scared teenagers, mature women, young men accompanying their girlfriends, and mothers offering support to their daughters.    I have not once felt judged, shamed, intimidated, or unwelcome after passing through those front doors.  I know where the roots of the organization lie.  While I can’t say I endorse all of the things the founders and major contributors stood for, I stand behind their mission as it is today.  I would also gladly confront those who would picket their locations, spread hate and misinformation, or employ harassment and scare tactics to further their agenda based on “moral superiority”.  I fully support Planned Parenthood, and I don’t care who knows it. 

March 29, 2012

Million Dollar Idea

I have this goldmine of an idea.  It came from a whole lot of thoughts all bumping and grinding around in my head, and I have no idea who the babby daddy is.

I tend to let my daydreams off their leash when I drive.  And I don't mean in a distracted, might cause an accident sort of way.   I mean that I can let my kinetic needs be met by going through the motions of driving while I allow my creative and curious mind ooze all over my mental playground.  I can multitask quite well and have been able to do it since I was little.  It drove my 6th grade teacher crazy.

One day while out shifting from the shoulder, it occurred to me that it seems ironic that, top of mind, the majority of people I know who drive a manual transmission are women.  I mean, if you follow the stereotypes, women are terrible drivers, and men are the ones who care about performance and control over their car.  Perhaps it's the sampling of women that I know that skews things, but I still found that interesting.

That led in to how I truly miss my 6 speed when I have to leave it at the shop, or let someone borrow it for a while and I'm stuck with an automatic.  Every single time, I manage to find a way to nearly give myself whiplash by stomping on the brake like it was the clutch.  And every single time, I seem to find a new way to cuss my left foot.  Now, my right hand plastered to the gear shift isn't as big a deal unless you get a cop right out of the academy who's a stickler for adding a rider of "Hands not at 10 and 2" to your speeding ticket.  This progression of thoughts meandered towards how I like driving, but not my job.  Don't get me wrong, it pays the bills, and I've been there a good long time.  It's just.  Well, I don't want to be a phone jockey my entire life.  But, when I think about what I want to do for a living, I kinda come up blank.

If there were actually a lightbulb over my head, it would have lit up at that moment.  Hey!  I like driving, and I can drive a manual, how about teaching people to drive them?  I have a background in instructing people from my teaching HTML classes in college, and from my time on a help desk.  So, I got this idea that I could do that for some side cash.  Only, that idea got bigger than teaching people a little on my own car.  It turned into a whole business with a small fleet of sports cars and women instructors.  Because, you know, who wouldn't want to learn to drive a manual on a sports car?  Well, that and you're more likely to find a manual on a sporty car.  Apparently, Americans equate stick shifts with either base models, or luxury.  Those who want a middle of the road option are left with foreign cars to choose from.  But, I'm going with sports cars are fun to drive as a business model.  I mean, really.  Tell me that you'd be able to get all lathered up over a ford focus.  I rest my case.

Now, here's my favorite part.  A good name or title will always help to sell an idea.  Since my thoughts had been along the lines of my knowing more women who drive manuals, and that the car business has historically paired women and cars together to increase sales, it seemed logical to do the same here.  And you know me, I love a good double entendre.  Thus, Chicks with Sticks was born.  Yup, all women instructors, teaching people to drive manuals on hot cars.  Genius, right?  The sticking point is that I have yet to find a way to get this dream of mine out of my head, and onto the streets.  Maybe someday.  In the mean time, if anyone out there has a ridiculous amount of money they'd like to throw at the project, call me.