Diane Keaton...Merry Spinster

10 Reasons Why Diane Keaton is Awesome:
1) She was in the Godfather. Being in the Godfather is a one way express pass to Coolsville. And she was in all three of them.
2) She was brave enough to do a nude scene at 57 years old. But didn't think it was worth an extra $50 a week to go naked when she was in HAIR on Broadway when she was in her 20's.
3) Dated Al Pacino, Woody Allen, and Warren Beatty and managed to stay friends and not lose herself  in the relationships. I personally would've become a codependent little doormat if I'd dated any of those guys.
4) Adopted her first child at 50. It is never too late to become what you most want to be.
5) She was so interesting that a friend/ex-boyfriend wrote an Academy Award winning film about her. And Annie Hall is widely considered Woody Allen's best work.
6) She wrote an interesting memoir that doubles as a meditation on the stages of womanhood. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/books/then-again-by-diane-keaton-review.html?_r=1&ref=books
7) Wears whatever the hell she wants and doesn't give a whooping funt what anyone thinks.
8) She's hilarious.
9) She works with the Los Angeles Conservancy to save old buildings.
10) She blogs for the Huffington Post. Take my word for it, I'm a writer, and that is a nice entry on a resume.

Diane Keaton has a pretty good life. But as you may or may not have noticed, she doesn't have a husband. I dub her a Merry Spinster.


Resolutions of a Bridesmaid  01/02/2012

Yesterday my oldest friend in the world asked me to be her maid of honor in keeping with a deal we made in junior high. And my best wedding gift for her will be being better a bridesmaid for her than I've been to friends in the past.

Therefore, I will NOT:

* Try to make out with the groom's grandmother. Just because one freaky old lady was down for it, that doesn't mean I should  try all grandmothers.

* Get drunk and ask the rest of the bridal party to autograph  my dress.

* Convince a limo driver to make a run to 7-11 for Slurpees

* Throw up on anyone

* Heckle the priest if he says something "lame"

* Wear two left shoes and think no one noticed.

* Bum out the woman who catches the bouquet by telling her I've caught NINE of them and I'm still single. Heck one landed on my head.

* Fill my purse with snacks.

* Be so weirdly enthusiastic that people start avoiding me.

All the best memories of Maggie's wedding will be lovely ones of love and happiness. The only memories of the maid of honor will be about how classy, elegant, and sober she was.

I Am NOT in a Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam Cover Band 01/11/2012


It all started when a woman fell in love with a man. My friend Betsy loves her husband very much, but she doesn't particularly enjoy his company. He is essentially a 6'5 hairless cat that pays her credit card bills. She likes to pet him when he curls up next to her on the couch, she sets out food for him, and she even calls him Mr Whiskers because he doesn't shave enough. But as much as she loves him she needed a break, a hobby that got her out of the house that he didn't participate in. We tried a variety crafts including knitting, quilting, and taking cooking classes. But he would tag along. And then we had a stroke of genius. We would start a band! He doesn't particularly like music and is too busy to learn an instrument. And just to be safe we formed an all girl Prince and the Revolution tribute band. There was no way that he would want to join that.

We had every intention of actually playing music and added three other women who actually owned the necessary instruments. But "band practice" ended up being a cover story for getting drunk and giving each other foot rubs while reading Jane Austen novels. We were living the dream...For a while...No one really wants to go see their friends' band so we figured we could go on forever. I have one friend who's in a band I like. Any other time a friend asks me to come out and see their band I want to scrunch up my face and say, "Really? We're still doing this? Aren't we both a little old for this? We're not in college anymore. Do I have to?" But apparently an all-girl Prince and the Revolution tribute band sounds awesome and we were getting pressure to  do a show. So when "the bass player" moved to El Paso we used it as an excuse to disband.

But after a few months we really missed our band practices. So we need a new band. We decided we still needed a theme because none of us thought we could pretend to be a songwriter.We carefully constructed a new lie that would guarantee that no one would ever ask any us to play an instrument. Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam. They had four modest hits and their primary fan base was overweight Hispanic teenage girls in the late 80's, and we don't know anyone who was a chubby Hispanic girl in the 80's. The handful of husbands and boyfriends that we needed to believe this lie had no interest in Lisa Lisa and her jammy cult. We have been golden for almost five years. And then today...

I took Betsy's husband some soup because he's been sick. And somehow the conversation came around to the band.  And I'm not a natural liar. So I tap danced for a while because parts of the story are true. (1) We sit in a room full of musical instruments (2) We are fans of Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam (3) I once knew someone in a band who rubbed a band mate's feet while reading Northanger Abby and drinking a pitcher of margaritas. I held in there in for a while, but he broke me. I confessed to the lie, and have consequently blown up the spot for four other women. I am both a bad friend and a bad pretend band mate. I deserve to go without my foot rubs.


Who the Fuck is Ben???? 02/07/2012

I have begun to suspect that I have multiple personality disorder, and one of my personalities is involved in some kind of relationship with a handsome man named Ben.

I have seen Ben six times now at places like the grocery store and the doctor's office. And every time he gives me a big smile of recognition hugs me and gives me a kiss on the cheek. The problem is that I don't know him, but he seems to know me. He knows my name, where I'm from, and my favorite Mexican eatery. What do I know about him? His name is Ben (it was on his debit card when he bought my tea at Coffee Garden) and and he's very good looking. I also know that he smells like sage and apples. But that's about it.

I decided since he seems so comfortable putting his hands on me that maybe we hooked up in the past. Now although I went through a period in 2009 in which I went to third base with everyone who made direct eye contact with me, I've only slept with five people. Four of them are still living. Three live in this state. And one of them could maybe  pass for Ben. But I'm pretty sure he hasn't changed his name, lost three inches of height, and become 60% better looking. So...that's that.

I thought maybe we used to work together but other than the Hazel Hottie I've never been on a hugging kissing level with a co-worker.

So this brings me to the last possibility...He is a friend of friend who is prone to out-sized displays of affection and enthusiasm. Help!!!!!  He's about 6'3 slim, blonde, clean-shaven and clean-cut, blue-green eyes, lopsided smile with perfect teeth. And he wears Clark Kent eyeglasses. If you are how I know Ben, do not tell him I don't remember meeting him or building our "friendship." And if he is single ask him if he thinks I'm cute.And if you don't know him. Help me hatch a plan that doesn't involve simply asking him, "Who are you? And here's a better question...who do you think I am? Because I'm not her. But thank you for the hugs.

I Actually Like Valentines Day...Dead Cat and All 02/12/2012

I have recently become inundated with people who call Valentine's Day pithy and silly things like "Singleness Awareness Day." I don't get it. I've always really liked Valentine's Day. My parents were pretty stingy with both sweets and affection when I was a little girl. But every Valentine's Day my dad would get a big box of chocolate for my mom and two smaller boxes for me and my sister. And there would hugs and kisses and sometimes even presents exchanged all around. It was nice. My dad died a  few days after Valentine's day when I was 18 and I haven't had a "valentine" since. So I think if I can still like the holiday anyone can.

