Subourbon Mom


Live Music – Live a Life Les Ordinary
December 21, 2021, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Food/Drink, Middle Age | Tags: , , , , , ,

Last weekend I was lucky enough to go see one of my favorite bands, Carbon Leaf.  Not only are they talented musicians and great performers, they also went to college with Hubby and I.  So, shout out to Carbon Leaf for still living the dream, even though we have kids, wear readers and pay mortgages.

When the time came to get ready, I was paralyzed with uncertainty.  What does one wear to a concert when you’re 50, and the band is 50, and its 35 degrees outside but you know its going to be 80 inside? I texted my helpful friends and these are the answers I got:

  • Slippers
  • Leg warmers
  • A banana clip
  • Esprit or Benneton sweater

But the most helpful was “Jeans, boots, cute long-sleeved shirt over tank top with a jacket you don’t care gets beer spilled on it so you can tie it around your waist when you have a hot flash.”

So there’s that.  Now I have to factor hot flashes into my wardrobe choices as well.

In the past, we would have forgone food and just pre-gamed at somebody’s house. That usually ended with someone holding someone else’s hair and running eye makeup.  As grown-ups, after a dinner and a couple of bourbons later we arrived at the concert walking straight and smelling like fried food.

Once inside, I was relieved to see we were age appropriate. See, the thing about being 50 and going to bands and other places is we either tend to be the creepy old people who get side-eyes from the youngsters, or we’re the youngest by 20 years getting side-eyes from the Q-tips. This time, there were two generations present – us, and our children. Carbon Leaf plays music both sets can enjoy. In fact, the younger crowd knew more of the sings than we did.

So, we danced and sang along, and I was secretly smug that I was getting my steps in, when I noticed something glinting on the floor. I picked it up – it was a pair of readers.

Omg.  That’s who I am now.

I used to find money on the floor at concerts, or maybe even a tiny bag of weed. Now it’s readers, and the woman in front of me was just as grateful I found those as she would have been back in the day if I’d picked up her bag of weed.

When the encore was over, my jeans were covered in spilt beer and bourbon, and I had in fact stripped off my jacket because of a hot flash or two. We headed out to get our requisite CD (yes, we still listen to them) and t-shirts to support the band.  Unfortunately, all I was concerned about when I selected my t-shirt was that it was soft, gray and had the band’s name on it.  I didn’t really pay attention to the actual design.

Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.  If you don’t see it, you are a better person than me.

Because I am super immature and have a 12-year-old sense of humor, this will forever be a sleep shirt, not for public.

The bottom line is, going to that concert reminded me of how much we need connection to our friends, our past, and our sense of fun and adventure. Stomping my feet not only got my steps in, it also reminded me of how much I love live music and, like the band members who are still living the dream, sometimes you just have “live a life less ordinary.”

Enjoy some Carbon Leaf – The War Was In Color (possibly their best song):

And “Life Less Ordinary”



Poker “Tells” Your Faith
August 26, 2019, 6:53 pm
Filed under: Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , , ,

Now before some of you lose your minds and start planning how you’re going to blow up my blog with comments about your faith, your religion or how insensitive I am….

RELAX.

This is an idea I came up with in the middle of a hot flash at 4:00am – not my best work, but that’s what I was thinking about so now you get to think about it, too.

Now that we have the disclaimer out of the way, we need to talk poker.  For those of you who don’t know how to play poker, there comes time in every player’s game that they choose to bluff (or not) about what cards they’re holding. Sometimes this is out of desperation, and sometimes it’s a calculated lie designed to throw others into confusion about when you may or may not be telling the truth later in the game.  Most people have a “tell” or small mannerism that will let others know when they are bluffing.

m27fz

I have a theory that how you play poker reflects your spiritual beliefs, or at least where you are on the spectrum of being a believer in something higher than yourself or not.  Over time, your faithfulness will be your “tell.”

Don’t worry, people – I’m not going to call out you Baptists, Episcopalians, Catholics, Bhuddists, Muslims, Jews or anybody else. I’m just going to lay out some completely unfounded observations about the game of poker and who might be more inclined to play one way or another based on their level of faith, no matter what religion they are.

