Naked Mole Rats

I have a teenage daughter. She’s 16 to be exact. She is a lot like me in many ways: she’s fucking hilarious, she’s more empathetic than the average person, she’s smart but finds school a better social than educational environment, and she cries when she is overtired. And she has her own sense of style and fuck you if you don’t like it attitude….Where we are different is the idea that certain natural body features need to be obliterated in order to be attractive.

I’m talking about body hair. I don’t get it. I understand the Victoria’s Secret Angels (which is a totally ‘nother rant for another time,) competition body builders, and swimmers annihilating every hair follicle on their body, although I still wonder if Michael Phelps’ leg hair would have changed anything. But is arm hair really that repulsive? I occasionally paint my toenails, usually around the time all the color from the last 5 -minute -boredom -killer pedicure wears off. Apparently I have 3 toe hairs that my daughter had pronounced “revolting,” and I am supposed to be shaving my toes…

Which leads to the rest of my gorilla suit-like skin. I pretty much shave randomly, in random places. I am currently trying waxing …. And it is less than pleasant… But I have also found I can use the “I’m growing it out to waxing length” as a legit excuse for the truth- I’m too lazy and I really don’t care enough to worry about depilation. Maybe watching “Desperately Seeking Susan” too many times influenced my follicular apathy. Maybe I was married too long and just stopped caring. Maybe my experience with the most torturous device ever invented- The Epilady- at age 14 scarred me for life. Or maybe I’m still just a rebel, fighting “the man” and what industry tells me I should be… Ya, let’s go with that one…
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Coffee Couture

I am sitting in Starbucks, drinking overpriced coffee, using their wifi because mine is disconnected at home. Does this make me BoHo because I’m wearing clogs and a peasant blouse and ordered the trendy Flat White? Or, because I’m middle aged and not wearing make up, am I pathetic and infringing on the territory of the upwardly mobile & credit card rich? At least I’m not at one of the “coffee houses” where they have open mic nights, and tables painted like chess boards, and regulars, who wave each other over every time the door opens & have their own ironic mugs on an antique book case.

The Starbucks wall is painted with a world map outlining coffee growing regions. I have decided I am not sufficiently pretentious enough to appreciate this, mainly because the descriptions of the coffees are like reading the meringue flavors at a pricey gourmet shop. “Sparkling with citrus and bright acidity….” Hunh? I have never noticed the citrus flavor in my latte. “Elegant and refined with layers of unfolding flavor-lemon, chocolate and soft spice” Fuck, my wedding cake wasn’t even described as well. (Then again, my wedding wasn’t very fancy; it involved a keg and my grandfather in a bathing suit at the reception. It also ended more truck stop coffee than Frappacino- finished the cup, realized it wasn’t that great, put a dollar on the counter, and waved goodbye, drawling “kiss my grits” on the way out.)

Ok, ok, ok… I fess up. I like Starbucks coffe. And besides I had a gift card leftover from Chrismas….

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Queen Victoria’s Cramps and the History of Medicinal Marijuana in Europe

Longreads

Documents espousing marijuana’s medical benefits first appeared in 2900 B.C. in China, but medicinal cannabis in Europe is indebted to one over-achieving Irishman. Born in 1809, Dr. William Brooke O’Shaughnessy invented the modern treatment for cholera, laid the first telegraph system in Asia, contributed inventions in underwater engineering, and effectively pioneered the use of medical cannabis in Europe. Inspired by the use of cannabis in Ayurvedic and Persian medicine, O’Shaughnessy conducted the first clinical trials of marijuana, treating rheumatism, hydrophobia, cholera, tetanus, and convulsions.

Influenced by O’Shaughnessy, Sir J. Russell Reynolds prescribed cannabis to relieve Queen Victoria’s menstrual cramps. “When pure and administered carefully, [cannabis] is one of the most valuable medicines we possess,” he wrote in 1890. But the widespread use of the syringe a few years later, which allowed drugs to dissolve quickly into a patient’s blood stream, ended medical marijuana’s popularity in Europe.

Following an international drugs conference…

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Not Where I Was Supposed to Be When I Got Here

I had big plans- I got accepted to New School so I was going to move to NYC. Write the next Great American Novel. Buy a old warehouse and convert it into my shabby, chic junque, oh-so-very-retro-modern home with a farmhouse sink, claw foot tub, recessed lighting, stripper pole, and round bed with a mirror over it for shits and giggles… I would be invited to art house openings, MTV unplugged, wine tastings, and exclusive book readings. I’d show up wearing a gauzy peasant dress, combat boots, messy hair and a pierced lip (which was pretty wild in the early 90’s.) And I’d have cats, lots of floppy, aloof, well-mannered cats.

Ya, that didn’t exactly go as planned. Robert Frost can kiss my ass, “Not on the left, not on the right, but right down the middle!” Road less traveled, is there such a thing? It’s all on Google Maps now anyways…

So much for being some mysterious , enigmatic female version of Californication. Now I’m just middle: middle class, middle weight, middle America, middle aged… Lost in the aisles of walmart, hunched over my cart, contemplating solid or gel deodorants, doing coupon math. One of those pathetic cliches who lays in bed at night, hoping the mortgage check doesn’t bounce, wondering how to manage to pay for all the teenage paraphernalia and rights of passage, and wondering where & when I left that gutsy, punky, fuck you bitch I was the summer of ’89…

But I do have 4 cats….