Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Like How a Single Word Can Make a Heart Open

We are in the midst of that great American 4 year cycle that is the Presidential election.  I love politics so I love this period every 4 years, trying to read into the polls, anticipate the trends, ascertain where the critical moment occurred that swung the election in a certain direction.  Though I don't do a whole lot of politics here I feel like I may do some commentary as one recent selection made this year just a bit more personal to me.

But for all the emphasis we place on national elections, in my life I've found that what happens locally is so much more vital and impactful.  That county supervisor may determine which road gets fixed, the school board member decides the direction of your child's school, the sheriff makes your streets and neighborhoods clean and safe, your mayor makes sure the roads are plowed when it snows.  Those national politicians move us emotionally but those around us enrich our lives, give it flavor, make us feel whole.

In my life I have been awed by the impact the seemingly little local people make in our daily lives.  Mary, who smiled and said hello to me every night at dinner in college.  Susie who could top over 500 Pizza Hut personal pan pizzas every day before 11 am.  Doug who was irritatingly slow yet his persistence made him the most amazingly efficient and productive custodian I've ever seen.

For the past twelve years that I have been in this community our lives have revolved around dance.  In our little dance community Ma Beth has been a rock.  Transporting so many kids over the years, mending costumes, and just being a smiling face for the girls week in and week out.

Every year we have a big holiday recital.  The production takes months to plan and then execute.  Toward the end the nights of dress rehearsal followed by three shows in two days are exhausting for the girls and the parents.  By Sunday afternoon you are numb.  At the end we all go to Ma Beth's house.  Bone weary you walk into Ma Beth's quaint home, you see her smiling face, and you walk into the kitchen and are greeting with the warmest richest aromas you can ever imagine.  Ma Beth always prepares three pots of chili (chicken, beef, and veggie) and Broccoli Cheddar Soup (proudly adapted from the Panera recipe she always says).   The soup pours life back into your soul and soon your are joyous to be in the company of friends.  One of the parents is a musician and he always has his band at the party.  Soon happy folk and bluegrass tunes are played, the soul is replenished, the heart is happy, the brain is free from care; a rare moment of tranquility.  A rare moment when nothing else in the world matters except to enjoy that moment.

What is even more amazing about this moment is that Ma Beth has been fighting cancer for several years now and has been the caretaker of a husband falling deeper into dementia.

As I listen to this year's speeches I am encourage with hope for the future.  But regardless of the outcome I am amazed by the power of people around me to shape and amplify the lives around them.

This spring Ma Beth entered into the final stages of cancer.  The family was not sure she would make it to the spring recital.  The girls put together a show for her at a local theater.  It was like some kooky episode of the Brady Bunch, some kids were off key.  Other kids choreographed dance numbers that were quite good.  All was beautiful though because all was done in recognition of a beautiful powerful person who everyone loved and whose presence made lives better.  All wanted to let Ma Beth know how much she meant.  She was delighted.

Ma Beth did make it to the spring recital but sadly she passed away a few weeks ago.

I'm not sure why I want to write about her, I surely don't do her justice.  Perhaps in this season of world issues I just want to tell a small story of a small person who made a big difference in her world and the world of those around her and who made us feel warm and cared for on a cold winter's night.

Monday, July 18, 2016

You Want Me Down on Earth but I am Up in Space

"I don't care, I love it........."

You know if you are ever in a funk about what to write about crank up some Swedish electro-pop; it always yields perspective!

I really like this song for some reason, it landed exactly where the Icono Pop girls asked Swedish producer Style of Eye to put it.  The girls asked their producer this of the song, "we want the punkiness; we want the '*uck it' feel." That's exactly what they got in this Milleneal requiem to Anarchy in the UK, albeit Icelandic in origin.

