Sometimes You Get The Bear

And sometimes the bear gets you.

Before we go any further, there are spoilers in this post.

If you are watching the series The Bear (or are planning to watch The Bear) and you haven’t seen the Ice Chips episode, then please read no further. Unless you don’t mind spoilers, then come on in. Also, is it appropriate to put the episode names in italics?

I’m going to talk about something else for a minute so that people don’t accidentally see something before they read the spoiler alert. This has nothing to do with The Bear, but rather a recent epiphany I had.

You know how there have been times in your life where you are waiting in a line or maybe in a doctor’s office for an appointment and you are near an old person who wants to chat? And they try really hard to be relatable, but end up being a little cringe-y or just “old people” adorable?

I think Randy and I have crossed that line. We’re the olds now. At least Randy is. Probably me as well.

Anyway, I think it is appropriate, as olds, that we do our best to keep the fuck up. You know, be a little less adorable and a lot less cringe-y.

Like today, when Randy was in a new pizza place grabbing a few slices for us. I watched from the car as he chatted with the owner (who was much younger than we are) and thought “for all that is holy, sweetheart. Stop talking.”

When he came out, I asked him about it. He told me that he was telling them about going to the dispensary this morning and then something about music. I’m sure it was mostly adorable and only a little cringe-y. But that was the moment that I realized that we have definitely crossed over.

You think that is enough space? Can we move on to The Bear?

If you haven’t seen this series yet, I really recommend it. It can be tense and there is soooo much yelling, which usually puts me off. But for whatever reason, I process it pretty well.

I have been moved by this show a number of times, but the Ice Chips episode just gutted me.

Watching an adult child deal with her difficult (bat shit crazy) parent while she is in labor was a journey. Jamie Lee Curtis is fucking stellar as the mother, Donna. Abbie Elliot is poignant and beautiful as Natalie, the daughter in labor. Natalie had been estranged from her mother. After going into labor while buying paper towels, and not being able to get ahold of anyone else, she called her mother.

Watching the dynamic between these two women is fascinating. Donna so desperately tries to help her daughter, but her approach is misguided and abrasive, while Natalie can’t get past her anger and won’t accept her help.

The way they shot the hospital scene was mostly close ups of their faces. Natalie is annoyed by her mother telling stories about herself and it shows. But as time goes on, she starts to listen to her mother. She listens to her stories. Her mother allows her to express her resentment and anger that had built up over the years without recrimination.

This episode was relatable in so many ways. Mostly uncomfortable and painful, but still relatable.

I saw myself in Donna, trying to alleviate the tension and the pain by making inappropriate jokes. Something I have done so many times. Something I still do. Watching it in this episode, I saw the perspective of how that behavior isn’t always helpful or appropriate. Or how many times have I shifted the attention to me or my stories when it was my turn to shut up and listen?

I saw myself in Natalie telling her mother the ways she was injured by her. I recognized every injury. Natalie told her mother that she was afraid of her. And the pain that caused her mother was palpable, but Donna never wavered. She didn’t defend herself. She didn’t make excuses. I would have killed for a moment like that with my father. One moment where he allowed me the space to tell him how terrible it was without recrimination. Okay, not killed. That is hyperbole. Unless it was like one of those carpenter ants that we get in our house every spring. I would definitely kill one of those motherfuckers. Because I am a monster. At least to ants. I hope only to ants.

Natalie tells her mother that she feels like people are mad at her all the time and that she asks people if they are all right way too much. She says if someone around her feels sick, that she starts to feel sick and alone. And ugly or like she is in trouble. She tells her mother how exhausting it is to feel the way she feels.

I feel all those things all the time. I always feel like I’m in trouble. I constantly ask the people I love the most if they are okay even though I fucking know I am driving them crazy by asking. If someone around me is sad or angry or doesn’t feel well, I feel the same things.

I don’t know many things for sure, but having an abundance of empathy is not a goddamn gift. It just isn’t.

I often feel alone. I used to feel ugly a lot. Maybe I still do? I just don’t care the way I used to. Getting older can be a relief in some ways. Being able to let go of some of that is a relief. Because Natalie was so right. It is goddamn exhausting to feel those ways.

I pretty much ugly cried through the whole episode. My head pounded and my nose ran like a faucet for an hour, but it was worth it. It wasn’t fun feeling all those things, but it was beneficial. I know the characters are just characters, but someone wrote that dialogue. So someone understands how all that feels.

Watching that scene and hearing those words made me feel less alone. It made me feel heard. It made me feel less broken.

Anyway, it meant a lot to me, so I thought I would pass it along to you.

I wish nothing more for you all to be healthy and happy. And while I am here, I have a question.

Are you okay?







A Younger Person’s Game

I mean, there does come a time, you just don’t always know that the time is now. Or really, probably passed a while ago and you just didn’t notice. But the time does come when spontaneity just can’t be quite so spontaneous.

