Slow Adventures in Slothville

April 25, 2006

Protected: Stop scratching – here’s your fix.

Filed under: Maybe worth a look, Shoes — shhville @ 3:14 pm

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March 2, 2006

Hybrid Holla

Filed under: Boston, Maybe worth a look — shhville @ 11:19 am

Sorry I haven’t updated in a couple of days. I’ve been….busy. And muy distracted. So here is (belatedly) the story of my trip home from Dantobindantobin’s 30th birthday party.

First of all, the thought of going to Dorchester (Dot) made me giddy inside. I’d never been there, although I’ve lived in Boston for about eight years. Eight years ago, if Dan Tobin was having a 30th birthday party in Dorchester I still would have gone, but I would have worn sexy kevlar and packed some heat.

Yay for gentrification!

The Trifecta was on the scene: Ninja Sloth, Fashion Explosion Emily, and Warrior Steve. On the way there, as we drove through every single neighborhood in Boston in vain attempts to find the mythical land of Dot, Warrior Steve expressed a great deal of interest in Emily’s hybrid car, from which emerged this fascinating bit of foreshadowing: “Yeah, I love only filling the gas tank once a week but the problem with it is that if you leave anything on even for a short time – headlights, wipers, whatever – the car dies really fast.” After a somber, “Hmmm, really…” we promptly forgot this vital, potentially life-saving piece of information.

Toonces: our designated driver.

After driving (unnecessarily) through the Back Bay, Jamaica Plain, Beacon Hill, Ontario, and Nevada, we finally found Dot. Thepartywasgreat, icecreamcake, drunkDanTobin, etc. Oh, and there was this cool music remote control gadget thing that I wish I could explain better but it confused and intimidated me and also Warrior Steve hogged it the whole time.

So then it was time to go home. In the horizontally blowing snow. And off we went, the Trifecta, pleased with successful party attendance and fortified with sushi and cashews. Did I mention the horizontal snow?

The magical realm of Dot where feeling sad will cause you to sink into the mud with your horse and die.

Driving down a busy road, Toonces was momentarily distracted and the stupidfuckinghybrid hit a stupidfuckingcurb and got a stupidfucking flat. It was scary and we were nearly hit by a bus. Toonces pulled over and faster than Emily and I could say “Where’s the AAA card?” Warrior Steve was leaping out the door into a) traffic and b) horizontal snow with a casual, “I’ll change the tire, it’ll just take a minute.” After a brief discussion about the so-not-obsoleteness of men and how feminism can go fuck itself when there’s a flat tire involved, Emily went to join Warrior Steve and help him by hollering girlish words of encouragement into the driving wind, leaving me in the car. With the radio on. And the headlights on. And the wipers on.

Warrior Steve changed that tire, alright. Oh, he sure did. And fast too! Maybe 10 minutes? Juuuuuuuuuust enough time for the stupidfuckinghybrid to turn into a worthless pile of dark, silent metal, mocking us. No, really, there was mocking.

(Gutteral voice) “Looks like the triiiiiiifecta is triiiiiiiiifuckeda….”

So. Driving snow, dead car. Emily, nearly hit by another bus, was attempting to flag down passing drivers with the power of her sexy fuzzy hat, which wasn’t working because said hat was covered in 10 inches of snow. No one stopped. No one. Until, FINALLY, thank the baby Jesus, three gigantic black men smoking blunts in a stolen car decided to help us out. This was right about the time I went from being Ninja Sloth to Holy Shit We’re Going To Get Jacked And Taken To A Disreputable Part Of D.C. And Forced To Smoke PCP And Maybe I’ll Just Pee My Little Pants Now Sloth.

Warrior Steve was unfazed. He happily chatted them up while unfurling the jumper cables from the stolen car and after a brief interlude the Trifecta was on its way home.

Men, worry not about turkey basters and cloning. Lots of women know how to change tires and wrangle jumper cables. But those of us who are too lazy to learn things like that; we will always need you.

December 14, 2005

I Have Arrived.

Filed under: Maybe worth a look, Slothyness — shhville @ 4:43 pm

Nothing equals an imminent party in its ability to send a sloth into reeling panic. Suddenly, my surroundings come into sharp focus.