You know DC is a wonderful city full of parks, culture, out of the way pubs and bistros.  For such a big city I'm always in awe of how you can almost get "off the grid" inside some park along a meandering stream even when you are inside the Beltway.  And yet this town is known for unrealized lines of demarcation that mask sudden and drastic changes in lifestyle.  One minute you can be on Capitol Hill and the next in Capital Heights, which can be quite dangerous.  Both of course! On the Hill a bunch of old people in suits are busy *ucking you over slowly and silently; in the Heights they are a little more up front and candid.  But it's true, as one moves a few blocks to the East and South away from those iconic monuments dangers can be quite real.  Yet, my dad (who has lived in the district) has told me how peaceful many of those dangerous neighborhoods can be at daybreak as streets that are violent at 2 in the morning become vacant ghost towns.  The bottom line is often the border between reality and fiction, safety and danger, adventurous and egregious is thin and far from ubiquitous.

Speaking of Milleneals and a certain Swedish "*uck it" attitude, I had some interesting interactions on AM in the weeks after communicating with Sunny; interactions that tested my "savoir faire," so to speak.

One thing I quickly noticed after logging back into AM in the fall was the prevalence of young ladies blinking at me.  Well, that wasn't anything new, in the past when I logged in after being off a few weeks it was typical for some "online host" to wink at me.  I learned to ignore them.  But all of a sudden I was getting Ash Mad e-mail notifications on my "mischief e-mail" from strange ladies, ladies with names like jucee20(at)yayhoodot and candi4Uatgmale.  Of course my learned tendency has been to ignore the fact that a 24 year old girl named Jucee "has added me to her favorites."  That being said I'm always curious and I'll admit I always look at their profile.  Who knows, it may lead to a blog thought?  But on several successive occasions my 20 something Millineal admirer went "poof" before I could even consider writer to her.  This went on a few days, I didn't think much of it.  But when one night I got a note from suzEcums4U_gmail and literally within 10 seconds her profile was gone I had one of those curious "hmmmm" moments.

Of course you know me, I then logged off and went to bed.

Oh, if that could only be the case.

No, curiosity got to Ryan and of course I sent a note to SuzE's gmail and just for good measure sent one to Jucee20, Candi, and a few others on the thought that perhaps that AM profile name was in fact their e-mail address.

Amazingly over the next few days I realized these new girls really liked my writing style, they all wrote me back; I had never had so much luck on AM!

All these girls seemed so down to Earth, so interested in me, and so very cool.  Sure this was probably a scam, but I was willing to play along for a little while just to see what street we were heading down.  I, of course, had been on streets similar to this in the past.  It was all good, right?  I mean, this is all coming off of AM and AM is for silly swingers like Ryan, Kat, Sassy, Lapsed Catholic Wife, etc. you know.  This is all for fun and games you know.  For Science as I've written in the past.

Daniella was a layed back girl with an MBA from Cal State Monterrey Bay who enjoyed Dolly Parton and walks along the beach and a little Pinot every now and again but really just wanted a guy with a sense of humor to love and be loved by.  And DANG, she was gorgeous in that form fitting dress!

Then there was Kris who was always positive, humorous, understanding, silly and oh by the way submissive and wanted a guy who took control.  She wanted "to be a lady in the street and a freak in the bed," seems like a poet I saw once said that.  She had studied abroad at University College in Dublin, but now lived in Arizona and she always seemed to be attached to some frothy boat drink.  She looked cute and perky and always had the nicest smile.  Kris was the most demure and was not so quick to show her tits to just anybody.

Then there was Alison.  Alison all of a sudden lived in my town.  Alison was like the folks in Capital Heights, very candid.  Alison just plain old wanted to *uck and wanted to know if I could meet tonight.  Well, this after we discussed my education and philosophy on how government oversight can influence market driven solutions to green policy and reduce ozone depleting emissions.  Well maybe we didn't talk about that but I don't want Alison to sound like a slut, it did take about 8 notes before she sent me a nude picture and the request for a quick meet and greet downtown.

Karen aka Lana
Then there was sweet Karen, a mute hairdresser from Lampassa, TX who now lived in Springfield, IL.  For some reason she must be the only person in Springfield, IL who has not heard of Cozy Dog.  Yeah that's the sucky thing about trying to scam Ryan, I've eaten everywhere so I'll know if you don't live somewhere by the restaurants you don't know about.  I'm also hard to keep on message.  But I really liked Karen.  I genuinely felt bad when she cussed me out for asking if we could skype, forgetting that she was mute and didn't know sign language and thus could not communicate via skype.  I'm so unfeeling!  I actually found Karen on Facebook, My Space, and some other sites.  She seemed somewhat real.

