Month: January 2016

PTSD of Snow

Everything on mute.

Everything on mute.

It’s well documented that I hate winter but really, it’s just the cold.  I never minded the snow, always figured if we had to have sub freezing temperatures, might as well have the beauty and quiet that comes with snowfall.  There’s always something a little magical about snow, not to mention the throwback to being a kid, hoping for a snow day.  And let’s be honest, if you live in the city, it’s likely you skip the bad part of snow–shoveling.  (Unless you have a car and park on the street, in which case you’re screwed.) Sure if you have a brownstone the steps and path need to be shoveled, but it seems like most hire that work out.  It has to be a LOT of snow to interfere with public transportation or cause any real inconvenience.  Say, for example, 26.8 inches, like we saw yesterday.  Even with that, we were warned well in advance (though we didn’t expect as much as we got, it isn’t like we were expecting a dusting), and it was a Saturday, no school anyway and many people off from work.

Look what we get in exchange, clean and lovely scenery, cool ice patterns, etc.

IMG_7146 IMG_7235

All good, right?  Biggest concern dodging the icicles and avalanches of snow sliding off the rooftops in the days after the storm, as they melt just enough to slide off and hit the ground–or the nearest head.  Except not anymore.  Every step on the snow, every glimpse of an ice patch…makes me think of the ice patches I won’t see, how hard those snow piles are after sitting on the curb for a couple of days–or weeks–and flash back to my face hitting the ice last spring, when I fractured my everything.  Ridiculous.  I’m not young, but I should be too young to be literally worried about busting a hip.  Should be.

Maybe I should just stay in and write.  Winter has traditionally been my most productive time in terms of fiction.  I think it’s the excessive heat pumping through the radiators, puts me in just the right stupor to lose myself in my imagination.  Except.  Recently every time I open the damned file intending to do more than read the few pages I’ve got, I flash on the mountain of rejection letters I’ve accumulated over the years for various projects.  Dear Fringie, Intriguing story, great characters, thanks so much but no thanks and good luck. 

Maybe I’ll just kick back on the couch and watch Netflix with Art Child.  Mmm hmm.  Remember the avalanches I mentioned?  Sometimes they happen and you hear them during the storms, from winds blowing and drifts settling.  They make quite the sound on impact, and mostly it’s just background noise, though sometimes it can be startling, depending on the size of the chunk of snow, and how far it has to fall. A few years back Art Child and I were home during a storm, and there was a particularly loud snow-muffled thud.  It wasn’t snow.  Someone jumped from the roof.  Despite all the years and storms where those thumps were just snow and ice, now I jump.

Nervous staying in, nervous going out.  I took the girl and the camera and went to the park this morning.  I’m too damned old to be scared of boogeymen, especially when they’re decked out like Frosty.

Click on the photos if you’d like to see them full-size. Happy Blizzard, Fringelings!


Daily Assault: Booby Prize Edition


A surprise double yolk for this morning’s pancakes.  Because I’m immature, this made me think of cleavage.  *insert snicker here*  Because I’m an adult, what it did not do was make me want to reach out and grab the yolks with my bare hands to give a little squish.

I remember being little and admiring my grandmother’s cleavage.  It seemed so powerfully adult, that hint of simultaneous swell and wrinkles.  Of course, I also admired the way she could take her teeth out and clean them in a separate glass, her lifetime bus pass, and the way she could cup her hand and use her palm as an ashtray.  She had her own ideas about men and women, which she shared through lectures equally generous and cryptic.  As far as I could tell they boiled down to men were not to be trusted (outside of progeny–in which case, they should be lionized), marriage was a necessary evil–so be sure to marry rich, and fergawdssake don’t have too many babies.  She was what used to be called a tough cookie, and I wanted nothing more than to grow up to be her.

I’m a blabber-fingers left-leaning blogger, which means I indulge in the not so occasional political rant.  I don’t address every injustice I see or read about (impossible), or even every big story, because I’m exhausted and frequently too damned disheartened.   Is there such a thing as blogging battle fatigue?  Do I have the right to feel it when I don’t address all?  Yesterday I came across this story.  A few days late, because I’ve been busy rattling my pots and pans, sticking to the kitchen–barefoot, naturally.  I considered blogging when I first saw it, but what could I possibly say?  So I posted the link on my personal Facebook page, thinking I would just spread a bit of awareness amongst my three friends and that would be that. One friend replied with a statement about Republican men, and another friend replied to the first about the unfairness of the blanket statement.  Fair enough, and it made me think.  Not only because it is unfair to categorize ALL Republican men, but because it implies male Democrats are ALL more enlightened.  Would that it were so.  I woke up still thinking, and decided I couldn’t let this incident pass without comment here on Mrs Fringe.  Because I’m a woman.  And as a woman, I say without hesitation that this is bullshit.

