Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sole Searching

During the cocktail hour at a bat mitzvah celebration I recently attended, I noticed some cross dressers across the cheese display.

I assumed these were not guests at the bat mitzvah because I was certain the hosts would have given a heads-up if they were. You know, so the guests would be able to prepare.

And by prepare, I mean bring our A games in terms of personal styling, as there is nothing quite so shameful as being worse than a man at dressing like a female.

I mean sure, I looked nice-ish. I'd done my hair and put on lipstick and even attempted to wear the highest heels I own. I say "attempted" because about an hour into the party, the discomfort factor was so high that I kicked off the shoes and went barefoot the rest of the night. Including when I used the facilities and my friend kindly accompanied me to the restroom and placed paper towels on the floor so I could scoot my way to the stall in paper "shoes" to avoid being barefoot on the tiles.

(Did I mention I only had one drink the entire night?  There is nothing on which I can blame this churlish behavior.)

On the way back from the restroom, we walked through the gathering of cross dressers and as we got closer, I realized something truly appalling, something that made me gasp audibly: among the fashionably dressed were those in sensible shoes, with pocketbooks, and *shudder* CARDIGANS. That's right...RuPaul's Drag Racers were mingling with Glamour "Don'ts" and the Frumptastics (and yes...Glamour Don'ts and the Frumptastics is an excellent name for a band).

Now, in my extensive research on cross dressing, I've learned that a lot of the appeal in doing it is that one can be uber-feminine and creative with glamorous ensembles, makeup and shoes. And really, what is the point of making the effort to look like a woman if you look like a woman who has just given up? Wouldn't you want to explore all that it means to be a girly-girl and almost go to the opposite extreme to experiment with all of the different ways to feel delicate, sexy and alluring?

...says the woman in the paper-towel shoes....

When I commented how gigantic my melon looks compared to my friend's,
she kindly noted that "dark hair is very slimming." 
(And a bonus: the Drag Queen Name Generator. I input "Brutalism Blog" and came up with "Bounty Footwear." I kid, It was "Madame Ovary.")

UPDATE: DC Blogs linked to this post today, DC Blogs always seems to link to the posts  of which I'm proudest: those that discuss autoerotic asphyxiation, smoking, my horrible parenting, bunions, expletive-using children's soccer coachesdoctors having their way with me, my husband's mistress, and bungholes, do they find this stuff?

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Bear With Me

Recently, the Brutalism family hiked Old Rag Mountain. In preparation for this excursion, I visited the National Park Service web site to research the hike and learned that the Shenandoah Valley has the densest population of black bears anywhere in the country.

Those are some really dumb bears.

Actually, I mean the Shenandoah is densely populated with black bears. And that is all I had to learn to become completely neurotic about hiking with our perfectly delicious nine-year-old.

Yes, I know that black bears do not generally attack people, particularly on a well-traveled trail like Old Rag. However, I also know that one can never be too careful.

Particularly one who is totally ridiculous.

While packing for the trip, I included a cowbell, jingle bells and claves that I unearthed from my daughter's preschool musical instrument cache because making noise while you hike minimizes the chance of surprising a bear. I also purchased a canister of bear repellent spray, which the young REI employee good-humoredly assured me was really unnecessary in non-grizzly country. Finally, I briefed the family on what to do if we came across a bear: 1) stand still and do not run 2) try to look large to intimidate the bear and 3) poop pants.

And not necessarily in that order.

The day before the hike, we drove to the Shenandoah Valley and spent the night in a yurt:

Mr. Brutalism sent me the reservation confirmation for the yurt when
we were planning this getaway, along with a list of rules, such as
"Don't be curt in the yurt. Don't bring dirt into the yurt. Must use Pert in the yurt." 

And as lovely as this sounds (and as lovely as it was), the yurt was in the middle of nowhere. There was no phone or Internet connection, the nearest neighbor was half a mile away, and the only thing protecting us from ax-wielding maniacs, zombies or wayward Yetis was a thin pane of glass on the front door.

Which of course means that when it was time to go to bed, I tucked the canister of bear repellent into bed next to me so that I could protect my family in case of a yurt invasion. It also means that even after I took a Motrin PM, I woke up at 2:00am and never got back to sleep.

Thankfully, we survived the night and got to Old Rag Mountain early the next day. I carried the bear repellent the entire time, except during the rock scramble. At that point, I probably would have welcomed a bear attack as it would have surely been less painful.

Laugh if you will -- we did not see one bear during our six-hour hike. We also didn't make friends with the many normal hikers who were there who did not look like deranged, paranoid one-man bands. (A small price to pay, in my humble, non-bear-attacked opinion).
Pictured here with bear repellent.
And delicious nine-year-old.
When we returned home after our adventure, we unpacked the car and brought all of our gear into the house. And that is when we discovered that after all of our planning and safety preparation for the weekend, we had simply left the house with the back door completely unlocked. And that is how it remained for the two entire days we were out of town.

Speaking of dense populations...