I never before noticed how the Lucille Ball and David outfit magnets are globbed all over our refrigerator like arterial spray. And why do our block letter magnets read “FEEL QUEER MAN BOOTY?” Did I do that? Oh my god – last year’s Christmas card from my mother is still on the freezer door! Panic! Panic!!

When did I acquire thirteen half-empty boxes of tampons? And this shampoo – I bought it a year ago and never opened it. Does shampoo go bad? The walls of my shower, they are…..no longer there. This smooth white substance covering the inside of the shower makes it pleasantly resemble an ice cave, but I doubt my guests will see it that way. Oh my god, is my toilet CROOKED?? Panic! Panic!!

Look at this stack of paintings and mirrors that I never put up on the walls when I moved in over a year ago…. They are sitting in the only spot in my bedroom that has not been declared (secretly, just to myself) a biohazard. Gah!! A pile of Patricia Cornwell books!! Ohmygodohmygod, where can I hide these? “The DaVinci Code” in HARDCOVER??? Panic! Panic!!

The arboreal environment in which I live could use a little work. Soooo………

My yuppie status is official. I have hired a woman to clean my apartment.

Check out the legs on that filly! She cleans good too. I love it when they prance. It’s so…ethnic.

What? I’m TURNING THIRTY. I cannot be expected to scrape shower walls and cross over into a new decade in the same week. It’s hard enough hanging up all the clothes that have migrated out of the dense foliage of my closet to the more spacious and sunny terrain of my bedroom. I don’t know why they insist on doing this. I try to tell them that the fresh water is at the caves – you have to move inland! But they insist on frolicking on the beach and getting themselves all crinkly in the process. I banished them to one chair that groaned and collapsed under the weight of eight hundred thousand wrinkled blazers.

My biggest accomplishment: I corralled all of my sandals into a bag in my closet. The Blahniks made a feeble swipe at me and the Gabriella Rochas got a respectable swing in there. It was the Danskos that did the most damage. GodDAMN those bitches were mad! I’m getting my retina re-attached next week.

Tonight The Den is coming over with picture-hanging accoutrements and the lights are going up. My apartment WILL be festive. Oh yes.

November 22, 2005

Pizza Farce

Filed under: Maybe worth a look, Photography, Slothyness — shhville @ 9:33 am


(Portland Farmer’s Market, Labor Day Weekend ’05)

Setting: gourmet pizza place in my neighborhood, early evening.
Cast: Sloth, The Den, Cashier, Pizza Guy.

Scene 1: The Order

Sloth and The Den enter stage left.
The Den (hurtling towards the counter): “Two slices of pepperoni, please!”
Sloth:”….”
TD: “Oh, sorry, I always just jump in. What do you want?”
S: “I, uh, hmm. What’s the slice of the day…? Oooh, can’t have sausage, I’ll ‘splode. Ummm…. letsee…”

Meanwhile, The Den has received his slices and is over at the table stuffing them in his maw.

S: “Ok, ummmmmmm….. can I have a small pizza with tomatoes -”
Cashier: “Diced or sliced?”
S: “Uhhhhhhhh…. sliced?”
Cashier: “Ok.”
S: “And, letsee… basil? And onions. And onions.”
Cashier: (one eyebrow pointing upwards like a little teepee) “Onions and onions?”
S: “Yes.”
Cashier:”….”
S: “I’m basically looking for like a blizzard of onions.”
Cashier: “For here or to go?”
S: “For here.”

Scene Two: The Order Change

Sloth: “Hi there. Um, my boyfriend already finished his slices and I’m still waiting for my pizza so I was wondering if I could change my order from ‘for here’ to ‘to go.'”
Cashier: (crooky eyebrow again) “Sure.”
S: “And, I’ll also get a slice of the day and a slice of pepperoni to go. For my roommate. In case he’s….hungry….and I’ll get a glass of cabernet too. For here.”
Cashier: “As opposed to a glass of wine to go?”
S: “Haha…..uh….yeah.”
Cashier: “Ok, that will be twelve million dollars.”
S: “Jeepers.”

