Utility With No Intrinsic Worth

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Laura Bassett’s article in the 10/18/16 Huffington Post (Donald Trump and His Supporters are Actually Making Women Sick) has filled me with sadness and rage. Bassett presents her experience with male attacks, as well as those of several other women. This is not my first experience of sadness and anger because of the way males treat females. It’s becoming an ongoing condition.

I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had only one SPODS [Slimy Piece of Diseased Shit] force itself on me. It happened at a reception ending a week-long university writing conference. Fortunately the SPODS (whom I barely knew) announced its intention. “Hey, Huey, give me a big wet one.” I was able to whip my head around to avoid the filth. I went into some kind of dead zone for a minute or two. When I came to, the reception was going on and the SPODS had left. No one said a word, including me.

Two years later the the attacker was again at the conference. I asked the organizer to put the filthy creep and me in different workshop groups, which was done. I dreaded the reception. Then I learned that it (I don’t extend human status to SPODS) was not going to attend. I don’t remember if I shouted Hallelujah, but I felt it. However, as he was leaving the last meeting he approached a group of women, me a member, to say goodbye. He said, “Huey,” and held out his hand. I actually shook it. I should have yelled, “Get away from me, you turd.”

A woman in a short story I wrote realizes she is angry at herself for having put up with a predatory harasser for as long as she has. The attacker also makes life miserable for her colleagues. She eventually shoots him. Dead. After spending time with my protagonist, I realized I was just as mad at myself as she was at herself. I had gone along with what the SPODS wanted when I shook its disgusting hand because I didn’t want to make a scene. How wonderfully womanly of me. Calling it out as a turd would have been the appropriate response.

I have come to believe one of the major problems, perhaps the major problem, in achieving equality is due to women not getting white-hot angry at ourselves for putting up with hate, aggression and violence from filth on feet. We females are supposed to be graciously accommodating at all times—even when we get beaten and raped. I guess we’re supposed to go happily into death if it’s a SPODS killing us. I don’t think I’m overstating. The way our alleged justice system treats so many rape victims, and women abused by partners supports my contention.

I have no memory of verbal or physical filth being forced on girls when my generation was growing up. If some budding SPODS had grabbed a body part or even said something dirty to us we would have slapped him and told him what we thought of him. Today girls put up with all the crap little pieces of shit want to dish out. What went wrong?

The second wave of feminism gave women the freedom to openly admit we are—among other things—sexual beings and can enjoy sex. SPODS think that gives them the right to use our bodies for their purposes. (See Ross Douthat’s NYTimes 8/13/16 Op Ed). We have become TTFs. [Things to Fuck] We, of course, are useful to males in other ways. I’ll let you count all those ways.

Note: I do not think all men are SPODS. However, the alleged good guys stand around idly twiddling their thumbs, thus tacitly cheering on those who violate us. Females are prey and every female knows she can’t expect a male to help her fight off her attackers. Unless she happens to be a relative of a thumb twiddler.

Accept it, women, we have utility, but no intrinsic worth

I’m sure many of you are objecting to much of what I’ve written. But how else explain female’s lot in life? How else explain a truly vile SPODS running for President of the most powerful nation in the world? Sexism is in us like a virus. Both sexes learn from birth that humans with penises are far superior to those not so endowed. Women’s support of the SPODS running for President makes me want to throw up. How can those females support a thing like that? I can only conclude they accept, even embrace, sub-human status.

At this time all I can do is write about woman-hating, calling out those who practice it. I’ve published a novel, In the Land of Two-Legged Women (Inanna Publications) in which a group of women take on the gender system of their world. I’m working on a new novel. It’s a story of women taking on another gender systemthe one in our world.

Right now, other than my writing, I don’t know how to fight against female-hating unless it’s open warfare. Anyone can get guns in this country. Tasers are legal in the majority of states. Do we have to choose weapons?

What do you think? Please share ways of tearing apart a gender system that believes females aren’t worth respect and decent, fair treatment. Our girlish, womanly accommodating ways haven’t taken us very far century after century after century. In many ways we’re slipping back.

