Wednesday, November 24, 2004

It's That Other Meg White, Again

I was just at the Coop with my friend Franklin who told a women in the car next to him he was waiting for "Meg White". She mentioned to him she knew another Meg White who was from Detroit and told me this as I was getting into the car. I said, "Oh, you mean my little rock star twin?" She replied in the affirmative. I proceeded to inform her that Meg and were both Sagitarrians and had recovered from deadbeat boys named Jack White. She was amazed and said I should contact Rock Star Meg because she had lived with them in the Motor City. She confirmed that Jack the rock star was an asshole -- very charming and handsome but a jerk. Unfortunately, Franklin zipped away before I could get any contact info from the woman. Hopefully, I will see her again. What a quintessential Iowa City moment.

In other "it's all about me" news. The sweet folks at DeLuxe Bakery (812 S. Summit) treated me to a fine lunch and I finally picked up my new, upgraded (age is hell) free glasses at Alberhasky Eye Clinic (courtesy of the Lion's Club and Free Medical Clinic). There is much to be grateful for this year... for one, I can see again. Oh the things I have probably missed. Case in point, as I was walking downtown I spotted a bicycle wrapped in a garland of flowers and leaves. Way cool and oh so beautiful.

I can't wait to finally meet that other Meg whose is really a Megan. I realize there are thousands upon thousands of thusly named lasses in the world and many of us were born between November 22 -December 22 (or is that the 21st?) and suffered at the hands of JW's or other charming, ne'er-do-well men. If the rumors are true, her Jack changed his last name to hers, anyway. In my case it was simply a coincidence. I was born with this name and will die with it unless I change it for "artistic" reasons. Anywho, I do feel somewhat of a kinship with my young chick drummer rock star twin. I feel kind of maternal towards her. This is, of course, when I am not bearing her a small resentment because she has made me almost completely ungoogle-able.

Another lesson in humility. Did I mention something earlier about being grateful? BTW, does anyone get that "shameless self-promotion" is a joke? Cheerio, boys and girls.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Oh-So-Ready to Strut

Oh for God's sake. I'm beginning to sound overly earnest and all serious again. As soon as I admit this I start laughing about it. I'm in the midst of a little health scare and this tends to color one's perspective. I was a Winter, do you recall what color you were? Can anyone believe we actually went out and paid for such silly stuff like fashion color consultations. Ahhh, the 80's.

Immediately after receiving my "expert" color review, I proceeded to go out and purchase a very pricey all forest green ensemble (including leather green go-go boots!). This monochromatic thing had been appearing on the pages of Vogue and Elle, for heaven's sake. Feeling extremely chic and oh-so-ready to strut my stuff, I jumped into my zippy little Nissan Wagon and darted off to meet some friends for dinner. Fashionably late, I burst into the waiting area of the eatery expecting accolades along with "ohhhhs" & "ahhhh's" from my eager audience.

Do you know what I was greeted with? Two raised eyebrows and a query as to whether or not I was dressed up as Peter Pan for some odd reason. No Lie! I am far too embarrassed to admit how much loot I spent on that ridiculous outfit. I did incorporate pieces of it into other dress-ups. What a lesson. I think the last time I picked up a fashion magazine was over a year ago when I was in the Java House and I was goofing around, doing a mock survey of whether or not people thought I should get bangs.

I will admit, I still stick to "winter" colors for the most part. Deep shades of primaries, brown, black, grey. That's probably has more to do with the traditionalist in me than anything else. Well, in that non-traditional way that I am traditional (smile).

Another Standard

Man, I've been telling people this shit for years. I have readapted the following to be gender neutral from some self-help book called "he's not that into you". I keep hearing really horrifying stories from wonderful people who are doing desperate things in search of love. I'll ask someone out one time. After that, it's up to them. Truth is, I don't even do that anymore.


Standard-Raising Suggestions
I will not go out with anyone who:
(a) Keeps me waiting by the phone
(b) Is not sure they want to date me
(c) Makes me feel sexually undesirable
(d) Drinks or does drugs to an extent that makes me uncomfortable
(f) Is living with someone else.
(g)I will not, under any circumstances, spend my precious time with someone who has already rejected me (unless they apologize profusely & make amends) or who is not clearly a good, kind, loving person.

