This Should Explain It



'Nuff Said

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:55 PM 8 comments Links to this post  

God, I'm a Lazy Sod Today

I worked my ass off this weekend (Look Ma! No Ass!). I had fun, but I'm resting up today. So, I'm ripping off Phydeaux and Jeff Fecke and offering you my debut album cover.Make your own album cover! Here’s what you do: The article you get when you click this link is your band title.

The last four words of the last quote on this page is your album title (you will probably need to reload the page if you do more than one, if you’re like me.)

And the third picture, the upper right hand, will be your cover photo.

Because when I need to relax, completely mindless internet memes are my way . . . my path . . . my dao . . . . that's just how I roll.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 6:21 PM 4 comments Links to this post  

Mr. Deity and The Limbo

Sorry about no post yesterday -- I'll be back later tonight -- meanwhile"


From Crackle: Mr. Deity and the Limbo - Season 2, Ep 7

Posted byPortlyDyke at 1:27 PM 1 comments Links to this post  

Something You've Probably Done

A warning before you read on -- this post is NSFW (not safe for work) -- if you work for anyone who is sex-phobic.

Me?

I work for myself -- and I'm not sex-phobic by any stretch of the imagination, so this post is not NSFW for me.

This post is about masturbation.

Like I said: Something you've probably done.

My astrological complex is: Gemini/Cancer Cusp, Sagittarius Moon, Scorpio Rising.

I could use that to "explain" the importance of sex in my life, but I don't think I need to. I like sex. I've always liked sex.

While there are some people who do not like sex (and by this, I mean people who genuinely do not like sex, as opposed to people who hate the idea of sex, or think that sex is dirty/bad/evil/wrong), and while I completely respect the proclivities of people who do not like sex, I think that there are many people who do like sex, but whose upbringing and cultural entrainment may have steered them away from a complete enjoyment of their own sexuality.

Hence, this post.

About masturbation.

When I was a teenager, Saturday mornings were the only real free time I had. Mon-Fri was School (or a Summer job), dinner, family/homework in the evenings, and Sundays mornings, there was Church to get up for, then more family. Thus, Saturday mornings were preferred masturbation time.

My mother thought I just liked to sleep late (yeah, as if).

As they say: "Practice makes perfect" -- so I did my level best to practice the art of self-pleasure. I also believe that my lovers benefited from my endless self-experimentation, so it's all good.

Please note the following video, and how it's "funny" because it's preposterous to us that people would be this completely frank and open about this uncomfortable subject -- "Playing in a One Man Show", "Engaging in Super-Safe Sex","Much Goo About Nothing", "Tugging the Vertical Smile", "Getting To Know Yourself" (or my personal favorite, courtesy of best-friend -- "Waving at the Pod") -- in short -- Wanking:


I've wanked in many times, spaces, and dimensions, with and without aids, alone and with others. Despite all social commentary to the contrary ("You wanker!", "What? Hole in your inflatable girlfriend again?", etc.) I think masturbation is a good thing, and I say that as a person in a completely satisfying sexual relationship with another human being.

Too often, in our culture, I think masturbation gets short shrift. It's the thing you're supposed to do only if you have no alternative ("alternative" being: sex with another human being). While making love/having great sex with another consenting human is fantastic, there are still times when some "quality time" with yourself and your genitalia can be just the thing.

It's odd to me that something that is so nearly-universal in humans is still the source of humor-through-shame.

Which is why I was glad that I found the following video clip.

When I first saw it, I was absolutely stopped in my tracks, and wondered if it could possibly be "real" -- however, I believe that most of the people on this clip are really doing what you think they're doing -- and the vulnerability of that astounded and still astounds me. This is one of the most amazing videos I've ever seen on the internet.

It's outrageously courageous, in my opinion, and I salute all the brave souls who participated.



Keep doing what you've probably done.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:54 PM 6 comments Links to this post  

Prepping For An Intense Weekend

I'm teaching a two-day workshop this weekend, so blogging may be sparse in the next few days as I prepare for it. I'll try to make sure I put up at least a bit of entertainment every day.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:51 PM 1 comments Links to this post  

Organizing My Thoughts

Today was my "day off", and so I piddled around most of the day. I watched a movie which I liked (it made me weep, which I enjoy), surfed the internet, helped a phriend solve a dilemma, and tackled the beginning of something that I've been putting off -- I started adding labels to the posts I've made here since the beginning of this blog.

I don't know why I didn't start it from the beginning, really -- but I didn't -- so understanding "why" wouldn't change the fact that I didn't.

When I started this blog, it was really only because I found myself posting ridiculously long comments on other people's blogs, and realized that I should just "get a room, already", and trust that if people were interested in what I thought, they would come along.

Anyhooooooo -- You will now find, in the right side-bar -- a list of "labels" (and I swear to all the Girl Scout ancestors that I will faithfully label all my posts from now on), so you can take a look at some old stuff that is now partially catalogued (I have not finished labeling all the posts that I've made, but I got a good start today).

Of course, in order to do this, I had to read back on a lot of blog entries. This was an oddly satisfying task, as I found some posts that engendered a certain fondness in me.

Not bad for a girl who just wanted to make some "extended comments".

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:55 PM 2 comments Links to this post  

I'm not blogging today, so there.

I've been busy. What can I say?

I love this act -- yes, it's sooooo deconstructive -- especially with the subtitles, and the fact that you'd never see this broadcast in the US with Nina Conti and Monk using the term "fist", or the phrase "Well that fucks up the illusion!":

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:21 PM 4 comments Links to this post  

I'm Sorry, I Don't Have Time to Eradicate You Today

After reading that we are facing yet another Congressional resolution telling us that "We are too, we are too, we are too a Christian Nation!" (despite a Constitution and a First Amendment that clearly indicates that we are not, we are not, we are NOT!) -- after weathering National Bible Week, and Huckabee's Xtian asshattery, and then re-reading Obama's "Call to Renewal" speech in which he says that a "sense of proportion" is needed from "both sides" when talking about "faith and democratic pluralism" (Really, Senator? Cuz I always thought that "proportion" meant "balance among the parts of something" -- which would require that the Religious Right do some serious catch-up in the tolerance department before we could attain a "sense of proportion") -- after all this, I find my previous aversion to fundie Xtianity blossoming into a full-fledged, mouth-foaming rage.

Which is probably exactly what they want -- so that they can validate their perfectly ridiculous projection that queers, atheists, fem'nists, lib'ruls, etc. ad nauseum, are out to destroy them.

