Tag Archives: observations

The grinder, the dipper and the plaid in between

Ah, the pure joy that comes from people watching; from observing the male of the species try to win over the female…and from laughing your butt off as the entire episode unfolds. This is what an evening out at a club holds in store for the social scientist in me. Let me begin by stating that last night I went out with friends to help celebrate my brother’s birthday. We went to a club featuring country line dancing and karaoke.

Initial observations were:

  1. 80% of the room wore plaid
  2. 40% of the attendees were over the age of 55 (or at least looked it)
  3. 10% of the men wore cowboy hats
  4. 0% of the dancers smiled

Having taken in these facts, I was drawn to two distinct subjects for a further, more detailed study. The two men were clearly friends, had honed dance skills and were, by all accounts, very fine examples of the male form.

Subject A) The Grinder

Tall, fit and had the dance moves to make the ladies swoon. Add a great big black cowboy hat and The Grinder looked like he stepped right out of a romance novel. It was unclear if he’d come with a particular female, but it was apparent that he would be leaving with one. During a rare slow song about a pickup truck, a mourning brother, and a soldier’s death, The Grinder, well, ground against his female who in turn found the act appropriately respectful – for a slow, sad song about death.

Can I take a moment here? How could she keep a straight face? I would have started giggling so hard that I’d double over and likely start snorting. Nothing relays the deepest depths of despair like a good grind…

Subject B) The Dipper

The Grinder’s less able counterpart was The Dipper. The Dipper was again, fit and handsome though not to the extent of The Grinder. Whereas The Grinder honed in and devoted a large (though not exclusive) portion of his efforts on one woman, The Dipper spread a wider net – pulling women from the periphery of the dance floor. The Dipper never danced with the same woman twice and each encounter included his signature move: the dip, a thrilling and exciting maneuver that his partners apparently enjoyed though this was difficult to discern as, noted earlier, no one smiled whilst dancing.

Again, I would like to note that I would have burst out laughing. Have you ever been dipped? It’s kind of terrifying. Your body does not surrender its equilibrium easily. When you are returned to standing, you are light-headed, giddy and unnerved. Laughter is the natural reaction to such an unnatural move. Not one of The Dippers dance partners even cracked a smile.

Finally, it must be noted that both The Grinder and The Dipper clearly practice their courtship dances in the shared bachelor pad they inhabit. This deduction was derived by the Magic Mike-like performance they burst into when “Indian Outlaw” by Tim McGraw was played.

Conclusion: As ridiculous as their moves were, the entire excercise was successful. You could not help but watch and wonder…Oh, and clearly I have a hair-trigger when it comes to laughing. But really, how can you not laugh?


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It just hit me…I’m getting old

Yup, it’s true. Now, I’ve written about the small, occasional realizations that my youth is slowly slipping away. There was this lovely monologue on the slowest escape ever. And other random thoughts about getting older. This morning though it really, really hit me when I couldn’t focus on the small print of a paper I’d printed up.


Am I going to turn into one of those people who make comments about “not everyone can read that small” or makes up excuses why the design is wrong and fail to admit that their eyes are just failing them?

I’m going to have to buy reading glasses. Reading glasses! Well, they better be stylish that’s all I’ve got to say about it.

This really sucks.

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A few thoughts from a sunny window

I spent a gloriously sunny Saturday cleaning. My apartment had gotten to a state that I just couldn’t take anymore. Things weren’t necessarily dirty but still, things weren’t fresh either. It had been driving me crazy all week to be honest and what got me through was the knowledge of the top to bottom scrub that was coming.

But as I cleaned, as I vacuumed and scrubbed and dusted, I thought of all the pieces of me that populate this space.

The scraggy fisherman bust sitting on my windowsill. He once sat in the Connecticut house. Of all the weird, eclectic things to carry with me through life, he’s somehow a cherished object of my childhood. Wrapped around his neck are the prayer beads I purchased in Dharmasala. I have used them at moments of confusion and strife. I have chanted and rocked and cried and considered my path as the burnished wooden beads have passed one by one through my fingers.

Another memento of India sits at the end of my bed. Hand knotted silk on wool. Shades of coral, periwinkle and cream. It is mine. It is me. It is my magic carpet. I love to stand on it and scrunch my toes and think. The soft, plush caress calms me. The touch reminds me of love and sunshine and beauty.

Throughout this space there are bits and pieces of my history. Stories only I know, memories only I hold. Isn’t it funny the objects we hold most dear? The little scraps of nonsense that can mean the most? My fisherman, my pewter turtle, my painted fish that hasn’t had a tail for at least ten years? Are these the pieces of us that we will leave behind? Our artifacts?

Will our children know the stories these objects hold? I doubt that they will care for these objects quite the same way we do. But can anyone? No, each one of us is busy gathering objects and stories and histories of our own.

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Why did I say that?

Or: My big fat mouth strikes again

I’ve created a list for myself, a sort of self-help list holding a few key things that I hope to accomplish this year. Item number one is: Learn to keep my mouth shut.

I consider it everyday. I try so hard to stop talking before I say something stupid and get myself in trouble. Everyday I fail. I am nearly 35 years old. I don’t think that I will ever outgrow this embarrassing, destructive, and sometimes (OK, most times) humiliating quirk. I have impulse control issues. I get too excited, too upset (usually with myself), too ready to fix the problem at hand – and it bites me in the ass over and over again.

Case in point – today I was on the phone with a friend. A friend who failed to call me back last week and has been, admittedly, a bit of a dick for the past two months. I’ve had a conversation running around and around in my head, a carefully choreographed hissy fit. But here’s the thing: I didn’t say the words I planned, I did worse.

