Don’t Bogart That Mind Bleach

[National Enquirer]

Department of Lady-Bits Rant:
Please, nobody here say what I’ve seen on several other blogs, bodysnarking on the woman and saying it never could have happened because she’s older and not “sexy” – whether or not it happened remains to be determined, but women of all ages and appearances are sexually assaulted or harassed every day, and it’s not limited to women who look a certain way.
I will lose all respect for you if you make that sort of asinine juvenile comment.
/end rant

ADD: I admit I need brain bleach, but the need for the bleach revolves around the thought of uptight Al Gore drunkenly singing along to P!nk and demanding a hand job.

Stained with what? Semen or Al’s DNA?

@redmanlaw: Hate bullfights. They make me sick. And here I was thinking your link had something to do with Al. >:-/

@SanFranLefty: I admit I need brain bleach

Precisely. It’s about him, not her.

Okay, Her Stained Pants, maybe, but not her.

I’d feel better about this if she was a veterinarian and she had a story about Gore accosting one of her patients. To Lefto’s comment, she looks perfectly healthy and sturdy, with good good, if not Extraordinary Health as we say on

@FlyingChainSaw: Haha! I’m going to start referring to myself as one with good, if not Extraordinary Health. Maybe it’ll sink in.

ADD: Once I beat this cold.

love the little balloon “her stained pants”. like we didnt know what was in the bag.

@Capt Howdy: So as not to confuse blue jeans with a blue dress?


for some reason it makes me think of a character in one of our games, Freckle Bitch.

@SanFranLefty: I’d like to add that being a professional massage therapist is NOT the equivalent of being a hooker, even if one is giving a massage in a hotel room. Massage services are offered by many four-star hotels like the Hotel Lucia, and 99.99% of the guests realize that this is a spa treatment and not an opportunity for sexual gratification. Many people act as if the woman should have expected this sort of treatment if she was giving a massage in a hotel. I have friends who do the exact same thing at hotels in Hawaii and even in Oklahoma City. It is a legitimate business service, and the massage therapists certainly do not view themselves as fair game for sexual predators. I find it offensive that others do.

@Mistress Cynica: Indeed, knowing many massage therapists, as I do (you can’t bung a brick in Seattle without hitting a licensed massage therapist, as one of them loves to tell me), I’m pretty sure they’re not undercover hookers. Particularly not the guy I’m seeing now, who’s 6’4″, 250 non-fat lbs and could stand in for Mr. Clean. Cue Benedick.


Why is making fun of Al Gore for being fat and old ok, and not ok when it is regarding the masseuse? Not to start a flame war, and I’m not saying that implying that the woman is unattractive isn’t fraught with unintended consequence, but still, double-standard, right?

Plus I love making fun of people’s looks. Cheap shots are my life. My online life, anyway.

@Mistress Cynica: Yes, this. Having a job that involves touching the flesh does not make the person a sexual commodity. It’d be like saying urologists and OB/GYNs should expect to be assaulted because their work day consists of touching dicks and vaginas.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: I’m not making fun of him for being fat and old, I’m making fun of him because his persona (despite the tongue kiss with Tipper in 2000) is that of an uptight stick-up-his-ass type of dude, so the thought of him engaged in those actions are beyond brain-hurting.

ADD: Plus, karaoke with “Mr. President”? That just makes me cringe.

@SanFranLefty: And that’s why RML decided not to pursue medicine as a career.

ADD: I guess the second quarter for FEC reporting ends today, hence the calls from the congressional types to my partners. No calls yet to the nickle and dime donors like mice elf.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: It’s not the fat and old part that skeeves me out–hell, I’m fat and old. It’s the total and complete abdication of any personal dignity or decency whatsoever by some one I once admired, a Nobel laureate for Chrissakes. For me, it’s like thinking of your parents doing it–it’s gross not because they’re old and ugly but because they’re your parents. I mean, ewww.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: No double-standard here. Al’s the alleged perp, and the thought of him involved in a sex scand—

Fuck. Who took my mind bleach?

