Lots Of Random Thoughts

Here are some random thoughts for your Thursday.

Things around my house are slowly getting around to normal.  For those of you who know me personally, sorry I went off the deep end lately.  I need to remember the number one rule of swimming: if you are drowning, stop flailing.

In my house, Jesus Christ is savior.  He does however, have a new assistant: Effexor.  Hopefully, my insurance will pay for it (right now, they are balking).

Lintilla is officially back to her job today.  This is her first day doing actual patient care, after 3 months of being away from it.  She promised me she’d take it easy.

Jesus’ other assistant is snow.  My kids were so excited to be out of school yesterday, they got along the entire day.

Lost in my own drama is the incredible story of my friend Mark Mills.  If you haven’t yet, go to Ginger’s site and read it.  When it comes to prayer, God may not be an ATM, maybe we can’t name it and claim it, but sometimes, I think, He uses prayer (and answers them) to remind us of His awesome power, if we will only bend our knees to Him.

You may not like Michael Medved, but this post is very wise.

Note to Tennessee liberals: YOU are supposed to be the “intelligent” ones.  Why do you allow your “lessors” to play you like a cheap violinevery presidential election cycle?  Lots and lots of people who didn’t know Obama’s middle name do now, because of your very vocal outrage.  It doesn’t matter if you are “right”, and that this is a dirty trick.  You guys better get out in front of the “Obama is in league with or will be soft on Islamists” meme, or you will lose.  I don’t care how outraged you are.

Update – Read this article  for context.

My ambition overcame my phobia last week.  I actually picked up the phone, dialed a number, and after a few days of phone tag, talked with a producer at NPR about an Ugly Betty story they are doing.  (No, they aren’t featuring ME, although they should – my task is to find fans in the LA area for them to interview).  It was during this conversation that I realised I have an “NPR” voice.  I don’t use it very often, but it’s funny how I have many different “voices” I can pull out like tools from a toolbox.

Can’t the Preds play defense anymore?

Finally…

I find it weird that our sexual attractions age with us.  Yesterday, while watching some commercial for this or that wonder-drug, one of the smiling faces was a partially white haired, fifty-something woman.  And it shocked me when the thought popped into my head:  “She’s pretty hot!”  Later, the news did a story on the MTSU poll, and it showed the students conducting the poll. 

Now, in my world, “college girls” and “girls who are pleasing to look at” were synonymous.  But yesterday, I looked at the young ladies and saw little girls.  To be attracted to them would make me feel like a dirty old man.  What the heck is happening to my brain?

That’s all I’ve got right now.

Zero, Not My Hero

Y’all know I don’t regularly read a lot of feminist blogs besides Aunt B .  It’s not because I’m such a misogynist pig (that remains to be seen) , but because I am an ENFJ personality type, and in order to be who I am, I need a real human being to interact with.  It’s hard to do that navigating through manifestos and shock material.  If I can’t read your blog and see a little of you in your opinions and theories, we really have nothing to talk about.

One I do enjoy very much is So Sioux Me.  Tracee and I “met” because we have the same blog-ployer, and she linked to something I wrote at Ugly Betty News.  I’ve been reading her personal blog ever since. 

Anyway, she’s posted the most fascinating theory about why women starve themselves :

Do you remember the old feminist theory that women crossed their legs in the feminine way to take up less space because they felt unworthy of it?

What if girls today feel they don’t even have a right to exist, let alone take up more space?

Who takes up less space on the planet, or in a room, or on a couch, than a size Zero girl?

Perhaps the first step to preventing poor body image and extreme thinness and misperception of our bodies is to teach daughters they have a right to exist.

Now, it’s very tempting to dismiss this theory as just another womyns studies pointy-head mental exercise, but Tracee hits on something that has always perplexed me: why do women WANT to be a size zero?  I know it’s not to be attractive to men, because no man I’ve EVER known likes women that skinny.  In fact, the “perfect” size for my wife, the size at which she has to constantly fend me off with a broomstick, is size 12.

I’ve had this conversation with many men before: where do women get the idea that having the body of a 14 year old boy is something they should strive for?

