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Bell Tower that is. Probably not in the style of Charles Whitman, or that German soldier, ass-hat from Inglorious Basterds, but one where I rain down a storm of insults and expletives because I’m just so damned pissed off of late.

Where do I start? With the GOP’s attempt to redefine rape? With the South Dakota’s attempt to legalize murder? I can also throw in the Federal govt’s attempt to pull funding away from Planned Parenthood – again. Or do I go with the publicizing of Lara Logan’s sexual assault as a pre-emptive measure because some other a-hole of some other news agency thought it made for a great story? Or how about this despicable misogynist, Nir Rosen, who thought Logan’s experience was a humorous affair?

We’re just past Valentine’s Day and I’m not feeling the love from the men. I feel like it is open season on women and women’s’ rights, and that we’re half a step away from legalizing honor killings in this country.

Seriously dudes?? WHAT THE FUCK? I woke up today feeling like it’s not 2011 but 1918.

So here’s my 2-cents and then I’m done.

  • I am sick of the idiot men who comment about the “tragedy” of Logan’s experience and how all Muslims are evil when in this country, the United damn States of America, 1 in 6 women can expect to be raped and only 6% percent of rapist will ever serve prison time.  However, Logan wasn’t raped but sexually assaulted, not that many people, men or women, learn the difference. But here’s the fact of the matter: Logan’s assault wasn’t about religion, it was about the same damn thing assaulting a woman is always about: a man feeling free to dominate a woman simply because he fucking could.
  • We are a country of majority rule.  The majority of Americans support a woman’s right to choose. And while we’re at it, Pro-Choice does not mean Pro-Abortion. And Planned Parenthood is exactly that: an organization dedicated to the education of women and men on family planning while providing access to contraceptives. No one in this country does more to prevent unwanted pregnancies than Planned Parenthood. No other entity in this country provides low-cost, basic medical services to women than Planned Parenthood. So anyone who wants to yank their funding while damning abortion is a complete moron.
  • Abortion being “murder” is a matter of opinion, whereas killing someone who performs what is a legal activity in this country is, in fact, murder.
  • Nir Rosen, while removing the offender tweet, quitting his job, and apologizing profusely, still doesn’t get what is most disturbing about what he did. His response: “i apologize and take it back. joking with friends got out of line when i didnt want to back down. forgot twitter is not exactly private“. Whether or not it was a private conversation, whether or not you were “just making a joke”, rape and sexual assault are not hilarious frivolities, they are extreme acts of violence. And what is most horrifying about you, Nir Rosen, was that you heard a woman was raped and your very first instinct was to make a joke. I hope this event kills your career.

I’m trying to remain positive despite all this news right now. I’m trying to be thankful that I live in this country when it sucks to be a woman in about 75%  of the other places I could be living. But that being said, it isn’t always a party here either.

Men, you are all officially on my fecal roster until such time that matters improve. In the meantime, get a clue.

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I think I just caused a massive blow-up, if not a catastrophic one, between two friends who live together. A poorly timed Facebook message on my part may very well end a relationship between these two people. And while there’s plenty of other factors to at play here, it still feels like proverbial foot-in-mouth disease only in this case, it’s my fingers, a cell phone, social media, and the Internet I would have to swallow to make the metaphor work.

So, the context in which this little drama is unfolding is as follows: the couple moved into together after less than a year of dating; the girlfriend is 30 and ready for marriage, kids, what-not; the guyfriend is 21 and just beginning his new career which will likely take him over seas; girlfriend doesn’t want to move overseas; guyfriend doesn’t want marriage, kids, what-not right now and is being less than definitive in his answers to girlfriend.

These are the basics. Add to it a close cadre of friends who stay in touch and no secret remains quiet for long.