Remember, doing the same thing over and over and over without success is a mark of insanity. Let’s at least try to stop being insane.

Take the Safety Off

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Well, kiddo, you’re not going to die happy if you don’t at least take a run at it. An early morning thought. I’d been avoiding writing a novel version of the short story “In the Land of Two-Legged Women,” which had been critiqued in Master Class taught by Margaret Atwood at the 92nd St Y in New York. Atwood said she thought it could be a novel and movie. My god! Atwood said that? Time to get to work. Yeah, right.
Many years later I woke up with the get-on-with-it kiddo thought. The story takes place in the city state of Ramprend and it is not a good place for females. Girls’ legs are sawn off at the onset of puberty. I did not want to go into that place again. I survived it for a short story but a novel length of time in Ramprend was downright scary. I feared what happened in Ramprend wouldn’t stay in Ramprend and I would become completely freaky. Weird, but it was there, producing years of avoidance.

There was also something else going on. Writing about something and actually doing it are obviously not the same. However, there are actions with which a writer might not want to be associated.We all live with inner critics. Mine would scream, “How could you imagine such things? What will people think of you? All kinds of assumptions would be made about the writer. All kinds of actions might be tried against the work and its writer. Social media as we know it didn’t exist when I was going through this. If it had, I would not have been surprised at death threats, given the pathetic creeps who prowl the internet.

Thinking about being on my death bed feeling like a damned coward drove me to my Mac. I found I could enter Ramprend everyday, then step back into my life. I got through it. I wrote the scary thing. After a long search Inanna Publications accepted it. It is forthcoming this Spring.

I’ve made my peace, more or less, with being able to write what I did. Actually, I’ve gone further, darker, and am planning on continuing to do so. I’m glad I got off the coward path, even though I scare myself from time to time, as I did with “Lock and Load,” a short story in which a woman murders a sexual harasser who’s been making her life and those of three colleagues absolutely miserable. There’s the possibility she’ll get away with it.

Not too long after writing it a sentence popped into my head, “I’ve taken the safety off my voice.” In the subterranean depths of my soul I’d known for years I could write dark, very dark. I avoided acknowledging that. There is the novel with its darkness, but in some weird fashion I must have been treating it differently because it happens in a made-up world. My attitude about my world was there is so much negativity, why add to the darkness people can fall into? Thus, I tried to write honestly while remaining a “good” person.

When I think about my writing, I invariably think about other writers. I’ve known people who write very well and have urges to do so, yet they rarely write—or have given it up entirely. One reason for avoidance discussed by psychotherapists, writers, visual artists is a fear of creating. They who want to write can feel they should not presume to think they could create something no one else could. They’re certainly not gods who can bring forth what’s never before been made manifest.

“Creativity is neither the product of neurosis nor simple talent, but an intense courageous encounter with the Gods.” Rollo May. Read his “The Courage to Create.”

Another reason for writing avoidance, related to the above, can be expressed as, “Oh, my god! What terrible, horrible, awful, embarrassing stuff might come tumbling out if I don’t watch my mouth.” There are many things we can want to keep out of sight, even our own sight. Mean-spirited acts. Desires for the not-usual. Anger—a particular bugaboo for women. Fear. Vulnerability—a bugaboo for men. It takes courage to follow Virginia Woolf’s declaration. “If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.” That includes the people you create.

Telling the truth about yourself does not mean you have to share all of it with the world. But to write honestly, interestingly you need to acknowledge you have complexities, including thoughts, feelings, behaviors you wish weren’t part of you. They’ve been kept hidden because if acknowledged, known, they’d be viewed as not nice or yucky or weak or pathetic or downright abominable to “good” people. However, consider this. Nice, good people tend to produce boring writing. Boring because it isn’t lifelike, it doesn’t ring true. I suggest you heed Margaret Atwood. “The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by another person, and not even by yourself at some later date.”

