Take me to church

I am an angry little mama bear tonight.  My little boy…My little boy, who I have been to the mill with on a number of occasions…. This is the kid with juvenile arthritis, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a sleep disorder and maybe, possibly a growth disorder.  Anyway, my little zebra(if you hear hooves, look for horses, unless the kid came out of me)  had a rough night last night, didn’t sleep well and seems to be coming down with something.  Added to that, he really wanted to play outside last night, which I could not make happen for love or money.  So, admittedly a parenting fail, I let him bring a soda and some candy to have with his lunch.  Anyway, his teacher had a problem with that and he had a total, crying melt down to the point that I needed to pick him up mid-day.

When I got there, they had staged an intervention, complete with a psychologist who thought it perfectly OK to discuss nitty gritty details in front of my ten year old and the principal.  This is a small town and I’m sure it’s good water cooler gossip that one of my kids suffers from mental illness.  Fuck you, btw, it’s not catching.  Also, more people would receive the help they need if people like you shut your pie holes.  Several years ago, I had a similar fight with a different teacher, who felt she knew better about one of my sons than I… My answer to her was that in  twenty years, if that little boy is sitting in prison, I will be devastated.  My life will revolve around it, and I will question every single choice I ever made.  You will say,  “Aww, he was such a cute little boy.”

Here in the fishbowl, tonight, I say to you… I am this kid’s parent.  You are another brick in the wall.  I’m entirely sure you mean well… but fuck you.  Please stick to your education and training, and let me parent my child.  I am the world’s leading expert on Tugga James.  It was me, and only me, that said bullshit to local doctors and drove him three hours to Shriners to get a correct diagnosis.  It was me who kept up a brave face until the cardiologist said, it’s not the heart condition EDS, at which point I broke down and sobbed…. It’s me who says, no. sweet boy, you can’t play football because a blow to the knee will cripple you.  Like my second son, if this one actually ends up with a mental illness, it will be me who deals with the fallout.  You, teacher, will go home to your husband, 2.5 kids and  housebroken dog.

Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.  Life isn’t as bad with a mental illness as you want to believe.  No, I didn’t cause it, so again, fuck you..  Genetics suck sometimes.  If you came from my loins, you are predisposed to suffer from anxiety and depression.   I am deeply and sincerely sorry to the small humans I created that this is a true story… but never for a second will I apologize that these people exist.  Who the fuck do you possibly think you are that you even consider that I owe you this?  Climb up on your high horse and hold on tight,  it’s a pretty sharp drop between the place you think you are and the rest of humanity.

Common Core…Seriously?? 

As anticipated, Dozer (AKA angry Republican boyfriend) did not especially enjoy my last missive.  I’m sure it was the conservative overlords comment.   He missed all the points about NOT discouraging higher education and cutting funding for enrichment programs that intellectually benefit our wee beasties.  He also jumped right over the idea that just maybe access to information is a good thing.  Additionally, I received feedback about teachers sharing opinions that are unpopular… except I don’t know who gets to decide what that is or who is the official censor.  Also, I don’t really want a censor, because those guys are usually pretty far into their religious beliefs or are very indoctrinated in government propaganda.  Please think of guys like Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong and ask yourself if you really love the idea.  It’s ok, you don’t have to say it out loud.

Anyhoo, his focus was on Common Core curriculum, which he feels strongly is a Democratic party initiative.  First, I hate Common Core math as much as any other person in this country.  I’m sorry to tell you this, but in no way does 8+5=10. Sorry, there is only one correct answer and none of these kids are going to be able to run a cash register.  That said, it’s not a matter of states rights vs. federal overreach.  The idea of a national standard is great.  The standards themselves are actually pretty good.  What is failing dismally is the implementation, resources available and training.  I looked it up and the first person to propose any kind of national standard was Janet Napolitano in 2006, while chairing the National Governor’s Association in her former position as the Governor of Arizona.  Initially, she wanted to improve math and science education… I know, right, she’s the devil.  In the logical course of things, a little light bulb went on that made it occur to her that a national standard would allow all the kids to be learning similar material.  Kind of THESE ARE THE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW TO BE A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE.  I don’t know if they included balancing a check book, but they should have.  Yup, she’s a Democrat.