Guyfriend has been intimating that the relationship is on the rocks to a few within the cadre of friends. Girlfriend has been curiously quiet on the topic. Cadre of friends is in contact with Girlfriend via any variety of communication portals. Guyfriend has been semi-flirting on Skype with a tangential friend of the cadre. Cadre has been chastising Guyfriend over this fact, TO WHICH, Guyfriend says that Girlfriend has decided to move out.

Naturally the news ran like wild fire. In fact, it has been all morning. Me, being busy with school and all, has not been privy to this news. I receive a text to this effect, I am updated, and I send a text to Guyfriend. He doesn’t respond, so I send a Facebook message to Girlfriend.

Girlfriend responds via email in the manner of Gee-this-is-news-to-me-guess-I’m-breaking-up.

Crap! Crappity-crap-crap-crap and holy-hell-putting-out-fire-with-gasoline-crap!

So this begs the question: where is the culpability and with whom does it lie? Should I have confirmed this with Guyfriend directly? Did cadre possibly misinterpret what he said? Was this only his news to tell and disseminate at his leisure? I mean, our friends are not the kind to spread vicious gossip, so if they say Girlfriend is moving out, it is only because Guyfriend said so. And why the hell is Guyfriend saying this anyway?

We can only surmise Guyfriend was saying this to justify his less-than-honorable antics with this other girl he has been in contact with. That, or he is voicing his true feelings about his relationship and just hasn’t yet shared them with Girlfriend.

But what the eff?! He had to know we would reach out to Girlfriend!

And of course no one can get in touch with either of them. Not by phone, text, email, Facebook, Skype, Twitter, telegraph, semaphore, or smoke signals…

Technology, it’s supposed to make like easier. Only it’s easier to feel like you still live in high school and even more easy to eff up.

Effing hell…

Sailor Man arrives in town in exactly three hours and while I am thrilled he is coming home, this harkens the cessation of secret single behavior for the time being.

No more moody Easter European piano music at all hours on the stereo. Trashy books will be hidden on the shelf. Seriously, there’s just no explaining to him how I got sucked into this “Twilight” book saga. Dinner time will mean actual dinner again instead of my nightly fare of peanut butter and crackers with a glass of wine. And watching TV and movies online will be limited to just Sunday mornings.

About the only thing I don’t change that irritates Sailor is my tendency to read three books at the same time. Drives him mad, I know, but there’s simply no other way for me. The one thing I don’t compromise on.

And I’m not complaining and this isn’t a “forbidden” type thing, it’s just part of the general compromises one makes when one becomes a “pair”.

Likewise, Sailor has made the same sacrifices. No singing in the house. I love him, but the boy sings off key. No computer games until all hours of the night. No leaving clothes all over the damn place. And a slew of certain boat behavior I’m sure he shelves for the sake of this marriage.

But like the change of the seasons, Sailor will be back on boat at some point, and all those hidden quirks will come raging to the forefront. 

I prefer now to simply think of them as hibernating for the winter.

I’m not a girly-girl. Never have been. I love flowers, but I detest roses, especially red ones. I hate greeting cards and would rather you just send me a funny email instead. Jewelry? I adore jewelry, but I’m so particular, Sailor Man doesn’t dare try to surprise me. And while dark chocolate remains to be the best damn thing ever, why relegate its delivery to just one day a year? You want to curl my toes? I mean really curl my toes? Give me a pair of wool socks. Seriously. Not the knitted, scratchy kind, but expedition weight, wool, hiking socks from a sports store. Greatest thing next to chocolate I tell ya.

That and a smutty poem.

A fabulous tradition began back in Detroit back in the late 1980’s where people gathered together on Valentine’s Day and held an Erotic Poetry Festival. No love poems to be found here. All naughty, all smut, all the time. It was magnificent. Sitting in a dark bar, drink in hand, listening to someone with a smoky voice recite an erotic piece of poetry…wow….a good poem is a dangerous weapon in the mouth of someone who truly knows how to deliver it.

