Oh, January. Damnit all to Hell. And I say Damnit all to Hell not because I really mean it, but just because blergh. Beautiful ice storms but Donald Trump’s Twitter, and amazing veggie fondue but blue dye on my hands from Harper’s hair and a cough that has lingered for over a month. Knitting a dozen hats to donate to marchers on Saturday but knitting a dozen hats to donate to marchers on Saturday. (People have wildly different views about the hats. Some think they’re great. Some think they’re just another sign of people needing a crap souvenir for a cause they don’t really believe in or aren’t willing to do real work for. I honestly can see both sides.)
Do this for me: If you’re wearing a cat hat to the march and you don’t *really* need/want it afterwards, please consider donating it directly to a homeless person who is cool with wearing a pink cat hat. Maybe put a warm sandwich or something IN that hat. As a friend of mine said this morning, “You’re helping those in the cold and those hats will, for awhile, be omnipresent on the streets, a reminder of the connection between abject poverty and government’s need to be bigger than some sleezy dipshit who conned his way into the presidency.”
When I was seventeen, my world was all about my hair and my shoes. My hair because it looked like this, which required a bit of time. My shoes because I liked to watch them when I walked. (When you’re watching your shoes, you don’t have to make eye contact with someone who might be laughing at you.) ((I had some issues during Angela: The Teen Years. Angela: Forty-Something is only a tiny bit better.)) Seventeen-year-old me read TIME magazine for a Contemporary Issues class, but didn’t retain anything past quiz time. I had no idea who was fighting whom. I hadn’t even thought about voting. All of this to say: Last week I had the pleasure of knitting a cat hat for a seventeen-year-old girl who is taking a bus to Washington DC this weekend to march for the rights and safety of women. She picked the hat up on Saturday and was completely pumped and today’s kids are breaking cycles and showing up and some of them will be wearing cat hats and some of them won’t, and what they have ON their heads is so much less important than what they have IN their heads.
Some of you like it when the Beatles sing Come Together. I’ve always preferred Primal Scream and: We can still be friends. I don’t care what you’re wearing on your head, unless it’s a hat that says Make America Great Again, in which case we can STILL be friends, it’s just that I’ll be spending most of our friendship checking out my shoes.
This morning I made friends with this guy because I think he might be Morley Safer. Or maybe Gene Wilder.
When the nurse giving me the B12 shot yesterday asked if I have a Sam’s Club membership, I lied and told her that I do. She was recommending a brand of chili that she thought I would like and I didn’t want to disappoint her. The sad thing? When I go back for my shot next month, she is going to ask me about the chili and I’ll have to lie AGAIN. Tangled webs. (Now I should probably go out and get a Sam’s Club membership to balance everything out. DAMNIT!) ((We’re Costco fans. Wait. MAYBE COSTCO HAS THE CHILI!!! Wait some more. I can’t even remember what kind of chili it is because I was trying too hard to maintain “I’m not lying” eye contact. Chili lies. What am I doing?!))
I skipped out of the house for 90 minutes last night to share a beer with friends (One is silver and the other’s gold!) who then gifted me that beer along with an Assport. I’ve managed to surround myself with the best people, and I now need to drink 20 beers from 20 different countries so I can earn a t-shirt. (Goals. I’ve got ’em.)
After returning home from my sour stout travels, I tried to convince the girls that I’ve found my new hairstyle.
8. Shared a few too many beers at a self-serve taphouse with a friend who makes time pass entirely too quickly. I smiled until my face hurt. I tilted my head to the right because that’s what I tend to do when I don’t have words. I walked away with an autographed Anthony Bourdain book and a bucket of beans and the perfect blend of HappySad.
9. Added to my honey collection. I now drizzle honey onto and into nearly everything I eat or drink, which means I’ll soon begin: 1. Communicating by using pheromones, and 2. Growing hair out of my eyes.
And now it’s time to close down this year as we figure out how to make next year better. I’m going to accomplish Better with fresh words and new music and Revolution. Also, the new album by A Tribe Called Quest, blueberry vinegar, a candle that smells like a bonfire, and viciously unconventional revivification.
