I have a question. When you get the urge to urinate, do you just whip it out (or squat) and piss wherever you happen to be standing, regardless of whether you're in a board meeting or standing in line at the DMV? No? Didn't think so.
Do you know why you don't? Because biology produces the impulse, it does not dictate your actions. Simplistic but true. So, stop pretending that simply having certain biological impulses justifies or explains irresponsible, illegitimate, illegal, or immoral acts.
Thank you. You may now return to your regularly scheduled idiocy.
There are too few words and too many. I keep trying to write what I really want to say about how great he was and how he helped me hold on. I want to talk about all the little things that made Myron Myron and made him my friend. I just can't. We buried a good man today. I think it'll take a while to get over that.
So, as mentioned earlier, I've been having the recurring problem of men hitting on me despite all the obvious lesbian signals. My co-worker thinks I should wear a sign or button or something. So, what should it say?
Lately, for no reason I can discern, I've been getting smaller. My muscles, on the other hand, are getting bigger. Much bigger. My biceps are amazing! If you've known me long, you'll know that I've always been a little obsessed with my natural musculature, which was quite nice without any extra push. But what's happening to my body is beyond the normal muscle. I love it!
Problem is I think I'm becoming obsessed with playing with them. I do not want to become the dyke who runs around flexing at every opportunity. And I definitely do not want to become some narcissistic fool who plays with her own muscles all the time. The nerd in me just won't allow it. Or will she?
I don't know. Maybe I need to find someone else to play with them for me?
I went to see a friend today. He's got cancer and the doctors have only given him a few weeks to live. I'll tell you more about him later when I can deal with that little tidbit.
Anyway, his sudden turn for the worse has made me reflect on my own life and mortality (as if the pills, the monitor, the physical restrictions and the chest pains don't do that enough). Here's the problem. When I face things like death, I make jokes. Really morbid jokes. My friends and family don't always find this amusing. Usually, the ones who crack up either have the same morbid sense of humor or aren't quite in on how bad it really is. Some people get really upset when I joke about it.
But you know what? Tough. I think it's funny. And it helps. So, here are the morbid comedic stylings of Melinda. (Probably not as funny in writing, but whatevs.)
My first major "event," I was rushed to the hospital with lights and sirens and the whole shebang. My blood pressure was bottoming out. My pulse was through the roof. I was struggling to breathe. The EMT pushed epinephrine into my IV, which hurts like fucking hell. (It's like Klingons are having sex in your chest and zombies are trying to crack open your skull for a light snack. Your hands and feet contract into these weird, paralyzed claws, which is just so fucking sexy.) Then, the EMT started screaming all this medical nonsense into the radio. The only thing I understood from watching ER were the words "We need a crash cart at the ambulance bay! Stat!" At moments like this, you're supposed to reflect on your life, think profound thoughts, curse like a sailor... I did the last one quite well, but the rest was just terror and loneliness UNTIL the EMT started rubbing my left hand to ease the muscle contraction. That's when I noticed that she was really hot and Melinda's potential last thought became: "Yeah, Baby! I got another hand you can rub right over here." I totally want that on my tombstone!
Fast forward a while past lots of ER visits, finding a cardiologist, getting diagnosed, playing reverse Russian roulette with my treatment options and finding out that I wasn't going to be chasing the ladies around with my walker in some old folks' home. I had to be realistic. Still in my late 20's, I had to make plans for my death and what I wanted as far as heroic measures to save my life and life support. Fortunately, my sister Judy's a nurse, so she's perfect to make decisions when I can't and to know when to say when. That one was easy. Explaining to my family that my Borg fetish doesn't extend to being hooked up to machines... not so easy. How do you explain to people who love you that you don't want to be kept on tap past your "sell by" date? If you're me, you crack jokes. I gave them the real deal then I started telling my sister Belinda that she was back-up. It went something like this:
Me: Hey, Belinda! You're a bitch. If Judy doesn't have the ovaries to unplug me, accidentally trip over the fucking cord. You know... ahem... accidentally. (I jump up and mime tripping over a cord accidentally on purpose, including fake nonchalant whistling.)
