Friday, February 25, 2011

Ninja Girls Need Love, Too

Okay, just had an 80s music nostalgia night... and have had that freakin' Samantha Fox song in my head EVER SINCE. At least I got a blog idea out of it...

My parents are terrific people (no, I'm not saying that sarcastically, or because I'm facebook friends with both of them, and they could conceivably read my posts). In fact, through high school, my parents and I only fought about one thing. We just fought about it A LOT. That one thing?

Boys. Actually, boys (read: aged 14-17) wouldn't have been a problem. If I had been able to stick to them, my teenage years would have been MUCH easier on all of us. Don't get me wrong: had lots of friends who were boys, but romantically, they either weren't into me, or weren't house trained. Alas...

"Girls? What's my weakness? MEN!" - (Shoop, Salt N Pepa)

It's no secret I grew up in a dojo. This had some interesting side effects...especially when you're the teacher's daughter:

1) no one's going to pick on you
2) it's easier to make friends
3) DEFINITELY learned how to deal with males of all ages
4) also learned how to get along with adults (their parents)
5) all of my civilian (non dojo) peers knew about my dad, the Karate Teacher
6) every single boy who I knew well enough to date knew that I had a black belt (in other words, I was a Dangerous Fucking Ninja)
7) between my dad and me, each of these boys feared that talking/flirting with me would bring his life to a swift, violent end

The first 4 side effects rocked; they saved my sanity in middle school and had ripple benefits I still reap now. Those last three, though...

When I changed cities between middle and high school, I decided that it was in my best interest to keep the karate a closely guarded, Edna Modes' hidden rifles booby trapped SECRET. This seemed wise. However.

For reasons too long to share, my father was invited to speak to my (tiny) high school's varsity and junior varsity football teams. I didn't know about the visit; he didn't know about the secret. What could possibly go wrong?

The poor man had no reason to know it was a bad idea to announce to the Entire. Football. World. At. My. High. School. that his daughter, Megan, was there as a freshman, was a black belt (there was more, but you get the idea). I vaguely remember flashing neon signs hooked up to my locker... In short, with regard to romantic prospects, I was fucked (or not, as the case may be, ha!).

As my life consisted of NOTHING but school and dojo, it is no surprise that I took another look at the guys from the latter. Of course, I've known most of them too long and too well for romance to kindle...but...

Oh. My. God. I discovered Army Men. As in, men who trained on a daily basis to keep fit and be dangerous. As in, plenty bad ass enough not to fear my father (especially since they had friendly, functional relationships with him anyway). As in, far from home and lonely. (I should add that my chances probably weren't hurt by the arrival of my grown up figure - let's just say I'll never drown...)

But most importantly: Army Men, I came to realize, had enough balls not to fear ME. (do you hear singing? I hear them. Angels. Angels with uniforms. Even my angels are bad ass. Fucking Awesome)

Of course, in order to be a soldier, chances are...brutha's over 18. As in, adult. As in, too old to date a 14 year old girl.

I could wrap my mind around my parents' "too young to date at 14" rule - and compensated as best I could.

I'd define compensated more fully - but the 5th Amendment now comes into play.

Um, so, for some inexplicable reason, right as I turned 17, I was sad. Melodramatic, teenage girl sad. Just can't remember why... Eh hem.

As the oldest of four, I didn't mind the responsibility, being the guinea pig, or playing a large part in raising my siblings. Sometimes, though, it's lonely to have a role that's not really parent, but not really child. Therefore, it was wonderful to have my older brothers - dojo brothers, but brothers nonetheless. Of all of the men who helped raise me, no one was more supportive, attentive or invested as Scott. Scott took the time, always, to check on me, to listen to my woes, to help me whenever I needed him and always to the best of his ability. He was my rock. We may not be linked by blood, but he is the big brother I never had and I love him as though we are.

So like I said. Was randomly devastated and pouring my heart out as Scott took his cigarette break. When I (finally) paused for breath, he took a long drag, blew out, and gave me a long, hard stare.