This was partly because the No Child Left Behind Act, which was a really well intentioned, Republican initiative brought to you courtesy of W, encouraged individual states to set the bar low for testing in order to receive federal dollars for education.  (If you look bad, you get less money.  We’ll go ahead and evaluate your performance based on test scores from tests we’re going to let you write.  Up to speed?)  OK, so the NGA and Council for Chief State School Officers thought having one national standard was a good idea… fyi, these are both bipartisan groups.  Wrap your head around this for a second, the kids in say…. Georgia, ought to receive the same high quality education as the kids in Alaska.  Realistically, people complain about the math aspect of common core curriculum, and rightly so, because my kid is struggling because I don’t know how many cupcakes the boogey man eats on the roof at high noon.  Which is how much sense a lot of that makes to me.  The meat and potatoes standards are actually pretty damn good.  Kind of like NCLB… it was great in theory, but those next steps weren’t taken to make it work the way it ought to.

I presented all of this to Dozer, who asked me if I got to vote on Common Core.  Nope.  I also didn’t get to vote on No Child Left Behind, or IDEA (special ed laws) and nobody calls to see what I think when they cut recess time.  What I did get to vote on was my elected officials who make these decisions.  At the end of the day, they have amazing ideas and fairly shitty follow through.  This was as true for NCLB as it is for Common Core.

The devil is in the details, always.  To create phenomenal, cosmic change you have to plan all the things.  Some of the greatest thinkers of our time worked hard to create a set of standards that should create a better environment for kids in America.  But they stopped there… They are now crying that publishers won’t write new text books, nobody is training the teachers, no one will help.  Seriously, boy and girls… you are telling me you can’t write curriculum and provide adequate training?  Miss Shannon can write curriculum and she only has a lowly associate degree.  The folks that created this system fell down on their jobs and didn’t have any implementation process, so it’s failing.  After spending roughly five years, hundreds of thousand dollars… you didn’t have another six months to blow out some curriculum?  They probably ran out of funding and should have had a bake sale.  What it all comes down to is that the machine, our government is not winning any prizes for planning ahead.

 

Knowledge is Everything

Ok, ladies and fellows, my writer’s block is feeling a wee bit better.  I have moral outrage… WOOOHOOO!!!  It’s name is “EDUCATION IS A GOOD THING, YOU FUCKING IDIOTS!!!”  I try to gently, kindly share knowledge and understanding whenever possible.  College is a privilege that not everyone is able to access for many, many reasons.  It is better to be a waitress with a college degree than to be a waitress without one.  Thank you, Mr. Rinaldi, that I have that information.  Thank you, Anne Conway,  (Who should go down in history as the single greatest Global Studies teacher to ever live) for telling me I could go to college.  Thank you, Mr. Jacobson for concurring with Ms. Conway.  Thank you for working a shitty job as an educator, where you are not fairly compensated, have inadequate resources and need to worry about bombs in lockers.  And that was a good school.

If I hear one more moron go on and on about the evils of a “liberal” education, my head is going to pop right off my neck like a fucking dandelion.  Here’s my nice, rational voice.  All education is the United States of America is considered “liberal” because it must span across a variety of subjects.  It’s called well rounded and is the reason I needed my architect friend to help me calculate the amount of pressure per square inch on a gorilla’s feet.  Why I would ever need that information, I have no clue.  Kind of like parallelogram season.  To even consider that obtaining higher education is a bad thing, that it somehow hurts you, is so freaking scary… and here we are.  This rant is being brought to you by my beloved, angry Republican boyfriend, who is denigrating the entire field of psychology.  Miss Shannon majored in psych.  If her universe panned out in exactly the way she wanted, she would be specializing in Postpartum depression and helping other women find their way out of the rabbit hole.  People can be helped, you just have to learn how to do it.