Liberating Vocabulary
Friend: A person who is your pal. What it generally means in relationships is he or she is just not that into you. Yet - sometimes friendship can lead to excellent relationships.
Busy: Busy means I'm the President of the United States. I'm an astronaut and I'm on another planet. I'm in a really successful band. What it means in relationships is, yeah, I'm just not that into you. I mean, most of us have cell phones and email, right?
Bad boy/girl: A bad boy/girl is just a that. Stay away. If you're dating somebody that's a bad, stop. If you say "my boyfriend's kind of a bad boy," I feel badly for you. If you say, "I like bad girls" well, then I feel badly for you. If you say, "I like things that don't work." Okay, it's your choice.
Generally, people with low self-esteem will act out on this in unfortunate ways. They're just not good for you..

Question: How can I tell if someone thinks I'm worth it? Answer: If the he/she thinks you're worth it, they will do whatever is necessary to let you know that. Healthy folk are nodding. Because they've raised the bar and they want to raise the bar to meet you where you are. And you—we all—should have another standard.

Monday, November 22, 2004

What Her Secret Was

So I haven't had time to post in a while, at least it seems as if it has been a while. I've been pretty busy. Everyone I know has been busier than they'd prefer but still a few of us have found the time to check in with one another and express concern and offer support. That's the bee's knees. I was having coffee last Fall with a woman who was experimenting with online dating (that concept gives me the willies - I'm a former stalkee &, therefore, fairly cautious) and had once been Annie Dillard's "serf". The Dillard story was a hoot. I wish it were mine to tell. Anyway, as the others in the group were listening to the mind-boggling amount of utter bullshit this plucky gal had been privy to recently, we inquired what her secret was. She reminded us of what we should not have needed any reminder of, one of the oldest and most important spiritual principles in the world, she loves them first & she keeps on loving them.

Jeez Louise I am no saint. I screw up on things all the time but I do try to practice this. Lately I tend to get pretty irritated and tempted to indulge in self-pity because I can't go anywhere without stumbling across pictures and articles about a man I once had a "secret" & very inebriated (sp?) liaison with who is wildly successful and considered insanely sexy. I don't begrudge him his success and I hope he really has cleaned up his life. It's just hard to know he's so friggin' "hot" and I rarely even get asked out and am not exactly "flush". Well, life is not fair (blah, blah, blah.) That one I get. I kind of wish I were more of a dirtbag. If I were, I would write about the liaison and sell it for the money. Having a conscience does not always pay.

Until a few years ago, I never even told anyone about my time with that dude. I kept my word. I tend to do that. Does anyone know that, I wonder. Time tends to sort things out and tell the truth. More is always revealed. That's a good thing.

One of the conceptss I've been learning recently is that the principle about loving them first also applies to ourselves. I've been especially happy recently because I have been allowing myself to have fun and letting myself enjoy things. I have a friend who is quite psychic. She called me and told me she had been praying and that she really felt as if that was all my father ultimately wanted for me ~ to be happy. Thanks, Dad. I think it's happening.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Peddle to the Metal?

my friend, franklin, kept at it and finally made the blog!!!!!

Dear Meg,

I've got a "Leave No Billionaire Behind" bumper sticker on my car, and I'm wondering if it's polite to be in-your-face to those tailgating me. I note that a good many SUVs follow me for short period and then put the peddle to the metal to pass me even in 20 mile-an-hour zones. Some of these SUVs have large "United We Stand" signs glued to the back. I guess they don't want to be behind me.

Sincerely,-- Bumper

Dear Bumper,

Certainly it would be impolite to be "in-your-face" to those tailgating you and I would never suggest giving in to what could be refered to as an "eye for an eye" mentality. This said, I have often advised that some rules are meant to be broken. For instance, can you afford to risk any traffic tickets? If so, you might consider driving esp. slow and then hogging the road while still in front of these gas hog vehicle drivers, thereby making it impossible for them to pass you.

