Gingers and Math Professors and Bhagavad Gita, Oh My.

Y’all. Something is up with Oregon. I mean aside from triple-decker man buns, obsessions with microbrews and whiskey, and wannabe hipster bro-boys. I’m talking about the ridiculously high ratio of gingers to the rest of the population. At least, I mean that’s at least a thing in the dating pool. Not that I’m complaining; some of these gingers are smokin’ fuckin’ hot. (Uhm. Maybe most of them. Which is weird, because as an aesthetic, I was never interested in gingers. I mean, I’ve always been a fan of ginger flavor – ginger beer, ginger snaps. But ginger boys? Too…pale. Oregon is changing my mind.)

If you stacked all of my dates up on a weirdass live human bar chart, the tallest bar would be gingers, by far. (This is not intentional.) At one point, I may or may not have been casually dating three gingers at once. One of them was pretty simple, but funny and wild as hell. Another of them was a super country libertarian boy (yeah, I passed pretty hard and fast on that one). The third was fucking brilliant – this weird dichotomy of former military and current anarcho-philosopher turned psychotherapist with a fucking PhD. Oh…was he yummy. Lemme tell ya… Too bad he was emotionally inaccessible and a bit of a sociopath.

Last night, I had a date with yet another ginger. A math professor. Yep. Another weilder of a PhD. (No, stop picturing a 65 year old in a tweed blazer with elbow patches. Fuck, I just planted that image, didn’t I? Stop picturing it!) Shy and awkward over text. Funny, witty, and deep in person. In between covertly checking him out (holy shit – since when do nerdy geek boys lift??) and getting coached on how to play pool, I was alternately laughing my ass off and diving off into deep conversations about math, the universe, string theory, self, other, the Bhagavad Gita, and Eastern Philosophy. With wild fucking abandon. Yeah, that’s the kind of thing that rocks my socks.

We did a bar crawl – my first ever, I think – and drank. A lot. Well, my a lot is just a little compared to seasoned drinkers. I don’t drink often. So, the two jumbo-sized ciders and the sangria had me in orbit. (Oregon makes sangria with wine AND tequila, y’all, at least at rooftop bars in college towns. My name is Stephanie, and I approve this message. (That fucker also came in an oversized, don’t think you can call that a pint glass anymore, pint glass.)) I wasn’t wasted – those three drinks were spread over about three hours – but boy, I got spirited and (only slightly) wobbly.

We walked it off, then looked at the stars. Man, there’s so much less light pollution in that little town than where I live. It was glorious. We listened to Irish folk music and Ravi Shankar and had the deepest conversation I’ve had in ages, punctuated with sass and smartassery, crude jokes, and ribald laughter.

It was incredible.

That charming, brilliant, Irish bastard.

And it’s almost a 100% certainty that I’ll never see him again.

Why? Because out of this abundance of gingers, only one of them has been interested in more than a single date (see simple but wild boy – and he’s not in it to win it, either). And it seems the smarter and more philosophically inclined they are – ginger or not, but especially the gingers – the less likely they are to be interested in anything even remotely serious.

Unfortunately, what dating is teaching me is that my interests border on the fucking unattainable. If the guy isn’t a deep thinker, I’m not interested. If the guy can’t banter, I’m not interested. If we can’t talk until 4 in the morning (yep, last night was a late one) about anything and everything, with no filter, I’m not interested. If we can’t enjoy comfortable silences, I’m not interested. If all conversation is all about him, I’m not interested. If all conversation is all about me, I’m not interested. If conversations are about things or people, I’m not interested. If conversations aren’t about ideas and thoughts and philosophies and weird little eccentricities of self and universe, I’m not interested. If I’m not laughing until I’m doubled over in pain, I’m not interested. If he isn’t a little….wild, rough around the edges, I’m not interested. And every. Single. Motherfucker. That I’ve met that has those qualities – the ones I AM interested in, are “ethically non-monogamous” or “polyamorous” (welcome to fucking Oregon) or strictly interested in an “FWB” or “NSA” situation (yeah, I’m learning a lot of fucking acronyms lately).