Poker players who often go “all in” (bet their entire wad on one hand) are probably atheists. After all, what have they got to lose? There is no higher being to pray to for help or that is controlling the outcome of the game. It’s harder to bluff an atheist, but heck…miracles happen. When atheists win, they like to point out to the rest of the players that they were bluffing so the faithful (they hope somewhere deep down) will learn that being gullible is bad. And, when atheists are done playing, they simply walk away…or pass out on the couch after watching Ancient Aliens while they wait for everyone else to finish.

The faithful (if they’re playing at all) will bluff too, but for a different reason – they instinctively feel that because the atheists don’t believe in things they can’t prove, atheists won’t believe that others are as good at bluffing as they are. The faithful also tend to fall for the bluff more than other players – they already believe in something they can’t see or prove, so believing another player got the royal straight flush on the river card isn’t that much of a stretch. When the faithful are finished playing, they frequently can be found looking introspective, trying to find the meaning behind the loss.

Agnostics, however, are the biggest losers in poker because they are constantly hedging their bets.  They ante on every play, no matter what they have in their hand, because the flop might just have that magical or miracle combination to make that 7 and 8 worth it. Then, they put in just enough on each betting round to stay in, but won’t commit to the big pots. Eventually they fold somewhere in the middle of the game, having steadily lost their chips out of fear of taking the plunge, one way or the other. Without the freedom of the atheists and the cushion of the faithful, they resolve to play differently next time, even though this never happens.

ok-he-s-not-bluffing-hlel-animal-poker-tells-6170765

 

But what about people who don’t give religion a second thought…like, ever? Aaahhh…these are the poker players you should fear. Why? Because they aren’t praying or trying to control their own destinies or hedging their bets – they’re thriving on their love of the game. They live in the moment. Do they bluff? Maybe – but what’s more important to them is that they’re playing at all.

Is that how you should go through life? Completely in the moment without a thought to what’s next, or if there’s something bigger out there? I doubt it – but in these uncertain times, being in the moment may be exactly what you need, even if only for a little while.

So deal the cards and play how you play – but just remember to be happy you’re sitting at the table.



Port-o-John Etiquette

potty1We live in a society governed in part by laws of decency. They separate us from the animals and White Supremacists, and people should follow them to keep human grossness down to a tolerable level.

Which brings me to Port-O-John (POJ) etiquette.

Look, I get it – nobody wants to be in the Abyss of Nastiness, much less touch anything. I can remember having to take my kids in them and shrieking “DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING!” This usually ended with me holding said kid by the armpits over the hole while they tried unsuccessfully to do their business in the most awkward way possible.

The other night I was at an outdoor concert, and bless her heart, somebody (I’ll call her Chicken Little – explanation below) just did not follow what I consider to be good POJ etiquette. After waiting in the ridiculously long line for the few POJs the women were using (the men were using a POJ trough that was infinitely faster), I finally got to the front of the line and opened the door.

Now Girls, I know our Mamas told us not to touch anything and to line the toilet seat with toilet paper so we wouldn’t get some God-awful disease, or worse, pregnant, but you can’t do that shit in a POJ in the dark.  First and foremost, nobody can tell if you were merely being cautious (hooray for you – Mama would be proud), or if you’re covering up something nasty. Nobody coming in after you can afford to make any assumptions, especially at a concert where there are copious amounts of drunk Millennials.

POtty2When I opened the POJ door, Chicken Little had spread a lot of toilet paper haphazardly about.  Maybe she had attempted to line the seat, and thought the seat was three feet around and crawled up the wall, but there was toilet paper on the floor, on the wall and stuck to the door handle. It looked like a bunch of used Civil War bandages had gotten caught in a time machine.

No way in Hell was I going to even attempt to hover near that mess.

When I brought this up to a couple of friends, there was a surprising variety of opinions about female POJ etiquette.

My friend, I’ll call her Laura, admitted to lining the seat, AND putting extra paper down the hole to prevent splash back.  That was something I hadn’t even thought of…nor have I ever been in a POJ where the contents were so full as to have that issue. So, I deem shoving TP down the hole for that reason is acceptable.  Note to self: don’t travel with Laura.

Another friend asked, “But what if you aren’t physically strong enough to squat?” Well, that’s why they make the Elvis Handles – you know, the places on the door in front of you where you grab on with your hands to help you balance. Note to self:  keep working on squats at the gym.