Want to understand someone on an almost cellular level???  Follow the fetish, follow the fucked up, weird little idiosyncrasies that make their world go ‘round.  That’s psych.  For the love of all that is good and holy in this world, please stop thinking that knowledge is anything other than positive.  Please know, I truly believe that people often confuse education with intelligence… you can have either one without the other and only rarely both together.  Please, please stop listening to your conservative overlords, who coincidentally all have advanced degrees, while they encourage the dumbing down of this great nation.  Why in the sweet fuck do you think they are cutting resources for public education?  It’s not because they want you to do well, my little sunshine.

 

The average American reads at a third grade level. Shame on us.  The New York Times is the most difficult to read newspaper in our country, because it’s written at a fifth grade level.  Shame on us.  Side note, children learn best in an environment that includes physical activity, art and music, so we are removing and/or reducing those things from school with regularity.  Shame on us.  As human beings, to tell a kid not to bother being educated because it’s a worthless piece of paper… what in the hell is the matter with you?  The small humans that you are actually encouraging to be uneducated are going to eventually run this country.  Things like psychology matter because we are allowing folks like Monsanto to poison our food supply, causing mental health issues, cellular damage and an increase in learning disabilities. But, hey it makes money, who needs any regulatory agencies to maintain standards.  At the end of the day, it is still better to be a waitress with a college degree than to be a waitress without one.

Once Upon a Time

Hello, my name is Shannon and I’m a control freak.  I helped with an event and I was not running the show, which highlights my crazy in a way that you probably can’t appreciate because (you lucky little cupcake) you are not inside my head with me.  To give you a snapshot, I’m currently holding a traditional Irish wake for a cat.  Really, I can’t make this stuff up.  We buried Olivia in Mary Grace’s back yard, quite near Boston (another family pet), and Tugs required us to salute her.  Hunter required prayer, and Brenna flipped shit because Luke threw a clod of dirt onto Miss Kitty.  RIP Olivia… sadly, I think your brother will join you soon. Mary Grace is my former mother in law, who is always willing to host my dead pets in her yard.  Creepy, right?  So, what we’ve learned thus far is that my entire family is as bat shit crazy as me, which makes total sense as I built them.

Anyway, I lent a hand in producing Dozer’s parents’ fiftieth anniversary party.  Fifty years is amazing to me… the kind of love that must mean.  I’m often amazed Dozer lets me live to see another day, let alone fifty years, and the feeling is usually mutual.  There were a few snags and some wiggling around at the last minute, including when I got some especially itchy nature all over me while picking wildflowers with a couple of very cool kids.  At the end of the day, it was a lovely gathering filled with love and laughter despite the persistent rainfall.  One of Dozer’s best friends told me that he has NEVER been to a party at their house when it didn’t rain.  I’ve been trying to hook this guy up with my friend, Amy, for literally years, but they are both stubbornly resisting.  Note to self and others:  Listen to the crazy, gypsy women in your life.  We may be unable to manage ourselves, but we know what you should be doing.

If you knew this blog before it went to Hell and back, you know I met Dozer on Plenty of Fish.  We had no plans to be in a relationship together, and here we are, saying the M word.  I broke every single one of my dating rules while hooking up with this one.  On one hand, rules exist for a reason… on the other, they’re made to be broken.  I’m not sorry. Personal happiness is elusive for many of us.  This is because we arbitrarily assign values and policies to the universe at large…. Like my two pals who are goddamn perfect for each other but both have a stupid policy about “fix ups.”  Shut up and go to the same party.  For him, that girl is a cowboy.  You should be so lucky.  For her, this one is like a phoenix, he rises from the ashes and thrives every time.  When the people who love you are extra pushy about something, pay attention.

Remember, friends, Miss Shannon usually only tells you what NOT to do.  This is entirely untrue if we are running an event, in which case just do what I am telling you to do.  I have an internal timeline and it is correct.  Otherwise, I will commonly only share my own experience.  If I am flat out saying, please give this a whirl… maybe try to remember I say that like once a decade and give it a whirl.  Because I love you.  And you both know all the old songs and share the same values and for fuck’s sake, I have never known two people who needed to meet more.  We’re too old for fiftieth anniversaries, but not for happily ever after.