Given the recent election results, forcing a billionaire (or an aspiring one) to actually remain behind is probably a very good idea. Someone has to teach these people a little bit of patience. You'll being doing these folks a favor, Bumper, I promise. Thank you for trusting me with your query.



Friday, November 12, 2004

A Very Subjective Experience

So much for have a nice weekend. I'm back. Didn't I once mention how easily amused I am? Let us also mention how fantastically happy even the smallest of things make me. I just took a little break from my writing endeavors and went browsing for eyeglass frames. I found a very groovy pair right off the bat. God bless the Iowa City Free Medical Clinic, the Lion's Club and the few remaining participating opticians. Those of us who are unisured (and the numbers are growing) have few other options than to make use of these fine folks' benevolence.

Oh, here's a link to a little essay about the election I found pretty amusing. As a southerner (I was born and raised in North Carolina) I feel I am allowed to post links to such things. It's all in fun, folks. At least that's how I read it. I cannot speak to the intentions of the writer. This process is a very subjective business.

"If I Can't Dance......

I don't want to be part of your revolution." - Emma Goldman. Anywho, here's a 27 year old song that ought to get you & your booty shaking. Have great weekend!

p.s. War sucks! Do speak out against that (re: the last line in the song).

Life During Wartime

by Talking Heads[ Send to a friend ] [ Download MP3 ]

Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons,
packed up and ready to go
Heard of some gravesites, out by the highway,
a place where nobody knows
The sound of gunfire, off in the distance,
I'm getting used to it now
Lived in a brownstore, lived in the ghetto,
I've lived all over this town
This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
this ain't no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey,
I ain't got time for that now
Transmit the message, to the receiver,
hope for an answer some day
I got three passports, a couple of visas,
you don't even know my real name
High on a hillside, the trucks are loading,
everything's ready to roll
I sleep in the daytime, I work in the nightime,
I might not ever get home
This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
this ain't no fooling around
This ain't no mudd club, or C. B. G. B.,
I ain't got time for that now
Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit?
Heard about Pittsburgh, P. A.?
You oughta know not to stand by the window
somebody might see you up there
I got some groceries, some peant butter,
to last a couple of days
But I ain't got no speakers, ain't got no
headphones, ain't got no records to play
Why stay in college? Why go to night school?
Gonna be different this time
Can't write a letter, can't send a postcard,
I can't write nothing at all
This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
this ain't no fooling around
I'd like to kiss you, I'd love you hold you
I ain't got no time for that now
Trouble in transit, got through the roadblock,
we blended with the crowd
We got computer, we're tapping pohne lines,
I know that ain't allowed
We dress like students, we dress like housewives,
or in a suit and a tie
I changed my hairstyle, so many times now,
I don't know what I look like!
You make me shiver, I feel so tender,
we make a pretty good team
Don't get exhausted, I'll do some driving,
you ought to get some sleep
Get you instructions, follow directions,
then you should change your address
Maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day,
whatever you think is best
Burned all my notebooks, what good are
notebooks? They won't help me survive
My chest is aching, burns like a furnace,
the burning keeps me alive
Try to stay healthy, physical fitness,
don't want to catch no disease
Try to be careful, don't take no chances,
you better watch what you say

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Meg Does Manners - December Preview

Dear Meg,

Last year my cousin gave me a fruitcake for Christmas that I had given his mother two years before. I know it was the same one because I made it myself and it had my personal label on it with my handwriting which listed the ingredients. I was a little offended at the time but thought I had let it go. Now as I am considering gifts for this year I realize I am more than a bit peeved and do not even want to do anything for him. Would that be incredibly rude?


My Dear Bill,

In a word, yes. Your cousin probably had no way of knowing the fruitcake came from you in the first place and may have been suffering from the delusion that fruitcakes remain edible for years. Most of us know this is hardly the case. I once remodeled a kitchen using a couple of fruitcakes as extra bricks for fillers in a dividing wall that had been handed down to me a few too many times. It was late on a Sunday evening, I found myself short on supplies and all the hardware stores were closed. Those old sweetmeats made a mighty fine substitute. The house has long been sold but I keep in touch with the present owners and that wall is still quite sound.

