Kathy Griffin, “Strong Black Woman”

Kathy Griffin is my queen and I will love her until the day I die. We share the same birthday and the same sick sense of humor, not mention we also don’t give a fuck what we say. I imagine that has to do with us being Scorpios but… that is all conjecture.

When I saw her photo I have to say I was a little appalled. I couldn’t understand what it was my Diva was trying to accomplish. As I thought about the artistic implications it was a comedian holding a fake head of a president. What I came to believe was the statement the photographer was trying to make was that she would verbally behead this dude, because that it what she does to all public figures. I say “public figures” because you’re allowed to say and do whatever you want toward a person with that title because it is part of the first amendment.

Should she have done it? Probably not. I don’t know why she didn’t foresee the backlash from the photo. Yes, most of America does seem to hate him, or so the polls tell us so. (However these were the same mother fuckers that said Hillary was going to win, so take that how you will.) There is also the fact she is a comedian known for saying whatever she wants and being ruthless. That is the reason so many adore her. So for her to do it is really par for the course.

The reaction though… Is harsh but probably deserving. I have formulated a test for myself to see how I should respond to such things. I just replace Trump with Obama (I do in so many situations because sometimes it’s the only way to get through the day) and gauge my reaction. If a comedian had done the same… I would have felt precisely how I do now that it was in poor taste and shouldn’t have been done. To think she was trying to awake some kind of sleeper cell to take retribution against the president is the real joke. (I mean, who is she awakening? The gays and women? We’re dangerous but not known for being gun toting nuts that accost people in the supermarket or subway.)

One of my favorite of the comments posted on Twitter the day the photo premiered (I don’t know how else to word that reveal) was that it was a “Satanic ISIS” ritual. There are quite a few things wrong with that statement. First and foremost, ritual? It was a photo. Unless you saw her doing some sort of voodoo and chanting about his headless corpse, I don’t see how it’s even a ritual. All she did was hold it up. Second, satanic? Even the satanic church tweeted out that they had nothing to do with the photo. You know why? The satanic faith is all about the self and no one else. Third, ISIS? Yeah… that’s who ISIS wants. The Islamic based terrorist group wants a white woman without even a hijab to make a statement. And finally, Satanic ISIS? Those are two very opposite ideas of theology that have nothing in common at all, except in the mind of the nut job reading conspiracy theories all day who sees them as a threat to their white “christianess.”

What she’s going through is rough. I can’t imagine the horrible messages she’s receiving from the other side of the fence about it. She’s said she’s been getting death threats, which is no surprise. To that I hope she takes legal action, because, like she has said before in one of her stand-ups, threatening someone’s life is a crime.

Whatever may come next I know she will pull through. She is a fighter and this too will pass. She’s apologized for the photo, she had the photographer take it down, I don’t know what else she could do. At this point it is a waiting game. If Ted Nugent, who literally threatened Obama at one of his shows, can get an invite into the White House I imagine the same could be said of her.

Stay strong, Diva. Just know, some dude you don’t know is in your corner and will always be a fan.

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Faithful Musings

I know that I will not offer up any new insight into religion. More than likely most of my views have been gathered by others around me. What I can say in regards to religion is from my own perspective of having grown up in a deeply religious household, in addition to attending Christian school from pre-k to 8th grade. 

Through all that time I can tell you that religion does not make people good. On the contrary most of the people I have encountered in the faith are cold, cruel, and heartless unless it directly benefits them. There have been a few that exhibited what it is to be a “Christian” but they are few and far between. Primarily what I witnessed was “oh you’re not in our faith? You don’t go to our church? Then sorry. Not my problem.” Also, if someone wasn’t attractive or thin they weren’t wanted. 

My worst nightmares from church were the moments when the pastor had everyone in the congregation stand up and greet their neighbor. I hated it because most people didn’t say anything to my parents or myself. No one was ever friendly. They were doing it because the man in the suit told them too. Which is hilarious because that is the summation of what faith is. 

