Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – 70’s Flashback

Yesterday whilst working in the kitchen, I threw on my Three Dog Night Greatest Hits CD and Tex came in as I was grooving to “Shambala.” For two seconds, she thought it was cute, but then it gave her a hot flash – too much Top 40 on construction sites in her past – and I had to turn it off.

But I love Three Dog Night, just because I do, and also because it reminds me of my dad, who would often come home from his job as a university professor with the latest record recommended by his students. Cream, Jimmy Cliff, Three Dog Night. He would dutifully listen to them, and then I would inherit. Also, it was fun singing “Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog” in 5th grade chorus.

Three Dog Night, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for being part of my childhood soundtrack. Hit it, boys!!

I’m a typewriter whompin’, card catalogue lovin’ white girl from back in the day, and I yearn for a time before the covers of trade paperbacks were all squidgy, so you can imagine that I don’t actually understand what a pingback is. I do know that it can in some way be part of spreading the love, and since that’s what I’m all about at The Total Femme… every Wednesday, I pay homage to the laughter, love, and inspiration to be had elsewhere online.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through graduate school, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Meditations for Queer Femmes — First Hugs

Over the winter, I was outside with a friend’s 3-year old and for one brief moment I held her mittened hand as she jumped off a low wall. It was so automatic for both of us – she reached out, I reached out, we grabbed on and down she hopped.

That was it, though, for physical human contact outside of my (admittedly very cozy and yummy and cuddly) spouse, Tex.

And today, young people! A 4-month old baby! TREASURES!

Young friends are in town visiting family, darling folks whose wedding we attended and one of whom I’ve known since he was 4-years old. They made time to come hang out in our backyard this morning. Lucky us, we get to be family, too. The gift made so much more moving by the isolation suffered, the devastation witnessed, the overwhelm and dismay.

My first hugs in over a year. The incredible pleasure of holding that baby, letting her enthusiastically remove my mask (all adults are vaccinated – we decided it would be ok). Walking around with her, showing her Grandmother Rhododendron, who is blooming. Feeling her solid, wiggly, joyous little body in my arms.

I knew I missed hugs – it was so horrible and hard at the beginning of the pandemic – but I’d gotten used to the lack. Now I’m just weeping, from relief, I guess. From the loving touch of people who make up my people pack. Who have been in my history and will be in my future and who right here and now gathered me close and squeezed.

Buds and branches, blooms and biscuits, how I long to hold you and be held! Today, let’s celebrate the exquisite physicality of loving hugs and touches between humans who haven’t been able to express their human nature like this for over a year. Blessings on us as we slowly start to gather each other into our arms again.

Hugs to you, dear femme sisters. Hugs! Hugs! Hugs!

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through graduate school and life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on May 24, 2021 at 10:47 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – Marine Biologist Ana Pêgo and Plasticus Maritimus

As part of my writing program reading, my advisor asks me to include some works in translation, so much fun! I just finished a middle grade nonfiction book, Plasticus Maritimus: An Invasive Species by Ana Pêgo, Bernardo P. Carvalho, and Isabel Minhós Martins, translated from the Portuguese by Jane Springer.

If I’d read this book as a child, I expect I would be a full time anti-plastic activist at this point, Pêgo is that good at conveying the mind-boggling scope of this dire problem as well as steering the reader towards ways both individuals and communities can work to combat it. It would be so easy to despair or live in denial, both of which I’ve certainly done, but this book helps me remember that even a little bit helps, not only with the bigger problem, but with the problem of one’s own feelings of misery. “One positive thing about the time we’re living in,” Pêgo writes, “is that we have a good understanding of the problems that need to be solved. This is a big advantage over other periods in history when there was less communication worldwide and when science was much less advanced. Today, if we care about the planet and about everyone who lives here, we can have a better understanding of what’s going on. Scientists study the problems and gather information and in many cases have already come up with solutions – and this is an enormous advantage. But things are not always resolved, are they? . . . This is why it is very important for us to take an active role. Being an activist means precisely this. If there’s a problem that we’re troubled by, and we can see that this problem has serious consequences, then we need to recognize it and get down to work to change the situation” (9).