Two things I've noticed about Xtianists:
1) They constantly project the worst of their own excesses onto others (homophobic ministers who preach against the depravity of drug use while snorting meth with gay hookers, screeching fiends who insist that their religion is under attack as they simultaneously legislate for the eradication of alternative religion or absence of religion in others, youth pastors who denounce the immorality of sex before marriage while they molest teenagers).
2) They are paranoid to a degree that I think would warrant institutionalization in any other context.

I can resonate with some of Jesus' messages (Love your fellow man, don't be judgmental, etc.) -- and in some respects, he seems like a real fun guy (too bad the Xtianists keep turning him into a real fungi).

However, I think there is a two-headed fly in the soup of Christianity (even in most of its more "liberal" forms) that is bound to be problematic in a pluralistic society:

Head #1 says: "No one comes to the father, except through me." ~ John 14:6
AND
Head #2 says: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." ~ Mark 16:15 "Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations" ~ Matthew 28:19

I've never been comfortable with anyone who claims to have The One-And-Only Real, True Answer to Everything, so Head #1 immediately sets off my alarm bells as a potential enemy of inclusive democracy -- I believe that this is why the founding fathers specifically prohibited government from passing any law that establishes religion.

And, as to Head #2 -- Well, that's kind of a problem for a pluralistic society, isn't it? Especially once you combine it with Head #1.

When they bring these two heads together, Xtians have the One True Path to heaven, PLUS a handy, dandy mandate to bring every single fucking creature on the planet to their way of believing -- whether they like it or not.

I believe that this mutated fly is at the heart of the massive projection and paranoia that Xtianists demonstrate -- they know that they are out to convert the entire world (or subjugate/execute those who won't convert). It's a time-honored tradition, as well as current custom for nearly all Christian sects, with a very few exceptions (Can you say missionary? I thought you could).

So of course they would think someone like me (lesbian, feminist, progressive, non-Christian) is just aching to destroy their "way of life" -- because that's what they are focused on -- suppressing and/or erasing everyone and everything that is NOT LIKE THEM.

It never occurs to them that I might be too involved with my own life to spend weeks and months planning to eradicate their religion -- they're too busy planning to eradicate people like me.

It's their "Christian Duty" to do so.

Unfortunately, this Christian Duty of Proselytizing the One True Faith has a long, ugly history as the motivator of heinous acts. The early Catholics instituted the destruction of pagan temples in Greece around 400 AD, Charlemagne beheaded 4,500 Saxons who got "caught" practicing paganism, thousands of Muslims were slaughtered during the Crusades, tens of thousands tortured and executed during the Inquisition, Hindus and Buddhists were persecuted and killed in Portugal, the Albigensians were eliminated . . . . the list goes on and on.

And then came the Reformation!

You'd think the Protestants (since they were "protesters") would have given some thought to whether this whole "convert or die" thing was something they really wanted in their "new and improved" version of Christianity -- but no -- now, since there were two (count 'em TWO!) kinds of Christians, it just meant double the converting (or double the dying).

Protestants joined in with fervor, killing 600,000 Catholics in Ireland in the space of a few years, burning whole bundles of "witches", and agreeing on one thing with their Catholic enemies -- that all Native American peoples must be "saved" -- or face the consequences. (Although they often seemed to have decided that once the "savages" were "salvaged", they might just need to be slaughtered anyway -- many of the Cherokee people who died on the Trail of Tears identified as Christian.)

I haven't even touched on the Bible Riots, abortion clinic bombings . . . . or the Holocaust

"Today Christians ... stand at the head of [this country]... I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit ..." ~ Adolf Hitler
What a fun bunch! I bet you're just dying to have a beer with the lot of them.

My chief problem with all these feebly-veiled attempts at establishing a theocracy in this county is that this is the reality of "Religious History, Xtian Style" : Convert or Be Eradicated.

Plus the fact that Xtians seem excruciatingly unaware of how they project this agenda onto others.

OK -- my two chief problems are: Convert or Die, Unconscious Projection . . . and
the toxic synthesis of arrogant privilege and abject paranoia . . . .

Amongst my problems with Xtianity are such elements as . . . . Wait -- I'll come in again . . . .

Some years ago, I was walking through Home Depot. There was this guy who kept following me around. At first I thought he might be store security, but after about 20 minutes, I started to have a slightly creepier sense about who he was and what he might be up to. After visiting six or seven different departments, only to look up and find him lingering a few yards behind me, I finally turned and fixed him with a heavy dose of stink-eye -- at which point, he blurted out: "Why are you following me?!"

I'll bet he was a Xtian.

[Note to allies who identify as Christian: I have no problem with what you believe . . . for you . . . which you probably already know -- so no need to go there, OK?]

Posted byPortlyDyke at 6:39 PM 4 comments Links to this post  

Sunday in the Basement with Portly

I spent most of my day in the basement.

It's a nice basement. It's dry (which is a miracle in the Pacific NW), and relatively warm, and I'm working on a Project.

I wasn't so much puttering as I was flying about in a creative frenzy (which is a perfect way to spend a Sunday, as far as I'm concerned).

I'm building a video studio.

And that's all I have to say, today.

No -- wait -- it's five til midnight, so I'll also say: Please do something concrete to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. He was a pivotal person in helping to shape our nation -- his actions, and the actions of those who stood with him for equality and justice, have directly improved my existence (and yours, too, I suspect). Do something that is worthy of that legacy, and his memory, tomorrow.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:55 PM 4 comments Links to this post  

Loving What You Do

One of the things that I love about the internet is that it has allowed me to see and read and listen to the products of people who obviously love what they do.

Making sure that I love what I do has been a central theme in my life for nearly 20 years -- and I think I'm getting better and better at it. My Misery-Early-Warning System has been getting more and more sensitive during these two decades. I'm now at a point where I can stand about 5 minutes maximum of doing anything that I hate before I stop (and I usually choose not to do it at all), about 10 minutes of doing anything that I dislike but don't really mind doing, and about 20 minutes of doing something that I feel luke-warm about.

Granted, there are some things that are necessary to surviving and thriving that I used to dislike or hate -- but since they are things necessary to my survival/thrival, I've found ways to turn them into things that I love doing -- or else I've swapped with someone else who loves to do them (taking out the garbage, for example -- I have never found a way to love that -- thankfully, I live with someone who has natural love of garbage-taking-out, but who has never cultivated love-of-spreadsheet -- hence, I keep the accounts, he takes out the garbage).

The thing about cultivating love for what you are doing is that I've found that it (usually) makes you better at doing it. I love cleaning the bathroom -- and I'm really, really good at it. I can turn a moldy, dingy bathroom into a thing of beauty, and enjoy the process.

I believe that there is, however, a difference between simply being really good at something and loving something and being really good at it.