@redmanlaw: You were afraid of becoming a sexual commodity if you were a doctor? ;-P
@Mistress Cynica: Jinx.

@SanFranLefty: Triple-jinx, I fear. Is that a first?

@nojo: You and I were beat by Cynica by one minute, does three in three minutes count as a triple-jinx?

@SanFranLefty: Calling Doctor Love.

I was there for the DNC tongue action, btw, yelling “get a room!” from the floor at the Staples Center. Son of RML never heard the story of how I watched RATM from the scaffolding in back of the band during the convention until a couple of days ago. Missed Hillary’s keynote for it.


Eh, when you bring up brain bleach it’s shorthand for somebody being an uggo, Lefty. To argue otherwise is a little disingenuous, don’t you think?

@SanFranLefty: Since you both slipped in while I was trying to think of a mind-bleach gag, yes.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: I’m responsible for bringing it up, and it’s not because Al’s uggo, it’s because Al is Al. Fine point, perhaps, but Gandolfini’s weight didn’t stop him from portraying Tony Soprano as a libidinous monster.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: Why the double standard? Because those are just the rules, thats why.

Personally, I think her blue contacts are lovely, and her hair is a beautiful shade, as well, I think thats called “duracell no. 23.”

I don’t think anyone here thinks rapists are motivated by aesthetics, myself, and I wouldn’t try to pre-emptively warn you all not to say so, because, well, that would be kinda insulting, and condescending, and kinda self-congratulatory, and also, bossy.

@Promnight: As long as the chicken consents, I don’t think it’s anyone’s business.

@Promnight: I wasn’t trying to be bossy, self-congratulatory, insulting, or condescending, Prom. I was trying to create one spot for me on the Tubez where I could go without seeing a tsunami of snarking on the woman, and comments like the ones Cynica alluded to that say that somehow by being a licensed massage therapist you are asking to be sexually assaulted. I thought that safe space might be here.

@nojo: Thats good. Cheers to you sir.

Its a shame there won’t be any non-exploitative, non-objectifying, totally different from cheesecake soccer beefcake posts until the second. I was enjoying those in such a “not judging on looks” way.

You felt you had to “create” a safe place? Because it would not have been without the warning?

Thats called trying to control, you were trying to control what others said to comport with what you want to hear. Calling it a yearning for a safe place, so as to invoke an emotional appeal to pity for your beleaguered and persecuted condition as a downtrodden woman, doesn’t change it.

I thought this was a “safe” place too, safe from groupthink and expectations to conform to ideological positions.

You know, if she had gleefully consented to his advances, and this was the story of an affair, I would have exactly the same reaction seeing her, which is, “Ughhh, what the hell was he thinking.” So, the fact that she clearly did not welcome his advances, and that they may have been so persistent as to constitute assault, produces the same reaction, well, what the fuck does that prove? How did we react to Rielle Hunter? But certainly, no serious person is going to believe that her looks have any bearing on her credibility, or that they have any bearing on whether he made the advances she claims.

@Promnight: The difference is that soccer pix are not about a person bringing allegations of sexual misconduct by another.

‘Bout time for a Women of the IDF post, innit?

@Promnight: I would have exactly the same reaction seeing her

Here’s the thing: I have absolutely no reaction seeing her, and if the subject wasn’t brought up, I would never have thought about it.

There were two, and only two, things I noticed about the Enquirer image:

1. Lockbox Al Gore as “sexual predator”.

2. “Her Stained Pants”.

In fact, without the latter, no gag, and no sale. It wasn’t just the text and the box. It was the text, the box, and the arrow.

Ooh, this is my fault.

Prom, maybe there’s a sensitivity around the issue that Lefty was pointing out? Maybe it’s not so much about group-think or condescension as it is about her irritation at the other sites.

Lefty, it is a little off-putting for you to automatically assume that we would go right for the “she’s older so it didn’t happen”, thing. Can you see why it would be? I’ll admit I would have gone for the cheap shot, but not because I espouse that viewpoint. And I know you don’t automatically assume the worst of me, but maybe a direct address rant would lead me to believe that, perhaps.