ME: "What?"
SCOTT: "You know what you need?"
ME: (some whiny, morose comment about nothing will help)
SCOTT: (understandably ignoring my mumbling) "You need a new man."
ME: "Please. The last thing I need is a..."
SCOTT: "So whaddya like?"
ME: "Huh?"
SCOTT: "Whaddya like? Blond hair? Brown? Blue eyes? Tall, short, skinny, buff? Whaddya like?"
ME: "What the hell are you talking about?"
SCOTT: "I work with 50,ooo men. Whaddya like?"
ME: "Okay, Scott, Ft. Benning is not some elaborate, mail order, personal delivery dating service. That's not how it works."
SCOTT: "Um, that's exactly what it is and how it works. WHADDYA LIKE?"

I continued to argue, so he tuned me out...started talking more to himself.

SCOTT: "Sundance. I'm gonna' bring you Sundance. Everybody likes Sundance."
ME: "Okay, whatever..." rolling my eyes at the insanity of this concept.

And that's just what he did. Sundance went on to become not only my first boyfriend, but my first true love. While the relationship that ensued was the subject of almost every single fight I had with my parents, it was the best gift a little sister ever got from a big brother.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Part 3: The Real Truth About Oysters

Oysters are nasty. They really are. To give you an idea of just how freaking disgusting they are, allow me to say something about myself. I'm not one of those people who dislikes seafood. On the contrary - if it lives in the river and/or sea, it's probably welcome on my plate. Cooked, raw, McDonald's Filet O'Fish...seafood has to try to turn me off. I love EVERYTHING about going to the shore - and despite my almost transparent skin, will endure sunburn just for the sheer joy of breathing in ocean air. Even at low tide. If I could drink ocean water without dire results, I would. Gallons. That's how fucking much I love seafood. But.

Oysters are nasty.

And for some bizarre reason, considered sexy.

This is the third, and final, installment of the love, sex, food blog post. Over the course of my post-pubescent life, I'd done so much research into this topic that I, long winded I, knew that the subject had to be divided into multiples. I have done my homework.

Therefore, I am aware these chilled gobs of salty phlegm are supposed to help men with...stamina (which, honestly, should just endear the entire male gender to us - look at what they endure to ensure that we get our grand finales!!). That is the most frequently cited attribute. However, one of the things I learned from that seminar (introduced in Part 1) is that, energetically speaking, oysters are actually better for a woman's sex life.

Picture this. In the workshop room. There are about 15 of us in attendance (I know a handful of them). Uncharacteristically, I'm keeping my mouth shut for the most part (I have a similar background as the presenter and did not want to steal her thunder). She didn't need any help from me, anyway - a fantastic speaker, vivacious and very well educated on the subject. We talked about food preparation. Candles in the kitchen, putting ourselves in the right frame of mind...that kind of thing. Naturally, the time came for us to list out foods we know have aphrodisiac qualities.

It's quite a list, really...and more familiar than one may guess. In the last few years, I've found it fascinating how much of our culture's day to day practices have their foundations in the energy work done by older cultures. In the case of love and sex foods - we're talking about discoveries made well before science strolled on stage and got crowned King. As a result, most people participate in this energy work without even realizing it.

Think about it: Valentine's Day. What kinds of foods do we associate with it? Chocolate, berries (especially strawberries), champagne, wine...they're the big names. For the actual meals, spicy foods and seafood...especially oysters. For truly romantic meals, most folks pick at least one or two from this list - though rarely with the understanding of why they work so well.

But still. Oysters? How could cold, briny, chewy snot be a romantic food?

Understandably, when she mentioned oysters, most of us made that politely muted retching sound and shifted in our chairs. We laughed about it, commented on the grossness, and she kept at us, trying to help us figure it out. Well, the more she asked, the quieter the room became (other than stifled laughter and retching noises). She wasn't flopping by any means - but if no one else was going to say something... I mean, if you give me such an amazing straight line, how can I resist? I raised my hand.

HER: "Yes?"
ME: "I have to admit to hating oysters...but I do have a theory on why they're helpful for a woman's sex life."
HER: "Great! Let's hear it!"
ME: "Well, after trying to swallow an oyster, semen's looking pretty good."