So tonight, I offer you videos of people who (to my eye) are obviously in their bliss -- and the magic that results when people do what they love -- may you spend the day doing only that which delights, inspires, and fulfills you.





Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:55 PM 6 comments Links to this post  

The Bedlam Yarns #1: Glen Miller in the Air Vent

OR: The Magical World of Anti-depressants

(Note to mental-illness survivors who commented on my last post and said that they wanted me to write the Bedlam Yarns, but didn't know if they could read them -- of all my Bedlam Yarns, I think this one is not likely to be terribly triggering, but YMMV.)

When you're hospitalized as a crazy person, doctors have you captive, so they can prescribe drugs in ways that they would never dare if they didn't have you under constant observation (or so they told me).

Normally, when you go on anti-depressant or anti-psychotic medications, they bring you on slowly, steadily increasing your dosages. When I was in the hospital, they put me on a high dose of anti-depressant medication on my third day in. They told me this was not how they would do it if I were in the wild (not their term, but mine), and that I should report anything unusual to my psychiatrist or the nurses on duty.

Mind you, when I checked into the hospital, I was not psychotic -- just severely and suicidally depressed.

I took the pills, went to my session with my psychiatrist, and joined the other inmates for meals in the common room. The rest of the time, though, I spent in my room, journaling, drawing, staring out the window at the concrete lightwell and the grey Northwest winter.

Very cheery indeed.

About 24 hours after I began taking the medication, I noticed something strange.

This hospital was shiny-bright and perfectly temperature-regulated -- a balmy 70 degrees all day and all night, thanks to the air-vents that blew continually in every room, circulating and purifying the shared air of hundreds of "sick" people.

The vent above my bed shushed out white-noise that was at first comforting, and then, annoying.

It became especially annoying when I noticed the faintest whisper of Glen Miller big band music emanating from it.

It was slight -- so slight that at first I wasn't sure I was really hearing it -- but as the day passed, it persisted -- the tiniest suggestion of rhythmic horns and bass just below the surface of the steady "whoosh" of air.

It became a bit maddening as I strained to hear it more clearly -- I even stood on my bed to get my ear closer to the vent.

I will swear to this day that it was there --though it remained elusive and subtle, the tunes actually changed. I longed to be able to switch the air-flow off so that I could listen without the interference of the ambient noise of the blower.

An orderly came into my room that evening. He was a very sweet guy who was obviously attempting to make a real connection to the people he was working with.

He must have seen me looking perplexed, because he asked me "Is anything wrong?"

I beckoned and said: "Come here."

He came over by my bed and stood patiently, waiting for me to let him know what I needed.

"Do you hear that?" I asked.

This is the part of the story that I think is so great. This guy cocked his head like the RCA dog and really, earnestly, listened.

"The air vent?" he asked.

"Do you hear anything else coming from the air vent -- like very faint music?"

He cocked his head again and gave it his all.

"No," he finally said, shaking his head and looking sympathetic -- "I'm really sorry [Portly], I don't hear any music."

It was a very weird, and very sweet, moment. I think he was genuinely sorry that he couldn't confirm my experience.

I had only been there a couple of days -- this guy probably had no idea what, if anything, my "diagnosis" was. At the time, I wondered if maybe I was sicker than I had thought I was -- like maybe I'd been hearing music all along without knowing it.

"It's big band music," I said," like Glen Miller . . . . . Look -- I didn't come in here because I was hallucinating -- I'm just depressed. Do you think it's the medication?"

"It could be," he said, "You should talk to your doctor tomorrow."

"Okay," I said, as he turned to go. Once again I caught the faintest riff of trumpets tooting away at a swing piece.

"You really don't hear that?" I asked again, incredulous.

He stopped, closed his eyes for a moment, brought his concentration to listening and said, with another slight shake of his head and a half-smile: "No. I don't. I'm sorry. I really don't."

"Oh . . . . Okay."

So, the next day, I attended my first "Coping With Stress" class.

This class was held in a 10 by 12 foot room, which held 14 crazy people, two orderlies, and "Rudy", the presenter.

Rudy had clearly trained for this gig. He pitched his very resonate voice as if he were giving this lecture in a 400 seat auditorium, instead of a 200 sq ft room (which was rather a lot of stimulus for people who were on drugs which have a tendency to make your ears roar anyway).

Maybe the whole idea was to subject you to some stress, so that you had some to cope with -- just in case being in a mental ward wasn't stressful enough for you.

As Rudy droned on, I experienced myself looking from one side of my brain to the other. (I can't tell you exactly how this happened, but it was very clear to me at the time.)

On the left side of my brain from which I was observing, I was processing Rudy's spiel, but as I turned to look in on the right side of my brain, I watched as I saw myself, quite calmly and surgically, slicing the top of Rudy's cranium off with a scalpel, and gently lifting his brain out to have a long scientific look at what made this man tick.

"Wow," I thought (from the left side of my brain), "That was weird."

I reported this, and Glen Miller's invasion of the air-conditioning system, to my shrink during the session later that afternoon.

"Hmmm . . . . . " said the Shrink, "Well, [Portly], you're experiencing episodes of what we call 'bizarre thinking'."
(Gee, ya think?)
"We'll be reducing your medication."

Which they did. I didn't have any more bifurcated brain observations. That kind of stuff stopped immediately.

What is weird is that the Glen Miller music never disappeared, or even changed.

Which left me wondering whether the whole air-vent thing was some kind of mental ward reality-check test (you know -- maybe they really were piping Glen Miller music through the air-co -- if you noticed it, they would know you were on the ball, and if you didn't, then they'd know you were truly crackers) -- or maybe I had developed some super-human hearing capability, or my orderly was partially deaf, or I was picking up some big-band station through my fillings that only transmitted right there in the vortex of that particular hospital light well, or someone was fucking with my head -- or maybe . . . I was just crazy.

What was also weird, to me, was the knowledge that they had loaded me up with drugs that basically made me more crazy than when I got there, and that this didn't seem to bother the professionals who were working with me . . . . at all.

I wondered, then, and now, how many "crazy" people were wandering around looking and acting really wacko because of drugs they were taking to keep them from looking or acting wacko.

Do you think that's weird, or am I just crazy?

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:54 PM 8 comments Links to this post  

Portly and the Loony Bin

Or "Why I Don't Want Anyone To Force Me to Buy Health Insurance."

Most of the Healthcare "reform" that's being touted by political candidates these days involves some sort of mandate that requires individuals who are not covered by their employers to buy health insurance from a private health insurer. Some of these plans include proposals for penalizing those who refuse by garnishing their wages or damaging their credit.

The following explains why I will be one of those who will face the penalty, rather than comply, if such a plan is put into law.

