Another Busy Day at the Car Dealership

I did the Cryptoquote at work today. I often play the word games in the Harrisburg Patriot and the York Daily Record.

The quote was, “I hate the Pollyanna pest who says all is for the best.” Franklin P. Adams.

The quotation is divine because it adequately reflects my rare mood of misanthropy and laziness coupled with fatigue and genuine malaise. It is also divine because it rhymes a bit. It’s quippy and clever, like Constance Crawford’s poetry. Constance is a member of Pennsylvania Poets and a retired English teacher. Her poems are wry and feminist and they remind me of Ogden Nash.

Sadly, I can’t find anything online that could link you to info about Constance Crawford or the Pennsylvania Poets–at least not the particular PA Poets with which I am allied.

The most annoying thing about Blogging is

That I formulate these marvey ideas when I’m away from this face-color-sucking screen.

The places I often come up with these brilliantly conceived mind candies are:

1. On Test Drives
2. When my hands are immersed in soapy water
3. While Driving

Why don’t I get a voice-activated dictaphone implanted in my shoulder? Good question. My answer: I am not Bill Gates.

And Speaking of Bill Gates–I am most-aggravated that none of my particularly acerbic political rants have wound up here. They always seem to get wasted on my dad. Not that my dad’s a waste. It’s just, well, my dad is not the whole world wide web. He’s just this one guy who always tells me “[I’m] tough” when I start to follow the logic of my politics of choice (libertarianism) to its nether regions. Being a libertarian is distressing and frustrating in today’s political schema because it’d be like what happened if we got Hillary all dressed up in R. Limbaugh’s suit and made him wear her panties.

I had this lovely little sauna-of-mind the other day about Marcy Playground. You remember them, right? That weirdo band from the early 90s that had their little pagan/wiccan/fantasy-readers’/trendily-retro songs. I mean, that’s some complicated music! It’s a little self-indulgent and overdone in spots. I think it came up at the wrong time. I mean, Radiohead hadn’t reached its peak of pop-saturation yet, and I bet MP got accused of riding band wagons (man-oh! I’m a pun-ishing machine).

So I was sort of involved in one of those cult-like events of football fandom recently. As you probably know, Cathy Day is publishing this book Comeback Season, and not that I’ve been actively setting out to get into football or something, but I guess the notion that it might be kind of cool to be a girl who likes football seems a bit less offensive to me in my old age. I mean, I am softening. My ideals are getting all squiggley around the edges. Anyway. So I went to this restaurant with some of my colleagues who were watching the big Green Bay and Seattle game on Saturday night. And I wore green. On purpose. Because they were rooting for Greenbay. ?! I know. Who’s eaten my sense of self respect and irony? Is this what happens to a gal who finds herself in a part of the country that baffles her? Am I so bored? Am I so desperate for peers?

Anyway, Cathy’s MySpace made me remember the only good joke I’ve ever heard this blockhead I work with tell:

Q: Whats the difference between a BMW and a Porcupine?

A: With a Porcupine, the Prick’s on the outside.

So I’m going to be updating my little linkeys over yonder. ——->

If you want me to link to you, I will. Please return the favor. If you’ve already linked to me, please e-mail me your proper URL.

Columns 2

on birthing

My friend the nurse recently became a mother. Becoming a mother is a beautiful, scary thing. I became a mother two and a half years ago. When I was pregnant, I read everything I could about the medical practices and procedures surrounding childbirth. I was terrified and knowledge is power.

I asked my friend where she planned to give birth. I’d toyed with the ideas of a home birth or a birthing center and relished the thought of a lively discussion of alternative birthing practices and the risk of commonplace medical interventions like epidural and episoitimy. She said, matter-of-factly that she would give birth “in a hospital with an epidural.” She stopped me cold. I do not dispense unsolicited advice, and it was clear by the definitive finality with which she spoke that the matter was not up for discussion.

But why? I thought. Aren’t all matters up for discussion? I am not denying that some deliveries present serious medical risks and require intervention. I question the idea, however, that every pregnancy requires intervention. I question the purveyors of this thinking’s motivation. I wonder why the fact that Labor and Birth were a women’s affair, sans medical intervention, for thousands of years never seems to arrive on the table when such is up for debate.

My thinking is, why mess with a good thing? Any medical procedure, even the most benign, comes with its share of potential side-effects and risks. When a nine-month pregnancy has gone off dazzlingly, it is maddening to me that so many women embrace the notion that a doctor has something to add—especially when that thing comes with a laundry list of potential dangers and requires a knive, needle, I.V. or anesthesiologist! To me, even a one in a million chance of injury is too high.

We live in a culture that aggressively judges pregnant women who consume a glass of wine or anything caffienated in public. There have been court verdicts demanding that a pregnant woman act in the best interest of her baby. Why then is the same pregnant woman encouraged to get shot up with drugs or narcotics when she’s in labor?

My daughter was born without the assistance of narcotics, knives or needles. But my physician was so intent on sticking me that she insisted Pitocin be administered to birth the placenta. I was too pooped and blissed out to argue, but several hours prior I might’ve argued that I know somebody who hallucinated on it and mightn’t we try it without? Fortunately, I experienced no side effects with the Pitocin. But the next time I have a baby, I hope he will be born at home with a midwife attending. I hope to stay as far away from a hospital as possible.

