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Erika Rae Archive

Erika Rae

Harvest Time! Or, My Democratic Carrots Have Genitalia. What Have Yours Got?

October 25th, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

This year, being the proud Obamabot that I am, I eagerly followed the left wing conspiracy all the way to my garden. Never mind the fact that I live at 9000 ft in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and get exactly 11.3 weeks of contiguous summer. The White House grounds currently survive an inordinate measure of chill under the scrutiny of the GOP. If Michelle could do it, I reasoned, so could I.

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Erika Rae

Christian Sex Toys

September 5th, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

So, I was doing a little “online shopping” the other day when I came upon a Christian Sex Toy site. [Uncertain intention of pun.] Now, I’m as adventurous as the next Sally, so I have to admit I was curious. What could the boudoir of the believer offer to spice up my marriage? What Would Jesus Do?

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Erika Rae

My Top 13 Memories of the School Years

August 18th, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

School is starting Thursday and for the first time in my life I’m watching from the other side of the proverbial school bus window. Yes, it’s true. I am about to be the mother of a school kid.

Over the next thirteen years I will watch as my child returns to me each day a little older and wiser. She will learn to skip rope, make fake lava, exhale the multiplication tables, spit out the capital of the 50 states on demand, discuss Hamlet in detail, and learn to calculate pi.

She will also learn to dress funny, hide gum in her mouth, text message her best friend without being detected by teachers, cuss, and spell the word “obfuscate” with first-hand knowledge of what it means.

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Erika Rae

By The Way…Dressing Up Emo Will Not Save You From Jury Duty

August 7th, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

Just in case you happened to be wondering: no, dressing up like a Marilyn Manson fan is not, in fact, an effective deterrent for jury duty.

I’m going to blame this one on the fact that I’m a Gemini. Allow me to explain.

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Erika Rae

A Thousand Words: Dem Bones

July 22nd, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

“Collarbone” is not a word one expects a two-year-old to whisper in one’s ear in an underground, candlelit cavern. I blame myself. For not asking questions about what was down there. For exposing her to death at such an early age. For taking her down into the catacombs in the first place.

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Erika Rae

How I Learned That Drinking Brings People Closer to God

July 9th, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

I am a huge fan of fermentation. There are few things I enjoy more than a glass of red wine in the evening. Especially merlot. Yeah, that’s right I said it. Despite the best efforts of the writers of the movie Sideways, I am still in love with the “M” word. Give me a glass with a nice bowl to roll it around in and I am one happy chick. And while I am not an addict, I have come to look forward to this experience with at least some measure of regularity. For me, the hardest part of pregnancy is not the back pain, difficulty of sleep – or even the labor. No, it is the necessity to cut back from that sublime burgundy in the glass.

Unlike most of my peers within the conservative Evangelical church in which I grew up, I was not taught by my parents that the drinking of alcohol is a sin. Rather, my training was of a more subtle nature. It wasn’t that drinking alcohol itself was a sin – unless of course it crossed over to drunkenness, at which point it ranked fairly high in the seven deadliest. It was more that drinking in front of somebody else who might be inclined to have a problem with it was.

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Erika Rae

On Fear

July 2nd, 2009
by Erika Rae

SOMEWHERE ABOVE BOULDER, CO-

I must not fear. 
Fear is the mind-killer. 
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. 
I will face my fear. 
I will permit it to pass over me and through me. 
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. 
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. 
Only I will remain.

- The Bene Gesserit Litany against Fear / Frank Herbert’s Dune

It is a couple of days ago. I am driving in my Jeep down the mountain road from my house. The sun is shining. The aspens are twinkling. On the side of the road, little sprigs of wildflowers are glowing yellow and purple in the sun. With the exception of the unfortunate necessity for the use of fossil fuels, it is all very Zen.

I must not fear.

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Erika Rae

The Sex

June 8th, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

A few weeks ago, a Hindu priestess I happen to know walked up to me and said with full conviction, “Oh! You’re having a boy!”

Startled, I raised my eyebrows at her as she proceeded to wave her hands in the vicinity of (but without actually touching) my protruding belly. Just as the news sank in and I began to think it might actually be true—that I was, indeed, going to have a child with a penis (because, really, how many times does person have the opportunity to have a real, live Hindu priestess divine the sex of one’s unborn child – surely, it must carry some weight…), she took a step back, a confused look on her face.

“Or, is it a girl?” she said, somewhat more quietly this time.