Say WHAT???

A very excited conservative Republican accused your own Miss Shannon of wanting to normalize pedophilia today.  Miss Shannon- whose entire life’s work is about women and children, their rights and their absolute value as human beings- was pretty much… “UM, What???”  This charming lady was unable to get through a forty word Facebook post without spelling and grammatical errors and is basing this assumption on the fact that Miss Shannon stated that she did not think that Mr. Donald Trump was the second coming of Jesus Christ.  If you actually think that Trump IS the second coming, well… may God have mercy on your soul.  In the New Testament that I read, maybe a smelly homeless guy or a crack baby.  Probably not a millionaire, pussy grabbing, adulterer.  In case I haven’t been quite clear, there is nothing divine about this guy.

Less than 48 hours ago, I actually posted that I think sex offences should be death penalty material because I believe in my soul that we should put them down like the rabid dogs they are.

However, her very misguided attempt to make the left look stupid caused me to do some research.  Apparently, a group of peepee touchers has attempted to rename themselves MAP… or Minor Attracted Person.  Now, Miss Shannon will agree that pedophilia is a mental disease, much like sociopathy.  Neither can be treated or cured.  Like, I feel sorry for their mothers that bore monsters… I can’t even imagine. Apparently, these humanoids actually tried to gain acceptance from the LGBQT community, which isn’t going to work out for them.  If you see this flag they are literally announcing that they want to have sexual relations with children… that they are an abomination.

If you think bleeding heart liberals are ok with baby rapists.   News flash: women, mothers are more likely to be liberal than men.  Most mothers, even if they really suck at it, don’t want their babies to be touched in a way they do not like.  There is absolutely a push from pedophiles to be “normalized” but I don’t see the left endorsing it.  Yes, I believe that grown folks ought to be able to use their genitals in any manner they choose… with other consenting adults.  Nothing that consenting adults do together is wrong… We’re grown folk and ought to be able to do whatever we want together.  Children should be sacrosanct.  I try not to spell it out, but this time I have to: What I want you to take from this blog is that the left isn’t anymore ok with baby rapists than the right… Dear gracious Lord, use sense when you see the news.  There is no free press. 

Fuckin’ Whore

Let’s talk about slut shaming.  I’ve discussed this before, though it’s in the lost archives.  Slut shaming is the act of criticizing a woman for her real or presumed sexual activity, or for behaving in ways that someone thinks are associated with her real or presumed sexual activity. (Per Geek Feminism Wiki)  The meme I see most frequently lately is “I gots me one baby daddy, how many bitches can say the same??”  If you use words like “gots me” and refer to other women as “bitches” you are entirely not qualified to comment on my morality.

So… yay for you, in the twenty-five years that you are a breeder, one guy came up to snuff and you were blessed to have all your kids with the same fellow.  My first “baby daddy”, who I commonly refer to as my child’s father, fractured my spine and was generally not a nice man.  So… according to the “baby daddy” standard, I should never ever have another child OR I should maintain a relationship in which I might die so I can have more than one child.  I would have had ten if I could both afford it and physically manage it.  Apparently, this makes me the Whore of Babylon AGAIN.  Guess what?  I say who, I say when… Here’s your one chance, Fancy, don’t let me down…. If you want out, well, it’s up to you…

Tuck and roll, sweetheart, that horse is sitting pretty high.  Miss Shannon hopes that all your Cinderella dreams come true and Prince Charming swings by on his white horse.  If you’re anything like me, maybe you made mistakes along the way.  Maybe woman up and stop contributing to rape culture by shaming other women who moved on.  Every time you make a whore pronouncement about another woman, you give a foothold to a spineless bully who wants to victimize women.  I get it, you want to feel superior…Even if you picked the right guy on the first time out…maybe have some compassion for those of us who fell for the snake oil salesmen.  Congratulations, your attitude is why women don’t leave.