At one point faith was created as a way to explain the things that didn’t have a basic answer. It was man trying to understand all that was around them. Science has done away with the mystical powers. That’s why any scientific thought was considered heracy. It made man begin to question the world around them and as one of my heroes, Jim Jefferies, says is nothing is more toxic to religion than questions. 

With science the reason for even having faith, other than getting sky cake when we die (thanks Patton Oswalt), was to tell people how to be good and not be sinners. The strangest part about that is I have seen more hatred in the name of faith than anything else. At least if an atheist does something cruel we all just know he’s an asshole. When someone of faith does it they rationalize it and try to justify their actions with this made up bull shit from their respective texts. 

A couple weeks ago a gay couple in Indonesia were sentenced to a public caning for having sex. Now, they were discovered by accident but their punishment was deliberate. A news organization that covered this event interviewed the attendees to see their reaction and one woman, with her head scarf, said that she was glad they did it. That way no one would do it in the future. That statement shows her ignorance like someone would just choose to have sex with someone of the same sex, without any attraction. That’s not how sex works. Or just attraction. If there’s no spark nothing’s happening, you know?

I have gotten to the point where I want all faiths to go away. They really don’t offer anything to society except a reason to be a dick without being labeled one. And my thought is if you have to have some “higher being” tell you to be nice, you’re just not a good person and no amount of prayer will save you. 

When I was younger I prayed every night for god to take away the gay. I didn’t want to be at all. Yet as I got older I realized it wasn’t me that was broken, it was the thought behind that prayer. If god doesn’t make any mistakes then me being gay isn’t one of them. However the faithful work around is that it’s the devil trying to corrupt me. Okay, sure, Mary Beth. I think the real evil was if I had forced myself into a Hererosexual relationship with a woman to please god while all the while having no real attraction for her and lying. More than likely I would not be able to fight the “urges” and I would meet up with a stranger and thus have committed adultery. Then the lying gets stronger. It seems like I’m doing more sinning pretending to be straight than I am just being gay. 

Which brings me to the strangest of my week. I encountered a conservativel, Christian, gay man. The first two statements make sense but the gay part is the one that doesn’t fit. Out of the three that is the one I think is the most honest. The other two need to go because it’s him trying to live up to a standard or expectation that is inauthentic to who he is. And because he’s forcing himself into a mold he does not fit he is a RAGING alcoholic. This dude got so wasted at our game night I couldn’t believe he didn’t pass out. (Not to mention he used the n-word in the way it was originally intended. And that is NOT okay.) 

Religion is truly a harmful thing and is used to control the masses. Anything that forces you to not question anything and expects everyone to follow their faith is a cult. 

Always with the gender identity

I have a playlist called “Gay Shit!” and on it resides the songs that one would think lived up to the title. I forced my husband and roommate to listen to it on our way back from a day trip to San Jose. (We saw Bianca Del Rio’s stand-up show.) Now, I say forced because my husband doesn’t like a single song on the list. He’s more of a country and 80-90’s rock kind of beast; our roommate couldn’t have given two shits, as long as it wasn’t more country.

As I raced along I-5 in the middle of the night, we bumped the usual kind of club beats. As it reached the end I felt a pang of guilt for subjecting them to my “poor taste.” So, I readied up my next favorite playlist called “The 90’s.” I didn’t, however, tell them that I was doing that and after about eight or nine songs into it our roommate said, “Damn, this is all on ‘Gay Shit.’ I like all these songs.”

I quickly corrected him and changed the subject.

After harmlessly rolling over his statement it occurred to me, even if these songs he liked were on my “Gay Shit” playlist what would that have meant? That he is somehow ‘gay’ for liking them? It should be noted, that our roommate is the gayest heterosexual I have ever encountered. It is this detail that gives me the confidence to say that he meant nothing by his statement. But it definitely got me thinking.

