Sunday, July 29, 2007

Confessions of a former flower child...

So a friend recently called me a hippie. I nearly bit his head off....which I tend to think is a decidedly un-hippielike thing to do. Sure I like dandelions, and yeah I grew up in the seventies, man. But hippie???!!! Do they even still exist in 2007? As I see it, we flower children have all grown up and we have a few different parameters and certainly updated terminology I should hope.

Here was my shrill response (embellished a wee bit here for poetic license):

"Hippie? Excuse me, but I will take airy-fairy, tree hugger or eccentric New Ager but I am NOT a hippie. Angels, crystals, tarot cards, Reiki yes, yes, and yes...but hello? I bathe regularly and Patchouli? Pa-YUCKY. And I do not smoke the ganga or have hemp clothing and I'm sorry, burning one's bra is just plain silliness. I paid a lot of good money for my bras (TMI?) and I am not about to burn my underwire, lacy number from Victoria's Secret or let the girls flap in the wind just to make some sort of feminist point. "I am woman, see me sag?"...I mean sure---if the whole ethanol fuel thing takes off and windmill energy-powered cities crop up everywhere then that's fabulous, but I think the only thing more annoying than a Vegan lifestyle would be well...frankly I can't think of anything more annoying. Because animals? Are delicious. And they make lovely shoes, belts and jackets at times, too. So there goes that argument."

Flower power used to mean 'revolution' and antidisestablishmentarianism (yes---it IS a big word for being a rebel or anarchist which are just polite terms for being a total pain in the ass)...Now it means a cute, floral-patterned top from Old Navy or picking up the occasional cheerful bunch of sunflowers to brighten the apartment. Does this make me shallow? Hey---I like Bob Dylan and John Lennon as much as the next gal. I am all for world peace. But I simply fail to see how me growing my armpit hair into smelly dreads will help achieve that crucial objective.

Maybe neo-hippie is a more accurate label? Sorta seems like a combination yuppie/hippie. Sure--I vote liberal and sometimes wear earth shoes and drink Starbucks and shop at Whole Foods...but you will never see me sporting a tie-dyed anything. And I will not be growing my own food in a container garden on my fire escape or be caught dead or alive chanting cumbaya around a campfire. I would sooner vote Republican.

Growing up, I can distinctly remember my health-conscious mother making yummy rice krispy treats with peanut butter, honey and raisins instead of the marshmallow and butter that other moms used to use. I can also distinctly recall the other kids at CCD (The Catholic afterschool version of religiously brainwashing kids...but with SNACKS) asking me if the raisins were bugs. In retrospect I realize that wasn't very Christian of them. But I think even Jesus snickered at that one. Needless to say I wasn't such a fan of the peanut butter/honey snap, crackle and pop treats after that.

In other words, in some things it pays to conform. When it comes to torching one's lingerie to prove one's equality with the half of the population who wear jock straps rather than me a rebel but I just don't see the point.

So what would constitute a hippie today? Peace rallies are a wonderful idea in the abstract but I'd rather get zen and meditate...envisioning a world in which people don't need to rally for peace...because their very essence embodies peace. I'd rather get together with like-minded people (or even differently minded people who can articulate their opinions well) to discuss how we can all achieve our creative goals and dreams than circulate emails about troops torturing small children. This isn't about being an ostrich or an idealist. It is a conscious choice to say 'pfffft' to the fearmongering media.

The hybrid car is a wonderful idea. Recycling is extremely environmentally sound. It just makes sense. Waste not, want not and hey---how about not turning Mother Earth's backyard into a giant landfill are valid principles to aspire to...But doing all those socially correct things and then engaging in the sociopathic kind of road rage where you are flipping off random strangers and cursing their as-yet unborn great-grandkids....hmmm, then perhaps the priorities are just a tiny smidgen skewed?

Someday, we shall overcome self-imposed stereotypes and limitations. We'll outgrow our labels and create bigger picture language. But in the meantime...please don't eat the daisies...or call me a hippie. Unless you want the peace sign I make to go from two fingers to one.

