10 January 2008

Extended massive WHAT?

One of my fellow churchladies asked me to be part of her book club. I was pleased and flattered - what a nice invitation!

"Whatcha reading?" I asked.

"The Glass Castle," she replied. Already read it, enjoyed it. If you like a nice harrowing childhood-growing-up-with-looney-parents story, it can't be beat.

I missed last month's meeting, so I was a bit surprised when she emailed me my first reading assignment: Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts: Using the Power of Pleasure to Have Your Way With the World.

It was a little pink, a little foofy, a little embarrasing to buy. I don't usually frequent the self-help OR the chick lit sections of the bookstore, and of course I had to order this from a 19-year-old clerk at the local Barnes & Noble.

I enjoyed it, though. Mama Gena has a lot of fun with the advice genre, basically empowering women to be happy, because a happy woman attracts even more fun and delight into her life. Fine by me.

She also has a couple very graphic, intense chapters on getting familiar and happy with a big source of your pleasure - a place that she has a different name for, but because I am a churchlady, I will call "ladies' panty parts."

Last night I went to the meeting. There were five of us there, one absentee. Four of us were longtime singletons, but the one married woman there had really embraced Mama Gena's hedonistic advice and run with it. She had far TMI to share about how she and her husband were learning from this book and other books and...um...doing all the lessons, so to speak. Frequently and enthusiastically.

She also said she was selecting next month's book to continue the same theme. It was written by Mama Gena's mentors, the Bodanskys, who trained Mama Gena in a technique called Extended Massive 0rgasm".

Oh, my lands. At that point I started to feel a little faintish.

I mean, when I signed up for the book club, I was imagining The Sound and the Fury," just not THAT kind of Sound and Fury.

I'm fine with 0rgasms. Who isn't?

Fine with reading about them, learning about how to do it better. Whatever. Not on my top ten reading list, but maybe I would get around to it someday.

But sitting around with people I barely know, discussing Extended Massive 0rgasmz? I know I'm from California, but I may not be THAT California. Do you think it is too late to flee?

09 January 2008

Discussion topic

"If voting could change anything, they wouldn't let you do it."

Overly cynical or on target? Discuss.

Find this

Hillary Clinton: "Over the last week, I listened to you, and in the process I found my own voice."


Shouldn’t a 60-year-old have found their own voice at least 30 years ago?


I think she may have found “this week’s voice,” which is all a slippery politician really needs.

08 January 2008

Just when you thought I couldn't get more California

I met with my Life Coach for the first time tonight. WTF a LIFE COACH - are you serious?

Apparently, I am. Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore.

I did it because my plan for World Domination needed a little work. I thought an outside opinion might be of some help.

No, really, we had an auction of stuff donated by members at church and this is what I bought. It was for the Building Fund (is it a rule that every church has to have a Building Fund? Maybe that's why being a pagan was so pleasing: no building = no building fund. But I digress.)

We assessed what my current life situation was and where I wanted to improve. The surprising outcome of the assessment was there were many parts of my life that I was actually pretty satisfied with. Who woulda thunk it?

For instance, I probably wouldn't move from this funky house unless I got an incredible deal or I found a place I could buy. And my job, while fairly mundane, suits its purpose for now.

But I did decide I need more money. How I will go about achieving that aim is not clear, yet, but we have 3 more sessions to clarify.

In the mean time: anyone have any spare money lying around that you could send me? Hey, it's worth a shot, right?

07 January 2008

The meat of the matter

I have been a vegetarian since about 1986. I stopped eating meat for many reasons. Chief among them was that I didn't really like the flavor OR the idea of eating animal flesh. This decision didn't sit well with my family, especially my dad, who still offers me meat to this day.


After work I was talking to my folks. My dad was born in the late 1910's in the Santa Ynez Valley of California. My mom was born 7 years later in Santa Barbara.

My mother said she didn't remember eating meat much as a child. Times were hard. She said they ate a lot of soup, potatoes and beans flavored with a little piece of pork. A chicken was a nice treat for Sunday dinner.

Dad grew up in the country. He, his father, five brothers and cousins hunted and fished, so they ate meat all the time.

He said he remembers leaving the house before dawn, barefoot, taking his shotgun to hunt up some quail or pigeons for the family's meal.

He talked about other times when he would shoot a deer, field-dress it (removing entrails, head and legs) and haul the rest home by himself, which he said was tricky since the deer's skin was loose and he had to carry his rifle, too. (A full-grown deer usually weighs between 120 and 150 lbs).


Hearing their stories made me realize why eating meat is such a big deal to my dad. It isn't just some redneck macho thing. It is a link to his heritage and his feeling of belonging and importance in his family, that he could provide something of real value through his efforts.

Bringing home meat was a man's job, and, for them, a big part of becoming a man - literally "bringing home the bacon."

By becoming a vegetarian, I have cast aside a piece of my history and removed myself from the web of that family tradition. I didn't mean for it to be a hurtful choice, but now I can see how strange it is to my father.

06 January 2008

Weekend update

Some newly scanned old family photos up at Flickr. I am having a blast scanning them and looking at them.

I'm a bit worried about the new neighbors.

I met them Saturday out in their front yard and talked to them about their new house. They bought it at auction for $220k, which is good in this neighborhood, since most houses have been selling around here for about $350-$400k.

It is, however, only 400 square feet. Yes, you read right. They said the bank papers call it 690 SF, but they bought it largely sight unseen and that number includes a semi-enclosed back patio.

These houses were built between 1930 and 1940 and were mostly for single oilfield workers or newlyweds - people who could live together in a 20x20 space and not kill each other.

While I was talking, I noticed that the woman, Laurie, had a paint roller at her side. I could have sworn that it was coated with orange paint, but I was so busy talking that I didn't have much time to think about the implications.

When I walked by today, I saw inside. Yes, ever single wall of that 400 square foot dwelling is painted International Hunter Safety Orange.

I am not the most interior designy of people, but this just seems like a baaaaad idea to me.

My friends and I are going to the Fancy Food Show this weekend and I am getting so excited that I feel a little nauseous, which is sort of ironic, no?

It is open to "the trade only," so we are representing a friend's catering supply firm, but to tell the truth, we are really going mostly for the food samples.

The show is amazing. How amazing? Last time I went, I narrowed my sampling down to four items. You really have to, otherwise you will pop like a tick from trying to sample everything. My four items? Chocolate, cheese, coffee and olives. Of course: the four basic Suebobian food groups.

There are like 7000 vendors and the aisles are laid out by country, so you can stoll down the rows of Italian food, French food, Chilean food...oh yeah, it goes on and on, hallways of gourmet fare of every sort.

Last time, by the end of the day I had sampled so much chocolate that I walked by the Godiva booth with a dismissive wave of the hand. They were handing out full-size samples of all the Godiva flavors. I thought "Eeh, who needs it?"

I still remember the best thing I sampled all day: A six-year old cheddar cheese that made my knees buckle and that brought tears to my eyes. No exaggeration.

Ooh, I can hardly wait.

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