We all can say whatever the fuck we want, however we want to say it, is one rule. The other is we respect each other and talk it out when toes get stepped on, right? Still friends, right?

That’s how I see it anyways….

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg:
To answer your three questions directed at me:
Yes I do,
yes I hope I wasn’t being disrespectful and I apologize if my first post was disrespectful, and

To respond to one of your comments that didn’t have a question mark: however you want to say it, I’d respond:
Within reason. Personal attacks are unnecessary and uncalled for.

@nojo: You’d think that by now we’d have seen an old-timey spoof “Dr. Clinton’s Demrat Stain Remover” complete with one or two Smith Bros.-looking guys on the box.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: the “she’s older so it didn’t happen”, thing

Quite honestly, that take seems out of the blue to me, and I’m surprised folks are running with it elsewhere. It never, ever, would have crossed my mind.

Really. Scout-Avoider’s Honor. It takes a gallon of bleach just to contemplate Al “I’m the model for Love Story” Gore in the act.

Back to the case at hand, my question is: what exactly did she say to the cops that got them to *refuse* to take said “stained pants” as evidence? I mean, I’d assume that a typical city desk gets its fair share of bizarros showing up with all sorts of “evidence”, and I’d have assumed that the policy was to take a report and not argue – sure, it’s extremely unlikely that this empty soda can is proof of the Illuminati attempting to control Bubba’s mind, but would *you* really feel like trying to defuse that kind of crazy?


All good, no harm, really, so no foul. Hope I didn’t step on you, either. Sorry if I did.


Maximizing shareholder value FTW! As for the rest of us, well, we’re pretty fucked.

I’m sure Rand Paul and friends will be glad to tell us how deliberately poisoning the ocean in order to reduce the fines is a great thing to do.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: I was thinking about you when I picked the pictures of Wentworth.

ADD: Same with Amaury Nolasco

I’ve had plenty of pro massages. My current favorite masseuse is built like Dick Butkus. I could care less what they look like.

@IanJ: Male massage therapists (with the exception of one guy who was too hippy-dippy) worry me. It takes me longer to relax; besides, they rarely use as much strength as the ladies.

@SanFranLefty: Oh my stars, there was tongue in that kiss?! I guess I never looked that far up. I was too busy looking at Tipper’s body language, especially her hand on his forearm, that screamed DO. NOT. WANT. Was that just me?

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: This guy is pretty good — he uses the pressure when necessary, and it’s really nice (as I’m a fairly large guy myself) to have someone who has the sheer bulk necessary to bear down. He’s a Rolfer (no relaxing massage for me), and is quite in tune with what needs to be done.

I am such a wuss when it comes to massages. I want to fall asleep, not suppress screams. Scrubs and wraps, well, I think they’re pretty woo, but I like ’em. I’ve had one male massage therapist — did the hot stone thing on me. Best massage of my life.

Is it bodysnarking to note that I want to take her to a nice salon and pay for a deep conditioning to what is otherwise a lovely head of natural(ish) red hair?

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I think joints like the Enquirer try to make people look the least attractive as possible in order for us to have some sort of visceral reaction. They probably did her hair and makeup.

ADD: I’m not body snarking — just saying there’s money in it for them if the other man/woman looks something other than a prim and proper person or other than a supermodel.

@JNOV: Since nothing the Enquirer does is by chance, I think you’re right — if not in detail, at least in approach. She’s neither Madonna or Whore, but she’s there to illustrate something.

@nojo: Yeah. And I should have said “least-flattering light” rather than “least attractive possible.” Beauty is in the eye…

@redmanlaw: Thanks, dude. Yeah. A few days ago kid got sick, his friend got sick, my dad got sick, and I was like, “Woo-hoo! I dodged this one!” Pfft. Yesterday I was like, “Boy, my voice is harsh. Need to stop smoking.” Now I sound like Froggy.

And so much for today’s meet up with whatever I was calling Guitar Dude. I called him earlier and I was like, “Please believe me; I’m not dodging you.” If I get him sick, there goes his income for a week. We need that for beer and guitar strings.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: The hair makes me think Randi Rhodes/Stephanie Miller/Kathy Griffin, and not in a good way.