Belinda: No. I can't trip over the cord. That might not work. I'll just pull the plug. (She mimes pulling the plug.) Then, I'll just be like "Oops. I thought this was my cell phone charger. My bad." Hey, I'm a blonde. It'll work.
This led to Nurse Judy losing it laughing and my sister-in-law jumping in with her own ideas. While certain completely unfunny family members looked on in disapproval, we planned "how to kill Melinda if Judy wusses out," complete with uproarious laughter and special little mime skits. That's the most fun I've ever had planning my death.
Flash forward to my lasting much longer than some people with fancy shmancy medical degrees thought I would because I'm either too awesome or too bitchy to die. (Death should not fuck with the former captain of the chess team! I'll checkmate his bony ass!) I went home to visit my family and had to fill my sister Judy in on the fact that she's the beneficiary on my employer-provided life insurance policy and pension death benefits. This is when I realize that this may not be such a good idea. Remember: This is the woman who gets to say when the doctors stop trying to save my life. I tell Judy what I'm thinking: Damnit! Now, one day, I'm going to stub my toe and you're going to start screaming "Pull the plug! Pull the plug!" Judy cracked up laughing for a moment before pausing and saying, "Wait. How much money do I get?" I guess she won't need Belinda as back-up after all.
If you've ever watched a Bruce Lee movie, you're probably obsessed with them anyway. So, let me give you some tips.
1. Check the laws in your area. Nunchuks are illegal in some states. In others, they're legal for training purposes but must be carried openly when you're transporting them from your house to your car. Carrying them in a bag constitutes carrying a concealed weapon. (I ignored my own advice once when moving from one state to another and lost my precious rosewood set to the Po-Po. Strangely, I was allowed to keep the small but very real dagger attached to my keychain, a gift from an ex that I kept because it was cute.)
2. When you're learning to use them, always buy a padded training pair. You will hit yourself many, many times. A padded pair will hurt like hell. An unpadded pair could land you in the hospital.
3. There is a difference between classic nunchuks and freestyle just as there is a difference between the real martial arts and freestyle arts. Learn the differences and decide accordingly. Please note that many traditional martial artists will not be impressed and do, in fact, feel that "freestyle" demeans the arts. (Generally, if someone tells you they obtained a black belt prior to their mid to late teens, they did not study classical martial arts.) The traditional arts aren't nearly as flashy/acrobatic as what you see in many U.S. competitions and demonstrations. They are, however, deadlier.
4. Pick your instructor carefully and make sure that person is certified to instruct in the style you want to learn. For most purposes, learning by video isn't the greatest idea. You should have someone who can be there to adjust your grip, stance, etc. You may also want someone there the first time you nearly knock yourself unconscious.
5. Many have mastered the art before you. In many cases, they are way better than you will ever be. So, don't think this makes you the ultimate badass.
6. Handle your weapon with humility or it will handle you.
Rob's pics of my nunchuks brought back a memory of something he said while he was visiting, specifically that once you reach a certain level of fighting skill, no one challenges you. Oh, but if only this were true.
Back in my younger days, I lived in a really bad neighborhood where the choice was often between defending yourself or getting beaten (to hospitalization or death in some cases). To fight or not to fight was NOT the question. I became notorious early on for being able to take on any guy who dared start sh*t with me or my runt little brother or any guy I saw beating up a woman. I never started the fight, but I always finished it.
At some point, you'd think I'd be the person no one wanted to fight. Not so. I was the person every other little moron wanted to fight because beating me would mean gaining a HUGE reputation. Of course, they weren't completely stupid. Often, they came armed with baseball bats, two-by-fours, knives, etc. (If you know me personally, you've probably heard the story of how I ended up with two guns in my face at once.) Fortunately for me, I still won. The weapons just made sure I knew to end the fight quickly instead of playing around or giving the guy a chance not to look like a complete ass.