I will concede that it is largely a commercial creation designed to empty people's pockets. A part of me is still convinced that Hallmark is one of the fronts for Dr Evil's organization. I worked for a Hallmark store for a few months in 1999 and I've seen the inside of the belly of the beast. And I assure you, you are being manipulated. But since you're being manipulated into telling people you love that you care about them while eating candy and going to nice restaurants, I suggest you just bend over and take it. It ain't that bad.

I've had some nice Valentine's days. Some years I've gone to mixers, other's I've just watched sappy movies and eaten brownies with some gal pals. Eight years ago Valentine's day was my first day with my dog Oliver.

I'd been dating a verbally and physically abusive douchebag and no one could figure out why. So finally one of my friends asked me and I said, "Well, I like having someone to come home to, I like waking up to coffee already made, and the sex is amazing." My gal pals bought me a 17 speed sex toy and a coffee maker with a timer, and told me to get a dog. And the day before Valentine's day I told Prince Not-So-Charming to hit the bricks and stayed up all night watching sappy movies. One of them was "Love Story." And when I laid eyes on my pretty blond pedigreed Cocker Spaniel I named him Oliver after Ryan O'Neal's character Oliver Barrett III. Sure I spent Valentine's day carrying a dog with two broken legs and a runny eye who wasn't housebroken up and down two flights of stairs, but it was also the first of many days that should have been sad but was in fact happy and full of love.

I didn't always have a happy go-lucky attitude towards Valentine's day. One year I was filled with jealousy and  a rage I couldn't find a productive outlet for. So I opened the window of my third floor apartment and dumped ice water on cooing and canoodling couples. In February. In the Midwest. You can understand why someone called the cops. The evening ended with the cop who came to give me a warning joining me for a cup of coffee and giving me some life advice.

And one time I was so bummed about getting dumped on Valentine's day that I essentially had a psychotic episode. Allow me to explain...I was crazy into a buddy of mine. And he led me on and eventually became engaged to my best-friend at the time who was also his step-sister. And I discovered they were getting married at a party on V-day. And in a blinding rage I picked up his cat and screamed as I turned to leave, "YOU STOLE MY HEART. I"M STEALING YOUR CAT!"  I got about a block away before he caught up with me and demanded I give him back his cat. I refused. But as my steps slowed and clarity returned I tried to figure out a graceful way to pull out of the crazy flat spin I was in. And just when I was about to just turn on my heel and hand him his cat, something spooked Maury and he leapt out of my arms and into traffic and was killed. Worst Valentine's Day Ever! And the guy still tells the story every single he sees me. Because as much as he loved the cat, he loves the story more and although the only part I find funny is my statement equating my broken heart with a 10 year old obese tabby cat, he always gets a big laugh when he tells it.

So I reiterate if I still like Valentine's day despite that fact that it is associated with my daddy dying, my role in the death of cat that I really liked, and having my heart broken, then other people should stop whining. It's just a day with lots of hearts and flowers and more love than a standard Tuesday.

I love you my little flesh puppets. Happy Valentine's Day. Kisses.

Sex Positive? Yes Ma'am. I Am 02/19/12

About a month ago I read some quotes from an interview that fashion guru and professional awesome person Tim Gunn gave. In the interview he stated that he hadn't had sex in 30 years. On the surface this was noteworthy, but not incredible. What stuck with me was the reasons. The first reason he became celibate was the emergence of AIDS. I'm sure he wasn't alone in that scaring him off sex. But the other reason was that he had a mean former lover who he stated was "in patient with me." My first instinct was to track down this jerk and punch him in the stomach for making Tim Gunn sad. And while he was writhing on the ground I would explain to him what a gift it is to have sex with anyone, but if Tim Gunn deigns to sleep with you you shouldn't ruin him for everyone else.

I'm sure you're wondering what possible insight into sex someone who has been celibate for two years can offer. Well hunny chile, I'm celibate not chaste. I regularly have sex with a thirty-something failed writer who is allergic to raspberries and loves dogs i.e. myself. I had two orgasms before noon today. I was my first lover and I'm a close second in the race to be my best:
*I love my own peaches and shake my own tree.
*I like to grind my own coffee in the morning.
*Sometimes you have to double-click your mouse to get results.
*Jack and Jill went up the hill each looking to cum. Jack said, "Come here girl." Jill smiled, "Sorry I'm already done."
So I may not do a lot of partnering but I do know pleasure. Although I do have a favorite memory of what I personally think sex is supposed to be like...

I tend to be a bit shy when it comes to "sharing my carnal treasure" because I've had stupid and cruel lovers and if you haven't I must assume you are currently married to your sixth grade boyfriend or girlfriend. So I'm leery of the possibility of being wrong about people. But I took the leap to trust and found myself a deliciously pleased  instrument of mutual erotic rapture. It was like a song you've always loved and heard many times before played in a new way by a new musician who found subtle beauty no one else ever had. And as I laid exhausted in his arms out of my mind and barely in my body, reality came back to me and the shy Catholic girl who was taught that sex is dirty. And you shouldn't have sex with someone you love because you wouldn't want someone you love to think you're dirty. Would you? Well, that girl couldn't look at him. But he insisted that I did and for the first time in my life I felt like someone really saw me. I'm a middle-child, I'm convinced I'm invisible. I've spent my life wanting to be seen and he saw me like the sun shone from my pores and I was the only light in the room. My imperfections part of the moment, silly things I find embarrassing he thought cute. I felt loved. There was no doubt in my mind that the love would not last. I wasn't even sure he would love me much past the moment I disappeared from his eye line. But it was what I think sex is supposed to be. One, preferably two, or even more people who respect each other sharing their bodies without judgement, without shame, and with affection, and the common goal of physical pleasure.

In the world of feminism we call this being Sex Positive. That no one is a slut! Nothing is perverse if it is consensual. And that just because the logistics of sex, even when it is between two people of the same gender, requires one person to be giving and another receiving, both people are equal and valuable and the fulfillment of their needs essential to the act. And on my best days I can espouse those beliefs. On my worst days I believe orgasms are essentially sin demons that I must exorcise so I can live a pure and chaste life in which I do nothing but read the bible and bake cookies for orphans. Luckily today is a good day...

I want what I had that spring afternoon to come into my life again and I want if for everyone. Even Tim Gunn should he choose. Until then I shall continue to maintain stewardship of my own orgasm. Sure I've been banging the same chic for 23years, but I know what she likes. I make myself mew like a kitten and then I make myself some waffles and watch the Notebook. Because I want my woman to be happy. And I try never to lose sight of what I deserve. And you better not either, my beloved little flesh puppets. The Merry Spinster loves you and hopes you're getting your quota of moans and giggling.