Scene Three: Where Shit Really Starts to Go Wrong

Pizza guy: “Sloth!”
Sloth: “Yes!”
Pizza guy: (handing over a brown paper bag) “Here you go.”
S: “Great, thanks. Is this the pizza or the slices?”
Pizza guy: (completely baffled) They’re………slices……….of pizza.
S: “Right, right, ok. Thanks.”

Five minutes pass.

Pizza guy: “Sloth!”
S: “Yes!”
Pizza guy: (handing me the full pizza) “You’re going to have to eat some of this pizza now because they make it bigger when they think it’s for here and I can’t close the box.
S: (groveling) “Oh! Well, that’s good information to have!”
Pizza guy: (fangs dripping with sarcasm) “Yeah, so change your order every time.”
S:”…..”
The Den: “Sweetie, you look sort of…..stricken.”
S: “I can’t believe it. I’m THAT customer. I’m that customer that everyone hates because my logic is broken. Everything that comes out of my mouth is retarded.”
TD: “………yeah, they hate you.”

Scene Four: Denouement

Sloth: (approaching the counter, trying to figure out where to put my empty wine glass) “So, do I give this back to you guys?”
Cashier and Pizza guy: (clearly wishing they could tell me to feel free to shove it up my ass and take it with me) “Yes, we’ll take it.”

Fin.

October 5, 2005

Trouble With A Capital “T”

Filed under: Family, Maybe worth a look, Photography — shhville @ 10:27 am


You like that? Fashion forward! In case you can’t tell, the button on those shorts is undone. Took this photo at Oregon Inlet.

Our last night on the Outer Banks, my uncle and I went to a restaurant named the Jolly Roger. This place is not what one might describe as staid. At the entrance to the parking lot is a parachute-sized sign that says WELCOME BIKERS, there are hundreds of shiny Christmas ornaments hanging from the foil-covered ceiling in the dining room, one of their “vegetable” options on the menu is mac and cheese and the locals gather in the adjacent room every night for karaoke. Tourist season is over, man. What else is there to do?

Over the years my uncle and I have grown very fond of the Jolly Roger for a couple of reasons. One, they make a fucking killer veal parmesan. Two, it’s the biggest freak show on the Outer Banks. After finishing our tortured baby cow meat we always head over to the karaoke section of the restaurant to ogle the local flavor. Mullets abound. Acid washed jeans scissor back and forth, “wisk, wisk, wisk…” Big hair, menthol cigarettes, and country music. It’s a good time.

On this particular evening I was wearing a pretty fabulous outfit – black and white flared skirt, tiny black t-shirt, slingback heels and pigtails. Feeling confident and voyeuristic. A little old round lady was singing “The Rythm is Gonna Get You” by Gloria Estefan for the second time when Danielle walked in. I didn’t know her name was Danielle at the time. What I did know, in that way that women sometimes have a sense about each other right off the bat, was that she was Trouble. My first thought was, “Wow, that girl is really damaged.” My second thought was, “That damaged girl is going to come over here and talk to me.”

I was right on both counts.

Danielle was really attractive, but it seemed like she didn’t quite know how to put herself together. She was younger than me but looked a little older because of years spent in the sun – her skin was the color of caramel. Her hair was in braided pigtails and she was wearing a halter top, a mini skirt and….boxer briefs. The Tommy Hilfiger logo on the boxers could be seen clearly above the waist band of the skirt. Oh, and she was covered in tattoos. My sense of her was of a girl who wanted to be tough as nails but pretty and feminine too and she was having a hard time reconciling the two.

She had a friend there – a guy who was totally hot and totally bad news and who had totally hit on me about three seconds before she walked in. So she walked right over to where I was standing and before you could say “molested as a child” she was showing me a huge scar on her arm that she had acquired while working a gill-netter. This progressed quickly to an earnest confession that her nipples were pierced.

You can see where this is going.

I was drunk enough to be fascinated with the nipple piercing so I asked her if it hurt. I don’t remember her answer because at the same time that she was talking she was making me pinch her nipple. With the ring in it. In the bar.

It was at this point that a lot of people starting watching us.

She then turned toward the wall and pulled her tank top over to the side so I could peek at the piercing. Still drunk and fascinated, I stuck my face right in there for a good look. I said, “Are they both pierced?” I’m not sure what she said then because I was busy pinching her other nipple. It was, in fact, pierced.