I am by no means dispensing medical advice. Nor is my mind narrowed to exclude an opposing view. But my friend’s ideas and unwarranted trust in the procedures seems to be pervasive enough that someone should say something. I am that someone and this is that something.

On blogging, for print.

I made a resolution about it and I began a blog. The third to be truthful. But this one’s gonna stick. I hear blogging is a good way to get attention. Blogging is something I must do. Everybody I know has a blog.

Everybody I know has different literary savvy, so the blog content is as varied as my friends are. Carlos writes about his new son. Sharon writes about infomercials and pet peeves. Mike writes letters to the people of Brazil. Carolyn reviews books.

Still, each time I sit down to add to my blog, I can’t stop thinking about how incredibly vain it is. I typed in all of the poems I’ve recently begun tinkering. I added links to my other online presences, my daughter’s website and to my side job. Who cares? I ask myself. Why? What’s the point?

The point is that it’s now. It’s here. And what’s that old adage? Misery loves company? So does company. A blog is a way to do something you’re not ready to do. A blog is proof that cosmic feelers seeking camaraderie will not return empty, it shows that other people like the same stuff I do. A blog is affirmation for my narcissism.

We got Cable

Yes. We did. So far, my brother watched most of Mission Impossible. I have watched one episode of house, and now am watching The Office on tbs. This show is pretty ridiculous.

Our Cable Guy, however, though terribly sweet, was utterly inept. A VERY nice fellow. But hopelessly stupid. Kind, but bad at life.

Bruce McCulloch says, “never trust a man who repeats himself.” In this case, never trust a woman who…

Anyway. Since you’re not supposed to trust me, I’m going to tell you now about my Cable Tech’s Mac Faux Pas. Apparently, my cable tech is “not real familiar with Macs.” He actually gave me the tippy-top-secret IP address, login name and passcode to allow the techs to register each new user. Then, he called at least 4 people to try to figure out how to configure a Mac with the system. I have a Gateway wireless modem. But because we set up a security protocol (or maybe for some other reason), the password for Airport isn’t the same as the password for comcast. soooo, my inept Comcast tech went away saying, “I’ve done all I can do.” Which, of course, he had.

So I ran an errand or two and returned to try something that it seemed that my Tech couldn’t figure out how to do: use the actual WEP passcode to log on to the april line network with Airport. I did. It worked. And now I’m wireless. So are you.

We’ve got not strings.

My Mac is Durty and so is my mind

I need to dust and clean my computer. This is madness.

Pearl and I need to settle in to some scrubations.

The oil man is here, filling the tank. Very good, methinks.

I have filthy, filthy dreams far too often. I think I shall scrub my synapses.

I recently read an e-mail that I wrote to someone some years ago. Back when I thought I was stupid and a failure. I used the sentence, “it feels like someone is knitting with my synapses.” Ooh I am a clever devil.

Ohmigod! I totally lost my Robyn Hitchcock CD

Have you seen it? Cute. About 4″ in diameter, green.

I have several copied Robyn Hitchcock CDs. A buddy in Connecticut made them for me. But now I’m missing the only one I own legitimately. I thought it was in its case, and when I went to play it yesterday, it was MISSING.

It was the one called I Often Dream of Trains, and it was this groovy “special edition” with extra tracks.

Losing Robyn Hitchcock is like losing friends. I’ve lost friends before. But this week, I’m all finding them. In The Patriot News (Harrisburg’s Daily Rag), I’ve been reading a lot about my friends in Horoscope. Yesterday, it said one of them might be braver than I am. Bullocks, I say. Nobody is braver than I! But I have relocated 1 old friend, and had satisfying correspondence with two others. These humans are all brave, true. But I am braver. The reasons are too many for enumerating. You’ll have to use your imagination.

Maybe you could also use your telepathy and show me where I put Robyn Hitchcock.

My Ugly, Shitty Job

Today, my boss said, “You gotta sell thirty cars in three months, or else!” He said it in his usually perky, utterly unoffensive & wildly approachable tone, so I bit. I said, “Or else what?” Then he made a little spit-in-the-air and shoved his thumb over his shoulder. It was exactly the same thing my Grandma Flo did late in her life when moving, especially out of chairs, became difficult. As if the sound could somehow decrease her inertia. I think Gary Larson notates it thusly: pfffffft.

Anyway, so these boys are sitting in the show room talking to a very pretty woman who used to work here (gathering from what I overhear), and I’m here sending letters & working. Except for when I got angry and decided to make a blog entry. I spoke with my friend, Deanna, yesterday. She recounted, “Oh of course women are equal with men! Just look at Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. But Ginger did it backward and in high heels.” I’m wearing high heels today and a skirt. One of the mikes looks like he dressed from the laundry chute.

I think I’m going to get a job waitressing. Maybe I can do the lunch shift over at the Hamilton. Five hours a day, fifty bucks a day, five days a week. that is what I want.

Here, I might just as well sit in silence. Answer phones, make xeroxes, direct traffic. That is what women do in the automotive industry in South Central PA. This place has leapt across the threshold of chauvinism and landed enthusiastically in misogyny.