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To Kill a Mockingbird... Or at Least, Maybe Teach it a New Number? 😂
That goddamn bird is back for 4 am nightly sets and you will never guess what song he has added to his repertoire.
Hello, Lovelies, How the hell are you?
I am in a state. The bird is back. And I’m not talking about Needy, our trauma chicken, but rather the dreaded mockingbird from last year.
Yes, the mockingbird may seem sweet and is the symbol of innocence and the theme of great literature and an excellent Broadway play starring Jeff Daniels, but it is a deadly foe in the pursuit of sleep.
You have to understand I do everything for sleep. I live for black, dreamless oblivion. In part, because for so many years as a totally single parent, this was my life:
(5:00 AM, harsh whisper.)
Mommy, don't worry. You can sleep in. I'm making my own breakfast. How do you turn on the stove?
Me: Gaaaghh! I'm up.
Sleep is the one thing that stops my seizures and makes me a better person. A more empathetic problem-solver who can use her words to work things out amid the total chaos of the world and be the red telephone person when family and friends are in trouble. I do everything for sleep from silly chanting to listening to the BBC Weather Forecast to meds to high-tech yogic noise machines to a fancy COVID air purifier my neighbor gave me to this absurd sleep mask that makes me look like Janice from The Muppets—you know the blonde in the band with the Versace lips?
But every night for the past week at 4:00 am, this goddamn bird begins his endless performance, a loop of high-pitched warbling, so extreme it could shatter a wine glass. It goes on for five hours. And I could just choke on the irony that somehow, after last year... after he learned the theme song to FRIENDS “I’ll Be There for You” which was, “Pretty please, could you not?” This year, he has mastered the theme to…get this… The Odd Couple. Just imagine the below, except three octaves higher and on a loop for FIVE hours… You would be out of your mind!
In this scenario, I am Oscar Madison, but slightly cuter and with better hygiene—so think: Gerri. The bird is Felix and he is marked for death. Teodora and I are plotting.
We just need to figure out an assassination plan that will not get us into trouble with our PETA-oriented neighbors or Animal Control or that would be too stinky since he has nested between the buildings in an unreachable alcove. It would take one of those long-extending pool skimmers to get at him or his nest and even then, if we knocked the nest down, he's such a stubborn bugger… he’d just rebuild. He’s like a little pioneer f*ck. Full of Puritan stick-to-it-grit. Poison is also problematic as we are a high-density dog hood.
My dad and others have suggested a slingshot or a paintball gun scented with something completely disgusting and foul to mockingbirds. We are worried about our aim, and vandalism charges. San Francisco is fussy that way. You can kill yourself in a parking lot with fentanyl, no problem, but you cannot paintball someone's Victorian. You need a permit for that.
On a whole other front, it was suggested this past week that I (and my work on The Empress) are somehow tools of the patriarchy? And I was so confused by this and like MOI??? And then I thought…
But I am a writer who has to pen pieces for the man in order to eat and pay rent, but I try to only write about things I believe in. That said, those things are going to evolve as I learn new things. To be in alignment with one’s integrity isn’t a static thing.
Integrity is both a north star and a moving target. It shifts as you gain deeper experience and knowledge over a lifetime. Choices you thought were aligned with your integrity 20 years ago may not be in alignment with it now. This is called regret. So, while it was amusing to be reduced to a dude tool, only in it for the likes, I couldn’t help but feel grateful—not because it’s a correct assessment, but because it can be valuable to periodically question your “why”. Why am I doing this again?
In the case of The Empress, it’s simply to share what worked for me during peri/menopause. After all, I had a mostly great experience and, thanks to a few pragmatic hacks, I didn't feel myself turning into a dry dusty Crone. In fact, I felt energized by the transition. I also wanted to foster a closer community and hold space to laugh about the indignities of aging and discuss the journey of wisdom gained.
Anyway, I’m out of apologies and groveling juice (I spent it all on book blurb asks yesterday) and no amount of electrolytes or bone broth is going to restore me. Don't tell Gwyneth—she’ll only send me more.
The net result is I now have “novel brain” (what I’m supposed to be working on.)
Let's just have at it with the doofuses, shall we?
Doofus(es) of the Week
Now, for our regularly scheduled segment! This week is short but potent…
Ultimate Heartbreaking Doofus #1: Hamas and the complex calculus of terrifying harm they have done. Oh my goodness, there are so many nuances to this horrendous situation. Meanwhile, lives are being utterly destroyed. I just… I am in so much sorrow for people.
Doofus #2: The douchebag men who invaded a tech event meant to be a career-builder for women and nonbinary STEM workers. Sigh.
Doofus honorable mention… Gerry, the Golden Bachelor. Hear me out…
OK, I know everybody wants to be in love with Gerry the Golden Bachelor, however, nobody is talking about the fact that Gerry's last wife died of sepsis due to kidney and liver failure from a UTI. And I just have to ask... Did Gerry like, try to cuddle too long after sex? Because, hello? That is an inadvertent doofus maneuver for women in our demo.
I mean… it's the one thing you tell your daughter when you're having the sex talk... “Make sure to always pee after nookie otherwise, you're going to get a UTI, and that can escalate.” So, is Gerry a stealth UTI guy from too much post-coital snuggling? Contestants, you heard it here first. Don’t get caught in the tractor beam of those smoldering baby blues… Remember to pee!
OK, I’m out of doofuses, so let’s get marvelous.
A new-ish segment luxuriating in the good things.
This is from waaaaay back, but you have to love the interplay between the artists and the kiss she throws Sting at the end. Bestill my vag!
I am madly in love with the current Ed Ruscha show at MOMA. Thanks to author Kirsten Miller for bringing this particular piece to my attention:
But it’s really the title card that nails it.
Then, there’s Katherine May’s glorious meditation on how to light the darker days of winter… so practical!
Lastly, unretouched rules…
To sum up the week, you all know I love languages, but more proof that accents can be so slippery and that Finnish can be a touch dangerous. You might not know where you stand. 😂
In the meantime, stay safe, Lovelies, and know that I’m thinking of you always – xoxo, gotham girl
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