The Dog Addresses the Readers 02/20/2012

Dearest friends, random humans with time to waste, and possible online predators,

I am Oliver. Those of you with small minds would call me the Merry Spinster's pet, and she my owner. But we're true companions. I love her and she loves me and no one is "owned." Although I do her the polite favor of letting her lead me on a leash when we go out, albeit begrudgingly since I pull and strain and drag her wherever we go. This would of course not be an issue if she understood that we must smell everything and see everthing  RIGHT NOW. If it takes ten seconds instead of four to get to the corner another dog will get to eat the cat turd and discarded doughnut next to stop sign.

Allow me to tell you a little about myself...I'll be nine on October 11. Which some of you know is also the birthday of Luke Perry of 90210 fame. I'm essentially blonde (breeders call the color buff) and to my mild embarrassment I am not very bright. The Merry Spinster spent hundreds of dollars taking me to trainers who one after another said, "He's the sweetest dog I've ever known. But far and away the stupidest. He just can't learn through positive reinforcement." I was grateful that the decision to use negative reinforcement was vetoed.  I've been through a lot (more on that later.) I have big doofy brown eyes and the kind of floppy ears that one expects on a Cocker Spaniel. Because I am an English Cocker Spaniel versus an American one my lady friend often imagines that my inner monologue sounds like Bert the Chimney Sweep from Mary Poppins. Personally I think I sound more like Hugh Grant.

I was five months old when I moved in with the Merry Spinster. I'd had a bunch of homes before. The first was in Phoenix. I was a birthday present for a 6 yr old girl who got bored with me and no one in the family had time for me so I lived in a kennel. My second home was in her aunt's house. There was a cat there who didn't like me and would wait for me to fall asleep and then hide my toys or scratch me. Although I wasn't to blame the cat was there first and I got the boot. After that I stayed a couple places for a week or so until I came to live with a friend of my lady. That was by far the worst home. There they beat me, and again made me live in a too small kennel and was never let out to pee or poo. I was barely ever fed and when the father in the family broke my leg no one took me to the vet. Consequently while trying to limp around I fell and broke the other one. Well, then they took me to the vet and I got kicked pretty mercilessly for how much money it cost. The friend I was living with for some reason could tolerate a man who would hit her and her children but couldn't bear to see the dog hurt. So she pretended I ran away and she gave me to the Merry Spinster.

It's a good life. She gets me. Sometimes we just sit on the couch and look at each other and I try to tell her with my eyes since I can't talk, "Oh beautiful thrower of the tennis ball, filler of the dish, she who rubs my belly and sings me songs. You are my everything. I'm sorry I'm a bit of a fuck-up who stresses you out. I love you and every day I try to be the best dog I can be."  I suspect she feels the same way. She's not perfect either. She stays out late and then yells at me if I poop in the kitchen, not giving me any credit for it not being the pre-war hardwood floors. She makes budgeting errors that mean I have to go too long between grooming appointments, currently I have some dreadlocks. She thinks reading is more fun than the dog park. And most egregiously she knows I want a family, and she continues to be single. I know I'm not a  human child. I don't need "a daddy." But I like people and she doesn't bring enough home. I guess I should admit that the one time she actively tried to bring a man into my life I bit him on the butt and peed on his shoes while he was sleeping. I didn't like him. I've got instincts about people.

I kind of think it is okay that there are just two of us in the pack. I don't think another dog or another human would understand how funny her booty dance is. And I wouldn't want to fight anyone for the food that falls on the floor. And right now I get at least 2/3 of a queen size bed although I'm only 14inches tall at the withers and weigh 26 pounds. That's the good stuff. Why mess with it if its working.

Well that is all I have to say for now. Just as long as you are clear that I am not "a pet." I am a Canine-American in a committed relationship with a human woman who is as dedicated to keeping Mitt Romney out of the White House as I am.  http://www.dogsagainstromney.com/

Yours Truly,
Oliver Sweet Baby James Martin

The Second Closest I Ever Came to Prostitution 02/27/2012

Excerpted from my unpublished book "Bounded in a Nutshell"

 When I got laid off from my high paying corporate job a few years ago I decided to write full-time. Not knowing how to do such a thing I turned to the internet and happened upon an article suggesting ways to supplement one’s unemployment checks with freelance telecommuting work. There was a list of websites for finding work and I  registered on a couple. I combed through the job postings and bid on a job writing stories for a nameless faceless website that was going to feature the adventures of a female spy and assassin in Great Britain.
 The owner of the website described the character as a female Jason Bourne. The pay was reasonable, and I felt like it was a sign of good things to come that the guy was based in Hertfordshire. The Bennett family in Pride and Prejudice lived in Hertfordshire. Nothing even tangentially connected to Jane Austen could ever be tawdry or illicit. At least that’s what I thought.
 But instead of him just giving me ideas and I would deliver copy on deadline, the owner of the website insisted that we speak over Yahoo Instant Messenger. Moments later he sent me some PDF files of a scantily clad woman with the largest ass I have ever seen in my life bending over. Then he sent me more files in which an even larger bottomed woman was sitting on man’s head. She was sitting very daintily on a toilet with her legs crossed and the man’s purple face was barely visible under her haunches. And there was a sly smile on her face. This is when my employer explained to me that his female spy assassinated targets by smothering them under her enormous ass.
 At this point I was only about 20% suspicious that this job wasn’t on the up and up. This willingness to dive into an increasingly skeevy situation was admittedly aided by the fact that he’d already sent me $100 for the first story via Paypal, before I even started. So after perusing a sample of my predecessors work I launched into creating my spy story that involved a 15 year old boy, who was a member of a family of terrorists that needed to be eliminated being killed in a classroom in front of the whole class by the Big Bottomed Gal of the Spy world.
 I did my best to work around the implausibility of the situation. Because you could never smother an able-bodied teenage boy in front of 20 other people without detection. Therefore it was a challenge to make the best of the plot points I was provided.
 As I typed I got  increasingly frantic instant messages whenever I wandered away from what he was looking for. It became abundantly clear that I was communicating with someone who was typing with one hand.  But hey, you know, I was making 40% of my previous salary on unemployment, and I had already become desperate for human companionship. So I washed down my unease with a mid-morning beer and pressed on to the end. The terrorist boy was dead. And our lady assassin strode off in her thigh high boots. Oh did I forget to mention the thigh high boots? Oops! That’s convenient.
 Although I felt I would have to avoid eye-contact with my friends for a week or so, I’d made $100 dollars for less than an hour’s work. I was just about to sign off when “the boss” sent me a message full of exclamation points offering more money to write it the way he wanted. I’d done it wrong. Finally he said, “Just describe the picture to me. Pretend you’re her. Tell me how you will kill me with your big ass. Tell me how I will die.”
 And that kiddies was the moment that I realized my first professional writing assignment was composing fetish erotica for a lonely guy in Great Britain. All my sophistication evaporated and I logged  off and refunded his money on Paypal. He attempted to contact me many times offering larger and larger sums of money. Finally I wrote him back politely declining the job. His response? “Do you have a big ass? If I met you would you sit on me?”
 I considered that a fitting entry into the life of a professional artist. We all have to decide whether we’re whores and the fair market value of our integrity. But the line isn’t usually so clearly drawn in the sand, and you don’t usually get to hopscotch around it on a summer morning.

