Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I have a good friend who has gotten several new tattoo's recently. I went with her to go get one so I could watch and to be moral support and I suppose I also went with her to see if a tattoo was in my future as well. The parlor was exactly what I expected, lots of pictures of vampires, dia de los muertos and Mexican art, biker stuff and much more. There were books of tattoo pictures as well as posters hanging on the wall to flip through of body sized tattoos. And then there were the artists, they were covered in tats so you could see what they were sporting and whether or not you liked it. Everyone was very nice and personable, they are after all sales people and artists combined.

I started wondering why people feel the need to paint their bodies? I always used to joke around that someday when my body washed up on a beach, the police would be able to identify it if I put my name on it, so I did. It has been a few years now that my life has settled down and that really is more of a joke than a reality. But the question remains, what makes people want to cover their entire body in ink or make them want to put their husbands name on their butt. Whatever the urge is, it is very popular and very addicting - like catching a virus.

I got the bug - so I went back last week and got inked. It has been 20 years since my last tattoo so I actually got nervous, butterflies in the stomach and all that. The physical feeling or sensation of getting a tattoo hasn't changed at all, it was exactly the same and surprisingly about the same price as it was 20 years ago. Mid life crisis? Definitely mid life but not so much a crisis as a whim.

My tattoo is a Tibetan prayer wheel with the mantra Om Mani Padmi Hum in Sanskrit on the inside of my left leg above my ankle. Hail the jewel in the lotus.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

False Advertising

I recently logged into a website for an organization I belong to and saw a picture of a person who belongs to the group that I didn't recognize. This is a pretty small group of people so I had to double click on the picture to see who this person was. It turns out that this person chose to post a picture of themselves 10 years and 40 pounds ago. (at least) I found it interesting that this person chose to post a picture that did not accurately represent themselves.

I did this Internet dating thing about 10 years ago as a gag. I say I did it as a gag because I had recently gotten out of a relationship and I was unemployed for a year and independently wealthy at the time and wanted something fun to do with my time. I never once considered it a serious way to meet someone because I always figured I would meet someone on my own merit instead of using the Internet to find someone. I have since then come to accept that there are many women that meet men on the internet and many men that meet women on the internet and marry or cohabitate with the intent of staying together for a lifetime or at least for a while.

I met a lot of men. I went on a lot of dates. I had a ton of fun. Some of the guys were nice and some were smart and some were nice and smart. Some were strange and some were not my cup of tea and some were not my favorite. The reoccurring theme with these guys was that they preferred to leave out the things about them that might turn people off, such as: One guy was missing most of his front teeth. His explanation for not smiling in his profile picture or for not telling me was "most of them are coming out, so I thought I'd wait until they all come out before I get false teeth". Another guy described himself as being 10 years younger and when I called him on it, he said, "if I'd told you I was 55, you might not have met me for a drink." (note to the reader, I was 32 at the time). One guy told me he was into weight lifting and it turned out his neck was bigger than my thighs. He actually said to me as we were eating lunch "I will not date a woman with an ass bigger than mine" and his ass was HUGE. I'm pretty sure he was married too because of some obvious indentation in his ring finger and a strong tan line there as well. Another guy told me he was medium build (this one was the most popular description for the size of a person) and we had to take the bus because he couldn't fit in my Ford Festiva. He was huge too but not in a bodybuilding sort of way, it was more of a fat sort of way. I tried really hard to be open minded with all of these guys, after all, I was single and they were single (as far as I knew), there was going to be a learning curve.

The one that ended my Internet dating detour was the guy that told me his wife had recently passed away from Lung Cancer and that he was very nervous as this was his first date after her passing. After holding Larry's hand and telling Larry that everything was going to be alright and that there were grief counselors to help him cope and letting him walk me to the bus after a drink and some good conversation, I got an email later that night from Larry with a shocking twist. It turns out his wife was dying of cancer and he had decided that while she was dying it was time for him to find someone to meet his physical needs and so he had lied not only about his age but also about his marital status and while they didn't know exactly when she would die, would I still consider dating him because I was a cutie pie and not someone he wanted to pass on. I think I left the country shortly after that email, conveniently.

Cheater? Liar? False Advertising? Is it ok to bend the truth a little? Is it ok to bend it a lot? Who draws the line and where? You decide.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hostage Situations vs Edamame

So my kids love edamame beans, the ones in the pods, they think they are fantastic and can eat bowls and bowls of them, steamed with a little salt on. It is also one of those foods that gives them something to do, they work at getting each little bean out of the pod and sometimes the beans shoot out of the pods and fly across the room which makes it fun to chase down and wipe off and eat, so rewarding! It also can turn a 2 minute meal into 20 or 30 minutes which can be fun for Mom and Dad to have a conversation or actually sit down instead of spend all mealtime standing in front of the stove or refrigerator. Those of you that are parents know exactly what I'm talking about, "more ketchup please, more milk please, more butter please, more more more". Those of you without kids, please commence rolling your eyes or stop reading immediately.

When we discovered that our oldest would actually eat these green soy beans, we were ecstatic because she was possibly the pickiest eater on the planet and getting green vegetables into her was a real chore. I always thought that part of the appeal was the work they have to do to get the beans out of their pods and into their mouths, good hand-eye coordination practice..

So the other day I found edamame beans outside of their shell and thought, "Wow, now they don't have to do all that work and can just eat them by the handful," and bought a bunch. Huge mistake. I boiled them and sprinkled salt on them like I do when they are in the pods. I refrigerated them and served them cold. I tried to lightly fry them and brown them and put a little sugar on them. It didn't matter what I did, I was met with tears, disgust, frustration, deceit, begging and yes, retching.

No matter of cajoling or explanation on my end could get them to realize that what they were eating was the exact same thing I always feed them, just without the pods. I was so irritated I could scream. (I also have a sinus infection as I write this so I am not feeling tip top).

The end result? They took each bean and swallowed it like you would swallow a pill, with a big glass of water. I actually watched my 3 year old plow through 40 edamame beans like she was taking a handful of pills, totally ridiculous but anyone with a 3 year old and their least favorite food, knows what I'm talking about. I have seen hostage situations that were less hassle.