Everyone sitting in front of me had two things in common. All women and all a bit older than I am. Oh, three things: at my comment, they ALL whipped their heads around, shocked that I'd said it. I couldn't even pretend to be embarrassed. Honestly. We're at a seminar about sex and putting things in our mouths. Did anyone really think blow jobs weren't going to come up? Naturally, I had to defend my point:

"I mean, really, if you can swallow one of THOSE...man, you can swallow ANYTHING."

It took the moderator about 15 seconds to get her laughter under enough control to stand up straight and speak again. Wiping her eyes, she was very gracious, and consented that while she'd never thought of it that way, it is undeniably an additional pro-sex quality to be found with oysters.

I recently shared that story with Ms. J. Just as I was about to give her the punchline, she interrupted me with:

"that's 'cause semen's NOTHING after a fucking oyster!"

I rest my case.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Part 2: It's Romantic to Cook for Someone, Right?

It took me some time to decide how to approach this part - as funny as sex can be, it's still a private thing. The internet, on the other hand...isn't.

So. After much deliberation, and true to my nature, I've decided to go with romantic food mishaps and confusions. Besides, aren't initial explorations and experiments about just that?


"The way to a man's heart is through his stomach." - another quote with origins unknown to me, but really, who HASN'T heard that one?


My love of cooking started when I was 12 years old, and figured out that if I was busy cooking dinner for the family, I just wasn't in a position to help with the manual labor going on outside (the house, at that time, was a fixer-upper...to say the least). Shortly after that, I'd heard that quote. In my head, the logic went like this:


I dig men -> they dig food -> skill in the kitchen is a Good Skill To Have


At the time, I was annoyed not to have a boyfriend. Now, I see that it was good to have a few years of practice before the culinary results mattered (there shall be NO comments from the peanut gallery about blueberry pancakes: that mix was defective; the directions were flawed and I was distracted).

At 17, I met the fellow who was to become my first boyfriend (THAT story is definitely a post of its own). As he was a strapping example of all that is fine and good on Kelly Hill (on Ft. Benning, see my Ode to Army Men), he was an Army Man. For some inexplicable reason, I was not permitted to date Army Men. Especially THIS Army Man. His alias here shall be Sundance (yes, as in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid).


Mild mannered darling that I am, I chose to calmly negotiate with my parents (wild, sarcastic laughter here). Eventually, we came to an uneasy truce: I could see Sundance at the dojo and at the house, with my family in attendance. How very Godfather. (more on THAT in yet another post)

Anyway, I made him dinner. Of course, making "him" dinner actually meant making dinner for him, the six of us (my parents, four kids) and a couple of his buddies who were also invited along. In other words, a shitload of food. Sundance was, even in retrospect, one of the greatest guys I've ever known (let alone gotten to date), and he was working hard to win over my parents. He was so busy juggling those balls that he didn't realize that I had made dinner. Assuming that it was my mother's cooking put in front of him, he dutifully ate whatever was given to him. In our home, that meant my father put food on your plate until you begged him to stop. The poor guy was so unwell, that date basically consisted of rolling him into the living room, and watching a movie with my parents. Practically a Valentine's Day commercial, ain't it?


By the time I had another boyfriend, I could cook quite well - and more importantly, was no longer living with my parents full time. That's the good news. The bad news would be that now, if something went wrong, it really was my fault. Or was it?


Sure, it may have been a mistake to make marinara sauce for my Italian boyfriend (though, as we're talking Philly, the proper term is "gravy"). The first batch was too sweet, and the second batch was "good, if you called it something else". (in my defense, I have served that very same sauce to other Italians (including my husband and father in law) and have gotten rave reviews)


It's always a good idea to double check plans with your spouse. I found that out one New Year's Eve when I'd put the boys to bed early, made a phenomenal, romantic dinner, complete with romantic clothing...to find out that the lovely man had invited friends over to share dinner with us...and to find that out as they're walking in the door. (this is me, thanking ALL that is good and decent that the outfit wasn't too romantic)


These days, things are much simpler. I have found that, at least for my life, food and sex don't mix well At All. Utilizing energies for later (as per the approach of the seminar mentioned in the last post) - absolutely. But really. 9 1/2 weeks is a fucking creepy movie. No, I'm not exempting the fridge scene. He's a sadist, she's nuts, end of story. On top of that, who wants to try and be romantic on a full stomach? Just asking for trouble. As far as using sweets (chocolate paints, whipped cream)...really? I wouldn't put whipped cream on steak, why put it on...er...maybe that's a bit too much...eh hem.