On April 1st of this year, I will celebrate 20 years of self-employment. Prior to 4/1/88, I had "regular jobs" with benefits and health-coverage (albeit shitty, Kaiser coverage) for my entire working life. After I became self-employed, I did the "responsible" thing and purchased private health insurance (thus foregoing any hope of long, lingering vacations in warm, sunny places, plus an arm and a leg).

I was an insurance company's cash-cow wet-dream -- the only claims I have ever made on my car insurance policy in a 36-year driving history were as a result of being hit by other drivers (which the insurance company recouped from the at-fault driver), I never made a single claim on my home insurance, and I'm generally healthy as a horse.

Except for this one thing that happened 15 years ago, which I've talked about before.

Hence the title of this post.

I'm not going to go into huge detail about my loony bin experiences in this post (hmmmm -- although I may start another series of posts -- "The Bedlam Yarns" -- what do you think?)

Suffice it to say that my first 8 day hospitalization for clinical, suicidal depression (the first time I had been hospitalized since I was born) -- cost $14,000.00.

At this time, $14,000.00 was well over half my annual income.

I didn't worry about that at the time, though -- because I had insurance, you see. Insurance that I paid upwards of $3000/year for. Insurance that was supposed to cover me if something bad happened -- like having a nervous breakdown.

Or so I thought.

Turns out that my insurance plan had a limit on any treatment for mental illness.

That limit? $1000/year.

Oh. Guess I missed that in the fine print (and it was very fine), on page 38 or so of the very lengthy policy.

Bummer.

So now, I was not only a wreck mentally -- I was also facing a $13G hospital bill. At a time when I was, shall we say -- not exactly "suited for work"? Not precisely a candidate for financial mover and shaker of the year?

It was at this point that I began to realize: Health Insurance is not about health coverage. It's about money. It's a gamble between you and a huge corporation.

They're betting that you don't get sick, and you're betting that you do.

Which is all kinds of fucked up, because the only way you "win" the bet is to do something that you probably don't want to do -- get sick.

(Life Insurance is an even weirder bet, since you're essentially betting that you'll die young -- and they're betting that you'll live to a ripe old age -- after they've sucked the bucks from you.)

During the five years I had been paying my insurance premiums before I got sick, I went to the doctor once a year for an annual check-up (which wasn't covered), and purchased a prescription drug called "Naproxen" (now known as "Alleve) for menstrual cramps (which also wasn't covered). That was it -- the entire extent of my need for medical care.

In fact, I had been taking Naproxen for cramps (as prescribed by my physician) before I purchased private health insurance, so the insurance company "rated" me on anything that involved my reproductive organs for the first 3 years of my coverage (which meant that they would not have covered any illness related in any way to my ovaries or uterus had I had a problem in those 3 years).

When I first applied for private insurance, I argued with the person who "rated" me for reproductive issues because I had taken a prescription medication.

I said: "Yes, I take it for cramps. Nearly every woman I know takes pain-medication for cramps."

She replied: "Not everyone takes prescription medication for cramps." (Note: Naproxen was de-regulated and went over-the-counter as "Alleve" about a year later, but I was still shit out of luck on my lady-bits. See how that works?)

But back to my story. I was mentally ill, suicidally depressed, owed $13,000 that I didn't have, and was unable to work. I was ineligible for any type of public assistance until I had been unemployed for four months or longer, and even after that, a social worker told me that applying for and getting medicaid assistance generally took one to three years -- if I qualified -- which meant that I would have to prove a long-term disability -- which meant that I couldn't get better if I wanted any help. The social worker told me, to my face: "You're going to have to look very sick to qualify."

During that first year, I was hospitalized again -- this time through an involuntary commitment process, as I was deeply depressed and ragingly suicidal at the time -- cuz life was looking so rosy, dontcha know.

The second hospitalization cost around $8000, which the hospital billed to me, even though I had been involuntarily committed. (They also booted me out much more quickly, because they had figured out that my insurance company wasn't going to pay up.)

I was able to work only very marginally for the next three years. I survived, during this time, through receiving generous help and support from loved ones (my ex, with whom I had purchased a house, cashed me out on what little equity I had), scaling back my life to nearly nothing (I lived in a used RV on community land where I paid $180/month for rent, and was able to raise a lot of my own food), and living on credit (which didn't last long).

Two years after my breakdown, I ended up declaring bankruptcy. Ironically, even though I had now learned the hard way that the insurance company was not my friend, I continued to pay my health-care premiums for four more years after the bankruptcy (like I said, I used to be crazy).

When they hiked the premiums to a level which I absolutely could not pay, I dropped my coverage. Since I was no longer grandfathered into a plan, and now had a history of mental illness, I became "un-insurable". To this day, I remain pretty much un-insurable -- at least in terms of insurance I could remotely afford (even though all this occurred 15 years ago).

I don't have health insurance now -- and I don't want it. For one thing, even if I had it, it wouldn't cover the type of health care that I focus on today (I see a naturopathic MD when I need a doctor, and focus on cultivating my wellness and health rather than "fighting" disease). I focus on preventative care, diet, and activities that tend to keep me away from the doctor's office.

I want to make very clear that I'm not "anti" traditional western medicine. There are some things that TWM does very well -- if I'm having a heart attack, or I cut my arm off -- for sure, take me to a well-equipped, traditional western hospital.

I'm just not convinced of the following: That the majority of western medical institutions, pressured as they are by the need to "show profit", inextricably intertwined as they are with private, for-profit insurance companies and Big Pharma interests who are more responsive to their stock-holders than to the people they are supposedly "helping" -- I'm not convinced that these institutions really have their eye on the ball concerning "health".

That's why I'm incredibly disturbed that the politicians of today, with rare exceptions (like Kucinich) seem to be focusing their health care initiatives on expanding a system (privatized insurance) that is already not working. ("Something broken? Let's do MORE of it! Yipee!!")

The only way a mandatory, privatized health plan would work for the customers/consumers would be if health insurance was incredibly regulated, and companies were forced to cover their customer's medical needs -- and if you're going to do that, why not rebuild the fucking system from the ground up?

The reason that they want everyone enrolled is that it broadens the "risk pool". That makes sense -- but in fact, it's just a form of socialized medicine, which is one of those "third rail" words that you will never hear falling out of a candidate's mouth. I'd be happy to pay into a system that honors my health choices, and let my "healthy-as-a-horse" condition subsidize someone who isn't as fortunate in their genetics or circumstances -- but not if my subsidy is doing more to line the pockets of some board-room fat-cat than to get a low-income kid an annual check-up, or a new kidney, or to help some working stiff get his back repaired after years of lifting garbage cans.

