FACEBOOK’S NEW GENDER IDENTITY CHOICES: A RANT

In my lifetime, I have tried to be open-minded and non-judgmental. While I enjoy lively debate, it’s been my goal to respect the opinions of others and to welcome new ideas. But I might have been pushed beyond my limits by the news–reported by CNN–that Facebook is adding new choices to its profile gender options. Now, Facebook users may identify themselves not just as male or female, but alternatively with terms such as transgender, gender fluid, and intersex. According to CNN, page owners also may select personal pronouns for referencing themselves: he/him, she/her, or the gender-neutral they/their. Now I realize I am rarely the voice of reason regarding such hot-button issues, but I have had enough of this nonsense and will therefore take up the flag.

PEOPLE:  The words “they” and “their” are NOT gender neutral pronouns. They are PLURAL pronouns. When will the madness end?

LIMERICK: PENIS

Private Property -- Men Confess Why They're Br...

 

 PENIS

It is said Women sprang forth from Venus,
Masterpiece of class, species, and genus.
And they reach for the stars,
Unlike Men, sent from Mars
Who must filter each thought through a penis.

 

~lisa
June, 2013

LIMERICK: PENNSYLVANIA

Crossing The Road

PENNSYLVANIA

Along Interstate 80 stood Bambi,
Concentration–at best–namby pamby.
At the wake later, Crow
Paid respects to his bro:
Said, “At least you taste better than spam, B!”

~lisa

INSPIRED BY THE DAILY POST 4/14/13: FIVE ANIMALS MARCH IS GLAD IT DOESN’T COME IN AS

Inspired by The Daily Post 4/14/13: The Satisfaction of a List

Cheaper Than Therapy:

We Pennsylvanians have a rather tenuous grasp on weather, that is to say we’re not exactly meteorologically savvy.  At daybreak every February 2nd, we gather by the thousands at a knoll in Punxsutawney–warmed by nothing more than beer and stupidity—and wait for a groundhog (also known as a woodchuck, a whistle-pig, or a land beaver) to announce that winter is over. We pass the next six weeks nursing our hangovers, lopping off frostbitten fingers, and cursing the animal for misleading us.

So deeply committed are we to our belief in animals as harbingers of weather events, we continue to do so straight through March. You know that saying if March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb? In Pennsylvania, that’s science we can get behind!

This year March came to Pennsylvania roaring like a lion—snow, freezing rain, blustering winds, the whole deal. But even if…

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FIVE ANIMALS MARCH IS GLAD IT DOESN’T COME IN AS

We Pennsylvanians have a rather tenuous grasp on weather, that is to say we’re not exactly meteorologically savvy.  At daybreak every February 2nd, we gather by the thousands at a knoll in Punxsutawney–warmed by nothing more than beer and stupidity—and wait for a groundhog (also known as a woodchuck, a whistle-pig, or a land beaver) to announce that winter is over. We pass the next six weeks nursing our hangovers, lopping off frostbitten fingers, and cursing the animal for misleading us.

So deeply committed are we to our belief in animals as harbingers of weather events, we continue to do so straight through March. You know that saying if March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb? In Pennsylvania, that’s science we can get behind!

This year March came to Pennsylvania roaring like a lion—snow, freezing rain, blustering winds, the whole deal. But even if it had come in mild as a lamb, March can hold its head up high. PR-wise, March is covered. Option one:  lion– fierce, courageous, dignified, regal, lethal. Option two:  lamb–peaceful, pastoral, gentle, and when simmered among root vegetables and served with a Guinness, mighty tasty.

Truthfully, March could do a lot worse than coming in like either a lion or a lamb. To prove the point, let’s take a look at five animals March is glad it will never have to come in as.

Seriously, this is as good looking as I get.

Seriously, this is as good looking as I get.

1. The blob fish
Holy mother, the blob fish is a mess. With a body made primarily of shapeless,  gelatinous goo, it hovers slightly above the deep ocean floors off the coast of Australia. The pressure is so strong at blob fish levels that a gas bladder would be useless, and the environment is so dark it has no need for elaborate camouflage. So there you have the blob fish, ghostly pale and looking like a foot long lugie, just biding its time and waiting for edible substances to float past its apathetic, expressionless face–kind of like a Steelers fan by the end of Super Bowl 2013.