After I left that neighborhood and became a pacifist, you'd think that would've stopped. Nope. There were still men and a few women who thought challenging me to a friendly "fake" fight would be a good idea. Knowing my skill set, they still thought they could beat me and look good in front of other people. It's always in front of other people, which means they always end up humiliated, start getting mad and try to turn a fake fight into a real one.
Or occasionally, they try picking up my nunchuks to "prove" that anyone who's ever watched a Bruce Lee movie can use them. (To be fair, some people genuinely want to try to use the nunchuks out of curiosity and admit that they won't do it very well. Fortunately, I now have a padded training pair instead of my old heavy wooden set.) You can imagine that trying to swing around a deadly weapon you've never used before probably isn't a good idea. It's not. One friend went into an Army/Navy surplus store to get something, saw the nunchuks and decided to try them. After all, I do it and it looks easy, so why not? Injury and embarassment ensued. The guys at the store had to explain that anyone who can make nunchuks look easy has been using them for YEARS!
Anyway, the point is that most people really need a life. And no, I will no longer "fake" fight with you so that you can show off to your friends, girlfriend, complete strangers, etc. And it's not because I'm scared of the three-hour self defense course you took at the Y. Oh! And keep your dang hands off my weapons unless you know how to use them or are prepared to NOT be able to use them correctly! I am not responsible for you injuring your stupid self.
The Kahunah is detailing his summer road trip. (Please do go read, but let me point out that that's a bad picture of me. Pale people are not photogenic. Really.) Anyway, reading it has provoked some fond memories for me of growing up in New Orleans and all the funny things that happen to you when you move away or just visit the "real world."
So, you know you're from N'Awlins if...
*You're a grown adult, but you still go nuts every time you see a rock. And you nearly fall to your knees in awe at the sight of rock formations.
*You get altitude sickness on hills and can't quite figure out how to breathe that high up.
*When strange cold, white stuff starts falling from the sky, you quickly scan the horizon for a mushroom cloud. OR You think 3 inches of snow is a blizzard and start worrying about whether you have enough supplies to last a few weeks.
*You're standing in the desert in 114 degree heat and tell people around you that if they think this is hot, they have serious issues. OR You start thinking people in your new city are all a bunch of pansies because they whine about 80% humidity when every one knows it's not worth complaining about until it hits 95%.
*You go out partying and you're morally offended when you find out that you're not allowed to bring your drink with you when you leave a bar. (Public drunkenness shouldn't be a crime! It's our culture, damn it!)
*You try to buy hard liquor from random drug stores, grocery stores and gas stations and are stunned to find out that you can't.
*You're absolutely confused by the fact that your new city has no sex shops, strip clubs or bars that aren't also restaurants. You thought every place had some version of Bourbon Street, even if it was a rundown block or two in some seedy neighborhood. (A friend once asked me what the heck a person's supposed to do if they live where I do and have a "sex toy emergency." What, I may ask, is a sex toy emergency? I'm still trying to figure that out.)
*It takes you months of riding the train to get over your amazement at being able to go UNDER the ground. (Okay, I never quite got over that. It's so fricking cool!)
*You kick yourself for not putting enough spice in the food you made for your new friends and wonder why they've all got tears rolling down their faces.
*You see someone steaming crabs and you gawk at them like they just revealed that they're really from the planet Zirkon and eat human babies for breakfast. (This really happened. This woman "explained" to me that you can't boil seafood and I started checking for extra arms.)
*You have to stop yourself from going off on the wait staff because you see "Cajun" food on the menu and you know damned well that that crap is not fucking Cajun. Get it? Stop calling that flavorless red goop Cajun and no, you can't just "blacken" random shit and think you're fucking Paul Prudhomme. Assholes! And where the fuck is the hot sauce anyway? No, this bland crap is not hot sauce! It's colored water!