What I learned through the loony-bin insurance fiasco was this: The insurance company is not my "friend". It isn't there to "help" me. I haven't forgotten the lesson of that harsh thump against the Reality Wall -- that all those years I paid my premiums, we were just engaged in a particularly vicious little card game.

I won my bet. I got sick. Lucky me. But then, the company wriggled and squirmed and fine-printed its way out of its commitment to me.

Stupid me.
"Caveat emptor."
Let the buyer beware.

And that is why, in matters of health care, the game must not be one of sellers and buyers, but of providers and patients. Providers who are well remunerated for the invaluable service they bring (and I'm not just talking about Doctors, here), and patients whose health is the paramount focus of the entire system.

In my state alone, the biggest three health insurers nearly doubled their profit from 2003 ($243 million) to 2006 ($431 million), while the number of people that they actually covered dropped by 16.9% in approximately the same period (2002:2.37 million covered, 2006: 1.97 million covered).

Yeah. Let's take that as a national model. Yipee.

You can probably tell how moderate and calm I am about this topic -- and it is in that tone that I hope you'll receive my last sentence:

If the fucking government wants to fucking force me to buy fucking private health insurance, then they had better fucking BY GOD guarantee me that the fucking insurance company has to fucking cover my treatment -- every . . . fucking . . . . bit of it.

That is all.

(Please vote in comments if you would like to read any of The Bedlam Yarns -- don't worry, they're not all grim. The mental ward can actually be kind of funny . . . . after 15 years have passed.)

Posted byPortlyDyke at 8:20 PM 15 comments Links to this post  

Every Girl Needs a Theme Song

Well, thanks to those who suggested some topics. As always, it resurrected me, and I'm working on some posts -- in the meantime:

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:54 PM 2 comments Links to this post  

If You Can Keep Your Head

. . . . when all about you are losing theirs . . . . .

Now there's a thought.

I've been watching various blogospheric conniptions lately, and I've found that I have hit one of those "blogging walls" that I stumble into from time to time.

I'm sure you know the feeling -- "Does any of this really matter?"

In the past few days, I've found that I'm more interested in what's happening in my real life than what's happening on my computer screen. I don't think that's a "good thing" or a "bad thing" -- I'm just noticing the cycles -- as this seems to come and go for me.

Of course, I think the recent alternating ball-cutting and pettitude of political candidates (did I really just say "recent"?) has put me off my internet feed a bit -- truth be known, I want to dope-slap the lot of them and say: "Hey! You claim to want to be elected supreme leader for an entire nation! Stop acting the Fool!!!!!"

Recently, I've noticed that I've been weighing my comments on threads with more careful consideration before hitting "publish"-- perhaps in response to what I perceive as a rash of hasty, ill-considered statements from people who I think should know better (*ahem* Democratic candidates). I'm wanting to be more thoughtful about what I pour into the stream of ones and zeros, 'cause it sure looks like there's already a surfeit of bile flowing.

I want the internet to inform me, and to provide me with an avenue to, hopefully, inform others -- and perhaps more importantly, to create a space for dialogue and connection. I don't want it to become a kiddy-pool full of poop.

I say all that in full knowledge that I've posted my share of rants, reamed my portion of troll-ass, and spouted off when it might have been better for me to keep my peace.

I'd name some of the threads that have given me digital indigestion, but I think that would just be adding poop to the pool.

As interesting as it can be to get all righteous-wrathy, it's actually pretty exhausting after a bit.

So today, I'm concentrating on "keeping my head" -- contributing my energy to the wild, wooly world of the internets tube in ways that are additive and expansive. It's challenging for me sometimes, but I believe that it can be done.

Since I'm having a blogging dry spell, I'd truly appreciate some suggestions from readers to help get me in gear again -- Any topics you'd like to hear my thoughts on? Anything you're dying to know about me? Any dangly bits I've left from other posts that are driving you crazy?

Just let me know -- I'll be over here, keeping my head.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 10:31 PM 5 comments Links to this post  

I've Been Saved

It's true. I have embraced a personal relationship with my Deity, and once again, my faith has been rewarded.

See, just last night, I was praying that I would find something to blog today that wouldn't require me to take a lot of time and attention from the project that I'm blissfully in love with right now (and which I've been deeply involved in since noon).

And my prayers have been answered.

Who says there is no Supreme Being? Jesus Jesse saves. Can I get an Amen?!?!?!


From Crackle: Mr. Deity and the Murder - Season 2, Ep 6

Posted byPortlyDyke at 7:43 PM 2 comments Links to this post  

In Honor of Living Like a Cat Day

I'm not blogging today. So there!

I am, however, posting videos of squirrels, so that your inner cat may be entertained:

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:55 PM 1 comments Links to this post  

The Difference Between a Dog Whistle and a History Book

For those of you who participated in last night's Institutional Memory Quiz, the answer is: Adolph Hitler.

One commenter noted: "I didn't want to go there, as the whole Republican=Nazi narrative is insulting to many, but if I am correct I may just weep."

I agree that any sane person would be insulted to be compared to the founder of the Third Reich, and personally, I hate it when terms like "feminazi" and "fascist" get thrown around with abandon (and without any substantiating, factual evidence to back such characterizations) -- and that, my friends, is the difference between a "dog-whistle" and a history book.

You may have seen/heard the term "dog-whistle" quite a bit lately -- it generally refers to the use of a coded phrase which allows the speaker to "signal" a certain meaning to a targeted population which understands this meaning, while maintaining plausible deniability if they are called out.

I'd like to talk about what I call the "pavlovian dog whistle", which is the use of a word or phrase that touches on pre-existing enculturated fears and biases -- I believe that we see a lot of these in the news, and in political speech today.

I believe that this is why the phrase "Homosexual Agenda" works so well to inflame the radical Right.

The word "Homosexual", all on its lonesome, seems to engender a visceral response in those who have been trained, from birth, to believe that homosexuality is Teh Evil (yes, even in me, a die-hard queer).

Quite honestly, I've always found"homosexual" a fairly unpleasant word, in both sound and structure. It has too many syllables, for one thing, yet the first part of it simply cannot roll off the tongue in the light and lilting manner that the greater-syllabled "hetero-" seems to do.

Add to this the fact that, in order to pronounce "homosexual", you have to say the word "homo", which lingers in most English-speaking brains as the most withering school-yard taunt possible -- a word so awful that children had to point out that their milk was "homo"genized, and then dare each other to drink it. Yuk. Yuk.

Take this nasty, dreadful word and tack on the word "Agenda", and Voila! -- you summon the image of meetings, plans, organized action, and the dire plottings of the kids you terrorized on the playground by calling them a "homo", now bent en masse on exacting their revenge.

Now that's scary.