You see, my friend said something very very nice, sweet even, and my reaction was this: “Really? Then why can’t you return a call?”

I am a freaking idiot.

But I’m an idiot that recognizes that I am an idiot. Sure, I could wallow in my misery, I could feel like I’m the only person in the world who suffers from this. I could convince myself that I am a freak, but then I remember we’re all freaks.

When I was younger my quirkiness used to send me into a deep dark hole. I felt completely and totally alone. As an adult I realized that everyone has the same problems and no on is ever alone in their misery or idiocy. You can guarantee that your biggest fear, deepest secret and toughest self criticism is shared with at least 80 percent of the world.

That fact doesn’t stop me from trying to keep my mouth shut, it just helps my wounds heal a little faster when I fail.

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Muddy paths

The past few weeks as I have made my way in and out of the house or the office, I don’t know, something just felt  missing. I could’t quite put my finger on it, but there was that nagging, back of the brain, “I think I’ve forgotten a really important thing” sort of feeling. All the rain we have had/are having/will have, finally put a name to the missing bit: Mud Season.

Growing up in Connecticut, we were used to the standard four seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. Silly, naive me, I thought that was all there were. It wasn’t until moving to upstate New York at the age of twenty-five did I learn there is a fifthy, murky, dirty season lurking somewhere in between as well.

Mud season is like the black sheep of Mother Nature’s brood – you know the type, always getting drunk at Christmas and making passes at the preacher’s wife, walking into a fancy restaraunt with grease-stained jeans and a Toby Keith t-shirt. Mud Season is the Pig Pen relative no one wants to ever talk about.

The truth is that we’ve had an odd spring thus far. It’s like everything has been pushed back four weeks or so. April showers are here in mid-May, will May flowers come in mid-June? And Mud Season has come as well but not at it’s usual point between the snow-melt and the greening of the grass,  instead it has come now. Mother Nature (someone who has been on my naughty list recently) has decided to throw us yet another loop.

What does this postponed Mus Season mean? Well, the fields have been too wet to get much of the field work done thus planting has been delayed and chopping haylage will be pushed back as well. It means dirty floors, messy walks and filthy dogs. And, my favorite, the kind of mud that grabs onto you and won’t let go, sucking your shoes right off your feet with a deep “thawp” noise.

It also means, hopefully, that once all this rain stops and the sun starts to shine that life will begin to show, wardrobes will shed and Summer will finally be here. In upstate New York we get such a short window of nice weather (the first snow will undoubtedly be here by late-October) that having a delayed Summer makes us antsy and fidgetty and ever so slightly cranky.

Come on, Summer! Come on, Sunshine! Come on, allergy attacks and sunburns and frizzy hair…I’m seriously ready for you all.

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Continental divide

Let me just preface this piece with a request and a warning wrapped up into one: To any man that I may know who is looking at this post, please avert your eyes and go read something else. Seriously, this in not a joke you do not want to know what goes through a woman’s mind. It will be like looking into the greatest horror of your life, the image seared into your brain. Shoo, vamoose, adios, bah-bye…

There, now that that’s out of the way onto the story…

I’ve always said that God gave me three great attributes: my hair, my tits and my eyes. Though my hair is turning ever-so-slightly gray it’s still fantastic: thick and wavy, big and beautiful. My eyes, green one day, blue the next are ever changing and intriguing (I’ll admit to that). My tits were at one time voluptuous and inviting and well, just out there to a point where I would get scolded for filling out a button down shirt. But those beauties have begun the slowest escape ever – their destination: my belly button.

I remember sitting in the tub on my thirtieth birthday and wondering what had happened? At thirty-four, the denial and wonder have leeched out, replaced by a daily mourning for the boobs that once were – the good old days of pert and perky. They have shrunk, they have fallen, they have become an old lady’s rack.

I have vowed never to take off my bra again no matter who begs to see them.

Really, I’m doing the world a service, who knows when one may decide to flap over my shoulder and poke a person’s eye out? Or swing like a pendulum and knock over a priceless vase? A bra keeps everyone safe and maintains the illusion that I still have a great set of gonzogas and I’m fine living within that alternate universe.

I pray that one of two things happens in my life: 1) that I meet an amazing man before they’ve reached my midsection or 2) I scrounge up either enough cash or enough courage to get a breast lift. But those are prayers and daydreams and the reality is that I just have to accept that my breasts are deflating and my ass is beginning to sag too (great, I hadn’t thought of that before now) and embrace the inevitable aging process with humor and grace…

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The call of the wild

I’ve got rabbit bits in my barn boots. Not exactly something I’m particularly excited about and maybe something you’d rather not read, but there you have it. Rabbit has become a favorite snack of Isabelle, our calico cat. This is at least the third she’s munched on in the last week. It’s sad and gross, but at least this one hasn’t been carried up into my bedroom – that was Friday’s wake-up call. Not how I personally like to greet the day, but clearly how Isabelle like’s to.

Zoe, the kitten, is currently sitting in the tree trying to “be bark” and blend in, hoping to catch a bird before finding a spot in some barn to take a nap. She’s not quite as ambitious as her older sister, but I suppose in time we’ll find remnants of her snacks here and there as well.

This is what spring and sunny days bring here on the farm – happy kitties and grossed out humans. What I find particularly funny is that instead of creeped out, the ladies in the house are curious and fascinated (how can she eat a bunny half her size?) while it’s the men who are squeamish and light headed – my father especially, who became all down hearted over the fate of Friday’s bunny and a bit peeved when he saw Zoe jump up and catch a bird mid-air.

Men can be such babies about things sometimes.


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