Speaking of which, anyone catch her show “Freezing My A-List Off” with Levi Johnson about a joint book tour of Alaska? It was OK. Beat “Bible Battles” for background TV while working last night until “Stealth” came on. Missed the last half hour. Do they pull that pilot out of North Korea, and that was Kevin Spacey as the voice of the talking plane, right?

@redmanlaw: The hair makes me think: hard-working person.

@redmanlaw: Spacey has an alternate career as robot voices?

@nojo: IMDB says he was the computer voice in “Moon”, an underground Stinque fave.

Guess I’ll call it a day and head over to the fly shop for a new reel. I got three fishing days coming up this long weekend.

@redmanlaw: Right. I guess my point is that as much as I love to have my wig did, I can’t afford it; I haven’t had a trim in 2 years? Something like that. Places like Supercuts or whatever can’t deal with this mixed-race mane. Luckily you can’t really tell how crazy uneven it is because it’s got a wave to it, but if it were straight, I’d be looking really unkempt. And no one will henna it for me (I don’t do regular dye), so I do that myself. I wish I’d never started, because I’d have one awesome gray streak on my right temple. If I were to stop hennaing it, I’d have to get it all cut off, and growing it out is a nightmare.

I write all that to say that sometimes things are more complicated than they seem. I’m considering letting Downstairs Dude take me to his guy because they’re from Morocco, and he has hair like mine, oh, and he’ll charge me $20. It’s hard to tame the beast.

ADD: I’d totally be Rogue.

@JNOV: I have not cut my hair since about 1991. My ponytail goes down to my belt when I take it out of the chongo.

@redmanlaw: That’s fine. Mine is more than halfway down my back, and I’d rather it be near my shoulders. It’s hot. It’s thick. I’ve got enough hairs per inch for three people (no exaggeration) now that it isn’t falling out anymore due to stress or (possibly) a bad drug reaction.

When I had the money to get it done, I got it done. When I started contract work, I stopped having the money to get it done, and I’m very self-conscious about it. I have sympathy for people who have bad hair days, no hair days or lack the money to have sleek hair days.

@JNOV: Which reminds me, Chris Rock’s “Good Hair” is an interesting documentary. Did you know “hair relaxers” can melt a Coke can?

Massage therapists must learn to deal with the occasional stiffy. I think perhaps she freaked over an inconvenient woody.

@nojo: I couldn’t even bring myself to go see it, and I won free tickets to a pre-screen. Jr gets his locks done by the same people who do Jill Scott’s hair — I won the tix through them. But I swear to Chakra Khan™, every time I go into that shop, I feel self-conscious. I’ve grown up with that “good/bad/pretty hair” monkey on my back, and it’s still there. My grandmother used to straighten my cousins’ hair with a hot comb: grease up clean, dry hair, put comb over gas range, run through (burn up) hair, burn ears and neck, cheek, whatever.

I used to wish I could have my hair straightened, and my cousins used to threaten to cut my hair in my sleep. It didn’t help that my mother wouldn’t allow me to have it cut until I was ten. Ugh.

And we talked about Skool Daze before, yes? I didn’t want to leave Rock’s movie feeling the same shame I felt leaving Lee’s.

ADD: Did you read Malcom X’s pseudo-autobiography? He talks about putting lye on his head. Ugh. I also recommend Jessie Redmond Fauset’s Plum Bun.

@JNOV: I don’t get the Skool Daze vibe of stories told out of class. And besides, Sharpton steals the show.

ADD: No, haven’t read Haley’s work. (If I recall — no Google-cheating.) Almost everything I know about Malcolm I learned from Denzel gliding down the sidewalk.

@texrednface: A stiffy is one thing. A demand is another. I don’t know which it was.

@nojo: Ugh. Sharpton. Ugh.

