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I had new tires placed on my car yesterday and because I forgot to bring a book, I was stuck in the waiting room reading years-old magazines and listening to the radio. In the hour and a half I spent there, the 1984 charity anthem “Feed the World” played no less than 4 times. I’ve easily heard that song a dozen times a day for the last few weeks.

I think I may have this song on vinyl somewhere, but to hear it played in this new millenium always makes me cringe.

“Do they know its Christmas time at all?…..Feed the world/Let them know its Christmas time”. How very Western-centric that song is. How very Christian-centric. How very dated.

I can excuse the song for the time, but to continue playing this song every year grates the nerve in light of a new found realization that hey! there’s a lot of other religions out there! Granted, the song was targeting famine relief in Ethiopia which is 60% Christian…but it’s also 30% Muslim and 2% Animist…so, no, they don’t know it’s Christmas time and even if they did I’m sure they don’t give a damn…as would the 67% percent of the world that isn’t Christian either.

I’m thinking the Pagans, Wiccans, and Druids of the world need to stage a major Take Back the Night and reclaim the season’s true celebrations of Solstice. Maybe it would give me relief from well-intentioned albeit highly misguided Christmas diddies.

Emma over at Eriepressible tagged me for the Honest Scrap Award, to which I say danke schoen, Darling, danke schoen.

The Award and Rules:

This award is bestowed upon a fellow blogger whose blog content or design is, in the giver’s opinion, brilliant.

Regurgitation of the Rules:

1. When accepting this auspicious award, you must write a post bragging about it, including the name of the misguided soul who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to the said person so everyone knows she/he is real.

2. Choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have seven friends. Show the seven random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog. Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.

3. List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself. Then pass it on!*

So here’s my list:

1. Blonder Than You. I like this blog because it’s gleefully naughty, terrifically dirty, and almost always cheeky. But I LOVE this blog because Suicide Blond is fantastic at throwing emotional curveballs when you least expect it.

2. Ill-Doctrine: Yeah, I know, it’s a video blog, but Jay Smooth rocks my world with his ability to tackle complicated social politics in a way I thought had disappeared when Dave Chapelle left television. And the man does it with great humor, integrity and style…sorry, Dave, the torch has been passed.

3. Indexed. Anyone who reads this blog regularly enough knows I loves me my geekery. The broad who writes this blog is a genius at combining elements of social studies, basic logic, and pure snarkery

4. Saudi Eve. A Saudi Arabian female trying to tackle work and and a personal life in a society I simply wouldn’t ever want to live in. I first came across her during the Israel bombing of Lebanon in 2006. Her entry for that time crushed me and I know I haven’t looked at that region in the same way since.

5. If you Want Kin… Who would have ever thought that white girl from Detroit would have so much in common with a teacher from Brooklyn of Jamaican descent? But time and time again, I find my thoughts, favorite poets, writers, movies, and other life passions reflected in her writing. I don’t know this woman, but I feel a stronger kinship with her than I do with most my blood relatives.

6. Fox and Maus. My buddy ole pal from my little island off the coast of Maine. I like Turkish Prawn’s New England sensibility, plus he gives me news from home.

7. Computer Nerd Composer. What can I say? Hildi is my favorite Viking from one of my favorite countries.

And my 10 Honest Confessions:

1. Walk by my house on a summer evening and you can usually hear me rocking out, top of my lungs while doing whatever it is I am doing inside. Sometimes it’s Opera, sometimes it’s Irish ballads, lately, it has been  a lot of Elton John, circa 1970’s.

2. While I appreciate Aretha Franklin, I really don’t think she is the greatest female rock singer. And to be really honest, I think she kind of sucks. I can easily list dozens of other women with better voices.

3. The older I get the more I want to go back in time and be even more reckless than I was already.

4. I’m honest to the point of being mean. I’m trying to work on that.

5. When Sailor is gone, I can go months without shaving my legs…in the winter anyway…

6. Despite the tattoos, dirty jokes, and perceived social aggressiveness, I’m actually a little conservative and can be quite shy.