For instance, why did I even feel the need to label the playlist “gay shit” in the first place? Couldn’t it just be “fun favorites?” Just because a song happens to be attracted to a sub-group of society doesn’t mean that it should just be bulked with them.

I get that this is just me being over analytical about a mundane statement. No matter what way I cut it. My title was just me being cute for the sake of myself. But is there a level of shame from both of us in what we said and did?

For me I concluded that it goes back to the idea of gender identity and what is and isn’t masculine and “appropriate” for a man to do. Society is so hung up on what is meant for one sex to do over another. If a man goes outside of the usual tropes they’re seen as a sissy or less than a man. Because of these deeply ingrained ideas we keep ourselves from enjoying things without some sort of baggage or label attached to them.

God, I hate people. We can never let someone just enjoy something. Even I am super guilty of that. I made catty and bitchy comments about this dude at the Bianca Del Rio show.

First off, this queen was GOING OFF. He was standing, waving his finger until it was just a blur above his knuckles, shouting “YAS QUEEN,” and snapping like he was at some sort of slam poetry. It was relentless. It got to a point where this dude, just enjoying himself, was distracting me from the show and I was having a horrible time. I couldn’t stop watching. (Plus it didn’t help that some fag-stag’s head was in my way of viewing Bianca Del Rio so I was forced to see only this queen.)

Now, I’d like to think that I hated this stranger because he was being super obnoxious. However, I’m afraid that it’s because of the bullshit male stereotypes I found his overabundant “faggotry” to be offensive and thus ruin my time. Although he was having a blast. Well, until Bianca turned on him and told him to kill himself. The entire theatre erupted in cheers and the bitch rushed from the theatre in shame.

So maybe it was just that he was annoying as fuck.

And there’s a dick

Last night while attending a friends birthday BBQ, a discussion was brought up of a scenario I for the life of me did not know happened and find mind boggling that even continues to occur. 

Imagine that in a board meeting room there is a machismo-bro executive and a well dressed young woman alone. Then without warning or apropos to the subject the man produces his genitals from within his trousers and let’s them hang there. This was the scene painted for me that occurred to a friend of my roommate. 

The thing I can’t seem to grasp is what the fuck were these men thinking and what was their end game? Do these douche bags think that their dicks will be so entrancing these women will just drop hypnotized to their knees and begin giving them oral sex? Then the thing that frustrates me further is this was an actual event that occurred and this woman isn’t pressing sexual harassment charges. 

How is this okay?! This asshole should be fired from his position and be mandated to register as a sexual offender. This is unwanted sexual advances. 

What followed this tale were four more almost identical situations with varying degrees of severity. One story had a man completely naked with an erection in a women’s restroom. Another was a guy getting nude and walking into the ladies facilities where his co-worker was otherwise indisposed. 

I am dumbfounded! I wish I had the gall to be alone in a room with a man and just whip my dick out and just have it hanging  there to see how they would respond. Not in a sexual way. In no way would I want them to be overwhelmed with sexual desire that they feel the need to pleasure me. Oh no. That is the hopes and wishes of an egomaniac. I just want to see how uncomfortable they get and if they would report me to a superior. 

Then the most terrifying is how casual these women were in these situations. I even remarked that I would post these stories on Facebook and tag the offender so that others could see what huge pieces of shit they were, but one of my companions was so mortified by that notion he begged me not to. If I didn’t know how kind and giving this one friend of mine was I would have to question his character. 

I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a woman. 

Are there similar moments anyone knows of?

Joshua Revised

For the past few days I felt as though I had been regressing from my transformation after my completion of the Landmark Forum, causing me to panic that a return of the whiny bitch that used to run my life. To combat the potential relapse I started trying on different reasons for my cantankerous attitude. The one that held the most truth was that I hadn’t written something in awhile and it was wearing on me. I am a writer after all and if a writer doesn’t do his craft he begins to grow weary and out of shape.