2. The angler fish
Like all men, the male angler fish lives only to find a woman and get lucky. But the manner in which angler fish reproduce gives whole new meaning to the term hook-up. While the female angler fish is a hideously scary looking deep sea creature whose cameo appearance in the movie Finding Nemo haunts children to this day, the male angler fish is tiny and rather benign. When he

Mrs. Angler Fish sporting this season’s crop of parasitic testicles

finds a female, he swims right up and bites into her flesh—and that’s where the real magic begins! The female begins to absorb the male; her blood vessels fuse with his, and his body actually disintegrates—except for the testicles, which remain behind as small lumps on the surface of her skin, providing her a continuing source of sperm. And since a female angler fish can—ahem—host up to six males at a time, she might end up with quite a few semipermanent testi-lumps. Years later when their children look at family portraits, little angler fish will see Dad reduced to nothing but his balls, while Mom appears to be suffering from a severe case of sperm-filled cystic acne.

3. The blood squirting lizard
Lizards are amazing. They’re like little real-life dragons, right here for us to visit at Reptile Land or occasionally even bring home in a tiny

Drama queen much?

Drama queen much?
(Click picture to see me SQUIRT BLOOD FROM MY FREAKING EYE!)

box marked Petco. But at least four species of lizards are such drama queens that, when confronted by a predator, they hold their breath so hard the pressure inside their skulls increases, tiny blood vessels in their faces rupture, and they shoot a stream of foul smelling, bad tasting blood RIGHT OUT OF THEIR FREAKING EYEBALLS, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S HOLY! I’m sure there are those who would find the whole blood-shooting eyeball thing to be incredibly cool, kind of like the way Spiderman shoots out webs. But the unfortunate coyote or cougar who receives a  faceful of bloody lizard tears will have something to tell his therapist next session.

4. The hooded seal
Guys, imagine you’re spending a leisurely day by the ocean. An attractive woman walks by, and you feel a familiar swelling. In your face. Yes, imagine that whenever you see a beautiful woman, the skin from your eyebrows to your upper lip inflates to a pink, balloon-shaped

My inflatable pink face bladder is bigger than yours.
(Click the picture to see me in action.)

sack the size of your head, and that you’re overcome with the manly urge to honk and wave that big, pink, balloon around so that it flaps and attracts the attention of anyone within eye- or ear-shot. Horrified?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.

5. Darwin’s frog

Click picture to see me vomit up some babies.

Click picture to see me vomit up some babies.

That Darwin—what a wacky guy. Not only did he give scientists and creationists a reason to draw swords for all time, but he loaned his name to a variety of frogs whose male holds the developing tadpoles in his vocal sac while they mature, and then brings them into the world by spitting them up. Human females will tell their own birthing room dramas as often and to as many people as will listen. But if women gave birth to their babies by vomiting them up… well, that’d be a deal-breaker.

So here in Pennsylvania, we wait and watch outside our windows to glimpse March’s mood. Will it roar like a lion, or will it be cuddly like a lamb? Whatever–as long as March doesn’t come shooting sloppily out of February’s eye or upchuck April like a bad Mexican dinner, it’s all good.

~lisa

TOP TEN WAYS MIDDLE AGE IS STRANGLING ME IN ITS KUDZU EMBRACE

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10. Fiber has become my bff.
9.    I wonder when I hung photos of my great aunt Lois all over the house, then realize I’m looking at mirrors.
8.   Sensible shoes.
7.   I can remember when capris were called pedal pushers or clam diggers.
6.   I used to be offended when I still got carded before being served; now I’m offended when I’m offered the senior citizen’s discount after being served.
5.   Contacts or glasses? Doesn’t matter, because I can’t see well with either anymore.
4.   Fun and flirty or weird and creepy? Too close to call.
3.   I offered to share my box of Nips with a young coworker, and she said, “Oh, that’s the candy old people like!”
2.   At least those stray facial hairs are less visible now that they’re turning grey.
.
.
.
1.   During my last physical, the doctor happily announced that my uterus is shrinking right on schedule.