The past eight days have found me suffering from the same throat and nose thing that has infected everyone I know (along with their extended families and co-workers). I’ve had to cancel on lunches and coffees and cookie baking parties and family Christmas parties and here is a photo that was taken yesterday when I had a fever and a stomach thing along with the nose and the throat thing and I think Jesus was trying to call me home.
I looked toward the light and said, “Please give me more time, Jesus. I have plans for 2017.” And He said, “Okey doke, but make sure those plans are for the Good, because I’m starting to get tired of all the Not Good down there.” And I answered, “You betcha. Good is what I do best.” And He whispered, “Jam on.”
This morning I felt a tiny bit better, so I took a shower (it was time) and swallowed some pills and decided to drive to a store to buy pajamas for the girls because it’s the last day of school for the year and I buy Christmas pajamas for them every year and Right Now! I NEED TO GO RIGHT NOW! (I don’t feel so good.) I’M LEAVING! I’VE TAKEN MY MEDICINE!
I grabbed a coffee and drove to Old Navy and after I chose the girls’ pajamas I started sweating and I felt like I was going to faint so I decided to take deep breaths and focus on plaid shirts because I don’t have one and I think I might need one, where “need” is a huge exaggeration because what do I NEED? Fluids. Rest. (MAYBE a plaid shirt? YES a plaid shirt.)
In a few minutes I’ll be picking up my Glasses o’ Severity and later this evening I’m going to load my new green pen and write down all of my childhood memories into this red notebook. All of them. (Cold medicine was included in the photo just for fun because I’ve taken a lot of it and I’m not embarrassed. Maybe a little jittery, but not embarrassed.)
I’m missing out on another gathering this evening and I’m bummed because I STILL haven’t found Christmas and my head is filled with stories of oranges and live nativity scenes and Oh! The online holiday concert went live a few days back and I’m in it. What I *want* to do is point out all of the bad parts within my submission and tell you to just skip to the very end where I do a special shout out to Prince. What I *will* do is smile politely and tell you that I hope your holidays are filled with pleasant smells and nice thoughts and good health and music that lifts you.
(The (very wise and somewhat spunky) woman who helped me choose my frames told me that you live only once. (She actually said “You only live once” but I’ve never liked that arrangement of words.) She then told me that these frames are “perfectly severe” on me. I’ve never been described as perfectly severe, but I liked it. 2017: The Year of Perfectly Severe Angela D. (Side Note: Step one in my quest to become Iris Apfel? Complete.))
In the spring of 1989, a friend called in the middle of the night to see if I wanted to go out for coffee. I changed out of my pajamas and walked across the street to his dorm, where he told me that I looked like Tracy Chapman. (Fast Car was a big deal back then.) 27 years have passed, and I still don’t see the resemblance.
I walked (very reluctantly) around the mall a few weeks back, and while there I saw a shirt that said “Another Day, Another Slay.” A few minutes later, I saw an “Eat, Pray, Slay” shirt. Oh, people. I know we all secretly want to be Beyoncé, but you know what? We need to just settle down and try to be the best version of ourselves.
The oldest note on my phone is from 12/19/12. It simply says “Jammy Weaselheimer.” I have no idea what it means, and I won’t delete it in case it ever comes up.
Yesterday I wrote something that included an imaginary shivering friend named Darius and my magical ability to stash beans in secret places. I either need to 1) Stop being so afraid to write short stories, and/or 2) Read more Tom Robbins novels. (Wait. Is Tom Robbins *really* 84? (And am I *really* 46?))
NEWSWORTHY ANNOUNCEMENT: Next Wednesday (12/21) will be the one year anniversary for me growing out my hair. (It’s a very big deal, right? Nothing else is going on in the world, right? CNN what? Syria who? Trump how? Russia when?)
Last year I looked like this:
Today I look like this:
(Confession: I don’t *really* look like this. The mascara is totally fake, and I applied the filter that seemed the most flattering. I’m not trying to fool anyone over here. I’m just trying to look scruffy glam. (Always and forever scruffy glam.) Also, it’s 18 degrees outside which means it was time to drag out the huge scarf! WINTER!)
Somebody tell me how to grab some Christmas spirit, because I’m idling at zero over here. (Tori Amos is currently playing as my background music. She’s definitely not helping me with her nine-inch nails and little fascist panties.)