The gist of the story:  State Rep (NH) Amanda Bouldin (woman) wrote a statement opposing a proposal made by State Rep Josh Moore (man).  The proposal is for it to be a misdemeanor for women to expose their nipples in public. Bouldin disagreed in a statement on her Facebook page, saying the bill should *at least* exempt breastfeeding mothers.  The proposed bill actually does exempt breastfeeding mothers, but that isn’t the problem.  The issue is Moore’s response (written on Facebook, later deleted–when will people learn there are no take-backs on the internet?  Your Words ❤ The Internetz R 4eVER), where he wrote that Bouldin (and women in general, I guess) should have no problem with a man’s natural response to stare and grab when a woman exposes her nipples in public while breastfeeding.  This all devolved in true internet fashion into comments from other men as to whose nipples they would/would not want to see.

I’m sure Moore thought he was being clever, perhaps even funny, a play on the “argument” that breastfeeding is natural.  Cause, yanno,  women’s breasts are really for and about men.  Not babies, and certainly not women.  This shouldn’t be an argument, a debate, or even an issue.  What he described is assault.  This isn’t a breastfeeding debate.  This is about women; our rights to control and make decisions over our own bodies, our right to be safe.  If his natural inclination is to assault every woman he sees, or at least every woman where he spies a bit of pink or brown skin, I am afraid for every woman he has ever or will ever come into contact with.  I feel sorry for him, and every man like him, who believes they not only have no control over themselves, but it’s the fault of evil-original-sin WIMMINZ, for having breasts.  And wombs. And vaginas.  And calves, thighs, hair, lips, and ankles.  No wonder we need men to tell us how to care for and hide our bodies.  *sarcasm*  More than fear and pity, I’m fed up.  This man was elected.   He represents far too many: right, left, or libertarian.


That he would even say this is an assault, a not-so-clever play at intimidation.  When someone wonders what is meant by the phrase “rape culture,” this is it.   This statement tells women we not only aren’t safe from unwanted stares, pinches, and grabs, we have no right to expect safety.  Regardless of age, race, religion, or socioeconomic class, I’m guessing at least 98% of women have experienced multiple moments of feeling unsafe, feeling and/or being assaulted by unwanted remarks, leers, hands, or full body grinds on a not-so-crowded bus or subway car.

As time goes on, I believe there are fewer men who think along these lines.  More men understand human rights, the need for equality in the social contract, fewer believe entitlement is a natural extension of dangly bits.  Not enough, though.

Women have fought for and won many advances.  In many countries we can vote, work outside the home (though not necessarily for equal pay), own property, hold political office, expose our ankles.  But we still can’t do any of these things with a reasonable expectation that we won’t be groped along the way.

I didn't grow up to be my grandma, but I am a tough cookie.

I didn’t grow up to be my grandma, but I am a tough cookie.

Falling Flat Like my Popovers: New Year’s Resolve

Guayaba-Manchego popover muffin things

Guayaba-Manchego popover muffin things

In my defense, they still taste delicious.  I’ve been working on this recipe, trying to figure out how to get them to hold their shape and not collapse.  They’re like a Caribbean flavored popover.  Honestly, I’ve never been able to get a regular popover to hold its dome either.  I’ve tried preheating the pans, pre-cooling the pans, increasing/decreasing salt, warming the milk–but not totally hot, I don’t understand how people do that without immediately cooking the eggs before the batter is mixed.  Nothing has made a difference.  One day I’ll find actual popover pans in one of the discount places and see if the shape make a difference.  I suspect it won’t.

Here we are, a new year.  Once again I considered making resolutions, but didn’t.  Funny, I don’t think I ever really considered making New Year’s resolutions until I began blogging.  Something about it makes me feel like I should be making grand-yet-attainable declarations of intent.  Hmmm. I’m still doing my yoga, albeit less frequently, with shortened sessions.  I could make a resolution to blog more regularly, but that would suck the joy out of blogging for me.  I’m perfectly content with my sporadic blogging non-schedule.  I could resolve to get back to fiction, open that file I started and work on it, but I’m still not sure I want to.  I’m a regular cranky old gal living a regular cranky old life.  I could resolve to be less cranky, but less cranky = less snarky, where’s the fun in that?

I know!  I resolve to figure out how to access and re-import the thousands of photographs that were on my laptop until three days ago, but are now trapped in this little silver rectangular thing that I’m told is an external hard drive.  For some bizarre reason, I’m supposed to be happy about this–my laptop is now faster than a speeding bullet! more powerful than a locomotive! able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! well, maybe not that last one.  Very nice and all, but I want my pictures back.

For now I offer this Gary Clark Jr video, because we all need great blues to ring in the new year.