Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Living Large

I've been struggling with this spirit animal thing. I went to my spiritual advisor and told her what my life coach said. We all got on a Zoom meeting together and came up with a compromise. Our working premise was "Marsupials." We settled on a kangaroo. It's not a bear, of course, but it is much better than a possum. 

I'm not giving up, though.  I read today that Google and DeepMind “are testing ambitious new tools that could turn generative A.I. — the technology behind chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s own Bard — into a personal life coach.”  

Now how cool is that?  

I deleted the beginning of a post just before I started this that had my picture at the top.  I always take a selfie after a beauty appointment.  Sure, it is partly ego, and I often send it around to "interested parties," but they serve an even greater purpose than that.  I have a record of what my beautician does and use it for reference before we begin each time.  

"This color, I think, right?  And this length?  Sure, sure, you're the artist, but. . . . "

I know that I look better as a blond and I prefer my hair longer most of the time.  Not always.  But mostly.  And I think I look o.k. fat.  It softens the wrinkles, you know.  

But I took that post down.  I wanted to show you that I am just too cute and cool to die, but it was just simply gauche.  Also. . . why tempt fate?  Still, you know. . . leave a good looking corpse.  

I got kind of loopy with emotion yesterday.  It happens.  It is hot and I don't intend to stand in a hot kitchen cooking meals just now, so I was on my way to Fresh Market to get a poke bowl, a seaweed salad, some sake, and various other fun treats which is what half of Fresh Market is all about.  On my way out, I heard Frank Sinatra singing a Cole Porter tune.  It took me back.  

My '90s (era, not age) were full of Cole Porter.  While y'all were listening to Gangsta Rap. . . I wasn't.  I was a real homo.  Oops.  I think we call that "metro" now.  But you'll get it--Watermen and Mont Blanc pens, Il Bisonte and Coach leather goods.  Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel catalogs were the hot new thing.  Catalogs in general.  My mailbox was never empty.  Smith and Hawkins and Anthropologie, too.  At night, I would make a drink and grab catalogs and climb into bed.  See what I mean?  

There was a new wine shop in town with a sometimes cafe.  The guy who owned it could be a bit of a curmudgeon, but when he decided to make food, he had the most exquisite taste.  I paged through his American Express magazines.  I was dating rich girls and trading in my hippie existence for the life of a BoBo.  I still had no money, but I had bought a house and was learning to decorate.  I did my own home and yard renovations.  Not all.  I had a twelve inch Mexican tile floor put in.  I painted my walls the color of adobe and put in decks and patios and giant windows and double French doors.  I went into debt and bought Ralph Lauren furniture.  We ate good cheeses and tapenade and truffle mousse on pieces of toasted bread in chichi restaurants and bars.  The shops in the West Village and in what was becoming SoHo, where unbelievable were unbelievable markets selling exquisite things--Shabby Chic furniture coverings and handmade metal bedsteads and exotic stones and beads from India and Africa and Malaysia--and Cole Porter was inescapable.  We wore jeans and t-shirts with little leather slip on loafers and expensive sports coats.  In Spain we ran with the bulls in Pamplona and stayed in luxury hotels in Madrid.  In France, we dined with  Roger Verge at his restaurant and drank the most expensive wines.  We motored to St. Tropez on a Prince's yacht and lunched on the beaches of private clubs.  

I could go on for much longer.  It was a magic trick when I look back.  I had made no money.  I was a simple factory worker making a factory worker's wage.  It was nothing.  I spent more than every dime I had.  But what it got me. . . . yea.  

It was Hemingway who taught me that you had to pay your way.  The bill always came, and you had to pay one way or another.  The trick, he said, was to get your money's worth.  That has been my guiding principle in life, my internal mantra.  I come from hillbilly stock where "a penny saved is a penny earned."  From that ethos I fled as quickly as my legs would carry me.  A deal isn't always a deal.  Oh. . . I have plenty of mantras.  "First you make your environment, then your environment makes you."  I have chosen with great care and deliberation, I think.  

It had to be magic or some deus ex machina.  I definitely got more than I paid for somehow.  I mean. . . I've gotten my money's worth.  

Now, hanging with the racquet club gymroid crowd, I feel myself a broke ass bitch.  Thousands have become millions.  Millions have become billions.  

But yea, I thought. . . I'm just too cool to die. . . yet.  I'm fat and I limp and I hurt from head to toe, but when I take those after beauty selfies. . . . 

The cat seemed to enjoy the Cole Porter.  Or maybe it was the little pieces of tuna that I would toss her now and then.  The weather has cooled a few degrees and sometimes we get the afternoon rain.  The planet is cooking, and not just for me.  We're all going to die.  But really. . . do you think you got your money's worth?  

I have a heart bigger than the moon. . . and I have.  I have gotten much more than I deserved.  

There is something bothering me, though.  I'm thinking my spirit animal must be a giant jaguar.  I'm going to check with my AI coach and see if we can't work this out.  

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