And it feels strangely like the longer this carries on, the less interested *I* am in something long-term and serious. Sometimes I think I’m *too* fucking adaptable, because I don’t want to compromise my personal convictions, the ones I have just for me. But at the same time, I don’t want to go back to being a complete and utter hermit, either, afraid of the opposite sex and what they do or don’t want from me.

Dating is nice. But it’s also terrible and unpredictable and scary. And I’m fucking sick of it. And also wish I had one tonight. (Oh wait, I did. But after the stellar night with the Jacked and Ginger Buddha, there’s no way I could meet this other guy. It would have been a soul-sucking exercise in tedium. So I canceled.)

See. If I don’t even know what the fuck I want, how can I expect others to know what they want? I mean. Every time someone does want something serious with me, I’m the one that’s not interested. I “don’t feel a connection,” or something on that laundry list of elusive but critical qualities is missing. I’ve totally ditched boys for lack of banter. And I just ditched one for lack of depth/connection. I don’t wanna talk about tv shows and YouTube political commentators all the damn time. I wanna talk about Plato and Buddhism and Experiencers/Enlightenment. Fuck those fucking gingers for dangling that fucking carrot and running off because they wanna be deep…with a shallow girl.

Fuck those fuckers for making me think it’s possible, because there’s no way in fuck I can settle now. I know what’s out there. I’ve known it for a long time, and I’m just getting it reinforced now and then. (Don’t get me wrong, most of the people I’ve been on dates with are horrible. I have some horror stories to share with you people! But sometimes…the veil is parted, and I get a glimpse of what could be. And I know…fucking. I know, I’m not digging too deep or searching for something imfuckingpossible.) So fuck those guys…and thank those guys.

Fucking gingers.

If I Were Bipolar

If I were bipolar, I bet I’d be a rapid cycler.

If I were bipolar, I bet I’d exit a two-month depression and launch right into an extended mixed episode.

If I were bipolar, I bet I’d make some dangerous decisions that would, ya know, put me in danger.

If I were bipolar, I bet I’d justify said dangerous decisions with shit like, “this is just what it looks like to live after stifling yourself for the better part of thirty-seven years.”

If I were bipolar, I bet I’d recover from heartbreak by meeting up with a never-ending string of dudes who give less than a shit about me.

If I were bipolar, I bet I’d only find pleasure in the kind of job that makes me pull my hair out.

If I were bipolar, I bet I’d leave that job on some random Tuesday night, meet up with some stranger, and stay up until 4 AM.

If I were bipolar, I bet I’d return to work the next day and alternate between bouncing off the walls and wanting to shoot myself in the face.

It’s a good thing I’m not bipolar.

The Horse is (Not) Alright

Exiting the roundabout, I crane my neck.
I have to see the horse, traffic be damned.

He stands there in his meadow-like pasture, outwardly indifferent to the traffic.
Selectively nibbling on the verdant grasses and sweet-smelling flowers, he’s alive.

The horse is alright.

How do I know the horse is a he?
He’s strong, muscular, virile, powerful, secure in his solitude.
Those are masculine traits.
Aren’t they?

Another long day, another fretful drive “home.”
Please let him be there.
I only need to see that

The horse is alright.

Exiting the roundabout, I hold  my breath.
Craning my neck, I scan the field.

Nothing.

I risk another look.
Fuck it; if he’s not alright, I’m not alright.

The horse is not alright.

I can’t find him.
Has he given up?

Frustrated and empty from his solitary jaunts,
Today, he doesn’t leave his stall.

His handlers cajole and prod, first sweet talking, now scolding.
You need to get outside, horse. It isn’t good for you us to see you holed up inside all day.
Keeping to yourself.
Why don’t you go outside, seek new grasses and flowers.
And pretend you aren’t still keeping to yourself.

The horse is not alright.

I enter the roundabout with trepidation.
If he’s not there today…
If the horse is not alright…

Exiting the roundabout, my arms tremble on the steering wheel as I turn to look.
He’s there. He’s there.
I exhale a breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding,
Dash away tears I didn’t realize I’d been shedding.

And I breathe a sigh of relief,
Of grateful reassurance, because

The horse is alright.