There’s a musical number in Skool Daze called “Good and Bad Hair.” (I’ll find it if you’re interested — the language is in your face.) It’s the light-skinned AAs vs. the darker-skinned AAs. The whole movie explores stuff like the AKA’s (first? A-A sorority) old brown-paper-bag test. When I was in college (the first time), I was told to join the AKAs because of my skin tone. I wanted to be a Delta. Now I’m glad I skipped the whole Greek scene. Anyway, the racism within the A-A community is probably as destructive as the racism directed at the A-A community from outside forces. I don’t think Obama would have been elected had his dad not been off the boat.

People were pissed that Spike Lee was airing our dirty laundry. I’m sure the same went for Rock.

@nojo: That’s a GREAT scene! Back before he was incarcerated, he ran around in zoot suits and had a conk — think that’s what it was called. He describes the process and how utterly absurd it was for him to have it done.

Okay, the video quality is teh suck “Good and Bad Hair.” Lot’s of racial epithets.

ADD: Oh, and unconventionally beautiful healthy woman front and center in the dance scene.

ADD: “Kitchen” as in “Cooties in your kitchen” is what you tell someone whose perm needs a touch-up and the new growth of natural hair is showing at the base of their neck.

Supposedly she has been a massage therapist for ten years before the incident.Surely she sets boundaries with clients before the massage begins. From what I understand most professionals require male clients to keep underwear on and be draped especially in the setting they were in. I wonder if this is the only encounter of this kind with a client in a hotel room she has had.
Are we expected to believe “her stained pants” have been sitting in a plastic evidence bag in her possession for four years?

@texrednface: Is she credible? The court/DA/grand jury (sorry — not really following this) didn’t think so or it’s shielding him. Do the pants in a bag look stupid and planted? Absolutely. Could Gore have asked for her to perform a sexual act? Yes, but I don’t know. Could she use the money the Enquirer paid her? Probably. Is this a smear campaign? Smells a little off, but I don’t know. Like most things in life, this issue/incident/whatever is much more complicated than it seems, and the only people who know what happened are the two involved.

I tend to avoid sex scandals just because I can’t know — I wasn’t there. Sexual assault, however, is another matter. I also make an exception for politicians and other public figures who openly pry into and fuck with others’ private lives out of expediency, religious bigotry or self-hatred. As long as the participants are of legal age and consenting, I don’t care who puts what where and in what position.

@redmanlaw: I saw it. Johnston was a good sport. Kid can laugh at himself and others; I’m becoming a fan. I got the impression that he and his manager friend Tank are the only straights in Wasilla who have a sense of humor.

@JNOV: I was just thinking about the autobiography today, and remember him talking about doing his hair with lye.

@all: is it too obvious to wonder if this is what they meant about AlGore along when they called him “stiff” and “wooden”?

@add: I have had more than my share of nonsexual massages, and I think the world of the pros who give them. Is it a sensual experience in the proper sense of that word? Absolutely, but I wouldn’t for the life of me expect more than what is on the menu. The only male masseuse I had had rough hands, and yeah, he actually wasn’t as strong as the wmmn.

@texrednface: I can’t speak for her, but I know guys who insisted their women wash their clothes, sheets, etc. post-Lewinsky. That blue Gap dress had quite a cultural impact.

@Nabisco: What prompted that memory/thought?

@Nabisco: So many things are sensual without being sexual. When I was an x-ray tech, I had to position people — help them arrange whatever body part needed to be filmed. Sometimes it meant feeling for certain landmarks like the iliac crest (lateral top of the pelvis) or the great trochanter (straighten your leg, place your hand on your upper thigh near your pelvis, rotate your foot inward and outward and you’ll feel part of your femur) or moving their heads a certain a way or finding a vein or touching their spines, etc. It was a sensual experience simply because I was touching them. I cannot touch another person without touching them, without realizing they’re human, without feeling their warmth or coolness, smoothness or roughness. Stuff like that. Being an x-ray tech was also an emotional experience because I was usually causing additional pain to people who were already in extreme pain; folks never get pain meds before emergency x-rays. These people were ill, scared, dying.

