Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Disasters Are Relative

I sure was cursing the weather gods today when I awoke because there was a layer of snow on the rooftops.

Now, I'm cursing myself for thinking this was such a big deal. My mother just called me with the news that my grandma is in the hospital. The matriarch of our clan, 94 with class and sass, not invincible.

Ok, let's all stop for a "DUH, Etta!" moment. She's going to be 95 in May, most people don't make it that old, it's going to happen sometime. I've half-joked about being the one that Grandma is going to croak on and I've envisioned buying her house after she's gone, but really imagining her gone? That's flat-out impossible, she's too fucking set in her ways to actually die and I'm not ready at all.

That's it, I'm not ready, so it can't happen. Sounds good right? Let's see how it works.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Feeling Fine

I absolutely adore being alone and fucked up. I sit quietly smoking cigarettes (!) and reflect on the weather, the city nightlife, my state of mind, my relationships and problems. I let myself laugh aloud at myself. The neighbors might think I'm nuts, but damn does it feel good. Due to the f'ed up part, neither time, weather, state of dress or undress or typical day to day problems impede on my mind. I just hang out...with myself.
I had one of these nights on Saturday and I feel better, clearer for it. These are my mind vacations, all for the affordable price of one cheap bottle of red wine. A deal if I must say so myself. (My preferred poison is either Yellowtail Merlot or Ecco Domani Merlot but it was Purple Moon Shiraz this time around.)

I went to Nesto's house, got cozy with him and apparently wore the poor guy out because he was out cold. While I was lying next to him, a light bulb flamed on, here it was, time for a mind vacation! I used the sneaky bed-exiting skills I've perfected on Lola, grabbed my wine, cigarettes and Nesto's leather jacket and headed for the porch. Sitting on wet chair, wearing a jacket sans anything else, I drank my wine and smiled at my mini revelations.

Here's a few I came across: Although I don't endorse slaughter of animals, certainly don't eat meat and probably never will again, I do like the weight of a good leather jacket.
Wisconsin springs are like a breath of fresh fucking air after WI winters. My Louisiana family was in town complaining of the chill while I was sighing with relief at the amazing lack of snow while half-nekked. Hooray.

I really like Nesto. Example of cuteness: He "raises" his own tomato plants from seeds and then transfers them to his backyard. Then, when his scandalous neighbors steal the fruit of his labor, he acknowledges the fact that "they're really good," and this seems to be an acceptable excuse for the thievery.

And finally: polishing off a bottle of wine by yourself on an empty stomach? Always a good thing. I feel fine.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ode to Royboy

I've been meaning to create a post to Roy for awhile now and today (you lucky bastards) is the day.

Roy is my BFF, a title which I actually introduce him to others as. Yeah, I get weird looks and disdainful half-grins from people, secretly thinking: "did she seriously just say that?" And you know what? I don't care. I'm not ashamed to introduce this man in all his charm and sheer audacious asshole-ness as my Best Friend 4Eva.

And the lame part about it, I've heard him introduce me the same way. Gag.

Roy and I started out enemies on the high school bus. I dreaded riding this bus because I know he was going to start some shit and I would be obligated to end it. He was a racist, sexist, pompous, Republican asshole and I hated his fucking guts. (I believe that may be a direct quote from a note passed in Econ.)

Anyway, we had mutual friends and I learned that he was really rich. Like, really rich. And this scored in his favor, not in the ususal way that "really rich" scores points, but in the manner that you would never in a million years know that Roy is rich from his demeanor. He dressed (and still does) like a hick from the sticks, drove a shitty old Ford Aerostar van that was maroon and smelled of chickens and expired dog food and never even mentioned money.

Eventually we put aside our animosity over underage keg parties and our mutual love of animals and founded a rock-solid friendship in between bong rips and attending traumatic funerals .

Roy is still an asshole, but he's slowly recovering. His sexism and racism rarely show their unwelcome faces (at least around me because I'll rip his head off...) but he's my counterpart in all the ways that count.