It’s All About the Hustle

I’ve been hustling. And I do mean hustling hard. I’ve got two side hustles going on, on top of the full-time job (which I’m actively seeking to replace with a different full-time job elsewhere – never satisfied anymore, it seems).

One is the tutoring gig, which is frankly more trouble than it’s worth at this point because of an extended commute and a low cut of the pay. But I’m committed to seeing the school year through. They’ve got another month in these parts.

Second hustle is a writing thing I’ve been doing. Fluffy SEO padding shit to trick google. (They probably think I don’t know what’s up, but it’s fairly obvious it’s all bogus to do some hardcore SEO driving. You know, bolding keywords here and there. Burying a “moneylink” in a sea of non-competing, vaguely related links. Appending exactly three license-free stock photos and one embedded YouTube video. Yeah. Fun stuff.) But you know what? I’ve decided that I don’t care. I’m not screwing over any people with the BS articles and blog posts. I’m helping to trick a search engine that tricks people anyway. And while it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth, at $15 a post…I can’t afford to linger too long on my reservations. I figure…keep this up a couple of months, and I’ll be back to salient. Quite frankly, that outweighs ethics at this point (to a reasonable extent, anyway).

What does bug me is that the hustle further stymies my own words, because damnit I’m churning out four to eight of those suckers a day on top of my day job. But I don’t know how long the little gig will last, so I’m gonna milk it for all it’s worth.

I think…I just needed to vent that. And say that, no…I’m not trying to disappear. Again. Doesn’t mean I won’t. But it’s not my intent.

One day at a time.

One day at a time.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some hustling to do.

Warnings

Warn me
before you listen to hip hop,
Country one said.

Warn me
before you curse,
Christian one said.

Warn me
before you befriend me,
Aloof one said.

Warn me
before you laugh,
Stoic one said.

Warn me
before you believe,
Atheist one said.

Warn me
before you love me,
Jewish one said.

Warn me
before you trust me,
Brown one said.

Warn me
before you cry,
White one said.

Warn me
before you become,
They said.

Warn me
before you exist,
They said.

Warning you
that I’m done,
I said.

Noose

There it dangles, the tiny skeleton,
dancing on its tiny noose, haunting me.

It hangs from your rear view mirror,
reflecting the past into the present.

Skeletons are meant to remain hidden
under layers of skin and despair and false hopes.

But you drag them out,
grinning, heckling, getting off on reactions.

Getting off on pain,
you brag about your conquests of physical and psychological and sexual

abuse.

There it dangles, the tiny skeleton
dancing on its tiny noose, haunting me.

Bobbing in front of the mirror,
dragging the horrors of the past, screaming back into the forefront of my mind.

You are the noose,
wrapped around my neck.

Can you see the scars? They linger still,
finger-shaped bruises in a pretty purple painting on my ghost-white neck.

You are the noose,
wrapped around my heart, my mind, my soul,

my past.

You are the noose from which I dangle,
kicking, jerking, clawing at the frayed edges.

I’ll cut this fucker down, one of these days;
I’ll cut you down.

And then I’ll take those frayed bits and fashion the noose anew,
giving it a new home around your splotchy, bloated, corpse-like neck,

fathermine.

~

P.S. A big fat thank you to everyone who offered up ideas and made banners for me. I’m saving all of them and may rotate them out from time to time. Y’all rock my socks. All the damn time.

A Request and a PSA

Two quick things before I run away from work and drive downtown for Flogging Molly. I’m pumped, aside from a niggling fear that mystery pain will get worse and force an early exit from the show. Fingers crossed.

  1. Request: Does anyone know how and feel like making a new blog banner for me? The one I have now and have had for ages was made for me by The Aussie. It was to be temporary while he worked on something special. But he must have died and taken the banner with him, because that was months (well over a year) ago. I’d love to have something new, but I have no idea how to go about it myself.
  2. PSA: Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day! Get out there, grab some free comic books and don’t forget to buy something to support your local geekhaven!

Happy Friday. Or something.

Désolée (an un-poem)

I’m sorry, but…
I’m giving up on you.

Waiting for your call, your text, your email.
No more.

When you finally come to your senses,
I won’t be there, waiting as I always do.

Ardently, perpetually, relentlessly waiting.
No.