You can see where this is going.

Before you could say “incest survivor” she was telling me about her clit piercing. As I may have mentioned, I was drunk. And fascinated. So I pinched that too and no one was watching the karaoke anymore. I sort of tugged on it and that made her laugh and then I asked her a billion or so questions about how much THAT piercing hurt and she explained that it’s not the actual clitoris but the little hood over it that is pierced. I felt very much relieved at this new information.

So we hung out for a couple of hours and my uncle, the psychiatrist, got dragged into the conversation. At some point I was whisked off to the dance floor by a very drunk middle aged guy until his wife busted it up by pointedly “apologizing” for her husband in a way that made me fear for my hairdo if not for my life. I scurried back to Danielle and my uncle and the totally hot, totally bad news guy and some other dude who I think was Danielle’s boyfriend. He told me they were going to go smoke some coke and *bing!* it was time to go home.

As my uncle and I walked to the car he told me that while I was dancing with the bad husband, “Danielle showed me her vagina!! There was a little rhinestone in it!!” Apparently, she had pulled up her skirt and pulled down her boxers right there in the bar to show my poor sixty-year-old uncle her clit ring. He seemed a little traumatized.

I gently explained to him that “vagina” was really not the proper term for this sort of situation and offered him an alternative noun. “What’s a cooter?” he asked.

On the drive home he shook his head and said solemnly, “I could spend the rest of my career with Danielle as my only patient and she’d still be a total mess by the time I retired.”

Amen, brutha.

September 6, 2005

Surgery

Filed under: Family, Maybe worth a look, Photography — shhville @ 11:08 am


(Felix with amaryllis bulb, 2004)

Felix: “Hey, Sloth, what’s up?”

Sloth: “Nothing, really, I just came to visit for a few days, how are you?”

Felix: “That’s a stupid question. I am completely awesome in every way as always. I’m going to sleep in your lap now because you are the most boring person in the world and you’re allergic to me.” *snore*

Mom: “Did you notice that Felix has a toenail in his ear?”

Sloth: “………He has a what in his what?”

Mom: “He has another cat’s claw embedded in his ear. See it? It’s sticking right out.”

Felix: “No it’s not.”

Sloth: “I thought you were asleep.”

Felix: “I WAS asleep, chatterbox. I do not have a claw in my ear and anyways, I kicked that fucking cat’s ASS. You should have been there, I wrecked him.”

Sloth: “So…..is that how you got the clearly visible claw stuck in your ear?”

Felix: “How would you like a claw stuck in your EYE?”

Mom: “I think he’s feeling a little sensitive about it.”

Fast forward four hours……

Mom: “Hey, Felix, come here a sec, I want to show you something.”

Felix: “Oh, my enthusiasm. It is palpable. What could you possibly – oh, a towel. I love towels. I can sleep on it, eh? And then you’ll put it in Slothy’s bathroom so when she towels off it will make her sneeze? Why does that never stop being funny?”

Mom: “Great idea. Just come here and I’ll wrap you in the towel and hold you in my lap so you can take a nap.”

Felix: “Sweet!” *purrrrrrrrrrrrrr* “Oh! Sloth, hi – I was just dozing here and, uh…..what the fuck??? Dude, get those fucking tweezers away from me, man, I am not even kidding I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING.”

Sloth: “Oh my god, this is so gross. There’s too much blood, I have to go get a paper towel.”

Mom: “Get the hydrogen peroxide too.”

Felix: “Yeah, and don’t forget your last will and testament because I AM SO GOING TO KILL YOU TEN TIMES IN A ROW.”

Fast forward ten minutes……..

Mom: “Did you get it?”

Sloth: “Almost.”

Felix: “MOTHERFUCKER.”

Sloth: “Got it.”

Mom: “Ew.”

Sloth: “Gross.”

Felix: “Can I still sleep in the towel?”

August 30, 2005

What’s the Crappiest Day of the Week?

Filed under: Boys, Family, Maybe worth a look, Photography — shhville @ 10:01 am


Cactus with blossom, 8/27/05

The correct answer is TUESDAY. Especially if it’s raining. If you answered otherwise you are disqualified. Disqualified from what, you ask? Well, I’ve decided that if I can’t ban Tuesday from the calendar, I can at least try to make it bearable by suggesting a little project for all of us to enjoy.