This is not to say that others haven't had success with these things - I know folks who swear by them. I've just found that when I personally try combining food with romance...comedy (usually tragic comedy) ensues.


"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results"

- Albert Einstein (possibly paraphrased...it's a blog, not a textbook)


Apparantly, my insanity only goes so far.

Part 3: The Real Truth About Oysters

(just have to point out that my blog's spell check doesn't want to work today - have checked as well as I can and apologize for any spelling errors I missed)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

From Cherries to Oysters: A Good Girl's Guide to Sex Foods, Part 1

I was a boringly good girl in high school. Well, "boring" may be too strong of a word, since some of the crazy things my friends and I did were...well...crazy... but all of them were done without the involvement of drinking, smoking, drugs of any kind or sex. (though, one could make the argument that the lack of alcohol and drugs does kind of add to the bizarreness of some of our antics)

We were by no means puritanical - we just enjoyed being kids. A lot. However, even good girls experiment.

I recently attended a seminar on aphrodisiac foods. Since the main thrust (ha!) of the class was a study of how using certain foods and preparing them in certain ways can utilize their energies for a purpose, it got me thinking of how I've always worked with food - eating it, serving it, entertaining with it...

Every year, we invite friends over for Christmas dessert. I make an insane number of sweets (three pies, a Yule log cake, shaped cookies, spiced nuts...) and this year, I added chocolate covered cherries to the roster. As we're all sitting around, laughing, talking, sampling different sugar packed goodies, slowly, people began looking at me.

ME: "What?"
THEM: "What are you doing?"
ME: "Oh, this?" (I remove the small thing from my mouth) "it's just a cherry stem."
THEM: "But what are you doing with it?"
ME: (with the classic "whaddya mean?" look on my face) "Tying them." (I mean, really - there's a pile of tiny little cherry knots right there)
THEM: "You know how to do that? Where did you learn it?"

Apparently, when I eat cherries, without thinking about it, I just pop the stem in my mouth and tie it up. What became equally apparent then was that, clearly not everyone does this. We spent the next 15 minutes or so having a cherry stem tying crash course...and though that didn't go very far, it did bring me back to the day my best friends and I decided to learn how to tie those stems.

(Wayne and Garth waving their arms, going "doodly-dut, doodly-dut" as we travel back to the early 90s)

It's my 18th birthday. Ms. J, Dana and I (bestestest ever friends that we were) were watching some show (presumably - the details of this part are hazy) about some guy who was going for the world record on how quickly he could tie cherry stems with his tongue and...hold on...

(Now that I think about it, I can't believe we were watching something this stupid on my birthday. It had to be some other time, or we were talking about said stupid show...)

...and we decided that WE were going to learn how to tie cherry stems. With our tongues. Because it was sexy. So we were told.

Remember the part where we were virgins...and quite okay with that? Well, still true. We weren't looking to seduce anyone, which is good, since we weren't terribly clear about what was so exciting about this ability (okay, I had a pretty good idea, though Ms. J claims she and Dana did not) . I'm pretty sure that, good earth signs that we were/are, we simply decided that THIS would be a VERY GOOD SKILL to have when we DID start having sex. So we were just doing prep work. Also consistent with good, diligent earth sign personality is dedication to a purpose.

We went to the grocery, bought 2 lbs of cherries, sat down at my kitchen table and started Erotic Food Skills 101.

DISCOVERY #1: I don't much like cherries.
DISCOVERY #2: OUCH...what the hell was that?
DISCOVERY #3: fresh cherry stems produce splinters
DISCOVERY #4: apparently, we should have bought maraschino cherries

2 lbs. consumed fruit, 3 chaffed tongues and a couple hours later - skill acquired.