Je ne renoncerai plus à moi.
Je m’abandonne à nous.
Je renonce à toi.

Désolée.
Je suis très désolée.

5-Day Song Challenge: Fifth & Final

The five songs I’ve used in this challenge surprised me. The only one I knew I’d use was Slow Cheetah. The rest happened a day at a time, and none of the other songs I planned to use made it into the five posts – including today’s. That’s one of the interesting things about music moods for me – I never know what I’ll be in the mood for from day to day. And this time, rather than relying a planned lists of songs to type about, I decided to wing it from day to day and let my mood guide the choices.

Which leads us to today’s selection.

Song the Fifth:

Float – Flogging Molly

Flogging Molly’s Float is on my mind for two reasons:

  1. The theme: struggling with depression and indifference as time inevitably marches on. Trying to make sense from the senseless and grasping for reasons to persist. For obvious reasons, it speaks to me. Rather, it speaks me.
  2. The timing: totally going to a Flogging Molly concert tonight, and I’m stoked. Fucking. Stoked.

Have a listen.

The Lyrics:

Drank away the rest of the day,
Wonder what my liver would say,
Drink… That’s all you can.

Blackened days With their bigger gales,
Blow in your parlor to discuss the day,
Listen… That’s all you can.

Ah but don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built, you built to keep afloat.
Ah no don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built.

Sick and tired of what to say,
No one listens anyway,
Sing… That’s all you can.

Rambling years of lousy luck,
Ya miss the smell of burning turf,
Dream… That’s all you can.

Ah but don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you Built, you built to keep afloat,
Ah no don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built… That you built to keep afloat.

Singled out for who you are,
It takes all types to judge a man,
Feel… That’s all you can.

Filthy suits with bigot ears,
Hide behind their their own worst fears,
Live… That’s all you can.

It’s all you can.
It’s all you can… do.

No matter where I put my head,
I wake up feeling sound again,
Breathe… It’s all you can.

Tomorrow smells of less decay,
The flowers create this blooming fray,
Be thankful… That’s all you can.

Ah but don’t, don’t sink the boat,
That you Built, you built to keep afloat.
Ah no don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built… you built to keep afloat.

Ah no don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built, that you built to keep afloat.

A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
I’m a ripe old age,
That’s what I am.

I’m a ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
Just doing the best I can.

A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
That’s what I am!

A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
Just doing the best I can!

The best I can!

~

Fighting hard to not sink the boat. Hoping like hell that tomorrow smells of less decay. I’m doing the best I can. Are you?

So I Skipped Another Day (AKA 5-Day Song Challenge: Day 4)

Yesterday was insanity at work. Mostly good insanity. I love when I get to not do my job and do something completely different. (Not even sarcasm.) I interviewed several people for a management program we’re kicking off in about two weeks, and then the dreaded meetings (which I actually like when the people are normal, productive and cool).

So yeah, no posty. And now today, some fucked-up I hope it’s not a medical emergency shit going on with me. But I’m posting anyway, because damnit I’m trying to be here.

And since I’m in a fuck society punk rock place at the moment, I’ll share some with you.

The Song:

Smallpox Champion – Fugazi

A nice, solid, damn-the-man punk rock song.

The Lyrics:

Smallpox Champion of the U S of A
Give natives some blankets warm like the grave
This is the pattern cut from the cloth
This is the pattern designed to take you right out

This is the frontier with winter’s so cold
Greed informs action where action makes bold
To take all the cotton that’s cut from the stalk
Weave in the the disease that’s gonna wipe you right out

What is good for the future
What is good for the past – won’t last

Bury your heart U S of A
History rears up to spit in your face
You saw what you wanted, you took what you saw
We know how you got it- your method equals wipe out
The end of the future and all that you own
Under the blankets of all that you’ve done
Memory serves us to serve you yet
Memory serves us to never let you wipe out

Cha-cha-cha-champion you’ll get yours
Wipe out

~

So this is a heavy one and more than a bit “political.” I wrapped that word in quotation marks, because I think it’s a cop-out to dub genocide a political issue as a justification of sidestepping uncomfortable topics.

If you’re into punk rock, you’ll dig it. Love me some Fugazi.