The thing is: There has never, in the history of civilization, been a mass take-over of any country by "homosexuals". Never. Homosexuals have never instigated executions of heterosexuals, or closed down heterosexual night-clubs, or made laws that prohibited heterosexuals from enjoying sex or marriage with their chosen partners. Never. Not once.

There are all sorts of pavlovian dog-whistles out there these days, rousing the hounds who consciously want to continue racism, sexism, antisemitism, and xenophobia -- and worse, evoking responses in people who don't consciously embrace such views, but who may be unaware that certain deeply enculturated biases are being stimulated in them.

I hear them all the time -- the most prominent being: "Be afraid. Be very afraid."

This meme saturates the "news"-media. It doesn't really matter what "they" say, or imply, you "should" be afraid of -- the big black guy, the money-grubbing jew, the conniving woman, the homo who wants to molest your kids, the Muslim terrorist, the illegal-alien -- it just matters that you're afraid.

Some could argue that, by posting my Institutional Memory Quiz, I'm blowing a Bush=Hitler dog-whistle -- however, to me there is a difference, and that difference rests in what I'm asking you to do with the information. I'm asking you to take a look at documented actions of one individual, and compare them to documented actions of another individual -- not so that you will be afraid, not so that you will demonize that individual, but so that you will critically consider those actions, and draw your own correlations and conclusions.

We, as a species, within living memory, have seen actions like these before. Our parents and grandparents can speak to us about the likely consequences of such actions. They can tell us where these roads lead, so that we can take a different path.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." ~ George Santayana

Insanity: Doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:45 PM 5 comments Links to this post  

Institutional Memory -- A Thing of The Future

When I was younger (pre-30s), I most often hung around with people who were older than I was, because the people "my age" didn't seem all that interested in what I was interested in (poetry, politics, thinking, etc.)

Now, I find that I often hang around/resonate with people who are younger than I am, because most of the people "my age" don't seem all that interested in what I'm interested in.

I find that many people "my age" are interested primarily in their stocks and bonds, property values, retirement funds, etc. -- even though they used to be hippies (hmmm -- guess I have a judgment about that).

I'm a pretty "live and let live" kind of gal, so I tend to respect their choices, but choose to share my deepest interactions with people who are more interested in personal transformation, evolutionary thinking, etc. (no matter what that might mean for their financial "bottom line").

I know. Call me wacky.

One of the only things that troubles me about interacting with friends who are much younger than I am is this: I've actually watched a half-century pass, and I have (I believe) a few insights about certain things which are cyclic, and things that are truly new.

With my younger friends, I work very hard to not be uber-pendantic about what I affectionately refer to as "institutional memory". At the same time, I sometimes want to wave a big red flag in front of them (about one inch from their eyes) and scream: "Helloooo!!!! This is not a 'new' drama! It's been done!!!"

This relates to both personal and political situations.

I want to learn to share what I know with my younger friends without bludgeoning them over the head with my half-century of experience, and going all "elder" on their asses, because I realize that some/most of them were not even alive during the Nixon era, much less the original moon-walk (not the Michael Jackson version), or JFK's assassination. While most of my younger friends are old enough to have completed college, I realize that many of them may not have studied history in any real depth.

However --for friends who are my age or older I find that I don't have as much tolerance for their "institutional amnesia". I want to say: "Hey! Eyes up here!! Wake up! We've been through this before. Don't you remember?"

I do tend to grant some level of dispensation to those who have had "conversion" experiences over the past half-century -- people who started out as die-hard conservatives and later became die-hard liberals -- folks who used to think that life was simply suffering, but who now realize that life could just be an amazing circus ride -- people who didn't have a clue about why civil rights were important for everyone, but who had an awakening that brought them to the understanding that "if anyone is oppressed, everyone is oppressed" -- stuff like that -- because I realize that there may be nuances to past situations that were completely transparent to them at the time, and in some arenas of society, there have been a fuck of a lot of changes since 1956.

However.

If you're over the age of 30, you've been able to buy booze since 1998, and able to vote since 1995. You were at least a teenager when the first "Gulf War" was fought.

If you're over the age of 40, you were a legal adult by 1985, so you witnessed the craptacticness of "Reaganomics".

If you're over the age of 50, you were a legal adult by 1975, and . Etc., etc., etc..

If you were college-educated, you had ample opportunity to study history.

So, I thought I'd come up with a little "Institutional Memory Test", to help oldsters sharpen up their skills, and give the youngsters the benefit of my rather long and jaded memory, plus my mad history skillz.

  1. Prior to George W. Bush, what other democratically elected leader of a western nation did all of the below:

    • Was elected to office without the majority of the popular vote, due to oddities of "proportional voting" schemes.

    • Circumvented previous protections in the national constitution which allowed infringement on the privacy of personal communications of the citizens of his nation (post, telegraph, and telephone).

    • Initiated a war on foreign soul against a nation that had never attacked his country.

    • Permitted the use of enhanced/sharpened "interrogation" techniques such as 1) sleep deprivation, 2) exhaustion exercises, 3) darkened cells, and 4) physical brutality as long as a doctor was present for some types of physical brutality, in the case that "the prisoner can give information about important facts, connections or plans hostile to the state or the legal system".

    Please pick up your pencils and begin now. You have 15 minutes.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 10:30 PM 9 comments Links to this post  

A Little Perspective

Whenever I get sucked into the maelstrom that is "the current hot topic" on the blogosphere, I generally take a larger perspective in order to re-center myself. This video worked the trick.

We're human, remember? And the universalities of being human that connect us are far more powerful than the things that separate us.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:50 PM 4 comments Links to this post  

The Portly Stand-Up

This is another in a continuing series of Portly Parables.

It's true -- I was once a stand-up comedienne.

I'm even in a book about women stand-ups (find me if you can!).

I was Teh Funny.

Stand-up is a very weird gig. You go out on a stage, alone, for the singular purpose of making a bunch of people that you usually don't know -- laugh -- either at you, or with you.

In my experience (and with Joni's eminently sage musical validation) -- laughter is a form of release that is next-door-neighbor/cousin/twin/soul-mate to crying.

My humor was mostly socio-political. I liked the way that humor let me get close to the bone with people -- by making a joke about something like lesbian serial-monogamy, I actually got "humorless" lesbians to chuckle (or at least stir in their chairs a bit).

You see -- I was a not just a stand-up comedienne -- I was an out lesbian stand-up comedienne. My mother pointed out to me at the time that this might not be the most lucrative career choice. I now direct her attention to Ellen and Rosie, and almost wish that I'd stuck with it. Almost. In truth, other things occurred in my life that I would have missed if I were still standing up in that way instead of the way I stand up now.