I remember a patient who was 90+ years old and she’d probably broken her hip. Hip x-rays usually require the patient to lie supine and point their toes inward for one film, and they have to pull their foot toward their crotch (that’s a medical term) and let their knee fall laterally (“frog leg”) for the other film. If you have a severely broken hip, you can’t do either. Just getting her from the gurney to the table as gently as possible was painful for me let alone for her. And her son, a retired Navy captain — he was holding back tears. If you’ve got pretty decent spacial skills and some understanding of geometry, you can get close approximations of the shots the radiologists need when a patient can’t hold a position, and sometimes making them take a certain position can make the injury worse. I got the films and told the radiologist this was the best I could do with some creative camera work. They usually trusted me if I said I couldn’t do better, because radiologists will send you back in there to repeat films if they’re unreadable forever and ever amen. Meh.

So, yes. There are many sensual experiences that have nothing to do with sex. There are probably more sensual experiences in the world that have absolutely nothing to do with sex than those that do. And then there are those surprises. Those are nice.

Breaking hard, from the Rose City:

(CNN) — Police in Portland, Oregon, say they have reopened their investigation into a massage therapist’s allegation that former Vice President Al Gore had “unwanted sexual contact” with her in 2006, a police spokeswoman said Wednesday.

“The Portland Police Bureau has made the decision to reopen the case regarding the allegations brought forward against Mr. Al Gore,” Detective Mary Wheat said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon. “Consistent with our policy regarding open investigations, the Police Bureau will not be commenting on any additional specifics regarding this case at this time.”

And The Hitch has esophageal cancer. Yes, I chose the NPR link on poipose.

I always have mixed feelings about hearing the news that famous people are ill or have died. Not so be callous or mean, but this is the fate that will befall us all. Not necessarily in the same fashion, but every nanosecond someone dies. Sometimes they suffer, fight, abide, lose hope; sometimes it’s quick, painless, a relief, a release.

I’m sorry to hear that he’s ill, and yes, esophageal cancer is a nasty one to have, but I’m conflicted about this news. Does fame or infamy for whatever reason mean that this person’s life is worth more or less than any other life? I’m not sure what I’m trying to express — maybe an ambivalence about the cult of personality. ::shrugs::

Yes, this is news.

@JNOV: I think news of the rich and famous being ill is a reminder of one’s own mortality and of Death, the great equalizer. Sorry to hear this–I wouldn’t wish esophageal cancer one anyone.

Well OK, maybe Dick Cheney.

@Dodgerblue: Someone like Al should be smarter not to ever be alone in a room with a woman who is not his wife.

It’s just stupid.

There is nothing that could prevent, say, a message therapist from pre-emptively blowing him in a weak moment, run down the hallway, spit into a towel and claim he or she was forced to do it by Al.

Or telling him that is what is going to happen (once the spooge has been emitted) if Al doesn’t fork over a million or two and blackmail him.

@Mistress Cynica: Yes.

@FlyingChainSaw: What did he do with the Nobel money? Didn’t that Nobel guy invent dynamite? (Yes, I watch House.)

@JNOV: total stream of consciosness led me to Malcom X: I’m on a quest to find the right hat on this trip to replace the ballcap that screams Amurrican. Porkpie is out because of the Stinque Seal of Disapproval (not to mention how dorky I look in them), and the floppy beach hats are, well, floppy and equally dorky. I thought ‘what about a mooslim skullcap?” then I thought “would I be Nabisco X or Nabisco Ali?” then I thought about Malcom’s transition from shoeshine boy to conked zootsuiter and realized I could just apply extra sunscreen to my “forehead”.

So yesterday I decided that what I need is a cane to complete my Eurotrash makeover, fuck the hat.

On topic: would the AlGores have announced their separation before this came to light if it – or something worse – weren’t true? I don’t feel bad for Tipper only because of her leadership of the whole PMRC thing. I remember fondly how Frank Zappa made her and her gang of bullies/puritans look foolish. Maybe it was Al all alon who was grooving to Prince’s breathless sexy?

@Nabisco: Thank you for calling out Tipper!