The Right Side of History 02/29/2012


My extensive feminist reading makes me feel mildly embarrassed to be straight. I feel like I should've evolved past men. Plus men don't get what makes me awesome. My boyfriends love me in spite of my quirks not because of them. But...oh well. People are born gay. And I can't stomach anyone denying someone their rights because they choose to be true to themselves and love someone of the same sex. And I can't believe how many people of color in this country seem to have forgotten what it was like when it was our turn to be marginalized and denied our civil rights. So I grabbed my bff Audrey and we went to stand with our fellow Utahns in favor of anti-Discrimination laws that protect gays in terms of housing and employment. 72% of Utahns when polled are in favor of making sure someone can't be fired or not rented a house or apartment because they're gay or transgender. Supporters of extending protection from discrimination to gays includes official statements from the the Mormon Church and the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake. If you should ever find yourself on the more conservative, judgmental, and closed-minded side of an issue than Mormons and Catholics, you should look at yourself. Mormons don't think they'll get to what I like to call "the really good heaven" if they drink coffee or see R-rated movies. And Catholics have barely apologized for their silent consent to the slave trade and platform on non-involvement in the Holocaust. We didn't stand up and say, "Hey. Not cool" when people were being enslaved and exterminated. But we believe gay people should be able to keep any job they can perform competently and live anywhere they can pay the rent. So if you find yourself in that 28% of people who don't get it there is still time for you.

I have a favorite story about an epiphany. James Carville likes to tell the story of when he read To Kill a Mockingbird as a teen. He was a white southerner and wanted blacks to shut up and sit at the back of the bus. But as he read the last page and closed Harper Lee's brilliant book he said out loud, "We're wrong. And they're right." You can change your mind about things. You can see the world through someone else's eyes and understand something you never have before. It's easy not to care about someone you see as different and to huddle together with "your own kind." Until you realize we're all the same. And we all want the same things.

When I read about the Rally for Human Dignity I was happy that it was on a Wednesday afternoon because that is the day I get off from work early. I feel lucky that I was able to stand in the Capital building and listen to community activists and the two sponsors of the defeated bill that would've given our gay family and friends the same protections under the law that the rest of us don't even question.
*Audrey and I being mistaken for a lesbian couple based on our outfits. I have decided to take that as a compliment.
* Getting there in time to get a sign to hold up. I always forget to bring a sign. And then I have sign envy.
* Writing a letter to our representatives in green ink from my Doctor Who sonic screwdriver pen
* Getting to hear a portion of Sister Dottie Dixon's routine.
* Receiving a flyer for Senator Ross Romero's farewell reception
* Learning the senator was late to the rally because he was in committee fighting some silliness that would've stopped wine tastings (First they come for the gays. Then they come for our wine)
* Seeing just how many people showed up on a Wednesday afternoon to make sure our elected officials know how we feel.

I'm a black woman in America. I know what it is like to have to tell the world that I matter and demand to be treated well. And until no one has to do that...Until universal human dignity exists we need to keep showing up. And if the people who we trust to govern us don't listen we need to vote them out. Never forget that they derive their power from the consent of the governed. We can withdraw that consent any time we want. I'm not saying it is time to pick up our muskets and dump some tea in a harbor. But it is always time to question a chuckle-head you asked to represent you, who pushes his own agenda at the expense of the rights of our neighbors and loved ones.

See ya at the next rally,
The Merry Spinster

Superheros, Super Villains, and Bitchy Women 03/05/2012


Only two kinds of people have a nemesis. (1) Superheroes/ Super villains.  (2) All women. And this is so stupid. Chris Rock once said, "Women would rule the world if they didn't hate each other so much." I have a nemesis. And I feel proud that if we had to break it down along the lines of good and evil, I'm on the good side. I don't want to fight with her. I want amazing and beautiful things for everyone I meet. I want all of you to have a big and happy life. But when someone decides to destroy something that matters to me I have to fight back. I will not waste time on the Lex Luther to my Superman. She's a just a petty woman who feels threatened by me and I can't change her. If I figure out a way to stop women from sniping at each other I will win the Nobel Peace Prize.

What I can do is prevent those of you who are parents or plan to become parents from raising Super Villains. (Most superheroes are space aliens, have been exposed to meteorites, or bitten by radioactive spiders.No one can prevent that.)

(1) Discourage your children from pursuing post-graduate degrees. The number of villains with PhDs or MDs (Dr Doom, Dr Octopus, Dr Evil, Doctor Death, etc)  convinces me that the pressure of finishing a doctoral dissertation  leads people to snap. After spending all those years studying one feels entitled to enslave the human race. Because after all aren't you smarter than everyone else. Sometimes I feel like I'm smarter than everyone else and I should be in charge. But because I only have a bachelors degree no one will let me. You can't get minions with a BA in Comparative English Literature.

(2) Don't die. Supervillains are frequently motivated by the premature death of a parent. Darth Vader was just an obnoxious teenager with a chip on his shoulder until his mother was killed by sand people. And if you do die. Don't die because of a perceived injustice. People who lose their parents because a rich and heartless man wouldn't help, spend their lives seeking revenge. People who lose their parents to cancer go into research.

(3) For the love of GOD, if you have more than one child, don't have a favorite. I always felt my parents loved my brother more. I spent two years trying to invent a machine that controlled the weather just so I could rain out his little league games, and finally be the center of attention for once. And I'm just a normal person. By all accounts I'm not insane. The desire to see the world driven to its knees is a passing fancy for me.

(4) Be middle-class. Excessive wealth leads to idle time. Idle time leads one to want to build hollowed out mountain lairs. But poverty is no good either. If you had a little brother die of pneumonia because your parents couldn't afford a doctor, you would be sorely tempted to devise grandiose schemes to acquire wealth. Middle-class people don't lay awake nights trying to think of ways to hold the world hostage and extort billions of dollars from our leaders. They just want a slightly nicer car and ten minutes a day when no one is making them do something.

(5) Be a nice person yourself. The second Green Goblin was the son of the first Green Goblin. Kids learn from their parents. If you're an asshole who wants to take over the world so will your child. And when they see you defeated they will pick up where you left off.

I may never live to see a day when some woman doesn't go out of her way to make me miserable just because she can. But we can all live in a world in which our best and brightest don't hijack nuclear warheads and use them in nefarious plans. A wise man once said, "You may say that I'm a dreamer/ But I'm not the  only one/Maybe some day you will join us..." Imagine a world in which no one has a nemesis.

Woman Thou Art Loosed 03/24/2012


So as I  lay on floor wearing a blue satin cocktail dress, hysterically sobbing, and filing my mouth with vegan whipped cream directly from the can, I thought to myself, "Well this seems to have gotten out of hand." So I have pumped the brakes on what I would call a slow meltdown.