I don’t think this one can be blamed on men.  When most of us see a size zero, our first impulse is to buy her a cheeseburger.

So what do you think?  Do these women do this because they feel unworthy to take up space?

I Think It’s Terrorism

Every single female I know in person is testy right now.  REALLY testy.

Except for Susie; I’ve known her for a few years now, and have never seen her grumpy.  Only a little perturbed, but never testy.  That’s amazing, when you think about it.

Anyway, this is unavoidable: I work with women, I’m in a band with four of them, and I live with two.  My personality makes me the “guy women like to treat like one of their girlfriends”.

Many of them are currently engaged in a contest to see which one can bite my head off first.

Something in the water supply, maybe?  I don’t know.  But, if you know me, you know that I am quite understanding and patient about these things.  But, usually, I’m dealing with one cranky person at a time.  This feels more like a siege.

I think it’s time for a guy-blogger only camping trip.  We need to talk about football and cars and hot women, and NOT talk about sex except in vague inuendos.  We need a weekend of parallel play.  We need to settle disagreements with fistfights instead of talking about our feelings, and once the fighting is over – no hard feelings, we’ll have a beer together and laugh about it all.

I need to be recharged in a bath of testosterone.  Then I can go back to being my usual, “guy that women like to treat as one of their girlfriends”.

I mean no offense to my female friends, who are the majority of my readers, but I’m having a hard time coping with this right now;  there’s no chance to come up for air between barrages of snippiness.

And interstingly, I don’t seem to have this problem in the virtual world.

It’s All In The Presentation

Forgive me if I’ve told this story before.

Since Kat has described Big Macs in tantalising fashion, reminding me of my greatest weakness: McDonald’s French fries, I can’t help but think of one of the funniest conversations I’ve ever had.  You see, I used to work night shift here at SCC, and my coworker (I’ll call him Rick) and I would have “man” conversations to pass the night hours.  Let me tell you, two men can have some strange conversations at 3 am.

One night, we were talking about how, as I’ve gotten older, food had replaced extramarital sex as my greatest temptation.  I often joked that I read Good Housekeeping just for the chocolate cake centerfolds.

My friend, who was older than me but had not yet made the transition from women to food as Great Temptation, was incredulous.

“You’re kidding me!”, he said.
“Nope”, I said.
You mean, if Shania Twain were standing before you naked, whispering “I want you, Slarti”, you wouldn’t be tempted in the least?
Nope.
[silence for about 15 seconds]
What if she were holding a bowl of spaghetti?

Y’know – it’s been almost ten years, and I still haven’t answered him.

So, I’ve Got A Big Question

Since weight, health, self-perception, and body consciousness seem to be big topics lately, I’ve been doing a lot of introspection about this.  And in my introspection, I found an interesting side issue.  Let me see if I can properly express what I’m trying to say.

There is a subset of heterosexual men who enjoy seeing females  in “real woman” form.  I belong to this subset.  Although we are called many names,  I actually believe we are the majority of men.  Our sex symbols might include Kirstie Alley (yes, Kirstie Alley before or after Jenny Craig), Trishia Yearwood, America Ferrera, for the tackier among us there was Anna Nichole Smith, and of course, there’s the twin pinnacles of full-figured sex symbols: Marilyn Monroe and Jane Mansfield.  There are many, many others that come to mind.  The point is, a girl can be a size twelve or more and still be a sex symbol to millions of American men.

Quick, name an group of equivalent men.  You know, guys who aren’t chiseled, but flabby, even fat, yet are considered sex symbols to millions of American girls. Go on, look it up – I’ll wait.

And no cheating.  Don’t list someone who is considered a sex symbol because they are are wealthy, or have a certain amount of charm.  I’d like to see your list of men who are loved for their bodies even though their bodies are not ideal.

No?  OK, just one, then.  And although sweet, “my husband” doesn’t count, because the discussion here is focusing on celebrity sex symbols, and the reasons spouses are considered sexy are far more complex than what we’re discussing.

If you can find one, you’re doing better than me.