Okay, I think that's it for now. Anyone else got some, put it in the comments.
I have now survived 5 years with PVA. That's the long term survival milestone and a really big deal for someone with my presentation of the disease. I'm trying not to be too arrogant, but...
Hey, Death! You my bitch now!
UPDATE: Arrogance can get you kicked in the ass. I'm going into an active cycle. Major suckage. On that topic, here's one more thing not to read when your PVA is acting up and you have arrythmia problems.
By now you know that this is what it's like to be gay. But there is so much more. They never got around to coming out. I've talked about that earlier. What I didn't talk about was the long term aftermath.
I'm openly gay. I have been since I was 17. It still sucks even now. After the initial horrors I described in my earlier post, I enclosed myself in the gay community. I avoided straight people as much as possible. I went to gay bars and parties. I had all gay friends.
I could be myself without questioning anything when they were around. I could say "She's hot." without worrying about someone being uncomfortable about that. I could say "my ex-girlfriend" without wondering whether I should shorten it to my "ex" so that I wasn't "pushing my sexual orientation into someone's face." I could watch gay movies with my friends and everyone got it. No one asked me stupid questions about what it was like to be a lesbian or what we do in bed or if maybe I thought I just hadn't met the right man yet.
I also learned when not to be myself. I learned to go on a date without it looking like a date. I learned to walk down the street with my hands behind my back so I didn't reach for her hand the way I really wanted to. I learned to exit the gay bar then cross the street in such a way that I could look like I hadn't just come from the gay bar. I learned to play pronoun games with people I didn't know or just straight up lie about my "boyfriend" waiting for me back home.
Fortunately, I got to be myself a lot more often than not. I have to admit, though, that the "not" moments hurt like hell.
Then I went to college and I was alien again. I was (insert scary music here) THE TOKEN LESBIAN. Surrounded by straight people, I was paranoid and defensive. Certain people took to counting how often I said lesbian, no matter that it was completely relevant to our constant discussions about sex and relationships. (What else do you talk about at that age?) I'll admit I talked about it a lot.
How could I not?
Have you ever been the token? The only X in a room full of Y. The only black person in a room full of white people. The only Jew in a room full of Christians. The only woman in a room full of men. The constant self-awareness and the constant paranoia about Y people's capacity for hiding anti-X sentiment behind a smile is nerve-wracking. It doesn't help that Y people have a habit of introducing you as their X friend or discussing you as the X.
"Hi, John. Have you met Melinda? She's a lesbian."
"Melinda? Which one's that again?" "You know. The lesbian."
You're not the semi-tall girl with black hair and blue eyes. You're not the woman they met at Joe's party who kept cracking jokes. Or the one who kicked ass at the drunken volleyball game. Or the one in their English class who sits in the front row. Or the one they chatted with about Vulcan philosophy v. Stoicism for a half hour. You're the lesbian. That's it. That's who and what you are. The lesbian.
And they'll never get why YOU talk about it so much. Maybe they'll even do an intervention to tell you that you're being too lesbian-y for some people's taste. Then, they'll go right back to introducing you as the lesbian. And every time they see you, they'll feel like they have to mention something lesbian just because they're cool with lesbians. And screaming, "Hey, you're the cunnilingus expert! Tell me something..." in a crowded room. Or warning people ahead of time that they're going to meet a GASP! lesbian at the party, so hopefully, that's okay. They shouldn't freak out too much. You don't bite. And you're pretty cool...for a lesbian. Then, they'll time you to see how often you say the word lesbian and report to you how long it's been since you last said the word, even if you've only said it twice in the whole conversation because someone asked you about something lesbian-related.
These people will get over it eventually. But it'll start all over again with the next group of straight people. And the next. And the next. And the next.
What was that threat to deport us all to an island in the Caribbean? I'm game!