Sunday, September 30, 2007

Loki and the Box, The End.

(subtitled: I'm getting tired of picking up tiny bits of cardboard from the carpet every day.)

Observation: Loki would only "work" on the box if I had picked up all the cardboard bits. If I left them in place, he would leave the box alone. I can't figure out why other than perhaps one of us (or both of us) is insane.

Loki sez: Almost perfect!

Loki sez: Perfect!

The End!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

To sleep - perchance to dream

Insomnia sucks.

Years ago, I couldn't fall asleep. I would lay awake in the dark, my mind racing, out of control, imagining disasters, reliving disasters, worrying and fretting until my muscles ached and my poor brain felt feverish.

Now, I fall asleep easily. Only to awaken three or four hours later, unable to convince my mind that there is more sleep to be had. No, my mind tells me, we're fine. We don't need anymore sleep. Let's go eat and watch TV since you insist on remaining quiet so that others may sleep.

And if only it were that I was just one of those people who only need a few hours sleep and can function perfectly well. Alas, not I. By eleven am or noon, I am slack jawed, glassy eyed and miserable, wanting nothing more than to nap, but forcing myself to stay awake so perhaps I can sleep through the coming night.

And when bedtime finally comes, I fall asleep immediately. And awaken three or four hours later.

It's aggravating.

Loki sez: You have it all wrong - you are only supposed to be awake four hours a day and nap around the clock.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Last year, my cholesterol level was borderline at 197. But my 'bad' cholesterol was pretty high at 113.

I did several things with varying degrees of continuity:

1) Exercise. I have a bad habit of being really good for months at a stretch, then not doing anything for months at a stretch.

2) Getting my vitamins and supplements, including cinnamon capsules. (Instead of cinnamon toast, which has the butter, which has the cholesterol.)

3) No high fructose corn syrup. I know this has little to do with cholesterol levels, but it was the one thing I was successful at maintaining - with full knowledge that the one Pepsi I would drink on my 12 hour night shifts was chock full of HFCS. I figured the mileage I walk on those nights would burn off the equivalent calories.

4) Activ Promise shots. I started those late in the game - only two months before my annual check-up. I drank one daily until I had my labs drawn, then went to every other day because they are expensive.

And it must have worked: My overall cholesterol was down to 188 and my LDL - the bad stuff - was down to 99. My HDL's were about the same at 59.

Not a huge improvement, but I have a family history - my mom's cholesterol was running in the 300's at one time, but she got it down with diet and exercise.

We'll carry on and see if the trend continues.

Thor sez: Don't forget the four pounds you lost, according to your doctor's scale.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I'll Be a Day Late

I know today was Blog Against Abuse Day and I was going to do it. I'll probably pull something together tomorrow. But as I've mentioned before, long stretches of night shift and coherent thought do coexist very happily.

How about people stop abusing drugs that expose themselves, their babies and their health care providers to disease?

That'd make me happy.

Loki sez: Just say NO!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Five out of Six

night shifts completed.

Working nights is sometimes so freaking strange. Like one time (at band camp), I got home and was eating dinner, lasagna and a small glass of wine. Jason sat across from me eating cereal and drinking his coffee.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Loki and the Box, Part 2

Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three:

To be continued......

Monday, September 24, 2007

Say Something!

I haven't kept up the with situation in Jena, LA very well as this is my week on night shift schedule. From some things I have read, many people are confused over the actual problem in Jena.

And it isn't just Jena. It is everywhere, in every state.

Many think that the protesters want the "Jena 6" to be set free. Not so. They want a fair charge to be brought against them.

But all that happened in Jena didn't really surprise me. Sickened and saddened me, yes, but surprise? Sadly, no.

What did shock me was what happened in Alexandria. And what didn't happen shocked me even more.

Two young men tied a noose to the back of a pickup truck, loaded the truck with a shotgun and brass knuckles and went driving through the crowds gathering for the protest.

Before you shrug and dismiss these men as "ignorant" or "young" or "foolish", stop and think. What do you think a noose means to a black American?

Not some long ago vision of lynchings carried out way back when, in the old days.

Come with me. Picture yourself driving along a country road with a friend. You see a black man walking along the road. You stop, perhaps offering a ride. The man accepts.

You and your friend get out.

Put your hands on this man.

You ball your hand into a fist and beat him.

As he struggles you tie a noose around his ankles.

You get in your truck and drive.

Perhaps laughing at his screams.

Perhaps laughing at his vain struggles to lift his head from the pavement.

