White Christmas

Saturday’s Christmas snow was a special gift from Santa–in my whole life, no matter where I was on Christmas day, it had never snowed before, and it’s always something I hope for.  It was lovely, wasn’t it?  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said it was the first white Christmas that the city has seen since 1882–118 years.  I think I’ll write a poem about it, though I don’t know what my approach will be.  It will have to simmer in my brain a few days, I think.

Thank heavens we didn’t have to be anywhere–we just stayed in.  I was  very glad that Mom had decided to rent a car and come anyway (after the transmission debacle), and fortunately, she got in late on Christmas Eve, so she wasn’t traveling in the weather, which would have been nerve-wracking for all concerned.

As for Christmas Day itself, I cooked my traditional Christmas lasagne, and we also had asparagus.  I also attempted, once again, to make an apple-cranberry pie.  But I am firm believer that our craptastic oven has  “attempt at baking” detection, because every time I try to bake a sweet, something wrong happens.  This time, it was a charred pie top.  Which is so fricken’ annoying!  I think getting an oven thermometer is an idea whose time is long past.

And it’s only sweet things that get fouled up.  I’ve baked bread and muffins in the oven and have had no problem.  Pies, however, it hates to cook.  Maybe what I need to do the next time is just not cook the apple pie the full 2 hours.  Or maybe I should just buy a pie next time–save myself the hassle.

But the lasagne and asparagus were good.  And of course I set a beautiful table with candles, snowman placemats, red chargers, snow-white napkins, red-handled utensils (the ones Grace sent as a wedding gift last year), and our Wedgwood Nantucket Basket wedding china.

After dinner, we opened presents and watched a silly Christmas movie on tv.  It was a really nice Christmas.

I hope yours was too.



Tampongate Continues

So, I enjoyed being at the Atlanta Writers Club meeting for the first time in maybe a year and a half–Memye Curtis Tucker, Amy Pence, and John Ottley were the featured poets, and then there were several “invited” readers, among whom were Karen Holmes, Andrea O’Roarke, and I.  And then there were several people who read in the open mic section.  What was nice about this AWC meeting, as opposed to most of the others that I’ve been to, was that it was focused completely on poetry.

I actually used to belong to AWC, but they so infrequently did anything with poetry–their programs seemed to focus on mainly 3 things:  “How to Get Published” (which generally was some know-it-all fiction editor or author who basically told everyone that they were stupid if they thought they had any chance to get published); fiction readings and fiction-related craft workshops; or non-fiction/ true crime.  After a year of going and the only poetry program they offered was Natasha Tretheway (which, to be fair, was a pretty great program) despite the fact that I complained and wrote a note to the then-president, I thought, to hell with this–I’m not spending $40 in dues to listen to things that held almost no interest for me.  This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy some of that other programming, but it was so generally weighted towards fiction it didn’t seem worth it to attend any more.

But of course, while I applaud today’s focus on poetry, it doesn’t appear that the Atlanta Writers Club is going to have any poetry-related programming any time soon, at least not according to their online event schedule which goes through March.  So needless to say, I don’t feel co mpelled to renew my lapsed membership…

… And all of this is by way of saying, that on the drive home, I stopped in five different groceries/ drug stores to investigate if any of them had o.b. tampons.  A couple actually did–but all they had were “regular” strength and “super” strength.  Without being too indelicate, even “super” works about as well as a band-aid on a bullet wound.  People, I need “super plus” (it has the yellow stripe)–so if you see a box of 40 super plus o.b. tampons, buy them for me, and I’ll pay you back.

In the mean time, I broke down and went to Whole Foods to buy a 20 pack of Natracare brand organic tampons (for $7.99!!!!–a 40 pack of o.b. would have been $6.42).  They are applicator-less, so that’s one point in their favor.  But I do not  have high expectations for them– after all this time, I’m set in my ways, and the prospect of trying some new kind of fem-hi product fills me with absolute dread.

I’ll be sure to let you know how the Natracare tampons work out.  I know you’re dying to find out.

An Open Letter to McNeill-PPC to Continue Production of o.b. Tampons–or Next Week Is Going to Be One Bloody Mess

The following is a letter I just wrote to the makers of o.b. tampons, my tampon o’ choice for the 5 days of every month that suck the most for me (and Chris).

However, when I tried to submit my comment to McNeil-PPC, Inc., it kept giving me an error message stating that “Special characters are not allowed,” which I can only assume means ANY alpha-numeric character, because I went back through my letter and removed everything that might ostensibly be considered “special”–i.e., dashes, a % sign, a couple of //, all paragraph breaks, etc.

Clearly I will just have to mail this letter to them.  But I’m posting it here because I’m angry–forgoddess’s sake, I’m pre-menstrual and extremely annoyed at the company right now–and because I’m tired of people nagging me about making a new blog post.  Apologies if you’re squeamish about such things.

Anyway, without further ado, may I present my open letter to o.b. tampons:

Dear McNeil-PPC, Inc.–

I am about 3 days away from my period, and I cannot find o.b. tampons ANYWHERE.  I have looked at Wal-Mart, Target, and Walgreens, and I’ve looked at online drugstores and even Amazon.com.

Where are they?  Why aren’t you selling them?  I have used o.b. tampons since MY VERY FIRST PERIOD 24 YEARS AGO. That’s an estimated 5,760 tampons over the course of my life.  Assuming I hit menopause the same time my Mom did (and she used o.b. too)–at age 55–that’s another 4080 o.b. tampons I’ll use.  If that’s not product loyalty, what is?