This is the guy who hears it all, who knows the best and the worst of me. We disagree on just about everything but we do it with love. My confidante who hangs out with me, hears my stories, makes fun of me so much I just want to kill him...and then do it all over again next weekend.

When people mention a sexual connection between us, I get offended and angry. How dare they besmirch our relationship with such a base desire?! Who the fuck do they think they are? And do they know who we are? We are Etta and Roy, a fabulous heterosexual, non-sexual life partnership.

So readers, consider this post a giant glass of your favorite stuff and please join me in raising it to Royboy, my BFF.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's My Birthday and I'll Barf If I Want To

I've been a real homebody lately. Lola, books, Nesto, I've been reveling in the three of them. I definitely go through streaks in which I prefer to be alone, to be quiet, to listen to myself think. When Lola isn't yapping, that is. Along with this hermit inclination, I consciously decided to exercise regularly, eat healthy-ish and abstain from my nightly glass of wine.

The first two are pretty self-explanatory, I want to look nice and feel nice. The wine though, ahhhh, I LOVE WINE. Cheap wine. Dry, red wine. Yummmmmm.... When I found myself actually wishing I could have a glass of wine for breakfast before work though, I decided to lay off the sauce for awhile. And it's worked out well, I feel good about it.

Well, today is my birthday. And last night I was due to go out with my Wednesday night pals, Roy and Meg. Royboy bailed on me, go figure but Meg and I got saucy.

After some Celtic Crossing shots and during bar dice I remembered the problem with drinking after a hiatus. Those limits I was so comfortable with, the limits I had meticulously researched during my late teen years in a journal dedicated specifically to my limits...had dropped. DRASTICALLY.

So, I ended up giving myself an intimate encounter with the Porcelain God for my birthday...twice.

Being hungover on your birthday should be impossible along with getting sick while pregnant. I guess I could thank my lucky stars I am neither sick nor pregnant but I'm too fucking hungover.

So wise am I in my 24 years.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Corporate Crossroads

So, my bossman just offered me a salary. Like, a raise with security. For him and me (?)

I've been entertaining the idea that I'd be leaving this job soon. A veni, vidi, vici sort of a thing. When I arrived, I was suprised the company was still in business: how do you track how much each job costs you? I got a Scoobie Doo-like "Ruuoughr?" as an answer. Yikes. Ok, said I, where are your old tax documents? Blank stares. Oh brother.

I enjoyed the challenge, I bullied the guys into organization and obsured myself amongst stormclouds of flying paper. I felt guilty and naughty as I disposed of garbage cans full of old, pointless-to-keep marketing materials on the sly. I white-boarded the walls, file cabineted the hallway, hanging foldered everything. I also attempted to keep the kitchen clean, the fridge free of moldy, forgotten lunches, the bathrooms stocked up on air freshener.

Now, the company has a system. If I was really determined, I could write out directions step by step and someone could do my job, day to day. After awhile, as long as they aren't a complete moron, they'd be able to take care of any suprises not on the list, and then they'd be me.

I guess I'm saying that I'm bored. The challenge has been neutralized with effectiveness and I've been mentally preparing myself for a change. Bookstore! Cheesecake baker! Something else!

But, the worry of the stability of such of job worries me. My favorite bookstore just closed after decades in the business and the cheesecake store is opening up in downtown Menomonee Falls, a veritable death sentence for any small business brave enough to open it's doors within county lines. I must work, my job is cushy and now as permanent as jobs go, if I want it...

But I'm so frickin' bored and I can feel myself getting dumber every time I answer the phone in my faux-cheerful "work voice."

What do I do?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ahhh, Good Ol' Iowa

What fabulous news on a fabulous Friday. Three cheers for Iowa!

Iowa Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage

By AMY LORENTZEN, Associated Press Writer Amy Lorentzen, Associated Press Writer – 48 mins ago

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa's Supreme Court legalized gay marriage Friday in a unanimous and emphatic decision that makes Iowa the third state — and first in the nation's heartland — to allow same-sex couples to wed.
owa joins only Massachusetts and Connecticut in permitting same-sex marriage. For six months last year, California's high court allowed gay marriage before voters banned it in November.