Here are the things that I liked about doing stand-up:

  1. People laughed.
  2. I got to talk about very important, and sometimes, sensitive, issues in a way that people actually enjoyed.
  3. It required a certain quality of presence and spontaneity that I utterly relished, and new material was always getting created via people who thought they were "heckling" me.
Here are the things that I didn't like about doing stand-up:
  1. I attained a marginal level of "famousness", in which people on the street would greet me as if they knew me -- which, in a way, they did, because they had heard me talk about my personal life in very revealing ways -- but I didn't know them at all, and I was often uncertain, when they greeted me in very familiar ways, whether they were someone I actually knew. Awkward.
  2. I found out that the minute the "powers-that-be" begin to recognize and appreciate your work for its originality, freshness and "edge", they generally want to hire you and then tell you how you "should" be doing your work -- which usually involves removing all hints and traces of originality, freshness, and "edge".
  3. Traveling constantly did not really serve the "homebody" that was swiftly emerging in me during my late thirties/early forties.
I will say that none of this experience was wasted. My stint as a stand-up (heyday: 1988-1992, off-and-on dabbling 1992-1998) definitely equipped me with some essential skills that have served me well since I quit "trying" to be funny and just became funny (in both the ha-ha and theweird way). Namely:
  • I'm hard to daunt/embarrass.
  • I'm good with a crowd.
  • I recognize that humor is a very good tool for examining issues that might otherwise be too painful to look at.
  • I don't take myself too seriously.
  • I recognize "hecklers" (aka trolls/asshats) as opportunities for entertainment and education rather than the disastrous, soul-crumbling, humiliating challenges that they would like to think they are.
  • I laugh a lot.
And now -- Joni.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:54 PM 3 comments Links to this post  

If I Believe My Spam Filter . . . .

. . . . . Hillary Clinton is definitely going to be our next president.

Recently, I've been deluged with spam about how Hillary Clinton is Teh Evil -- the most recent spate has alerted me to the fact that Hillary is a Witch (the Horror!).

This is the thing: If "they" are working so hard to make sure that I don't vote for her (30 emails in the last three days), it must mean that "they" think that she is actually the candidate to worry about.

Oh, I find this shit endlessly entertaining.

It's just like Junior High.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:56 PM 4 comments Links to this post  

Missing Christmas

The one thing I like about Christmas is this: People who pay attention to it (even in a marginal and non-religious way) tend to understand that it's a really good excuse to act more humane, if only briefly.

For this one day, and even sometimes in the weeks leading up to it, there's a bunch of people who get all emotional and squishy and generous and vulnerable and peaceful.

Even the people who spend Christmas feeling depressed and lonely are a sign of hope for me -- they seem to "get" at that time (if at no other), that this isn't how it's "supposed" to be -- and that there's no excuse for humans to be isolated.

I even know atheists who can't stand being alone at Christmas, and agnostics who will jump into the Christmas spirit by spreading their bounty to others -- even though they might not be able to explain to you exactly why they did so.

Which brings me to the one thing that I loathe about Christmas: After it's over, everyone -- even those who tout this holiday as the birthday of the "Prince of Peace", and go on about the "Reason for the Season" -- seems quite content to return to the status quo of "dog-eat-dog", "life is hard, then you die", and "every man for himself".

In my opinion, if there is a "miracle" attached to Christmas, it's the miracle of human beings realizing that they are quite capable of exercising their generosity muscles, developing their peace practice, and stretching/flexing their connection fibers.

I want that every day. Not just once a year.

I miss Christmas.

This post was inspired by this song, which has been a favorite of mine for 20 years, and brings me to tears every time I hear it:


Dedicated to Andrew Olmsted

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:59 PM 4 comments Links to this post  

I Was Going to Be All Brilliant and Shit

. . . . . . but the truth is, I'm not feeling very well tonight. I'm going to put myself into bed with a hot water bottle and "pretend to be sick", so I don't have to do the real thing.

*tottering off to bed*

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:21 PM 1 comments Links to this post  

Portly and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Bank Job

This was the next Portly Parable on the popularity list.

This is a story about quitting.

This is a story that I thought about when Tart quit her job.

This is a story from my distant past. 1978, to be exact.

I want to make it clear that it's not as if nothing interesting has happened to me in recent years -- it's just that it would be very difficult to relate some of my more recent interesting experiences without a whole lot of explanation, and without divulging the identities of people who might not want to be identified. Elapsed time is nice that way.

But on with the story: Portly and the Terrible, Horrible (blah, blah, blah) Bank Job.
********************************************************
I won't go into all the details of how I got to the bank. I'm just going to start at the bank. The big bank. The traditional bank. The bad-ass bank. The edifice-on-the-corner bank. The bank that had a huge clean-room with a computer that took up the whole fucking floor bank.

When I went to work there, I thought I had entered the future, because this was the first place that I ever had a magnetic ID card which allowed me to access certain rooms, but not other rooms, which allowed me to ride certain elevators, but not other elevators. It was teh cool. It was, like, Tron (before Tron existed).

I was originally hired as a check-sorter. All day, I sat in front of what was, essentially, an enormous rolodex (I realize that some of you may be too young to understand what a rolodex is) -- but this was an ultra-cool, hi-tech rolodex, with these numbered pedals like a church-organ which allowed you to rotate the files within it until you came to the file for the account that you had checks for, and my job was to look, look, look at each check to make sure that the signature matched the signature on the card at the top of the file into which I was about to file it. We had those little sticky thumb-cotes, and little jars of sticky-stuff sitting at our sides, so that we could quickly and efficiently make sure that everyone's checks got into the correct file.

Bar-codes did exist in some places, but people were more vigilant about their money in those days, I think. They wanted human hands to process their checks, and human eyes to check the signatures. So in this huge bank with its clean room and magnetic-strip IDs, I was sorting checks by hand. Every day.

Apparently, I did such a good job doing this that I came to the attention of the supervisor, who promoted me to a new position within two months. Now, I was an "over-draft manager".

My job, from 8 am to 5 pm, every day, was to look at line after line of tiny computer print-out (18" x 24" ring-clipped books -- green/white alternating lines of dot-matrix print), figure out how many checks a particular customer had written that were "non-sufficient funds", and calculate how to manipulate the pay-off order of these checks so that the bank could stiff the customer for the maximum number of overdraft charges.

By policy, if a customer was overdrawn on some of the checks (but not all), I was supposed to authorize the largest check for payment that I could, and make sure that a whole bunch of smaller checks would bounce, thus enabling the bank to make many $10 per-check charges for overdrafts. Nice, huh?

I became subversive almost immediately. I would have the stack of checks here and the print-out there, and I would see that this one was their light bill, that one was their phone bill, or their heating bill, and regardless of the "policy", I'd pay those first.