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Erika Rae

Grandma’s Red Bikini

May 18th, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

Grandma wanted a red bikini.

She said it was because she wanted to take up swimming again, but I suspect it had a bit more to do with a “sunset-of-life” crisis. And anyway, just because when the rest of us looked at her we saw a wrinkly old woman who looked like she might blow over if you forgot to cover your sneeze…Grandma was a sexy bird.

At some point.

Possibly circa the climax of the women’s suffrage movement.

I’ve seen pictures, anyway.

Before the gray. Before the Depends.

Before “the girls” made a permanent move south.

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Erika Rae

Thin Places

April 29th, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

There is a crack underneath my fireplace, where the intake vent meets the hardwood floor. It is too small for most things, but perhaps large enough for a mouse to squeeze through if it is very determined. Tonight, however, something about this crack gets to me. Makes me dizzy. Above, the glow from the fireplace hot on my face; below the crack leading to the depths within my house. Leading perhaps down to the foundation. Maybe beyond.

I wonder what could be down there. Large rodents, maybe. Nick Belardes’ Mothman, probably. I stare at the crack half expecting long, dark fingers to flit through and make a quick probe. Nudge a dust bunny or two on their way to my soul. On their way to finger other thin places in my life.

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Erika Rae

Backscratch, Anyone?

April 5th, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Earlier this year, the woman who holds the world’s record for the longest fingernails…lost them in a car crash.

Lee Redmond, a Salt Lake City, Utah resident, had nails totaling 28 feet in length. On February 11th of this year, she was ejected into the road from the passenger seat of an SUV in which she was riding.

Of course she was riding.

Her longest nail was her left thumb, which measured 2 feet, 11 inches. All 10 of them broke in the crash.

3-foot long nails severed in a violent crash. Three days before Valentine’s Day.  (more…)


Erika Rae

Why Does the Patron Goddess of Japan Hate Me?

March 26th, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

When it comes to my expectations of the great beyond, I try not to get too excited. If I make it to heaven, I’ll be doing good to get a studio flat with a dumpster-side view of the golden chariot highway.

If, however, the Ever After is karma-based, death will not bring me peace, for I have work to do. No, not peace; only a new uniform in the grand roller derby we call life.

A few more turns to take in the mortal skin.

A few more rounds of puberty.

A few more high school graduations and potential conflict with my mothers.

I used to believe passionately in Hell…

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Erika Rae

The Tooth Fairy: Cute or Creepy?

March 18th, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

Only we capitalists could come up with such story: a fairy who pays cold, hard cash for human teeth.

In ancient Europe, they would simply bury the teeth. But in 18th century France, a story appears in which a good queen hires a mouse to hide under a bad king’s pillow and to knock out all of his teeth when he is asleep. From there, the story has been somewhat transformed.

Today in Spanish speaking countries, we have a tooth mouse named Ratoncito Pérez, who makes the occasional appearance in Colgate commercials. He replaces the tooth for candy or money. (more…)


Erika Rae

Two Men Named Randy and One Tangerine Speedo

February 16th, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

I’m on my own in town today.  It’s a weird feeling.  It’s not often that I get to dislodge myself from my two little dependents, but here I am.  In Boulder.  All by myself.  Strange feeling.  Succulent feeling.  I am unleashed. I feel like I should go do something I don’t normally do.  Something naughty.  I am wondering if any clubs are open in Boulder at 11:30am on a Monday.   

Currently, I’m sitting in the waiting area of a lab, waiting to get my blood drawn, along with a urine culture.  My midwife sent me here.  Apparently, I have a life inside of me who requires monitoring.  A third dependent on the way.  Three loaves.  

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Erika Rae

I Love My Geek

February 7th, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO- 

I’ve been busy lately.  It’s tax time.  I know it’s early, but I don’t have much choice in the matter.  My husband and I run a couple of businesses.  OK, three.  An LLC.  A C-Corp.  Another LLC.

This whole company-building thing is getting out of control.  It’s insanity.  He’s got this entrepreneurial bug that he can’t seem to shake.  Or doesn’t want to.  He keeps starting businesses.   I think he may be addicted.  He gets the shakes if he goes too long without something new. 

My husband is kind of a computer geek.  Thinks in binary.  Eats bits for breakfast.  He loves those computer games where you can choose your own avatar – don the chainmail, wield the axe, drink the manna.  He is his own avatar.

He once walked into the forest behind our house empty-handed and came back with a katana. 