The Iowa justices upheld a lower-court ruling that rejected a state law restricting marriage to a union between a man and woman.
The county attorney who defended the law said he would not seek a rehearing. The only recourse for opponents appeared to be a constitutional amendment, which could take years to ratify.

"We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective," the Supreme Court wrote.
Iowa lawmakers have "excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification."

To issue any other decision, the justices said, "would be an abdication of our constitutional duty."

The Iowa attorney general's office said gay and lesbian couples can seek marriage licenses starting April 24, once the ruling is considered final.

"Iowa is about justice, and that's what happened here today," said Laura Fefchak, who awaited the decision at a party in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale.

Her partner of 13 years, Nancy Robinson, added: "To tell the truth, I didn't think I'd see this day."

Des Moines attorney Dennis Johnson, who argued on behalf of gay and lesbian couples, said "this is a great day for civil rights in Iowa."
"We have all of you courageous plaintiffs to thank: Go get married, live happily ever after, live the American dream," he said.

In its decision, the Supreme Court upheld an August 2007 decision by a judge who found that a state law limiting marriage to a man and a woman violates the constitutional rights of equal protection.

The Polk County attorney's office claimed that Judge Robert Hanson's ruling violated the separation of powers and said the issue should be left to the Legislature.

The case had been working its way through the courts since 2005, when Lambda Legal, a New York-based gay rights organization, filed a lawsuit on behalf of six gay and lesbian couples in Iowa.

The Supreme Court noted that any new distinction based on sexual orientation "would be equally suspect and difficult to square" with the state's constitution.

John Logan, a sociology professor at Brown University, said Iowa's status as a largely rural, Midwest state could enforce an argument that gay marriage is no longer a fringe issue.

"When it was only California and Massachusetts, it could be perceived as extremism on the coasts and not related to core American values.

"But as it extends to states like Iowa, and as attitudes toward gay marriage have evidently changed, then people will look at it as an example of broad acceptance," Logan said. Polk County Attorney John Sarcone said his office will not ask for the case to be reconsidered.

"Our Supreme Court has decided it, and they make the decision as to what the law is, and we follow Supreme Court decisions," Sarcone said.
Gay marriage opponents have no other legal options to appeal the case to the state or federal level because they were not parties to the lawsuit, and there is no federal issue raised in the case, Sarcone said.

Bryan English, spokesman for the Iowa Family Policy Center, a conservative group that opposes same-sex marriage, said many Iowans are disappointed with the ruling and do not want courts to decide the issue.

"I would say the mood is one of mourning right now in a lot of ways," English said. He said the group immediately began lobbying legislators "to let the people of Iowa vote" on a constitutional amendment.

"This is an issue that will define (lawmakers') leadership. This is not a side issue."

Iowa has a history of being in the forefront on social issues. It was among the first states to legalize interracial marriage and to allow married women to own property. It was also the first state to admit a woman to the bar to practice law and was a leader in school desegregation.
Todd Pettys, a University of Iowa law professor, said the state's equal protection clause on which Friday's ruling was based is worded slightly differently than the U.S. Constitution. But Iowa's language means almost "exactly the same thing."

Still, he said, it's difficult to predict whether the U.S. Supreme Court would view the issue the same way as the Iowa justices. Linda McClain, professor at Boston University School of Law, said she doubted Iowa's ruling would be "a realistic blueprint" for the U.S. Supreme Court," particularly considering the court's conservative leadership.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat, said state lawmakers were unlikely to consider gay marriage legislation in this legislative session, which is expected to end within weeks.

Gronstal also said he's "not inclined" to propose a constitutional amendment during next year's session.
Iowa's Democratic governor, Chet Culver, said he would review the decision before announcing his views.
Associated Press writers Nigel Duara in Urbandale and Marco Santana, Melanie S. Welte, Michael Crumb and Mike Glover in Des Moines contributed to this report.