Did you laugh when his arm was ripped from his body?

Did you laugh when his head was ripped from his body?

Did it seem like fun? Good times?

Did it seem he deserved it? For being black?

Did you leave what was left of his body in front of a church because you thought God approved?

Can you feel the vile sickness of the mind that must be there to even think about this without revulsion?

Those two young men in Alexandria, LA are as sick as the men who drug James Byrd, Jr to his gruesome death in Jasper, Texas in the late 1990's. Not 1890. 1990.

That sickness is taught. Taught from a young age. People grow up listening to the diseased rantings of their parent, grandparents, relatives and friends. It becomes their normal.

Then two young men think it their right to invoke the image of a black man more than brutally murdered for the color of his skin. They think it is their sacred duty to scare people into silence.

And it works. With the white community. Do we stand up and speak out against this? Did the actions of these two very sick people move us to stand with the protesters? To admit that racism still exists in its ugly, vicious, murderous form? That racism isn't just a matter of not liking someone based on skin tone, but actually a rabid, frothing at the mouth hatred that kills people? And if it doesn't kill their physical body, it kills hopes and dreams and belief in their value as American citizens?

It is time for the silent majority to stand and say no.

Thor sez: That makes me mad!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Loki Learns Something New

I can see my puff ball.

But I can't touch my puff ball.

Oh, to heck with it!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Thoughts, Aimlessly Wandering

Thor has become obsessed with the shared wall between the bathroom and the pantry. I hope whatever it is 1) is not poisonous and 2) is not a mouse, rat, squirrel or snake.

I saw a guy in Atlanta Bread Company who bore an unsettling resemblance to JFK, Jr. (moment of silence, deep sigh, oh the waste). Jason said perhaps he faked his death so he could live an anonymous life in Charleston. But then fake JFK stood up and his clothes were horrendous and sloppy and I knew that even incognito JFK, Jr. would be impeccable.

I accidentally said "hell" in front of a patient's mom and was so horrified and apologized, but she just laughed.

I want to go see Elton John at the UpChuck Coliseum on November 9. I'm off that weekend, anyone want to paaaaaarrr-tay? (Keeping in mind that my idea of partying includes being home by ten so I can miss all the drunks on the road.)

This cracks me up:

Thor sez: Sponge Bob must die!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Oh Happy Day!

After seven months of working in the less than spacious temporary nursery and the last month working in said cramped and messy quarters with the plastic sheeting torn away from the new viewing windows so we could press our noses against the window (shades of Stella Dallas) and look into the promised land, our day of deliverance is near.

We will begin moving next week!

Doing happy dance!

Of course, after seven months in a teeny tiny space, we'll all be complaining that we need roller skates to get around the new ginormous place!

Thor sez: Hey, look, what's that sound? Mommy on roller skates, falling down!

(With apologies to Buffalo Springfield)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Loki's Fetish

Loki sez: Perfect!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tas' him again, bro!

Yesterday, I caught some of the initial coverage of the young man from Florida being tasered by police during an appearance by John Kerry.

My initial impression was that of a spoiled rotten, self centered know it all (you know what I'm talking about, the guy or gal in class that will not shut up) who pushed it a little too far. The first reports said that the question asking period had ended, but the man refused to give up his microphone and when police went forward to assist, he became combative and was flailing about. This led to his being tasered.

Boo hoo.

By evening, the talking heads had spun the story into some sort of David vs Goliath myth of denial of freedom of speech. The poor child was just trying to speak his piece and the "MAN" attacked him, muzzling him and shocking him into silence for his subversive questions.

Let's stick to the facts here. He was NOT dragged away because of the content of his questions. He was told his time was up and even though the question period was over, Mr. Kerry was going to answer his question, all he had to do was STFU and listen to the answer. But instead, he continued to shout and carry on until he crossed the line.

That is why he was taken out of the room. Not because of what he was saying.

Just keep that clear in your mind.

And now, in the cold light of dawn, the facts are starting to surface like bodies tossed in the lake:

He may have staged it. The whole thing was perhaps planned.

Guess he didn't think the police would taser an educated young white male.

Here is where my conservative self comes raging out. If an officer of the law tells you to do something, do it! Don't be flailing and screaming and twisting and acting the fool or you get what you deserve. That is why police officers have tasers: to subdue unruly persons who refuse to calm down.

He got what he deserved.

Thor sez: What a maroon!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Gratuitous Cat Picture

Because it makes me laugh.

Can I go back to bed now?