So let me backtrack a bit. I’m sure I threw out some words or phrases that are absolutely foreign to most, making one ask “what is landmark forum?” I’m glad that question piqued your interest as it has become a large part of my existence.

Honestly when I first heard of it I was absolutely hesitant. It sounded like some weird cult bent on getting money. And At the time I thought that was my voice telling me that, but little did I know it was the voice of the pissed off 5 year old that was running the show. I can proudly say that now he has been put to bed in the past and won’t wake again. (That’s right, I killed him.)

The forum is pricey. Don’t get me wrong. I lucked out because the man that saved me from the most miserable job offered to change my life again and put out the $652 to get me enrolled. Even then I did it because I felt pressured to do it, but that was just another story I was telling myself. No one can make one do something he doesn’t want to do. What I know now is that the real me was begging, pleading for change. My life had fallen into a rut and all I was doing to get myself out was spin my tires and drag me further down. (Like they said often in the forum: “the more things change the more they stay the…”)

When the day of my forum arrived I told myself that I didn’t want to waste Steve’s money and I opened up my heart, ears, and mind to whatever change the forum had to offer. I didn’t want to say that I didn’t bother to at least try. Plus, my boss said it changed his life and I wanted the same.

Real change didn’t come until day two when one of the others in the forum read a letter he had written to his deceased mother. His honesty and pain struck a chord with me I could not comprehend and during the first break I called my mother and mended my fences.

Following later in the day we did an exercise where we dredged our past of fear and extracted it from our lives. In the course of an hour (which truthfully did not feel that long) I realized how much stock I put into wanting people to love and accept me. It went all the way back to first grade. Memories I had long forgotten were pulled up with this muck and actual snot. As a result of this exercise I discovered that I carried a physical manifestation of my pain in the form of sinus problems. Every instance when my nasal passage got stuffed up rushed through my minds eye and I found the connection. And when I was finished the amount of snot draining from my nose was embarrassing. I mean… Legit strings hanging from my nose down to the pool on the carpet.

Left raw and exposed the leader, Jerry, polished us up and I came out transformed. The baggage of the past was stripped away and all I had left was the possibility of my future.

One of the craziest and most fulfilling side effects of the forum is that my addiction is gone. I mean… Gone. I say it and feel it without the faintest hint of doubt. I couldn’t be happier. For so long that bull shit plagued my life and now it is gone.

Now left with me, the real me, I have so many things I want to accomplish. Things I will accomplish. First of all will be the promise I made to the entire forum on the final night: “I will create a future for myself and my life by BEING integrity.”

Starting back at 1

How does one just throw away 27 years of sobriety? I keep asking myself that question as I think of my father who did exactly that. 

For whatever reason my father, that takes anti-psychotics to treat paranoid schizophrenia, decided it was a good idea to buy a fucking 30 pack of Coors Light and drink 19 of them in quick succession. 

The result is just as one may expect, he blacked the fuck out on his driveway, landing face first in his attempt to get the mail. 

One of the neighbors saw him and called 911 and he was rushed to the hospital. 

Then at 8:30 I get four calls from both my mother and father, one after the other. My heart starts to race thinking my aunt from my previous post has passed. 

I listen to my father’s voicemail and he non-chalantly informs me that he’s in the ER and needs me to pick him up because he fell after having a beer. 

I just don’t understand. Why ruin something you built so hard to build? He put so much distance between him and his past that for whatever reason he risked it all, including his life. 

What I hate the most is that I get it. Being an addict myself (not with alcohol) I know what it’s like to use something to ice the pain. He’s icing the pain and he was willing to destroy everything for a momentary solution. 

I asked him if he was on antidepressants and his big box of pills seems to contain everything but those. He laughed at me when I asked him. Clearly he doesn’t see the problem. 