You see, it occurred to me that if you are a woman and “bigger”, you can still be a sex symbol.  Just accentuate your boobs and look at the camera a certain way.  If you’re a man, you’d better hit the gym, or be relegated to “Uncle Harry” roles.

It’s a double standard that had never occurred to me before, until now.

And we men are not even allowed to whine about it, lest we be called wimps.

Random Thoughts From the Vacation

The most distinguishing feature of Fort Myers Beach (besides the sunset) was the water.  I’m used to Destin/ Fort Walton Beach, where the ocean is tepid.  Well, in FMB, especially in the afternoon, it feels like a nice, warm bath.  That took some getting used to.

It was in the upper 90’s all week with high humidity.  No wonder it’s the off season there.

More than anything else, Lintilla and I enjoyed visiting the summer homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.  Thomas Edison has always been a man who fascinates me, and it was really cool to see a place where he came to relax…by…WORKING!  The man’s brain never, ever stopped.  A patent a year for 60 years, that’s incredible.  And I love the fact that he was so pigheaded in the wars with Westinghouse; he NEVER admitted that AC was a better choice than DC.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google “Edison Westinghouse current” and read about the world’s first standards fight.

The Edison Beach House (the Hotel we stayed at) is simply the cleanest hotel in the world. Mr Monk certainly runs the place.

The northeast US must be a youthful, cheery place, because every grouchy old person from the northeast was in Fort Myers beach last week.  And that was the offseason!  Florida is the only state in America where you have to travel north to get more southern.  Try ordering sweet tea, and see what happens!

In every beach community, there is a seafood restaurant that doesn’t cater to tourists, it caters to people who love seafood.  (For instance, in Gulf Shores, Alabama, there is the Original Seafood House).  In Fort Myers Beach, I would recommend a place called “The Fish House”.  It is a little hard to find, but I had the Jerk Mahi, and it was glorious.  AND, it was the only restaurant I’ve ever eaten in with an all-male service staff (at least when we were there). 

FMB is quite a casual place. No shoes, no shirt, no problem.  I saw so many people stroll directly from the beach into stores in their swimsuits.  Which reminds me of a sad fact: I’ve reached the point in my life where every female who can wear a bikini well is simply too young for me.  The fun is gone – they’re all young enough to be my daughter.  Sigh. 

(For all you uptight people – I’m NOT talking about ogling or lusting; girl-watching is a time-honored activity, as is boy-watching.  Unfortunately, we men have really dropped the ball in these matters.  Don’t men work out anymore?  My wife was quite disappointed)

Perkin’s Restaurants need to come back to Nashville. On the last night of vacation, we always have an “encore” night; we eat at the family’s favorite restaurant. Of all the expensive, kitschy places we ate, Perkin’s was the favorite.

Speaking of, I was afraid to weigh when we got back.

Irony:  I’ve finally gotten over my fear of flying, I’ve gotten to where I actually enjoy it; now they say it’s much worse for the environment than driving.  And I’m trying to gear my life more toward being a Teddy Roosevelt style conservationist (this lets me embrace environmentalism without having to lump myself in with tree-hugging Gaia worshippers 🙂 )  So, what’s a guy to do?  I guess on my next vacation, I’ll just bike to Murfreesboro.  Guilt trips? Moms have nothing on environmental scientists.

Our anniversary was absolutely delightful.  We didn’t do much of anything at all.

Like I said, delightful. 

Much Needed Beauty

Watching friends (or people I would like to befriend) go through troubles, even watching in real time as one of them became unemployed, (partly because of bullies), having my own stresses, and knowing that insomnia is starting to fight back against the Ambien (woke up at 3:00 this AM), I need some beauty in my life.

I want to tell you, there’s nothing like the feeling a man gets when the woman he loves models her new swimsuit.  All those months of hibernation and darkness give way to brightness, and just the right amount of skin to be tantalizing.  God Bless Land’s End.  Don’t get me wrong: naked is good.  There is a time and a place for everything.

But seeing my wife in a swimsuit the first time this year turns me into a bowl of melted Jello.  Be-still my heart! 

PS – No, I WON’T post a photo; she won’t let me.