Monthly Archives: March 2017

For the love of women, from a sugar frosted nutsack (a book review)

One of my favorite authors is Mark Leyner. I have described him as the postmodern reasonable facsimile of Umberto Eco’s doppelganger… at least I do so to people with whom I care to discuss authors of impact without fear of judgement (someday  you should let me tell you about that time I was found wanting for my love of YA literature).

I am reading,  listening  read his novel about the gods, because I love novels about the gods. For the seriously important information about this book:

The Sugar Frosted Nutsack: A Novel
by Mark Leyner
Link: http://a.co/3YsVZVq   (prices vary)

img_4252
Get it? 

The throws of love seem to predominate any tales about the gods (I am looking at Neil Gaiman here, American gods was also a fucking awesome listen if you find the full cast audio version).

The Sugar Frosted Nutsack is a snarky and often hilarious look at modern culture, with some sweet gentleness mixed in. It is past absurd love-story that involves scenes reminiscent of Alice in wonderland (a human becomes 50 ft tall) and part pornographic romp (a plethora of dildos of an amazing variety are involved).  I have missed Leyners’ work, but decided that he was absent for about 15 years because the world needed to catch up in terms of interestingness.

You know I loved the audio-book when I purchase the actual one. Can’t wait for it to arrive.

Anywhosiwhatsit –

What stopped me in my tracks though, was a section where the character, Ike, plagiarizes this gem below which I am reproducing in an homage, if you will, to the story – but in actuality because I want  “Ninety-seven percent of people think it was SUPER-SEXY of…”

ME

Ike to totally plagiarize that from O, The Oprah Magazine.”

1. Even little girls, in all their blithe, unharrowed innocence, have a presentiment of sorrow, hardship, and adversity…of loss. Women, throughout their lives, have an intrinsic and profound understanding of Keats’ sentiments about “Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips Bidding adieu.”

2. This sage knowledge of, and ability to abide, the inherently fugitive nature of happiness somehow accounts for the extraordinary beauty of women as they age.

3. Women have an astonishing capacity to maintain their equilibrium in the face of life’s mutability, its unceasing and unforeseeable vicissitudes. And this agility is always in stark and frequently comical contradistinction to men’s naïvely bullish and brittle delusions that things can forever remain exactly the same.

4. Women are forgiving but implacably cognizant.

5. Women are almost never gullible but sometimes relax their vigilance out of loneliness. (And I believe most women abhor loneliness.)

6. In their most casual, offhand, sisterly moments, women are capable of discussing sex in such uninhibited detail that it would cause a horde of carousing Cossacks to cringe.

7. Women are, for all intents and purposes, indomitable. It really requires an almost unimaginable confluence of crushing, cataclysmic forces to vanquish a woman.

8. Women’s instincts for self-preservation and survival can seem to men to be inscrutably unsentimental and sometimes cruel.

9. Women have a very specific kind of courage that enables them to fling themselves into the open sea—whether it’s a new life for themselves, another person’s life, or even what might appear to be a kind of madness.

10. Women never—no matter how old they are—completely relinquish their aristocratic assumption of seductiveness.

And here is one last thing I know—and I know this with a certitude that exceeds anything I’ve said before: that men’s final thoughts in their waking days and in their lives are of women…ardent, wistful thoughts of wives and lovers and daughters and mothers.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/what-i-know-for-sure-about-women#ixzz4cka6nyTB

And because of this.

I give you this:

 

 

Advertisements

idyllic mayhem or excuse me, my privilege is showing

I will be the first to admit that I come from privilege. I have been so shockingly lucky for so many things that were and are in my life. Privilege, however, does not mean life is easy. I share many things with people who are not as privileged as me.  One thing I don’t do is fear facing the dark aspects of life. I work hard at being vulnerable. I tend to think that vulnerability makes us more open to others.  Social media may prove this to have many exceptions.

Mary granting the Great Privilege in a 19th-century painting by Charles Rochussen.

One story that makes me deeply consider privilege was when I had a friend visiting from the Midwest and was excited to take them to our local border town for something different but close to home and an example of life similar enough to how I grew up . I did not immediately notice, but my friend was deeply uncomfortable and asked to return to the USA within 10 minutes. I was so bewildered.  I talked to them about it a few years later and they shared that they had never seen anything like it, it was so foreign that it was uncomfortable. I did not quite understand, I tend to embrace those moments of being uncomfortable, they teach us so much. Perhaps that attitude can be too much for some?

I was called to recall this memory when I happened across this quote:

He (John Mellencamp) also confessed he could never live in Manhattan. “I’m too sensitive to live there,” the musician said. “I can’t see poor people. I can’t see the suffering. I can’t see the trash on the streets…I’m not leaving Indiana. I’m going to die here.” (source)

 

Yesterday was International Women’s Day, and the post that appeared here on Blair Necessities yesterday started out as a Facebook post. It was truly my intention to highlight that women can be cruel and that any success that women can have depends on then being ready, willing, and fully able to lift each other up. This is not to say that you can’t call a woman out on something we perceive as bad, but it certainly was not a call to attack. That is, however, exactly what happened over on The Facebook.

Someone I knew from High School thought the post so offensive that she decided to call me out for it. It was bizarre. I am still trying to wrap my head around what exactly happened, what she found so offensive… I do take issue with her attempt to direct my narrative when she suggested that someone elses’ comment would have made a better story. When she went on to call my story disgusting, I just had to stop. I was knee deep in a migraine and dealing with a kiddo who was not feeling 100%. I turned off the sound of notifications.

It was kind of crazy.

I have preserved that conversation here.

The thing is, I don’t hate being uncomfortable, I wonder where she got that from?

And this post started out as something completely different.

“The idyllic mayhem of two cultures colliding just doesn’t seem as funny anymore.”
~ Kris Kidd

 

smoke gets in their eyes – My thoughts for International Women’s Day

“Ladies who play with fire must remember that smoke gets in their eyes.”
~ Mae West

For international women’s day I am going to tell you all a story that causes me some disquiet about celebrating this particular day.

When I was back in Ecuador as an adult I visited with a friend of my fathers and his family on a trip to their cattle ranch high up in the Andes mountains. The scenery was spectacular and glorious, there is nothing like being on those mountains for me, there was wind so loud I could hear it, it swooshed by so hard my cheeks were quickly windburned. Then I sat in the grass and there were these tiny pink berries buried in the grass, a slightly sweet taste that I hadn’t forgotten after a 20 year absence. I had loved these kinds experiences on my own family ranch when I was little, and I was so grateful to be able to experience them again.

UNTIL

I saw the wife, a woman – a woman of means, take off her shoe and hit the male ranch hand, a man with far less means than the family, a man they had hired to care for the ranch while they lived in the city. She hit him because he had not been able to do something by the time we arrived. She did this in front of his wife and kids, in front of her own family, in front of me, a guest. His family and their stoic faces as she beat him about the head and shoulders are still with me today. I was horrified. The husband, my fathers friend, was mortified that she did this in front of me, but did not speak up. I did not speak up.

Considering the caste system that is in place in that part of the world, I am not sure what my speaking up would have accomplished. However, I still feel shame; shame that I did not speak up and shame that it was a woman that was behaving so atrociously.

Here is why I am sharing this story though, because women, like men, can be awful. I want to illustrate how much work there is to do in creating a world I am not led to shame because of my gender through my own behaviour and the behaviour of my fellow women.

So, I ask you today, all of you, be beholden to how you treat others, regardless of gender, regardless of caste. We all carry kindness and gentleness within us, and let us all move together in that.

quote-more-than-cleverness-we-need-kindness-and-gentleness-charlie-chaplin-49-88-52