This week’s project involves embarrassing family moments, preferably involving a significant other. Here’s mine:

Last Saturday my boyfriend (He-who-cannot-be-nicknamed) and I were having dinner with my parents. Grilled salmon steaks, one of which was dropped on the ground during flipping (and which I had to clean up because I laughed the hardest), salad and corn on the cob. After we had all piled up our plates, my boyfriend confessed (with the opening, “Please don’t laugh at me, but…”) that he slices the kernels off of the cob and eats them with a fork.

As my boyfriend was chopping away at his corn, I noticed my stepfather watching his every movement and sort of fidgeting a little bit. Finally, he blurted out, “Do you…do you suck on the cob afterward?”

We were all laughing too hard to breathe when my stepdad finally gasped out, “I just couldn’t think of a good way to say it!!”

Whatchoo got?

August 12, 2005

Fuh-riday. Jessss!!!

Filed under: Maybe worth a look — shhville @ 10:03 am

Here I am looking a bit young for my age, as many of you so nicely pointed out on Monday.

A while back I promised E-Lo a BAD ROOMMATE post and I never delivered. So to start your weekend off right I am offering up this horrid tale of my BAD EX-ROOMMATE, Emily.

Well, I guess it actually started off with my BAD EX-ROOMMATE, Mustaffa, who was a sleazy, gold-chain-wearin’, Newport-smokin’ Moroccan dude. (Incidentally, Mustaffa’s best friend was also named Mustaffa and they were completely interchangeable.) This was at a time in my life, just after I dropped out of college, when I was working for THE BIGGEST ASSHOLE ON EARTH and making about $10,000 a year. Yes, you read that correctly. So my housing options were limited to the point of being virtually nonexistent. I was living with Mustaffa and this other crazy bitch who was barely kept in check by the giant bowl full of pills she took every day because it was cheap and close to my job and it was a step up from the YWCA. Once in while Mustaffa would “clean my room.” I would come home and he would be in my room and all my clothes would be put away and everything picked up and because I was 20 years old and had not yet come into my own in regards to the raining-down-of-the-death powers I would attain later, I would just kind of put up with it. So one night, predictably, Mustaffa decided to grab me and rub his sleazy, Newport-smellin’ lips all over my innocent young face and I was packed up and gone within 24 hours.

SO. I had to find a place to stay right quick because even though I had friends to put me up, I felt ashamed to be sleeping on peoples’ couches. And that is how I ended up living with Emily. Emily seemed nice enough when I first met her……..and her bulldog and her Irish wolf hound and her iguana in their tiny, freezing cold apartment in the middle of winter. Well, compared to living with Mustaffa, her place seemed like a little piece of paradise so I took all my stuff over there and moved in. It took me less than a day to regret it.

Emily was a wiry, rugby-playing lesbian who always seemed just shy of putting her fist through a wall. In fact, it was in contemplating her fist my first night there that I noticed that she only had half a pinky finger on her left hand. What’s up with that, I thought. Birth defect? Dog bite? Thresher accident? Well, I asked and no. None of the above. It turns out Emily had CUT OFF HER OWN PINKY WITH A MEAT CLEAVER. And then, for some reason, I really can’t imagine why, she had GONE TO LIVE IN A MENTAL HOSPITAL FOR A WHILE. Hmm!! Oh, and had she mentioned to me that she was an alcoholic? Why no, she hadn’t! How fascinating! Well, she wasn’t supposed to drink when she was on her Lithium, but you know how it is, hehehe…..

Great.

Eventually I got used to the idea of the meat cleaver and the mental hospital. I just had to accept it, I mean, where was I going to go? It was really more the walking-around-naked that kind of started to get to me. She would just stomp around from room to room, her shriveled little pancake breasts a-flapping, her Amazon jungle of pubic hair blowing in the breeze. But hey, she was there first. There wasn’t much I could do except try to ignore it.