Anyway, Randy and I used to be at least a little adventurous.

One time, when driving between Kansas City and Wichita, we decided to veer right and go to Denver. About an 8 hour drive. We ended up changing course in the morning and went to Colorado Springs to see Pike’s Peak.

Colorado Springs was under fog that day. I went into a convenience store and asked the clerk where Pike’s Peak was and he sort of rolled his eyes and pointed out the window. “Right outside?”

Well, you couldn’t see shit. So, I bought a postcard. I’ve still never seen Pike’s Peak.

I was pregnant with our son, Joey, when we made that trip over 26 years ago.

We used to do stuff like that regularly. And then those times slowed down a bit. Then stopped. I can’t remember the last time we took an impromptu trip.

The trip we took last night wasn’t impromptu, really, but we only decided last weekend to drive to Lexington, KY and see Southern Culture On The Skids at a venue called The Burl.

Our first mistake was not finding out in advance that the seating isn’t seating.

Standing room only? Yeah, we can’t do that shit. My fucking knee hurts. His fucking back hurts. And fuck standing for 3 hours even if they don’t hurt. I am not anti-standing, but I don’t want to take a 3 hour bath either and I love baths. I don’t love standing.

The Burl is more of a complex than a typical venue. There was a food place, a building filled with video games, a roof top bar, a brewery, and a building with a bar and a stage. There was seating on the deck outside and we found a place there. So we could hear the music, but not so much see anything.

The good news is, we’ve seen this band before. In fact, we’ve seen them 3 times in less than a year. We know what they look like.

We took an Uber from our hotel. Randy found a Motel 6 for under a hundred bucks a night. We stayed at much nicer place because I paid my dues at the Motel 6. I’m not doing that anymore. I think our Uber driver was practicing being the wheels for getaways because damn. I drive too fast. I know I do, but I have nothing on that Uber driver. I’m glad we were only 5 miles from the venue.

Sitting outside allowed us to see other things we might have missed. Like the low-rent limo trolling through the parking lot.

I wish I had taken a picture of this, but I did not. There was this limo driving around the parking lot. It was a little rusty and completely janky. There were clouds of exhaust fumes and the muffler needed some attention. There were fairy lights behind the tinted glass and the driver had the music cranked. There was a sign on the door that said “Need a ride? Flag me down!”.

I have never wanted to ride in a limousine more in my life.

Also, the bathrooms were filled with graffiti.

I am not complaining. I love graffiti. I am fascinated by graffiti. If I get stopped by a train and all the cars are not covered in graffiti, then I am kind of salty.

It’s just this one bit of graffiti that I took exception to.

bathroom graffiti

Crunchy is a whore?

No. No, crunchy is peanut butter. Or maybe potato chips. Or a word one might use to describe the music they are listening to if one is sort of pretentious.

But crunchy is never a whore.

I was on board with the “fuck trump” sentiment though.

Because fuck trump.

We ended up leaving before the show was over. Not because they weren’t awesome because they were. It’s just that we were tired, and those chairs were really hard.

Also, room service was available at the hotel I picked. But only until 11.







Men’s Clubs: I am not judging

Okay, I am out of touch. It is really cool to reach an age where you can just excuse all sorts of ignorance with “I’m old and out of touch”.

That only works because it is absolutely true.

By the way, I do not include malignant ignorance or ignorance that includes maligning or minimizing anyone. 

Anyway, I learned something not long ago about my hometown of Cincinnati. I learned that there is a men’s club here called Cincy Jacks.

I have since learned there are similar clubs all over the place, but like I said “old and out of touch”. 

Cincy Jacks is a club for people with a penis and they gather there to masturbate. As a group.

I am not judging this. Whatever grown consenting people want to do together is not my business. Whatever flips their flopper, you know?

I’m just having a hard time considering what a similar club would look like for people without a penis.

I know I am making a big assumption here, so please have some patience, but a few variations aside, I assume most men masturbate in a similar fashion.

For all that is holy, I know that is a generalization. I talked about this very thing on Twitter and when I suggested that men mostly masturbate in the same way, I was told in no uncertain terms how insensitive and wrong I am. And I should possibly be stoned to death. And not in a good way.

It would be a different club for women.

“So, hey. Do you have a Maytag washer, circa 1989 to 1992 that is slightly off balance during the spin cycle?”Clothes washing machine (AI generated image)

“I’m going to need a GI Joe with a kung fu grip and a rubber mallet.”

“You don’t happen to have a video of Chipper Smith at prom in 1981 dancing to The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks by the Eagles do you?”

I’m just saying, I don’t think there is a magical place where we could all get what we needed. Also, I don’t know many women who would want to make that a group sport anyway.

I mean, even if they had a hot, sexy bank of Maytags, I don’t think I’d participate.

I haven’t worked up enough nerve to even join a book club.