Old man, look at my life. I’m a lot like you were.
A few years ago, a friend of mine created an amazing piece of art with vegetables. She posted a photo to Facebook and one of the first comments was, “You have too much time on your hands.” I exploded with anger. (I’m only slightly exaggerating.) We all have the same amount of time. (Give or take, but you know what I’m saying.) Some people use it to check their phones. Some people use it to make vegetable art. Admittedly, I didn’t use much of my time in November to deal with NaBloPoMo. Nevertheless, here we are, and so we go.
Tomorrow is a bit of a monumental day for me. (Feel free to start organizing a marching band for a morning parade. I’ll be home until 750.) One of my very favorite people and I found ourselves eating quiche (crustless!) a few weeks back and we threw around sentences like, “I’m sick of not doing yoga and then feeling guilty so I park in front of the pantry and punish myself with Oreos” and “I need to be creating more things and worrying less about what people think of my creations” and “I must not be happy in ways that I don’t even understand because I spend my days moping around and I have no idea why.”
I could go on and on. (Truthfully, I brought up Oreos more than once.) If I *did* go on and on, I’m afraid I would bore you. (Why am I so worried about boring you?! Oreos? May I have some?)
Tomorrow. December 1, 2016.
I’m going to:
… redo Yoga Camp because I love it and it makes me happy.
… work on changing some unhealthy habits because I’m tired of feeling guilty.
… try to get a grip on the weirdo things that give me anxiety.
… forgive myself for screwing up, because I screw up all of the time.
… write. Hopefully, every day. Here sometimes. Other places more times.
… get a B12 shot so I have enough energy to do all of these things.
If there is anything you need to work on, feel free to join me tomorrow. New Year’s Resolutions are for assholes. (LOOK AT ME! I’M FINDING MY AUTHENTIC VOICE! I’m going to: … find my authentic voice!) ((New Year’s Resolutions aren’t really for assholes. I just wanted to sound tough and use more ellipses.))
I hope you’re ready for December. I’m never ready for anything, but I need to take better care of myself so I can take better care of anyone who needs it.
All of that, plus even MORE good sentences in my ears. There’s nothing I love more than good sentences in my ears.
I never skip over an analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird. (For those of you who aren’t in the know, my 11-year-old daughter is named after Harper Lee. Shortly after we brought her home from the hospital we discovered that she was born on Harper Lee’s birthday. She’s a great writer. Also, my firstborn dog’s name is Scout. She’s feisty.) Anyway, I’m not sure how I missed this, but I’m so glad it came into my life at 6:58 this evening.
Several years ago, Harper made a list of the things I love the most during the Christmas season.
This morning I found the list in a cookbook I was using to make a big batch of bean chili. (Five different types of beans! Black! Pinto! Kidney! Garbanzo! Lentils!) The list made me happy because: 1. Harper’s handwriting, and 2. All still true.
After deciding that I didn’t have time to make the chili (tomorrow IS another day!), I jumped into the car and drove to my annual gynecological appointment and although I arrived early, I ended up being two minutes late because the player piano was doing some sort of jazz number and I was all in.
Here’s a fun story! When I was sitting on the exam table wearing nothing but a paper skirt, I looked across the room and noticed this bottle. Because I need a new pair of glasses, I thought it said “Cervical Yuck” and what an amazing product to have in a gynecological office! I’m very sad to report that it doesn’t say Cervical Yuck at all.
When you don’t have a cervix (like me!), the annual appointment is a fairly easy one. (No cervical yuck!) BUT, when the doctor starts throwing around words like Perimenopause and phrases like “can last for seven years” and “you are in it” I tend to make unpleasant faces.
Last night I found my white robe and the matching white headband that the girls absolutely despise. I wear that headband as much as I can during the holiday season because Mere Exposure Effect.
I dare you to tell me that I don’t look like a snow princess in that headband. (I’m not really daring you. I’m sort of sensitive these days.) Anyway, as perimenopause continues, Harper believes that I will start having demon fits, and she illustrated those fits by doing this to my photo.
Sadly, she might not be far off. Please stay tuned for the next seven years. (Meredith will be 20! Harper will be 18! I’ll look like Beautiful Snow Princess Dave Navarro!)