Ana Pêgo and Plasticus Maritimus, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for your hard work and your heart work in educating, communicating, studying, building community, and inviting each of us not to lose hope. You have newly inspired me to pay more attention to the plastic in my life and what I can do to bring my lifestyle back into a better alignment with my values.

https://www.facebook.com/plasticusmaritimus/

I’m a typewriter whompin’, card catalogue lovin’ white girl from back in the day, and I yearn for a time before the covers of trade paperbacks were all squidgy, so you can imagine that I don’t actually understand what a pingback is. I do know that it can in some way be part of spreading the love, and since that’s what I’m all about at The Total Femme… every Wednesday, I pay homage to the laughter, love, and inspiration to be had elsewhere online.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life and pandemic prevent posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through graduate school, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Second Shot

I got my second shot on Sunday and am still wending my way through the after effects, which for me, so far, are a wicked sore arm, fatigue, being short of breath, being right spacey, and some neck and back stiffness. Post-shot things are so different for everyone, and there’s so much local lore circulating; I still have no idea what the next couple of days hold. For now, I’m sticking close to home, where I can easily rest, drink water, grab a snack. It was nice being in the park earlier with the dog, just a gentle perambulation.

Second shot – shoe to drop. That’s what it feels like. We’re all there, waiting to see what’s going to happen next. In my life, I’m wondering about, among many many others, if our chorus will be in person this fall, and even if it is, will I feel comfortable joining in? I graduate from my writing program Jan. 2022 – will that be in person? When might I feel ok about flying again? It occurs to me that this isn’t all that different from me coming back into a post-cancer life: things have changed and I’m still learning how.

It occurs to me that this isn’t all that different from day-to-day life. We’re just not all that used to paying such close attention.

One of the categories on the 2021 Provincetown Library Reading Challenge is “A book that is your favorite comfort read,” and that would be a good, not-too-violent, voicey mystery for me. I’m currently reading the latest in Spencer Quinn’s most excellent (except for the third one; be careful with the third one) series about Chet and Bernie, Chet being the dog and the narrator. When he finds things getting a touch too complicated, Chet is always saying things like, “I dropped this whole thing at once, made my mind a complete blank, and felt much better, more like myself. In fact, exactly like myself, which is when I’m at my best.”* Chet is my enlightened hero!

Second shot or not, my sweet worldbound queer femme dragonflies, if you can once and a while give it up and give it over today, finding yourself right there where you always are, things will expand and present themselves as they always do. Dystopic novel or not, every day, every hour, holds the power. Holds us if we let it.

*Of Mutts and Men by Spencer Quinn, 2020

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through graduate school and life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Meditations for Queer Femmes – This Little, Tiny House

This morning, Tex and I woke up to some very loud and strident bird calls. She thought it was warblers, because our apple trees are in bloom and it’s warbler season, but no! It was a pair of house wrens, inspecting and finding good the bird house Tex had put up weeks and weeks ago. They took turns perching on top and yelling, “This is ours!” They tidied up inside, rejecting the wood chips Tex had put down. They flitted about yelling, “We’re moving into this neighborhood, everybody!” It was so wonderful! Then Tex went off to count herring, as she’s been doing every Monday morning this season (they have a fish ladder over the dam), and I went off to meet up with a young friend and former member of the homeschoolers QSA. Who showed up with her cat in a basket and lots of news about her decision to run for public office in her hometown (which is right next to where I live).

That’s a lot of gorgeous before lunch.

Yesterday I was in one of my regularly occurring funks. Comparing and despairing, about my writing, my life, my health, my abilities, my parenting … It’s a habit I acquired early on, this bathing in negativity, and it can still take me over here and again, despite my naturally sunny nature and all the tools I’ve gathered over the years to help me with serenity and equanimity. It was a beautiful day and I had a good book. That and cooking a lovely Sunday dinner with Tex took me right through until it was time to go to bed. And I woke up in a different space, ready to face the excitement of house wrens and young friends.

Who help me remember that right here, right in this little tiny house that is my life, there is so much depth and detail. In his obituary, I learned that a dear teacher and his dear friend used to say to each other, “Right here as it is. Right now as it is.” I love that, that way of remembering to wrench your wandering gaze from the past, the present, the over there, out there, next time and on and on, to gaze gratefully at what’s surrounding and holding you, all the infinite of this very moment. Such a gift, but so easy to overlook.

Is it a forsythia bush? A weeping cherry? An old old apple tree in bloom, inherited from the people who built your house in the same year your father was born? Two loud and busy house wrens moving into their own new digs? The smile and interesting news of a friend, the fun of her cat taking a ride in a basket, little kids playing in the playground near where we sat… These are just a few of mine from the last few hours, and I know, my determined and big-hearted queer femme treasures, that you have your own. May you revel and glory in them! Not constantly, because we all have our sinking spells and our busy times, but may you come back to them more and more often. May you come back to them now!

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through graduate school and life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.