Perhaps your cousin, as well as your aunt, has caught on to one of the latest trends in the world of giving -- "re-gifting". Many consider this a form of recycling and a creative way of both keeping expenses down and not buttering the wonder bread of corporate conglomerates. I certainly find no fault of form or thinking here. What I would caution against is keeping the presents all in the family. As you have attested to, this can lead to resentment, misunderstanding and the dreaded grudge. There is, as you have discovered, an excellent chance someone will end up being be found out.

The best strategy to employ with your cousin (or with anyone) is to take the high road. Being human, you may be tempted to give that cake right back to him. Bob, please don't do that. It sounds like you have a fondness for baking. Why don't you bake him something that is known to have a limited shelf life? If you are pressed for time, pick something up for him that you know he would really enjoy. Do try and stay away from candles this year. Recent studies have reported they are the most re-gifted and returned item on the swapping block. Have a wonderful holiday.



Dear Meg,

Help. My husband reads too many fashion-gossip magazines. He is now is under the impression that's okay to go out to dinner or social functions wearing hats because he sees pictures of Brad Pitt doing it. It's embarrassing for me and I can't seem to make him understand that he is not a movie star and we don't live in Follywood. Am I being too uptight about this? He is 41 years old and a doctor.

My Dear Elizabeth,

Simply put gentlemen do not wear hats inside unless they are required to for professional reasons. They certainly do not don them in restaurants or when making appearances at social gatherings. I glance at the occasional "Style and Smile" rag myself and have seen these glamor boys with their head gear held high which always causes me to shake mine. I don't think you are being uptight at all. It seems to me you are attempting to spare your poor husband some needless embarrassment by suggesting he act like a grownup and employ respectable manners. It is quite reasonable, Elizabeth, to expect your mate to act in ways that will not embarrass you. Unfortunately reality does not always meet our expectations. Hopefully your husband will grow out of this phase. If not, don't worry, by next week Mr. Pitt will be dressing like a spokes model for Banana Republic. They don't call them fads for nothing.



Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Damned Druggists

Apparently the wise government of Canada is being highly selective of which Americans it is allowing to permanently move onto their turf. I've heard the waiting list for consideration is at least a year. The article below is just one more reason why so many of my friends who have done so much social change work over the years are tired and want to get the hell out of dodge. My mother, who attended a very upstanding "finishing school", had friends who were forced to use coat hangers and back alley abortions for God's sake. Now we've got moralists who are so friggin' self-righteous they want to deny women the right to not procreate as they see fit.

Okay, this is a rant post. I may even delete it later on. I try not to judge others but I am really judging these moralists, man. I'm not a big fan of the pill but I am big fan of birth control. I'm an real advocate of zero population growth. When I have time to sit down and work on the link stuff I will set folks up with Lester Brown -- in sum, over population is the greatest threat to the survival our species and the planet. Advocation of his theories is one of the ways I try my best to employ that old environmental saying "Love Your Mother". Remember that poster - all black with the a beautiful photo of the earth and the slogan underneath. I had one on the wall over my couch when I was a professional organizer for the Nuclear Freeze Campaign in Maryland. There were bumperstickers and t-shirts too. Man, these days it seems you need to be much more direct with people. Context may be everything but cluelessness is abundant.

Case in point:

Druggists refuse to give out pill
Tue Nov 9, 6:54 AM ET

By Charisse Jones, USA TODAY

For a year, Julee Lacey stopped in a CVS pharmacy near her home in a Fort Worth suburb to get refills of her birth-control pills. Then one day last March, the pharmacist refused to fill Lacey's prescription because she did not believe in birth control.

"I was shocked," says Lacey, 33, who was not able to get her prescription until the next day and missed taking one of her pills. "Their job is not to regulate what people take or do. It's just to fill the prescription that was ordered by my physician."

