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June 12, 2016 / thackersam

Sunday Cynicism

Cynicism quote GBSI’m looking forward to going to the IWWG conference next month.

Before ever going away the summer conference of the International Women’s Writing Guild, which at the time seemed like something only real writers do, I attended a couple of their much smaller conferences held in the City. I must have written about that before. That was in the last century.

It was a big deal for me to go to one of those as well, traveling into Manhattan from eastern Queens. I liked these weekend conferences and the attractive woman who started it all, although she had way too many kumbaya moments going on. I was uncomfortable going around the room before the start of both days’ sessions, and having each attendee stand, say who they were and give one word to describe themselves. Butterfly, Optimist, Rainbow… were some of the words I remember. I hate this kind of crap. I played along, but did not feel confident enough to say the word I wanted, so instead, when it came my turn, I said “survivor.” I didn’t mean in the cancer sense as not only had I not had cancer back then, but the term survivor to particularly describe someone who has survived cancer, was in its infancy. I used the term just to describe all the other stuff I had not only survived but continued to move forward through. Slowly, yes, but forward nonetheless (I love the word nonetheless. Isn’t it great?) So, survivor fit then too.

The next day, yes she had us do it again. When it came back around to me , I stood, said my name and explained that the day before I had wanted to say cynic, but thought it was too, well, cynical. I got quite a few chuckles.

That woman who started the whole IWWG thing, was even worse at the annual fest that took women writers and goddesses to Skidmore College for a week. She had one those Tibetan gong bowls and numerous flags which she presented to all the people who came from different countries, having them come up as she called there name to collect their particular flag. My first year, there were about 1,000 attendees. All this gathering of women stuff took up too much time at the evening gatherings when most of us wanted to get to the announcements by the late great Annie, and the readings that were usually a hoot. We all loved, that woman that started it all, and still do, and what she did was lovely, really, just long. She was eventually booted from her creation, as sometimes happens, causing a big to-do a few years ago from which the Guild has yet to recover. And it may not. It looks like this year they’re actually pulling out all the stops to bring back some of the old feel of the conference while showing a new direction. The numbers have been ridiculously down since the dissention. But I’m excited and hopeful for this year.

Am I still a cynic? Of course and with more and more right to be. Without going into detail, no surgery scheduled yet, and the further tests have exacerbated the thing with my feet. I’m getting pissed, but I won’t go off on a rant, tonight.

Though I maintain my pride as a card-carrying member of the group, I do try to deal with the negative aspects of my cynicism by working on  the assumptions that I’m not going to like “it.” Like prosecco, for instance. I prefer my wines very dry and am not into effervescent types. In my time, I have tasted a nice champagne or two, but it’s not up my alley. I have never had prosecco and from what I know of it, have an unproved bias against it. I’ve also have a bottle in my refrigerator for what could be a year or more, that Gilda brought. No one has wanted me to open it,  not even Gilda, so the other night I thought, hey, I could do with a glass of wine, and remembering what the cheap Trader Joe’s cabernet sauvignon tasted like, I wasn’t interested in trying that brand’s pinot grigio that stood next to the untouched prosecco. So I did it. I opened the bottle against which I’ve held a prejudice, and not just because there are hearts on it. It had the champagne cork (Trader Joe’s had a twist off top), poured clean not fizzy, and had a nice clean aroma. And it tasted like swill. So, there you go.

Since trying new things out of my comfort zone is on my agenda, I strayed today from Tribeca’s Kitchen, and while I cannot say I will never again stray, I did try a more traditional diner down this way in the Financial District, and can report that I shan’t be dallying with them again.

BTW – After breakfast and finding hits and misses on my Sunday outing to another part of downtown Manhattan, I came home and really discovered John Oliver. I think I watched five episodes, all that was available On Demand. He is incredibly informative and incredibly funny. To my delight, while he had us all laughing at the newly elected president of the Philippines, who is likened to Donald Trump, Oliver referred to him, not as a “fucking moron,” which would be the funnier choice of word, but he called him the more frightening “fucking monster,” forcing deeper thought on our part. I love that kind of humor and straightforwardness. I would have gone for moron. Plus, in researching President Elect Rodrigo Duterte, he’s a much bigger dick than Trump. Pardon my French.

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