I did have the technical authority to make such decisions, and my boss didn't want to be bothered and never checked -- so I did it. This was back in the day that Ma Bell would yank your phone service the day your payment was late -- and they could -- because they were the only game in town. As Ernestine used to say: "We don't care, we don't have to -- we're the phone company". (And that, dear friends, is why you don't want another global media conglomerate -- but that's another post.)

Of all the places I've ever worked, I think that this was the soul-sucking-est. I was a young lesbian, trying my best to do the straight-acting/appearing routine, and I had been a weirdo from birth, orientation not-withstanding.

I took my lunch in the cafeteria alone for the first couple of months, scribbling feverishly in my journal after I had scarfed down whatever horrible food was available under glaring fluorescents, surrounded by institutional-green walls. A woman who worked in my department asked me one Friday: "Writing another letter? Do you write every day?" I looked up from my journal, and said: "Yes. Yes. I write every day."

I had just written: "Friday: It is the day of freedom. It is hard for me to fathom the fact that today, some 90% of the country is rejoicing that the week of toil is over. Surely the bums must laugh at us in their leisure. Sane people fear the mad because they are afraid they might become dangerous. Mad people fear the sane because they know them to be dangerous."

I did find two compatriots at the bank, eventually -- two black women who, like me, tended to sit apart in the cafeteria, but who, unlike me, had not received rapid promotion in their departments, even though they were both wicked smart, and had each been there for more than five years. Huh. Fancy that.

When I took this job, I took it for the money. Period. End of story.

I knew when I took it that it would be temporary. I knew that I needed to get the fuck out of Kansas. I knew that I needed a bit of cash to make that a reality. So, three months after my promotion, I was ready to quit. I confided this to my new friends, and was wondering how much notice to give. The older of the two said simply: "None. Don't give them any notice. I've seen what happens. You give notice and they will load you up with every one of the crappiest jobs they have for the rest of the time you're here. Listen -- do you need another job with them?"

"No."

"Then don't do it. Just go when you're ready to go. Trust me on this."

So I didn't give notice. I quietly did my job. I plotted. I planned. I waited.

On my last day -- a Friday -- at lunch --I went to the teller window in the main lobby and withdrew my entire account balance -- $1500.00 -- more money than I had ever seen in one place -- in cash -- and stashed it in my purse.

I sweated out the afternoon, certain that my outrageous withdrawal must have flagged an alarm somewhere. But no -- apparently their super-computer was not that smart yet.

At 5 pm, I went into my supervisor's office and handed her my magnetic badge. I told her that I wouldn't be back on Monday. I quit.

She got this face full of concern and said: "Portly, what's the problem?"

"No problem. I'm quitting."

"Let's go talk to Personnel," she said, in a motherly tone.

"Okay."

The personnel manager heard my boss retell my quitting moment, and turned to me with a perky tip of her head. She was all chipper and upbeat and "can-do".

"OK now Portly -- we can talk about this. What's bothering you? Let's get this fixed up."

"Nothing's bothering me," I said, "I'm quitting."

"Oh, come on, you can tell us. I promise we'll listen."

"There's nothing to tell. I'm quitting. I won't be back."

The personnel manager and supervisor exchanged looks. The PM asked my supervisor to step out a moment, and dropped her voice slightly.

"Now Portly, if there's something you don't think you can say in front of [supervisor's first name, which I had not known until that moment -- in Kansas, in those days, you didn't call your boss by their first name -- you called them "Mr." or "Mrs." So-and-So], it's fine. You can tell me."

"No. There's nothing. I'm quitting. That's all."

She then stepped briskly into the hall, talked in hushed tones with the supervisor, then they both came back in. Gone, now, the saccharin sweet faces and conciliatory tones. They both stared at me as if I were insane.

"So, you're telling us that you are quitting."

"Yes. That's what I'm telling you."

*Slightly Outraged Tone*: "You realize that you can never expect a reference from this organization. You realize that, don't you?!"

"Yes. I realize that."

*Sympathetic, Comforting Tone*: "Really, Portly, what's the problem?"

"There is no problem. I'm quitting. I won't be back. Not on Monday. Not ever."

They just stood there, dumbfounded.

It was a moment of supreme satisfaction for me. I watched it sink into their collective consciousness: I didn't need them. I wasn't afraid of what would happen to me if they didn't approve of me. I didn't care that they thought I was nuts.

It was profoundly liberating. So much so that I sat there for an extra moment or two, just to watch them marinate in their own confusion.

Then, I got up and walked out of the building for the last time. A half-block away, my only two friends from the bank hollered from the bus-stop: "Did you do it?" I gave them the thumbs-up and they jumped up and down.

I never saw them again. The next day, I got in my VW Bug, and drove off to Portland, Oregon, where I lived for the next 22 years.

TEH END

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:55 PM 9 comments Links to this post  

Day 3 of 2008

I didn't pay any attention to the outside world or the news today, and I'm glad I didn't. I put my head down into a database project (for fun), and had mind-sex with my computer.

I love my computer. I mean, I really love my computer.

That's only fitting, I suppose. I built her with my own hands. She's my own personal Galatia, you might say. She's fast. She's sleek. She's ready and willing and able.

I've had my head up my own ass all day, and I think that was absolutely perfect. The weather outside today was . . . . . well, if I were measuring it by a Cat-Barometer, I'd just say that it was a curl up and sleep day.

I didn't nap, but I definitely rested. I relaxed into the luxury of nothing on my calendar, and traded occasional smooches with my beloved. All in all, a perfect day.

That's me today. I'm cooking on a couple of posts that are requiring thought and care. Look for them in the next week.

I didn't have a flying dream last night, but I did have a very interesting encounter with my sister in the dream-time.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:54 PM 2 comments Links to this post  

I'm not blogging today, so there.

OK, not REALLY blogging, anyway.

I had a very "productive" day today, and now, I'm tired. So I'm going to bed.

I hope to have a flying dream, or to dream of kittens. I may be blogging earlier tomorrow, as it is my "day off". If you wish to entertain yourselves in the meantime, please comment about what you would like to dream about the next time you sleep.

Good night.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:49 PM 3 comments Links to this post  

Because My Internet Friends Dared Me

Happy 2008, everyone!

Blame Gender Blank. And Phydeaux. And the Hero-machine.

The Portly is Mightier than the Sword.

Enter a word for your own slogan:

Generated by the Advertising Slogan Generator, for all your slogan needs. Get more Portly slogans.


(Oh, and if your internet friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump off a bridge, too?)

Posted byPortlyDyke at 8:47 PM 9 comments Links to this post