With a gun, the safety is on or it is off. With the writing voice the safety can be kind of off. Writers can push themselves, but not enough to gain the richness their work could have with the voice safety off. Richness includes not-nice stuff. Life isn’t unending days of joy and laughter. And neither are good stories. Or essays or poems. Robert Ready, writing professor (Drew University, New Jersey), tells students to make some noise in their writing. He sent the following to this writer, “As a story teller, thou shalt believe in rage, lust, treachery, self-deception, all the ways people have of binding themselves and others on the wheel of fire Lear rages on.”
 
Take the safety off. Make some noise. Remember—no one is going to read it, not even you.

Originally posted on “The Artist Unleashed” blog on 7/9/16 under another name.

 

 

 

Old Age Wonders

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You smile at the male supermarket clerk and make some pleasant comment then wonder, “Does he think the old broad is coming on to him?”

You wonder if people think you inappropriate with your smile, jeans, high heel boots, jewelry, being a Macklemore fan, anything thought not-old. If they knew you know about BDSM would they think it truly disgusting and nasty, even if you told them you have no liking for it?

You don’t like moving the way you do, problems due to balance difficulties and creeping arthritis. Young people can move the same way due to injury but you just look like another old person.

You don’t want to look in the mirror, with or without makeup. How could anyone want to sit across a table from that and try to eat?

Your foot slips on debris at the side of the road and you fall down. You’ve fallen down a lot over the years and thought nothing much about it. Now you wonder if it will happen more frequently. Will you break something?

You used to love highway driving. Now you avoid it as much as possible and hate yourself for doing so. Roaring down the Parkway at 80, 85 was a high. Now it’s just a pain in the posterior—which fortunately is still working okay.

You wish you’d done some things you didn’t, but wonder if they would work now. You wish you’d appreciated your body more when it was in better working condition.

You should be grateful for your current condition—you take no meds—but there are questions about how life will be as you get older and older.

You, maybe, should take Carolyn Heilbrun’s approach and check yourself out before old age gets completely ridiculous, and truly annoying.

If you, the reader, are young, appreciate it, revel in it. When you get old you too might get to the point of thinking of yourself in the second rather than the first person. It takes the edge off aging a little bit.

Home

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Home

Life can feel kind of off. One reason for vague unease is not being able to live in what is your home. I’m a Pacific Northwestern who had to leave due to feeling worthless when I was near my parents, and because I could not deal with drizzle. Whatcom County, Washington just might be the drizzle capital of the world. The sky oft looks like slightly soiled cotton batting, which is pretty depressing in and of itself. Sky, drizzle, and dampness that has seeped into your marrow can make life seem quite grim. But I yearn for that place. It can be achingly beautiful—and life there certainly has benefits. I’d love to drive to a seafood store “on” the water and buy fresh clams, oysters or mussels for dinner. I’d love to drive up to Mt. Baker and enjoy that beauty. “Sea to Ski in Sixty Minutes” used to be a local slogan. I don’t know if that is still true. The message remains valid.

However, I can’t live in or near Bellingham. My parents are gone so their negative effect on me is no long there. But I stay in New Jersey because of … drizzle and the accompanying grimness. Washington and New Jersey do share at least one thing—liberal leaning politics. At least I don’t yearn after a home that can’t be home because I couldn’t stand existence in a hate-filled and dummied-down world, i.e., a Republican state. I think of the current Republican party as a pus filled boil on the ass of America. How very unkind of me, but it’s benign compared to my longer description.

I assume many people have a locale they love and yearn for even though they couldn’t stand living in it. Weather, family, politics, religion, etc. would make it impossible. Unfortunately some are stuck with living in a place they dislike/hate. I feel sorry for those so trapped.

If I had to, I could live in Whatcom County, Washington. But I could not live in a Red state; I’d be in perpetual suicide/murder mode. I made a home by choice not entrapment. I yearn after my home-that-can’t-be-a-home, but I can visit family there, I can look at pictures, I can smell an evergreen forest without being in one. Thank evolution for the power of olfactory memory. I can remember sitting at a kitchen table piled high with fresh caught crab. I can remember juice and butter running down my arms onto the newspaper on the table as I ate my fill of Dungeness. Heaven. I can remember. And New Jersey rarely drizzles for days, weeks, eternities.