I awoke bright and early this morning -0400- to escort my mother to the airport for her 0600 flight. Eventually she will land in Orlando, where she has been instructed to kick my elder brother in the shins for: A) booking a six-freaking-a.m. flight, and B) booking such a cheap ass flight then putting his mother in coach! Hell, if the thingie would have taken my credit card, I could have upgraded her to first class for less than a $100!

Less than a hundred dollars!

Cheap ass.

Ah, but that's the lack of sleep and coffee speaking. Dear brother is, after all, treating mom to an all expense-paid trip to Disney World.

A place I have sworn never to return to with any child under the age of 30 ever again. Spend four days there with an attention deficit five year old and a hyperactive 6 year old. Spend four days saying, "Danny come back, Nicolas, get down." Oh, and in July, when the temperature was hovering around 99. Not to mention that I had one of my episodes of "idiopathic transient allopecia" (translation: patches of hair would fall out for no discernible reason and grow back in with no problem). Problem was, this one was on my right eyebrow, dead in the center, so I had, essentially, three eyebrows. You try to pencil in a complete gap in your eyebrows in 99 degree humid weather. Yeah, buddy, just stare, I got three eyebrows.

I wouldn't mind going to see the Animal World or whatever it is called and go through Epcot again, but it is far down on my list of sights to see before I die.

Speaking of which, I found tons - well two - dinosaur things to do in the Moab area, so I have met my requirements for a return to the desert mountains trip.

Thor sez: Tell me, will there be live dinosaurs? I would like to hunt a dinosaur.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Monday Mish Mosh

I, like many local bloggers and fans around the world, was saddened this morning to read of the death of Robert Jordan. His were the first fantasy genre books I ever read and I was in awe of, not only his storytelling skills, but his output. As one who can talk myself out of writing if I have too much laundry to do, I admire and respect the discipline he had.

Last week I received a letter from Charleston Water telling me that they were going to install new electronic water meters. All the meter readers will have to do is drive slowly by my house and the information will be sent via radio waves or something. I saw the poor fellow who reads our meters this morning and asked him if he was looking forward to the new meters. He was. See, our water table is so high, he walks from yard to yard with a hand pump and has to pump yucky water out of every meter. I can always tell he's been here by the mud slick in the middle of the yard.

We've decided on our October To The Mountains Mini Vacation. I sent the check off this morning for our cabin rental in Tellico Plains, TN. From there, we will explore the twists and turns of the Cherahala Skyway.

I'm also in the beginning stages of planning our big spring trip - a return to the desert Southwest. This time we're looking at Utah, Moab to be exact. A nice central location for Arches National Park and Canyonlands.

I just need to find dinosaur bones that are closer than Dinosaur National Monument. It's about 300 miles from Moab. But will be done if necessary.

I was supposed to go to the mall to buy new work shoes today, but I made myself stay away. The pet Halloween costumes are on display at Target and I was sorely tempted by a bumble bee hat. I must resist. It annoys the cats. But it's so funny!

Thor sez: Like this isn't funny enough?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Cats are Meowing

because my dogs are barking!

We went on a Sunday expedition: walked half the Ravenel Bridge, walked the old Pitt Street bridge, zipped over to Sullivan's Island, had lunch at Poe's Tavern, yum, then finished up with an amble around Fort Moultrie, through the catacombs (which freaked me out and I refused to go in them after the first one, no wonder Poe wrote such scary stuff) and down to the beach.

Thor sez: That makes me tired just hearing about it!

Loki sez: What? No kitty-bag from Poe's?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Of Astronauts and Dreams

Yesterday, Jason brought home the movie, The Astronaut Farmer. It was a nice little movie about a Texas rancher who builds a rocket with the intent of launching himself into space.

He runs afoul of the feds when he tries to buy 10,000 pounds (or gallons, I disremember which) of rocket fuel. This leads to his appearance, in the school gymnasium, before a panel of government suits.

One funny I will relate. Government Suit Guy asks, "How do we know you aren't building a WMD?" Rancher Farmer replies, "If I was building a weapon of mass destruction, you wouldn't be able to find it."

Bada bing!

Anyway, later on in the same scene, Rancher Farmer says that he was taught to believe that he could do anything and that (paraphrasing) was the problem today, that people no longer believed they could do anything.

I shook my head and said, "No, the problem today is that most people believe they don't need to do anything, that all they want is due to them whenever they want it and how they want it, immediately, simply because they are American."