It all started with some painfully honest conversations with my literary agent. She gently explained to me that although she really loved my book and so did most of the editors who read it, that no one wants to publish it. I've been trying to be a writer since I was six years old. I only briefly flirted with two other career choices. Lawyer and Wonder Woman. I decided at the last moment not to go to law school. And I have never had the opportunity to go to Paradise Island to compete for the job of Wonder Woman. So that leaves scratching out a living on the blank page. And that has resulted in decades of people telling me that I can't get paid to do the only thing I've ever been good at. So I found a company that makes custom order toilet paper. And I sent them ten years of rejection letters so I can wipe my ass with "noble effort" and "not what we're looking for right now" and my personal favorite "current industry trends."

Then I ran into an ex-boyfriend and the girl he dumped me for. They attempted to make small talk with me while cooing and kissing. And it went like this:
John: Hey D----- We haven't seen you in forever. How are you?
The Merry Spinster: Nigga Please! Are we doing this?!?!?!?!
John: (perplexed because he is a pasty white boy stockbroker) Umm...Huh? Doing what?
The Merry Spinster: The thing where we pretend I don't think you're a dick. Seriously. Don't talk to me.

I was tempted to turn around and see what they were saying to each other but I didn't want to ruin my theatrical stomp off or engage in the silliness .I will go to my grave annoyed that guys dump me and then act like I'm a jerk because I won't be their friend. Friends don't break up with you on your 29th birthday leaving you to cry alone while you eat an entire sheet cake and and watch The  Muppets Take Manhattan.

But just when I thought the world was done messing with me and my continued mission to hold my head up and wait for my life to turn around, it got even more irritating. I was running and some obnoxious guy was making fun of my size and how slowly I was going (I had ran/walked 6 miles by the time he saw me) and he started running along side me. A year ago I would've just started crying and turned for home. But instead I turned to him and called him an "ignorant barking dog" and started growling and bearing my teeth and  he was so freaked he turned and ran. And I ran after him for a block loudly barking. I didn't know I could run that fast. But I was pissed. And I'm glad I didn't catch him because I think I would've bitten him. And I'm an adult I shouldn't bite people. My mom worked really hard to break me of the habit when I was three. If I went back to it now she'd be very disappointed.

My mother always tells me that the older a woman gets the less she cares what people think. A woman learns after years and years of trying to make herself small and endeavoring to not offend anyone, or look the wrong way, that she has the right to be and do anything she wants. At 22 you'd never wear sandals without a pedicure. At 45 you don't care if your polish is chipped and if someone doesn't like it, they don't have to look at your damn feet. If someone makes a remark about your cleavage they're only doing it because they wish they had your tits. And if someone says you talk too much they're upset because you're making them look stupid and boring. Because my mother says so many crazy things I'm not always good at filtering out the wisdom. So I didn't really get this until recently. But she's right. I'm only 35 but I've been to hell and back and no one gets to make me feel bad. Especially if all I'm doing is pursuing my dream or wasted love on them or I'm just enjoying the feeling of a spring day on my face while I train for my first race.  I have a shitty little life that I've made the best of. For the most part I'm a happy person.  And if you make me moody I will chase you and trying to bite you. And then I'll write about it. And then I'll spend six years plotting to sleep with all your friends. Don't let what happened to the three people mentioned above, happen to you.

The Merry Spinster

The Jedi 03/25/2012

I think if anyone dates long enough they’re bound to meet some odd balls. But I maintain that the number of crazy people in the world greatly increases in density and intensity the closer you get to one D.C. Martin.  But the prize of my crazy collection is a young man known only as the Jedi. We have a light rail system in Salt Lake City that mostly services people who work downtown but hate to park, and homeless people too smelly to be allowed to sleep at the library all day. So I tend to avoid eye-contact when I ride. But one day I looked up from my book to see Ashton Kutcher sitting across from me. Okay…not the real Ashton Kutcher, but a reasonable facsimile. And he was smiling at me.
 So forgetting that I’m chubby and socially awkward and my hair never does the right thing, I decided to flirt. And it went amazing. I was so drunk on just talking to him and him not fleeing that I proffered my phone number and asked him if he might want to get coffee with me sometime.
“I can’t. I have sworn my life to the Jedi and they do not allow me date. A Jedi cannot know love,” was his quite unexpected reply. He got off the train at the next stop and I spent the next week telling anyone who would listen how I had been rejected in a very creative and interesting way. “I have sworn my life to the Jedi” is much more interesting than a fictional girlfriend or fatal disease.
 I figured I’d never see him again but there he was the next week on a different train and at a different time of day. He sat next to me and said, “I have spoken to the Jedi Counsel and they have decided that we may see each socially. But we can’t have sex unless they all agree that it won’t affect my allegiance to the Jedi order.”
 I have to assume my mouth was agape and I was displaying surprise because he asked me if I was okay and whether I wanted some spaghetti while pointing to an Italian restaurant near the station. I hate Italian food but it hardly seemed like the time to discuss it. There were much more interesting topics to cover.
 In our first month of dating I learned the following things about how one lives as a Jedi in Utah in 2005.#
1) Jedi don’t drink hot liquids
2) They live in harmony with all life and are vegan
3) They consider Moab and other regions of Southern Utah to be a fine substitute for the Dagobah system for the purpose of finishing their training.
4) Working in IT and software engineering provides a safe place for such an unconventional lifestyle.
5) Being a Jedi is no weirder than being a Scientologist. The only difference is that most of the world is familiar with the source material for the religion.
6) George Lucas is nice to people who follow him to the dentist even if they’re dressed like Darth Tyranus. He’s a cool guy.
7) The Jedi Council is a really good rec league basketball team.
8) Love and sex are a temptation and distraction from one’s training and will prevent you from bringing balance to The Force.
9) Masturbation is strictly forbidden a Jedi because he needs to conserve energy and focus.
10) Naming your dog Yoda is considered inappropriate irreverence and you may be shunned.
 With so much ground to cover it is easy to see why it took him more than a month to kiss me. Once he did it was amazing and like many a woman before me, I was able to ignore the onslaught of crazy. Including having to visit him in a burn unit because he’d had a mishap while trying to construct a light saber using corrosive chemicals that had been incidentally heated by mirrors in the desert sun. I didn’t even walk away when he blew off a date because he had to go and settle a mining dispute in another galaxy at the last minute.
 He had the best excuse for being emotionally unavailable that any of my friends had ever heard. And we rationalized that he was a homeowner, he had a job, he had impeccable hygiene, and didn’t seem dangerous. Plus he was the best looking guy who was ever going to date me and he smelled really good.
 The last straw was when he informed me that the Jedi Council had decided that we shouldn’t have sexual intercourse because  they felt like I was giving off a Padme Amadala vibe and they were afraid I’d turn their sweet little Anakin into Darth Vader.
 Now I am not a woman to be denied my earthly pleasures so I refused to bow to the orders of six guys who were all divorced closeted woman haters. So I pushed the issue and more than once and heard such sweet nothings from my beloved as “Woman. Get off me! What the Fuck! I said No!” After my final attempt I texted my best gal pal this simple message, “The Force is strong with that one.”
 Although the official cause of our break-up was that he met a hotter girl and he ditched both me and the Jedi to make her happy. I feel the real cause of death was that he didn’t find my Yoda impression funny. I can’t be with someone who doesn’t think I’m funny.