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Erika Rae

Fornication Under Consent of the King

January 23rd, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

Several days ago, a close friend of mine was on the phone with his father.  My friend – male, age 35 - was having a hard time that day – with family, with business, with life.  He was very upset.  He said the word “fuck.”  Not directed at his father, but at the situation.  

His father is a Christian man – and quite conservative.  I make this distinction as not all Christians are as conservative as he.  He lives in Oklahoma – in the Bible belt – and while he is not an extreme fundamentalist, he represents a fairly strong set of rules and beliefs.  One of these beliefs is that the word “fuck” should never be used in the English language.  It is vulgar.  Disrespectful.  Taboo.  Women and children should be sheltered from the word and men who use it are classless and obscene.  He would be very disappointed in me if he were reading this post.

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Erika Rae

I Hold John Jacobs and The Power Team Personally Responsible for the Loss of My Virginity

January 11th, 2009
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

I lost my virginity thanks to a Youth Group outing and a group of impossibly large men.

OK, OK – not my real virginity. Being the good little Evangelical girl I was, I was saving that for my wedding night. But my spiritual virginity was as good as gone. Vamoose. Sold down the river to some guy named Jed. Or, more accurately, Scott.

We hadn’t exactly planned it. There was no flag raised in the days leading up to the earth-shattering event that read: THE END IS NEAR! How it managed to sneak up like that when we were trying to be so spiritual is beyond my comprehension. Sure, we’d snuck off to the back stairway a few times to make out. We were 14. We could hardly be blamed for a little hormonal playtime. But we had always had our boundaries. In the final analysis, I simply refuse to acknowledge that this tear in my spiritual hymen was entirely our fault.

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Erika Rae

Chattanooga Choo-Choo: A Brief History of the Vibrator

December 26th, 2008
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

In the last two weeks, two TNB writers have written about masturbation (thank you Smibst and Marni Grossman).  Why not make it a threesome?  Tis the season, right?

Specifically, I’d like to focus on the vibrator. 

I was 29 when I visited my first actual sex toy shop.  I went with a couple of girlfriends from my kung fu class to look for Valentine’s Day gifts for our men.  Together, we were trouble. 

First, there was V, the dark-haired Filipina-American who had spent 8 years in the army and who could arm-wrestle any man stupid enough to challenge her under the table.  I have broken up fights between her and overzealous guys at dance clubs on more than one occasion.  Second, there was M, the ample-chested knockout who never failed to turn a head with her screaming feminine vibe.  She has also been the cause of a few scuffles at dance clubs – but perhaps for less confrontational reasons.  Third, there was me, their plump friend, Bess.  

So there we were, marching into Ye Old Sex Shoppe on 28th Street (otherwise known as “Fascinations”), and winking boldly at the pre-adults working the counter as if we had just stopped in to get a bag of chips and a vanilla Frappucino out of the refrigerator case. 

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Erika Rae

The Big Wait: Blinded by LinkedIn God’s Bling and Narrowly Avoiding a Tragic Interview with Sarah Lacy

December 4th, 2008
by Erika Rae

BOULDER, CO-

It was a dark and stormy night with the snow dotting the sky like static on a 1955 RCA television.  I pointed my Jeep down the mountain pass in the dark.  The radio blared Smooth Criminal.  Alien Ant Farm version. I was freshly showered, neatly dressed, sober – and I didn’t care who saw me.  I wore jeans, a powder blue shirt, a black camisole, black shoes, a black North Face coat and a necklace in the shape of a silver flower that I purchased in Denmark a few years prior.  I had eaten spaghetti for dinner.  With meatballs.  I was everything the well-dressed, young entrepreneur ought to be.  I was calling on one million dollars.

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Erika Rae

Blessing Lost

November 21st, 2008
by Erika Rae

LAMMA ISLAND, HONG KONG-

She was unapologetically beautiful with ocean damp hair and breasts that pressed two dark spots into her pink camisole.  Light freckles on her nose matched her sand crusted toes and she walked the leaf-shadowed path as if she bore the weight of a hidden royal past.

Around us on all sides were the spinning dementia of cicadas and the love affairs of bullfrogs.  Obscenity saturated the damp air.  We passed from the trees into the cane forests and out past a chicken yard where the hens bickered openly and the cock was king. 

We spoke of love and culture and sex and God.  She had been raised in the same British boarding school as Cat Stevens.  Oh yes, she remembered the old schoolyard. 

Love is a battlefield.

Culture is a club.

Sex is natural.

God is a DJ.

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