Monthly Archives: November 2012

My Fingernails My Waterloo

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My fingernails.

I quit. Yes, I will fuss, fix, and demand perfection from my make-up. Yes, every outfit must be carefully chosen, maintained, coordinated, and sensational. My hair (as much as I can do with the frizz-mop) I will tame and control. My weight and belly I will maintain with arduous self denial and diet… well, most of the time. My bare feet will be properly polished, lovingly buffed, lotioned, and perfumed. But, my fingernails…

I give up.

Yes, ratty, tatty, chipped, and poorly polished. I accept defeat. The world has proven to me once and for all that my fingernails will look like those of a prepubescent girl. Chipped polish, patch jobs… and you know what… I don’t care.

Actually, I do care, but I still give up.

Don’t look at my fingernails. They are no longer under my power.

Get On the Right Thing 2.0

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Gearing up to return to the booth at Grow Radio I am once again delighted and bothered. Delighted ’cause I get to share all these Paul McCartney treasures with you, and bothered ’cause my favorite artist still seems to be a punching bag to hipster critics and aging dino-rockers. At least with my show, for the people who listen, I can change hearts and minds about who McCartney is and what he is about as an artist.

For a start, an open letter to ALL critics: I have noticed a number of worn-out cliches and tired redundancies when it comes to McCartney albums, so here are a few ground rules for ALL future critiques, articles, blogs, opinions, etc.

Rule #1: We no longer have to open each review with “his best album since Band On the Run.” perhaps it’s in your contracts or something that this inane statement must be made, but it is inane, and it has been stated relentlessly for nearly 40 years. Let’s all just move on together, please.

Rule #2: Even in positive to lukewarm reviews of other albums we no longer have to follow “his best album since Band On the Run” with a lengthy diatribe about how his other albums suck. First of all, they don’t, and second of all, didn’t you just say a couple years back that the album you are now dissing was “his best album since Band On the Run?” No one will think you are uncool or take away your hipster or pathetic aging rocker badges if you just start in liking the album, you do not have to justify yourselves to maintain your image as a cool guy. McCartney kicks ass and always has.

Rule #3: We no longer need to us the words “lightweight,” “bubblegum,” “sugary” or “poppy” dismissively. The adjectives usually only apply to one song per album and dismissing whole albums or stages of his career only reveals that you have not been paying attention. Take the wads of attitude out of your ears and make room for the music. but, be warned, you have to meet McCartney half way, he’s not going to hold your hand as he genre-hops. People, you are up to it, you can keep up with McCartney! He’s left most of you in the dust for years, get your shit together.

Rule #4: Let’s stop being so shocked every time he does something experimental or loud and heavy… every time you say how this doesn’t sound like McCartney you are again revealing that you have not been paying attention for the last 50 years. So, the next time Macca rocks out (which is often) and you say “I didn’t know McCartney had it in him,” I’m gonna say what McCartney does, “Where have you been?”

And remember, the only time everyone is entitled to their own opinions is when their opinions are not misinformed or based on willful ignorance.

Now, let’s all just let go, become mindful, and enjoy the next batch of Paul McCartney music every Thursday at 11am on “Get On the Right Thing, McCartney Reconsidered with Barefoot Justine” on growradio.org.

Saigon Legend

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Well, we all know how I felt about Chopstix Cafe rudely kicking me out over a law that DOES NOT EXIST, so as a case in point, let’s talk about Saigon Legend, also in Gainesville.

I have eaten at Saigon Legend numerous times, and have not only found the food to be fresh and tastefully prepared, but I have also found the staff to be not only friendly, but welcoming, kind, and obviously interested in me (a customer), the food, and their place in the community. Every time I have gone in there they have been welcoming and have treated me like a neighbor… like another member of the community in which we all live.

Today they were particularly kind and attentive. I don’t know why exactly, but they were not only professional, not only did they serve up their food with love and care, but they were outwardly enthusiastic about having me there. To my amusement, they really gave me the Princess treatment today… and what woman wouldn’t love that? Of course, I eat there frequently, and as a regular customer this is the sort of treatment that goes a long way towards keeping me a regular customer. The service today was even more caring and lovely than usual. I don’t go there just for the food, but also for the people. I will be happy to spend my money there for years to come. And, I might add, never once have I been disappointed in the food, it has always been just right. The sauces they use are perfect, never drowning the flavor of the vegetables in “brownness,” but always highlighting the natural flavor of the other ingredients. In particular their Vietnamese salad is always just right, tart, just sharp and just sweet enough to make my mouth water.

Saigon Legend most definitely is a business that is steeped in the spirit of Gainesville. Not only do they show no signs of trying to control my clean, legal, and harmless barefoot lifestyle, they are always, instead, simply delighted to have a smiling regular customer. Saigon Legend is one of the many places I can go to with comfort knowing that I will be fed well and treated respectfully and enthusiastically.

Monkey My Ass!

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Joe claims he saw the monkey again today, booking across the lawn. This is the very monkey he says he’s seen two other times out here at the lakehouse.

Out of mere envy and frustration (I have been on monkey-watch here for months… without so much as a single monkey crossing my path) I have decided that not only did he not see a monkey, but that I no longer believe a word he says.

There, problem solved! There are no monkeys here.

Durga’s Blessings

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I have, as of late, been so demoralized by “pronoun trouble” that I had fallen into grim acceptance and an impenetrable hopelessness about my identity. My whole sense of identity had, in fact, been, so I feared, hopelessly crushed forevermore. I, simply put, had given up. I had accepted that I am not nor will ever be compleat–not merely physically, but in my heart.

This evening, and I had no idea why, I have caught glimpses of myself in the mirror, my hair tamed into curls, my face fleshed out sweetly, my makeup just right, and thought… “Justine… you are SEXY!” Hell, even “FOXY.” And it felt good. No, it felt like salvation, so far down in my sense of self had I fallen.

And I recalled, just recalled moments ago, that just yesterday I pleaded with Goddess Durga to fill me with strength and pull me out of this black sense of self. I had forgotten my prayer. And not thinking once about that, not intending it, I had, on a whim, gone out today and bought a Durga murti for my altar.

Furthermore, my faith as of late has been hanging by a slender strand. I have felt distant from my Deities, but today, Durga once again, made it clear that She and They are forever with me. She listens and she sends me signs and strength.

And just as she sent the white snake to me, so she sends me this. And I know–cynics be damned–in this clarity, that my Gods are real, far more real than words and the science the tiny puddle of trifling pudding in our skulls devises to explain away the divine.

Durga is real, more real to me than constructs from the pudding will ever be. And I must leave flowers at her altar.