The Closest I ever came to being a Prostitute 03/26/2012


        The life of a writer tends to be a very impecunious one. And before I discovered the joys of soulless corporate drone work, I struggled to make ends meet.

 I have a great phone voice which made me very successful doing telemarketing.  Plus the primary skill set required to be a telemarketer is fluency in English, rudimentary reading skills, and the ability not to internalize rejection. The parallels between the two careers are striking.

 But as much as I love having strangers tell me that “If you assholes ever call here again I’m going to get into my car drive to where you are, break down the door and rip off your head and shit down your neck,” I felt compelled to find a new job. I scoured the newspapers and found one…Phone sex.

 I made it through the interview despite being a virgin at the time with a knowledge of sex only slightly more compressive than that of a seventh grader. And I made it through three days of training without freaking out and running out of the room. I think my saving grace was that the stereotype of the middle-aged housewife wearing sweatpants is ultimately true to life. Lonely people of the world I come to tell you that the lusty busty blonde on the other end most likely looks like Roseanne Barr. I felt young and sexy in comparison.

 There is a pervert for every perversion, and those were the phone calls that paid the bills. So there was only one rule at the company, “Don’t Laugh.”  Acting disgusted was even acceptable because there was a 50/50 chance that the customer would be aroused by you implying he was dirty and/or bad. But you didn’t laugh.

 Most of the  phone calls were pretty standard. Naughty school girl in the principal’s office. Lonely housewife and the gardener. Secretary and the boss getting it on after hours. The days became pretty routine and I eventually began to feel like I was working in a factory that manufactured remote orgasms…at least until the dolphin phone call.

 Mike lived in Florida and was really into dolphins, and not the way ten year old girls like dolphins. I hope to never see the kind of pictures he must have doodled in his notebooks, because Mike was sexually aroused by dolphins. And he wanted me to role-play what it would be like to have sex with a woman who was half dolphin. I squeaked and did my best Flipper impression and managed not to laugh. I was offered a promotion and was allowed to assist in the training sessions for new hires. After a month of work I was climbing the ladder. The dolphin call really put me on the map. And then two weeks later I was out of work. Because I broke the rules. I laughed at a customer.

 I was reading the Bell Jar in between calls when the phone beeped, alerting me that I had a customer on the other end.

Me: Hello. This is Amber. What’s your Name?

Bobby: Umm…Robert. No wait- Bobby. You should call me Bobby.

Me: Is that what you want?

Bobby (slow and breathily); Yeah

Me: Okay. Bobby. Oohh. That’s sexy. That’s my favorite name.
Bobby, what’s your fantasy?

Bobby: I like sandwiches.

Me (warily) : Yeah I do too. Sandwiches are good.
Bobby: No. Sandwiches aren’t good. They’re amazing. They’re sexy. I really like sandwiches.

Me: Okay. What kind of sandwiches do you like?

Bobby: I like Amber sandwiches. I want a peanut-butter and jelly and Amber sandwich

Me: You can have one. Just tell me how to make it.

Bobby: Open the jar of grape jelly and put it down the right side of your pussy.

Me: Okay. Ooh the jelly is cold. I just took it out of the fridge.

Bobby: NO IT’S NOT! It’s a new jar. You can’t use an old jar of jelly.

Me: Oh baby you’re right. I’m sorry. It is a new jar. I had to have a big strong man like you open it for me.

Bobby: Yeah. You’re right. Now open the peanut-butter.

Me: I’m doing it.

Bobby: Lick the peanut-butter off the foil seal.

Me: Yeah. Okay I am.
Bobby: Now spread it down the left side of your pussy. NOW STICK THE SIDES TOGETHER. Make the sandwich!

Me: Okay I am. I just did.

Bobby: Is the peanut-butter crunchy? Or is it creamy (orgasm-like sounds.)

Me: (Uncontrollable laughter) It’s…Oh fuck man. What is going on here?

 Bobby hung up on me. And I laughed for almost five minutes straight.

 All the other women stopped paying attention to their calls to see what was wrong with me. If I’d broken the first rule of Fight Club I wouldn’t have felt more like I was about to get beaten up. And it got worse when Bobby called back and complained to my boss. I had to be made an example of. I was fired in front of everyone and reprimanded for my unprofessional behavior while I boxed up my stuff.

 I took my severance pay and partied for a few weeks before I ran out and got a new telemarketing job. My improved skills in customer service really came in handy and I made some pretty serious bonus money.

 To this day whenever I feel like I’m being asked to do something ridiculous or something that makes me feel like I’m selling my integrity
 at a bargain price, I ask myself, “Are they asking you to pretend your vagina is a PB&J? No? Then suck it up.”

I Am Not Afraid of Mark Ruffalo 05/28/2012

I don’t think it will come as a surprise to any of you that I was a terribly neurotic and fearful little girl…And a bit of hysteric as a teenager…And what could be fairly described as a nervous and emotionally unstable young adult. I wasn’t always the pulled together woman of the world holding it down like she’s trying to steal total awesomness’ lunch money. She said, pausing for laughter. Over the years I’ve managed to kick most of my lifelong fears: Heights; Fire; Death; Dogs; and The Incredible Hulk. Of those five I’m still only afraid of fire. 

My fear of fire was sparked by two events. The first was a very grisly fire safety assembly in first grade. A man who had received third degree burns over 95% of his body sat five feet away from me and explained what it was like to feel his left eye burn and the way he clawed at his face to put it out and essentially pulled out his own eye. It took him nearly an hour to tell an auditorium of children 5-11 years old about the horrors of nearly being burned alive. I assure you I didn’t sleep for three days. I kept a bucket of water in my room for a year. And I made my father buy me a rope ladder and go over fire safety plans with me weekly. The second precipitating event was my older brother’s habit of dunking his hand in rubbing alcohol and then lighting it on fire and chasing me around the house. I’m sure your first question is,  “Why would anyone light themselves on fire just to torture their little sister?” The answer is, my brother has the ability to commit to things even when they are batshit crazy and ill-advised. Trust me. This is for the most part actually an admirable quality. But it didn’t help my fear of fire.

I beat my fear of heights on accident. I got a Self Hypnosis for Weight Loss audiobook and listened to it for a month. A month later I was still fat but interestingly enough…no longer afraid of heights. It is nothing for me to walk to the edge of a cliff and lean over. But I’m still fat…

I kicked my fear of death by being diagnosed with a series of life-threatening diseases. Being sick sucks. But death is as normal as being born or going poop. Everybody does it.

I stopped being afraid of dogs when a neighbor and good friend forced me to spend time with her dog. A year later I got my own. Those who remember the terror I experienced growing up whenever the Putman Family dog Muffin got loose and chased me, were quite incredulous that I was myself a dog owner. I must confess Muffin was not at all tougher than her name. She likely weighed less than 10lbs and was white and fluffy.