Big Daddy

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I could very well be wrong but I wonder if young women are supporting Bernie Sanders because he’s seen as the good daddy who will make everything right. I can hear Elizabeth Taylor’s voice in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” saying, “Big Daddy.” A little girl voice. Her desires are not the same as young women following Sanders, but with them I can imagine a young voice trying to connect with the one who will solve all the problems.

For the most part older women, feminist or not, know that men aren’t saviors. Men are humans, which means they give some, but they expect something in return—sometimes too much. But young women don’t have the experience to know that—unless they’ve regularly been coming up against men who are just plain stupid or awful. Women can spin great fantasies about men who will take care of them. However, we live in patriarchy, the serious Big Daddy world, and in that world Big Daddy is like a two-edged sword, capable of cutting for good or ill.

Much is made about women being caretakers but many women end up not wanting to be like their caretakers, their mothers? Does this play a part in the attachment to Sanders? Do young women fear a woman president would be like the mothers they don’t want to emulate? And is there a  subconscious feeling that only the Good Daddy is capable of taking care of millions of people, including adults? Does the caretaker label extend to women only when family is involved?

There isn’t anything we can do about these questions in this election year but they’re worth thinking and talking about for our future.

Think About

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See previous post for more info—

How long will you pretend the ship isn’t sinking? How long will you ignore events whirling around you like a maelstrom and go along as if life is just peachy-keen?

Think about police running amok costumed, or not, in SWAT gear.

Think about citizens running amok killing each other for no good reason.

Think about men in states across the nation prancing around with hand guns and assault rifles dangling off their bodies. Think about them going into stores, churches, parks where children are playing—and think about how the police can’t do a damned thing about it because the filthy NRA has politicians by the balls or boobs.

Think about how guys with perceived teenie, weenie peenies—flaccid or erect—and how they have to have dangling guns to feel like men. “The most dangerous men on earth are those who are afraid they are wimps” James Gilligan

Think about the women involved in pseudo-weenie wag insanity. Think of the silly little twits blathering on about castrating and shooting animals. Think about how that makes them just like the teenie, weenie guys.

Thank about the greed of the wealthy. Think about how they lie, cheat, manipulate and rip off the not-wealthy. Think about how corporations are valuable and individual humans are not. Think about how consumer goods are to be compensation for you being thought of as an expendable thing.

Think about socially endorsedbut denied—white hatred of black people and what that means. Filthy, sicko home grown terrorists regularly kill black people. We work ourselves into a lather over the possibility of outsider terrorist action but merrily go along thinking our very own terrorists are just crazy individuals. Think about how accepted hatred creates crazy.

Think about how the US is often described as having a rape culture. Think of how arrested rapists gain sympathy while their victims are vilified. Think of how women in the military are expected to offer their bodies to provide jollies to filthy pieces of shit because rapists are better than women. Think about how the politicians and the military want to maintain this environment.

Think about women in prison for fighting back against the pieces of shit that had been abusing them for years. Think of how these women should be given medals. They were, after all, cleaning up the environment.

Think about the cockamamie wars created out of no intelligent understanding of what’s happening in troubled nations, and with no clear objectives and plans. Think about torturing prisoners of war. Think about sending citizens to foreign nations to be tortured. Think about that disgusting, filthy John Woo who created the torture memos so filth like Rummy, Cheney, Condi and their fellow evil doers could order the torturing and killing of anyone they wanted to.

Think, think long and hard, about the politicians that want to repeat all  that horror.

Think about the physical infrastructure of the nation falling apart. Think about driving across a bridge being an act of faith in—nothingness. Oh, well, c’est la vie. It’ll all be nothing pretty soon.

          Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold:

          Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

         The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

         The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

         The best lack all conviction, while the worst

         Are full of passionate intensity.

I don’t think William Butler Yeats was thinking of the United States when he wrote “The Second Coming,” after the First World War, but he predicted our present. A “rough beast” has slouched into America and is destroying a nation that once had promise.

Think about arranging chairs on the sinking ship.

