Monthly Archives: February 2016

Tipsy Blogging by I.P. Freely

Hah. Whenever I make up a fake name for a book I always add “by I.P. Freely.” I think it’s hysterical because it comes from that old joke, “Yellow River by I.P. Freely” and people just don’t get it. So I laugh some more. It’s a personal inside joke. Is it weird to amuse only yourself?

I don’t drink often, maybe a glass of something two or three times a year, so naturally I’m a lightweight. I don’t really have a taste for wine and I feel like I should, so now and then I buy a nice bottle of wine and then drink a half a glass from it and waste the rest. That’s one downfall of not having a life partner or b.f.f. to share stuff with.

So tonight it was just one glass of Pinot Gris and I’m feeling no pain at all. I’m feeling I could get my ears pierced again, or my nose. Anything, really.

I told a friend I’d light a candle for her at church today, and I did. I said her name in my mind as I held the match to the candle. It’s such a soothing thing to do. I light a candle almost every Sunday. Sometimes I pray for one person, sometimes I mentally list all the people I know who could use a prayer. It’s become sort of a habit so that if I don’t stop after service to light a candle, I miss it later.

I’ve been attending my church (Episcopal) for about 14 months now and for the first time today I drank directly from the chalice instead of having them dip my communion wafer in it. You see, I’m a bit of a germaphobe, but also I just really don’t want to bring an illness home that might do my dad in. You don’t mess around with respiratory issues when a household member has COPD. Man, that red wine is good, sweet, and strong.

As an aside, I read somewhere that between the wine, which is higher than most wine in alcohol content, and the silver cup which is somehow antibiotic, people aren’t really known for getting sick from sharing the communion cup.

Today I also gave thanks for my dad being better. He’s really been improving and I am so, so grateful.

The assistant priest is offering a catechesis class for those of us who aren’t members of the Episcopal church yet, so I’m looking forward to that. This June I’ll be confirmed in the church by a bishop and while I already feel this church is my home, this will be special.

I’ve been pondering what to “give up” for Lent which starts this Wednesday and luckily it came to me as the Priest gave his sermon today.

Last year at this time I had a bad addiction to reading my now ex’s emails. One day on a whim I tried to log into one of his many email addresses and entered his old tried and true password and it worked, so for several months I tortured myself by looking at photos of him and his very young girlfriend as they got prettied up for the opera and saw that he was sending my stepchildren pictures of them together. And then I saw what he was buying for her online.

Morally it’s wrong to read anyone’s private correspondence (not as wrong as cheating and discarding your spouse, though), but what made me finally decide to quit doing it was that it was just hurting me so deeply. At first it did me good to realize how despicable he is, but then it began to feel like self inflicted torture.

So for Lent I gave up reading his emails and I won’t lie, it was hard, but I did it and I haven’t looked again. I wonder if 40+ days is a good amount of time to change a habit. I was proud of myself for doing it, and prouder still of not doing it again after Lent was over.

So this year, other than being overweight, I feel pretty happy and satisfied with life but I don’t want to make Lent be about dieting, per se, so I’ve come up with my plan which I feel pretty good about.

I eat a huge amount of food late at night. Sometimes I can barely quit stuffing my face almost all the way until bedtime. I’ve gone to bed recently with my stomach just bulging and then can barely sleep due to discomfort and heartburn. Ick, I know.

So for Lent, here’s my plan.

A. Switch to natural sugar in my coffee and consume no white sugar in anything.

B. No eating after 7 p.m.

But I’m going to call it “fasting” after 7 p.m. because I think it’ll help me to remember why it’s important. During that time, when I think about mindless eating, I can ask God to be with me and guide me.

I’d like to add, “C. go to water aerobics every night after work.” but I just don’t think I can keep that goal.

I never invite my parents to church. My mother thinks Catholicism is a cult and Episcopalian services are very Catholic in looks and behavior. She’s not used to all the sitting, standing, and kneeling, not to mention the crossing. I love all that.

My father is an Irish Catholic, and was an alter boy, but hasn’t stepped in a church since he was a kid. But he’s very Catholic in his generosity and caring — that part stuck with him.

On a whim I told my parents today that on Tuesday the men’s club serves a pancake breakfast for Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent and said they were welcome to go with me. Dad said yes right away just because he’s open to new experiences and I could almost hear my mom thinking, OH MY GOD. NO. But eventually she said, “Okay, We’ll pick you up at work.”

I’m really a new Christian since I haven’t been to church since I was 12 or 13 and I have enjoyed learning about the seasons of the Episcopal church and it’s fun to see them come back around again (although I missed my 2nd Christmas there because I was so ill).

This Wednesday I’ll go to the 7:30 p.m. service which will be beautiful, but somber and I’ll get a cross of ashes on my forehead to remind me how short and precious life is.