Some pharmacists, however, disagree and refuse on moral grounds to fill prescriptions for contraceptives. And states from Rhode Island to Washington have proposed laws that would protect such decisions.

Mississippi enacted a sweeping statute that went into effect in July that allows health care providers, including pharmacists, to not participate in procedures that go against their conscience. South Dakota and Arkansas already had laws that protect a pharmacist's right to refuse to dispense medicines. Ten other states considered similar bills this year.
The American Pharmacists Association, with 50,000 members, has a policy that says druggists can refuse to fill prescriptions if they object on moral grounds, but they must make arrangements so a patient can still get the pills. Yet some pharmacists have refused to hand the prescription to another druggist to fill.

In Madison, Wis., a pharmacist faces possible disciplinary action by the state pharmacy board for refusing to transfer a woman's prescription for birth-control pills to another druggist or to give the slip back to her. He would not refill it because of his religious views. Some advocates for women's reproductive rights are worried that such actions by pharmacists and legislatures are gaining momentum. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a provision in September that would block federal funds from local, state and federal authorities if they make health care workers perform, pay for or make referrals for abortions.

"We have always understood that the battles about abortion were just the tip of a larger ideological iceberg, and that it's really birth control that they're after also," says Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood (news - web sites) Federation of America. "The explosion in the number of legislative initiatives and the number of individuals who are just saying, 'We're not going to fill that prescription for you because we don't believe in it' is astonishing," she said.
Pharmacists have moved to the front of the debate because of such drugs as the "morning-after" pill, which is emergency contraception that can prevent fertilization if taken within 120 hours of unprotected intercourse.

While some pharmacists cite religious reasons for opposing birth control, others believe life begins with fertilization and see hormonal contraceptives, and the morning-after pill in particular, as capable of causing an abortion. "I refuse to dispense a drug with a significant mechanism to stop human life," says Karen Brauer, president of the 1,500-member Pharmacists for Life International. Brauer was fired in 1996 after she refused to refill a prescription for birth-control pills at a Kmart in the Cincinnati suburb of Delhi Township.
Lacey, of North Richland Hills, Texas, filed a complaint with the Texas Board of Pharmacy after her prescription was refused in March. In February, another Texas pharmacist at an Eckerd drug store in Denton wouldn't give contraceptives to a woman who was said to be a rape victim.
In the Madison case, pharmacist Neil Noesen, 30, after refusing to refill a birth-control prescription, did not transfer it to another pharmacist or return it to the woman. She was able to get her prescription refilled two days later at the same pharmacy, but she missed a pill because of the delay.

She filed a complaint after the incident occurred in the summer of 2002 in Menomonie, Wis. Christopher Klein, spokesman for Wisconsin's Department of Regulation and Licensing, says the issue is that Noesen didn't transfer or return the prescription. A hearing was held in October. The most severe punishment would be revoking Noesen's pharmacist license, but Klein says that is unlikely. Susan Winckler, spokeswoman and staff counsel for the American Pharmacists Association, says it is rare that pharmacists refuse to fill a prescription for moral reasons. She says it is even less common for a pharmacist to refuse to provide a referral.

"The reality is every one of those instances is one too many," Winckler says. "Our policy supports stepping away but not obstructing."

In the 1970s, because of abortion and sterilization, some states adopted refusal clauses to allow certain health care professionals to opt out of providing those services. The issue re-emerged in the 1990s, says Adam Sonfield of the Alan Guttmacher Institute, which researches reproductive issues. Sonfield says medical workers, insurers and employers increasingly want the right to refuse certain services because of medical developments, such as the "morning-after" pill, embryonic stem-cell research and assisted suicide.

"The more health care items you have that people feel are controversial, some people are going to object and want to opt out of being a part of that," he says. In Wisconsin, a petition drive is underway to revive a proposed law that would protect pharmacists who refuse to prescribe drugs they believe could cause an abortion or be used for assisted suicide.
"It just recognizes that pharmacists should not be forced to choose between their consciences and their livelihoods," says Matt Sande of Pro-Life Wisconsin. "They should not be compelled to become parties to abortion."

