Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Moving to Seattle

“If you search for tenderness
It isn’t hard to find.
You can have the love you need to live.
But if you look for truthfulness
You might just as well be blind…
I don’t want some pretty face to tell me pretty lies.
All I want is someone to believe.”
 - Billy Joel, Honesty

My sister is an Edumacator (sic) from Detroit. I have lived in Southern California longer than I’ve ever lived anywhere else. We have been talking for years about moving in together in our dotage. This year, because we are both now with no rings and no strings, we have started negotiating about actually doing it. 

We finally agreed on a location on the Puget Sound in a community not unlike the neighborhood where we grew up – where you actually know and like and socialize with your neighbors, and you and look out for each other. We finally settled on about a year out.

Barely two weeks ago, our schedule abruptly changed. We just bought a house near Seattle. My POD will arrive in a few weeks. My handyman guy is fixing what my real estate guy says needs to be fixed. I feel like Nancy: “The whole world is spinning.”

Why, you are asking, did all this happen so suddenly? I know I am. 

We were motivated by our desire to retain our independence longer; and we wanted to do this before our kids had to do it for us; and my sister is a Zillow junkie.  Honestly, I blame the Illuminati and the increasingly obvious collusion of our grown children – let’s call them the Diabolical Conspiring Cousins (DCC) to protect their presumed innocence. They convinced my sister to stop dithering around in slightly less genteel terms. Ok, they convinced me too.

Since then, as another of our sisters sagely advised me, this has become a full-time job. Of course, we’re older, and we’re slower, but we’re feisty and together we’re a pretty smart team. I’ve ended many long days completely fried from sending texts, reading documents, arranging and interpreting inspections, negotiating yet more documents, e-signing seemingly endlessly. A lot of what I’m doing is similar to what I used to do for a living. But that was more than ten years ago. This is work that demands substantially more focus and concentration than I typically spend these days deciding what to make for dinner. I’ve been sleeping very well after long days.

Now it’s all over – except for more endless paperwork, negotiations, repairs, and the lurking statute of frauds that compels me to want everything in writing and carefully documented. Ok, compulsively documented. Within a week or so, I will officially no longer be among the ranks of the second-homeless. No way am I moving before the mid-century-modern-meets-psychadelic-contact-papered wet bar basement is hit with a sledgehammer. 

Shortly before the purchase reached the point of no return, one of the DCC recently, gently and oh so diplomatically suggested the mere possibility that we might get on each others’ nerves. After a moment of silent mystification at the very thought (!) I practically did a spit-take. Whaaaat???

When you decide to move back in with the sibling you shared a bedroom with for your first 15 years or so, it’s not like you don’t know you’re in for a wild ride. Within a couple of anxious, stressful and emotional months my sister and I will be on our way to the Pacific Northwest from the Midwest and from Southern California respectively.

And we’ll settle down and begin to get honestly on each other’s nerves. There comes a time when truthfulness in a relationship is worth more than a pretty face. It's going to be a bumpy ride, but we got this.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Men Can’t Have Anything To Themselves

Two women are now Army Rangers. Yay. Congratulations. Etc. Then, backlash. Andrea Tantaros is  sad. Andrea Tantaros worries that we might be hurting the boys’ feelings. Andrea says “I believe in equality and all those things, but…”

... Andrea Tantaros says men can’t have anything to themselves. While we may never know if some of those "other things" Andrea Tantros may believe in are pay equality, right of women to control their own bodies, and whatnot,  I will concede Andrea Tantaros is right: there are a lot of things men did exclusively in the good old days when jobs were advertised in two different sections of newspaper classified ads: men and women.

I won't argue with Andrea Tantaros that women have indeed been making inroads into the boys clubs lately. There are women public leaders, women politicians, women government officials, and women in management generally. And lately, even some women clergymen (sic) and women terrorists. The military was clearly in the targets of these uppity women who think it's all about them and appear insensitive to the self-esteem of men. Andrea Tantaros may be on to something about how sad this may make some men who may no longer permitted to have some things to themselves. Andrea Tantaros is a woman, so she should know it sucks not to have anything to yourself.  

But Andrea Tantaros, I am not as disturbed by the fact that more woman are determined to encroach on all all-male bastions. I seek to reassure you, Andrea Tantaros. It turns out men still have a bit of an edge in all those above professions. Women have a long way to go from two female Rangers to violent overthrow of the hegemony of the male discourse and replacing non-optional female genital mutilation with mandatory male castration. 

Andrea Tantaros, don't worry sweetie. It might reassure you to know that although men are encroaching on many of the following traditionally female lifestyles, women still make up the greatest proportion of whores, rape victims, single parents and lowest paid people. So maybe the scales balance out, right Andrea Tantaros?

Andrea Tantaros says men can't have anything to themselves.  Like that's true. Like that’s a bad thing.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Say It Better

"Everything has been said. But nobody listens. Therefore it has to be said all over again-- only better."
-- Roger Shattuck, Candor and Perversion

To Whom It May Concern:

The purpose of this post is to say how sad it was that after watching the Fox Republicans Debate last night, it wasn’t until the talking heads of the world told the sheep what happened that the sheep looked up. It was when reading last night’s news this morning that I realized it doesn’t actually have to be said all over again. I heard it the first time. A while back in fact.

It is my sincere hope that somebody else out there has any fucks to give about the next president because I’m not listening any more: I’d rather watch a pot boil. But somebody should pay attention or we will have a violent revolution in this country. It may already be underway (like the way the Internet was actually born on June 6, 1969*) and we may have just not realized it’s begun. This has been a rather violent summer, focused mostly on race. But history teaches that these things can smoke and spread far and wide before sparks erupt into a firestorm.

It is time for a new leader to either unite us or to take up the cause of the social revolution. Maybe one of you unemployed folks with six-figure student loans and no insurance?

The mission of this post is to ask for somebody to step forward to say it so well everybody listens and everybody hears it because I’m too tired and cynical.

If mission not accomplished then diem carped.

* “It happened on June 6th, 1969, at eleven hundred hours, eastern seaboard time," Pierre counters. "That was when the first network control protocol packets were sent from the data port of one IMP to another – the first ever Internet connection. That's the singularity. Since then we've all been living in a universe that was impossible to predict from events prior to that time.”
 - Charles Stross, Accelerando

Monday, August 03, 2015

Caution: Driver Rueing

Lou thought Jane was getting too old to regard her bitterness as the natural effect of a cause outside herself.
Annie Dillard, The Maytreees

Dammit, Lou!