Every time Emily climbed back on the wagon she had to start taking lots and lots of laxatives because when she wasn’t drinking she couldn’t take a shit to save her life. She could leave her bloody tampons lying around, no problemo, but take a shit? No way, Jose!! It was suppository city!! So that was fun to be aware of. And I didn’t even complain when she broke EVERY ONE of my wine glasses. We were getting along famously! But then……I don’t know……..things changed between us. Our relationship became a bit strained, if you will. I was chilled by the fact that she put the bulldog down simply because she was tired of owning him. She didn’t tell me until after it was done, but it was disturbing to me that not only had she killed the dog for no particular reason, but that she thought that was perfectly normal. Then I started finding mean notes written to me about how she was not my mother and I was driving her crazy……….in the trash. She would write them and then throw them away………where I could see them sitting on top of one of her bloody tampons or a bottle of Southern Comfort or half a finger or whatever. I started to wonder if maybe she wanted to have ME put down too.

Then we got a new roommate – yes, another person added into the mix because that was exactly what our little apartment needed – who was, I’m sorry, but she seriously was the size of a small car. You know, like an economy car. A little Toyota or something. I mean, I would look at her sometimes and just not even be able to believe my own eyes. So there was stomping, naked, constipated, pancake-breasted, half-a-pinky-havin’ Emily, the Irish wolf hound (which happens to be the largest dog breed on earth if I’m not mistaken), an iguana in a cage the size of a walk-in closet, and this woman who could single-handedly cause a tsunami if she fell into the ocean. And me.

And then a meteor crashed into the earth and killed everybody. Sorry, I just didn’t know where to go from there. I spoke to Davy Rothbart over the phone last weekend and we discussed stock story endings when you are just totally stuck. The meteor one is his and I am totally stealing it. (He’ll be too busy putting the new FOUND book together to notice.)

And that’s the BAD ROOMMATE story! Have a good weekend, peeps!

February 18, 2005

Religion, Shmeligion

Filed under: Maybe worth a look, Photography, Politics, Reproductive Rights, Slothyness — shhville @ 9:23 am

In my religion class last week we were asked to think about what our definition of religion is. I gave it a lot of thought and here’s what I came up with: religion is a social construct that uses natural human tendencies toward wonder and worship to control populations of people for better or worse. The following is what Lovisa would probably call a “firebelly” post. It might piss you off, but since my readership has shrunk dramatically since my hiatus, I’m not expecting the kind shitstorm we used to get around here when I talked about God. (They were kinda fun, though, eh?) Have a great weekend everyone!

***

I went to a Catholic high school. I wore a plaid skirt and a white button-down shirt and sometimes I even put my hair in pigtails. I listened to the prayers before each class and sometimes I even mouthed the words that became so ingrained in me over those four years. I did my homework every day, colored in the circles on the SAT’s and sometimes I even had fun. I’m not Catholic. I’m not even baptized. I was sent to that school because I had been kicked out of two schools before that. I needed discipline. I needed nuns.

I loved the nuns who taught at my high school. They were mostly old and crotchety but that didn’t put me off. They knew I was non-religious and, contrary to my expectations, they respected my choice. They never made me pray or go to mass. During the big prayer meetings I would hang out in the computer lab with Sister Grace and goof off. All of the sisters knew my name and treated me with respect even though I adorned my binder with a fluorescent orange sticker that declared “Abortion On Demand and Without Apology.” They were all about educating the next generation of women and a little thing like me being an alternative, liberal nontheist wasn’t about to stop them. I graduated from that school a much different, much better person than I had been on my first day, but I still don’t believe in God.

I don’t believe in anything for which there is no proof. Not fate, not ghosts, not reincarnation, not auras, not ESP, not alien abductions and most certainly not God. The whole concept of God just seems silly to me. There is a giant force that created the universe and everything in it, that is supreme and perfect and omniscient and if you think really hard at it, it might give you a boat? Or a winning lottery ticket? Or your boyfriend back? What? The thing that amazes me is that so many people are so desperate for a little solace, a little unconditional love and the sense of mattering to someone that they are willing to invent a make-believe “invisible friend” to provide that and then use the make-believe wishes of their make-believe God to tell other people how to live. Again, what?