I have read blogs online, and women everywhere are discussing this.  One blog even quoted a response you made saying that o.b. tampons ultra were being discontinued for “manufacturing updates.”  I don’t know what “manufacturing updates” means.  What about your product needs to be updated?  It’s been fine all the years I’ve used it.

I don’t want to use an applicator.  It adds landfill waste; it’s awkward; and it’s hard to conceal.  I sure as hell don’t want to use a Diva Cup–I’m not that envrionmentally enlightened.  Moreover, o.b. is perfect the way it is–I can tuck it in a pocket, in a wallet, even in a lipstick holder.  It’s practically invisible to carry–and to use.

It fits.  It works.  And I need you to recognize that you have loyal customers who count on o.b. to get us  through a painful, cranky, generally icky week every month. I can–almost–forget I’m having my period, because I am secure that my trusted o.b. tampon will come through for me.

Tell me how I’m supposed to survive the next 2 decades of my life without o.b.?  Why are you condemning me to finding some other product which will inevitably disappoint me?

Don’t you care about women any more?  Don’t you care that women have the most buying power?  Don’t you care that you don’t even have to advertise your product because you have so many, many loyal women supporters?

I’d even be willing to pay a premium upcharge to get o.b. tampons.  Raise the price by 50%–I guarantee you, I (and other loyal o.b. users) will gladly pay.

I am submitting my plea to your company to continue production of o.b.  Please.  I will be calling on Monday, and I am going to be posting this letter on my blog, https://jcreilly.wordpress.com.

Believe me, I am not looking forward to experiencing my first period in three days without o.b., and I’m angry that even on your o.b. website, you have not addressed why women can’t find your tampons.

An explanation about this tragedy on your website would be nice.  Restocking the drugstores with o.b. would be even better.  Show that you care about your customers, show that you support women, and BRING O.B. TAMPONS BACK ASAP.

JC Reilly


And, in other news, I’m reading at the First Annual Poetry Day at the Atlanta Writers Club tomorrow.  (So you see, this post wasn’t just about my time of the month–I managed to tie in poetry.)

The Animals Are Lining Up, 2 by 2

The rain has been relatively incessant the last week (with the exception of yesterday afternoon’s obnoxious burst of sun) that I’ve been thinking of writing some rain-related poems.  The problem with that is, somehow all the connotations of rain are cliché, and I’m not sure how I can write about it in a fresh way.

The rain we had today was like a rain back home in Louisiana–a gullywasher, where the rain doesn’t fall so much as spill from a dam in the heavens, and the skylights in my sunroom reminded me of a windshield when you go through an automatic car wash.  In a word, it was awesome.

The downside, of course, is the flooding, and the idiotic Atlanta drivers in their assinine SUVs who think it’s fine to barrel through huge lakes in the street, sending up 10 foot walls of water that deluge your windshield and blind you.  I’d rather not have to drive in that.

Ah, well, I suppose this is a pointless post.   Maybe I will have something writing-related to tell you tomorrow.  Though, as I think about it, I did get a rejection for both of my chapbooks today, which, while unsurprising, still sucked.   Another $20 down the drain.  *Sigh*

This & That

This morning, twenty to seven, there was a huge crack of thunder which woke me up, and somehow the first thing my mind started thinking about was Neil Sedaka’s “Laughter in the Rain.  Chris and I sometimes joke about Neil Sedaka/ Paul Anka because in our minds, they are the same person (a.k.a. Neil Sedanka).  But I confess a little affection for “Laughter in the Rain” because it is sweet, and with all this rain we’re having lately, it seems appropriate, especially because everyone else is so cranky that it keeps raining, and Chris and I just love it.  We talk about moving to Oregon where it rains 200+ days a year, but I could never live that far away from my Mom.

Today I have great plans of doing some painting.  The one problem with the rain is that since the air is so dampy, it may make the paint dry unevenly, and with acrylics, that’s a critical issue because the last thing I want to do is to use some paint that’s started to turn plastic before I need it to–suddenly, paint you think is smooth and blendable on the canvas has an unexpected, unwanted rubbery texture that messes things up.  The solution to that, though, is to put less paint on on my palette, so that if it winds up being a while before I think to use a specific color, and it’s already started to turn plasticy, it won’t be a big waste.

Speaking of paintings, I’ve got several that I need to glaze, but the weather has just not been cooperating for the last several weeks–you can’t spray gloss on pictures if the air is humid, either–there is a chance the gloss will cloud or dry unevenly/ bubble.  What we need are several bright, clear, low-humidity days.  (Although, I’d rather it rain; there’s no hurry to glaze.)

I’ll write more later on after I’ve accomplished something. 😉

Going Public

I have had many secret blogs over the years–some less secret than others, as it turns out, to my everlasting horror–but I’ve decided that if I want to be a Real, Professional, Working Poet (TM), then I need to have a public space where I can advertise my sublime poetic doings… as well as discuss  some more quotidian efforts of the writing process.

Those of you who have read my SBs (secret blogs) and prefer their “bitch darkness” and dirt, never fear, they still exist, and I will, of course, periodically update them.  But here I want to focus on poetry and writing, as well as my responses to articles and poetry I’ve read.

It’s time to get serious.  I will never be a famous poet if I continue to lollygag my life away. 😉

I hope you like what you read.  If you do, leave me a comment.  If you don’t, leave me one anyway.  Because I’m open-minded like that.