7. Although I love my family, with the exception of my sister, I don’t like them very much as people.

8. I won the freakin’ lottery in the In-Law departent. My mother and father in-law rock.

9. My husband is so nice, so thoughtful and so good to other people that I feel unworthy sometimes.

10. My dog is my longest and most successful relationship.

My friend “L” is in town this weekend. And while we haven’t seen each other in 4 years, we can both easily agree this is probably a good thing. See, whenever hanging with L, I have to be very careful with what I say because whenever I utter something remotely predictive around L, it tends to come true.

People’s Exhibit #1:

Me: Hey, what do you want to bet the guy with least amount teeth in this bar tries to by us a shot?

People’s Exhibit #2:

Me: Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if a cop pulled us over while we have the blow-up doll in the car?

People Exhibit #2b (5 minutes later):

Me. Don’t worry, no cop is gonna give you a ticket when you have a blow-up doll in the car.

People’s Exhibit #3:

Me: Hey, what a beautiful day! All we need is for me to get stung by a bee so I can miss it by spending the day in the emergency room.

You get the picture…

So, L is visiting and the magic seems to be off. And I’m not sure what has happened. Of course it’s easy to predict that a bad band will play Rum Runners and that the ear piercing decibels of sound at Molly Brannigans will drive you from the bar, because these things always happened. And betting that 4 Key Lime Martini’s at Scotty’s will be the near death of you is pretty much a no-brainer. Estimative words of probability need not apply.

So what has happened? Where the spontaneity? Where’s the mystery? Is Erie just that predictable? Or have my nights out become predictable?

See, L used to be my wing-man back living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland when while drinking at bars, I would break out an Arkansas accent and become “Candy: The Stripper Who Couldn’t Dance”. She never questioned me, she just went with it and would become “Addfwyn: The Overly Talkative Welsh Woman No One Could Understand Except Her Friend Candy”.

Nights like those tend to lead to a certain amount of unpredictability which made my proclamations all that more remarkable. This weekend, however, not a one. My tuning must be off.

But I have one day. Maybe I can pull a rabbit out of my hat. I hope so. I need an adventure.

1. I’m really getting too old for this nonsense.

2. If I’m going to fork over the dough for an 18 year old whiskey, the bartenders really ought learn how to pour a proper glass. Especially if said establishment purports to be an “Irish Pub” (Yes, I’m talking about you, Molly Branigans).

3. Given #2, said bartenders ought also learn that when a drink is requested “neat”, I’m not referring to the cleanliness of the glassware.

4. Drinking whiskey for six hours straight is probably not the best thing I can do for myself.

5. 22 year old college boys are absolutely hilarious.

6. Referring back to #5, they’re also like hyper, slobbering puppies begging to be trained.

7. Given #5 and #6, thank Dog I’m married.

8. Question: Is everyone in this freakin’ town a sailor?

9. Erie is waaaaaaay too small.

10. I’ll allow I may not have been in the best state of mind to judge this properly, but Dominick’s at 3am in the morning has about the best food on the planet.

11. Given the level of my hang-over this morning, my liver must be on strike.

12. 364 days might just be enough time to recover to do this again next year.

13. Pub crawls are for amateurs…where is the Pro Tour for this? What would that look like?

I can’t help myself, this is just too hilarious and fact, after all, is stranger (and funnier) than fiction…

Seriously, you would have thought someone would have the sense to take the battery out if this thing .

“Hey there, big boy, is that a vibrator in that box or are you just trying to kill me?”

We got into Detroit last night and my niece was having a slumber party to celebrate her 9th birthday. I like this niece. She’s sassy, smart, athletic and an absolute devil child. She and I share Solstice birthdays so we have an affinity.

Naturally, Sailor man and I jumped into the fray and raised the ruckus level to an appropriate decibel to which I am sure my brother and sister in law dully appreciated.

However, I was eventually taken prisoner by this gaggle of girls and sequestered in the uppermost reaches of the castle tower for intense interrogation. Waterboarding may or may not have been threatened, the details remain fuzzy. I held strong although they threatened every weapon in their arsenal including the constant singing of Hannah Montana songs and wriggling of the loathed and wretched Bratz dolls. But I must admit, I faltered once they found the chink in my naturally dense armor:

“Why do girls have periods?”