Not since I graduated high school have I seen a manifestation of faith that seemed like a good thing to me. Ok, I’m exaggerating. Jon Stewart interviewed Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the Daily Show and the profound love and kindness that the Archbishop exuded from every pore was so astounding that I cried. I know a woman (yeah, Regan, I’m talkin’ boutchoo) who believes that God is feminine and goes to church because she loves the people there and gets a kick out of belting out hymns in the choir. That’s not a bad thing by any stretch. What I mostly see, though, is thinly disguised bigotry, hatred, and downright stupidity masquerading as faith. Masquerading as the moral high road. As God’s will.

As an escort for Planned Parenthood, I see the ugliness in faith. I see the violence and the entitlement and the anger. As a liberal democrat, I see the fallacy in faith – the cruelty of using God as an excuse to manipulate social policy in ways that hurt the people we should be helping. Faith usually looks like a bad, scary thing from where I’m standing and I am almost blind to the humanity inside “believers.”

I believe religion is a social mechanism by which the powerful few control the powerless many. Make them afraid, make them ashamed, give them a place to go and be penitent, provide the shame alongside the promise of a release from that shame, and you have a populace under your thumb. It is also a salve. A way to feel better about living a finite life by simply denying that life is finite. A way to have a friend when one has no friends. A way to be loved when one is unloved. A way to be right. A way to be chosen. I would probably be happier if I believed, but I could never let myself be such a sucker. I would rather face my fear of death and loneliness and inconsequence than live my life a fool. Perhaps that makes me a fool. Is it better to be skeptical and discerning or is it better to be happy? Are they really mutually exclusive? Somehow I think not and I hope that I’m right.

November 10, 2004

Baroness is just a title…

Filed under: Family, Maybe worth a look, Photography, Slothyness — shhville @ 10:07 am


This is a succulent. Yes, it's really called that.

Morning Slothville! Everyone sleep tight? I slept like a rock in a river bed.

So, there's this awesome rumor going around that I'm "from money." It's so beautiful, I can't stand it. Each and every one of the fifty-three dollars in my bank account thanks you for your faith and support.

Mom, I know you're reading this and I can't even imagine how hard you're laughing right now. At least as hard as the time the city evicted us from that warehouse we were living in so they could pave a parking lot over it, yes? I mean, that was a laugh riot, am I right?

I'm laughing at least as hard as that time in the sixth grade when the kids in my gym class made fun of me for wearing imitation Converse sneakers because you guys couldn't afford to buy me the brand name kind. What a gem of a day that was.

The only thing I can think of that's funnier than that is the time dad and I were in D.C. (when I was a kid, when grampy died, remember?) and I was so hungry that I was crying. Dad and I went all over the city sticking our fingers in pay phone coin returns until we scrounged enough to buy me a hot dog. He turned it into a game to hide how scared he was. Boy was that a blast. What could be more fun?

Oh, I know! The time when I was a baby and you were so starved and malnourished that you had to break into the neighbor's house to steal food so your breast milk wouldn't dry up. Gosh, what a great memory that must be for you.

Hey Slothville! Anyone ever traded sex for rent? No? Just me?

Well then. I guess if I'm rich, I wouldn't wish "wealth" on any single one of you.

I'm sorry, you know what? This was supposed to be flippant and funny but it didn't turn out that way at all. It seems poverty is kind of hard to joke about. I'm ok now, and so are my folks, thanks for asking. We made it through to the other side (even if I am still broke all the time – it's the shoes, man, I have an addiction). But we didn't skate here on solid gold. We sweated and crawled and got our noses shoved in shit just like you. If you want to hate me, hate me because I'm a bitch. Hate me because I pissed you off and pushed all your buttons. But don't hate me because I'm gagging on some mythical silver spoon you shoved in my mouth (pipe down, pervs). That ain't mine. But even if it was, it would not, in itself, make me worthy of disdain. The line between good and bad does not lie on the line between rich and poor, no matter how tempting it sometimes is to believe so.

Listen Slothville citizens, I'm getting sappy here. I just want you to know how much I appreciate that you come back here day after day, letting me be Meek Sloth and Loud Sloth and Sad Sloth and Angry Sloth and Ecstatic Sloth and Thankful Sloth and every kind of sloth that I am. I may not be rich, but I sure am complicated. Thank you for walking this road with me. The more feet there are kicking through these leaves, the easier it is.

*touch*

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