Stand Straight…

I had a wild hair the other day and mentioned to Dozer that I might want to build fairy houses as an outdoor decorative prop.  That probably would have been the end of it, except he said no.  Apparently the last few years have taught him nothing and I am now the proud owner of two completed fairy houses and I’ve been gluing sticks together all afternoon.  I have walnut shells and rocks and pine cones.  Anybody have the foggiest idea how to separate the little petals (for lack of a better word) on a pine cone??  I think they’ll make good shingles.  (UPDATE: let them dry out a couple of days, they pull right off, for all your pine cone shingle needs.)   Yay for poor impulse control, because no good story ever starts with a well thought out plan.  On a side note, even though he doesn’t want any fairy houses, Dozer spent about fifteen minutes educating me as to how to make my structure work because he loves me.

I want to hit you about politics a wee bit to say that it hurts me to watch both the righty-tighties and the lefty-loosies these days.  I need to take over my good pal, JC’s role as the voice of reason.  Please know that if my voice is the reasonable one, we are in a very, very bad place.  Reality check… not everyone who wants to cross the border is a nice person seeking a better way of life, just like they aren’t all drug dealers and human traffickers. It really is necessary to vet them before allowing entry into the country.  That said, hey, let’s not put human beings into 10×30 cages, kk?  Please and thank you.  Being me, I have a really eclectic group of friends.  (I’ve even got dancin’ girls and hookers) Thus, I hear all kinds of ideas about what is right.  At the end of the day… we don’t put people in cages like dogs, because they are fucking human beings not dogs.  I don’t know how else to help you understand the idea.  I would also speak against the idea of interment for undetermined amounts of times…. For my righty-tighty friends, this sort of thing is why the word Nazi keeps being bandied about.

Meanwhile, my righty-tighty  friends are up in arms because Albany county has banned conversion therapy for minors.  This is a rightwing, Christian based objection… but what are you actually advocating? Whine, cry and complain that you are prohibited from torturing kids in Albany county, by showing them porn, giving them shock therapy, and aversion therapy. It is scientifically proven NOT to work, and what is the matter with you that you can’t love your child if they aren’t a “normal” heterosexual?  This is your child.  You carried them for nine months or watched them grow inside someone you liked enough to have sex with.  Parents are like God to kids… I cannot answer any biblical questions about LGBTQ folks because Jesus continues not to return my calls. But, when He was stopping by the neighborhood, he said, “Love one another.” And “He who is without sin should cast the first stone.”  We aren’t qualified to judge morality because our hearts are so hard.

I’m going to hop off my soapbox, for now, because I have pine cones to glue to sticks and probably myself.  Usually onto my actual flesh, so it will be especially painful. I have a fairy house with a door, just wrapping up the roof and a promise to teach me to build smurf houses. Welcome to my world, it’s a lovely shade of melon tonight.  Tomorrow, I’m headed to the beach with a large number of children and then off to Harley therapy.  Meanwhile… Stand straight, walk proud  ‘Cause we shall be free

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZCqozYTkb0

‘Merica, not what our forefathers intended….

Lately, I have a problematically low tolerance for assholes.  We all deal with these people on a daily basis and usually it’s fine.  Maybe the asshole song soundtracks in your head, or that could possibly just be me.  This week, I am way way over my quota for dealing pleasantly with assholes.  In the last ten days, I have had a couple of blessings so enormous that I can’t even describe it.  Karma needs to balance things out, so I have also had every asshole in a fifty-mile radius have a need to interact with me.  Now, I have it on good authority, from my ex-husband, most family members and a few friends, that everything is my fault, up to and including the war in the Persian Gulf.  Please know, my shoulders are a whole lot broader than I wish they were so feel free to place all blame right here… whether it’s that you can’t make your bills, or your spouse is cheating or you maybe need your meds upped,  Miss Shannon had a nefarious plot that made that happen.  Nothing you choose has any bearing on your situation whatsoever, because you have a Miss Shannon to blame.