Kathy aka Mia W
Then, I got a new (CRAZY) idea.  I wanted to interview one of these ladies, perhaps help them along and find out what was behind these profiles and photos.  Sure they were scammers in some way but perhaps they had a story.  And, of course, I had a blog forum to help them towards fame.  :)

There were others of course; Diana (from South Africa), Fiona (who looked dangerously young, I didn't reply), Jane (who looked a lot like Aspen Rae), Fibbi who was VERY hot and generous with her nude photos, and Ashley who I found very interesting.  I would love to show you Fibbi au natural but this is a family oriented infidelity blog you know!  :)

Fibbi aka xoGisele
Of course mystery is best fostered when you don't ask questions.  However, in an age when altered reality is so easy to join and so immersive, the truth is evasive but the NON truth is so easy to attain.  For example click on one of those pictures one of those lovely ladies sends and hit "search google image."  Voila, il y a la verite!

None of my girls seemed interested in an interview.  None wanted to tell me what their dreams and aspirations where, or where they wanted their life to go.

Of course I knew all along that these girls were scammers and I do know that the post modern answer to the peep show is the web cam girl.  But again, remember this all came for Ashley Madison.  Not directly, certainly not a linear path, but somewhat congruent none-the-less if not hidden underground as if a silent underground stream.

Ashley aka Ginger
For some reason Ashley and Karen were still a curiosity to me.  Karen was always polite, though cryptic and never made any offers.  Ashley was just plain cute and sexy and for some reason looked familiar.  So I continued to write and investigate.

As of this writing I still get no more from Karen than, "how's it going?"  I did learn that Karen's image was that of Lana Brooks, the ultimate scam girl (most favored by foreign scammers).  Not that Lana is a scam girl but for some reason her images are particularly appealing to scammers.  It must be because she looks oh so "girl next door."

My Ashley I finally found to be Ginger Banks, the Original Library Girl.

Of course, to be the original of something you must have been emulated.  And that is where I found the story of the other "library girl."  That library girl was just poor Kendra Sutherland, a 19 year girl attending Oregon State University and trying to earn some extra money to pay for textbooks.  Kendra realized that masturbating to web cam in the library may make her good bucks and whose to blame someone for trying to make the most tips.  I certainly worked hard to pay my tuition back in the day.  Unfortunately Kendra got caught and good old OSU was not too interested in being a host for on-line porn transactions.  Kendra won't be getting a BS in anything soon from there.

But then I realized I had just crossed the block.  I was no longer in my suburban world of bored housewives and slightly overweight ex-jocks whose wives are no longer interested in sex.  I was not a consenting adult in a bad marriage asking another consenting adult in a bad marriage to share some physical gratification.  I was now a middle-aged man "virtually" walking towards the peep show door behind which was a young girl working for tips.  Without knowing I was in a different world even though the street I had originally turned onto said Ashley Madison.

Ashley Madison has always been a bawdy diversion, a little spice to la vie, a risque diversion from the mundane real world.  The concept of MAD (mutually assured destruction) was a crutch of consenting adults that incentivized and excused the behavior.  But just like Pennsylvania Avenue, at some point you've left the Capital District and have crossed over into Anacostia.  There are concentric circles of dark deviancy overlapping into our "justified" deviancy.  That dark deviancy masks a dark reality that young men in Africa are trying to get you to pay for indecent content or some poor college girl is asking you to go to her web cam to get grocery money.  I'd love to help her but for some reason it feels like helping her get a job as a restaurant manager would be better than a tip after a five minute web cam session.

But regardless I now know that while Ashley Madison Ave. may seem to start in NW DC there are unknown lines of demarcation, beyond which you are proverbially in the wrong part of town and about to do things you didn't plan on doing when you first turned onto that street.

But who knows?

As many would say of me -

"Your so damn hard to please, we gotta kill this switch
Your from the 70's, but I'm a 90's *itch........"

God I love that lyric, I so want some 20/30-something lady to say this to me -