“Why does my sister’s boy friends shove their tongues in her mouth when they kiss?”

“What do you do when a boy is always punching you at school?”

Agggghhh! Whhhaaahhh? Help!!!!! Door. So. Far. Must. Signal. Help. Questions. Very. Troublesome. Losing. Consciousness……

But I didn’t want to be that person. Feminism means telling the truth about what it is to be female no matter how uncomfortable the telling may be. So as abso-freakin-lutely mortified as I was at that moment, I was an adult with their attention and they were asking for answers so I dove in.

“Women have periods because life is horribly unfair, but men are afraid of periods, so you must learn to use that to your advantage in the future. It also has something to do with procreation and for that I insist you ask your mother.”

“Boys sometimes put their tongues in girls mouth because it can feel good, that or they are trying to help her get something out from between her teeth.”

“For the boy who always punches you, make sure you work in two: bigger girl in front, smaller girl in back. Smaller girl crouch low behind the boy, bigger girl pushes hard. Boy falls down. Problem solved. (paused for a five minute practice with all the girls in the room followed by a lecture about how it is never okay for boys to hit girls and that the important strike zones on the male body are the nose, throat, and when all else fails a swift kick to the side of the knee because I don’t care how big you are-you’re going down). ”

At this point, I managed to confuzzle my captors long enough to escape the confines of the Dark Tower and seek refuge in the living room where Sailor Man, who obviously exhausted after having spent long hours seeking to negotiate my release, was asleep on the couch with the dog.  

We made peace eventually, over ice cream cake and soda, and huddled up with the Gaggle of Girls to swear the eternal Secret Oath of Las Vegas Silence (way stonger than the Mafia Omerta, trust me), and then Sailor Man and I journeyed back to the neighborhood of my youth where we imbibed much alcohol to recover from our injuries.

A fair start to a what will obviously be a loooooong weekend.

As I am normally surrounded by meatheads in the weight room at the Y, I am never without my Nano stocked full of my favorite music to drown out the profanities, inanities, and other verbal assaults on the English language.

I was getting into a rut though, I found I was clicking past more songs than I was listening to and was rather bored with everything I was listening to. There was a few months were I rediscovered African Choral music and there was also an interesting experiment regarding Pucini during leg squats, but overall just bored, bored, bored, bored, bored….

I was just coming down off a long stretch of Tejano music I had been working out with and what I love about this music is the varied layers of influences you hear, particularly polka. But there were a few songs were what I was listening to was so familiar yet I couldn’t put my finger on it and the delicate layering of sound was preventing me from bringing the identity to the forefront. So I emailed a friend of mine who teaches music theory at a university back home and had him pick it apart for me. Of course, it took him all of five second to pinpoint the sound.

Klezmer.

Klezmer is a style of music from the Ashkenazi Jewish tradition and I will tell you this: it rocks. For those of you who watch South Park, they play it occasionally as Kyle’s family’s theme music

So I start frantically researching and downloading Klezmer music and the speed of light. I love discovering (or in this case rediscovering) new music. It’s like falling in love, or lust, whatever, you just can’t get enough of it and it makes the world all nice and rosy.

I even remembered a great little band back from the island I lived on in Maine: The Casco Bay Tummlers.  I’ve been listening to quite a bit of their music while lifting this past week and it is perfect.

I know, I know, but before you start calling me all meshuggenah, you have to hear me out first. The big problem with listening to music while you lift or run is that you get caught up in lyrics and lose your count or you fall rhythmically in line and end up going too fast or too slow. Klezmer has no singing (or at least anything recognizable), hence, you don’t lose your place, and the rhythm is so varied you can easily pick a pace and stick with it. The music is snazzy, the beat is phenomenal, it is completely joyous and often unhinged. The musicians play with such reckless abandon I can’t help but just be happy while listening to it.   

But at the end of the day, I’m a fickle lover. This phase too shall pass and I’ll be off again, looking for the next new sound to ring my bell. In the meantime, on what I believe is the first day of Chanukah (someone please correct me if I am wrong), I will be doing back and shoulders at the gym, trying out a new group Klezmer musicians from South Africa of all places.