But my fear of the Incredible Hulk still caused me to hide my face and flee the room. Until this week I barely tolerated the comic books or clips of the show whenever I accidentally landed on one because someone was profiling Bill Bixby or Lou Ferrigno. 

When I was a little girl my family really loved the Incredible Hulk television show. I on the hand would scream and hysterically weep whenever I even heard the theme song. I would hide behind the couch, and if that didn't work I would go in my room and hide under the bed. But everyone in my family is a bit hard of hearing so I would still hear Banner warn people not to make him angry. And I would think to myself, "Why do people keep making him mad? Why doesn't everybody know about him? It has to be on the news." I mean, sure my family could've chosen to to watch something we all enjoyed. But well, that's just crazy talk. Eventually my mom bought me a Walkman that I listened to during the show. 

Now this probably seems like a pretty typical childhood fear that one would grow out of. You would think huh? But I didn't. I was always more than a little scared of the Hulk.

My brother went with me to see the first Hulk movie starring Eric Bana. I made it through the film without crying but I was pretty scared and my brother actually had to let me hold his hand a little.  Because I don't believe in giving into one's fears I went alone to see the Edward Norton Hulk movie. I thought I could handle it. I was wrong. I was sitting next to a little old man and he heard me whimpering and noticed my shaking and offered me his hand. I don't know that little old man's name but I am grateful that he kept me from wasting $8 on a movie ticket, because I was going to have to leave. After that I stayed away from anything related to the Hulk. Until yesterday. 

I was desperate to see the Avengers. And again I went alone. And miraculously I enjoyed the movie. I was a little edgy but I worked it out. How? I don't know. Maybe I finally got it. The Hulk is a hero. He only beats the crap out of the bad guys. Inside he's just a nerdy guy who hates injustice and who turns the other cheek until he runs out of cheeks and then he turns into a enormous green rage monster. I always suspected that my fear of the Hulk was rooted in my fear of most people. That they're all nice and harmless until they show you there other side. But something about how Mark Ruffalo played Bruce Banner made me actually look forward to him turning into the Hulk. I wanted to see this seemingly mild-mannered guy let it out and harness his power and strength into something heroic. I'm not scared anymore. 
Interestingly enough, Chris Evans who plays the ever so dreamy Captain America also plays Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four. But when he played a man made of fire it didn't make me less afraid of fire. Maybe it's okay to be afraid of fire. Fire should be scary. 

Yours Bravely,
The Merry Spinster

How to Win at Russian Roulette 06/07/12


I would like to think that you my dear reader live a life in which playing Russian Roulette is a metaphorical activity that you engage in. Or you're doing it ironically with a loved one and a six pack of soda that fell on the floor. But should you ever find yourself with a revolver, one bullet, and a motherfucker who isn't backing down, here is how you can "win" at Russian roulette.

Always try to load the gun. Why do you ask? Because you can do the one thing that guarantees you don't become a cautionary tale about wasted youth...PALM THE BULLET. The other person will think it is loaded and will maybe fire once. Then you'll fire, and well...if they fire a second time. Just run away. Anyone playing Russian roulette is crazy, but anyone who fires TWICE is crazy and ready to die. There is no scenario in which you are alone with a gun and a crazy person ready to die, that ends well. But assuming you and your playmate are merely nuts and not ready to die, the trigger will not be pulled six times revealing that you palmed the bullet.

If you can't palm the bullet play the odds. GO FIRST! You'll have a 1 in 6 chance of ending up dead. Go second and you have a 1 in 5 chance of everyone you know standing around your mom's house eating potato salad asking, "Wow. What was going through his/her head? This is so surprising. I always thought he/she would die from eating supermarket sushi." If you decide to take that third shot you have a 1 in 4 chance i.e. 25% chance of becoming what everyone assumes is just an urban lesson. The probability of dying is 100% if you went second and you're the 6th person to fire the gun. This is of course if you play  No Spin Russian Roulette. And I personally think spinning the cylinder takes a moment of stupidity and takes away some of the drama.

I maintain that playing Russian Roulette is a no-win proposition on par with trying to win a land war in Asia, or a fighting with a lover in an IKEA. I only have six pieces of advice to pass on...
1) No matter how hungry you are, don't eat under-cooked chicken.
2) Never play a game of chance with someone named after a city e.g. Chicago Eddie
3) Comfortable shoes are more important than cute shoes
4) Don't fuck with the middle-east. They call it the graveyard of empires for a reason. But I'm from the mid-west and I'm pretty sure you can take them.
5) When faced with an ugly baby, LIE.
6) Don't play Russian Roulette. But if you must...PALM THE BULLET.

In Which I Compare Jet skis and Babies 07/1/2012


I love children. I truly do. And I love mothers. My mother is coincidentally a mother. And many of my friends have children. What I hate is the worship of motherhood. Marilyn Monroe was once asked by a reporter if she and her new husband planned to have children. She replied, "Of course. Manhood means many things, but womanhood means just one."  And I am presented with that notion nearly everyday of my life.

Yesterday, I went to a BBQ thrown by a coworker. And every person there insisted on introducing me to their spouse and children. Although I was tempted to declare, "I don't fucking care. I'm here for free beer and food. I don't need to meet your fuck trophies i.e. children. And the only thing I will have in common with your spouse is that we both know you."  But I didn't. I dutifully shook hands and said pleasantries.

The older I get the more I feel like there isn't a place for me in conventional society because I'm unmarried and childless. I can't engage in conversation with most women my age because they want to talk about their children. And although I know lots of children and have a niece and nephews, I know very little about them. I remember being a child, but I was such an abnormal one that it provides me with no context. So all I can do is nod. When someone brags about one of their child's milestones I have to ask if it is average or exceptional. I want to grab childless women who can speak at great length about diaper genies and what percentile a child is in and scream, "When did you learn this? Why have you made yourself a conversational handmaiden to someone else's life journey?"

I would like to have children. I just haven't. Mostly my life isn't conducive to children. I can't financially support one without a spouse. And I have no access to sperm, which is a key ingredient in human reproduction. No man in my life wants to have a child with me. Plus, I'm not conventionally sexy so I can't steal it from a one-night stand, because you have to know me for while before you want to have sex with me. And sperm banks are pricey. Moreover, I have a long history of mental and physically illness that makes me unqualified to adopt. So there are times that I ache for a child and feel cheated. But then there is the other 90% of my life when I'm gleefully childless. And I accept that the fact that I'm 35 and have let most of my childbearing years go unused because on some level, maybe unconsciously I knew I didn't necessarily need to have children to be happy.

What I can't tolerate is that being a parent is considered the natural state for an adult. There is something subversive about me conducting my life without panic or despair at my childlessness, and on occasion flaunting how happy I am.