Dude – you might speak the lang, but to think everything else about you doesn’t scream US citizen is a fantasy. Wear the ball cap as long as it’s not one of those trucker deals. There’s no excuse for them. The last thing you need is melanoma. Guess you don’t have sunglasses either. Don’t forget sunscreen on the tops of your feet. Enjoy the sun and listen to this.

ADD: Seriously? You bought a cane? SMH

@JNOV (how comes stinque mobile doesn’t allow for linqued comments?): I’ve worn the cap. Reluctantly. And last night the 19 yo daughter of an old friend who has settled here specifically mentioned the baseball cap as the Mark of the Beast in re turistas. Melanoma? Shit, I’m just giving my dermatologist more to look at during my annual skin crawl. If I ever get a tat it will be to cover the two inch scar on my upper arm where she cut out something gnarly.

Looks like dude been taking his vitamin E. Unusual at his age to have that kind of range. Or loft. And don’t get me started on volume. Did somebody check the drapes?

Recently on TFLN: Its as if he has to do the exact opposite of what I tell him. Don’t come in my eye, pfshh it’s in my eye. Don’t come on the cat, pfshh it’s on the cat.

@Nabisco: Hats are tough to pull off if one doesn’t wear them all the time. What about a nice woven straw number? Or the New England grandpa high crowned round khaki thing (Fonda in On Golden Pond) worn ironically. I have one for the garden and it works well. I just steer clear of mirrors. Personally I hate baseball caps. Every place I work gives me one with their logo emblazoned on it. I take them home and piss on them. Love a cane. Love them! But I can’t be let near one without prancing about and twirling the damn thing. I can barely walk like a human while holding an umbrella. I start swinging it up and down and calling people “My good man.”

@Nabisco: Okay. So you’d rather risk a melanoma on the word of a 19 year old?

@Benedick: You are delightful!

@Nabisco: Oh, tats! Gah! Can’t find a picture.

I saw a picture of a woman standing topless on a hilltop or field, somewhere outside, kind of Maxfield Parrish like. She had had a mastectomy without reconstructive surgery. Instead she has a vine (of life?) tatttooed on her mastectomy scar. Her arms are thrown up over her head, her back is arched, and she looks joyous. So happy to be alive.

@JNOV: You wouldn’t say that if you saw me walking with a cane.

@Benedick: Oh, I’d hug you so hard, you’d squeal!

@Nabisco: Sorry, Bro, but you’ve got tourist written alllllll over you no matter what you do to try to appear to be a local. You’re tall. Maybe you’d fit in with the Maasai. Er, no. Now you have an inkling of what it feels like for brown people who live in the United States. I know that you’re sensitive to that predicament, but how you feel in a ball cap and sneakers in Spain is how I feel walking down the street almost everyday. It’s usually background noise now, but I feel like that Sesame Street song was written for me: one of these things is not like the other, I’m one of those things that doesn’t belong…and I was born here.

If Egypt’s air quality weren’t so damned bad, I would have moved there in a heartbeat. Everywhere I turned, people looked like me or like my family, and they treated me the same. I even learned how to say, “I’m not a stupid tourist; I’m an Egyptian,” and then I’d switch to English “but I grew up in the United States.” One look at me and they could smell the potential rip off or green card, but there was some sort of evolutionary vibe or something that I couldn’t quite put my mental finger on, but it was emotionally palpable.

They wanted me to be Egyptian for some reason. “Oh, your father’s Egyptian!” “No, he’s not.” “Yes! Yes! Someone is!” “No, not me.” I finally gave up when I realized I could pay half price for EVERYTHING, and I wanted to be part of their group. Nobody even flinched when I told them I was part Jewish (I just threw that out to see how they’d respond).

I’m not a huge Alice Walker fan, but in The Color Purple (AKA The Colored People in ghetto rat land), a character writes what it felt like to visit Africa for the first time — she felt like something inside her immediately resonated with the landscape — a large bell or a gong or the heartbeat of the Earth or something. She felt home.