Illegitimi non carborundum

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Notes:

1] If you don’t know or remember the mock Latin phrase in the title, it’s “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”

2] The last post was about cleaning out my psychic refrigerator. This is about one item I have tossed.

 

Forgiveness is a “virtue” created by men to keep women from fighting against obstructionism, unwelcome advances and violent attacks.

My, oh, my. What an idea. For some time I’ve thought forgiveness is vastly overrated. Who gains? Allegedly the one who is forgiven. Also, allegedly good for the soul of the forgiver because not forgiving is supposed to eat away at the soul—as does hate. Balderdash and poppycock. I’ll keep the street language to myself. It’s so virtuous to use nice, soft words. This is the end of nice, soft words.

When I originally thought that forgiveness is a hornswoggle I also thought that it couldn’t be true. EVERYONE knows forgiveness is GOOD. However I’ve come to believe I’m right. Forgiveness is a Monumental Con. The male of the human species does not have a stellar rep when it comes to treatment of women, thus there is a serious desire for forgiveness. Oh, yes, there are good guys of course, but you look at men in the aggregate and you see a whole lot of woman-hating going on. Think of all the nations in which women are treated as things to be used by men for their purposes, frequently used violently. Think of places in which girls, thus women, aren’t allowed to have education. That would be dangerous. To men.

Think of the women-hating Republican party in the United States that treats women as things to be controlled, used and abused. Think of all the woman-hating reproduction legislation. Think of a 20 year prison sentence for a stillbirth. The people of Indiana suspected an abortion attempt by a woman. No evidence. But she lost her baby, obviously she needed to be incarcerated. A finer example of woman-hating would be hard to find, except execution. I won’t be surprised when a woman-hating law is passed ordering the termination of women who might have aborted, naturally or with assistance. I am not kidding about not being surprised.

Also think of those who support rapists, while hating the victims. One woman declared about 18 rapists of an eleven year old girl, These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives.” No sympathy for the terrified, violated victim. Furthermore, it was the eleven year old’s and her mother’s fault. Not the fault of those filthy pieces of shit. Then there’s the Republican Connecticut State Representative who, during a discussion of a bill dealing with college rape, said if witnesses are present at a rape, “… it’s a really great party.”

Given enough latitude our home grown women-haters would take us right into the horror territory in which so many of the world’s women live. Wrong. We’re about to fall into horror territory. Think Gilead from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Think that. No, wrong again. Think worse.

Wake up, women and men of good heart, this country is filled with politicians and citizens that do not consider women to be humans deserving all the rights penis possessors possess. I know the correct usage of that and who. The ones of whom I write have lost who status in my world. After all they think women are a that—to be used and abused. I extend to them hate-filled disrespect and contempt.

We’re supposed to forgive those who consider us sub-human—and at fault when attacked. NOT I. Forgiving men for the sins they commit against us hasn’t taken us very far. Century after century we’ve struggled on, sometimes with a little hope. It’s time to stop being enablers, collaborators. It’s time to toss out forgiveness and engage in justifiable hate. Let the women-haters, which includes females, fear the women and men who go to war against them. Let the women-haters forgive us for our resistance. Ha. Do you think they’d do that? I have no money on it.

“A strong hatred is the best lamp to bear in our hands as we go over the dark places of life, cutting away the dead things men tell us to revere.”  Rebecca West

Let us cut away forgiveness. Let us hold onto strong hatred—and use it whenever we can.

Leftovers

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I opened my refrigerator to put in fresh nutrients and didn’t have space, not until I cleaned out what was in there, some of which was giving off odoriferous reminders of their out-of-date status. Life can be like opening a refrigerator and getting a whiff of mold or rot on the way to desiccation. Psychic leftovers of no earthly use, yet there, impediments to getting on with life.

I have a few. There’s a stinky one—sloth, taking the easy way because what’s the use of trying harder? Definitely should be dumped but it sneakily stays in the back, waiting to send out signals of Don’t Bother. Perhaps it got there because of growing up feeling worthless, resulting in lethargy. Worthlessness no longer stinks, but it takes up room, along with sloth, pushing away traits that could nourish creativity.