Gezunt! 

1. 14 hours in a pair of heels is too damn long.

2. People planning all day weddings ought keep #1 in mind.

3. Copious amounts of whiskey makes #1 and #2 mighty bearable.

4. An observation really: isn’t it interesting that people go to such great lengths for “their special day” only to make it exactly like everyone else’s “special day”?

5. Going to seedy bars after weddings is fun.

6. When going to seedy bars: go en masse, and go to the first available.

7. Boozy broads in Anthropologie dresses in seedy bars tend to get away with a lot.

8. Playing pool in heels while inebriated is not a good idea.

9. Given #8, cheating at pool is always encouraged.

10. #9 is especially good when you find yourself playing a pool shark.

hangover.jpg 

We’ve all heard the joke about the difference between a good friend and a great friend, right? A good friend buys you a present and throws a party for you on your birthday. A great friend, however, is sitting in the jail cell next to yours saying “Now that  was a good time”.

You know, that  friend. That friend that seemingly lives without filter. That friend for whom the rule of law is a mere suggestion of right and proper living and makes up their own rules as they go. Like the rule where you have to hit 12 bars by midnight or do 12 shots. Or the ideology that holds occasional alcohol poisoning as more of a master cleansing diet than a serious health threat. That friend you don’t see terribly often but when you do, it’s with simultaneously great excitement and great fear. Fear of “Oh, s***, what the hell is going to happen this time?”.

For me, unfortunately, that friend comes in two. Those friends I affectionately refer to as The Sadist Twins: Most Evil and Evil-er Still. Actually, they are my cousins who live in London and I don’t know that it’s fair to call them inherently evil as I am sure that there’s something about the mixture of these two and their cousin, me, that just somehow makes them more volatile, like a Molotov cocktail thrown at a gas pump.  A human chemistry experiment run amok. Combustible elements that shouldn’t be in the universe together, let alone in the same bar. But I know I’ll always have a good time with them. And I have no doubt whatsoever that that one night we went drinking in London only to wake up in Belgium, if I could remember any of it, would go down as one of the best nights of my life.

You gotta love those friends. They break you out of the box you’ve built for yourself and shake things up in the most uncomfortable and delicious ways. They hold your hair while you puke and then use it as handle to pull you to the next bar. Like my cousins are to me, I know I am that way to others. Some people, for whatever reason, make you want to throw caution to the wind, dance on the bar, and pee in an alley as if that’s what all sensible and civilized persons do.  

Sailor Man’s friends come in a threesome. Three brothers who make up The Hellish Trinity of the Damned. There’s Apocalypto, Hell-Fire, and Devil-Incarnate. Around these guys, there’s never enough booze, fun, or time. A night with them is a guaranteed hangover the next day. And there’s no fighting it so you might as well pull out that extra $200 for bail money now before you forget.

And one of them is getting married this weekend.

I’m not as energetic as I was in my youth. I can maybe manage one these kinds of nights about every six months. If I go to a Rave now, I’m usually checking to see that my tetanus shots are up to date before I go crawling out a window when the cops arrive to break up the party. And I certainly don’t imbibe questionable liquids like I used to. I’m getting old. I admit it. But I certainly had my fun, that’s for damn sure.

Maybe I can find it in me to rally, but I doubt that a whole weekend of this type of unhinged chaos is the best thing for me before finals next week.

Dog help me.

I am a simple girl with simple needs. One of those needs is that every once in awhile, I require a good stretch of music in the car. Today was one of those days. Light rain, no traffic, gorgeous fall colors, and LaBelle singing “Lady Marmalade” on the radio….geetchie, geetchie, ya-ya, da-DA!

That song was then followed by The Beatles “I am the Walrus”, fittingly enough as I often claim that I am,  coo-coo-catchoo. Then came Bob Seger “Shame on the Moon” topped off with AC/DC “Highway to Hell”.

Just to let you know, I am one of those people who rocks out in their vehicle unabashedly. Catch me at a red light and I will be singing to you at the top of my lungs through the window. I know no shame and you can’t make me feel any. 

Especially when I’m shocking the monkey with Peter Gabriel.