Loki sez: I need you to get that camera out of my face while I'm napping.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Having been raised by a Southern woman who was raised by a Southern woman who was raised by a...well, to get to the point, I come from a long line of Southern women. And if I learned anything from these women, it was that rudeness, especially on purpose rudeness was wrong.

Wrong. Notice the period there? No extenuating circumstances. No racial/economic/gender/political/ethnic/employment status exemptions allowed.

If you were dealing with a human being, you were polite.

With that in mind, I found myself horrified and embarrassed at my local CSV this morning. I had stopped in for a couple of things and as I approached the counter, a woman about my age reached the counter first, cell phone glued to her ear, having what sounded like a personal conversation of no great importance. CVS lady said good morning. Cell phone lady continued her conversation, did not make eye contact, nod nor do anything in any fashion to acknowledge CVS lady. CVS lady rang up the purchases, told cell phone lady the total. Cell phone lady did her little debit card thingie, still flapping her jaws on the cell phone. CVS lady handed cell phone lady her bag and receipt and wished her a nice day. Cell phone lady walked away without once looking at or uttering a word to the CVS lady.

I was aghast. I found myself apologizing to the CVS lady (who is a very nice lady who always asks about the kittens when I go in because she used to develop all my pictures before I got the digital camera).

How, I want to know, can you have an interaction with another human being, no matter how trivial or routine, without acknowledging that person? Hello? A smile? A nod? A middle finger waving? Something?

I don't understand it.

Thor sez: You should head rub everyone you meet!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bonus Post

Photo by JAZ

Dear Product Development Team at Pantene:

First, I would like to say that I love all your products. Whether my hair was colored red or brown, whether I was protecting my color treated hair or enhancing the shade du jour, I was a Pantene gal through and through.

I have, I must confess, over the years strayed a time or two, but I always came right back to my beloved Pantene.

Can you imagine my delight then, when I discovered a new product - Silver Expressions- while schlepping the aisles at my local Bilo?

Silver Expressions! Daily Color Enhancer! For "sterling to snow"!

It is just so like such a wonderful company as yourself to be on the cutting edge of hair culture! To realize that we baby boomers are not hiding anymore. That we are gray and silver and white haired and damned proud of it! We are strong! We are vibrant! We are sexy! We are redefining beauty and we don't care what anyone says.

It only made me love you more!

I bought the shampoo and conditioner with my white head held high. I could barely wait until the next day when I could use my new Silver Expressions.

Yes, I was so excited, I got up early the next morning, just so I could hop in the shower and try.....


What is this? What is this blob of purple shit in my hand? Purple? Blueing? Blueing! You have got to be kidding me!

Suddenly, I'm not a proud Silver Expressionist, I'm the hunched over little old lady, wobbling down the aisle at church wearing a bright canary yellow polyester dress, with her freshly blued hair glowing lavender in the morning sunlight.

I'm the little old lavender headed lady getting her hair washed and set once a week at Wanda Sue's Set 'N Curl.

And worse, there isn't even really blueing in your shampoo (nor the lovely lavender conditioner), you just made it that color!

Why? I beg you why? Why? Why?

Here I thought you were on my side! I thought you got it! But you were just making fun of me! Weren't you?

After all these years. I thought I knew you!


Apparently Little Old Lady

P.S. A couple boxes of free stuff would probably make me feel better.

Thor sez: Sheesh, there was less screaming on giant spider day!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


And mother nature apologizes for the giant spider:

I've only seen a praying mantis here once before, that was a year or so ago. I like them much better than giant hairy spiders.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Yesterday, Jason sent me a link to a story about the differing brains of liberals and conservatives.

I read it and gave it the passing "That's interesting" and filed it away under 'people who think the murky depths of human personality can be neatly charted'.

When Jason got home, he brought it up again, and we had a nice little discussion about what it could possibly mean. What we decided was that like Mick Jagger (the real one, not the guinea pig) needs Keith Richards, like Paul McCartney needed John Lennon, perhaps human civilization needs both.

See, according to Jason, Mick Jagger was always looking for the new "big thing" in music, always striving to stay fresh and try new sounds while Keith Richards was steadfast in his belief that they stay true to their roots in the blues and rock.

It was much the same with John Lennon and Paul McCartney. John was wanting to get radical and political, while Paul wanted to stay with their original style.

The push and pull between each of these pairs is what kept their music alive, yet didn't let it stray too far a field that their fans didn't recognize it.

But what about human civilization? Well, at least here in America, there has almost always been the two sides, renamed over the years to settle for now on conservatives and liberals. And the two opposing view points acted as a check and balance system. The liberals pushing forward, wanting to try new things. The conservatives hanging back, not wanting to rock the boat.