Part 2: It's Romantic to Cook for Someone, Right?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Doesn't 'Diablo' Mean Devil?" and Other Ways Men Show Their Love

No. Men are NOT the devil - that is NOT where I am going with this.

"It takes a village to raise a child" - I have no idea who said this, but I hear it a lot.

I grew up in a karate dojo on Ft. Benning. Unfamiliar with Ft. Benning? Allow me to describe: BIG. FREAKING. ARMY. BASE. Unfamiliar with dojos? Allow me to describe: STUDENT ROSTER MOSTLY MEN. So, my village had more than its fair share of Airborne Rangers (yes, as in "I wanna be an Airborne Ranger..."), soldiers from Kelly Hill (a.k.a. Nirvana for single women) and a few good southern gentlemen (both as peers and adults) thrown in to represent the civilian side of my upbringing.

This may have been an unorthodox environment in which to raise a little girl, but I wouldn't trade it. Obviously, it's beneficial to know how to defend myself and bullies now only amuse or irritate me. However, my favorite gift from my village is my understanding of men. (of course, I have a corresponding LACK of understanding of women - other than myself - but that's another blog entry)

Naturally, I don't know everything there is to know about men. Of course not. However, when I listen to women complaining about men, I think it's safe to say that I understand more than most (women, that is). Over the years, I've often played the role of translator between my friends and their significant others. Here in the Cyber Age, it makes sense to put some of these observations to "paper" (oh yeah, I said paper. I kick it old school - at least metaphorically).

One of the biggest miscommunications seems to be in the form of interpreting affection. For you men, the most consistent thing I have found in women is that THEY DIG WORDS. Tell her, tell her, tell her (with WORDS) that's she's pretty, you love her, she's great in bed...whatever. Yes, you said it yesterday - but today is new. Her hair is different (at least to her) her makeup's a different shade...whatever. It seems repetitive, but this will save you time, money, aggravation and arguments. Just fucking say it again. I would add more here...but for now, fellas, that's all you need to know. See, we're not that complicated. (okay, we are, but to go into what we're asking vs. what we're REALLY asking - but that's another blog post)

Now. For the women: MEN DIG ACTION. Words are nice, but not, Not, NOT their main form of, well, anything. For men, words are about giving waiters orders, discussing sports (which is a not a sexist statement - read on), inquiring about the location of the remote control and describing their favorite pretty parts of the women they admire. To them: TALK IS CHEAP.

The example I most often use to describe this: MEN. You can build a house with nothing more than bare materials and your hands, work sun up to sun down until that place was BUILT...but if you don't say "I love you", she'll worry about your devotion. WOMEN. You can say "I love you" 1000 times a day, but if you don't back it up with behaviors (physical affection, especially sex) he's going to doubt it. Tell him you respect him. Sure, that's good. However, if you never EVER take his advice (action!) he isn't going to believe you.

It never ceases to amaze me how many women rate men on the gifts they buy. Men tend to be throw away generous with their money. Since women like gifts, men have learned that an easy way to impress a gal is to just get her something shiny. Women - do you really, REALLY want to know if your man loves you? Don't look at the money - look at the TIME. How much time did it take to go online and order flowers? How much time did it take to build that freaking house? See?

Unlike women (strongest when they have big, fat problems to face together) men bond over fun. Happy things. You want to bond with your man? Pick something he likes to do (ACTION) and do that with him. Obviously, pick something you don't hate, otherwise you'll suck the joy right out of the experience when he figures out that you're just doing it for him (believe it or not, unless he's a sadist - which means you should RUN - he doesn't enjoy your misery). Even if it's an activity that does NOT rock your world, the bond you'll enjoy with your guy DOES. See?

If you MUST have talking - there is still hope. This brings us to sports. For men, sports is that international safe zone - they don't have to think of things to say (the games have already happened) and even if The Team lost, they benefited (bond!) from the experience of watching/playing it.

"But my man doesn't follow sports" - fine. Pick something he does follow. Does he do online gaming? I promise he'll enjoy talking about his avatar, or the quest he's currently on. You know your man (or, if you don't, this would be the time to take a closer look). He must have some sort of interest in life, otherwise he's so boring he probably doesn't have a woman anyway.