I borrowed the tradition when I was living in a small southern town below the Mason-Dixon Line running an old theatre. It was an open mic and I was truly thrilled at the number of persons who came out of the woodwork. Talk about community bonding. I hear the festival still lives on.

So in honor of the tradition, keeping it alive and spreading the good (and smutty) word, here’s one of my erotic favorites from that delightfully seductive old codger, ee cummings:

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite a new thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh . . . . And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you quite so new

Happy Valentines Day.

Read a dirty poem to the one you love.

And give them a pair of really good wool socks…it’s cold out, eh?

I knew it was over when the sex started to get good again. It’s amazing how good indifferent sex can be. After almost four years together, we didn’t combust as much as we silently resigned ourselves to fate. A year of constant fighting fizzled into a slow decline of indifference, and then into me kicking him out of the country. That didn’t make the break up any less painful or bitter though.

I am, of course, talking about the most dreaded of all species to crawl this planet: The Abominable Ex.

I came across him yesterday in a picture my friend sent me of a party she had recently. As I pored over the picture, amazed at the changes in friends since I had seen them last, there was a face peering back at me that I didn’t immediately recognize. It’s shocking to think that a man I had lived with for 4 years, that I had such an intimate relationship with at one time, peered back at me in this picture like so much a stranger. I found nothing in his face that was even remotely familiar to me anymore. Probably because he’d gotten fat.

Can I just say that there are few things better in the world than seeing the man who broke your heart and who tried to crush your soul grow fat? Right up there with the cheerleaders who snubbed you in high school packing an extra 20 or 30. It. Rocks.

I made all my mistakes in that relationship. I came away from it battered and raw, but for the better. I learned how not to treat a person you say you love. I learned that being a rat-bastard will garner you a rat-bastard’s end (and hopefully with poison). I learned what I wanted from a man. I certainly learned what I wouldn’t take from a man ever again. I learned that one person giving 200% doesn’t make up for the other person giving nothing. Most importantly, I learned when to throw in the towel. When to quit. That sometimes you can’t go down fighting.

It was a tough lesson to learn and I felt like a failure. I wasn’t used to giving my all, doing my best and still losing.

But the upside is that I had a mad season of dating. Wow, that was fun. I became the hunter again. All about the hunt. Love the hunt. Love the chase. Love the game. Of course, said game was also all about catch and release. I was not stockpiling for the winter. I was the happy grasshopper.

Eventually, I took myself off the market and focused on myself. This is when Sailor Man made the picture and I was shocked to learn that I had the dog-good-sense to not run away from a man so open to love, who really wanted a relationship with me, who treated me well, and was handsome as all get-out, which in the end was just icing on the proverbial cake.

I made the huge mistake of admitting to him at one time that had The Ex not been such a jackass, I would have never given a nice guy like Sailor Man the time of day. Sailor Man, upon aquiring this knowledge, has forbidden me from ever speaking ill of The Ex again. In his twisted little mind, Sailor Man feels he sincerely owes The Ex a debt gratitude.

Those two men couldn’t be more different if they were apples and radiators.

Sailor Man has this really annoying habit of chastising me in the car when I don’t lay on the horn when someone in another car does something stupid like cut us off. His philosophy is that people need to be told when they are doing something wrong. This does not carry over into his personal life though.

As when Sailor Man left his job this week. Finally. After almost two years of working for the Ego-Maniacal-Bastard, and his boss, I-Who-Could-Give-A-Damn, he finally decided it best that he leave his job before I have the opportunity to catch one of those morons walking across the street while I’m behind the wheel.

To his credit, he was nice about it. He acknowledged, somewhat, the real purpose behind his decision to leave, but he also cited other reasons which really were only icing on the proverbial cake. He managed to shake hands, part on good terms, and not burn any bridges.

And I’ve been mad at him for it. Truly. I wanted comeuppance, revenge, flesh on a plate, and he just walked away. We picked up and moved half way across the country from a place we really loved on the premise that his place of business was a sane, rational, good place to work. That it has turned out to be the absolute opposite, makes me bitter. Bitter to the core.