The best way to explain how I feel most days is that imagine you don't have a jet ski. And you've never been on a jet ski. But every single person you know has 1 to 3 jet skis and it is all they ever talk about. They post ten pictures a week of their jet skis on Facebook. You can try to engage them in discussions of other topics but know that the conversation will return quickly to jet skis. The moment they got they got the jet ski they lost all interest in movies, music, art, or current events. If it doesn't involve their jet ski, it is frivolous and silly and if you had a jet ski you wouldn't waste time on such pointless things. That is how I feel about mothers.

All the celebrity magazines ever  focus on is what celebrity is pregnant. There are weekly unsolicited uterus updates on Jennifer Aniston. She is a rich beautiful movie star. She travels the world and buys mansions in which she usually lives with a handsome and interesting man. But she doesn't have a baby so her life is a miserable failure.

Given the opportunity I will always playfully nibble on a baby's chubby leg and try to make it laugh. And I want to always be a good ear for a friend. But although motherhood is a natural human experience and I'm told a fulfilling one, I don't find anything unnatural about a person not having children. So it would decrease the amount of time I spend rolling my eyes if we all talked about something else from time to time.

The Merry Spinster and her Empty Womb

The Secret Lives of Aunt Bea(s)...Merry Spinsters 07/7/2012

The death this week of Andy Griffith got me thinking about a woman I haven't really thought about since I was a kid...Aunt Bea.  I was never all that into Mayberry and her residents. The Andy Griffith Show was just too wholesome for me. But I've begun to think no one, not even a fictional person could've been as sweet and innocent as Aunt Bea.

I suspect that Aunt Bea craved the flesh of a man. She fell for every medicine man and con artist who passed through Mayberry. Some guy would toss a little flattery her way and she was ready to run off with him. And of course Andy being the sheriff, would sniff out that the guy was no good and ruin it. She was once even carried off by a mountain man. When Andy found her she was contentedly cooking and cleaning for him, but the mountain man was desperate to get rid of her. I imagine that Aunt Bea after the initial protests of a well-brought up and Christian woman, enthusiastically submitted to sexual depravity. And the poor mountain man could not keep up with 60 plus years of concentrated lust unleashed combined with all those nice casseroles, and sent her back to town.

Does anyone else wonder about Aunt Bea's obsession with food? What if Aunt Bea was a feeder. For those of you who don't read as much as I do...a feeder is someone who gets sexual gratification from watching other people eat. But not just a nice meal. They must stuff and stuff people to the point of discomfort. It is essentially an offshoot of S&M.

Goober Pyle: Aunt Bea brought me by one of her butterscotch pecan pies. I was just going to eat one piece but then she made me eat the whole thing. And then she invited me back to the house and made me fried chicken, mashed potatoes and country gravy, and peach cobbler with a scoop of homemade ice cream on top.
Opie: Did she eat?
Goober Pyle: No she just watched me. She kept filling the plate. SHE JUST KEPT WATCHING ME!!!!!
Opie: She watches us all. But I'm just a kid. She sends me out to play. But the others...oh the others. Poor Floyd the barber. He is her weak plaything of pleasure. She fed him an entire meatloaf last week and then the pies. THE PIES!!!!!!

But maybe it's not the food or the bad boys that kept Aunt Bea in a good mood...I once saw a t-shirt that said, "Maybe your sad spinster aunt, is a happy lesbian." Maybe Aunt Bea and her best-friend Clara were more than just friends. Their other friend Myrtle definitely felt left out a lot of the time. Bea and Clara knew each other since elementary school. They were a matched set. But maybe the time and the place never let them explore their relationship.

Most people have a rich internal life that you don't know anything about. Except maybe for Angelina Jolie. I think we know everything about her. She's very pretty and makes a ton of money doing something she likes. She has a handsome fiance who seems like a nice guy who treats her well. Six beautiful kids and she travels the world helping refugees and lives in a french chateau. Her external life is too rich for her to have a rich internal life. If she is somewhere in the world creating the binding theological concept that will unite people of all faiths and bring peace to this world, or even thinking up a really good tiramisu recipe, well, I'm going to kill us all. That would be unfair. But everyone else...there is more than meets the eye. I even think my dog has a rich internal life. When he spends ten minutes staring at the wall I like to think he is remembering his puppyhood in Arizona and longing for desert mesas and dreaming of the day I drop something really delicious on the floor.

When I see a woman like Aunt Bea I like to imagine what is going on below the surface. Maybe Aunt Bea wasn't a lesbian or lusty wench with an uncontrollable hunger for bad boys. Maybe she was just a lonely old maid looking for love. But I think my feeder theory holds water. Seriously!?!?!? Who is that into making pies? I don't do anything that often that doesn't lead to an orgasm.

Making pies and making eyes at bad boys,
The Merry Spinster

Everybody Poops 12/06/2012

The women in my office are trying to out me as a "Public Pooper." For reasons I am unclear on most of the women in my office refuse to poop at work. I on the other hand have tons of health problems and see poop as a triumph, not just of the body, but of the spirit. I poop because I am alive. I poop because I eat. I poop because I am free. Therefore I am defiant in my instance that when I get that special feeling I WILL find 3 convenient minutes and use the provided facilities.

 I recall never pooping at school when I was in high school. And I really doubt anyone else ever did. I would hold it all day. And I think some of my general surliness can be blamed on it. I may not have turned to drinking if my days had not been spent in intestinal turmoil as I clenched and listened to my body cry out for release. I wish I could say I didn't carry that particular neurosis into my adult life but I can’t. A few years back I went on a four day trip with a male friend. An attractive male friend, but just a friend nonetheless. So I shouldn't have cared if I pooped around him. But I did. And the only way I could guarantee that I never did was to eat lots of cheese. I am lactose-intolerant and even a little cheese blocks me up. I ate cheese three meals a day and all the snacks. My belly became swollen with gas. My bowels became so backed up that farts could not escape and died in my insides gurgling their quest for freedom.  On the fourth day I had a muffin and a second cup of coffee and the cogs began to work again. I pretended to take a really long shower to cover up the shame of my humanity.

I will never be that nuts again. I live my life by many codes and one of them is, “When ya gotta go. Ya’ gotta go.” But I take the appropriate actions to cause as little olfactory offense as possible. I do a courtesy flush the moment my deposit enters the bowl. I always used the bathroom furthest from the others that gets the least traffic. I use the spray that neutralizes the odor. Plus, I eat a plant based diet so to be honest with you my poopy doesn't smell really all that bad. I have tried to not rub my free-spirit and joie de vivre in the face of the others. But I frequently hear the following, “I think someone might have gone number 2 in the handicapped bathroom!?!?!?! Who does that at work? Gross.” Or “The seat was really warm. I think someone was you know, in there a while. Like seriously.” And the eyes keep pointing my way. But I do not speak up. If they want to accuse me they must say it. They must face me and ask, “Umm…Are you the one who is pooping at work?” And I shall stand up to my full height of 5 foot 8.75 inches. Puff out my ample bosom. Take a deep breath and give a bellow worthy of Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men” and say, “You’re GODDAMN RIGHT I DID.” You know why? Because everybody poops. It is even the title of a very popular children’s book. 

Happy Pooping,
The Merry Spinster