Make Mine Red

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and so in many places you see pink things to remind you of this fact.  Everything from the White House to football players’ uniforms are decorated pink.  I had breast cancer so I am grateful for the attention to this issue.  I am, however, a bit fed up with all that pink.  Primarily,because it has become such a big business.  Too many manufacturers who could care less about women’s health issues jump on the pink bandwagon because they know someone might buy their item to give to a victim or survivor. Or, their brand might earn a few goodwill dollars.

Instead, I’d like to make mine RED.  The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson, started a Traveling Red Dress project a few years ago.  She wrote about wanting “just once, to wear a bright red, strapless ball gown with no apologies. I want to be shocking, and vivid and wear a dress as intensely amazing as the person I so want to be.”  She got her red dress and then started mailing it out to others so they could experience their “red dress” moment.  While not everyone wants to wear a red ball gown, we all have things we want to do that would makes us feel as “intensely amazing” as we truly are.

What Shall I Write About?

When I was in graduate school working on my Ph.D. I was not a youngster. I had 20 years of teaching experience and twice that much and more life experience. I didn’t have a hard time picking a dissertation topic, I had a hard time narrowing a topic down so that I could graduate and move on with my life. A fellow graduate student counseled me by saying something like, “Think of all you have to say and then imagine a drill going through the middle of it.  Write what comes out of the hole.”

That same feeling is with me as I begin my blog.  What part shall I write about?  What do I think is important enough to commit to “paper?”  I’ve been thinking about writing a blog for a number of years.  I discovered blogs when I was ill.  During the worst part of my illness, I was confined to my home for long stretches of time.  I’m not a television watcher and I missed having regular interactions with thinking people.  I think the first blog I read was The Geezer Sisters by Ruth Pennebacker (www.geezersisters.com).  I had read Ruth’s excellent essay about breast cancer and pink do-dads in the Austin American Statesman.  I looked up her blog and then used her list of other bloggers to explore.

On my computer desktop, I have a number of blogs that I follow.  A new post is like a letter from a friend. I’ve discovered that it is possible to build a wonderful community among folks you would never have an opportunity to meet elsewhere.  What I’ve also discovered is there are not many blogs for women in my demographic.  I’m a divorced, forty-nineteen year old, childless by choice woman.  I am retired because of my illness, not my choice.  I have lived a very interesting (to me) life filled with lots of atypical choices for a southern woman. My blog heroes keep encouraging us to tell our stories.  So, I’m going to tell mine.  If you find you want to share your stories, I’ll be glad to listen.  I love good stories.

I’m liberal, opinionated, a calculated risk taker, and a dog lover.  I’ve called the blog Views from the Dog Park because I found that all sorts of social issues are played out in a dog park.  Also, because my dog park in Austin became a place where I could walk and think and contemplate the news and issues taking place outside the park.

I Did It!

DSCN0428

I have launched my blog! I’ve wanted to do so for some time, but my perfectionism has paralyzed me.  A million questions have buzzed in my head such as:

1.  What if I make a grammatical or spelling error and everyone knows I am stupid?

2.   What if, God Forbid, I seem braggerty* or boastful?

3.  What if there is no one out there who cares a flying f*** about anything I have to say?

          (I’m a recovering academic – forgive the numbering, it’s just the way I am.)

I think I finally have an answer to those head questions. I have developed what one of my blogging heroes Jenny Lawson calls a layer of I-have-no-shits-left-to-give-about-this-ness.

1 A.  For those critics, real and imagined, I present them with this gift:

, , , , , , , ,   Commas for comma errors

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz – Letters for spelling errors

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ – Capital letters for capitalization errors

, . ? ‘ “ “ ; : – Various punctuation marks for punctuation errors

Your welcome.

2 A. For the folks who might take offense that I seem to be boasting about what I’ve done.       Oh well, some folks just don’t know awesome when they see it.

3 A. I think I’m really writing this for me, not an audience. I want to record my observations of life from the dog park. If there are others who find any kind of value in these ramblings, I’m glad to see you.

Make sure your dog is socialized, clean up after yourself and your dog, and play nice!

Cats welcome only if they don’t leave shit around for the dogs to eat.

*I reserve the right to make up words, as I need them. Language is fluid – go with the flow.