And yet he kept the relationship intact. I know, I know, it was the right thing to do, but I can’t ignore that part of me that says if I had my drothers, I would not only have burned the bridge, I would also have nuked the ever-living-hell out of the other side. This being the dominant and concious part me speaking here.

I’m often amazed at how much nicer a human being Sailor man is in comparison to myself. He can forgive and forget and he can turn the other cheek, me not so much. Sailor Man calls it my Irish Alzheimers, where I forget everything but the grudge…and this is pretty much dead on.

He is too forgiving to a fault, I’m too unforgiving. It’s good we are together because I think if I had ended up with someone who possessed my temperment total chaos would reign. I have an utterly evil tongue and it is only restrained by a very weak chain. So when I see yet another Erie example of nepotism resulting in the most incompetent people retaining a job while good, honest, hard working people get driven out by the sheer frustration of it all, I want hell unleashed.

Talk about being born to a wrong era. I want to go back to the old days of Viking domination and the Old Gods. Where arguments are settled by the All Thing or at least, a hefty blow of a battle axe, whichever is more convenient. I’d have made one hell of a Valkyrie.

So Sailor Man is off to his next adventure on another boat to another sea. I remain behind to finish school until we decide where to go next. The future is uncertain. That is, of course, unless EMB and IWCGAD happen across my path.

Another friend is getting divorced. I’m not surprised. I saw this one coming for sometime. It’s sad though, they are basically good people, lazy, but good people and the real reason they’re getting divorced is that it’s easier for them to walk away than to try to work on their problems. Problems they haven’t addressed, put on the perpetual back burner, and have now festered to the point of being gangrenous. Problems that weren’t insurmountable.

While I’m disappointed in and for these friends, I’m also pretty pissed off at them too. Sailor Man and I have been together over seven years and most of that time has been spent apart. He’s a sailor, so he goes off and sails. I’m a landlubber, so I stay on land and lub. We’ve missed special occasions together, holidays, anniversaries, illnesses, traumas, and a million small moments. We’ve spent, equally, the same amount of time apart as we have together.

And it’s not easy. The fondness for absence is occasionally quite a big amount of bullshit. Particularly when you move around like we do. Every few years it’s a new town, new job, new friends, no friends… I miss him when he’s gone, but I also make a point to enjoy the time by myself. I make sure I have a life with him but also a life away from from him. It’s how you cope. Before moving to Erie, we lived apart for 14 months, which royally sucked, but we got through it.  We did the work.

And Sailor Man coming home doesn’t automatically fix things either. I get so used to living as a singular person, it’s often pretty frustrating and damn difficult to plug back into that life-of-two-mode upon his return. I’ve established schedules and habits and systems that he doesn’t automatically follow or fit into and sometimes it’s like trying to push an elephant through a dog door. But we we make it work.

Consider Rudy Guiliani. 4 ex-spouses between he and his current  wife. And people want this man to run our country? While I’m not naive enough to believe that a flawed person can’t be a great leader, I’m also not gullible enough to believe that a man who can’t honor a commitment to one person-twice– is going to honor a commitment to 300 million people. He might as well be Liz Taylor at this point because she wouldn’t get my vote either.

I’ve seen people get divorced for a hell of a lot less than what Sailor Man and I have been through and I personally blame it on the wedding industry. All this ridiculous time and expense being placed on this one day in life with absolutely zero thought towards the life afterwards.

My friends were like that. I recognized it then. I stood up in their wedding wearing the ugliest gown I have ever had the misfortune of having to buy for the most expensive, overblown, and ridiculous event I have ever witnessed. They were so into the wedding and so not into talking about joint banking, life insurance, children, in laws, household chores, money and the millions of other things people have to fucking talk about before they get married.

The point I’m trying to make here is that a wedding does not automatically equal or amount to a marriage and it’s about damn time some people started realizing it.