Ew. Just ew.

~lisa

SHE WALKED LIKE SHE WANTED IT

One evening near my fifteenth birthday, I was summoned to stand before the Kitchen Tribunal.  My mother was there;  recently widowed, understandably shell-shocked, and exhausted by the demands of a fragile household and three needy teenagers.  Also in attendance were my two older brothers, their adolescent snickering temporarily pushed aside by the weight and severity of the matter at hand, which was this:  A few days earlier, an acquaintance of  theirs (several years older, a bit snarky, and appropriately enough, named Dick) had driven past me as I crossed the Market Street Bridge, then reported to my big brothers that their little sister walked like she wanted it.   The family was solemn and disapproving;  the kitchen smelled of fried egg sandwiches and scandal.

Well, I was affronted!  I was mortified!  I was. . .intrigued.  So after clearing my good name with Mom and the brothers, I retreated to ponder this new development.  I turned it over in my mind:  She walked like she wanted it.  Those words couldn’t possibly apply to me, a self-described wallflower and slow starter who hadn’t yet learned how to flirt.  I mean, I certainly knew what IT was, but I wasn’t sure I wanted IT anytime soon.  To be honest, IT was a little scary.  Besides, exactly how did I walk like I wanted it?  What was happening back there that I didn’t know about? 

Therefore,  I turned to my cultural icons for clues.  The men on Gilligan’s Island (even the Professor!) were dumbstruck each time Ginger walked by, but I’d have described my walk as more . . . Mary Ann-ish.  And there weren’t enough Underalls in the world to make my back porch swing like Ann-Margret’s.  But in the privacy of my room, I had to admit I kind of liked knowing something about the way I walked caused Dick to take notice.  Is this what made Aerosmith’s Walk This Way such a dirty song?

Conveniently placed bamboo conceals Gilligan’s interest in Ginger’s leopard skin swimsuit.

Until that moment, the only womanly walk I’d ever analyzed was my mother’s.  Her long legs moved with quick, purposeful strides.  “Keep up, Lisa!” she’d insist as we rushed from store to store each Saturday morning, trying to get our shopping done before some deadline (Yes, I grew up in a world with downtown stores but no Amazon.com.). 

Mom also instructed me on how to walk like a lady.  “Move your legs from the hips, not from the knees, Lisa.”  And because I tended toward pigeon-toes:  “Point your shoes forward, Lisa.  Don’t let your toes turn in when you walk.”  I assure you, Mom was not being critical;  back in the day, it was a mother’s duty to teach her daughter the finer points of being a woman.   How ironic that the very walk my mom worked to cultivate in me would one day attract the attention of boys like Dick.

I never managed to duplicate my mother’s walk, though.  At 4′ 11″ inches tall, I just don’t have the equipment to cover ground in the same fashion.  Now 79, Mom still out distances me step by step.

But as I made my way through the mall recently, I couldn’t shake the eerie feeling of being stalked by my Great Aunt Lois (May she rest in peace.).  Great Aunt Lois was smart and generous, a veteran school teacher with a no-nonsense attitude, a woman esteemed by the family at large during my formative years.  Great Aunt Lois’s walk, however, was nothing like my mother’s. 

The Grand Dame was short, stout, and plagued by arthritis.  She waddled stiff-legged from here to there with knees and hips that moved like rusty gears.  I imagined her carrying an oil can in that oversized handbag on her arm.  And whoever was caught climbing a flight of stairs behind Great Aunt Lois had better not be in a hurry;  coaxing those creaky joints to rotate in such a manner was a process that simply could not be rushed.

And so it was Great Aunt Lois’s walk that followed me  past each store window— in the form of my own reflection.  Nowadays, I walk like I want some ibuprofin and a nice, long, soak.  And since he’s a grandpa now, I’m pretty sure Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler walks this way, as well. 

Dick, too.

And such, friends, is the walk of life. 

~lisa