Sunday, November 07, 2004

So Much for No Regrets

OMG...damn you, Mr. Nice Guy, indeed! "For the narcissist within you", I am truly clueless. You can actually find out who links to you? I really should have asked that faux-Brad Pitt to tell me everything (see prior post.) This said, I have known that Mozilla is now preferable to the big "E" for several weeks. That's my big Meg gets Modern in the Computing World coup.

Somewhere Between 13 and 26

So, it seems life gets interesting when I least expect it and whatever I least expect is most likely to get interesting when I least expect it. Did that make even a smidgen of sense?

The article is finally finished! Good Goddess Almighty does it feel great to have that one over with. I love writing about food but I can complicate almost anything to death. Additionally, I fear I've been a little too happy, joyous and free of late. I had forced myself to sit down yesterday to write this puppy and then my friend, Severine, called. I had not hung out with her in months so I felt I could not pass up a cup o' Java and some girl chat with her. It was unfortunate that her former spongemop beau was in close proximinty but that's Iowa City. Wherever you go there they are. I suppose "they" feel they same way.

Seems the Fountains of Wayne are old hat. It's hard to be a former culture vulture. I keep trying to be cool again but, alas, I'm just stuck here in 43 year old land. When I was downtown yesterday, this dude walked by wearing a thick fur vest, polyester plaid pants and clunky, scraped up loafers that were a size too big. I did know he was doing the Brad Pitt wanna be thing but I was still tempted to stop him and say "tell me everything!" Some days I just feel like I am somewhere between 13 and 26 trying cross the bar into middle age.

I'm certainly not going to beat myself up about this. I keep remembering what my niece, Emma, told me -- "Go wild. Have a Party!" Oh dear.... I fear may have just contradicted myself. Maybe there is no such thing as too much happy, joyous and free?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Snitch Box

Well, this is may be a new lowering of the bar in my ability to entertain myself on the internet. I just ran across a site called the Dictionary of Lowlife Culture or some such thing and discovered that in prison culture, the term "snitch box" is slang for a metal detector. This is one of the most amusing things I have heard in a while. Why I do not know. I am, no doubt, far too easily amused.

I keep trying to take things more seriously. I just figure if I get all down about the election and a zillion other awful things I'm going to be useless to myself and others. An old friend keeps telling me about this band, The Fountains of Wayne. I was in a rush this morning and couldn't listen to song he wanted to play me over the phone. It was called "Peace and Love". He assured me it was NOT at all serious but irreverent. To prove his point he recited one line, "I'm going to move up to Vermont. Open up a bookstore and a vegan rest-aur-rant." I think I'm going to like this band.

I'll wrap this up w/ a great Emma Goldfish quote....."If you can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." p.s. Mr. Nice guy -- I'll be reading you soon! Thanks for writing me back.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Monday, November 01, 2004

A Drop in the Box, Etc.

This poem dropped in my inbox this mornin' and I loved it - "it is important that awake people be awake" - ya ya ya! It's just amazing how often I deny my own intuition and get in trouble. Of course, figuring out what my intuition is trying to tell me can be a bit of a challenge. I've got a personality that oftens wants to live "Cheap, Fast and Out of Control" to put the Errol Morris spin on it. Hell, I was sitting zazen the other morning and I allowed this little stink bug to distract me/enrage me to such an extent that I thumped that sucker across my living room. It started to crawl up my coffee cup, for God's sake. Sure am glad I'm working on giving up my issues of perfectionism 'cause I was "out of control". I hate to injure bugs. The only ones I will kill without remorse are milli/centipedes. I just cannot abide those f*ckers. They really give me the creeps. I thinks it's all those legs.

Okay, okay - I really have to write at least one the now infamous articles I've been putting off writing for 10 days now. I even went out door-knocking for Kerry yesterday as a means of procrastinating. Now THAT was in hopes of trudging a road to a happier destiny for the entire planet.

Enjoy the poem. It's much more hopeful and positive than it may seem.

A Ritual to Read to Each Other

by William Stafford

If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider—
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give - yes or no, or maybe— should be clear:
the darkness around us is deep.