Just to make things a little more entertaining, my never-ending plumbing issues dropped by to say hello.  Forget tires and testicles, if water runs through it, it’s a matter of time until it’s causing some sort of catastrophic damage.  What that really means, at least if you live at Casa Gypsy, is that the freaking bathroom is about to become a dangerous war zone for a number of days.  There will be issues and problems and delays because this is my world and it’s just the way of things.  Send in the clowns, because my house is about to become a three-ring circus.  The kind you get into with free tickets, not a good circus.  At the end of the day, this is going to be a big one with carpet removal, pipes and tiles involved.  Also, just for shits and giggles, my washing machine seems to have died.

Since my monkeys are getting raucous, blowing up the pipes and all, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the current monkey business in politics.  I have great sympathy for people seeking a better life.  I hate that kids are being taken from their parents… I also hate that kids are being sold by human traffickers to degenerates.  Guys who help you illegally enter countries are not nice people and you are not safe.  With all my heart, I want none of these things to happen to babies who have done nothing except commit the horrible crime of being brown.  I would like that with a side order of human decency and kindness, please and thank you.  I have no clue what’s right here… I want those kids safe, in a comfy bed with parents who love them to bits and pieces.  I do not give a flying fuck how either the left or the right thinks about this… We’re talking about wee little kids who need their moms, who are also in no position to protect them from anything.  There is no right answer.  It also does not matter which idiot president in the last twenty years is responsible.  We should just not be putting kids in fucking cages.  Seriously, you need someone to say that to you?

At the end of the day, first world problems like plumbing are not really so important.  It might matter a hell of a lot at Casa Gypsy, but we’re not going to die or be raped or sold into servitude.  We’re going to be inconvenienced and cost a lot of money.  Almost all the crap that gives me stress is actually a privilege… because I am white enough and was born this side of the border in Texarkana, Texas.  No one is going to put my kids in a cage.  No kid should be in a cage, no matter what.  I appreciate the inability to place a child in a jail cell next to their parent,  but find a foster home or a family member.   It hurts my very soul to hear some idiot say that it’s biblical.  Eye for an eye, and all that jazz, but really?  It has to be said… the only thing people are debating is whose fault it is.    Who cares????  Fix it.

Priorities

At some point, in recent years, I got old.  Like… I have less righteous indignation, which is probably a good thing.  I also got resigned to the current state of affairs… which is actually the trouble with the world today… We are tolerant of the mediocre, voting in the lesser of the evils for as long as I’ve been voting and dammit, we need a hero.  Surely there’s a Kennedy somewhere who is ready to take one for the team???  A Roosevelt?  Miss Shannon is looking for a dynasty here, people.  Our country needs a person who has been groomed to rule the Earth, knows that we don’t sell out our own troops and that twitter is not an appropriate medium.  While I write up this dream list, I would like to add that they are in no way connected to the sexual abuse of women and children and are not orange, nor do they negotiate with terrorists.  In case you weren’t sure… I just wiped out pretty much everybody that has hung out in the Oval Office for decades.

It pains me to say this, because the chief Cheeto in charge is such an icky human being, but he’s not doing half bad.  I’m fairly dissatisfied with the changes to the tax code, but I’ll live.  At this point, I think we’re going to survive 45 and we’re doing as well as can be expected.  If Miss Shannon had her way, this guy would be entirely banned from even thinking about education.  Friendly reminder, these tiny humans will someday take over our country.  They are being taught such ass backward stuff that they will be unable to run a cash register, but the answer isn’t to deny a free public education.  IMHO the answer is to step up our game and actually teach them how to maneuver in the America we’re leaving them.  The actual problem is that we stopped teaching our kids to think.  Preschool 101: without an imagination you truly cannot think.  In order to stimulate their imagination, they need art and music.  They’d also benefit from accurate information, the knowledge that 5+8 doesn’t make 10, and lunch that doesn’t look like it came out of a garbage can.

I’m going to post this and hear what an evil, liberal snowflake I am because I am daring say this is a place we should be spending money.  The same people who will be calling me snowflake (probably today) would never in a million years look at a hungry kid and not feed them.  They need it to be personal.  In Miss Shannon’s world, still a sparkly shade of misty mountain mauve, I don’t have to personally know a child to want them educated and fed because… ok, I don’t know how to teach someone to be a nice person once they are all grown up.  Some things you do because it’s the right thing.  I have this wild and crazy idea that we’re the good guys.