Peace out.

Oh and P.S. Yes I am aware that one of the pics above features me in a mini-mullet and the other has the creepy floating head effect...what can I say? It was the seventies and some school photographer on LSD probably thought it was 'far out'.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Circulars in a cubicle...

Circulars and me thinking lately about the shape of things in my life. My new job is all about checking those minor details that people take for granted in their daily lives. You know the teeny tiny signs with teeny tiny font and barcodes on the shelves in drugstores beneath your bags of candy, condoms, feminine hygiene products or cans of hairspray? Yeah---someone (ME) has to proofread those suckers. And the ad circulars that you throw away (unless you're 90) that come in your weekly newspaper---the ones that tell you when cranberry juice is 50% off? ME again, folks.

I can honestly say that my workaday life is now chock full of the kind of excitement that Jack Bauer cannot rival. Sure he's saving the world, but I'm saving hundreds upon hundreds of people cold, hard cash. It adds up, ya know. bonus of the new place is that I have found some very groovy (ok, look---it's a good word---I do not care how outdated it is or how old it makes me sound) kindred my new boss who is pretty laid back...I knew I liked him when he told me in the interview, "Its ad circulars, its not cold fusion." Here is a man with the right perspective.

Mainly I've been taking stock of how much my eyeballs will hate me after long days of squinting at Excel sheets in 6 point type. I fully expect to be blind by the end of the year if this keeps up. But the upside is that then I can get some Ray Charles sunglasses, a cane, a lovely German Shepherd I will name Fred and I WILL NOT HAVE TO WORK ON A COMPUTER EVER AGAIN. Do you think the Devil will reserve me a room with a view (probably moot by then since I'll be more than halfway to Helen Kellerdom) of one of the nicer parts of hell? You know---I wouldn't mind so much if it were just *hot*...but the endless burning and all that screaming would kind of suck. Ok, I guess I take back the Ray Charles thing AND the Helen Keller thing...I mean who are we kidding? I might be able to not see or hear, but not TALK? Ain't happening.

On the upside, I am adoring my commute. Seven minutes to work. Nine minutes home...boy that extra two minutes can be a real drag. I usually leave the office and head straight to the pool. Then home to swelter in my apt. I do have an AC unit in the bedroom (thank you sweet Jesus for the one pocket of non-stagnant air that doesn't feel like Lucifer is continuously exhaling on me in this Hades-like environment). See?---I'm used to the heat...I'll be fine down under. Just gimme my pitchfork and giddyup! It's not that I cannot afford an extra AC unit for my living room. I fully plan on getting one as soon as I can shanghai a burly musclebound man to lug it up the four flights of stairs and install it for me. Or plan B is to rope my friend Jess into helping me on a day when it doesn't feel like Campbell's soup outside. Mmmmm mmm not so good with the fainting, and the sweating profusely (or perspiring daintily if you are a lady like me, ahem...what?! Shut up!) while the box goes tumbling down the stairwell leaving little sad machine parts in its wake.

In the meantime, the library and cafes and movie theaters and bookstores are fine cool havens to kill some time until that evil ball of pulsating light in the sky stops cooking my apt. and making it 126.9 degrees in every room except the cave where I sleep.

I also just confirmed that I will meet my self-imposed deadline of self-publishing my memoir, "Lipstick and Thongs in the Loony Bin" by Labor Day. It will be the day I give birth to my 'baby' (appropriate since this process has been alternately joyful, painful and messy) and the birth announcement (press release) will be forthcoming upon its launch and availability on

My kickass graphic designer gal-pal Dani has agreed to help me format the manuscript for uploading. She also did a cover that is absolutely AWESOME...I couldn't be happier if one of the big boys in a NY publishing house did it.

So all in all...things are shaping up pretty damned well (other than the whole impending sight loss business of course)...stay tuned...if you want to know all about the Halloween candy sales you know who to ask.*

*The blind chick clutching her designer pitchfork--melting in a dainty puddle of her own perspiration.