My husband was furious with my father when he got to the ER. I’ve never seen him that angry before. Honestly it was weird. At one point I asked him to bring it down a couple notches because while it was deserved and justified it wasn’t helping the situation. No matter how angry one is with someone fucking up with their vice getting angry and making him feeling like shit is 100% counterproductive. 

After dropping my dad off and discovering his 6 beers was really 19, I went home to recoup. I had had enough and listening to him lie and tell me what he thinks I want to hear was frustrating me. There was nothing else I could have done. He was an adult man acting like a child. At least with a child you could have it committed to rehab or a psyche ward but someone that is coherent and present (most of the time) there is absolutely nothing one can do. My husband and I racked our brains trying to come up with some kind of solution. What it boiled down to was leaving him to make his own fucked up choices. 

The next morning (today) I went over to see how he was doing and if he had gotten more booze after we left. I didn’t find any in my quick search, but with my dad that doesn’t mean shit. He tends to hide his poisons. 

I found him wrapped in a blanket on the couch, staring blankly at the TV. I know how he feels, if he does feel any shade of remorse. I really understand. So, with a fresh perspective I tried to tell him what it is I would want to hear after I fucked up. I basically told him to keep calm and carry on. I let him know that we are all so angry because we love him so much and don’t want to see him do this shit to himself. 

He just stared at me. 

In the end I took his car key, cash, and credit cards. There is money hidden somewhere in the house but I don’t know the location and he is only aware of one of them, I guess. (So my mother thinks.) 

I really looked up to my dad. I never realized that I did until he disappointed me. I took his positive change for granted and without it I feel lost. It’s almost as if my whole childhood is a lie. He is lie. He is a fallible human being. 

He was my hope that I could get over my own demons. 

Today I remind myself that I don’t want to be him. I don’t want to let my past transgressions dictate how I handle situations which baffle me. 

I choose all the doors

At this juncture I have entirely too many choices set before and I haven’t the slightest clue what to choose. 

Since starting college (for real this time) I have earned solid A scores from each of the classes I’ve taken. When I originally set out my plan was to hopefully transfer to a CSU, thinking that they would be more open to applicants. Since I have far exceeded my grade expectations at the start, I have decided that since I could graduate Summa Cum Laude that I will branch out my choice of schools where I send applications. Possibly even well known and highly respected collegiate establishments. 

My first go to is Berkley. The husband jokes that I only have brought that into the equation since we went to see Kerry Eleveld speak at a PFLAG meeting. However he is only partially right. The meeting merely brought up memories from Saved By the Bell when Jesse Spano had dreams of going there. In reality I’m basing my choices on a dated children’s show. 

After a few searches listing the top collegiate journalism programs I narrowed it down to three that made multiple lists: USC, San Francisco State, and Berkley. The others are out of state and out of the realm of possibility. So at least I have that cut to a manageable size. But, with two of them (assuming I’m accepted) I would have to move away from my friends and family. The other I could realistically commute. It’d be exhausting but it’d be feasible. 

Now, in three years time I will want to have children. I will not physically able to, seeing as how I am unfortunately lacking a working uterus, and my husband does not have one either. That leaves surrogacy or adoption. I would prefer the first, but that option is far outside my budget. So it is left to the second. I’d prefer an infant but I’m not picky. 

The problem is that my significant other does not want to raise a family in the very conservative community in which we reside. I don’t blame him. He’s uncomfortable with having to explain to people the situation and risk their judgement and shame. I get it. That is not something that bothers me but it takes two to tango and I need my dancing partner if I’m going to cut a rug. 

Yet since this conversation has been the argument du jour in our household he has also agreed that moving away would also cut off our potential children from having a large and loving family; which is something he himself says he loves about his life. 

So the question is, do I stay or do I go? In the end, the decision won’t be made until I have graduated with higher distinctions and after having been accepted to my institution of choice. Even that is hinged on whether I got my appraiser’s license, AND if I’m comfortable moving and leaving the boss that sees great potential in me and have paid for my education. 

Ugh! Life!