And that used to be a good thing. We as a nation moved forward steadily and cautiously. The two sides worked together.

But all that seems to have changed in the past 20 years or so. We've lost the balance and become instead stuck on our respective sides of the fence, tossing insults and pointing fingers at the other side, blaming each other for the grid-lock which has seized our government.

But really, the gridlock isn't because we have two viewpoints, it's that each side has lost the ability to find common ground.

Thor sez: I'm not talking to you until you agree with me.
Loki sez: Me either!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Cat Models

I recently received a catalogue from a company that I spend too much money with. This, from the website here, was on the front cover.

I wish I'd known they needed a model for that particular item. I have a much better shot:

That's all. What brains I haven't sneezed out, I've blown out. I think I caught Joan's cold from reading her blog. Hot tea and benadryl figure prominently in my plans for the day.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Brave, Blind or Death Wish?

Rocky sez: Oh, hi. Do you know how to get to that bird feeder? I've been trying all day and can't reach it.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Not Fair!

I see how it is. When Pam ventures out to her porch on a fine summer morning, she gets pictures of exotic and beautiful moths.

When I come drag-a$$ing home after a night in grumpy baby land and pause for a moment on the porch to wave at the boys as they eagerly await my arrival, I find this an inch from my forehead:

And I did what any properly raised Southern Belle of a certain age would do: I screamed. Which drew the attention of my next door neighbor, but I told him it was just a giant spider, so he went back to his business (a Yankee transplant, dontcha know, a real Southern gentleman would have at least offered to dispose of it for me.)

Then I did what any properly raised blogger would do: I grabbed the camera. And as I was snapping the picture, I knew I needed something for scale, but then I told myself, "Self, eff that stuff. A brick is good scale."

Of course, while I am standing back on my porch where a "giant spider" has just made me scream, my neighbor comes back out to his car. To see me taking pictures of the wall and perhaps a "giant spider", I know he thinks I'm a couple bubbles off plumb anyway because of the aluminum foil taped in my bedroom windows. Hey! It is the best window covering for day sleeping. It has nothing to do with the CIA possibly bugging my house because of my political affiliations! But I am now taking photographs and alternating saying things to the storm door. Things like, "No you fat goomba head, you can't come out and see the spider."

Thor sez: But I wanna see the giant spider!

Hey! At least I've not been spotted actually laying around in the yard taking pictures. I hear there's a lot of that going on up in Monck's Corner, don't ya know?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I Was Wrong

and I'm not afraid to admit it. The arming and training of Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan by the American government was not begun by Reagan, but in fact was begun at the tail end of Jimmy Carter's presidency. Reagan continued the supply of weapons and experts to help Bin Laden with the goal being to bog down the Soviet military in a Vietnam-esque war in the Middle East. This would demoralize the Soviet military and citizens, bankrupt the Soviet coffers and hasten the collapse of the Soviet Union.

If anyone out there wants a real answer to the question, "Why do they hate us?", I strongly suggest reading Morris Berman's "Dark Ages America".

Mr. Berman calmly and patiently picks apart the tangled threads of American involvement in world affairs from before the Cold War to present day.

To quote Robbie Burns, "O wad some Power the giftie gie us, To see oursels as ithers see us!"

Mr. Burns, had it right, but he was Scottish, not American. Americans love to quote deep thoughts, but they sure don't like to think deep thoughts. And we will never, like the spoiled children that we are, be able to really admit to our faults and wrongs.

It's sort of like Tommy Ravenel getting busted for cocaine. He goes directly to a posh "treatment center", comes back, makes his plea, then returns directly to another posh "treatment center". Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Micheal Miller, the poor black guy, finally gets a reduction in bail so his mom can put up a little bit of property so he can get out of jail after a couple of months.

America is Tommy Ravenel and the rest of the world is Micheal Miller.

And Micheal Miller is getting pissed and maybe Tommy should do some soul searching about the way he lives his life and treats people and his automatic assumption that he is superior to all because of his wealth/skin color/religion/whatever.

And the beat, according to the great American philosophers Sonny and Cher, goes on.

Loki sez: Sheesh, you're depressing this morning. More silly cat pictures!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007



"Your tail is getting wet."

"My what?"

"Your tail. It's in the water, getting wet."

"Really? How remarkable."

"Would you like me to fix it?"

"Thank you. Ever so kind."