"But I hate sports (gaming, etc.)!" Well, chances are, he hates talking. This is compromise.

"But we have really big problems to discuss!" If it's an emergency, of course he has to suck it up and talk about the real subject matter. However, if you've put in enough "sports" talk, it's going to be INFINITELY easier to get him to talk about other things - because he is now comfortable talking with you at all.

Also, just like women, men speak in codes. A woman may ask "is she prettier than I am?" when she really means "even though that woman is clearly prettier than I am, do you love me so much that you are happy you wake up next to me instead of her?". Believe it or not, men do the same thing. When he goes on and on about baseball stats, or the new arrival at Game Stop - it's his way of satisfying his need for human interaction and bonding. YES IT IS. Stop arguing. IT IS.

"But why doesn't he just talk to me about (whatever it is you'd rather he talk about - probably of an emotional/relationship nature)?" The answer is simple. FOR THE EXACT SAME REASON YOU DON'T REALLY ASK ABOUT HOW THE OTHER GIRL IS CLEARLY PRETTIER. In short, it is uncomfortable to be so vulnerable. Even, or maybe especially, with the person you love most in the world.

But what does all of this have to do with "diablo" meaning "devil"?

I have recently fallen in love with the movie The A-Team. Liam Neeson (Hannibal), Bradley Cooper (Face), Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (Bosco) and (oh, my God in Heaven I love) Sharlto Copley (Murdock). For love interest/token female role, Jessica Biel plays Cpt./Lt. Charissa Sosa. The movie is fun, funny, very well acted and an all around good time. It is also an excellent portrayal of how men who love each other show it. Do the characters run around talking about how supportive they find one another...or complimenting the (considerable) talents of each A-Team member? Oh. Hell. No. That is NOT how men roll.

The one, repeat ONE, weak link is the writing for Sosa. Biel is great - I really like her as a person and she is great actor. Sosa, however, starts out as a total bitch. She comes around (naturally), but in her first scene, the viciousness with which she treats Face is ridiculous. Even Murdock, resident goofball and comic relief, is appalled. Does he tell her off? Does he talk to Face about how (Face) deserves to be treated better? No and no.

Scene at face value: Sosa has just made several rapid fire comments designed to hurt/intimidate Face. As she's walking off, Murdock just casually strums his guitar and starts singing (in her earshot, of course) "Diablo esta Nina..." Face joins in singing with him, and by the time Sosa's gone, they've hit the last high note and Murdock asks Face: "Doesn't 'diablo' mean 'devil'?" To which Face replies "YEAH, MAN!"

What actually happened: Murdock is an unwilling witness to this woman (who broke Face's heart a couple years back) VERY effectively slicing, dicing and humiliating one of the most important people in his life (Murdock doesn't seem to have a family/life beyond those three). Face, well aware that B.A. and Murdock know how much she means to him, is hurt...and would be humiliated...if not for Murdock. By starting the song in her presence, Murdock undermines the seriousness of her entire exercise in verbal castration. By singing about how the devil is a woman, he pretty much called her out for being a bitch. By picking a song Face knows, Face can join in, thereby reclaiming at least some of the satisfaction she apparently took in verbally abusing him.

Murdock was there for his boy - showing his support, telling off the mean girl and giving Face a way to retain the dignity she tried so very hard to destroy. Murdock showed Face love.

Ladies, I bet if you examine his behaviors, you'll see just how often your man does say "I love you". Gentlemen, if you use more words, she'll have an easier time recognizing those actions.

Promise.

Monday, February 14, 2011

An Ode to Army Men

Obviously, I don't post very often. However, today I looked at my journal and sighed. Last year, it was so convenient for my journal (the actual book) to run out of pages right around New Year's - and yet, this year, it's now Valentine's Day and there are several pages left.

In the past, I have remedied this problem with what I like to call "The Brain Candy Solution". In other words, instead of prattling on about my life and my exceptionally perceptive and profound opinions of it, I write about something completely, utterly and giddily (is that even a word?) fun.