So here are my Rules for Using the POJ:

  1. NEVER retrieve anything that fell in the hole – seriously, no phone is worth it. Besides, how awesome would it be to call it whenever someone’s in there? Even better, get an old phone and put a funny voicemail message on it.
  2. Leave your phone/drink/purse outside with a friend.  You don’t want to use any of them after being in that Cave of Satan.
  3. If you forget and bring your beer in there with you, don’t leave the bottle/cup in the urinal.  Somebody’s job is to reach in and get it – do your best impression of a man cleaning up dog poo: leave it on the floor and walk away.
  4.  If you must line the seat because you can’t squat or you’re still scared your Mama will find out, it is up to you to put the toilet paper that lined it into the hole when you’re done.  Again, that’s somebody’s job.
  5. Toilet paper is not a sticky note – it has no place on a wall or door handle.
  6. Feminine products: wrap ‘em up like a bad burrito. Nobody wants to look at that.
  7. Banging on the POJ while a friend is in there to scare the crap out of them is perfectly acceptable.
  8. Banging on the POJ when a stranger is in there is still hilarious but you’d better be able to out run them.
  9. Tipping someone over in a POJ is NEVER okay.
  10. Check your shoes for toilet paper – or tell someone if it’s stuck to them (unless it’s your friend and you’re laughing to hard.


Let’s Talk Vikings

Let’s talk Vikings. More importantly, let’s talk about why they are sexy and appealing, and why I can’t stop binge watching shows like the History Channel’s Vikings and BBC America’s The Last Kingdom.

It’s not because I have a thing for burly, unwashed guys with long hair.  In real life I tend to go for the clean-cut, naturally athletic type (you’re welcome, Hubby.)  In fact, that probably explains why I also binged on Vampire Diaries – they were all athletic and clean-cut, even if they did have a habit of drinking other people’s blood.  But there is something viscerally appealing about the characters in these blood-thirsty shows, despite the fact that they regularly do horrific things to people and display the darker sides of humanity.  Hardly an episode goes by that some form of lopping or evisceration doesn’t happen, or when greed, naked ambition and revenge aren’t acted upon.

So what exactly is the appeal?

Well, first, let’s get the obvious out of the way:

But what else?

When you watch a show like Vikings, you live vicariously through those characters as they do things that are unacceptable in today’s society like taking what isn’t yours just because you can, killing those who clearly deserve it, and having sex with royalty or a slave.  And let’s face it – we’re a bit jealous, so we keep watching.  In real life, when another driver on the road does something exceptionally stupid, I want them to reap what they’ve sewn.  Since it’s not acceptable for me to help them with that by nudging them Fast and Furiously into the guardrail until they flip over 17 times (and of course come out unscathed – I’m not an animal, people!), I watch shows like Vikings where the characters can actually act on their baser desires. At least in their case somebody’s getting something done – there is retribution.

Plus there’s this:

vikings_son1

Does that mean that everyone who watches the weekly torture fest on Game of Thrones secretly wants to torture people?  Probably not, but there are plenty of messed up people out there who should only be allowed to watch episodes of Sesame Street and work on their people skills.  But Game of Throne’s emphasis on torture and the show’s popularity does make you wonder.  Maybe lots of people have a need to feel empowered – if you can’t get it in your own life, watching someone else act on it in the extreme satisfies that need.  Or, maybe they just like seeing people in pain.  Whatever – the point is, these shows feed some baser need in their viewers.

Should we change our rules to accommodate these baser needs? Absolutely not. Should we dress in animal heavy wool, grow out our hair and still have unrealistically good teeth – maybe, if you can look like this:

But wool’s scratchy and hot, my hair never looks like that and my teeth are marginally better than a 800 A.D. Viking’s teeth; instead, I’ll keep watching these shows, keeping my baser instincts at bay…at least until the next NFL season starts.

footbal fans

 

 



Chick Flick Fail

Once in a while I manage to get the house to myself and have a chick-flick night. Nothing’s better than settling down after a crazy week with a glass of wine, a warm, fuzzy blanket and 2 hours of watching a hot guy seduce a woman in the most unrealistic ways.

Trailer picSo the other night I had a little bit of alone time (Hubby was out of town, and the Daughters had plans), and settled in to binge watch my new favorite show “Outlander.” And best of all, the episode I was on was going to be the climactic wedding.