Meh. These are merely the ramblings of a person with a head cold, and I feel silly giving you travel advice, but that hasn’t stopped me yet. I say quit trying to not be a tourist and realize that you are one. Be one with the tourist, and then maybe strangers will invite you to dinner in their homes, take you to their date fields where you can sit and eat dates off the tree on the bank of the Nile. Shoot, a Bedouin might even slaughter one of their six chickens for you for dinner and you can eat it from their gov’t-forced settlement with a view of Saqqara and the desert they used to call home. It was the toughest bird ever, and the greatest honor as well. Yeah, no Bedouins in Spain, but you get what I’m saying.

@JNOV: but she was a spectacularly healthy 19 yo, in Chainsaw palance.

I did /not/ buy a cane, just toyed with the idea. I’d want one with a flask hidden inside. Oh and, hello absinthe!

@Nabisco: Ah, now we get to the meat of the issue. Or at least we get you to admit to the meat of the issue…

Buy the lime shoes.

@JNOV: Overheard in the grocery store this morning: “So it was a Mormon gym?”

Would have stopped you in your tracks. Two stocker guys.

@JNOV: ETA: I also feel home at the Stanford Powwow, in North Dakota, in New Mexico, in parts of SoCal. I was remiss in not saying that there are pockets of the US where I feel like I’m home. Those pockets are few and far between.


@redmanlaw: So better to hide the Garmie Smile, My Dear. Changing in the locker room means no fear of exposing the magic undies to the uninitiated. Jr’s friend was like, “If they have magic underwear, shouldn’t they be out fighting crime and shit?”

@redmanlaw: Are mishies still out harassing the Diné?

@JNOV: Not really, but there are a significant number of Christian Navajos who are doing fucked up shit like enacting legislation with restrictive definitions of marriage, whereas trad Nav culture was way “live and let live” if not opening embracing of The Gay Way.

@redmanlaw: Have you been to The Gathering of Nations? Should that be my next trip if I’m ever in a position to take one?

ADD: Got my shawl in a safe place. Hand-made by my NuMuNu bestie.

@redmanlaw: Was it the “Nav Divorce” where the wife threw all her husband’s shit out the door?

@JNOV: I don’t go to the Gathering, but I’m not that big on pow wows. You should actually check out one of the Pueblo feast day dances such as a Corn Dance, Buffalo Dance, Deer Dance, the Matachine Dance which is influenced by the Spanish, or attend the Geronimo Feast Day up at the ancestral homeland on Sept 30 to see a multi-cultural gathering and harvest fest that will blow your mind. The Navajo Yei-bi-chi dances for a hearing ceremony are pretty awe inspiring also. I do the Buffalo Dance on Jan 6 back home, wearing a buffalo head, a kilt and boots. Sometimes we go down to the Deer Dance on Christmas Day as buffalo. The guys in the Deer Dance wear skins of fresh killed animals. You really don’t think about being cold, although the guys who do the Turtle Dance at dawn on Jan 1 have got to be pretty chilly. My brother

My brother is marrying a traditional Hopi woman this year, so that means that we’ll get invited to the Snake Dance next year. Something I’ve always wanted to see

@JNOV: That’s it.

@redmanlaw: OMG! Hopi and Diné living in harmony? Huzzah!

Yeah, I’d never been to one until at Stanford, so it was a new experience for me, and I got snagged at the powwow by a Yaqui. Sweet.

I’d also like to see the Sun Dance, have no desire for a sweat, would *love* the Geronimo Feast Day. Yes, off the beaten path would be nice, but I get to buy beads at the powwow. Yup, got into the beading big time for awhile. I’m thinking about making my own loom and taking it up again before my eyesight gives out.

@redmanlaw: Oh, I either missed stuff or you added? Stupid question — the buffalo head smells like…? I’d love to see you dance.

@JNOV: No smell on the buffalo head. it’s cleaned and dried. We’ve been using them for years. The deer and elk skins the other guys wear are still fresh and smell that way. Fortunately the dance is held in the winter.

@JNOV: My brother does not identify with or acknowledge our Navajo side as much as I do, so it’s a Pueblo union.

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