Back to my point… politics are a cesspool of depraved indifference to human life.  It’s all about the almighty dollar.   We can’t regulate Monsanto, the corporation poisoning our food supply, but we can regulate a vagina.  I guess we all need a little work on our imaginations, because clearly we cannot think.

 

Thunder

Miss Shannon went to Rolling Thunder in Washington DC over Memorial Day weekend.  Due to a court date that refused to be adjourned, I did not be set off in the wee hours of the morning with Dozer.  Despite my champagne taste, I have a beer budget so I intended to take a bus down later in the day.  Miss Shannon isn’t really alarmed by the great unwashed, as evidenced by her first husband, and was not especially concerned by the idea of hanging out in bus stations.  Miss Shannon’s men folk had a very big problem with it, however, and she flew down instead, curtesy of Dozer.  My oldest boy said, “Momma, anything could happen… you could be raped!!”  Oh, my sweet son, I am so glad I raised you right.  I’m also glad you are most familiar with the momma who makes your brownies and cupcakes, rather than the one who takes names.

This run is a demonstration to bring awareness to POWs and MIAs left behind.  I enjoyed myself immensely, saw the monuments… especially the Wall, which has special meaning for me, and met my new friend, Drunk Gino, who looked like the lipstick guy from Billy Madison and I even lost seven pounds.  That does not detract from the men and women just…lost in war… There is still some likelihood that there’s a guy in a cage, reciting his number. There are 1300 Americans unaccounted for, just from Viet Nam.  All I know is that one kid left to suffer there is one kid too many.  There isn’t a whole lot we can do, as citizens… but I hope they feel the Thunder…. It matters to me, personally, what has happened to these boys, mostly between the ages of sixteen and nineteen.  I have kids that age and believe me when I say that not one is totally grown up.  I cannot fathom being a gold star mother…Instead, I will be grateful to the powers that be that none of mine are inclined to be soldiers.

I need to tell you about the flock of little girls wearing Property Of “Billy Bob” vests that I wanted to take home, wash their faces and feed a sandwich or two.  On behalf of your mommas, ladies, I want you to know that you are beautiful, all by yourself and you don’t need some boy in shiny Jax Teller sneakers to make you matter.  When we first saw them, my Dozer wouldn’t let me approach because MCs are different… Miss Shannon has been known to kick it with some rather undesirable folks, kind of like the bus station people.  Anyway, I have nice manners and can approach the Queen of England or the Queen of any MC in exactly the same way.  Remember, friends, when you are dealing with an edgy MC, the patched in guys are rarely your problem.  Worry about the probies and the girls. (also, to the probie wearing pleather, you need to step up your game, son.)  Anyhoo… after much hiking about the Pentagon parking lot, I found these girls who were the ages of my daughters and talked Property Of Dozer into letting me take a picture of her vest.

We went all that way to protest for freedom for people who are most likely not in this world anymore and Miss Shannon was gritting her teeth to avoid a feminist altercation.  Generations of women have fought to make women equal.  The battle isn’t entirely won, but it’s pretty close.  Know this:  you are fabulous, all by yourself.  A friend once told me, “You have the vagina, you have all the power.  Do I have to teach you everything???” She was right.  Women have been both reviled and revered throughout the centuries because we have a wee bit of magic in our very souls.  Initially, I wanted to crack some skulls seeing these kids (I could be their mother) objectified and reduced.  Then I thought… maybe they don’t feel reduced.  Maybe, Miss Shannon is channeling the Queen Mother, and projecting her feelings.  Maybe, this is exactly the same as the time the Queen Mother stared disdainfully at my tats and told me only gypsy whores get tattoos.  I was born in the wagon of a traveling show… I gather my strength in my differences.  I hope every one of those little girls is getting what she needs right now by being the Property of Billy Bob.  Miss Shannon doesn’t have to understand… she can just support you, one woman to another.  For my fabulous daughters, Fiona and American Honey, your momma will fuck up your day if you allow the words property of anyone to appear on your person.