When I was a girl, my family (being an Army one, and therefore far from most of our relatives most of the time) would take road trips. Long, long, looooooooooong road trips. This is back before portable dvd players, iAnythings, Sirius stations...hell, at this point, we didn't even have CASSETTE walkmen.

Thankfully, our parents had excellent, if ecclectic, taste in music. We grew up listening to everything from the Beatles and the Stones to Donna Summer and Dolly Parton. I have a full appreciation for Andrew LLoyd Webber and Roger Whittaker, for the Four Seasons, the Beach Boys, Elvis Presley and Sly and the Family Stone. Just like the beat, the list goes on... but you get the point.

Oh, I should add, Hank Williams, Jr..

I now have a playlist that is a collection of my favorite songs from these car trips and am very much enjoying it. Naturally, I sing along. Now, for a woman, I have a fairly deep singing voice (my sister in law is a music teacher and she says it's a "true alto"), so I've always gotten more enjoyment from male singers, since they're the ones with whom I can sing along. (I will say I have been working on diversifying a bit more ever since Crikey asked me "Mom, are there ANY woman singers - I mean, besides you and Aunt Mena?")

What do people most often sing songs about? Good times, love, sex, sad times, love, sex, drinking, love, sex... I'm not sure if anyone reading here sees the problem...

As a straight woman singing along with male singers - many of these songs just don't ring true to who I am or how I feel about the songs' content. Therefore, rather early in my life, I would start adjusting the lyrics to fit my own perspective. Generally, the changes have been small (but important), changing "girl" or "woman" to "boy" and "man" (and so on). But one song...

I recently had the epiphany that almost every single romantic relationship of mine has been with a man in the Army. First love, first boyfriend, husband...all Army. Just at the moment of that epiphany, the song "Texas Women" by Hank Jr. came on. I found myself singing almost completely different lyrics and if I don't say so myself, the results are pretty damn cute.

Therefore, I shall share.

With some caveats.

1) This in NO WAY is intended to reflect poorly on the civilian men I know. As my sister pointed out (an observation with which I wholeheartedly agree) I have an UNUSUALLY good looking group of friends. Yes, you are very, VERY attractive. However, I am sure you've all noticed that I'm not sleeping with any of you - so it should come as no surprise that my attention was caught elsewhere.

2) Hank was pretty proud of his hard living, hard partying ways; this is reflected in his music. I kept one or two of the more risque lines because they just fit so well. They are being used metaphorically. :D

3) I couldn't always find appropriate words to rhyme...so I just went with rhythm. For example, the only word I could think of for battalion was stallion...and where that would lead us is just a little too "late night" for (even) my blog.

One last note before diving into the lyrics - every time I travel by air, especially into and out of the Atlanta airport, I see so many troops. No matter how old I may get, or how jaded I may feel, the sight of those men and women make my heart swell with gratitude for the sacrifices they make and their willingness to risk their lives for our safety, our freedom - and with affection, since, having grown up on a Basic Training base, I can recognize the newbies...how young they are, how lonely they usually are and how far they are from home.

That's my first reaction. The second (this time only focusing on the majority - the men):

OH MY OH MY OH MY...GOD BLESS AMERICA - THEY'RE BEAUTIFUL.

"Army Men" (with my compliments to Hank Jr.)

I've gotten fond memories of Philadelphia
And I've seen some handsome men in civie's clothes
But the best looking men between me and you,
Are all in the Army, decked in BDUs

I'm a high class bad ass
And I've got plenty of sass
And I don't high roll but I have lots of friends
Who may think I'm nuts
And so wish me luck
But I live to love
Army Men

I thought I'd seen sexy in chic, trendy places
Til I looked upon those Airborne faces
Seen dandys who work up on Capital Hill
But they've got nothing on the boys from Kelly Hill

(I'm a high class bad ass...)

I'm a pretty fair judge of the opposite sex
And I ain't seen nothing that will touch'em yet
They may be Green Berets or Ranger Battalion
The one thing about it - they're all in the Army

(I'm a high class bad ass...)

I've been born and bred
To be well behaved
But my hair is red, well so is my blood
And they make it boil
With those hot ACUs
And I love'em all
Army Men