Jamie MacKenzie, the hot Scottish Highlander character in the show, explains how he has somehow remained a virgin in his mid-twenties in the 1740s (yeah, right), and is staring at his bride Claire with smoldering eyes and perfect dimples.

One of the cats walks in front of the TV screen.  It’s ok – I can rewind. I have that power. I start over, and take a sip of wine.

Jamie and Claire finally put their whiskey down and have sex, the first time for Jamie. It’s not pretty, but Jamie’s auburn curls and charming smile amply make up for the lack of finesse, although he certainly had more finesse than one would have thought. They lay on their backs in the candle light, breathing heavily –

Cat walks across my lap, stopping to put Old One-Eye in my face.
Shove cat to the floor. I rewind again, take another sip of wine.

eyesex

 

 

Jamie and Claire relive their wedding day, with smoldering looks, tentative touches and candlelight everywhere. He carries her to their room –

 

 

The cell phone rings. I put my wine glass down.
“Mom?” Daughter #1 asks.
“Yes?”
“Is there any way you can bring me the concert tickets I left in my backpack? I’ll meet you close to the house.”
Seriously? I think.
Sigh… “Ok. I have to pick up your sister soon anyway. I’ll be there in 10 minutes.”

45 minutes later I bring Daughter #2 home, where she disappears into her lair, not to be seen again until morning. I get a glass of water to balance the wine, pick up the glass of wine, ignore the water and settle back under the blanket and rewind.

eyesex2

 

Jamie lets Claire see him in all his glory, scars from English torture showing his vulnerability and flawless musculature. Claire reaches up to caress the scars –

 

 

 

 

Cat sharpens claws on back of the couch near my ear. Shove cat to the floor, spill some wine. Go to kitchen to get towels and clean up the wine. Rewind.

Jamie and Claire, after an agonizing amount of carefully orchestrated removal of layers and layers of clothing, finally make non-virginal love, loudly and with gusto.

The back door slams. Daughter #2 comes in, cautiously yelling, “Hellooooo?”

Sounds of pleasure are blaring from the TV. I hastily try and find the pause button in the dark but only succeed in turning the volume up. I finally manage to hit the power button and turn the damned thing off completely, but drop the remote somewhere in the blanket and cushions.

“Hello! Mom?” Daughter #2 calls again.
“What?” I bark.
“I can’t find my learner’s permit and I have Drivers Ed tomorrow.”
“Did you look on the floor of your room?”
“Yep.”
“Car?”
“Not yet. I’ll go look.”
I sit in the dark, waiting. The door slams again.
“Find it?”
“No. I’ll go look on my floor again.”
“Ok.”

Search for the remote, and find it on the floor under the couch. A cat paw grabs my hand as I retrieve it, drawing blood. I try Attempt to unsuccessfully stomp on the cat paw.

Rewind – watch the love-making scene again – because you can’t stop half-way through. Just sayin’.

Jamie and Claire reach their climactic finish again, and Jamie is asking if she liked it. (Um…really?) How could she not? Like I said, unrealistic. Claire says she did, and Jamie –

Cell phone rings.
Heavy sigh….I not-so-gently put my mostly empty wine glass down.
“What?”
“I found it.”
“Good girl. Now please go to bed.”

Claire decides to show Jamie what making love can be like when the woman is in charge. Jamie is clearly enjoying himself, looking at the ceiling and groan—

Cat walks across coffee table, spilling the glass of water.

“Oh my God!” I yell.   I clean up the water and settle down to try one more time to get through just one entire romantic scene. But seeing the spilled water made me have to go to the bathroom.

Minutes later, I rewound the scene and tried again. But going to the bathroom made me start thinking about UTIs, and how no one ever seems to have one in romantic shows, despite the fact that they had sex all night long, and no one ever had to pee. I’m pretty sure cranberry juice wasn’t available in Scotland in the 1740s. What did they use? In fact, where did they go to the bathroom? What did they use for toilet paper?

So I missed most of the last love scene, thinking about UTIs.

And that’s how I spent my romantic night with Jamie from “Outlander,” — plus one glass of wine, the cats and two intermittent teenagers.

Jamie1

 

 




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