Icy Hot

Have I complained about my shoulder lately? It doesn’t really matter, just that it’s very slightly fucked up, the kind of very slight fucked upness that means that I keep injuring it a tiny bit so that it’s always kind of sore. But barely. Like on a scale of  1 to 10, I’d give it a .5. It mostly feels like I’ve been lifting something a little heavier than usual.

Today, the Butcher brought me Icy Hot and it is so glorious.I kind of just want to sit here and shudder in relief. Honestly, someone out there invented Icy Hot and that person is a genius.

In other news, I’m reading Rhian Ellis’s After Life and dying of jealousy on almost every page. How does this book exist and I’ve only heard of it just now?

The Women on Your iPod

When I was in college, I took Social Dance and I was regularly partners with this guy I fully expect could have been the Republican Senator from Iowa if the Republican party were still filled with people who appreciated tradition, history, fine scotch, cigars, and minding your own business. You know, the kind of guy who is wrong about everything, but is wrong so brilliantly that you don’t mind dancing with him, even though he’s terrible, because he really wants something from it, and even if you don’t quite get what it is that he wants, you like that he’s trying something he’s terrible at.

Anyway, sometimes we didn’t dance in class. We just had an hour of stretching , which you had to do with a partner. Now, if you’ve ever known anyone like a mid-90s college Republican, you can appreciate the dilemma this caused for him. He was not comfortable touching a woman he didn’t know and trust, but he certainly couldn’t carry on with a good girl in such a manner.

He needed Miss Kitty, I guess. I mean, I know, to type it out, it sounds degrading–like he needed a floozy he liked or something. But it wasn’t exactly that. He needed a woman he could trust whose morals were different than his. Back in the old days, kids, Republicans did trust people whose morals they didn’t always agree with.

I’m not saying it wasn’t problematic, just that it was clearly his hang-up not mine, so it didn’t really affect me other than that I could do him this favor by being his partner.

This is a long preamble to say that, when we had those stretching days, the instructor always put on music by women, only. And she said, explicitly, that she only bought music by women and that, if she wasn’t listening to the radio, she only listened to music by women, because so much of what she heard otherwise was by men. That blew my mind. And she had hours worth of awesome music.

I don’t listen to music only by women, obviously. But I have never forgot the idea she gave me–that your own collection could be really deliberately curated, not just to include music you like, but as an antidote to shortcomings of the broader world.

And if you’d asked me about the split of artists on my iPod, I’d have said it was about 50/50. I think I hear one woman’s voice for each man’s voice that I hear. But I just counted up and I have 82 different women singing to me on my iPod and 155 men.

I know Kathy says that tallying up isn’t really the point, but there’s something about seeing it so starkly. I think the post Kathy’s referring to is partially right–there are a lot of women working in genres that aren’t my bag, because that’s where women are funneled to. But the world is so wide. It’d be nice if we could imagine women inhabiting all of it.

Freefloating Anxiety

I have a lot of free-floating anxiety this morning, like I am forgetting to do something hugely important, but I don’t know what it is. I’ve been having nightmares the last couple days. One was about how my parents tricked me into being late for my own reading on Saturday, by taking me out to eat in LaSalle/Peru.

It’s weird. You know how… or maybe you don’t… I assume this is true for everyone, but maybe not. I have a house in my dreams that is “my old house.” And it’s based loosely on the parsonage we lived in when I was in kindergarten. It’s the last place I lived before the Butcher was born. Anyway, it’s that house, but filled with more staircases and secret passages and more stories than you can rightfully count. And it’s always attached to a church. But that  church usually looks more like the church where we held my grandpa’s funeral crossed with the Aledo church than it does the church that would have belonged to the parsonage “my old house” is based on.

It doesn’t always look exactly the same–“my old house.” I think that’s part of the multiple staircases and uncountable floors. It shifts as dreams demand. But it is always recognizable as “my old house.” It is the place I used to live, according to my dreams, and I must always return there.

I bring that up because I’m starting to realize that I live in a different landscape in my dreams, too. I still live in Illinois. Everything is flat and straight and all towns are parallel or at right angles to each other. And so, LaSalle/Peru was just far enough away to make me dreadfully late for my reading, but not so far away that I couldn’t make it (though I didn’t, because I left everything I needed at K. & B.’s apartment).

I don’t really remember my nightmare last night, just that I woke up thinking, “I must remember about the couch. That’s pretty brilliant.” But what was brilliant about my couch? I can’t remember.