I love this season.

xox

P.S. while I’ve been tipsy blogging I’ve been rocking out to this:

 

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Moving Liquid, Yes You Are Just As Water

I get on kicks of listening to music on YouTube on Saturday mornings. Now and then it’s new stuff like Sia, Arcade Fire, or Iggy Azalea. Often it’s Bach. And a few times a year I go back and listen to a lot of music I used to love in my youth.

This concert, Todd Rundgren and The Metropole Orchestra – Amsterdam 2012, is positively mind blowing and should only be enjoyed at maximum volume. It’s mostly his older music, but performed recently and with an orchestra.

Todd singing with Daryl Hall and his top notch musicians is awfully cool, too, although I’m always aware that most of the music enjoyed at Daryl’s house in Hawaii is an almost strictly boys club:

I got distracted (again) watching and listening to that Amsterdam concert. Todd, like Bowie, falls into the highly gifted category for me.

Bowie did seem like a genuinely nice person with a lot of long term, loyal friends, and he kept much of his life private, which I respect. I just can’t get over that sex with 15 year olds stuff when he was young, so he’s not Godlike to me. And frankly, and this is just my humble opinion, I don’t think his music and lyrics “mean” as much as some would like to think they mean. I think Bowie made a sport out of pretending he was deeper than he was — it kept his cerebral fans guessing “What does he mean?”

When I was young, and wanted to be a singer, my female idols were Kate Bush, Deborah Harry (Blondie), and then Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders). These were women who were comfortable in their sexuality who wrote and performed their own unique music. For me, the one who stood head and shoulders above the rest was Kate.

I didn’t realize until much, much later, that Kate was a year younger than me. Her lyrics and subject matter were so wise, mature, sexual, that it never occur to me that she was that young. Her debut album The Kick Inside was released in 1978 when she was just 19 years old and according to Wikipedia she wrote some of the songs when she was only 13. So my baby daughter, born in 1976, was raised to the sounds of “Wuthering Heights,” “Them Heavy People,” and “The Man with the Child in His Eyes” and we used to dance together singing “Babooshka.”

The music, her voice, the lyrics, and later, when I saw rare videos of her, her movement and dancing were unlike any other performer, male or female, from then until now. I’ve never loved her mime work and her modern dance, but I appreciate that she was loyal to it!

Like Bowie, she was never a real mainstream top ten hit in the US. I think that is partly due to her unique and heady sound as well as the fact that she never toured here. I don’t know if she had performance issues or just hated to fly, but she kept her live performances to a minimum. Most Americans don’t “get” Kate and I can understand why as she is an acquired taste!

She had a son and kept producing albums, but they were fewer and farther between, she was thought to be a recluse, but I think she just loved having a private life. When she reappears for a rare sighting or rarer performance people talk about her weight as though that is simply all that matters.

“Oh, but she got fat. Have you seen her?”

It’s so incredibly insulting and untrue. She’s not even fat. She’s simply an older woman now. She’s probably 57ish, since I’m 58. News flash, 57 year olds don’t look like 27 year olds. We just don’t.

Even if we succumb to plastic surgery, botox, or fat injections, we still don’t look 27.

The world is so unforgiving.

No credit given for a huge body of original work, no. Just comments on a puffy face. Fuck me.

Kate, Chrissie, and Debbie weren’t the only women of rock at the time (I appreciated Patti Smith but found her too “male” for my taste at the time), but they were my top three. Following them were light 80s groups like The GoGos and Cyndi Lauper and more women did come on the scene, but while they were entertaining, many were just fluff. Women rockers didn’t become the same sort of superstars their male counterparts did. They weren’t taken as seriously.

A few years ago Christopher Hitchens declared that women simply aren’t funny. In the short time since that comment was made there have been some amazing women to come to the fore in comedy from Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Schumer, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, just to name a few off the top of my head. Plus Christopher Hitchens died, so, there you go.

I’m seeing more women in music getting attention in the last few years than I ever did before. Often they seem to have been manufactured and are not all that talented, but sometimes, they are mavericks (Sia) and they blow my mind.

I think women are slowly being allowed to be equal.

We can watch other groups make strides in more bold a fashion, LGBT rights is the biggest one in my lifetime, but women’s equality still crawls along at a very slow pace. Still too slow for my taste.

I don’t know why this is. I really don’t. Are men actually threatened by us? How can it be that we give birth to men who can rise to heights we can only imagine? It isn’t simply because they are better or more superior in any way. It’s that we’ve been held back and I don’t know why.

But I look at the young women I work with facing the decision over when to have children. Have one and you can return to work fairly easily, have two or more and it becomes an almost insurmountable challenge and the childcare costs are huge. End up in a divorce and good luck balancing kids and a career. You’re fucked.

I’ll close with a great live version of “Moving” — it’s the song I named my blog after.

Oh, and check out her band members in this vid.