Cleaning out a kitchen refrigerator isn’t that hard. It might not be fun-filled but doable, not taking much time. A psychic refrigerator with contents is another matter. One can’t grab sloth and worthlessness, drop them in a plastic bag and take them to the dumpster. Perhaps I could label something in the tangible refrigerator and go through the motions of tossing the psychic trash, do the New Age airy-fairy ritual thing. I could try it. Put the word SLOTH on the carton of left-over sour cream and walk it to the trash. Write WORTHLESS on some dubious cheese and run it out. It would amuse the hell out of me but it wouldn’t solve the problem.

I guess I’m stuck with every minute of everyday dealing with the leftovers of a less than encouraging childhood and youth. Well, if that’s the way it is, at least I have the refrigerator-with-contents image to entertain me. I’ll put a picture of a refrigerator in my office to remind me that I must keep on again and again trashing the leftovers.

 

Dump Nice

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Someone said, “Nice is letting things happen to you.” I suspect she, and I’m sure it was a she, was telling it as it is. Nice is for girls and women. Saying a man is a nice guy is almost damnation with faint praise. She’s a nice girl/woman asserts she is as she should be. And to be nice is to be kind. Not when it comes to women. Being nice for women generally involves being doormats, which is certainly not being kind to self.

Women, let’s dump nice. Make it a dirtier word than the one considered the dirtiest in the English language. (You can look that up at urbandictionary.com. It starts with c and ends with t and is used in connection with women.) If a woman strives for nice she is dooming herself to being half or less of what she could be. She’s also contributing to the damnation of other women. There’s that slogan “Well-behaved [nice] women seldom make history.” I suspect it’s never. Stirring things up makes history. Stirring things up usually involves not-nice behavior.

The women who fought for the vote here and Europe engaged in not-nice behavior. If they hadn’t given up at least a degree of nicey-nice we women wouldn’t be voting. Nor would we be working at jobs we chose rather than were herded into, even though we might have had absolutely no interest in them. Nor would we have children while we work at chosen jobs. Nor would we have children even if we don’t have husbands. Add your favorites to this list.

Nice doesn’t produce anything useful for women. We’ve got to turn it into a dirty word and go forth ready to do whatever battles confront us. The best way to be kind to women is to battle with the enemy. Women, identify your enemies, some of whom will be women—alas—and figure out how you can stop them.

An example from me: If you’re a feminist—I am—you are supposed to vote for women to shift the power balance. I would NEVER vote for a Republican woman— anymore than I would for a Republican men which includes a South Carolina Senator who calls women a lesser cut of meat.  Any woman who associates with a party that includes creeps like this is the enemy. I am not a lesser cut of meat and neither is any other woman. And I want nothing to do with women who enable men to think of women that way.

Note—please don’t bother trying to justify Republican women to me because they are NOT nice and kind to women. I repeat, they are my enemies.

Woof!

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Do you have days when you’re just sick of yourself? You try to be a person you’d like to be—all the time—but you keep screwing up. You just get so tired of not measuring up … to what, whom? You’re not sure, but you know you’re not operating at a high level and you feel terrible and you just want to quit and check yourself out. Do you ever have days like that? 

Or are you a person who has a pretty accurate sense of reality so you know you’ll have days when everything goes awry, but that’s just the way things are? You get the ups. You get the downs? If you are that kind of person, I’m happy for you. Kind of. Actually, it’s kind of annoying.

I have a friend who gets Black Dog days, when he considers himself a not worthy person. He is a worthy person. I’d tell you if I thought he really should have black dog days. He’s high functioning in the life he’s chosen. He’s the one who introduced me to the term Black Dog. Actually there’s a mood disorders facility in Australia called Black Dog Institute. My friend has not been there. He deals with his black dogs himself. I wish him well.

Hell, I wish myself well. Writing this has made the current dog turn dark gray. He’ll eventually fade away. I hope this has given those who have sick-of-self days some solace in knowing you’ve got company. Black Dogs are just part of life for some of us. Good thing I like the color black. Hope you do too.

P.S. It doesn’t help that it’s winter and I firmly believe we should all be in hibernation