Blood and Dust

I woke up early this morning, hopped in the shower (well, really, I didn't hop while in the shower, that's a good way to break something, like a hip) and took off in Highway 61 traffic sans coffee, tummy rumbling, to present myself to the phlebotomist at the lab so that she could pierce my flesh with a sharpened chunk of steel and remove my blood.

And as I sat waiting my turn, which wasn't long as there were only two before me in line, I felt sorry for the phlebotomist. All morning long, she has to stick sharp needles into people who have not had their morning coffee.

We must be a grumpy bunch.

Then I came home and had my coffee and once my eyes were properly opened, I had a minor fit of disgust with myself over the amount of dust piled up everywhere. And laundry. So I drug out the Dyson so I could vacuum the rug so I could pile laundry on it - I know it doesn't make sense, but I couldn't put it on a dirty floor. Okay, here is an idea of how powerful the suction on my Dyson is: I was attempting to vacuum one of the cat trees and caught the curtains. The suction ripped the curtain rod off - pulled the nails out of the window frame.

So then, well, the curtains were half on the floor, so I might as well take them all down and take them outside to shake out the dust and fur. Which works great on a breezy day. All I managed to do was cover myself with dust and fur.

I hammered the curtain rod back in place and while sorting through the curtains to put them back up, Thor decided they should be on the floor so he could directly apply more fur.

Now I have literally a mountain of laundry awaiting turns in the washer and dryer.

I think that is all I'm doing today. To hell with the dust.

Thor sez: Look! When I scratch, tons of fur flies all around! How cool is that?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Girl Stuff

"So, you're here for your 50,000 mile tune-up?" said my wonderful family practice doc this morning.

Yep, pop the hood, kick the tires time.

People, well, women, please go get your pap smears and mammograms. It is so important.

And oh for the days when I'd run in, get checked and be on my way. No, now we have to discuss my HDL and my LDL and my anemia. We have to discuss my weight and my scale vs. her scale. I get the yearly "you're probably not that fertile anymore, anyway" lecture. I get told to exercise more.

It's fun to discuss exactly how your body is falling apart.

And is it only me, or does anyone else shave their legs pre-physical with attention to detail that we don't even give to shaving pre-romantic date? Like seeing a stray hair on the back of my leg is the worse thing the doc is gonna look at?

Loki sez: Did you get a shot? Because I had to get TWO shots at my physical!

Monday, September 03, 2007

One, Two, Three, Four

I ain't gonna dye no more!

Who would've thought my decision to return to was political? A feminist statement against the perceptions of female beauty and the youth culture of America?

Not me. I was just tired of the mess and expense.

Or so I thought.

Having never been a particularly pretty woman (or child or teen for that matter), I've had a long strange journey with my looks. As a teen, I struggled with thick glasses and braces and thick frizzy wrong colored hair. In my twenties, I indulged in contacts and make up and clothes and anything else I could think of to make myself pretty. So when I started going gray at about age 25, there was no way in hell I was not going to dye my hair.

But something began to happen in my thirties. I was raising a child, I had returned to college, I was cleaning up the inside of me. It was a decade of challenging many of my notions of myself. Just why did I think I was ugly? Why did I think I was stupid? Why did I think I couldn't acquire the security I craved?

And once I challenged and proved wrong many of those notions, I spent my early forties actively pursuing the life I wanted. I ditched the dysfunctional marriage. I took the job I wanted. I got my own apartment and filled it with my own things. I bought my own house. I began to do things I had always wanted to do, but just never did out of some sense of not being worthy of my own dreams. I realized that not needing to be a social butterfly, not needing many friends, not needing to be popular was okay. That my small circle of friends was okay. That I liked to spend time alone with a book was okay, because it made me happy.

And somewhere along that path, I lost the outside focus. I found that making sure I was neat and presentable was all I really cared about. Rarely do I ever think about what I look like. I think about how I feel, I think about how I can make others feel, I think about what I can do about my little corner of the world, but no longer do I find myself looking in a mirror, moaning that I'm not pretty.

It isn't worth the time or emotional energy.

I suppose my decision to stop coloring my hair is, if not political, a natural out-growth of the idea that the inner me is more important than the outer me. If I were coloring my hair because I liked the variety or liked to change my look around as part of making the inner me happy, that would be one thing. But I wasn't. I was doing it out of habit, because I'd been doing it for so long.

I had no idea I was stepping into a sexual/political swamp of youth vs. age. I didn't think I was making a feminist statement. But if it has to be a statement, let it be this: Know yourself, know what makes you happy and do it.

Loki sez: Doing The Twist makes me happy!